Chaos Dreadhold

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Khornate warriors enter a Dreadhold.

Chaos Dreadholds are mighty strongholds erected by the forces of Chaos that choke the Mortal Realms like an iron collar. Ruled by wizards and warlords, Dreadholds are soaked in the blood of many mighty battles.[1a]

Components

Crucible

A Crucible is a tower built in the image of the vast cauldrons that surround the Anvil of Khorne. The cauldron surmounting a Crucible is filled with the molten remains of weapons and magical artefacts of those defeated by the ruler of the Crucible, and those garrisoning the tower can use the Bale Cannons mounted on each corner to fire blasts of molten metal and magical energy at enemies that approach.[2]

Fortress Wall

Many Dreadholds are surrounded by high Fortress Walls. It is common for defending champions walking the ramparts to goad attackers with Defiant Proclamations and for the walls to have magical Tresspasser Wards that aid the defenders by blasting enemies attempting to breach the Dreadfort with bolts of destructive energy.[3]

Malefic Gate

A Malefic Gate is a tall, sturdy gate that generally allows access to a Dreadhold through the outer wall. In addition to any mortal defenders, the gate also has magical Screaming Gargoyles mounted on the walls on either side of it that disorient and dismay attackers. In addition, to prevent invading wizards from using a powerful Arcane Blast to force the gate open, defenders often carve Blessed Sigils that confound hostile spells into the gate.[4]

While most Malefic Gates are mundane passages into and out of the Dreadhold, some - such as those in the Rotfane destroyed by the Hallowed Knights during the Realmgate Wars[1c] or those built into a Dreadhold of a type known as a Summoner's Helgate - can be used by their defenders to summon arcane gales or return fallen warriors to the battlefield.

Overlord Bastion

An Overlord Bastion is a massive tower akin to a larger Skull Keep but with even greater power built into its structure. In addition to providing a dominant position and protective Dread Gargoyles like the Skull Keep, an Overlord Bastion also has a Locus of Fell Energy woven into its structure that empowers the spells cast by those within it.[5]

Skull Keep

A Skull Keep is a large tower that gives a commanding view of the battlefield. In addition to the mundane protection offered by its crenelations and walls, faithful defenders can unleash protective power bound within the Dread Gargoyles built into the tower.[6]

Common Types of Dreadholds

The exact form of a Dreadhold varies based on the landscape and realm in which it is built, the dark gods worshiped by its builders and its occupiers, and many other factors.[1b] However, many can be categorized into one of several types.

Skullcoven Forge

A Skullcoven Forge is a cluster of Skull Keeps built to channel the power of the gods or the magic of the realms. A Sorcerous Coven of wizards occupying the Skull Keeps can channel the arcane power to unleash a powerful Ritual of the Annihilator to smite their foes, while a Cult Coven can channel their faith to protect their allies with a Ritual of Shielding.[1d]

Summoner's Helgate

Wizards garrisoning the walls and gates of a Summoner's Helgate find their magic Suffused with Ancient Power, greatly increasing the range of their spells. The Skull Keep that watches over the walls channels the ancient magics tapped by the fortress to make a Summoner's Call to bring fallen allies back into the battle once more.[1d]

Octadic Dreadhold

The Octadic Dreadhold consists of an Overlord Bastion and several Skull Keeps. The powers of the protective Dread Gargoyles are more easily commanded by The Octomancer's Command from the Overlord Bastion, making it even more dangerous to approach the fortress. Should an enemy overthrow the defenders of one of the Skull Keeps, the Octomancer in the Overlord Bastion can detonate the Sigils of Destruction in the keep, causing a massive explosion.[1d]

Infernal Realmfort

An Infernal Realmfort surrounds a Realmgate. The magical energy surrounding the Realmgate can be tapped by the defenders to create Shadow Gates to rapidly redeploy and reinforce weak points in the fort's defences. In addition, the strategic importance of the Realmfort's location means that the Skull Keeps are universally well-stocked with weapons and defences.[1d]

Ironskull Bastion

An Ironskull Bastion baits the enemy into attacking it by having the Maddening Screams of its gargoyles drive the attackers into a bloody frenzy, then catching the disorganized foe in a Crossfire from the kill-slits of its Skull Keeps.[1d]

Direstone Redoubt

A Direstone Redoubt is a fortress raised with fell sorcery. The Living Stone of its construction allows it to seal itself against attacks, preventing those inside from exiting and those outside from entering, and even devour enemies attacking it with its Unholy Hunger.[1d]

Magebane Wall

A Magebane Wall can stretch across the horizon, and its Warding Magicks make it all but immune to magical attacks. Some say that this immunity is not merely due to the warding sigils inscribed on the walls, but because of a dark ritual during construction that used pulped remains of wizards as mortar for the stones.[1d]

Malefic Dreadhold

A Malefic Dreadhold is built on a Nexus of Fell Power and spellcasters inside can trade some of their life force to tap into this nexus to empower their spells. Malefic Dreadholds are often works of fell artifice, with its Malefic Gates controlled via winches and chains by a single gatekeeper in the Overlord Bastion at its heart. [1d]

Miniatures

Sources