Malign Portents

Malign Portents has recently been announced by Games Workshop as the major focus for Warhammer Age of Sigmar through 2018.  From what we know so far, Malign Portents is a book, global campaign and so much more.  It is an advancement of the Age of Sigmar lore and an introduction to the Realm of Death, Shyish.  We can expect a number of model and book releases, presumably for each of the Grand Alliances.  At the moment, Malign Portents looks like a fantastic re-launch of Age of Sigmar.

This page will contain everything you need to know on Malign Portents in one place and will be updated regularly.  Expect the next major reveal on 17 February…

Malign Portents

All the information on the Battletome: Legions of Nagash has been given its own page.  Check it out here.

The Malign Portents story

Check out the Warhammer TV Behind the Scenes video below for an introduction to Malign Portents.

Warhammer TV also produced a range of videos to accompany the countdown to the launch of the Malign Portents site:

Warhammer Live with Phil Kelly on Malign Portents

You can find further discussions with Phil Kelly, Games Workshop Background Writer, over on Warhammer Live on Twitch – however you will need a subscription in order to view it.   I’ve made some notes of the key points regarding Malign Portents below:

  • Inhabitants of the Mortal Realms are experiencing weird visions, omens, prophecies and dreams of disaster with the occasional glimmers of hope – something nasty is coming.
  • Malign Portents is a season of new developments to “deepen” Age of Sigmar.
  • Malign Portents storyline will run through battletomes and other publications in the future.  Stories on will cover and introduce new territory.
  • Malign Portents book:
    • new era, and a new time in Age of Sigmar – stage two
    • everyone is involved, all four grand alliances
    • civilization under threat from an ancient foe, Nagash
    • mainly focused on Shyish
    • missions and new rules for use in games, including prophecy points (a look into the portents) which can be used for the benefit
  • Nagash unhappy with the souls lost to him through the reforging of the Stormcast Eternals.
  • The Realms: No night time in the realm of light – realm of shadow has variance from gloomy to pitched black, but no formal day and night.  You will see a cosmic swirl if you look up from any of the realms – galaxy in the firmament, realm of azyr,
  • Shyish, the Realm of Death:
    • The living work and fight alongside their ancestors in Shyish.
    • Realm of Death not the Realm of Undeath. Neutral death and good death as well as evil undeath. “good guy Undead armies”
    • Its normal to live and interact with ghosts.  For example, a battalion that swears to protect the city for the rest of time (even after Death)
    • Hundred and thousands of underworlds within the realm
    • Souls will stay their indefinitely unless some process interrupts that – some underworlds may be like jail terms, most afterlifes are in perpetuity
    • Some of the souls from the World That Was will have been saved, but they are the exception (less than 10 or so).
  • But when Nagash comes in and takes over an Underworld in Shyish he distorts the normal balance and corrupts the Dead in Shyish.  Ancestors will turn into vengeful cairn wraiths etc.
  • Nagash has consumed the gods of these underworlds – expansionist empire of Nagash.
  • Originally the Mortal Realms universe was deliberately broad and vague to allow the miniatures designers freedom, now the background team is crystallising that picture.  To cover day to day life etc, draw on the best bits of old Warhammer.   New rules opportunities from the narrative such as the Free Cities.
  • Harbingers – not unique models, hundreds of them
    • Lord Ordinator -engineer for fates and destiny as well as warmachines – part astronomer, engineer, warrior – leads SCE into Shyish
    • Darkoath Warqueen – charismatic tribal leader – won a lot of warriors to her cause – invasion through Realmgate into Shyish – Aqshian tribes – walk through the Abyssal fires to take on Nagash
    • Shaman – being followed by goblin visionary – deathcap mushroom – dreams visions that come true around him – powerful shaman – hoping to capitalise on the outcome of the battle
    • Knight of Shrouds – betrayer and traitor – turned on own people by doing a deal with Nagash – sold soul to Nagash – great influence over the dead (benefit to the undead around him) but the living hate him
  • Nagash / Tarsus Bullheart – storyline happening in parallel, rather than in Malign Portents.
  • Nagash has been tinkering with the reforging process to see how the process works.
  • Anvils of Heldenhammer exclusively recruited from realm of Death.  From Nagash’s view, Sigmar has taken his best guys.
  • Nagash been laying plans for ages – a number of redundancies lined up.
  • Massive citadels and monuments to himself – colossal inverted black pyramid – vitrified realmstone used for pyramid – realmstone is like grains of sand – grainsand – mortality sand which can impact your lifespan either positively or negatively.  Can sap your energy and decay you.  Very similar to shadeglass.  very powerful stuff.  Nagash hardening it into stone.
  • Not hiding what he is doing, just believes no-one can stop him.
  • All of the Mortarchs have their place in this – Nu-Lahmia, Carstinia (Mannfred making new Sylvania), Arkhan overseeing Nagash’s great works.  Legions of Nagash has lots of details on the Mortarchs.  The books focus on the existing Mortarchs with models, but models for other Mortarchs may be added later.
  • Lots of underworlds in Shyish – depending on the underworld they may be different –
    • Amethyst Princedoms (original home of Ionus Cryptborn, Lord Relictor) a lot of Amethyst energy.
  • Interaction between inhabitants of azyr and the desperate survivors and refugees of the realms – cultures, prejudices, castes – more life and character for the cities.
  • Crimson Monarchy wont be explored as such.
  • Vandus Hammerhand returns with a critical role – always been plagued by visions – has some visionary ability – all people in the realm of heavens do.  Visions more pronounced through reforging.
  • Ionus has a secondary role.
  • Sigmar knows there is something wrong with the reforging process and has sent some emissaries to work it out (for example the force that entered Shadespire).  Reason why the process doesn’t work is because Sigmar’s hand was forced by Chaos’ imminent victory – so couldn’t perfect process with Grungni.
  • Plans for new factions in the future (not so far away – soon, like really soon)

Stories from the Games Workshop background team

Games Workshop are also releasing downloadable short stories every week for Malign Portents.

Community Coverage

Malign Portents is getting a lot of coverage from the wider Age of Sigmar community.  Check out these links:

Malign Portents: The Champions

Malign Portents introduces four new heroes to Age of Sigmar, one for each Grand Alliance.  Great portraits, art and wallpapers of all the Champions can be found over on the artist’s ArtStation page.

UPDATE: These champions should be released by 24 February, as Games Workshop is running a painting competition with entries closing on 3 March (see the Warhammer Community article).


Vorrus Starstrike, Lord-Ordinator, Order’s Champion


Keldrek, Knight of Shrouds, Death’s Champion


Keldrek box

Snazzgarr Stinkmullet, Fungoid Cave Shaman, Destruction’s Champion


Marakarr Blood-Sky, Darkoath Warqueen, Chaos’ Champion


More reading

For more on the Age of Sigmar lore, background and setting, check out the Lore section of the site, the description of the Realms, and the Black Library reading.

Also, check out the TGA Community thread for Malign Portents – 40 pages and counting – and the Reddit!

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