If you’ve been keeping a close eye on Total War: Warhammer 3 news, you’ll have seen the Chaos God reveals pouring out over the past few months like daemonic Nurgle slime, ahead of the strategy game’s arrival in February next year. We’ve seen the Nurgle, Slaansesh, Tzeentch, and Khorne factions make their gruesome pre-launch debuts – but it seems they won’t be the chief architects of the game’s chaos (heh). Instead, the “real villain” will be some mysterious other being.
That’s according to principal writer Andy Hall, who we spoke to about the game’s narrative and lore now that the veil’s been lifted on the four main Chaos Gods. As long-time fans of the tabletop game will know, these gods rallied behind their ‘Everchosen’, Archaon, to destroy the setting on which Total Warhammer is based in a big event called the End Times. Since we know Warhammer III will also feature the gods, fans have been wondering if it’ll tell a similar story – Creative Assembly has been clear that it isn’t doing the End Times, but has kept other details under wraps. We took the chance to probe Andy about the key differences.
“Well, the End Times was the grand design of the Chaos Gods and their direct scions,” he tells us. “For once they stopped playing the Great Game against each other and focussed their servants on all-out annihilation.
“The major difference with our story is that another has brought about the unfolding events. They are the real villain of this piece,” Hall tells us. “Now, will the Dark Powers sit idly by? No! Each sees this as an opportunity to further their own power plays in the Great Game,” he explains.
With fans speculating rampantly about the role of Total Warhammer’s recurrent, enigmatic advisor, and the second Kislev trailer revealing that a Kislevite Lord (probably Yuri Kovalenko) has fallen to Chaos, there are at least two possible candidates for this mysterious villain. The Dark Gods are always at their most sinister when working through corruptible mortals, and as we discussed with Hall, it’s probably a necessary conceit, as they’re not exactly conventional baddies.
“They’re more like forces of nature,” he says. “The question then becomes – and it’s one that bothered scholars at Altdorf’s university for generations – does Khorne exist because there is rage in the world, or did he put it there when he came to be? Perhaps it’s both.
“In any case, I think ‘villains’ is the wrong term for the gods themselves, but their servants and scions undoubtedly play an antagonistic role both in the IP in general, and they certainly want to do destructive things in Warhammer 3’s main story.” Does this mean the the forces of Chaos are “the main villain in the game?” Hall teases. “You’ll have to wait and see”.