Shu'gohl

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The Shu'gohl, also known as the Crawling City, is a city-state on the Amber Steppes of Ghur. It is built on the back of the Great Worm whose name is also Shu'gohl.[1] High aloft the Amber Steppes the city has weathered the tide of Chaos that have flowed around it on the Steppes. As the other Great Worms it is ever-moving and isolated, Shu'gohl is unique in so that it leaves a poisonous trail after it. The ground go black and anyone coming in contact with it wither, eaten from the inside by black worms. [1]

The city itself is built around the bristle-like hairs of the worm that have been hollowed out into towers, connected by hanging bridges. On top of the towers were large barrels collecting rain-water that was filtered down to farms inside the towers. There are also forests of frayed hair on the back of the worm, which are used as timber. The worm's scales are quarried to be used as stone.[1] Mirror plates also hang from the towers which reflect lantern light both down into the streets, and up into the heights helping to make Shu’gohl as bright as day even at night.[2]

It is several days hard riding from the city of Excelsis, mostly through orruk territory.[2]

History

Age of Myth

Shu'gohl and nine other great worms like it were driven from the cavernous depths of Ghur by great rains, aeons before the Age of Sigmar. At some point the ancestors of the Worm-Folk fled to the safety of the worms' backs, stories of old claim they did so to escape the hordes of Gorkamorka, and upon many of the worms they built great metropoli.[2b]

Age of Sigmar

Spoiler!
This page contains spoilers for: Skaven Pestilens (novel)


During the Realmgate Wars the city was invaded in what looked like a coordinated attack by two skaven warbands of the Clans Pestilens. First came the Congregation of Fumes consisting of skavens led by the plague priest Kruk of clan Festerlingus. Then came the Red Bubo Procession led by the plague priest Vretch of clan Morbidus.[1]

They had burrowed through the great worms flesh to surprise the defenders, the city soon fell to the overwhelming numbers of skaven. The influence of the plagues and diseases the skavens had inflicted upon the city and the worm itself would prove fatal to the great worm, as it writhed in agony. A clash between the skaven forces over the spoils were expected but interrupted by the unexpected return of the Stormcast. The Beast-Bane warrior-chamber of the Astral Templars led by lord-celestant Zephacleas and lord-relictor Seker Gravewalker were given the task of liberating the city and opening the realmgate to Azyr again.[1]

The skaven had come in search for a Liber Pestilent, the recipe for one of the Thirteen Great Plagues. They had come unknowing of each other, a scheme administered by the Verminlord Corruptor Skuralanx. With even more unexpected help from a host of Seraphon did they drive out the skaven and with the lord-relictors healing abilities did they banish the plagues that allowed the great worm to survive.[1]

Once it had been freed from the skaven it slowly regained prominence as one of the great trading hubs of the steppes. As the Age of Sigmar progressed, thousands of merchants, pilgrims and travellers of all sorts arrived every day, seeking passage on the ancient basket lifts, which connected the worm’s back to the ground far below. The inhabitants of the city hunt the skaven which still can be found deep in the worm, they do this "in the bleeding season when the the gut-shafts expand, and grow slick." [2]

Shu'gohl the Great Worm

Shu'gohl, the Great Worm itself is a colossal, segmented beast that crawls along the Amber Steppes. It devours all within it's path whether it be herds of great beasts or entire kingdoms. It is one of ten such worms, each of them driven to the surface aeons ago by great rains. It is claimed that the Great Worm stretches from "sunset to sunrise".[2b]

Locations

  • Basket Lifts: These lifts connect the city upon the worm's back to the ground, allowing the thousands of travelers, pilgrims, and merchants who seek passage into the city easy access via the land.[2a]
  • Bristle-Towers: The Bristle-Towers, or Setae Towers, of the Crawling City are structures carved into and made from the hair-like setae that grows from the worm's back. These towers rise above the squirming, clustered streets found on the worm's backs. They are connected connected to one another and the streets by walkways and bridges made from warm-scale and setae. Mirror plates hanging from the towers are used to reflect lantern light down onto the city streets, ensuring the city is as bright as day even at night, these lights are part of a defense system to keep watch for the Skaven who still lurk deep within the worm.[2b]
    • Aerial Docklands:A group of the tallest of the bristle-towers have been converted to provide substantial aerial docklands - mainly for Kharadron Overlords traders, they are built from hair, skin-plates and other assorted materials, stretched in the round. [2b]
  • Dorsal Barbicans: These high walls rise up from the worm's middle, separating the most affluent districts from the rest of it. The walls are made from ironoak, fossilized setae, and hardened ichor. Wooden bridges connect the inner walls to the outer ones.[2b]
    • Central Plaza: The central plaza is covered in dyed and polished setaen tiles. It is lined by statues of great heroes from the city’s history whilst guards, mostly freeguild, stand watch, tired or thirsty travellers can even collect water from bronze taps of great barrels which are scattered about the central courtyard. These barrels are rain siphons, communal property and much larger version atop each of the setaen towers. The water collected in these is filtered down to the fungal farms in the dorsal districts, and the breweries and steam-houses of the anterior.[2b]
    • Libraria Vurmis: A great library with ancients texts from all over Ghur is located in the Crawling City, the Smith-God Grungni himself claims it to be the greatest library in the lower realms.[2a] The Vurmite Order, an order of holy warriors make their base here and are devoted to maintain this library.[2b]
  • Dorsal Districts: The fungal farms of these districts are fed rainwater filtered from massive barrels found atop the city's setaen towers.[2b]
  • Olgu'gohl: As the worm crawls across the steppes it devours all in its way, settlements and even cities and those end up in Olgu'gohl, the belly of the worm known as the Squirming Sea. According to the Mappa Vurmio the remnants of Geistmaw, a Skaven settlement can be found lodged into its shores.[1]
  • Sahg'gohl: An ever-raging storm hangs over the worm's head. The head of the worm is known as Sahg'gohl, the storm-crown, of the city-worm. Atop it a massive temple-complex was built aeons ago by the ancestors of the worm-folk, who found their way up on the worms back and chose to build their city atop it. It is a temple to Sigmar were a Realmgate is situated that used to lead to the Luminous Plains in Azyr.[1][2b]
  • Streets of the Crawling City: There are no truly permanent streets within the Crawling City, as they constantly change and shift as the worm traverses the grasslands of the Amber Steppes.[2b]
  • Watch Towers on the Flanks: These watch towers are dispersed all across the Great Worm's flanks. The Worm-Folk, human natives of the city, have devices within these towers that emit beams of light. These search lights are used to search the worm's flesh and the grasslands below for any enemies that might seek to attack the city or the worm it's built upon.[2b]

Military

The city is regularly defended by a combined force of Setaen Guard and grey uniformed soldiers of the Freeguilds. The Setaen Guard are the infamous local guards of the city and the Freeguild is a newer addition, one of many concessions the ruling council of the city made to the Azyrites who did much to aid the Worm-Folk in recovering their city, though some believe the Azyrites are beginning to demand too much.[2b]

  • Setaen Guard: The menacingly dressed city guard who wear dark robes, polished armor, and helms that resemble writhing tendrils.[2b]
  • Freeguild: The Freeguild elements operating in the city wear grey uniforms and wield spears.[2b]
  • Vurmite Order: In addition to the city guards, both local and Azyrite, there is the militant Vurmite Order. The Order of the Worm is a religious order dedicated to Sahg'mar, an aspect of the God-King.[2b]

Culture

Rainwater is caught and collected in barrels scattered across the city, these barrels and their contents are considered to be communal property. Larger barrels are found atop the setaen towers of the city and are used to filter water to fungal farms, breweries, and steam-houses.[2b]

Trade

The skyvessels of the Kharadron Overlords bring in a lot of trade to the Crawling City, a common trend for the Free Cities of Sigmar's growing empire. One of the Kharadron Captains that frequently trades with the Crawling City is Captain Njord Brondt of the Zank, who hauls in megalofin meat to trade with the city.[2c]

Inhabitants

The city, once freed from the Skaven, is highly cosmoplition and as well as traders, priests of many religions for all faiths are welcomed, although only one is truly honoured - Sigmar who the locals call Sahg’mahr, as is evident from the many wayshrines in the streets. A visitor could expect to see Nagashites, white-robed and golden-masked Hyshites and even covens of wild-haired forest-brides singing eerie hymns in praise of the Lady of Leaves, all in the same area. [2]

Sources

Cities of Sigmar
Founding Cities Anvilgard (Har Kuron) • ExcelsisHallowheartHammerhalTempest's EyeVindicarum
Seeds of Hope Greywater FastnessLiving CityPhoenicium
Free Cities AlshimeAnvilheimArbitriumBlackwallBrighthallBrightspearCatransaCelestriusColonnadeColostrumDarkdelveDraconiumGlymmsforgeGravewildGreenfireGreyspireHelmgardIzalendKurnotheaLethisMatarkaMhurghstMisthåvnSeven WordsSettler's GainSkythaneTabernaThraeshUmbramoxVandium
Scion Cities Phoenicium: HoldashHoundsgate
Cities of Sigmar
Factions
Collegiate ArcaneDarkling CovensDevoted of SigmarDispossessedFreeguildIronweld ArsenalOrder SerpentisPhoenix TempleScourge PrivateersShadowbladesWanderers
Associated Factions Eldritch CouncilDaughters of KhaineFyreslayersKharadron OverlordsLion RangersOrder DraconisStormcast EternalsSwifthawk AgentsSylvaneth
Artwork