The Gates of Forge and Flame

As we march into the final week before Animosity I, campaign team NEO Peter Charles has revisited and expanded upon @WarbossKurgan‘s location descriptions- giving you plenty of sandbox to play in this coming weekend. We’ll be posting them a few at a time over the next several days in the run up to the campaign, so be sure to check back…

Grung Esik, “Grungni’s Threshold”

Part aqueduct, part dam, part fortress, Grungni’s Threshold has stood sentinel over the upriver entrance to Amasya since the Age of Myth. The whole structure is imposing and beautiful in the way only Duardin construction can be- and it bears not the mark of any beardling craftsman, but the God of the Forge himself, for only a god would dare attempt to harness the Ur-River for mortal ends.

The dam itself is a seamless bulwark of unyielding rock, topped with a broad stone causeway many miles in length- wide enough that an army could march along it, as some in earlier times have. On both sides it is lined with the proud, unsmiling figures of a thousand revered ancestors, and some whisper that these were meant as more than sentinels. Either end of the dam is guarded by a gatehouse built in the shape of a snarling griffon, which could be opened or closed in time of need to keep unwanted guests off of- or on- the causeway.

The dam has been assailed before, and doubtless will again. While there were Duardin or Men or Aelves to defend it, it was never breached- so cunning were the defenses built into its mechanisms and depths, it could and did withstand the wrath of many great and fell beasts. Abandoned, though, and with its sluice gates partway open, it was infiltrated during the centuries of the Age of Chaos- not by any monster, but by riverine Troggoths, many of whom have now built their foul nests in its hallowed halls. If they could be cleared out and the defenses readied, it would once again be an impenetrable bulwark.

The mechanism to control the sluice gates is lost somewhere in the heart of the great works adjacent to the dam itself, into which a portion of the Ur-River is still diverted. If there were people left with the knowledge to operate it, the roaring waters could still be put to use in a hundred marvelous and terrible ways. Sadly (or perhaps fortunately) the Troggoths care nothing for the cunning mechanisms and industries that relied upon the torrent, and thus the river flows unimpeded and the devices sit dry and unused. Future occupants may have different plans.

 

Yol Grimnir, “Grimnir’s Road”

Just as its pair upriver, this combination highway, mustering ground and fortress defends the downstream approach to Amasya. Beautiful only in its functionality, in better days Yol Grimnir served to maintain Azyrheim’s control over the city, serving as a gateway by which taxes could be levied and trade routes kept open. At the dawn of the Age of Chaos, it rediscovered its role as a strong point, and served to defend Amasya until the last day. Now it stands deserted, but ready to be reclaimed by whoever wins their dominance over the city.

Furthest upriver stands the Unforged Gate, gaining its name both because it was wrought out of solid rock and because of Grimnir’s love of his orange-haired children. A massive bulwark stretching almost one hundred feet wide and half again as high, clever Duardin engineering meant that the gate could nonetheless be closed at a moment’s notice by the defenders. Its gate is dented but stands proud, having defied more than one siege in its day- but it was last closed by Mithridates Alti when he marched forth, to deny the Sigmarites the chance to follow in his wake. It’s sometimes said that the angry ghosts of the denied still haunt the works, ready to avenge themselves on the servants of Nagash.

Just downstream lies the Grand Mustering Grounds, from whence the legions of the city would march to war. Here it was that Mithridates Alti gathered Nagash’s warriors before the battle at the Allpoints, and here it was that he looked upon his ancestors’ city one final time before it was hidden from his sight. The mustering grounds are paved with massive stone slabs, and though grass has begun to grow in the cracks the stones themselves remain unmoved, as resilient as the Duardin that laid them. In happier times those who devoted themselves to Grimnir above all others chose to be interred on the edge of the grounds, from whence they could oversee all the musters to come- as a last gesture of defiance to the enemies he hated, though, Mithridates tore many of the old tombs and monuments down. It’s said that the spirits of those whose graves were so disturbed still stand watch, awaiting the final muster where they can avenge themselves upon their foes.

The furthest part that could be said to lie within the city, the Great Hub marks the boundary between Amasya and the Realms beyond. From here, roads stretched to every point on the map, bringing in pilgrims and trade in equally vast measures. In gentler times, a massive market stood here, traders seeking to sell their wares before paying their dues at the Unforged Gate. Center to this was a statue of Tyrion, casting his blessing upon the wayfarers before the perilous journey ahead of them- the traders are long gone, though, and the statue became a casualty of Mithridates’ final wrath as he left his city behind. All that remains is rubble, scattered across the flagstones.

map_image

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s