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Age of Sigmar Flesh Eater Courts faction guide

Though others recoil from these gore-slicked ghouls, the Flesh Eater Courts think themselves knights of great renown - here’s what you should know.

Age of Sigmar Flesh Eater Courts - a pallid ghoul, wearing crude bone ornaments, points with one hand and holds a rusted halberd aloft with the other

The Age of Sigmar Flesh Eater Courts faction are a rabid rabble of delusional undead nightmares. Though in reality they are little more than foetid ghouls, in their own minds they are noble and chivalrous knights, tasked with defending the realm from all manner of unsightly monsters. This guide introduces the lore of these malodorous cannibals, and gives advice on how to start collecting a Flesh Eater Courts army.

Wargamer has guides to many other Age of Sigmar armies, which will give you a good introduction to their lore, but expect any rules information in them to change soon. Games Workshop has announced that Age of Sigmar fourth edition will release this year, which will totally overhaul the Age of Sigmar rules system.

Here’s what you need to know about the Age of Sigmar Flesh Eater Courts:

Age of Sigmar Flesh Eater Courts lord, Ushoran Mortarch of Delusion, a colossal, hunched monster holding a great mace, draped in bone-strewn furs, a bone crown bursting from his brow

Flesh Eater Courts Lore

The Flesh Eater Courts are one of the strangest death factions in Age of Sigmar. Like all the undead races, they owe ultimate fealty to Nagash, supreme lord of undeath. But none of the dead god’s servants vex him so much as do the Flesh Eater Courts, for they are cursed with an abundance of free will.

The first of the Flesh Eaters was the vampire Ushoran the Handsome, also known as Sumeros Summerking, the Sombre Paladin, Lord of Masques, First Exemplar, and many other titles that befitted his regal bearing and noble demeanor. In the Age of Myth he served Nagash faithfully as a Mortarch, assisting in his governance of the realms of death. Yet he was to face a tragic fate.

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Perhaps he carried within him a seed of madness, or treachery, or perhaps his appearance of civility had always been a glamor. Perhaps he uncovered Nagash’s aeons-long conspiracy to overturn the laws of life and death themselves which would later culminate in the disastrous Necroquake of Shyish.

Whatever the cause, an overwhelming hatred and madness overcame Ushoran, and he rebelled against his Lord, terrorising his realms. When he was at last brought before his master by the combined strength of the other Mortarchs, he had devolved into a vast and twisted abomination.

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Nagash sequestered Ushoran within a great prison, the Shroudcage. But the taint of his madness had already escaped to pollute the bloodlines of other vampires. These ‘abhorrants’ exist in a state of constant delusion, imagining themselves regal monarchs attended by dutiful courtiers and scraping serfs. In truth they are charnel lords, their palaces reeking mausoleums of gore and effluvia, their servants blood-mad wretches.

Though Ushoran was imprisoned for ages untold, he is now free again, and leads the vast Flesh Eaters realm known as New Summercourt. This kingdom is deep within Ghyran, realm of beasts, and has all the trappings of civilization – at least as understood by ghouls. It’s difficult to offer knightly hospitality to visitors when the guests keep screaming, and the servants are only moments away from rabid cannibalism.

Age of Sigmar Flesh Eater Courts Grand Justice Gormayne, an undead judge with a periwinkle made of intestines, a gavel made from bones and skulls, and a tattered book of law

The chief lawkeeper of this cursed realm is Grand Justice Gormayne, an abhorrant with the misfortune to be able to see through the veil of madness and perceive the true horror of his existence, if only for a few moments at a time. Other functions of the court are of course present, from the royal hunt master to the state executioner.

Are the Age of Sigmar Flesh Eater Courts Bretonnians - illustration of a Bretonnian Knight in a great helm riding a warhorse and swinging with a sword

Are the Flesh Eater Courts Bretonnians?

The Kingdom of Bretonnia was a human faction from the World that Was, part of the Warhammer Fantasy Battle game that preceded Age of Sigmar and now playable again thanks to their models being re-released for Warhammer: The Old World. Bretonnia is a kingdom ruled by knightly virtues, its noble warriors embarking on pious quests in defense of the realm.

In short, Bretonnians are everything that the Flesh Eater Courts believe themselves to be. Since Age of Sigmar is set after Warhammer: The Old World, does that mean that the Flesh Eater Courts are, in some way, the devolved descendants of Bretonnia?

Not exactly. The Old World was destroyed in a maelstrom of Chaos energy during the End Times, and only the mightiest beings survived: those that were already gods, had the power to become gods, and a few of their favorite servants. After the Mortal Realms came into being, many sentient species arose during the Age of Myth, with their own cultures. It was one (or many) of these civilizations that became the Flesh Eater Courts.

Three Age of Sigmar Flesh Eater Courts ghouls, pallid humanoid undead wielding crude weapons of bone, eating decaying flesh

However, there is a direct connection between the Old World and the Mortal Realms. Ushoran originates in the Old World as one of the earliest vampires. Long into his tumultuous existence he was forced to eat the flesh of the dead to survive, becoming the first Strigoi Ghoul King. It’s not clear how he arrived in the Mortal Realms after the destruction of the Old World, but that applies to just about everyone who made it across.

Does Ushoran have any connection to Bretonnia, though? The site WarhammerWiki cites blog responses by Josh Reynolds – author of two of the five End Times tie-in novels – who describes what Ushoran got up to at the end of the world. Apparently, Ushoran was one of two vampiric warriors who assisted in the defense of the cursed Bretonnian city of Mousillon, even sharing the red gift of vampirism with the city’s maligned knights.

This would be a concrete connection between Ushoran, the ghouls, and Bretonnia, but it’s hard to verify. The links that WarhammerWiki cites are now all dead, and only a few unrelated responses by Reynolds are archived on the Way Back Machine. The information was not published or verified in an official Games Workshop source.

Contents of the Age of Sigmar Flesh Eater Courts Vanguard box set - three bat-winged monsters ridden by ghouls, an other bat-wolf-monster, ten ghouls on foot, one waving a banner, and a huge vampiric ghoul perched on a ruin

Start Collecting Flesh Eater Courts

The best way to start collecting Flesh Eater Courts is with the Spearhead Flesh Eater Courts box set. This contains fifteen models, consisting of:

  • Abhorrant Archregent x 1
  • Varghulf Courtier x 1
  • Morbheg Knights x 3
  • Cryptguard x 10

These form a solid starting point for any Flesh Eaters courts army. In Age of Sigmar fourth edition, Spearhead boxes will also feature in a new game mode, designed for quick playing battles between small forces – very similar to the Warhammer 40k Combat Patrol system.

Age of Sigmar Flesh Eater Courts battletome

Flesh Eater Courts battletome

The most recent Flesh Eater Courts battletome was published in February 2024, but despite being a very recent book, think twice before you pick it up. Age of Sigmar fourth edition will release in the summer this year, and Games Workshop has confirmed that all the current battletomes will be incompatible with the new version of the game.

The book is a good source of information about Flesh Eater Courts lore – told from the Flesh Eaters’ unreliable perspective – contains a helpful guide to painting miniatures, and of course is the go-to source for rules to play with the Flesh Eaters in Age of Sigmar third edition. But those rules have a very short shelf life, and you may be better off waiting.

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