They may only contribute a single army to the Imperial military, but that army possesses an influence that belies its size.
Urizen are not pure theoreticians; they apply their mastery to change the world.


The Urizen contribute only a single army to the Imperial military, but they have a history of critical arcane assistance in wars against the Empire's magically capable enemies. This history began even before they joined the Empire, with several notable Urizen magicians providing pivotal assistance to the Empire in the war against Alderei the Fair and the volodny sorcerers. This earned them the hatred and enmity of the volodny, but it created a precedent for future conflicts. When the Imperial armies march to war against a foe that uses magic, the Urizen magicians work to provide what support they can.

Swords, spears and glaives are the favourite weapons; axes, maces and flails are considered to be heavy and ungainly weapons by many. Urizen masters teach their students to see a weapon as a tool to control the space around them; they prefer longer weapons with which they can keep an enemy at a distance. The Urizen disdain wrestling and pugilism. This is partly a result of their desire to keep people outside their personal space, but fighting without a weapon is seen as ineffectual and barbaric — a waste of effort and energy that is the very opposite of the Net of the Heavens and a higher mind. “Animals fight with their hands” is a common rebuke for Urizen children caught fighting.

The prowess of warriors of Urizen makes them an important element of the Imperial armies

Citadels and Fortifications

In theory, each Urizen spire maintains its own defences, but it is common for spires to collaborate to construct a spire in such a way that it can protect all its neighbours. These military spires — called citadels — are built at strategically important points and are usually heavily fortified. Citadels are often constructed on Urizen's borders, where they can guard important passes, but there are dangers throughout the mountains of Urizen. Brigands and bands of indigenous orcs threaten civilisation and the many powerful regios that afflict the region create problems of their own. The heliopticon allows the transmission of messages between spires without the need to traverse the dangerous valleys and passes that lie between them, enabling citadels to respond quickly to incipient threats.

Citadels attract individuals of a martial bent from all over the nation, and most are led by a sentinel, a dedicated warrior whose skill has earned them the respect of their peers. Although most Urizen view skill with ritual magic as a sign of fitness to govern, ultimately it is excellence they respect. Arete is about skill, precision and effectiveness with one’s chosen art; a skilled warrior receives more acclaim than a careless mage. Sentinels combine study of strategy, tactics, and the mastery of weapons and armour with knowledge of history, magic, religion and philosophy. Most devote their life to the defence of Urizen and are dedicated supporters for any political decision that helps secure the nation's borders.

Securing the nation's borders is no easy task. Urizen only has the capacity to support one army, the Citadel Guard, and that force is in great demand in every conflict the Empire fights due to its unique magical attributes. The preferred solution to this problem is to create a fortification, a massive stone fortress such as the Court of the White Fountain or the Walls of Cargo. These bastions can help to defend the territory where they are constructed and slow the advance of invading troops. Temporary fortifications can be raised with powerful magic, such as Frozen Citadel of Cathan Canae, but they only last a season before the ritual must be renewed. Permanent fortifications built from white granite are expensive and time-consuming to build, but they are the best way that Urizen can reliably guarantee its own safety given the small size of its population.

Imperial Armies

Urizen fields one Imperial army: the Citadel Guard. The Urizen also have a great deal of interest in the position of Warmage, appointed by the Imperial Conclave by declaration of candidacy, to serve as a de facto general, albeit one without command of an army.

Urizen General
The General of the Citadel Guard is always a weighty voice in the Military Council

Citadel Guard

One of the oldest continuously active armies in the Empire, the Citadel Guard (unsurprisingly) incorporates a large number of magicians, battle-magicians and sentinels trained to fight alongside them. In addition to the skilled and well-equipped combat magicians, there are also diviners who use the magic of Day and Night to gather intelligence about the magical capabilities of their enemies; scouts and disciplined raiders who focus on denying those resources to the enemy; and potent ritualists who can channel the magic of the Empire to bring down curses and enchantments on the territory where the army campaigns. The army possesses the unique Highest discipline quality that allows the general to employ several unique magical techniques over the course of a year.

The first Urizen General leads the Citadel Guard, and is appointed (or re-appointed) at the Summer solstice each year. There is a long tradition of choosing a respected sentinel for this position. Although not technically a legal requirement, the sentinels regard command of the army as crucial to the defence of Urizen, and most strive to ensure one of their own is chosen.


Urizen is neither a populous nation, nor one that is especially martial in nature. In recent years, following the Druj invasion of Zenith, Urizen has struggled to support the Citadel Guard, especially when the orcs of the Mallum pushed into Morrow. As of the start of the Spring Equinox 383YE, the army is stable once again, but any significant loss of prosperous land is likely to renew the risk of the army disbanding.

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Further Reading

Core Brief

Additional Information