A Beginner's Guide to Age of Sigmar

A Beginner's Guide to Age of Sigmar

An introduction to Age of Sigmar

Hail commanders!

We’re getting closer and closer to the launch of Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin, the realm-shattering fantasy RTS from the team here at Frontier.

Set in the brutal Age of Sigmar, Realms of Ruin sees opposing factions vie for survival and domination in the Mortal Realm of Ghur.

But where exactly is Ghur, who are the movers and shakers in the Mortal Realms, and what makes this the Age of Sigmar?

If you’re asking these questions, then you’re in the right place!

We’ve put together this handy primer that provides everything you need to know as an introduction to the Age of Sigmar setting, to make sure you’re fully in the know before leading your forces to victory in Realms of Ruin.

First there was… the end

The birth of the Mortal Realms began with the end of the World-That-Was. Defeated by the forces of Chaos, Sigmar, God-King of humanity, was cast into the void alongside the burning ruins of the World-That-Was.

Yet even the destruction of the World-That-Was wasn’t enough to crush his indomitable spirit. Drifting through the cosmos for untold eras, Sigmar was finally saved from his anguish when the Great Drake, Dracothion, led the God-King through the void to the Mortal Realms – planes of existence formed from the wreckage of the World-That-Was.

Thus began the Age of Myth.

As Sigmar wandered across the Mortal Realms, travelling through magical portals named Realmgates, he encountered other gods, spirits and beings that had survived the destruction of the World-That-Was, through their strength, divine power or plain stubbornness.

Realms of Ruin - Claim the Realm of Ghur

From these survivors Sigmar assembled his new Pantheon of Order, united in protection of the Mortal Realms and preparing for the inevitable return of the great enemy. As he had endured the death of the world, Sigmar knew that the forces that had brought about the apocalypse would also return.

From their seat of power in the realm of Azyr, the Pantheon of Order brought together the mortal remnants that had survived the destruction of the World-That-Was, founding new cities, claiming the Mortal Realms for their own and constructing bastions of order to usher in a golden age.

However, this was not to last – through the corruptible nature of the mortal races, Chaos seeped back into the world. First gaining a foothold amongst the downtrodden, cursed and selfishly ambitious, the ruinous powers slowly corrupted the weak and vain, sowing seeds of conflict across the Mortal Realms. When the discord, conflict and magic they had reaped eventually reached its apex, the strain on reality was so great that the Dark Gods were finally able to erupt into the Mortal Realms. With daemons spilling out to wreak havoc and destruction, the Age of Chaos was ushered in.

Mustering their forces, Sigmar and his Pantheon of Order were initially able to resist the encroachment of the forces of Chaos, but as the war wore on each of the pantheon turned their eyes to their own people and realms, and the alliance split asunder.

At the critical battle for the Allpoints, the place where all Realmgates meet, the god of death Nagash betrayed Sigmar. Struck by this betrayal and weakened by Chaos trickery, Sigmar was forced to retreat to Azyr, making the impossible decision to close the Realmgates behind him. This action saved the inhabitants of Azyr, but with the Allpoints surrendered to Chaos, their rampaging forces now had free access to all the other Mortal Realms and many more lives were condemned to the ravages of the ruinous powers.

Realms of Ruin - Lord of Change

While sealed in the realm of Azyr and as the forces of Chaos destroyed and tarnished the accomplishments of the Age of Myth, Sigmar was not idle. Weakened by his struggles, Sigmar knew that he alone would not be able to hold back the ruinous powers and save the Mortal Realms from endless torment.

Through great effort and toil, in this new Age of Sigmar, he completed his great work – the Stormcast Eternals. Reforged from the souls of those that had fallen fighting Chaos, the Stormcast were to be Sigmar’s champions. Clad in Sigmarite armour and bearing fearsome armaments, even were a Stormcast Eternal to fall in battle, Sigmar would reforge them once more to fight the forces of Chaos across eternity – but not without a cost…

Clashing with the forces of Chaos and campaigning across the Mortal Realms, the Stormcast Eternals established many footholds and enclaves of resistance. Over the course of only a few generations, these bastions have been defended and have grown to become the Cities of Sigmar. It is from these strongholds that Sigmar’s faithful go forth to battle the ruinous powers and reclaim the Mortal Realms for Order.

Every morning, the Crusader’s Bell rings and a new force of Stormcast Eternals and other races of Order set out; every night, fresh tales of doom and darkness return. Even as the united armies of Order claim victories, other forces stir and clash, with war raging across the realms.

The Mortal Realms

Comprising eight planes of existence, the Mortal Realms were formed from the remains of the World-That-Was. Connected by the Realmgates, each of the Mortal Realms is a world in of itself, with distinct landscapes, peoples and dangers.

Realms of Ruin - Top down view of Nighthaunt and Stormcast Eternals

The Mortal Realms are comprised of:

  • Azyr, the Realm of Heavens – the glittering Celestial Realm is the seat of Sigmar’s power and a bastion of culture and order, home to peoples from across all the realms. It is from Azyr that the Stormcast Eternal strike forth, seeking to restore Order in the name of Sigmar.
  • Aqshy, the Realm of Fire – is a land of raging passions and volatile landscapes. Aqshy is all aspects of intensity turned manifest. Ravaged and broken by the forces of Chaos, the various inhabitants of Aqshy are as fierce as the realm itself.
  • Shyish, the Realm of Death – is a place of endings and silent decline, it is comprised of all of the underworlds of the mortal inhabitants. Heavens and hells of all kinds coalesce in Shyish, but living souls also inhabit this realm alongside the dead. Nagash, God of the Dead, reigns supreme here, sending forth his undead legions to claim the souls of the living.
  • Ghyran, the Realm of Life – verdant and teeming with unbridled vegetation, Ghyran suffered at the hands of the Plague God, Nurgle, during the Age of Chaos. Inflicted with decay and pestilence, scant few regions of Ghyran have endured and remain uncorrupted under the watchful protection of the goddess Alarielle, Queen of the Radiant Wood.
  • Hysh, the Realm of Light – magic flows unbridled across this radiant realm, which was once a glowing bastion of knowledge and purity. As all realms have suffered during the Age of Chaos, so has Hysh, but its haughty inhabitants remain proud, defiant, and resolute.
  • Ulgu, the Realm of Shadow – the mirror realm to Hysh, Ulgu is a dark and gloomy place filled with secrets. Even the Realm of Shadow is called home by many mortals, but the constant conflict, scheming and ambition of its various inhabitants make it a dangerous place indeed.
  • Chamon, the Realm of Metal – a land of constant change, Chamon ebbs and flows as its sub-realms drift and move. Living up to its name, the Realm of Metal is characterised by literal mountains of bronze and deserts of iron. With its wealth of resources, the mortal inhabitants cling to their control of this realm with an iron grip.
  • Ghur, the Realm of Beasts – a savage and untamed realm where only the strongest can survive, Ghur is a land of primal tribes and creatures, where even the flora can prove deadly. Ghur has played host to many brutal conflicts, as competing powers vie to either tame, harness or simply dominate the wilds. As the setting of Realms of Ruin, Ghur will once again play host to warring armies seeking to lay claim to its secrets…

The powers at play

The forces at conflict in Age of Sigmar are as a varied as the realms themselves, with many races and powers battling to achieve their own visions for the Mortal Realms. These varied factions broadly form four Grand Alliances, whose goals (mostly) align closely enough to work alongside one another.


Realms of Ruin - Knight-Vexillor

The diametric opponents to Chaos, the forces of Order are a loose alliance of races and factions that seek to restore civilisation and the rule of law to the Mortal Realms. Despite their many differences the Grand Alliance of Order is committed to resisting the influence of Chaos, preserving their way of life and creating permanent bastions of civilisation across the Mortal Realms.

The Grand Alliance of Order is represented by the Stormcast Eternals in Realms of Ruin - the chosen warriors of Sigmar, the Stormcast are Order manifest and the greatest instrument of resistance against Chaos and the other forces at play.


Realms of Ruin - Orruk Kruleboyz

Savage warriors who live for war and violence alone, the forces of Destruction are roving warbands of brutal, bloodthirsty races. As likely to fight one another as to work together, the Grand Alliance of Destruction is united only by their appetite for war, conquest and the domination of the Mortal Realms.

The Grand Alliance of Destruction is represented by the Orruk Kruleboyz in Realms of Ruin - these cunning and devious warriors are willing to do anything to secure victory and satisfy their brutal desire for domination.


Realms of Ruin - Nighthaunt

The grave cannot contain the forces of Death, the spectral and undead servants of the Great Necromancer Nagash who seek to claim the souls of the living and subjugate all life in the Mortal Realms. Ghostly apparitions, flesh eating nobility and skeletal armies, the Grand Alliance of Death extend their deathly grip across the Mortal Realms to stamp out life and exert control from beyond the grave.

The Grand Alliance of Death is represented by the Nighthaunt in Realms of Ruin – consumed by hate, these phantoms have risen from the dead with the sole intent of annihilating all that dare to live.


Realms of Ruin - Horrors of Tzeentch

Servants of the Dark Gods, the forces of Chaos are composed of corrupted mortals who have sold their souls for personal gain, aided by the twisted daemonic manifestations of those foul deities. To truly understand the forces of Chaos is to tempt madness – they are pledged to achieve the goals of their patron gods and will commit any evil acts necessary to gain more power and favour.

The Grand Alliance of Chaos is represented by the Disciples of Tzeentch in Realms of Ruin – worshipers of the God of Change, this sorcerous army of cultists, daemons and mutant abominations seek to gain favour by satisfying the twisted machinations and unknowable plots of their patron.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin Launches 17 November 2023!

Equipped with knowledge, you now have everything you need to take to the battlefield when Realms of Ruin launches on 17 November 2023.

Take heed and pre-order NOW to reap a selection of exclusive rewards along with up to 3 days Early Unlock as offered in our Ultimate and Deluxe Editions.


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