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Author Topic: Su'kean - The Dominion of One Hundred Crowns (Twilight Glories Short Story)  (Read 92 times)

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Offline Myen'Tal

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Good morning, afternoon, evening, and night to everyone! Inspired by others who are creating their own lore for Age of Sigmar, I've decided to jump in and start creating my own. Here is the first portion, there'll likely be one or two more portions.

Realm of Magic: Hysh

Sub-Continent: Su’kean, The Dominion of One Hundred Crowns


The Sub-continent of Su’kean is a verdant jewel hidden behind the Veil of Splendor, a wall of illusionary magic that shields the lands from much of the endless legions of chaos. Wreathed in islands, the sub-continent is a great ring of land without a hollowed center. Favored by many of the rare varieties of aelves that had survived the world that was, a handful of small enclaves were built in the highest reaches of this lands gargantuan mountains.

In the Age of Myth, the Sylvaneth of Clan Mu’guraen took root in the fey woods of the south and built a verdant kingdom so grand in splendor that aelves from across realms naturally came to settle and bask in the wisdom of their many glories. Following the migration of aelves, entire Duradin Clans and human civilizations built their kingdoms in the surrounding lands, until nearly all of Su’kean was dominated with the glories of civilization.

In the Age of Chaos, Archaon dispatched the Four Great Despoilers, champions of Chaos Undivided, to tear down the newly established Dominion of One Hundred Crowns. At their command, millions of blood-thirsty raiders invaded Su’kean from every perceivable direction.

Tyrion and Teclis, the Aelven Gods of Light, countered the reaving hordes in a series of naval conflicts that saw entire warbands of the Everchosen sunken beneath the waves. After each success however, the Arch-Enemy’s forces only continued to swell. As the Hedonites of Slaanesh continued to drive their own invasions deeper into Hysh, Tyrion and Teclis were eventually forced to surrender Su’kean to its fate.

Yet, in the Dominion of One Hundred Crowns, defiance still blazed red hot.
Desperate for victory, but far from defeat, the Idoneth of the hidden Ondaric Enclaves invited the war leaders, counselors, and nobles of the major Aelven races to the Isle of Four Monarchs: The Sylvaneth, Daughters of Khaine, the Aelves of the Free Cities, and the Deepkin themselves.
After several months of strenuous negotiations, the Elder Alliance was formed.

On the battlefield, legions of the She-Who-Thirsts clashed upon mighty bulwarks of Sylvaneth warriors, the roots of their wyldwoods sprouting from the earth entangle, impale, and drag their deep beneath the bloodied soil. The Daughters of Khaine thrust themselves into the vulnerable points of the enemy like the fatal strike of a knife through the heart. The Idoneth of the Ondaric Enclaves struck from the skies themselves, cleaving the heads from many a writhing serpent that saw entire legions collapse in on themselves. Meanwhile, the Free Cities cosigned countless millions to sudden death with their magical and physical artillery bombardments and provided countless regiments to bolster the cities of the other races, save the Idoneth.

Such was the magnificence of their victories, that the Dark Gods themselves spat at them in spite, and cosigned the realm of Su’kean to several years of destruction by storm of dark magic. The armies of Order and Chaos alike were torn asunder, as was the land itself and the many glittering cities it housed. Millions of souls were stolen from the living and into the waiting clutches of the Dark Gods.

Within the span of a handful of years, the Dominion of One Hundred Crowns, had become a shadow of its former self, hollowed and decrepit in equal measure.

Then the skies shifted into the cobalt and brilliant white hues of great celestial storms and the
Stormcast Descended…

Hundreds of years have passed, but many of the Free Cities have been reestablished. The Aelven enclaves and their kingdoms have arisen from the ashes like the Phoenixes housed in their temples. The Stormcast, entranced by the splendor of this rebuilt kingdom, even as the last foe was routed and ran down from Undivided hordes, deigned to remain and swear fealty to the Dominion of One Hundred Crowns.

Geography: Rooted deep in the Southern hills and wyldwood forests of Southern Su’kean, the Sylvaneth lands of the Phoenix Kingdoms spread across entirety of the Shores of Solace from one end of Su’kean to the other. Mighty forested mountains dominate the landscape and eclipse windswept glades and arable valleys beneath their all-consuming shadows. Vast rivers cut between these gargantuan, forested mountains, where entire trade fleets can maneuver freely to deliver goods to and from Sylvaneth lands.

The further south one travels, the feyer and wilder these lands become, until nothing but the Autumn Veil, an endless stretch of Wyldwoods, covers everything until one meets the Enlightened Sea in the far South. Here, hidden wars are executed as the Sylvaneth constantly battle to curb the myriad evils that plague this forest.

Settled in the heart of Su’kean, countless Free Cities and Aelven enclaves have taken root in the Everblaze Basin. What lies here is a nigh impregnable bastion comprised of nearly every race within the Grand Alliance of Order. Thriving Republics, enlightened monarchies, and mercantile nations form what is known as the Everblaze Kingdoms, the soul and inner core of Su’kean itself.

Hidden Idoneth city-states in the eastern Evening Archipelago boast such numbers and splendor that many rival kingdoms have been forced to recognize the legitimacy of the recently formed Ondaric Enclaves. None dare venture here willingly, for while the Evening Archipelago is a place of serenity and beauty, the Idoneth have such an entrenched presence on these islands that little more than grand armies could persuade them to leave.

Windswept glades, pleasant forests, and granite mountains dominate the Isles of the eastern archipelagos. Once beautiful lands claimed by the Sylvaneth, the Clans that once dwelled here voluntarily surrendered their homes for the Ondaric Enclaves in the honor of the Elder Alliance during the Age of Chaos. While many of the life trees lie dormant on these islands, scores of lesser Idoneth enclaves and fortresses have been erected in the Quelled Sea that houses the islands, never too far from the shoreline.

In the Western regions of Su’kean, many of the Aelven races and more disparate elements of the Everblaze Basin set out to create their own kingdoms along the grand Kraken Straits. An arid region compared with the verdant lands of the rest of Su’kean, the Kraken Straits also proved nigh infinitely wealthy in precious minerals and oils. Over the course of several centuries, eight grand merchant cities were founded and prospering in this dangerous land.

Above the merchant city-states, the floating mountains of the Sky Peaks became the Headquarters and spiritual home of the Daughters of Khaine Ish’na Temple. These serenely beautiful lands in time became a reflection of the Ish’na Temples religious beliefs, who found solace in the serenity of death, in all of its forms. Interlinked by lesser realmgates, the Daughters of Khaine effortlessly raised a number of self-sustaining Grand Temples as their numbers continue to burgeon.

Notable Kingdoms:

Idoneth of the Ondaric Enclaves

Isle of Four Monarchs – Ruled from the seat of power at Thurannor, Theronhall, the Monsoon of Mourning, guides the Ondaric Enclaves with a parental hand toward unity and prosperity.

The Evening Archipelago – An island chain dotted with great Idoneth fortresses hidden just beneath the shores of these enigmatic islands.

Mathlann’s Vigil
– A great island where many councils of the Ondaric gather to discuss the future of the enclaves. Upon this island, diplomats and envoys from foreign kingdoms are oft invited in both times of war and peace to secure rare and invaluable trade and non-aggression pacts with the ferocious deepkin raiders.

Sylvaneth of the Mu’guraen Clan

Mt. of the Sapphire Star – A massive, forested mountain that rivals the valleys hidden beneath its shadow. Upon the exterior, scores of lesser enclaves cluster around the Trees of Life in an intricate network similar to the city-town-village structure of many of the other races. Hidden in the heart of the great hill, however, lies the Enclave of Silver Moon, hearth and home to the Mu’guraen. Countless thousands of soul pods are sown and grown in the heart of the hollowed mountain, ever bolstering the formidable might of the Silver Moon Houses.

Eyries of the Solstices – A great gate of living forestation crafted from Allarielle’s own hand; the Eyrie of the Solstices is famous for the Hysihan labyrinths entangled in the sprawling growths of the Sylvaneth. Aelven scholars from every race send their children to these labyrinths to learn more of the sylvaneth race and the other aelves that inhabit the Hyish realm. Furthermore, in times of warfare, the Sylvaneth have bolstered the Eyrie of Solstices with the grandest armies until she is all but impregnable, only ever breached during the age of Chaos, after an alliance of Slaanesh and Tzeenthian daemons split the mighty gate asunder with the opening of a great rift that consumed entirety of the Silverwood Lances, a force of sixty thousand sylvaneth that comprised all of Clan Runali, and countless youths of the Aelven race into the clutches of Tzeentch.

Eternal woods of the Autumnal – A great sprawl of awakened wyldwoods that stretch from one end of the Su’kean sub-continent and stretch further south across every inch of land until it meets the Enlightened Sea. Here, brave Sylvaneth constantly clash with myriad horrors and ancient enemies that seek a foothold in the lands of Clan Mu’guraen.

Entire Legions of Nurgle, including that of Thorax Gore-Eye and his one hundred thousand strong, the Fecund Flood, was shattered and hunted down to the last corrupted soul by swarming hordes of the Mu’guraen Spite-Revenant Outcasts. Here, the God-Seekers of Slaanesh had attempted to tread, but found their chariots and mounts entangled by the cunning of the living forests and dragged deep beneath the forest soil. Civilizations of Greenskins and Beasts of Chaos seem to thrive in this hostile land and their numbers must be constantly thinned lest they threaten inner Su’kean. A task best left to Outcast Queen Nashena, who rallies innumerable outcasts armies to beset her forces from all sides with constant warfare.

Daughters of Khaine – Temple of Ish’na

Blood Halls of the Hallowed Murder – Erected in the brief years of peace after the age of chaos, the Ish’na founded their temple at the height of the Sky Peaks. A series of floating mountains connected together by a chain of lesser realmgates, the tranquil serenity of these verdant lands has lost none of their beauty. For the Sisters of Hallowed Murder find solace in the tranquility of death, no matter its forms. Sweeping meadows and arable valleys tended by the slaves of the Doomfire Warlock caste intermingle with gushing rivers of crimson that flow ceaselessly from the Blood Halls.

The Kraken Straits – Once home to several Free Cities that prospered on the shores of the Kraken Straits, these Cities are free no longer. In the War of One Thousand Venomed Cuts, the Ish’na Temple succeeded in silently mass-poisoning the City of Amkalur through the aid of the scourge runners, who tainted the sources of the River Quel that ran through the city with countless tons of skaven engineered chemical weapons. Amkalur, the Morning Gate, surrendered before the Ish’na hordes on the eve of the following sunrise.

The Ish’na proclaimed themselves overlords of Amkalur and the Kraken Straits, and marched to war with their newfound vassals. Of the Aelven races that dwelled in Amkalur, enslavement dwindled the numbers of their male populaces, while many female youths were given over to bolster the Blood Halls numbers. Of the humans and duradin shackled to endure for their families, marched ahead of the main Ish’na forces before the walls of the remaining six Free Cities.

Whilist the legions of Amkalur waged war in several sieges, the Scourge Runners labored relentlessly to compromise the defenses of each city in tandem. The Ish’na utilized hidden subterranean caverns, hollowed passages, and abandoned mines to infiltrate the Kraken Straits and unleash havoc behind the walls of the Free Cities. For three years, the armies of Amkalur were ground down into dust and barely holding on to protect their own walls, which now became besieged in turn. With some measure of relief gained, the Free Cities fought to exterminate the Ish’na behind their walls.

Undeterred, the Ish’na called upon their allies in the Ondaric enclave, who valued the Ish’na Temple’s steady supply of souls too much to deny their request. In the final year of the War of One Thousand Venomed Cuts, Eidolons of Mathlann surged from the Kraken Straits and flooded entire city districts with the great tsunamis they hurled into their midst. Entire regiments and knightly orders perished beneath the debris-laden waves, alongside civilians without count. Phalanxes of Eels and Namarti, combined with the frenzied might of the Ish’na, hewed through whoever survived long enough to fight.

Millions of sacrifices and souls were stolen from the Kraken Straits’ Bastions of Order, and divided amongst the victorious Aelves. No living soul remained after the massacre, either well-having fled or having met one of the disastrous fates that awaited so many of their kinsmen.
The Daughters of Khaine rebuilt the Seven Cities as Several Temple Fortresses to serve as their own bastions of Order for Aelves who would call themselves allies of the Daughters of Khaine...

To Be Continued...
« Last Edit: September 6, 2019, 08:19:13 AM by Myen'Tal »
“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
― Glen Cook, The Black Company

Offline Myen'Tal

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Re: Su'kean - The Dominion of One Hundred Crowns
« Reply #1 on: September 6, 2019, 12:25:10 AM »
Twilight Glories
***Ondaric Enclaves Short Story***

Atannis the Radiant One soared above the panoply of battle, voltaic spear in hand, upon the back of his ferocious Fangmora Eel, Daithrun. The ethersea billowed at their backs, carrying them forth on a gale of magic that mimicked the very seas themselves. Keening cries from the Depth-Dwellers’ Shoal Phalanx pierced the horrific cacophony of warfare as Atannis lifted his mighty spear; the signal to descend upon the foe.

“Warriors of Ondaric,” Atannis’ shout rippled through the ethersea like a thunderclap. “Precious little is the time for words! Precious little is the time for eminent action! If we must perish in the clutches of our myriad foes, then let it be in the enclave’s defense! Charge, charge, and show them no merciful quarter!”

Too impatient to witness his orders followed, Atannis always preferred to lead by exemplary example. He spurred Daithrun into a spiraling descent that crashed into the thick of battle. A flurry of wicked knives lashed from out of the flying blood and choking dust toward him. Atannis rumbled a thunderous cry, his bio-voltaic spear exploding with blinding bolts of energy.

Blood and gore showered Atannis from the clutch of Witch Aelves slain from his mighty spear. Daithrun caught the scent of blood on the wind, then lashed and writhed with his ferocious maw. Wives of Khaine wisely pranced and danced around the great eel, but those too cumbersome found themselves crushed between Daithrun’s fangs before they could eke out a scream.

A shadow leapt from the blood-soaked earth, knives sweeping to cut Atannis’ heart in pieces. Several witches had already encircled him from every conceivable direction, edging nearer for the kill. From leagues in the distance, Atannis spied slithering mutants facing his direction as they formed ranks. They nocked their arrows and aimed to pierce Atannis’ noble heart.

For a brief moment, Atannis accepted that death had come far too soon…

Then the Akhelians of the Ondaric Enclave descended upon the Daughters of Khaine with the force of a hurricane. A hundred bolts from the bio-voltaic spears gouged through entire ranks of Witches. Deepsea beasts swept into the midst of the foe with scythed fins and gnashing teeth.
Volleys of heart-seeker arrows descended upon the Akhelians like rainfall. Mighty defenders of the Ondaric Enclave toppled from their mounts; their last breaths already drawn. Wicked glaives lanced out from the hordes of witch aelves to pierce the flesh of mighty sea beasts.

The maelstrom of battle raged around Atannis, too lightning paced for even him to keep track of. As casualties began to mount and collect on the volcanic slopes of the Crimson Peaks, he honed his mind upon those who stood before him. He caught a wretched Melusai in her death mask with a broad sweep of his shield. The glaive-wielding serpent reeled from the blow, only to slither around for a momentous lunge. Atannis proved a step ahead, already twisted in his saddle to thrust his spear through the mutant’s flesh.

Atannis struck true, his mighty spear crumpling the Melusai’s light breast plate with one thrust. The half-aelf eked out a blood-spitting groan before she slumped lifelessly onto the haft of his spear. Daithrun shrieked and plunged headlong into another throng of the prodding serpents. The spear tore free from the victim’s flesh without effort.

Sundia’s magenta speckled fangmora crossed over Daithrun’s head, her spear couched to punch through several melusai at once. Six she slayed without effort, before a heart-seeker pierced her back. Atannis roared defiantly and watched her fly off from her mount into the volcanic ash below.

Shadows circled overhead and cast barbed javelins from on high into the melee. The death rattle of many undersea beasts and shattered Akhelians fanned Atannis’ rage until it scolded him from within.

   “Valuir!” Atannis cried over the cries of thousands of others. “An oath of kinship you swore to me on the hour of our induction into the Akhelian Phalanx! Do you remain my most trusted!?”

   “My prince!” Valuir shouted from somewhere out of the chaos, shrouded with too many bodies. “Your command is my oath! I shall see it done!”

   No sooner than Valuir made his declaration, did scores of mounted Akhelains from the Ishlaen Guard ascend back into the skies to combat the winged harpies that harried the entire phalanx. Javelins fell upon them by the dozen, but the Ishlaens channeled their bio-voltaic energy into their shields with power enough to deflect blows. Circling formations of Khinerai detached from the greater aerial force, intent on intercepting the Ishlaens and hewing them down.

   A grim smile flashed on Atannis’ lips as he shifted his focus onto the battle raging before him.

   “Enough of this!” Atannis cried. “Qalphin, sound the horn! Fall back for another charge! Let the tide break their corpses upon rock!”

   “As you will, my prince!” A wicked spear flashed by Atannis’ helmed features. Qalphin thrust his spear into the face of a Melusai fresh from her triumph over Fendri, the bladed tip shattering teeth and tongue. With his other hand, Qalphin lifted a conch to his lips that produced a keening shrill as he blew into it.

Almost in unison, the Depth-Dwellers’ Shoal lifted themselves out of the melee and back into the skies for a rapid reform. In their hundreds, they left the Namarti to fight and die to the last breath, for none of them would be left standing by the time Atannis could reorganize another charge.

   “Damn them,” Yenli hawked and spat in the direction of the Khainite hordes below them. “Do their numbers not end? I’ve seen lesser charges break the backs of other armies!”

   “If only our Namarti could fare so well.” Runai grimaced and cursed. “Useless cretins!”

   Atannis rumbled back into his personal unit, the Defenders of Mor’Khaine. “Do not give into despair, kindred. We are far from defeated…”

   “Far from defeated,” An authoritative voice repeated Atannis’ words with incredulity. “Ever nearer to the victory that Theronall cautioned you of!”

   “Who dares?” Atannis deflected a wayward javelin with a flick of his shield. “Would you like your throat slit and your corpse left to bloat in the ash?”

   Atannis searched for the source of the defiant words, and found his own guttered in the pit of his stomach. Amassed before him was a War Host of thousands of Akhelians, their heraldry and banners too numerous and varied to hone them down to any one Akhelian House. Anchored in their midst were a score of ancient leviadons that dwarfed many of the surrounding mountains themselves. Countless Akhelians mounted on Fangmora Eels and Allopexes swarmed around the mighty Deepsea beasts in numbers that Atannis had never seen within the three-century span of his life.

   At the fore of their number, two Akhelian Kings perched themselves on the backs of the most elegant and beautiful deep mares, prized treasures only fit for Kings of the Idoneth Deepkin.

   “Noo… it cannot be!” Atannis reared his mount until it slithered in place. “Fendriach, the Benighted Prince. Ellion’draich, the Banishing Blade… amongst your ranks I see warriors from House Ennel’nar to Qannir to Theronhall… you cannot expect me to believe that you’re all that remains of Ondaric!”

   “Not all that remains…” Ellion’draich replied in somber tones. “We bring but a host of shadows, Atannis, Radiant One, no longer fit to bask in the light of Ondaric…”

   “You’ve handled yourself honorably, Attanis…” Fendriach lifted a hand to silence his younger brother. “You should feel no shame when I say that I’m assuming control of this conflict. When I command your Phalanx to charge into the heart of the Khainite Hordes, know that I forbid your death. Claim the heart of this Slaughter Queen Nashela. Bring me her severed head and that of each one of her disciples. Prove yourself and I’ll deem you worthy of leading your own house.”

   Atannis narrowed his eyes and spat, his defiance renewed. “Oh no, Exiled Brother! You won’t send my phalanx alone into the clutches of those cursed Avatars that are murdering everything standing before them!”

   “Radiant One,” A knowing smile flashed across Fendriach’s placid features. “No one said you’d be going alone. You swore oaths to me in the past, that we’d be brothers bound, even if not by blood. Will you still fight beside me?”

   “Ha!” Atannis’ smile visibly became more frenzied. “I have only lust for vengeance in my heart! You keep that Avatar from hewing me down, then I’ll gladly collect every Khainite Disciples head on this gods forsaken battlefield! Let us waste no more time! I long to see if your skill is as sharpened as Theronhall suggests!”

   “Then no time shall be wasted!” Fendriach nodded, satisfied. “Ellion’draich, sound our advance… Ondaric enters the battlefield!”
“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
― Glen Cook, The Black Company

 


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