Saturday, 14 October 2017

Win a copy of Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire

Hi everyone,

Age of Warhammer have decided to run a competition so that you can all have the chance to win our review copy of Shadespire!

In order to enter, you must create fluff for a city using the Warhammer Community city generator. You must then write a description of your city with a brief history and post it in the comments section - the more detail the better. Entries close at 23:59 GMT on Friday 20th October. 

You can find the city generator link here, or use the images shown below. 







Each member of the Age of Warhammer team will then choose their favourite city and 4 names will be put into a hat. The winner will be chosen at random and announced here on the blog the day of Shadespire's release (21st October).

If you are a winner and not based in the United Kingdom, we will ask that you pay towards the postage and packaging. 

Looking forward to reading your entries and good luck!

Danariel x

33 comments:

  1. The free city of Candlehallow rests in the mighty Wulfram Mountains far in the east. The mighty metropolis is home to Dwarfs and Serephon and boasts some of the most renowned observatories in the mortal realms. Built by Dwarfs, the lenses on the telescopes can see with greater clarity than any other, and with Slaan using their mystical powers have crafted some of the most expansive maps of the heavens. This repository of knowledge has encouraged dozens of wizards to flock to the city and a college of magic has been established, with an ancient Slaan mage priest heading each of the schools of magic. Around the city there are dozens of mysterious ruins, around which mercury rivers flow causing a mesmerizing sparkle to flitter around the ruins. These ruins house powerful artefacts and the serephon armies patrol them frequently in case bandits and vagabonds try to steal their secrets. From the ramparts of the city the Dwarfs train their guns to these ruins also, but for advancing armies the ruins are more of a burden than a boon. The cliff which protects the city only has one narrow path through the rocky landscape and the ruins lie at their base, a killing ground for many expeditions from vile chaos worshipers. Candlehallow remains a powerful city in the mortal realms and loyal to Sigmar and his quest to defeat chaos, their soldiers are famed for their mastery of magic and the durability of their armour bringing death to the enemies of order.

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  2. Dragonbane: The Flying City

    A city built upon the back of a huge flying leviathan, it is free to traverse the realms as it sees fit. A city of notorious levels, known for its sinister reputation. It is inhabited by Humans, Stormcast and Aelves and Duardin. The monster never lands except for every 100 years to drink from the Sorrow see. To find the city is as hard as it is to find a god itself. The inhabitants are a hardy buch who mostly worship The Great Drake, many mausoleums are set up in the town to further their dedication to him. The Stormkeep is a house of Astral Templars who themselves use the city to have a better view upon the Realms and can be dispatched when needed. The Aelves are mostly Nomadic Wanderers, they live within the scale forests surrounding the city and use the Dragon to traverse the regions easier. Barak Ziflin have stabbed a Skyport here too.

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  3. “Beginning as little more than an ancient lighthouse watching over the Bay of Shades, Shade Heart has developed as a major trade port and safe haven for the Bloodied Knife, Scourge Corsairs who ravage the coast lines of the Metallic Sea in mysterious Chamon.

    Holding true through the Age of Chaos thanks to the powerful surrounding mystic barrier, produced by the magical nexus found deep in the, now flooded over, ancient and sacred ruins, Shade Hearts has become a rallying point for the Stormcast Eternals of the Crimson Seraphs who use the hidden bay and alliances with the Bloodied Knife as a way to engage and combat the lurking Chaos threat of the Changer of Ways, forever at the door.

    Most curious of all the inhabitants of Shade Heart are those Sylvaneth who have grown upon the sea floor in the ancient ruins, made mossy and of seaweed, they now cling to the buildings and arks within the harbour, protecting the settlement from any sea borne invasion fleet not destroyed by the magical barrier.” – G. Bassano, Travels in Chamon.

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  4. Bale Keep, the Sunken City

    “You there. Yes, you. Come closer. My eyes may not see as well as they once did, but they can still tell a stranger from a friend. And a stranger is what you are, no? I have not seen you around here before, though I cannot imagine why one so young would wish to come here. The Realm of Shadows does not take kindly to strangers. In Ulgu, you are just as likely to lose your way in the fog, as you are to lose your life. But tell me, what brings you here? Perhaps you have heard tell of the Bale Keep and its fabled treasures? That legend has lured many adventures to an early grave. But they don’t know the true story behind the Sunken City. For if they did, they would be wise enough to stay away…

    The Bale Keep’s true name has been lost for many year now. Although that is known of its past was that it was built during the Age of Myth. Hewn from the living rock of the Shrouded Peaks, the city stood as testament of goodwill between the Realms. For you see, the wealth of Bale Keep was not in jewels or precious ore, but knowledge. Lorekeepers from every Realm would travel to Bale Keep, where they would impart their knowledge into great tomes that were placed within the fabled libraries beneath the city. How much knowledge,
    now forgotten, can be found on those pages, I cannot say…

    In the long centuries that followed the Age of Myth, entire civilizations were lost as the tide of Chaos swept through the realms. Marauding followers of the Dark Gods put kingdoms to the torch, their inhabitants slaughtered in foul rituals to appease the Ruinous Powers. Those that wished to survive fled to Azyr, for the God-King Sigmar protected those in the Realm of Heavens. Others did their best to hide themselves from the marauders, hoping to outlast the storm of Chaos. The men of Bale Keep would not abandon the city so easily, and so they chose the latter. A great many sorcerers were gathered, and together, they cast a spell to cloak Bale Keep from the wandering eyes of the Chaos Gods. A mist descended around the city, hiding it from the rest of the world, and for a time, all was well.

    But the Gods of Chaos are not so easily deceived. Deep beneath the Shrouded Peaks, foul creatures had made their home. Twisted beings, half man, half rat, gnawed their way up through the rock, until they had reached the city. With a rumble, the ground collapsed,
    dragging the city down into darkness. And in the dark, the ratmen came to feed.

    Those that survived the collapse prayed to Sigmar for salvation. The prayers to the God-King fell on deaf ears, but other, darker Gods were listening. Nagash, the Lord of Undeath, blessed Bale Keep with a portion of his dark might. No men in the Bale Keep survived the Age of Chaos, but they continue to protect their city to this day. Where once the Bale Keep shared its secrets openly, the Undead now jealously guard it. Anyone foolish or brave enough to enter the tunnels of that cursed mountain never leave.

    For Bale Keep is a city that keeps its secrets and the dead tell no tales.”

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  6. An excerpt torn from “Tales of Travelling Cities: Atmospheric Histories and Cultures” by anthropologist Nathalie Cort├ęs
    The Star Vault was originally one of the Seraphon’s temple-ships, which drift the mortal realms at the Slann’s behest. The floating settlement had long been thought of as no different than others that the Seraphon pilot, until it attracted the attention of the Skaven.
    The Clan Pestilens believed that one of the thirteen Libers Pestilent was locked away within the deep vaults of this temple-ship. In a bid to capture the cherished tomb, the Skaven constructed a vast fleet and attacked the temple-ship in a tide of ramshackle flying ships.
    The Seraphon fought back fiercely but they were greatly outnumbered, and some of the Skaven slipped past the enemy lines into the caverns. When they thought they found the deepest vault, the Skaven engineers blasted the door open with warpstone explosives.
    But the vault did not contain the Liber as the Skaven expected. Instead was the Cobra Mace, a weapon from the World-that-Was. The Mace recognized its ancient enemy instantly, springing to life as a monstrous python. The would-be-thieves were devoured, but the Mace did not stop. It entered the battle above, only growing in size and reach as it consumed more rats. The Seraphon watched stunned, as the enlarging serpent weighed down the temple-ship to the ground below, devouring the Skaven in blind rage. Though the battle was won when the great cobra consumed the Pestilens flagship and its Plague Priest whole, the temple-ship had been grounded in a swamp within the Realm of Beasts. The Cobra Mace slunk of into the deeper jungle, hungry for more vermin.
    The Seraphon were desperate to get the temple afloat again, knowing it was only a matter of time before some other foe would set upon the vulnerable temple and break into the vaults. If the artefacts within were lost to Chaos or Orruks, the efforts of the Starmasters may all be for naught.
    Thankfully for the Seraphon, their plight was answered by a clan of Kharadron Overlords, who were keenly interested in the golden decorations adorning the grounded temple. The Seraphon were only too glad to sell the gold in exchange for getting the vaults back into the sky. The Duardin were happy to oblige, and the combination of Slann magic and Kharadron technology was able to rise the temple out of the swamps.
    The Kharadron have since named the flying temple the Star Vault, and it is one of their most valuable allied ports. The Duardin who first aided the Seraphon within realized that the gold they had earned was of such quantity that they couldn’t possibly take it all in one trip. Instead, the Seraphon and Duardin made an agreement, so that the gold would remain in the vaults under the Seraphon’s protection. And so, the Star Vaults became perhaps the most secure and trustworthy banking establishment for the Kharadron, as the Seraphon serve as impartial stewards of the Duardin’s savings.
    Over the years the Star Vault has become a large mercantile hub, with the Kharadron building their own extensions onto the original foundation of the temple. There races of all stripes conduct business, as the Star Vault is one of the few ports that can actually move from realm to realm. The Seraphon themselves remain uninterested in profits, but decades of relations with the Kharadron taught them some things. Now the Slann within willingly use Skink agents to prowl the markets, always happy to purchase artefacts of magic power in exchange for gold or jewels. Such material trinkets mean nothing to the Slann, but gaining magical relics without conflict is of immeasurable value. It is believed the Star Vault is not just stuffed with treasure, but also Ur-Gold, warpstone, and Aelfish scrolls of power. In the deepest tunnels of the temple remain the truly dangerous artefacts, which to this day elude its pursuers. For the uncountable riches within, the Star Vault remains a frequent target of raids by sky pirates such as the Grot Scuttlers, or Admiral Vomik Skyflayer of the Verminfleet.

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  7. Waiting.

    Amidst the heights of a towering spire of black metal thrust into the flesh of the land of Ulgu, Tomalek waited. Embraced on all sides by the dense, whispering mists and fog that call the Realm of Shadow home, the spear of architecture rising into the stormy sky was still. Bathed in the shallow light of a moon slaved to perpetual night, the watchpost of Spitesword appeared all but abandoned to outsiders, save for the roars and shrieks echoing from the nearby jungles.
    The Dreadlord gazed out from his balcony, following the flight of Nelosi, his prized Carmine Dragon, a monstrous reminder of his conquests throughout Shyish. A bloodier time, a glorious time. But nostalgia does nothing to calm his warrior’s soul.
    His steps carried him back inside, and as he descended the spiral staircase the sounds and smells of the tower permeated his senses. The electrical tang of the celestial Stormcast Eternal inhabitants clashed with the reptilian musk of the Drakespawn. The harsh, clipped sound of Aelven accents at odds with the constant rumble of thunder. His garrison here were as restless as their infamous mounts, for when the Order Serpentis were not at war, the hate within their hearts burned in every direction.
    Their vigil here was not unfounded however. Summoned back by an absent and mysterious master, under the guise of helping the new forces cast into the Realms from Azyr, the Dreadlord and his brutal kin had a purpose here. For in the depths of Spitesword, hidden from Sigmar’s angels, lay a vault. Sealed by arcane magic older than the Age of Chaos, Tomalek could only guess as to its terrible contents. Was it an artefact of ages gone? A weapon of unfathomable power? Or was it merely forbidden knowledge?

    No matter the answer, all he could do was wait, so that’s what he did.

    He would wait for the call to war. He would wait for the mythical legend of Ulgu to make itself known, and claim whatever it was that resided beneath Spitesword. He would wait to take his place under the banner of a god not seen in untold millennia.

    He would wait for the glory of unending war.

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  8. These are great! Keep them coming people!

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  9. In the centre of the iron desert of Tranmutari within the realm of Chamon stands the glorious, gleaming city of Skysword.

    Named for the blade shaped chimneys that reach upwards to the smog choked sky above, Skysword is the heart of Duardin industry in this shard of the Mortal Realms. Countless weapons and suits of armour crash off the production lines each day to fuel Sigmar's war effort to push back the forces of the enemy, and the Duardin work tirelessly to meet his hefty quota.

    The City itself is protected from the servants of the ruinous powers by a glimmering bubble of pure magic - how this defensive barrier came to be is unknown even to the creators of this industrial forge, however eldars whisper of what is contained within the great mausoleum far below the surface...

    Deep in a sealed vault, protected by wards of times long past and locked by the pinnacle of ancient technology lays a single acorn of impossibly old age from a time when a strangely similar world was under siege from toying gods...

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  10. High above the clouds floats a dark place, always in the night sky the city of "Skull Shade" moves silently, held aloft by a mixture of magic and aether. Skull Shade is a metropolis built within the skull of a giant beast, so massive Duardin Fleets known as the “Black Fleet” docks in each eye socket. The Duradin of Skull Shade, will, if necessary harvest aether but they are known pirates and mercenaries secretly fighting for the other great sky cites and their own end.

    Such a massive structure could not possibly remain aloft on aether alone without the magic of the Aelves. The lower jaw of the city is occupied by a rather large district of Aelves who believe aether to be the physical embodiment of magic itself, they experiment and dedicate themselves to the study of its properties and pay the Duradin a handsome price for aether, protection and transport for their own needs.

    While Skull Shade has a sinister reputation not all is darkness, within its skull is a city of gold and marble, a keep for Stormcast known as the "Shadows Fall" There dark highly polished armor may reflect the nature of the city it does not dampen there seeking out justice and facing the enemies of all that is good. Skull Shade is also an extremely busy sky port and trading zone who’s enhanced aether is sought by all who know its value.

    Often the inhabitance of Skull Shade are at odds with one other and the internal politics keep it on the verge of a civil war, when called to arms they fight as fellow warriors sitting aside differences and uniting. It’s said when the Skull's Shadow falls upon the battlefield, darkening a moon light sky that the enemy shutter in fear of the forces to come.

    Faced with ranks of Stormcast, sieged by magical bolts from the city and the "Black Fleets" from the Duradin even the greatest of enemies have fled the field of battle.

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  11. The vast ore deposits of GreySilver, in the realm of Ulgu, have long been mined by the Aelves that live in its underground depths. It is of course very dark in the realm of shadows, even moreso underground, so the inhabitants have long argued over the exact color of the ore they are mining, hence the name of the settlement. Aelves don't take naturally to mining, of course, but they do take naturally to arguing, particularly over matters of aesthetics. The ore is valuable, but there has always been some other mysterious force compelling the Aelves to excavate GreySilver...

    At some point during the Age of Chaos, while the Aelves hid themselves in the underground mines, they uncovered a Sealed and Terrible Vault. They have been completely unable to open the vault by any means, and none can guess what it might contain. Also during this time, a Darkling Coven Underground Cult sprang up, in this case both figuratively and literally underground. The cult remains secretive, and has grown increasingly obsessed with the mysterious vault and it's possible contents.

    Early in the Age of Sigmar, forces of Stormcast Eternals and Seraphon occupied GreySilver, turning it into a Watchpost. Nobody is quite sure why anyone would want to create a Watchpost underground. There is some speculation that they are actually in GreySilver to keep an eye on the mysterious vault, in case someone manages to open it and let loose it's potentially dangerous contents on the realm of Ulgu.

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  12. Many a merchant will joyfully spin tales about the mysterious city of Glimmerfang. Some say it is located underground. Some say it moves from realm to realm. Some say its location depends on the whims of those who dwell in it. Some say it's actually alive. Weirdly enough, none of them are lying.

    Glimmerfang is a marvelous city founded in a gargantuan wyrm that burrows through the earth. The city itself is warded by powerful aelven magics from the Age of Myth, which do more than just protect it from the great beast's digestive powers. The aelves, duardin and humans making up its population tend to specialize in various forms of trade or craftsmanship and are always in need of exotic, valuable materials to use or sell. Thus, after spending some time in a location in Ulgu, for instance, some might realize they need more precious metals from Chamon, or maybe some obsidian from Aqshy. As more and more of its citizens decide on a desired destination, town meetings take place in its various districts where ample negotiations take place to choose the next destination. Once enough people are swayed, the majority's wish is made manifest as the great wyrm tunnels into the earth to emerge in whichever realm its people desired to travel to.

    In times of trouble, when marauding orruks or foul creatures of chaos threaten the great city, a great bell is rang to let all know that time has come to return to their secret home. The entire population unites in focusing on their great beast's original home, Ghyran, and the colossal wyrm makes its escape. While not the most honourable form of defence, this method has seen Glimmerfang survive across aeons, without the aid of Sigmar or anyone else, and thus its inhabitants remain stubbornly independent.

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  13. Eff... I hate blogspot! It refuses to accept either of my google and/or wordpresss IDs.

    eFTy

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  14. P.S. I love this contest idea and reading what everyone's cooked up or rolled!

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  16. Nestled amid the lush plains and forests at the base of the mountains of the Giant’s Shoulders, the City of Starhallow in the realm of Hysh was a cosmopolitan centre for commerce, learning and industry. Many peoples called the city home, Aelves, Humans and Duardin. The three main exports of the proud city state were foodstuffs, produced from the surrounding farmlands; textiles woven from the the thick tanglevine forests in the valley; and scholars. The scholars, in particular were what made the city most well known, with the experts in many fields having credited Starhallow as their home. Students of all nations would venture there, hoping for the very chance to learn in one of the city’s academies of scyence, philosophica, or artisanry.

    All that was lost when the comet Casandora swept low through the forests and brushlands, scorching the very soil through to the bedrock. The trees burned, and the grasses withered in the mere moments the fiery orb passed over them. As it swung toward its destruction, it melted the rocks before gouging the molten earth in a wide furrow. It then crashed through the grounds of the Praexeus Academy, leaving nought but ruin in it’s wake. Those still left in the city, the brave souls who oversaw the evacuation of the residential districts, saw their doom and faced it as bravely as a soldier faces a more powerful enemy.

    The lucky ones died instantly.

    The unlucky ones lasted as long as it took for the superheated air from the fiery death throes of the comet to reach their lungs. The agony caused to them in those brief seconds more than anyone should have to withstand in a lifetime, let alone an instant. The city lay in ruin, the land surrounding forced into a deep, smoldering furrow describing the path of the comet. The comet itself broke up as it crashed through the ground, scattering star-iron and other precious metals throughout the newly formed mountains at the end of its path. These new mountains are where Sigmar deemed his Heralds would reside, and the descendents of those souls who were able to flee have recolonised, raising a fledgling city at the base of the Observatory, the great fortress that the Stormhost known as the Heralds of Casandora made their home.

    This new community is defended by the brave souls that never would have thought to save themselves before others. Messengers of woe, these Heralds fly, bringing the pent up fury of a dying comet to smite Sigmar’s wicked foes; flocks of Prosecutors swooping from on high, while Liberators and Paladins march in lockstep, ranks of Judicators in support with their many heroes urging them onward.

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  17. THE DREADVAULT: THE SHADOW PRISON OF ULGU

    Criminals believe it to be an old-thieves tale from the Age of Myth. Pirates get nervous when its name is discussed amongst their journeys across the mortal realms. Devious warlords have plotted its downfall, but have never found its true location. Azyrites and the regular-folk of the realms are unaware of its existence, save for those who work in the shadows. Only there can you find The Dreadvault.

    No one knows exactly when it was constructed, but legend says that the Dreadvault was created by both Sigmar and Malerion: a citadel built in secret on top of the Shifting Mountains in Ulgu. Within its foundation lies a prison network of unknown size. Its purpose? To house the enemies of Order, especially those who seek to rot their societies from within. Chaos Lords and necromancers have been imprisoned for ages in impenetrable, misty cells, while the Disciples of Tzeentch and other Chaos Agents are interrogated until death to garner vital information before judgement is delivered. Some prisoners are said to be those captured during the Purge of Azyr, but most are newcomers following the rise of new cities after the Realmgate Wars. It is not all nefarious creatures that dwell within the Dreadvaut’s walls. Innocent people have been taken, from their homes or even the battlefield, to stand for questioning, or worse. Many of them never see the light of day again. No one has ever escaped the citadel, save for a fortunate dozen over the centuries who have proven pure enough for Sigmar’s Blessing. Those lucky few are sent to live in Azyr, oathbound to never reveal its existence, or else the Shadowblades and Witch Hunters will track them down.

    Great treasures are also kept behind its walls; weapons, trinkets, treasures and artifacts that their owners no longer require, all kept in the deepest vault, rune-sealed by some of the greatest runelords of Ulgu. It is even rumored that one of the Eight Laminations may be held here.

    Despite the high-profiled inventory of prisoners and loot inside the citadel, the Dreadvault has never been attacked. The Shifting Mountains always change their size like the seasons of Ghur, but Malerion manipulated the landscape and the citadel so it could bleed in-between the realms when the changes occur. Once it returns to Ulgu, both mountain and citadel find a new home until the change happens again. Along with the same barrier that protects Azyr from the eyes of Tzeentch, the prison is nearly impossible to track.
    Yet the most dangerous part of the Dreadvault is its wardens. The Darkling Coven of House Hellblade takes their role as the guardians of the citadel zealously. They patrol the walls, guard the cells, and carry out the majority of day-to-day tasks with ruthless efficiency. Notorious of all of House Hellblade’s warriors are the Executioners. They take great joy when they get to pass judgement, never offering rebuttal of their grisly work, but instead, merely who or how many must pay the price from their decapitating blades. Surprisingly, a Stormhost also calls the Dreadvault its home: the Sigmarite Wardens. Their sole task is to guard high-priority prisoners, the creatures that are locked away in the deepest caverns of the mountain, and protect the vaults from anyone that is not escorted underground. They are too perfect for this role, for their personalities are ice cold, their posture stone-like, rarely acknowledging the lesser mortals they work with unless danger arises. Some speculate these Stormcasts are the result of too many reforgings, which has robbed them of their humanity. Their dour attitude tragically makes them overly obedient to the commands of their aelf comrades and well-suited to guard the horrors within the Dreadvault.

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  18. Part 1: Many are the tales surrounding the fickle city of Silver Hallow. It is said to never remain in one place for too long, always shifting and changing, just like the myths concerning this phenomenon. Some say that Silver Hallow was once an unassuming mining outpost in the realm of Chamon, but after a discovery of a rich silver-like substance with high magical properties, the city's fortunes have changed dramatically. With the sudden influx of miners, mages and researchers alike, the little mining outpost has seen a rapid growth and the mining operations developed at unprecedented rate. Soon, all those with arcane talent flocked to the site, lured by the new and curious substance, which emanated a certain soothing radiance, not known in any other materials of that time. It was said to calm the senses and the processed metal was put to use in various potions, arcane concoctions and numerous scrying instruments. Though the shimmering silver metal was cold to the touch, those who held it in their hand spoke of a welcoming sense of calm and safety coursing through them. The diviners and oracles reported, that the amulets fashioned from the metal provided them with the ability center their inner eye and filled their minds with unparalleled clear visions. As it often is the case with wealth and success, others who wished to profit from this newfound source arrived and the "silverlight", as the substance was later named, was soon found in the great markets which erupted through the booming city, but also in the stores of far of cites and realms, as the silverlight soon became a much sought after commodity. Uncountable silverlight talismans were used by nobility and commoners alike and the glimmer of shining silver colour has became a common sight for all inhabitants of Silver Hallow. However, as those glory days came fast upon the city, they we soon destined to end. As the city became a commercial metropolis with swelling population of numerous races (including humans, aelves, duardin and even seraphon) and the silverlight trade reached its all time highs, it was all undone in one single night. For a time, the prophecies divined with the help of the silverlight, all advised the ruling families of Silver Hallow to increase the mining efforts, which inevitably led the miners ever deeper into the abyss bathed in the unnatural silver light. The city was soon saturated with the ever-present substance and reports of children being born with silver eyes and hair became a commonplace. The miners also told of their comrades succumbing to a strange illness, whenever they ventured for too long into the silver abyss filled with the raw material, showing symptoms of sleepwalking and dream-like behaviour.

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    1. Part 2: Those all were the first warning signs of the fate, which would ultimately overcame the city, but the citizens chose to ignore them, either from simple greed, or, as some foreign scholars argued, they were already too deep under the substance's increasing magical influence. On one fateful day, the city awoke from their silverlight-filled dreams, but their own minds were gone. All have succumbed to the creeping power of the cold metal and as one soul, they descended into the mines, never to be seen again. The event known forever since as "The Vanishing" left once a powerful city a place devoid of light, filled only with the silver riches which helped to form it ages ago. The other cities moved to investigate, but all efforts to navigate the labyrinthine mining tunnels under the city proved unsuccessful, as did the location of the city's former inhabitants. However, as the former trade partners already began arguing about how to divide the abandoned wealth amongst themselves, one group of adventurers, lured by the promise of profit, accepted the seemingly impossible quest and descended into the silver depts. To the surprise of all, they ultimately succeeded, although only one of them managed to make it back to the surface, exhausted and filled with madness, but he also carried a single rescued citizen in his arms, a young silver haired woman. The woman seemed to be in a sleep like trance, but the adventurer urged everyone to leave the city. As the ground began to crumble and shake, his word were given power and everyone was forced to evacuate the cursed metropolis, just in time to see the whole city shimmer in a silver haze followed by a piercing light and horrific twisted laugh, which echoed thought the enormous bottomless pit, which only moments before was the city of Silver Hallow. The whole city along with the mines which ran deep under it vanished, just like the citizens before, leaving behind an endless hollow chasm, giving the name "Silver Hallow" a semblance of a cruel joke. None are entirely sure what exactly the adventurers uncovered that fateful day or what became of the populace, but ever since the enormous landmass appears to flicker into reality in seemingly random places throughout the Realms, a huge remnant of a land suspended in space and crowned by the abandoned city itself. Some say that it was punishment for the people's sins and opulence, but others declare it was the trickster god Tzeentch himself, who doomed the civilization. Many mysteries surrounding the travelling city remain and many brave souls try to locate it and uncover its untouched riches and the truth once and for all. And among them, they say, is a duo of a mad-eyed adventurer and a magically gifted silver-haired woman, who always seem to have a knack for predicting the appearance of the lost city, always trying to reach it and finish a story only they can ever tell...

      Sorry for the wall of text, could not help it :) (also, not a native speaker, so sorry for any mistakes)

      paperjack3@gmail.com

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  19. City of Dragonheim – Realm of Ghur

    Dragonheim is an old city located in the Serpentspine Mountains of Ghur, named after the great dragon lairs towards its peak, although these have been empty for the past few hundred years, instead becoming home for great bats that sometimes terrorise the area. Despite this it is a home to many humans, dwarves and elves that made the great dragon graveyards and lairs into a fortified city, safe from the reach of chaos and destruction. In recent years the highest peak has been used as a keep for Stormcast eternals, they are rarely seen by the locals but in times of war are seen soaring across the sky to fight back against encroaching barbarian warhosts.

    As great and safe as the city sounds it is still plagued by reports of creatures lurking in the shadows of the city, creatures with long fangs and gleaming red eyes but when these reports are investigated no trace of anything can be found. The citizens are also plagued by dreams and hallucinations, many report seeing the streets covered in blood and gore, covered in bones and overran with ghoulish creatures feeding on the dead but these visions are only brief and our king assures us that they are visions of what is to come if we do not bravely defend our kingdom and why we must continue to cleanse the nearby lands with the assistance of the Stormcast from the air and our noble foot soldiers who would fight to last to see these lands safe

    - Written note found on the body of a crypt ghast courtier after a raid to clear out a large ghoul encampment near the Serpentspine Mountains after reports of villages being left abandoned and tales of monstrous creatures flying near the abandoned peaks.

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  20. Jewel of the desert, walled sanctuary, city of plenty. The great city of Sun´s eye is known by many names to the people of Hysh. Located in the middle of the searing desert the city is as much protected by its location at it is by the great wall that surrounds it on all sides. Many armys seeked to invade the lands that lie inside its perimeter during the time of chaos yet none succeeded, all fended off by the golden legion and their aelven allies. When the armys of Sun´s eye go to war, the earth trembles as endless rows of human spearmen march at the side of aelven archers and the beasts of the desert.

    The city inside the walls is a place of endless wonders to behold. Huge stretches of farmland supply its many inhabitants and basars with foodstuff and trade goods. Golden rooftops gleam in the sunlight while countless lights illuminate the city during night. It is said that Sun´s eye never truly sleeps and as long as you can buy something you will find it in the sprawling markets that dot the metropolis.
    All this is made possible by the eternity springs, ancient devices from the age of myth that provide an endless supply of water to the people of Sun´s eye.

    Now in the beginning of the age of Sigmar more people travel to Sun´s eye than ever. Free people, Kharadron Overlords and Stormcast Eternals alike gather inside its walls for trade and protection and the city thrives like never before. Yet dark omens gather. One of the eternity springs seems to cease to work and a new plague starts spreading in the populace. Meanwhile a strange forest appeared at the edge of the desert and reports of a rider on the back of a giant snail get more frequent by the day.

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  21. The Hallowed Eye: A slow moving Kharadron mountain city that traverses the skies via aether technology. It's a ramshackle floating rock, but she's our home. She's home to several hundred Kharadron and Dispossessed, the occasional Doomseeker passes through on some sordid quest. We do call to port at a number of ground based cities that dot the realms. The Duardin of this rock are joined by what few Seraphon survived the removal of their ore-laden mountain peak. They dwelled within the heart of the mountain when we moved to stake our claim. Plucked from their home, they now share a loose alliance built on necessity. As you can see, we've built structures into the stone, and iron terraces reach into the sky. Everything is tied to the aether balloons that keep the rock afloat. Ain't much room to walk, aside from the Trade Causeway. Below... well, the Seraphon maintain what's left of their caves, and they fight well enough when there is call to. They fellow the bellow of High Admiral B.B. Barrakkuss just us we Duardin do. A major part of our burgeoning military complex is Deadeye's Grundstock Academy, headed by renowned marksman Gun Admiral Grakk Deadeye himself.

    Not that everything's been aether gold and ale since we got this rock into the air. We are under constant and relentless attack by Grot pirates. They get their jollies by droppin Orruk raiding boys on our heads. Urban fights are a fact of life here, deadly and without notice. To make matters worse, our Seraphon allies have recently succumbed to some mysterious scale rot, as if they'd minded the aether for centuries.

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  22. Mystport
    The floating town of Mystport is famed for it's Gunnery School, drawing applications from not just Duardin, but many of the forces of Order, and even a few others, though it is rare for anyone from any of the other Grand Alliances to be allowed enrollment. When they are it is generally due to a wealthy family making massive donations; the clan of Barak-Orirrak is as greedy as the next Kharadron clan, and it’s no surprise that for sufficient remuneration, and proper insurance almost anyone will be allowed to enroll.

    Nigh on a decade ago a Realmgate opened in the vaults below the town, however it quickly became apparent that on the other side of the gate was only despair; no expeditions returned, and shortly after the last one, Daemons began to start coming through. After a hard fought battle that raged throughout the vaults and catacombs the Daemons were defeated and the Endrinriggers managed to build a containment vessel around the gate, leaving the gate quiescent for the most part. It still hums and sings a miasmic tune which plagues the dreams of the residents of Mystport. Many civilians have fled, but those who’ve stayed profit greatly.

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  23. Candle Pillar
    Ulgu
    City
    Aelves
    Underground

    In Ulgu the Realm of Shadow there lies a blasted wasteland known as the Torn Plain. Great rents scar its blackened surface, rents that would terrify any normal observer not because their depths are hidden in darkness, but because they are not. For you see, the surface of the Torn Plain is little more than a hundred feet thick. The Plain rests above an enormous spherical cavern, so gigantic it defies easy comprehension. If one were to peer into any of those great lacerations in the earth, if one were to behold the vast emptiness lit by the glow of the magma lake at its base, one would realise just how precarious the nature of the solid ground upon which they stood really was. But it wasn't always so.

    At the very centre of the Torn Plain can be found the city that is now known as Candle Pillar. Once it was glorious, once its wealth and glory made it shine like a glinting jewel in the gloom of Ulgu, a haven, a safe port in a sea of darkness. Though its original name may now be lost, it is thought that "Pillar", its most obviously apt description, may have always formed part of its title. Candle Pillar is a magnificent city on the surface, beautiful golden spires compete with one another to be the grandest, silver coated statues loom over the populace untouchable in their magnificence, even the guard towers that dot the circular walls are studded with precious stones that refract the meagre light of Ulgu. That glory is dimmed now, overshadowed by a growing cancer at its core, a core that lies deep below the surface of the Torn Plain.

    When it was founded, the Aelven designers of Candle Pillar dug straight down through the surface, creating an underground pillar that reached for miles straight down. Aelves that live within the Realm of Shadow are less reluctant than much of their kin to dwell below the ground as why would one object to leaving the light of a sun they never see? The reason behind the construction was so that the Aelves could mine the precious metals and minerals that were found in great abundance all around the pillar, eventually hollowing out the earth in an expanding sphere around that central core.

    Wealth flooded into the city, and for a time Candle Pillar thrived. Aelves poured into it from all corners of Ulgu, filling every corner of the pillar and carving lives for themselves beneath the surface. Generations passed as the Aelves continued to gather wealth, and as they dug through the surrounding rock the cavern grew ever larger. All thought of safety vanished with the promise of ever increasing wealth, so much so that over many years they mined almost all the way to the surface itself in every direction radiating out from the central pillar. The land above blackened and died, even splitting apart in its death throes so that the aboveground portion of Candle Pillar became surrounded by a great circle of wasteland now known as the Torn Plain.

    The city nearly faced utter catastrophe as the Aelves continued to dig downwards in their search for new veins. One infamous expedition dug too deep, releasing a flood of magma that burst through into the enormous chamber below the earth. More than a dozen of the deepest levels in the central pillar were quickly overwhelmed by the rising tide of molten rock, absolute panic ensuing as Aelves ascended Candle Pillar in their tens of thousands seeking escape. At the end of the crisis, the bottom of the cavern was completely submerged in a pool of lava making further exploration downwards an impossibility. Bridges of stone crisscrossed the lake allowing some access to the caverns outer edges, though it was now a far more perilous journey.

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    Replies
    1. The migration of so many Aelves to the city, the enormous wealth garnered by those who were quickest to arrive, and the ever diminishing returns as the great cavern expanded has resulted in a bizarre hierarchy in the city. At its lowest depths the citizens of Candle pillar live a wretched existence. Families of Aelves who thought to start a new life with the promise of great wealth now find themselves living in squalor, attempting to eke out a perilous existence traversing the lower depths, crossing the lava lake in pitiless expeditions to the cavern's edge. Many die on the journey, sometimes entire expeditions are lost without a trace. Who knows what kind of monsters lurk in the depths awaiting those desperate enough to risk everything for the smallest hope of success. Better they risk a terrible fate in the depths than remain in the lowest levels of the central pillar for any length of time, inhabited as they are by the scavengers, the thieves and murderous gangs that stalk the streets.

      Those Aelves fortunate enough to find success will always migrate up the pillar as soon as they possibly can. For each level that they rise, their lives, living conditions and the very society that they live within improves. There are hundreds of levels in Candle Pillar, and the wealthiest always rise to the top. Perhaps one day some might even rise to the very surface itself, a concept that for some of the oldest family lines at the bottom of the pillar is practically mythological at this point. Sometimes though, every once in a while, an Aelf might glance up towards the top of the cavern far above, they might just catch the barest glimpse of a star through the rents in the Torn Plain, and they might just dare to dream of a future up there.

      If they could rise so high, if they could reach the upper levels of Candle pillar, if they could perhaps somehow even reach the surface, they might regret ever having made the journey. For you see, the wealthiest have made their abode here, and have done so for generations in many cases. Such vast wealth, such limitless possibilities as it brings, and such little need to work or struggle has created its own brand of damnation. Generations of idle rich now lounge in golden palaces, seeking more and more degraded stimulations. On the surface the city still works, still appears to operate successfully but this is nothing more than facsimile. Murder cults, arenas of death and the worship of a dark god lurks behind every closed door. For the unwary, for the unwise, life is no less tenuous than it is for those at the opposite end of the pillar.

      Only the middle levels of Candle Pillar have found a measure of calm, a functioning and relatively stable society. Not so wealthy that they can afford to indulge in all kinds of decadence, yet not so poor that life is a constant danger, the people of the middle levels strive for the most part only to live with one another in peace. But there are always plenty whose ambition outweighs their good sense, or those who have fought and clawed their way from below and are not about to stop now. Peace and security are never guarantees no matter where you live in Candle Pillar.

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    2. As time continues to pass in the Realm of Shadow the existence of Candle Pillar becomes ever more precarious. The Torn Plain crumbles more and more every day, the routes to the city becoming ever more treacherous. Few are the travellers willing to make the journey to the city, and fewer still those prepared to risk leaving it. Many of the city's inhabitants see themselves as utterly trapped, despairing and desperate, determined only to take what little reward they can for themselves in the short time remaining.

      Candle Pillar burns, it burns in its depths and it burns at its heights. Those stuck in the levels between watch the encroaching destruction, they see their doom approaching closer every day, and know that they are damned. One day soon, the flames at both ends of Candle Pillar will meet and on that day the shining city, the jewel of Ulgu, will be extinguished forever.

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  24. Deep within the Malignant Ribcage in Shyish, lies a hamlet hidden from the gaze of Nagash. No tales of glory have ever been recorded of the malnourished humans who populate this blighted Free City, and their only notable feature is a treasure trove of weaponry sealed behind elaborately carved ivory doors. Inhabitants of the city whisper that the artefacts within are cursed, while others say they originate from the world-that-was.

    Standing in front of the doors of the Great Armoury, a disheveled warrior addresses the discontent crowd gathered before him.

    “For too long have we been cowering from the Barrow Wights & their accursed Legions. Too long has our number dwindled only to be raised to their rotting banners. Look at other Free Cities, look at the Greywater Fastness, look at the Hallowheart. Ask yourself, are we really free?

    A ripple of anger surges through the throng, with some banging their rusted swords against rickety shields.

    “The Council have sealed what we need behind these doors, sealed the very salvation we deserve! The time has come for us to take arms, proper weaponry that works against such unholy foe, the time to open the doors to the Great Armoury!”

    He lifts the decapitated head of the City Guard’s Captain and raises his voice to a booming crescendo.

    “Freedom, from the hands of our skeletal oppressors!”


    -The Fate of Far-Guild, as extracted from a spirit’s memory-

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  25. A little man wrapped in bloody rags began to pray...

    "Beyond the mists of the realm of Ulgu, lies the antic city of "Sun's eye"
    or "Taiyou no me" in my language...

    My city, once a crossroads metropolis of a far, unknown world, is only a bunch of
    ruins now... Men of valor who have put so much honnor and so many effort to build
    and defend it a long time ago are now almost all dead...

    Too many years ago, merchants came from all the Far East to trade fine-arts pieces
    high-priced silk, master-crafted blades like cathayan longswords, and even sometimes
    alchemical potions or spices from the arabian city Copher...

    The city known such a development that our beloved emperor came to live here, building a
    large castle in the temple district.
    Men from all the island came to participate at swordfighting tournament, each year,
    to receive, by the hands of the emperor, a divine Katana crafted by Masamune...

    The Blessed by the gods city lit up the Far East by its elegance and military power.
    But the self-sufficiency in which our country lived did not secure us from the
    crawling chaos. Our best warriors, the pride of our empire, were decimated
    by the Brayherd hordes of the one you name " the blood god"

    Now the few of us who have survived face a new threat...

    While we were rebuilding our city, hundreds of skavens surrounded us,
    carrying our weapons and barely trying to act like us.


    We now defend the remaining stones of our once emperor's castle, containing one of the best armoury of the world that was, and many
    relics of my people...

    I beg the chosen warriors of the god-king to come and liberate the last samurai we are, from
    the grip of the Eshin clan, to give us back our lost honor ...
    With the help of the scourge privateers, they can find a path that will lead them to my island ...

    Under a large dying ginkgo tree, the little man fell to the ground, releasing from his hand what seems to be a little shadeglass idol of
    "Raijin", his own god of Thunder.

    Muramasa Peony@gmx.fr

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  26. MystHallow, the Lost Outpost

    Drifting silently between the moons above and the Dreaming Plains of Hysh below… a broken monolith from times far past floats among the mists. Its original purpose lost in the pages of ancient tomes gathering dust in some distant, forgotten library.

    Forever cursed to be perpetually expunged from memories, upon it now rests the vacant husk of a retired watchpost. Intentioned to survey activity of the nearest realmgate, but in recent years a waypoint for travelers. In its place now rests a graveyard punctuated with the gruesome remnants of a plague that suddenly swept the residing Seraphon and Aelves.

    Now the watchpost sits still, lit by pale moonlight. If one were to walk the streets they would see, as if scripted unto the streets with a bloody quill, vignettes of the moment bodies became corrupted and twisted into beasts beyond even Tzeentch’s imagination, and the speckled the aftermath of those immune to the mysterious plague’s taint clashing with the beasts as they attempted to flee.

    A few survivors, Humans mostly but a handful of Aelves that did not turn, now hide within the unexplored labyrinths deep inside the ancient structure below the abandoned watch post. They scavenge the white marble corridors below by the dim light of arcane origin for meager sustenance and supplies as they are hunted relentlessly by the fallen shadows of their former allies. They can only pray that when deliverance from the mortal realms is brought, their suffering is swift…

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  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  28. Awesome competition guys. I had a bit of free time this week so I painted up a couple of models to go with my entry, so I'm cutting it pretty close to the wire for time. Hope you enjoy!


    The Red Aelves of Middenmyst Spyre

    Striding across the Greywater Desolation, the walking fortress of Middemyst Spire is a familiar, if not always welcome site to the local greenskin tribes, who have come to treat the Middenmyst and it's unwanted (and frankly unorruky) eruptions of aelven arrows as simply another natural problem, like earthquakes, gargant migrations and the weather.

    Fabricated by the combined efforts of the Eldritch Council and the engineer-architects of Greywater Fastness shortly after the founding of the war for the Seeds of Hope in Ghyran, Middenmyst Spire is composed of a single mighty white pillar-tower, connected to several smaller buttresses by glass walkways, mounted atop a colossal craggy deposit of Jade realmstone, the concentrated essence of pure magic native to Gyhran. Fixed the sides of Middenmyst's realmstone base and animated by its arcane vitality are a pair of gargantuan steel-forged avian legs; raking huge rents in the earth beneath the fortress with their edged talons as they stride the Greywater Desoltation and the surrounding area with unmatched speed, strategically culling the ever repopulating tribes of marauding orruks that have infested the area in the aftermath of the siege of Greywater Fastness by Archaon's forces years before.

    Middenmyst is populated by the Yrive Elthari, a garrison of Swifthawk Agents, known to the common populace of the Seeds of Hope as the Red Aelves, so named for their distinctive red uniforms. As with many other Swifthawk formations the Yrive Elthari are drawn from aelves of many different kindreds and walks of life; all of them the former inhabitants of, or descended from the aelven population of Silver Fyrd, one of the first Free Cities founded on the shores the Realm of Life during Sigmar's reconquest, and burnt to the ground by the numberless hordes the notorious grot warlord Swolesnik during the Season of War. Vowing to forever enact vengeance on all orruks and grots, the Yrive Elthari now stalk the Seeds of Hope launching raid after raid on the greenskin tribes of Ghyran, to both keep their vile population in check, ensuring Silver Fyrd's fate will never again befall another Free City, and it the hopes that they will one day draw out Swolesnik himself and enact a furious, bloody vengance on the warlord.


    I rolled: Mobile City, Watchpost, inhabited by Aelves, Orruk Raids, Nexus of Magical Power


    Here are a couple of pictures of the two dudes I painted up. Thanks for the inspiration to get on with painting the rest of my Swifthawks!
    https://i.imgur.com/bzbVOcA.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/GzBuHMs.jpg

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  29. The Shade Keep of Aqshy rose high above the city bearing its name. Sheer black walls climbed seamlessly from the coarse volcanic tundra, as though carved from the very rock itself. Its windowless heights could be seen from as far North as Port Zan-Tromm, sprawled along the Sulphur Sounds, to the myriad mining towns in the Shimmering Hills to the South, and from all the houses, inns, mansions, gambling dens, fighting pits and brothels in between.

    When the Old World fell, torn asunder and its people scattered, a company of disinherited Duardin made their way to Shade Keep, following tails of treasure in the adjacent hills. They found the Shade Keep and a small, squalid town at its base, barely scraping an existence out of the dry rock. Not only that though, they discovered that the stories were true. Quickly they put their expertise and craftsmanship to work, and, drafting the townsfolk to work for them, dug mines and stripped the Southern hills clean. Before many years had passed, the Duardin had wealth immeasurable, and a great city arose, drawing many folks across the Realms willing to brave inhospitable Aqshy for a chance of riches.

    Prosperity draws the avaricious, and it didn’t take long for Aelven Corsairs to commence raiding along the Northern port towns. On their galvanised ships they drifted in from the acid seas, plundering merchant ships and pillaging the coastal provinces. The craggy fjords of the Sulphur Sounds hid their fleets, enabling them to ransack at will and vanish with ease. Eventually they established a foothold from which the Duardin overlords, long of beard and wide of belly after years of opulence and increasing decadence, seemed unable to shift.

    Yet the fastness of Shade Keep forever cast its shadow over the rambling city it named. Like a giant gravestone it loomed over everything nigh. No visible entrance to this great edifice can be seen on any of its four, almost vertical walls, though many have tried to gain entry. Visiting mages and seers studied the structure, for it can only have been constructed from the magical arts. Many felt the sensation of a hollow emptiness emanating from it, as though a vast void lay at its centre. They tried sorcerous incantations and alchemical devices to pierce its faultless walls, all to no avail. The Duardin devoted much of their expertise in digging rock to prising open the tower, but no pickaxe would chip it, no hammer could mark it. They had grown covetous, and were convinced it was a colossal vault, just waiting to be penetrated. Sulphurous blasting powder was used in an attempt to crack its exterior, but that only demolished the surrounding scree, revealing yet deeper foundations plunging into the bedrock.

    Rumours abound as to who created the great keep, and for what purpose. Many superstitious folk believe it to be a tomb of some dark lord, and wished everyone would stop trying to open it. Some even believe it is a remnant still standing from the breaking of the World That Was. Irrespectively, the great sprawling city of Shadekeep continues to flourish in its ominous shadow.

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  30. Hi all, the competition is now closed and the winner will be announced in a post on Saturday 21st October. Thank you all for your entries.

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