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"...and so, because of the Law of Dominion, we are confident that the ritual effects will resound in their totality onto the Guard, leaving the general untouched. Because of this..."

"Stop!" The elderly woman's voice was sharp, commanding. She didn't look up from the parchment on the table in front of her, but she held up her hand to indicate that the magician should wait. Her pen scribbled furiously as she mouthed words to herself.

A long pregnant pause filled the room. The young stargazer glanced left and right looking for support from the room, but nobody said anything. This assignment was new, he'd applied to join the team after their success with the Doyene of the Spires earlier that year. The chance to work for a famous Urizeni magician, a former Provost no less, did not come along often. When he'd heard that Portia had asked for him to present the report to her, he'd thought it was a singular honour. After being interrupted five times in as many minutes, he was starting to realize his mistake.

The old woman finally put her hand down and looked up from her writing. She locked gaze with the speaker and stared at him for a moment. If the intention were to put him off his stride... it was definitely working. "Repeat what you just said."

"Er..." Dammit, he'd forgotten what he was saying, he looked down frantically at his notes and tried to remember where he was. "because of the Law of Dominon, we are certain the ritual will affect the Citadel Guard, not the general."

"Stop!" The open hand came back up as she cast her eyes down at her paper. This was turning into a nightmare. She began reading aloud from her notes "you said 'we are confident that the ritual effects will resound on the army'." Her head came back up and she resumed staring.

"Con-fi-dent." She said it slowly, sounding out each syllable. "How confident are you Master Felix?"

"Er... Very?" he said, aware that he sounded nothing of the sort. "Certain I mean. We checked all the astromantic correlations twice. Vaanes did the original calculations and then Sophia confirmed them."

"But you haven't seem them? The calculations?" This time all he could do was shake his head.

Was this a mistake? Vaanes was a senior member of the team - he'd done thousands of these calculations. He was relieved to see her smile slightly but the gesture disappeared like the flicker of an eye.

"Check them again," she instructed, "personally. Without reading Vaanes' notes."

She held his gaze for just a moment more until he nodded that he understood her.

"Good. Now carry on."


In the heavens, the the Wanderer moves gently into position equidistant between the Great Wyrm, the Drowned Man, and the Claw. A triune alignment of the heavens favouring transformation, ending, and battle. By itself the Drowned Man is generally a baleful influence, especially when paired with the Claw. With the added influence of the Great Wyrm however, and with the Claw low in the sky during the Autumn and Winter months, the more negative aspects of these constellations are softened and subverted. Some astronomancers point to their influence over events in Sarvos - where an ending wrought from destruction is being transformed into an opportunity to transform into something new. Others whisper that it is the end of the reign of the Imperatrix and the Imperial Magus that is reflected in the heavens.

Regardless, the conjunction seems especially propitious to many Urizen astonomancers. It reflects the changes that have overtaken the nation in recent years, supporting the idea that despite a period of destruction and suffering this is a time for transformation and not for endings.

Transformation and Destruction

  • The Urizen have an opportunity to expand the power of the Citadel Guard.
Nicassia Avicia of Phoenix Reach leads the Citadel Guard.

As well as the philosophical, or theoretical, implications of the conjunction it has also presented a particular opportunity to the people of Urizen, one that has become apparent to a number of magicians who fight alongside the Citadel Guard.

In Winter 379YE the Citadel Guard were the beneficiaries of the "unmade trove", a massive cache of rods and mage armour found beneath the Unmade spire in Redoubt. Along with a significant expenditure of ilium, the trove was dispensed to the Guard and used to provide a significant boost in magical ability allowing the army to wield certain unique magical techniques that followed a cyclic progression from realm to realm,

The power originally cycled through all six realms, but during the Autumn Equinox 382YE the eternal Sadogua "ate" the Night stage of the sequence as part of a boon offered to General Nicassia Avicia of Phoenix Reach, permanently removing it from the sequence. At first, everything appeared normal; but as time went by it became apparent to some of the more sensitive magicians that something was not entirely right. Sometimes the cycle of the magic was ... sluggish. Sometimes there were unexpected side effects when the ability to channel ritual magic was employed - residual "echoes" and the like. These were minor effects, but intriguing nonetheless. They lead to a startling discovery.

Sadogua's consumption of the Technique of the Shadowed Threshold created a "crack" in the magical bindings attuning the mage armour and weapons of the Citadel Guard to the cyclic rhythm. With the approaching conjunction, it seems that this "crack" might be widened enough to break the entire structure of the cyclic magic - transforming it into something similar but different and potentially much more useful to the people of Urizen. The magicians are confident that with the correct "lever" the entire structure of cyclic magic could be shifted allowing the general to employ the techniques the army has been perfecting as they wish rather than in the predictable - and often inconvenient - cycle. In any given season, the general could choose which technique (if any) to use, but would then need to wait for the chance to use it again.

Widening the Crack

The window of opportunity to change the quality of the Citadel Guard is narrow, and will require clever magic use. It will require the consent of the general of the Citadel Guard, and it will require a potent magical working - the Transmogrification of the Soul's Echo.

The ritual must be performed under the night sky on Saturday during the coming summit, and in addition to the crystal mana required to perform the high magnitude ritual, it will require 7 rings of ilium. At the climax of the ritual, the general will pass the power of the magic to the soldiers of the army through the Law of Dominion and the cycle will be permanently fractured, replacing the Cyclic Magic quality with Highest Discipline. Some of the techniques may work slightly differently once freed from the structure of Cyclic Magic, but their basic thrust will remain the same.

The general themselves should be untouched by the ritual; as long as they remain calm and focused it should pass through without leaving any unexpected resonance behind.

Highest Discipline

The ilium-infused mage armour and mage weapons allow the Citadel Guard to bring their magic to bear during a military campaign in unique ways. This quality does not alter the ability to use the General as conduit for delivering magic, nor their ability to gather crystal mana when undertaking arcane consolidation. No other army in the world possesses mastery of these techniques, and some of them are risky to employ. As such there may be unexpected interactions between the five techniques and the power of enchantments, curses, or even the actions of other armies.

In any given season the general may employ one technique, but each technique can only be employed once each year. The pool 'resets' in Summer each year - the season where a new general of the Citadel Guard could be appointed.

Enlightened Scrying (Defending Order)

  • The army generates a map of the territory they are in, which is added to the wiki and becomes common knowledge.
  • Casualties inflicted by this army are decreased by a fifth.
  • The ability of this army to defend territory is decreased by a fifth.

Employing the Technique of the Celestial Key, this defensive order uses the power of Day magic to divine extensive details about the territory within which the army is campaigning. It creates a map of the territory that details regions and terrain, and is suitable for scrying. It does not include settlements or fortifications, nor provide the level of detail achieved with a spy network. The map effectively makes the target territory one that any Imperial magician can use divinations such as Eyes of the Sun and Moon to gain information about.

Winter's Mantle (Attacking Order)

  • The ability of this army to conquer territory is increased by a fifth.
  • If the army is fighting alongside any allied army, then all casualties received by this army are divided up between the other allied armies

Winter preserves, but not without a cost. With powerful enchantments, the Technique of the Bond of Tears allows crippling injuries to be averted – but those wounds must still be suffered by someone. The army can afford to press forward to victory, secure in the knowledge that for a short time at least any losses will fall on their allies rather than themselves.

Onrushing Storm (Attacking Order)

  • The army must be attacking a region - that is in a territory that contains a named fortification - or else the order defaults to cautious advance. The fortification need not be in the region being attacked, and this order will not cause it to be involved directly in the campaign.
  • All casualties inflicted by this army are directed at the named fortification.

With the Technique of the Transcendent Claw, the army damages and potentially destroys a fortification; it is especially powerful in that it can be used from a distance – the Citadel Guard do not need to engage the fortification and can indeed be involved in a campaign in an entirely different part of the territory.

Irresistible Spear (Attacking Order)

  • The army suffers no penalty to victory points generated to capture a region which is not adjacent to a controlled region in the same territory.

With the Technique of the Mountainous Ascent, Summer magic is employed to strengthen and supports the army allowing it to swiftly establish a beachhead in a new territory, or to make an unexpected strike deep into enemy controlled areas.

Raise the Glass Labyrinth (Attacking Order)

  • Opposing armies or navies may only move one territory in the season following the one in which this order is taken.
  • The number of casualties suffered by this army are increased by a fifth.
Employing the Technique of the Coiling Chain, this attacking order weaves autumn magic around opposing armies, entangling them with a barrage of curses that interfere with the chain of command in subtle ways. It also creates a cumulative warping of chance that makes it difficult for them to withdraw or advance, but also requires the soldiers of the army to move into dangerous locations increasing the risk of casualties

The Grand Library of Canterspire

The grand conjunction also reflects a more immediate state of transformation that has rippled through the Urizen nation. After nearly a year of negotiation with the eternal Phaleron, the Imperial Senate formally ceded control of Canterspire to the Celestial Library, establishing the Grand Library of Canterspire. With a large amount of mithril, Urizen artisans have transformed the spires into a beautiful shimmering structure equal parts polished metal and translucent crystal. The former residents have leave to stay, of course. Even though the structure is ceded to Phaleron, the librarians who have begun to frequent the place see no reason why the Urizen way of life should not continue uninterrupted. The presence of the eternals' servants have brought with them a gentle aura of peace and clarity that makes cerebral activity easier, sharpens the memory, and encourages scholarly pursuits. The library here has been greatly expanded with books brought from across Urizen, and the population has been swollen by refugees from Zenith and Spiral - Canterspire is now a bustling, vital settlement full of potential.

This cooperation with Phaleron provides several benefits. The Senate also approved the creation of the Emissary to the Celestial Library, an Urizen title that has responsibility for assisting the scholars and librarians of Urizen and the Empire, aiding them in the responsible spread of knowledge, supporting libraries and places of learning, and interceding between such people and the Celestial Library itself.

Phaleron has further pledged to "enfold" the library should it ever be threatened, drawing it into a grand chamber between the mortal realm and the realm of Day where neither the residents nor the books may be threatened.

More importantly perhaps, the establishment of the Grand Library also serves as the lynchpin of the new body of Urizen Lore.

Urizen Lore

  • Urizen citizens may now draw on a unique body of national lore as well as imperial Lore.
  • There are currently no rituals in Urizen Lore.

Urizen lore is a special body of magical knowledge supported with the assistance of the eternal Phaleron. It functions in a very similar manner to Imperial lore, but only citizens of Urizen can master the rituals contained within it. Even if an individual Urizen magician has not mastered one of these rituals, they may still perform it, just as any other Imperial citizen can perform a ritual that is part of Imperial lore.

Currently, there are no rituals available to learn via Urizen lore. Adding a ritual to the body of lore requires the ritual text to be the target of the Gift of Knowledge ritual. Rather than being returned to the caster, the ritual is added to the body of Urizen lore and becomes available to every Urizen magician following the summit where the ritual is added to lore. The librarians of Phaleron have gently suggested that the obvious first ritual to include in Urizen lore would be the Gift of Knowledge - allowing any Urizen citizen to add the ritual texts they possess to the shared body of lore.

Several Urizen magicians are watching with interest; they have intimated that once the Gift of Knowledge ritual is freely available, they may have ritual texts of their own that they could add to Urizen lore.

There are some limitations on Urizen lore. It is not possible for the Imperial Conclave to use a declaration to put a ritual into Urizen Lore. Nor is it possible to remove a ritual from Urizen Lore, nor to recover the ritual text once it has been added to the body of knowledge, so a ritual in Urizen Lore cannot be the target of a declaration of Dissemination by the Conclave. In addition, an Urizen magician who leaves the nation loses access and mastery of rituals that are part of Urizen lore; they can choose new rituals to master to replace them as normal.

Regrow the Land's Heart
This magnitude 120 Spring ritual requires a strong Spring regio, and targets the territory of Spiral. The ritual is an enchantment, and lasts for a year, that infuses the territory with Spring magic.

Soft rain falls over Spiral and new life grows wildly from the scars war has left behind. It primarily effects the land, but the people will find it easier to let go of pain caused by war. New plants will grow, and old scars will fade. Animals and people alike will find it easier to conceive, and plants will grow more healthily. Children born or conceived in the territory will be more likely to express the briar linage.

The enchantment lasts for a year.

The ritual will have no effect on the Black Plateau oppression.

The Doyen of the Spires

  • With Spiral lost to the Urizen again, the speed of codification for the Doyen of the Spires has fallen to 15 each season.
  • The Doyen currently overseeing the codification of Regrow the Land's Heart; there are several suggestions for ways the codification could go.

The establishment of the Doyen of the Spires illustrates the idea that positive change may come from ending, or from the destructive nature of the Claw. Without the damage done to the Heliopticon, perhaps the idea of cooperating to create the uniquely Urizeni college of magic would never have arisen.

For the last three months, the magicians of Urizen have been working under the guidance of the Doyen of the Spires to codify an arcane projection called "Regrow the Land's Heart". The ritual intends to infuse the territory of Spiral with Spring magic, improving the growth of plants and animals, and helping to heal some of the scars left by years of war. Ruins will quickly become overgrown with new growth, broken and burned areas of land will be covered in grass and flowers, and trees will grow tall and healthy. At the current rate of codification it will be completed in seven seasons - shortly before the Summer Solstice 385YE.

Many of the magicians involved in codifying the arcane projection have suggested alternative paths that might be taken with the ritual.

Firstly, there is nothing in the ritual that requires it be cast on the territory of Spiral. It would be a reasonably simple matter to adjust the magic defined in the arcane projection such that it could be cast on any territory, Imperial or otherwise, as long as one had access to a powerful Spring regio. This would give the ritual a significant boost to its versatility without changing the magnitude at all.

Alternatively, the ritual could be significantly adjusted so that it would work on any territory, and last for a season rather than a year. In this case, the magnitude would drop to 40. With the work already done, the codification would be completed by the beginning of Spring 384YE. While it would ultimately cost more mana to perform it every season for a year, it would also be much easier for a coven to reach the level of mastery required to weave the magic.

There is some minor, carefully phrased concern voiced about the fact that the Spring magic that powers the ritual will cause an increase in the number of briars being born in Urizen (or wherever the ritual is cast). On the other hand, while briars are not often known in Urizen for their intellectual pursuits, they often make excellent sentinels - and given recent events that can presumably only be a good thing.

OOC Note: If the Doyen of the Spires wishes to make one of the changes suggested above to the codification of the ritual - either making it usable anywhere, on any territory or changing it from a year-long enchantment on Spiral to a season-long enchantment on any territory - they should e-mail after the event.

Toward Virtuous Ends

  • King Adamant has a gift for Galene Netherwatch
  • The Urizen Assembly and the General Assembly can use mandates to encourage citizens to cooperate with inhabitants of the realms.
Galene Netherwatch.jpg
Galene Netherwatch encourages cooperation between mortals and eternals toward virtuous ends.

Sometimes change comes from unlikely places; but again good things can arise from painful beginnings. Earlier in the year, the Ashen Flame coven of Urizen performed the arcane projection "The Three Watchers" to call in a boon from the eternal Adamant. A legion of his koboldi set to work creating a new wonder of the world - the Three Watchers. Giant statues that watch the approach to Morrow from Zenith, they also memorialise the bravery of the three Highborn armies who helped so many Urizeni flee the fall of Zenith, and who shed so much blood to protect the heartland of Morrow from the Druj.

The assembly wishes to thank everyone involved, including the eternal Adamant, in the creation of the Three Watchers. We must not subsume our will to inhuman forces, but nor should we fear to act where cooperation with an eternal can support virtuous endeavours.

Galene Netherwatch, Urizen Assembly, Summer Solstice 383YE, Upheld (80-0)

Then, during the Summer Solstice, Galene Netherwatch raised a statement of principle in the Urizen national assembly thanking Adamant for his assistance - and making clear that while Imperial citizens must avoid idolatry, they should not fear to work with eternals in support of virtuous endeavours. The assembly agreed with Galene - and indeed the statement received a greater majority meaning it has been distributed to all the priests of Urizen. And, it appears, to someone who has shared it with the eternal himself.

Shortly before the Autumn Equinox, word reaches the priests of Urizen from Furia Severia (the illuminate who proposed the creation of the Three Watchers). Adamant is apparently pleased that the work of his koboldi has been honoured by the Urizen. He has dispatched one of his messengers with a small token of esteem for the priest, a minor boon that celebrates the cooperation between the Throne of Stone and the people of Urizen.

Adamant is not the only one pleased by the statement. As the recent cooperation with Phaleron has demonstrated, the Urizen have much to gain from careful contact with the inhabitants of the realms. Other nations - Highguard in particular - may be cautious about dealing with eternals but they lack the Urizen peoples' long experience of dealing with these powerful (if occasionally volatile) creatures. An opportunity exists for the Urizen national assembly to make clear that it is not unvirtuous to cooperate with eternals if the outcome of that cooperation is virtuous.

We must not subsume our will to inhuman forces, but nor should we fear to act where cooperation with an eternal can support a virtuous endeavour. We send {named priest} with 50 doses of liao to reassure all the people of Urizen that working with an eternal to achieve a virtuous end is not idolatry.

Synod Mandate, Urizen Assembly

If this mandate were upheld by the Urizen assembly - and it would require a greater majority thanks to the intervention of the Wisdom assembly and the sword scholars - then over the coming Winter Urizen citizens would renew relationships with eternals and creatures of the realm. This would provide several opportunities during the Winter Solstice for citizens of Urizen to cooperate with eternals to achieve virtuous ends.

Alternatively, perhaps the priests of Urizen would be prepared to make that statement in the general assembly, so that the priests of the Empire could reassure Imperial citizens that there is no inherent problem with talking to or cooperating with eternals. After all, it is only confirming the mandate already endorsed by the Imperial Synod and enacted by Amris Johan Merikovich that made clear that "the doctrines of the faith do not prohibit bargaining with ... eternals or their heralds." There may be some who would resist such a statement, but the Urizen are not alone in maintaining good relations with the eternals - the enchanters of Dawn and the cabalists of Varushka both have long and profitable experience treating with the creatures of the realms.

We must not subsume our will to inhuman forces, but nor should we fear to act where cooperation with an eternal can support a virtuous endeavour. We send {named priest} with 100 doses of liao to reassure the people of the Empire that working with an eternal to achieve a virtuous end is not idolatry.

Synod Mandate, General Assembly

This mandate would have the same effect as the earlier mandate, but on an Imperial scale (assuming it achieved a greater majority of course), creating opportunities during the Winter Solstice for Imperial citizens to benefit from cooperation with eternals.

The two mandates are not in competition; if both were enacted then there would be opportunities for the entire Empire, and separate opportunities specifically for Urizen.