Follow TV Tropes

Following

Literature / Warhammer: Time of Legends

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/blprocessed_29_12_christmas_day5_cover.jpg
Advertisement:

Warhammer: Time of Legends is a series of novels set in the Warhammer Fantasy universe. Each of the novels are set during the past events of the Warhammer world's past.

From the elven civil war known as "The Sundering", to the rise of the creator of necromancy Nagash, to the War of Vengeance/of the Beard that forever damaged the friendship between elf and dwarf, to the legend of Sigmar and the birth of the empire of man and to the war between the Empire and the Skaven.

  • The Sundering by Gav Thorpe
    • Malekith
    • Shadow King
    • Caledor
  • The War of Vengeance/of the Beard by Nick Kyme, Chris Wraight & C.L. Werner
    • The Great Betrayal
    • Master of Dragons
    • Curse of the Phoenix Crown
  • The Rise of Nagash by Mike Lee
    • Nagash the Sorcerer
    • Nagash the Unbroken
    • Nagash Immortal
  • The Legend of Sigmar by Graham McNeill
    • Heldenhammer
    • Empire
    • God King
  • The Black Plague by C.L. Werner
    • Dead Winter
    • Blighted Empire
    • Wolf of Sigmar


Advertisement:

Provides Examples Of:

    open/close all folders 

     General 

  • Continuity Nod: Numerous examples.
    • The Dark Elf sorcerers Drutheira, Ashniel and Malchior make appearances in three separate trilogies.
    • The prologue of the first War of Vengeance novel depicts a battle against the forces of Chaos led by the joint forces of Malekith and Snorri Whitebeard, their friendship having been previously established in The Sundering.
  • Covers Always Lie:
    • The cover of the first book of the Nagash trilogy has the title character standing over a pile of Dark Elf corpses. Other than his three Dark Elf prisoners, he doesn't do battle with a large number of Druchii.
    • In all three covers of the Sigmar trilogy, the design of Ghal Maraz (most particularly the war-hammer's head) is drawn incorrectly.
  • Retcon: The series was written before 8th edition, so some things were changed or new additions to the stories were later made.
    • 8th edition added that Malekith had a wife named Allisara, sister to Ariel, who left him upon receiving visions of a dark future he will bring. In the books, she is non-existent.

     The Sundering 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dark_elf_malekithadded.jpg
"A Tale of the Sundering"

  • Affably Evil: Alandrian is a fairly jovial guy for a ruthless nobleman loyal to an Evil Overlord.
  • Anti-Hero: Malekith starts out like this, being arrogant, hot blooded and manipulative from the very beginning, yet ultimately a decent man at heart. Needless to say, he goes downhill from there.
    • Alith Anar is almost as brutal as the Druchii he hunts, but is still unquestionably loyal to Ulthuan.
  • Appropriated Appellation: The term "Druchii", meaning "dark one", is initially used as a derogatory term by the Elves loyal to the Phoenix King. The Naggarothi later adopt the title themselves a source of pride.
  • Arch-Enemy: Malekith and Imrik (later Caledor).
  • The Arch Mage: Morathi and Thyriol. Naturally, they end up facing off in the Final Battle.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Circlet of Iron, an ancient magical crown Malekith discovers in an ancient ruined city of unknown origin. While the Circlet grants him increased magical power, Malekith's personality seems to take a turn for the darker after he puts the thing on.
  • Bad Boss: Morathi, who has a tendency to berate, abuse or even outright murder her subordinates at the slightest provocation.
  • Berserk Button: The mere existence of the Black Dragons proves to be one for the Dragons of Ulthuan. The discovery of the corrupted beasts is what ultimately prompts Maedrethnir to rouse his kin from slumber and convince them to join the war.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Malekith and Morathi.
  • Big Good: Imrik of Caledor, later known as Caledor the Conqueror.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: At the begining of Malekith, Drutheira the cultist, and later sorceress, presents herself as an innocent victim to Carathril. By the end of the book, however, she shows her true colors, gloating to Carathril that Bel Shanaar is dead and Malekith will take the Phoenix Throne.
    • Alith's bethrothed Ashniel eventually joins Morathi's coven, and later helps Alandrian hunt down Alith and his men.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The trilogy ends with the Druchii are ultimately defeated, but countless elves have perished, large portions of Ulthuan have sunken into the sea and most importantly Malekith, Morathi and their followers have survived to trouble the world another day.
  • Body Horror: The descriptions of Malekith's badly burned body are not pleasant.
  • Broken Pedestal: Malekith is one to essentially all of Ulthuan after his betrayal.
  • The Cameo: Kairos Fateweaver makes a brief appearance in Shadow king, bargaining with Morathi.
  • The Conqueror: Malekith in his early years, being largely responsible for the expansion of the elven empire.
    • Imrik of Caledor takes up this title upon his ascension to the throne.
  • Cool Sword: A number of examples, most notably Avanuir, the sword of Malekith, and Lathrain, the sword of Caledor.
  • The Dragon: Alandrian to Malekith.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Morathi and The Everqueen Yvraine in the third book.
  • Determinator: At the end of Caledor, Malekith has lost the war, his kingdom, countless followers, denied his birthright as Phoenix King and exiled to the icy wastelands of Naggaroth. Despite all this, he swears that he will rebuild his strength and continue the war to claim his birthright, no matter the cost, no matter how long it takes.
  • Divine Intervention: During the climactic Battle of Maledor a vision of one of the Elven goddesses, likely either Isha of Lileath, appears to Imrik as he finds himself at the mercy of Malekith. The goddess appears to freeze time and direct the Phoenix King to the discarded spear of prince Finudel, which he then uses to slay Maleith's dragon Sulekh.
  • Eldritch Location: The ruined city where Malekith discovers the Circlet of Iron. An impossibly ancient place of Alien Geometries built by an unknown, long vanished race.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Malekith is described as "taller than any elf" after his rebirth as the Witch-King.
  • Evil Overlord: Malekith, after becoming the Witch-King.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Morathi and her acolytes, and later Malekith as well.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Hellebron goes from a spoiled young Noblewoman to a fanatical, blood-crazed cultist.
  • Grim Up North: Even at the beginning of the series Nagarythe has this sort of reputation, being regarded as a bleak, frigid land inhabited by a harsh and somewhat insular people.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Morathi. Natch.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Between Malekith and Snorri Whitebeard.
    • Caledor's closest friend meanwhile is his dragon Maedrethnir.
  • Lady of War: Princess Athielle of Ellyrion, a highly capable warrior who acquits herself well in many battles.
  • Language Barrier: When the elves and dwarfs first meet, they cannot understand each other. Malekith takes advantage of this during a feast between the two races. He proposes a toast and makes a speech insulting the dwarfs; threatening to kill them and burn their halls (albeit jokingly) should they disrespect him, drawing cheers from his entourage and the ignorant dwarfs.
  • Monster Progenitor: Sulekh, the first and greatest of the Black Dragons, and the mount of Malekith.
  • The Promise: While on his deathbed, Snorri Whitebeard makes Malekith swear an oath that the elves and dwarfs will forever remain friends. Malekith swears to his friend that he will uphold his promise. But later betrays the oath when he orchestrates that War of Vengeance/of the Beard.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: In the novel Caledor, Malekith spares the life of a druchii captain fully expecting to be executed for marching his men into a High Elf trap. In his inner monologue, Malekith notes firstly that he ordered the captain into the trap in order to spring it, so he can't really punish the man for obeying orders. Secondly, Malekith acknowledges that he doesn't have numerical superiority over his enemies, so he can't afford to be like his mother and start arbitrarily killing underlings every time they screw up. Thirdly, Malekith muses that if he kills someone every time they fail him, he might get a reputation for being predictable.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: The series as a whole serves as one for Malekith, chronicling his descent from the ruthless but ultimately heroic prince of Nagarythe, into the sinister Witch-King.
    • The novella "The Bloody Handed" provides one for Hellebron.
  • The Rival: Even before they become actual enemies, Malekith and Imrik have this sort of relationship. Malekith is acutely aware of Imrik's profound distrust of both him and Nagarythe as a whole, while for his part Imrik is secretly resentful of the fact that Malekith's accomplishments have overshadowed his own.
    • On a broader scale, the realms of Nagarythe and Caledor as a whole possess a bitter mutual enmity.
  • Sibling Team: Prince Finudel and Princess Athielle, the co-rulers of Ellyrion.
  • Start of Darkness: A number of moments could be argued to be this to Malekith, however the assassination of Bel Shanaar is where he really goes Jumping Off the Slippery Slope.
    • For Hellebron, this moment comes after her rejection by Morathi.
  • Tragic Bromance: How the friendship between Malekith and Snorri ultimately turns out.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Yeasir's death, holding off the Druchii forces until his family, Alith and the family of Bel'Shanaar can escape.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After his defeat at the Marches of Maledor and his armies all but depleted, Malekith enacts a plan to unbind the Great Vortex and let loose the daemonic legions of Chaos upon his enemies. He claims that he can control the daemonic hordes and that he and his followers will be safe from their wrath, but he privately admits to Morathi that his plan may result in the destruction of Ulthuan (and the world), but at this point he doesn't care; if Malekith cannot rule Ulthuan, then he will have it destroyed than be ruled by anyone else.

     The War of Vengeance/of the Beard 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/great_betrayal_2.jpg
"The War of Vengeance"

  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg:
    • When Caledor II makes clear his intentions to shave the dwarfen ambassadors beards, the lead ambassador, Forek Grimbok, begs the Phoenix King not to, declaring that the act will bring them great shame to their clans and ancestors. Caledor is aware that shaving a dwarf's beard is considered a grave insult to a dwarf, which is precisely why he orders their beards shaved.
    • When Gotrek Starbreaker mortally wounds Caledor II and prepares to deliver the killing blow, Caledor weakly begs for mercy. Gotrek gives him none.
  • Big Bad: Caledor the Second ultimately takes the role.
  • The Chosen One: Snorri Halfhand believes he's this, courtesy of a prophecy. Turns out he's wrong, the prophecy actually refers to his cousin Morgrim, and Snorri gets himself killed trying to pursue it.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: When their armies meet, Snorri Halfhand manages to coerce Caledor II into a duel. Unfortunately, Snorri severely underestimated his opponent, as Caledor very easily (and quickly) cuts him down without breaking a sweat.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The Skaven appear briefly in The Great Betrayal, with the Dwarfs not yet knowing what they are.
  • Elective Monarchy: By the end of Curse of the Phoenix Crown, Thoriol refuses to become the next Phoenix King, and seeks to establish an electoral system where a Phoenix King is chosen not by blood, but by their character and quality.
  • Elves vs. Dwarves: The titular War of Vengeance; fought between the Asur of Ulthuan and the Dwarfs of the Karaz Ankor.
  • Fantastic Racism: Expressed by both sides.
  • Fantastic Slur: Caledor uses a number of colourful slurs to refer to the the Dwarfs, such as "mole", "mud-dweller" or "pig".
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Ultimately both the Elves and Dwarfs share the blame for the conflict, and both commit their share of extremely questionable actions over the course of the story.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Caledor II has a massive ego, and believes himself to be a worthy successor to his father who will not only be remembered as a great Phoenix King, but will also surpass his father's achievements. At one point, the notion that he compares inferior to his father causes him to make a temper tantrum.
  • Jerkass: Caledor II. Big time.
  • Meaningful Name: Snorri gets his title "Halfhand" due to an encounter with the Skaven in an abandoned Karak which results in Snorri getting his fingers bitten off on one hand.
  • Nice Guy: Prince Imladrik, especially compared to his brother Caledor II. He doesn't share the racist views rampant amongst his kin, and see's the dwarfs as people rather than a lesser species. He is polite and friendly to the dwarfs (especially to the likes of Snorri), learns the dwarfen language of Khazalid and studies and respects their culture. His Establishing Character Moment in the first book was to even offer Snorri and Morgrim a ride to Karaz-a-Karak via his dragon.
  • Playing Both Sides: Malekith manipulates both the High Elves and the Dwarfs to wage war on each other, out of fear that they may one day unite together to defeat him once and for all. Prince Imladrik discovers this plot, and makes several attempts to warn the dwarfs of Malekith's scheme. His warnings fall on deaf ears.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The Dwarfs ultimately win the war, killing Caledor in the process. But at the cost of countless lives on both sides, essentially shattering the power of both empires and leaving them at the mercy of their real enemies.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: King Gotrek Starbreaker and Prince Imladrik. Unfortunately, their attempts to bring peace are ultimately futile.
  • Royal Brat:
    • Caledor the Second is an arrogant, spoiled Manchild who would prefer to hunt and drink fine wine than actually rule his kingdom.
    • Snorri Halfhand is a warmongering glory hound who dismisses the wisdom of his father at every turn and often tries to antagonize the elves.
  • Sea Monster: During the siege of Barak Varr, the High Elves unleash merwyrms upon the dwarfen defenders.
  • Shout Out:
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Tensions arise between the elves and their dragons once the elves have their mages enslave several merwyrms as beasts of war. The dragons are disgusted by this act, with most of them returning to Ulthuan in retaliation, depriving the Asur of their powerful allies.
Advertisement:

     The Rise of Nagash 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nagash_time_of_legends.jpg
"The Undead will rise"'

  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: Before he buries his brother Thutep alive, Nagash gloats that not only will he take the throne, but he will take his wife Neferem as well.
  • Big Bad: Nagash of course.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Nagash is vanquished, but at the cost of the entire Nehekharan civilization and the lives of countless heroes. Not to mention that it's only a matter of time before he rises again....
  • Boring, but Practical: Neferatta becomes empress over the other cities in all but name and rules unchallenged for centuries with the fiendish power of... issuing them loans with compound interest.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: The Lahmian royal line tends to practice this.
  • Cain and Abel: Nagash and Thutep.
  • Cannibalism Superpower: In Nagash: Unbroken, when his human followers continuously pester him with demands of their promised reward, an irritated Nagash orders them to consume human flesh, claiming that doing so will grant them great power. The resulting consumption turns them into ghouls.
  • Decoy Protagonist: In the first novel Akhmen-Hotep, the priest-king of Ka-Sabar, initially appears to be being set up as the main protagonist until his death halfway through the book.
  • The Dragon: Arkhan, to Nagash. Khefru was originally this to Nagash, until Khefru realized how monstrous Nagash's and his goals were and attempted to stop him.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Nagash ultimately proves himself this to every other villainous character in the series. Which is one hell of an accomplishment.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Nagash against the Dark Elf sorcerers, and later against the Skaven.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Arkhan the Black goes from a whore mongering wastrel to the right hand of the most powerful necromancer of all time.
  • Gilded Cage: Nagash does make sure that his dark elf prisoners/tutor's live comfortably while under his captivity; giving them books, food & drink, comfy furniture and fine clothing.
    • This is also Neferata's opinion of her life in the women's palace.
  • Götterdämmerung: The main theme of the Mortal side of the story is how this leads to the End of an Age. Thanks to the Covenant with the gods the Nehekarans enjoyed two hundered year lifespans, freedom from disease, and additional blessings from the specific god they serve (ranging from skin that can turn arrows to unnatural beaty to the ability to craft Magi Tech). With the Covenant shattered at the end of the first book the gods and their blessings withdraw from the land and its people, and within a few progressively shorter generations Nehekarans are just normal humans with some fantastic legends about their ancestors.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Khefru starts as a loyal servant of Nagash, and follows Nagash's plot to overthrow Thutep as king. However, he begins to question Nagash's methods in doing so, as his master's blasphemies threatens them with the wrath of the Gods. Once Khefru realizes the lengths Nagash will take for immortality and ultimate power, and how his quest to do so may ruin all of Nehekhara, he aids in an assassination attempt on his former master's life. He fails, and Nagash subjects Khefru to a fate worse than death.
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Abhorash despises Neferata for tricking him into drinking the (flawed) elixir of life, turning him into a vampire and causing him to drink innocent blood when he couldn't control his thirst. He disappears from Lahmia but returns to it's defense once it is besieged by the armies of Alcadizaar. Though he makes it clear that he came back to defend the city and it's people and not for Neferata.
  • It's Personal. Though Arkhan desired Lahmashizzar's death for the latter imprisoning him (and being forced to teach his captors Nagash's secrets), when Neferata is supposedly murdered via poison by Lahmashizzar, Arkhan sneaks into Lahmashizzar's palace to personally kill him to avenge Neferata (whom he had grown greatly fond of).
  • Lack of Empathy: One of Nagashs' defining traits which he shows at the beginning of the first book. When his father is killed in battle, he shows no sadness over his passing, and he's actually more interested on how he was killed.
  • Monster Progenitor: Neferata, the first vampire.
  • Re Write: Vashanesh, who in earlier versions of the story was: Neferata's husband, responsible for freeing the Vampires of Nagash's control, and probably Vlad von Carstein's original identity (at minimum the first of his bloodline) is nowhere to be found. New character Ankhat is vaguely implied to be young Vlad (being the only new vampire character to survive), but it's never totally clear. Alcadizaar recieves a vastly expanded role, including twists on parts of Vashenesh's cut plot. Arkan's previously established Last Stand to allow Nagash to escape is outright stated to be a lie, and he gets a romance with Neferata out of nowhere. Later authors are divided over whether they followed this version or the older one, making the undead continuity a bit of a mess.
  • Villainous Rescue: It's ultimately the Skaven of all people who end up freeing Alcadizaar, and giving him the means to defeat Nagash.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Neferata's actions are initially driven by a desire to save Lahmia from her corrupt and incompetent brother.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Neferata giving the Eastern prince a dose to make him a vampire before he goes home and him causing some kind of major upset there (to the point the trading ports are closed and news stops) is the last definitive word from that side of the continent we ever get in the setting.
  • Wife Husbandry: Neferata tries to raise Alcadizaar to be her perfect king, which fails catastrophically. Pretty much everyone in the court saw this coming and Ankhat and Naaima actually spelled out to her why it wouldn't work, but she ignored them.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Once Nagash learns enough about dark magic from the dark elves he imprisoned, he kills them when they attempt to escape and consumes their souls.

     The Legend of Sigmar 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/helden_hammer_revised.jpg
"The Legend of Sigmar"

  • Becoming the Mask: Gerreon hates Sigmar, believing that he sent his beloved brother Trinovantes to his death and swears vengeance. He goes to the hag woman, Grainne, and Grainne tells to him to pretend to forgive Sigmar, grow close to him as a friend and when the time is right, he will take his revenge. In the years that follow, Gerreon grows so close to Sigmar that he even doubts his need for retribution. Ultimately, he goes through with it, nearly killing Sigmar and killing his sister (and Sigmar's betrothed) Ravenna.
  • Deal with the Devil: Once Sigmar starts fighting off the corrupting influence of Nagash's crown, the spirit of Nagash attempts to persuade him to continue using the crown. It offers the power to raise an army of the dead to fend off the invading Norscans, a greater expansion of his empire and even bring Ravenna back from the dead. Sigmar ultimately refuses and casts away the crown.
  • The Dragonslayer: Sigmar win's the allegiance of King Siggurd and the Brigundian's after he slays the Dragon Ogre, Skaranoak (who is revealed to have killed Siggurd's son)
  • Godzilla Threshold: When it is clear that Nagash is too powerful for Sigmar to defeat, he has no choice but to use Nagash's Crown of Sorcery in order to even the odds.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Count Markus and Count Siggurd, once loyal followers of Sigmar, become bloodthirsty fiends bent on the destruction of humanity once they are turned into vampires.
  • Ignored Epiphany: Gerreon goes through this, eventually getting so close to Sigmar in an attempt to betray him that he actually begins to harbor doubts that Sigmar deliberately sent his brother to his death. Unfortunately he throws this aside and goes through with his misguided plans anyway.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: Grainne the swamp hag is the last member of a magical tradition never mentioned anywhere else in canon. Her powers seem to work completely differently from all other magic in the setting, and she has unique and extremely accurate precognitive abilities with enough precision to steer events in the desired course. She lacks the flashy combat and alteration spells of other mages, but within her speciality she puts the gods of the setting to shame.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Kar Odacen and Gerreon escape the defeat Cormac Bloodaxe's army at Middenland. While Sigmar briefly launches a Roaring Rampage of Revenge along Norsca's southern coast specifically to find Gerreon, he manages to evade justice repeatedly until Sigmar is convinced to end the hunt and return south.
    • Khaled al-Muntasir survives the banishment of Nagash and the collapse of the undead hordes, thanks to being capable of self-sustained existence. Intimidated by Sigmar's threats (bluffing, rather, as the emperor was quite weakened), Khaled decides against attacking and instead flees with Siggurd in tow.
  • Oh, Crap!: Kar Odacen convinces the warlord Cormac Bloodaxe to partake in a ritual that will give their forces the power to breach Middenheim's walls. Just before the ritual is completed, Cormac realizes too late that Odacen intends to make him a sacrifice to summon a Bloodthirster of Khorne.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Count Aldred's sister, Marika, never forgave her brother for attempting to sacrifice her to the fimir under the belief that her sacrifice would lift the curse afflicting Marburg. Which is one of the main reasons why she conspires with Count Marius to assassinate her brother.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Part of the reason that Chaos makes so much progress in the second book is because, rather than fighting in the Leeroy Jenkins manner that Norscans normally used, they imitated the Imperial armies and fought in disciplined formations, letting the Empire know that they were led by someone particularly dangerous.
  • Post-Climax Confrontation: The short story Let The Great Axe Fall is an epilogue to God King, following Sigmar and Alric as they hunt Krell through the mountains in the aftermath of Nagash's defeat.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Krell's fate is to be magically trapped in a Nehekaran tomb at the bottom of a vast crater, which then floods with water and flash-freezes to solid ice.
  • Sex for Services: Sigmar offers Queen Freya of the Asoborns armor, weapons and horses in exchange for her allegiance. To seal the deal, Freya demands one night of sexual intercourse with Sigmar. Which he accepts. The resulting coitus gets Freya pregnant with two bastard sons of Sigmar.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Count Marius of the Jutones is this to the rest of the Counts following Sigmar. In the first book, he refuses to commit any of his forces to Sigmar's army during the first battle of Blackfire Pass, which likely would have resulted in the destruction of humanity had the Greenskins won. In the second book, he initially refuses to be part of Sigmar's Empire of Man, and after a lengthy siege of his city does he accept if only because joining Sigmar's Empire would allow Marius to obtain even more wealth and power. Marius shows himself as an unpleasant man who beats his servants to death for petty reasons, and plots to have one of his fellow counts, Count Aldred of the Endals, assassinated and marry Aldred's sister (who is involved in the plot) so that he can become ruler of the Endals.
  • That Man Is Dead: When he is taken in by the Norsii Sorcerer Kar Odacen, Gerreon forsakes his birth name and embraces the new name given to him: "Azazel".
  • Young Future Famous People: Azazel escapes the destruction of a norscan village led by Sigmar as the latter hunts for the former. He is accompanied by the only survivor. A young boy by the name of Morkar, who would later become Morkar the Uniter and the first Everchosen of Chaos.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The entirety of God King sees the Empire fighting to survive one of these, courtesy of Nagash.

     Skaven Wars: The Black Plague 

  • The Plague: The titular Black Plague, engineered by the Skaven to aid their conquest of the Empire.
Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report