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Grand Alliance of Order

Order Icon.png

The Grand Alliance of Order are the armies of heroes seeking to reclaim the Mortal Realms from Chaos and restored to their former glory.[1]

Overview

Principles

Morathi, when speaking to the Grand Conclave of Hammerhal to convince them to act against Nagash during the Time of Tribulations, defines Order to them. She claims to see them as the champions of progress, who in spite of their differences in form and methods are united in their desire to live, to feast, to love and to grow old in the service of their gods. To her this is what unites the human, aelf and duardin races. She convinces them to unite to bolster their numbers and divide as necessity demands, to conquer Realmgates and giving it free access to their allies, with the ultimate goal of invading and destroying their enemies and spreading order throughout the realms.[3]

Work

Daily life of the citizens of the many nations Order share many common traits, like for example planting and growing crops and turning it into food, streets must be patrolled and defences must be repaired. But each realm provides unique challenges that they must adapt, like food sources, wildlife, travel and weather.[4a]

The vast reaches of the realms are controlled by Chaos, so the majority of the populations of the Realms live in cities, but even in the most civilised regions the day-to-day survival is difficult. A few reside in frontier settlements that exist in a state of near constant danger from cannibal raiders and voracious beasts. These settlements do the best they can to hide the security they can afford, from small Freeguilds and mercenary forces or the more expensive securities like an arrangement with a Fyreslayer lodge or a Kharadron trading contract, through with the Kharadron one must always read the fine print. Regardless the people of the realms must continuously adapt to deal with the many threats they face.[4a]

On the coasts these take the form of fishing villages and harbour towns that fish for sustenance or transport cargo and passengers, while inland there are many logging camps and mining towns that harvest the land for resources, like wood, stone and minerals.[4a]

The natures of some realms allow for settlements to harvest unique resources, like for example:

  • In Chamon oxide-hunting and hunting ferrosaurs for their polychromatic hides are lucrative.[4a]
  • Sulphur mining and obsidian harvesting common in the areas of high volcanic activity of Aqshy.[4a]
  • Ghur's frontiers have hunter-enclaves that hunt the great herds for their meat, pelts, teeth, bones or capture them for sale.[4a]

Dangers

The forces of Destruction and Chaos are often drawn to the cities. From Chaos the armies of Khorne and Nurgle often try to invade and enslave cities, while those of Tzeentch and Slaanesh weaken the populations with secretive cults, while the machinations of the Skaven undermine them. Since the Necroquake the forces of Death have become a even larger threat, with the large amounts of spirits and restless corpses stalking the realms.[4a]

Besides the armies of their enemies, the wilderness if full of dangers, from chaos-touched creature, like Beastmen, Sphiranxes and Jabberslythes, to other monsters like Gargants and Maw-Krushas that prowl the wilds in ever-increasing numbers. Since the Necroquake there are predatory spells who endanger all who meet it. The dangerous weathers of the Realms are an ever present threat and tests the ingenuity of its inhabitants to survive it. The vegetation of Ghyran grows so swiftly they might smother or suffocate the sleeping as they grow. In Ghur the earth bucks and heaves like a wild beast. Those who do not maintain a constant vigil don't survive long the dangers of the realms.[4a]

Security

Stout walls, palisades and stone ramparts are the most common method of defence for most towns and cities. Larger cities have artillery emplacements manned by Ironweld gunners, while smaller settlements have to rely on volunteer archers, who if they survive for long enough will learn that its better to pay the price to get training and weaponry from the Ironweld.[4a]

Freeguild regiments often act as de facto police for the cities and many of the small settlements controlled by the Conclaves of the God-King's cities. They often regularly rotate their troops serving in active battlefronts and those garrisoned in cities to act as city watch. These garrisons tend to be new recruits, veterans and debilitated soldiers capable of recovery, which means they aren't elite, but still armed and well-trained.[4a]

It's also common for cities, like Hammerhal and Greywater Fastness to employ mercenaries and convicts as underjacks, the first line of defence or early warning system from threats from below like Grots or Skaven.[4a]

Pyre-gangs on the other hand are specialized in quarantining and eliminating the Deadwalker epidemics that have appeared with the Necroquake. These are supported by experts on banishing the undead like warrior-priests, exorcists and gheist-breakers.[4a]

The free cities often have one or more Stormkeeps in them with Stormcast Eternals often garrisoned within when things get desperate.[4a]

Freeguild units supported by Ironweld Engineers travel weekly between settlements around the cities, providing protection to those that travel. Seas around port cities are watched by the Scourge Privateers who collect a bounty for every pirate and sea-beast they slay. Spell-hunters capture predatory magic rampaging through the landscape, getting paid in the form of the remains of realmstone that is left behind.[4a]

But the forces of Sigmar are often stretched thin and the organizations that protect cities and their surroundings can't defend the smaller settlements further away. These must find ways to protect themselves with volunteers or mercenaries. Most famous amongst these are the Fyreslayers, but they are not cheap and most can only afford them for limited engagements, like wiping out bandits. Wealthy towns can afford to employ aspiring wizards of the Collegiate Arcane, Duardin Runesmiths and Aelven mages to protect them with magic, with many recently focusing on enchantments that can ward against the undead.[4a]

There are also adventurers and their representatives who can often be found in taverns and watering holes.[4a] Some of these noteworthy groups are:

Farming

Farming is a complex issue in the Mortal Realms due to their different natures. Ghyran's feral vegetation makes it difficult to plant crops, but after being burned down, like for example channelling molten lava from Aqshy to burn it down, it yields much larger harvests. Shyish's soil has very little nutrients and are only able to produce the most tasteless and hardier strains of fruit and vegetables. Chamon has a mineral rich soil that produces strange vegetation, many of them can be edible if treated properly. Aqshy and Ghur have an harsh and unyielding soil.[4a]

Farming and herding can be found in the majority of settlements, but agrarian communities are more rare, existing only in the more settled regions, just a few days of travel. These farms feed the cities and in exchange the cities provide them with protection, with the most vital being protected by large Freeguild and the cogforts of the Ironweld Arsenal.[4a]

Entertainment

The people of the realms always find time to live, as companionship and laughter protect one's soul from corruption. Due to this many establishments providing entertainment, like taverns, gambling dens, fighting arenas and houses of ill-repute, can be found in most settlements above a certain size. In large cities these forms of entertainment can get exotic, like the light weavers of Hysh who craft intricate works of art using mirrors or the aelven shadow-dancers who are both seductive and terrifying in their private performances for the wealthy.[4a]

Each settlement and region have their own trends on how they entertain their populace.[4a] A few examples:

In many places there are troupes of entertainers travelling through the danger of the realms to provide villages and towns, with their actors, singers, acrobats and animal trainers.[4a] Some of the more famous troupes are:

Cities

To found settlements and cities it requires stable ground, high walls, trained defenders and a steady supply of food and water and their absence can lead to the end of a town.

The cities themselves are highly diverse, with lots of different establishments, like shops taverns and hostelries, but each of them has their own character. A few examples:

  • The city of Excelsis there is value in collecting prophecies and its considered a respectable profession.[4a]
  • The Floating City of Bataar has night soil collectors who provide the city with the compost needed to produce food.[4a]
  • The kharadron Sky-ports are famous for constantly searching profit and business in jobs like sky-fishing, mercenary work and beard-wax oil manufacturers.[4a]

Sustenance

For more information see: Cuisine

Food is a requirement for sustaining life and no matter where in the Realms, mortals need it to maintain their lives. In larger scales, civilizations need both a source of drinkable water as well as food, from thriving wild game or potential farmland, and these become important factors in deciding where new settlements are built.[4a]

Many recently founded settlements are barely able to sustain themselves and need to import goods for long enough until they become self-sustaining. While there are isolated farms, most are clumped together to share the workloads and protection. The harvest is sold or taken to grist mills. Markets being held weekly in larger villages and towns sell many goods like salt, spices, dried meats and alcohol. In general life outside the free cities is difficult and braving the wilderness to hunt for meat and bring in the harvest is arduous at the best of times.[4a]

Cities often start as wall around farmland, like communal vegetable allotments or orchards of native fruits, like the city of Hammerhal which has substantial farming suburbs and conurbations almost always enclosed by the outer walls. In some cases it can be great spots for fishing, like the city of Glymmsforge, which is found on a lake full of fish, or the fishing village found along the shores, rivers and coasts of the realm, but these are always threatened by deadly predator.[4a]

Those cities that survive quickly expand and with it their demands for more food, which is followed by any patch of fertile soil quickly being turned into farmland. These often come in the form of native varieties of corn, rice, potatoes amongst other crops. This local food is supplement through trade, like for example, the Kharadron Overlords who transport grain daily to the cities of Anvilgard and Tempest's Eye, or the mercantile conclaves of Hammerhal who ship food across to the Great Parch as well as from one realm to the other. The spice trade between the realms of Ghyran, Aqshy and Chamon is very lucrative. The Jade Kingdoms of Ghyran have a great demand for the Salamander-meat of Aqshy.[4a]

The main food sources of Ghur and Aqshy comes from hunting and fishing since animal life there is plentiful, but in Ghur there always the danger of quickly becoming the prey. Chamon's animals are toxic for anyone not native to their realm. There is always plenty of food in Ghyran, but there is always a danger that any of it could be contaminated by Nurgle.[4a]

 
Kharadron publicity for Aether-Travel.

Travel

Because of how large and dangerous the Realms are, travelling through them is a problem. Travelling by food outside of the cities will most likely end in the death of the traveller.[4a]

Travelling by ship is safer, but still has their issues, like boiling waters and firestorms of Aqshy, the hungry sea monsters of Ghur, or the pirate fleets of Ghyran and Chamon.[4a]

Air travel is favoured over those two as long, even if it can be just as dangerous. It is available in most major cities one can aboard a Kharadron vessel or a private aether-craft, which are often well-protected by aethershot carbines.[4a]

Realmgates are one of the most effective for long-distance travel, but access to them is often strictly controlled, often by the Stormcast. Some may even spend their entire life in their shadow and never be able to use it.[4a]

Economy

Trade is relatively new in the Free Cities since it was devastated in the Age of Chaos Trade Pioneers and enterprising Kharadrons are continually seeking new opportunities, trade routes and hidden realmgates.[8][4a][6a]

Trade is often an issue due to the dangers of the Mortal Realms. Some mercantile dynasties conceal safe routes of travel for their own benefit. Others must pool their resources to hire Fyreslayers to protect their caravans or hire fleets to transport their goods to reach the desired ports and markets.[4a]

The economy is largely focused on barter with conventional banking too difficult to pull off due to the dangerous and unpredictable nature of the Realms. The value of any given good is determined by its rarity and usefulness to the involved parties. For example, Gold itself has no inherent value and Realmstone is considered to have great value due to its magical properties.[8]

While there is no universal currency some cities possess a local currency. The following are several examples of these currencies[8]:

Religion

Many cultures in the Age of Sigmar worship or give homage to many gods, Sigmar amongst them.[4a]

Factions

Name Leader(s) Home Realm Grouping
  Stormcast Eternals Lord-Commander Azyr Stormhost
  Cities of Sigmar Grand Conclave Mortal Realms Free City
  Seraphon Slann Starmaster Azyr Constellation
  Idoneth Deepkin Akhelian King Deep Places Enclave
  Sylvaneth Treelord Ancient Ghyran Glade
  Lumineth Realm-lords Scinari Loreseeker Hysh Great Nation
  Daughters of Khaine Hag Queen Ulgu Temple
  Fyreslayers Auric Runefather Aqshy Lodge
  Kharadron Overlords Arkanaut Admiral Chamon Sky-Port
  Monsters of Order

Stormcast Eternals

 
Stormcast reforged upon the Anvil of Apotheosis

The Stormcast Eternals are the favoured champions Sigmar, mighty warriors who wield the tempest's fury as a weapon and who return from death to continue the God-King's wars. Their Stormhosts are famed across Sigmar's empire, establishing many Free Cities following the Age of Chaos. Once mortal men and women, every Stormcast was chosen by Sigmar himself, and each invested with the might of twelve mortals and charged with returning hope to the realms. Their armies descend from Azyr with comet-like foce to lay low the most terrible foes and triumph over the most unforgiving odds. Upon death, their souls are transported to Azyr to undergo Reforging upon the Anvil of Apotheosis in a arcane ritual performed with the skill of the Six Smiths - demigod servants of Grungni - before being hurled yet again into the tumultuous cauldron of war. However, these blessed champions possess their own dark secrets, the incremental loss of their being upon reforging.[9a]

Cities of Sigmar

 
Free City forces attacking Maggotkin

The Cities of Sigmar are the God-King Sigmar's great hope for the future of the Mortal Realms. Each has been established as a beachhead of civilisation in the realms largely lost to the savage wilds or corrupted during the Age of Chaos. Though they are far from untarnished, they shine like jewels amongst a sea of roiling, choking darkness. Flanked by high walls that are run through with channels of blessed starwater and guarded by hissing, clanking cogforts, they stand firm and defiant against the endless hordes of enemies who seek to cast down Sigmar's works. Despite their many technological marvels and arcane wards, the greatest defense the Free Cities possess is their people - the standing armies of men, aelves, and duardin who forged lives for themselves in the unforgiving realms. These Free Cities are guarded by Freeguild regiments, armed by the Ironweld Arsenal, and aided by mages of the Collegiate Arcane and the Eldritch Council as well as many other societies. Many factions stakes their interests in the Free Cities, such as the Stormcast Eternals who maintain Stormkeeps within the city walls, or Daughters of Khaine temples and gladiator arena, and even ambassadors of the Seraphon. Not merely a reactive force, the Grand Conclave - the central government of each Free City - regularly sends out Dawnbringer Crusades to establish new Strongpoints and impose order upon the Mortal Realms.[9b]

Armies

Name Leader Grouping
  Freeguild Freeguild General Regiment
  Collegiate Arcane Grandmaster College
  Dispossessed Warden King Clan
  Ironweld Arsenal Cogsmith
  Wanderers Nomad Prince Clan
  Darkling Covens Darkling Sorceress Coven
  Order Serpentis Dreadlord
  Scourge Privateers Black Ark Fleetmaster Fleet
  Shadowblades Shadowblade Assassin
  Phoenix Temple Anointed
  Lion Rangers White Lion Guardian
  Order Draconis Dragonlord
  Swifthawk Agents High Warden
  Eldritch Council Archmage

Seraphon

 
Seraphon defending against Blades of Khorne

Inscrutable and savage, the reptilian Seraphon are the lost children of the Old Ones, mysterious beings of god-like powers. The Old Ones possessed a Great Plan for all creation, a cosmic design staggering in scale. It is the duty of the Seraphon to enact this scheme, and in doing so bring about the defeat of Chaos - their most ancient and tenacious foes. From beyond the stars or the depths of steaming jungles they emerge, beating the drums of war and bathing in the light of sacred asterisms that dance through the heavens. Cohorts of saurian warriors bred solely for war charge forth to wreak single-minded bloodshed, while the quick and intelligent skirmishers known as skinks slip around the flanks to pepper the foe with poisoned javelins and blow-darts. Accompanied by towering reptilian behemoths who shake the earth with each step and guided by unfathomable intellect and immense arcane might of the toad-like slann, the Seraphon are a force to be reckoned with. However, behind their facade of animalistic savegry lies the power to alter the destiny of the realms entire.[9c]

Idoneth Deepkin

The Idoneth Deepkin are the most mysterious of all the aelven races. Deep below the waves of the realms' tumultuous oceans, where the cold is ever-present the light almost non-existent, their secretive enclaves glow like shining pearled scattered by the hand of a furious god. Though their coral spires and silvered palaces may be strangely beautiful to look upon, the Idoneth Deepkin are no noble champions of righteousness. Scarred by a terrible history the shadow of which they can never escape, there is no act they will not commit in the name of their race's survival. The ancestors of the Idoneth, known as the Cythai, were the first aelven souls to be extracted from the Chaos God Slaanesh after the Dark Prince's capture in Uhl-Gysh. However, the Cythai possessed a brooding darkness within their souls, and fled to the Deep Places beneath the ocean depths where the absence of sensation would conceal them from Slaanesh and their former liege Teclis, who sought to destroy them when he discovered their dark nature. Because of their curse, most Idoneth are born the Namarti caste with wilted souls and require souls stolen from other mortals. Only a small fraction are born 'true-souled' into the magical Isharann and Akhelian militant castes. Thys the Idoneth raid far and wide like an onrushing tsunami for mortal souls before pulling back as suddenly as the tide.[9d]

Sylvaneth

The Sylvaneth are the guardians of nature, charged with preserving the cycles of life and protecting sites of sacred power. To face the Sylvaneth is to stand before the fury of a summer storm. They are the wrath of the deep woods and sacred places, led by their mother-goddess Alarielle who leads them with her spirit-song. The hosts of these forest spirits atack with enchanted blades, lashing vines and raking talons. Sylvaneth are not creatures of flesh and blood, but spirits grown by the jade magics of Ghyran. The first of their kind were grown from soulpods planted during the Age of Myth by Alarielle and their bodies cultivated into the various forms taken by Alarielle's children. The most common were the Forest Folk - the Dryads and their Branchwraith matriarchs, but alongside them stood Noble Spirits such as Treelords as well as Free Spirits - roaming warriors who served the Everqueen directly. Hardened by years of loss during the Age of Chaos, the Sylvaneth have been forced to become a warrior race who are committed to eradicating all who would interfere in the natural order and have become fervent believers in the cause of Order.[9e]

Lumineth Realm-lords

 
Lumineth fighting the forces of Slaanesh

The Lumineth Realm-lords are masters of the art of war, a mighty aelven race dedicated to the pursuit of enlightenment. They consider it their duty to save the realms from the scourge of Chaos, and allied with the powerful geomantic spirits of their native Hysh, they battle on a hundred fronts to achieve their goal. Proud, refined and aloof, the Lumineth are often considered the quintessence of aelvenkind, certainly t that is how they would describe themselves. They were crafted by the twin gods Teclis and Tyrion from souls recovered from Slaanesh, these bright scions of illumination have long been the rightful masters of the Realm of Light. There was a time when Lumineth arrogance threated to doom all of Hysh, for though displayed no corruption since being from from Slaanesh, it was found that pride maintained a deadly hold on the Lumineth, leading to the Spirefall during the Age of Chaos. Seeking a means to avoid such catastrophe again, Teclis communed with the geomantic spirits of Hysh and forged the aelamentari temples. By putting these nature spitis at the center of their existence, the Lumineth began to overcome their arrogant tendencies. Now organized into temples and a Vanari hosts, the Lumineth hope to make amends for their past errors and turn back the forces of Chaos.[9f]

Daughters of Khaine

 
Morathi leading the Daughters of Khaine against the Idoneth

Fanatical and bloodthirsty, the Daughters of Khaine are a fearsome aelven warrior cult hailing from Ulgu. Under the ruleship of Morathi-Khaine - sorceress who has achieved divine apotheosis - they honour the God of Murder with each furious knife-strike and acrobatic feat of slaughter. The Daughters of Khaine rose from murky beginnings to becoming a dominant power in the realms. Their matriarchal and bloodthirsty society express devotion to their ancient god of murder through acts of wanton violence and iron-handed dominion over those they deem weak. In battle, they rely on speed and ferocity to claim victory. They are bolstered by the bloody invocations of priestess-queens and the monstrous warrior elite known as the Scáthborn. Though they claim to fight for the cause of Order, in truth they only serve the aims of their god - and now, their new goddess Morathi-Khaine, who maintains an iron grip upon the Khainite hierarchy. Now, the ambitions of Morathi-Khaine have brought her on a collision course with the God-King, even annexing the Free City of Anvilgard into her empire based out of Hagg Nar. Despite the distrust between the alliance of Order and the Khainites, they Khainite temples have deeply embedded themselves in the Free Cities and proven valuable allies to the Dawnbringer Crusades.[9g]

Fyreslayers

 
Fyreslayers leading assault

The Fyreslayers are a duardin warrior culture who worship the fallen god Grimnir. The adhere to strict honour code, and in their desire for ur-gold - a mystical auric treasure replete with divine power - they have battled both on their own behalf and as fearsome mercenaries across the length and breadth of the realms. The Fyreslayers attack with a burning fury, hewing the foe with blazing axes as the bellow ancient oaths and war songs. To these bombastic duardin, war is the center of existence - every other concern is measured alongside its use in dispatching their Berzerker fyrds across the realms. The Fyreslayers seek to amass ur-gold, believing it to be the blood of Grimnir, fallen from the sky after his mutual slaying of the Godbeast Vulcatrix during the Age of Myth, believing that should enough be collected Grimnir may be restored. For this reason, the Fyreslayers have gained the notoriety for their willingness to fight for any cause in exchange for gold. Due to the mutual demise of Grimnir and Vulcatrix, the Fyreslayers have developed a bond with the godbeast's children, the reptilian Magmadroths, whose eggs are said to have been created alongside ur-gold. The Zharrgrim priesthood overseas the expenditure of ur-gold, but also use the material to infuse their fellow Fyreslayers with its divine powers by embedding ur-gold runes into their flesh. Led by their Runefathers and embedded with fiery powers of Aqshy, the lodges are an essential part to the success of many Dawnbringer Crusades. While some mutter of the Fyreslayers' lust for gold has seen them make common cause with the enemies of civilisation on more than one occassion, the wise know that the sons of Grimnir take matters of honour very seriously indeed, and that their oath - like those uttered by all duardin - is unbreakable once given.[9h]

Kharadron Overlords

 
Kharadron Overlords fighting the forces of Tzeentch

Ingenious, business-like and possessed of fearsome technological might, the Kharadron Overlords are duardin unlike any other. From their empire in the clouds they descend in magnificent sky-vessels, chasing profit and fame as they blast their enemies with salvo after salvo of aether-shot. The Kharadron prize three things above all else - relentless innovation, boundless ambition, and the application of overwhelming firepower. To these mercantile duardin, the pursuit of profit is everything. The Kharadron have their origins in the Age of Myth, when the Steamhead Pioneers, brilliant duardin scientists and aethermancers from Realm of Chamon, first discovered the alchemical properties of aether-gold, nicknamed the 'Breath of Grungni', for the ligher-than-air material was so miraculous in potential it may as well have been divine. Through experimentation, the Steamhead Pioneers achieved feats of industry that the other inhabitants of the Mortal Realms could only dream of. These innovations were put to the test during the Age of Chaos, which saw the fall of the Khazalid Empire to the Fate Legions of Tzeentch. It was the Breath of Grungni that allowed the most daring duardin to seek refuge amongst the clouds within floating strongholds known as sky-ports. The Kharadron are pragmatists, and deemed their only hope for survival was to abandon their old ways, progress and master their new domain. To that end, the Kharadron developed the Kharadron Code, first crafted to prevent rival sky-ports from tearing each other apart in bitter resource wars. The Code forms the bedrock of Kharadron society, including the composition of their ultimate ruling body, the Geldraad. Since the Age of Sigmar, the begun trading with the Sigmarite nations, with enterprising Admirals eager to reap the benefits of trade.[9i]

Monsters of Order

The Monsters of Order are the hulking, monstrous beasts deployed by the forces of Order. This includes the multi-headed War Hydras created through the dark sorceries of the Order Serpentis, the primeval Kharibdysses prizzed by aelven beastmasters[11], and the death-infused Carmine Dragons.[10]

Trivia

Gallery

See Also

Sources

Grand Alliances and factions
OrderChaosDestructionDeath
Cities of Sigmar (Collegiate ArcaneDarkling CovensDevoted of SigmarDispossessedFreeguildIronweld ArsenalOrder SerpentisPhoenix TempleScourge PrivateersShadowbladesWanderers) • Daughters of KhaineEldritch CouncilFyreslayersIdoneth DeepkinKharadron OverlordsLion RangersLumineth Realm-lordsMonsters of OrderOrder DraconisSeraphonStormcast EternalsSwifthawk AgentsSylvaneth