AoS: Diary of a City Watchmen

All was quiet in the city of Heldelium. Until it wasn’t…

It’s rare that we get to see into the life of what a typical “Mortal” is like in the Mortal Realms. Most of the stories we get involve Super-humans fighting daemons or massive greenskins facing off against the undead. Even the more fantastical races like Aelfs and Duardin seem to live a very different life than say a lowly city guard. Which is why I found the most recent Malign Portents story so fascinating.

Beyond the Walls is written in the form of a journal of a City Watchmen. We get a look inside his life before some of the stranger things start to happen in the city, and the the slow decay that follows when they DO happen.

One of the fun connections I was making in my head about this story were some of the events the Guard had listed off – farms of people half-eaten. Men turned into raving lunatics. The Stormcast Eternals as “Enforcers” …and not in a positive way. I was remembering some of the other stories and thinking “I wonder if this is the same place where this happened.”

These short stories have been a great way to build-up the changes in the Age of Sigmar story and really shake-up the idea of the Mortal Realms, how they work, and we get the perceptions of the protagonists within them. Their differing Points of View have really been eye opening and I honestly want to read more. Plus, they are relatively short so if I don’t particularly care for one, I can finish it up and move on quickly.

The Age of Hope really is dying and things are starting to sound pretty bleak. The darkness is circling the Mortal Realms. I’m starting to wonder if this will be the new normal or if we will see the rise of a new batch of heroes to combat the coming darkness.

Hope springs eternal…but not in the Mortal Realms.

What do you think of the story developing in the Mortal Realms? Let us know in the comments below!

  • Drew

    I’m really enjoying these stories, but they’re making me a little nervous (and the fact that the Skull faction is winning the Dread Solstice campaign isn’t helping)- I don’t want my fantasy Grimdark. I get that with 40k (and it’s great there), but I want my fantasy to be something different. Something epic, heroic, paladins slaying monsters and heroes rising to glory…all that good stuff.

    Here’s hoping Age of Sigmar doesn’t become Warhammer 40k with swords any more than 40k becomes AoS with bolters!

    • Jonathon Runge

      Try Exalted.

      • Flashlights4Gunz

        I love Exalted but it’s about flawed heroes even more than GW. Not surprising that they have similar themes since GW and White Wolf/Onyx Path were both heavily influenced by Moorcock.
        It’s LotR or D&D for clear cut Good versus Evil stuff

    • Jared Swenson

      I’ll tell you something, the grimdark was always there in AoS, just not as pronounced. AoS is such a varied setting that it has a little bit of everything in tone. It has sword&sorcery, it has grimdark, it has mythic fantasy, it has of gods&mortals, it has epic fantasy, it has adventure fantasy. They are all there through various books and stories. As the game goes on, it will be focusing on various themes at different times. When AoS first came out, it was definitely an epic fantasy, and with the malign portents narrative event, it is grimdark. It will be changing again after this period is over.

      • ohhpoong

        I agree completely. The setting has been just as grimdark. the entire realms were pretty much conquered and plundered by Chaos for 500 years. this co-called ‘bright’ atmosphere was just for the realmgate wars storyline when Sigmar JUST started to fight back against Chaos. And to be honest, even that wasnt that ‘bright’, since Order managed to win back some areas by a narrow margin. Like you said, this grimdark story of MP is just another chapter in the storyline. we dont know where its gonna go it the future.

        Also the funny thing is, I’m pretty sure this kind of story is what people wanted all along? Like I remember so many people complained about how AoS has too much positiveness compared to WHFB and how it lacks ‘normal people’ in the storyline that people can relate to lol

  • Rob brown

    So just to be clear. Endless pain and misery is coming to the Mortal Realms… wait a minute. Wasn’t that one of the main criticisms of the Old World? Are we honestly saying the malign portents storyline couldn’t have just as easily happened in that setting? What is described on the short story is quintissential Old World.

    Ironically I’ve just made the transition to AOS, except I buy my scenery from other suppliers, ignore the more ridiculously over the top ranges and firmly set the story back in the Old World.

  • ohhpoong

    It’s kinda funny how the storyline is being criticized even when the writers are fixing what people have criticized all along (its too full of hope compared to the old world + i want to see what ‘normal’ people are like in mortal realms. no more sigmarine stories!). And to be fair, the AoS setting itself has just been as grimdark: the whole place has been plundered by Chaos for 500 years.

    And I always say this, but moving to AoS setting was never about ‘we’re gonna do something new cos WHFB storyline and setting sucked’. It was just about widening a setting a bit more so that it has more room to grow and not be stuck in 30 years time. I’m sure thats pretty evident now that they are bringing back characters like Morathi and Gotrek. AND as I always add, I do agree that they couldve left the Old World somewhere but the AoS setting just leaves so much more room to introduce something new.

  • Marco

    Long live Warhammer Fantasy and the Old World!

    • euansmith

      Yeah, Warhammer Total War is cool isn’t it.

  • Seienchin

    I am honestly baffled by AoS stories… On one hand a lot of them are great stories in itself but one part of world building is deeply missing – history. Sure warhammer fantasy never tried to make a completly in-depth history and world building like Tolkien but we knew why the dwarfs live and fight the way they do, we know why Empire citizens live in a lot of bigger cities and why bretonnia has outlawed guns. There is at least some organical growth.

    • euansmith

      Give it 27 more years, and people will be complaining about the Age of Sigmar: End Times 😉

    • Hagwert

      I get what your saying…but perhaps that may come with time, like the way sky dwarves are motivated by money etc. For now I would like some maps of the realms so I can try to piece together where all these cities,nations, races and geographical features are in relation to one another.

  • euansmith

    That was a nice little tale of dark fantasy.

    • Hagwert

      Yea, I loved how fear of an unknown enemy caused the different groups and factions in the city to turn on each other and do the enemies job for them ,the rich folk tried to use their wealth to cut themselves off rather than stand with the ordinary people and the stormcast and the watch went from being protectors to oppressors. I wonder if the writer was using AOS to make a real world political point ?