|Ages of the Mortal Realms|
|Age of Myth | Age of Chaos | Age of Sigmar|
In this age, the various intelligent races of the realms lived in civilised harmony. It was in this time that Sigmar first raised up the primitive Men he found, much as he had once done on the World-That-Was.
This age started when Sigmar discovered the existence of the Mortal Realms born from the magical energies unleashed with the destruction of the World-That-Was and ended when Sigmar's alliance with the other gods of the Pantheon of Order was fractured.
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 now remember it vividly, and the truth of that ancient world's 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 ancient God-King Sigmar is foremost amongst them. His world was shattered, its core, Mallus, 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 that had once composed and later unmade his world.
It is said Sigmar was awakened from slumber in the void by the Great Drake, Dracothion. Introduced by that Godbeast to the Eight Realms, the God-King embarked upon many great voyages of discovery, exploring each realm 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, just as they had once before in the World-That-Was.
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 produced 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 of Order around himself.
Amongst its ranks were the Duardin gods Grungni, the Great Maker, and Grimnir the Furious. They were joined by darker presences -- Malerion the Shadow King, and even Nagash, the Great Necromancer, for they too desired worlds of order and progress over which to rule.
Each gave unto Sigmar a godly gift in return for giving them new life, and Azyr, the realm the God-King 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 of the Pantheon faltered and broke apart. Worse still, another, far darker pantheon had set their covetous eyes upon these fertile lands.
Slowly, insidiously, the whispers and promises of these fell powers, the Chaos Gods, so eager to spread their corruption to new worlds, 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 since been crushed beneath the heel of Chaos oppression -- or else hidden away by the gods themselves.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Before the Ages
- 1.2 Age of Myth
- 1.2.1 Travels of Sigmar
- 1.2.2 Wanderings of Gorkamorka
- 1.2.3 Rulers of Shadow
- 1.2.4 Awakening of the Everqueen
- 1.2.5 Deeds of Grimnir
- 1.2.6 Rulers of Light
- 1.2.7 Encounter of the Gods
- 1.2.8 Freeing of Nagash
- 1.2.9 Labours of Grungni
- 1.2.10 Doom of Grimnir
- 1.2.11 Duel of the Gods and the Birth of the Pantheon of Order
- 1.2.12 The Golden Centuries
- 1.2.13 Chaos Stirs Beyond the Veil
- 1.2.14 Common Enemies
- 1.2.15 Rise of Empires
- 1.2.16 Foundation of the Fyreslayer Cult
- 1.2.17 Doom of Shadespire
- 1.2.18 Labours of Behemat
- 1.2.19 A Plan Immortal
- 1.2.20 The Fall and Rise of Orpheon Katakoros
- 1.2.21 Birth of the Carrion King
- 1.2.22 The Everwinter Cometh
- 1.2.23 Heavenly Gifts
- 1.2.24 Disappearance of Grungni
- 1.2.25 Binding of Slaanesh
- 1.2.26 Birth of the Cythai
- 1.2.27 Foundation of the Cult of Khaine
- 1.2.28 Scattering of the Idoneth Deepkin
- 1.2.29 Creation of the Lumineth
- 1.2.30 Descent of the Lode-Griffon
- 1.2.31 First Great WAAAGH!
- 1.2.32 Ascension of Volturnos
- 1.2.33 Mountains Arcane
- 1.2.34 Kinstrife
- 1.2.35 Opening of the Sky-Rifts
- 1.2.36 The Red Feast
- 2 Dating
- 3 See Also
- 4 Sources
It should be noted that the stories of gods and monsters related below typify these early years of the Mortal Realms but are often apocryphal, originally related only as oral history, or are mostly true historical events that have changed or grown more epic in the telling.
Before the Ages
Formation of the Realmspheres
The various kinds or "winds" of magic clustered together, crystallising and combining with the matter of nebulae, cosmic dust and the remaining debris of the former world to form new realities.
Contained in spheres of magical power known as "realmspheres," many harden into vast discs of matter whose nature is shaped by the wind of magic that contains them, each fringed with archipelagos of solidified magical energy of the dominant type.
Many millennia later, tribes of Humans emerge and establish themselves on many of the realmspheres, though their culture is uncivilised, barbarous and base.
Dominion of the Godbeasts
The godbeasts are at large in the Mortal Realms at this time. Ymnog, the First Titan and Grandfather of Gargants, is amongst the greatest. The oral histories of the Gargants say that he drank fully half of the First Ocean, broke the newborn reality into land, sea and sky with his club, and that the godbeast Behemat and his two brothers grew from stones in his belly.
Behemat is eventually able to escape, though his siblings are devoured by their father. It is said among their kind that the first Gargants crawled from Behemat's mouth as he lay sleeping.
Time of the Bray
The Beastman Greatfrays thrive at this time, preying upon the barbaric Human tribes of the realms with savage fury. Legends of their ravages are enshrined in the folklore of the primitive cultures of the Men of the Mortal Realms.
The Seraphon temple-fleets, having unwillingly fled the destruction of the World-That-Was before Chaos' final victory, are drawn to the newborn Mortal Realms. They are encountered by the godbeast Dracothion, who -- moved by their plight -- led them to the upper vaults of Azyr, the Realm of Heavens. Here the Seraphon begin to absorb the celestial magical energy that defines that realmsphere into themselves, becoming the Starborne.
The godbeast known as the Great Drake Dracothion observed the remnants of Mallus, the rocky core of the World-That-Was, streaking through the heavens, and chased after it. Upon doing so, he noticed Sigmar, the god of civilisation, clinging to the core of the broken world, a grim divine survivor of all that had been lost.
The godbeast senses a kindred spirit in Sigmar and revived the unconscious deity, who in turn bestowed "gifts" such as a necklace of sigmarite upon Dracothion. Sigmar is shown the Star Bridges and Realmgates for the first time, and begins his exploration of the Mortal Realms in earnest.
Age of Myth
Travels of Sigmar
Wanderings of Gorkamorka
Gorkamorka, the twin-headed god of destruction, another deity once worshipped on the World-That-Was, reemerged among the Mortal Realms and roamed the realmspheres alongside his right-hand (or foot) man Behemat, the father of the Gargants, searching for the best fights around.
The god of destruction eventually bit off more than he could chew, however, when he got into a brawl with Drakatoa, the godbeast known as the Living Avalanche. The mountain of primordial amber soon absorbed Gorkamorka, leaving him trapped and raging in confinement.
Rulers of Shadow
Coming ashore in the Helleflux region, the former sorceress -- transmuted by her reincarnation into a hideous serpentine form -- begins to travel across the mysterious realm. Gradually she begins to piece her shattered mind back together, learning many secrets and consorting with the Shadow Daemons that are born from the moon Dharroth.
Eventually she is reunited with her son Malerion, now reborn in Ulgu as the god of shadow. Their meeting is a bitter one, but the two agree to work together, using their combined magic to raise up the citadel of Druchiroth in Greater Ulguroth.
Awakening of the Everqueen
Enraptured by Ghyran's natural beauty but eventually tired of wandering alone, Alarielle planted soulseeds saved from the World-That-Was. These grow into the first Sylvaneth glades, Oakenbrow and Gnarlroot.
Deeds of Grimnir
Grimnir, the god of war and fire, awakens in Aqshy, the Realm of Fire, surrounded by his Duardin kin, those folk once known as Dwarfs in the World-That-Was. Grimnir had been lost for a time in the Realm of Chaos after the destruction of the World-That-Was but eventually found his way to the Mortal Realms.
The Burning Berzerker performs many great feats, such as capturing the godbeast Ignax -- weakened from its recent battle with Great Nagendra, Father of Serpents -- and shackling it to the Land of the Chained Sun.
However, after the mysterious event called the Thagduegi ("Great Betrayal"), Grimnir and his brother deity Grungni, the god of smiths, are left chained atop the highest peak of Chamon -- the greatest of the Realm of Metal's Iron Mountains.
Rulers of Light
Tyrion, god of light and war and Lord of Lumination, a former mortal High Elf of the World-That-Was before its destruction, awakens in Xintil, having bonded with the magical energy of Hysh, the Realm of Light.
He travels across the Ten Paradises, marvelling at all he finds but disheartened to be so alone. Eventually he travels to Haixiah, pushing towards the Realm's Edge. It proves too much, and even Tyrion is blinded by the power of pure magical light, though his sheer willpower draws the respect of the spirit of the Realm's Edge.
Tyrion awakes in Xintil once more, rejoicing to find his twin brother and fellow deity Teclis, the god of light and knowledge, now by his side. The two learn to work together as twin halves of the same godly whole, though they are dismayed to find no Elves, now called Aelves, wherever they look in Hysh.
Encounter of the Gods
During Sigmar's travels through the Mortal Realms, he encountered the twin gods of light Tyrion and Teclis in Hysh. They are brought to Azyr, the Realm of Heavens, at the God-King's invitation, where they finally find a limited number of Aelves, their native people of old.
Tyrion teaches the people of Azyr much concerning warfare, athletics and philosophy, while Teclis offers his knowledge of magic and science.
Freeing of Nagash
Eventually, he discovers a Realmstone cairn entrapping the now divine form of his old enemy from the World-That-Was, the Undead Nehekharan sorcerer Nagash, now incarnated in the Mortal Realms as the god of death.
Though trepidatious, the God-King frees the Great Necromancer. Nagash agrees to aid Sigmar in the settlement of civilisation and establishes many cities on Shyish, amongst them Nagashizzar.
Labours of Grungni
The Duardin deities Grimnir, god of war and fire, and Grungni, god of smiths, are released from their bondage by Sigmar as the God-King explores Chamon, the Realm of Metal. Grateful, Grungni creates the Nineteen Great Wonders of Chamon, of which the perfectly straight Godwrought Isles are one.
The Realmstone called Chamonite is discovered in great abundance throughout the Godwrought Isles of Chamon. This encourages trade and technological development across the realm, with the nations known as the "Brothers Adamant" -- Sigyorn, Azgal and Crucible Prongs -- profiting most.
Doom of Grimnir
The Burning Berzerker headed into the Hills of Aqshy, where he engaged Vulcatrix in a mighty duel. The battle ended with the mutual deaths of both divine combatants. The resulting magical conflagration levelled the Plains of Aqshy, created Vostargi Mont through the falling embers, and left the worshippers of Grimnir an orphaned people.
Duel of the Gods and the Birth of the Pantheon of Order
Riding atop the Great Drake Dracothion, Sigmar spotted Gorkamorka, the twin-headed god of destruction, trapped within the living amber form of the godbeast Drakatoa. The God-King bid his companion swoop down before delivering the amber godbeast a mighty blow with his warhammer Ghal Maraz.
The energies of the storm that was unleashed by the strike compel Drakatoa to expel Gorkamorka -- who immediately smote Dracothion with a mighty blow from his club. An incensed Sigmar soon engaged Gorkamorka in a duel that lasted for many days and nights.
On the twelfth night, the two gods came to an understanding. Gorkamorka agreed to serve as a beast hunter in Sigmar's growing Pantheon of Order, for the Hammer God was the only being ever to fight Gorkamorka to a standstill.
Soon after, Alarielle, the goddess of life and Nagash, the god of death were independently approached to join the Pantheon of Order. They agree, though both retain focus on their "home" realms -- Ghyran and Shyish -- above all.
The Golden Centuries
With the Pantheon of Order finally assembled and united, Sigmar truly begins his mission to spread civilisation across the Mortal Realms. The Beastman Greatfrays are ousted from their ancestral hunting grounds and forced to the periphery of civilisation.
Chaos Stirs Beyond the Veil
Within the Realm of Chaos, the Dark Gods once more begin to stir, eager to devour new realms and fix their hungry eyes upon the [[Mortal Realms]]. They begin to work their sinister influence on emergent mortal civilisations, corrupting them from within as has always been their way.
The Great Horned Rat, the newest of the major Chaos Gods, fosters the ratmen known as the Skaven in Blight City, a sub-realm formed around the ruins of an ancient, half-real metropolis rescued by the deity from the World-That-Was once known as Skavenblight. Here the ratmen multiply and learn the secrets of creating gnawholes.
The Slann Starmasters detect the machinations of Chaos and begin manipulating the development of mortal civilisations believed to have a role to play in the wars to come, either subtly aiding them or wiping them out. The first nodes of the Seraphon Astromatrix, a great web of arcane power, are connected.
Tyrion and Teclis, the twin Aelven gods of light, meet with the shadow Aelven deities Malerion and Morathi in Shyish, the Realm of Shadow, aided by an order of raven-worshipping monks -- secret disciples of Tzeentch, the Chaos God of change.
They are united only in their desire to free their people's souls from Slaanesh, the Chaos God of excess who devoured the majority of the Aelven race when the World-That-Was fell to Chaos. Thanks to Morathi's knowledge, a daring plan is put into motion.
Rise of Empires
Meanwhile, in Chamon, the Realm of Metal, the steamhead pioneers of Chamon's Godwrought Isles, ancestors of the Kharadron Overlords, begin experimenting with extracting and refining the lighter-than-air metal known as aether-gold.
Foundation of the Fyreslayer Cult
The Duardin worshippers of Grimnir form the first-forged lodges, centred around the Salamander's Spine of Aqshy, the Realm of Fire. They discover that the essence of Grimnir has mingled with that of Vulcatrix, forming ur-gold and Magmadroth eggs. Fyrds are dispatched to recover the ur-gold, and the Fyreslayers' reputation as mercenaries across the realms is established.
Doom of Shadespire
The Katophranes of the city of Shadespire earn Nagash's ire by creating shadeglass. The Great Necromancer works a spell to transport the essence of the city into the Hidden Gloaming, creating the Mirrored City.
Labours of Behemat
Needled by the Chaos Gods Tzeentch's whispers and Khorne's taunting laughter, the god of destruction Gorkamorka begins to resent his position on Sigmar's Pantheon of Order -- especially since his former companion the godbeast Behemat is still free to roam as he pleases.
The Twin-headed God sets the godbeast many tasks, culminating in a duel against Sigmar. Behemat is knocked unconscious, his body forming the greater mass of the Scabrous Sprawl in Ghyran, the Realm of Life.
A Plan Immortal
The god of death Nagash, as is his nature, begins to scheme for ultimate dominion over the Mortal Realms. His Mortarch, the Deathlord Arkhan the Black, is charged with moving Shyishan realmstone to the realm's centre, one grain at a time.
A score of lesser death gods are devoured by Nagash, and myriad underworlds of the Realm of Death are conquered. Cities built by the Undead hosts in service to the Great Necromancer are founded atop secret underground caverns, in which Nagash intends to conceal his mightiest armies.
The Fall and Rise of Orpheon Katakoros
Orpheon Katakros, a Human military genius from Ghur, the Realm of Beasts, is slain. His soul awakens in the underworld of Ossia in Shyish, the Realm of Death, where he swiftly rises through the nation's militant ranks. Several underworlds are annexed by his peerless command.
Birth of the Carrion King
The vampiric champion and Deathlord Ushoran loses favour with his master Nagash and is remade as the Carrion King, the first of the Abhorrant Ghoul Kings. He ravages the Nightlands of Shyish for a time before being dragged before the Great Necromancer and imprisoned within the Shroudcage.
The Everwinter Cometh
The Everwinter comes into being, pursuing the Beastclaw Alfrostuns; some say it is a curse set upon them by Gorkamorka himself. The Frostlord Braggoth Vardruk searches Ghur, the Realm of Beasts, for the Golden Hunting Grounds, which he believes to be beyond the grasp of the Everwinter, but he is tricked by a coterie of Aelven wizards and frozen solid, along with much of the Boulderhead Mawtribe.
Malerion, the god of shadow, gifts Sigmar the Gladitorium, through which he can secretly observe the God-King's armies; with this done, he largely retreats from the Pantheon of Order. Teclis, god of light, gifts Sigmar the Enlightenment Engines; the God-King soon sets Grungni, the Duardin smith god, the task of reversing their effect to shroud the first of the eldritch caches known as Stormvaults.
Disappearance of Grungni
Binding of Slaanesh
The process of extracting the devoured souls of the Aelves from the divine energies of Slaanesh begins using the artefact called the Ocarian Lantern. Tyrion and Teclis also begin to distance themselves from the Pantheon of Order, and they become obsessed only with saving their lost people from Chaos.
Birth of the Cythai
Using Aelven souls extraced from the essence of Slaanesh, the god Teclis creates the Cythai, but he fails to expel the lingering taint of Slaanesh in their souls. Though Tyrion stays his brother's hand from destroying his creations, the Cythai flee beneath the waves of Hysh, the Realm of Light's Gealus Ocean to escape retribution, becoming the Idoneth Deepkin.
With them they take the stolen relic of the Ocarian Lantern being used by the gods to extract Aelven souls from Slaanesh, and they hide it in the chasm of Sarr Danoi. Soon after, the disconsolate Teclis becomes aware of Sigmar's perversion of his Enlightenment Engines.
Foundation of the Cult of Khaine
Spurned by the other Incarnate gods and granted only a sliver of land in Ulgu, the Realm of Shadows, to rule by her son Malerion, the god of shadow, Morathi leaves the Pantheon of Order to begin crafting her chosen Aelven people.
She is accompanied by minor cults of Khaine, the ancient Aelven deity of war Morathi once served as a mortal. Morathi rules over these cults in the guise of Khaine's chosen prophet. The temple of Hagg Nar dedicated to Khaine is established in the Umbral Veil of Ulgu.
Scattering of the Idoneth Deepkin
Discontent between Idoneth Deepkin factions in the First City of Gealrachi sees the enclaves spreading across all of the Mortal Realms from Hysh. Only the Ionrach, who establish the city of Príom in Ghyran's Maithnar Sea, attempt to keep in contact with their kin.
The Idoneth begin raiding for souls, having learned the various magical arts required for their continued survival.
Creation of the Lumineth
Their patronage of this new race sees them further abandon the goals of the Pantheon of Order.
Descent of the Lode-Griffon
The Chaos God Tzeentch lures the godbeast known as the Lode-Griffon to the Godwrought Isles of Chamon, the Realm of Metal, its magnetic blood distorting the geography of the region. Straight landmasses begin to ripple and twist into the Spiral Crux, undoing the states of the "Brothers Adamant."
First Great WAAAGH!
The god of destruction Gorkamorka suddenly snaps, violently resigning from Sigmar's fraying Pantheon of Order. The resulting Great WAAAGH! is said to ravage from one side of the Mortal Realms to the other.
The original Grot tribes diverge, scattering and forming their distinct subcultures. Orruks conquer the land bridge linking Aspiria and Bataar to the heart of the Great Parch of Aqshy, the Realm of Fire.
Though they are eventually forced out by a mighty Aspirian spell that creates the Kindling Forest, the influence of the civilised nations is further removed from the middle reaches of the region.
Over the years, the goddess of life, Alarielle the Everqueen, becomes disenchanted with the Pantheon of Order due to the continued transgressions against nature and living things of Gorkamorka and Nagash. She chooses to focus ever more of her efforts on Ghyran, the Realm of Life, alone.
Ascension of Volturnos
As Morathi's Daughters of Khaine expand beyond the temple-city of Hagg Nar, tensions between the sects blossom into civil war. Morathi allows these conflicts to run their course, weeding out the weakest of her followers and those who would contest her rule or would unintentionally empower Slaanesh through their obsessive bloodlust.
The Idoneth Deepkin of Dhom-hain launch raids along the coast of Ghyran's Tendril Sea. In doing so, they earn the ire of the Everqueen Alarielle and lose the Bánmhar -- the White Sword enchanted by their creator god Teclis himself.
Opening of the Sky-Rifts
The nations of Azgal, Sigyorn, Patina, Prosperis and Viscid Flux of Chamon, the Realm of Metal, come together to work a grand ritual of transmutation to kill the godbeast known as the Lode-Griffon of the Spiral Crux.
Though they succeed in slaying the godbeast, the ninth mage of their coven is revealed to be a Gaunt Summoner of the Lord of Change who alters the ritual, killing the other mages and opening tears in reality across the Crux. The forces of Tzeentch pour into the region.
The Red Feast
In Aqshy, the Realm of Fire, the Vanxian warlord Threx Skullbrand challenges the warring armies of the Flamescar, Aridian, Capilaria and Demesnus tribes of Human barbarians to a contest of arms in the Clavis Isles.
Athol Khul fights his way to the top, but as the eight hundred and eighty-eighth barbarian champion falls, a grand ritual is completed. The Clavis Isles' Realmgate implodes, opening a gateway to the Blood God Khorne's home in the Realm of Chaos, and Daemons pour through.
The reader will note that there are no dates on the events listed here. This was done deliberately by the lore writers at Games Workshop for two reasons.
The in-world reason is that with years and seasons varying from realm to realm, and civilisation only just being re-established in the Age of Sigmar, there would be little common frame of reference to act as a foundation for specific dates.
The real-world reason is that in the past Games Workshop found hard and fast dates can be restrictive, and breaking those restrictions can lead to many a quandary. Instead, the Mortal Realms now measure time in looser terms like centuries and generations. This gives the writers more wiggle room for manoeuvre, and it lends more of an epic feel than a scientific one.
- White Dwarf 458 (November 2020), "Worlds of Warhammer" by Phil Kelly, pp. 10-13
- White Dwarf 459 (December 2020), "Worlds of Warhammer" by Phil Kelly, pg. 10