Azorius Guild Structure Edit
Supreme Judge Isperia. Edit
The sphinx Isperia is the current guildmaster of the Azorius. The process of convincing Isperia to lead the guild took years, as sphinxes are aloof beings who value solitude above all. As crime and chaos on Ravnica increased in the absence of the Guildpact, however, and as its denizens more vocally demanded laws and their enforcement, Isperia decided her service was needed enough to trump her own preferences.
The Three Columns. Edit
The trias politica structure of the Azorius Senate has existed nearly since the beginning of the guild but had been theoretical and unimportant for millennia. With the dissolution of the Guildpact and the rebuilding of Prahv, the Azorius revivified the concept, and it has become deeply meaningful and reflective of the guild's structure and hierarchy.
- Sova Column. Comparable to a judiciary branch, this Column adjudicates, arbitrates, mediates, and studies the effects of Azorius law.
- Jelenn Column. This is the legislative part of the guild—the actual makers of law, including assessing the need for new laws and formulating their language.
- Lyev Column. Putting laws into practice, as well as enforcement of them, is the domain of the Lyev Column.
Roles Within the Azorius Guild Edit
The guild's uses of magic tend to fall into three functions: establish, maintain, refine (or alternatively: build, defend, improve). Although these functions might seem to map cleanly to the Columns (Jelenn, Lyev, and Sova), all three functions find expression in all three Columns. Examples include:
Hussars and Infantry. Edit
The Azorius military, the vast majority of which belongs to the Lyev Column, can be broadly separated into mounted and unmounted soldiers. Mounted soldiers—whether they ride horses, griffins, or large beasts—are called hussars. Griffin-riders, for example, are sky-hussars. All unmounted troops are infantry. Azorius infantry are trained in line formations—phalanxes. Some phalanxes wield pikes, but the all-tower-shield phalanx, backed by mages, is a uniquely Azorius tactic used for crowd control.
Lawmages and Hieromancers. Edit
The paradigm shift in Azorius methodology—from laws enforced by magic to laws designed to be followed voluntarily—has made lawmages rarer. But some magic is still required to keep the day-to-day peace on Ravnica. Lawmages create spells that compel or restrain beings and serve a constabulary function in outlying districts. Hieromancers create spells that sanctify or protect places or things. They are called in only for larger-scale challenges, and sometimes to protect wealth.
Azorius builders and architects are among the best in the world, and konstructors are those who enhance and/or accelerate their building projects with magic. The scale and speed of the New Prahv project mandated a small army of guild konstructors. The sheer height of the towers would not have been possible without them.
The Azorius tendency to talk patiently and at length is valued not just within the guild but also by the citizenry and other guilds. The term elocutor covers all communication functions, from simple messengers—who are often spirits—to conflict mediation. Vedalken elocutors are particularly valued in complex negotiations involving resources or property. Human elocutors are favored for conflicts in which emotions run high. The very best of them subtly weave enchantment into dialogue to calm emotions and encourage cooperation.
Arresters specialize in preventing or stopping things from happening. Although the Azorius mentality is different than it was in previous centuries, the guild still values the status quo and believes all action is ill-advised. ("Action is but reaction without thought," the Azorius saying goes.) Arresters come in all forms, from those whose purpose is to stop needless laws from being enacted to those who arrest criminals.
Azorius Locations Edit
New Prahv, the Azorius Guildhall Edit
The original Prahv, the so-called Spires of Order, was demolished when the Boros warship Parhelion crashed into it. Years passed in bureaucratic paralysis while the Azorius deliberated how, when, and where to build their new guildhall. Only once popular support built up and Isperia accepted leadership of the guild did the gears of reconstruction begin to turn. The site of Prahv's ruins has been given over to nature and has become a wilderness preserve.
New Prahv, at the other end of the same district, consists of three towering, three-sided columns that form a circular courtyard. The towers of New Prahv are the tallest structures on the ground in all of Ravnica. The three towers literalize the guild's structure: each houses the operations of one of the three Columns (Sova, Jelenn, and Lyev).
The towers of New Prahv also serve as an aesthetic representation of the guild's belief. It is an austere, immaculate structure, elegant but unadorned. White marble, alabaster, and steel predominate. Broad, curving hallways lead to large chambers, each of which has an array of subchambers and offices around it. Because the halls and chambers don't have many distinguishing features, visitors to New Prahv inevitably become lost without an escort.
Forum of Azor Edit
This huge, completely flat, paved expanse is a monument to Azorius patience, tolerance, and outreach. It is a grand public forum where any Ravnican can come and be heard. To show their magnanimity, the Azorius gifted the real estate around the perimeter to the other guilds, and eight of them (excluding the Dimir) have "recruitment centers" of one kind or another in that space. The Forum contains three separate rostra, arranged in a broad, perfect triangle, where speakers can address surrounding crowds. In the middle of the three rostra is a richly inlaid Azorius signet set into the ground, about a hundred feet wide. The Azorius Senate used to enforce the law rigidly in this space, leading to its irrelevance and abandonment. Several years after the end of the Guildpact, Isperia decreed that the magic be lifted from the Forum, and now it is a healthy, chaotic, vibrant place where beings of all kinds gather.
Azorius Attitudes Toward Other Guilds Edit
Orzhov: "Their financial-regulation lobbyists are an important source of revenue for us, but of course we maintain absolute objectivity. Their customs are macabre and their methods draconian, but as long as they operate within the law, it's not our concern."
Dimir: "Our nemesis. Outwardly, we must continue to deny their existence, even if the rest of Ravnica does not. Privately, we must thwart them at every turn and stop their operations in infancy when possible. No other guild threatens us so directly."
Izzet: "A valuable asset. The Izzet League is like a secondary Lyev Column, carrying out enactments in ways the Senate cannot. They also probe the limitations of our laws in interesting, non-malicious ways."
Rakdos: "These poor souls are beyond help. The best we can do is prevent their overreach and to help their victims. The day will come when society at large finds them to be superfluous."
Golgari: "We understand the Swarm least of all guilds. They serve an indispensable purpose and yet share not one iota of ideology with us. Our policy is one of cautious détente, but we would like to understand better the rules with which they self-govern."
Gruul: "Our greatest challenge and greatest opportunity. When order takes hold in Gruul lands, the unguilded there become the strongest evangelists for the rule of law. We must never allow Gruul holdings to lay fallow."
Boros: "When we have the ear of the Legion, they are instrumental in executing operations that the Senate cannot or will not undertake. When the Legion becomes the tool of another guild, we have no greater enemy."
Selesnya: "The Conclave generally obeys the law and keeps to itself. In time it could become a threat, but for now it is harmless—if not an ally."
Simic: "This new manifestation of the Combine must be watched closely. We admire its rigor but cannot allow savage, anarchic wilderness too great a berth."