The Polemarch of Highwatch is an Imperial title appointed by the Senate, created in Summer 384YE. The expansion of the citadel was overseen by the Legion Engineer. The title was created in conjunction with the eternal Zakalwe, following a proposal made in Winter 383YE. The Polemarch has custodianship of the sinecure known as Highwatch Citadel, an historical site located in Altis, Morrow, after the sentinels there arranged an accord with the eternal Zakalwe.


The Polemarch receives several useful items from the heralds of Zakalwe, and is responsible for ensuring that they are put to the proper use. If they were to be misued, the Polemarch would ultimately answer both to the eternal and the arbiter of Highwatch. If the citadel were ever to come under threat - one the resident sentinels were unable to repel - it would be the responsibility of the Polemarch to deal with this threat.


Infusions of Day

Each season the Polemarch receives 3 doses of Effulgent Primessence, provided by the heralds of Zakalwe. These potions can be used by practitioners of Day magic to enhance their ability to perform rituals.

These potions are not produced in the Citadel, they are provided by the heralds of Zakalwe. If relations with the Master Strategist were to decline severely, these heralds would depart and the Polemarch would no longer receive their income.

Pearls of Manush

Each season, the General of Day provides the Polemarch with a single Pearl of Manush.

Each Pearl is taken from a cove in the Day realm, where all manner of exotic shells are found. The waters of Manush are clotted with thoughts that drift on the whispering tides. Sometimes one of these thoughts will be caught inside the flesh of one of the great clams that dwells there and as the years go by the idea is coated with ever more layers of mother of pearl. A powerful Day magician can drain the power of a Pearl of Manush by invoking it while performing the ritual Clarity of the Master Strategist. The pearl provides up to five additional ranks of Day lore for the magician using it, subject to the normal rules for effective skill. It also counts as up to ten mana crystals used by the magician that invokes the Pearl. Once used, the pearl's power is spent.

As part of the agreement with Zakalwe, these Pearls are only to be used in the Empire's war against the Druj. If a Pearl was ever used to enchant an army facing the Jotun or any other enemy, the heralds resident in the Citadel would abandon their chambers and no further Pearls would be forthcoming. Similarly, if Zakalwe were to be the subject of enmity, the heralds would be forced to return to the realm of Day.


The Polemarch of Highwatch is appointed during the Autumn Equinox each year. It is chosen by unanimous decision of the Urizen senators. If a unanimous decision cannot be reached, the title may be appointed by the Imperial Senate instead.

The title can be held by any Urizen citizen. They can be revoked by the General Assembly, the Urizen National Assembly, and by the Assembly of the Nine.

Highwatch Citadel

Highwatch Citadel is hundreds of years old; the citadel is where the Urizen met Giovanni the Peacemaker to negotiate their incorporation into the Empire. The citadel dominates one of the tallest peaks of Altis and the pattern of trods in Peakedge Song are visible on the clearest of days.

In 383YE, the Urizen National Assembly supported a mandate to encourage their people to seek out opportunities to work alongside denizens of the realms. As part of the response, Valeria of the Citadel of Highwatch revealed that her citadel had been negotiating with a herald of the Master Strategist for a number of seasons. These negotiations were spurred by the herald Agon, Polemarch of Clarity, who approached the citadel and offered support against the Druj. Highwatch, as a citadel that focuses on military science and leadership, had caught the attention of the herald during their travels of Urizen, and they presented a proposal to expand the citadel. In return, Agon would arrange valuable resources that the magicians of Urizen could use against the eastern barbarians. Agon suggested that whoever was appointed as liaison with the citadel be dubbed the Strategos of Highwatch, but the Legion Engineer ultimately chose a different title.

Given the Legion Engineer's involvement, a number of Imperial Orcs travelled down from Skarsind to work alongside the Urizen builders during the construction. A few remained behind to study with the sentinels for a time after the work was completed, and in the years since it has become common for a few orcs to make the long journey from their homeland to spend a season or two learning alongside the Urizen and debating strategy with the heralds.

There are now a number of heralds of the Master Strategist who spend their time debating matters of strategy and warfare with visitors to the citadel. Games of strategy and tactics are common, both those played in the abstract on boards and those involving dozens of participants on both sides in exercises and actual (albeit nonlethal) fighting.

Winter Solstice 385YELeo
Winter Solstice 384YELeo

Recent Elections

This title is currently held by Leo; it will be reelected at Autumn Equinox 386YE. The table to the right shows the citizens who have been elected to hold this title in the years since Empress Britta died.

Further Reading