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The Mortal Realms.

The Mortal Realms are a group of eight planes of existence revealed to Sigmar by Dracothion after the destruction of the World-that-Was.[2a] The Mortal Realms are found within Realmspheres surrounded by the Aetheric Void and located in the Cosmos Arcane.[1][3b]

Aqshy, Realm of Fire

The Realm of Aqshy, also known as the Realm of Fire or the Bright Realm, is a volatile land where raging passions and simmering aggression reigns supreme. It's a realm ever moving, it swells like fire to fill the limits of its Realmsphere. It is also a splintered realm, broken into dozens of continents through the millennia. Many believe the splintering was caused by Sigmar's fight with Symr, the First Fire, while the Vostarg Lodge claims that it was because of Grimnir's clash against Vulcatrix.[4b]

The land has dry grasslands, windswept ashlands, ashen dunes and volcanic mountain ranges that belch clouds of smoke. Gusting, hot winds race across its surface. Despite being the Realm of Fire one can still find snow-capped peaks and sweltering jungles.[4b]

It was here that the forces of Chaos hit most often and harder, causing hundreds of civilizations to fall. The survivors became scattered nomads and marauders. Many became Khorne's servants after Sigmar abandoned them, while others tried to preserve the ancient traditions of their fallen nations. [4b]

After the Realmgate Wars, many new cities were built, as this realm holds the imagination of Azyrites for it was here, in the Brimstone Peninsula, that Sigmar launched the first strike against the Dark Gods. Some of the known cities are Anvilgard, Tempest's Eye, Brightspear, Hallowheart and Hammerhal Aqsha, the last being the half of the city that acts as the nerve-centre of Sigmar's influence outside of Azyr and the largest City of Sigmar besides Azyrheim. These are often protected by mobile Cogforts, manned by the Freeguild and the Ironweld. Fyreslayers are native to Aqshy with many hundreds of Lodges, like the Vostarg, Volturung and Hermdar scattered across it. Kharadron magnates seek to buy mining and territorial rights of the reclaimed lands, with the Sky-Port of Barak-Kol floating above the Charrwind Coast. The clans of the Dispossessed, especially the Firewalk clans, seek to reclaim their ancient holds. Aelven princelings have settled in cities with many searching the Skyhelm Peaks for the eggs of Swiftfeather Hawks. Wanderers hope to forge a new kingdom in the semi-fossilised forest of the Resinwood Coast. The Fuethán Idoneth Enclave hide beneath the waves of the Mordacious Sound, raiding the coastlines for souls and slaves.[4b]

Much of Aqshy is still held by the forces of Chaos, with the Great Parch still being heavily contested. From Khorne it is the Goretide of Korghos Khul with countless Bloodbound tribes scattered all across Aqshy. Havocwild, a Slaaneshi potentate has left a wide trail of destruction. Tzeentch has his servants determined to conquer Aspiria from the legendary Bright Mages in a subtle war. Skaven Warlords constantly fight each other and the returning Dispossessed.[4b]

The Ashfoot, a charismatic Ogor Firebelly leads a Warglutt to hunt down the Father of all Magmadroths and eating anybody in their way.[4b]

The Wraith Fleet, an undead fleet of spectral galleons under the command of the Vampire corsair Varkos Varactyr has rampaged across Aqshy for many millennia, with the Necroquake only encouraging him further to strike many settlements far from the sea.[4b]

Major Regions

Azyr, Realm of Heaven

The city of Azyrheim with Mallus and Sigendil in the firmament.

The Realm of Azyr, also known as the Realm of Heavens or the Realm Celestial, is a glittering realm of glowing palaces ruled by Sigmar and the pinnacle of all the realms. It has many names like the Hearth-Realm or Star-Throne by some Aelves, the Fortress of the Lost or the Peerless Kingdom by many of its human inhabitants and Bastion by the Duardin of the lost Khazalid Empire.[4a]

In Azyr the snowy mountain peaks scrape the Firmament and shimmering auroras eternally dances on the horizon. Its closeness to Hysh makes it days brightly lit, while it would night are grim and flickering due to influence of burning orb of Mallus and the dark moon Dharroth, if not for the High Star Sigendil.[4a]

It is in core of this realm that lies the greatest of all cities, the stellar metropolis of Azyrheim who took all the refugees of the Mortal Realms from the Age of Chaos before the gates of Azyr where sealed. Above this city and around Mallus, the remains of the World-That-Was, lies the Sigmarabulum, where the Six Smiths where the Stormcast Eternals are reforged.[4a]

Chamon, Realm of Metal

The Realm of Chamon, also known as the Lands of Gold or the Realm of Metal, is a realm ever in flux, swelling and shrinking with unseen cosmic tides. Its constituent sub-realms do not take the form of a plane or disc, like the other realm, but instead is a series of extremely different sub-realms which drift within the firmament of Chamon, linked by portals and undiscovered mystical bonds.[4c]

The sub-realms are mutable, changing extremely quick, melding and breaking apart in a slow dance that forces its inhabitants to adapt continuously. Surviving in the Lands of Gold has taught the people of Chamon to adapt and embrace the unknown, with many having learned to take advantage of the fluid nature of the realm, like the oxide-hunters who scrape air and earth for exotic hues, aether-merchants who sift precious metals from the cloud, pirates who sail on craft cultivated from coral and professional beast-hunters who hunt Ferrosaurs.[4c]

Lands close to the verdant core of the sub-realms have pure water and edible greenery, becoming less habitable the farther one gets from it. The water becomes acidic, liquid gold rains from gleaming clouds and the very air has iron particles. The wildlife also becomes more metallic, with trees gaining metallic bark, grass becoming copper, metallic songbirds flying in the sky, and rust-furred predator-construct stalking iron-limbed herd-beasts. Nobody knows why Chamon has such a unique nature, with some theorizing it is a natural process while others think it is a serious ailment that the realm can be cured off.[4c]

In the Age of Myth, Grungni crafted the Godwrought Isles into a perfect geometrical paradise. There the Khazalid Empire flourished like no other, creating new sub-realms with their science of Realm-craft.[5a] Long after the departure of the Shaper of the Realms, the magnetic Godbeast called the Lode-Griffon made its lair in Griffon's Eyrie, twisting many of the central lands of the Godwrought Isles, now called the Spiral Crux. When the people tried to kill the beast, they sent nine Aethermancers, but one of them was a disguised Gaunt Summoner of Tzeentch. After they killed the Godbeast, its death scream created a portal to Tzeentch's domain, with daemons invading the Spiral Crux and as transmutive warpfire rained from the skies and created many unnatural things to be born from it. The nature of this Realm and the power of its Realmstone was a prize irresistible to Tzeentch, who built his fiefdom there during the Age of Chaos. Many kingdoms perished under the machinations of Tzeentch and his servants. This lead to the Sky Exodus, in which many duardin clans fled to the skies to start anew. With time, these refugees of the Khazalid Empire became the founders of the Kharadron Empire, a mercantile and meritocratic civilisation that not only survived the Age of Chaos, but thrived in it. The land-dwelling remnants that managed to survive the coming of Chaos started reclaiming their lands after the Realmgate Wars.[4c][3c]

Still Tzeentch has not loosened his grip upon the sub-realms of Chamon. Flocks of Tzaangors claim dominion over the coasts and forests, while the skies are still ravaged by the Great Sky War raging between the Kharadron Empire and the Disciples of Tzeentch. Newly-founded cities of Order fester with Arcanite Cults that seek to bring these new settlements down.[4c]

The Duardin of Chamon who escaped to the skies became the Kharadron Overlords. They embraced Aethercraft technology and developed an ever-growing need for Aether-gold. The Dispossessed, those Duardin who had fled to Azyr instead during the Age of Chaos, returned to the Lands of Gold at the onset of the Age of Sigmar seeking their ancestral holds, often finding nothing but ruin. The agents of the Ironweld seek ruins of Cypria, while the Collegiate Arcane seeks the alchemical knowledge of the metallurgic sages.[4c]

Since the Necroquake, the Undead have become a bigger threat. Deadwalker plagues haunt many of Chamon's sub-realms. Spirits are said to be gathering around the Silver Maiden in Anvrok.[4c]

Ayadah in the Spiral Crux has been mostly conquered by the Gloomspite Gitz led by brilliant and crazy Loonking Skragrott. It is said that an ever-increasing number of Grot tribes grows in his kingdom of Skrappa Spill.[4c]

Major Regions

Ghur, Realm of Beasts

The vistas of Ghur.

The Realm of Ghur, also known as the Realm of Beasts, is an ever-shifting realm of primordial majesty, a contiguous landscape of jagged mountains, shadowed forests and vast expanses of savannah. Here even the lands are predatory and feral, trying their best to devour their neighbours. Landmasses shift and prowl, stalking one another like beasts and travellers as prey, the earth rupturing to make chasms that open and swallow everything, and mountains that grind each other down in glacially slow duels.[4d]

The fauna shares the predatory nature of the realm. Great herds of animals, like Thundertusks, Ghuroch and Shaghorns stampede devouring all the tough grass and stripping the bark from the trees. These herds are hunted down by packs of predators, like Mournfangs, Brachitors and Rock-Lions, who are hunted down by roving bands of Humans, Ogors, Gargants, Beastmen and especially Orruk, for who this realm is their land. Even the Endless Spells of Ghur are particularly deadly with greater sentience of those of other realms.[4d]

Still Humans have their settlements and kingdoms of all kinds and sizes, from hunter-tribes of the Great Coil, who sell vast haunches of meat through Trade Pioneers, to the famed Crawling City, the mercantile hub city on the back of the Great Worm Shu'gohl. The Scourge Privateers thrive in this realm as the monster-filled deeps are good fodder for their trade. The mightiest of the Cities of Sigmar of this realm is the port city of Excelsis, built around the Spear of Mallus, whose prophetic stone chips, known as Glimmerings, are used as prophecy.[4d]

The Dark Powers that desire Ghur the most are Khorne and the Horned Rat, but even for them this realm is a challenge, for Chaos is stalked in the realm like everything else, and in here their grips is far weaker than they admit to. Rampaging Bloodbound find plenty of skull and blood for the Blood God, building skull pyramids in the ruins of ancient kingdoms. Clan Rictus has hidden military outposts in many lands, always ready to strike these lands. Whole portions of the realm have been overrun with ever-growing herds of the Beasts of Chaos.[4d]

After the Necroquake the dead of Ghur, became just as dangerous and Ghur has plenty of corpses. Great rotting flocks of corpse-birds have been spotted circling the ruing of the cities of Lendu and the Ossiarch legionnaires have set up the Ivory Citadel, but even they can be easily snatched up to be gnawed as fodder.[4d]

Major Regions

Ghyran, Realm of Life

A village of Ghyran.

The Realm of Ghyran, also known as the Jade Kingdoms or the Realm of Life, is a realm burgeoning with life of all kinds, from the spores who follow the breeze to bring life to inhospitable rocky isles, to Gighemoths, a truly massive creature beyond reckoning, to the nomadic sentient Wandering Mountains. Clouds of insects can blacken the horizon and lumbering herds will cover the oceans of grass. It is a verdant landscape, whose growth constantly creeps across it, undergrowth so lush and fertile and sky-scraping canopies that only those who know the realm's way can traverse it. The very air pulses with the heartbeat of creation, life swelling and abating continuously with the season, each land following their own unending cycle of then, which can vary tremendously across the realm, even in neighbouring lands.[4e]

Alarielle made this realm her home in the Age of Myth and she has become one with it, her own health waning or waxing with it. Here she planted the first Sylvaneth who grew and spread across Ghyran, and both realm and people thrived. Only with the coming of Nurgle, for he desired this realm for his own, did this change. He besieged the realm and tainted the harmonious and endless cycles of life with his abominable fecundity. Forests sloughed into marshes of miasma, the rain became tainted with disease and the mountain crumbled into festering sinkholes. The goddess and her servants, Sylvaneth, Aelves and Humans, fought to save the realm, but Nurgle's Maggotkin and their Pestilens allies were an unstoppable force. Humans died or fell to chaos and the Wanderers fled to Azyr, with only the Sylvaneth left to fight. Filled with despair, Alarielle retreated to the secret land of Athelwyrd and the Sylvaneth were left to fight alone.[4e]

Only with the arrival of Age of Sigmar and Alarielle's rebirth into a new war form did the forces of Order recovered and the forces of Nurgle were forced to retreat. Order resettled the Everspring Swathe, building cities like Hammerhal Ghyra, the Living City, Phoenicium and Greywater Fastness. Vast portions of Ghyran are still the territory of the Dark Powers, especially Nurgle who has claimed over Invidia and Humidia, and Tzeentch who delights in taking the lands his brother was beaten back from with strange cults in the cities and Tzaangor war-flocks in the wilds. The Clans Pestilens have burrowed deep in the land and their diseases are an ever-present threat across the realm. The Necroquake had its effect on the realm, making particularly menacing Endless Spells, but had little effect on the undead of Ghyran, as many dark spirits haunt its corners and the corporeal is quickly turned to mulch to join the cycle of life.[4e]

Major Regions

Hysh, Realm of Light

The Realm of Hysh, also known as the Realm of Light or the Ten Paradises, is a realm of swift and clear thoughts and inspiration, but can also sear a mind to ash if stared at too long. Hysh is the dazzling sun of all realms, its light illuminating both the realms and the spirits of its people. With the exception of Celestial Realm, their dance with Ulgu, is what creates night and day.[4f]

The Ten Paradises are lands of once pristine beauty, where reason and symmetry were in balance and where symbolism and reality intersected. Scintillant HaixiaH, near the Realm's Edge, is a place of glaring perfection, something which mortal minds can't endure. Xintil at the core of the realm is the only place where humans built settlements. The Lumineth use grand rituals to brand symbols into their realm to heal the damage caused by the Spirefall and amplified by the Necroquake.[4f]

In the Age of Myth, Tyrion and Teclis, the aelven gods awoke. They travelled the realm, they found beautiful but lonely, and that only changed it when they meet Sigmar. Though there were Aelves in Azyr, the gods were sorrowful that most of their people were gone. Together with Malerion and Morathi, the four deities imprisoned Slaanesh in Uhl-Glysh, between the Realms of Shadows and Light, and extracted the souls of their people from the World-That-Was that the Chaos God had consumed. The first Aelven Souls became the Cythai, but they were flawed and when Teclis tried to cure them, they fled and became the Idoneth Deepkin.[4f]

Their latest and most successful and stable attempt became the Lumineth Realm-lords, a refined and advanced culture who built nine Great Nations, each a hub of art scholarship and civilization. Each individual tried to improve themselves and outpace their rivals, with new ideas, works of art or mystic insights as they sought to climb ever higher in the Teclamentari. Teclis revealed to them the secrets of Aetherquartz, which allowed them to purge "lesser" emotions and absorb the energy of Hysh, making them swift in thought and action. This competition turned progressively darker as Slaanesh whispered to them, allowing darkness to fall on the Great Nations as they unleashed spells that were never meant to be cast on each other. The landscape was tortured and broken as Daemons poured through the cracks carved into the realm.[4f]

It took centuries for the Twin Gods to save their people and realm, Tyrion organized them as Teclis contacted the spirit of Cellennar, the moon of Hysh, and brought it and its wisdom back to the Lumineth. Together they taught the Lumineth how to contact the spirits of Hysh, the Aelementor, and how to form spiritual pacts with them and learn their wisdom, an event that would be known as the Reinvention. The Great Nations continue to reclaim Hysh from the followers and Daemons of the Chaos Gods. The Necroquake and the Arcanum Optimar were exceptionally strong in Hysh, which both boosted the magical abilities of the Lumineth, but also unleashed extremely powerful Endless Spells that now roam the Great Nations. [4f]

Major Regions

Shyish, Realm of Death

The land of Carstinia.

The Realm of Shyish, also known as the Realm of Death, is a land where the dead far outnumber the living. It is the embodiment of silent decline and endings, defying comprehension as even knowledge has an ending there.[4g]

The realm is divided into underworlds that were once nearly without number, as varied as the landscapes of Chamon. Their sizes ranged from a single grave to landmasses the size of those from Ghyran or Aqshy containing an unfathomable number of souls. Each one had their own gods and culture of Spirits living side-by-side with the living. New Underworlds and their Deities spring into existence regularly, born from belief with even the slightest deviation or misunderstanding of the cultural practices can lead to the formation of new land at the Realm's Edge, populated by those who believed in it.[4g]

That is until Nagash awakened and sought to conquer all of Shyish and become death itself. He slew and consumed the gods of death to increase his own power, while others he imprisoned in the Great Oubliette so that he could slowly drain them of their power. Nagash's action warped the very essence of Shyish and even the Age of Chaos only succeed in slowing his efforts. In the Age of Sigmar, Nagash finished his long project, the greatest of the Black Pyramids so he could cast a powerful ritual to fully dominate Shyish and with it the rest of the Mortal Realms. However, the ritual was unintentionally sabotaged by Skaven as part of Tzeentch's plans, resulting in the Necroquake. This magical catastrophe inverted the energies of the Realm, so that the Realm's Edge became stable, while the core turned into the Shyish Nadir. The Nadir drags spirits and underworlds to the centre, crumbling them down to nothing as it swells in size and strength, and with it, Nagash's strength grew. Every passing day the Nadir pulls more into it, helping Nagash into his ultimate goal of building the Necrotopia, where he is the ruler of all.[4g]

Major Regions

Ulgu, Realm of Shadows

The landscape of Ulgu.

The Realm of Ulgu, also known as the Realm of Shadows, the Grey Realm or the Thirteen Dominions, is a realm where the laws of logic hold little sway, made out of lies and secrets. Even its true name, for it has many false names and the word Ulgu is said to be a corruption of an Aelven term for falsehood, is unpronounceable unless the user is shrouded in shadows and whispers. The realm is said to have many secrets, desired more by mages and scholars, and just as many ready to believe their risks are worth the rewards.[4h]

Because of its parallel orbit with Hysh, there is no day or night in Ulgu. Instead, it has an omnipresent, oppressive gloom, deep oceans of shadow and pallid swathes of grey half-light. However when Hysh in ascendance the gloom thins and the routes into this realm become clear. Before the Age of Chaos, Ulgu was a sanctuary for those seeking a more peaceful existence coming from the other more aggressive realm and a home for philosophers and dreamers. After that it became a great graveyard of armies, covered in the scars of battle from the wars between its inhabitants, Chaos invaders and, since the Necroquake, many ethereal Undead.[4h]

It is divided into Thirteen Dominions, each covered in their own versions of mist, illusion and biding menace. These regions remained independent and never truly united, each boasting many competing kingdoms where webs of intrigue and political manipulation connect these principalities to one another. Cunning viziers and scheming kings vie for supremacy, even as they marshal against the invaders. Humans are the most populous species and their kingdoms are as varied as half-remembered dreams. But all of them are treacherous places due to swift change of rules because of rampant assassinations, for murder is a near-pastime in this realm and too common in the dank holds. The most noteworthy of them is Misthåvn, the City of Scoundrels. But despite all of this it is the Aelves who hold the true power.[4h]

All that goes in the Shadow Realm goes accordingly to the will of Malerion and Morathi. The Shadow King thrives on the secrets, conspiracies, lies and quarrels. His mother, the High Oracle of Khaine wants no other power but hers to dominate this Realm, and little in it can happen without her consent or awareness. It was in the Umbral Veil that she founded Hagg Nar and from it that the ancient blood-cult of the Daughters of Khaine and spread it far and wide. So great is their spread and her reach that each kingdom of this Realm has several temples dedicated to Khaine. On the ocean there are other aelven powers, like the Morladron, the grimmest enclave of Idoneth, who lie beneath the waves or the Scourge Pirvateers above it.[4h]

The Hedonites of Slaanesh often come into this land in search of their missing deity, often only finding death. The politics of the Thirteen Dominions is where Tzeentch most flourishes, with the Grand Cabal and the Host Duplicitous are said to have made a contest out of destabilizing kingdoms. The Skaven of Clan Eshin also dwell here, found mainly in the coasts of the Penumbral Sea and in the Akkan Princedoms.[4h]

The most noteworthy of the forces of Destruction in Ulgu are the Badsnatchers, Spiderfang Grots obsessed with stealing what their enemies values most.[4h]

Major Regions

A Traveller's Guide to the Mortal Realms