Shyish is the Realm of Death, or the Amethyst Realm, and is one of the eight Mortal Realms. All gates to the underworld reside here and nowhere is more haunted. Everything is in decline and degeneration.
During the Age of Myth Shyish was ruled by Nagash. It was during this time that the Wars of the Dead were fought. During the Age of Chaos the armies of Chaos and Death fought to a stalemate as Nagash's alliance with Sigmar strengthened the defence. Eventually Archaon and Tzeentch drove the two allies apart - leading to the war of Heaven and the Underworlds. After Nagash's war with Sigmar, he was weakened and the War of Bones saw the destruction his capital. After the Battle of Black Skies (where the weakened Nagash was defeated by Archaon) Nagash's mortarchs went into hiding in Stygzz to reform their fallen master.
Notable events Edit
Age of Myth Edit
- The God-King slayer - Sigmar slays the Hydragors that guard the gates of the Realm of Shyish, he finds and releases Nagash.
- Brothers in Arms - Sigmar and Nagash wage war together and defeat many powerful entities including The King of Broken Constellations, the Devouring Light, The Abyssal Dukes and Symr, the First Fire.
- The Starless Gates -The First Great Change comes upon Shyish when the Starless Gates – defended against the living by giant skeletal hydragors – are flung wide by the God-King Sigmar. The hydragor guardians are shattered by the mighty hammer Ghal Maraz, opening the way into the underworlds for the living as well as the deceased. Gnorros, the Father of Hydragors, is so enraged by the slaying of his guardians that he stabs his claws into the Prime Innerlands in an attempt to slay Sigmar. The God-King escapes, but the indentations form the Chained Lakes, as well as the giant whirlpools known as the Sea Maw and the Black Nihil. Luckily, Gnorros, who has a very short attention span, leaves for pastures new.
- The quick and the dead - Under Sigmar’s watchful eye, mortal folk settle and populate Shyish’s Prime Innerlands – those least saturated in the energies of death. Slowly, cities are built and civilisations thrive. Great obsidian towers are erected, the finest tall and grand enough to rival even the star-spires of Azyr. Amongst the most impressive regions are those of Stygxx, a mountainous underworld where gods and mortals freely interbreed; Hallost, the Land of Dead Heroes, where those who believe in eternal battle are reincarnated with each new day; and Athanasia, where the mortals live only a set span before willingly going to their deaths in a great rite of ending – only to be reborn with the next rising sun. The richest of the Innerlands are the Amethyst Princedoms – a domain where precious minerals glitter everywhere. The Amethyst Princedoms thrive above all, with the ven Denst dynasty acting as benevolent kings that trade through a well-defended Realmgate network. Ossia, another underworld of the Innerlands, thrives. It is a place of peace, with the living coexisting in harmony alongside the dead. Many thousands of graveyards cover its lands, and every ghost-soul that travels there from the mortal lands of Fleizch finds an echo of their grave transported with them. They feel little grief, for they are often sought out by living relatives visiting their true graves in Fleizch, and take succour in hearing of those still living as the news echoes into Shyish.
- Bounty of the seas - The waters of the Shyish Innerlands thrive with pale-skinned forms of life, amongst them massive eater-fish and greater scuttlefish that prey on all things that drift down to the sea bed. Though it takes the settlers of the Innerlands many perilous years to learn how to catch these omnipredators safely, they pull in hauls of such number that in the northern lands no soul need ever go hungry.[0i]Life in the Realm of Death - The people of the Innerlands, taught the arts of civilisation by Sigmar himself, thrive and innovate. Dirgesong, soulful music and amethyst sky-lanterns fill the underworld night. Gemstones, created from the crushing pressures of the subterranean strata and mined by gifted duardin and human guilds, become so commonplace that they are considered of less value than good meat – a fattened bull is worth a year’s wages in the Innerlands, for fauna is scarce. Trade with the Realm of Beasts, established by the Amethyst Princes via the Penultima Realmgate network, sees much saltedmeat and livestock imported every year. For several generations, the Innerlands enjoy harmony.
- Then comes Nagash - In the course of his travels, Sigmar finds Nagash’s soulless shell buried under a cairn of magical realmstone. After the demise of the world-thatwas, Nagash’s essence had been naturally drawn to Shyish. Sigmar deliberates long upon the correct course, but sensing an opportunity he chooses to revive the Great Necromancer, just as Dracothion had revived him in turn. It is a decision he will come to regret. Upon his awakening, Nagash swears to align himself with Sigmar’s agendas, but in secret he covets the power of the underworlds and wishes to consume them all. He makes his home at the exact centre of the Shyish realmsphere, and builds the fortress complex of Nagashizzar at its core. For long centuries he crafts his armies with bone, spirit, amethyst and the stuff of death itself.When his legions reach the heights of magnificence, he sends his undead minions across the Innerlands to locate and gather as much Shyishanrealmstone as possible. Over the course of long centuries, many monolithic deposits are unearthed by legions of skeleton slaves. Purpleblack structures of vitrified magical sand take shape at Shyish’s heart.
- Lands of the Mortarchs - Nagash sends his lieutenants, the Mortarchs, to expand their own realms. Arkhan the Black takes a stronghold beyond the sight of mortal men, whereas Neferata extends her dominion to an unclaimed underworld, naming it Neferatia, and builds the city of Nulahmia there as a memento of her old strongholds. Mannfred von Carstein also annexes a part of the Innerlands, naming it Carstinia, but the land is a mere echo of his former glories. Mannfred sits on his overly huge throne, corpses fashioned in the likeness of Vlad, Konrad and Isabella at his beck and call, but in his heart he knows it is an artificial thing he has made, a reminder of his failure to claim the old Empire for his own. He soon abdicates, leaving a hollow mockery of Sylvania behind him.
- The fate of Sahadespire - Penultima is a thriving and populous land of mortal men. Its people revere their ancestors and build great cities of learning and understanding. One of these is Shadespire, wherethe civic luminaries known as Katophranes lead the pursuit of science, alchemy and magic. The Katophranes even manage to harness the power of grave-sand, the near-black substance that is laced throughout the realmstone-dunesof Shyish, each rivulet representing the lifespan of a mortal creature in the realms. It is said that one who halts the flow of their personalsand-stream will put off indefinitely their own demise. The Katophranes succeed in this, vitrifying the sands of time into a brittle material known as shadeglass. With this invention, they live on in magical reflections long after their natural life’s end, the better to teach their pupils the secrets they long ago uncovered. Innovation and even technology becomes commonplace in Shadespire, as does the pursuit of the arcane. The city becomes famous, and its spires rise high indeed. Its thriving trade in ensorcelled items fills the city’s coffers to bursting, but over time, Nagash becomes incensed by the arrogance of the Katophranes of Shadespire and their methods of escaping his clutches. He works a great spell to wrench the essence of the city from its physical incarnation and hurl it into the aether, where it will abide forever as a ghostly echo of its former self. The city’s essence comes to rest in Uhl-Gysh, the Hidden Gloaming, the twilight realm between Ulgu and Hysh.
- Quietus interrupted - Assassin’s Rest, a land shaped like the hook symbol of Shyish, is hometo the ghosts of some of the most notorious killers of the age. These souls roam the island eternally, eachconvinced by the island’s peculiar magic that they are completely alone. They find a kind of peace as a result. Slowly, however, the land falls underthe sway of Nagash’s necromancers. With a legion of undead assassins at his command, he destabilises a dozen nations in a single night.[0j]A deadly toll - Nagash’s grip on Shyish becomes tighter and tighter. Many of the older, more traditional underworlds are conquered by legions of undead and their energies harnessed to feed Nagash’s undying hunger. Across the Innerlands, primitive civilisations cower as Nagash hunts down thelords of each underworld and devours them, one at a time. It seems that nothing can stop the Great Necromancer, for in the deathly lands of Shyish his power is magnified tenfold. The underworld nations pray, in their own ways, for something – anything – to break the curse of evil that has fallen across their homelands.
- The time of new beginnings - During the alliance between Sigmar and Nagash, dozens of cities are founded across Shyish. In some – such as Gothizzar, Glymmsforge, Mortistan and Sepulchtan – their mortal citizens either pledge themselves to Nagash or sponsor a Cult of Death that earns the Great Necromancer’s favour. In others, such as Shadespire or Hawthorne’s End, their lack of proper respect for Nagash spells their ultimate doom. Such is the nature of Shyish, for it is a place of endings far more than new beginnings.
- The Blood Rose Prince - The first Abhorrant Ghoul King fell from favour in Shyish, his mind broken he is transformed into a monster by Nagash, he rampages across the Nightlands before being confined in the Shroudcage.
Age of Chaos Edit
- A time of new strife - The Dark Gods invade Shyish. Not content with his pre-eminence in Ghyran, Nurgle seeks dominance over the entire cycle of life and death, and sends his daemon hosts through the oceanic Realmgates that lead to Shyish. Plague fleets in great number emerge from the Sea Mawand the Black Nihil. Athanasia, the Amethyst Princedoms, Ossia and Stygxx are all invaded in one fellmonth as Nurgle’s power waxes. Khorne, for his part, covets the Land of Dead Heroes, and seeks an eternal war there. The quality of battle to be had in Hallost gives the Blood God a great source of power as deceased hero and daemon clash anew each morning in an unending war. Gravesites are raided, the heads taken from revered bodies and used to decorate the crenellated Chaos Dreadforts that are erected across the Innerlands. Some of the lands’ departed gheists are even forced to exhume their own mortal remains and to place their skulls in the walls of the cities they once inhabited. All across the Innerlands the yoke of Chaos weighs heavy indeed, and all joy and life seems to flee these deathly territories. The island of Ossia is invaded by the devoted of Nurgle, for the Plague God sees Ossia’s endless graveyards as a fitting annex for his garden. As the plague legions win battle after battle and the claw of Chaos grips the land, the once-vibrant populace of Ossia begins to lose hope. They are ill matched against the hosts of Chaos, and almost all of their warriors succumb to the daemon hordes. The remainder surrender, becoming slaves of the new order. Beneath Chaos oppression they become stagnant and mindless, trudging through each day without variation or rebellion. As the spined citadels of Chaos rise from basalt andground bone, spirits and hopes sink ever lower. As the people of Ossia lose their will to fight, the land itself grows stale under the heel of Chaos.[0j]The War of Bones - Nagash strikes back hard against the Chaos invaders and, for a time, he claims dominion over many fallen lands. The skaven, ever watchful and with an ancestral grudge against Nagash from ages past, counterattack the undead legions from newly burrowed gnawhole tunnels.The War of Bones erupts across Shyish and, though it is ultimately fought to a standstill, it leaves Nagash further weakened. Nagashizzar itself is toppled by Nurgle daemons immune to the morbid, desiccating curse of Shyish’s innate magic. For a time, Nagash is forced to relocate to a secondary base of command in dank and clammy Stygxx. The deathly rage he feels at this dislocation is so strong it could freeze mountains. Nagash sends Arkhan the Black to oversee the building of the Great Black Pyramid, and the legions of Deathrattle slaves labouring at the heart of Shyish redouble their pace, working night and day to complete their master’s grandest work.
- A Storm God’s wrath - Enraged at the failure of his pantheon Sigmar thunders into the Innerlands in search of Nagash, seeking to call him to account over the perceived betrayal. Many of Nagash’s lieutenants and heralds are obliterated at Sigmar’s hand before he finally relents and heads back through the storm to Azyr, leaving the mortals of Shyish to their fate.
- An ill omen - Following seams of realmstone, a skaven army tunnels up into one of the lesser colonies of the reclusive Mor’phann enclave in Shyish. There, along the base of the sea floor of the Great Quagmire, the battle is swift and one-sided. The victorious Mor’phann are put on high alert, redoubling their protective measures around their capital of Mor’drechi.
- Fall of Dolorum - Once the largest of Shyish’s civilisations, the empire of Dolorum falls during the Age of Chaos. The last ruler of those lands, Lady Olynder, is cursed upon her death by Nagash so that her spectre feels all the sorrows of the realms.
Age of Sigmar Edit
- A ray of hope - Sigmar’s Tempest breaks, and lightning strikes across the lands.The Hallowed Knights and the Anvils of the Heldenhammer invade in great strength, hurling back the legions of Khorne, Nurgle and Tzeentch on a dozen fronts. As the Age of Sigmar begins inearnest, the God-King’s debt to the people of the Innerlands is repaid in full – the Tempest strikes hard here, with Stormhost after Stormhost arriving to turn the tide wherever evil gathers darkest. In the northernlands of Stygxx, the Amethyst Princedoms and Hallost, Sigmar’s legions prove so capable at hurlingback the forces of Chaos that the mortals – and ghosts – of Shyish that fight alongside them begin to feel hope rekindling within them.
- The return of order - Spurred on by Sigmar and his Stormcast Eternals, the forces of Order seize many pivotal Realmgates. It is not long before these beachheads are expanded into fortresses, and then rapidly grow into cities as free peoples flock to burgeoning civilisations.
- Back from the brink - The living fight alongside the dead once more as the Stormcast Eternals settle old grounds in the name of hope and progress. Chaos’ grip on the Innerlands remains tight and unforgiving, but here and there the cracks begin to show as the forces of Order gain momentum. Realmgates are claimed and new cities are built in the far north of the Shyish Innerlands, while some of the more established underworlds begin to break free from the oppression they have endured for so long. A glimmer of civilisation is kindled, although the long dark night is far from over.
- Sinister omens - As Nagash’s secret schemes near completion, echoes of the future ripple through the Mortal Realms in an escalating series of malign and ominous portents. Visionaries, heralds and emissaries from each of the Grand Alliances gather armies bound for Shyish.
- The dead rise up - Portents of evil abound as the forces of Shyish gather in strength. Wherever there is a great concentration of Scáthborn, the spirits of the dead rise and attack. Nagash, Supreme Lord of the Undead, seeks to claim those errant aelven souls that have escaped death, for he considers them to be rightfully his. At the same time the Daughters of Khaine are called upon by their Order allies to help defend the major cities from the baleful forces that assail them. Only where political, territorial or monetary gains are to be made does Morathi command the war covens to join the fighting. There are, however, exceptions – whenever the enemy is Slaaneshi or undead in origin, the High Oracle orders her kin to enter the fray with vengeful zeal, for she will never forgive the masters of those two foes.
- Descent of meteors - Sigmar resists the urge to goburning with indignation into Shyish to hunt Nagash and bring him down in person, for he has learned much from the Realmgate Wars. Instead he gives the people of the realms the means to save themselves. He climbs the spiralling ascent to the High Star Sigendil and, with a sweep of his hand, catches meteors rich in the prophetic realmstone celestium. These he hurls into the Mortal Realms, each magical monolith burning like a twin-tailed comet as it plummets to earth. The celestium meteors dig deep into the soil of the Mortal Realms, where they bring prophecies and visions of salvation to magisters and simple folk alike. Sigmar sends out emissaries from his Sacrosanct Chambers – his Lord-Ordinators, masters of scrying and leaders of men – to find where the meteors have come to land. Sequestering them from would-be soothsayers seeking to mine them for celestium, the Lord-Ordinators use them to divine possible futures. They read the fates of each land and prepare accordingly for what is to come, marshalling armies to march upon Nagash’s holdings – their intent to disrupt and even thwart his grand plans before they come to fruition.
- The harbingers march out - Sigmar is not alone in his desire to halt the doom of Shyish. Many of his rival gods have become aware of the dangers, and send their own emissaries into Shyish at the heads of massive armies. By the time Sigmar’s Lord-Ordinators pass into Shyish to march upon Nagashizzar, harbingers of the Dark Gods are already there – and Nagash, having learned of the intrusion into his domain, sends his fell agents to stop these intruders. When the forces of Order and Chaos converge upon Nagashizzar, a tragic irony unfolds. If either one had successfully laid siege to the Supreme Necromancer’s fortress, perhaps his works could have been stymied, or even torn down. But the Stormcast Eternals were created specifically to fight Chaos. The hosts from Azyr have nothing but hatred in their hearts for those that long ago slaughtered their kin, and the forging of an alliance is out of the question. As Sigmar’s faithful and their Chaos-worshipping adversaries give in to their bone-deep enmity and fight in the shadow of Nagash’s citadel, the Supreme Necromancer’s great ritual has time enough to reach a conclusion. Only a small party of skaven make it to his inner sanctums, and though they disrupt the ritual, they do not halt it.
- A magical singularity - By channelling a great sorcerous spell through his carefully aligned black pyramid, Nagash reverses the flow of death magic so that it gathers not at the edge of the realmsphere, but at its centre. The hideous weight of all the gathered death energy collapses a hole in the centre of the realm, and the magical polarity of Shyish reverses completely.
- The Shyish Necroquake - With the Great Black Pyramid completed and Nagash’s ritual put in motion, Nagash nearly succeeds in fending off those who would invade Shyish and wreck his plan. However, skaven agents contaminate the Great Black Pyramid. The resulting is a cataclysmic, epoch-shattering implosion of magic causes the heart of Shyish to collapse like that of a dying star. The pyramid burrows down into realmsphere until it pulls the fabric of Shyish into a vast funnel-like maelstrom with Nagashizzar at the bottom. The Shyish Nadir is born, a cursed sinkhole in reality to which all the deathly magic of the cosmos is drawn. The Ymmerloc Idoneth of the arctic Helfrost in Shyish send warnings to their kin, but enclaves throughout the realms have already begun to feel the spell’s effects. Even as the domains of the Idoneth Deepkin are assailed by the undead, pleas for aid begin to arrive from the surface worlds as many of the nascent cities of Order find themselves sorely pressed by the legions of the Great Necromancer. Reluctantly, many enclaves send some of their phalanxes to aid the land dwellers. The Briomdar and Motlynians go to Alarielle’s aid, whilst the Mor’phann and Ymmerloc join forces to aid the Stormhosts in Shyish.The Ionrach send troops everywhere, diverting significant resources to help their deep-sea kin and Order allies alike.
- Those who burn bright - Hallost had long thrived above all as a vital and glorious place untouched by fear or doubt. Its warriors still fought the hideous creatures of Modrhavn every new day, and those who died were still reborn. Nagash once found he had little influence there – even his finest generals were seen as another military challenge for the fearless populace to overcome. Yet the Nadir’s pull is irresistible, and over time even Hallost slips slowly southward. Ossia also begins to descend to the Shyish Nadir, and becomes ever more terrible of aspect. In drawing nearer to that swirling, crushing vortex, the land becomes saturated with magic. Great armies of wraiths, banshees and spirits rise from the earth – the souls of those who called Ossia their home long ago – and attack their Chaos oppressors. Ill equipped to combat these ethereal hosts with blade and spear, the Chaos armies strike back with sorcery and daemonic power. Here and there the mortal populace rises up with blade and shield in hand, given hope by their ethereal ancestors, but most are too downtrodden and have already become half-dead husks. The fate of Ossia hangs in the balance.
- Battle of Ossia - Stormcast Eternals arrive throughout Shyish, and the battles in Ossia are particularly fierce. As the undead rise up, alliances are formed between the two estranged factions. The fighting wavers back and forth, but with the arrival of the Mortarchs the Chaos strongholds are eventually cast down. Nagash does not forgive those of Ossia for allowing themselves to be conquered.
- The solemn and the dead - In Shyish’s Innerlands the Anvils of the Heldenhammer fight through the living dead– and sometimes alongside them – to hurl back the greater evil of Chaos. Each Stormhost wins its own sagas and tales of heroism as the wars unfold. To the south of Nulahmia, the Bloodbound warbands of Knasvan Skullrender are annihilated when they are caught between the vast skeletal horde of Neferata and the unyielding shield-wall of the Anvils of the Heldenhammer. Hope is renewed for a lasting alliance between the God-King and the Lord of the Dead.
- A Queen shall rise - After a long search that saw Nagash peer into every underworld known to him, the Great Necromancer selects Lady Olynder and appoints her as his Mortarch of Grief.
- Battlefield Shyish - Lady Olynder’s first task is tobegin the long task of driving back the Chaos forces that still dominate Shyish. Over one hundred Nighthaunt processions are hurled into the fray, fighting alongside Nagash’s legions. Each of the existing Mortarchs sees the opportunity to take Lady Olynder’s measure. Although Mannfred von Carstein and Neferata resent the newcomer’s share of power, all of the Mortarchs quickly realise she is a formidable addition to their ranks.
- Cloud raiders - An enterprising sky-fleet of Kharadron Overlords attempts to build a base from which to plunder the aether-gold that drift high above Shyish. Their ability to remain above the clouds had kept them safe from many foes – but not Baroness Ravenblack and her Blackguard procession. The duardin are swept over by packs of Dreadscythe Harridans. One by one, the guns of the Kharadron fall silent, and their ships plummet from the sky.
- Brief alliance - In many places the newly-anointed Nighthaunt processions join forces with Flesh-eater Courts in order to destroy Chaos invaders. Such alliances are of convenience only. At the Battles of Lake Lethis, the Grymfens, and throughout the campaign of Ossia the tale was the same – after the common foe was defeated the spectral hosts turned upon the vile cannibals and destroyed them also.
- The Briar Queen - The Briar Queen – nemesis of the cursed city of Shadespire – is unleashed by Nagash to menace other lands. She is tasked with claiming certain souls that have cheated Nagash. With the aid of her spectral army – the Thorns of the Briar Queen – she visits each of the Mortal Realms, always bringing back her target’s soul. Between missions the Briar Queen returns to Shadespire, for her need for vengeance there remains unsatisfied.
- Near disaster at Ghrun - The last battle to cleanse Lyria of Chaos is almost Lady Olynder’s undoing. Although victorious in the end, her near destruction at the hands of a Bloodthirster draws censure from Nagash, who both punishes and rewards his new Mortarch with her betrothal to the Craven King, Kurdoss Valentian.
- The Soul Wars - Nagash deems it is time to launch his long-planned crusade to reclaim all those souls he sees as rightfully his – that is, all souls that ever were. Strikes are levelled against the factions that have betrayed Nagash by withholding the spirit-stuff of their dead – the followers of Chaos, the Stormcast Eternals, the Idoneth Deepkin, the aelves of Hysh, the Sylvaneth and the Daughters of Khaine among them. The first wave is conducted by the Nighthaunt processions. Thus, even in the wake of the necroquake, a further tide of undead attacks sweeps across the Mortal Realms. Led by the Mortarch of Grief, every major free city is assailed. The Nighthaunts prove themselves beyond doubt to be the tip of Nagash’s spear of terror.
- The Battle of Glymmsforge - The necroquake sweeps across Shyish, consuming lands held by the forces of Order and Chaos alike without discrimination. A Sacrosanct Chamber of the Hammers of Sigmar is tested sorely when two of its foremost arcanists are sent to defend the city of their birth, Glymmsforge, from the forces of the traitor knight Malendrek. They keep the city from being completely overwhelmed by Nighthaunt hosts, but are forced to watch helplessly as much of the land around is swamped by the energies of undeath.
- The Grimhailer - During the Nighthaunt attacks, none are more active than Reikenor. Time after time, the Grimhailer uses the shock of his spectral assaults to crush his enemies utterly, claiming many souls for Nagash.
Notable Locations Edit
- Nagahizzar: Nagash's stronghold, once a magnificent fortress, now a fiery crater.
- Nulahmia: Neferata's personal kingdom, now in ruins after an assault by the forces of Slaanesh.
- Voldyr: A destroyed kingdom from the Age of Myth, it contains the Gate of Corpses. It is ruled over by the Abhorrant Ghoul King Marrowthirst.
- Corpsefane: A ghoul church of Nagash, covered with 10,000 flayed faces.
- The Carrionlands: A soulblight empire, now ruled over by the Carrion King.
- Stygzz: A lost underword to which Nagash and his Mortarchs fled to after their defeat at the hands of Archaon.
- The Wastes: A desert made from powdered blood, fought over by the Duchys of Geist before the Wars of the Dead.
- Gaunthavens: During the Splinterbone Wars, the power of Waaagh! Grungutz literally punched down the mile high wall of corpses surrounding the Gaunthavens, creating a cloud of bodies and debris that hung in the sky for a whole year.
Notable Realmgates Edit
- Endgate: The Arcway of Shyish. Controlled by the forces of Chaos.
- Baneshard Realmgate: Connected to the Gulf of Regrets in Shyish.
- Starless Gates
- 1: Warhammer: Age of Sigmar Primer
- 2: Destruction Battletome: Ironjawz
- 3: The Realmgate Wars: All-Gates
- 4: Chaos Battletome: Khorne Bloodbound
- 5: Chaos Battletome: Everchosen