Warhammer Fantasy Gods
"And then the Cataclysm came. King Taal rose from His Forest, and with Dark Morr muttering dire portents in His ear, He banished all immortals from the world. But the Cataclysm’s architects refused His order. The Crow, the Hound, the Serpent, and the Vulture were jealous of King Taal, and had tried to use the Great Gates to take what was His. They had failed. As the other immortals fled, the Four attacked, bitter and angry with their frustrations. Many died. After countless battles, King Taal was eventually surrounded. There were few still by his side. Ulric the Wolf. Noble Margileo. Just Verena. Sotek the Snake. Manann of the Sea. And Gentle Shallya, tear-stained and afraid. Even Smiling Ranald had fled, and now hid in the Places Between, fearful for the future. Then, just as the Four and their allies arrived for the Final Battle, Flaming Phoenix, whom all had thought dead, returned from atop His Gleaming Pyramid, and He smote about Him. Thus the rebels were pushed behind the Great Gates, and were sealed there forever. But they were restless in their cage, and soon worked to escape."
- – Translated from the Obernarn Stone, now held in the Imperial Museum, Altdorf
Like any other fantasy setting, Warhammer Fantasy has its own gods.
In early editions of the game, and sporadically throughout, it was stated that there are no gods and only Chaos Gods exist. This is a typically Daemonic twisting of the truth (although the reveal was enough to make Archaon go full-Anakin Skywalker). There is also some discrepancy between fans of Warhammer 40000 who believe that Fantasy magic works in the same way that Psyker energy works in 40k. The final issue is The End Times and Age of Sigmar as well as their 8th edition lead-in, which changed quite a bit of existing lore as retcons disguised as "revealing the truth".
The Nature Of The Divine
In early Warhammer lore gods simply existed and had their own faiths. Chaos supplements, as mentioned above, suggested there was no gods and that only Chaos exists with the nature of the Chaos Gods being insane beings who pretend to be other personas in order to fight each other and themselves, like a giant 1000 character game of Dungeons & Dragons with no DM and only four people wearing blindfolds so nobody knows who is who other than that one asshole with an actual case of multiple personality disorder who's peeking.
In truth, all non-material plane things are made of magic. Souls are magic, the Winds of Magic are magic, Chaos Gods are magic, Daemons are magic, and so are gods. This is the "truth" that Archaon learned, because the teachings of his faith are that magic is Heresy and apparently gods were just shitting miracles out of scientific stardust or something.
The End Times event revealed quite a bit, all of which is fairly skubby. The history of Warhammer is that the Old Ones descended from some unknown place, possibly another dimension, planet, or place in the timeline, on a primitive world full of Dinosaurs, dragons, and neanderthal versions of the classic Fantasy races then created the Warp Gates to suck magic from the Warp which they used to alter the world and create a race capable of fighting Chaos (which would eventually come regardless) before the Gates collapsed causing Chaos to arrive much sooner on an unfinished world whereupon the Old Ones fucked off to who knows where or died. The new lore is that this isn't the first time this has happened; Warhammer existed in a time loop, with the Old Ones stealing magic from Chaos which causes the Chaos Gods to feel entitled to own the material plane like Slaanesh to the Eldar in 40k, where they spend the rest of their history draining magic from the local gods until a cataclysmic event where a handful of Elves survive on a world outside of existence and guide evolution until the Old Ones show up again, rinse and repeat. This cycle was broken finally by Be'lakor (who's time-travel and alternate universe fuckery is apparently something new to these timelines, despite the "it always existed because there is no time" nature to Chaos because GW writers can't into consistency) who did...something to the new Elf gods in the next world which altered the cycle. The new cycle involves far more than just the Elves, as many characters survived the old setting and became gods in the new one (some didn't become gods, why isn't clear).
Gods exist that aren't part of the cycle as well. Sigmar for example was a mortal man who became trapped in the magic of the Heavens Wind, greatly limiting his power to affect the mortal world but giving him godhood. Gork and Mork (or is it Mork and Gork?) have no proper origin, but are somehow able to grant godhood to members of their own pantheon such as through the Spider God who was just an ordinary spider who bit Gork (or possibly Mork). Some of the Elf gods were survivors of the old setting, some have unknown origins and others were just an existing god mistaken as a separate entity. Ranald gambled his way into divinity after tricked some goddess to give him the blessing. Ulric probably became a god after accidentally tempted with one of the old one's warp devices (the one that house the flame of Ulric) as discovered by Archaon in the end times.
The Elf pantheon is divided between the Cadai (positive gods) and Cytherai (negative gods). Some of them are shared with 40k, although beyond portfolio and name they are entirely different. High Elves worship the Cadai light gods and simply try not to piss off the Cytharai by being pansies (which they fail at). Wood Elves worship some, and the others they've modified the mythos of to be more Wood Elf-y (see how they have got Isha and Kurnous bought back to their 'earthy roots). Dark Elves entirely ignore the light side of the pantheon, and worship the darkest aspects of the darker gods (who don't seem to care much about the twisting of the myth since the DEs are the only ones actively worshiping them, and someone getting your myths wrong is better than nobody). The humans of Albion worship their own version of a few of the Elf gods as well, and it's possible some masquerade as the gods of the Old World. As revealed in the end times, the Lady is Lileath! Shock, horror.
Each name-rune that represents them doubles as a picture of themselves in abstract, as well as a few hidden images (like Lileath being both the devil horned invocation of magic that early High Elf models had, the twin moons, herself seated in an elegant pose, and a few standard High Elf runes mixed throughout). Many of these emblems appear fully on High Elf shields, banners, capes, and any other flat or ripply surface really.
In the Black Library series Defenders of Ulthuan/Sons of Ellyrion the Elf gods are portrayed as very real and very powerful, but outside of that series they are described as dying, faded, or outright consumed by Chaos.
- Asuryan, the Creator Father god, survivor of the old setting. Despite always being portrayed as the creator of the Elves he was actually not their literal father and is more the creator of their culture...sort of (thanks to a retcon mess; Wood Elves are the true culture of the Elves, High Elves were what Asuryan created to fight Chaos but the Dark Elves are the result of Khaine and Chaos influence as well as what Asuryan's desired end goal for Elves to be was. Don't think too much about it, its a fucking mess). Zeus expy, although rather than fuck everything he basically sat on his throne and plotted. His priesthood were warrior monks with halberds that cared for the Phoenixes of Ulthuan and maintain a chronicle of history including every single event that ever has or will happen. In a very skubby part of the lore he possessed Malekith rather than Tyrion in End Times, and faded into Malekith's being which possibly made him a nobler and less Darth Vader-like being.
- Vaul, the Maker Smith god. Saved Isha and Kurnous from Khaine after they saved the mortal Elves, forged the Widowmaker. Crippled and shackled to his anvil. Status as real unknown.
- Isha, the Mother Mother god, survivor of the old setting. Gave birth to Lileath as well as the first mortal Elves. Lived in Avelorn in Ulthuan until an unknown point in time when she relocated to Athel Loren then thanks to the draining of Chaos lost much of her divine power and became Ariel. Due to retcons there's a snarl as to what exactly the Everqueen connection to her is; previously, she existed as an entity within the Everqueen surrounded by the souls of all other Everqueens and was able to fight Slaanesh as an equal when fully charged up. As of End Times it was revealed that Lileath actually poisoned her with a shard of eternal ice, slowly killing her until the Everqueen could consume her soul while Lileath absorbed her power.
- Kurnous, the Hunter Father god, survivor of the old setting. The actual father of the mortal Elves. Lived with Isha in Avelorn until they traveled to Athel Loren. Became Orion with the weakening of Chaos. Due to retcon fuckery, there's an issue where he apparently also dwells in Ellyrion and selects champions from the Elves there to lead the fight against Dark Elves and Chaos even though he spends most of his time in Athel Loren killing Bretonnians and Beastmen for the lulz in the Wild Hunt.
- Hoeth, Lord of Wisdom Scholar god. Conflicting sources tie him as part of the reason magic behaves the way it does, and attribute various things to him. Status as real unknown.
- Lileath, the Maiden Daughter of Isha and Kurnous, sister to the entire Elf race. Goddess of prophesy to a degree that her father who is omniscient can be surprised by her, somehow. Took on a villainous role in End Times for engineering events that caused massive failures and deaths across the setting while trying to protect the cycle and send her Wood Elf husband Araloth as the new Asuryan/Kurnous, the High Elf Prince(ss) Eldyra as the new Isha, and her children with Araloth to be the rest of the pantheon of the new world which was destroyed somehow by Be'lakor making all of her sacrifice and sabotage for nothing. Was also The Lady of Bretonnia and using their entire race as her pawns, and had the persona of Ladrielle as well.
- Loec, the Shadow Dancer Trickster god, created several magical artifacts. Status as real unknown.
- Mathlann, Lord of the Deeps God of the sea, confirmed to be a real god in End Times although unknown if he is a survivor of the previous setting or not. Known for saving his champion Sea Lord Aislinn from death constantly, later revealed to actually be Sea Lord Aislinn. Considered a positive aspect of Ellinill in retconned lore.
- Khaine, the Bloody-Handed God Evil Asuryan. Confirmed to be real, unknown if he is a survivor god or not. Khorne but with magic, he spent most of his time fighting Asuryan for control of the Elves as well as Isha and Kurnous, and just generally being a prick who fucked everything up. Although not on the side of Chaos, he didn't focus any efforts on fighting them and instead caused Elves to fight each other and lose their ability to fight Chaos effectively. Manifested himself in the bloodline of Aenarion, in a very skubby part of the lore he possessed Tyrion rather than Malekith in End Times and died when Asuryan/Malekith killed Tyrion (Tyrion got better, Khaine died).
- Ereth Khial, the Pale Queen Survivor god of the old setting, fate unknown. Goddess of death for the Elves although thanks to Chaos she gets almost no Elf souls (lore contradiction as apparently the Death Wind contains the bulk of the souls of the dead, even though lore also says Slaanesh eats almost every Elf soul and apparently Ereth Khial was gone or faded by the time of End Times despite Elves that should have already been trapped in the Wind or consumed by Slaanesh appearing as ghosts; arguments can be had in any direction). Suffered in the cold darkness of the new world with Isha and chose to remain alone rather than cling together for comfort as Isha wanted until the new world began with the coming of Asuryan, desired to have him as her husband but he rejected her causing her to hate all beings and torture the Elf souls far worse than Chaos (which represents oblivion rather than suffering). Her domain is called Mirai.
- Nethu, Keeper of the Last Door Son of Ereth Khial, father unknown. Keeper of the gates of the Mirai and comparable to a Grim Reaper figure. Since Morr is described as an Elf god in a Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay supplement, this may be his true identity. Otherwise his status as real or not is unknown.
- Anath Raema, the Savage Huntress Evil Kurnous, whips around the savage parts of the hearts of the Elves until they go on a Great Hunt but unlike Kurnous she sees all things as game. Given that the lore surrounding Kurnous became fairly evil in regards to his hunts, Anath Raema only represents a lack of concern with preservation and balance rather than outright evil. Status as real or not unknown.
- Morai-Heg, the Crone An old and wrinkled Elf goddess (yes, apparently they can age) of prophesy who's primary shrine is on an island of Elf amazons who bewitch men to come to the shores that sail too closely then kill them and pave the island with their bones. Status as real or not unknown.
- Hekarti, Mistress of Magic Goddess of magic, evil Hoeth. Revealed to be Morathi in End Times, whether she is a survivor god or not is unknown.
- Atharti, Lady of Desire Goddess of pleasure, twin sister of Hekarti. Worship of one of them without equal worship of the other causes the less loved one to curse the favoring devotee. Created in 7th edition because Dark Elves worshiping Slaanesh was against Gav Thorpe's vision for the race, which is better is the subject of much Skub (although players of the Cult Of Slaanesh army are strongly against it). Morathi went from being Slaanesh's high priestess and favored mortal to being the biggest worshiper of both Hekarti and Atharti. With the reveal that Morathi IS Hekarti, its left unknown who exactly Atharti is and who punishes you if you prefer Hekarti. Given that in End Times Morathi went quite insane and a little senile after coming under the delusion that first her son Malekith was Aenarion, then the Khaine-possessed Tyrion was Aenarion, Morathi may have been both entities.
- Ladrielle, Lady of Mists A persona of Lileath, a master manipulator. Given that this is a Cytherai and thus one of the less pleasant gods, this may be a better description of Lileath.
- Ellinill, Lord of Destruction God of destruction, once a very powerful god with hundreds of children who ran amok throughout the world with him. Drakira tricked Isha into asking Loec to trick him into believing his children were going to revolt, and he went about killing and eating as many as he could. His strength was greatly diminished in his battles. Unknown if real or not. His children are known as the Ellinilli and the only ones that survived are those who hid in the mortal world. Unknow if real or not.
- Estreuth, Lord of Hunger God of famine. One of the Ellinilli. Almost no lore given.
- Addaioth, Bringer of Fire God of fire. One of the Ellinilli. Decided to fight his father rather than hide, and was almost killed until Ladrielle (AKA Lileath) saved him and hid him in the mortal world with his siblings. Has prepared to kill his father ever since, thinking of himself as Vaul 2.0 but only creating shitty arms and armor. Unknown if real or not.
- Hukon, the Sunderer God of earthquakes. One of the Ellinilli. Almost no lore given.
- Drakira, Queen of Vengeance Goddess of revenge, one of the Ellinilli who was picked on by her siblings and neglected by her father. Manipulated Isha's sorrow at the suffering her family caused mortals into becoming hatred, and all beings have been careful not to offend her ever since. Worshiped heavily by Dark Elves, but loves all Elves equally and keeps part of them any time they make a deal with her. Unknown if real or not.
- Eldrazor, Lord of Blades A god of war and duels. Although he doesn't seek war, once it begins there is nothing out of bounds for him. Basically a more reserved and less aggressive Khaine. Unknown if real or not.
Dwarf gods are mortal Dwarfs who attained godhood, and as such are referred to as Ancestor Gods. They have only three, but Dwarfs can invoke the names of their own heroes and ancestors religiously as well.
- Valaya Goddess of hearth, home, brewing, healing, defending against Chaos, and basically every single other thing the other two don't do. Settled the first and greatest Dwarf Holds, ancestor of the greatest Dwarfs, invented the Dwarf written language and every other aspect of their culture. The least important god because...reasons. In End Times she was discovered to be slumbering by Queen Neferata in a long-forgotten Vault in a ritual to charge up a magic gate and create a new golden age for Dwarfkind. After a battle between Nef, Night Goblins, and Thorek Ironbrow the Dwarfs were left dead and Valaya's divine power was consumed by Nagash. She didn't receive an Age of Sigmar resurrection, because reasons.
- Grungni Dwarf smith god. After Valaya invented runes, he figured out how to smith them into objects to give Dwarfs magic. Fought in End Times, but survived into Age of Sigmar.
- Grimnir Dwarf god of war. After Valaya invented Grudgekeeping he became the patron of them. Became the first Slayer, has a fortress inside of the Warp where he endlessly slaughters the forces of Chaos. Gave up his divinity to Gotrek in order to die in the final battle after Gotrek died and avenged his own sin, and in the final battle all Grudges were considered resolved. Gotrek/Grimnir survived into Age of Sigmar where he sat on Sigmar's council until he got bored and was sent to kill a giant monster, causing both to explode and spread throughout the Realms whereupon the mortal Dwarfs who are his devotees collect his parts to reassemble him. Judging by the existence of the unreleased Realmslayer audiobook though, it’s likely that the Age of Sigmar Grimnir is the original or otherwise not Gotrek. Gotrek and Grimnir are two different entities he was kicked out of the warp for killinging to many Deamons and is now reportedly trying to die(Like that is even possible/find Felix.
Like in all other things, Humanity is really diverse when it comes to religion, changing from worshipping the Chaos Gods to worshipping an Elf God pretending to be a goddess of chivalry. Although some gods are argued to be the God of Mankind, there is no united Human pantheon, just many many different gods for many many different nations. The Old World Pantheon is the collection of Gods worshipped by humans of Old World (which is the closest thing we can get to Human Pantheon). This pantheon mainly divided into two "families", namely Northern Gods and Southern Gods. There is also the Patron Gods of nations that don't fit these two families; Sigmar for the Empire, Lady of the Lake for Bretonnia and Ursun for Kislev. Other than them, there are also some other pantheons like Nehekharan Pantheon and thousands of different local gods unrelated to any pantheon. As I said before, Humanity is diverse.
Empire of Man has a patron god named Sigmar, the mortal founder of Empire who is believed to be ascended to godhood after he vanished. But unlike his space faring brother, the Empire is a polytheistic nation, worship of other gods (except Chaos Gods and Khaine) is allowed, although the Cult of Sigmar is the state religion. So most of the Old World Pantheon is also worshipped in Empire or at least respected. The list of the Imperial Gods starting with their Patron God goes as;
- Sigmar, Warrior-God of Mankind, is the founder of the Empire, its first Emperor and the most badass human ever lived. His deeds of badassery includes but not limited to; uniting human tribes of Old World, defeating biggest WAAAGH ever happened with said united army, earning the respect of the Dwarfs (by far the hardest one to do), breaking the Norsii siege of Middenheim and fighting a fucking Bloodthirster in there, bashing the skull of Nagash (doing that by using Nagash's own crown also counts) and destroying his undead army. After establishing a rather stabilized state in Old World, Sigmar left the Empire and never seen again, presumed dead by his people. Years after his departure, some guy named Johann Helsturm proclaimed that he saw the vision of Sigmar being crowned to godhood by Ulric and joined him among the divinity. Helsturm pretty much created the Cult of Sigmar which gained power among centuries and became the most popular and influental religion in the Empire. Today the Cult of Sigmar holds a major bureaucratic power within the Empire, for example the head of the Sigmarite Church, the Grand Theogonist, is able to cast 3 votes in Emperor's election. Sigmar is worshipped by Imperials as the God of War, Mankind, Heroism, Courage and Empire itsef. He is respected by everyone in the Empire, even the Ulricians of Northern Empire proudly call themselves the sons of Sigmar. His holy symbols are Ghal Maraz (or just a warhammer), the Twin-Tailed Comet and Gryphon. His chants are effective against Daemons and Undead. He is mainly worshipped in Reikland but his worshippers can be found everywhere in the Empire (and probably never found among non-Imperial humans). In the End Times, Sigmar's ascension to godhood is confirmed but Tzeentch trapped him inside the Winds of Heaven which actually supercharged Sigmar with magic. In short Sigmar is basicly Conan the Barbarian/Charlemagne/Jesus of Warhammer Fantasy and also Thor to Ulric's Odin.
The Northern Gods aka the Elder Gods or the Country Gods are the gods of pre-Imperial human tribes and during Sigmar's reign. They are quite old, worship of Elder Gods stratches back to several millenia. Although they are losing favor to Sigmar, their worship is still widespread, especially in the countryside. These gods are Ulric, Taal, Rhya and Manann.
- Ulric, the God of Winter, Wolves and Warfare, younger brother of Taal. He is generally worshipped by non-Chaos Vikings of Warhammer Fantasy who live in Middenland, Nordland and Ostland. Ulric is the second most popular god of the Empire and was actually the most popular one during the times before Sigmar, being worshiped by all human tribes in one way or another. Actually Sigmar himself was a devout worshipper of him too, all sagas emphasise him being blessed and protected by Ulric. Today, Ulricans are still a powerful group, his worship is quite common and the Viking Pope, Al-Ulric, is able to cast one vote in Emperor's election. When it comes to Sigmar, Ulricians are divided into two. Some of them just don't believe Sigmar is a God and rejects Sigmarites all together and the others believes Sigmar is a God but venerate Ulric more as he is the traditional god of mankind but all of them respect Sigmar all the same. Ulric is a god of martial skill, not unlike his evil counter part (main difference is Ulric cares whose blood being spilled, preferably his enemies') he favors natural strength; gunpowder weapons and crossbows are to be shunned for they don't require any skill to use. His holy symbol is the White Wolf he manifests. In End Times, Teclis stole the Flame of Ulric in Middenheim and used it to heal his brother which caused Middenheim's fall and eventually killed Ulric. What a dick. It is also revealed that his ascension to the godhood may have to do with the old one device hosting his flame (which may or may not belonging to the ancient Elven colonist before the rise of man and the war of beard that forced the elves to abandoned the old world) as discovered by Archaon in the end times.
- Taal, the God of Wilds, Nature and Beasts, older brother of Ulric and husband of Rhya. Being a Warhammer God, Taal isn't some pesky hippy, he believes in the survival of the fittest. So if you can kill it (in a fair way) all animals are willing to serve you as food and fur. Like Ulric, he favors natural strength and forbids use of gunpowder and adds it the use of metal armor too, only skin and fur of his animals is to be used for clothing. His worshippers are against anything unnatural starting with Chaos and Mutants to even cities and money in extreme cases. Taal is, like beasts and nature itself, known for being indifferent to morality. His holy symbol is a Stag or just antlers. His worship is almost completely tied with worship of Rhya, which is together called Cult of Taal and Rhya. The two complete eachother as manifestation of Nature; Taal is the animals while Rhya is the plants, Taal is the wrathful natural disasters while Rhya is the generous and fertile soil. He is, like his wife, mainly worshipped in Talabecland. He also has a number of paralells with Kurnous, the Elven god of the hunt.
- Rhya, the Earth Mother, Goddess of Plants, Farming and Hunting, wife of Taal. She domains over all things that grow, so pretty much Demeter of Warhammer Fantasy. Her worship is a part of Cult of Taal and Rhya which mainly practiced Talabecland. Her holy symbol is a sheaf of wheat and bow and arrow. As said above, worship of Rhya and Taal is tied to eachother though Ryha seems to be less important and less powerful of the two.
- Manann, the God of Seas and Tides, son of Taal and Rhya. Worshipped by sailors and fishermen, Manann is not really different than Poseidon of our world. He is quite fickle and dickish, judging his subjects arbitrarily (like Poseidon). Manann's strictures are nothing more than generic sailor superstitions which changes based on sailor, priest and Manann's mood at the time. His holy symbols are wave patterns, albatrosses and his five tinned crown. He is mainly worshipped in Marienburg and other coastal cities although human sailors all around the Old World worship him. Also he is completely identical to Mathlann, the Elven Sea God, and may in fact just be the same deity under a different name.
The Southern Gods aka the Classical Gods or the Town Gods are newer ones among the Old World Pantheon (still older than Sigmar) they are actually not really among the common worship in the Empire (with exception of Morr who is third most popular Imperial God). They are generally worshipped in more civilized and urban areas of South Old World like Tilea and Estalia. These gods are Morr, Verena, Myrmidia, Shallya, Ranald and Khaine.
- Morr, the God of the Dead, Afterlife and Dreams, older brother of Khaine, husband of Verena and father of Myrmidia and Shallya. Similar to Greek Mythology, at the beginning of time the three gods, Ulric, Taal and Morr divided the world between eachother. Ulric and Taal started fighting for the living world while Morr simply settled the realm of the dead. Then the Gods of Mortal Realm and Morr made an agreement to balance things out; Morr and his subjects, the dead, will not tresspass into Mortal Realm and in return, Ulric and Taal will ultimately send all the living to Morr. Well, when you think about it you can realize this agreement actually gives no benefit to Morr, because while Ulric and Taal don't have to do anything for their part (because mortals, naturally, always die), Morr will both have to protect the souls of the dead from being consumed Chaos Gods and fight the necromancers and undead to do his part of the agreement. Yet again, Morr, being one of the few responsible gods who actively tries to do his job, maybe took this responsibility willingly. Although he is a less known god among the fans, Morr's worship is the most widespread in the Warhammer world as he is worshipped by all major races and nations even if he is known to them by different names. His symbols are ravens, hourglasses and black roses. His seat of power is in Luccini, Tilea. In End Times, his Nehekharan counterpart, Usirian was devoured by Nagash which killed Morr too.
- Verena, the Goddess of Knowledge, Science, Law and Justice, husband of Morr, mother of Myrmidia and Shallya. We all know the Old World is a fucking mess; the civil lands are constantly under siege by the barbarians and anarchists while being ruled by zealots, ignorants, tyrants and decadants. Among this madness, Verena and her worshippers shine as a beacon of reason and intellectuality. Despite being literally the goddess of paperwork, Verena isn't some kind of pacifist (that's her daughter's gimmick), she dictates her followers to take arms in the face of injustice, tyranny and of course Chaos. Her worshippers usually work as judges, lawyers, scholars, bureaucrats and prone to becoming Lawful Stupid. Her symbols are owls and scales. Verena doesn't have a seat of power but is mainly being worshipped in big bureaucratic capitals like Altdorf. Also she is probably the same god with Hoeth.
- Myrmidia, the Goddess of War, Strategy and Military, sister of Shallya. Yet another god of war, which is normal, considering how dominant and constant the war is. Myrmidia is rivals with other two Gods of War, Ulric and Sigmar but the three actually stand for different aspects of war: Ulric is the down-to-earth part of it, the actual combat, martial prowess and bloodlust, Myrmidia is the science of war, strategy and tactics are in her domain and Sigmar stands for the reason behind the war; heroism, patriotism, empire-building, zeal and even self-defence as the Empire never actually seeks for more war. Her worship spreads throught the Empire from Estalia and Tilea, there is even one knightly order that worships to her, the Order of the Blazing Sun which converted during the Crusades. She is mainly worshipped by the generals and strategists rather than the soldiers themselves. Her symbol is a spear behind a shield and an eagle. Lastly if you are retarded and haven't noticed yet, Myrmidia is a shameless ripoff of Athena with no difference other than the name.
- Shallya, the Goddess of Mercy and Healing, sister of Myrmidia. Shallya is probably the most Noblebright thing in Warhammer Fantasy. She offers mercy to all the suffering; the sick, the injured, the beggar, the orphan, the whore, the prisoner, the maimed, the unclean, just all of them. They even believe mutants can be cured, Shallyites actually established a secret mutant village to protect them from the witch hunters. They are right to a some extent because actually some of the mutants are normal mutants like in our world and not corrupted by Chaos at all. So probably thousands of humans was burnt on stick just because they are sick. She is generally worshipped by doctors and healers or more precisely her worshippers and priests became doctors and healers. Her symbols are a white dove and a heart with a single blood drop. Also she is quite similar to the Elven god Isha.
- Ranald, the God of Fortune, Luck and Mischief. One of the main problems with the Empire is, while it is still as oppressive as any feudal kingdom it lacks the organized police force to make it effectively like the modern dictatorships did. So there is incredible amouths of criminal activity going on in the Empire. So much, there is a god of it. Although Ranald is the god that stands for freedom against that oppression, he is mainly worshipped by thieves, gamblers and charlatans. Also you may thought his name is nothing fancy, just a generic medieval name, which makes sense because actually Ranald was a mortal that convinced, or tricked, Shallya to let him drink one of her tear vials which ascended Ranald to godhood. Ranald's symbols are a hand with crossed fingers, an X, a black cat and a crow. He is mainly worshipped in big cosmopolitan cities like Marienburg.
- Khaine, the God of Murder, Violance and Cruelty, younger brother of Morr. Khaine is in interesting position in the Old World pantheon, while other Elven gods are at least have different human names, Khaine is simply Khaine, the god that Dark Elves worship. Also the worship of Khaine is one of the few outlawed religions in the Empire (only worshipped secretly by cultists) because most human theologians believe Khaine is none other than the Blood God himself. But Khainites know that there is a distinction between Khaine and Khorne; Khorne is more about senseless slaughter, the mass killings happening in the battlefields are what really pleases him. But Khaine is more about the killing of the individuals, the ritualistic art of murder and torture is what really pleases him, yet again battlefields are sacred for him too as the war is nothing more than industialized murder. Also in the End Times, Khaine and Khorne are confirmed to be separate entities but Khaine is still the god of murderhobos and it is better to outlaw his worship. Khaine is also worshipped as a God of Death, believed to be forever in conflict with his brother, Morr. Being a secret cult, Khaine don't have an openly displayed symbol but a scorpion stinger and a serpentine dagger are symbols generally associated with him. Khaine is commonly worshipped by sadists and serial killers but a few of his worshippers can be found among the soldiery.
Lady of the Lake is the patron goddess of the Kingdom of Bretonnia. Cult of the Lady is the state-religion and holds major political power within Bretonnia and yet the Lady isn't the most widespread worshipped God in Bretonnia. Being a feudal shitland, everything in Bretonnia is divided between Nobility and Peasantry (and almost non-existent middle class consisting scholars and merchants) this of course includes the religion too. Peasants are prohibited from the worship of Lady as they are not seen more than vermin and shouldn't bother the Lady with their petty prayers. The middle class is allowed but have to pay tithe to worship in shrines and temple. In short, the cult of the Lady is only open to the Nobility of Bretonnia. This lead the peasantry to worship the Gods of the Old World Pantheon. Bulk of the peasantry (which is also the bulk of Bretonnia's population) worship Shallya the Goddess of Mercy and Healing. Unlike the Lady of the Lake, Shallya offers confort for everyone especially to the oppressed, suffering people like the peasants of Bretonnia. This made Shallya very popular among the peasants, some of them even believe Shallya is just another aspect of the Lady (basicly her peasant equilavent) which worshippers of the Lady didn't take tolerantly. Other than Shallya, Myrmidia is common among the men-at-arms, Taal and Rhya among the farmers, Verena among the scholars etc. Interestingly, worship of Sigmar is almost non-existent within Bretonnia which is weird as Cult of Sigmar, like Cult of Shallya, is a peoples cult, open to everyone. The reason behind this is probably the Bretonnian nobility's xenophobia towards the Empire. Anyway about the Lady of the Lake:
- Lady of the Lake, the Goddess of Chivalry, Purity and Nobility, the Patron Goddess of Bretonnia. The Lady of the Lake is basicly the idealized woman that every Bretonnian knight loves. They love her so much many knights are willing to abdicate all their titles and go on a Waifu Quest to find her. Almost all of these Questing Knights die horribly to monsters and other shit they have to fight, before even getting close to her. But most powerful of them find her eventually and when that happens, the Lady of the Lake offers them to drink from the Holy Grail she holds which turns Questing Knights into mary sues or Grail Knights as they mostly known as. The Lady of the Lake is only worshipped by the Bretonnian Nobility and her symbols are the Holy Grail and Fleur-de-lis. In End Times, it was revealed that the Lady of the Lake is none other than the Elven God Lileath, she and the Wood Elves been using Bretonnians as a bulwark against Chaos and a cat's paw when they don't feel like to risk elf lives. All that holy Grail Knights and lowly peasantry shit was to eliminate the weak and create the best of humanity, worthy of being used by Elves. So the entire culture, religion and politics of Bretonnia is just part of an Elven eugenics programme. Also do I have to mention that she was "inspired" from Arthurian legends, like everything else in Bretonnia?
Kislev has his own little pantheon of gods consist of three gods: Ursun, Dazh and Tor. It isn't like an established Kislevite Pantheon, more like a group of local gods unique to Kislev. While almost all of the Kislevites only worship these three, some other gods have been worshipped by Kislevites too. Northern Gods of the Old World Pantheon is relatively common, mostly Ulric and Taal mainly because of Kislev's geographical closeness to Northern Empire. Like in the Empire, many local gods and spirits are venerated too. Interestingly, Kislev is also the only place in the Old World to worship Malal. The Temple of the Ancient Allies in the Kislevite city of Bolgasgrad is the only known temple dedicated to Necoho and Zuvassin, and the city is home to only known worshippers of them. But, to be clear, it isn't like they are commonly worshipped in Kislev, their worshippers are probably even less than their fans in real life. So about the real gods of Kislev:
- Ursun, the God of Bears and Strength, Patron God of Kislev. Ursun is the most commonly worshipped god in Kislev, like Sigmar he's worsipped by everyone from wealthy cityfolk to nomads of the oblast. But in doctrine, Ursun has more common in Ulric and Taal than Sigmar. Like Ulric, Ursun is all about strenght, he prefers warriors over priests, acts over prayers. And like Taal, Ursun is more of the God of Bears than a God of man, bears are his sacred beast it is a privilege to hunt them, not a right given to humans. Like Taal dictates, bear hunts should be fair, no traps or hunting dogs allowed. One of the reasons that worship of Ursun is so common in Kislev is that Kislev is full of bears and worshipping the God of Bears makes things smoother between man and the beasts (and angering him gets you ripped apart by bears). His worshippers are rivals with Ulric's, but mutual respect exists between them. Ursun is practically worshipped by all of the Kislev and only in Kislev. His holy symbol is a bear or a bear's face.
- Dazh, the God of Sun, Fire and Hospitality. When you live in a frozen wasteland where winters are 10 months long and full of bears, fire and Sun is just what really matters to survive. So you should worship the God of Sun in the second coldest place of the world after literally frosty hell itself, not some God of Winter. Actually this is why Dazhinyi (and Kislevites in general) despise Ulricans: they are like middle-class children who want winter to come because of Christmas and to play in snow while Kislevites are like homeless people who don't want to freeze to death during winter. Dazh is, like Ursun, widely worshipped by Kislevites but with a bit of change. In the cold harsh tundras of north, Dazh symbolizes the struggle against the nature and his worship is essential to survive Kislevite winters as every campfire and torch lights brightly because of him. In rather civilized south, he is the God of Hospitality, more about hearths and being kind to guests. Dazh's holy symbol is the Sun or a flame. Judging by the Usirian = Morr logic in the End Times, one could say that Ptra and Dazh are the same person due to being primary god of human. Just don't tell Settra about it or he is going to lit Kislev on fire (might be a good thing actually).
- Tor, the God of Thunder and Lightning. The least inspired name ever given to a god of lightning. But at least he isn't just same with the Norse God Thor: Tor isn't a hammer wielding God of Heroism and War (that's Sigmar's job) (also Tor prefers an axe), he is more of a force of nature. He is more about saying "Tor is angry today" during a lightning storm than prayers and systematic worship. Well, also a God of Lightning has nothing to offer to humans other than not striking them with a thunder bolt. Also his stricture is single, simple but smart: "Never stand under a tree in a thunderstorm." Tor's holy symbols are a thunderbolt and a silver axe.
Nehekhara, being THE human civilization of the world (meaning they are the original human civilization that was created and established by the Old Ones themselves) has their own unique and sophisticated take on religion and gods. The Priest Kings of Nehekhara and Tomb Kings of
old today worshipped the Nehekharan Pantheon also known as the Desert Gods. Nehekarans believed that in the dawn of time, the world was once dark and cold, it was their gods that enlightened the world and created humanity, which is quite a similar story to how the Old Ones created humanity and other races. Almost all of the gods have animal heads or are outright animals much like the Egyptian gods. Long ago, the Nehekharan Pantheon consisted of hundreds of different gods and hundreds of different cults dedicated to them, but after Nagash necro-nuked all of Nehekhara, killing every living thing and reanimating them as Undead, only a handful of Gods remain (unknown if the other gods are dead too, or weren't real to begin with and were simply forgotten) and only the most widespread cult remains today, the Mortuary Cult, a cult dedicated to Usirian. The cult studied death and the afterlife, and also searched for immortality. First they managed to preserve a dead body with mummification (which they learned from the Lizardmen of the Southlands) then communicating with the dead souls using the Wind of Death and lastly summoning the dead and binding them to corporal bodies. All of their study lead to Nagash's creation of Necromancy via mixing Dark Magic with the Wind of Death. Anyway about the pantheon:
- Ptra, the God of Sun, Patron God of Nehekhara, husband of Neru. Although he is the most important god of Nehekharan Pantheon, there isn't much to say about him. Ptra is basicly Ra of our world, he rides his chariot in the sky from dawn till dusk, following his love, Neru the Moon Goddess. Unlike other gods of the pantheon, he doesn't have an animal form, or an animal headed form, only appearing in a human form. He is also the creator of humanity, according to Nehekharans. Settra the Imperishable is his most known (and of course greatest) worshipper because no God is worthy of being worshipped by Settra, other than the King of Gods himself.
- Neru, the Goddess of Moon and Protection, wife of Ptra. Boring ass wife of the boring ass god up there. Again not much to say about her, she is actively running away from her husband (for some reason), creating the day and night cycle of the world.
- Sakhmet, the Goddess of the Green Moon, concubine of Ptra. Also called the Green Witch, Sakhmet envies Ptra's love of Neru, his wife, and all of humanity. During nights, Neru and Sakhmet fight for the domination of the sky, Neru wins most of the time so only Mannslieb appears in the sky but when Sakhmet wins both Mannslieb and Morrslieb appears in the sky, causing days known as Hexenstag and Geheiminstag to the Imperials. She is seen as a malevolant god by the Nehekharans because she, as said, envies Ptra's love for humanity. While the name is almost same with the Egyptian God Sekhmet, Sakhmet isn't really similar to her other than this: the duality of Sakhmet and Neru resembles how the bloodthirsty lion-headed Goddess of War Sekhmet and the merciful cow-headed Goddess of Love Hathor is the same goddess with a split personality disorder, even so Sakhmet and Neru are certainly not the same goddess at all. Ironically, she had a beastmen follower called Moonclaw who referred to the green moon as his own mother. During the End Times, chunks of Morrslieb descend up the world after the Skaven's reckless demolition. With that, is safe to say that Sakhmet is officially about as dead as Usirian. But it's not like the moon was alive like the other gods anyway.
- Usirian, the God of the Underworld. Usirian's worship is as widespread as that of Ptra in Nehekhara, since the rise of the Mortuary Cult. As the lord of the Realm of Souls, Usirian judges souls of the living, particullarly the Priest Kings, upon their death; based on their lives, they may make it to the paradise filled with golden palaces to live in and their subjects to tyrannize (two things Priest Kings love the most) or if they didn't had any virtues in life (or wasn't a nobleborn) they probably end up in the deepest pits of the Underworld, where millions of beetles will gnaw their skin and entrails forever (This sounds eerily similar to Abrahamic religions). Another privilege nobles get is that if they fuck up, Priests of Usirian will try to bargain with Usirian to mitigate their punishments. Khepra Beetles are said to be Usirians agents in the living realm, he monitors the mortals from the beetles' eyes, seeing all sins of the men and because said beetles are everywhere in Nehekhara, every man and woman are being watched by him 7/24. On the other hand this also means using a bug sprey lets you trick the God of Dead. Usirian is also never physically represented as that would be heresy (now it is really similar to one particular Abrahamic religion). His most known worshipper is the Grand Hierophant Khatep who is the High Priest of the Mortuary Cult, Prophet of the Lord of the Tomb, Master of Awakenings but most importantly Settra's advisor during his life. Lastly in the End Times, Usirian was devoured by Nagash which killed Morr too, this confirms that they were indeed the same god (in fact all Gods of Dead are probably the same god).
- Djaf, the God of Death and War. While he is an important god, he is the god of death of undead egyptians after all and his ushabtis are one of the most common ones, not much is known about him. Considering another similar God, Usirian, is venerated much more than him and that he is also a God of War, Djaf is probably more abouth down-to-earth part of death not its concept or spiritual side. Djaf usually takes form of a jackal headed man or a large black jackal so he is basicly the Egyptian God of Death, Anubis.
- Asaph, the Goddess of Beauty and Asps. When to be seen, Asaph takes the form of a seductive woman or an asp but still looking as seductive as woman. Lorewisely, the most important thing she did was saving Queen Khalida from becoming a vampire which made her the greatest worshipper of Asaph. Other than that, Asaph is really similar to the Chaos God Slaanesh, both being gods of beauty and has a strong association with snakes. Unknown if there is a connection or not.
- Geheb, the God of Earth and Strenght. As a god worshipped by warriors and soldiers, Geheb takes form of a lion or a big hunting dog in animal form and a musclar man with a thick beard in human form. Again another god with a Chaos God similarity, both Khorne and Geheb is worshipped by great warriors and has hunting dogs as their sacred animal. Also worship of Geheb involves a blood ritual which the worshippers drink the blood of a newly sacrificed ox.
- Tahoth, the God of Knowledge and Wisdom. Tahoth usually takes the form of an ibis headed man, or a silver colored ibis which makes him quite similar to Tzeentch, the other bird headed god of knowledge. But this time this is probably because Tzeentch is inspired by the Egyptian God of Knowledge Thoth while Tahoth is just Thoth with a different name.
- Sokth, the God of Scorpions, Thieves and Assassins. Although he is the protector of thieves, Sokth forbids grave-robbing and his sons (scorpions) guard the royal tombs along with Usirian's beetles. It's believed that the Nehekharan scorpions will never sting a true follower of Sokth but I'm sure nobody dares to test that. Sokth usually appears as a giant black scorpion or a man with pure black eyes.
- Phakth, the God of Sky and Justice. Phakth usually takes the form of a hawk headed man or a blue hawk with golden eyes so he is practically the same god as Horus (no, not that one).
- Basth, the Goddess of Cats and Love. Usually appears as a cat headed woman or as a woman with cat-like features. She is the Egyptian Goddess of Cats, Bastet, of Warhammer Fantasy.
- Nagash, the Supreme Lord of Undeath. Before I start let me explain why I decided to add Nagash to the list: Not because Nagash ascended to godhood in Age of Sigmar but because he has been worshipped as a god before that, since his first defeat, by priest kings to vampires, by crazed cultists to great necromancers. You may argue that Nagash is clearly not a god, as he is trying to become a god, so he has no place in here and I would say half of the gods listed here probably don't even exist or are a Chaos God in disguise so listen up. While not being a part of the Nehekharan Pantheon, Nagash has been (secretly) worshipped as a God by Nehekharans for millenia. Worship of Nagash, or Nagashism as it's named in Total War: Warhammer, stretchs back to his first defeat. After dying in the desert and resurrecting himself as some sort of Lich, Nagash deceived some mountain tribes into worshipping him as a god. After that, said tribesmen and his undead minions built the great fortress of Nagashizzar under the command of Nagash. Even today, in the highest chamber of the fortress, the corpse of Nagash sits on his throne with hundreds of zealous cultists worshipping him as a God, listening to his whispers, doing his bidding. Since then, thinking being worshipped is quite handy, Nagash disguises himself as a god to manipulate humans. It is known that he has been willingly worshipped by many necromancers and vampires (which is actually rare, as vampires generally don't accept anyone as his/her superior). Nagash may also interfere with the wizards of the Wind of Death, especially Mortuary Priests, presenting himself as Usirian, the Nehekharan God of the Dead or Morr, the Imperial God of the Dead, and use them to further his schemes. But he usually does that when he doesn't have a corporeal form because when he is in the mortal realm there is no need to trick anyone into believing he is a god. As said above, in the End Times he ascended to godhood and became the only Tomb King that made it to Age of Sigmar.
Even if they have never seen the light of the day, and never will, there are human nations other than the Empire, Bretonnia and Northmen: the myst shrouded island of Albion, the Great Sultanate of Araby, Democratic City-States of Tilea, Ever-warring kingdoms of Estalia, Feudal Kingdom of Nippon, Grand Empire of Cathay, Kingdoms of Ind, the Hinterlands of Khuresh and more. While collective lore on these are less than any playable faction's, some of these factions' religious practices are known and some what interesting.
- Tilea worships the Southern Gods of the Old World Pantheon, mainly Myrmidia, the Goddess of War and Strategy. Tileans are sailors and pirates, so Manann, the God of Seas, is also worshipped by many. Other than them, local gods of city-states are among common worship. Like Luccan and Luccina, the founders of the City-State of Luccini, is the most worshipped God in said city (You know Romulus and Remus?). As a cosmopolitan country, Tilea also been influenced by other cultures and even races, like in Tobaro, people living in the underground tunnels of the city commonly worship il Grungnio or Grungni, the Dwarf God of Miners as he known to the Dwarfs. Even so, Tileans are said to be "casual" worshippers, not taking the religion so seriously, unlike the Imperials and Bretonnians.
- Estalia, being same as Tileans but with Spanish names, worships the Southern Gods of the Old World Pantheon, again mainly Myrmidia. But this didn't have a unifying effect on Estalians and Tileans, they have been fighting for centuries by now. Both sides claim that they are the real sons of Myrmidia.
- Araby is known to be worshipping a single god, being one of the very few monotheistic nations in the world. He chooses prophets among the people to teach his gospel to the Arabyans. A warrior-cult known as Dervishers is dedicated to that God, fan-named Ohrmazd (which is another name of Ahura Mazda, the God of Zoroastrianism) and said to be "too willing" to die for their god which is a bit stupid because real life Dervishs (Islamic Monks) while very religious, were also pacifists and humanists.
- Not much is known about the religion of Cathay: The Dragon-Emperor of Cathay is said to be an immortal dragon in human form, always surrounded with servants taking his every word as law and scholars recording his every word as divine will. So it is possible that Cathayans worship him as a god but it isn't expictly stated. What really expictly stated is the worship of Chi'an Chi is common among the aristocracy but said to be merely allowed, not commonly practiced.
- Kingdoms of Ind is also called the Land of a Thousand Gods. Shit goes down in Ind because it is literally the land of a thousand gods and at least most of the gods are real and very active. They are said to be very fickle and quick to anger, judging and punishing their worshippers swiftly. So every part of the Indian life is a ritual: like if you overcook a meal a bit, you may be struck down by the God of Food or if you don't thin your paints, the God of Thin Paints may visit you at night. Leopold Riogillo, a merchant prince, notes that Indians see the tiger-headed beastmen of their land as holy spirits, yet again it is known that at least one god, the four-armed Bharmir, despises Chaos.
- Amazons, the warrior tribeswoman of Lustria, worships the same pantheon of gods as the Lizardmen who are the Old Ones. Not much is known other than that.
Lizardmen revere the Old Ones as their gods. Lizardmen are brought fully formed into the world as full fighting units from magical spawning pools, some of these units have somehow been marked by one or more of the Old Ones for some specific purpose these are known as sacred spawnings.
- Sotek Unlike the other Old Ones Sotek was not among the original pantheon that created the Lizardmen and uplifted the humans, elves and dwarves. Sotek was brought into the world during the invasion of Lustria by the Skaven clan Pestilence. After numerous blood sacrifices turning rivers red by the Lizardmen, a gargantuan snake appeared and chased the Skaven out of Lustria. Those marked by Sotek have a red stripe on top of their heads and sometimes running down their backs, they are fiercer than other Lizardmen. Sotek is the only Old One known to have sacred spawnings of skinks, fitting as it was these little WS 2 T 2 shits that made rivers run red with rat blood.
- Chotec Chotec is revered as the god of the sun by the Lizardmen. Those of Chotec's sacred spawning are marked by the colour yellow and are more stoic than other Lizardmen.