Law & Judgment

GuildSymbol_Azorius_ColorWe’ll start our “10 Weeks of Ravnica” alphabetically: the Azorius Senate believes that their laws and the preservation of those laws are responsible for maintaining the Guildpact. In fact, they believe their rigid system of governance is responsible for keeping nearly everything on Ravnica running smoothly. Justice is blind, as the saying goes, and that includes the guild’s blindness to dissent, chaos and crime. They have an absolute hierarchical order, with most of its functionaries reporting to one superior and have two members reporting to them, creating a pyramidal comnmand structure.

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History of the Guild

Founded by parun Supreme Judge Azor I, a sphinx lawmage who authored a majority of the original Guildpact, the Azorius Senate functions as the government of Ravnica and creates Ravnican laws.

Believing their legislation to be the singular force that prevents Ravnica from descending into chaos, the Azorius Senate mediates and regulates the activities of all of the other guilds and of the plane despite their numerous decrees being ignored. The Azorius Senate are characterized as being aloof, bureaucratic, excessively formalistic, and fastidious, spending hours upon hours with legal documents and ensuring action, if any should occur, stringently adheres to protocol. For such reasons, the Azorius are deeply disdained by Ravnicans, whom the Azorius believe will effect a change and subsequent crime, chaos, and general decline in civic life. The Azorius are said to act through inaction.

The Azorius Senate works alongside the Boros Legion and Selesnya Conclave to see to the enforcement of the law, and the Orzhov Syndicate to see to the provision of advocates and lawmages for accusers and defendants. Ultimately, however, the Azorius advocates for blind justice, peace, and the status quo, doing so via their intrinsic involvement in all affairs on Ravnica and with their legions of knights and paladins as well as mages adept in countermagic, magic to disable and hinder those who would break the law, and other law magic.

The rigid hierarchy of the Azorius Senate is reflected in the guild’s triangle-shaped crest; most Azorius functionaries report to one superior, and are reported to by two subordinates. The Azorius are divided into three Columns: The Sova act as judges and arbitrators, the Jelenn act as scribes and elocuters, while the Lyev work as lawmages and enforcers. These columns seem to correspond to the government branches of numerous real-world nations: the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary, respectively.

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And about that Guildmaster’s Guide…

We need to start saying that the Azorius Senate is an ideal guild for cleric and paladins of lawful alignment. The things we’d like to see in the Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica are:

  • A background: something related to law enforcement.
  • A subclass: an Oath of the Law for paladins that grants the use of griffins as a special mount.
  • A feat or a spell: Forecast may not easily translated into a D&D ability, but Arrest for sure is.
  • A location: The original guildhall (Prahv, the Spires of Order) was demolioshed during the events of Dissension, and New Prahv was built to replace it. It consists of three towering, three-sided columns that form a circular courtyard. White marble, alabaster, and steel predominate in broad, curving hallways leading to large chambers, each with an array of subchambers and offices.
  • NPCs: Grand Arbiter Augustin IV, Isperia (as the Inscrutable and also as Supreme Judge) and Lavinia of the Tenth.
  • A monster: maybe an archon or a variant sphinx.
  • An artifact: the Walking Archive.

If these are not included when the Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica hits shelves in November, we may have some extra work here at Codex Anathema. What else would you like to see from the Azorius Senate to play in D&D?

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