This page rfers to the Urizen martial archtype; for the Paragon of Vigilance see the Sentinel
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. Those who train themselves to fight without using magic are unlikely to be considered for high office but they can still gain the respect of their peers. To do so requires more than just skill at fighting however; to demonstrate Arete as a warrior requires an individual to show a mastery of all aspects of warfare.
Those Urizen warriors who strive to achieve this ideal call themselves sentinels. They combine study of strategy, tactics and the mastery of weapons and armour with knowledge of history, magic, religion and philosophy. They study not only the practical arts of fighting, but also the theories of how and why men and women fight, what it means to be a warrior, and the ethics of violence and killing. A few possess some magical ability, but just as often they are dedicated fighters who leave the practice of magic to their charges and allies.
Some sentinels choose to focus their fighting skills, devoting their life to the goal of mastering a single weapon. Sentinels who choose this path are less likely to learn magic, as the time required makes it harder to master their chosen weapon.
The alternative is to seek to develop equal skill with all weapons of war. This approach stresses flexibility, the idea that the ultimate warrior is one who can adapt themselves to any need. Sentinels who choose this path are much more likely to learn healing or combat magic, viewing magic as one of many weapons they can wield as circumstances require. These individuals tend to prepare the weapons and armour for each battle, depending on who they are fighting and in particular on who their allies are – specializing in supporting or complementing their allies approach to the battle.
Sentinels strive to be mindful of the Net of the Heavens. To be effective requires a warrior to identify the perfect moment for a strike. Prolonged engagements are wasteful and to be avoided where possible; the ideal strategy commits troops only at the pivotal moment when they can transform the outcome. Sentinels are far from pacifists; they actively seek out battle, the better to master their skills and demonstrate their Arete. The best generals are those who can achieve victory without wasted lives or effort.
When fighting alongside other nations, sentinels often prefer to stay in reserve, avoiding the front lines of a battle – they observe the unfolding conflict and quickly decide where their particular skills can make the most difference to the outcome, then employ those skills with ruthless effectiveness before moving on to another crisis point. This often means engaging at the point where fighting is most fierce, bringing relief to beleaguered allies who are about to be overrun.