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Age of Sigmar Lore: Everything You Need to Know

So, let’s say you are new to Age of Sigmar and know practically nothing about the game and world(s) of Warhammer. 

Maybe you just went to your buddy’s place or a Games Workshop store, saw all those cool models, and wondered what the game is all about.

Maybe you played a Games Workshop licensed video game that piqued your interest in Warhammer Fantasy, but upon stumbling into Age of Sigmar, you really have no idea as to what’s going on.

What is Age of Sigmar lore anyway?!

Regardless of where you’re coming from, this article is here to help you understand some of the fundamentals of the setting and lore of Age of Sigmar.

I’m not here to do an extensive retelling of the history found in Age of Sigmar, but just to get you familiar enough with the lore that you’ll be able to orient yourself when reading about the setting. 

Hopefully by the end of this article you’ll have a better idea of what’s actually going on in Age of Sigmar setting, so that this information can then be used as a jumping off point to do some further exploring of the setting on your own!

Please note here that this is just a general overview of the major events of Age of Sigmar’s fictional history.  There is a lot here that I have left out in the interest of time and attention span.

Our story begins with Sigmar…

Things in this article show

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Genesis: the destruction of the Old World and the birth of the Mortal Realms

Sigmar flew through the black void of space, clinging desperately to the burning molten core of his world.

The flames seared Sigmar’s divine flesh, causing him immense agony, but what hurt more than any physical pain was the knowledge that he had failed.

Sigmar, the God-King of mankind, had failed to stop the corruptive force known as Chaos from devouring his world. Now, this burning husk was all that Sigmar could claim divine providence over.

Sigmar knew not for how long he flew through the inky abyss. Was it years? Centuries? Millenia, even?

Utterly alone, Sigmar only had the ghosts of his past to keep him company. Faces of those he had failed appeared in the flames, taunting him, as did the face of chaos itself:

Archeon the Everchosen, champion of Chaos, the being most directly responsible for the sundering of the world that was.

It was Archeon who united the hordes of the Chaos wastes and led the united armies from their dark wastelands into the heart of ordered civilization, bringing about the end times.

As Sigmar relived the destruction of his world, over and over, his grip weakened.

But just when all seemed lost and Sigmar’s mind had begun to fade, hope appeared. Dracothion – the great celestial drake – was drawn to the light of the burning core.

Upon sensing another divine soul, Dracothion found Sigmar and brought him to the Mortal Realms – realms formed from the energy of the world that was, guided into being by the winds of magic that govern the cosmos.

It was here that Sigmar learned much – many other beings from the old Warhammer world had also survived the end times through their own means, some of whom ascended to divinity.

The cylindrical nature of reality demanded that the gods of old were to be reborn or reincarnated through the winds of magic, some of whom were bound within said winds or scattered across the realms.

Sigmar also came face to face with a stark truth: Sigmar and Archaeon were seemingly connected on a metaphysical level, as two sides of the same coin. This meant that with Sigmar’s return Archeon would not be far behind him.

When Archeon did return, it would mean the return of Chaos, and the corruption and destruction of the world would begin anew. Resolving to not fail his world again, Sigmar set out to prepare the realms for the inevitable rise of Chaos.

With Dracothion guiding him, Sigmar learned how to traverse the realms using magical paths and doorways known as realm gates. He set out to explore the realms, and these wanderings marked the beginning of the Age of Myth.

Sigmar flying around being cool and all

The Age of Myth begins

During his journeys, Sigmar encountered, awoke, and unbound many gods and other divine beings from the winds of magic and the perils of the realms.

Beings such as Alarielle, the Goddess of Life, mother of the Sylvaneth race; Grimnir and Grungi, the dwarven Gods of Martial Prowess and Smithing, respectively; Tyrion and Teclis, the twin gods of Light, and now the patron guardians of the Aelven race along with Malekith, the god of shadow; Gorkamorka, the Orcish warrior and hunter God; and Nagash, the god of Death, who Sigmar reluctantly revived, but whose power Sigmar knew would be necessary to stop the tides of Chaos.

Sigmar established this pantheon of gods in Azyrheim, his capital city founded in the realm of Azyr, where the gods sought to usher in an age of prosperity and growth.

Primitive forms of the mortal races were found, guided, and given the protection of the gods.

During this time, Sigmar sought to destroy or seal away many of the dangers that plagued the realms in order to pave the way for civilization.

Godbeasts, primal creatures of immense power, were slain or tamed. Ancient artifacts of the gods and uncooperative divine beings that could not be destroyed were sealed away in vast stormvaults, before being erased from mortal perception.

With the realms becoming safe enough for mortals to prosper in, the divine aid of the gods ushered in a golden age. Various major cities were established, technology flourished, and order was spread throughout the realms.

However, even in this golden age, the presence of chaos was a stain upon the land. As is the nature of mortals, some refused the wisdom of Sigmar’s pantheon and turned to the Dark Gods of Chaos in the pursuit of power.

Cults existed in even the largest of Sigmar’s cities, and nomadic tribes of chaos worshippers were always a threat on the fringes of civilization. Beasts of Chaos, foul crossbreeds between man and beast, dwelled in the darkest corners of the realms and practiced their profane worship.

In the face of this growing threat of Chaos, the gods were not idle.

The twin gods Tyrion and Teclis, along with Malekith, executed a plot to capture and bind one of the four major Gods of Chaos – Slaanesh, the dark god of excess.

They succeeded, and although Slaanesh’s influence continued to seep from its prison, the god was greatly reduced in its capability to corrupt the mortal realms.

Some pretty chaosy dudes being all chaos and mad

Chaos arrives to ruin the party

Yet it was not enough. Slowly, cracks began to form in the societies of the mortal realms.

Chaos worship began to corrupt the mortal races as the power of the chaos gods grew.

Often beginning innocently enough, the boons the chaos gods offered the mortals of the realms often came at a great price. It was not long until the deamons of Chaos broke through the veil of reality in Aqshy’s arid plains, and chaos truly began to incur upon reality once more.

Sigmar and his divine pantheon rallied and fought back against the forces of chaos wherever they would appear, and for a while the forces of Chaos were kept at bay.

However, just as the mortal realms began to falter in the face of chaos, so too did Sigmar’s pantheon.

In their determination to fight back chaos and serve Sigmar, many of the gods felt that they had abandoned their people and shirked off their duties.

Alarielle retreated to her realms to protect her creations in the corrupting face of chaos. Grungi felt that he had failed his dwarven people and himself, and sought exile.

Nagash felt betrayed by Sigmar for abandoning his realms of the dead to attend to other realms as the chaos hordes encroached upon them, and the petty god sought revenge.

During the fateful struggle for Allpoints, where Sigmar and his forces battled for control of the realmgate nexus, Nagash betrayed Sigmar and turned his undead forces against his longtime ally.

This betrayal culminated at The Battle of Burning Skies, where Sigmar and his forces faced Archeon the Everchosen himself in a titanic, final battle for the gateways to the realms.

Here, as Sigmar attempted to strike down Archeon, he was tricked by the foul forces of Chaos into casting Ghal Maraz, his legendary divine weapon and conduit of his power, across the realms.

No longer at the apex of his power, Sigmar could not face Archeon alone and was forced to retreat as his forces were decimated. Chaos now had control of Allpoints, and no corner of the realms was beyond the reach of Chaos.

His alliances broken and his forces waning, Sigmar retreated to the realm of Azyr.

There, he seemingly turned his back on the realms, sealing himself and Azyr off from the rest of the realms. Chaos, largely unopposed by the forces of order, rampaged across the realms, razing cities and decimating regions.

This era was known as the Age of Chaos. Many civilizations turned to chaos simply to survive, and many of those who did not were brought to ruin.

The great architectural accomplishments and technological wonders of Sigmar’s golden age were lost, torn down and replaced by dark effigies to the thirsting gods of chaos.

Stormcast Eternals fighting Chaos Bloodbounds

The Age of Sigmar begins

During all of this destruction, Sigmar did not leave Azyr. While it pained him to do so, Sigmar knew that he could not risk Chaos tainting Azyr while he began his great work.

Sigmar could no longer risk to take part in battle; with his powers diminished and his allies fighting independently, the risk of his death, and the death of order in the realms, had become too great.

Sigmar would need a new army, an army to shake the foundations of the realms and to fight chaos wherever they might be.

And so, Sigmar toiled in his forges for many years as the realms burned.

On the arid plains of Aqshy, where the hot winds were now intermingled with that tang of blood, the brimstone peninsula would make the first debut of Sigmar’s forces.

As the warriors of Khorne marched over the blood red sands, feasting upon the fallen and howling cries of bloodlust, storm clouds gathered.

With the crashing sound of thunder and the blinding flash of lightning, they appeared:

The Stormcast Eternals, Sigmar’s elite fighting force, clad in golden armor and eager to avenge the realms. Battle was met, blood was spilt, and the beginning of The Age of Sigmar had begun.

Stormcast Eternals fighting some semi naked chaos dudes

The Stormcast Eternals usher in The Realmgate Wars

The Stormcast Eternals were Sigmar’s answer to the Chaos invasion.

Reforged from the souls of those who died valiantly fighting Chaos, the Stormcast Eternals shared Sigmar’s hatred of Chaos and where resolute to see it utterly destroyed.

Armed with weapons and armor forged from Sigmarite, exceptional metal from the core of the world that was, the Stormcast eternals were equipped to handle any horror they encountered.

And should a Stormcast fall in battle, Sigmar would guide that soul back to Azyr to have them reforged once more.

Order had hope once more.

Sweeping across the realms in a military campaign known as the Realmgate Wars, the Stormcast eternals sought to reestablish Order as a dominant force in the realms.

Ghal Maraz was recovered from the clutches of Tzeentch, Alarielle was given much needed aid to hold back the forces of Nurgle and forge a critical new alliance, and new cities such as Hammerhal were founded as bastions of hope.

(if you are interested in reading more about the Realmgate Wars, GW have made a bundle with the novels with the whole storyline)

Nagash, Supreme Lord of the Undead, being all

The taint in the Stormcast Eternals and other bad news

Yet all was not as Sigmar had hoped. A worrying weakness in the Stormcast was discovered: each time a Stormcast soul was reforged, the soul would lose a portion of itself.

First, memories would fade, but over time, Stormcast Eternals would become mindless automatons, devoid of any personality and emotion.

Furthermore, Nagash, Sigmar’s once time ally, has not been idle as Sigmar forged his armies. Nagash sought to conquer the realms, enslaving all through the service of undeath.

Nagash believed the only way to stop Chaos was to snuff out all free will and life; after all, it was the dark hearts of man from which Chaos grew.

To make matters worse, the raging orruk hordes of Gorkamorka rampaged across the realms in a green tide destroying anything in their way.

These hordes rallied all manner of foul creatures under their banners, such as Ogors, Grots, Gargants, and other monsterous creatures that worshipped Gorkamorka.

The Bad Moon being purple and evil

The Necroquake reveals the Stormvaults and magic comes alive

With these four Grand Alliances of Order, Chaos, Death, and Destruction now all contenting for dominance of the realms, war reached an apex state.

Many campaigns, grand battles and cataclysmic events happened across the realms, but the most world shaking of them was the Necroquake.

Seeking to complete a ritual of immense power, Nagash sought to invoke death magic across the realms, raising the legions of the dead wherever they might lie and having utter dominance over the other grand alliances.

Were it not for the intervention of the Chaos worshipping Skaven, Nagash would have succeeded in his plan. Instead, the Skaven sabotaged Nagash’s ritual, causing it to go wild and forever alter the nature of magic in the realms.

The polarity of magic was reversed, and magic which would only last normally for a few brief moments could now last indefinitely with seemingly a will of its own. These endless spells became a new threat to the realms, but also a new weapon to be used in the wars to come.

Not all was lost for Nagash however. The ripples of energy that disrupted the nature of magic so also awoke great hordes of gheists and spirits to be pressed into his service, beginning a conflict known as the Soul Wars.

Nagash sought to use these great hosts to foil the plans of Sigmar’s Stormcast Eternals and gain dominance over all the Grand Alliances once more.

The key to this, it seems, was the Stormvaults, the great prisons Sigmar used during the Age of Myth to lock away artefacts and beings of great power.

Previously hidden from mortal perception, the Necroquake disrupted the magic that kept their locations hidden, revealing them openly.

With the realms girding for war once more, all the Grand Alliances prepared for conflict as they competed for the stormvault’s forbidden power.

Explanation of the Mortal Realms in Age of Sigmar

A central idea to the lore of Age of Sigmar is the setting’s concept of its realms. Existing in stark contrast to most fantasy settings that have one extremely defined world, the realms of Age of Sigmar are a multitude of worlds that are left purposely vague.

They are massive and incomprehensible in scope, places for the imagination to run wild. In the realms of Age of Sigmar, one could create any sort of setting they desire.

That being said, the intangibility of the realms may be one of the settings greatest strengths, but it is also one of its greatest weaknesses.

The trade off on having an extremely malleable setting where anything can happen is a lack of stability and relatability, and as a consequence of this readers can feel alienated to these mythical worlds.

For the first year or so of Age of Sigmar’s release, Games Workshop purposely kept the definition of the realms vague.

This had a lot of people who were trying to immerse themselves in the stories taking place on these realms confused.

What exactly IS a realm? What is life like there? How are they all connected? What role do they actually play in Age of Sigmar?

This article will explain what a realm is in Age of Sigmar. It will also cover the different realms in Age of Sigmar and what “they are like”.


What is a Realm in Age of Sigmar?

A realm is the manifestation of one of the winds of magic into a living, breathing world. It is unknown as to how the realms initially formed.

All we really know is that after the destruction of the old world (which is coming back in the form of Warhammer: The Old World, many of the energies released from such a cataclysmic event coalesced in the cosmos, and guided by the winds of magic, took shape into the realms as we know them today.

It is unknown within the lore whether any gods or entities shaped these events at their creation, or if this is simply a natural reaction from the laws of the universe in Age of Sigmar.

I personally like the latter of these explanations, as it falls in line with our real-world laws of thermodynamics… except for magic, of course.

Our real-life Law of Conservation of Energy states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; energy can only be transferred or changed from one form to another.

Applying this concept to Age of Sigmar makes a satisfying logical explanation on how these energies could form into the realms under magical guidance.

Each realm is described as a “sphere of reality” meaning that the realms themselves are not exactly planetary bodies like our earth is. Going off of what the core rulebook shows us, each realm seems to be a flat plane existing within a sphere.

Each realmsphere can also be host to multiple other smaller worlds, such as sub-realms, moons, or other orbiting satellite bodies.

When it comes to the realms, there really are no hard rules on how each realmsphere exists and functions. Within each sphere the laws of reality and magic can vary wildly from each other.

The more habitable sections of the realms that we often associate with each realm as the realm itself are generally the center points of these spheres of reality.

These center points are the most magically stable and unchanging parts of the realm.  The further you go outwards, to the edges of the realm, the more unstable magic becomes.

Realistically, a mortal’s survival rate decreases dramatically as they head more and more towards the edges of their realm.

Towards these edges, the landscape constantly shifts, physics and magics become unpredictable, and mere thoughts and emotions can become uncontrollable realities. Those who enter these churning magical maelstroms do not return.

In the space between the realms exists what is known as the aetheric void, the Great Nothing, or the Darkness Without.  It is a non-realm that forms the sky of the realms.

Unaligned, weak motes of magic drift through this null-space.  The spherical bodies that are the realms themselves drift and orbit through the aetheric void.  Some follow patterns and are bound to each other in orbit, while other realms drift more freely.

There are other sub realms and anomalies that exist in this void as well, such as the realms of chaos, Skaven gnawholes, The Bad Moon, etc., but I’m not going to get into those as well or we will be here all day.

The realms also to connect to one another through realmgates. Realmgates are, quite simply, portals that connect realms together.

A realmgate can connect to another portion of its own realm, or to other realms across the aetheric void. Realmgates can take many forms, and one must be careful when using them.

During an event known as the Realmgate Wars (see my other lore articles for details) the mortal races warred for control for the realmgates with the forces of chaos.

As chaos captured realmgates, their influence seeped into them and tainted them, twisting their function.

A corrupted realmgate may connect to the Realm of Chaos, or even directly to the aetheric void, making them extremely dangerous.

While corrupted realmgates are often destroyed or purified by those who oppose chaos, many still exist in the realms, making realm travel much more deadly.

What are the realms like? What is life like on each one?

Each of the realms are massive. The realms are not infinite, but to us mortals they might as well be.

Mortals could spend their whole lives wandering a realm and never truly see it in its entirety. Here is an overview of each of the eight realms with some points of interest!

Life in the realm of Aqshy, The realm of Fire

Aqshy is the realm of fire, a realm of passionate mortals who live life fast and hard.

The mentality of the people of Aqshy is simple: you never know what day might be your last, so every day should be lived to the fullest.

Burn twice as bright, but burn half as long.  Taking risks in life is culturally expected on Aqshy, and dying young is just a common side effect of a life well lived.  Those who grow old on Aqshy are often regarded with pity and scorn by their younger generations, who see their old age as a sign of cowardice.

In truth, the older generations of Aqshy are like steel; tempered by flame and conflict, they are often stronger than any hotblooded youngblood who may challenge them.

Despite its namesake, Aqshy is not simply a realm composed of hot desert plains and volcanic mountain ranges – though it certainly has its fair share of these.  Aqshy has diverse biomes beyond these fiery lands such as steaming tropical jungles, warm open seas, and dry plains and grasslands.

The key element that unites the realm of Aqshy is the sense of energy.  Everything in Aqshy is just one spark away from igniting, one word away from being riled up, one strike away from shattering the calm.

Historically, Aqshy is a realm that has been assaulted heavily by Khorne, who has laid claim to the realm.  His forces have left deep scars in the people and landscape of Aqshy. Recently, Khorne’s forces have suffered heavy losses and setbacks from the emergence of the Stormcast Eternals during the Age of Sigmar. 

Despite these loses, Khorne does not seem to mind, and is in fact invigorated by what he sees as worthy opponents for his endless wars and violence.

Aqshy is home to many wondrous locations, here are just a few:


Also known as the twin tailed city, Hammerhal is a city that is built around a realmgate to Ghyran.

Hammerhal is a city that exists in both realms, half of which lies in Aqshy. 

Hammerhal is a bastion for the forces of order, erected in the great parch after the Stormcast Eternals secured the territory in a military campaign.  Hammerhal is still largely governed and maintained by the Stormcast Eternals of Azyrheim, so the city is heavily fortified and militaristically maintained as a key strategic point for realmtravel.

That being said, despite its military importance, Hammerhal is a booming metropolis inhabited by a multitude of races and cultures, and its borders are constantly looking to expand to accommodate its growing population.

A sanctum for the free peoples of Aqshy, Hammerhal is a beacon of hope in the Age of Sigmar for Order.


Located on the Charrwind coast, Anvilgard is a frontier port city on the borders of sweltering jungles and volcanic mountain ranges.

Anvilgard is a city on the edge of Aqshy’s wilds, where the nearby volcanos constantly spew lava into the surrounding area, burning down and destroying vast swaths of jungle. 

Once reduced to nutrient rich ash, the vegetation grows back with magical vigor infused with Aqshian energies that threatens to overtake Anvilgard.  Anvilgard has great towers that spew out defoliants to prevent Anvilgard from being overrun by these growths; however, these chemical sprays leave a constant gray, murky shroud over the port city. 

This murk suits the city’s true character as it is a den of criminal activities and underhanded dealings. 

The Blackscale Coil, a coven of aelves, secretly manipulates and runs the city for its own gains.  Despite its criminal corruption, the port city is an important location for trade and travel in Aqshy.


A city thrumming with magic, Hallowheart is home to some of the most powerful spellcasters in Aqshy. 

It is built upon a huge, deep pit known as the Shimmering Abyss, which was once home to a dragon corrupted by Tzeentch. 

This dragon was slain by the Stromcast Eternals and Fyreslayer lodges, and now this cavernous abyss is mined for its magic infused gems and stones. 

Still, corruption may still lurk in the mine’s depths, and expeditions are sent deeper and deeper into the mines in search of any remnants of Tzeentchian corruption.

The Orb Infernia

A corrupted world that hangs over Aqshy, this moon drifts over the Great Parch spreading chaos corruption as a counter attack to Order’s more recent advances in Aqshy. 

It rains blood as it drifts over the lands, invigorating Khorne’s forces for eternal war. 

Chakrik’s Folly

A skaven city wracked by earthquakes, the Skaven constantly rebuild after each wave of destruction.  With their endless hordes, the losses are simply seen as a way of life in this city. 

Thankfully, these earthquakes keep the Skaven numbers in check and occupied; if these earthquakes were to cease, the Skaven numbers would surely swell and pose a danger to the surrounding regions.

In comparison to all of the other realms, Aqshy is the realm that has been most developed and given attention by Games Workshop.  There is much more to Aqshy then I could possibly list here!

Life in the realm of Ghyran, Realm of Life

Ghyran is the realm of life and home to Alarielle, the Goddess of Life and leader of the Sylvaneth faction.  Ghyran is a realm were life in every aspect grows and thrives. Abundant in resources, Ghyran is home to thriving, thick forests and jungles, where fruits and game grow large and strong.

The air itself thrums with life, invigorating all who take in Ghyran’s energies.  An incomprehensible multitude of life forms inhabits Ghyran, from the smallest of insects to lumbering behemoths, existing in a perfected cycle of nature. 

While dangerous, Ghyran is a paradise to those who know how to navigate its wilds and appease its gods.

However, Ghyran is a realm that had particularly suffered in the Age of Chaos. 

Invaded by Nurgle’s forces, the realm was almost brought to ruin over the course of its war. Verdant forests were corrupted into poisonous swamps, beasts of the wild were infected to turn into pox-ridden demons, and the azure seas of Ghyran’s coasts were transformed into oceans of ooze and sludge.

Were it not for the Stormcast Eternal’s intervention at the dawn of the Age of Sigmar, the realm would surely have died a slow death at the hands of the plague god.

Ghyran is now a realm with grievous wounds that is slowly recovering.

Inhabited mainly by aelves and humans, the realm of Ghyran is protected predominantly by Alarielle’s Slyvaneth, although gods such as Sigmar and (surprisingly) Nagash also have stakes in the realm, having helped foster their own civilizations in Ghyran.

These civilizations do sometimes come into conflict with one another, though Nurgle’s recent incursions have had the realm uniting.

The realm of Ghyran itself is a diverse realm of forests, jungles, mountain ranges, and frozen tundras, with each of these ecosystems bursting with vigour.  The continents themselves seem to be alive, moving and shifting, while mating with one another and causing new landmasses to emerge frequently.

Ghyran is also home to many wondrous locations, including:

Hammerhall Ghyra

The other half of Hammerhal, Hammerhall Ghyra is also a bursting metropolis of culture and a safe haven for the forces of order. 

As the war against Nurgle rages on in Ghyran, Hammerhal remains an important strategic point.

The Living City

A city grown by Alarielle herself, apparently in a matter of day, the living city is a testament to Alarielle’s power.

The site of the city itself was reclaimed with military aid from the Stormcast Eternals, and as a result of this origin, the city is symbolic of Alarielle’s alliance with the free peoples of Order.

All members of the Grand Alliance of Order are welcome in the city, even The Wanderers, an aelven people who abandoned Alareille long ago in the Age of Chaos.

Though some fear the city for its somewhat alien culture and origin, the city is a safe and welcoming place to the peoples of Order.

Greywater Fastness

Built in a swampy region of Ghyran, this city of Order is an industrial fortress that stands in stark contrast to the rest of Ghyran.

While most cities and civilizations in Ghyran exist in harmony with nature, Greywater Fastness is a churning factory city, cutting down forests, belching out smoke and pollution, and filling the air with the loud cracks of gunpowder. 

A city known for its gun battalions, the greywater fastness is a key defensive point and offensive supplier to the free peoples of Ghyran, its technological marvels unmatched in the realm.

Despite its key role in the defence of Ghyran, the greywater fastness often draws the ire of the Slyvaneth, who see the city as a blight upon the land, not so different from Nurgle’s infectious domains.  Conflict between the two factions is not unheard of.

The Oak of Ages

A remnant of the Old World, the Oak of Ages manifested in the Age of Myth during the key formative years of Ghyran.

A place of great magic and power, the Oak of Ages was a symbolic link between the Old World and the new realms in wake of its destruction.

In the Age of Chaos, the tree was corrupted by the forces of Nurgle, turning into a great black oak that spews forth filth; a mockery of its life-giving waters it bestowed before.


A holy sanctuary for Alarielle, the Atherwyrd is a hidden vale from which Alarielle can connect with the World Roots of Ghyran. 

Allowing her to attune to the realm itself, Alarielle sees all and knows all that happens within her realm.  Alarielle retreated here in the Age of Chaos when all hope seemed lost in the war against Nurgle.


A place that exemplifies the cycle of life, Decrepita is a land in Ghyran where every year, when winter comes, all the inhabitants of the land die, only to be reborn in the following spring. 

Coveted by Nagash, Decreptia was gifted to Nagash as a diplomatic move by Alarielle in the Age of Myth. 

Now it is a land that is inhabited by the undead, and while this would initially be seen as a slap in the face to the realm’s values, the undead has proven to be an effective deterrent to Nurgle’s forces.

Life in the realm of Shyish, Realm of Death

Shyish is the realm of death, and is ruled over by Nagash, god of undeath.  When mortals on any realm die, their soul, if it is not claimed by any god, travels to Shyish. 

Shyish is composed of multiple pocket realms and lands formed by the beliefs of mortals; whatever mortals believe awaits them upon their death is possible in Shyish. If enough mortals share a common belief on their cultural afterlife, it will form in Shyish and await them upon their death.

As a result, Shyish is land formed of afterlifes and underworlds of all kinds, along with native cultures and lands cultivated by Nagash.

The cultures that exist in Shyish are constantly shrouded in death.  Spirits, undead, and other reminders of one’s mortal coil are common sights in Shyish.

As a result of this, the people of Shyish are generally a grim folk; all know what awaits them upon their death, and life is often seen more as a prelude to the rest of their existence then the main focus of it. That being said, life can still hold joy here, and if one plays their cards right, death is not an end but merely a new beginning.

Shyish was once a realm filled with hundreds of thousands of gods of death. Once Nagash claimed dominion over the realm however, he sought to be the one and only undisputed ruler of the dead.

Nagash hunted down and slew all the gods of death he found, and with each god he slew, his power grew. Remnants of these gods still sometimes exist in one form or another, but on Shyish, all pay tribute to Nagash in one form or another or suffers the consequences.

Recently, Shyish has undergone a fairly sizable change.

After the Necroquake, the polarity of Shyish was reversed, with magic being drawn inwards towards the center of the realm instead of outwards towards the edges. 

As a result of this, the realm is being drawn inwards towards the mouth of the Shyish Nadir, a sinkhole in reality to which all death magic of the realms is drawn.

Fittingly enough, the realm of death is dying.

Here are some locations of interest on Shyish:


The Silent City lies at the heart of Shyish, and is Nagash’s personal capital city in the realm of Shyish. Home to the great Black Pyramid, Nagashizzar is a fortress of great power for Nagash and his Mortarchs.

Ruins of Shadespire

Once a city of Opulance that defied Nagash, Shadespire is now but a ruin of bone bleached stones in Shyish.

Great riches and magics are said to be contained within its walls, so often travellers will attempt to brave the haunted ruins in search of glory.

Unknown to these adventurers is the fact that Shadespire is a city that is now trapped between realms.  Those who enter are doomed to wander its halls forever.

That being said, there are those who have been able to escape Shadespire as of late due to disturbances in the flow of magic caused by the necroquake; although these escapees often find themselves in other realms.

This city is the setting for the first two seasons of Warhammer: Underworlds.

Lake Lethis

A lake within the underworld of Stygxx, the waters of this lake devour one’s memories.

This lake, and the nearby city of Lethis the Raven City, were recently the site of a large battle between the forces of Death and Order over one of Sigmar’s lost Stormvaults.


A city of Order in Shyish, the Glymmsforge has been assaulted by the forces of Nagash many times over. The city is a valuable strategic point for the free peoples in the realm of Shyish. 

Housing a realmgate to Azyr, the Stormcast defend the city religiously.

The novel “Soul Wars by Josh Reynolds” details this city quite a bit more (and the book is one of the better AoS reads)!

Life in the realm of Chamon, Realm of Metal

Chamon is the realm of metal, a realm rich with resources and opportunity. As malleable as its namesake, the realm of metal is a realm in constant change, the landscape itself transmuting and shifting with the passage of time.

As a result, the people who live in this realm an adaptive folk, using complex magics and technologies to survive the challenges Chamon presents.

Despite its namesake as the realm of metal, Chamon is a realm quite capable of hosting life.  Especially towards its more stable center, large bodies of clean water can be found, and vegetation and game can be found among the mountains and floating isles that dominate the realmscape.

The realm is also quite rich with precious and workable metals and materials.  These riches have often led to fierce competition between the people of Chamon, partially because trade and commerce is central to Chamonian culture, but also for the practical use of these wonderous materials in magics and machinery. 

Unfortunately, these trade wars and mining competitions often create a disparity between the rich and the poor, fostering resentment.

More so then any other realm, Chamon is a realm with a multitude of sub realms within it.

The complex magics that bind and weave these realms together has drawn the eyes of Tzeentcch, who has taken a keen interest in the realm and focused his invasion forces here. Drawn here by the nature of this realm magic and strengthened by the poor and downtrodden seeking change, Tzeentch quickly established a foothold on Chamon.

While Chamon is home to many races, it is predominantly home to the Duardin.

The Kharadron Overlords are the most acclaimed of these Duardin, living in the clouds in great skyships to circumvent the harsh challenges of the lands below, but also as a necessity to fight the hordes of Tzeentch’s forces.

Here are some locations worthy of noting on Chamon:

The Sky Ports

All across Chamon, Sky Ports run by the Kharadron Overlords travel through the skies, plying their trade and harvesting resources where they can.

The Sky Ports perform military functions as well, hunting great skybeasts and fighting the forces of Tzeentch.  There are six major sky ports in Chamon, all of which feature various houses and lineages of Duardin.

Griffon’s Eyrie

Formerly known as the Godwrought Isles, these once perfectly straight isles were forged by Grungi himself as a gift to the Duardin.

However, these isles were corrupted and warped when a Tzeentchian God Beast known as the Lode-Griffon descended upon the isles and warped the isles with its metallic pull.  While the beast was eventually defeated, the damage it had done to the land was permanent.

The Ferrium Mountains

These metallic mountains are home to the Chaos worshipping Iron Golems, who harness the flowing magma of their mountains to forge brutal weapons of war.  The Iron Golems are one of the core set warbands featured in Warhammer Warcry (which is pretty good).

Life in the realm of Hysh and Ulgo, Realm of Light and Shadow

One cannot discuss the realms of light or shadow without mentioning the other, as the two realms are forever bound to one another. 

Circling one another in orbit, the realms of Ulgu and Hysh are realms both concerned with the concept of knowledge – of knowledge obscured from one and hidden, or of one being illuminated to knowledge.

Ulgu, the realm of shadow, is a realm of grey mists and darkness.  Whispers float on the winds of this realm, and shadows play tricks on the eyes of the unwary.

Ulgu is a domain of secrets and lies, and nothing can be truly certain while in the realm of shadows – not even one’s own senses.

Ulgu is divided into thirteen dominions, ruled by various leaders, but it is the godlike Malarion, the Shadow King, who is the closest the realm has to a supreme monarch.

The realm is also home to the Daughters of Khaine, ruled over by Morathi, who seeks godhood herself (See my other article on factions for more details!)

Hysh, the realm of Light, is a realm of reason and enlightenment. Ruled over by Teclis and Tyrion, the Lord of Lumination and patron gods of the aelves, Hysh is a realm of scholars and philosophers, of logic and reason.

While Hysh might sound like a realm of peace and advancement, the pursuit of knowledge can be blinding.  In the ever-increasing thirst for knowledge, some Hyshian people become lost to their pride and usher in chaos. 

Even a realm as pure as Hysh has felt the drums of war against chaos, and the once limitless splendor of the realm has now been lost to ruin.  Still, hope remains as the realm attempts to rebuild itself once more.

Between the two realms lies Uhl-Gysh, a prison realm for the Chaos god Slaanesh. This subrealm exists in paradox between the two realms and remains mostly hidden from the forces of Chaos, though Slaanesh’s influence still seeps from its prison.

Ulgu and Hysh are probably the two realms least explored in Age of Sigmar by Games Workshop – Hysh especially. Light aelves could definitely be a thing, as the realm has been heavily hinted at for an upcoming release.

Life in the realm of Ghur, Realm of Beasts

Ghur is the realm of Beasts, a savage realm where the concepts of predator and prey are taken to the extreme. 

On Ghur, everything is a predator to something – even the land itself shifts and hunts, swallowing up the unwary. Godbeasts and other behemoths wander the lands of Ghur more so than any other realm, devouring one another and reshaping the land as they fight.

Their vast skeletons dot the landscapes of Ghur.

In Ghur, nomadic pockets of mortal life exist roaming the lands and carving out their niche in Ghur’s supercharged ecosystem.

Vast hordes of Orruks ravage the hills and crags in Waaaghs, Chaos warbands stalk beasts on its rugged plains, and Ogors travel in nomadic packs, always on the move.

Some mortal races eke out more stable townships protected by palisades, and some even live upon the backs of the great beasts that wander Ghur.

The landscapes of Ghur are as varied as they are dangerous. Jungles filled with megafauna, forests with writhing underbrush, hills that shift and grind against one another, mountains that walk, cave systems that open like maws, and frozen tundra that migrate are all ecosystems that exist on Ghur.

A feeling of hunger and the hunt permeates the air of Ghur, infectious in its primal simplicity

Worship of Gorkamorka is strong here in Ghur, and the realm is obviously quite in line with the values of the Destruction Grand Alliance.

That being said, the fate of the realm has been called into question with the arrival of the Stormcast Eternals during the Age of Sigmar.

With the forces of Order joining the fray, no one truly knows what fate awaits Ghur.

Life in the realm of Azyr, Realm of Heavens

Azyr is the realm of Heavens, a celestial realm that has been claimed by Sigmar as his seat of power.  Here, great star formations and celestial bodies hang over vast mountains and swaths of jungles.

Both the Stormcast Eternals and the Seraphon claim Azyr as their home realm, making Azyr the realm most untouched by the forces of Chaos.

Azyr’s vast cities and god forged structures awe all mortals who travel to the realm, as Azyr is one of the most technologically advanced and magically attuned realms.

It is Sigmar’s pride and joy, having raised the realm from its primal beginnings when he first arrived on Azyr millennia ago upon the burning core of the Old World.

That piece of the Old World still exists today, hung in the sky by Dracothian with massive structures built around it – it is known as the Sigmarabulum. It is here, upon the anvil of Apotheosis, that the Stormcast are forged anew upon their untimely deaths in the mortal realms.

It is here that the Vault Celestial, home of the pantheon in times of crisis, still stands as a symbol of power.

It is here that Sigmar’s power is at its apex.

Sigmar keeps an iron grip on this realm, refusing to let even the faintest trace of Chaos settle in his kingdom. His laws are strict, and the punishments for breaking them harsh.

Other realms in Age of Sigmar

Beyond these eight realms, other realms drift and dwell in the great void of reality.  While I won’t be going in depth into them here, there are a couple worth mentioning.

The Realm of Chaos: A infinitely large realm that is ever shifting and moving, the Realm of Chaos is the primordial realm of the Chaos Gods.  Check out my other articles for more info!

Allpoints/Eightpoints: A nexus realm that connects to all other realms through the All-Gate.  Recently conquered and corrupted by Chaos, it is now known as Eightpoints. 

Archaeon uses Eightpoints as a testing ground for chaos worshippers, pitting them against each other in an endless battle, and hand picking the most violent and skilled fighters.  This is the setting of Warhammer Warcry.

The Bad Moon: This celestial object hurls through the Great Void, erratically travelling from realm to realm in unpredictable paths. Where it appears, madness spreads, as it warps reality under its luminous glow.

The Gloomspite Gits worship this entity, following it as it travels the realms.

The Bad Moon spreads a fungal growth and infection wherever it goes, sprouting this growth from the ground, structures and even mortals themselves. 

If the Bad Moon shows up, it usually spells the doom of whoever bear witness to it.

What is the Grand Alliance: Order in Age of Sigmar and what factions are included?

Order represents the various civilizations found within the realms of Age of Sigmar.

There is a large amount of diversity within the alliance, as many of the factions come from radically different cultural backgrounds and often have conflicting goals and values between them.

What Order as a grand alliance represents is the desire for structure, law, and/or hierarchy to govern the realms. While Order embodies many things in Age of Sigmar, it is not necessarily morally good.

Many people assume, when looking at the game for the first time, that the Grand Alliance of Order are the good guys, and while it’s easy to look good when compared to the reality corrupting forces of Chaos, Order is not synonymous with any form of moral standing.

Order is just as much home to paladins of Sigmar and treants of nature as it is to fanatical murder cults and soul-stealing raiders.

The common thread that binds these factions together is the hierarchies and laws that form their societies, and the threat of Chaos consuming it all is the cause that unites them together.

The pantheon of Order was once the mightiest force in the realms, and their cooperation ushered in a golden era during the Age of Myth.

However, in the face of Chaos, that alliance eroded until betrayal and mistrust broke the pantheon from within.

Now, the forces of Order engage in an uneasy, but necessary alliance against Chaos once more.
As the largest of the Grand Alliances, what follows is some of the most prominent or noteworthy forces of Order.

Lore and background of the Stormcast Eternals faction

The Stormcast Eternals are undoubtedly the face of the Grand Alliance of Order, and of the game of Age of Sigmar itself.

They are the defining force that began the historical era of the Age of Sigmar, and were the element that began to turn the tides against the dominance of Chaos across the realms.

When the pantheon of Order split, and all hope was lost, Sigmar retreated to his realm of Azyr and sealed it off, seemingly abandoning the realms. While the forces of Chaos ravaged and desecrated the lands, Sigmar worked on assembling a force to combat the threat of Chaos. The Stormcast Eternals are that result.

Reforged from the souls of valiant mortals who died fighting Chaos, the Stormcast Eternals are an army of warriors reborn in Sigmar’s divine light.

They carry with them a touch of Sigmar’s power, with strength and fortitude beyond that of any mortal being. Furthermore, the Stormcast Eternals share Sigmar’s affinity with lightning, able to be transmuted and cast across the realms in great storm bolts.

Among the most magically inclined chambers of Stormcast, wizards are able to wield lightning freely, burning away any who would cross their path.

Additionally, all Stormcast wear armor forged from Sigmarite, a durable metal drawn directly from the core of the world that was, which sits now in Sigmar’s capital city of Azyrheim as a grim reminder of what is at stake against the forces of Chaos.

Finally, to cap off all of these divine boons, if ever a Stormcast should fall in battle, their soul will be drawn back to Azyr, where the Stormcast Eternal will be forged anew and be given life once more.

All of this comes at a cost, however. Each time a Stormcast is reforged on the Anvil of Apotheosis, a piece of that individual is lost. At first, it will be memories.

The faces of loved ones, memories of childhood, details of their lives. But soon after, as the Stormcast are reforged again and again, their personalities will begin to fade, and the individuality of the soul will be lost. In the end, some Stormcast are reduced to mindless automatons, a fate that many would argue is worse than death.

The Stormcast are seeking a cure for this, despite the fact that the issue is rarely discussed openly among the ranks. The Stormcast operate in a highly regimented and militarized structure, with faith in Sigmar being the core pillar of their order.

The various chambers that compose the Stormcast Eternals can range from ranks of infantry to spellcasting wizards to even rangers on the frontlines. This diversity and determination results in the Stormcast Eternals being one of the most dominant forces of Order in the realms.

Lore and background of the Sylvaneth faction

The Sylvaneth are the children of Alarielle, goddess of life.  Woven from bark and branch, these spirits of the wood can vary in size and form, from human sized dryads to towering treants. 

It is believed that a portion of the Sylvaneth are formed from the souls of beings Alarielle saved from the destruction of the old world, giving them an ancient connection to the world that was. 

Regardless of their origin, all Sylvaneth are connected deeply to the land, and seek to cultivate growth and life within the wilds.  They bear a particular hatred of chaos, especially Nurgle, who corrupt and defile the land itself that the Sylvaneth are a part of.

The Sylvaneth wield with them the might of nature, bringing creatures and spirits of the wood against those who would threaten their groves.

The Sylvaneth do not have societies and cities as the other factions of order do, but they are an elemental guardian of nature and seek to preserve and protect the land, regardless of the aggressor.

Lore and background of the Fyreslayers faction

The Fyreslayers are a brotherhood of duardin fanatics, who worship the dead god Grimnir.  Grimnir was a warrior god who was freed from imprisonment by Sigmar in the Age of Myth along with his brother Grungni.

While Grungni placed himself in Sigmar’s service to repay his debt, Grimnir demanded immediately for a task to settle what was owed. 

Sigmar tasked Grimnir with slaying the great salamander Vulcatrix, the mother of fire. 

Grimnir set off at once to do battle with the great beast, a battle that shook the foundations of Aqshy, carving mountain ranges and raining fire. 

In the end, both divine entities slew each other, and Grimnir shattered into an innumerable rain of gold upon his death.

Today, the Fyreslayers seek out this divine gold. Branding it into their flesh, portions of Grimnir’s power can be bestowed upon them, giving them extreme resilience, speed, and strength. By releasing this energy, the Fyreslayers seek to give form once more to their long dead god, and as such, they seek it out tirelessly.

Much of this Ur-gold has fallen into the hands of the other mortal races, so to avoid having endless conflict with all other races, the Fyreslayers sell their services as mercenaries.

This places the Fyreslayers in the somewhat morally grey area that the grand alliance of order can entail.

While the Fyreslayers do have a high sense of honor, they place the hunt for Ur-gold above all else, meaning that Fyreslayers may fight for Order one day, but turn against it the next.

While the Patriarchal lodges of the Fyreslayers are most prominent in Aqshy, the Fyreslayers can be found all over the eight realms.

Lore and background of the Kharadron Overlords faction

 The Kharadron Overlords are a race of Duardin who have abandoned their traditional ancestral homes to take to the skies. 

Using advanced technology powered by aether-gold, an extremely valuable gas like substance, the Kharadron Overlords live in sky ships and floating cities high above the warring realms below.

During the end of the Age of Myth, at the turning of the Age of Chaos, the Duardin felt as though their god Grungni had abandoned them. 

While Grungni worked for Sigmar, crafting marvelous technologies, he ignored the plights of his people, thinking that his people would survive best under pressure and through trials.

However, as the tides of chaos grew and war spread across Duardin land, the Duardin people found themselves abandoned by their god.

Unable to continue existing as they were, these Duardin found themselves taking to the sky through their technological achievements to survive, and so the Kharadron Overlords were born.

Initially a reclusive people, today the Kharadron Overlords are a mercantile group, moving between realms and trading.

With the return of Sigmar and the fight against chaos resuming, the Kharadron Overlords now descend upon the mortal realms in their skyships to unleash their fantastical weaponry upon the enemies of order.

Lore and background of the Daughters of Khaine faction

The Daughters of Khaine are a murderous cult of witch aelves and fanatics who worship the god Khaine.

They exist within the societies of order through deception, posing as gladiatorial warriors and entertainers in private circles.

In truth, the Daughters of Khaine are killers, sacrificing others to maintain their youth and empower themselves. Sigmar tolerates the presence of these fanatics for the simple reason that they are invaluable in battle.

The Daughters of Khaine are battle hungry warriors who spend their whole lives training, and when the skills they have cultivated are required, they are a terrifying force to unleash against the enemies of Order.

The Daughters of Khaine are led by Morathi, the high oracle of Khaine, who has fashioned their society in her likeness. The entirety of the Daughters of Khaine’s society is built on lies, and in truth, Khaine is a false god.

It is Morathi the demigoddess to whom the Daughters of Khaine’s really worship, though they do not know it.

Absorbing their faith and growing on their spiritual power, Morathi seeks to grow enough as a demigoddess to achieve true godhood.

Lore and background of the Idoneth Deepkin 

The Idoneth Deepokin are a race of aelves who, until recently, had existed in isolation and secrecy. During the End Times of the world that was, Slaanesh, the Chaos God of Excess, devoured much of the Aelven race.

When Tyrion, Teclis, and Malekith captured the Chaos God Slaanesh, they attempted to extract Aelven souls from Slaanesh in the hopes that they could be saved.

While the race that would become known as the Deepkin were salvaged, their souls were seemingly tainted by the Chaos God.

Fearful of Chaos worship, they fled to the deepest recesses of the sea to live in isolation.

There, they discovered that only one in a hundred children they would sire would be born sentient. Over time, the Deepkin struggled, but slowly they rebuilt.

They constructed vast secret cities in the deeps, and learned to tame the underwater creatures that dwelt in the ocean depths.

They mastered magic that allowed the Deepkin to transfer souls; by stealing the soul of one being and imbuing it into on an empty shell of a aelve, a new life could be born.

Thus, the Idoneth Deepkin raid the shores of the mortal realms above the waves, stealing souls and retreating back below the waves to expand their ranks.

Using magic that allows their sea mounts to swim through the air as if it were water, the Idoneth Deepkin strike hard and fast, using magic to also confuse and slow their victims.

Only recently exposed to the common eye of the mortal realms, The Idoneth Deepkin join the Alliance of Order due to their hatred of chaos.

However, the Deepkin are a tenuous ally at best, for once Chaos is defeated, they will surely turn on their allies in the search of more souls.

Lore and background of the Cities of Sigmar and the Freeguild 

The Free Guild and the Cities of Sigmar are the numerous collectives of civilizations that are scattered throughout the realms. 

Normal mortals like you and I, these collectives fight valiantly in the face of impossible threats beyond their understanding. Some are just normal plebs, others part of the Freeguild and others are criminals.

The Free People includes Humans, Aelves and Duardin (and maybe other races?).

Right now we mostly know about the Cities in the Cities of Sigmar book, but other humans and cities could be build or uncovered in the future.

Lore and background of the Seraphon 

The Seraphon are a race of primordial lizard people from the world that was. 

They are led by the Slaan, and race of ancient and powerful spellcasters, who escaped the destruction of the old Warhammer world in large ships.

Unfortunately, all of these lizard people died on the ships with the exception of the Slaan as they wandered through the cosmos, before eventually ending up in the mortal realms. 

Now the Slaan summon tangible copies of the Seraphon through memories into battle, making them a sort of Order Deamon faction. 

I’m really not doing them justice here, but their lore is quite outdated, and they have largely been ignored in the lore of Age of Sigmar. 

They deserve an update, because Aztec lizard people riding dinosaurs that shoot lasers is too ridiculous to not have in the setting. 

Make it work, Games Workshop!

What is the Grand Alliance: Chaos in which factions are in it?

In Age of Sigmar, there is a realm known as the realm of chaos. It is a primeval place, constantly shifting and changing, where thought and emotion can become reality.

No mortal being could survive here for long, as the nightmarish and ever-changing realm is incomprehensible and unnavigable by mortal standards.

It is unclear exactly how the realm of chaos is connected to the rest of the mortal realms; however, it is known to be connected to the dark desires and impulses of mortals, formed from their emotions and deeds.

None exemplify this law of reality more than the Dark Gods themselves.

Within this realm of chaos, there are beings known as the Gods of Chaos.

These are beings of immense power, formed from the dark impulses of mortals, that are just as much a part of the realm of chaos as they are rulers of it.

They are able to form more stable territories within the realm of chaos, and as their influence over mortals grows, their power grows as well.

Ultimately, these Chaos Gods seek to corrupt the rest of the mortal realms and merge the realm of chaos with all of reality in the ever-ongoing pursuit of power.

The Chaos Gods are incomprehensible in their machinations and motives, as they truly are beyond any mortal understanding.

They are a primal force that always has, and most likely always will, exist. Beating upon reality as a tidal wave beats upon a rock, chaos endlessly and tirelessly pursues it goals.

Generally, when people refer to the Chaos Gods, they are referring to the four main gods of chaos:

  • Khorne
  • Tzeentch
  • Nurgle
  • Slaanesh

However, there is also a newly ascended God of Chaos, The Great Horned Rat.

These gods will often compete with one another, and are not above waging war on each other in their eternal struggles for dominance.

However, when the gods unite under one banner, they become near unstoppable.

Lore and background Khorne and his armies

Khorne is the god of war, bloodshed, and violence. He cares not from where the blood flows, but only that blood is spilt.

To Khorne, any battle is a ritual in his honor, and any war cry is a prayer in his name. More than anything, Khorne craves endless battle filled with brutal violence.

However, despite Khorne’s seemingly mindless lust for bloodshed, Khorne does seem to have a twisted code of honor.

Khorne detests magic, seeing it as weak and cowardly, and seeks to punish those who would use it in battle.

Khorne sees no glory in sneak attacks or cheap tactics, and as a result, demands that warriors face their opponents head on in open challenge.

While Khorne does not shy away from the killing of innocents, the skulls of the weak are pitiful trophies, not worthy of Khorne’s throne of skulls – so Khorne’s followers will not often seek battle with the weak.

In Age of Sigmar, an age known for its widespread wars and fierce battles, Khorne has become a powerful God.

Still, his thirst is endless, and he continues to seek greater battles and further incite violence across the realms. Symbols of Khorne include blood, skulls, and brass.

Lore and background Tzeentch and his armies

Tzeentch is the god of change, knowledge, and magic. More than any other Chaos God, Tzeentch eludes mortal comprehension.

His plans are convoluted at best, and his machinations can stretch on for centuries.

What may seem to be a loss for Tzeentch really might be an intentional ploy that will only bear fruit decades or centuries down the line.

While we might see reality in a limited, linear sense, Tzeentch seems to be able to see all realities at once, manipulating the strands of fate for its own desires.

Tzeentch will often promise power through knowledge, seducing wizards into its service – however, this knowledge will often come at a terrible cost.

Mutations are seen as blessings of Tzeentch, granting power to those able to handle the extreme changes to their bodies, while consuming the unworthy and turning them into terrible beasts.

‘Of all the Chaos Gods, Tzeentch seems to care for its followers the least, treating them as pawns in the grand scheme of things.

In Age of Sigmar, an age known for its widespread wars and as a period of unrest, Tzeentch lures into its fold revolutionaries who seek to change their societies and wizards who crave knowledge to survive.

Tzeentch is the God of Chaos most accepting of the recent changes to the Chaos pantheon.

Symbols of Tzeentch include Birds and Avian features, mutations of flesh, and the eye… though of course, all these are subject to change.

Lore and background Nurglee and his armies

Nurgle is the god of pestilence, rot, and decay. Nurgle may initially appear to be a god of death, but Nurgle actually embodies the cycle of life in full.

Every diseased, rotting corpse is host to a multitude of lifeforms, and will lay the foundations for life to come.

Nurgle enjoys life but demands that when death comes, it is to be embraced. Nurgle wishes to spread plague and disease across the realms and offers a strangely familial embrace to those who would accept his teachings.

In an age where war and famine spread across the realms, Nurgle continues to grow in power from the festering corpses of the fallen.

He continuously concocts new poxes and illnesses to spread across the realms, and his followers are his vessels to do so.

A few of the symbols of Nurgle are the bell, the fly, and exposed diseased entrails.

Lore and background Slaanesh and his armies

Slaanesh is the chaos god of excess, pride, pain, and pleasure.

Above anything, Slaanesh wants you to feel and embrace sensation. Slaanesh continuously seeks greater and grander sensations or experiences, usually at the expense of others.

Slaanesh is a god that infiltrates and corrupts more so than any other chaos god. In times of peace, when there is no war, unrest, or pestilence, it is Slannesh that corrupts society through opulence and comforts.

Pride over one’s position, excess through carnal pleasures, even ambition in the arts can all be doorways in which Slaanesh’s influence can emerge.

As a god of excess, Slaanesh is also a particularly dangerous god in an age where the ruinous power of chaos reign.

As the chaos gods indulge themselves in their forms of worship, they too engage in excess. This excess can fuel Slaanesh and empower the god in the same way mortals can.

This can make Slaanesh a God particularly feared by the other gods of chaos.

Currently, Slaanesh is actually imprisoned by the gods of order in a prison between realms. It is theoretically a prison impossible to escape, but Slaanesh’s influence seeps out from it prison while its chains slowly break, one by one.

In the meantime, Slaanesh’s followers desperately seek put their god, growing ever closer to unleashing Slaanesh upon the realms once more.

Lore and background of the The Great Horned Rat and his armies

The Great Horned Rat is the Dark God of the Skaven, a race of chittering, all-consuming rat people.

The Great Horned Rat has only recently ascended into the pantheon of the Chaos Gods.

As a newcomer, the god is often regarded as weaker compared to its peers, but make no mistake, the Great Horned Rat is a powerful and dangerous god.

Commanding the endless hordes of Skaven, the goals of the Great Horned Rat are simple: to consume and infest every realm in its entirety.

The symbols of the great horned rat are (unsurprisingly) the horned rat, the Skaven, and the number thirteen.

What other factions are there in the Grand Alliance: Chaos?

In addition to the followers of these dark gods, the grand alliance of Chaos also includes a few other factions worth mentioning:

The Beasts of Chaos: Born from Chaos corruption, the beast men are violent, chaos worshipping creatures that appear to be a cross between a man and beast.

Often resembling that of a Goat or bull, the beastmen roam the realms in great herds, raiding and defiling all they find in their wake.

Slaves to Darkness: Also known sometimes as the Darkoath, these are Chaos worshippers that follow no specific major chaos god.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of lore on these guys at the moment, but with Warcry coming out we are seeing more fluff on these diverse chaos tribes.

Each tribe can be radically different from each other, so this is a great faction for creative ideas from a creator stand point. Many of them worship gods that are simply aspects or local versions of the major chaos gods.

What is the Grand Alliance: Death and what factions are in it?

Order and Chaos are two sides of the same coin. As civilizations rise up, and mortal races become more prominent in the world, the emotions, desires, and ambitions of these mortal races give birth to Chaos.

Chaos then rises up, corrupts and devours the world, and after the energies of the world reform, the cycle begins anew.

Who knows how long this process has gone for? What is the point of it all?

As long as Order and Chaos exist, one will always rise up to combat the other, the cosmic wheel will keep turning.

Death, on the other hand, seeks to stop the wheel, to freeze it in place.

Death seeks to do this, quite simply, by killing everything. If all of existence exists in a state of undeath, in a state of unmoving, unchanging reality where the whims of mortals can no longer take shape, then the cycle of destruction will cease.

Led by Nagash, Supreme Lord of Undeath, the Death Grand Alliance is largely an embodiment of his will.

All of the dead answer to Nagash, and Nagash rules over his undead hordes with an iron will.

Those who would slight Nagash find themselves swiftly punished for eternity – for while Nagash has a sense of justice, he does not forgive. Nagash seeks to expand his will across all of the mortal realms – as the god of Death, all souls belong to him in the end.

This mentality leads to many conflicts with the other Grand Alliances. Chaos seeks to corrupt souls, so that they may send them to the realm of chaos for their own ends, reforming them into daemons.

Sigmar and the other Order factions often seek to cheat death, stealing souls from Nagash to be reforged into the Stormcast, or seeking immortality through their patron gods.

As for the hordes of destruction, what little soulstuff they have is claimed by GorkaMorka, making them an irritating threat that needs to be destroyed.

Lore and background for Legions of Nagash

The Legions of Nagash refers to the mindless dead that swell the ranks of his undead, as well as the vampire lords and Mortarchs that led them into battle.

A bit of a catch-all faction within death, this faction contains legions of skeletons and zombies, acting as undead thralls and meat shields, as well as more intelligent beings, such as vampires and necromancers.

Truly, any being from any other death faction can be found within the Legions of Nagash, and all seek to exact his will.

The most notable beings within the Legions of Nagash, besides Nagash himself of course, are the Mortarchs.

Nagash’s personal lieutenants, these powerful beings can still exact their own will (to an extent) and lead Nagash’s forces.

Lore and background of the Flesh-Eater Courts

The Flesh-Eater Courts are a faction composed of flesh-eating ghouls that are cursed with delusion.

Despite being raving mad monstrosities that desire to eat flesh with an insatiable appetite, the Flesh-Eater courts see themselves in their minds are nobles, princes and crusading knights of high standing.

In their minds, they embark on quests to free their people from the tyranny of others, and when their battles are won, they gather in their halls for great banquets and feasts.

They see the other factions as irredeemable monsters, and the undead hordes they ally with as fellow countrymen.

Home to all manner of undead that crave flesh, the Flesh-Eater Courts are a disturbing force to behold.

Lore and background of the Nighthaunt 

The Nighthaunt are vast hosts of spirits, geists, and other incorporeal beings in the service of Nagash.

While the worshippers of Chaos go to their respective gods, and those who fight chaos valiantly are stolen by Sigmar, Nagash is often left with the cowardly and unworthy who have committed atrocities throughout their lives.

Nagash punishes these poor souls in eternal enslavement, always trying to match the punishment to how they lived their sinful lives.

The wailing hordes of the Nighthaunt are a terrifying force to do battle with.

Incorporeal in nature, it takes a being of strong will to be able to land a blow on such spiritual adversaries; otherwise such attacks will simply pass through.

Nowhere is safe from the Nighthaunt, as they pass through walls and other barricades that would slow any other army down.

More than any other death faction, the Nighthaunt are fueled by emotion. Hatred, sorrow, desperation; these spirits are often trapped in the eternal throes of these feelings, doomed forever to be used as troops in Nagash’s wars.

Lore and background of the Ossiarch Bonereapers

The Ossiarch Reapers are Nagash’s answer to the Stormcast Eternals. While Sigmar has his might Stormcast, what does Nagash have?

A lot of dead dudes and some ghosts.

Well, in the Soul Wars Storyline Nagash is starting to pick up the slack and the Ossiarch Reapers is his newest line of toys.

They are a construct army made of bone. As in, they are bones reforged into big lumpy skeleton warriors, living warmachines and all manner of crazy constructs. Unlike the normal skeleton and zombies, the souls of the former owner of the bones are still (sort of?) inside the bone stuff.

How the personality of such beings is going to be, remain to be seen.

You can read more about the Ossiarch Bonereapers Release here

What is the Grand Alliance: Destruction and what factions are in it?

There are those who do not care for the comforts and trinkets of society.

There are those who only see laws as a method to protect the weak and who see morals as a way to rule those too meek to command their own destiny.

Destruction sees Order and its civilization as a cage, and wishes to be free.

Destruction cares not for the temptations of Chaos, as Destruction already has everything it could ever want. And Destruction sees Death as just another form of enslavement. The only solution is to tear it all down.

Going back to our wheel analogy from earlier, if Death wants to freeze the wheel in place, then Destruction simply wants to break it.

Destruction is a Grand Alliance composed of all sorts of races, ranging from Orruks to Ogors, and Gits to Gargants.

All of these races reject the ideologies of the other alliances, and above all else wish to be free to do whatever they want.

They mostly live in primitive societies, where might makes right, but only a fool would underestimate their simple lifestyle for a lack of intelligence and cunning.

Another uniting factor between members of the Destruction Grand Alliance is their worship of the God Gorkamorka.

But, as with everything else with Destruction, there is no agreement on who or what Gorkamorka really is.

The individual races and tribes interpretation and vision of Gorkamorka is very much what shapes their actions and society (if you can call it that).

Lore and background of the Ironjawz

The Ironjawz are a faction of Orruks that, like all Orruks, live for battle.

Gathering in large mobs and adorning themselves in great, twisted metal armor, the Ironjawz charge fearlessly into battle.

More military-minded than other Orruk clans, the Ironjawz will attempt to exploit tactics and formations to surprising effectiveness.

Often seen riding boars, or large, scaled, hulking beasts known as Maw-Krushas, Ironjawz are not afraid to use any weapon at their disposal as long as it results in a good fight.

The Ironjawz love fighting so much, that they get jealous if there is a good scrap and they are not invited.

The Ironjawz will roam from place to place and from realm to realm, trying to find the biggest and fiercest opponent to fight.

Lore and background of the Bonesplitterz

The Bonesplitterz are a faction of fanatical orruks who have gone berserk and never quite recovered. Large gatherings of Ironjawz can result in what’s known as a Waaagh!, which is a terrifying Orruk crusade across the realms.

Orruks are quite emotionally charged during a Waaaagh!, whipping themselves into frenzies as they fight.

Often, when a Waaagh! comes to an end, there are those who seem stuck in their primal state.

These Orruks will strip themselves of armor, paint tribal symbols on themselves, and will often be exiled from the group to wander.

Drawn towards some sort of primal energy, these Orruks will often find large groups of other Orruks like themselves. These are the Bonesplitterz.

Travelling in great hordes, these Orruk hordes are led by the Wurrgog Prophets, beings that engage in ritualistic hunts of great beasts in the name of Gorkamorka.

They believe that by slaying these beasts, they inherit the bestial strength these creatures displayed, leading to ever greater hunts.

Adorning themselves with the bones and entrails of the beast, they gorge themselves on the creature’s flesh before setting out once more.

Of course, the Bonesplitterz are not exclusively tied to wild beasts, and will often attack settlements and armies of other grand alliances.

We have recently found out that the Ironjawz and Bonsplitterz will be unified under one battletome later this year.

I’m assuming they will be mostly keeping their already established lore, but anything could change!

Lore and background of the Mawtribes and the Beastclaw Raiders

The Ogors and the Beastclaw Raiders are also a faction currently on the precipice of change in game.

We know a game update will be coming for this faction very soon, but as for what it entails, we are not entirely sure.

As a result, take this section with a grain of salt!

The Ogors are a race of large, hulking humanoids who are always hungry. They often travel in large groups, raiding and pillaging in an attempt to sate their never-ending hunger.

One such group of tribes are known as the Beastclaw raiders, ogors who ride large, hairy beasts from freezing arctic lands. These raiders are forced to live life on the move, as an immense blizzard known as the Everwinter is always close behind them.

As for why this is, no one is quite sure. Some speculate it is a curse, cast upon them by Gorkamorka himself for some past transgression.

These Ogors live in tribal units with chieftains, who leadership is based on how much food they can bring in with each hunt.

Other Ogor groups exist in the realms, also living in nomadic tribes, but some act as mercenaries, selling their formidable combat skills in exchange for payment.

Surprisingly enough, they tend to adopt aspects of the cultures around them until deciding to move to their next destination in their wanderings.

Lore and background of the Gloomspite Gitz

THE GLOOMSPITE GITS are a large faction composed of a multitude of grots, all of whom share one thing in common: the worship of an entity known as the Bad Moon.

The Bad Moon is a celestial entity that sporadically travels the realms, with the Gloomspite Gitz following in its wake. In whatever form the legends of the Bad Moon take, it is always somehow connected to Gorkamorka.

This faction is composed of Grots, small goblins that like in dank, fungus covered caves; squigs, voracious fungal creatures with insatiable appetites that the grots are crazy enough to ride; Troggoths, hulking cave trolls that live alongside grots in their underground cave networks; and giant spiders, which many of the grots ride and built platforms upon.

These hordes of creatures chase after the bad moon, as under its moonlight, things get weird. Fungal growths sprout all over the landscape, other mortals go mad, and the grots are actually whipped into a fervor, growing in strength.

The ultimate goal of the grots seems to be to unleash the power of the Bad Moon all over the realms, and convert the landscape into something they call the Everdank, a clammy wet world covered in fungal growth like the caves they live in.

Beyond these factions, its worth mentioning the Gargants, giants that often ally with other Destruction factions, but have no faction of their own to call home.

They often fight in exchange for alcohol, which they tend to drink in battle, often causing more trouble then helping. That being said, a focused giant is an extremely dangerous combatant.

Other AoS lore resources you might be interested in

Still vague on the storyline and the mortal realms? Read intro to the lore of the mortal realms here

Read our intro to mortal realms in Age of Sigmar here.

Now that we have covered the general story of Age of Sigmar, along with the various factions and what motivates them, you should have a pretty solid grasp on Age of Sigmar’s lore from a beginner’s perspective!

If you want to delve deeper into Age of Sigmar’s lore, here are a few starting points for you!

  • The Core Book: the Core Book is about 319 pages long and about 219 pages of that is lore!  Not only does the core book have all the rules needed to play the game, but it has got tons of lore and story in it that I couldn’t cram in here.  Not to mention all the beautiful artwork.
  • Your favourite faction’s battletome!: every battletome goes into the history, motivations and lore of its faction way more than I could ever hope to in a summary article like this.
  • The Black Library novels: there are tons of books and other forms of fiction available for you to explore.  I would personally recommend either “Soul Wars” by Joshua Reynolds, as it is a great starting that picks up around where we left off our history lesson, or “Realmslayer”, an audio drama featuring the popular character of Gotrek Gurnisson.  Gotrek is a character from the world that was who is thrown into the thick of Age of Sigmar, and has pretty much no idea on what’s going on as he explores the world for the first time.  It’s a great starting point as you will be learning about the Age of Sigmar world right along with Gotrek!
  • Youtube Channels for AoS lore  There are many Youtube channels that go in-depth on Age of Sigmar’s lore in interesting and engaging ways.  I personally recommend 2+ Tough.

More so then anything, I hope you had fun reading this article and walked away more interested in Age of Sigmar.

It’s a great time to join in on the game or the novels, as more content is always being produced.

Welcome to the realm of Age of Sigmar!

Where can I learn more about Age of Sigmar lore?

If you want a general overview of the storyline, the factions and so on a great place to start is the Age of Sigmar Big Core Book.

That said, the lore explantion in that book can quickly become a rundown of “these things happened”.

If you are more interested in reading stories, you should try some of the Black Library novels. Their audiobooks are also really good!

If you are mainly interested in a specific faction, look for the battletome of that army. It contains a truckload of lore, stories, and information.

More a youtube person? 2+ Tough is definitely the place to go for lore.

  • The Core Rulebook (the big hardcover):  This book has 37 pages devoted to just the realms, not to mention all the history of the wars that happen between them!
  • Your favorite faction’s battletome: Each faction, more or less, seems to call a certain realm home. If you want to learn more about a faction’s preferred place in the cosmos, check out their book!
  • NovelsThere are tons of Black Library novels that focus on the different realms!
  • Youtube:  There are a lot of great youtubers who do lore videos for Age of Sigmar, so don’t be afraid to check them out!  I personally recommend 2+ Tough.

Why I think the lore and setting is critically important for a game like Age of Sigmar

Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, though still relatively new, is a game that is rapidly growing in size.

Having just emerged into its second edition last summer, we have been treated to an onslaught of releases at a breakneck speed over the last year.

We’ve seen new factions, revamped battletomes, stunning terrain, and even new boxed games such as Warcry all adding to the ever-expanding world of Age of Sigmar.

It’s easy as a newcomer to the hobby to look at the scope of Age of Sigmar and be completely at a loss on where to start.

I’ve always been in the camp that believes that the lore and story should be the first thing a newbie to the hobby checks out. After all, in this hobby, it’s the lore that adds context and flavor to the mechanics of the game.

Why is it that certain units have certain abilities?

Why would these factions be fighting or allied?

What does all this detail on the models represent?

It’s the lore of Age of Sigmar that answers these questions.

If you think about it, at the end of the day it’s the lore of Age of Sigmar that justifies the whole game being miniatures based!

If there were no story context, we might as well be playing with marked bases… and while I’m sure the game would be much cheaper, I think everyone here would agree with me when I say that the game simply wouldn’t be the same, and it wouldn’t capture our interest as it does now.