Yes, this is a massive open-ended subject.

I am a 40K player, and have played it on and off for about 15 years. Started in second edition and even when not playing it I've kept track of updates in the lore as the background has been expanded (and retconned ) though collecting the rulebooks, codexes, Black Library books, etc. I am by no means a master on it, but I understand pretty much everything as to the hows and why everything has happened, who can do what, the ideals of all the factions, etc. No, I can't name some obscure titan legion in an old edition of white dwarf .I had the advantage of starting when the number of available materials was rather small and kept up with everything as more stuff was released.

I became interested in Warhammer fantasy through Warhammer Online, which was rather late in fantasy's lifetime compared to when I started with 40K. While I've picked up a lot of bits and pieces from reading this site, some of the army books and so on, there is so much lore for Fantasy that I don't know where to start. I still haven't quite figured out how everyone stands in the "current day", let alone how everyone got to that point and why.

I like Warhammer fantasy, and wish to know more. Lots more. Obsessively more. My starting point has always been Chaos, as the concept of the gods and daemons is pretty identical to 40K (even if their form of existance is not), but besides that I'm stumped. So Warseer, I come to you.

I am looking for help with the following:

1) The best resources to piece together a general timeline of the fantasy background. Whether this be the main rulebook (even previous editions - they can always be "aquired" online if out of print), old white dwarfs, specific codexes (again, any edition), etc.

2) The politics of the factions, i.e. who is allied with who, who hates who, who was part of who but isn't, who's back-stabbed who over the years, etc etc. And of course, the whys (if possible).

3) The power levels of each race and their influence. For example, in 40K the Orks individually aren't that powerful, but there are so damned many of them that they can stream-roll planet after planet through strength of numbers. The Dark Eldar have some of the most impressive weapon tech in the universe, but their numbers are so small that they presence is barely felt (except when they steal an entire planet's populations for slaves).

4) How the Warhammer world "works", in particular magic, souls, afterlifes (if there is one), etc. Pretty sure there's no overlap between fantasy and 40K here at all

I get the feeling I will eventually end up reading every rulebook and codex, but ideally would like to start reading them in the right order (if there is one) so it all makes sense.

Help, and thank you,

-Sami

P.S. I was tempted to start a daemon army as I love the models (and its the lore I'm most familiar with), but upon reading a few threads it seems their power level (and thus popularity) is completely inverted from their 40K brethren...

P.P.S. Looking purely at the background of the fantasy universe, not any rules mechanics (that will come later and something that can be picked up by just reading the main rulebook).