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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. They attract individuals of a martial bent from all over the nation, drawn by the opportunities to practice their skills and hone their fighting arete.
  
In theory each Urizen Spire maintains its own defences, but it is common for a single Spire to take responsibility for protecting several neighbours. These military Spires – often called “fastnesses” - are built at strategically important points and attract individuals of a martial bent from all over the Nation.  
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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.
  
Urizen Sentinels 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. Many possess some magical ability, but just as often they are dedicated fighters who leave the practice of magic to their charges and allies.  
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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.  
  
Sentinels tend to live in martial communities, training, living and fighting closely together. Distinct groups form close-knit “families” within the larger community, made up of groups with individual talents. Within a fastness, most of the population will be trained soldiers, but some of their number will be skilled wizards specialising in battlefield roles. A group of Sentinels learn to rely absolutely on one another, able to operate together or separately on a battlefield.  
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Long swords, great swords and spears are the favourite weapons; axes, maces and flails are considered to be heavy and ungainly weapons by many. 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.  
  
Sentinels tend not to be on 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.
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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.
  
A second popular martial tradition in Urizen is that of the Caducean. This tradition has its roots in cabals of chirurgeons and alchemists who honed their skills on the battlefield and employed bodyguards to protect them. Over time, the healers and their bodyguards engaged in an exchange of philosophies that produced a tradition of warrior-doctors who are capable of protecting themselves in battle while seeking to recover and aid the injured and the dying. This union of magic and martial skill is represented in their commonly used symbol a sword or a rod representing combat prowess or magical might, bound by a pair of vines or snakes representing medicine.  
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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.
  
Caduceans form battlefield units combining mundane healing lore, alchemical preparations, skill with sword and shield and generally an amount of healing magic or the Realm Lore of Spring. Many embrace philosophies that stress the importance of life or of service to fellow citizens of the Empire. These battlefield medics tend to follow an altruistic creed, but they are not pacifists some of the toughest warriors in Urizen belong to the Hospitaller orders, and they do not balk at slaughtering any enemy that stands between them and the lives they wish to save.
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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, but the best generals are those who can achieve victory without wasted lives or effort.
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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.
  
Their creed is often informed by the Net of the Heavens. By saving the life of an important person they increase the likelihood they will be able to influence that individual to enact changes that are in line with their philosophies.
 
  
 
[[Category:Nations]]
 
[[Category:Nations]]
 
[[Category:Urizen]]
 
[[Category:Urizen]]

Revision as of 13:55, 27 July 2012

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. They attract individuals of a martial bent from all over the nation, drawn by the opportunities to practice their skills and hone their fighting arete.

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.

Long swords, great swords and spears are the favourite weapons; axes, maces and flails are considered to be heavy and ungainly weapons by many. 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.

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, but 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.