Chapter: Blood Gate

Information relevant to the 9th chapter of The Third God

the Blood Gate

Here are contained the various studies that I made to help me understand the Blood Gate. I even resorted to making a model—fro some particularly complex landforms and structures, drawings are not enough

diagram of the Blood Gate from the book
the Blood Gate
the Blood Gate

I produced this diagram for inclusion in the Second Edition of The Third God, attempting to somewhat emulate the style of the Neil Gower originals

the Blood Gate as viewed from the Black Gate
the Blood Gate as seen from the Black Gate
the Blood Gate as seen from the Black Gate

This is what you see as you leave the crater of Osrakum, once you pass through the Black Gate—the Blood Gate sitting on its ‘island’ rock

Running up from the foreground, on the left, is the chasm of the Cloaca that divides on either side of the rock. Two bridges cross to the rock from either side of the canyon floor. Ahead rises the ‘homeward’ gates between the two immense towers that form the Blood Gate. Beyond, to the left, there is a glimpse of the Killing Field

The vast canyon walls rise up on either side

the Blood Gate as seen from above
plan of my Blood Gate model viewed from above

These two images show how, by making the model, I refined my understanding of the structure of the Blood Gate

From above, it can be seen how its structures all sit upon its ‘island’ rock—a portion of the Canyon floor left isolated by the branches of the Cloaca chasm (1) that pass it on either side. The Blood Gate proper (2) consists of two towers (one considerably larger than the other) linked together by two massive sets of double gates. Behind the Blood Gate is a large open field (5) that is joined to both sides of the inner Canyon floor by bridges (7). The front of the Blood Gate connects to the Killing Field (3) by means of a bridge over a ‘moat’ (8). The Killing Field connects to the two sides of the outer Canyon floor by means of two further bridges (6). Rising beyond is an immense tower-fortress called the Prow (4)—note that there is another ‘moat’ between the Prow and the Killing Field.

The tower in which Carnelian takes up residence is the smaller of the two (9).

Side view of the Blood Gate
side view of the Blood Gate
side view of the Blood Gate
a side view of the Blood Gate defensive system

There are aspects of the Blood Gate that are best appreciated from the side. Specifically, note the ‘moats’ that isolate the fortress structures from the Killing Field. The Prow tower is wholly isolated and can only be accessed through tunnels, running deep under the Killing Field, that connect it with the Blood Gate proper. The Blood Gate is connected to the Killing Field but only by a relatively narrow bridge, and this is blocked by the vast bronze gates that are considered impervious to any attack

Note also how high the Killing Field is above the Cloaca. The dragon with its tower depicted in the second image gives some idea of scale

the Blood Gate towers
view of the main towers and gate of the Blood Gate
view of the main towers and gate of the Blood Gate
balconies up the corner edge of the South Tower
balconies up the corner edge of the South Tower
the South Tower as seen from the south-west

The Blood Gate defensive system consists of two sets of gates, a number of bridges to narrow and direct any attack and three towers. One of these, the Prow, is isolated on the other side of the Killing Field and thus behind any potential attacker. Like the other towers, it is provided with a great number of huge flame-pipes fed from vast naphtha tanks. The other two towers—one twice the volume of the other—stand on either side of both sets of doors. Both are armed in the same way as the Prow. All three towers have, besides their military engines, large residential quarters for its garrisons.

Focusing our attention on the Southern Tower—that is the one in which Carnelian and Blue take up residence—the 2nd and 3rd diagrams show the tower’s south-western (incorrectly identified as south-east in my notebook) corner. The patterning of balconies matches the military hierarchy of the Ichorian Legion. It also gives a notion of the scale of this tower and, thus, the whole of the Blood Gate complex.

View into Osrakum from the Blood Gate
looking back into Osrakum from the South Tower of the Blood Gate

I produced this sketch to give me an idea of what could be seen from the South Tower of the Blood Gate when looking back into Osrakum. If I had just ‘made it up’ I would not have imagined that this is what it would look like

It does make certain things clear. The first is just how massive the Canyon is—the Black Gate, though quite a large structure in its own right, looks like a low fence. Even from this distance, the Pillar of Heaven is still a dominating landmark—which I suppose is not entirely surprising, since it is 2km high. I was a little surprised, however, to find that the Sacred Wall on the far side of the Skymere is also visible

the Canyon of the Three Gates
the stretch of the Canyon from the Green to the Black Gates

The Canyon of the Three Gates is the only way in and out of the crater of Osrakum. It is a narrow defile, running between sheer, cliff walls. Three fortresses have been built along its length, the three ‘gates’: the Green Gate, the Red or Blood or Ichorian Gate, and the Black or Death Gate. The Cloaca—a channel cut anciently in the floor of the Canyon—allows excess water to be carried out of the lake that fills the crater of Osrakum

The diagram shows only the portion of the Canyon that lies between the Green and Black Gates and is not drawn to scale. The Red Caves lie between the Blood Gate and the Black Gate

the Green Gate
the western approach to the Green Gate

The Green Gate is the first of the Three Gates and is a curtain wall, running across the Canyon, the surface of which is covered in bronze spikes, so that the whole mass looks like an immense hedge. At the lower level, gates act as ‘airlocks’, where goods from the Outer World are transferred to the other side by Red Ichorians. Gates higher up, on either side, allow the leftway and the Lords’ Road to continue along the Canyon. The former allows messages to pass in and out of Osrakum: the latter is used by the Chosen.

The drawing also shows how the Cloaca passes under the Gate through grilles. A throng of people are shown for scale

a plan of the Green Gate fortress

The second drawing shows a plan of the Green Gate. Note the double set of gates—each consisting of three gates—that seal off, between them, two ‘airlocks’. It is by this means that ‘contamination’ from the outer world is kept out of Osrakum

down in the Cloaca and the Corpse Dam
side view of the Cloaca with corpse dams

This shows a side view of the Cloaca looking north-west towards the ‘island rock’ upon which the Blood Gate complex is built. The horizontal line at the top of the diagram shows the top of the rock—the Killing Field in the centre, to the left the bridge that connects that to the outer canyon—to the right, the ‘moat’ and then the base of the Blood Gate itself

But what this diagram is really about is the corpse mound (one of two—there is another in the other branch of the Cloaca on the other side of the ‘island rock’) that has built up from the corpses ‘bulldozed’ from in front of the Blood Gate by Carnelian with his dragons, that then tumbled down the ‘moat’ into the Cloaca. Tiny figures, one on top of the ‘dam’ and another in front of it, show the scale. The level of the water building up in the Cloaca behind the dam is also shown