The Age of Reckoning is the epic time period in the Warhammer World's history in which the massively multiplayer online role-playing game Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning (WAR) takes place. Set outside of the main Warhammer universe's timeline in a parallel chronology comprising the years 2521-2525 IC where the Storm of Chaos never erupted so that its events would not conflict with the current setting for Warhammer Fantasy Battles, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay or the Warhammer novels and comics, the events and conflicts of the Age of Reckoning have been tailored to provide the best possible setting for an MMORPG[Wikipedia] while still mirroring the basic elements of the classic tabletop miniatures war game's setting.
Age of Reckoning BackstoryEdit
The events leading to the Age of Reckoning start with a terrible Chaos plague which spreads through the Empire. Victims of the plague are transformed into Chaos-tainted mutants, and the Imperial population gradually descends into despair and panic. Emperor Karl Franz does what he can to stop the spread of the terrible supernatural disease, but when the plague finally reaches the Imperial capital at Altdorf and unrest spreads across the heart of his realm, the Emperor is forced to declare martial law to maintain the last remnants of normality.
The Fall of Karak Eight PeaksEdit
Meanwhile, the Dwarf stronghold of Karak Eight Peaks in the World's Edge Mountains is attacked by a massive Greenskin Waaagh! jointly led by the Orc Warboss Grumlok and the Goblin shaman Gazbag from the previously unknown greenskin tribe called the Bloody Sun Boyz. The Dwarfs garrisoning the citadel at Karak Eight Peaks grimly ready themselves for a long siege like many they have withstood before, but Gazbag unexpectedly directs a mighty blast of magical Waaagh! energy against the thick stone wall of the citadel, opening up a breach big enough for the greenskin horde to charge into the heart of the Dwarf stronghold. Karak Eight Peaks falls soon after to the victorious Greenskins.
The Dwarf High King, Thorgrim Grudgebearer, sends word of the fall of Karak Eight Peaks to the embattled Empire and vows vengeance against the ancient Greenskin menace. Two months later, the gathered Dwarf host is interrupted as it is about to set out to retake Karak Eight Peaks from the Dwarf capital of Karaz-a-Karak by an eerie eclipse. The skies darken as Morrslieb, the Chaos Moon, slides across the face of the sun, bathing the land in a dull crimson glow. The eclipse is seen as a portent of doom, warning all those who see it of an impending catastrophe for the entire Warhammer World.
The Decimation of PraagEdit
In the Empire, news reaches Karl Franz of a Chaos army called the Raven Host led by a mighty Chaos Champion of Tzeentch named Tchar'zanek marching from the north towards his borders. By this time, Imperial society has slipped even further into disarray, and the Emperor realizes that his scattered forces are not strong enough to defeat the invading Chaos army. With the Dwarfs occupied with the liberation of Karak Eight Peaks from the Greenskins, Karl Franz concludes that the only hope of saving the Empire lies with the High Elves of Ulthuan.
Finubar Seafarer, the Phoenix King of Ulthuan, is already aware of the dire situation facing the human realm, and when the plea for aid arrives from the Empire, he gathers a fleet of elven warships and sets out personally with hundreds of the finest High Elf warriors, leaving Prince Tyrion to defend Ulthuan in his absence. The High Elves know that without the Empire to hold fast against marauding invasions from the northern Realm of Chaos, the entire Old World could be lost to the forces of the Ruinous Powers of Chaos.
The Assault on LothernEdit
This is the moment Malekith, the Witch King of the Dark Elves, had been waiting for. Having been told of the gathering Chaos warhost by his most trusted seers, he conceived a plan whereby Ulthuan would be left vulnerable and open for an invasion from Naggaroth, allowing Malekith to capture the long-coveted throne of the Phoenix Kings for himself. Knowing that the Dwarfs needed to be distracted enough not to send aid to the Empire when the Chaos army invaded in order for the High Elves to be drawn into the conflict, the Witch King created magical amulets for Grumlok and Gazbag which greatly amplified their powers and compelled them towards Karak Eight Peaks, knowing that an Orc Waaagh! would form around them as they travelled across the Badlands towards the Dwarf stronghold.
Now Malekith's scheme had come to fruition, and he launched his carefully prepared Dark Elf invasion fleet. The Black Arks of the Dark Elves set out from Naggaroth under cover of night to cross the sea to Ulthuan. One half of the Dark Elven fleet sailed towards the Blighted Isle, while the other half headed south towards the Straits of Lothern. Legions of black-armoured Druchii spilled forth onto the shores of their ancestral homeland of Ulthuan, armed to the teeth and accompanied by monstrous creatures like the reptilian Cold Ones.
The sheer scale of the threat arrayed against them from the combined forces of the Dark Elf, Chaos and Greenskin armies forces the leaders of the High Elves, Dwarfs and the Empire to gather at a summit in the Imperial capital city of Altdorf. They pledge to put aside their differences to stand united against the tide of darkness which has risen against them all, to forge an Alliance of Order to strike back against their common enemies who have forged an Alliance of Destruction and would wipe civilization from the face of the world.
Now is the time to take a stand. The Age of Reckoning is upon us all.