Azorius Senate

Officer Lavinia stood before the enormous double doors that led into the highest spire of New Prahv, the lair of the guildmaster. To look at her, nothing would seem out of place: her cape spilled elegantly from her officer’s armor, her sword shone like a decorative piece one would hang above a mantel, and her three-sided medals displayed her district-spanning rank.

— Doug Beyer, Return to Ravnica: The Secretist

Bringing order from chaos — that is the mission of the Azorius Senate. Without the extensive legal code crafted and enforced by the Azorius, society would crumble, transforming Ravnica into a field of rubble where the Gruul and the Rakdos do whatever they please. The Azorius carry this weighty responsibility with stoic pride, and they perform their work of legislation, investigation, and enforcement with steely determination.

The first guildmaster of the Azorius Senate was a sphinx named Azor. He was the author of the original Guildpact, as well as the creator of the elaborate contingency plan that resulted in the creation of the Living Guildpact. The Azorius Senate was meant to carry on his legacy by serving as the legislative body of Ravnica.

Inside the Senate

The Azorius Senate is supported by three branches, called columns, each led by an arbiter (also called a capital). The capitals of the three columns form the Triumvirate, which advises the guildmaster, Supreme Judge Isperia, an ancient and wise sphinx.

The Sova Column consists of judges and the extensive legal apparatus surrounding them. It is tasked with adjudicating and arbitrating the effects of the law. The column employs legal aides, pages, librarians, experts on precedent, advocates for the accused, public prosecutors, and judges.

The Jelenn Column writes and enacts the laws of Ravnica, involving the efforts not just of the designated legislators but also a network of bureaucrats: aides, writers, researchers, lobbyists, clerks, and so on.

The Lyev Column enforces the law as Ravnica’s police force. The many-leveled hierarchy of the Lyev Column includes arresters, investigators, officers, and lawmages. The Lyev Column is also venturing into the work of managing surveillance and precognition. Most adventuring characters, by their nature and because of their capabilities, are associated with the active work of the Lyev Column rather than the behind-the-scenes activity of the other columns.

Goals of the Azorius

The Azorius Senate’s ultimate goal is the perfection of society. They want to protect the people of Ravnica and foster a community of peace and harmony. A society’s values, they contend, are reflected in the laws it creates. Something is good if it is lawful. To the Azorius, the highest virtue is a society built on stability and order, and the guild’s elaborate system of laws is structured to prevent wrongdoing first and foremost, even at the expense of certain liberties. The Azorius can act as a benevolent proactive force that keeps evildoers in check, but it can also act as an oppressive bureaucratic force that stifles freedom and expression.

In the absence of the Living Guildpact, the Azorius are uncertain who is supposed to maintain balance among the guilds. As a group, they are convinced that the system can’t be disrupted, but they are challenged by the reality that the one person who is meant to hold their world together never seems to be around. The Azorius Senate is invoking emergency powers with increasing frequency, and the Lyev Column’s enforcers are wielding an ever-growing amount of influence.

The Azorius guild embraces the belief that Ravnican society has come too far to succumb to chaos. Civilization can be saved only through the guidance of a strong, safety-focused government. In the mind of the Azorius, the threat of chaos is imminent. They believe it is time to face facts and do whatever is necessary to protect the people and preserve the force of law.

The Azorius, as always, see agents of disorder as their greatest enemies. They have cracked down on the Gruul Clans and imposed a variety of creatively written laws outlawing that guild’s presence in as many public places as possible. The Azorius also abhor the satirical shows of the Rakdos (in part because the Azorius are frequently ridiculed by Rakdos performers) and attempt to curb them with new decrees about public performances. In response to attempts by other guilds to edge their way around the system, the Azorius routinely create new laws to support or countermand old ones.

Azorius Characters

Alignment: Usually lawful, often neutral

Suggested Races: Human, vedalken

Suggested Classes: Bard, cleric, fighter, paladin, wizard

You might enjoy playing a character who belongs to the Azorius Senate if one or more of the following statements are true:

  • You’re drawn to the idea of a hard-bitten police officer trying to impose order on a chaotic world.
  • You like the idea of using magic to control enemies.
  • You like playing enchanter wizards, clerics of law, or unbending paladins.

Joining the Azorius Senate

As a recruit to the Azorius Senate, you were quickly immersed in the law. You might have clerked for a judge or a legislator, been an apprentice to a practitioner of law magic, studied rhetoric with diplomats, or trained to patrol the streets and enforce the law. As your training comes to an end and your adventuring career begins, you must decide whether to focus on law enforcement or to operate primarily within the bureaucracy of the senate.

Law Enforcement

Most Azorius adventurers belong to the guild’s police force. They are soldiers or spellcasters who patrol the city in teams or singly, preventing crimes or stopping them in progress. If you want to pursue a career in law enforcement, choose the path of the lawmage, the precognitive mage, or thearrester.

Lawmages. As a spellcaster in the Azorius Senate, you use your magic to compel or restrain malefactors and scofflaws (perhaps as a wizard specialized in the School of Enchantment). You might also use your magic to protect Azorius soldiers and innocent bystanders from harm (perhaps as a wizard specialized in the School of Abjuration or as a cleric of the Order Domain, which is described in chapter 1). In any case, you’re called a lawmage, and you can aspire to the title of justiciar and then deputy as your standing within the guild increases.

Precognitive Mages. If you are a spellcaster with some ability to glimpse the future (perhaps a wizard specialized in the School of Divination or a cleric of the Knowledge Domain), you can use this ability to try to prevent crime before it occurs, serving as a precognitive mage. These mages occupy a small niche on the periphery of the guild, and the guild hasn’t developed a bureaucratic structure to accommodate them, so they advance through the same ranks as lawmages.

Arresters. As a martial character, you can serve as an arrester in the Azorius Senate. You might be a fighter (of any martial archetype) or a paladin who has sworn the Oath of Vengeance, for example. Arresters maintain the peace by removing threats — both actual and potential — identified through regular patrols, citizen reports, and occasionally alerts from the precognitive mages. As you gain the respect of your superiors, you can be promoted to the rank of officer or imperator.

Bureaucracy

Bureaucracy might seem like the opposite of adventure, but it is possible to immerse yourself in the life of a civil servant in the Azorius Senate and still live an adventurous life. You might be a mild-mannered judge’s clerk or scribe who got caught up in a whirlwind chain of events beyond your control, or you might moonlight as a vigilante in defiance of the law you are supposed to uphold. Or you could serve a diplomatic function as an elocutor.

Elocutors. As a skilled orator and diplomat (perhaps a bard of the College of Lore), you can put your talents to use in the guild as an elocutor. The Azorius are known for their measured, patient speech, and the elocutors are the primary voice through which the senate communicates with the other guilds and the people of Ravnica. Thus, you might serve as an emissary from the Azorius to another guild, working to settle trade or territorial agreements, temporary alliances, and the like. You might have the task of securing the support of key senators for a particular piece of legislation or treaty. Well-established elocutors can be rewarded with the rank of scribe or emissary.

Background: Azorius Functionary

The brutes are at the gate, chaos is looming, and the only thing standing in the way of disaster is the foundation of law and order — as embodied in the Azorius Senate. You’re a proud member of the Azorius guild, which both enacts and enforces the laws that make Ravnican society function smoothly and safely.

Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Intimidation

Languages: Two of your choice

Equipment: An Azorius insignia, a scroll containing the text of a law important to you, a bottle of blue ink, a pen, a set of fine clothes, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp (Azorius-minted 1-zino coins)

Feature: Legal Authority

You have the authority to enforce the laws of Ravnica, and that status inspires a certain amount of respect and even fear in the populace. People mind their manners in your presence and avoid drawing your attention; they assume you have the right to be wherever you are. Showing your Azorius insignia gets you an audience with anyone you want to talk to (though it might cause more problems than it solves when you’re dealing with incorrigible lawbreakers). If you abuse this privilege, though, you can get in serious trouble with your superiors and even be stripped of your position.

Azorius Guild Spells

Prerequisite: Spellcasting or Pact Magic class feature

For you, the spells on the Azorius Guild Spells table are added to the spell list of your spellcasting class. (If you are a multiclass character with multiple spell lists, these spells are added to all of them.)

Azorius Guild Spells

Spell LevelSpells
Cantripfriends, message
1stcommand, ensnaring strike
2ndarcane lock, calm emotions, hold person
3rdclairvoyance, counterspell
4thcompulsion, divination
5thdominate person

Your magic often takes the form of blue or golden runes floating and glowing in the air in circular patterns or of shimmering azure barriers of magical energy. If you cast ensnaring strike, for example, the vines created by the spell might appear as rune-inscribed glowing bands that wrap around the target and hold it in place.

Suggested Characteristics

Members of the Azorius Senate tend toward a demeanor of cold dignity and a pragmatic, orderly nature. Steeped in the law as they are, their ideals and priorities revolve around legal issues.

Personality Traits

d8Personality Trait
1I try never to let my judgment become clouded by emotion.
2I have infinite patience with the dolts and boors I’m forced to deal with every day.
3When I give an order, I expect it to be obeyed.
4I just want things the way I like them: neat, orderly, and clean.
5No wrongdoing can escape my watchful gaze.
6I always say exactly what I mean, no matter how many words it takes to communicate the particular nuance I am attempting to convey.
7I’m very literal and don’t appreciate metaphor or sarcasm.
8I never change my mind once it’s made up.

Ideals

d6Ideal
1Guild. My guild is all that really matters. (Any)
2Order. The law is meant to ensure that the gears of society turn smoothly and quietly. (Lawful)
3Peace. The ultimate object of the law is to remove violence from society. (Good)
4Compliance. Coercion is a fine way of ensuring that the laws are obeyed. (Lawful)
5Legislation. The law embodies excellence in its precision and detail. (Lawful)
6Punishment. A public display of consequences is an excellent deterrent for other criminals. (Evil)

Bonds

d6Bond
1I am beholden to an Azorius arrester who captured the criminal who killed my parents, saving me from the same fate.
2I hope one day to write the laws, not just enforce them.
3I tried and failed to prevent a murder, and I have sworn to find and arrest the perpetrator.
4I successfully prevented a murder, and the would-be perpetrator wants me dead.
5One of my parents was prominent in the guild, and I resent constantly being compared to that standard.
6I’ve modeled my career after a highly respected lawmage or arrester, but I fear that my role model might be involved in something illegal.

Flaws

d6Flaw
1I’m unable to distinguish between the letter and the spirit of the law.
2I seem like a harsh judge to others, but I judge myself most harshly of all.
3I have a secret, illegal vice.
4I was traumatized by witnessing a crime as a child.
5I’m incapable of deception.
6I wish I had joined the Boros, but I fear they’d never accept me.

Contacts

The Azorius Senate is a sprawling bureaucracy, and people in a variety of positions throughout the guild can pull strings to make things happen. Because of the guild’s role in making and enforcing laws for the entire city, your place in the Azorius can easily bring you into contact with members of other guilds, for good or ill.

Roll twice on the Azorius Contacts table (for an ally and a rival) and once on the Non-Azorius Contacts table.

Azorius Contacts

d8Contact
1As a teenager, I was a page for a prominent judge.
2One of my childhood friends is now a precognitive mage in service of the guild.
3I joined the Azorius hoping to impress an arrester whom I admire.
4My former mentor is now a warden at Udzec, the new Azorius prison.
5I was second best at everything in my legal training, and now I work with the person who was always just a little bit better.
6A good friend was promoted into work they can’t tell me about.
7I know a homunculus in the halls of New Prahv who can get things done behind the scenes.
8I was once summoned to the presence of Supreme Judge Isperia, the guildmaster of the Azorius, who complimented me on my work.

Non-Azorius Contacts

d10Contact
1Roll an additional Azorius contact; you can decide if the contact is an ally or a rival.
2The person who recruited me into the Azorius left and joined the Boros.
3I have a friendship with a Dimir agent who sometimes funnels me secrets about Azorius activities.
4A Golgari spore druid would love to see me slip up and break the law.
5A lesser Gruul chieftain seems to think I could be useful.
6The black sheep of my family is putting their maniacal genius to use in the Izzet.
7I’m friends with an Orzhov advokist; we compare notes on different forms of law magic.
8I was ridiculed once in a Rakdos performance; the performer was impressed with my good humor about it and now does me occasional favors.
9I have a fanatical Selesnya cousin who keeps trying to recruit me and everyone else in the family.
10While growing up, I was bullied by a brat who’s now a hybrid in the Simic Combine.

How Do I Fit In?

As a member of the Azorius Senate, you are probably engaged in the work of law enforcement (even if your background involved the legislative or judicial aspects of the senate’s activities). Legislative aides and judges’ clerks find little reason to venture beyond the Azorius guildhalls, but soldiers and lawmages patrol the streets daily.

An Azorius soldier or lawmage is a force for order, charged with fighting crime on the streets — and in the halls of power. You might spend your time foiling thefts, putting a stop to Orzhov extortion, rooting out Dimir spies, or hunting down Golgari assassins. Perhaps you take your orders from a precognitive mage (or you are one yourself) who receives unpredictable and cryptic visions of future crimes that you and your allies must try to prevent.

An Azorius Party

An adventuring party made up entirely of Azorius members could be a specialized team dedicated to law enforcement. A soldier (a fighter or paladin) and a lawmage (wizard) would form the core of the party, supported by a precognitive mage (cleric) who helps direct their missions. An elocutor (bard) could round out the party, serving as the group’s negotiator and spokesperson.

THREE CAPITALS

The heads of the three columns of the Azorius Senate are called arbiters or capitals. The arbiter of the Sova Column (the judiciary) is Leonos II, a wise and kind human judge and lawmage who takes pains to consider all perspectives before issuing a judgment — even the perspectives of the spirits of the dead, with whom he can communicate. He is patient and utterly loyal to the guild. The Jelenn Column (the legislature) is led by a vedalken lawmage named Uzana, renowned for a nearly perfect memory. She has memorized every statute of Azorius law, and much of her speech is quotations from those statutes. The hussar commander Agmand Sarv is the arbiter of the Lyev Column, the senate’s law enforcement branch. Despite the fact that he has never been in combat, he has earned a reputation as a brilliant military strategist. His tactical genius is unquestioned, but his lack of battle experience did cause some controversy among the soldiers and lawmages of the Lyev Column when he was appointed to be its head.

Rank and Renown

By gaining renown as a member of the Azorius Senate, you can advance within the guild. Promotion through the ranks requires the approval of a superior officer. Advancement is a reward for services rendered to the guild, rather than an automatic consequence of increased renown.

Rank 1: Official

Prerequisite: Renown 3 or higher in the Azorius Senate

Your specific title depends on your role in the guild:

  • If you are a lawmage or a precognitive mage, you assume the title of justiciar.
  • If you are an arrester, you become an officer.
  • If you are a bureaucrat (including an elocutor), you become a scribe.

As an Azorius official, you can call on recruits (use the soldier stat block in chapter 6) to perform mundane tasks and errands for you, but they will not accompany you into dangerous circumstances.

No Azorius official lives in poverty. Between adventures, you earn a salary that supports you at a modest lifestyle.

Rank 2: Authority

Prerequisite: Rank 1 and renown 10 or higher in the Azorius Senate

Your new title depends on your previous role as an official in the Azorius Senate:

  • If you are a justiciar, you become a deputy with a specific title, such as Deputy of Acquittals, Deputy of Indictment, Deputy of Deposition, Deputy of Arraignment, or Deputy of Arbitration.
  • If you are an officer, you become an imperator.
  • If you are a scribe, you become an emissary.

You are recognized as an authority in your field. You gain an Azorius charm (described in chapter 5) at the start of each mission you undertake on the guild’s behalf. At the start of any such mission, you can secure the assistance of a squad of 1d4 arresters (use the soldier stat block in chapter 6) plus one lawmage (also in chapter 6). These individuals remain with you until the mission ends.

Between adventures, you earn enough money pursuing your duties to support yourself at a comfortable lifestyle.

Rank 3: Minister, Judge, or Senator

Prerequisite: Rank 2 and renown 25 or higher in the Azorius Senate

Your new title depends on your broader interests as they relate to one of the three columns of the Azorius Senate, not on the titles you bore as an official and an authority:

  • If your interests lie in law enforcement, you become a minister within the Lyev Column. You receive a specific title, such as Minister of Impediments or Minister of Fallacies.
  • If your interests concern the judiciary, you become a judge within the Sova Column.
  • If you want a position on the legislative body of the Jelenn Column, you become a senator.

Regardless of your specific title, you can secure the aid of up to 3d4 soldiers and one or two lawmages (see chapter 6 for these stat blocks) whenever you set out on a guild-approved mission.

Between adventures, your responsibilities to the guild — including supervising arresters, judging legal cases, or writing laws — earns you enough money to support yourself at a wealthy lifestyle.

Rank 4: Arbiter

Prerequisite: Rank 3 and renown 50 or higher in the Azorius Senate

As an arbiter (or capital), you serve as the head of your column. Only Isperia, the Supreme Judge, can appoint you to this position, and only if one of the three existing arbiters leaves her service.

As an arbiter, all the resources of your column are at your disposal, and you have the ear of Isperia as a member of her advisory Triumvirate. You also keep the salary you earned as a minister, judge, or senator, sustaining a wealthy lifestyle between adventures.

Enemies and Allies

As far as the Azorius are concerned, every other guild in Ravnica is hastening along the road to anarchy. Even other guilds that are inclined toward order (such as the Boros, Orzhov, and Selesnya) are ignoring or exploiting the law.

You participate in missions to thwart the criminals of other guilds, from overzealous Boros vigilantes to insidious Golgari assassins. Dimir spies, Orzhov extortionists, and bloodthirsty Rakdos performers keep Azorius peacekeepers busy enough, without the added complications of reckless Izzet and Simic experiments putting the citizenry in danger.

Of course, whenever the members of another guild decide to operate within the law, they are potential allies for the Azorius. Even some members of the Cult of Rakdos can be pragmatic enough to stifle their impulses for a time in order to join forces against a common enemy.

THE AZORIUS VIEW ON OTHER GUILDS

Because of its authoritarian, overreaching grasp, the Azorius Senate’s relationships with other guilds are rarely positive. Azorius members tend to view members of other guilds as dangerous threats to order, while other guild members see the Azorius as rigid and tyrannical.
Boros. “Their vigilantism is tremendously dangerous without a hand to control it.”
Dimir. “A perennial thorn in our side. Though they were once our greatest foes, not even the masters of espionage can hide from our watchful eyes.”
Golgari. “Their underground structures break numerous building regulations, but at least they fulfill their duties as garbage collectors.”
Gruul. “The Gruul are dangerous anarchists with no interest in furthering the development of civilization. They serve no useful purpose.”
Izzet. “Eccentric and occasionally explosive, but generally harmless, for now. In their paranoia they have enlarged their weapon stockpiles, but they lack the clarity of vision to put them to use.”
Orzhov. “Their brazen exploitation of our laws will be their downfall. They are an insidious threat that could tear society apart from the inside.”
Rakdos. “An absolute blight on Ravnica. They are clowns who know nothing of culture and exist only to torment the functioning members of society.”
Selesnya. “The Conclave plays by the rules and keeps to itself. Until its members become too numerous, they are of little threat to us.”
Simic. “The Simic experiment with matters that disobey the laws of nature and the laws of Ravnica. We must not let them gain influence.”