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Lore Question: Is there anything negative/dark about Sigmar?


stillness

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Hey folks,

I'm hoping to play my first game soon, and have been reading up on the lore a bit (I have the first "Mighty Battles" book). It seems to present Sigmar and his "side" as the unabashed good guys. I'm just wondering if there is anything 40k-like in here, where yes, the humans and the Emperor are as close to "good guys" as we get, but the Imperium is far from good. There definitely seem to be fascistic tendencies in the Order alliance...

 

Or is it that this is epic fantasy and we have unabashed good guys (I mean, as presented as canon; I of course can think whatever I want about Sigmar!).

Any thoughts are appreciated. I'm just curious!

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Cool, thanks for the replies. I like the hints in the lore at Sigmar's dark rage...like, he's righteous, but he can go too far. That's how I like to see it, anyway!

but then again I'm going to be playing Slaves to Darkness / Daemons of Nurgle / Nurgle Rotbringers, so...I mayyyy be biased

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I see a lot of people having trouble understanding what the stormcasts are, and sometimes I feel like the whole "losing a little of humanity on every reforge" is throwing a lot of people off.

Many people seem to have the difficulty understanding that the stormcasts are incorruptible. Yes, they're meant to be incorruptible. In that sense, they cannot be 'persuaded' to work for chaos. BUT, this does NOT mean they cannot be tricked to work for them! No matter how faithful these stormcasts are, they are still human in every way, including intelligence and wisdom. They can be tricked, manipulated, or misdirected to strike at allies. That has yet to happen, but when people say "oh they're so boring because they're always good and incorruptible", they don't get that it can be a dual-edged blade too without going the whole "let's corrupt the incorruptible" trope so common in hollywood.

Next, Sigmar. It's completely fine to have a god of pure good. Now remember this: good is not nice. Being a good person doesn't mean you get to be nice, or benevolent. Ever ran a red light before? Littered? Spoke badly of another person? Backstabbed somebody? Told a lie? Well, you committed a minor sin and got away with it because the world isn't that ****** to stake you to every mistake you made throughout life. But a god of absolute good will purge your unclean soul no matter how small the taint is, so you better believe that good isn't actually that good at all.

Finally, this is war. Sigmar's launching a war and most mortals are caught in the midst of it. If the stormcasts need to trample a village in order to reinforce their comrades to save one of Sigmar's precious cities in the Mortal Realm, I bet your ass that they will do so without hesitation. Different chambers have different levels of empathy, like how the Hallowed Knights endangered themselves to save a village in the midst of their campaign to reach Nagash, but the stormcasts in Excelsior (City of Secrets) are not so quick to aid the common mortal, even when there's clear and present danger.

Point I'm trying to make is that "good" and "evil" are not absolute concepts. Sigmar has an agenda that involves crushing all chaos. So does Nagash, Archaon, Nurgle, Khorne, Tzeench, and the lot. So yes, there's plenty of grey areas in the lore, and more will come in the future. 

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Also, let's talk about reforging. The "losing part of your humanity" thing. It doesn't have to mean they turn into robots completely under Sigmar's command. It means they lose the unique things that make a mortal, well, mortal. Things like the capacity for emotions, empathy, self-doubt, lust, and such things. A good analogy would be a soldier who spent too much time in the frontlines. A blown up veteran squad in WW2 seeing new recruits reinforcing their companies, and can't help but see each individual as another meat for the grinder. It's well documented, and PTSD can take many many forms.

The reforging itself takes away their capability to feel such things. In the end, they become hardened warriors with no desire to partake in mortal activities, rather dedicating themselves to the cause of Sigmar. They're still human, just scarred enough that they no longer think of the days when they were still mortal.

There's a cool snippet where a lord relictor hand-picked a bunch of stormcasts who have been reforged too many times and dived into the Silver Tower to hunt down a Gaunt Summoner, and emerged victorious because the scattered minds of these stormcasts made them impervious to the machinations of tzeench. You can't confuse a person who is as single minded as these vets.

I think the most important thing people should focus about reforging is the tragedy of it. The more they get reforged, the more they become just another cog in the Sigmar war machine, and the less they think back about the days in which they are an individual

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@Ruben: Super awesome explanation! Thank you!

And for the record, I'm not opposed to a god of pure good in theory, or anything. I'm just wondering where Sigmar lies on the spectrum. Your write-up has helped clarify things a lot. Since in this universe, "good" can be defined so clearly, so black and white, it makes sense that if Sigmar is truly "good" and cannot abide any deviation from that--well, then, things get pretty interesting at that point.

The tragedy of the SE as you describe it is also really great stuff. Sorta makes me want to start collecting Stormcast.

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3 hours ago, stillness said:

Cool, thanks for the replies. I like the hints in the lore at Sigmar's dark rage...like, he's righteous, but he can go too far. That's how I like to see it, anyway!

but then again I'm going to be playing Slaves to Darkness / Daemons of Nurgle / Nurgle Rotbringers, so...I mayyyy be biased

Ill have you know the celestant prime hit a nurgle lord so hard that His  soul was sent  to sigmar  to repent.  You should reconsider  your evil ways.

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1 minute ago, Ratamaplata said:

Have any Stormcast asked to no longer be reforged?

Gotta remember this: each and every stormcast have beef against chaos. They are happy to be given a second, third, or infinite chances to fight chaos. They don't asked to be reforged, or not to. They want to keep fighting, and reforging gives them a chance to do so. I can't imagine a scenario where a stormcast would be like, aiks I'm dead, let me stay dead. With thoughts like these you won't survive the reforging at all, let alone live enough to be given the choice.

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14 minutes ago, Thor said:

Ill have you know the celestant prime hit a nurgle lord so hard that His  soul was sent  to sigmar  to repent.  You should reconsider  your evil ways.

PooR SOuL...to hAve FoRSaKen the MErCy of NuRGle.  GrAnDFaTHeR stILL lOVes HIm thOugH.  WhEN he IS DeAd and DUsT, he WIll kNOW NuRGLE once aGAiN.

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2 hours ago, stillness said:

@Ruben: Super awesome explanation! Thank you!

And for the record, I'm not opposed to a god of pure good in theory, or anything. I'm just wondering where Sigmar lies on the spectrum. Your write-up has helped clarify things a lot. Since in this universe, "good" can be defined so clearly, so black and white, it makes sense that if Sigmar is truly "good" and cannot abide any deviation from that--well, then, things get pretty interesting at that point.

The tragedy of the SE as you describe it is also really great stuff. Sorta makes me want to start collecting Stormcast.

The lore is actually shaping up quite well to be honest. I still think GW writers lack a lot of imagination when handling Stormcast's lore, but there are enough interesting nuances in it that's worth delving into. Heck, I'm writing a story about a warrior chamber right now focusing on the premise that stormcasts fear losing their battlebrothers because when they come back, they'd lose all memories of all the battles they've fought together, and essentially become strangers. The story's focus is on telling how they handle this memory loss and such.

I love to see GW avoid the whole grimdark aspects of space marines and let stormcasts be stormcasts: the paragon of virtue of all mortal realms, and then explore what happens when everybody looks up to you and you must exemplify all that is expected of you. Imagine the sheer loneliness of it to have nobody to turn to, nobody who will understand what you're going through, and having to shove all these emotions back because you're supposed to be the best of the best.

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The reforging also stops the soul of the slain warrior going where it belongs: to Nagash. I'm really excited about this particular strand of the story arc, as Nagash is mighty peeved that Sigmar is deliberately denying Nagash what's rightfully his.

Cracking thread btw! [emoji1360]


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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6 hours ago, stillness said:

@Ruben: Super awesome explanation! Thank you!

And for the record, I'm not opposed to a god of pure good in theory, or anything. I'm just wondering where Sigmar lies on the spectrum. Your write-up has helped clarify things a lot. Since in this universe, "good" can be defined so clearly, so black and white, it makes sense that if Sigmar is truly "good" and cannot abide any deviation from that--well, then, things get pretty interesting at that point.

The tragedy of the SE as you describe it is also really great stuff. Sorta makes me want to start collecting Stormcast.

Oh, stormcasts are a pretty tragic figure. This is in the FIRST page of their battletome (the current one):

THE PRICE OF IMMORTALITY
There is not always time for the Reforging to run smooth;after all, these demigod warriors have no time for respite.
Many who undergo the mystical transformation lose a part of themselves in the process; each time they return to
Sigmar’s forge, there is a higher chance they will emerge altered in mind as well as in body. This is troubling in the
extreme for the Stormcast Eternals, for under their shining battle armour they are still in part human, with all the
hopes, fears and ambitions that come with that birthright. Some find their flaws rising to the surface – the sudden
destructive impulses of the Blackhammers, for instance, or the Hammers of Sigmar’s inability to accept failure. Many
Stormhosts, the Celestial Vindicators foremost amongst them, feel a burning need to wreak revenge upon those

who enslave the people of the Mortal Realms. Others find lightning crackling from their gaze when their ire is
raised, or thunder rumbling under their every word. Some haunted souls whisper that to be reforged too many times
is to relinquish one’s former existence altogether, becoming a creature of celestial energy that is both less than human
and far more at the same time. The truth is not yet known.

 

 

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5 hours ago, BrAiKo said:

How bout that time when Sigmar abandoned all of his mortal realms followers to be consumed by Chaos while he went back to Azyr to sulk.  Good times.

Yup they bring that up in the search for nagash audio drama, when the lord relictor said nagash was a coward and mannfred retorted with this line. 

Also in warhammer quest the punishment for high treason or colluding with chaos is getting thrown off a bridge in the shadow of sigmar's grand cathedral into a river of molten lava no simple execution. Oh and sigmar seems a ok to use the blood of flagellants, while flagellating themselves I add to purify/consecrate the ground of where they are going to set up a city or fort. 

Do also remember when he was mortal he thought them as simply crazy people and now has given them his stamp of approval. In my opinion this picture looks dark as hell. 

Good does not equal nice. 

58a955e8a6713_SCFlagellants.jpg.2c6d6caa

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5 hours ago, Thor said:

Ill have you know the celestant prime hit a nurgle lord so hard that His  soul was sent  to sigmar  to repent.  You should reconsider  your evil ways.

Yup those killed by the celestant prime and ghal maraz have their souls spirited away to be "judged" by sigmar. 

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Also remember that Sigmar is perfectly fine with sending even the most broken and devoted of humanity among Stormcasts to battle time and time again even if they clearly pose danger to their allies as well as civilians. To be fair one can only imagine how tired and desperate Sigmar has to be by this point after all the losses he've suffered.

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Uh guys can't you see that Sigmar has brainwashed the Stormcast? They can't disobey him. They never think for themselves. They used to be regular people but the reforging process robs them if their free will even the very first time. They can't even remember their former lives very well. They don't get a choice to join him or be reforged. This lack of freedom is very evil in my opinion.

This is explored in the text in the Realmgate series when Nagash is impressed by this and wants to do the same with his people. If Nagash wants to copy your technique it's probably not a moral kind of thing lol

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All the bits about the deepening flaws, like more intense battle rage and increasing lust for vengeance makes me wonder if GW is foreshadowing an eventual fall for a couple of the hosts.  They probably would not go full Horus Heresy but I could see a few of the more reforged hosts being eventually corrupted by chaos. Would be kind of cool.   

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20 minutes ago, TheWilddog said:

All the bits about the deepening flaws, like more intense battle rage and increasing lust for vengeance makes me wonder if GW is foreshadowing an eventual fall for a couple of the hosts.  They probably would not go full Horus Heresy but I could see a few of the more reforged hosts being eventually corrupted by chaos. Would be kind of cool.   

I had an idea for a modelling project to mix a unit of Liberators with some Nurgle Blightkings to make a cool conversion, with some fluff behind it.  Basically, tired of losing parts of themselves to the reforging process they undergo, some Stormcast look to some means of escaping this, and find Nurgle's welcoming embrace.

The same could work for Nagash and a Death faction as well.

But back to the topic, good and evil are, in good stories, subjective.  Changing the point of view in a story to the "villain" should make them seem the good guy.  A decently written character will have flaws, hopes, strengths, and weaknesses.  To start viewing the story from the perspective of the villain should also be the flipping of the hero's and villain's positions.  Sure, there are some exceptions, but in those cases the villain is a powerful force to be a constant threat and obstacle for the protagonists to overcome, but then those villains become narrative devices more so than proper characters.

To me, I thought it was a clever writing move for Sigmar to get all pouty and turn his back on the Mortal Realms for a while.  If he was truly "good", would he have done that?  Sometimes reaching a better end goal is more important than an immediate threat.

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5 hours ago, xking said:

What are you talking about, Stormcast do get a choice to join him and be reforged when he first take them.

I'm talking about Tarsus Bullheart. He seems pretty miffed that Sigmar abducted him from the battle he was trying to fight to save his people when he finally remembers. I don't remember a scene in that audio drama recounting Sigmar explaining the painful and mind altering process of becoming a Stormcast to Tarsus and giving him the choice to go back to the battle if he's not interested. But, if you can quote a part I've forgotten then I'm all ears.

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I found this rare footage depicting Sigmar oppressing defenceless humans in Azyrheim:

 

 

 

Sigmar is the average tyrant ruling with an iron fist. Typical dictator sending is lapdogs (also known as stormcasts) to "correct" what he doesn't like.

 

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@stillness if you want to know more about the mortal Sigmar, you can read the anthology "the legend of Sigmar" by Graham McNeill - there you can get a lot of insights in his thinking which I suppose is also the foundation of actions in the AoS. He definitely knew Love, hate, anger and guile back in the world that was but elevated himself above it step by step while forging the empire.

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Some say that Sigmar has a dark laboratory deep in the bowels of Azyrheim where unknown to his people he works tirelessly amid a maze of coloured alembics and bubbling cauldrons. Muttering to himself about creating 20 pure and righteous sons to carry forth his plans for the realms and his rage against Chaos. 

Or not. :-p

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