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Even though most places in the Chaos Wastes seem not to be fixed to any one location, the Drifting Castle is truly uprooted and mobile. The Drifting Castle is a curious place, held aloft in the sky by a floating berg of blackened stone. A massive, mighty fortress, it floats along, at home amidst the clouds. Its outer walls are thick and seemingly impregnable, designed to fend off almost any size of army. Towers and manors of stunning size and craftsmanship loom high into the sky, growing taller as they get closer to the middle of the city. A fortress that dwarfs any citadel in the Old World dominates the tallest portion of the Drifting Castle.

Truly a city of this size could hold untold tens of thousands of people. And yet, despite its size and magnificence, the Drifting Castle is devoid of life. No soldiers line its walls. No merchants hawk their wares in the streets. No nobles rule from the gilded throne-room. The Drifting Castle was seemingly created by some indeterminate power, and then abandoned, forever floating about the Chaos Wastes with no real purpose. It's unknown whether the Drifting Castle ever had a population to speak of, and the streets, complete and lined with shops and homes, show no signs of activity.

Buildings contain the goods and trappings of a thriving city, but everything is neatly lined up and tidy, as if never used. A thin dust covers every surface, and the signs of a gentle decay can be seen in the walls and all objects. The few trees within the city continually shed dead leaves, though none seem to ever lose them all. Tattered banners, bearing the herald of some unknown and forgotten house or people, flap limply in the lonely wind that provides the only sound in the empty streets and halls.

Getting up to the Drifting Castle is quite a task. There are no roads, ropes, ladders, or stairs to its main gate, which sits several-hundred feet up in the air. The only way to reach the Castle is by flying, either through magical means, or by a mount capable of flight. Interestingly, despite the formidable walls and fortification, the gates into the Castle are all wide open, so anyone that can actually reach the walls of the Drifting City can do so unmolested.

On the surface, the Drifting Castle appears to be a looter's paradise, as everything sits intact, and there are no guards to prevent theft. Indeed, the shops and homes of the Drifting Castle are filled with goods of all kinds—weapons, armour, works of art, and other valuables. Anyone can fill up sacks full of loot without problem. However, anything taken from the Drifting Castle begins to rust, corrode, or disintegrate once it leaves the confines of the floating rock. Over the course of a few days, goods from the Drifting Castle become completely unusable, and eventually turn to dust. Even stranger, anyone that actually returns back to the Drifting Castle discovers the same destroyed objects returned, seemingly untouched, in their original location. The dust remains, however, and is prized by Magisters for its destructive capabilities. If used as an ingredient for a spell that deals damage in any way, the Dust of the Drifting Castle empowers it immensely.

Scholars and Magisters believe that the Drifting Castle is merely a symbol of lost hopes, abandoned plans, utter loneliness, and the folly of building grand things to last the ages. No one is certain which Ruinous Power is responsible for creating the Drifting Castle or what its ultimate purpose really is. It merely exists, standing as a testament to the uncaring Gods of Chaos and the hopelessness of life.

The Lonely Fear

Those that actually reach the Drifting Castle are soon filled with an overwhelming sense of loneliness and despair. The first hour they wander the vacant streets or explores the empty buildings, they already begin risking insanity, specifically the kind known as Lonely Fear. In essence, the victim find himself terrified of being alone and will do anything to remain in the presence of others. He never willingly goes anywhere by himself and even insists that someone stay close by while he sleeps. Should he ever find himself out of sight of another person, even for a minute, he becomes more likely to run about in a blind panic, trying to find another living soul. If he's unable to find someone—if he is alone for an hour or more, he curls up in a ball and refuses to move or act. This continues until he spends at least an hour in the presence of other people.

Canon-conflict

In the RPG supplement, Tome of Corruption, the Drifting Castle is described as being in the Chaos Wastes. However, on the map of the Realm of Chaos, the Drifting Castle can be seen in the rightmost side. It is unclear if this means that the Drifting Castle moves between realms, resides in both simultaneously, or if it was retconned to only the Realm of Chaos.

Source

  • Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Tome of Corruption (pg. 203-204).
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