Excelsis

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Excelsis is one of the Cities of Sigmar built after the Realmgate Wars. It's located in the Coast of Tusks on Ghur and is described as prophecy-rich.[1][2]

History

Excelsis was founded after the end of the Realmgate Wars, around the Spear of Mallus a fragment of the World-That-Was. This stone allowed to see the future and help make the city rich and relevant. The Spear of Mallus grew to be so important that the currency of Excelsis, Glimmerings, would be made solely from fragments of this stone. Said fragments would allow their owners to see, if for a while, the future, hence why Excelsis is described as being rich in prophecy.[1] In more than thirty years, Excelsis' borders were expanded and its population doubled until there was no space left for housing. Excelsis's craftsmen decided to keep building anyway, making the city a labyrinthine network of alleyways called Veins.[2a]

The city was devestated in the Uprising of the Cult of the Fated Path, with both the Archmage and High Arbiter betraying the city. Much of the city was destroyed and two Freeguild regiments were disbanded. But the uprising was put down and the city rebuilt afterwards.[2c][4]

At the beginning of the search for the Eight Lamentations, Excelsis was besieged by a substantial skaven army under the command of Kretch Warpfang, Grand High Clawmaster of Clan Rictus.[3]

Government

Excelsis is ruled by the High Arbiter, who wields both the powers of the courts and the constabulary. He lives in the Palace of the High Arbiter and has his personal bodyguards called the Palatine Guard.[2a]

Military

Excelsis is a very well defended city. It's protected by some Stormcast Eternals' Warrior-Chambers, Freeguild regiments and many other types of defense. Sometimes the Warrior-Chambers march to war and they can be accompanied by one or more regiments of the city guard.[2]

Stormhosts

There are Warrior-Chambers from three Stormhosts in the city:

Freeguild regiments

There are ten regiments based in Excelsis which includes artillery and Steam Tanks from the Ironweld Arsenal. Each regiment has its own bastion inside the city. Known Excelsis regiments are the following:

  • Bronze Claws[3]
  • Coldguard, a regiment who almost totally betrayed the city during the Uprising of the Cult of the Fated Path.[2c]
  • Firewolves, a regiment which was almost completely destroyed in the Uprising of the Cult of the Fated Path.[2c]
  • Iron Bulls of Tarsus, a regiment of green-jacketed soldiers existing since the early days of the city.[2b]

Excelsis lacks natural deposits of metal and so silksteel is vital for outfitting the local regiments - it is obtained from arachnids found within the Ulwhyr forest. It is thin and light, possessing a great amount of tensile strength, enabling it to be made into light, padded armour that stops blades and arrows as surely as steel plate. [4]

Air Corps

A part of Excelsis defence formed by a variety of aircraft, including Gyrocopters.[2c]

Palatine Guard

The Palatine Guard is a group of soldiers charged with the defense of the Palace of High Arbiter. They're hand-picked veterans, blue-blooded Azyrites trained in the art of war from youth. They wear rich purple tunics and breaches, cream tabards, shining gold greaves, pauldrons, helms and breastplates armour covered with intricate scripture and engravings of Ghal Maraz. Their helms are full-faced, with a scale neck-guard, sculpted to represent a star-eagle in flight and with a tapered dome that ends in a voluminous white and blue plume. They're equipped with halberds and hardwood repeater crossbows, but some of them also carry a silver rapier on one hip. During the uprising of the Cult of the Fated Path, the Palatine Guard betrayed the city folllowing the High Arbiter Ortam Vermyre.[2b]

Dispossessed

Underground regions of Excelsis are home to Dispossessed Duardin. During the attack by Clan Rictus the Duardin fought back Skaven sappers underground countering hundreds of Skaven tunnelling attempts. [3]

Landmarks

Consecralium

The Consecralium is the White Reaper's fortress. A great bridge leads to a door tall enough for a gargant and wide enough for a ship, engraved with several images and with great holes from which protrude the snouts of colossal ballistae.[2a]

The Eeyrie

A vast fotification that hangs above the tip of Malleus appearing as a cross between a Stormkeep and a massive sky-ship. It is constructed from marble, iron and gold with pennents of more than a dozen Stormhosts. It is held aloft by aeroavulum engines. [7a]

It has various perch-gantries which lead, through portals into the interior of the structure. Within are sparring chambers, barracks, armouries, feasting halls and strategic cartogravia. Entry is reserved for those who could fly to it or had vehicles that allowed them to do so such as the Swifthawk Agents. [7a]

The Floating Towers

The Observatories and workshops of the Collegiate Arcane which orbit the Spear of Mallus were cast into the air not long after the Stormcast Eternals of the Knights Excelsior raised the wedge of black iron and dark stone they called the Consecralium.[3]

The Harbor

Being a coastal city, many dock in and sail from Excelsis' harbor. The port was constructed in the style of the tribes who’d fished the waters of the bay for generations with structures made from the bones of leviathans, fused together with a mixture of sun-baked mud and animal dung. [3]

There are always some duardin seadogs, barrel-shaped steam-cogs and aelvean tide-cutters docked in the harbor and sometimes even giant iridescent crustaceans used as ships by Scourge Privateers who, taking advantage of the market within the harbor, immediately start to gut and skin captured monsters. The market offers many goods and is sprinkled with whalebone stalls of fishermen and hunters, tents of many colors with exotic treasures from distant cities and many other places.[2a]

A aether-berth has been installed for the benefit of the Kharadron Overlords vessels that trade at the city. It rises high into the sky - a tower of bone and wood topped by a globular watch-station crafted from bronze and steel whilst anchor-jetties extend in seemingly haphazard fashion from the curves of the station. [3]

Ilythraein Observatory

A slim floating construct of the Eldritch Council that hangs high above the tip of Mallus, it has towers and minarets and hovers on streamers of golden light.[7a]

Khar-Khazdul

The embassy-port of the Kharadron Overlords, it is a vast brass orb with countless gun batteries, docking platforms and crystal viewing ports. [7a]

Palace of the High Arbiter

The Palace of the High Arbiter is centre of power located in the noble quarter of Excelsis. It is an architectural marvel of the Azyrite form, with soaring towers and gleaming domes capped with the lightning iconography of the God-King. The great gates leading into compound bear the engraved image of Saint Rubeus clutching his blessed warhammer in one bleeding fist and with his eyes fixed rapturously upon the heavens. From the gates, a pathway of glittering blue marble leads to the main dome of the structure. High on the roof above, there's a mechanical representation of the celestial realm with whirling and glimmering occulary spheres.

The path leading to the main hall cuts through the estate garden and on the inner wall there are magical spheres writhing with electrical energy. After passing the great front doors to the main dome, the ceiling bears a depiction of the Hammers of Sigmar descending from the heavens on bolts of azure lightning to strike the first blow against the forces of Chaos, made by an artist called Varangino. Then there's a long corridor lined with portraiture and busts of patricians and warriors which ends in a long, wide dining chamber carved from a wood so light it almost looks like bone and with winding streams of amber running within the surface.[2a]

Prophesier's Guild

The Prophesier's Guild is an ornate domed structure that dominates the centre of Excelsis. It's whre the city's valuable stock of secrets and prophecies is vetted and auctioned. Behing this structure towers the great occulum fulgurest, a Collegiate-designed machine whirling and crackling with storm-siphoned energy and mists from the Spear of Mallus. These containers loom over the great hall, secured behind a heavy fence of copper bars that reach some twenty feet into the air. In front of them there are seven raised and heavily secured and armoured bunkers with viewing ports and a bolted access tube.[2]

Other Locations

  • Abbey of Remembered Souls: an abbey to which faithful pilgrims go after their dangerous journey to Excelsis.[2a]

Notable Citizens

Gangs

  • Fate’s Favoured Lines of tiny script cover their faces and shorn scalps, tattoos that record their fates which have been whispered to them by the Spear of Mallus and then transcribed by the hand and needle wielded by the Burning Man, the gang’s mysterious leader.[3]

Flora and Fauna

  • Dream-spiders Spiders the size of rats with iridescent bodies, they spin webs of unfulfilled prophecy - but giving in to the colourful lure of the webs risks a dreamer winding up just one more smiling, blood-drained corpse in the back alleys of Excelsis. [3]

Sources