Also known as the High Judges, the Azorius Senate is Ravnica's ostensible government. The guild considers itself to be the mediator and controller of all other guilds' activities, even though most of its countless decrees are largely ignored. That's not to say the Azorius Senate is impotent, however—its legitimacy and reach wax and wane over time depending on economics, cultural trends, and the reaction to other guilds' overreach. At its best, the ultra-hierarchical Azorius Senate is just, farsighted, and impartial. At its worst, the guild is cold, stultifying, and bureaucratic. The current guild master of the senate is the sphinx, Isperia.
The Three Columns. 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
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:
Azorius Attitudes Toward Other Guilds
- 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."