Nulahmia

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Throne-Mount of Nulahmia

Nulahmia is the capital city of Neferatia, the favorite of Queen Neferata's many domains.[5]

Neferata herself had designed the city, calling up ancient memories to recreate its architecture and style - the grand columns, the rich fluttering silks and the polished marble. All was centered on the Throne-Mount a sprawling, beautiful palace-temple she inhabited and where the mortals of her city would march up to worship her, moving up the Pathway to Punishment, whose malicious displays of still living but disembodied heads even impressed Lascilion, a lord of Slaanesh. Inside its walls, seemingly endless nights of blood-laden depravities would ease her mind and inflame her sense and those chosen to join her. [1]

Spoiler!
This page contains spoilers for: Neferata: Mortarch of Blood (novel)


History

Age of Myth

The city was never silent, rather it groaned and rang with endless creation for the will of its creator never satiated, as she urged the city into transformation after transformation. Nothing was eternal - monuments were created a thousand feet high as well as vaults as big as mountains but then they too would vanish at the command of the queen. [6a]

The Mortarch of Blood cursed the mortal noble houses of the city with a brutal tradition - The Culling of the Firstborn. All first born children of such a house must travel to the Palace of Seven Vultures where they would be tested in variety of ways. Most returned in coffins, carried in mocking silence by a cortege of skeletons, who presented their mutilated remains to their families. Some returned as vampires, slaking their new blood lust on their own families.[6b]

Mannfred, Mortarch of Blood fermented rebelion within many of the noble houses of the city, culminating in an armed uprising which ended in a battle on the Doomwood Way just off the Queensroad with Neferata completely victorious.[6]

Age of Sigmar

At the beginning of the Realmgate Wars, the Chaos Champion Lord Lascilion had breached the long inviolate magical shields and layers of illusions that hidden the city and its inhabitants. Whilst Neferata sent Lord Harkdron to a last doomed defence of her city, she prepared to flee once again when arcane forks of lightning struck the city bringing the Stormcast Eternals to her aid. Led by Lord-Celestant Makvar the Anvils of the Heldenhammer had come to parley with the Queen, a step towards rebuilding the old alliance between Nagash and Sigmar. Whilst Neferata immediately recognised the potential for these new allies, it took precious time for her commands to reach Lord Harkdron who clashed with the new arrivals.[1]

Following the siege, Nagash punished the Queen for her dealings with the Stormcast, allowing Arkhan the Black to take control over the northern sector of the city through his regent, the vampire Venzor[6c] Now that the location of Nulahmia had been revealed, Ruhok a mighty Lord of Khorne led his vast horde across the Cremation Plain in search of the city, ignoring the huge numbers of his warriors that were devoured by the myriad teeth of the plain. [6e]

Neferata causes the Chaos lord to assault the north of her city and at the height of the battle between Venzor and Ruhok's forces, opens the the Annihilation Gate destroying both armies and much of the Northern quarter. As a reward Nagash restores her complete control over the city.[6m]

Inhabitants

Living, dead or undead, all within the city bend to the queens will, many love and adore her whilst others serve from fear or desire for the power she can gift.[1] Even her mortal subjects enjoyed lives of excess - wearing robes of silk, eating from plates of gold and drinking from sapphire cups. Even their deaths were it was said, "things of spectacle to be remembered and recorded."[3]

The mortal Noble Houses of the city are subject to The Culling of the Firstborn[6a]

  • House Avaranthe: A rebellious house destroyed by plague and subsequently transformed into Nighthaunts and skeletons in the Age of Myth [6a], almost all of the few survivors blamed Neferata and sought vengeance across the centuries [6c] but not all [6l]
  • House Bantayre. [6b]
  • House Bretherel Rose against Neferata in the Age of Myth and was destroyed.[6j]
  • Hosue Borzhas: In the Age of Myth, the vampire leader of their house attemped (and failed) to assassinate Neferata with artefacts supplied by the Mortarch of Night and so his house was destroyed. [6i]
  • House Casein[6i]
  • House Gallatal Rose against Neferata in the Age of Myth and was destroyed.[6j]
  • House Hellezan;: Their motto was Withstand and Prevail and they had carved out a wealthy life in the kingdom of death.[6a]Another rebellious house destroyed by the Queen.[6i]
  • House Nalvaux: In the Age of Myth, the heir Wrentis was transformed into a vampire in the Culling, he returned home and was merciless in his bloodletting, killing many family members and turning those who would be of use to him and his queen, subjugating all others. [6a]
  • House Nastannar - Noted as being most bellicose of the noble families.[6d] Rose against Neferata in the Age of Myth[6j]
  • House Sethek: The vampire leader of their house attemped (and failed) to assassinate Neferata with artefacts supplied by the Mortarch of Night in the Age of Myth and so her house was destroyed. [6i]
  • House Tennsein Rose against Neferata in the Age of Myth and was destroyed.[6j]
  • House Vasyth[6i]
  • House Vernax Rose against Neferata in the Age of Myth and was destroyed.[6j]

Vampires

  • Lady Adhema: Noble daughter of the lost land of Szandor, a kingdom in the western part of the Realm of Shyish, one of thousand such orphans that Neferata sent to be trained by the The Blood Dragon to continue the fight against Chaos.[2],
  • Lord Harkdron: Lover of the queen, military commander of her armies during the attack by Lascilion.[1][3]
  • Kemsit: Handmaiden appearing as the "merest wisp of a youth", she attended Neferata on hunts into the Cobweb Forest, served as shield bearer in her wars against Chaos and as a spy. She was later slain by Lord Harkdron, her heart replaced with a sigmarite hammer to try and prevent resurrection.[3]
  • Neferata, Queen of Mysteries, Mortarch of Blood
  • Naaima, Favoured handmaiden [3]

Mortals

Flora and Fauna

  • Steeds of Nulahmia: Neferata has bred coal black, predatory horses and her servants claim that no faster steeds exist than those bred in Nulahmia. Even the hardened Champion of Chaos Ahazian Kel was impressed by their speed, resilience and ferocity.[2]
  • Corpse-Moths: Inhabit the skulls in the cavern of Nehb-kotz.[3]
  • Marrow-Maggots: Creatures that inhabit and help protect the Wormfields.[3]

Defences

Until the Age of Sigmar no sorcerer or daemon was able to even find the city as it was defended by cloaks of illusion and terror, shrouds of gravefog and mires of liferot guarded its approaches. Those who drew close had ghostly echoes distorting their perceptions and maximising their fears.[3]

When the attack was made by Lord Lascilion, the Wormfields had had sigils and runes seeded in every foot of their expanse, so that the arrows of skeletal regiments atop the Jackel Gate could be loosed with unerring accuracy. Pockets of corpse-gas were hidden in its expanse which necromancers could burst at a gesture whilst nests of marrow-maggots were ready to fasten their leech-like mouths on any invaders. Finally for many centuries mangled and broken corpses had been dumped in the wormfields like refuse and their battered bodies arising from the ground could still cause fear and confusion in enemies.[3]

Important Places

The buildings of Nulahmia are saturated with death magic through the many sacrifices to Neferata. Spirits and ghosts haunt the city and the unwary traveller or pilgrim can be consumed by hungry shadows. The palace itself has many secret escape routes including one with its own Realmgate.[1]

  • The Hyena Gate[6]
  • The Jackel Gate: Four hundred slaves were sacrificed to give it the authentic aura of despair and death.[3]
  • Necropolis of Themis[3]
  • Nehb-kotz: A cavern beneath the Necropolis of Themis. Ten generations of workers had their bodies plastered into the walls to entice corpse-moths to nest in their skulls.[3]
  • Obelisk of the Underworld: It draws upon the power of Nagash's Black Pyramids, even when they were destroyed it held a substantial reservoir of necromantic power.[1]
  • The Palace of Seven Vultures: It was built and rebuilt a thousand times until it matched the queens memories, failed workers impaled upon spikes of copper and gold.[3] A web of secret passages grant the Queen and her handmaidens the ability to move undetected through the Palace’s walls.[6f]
    • At its centre is the Claw of Memory - a hidden circular hall that occupies the entire height of a narrow turret that rises from the centre of the palace. Although it adjoined the great library, its access was veiled by spells and wards designed by necromancers Neferata had had killed as soon as their work was completed, only she knowing how to arm and disarm them. Even though the tower is apparently clearly visible from the exterior it always escapes notice as an observer’s gaze slides over it. Inside is a very special library - Neferata has written thousands of books to herself, for the benefit of her future self and allowing the Mortarch to easily consult the wisdom of her own past.[6b] Only her most trusted servants can reach the pinnacle of the tower, and not from inside - there they could speak to the queen without fear of being overheard.[6c]
  • The Palace Quarter: It lies just off the Queensroad with a central guard keep.[6j]
  • The Pathway of Punishment: A wide, switch-backing road that climbs up to the Throne-Mount. It is well travelled, by mortals and immortals alike, many moving to worship at the gates of the palace. Bloody, iron constructions of torture line the avenue as victims cry out in pillories, atop elevated breaking wheels, and shuddered their last on impalement poles – those that were allowed the rare mercy of death. Lines of pikes are topped with heads, some freshly decapitated, and other’s rotten with flies or reduced to polished chattering skulls.[6d]
  • The Raven Gate A hidden gateway created for Neferata whose locks and wards only respond to her, in the Age of Simgar she brought the Bloodbound of Ruhok in to the city through it.[6k]
  • The Queensroad. A great avenue that leads to the Pathway of Punishment and then the Throne Mount. It is always crowded, both day and night with merchants and serfs, pedestrians and riders, caravans and corteges. Dark residential towers line the road. [6j]
  • The Silent Quarter: A vast cemetery located in the northern part of the city, unlike the rest of the metropolis mortals or vampires do not live here – it was left to the slumbering truly dead. They are entombed in mass graves, humble tombs, and vast sepulchres that even rival the Palace of Seven Vultures in scale. Whilst there are many passages that wind between them – they form a twisting, tangled maze that can ensnare any mortals who err and wander into the Quarter. At the centre is the Tomb of the Unnumbered, a colossal mausoleum and one of the oldest buildings in Nulahmia, containing entire legions of the dead. Rising from the surrounding tombs with black basalt and fossilised bone towers. Two great towers reach higher than any other, climbing hundreds of feet into the air. In the Age of Myth, the Mortarch of Night sent vampire assassins against Neferata here which lead to her discovery of the Maw of Uncreation.[6g]
    • Maw of Uncreation: A huge whirlpool of grey nothing which only has any texture and movement as it consumes a part of reality. It is truly nothing - the greatest and most terrible of devourers, because everything, at the last, became nothing, the final end in absolute entropy. It was there that even death would come to an end. Neferata recalled that it had been a legend, even to the Mortarchs and even Nagash himself only mentioned it once, speaking of it as if there were some things that, for the gods too, were better left as myths. It lay hidden miles beneath beneath the Tomb of the Unnumbered until the Season of Loss in the Age of Myth. [6g] Once discovered, the Queen created a new seal to contain it which she named the Annihilation Gate, anointing it with the blood sacrifice of a vast host of vampire and mortal nobility. Those who surrendered their lives willingly would see their families rewarded, those who resisted were merely slaughtered. [6h]
    • The Ossa Spire. A great tower on the northern edge of the Silent Quarter constructed entirely of fused bone - a thin, jagged spike stabbing hundreds of feet in the air.[6m]
  • The Wormfields: A vast stretch of ground lying before the Jackel Gate, dotted with blooms of cryptfronds and trailing strands of morgueweed. [3]
  • Throne-Mount

Treasures

  • Black Peripaht: A ebony jewel able to store magical power, filling the wearer with vitality and wizards with additional power.[1]
  • Damned Goblet: A cup of the Queen herself which can heal the wounded but will ensure that they serve her.[1]
  • Doom-Stone: Black jet stone whose runes can briefly drain the life of any foe.[1]
  • Howling Blade: A type of magical blade which can emit the howl of a banshee at a enemy.[1]
  • Shadowshroud Ring: Twisting the ring three times envelops the wearer in black shadows that allow him or her to fly.[1]
  • Spirit Mirror: Confined within are dozens of spirits, if shattered the spirits must aid the person that broke the mirror until the next sun rises.[1]

Quotes

Let Sigmar and the Dark Gods fight themselves to a bloody standstill over the other realms. Everything here belongs to the Supreme Master. We all come to do his bidding sooner or later, be it living or dead...

~Fedrenn of Nulahmia.[4]

Sources