Ever since Urizen joined the Empire, the nation has benefitted from the the import of food from the Marches and other necessities and luxuries that the Urizen no longer produce themselves. The mineral and magical wealth of the mountains allows the people of the spires to maintain a comfortable quality of life while losing as little precious study time to the tedious labour of farming or mining. In the lowlands, trade caravans of oxen and wagons are familiar lines seen across the Empire, but the rugged and difficult terrain of Urizen means that some of the more isolated spires rely on domestic llamas for transportation of trade goods to and from the more accessible trade centres.

Many Urizen take it for granted that their essential needs will be taken care of by their Spire and as a consequence it is common for them to take a somewhat disdainful approach to personal wealth. Money is useful, but nowhere near as valuable as crystal mana. Where the people of Urizen excel is in the creation of magical implements. The masters of these professions are figures of influence and prestige in Urizen. While they rarely master the realm lores, the prevalence of magicians in Urizen means there is a constant demand for wands, staves, rods and ritual accoutrements of all sorts. Further, trinkets, amulets and talismans are popular with all levels of society — they represent tangible pieces of magical power that can mark status and wealth more effectively than any number of jewelled rings or necklaces.

During the reign of Empress Lisabetta, there was a marked increase in the amount of international trade passing through Urizen, especially through the trade-port of Cargo in Redoubt. There have been efforts to improve links with the Principalities of Jarm, the Sarcophan Delves, and Axos in particular. The successful use of economic pressure to convince the Axou to abandon their nation's reliance on slavery has been hailed by many Urizen as validation of the architects' economic philosophies.

The Mana Trade

As a nation where magic is considered the highest art, it should come as no surprise that the Urizen have a bottomless thirst for crystal mana. There are many places in Urizen that possess strong magical auras, and the Urizeni have become adept at focussing and directing the flows of mana to produce large amounts of the invaluable magical material. There is never enough though, and even today there are groups of explorers who scour the more out-of-the-way locations looking for new places to establish a mana site.

This demand for mana crystals contributed in part to the establishment of the Crystal Architect of the Spires Imperial title by the Senate in 379YE. The Crystal Architect is empowered to commission the creation of sinecures in Urizen that provide a bounty of crystal mana. Such sinecures require an investment of mithril that can make their construction expensive, especially in light of the fact that Urizen control of the Legacy — the rich mithril mine in northern Spiral that has been hotly contested by the barbarian orcs in recent years.

Such investments are studied by the architects of Urizen, who view money as a useful and versatile tool for achieving their goals. Fascinated by the ability of money to influence the world, they view it as a practical application of the Net of the Heavens. They are among the few Urizen who make an effort to understand how trade and investment affect the world around them. Much of the Urizen economy is shaped by the architects, who are always looking both for opportunities to capitalise on new developments and to invest their wealth in new endeavours.


Menial labour in Urizen is mostly performed by arcane constructs called ushabti. These humanoid figures are crafted by artisans from wood and clay and animated by magical energies. They are unintelligent, unaware, and have no personalities, constructed to perform a handful of simple tasks repetitively. Field ushabti work the small farms, mine ushabti dig and extract ore, and builder ushabti perform construction work and general labour. A group of ushabti is usually overseen by a single person, who gives them their instructions and the small amount of mana they need to function. Ushabti left unsupervised have a tendency to get into trouble due to their virtual inability to react to unexpected situations. Their main value lies in allowing their supervisor to get a lot of menial work done with minimal effort, generally leaving the person free to read, study or practice while keeping one eye on the ushabti.

Ushabti are constructed without facial features. A few Urizen use servant ushabti, distinguished from the labouring ushabti by more delicate construction and usually "humanised" by giving them a clay or porcelain mask to wear. These servants are useful for simple tasks, but getting them to do anything more complex than serving wine or washing dishes tends to require so much supervision that it is rarely practical.

While Ushabti are about as strong as a fit human they are fragile — a single solid blow is usually enough to disrupt the magic that animates them, regardless of attempts to armour their form. They are almost useless on a battlefield; although they are occasionally used to supplement defensive emplacements, they are rarely very effective except in large numbers. They function best in the mountains of Urizen, and are more effective the higher up the mountains they are. Outside the nation, Ushabti break down quickly, are even more unresponsive, and are considered fascinating curios rather than a potential replacement for human industry.

In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.

Confucius (attributed)

Imperial Bourse

Historically Urizen has controlled a single national seat on the Imperial Bourse — the Legacy. Unfortunately, this valuable mithril mine was lost to the Grendel when they conquered the territory of Spiral in 331YE. While it was ultimately recovered, ownership has changed hands several times since then. As of Spring 383YE, it is controlled by the Druj orcs who captured it from the Urizen during their unexpected invasion.

Tally of the Votes

As with most other nations, national Bourse titles in Urizen are appointed through the Tally of the Votes. Every citizen of Urizen who owns a mana site in one of the Urizeni territories can participate in the vote. The more productive the mana site is, the more votes it provides.

Further Reading

Core Brief

Additional Information