Today our explorations take us to the three public quests in the southern sector of the citadel of Khemri. These three public quests are associated with Destruction; should Order win a public quest then the next public quest will be chosen from among these three which are closer to the Destruction warcamp.
Water Gardens of Geheb
Located in the south-western corner of Khemri are the Water Gardens of Geheb, the god of earth and giver of strength. What was once a lush pleasure garden for the noble elite of Nehekhara has withered away with the curse of Nagash and become a lifeless symbol of the fate of Nehekhara. The life that remains in the gardens is of a twisted sort, it would be more appropriate to call it a mockery of life. Vegetation sustaining itself on the poisoned waters, creatures cannibalizing each other and picking the bleached bones clean. Here invaders will have to maneuver the environment as they attempt to defeat the Aspect of Geheb, but will the invaders make the connection with Geheb and his earthly nature? The god of the earth still finds sustenance in the land despite its nature and will need to be separated from that which nourishes him. Also a unique feature of the southern sector of Khemri are the water canals that connect the Palace to the Water Gardens, as the royals sought a private route to the gardens. Will the invaders brave the poisonous waters to seek alternate routes in and out of the Water Gardens of Geheb? Or will the invaders risk the waters and just become another meal for the carrion feast?
Palace of the Tomb Kings
At the center of the southern sector of the citadel is the massive Palace of the Tomb Kings, a grand lofty structure divided into a main hall with smaller ante-chambers. Before the time of the Tomb Kings, the Palace served the Nehekharans who in their later years became more and more embroiled in strife. As the days of darkness approached elaborate escape tunnels spanned from the ante-chambers to different portions of the city. As players descend upon the palace from the main entrances and from the underground tunnels, a brutal struggle will erupt in these times much as it did in ancient times. Players will have the opportunity to clash on the ground floor and fire down upon their foes from the galleys and balconies above. While the structure is large and open, there are many corners for players to wait lurking for their prey to arrive.
Temple of Djaf
Tucked in the south-eastern corner of the citadel of Khemri is the lofty temple once dedicated to Neru, the wife of Ptra and goddess of the great moon. The times for praising Neru however have passed and the temple was rechristened in honor of Djaf, the jackel god of death. While the temple proper is dedicated to Djaf, the struggle will span into the deep depths of the temple, to the Catecombs of Usirian, the faceless god of the underworld. While the main floor of the temple may prove aery and open, the invaders will have no choice but to descend into the dark depths of the Catacombs and provoke the gods by desecrating the ossuaries. In these dark tight corridors reeking of death players will face the fears of the underworld. Only when sufficient damage has been done to the catacombs will the Aspect of Djaf appear to challenge the foolish mortals.
Today we take a slightly closer look at the three public quests in the northern sector of the citadel. These three public quests are associated with Order; and should Destruction win a public quest then the next public quest will be chosen from among these three which are closer to the Order warcamp.
Market of Sokth
Tucked in the north-western corner of the citadel is what was once a thriving economic center of the noble elite. As harsh times fell upon the peoples of Nehekhara during the civil war against Nagash, the market was rechristened in the name of Sokth, the god of thieves and assassins. This open-air market is a twisting labyrinth of stalls and warehouses. Now as the city of the dead is filled with the beating hearts of the living, the Market of Sokth comes to life with those who seek other means to make a living. As players race through the twisting streets and leap across the terraced roofs and cloth canopies, undead assassins lurk to leave their mark and pay their debt to Sokth. Survive the lurking dangers of the market and face the Aspect of Sokth in a brutal melee brawl.
Library of Tahoth
Situated in the center of the northern sector is the Library of Tahoth, a massive structure dedicated to the literary pursuits of the Nehekharans who came before, and the Tomb Kings who came after. The library of Zandri and those of the great urban centers of the Old World, such as those in the Inevitable City and in Altdorf, pale in comparison to the pursuit of knowledge reached for by the ancient Nehekharans and the fiendish Tomb Kings. The massive structure is a testament to the vast knowledge of the desert kingdom and is dedicated to the god of knowledge and keeper of sacred lore. Within the lofty halls of the library are many sacred texts pertaining to great knowledge of the past, and also many cursed tomes dedicated to the dark art of necromancy. Search the main floor and upper galleys for the heretical texts pertaining to necromancy and set them ablaze. Enrage Tahoth and face his Aspect to see which secrets he truly hides.
Pyramid of Eternity
In what is the north-eastern corner of the citadel of Khemri, and the actual center of the necropolis of Khemri, is the ebon Pyramid of Eternity – a conduit for dark magic. A massive image burned into the desert landscape created for the purpose of seeking eternal life… by any means possible. The Tomb of the Vulture Lord pales in comparison to the mighty Pyramid of Eternity, a vast structure of twisting corridors ridden with traps and dead ends. As the invading players of Order and Destruction seek the most precious relics and artifacts, their most cut-throat struggle will take place in the dark corridors of the Pyramid of Eternity. As players race to secure the passages and set traps for their enemies, they may unknowingly cut off their allies and seal their doom. The living have no place in the Pyramid of Eternity.
v1.6.3b brings players to the citadel of Khemri. Yesterday we discussed how players get to Khemri and what role it plays in the Tier 4 campaign, today we shall look at it in an introductory manner.
Khemri is a dense urban center with twisting streets and alleys (some which lead to dead ends!) However the battle over the city will not just take place in the streets, for players will be able to combat through the urban scenery, under ground, and atop the rooftops! Order players have their warcamp in the north-western breach in the citadel wall; Destruction players have their warcamp in the south-eastern breach in the citadel wall. The city is bisected from east to west by a wide avenue known as the Way of Ptra, enclosed on both ends by the towering Gates of Khemri, forever sealed like cold tombs. The northern portion of Khemri consists of the three public quests linked with the progress of the Order faction: The Market of Sokth, the Library of Tahoth, and the Pyramid of Eternity. The southern portion of Khemri consists of the three public quests linked with the progress of the Destruction faction: The Water Gardens of Geheb, the Palace of the Tomb Kings, and the Temple of Djaf. The central battleground which decides from which faction the first public quest will be is the Asaph Plaza.
The Asaph Plaza
When the 10 minute preparation timer ends, the Asaph Plaza public quest begins pitting players of both factions not only against each other but also against the Aspect of Asaph, the god of magic and vengeance. The Aspect of Asaph patrols the central plaza and does not attack back himself; however, this is not to mean that he will not fight back. In the corners of the plaza are four small obelisks which will emit magical blasts at the faction which is generating the most hate on the Aspect of Asaph. The key object of the Asaph Plaza however is the mighty obsidian obelisk that graces the center of the plaza, the tool with which Asaph will send forth his vengeance. At specific intervals of the Aspect’s health, the central obelisk will emit a powerful blast of Nehekharan magic which will alter the fate of those it touches. Asaph’s vengeance will be swift and just to those who would dare challenge him. Which realm will face the challenges Asaph will throw at them, prevail, and reap the rewards?
Deep in the south of the Nehekharan desert lays what was once a booming metropolis of the Nehekharan kingdom, but fate had another design for the prosperous city of Khemri. The pursuit for immortality led the Nehekharan nobility down the dark path of necromancy, a path which damned the civilization to an endless servitude to the lifeless desert and its greedy kings. The final blow to the Nehekharan kingdom was dealt when Nagash was denied the throne of Khemri and began a civil war which tore the lands asunder and led Nagash to cast a powerful spell over the land which sucked the life out of it and its people. And so the mighty metropolises of the southern lands turned into vast necropoles serving the Tomb Kings.
Stepping into the Oasis of Eternity, Firbael the Shadow Warrior became the first living soul to set foot in Khemri since the bygone era before Nagash. His journey into the heart of the kingdom of death would usher in a new era for the Land of the Dead, for it would bring word back to the realm of the living that such a journey was possible. In his footsteps the forces of Order and Destruction would race to secure the artifacts of the mighty Tomb Kings. Read more…
Three lone figures battled their way through a raging sandstorm south of Zandri: a Shadow Warrior, a Swordmaster, and an Archmage. Sent by the Phoenix King to seek a route deeper into the desert kingdom of the Tomb Kings, the three were on a mission of dire importance. Zandri had been picked dry of any powerful artifacts left behind by the ancient Nehekharans, and Khorne’s involvement in the war on the side of Destruction did not bode well for Order.
“I see no oasis Firbael, surely a mirage.”
“No, Rynellier, it is there,” the Shadow Warrior replied.
The three pushed forward through the sandstorm which grew ever stronger and thicker as they neared the supposed location of the oasis. Slowly the oasis appeared to the other two who lacked the keen eyes of the Shadow Warrior, but as it grew nearer it became increasingly more difficult for them to push on. The roar of the wind muffled out any words they spoke, and the sting of the blowing sand kept their heads low limiting the utility of gestures. Each step took agonizing effort and when they were but mere feet from the oasis it was as if they were pushing against a solid stone wall. Finally with the greatest effort they pushed through and it was as if the wall which they had been pushing against so fiercely collapsed and they tumbled into the oasis. The eye of the storm, a calm oasis in the sea of raging sands.
“Blessings upon Hoeth, a true oasis amid the foul desert,” Ledreal said as he spat sand out of his mouth.
“Careful friend, do not drink of that water. An oasis this is, but it is still in the Land of the Dead,” Rynellier warned. “This is what Teclis has seen, and we have found it.”
“Well I found it, but indeed credit to us all for our perserverance,” Firbael jested. “So, what is so special about this oasis? What good is water to us if it is tainted and will not aid us deeper into the desert?”
“There is more to this oasis than meets the eye. This is one of the Oases of Eternity, conduits between the Tomb King capital of Khemri and the other necropoles. Zandri was the farthest north established necropolis of the Nehekharans and Tomb Kings after them, and the primary sea-port of the kingdom. These oases were vital for the Tomb Kings to maintain a firm grasp over their bone-dry lands. However, the liche high priests were ambitious and paranoid and they surrounded these oases of life with deadly sandstorms to prevent the living from making use of them. They however did not anticipate the power of Hoeth.”
“This oasis… is a link to Khemri?” Ledreal asked.
“Yes, so to speak. Stepping into this oasis will supposedly take us to the necropolis of Khemri, the dark heart of the desert from which no living creature has ever returned… I find it is unlikely that a living creature has ever made it that far since before the age of Nagash… Though no one knows what will become of us, the living, should we step into the oasis…” Rynellier replied.
“One foot in the realm of the living, one foot in the realm of the dead…” Firbael said as he stepped into the waters of the Oasis of Eternity.