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Lore question: How did humans end up in the mortal realms?


Greyshadow
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Lore buffs - I have a question for you prompted by the new Age of Sigmar website. I am aware this is shrouded in mystery but we do know via Phil Kelly that some survived the destruction of the world-that-was through arcane means, divine intervention or resurrection. We can surmise that the collapsing of the Old One's gateway that destroyed the Old World would likely have time warping effects. I can imagine some humans arriving in the mortal realms millennia apart despite being saved around the same time. Could this be right? Some further questions:

1. Are the humans who walk the mortal realms descendants from survivors from the world-that-was? (My feeling is they must be).

2. If so, do we know any more about how they were saved?

3. Is the Realm of the Dead from the Old World in any way connected with Shyish? Did it become part of Shyish? Is this how some were able to be resurrected? 

I know answering these questions may involve educated guesses but I'm interested to know what people think.

Edited by Greyshadow
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Unsure on the first two.  But my understanding is the realms formed from the old winds of magic, the wind of shyish (we'll just call it Amethyst to differentiate from the realm) was always stronger when there was a link to death of some kind - including the Realm of the Dead.  From which we can surmise that the Amethyst Wind would have been imprinted with the Realm of the Dead in some way, so as this became the Realm of Shyish, there must be something of the Realm of the Dead there - even if just a "ghost".

Ultimately we don't know what happened to souls in the World that Was.  It's possible when the world was destroyed, the souls of everything ended up floating in the same way Sigmar did and Shyish acted as a lodestone to collect them all together.  Alternatively it may be the souls of the World that Was that combined with the winds of magic that created the Realms - it would certainly explain why souls are critical to so many beings within the realms and how Sigmar and Nagash have been able to pluck specific souls out.

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Because the Age of Sigmar is the 3rd age in the new Mortal Realms and because the Age of Myth was the height of power and prograss, but also the first age followed by the Age of Chaos, the lore itself is hazy on details.

 

Clearly many/some of the old gods and former beings of power managed to survive the end of the old world falling and any of the ruinous powers of Chaos also managed to cling to life within the Warp and persist. However it would seem that the Realms are made of new life and new material considering how some have giant dragons as the sun and others have other vast beasts (eg worms that carry cities upon their backs). So it would be sensible to think that whilst much of the old world and its magic is part of the Mortal Realms, there is also new material floating around that has gathered and collected together. 

The souls of the old world appear to have shattered into a few states. Some were taken by Chaos; some by Nagash, others appear to have been stolen away by other gods or escaped to float in the ether. Some of the most early souls in the Mortal Realms might have been born from souls that escaped the fall of the Old world and a few of the most early peoples might have escaped with some of the godlike beings. However by the time of hte Age of Sigmar only a handful of those most powerful god or demi god beings are from the old world. The rest are born of the Mortal Realms - new fresh souls from new peoples who have advanced, fallen and had many generations already. 

The only souls now that are recycled are Sigmar's Stormcast who appear to be mostly souls from the Age of Myth not the Old World; and old, slightly damaged, Aelf souls harvested from Slaanesh's belly. Indeed the lore is a bit hazy on aelves and such, but we must assume that the Aelf is the natural elf of the Mortal Realms into which Elves are identical enough to breed and appear as kin when their souls are returned to life and crafted by their god/demigod patrons (even if some are damaged). 

 

For the Aelves I think souls are critical because releasing them is to defeat and do a killing blow to the great Prince who stole so many from the old world. To give their Aelf peoples a bit of a boost; though it also appears to be a means by which the new gods are messing with creation and creating new peoples from those souls (even though thus far both examples are somewhat broken - the Idoneth being unable to breed properly and create new life; the Khinerai and Melusai having their bodies warped by Chaos influence*)

For Sigmar and Nagash the souls are important because they represent the foundations of armies; fast grown armies for Sigmar and for Nagash mostly his entire force of power. Though the Slaan also have a reservoir of their peoples souls held apart from all others.

*Lore is unclear if all Melusai and Khinerai are created by Morathi direct or if they can breed - either with regular Aelves or with male versions that are kept hidden and contained by Morathi). 

Edited by Overread
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Also for what its worth, in the PC game Vermintide (set in the World that was) you could travel to the Realm of Shadow via a portal created by a Grey Wizard,  so its reasonable to believe wizards could travel to these realms or create gates to these realms, but in the past were too inhospitable or perhaps just not discussed much in Warhammer Fantasy. 

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26 minutes ago, Lord Veshnakar said:

Also for what its worth, in the PC game Vermintide (set in the World that was) you could travel to the Realm of Shadow via a portal created by a Grey Wizard,  so its reasonable to believe wizards could travel to these realms or create gates to these realms, but in the past were too inhospitable or perhaps just not discussed much in Warhammer Fantasy. 

That's probably not the same "Realm of Shadow". Mortal Realms was created when the winds of magic released during destruction of the World-that-was "crystalized".

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Thanks for the great replies, all very interesting indeed. The reason I feel they must be survivors is that in the lore humans were created by an ancient star faring race and not by evolution. In the chaos of the worlds destruction there were pockets, eyes in the storm, where part of the Old World survived intact. The Spear of Mallus in Ghur is evidence of this. A whole chunk of land that was teleported out of time to land intact in a fully formed Ghur millennia later. We know with this kind of warp travel that from the point of view of someone travelling with the spear, it could be all over in minutes.

I think perhaps powerful magic users could have shielded pockets of humanity who ended up falling out of time only to emerge in the fully formed Mortal Realms. Survivors like this would likely revert to a tribal existence but maybe keep the key elements of their culture alive. These may account for the humans who were present when Sigmar arrived in the Mortal Realms.

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One thing the lore conveys very poorly is the span of time. The Age of Myth was a long period where the Realms were colonised and Sigmar walked land already teaming with peoples and life; bringing Order and Civilization to them. So before the great cities were even built there were many generations of the Mortal Realms. Morathi and her Son wandered in the Shadowlands for many years - only meeting few people and Morathi met more shadow creatures than humanoids.

At the height of the Age of Myth vast cities were founded, beasts tamed and the lands put to order. Generations were born and tied. 

Then the Age of Chaos came and all crumbled to dust. Whilst the Chaos Age is shorter and appears to be a few generations it still smashed most of the realms into desolation and  eroded mighty cities into ruins. The peoples that survived these times were hunted and predated upon by chaos. They were only the hardy, the lucky and the sneaky who survived those ages. 

The Age of Sigmar is a rebirth after a vast Stormcast assault pushed back Chaos from many realms and allowed old cities to be retaken and for peoples to start to rebuild. 

 

 

So in general any wizards or peoples that did escape the fall of the old world are long gone by now. Only a handful might have made it through, most of them are gods or demigods (wizards of extreme power); enough to survive not just the span of years but also the vast corruption and invasion of Chaos. Even the old cultures of past peoples that survived will have been buried under so many generations of change and erosion that, even without Chaos invading and destroying much, so little would have survived in its original form that it would be almost impossible (Although if you read Pestilens you can find that some relics have survived from the old era).

 

Now there might be some that manage to survive in hiding within the ether; hwo appear a if crashed to the realms having been held in some kind of stasis or pushed forward in time. But this would be exceptional.

 

 

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@Overread, I agree that if humans did make their way to the Mortal Realms from the Old World this stopped happening early in the Age of Myth likely as the last pieces of the Mortal Realms came into the existence. These individuals are long dead, countless generations ago. I wonder though if they did bring elements of their culture with them. The Sons of the Breton and the Crimson Monarchy apparently have culture that has crossed from the Old World to the new without having a God who could have just re-introduced it. Perhaps this explains in part why the Freeguild resemble the Empire of the Old World?

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Agreed there are some lasting influences, however some of it I think is just design similarity from the model end of things. I think also some of it comes because currently if a force hasn't got a battletome its lore is VERY light. So a lot of things can appear similar on the surface because there's little to push change. I think as more lore comes out and as its marketed and people get involved and chat about it we will see bigger changes; with some areas clinging to old ways as old gods/heroes/mages push them forward whlist others have huge changeovers. 

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20 minutes ago, Overread said:

...some of it I think is just design similarity from the model end of things.

Yes, also the way the core book presents the citizens of the Mortal Realms suggests to me that if GW were to re-do the free peoples it would be something significantly different to the current range.  The pseudo historic Empire models would become a lot more high fantasy in my opinion. Also, over the thousands of years I'd imagine the cultures would change too. 

I do think that any new range would retain some of the existing imagery, the way Hammerhal is portrayed makes me think this as well as how established the current design is in the gaming public's consciousness. 

Edited by Greyshadow
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3 hours ago, Greyshadow said:

@Overread, I agree that if humans did make their way to the Mortal Realms from the Old World this stopped happening early in the Age of Myth likely as the last pieces of the Mortal Realms came into the existence. These individuals are long dead, countless generations ago. I wonder though if they did bring elements of their culture with them. The Sons of the Breton and the Crimson Monarchy apparently have culture that has crossed from the Old World to the new without having a God who could have just re-introduced it. Perhaps this explains in part why the Freeguild resemble the Empire of the Old World?

As far as Dwarfs are concerned, they kept their language from the Old World (the names of the Kharadron skyports are all in Khazalid, for example). 

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The people in the mortal realms during the Age of Sigmar are descendants of the people that survived the Age of Chaos and those where descendants of the people that lived during the Age of Myth. So any normal humans/elves/ dwarves/beasts/etc that would have made it out of the End Times of the Old World died a long time ago unless the are some sort of Demigod, Liche or resurrected or something along those lines. 

 

Each age is over a 1000 years, and we've already passed 100 years in the Age of Sigmar where the newer generations of peoples don't remember the Realm Gate Wars.

Edited by Wraith01
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10 hours ago, Ointagru said:

As far as Dwarfs are concerned, they kept their language from the Old World (the names of the Kharadron skyports are all in Khazalid, for example). 

Very good point, I think things are starting to become clear enough for me. Based on the current evidence, some life, including humans, survived the destruction of the Old World and emerged when the Realms were formed enough to support life.  Civilisation as we knew it collapsed but elements of the old culture survived.  This was the dawn of the Age of Myth.

Can I say this for sure? No, the lore is too vague but I think this is probably the most likely explanation.

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I believe that the Fyreslayers battletome refers to them as descendants of Grimnir. Whether it should be taken literally or not I can't say, but it may provide a model where some gods didn't just save a race from the World-that-Was, but maybe even re birthed or recreated favored species.

At least I like the idea of Fyreslayers fighting (literally) about who has a more direct hereditary lineage to Grimnir.

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15 minutes ago, RuneBrush said:

+++MOD HAT+++

I've just hidden a number of comments that weren't contributing towards what this discussion is about.

@Orsino please refrain from bringing the "GW want to make money" discussion into topics that are clearly talking about background Lore.

The point was about why there's always going to be an ambiguity in the lore, it was directly answering the question and there was some fruitful discussion there. If you're going to delete my posts because you don't like my opinion that's your perogative but I don't really appreciate the insinuation I was somehow highjacking the discussion.

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11 hours ago, Cambot1231 said:

Didnt the wood elves take refuge in a pocket realm for a while that balekor was trying to find ( i seem to recall something like that).

Yes, I think that was Haven. I remember it got compromised but this certainly suggests what you are suggesting is very possible.

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