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<div style="float:left; width: 300px; clear: left;">{{CaptionedImage|file=Moody Magus.jpg|caption=Urizen priests seek ways to combine their understanding of the [[Net of the Heavens]] and [[arete]] with the [[the Way|Way of Virtue]].|align=left|width=300}}</div>
 
<div style="float:left; width: 300px; clear: left;">{{CaptionedImage|file=Moody Magus.jpg|caption=Urizen priests seek ways to combine their understanding of the [[Net of the Heavens]] and [[arete]] with the [[the Way|Way of Virtue]].|align=left|width=300}}</div>
<quote>Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage.</quote>
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<quote by="Confucious">Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage.</quote>
  
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==Overview==
 
With its emphasis on philosophy and an ordered and rational life, it is no surprise that virtue and religion are important in Urizen. Most Urizen try to live virtuous lives and many believe that virtue is essential for [[Arete]], that people can only be truly effective when they act in a virtuous manner, or that [[Urizen culture and customs#Poise|Poise]] cannot be achieved while giving in to base urges. In particular, a philosophical understanding of the [[The Way|Way of Virtue]] is regarded by most Urizen as a matter of concern and interest to all, rather than the prerogative and business of priests.
 
With its emphasis on philosophy and an ordered and rational life, it is no surprise that virtue and religion are important in Urizen. Most Urizen try to live virtuous lives and many believe that virtue is essential for [[Arete]], that people can only be truly effective when they act in a virtuous manner, or that [[Urizen culture and customs#Poise|Poise]] cannot be achieved while giving in to base urges. In particular, a philosophical understanding of the [[The Way|Way of Virtue]] is regarded by most Urizen as a matter of concern and interest to all, rather than the prerogative and business of priests.
  
 
The Way of Virtue promotes behaviours that allow civilisation to prosper. Individuals who are virtuous encourage others around them to be more virtuous, and discourage self-serving or slothful attitudes. [[Highguard]] priests argue that virtue and vice are “contagious”, that virtuous individuals promote virtuous behaviour in those around them, and vice versa. The priests of the Urizen do not deny this idea, but from their understanding of the [[Net of the Heavens]] the priests of Urizen perceive a deeper truth.
 
The Way of Virtue promotes behaviours that allow civilisation to prosper. Individuals who are virtuous encourage others around them to be more virtuous, and discourage self-serving or slothful attitudes. [[Highguard]] priests argue that virtue and vice are “contagious”, that virtuous individuals promote virtuous behaviour in those around them, and vice versa. The priests of the Urizen do not deny this idea, but from their understanding of the [[Net of the Heavens]] the priests of Urizen perceive a deeper truth.
===Soul net===
 
{{stub}}
 
Some Urizen priests will create a soul net for a pilgrim, a scroll describing the role of the virtues in that pilgrim's [[Net of the Heavens]]. These are intended to help a person achieve their goals, so a pilgrim will often carry the soul net on their person, either rolled up and tied to the belt or in a scroll case hanging from the belt. Keeping them close at hand allows a pilgrim to study or update the map whenever they have time to contemplate it.
 
===Illuminates===
 
The Illuminates of Urizen are priests who combine a unique appreciation of the Net of the Heavens with a dedication to the Way of Virtue. Where other Urizen seek to understand the world around them in terms of pivotal nodes, individuals and events which dominate and control those around them. The Illuminates seek, instead, to identify virtuous individuals and work to make them into pivotal nodes, to put them in positions or bring them to events that will prove pivotal.
 
  
The idea is compellingly simple; by making a virtuous individual into a pivotal node, that node then influences all those nodes that are connected to it. The more pivotal the node, the greater the influence – the more virtue takes root and spreads across the Empire. The obvious way to make an individual into a pivotal node is to put them in a position of command within the Empire; a courageous general will inspire their troops to greater loyalty and courage, a prosperous senator will enable prosperity and ambition throughout their nation. Ultimately though anything that serves to make a virtuous person become a pivotal individual achieves the Illuminate’s objectives.
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==Temples==
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While Urizen is most famous for it's [[spire#arcane spire|arcane spires]], the nation is also home to numerous [[spire#temple|temples]]. These spires are dedicated to the study and debate of virtue, philosophy and the Way. In many ways a temple is the ultimate embodiment of the Urizen ideal, a school devoted to the mastery of the self. Each temple has it's own distinct philosophy, a unique take on the Way that attracts adherents from across Urizen who welcome the opportunity to share and debate ideas with like-minded pilgrims.
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While many temples enjoy a healthy exchange of ideas with rival schools of philosophy, most of them also engage with the communities around them, seeking to spread their ideas. Not content with mere contemplation and debate, temples not just to seek out higher spiritual truths, but to put that learning to use. The temples guide the spiritual development of the people of Urizen, but each has their own vision of what that might mean and not all of them embrace the orthodoxy mandated by the [[Imperial Synod]].
 +
 
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==Orthodoxy==
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In many ways Urizen is a very orthodox nation. Many of its priests and scholars are deeply concerned with matters of [[The_Doctrines_of_the_Faith|doctrine and faith]]. This dedication to the Way is deeply reflected in the cultural practices of the nation. There is a widespread view that personal [[arete]] - the sense of an individual striving for excellence - is contingent on a person making virtuous choices. To be truly accomplished, an individual must excel in all ways. More that mere skill, they must exhibit admirable personal qualities - virtue - for all to see.
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The more devout Urizen often see the ideal create a better world for everyone in terms of creating a more virtuous world. A perfect society would be one in which everyone is virtuous all the time. The [[illuminate|Illuminates]] in particular pursue this goal - they believe that citizens who hold prominent [[Imperial title|Imperial titles]] are key nodes in the [[Net of the Heaves]]. Since virtue is contagious, the most effective way to spread virtue is ensure that such titles are held by virtuous people and not by those who lack virtue.
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{{CaptionedImage|file=Solidarity.jpg|caption=Some Urizen regard the Way of Virtue as a work in progress.|align=right|width=450}}
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==Hetrodoxy==
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Urizen priests display a tendency to deviate from those ideas approved by the [[Imperial Synod]]. The Urizeni like to question and evaluate ideas, and to explore different philosophical approaches, and matters of spirituality and faith are no exception. [[Questor|Questors]] exemplify this tendency; they view the [[Doctrines of the Faith|doctrine]] of the Way as incomplete revelation. By questioning every aspect of perceived wisdom they search for new insights into moral philosophy, the mind of the creator, and the purpose of existence.
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This has lead to conflict with the Synod, and several Urizen philosophers have been denounced as heretics. Urizen has been the source of a number of Imperial heresies - most notably the [[Schisms_and_Heresies#The_Lucidian_Blasphemy_.2F_Auran_Idolatry|Lucidian heresy]] - which began in the Restless Spire in [[Redoubt]]. The Restless scholars believed that clarity of thought was essential for virtue, and that anything that interfered with this lucidity would cloud a person's moral judgement. Lucidians refuse to use [[liao]] to create [[aura|auras]] believing that any aura degrades a human's ability to think for themselves.
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While some priests question the doctrine, others go further and question the purpose of the Way. The [[sword scholar|sword scholars]] openly challenge the authority of the Synod. These warrior-priests embrace the tenets of Wisdom and exhort their fellow Urizeni to test what they learn, to eschew hearsay, to despise folly, and to chastise the fools that spread it. They reject the idea of a higher authority, arguing that the only virtuous decisions are the ones each individual takes for themselves. As a result of a [[mandate]] by the [[Wisdom assembly]] in xxYE, their merciless philosophy of questioning the Synod has begun to spread across the Empire. This has lead directly to the situation where it is significantly more difficult for the Synod to directly influence Imperial citizens.
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==Soul Net==
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Urizeni pilgrims will often seek out a priest to help them create their personal [[Net of the Heavens]]. By spending time talking to a pilgrim, a priest can discover what goals they are striving to achieve and what obstacles stand in their path. Together they can determine what the key nodes are for that individual. This is essential - applying the Net of the Heavens requires first identifying which individuals or events must be affected to produce the desired outcome. Not all Urizeni priests have the skill or the patience to be able to to help an individual divine their own Net of the Heavens, and those who do are in much demand.
  
Vice is just as contagious as virtue, so Illuminates also seek to identify vile individuals, those who lack the virtues, and eliminate them. There is nothing particularly underhand about this; most Illuminates are priests who actively serve in [[the Synod]], which has the power to remove anyone from Imperial office if their behaviour is deemed sufficiently unvirtuous. By bringing evidence of vile behaviour before the Synod, the Illuminates can remove those whose behaviour is influencing the Empire in the wrong way.
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The most respected priests are able to give advice on what virtues should be embraced to achieve the desired outcome. It may be that an individual is lacking a single [[virtue]] which is holding them back from achieving their goals but more likely is that they will benefit from embracing the tenets of two or more virtues. Most priests will provide guidance and advice on which combination or which tenets, might aid a pilgrim in dealing with each individual node.
  
On the face of it, the Illuminates appear little different to most [[Highguard religious beliefs#The Inquisition|Highguard Inquisitors]] or to any other priests concerned with vile behaviour. The difference is that the Illuminates are not concerned with the behaviour itself, but rather with the influence that the behaviour has on others, by way of the connections between them. A high ranking Imperial general whose selfish behaviour does not affect their ability to do their job is of little concern to an Illuminate.
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It is common to capture this advice on a scroll or parchment, usually as a pictographic depiction of the arrangement of nodes facing an individual, with notes of which virtues and tenets might be best pursued to positively affect those notes. These scrolls are called soul nets, they are a spiritual map that guides a pilgrim towards their destination. A soul net is often a work of art; a brightly coloured series of nodes and lines marked with fine calligraphy. They are often laid out in a geometric pattern or created to mimic a constellation. Discreet artists who can turn a soul net into a beautiful symbolic piece of art are much sought after.
  
The other approach for Illuminates is to identify pivotal individuals and encourage them to become more virtuous. All the nodes in the Net of the Heavens influence each other, as well as the space between them, so a powerful node can still be affected by bringing another node into contact with it. A powerful senator prone to graft and corruption may be made more prosperous and loyal simply by the presence of a secretary in their entourage who is known for their honesty.
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A soul net is an intensely personal item, and most Urizeni keep the scroll on their person. This allows them to ensure it's safety, but it also means they can study or update it whenever they need to. Studying the spiderweb arrangement of nodes and virtues can remind a pilgrim of their real goals, allowing them to focus their [[arete]] and ignore distractions. A soul net might be shared with a close friend or ally, but it is considered a gross invasion of privacy to ask to see someone's soul net.
  
The goal of the Illuminates is to work to make the entire Empire more virtuous. But rather than deliver sermons to a congregation of dozens they seek to transform pivotal individuals; the ultimate goal is that all the nodes of the Net of the Heavens should be occupied by virtuous individuals. By such methods the Illuminates will transform the entire Empire.
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{{CaptionedImage|file=Solidarity.jpg|caption=Some Urizen regard the Way of Virtue as a work in progress.|align=right|width=450}}
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==Spiritual Forces==
===Questors===
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It is rarely discussed openly, but some Urizen priests are prepared to consider the benefits of virtues other than the seven virtues perscribed by the Way. In Urizen's long history there have been several examples of teachers who clearly embraced other spiritual forces. Even the Synod acknowledges this to some degree - the [[doctrine of the faith]] accepts that other spiritual forces may benefit humanity, though it is clear that they offer no assistance in passing through the Labyrinth. In practice, these spiritual forces are still roundly condemned and those who proselytize them face execution for heresy.  
Some Urizen regard the Way of Virtue as an unfinished work, as incomplete revelation. These individuals, often called Questors, seek to challenge themselves and others by questioning the dogma of other priests. They use doubt and logic as tools to explore the meaning of faith and the purpose of virtue. They are often at odds with the priests of Highguard, and are known to question what the exact role of priests should be in religion – they regularly propose that priests have a responsibility to guide and offer advice, but that they should not attempt to make individuals undertake or avoid certain types of behaviour because by doing so they are damaging the soul’s progression towards enlightenment.
 
  
There is a subset of Questors who go so far as to actively discourage the use of evocative [[Religious skills|liao ceremonies]], such as [[consecration]] or [[anointing]], claiming that they interfere with the pure rational and objective pursuit of a virtue. These Questors, referred to by some as Lucidians for their commitment to clarity, are often excellent exorcists but who are as like to banish a virtuous aura as a malign spiritual presence, an attitude which has caused some tensions and conflicts with other priests, including accusations of Idolatry (from the Lucidians) and Blasphemy (from Wayfarers and other priests).
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As a consequence, any Urizen priest who perceives a benefit in spiritual forces such as [[Vengeance]], [[Anarchy]], [[Peace]], or [[Hope]] is careful to keep such beliefs to themselves, only sharing them with those who are receptive and open minded. Urizeni priests rarely preach to a gathered congregation, but they may talk about these virtues in private when discussing matters of faith with a pilgrim. Some priests will even take advantage of the privacy offered by a soul net to include the potential positive benefits offered by virtues other than the seven approved by [[the Way]], at least when they are dealing with someone they believe might be open to such advice.
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{{Urizen Links}}
 
{{Urizen Links}}
 
[[Category:Urizen]]
 
[[Category:Archetype]]
 

Revision as of 12:44, 7 September 2021

This is a placeholder page for content that PD are actively working on.
Moody Magus.jpg
Urizen priests seek ways to combine their understanding of the Net of the Heavens and arete with the Way of Virtue.

Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage.

Confucious

Overview

With its emphasis on philosophy and an ordered and rational life, it is no surprise that virtue and religion are important in Urizen. Most Urizen try to live virtuous lives and many believe that virtue is essential for Arete, that people can only be truly effective when they act in a virtuous manner, or that Poise cannot be achieved while giving in to base urges. In particular, a philosophical understanding of the Way of Virtue is regarded by most Urizen as a matter of concern and interest to all, rather than the prerogative and business of priests.

The Way of Virtue promotes behaviours that allow civilisation to prosper. Individuals who are virtuous encourage others around them to be more virtuous, and discourage self-serving or slothful attitudes. Highguard priests argue that virtue and vice are “contagious”, that virtuous individuals promote virtuous behaviour in those around them, and vice versa. The priests of the Urizen do not deny this idea, but from their understanding of the Net of the Heavens the priests of Urizen perceive a deeper truth.

Temples

While Urizen is most famous for it's arcane spires, the nation is also home to numerous temples. These spires are dedicated to the study and debate of virtue, philosophy and the Way. In many ways a temple is the ultimate embodiment of the Urizen ideal, a school devoted to the mastery of the self. Each temple has it's own distinct philosophy, a unique take on the Way that attracts adherents from across Urizen who welcome the opportunity to share and debate ideas with like-minded pilgrims.

While many temples enjoy a healthy exchange of ideas with rival schools of philosophy, most of them also engage with the communities around them, seeking to spread their ideas. Not content with mere contemplation and debate, temples not just to seek out higher spiritual truths, but to put that learning to use. The temples guide the spiritual development of the people of Urizen, but each has their own vision of what that might mean and not all of them embrace the orthodoxy mandated by the Imperial Synod.

Orthodoxy

In many ways Urizen is a very orthodox nation. Many of its priests and scholars are deeply concerned with matters of doctrine and faith. This dedication to the Way is deeply reflected in the cultural practices of the nation. There is a widespread view that personal arete - the sense of an individual striving for excellence - is contingent on a person making virtuous choices. To be truly accomplished, an individual must excel in all ways. More that mere skill, they must exhibit admirable personal qualities - virtue - for all to see.

The more devout Urizen often see the ideal create a better world for everyone in terms of creating a more virtuous world. A perfect society would be one in which everyone is virtuous all the time. The Illuminates in particular pursue this goal - they believe that citizens who hold prominent Imperial titles are key nodes in the Net of the Heaves. Since virtue is contagious, the most effective way to spread virtue is ensure that such titles are held by virtuous people and not by those who lack virtue.

Solidarity.jpg
Some Urizen regard the Way of Virtue as a work in progress.

Hetrodoxy

Urizen priests display a tendency to deviate from those ideas approved by the Imperial Synod. The Urizeni like to question and evaluate ideas, and to explore different philosophical approaches, and matters of spirituality and faith are no exception. Questors exemplify this tendency; they view the doctrine of the Way as incomplete revelation. By questioning every aspect of perceived wisdom they search for new insights into moral philosophy, the mind of the creator, and the purpose of existence.

This has lead to conflict with the Synod, and several Urizen philosophers have been denounced as heretics. Urizen has been the source of a number of Imperial heresies - most notably the Lucidian heresy - which began in the Restless Spire in Redoubt. The Restless scholars believed that clarity of thought was essential for virtue, and that anything that interfered with this lucidity would cloud a person's moral judgement. Lucidians refuse to use liao to create auras believing that any aura degrades a human's ability to think for themselves.

While some priests question the doctrine, others go further and question the purpose of the Way. The sword scholars openly challenge the authority of the Synod. These warrior-priests embrace the tenets of Wisdom and exhort their fellow Urizeni to test what they learn, to eschew hearsay, to despise folly, and to chastise the fools that spread it. They reject the idea of a higher authority, arguing that the only virtuous decisions are the ones each individual takes for themselves. As a result of a mandate by the Wisdom assembly in xxYE, their merciless philosophy of questioning the Synod has begun to spread across the Empire. This has lead directly to the situation where it is significantly more difficult for the Synod to directly influence Imperial citizens.

Soul Net

Urizeni pilgrims will often seek out a priest to help them create their personal Net of the Heavens. By spending time talking to a pilgrim, a priest can discover what goals they are striving to achieve and what obstacles stand in their path. Together they can determine what the key nodes are for that individual. This is essential - applying the Net of the Heavens requires first identifying which individuals or events must be affected to produce the desired outcome. Not all Urizeni priests have the skill or the patience to be able to to help an individual divine their own Net of the Heavens, and those who do are in much demand.

The most respected priests are able to give advice on what virtues should be embraced to achieve the desired outcome. It may be that an individual is lacking a single virtue which is holding them back from achieving their goals but more likely is that they will benefit from embracing the tenets of two or more virtues. Most priests will provide guidance and advice on which combination or which tenets, might aid a pilgrim in dealing with each individual node.

It is common to capture this advice on a scroll or parchment, usually as a pictographic depiction of the arrangement of nodes facing an individual, with notes of which virtues and tenets might be best pursued to positively affect those notes. These scrolls are called soul nets, they are a spiritual map that guides a pilgrim towards their destination. A soul net is often a work of art; a brightly coloured series of nodes and lines marked with fine calligraphy. They are often laid out in a geometric pattern or created to mimic a constellation. Discreet artists who can turn a soul net into a beautiful symbolic piece of art are much sought after.

A soul net is an intensely personal item, and most Urizeni keep the scroll on their person. This allows them to ensure it's safety, but it also means they can study or update it whenever they need to. Studying the spiderweb arrangement of nodes and virtues can remind a pilgrim of their real goals, allowing them to focus their arete and ignore distractions. A soul net might be shared with a close friend or ally, but it is considered a gross invasion of privacy to ask to see someone's soul net.

Further Reading

Core Brief

Additional Information