[NB: for the moment, this page is a transcription of the Phil Kelly Traveller’s Guide video over at MalignPortents.com which is a great introduction to the Mortal Realms of Warhammer Age of Sigmar. It will be updated and expanded shortly].
What exactly *are* the Mortal Realms, anyway? Join Phil Kelly as he provides a traveller’s guide to the setting of Warhammer Age of Sigmar, from the formation of these mysterious domains following the fall of the World That Was to the Realmgate Wars and beyond…
Find out more over at: https://malignportents.com/realms/
Posted by Warhammer TV on Sunday, January 7, 2018
The Mortal Realms are the landscapes in which the Age of Sigmar is set.
The end of The World Before Time, the World That Was, saw the entire planet destroyed. But it wasn’t annihilated; some parts of it, and some characters, clung to existence, whether through arcane means, or being saved by their gods.
One of those was Sigmar himself. He clung to the core of The World That Was, ‘Malus’, as it shot through the cosmos.
The energies and substance of the Mortal Realms were torn apart, and flooded the cosmos – magic, and strange swirling clouds of dust-like nebulas. Eventually they started to gather together. After this great ‘big bang-like’ experience they grew together; like attracted like to form things called ‘realm spheres’.
The realm spheres hang in the ‘aetheric void’ – the Great Nothing – which is essentially a huge expanse, a little bit like space. These eight realm spheres are discrete from each other, and around them is a cosmos of loose, unaligned magic.
Within these realm spheres of magic and dust, stuff started to crystallise, and come together until it formed landscapes. These landscapes came to be the Mortal Realms, where the denizens live and where the events of the Age of Sigmar take place.
Also known as The Realm of Fire, the landscapes of Aqshy can be imagined a bit like a ‘flat earth’, with islands around the side.
The underwords of Shyish, the Realm of Death, consist of every heaven and hell you can imagine, made real places for people to live in – not just ghosts but living people.
Hyish and Ulgu (high-ish, ull-goo)
The Realm of Light and The Realm of Shadow orbit each other like binary stars, because light and darkness are forever entwined. As Hyish is in front of Ulgu, this forms day for the Mortal Realms. But as Ulgu passes infront of Hyish, this forms night.
The realm spheres are not infinite in size, but they may as well be. It would take your entire life to move from the middle of one of these realms to the realm’s edge, and when you got there you might spontaneously combust, or turn into vegetation, or a strange mechanical hound, depending on the energies of that realm. It is impossible to go much further than that. Some try to harness those energies, but it never ends well.
In the middle of the realm, the opposite is true; people can actually have a relatively normal life there, providing they can fight off invaders and tribes of Destruction that are trying to kill them. Crops and families can be raised, cities can be built. These are the areas that are the most settled in the Age of Sigmar.
Linking these different realm spheres are realm gates. They are magical portals, which don’t always take the form of an archway or a gate like you or I would necessarily understand them. Sometimes they could be a mist, or a strange sea, but they do allow travel within and between realms, crossing the aetheric void. .
The greatest of these realm gates lead to the All-Gates, which lead to a strange sub-realm known as the All-Points. Chaos conquerors have overrun the All-Points, and now call it the Eight-Points. This is where Archaon, the Everchosen, makes his base – the Varanspire.
Eight-Points is a very potent nexus – entire armies can be moved through these giant realm gates, allowing movement between realms on a massive scale. Not surprisingly, it is seen as a vital strategic location to all sides wishing to claim dominance in the Mortal Realms, and so the Eight-Points became the focus of the great Realmgate Wars.
These Mortal Realms have been attacked by the Dark Gods, who want to conquer and bleed the Realm of Chaos into everyone of these All-Gates and take over reality entirely. So far, they have done a very good job. They had almost conquered the realms, before Sigmar struck back with his Stormcast Eternals. The only realm that is inviolate, which hasn’t been crumbled and destroyed by the entropy of Chaos, is Azyr – the Realm of Heavens, which shines like a cosmic light above all of the realms.