The Land of the Dead is a vast realm of lifeless deserts and barren landscapes. Nehekhara, as this wasted territory was known in antiquity, consists of countless necropolises that lie sprawling where great and powerful cities once stood. Sand-scoured monuments, hypostyles, and mastabas, crumbling with the passage of eons, mark the final resting places of powerful kings, princes, and lords. Though their citizens died long ago, these forsaken necropolises are far from lifeless.
In the eastern reaches of Caledor, the tall mountain peaks yield to grassy hills that eventually slope down to meet the western border of Eataine. Though the lands to the west are more mountainous, the caves that run beneath the hills of this region are as deep as any in Caledor, and many ancient Dragons slumber within them. In ages past, when the lands of the High Elves came under threat, the Dragon Princes traveled to this land to rouse the slumbering beasts to war. For this reason, the western-most region of Caledor came to be known as Dragonwake.
An idyllic and pastoral province of villas, vineyards, and rolling green hills, Eataine is the kingdom to which the nobles of Ulthuan retire to spend their summers. The opulence of Eataine's great manors is unsurpassed in the lands of the High Elves, for Eataine is not only home to some of the greatest poets, scholars and warriors of the Asur, but also to the Phoenix King himself.
Situated in the southwestern reaches of Ulthuan, Caledor is a sparsely-populated land dominated by a range of tall and majestic mountain spires. Hidden among these towering peaks are secret valleys filled with lush greenery, and a vast and labyrinthine network of caverns wind beneath the stony earth throughout the province. The mountains of Caledor are an impressive sight, but the kingdom today is a pale reflection of its former glory.
As the heart of Ulthuan's magical traditions, Saphery is a natural target of the Dark Elf invasion. Not only is Saphery home to many of Ulthuan's High Elf Archmages, it also holds countless artifacts and items of power. If the servants of Malekith can gain control of even a fraction of these magical resources, they can twist their power to their own ends, while simultaneously weakening the High Elves.
The verdant realm of Avelorn is among the most ancient of Ulthuan's kingdoms. A vast, magical forest bathed in the warm light of eternal summer, Avelorn is land of great cultural significance to the High Elves.
The vast, rolling plains and mild climate of Ellyrion make this inner kingdom the perfect breeding ground for the finest Elven steeds in all of Ulthuan. Great herds of these amazingly swift and graceful creatures roam the grasslands throughout the year, and are prized among the noble lords of the Phoenix King's court for their magnificent quality and majestic beauty.
Violent and apocalyptic energies were unleashed, tearing the northern lands of Ulthuan apart. A wall of seawater a thousand feet high crashed into Nagarythe and drowned countless thousands. At the last moment, Malekith and the other surviving Sorcerers chanted spells to preserve their greatest fortresses, transforming them into floating Black Arks. These sailed westward, eventually coming to rest in the north of the New World. Malekith named this land Naggaroth and his exiled people, now called Dark Elves, made a new civilization for themselves.
A rugged region of green hills that rise to meet the piney slopes of the Annulii Mountains, Chrace provides its defenders with many advantages. As they draw nearer to the mountains, the Dark Elves will find the steep and rocky terrain increasingly difficult to navigate.
Long ago, during the catastrophic civil war known as the Sundering, terrible magical energies were unleashed upon the northern kingdoms of Ulthuan. The land was riven by cataclysmic earthquakes and swallowed by the raging waters of the ocean. All that now remains of these once-proud provinces are a number of broken, twisted islands. The most important of these is the Blighted Isle, and at the dawn of the Age of Reckoning it is here that the Dark Elves' invasion of Ulthuan begins.
The arrival of House Uthorin's massive Black Ark at the northern coast of the Blighted Isle represents the first strike in the Dark Elves invasion of Ulthuan. Just as the legions of Druchii warriors spill out onto the craggy, mist-shrouded bluffs of black rock, they are ambushed by the warriors of the Shining Guard. The Blighted Isle is a place of particular importance to the Dark Elves, for it is home to the dread Shrine of Khaine, the Lord of Murder that the Druchii revere.
The Chaos Wastes, also known as the Umbra Chaotica, lie far to the north of the Empire of Men, near the top of the world. Found beyond even the farthest reaches of Norsca and the Sea of Swords, the Chaos Wastes are comprised of terrain both frigid and desolate, wherein few natural things grow and only the most desperate or highly mutated creatures can hope to survive for long.
Compared to their fellow countrymen in the north, the people of Reikland live a blessed existence. Lately however, a shadow has fallen over the province and the threat of invasion that once seemed so distant has now reached their borders. The warhost of the north has come, and it seems increasingly clear that no force in the Empire can stop it.
There are only three large cities in Kislev; the capital, also called Kislev, Erengrad, and the northern city of Praag, which is closer to the dreaded Realm of Chaos than any other city in the Old World. It is mainly because of this proximity to the lands of Chaos that the history of Praag is filled with conflict and strife. Time and again, hordes of Northmen have poured southward across the Lynsk river to descend upon the city with the intention of plundering its resources before razing it to the ground. These sieges are most deadly when led by a mighty Champion of the Ruinous Powers.
High Pass is home to all manner of fearsome creatures, for nothing weak can survive there. Every beast that dwells among the frozen peaks is a savage predator. Great, muscular Sabertusks stalk their prey silently through the snow and then pounce, using their huge, sharp tusks to deliver a mortal wound. Packs of ravenous mountain wolves bay at the cold light of the moon before descending from the slopes to hunt. Perhaps the most frightening of these creatures are the towering Yhetees, whose hands end in great rending claws several inches long.
The Grand Duchy of Talabecland lies at the center of the Empire and borders upon more Grand Provinces than any other. Talabecland's dominant features include the rivers Stir and Talabec, and the Great Forest. Much of the province's trade flows along these rivers, and north and south along the Great Forest Road. When times are relatively tranquil, the province is a thriving center of commerce and the many coaching inns that line the roads of Talabecland are typically filled to capacity with merchants and tradesmen of all kinds. In the Age of Reckoning, however, Talabecland is anything but tranquil.
Troll Country is the name commonly given to the cold and desolate territory that lies to the north of Kislev, and to the south of the Chaos Wastes. The landscape is every bit as harsh and unforgiving as the creatures who inhabit it; tall formations of jagged rock jut upward from the earth like the fingers of some monstrous creature trying to claw its way to the surface. The ground is broken and uneven, with steep inclines and sudden, treacherous pits and valleys. A chill wind blows perpetually across the bleak and barren terrain, rattling dead, dry leaves that hang from the skeletal limbs of the scrawny trees which dot the landscape.
With its back pressed hard against the Middle Mountains to the south and west, the Grand Principality of Ostland is a province dominated by the dark and forbidding Forest of Shadows. Hulking and ancient, the trees of this vast woodland realm shroud the land in a perpetual green dusk, broken only by the occasional clearing or settlement hacked from the dense undergrowth.
In the eyes of most citizens of the Empire, Norsca is a wild and untamed land, full of dangerous creatures both natural and unnatural. Perhaps this is true in the deep north, but along its southern borders where Norsca joins with the northernmost provinces of Kislev, a civilizing influence has taken hold. Here, brave adventurers and resourceful frontiersmen who don't feel at home in the cities and towns of the south cross the border into Norsca to find their fortune.
More than any other subjects of the Empire, the Nordlanders know what it means to live under the shadow of Chaos. The Barony of Nordland lies but a short sail across the Sea of Claws from the havens of the Northmen. Constant incursions by these savage barbarians are nothing new to the Nordlanders; they have withstood assaults from the hordes of Chaos for centuries.
With its rivers of molten lava, pits filled with choking sulfurous gas and broken landscape of jagged black rock, Thunder Mountain is a fitting backdrop for the conflict that now rages on its slopes. The landscape is harsh, unforgiving and lethal, much like the warriors of the Dwarf and greenskin armies who wage a bloody battle here.
In the Age of Reckoning, the war between the Dwarfs and the Greenskins rages on many fronts, but few are as important as Black Crag. If, against all odds, the Dwarfs can claim a victory in this dangerous maze of winding canyons and jagged spires of rock, the road to the Greenskins' fortress at Karak Eight Peaks will be open. Then, finally, the sons of Grungni will be able to strike back against their hated enemies and turn the tide of the war.
Among all the warriors of the Dwarfs, the doom-laden Slayers are the most feared. Driven by some secret shame or disgrace, these fearless fighters have pledged to regain their honor by seeking death in battle. Upon taking the Slayer oath, a Dwarf severs all ties to home and family and wanders the world in search of his fate. Though they often travel alone, there is one place where the Slayers are known to gather in force. That place is Karak Kadrin, the Slayer Keep.
Black Fire Pass has been the site of many battles throughout the course of history, but none were as significant as the first which was fought there. At Black Fire Pass, a great force of Dwarfs led by King Kurgan Ironbeard joined with a human army under the command of a young hero named Sigmar to confront and ultimately destroy a great horde of greenskins. Following the battle, King Ironbeard swore a great oath that for all time, the Dwarfs would safeguard the eastern mountain approaches to the lands of men.
'The Badlands' is the name given to the arid, rocky country that lies between the Worlds Edge Mountains and the Dragonback Mountains. This desolate land is home to some of the most vicious and brutal tribes of greenskins to be found anywhere. The harsh environment and constant state of conflict weed out the weak and unworthy. In the Badlands, only the strongest survive.
Barak Varr is the lone seaport of the Dwarf lands, and has long been a key commercial center of the Old World. Although the lands of Barak Varr technically include all of the ports, docks, and anchorages that line the easternmost limb of the Black Gulf, what most mean when they refer to 'Barak Varr' is the Great Cove, the massive port facility hewn deep into the Cliffs of Gamrud.
Throughout this festering, chaotic swamp can be found deposits of Oathgold, one of the rarest and most valuable types of gold known to dwarfs. Amid the crumbling Mourkain pillars that rise like bony fingers from the murk, the Dwarfs struggle to mine this precious mineral while the greenskins eagerly prey upon the caravans transporting the gold back to the Dwarf capital of Karaz-a-Karak.
Amid the rocky slopes of Ekrund, the Dwarfs long ago built a great mining fortress that fell to their hated enemies, the Orcs and Goblins. As the Age of Reckoning dawns, Dwarf forces have made a determined push into the Dragonback Mountains, reclaiming the fortress at Ekrund and claiming a tenuous foothold in the lands surrounding it.
Once inhabited by Dwarfs and mercenaries, Mount Bloodhorn is infested by a great greenskin horde that now call the area "home". Where once lush forests grew, the surrounding lands were laid to waste as the Orcs and Goblins hacked down every tree in sight to build their stockades, siege engines, and pens for their Squigs.