Urizeni Briars


I’m planning on playing at E1 2020…so, some time yet, but between other life events and cosplay, I’m thinking far, far in advance.

I already have a Spire and all the other bits as the character I’m playing with is slotting into my partner’s Spire. (They’ve been playing this year, so I’ve got some stories about how stuff moves…including ‘so I had a debate in character about reference systems’)

However, I’m wondering how other people have played Briars as part of Urizen before, as there’s a line on the wiki which makes me think anyone who’s lineage is realized tends to move more towards other Nations because of how the lineage plays out.


If that’s who I think it is, they need to look behind them before they start dissing our spire and its importance as a leading centre of academia. If only because we’re really quiet and at least four of us are physicks so we know how to make it hurt.

When it comes to Urizeni Briars there have been several, Iulian, previous Archmage of Spring, and of course the ever infamous Aquilian (as well as others I am more than certainly forgetting). It is certainly not a lineage that necessarily lends itself to the urizeni way of life, but that can often be the very reason why its fun.

The most important thing to remember that poise is not about suppressing your emotions its about focusing them for productive gain, and so while this can often be harder for the impulsive and direct Briar focusing that drive and energy can lead to using it in a constructive manner to drive yourself forward towards your goal.

So, just as a ‘thinking out loud’ thing- if you’re playing a Briar, the best way to think about playing them is the slightly more scattered scientist/researcher

So, less Doc Brown, more Walter from Fringe in nature?

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Briars are going to get IC racism, that’s one of the main things of the class. It should be entirely ic though. Lineage can be a good way of doing things off your nation brief without being off brief for your overall character choices - Urizen may have IC issues with your behaviour if you play it to the hilt but you’re not being a rubbish roleplayer ooc. Briar and Urizen clash IC in ways which give you quite a bit of freedom to pick which way you want to go in some areas.

Possibly playing them scaterred, possibly playing as more than a little monofocused (after all if you’re bursting with energy why not stay up all night staring at the stars and reading what ever books interest you and never going to sleep).

Alternatively you could be that you’re Poised and focused ninety percent of the time but because you’ve almost over focused on maintaining that and and when it starts to crack you get very focused on your rituals to maintain that poise.

What I’ve currently got, character wise, is that their lineage ‘proper’ showed later, they originally trained as an apothecary/herbalist, and that because of varying interests/research focuses they’ve spent a large portion of their adult life travelling across the landscape before boomeranging back to home Spire

(It’s partially due to minor incident when travelling/doing research that their lineage became apparent. Who knew that drakes didn’t like being directly observed whilst mating?)

Basically, a healer who is very good at set tasks (aka, point a to point b, can do this, is done, am done, next), but the moment they don’t have that ‘someone needs healing/go do the healing thing’ they fall into ‘what weird crap can I research next’ as a pattern

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I saw one Urizeni Briar who became Archmage of Spring, they basically used their innate energy just to get a lot of shit done and had no patience for people faffing about. So that’s one direction to take things.


Hi, I was aforementioned Iulian. Most Urizeni briars have gone a bit mad-scientist, and I did a bit of that.

Also… Urizen is intellectual, and the influence of the blood is anti-intellectual. Iulian came to lineage late (thirties), so I played this as ‘used to have an eidetic memory, suddenly does not’ and just kept forgetting things. I’m slightly scatterbrained, loud and overeducated OC, so I just leaned on those traits. Iulian talked quickly, escalatingly loudly and impenetrably, and had no patience with people who didn’t understand him. Except for briars, with whom he connected quickly and communicated well.

Physically, I played that the character was trying to use the tradition of Poise to keep himself under control, bottling up the urges he felt to Just Do Something and twitching and flinching and playing up my natural stutter as a result. Then (because Poise also means doing things good and hard when you do them) I leaned into the releases of power, using my size and physicality to make him somewhere between charismatic and intimidating when he did act.

Iulian’s loss of control didn’t look like twitching, stuttering, nervousness. It looked like a confident voice, a long stride and Getting Shit Done With ESCALATING VOLUME AND SPEED. And putting that back in its box looked like someone grasping for the last vestiges of his self-control.

Other traits I used:

  • Easily led - weird in a leader, but other people could put ideas in his head easily
  • Sometimes didn’t ‘get’ subtlety, becoming frustrated when he realised he hadn’t got it
  • Prone to sitting unceremoniously in the grass to talk to people
  • Believed he was surROUNDed by IDiots
  • The type to go ‘foools fooooools I shall show them alllll’, but only once the ritual was well underway.


I could hear the ‘surrounded by idiots’ in my head whilst reading the post. :smiley:

What I’m gathering is basically leaning in towards the stereotype ‘we’re not going to call this ADHD, but the signs are there sans the can’t sit still’ that you see with a number of media characters wouldn’t go amiss…

(Tho’, as someone who’s a person watcher on a basic habit, the more responses I’m getting, the more I realize I can model Tiresias off of someone I actually know…who’s silly smart, but I sometimes struggle to follow the logic leaps they make because of where their academic specialties/skill focuses lie)

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I think there is a lot to say for not playing the ‘mad science’ variety of briar.

As you say you’re playing someone socialised in Urizen who then gained all this extra energy and lack of focus. I would translate this as:

  • The people of Urizen already do not suffer fools. This just adds an extra level of intolerance to people wasting your time. It’s a great excuse for a blunt ‘I believe this conversation is finished’ bow, walk off

  • If one decides they won’t want to draw attention to themselves despite an abundance of frustrated energy then there are plenty of “poiseful” things one can do, like pacing, having an object to fidget with, shifting position and eye contact often.

  • “Poise” is all about using your emotions correctly and not being controlled by them. It is perfectly acceptable for an Urizen briar to explode with emotion because it is reasonable to do so and then immediately dial it back. Just because one is briar it doesn’t stop someone being socially aware. And the people of Urizen have to be hyper socially aware.

The briar brief is subtle. And I believe best suited in the nation when not played to the max 100% of the time. But unleashed when heightened times of stress hits - to avoid falling into stereotype.

Remember our brief says that briars might leave because they feel they chafe in Urizen, not that they’re kicked out. We are a people of logic and lineagist attitudes are pretty illogical.


If you’re going to roleplay something that could slip into looking like the effects of a medical condition, please do your research, be respectful and be ready to change if asked to. ADHD, OCD, anxiety disorders and so on are real things that make people’s lives harder today, and don’t exist for our entertainment.


Understood…tbh, it’s a conversation that I’ve had with writers previously regarding autism spectrum disorders (due to it being my neurotype)

It wasn’t an analogy made without some understanding of the phrase ‘proceed with caution when modelling traits off of aspects of other people’s neurotype,’ but I understand if it came off as such.


With Aquillian, I went for the cold intellectual type, very merrow-like, who deeply resented having briarhood trust upon him. He got better, but his constant urge to show that he was still smart, that he could still reason and be intellectual, were formative aspects of his personality. He ended up focusing more on Arete than Poise, and rationalising that as proper.