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Turgol
13-07-2016, 15:39
I just posted this on TGA, but thought it may interest someone in here.

I just ended up reading AllGates and I must say that, though I have been very critical of the setting and narrative of AoS so far, it is starting to get good and exciting. In fact, out of excitement, I have decided to write this little introduction/guide to it. The guide serves as a small summary of the way in which AoS setting should be read, along with a review of its achievements and lingering flaws. Please, feel free to add any or to discuss of the topics regarding the setting in this thread.

I. General idea of the AoS setting


Most of us, fluff lovers of games, might have felt a little lost with the AoS setting after the end of WHFB in its original form. It was quite obvious that it was a "higher" fantasy setting which stopped dealing with mortal resistance against unstoppable god powers and moved to a "battle of gods" kind of setting. But it somehow felt like it did not work up to AllGates. Allgates is the first time in which the AoS setting seems to have a logic which is working.
The main idea of the setting can be summarized in the following way: unlike a civilization resistance setting (WHFB), AoS is a total war setting. The idea behind it is to construct a conflict so vast, that it can be the base for decades of gaming in an evolving setting. As the factions that fight each other have huge amounts of resources at their disposal (therefore: total war), the setting feels like a logistic struggle.


II. The participants of the AoS total war
AoS factions in war are divided along four grand alliances: Chaos, Order, Destruction and Death. This Grand Alliances do not represent, however, individual players, but rather orientations. Chaos stands for chaotic dominion on the base of primal emotions and phanomenae, although it represents also oppression and slavery. Order stands for civilization. Destructions stands for, well, destruction (war for its own sake). Death, finally, stands for total order through soul dominion.

However, the big participants in the AoS total war are not the alliances, which in general lack any central power, but gods. This are the big players of the game:
1) Chaos:

-Khorne: The blood and war god. Primal entity who resides in the realm of chaos, formed by emotions of anger and wrath. His armies are both mortal (Bloodbound) and daemonic. At the start of the Age of Sigmar, Khorne is dominating power both in the Mortal Realms and in the Realm of Chaos. As Sigmar is focussing on his armies – which is proved by the fact his main attacks took place in the MR controlled by Khorne, Aqsy –, his strenght seems to be waning. But Khorne is the god of war and cares not from whence the blood flows, only that it does, so even in defeat he gains strength by the mere fact that there is war.

-Tzeentch: the great deceiver, god of change, deceive and magic. His dominion over the Realm of Chaos is called the Crystal Labyrinth. As any Chaos God, his armies are both daemonic and mortal (Arcanists). Although he holds control over Chamon, at the start of the Age of Sigmar he seemed to be in a weaker state than Nurgle and Khorne. Tzeentch plays the long game though and his fortune seems to be in the rise.

-Nurgle: the great corrupter, god of disease and plagues. His armies are also daemonic and mortal (Rotbringers). Holds control of a portion of the Realm of Chaos (Nurgle's Garden) as well as parts of the Mortal Realms, including most of Ghyran. At the start of the Age of Sigmar, it was the most powerful faction after Khorne and seemed to be in the verge of reversing the balance of power by capturing Alarielle and ending the War of Life. Badly defeated with Alarielle's resurgence though and on the verge of losing most of his control over Ghyran

-Slaanesh: the Dark Prince, youngest of the big chaos gods, the god of pleasure and strong emotions, nemesis of the elves: when they die, their soul is "eaten" by Slaanesh. After the destruction of the Old World, including all elven realms, he could not diggest so many elven souls, so he was tracked and captured by the elven gods (Malerion and Tyrion). Currently missing. His portion of the Realm of Chaos is currently controlled by the other gods.

-The Great Horned Rat: God of the skaven. His armies including both mortals (the skaven) as well as daemons (Verminlords). But his control over daemons is rather tenuous, so the armies tend to be known under a single name (Skaven). Holds control of some obscure regions of the Realm of Chaos. Status in the Mortal Realms unknown, but that is to be expected: the power of the skaven lies precisely on the secrecy.

-Archaon: the Three Eyed King. Formerly a templar of Sigmar in the world that was, he turned to Chaos when he though he had discovered the lie about Sigmar's existence. He then claimed all of the Everchosen's relics; artifacts whose acquisition, following trials, allowed to claim the title of champion of Chaos undivided and therefore lead unified Chaos troops. Subsequently invaded the Old World and set its destruction in motion. Although defeated by Sigmar and the incarnates in the final battle, they could not stop the destruction of the World that Was, setting up the process which lead to the new formation of the Mortal Realms. Still Everchosen of Chaos, so he leads unified chaos armies and his own faction (the Everchosen). Holds control of the Allpoints (Eightpoints), the main transportation hub in the Mortal Realms, allowing him to reinforce locations as needed.

2) Order

-Sigmar: the God-King. Formerly son of a barbarian king and then barbarian king himself. He saved a dwarven king from being taken hostage by orcs, gaining the trust of the great dwarven empire and uniting the barbarian tribes with dwarven armies to erradicate most of the orcs in his region. He then founded the Empire, the greatest nation of men. Trapped by Tzeentch in the winds of magic. Treated as main god in the pantheon of the Empire. He was released from his prison in the winds of magic 2500 years later when Teclis liberated them to form the incarnates in the final war against chaos. He then assumed the body of the dying Emperor of the Empire, Karl Franz, and became the Incarnate of Heavens. Failed to save the World that Was despite defeating Archaon, but managed somehow reform them (or travel to them, very unclear) as the Mortal Realms. Since then God of Heavens, ruler of Azyr and main deity (at least in his mind) in the non-chaotic pantheon of the Mortal Realms. His armies include both the Stormcast Eternals, elite shock troops, and many mortal factions of men, elves and dwarves.

-Alarielle: formerly the Everqueen of Ulthuan, the realm of the High Elves. She was given the gift of life by the dying Queen of the Woods, Ariel and became Incarnate of Life as the wind of life used her as beacon after its liberation by Teclis. Survived the End Times and then became (somehow) Goddess of Life and Ruler of Ghyran. Out of melancholy pulled herself away from the war against Chaos and after the defeat of the Order armies, her realm was mostly conquered and she was herself hunted by Nurgle. Currently in a war-like mood and reconquering her realm. Her armies are the Sylvaneth, mostly tree spirits.

-Grugni: the Great Maker, one of the great ancestors of the dwarves, he gave them the gift of craftmanship. God of Metal in the Mortal Realms and former ruler of Chamon. Helped Sigmar to forge the Stormcast Eternal, he also gave him the gift of thunder (his ability to just "throw" Stormhosts into the Mortal Realms) as well as training six demi-god blacksmiths. He then disappeared in order to find and help his armies in Chamon. Current location unknown. His faction are the Steamhead Duardin or Metal Dwarves. Not much more known about them.

-Grimnir: the Great Slayer, dwarven god of war. Held chaos at bay from one of the portal gates for thousands of years but Gotrek took his place. He then travelled to the Old War when it was about to disappear and ended up as God of Fire in the Mortal Realms. Awaken by Sigmar (he was trapped somewhere), he battle the godbeast Vulcatrix at his request, ending up both destroyed. His essence is still alive in the metal which was born out of that confrontation, the Ur-Gold. As Ur-Gold is made into body-runes by the Fyreslayers, he lives in them. He has no conscious form though, so his faction (the Fyreslayers), lack the central organisation of the other order factions.

-Malerion: formerly Malekith, son of Aenarion, the greatest hero of the elves in the World-that-Was. After the death of his father, obvious choice to rule the high elves, but he was not given the crown as hereditary monarchy did not suit them. Grew evil and cause a civil war which ended up with his side exiled to the cold realm of Naggaroth. During the ET he allied himself with Teclis and successfully invaded Ulthuan. Crowned as Phoenix King and then Eternity King, he also became the Incarnate of Shadow. Although he did not die in the end battle, he was swallowed by the vortex. With the formation of the Mortal Realms, he took the form of a god without body, a shadow god. He allied himself with Sigmar, but along with Tyrion decided to capture Slaanesh, which ended up with the other Chaos Gods uniting against Order. Ruler of Ulgu, seems to have a strong control of it. His faction is the Shadowkin, apparently formed both by shadow creatures (daemons) and elves.

-Tyrion/Teclis: God of Light. Twin brother descending from Aenarion. By the ET, they were the greatest heroes of Ulthuan, the realm of the high elves. During the ET Teclis followed an elven goddess instructions (Lileath) to ally himself with Malekith and then release the winds of magic to form semi-divine entities (the incarnates) that could stand against the gods of chaos. In the war for Ulthuan, his brother Tyrion - greatest military commander of Ulthuan - was possessed by the elven god of war and blood, Khaine, a curse which was passed to him by his ancestor Aenarion. Although he won most battles, he was finally (almost) killed by Alith Anar. Teclis took his body and kept him alive after Khaine had abandoned him, and then revived him with the essence of the wold god Ulric and made him into Incarnate of Light. In the final battle, after the incarnate of fire, beasts and finally metal were killed, Teclis tried to control all three of these winds of magic to destroy the vortex, but was consumed by so much energy. Tyrion survived the ET up to the demise of the world. Both were reborn as God of Lights and rulers of Hysh, but not much more is known. They seem to be pretty much in control of their realm. Their faction should be some kind of light elven faction, but name is unknown atm.

-The Slann: former helper of the ancient beings that formed much of the World that Was, they were tasked with defending it and seeing that their great plan is completed. During the ET they stopped once the destruction of the Old World, but could not stop it (nor participate at all in its defence) the second time. They were able however to transport to the Mortal Realms, where they took home in Azyr. They have decided that the Great Plan can only be fulfilled with the destruction of the God of Chaos, so they play the long game in helping defeat them. They lead the Seraphon, energy beings with the form of the former lizardmen armies of the Slann, into battle.

3) Death: Nagash
The Great Necromancer. Formerly a high priest of the egyptian like civilization of Khemri, he became obsessed with mortality. After learning magic from captured dark elves, he refined necromancy and made his city into his eternal kingdom. When the others kings of Khemri learned of it, they allied themself to defeat him and exile him. He was later killed in war with the kingdom of Khemri. Although he had learned to cheat death and could come back to life, he did so every time with less power. Reborn with almost full strength by his greatest disciple, Arkhan, and Manfred von Carstein, he absorbed both the power of the wind of death (before its liberation by Teclis) and Khemri's god of the death. With this power he planned to defeat the god of chaos themselves, but most of the power was deposited in the Great Black Pyramid of Khemri, which was destroyed by a skaven team. Weakened, he allied himself with the other incarnates but could not prevent the destruction of the world that was. Reborn as god of death in the Mortal Realms, he allied himself with Sigmar but then betrayed him, allowing for Chaos final victory. He was however subsequently defeated by Chaos and killed by Archaon. By the time of the Age of Sigmar, he has been reborn. Leads many death factions as ultimate leader.

4) Destruction: Gorkamorka
God of destruction and of the greenskins, he takes sometimes the form of two deities (Gork, cunning brutality, and Mork, brutal ingenuity) and sometimes the form of one deity. He was also the god of the greenskins in the world that was, so not much seems to have changed. Originally allied to Sigmar, he then grew bored with his peace and started war just for the fun of it before the Age of Chaos. He therefore did not fight the great wars against chaos. Gorkamorka is an anarchic god, so he does not seem to have much of a plan; his power is better described as a "force of nature".

III. Current state of affairs
In a setting build around a logistic total war, it is all about the balance of power. The concept itself is very often repeated in the main studio publications regarding AoS setting. The balance of power is measured around control of the mortal realms and the realm of chaos. But it is important to remember that logistics is all in this setting. Better transportation and coordination is much more important that territorial control.
Until AllGates, logistic control lied with Chaos. This was possible thanks to the Allpoints. The Allpoints is a realm which exists outside the mortal realms but is connected to all them. It is some sort of city within the transport system between realms, just like Comorragh in 40k. Control of the Allpoints allowed for rapid deploy of troops to any of the 8 gates connected to it. Since the Age of Chaos, the Azyr has been closed, so no Allpoints (Everchosen) troops could be deployed to Azyr. All other realms were still connected to it. In this way, Chaos was able to logistically beat all other gods.
Current state:

1) Allpoints: currently controled by Archaon. Only connected reliably to Chamon. Connection to Azyr, Aqsy and Ghyran broken. State of connection to Hysh and Ulgu unknown. Connection to Ghur unreliable (moving worm!).
2) Aqsy, the fire realm. Territorially controlled by Khorne in most parts. But isolated from the Allpoints and most likely from most chances of reinforcements from outside. Gates to Azyr controlled by Sigmar. Logistic advantage of Sigmar.
3) Ghyran, the life realm. Territorially controlled by Nurgle in most parts. But under strong attack from within (Alarielle) and Azyr and Aqsy. Most likely isolated from reinforcements. Logistic advantage with Alarielle and Sigmar.
4) Chamon, the metal realm. Territorially controlled by Tzeentch. Gate to the Allpoints under Archaon control, so logistic advantage with Chaos. Most likely will be a major hive of attacks by Chaos, taking into account the fact that Tzeentch is about to unleash his power. Grugni and Steamhead Duardin still missing, but likely to appear.
5) Shysh, the death realm. Territorially controlled by Chaos (god allegiance: unknown) and still connected to the Allpoints. To which extent Chaos is here under pressure is unknown. Nagash will soon appear...
6) Hysh, the light realm. Territorial control unknown. Logistic advantage unknown, but most likely not resting with Chaos. Whether there is a connection at all to the Allpoints unknown. Likely power in control of the situation: Tyrion/Teclis and the new high elves.
7) Ulgu, the shadow realm. Territorial control Shadowkin-Malerion (most likely). Whether there is chaos at all, apart from Slaanesh hunting party, is unknown. Strongly suggested that chaos armies get wiped entirely when they try to invade it.
8) Azyr, the heavens realm. Absolute territorial and logistic control: Sigmar.
9) Ghur, the beasts realm. Territorial and logistic control most likely under orruk hands. Chaos getting wiped.

IV. Current activity of the main players in the total war

The AoS setting is centred around major players carrying out a huge war. Therefore most of the narrative is sustained by their actions. Understanding the current activities of each major player may help to make sense of the state of the setting in a given moment.

1) Sigmar: just ended up the first of his plan, which was to gain a logistic advantage in the starting war. Plans were partially successfull: very strong position not only on his stronghold of Azyr but also on Aqsy and Ghyran. Very much failed in Chamon and has not met with huge success in the more independent (from Sigmar and from Chaos) Mortal Realms (Hysh, Ulgu, Ghur, Shysh).

2) Alarielle: Ascendant in her own realm. Ghyran is still controlled territorially by Nurgle, but she is in such a strong military position, that a "cleansing" is to be expected. Pretty much absent of any activity outside of Ghyran.

3) Grugni, Malerion and Tyrion/Teclis: missing. Malerion and Tyrion seem to be very much in control of their realms though.

4) Gorkamorka: has some kind of activity-plan (a growing threat), but unknown to the reader. Very much in control of Ghur.

5) Nagash: enigmatic. If he has a plan or simple failing is unknown.

-Chaos

1) Khorne: strong presence in Aqsy and until AoS pretty much dominating in both the mortal realms and the chaos realms. Has suffered a major defeat in Aqsy though, so seems to be losing his position. Plans to retaliate unknown. But then, Khorne does not plan much.

2) Nurgle: strong presence in Ghyran, but after major defeats and Alarielle's resurgence, about to lose most of his dominion in the Mortal Realms. Plans unknown. For now, he is just frustrated: having captured Alarielle would have meant becoming dominating power in both MR and CR.

3) Tzeentch: ascending. Thanks to Archaon his stronghold of Chamon is secured. He is preparing something big...

4) Slaanesh: captured by the elven gods and therefore missing.

5) The Great Horned Rat: enigmatic position. No dominant position on any known Mortal Realm, but then the skaven have their own territories and means of transportation. Clan Pestilens is about to get very powerful.

6) Archaon: has control of the Allpoints and from there can still reinforce at least Chamon. Retaliation plans are unknown in details but pretty much certain.



V. General assessment of current state of the setting
The setting is starting to get interesting. AllGates was a good reading, with the last chapter being even exciting. As a war setting, AoS is starting to become very good. It still suffers from lack of characters with whom you can identify and from excess of OTT stuff (Godbeasts). Still, it is starting to make sense.
Lingering flaws: complete absence of culture (aesthetical, political). Lack of characters and factions with which to identify. Hopefully, with cities growing again, this will also get much better soon.

Rogue Star
13-07-2016, 16:20
Nice write up. Maybe consider adding a summary of the major players active at the moment?

MLP
13-07-2016, 16:22
Great overview thanks for writing it up. Things certainly are getting interesting becoming a bit more than just Stormcast dropping in everywhere.

Rogue Star
13-07-2016, 16:27
Things certainly are getting interesting becoming a bit more than just Stormcast dropping in everywhere.

Well that was D-Day for Sigmar. But it would have been better if we'd received a more detailed account of the realm left behind when Azyr was closed, then we'd share the horror at the return to find verdant lands turned to plains of skulls, how a great city had been fused into a twisted hellscape, how such-and-such civilization where now Flesh-Eater Courts, etc.

Fle
13-07-2016, 16:28
This is a good summary. I have to say, I wasn't a fan of the AoS background initially but having recently read through the Sylvaneth battletome (and novella) I'm actually enjoying it a lot.

MLP
13-07-2016, 16:28
Well that was D-Day for Sigmar. But it would have been better if we'd received a more detailed account of the realm left behind when Azyr was closed, then we'd share the horror at the return to find verdant lands turned to plains of skulls, how a great city had been fused into a twisted hellscape, how such-and-such civilization where now Flesh-Eater Courts, etc.

Yeah definitely although I suppose they're filling all these gaps with the battletomes.

Turgol
13-07-2016, 16:42
Nice write up. Maybe consider adding a summary of the major players active at the moment?

Done and done!

Turgol
13-07-2016, 16:44
Great overview thanks for writing it up. Things certainly are getting interesting becoming a bit more than just Stormcast dropping in everywhere.

Actually, if you read AllGates, there is more Stormcasts dropping than in any previous tome, including the AoS book. But it really feels like it makes sense now. Actually the chapter with the most Stormcast attacks in this way (the last one, Aqsy), is by far the best in the AllGates book.

blackcherry
13-07-2016, 16:49
Bookmarked to read fully and digest later. Thanks for the write up Turgol!

de Selby
13-07-2016, 18:23
Thanks for the write up. What is a realm? A planet or a series of planets? An infinite plane? Do they have mapable geography and distances? Can you walk to all the important locations in a realm?

Also is there still such a thing as a distinct realm of chaos? Can you travel to it?

Turgol
13-07-2016, 19:03
Thanks for the write up. What is a realm? A planet or a series of planets? An infinite plane? Do they have mapable geography and distances? Can you walk to all the important locations in a realm?

Also is there still such a thing as a distinct realm of chaos? Can you travel to it?

-I would say that a realm is something like a planet, only in the sense that it is space which is innerly connected without interruption. Between realms there is no connection, on the other hand.

-The extension of the realms is not clear. It is clear, though, that each realm is very big, that they are not infinite, and that they should be possible to represent it in a map given their nature.

-You could therefore theoretically completely travel inside a realm because of their nature. Whether their extension makes such a journey possible, it is impossible to know.

-The realm of chaos is still there. As all realms are not connected between except by gates, in principle it is as much possible to travel from a mortal realm to another as to travel to the realm of chaos. Whether there are many gates though that connect the mortal realms with the realm of chaos in the sense that you can travel in both ways, is unknown. The connection seems to be mostly (but not only) one dimensional: just as before (WHFB, 40k), sometimes portals from the realm of chaos to the mortal realms will appear depending on the accumulation of enough of the corresponding type of emotion or phanomenom (anger, wrath, pleasure, disease).

Rogue Star
13-07-2016, 20:56
Between realms there is no connection, on the other hand.

I dunno, the White Dwarf lore on the Greywater Fastness makes it sound like there is an overlap of the realms...


Hammerhal is named the Twin-tailed City because, to all intents and purposes, it is in fact two settlements ruled as one. The city sprawls out around its Realmgate in both the Ashlands of the Realm of Fire and the Jade Kingdom of Verdia in the Realm of Life. Hammerhal Aqsha is a harsh and heavily fortified place, its myriad banners and pennants dancing on hot, angry winds. The Ironweld Arsenal maintain a strong presence amongst Hammerhal Aqsha's towering bastions and batteries. Their genius maintains the city's crackling lightning shield and keeps its mobile forts lumbering ever outward to extend Hammerhal's boundaries, even as self-flagellating processions of the Devoted cleanse the hard lands around the city. Hammerhal Ghyra, conversely, is a stronghold of aelf-kind, and many other Free Peoples. To hold back the aggressively exuberant growth of the Realm of Life, this side of the city channels lava through from Hammerhal Aqsha. The molten rock flows out through carefully cut trenches and forms a wall of fire that protects the city's celestial spires and golden domes. In return, a steady supply of foodstuffs flows back through the Realmgate from Hammerhal Ghyra, the life-city's endless abundance keeping it's Aqshyan districts fed.

Lightning fields around the cities? Lumbering forts that move and advance with Sigmar's armies? Channeling lava through the Realmgates? Between that and other stuff, I'd say the setting is definitely more the tech-level of stuff like Marvel's Thor, when Loki dispatched the "Destroyer" (gigantic robot-golem with laser-beams), creating floating cities, infinite power sources and interdimensional travel is totally within the grasp of the forces involved...

toonboy78
13-07-2016, 21:26
what happened is going to happen to the incarnates?

Death: Nagash, around in the realm of death and has model
life: Alarielle in the realm of life and has model
Celestial: sigmar? if it is him then he is the main man, but no model (why?)
Fire:
light: Tyrion/Teclis seem to be mentioned, too early for new model
beasts
shadow: Mekileth, still mentioned again too early for new model
metal:

so 3 maybe 4 missing. saved for another day? if destroyed why?

shinros
13-07-2016, 23:32
Don't forget we have a map of the realm of life.

Kurgan Ironbeard
14-07-2016, 01:05
That's only part of it though isn't it?

shinros
14-07-2016, 01:08
That's only part of it though isn't it?

Nope, GW said it's the realm of life. So each realm looks to be about the size of the old world.

Kurgan Ironbeard
14-07-2016, 01:21
Well I guess they've changed it then since I was under the impression from the earlier books that the realms were endless and any possibility relating to the characteristic (mountains made out of gold in realm of metal for example) were possible.

shinros
14-07-2016, 01:43
Well I guess they've changed it then since I was under the impression from the earlier books that the realms were endless and any possibility relating to the characteristic (mountains made out of gold in realm of metal for example) were possible.

It is said the realms are "near" infinite it's to give GW breathing room to add new stuff to them, according to josh reynold's the realms are rather "normal"? Most of the places we see are the magical places where the heroes etc fight over. He noted that most realms have normal landscape in a sense for example in the realm of metal the tree's there just have more iron in them than normal.

Cybtroll
14-07-2016, 08:05
Do you noticed the similarities between AoS realms and the Death Gate (Weis and Hickman) cosmogony?
Probably there are other pseudo source material, but this is the oldest I knew.

Turgol
14-07-2016, 09:16
I just updated this with a better description of each of the participants in the war.

Allen
14-07-2016, 09:27
Well that was D-Day for Sigmar. But it would have been better if we'd received a more detailed account of the realm left behind when Azyr was closed, then we'd share the horror at the return to find verdant lands turned to plains of skulls, how a great city had been fused into a twisted hellscape, how such-and-such civilization where now Flesh-Eater Courts, etc.

That would be quite difficult...the Chaos invasion that razed to the ground the Realms happened in-game a lot of time before the reconquista started by Sigmar. We're not speaking about ten or twelve years, but millennia. Chances are that, apart from Sigmar and other immortal charachters alive at the time of the Chaos invasion, no one on any realm actually remembers how was life before...except maybe for some kind of vague myth or legend.

obaobaboss
14-07-2016, 16:55
Thanks for the summary.

One question: Are the non chaotic factions (intentionally) attacking the realm of chaos? Or are they only fighting for the mortal realms?

What about the Mortarchs (Neferata, Manfred)? I heard some of them were in the books?

And is there any trace of Be'lakor?

Captain Marius
14-07-2016, 20:37
Great summary, its nice to see just where the background is after a whole year. Ill agree 100% that the aos background is not yet a patch on the Old World, but i think its now showing great promise. If anyones followed Altsain's blog, this is an amazing example of how playing aos narratively can be an awesome experience, and for me it has really helped to illustrate how the early stages of the aos background can be brought to life. For the next couple of years i am confident that the aos juggernaut will roll onward with more releases of new and old factions rounding out each of the alliances, and the narrative evolving as it does so. Yeah it doesnt mesh well with the old wfb armies... Its not supposed to, update your force to something new or get a brand new army already!

shinros
14-07-2016, 22:04
Thanks for the summary.

One question: Are the non chaotic factions (intentionally) attacking the realm of chaos? Or are they only fighting for the mortal realms?

What about the Mortarchs (Neferata, Manfred)? I heard some of them were in the books?

And is there any trace of Be'lakor?

Neferata is mentioned in the balance of power book and mannfred is pretty much in the center of the audio drama and novel version mortarch of night, a certain liche makes an appearance as well.

Lord Malorne
14-07-2016, 22:28
That was a good read, thank you for posting it.

Turgol
15-07-2016, 10:01
Thanks for the summary.

One question: Are the non chaotic factions (intentionally) attacking the realm of chaos? Or are they only fighting for the mortal realms?

What about the Mortarchs (Neferata, Manfred)? I heard some of them were in the books?

And is there any trace of Be'lakor?

To the first question: no, there are no attacks to the Realm of Chaos. At least for now, it is all about war in and for the Mortal Realms. Whether the Realm of Chaos can be attacked at all is not clear. The whole topic of taking the war to chaos and the final objective of destroying chaos, which is present both in 40k and in AoS, suggests that it could be possible, but has not (and maybe will never) be explored.

To the other questions: at least the three mortarchs with new modes are alive. No big explanation there, at least not yet. Their personality is pretty much the same than it was in WHFB. So they indeed survived, which given their undead nature, should not be surprising. But again there is still no explanation of any of this. Death faction is the one who has received less attention both in miniatures and fluff terms.

No idea about BeLakor, but I take it as granted that he is alive, as he is a daemon.

malisteen
15-07-2016, 13:35
Yeah, fluff for death is thin on the ground, and what there is somewhat subpar. Such as Nagash betraying sigmar for no reason during the initial war with chaos, and again now in the season of war campaign. Very frustrating.

As for the mortarchs:

Arkhan and Neferata are currently leading Nagash's armies. Manfred was chopped in half and dropped in a random teleport hole, so he's probably fine, but remains independent (frustrating, since there are only four active named characters in the alliance, so Mannfred gone rogue and mia is fully a quarter of the alliances personalities not actually fighting for them). A 'lord of despair' was mentioned in the deathrattle fluff page from the alliance book, implying that Krell (mortarch of despair) may still be active. No word on any of the other Death heroes that made it to the end of the end times campaign. Isabella, Dieter, Khalida, and maybe even Settra could conceivably still be kicking around, but we haven't actually heard anything from or about them to my knowledge.

There's also a rampaging ghoul king out there somewhere, described as the source of the ghoul kings' infectious madness and corrupted form of vampirism, who may actually be Ushoran. Not much is known about him, though, and he hasn't made any direct appearances.

Lord Malorne
15-07-2016, 15:31
Yeah, fluff for death is thin on the ground, and what there is somewhat subpar. Such as Nagash betraying sigmar for no reason during the initial war with chaos, and again now in the season of war campaign. Very frustrating.

As for the mortarchs:

Arkhan and Neferata are currently leading Nagash's armies. Manfred was chopped in half and dropped in a random teleport hole, so he's probably fine, but remains independent (frustrating, since there are only four active named characters in the alliance, so Mannfred gone rogue and mia is fully a quarter of the alliances personalities not actually fighting for them). A 'lord of despair' was mentioned in the deathrattle fluff page from the alliance book, implying that Krell (mortarch of despair) may still be active. No word on any of the other Death heroes that made it to the end of the end times campaign. Isabella, Dieter, Khalida, and maybe even Settra could conceivably still be kicking around, but we haven't actually heard anything from or about them to my knowledge.

There's also a rampaging ghoul king out there somewhere, described as the source of the ghoul kings' infectious madness and corrupted form of vampirism, who may actually be Ushoran. Not much is known about him, though, and he hasn't made any direct appearances.

I thought khalida died with neferata? And that Isabella suicided after vlads death (again).

blackcherry
15-07-2016, 15:42
I thought khalida died with neferata? And that Isabella suicided after vlads death (again).

Like all deaths with bad guys, I imagine it didn't stick.

Lexington
15-07-2016, 16:41
This is probably the best summary of the AoS universe that I've seen so far - thanks very much. Even as someone who dislikes the setting pretty intensely, it helps to actually check my feelings against the facts, rather than internet chatter that may or may not be accurate. :)

One thing that really bugs me about this (and, note, I think this is a setting problem rather than one with the OP) is that there's no clear reason for these factions to be fighting. Chaos is gonna Chaos, obviously, but with the apparently endless breadth of the Realms, combined with the fact that there seem to be relatively few, y'know, mortals in them means that you've got a lot of immortal gods and quasi-gods battling over seemingly nothing. For a company whose IP revolves around war, GW seems curiously unable to grasp that war is almost always a product of scarcity.

malisteen
15-07-2016, 17:06
I thought khalida died with neferata? And that Isabella suicided after vlads death (again).

iirc, all 3 made it to the end. Vlad killed himself to free isabella from the nurgle daemon, Arkhan found Isabella unconscious, gave her to Neferata, and told her to get out of there, covering their escape. Neferata made it back to Sylvania, and stood side by side with Khalida as they watched the warp rift tear the world apart around them.

I may have details slightly off there, but yeah, Khalida, Isabella, and Neferata all made it to the end.

Not that that necessarily matters one way or the other, since the world ending tends to be fatal anyway, and even if they all died, they're undead and could be dragged back to unlife by Nagash without any more justification than that.


Personally, though, I'd love to see all three of them get some more attention. Neferata's at least made an appearance, but hasn't really had the opportunity to do anything yet, Khalida's always been an interesting character, and Isabella, while a bit one note in the past, is perfectly positioned to become a much more compelling character going forward, should the designers choose to bring her back while leaving her husband dead (chosing to live in honor of his sacrifice instead of die again, could raise her up as a commander and tactician in her own right, maybe found a new sylvania somewhere in Shysh, maybe find some young noble or stormcast who reminds her of Vlad, or maybe is a reincarnation of him, in a gender swap of the dracula trope, etc).

A new mortarch triple kit could be cool, with isabella, khalida, and krell? Or isabella, khalida, and an undead/corrupted version of that stormcast guy whose soul Nagash captured?

Eh. If wishes were fishes, I'd have died of mercury poisoning long ago.

Rogue Star
15-07-2016, 19:03
That would be quite difficult...the Chaos invasion that razed to the ground the Realms happened in-game a lot of time before the reconquista started by Sigmar. We're not speaking about ten or twelve years, but millennia. Chances are that, apart from Sigmar and other immortal charachters alive at the time of the Chaos invasion, no one on any realm actually remembers how was life before...except maybe for some kind of vague myth or legend.

Warbeast features a Lord-Celestant who was plucked from the Realm of Beasts by Sigmar, mere centuries before "Sigmar's Storm", so it seems Sigmar was still gathering souls for his Stormhosts right up to the event.

Edit: Also, you make it sound like the Stormcast Eternals aren't immortal... or near enough... Vandus Hammerhand, the central character from the boxed starter/core set, was plucked from the Realm of Fire at the beginning of Khorne's conquest of it... so he's been 'alive' though the Age of Chaos, being made into a Stormcast, reforged, trained etc.


Yeah, fluff for death is thin on the ground, and what there is somewhat subpar. Such as Nagash betraying sigmar for no reason during the initial war with chaos, and again now in the season of war campaign. Very frustrating.

Archaon offered to leave Nagash the Realm of Death in exchange for abandoning Sigmar. Nagash accepted this, planning to build up his strength to betray Archaon. Understandably, Archaon had no intention of keeping his word, and unleashed the Skaven into Shyish... between that and Sigmar's vengeance, Nagash was no match for when Archaon did turn up, and was shattered and been spending the time between his defeat and the Stormcast Eternal's arrival, recovering his strength.

vlad78
15-07-2016, 21:30
This is probably the best summary of the AoS universe that I've seen so far - thanks very much. Even as someone who dislikes the setting pretty intensely, it helps to actually check my feelings against the facts, rather than internet chatter that may or may not be accurate. :)

One thing that really bugs me about this (and, note, I think this is a setting problem rather than one with the OP) is that there's no clear reason for these factions to be fighting. Chaos is gonna Chaos, obviously, but with the apparently endless breadth of the Realms, combined with the fact that there seem to be relatively few, y'know, mortals in them means that you've got a lot of immortal gods and quasi-gods battling over seemingly nothing. For a company whose IP revolves around war, GW seems curiously unable to grasp that war is almost always a product of scarcity.

Exactly this. Furthermore all the coherency of the former univere has been thrown through the window. Well, imho this setting can't improve since its foundations are totally awkward.

infamousme
15-07-2016, 23:48
Ugh.... Steamhead Duardin 😣

Sent from my LGLS675 using Tapatalk

shinros
16-07-2016, 01:29
Yeah, fluff for death is thin on the ground, and what there is somewhat subpar. Such as Nagash betraying sigmar for no reason during the initial war with chaos, and again now in the season of war campaign. Very frustrating.

As for the mortarchs:

Arkhan and Neferata are currently leading Nagash's armies. Manfred was chopped in half and dropped in a random teleport hole, so he's probably fine, but remains independent (frustrating, since there are only four active named characters in the alliance, so Mannfred gone rogue and mia is fully a quarter of the alliances personalities not actually fighting for them). A 'lord of despair' was mentioned in the deathrattle fluff page from the alliance book, implying that Krell (mortarch of despair) may still be active. No word on any of the other Death heroes that made it to the end of the end times campaign. Isabella, Dieter, Khalida, and maybe even Settra could conceivably still be kicking around, but we haven't actually heard anything from or about them to my knowledge.

There's also a rampaging ghoul king out there somewhere, described as the source of the ghoul kings' infectious madness and corrupted form of vampirism, who may actually be Ushoran. Not much is known about him, though, and he hasn't made any direct appearances.

I don't think mannfred is independent, they make the point in the all-gates book that nagash is gathering his mortarch's to take his all gate point and in the novels he says he will punish mannfred and the wording his used in their meeting he still considers him to be his mortarch. (Not once does he say he will kill him) Nagash just views mannfred like a rebellious child/beast that need's to be bought to heel. Do remember the portal he got sucked up in was coloured purple as well and nagash's considers the fang to be a bauble compared to his might. Right now I think nagash has mannfred at the moment so that's one mortarch down and Arkhan is always with him and I suspect Tarsem will be turned into a mortarch. I mean Arkhan did not do much in that situation he could of easily killed mannfred if he wanted him dead. He seemed more to let things be with the fang more than anything like he knew what would happen.

Do remember Sigmar wanted Mannfred in sliver chains to present to his "old foe", Do you think Nagash would allow such a thing? As mannfred said nagash views all of the dead as his property, hence why I believe Arkhan was there to make sure that mannfred used the fang. He was not truly there to punish him I think. Since mannfred would never go back to the realm of Death willingly. I think sigmar's ploy was to trade Mannfred for Tarsem, if my theory is correct now nagash possibly has both now.

I suspect we are going to see Krell at some point hopefully with a shiny new model.

Mannfred make's the point that nagash views the dead and souls as his property extensions of his being. Hell mannfred bought nagash's broken body to the underworld along with the other mortarch's after he got beaten by Archaon going by Arkhan's and mannfred's discussion mannfred just seems jelly that Arkhan is the favorite. All the mortarch's are acting like children honestly and nagash's treats them like such when he call's mannfred his child. XD


In the end times return of nagash they even hint it may of been nagash's will/manipulations that got him to be resurrected when he died at Hel Fenn. He was marked out for servitude ages ago considering Arkhan notes that he see's nagash's shadow around mannfred just like Arkhan and Krell bear that shadow. Thing is mannfred does not even realize he has a chain compared to Arkhan.

Neferata thought she could rule his empire since she thought he was dead but that dream got dashed out of the window as soon as he spoke in her head.

Plus nagash is not betraying sigmar for no reason consider he still has his beef with him from the old world, plus he is stealing souls via stormcast and depriving him of power I suspect he used that small alliance to gain more recovering time. He wants to reduce everything to desolation and remake the realms in his image and wants to even throw down the chaos gods. It was clear overall he was going to back stab him. I feel the point is mannfred is trying to be independant but in the end he will always fall under the sway of nagash and his manipulations.

Even Arkhan call's sigmar, Sigmar the betrayer, Sigmar the barbarian, Sigmar the Deceiver.

malisteen
16-07-2016, 15:27
In the audio books, Mannfred comes groveling before Nagash, and Nagash makes pretty clear he just wants Mannfred Dead. Later combined forces of undead and stormcast track him down, chop him in half, and chuck him down a pit, and Arkhan is all 'yup, that fulfills our agreement, we'll fight for you'. There is zero indication that Nagash wants Mannfred back, only that he wants him destroyed. And for his part Mannfred absolutely is not fighting for Nagash.

So yeah... mannfred's independent, and Nagash doesn't even want him.


As for Nagash making a deal with [EDIT: Archaon, not Arkhan] way back when, that's just what Sigmar assumed happened, afaik it was never confirmed in the plot, and if it was then that just means Nagash did something deliberately stupid instead of for no reason at all. The choices seem to be that either Nagash was stupid or Nagash chooses his actions each day based on a die roll or Nagash wasn't the one who betrayed Sigmar at the all gates, and really that's far more Mannfred's style, so I was fine just assuming that would be the eventual reveal, but now in the seasons of war campaign, despite the undead just re-establishing the alliance with order like two minutes ago in the realm gates campaign, already they're attacking order settlements, and instead of giving us any reason, the campaign fluff is all 'who cares why nagash does anything, he's just a bad guy lol', which is hard to get motivated by, you know?

Dosiere
16-07-2016, 17:20
Thanks for taking the time to write it up OP.

Does anyone have links to any new maps or anything? I've been waiting for some sort of "galaxy" map or something to at least sketch out how it all fits together.

Greyshadow
17-07-2016, 04:27
Fantastic guide - great to see this setting taking shape to a point where it is starting to get me interested. They have made a lot of good progress since last year. Again, I would like to see more of the common man, the cultures and societies that supports these war machines. Very excited to hear a big Tzeentch force is soon coming into the war.

Lord Malorne
17-07-2016, 05:30
It's true what is said though, finding it hard to see exactly why some factions are fighting certain factions and not just the crazy ones.

shinros
17-07-2016, 08:51
It's true what is said though, finding it hard to see exactly why some factions are fighting certain factions and not just the crazy ones.

With nagash its plain in the audio drama nagash still has his beef with sigmar from the old would and the stealing of souls and the dead depriving him of strength, Destruction has a very big story in all-gates on how they punk sigmar's faction and order? Well they want to take back their cities and recolonize the mortal realms. Does chaos need any explanation?


In the audio books, Mannfred comes groveling before Nagash, and Nagash makes pretty clear he just wants Mannfred Dead. Later combined forces of undead and stormcast track him down, chop him in half, and chuck him down a pit, and Arkhan is all 'yup, that fulfills our agreement, we'll fight for you'. There is zero indication that Nagash wants Mannfred back, only that he wants him destroyed. And for his part Mannfred absolutely is not fighting for Nagash.

So yeah... mannfred's independent, and Nagash doesn't even want him.


As for Nagash making a deal with [EDIT: Archaon, not Arkhan] way back when, that's just what Sigmar assumed happened, afaik it was never confirmed in the plot, and if it was then that just means Nagash did something deliberately stupid instead of for no reason at all. The choices seem to be that either Nagash was stupid or Nagash chooses his actions each day based on a die roll or Nagash wasn't the one who betrayed Sigmar at the all gates, and really that's far more Mannfred's style, so I was fine just assuming that would be the eventual reveal, but now in the seasons of war campaign, despite the undead just re-establishing the alliance with order like two minutes ago in the realm gates campaign, already they're attacking order settlements, and instead of giving us any reason, the campaign fluff is all 'who cares why nagash does anything, he's just a bad guy lol', which is hard to get motivated by, you know?

No, nagash does not want mannfred dead it's pretty clear he want's to punish his Mortarch I got the book version of the audio drama sitting in front me with the text in the epilogue. "I will find the princeling and chain him to my throne." Even during the grovelling no where does he states that he will kill Mannfred. The only time he talks about what he will do to him is in the epilouge. He was about to punish mannfred before Tarsem stepped up. Then mannfred revealed who they are then Nagash proceeded to kill the stormcast to take what belong's to him. During that whole conversation he call's Mannfred, Child, beast and Mortarch. Arkhan clearly stated nagash let him run around to see if he learned any new tricks. Nagash was watching the whole time. Thing is he still bare's his title but he has fallen out of favour. Nagash has like 4 speeches where he states that he hate's sigmar and state's he needs to recover his power(Due to sigmar stealing souls) and he is tearing apart Tarsem's soul finding answer's on how sigmar is doing this.(I am calling it now Tarsem is going to be a new Mortarch) Is it really surprising that nagash betray's sigmar? Really? Come now.

I do think sigmar is a intelligent man and I personally think he just sent the stormcast to nagash to gauge his response and I think nagash responded as expected. I do think it surprised sigmar that he "allied" with him for a time to hit his all-gate's point but as always nagash is always nagash.

In the very end Mannfred does not fall into a pit. He stab's the stormcast a portal begins to open as the stormcast flesh begins to meld together in lightning forming a portal, he then get's cut in half and as he begins getting sucked into the portal it then changes to purple, Before it vanished/explodes leaving only blood spatter and bits of roasted armor which fell over the tower top not mannfred's body. Plus if mannfred did not get sucked into the portal Arkhan next response would make no sense. Arkhan state's the fang can manipulate the passage between realms and Nagash consider's the thing a bauble compared to his power. In my mind that's a pretty telling hint considering in the all-gate book it clearly state's that nagash is gathering his mortarch's for war. Do also remember that Ramus and the Astral Templar's mission was to capture mannfred and bring him to sigmar in sliver chains to present to his old foe. Considering Nagash is planning to betray sigmar do you think Nagash would allow such a thing to happen? I don't think so. The BL are written with the campaign books in mind, sometimes you don't get the whole picture unless you read both together and fit the event's together.

If I am correct the only person who truly won in that situation is Nagash, no giant army that needs to be dealt with, Mortarch disciplined( if I am right he now also has him) and he still has Tarsem's soul without expending a large amount of power to do so I will say it's been a good day for him.

Still I will ask David if he could shed some light on the situation.

Here is the all-gate blurb on it from the semi time line for those interested.

"Nagash, The Great Betrayel again(If you read the book or audio drama you knew this was coming)"

"Nagash had led the emissaries of the Anvil's of Heldenhammer to believe that he would join them in their assault upon the fortress of Gothizzar, the all gate that guarded the endgate. Nagash Knew that the arcway leading from the Allpoints to Shyish must be shuttered, but he did not aid the stormcast eternals. Such an alliance did not suit the great necromancer; after all, Nagash still did not consider his long-standing grudge against sigmar for the wrongs done to him repaid. From his throne of bones he watched the stormcast eternals die at Gothizzar. When he was ready, Nagash's assault upon that fortress would not fail. He summoned his Mortarch's to council....."

We all know how nagash can bear a grudge look at the tomb kings and their country(when he killed them all). Even in end times when settra said no he pretty much destroyed every single tomb, settlment and palace while settra watched.

I suspect there was no agreement between the gods I just think sigmar wants to use mannfred as leverage against nagash. Arkhan at the end just burnt a ghoul and all he did was talk about nagash wanting to punish him and just pretty much stands there. Don't you think it's kinda odd that Arkhan just appears while mannfred is surronded was going to be taken by sigmar's warriors? I do considering the detail of the portal being purple. I think Nagash has his grubby hands on mannfred AND still has tarsem's soul

Lexington
17-07-2016, 17:38
Well, imho this setting can't improve since its foundations are totally awkward.
I don't know that it's quite that bad. They had something with the revised Warhammer Quest - a ragtag band of protagonists with varied, interesting visuals, running around in a low-context dungeon scenario. AoS might've worked a lot better if it had been introduced this way, rather than plopped down as a single chunk of winding mythology and tongue-twister naming conventions. That Star Wars-y mix of low-context, limited POV worldbuilding with a lot of dangly bits left unexplored was something that got GW very far in the past. It's unfortunate that they can't seem to pull it off anymore, aside from dropping Mysterious Place Names every other sentence. That gets real old, real quick.

I think GW could improve AoS' background, but they'd need to take a deeper look at how they're telling their stories anymore. Right now, they seem to be responding directly to short-sighted concerns like "lack of civilization," which is really just treating the symptoms rather than the disease.

Memnos
17-07-2016, 18:22
Well, the setting's not that bad. Basically, in the old world, Archaon(In his novels) decided to destroy the Chaos Gods.

When that world was destroyed, he inherited the Daemon World(Which are the home of heroes, legends and Gods as per the Warhammer 40K Daemon book, pg reference available on request)and set the world rules to create the creatures that could destroy the Chaos Deities - In this case, Sigmar and the rest.

All the weird physics? Daemon World. A Daemon world that is becoming steadily more and more 'real' and whose rules have been set specifically to help his war on the Chaos Deities. We're just in the prologue right now.

Lexington
17-07-2016, 20:28
Well, the setting's not that bad. Basically, in the old world, Archaon(In his novels) decided to destroy the Chaos Gods.
The "facts" of a setting are almost entirely secondary to how the setting is presented. AoS (and, by extension, modern-day GW) has big problems with both, but I don't think they're nearly as aware of this distinction as they should be.

Lord Malorne
18-07-2016, 17:29
As was pointed out though, its hard to get into it when it still has remnants of the old world, Nagash for example... and Mannfred :confused: as its a new game based off shattered realms being maintained by magic *wink wink nudge nudge* powers new characters would have been arguably better than name dropping some old worlders.

shinros
18-07-2016, 22:42
As was pointed out though, its hard to get into it when it still has remnants of the old world, Nagash for example... and Mannfred :confused: as its a new game based off shattered realms being maintained by magic *wink wink nudge nudge* powers new characters would have been arguably better than name dropping some old worlders.

They are not maintained by magic 8 new worlds the size of the old world(if you look at the realm of life map) were created from the winds of magic. Hence why each realm has aspects of each wind they function as normal worlds, you still have your fields to farm for normal people etc but the magical area's of the realm are heavily influenced by the wind it was born from. Plus the normal area's are affected slightly like the realm of metal as more iron in the tree's or something.

Now on old characters? Do remember the way the lore is written it's like part 2 of the fantasy series even recently since I wanted to read the legend of sigmar in the ebook version they have all the main times of legend novels listed in order up to end times then a few starting AOS books. The only factions that have returning characters is Death and Chaos for obvious reasons. Plus the reason why old characters are now gods is lore from the end times it's like cycles. Ulric, Khaine etc were all once mortal elves, humans etc that fought against chaos and lost and ascended to be gods of the new world aka the old world.

The plan for the elven god I forgot her name the lady of the lake she intended for the bretonnian kings and powerful damsels to be the new pantheon for the humans of the new old world but as you know that plan when to crap when bret's found out their whole religion is somewhat a lie and they were pretty much used through out their history.

The reason why old characters of the old world also the gods of AOS nagash, sigmar etc came back was because their souls were bound and interwoven into the wind of magic itself teclis said in the end times the incarnate's are essentially gods at that point.

Now if you like the part 2 of the lore that is up for debate, people like different things.

Lost Egg
11-12-2016, 19:10
Thanks for the write up as I've just found this thread.

It's bugged me that GW haven't really explained what's happened, the fluff I've read so far has been very vague. How can I be expected to feel much for a setting if they give little away? They seem to want you to buy an endless list of books just to know whats going on.

The factions still feel like they need to settle down. Despite 6 attempts to get into AoS so far I've yet to do so, each time I've just sold on whatever I bought. GWs site has an endless list of allegiances or factions or whatever and it all seems very confusing. I'm hoping they can bring it under control.

To me there feels like there are only a few 'real' AoS factions right now (Inronjawz, Sylvaneth, Stormcast, Fyreslayers & Bloodbound). I expect that once a few more are released then some of the 'lesser' factions will become Mail Order only, many feel like they are just filler till a 'real' faction arrives.

I expect that until things settle down more I'm unlikely to take the dip...

...plus I really want to see some new AoS elves...

mot666
17-12-2016, 22:33
Good read OP.

Would also recommend the article below for a FAQ for the new setting:

http://www.tronhammer.com/2016/03/age-of-sigmar-mythbusting-fluff-edition.html

Lost Egg
18-12-2016, 07:09
Thanks for that mot666, I'll have read :D

malisteen
19-12-2016, 17:18
There has been some update to Nagash's motivation and game plan since it last came up in discussion.

While his motivations in originally betraying Sigmar remain frustratingly opaque (thinking Archaon would honor any deal with him still kind of portrays Nagash as a terrible judge of character, if not an outright idiot), his more recent actions now make an acceptable amount of sense.

Mannfred, it turns out, has been working for Nagash all along. Whatever punishment Nagash felt compelled to meet out to his errant mortarch for the Betrayal at the last battle of the old world was dealt and suffered long ago. Rather, Mannfred has deliberately portrayed himself to the stormcast as a traitorous influence on Nagash, while Neferata has been built up as their ally in Nagash's court, and as long as Sigmar and his allies believe this characterization, they can bargain with Neferata in the hopes that she'll be able to sway her master to their side, or at the very least not join forces with chaos, while blaming any failures on Nagash's part to deliver on Mannfred's influence without necessarily concluding that Nagash is completely against them.

In this way, Nagash can, for the most part, hold back from committing his strength to any side while he appears to waffle, and both sides of the war between Order and Chaos will be discouraged from striking against him, both since they have more pressing targets in combating their active foes and for fear of driving him into their enemy's camp. This in turn allows Nagash to channel the necromantic energy that would otherwise need to go into raising his armies into a major construction project instead.

Yes, once again, Nagash's plans revolve around yet another new black pyramid (each bigger and blacker than the one before). Nagash may be clever, but he's not overly creative.

Nagash has been extremely frustrated by all the other gods, mortal and chaos, stomping all over his 'lord of the dead' role, chaos powers recycling their favored champions, Sigmar and his Sigmarines, the elven gods dragging back the souls of the Aelves from Slaanesh only to give them new life instead of handing them over to Nagash as is his due. To that end, he's been researching how the other gods have defied him, and has developed new black shards capable of overcoming the pull of whatever divine patron might claim the soul of a dying warrior and redirect the soul to the shard instead. With these shard's he's managed to capture some Sigmarine and Chaos Warrior souls already. With an entire massive Pyramid built of the stuff in the heart of his underworld, he'll be able to re-assert his dominion over the dead, and grow massively in power as the forces of Order and Chaos expend the lives of their followers in battle with each other. By the time they notice that their soul coffers aren't refilling, Nagash's power will be too great to oppose.

Or, at least, that's the plan. In practicality, the Skaven are probably just going to nuke the new pyramid like the old one.

Anyway, that explains his failure to live up to commitments to the forces of Order, his forces making minor, targeted strikes against all sides during the recent global campaign (testing out the black shards), the place of the Mortarchs in his plans, etc.

I don't know if this was planned all along, or was a sort of author saving throw meant to explain Nagash's actions after the fact, but either way it works well enough for me.

Rogue Star
20-12-2016, 16:36
Good read OP.

Would also recommend the article below for a FAQ for the new setting:

http://www.tronhammer.com/2016/03/age-of-sigmar-mythbusting-fluff-edition.html

It's a nice blurb by Josh Reynolds about the difference between a Stormcast Eternal and a Space Marine, but it's not... entirely accurate. Despite Mr Reynolds' statements, we have more often than not seen the Adeptus Astartes presented in an extremely heroic light in most lore. They're often seen as the closest the setting has to a wholly good group defending mankind, and they're diverse enough of a faction for multiple stories to exist where they barely resemble the indoctrinated trained killers version cited above.

Even discounting the more moral forces, things like the actions of the Crimson Fists in the Rynn's World novels or the Ultramarines' saga of Uriel Ventris and a number of short stories show them to be upstanding and caring defenders of humanity rather than the Imperium. The dominance of this over the more traditional semi-psychotic super soldiers they were intended to be - and Games Workshop's desire to milk this to have more people buy them - means that there isn't enough to really differ them from one another. Plus, let's face it, we've seen them ally with certain xenos races more and more often as the years go by (Blood Angels/Necrons vs Tyranids, etc).

On many Imperial worlds, feudal or otherwise, it's considered an honour to be selected by the Adeptus Astartes and they only choose the greatest among them to be worthy of entering their ranks. It's often joked, to place some real emphasis upon the Astartes' overly elite nature that Conan would be one of their basic recruits, but it's not really far from the truth. They would have selected someone like him in his younger days, someone powerful, bloodthirsty and skilled, to be worthy of ascension, and to them that would have been akin to being raised among the gods. The Space Wolves and many others have traditions which directly resemble this, and once you pick out that point the similarities start to become more and more distinct. Replace Sigmar with a Primarch/Emperor and his Reforging power with gene-seed/conditioning, and you end up with a vast number of parallels between the two forces.

Not saying the Stormcast Eternals are carbon copies of the Adeptus Astartes, just that the latter has so many Chapters which vary in their attitudes and traditions (Ultramarines, Space Wolves and Salamanders are worlds apart from Marines Malevolent, Mortifactors and Executioners, for example... and even the former are very different from each other) that you can't just lump all Space Marines into the "brainwashed and weaponized monastic murder machines".

What the Stormcast Eternals need is a similar level of depth.

malisteen
21-12-2016, 22:48
Yeah, it's been quite a long time since loyalist marines have been portrayed as anything other than entirely virtuous, upstanding individuals in the lore. Even in cases where different loyalist factions are in conflict with each other, nowadays that always turns out to be the result of subterfuge and manipulation by the 'real bad guys', who are inevitably exposed in time for the 'good guys' to make up, rally, and win the day. See Battle for Fenris / Wrath of Magnus for an example.

At the risk of veering into political territory, where there used to be an element of satire - and thus criticism - of the inherently fascist nature of the space marine concept, the unapologetically uncritical portrayal of space marines in more recent fluff gives the game as a whole this passive, pro-fascist undercurrent that I find very off-putting.

Lost Egg
22-12-2016, 07:55
That't the trouble with both marines and stormcast for me, they are a bit dull. I want more troubled souls less swot, more Tony Stark & less Captain America.

Rogue Star
06-01-2017, 18:58
It's worth adding that if anyone has read the latest (January 2017) White Dwarf article on Tzeentch Arcanites, it is revealed one of the brand new "Seeds of Hope" cities was founded based on Tzeentch's designs; the Changling masqueraded as it's chief architect, and convinced them to use realmstone at it's core to power it - it seems to be similar in nature to warpstone - which will fulfill it's function, but the inhabitants of the city will suffer rapid mutations, Chaos taint, etc. Well played Tzeentch.

Cèsar de Quart
08-02-2017, 21:19
"Lack of culture"

This is what kills it for me. Lack of "anything that makes sense or makes the setting relatable". I cannot imagine myself or anyone living in Aqshy or Hysh or Azyrheim, therefore... I just don't care about it.

It's a pity because I like, really like, the Sigmarines' design. I hate their name ("Eternal Corps" or "Immortal Guard" sound like better names, but of course, they can't be IPd...) but I like their aesthetics (too generic, but ok) and their concept (broken souls of dead warriors cast into a hollow armor, which we know now it's not hollow, they're actually dudes inside). But I just don't buy the whole idea of Sigmarines that aren't there to defend anything. Space Marines, I understand them, they're a small force fighting against unsurmontable odds to protect Mankind. But Sigmar is not defending Man or even any Empire I can understand, he's just defending his Godhood. Which is odd.

Why didn't the first AoS book begin by showing us what's like living under Sigmar's rule? Then we'd have something to fight for. Sorry, I'm not a crunchy player. Warhammer is not a 1-hour setup game, it's a hobby that drains much of your time and money. If I have to spend so much of both, I need it to mean something, to make sense and to appeal to me. AoS fluff, for now, is generic, dull and feels utterly dead to me. I don't see these realms with no political entities, no defined cultures and no geography. I don't know who lives there, I don't understand the worlds, I just don't buy it. A poor excuse of a setting living off the fossile nostalgia of familiar names and very, very old "high fantasy" ideas that aren't very good to begin with.

Don't get me wrong, I'm dying for the fluff to be good, I'd like to see how interesting can it get in five years time, but for now... more narrative just isn't what we need. What we need is culture, political entities and common people we can identify with. A well fleshed out world we can believe. Even if it's weird dimensions, they need to matter. If there's no end to supplies and men and the realms can be occupied and torn apart in an instant... then what are the stakes? What's the point?

I was perfectly happy with an Old World set at five minutes to midnight.

Lost Egg
09-02-2017, 12:01
I cannot imagine myself or anyone living in Aqshy or Hysh or Azyrheim, therefore... I just don't care about it.

Why didn't the first AoS book begin by showing us what's like living under Sigmar's rule? Then we'd have something to fight for. I don't see these realms with no political entities, no defined cultures and no geography. I don't know who lives there, I don't understand the worlds, I just don't buy it.

What we need is culture, political entities and common people we can identify with. A well fleshed out world we can believe. Even if it's weird dimensions, they need to matter. If there's no end to supplies and men and the realms can be occupied and torn apart in an instant... then what are the stakes? What's the point?

Well said.