"So," said Lutomysla slowly. Her guide waited expectantly, head cocked to one side.

"So," she said again. "We still know what the Rune of Wealth looks like, yes?"

The Urizen architect inclined their head to indicate that they did. Lutomysla nodded along, and continued to gaze out across the acres of ruined, burnt, and broken gardens.

"And we still know how to prepare all the, you know, beds and plants and such. With weirwood."

Again, the polite nod.

"Interesting." The Varushkan civil servant looked at her handwritten notes for several moment longer than their length entirely merited.

"And the Urizen know how to create the magical constructs? The... ushabti?"

For the first time, her companion showed some animation.

"We do indeed!" They allowed themselves a small smile. "In fact, with the completion of the Crucible of Fate, we are able to craft ushabti like never before!"

"Aha!" said Lutomysla, intrigued. "Oh now that does sound interesting. Very interesting.

She glanced again around the devastation.

"In fact, I think I am finished here. I would very much like to see the Crucible of Fate now, please."

Her guide raised an eyebrow, but didn't question her sudden enthusiasm for being anywhere other than the ruins of the Garden of Pallas, and gestured for her to proceed him back towards the wagon.
Orange Flower.png
Where the Druj sow fear and ruin, flowers can still grow.
Click for audio version


During the Spring Equinox, the Conscience of the Senate, Aurelio Sanguineo Rezia di Tassato requested the Prognosticator's Office be instructed to "appraise the Gardens of Pallas in Zenith being restored to their former splendour or beyond." The Imperial Senate agreed to do so, but no specific prognosticator was selected. After due consideration the Imperial Auditor, Gerard La Salle selected Lutomysla Niegoslava to take charge of the project.

The Gardens of Pallas were commissioned in the Autumn of 380YE by the civilian commissioner of Urizen, Juliana of Phoenix Reach. Built in central Iteri in Zenith, they represented a sinecure overseen by a Head Gardener of Urizen. The gardens were carefully laid out so that the various beds formed the Rune of Wealth when viewed from above and the ushabti that tended the herb beds had the same rune inlaid onto their faceplates and chests. These ushabti were specially adapted to the task of looking after the gardens - each had a useful gardening tool in pace of one of its "hands", and cunningly made wicker baskets for collecting herbs mounted on their backs.

Unfortunately, both gardens and ushabti met the same fate at the hands of the Druj; smashed and burned. While the orcs of the Mallum are known for their malicious and spiteful nature, this destruction was unexpected at the time given their well-known love of herbs and herb gardens. Some Urizeni architects have speculated that the sheer beauty of the gardens offended the orcs who conquered the place on some fundamental level, and once they had harvested the crop of herbs they were driven to destroy its splendour.

Restoring the Gardens

  • Nothing remains of the Gardens of Pallas
Gardens of Pallas
Commission Type: Sinecure
Location: Iteri in Zenith
Cost: 20 wains of weirwood, 40 crowns, three months
Effect: Creates the position of Gardener of Pallas who oversees a sinecure
Special: There is no time limit or required elements; it is not an opportunity

The Druj left nothing behind when they annihilated the Gardens of Pallas; they were thorough in their destruction. Unlike the lost sinecures that provided crystal mana - the Starlight Drift, the Storm Vault, and the Tower of the Fall, there is nothing there to rebuild. Beautiful as they were, they were a relatively simple sinecure of the kind any Senator of Bearer of an Imperial Wayleave could commission whenever they wished. If one desired to simply replicate the Gardens of Pallas, all it would require would be 20 wains of weirwood, 40 crowns in labour, and three months of construction time. The sinecure would create an Imperial title Lutomysla Niegoslava suggests "Gardener of Pallas". It would provide 7 drams of True Vervain and 5 drams each of Imperial Roseweald, Cerulean Mazzarine, Marrowort, and Bladeroot.

On the other hand, the appraisal suggests that the gardens be restored to their former splendour "or beyond" and with most of a season left to explore Zenith in front of her, Lutomysla Niegoslava chooses to spend more time focusing on that than on simply restoring the destroyed gardens.

Increase of Splendour

Marvellous Ushabti

Specialised Ushabti
Commission Type: Improvement; Ministry
Special: Improves the Gardens of Pallas
Cost: Additional 4 Thrones on top of basic costs
Effect: Allows Gardener of Pallas to acquire additional herbs
Additional Herbs
7 crowns2 True Vervain, 2 Cerulean Mazzarine, 2 Imperial Roseweald, 2 Marrowort, 2 Bladeroot, 6 Random herbs
17 crowns4 True Vervain, 4 Cerulean Mazzarine, 4 Marrowort, 4 Bladeroot, 4 Imperial Roseweald, 13 Random herbs
30 crowns6 True Vervain, 6 Cerulean Mazzarine, 6 Marrowort, 6 Bladeroot, 6 Imperial Roseweald, 20 Random herbs
46 crowns8 True Vervain, 8 Cerulean Mazzarine, 8 Marrowort, 8 Bladeroot, 8 Imperial Roseweald, 27 Random herbs
65 crowns10 True Vervain, 10 Cerulean Mazzarine, 10 Marrowort, 10 Bladeroot, 10 Imperial Roseweald, 34 Random herbs
  • Marvellous ushabti could be used to work the Gardens of Pallas
  • Initial investment will increase the costs of the Gardens of Pallas by 4 Thrones

One of the things that made the Gardens of Pallas special were the ushabti who worked there. Within the limits of the artisan's arts, they were built to exacting specifications and tailored to the task of overseeing the gardens. During her stay in Zenith, Lutomysla Niegoslava visited the newly completed Crucible of Fate and spent some time talking to the artisans and architects, fascinated by the potential of the magic constructs built in the workshops there. She proposes that the new Gardens of Pallas build on the inspiration of the original, but take advantage of the advances in functionality being made at the Crucible. After further meetings with magicians from the Golden Pyramid, she suggests a more ambitious creation.

Commissioning a cadre of new ushabti, will require an additional investment of 4 Thrones. The Gardener of Pallas will gain the ability to acquire additional herbs by paying skilled magicians and artisans to work with the ushabti on a season by season basis (a ministry).

Change of Scenery

Nightwoven Locale
Commission Type: Improvement
Special: Requires the Gardens of Pallas to be built in Proceris
Cost: Additional 2 wains of mithril, 4 crowns
Effect: Adds 4 drams of realmsroot each season to the Gardens of Pallas
  • Building the Gardens of Pallas in Proceris incurs additional expense but allows them to be integrated with the auras of night magic there
  • The gardens would produce an amount of realmsroot as well as traditional magical herbs

The original Gardens of Pallas were built in Iteri, in western Zenith. After her stay at the Crucible of Fate, Lutomysla Niegoslava visits the ruined marshes of Proceris, keen to explore the magical changes the Druj worked there. Imperial heroes were able to prevent the Druj magicians from poisoning the marshes, but the Night magic worked there still lingers. After examining the aura over the region carefully, and spending a little time observing the final weeks of work to reconstruct the Golden Cascade, the Varushkan prognosticator has another suggestion.

Rather than build the Gardens of Pallas in Iteri, they could be integrated with the remarkable irrigation networks of the Golden Cascade. Doing this would also allow them to take advantage of the Night magic that infuses the region, in a way the Druj would never have anticipated. By carefully modifying the design of the Gardens, and including nine mithril-infused monoliths in the shape of the Fountain constellation, this magic could be used to encourage the growth of the rare magical herb realmsroot. Doing so would require the gardens to be built in Proceris rather than Iteri, and slightly increase the costs involved. An additional 2 mithril and 4 crowns would be required to create the required monoliths. If this is done, in addition to the herbs the Gardens of Pallas would produce four realmsroot each season.

While discussing the changes with members of the Golden Pyramid order, one of them mentions that some of the heralds of the eternal Sadogua are known to have some ability to cultivate realmsroot. Indeed, one of them apparently worked at the Spire of the Dark Moon, a garden spire that once stood in Zenith before being overwhelmed by the Druj. After it's destruction, the Brother of Wizards offered to send the herald who oversaw the garden - the Silent Gardener - to offer its expertise to Imperial magicians. According to the Golden Pyramid, the herald is currently employed by Lumi's Teahouse in Wintermark.

Further enquiries lead to a meeting with a messenger of the Black Sloth who says their master is interested in helping the people of Urizen, finds the idea of subverting the night magic of the Druj amusing, but isn't prepared to move the Silent Gardener given its services were legitimately bought and paid for by Madyn Bitterbark. Not without explicit permission from Lumi of Wintermark themselves, at any rate. Lumi could provide that permission using Missive for Sadogua, or talk to the eternal during a face-to-face meeting, but unless such approval is given the Silent Gardener will stay where it is. In the event permission was secured, the Silent Gardener would move to Proceris, and quietly take up a position at the Gardens of Pallas. As long as Sadogua was not declared an enemy of the Empire, the Gardens of Pallas would produce an additional 12 doses of realmsroot each season, on top of the four doses from the improvement. Obviously, this would remove the benefits from Lumi's garden.

From the Bleak Tower

Bleak Tower Support
Commission Type: Improvement
Special: Requires a mandate enacted by the Urizen National Assembly
Effect: Adds a level of investment to all herb gardens in Zenith, providing 3 random herbs to each herb garden
  • Some of the herbalists at the Bleak Tower might be persuaded to return to Zenith
  • A judgement by the Urizen National Assembly is required to convince the herbalists to return
  • If the gardeners return they would provide a share of 40 random herbs to every herb garden in Zenith, but at the cost of reducing the herbs provided by the Bleak Tower

Many of the refugees who successfully escaped the destruction of the Gardens of Pallas ended up settling in Morrow, helping to establish the Bleak Tower there. Today the herbalists continue to work with herb gardens across the territory, exchanging seeds and expertise with their neighbours. This has seen a huge boost to the productivity of herb gardens in Morrow. under the auspices of the Custodian of the Bleak Tower.

Following her visit to the Crucible of Fate, Lutomysla Niegoslava makes a detour to Ravion to speak with the magicians and botanists there. Most of the herbalists who supported the Gardens of Pallas have minimal interest in returning to Zenith. They have made new lives for themselves, and appear content to tend to the beautiful arboretum in Morrow, as far from the Mallum as it is possible to get and still remain in Urizen. Arbiter Cyrus of the Bleak Spire gently explains that for many of them, returning to the site of the formerly splendid gardens would be an emotionally devastating journey, and looking on the ruin of Zenith would bring only pain. A few, however, are inspired by the work done to reclaim and rebuild Zenith, and could be persuaded to return. if they do, however, it will take some time to replace their expertise at the Bleak Tower.

Lutomysla Niegoslava is unable to persuade the former gardeners to return, but believes that the Urizen National Assembly could persuade them to do so. A suitable mandate has been prepared to make the opinion of the Synod clear, and to ensure those concerned about a return to Zenith receive spiritual succour.

The virtuous do not fear to act, and face unwelcome truths boldly. We sent (named priest) with 10 liao to provide support to the botanists of the Bleak Tower and help them to face their fears.

Synod Mandate, Urizen National Assembly

If this mandate is enacted, it will help empower those botanists of the Bleak Tower afraid to return to Zenith to face their fear. Once the commission was complete, some of the horticulturalists living at the Bleak Tower would move to the Gardens of Pallas, and offer their expertise. As long as the Gardens remained intact, every herb garden in Zenith would receive three random herbs each season as a great work.

If the mandate were enacted, but the Gardens of Pallas were not commissioned, it would still offer spiritual support to the Zenith refugees living at the Bleak Tower, but would have no game effect.

Fountain of Green

Fountainhome Support
Commission Type: Improvement
Cost: Additional 10 mithril, 10 weirwood, 40 crowns
Effect: Invests in the mana sites of Zenith and provides three random herbs to each; slightly improves standard of life due to access to good quality food
Special: Benefits are lost if Ossegrahn is subjected to enmity
  • Magician-healers from Fountainhome Spire offer to provide expertise to support the Gardens of Pallas
  • Their presence will share a bounty of herbs to mana sites across the territory

As well as the gardeners from Zenith, the Bleak Tower also attracted refugees from Spiral, driven out by a combination of Grendel aggression and the echoes of madness that roll back and forth across the territory. These included the survivors of Fountainhome Spire, formerly custodians of a unique grimoire called the Well of Nine Stars. The rituals that book contained are now part of Urizen lore, but Lutomysla Niegoslava believes the magicians themselves may have more to offer. Especially given that two of the rituals, Fountain's Bounty and Woven Strands of Life, deal with kindling magical life in the natural auras of mana that create a mana site. After several days of discussion, Cassirra Greenwell -the leader of the remaining Fountainhome Spire magicians - grudgingly agrees that they could offer their expertise to support the Gardens of Pallas.

Securing the aid of Fountainhome Spire requires the construction of a dedicated greenhouse as part of the Gardens of Pallas, built to their specifications. This adds an additional 10 wains of weirwood, 10 wains of mithril, and 40 crowns in labour to the cost of constructing the Gardens of Pallas. The presence of the Fountainhome magicians, however, allows them to spread their skills across Zenith. The restoration of the Golden Cascade ensures new settlers receive sufficient food, but the magician-gardeners of Fountainhome can provide their expertise to each new spire. With their magical air, the general standard of life across the territory will be improved, with good quality fruit, vegetables, herbs, and spices supplementing the more mundane provender grown in Proceris. They will also help to cultivate magical herbs on mana sites, meaning every mana site in Zenith will receive three random herbs each season.

However there is one further proviso. The magicians of Fountainhome Spire have a great deal of affection for the eternal Ossegrahn, and admit that some of their advanced techniques rely on aid from the heralds of Lord Rain. If Ossegrahn is ever declared an enemy of the Empire by the Imperial Conclave, they will no longer be prepared or able to support the Gardens of Pallas or the people of Zenith.


  • Any, all, or none of the additional opportunities may be included in the construction of the Gardens of Pallas
  • All the opportunities beyond the reconstruction of the gardens are lost if not taken advantage of during the Summer Solstice

Each of the additional options mentioned above requires the Gardens of Pallas to be commissioned. A single Senate motion, or use of an Imperial Wayleave can be used to begin construction of the Gardens, and include some, all, or none of the extra opportunities. The motion must make clear which options are being taken advantage of, and the costs of the entire commission increase appropriately.

These opportunities are only available during the Summer Solstice 385YE however. While the Gardens of Pallas could be built at any time, none of the opportunities are available if the construction is not commissioned before the end of the Summer Solstice, and none can be added at a later date.