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High Elf Domains World Map 6th Edition illustration

The Gates of Calith are two opposing peninsulas that form the southernmost point of the Hinterlands of Khuresh (referred in a few maps, for some reason, as Cathay[2a] or Oriental Cathay[1a]) and the northernmost region of the Southern Wastes of Chaos. They are separated by a narrow sea strait that connects the Sea of Dread with the Far Sea.[1a][4a]

On both shores, the High Elves are known to have raised fortified outposts at the height of their seafaring power.[1a][4a]

Sea Elf traders use these outposts as staging points to reach the Lost Isles of Elithis in the Far Sea and then cross the ocean towards the Turtle Isles on the west coast of Lustria, or to sail eastwards from there to the other Elven outposts in the Sea of Dread - the Tower of the Sun, the Tower of Stars, Tor Elasor and the Fortress of Dawn.[2a]

Battle at the Gates of Calith

Years after Grey Seer Thanquol's failed invasion of Nuln, the Skaven Council of Thirteen decided, at the counsel of Lord Sneek, Nightlord of Clan Eshin, to attack the High Elf fortress on the northern end of the Gates of Calith. This was considered to be the best point to start tackling the Elves' potential threat to the Under-Empire, as it was far from their power base.[3a]

No less than seven Warlord Clans and a new fleet were put under the command of Grey Seer Lurkwoal to attack the outpost from both land and sea. The High Elf garrison were totally surprised, but they were highly trained warriors, well-used to the lightning raids of the Dark Elves.[3a] It is, in fact, a matter of some pride for the Elves garrisoning the Gates of Calith that they have thus far maintained more than ninety years of continuous service.[5a] Their fleet, not waiting to be blockaded and besieged, sailed out from under arched gates to meet the foe upon the seas.[3a]

The fortress walls were breached and through these gaps Lurkwoal ordered his Hell-Pit Abominations. The lurching horrors swept the Elves aside with mighty fists and crushed many more underneath their formidable bulk. Despite the hail of arrows that rained from the battlements, thousands of Clanrat warriors followed through the gaping holes. There they were pitted against the steel-eyed martial prowess of the Elves. Few creatures can rival a Skaven for speed, but the Elves were not found wanting. Locking shields, a thin white line of warriors advanced to hold the swarming Skaven from the final gates guarding the innermost fortress. It was then that disaster struck the verminous host.[3a]

The Elf fleet, having sunk the entirety of its ramshackle adversary, returned to pour broadsides of boltfire into the massing Skaven. The last Abomination fell twitching spasmodically to the ground. The Skaven, so close to a victorious feast, instead began to melt away, wavering and breaking from the storm of bolts and arrows piercing their ranks. The resolute Elven Spearmen charged and Grey Seer Lurkwoal only escaped thanks to the timely resurrection of a Hell-Pit Abomination, which staggered back up, roared with a thousand voices, and crashed into the rear of the High Elves. Only a trail of splintered gear and dead was left behind.[3a]

Although the message was broken up by static interference, Lurkwoal reported by Farsqueaker his 'near success' to the disappointed Council before beginning the long trek home to Skavenblight.[3a]

Later, in 2520 IC, High Mage Torinubar, Mage Lord of the Gates of Calith, was mysteriously slain, with none of the typical signs of Dark Elf outrages.[3b]

Sources

  • 1: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (6th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 49
  • 2: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (7th Edition)
    • 2a: pg. 13
  • 3: Warhammer Armies: Skaven (7th Edition)
    • 3a: pp. 28-29
    • 3b: pg. 31
  • 4: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (8th Edition)
    • 4a: pg. 8
  • 5: White Dwarf #370 (UK Edition)
    • 5a: pg. 22

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