- High Elves (Warhammer)
Games Workshop's "Warhammer Fantasy" setting, the High Elves, or the Asur as they name themselves, are a race of Elves who live on the Isle of Ulthuan, analogous to Atlantis. The High Elf army appears to bear resemblance to the Byzantine Empireand its armies.
The elves are nearly immortal, expected to live for about 2500 years, and their Mages are among the best in the world. They have split into three factions: The High Elves (Asur) live on the island-continent Ulthuan; the Wood Elves (Asrai) live in the Loren Forest, in the Old World, and the Dark Elves (Druchii) live in
Naggaroth, in the New World. The latter are the sworn enemies of the Asur. In the " Warhammer Fantasy Battle" tabletop wargame, Elf armies are generally small and although lightly armoured their soldiers are generally braver, quicker and more skilled than those of other armies.
The High Elves for the main part confine themselves to Ulthuan, though they have colonies across the known world, and their ships are the finest that sail upon the waves. Ulthuan itself is split into a number of smaller kingdoms, each ruled by a Prince. Together these Princes form a council, and it is they who decide which Elf among their kind shall be crowned as the Phoenix King, the co-ruler of all the Asur. They are similar to the Warhammer 40,000 Craftworld Eldar army.
Aenarion the Defender
In the beginning, the Asur lived in peace in the forests of Avelorn under their Queen. Theirs was a joyous, leisurely existence. Then came the Coming of Chaos. Hordes of daemons swept across Ulthuan and hunted the helpless Asur down like animals. Maidens gave birth to daemons, and it is said that prophets were driven mad by the visions they received. The High Priest of Asuryan plucked out his eyes and refused to tell anyone what he saw. The Asur hid in caves or died on the open plains, for they had no warriors, and their few weapons were either ceremonial or used for hunting. It fell to a traveller and adventurer by the name of Aenarion to save the Asur race. He travelled to the Shrine of Asuryan to beg the Asur's greatest deity for aid. Neither his prayers or his offerings were replied to. Aenarion became desperate, and offered himself as sacrifice, hurling himself into the Sacred Flame. The Elf's heart stopped and his hair and flesh burned. Yet Aenarion did not die. His skin and hair regrew, and began to glow as if lit from within. Aenarion emerged from the fires reborn as the avatar of Asuryan.
Aenarion threw his spear at the general of the daemon hordes outside the temple, killing him, his second-in-command, and banner bearer in a single blow, took up the monster's sword, slaying the army single-handedly. Afterwards he ventured south to Caledor, where he met the greatest of the old High Mages, Caledor Dragontamer. Caledor saw Aenarion for what he truly was, and immediately bent his knee. Here they called all elves to form an army. Aenarion schooled them in the ways of war, and they were armed and armoured from the fortress-shrine of Vaul’s Anvil. Once ready, the Elven host surged north and slaughtered the Chaos troops. The achievements of Aenarion were many and, for a time, succeeded in driving the daemons from Ulthuan.
In this time, an uneasy peace settled. Aenarion married the Everqueen Astarielle and had two children by her, Morelion and Yvraine.
From conversations with the dwarf god Grimnir, Caledor discovered why Chaos enjoyed a free hold on the world; the collapsed Slann gates. Caledor devised a plan to trap the corrupting energies engulfing the world and sustaining the tide of daemons. Aenarion rejected the plan, claiming that he was not prepared to gamble with the future of the Elf race, whatever the result. It was shortly afterwards that a Chaos attack engulfed Avelorn. Astarielle was murdered by the demons, and her children Morelion and Yvraine went missing. Unknown to Aenarion the children had been saved and taken into hiding by an ancient treeman.
Maddened with grief, Aenarion made a desperate decision. He decided to go to the Blighted Isle. He had one purpose: to draw the Sword of Khaine. Caledor sought to dissuade him from his path. Struck by prophecy, Caledor spoke words that would echo down history. He said that if Aenarion continued on this path, the gods would turn away from him. Nothing but tragedy would result from this action. Aenarion and all his line would be cursed, and he himself would surely die. Without responding, Aenarion mounted his dragon and left.
It is said that great winds buffeted Indraugnir on the flight, as the very elements themselves sought to dissuade Aenarion from his path. On the Isle itself, the ghost of Astarielle appeared, pleading with him not to follow his path. Hardening his heart, Aenarion pulled the Sword of Khaine free. With it, Aenarion began a campaign of vengeance. But the sword changed him and his followers, and they became ever more brutal, callous, and cruel. Aenarion met another woman after rescuing her from a den of Slaanesh worshippers. This was Morathi. With her beauty, she captured the heart of Aenarion, and they married. Together they held court in Nagarythe, the northernmost of the Elven lands. They spent their time enjoying dark pleasures, including hunting captive chaos worshipers, and torturing them unto death. Morathi bore Aenarion a son; Malekith.
Seeing what his friend had turned into, Caledor decided he must complete his plan, whatever Aenarion’s judgement. He and his followers travelled to the Isle of the Dead, and there began creating a magical vortex to drain the essence of Chaos out of the world. The minions of Chaos heard of this, and did their best to stop them. But Aenarion, left with no choice, came to his friend’s aid. At the edge of the Isle, he fought a battle that would determine the fate of the world. At the cost of the lives of Indraugnir and himself, Aenarion slew four Greater Daemons of Chaos, buying Caledor the time that he needed. Caledor’s vortex opened with a bright flash. Daemons ebbed away into nothing, and the forces of Chaos were confined to the Northern Wastes.
Mortally wounded, Aenarion and Indraugnir returned to the Blighted Isle, where it is assumed they died. Aenarion's last act was to drive the Sword of Khaine back into the altar from whence it came so deeply no Elf would ever draw it again.
Bel-Shanaar the Explorer
A new Phoenix King was chosen, named Bel-Shanaar, later titled “The Explorer”. Under his kingship the Asur rebuilt and flourished, and explored and colonized the world. For a time peace ruled. Malekith grew to be a great warrior and explorer, and was Bel-Shanaar's ambassador to the Dwarfs.
During this time, the Cult of Pleasure arose. At first it was seen as a harmless pastime, a way for the nobility to better enjoy the aesthetic pleasures of life. But soon its true nature became clear; the cult was devoted to the Chaos god Slaanesh. Malekith swore to eradicate the cult and, for a time, the people of Ulthuan gave him their gratitude. In the end, Malekith claimed that Bel-Shanaar himself was a member of the cult. Malekith then assassinated Bel-Shanaar with an undetectable poison, and claimed that the King had committed suicide rather than face the shame of interrogation. While his followers massacred the unarmed Elf Princes, Malekith prepapred to enter the Flame of Asuryan, confident that, like his father before him, he could endure the ordeal. But Asuryan would not suffer one so polluted and evil. The flames set Malekith's flesh alight, burning him horribly. All but crippled, Malekith barely managed to cast himself out from the flames to be carried away by his followers, who feared the wrath of Asuryan for their deeds. Morathi nursed her son, and helped encase him within a suit of magical armour that would disguise his scars and lend him mortal strength. The depths Malekith had stooped to suddenly became clear: His mother was the high priestess of the Cult of Pleasure, and together they had coveted and attempted to overthrow the Phoenix Throne.
Caledor the Conqueror
Civil war gripped Ulthuan. To oppose Malekith, the Prince of Caledor, Imrik, was chosen and crowned, and gathered an army of pure Elves. Upon his coronation, he took the name Caledor the First. Caledor was a silent, resolute man, but he was also a mighty leader and unequalled warrior. He united the Elves, and personally defeated Malekith. As part of a final, desperate plan, Malekith attempted to collapse the vortex created by Caledor Dragontamer, thus releasing the minions of Chaos fully into the world again. The apocalyptic plan failed, and in the magical backlash, for Caledor Dragontamer and the mages stuck in the Isle of the Dead overcame their prison for a few moments long enough to disrupt his spell, large portions of Ulthuan sank beneath the sea. This is the event the Asur refer to as The Sundering. Malekith, Morathi and their followers used their magics to transform the great northern cities into the huge floating 'Black Arks' - mobile fortresses to plague the oceans of the Warhammer World. On these, they travelled to the western continent, to a frozen wasteland they named Naggaroth.
After the war was closing and the Asur retook the Blighted Isle, Caledor’s ship was swept away by a freak storm and landed on the coast of Naggaroth. Caledor and his men fought off Malekith's men but in the end surrounded and wounded he chose to jump into the sea in full armour rather than be capured by Malekith's lackeys. A tragic ending for a great King.
Caledor's son ascended to the throne, taking the title Caledor II. Unlike his father, Caledor II was arrogant and foolish. When the Dark Elves sought to inflame the Asur-Dwarf relations, Caledor II started the War of the Beard.
Dwarf armies started to attack the Asur colonies all across the Old World. Arriving from Ulthuan, Caledor II took personal command of the Elf armies. He slew the Dwarfen King Gotrek’s son, Snorri Halfhand, and routed many dwarf armies. At the 13th siege of Tor Alessi, the war reached its conclusion. Caledor II allowed the Dwarfs to enter peacefully, but the Dwarfs attacked instead. The Asur claim Caledor II refused to slay Gotrek to preserve some hope of peace. The dwarves claim Caledor II was simply arrogant who habitually squandered the few opportunities for peace that occurred. The Dwarfs claim that Caledor II was killed by High King Gotrek at Tor Alessi after Caledor II charged straight into the heart of the dwarf army unsupported. According to the Asur, however, Gotrek fought his way into the throne room and killed him there. Gotrek returned to Karaz-a-Karak with the Crown of the Phoenix King, having taken it from Caledor's corpse as recompense. It remains in Dwarf hands to this day.
Caradryel the Peacemaker
Malekith’s trap closed, and he initiated an invasion of Ulthuan. Having learnt the error of hereditary kingship, the Asur's next choice for Phoenix King was the pragmatic Prince Caradryel. Caradyrel recalled the Elven forces from the Old World, thus abandoning the few remaining colonies who had refused to return to fend for themselves. The survivors of these migrated to the forest of Athel Loren and became the Asrai, or Wood Elves.
Caradryel the Peacemaker was the first Phoenix King to die peacefully in bed.
Tethlis the Slayer
For their next king, the Asur chose a warrior noble of Caledor, one who would seek to end the threat of Naggaroth for all time. His name was Tethlis. After rebuilding the Asur armies to a strength not seen since the time of Aenarion, Tethlis launched the Scouring, a decade-long campaign to drive the Dark Elves out of Ulthuan. He laid siege to Anlec and when it fell, gave the order for all Druchii prisoners- men, women and children- to be put to death: an action which only inflamed the hatred of the Dark Elves. In his 303rd year of rule, he led a great armada to the Blighted Isle where he inflicted a mighty defeat upon the Druchii. He later died under mysterious circumstances: some claimed that he was slain by an assassin hiding among the bones surrounding the Sword of Khaine, others that he attempted to draw the weapon and as it began to come free, he was murdered by his own bodyguard, who feared the unleashing of the sword's terrible power. Whatever the truth of the matter, the Asur armada returned home.
Bel-Korhandis the Scholar King
After the great cost in Elven lives, the Asur chose a more peacefully inclined ruler. They compromised, and chose a wizard prince of Saphery, Bel-Korhandis. During his rule, the Tower of Hoeth was built. The King died shortly after its completion, and was buried amongst the foundations.
Aethis the Poet
After Bel-Korhandis came Aethis, also of Saphery. During his rule art bloomed and music was heard through Ulthuan. It was during this time that the shrinking number of births was first noted and that the elves were diminishing. During this time the Cult of Pleasure spread once again in Ulthuan and in the end several Swordmasters of the White Tower were sent to investigate. One of Aethis’ chancellors was unmasked as a Dark Elf spy. Once exposed, the spy drove a poisoned dagger into Aethis's chest.
Morvael the Unfortunate
Next came Morvael, High Loremaster of the White Tower. He was not well versed in statecraft or warfare. A punitive attack on Naggaorth was massacred, and word of its failure spread panic across Ulthuan. Malekith once again assaulted Ulthuan. Having learned from his mistakes, Morvael appointed Mentheus of Caledor as his field commander of the Asur armies, and introduced the levy system, requiring that every elf spends part of the year as a soldier. As Mentheus won the war, Morvael became ever more despondent for the high cost in Asur lives. During the final assault Mentheus’ forces retook Anlec, but Mentheus himself was killed. Weary beyond bearing, Morvael committed suicide by walking into the Flames of Asuryan.
Bel-Hathor the Sage
Once again the Asur found themselves leaderless during a time of war. The clear candidate, Mentheus of Caledor, was dead, and none could agree on a suitable replacement. In the end Bel-Hathor, a wizard prince of Saphery was chosen and crowned. He was chosen because many in the Elven court believed that he could easily be manipulated to their own ends. They were proven wrong, and Bel-Hathor became a ruler as famed for his resolve as for his wisdom.
After many years of raiding by Norse tribes, the Elves began to hear of the human Empire in the Old World, and became uneasy. Bel-Hathor decreed that no human would be allowed to set foot on Ulthuan, but sent Finubar of Lothern to investigate what had become of the Old World in the Asur's absence. Finubar sailed to the Old World and found that the humans had some measure of civilization, and rediscovered the Asrai of Athel Loren. He opened relations with the Empire, Bretonnia and even the Dwarfs. He returned to Ulthuan with his knowledge and Bel-Hathor revoked his decree, causing trade to flourish. After 548 years of rule, Bel-Hathor the Sage died peacefully.
Finubar the Seafarer
Bel-Hathor’s successor, Finubar, is the current Phoenix King. Under his rule, trade has flourished, and Ulthuan survived the last Great War against Chaos, with help from the twins Tyrion and Teclis. At present, Finubar leads the Asur against Malekith's latest invasion.
pearmen & Archers
The majority of warriors in the armies of the Asur are citizen militia rather than professional soldiers. This militia is a form of part-time army in which all take their turn to serve, every Elf providing his own wargear in defence of his home and his country. When he is inducted into the citizen levy, a keen-eyed Elf will begin his training in the ranks of archers. Lacking the battle experience of his older brethren, he fights from a distance - experiencing the carnage of war from a relatively safe place.
As his familiarity with the horrors of war grow, he will eventually be promoted to the rank of spearman. This is the senior arm of the militia, and is expected to fight bravely in the main line of battle. With the decades of battle experience behind him, an Elf can don the famous armour of a spearman and join his fellow Elves in the rigorous training needed to fight efficiently as one body with one mind.
Lothern Sea Guard
The Eataine province does not field a citizen militia as all the other provinces do, instead contributing the Lothern Seaguard to the Phoenix King's army. Unlike the normal levy, they are not only called up in times of need, but remain at arms at all times.
The riches of the High Elves are great, and the legends greater still, so there is never a shortage of villainous cut-throats who will stoop to any depth to steal their way into its fair capital and plunder its ancestral wealth. The Seaguard patrol the shores around Lothern and man the batteries of "Eagle's Claw" bolt throwers that overlook the harbour. They also form a corps of marines to crew the many sleek vessels of their fleet that circle the world in its long patrols. As space is always at a premium on board ship, the Seaguard are traditionally armed with both bow and spear, allowing their commanders to fight with twice the strength their small numbers might suggest by appearance.
Cavalry of the Asur
ilver Helm Knights
Silver Helms are the sons of High Elven nobles. They fight on horseback in defence of their nation. They are traditionally medium cavalry, fighting with light armour and lances on barded elven steeds, however they can be upgraded to have heavy armour, and shields. Their strength lies in the number of elves they can bring to the battlefield and the speed in which they strike.
Light cavalry from the province of Ellyrion. They frequently use bows (either as a replacement or in addition to their spears) to harass their foes, on unbarded elven steeds. They are exceptionally skilled riders and can shoot their bow in all directions, including behind. This makes them excellent in game terms for causing general disruption in a hit and run style.
Dragon Princes of Caledor
Long ago, they ruled the skies upon the backs of the great drakes, but now the dragons sleep and they ride to battle on horses instead. Proud, arrogant and extremely skilled, they are the elite heavy cavalry from the province of Caledor. They wear suits of Dragon Armour which are as resilient against heat as dragons' hides. There are very few Dragons left in the world and they can seldom be roused. Imrik, the Dragonprince is probably one of the last Dragonprinces that is actually riding a Dragon
Elites of the Asur
word Masters of Hoeth
There are many ways to travel the path of wisdom. Some fast and meditate for years, others study obscure and arcane tomes, but for a few their true path lies in martial prowess. These are the Swordmasters, though they are not only experts with a blade; they also learn to fight with their bare hands or with any other weapon they can reach, especially their finely balanced ceremonial greatswords.
The centre of their cult is the White Tower Of Hoeth, at the heart of ancient Saphery. Here they study the secret ways of battle, honing their bodies and skills to unbelievable levels. Some say they can cut a candle in half without disturbing the flame, others that they can fight in complete darkness, guided only by the faint whisper of their foe's breathing.
These expert warriors are the Guardians Of The White Tower and serve as protectors of the mages and scholars who live and study there. But the Swordmasters are not hermits; part of their duties is to serve as messengers for the Tower's masters, and to this end they travel regularly throughout Ulthuan, guarding travelling scholars or seeking out information to enrich the vast store that resides in the White Tower.
In battle they are deadly opponents, eager to practise their legendary skills on real enemies, in an arena where there is no room for second best. This is the true test of mettle, skill and honour that they eagerly seek out.
A minor change, but still of note, is that, as of the 7th edition army book (2007), "Swordmasters" became "Sword Masters".
Even in times of relative peace, the Shadow Warriors are never at rest. They constantly patrol the barren shores and bleakest hills as they watch for the inevitable Dark Elf raiders; the evil Druchii who sank their homeland beneath the waves and who slaughter their kin. It is little wonder then that battles between the two races are bitterly fought with no quarter asked or given.
Tainted by their association with the Witch King and the violent madness of Aenarion, the survivors of Nagarythe are a very different type of Asur. Since the destruction of their lands, they have been a rootless people, drawn to fighting and unable to settle down to more peaceful tasks. They are intense and brooding, proud and warlike, and this has made them little trusted by their fellow kin of Ulthuan. Despite this, they are among the most loyal subjects of the Phoenix King and the tales of their daring and dangerous exploits are many in number. It is an unusual Elf indeed who has not heard of their valour. Though they are wilder and perhaps more vicious than the rest of the High Elves, it is because of their truly tragic past rather than innate cruelty. Given the bitter and war-wrecked times through which they have lived, this is a flaw that is easy to understand.
Of the many great warriors of the High Elves, the most fearsome are the silent guardians of the Shrine of Asuryan. Known as the Phoenix Guard, the main duty of these warrior monks is to protect the island shrine and all those who make their pilgrimage there. Particularly important is the eternal flame, through which the chosen candidate for Phoenix King must walk in order the receive the Asuryan's blessing.
The secret behind the unnatural silence lies in the Chamber of Days, a secret room whose walls blaze with words of flame, written on the naked walls themselves. These tell the histories of all the Phoenix Kings who have ever lived, and also those who are yet to come. It foretells the death of each, and their successors and predecessors. Any who gaze upon these terrible words must swear a magical oath of complete silence from which they can never be released. This knowledge of their fate wipes away any joy or other expressions from these warrior priests, their faces set instead in grim expressions of doom. In battle, they can always be found where the fighting is in its most desperate state, knowing in advance if they shall fall or if they shall be victorious.
When a Phoenix King dies, the Phoenix Guard are always there, appearing suddenly and without warning to bear away the body of their king to the White Ship. Once a new candidate for the Phoenix King has been selected, they escort him safely to the Shrine of Asuryan to undertake the ritual of rebirth as the new Phoenix King.
In battle, the Phoenix Guard fight with their ceremonial halberds, clad in cloaks of embroidered fire that echo the sacred flame of Asuryan. They move throughout the battlefield in utter silence, accompanied only by the beat of a solemn drum. This unnatural manner is deeply disturbing for their enemies as even the direst of wounds will not make them cry out.
White Lions of Chrace
Ever since the time of Caledor the First, the closest bodyguards of the Phoenix Kings have come from the wildest forests of Chrace. The people found here are the bravest of the young Elves of Chrace, chosen for the honour of serving the Phoenix King by ancient rites. Not all are considered worthy to serve, and each must demonstrate his skill and bravery by tracking down one of the fierce beasts that roam the barren mountains and dark forests of the land, the white lions. When they find one they must kill it through hand-to-hand combat and takes its pelt. Those that have proved themselves wear the cloak of the white lion as a sign of their undoubted courage and may serve the Phoenix King as one of his bodyguard.
In battle, the White Lions use the traditional woodsman's axe of Chrace, a finely crafted weapon which is said to be sharp enough to hew a tree or a man in half with a single strike.
War machines of Ulthuan
Lion Chariots of Chrace
The lion chariots of Chrace are the more brutish and savage of the two high elf chariots. The crew manning the chariot are "the White Lions" or less commonly "the hunters of Chrace". The chariots superior design allows the crew to use their huge axes to cleave foes in half. Unlike the elven steeds of the Tiranoc chariot, the White Lions are more than capable of breaking the most determined shieldwall and tearing into the foes behind it with tooth and claw.
A few charioteers are all that remain of the ancient way of war of the Tiranoc nobility. In ages passed, the coastal plains of their realm were full of herds of noble steeds and racing charioteers. The warriors competed with each other to see who could ride the fastest, or loose the most accurate arrow from the back of their speeding chariot. Then the Sundering came, and the once fair land of Tiranoc sank below the waves of Ulthuan's sea.
Not all was lost however. Indeed, many of their finest warriors were elsewhere, fighting against the evil minions of the Witch King. In this way they were able to preserve their traditions and skills, but it was an embittered few that returned to their drowned land. Since then, they have spent their time tending their herds and preparing for battles. They serve in any of Asur's armies, especially those that fight the Dark Elf kin, and will travel many days and nights to join a force on the road to war.
Repeater Bolt Throwers
The High Elves have no need for the crude Black Powder weapons of other races. Instead, the High Elves use simple torsion bolt throwers as used by their forefathers, content with weapons that will not randomly blow up in front of its crew's face.
The "Eagle's Claw" bolt thrower, as the repeater is usually called, is a versatile weapon and by far the most common of these devices. It is lightly made, though sturdy and strong, and is practical and portable. This makes it highly adaptable and it is widely used both on ship and on shore. In fact, the same individual weapon can be used in either location as they are designed to be taken from their mountings and carried with the Lothern Seaguard when ever they venture forth.
In battle, the "Eagle's Claw" can shoot either a single bolt or a hail of steel-tipped death. This flexibility allows the armies of Ulthuan to halt enemies, whether they are heavily armoured knights or teeming hordes of rabble. The Repeater Bolt Thrower also no longer suffers from the normal -1 to hit when firing a hail of bolts.
Creatures of Ulthuan
These creatures are the last of a noble race that has lived high in the mountain peaks since before the rise of Men. They are haughty and proud, and the High Elves have an instinctive kinship with them. Caradinor rode Sulinash the Great Eagle into battle in times of The Sundering, and such were the heroic deeds that songs are still sung of them. Great Eagles have been allies with the High Elves since this time, and the sight of one soaring high above a battle is still considered a sign of victory.
Some of the wisest of the Asur are said to be able to talk with the Great Eagles of the Anulii as easily as if they were passing the time of day with their own brethren. The Eagles soar over the mist-shrouded peaks and rocky spires and when they return they speak with the Loremasters. In this way, the dire forces of Chaos can never make their way down from the Anulii without finding the warriors of Ulthuan waiting for them.
Griffons are noble beasts, as beasts go, though they are far from tame and placid. Their heads are like that of a huge bird of prey, whilst their bodies resemble that of a lion or any other great cat. All this is borne aloft by a pair of mighty wings that carry the Griffon across the high mountains and peaks where it dwells.
A patiently hand-reared hatchling can be trained to bear a noble upon its back, making a formidable mount in times of battle and war. The people of Chrace, renowned hunters and scouts of Ulthuan, are particularly famed for their skills at raising and training the Griffons that circle above the high mountains of their land.
In days long gone, there were many Dragons to be seen, riding the thermals of the mountain ranges, from Eataine in the south to Chrace in the north, and fighting alongside heroes of the age. The largest nests of Dragons were in the mountains of Calendor, and the Asur of that realm were known as Dragon Princes. And rightly so, as they rode these majestic and fearsome beasts to war and vanquished all who challenged them.
Now the Great Hall Of Dragons lies almost silent. It is filled with the great forms of wyrmkind, but all are deep in slumber, the sound of their rasping breath filling the air. When times of danger are upon the Asur of Calendor, they try to rouse a few from their sleep, but it is an ever greater task. 'Not in a Dragon's age' is a common phrase among the Asur, and it has been many years since more than a handful rode the skies into battle.
However, when they can be awoken from their deep slumber, they are terrible to behold. The light catches their glistening scales before they spread their mighty wings to blot out the sun and light the world with their fiery breath. They are huge and terrifying monsters with a cold, alien intelligence which fills sane folk with dread.
Magic of the Asur
Whilst lesser races must study magic in its corrupted, broken form, High Elf Mages harness its power as pure, mystical energy. The minor spells of the Asur, those Lores of Magic taught to Men by the legendary High Elf Mage Teclis, are but a pale reflection of the power that can be wielded by an Asur fully trained in the magical arts at the White Tower.
The ebb and flow of the winds of magic are the Asur's to command, summoning great energy into themselves or denying it to the enemy. The tumultuous eddies of magic can be smoothed, and used to alter the High Elf's material realm, while the most accomplished Mages can enter the realm of magic and leave behind their physical shell.
Before a promising youngster is taught the dangerous path of a True Mage, he will be shown some simple prayers and enchantments to bring down the blessings of the divine Isha. These are far less dangerous for the caster and can be safely employed by even the most untutored talent.
These blessings are of no real use on the battlefield, intended as they are to help the apprentice in his daily tasks and to relieve the simple Elven folk of some of the drudgery of their daily chores. However, they allow the Mage tutors to easily assess the potential of their charges and show which of their number is favoured by the High Elven gods. So it is that Mages can perform all manner of tricks and illusions when in a lighter mood, and never need the help of mundane servants. It is even said that the Elven farmers and labourers who live near the majestic White Tower of Hoeth never plough their own fields as every year there is another crop of novices eager to test and demonstrate their skills.
The High Elves may use any of the normal eight lores of Magic, but also have their own list of High Magic which only they can access. In addition, Teclis may choose to use any lore during battle and has knowledge of all the spells in it.
Honours of the Asur
As of the seventh edition of the game, the honours are no longer part of the High Elf army book.
Elves are virtually immortal, and throughout their lives they spend considerable time mastering many skills and crafts. The achievements of an Elf are highly vaunted, and an Elf who possesses many different skills will be known by several honorific titles, known as Honours.
Pure of Heart
Though the Golden Age of the High Elves is a distant memory and legend, there are still a few noble Elves whose mere presence reminds those about them of the heroic past of their proud race. They embody all that is glorious about the Elves from before the time of The Sundering and are bittersweet reminders of the former achievements of the Asur.
A hero of the Asur is lauded amongst all Elvenkind for his total devotion to the protection of Ulthuan and his unswerving loyalty to the Phoenix King. As a result, he wears the Lion Cloak, worn by the White Lions of Chrace, who's magical and near holy properties keep the wearer safe.
Sated by his training of the martial arts and the path of a warrior, this particular champion of the Asur has now embarked on the path of the Mage, giving him more options and powers to use in the service of the High Elves.
Having been trained at the Tower of Hoeth, the lethal dueling and fighting skills of this warrior are justly fabled. The warrior carries the mighty great-sword of the Swordmasters into battle, giving him unrivaled weaponry for his unrivaled skills.
The lores of magic hold no surprises for this Mage. Countless hours of painstaking study mean that no spell of worth has escaped his keen eye, giving him a clearer understanding and near control over the forces of magic.
The Mage acts as a conduit through which the raw power of the magic of the Asur flows. This gives him more power and strength to utilise more of the energy of magic than normal.
High Elves field powerful mages and highly elite infantry. In the 7th edition of the game (2007), cavalry is no longer a central part of the High Elf army, with all-cavalry armies no longer possible. Also of note is that all High Elves now strike first in all rounds of close combat.
With White Lions, Sword Masters, and Phoenix Guard, High Elves are now often thought to rely the most on elite infantry of any army in the game.
*Warhammer Armies: High Elves; Andy chambers, Bill King, Jes Goodwin; Games Workshop; 1993; ISBN - 872372 63 52. White Dwarf Issue no. 333, September 2007
* [http://www.ulthuan.net Asur.org]
* [http://uk.games-workshop.com/highelves/ Warhammer; High Elves]
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