The spires here are the oldest in Urizen
Regions of Morrow

Overview

The spires of Morrow are amongst the oldest in Urizen, dating back to the nation's birth. The heart of the Heliopticon is here, making it a centre of communication for the Nation. The miracle of the Heliopticon is administered from this territory, and most spires maintain a series of prisms, lenses and mirrors atop their tallest roof in order to pass on the flickering messages that keep the nation in constant communication.

Many spires in Morrow inhabit some of the original buildings discovered on the mountaintops by the first Urizen to ascend the mountains. Large open buildings, with doorways and halls just larger than a human might need, they create a sense of open space that has set the pattern for all Urizen architecture.

Despite its great age Morrow moves inexorably forward, and many of its spires are undergoing constant reconstruction and improvement. It is said that “no two days find the same Morrow” as the Urizen constantly strive to perfect their land even further. A project may take a decade or even more to come to fruition, but the Urizen pride themselves on vision and their desire to perfect their world.

Recent History

Following the Summer Solstice 382YE, the Druj armies poured across the southern borders of Morrow from Zenith. Despite the best efforts of the Highborn armies of the Granite Pillar, Valiant Pegasus, and Seventh Wave the orcs conquered Peregro and Caeli. In the process they destroyed not only the Halls of Knowledge but also the central Heliopticon tower, the Glorious Fountain of Dawn and Dusk, and the Gardens of Morrow. They also destroyed the Temple of the Winds, slaughtering nearly two thirds of the sword scholars in the process. Their advance was finally turned back at the borders of Operus.

Major Features

Ariadne in the Snow.jpg
The mountains of Morrow are cold.

Grand Library of Canterspire

Over time, a number of spires built around the same high peak have merged to form one whole, the Canterspire. In any other country, it would be called a town, and would sprawl like a nest of termites. As this is Urizen, the merge was carefully planned and executed over centuries. Each Spire specialises in one of the pillars of Urizen philosophy, and they are defended by a network of citadels sitting on the lower peaks. Canterspire overlooks the preternaturally still lake known to the Urizen as the Eye of Morrow. During the Druj invasion of Morrow, Canterspire served as a sanctuary for those fleeing the orcs of the Mallum. With the aid of the eternal Phaleron, the spires were sheathed in magical crystal transforming them temporarily into a mighty fortress protected by bizarre guardians drawn from the Day realm.

During the Druj invasion, a large number of books and libraries from across Morrow were transported to the safety of the crystal sanctuary. With the orc armies pushed back into Zenith, many who had made the desperate trip to the spires here chose to stay. They have since been joined by a large number of refugees from Zenith rescued during the daring raid of Spring 383YE. Together with the original inhabitants, and with several exiles from Spiral who refuse to live under the oppressive aura there, Canterspire has unsurprisingly become a central "node" for the new magical research initiative spreading across Urizen.

In Summer 383YE, in response to a proposal by the Celestial Library, the Imperial Senate commissioned a major expansion of Canterspire employing two-score wains of mithril and the work of countless Urizen artisans to transform Canterspire into the Grand Library of Canterspire - which was then ceded to the eternal. This cooperation with Phaleron provides several benefits - not only will Phaleron "enfold" the library should it ever be threatened, drawing it into a grand chamber between the mortal realm and the realm of Day where neither the residents nor the books may be threatened, but it will also serve as the lynchpin of the new body of Urizen Lore

Until Autumn 382YE, Canterspire was home to the Canterspire Academy, an august educational institution which oversaw the Imperial Academy for Young Heroes in Anvil. Following the imminent threat of Druj invasion, with a heavy heart the Chancellor announced the offices of the Academy would be moving to to the Castle of Thorns in Astolat.

The Three Watchers

One of the main passes from Morrow to Zenith lies in the shadow of the mountains known as the Three Sorrows, but following the spring Equinox 383YE their countenance was irrevocably altered. Little koboldi, servants of the eternal Adamant, carved their lower slopes under the guidance of an Urizen illuminate named Furia Severia (a famous sculptor in her time). The koboldi, summoned by the Ashen Flame coven using a specially prepared arcane projection fashioned three great statues of Highborn soldiers gazing south into Zenith. Each soldier is nearly two hundred foot tall, clothed in armour, weapons at the ready to turn back any who attempt to invade. Each represents one of the Highborn armies who fought to defend Urizen from the encroaching tide of Druj - the Valiant Pegasus, the Seventh Wave, and the Granite Pillar. They tower over the pass and the surrounding countryside, a permanent tribute memorialising the Highborn sacrifice for all time.

Between the feet of the middle statue lies an austere stone shrine; a place of pilgrimage for those who wish to gaze upon the wondrous sculpture and meditate on the virtues that inspired its creation. The shrine was consecrated with true liao by Aurum of Virtue's Shield shortly before the Summer Solstice 383YE.

The Canterspire Circle

The Canterspire Circle (or more correctly, Circles) is a Bourse resource located in Operus. Custodianship of the Circle is an Imperial Title that brings with it a Seat on the Imperial Bourse. It produces 22 Imperial wains of weirwood every season. Control is allocated to any Imperial citizen by open auction during the Winter Solstice.

The Caves of the Claw

The Caves of the Claw are a series of deep caves recently excavated by ushabti associated with the citadel of Phoenix Reach. While local records mentioned "bloody crystals" the exact location of the Caves was a secret lost to modern Urizen. Their position was uncovered by the Minister of Historical Research in 378YE, and initial explorations determined that they were rich in subterranean mana flows and crystal mana.

In Spring 379YE, the newly appointed Crystal Architect of the Spires announced that work would begin on developing and expanding the magical auras here, and the Imperial title of Custodian of the Claw was created to oversee the resultant sinecure. More details about the history and nature of the caves can be found here.

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Snow lies on the high peaks of Morrow throughout the year.

Sunspire

This spire watches the forests of Therunin as much as it does the skies and heavens. If any outside Navarr understand the Vallorn, it is the Urizen of Sunspire. Navarri vates are known to visit here to exchange news and knowledge.

Highwatch

A citadel that focuses on military science and leadership rather than the combat skills of individuals. It is where the Urizen met Giovanni the Peacemaker to negotiate their incorporation into the Empire.

The Weave

A spire dedicated to the study of the Net of the Heavens. It overlooks Three Watchers Pass.

The Eye of Morrow

A small lake at the foot of the mountain that holds the Canterspire. Famed as a place of meditation. The air in this valley is remarkably still, and sound carries a vast distance. A perhaps misleading message is carved into a rock that stands next to the lake - it is in the Imperial tongue, and simply states "The Eye is Closed". That message has been there as long as any can remember.

The Halls of Knowledge (ruined)

When Zenith was added to the Empire, the Urizen proposed that the Empire should have a second seat of magical study, in addition to the Lyceum. Rather than threaten the Lyceum, the new academy would help unite the magicians of Urizen and allow them to pool their magical lore for the benefit of the Empire. Instead of building their academy of magic around an existing spire, they created an entirely new one and called it the Halls of Knowledge. A number of respected theorists and seers travelled to the new academy, and a Provost was appointed to help co-ordinate their research - and to encourage other Urizen magicians to offer their assistance. It soon became known as a centre for prognostication and the study of Day magic - to this day some of the best diviners in the civil service spend time studying here to hone their abilities.

The college stood in the hills of Clypion until shortly after the Autumn Equinox 381YE when it vanished overnight in an eerie fog bank. The majority of the faculty, students, and researchers had evacuated but a small number of them were left unaccounted for including Provost Octavius of the spire of the Auric Horizon. Two months later, on the last night of the full moon before the Winter Solstice, the Halls of Knowledge reappeared in Morrow, on the shores of one of the largest hot springs of Peregro. None of the buildings appeared to be any the worse for wear for the two months they had spent... elsewhere. The unaccounted for scholars, however, remained unaccounted for.

Shortly after its singular disappearance and reappearance, the college was destroyed by the invading Druj, its libraries burnt and many of its scholars killed or enslaved by the rampaging orcs.

The Heliopticon

A network of communication devices using bronze mirrors, maintained and used by Urizen since time out of mind.

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If Zenith is the soul, then Morrow is the heart of Urizen.

Regions

Altis

Quality: Hills
At the northernmost border of Urizen is the region of Altis, home to the citadel of Highwatch and known for particularly rich tempest jade mines. Many of the caves within the mountains here possess unique, resonant acoustics and several spires are positioned specifically to study or make use of these properties.

The Spire of the Canticle is perhaps the most famous of these spires. Known for producing some of the most beautiful, haunting, and eerie music in the modern Empire, their finest works must be enjoyed in situ as they incorporate the esoteric acoustic effects provided by the echoing caves. Over many years the Spire of the Canticle has "fine tuned" the properties of the caves, creating the Cathedral Cavern deep within the cold stone of the mountains. A premier performing venue in the eastern Empire, those who know how to exploit the unique acoustics can produce truly remarkable musical performances. Unsurprisingly, Altis is a common destination for lovers of music and poetry from across the Empire.

Numerous stories speak of crystals brought out from the deeper tempest jade mines that possess remarkable properties for storing and reproducing music created in their presence. These songstones are much sought after, but rarely mined. Experiments have shown that their magic is much stronger if they are left where they are found, and several chambers have been hollowed out around them to exploit their properties. Many of these caverns have (perhaps coincidentally) become strong regio connected to the realms of Day, Night, and occasionally Summer.

Caeli

Quality: Hills
The towering peaks of Caeli are not the tallest in Urizen - those are in Zenith - but their beauty is unparalleled. On a clear day, an observer can gaze across the entire territory. The Seat of the Arbiter is a unique magical location that takes advantage of this property; a carved stone throne at the heart of a powerful regio tied to the realm of Day. Any magician who sits in the chair can gain a bird's eye view of any location in Morrow. The Spire of the Arbiter's Seat protected and oversaw the regio and its divinatory treasure until it was captured by the Druj invaders shortly before the Autumn Equinox 382YE. The magicians here were well-known for being excellent hosts and inveterate gossips.

On the tallest mountain in Caeli once stood the tower heart of the entire Heliopticon network and the spires and citadels that were devoted to its study, function, maintenance and protection. The attendants at the tower chose to destroy it in an invoked devastation, probably with the aid of the eternal Kimus, rather than let it fall into the hands of the Druj.

The Gardens of Morrow once stood on the lower slopes of Caeli; like the Gardens of Pallas before them, they were looted and then burnt to the ground by the Druj.

Between the Heliopticon heart and the Seat of the Arbiter, it is no surprise that Caeli had more than its fair share of magicians with have an interest in communication, magical and mundane. As such, these spires are not for those whose study needs demand quiet contemplation or solitude. Sadly these magicians were forced to flee ahead of the Druj advance leaving their precious library of divination and magical theory behind to the merciless orcs.

Operus

Quality: Hills
This region boasts some of the oldest spires in Urizen, including The Weave. Like its newer sister spire the tragic Arch of the Sky that once stood in Zenith, this spire is dedicated to the study of the Net of the Heavens. The seers and stargazers of the Arch have a reputation for radical interpretations of this key Urizen philosophy. They are credited as being the source of the school of thought that believes that places as well as people and events act as nodes in the net, and that particularly significant locations could be identified through study of the stars.

Operus is also the site of the Auric Horizon, an influential spire known for its expertise with the divinations of both Day and Night. Politically active, the spire is occasionally linked with heretical philosophies that have caused friction with the Synod in the past. The alleged "prophet" (or charlatan, depending who one asks) Abraxus Whitespire spent his last years here, and it is said to have been where he wrote the Abraxian prophecies. In the centuries since, successive firebrands and especially ambitious mages have secured Auric Horizon's reputation for involvement (and occasionally interference) in Imperial affairs.

The Canterspire Circle, a rich weirwood forest, grows on the lower slopes of Operus. One of the richest spires in Urizen, the Spire of Golden Wood overlooks the forest, and owns some of the richest farms and beggarwood forests in Urizen. They are widely known both for their fine quality mutton, and for the delicate yellow dyes they prepare using the heather that grows in great profusion around their homes. Indeed, many of the spires of Operus are known for a signature dye, or type of leather.

Peregro

Peregro is one of the most volatile regions of Morrow, known for several hot springs and even a few superheated geysers. Several spires harness the waters to provide heating, or make a study of the complex currents that run beneath the surface of the earth. Magicians theorise that there is a great deal of subterranean activity in this region, and predict that one day - probably far in the future - they might lead to a serious disaster - perhaps even a volcanic eruption.

After the Summer Solstice 382YE, the Druj invaded across the southern border from Zenith crushing and enslaving everything in their path. They destroyed the Glorious Fountain of Dawn and Dusk, tearing it apart and permanently damaging the pool above which it stood. At the same time they also destroyed the Halls of Knowledge, which briefly stood on the shores of the largest hot lake here after its mysterious translocation from Zenith shortly before the Winter Solstice 381YE.

Ravion

A remarkably flat region of western Urizen, Morrow is home to a number of spires and citadels including the citadel of Phoenix Reach. It is also the location of the Caves of the Claw. The Bleak Tower stands in north-eastern Ravion, a spire composed of displaced herbalists previously associated with the Gardens of Pallas in Zenith, and joined by herbalists fleeing the devastated Gardens of Morrow. The Custodian liaises with the spire, and protects the unique regio that stands at its heart.

SummitElected
Autumn Equinox 383YEJuliana
Autumn Equinox 382YEAriadne
Autumn Equinox 381YEAriadne
Autumn Equinox 380YEAriadne
Autumn Equinox 379YEAriadne
Autumn Equinox 378YEAriadne
Autumn Equinox 377YELucius of Quicksilver Spire
Winter Solstice 376YEIoseph

Recent Senate Elections

As an Imperial territory, Morrow is represented by a senator elected in the Autumn. This title is currently held by Juliana; it will be reelected at Autumn Equinox 384YE. The table to the right shows the citizens who have been elected to hold this title in the years since Empress Britta died.

OOC Notes

  • As of the Spring Equinox 383YE, the Empire controls the entire territory. Morrow remains in Imperial hands.
  • The Grand Library of Canterspire has been ceded to the eternal Phaleron but there are no restrictions on Urizen living or working there.
  • The Bleak Tower is a great work that shares a bounty of 80 random herbs among Urizen citizens who own herb gardens in the territory (and who attended the previous summit).