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Har Ganeth, the City of Executioners ,City of Khaine or Fortress of Ice,[2a] is a cursed place dedicated to the worship of the Bloody-Handed God.

History

Har Ganeth was one of the later cities founded by the exiles from Nagarythe who arrived after the Sundering. Originally, it was founded in as one of the northernmost settlements by generals who had taken part in the Battle of the Blighted Isle and who feared reprisal from Malekith for their failure in III, 522 (-2201 IC).[3a] As the Cult of Khaine grew in prominence, Malekith sought to focus their wanton violence for his own gain. He proclaimed himself the mortal avatar of Khaine and offered the Hag Queens substantial gifts, including the city where his failed generals had hidden. It was not until III, 990 (-1745 IC) that Har Garneth became the prominent citadel of the Cult of Khaine.[3a]

A madness overtook the city long ago, when Cyrvan Thel, one of the  founders of the city, discovered the Vermillion Gate, which was believed to be a direct portal into the domain of the Lord of Murder.[2b] Since that discovery, a thirst for blood and flesh that ever since has only been kept in abeyance by some of the strictest laws in all Naggaroth. Only in Har Ganeth are acts such as murder, thievery and public debauchery considered to be crimes, a hard burden to bear for a people so steeped in thoughtless depravity. Worse, under Har Ganeth law there is but a single penalty for infraction; the transgressor is led in chains to the summit of the highest sacrificial pyramid and beheaded — there can only be one punishment in Khaine's chosen city. Only the foolish or the clever are lawbreakers in Har Ganeth, and it is not always possible to tell the two apart until the executioner's blade sweeps down — the truly clever have made an elegant escape long before this point.[1a]

This situation certainly does not mean that internecine rivalry is less prevalent in Har Ganeth than in other cities — it is merely conducted in a different manner. The Dreadlords long ago learnt that commissioning a murder is as likely to end in their death as it is that of the victim. Therefore they concentrate upon tricking rivals into acts of law-breaking that can only be answered by the executioner's blade. Such plots are seldom anything other than subtle, and they can take years to finally reach fruition. Har Ganeth is a den of shadow politics like no other, where every request or concession is merely a piece in a wider game of disgrace and death.[1a]

There is one being in all of Har Ganeth who is above its many laws. Crone Hellebron has ruled the city almost since its founding and sees no reason to obey her own dictates. Whilst she invites petitions from those who would purchase a portion of her immunity — for suitable favours, naturally — such requests are few and far between. It takes a scoundrel of a particularly bold or desperate sort of bare-facedly admit lawbreaking intent to she who is the supreme enforcer.[1a]

Only on Death Night — an event of bloody excess in Khaine's glorious name — is Har Ganeth's order thrown completely to the winds. Elsewhere in Naggaroth, Death Night is celebrated almost exclusively by Witch Elves, and other Dark Elves do all that they can to avoid being offered up as sacrifice to the Lord of Murder. In Har Ganeth, however, everyone participates in the madness of Death Night; it is the one brief interlude in which a year's worth of pent-up wickedness is allowed free rein. The great gates of the city are sealed, slaves and prisoners are set loose in the streets and the very air crackles with anticipation. As the moon rises, madness descends. Wine and blood flow like water through the city, wild screams split the night and half-eaten corpses clog the gutters.[1a]

Witch Elves dance naked around the bodies of the slain, flagstones grow slippery with spilled entrails, and everywhere, stupedifed Elves lie entwined with one another atop the gore-drenched dead. Only as dawn rises, and a great brass gong rings out, does the debauchery cease. As the bleary-eyed survivors wearily drag themselves from the streets, the gates of Hellebron's palace open and her elite guard sweep into the charnel madness searching for Elves too sated to escape. These they drag to Hellbron's chambers, and the great brass cauldron therein. Whilst other Hag Queens choose to bathe in the gore of maidens and innocents, the Blood Queen of Har Ganeth favours only the blood which is spiced with the corrupt insanity of Death Night.[1a]

Source

  • 1 Warhammer Armies: Dark Elves (8th Edition)
    • 1a -- pg. 11
  • 2: Malus Darkblade Chronicle: Warpsword (Novel) by Dan Abnett & Mike Lee
    • 2a: Chapter Two: Eye of Brass
    • 2b: Chapter Nine: Citadel of Bone
  • 3: Warhammer Armies: Dark Elves (7th Edition)
    • 3a: pg. 28

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