Like a great dagger poised to stab deep into the earth, Temple Nimbus is a vast flying fortress that hangs above the continent of Elatreus. A brutal mass of armored buildings, towers and magical defense systems, the Fortress bristles with enough armament to rival the most powerful nations in the world, largely concealing the fact that beneath all the armor, rune-enhanced walls and firepower, Temple Nimbus is built around a ruined artifact that was old even when elves had just began wandering into Elatreus.
Constructed in the Sorcerer City of Notarikon during the Cataclysmic Wars over 1000 years ago, the flying fortress survived the untimely destruction of the city caused by Kurzatchal, the Life Ender, and now becomes the realm and home of the Deathless Witch and her tireless legions of Sentinels. Within the fortress lies a vast maze of corridors that wander past silent rooms and armored vaults sealed with adamantium doors. Beneath the aging banners of the ancient Sorcerer City of Notarikon bearing the heraldry of their creators and of glories from ages long past the Sentinels of Temple Nimbus move between chambers, practice arenas, armories and briefing rooms like specters in a dead city, their numbers replacing the fortress’ once human crews and residents.
The Hanging Forges
Temple Nimbus is divided into two sections; the lower half is what most of Elatreus would see when Temple Nimbus isn’t hidden by weather and clouds. It is called the Hanging Forges, and it is where the Sentinels gather to rearm, recharge and report. From the ground, the Hanging Forges resemble a twin-bladed dagger emerging from a gigantic black lotus flower pointing down towards the ground. Here, the Sentinels are dispatched on missions to all corners of Elatreus, and sometimes even beyond. The Fortress contains vast command rooms where Sentinel Captains come to discuss strategy, developments within their assigned duties, and consult with the higher-ranked officers and even the Sentinel Lords should the need arise.
Alongside the towering Sentinels scurry the far more numerous maintenance ‘bugs’ and spider-sentinels that keep Temple Nimbus alive and functioning. These mechanized ‘insects’ function under a collective hive mind called the Inference Engine located deep within Temple Nimbus’ core. However, the Inference Engine does not have authority over the bigger Sentinels, as its function is to maintain the fortress at peak efficiency as priority and defense only as secondary. However, the Inference Engine could be given temporary authority and command over the Sentinels currently stationed in Temple Nimbus, usually in the event of an attack when the Sentinel Lords are not present.
The namesake forges of the Fortress are located deep beneath its armored hull, secured behind the thickest blast doors and internal layers of runic shielding of the kind more commonly used to protect national treasures. This is the realm of fire and actinic light, of the beat of hammers and the fire of forges that arm and armor the Deathless Witch’s eternal soldiers. Glaives, rune swords, battle axes, drop-pods, and all the tools of the Sentinels are held and produced here. Even the Sentinels themselves are constructed in this realm of actinic light.
The lotus-flower shaped superstructure where the dagger-shaped Hanging Forges emerges from is in fact a well-arranged formation of ‘Drop-Blimps’ created using the same techniques used in Temple Nimbus’ construction, where each petals of the flower are one such ‘blimp’ and their docking clamps. These Drop-Blimps could detach like leeches from the superstructure, and deploy Sentinels to an area where even Temple Nimbus could not access or act as force projection for the flying fortress. Each blimp is capable of carrying twenty drop pods with ten Sentinels each, and is not designed for human operation.
In the deepest reaches of the Hanging Forges, curled in waiting sleep, are the weapons of mass destruction once used by the Sorcerer City of Notarikon; the Warstriders. These gigantic walking machines are used as siege engines and terror weapons; tearing down the walls and fortifications of the enemy whilst making a mockery of common anti-siege engine tactics — inspiring fear to any opposing army. There are believed to be 10 such war machines held within the armories of Temple Nimbus, though they have not been awakened to war in nearly a millennia. Only the Deathless Witch herself and the Sentinel Lords knows the truth of their numbers and state.
However, the Hanging Forges were modified multiple times during Temple Nimbus’ lifetime. Its original design was capable of submerging, effectively turning Temple Nimbus into an island in case it needs to land on water.
By 1020 IA, this submerging ability was traded for the drop-blimps and their docking clamps; Temple Nimbus no longer needs to land on water, and now flies permanently. However, should the drop-blimps are detached from the superstructure, Temple Nimbus technically could still land in deep waters.
The Hanging Forges continues to grow in size with every passing day as the Sentinels constantly improve its design and actively tests its defenses. Where it was once only half of Temple Nimbus, it now encompasses nearly three quarters of the flying fortress’ entire volume.
The Great Bastion
The second segment of Temple Nimbus, its upper half, resembles a great city with architecture that nearly shames the greatest castles and keeps in Lhasa and the Harmonious Isles (it was designed with a distinct oriental theme over the centuries while the Deathless Witch was in stasis, ostensibly to please her when she eventually awoke and remind her of her homelands). This section is Temple Nimbus’ primary command center and the Deathless Witch’s realm. As befits its name and purpose, this is also where the Sentinel Lords gather for their War Council.
The primary purpose of the War Council is to discuss the import of developments in Elatreus and to decide on how Temple Nimbus should respond. The reasons for a gathering of the War Council are many and diverse. Usually, such gatherings are connected to new intelligence on a threat to Temple Nimbus, or in response to battlefield reports from Sentinels in the field.
The War Council always takes place in the central chamber of Temple Nimbus’ primary command level. The Chamber is circular and over two hundred paces wide. The ceiling is gilded and decorated; in the center of which is set a circle of armored crystal that allows in the reflected light of Elatreus’ sun. The walls surrounding the Chamber is similarly decorated, though there are no statues present in the entirety of Temple Nimbus. The floor is black marble, inlaid with symbols associated with the Sorcerer City of Notarikon, the Archmage Council, and the oaths and bindings written by the Sentinels in the thousand year period when their creator remained in stasis.
When a gathering is called, the armored crystal focuses its light into the center of the room, where a great marble table with mahogany furnishings is present. Unless the Deathless Witch herself joins the gathering, then there are no seats in the Chamber; all who gather here stand as a sign that their devotion to their creator and the duty entrusted upon them is unending and without respite. Embedded in the floors and ceilings are gemstone image projectors used to project magical images to display information regarding the subject of the gathering.
Temple Nimbus’ High Command and the War Council falls into the hands of the Sentinel Lords and the Creator of the Sentinels, Kira – the Deathless Witch. Although the Sentinel Lords are not always present in Temple Nimbus, a gathering of the War Council can be called when either two Lords are present, or should their creator demand it.
The upper levels of the Castle is where the Deathless Witch calls home. It is nothing less than a mansion of unmatched beauty, invariably incorporating the most luxurious and opulent quarters matching, or even exceeding, the luxuries that the Aleutian Empire offers its royal family. Works of priceless art and artifacts of immeasurable antiquity adorn the rooms and walls of this mansion. It is even said that this is where the Deathless Witch keeps her collection of weapons and artifacts from all the different eras in history that has passed.
Recently, Temple Nimbus and its master has gained the ire of the Aleutian Empire’s crown prince, Zadicus. Its very presence to him is considered to be an existential threat – but for all intents and purposes, it appears to be unassailable and is a direct threat to the power mad young princes plans of total control and world domination..