Over twenty five hundred years have passed since Sigmar Heldenhammer united the disparate tribes that roamed the lands to become the Empire. He wore his crown for eighty years, battling greenskin hordes and rival tribes, and forging the great alliance with the Dwarves that the Empire still holds to this day.
Sigmar left no heirs when he gave up his crown to travel to the East, never to be seen again. The tribal chieftains of the Empire chose to elect one among their own to take the crown, a tradition that took root and continues to this day. Over the centuries, those chieftains became Counts and their tribes formed provinces.
The Counts have squabbled amongst themselves, forging and breaking alliances, battling against one another and vying for power. The current Emperor, Karl Franz, has gained a firm hold over the reins of leadership and has united the peoples of the Empire against a common foe.
The Incursion of Chaos left the Empire bloodied yet unbroken. Ostland lie in ruin, Hochland was overrun with horrors. The greatest forces of the Empire were either laid low in the Siege of Middenheim, or marching to join their beleaguered brethren. Karl Franz’s armies massed, and were joined by the armies of Valten, the son of a blacksmith whom many believed to be the reincarnation of Sigmar Heldenhammer. These armies met against the Chaos war-machine at the Battle of Sokh.
The battle was thought lost when Valten was laid low by Archaon, the foul leader of the Chaos armies. But the Chaos army had difficulties of its own when its Orcish allies made a sudden reversal and betrayed Archaon. After smashing the Orcs, Archaon’s forces regrouped and were ready to rejoin the battle with the battered Imperial forces. Chaos seemed to be winning the day. The tides were turned only when the undead armies of Sylvania marched upon the scene of battle, to fight not against Man but Chaos.
With the Chaos-host fleeing in disarray, the armies of the Empire had narrowly won its battle against the greatest threat it had known. Although defeated, Archaon fled in retreat with his life and still skulks somewhere in the northern ruin, awaiting the day he can exact revenge for his defeat. ALthough victorious, much of the northern portion of the Empire lies in ruin and its lands are overrun by beastmen and the remnants of the Chaos armies.