Seven Saints of Talis
Khal’Na’Slaanth is a fortress held by Slaaneshi troops in the far north-west of the continent. It is described a towering, fog-shrouded mountain, its slopes draped in strange vegetation and carefully-cultivated gardens of unknown origins. The few trails that wind their way up the slopes are often confusing and dangerous, not only because they pass directly through these strange jungles and gardens, but also because they frequently end abruptly at sheer cliffs, requiring flight or grav-chute drops to continue onward.
It is not known when, or how, this fortress was constructed, for Slaaneshi forces did not seem to play a major role in the taking of Talis for the Arch-Enemy. Be that as it may, Khal’Na’Slaanth is a formidable fortress. In addition to the strange effects of the flora in the shrouding gardens, it is home to all manner of strange creatures and frightening mutants, in addition to the “Flesh Sculptors”, a warband of the Emperor’s Children.
Divinations and long-range auspex have determined that Khal’Na’Slaanth is divided into roughly six separate regions on the mountain, though means by which one can travel from one section to another is not always obvious. It is assumed that concealed tunnels through the mountain are used in some cases, while some means of teleportation is employed in others.
At the base of the mountain, covering the bulk of its foothills and the lower reaches of its slopes stands the Crystal Forest. This glassy, ice-covered wood is not believed to be native to Talis, nor natural in design. It has been confirmed that it is a post-War development, for pre-War records of the region indicate that there were no forests of any kind in the region. The Crystal Forest is so named because it is a forest containing a staggering number of trees, similar in appearance to evergreen trees, though many examples exist that resemble birch and maple, all of which seem to be made of ice or a bluish crystal. It is said that the air here is filled with a haunting melody as the wind causes the leaves and needles of these trees to rattle and ring. Dim sunlight, filtering down from the clouds above, sparkles through the crystalline lattice, making hypnotic patterns and rainbow glamours on all below. Though anyone can enter the Crystal Forest on foot from anywhere around the mountain, the only obvious path through appears to be a two-lane road formed of roughly-octagonal, crystalline flagstones, which some believe are the crushed remains of leaves, needles and fallen trees. Regardless of its origins, observers have reported seeing armored vehicles and columns of troops moving up and down this winding road.
Above the Crystal Forest, banding the mid-range slopes of the mountain, there stands a series of jagged peaks and spires, draped with hanging moss, frozen waterfalls and ice and snow deposited by the frequent cloud cover. This region of the mountain is noted to hide a warren of tunnels and access-points to the interior, theorized to be pre-War mine-works. This region is referred to as the Spider Garden, notably because of the web-like network of ice-bridges, lattice-work gates and similar features. Long-range observation has witnessed several types of infantry forces, mortal and otherwise, moving in and out of the many tunnels.
Jutting out of the side of the mountain several hundred meters above the Spider Garden, the Reflecting Pools is a network of natural springs situated atop a flat spur of rock, believed to be a lesser volcanic peak that, in the far-distant past, blew its apex off and sealed its magma chamber in the resulting collapse. On this plateau stands several constructions of strange and alien design, believed to be the Chaos-warped remains of a resort community. Strange and terrible mutants and other debased figures have been witnessed around these pools, and it is believed that the Flesh Sculptors keep some sort of armory or other hold-fast here.
Within the mountain, three additional areas are theorized to exist, based on captured intelligence reports and divinatory practices. The first of these is referred to in some records as “The Arena”. It is believed that this is a staging ground for military forces as well as training area. It is also theorized that the motor-pool is located nearby, and that the various armored vehicles and mobile artillery pieces are sent from here, via sorcerous means, to distant battlefields.
Elsewhere within the mountain is the Barbican, which heralds the actual fortress of the forces of Slaanesh. Though it has never been physically seen, it is surmised to encompass a number of cross-supporting towers and defensive points, arrayed around a central gate or similar structure. It is believed that the defenses of the hold here are predominantly automated, though they may contain sorcerous or arcane support elements.
Beyond the Barbican is the Palace, where the high command and elite soldiers of the Slaaneshi forces are housed. It is expected that this, the armored heart of the citadel, is where the daemonic troops, the Chaos Space Marines and the current field commander of these forces is housed. It is not known who the current commander of the Slaaneshi forces is, following the death of Pain-Giver Phlebemia Gottlerut two years ago.