- Warcry of Sigmar, announcing his awesomeness
"The simple act of caring is heroic."
- – Edward Albert
"If you learn from defeat, you haven't really lost."
- – Zig Ziglar
Sigmar Unberogen, known also as Sigmar Heldenhammer, Sigmar Bjornsson, Hammer of Orcs and The Chosen of Ulric, is the founder of the Empire and its current patron deity. In life, Sigmar was a chieftain of the Unberogen tribe, son of
The Emperor the legendary hero Bjorn Unberogen, and bearer of Ghal-Maraz, the warhammer for which the games are named. As a god, he is the patron of the Empire in battle, good governance, and shouting. His symbols are the Warhammer, twin-tailed comet, and griffon.
has never been satisfactorily explained why the Church of Sigmar insists that its brethren go bald when all depictions of Sigmar have long, flowing, unkempt hair would obviously be a monstrous heresy to even try and imitate such holy hair, so the Church made sure the priests wouldn't have any in the first place.
It is customary to read his lines in the Legend of Sigmar in the voice Mel Gibson used to play William Wallace. This is funny because Graham McNeill is Scottish. Therefore, it will likely serve to piss him off to no end.
The End Times and Age of Sigmar has Sigmar coming back. He'd ascended to godhood before his death, which also explains why the Warrior Priests hold a special sort of power, not unlike magic. However, Games Workshop finally gave Tzeentch some love, and had it that he had trapped Sigmar in the Wind of Heavens to prevent him from messing with the Chaos Gods plans. After the Vortex on Ulthuan is destroyed the Wind, under Sigmar's direction, enters the body of Emperor Karl Franz after his death. Sigmar, now in Franz's body, adjusts it to look like his old self and goes on a saving-the-good-guys-while-beating-up-the-baddies spree of awesome. After the end of the old Warhammer World, Sigmar survives the Apocalypse, and with the help of Dracothion (Sotek all along?) uses the metal core of the world-that-was as a platform to unify and civilize the realms of a reborn reality, ascending to full godhood in the process. He even gets his own elite warriors of sorts.
Also, he's a far better person than the Emperor of Mankind, but that's not exactly difficult to achieve considering the Emperor being an inscrutable big plans in plans to outplan assholes bigger than me guy which makes him a huge dick by default while Sigmar takes the simple approach of see big monster = apply hammer to head.
Unlike that black-haired proto-Sumerian we have a good idea what Sigmar really looked like without resorting to palanquins created by zealots. Sigmar was a giant, broad muscular manly motherfucker with red hair that was grown too damn long, and some badass armored boots meant for stomping on the skulls of green skins and beastmen. Uniquely, he had mismatched eyes with one green and one blue. He wielded a dwarven warhammer, Ghal-Maraz, which is best-known as the symbol of Warhammer Fantasy itself. In early editions the symbol was the hammer of the Chaos champion, Harald Hammerstorm.
With Age of Sigmar his hair is a clear tone of brown and he has a long beard, helping to make his parallels to Odin seem more obvious.
The Imperial Calendar (IC) which starts from his coronation by the Ar-Ulric (if you need to know, he's the Viking pope and he makes Bjorn the Fell-Handed look like a pussy) commonly places Sigmar's birth as starting from -30 IC. He was said to be born in the Reikland area in the southwest of what would later become the Empire, where the Unberogen tribe dwelt. The night of his birth was marked with the twin-tailed comet, but he found his purchase on life after being cut out of his dying mother's womb by his badass manly motherfucker of a father. In the middle of pitched battle with Orcs I might add. And if that sounds familiar to you, good. You're paying attention. Oddly enough, a mighty thunder-clap was also heard in the night sky. Causing various prophets to call Sigmar, "the Child of Thunder". And if that is also familiar to you, good. I shall make an expert of your filthy self yet. Oh and when he was born his forehead was anointed with Ork's blood, how about that for a baptism?
In the year -15, when he was fifteen years of age, Sigmar had become a badass, bigger and stronger than his peers and was already a respected warrior (again, just like a certain Cimmerian). At this point, Sigmar is recorded to have gained the friendship of the great Dwarfen king Kurgan Ironbeard by saving his stunty ass from a warband of Orcs led by a MASSIVE Black Orc Warboss (for you 40Kfags, that's basically Ghazgkhull, but with a fucking axe and a pair of balls). This fight ended with Kurgan throwing the legendary Ghal-Maraz to Sigmar, which he then promptly used to smash the warboss's skull to paste. After the fight, Sigmar attempted to return the hammer, but Kurgan told him to keep it as a reward for saving his life. He also pledged the friendship of the Dwarfen kingdom to the Unberogen tribe for this act of selfless courage. Of course, Sigmar actually only went after Orcs as part of a revenge raid for their prior attack on Reikdorf, Dwarf-saving was nothing but a happy coincidence.
Sigmar's early life would also be punctuated with other grand victories such as the Battle of Astofen Bridge, where he turned back an army of 2000 Orcs. It was also the battle where he earned his shield and became a man. Yes, Sigmar was saving Dwarf Kings and raping Orc Warbosses before early manhood.
Uniting the Tribes
-- What Sigmar was likely singing to himself when he massacred the Norse.
Sigmar would later learn the importance of unity from something his dad said. Probably a metaphor centering around wolves. In any event, combined with Alaric the Mad's warnings about "Orcs and things best not spoken of", he was inspired to bring the various disparate tribes of the Reik together. Even going so far as to swear an oath, and dragging his best friends in to it too for fun.
Of course, the Chaos-worshiping Norse tribes who came down from the Chaos Wastes decided to rape the south as they usually do. Anyone surprised? What, you? Well fuck you. They're the Norse, THEY KILL WHERE THEY WISH AND NONE DARE RESIST.
Sigmar's father foolishly thought he could resist, and marched north with a massive army 10,000 strong to face the 8000 Northmen. Bjorn came off the experience with a fatal case of axe through the skull. But it was in fact a clever ploy to save Sigmar from dying to the machinations of the Dark Gods who arrayed themselves against him to destroy his dream of a united nation. And if that sounds similar, it's because it is. Haha, disregard that, Sigmar is actually a rip-off of Charlemagne. And predates the Great Throne Vegetable by several years, thus making him the rip-off. Long story short, father and son got together in the spirit world and went on to kick the collective ass of an army of daemons, ending with Bjorn ascending boldly to Ulric's Hall. Despite getting killed fighting the Norse, Bjorn did manage to kill the Khornate Chaos Champion leading the tribes and thus narrowly prevailed in driving the Norse back. This heroic act of defiance against the Norse threat won the Unberogen the eternal friendship of the Cherusen and Taluetan tribes.
Filled with righteous rage, Sigmar marched north when the wolves of the Norsii raided and slaughtered the Udoses (Iron Age Scottish Highlanders) in the area of what is now Ostland. Sigmar then massacred the Norse, thus valorously avenging the blood-geld of the Udoses in a situation somewhat similar to the Bloody Verdict of Verden, because both he and Charlemagne were basically killing people who didn't join him and didn't believe the same way he did, thus driving them to Norsca where they would nurse an eternal hatred of the south in general and the Empire in particular that makes the hatred Chaos Marines have for the Emperor look like a stuttering spark in comparison. Seriously, tribal warfare was nothing out-of-the-ordinary before Sigmar's pussy notions of unity and empires. These offenses against the Norse also serve to solidify Sigmar as an Alfred the Great rip-off, as if building his entire bureaucracy from scratch didn't already.
Concurrent with this, Sigmar also rode hard to Middenheim to fight (lightning strikes when Ghal-Maraz bites, you know) Artur of the Teutogens. It is often said that a man must find the proper balance of pride within himself. Too little, and a man will never accomplish anything in his life. Too much, and he'll do something fucking stupid, like climbing the Fauschlag. Sigmar was of the latter disposition. Sigmar, and his bodyguard Alfgeir, climbed the great mountain that held the city of Middenheim, sneaked into the building housing the flame of Ulric and there challenged Artur of the Teutogens to single combat for rulership of the tribe. Artur then managed to throw Sigmar into the Flame, but Ulric had already chosen him as his Champion so Sigmar simply walked out of it, howled like a wolf (literally) and hammered Artur's skull somewhere into his ribcage. This is commonly accepted as the point where Sigmar united the tribes. Except for the Jutones, but we'll get to them later.
Battle of Black-Fire Pass
So, after he brought the tribes under his banner, Sigmar set about aiding the Dwarfs in defeating one of the greatest Orc WAAAGHS! in Imperial history. People far more intelligent than I have already described said battle in various sourcebooks, so I will not attempt to match their words.
Long story short, Sigmar and the tribesmen outmuscled the Orcs and Sigmar killed the Warboss on the top of the matter with a single return-stroke of his hammer. Thus annihilating the Orc threat, helping the Dwarfs, assuring the continuity of the two peoples and proving the rightness of his ideal of Imperial unity.
The First Emperor
After his victory, Sigmar was crowned Emperor of the newly formed Empire and ruled his people with wisdom and courage.
Two major threats during his reign was a daemon prince leading a horde of norsii that assaulted the north of the Empire and the great Necromancer Nagash, who was after some of his bling which Sigmar had. Sigmar promptly said 'FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU' to both these threats and gave his hammer some exercise on their heads. And this was with a large skaven army trying to get the upper head by assaulting the worn out Empire forces after Sigmar had defeated the chaos forces. It is reputed Sigmar took one look at the mangy ratmen, rolled his eyes to the sky in disgust and set off to bring about some hammer time.
Before Nagash's invasion, Sigmar went to give the Norseman a taste of their own medicine by raiding their frozen wood shacks at Norsca, only to come back when he could't raid any further north. He later fought the necromancer at the brass keep and got Nagash's crown, the artifact Nagash was looking for in order to regain his power. So yeah, Nagash gathers all his skeleton buddies and his vampire cunts into the heart of the Empire for his crown. During the raid, Nagash killed and resurrected many warriors and generals of the Empire for his wight king and meat shield, and he did it in a pattern that prevented them from reinforcing to Sigmar's force in order to weaken the Imperial army. During this time, Sigmar was finding Nagash's weakness with the help from his trusty advisor, only to find out it is the crown itself. Since Nagash was only thinking about his shining crown, Sigmar pulled a bait and switch by wearing the crown. Not only did he attract Nagash's attention, but he also gained immunity against Nagash's magic. During the confrontation, Sigmar smacked around Nagash's puppets (even his Vampires servants) with his Ghal-Maraz like nothing. Nagash had made several attempts to convince Sigmar into his control by showing him the horrid visions of his future Empire, where his descendants soldiers would go on bloody crusades shouting his name, carrying "dwarven thunder-staff" with metal war machines roving among them. Nagash then said that an era ruled by the dead is an era of peace, which Sigmar disagree and pointed out Nagash's bullshit by saying it is an era of stagnation (AKA boring dictator shithole). When facing Nagash, Sigmar baits the necromancer with his own crown and then gave him a taste of his hammer. The hammer, suddenly glows with magic and landed in Nagash's chest that blows him up with the energy from the ancient dwarven rune engraved on the hammer. With Nagash gets his ethereal skeleton ass kicked back to the underworld, he cursed the Vampires for betraying him by cursing them with the vulnerability to Sigmar's faith. Funny enough, there was a vampire named Khaled al-Muntasir (Neferata's treacherous sired brat who may or may not be Mannfred) that had threaten to kill Sigmar and take the crown of his fallen master, but Sigmar stared the vampire so hard that he actually felt fear of getting his ass handed to Sigmar that he fled with the rest like a little bitch. Sigmar then gave them a bitch taunt, telling them they are his bitch of all time. The church of Sigmar as well as the witch hunter order were also founded by Wolfgart, Sigmar's best friend soon after to combat the undead for the future generations.
In the fiftieth year of his reign, Sigmar set aside his crown and left the Empire. He was last seen heading towards the World Edge Mountains, possibly to see the dwarfs although they have said nothing on the matter if their records hold whether Sigmar did pop around for tea. No one saw Sigmar alive again and he passed into legend, a legendary hero to the Empire. The final End Times book reveals that Sigmar was raised to godhood, though Tzeentch trapped him in the great vortex.
Rise of a God
While heroes quite rightly are revered, in Sigmar's case it was taken to a whole new level of fan devotion. His legendary deeds inspired others and over time he came to be worshiped as a god by some loonies who should have known better (however with divine intervention in the past with Sigmar may be proof that he did join the Gods of Order who are busting their balls to keep the Dark Gods from killing and corrupting everybody).
But amazingly, their prayers were answered. Those who displayed a belief in Sigmar found he (or at least someone) was answering their prayers and the faith in the new god spread like hotcakes through the Empire.
The Church of Ulric, the current state church at the time, didn't take kindly to this and did it in a way we see in 40k... with the declaration of HERESY and burning everyone at the stake.
After a while this was stopped, probably out of fear of pissing off Sigmar when they realized he was answering prayers and fear of pissing off Ulric for shitting on his favorite champion, and both faiths were given importance in the Empire although the Church of Sigmar came to be the State Church (which shows Ulric was still trolled over).
The Old World and the End Times
Sigmar is the main god of the Empire and he works hard to protect his people against the ravages of darkness that threaten to overwhelm them all. This is not an easy task and the poor man gets no annual holiday. He is constantly running around putting out fires started by Chaos or other gods and it seems they won't cut him any slack anytime soon, but fortunately he probably has some back up from his own god he worshipped, the aid from the High Elf Gods (probably part of Asuryaan's plan if it's true); pretty much its a joint effort by all the Gods of Order.
During the End Times, it was revealed that Tzeentch had bound him into the Wind of Heaven shortly after his ascension. Tzeentch feared that Sigmar would grow too powerful and unite the Gods of Men, Elves, Lizardmen, Orcs and Dwarfs into the warhammer avengers. Ironically, this plan almost completely backfires in his face, as Sigmar grows more powerful thanks to being bound to the Wind, and once freed ends up uniting the Incarnates (the new gods) into the anti-Chaos avengers. When Teclis unbound the Vortex, the newly freed Sigmar invested a part of his power into his Chosen Valten (which passed into Ghal-Maraz after Valten's death) and possessed the body of the recently deceased Karl Franz to return to the world, later taking his hammer back to restore himself to his full strength. As the world ends, He and Archaon wrestle over Ghal-Maraz, and they vanish shortly before everything is destroyed.
"For in Him all the fullness of deity lives in bodily form."
- – Colossians 2:9
Following his wrestling bout, Sigmar reclaimed Ghal-Maraz, but was rendered helpless as he tumbled through the void that used to be the Warhammer World. Eventually, he collided with the metal core of the old world, which apparently has transmuted into the same material as the comet which heralded his birth, Sigmarite. With the aid of the great Star Drake named Dracothion, which may or may not be Sotek, Sigmar restarts reality using the remaining essence of the Winds of Magic and organized the other Incarnates into a new pantheon with himself as its leader, bringing an age of prosperity to the emerging civilizations of the Mortal Realms. Following the Chaos' invasion, he sealed the entrances into his realm of Azyr, and has only recently opened it back up to launch a long planned counterattack against Chaos with his greatest creation, the demigod warriors known as the Stormcast Eternals.
As an interesting note, Sigmar has been shown to be capable of forgiving people who have wronged him; while this may have not ended well in the case of the likes of Nagash, he and his hosts have been shown to put aside vengeance if there is a chance for someone to get redeemed (they may still turn you into pulp if you try to abuse their trust, so no Horus shenanigans here), or a territory to be rescued from the grip of Chaos: good news for the Mortal Kingdoms and people who were mutated and exposed to Chaos unwillingly.
Also, he doesn't follow the public policies of the Emperor, as Sigmar accepts his title of deity and doesn't give the boot to his worshipers, even while personally he loathes the responsibilities of god-king as he would prefer to rush the enemy and crack some skulls instead of doing all the administrative and logistic job; must be hard to manage an entire reality and a multidimensional counter-invasion. As for his worshipers, Sigmar came from a culture that lived life passionately, so while he doesn't like constraining his worshipers with many rules (though he agrees some are necessary) Sigmar made strict rulings because he know how easily Chaos can corrupt passions; especially when Khorne and/or Slaanesh get involved. He also wishes for a time where he could transcend into the winds of Azyr and abandon the mortal plane, but only, in his own words "after the war is won".
Another cool thing about Sigmar is that he sees people on an individual basis, not just expendable statistics for some risky master plan, Sigmar feels it for YOU and each and everyone of his followers and unlike Emprah he has never given up on mankind and their allies once things went ugly (or at least pretended to do so that he could manipulate others into picking up their slack).
NOTE: Don't mention this to EMPRAH fans. Most are still raging over the portrayal of him in Master of Mankind and stubbornly cling on to their image of him as a well intentioned extremist who was nevertheless a good guy at heart and whom actually gave a shit about his followers, GeeDubs don't let the ADB ruin Sigmar's reputation too!
With Malign Portents and the Soul Wars there has been more development to Sigmar's character. In the former he discovered through Vandus Hammerhand's visions Nagash was up to something. Instead of rushing to Shysh to call the Skelepope off for this one he decided to use his cosmic powers to give his followers the means to fight back Nagash's plots. How well that went we may yet have to see in full, but that means Sigmar is now capable of long-term planning and giving someone else responsibility upon their destinies instead of just trying to save the day with a hot-blooded charge. In Soul Wars it's revealed Sigmar knew the Stormcast project had design flaws in the reincarnation procedure, but went ahead out of desperation to beat back the force of Chaos. This is a source of self-doubt and consternation for him. Nevertheless, he has taken counter-measures in the form of the Sacrosanct Chamber, again delegating responsibilities to his followers to find a solution as he simply can't deal with everything. He himself recognizes he has made many mistakes - outright saying freeing Nagash might be his biggest - and feels responsible for his own bad decisions instead of blaming others. So, yes here is a Warhammer god who can actually recognize mistakes and learn from them for the good of the mortal races.
Recent events following the Necroquake include the raiding of his Stormvaults. During the Age of Myth he had created essentialy storehouses and prisons to store powerful artefacts and even entities that he didn't want runnng around. Well spoilers, the Necroquake ended up uncovering many of them which led to an armsrace from the various Grand Alliances to claim the contents within. Some issues included the forces of Nurgle claiming some black seeds that grow nighly destructive black trees that they tried to plant throughout Ghyran. And Gordrakk stealing the skull of an ancient godbeast to use as a battering ram to destroy Excelcius. Not great times.
Which was later confounded with Belakor unleashing the dark clouds across the realms that can make Stormcast resurrections more difficult.
Still some good news came his way with his frenemy Teclis managing to defeat Nagash and undoing the Necroquake for him (so guess he didn't actually have to get involved) and Allarielle reviving the Oak of Ages past with life now being ascendant again and likely to give Nurgle some trouble. Though this had the unfortunate side-effect of bringing Kragnos back into the realms from his imprisonment and nearly led to the destruction of Excelcis. Not to mention Morathi annexing Anvilgard. Though in the end Excelcius was saved and he has reached atleast an agreement with Morathi (though all parties with a brain knows Sigmar might still do something about her someday) and allowing her to keep the small city. Though this was in no small part to Grungi convincing everyone that Morathi is too useful to exile atleast for the time being.
With the donning of the Era of the Beast and Kragnos return whipping the forces of destruciton into a frenzy Sigmar decided that they could not be so defensive any longer. And in response new Dawnbringer Crusades are being sent out to push back the chaos and destruction hordes and expand new territories in some of the biggest mobilizations of Sigmars armies since the Realmgate Wars. This is further helped along with Grungi's return providing helpful upgrades to Sigmars stormcast. And new artefacts and technologies to help found his new cities. As always Sigmar knows the odds of taking back the realms are stacked against him, but that hasn't stopped him before.
Not bad for some classic barbarian-hero-turned-king-turned-god character development.
In Warhammer 40,000
In the current official publications of Games Workshop, there is no link between Warhammer Fantasy Battle and Warhammer 40,000, but that's never gotten in the way of the fandom, especially considering that at one point, WFB was explicitly part of the 40k universe. A recurring hypothesis is that Sigmar is one of the Unknown Primarchs. One could posit that the twin-tailed comet which heralded his birth was actually the genetor-pod falling to the Warhammer World, that his mysterious departure was him leaving to take command of his Space Marine Legion (tentatively called the Emperor's Hammers), and that the miracles credited to him are in fact the result of the God-Emperor of Mankind. Recent pieces of background, detailing Sigmar's birth and characteristics, tend to invalidate this theory, however. Thank The Emperor (As In Sigmar, not the other one you bolter humping zombie worshiper).
- Sigmar is an old Frankish name meaning "famous by victory". Fitting, considering his awesomeness.
- THE EMPIRE for the EMPIRE he founded.
- Azyr, the Realm of Heavens, what he probably hoped his Empire could have become in time, and nowadays the only mortal realm free of Chaos in the setting.
- Ulric for his
spiritual liegepersonal god, which according to the founder of the Church of Sigmar, He crowned Sigmar as a God, which came to the founder in a vision.
- The Emperor, for his considerably less
competentPLOT ARMORED and manly (but vastly more Gothic-and-bling) Warhammer 40,000 counterpart.
- Everqueen for his counterpart being in comparison to the 40k's EMPRAH among the elves.
|The Gods of the Empire|
|Manann - Morr - Myrmidia - Ranald - Rhya - Shallya - Sigmar - Taal - Ulric - Verena|
|The Grand Pantheon of Age of Sigmar|
|Alarielle - Gorkamorka (Gork + Mork) - Grimnir - Grungni - Malerion - Nagash - Sigmar - Teclis - Tyrion|