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Ulquiorra

Major events in the Warhammer timeline

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When the first edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battle was released in 1983 there was no Warhammer World. The only maps it had were of battlefields and their surrounds, with placeholder names like "Menglad" and "Ath Cliath" that were never used again. There was certainly no need for a timeline. Only in its supplements did locations that would become permanent parts of the setting like Lustria start being mentioned, and it wasn't until second edition that there was a full map of the Old World and a timeline to go with it. Later editions and spin-off games, novels, comics, audio dramas, and videogames would all add to the ongoing story, filling gaps and pushing the calendar forwards.

Like all the best stories, it has an ending. The End Times, an apocalyptic event that brought a finale to the setting, was controversial. But its presence gives every game that takes place before the world ends a sense of epic tragedy and, whisper it so the comment section can't hear, Age of Sigmar is actually a worthy follow-up. The Warhammer fiction has always been about doomed last stands, about warriors who face death but go down fighting. For the entire setting to build to a series of doomed last stands feels far more apt than a happy ending would, or for it to continue until it slid into irrelevance and was forgotten.

 

The Warhammer videogames have only ever had tangential relationships with the canon—the MMO Age of Reckoning was set in a completely divergent timeline—but many of them can be loosely dated. Mordheim took place in the year 2000 and Mark of Chaos in 2305, while the Empire campaign in Total War: Warhamer begins with the election of Karl Franz, placing it in 2502. The Vermintide games are set in the End Times, so somewhere between 2519 and 2528.

Dates are given according to the Imperial Calendar in which the year 0 is the founding of the Empire.

The Elder Age 
-7500

Alien beings called the Old Ones discover the Warhammer World trapped in an ice age as it drifts further away from the sun with each orbit. They install gateways at each pole through which their constructor fleet can travel and spend the next 1,000 years remaking the planet to their liking with the aid of their servants, the slann and lizardmen. 

 

-6250 
The Old Ones create the elves, perhaps by modifying an existing species, and then transplant them to Ulthuan. 

-6000 
The next of the Old Ones' creations, the dwarfs, migrate northwards through the Old World. Humans follow. 

-5700 
Foreseeing the coming of Chaos, the Old Ones create two more species: ogres, to fight it, and halflings, who are resistant to its corruption. 

 

-5600 
The mechanisms that control the polar gates created by the Old Ones fail. A titanic chunk of warpstone is hurled through the northern rift, taking up orbit as the second moon, Morrslieb. The Old Ones vanish, and their creations are left to fight the army of daemons led by Be'lakor, First Prince of Chaos, that pour through the gates.

-4420
The high elves create their Great Vortex, secretly aided by the slann, to drain excess magic that leaks from the polar gates. Lacking the critical mass of magic to maintain their physicality, every daemon walking the world is simultaneously banished.

 

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