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About this blog

This blog is about Port Stellis, a Free City located in the Realm of Ulgu, built on the Coast of Fleeting Hopes and surrounded by dark uncharted lands.

Entries in this blog

Nocturne, the deadly shadow

"Commander, we found a dead body on the docks during our patrol. A duardin miner. Someone slit his throat." Isilde Brumehaut looked up with weariness at the subordinate who came to deliver his morning report in her office. Another concern that added to the pile of problems she had to solve. If the victim had been murdered at the docks, the territory of the aelf privateers, then it was probably a settling of scores... "I can already hear the countless recriminations of the miners' syndicate," said the commander with a sigh. Do you have any leads on who did this?
- I don't think the duardins will make any noise this time, ma'am. The murder was signed. With a card marked with the symbol of a dagger.
- A card? The same as the others?
- Yes, ma'am. It was Nocturne. Again.
- What about the corpse?
- We have checked. Like the other stiffs, he had a black mark on his chest. The eight-pointed star." Isilde fell back into her chair with a slight relief. Not only had a chaos cultist been killed, but representatives of the miners' syndicate would keep a low profile at the next Conclave meeting, embarrassed by the fact that a member of their race could have given in to the promises of the dark gods.
All in all, this day was off to a pretty good start. ——————————————————————————————————————— Between the strange climate of the realm of Ulgu and the bay with its sea air, the free city of Port Stellis is regularly wrapped by fog. A blurry shadow creeps through the misty streets, invisible to everyone. And when the mists recede, revealing the starry sky, a camouflaged silhouette walks on the rooftops of the city, furtive and intangible, before passing through a wall and disappearing like a ghost... This shadow, which all the inhabitants know from stories and legends, is known as Nocturne. No one knows who this character is or what his or her real name is. Nocturne has been roaming the alleys of Port Stellis for years and no one has ever been able to see it. Even its existence is questionable. But one thing is certain: people die, murdered by Nocturne, who always leaves a card marked with the symbol of the Shadowblades beside each body. And each of the victims, from the first to the last, regardless of gender, age or race, had a dark secret: they worshipped the chaos gods. An unholy tattoo or a strange mutation was always hidden under the clothes. It did not take long for the authorities in Port Stellis to understand that the city was blessed with a kind of guardian angel who was protecting it from chaotic corruption with remarkable efficiency. The rumour spread quickly and soon everyone knew that the Shadowblades of Azyrheim (or at least one of them) were watching the citizens of Port Stellis. Any chaotic deviance would be punishable by death. And no secret can resist a ghost killer who is able to blend into Ulgu's mists, change appearances as if they were only illusory masks and penetrate walls as if they didn't exist.... So today, here is another personality from Port Stellis: an Aelf assassin from the Shadowblades faction. In order to convert a tad the assassin's mini, I replaced his hooded head with a warhammer 40K eldar harlequin head (didn't need to buy an eldar kit, I just bought the head from a bits seller on the internet). I think the mask is more fitting for an Order assassin. And while I was at it, I slightly repositioned his left arm so it wouldn't hide his mask. Now that I finished painting this masked killer, he will join his comrades in future battles. Because Nocturne doesn't just wander around the city in batman mode, looking for chaos worshippers. Sometimes, the soldiers of Port Stellis who fight to defend their city against monsters think they see an elusive shadow sneaking from one enemy to another, as if it were dancing, leaving dead bodies in its trail, all stabbed with surgical precision...

The Golem

The Golem

Moryelle the Loremistress

"My colleagues want to see concrete results before we can decide whether or not to renew our support to your enterprise. So you know what you have to do, your Lordship Somberheart..."
— Moryelle, Loremistress and Eminent Emissary of the Eldritch Council of Azyrheim   This aelf, who came directly to Port Stellis from Azyrheim, plays an important role in the city as an emissary of the Eldritch Council (she is at the moment the only member present in the free city). Although she is not a member the Conclave of Port Stellis, she attends their meetings as an esteemed consultant on magic and all things supernatural. A role that sometimes puts her in competition with the Astromancers' Guild and its Grand Master, Caius Lorentius. In addition to her role as emissary, Moryelle also works for the dreadlord Sicath Somberheart, commander of the Order Serpentis army currently stationed in Port Stellis. She officially assists him as an advisor and provides him with magical support. But what everyone (except Sicath) doesn't know is that Moryelle is a double agent. Although she is a member of the Eldritch Council of Azyrheim, her allegiance goes first to the Darkling Covens. She acts as the liaison agent between Sicath Somberheart and the sorcerers of the Covens. Her mission is to help Sicath and his knights of the Order Serpentis to regain their lost fiefdom in the north but also to monitor them and send reports to the Covens who are closely observing the situation. If Sicath succeeds in taking back his domain which is currently occupied by slaaneshi, then the Lord-sorcerers and the Queen-sorceresses of the Darkling Covens will begin a large-scale military campaign, with the help of the Order Serpentis, to reclaim all their lost territories in the realm of Ulgu.        

The Golem

The Golem

The City Watch of Port Stellis

The Protectors of the Candle "We protect the light in the darkness." — motto of the Protectors of the Candle. Like any other major city of Order, Port Stellis is governed by a Conclave composed of representatives of the various factions, guilds and corporations of the city: the aelf corsairs, the miners' syndicate, the knights of the Order Serpentis, the astromancy guild, etc. Each of these groups seeks above all to protect and develop their own interests. As a result, there are often rivalries and tensions between them. However, there are two factions that do not participate in this game of political influence because they exist primarily to fulfill a duty: the Stellar Champions and the  Protectors of the Candle.
The first are stormcast eternals stationed in a fortress on the edge of the city and they live to accomplish the mission that the God King has given them. They are not involved in Port Stellis' internal affairs and will only intervene in cases of war or chaotic corruption.
The latter are none other than the city watch who ensures security inside Port Stellis. They are men and women who have chosen to enlist, wear uniforms, enforce laws and maintain public order. While it should be prestigious role, it is rather an ungrateful and dangerous job. Soldiers with several years of service are generally considered particularly tough and stubborn. The budget allocated to the city watch is very limited, so the hierarchy is forced to be cheeseparing over every expenses. For example, the uniforms are all the same size, each soldier having to sew it up if necessary. In addition, the city watch is lacking men, especially for a city the size of Port Stellis, which makes the work considerably more difficult. And as if that wasn't enough, the soldiers' pay is rather poor... Nevertheless, the inhabitants of Port Stellis must admit that without the Protectors of the Candle, the city would quickly fall into anarchy.   Isilde Brumehaut "We're not giving up ground! Hold your positions! And remember: we protect the light in the darkness! Let's show them what we've got! For Port Stellis! For Sigmar!" — Isilde Brumehaut The Commander of the Candle is Isilde Brumehaut, an upright soldier descended from a noble lineage of azyrite origin. Not only does she command her soldiers and supervise the security of the city, but she also serves as a member of the Conclave. While she never falters in her task and never loses her seriousness, the days spent arguing in endless debates in the Conclave and mediating conflicts between guilds make her regret not being on the field as a normal soldier any more. Her desk is invaded by staggering piles of administrative paperwork that seems to renew themselves every day and her drawer is filled with migraine medication... But sometimes, when the city is in danger, she can gladly abandon her administrative duties and lead her soldiers into the action along with the champions of Sigmar.    

The Golem

The Golem

The Stellar Champions Vanguard Raptors

Hey! It's been a looong time since I last posted in this blog (nearly two months!). Well I haven't forgotten about Port Stellis at all, I was just working on some other projects meanwhile. Anyway! Here are my first vanguard stormcast from the Stellar Champions stormhost: three Vanguard Raptors with Hurricane Crossbows.   Back then, when I started to assemble them, I had the choice to equip them with Longstrike Crossbows or Hurricane Crossbows.
When we look at their stats and ability, the Lonstrike Crossbows are obviously meant as some sort of sniper rifles: with them, the raptors can shoot once per turn over a long distance and with great accuracy. They are perfect to snipe at enemy heroes without taking too much risk. However I dont think it is particularly exciting to play with sniper stormcast who sit on their butts and shoot at the enemies from afar. Which is why I preferred to equip my raptor guys with Hurricane Crossbows: more firepower (6-9 attacks) but shorter range (18") and lesser accuracy (4+ /4+). That way the raptors will have to get quite close to the enemies and thus more exposed to danger. On another topic, I have slowly started to prepare my corsairs aelf from Port Stellis. And I decided I will convert all or most them, using a few bits from WH40K dark eldars, to make them look like a motley crew (by the way, the corsairs from WHFB look a bit to homogeneous for my taste). Here is a preview of my first Port Stellis corsair: That's all for now! I will probably paint my Vanguard Hunters next and continue to assemble/convert my corsairs meanwhile.

The Golem

The Golem

Introduction post - what is Port Stellis?

Hi guys! With all the stuff lately about the Free Cities, such as those from the Firestorm campaign box, or about making our own cities, I started to think about a setting for my Order armies. I must say that I really love the idea of several races (humans, aelf, duardins, etc.) coexisting in a same army under the banner of their Free City. So I cooked my own Free City: Port Stellis. What is Port Stellis? It is a harbour city located on the Coast of Fleeting Hopes, in one of the thirteen domains of Ulgu.
The Coast of Fleeting Hopes is a very dark region: the night lasts half of the year while the day is bleak and gray during the other half. Port Stellis was originally an aelf corsair campment but it developped fast to become a fully fortified city thanks to human, duardin and aelf settlers. To this day, Port Stellis has become the home of nearly 100.000 people (humans, aelves, duardins and stormcast eternals) and the number is growing. The city and the surrounding region possess many special and uniques features which make it a strategic place for the Order alliance. What factions are there in Port Stellis? Here is a list of some of the main Order factions in Port Stellis at the present time (more may come when the city gets bigger): Collegiate Arcane Dispossessed Free Peoples Order Serpentis Scourge Privateers Stormcast Eternals The others Order Factions are not necessarily absent from Port Stellis, but they don't have enough people present in the city to be considered as "real factions". Now, let's see the special features of Port Stellis! The Star Ocean Gate and the Scourge Privateers "I've sailed thousands of miles, thousands of miles, chasing the stars...♪" — excerpt from a popular song among the aelf sailors The primary feature of Port Stellis is a huge Realmgate situated in the middle of the city bay. Its leads indirectly to the realm of Azyr. Since this gate is on the very surface of the water, a ship or a boat is required to pass through it. However crossing it is particularly dangerous because before you can arrive in Azyr, you need to sail through a mysterious interspace which separates the realms of shadows and heavens: the Star Ocean. The Star Ocean is a magnificent and breathtaking vision: a starry night sky, without any cloud or any light pollution, and a perfectly still ocean which reflects the sky just like a mirror. When a boat passes through the gate and enters the Star Ocean, it is exactly as if it were floating through the cosmos. It is all quiet and silent with scintillating stars everywhere and beautiful clouds of interstellar dust. However the Star Ocean is seemingly infinite and thus dangerous: if a captain goes astray or simply doesn't know how to follow the secret path hidden in the stars, then there is no way back home. The ship will get lost and wander forever... To this day, only the aelfs corsairs of the Coast of Fleeting Hopes know the path through the Star Ocean and to the realmgate at the other side. And even if they know the way, they still need the blessing of Sigmar to open the gate to Azyr. Note that those aelves worship Sigmar under the aspect of Silmaris, God of Cosmos, Lord of storms and Guardian of the Star Ocean. 
Since the corsairs are the only sailors who can travel from Port Stellis to Azyr and thus transport passengers and/or merchandises, they have a huge importance in the city and they are one of the most influential factions. Among them, Captain Naritha Blackbird is the most powerful of all: she commands nearly all the aelf corsairs of the Coast of Fleeting Hopes. The Scintillating Mines and the duardins miners "Brothers, sisters, never forget that Port Stellis is flourishing thanks to us and our hardwork!" — Barik De Bier Half a day's walk from Port Stellis are the Scintillating Mines. They are a network of underground galleries in which duardin miners extract precious gems called clariæ . It is an iridescent gemstone that emit a scintillating light, like a little star. Clariæ gems are Port Stellis's first export merchandise but there are also a lot of jewelers in the city who specialize themselves in carving those gems and craft beautiful jewels out of them. The wizards of the Astromancer Guild are also very interested by those gemstones and they are actively studying them since they believe they may have magical properties. The duardins of the Miners' Syndicate pride themselves on providing the city's primary source of wealth (the gemstones) and thus they have a lot of influence in Port Stellis. Although they wish they could do business without the aelf corsairs, they need them to export their gems in Azyr.  The Miners' Syndicate is led by Barik De Bier, the richest duardin in town, who wears clariæ rings on each of his nine fingers. Rumors say that he became incredibly rich during his youth when he found a melon-sized gemstone while digging in the mine's deepest tunnels. The Stormkeep of the Stellar Champions "Sigmar's light shines eternal!" — motto of the Stellar Champions A garrison of Stormcast Eternals is present in Port Stellis. They are the Stellar Champions, one of Sigmar's stormhosts. Their most striking feature is their dark armors adorned with stars. Their leader is the noble Lord Aquilor Andras Silverblade.
The Stellar Champions' mission is not only to protect Port Stellis and keept it clean from chaos corruption, but also to chart the region of the Coast of Fleeting Hopes and hunt the strange wild monsters who may become a threat should they get close to the city. Sometimes they are accompanied by the aelf corsairs who are always interested in hunting and capturing monsters. The Order Serpentis "I will take back what is mine and those barbarians will regret being born." — Sicath Somberheart A detachment of the Order Serpentis is posted in Port Stellis. The knights are led by Sicath Somberheart, an old white haired dreadlord who aspires to take back his lost fiefdom from the hands of Chaos barbarians. When the Age of Chaos came, he had no choice but to flee with his soldiers in Azyrheim because the  enemies were too numerous. But after several centuries he will finally have his revenge... In fact his lands are only a week's walk from the Port Stellis. So far his soldiers have been training and defending the city along with the regular army, waiting for the day they will be fully ready. New drakespawn riders regularly come through the Star Ocean Gate to join Sicath's cause and pledge fealty to him. Sicath has the secret support of a few sorceresses of the Darkling Covens who are also waiting to take back their own lands in Ulgu. If Sicath is successful in his quest then they too will move in Ulgu and go to war with their chaotic enemies. The Astromancer Guild "The long dark night is coming. Sure it will be gloomy around here for half a year but this will also be ideal for studying the constellations!" — Caïus Lorentius Port Stellis is the home of the renowned Astromancer Guild. It is a college of wizards who seek to master the magic of heavens (although a minority of them choose to learn the magic of shadows instead). The Guild is led by the grand master Caius Lorentius, a very stern scholar who possesses his own Celestial Hurricanum.   That's it for now. I will write more about the Coast of Fleeting Hopes and its strange inhabitants later. Here is a stormcast on which I tested a color scheme for my Stellar Champions Stormhost. When the real army will come, I will probably do a few minor tweaks in the color scheme (like painting the halo around the helm in a different color, perhaps silver) but the idea is there. The vanguard stormcast from the blightwar set will be painted like that. Meanwhile I ordered a gaming mat which will represent the typical terrain around Port Stellis and in the Coast of Fleeting Hopes: I can't wait for it to be delivered at my home!

The Golem

The Golem

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