Grand Alliance of Order

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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

Mixed

Factions of Grand Alliance of Order
Name Component Factions Description
Cities of SigmarCities of Sigmar
Collegiate Arcane
Darkling Covens
Devoted of Sigmar
Dispossessed
Freeguild
Ironweld Arsenal
Order Serpentis
Phoenix Temple
Scourge Privateers
Shadowblades
Wanderers
Stormcast Eternals[S]
Sylvaneth[S]
Kharadron Overlords[S]
Daughters of Khaine[S]
Lumineth Realmlords[S]
The Cities of Sigmar are flaming beacons of hope amidst the darkness of the Mortal Realms, bastions of civilisation built following the Realmgate Wars to safeguard mortalkind from the many monstrous threats that lurk beyond their sturdy walls. [2]
  • S: Available in certain cities/sub-factions.

Base

See Also

Sources

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