Realmgate Wars

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Realmgate Wars
Hammerhands vs Goretide 01.png
Date Beginning of the Age of Sigmar
Location All Mortal Realms except Azyr
Outcome Order Victory
Cities of Sigmar established
Several Arcways closed
Combatants
Grand Alliance of Order Grand Alliance of Chaos
Commanders
Sigmar
Grungni
Dracothion
Alarielle
Celestant-Prime
Vandus Hammerhand
Gardus Steel Soul
Zephacleas
Thostos Bladestorm (KIA)
Jactos Goldenmane (KIA)
Archaon the Everchosen
Khorne
Nurgle
Tzeentch
Great Horned Rat
Korghos Khul
Ephryx (KIA)
Strength
Stormhosts
Sylvaneth Glades
Fyreslayer Lodges
Seraphon
Varanguard
Daemons
Warriors of Chaos
Beastmen
Skaven
Losses/Survivors
Heavy Heavy


The Realmgate Wars were a series of wars that heralded the beginning of the Age of Sigmar. It started when Sigmar sent his Stormcast Eternals to secure and conquer various Realmgates spread throughout the Mortal Realms.[1a] The Realmgate Wars ended when the Grand Alliance of Order defeated and closed several of the All-Gates connecting the Mortal Realms to the Eightpoints.[2]

During these wars the forces of Order under Sigmar sought to reconquer the Realmgates, gain allies to rebuild the Pantheon of the Age of Myth and free the Mortal Realms from the tyranny of chaos. Chaos sought to hold onto the conquered lands and invade Azyr. Nagash's forces sought to reconquer the territories lost in Shyish during the second Wars of the Dead. Gorkamorka's follower sought to prove themselves against the Stormcast Eternals.[5]

The forces of Order discovered that were not only the Realms that were corrupted, but that Chaos had also twisted the Realmgates themselves. These portals not only hastened the corruption of the realms, but also lead to the Realm of chaos itself, and so Sigmar decreed that any such portal corrupted beyond redemption should be destroyed.[1c][5]

Sigmar desired to reform his pantheon of old and knew that the Stormcast could not fight by themselves so he sought allies across the realms. In Shyish they looked for Nagash. They looked for Gorkamorka in all the realms, specially Ghur. While Grungni could not be found, the lodges of his brother children, the Fyreslayers were discovered and some even became allies. Tyrion, Teclis and Malerion, the rulers of Ulgu and Hysh, could not be contacted.[5]

Battle of Brimstone Peninsula

The Age of Sigmar begins with the first strike against Chaos, the Stormcast Eternals being first hurled into battle in the Brimstone Peninsula in Aqshy. The Hammers of Sigmar, led by Lord-Celestant Vandus Hammerhand, fought Korghos Khul and his army, the Goretide, and took the Igneous Gate, being the first of many conquests. [1c][3][5]

Khul is defeated during the first battle and retreats to his stronghold, there to open the Gate of Wrath that leads to Khorne's Domain in the Realm of Chaos and summon reinforcements. Ionus Cryptborn leads his Stormcast north from his landing zone to attack the Eight Towers guarding the Brimstone Peninsula whilst Vandus heads directly towards the Gate of Wrath to destroy it. At the same time the Anvils of the Heldenhammer defend the Obsidian Bridge across The River Magma against the hordes of Khorne north of it who would otherwise reinforce Khul.

Khul unleashes a Daemonic cavalry horde on the advancing Stormcast and Skullreaper tribes continually attack Andricus Stoneheart and his chamber guarding the Gate to Azyr. Ionus destroys the first tower and its defenders, drawing off many bloodbound and daemons allowing Vandus to lead barely a hundred surviving stormcast of his Chamber against the defenders of the Gate of Wrath, at the climax of the battle the Lord-Celestant sacrifices himself and the portal is struck by lightning and shattered.[1]

The Peninsula and the gate to Azyr is claimed and secured in the name of Sigmar.[1] After this initial assault, Sigmar's Tempest continued until the Heavens were emptied and the tyrants of a hundred kingdoms felt their wrath.[1c][3][5]

Battle in Anvrok

A Knight-Azyros was sent to establish ties with the Duardin of Anvrok and three brotherhoods of Celestial Vindicators, under the command of Thostos Bladestorm with the support of Lord-Castellant Eldroc were sent to find and defend a hidden Realmgate, the Silverway. The sorcerer Ephryx seeing the lighting bolts and with the knowledge his master, Tzeentch, had given him of the events in Realm of Aqshy had recognised them as the Stormcast Eternals. Presuming Sigmar had sent them after Ghal Maraz in his possession, he planned to use the magic resident in these warriors to complete his plan. Ephryx and his Bleak Horde attacked the Celestial Vindicators guarding the recently-found Silverway, but after having his warriors slaughtered he ran back to his Eldritch Fortress. The Stormcast marched through the Glimmerlands, swearing oath of vengeance upon the Chaos Sorcerer, while Sigmar dispatched more Warrior-Chambers to take over the Bright Tor Gate nearby. They would fall into his trap that would allow him to use the power of the Stormcast and Ghal Maraz to to redirect every realmgate in Chamon to the Crystal Labyrinth of Tzeentch.[1g]

As the Celestial Vindicators travelled through the Ruins of Elixia they were attacked by metallic hounds and enchanted blades and armor, and their Judicators destroyed any daemon gargoyle and ensorcelled skull they could aim a bolt at. They decided to attack the eastern gates, their warchants and explosive blasts provoking the chaos worshippers, including their Lord, Maerac of Manticorea to open the gate to te fortress to attack them. These were sharp-minded warriors so after the first wave was slaughtered they hid behind their lines of enchanted shields that made them invulnerable to Judicators arrows. Thostos develop a quick tactic of firing bolts upon the metallic floor beneath them to channel the electric energy through their metallic boots. Once they were in they started to destroy the skulls that stored the energy and the sorcerer started to panic, casting several spells and unleashing a Mutalith Vortex Beast that transformed the stormcast into random things. Unfortunately Thostos was turned into living sigmarite and slaughtered the creature and seeing that in made the sorcerer use a spell to turn life into death and killed every Celestial Vindicator near the fortress. The last thing that Thostos saw was a heavenly light that Sigmar would identify as Ghal Maraz in his report.[1g]

Seeking Allies

Sigmar desired to reform his pantheon of old and knew that the Stormcast could not fight by themselves so he sought allies across the realms. In Shyish they looked for Nagash. They looked for Gorkamorka in all the realms, specially Ghur. While Grungni could not be found, the lodges of his brother children, the Fyreslayers were discovered and some even became allies. Tyrion, Teclis and Malerion, the rulers of Ulgu and Hysh, could not be contacted.[3]

Heldenhammer Crusade

In the Eldritch Fortress in Chamon, Ghal Maraz was found, previously lost due to the trickery of Tzeentch. Twelve Stormhosts were assemble and sent to the Hanging Valleys of Anvrok, forming the Heldenhammer Crusade. Foremost among them were the Hammers of Sigmar, the Celestial Vindicators, Anvils of Heldenhammer, and the Lions of Sigmar.[5][14i]

Unto the Shattered City

Lord Vandus Hammerhand was charged with the vanguard attack on Exilia, however, Thostos Bladestorm marched at the invasion's fore. As result, it was the Celestial Vindicators that were caught in a trap of Copper-skinned Beastmen, crushing the rearmost phalanxes with snow and ore-laced boulders. Vandus sent a number of Dracoth-riding Celestants to destroy the beastmen. They collected the heads as proof, but the damage to the Celestial Vindicators was lasting. [14j]

The Stormhosts marched on until they reached the ruined city of Exilia. After the first chambers passed through the gates, horned warriors burst out of the ruins in Ambush. Though the Stormcasts were wary of an ambush, they were not prepared to fight an an entire army in an instant. Despite Vandus trying to hold the line, the Celestial Vindicators wanted revenge, and the warriors broke ranks in order to avenge their fallen. In doing so, they exposed Vandus' flank. More chaos worshippers emerged from the ruins, seeking to cut off the Celestial Vindicators storming ahead. Andricus Stoneheart and three dozen Paladins filled the gap left by the Vindicators. Vandus challenged the architect of the ambush, but was met only by mocking laughter. Summoned by the carnage of the battle, the angry ghosts of those who died within the city reaches rose up from the cracked streets, looking like quicksilver and screaming skulls on top of each wraith-like form. The spirits fell on the Chaos and Stormcast alike. Ionus Cryptborn cast a glance at his Lord-Celestant. [14j][14k]

The fighting continued, and it seemed to Vandus that a greater mind was behind the attack, one not planning to take on the Stormhosts, but merely to delay them. Unable to bring their full might due to the terrain the Stormcast phalanxes were peeled apart by the attacks to their flanks by many ambushes from the ruins. Ghostly figures and silvered wraiths harried warriors of both sides. At the center of the battle, Vandus rallied his troops, and just as the Stormcast were able to make the chaos forces waver, a Manticore appeared, tearing through several Judicators. The armored lord on the Manticore uttered oaths in the dark tongue, and two voices answered him in unison.[14k]

Soon after, the voices were drowned out by the song of the Celemnis, the Silver Maiden. On her melody, shimmering swords shot through the gloom to slice the throats of everyone that heard it. Sometimes, a chaos warrior could wrest a sword out of the sky, turning it against the Stormcasts. The Celemnite blades were able to cut through Sigmarite armor with ease. Ionus Cryptborn walked forward, and called out to the Queen of Blades. Somehow, Ionus managed to convince the Banshee, and with a shriek she killed all of the Chaos-tainted mortals within a hundred paces. With the center of the city suddenly clear, Vandus called his phalanxes to march forward. The Hammers of Sigmar obeyed, but the Celestial Vindicators ignored Vandus, running further into the city. Vandus tried to call the Celestial Vindicators back, but was seized by a vision of a silver waterfall, and afterwards the Vindicators were gone. [14k]

Above the Stormhosts, Lord Mareac, leader of the chaos ambushers watched. He summoned more of his warriors, diving into the city once more, intending to secure the hammer. The streets of the ruined metropolis were still brimming with armoured tribesmen, but the Celestial Vindicators were proven to be all but unstoppable in their fury. The stormhost cut a path through the city, intent to besiege the Eldritch Fortress itself. Maerac's Manticore dived into Vandus' command echelon, but Lord Thostos charged and did slay the Chaos Lord by himself. With the chaos leader slain, the chaos tribesmen fled. The Stormhosts were ready to assault the fortress walls, however the sight that greeted them left them in disbelief. The Eldritch Fortress was gone, leaving only a crater behind - and the sacred hammer with it. Ionus Cryptborn urged Vandus to go after the disappeared fortress. [14k]

The Battle of Argent Falls

The Stormcasts looked for signs of the Eldritch Fortress, but the fortress could be anywhere, from the many smaller valleys to the Great Crucible, the disk that filled half the sky. Without a Realmgate or called down with the storm, the Stormcasts had no way to search these realms, and none of the Stormhost wanted to return to Azyr empty-handed, especially not so soon after the quest began. The leaders of the Stormhosts gathered atop the crater to discuss their options.[14l]

When the Alchemist's Moon dipped behind Tavrok, Celemnis, the Silver Maiden, showed herself to Ionus Cryptborn, who greeted her like an old friend. He asked her if she had seen where the Fortress fled, and if there was a way to it's hiding place. Celemnis pointed to the Great Crucible, and beckoned Cryptborn to follow. Ionus and Vandus shared a look, and Vandus motioned for his men to follow. The Stormcasts travelled secret paths shown by Ionus' strange ally. Some Chaos tribes and monsters tried to ambush, but the Stormhosts made them retreat with ease. After several days of travel, the Stormhosts reached the Argent Falls. At the centre of a township that overlooked the Falls stood a raised dais, crested with six statues of drakes. Celemnis pointed at the Dragonfate Dais, and disappeared. The Stormcast vanguard made its way into the Township towards the ringed dais. [14l]

Suddenly, all around the assembled brotherhoods, strange black-and-green drills poked through the fabrics of reality itself, and then withdrew. Through the gaps in reality came massively built Stormfiends. They growled as they attacked the assembled Hammers of Sigmar with warpstone bullets from their ratling cannons. Rank upon rank of Stormcast were shredded, and wrecker-beasts charged into Lord Vanus' paladins, flattening them into the gold-splattered streets. Kairos Fateweaver, the Oracle of Tzeentch, made a pact with a Skaven Warlord to stop the Hammers of Sigmar and kill Vandus Hammerhand. The Oracle didn't deem the warlord a true champion of Chaos, but he had to do with was on hand.[14l]

Lord Thostos led a counter-charge, but was met by a stream of liquid warpflame from a Skaven Warlock. Black flames burned into Thostos' Decimators. Thostos himself shimmered golden and turned himself into invulnerable sigmarite. He pouned on, snapping Stormvermin attackers like twigs. The Warlock shrieked, and leaped onto the dais out of reach. Andricus Stoneheart charged up towards it. Below, Thostos cursed and ploughed into a massive Stormfiend that was lobbing globes of poisonous gas into his Liberators. Thostos crushed the beast, and gas from the broken globes chocked several Skaven Weapon Teams lurking nearby. Thostos was unharmed. [14l]

Vandus fought with a scythe-handed Stormfiend that somehow fought on even after Calanax bit its head of, being able to pierce Vandus' pauldron and reopening the wound Maerac had dealt. In pain, Vandus crushed the Stormfiend with his hammer Heldensen. The battle between the Skaven and Stormcasts raged on until Ionus Cryptborn took the dais, and chanted the oath of the Great Shatterer. His prayer was swiftly answered and lightning thundered down upon the skaven. The skaven, realising that their leader had fled, turned tail and ran instead of fighting the Stormcasts. After the battle was fought, and the stormcasts raised their hammers in victory, but Andricius vanished as a smoking bullet bore a hole in his helmet. [14l]

Vandus protested that they couldn't call upon Sigmar's aid again. At Thostos suggestion, Calanax roared and jumped on the dais to call upon the Great Drake Dracothion. After a short discussion, Dracothion concluded that for the Crusade to continue, Sea of Silver must cool. Under the Crucible's disk, constellations writhed and slowly the Argent Falls slowed and cooled into a solid lumpen mass. Then a hundred of Celemnis flying swords embedded themselves into the solid falls to form a ladder for the Stormhosts to climb.[14l]

As the Stormcast climbed the waterfall, the blades would remove themselves after all stormcast had used it to make a new handhold on the front. Exhaustion was not the only problem, as Tzeentch had claimed the gap between the hanging valleys with razor-winged Skyrays. Most were intercepted by Prosecutors while those that managed to reached them sent many stormcast plunging to their deaths in the Vaulten Range, or lost into the Void, lost forever to Sigmar. Argentine and Dracothion battled in the distance as the stormcast climbed.[14]

Many Warrior-Chambers remained in Anvrok, unconvinced of Vandus' plan and sought Ghal Maraz elsewhere. The Anvils of Heldenhammer fought the copper-skinned beastmen tribe in the peaks while the Lions of Sigmar hunted for potential duardin allies and found something far darker.[14]

Silver Sea

After some of the vanguard had arrived the Silver Sea started getting hot again, as Dracothion retreated and Argentine heated the crucible again. The invisible hands of the gods dispersed the silvery mists as they wanted a clear view of the battle. From high towers came the Bleak Horde that charged against the Stormcast, which counter-charged in response. The Stormcast wedge phalanxes were unstoppable, Thostos ploughed through their ranks smashing aside all in his path to widen the breach and Ionus blasted them away with lighting. Vandus destroyed brutes with the help of Retributors, Decimators and Protectors.[14]

A pair of disembodied voices guided the horde, the frontline falling back so that the irflanks could envelop the stormcasts. Half-daemon warriors pushed their fellows so they could face them to the the fore with their strange living weapons. Thostos changed direction to fight these savages, followed by the remaining Celestial Vindicators that reached the crucible. Slowly the battle turned against the Stormcast and if the hordes reached the blade ladder those yet to ascend would be at their mercy.[14]

As the dark voices guided the chaos hordes and Lord Vandus gave many counter-orders and tactical manoeuvres as the Silver Sea below them reached melting point. Lord Vandus commanded the nearby Decimators to forge a path to the nearest stairway. Mutant brutes tried to stop them, but they were intercepted by a host of Prosecutors. As the Decimators arrived on the stairways, chaos warriors equipped with shields tried to block them only to be faced by Thostos and his escort of Judicators, allowing the Decimators to form a safety perimeter on the stairs. Many ranks of stormcast, including Vandus, climbed the stairs as the metal turned to liquid sending many Chaos worshippers and stormcast sinking towards the molten depths. They had lost Andricus and Ionus, and Thostos was lost to his battle rage battling the hordes on the western walkways. Lord Vandus would have to command the five hundred survivors to Ghal Maraz.[14]

Vandus and his warriors marched forward and the chaos forces, sensing that their numbers would be of little use in such narrow places, began to fall back. The chaos warriors broke into a run as they retreated to keeps and towers, clambering atop spars and statues of the walkways to clear the path. The regiments of knights that appeared started to gallop towards the Stormcast and behind them came Gorebeast Chariots. They slew many warriors and broke the stormcast relentless advance.[14]

But Vandus had other plans and, on the back of Calanax, jumped sidelong from walkway to walkway ploughing into the chariots and sending them to the sea of bubbling metal below. Then they struck back, clearing a path by heaving the cadavers over the side. Vandus had a vision that showed that Argentine would hide from the light of the Alchemist's Moon and letting the seas cool once more. Then Vandus gave a speech atop the keep they had claimed, banishing fatigue and fanning their fury to claim Ghal Maraz or die in the attempt. One by one they conquered the keeps and towers of the Silver Sea. The moon arcane influence changed the warriors of both sides with the realm's transformative magics. Some found themselves clad in dull lead, precious gold, filigree frameworks of spun wire or turning their sigmarite armor as hard as diamonds.[14]

Ephryx tried to cast the rite of translocation as the stormhosts reach the plateau's cliffs that the Eldritch Fortress was found on. Retributors took their hammers to the foundation of Thrond's citadel. The citadel toppled down into the Silver Sea, sending a tidal wave into the plateau, it's crest reached the cliff just as the moon turned it solid. Ephryx was aghast and screamed in horror as his fortress was now accessible by a bridge of silver that also trapped it to the plateau.[14]

Assaulting the Eldritch Fortress

The Stormcast climbed through the silver wave, but many fell to their deaths in the places were it wasn't completely solid. With every minute a hundred warriors made the climb but also gave the sorcerer time to concoct his spells and gather his armies. Only by holding fast and waiting for their forces to gather would it be enough to assail the fortress.[14]

The crystal-studded realmgate, the Shardgate, above the citadel lead to the Crystal Labyrinth, something that Ephyx had planned for. From it came daemon gales of raw mutation and Tzeentch's daemon legions that quickly joined the battle. The daemons carvings even tortured the sanity the Stormcast from Chamon with tales of what their people suffered through. Those warriors who died found their spirits dragged into the copper skulls instead of ascending to Azyr, further fuelling the wizard's dark sorcery.[14]

The Ephryx called an Arcanabulum from the Silver Sea, but he was not in control of his own body. It was Kairos Fateweaver that was in control of the sorcerer's body, and using the sorcerers life energy as a power source, he cast the spell of Lunar Reversal, forcing the Alchemist Moon to reverse it's trajectory. Now freed from the silver bridge the Eldritch Fortress could use the aetheric energy of dead stormcast to go into the Shardgate and transfer the fortress and Ghal Maraz into the Realm of Chaos and leaving it beyond the reach of Sigmar forever.[14]

The Stormcast fought through fire-hurling daemons and skyborn chariots. Lord-Castellant Kanlaus exploded into splinters of bloodglass as he was blasted by warpflame. Other blasts of warpfire turned a Decimator retinue into gold-flecked ashes. Dozens of Hammers of Sigmar were cut down by King Thrond and a trio of Gorebeast Chariots.[14]

Slowly the fortress started to ascend into the Shardgate, wrenched itself from the plateau through the Rite of Translocation. Then, charging from the central keep came Korghos Khul and the Goretide. The first wave of Bloodbound was meet by a barrage of arrows. Then as the Blood Warriors collided with Retributors, stood their ground as the Judicators picked off the foe as Liberators pushed their assailants back. From above Prosecutors rained death upon their enemies while men sprinted off the battlements to take them down mid jump, but only a few prosecutors fell that way.[14]

After the last of the Protectors gave their lives to hold back Khul's mutated elite, Thostos and Vandus took full advantage of the reprieve and hacked a path through the Goretide. Grizzlemaw tackled Thostos as Khul aimed for Vandus, both surrounded in all parts by Bloodbound. Thostos regained his feet as King Thrond led his chariots into the battle, caving the skull of the front beast as Thrond aimed for Vandus life. Khul heaved Calanax aside and backhanded Thrond for daring to try and deny him of his target.[14]

Vandus, Calanax and Thostos scrambled away as the Chaos Lords fought. None dared to stop him, as no Bloodbound want to risk the wrath of Khul. Thostos wanted to rejoin the fight but Vandus reminded him what his duty was. Sigmar sent many stormcast to bolster the Crusades number, including the Lord-Relictor Ionus. Thostos alone had experience with the Eldritch Fortress maze-like structure. Soon enough the Celestial Vindicators stood before through the breach they had made before in Anvrok.[14]

The magic of the Arcanabulum was spent in reversing the Alchemist's Moon route. Ephryx stood besides it body aged by the spell. Thostos charged him but the sorcerer move inside to the inner keep summoning his guardmen to block their path as he created a wall of flame at its gate. Shafts of cerulean light poked through the warpfire barrier allowing them to see Ghal Maraz's light, renewing the strength of those that it struck. The artefact was surrounded by a coven of nine greater daemons of Tzeentch, and at the head of that ritual-chanting cabal was Kairos Fateweaver. And the Shardgate descended through the dome roof of the keep.[14]

As the warhammer was at a lance length from the portal that would leave it in the Crystal Labyrinth. The Stormcast and the Lords of Change fought, but only the Celestial Vindicators were able to forge a true path as their rage burned away the glamours. Vandus fought in the blind as he known his sense were folly and his foes were giants in cramped confines, which mean Heldensen could find it's target with ease. Calanax followed him bludgeoning him a path towards Ghal Maraz.[14]

Both the portal and stormcast were a few feet away. Kairos sent a column of multicoloured flames that set his metal skin aflame. He cackled at the sight and then sent a magical pulse that hurled every stormcast backwards. He proclaimed that Tzeentch favour was his alone. Released from Kairos control by the battle, his face twisted in fury and he picked up a Staff of Change and struck the Daemon Oracle along the length of its spine. Shocked from the blow his form flickered through many, and Vandus took the opportunity, leaping from the back of Calanax over the daemon as saw beaked terrors attacked him, quickly destroyed by the Dracoth's and Ionus lighting.[14]

As Vandus grabbed Ghal Maraz tearing it from its chains he shouted in triumph. The daemon lord regained control of his form and pointed a crackling finger at the Lord-Celestant. Vandus attacked him with Ghal Maraz, first ripping a arm then struck one of the heads into the other. The daemon turned into dust, leaving behind a glinting crystal that Vandus swiftly crushed under his armoured heel.[14]

Then Vandus looked above and saw a twin-tailed comet burning down towards him as Chamon resounded to godly thunder and the fortress lurched violently. Then all was light.[14]

Results

With the hammer Ghal Maraz returned to high Azyr and the fortress claimed into the Realm of Chaos, its cursed was lifted from the Hanging Valleys forever. A twelve day feast was held for the victorious warriors of the Crusade. Many told the tales of crusades recounted in the sagas and feasts that followed.[14]

The retrieval of his hammer had reunited Sigmar with much of his storm-borne power, his tempest raged stronger than ever. He knew that the purpose of the weapon was to be wielded into combat so on the twelfth day of celebrations he went to the Black Citadel's Chamber Extremis and placed it in the hands of Celestant-Prime within to awaken him as the living avatar of his will.[13][5][14]

War of Life

Nurgle's armies have corrupted the Realm of Ghyran for five centuries, in which they slaughtered their victims, spread vile contagions that turned waterways into phlegmy gruel, withering forest, corrupting shimmerfalls to rain poison upon the lands and forced entire civilisations turn to Nurgle to avoid the sicknesses that plagued their lands. Despite Nurgle's torments, the life in this realm is adaptable and tenacious, like the Sylvaneth, but Alarielle's spirit slowly eroded, turned into her winter aspect of cold dormancy, leaving the forest spirits to struggle on their own.[14a]

As victorious eternals returned home, Sigmar looked to his next objectives and into other realms. He gazed upon the sickly, corrupted Realm of Ghyran, nearly overwhelmed by the conquering forces of Nurgle, the goddess Alarielle now little more than a despondent shadow hiding in her remaining sanctuary, the Hidden Valley of Athelwyrd. In response to this Sigmar sought to reforge the bonds of the Pantheon with Alarielle and sent many Stormhosts to seize critical Realmgates. The Stormcast fared less well against the minions of the plague-god, for even when Realmgates were captured they often led only the Garden of Nurgle. Surviving Sylvaneth did join the warriors of Sigmar but without their goddess they were but few in number, dispirited and bitter.[3][5][14a]

Battle at the Gates of Dawn

At the beginning of the Age of Sigmar, the Ghyrtract Fen and the Gates of Dawn were held by the Ghyrtribe, under Lord Grelch, until the arrival of Lord-Celestant Gardus and his Hallowed Knights. The Ghyrtribe was utterly destroyed, retaking the Realmgate, only to find that it do not lead to Aqshy like it used to, but rather it lead to the Garden of Nurgle. From it emerged the Great Unclean One Bolathrax and summon many Plaguebearers, Nurglings and the Rotguard to fight off the invasion. Sigmar responded by sending the Astral Templars. Gardus assaulted the Greater Daemon, but was unable to deal it permanent damage, and soon after the Skaven of a Clan Pestilens opened a Gnaw-Hole to support the Nurglite forces. Gardus leap through the gateway to try and break it from within and as the newly engorged daemon passed through it, it broke the portal as he tried to squeeze through it. Deprived of reinforcements the Chaos forces could still win, if not for the many wargroves of Sylvaneth that soon arrived and with the stormcast quickly dispatched the foe. Gardus was lost to the Garden of Nurgle so Zephacleas took Gardus's place as commander and was told a hidden gate to Azyr.[1f]

Destruction of the Dirgehorn

After destroying the Gates of Dawn, the Hallowed Knights, lead by Lord-Castellant Lorrus Grymn, and the Astral Templars, led by Lord-Celestant Zephacleas were recalled by Sigmar and immediatly redeployed at half their strength to seek Alarielle in the Rotwater Blight. As they struck down on a loam, they were immediately assaulted by the sound of the Dirgehorn. Seeing the effects the artefact had on the land, Lorrus Grymn gave his fellow stormcast an passionate command that the artefact had to be hunted down and destroyed. They followed the sound for days to a vine-choked hills overlooking the Rotwater Blight.[14b]

The mutant champions of Nurgle were waiting for them, commanding their lieutenants to wait, expecting the corrupted realm to take their toll on the Stormcast. They were first attacked on the Lake of Screaming Reeds, by bulbous rot-flies and daemon toads bigger than bulls, while Zephacleas and the Hallowed Knights distracted the Toad Dragon Ga'Blorrgh enough for their fellows to pass. Then they entered the Grove of Blighted Lanterns, hoping to find some solace in its lambent knight, only to find it infested in poisonous daemon insects. Half a day later they reached into the Greenglow Lake where they were immediately attacked by arrows shot by stump-horned ungors. Most of these ungors quickly escaped, but the screams of those that didn't attracted dozens of Jabberslythes from their swampy lairs that attacked them.[14b]

Despite trudging through the riotous life of the Rotwater Blight they would find themselves wandering the same paths they had already cut. When they went close to the Greenglow Lake, keeping to it's west and hoping it would prove usable as a landmark. But they drew the attention of the creature in it's depths grasping and drowning Stormcast with tendrils lined with hundreds of gasping mouths. The effect of the horn and the hellish landscape at taken its toll on their sanity. Some hoped to clean their blades in the lake, and struggled briefly whenever the creature grasped them, desiring to return to Azyr, the price of failure weaker than returning to heavens in failure. Lorrus Grymn was the reason why no Hallowed Knights fell to the horn's curse, making sure to remember his brother of their duty, each of them personally every night and use his warding lantern to burn of the filth that covered their armor. A group of Dryads beckoned them to a hidden glade and took a bath in the fresh bubbling springs, granting them a brief respite from the landscape of horrors.[14c]

Shortly after they reached the hill, they were attacked by beastmen, first ungors, then gors, followed by Bestigors, slaying a dozen for every Hallowed Knight sent to heavens. As they reached the clearing they were attacked by Bullgors, breaking the momentum the Stormcast had. The Bullgors grew angrier for being unable to eat Stormcast's flesh and started attacking and eating their smaller kin, a betrayal which the stormcast capitalised to slay the distracted beastmen. Renewed the Stormcast regained their momentum, Lorrus Grymn hooking his lantern on the tip of his halberd and held it high, bellowing a rally call that overpowered the Dirgehorn's blare.[14c]

Lorrus Grymn, followed by fellow Stormcast, was the first to walk into the Profane Tor and found the Beastlord Gluhak that had been blowing the Dirgehorn. Unfortunately the beastmen were not alone as Gutrot Spume and his army of Putrid Blightkings joined the combat. The Hallowed Knights were being slaughtered as Sigmar's Tempest broke, gors, cyclopean giants, Bray-Shamans summoning pincer-legged insects and armoured champion attacked Sigmar's warrior. The Lord-Castellant smashed his way to attack Gutrot Spume with the help of the Gryph-hound Tallon and finding an opening in the Chaos Lord's defence. He would've ended his life if it were not for the mutated hag tree rescuing Gutrot Spume from his demise. But he had bought his Paladins enough time to reach the Dirgehorn and destroy it.[14c]

Battle for the Glade

Following the destruction of the Dirgehorn the Sylvaneth were freed from the cacophony that drove mad to the point of paralization. The Lady of Vines, foremost of her kinds that protected the Shimmertarn for many years, gathered the most devoted of Alarielle's lieutnants through their Spirit Song. The warriors wanted to do much: cleanse the Shrieking Willows, punish those that had played the Dirgehorn or retake the Floating Isles of Talbion. But the Lady of the Vines saw that the true threat came from the Glade of Horned Growths, were an noxious fumes and entropic fogs had been corrupting everything it touched, reaching the Vulturine Geysers and threathing to swallow Rotwater Blight whole.[14d]

The rot-smog that came from the Glade of Horned Growths came from Kratsik's Plague Furnace, powered by a urn of moaning ashes granted to the Plague Priest by the Verminlord Vermalanx and the portal to Nurgle's Garden in the glade that empowered it, and guarded by the warband of the Red Boil. Everything this smog touched was swiftly turned to pus and slime, and much of the corrupted glade had already been devoured, leaving behind bubbling mounds of black ooze. The Verminlord Corruptor had commanded him to fortify and had gained support of the Grey Seer Skurrik by promising him a Stormcast Eternal and the resources needed to dissect him for the the jar of ashes.[14e]

The Skaven of the glade were attacked by Rotwater Blight's God-Trees, lead by the Lay of Vines and a host of Sylvaneth. Once the elder tree-spirits were upon the glade they leaned forward so the Dryads and Treelords could leap from within to attack. Branchlings grown in hidden places of the Rotwater Blight helped the attack. The first wave of Dryads slaughtered the Plague Monks effortlessly and the second wave came war-weathered spirits that slew the remaining sentries, led by the Treelords Lorhaldh and Thellembhol, swatting away the Skaven from the path of their lady.[14f]

Seeing the battle turning against him, Skurrik called upon support of Nurgle Rotbringers he had made a pact with. But after carving a rune near the realmgate he saw as Lord-Celestant Gardus come out of the Garden of Nurgle and cast a spell that made him vanish in a puff of reeking smoke.[14f]

After the first wave of Dryads had baited the ratmen into the proper position, the second dropped from the canopies smashing away the rest of the Skaven. Then the Lady of the Vines joined the fray and unleashed her fury upon the ratmen. Kratsik was furious that his flock was slowly being destroyed and that Vermalanx had disappeared. He ordered the Plague Furnace crew to unleash the power of the censer, dissolving dryads by the score and downing Lorhaldh, allowing the Plague Priest to slay the ailing Treelord.[14f]

Then the bloated servants of Nurgle that Skurrik had summoned appeared to the horror of the startled Sylvaneth, announced by a discordant blaring of horns. The Lady of the Vines tore a warrior in two with her tendrils and then summoned a mass of thorned tendrils from the ground to tangle the Blightkings, to little effect. Shortly afterwards the Gardus had spotted the servants of Nurgle and went to slaughter them in wrath, blazing with white fire that lined him like a aura.[14f]

Seeing this change of battle the Sylvaneth renewed their assault and Thellembhol ensnared the Plague Furnace and wrenched it sideways into the Plague Monks that surrounded it, melting them into gory sludge. Kratsik beseeched aid from Vermalanx and instead it was the Lady of the Vine who approached him. She looked behind him and he quickly turned around to see Thellembhol about to stomp him to bits. He tried to cast an incantation that would turn the treelord sap into pus, but he already knew it was too late, smashed to pulp in revenge for the slaughter of his seed-sibling.[14f]

Search for the Hidden Vale

As the Stormhosts left the Profane Tor they found Gardus on a living throne of wicker. Upon being reunited the Hallowed Knights knelt while the other Stormhosts like the Astral Templars and the Guardians of the Firmament saluted him. They shared information how the Stormhost cleared the Profane Tor, while Gardus shared how he survived the Garden of Nurgle and the revelations he had discovered while in it, including where to find the Hidden Vale of Athelwyrd where Alarielle hid.[14g]

First they had to find the celestial driftwood known as the Oak of Ages Past, a splinter of a tree of the World-That-Was that had grown larger with the power of Ghyran, half of it twisted by chaos, the other pure, creating a river of purifying waters. The Great Unclean One, Pupa Grotesse bathed in these waters, once known as the River Vitalis, and corrupted it with his filth, turning it into the Gelid Gush, and to reach Alarielle they would have to remove him.[14g]

As day arrived they went to their objective passing through the Vulturine Geysers in the matter of hours, where they were attacked by drip-winged carrion birds of the same name. The Prosecutors flew high to deal with the creatures and saw the Oak of Ages Past and many other features. Gardus knew that the water were too corrupted to travel through, still he ordered the Hallowed Knights to travel forwards. For many days the Stormhosts navigated the wilderness of Rotwater Blight, clashing many times against the minions of chaos, like Pestilens Skaven or the siege of the Slaugoth's Rotfane. They defeated them all and marched on.[14g][14h]

Then they saw a horde of Nurglings, led by Morbidex Twiceborn, tormenting forest Spites. They ambushed him, but it was all a trap as an army of Plaguebearers, led by the Herald of Nurgle Wrech Gab'larr, emerge from nearby muck and attacked the Stormcast from behind. The diseases of the Daemons had little effect upon the Stormcast. Gardus led a counterattack against the ambush, the Daemons of Nurgle didn't expect this level of resistance and at the command of Wrech they belly-flopped into the swamp and disappeared from sight, with Morbidex also running away, Tegrus desiring to follow him but was forbidden by his Lord-Celestant, as he didn't want to lose more men to the cursed swamp.[14h]

A frog-limbed spite in a owl steed flew into their path and talked with Gardus and in exchanged for helping them he agreed to help them with their problem. The spire guided them through secret paths to the treetop city of Arborea and into the floating isles of Talbion above. They purified the isles and convinced them to head closer to Pupa's location. And from there they could see the greater daemon Pupa Grotesse bathing, scrubbing himself with a knobbly boulder, and thousands of plaguebeasts frolicking and splashing around with him.[14h]

Meanwhile, the Glottkin were approaching and hearing the whispers of the Daemonflies, Ethrac Glott, summoned a great swarm of daemons and ordered his brothers to head towards the World Pimples at the edge of the Gush. The daemons flew and headed towards Talbion engaging with the Prosecutors causing further causalities on both sides. As the isle flew over the World Pimples, Ghurk Glott squeezed one of them and sent a geyser of corrupting pus into the isle above, disrupting the magic that held it aloft, forcing it down, plunging into the Gelid Gush and sending Pupa into rage at having his bath disturbed. He smashed Stormcast with his rusted flail and hurled slug-like monstrosities, eager to play, at them. Those few stormcast that managed to strike him found they could not hurt the monstrous daemon in any way.[14h]

Gardus and Morbus headed towards the monster, Gardus protecting the Lord-Relictor that sent lighting from his reliquary to blast Pupa. Pupa answered with a spell that turned a dozen Protectors into boiling mush and plucked Morbus and eat him whole. But Gardus run up a stump of rotten driftwood and shouted the Daemon's true name, spoken by Bolathrax as he pursued the Lord-Celestant through the Garden of Nurgle. Morbus than chanted and summoned a bold of sacred lighting into the daemon, and with a deafening bang he exploded like a sack of rotting offal left too long in the sun. As soon as the Great Unclean One was goon the curse was lifted and the River Vitalis recovered it's purity, eating like acid the daemon hordes as it invigorated the Stormhosts. Before the night was out the Hallowed Knights had slaughtered the entirety of the daemon host.[14h]

Alarielle Rebirth

The Lady of Vines led stormcast and sylvaneth alike in a desperate flight, herself carrying the soul-pod that Alarielle had retreated into. Through danger and battle she and her protectors made for Blackstone Summit where a great memorial had been erected to the greatest triumph of her people against Chaos during the First War of the Ironthorne Wall. Spying the prize that Nurgle sought, Khorne flung the mighty daemon Skarbrand into Ghyran and he in turn drew his Legion of Exiles a mighty daemonhost to him and they began to smash their way through the Petrified Forest.[3][5]

The Slann Lord Xen'phantica was watching too and he would intervene directly with his own Starfire War Constellation to protect the soulpod of Alarielle. The clash of armies was brutal and finally only Skarbrand and Xen'pantica stood, but before the raging Bloodthirster could claim his skull, the slann opened a portal to the void into which Skarbrand fell and then the slann lord returned to the stars. [3]

Although the Slann had cleared the servants of Khorne from the path of the protectors of Alarielle, the devotees of Nurgle still awaited them. The fugitives travelled the Path of the Purified until they reached the Greengyr Forest and reinforcements led by the venerable treelord Haldroot. They were nearing their destination when they were confronted by one of the seven greatest champions of the plague lord, Torglug the Despised and his mighty warhost. [3]

Daemons – both lesser and greater and skaven were part of the teeming horde and the sylvaneth and the stromcast combined only numbered a hundred souls. The Sigmar sent the Celestant-Prime to join the fight which even gave the Great Unclean Ones pause for the recognised the hammer he bore. [3]

Whilst the forces of order held the horde back, the Lady of Vines moved to plant her mother before the once proud monument that surmounted Blackstone Summit. Sadly, Torglug fought his way through her last dryad guardians rested the glowing essence of Alarielle from her lifeless form. Moments later the Celestant-Prime shattered the Lord of Plague in turn. [3]

Battle of Bloodkeep

In the Realm of Aqshy an alliance of Fyreslayers and Stormcast approached the Bloodkeep. It stood atop the Greatiron Tor at the end of the Runestruck Pass. Only the Valley of Skulls needed to be crossed but this was full of those attempting to win Khorne's favour through incessant violence. Within the Bloodkeep was the magical Brass Chain, forged by Khorne and the only thing that could bind Skarbrand's fury. When not being flung into battle by his god, the Bloodthirster was confined within the walls of the keep. [3]

For the first time in two hundred years, enemies now assaulted the Bloodkeep and its defenders came forth frothing and howling at the prospect of the violence they would unleash. However the combined alliance of Duardin and Eternals fought through them and Lord-Celestant Sargassus broke the Conqueror's Gates. Then a raging hellstorm arrived – Skarbrand had returned and none could stand against him. He slaughtered his way through the Stormcast and although Sargassus was close to claiming the brass chain he and his men were forced to retreat. He and Runefather Bael fought hard to hold back the raging daemon so their warriors could escape through the tunnel. Although the prize was lost, an alliance had been forged between the Fyreslayers and the Stormcast.[3]

Third War of the Dead

The Battle of Black Skies had seen Nagash, his Mortarchs and armies all vanquished. Much of the Realm of Shyish had fallen to the forces of Chaos, kingdoms and empires large and small smashed and corrupted, its peoples enslaved and sacrificed, for Archaon the Everchosen knew the power the god of death held and sought to suppressed before he was fully recovered. Nagash returned at the Starless Gates, personally the besieging forces that tried to invade the underworld of Stygxx, in an event that would later be known as the Slaughter at the Starless Gates, and raising monuments of necromantic power from Helspoint to Morrsend.[1][3][5]

Neferata, Mortarch of Blood had barely managed to preserve her favourite realm and now it too was under siege, a vast and powerful horde of Slaaneshi on the brink of forcing her to flee its ruin. Lord-Celestant Makvar led his Anvils of the Heldenhammer not to save Nulahmia but Neferata and through her reach out to her master in the hopes of rebuilding the alliance between Sigmar and Nagash. Even as the Knight-Azyros Huld delivered his message to the embattled Queen of Mysteries, so did Nagash himself appear, speaking through his Mortarch.[3][5]

War for Klaxus

Orius Adamantine, Lord-Celestant of the Hammers of Sigmar, leads a ferocious attack on Tephra Crater to unseat the Khornate lord Anhur.[7]

Retaking the Manticore Realmgate

Thostos Bladestorm of the Celestial Vindicators are sent into the Roaring Plains in Ghur to retake the Manticore Realmgate.[9]

Battle at Mount Kronus

In the Realm of Chamon, Tzeentch had hurled the first syllable of the disgraced Lord of Change Kiathanus, formerly the most powerful, but nothing more than a daemon oracle, on the Anachron Plateau. The inhabitants had grown to worship the daemonic fragment and over aeons, seven of his other syllables managed to reach and combine with the one in the Truthsayer statue. The last was within the Conqueror's gate and now it too was released.[3][5]

Sigmar was quick to react and flung the Hammers of Sigmar to Anachron, but in turn their arrival was noted by the Watcher King, a Gaunt Summoner. With him, many daemons of the Changer of the Ways sought to obstruct the Eternals, yet though they suffered many casualties, they would not be stopped and reached the Truthsayer’s Temple. [3]

Desperate the Summoner continued to reach for new forces and daemons of all the gods joined the defense. As battle raged on the Watcher King finally achieved his goal and uncovered the true name of Archaon as the final sigil streaked towards reunion with the other eight syllables. Then the Everchosen arrived and he was not amused, quickly gaining control over the Daemon Oracle.[3][5]

The climactic battle took place atop Mount Kronus and for the first time the Stormcast Eternals faced the Exalted Grand Marshall of the Apocalypse and his Varanguard. The battle lasted for more than an hour but the end was never in doubt, however valiantly they fought, the stormcast were outmatched and they all perished, their souls blazing back to Azyr. In response to this loss, Dracothion helped the creation of the Extremis Chamber.[3][5]

Godbeasts Enslavement

The most powerful of Archaon's plots was his attempt at enslaving the Godbeasts. Argentine had long been corrupted by the powers of Tzeentch. In the Land of the Chained Sun, Archaon himself corrupted the mind of Ignax. In Ghyran, Skaven attempts at corrupting Behemat were spoiled by an alliance of Stormcast and Sylvaneth.[5]


Wars of the Flameworlds

The ongoing rivalry between the Bloodbound and Stormcast Eternal continued to escalate after the battle for the Brimstone Peninsula, expanding from the Scarred Isle to Pumys, Asphyxia until it reached the Land of the Chained Sun, the din of war was audible throughout Asphyxia as a dull roar that persisted and the ground had become black with congealed blood.[4j]

Even Valkia the Bloody had been drawn to it's battlefields in search of disciples, claiming the worthy and exceptional for her own, most coming from the Redblade Riders. As for the most prominent champions of Order she hurled Slaupnir through their chests killing them in one sudden strike that tore out their hearts.[4i]

In the hinterlands of Asphyxia there were once populous nations that were destroyed by the Goretide, but the rugged determination and warrior spirit allowed the natives to survive the Khornates as the Stormcast sought to save them. Still they were wasted and slow, too weak to provide meaningful support against the Goretide.[4j]

The Hammerhands were greatly reduced in number since their loss at the Mount Kronus with many, including their Lord-Celestant Vandus Hammerhand still being reforged, with only the Paladins and Ionus Cryptborn being done quickly enough to be deployed to battle. Only eighty Hammerhands emerged from the bolts sent to Aqshy, accompanied by eight other Stormhosts, like the Tempest Lords, as Sigmar saw that those were not number that would allow them to win the war. As soon as the Khornates saw the lighting they stopped slaughtering the Asphyxians to fight more worthy foes. Ionus sought out the Redblade Riders and marked them for death since the first day.[4j]

As the battle for Asphyxia went on the Stormcasts suffered many causalities, the numbers of Stormhosts slowly going from eight to six as the corpses of the Bloodbound covered the lands, rivers of gore flowing into magma streams and covering the battlefield in a red fog. The Daemon Prince Skinstein decided to repay an old debt and sent a vision to Korghos Khul with a promise that he would send a force to prevent the escape of Stormcast the next time he attacked them. Korghos marched through the Ashlands, using the Brinegate at Mordacious Sound to reach the Stomcast and it was such a hurried, gruelling marathon that saw many Bloodreavers left for dead, slaughtering any Asphyxians they found. Khul first met the Stormcast as the Victrician Liberators were destroyed by the few surviving Redblade Riders, but only leapt into battle when he saw the Hammerhands a fight that would've nearly costed his life as the Daemon Prince did not kept their promise.[4i]

Bloab's Plague of Atrophy

More Khornate warbands came after the Goretide, like the Skullfiend Tribe among many other and these reinforcements sent entire retinues of Stormcast back to Azyr. The Tempest Lords and their Lord Victrian made use of the Redblade Riders' overconfidence, using the flying Prosecutors to bait the khornates into crushing envelopments that decimated their lines. The Hammerhands were not so lucky as they faced the Skullfiends in battle. A group of decimators had unwittingly exposed themselves and Ionus reforging had reduced his voice, unable to raise it over the sounds of wars to give a warning and instead had to call storm-spirits to destroy them but that only spurred the khornates further. The Khorgoraths fell upon the Decimators and destroyed them, even sending Decimator-Prime Occus to Azyr.[4k]

As this wars went on a strange curse spread throughout the Flameworlds. Flies were growing in the air, the swarm clouds thickening to sizes that rivalled Sigmar's Tempest above. These daemon insects descended upon the land and bite upon Khornate and Asphyxian alike, with the Stormhosts, protected by sigmarite, remained mostly unaffected. except for those whose insects crawled through the eyeholes of their helms. This curse started to drain the biten of their strenght and were quickly hack down by oportunistic foes, making even the Khorgoraths easy to slay. Even the beat of Ignax seemed to grow dimmer as the flaming star seemingly turned into a orange sphere wrapped in the coils of a serpent of titanic sizes, but few noticed the change.[4k]

Only when the plague took physical form, as a chaos host of Nurgle led by Bloab Rotspawned formed from a wall-like mass of daemonflies was the threat of the plague truly realized. Ionus looked above searching for help from the heavens, but found only Valkia pleading Khorne to burn the plague from the Ashlands. Ionus dealt with the protests of his Stormcast, like Decimator-Prime Malascon, and let Valkia complete her prayer, knowing it would be far more beneficial to let the servants of the dark powers fight amongst themselves.[4l]

The Bloodbound and the Rotbringers fought against each other with the Hammerhands stuck deep behind enemies lines were soon reinforced by a host of winged Hallowed Knights and the Celestant-Prime. Tornus the Redeemed left the Host to hunt down Bloab, the one who had tortured and converted him into a Nurglite and only Bloab's bodyguards sacrifice did he survive. Bloab, realizing his identity through his witch-sight, was horrified and commanded his Plagues Drones to attack him. The Celestant-Prime and his escort abandoned their fight with the Gorequeen to help the Knight-Venator and they were soon followed by the Tempest Lords and the Lions of Sigmar, allowing the Hammerhands to regroup, allowing them to break the chaos armies.[4l]

As the battles dimished into scattered clashes, living firestorms approached, turning the conflicts into ash and their fighters into morbid statues. Only the Asphyxians were untouched by the magical cindercloud, laughing maniaclly as it feasted on burning flesh. The Celestant-prime fough Bloab's Rotbringer as he searched for their leader, the firestorm clouding his star-blessed sight. He summoned a meteor using his scepter to ahniliate a knot of Chaos Knights, only for the Blood God to send a red fireball to crash into Asphyxia and from the crater emerged Skarbrand.[4m]

The Bloodthirster attacked the Victrians his raw, hellish anger emanating from him. This rage drove the warriors of Asphyxia into apoplexies of rage abd burned away the Plague of Atrophy and the daemonflies that spread it, restoring their lost strenght and causing them to attack everything within reach. All according to Valkia's plan to destroy the Nurglite curse.[4m]

Lord Victrian challenged the Bloodthirster smashing his tempestos hammer into his jaw. In outrage Skarbrand turned from the Tempest Lords and chased Victrians, who rode his Dracoth Razareph fast into Rotbringer lines, baiting the Khornate daemon into attacking the Nurglites. Victrian wheeled back to join his men and realizing the Asphyxians were immune by the magical firestorm, ordered his men to stay close to them before leading them to attack once more.[4m]

Bloab Rotspawned finding himself attacked by Torglug, the rage of Skarbrand and the Celetant-Prime decided to recreat casting an incantation that turned the daemonflies crawling upon his skin into Rot Flies and his Maggroth mount Bilespurter into growing huge mebranous wings. They took flight and retreated into the Flameheart Realmgate.[4m]

Ionus called his paladins to regroup but his voice failed once again, he already lost half of his forces and he still had much to be done. Daemonflies still plagued the Flameworlds and they would spread the plague if left unchecked. He surveyed the lands around him and saw the Hengegate a key to a victore over both the Plague and the Blood God. [4m]

They fought a desperate battle but eventually managed to destroy the Bloodreavers that guarded the Dais in the ruins beneath it. Ionus planted his reliquary on the centrestone and called forth the storm. Twelve lighting bolts came down and created a crackling net of energy that captured the ragging pyroclasm and the combatants. Both Stormcast, Chaos worshippers, Asphyxians and Skarbrand, were carried skywards into the Hengegate and dropping them on the other end, the Crystal Henge on the Unreachable Mountain.[4m][4n]

Battle at the Unreachable Mountain

The firestorm and the warriors manifested inside Sigmar's Tempest, the asphyxian storm spend it's energy wresting itself free of the Tempest, reducing it's strenght to searing wings and being channeled by etheric hurricanes on the snow-capped pinnacle, flowing towards the Flameheart, coating the mountain peak in golden yellow light. Once the storm was gone he released his hold over the Tempest releasing the combatants upon the mountain, just at the right moment to send many chaos worshippers tumbling down the mountainside and few stormcast faced the same fate. The battle between the two forces quickly restarted, with Skarbrand tearing Stormcasts apart and boiling their blood with bellows of pure wrath.[4n]

Cryptborn left Razareph dragging her rider Victrian to safety as he focused on his plan, to use the Hengegate as a psionic resonators to amplify fury and in order to banish Bloab's plague from the entirety of the Ashlands. The Paladins of Victrian turned their blades against what remained of the Bloodbound with anger infecting their minds, but with enough discipline to understand and obey Ionus signal. The Redblade Rides, now deprived of their steeds and unused to fight on foot, charged into the Stormcast but meet a quick death, decimated by the Decimators.[4o]

The Stormcast ascent through the mountain did not go unnoticed as Ionus had made sure the storm energy flared brighter than it used to, attracting Skarbrand attention and baiting him to head towards the peaks. Other Stormhosts still fighting also tried to reach the peak of the Unreachable Mountain. Ionus escort had the Protectors pushing any enemies down the steep sloves and used Retributors to quickly conquer the Peak. Then the Lord-Relictor gave his command to his Paladins alone.[4o]

As Skarbrand climbed the mountain to reach the peak the lighting hammer were raised and brought down on the mountain top forcing the mountain to shake. Just as the Exiled One reached the tip of the mountain it broke away and slid downwards in an avalanche, carrying the surviving Hammerhands Paladins downward to the horror of the Tempest Lords far below. The limber and lightly armored Bloodbound managed to scramble away to safety while the heavily armored Stormcast were buried alive withonly a few surviving, including Ionus and Victrian sage. The heavens shook as it witnessed the sacrifice.[4o]

The avalanche sent Skarbrand tumbleing down the mountainside and provoking him into deeper pits of rage. With only Valkia witnessing it in full, the Bloodthirster grabbed on the Hengegate and found itself alone without anybody to vent his rage and found nothing but snow. His furious rage was amplified hunderdfold by the crystal and sent invisible tides of fury across the Ashlands that infected everyone in the sub-realm. The bloodquarz shattered and impaled the Bloodthirster with hundreds of spears of crystal, banishing him in a cloud of blood-coloured mist.[4o]

As the waves of fury travelled throughtout the Flamelands, it restored the lost strenght of it's inhabitants, causing them to shoat themselves hoarse with eyes turning red and frothing at their mouths, finally incinerating the Plague of Atrophy from the whole sub-realm. Ignax fire burned hotter as every man, woman and child took anything they could use as a weapon and feel upon their oppressors with shrieks of defiance and blood of evil men filled the air. The closest to Skarbrand faced the worst with skulls bursting in explosions of gore with the surviving scions of Khorne falling upon their fellows. The Stormcast were also afflicted but the icy prisons were spared such horror. The roars oof rage were so loud and fierce that.[4o]

Battle of Tauroi Archipelago

The once noble hill clans of the Tauroi Archipelago were once a noble people, but the malevolent gaze of Khorne fell upon them. The lands were splintered from the rest of the Ashlands and sent the Bloodscorch warband after them, emerging from a rift hidden in the mountains. Fire, once their allies only attracted the bull-headed monstrosities, reducing their once proud culture to scattered remants dwelling in caves, wearing only rags and farming barely edible fungi. There was little left to save when the Stormcast were dispatched to save them.[4d]

In the first few days the Stormcast had little success as the Bullgors proved too strong to fight. They needed a new strategy and the Lord-Celestants decided to use the land and it's people to envelop the tribes completely. The Knights-Azyros found enclaves hidden in cave networks too small for the Bullgors, but the Hill Clans had already given up, too oppressed by years of oppression and the fear of becoming fodder for the beasts. The Tempest Lords were well fitted to win such a fight for the people's spirit, convincing with stirring rhetoric of the promise of a new dawn, or a last stand.[4e]

From these caves came the Candlemen, tattered flagellants and armoured war-rpiests chanting the battle hymns of the Tempest Lords led by Arch Lector Veltahren, that had uncovered a statue-crowned altar. And this procession attracted the Bullgors, each had a rune of Khorne daubed on their foreheads and praised the Blood God. They were followed by goat-legged mutants, pot-bellied archers and ghorgons. Even the Stormcast were taken back by the sheer numbers, but they could not falter as that would break the morale of the Candlemen and instead the Knights-Heraldor sounded the charge, their clarions ringing through the valleys of Bucephia, Lonts, Vulcse and the Vale of Bulls.[4e]

The Bullgors saw the wedges driving towars the warherds and lowered their heads, counter-charging with terifying force bulldozing a path through the ranks of the Tempest Lords. At first it seemed like Sigmar's armies would win out, but then the Ghorgons join the battle with a frantic vigour and a fury so fierce that it broke the Candlemen spirit and caused them to flee exposing their flanks to three hordes of bullgors.[4e]

But then they heard a sky-splitting boom as Skarbrand sent concentric waves of red light amplifiying the rage of everyone in the Ashlands. This inflamed the intense range of the Candlemen and compelling them back into the fight. However the Khornate Bullgors were not so lucky, their already rage-fuelled mania overloaded them and their heads burst apart into fountains of gore. Shouting in victory the Candlemen fell upon the surviving Brayherds that had invaded their lands.[4e]

Battles of Orb Infernia

Once a glittering sky kingdom of proud people that traded with the countless nations of Aqshy, but the Age of Chaos turned their domain into a daemon haunted wasteland, the seas consumed by sorcerous beasts until only the continents remained, floating over an empty world sustained by dark magicks. After Chaos victory over this world he gifted it to four of his most troublesome Daemon Princes, Skinstein, Glurtos, Synnistra and Zyrrak, tricking them into believe it was their prize alone and taking great joy from seeing them fight on an ever-burning battleground.[4a]

These four princes fought each other since then trying to break off and claim their rival's domain for themselves. Even the corrupted continents participated in the war as mountains transformed into hatefull stone giants, rivers of blood wrested like mad serpents and fanged cavern chewed any that entered them. The Slann Starmaster Xen'phantica made sure that this daemon war never ended, by undermining alliances, assassinating their heralds, wiping out vanguards, opening portals between the lands and presenting tempting targets. He made sure that the princes were at each other's throats and too distracted to participate in the wars in the Ashlands all while the Seraphon Hosts were outnumbered by many times over.[4a]

War of the Tetrarchs

Zyrrak realised that Xen'phantica was keeping the continent of Nugatoria from the rest and he believed that once the victory was assured and the land aligned the God's Eye Realmgate would open again. He started a hundred wars across the Orb and then convinced the other Daemon Princes to cooperate to conquer Nugatoria. He forged an alliance with Glurtos and Skinstein by promising them fields to infect and skulls to harvest in the lands below, and convinced Synnistra with just flattery. Then he built a spell-fort on Nugatoria and marched the chaos armies until they reached the ruins of the God's Eyes on the Ghostglass Peaks.[4b]

In response the slann called forth his Seraphon host, falling upon the continent as a rain of stars. Each of the armies were lead by a chosen herald of the prince, cutting a path to reach the God's Eye. But Xen'phantica knew the many weaknesses of his foes, barring their paths with shield-locked Saurus and then assassinated the heralds with Chameleon Skinks. The princes lost their eyes on the front line and thought their brothers had betrayed them. Skinskein left the hidden fortress, despite Zyrrak's warnings and attacked the Seraphon, just as the Slann had predicted. He dispatched the Oldblood Klag-tor and Carnasaur Startalon to dispatch the Prince. While they were vastly outnumbered the Seraphon used the narrowed mirrored canyons to great effect. Synnistra was the second to abandon the plan and as soon as he revealed himself a star-rain fell upon his distant land of Issthyss and cursed Zyrrak as a traitor for tricking him into weakening his kingdom and trailed his armies home, his land leaving the shores of Nurgatoria and closing the God's Eye behind him. Thus ended the War of the Tretarchs.[4b]

Khul's Conquest

After Skinskein betrayal of Khul, the Lord of Khorne decided to invade the Prince's kingdom and dethrone him. Still weakened from their failure at the Ghostglass Peaks the Goretide cut a path through his daemon army determined to get revenge for the Khornate Prince empty promises. When it seemed that garrison might hold, the prince sent forth Skull Cannons to tear holes through the Bloodbound ranks, only for Khul himself to personally banish the daemon-forged artillery with his axe. This act rouse Skinskein from his Bloodwine rituals and charged each other, with Khul emerging victorious.[4c]

Khyl gave the daemons a choice, become his followers or be destroyed, his Gorechosen spreading out throughout Infernia to enforce their Lord's will. In Ghorddro marched Khuls with Goretide warriors and Skullfiend tribesmen striking down any Saurus raiding parties as their immunity to the Daemon-traps laid by Xen'phantica left him unprepared. In the Maze of Xzaratch Kyor Skullharvest carved illusions and daemons apart, fighting through the seraphon spell-wards. In Beubilos, Hagred Hammerfane cleared the continent of reptilians, as the celestial poison had no effect and even the darkest grotto did not make him or his warriors afraid. Guron Bloodfist vanquished the Skink raiders smashing the brittle crusts of the floating islands and sending countless seraphons into the nothingness.[4c]

Lord Xen'phantica tried to counter Khul's months long conquest of the world, but the defences that were made to prevent daemons did nothing to his mortal armies and his army fought with a unity of purpose the Daemon Princes never had. Each victory granted Khul another horde of Daemons, and eventually the three surviving princes accepted that their destiny was at the hands of Khul. As the daemons united once again so did the four kingdoms closed around Nugatoria, sending vast chaos hordes into the Ghostglass Peaks and the Slann summoned his greatest general, Klaq-Tor, once again with a huge celestial army to back him and keep them from reaching the God's Eye.[4c]

As he had predicted Xen'phantica saw the lesser daemons being sent to the fore, hitting the Seraphon lines like a rainbow tide upon an azure rock. These daemons slowly fell without breaking the line as huge beasts traded blows and seraphon artillery-beasts fired beams of energy fire to burn away their foes. At the height of this conflicT Khul and his Gorechosen led the bloodbound, passing through the crystal walls of the canyon as it they were smoke, falling onto the seraphon from all sides. Threx planted his Icon of Khorne and called forth a coppery wing that brought the Bloodbound corpses back to life, their eyes blazing red with Khorne's Rage and fighting once more.[4c]

Klaq-tor raced towards Khul, and as the Khronate Lord sensed a worthy skull he charged to meet the Oldblood. Grizzlemaw snapped at Startalon, Kyor speared his gut, Hagred bashed aside his jaws and Guron swept out it's legs. When the Carnosar fell, Khul lept and took Klaq-tor's head. Seeing his general defeated Xen'phantica took the battlefield and almost turned the tide with the help of Dracothion's celestial alignment that infused the seraphon with greater strength.[4c]

But the Slann had not foreseen the power of Khul's axe, a hateful, cursed weapon that existed outside of reality. When the chance came the Khornate Lord hurled his weapon towards Xen'phantica, passing through the stellar wards and slew him. A thousand slann felt the starmaster's light fading, like as if a piece of their souls had perished, as a strand of fate snapped. The God's Eye took his true form and Khul smiled as he looked up into the gateway that promised him another conquest.[4c]

Siege of Crescent Isle

The pulses of Skarbrand's anger drove Ignax to anger, wresting against her chains in defiant rage, waved of raw firemagic seasing ipon the Lands of the Chained Sun. When the beast was finally exhausted did Archaon judged the time right to bind the Solar Drake. Stopped from creating a safe portal by his Gaunt Summoners by shield-runes, he has furious and sent his Varanguard to root out the fyreslayers in the Scarred isle, hoping to find a key to the place. Of the many lodges destroyed the Austarg managed to escape the slaughter with the Runefather escaping using the fiery lifeblood to burn a tunnel into Lodestone Peak. The mountain magnetic properties left them unable to follow them to a portal to the Isle of the Chained Sun, Dorryc Claimblade ledding the last remnants of the Duardin from the Scarred Isle through it.[4f]

Dorryc then dedicated his time to forge Auriakh, the father rune of Binding, and the perfect counter-rune which he already inscribed on two of the Grugni-forged chains that held Ignax. While the godbeast by itself had no chance of escaping with the runes there, they allowed her to escape after her Skarbrand-fuelled struggle against the weakened chains. The chains snapped and fell, connecting the Land of the Chained Sun to the Scarred Isle beneath it. The Varanguard, seeing the massive chains as a bridge, mounted their daemon steeds and made their way to the unconquered lands above.[4f]

The Varanguard were heavily outnumber by Duardin in the millions, but Archaon, felt confident in their eventual victory. So Sigmar sent meteoric strikes stucking the battlefield and twenty Stormhosts of Dracothian Guards plunged into the fray.[4f]

The Varanguard faced long-planned ambushes, the duardin using their home advantage to the best of their capabilities, and many Stomrcast Interceptions, but they still went deeper into the heartlands. But he never intended them to fight alone, so digging the sput into Dorghar the tripple screams told the daemon armies from Orb Infernia, led by Korghos Khul, to attack manifesting through portals of purple unlight. The Fyreslayer advantage quickly turned into a rout.[4g]

The Dracothian Guard fought to the heart of the fight, banishing hundreds of warpfiends before they could muster a counter-attack. The second wave of attack broke all the cohesion between the daemon armies, summoning a storm of lighting as the Dracoth breathed it as one, banishing the daemons into clouds of ectoplasm.[4g]

Then came Archaon and Dorghar swooping down and destroying many, clawing entire retinues from their riders in bloodlust and hurling blasts of mutagenic fire. Whenever a Stromcast and Dracoth lept for Archaon he simply whipped the Slayer of Kings and claimed their heads. Any bolts of celestial energy launched towards him were dissipated by the amber glare of the Eye of Sheerian. [4g]

Then three bolts of celestial energy were cast down, falling on the chains and materialising gigantic Stardrakes and their Drakesworm Templars and the three raced towards Archaon. While the charge was supposed to be synchronous he met them one by one. The first was torn into a welter of blood by Dorghar. The second tried to pluck Archaon from his saddle, but he split the beast from belly to tail with a swing of his blade. The third was shorn in two.[4g]

The Chamber Extremis had weaken the Varanguard but the legions of daemons had destroyed the impetus the Stormcast and Fyreslayers had gained within a hour. Thirty six magmadroths were sent as their last resort, coaxed from their lairs in the Glowing Glacier and four Duardin armies were sent to each of the Great Tethers that survived Ignax's struggles. Every attempt at stopping them failed and before the day was over each had the lava-fuelled steam winches in their hand. They put it to use and pulled the Godbeast closer, her flames strong enough the air could boil a man's blood. Archaon quickly realised their ploy and sent the fastest of his Slaaneshi daemons to stop them, but they were stopped by mile long walls of lava created by Auric Hearthguard. The Khornate Cavalry were hacked by the duardin berzerkers.[4g]

The Runesons braved the heat of the godbeast and rose across the chains on the backs of their Magmadroth. The daemons princes tried to stop the Volgrov's brothers, but most were intercepted by Prosecutors. While Magmadroths were impervious to Ignax's flames, the runes that protected the riders were not as strong and their flesh melted into blackened skeleton. Only Volgrov Borrson managed to reach Ignax's hide and hammer the Rune Auriakh and, without the rune protection, was consumed in a instant and turned into a fireball.[4g]

The duardin retreated underground, triggering ancient runes that made them immune to the Godbeasts flames as the land itself burned, chaos worshipper, daemon and Stormcast all burned alike in the flames. Everyone except Archaon who's wards protected him from the flames. With Ignax's wrath spent Archaon flew Dorghar close and bore the Slayer of King in her temple. The daemon clawed into Ignax's mind and drove her to the edge of insanity. So strong were her writhes of agony that the remaining Great Tethers were torn from the earth, shattering the crust of the land itself. Archaon had won his victory or so he believed as a rune stuck in Ignax's flank as the godbeast flew into the cosmic sprawl of Aqshy.[4h]

End at All-Points

A brief pause came to the realms as the forces prepared for the last battle of the Realmgate Wars, the fight for the Eightpoints. Dracothion came to Sigmar's palace to advise him, and caused Sigendil to flare bright, accelerating the Reforging process.[5]

Other Battles

Result

Sources