"You look down on us and think we are little better than barbarians, but you should be glad we are, for without us here, the northern tribes would be dining on the flesh of your children in your burning homes. But for the courage that flows in our veins would your lands be theirs. Look down on us? You should get on your knees and thank us every day!"
- —Vitalia Kovash, Kislevite Winged Lancer
The Kingdom of Kislev, sometimes known as the Realm of the Ice Queen, is the most northerly Human civilisation within the Old World, a powerful and war-driven nation that is known far and wide for having some of the greatest horsemen to ever roam the plains of the southern realms. From the Worlds Edge Mountains to the East and the Sea of Claws in the West, Kislev stands at the very frontiers of Human civilisation, a land covered in wide-open steppes and thundering icy rivers, where lonely villages stand isolated in the empty wilderness, while mighty cities rise from the landscape like great islands of stone. The climate is harsh and unforgiving, and only the strongest, most determined people can survive here.
The inhabitants of Kislev are these very same people, a race of wolf-tough and self-reliant warriors, valiant and determined in the defense of their homeland against the hated marauders of the uppermost North. Ruled by a mighty Tzar, Kislev is a nation born from the saddle, their peoples ancestry being traced to the mighty horse-warriors of the Eastern Steppes many millennia ago.
Since the founding of this mighty kingdom, Kislev has been, since its very creation, under siege by the murderous Hordes of Chaos Undivided, a kingdom that sits forever at the brink of total annihilation. Countless generations of Kislevites have fought, bled, and died in the snowy tundra of those harsh northern lands, and it is thanks to these brave Kislevite warriors that the Kingdoms of Men have managed to flourish in the south, huddled together in their warm and safe homes, whilst the Sons of Kislev fight till they draw their last dying breath.
The land of Kislev bears a unique magic not found anywhere else in the world: Ice Magic, also known as the Lore of Ice. This incredibly dangerous and deadly magic flows throughout the entire region, and its power is at its strongest inside its borders and in cold weather.
Kislev is currently treated as just another faction in the Empire category, sharing the technology and graphics with it. However, it is a distinct subgroup in the game's files and has some unique commandments included.
- The Kislev faction starts out in a strong position: controlling Northern Oblast, Eastern Oblast, Southern Oblast and Troll Country. However, their northern position puts them directly in the path of aggressive, hostile factions like Warriors of Chaos and Wintertooth (Norscan faction). They usually suffer greatly in the Chaos invasion.
- Their faction capital (not racial capital) is the city of Kislev in the Southern Oblast.
- In Warhammer Fantasy lore, Kislev is strongly based on Russia, Poland and other Slavic nations. Kislev has one unit, the winged lancers, that is heavily inspired by the famous Polish Winged Hussars. But the most other units, culture and appearance inspired by myths and history of Russia and neighbouring lands had been under Russian patronage. The Kossars form both the backbone and standing army of Kislev, inspired by the Cossacks - Russian frontier settlers in steppes and foremountains in settles called "stanitsa" and led by atamans. Kislev is led by a Tzar or Tzarina and is a strong ally of The Empire.
- Though they have their own category on the Diplomacy screen, they still use the Empire unit roster, albeit limited to tier 1-3 units with limited heroes and hero mount options.
- It is heavily speculated within the community that Kislev will be one of the playable races in Total War: Warhammer III, being one of (if not the only) order-aligned race in the game.