Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: The Eight Realms - How do they look like?

  1. #1

    The Eight Realms - How do they look like?

    The question is very self-explanatory.

    I want to set my stormcasts somewhere outside of Azyr, but I'm not sure what's the look of the other Realms. I mean, does Aqshy need to be a volcano-ridden land of magma? How do they people there grow any food at all? I know Warhammer doesn't care about actual economics or realism, for that matter, but I need a semblance of reality in order to believe this world.

    I guess the people of Aqshy could grow mushrooms and roots underground thanks to the heat of the magical geosphere...

    Another thing: are the Realms flat? Or are they composed of moon-like planets floating around? I like the idea of floating worlds orbiting bigger worlds, it certainly makes for interesting skies and for cool airships.

    Anyway, just trying to get a glimpse of what GW are not showing in the army books.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Chapter Master Rogue Star's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    The Floating Isles of Talbion
    Posts
    2,019

    Re: The Eight Realms - How do they look like?

    The landscapes are very dominated by the themes of their names, so Aqshy the Realm of Fire is very hot. This doesn't mean everything is fire, liquid magma and volcanoes, but a fair portion will be, and even the stuff that isn't will be, well hot. Dry deserts scorched by the sun, sun-baked savannahs and so on.

    So the best guide is to consider only that the Realm will follow the name. The Realm of Life is verdant - but what manner this takes is up to you. A seemingly endless forest of majestic trees, the trunks of which are as wide around as a house? A steaming jungle, wet with moisture and bewildering array of wildlife? The Realm of Beasts and the Realm of Life could both, feature a open, grass covered savannahs... the difference will be that a wander through Ghyran will reveal it's an idyllic meadow, so fast growing that despite discovering a fierce battle took place here not but a week ago, everything has regrown as though nothing happened, while a trek through Ghur will find the predatory cycle of nature intensified, with fantastical wild animals picking each other off and being hunted in turn, the scrub clinging tenaciously to life, etc.

    So returning to Aqshy, you might have a perfectly normal ocean - except it's heated by underwater volcanoes and bubbles and steams, dubbed the "Fever Sea" and it's temperature varies from lukewarm to flesh boiled-off-the-bones depending on regions and currents. Don't even get started on what sort of weird aquatic life lives in it, or soars on the thermals around it, etc. Or your Stormcast Eternals could construct a fortress there which becomes known as the "Grey Bastion" - not that it was constructed from grey stones, just that the ash which periodically falls has coated it to earn a moniker, etc.

    The people born into the various Realms also take on traits associated with them, so the people of Aqshy will be passionate and argumentative, courageous and zealous with quick tempers while those native of Ghur are more likely to be rustic and wild, independent and nomadic folk who shun cities and 'civilisation'.

    It's also worth remembering, the three Chaos Gods, Khorne, Tzeentch and Nurgle all have vested interest in certain Realms more than any other, so you will encounter their warping effects on Aqshy, Chamon and Ghyran respectively. They're not exclusive to these Realms, but these are connected to them and they covet them, being born of a certain part of their power.

    The realms could be flat, as we've never seen a large enough map to encompass them, but we've seen James Cameron's Avatar-esque floating islands and such, and a planetoid or orbiting moon is certainly high-fantasy enough to fit.
    “Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” - William Shakespeare
    “Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torment of man” - Friedrich Nietzsche
    “We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell” - Oscar Wilde

  3. #3

    Re: The Eight Realms - How do they look like?

    Thanks for the reply! I'll have a good thinking on what you said. I get that the main vibe of the new AoS setting is that "anything goes", really. Less than in 40k, but more than in the Old World, where the fluff was solid but pretty constrained.

  4. #4
    Chapter Master Lost Egg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Wandering in the wilderness...
    Posts
    2,154

    Re: The Eight Realms - How do they look like?

    @Rogue Star - That is the most characterful description of the Eight Realms I've ever read, far better than what GW put out. I doff my cap to you.

    I don't think the realms have a physical relationship much, they put me very much in mind of the 9 Worlds of Norse myth.

  5. #5

    Re: The Eight Realms - How do they look like?

    What about more "dubiously inhabitable" worlds, like Hysh, Ulgu or Shysh?

    I mean, the Realm of Shadows is described as a land riddled with enigmas and perpetually in penumbra... would people really live there? The same goes for the Realm of Death, which is actually the least believable of all, along with Hysh, the Realm of Symmetry... which is a concept still hard to grasp.

    Is there any informatin on whether people can travel easily to other realms, if they consider them myth, or if they know about them at all? I guess a regular nomad doesn't know about anything, but... does Gert Keller, Captain of the Sixth Gate of Anvilgard? Do the people treat Sigmar and the rest just like Old Worlders treated their gods (as real, hidden beings), or rather, do they know that the Stormcasts can walk about with Sigmar if they want to in Azyrheim?

    I'm working on the background for my Stormcasts, and I need some more ground rules, otherwise the world just doesn't ring true.

    I know many details are left vague because of the "do what you want" factor, but this universe needs clear rules and clear limits, otherwise there's no center to hold on to and no pillar to set the tone, no foundation upon which to build your own narrative. I'm sure some novel explains some of this.

    Thanks!

  6. #6
    Chapter Master Rogue Star's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    The Floating Isles of Talbion
    Posts
    2,019

    Re: The Eight Realms - How do they look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cèsar de Quart View Post
    What about more "dubiously inhabitable" worlds, like Hysh, Ulgu or Shysh?

    I mean, the Realm of Shadows is described as a land riddled with enigmas and perpetually in penumbra... would people really live there? The same goes for the Realm of Death, which is actually the least believable of all, along with Hysh, the Realm of Symmetry... which is a concept still hard to grasp.
    I'm sure some form of life exists within these realms, how much is men, Orks or elves will vary. It's worth noting that with the Age of Chaos, all realms took a hit; most places flooded with daemons or servants of the Ruinous Powers and even the ones that didn't suffer particularly, like the Realm of Death (debate is still up on whether Nagash himself or Mannfred betrayed Sigmar's alliance to earn a reprieve) still changed from a realm more like Ancient Nehekhara (with a grim, morbid outlook and lots of crypts and tombs) to it's current state, more of a bleak realm of death and decay, haunted by undead things and wraiths because Nagash refused to continue his (appointed?) task within the pantheon of ushering the dead to the "Underworld" in order to conserve the power to resist Archaon and Chaos.

    Not that it helped him much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cèsar de Quart View Post
    Is there any informatin on whether people can travel easily to other realms, if they consider them myth, or if they know about them at all? I guess a regular nomad doesn't know about anything, but... does Gert Keller, Captain of the Sixth Gate of Anvilgard? Do the people treat Sigmar and the rest just like Old Worlders treated their gods (as real, hidden beings), or rather, do they know that the Stormcasts can walk about with Sigmar if they want to in Azyrheim?
    It will vary likely depending on how much they have easy access to a Realmgate. Hammerhal is built around one, hence it's fairly cosmopolitan nature, with elves, Dwarves, men and Stormcast (and the odd fey-creature from the Realm of Life on vacation...). Sigmar is considered something of a myth as he disappeared for a thousand years after sealing off the Celestial Realm, but even Nagash was defeated and retreated to the Underworld of Shyish to recover and regenerate (bit like Sauron...), and Alarielle gave into despair and hit in a secluded glade until Stormcast Eternals seeking alliance and the Nurgle worshippers trailing them seeking her destruction led to her rebirth in a 'war' aspect.

    So it depends how much it is old worship surviving the Age of Chaos, then meeting the 'Gods' as they return.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cèsar de Quart View Post
    I'm working on the background for my Stormcasts, and I need some more ground rules, otherwise the world just doesn't ring true.

    I know many details are left vague because of the "do what you want" factor, but this universe needs clear rules and clear limits, otherwise there's no center to hold on to and no pillar to set the tone, no foundation upon which to build your own narrative. I'm sure some novel explains some of this.

    Thanks!
    It might be easier to provide help though, if you describe your end goal and how you want to achieve it.

    Also, this might just be silliness, but this was supposedly taken at a Bugman's quiz night.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mkQCQvm.jpg 
Views:	1816 
Size:	465.7 KB 
ID:	232850
    “Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” - William Shakespeare
    “Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torment of man” - Friedrich Nietzsche
    “We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell” - Oscar Wilde

  7. #7

    Re: The Eight Realms - How do they look like?

    Thanks, as usual your insight is very articulate and appreciated.

    I've been working on general notes, a mixture of information I've been gathering and my own imagination, in order to give the Realms a bit of substance and life. Especially the Realms of Death, Shadow and Light, which seem to me the most difficult to represent in a "here people live their own lives" aspect.


    THE SHROUDED LANDS

    INTO the REALM of ULGU

    Picture an old northern harbor, deep within the mists, bathed in dim dusklight, immersed in a sea of fog, clogged, oppressed. Here, there is always light, for it scatters everywhere, coming from the diffuse boundaries with Hysh, the Luminary; but it is a... fickle light. More akin to moonlight or to a stormy sunrise. Here, the sounds, the feelings, the thoughts are all diminished by the atmosphere. In Hysh, shadow is the absence of light. In here, though, shade is the presence of Ulgu, and a very tangible thing. The mists are alive and have their own goals, plan their own plots and keep their own secrets. Things are never what they seem, always shrouded in a mystery older than the world itself.

    The land stretches unseen for miles, and the landscape changes, riles and shivers with the breeze. It is a world of slow change, sluggish ebb and flow, where the only possible direction is to stay put, or to run in circles. Here, shadows are the embodiement of Entropy, in opposition to the order that the Light of Hysh brings to the Lands of the Luminary. Entropy, though, is not Chaos. Chaos is fervor, excess, violent transmutation, impatience, sturm and drang. Entropy is calm, quiet, numb, still.

    Here, men know that reality is shifting, that time is a-wasting, that all things come to an end, but they also live in a grey world of mystery and illusion. They are master riddlers, they understand that everything has an underlying intention, that the world is hiding secrets under its sheets. They speak in tongues that mimic the sounds of their dark nature; the wind, the rain, thunder and storm, and because Ulgu numbs sound as much as vision, they have become experts in sign language and light codes. They are wanderers, nomads, tricksters, never trusting the land to hold a building for long, never knowing if they will see anyone tomorrow, never being able to comprehend a world where the sky is blue and the horizon is vast. For a while, the Shrouded Kings led a coallition of nomad clans and were the most powerful men in Ulgu, the Firstborn of Mother Myst, until the Shadow King Malerion contested their rule. Now the Shrouded Kings worship Malerion as the Shadow King and Mother Myst as the generatrix goddess.

    There are also other inhabitants in Ulgu, those that came from beyond the Great Gates; Azyrites, Aqshians, Chamonites, and other peoples brough forth by Sigmar's Tempest. They have tried to tame Ulgu and make it their own, with varying degrees of success. The Shademen look at them passing by and shrug. They will never last, they think. Their buildings will crumble, their towers will collapse, their light will vanish, eaten by the Eternal Mists. They labor to build lighthouses, barriers and to clear the mist as if it was a forest to be cut down and tamed. But this is the Land of Shadow, and darkness will always win. The Shademen bring their trades, do their business and continue their way, knowing that the Myst has a prupose for them, and shall devour them once thir purpose is complete. There's the Aegis, the famed Ivory Dome of the Knights-Serene, Sigmar's bridgehead in Ulgu, built around a priceless relic, the Hand of Khaine; there's Ulambra, the Silent Hall of the Ordo Occultam, an alliance of Light and Grey wizards; there's Rh'yz, the Mysteric Labirinth, a plain filled with the shadows of the dead that the Myst reclaimed for Herself, and which is guarded by the ever-stern Sisterhood of the Owl, always weary of Nagash's attempts to take the souls back; there's Rho-Dai, the White Pyramid established by Tellurio Critizo, still trying to tame the Ulgulands and establish a "haven of respite within the fog". The Shademen look at them and move on. The only respite is in the Myst. The only true sleep, is life in Ulgu. Soothing, inviting, like a siren calling a sailor, like an old man attempting to live forever. Hopeful but pointless.

    They know what lurks beneath the Shade, beyond the Curtain. Dark gods lurk within the corners of Ulgulands, in portentous slumber, godbeasts born with the end of the World That Was, maybe even before that, drinking the essence of the Mist from time immemorial. Gods with a thousand names and recipients of a thousand sacrifices, beings of unfathomable power that no one remembers, beasts that even the Chaos champions avoid, incarnations of the Ulgumen's beliefs and creeds about the Myst, the Secret and the Occult.

    It is said, after all, that when the Shroud falls upon all lands, secrets shall be kept for all eternity, death shall be defeated, life shall freeze in its place, fire shall fickle and dim, metal shall cool, beasts shall turn meek, the sky shall close to the eyes of men and light shall die, consumed by the Shadow. That, they know.

    ++++

    What do you think? I tried to keep the tone of the old WH lore pieces, a bit more in-world and characterful.
    Last edited by Cèsar de Quart; 22-10-2017 at 15:29.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •