Retro Corner: Storm of Chaos


Join us as we take a look at the Original Storm of Chaos Book!

Do you remember the first time Valten and Archaeon met? That is the question that Stable Abe and I (AdamHarry) have for you today! Games Workshop’s Storm of Chaos book shook the pillars of the Old World and set the stage for future conflicts. Check this out:

This book, The Storm of Chaos, was a precursor to the Endtimes series we got right before the Age of Sigmar launched. Originally published back in 2004, this book was the 6th edition version of those same events. The lore in this book was considered canon until the wrap-up events in 8th edition retconned it away. But we still remember!

Story-line wise this book was basically a round-up of the Storm of Chaos campaign as well as the conclusion. Before this book came out, Games Workshop had launched a global campaign with the three major forces of Order, Chaos and Orks & Goblins charging headlong into a conflict. Chaos was fairly dominate and it wasn’t looking good for the Empire. Actually, it looked like this could be the end of the Empire as we knew it.

The event was fairly popular and players from all over the world were participating in it. Everyone was excited about the results of the campaign. The book basically recapped those events and then the ending was to be based on the campaign results. But, while highly fitting, the ending did feel a bit scripted. We cover that in the video, but I’m sure if you remember the results it was a mix of hilarity and a touch of disappointment that GW didn’t follow through completely. Looking back, I now appreciate the ending but the lore never moved beyond the in story year of 2523 and the following editions basically reset the clock to before those events anyways.

Content wise, this book had a lot of powerful army lists inside of it for different factions. This was the book that really inspired me to try to build Grimor Ironhide’s Orc Horde. But an edition shift and other factors prevented me from ever completing it. That said, “Grimgor iz da best!” – Just ask Archaon.

*Spoliers Ahead – But I figure if you’re still reading you probably want to know what happened.*


The final pages of the story really left a lot open to interpretation: After Archaon wounds (perhaps mortally) Valten, he is quickly dispatched by Grimgor – but not killed. The Chaos Horde magically turns on itself (due to plot powers) and the Chaos forces (who were so dominate before) are routed. The Empire is in shambles and the Orcs decide that Grimor is the best and also leave. In the Aftermath Valten is taken to a tent to heal. In the morning his body is gone. There were some clues pointing to Skaven intervention but there were also rumors that maybe the Empire’s former leader Karl Franz may have had something to do with it.

The Status Quo returns – the Empire is on defense, Chaos is a threat but it’s now “over there” somewhere again, and the Orcs are back to trying to establish that Grimgor is the best. And then 7th edition came and we started the cycle all over again.

*Spoilers over*

Overall, The Storm of Chaos event was actually pretty neat. GW had White Dwarfs with great content to support the campaign, player engagement was huge and the interaction was fantastic. Even though the events may have been retconned it’s something we see the echos of even today. In a strange way, maybe this event (and the dominance that Chaos showed) actually did influence GW to create the Endtimes for 8th edition. If they had followed through back in 6th, 7th edition’s story line might of looked a lot more similar to the Age of Sigmar one we have now. But now we’ll never know – Those mysteries are left behind in The Storm of Chaos…


I’d like to see an Archaon vs Grimgor duel now. I have a funny feeling it might go slightly differently.

  • D. B.

    At the risk of sounding like a whiner, this book had the considerable advantage of not getting the Old World blown up.

    While I do invest considerable time into exploring AoS background, I still consider the SoC books to be at least an alternative reality where the old WHFB universe is alive and kicking, if somewhat mangled.

  • Severius_Tolluck

    Yes, well the story went that if Archaon stepped into the Flame of Middenheim that the world would end. Forces of disorder could not win enough games to push the siege until far too late in the campaign. Almost all orc players banded together to do as they pleased. We knew that GW wouldn’t let the world be destroyed back then but things whimpered out.

    That being said the battle was redone shortly after the conclusion at the Chicago Battle Bunker during the 48 hours of gaming event. It came down to where chaos had nothing left to do and was just shy of their goal. The last mage to go was a lowly wizard a child was controlling. He cast shadow step on archaon and it went off with irresistible force! Archaon walked into the flame and the world ended! Was a comical game to watch.

    • ZeeLobby

      That’s pretty awesome. Thanks for the background.

  • Ryan Williams

    Um…Chaos had its head handed to it for almost the entirety of the campaign, especially the siege.

    Karl Franz wasn’t the ‘former’ leader of the Empire. He was the current one.

    The sentence about the three way duel between Valten, Archaon and Grimgor makes it sound it’s Valten being ‘dispatched not killed.’

    The Chaos horde didn’t turn on itself, it was routed by the newly arrived army of Mannfred Von Carstein.

    • D. B.

      Not to mention the aforementioned conclusion to the campaign was NEVER in this book – it came in a long WD background piece afterwards.

  • Admiral Raptor

    SoC was better than the End Times, but not quite as cool as the third war for Armageddon.

  • Deathwing

    The old world would have been in a near disastrous state after the events of the original SOC. Three provinces of the empire plus keslev were ruined, the skaven got off with almost zero damage beyond the forces they committed to lustria, and Manfred walked in, raised every single dead body from darn near the entire campaign then left and went back home, meaning he now would have control of the largest army in the old world and maybe the world period.
    Lets also remember that Archaon survived. he lost the steed of the apocalypse but otherwise is still a wildly successful and powerful lord of Chaos that would just have to go back north for a few dozen years or so and raise another army.
    I miss playing my Brettonians under the old rules. They wrecked shop in this campaign, with the one exception of my first encounter with a hellcannon (which made the weekly fluff put out by GW! yay! I was in the fluff until it was retconed…having my A** handed to me lol)