Sommerdamm - Crown, or Tomb, of Human Civilisation

Bill Beacham, Square Enix

Meridian, capital of Nosgoth's Human civilisation - a vast city, home to craftsmen, thinkers and warlords. While most Human settlements could boast populations in the hundreds, Meridian’s paved streets were trodden by hundreds of thousands. Its fresh running water, gilded monuments and numerous columned bridges were alien to visitors more accustomed to Humanity’s isolated towns built of straw and wood. More than just a living space, the city of Meridian cultivated learning at its universities, training philosophers and architects, alchemists and generals to shape the world in their image.

Such wonders can inspire, but they also breed arrogance. So it was that great thinkers of Meridian conceived the idea that the Humans of Nosgoth could possess the world for themselves; that they need not share it with the Vampires who lived beside them. With Vampire-kind extinct, Humanity could walk this world alone. From amongst the ashes of the world, they claimed Humanity would rise, the embers of the fire, ready to burn forth again. So, the forces of Humanity conspired to rid Nosgoth of the Vampires.

Humanity’s gamble failed, for in their way stood Kain, whose leadership swept the Vampire armies across the land until they reached Meridian, pierced its walls and fell upon the terrified population. In place of a world dominated by mankind, Humanity found itself herded into the blood farms to face a life of oppression, hopelessness and terror. Broken and smashed, the city of Meridian was now nothing more than a scar on the landscape, a monument to the arrogance of mankind.

Stone by Stone - Rebuilding

Meridian, and the forts that protected its approaches were all but forgotten by Vampire kind. For Humans, penned, chained, staring at nothing but servitude and death, Meridian was a place of legendary splendour. It was no surprise then that those few people to escape the blood farms found themselves making their way to Meridian’s ruins. Year by year, the numbers of survivors in the ruins grew.

From flight and survival, the dreams of the survivors who made their new home here began to change to a desire to rebuild all that had been lost. Stone by stone, the defences of Meridian were raised once more and when the Vampires did return to the city seeking those that had escaped, they found the gates shut against them, the walls stout and defended.

With Kain missing and a civil war brewing amongst the Vampire Clans, there was no appetite amongst the Vampires for raising the army necessary to conquer the city and take it back from the Human rabble there. Meridian was just ash and ruin, what dangers could there be when a few Humans who had escaped the blood farms began to clamber over the shattered stones and blackened timbers to hide among its shadows?

So, Humanity remained and as the city grew back from its very bones, it was not only the walls that climbed upward, but also the aspirations of those that lived there. A desire that had once been kindled in Meridian, of a world where Humanity had driven the Vampires from Nosgoth began to grow again. First they would rebuild Meridian’s walls, then they would stretch out to strike back.

Meridian is now the biggest Human city in Nosgoth. Whilst Freeport has been rebuilt, by comparison it is a collection of huts and hovels sheltering behind the city walls, whilst Willendorf has still not swelled its population to the numbers found here. Meridian has recovered many of its past glories - stone towers, houses and forges, a home to research where new weapons are designed and forged. The recently arrived Alchemists have here found fertile ground for their experiments. Other cities offer shelter and soldiers – Meridian offers a future.

With its districts split across islands linked by delicate bridges, it is defensible at many points. A city of waterways, the approaches to Meridian are defended in depth by walls, forts and deeply cut channels. Each entrance has its own causeway fort which together make up a formidable layer of defences a full half mile from the city walls. Named after the seasons, each fort has its own garrison and supplies to allow it to withstand assault unaided. Of these forts Sommerdamm was one of the last to be repaired as it broken bridge and fallen walls had blocked the way in. Only half its defences were thus rebuilt when the new war for Nosgoth began.

The Siege of Sommerdamm

Meridian has regained its status as capital of Humanity. Once more it offers shelter, industry and education. A birthplace for ideas, this is Humanity’s crown jewel, the centre of their world. For Vampires, it is the ultimate prize. Capture Meridian, drag its population back to the blood farms and the rest of Humanity will scuttle back into the shadows. To take Meridian, first the causeway forts that stand guardian over its approaches must be seized.

Several Vampire armies have been besieging the forts that defend the way into the city. Their best chance lies at Sommerdamm. Though strong, this fort is a weak link in the chain of defences that protect the city approaches. Should the Vampires capture Sommerdamm they will have opened a chink in Meridian’s armour and, perhaps, a first step to destroying this Human uprising. Breaching the outer gates and accepting that many of their clan would fall in the attempt, the Turelim forced a way into the city and across the causeway.

Now a battle rages within the fort and whichever side triumphs will hold the keys to Meridian’s gates.