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Warhammer Saphery

Cairn Auriel is a natural harbour cutting into the high cliffs of Saphery's western coast. In addition to a silver lighthouse, structures of grace and simplicity surround a naturally sheltered bay of pale sand: white towers, golden domes and columned arcades are artfully arranged in an orderly and elegant manner around the fringes of the cliffs.[1a]

Even for Asur nobles, the harbour buildings themselves are something to behold, their slender marble quays projecting into the bay and floating just above the smooth surface of the water. Knowing to look for it, travellers can see the ripple of magic around the settlement, clinging to tall watchtowers, shimmering over the placid waters and carrying the sound of its inhabitants to newly arrivals by sea. Efforts by crewmen to bring their ships to harbour prove unnecessary, for magical currents draw their ships in safely and to a smooth halt against one of the quays, where seamen may tie their boats to silver bollards, though its suspected that said-ships would remain in place regardless.[1a]

As for the Cairn Auriel itself, the settlement is set amid the white cliffs, spreading outwards in radiating streets from the horseshoe shaped bay, fanning upwards on the slopes of the coastline towards the land of Saphery itself.[1a] Come morning, these streets become busy with all manner of passersby.[1b]

From The Light of Korhadris hostel, one can see a road climbing a steep, zigzagging route up the cliffs between tall trellises of gold and silver lined with summer blossoms. Said-path is barely wide enough for a horse, with a sheer drop of hundreds of feet should one fall. This route takes one hour to climb, yet upon reaching the top of the cliff travellers will be able to see the White Tower of Hoeth in the distance. Between Cair Auriel and the Tower, sweeping plains as rich and and welcoming as any in Ellyrion stretch out in undulated waves of green and gold, reaching all the way to the Annulii Mountains. A rippling haze of magic hangs visibly over the land and glorious forests dot the landscape, alive with birdsong and the droning of insects. The air is heavy with the scent of magically ripened crop, giving the impression of endless summers and days spent collecting the fresh harvest.[1b]

What's more, a temple of Ladrielle, its tumbled down walls fashioned from the same white stone as the cliffs, rises from the edge of a field. This is deliberately arranged to resemble a noble's folly, its statues artfully arranged to give an impression that they harvested the sheaves of corn themselves.[1b]

Trivia

  • The blooms garlanded around the trellises of the cliff road are described as being changed to white flowers of spring with the fragrances of the dawn. It is unclear if this change is made with the turn of the season, each month, or even on a daily basis. It is also unclear whether such changes are done by hand or by magic.[1c]
  • From the cliff, the settlement's red-tiled dwellings appear to rise up in tiered layers from the sea.[1c]

Source

  • 1: Defenders of Ulthuan by Graham McNeill
    • 1a: Chapter 8
    • 1b: Chapter 9
    • 1c: Chapter 14