"The path to paradise begins in hell."
- – Dante Alighieri
"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden."
- – Matthew 5:14
Azyr was originally the Wind of Magic related to all things celestial, such as stars, lightning, and similar phenomena. In the Age of Sigmar it has become the realm of Sigmar himself, and the main stronghold of civilization and order in the multiverse. Needless to say, it's the greatest source of resistance against the forces of Chaos.
- 1 Warhammer Fantasy Battle
- 2 The Realm of Azyr
- 3 Forces of Azyr
- 4 Azyr's fauna
- 5 See Also
Warhammer Fantasy Battle
Back in the good old days of yore and the Winds of Magic, Azyr was the blue wind related with the heavens. As such, its users were skilled in Astromancy, invoking skills such as divination, casting lightning, and summoning comets. The lore surrounding Azyr was founded in its capability to bring understanding and comprehension even where none should exist. Azyr was therefore associated with dreams, theory, and scholarly desire - or, dare we say, hope but without the chaotic implications. Back during the earlier days of The Empire, the Chaos God Tzeentch managed to trap Sigmar within the Azyr. However this didn't go as well as expected as Azyr became linked to Sigmar's essence and, when the magical winds were released during The End Times, Sigmar returned as one of the magical Incarnates united against Chaos, AKA The Warhammer Avengers (Obviously he was Captain America).
The Realm of Azyr
At the climax of the End Times Sigmar couldn't save the
EarthThe-World-That-Was and was sucked, along with Archaon, into a world-ending Chaos Vortex. But being everyone's Games Workshop's favourite God- EmperorKing, he came back. Sigmar, the wind of Azyr, and the core of Warhammer's world (baptized Mallus, which means Hammer in latin-lite, so yeah, the Warhammer's world name was "Hammer") managed to survive, flung into the reaches of space. After making pals with the godly star-drake Dracothion (Who may or may not be Sotek all along), who has the power to restart realities (read: set a new stage of existence despite everything getting bombed by the above mentioned Chaos Vortex), Sigmar was introduced to the Mortal Realms where he set out to rebuild all he has lost. Azyr itself formed the basis of the Realm of Heavens and was the first realm Sigmar set foot in. Here, the core of The-World-That-Was became Sigmar's base-of-operations.
Meanwhile, the Lizardmen, now
space dinosaurs Seraphon, after the destruction of The-World-That-Was, drifted the void in their temple-ships until they too found Dracothion, maybe he is really Sotek, right? The star-drake helped settle the Seraphon in High Azyr (read: near space), where not even the Chaos Gods could reach, allowing for our scaly friends to start their task of ridding the Cosmos of Chaos once and for all.
Age of Myth
Over long centuries Sigmar built up the Realm of Azyr, taking full advantage of his immortality to ensure that there would be no End Times 2.0. From his palace-city Sigmaron, Sigmar directed his utopia: Azyr became a confluence for all races, epitomised in the celestial city Azyrheim where Human, Aelf, and Duardin coexisted peacefully. Beyond Azyr, Sigmar succeeded in forming a massive alliance with the other 7 realms and laughing off the first attempts of Chaos to do its thing and destroy his shiny new worlds.
Age of Chaos
However, Chaos still had Archaon up their collective sleeve, who happened to have as much plot-armour as Sigmar as GW needed some sort of apocalyptic war (I mean, it is a wargame). So yeah, Chaos managed to conquer 7 of the 8 realms and ensure their corruption.
Sigmar, of course, was very pissed off. Like the Emprah, Sigmar decided he would need Space Marines. Unlike Emprah, he decided it would be a very good idea to make them immune to Chaos right from the start. Sigmar already had "warp" powers in the form of the wind of Azyr, so he did the intelligent thing and closed the gates of Azyr and activated some sort of camo-field so not even Tzeentch would see what he was doing.
After many failed attempts to force the Gates of Azyr, Chaos decided to ignore them. This made a lot of Chaos Lords very bored, wishing for a real challenge as preying on little post-apocalyptic tribes loses all its appeal after a couple of millennia.
Meanwhile, back in Azyr, and after long brooding and meditation, Sigmar started his great work. Across the centuries he worked with the Duardin god Grungni to forge a new weapon against Chaos. His tears of sorrow cooled the metal, as he was capable to see what Archie & Co were doing with the other realms (eg: turning people into statues by dropping molten silver over them). Eventually his weapon was ready: the Stormcast Eternals, the souls of adept warriors re-forged as divine soldiers. The Stormcast would form the tip of a lance composing the innumerable armies which Azyr now mustered against Chaos after their hundreds of years of peace (we wish the old Empire and the Imperium had had this).
Age of Sigmar
Sigmar launched his armies, with the Stormcast Eternals as his superhuman shock troopers who give zero fucks about daemonically empowered vikings and chaos shenanigans. They were followed by the Devoted of Sigmar (Azyr's church militant and contamination treatment department), the Free People (Imperial Guard/badass normals, read: the good, old Empire), the Collegiate Arcanum (Azyr's battle magic) and the Ironweld Arsenal (because Sigmar may have realized even daemons have a hard time against tanks and artillery).
The forces of Azyr were aided by Aelf and Duardin auxiliaries, Fyreslayer mercenaries, and the mysterious and ostensibly random help of the Seraphon (we like our space psychic frogs!) Together they managed to establish beachheads all across the 7 Chaos-tainted realms and began the process of purifying and expanding the held territories, making Azyr the first Games Workshop kingdom of order to make a true comeback since... Since forever, which is something many Imperial and order-aligned fans actually feel very happy, indeed, the Sun will Rise Again. Of course, the majority of players who liked the old Empire still hate this.
During the current edition Sigmar's armies have managed to liberate many territories of Mortal Realms and establish Azyrite cities and strongholds, this process has allowed to bring civilization back to many native tribes and rise new regiments and battleforces, however and despite Sigmar's decree that everyone is equal, Azyr's citizens often see with suspicion and mistrust the descendants of the reclaimed tribes, this may prove problematic as the Ruinous Powers could take hold of both discriminator and discriminated to break apart Azyr's achievement, in fact it has happened, which is the reason why Sigmar has created the Order of Azyr, the AoS Inquisition, using many of the methods of their 40k equivalent to do the job.
Forces of Azyr
These are the most representative forces of Azyr, being supplied by auxiliaries whose origins are from other realms.
Sigmar's elite, aka Sigmarines, they are like Grey Knights with far less grimdark and more humanity. Like the Space Marines they sport a wide array of variants such as the basic Liberator, the air-borne prosecutor, the heavy infantry Paladins and the Extremis Chamber heavy cavalry. Similar to Space Marine Chapters they are organized in self-contained Stormhosts. Unlike the Space Marines each one of them was created from a mortal hero who willingly chose to fight Chaos in a doomed last-stand and are infused with the essence of Azyr itself. They are still in the process of getting additional background as right now most of the art we see is from the Hammers of Sigmar Stormhost, hopefully with the years we may have more fluff for each Stormhost, on that note, it's important to clarify that while the Hammers of Sigmar have gold and blue in their armor the guys with the most Ultramarines-like color pattern are the Tempest Lords.
Devoted of Sigmar
The church of Sigmar, bringing back flagellants, badass warrior priests and witch hunters, nobody expects the Azyr Inquisition! They are good at cleaning KAY-OSS via whips and faith, unlike the old Empire's Church or the Ecclesiarchy they seem to be very cool guys, making an effort to conciliate the people under the banner of Order, and their priests have healing and shielding powers, they wont necessarily choose as first step to bash the head of anyone who is not aligned with Sigmar, also, they seem to get along with the Stormcast Eternals, who in turn recognize their job in the name of the God-King, by the way, the Silver Tower of Tzeentch features a black priest, which shows GeeDubs has finally started to be more serious with the matter of racial diversity.
Proprietors of spells and arcane devices to channel the power of the God-King, with the very nature of Azyr being highly effective against Chaos. Aside from lending magical support in battle the Collegiate can develop magic devices and materials for peacetime projects, using them to bolster the economy and assets of the Realm of Azyr and help in the founding of new cities in the liberated realms.
The rank and file of Azyr forces, the grunts, the doughboys, the duckfoots, only this time they can see their god and know that he truly cares about them and fights at his side. They are the old Empire if things haven't gone so bad during its 2500 years of story, brought back as the citizens of Azyrheim, and they will fight Chaos with honest-to-Sigmar human courage, greatswords, handguns and grit.
Say hello to the 19th century! Steam-punk tanks and artillery. We hope you didn't throw away your Steam Tank when The End Times happened, but with this faction being so awesome you may want to bring a Leman Russ tank instead. As seen in the novel City of Secrets many cities of Azyr have regiments which count with some artillery teams and Steam Tanks, allowing them to fight off both enemy formations and airborne menaces, and even take down large monstrous creatures.
While there is no formal alliance between Sigmar's armies and the Seraphon, both forces seem to recognize they have aligned goals; both have fought Chaos side by side. No other realm can boast magical space dinosaurs, or psychic frogs with the power to crush continents. The Seraphon seem to have inherited the poor communication skills of the Lizardmen, on the other hand, they have become far more effective as they are anti-Chaos beings, with the essence being that of Azyr's wind of magic.
Azyr has its own fauna, most of which follows the theme of dragons, felines and eagles (and combinations thereof). They're often described as having a keen intelligence and are associated with lightning or stars. Some major examples are as follows:
Considered the Children of Dracothion, they usually live in high place, once they die they reincarnate, however, like certain space elves, the coming of Chaos has made the process difficult. There is a pact between their kind and the Stormcasts to fight together against the Ruinous Powers, with the Stardrakes being capable of taking down Greater Daemons on their own. Like Stormcast, they return to Azyr after death to be reborn, barring magical nonsense preventing them from doing so.
Theories are that they may be hatchlings of Stardrakes, while other people say they are a completely different race. Like the Stardrakes, they work together with the Stormcast Eternals to remove the taint of Chaos. Apparently Vandus Hammerhand, the guy of The Gates of Azyr, was the first one to tame one of them.
Mountain dwelling reptilian thunder cats that sharpen and charge their claws on Celestium.
Giant flying star goats. Normally found in the void between realms but have made roost around Sigmar's space station, Sigmarabulum. Their favorite past time is headbutting dangerous asteroids into people.
Because the Mortal Realms are too cool to settle with the common griffon, Azyr boasts an impressive variety of creatures of the griffin family. There are four varieties currently:
- Griffon: The ol' chicken we all know and love. Frequently employed by the high-ranking members and leaders of the Free Guilds and Collegiate Arcane as mounts. They grow rather big and sometimes can naturally develop a second head at birth.
- Demigryph: Another returning type from WHFB. Unable to fly, this species is used as mounts by heavy cavalry units, most commonly the Free Guilds' Demigryph Knights.
- Gryph-hounds: The good bork-birbs. These are new. Similar in body to demigrypghs but smaller (like a big dog, give or take) they are employed as attack hounds or watchdogs as they can detect dangers at distance and are rather ferocious. Both the Stormcast Eternals and the Devoted of Sigmar can use them. Look at the one accompanying the Excelsior Warpriest. Surprisingly cute.
- Gryph-chargers: Another new species. The size of a big demigryph but faster and more agile, with the ability to carry considerable weight. They are perfect for rough terrain and/or scouting. Weirdly, they are the only variant with horns, and considering they have hooves instead paws like the other variants, they actually resemble hippogriffons more than griffons. Usually employed by the Stormcast Eternals' Vanguard Chambers as mounts to Palladors and Lords Aquilor.
- Dragon Ogors: Former residents of Azyr before Sigmar kicked them out with his no chaos policy, renaming themselves the "Thunderscorn" in memory of this.
- Sigmar, the ruler, incarnate and god of this realm.
- Terra, the roughest equivalent you may find in Warhammer 40,000, minus the noble-bright.
- The Empire (Warhammer Fantasy), the predecessor and first attempt of Sigmar to make a better place to live for humans and their allies.
|The Nine Realms of the Age of Sigmar|
|Aqshy - Azyr - Chamon - Ghur - Ghyran - Hysh - Shyish - Ulgu - Realm of Chaos|