The different kingdoms and peoples of the Eight Realms have their own unique ways to mark time and record their history. There are three distinct ages, however, that overshadow everything, and it is these great epochs that have most shaped the Eight Realms.
In the Age of Myth, Sigmar explored each realm: Aqshy, Shyish, Ghur, Ulgu, Chamon, Ghyran, Hysh and Azyr. On his journey, he met many enclaves of primitive mortals. After Sigmar vanquished rampaging monsters or drove them from their lands, the tribes came to worship him as their God-King.
It began as a streak in the endless black void. Clinging to the molten core of the Broken World, Sigmar hurtled unchecked through the dark ether. Attracted by the careening orb, Dracothion – the Great Drake – discovered Sigmar’s battered form and sensed a kindred spirit. Reviving the god with a warming breath, Dracothion befriended Sigmar and showed him the secret paths that led to the Eight Realms.
During his travels, Sigmar encountered and awakened many other gods, building an alliance with them. The Age of Myth was full of such tales. It was in Aqshy that the duardin god Grimnir met his doom fighting fell Vulcatrix.
Grateful to be awoken, many gods pledged to aid Sigmar and the nascent civilisations. A golden age followed, a time of cooperation. Eldritch tempests brought the taint of Chaos, but these early attacks were repulsed by the strong union of many peoples and their gods. Only when the alliance faltered did a new age begin.
Sigmar faced Archaon’s armies at the Battle of Burning Skies. Wielding Ghal Maraz, the God-King was nigh unstoppable as he strode through the fray, striking down Greater Daemons of each of the Dark Gods in turn. When Sigmar at last faced the Everchosen, Archaon’s trickery robbed him of his hammer, turning the tide of battle in favour of Chaos and forcing Sigmar and his armies to retreat.
The Age of Chaos began in blood and betrayal. So devastating were the first invasions that people would later know them as the Red Century. Armies were mustered to halt them, but with old alliances shattered, and every faction fearing further treachery, no single power could stand before the forces of the Dark Gods.
It was a dark age that swallowed enlightenment and spat out in its place cruelty, enslavement and despair. The realms returned to savage states, the ruins of the brief utopia buried beneath the weight of wars untold.
Such was the speed at which Archaon’s armies rampaged across the Mortal Realms that Sigmar was forced to seal the Gates of Azyr for fear that they would reach Sigmaron itself. The God-King gave the order just as Archaon’s banners crested the horizon. Denied his prize, Archaon turned his attention to the remaining realms, venting his wrath upon those peoples the God-King had abandoned.
From the seeds of conflict sown across the Jade Kingdoms, wars beyond counting grew to bloody fruition. Though Khorne sent eight times eight legions through the Gates of Chogkorr, and though Tzeentch sank his claws into those kingdoms richest in magical lore, it was Nurgle that committed the greatest hosts to conquer the Realm of Life.
After the Gates of Azyr were closed, campaigns were fought to rid the Heavens of Evil. Enclaves of orruks and creatures that bore the taint of Chaos were hunted down, first by the armies of Azyrheim and then by the newly formed Stormhosts. Mythic beasts remain in Azyr to this day, but none bear any trace of corruption.
Not all training was monster hunting. A gift from Malerion, the enchanted dome of the Gladitorium enabled the Stormcasts to fight each other, yet arise unharmed when battle was done. In the greatest exercises, entire Stormhosts were pitted against each other in thunderous war drills.
At long last the God-King unleashed his Stormhosts. Shining and resplendent, the armoured might of the Stormcast Eternals launched a new era with their spearhead assaults to open the Realmgates. These marked the first counter-strikes in a new war to throw off the dominion of Chaos.
Sigmar first struck in the Brimstone Penninsula, where Vandus Hammerhand's Thunderstrike Brotherhood seized the first Gate of Azyr. Now war rages across the realms, the God-King's tempest never tiring.
With the coming of Sigmar's Storm, the sylvaneth found fresh allies. From Briarhaven to the Gnarled Spire, the sylvaneth went into battle alongside the Stormcast Eternals. Meanwhile, in Ghyran, the Lady of Vines helped the Stormcasts find Athelwyrd with hope in her heartwood, little knowing what would come next.
From the Heavens of Azyr came the echoing roar of the great Dracothion, a sound that sent ripples through the stars themselves. Upon the Sigmarabulum – the artificial ring around Mallus where could be found the laboratories, sky-vaults, forges, and barracks of Sigmar – a series of sigil-sealed gates unlocked, the first sign that something stirred deep within the sealed Vaults Extremis.
In the Realm of Metal lay hidden a mighty secret - Ghal Maraz. Many of the God-King's Stormhosts descended on Tzeentch's minions in the Eldritch Fortress to reclaim the weapon. Vandus Hammerhand, Lord-Celestant of the Hammers of Sigmar at last returned the legendary Skull Splitter to Azyr.
Determined to stem the endless tide of Chaos reinforcements flowing from the Allpoints, Sigmar unleashed all of his available Stormhosts in an attempt to deny Archaon his greatest asset in the Realmgate Wars. After many terrible battles, the Genesis Gate and the Brimfire Gate were wrested from the Everchosen's grasp.
The three cities known as the Seeds of Hope are established as Nurgle finds his power waning. Fast-tracked by Alarielle’s life-magic, the cities of Greywater Fastness, the Living City and the Phoenicium spring into existence.