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Age of Sigmar Death Alliance & Soulblight Gravelords Timeline

Disciple of Nagash

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This thread provides an overall timeline for Age of Sigmar, primarily focused on the rise of Nagash, his alliance of Death including Soulblight Gravelords


A big thank you @Malisteen for providing the original content. Please feel free to ask any questions or point out anything we've got wrong
 

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The Birth of the Mortal Realms

  • The great clouds of arcane energy and fragmented bits of the Old World that had once been the Winds of magic slowly coalesced into swirling accretion disks, each primarily dominated by one of the former winds, but still connected by streams and eddies where the winds blended together.
  • As more time passed, bits of the old world, along with surrounding landscapes shaped from more stable manifestations of the magic that dominated the disc, began to sink inward, carrying with them the descendants of the Old World's survivors.
  • Eventually, the realms took their current overall shape as flat worlds with stable regions toward the center and increasingly unstable regions further out, trailing off into a wild storm of raw magic at the edge.
  • The Realm of Heavens was shaped slightly diffenetly, having the entire core of the Old World at its center, and thus was less like a disc and more like a tiny golden world ringed by heavenly magic.
  • Where swirls and eddies had connected the clouds of raw magic, there realmgates allowing passage between the Realms either naturally appeared, or else appeared the conditions that allowed such gates to later be built. In the middle where bits of all the magics had mingled, there the Allpoints appeared, a tiny world with gates large enough for armies of mortals to pass through connecting all eight of the Mortal Realms.
  • These Realms were not populated only by mortal descendants of the Old World's survivors, but also a wealth of strange creatures and beasts both malign and benevolent arising from the great winds of magic or drawn to them from the deeper reaches of the warp.
  • Among these creatures were the Godbeasts, titans of incomprehensible size and power, many of which came to be worshipped as gods.
  • There were also pantheons of new lesser deities arising from the thoughts and emotions of the mortals of the Realms, for in the Realms the old world's divide betwee mortal world, spirit world, and warp no longer exist, and the prayers, dreams, and nightmares of mortals manifest freely in the waking world.
  • With their unnatural, unstable landscapes and the varity of gods and monsters walking their surface, to say nothing of the mutating corruption of Chaos left behind by the Dark Gods' feast, the early Realms were an inhospitable place where isolated mortal communities struggled to survive.
 

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The Mortal Realms - Shyish

  • Shyish, being a realm formed from the magic of death, was particularly dangerous for living mortals. The Mortal Realms are still a region of the warp, the Realm of Chaos, and as such the landscape is shaped in part by the beliefs and emotions of mortals. There is no mortal emotion more viscerally powerful than fear, and there is no mortal fear more fundamental than the fear of death. So it is that the monsters and petty gods that appeared in the Realm of Shyish were, if anything, more terrible than those of any other realm. On top of that is the curse of undeath - even during his imprisonment, Nagash's connection to Shyish could still be palpably fresh. Mortals who die in the realm do not rest easy, their spirits becoming hungry ghosts, their bodies rising as flesh-starved zombies. And that's before you consider the Realm's proper inhabitants.
  • As with other realms, the territories of Shyish crystalize in the wild storms of magic at their edge, then drift toward the center where they join with other such territories into a single stable landmass.
  • In Shyish, however, these territories initially take the form of afterlives and underworlds. Mortal cultures throughout the realms tell stories of what happens after death, and as those stories take hold in the hearts of mortals so too do they take physical form in the boundary of shyish. As the belief becomes more entrenched, the new underworld becomes more stable and begins its migration towards the stable region at the heart of the Realm.
  • When mortals die, their spirits are drawn to Shyish, where they take up residence in the afterlife matching their culture's beliefs. If they believe they will have bodies after death, then the magic of the realm furnishes them with such. If they believe the afterlife is full of disembodied spirits, then so they remain. If their culture, as most do, believes in gods or psychopomps or other personifications of death, then these entities appear within their afterlife as well.
  • As these afterlives bump into and join up with other afterlives, trade or war may break out between their respective gods and spirits, depending on how compatible the afterlives are. Many a mortal who believed themselves destined for a heaven or a hell instead found themselves drafted into a war between the two.
  • As mortal cultures fade or their beliefs change, the faiths that sustain these afterlives fade and they go quiet. The land is left behind, but the spirits either fade out of existence or retreat into a resting state.
 

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The Mortal Realms - Ossia and Necros - Before the Age of Myth

  • One of the more successful pre-historic human civilizations sprang up in Ghur, the realm of beasts. The humans carved out a sizeable kingdom, driving back the tribes of marauding beastmen that populated much of the early realms by the strength of their chariots.
  • Though the people of this civilization did not believe in any gods of death, they did believe in an afterlife - one much like their mortal lives. Those who worked would continue to serve in their professions forever in the afterlife of Ossia, while the rulers who enjoyed the fruits of the people's labor without contributing anything themselves would continue to do so in the paradise of Necros.
  • Among the greatest generals and chariot masters of this civilization was a man named Orpheon Katakros. Katakros won battle after battle against the beastmen, but eventually met his demise at the hands of a gorgon after being caught out of position. In death, Katakros found himself fighting in the armies of Ossia in defense of Necros, quickly rising to a position of leadership despite his callous and prideful attitude.
 

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The Age of Myth - Early Period

  • Dracothion, the Zodiac Dragon, one of the greatest Godbeasts finds the core of the old world, names it Mallus, and fixes it in the firmament among these strange new Realms. On Mallus, Dracotion finds and awakens Sigmar, befriending the Incarnate God-King
  • Using the Realm Gates, Sigmar travels the Realms, learning of them and their peoples. Sometimes as a trickster vagabond, sometimes as a wizard with mastery of the magic of the heavens, sometimes as a barbarian warrior king. Wherever he goes, he finds mortals struggling to survive and lends them aid. Legends of Sigmar spread, and the people's faith in him restores more of his godly power, but he cannot be everywhere at once and mortal civilizations are beset on all sides, their survival tenuous at best. He will need help taming the realms, clearing them of dangers, and shaping them into lands the mortals can defend and live happily on. And ever the threat of chaos weighs on his mind. The Dark Gods' attention has yet to turn to these fledgling worlds, but their mark is still here - particularly in the rampant scourge of the Beastmen. Sigmar begins to seek allies equal to himself.
  • In Shyish, Sigmar finds Nagash, still imprisoned in a great sarcophagus. Sigmar remembers the threat Nagash posed, but also remembers the Great Necromancer's power, his unyielding opposition to the forces of chaos, and the tremendous scale of the works Nagash built through the untiring labours of the undead. Sigmar frees Nagash from his prison. Though in time this would come to be seen as the God-King's greatest folly, the wonders of the Age of Myth may never have been built without Nagash's help.
  • Together Sigmar and Nagash subdue many of the great primordial terrors of the Realms, slaying or imprisoning hostile God-Beasts, and in particular barely triumphing together over the nightmarish Dreaming God of Shyish. With Nagash's help, Sigmar finds and awakens the spirits of the remaining Incarnates, each one helping tame their respective Realms. Together these gods form Sigmar's new Pantheon of Order - working together to settle the Realms and protect them from the threat still posed by the Dark Gods of Chaos.
  • With the tireless labour of legions of the undead, Nagash builds massive walls and defensible cities in each Realm, including Shyish, according to Sigmar's designs, to be given to the mortal peoples. Nagash takes his place as the pantheon's God of Death, to whom the souls of the dead are due. For himself, Nagash builds a new fortress city of Nagashizzar at the heart of shyish
  • Starting from Nagashizzar, Nagash begins the Wars of the Dead, conquering all the afterlives and underworlds of shyish, defeating and consuming all rival death gods one by one.
  • Sigmar commissions the elven god Teclis to craft the Penumbral Engines - arcane constructs meant to spread enlightenment and knowledge. Sigmar inverts them, using them to conceal the Stormvaults - where he hides knowledge and relics he deems too dangerous for the Realms. Teclis considers this a terrible betrayal.
 

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The Age of Myth - Ossia and Necros, and The Wars of the Dead

  • Nagash's emissaries reach Ossia and Necros and demand their surrender. They refuse.
  • Nagash's armies reach Ossia and Necros. Katakros, resenting the idleness of Necros, refuses to defend them, focusing exclusively on the defense of Ossia. Necros is quickly overcome.
  • Ossia's military, led by Katakros, turns back wave after wave of the undead, until Nagash is forced to personally intervene.
  • Seeing that his forces are now utterly outmatched, Katakros offers surrender on condition of being allowed to serve as one of Nagash's generals. Nagash accepts, making Katakros a Mortarch and placing him in charge of his armies.
  • Nagash's forces, under Katakros's command, eventually conquer the entirety of Shyish, while Sigmar populates the inner heartlands with living mortals.
  • As the Sigmarite pantheon's god of death, Nagash earns a mixed reputation. The devotion of the mortals on Shyish, and hushed funerary prayers of Sigmarite peoples on other realms, do increase the Great Necromancer's godly power. A steady stream of the souls of the dead makes their way to his underworlds, to be rewarded or punished as he sees fit. The mortals do not like Nagash, but they fear him, and there's power in that. The other gods of the Pantheon are supposed to respect his claims to the dead and at first, at least make a show of doing so. Nagash even encourages his worship, especially in Shyish, by actively defending mortal populations and holy sites dedicated to him from wandering monsters and marauding beastmen, cultivating a more benevolent persona based on the Old World death god Morr, who he consumed during the End Times. Whether this was always a ruse, or was initially sincere and only became a deception after he saw the fundamental flaws in the other members of the pantheon that doomed Sigmar's project regardless, cannot be known.
 

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The Age of Myth - Nagash's Deception

  • Nagash looks at Sigmar's Pantheon and decides it will not last. Gorkamorka has no interest in building civilization and their greenskin and ogroid followers are as like to smash the cities Nagash built as they are to attack the beastman tribes that lay siege to them, yet Sigmar refuses to put them in their place. The Elven Gods are clearly pursuing some scheme of their own, one that they must believe the rest of the pantheon would object to since they are keeping it secret. They have brought the elf-witch Morathi into their councils despite Nagash revealing the obvious taint of chaos on her, yet Sigmar refuses to put them in their place. Alarielle refuses to allow the souls of her precious Sylvaneth to die and pass to Shyish, instead, they are simply reborn over and over again, defying the natural linear order of death with a blasphemous 'wheel of life', and in doing so denying Nagash his due in a flagrant violation of the pantheon's terms, yet Sigmar refuses to put her in her place. Sigmar is too weak, his pantheon too fractious and disorderly. In time the Chaos Gods will awake from their torpor, called back to these new realms by the disorder that Sigmar refuses to stamp out, and the pantheon will not be able to stop them. Nagash must act alone.
  • Nagash begins two great plans - revived versions of his plans from the Old World. The first is to expunge mortal life in the Realms beneath the heels of an unstoppable, all-conquering army of the undead, starving the chaos gods of their sustenance. The second is, once more, to absorb the entirety of Shyish's magic into his person, bloating his power to the point where he can destroy the Chaos Gods directly.
 

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The Age of Myth - Nagash's New Army

  • Nagash figures the past failures of the first plan were due to the flaws of the armies at his disposal, for in the past all undead had been tainted by the weakness of having once been alive. Weaker, base forms of undead lacked the intelligence to overcome the creativity and desperation of living opponents. But the more powerful and intelligent forms of undead were still subject to mortal flaws. Hence the rebelliousness of the Tomb Kings, the vanity of the vampires. Hence ghosts distracted by the grudges that kept their souls from passing on. Nagash needed a new army, one comprised of a new, purer form of undead - undead which had never been alive to begin with, led by a commander simultaneously brilliant and cunning, yet uncompromised by any ambitions beyond victory in battle. Fortunately, he had just such a general in Katakros, now he just had to build the army for his Mortarch to lead.
  • In the most distant and inhospitable places of the Realms, far from the cities of mortals, Nagash's undead legions carved great subterranean catacombs where he began to stockpile raw materials - the strongest mortal and spiritual remains available to him - for his experiments. There his servants took the strongest bones and enchanted them with powerful spells, strengthening them further, melding them together and shaping them into new forms, powdering them and blending them into metallic alloys which could then carry powerful necromantic enchantments. With these raw materials, new bodies of metal and bone were formed. Souls were torn apart, but with such finesse that they weren't destroyed utterly, and eventually, methods were devised to reduce them to base components - individual memories, ideas, skills, and drives. These could then be recombined into new, more desirable souls, souls with all of the strength and creativity of the living but none of their weaknesses. Such souls could then be divided into parts to animate entire regiments of soldiers with shards of the same soul, letting them fight together with unmatched precision.
  • Thus were the first Ossiarchs constructed. However, as each one required the skeletons and souls of many mortals to construct, amassing an army would take ages. No matter, Nagash was immortal, and so was Katakros. The Chaos Gods were still unaware of the realms. Nagash thought he had time.
 

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The Age of Myth - Nagash's New Pyramid

  • None but Nagash, and maybe the Horned Rat, knew how close he had come to ultimate victory multiple times during the history of the Old World. Even on the brink of Chaos victory during the End Times, if Nagash had been allowed but a few more weeks in his Black Pyramid he would have had the power to personally destroy all his rivals with ease - both Sigmar's Incarnates and the Dark Gods. Nothing could have stood in his way had he been able to absorb the full might of Shyish into his person. In its new form the might and magic of Shyish was, if anything, far greater than it had been before, but also much wilder, much more difficult to harness and tame. The bulk of Shyish's magic, like that of the other realms, raged in an eternal, untouchable storm at the fringes of the realm, and even Nagash, soul bound to Shyish, could not bend that raging storm to his will, not all at once.
  • Raw magic in the Realms does however take on more stable, solid forms. In Shyish, that form is 'gravesand' - each grain of which said to embody a single soul, the flow of the grain tracing a mortal life. Great quantities of the dangerous material blew through the storms of Shyish at the world's end, scouring anything that ventured into the storms to dust. Gravesand accumulated in great dunes, even entire deserts of black sand, at the boarders between the lands of Shyish and the magical Storm surrounding it, a tremendous source of magical power, yet one far too deadly, too saturaded with the power of endings, for mortals, daemons, or even most undead to make effective use of.
  • Nagash tasked his most trusted mortarch Arkhan the Black with collecting gravesand and bringing it to the underworld of Stygxx, the land of forgotten gods, near the heart of Shyish. There the gravesand would be used to create a gigantic inverted pyramid, far larger than the Black Pyramid in the old world.
  • Under Arkhan's direction, the gravesand was carried by endless lines of skeletons that wound through the hidden places of Shyish like ants. Each skeleton could carry only a single grain at a time, and the Pyramid would require nearly all of the Gravesand at the realms edge, so the work would take ages. Again, though, Nagash thought he had time.
 

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The End of the Age of Myth - Chaos Returns

  • Sigmar's pantheon begins to disintegrate. Grimnir, one of the dwarven gods, is slain in battle with a Godbeast. Gorkamorka finally loses patience with civilization building and returns to his barbarous roots, rejecting the civilized lands of humans and dwarves, encouraging his ogroid and greenskin followers to revel in their destructive instincts.
  • The Elven Gods Tyrion, Teclis, and Malerion, informed of Slaanesh's resting place deep within the realm of chaos by the witch Morathi, kidnap the Dark Prince and begin to extract the souls of the Old World's elven population from the Chaos God's gullet.
  • The sudden disappearance of Slaanesh draws the rest of the Chaos Pantheon's attention to the Mortal Realms. Endless tides of Daemons batter at the borders of the realms. Though Sigmar's pantheon is at first able to turn them back, the forces of chaos quickly return, unified under the command of Archaon, who the Chaos Gods have revived to lead a unified assault on the Mortal Realms as he did against the Old World before them.
  • Servants of the Horned Rat gnaw holes in the roots of the Realms, allowing Chaos to stream in. The Horned Rat more than any other chaos power remembers the threat posed by Nagash, and targets Shyish in particular.
  • Rather than working together, the Gods of Sigmar's pantheon turn to the defense of their own realms. Nagash, much of his power and resources invested in his two Great Plans, neither of which are even close to ready, appeals to Sigmar for aid, but Sigmar refuses, instead focusing his defense on the All Points, which Archaon has targeted as the main strategic target within the Realms. Nagash views this as Sigmar's final and complete betrayal of their bargain.
  • To buy time, Nagash strikes a deal with Archaon, withdrawing Nagash's forces from the shared defense of the All Points, even attacking Sigmar's forces, in exchange for Shyish being spared until the other Realms fall, believing Sigmar and the other gods may hold out long enough for one of Nagash's plans to come to fruition.
  • This is spoiled when Sigmar, enraged by what he views as Nagash's final and complete betrayal of their bargain, abandons his armies to rampage throughout Shyish, decimating Nagash's forces. Nagash sends Katakros to at least slow him down, but the god-king smashes Katakros's body and, seemingly destroying the Mortarch's soul outright, something Nagash did not believe possible, since the Mortarchs are essentially extensions of Nagash himself. This leaves Nagash without a general worthy of commanding his Ossiarchs even if they were ready for battle, which they are not.
  • Without Sigmar or Nagash aiding in their defense, Archaon quickly overruns the All Points, and from there the Mortal Realms begin to fall like dominoes. Sigmar withdraws to the realm of heavens and seals all of the gates into the realm, preventing chaos from entering but also preventing his forces from offering support to any others. The other gods of the shattered Sigmarite Pantheon are defeated or go into hiding.
  • Nagash's betrayal ended up not really buying him any time at all, and soon Archaon arrives, smashing Nagash's body, scattering his spirit, and overwhelming his undead legions. Nagash's remaining Mortarchs - Arkhan, Neferata, and Mannfred, rescue their master's remains and escape with them into hiding in the underworld of Stygxx.
 

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Dolorum - Late Age of Myth / Early Age of Chaos

- Dolorum was among the greatest human civilizations in Shyish in the latter days of the Age of Myth, a decadent but nonetheless powerful mortal kingdom that worshipped Nagash above all the other gods.
- Olynder is born in Dolorum, a woman of tremendous ambition in an otherwise patriarchal society, Olynder is a skilled manipulator who preys upon the emotions of those around her and of the public to rise in station.
- Olynder arranges a marriage to the prince of Dolorum. The prince disappears on their wedding night, along with the king, leaving Olynder as the sole ruler of Dolorum. She uses displays of mourning to win over the population and push aside any rumors of her involvement in the assassinations.
- When Chaos comes to Shyish, the forces of Dolorum initially fight them back, but without support from Nagash are soon overwhelmed. Olynder attempts to strike a deal with the forces of Chaos, but Nagash intervenes, taking her soul and leaving her kingdom to be overrun.
- For the crime of betraying him, Nagash blesses Olynder with a karmic punishment - in life she had displayed false sorrow, in death, she would know true sorrow - experiencing the grief and regret of all the realms. Nagash then left her spirit to wail her misery in the broken ruins of her now lifeless capital city.
 

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The Age of Chaos

  • Sigmar, the Dwarf God Grimnir, and as many mortals as they can gather seal themselves within Azyr, the realm of heavens, clearing it of any chaos forces. The rest of the pantheon go into hiding in their respective realms. Nagash's Mortarchs hide with his physical body in Stygxx.
  • Archaon settles in for an age-long Siege of Azyr, consolidating his hold over the All Points - now dubbed the Eight Points, and letting the armies of chaos pillage the other Realms as they will.
  • Arkhan's skeletal legions continue to bring grave sand for the pyramid, one grain at a time, though progress is greatly slowed by the need to avoid the forces of chaos.
  • In catacombs hidden in the corners of the realms, the Ossiarch Legions continue to be built, though again progress is slowed greatly, both by the need to avoid the eyes of chaos when bringing physical materials and by Chaos Demons dragging a great number of souls going missing instead of flowing to Shyish. Some of this can be blamed on daemons dragging souls off to be consumed by their Dark Gods, but even that can't account for all the missing souls.
  • In the deep waters, the Idoneth Deepkin, Teclis's failed experiment at returning elven souls taken from Slaanesh to life, hide from Chaos and mortal gods alike, ranging from their hidden depths only to steal mortal souls to sustain their own incomplete spirits.
  • In Azyr, Sigmar begins forging his own secret army, taking the bravest of mortal souls - not just his own followers, but any who will fight against chaos - and reforging them within suits of armor forged by Grimnir from the metal of Mallus itself.
  • In the realms, all mortal civilizations find themselves besieged by chaos. Few are strong enough to survive, though some do. Elsewhere smaller mortal communities endure by hiding from Chaos instead of battling it directly. Many of these communities cursed the gods that abandoned them, Sigmar and Nagash included. More than a few turn to Chaos themselves.
 

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The Rictus Clans - Late Age of Chaos (spoilers for the novel Nagash: Undying King)

  • One civilization not yet overtaken by Chaos are the Rictus Clans - human tribes in a frozen northern region of Shyish. The region has perhaps been spared only for a lack of valuable resources or strategic importance, but it is now under threat by a combined chaos warhost of Nurgle daemons and Nurgle-worshipping mortals. The daemonic commander of the host has learned that their lands hide a gate to Stygxx and with it a means of finding and destroying Nagash himself or at least preventing his return.
  • Arkhan the Black joins Tamra, a necromancer and respected leader of the Rictus clans, in the defense of her people and land, if only to protect the gate to Stygxx.
  • Neferata likewise joins Tamra in the defense of her people, believing Tamra can be convinced to use her necromantic power to unseal a massive skeletal army that had been imprisoned as punishment by Nagash for their rulers defying him in life. Neferata cannot release them herself because as a Mortarch she cannot directly defy a decree of Nagash. Neferata hopes to bring this army, and Tamra who she has developed a personal interest in, back to her besieged capital of NuLahmia to aid in its defense.
  • Tamra initially refuses to do so, but relents when her people are nearly overwhelmed, using the undead army to save her people at the final moment.
  • The daemonic legion fights its way nearly to the gate to Stygxx, forcing Nagash to collect his scattered consciousness and rise from his torpor in order to cast them back. This was Arkhan's purpose all along, and the reason he personally had leaked knowledge of the gate to Stygxx to the commander of the chaos forces. The work of building Nagash's pyramid is nearly complete, and will soon require his direct attention.
  • A now wakeful Nagash simultaneously punishes Tamra for defying his decree and rewards her for protecting the gate to Stygxx by converting the rest of her people to unliving skeletons - forever free from the threat of Chaos but losing their lives, souls, and futures in the process.
 

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The Age of Sigmar

  • The Stormgates are thrown open and Sigmar's Stormhosts are unleashed on the realms. The Stormcast are near unkillable individually, and where they are slain their spirits return to Azyr to be reforged. They can travel on bridges of lightning between the realms, meaning they can strike where they please without having to fight their way through heavily defended Realmgates. Their arrival marks the dawn of a New Age.
  • The Stormcast appear in every Realm, protecting surviving mortal settlements and beating back the forces of chaos
  • Taking advantage of the distraction created by the Stormcasts' arrival, Nagash manifests an avatar at the Cage of Bones - a massive Chaos fortress in Shyish built from the bones of Nagash's defeated armies. Nagash begins converting the fortress back into legions of skeletal warriors. Archaon eventually appears to smash Nagash's Avatar in a repeat of Nagash's defeat at the dawn of the Age of Chaos, but thousands of undead soldiers escape to accelerate the final stages of the construction of the Black Pyramid.
  • Nagash at the head of a massive Undead Army re-takes the ruins of Nagashizzar at the center of Shyish and sets to work rebuilding his capital - in preparation for a great ritual he intends to conduct there.
  • Sigmar sends a small group of Stormcasts to offer a new alliance to Nagash. They find Mannfred, who leads them to Stygxx, but Nagash, enraged to find that Sigmar has been stealing the missing heroic souls he needs to complete his Ossiarchs, destroys them, sending all but one back to Sigmar to be reforged. The last Stormcast soul Nagash captures for study.
  • A flaw is discovered in the Stormcast reforging process, whereby a portion of the Stormcast's soul is lost each time they die and are reforged. As a result, with frequent reforgings Stormcasts begin to lose their memories or mortal life along with their ability to empathize with others or feel compassion for mortals. Some Stormhosts begin to act in especially callous ways - for example, slaying entire villages when a chaos cult is discovered, to ensure that no cultists escape.
 

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The Age of Sigmar - The Realmgate Wars

  • In a bid to contain Archaon's ability to respond to their attacks, the Stormcast Eternals attempt to seal the great realm gates linking the Eight Points to the other Mortal Realms. In several cases they are successful.
  • In Shyish the Stormcasts come to the aid of Neferata at NuLahmia, and in exchange, she promises to attempt to forge a new alliance between Sigmar and Nagash. Together Neferata and the Stormcast appeal to Arkhan, who also professes support for the idea, believing that Sigmar and Nagash are two sides to the same coin and only by facing Chaos together will either of them succeed. Arkhan blames Mannfred for the slaughter of the previous group of emissaries and the betrayal of Sigmar's forces by the undead at the dawn of the Age of Chaos. Together Arkhan and a force of Stormcast hunt Mannfred, but the vampire escapes.
  • Through Arkhan and Neferata, Nagash continues to hold out the possibility of a new alliance, always blaming Mannfred when the undead turn on Sigmar's forces or fail to live up to their agreements, including when an army of Stormcast are abandoned at the End Gate, linking the Eight Points to Shyish, leaving control in chaos hands instead of sealing it. The betrayal leaves Chaos forces in control of much of the surface of Shyish, but Nagash has his own plans for that gate.
  • In this way, Nagash keeps Sigmar's forces from actively opposing him without committing his own resources, which are now heavily invested in the completion of his apocalyptic schemes.
 

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The Age of Sigmar - Bastions of Order

  • In several realms, Sigmar establishes cities to protect mortal populations and defend the Realm Gates he has taken, each with a garrison of Stormcast Eternals to aid in their defense.
  • These cities successfully repel a series of massive chaos sieges, as well as minor exploratory raids by Death forces
  • Neferata's vampiric spies infiltrate several of these cities
 

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The Age of Sigmar Nagash - Malign Portents and the Necroquake

  • Nagash's schemes approach completion. The Ossiarch Legions are almost ready to march, delayed only by a shortage of heroic souls from which to craft their animating sparks, and the lack of a leader with tactical cunning equal to their martial might.
  • But that doesn't matter, because the Black Pyramid is also nearly complete, and he moves it from the Underworld of Stygxx to the sky above Nagashizzar in preparation for his ritual.
  • The slow transfer over thousands of years, of a mountain of gravesand from the borders of Shyish to its center has unbalanced the magic of Shyish, causing an increasing pattern of necromantic storms throughout the Realm. The wildly fluctuating magic of Shyish sends ripples through the Realms and beyond into the realm of Chaos, warning rival gods of Destruction, Chaos, and Order of the danger.
  • The gods in turn alert their priests and seers with visions of a vague and nebulous disaster looming in the heartland of Shyish, and armies of every sort begin to march on Nagashizzar, hoping they are not too late.
  • These armies are delayed when the forces of Nagash draw them into each others' paths, leading the armies of Order, Chaos, and Destruction to battle each other instead of working together to stop Nagash. Those few that continue to Nagashizzar are overwhelmed by the combined might of Nagash's Undead Legions and the terrible weight of the Death Magic gathered there.
  • Nagash completes his ritual, and the Black Pyramid... sinks. Falling first through Nagashizzar and then further, deeper, into a nothingness beyond. Nagashizzar and the armies converging on it are crushed into the Shyish Nadir - a black hole of corrupted death magic funneling all the wild magic of Shyish in from the edges of the Realm and down towards the center - to Nagash.
  • In an echo of the World That Was, at the last moment, the ritual is disrupted, tainted by the presence of Skaven infiltrators within the pyramid. The presence of chaos within the pyramid throws off the incomprehensibly intricate geometries of the ritual, and Nagash is unable to absorb most of the magic crashing down on him.
  • Instead, the imploding energies of Shyish ricochet outward in a wave of death magic that rolls across the realms in a magical storm called the Necroquake, and a massive tide of once-quiet ghosts now roused to anger and hatred of the living follows in its wake. Countless thousands are slain in a single night
  • The balance of magic in Shyish is Inverted. The Prime Innerlands, are now intensely unstable, wracked by earthquakes and magic storms as the Shyish Nadir draws them towards itself, slowly devouring the habitable lands of the Realm like a black hole. On the outskirts, the realm is silent and dead, devoid of the magical storms that once raged there, new afterlives and underworlds no longer take form, and the souls of the dead are instead drawn directly to the Nadir no matter what reward or punishment they expected to face.
 

Sception

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The Age of Sigmar Nagash - The Soul Wars

  • Though Nagash was, once again, prevented from absorbing the energies of Shyish directly, the Necroquake still reorders the Realms in his favor, unleashing a new and unexpected undead warhost - the Nighthaunt Processions - the likes of which the Realms had never seen. The terror and panic that the Nighthaunt inspire in mortals is almost more damaging than their actual attacks, reminding Nagash of how useful the mortal weakness and emotions of his enemies could be.
  • The pull of the Shyish Nadir on the souls of the dead is dramatically stronger than the pull of Shyish had been before. No longer can the gods of Chaos and Order protect their followers from their mortal fates. Through great effort they can hold on to only their most favored champions - the rest fall to Nagash. With this bounty of souls, the Ossiarch Legions are finally ready to be unleashed, requiring only a worthy commander.
  • The necroquake overwhelms Sigmars Penumbral Engines, revealing the Stormvaults and the forbidden relics within them - including one which holds the soul of Orpheon Katakros, not destroyed after all, but still well defended by Sigmar's forces.
  • Unfortunately for Nagash, the Nighthaunt prove to be so overwhelmed and maddened by the Necroquake's malign energies that they are impossible to command from afar.
  • Nagash remembers Olynder, last queen of Dolorum, and how in life she had so skillfully wielded mortal weakness and emotion to her advantage. Choosing her to command the Nighthaunt Processions, he invests her with a portion of his own power and soul, making her a Mortarch. He does not rescind his punishment of forcing her to experience the sorrow of all the realms, but turns it into a weapon by giving her the ability to share that overwhelming despair with any who meet her gaze. Thus the Mortarch of Grief is born. At Olynder's command, the Nighthaunt become an even more effective weapon of shock and terror.
  • Olynder's Legion of Grief successfully retrieves the soul of Opheon Katakros.
 

Sception

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The Age of Sigmar Nagash - The Bone Tithe

  • The Ossiarch Legions march from the hidden necromantic laboratory-catacombs of their birth throughout the realms
  • They spread outward conquering and fortifying surrounding lands, their empires taking shapes according to grand necromantic sigils prepared in advance by Nagash based on existing points of arcane power throughout the realms
  • When Ossiarch territory makes contact with a neighboring mortal settlement, the mortals are given a choice - pay a regular tithe of the bones of sentient humanoids, used to craft more Ossiarchs, or else be destroyed by an overwhelming army of undead unlike any seen before. The Ossiarch Legions come to be known as the 'Bonereapers' as a result.
  • The Tithe, usually, relatively easy to pay upfront by emptying cemeteries, is typically calculated to be just enough as to be unsustainable long term. Eventually, the mortal settlements are forced to start sacrificing portions of their living populations to make the payments. Over time the settlements dwindle away to practically nothing without requiring any application of resources on the Ossiarch's behalf, instead extracting a steady supply of resources to be funneled to the front lines in order to continue expanding or to apply overwhelming force to those mortal settlements that refuse Nagash's tithe upfront.
  • Some Ossiarch Legions, particularly the Stalliarch Lords, demand unpayable tithes upfront before crushing mortal settlements. Just enough survivors escape to spread the tales, making the demands of other Ossiarch Legions seem reasonable by comparison.
  • Other Ossiarch Legions harvest materials by methods other than the Tithe. The Petrifex Elite in particular scours the realms for the rare and precious petrified bones of ancient monsters, particularly of the Godbeasts slain by Nagash and Sigmar in the early days of the Age of Myth.
  • Arkhan's skeletal legions, saturated with the magic of entropy by their labors carrying gravesand for the Black Pyramid, are ground down and re-forged into a new Ossiarch legion - the Null Myriad - and placed under Arkhan's control. The Null Myriad are especially resistant to magic, and are used to take or defend locations and relics of arcane power.
  • The Tithe is incredibly successful, as the forces of Order and Chaos - over-committed to their wars against each other, gladly pay off the Ossiarchs with mountains of their war dead to avoid having to fight enemies on multiple fronts.
  • In Shyish, the Mortis Praetorians, under the direct command of Katakros, the re-christened Mortarch of the Necropolis, conquer first his ancient homeland of Ossia before quickly spreading to command much of what were, before the Necroquake, the Prime Innerlands of Shyish. They establish a vast, sprawling city of death devoted entirely to producing Ossiarchs and their war machines, and transporting these soldiers and supplies to Gothizar, the Chaos fortress guarding the End Gate connecting Shyish to the Eight Points.
 

Sception

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The Age of Sigmar Nagash - Invasion of the Eight Points

  • Finally learning where the elven gods have hidden Slaanesh, Archaon leads a massive chaos host out of the Eight Points to retrieve the captured Chaos God.
  • Seizing the opportunity, a combined force of Nighthaunts and Ossiarchs led by both Katakros and Olynder attack and quickly overwhelm the Shyish side of Gothizar. They then flood through the End Gate to the Eight Points side, crushing the chaos forces there before building an even more terrible fortress to protect the End Gate from Chaos reprisal.
  • Chaos forces led by multiple lords assault the Death position, failing utterly. This is the first time a non-chaos force has successfully taken and held territory within the Eight Points since they fell to Chaos at the end of the Age of Myth.
  • Katakros and Olynder lead a large exploratory force towards Archaon's stronghold at the heart of the Eight Points.
  • Archaon learns of the attack, and is forced to abandon his quest to free Slaanesh in order to return and stop Katakros.
  • The elven Gods move Slaanesh to a new hiding place
  • Archaon's armies smash Katakros & Olynder's exploratory force, but the souls of the Mortarchs along with many of their warriors, simply retreat to their new fortress, which has already been fully resupplied by the Ossiarch empire in Shyish. Katakros uses the knowledge he's gained of Archaon's forces and defenses to prepare for the Everchosen's inevitable counter-attack.
 
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