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Did the Old Ones really create the world and its races?
« on: January 16, 2019, 05:36:52 PM »
It's one of those things that has always suspended my excitement for Warhammer. The origins of the Old World and all its races being reduced to the creations of space aliens just sort of kills it for me.

I read that it's only mentioned very swiftly in one of the RPG books and that's about it? I also read somewhere else that actually they didn't create the races and the world, but sort of magically shaped and tilled the land, and nurtured and taught its different races rather than "create them". That does sound more interesting. Does someone know more of this?

Oh, by the way! It's my first post here :biggriin:

Offline Naitsabes

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Re: Did the Old Ones really create the world and its races?
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2019, 05:59:53 PM »
Welcome!

Did they 'really' do it? nope. it's all fiction :wink:

But yes, that is the origin on the warhammer world. Roughly, they pick a planet, reshape all the continents to the optimal layout (oh wait, if our Earth and the warhammer world have similar geography, what does that imply :Ohmy: ), set up a warp gate at the top (and possibly the bottom) of the world to travel between planets, then create sentient beings of a kind that pleases them. As to the exact process, I don't think that is ever laid out in great detail and anyway, at a certain stage of advancement, magic and technology are indistinguishable.

It is a tenet of the warhammer universe and mentioned to varying extent in every last rulebook, army book, etc.
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Offline Michael W

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Re: Did the Old Ones really create the world and its races?
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2019, 08:34:40 PM »
Welcome to the forum!   :::cheers:::

GW has had varying levels of explicit description on the creation of the world at various times.  Thus, there's a range of interpretation available.

But yes, the Old Ones were aliens who traveled to the Warhammer world, reshaped it, and sculpted its races.  But they didn't make all of them (Dragon Ogres and Dragons spring to mind...given the Ogre Kingdoms backstory, Giants also seem like a likely candidate for pre-Old Ones existence).  Personally I like the description that the Old Ones accelerated/engineered the development of races - hence the Slann and Lizardmen, before they found the human-y shape of elves and stuck with that from thereon out (Dwarfs, Halflings, Ogres, etc.).

Now was it science-fiction space travel or magic space travel?  Question unanswered, as far as I know.  If they had technology, they certainly didn't share it (or leave any recognizable magic behind), so it seems more likely that you might think of them as space-traveling wizards.  Maybe it really was magic?
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Offline Dihenydd

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Re: Did the Old Ones really create the world and its races?
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2019, 08:46:32 PM »
As far as "Similar" world design.  Jervis stated many times that Bloodbowl World is NOT, repeat NOT Warhammer World.  Yet races and general shape are the same.  More of a cross between WH and Earth. 

So the reasoning holds, maybe many many planets looking a fair bit like ours?????

BTW, BB World is better!  Has Sponsors!
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Offline Fidelis von Sigmaringen

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Re: Did the Old Ones really create the world and its races?
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2019, 11:10:34 PM »
Welcome to the website!
As Michael W said, GW fluff has been vacillating between editions (RPG & Fantasy). This is what the 8th edition Lizardmen AB p. 7-8 has to say on the subject:

Into this brutal age came a mysterious race of god-like beings that plied the heavens in silvered ships. These strangers, known as the Old Ones, came from beyond the stars where they ruled an empire that spanned not just the cosmos, but time itself. (...) In their travels across the
endless expanse of the universe, one planet caught their eye, for they saw in it a unique and boundless potential. (...) The Old Ones decreed that this world would have a central place in their unknowable plans and stellar gates at either pole were created to allow easy access to this hopeful new colony. Before the designs for their newest planet could be fully set in motion, the Old O nes had to reshape it to better fit their needs. Using powers beyond mortal comprehension, they shifted the planetís orbit towards the warming sun. In time, the ice sheets retreated, verdant forests soon grow ing to cover over the newly revealed land.

(...)

The Old Ones were beings of order and near-omnipotence, but it is unknown when they first detected the impending disaster, or if they realised its magnitude. Although they tapped into the energies of the realm beyond their portals, they had always struggled to contain that power - and soon found themselves embattled by the forces of that impossible dimension. Having glimpsed some future portent, it is probable that the races the Old Ones created were intended to fight against the creatures from the Realm of Chaos. After the Lizardmen, the first of the newly created races was the Elves, and they learned the lore of magic in the lap of the gods themselves. The Dwarfs soon followed, although their magic was insular and intrinsic to their craftsmanship. As the pressures of their cosmic war intensified, the Old O nes created the prolific and adaptable race of Man , and, seemingly in haste, finally the Halflings and the Ogres were risen up from the lesser things that roamed the world.
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Offline FVC

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Re: Did the Old Ones really create the world and its races?
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2019, 03:01:22 AM »
It's one of those things that has always suspended my excitement for Warhammer. The origins of the Old World and all its races being reduced to the creations of space aliens just sort of kills it for me.
I read that it's only mentioned very swiftly in one of the RPG books and that's about it? I also read somewhere else that actually they didn't create the races and the world, but sort of magically shaped and tilled the land, and nurtured and taught its different races rather than "create them". That does sound more interesting. Does someone know more of this?

It was always rather obscure.

That said, the Old Ones creating the world goes all the way back to 3rd edition, with the Warhammer Fantasy Battle rulebook of 1991. Note that this was the first Warhammer rulebook to actually describe the Warhammer setting: 1st and 2nd editions were rules for a generic fantasy battle game. It was only in 1991, with the 3rd edition rulebook and the supplement Warhammer Armies, that a few earlier WFRP adventures were converted into a true world or setting.

Anyway, that 1991 rulebook is very open about a science fiction premise for the setting: the Slann (its term for Old Ones; not necessarily the same as modern Slann) are these highly intelligent amphibian creatures that evolved millions of years ago and spread throughout the galaxy, using warp gates and advanced science. They used their technology to modify many planets, shifting orbits, altering continents, etc., and making them fitting for life.

(This, incidentally, remains as best I know the canonical explanation for why the Warhammer world physically resembles ours. The ancient Slann had a standard continental template that they used everywhere. As a result, most worlds have kind of the same continental outline as Earth. So Earth and the Warhammer world are presumably built on the same pattern.)

Anyway, here's what it says on the specific creation of the Warhammer world:

Quote from: Warhammer Fantasy Battle rulebook, 1991, p. 189
The Slann arrived upon the Warhammer world three thousand years before the collapse of their galactic civilisation. They found a planet whose slowly expanding orbit was taking it further and further into space. Animal and plant life had already evolved, but the encroaching cold threatened to end all life within a very short time.
The Slann intervened by opening two warp-gates over the planet's polar regions, using the world's own magnetic fields to hold the gates in place. Through these gates they directed a huge construction fleet and set about the task of rescuing the doomed planet. Its orbit was brought closer to the sun and stabilised. Native life-forms were assessed and culled, new life-forms were introduced - possibly including the ancestors of humans, Dwarfs, and Elves.
Over the next millennia, the ice-sheets retreated and the world began to bloom with verdant forest. The Slann kept a close eye on their creation, building a number of cities throughout the world, the principle of which was situated in the western continent. A thousand years after the arrival of the Slann, the planet was enjoying a stable climate, its inhabitants were thriving, and the Slann settled down to monitor the results of their endeavours.
[...]
Over the following two thousand years, the Slann encouraged the development of their seedling races. The first of these races was the Elves. During their early development, the Elves learned much from their mentors and quickly attained a high level of civilisation.
Whether because the Slann were dissatisfied in some way with the Elven race or whether their original plan always envisaged a multitude of intelligent races on the world, other creatures were also encouraged towards civilisation. The Dwarfs were the next to emerge from the primal darkness of barbarism. Within two thousand years of the arrival of the Slann, the Dwarfs were building primitive holds amongst the Worlds Edge Mountains. The ancestors of humans, however, were still little more than animals and had yet to leave the jungles and savannah of the equatorial belts.

Then there's some sort of pan-galactic catastrophe, explicitly compared to a 'full scale nuclear war' but whose nature is not further described, the warp gates collapse, Chaos comes into the world, and the Slann are wiped out.

This framework as far as I know remained, in broad outlines, the accepted canon until the very end of WHFB. 1991's Slann were renamed the Old Ones, in order to make room for new Slann (i.e. the lizardman spellcasters we know and love), but other than that the general story remained consistent.

That said, this story, again as far as I know, has never been taken very seriously by anyone, and it has no relevance to anything in the 'modern' Warhammer world. It can all be ignored if you feel like it, and indeed that's probably the best thing to do. The most striking thing about the 1991 rulebook in retrospect is just how open and straightforward it is about the whole thing. More recent books tend to be strategically vague.

So my advice would be to not worry about the ancient history too much. Don't take it seriously, or just imagine whatever substitute makes you feel most satisfied.

Offline GamesPoet

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Re: Did the Old Ones really create the world and its races?
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2019, 12:33:14 PM »
Good to see this info, thank you! :icon_cool: :::cheers:::
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Offline The Peacemaker

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Re: Did the Old Ones really create the world and its races?
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2019, 10:46:06 AM »
If y'all really want to know GW's secret:

Old Ones actually showed up at Earth around the year 25,000 in the 40k timeline when earth was engulfed in a warp storm.
Then they re-stabilized the world. Put the various races on it. Probably a few humans surviving anyway.
Now the earth is still engulfed in the warp storm but its just the polar gates that are stabilizing it. And remember that in the Warp time isn't the same as outside the warp. So 5000 years in a warp Storm could be much longer.

So now we have the warhammer fluff up until the end times when the vortex is unraveled and the planet gets sucked into the warp. And this is where age of sigmar starts off. ...if you read that fluff you'll see that Sigmar is the Emperor, he goes to mars, makes a space station, makes the Thunder Warriors, etc,.. Its just told in the mythological genre instead of sci-fi or medieval fantasy.

Some people don't like that AoS is really the unification wars of Holy Terra, but it is.

Back to the Origin story with the old ones. Its obviously an old story that is a bit ret conned. Personally I'm not a fan of detailed Origin stories as I'm fine with evolution explaining most if it. All that said, the lizardman fluff is interesting and that's where most of the old ones fluff is.
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Offline Oxycutor

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Re: Did the Old Ones really create the world and its races?
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2019, 04:32:26 PM »
Nope.  Sigmar is not The Emperor.  Not buying that story.

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Offline FVC

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Re: Did the Old Ones really create the world and its races?
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2019, 12:10:44 PM »
Some people don't like that AoS is really the unification wars of Holy Terra, but it is.

You, sir, are a masterful troll.

Offline The Peacemaker

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Re: Did the Old Ones really create the world and its races?
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2019, 07:49:58 AM »
Lol, one look at the AoS lore and its so obvious!
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