Posted 12/05/2018

Your Intro to the Mortal Realms

The Mortal Realms – worlds of danger, magic and opportunity, of ancient myths, of gods, of hope, fear, and adventure. Built and settled in antiquity by a fledgeling pantheon of new gods, then brought to the brink of annihilation by the primordial destroyer known as Chaos, Warhammer Age of Sigmar is the story of the third great age of the Mortal Realms.

Following the Storm of Sigmar and The Realmgate Wars – a grand conflict in which Sigmar made his first strike to reclaim the realms from Chaos – a new foe is rising from Shyish, realm of the dead. Heralded by malign portents, this great evil has come for the souls of all…

The Mortal Realms are eight planes of magically bound reality that hang in the cosmos – each a world unto itself with nearly limitless possibilities. Each realm is bound to a wind of magic that broadly shapes its nature and character; Ghyran, the realm of life, is a world of verdant jungles and uncontrolled growth, while Ulgu, the realm of shadow, is a place of dark vales and cloying mist.

The landscape in each realm varies from the areas of relative stability towards the centre – where magic is thin, and reality behaves more conventionally – to the untamed edges, which are wild, fantastical places saturated with raw and uncontrollable magic.

But how do you get a grasp on such epic vistas? In the new edition of Warhammer Age of Sigmar, the Mortal Realms are realised more richly than ever before. These aren’t just backdrops for your battles, but rich fantasy worlds for you to fight over, strange and fascinating places full of wonder, mystery and terror. While the realms are vast, we’ve drilled down into the history and culture of each to make them tangible, meaningful places – with maps (plenty of maps), timelines and art to help bring each to life:

Getting between the realms is no simple matter – to do so, travellers and traders rely on an ancient network of pathways known as the Realmgates. Each Realmgate is hotly contested as control of each opens up new lands to conquer, new trading routes and opportunities to bypass the defenses of an enemy…

The peoples of the Mortal Realms fight for reasons as varied as the realms themselves. Some, like the Orruks, fight for fun, while others, like the Fyreslayers, do so for treasure. Whatever their reason, all fight. There are none in the mortal realms untouched by the endless cycle of war and slaughter.

In the beginning of the Age of Sigmar, the Grand Alliances of Order, Death and Destruction each fought to throw off the shackles of Chaos, but now, with the Dark Gods temporarily held at bay, old rivalries simmer and ancient foes set sinister plots back in motion.

Indeed, as the aelves draw souls from Slaanesh and Sigmar continues to swell the ranks of his Stormcast Eternals with new recruits, the balance of life and death is becoming unstuck – with potentially catastrophic results for all….

Whatever army you play, they’ll have a stake in the coming battles. Warhammer Age of Sigmar contextualises each army in its place – from the interlocking allegiances of the myriad factions of Order to the uneasy power play between the legions of Death.

The only question is, which side will you choose?

In the Age of Sigmar, many factions vie for prominence and power in the Mortal Realms. Broadly, these fall into four Grand Alliances – ancient compacts that date back to the Age of Myth. To co-exist within a Grand Alliance does not mean allegiance, and strife runs rampant; the Idoneth Deepkin of Order, will happily raid the kingdoms of men for souls, while the armies of the Chaos Gods battle with one another as much as any other foe.

For more on the great battles of the Mortal Realms we’d recommend reading the Realmgate Wars books. If you want to learn more about the trials facing the everyman, check out Nick Horth’s City of Secrets.

And of course, be sure to stay tuned here on the Warhammer Community site for daily updates and insights into the myriad factions that battle for dominance in the Age of Sigmar.

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