|Ages of the Mortal Realms|
|Age of Myth | Age of Chaos | Age of Sigmar|
The Age of Myth is the period of relative peace and civilization when Sigmar ruled the Mortal Realms. Various races lived in civilized harmony. Sigmar raised up the primitive humans he found. This period started when Sigmar discovered the Mortal Realms and ended when Sigmar's alliance was fractured and the powers of Chaos one again assaulted the Mortal Realms, leading to the Age of Chaos.
The breaking of the world-that-was, the Great Victory of the Chaos Gods, the End Times – that forgotten epoch has many names. Only the gods of yore and the inhuman slann remember it vividly, and the truth of its demise is buried in the dust of history. Yet there are those who still abide, their essence or spirit having survived the cataclysm that swallowed their world, or been resurrected by the powers bound to their soul. The God-King Sigmar is foremost amongst them. His world was shattered, its core hurtling through the aetheric void, but he clung onto it still, and was borne toward the Mortal Realms. In them he found a set of realities crystallised from the scattered energies of his world.
It is said Sigmar was awakened in the void by the Great Drake. Introduced by that zodiacal godbeast to the Eight Realms, he embarked upon many great voyages of discovery, exploring each in turn. He journeyed long and far, finding enclaves of natives and overcoming the monstrous beasts that preyed upon them. Sigmar taught the scattered tribes of mankind many things, and soon they worshipped him as a deity above all others. The light of civilisation was conjured from the stuff of the lands. Over the course of a few generations, nomads with flint-tipped weapons ceased their wanderings and instead learned to build. At first their efforts were just rough huts, but as the centuries slid past, they built townships, cities and teeming metropolises. Trade flourished, and spires pierced the skies in every Mortal Realm.
Guided by inner knowledge and fate itself, Sigmar located and awakened other gods – those he recognised from his former life – with mixed consequences. Using strength as much as wisdom he formed a new pantheon around himself. Amongst its ranks were the duardin gods Grungni, the Great Maker, and Grimnir the Furious. They were joined by darker presences – Malerion of the Shadow Realm, and even Nagash, the Great Necromancer, for they too desired worlds of order and progress over which to rule. Alarielle the Everqueen saw the hope of new life in Sigmar, and the twin-headed brute Gorkamorka was won over to the God-King’s cause after a duel that flattened mountains. Each gave unto Sigmar a godly gift in return for giving them new life, and Azyr, the realm he had chosen as his own, thrived like no other.
But so disparate were these gods that their common causes did not bind them for long. Over time, the fractious alliances faltered and broke apart. Worse still, another pantheon had set their covetous eyes upon these fertile lands. Slowly, insidiously, the whispers and promises of these fell powers sowed division and treachery throughout the lands until they were ripe for conquest. Sigmar, bearing the light of civilisation ever on, did not see many of the dangers that coiled in its shadow until it was too late. Though that light can still be seen whenever some relic or crumbled architecture is uncovered, the secrets of such splendours have been crushed beneath the heel of Chaos oppression – or else hidden away by the gods themselves.
It was Dracothion, the Great Drake, that first beheld Sigmar. The God-King was clinging to a lustrous sphere of sigmarite that hurtled unchecked through the aether. Entranced by its gleam, Dracothion chased the careening orb, seeking to capture it and set it in the heavens to better admire its beauty. Only then did the celestial drake notice the battered form of Sigmar gripping the pitted metal. Sensing a kindred spirit, Dracothion revived the god with a warming breath.
Sigmar thanked his saviour, bestowing gifts upon the Great Drake in gratitude. In turn, Dracothion showed Sigmar star bridges and crystalline passageways that led to each of the Eight Realms. Thus began the fabled Age of Myth.
The Age of Myth is shrouded in legend, remembered in song as a time of great alliances, mighty works of magic, the taming of zodiacal beasts and the founding of colossal cities. Sigmar’s claim to godhood was unassailable, his twin-tailed mark made upon domains still covered in the dew of creation. Yet he encountered much that was ancient even then. He wandered in amazement, finding portals between the realms and exploring each in turn. There are many tales of his supremacy: his slaying of the hydragors that guarded the gates to Shyish, his overthrowing of the volc-giants that once ruled the Great Parch of Aqshy, and the smiting of Ymnog, grandfather of gargants and sire of the godbeast Behemat. Even Auroxis the World Beast fell to a blow from his hammer, Ghal Maraz.
Despite their differences an accord was struck between the gods in those early days. Each of the Eight Realms was appointed a divine protector, and various oaths of domain and allegiance were sworn. Grungni taught mankind of metalcraft, and Nagash imposed order upon the spirits of the dead whilst his lifeless thralls laboured ceaselessly to build even grander edifices. Trade flourished by means of portal-like Realmgates. Even savage Gorkamorka worked long at his own task – to clear the wilds of monstrous things – for it suited him well, though ultimately his quest was consumed by the random violence so beloved of orruk-kind.
Whilst exploring Chamon, Sigmar climbed the Iron Mountains and there freed two gods enchained. Of how crippled Grungni and raging Grimnir repaid their debt to Sigmar, many songs are sung. Grungni joined Sigmar in his quest to forge a world free of evil, but Grimnir wished his debt settled then and there, and demanded Sigmar name a foe worthy of his blades. That same night Grimnir tracked Vulcatrix – the Mother of Salamanders and the mythic creature that first birthed flame into the worlds – to her lair. Endlessly, the wyrm uncoiled from her molten abyss. Grimnir hefted his axes and charged. The titanic clash that followed flattened hills and created the Plains of Aqshy, but neither would submit. The foes smashed into one another until god and beast alike rained down as a hail of blazing meteors.
The cities of that time were raised high, and the people that dwelt within their walls as numerous as the stars. For a while, those born into these worlds of wonder and possibility knew paradise. The God-King’s might was beyond question, as was that of his immortal allies from the World Before Time. In Grungni’s fair city of Elixia, in the Realm of Metal, the streets rang to the hammers of a thousand gifted artisans. On the balconies of Thyria’s arboretums in the Jade Kingdoms, the flowers of Alarielle’s magic bloomed in every archway. Grimnir’s great lodges burned hot with the fires of passion, his duardin people hunting down monstrous beasts until the lands were safe. Even Nagashizzar in the Realm of Death was a place of order and progress, a city where anarchy and warfare were but distant memories.
In that era, many a weather-torn skald made the bold claim that he had visited each of the Great Wonders of the Mortal Realms in person. Through the magic of the Realmgates it was thought possible for a man to achieve such an odyssey over the course of a hundred years. The Crystal Spires of Thrense, the Spear of Mallus jutting from the Coast of Tusks, the Bone Pillars of Antghor, the peak of Deific Mons in the Shyish Innerlands, the Sky Bridges of Ghur – all these and more were visited by the traders and travellers of that halcyon age.
The Dark God Slaanesh, glutted on countless souls after the demise of the world-that-was, was chained by the magic of the aelven gods Tyrion and Teclis. Trapped between the Realms of Light and Shadow, no more could Slaanesh seduce the civilisations that sprung up across the lands. His lustful worshippers cried out in fear and anguish, for no longer could they feel their direct connection with the god that gave them meaning. But Tyrion, Malerion and their allies did not consider their work complete. By means of painstaking ritual, they used the arcane bindings that held the Dark Prince to siphon the souls of many of the aelves he had consumed, cleanse them of taint, and take them into the mortal lands of Ulgu and Hysh to be reborn.
- Corebook (Second Edition)