Asuryan is the ruler of the Elven Pantheon and the husband of the goddess Lileath. He is the Emperor of the Heavens, the oldest and greatest of all the gods. He is the Creator, and the Flame Eternal - the giver of life - rests in his hands. The High Elves believe that it is Asuryan's purpose and plan they follow in mortal life and beyond. Whether this is true or not is impossible to say, for Asuryan speaks seldom to his fellow gods, and hardly ever to the Elves.[4a]
Leader of the Cadai, Asuryan dwells alone in a great pyramid atop the heavens, and watches over the world from his diamond throne. No mortal has ever seen his face, and as such his depictions on Ulthuan are always masked. This mask is divided in two halves, one white and the other black, symbolising Asuryan's role as the Keeper of Balance.[4a]
Asuryan is the judge between the disputes of the gods and rarely meddles in the affairs of the Elves - indeed, few mortal deeds or plights are significant enough to attract his attention. However, legend tells that it is Asuryan who touches the mind of each new Phoenix King of Ulthuan when he passes through the Flames of Asuryan, in order to better judge their worthiness for the task ahead.[4a]
His symbol is the flaming Phoenix, the Eye of Asuryan,[1a] or a stylized pyramid engulfed in holy fire.
Asuryan's principal shrine rests upon the Island of Flame, in the Sea of Dreams. The structure itself is an ancient pyramid in which the eternal flame of the phoenix burns. There, the Princes of Ulthuan meet to elect the next Phoenix King, who must pass through Asuryan's fire for judgement by the Elven God. The shrine is guarded by the silent Phoenix Guard.
As protector of the Twin Thrones of Ulthuan, the High Elves revere Asuryan the most, perceiving themselves as his chosen people. They believe that Asuryan has a plan for them, and that he'll never abandon them.
Each candidate to become Phoenix King, once chosen by his fellow princes, must pass through the Flame of Asuryan. If he is worthy, the flames will burn the interloper, but after a few seconds, the flame will heal the injuries it inflicted on the candidate, and the new Phoenix King becomes an avatar of Asuryan in the mortal world. If unworthy, the flames will not heal the burns it inflicted. The flame will also not heal a potential Phoenix King if he leaves the flames too early, as it was in the tragic case of Malekith, who became so embittered that he betrayed his own people and caused them constant suffering for six millennia.
Revelations during the End Times
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For a long time it was believed that the flames would not harm the rightful heir. However, during the final Dark Elf invasion to Ulthuan in the End Times, it was revealed that no Phoenix King since Aenarion himself had survived the Flames of Asuryan without a team of mages warding and healing them.
Asuryan cursed Bel Shanaar and all of his successors with overwhelming pride and paranoia so they would eventually destroy themselves out of weariness and madness. In fact, that was the reason Finubar allowed his life to end: he realized he was cursed, and that the only way to escape it was death.
This also confirmed that Malekith, who for a long time was believed to be unworthy of ruling the Asur, was in fact the rightful heir and successor of Aenarion, making the whole line of Phoenix Kings that had come after Bel Shanaar frauds.
- "Asuryan's Fire!" is a term among Asur used to express shock and surprise.[1a]
- Asuryan wields a silver bow from which he fires golden arrows.[3a]
- 1: Blood of Aenarion (novel) by William King
- Warhammer: The End Times - Khaine
- Warhammer Armies: High Elves (1996)
- Tome of Salvation (WFRP 2nd ed.), p. 125
- 2: Defenders of Ulthuan (novel) by Graham McNeill
- 2a: Chapter 11
- 3 Sons of Ellyrion (novel) by Graham McNeill
- 3a: Chapter 15
- 4: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (8th Edition)
- 4a: pg. 53