Excelsis

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Excelsis.
Excelsis.
The Spear of Mallus in Excelsis.

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 Knights Excelsior sense the taint of Chaos corruption and respond with a brutal purge, known as the First Purge of Excelsis, that lays waste to almost a quarter of the city's populace. This is where Cerrus Sentanus becomes known as the White Reaper.[9]

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 Palantine Guard.[2a]

Military

The city of Excelsis is a heavily defended city. Within it are elements from three of Sigmar's Stormhosts, at least eight regiments of the Freeguild which alternate between garrison duty and joining the Stormcast in defending the city by ranging afield, and many other defenders besides.[2]

Stormhosts

There are chambers from three Stormhosts in the city:

Freeguild Regiments

There have been at least ten regiments based in Excelsis which, some of which even maintain heavy artillery and Steam Tanks made by the Ironweld Arsenal. Known Excelsis regiments are the following:

Excelsis lacks natural deposits of metal and so silksteel shipped in from the border town of Marshpoint is vital for outfitting the city's Freeguild regiments.[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]

Districts

The Noble Quarter

The noble district of the city is full of stormstone halls, where affluent members of nobles houses such as the Houses of Thunder attend galas and balls even when the city is under siege[3a]

  • 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]

The Veins

Most of the city's population live and work in the cramped, winding streets of this district. Market stalls are known to rise up wherever there is space, no matter what corner of the winding network of streets it may be.[3a]

  • Jaeger Lane: A minor artery connecting the Veins to the Harbour district. Young blades and would-be revolutionaries flock to the cheap eateries and alehouses found on this street. There is a statue located in the street's largest crossing that has been stripped of all features, some believe it may have once been a representation of the Jaeger for whom the street was named.[3c]

The Trade Quater

At the heart of this district lays the guild house of the Prophesiers' Guild.[3b]

  • The Prophesier's Guildhall: An ornate domed structure that dominates the centre of Excelsis. It's where 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][3b]

The Harbor

Being a coastal city it is no surprise that the harbor district is the oldest district in Excelsis, it is also the heart of all trade within the city. 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, fledgling empires, and many other places. The docklands are packed with merchant fleets and war vessels from a hundred fledgling lands that are now flourishing with Sigmar's return.[2a][3c] The Freeguild rarely patrols the docks, instead leaving the captains and merchant associations that operate within the docklands to police themselves.[3c]

  • Old Ironweld Armouries: These are the oldest Ironweld Arsenal foundries found within the city, they were still in full operation during the siege led by Kretch Warpfang a full century after their creation.[3c]
  • Kharadron Aether-Bearth: An aether-berth has been installed for the benefit of the Kharadron Overlords vessels that trade at the city. It is comprised of a tower of bone and wood with a wide platform of Kharadron design placed atop that. Topping the platform is a globular watch-station crafted from bronze and steel whilst anchor-jetties extend in seemingly haphazard fashion from the curves of the station. Frigates and Ironclads occupy these anchor-jetties. It towers above the rest of the docklands.[3c]

The Bastion

The great, looming walls that surround and protect the city from invasion. The fortresses of the Freeguilds, also known as bastions, are part of these walls. The Bastion is ever expanding and many slums and shanty towns cluster around the outermost walls of the Bastion. During attacks these poor districts are often the first to fall prey to attackers, such as during the siege led by Kretch Warpfang. The walls of the Bastion have to constantly be broken down and rebuilt to incorporate these new additions, leaving many to complain that the rapid growth of the city has become a problem. Freeguild regiments and the artillery of the Ironweld Arsenal garrison every section of the wall, their cannons and guns serving as the first line of defense for the city. The towers of the wall are lined with siege-cannons.[3a]

Other Locations

  • 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 Excelsis 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. 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]
  • 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]
  • Grand Librarium of Excelsis: An extensive library found within the city that, whose floors form into concentric rings that rise up as far as the eye can see. These floors are connected by winding staircases. Naturally a great many books and vellum scrolls can be found on every ring of this grand library.[10b]
  • Abbey of Remembered Souls: An abbey to which faithful pilgrims go after their dangerous journey to Excelsis.[2a]

Realmgates

Three Realmgates can be found within a hundred mile-radius of the Free City of Excelsis.[12a]

Notable Citizens

Groups

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]
  • Temple of Soris: A guild of cut-throats who maintain a chapel in the city. They have a wide network of contacts and black-market connections.[10a]

Flora and Fauna

  • Dreamspinners 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]

Entertainment

The bawdy houses of Excelsis are well known across the Mortal Realms.[11a]

Economy

Minerals are imported from the city of Skythane which sits to the north, high in the Gryphspine mountains. [8a] Within the Veins, the largest district of the city, the most commonly traded currencies are coins made of Meteoric Iron known as Motes and Meteors. But these markets are also known to accept stranger currencies such as crude coins made from Ur-Gold, Quicksilver Ingots, scales harvested from baby dragons, and of course Glimmerings, the crystal vials of prophecy that serve as the basis of Excelsis's economy.[3a]

Sources

Cities of Sigmar
Fortress Cities ExcelsisHammerhal AqshaHammerhal GhyraLethisMisthåvnSettler's GainVindicarum
Seeds of Hope Greywater FastnessLiving CityPhoenicium
Cities of Flame AnvilgardBrightspearHallowheartTempest's Eye
Free Cities AlshimeAnvalorAnvilheimAnvilspireArbitriumBarbed PromiseBlackwallBrighthallCatransaCelestriusColonnadeColostrumDarkdelveDesperanceDraconiumDuskhengeFort DenstFort GardusGlymmsforgeGravewildGreenfireGreyspireHarkraken's BaneHeldenhammer's TriumphHelmgardHoldashHollenwaldHoundsgateIzalendKurnotheaMatarkaMhurghstNew SadoriaScant HopeSeven WordsSkythaneTabernaTansisThanator's ManseThraeshTor LiminaUmbramoxVandium
Cities of Sigmar
Subfactions
Collegiate ArcaneDarkling CovensDevoted of SigmarDispossessedFreeguildIronweld ArsenalOrder SerpentisPhoenix TempleScourge PrivateersShadowbladesWanderers
Associated Factions Eldritch CouncilDaughters of KhaineFyreslayersKharadron OverlordsLion RangersOrder DraconisStormcast EternalsSwifthawk AgentsSylvaneth
Artwork