WAR: Newsletter Zone Overview - Saphery
The folks from EA Mythic have provided us with this overview of the zone Saphery for the upcoming MMORPG Warhammer Online. The overview originally appeared in the February newsletter.
In all of Ulthuan, Saphery is the most mysterious and enchanting of Ulthuan's kingdoms. It is a land of magic, and serves as a training ground for the mages of Ulthuan. The White Tower of Hoeth is the central monument of this breathtaking land, and houses the length and breadth of arcane knowledge held by the High Elves. The best and brightest High Elf Archmages, including luminaries such as Teclis, have practiced and perfected their craft within the White Tower.
The White Tower of Hoeth was built during the reign of Bel-Korhandis. Bel-Korhandis the Scholar King was a wizard prince of Saphery who ruled as Phoenix King following the death of Tethlis the Slayer. Though he lived to see the White Tower completed, Bel-Korhandis died a short time later, and his remains were interred within the Tower's foundations.
The Swordmasters of Hoeth are native to Saphery. They are some of Ulthuan's preeminent martial artists, training for centuries to refine their mastery of swordplay and hand-to-hand combat. The Swordmasters are headquartered within the White Tower of Hoeth, wherein they perfect their minds, bodies, and martial abilities with constant and rigorous practice. They are the Guardians of the White Tower, protecting the scholars and Archmages that study within its alabaster halls.
Beyond the White Tower of Hoeth is the Tower of Flames. This enigmatic spire is home to the famed Dragon Mages, the undisputed masters of the Wind of Fire. Young mages who find themselves ill-suited to the quiet contemplation of the White Tower, and who prefer to devote their magical affinity to the defense of Ulthuan, can travel to the Tower of Flames and focus their studies on fire magic. Their trials are long and arduous, and few initiates take on the mantle of Dragon Mage without first being burned.
As the heart of Ulthuan's magical traditions, Saphery is a natural target of the Dark Elf invasion. Not only is Saphery home to many of Ulthuan's High Elf Archmages, it also holds countless artifacts and items of power. If the servants of Malekith can gain control of even a fraction of these magical resources, they can twist their power to their own ends, while simultaneously weakening the High Elves.
As the Dark Elves march from Avelorn into Saphery, they advance along a number of fronts, intent on dozens of targets. Prime amongst these are the many towers of Saphery, wherein the magical knowledge and power of the High Elves is kept. Of these, the Ithilmar Tower, the Tower of Flames, and the White Tower of Hoeth are three key objectives. If the Dark Elves were to take all three towers, it could spell ruin for the High Elves.
In addition to the towers of Saphery, several powerful Archmages make their homes in manors and estates that are scattered throughout this magical land. The names of Thanon Hall and Whitemoon Manor are synonymous with arcane knowledge, and each one is a target of the Dark Elf onslaught.
As if these vital holdings are not enough, the Circle of the Winds is sure to draw the attention of the Sorceresses of House Uthorin. The Circle is comprised of eight stones that are infused with the Winds of Magic. Formed when Ulthuan was still young, the Circle is vital to maintaining the balance of magical power within Saphery. The Dreadblight Convent, Lord Uthorin's personal cadre of Sorceresses, would enjoy nothing more than to corrupt the Circle of the Winds, thereby disrupting the ebb and flow of magic within Saphery.
When divided between this abundance of strategic targets, the High Elf defense of Saphery is a painfully thin line. Despite the defenders' dedication to the security of their homeland, they will be hard-pressed to repel the Dark Elves. Terrible sacrifices and difficult choices will need to be made, for the Dark Elf advance is broad, and the resources of Naggaroth are seemingly infinite.
All is not lost, for the divisions between the Dark Elf houses Arkaneth and Uthorin are beginning to widen. Not only do these two mighty houses face the High Elves, they are constantly at odds with one another for the Witch King's favor. Each house seeks to claim the White Tower of Hoeth first, and neither will stop until its rival house has been destroyed.
The Orcs of the Bloody Sun Boyz have been sent to Saphery to wreak havoc upon the holdings of the High Elves. Not to be left out, the forces of Chaos have also found their way onto Saphery's battlefields, intent on striking at the center of High Elf magic in Ulthuan: the White Tower of Hoeth. Knowing that the alliances between the Dark Elves and their Orc and Chaos allies are tenuous at best, the High Elves seek to rot this unholy trinity from within. It remains to be seen whether or not this High Elf tactic will work.
It is undeniable that darkness has come to Saphery, and that the fate of Ulthuan's magical heartland hangs in the balance.