Overview

There are many spires in Urizen, but only a comparative handful are involved in the affairs of the Empire (that is, attend the seasonal summits at Anvil). The influence of a spire can wax and wane, and involvement in Imperial affairs is not always a reflection of their influence within the nation itself. This page presents in-character information about the spires that attend, or have attended, Anvil — the kind of thing that someone who asked about the spire might uncover from talking to their peers. In each case, the information is provided by the players and edited before being put on the wiki.

The majority of spires listed here represent player-character groups. You should not create a character who is part of a spire, or has personal history with one, without first clearing it with the appropriate players. You should also check before including other players' spires in your background. The background team are unlikely to approve a background that significantly impacts or involves another player character spire without their permission. There are also a handful of prominent NPC spires included for completeness, but they are not intended for use by player characters.

Spires of Morrow

The spires of Morrow are some of the oldest in Urizen.

Skylark Spire

Purpose: Arcane Spire
Region: Operus
Apothegm: Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.

A very old spire dating from the origins of the Urizen nation, Skylark is an arcane spire that was created to place great emphasis on day and night magic, thus creating a significant number of Seers, stargazers and Torchbearers throughout the ages. Due to the emphasis on divination magic, its martial prowess is seen a lacklustre, requiring aid from nearby citadels throughout the years. However, due to the constant cost of repairs of the ancient structure of the spire, there has been an increasing appearance of Architects among the populace in recent years to help raise funds for the community.

There has been a significant tradition of this Spire accepting Merrow born Brass Coast orphans throughout the years, believing that more minds will benefit the spire (and in turn Urizen as a whole) in the future.

This spire is known for the various eagles that inhabit the surrounding landscape and its beautiful waterfall that has been constructed to fall through the different levels of the spire out into a small lake that the Merrow inhabitants use to meditate.

Temple of the Wanderer

The Wanderer (Illus.)

Purpose: Sword Scholar Temple
Region: Caeli
Apothegm: Greater knowledge equals greater precision. Find more locus points, gather more strings of influence and perfect your net of prediction.
Arbiter: Cato Hypation

A secret temple dedicated to The Wanderer and to understanding the inexorable powers of Fate. The few privileged enough to be invited tell tales of a central chamber, home to a never-ending great tapestry which is carefully added to and edited daily.

Rather than telling history the Scholars claim it is physical representation of the net of the Heavens as the temple understand it.

Though years of persecution are not easily forgotten, some adherents have chosen to come to Anvil. They are the inheritors of a vanishingly rare doctrine, and bring with them the question: how much of your life is truly governed by chaos and how much do you dare admit?  

Spires of Redoubt

Redoubt is still a little wild; the spires here have a strong martial tradition.

The Crystal Skies

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The Crystal Skies

Purpose: Former Arcane Spire - now a Citadel
Region: Near Delving
Apothegm: The ends do not justify the means.
Arbiter: Lanius of the Crystal Skies

The once arcane spire of Spiral, now military encampment in Redoubt, sits at the foot of the mountain that is the home to Netherwatch Spire. With most of the spire being sentinels, trained up from a young age, not by choice, but as a necessity, many of the sentinels that are experienced tend to be on the younger side. Even with all that has happened to their home in Spiral, they always believe and push for a way to win, without sacrifice. Whether this is due to naivete or courage, a nation built upon trying to be perfect, surely can find a way to win without compromise.

Even though most of the original spire still remains, most of its current members are refugees from other spires from Zenith and Spiral. As an encampment, the spire finds it easy to let people move in and stay till we can organise proper places for them in nearby spires. Many members of the group seen today are those that chose to stay in the encampment to help others that require it, and assist with the reclamation of fallen territory, whether it be Zenith, Spiral, or another nation's home.

Invidia Citadel

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Invidia Citadel

Purpose: Citadel
Region: Wilstone
Apothegm: We will create a class of sentinel willing to sacrifice everything to protect the people of Urizen & the Empire from all foes, barbarian or internal.
Arbiter: Silvia of Invidia

Invidia Citadel is dedicated to a particularly extreme study of martial arete, based around a philosophy called Siblinghood. The Siblings of Invidia Citadel are raised as part of a communal family embracing all members of the Citadel, and trained as a sentinel from a young age. By such means sentinels are created with an unbreakable bond to the fighting unit, and a clear understanding of the need to sacrifice anything in the defence of the nation. Traditionally, Invidia Citadel has spurned the arts of trade or ritual lore as an unnecessary distraction from martial arete, operating a communal economy controlled by the arbiter, but in the past few years the contempt for non-military occupations has begun to change. For much of its history Invidia Citadel was largely isolated and self-sufficient, its members only mixing with the rest of Urizen society when serving in the Citadel Guard or when their own forces were needed. However from the Winter Solstice 381YE members of the Citadel began travelling to Anvil, the better to coordinate their military efforts with the rest of the nation. The Siblings of the Citadel are now fully committed to the struggle to liberate Urizen's lost territories, and oppose the influence of the sword scholars...

Netherwatch Spire

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Netherwatch Spire

Purpose: Spire
Region: Delving
Apothegm: Where this is darkness, Let us bring light.
Arbiters: Thalia, seat holder of the Legacy in Exile and Convenor of the National Fund, and Galene, the Imperial Inquisitor and Convenor of the National Assembly

Melded into the mountains of Redoubt it overlooks, Netherwatch Spire was originally an arcane spire involved with mining and craftsmanship; like their neighbors in Delving. Supposedly the spire was built with the aid of the eternal Adamant though the true history of has long since been forgotten and the covens focus moved to Day and Spring over Summer.

Now the spire boasts the twin pronged aretes of Wisdom and Prosperity with the co-arbirers Thalia, seat holder of the Legacy in Exile and Convenor of the National Fund, and Galene, the Imperial Inquisitor and Convenor of the National Assembly. A large contingent of the Anvil Militia calls the spire their home, promoting their commitment to truth and Wisdom.

Temple of the Prismatic Eye

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The Prismatic Eye

Purpose: Temple
Region: The Ventosi Valley
Apothegm: To be the Eye that Seeks, ever Vigilant, scouring the darkness.

The Temple of the Prismatic Eye sits in one of the deepest parts of the Ventosi Valley, away from the more lofty spires and surrounded by trees. Initially, the Temple was a waystation for ancient travellers but new roads and methods of transport have left the paths nearby unused, the perfect site for a hidden sword scholar retreat. The Temple exists both to extol the beliefs of Sulemaine and to defend Urizen from threats within and without.

The primary goal is in keeping watch, with many of the members making expeditions to periodically cull the dangerous beasts and orcs that populate the lowlands and to watch for signs of heresy and sin amongst the people. They believe that it is through individual reflection, study and training that true believers achieve the greatest heights. They liken their individuality to light streaming through a prism. Pure light is made from individual colours coming together in balance, a spectrum of experiences which let the individual excel among their peers.

Currently, the Temple’s goals remain set on returning Urizen’s lost territories and setting the people back onto a logical and individualistic path. They are also outspoken critics of the sentinels, who have failed in the defence of Urizen and turned their backs on its people, and of the Citadel Guard, who they see to have been mismanaged, underutilised in aid of Urizeni interests.

Spires of Spiral

Those spires still in Spiral must contend with both the presence of barbarian orcs and the malign force that squats at the centre of the territory.

Academy of the Southern Shore

Purpose: Arcane Spire
Region: Apulus

A spire that taught students in Apulus, somewhat inland from the town itself. The Academy was historically patronised by The Whisper Gallery and had a reputation for radical usages of memory magic in its pedagogy. The spire shut its public doors when the Grendel invaded, but continues to teach students under a potent magical shroud. With the recent trauma of the Black Plateau awakening, the students turned on each other and filled the halls with blood. In the wake of this trauma, the remaining teachers have travelled to Anvil hoping to use their skills to protect the spire from further tragedy and seek new eternal patronage.

The Great Library of Ankarien

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The Great Library of Ankarien

Purpose: Arcane spire
Region: Ankra
Apothegm: The light of a single flame may illuminate a thousand steps along the way
Arbiter: Vice-Maester Palaphon Ankarien and Arbiter Maxmillian Ankarien

Ankarien is one of the largest and most venerable spires in Spiral, with the date of its founding lost in pre-Imperial history. It is traditionally organised around its Great Library, which was once one of the most significant centres of learning and education in Urizen. It has long been politically active, sending delegates to the Grand Conclaves for as long as they have existed and eventually giving rise to Emperor Nicovar Ankarien. Unfortunately, Ankarien was one of Nicovar’s most prominent targets and suffered terrible destruction at his hands, its collections of books decimated.

After Nicovar’s fall, the Library dedicated itself to rebuilding, restoring some of its former glory, but when the Grendel invasion of Spiral came, Ankarien found itself unprepared and the inhabitants fled with what volumes they could carry to Endsmeet while the sentinels bought time with their lives. Since then, Ankarien has been a prominent voice for the exiled spires of Spiral, pushing for the reclamation of the lost territory. After a brief spell leading the resettlement of the territory, they now find themselves in exile once again.

Ankarien is mostly focused on politics and learning, with a strong tradition of both magi and stargazers. It has a slightly unusual leadership structure, with the arbiter responsible for the internal affairs of the spire and a maester responsible for wider leadership. It sees itself as leading the reclamation of Spiral and this underpins its entire philosophy, along with a strong sense of its own history and tradition.

Temple of the White Stork

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The Temple of the White Stork

Purpose: Temple
Region: Apulus
Apothegm: There is no greater teacher than experience, no greater experience than the duel.
Arbiter: Calgacus Apulian

Originally a school of swordplay, the White Stork is defined by its members' odd ideals, viewing single combat as the ultimate expression of, and metaphor for, every aspect of a soul's Way. To engage another in such a manner is to both see and show the essence of those involved without guile or shame. This clear lens held appeal for some, though the Temple's brutal regime, disdain for convention, and anything it considered frivolous - as well as socially manipulative methods - made many more Urizeni wary. A small and elitist group nestled in the mountains of Apulus, just north of the ruins of Apulian, they suffered over this past decade, losing their holdings and retreating over some years to Morrow. Constant battles in defence of refugee caravans in their slow retreat filled their numbers with a curious and grateful mix of souls from across the nation as their laity, and the few surviving scholars continue to pass to them their ideal of a purely logical, perfectly poised paragon of skill.

When this eclectic band of itinerants gathers at Anvil, they seem to focus on providing tuition and guidance to individuals from other nations, functioning as instructors, advisors and confidantes to many influential persons. Some say this allows them to influence others positively towards Urizen as well as identify those who threaten it. The Stork watches, and chooses when to strike.

Spires of Zenith

Zenith is under Druj control — those few spires that remain rely on magical means to prevent themselves being overrun by the orcs.

Contributing

Any Urizen spire, citadel or temple can submit an entry for this page. The entry should come from the out-of-character group leader and be emailed to plot@profounddecisions.co.uk. It should contain the following information:

  • Name of the spire
  • The kind of spire (arcane spire, citadel, temple)
  • Your spire's apothegm assuming it is public knowledge
  • Territory and region where the spire is physically located. If you are a spire in exile that has fled Zenith or Spiral you can mention that here
  • If the spire has a sigil a description of that sigil and an image if one is available
  • The name of your arbiter if you have one

You should also include up to 250 words of description, detailing the kind of things that other characters might know about your spire. Have a look at the description for an arcane spire, citadel, or temple for ideas on the kind of information that is useful. For example, if you are from an an arcane spire, then what kind of magic are you known for? You must also include a few sentences of history, especially around the reasons for the spire's formation.

Some other questions to consider include:

  • Does your spire have an interesting geographical feature associated with it?
  • Are there one or more particular archetypes it is associated with?
  • Does your spire have a particular philosophy or goal which helps unify your members?

Things to avoid include:

  • Too much worldbuilding detail — this represents information other characters may know about your spire. It's not a place to define elements of the game world
  • Lists of character names — this isn't a place for getting your name on the wiki
  • Too much emphasis on the past — while it's useful to have a few lines of history, what matters in Empire is what your spire does on the field at events

It's possible to update the information on this page over time (for example if your arbiter changes) with an e-mail to plot@profounddecisions.co.uk.