The New Realms
Disclaimer: I don't own Warhammer Fantasy/Age of Sigmar/40k, it is property of Games Workshop. I don't own The Elder Scrolls series, it is property of Bethesda.
This is a work of fiction and in no way is it intended to make profit or claim ownership of anything, merely a hobby with no lucrative purposes.
Warning: OOC, grammar issues, english not my first language
No idea what I'm doing, please bear with me.
Edit: Fixed grammar and format, cuz only now I realised what it looked like and it pissed me off, sorry for that.
Sovngarde met a new day as it always had. No change in the mists and only the barest of winds. It has been so since the defeat of the world-eater and the Last Dragonborn had entered the Hall when his time was up.
Tsun, Nordic God of Trials, stood as always before the whalebone bridge. Eyes closed but ears open, he waited for the next soul to take his challenge and prove their worth. By Shor's will this was his duty and by his master's decree he'll stay here.
Some mortals had asked the shield-thane if he ever got tired of his duty, not understanding that the divines didn't perceive time as the living did. The Last Dragonborn might crave action like in his youth, but surrounded by the very best Skyrim (and all those who were sons and daughters of the north even if they were not descendants of Ysgramor) had to offer the lad would do well to behave.
His tales were of legend and his humor contagious. The daring man often decided to accompany the guardian if for no other reason than boredom, the spars inside Shor's Hall not challenge enough he claimed.
Battle was for those blessed by the Dragon Deity but Tsun wished the last one didn't wish for more than he had. Shor was known to love the races of men, but even a father had patience's end. Regardless, the company was often welcome for now rare were those that came before the Hall of Valor, seemingly after the end of their second great war against the children of the Foreigners for there were few nords left and the ones who managed to find the bridge were found wanting.
Kyne took those unfortunate souls back to the mortal plane before the Ascended One, for them to try again after being reborn, the wheel unstopping.
And here he was. Alone and awaiting.
A faint whisper, barely a breeze, yet unlike that of the warrior-wife; no sounds of the hawk and no pillar of light from where Nirn connected with Sovngarde, strangers had their own means to reach this place but if they tried to invade, they'd have to go through him first, then the honored inside. Regardless a new guest was on their way with its own presence; strange but not evil… cold, like the one they know as Arkay and yet full of an unnatural vigor, a storm with direction, fury given form, unflinching conviction and unbreakable faith.
Another pair of steps, close. Far colder… grim. Yet carrying a light that shone through the mists with purposeful duty at its forefront.
Whatever the strangers were, they at least carried the spirit of proper nord warriors. Tsun stepped forward and placed himself before the very bridge, axe in hand and muscles flexing and clenching. These warriors deserved as much.
Morbus Stormwarden rose from where he kneeled as the feeling of stable ground returned to him, grabbing his staff and hammer as he did. The Lord Relictor of the Hallowed Knights saw no trace of his warrior chamber, despite the fact that he had been with them as they fought against a skaven invasion in the realm of Chamon. They were losing.
The Seraphon, noble allies of Holy Sigmar arrived to fight by their side when this whole fiasco went sideways and yet even that was not enough to avoid the death of many of the Steel Souls. Lord Gardus was hopefully spared from this fate.
The battle-priest looked around, finding himself alone on some sort of altar, surrounded by stone pillars, statues of robed men and bones of the like that this could very well be part of Ghur, further beyond he could spy a strange forest, with an unnatural star glowing overhead and a thick fog encroaching every corner of the place, yet none of his brother by his side.
"Brothers!" he bellowed, hoping that at least another one had made it here. Morbus remembered being overrun by the rats, he remembered the witch-blade that pierced him and he remembered the souls of his brothers that ascended to be reforged as the battle slipped from their grasp.
The Lord Relictor extended his senses but the fog somehow muddled them. He could sense some strange energies but they came from the whole place. Finding one of his own in this strange land was to be done the old-fashioned way, then.
Morbus stopped to reflect on what went wrong. The warband, the sudden invasion… the vermintide consuming everything and everyone on a feeding frenzy meant only to collect resources.
The rat-ogres, stormvermin (blasphemous for carrying such title), the countless slaves used as fodder. That damned assassin.
He had died with his brothers by his side, doing Sigmar's will, ascended to the heavens to continue their duty.
Yet he found himself alone.
A wave of nausea threatened to overcome him as the mere thought of abandoning his duty to Sigmar arose within his mind. His death should've meant his return to Azyr for rebirth, for what kind of Lord Relictor would he be if he failed to account for himself? But what if it wasn't an accident? What if he was discarded?
'Breathe, stay calm, assess the situation'
His training kicked in and pragmatism calmed him. He looked at the forest: there were boulders sticking from the ground, rising like mountains from the fog, looke like little islands; he heard the telltale signs of water so there was that. No sounds of birds or other animals, though.
Beyond that, Morbus managed to see something that resembled an edification, either very close or impossibly huge. That was to be his objective.
A slight movement, the sound of armor and a light appeared behind him. Morbus whipped his face to his left but instead of an enemy he found a friend.
Kneeling there stood a giant warrior of jet-black, carrying a great halberd on his right and a lantern on his left. An ancient hero from the Anvils, famed for their reserved nature but brave like any other host. So, he wasn't the only one stranded in this land? The Relictor approached slowly, deliberately making noise so as to not startle his new companion. Cooperation was common sense, since they were both servants of Sigmar; there was no need for enmity between them even if they came from different Stormhosts.
Not all was lost, though. He also came from the realm of Hysh so they had that in common, he just hoped that was enough.
A Stormcast Eternal from the Anvils of the Heldenhammer was hard to read.
Lord Castellant Yurvash the Gallowsward took a fraction of a moment to regain his bearings, trying to remember how he came to be. A mission, a command from the God-King. His distaste for his situation shoved aside for the sake of the job. Access to a Realmgate for the sake of those still living in the eternal kingdom of death. Escape from Nagash was more important than brooding over his resurrection, a respite for those living under his ever-looming shadow. The dead? Better left alone…
He had entered the Fallow Kingdom of Voldyr to secure the Gate of Corpses but he and his warriors were slain by Marrowthirst. A ghoul king. The abomination had proven weak against his cadre, had chosen cunning instead, more undead monsters rose from the ground or busted from walls, tombs, mausoleums, his gryphound was dead… What else?
Where was he for that matter?
Shouldn't Sigmar be aware of this failure? Where were the dwarfs? What about the reforging? Was he free?
The sound of boots alerted him of another presence. He tightened his grip on his halberd and rose to face…
Checking the colors, he found that the silver, blue and gold could only belong to the zealots. Good warriors, not so much for companions. Much less for those of his Host; worse yet it was a Relictor, so even more devotion that somehow fueled their mouths to ramble on and on and on…
He thanked the heavens and whatever deity that wasn't chaos and hasn't pissed him off for having his full gear on, helm included. It allowed him to close his eyes and let an unperceivable sigh escape him.
"Greetings, Anvil." began the Hallowed Knight "It seems we're lost here. I awoke within this forest after being slain by foul skaven, yet I wasn't alone during my fall like we're now. What about you? What brought your situation?"
With deep voice but soft tone he answered as briefly as he could.
"Ghoul-king, mission… Realmgate. Overrun"
The priest paused and considered the words, not minding the way he got his answer. Probably reforged too many times, probably just a regular Anvil, maybe just antipathy. The Hallowed Knights could be overwhelming in their devotion and he understood that. He just wished for a little more tolerance.
"You were not alone when you fell?"
The Castellant shook his head, barely enough to be visible. Not very talkative but the situation didn't change. For some reason they didn't return to Sigmarion upon their deaths, their battle-brothers ascended leaving them behind. The winds here were muddled yet there was no notable chaos corruption.
They also were not naked. Fully armed and armored, not a single scratch from the battles they lost.
A problem indeed.
"Be as it may, we seem to be stranded here." Morbus gestured at the valley below, barely visible in the mists, with his staff "I spied a building northwest of here, hopefully it will contain the answers we need, or at least someone to tell us where we are."
The Anvil rose from the pseudo-altar they were and peered at the forest and the place where the supposed building was. It would be easy to get lost in there. Yurvash reached for his lantern and the comforting light of Sigmar began to shine; whatever stalked the forest would burn if corrupted, or avoid them if not, and if nothing else then at the very least they'd be able to follow the stone road that only now he was seeing.
Hopefully it led somewhere.
Passage through the mist would have been a lot harder without the lantern. A holy relic used in this manner was an affront to Morbus but the eerie nature of the place kept his complaints to a minimum for one like him. The air was tense but at the very least they were courteous, in an attempt to lighten the mood, Morbus retailed about his origin and asking his ally for whatever he would share.
Yurvash remained as stoic as he could appreciating the effort to remain neutral. His own resurrection wasn't precisely voluntary but his sense of duty to his descendants and the opportunity to stick it to the Tyrant of the underworld were comforts for this new existence.
When the talking began to run out, the Anvil commented on the nature of the place. The star above, although not chaotic in nature, emitted a strange, shimmering light.
The mist was obviously magical in nature yet so far there hasn't been a single attempt on their lives, no whispers and no shadows. Only silence.
The road also seemed endless. Barr a few stone-totems, trees that felt ancient and some wild flowers, there wasn't a single thing around them. The only thing that assured them of their location was the brief sound of running water.
Occasionally they'd see part of the longhouse but it remained as a monolith, always out of reach.
An hour later, both sick of the tension, the Stormcast found themselves before a great stone staircase and the great edifice across a chasm connected only by a bridge made from the bones of giant animals, floating in the air.
What they noticed before that was the man guarding their end of the bridge. As tall as them, bare-chested and grim, a hand on an axe and the other clenching in anticipation. The stranger felt… different. Not part of the living yet not a bound soul in eternal servitude, capable of thought and emotion; a shade yet not quite lost. Like lightning gheist and unlike one at the same time.
The warrior stepped forward.
"What brings you, warriors grim, to wander here, in Sovngarde, souls-end, Shor's gift to honored dead?" exclaimed the man, words that had served him for countless years.
The demigods looked at each other. A brief pause that felt like an eternity. A conversation unheard.
The one in silver, wearing the helmet in the shape of a skull was the one who answered.
"Soldiers in service to holy Sigmar, though we seem to be lost. We fell in different battles at different times, yet know nothing of this Shor you speak of. Who are you, if I may ask?"
Tsun frowned. Noble warriors yet not Nordic. Sigmar? A new deity like Hjalti or Martin?
Questions for later. Answers now.
"I am Tsun, shield-thane to Shor. The Whalebone Bridge he bade me guard and winnow all those souls whose heroic end sent them here, to Shor's lofty hall where welcome, well earned, awaits those I judge fit to join that fellowship of honor."
Another silence, more sinister and a tense vibe began to ring. Cold fury restrained by years of practice, Tsun realized.
"Is Shor another title for Nagash?
More silence and the divine tensed in preparation for what felt like a fight not intended to earn entrance into the Hall of Valor but senseless violence born of pure hatred.
"I know not of this Nagash. Who. Are. You?"
The one in black, holding a lantern that resonated with his own spirit and the biggest halberd he had seen in his life, took a step forward, the light shining on him as if it were to do something. Another second passed. The tension remained but the hostility diminished.
"We are Stormcast Eternals. Demigods of the Warrior-King Sigmar made to fight the hordes of Chaos. Is Shor in the Hall behind you?
Tsun restrained himself but didn't lower his guard.
"No shade are you, as usually here passes, but not quite living, you dare the land of the dead. This is the promised land for the sons and daughters of Skyrim yet come here demanding answers from my master. By what right do you request entry?"
"By the one bestowed upon us by Holy Sigmar! If your master has answers we will have them, for our duty has not ended and we need to return to His side!" Exclaimed the Knight. The one in black tightened his hold of the weapon he carried, but in the slightest direction of his companion.
So, there was no perfect unity there.
"Living or dead, by decree of Shor, none may pass this perilous bridge 'till I judge them worthy by the warrior's test."
The one with the light shook his head.
"Spare yourself, we do not seek violence but a way home. Our people need us"
"Regardless it is my duty. If you really are warriors, prove it. Try to bypass me and only the strike of lighting will you know"
At this the one in black could talk no more.
"What is lighting from the enemy to us who were reborn by its caress?" replied the one with the staff.
At once the three giants looked at the newcomer; a warrior just like them, armored in bone and a black metal. Shield and sword of the same material. Despite being tall for a mortal, he was still short when compared to them. The most distinguishable feature they could spy were the silver eyes beneath the helm.
And yet he carried himself wit an aura of power and dignity seldom seen outside kings and generals in the eight realms. An assuredness born from experience despite the youthful spirit.
The stormcast, while not impressed, could at least recognize a good warrior when they saw one.
Morbus would be delighted to know a good one joined the ranks of the Thunder Legions.
It was after a few minutes that those present could explain their situation. The Nordic deity could admit, at least to himself, that the story of the Four abominations beyond chilled his blood, for not even the hateful princes of Oblivion could compare. The realms and their founder however…
Sigmar Heldenhammer, ascended by accident, feared by gods even as a mortal, great architect of order and king of the humans on the great beyond. Chief among the gods of sanity, stalwart defender of mortals and archenemy to the madness that came from the warp. Not even Talos could claim to have done so much even after achieving CHIM.
The stormcast for their part, lent great attention to the small details. An afterlife conceived to house those specifically fallen in combat after proving themselves to the great guardian of the bridge. Drinking, feasting and fighting.
But that caused another problem.
How to convince the god of this place to lend support for Sigmar's cause?
As it stood, the warrior clad in dragon bone was more than willing to accompany them into this war despite the vehement protests of Tsun, countered by the argument that if the spirits of the dead wanted to fight for something greater a second time, only Shor could stop them.
Yurvash had a few words for that, but kept his mouth shut. Even then, his hatred for chaos outweighed his reservations and if they were really willing to support the cause then he was no one to stop them.
Originally I wanted to use Shor, but that would've taken me at least another 30 pages and a hell lot more imagination than what I have. This would be a half finished prologue because I ran out of patience, so I apologize for that. Not gonna lie, AoS pissed me off at first, but I couldn't just stay mad at it, there's no point. But then Geedubs announces the return of the Old World. I'm mad as hell but it will also pass and I liked Fantasy better anyway. (sigh) 6k wasted on sigmarines and they're probably going to be useless when it comes down. During my very first game, I found Tullius in Sovngarde. The guy is imperial despite the fact that several time I was told the place is the afterlife for the nords. Imperial soldiers are also in there. The Ebony warrior is a Redguard. Seems those who are either in Skyrim, are born in Skyrim or want to go to Sovngarde reach the place when they die.
Even if every race has their own afterlife, you just need to embrace an ideology of where you want to go for that to change or maybe a ritual or maybe how you live, I don't know. Then again that could also very well be an oversight or a deliberate decision by Bethesda.
Tsun and Ysgramor state that Shor himself barred them from fighting Alduin. I don't care about the Nordic elite not helping in this case, only that a supposed dead god gave certain people orders. Even if the throne was empty it came to my mind that only Shor's physical body or his ability to physically manifest himself on Nirn was taken but his spirit remains, completely capable of interacting with those in Sovngarde. Or maybe he IS Sovngarde, or maybe the three spirits who became Talos adopted/were adopted into Shor due to mantling but I rather not entertain the idea because that opens a new can of worms I don't want to touch.
Why was the throne empty? No idea.
The dragonborn in this story didn't ascend to godhood out of his own volition, so he didn't seek apotheosis and didn't walk any of the six ways on purpose, preferring to feast and fight in the company of the heroes of Skyrim without supplanting, or being supplanted by, Lorkhan/Shor.
Why is the dragonborn a nord? I watched the trailer when it first came out, looked like a nord and since that's as close as canon as we're going to get unless specifically told otherwise, there it is.
Since Age of Sigmar has several gods and everyone and their dog know about their existence because they're far more active and interact with mortals more directly, it stands to reason that a Stormcast wouldn't be so awed by a god when they were reforged into super soldiers by one… kinda. Not directly but you get me. Knowing that and knowing Shor/Lorkhan loves mortals, I wanted to give this little idea a try.
Maybe start a new trend if it catches the attention of someone more talented than me. If you're willing, start your own story even if you don't use this as a prologue, or comment this little idea where you can, or make a challenge. I honestly don't know how the site works yet, I'm working on it
The two Stormcast used here are canon, even from the two Stormhosts I needed them from.
Also, CHIM is stupid. Godhood by looking at a giant heart sideways because it has the shape of a tower? Love? Individuality in the face of existence? Eternal concentration/focus? On what? To what? Which one is it? I don't care if its metaphorical, define the damned thing with simple words and be done with it.
Most likely I don't get it because English is not my first language, but still, I'm not so stupid as to not understand words and certain sentences.
I read about three days for six-nine hours a day and still don't know nothing!