- "And thus I command Thy Soul to the eternal grace of Sigmar Divine. Few, if any, have done more for this illustrious Empire the Lord Sigmar entrusted to us, and it is indeed a united Realm that mourn Thy Departure. Fare well, Magnus, most pious of Servants."
- —Excerpt of the mourning for Emperor Magnus the Pious, made by Grand Theogonist Kazgar XIV.
Magnus the Pious was a famous hero who reunified the Empire, and led its people to victory in the Great War against Chaos. Following the victory he became the first Emperor to be elected in hundreds of years. Magnus is still venerated today as the second greatest hero in the Empire's history. Magnus' achievements include victory over the Chaos horde of Asavar Kul, and overseeing the introduction of state-sanctioned magic-users into the Empire.
Magnus was born to the von Bildhofen family of Nuln after the turn of the twenty-third century. This was in the aftermath of the Age of Three Emperors - a civil war that had bled the Empire white for centuries, leaving the nation leaderless and divided. Magnus rallied the people and led them to victory over the forces of Chaos.
Prior to the Great War
In the Chaos Wastes to the North of the Warhammer World, the Dark Gods of Chaos united to conquer the world. The Wastes swept beyond their borders to engulf the Troll Country. Rumours abounded of a monstrous Chaos host readying to invade as portents grew dire. To the men of the Old World, it seemed the End Times were finally upon them. In Nuln the Magi, a powerful cult of Tzeentch, led an uprising, unleashing daemons on the city streets. Those who remained loyal to Sigmar prayed for deliverance, receiving an answer as the twin-tailed comet, the symbol of Sigmar, blaze through the night sky. Inspired the comet, Magnus rallied the people. Under his leadership, Chaos was purged from the city. Magnus took his crusade across the Empire. An army began to assemble as the Electors lent their strength to Magnus's cause. Magnus was soon leading the largest army ever assembled within the Empire. Eventually Magnus reached Middenheim, where he sought an audience with Ar-Ulric Kriestov. After Kriestov denounced Magnus as a liar and charlatan, Magnus walked through the Flame of Ulric unscathed, proving the righteousness of his cause. Magnus tactfully appointed Kriestov as the leader of his cavalry force, and Ulrican and Sigmarite turned to face the common enemy.
The Road to Kislev
Just as the Empire finished uniting behind Magnus, a message was received from Tzar Alexis Romanoff of Kislev. It told of a crushing defeat inflicted on his armies, leaving fair Kislev's cities open to attack. Magnus heeded the news and set out for Kislev, intent to take the fight to the enemy. As the new year began the Imperial cavalry force thundered ahead towards Kislev.
In Talabheim Magnus met with Pieter Lazlo, who was accompanied by three High Elves. The Elves were powerful archmages, namely Teclis and his two comrades, Finreir and Yrtle. Although Magnus had a strong faith in Sigmar he did not have the same faith in the men he led. Although he had no doubt the Empire's troops could defeat any mortal enemy, the daemons of Chaos were not mortal. Magnus knew the Chaos armies had one grave advantage over his own: magic. In the Empire anyone who dabbled with magic was seen as a pawn of Chaos. With the help of the High Elves, however, humans could be trained to wield the winds of magic without corruption. Magnus declared an immediate amnesty for all magic users, if they agreed to join his cause and serve under the watchful eyes of the High Elves. Teclis and his brethren used their magical arts to assemble those who could be taught, and trained the first true Imperial Battle Wizards.
Great War against Chaos
Despite the speed of Magnus's cavalry force it failed to reach Kislev in time to stop the fall of Praag. As Chaos triumphed, the raw power of Chaos coursed through the city, melting stone and flesh like wax. People were merged with stone; buildings became monsters. Praag had become a nightmare incarnate, and a taste of what awaited the wider world if Chaos triumphed. When news of the defeat reached Magnus he wept and vowed before Sigmar to avenge the horrors done that day.
Magnus's cavalry force pursued the Chaos army. In a carefully prepared ambush, the cavalry destroyed the Chaos rearguard, leaving Asavar Kul, the Chaos leader, entirely oblivious. Kul's horde continued towards the city of Kislev, laying siege as Magnus' wearied army arrived. The time had come for the two armies to face each other, the brave humans and their Dwarfen allies from Karaz-a-karak who had joined them not long after the fall of Praag were vastly outnumbered. Before the battle Magnus stood before his troops and spoke:
"I can see in your eyes that you fear this enemy. I can see in your eyes that you wonder how we can fight such terrible monsters. Men of the Empire, I have the answer: We fight them with our steel, we fight them with our courage, but above all we fight them with our faith in Sigmar!"
Magnus planned his attack with High King Alriksson of the Dwarfs. In a pincer movement Magnus would attack Kul's western flank, whilst the Dwarfs charged into the horde's southern flank. Freed, the Kislevites would breakout and join their allies. The Chaos horde would be assaulted on three fronts and destroyed. Having agreed their strategy, the allied armies deployed.
At break of dawn, Magnus charged the Chaos troops, slaughtering and routing thousands of the tainted foe. As Kul noticed the new army he quickly divided his army, personally leading the force to contain Magnus. The Imperial army's momentum stalled and was driven back on the defensive. Fearing their saviours would be destroyed before their eyes, three hundred Dwarfs attempted to break out and aid Magnus. Though the Dwarfs were courageous and claimed many lives, the army surrounding Kislev was simply too large and drove the Dwarfs back with heavy losses. Asavar Kul ordered his shock troops forward into position, intent of crushing Kislev for all time. Defeat seemed inevitable.
It was then that the Imperial cavalry force arrived. Seeing their last chance to turn the tide, the human force plunged into the horde with a ferocity born of hatred. In moments the northern flank had been crushed, bowing to the humans' implacable anger. As panic spread through the enemy horde, Magnus ordered his men to charge one last time.
Caught between the hammer and the anvil of the Empire's forces, the horde collapsed into anarchy. As Magnus took stock of the situation, a voice warned him of a 'beast in human form' approaching, the enemy leader, Asavar Kul. The Everchosen immediately challenged the champion of Sigmar to single combat, as a test of might between their respective Gods. After an awesome conflict Magnus eventually triumphed, beheading Kul. At the same time, the Kislevite and dwarf troops broke through and charged the Chaos army. Caught on three fronts, the Chaos horde was ground down and destroyed, saving the Old World from being Chaos' thrall.
The allied armies turned to relieve Erengrad and levelled the tainted city of Praag. On its return to the Empire, Magnus's army destroyed the cursed city of Mordheim, freeing Ostland and the Ostermark from beastmen. At last Chaos had been driven back to its domains.
Emperor Magnus I, the Pious
In 2304 Magnus saw his dream of unity realised and was elected Emperor by overwhelming demand. At Magnus's request Teclis founded the eight Colleges of Magic in Altdorf, while Magnus ruled from Nuln. The Empire's infrastructure was revived, corruption rooted out, and ties with other lands renewed. A regular Conclave of Faith in Altdorf was established for the High Priests of every major faith in the Empire to gather, letting them air their disputes before the Emperor. At the urging of the Shallyan Sisters, the Empire's prisons were reformed.
Grand Theogonist Volkmar's reign as head of the Church of Sigmar is heavily influenced by Magnus's deeds, teachings, and sermons, and many believe under his reign Magnus's canonisation is imminent.
- Liber Chaotica Complete
- Terror in Talabheim
- Warhammer Armies: Empire (4th Edition)
- Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Sigmar's Heirs
- Empire at War