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Warhammer Saphery

No sunlight warms the Finuval Plain of Saphery. Though normally it would be spared harsh winters, and bathe in balmy summers due to residing within the Inner Kingdoms, a shadow seems to have passed over the plain where the Asur fought against the Witch King. Outwardly, the plain resembles the flatlands of Ellyrion or the rest of Saphery, but there is a distinct chill in the air, the memories of lives lost reaching from the past to touch the present.[1a]

The slaughter of that day, when the Battle of Finuval Plain was fought, still resonates across the bleak moor, nature and history combining to create a melancholy mood that drives most right-thinking people to seek other places to dwell in. Civilisation has chosen not to take root here, save for wisps of smoke from the occasional village huddled in the twisting trails of sharply rising hills or upon the high cliffs of the coastline.[1a]

The Finuval Plain stretches out in an endless vista of withered heath and broken moorland. There is no hiding in this place, and all one can hope to do is cross the ancient battlefield as quickly as possible, though any pursuer would no doubt be just as discomforted by the melancholy that seeps from every square mile of the plain. Yet, though apparently deserted, there are those who still travel here, as one will spot the hoofprints and wheel ruts of caravans or wagons. One will also notice that, despite the debris battle, no bones can be found, for the bodies of the dead Asur were gathered, and the bodies of the Druchii were burned.[1a]

The Crags

From the entangling forest leading in the direction of the White Tower of Hoeth, a path curls around rounded hills smoothed by eons of wind and water. Clouds race across the barren hillsides, their shadows swathing vast areas of the plain in darkness before moving on. The route narrows as the ground drops into the Finuval Plain, becoming a long tight valley flanked by massive crags that loom overhead like grim sentinels. Down through three squat peaks separated by rocky ravines, through water dancing dancing over stones as it seeks the quickest way down via impromptu waterfalls. A few hardy trees cling to the streambeds, under cliffs or any other place vaguely protected from the biting wind of the plain. The long shadows of the ravine can drain the body and spirit of warmth, till at last the rocky shingle of said-ravine gives way as the ground begins to even out and lead onto the plain itself.[1a]

Barrow Mounds

At the centre of the battlefield exists a bare, rounded hillock. A collection of barrow mounds have been raised along the circumference of its base, each topped by a tapering menhir carved with spiraling runic patterns. Fashioned by Elves with grace and symmetry, these mausoleums were built in ages past. Darkness framed by marble pilasters and lintels lead inside, though the echoes of the dead are strong here, and they jealously guard their final resting places. From a gracefully arched entrance, a cold wind may gust from within like a sigh.[1a]

Those seeking rest and shelter from the wind may be tempted to sleep in the space between mausoleums, perhaps finding a path of dry, flat earth to sleep upon, despite a low mist hugging the ground. Awakening, such a traveller will find themselves projected outside their sleeping form, the mist thicker than it was initially. But this is no ordinary mist. The ghosts of armoured Elven warriors limned in silver march around the hillock in a grim procession. The traveller's own projection also emanates with such spectral light. As time goes by, the procession grows ever larger, an endless tide of sentinels marching from the arched entrances of the barrows.[1a]

If one looks upon the hillock now, they may see a shadow where none should be. A sliver of darkness against the moon. Though no more solid than smoke and memory, the black imprint of Malekith upon the memory of the dead rages against at its captivity, oblivious to travellers as it stands surrounded by the whirling sea of ghosts.[1a]

This was the hillock upon which Malekith had stood when Teclis banished him from Ulthuan, and though the dreamer will eventually wake come morning, the image of the Witch King will burn in their memory until they travel onward.[1b]

Source

  • 1: Defenders of Ulthuan by Graham McNeill
    • 1a: Chapter 13
    • 1b: Chapter 14

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