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The Kingdom of Avelorn is the oldest of all the Elven realms of Ulthuan. Ancient glamours lie upon its tangled groves, and creatures of legend still walk beneath its eaves.[1a]

Yet Avelorn's glories are maintained only by the constant watchfulness of the Rangers that guard its borders, for the monsters of the Annulii Mountains are drawn to this realm as to no other; scarcely a day passes without an attack by some dread creature.[1a]

Avelorn is ruled by the Everqueen, the chosen of the Earth Mother, Mistress of the Undying Forest, Preserver of Green Fastness, Observer of the Rites of the Golden Spring, Monarch of one of the Twin Thrones of Ulthuan.[1a]

As such, she holds tremendous power and prestige -- her only real peer is the Phoenix King himself. Often, there is rivalry between the two thrones, but this balance is at the very heart of the High Elves' concepts of hierarchy -- being ruled by a single, all-powerful dictator like the Dark Elves' Witch King Malekith would be unthinkable to them.[1a]

The court of the Everqueen moves through Avelorn from place to place like a great carnival, pitching silken pavilions wherever it halts. By day, silver laughter rings through the forest as the Elves make sport.[1a]

By night, faerie lights flicker in the darkness, illuminating the revels and feasting. With its perfect weather, bountiful forests and beautiful near-immortal inhabitants, Avelorn seems the sort of verdant paradise of which mortal Men can only dream.[1a]

Those who dwell here specialise in archery. It is said that some of the Wood Elf kindreds of Athel Loren in the Old World are descended from the people of Avelorn. The most renowned regiment of Avelorn is the Everqueen's warrior guard of Elf-maids, the Sisters of Avelorn. Warriors of Avelorn are most likely to wear green plumes or embroidered decoration with floral designs. Armour may sometimes be styled in floral or leaf shapes.[2a]

The Everqueen herself rarely ventures openly among the court until she knows whom she will choose to accompany her glorious cavalcade through the forest realm. Because of this, and the presence of the Handmaidens of the Everqueen, Avelorn can become a hotbed of ego and intrigue, where every performer vies for the favour of the Everqueen and the chance at a place at her side.

To be chosen as her consort or as a Handmaiden is the highest honour for a youth of Ulthuan, but those whose artistry fails to impress the fickle inhabitants of the forest soon find themselves objects of ridicule. So it is that in Avelorn excellence is but the least expected of a performer.[3c]

Yet, when the Everqueen walks among her subjects, a subtle vibration can be felt racing through the whole forest, invigorating all with burgeoning anticipation and excitement.[3c] In time, and though no one sees them come, fresh pavilions with an ethereal quality of simple grace appear in the midst of the forest, ones that have no cords or poles to support them, and are held aloft by the soft winds that gust around them.

Lights flit around these pavilions, and golden armoured Elf-maids ring them, though their presence does not detract from the peace and tranquility of the scene. A pale nimbus of light builds within the pavilion. The skin of the tent peels back and a bright light like that of the sun upon golden fields pours from inside. Amid the wondrous halo of shimmering brilliance, the Everqueen emerges.[3d]

Though musicians play, the forest itself provides accompaniment for her in the form of trilling birds, the gurgling of the streams, and the sighing of the wind through the excited branches of nearby trees, for the land itself welcomes her.

Behind the Everqueen, a Handmaiden bears a banner of emerald tree leaves woven with golden hair. The light of the forest is captured in the banner, bearing the heart of Avelorn in its rustling, living fabric. White flowers spring from the ground wherever she walks, and her radiance turns all other blooms to face her.[3d]

As the Everqueen moves amongst the people of the forest, she touches the forehead of kneeling Elves, selecting them, the foremost artists, poets, musicians, artisans and mages, to become part of her court, their jubilant laughter upon rising to their feet like the chiming of the clearest of golden bells. From there, the Handmaidens lead the chosen into the forest.[3d]

Culture

Those living in Avelorn have a different attitude towards time than those found in places like Lothern. They are more relaxed, feel that they have time to spend on things such as recitals of ancient sagas. One such epic - The Tale of Caledor the Conqueror - is so well known that a poet's audiance can mouth each word in time with the speaker. Such works can take hours for any reciter, yet the Elves of Avelorn have an interest to listen, while others - selected by lot or from family retainers, bring food and wine.[5b]

For Tyrion, when he first visited in XI 110, it was the sort of reading one only saw in abbreviated form among the busy money-making Elves of Lothern. It was like stepping back into the past, into the golden age of the First Everqueen, and he knew it was deliberately so. If one sought flaws in such a scene, they would indeed find them. Some Asur fall fast asleep, others paying no interest, instead inspecting their nails. Yet this was also what the first Elves did. Perhaps part of a different golden age, but a golden age nonetheless. The people of Avelorn see themselves as guardians of a certain "elfness", keeping the old ways alive that few can deny as rightful in doing.[5b]

Meanwhile, the magic of Avelorn - in an odd, elliptic way - has an atmosphere similar to Asuryan's Shrine, as an ancient power touches the world here. Even Lothern, for all its thrilling, commercial energy, broods a melancholy that shadows even the most festive days.[5b]

Yet in Avelorn, by comparison, people seem almost too happy, too energetic, too thrilled, even for Elves in the mood for merrymaking. An air of complacent contentment hovers over people truly wanting to be here, and genuinely happy that they are. More than once, visitors have joked that such magic is merely Dreamsmoke, for many are driven to linger within the kingdom as though something in the air clouds their judgement.[5b]

Here, the Elves behave as they had before the age of Aenarion. Beautiful, moving yet rather sad. Sad because all of this took effort to maintain and it is dying away. It is an enclave frozen in amber. Yet to assume this may not be fair, for Avelorn still lives. It is the beating heart of Asur society, where artists and dancers and poets came to compete, to find an appreciative audience, to seek fame and a certain kind of glory. It was not the sort of glory that others might be interested in, but even so, few find it hard to see why some elves are.[5b]

In truth Elves like these can be found all over the island-continent. In aggregate, they must far out number the Elves of Lothern, although they had no single town or city that was even a fraction of the city-state's size. Probable, the Elves of Avelorn are much more representative of their people as a whole, and they look up to the Everqueen at least as much as the Phoenix King for leadership.[5b]

For these Elves, Lothern was something strange and new. The Elves of Avelorn were the ones who represented the mainstream of life. Tyrion himself believed - after his time in the Tournament for the Everqueen's Champion - he saw the majority of the Elves as they wanted to see themselves and he realized that he was not at all like them.[5b]

Archery

The citizens of Avelorn practice archery, drawing and firing at targets hundreds of paces away. Such rec-training by the citizenry makes Avelorn's archers the greatest on Ulthuan, and the backbone of the citizen-levy. Like the poets, the archers too are part of older Ulthuan, one dating back to the age of Morvael, of the first great citizen-soldier levies. They are part of Avelorn's culture, and they too moved to a different beat than the Elves of places such as Lothern.[5b]

A general inspecting them would find each archer of Avelorn an Elf in their prime. All of them have handled bows for decades, if not centuries. All hale and hearty and would remain so for hundreds of years. Among the Asur, no other troops would or could have their skills or experience. Simply by virtue of being alive for so long, they would have fought in dozens of skirmishes and battles, and have survived many encounters with numerous foes.[5b]

Settlements

There are few permanent settlements in Avelorn, most of its populace either nomadic or living deep in the woods.[5b] Even the Everqueen's capital is a literal tent city,[5a] yet despite their primitive appearances, such settlements and dwellings somehow fit with the landscape, allegedly being how the elves lived in ancient times.[5b]

Locations of Note

Trivia

  • In Defenders of Ulthuan, the Everqueen's court is known for having naked dancers.[3a]
  • Music is ever present within the forests of Avelorn, following travellers as it echoes their songs, or plays music of its own. A potent sense of ancient magic lurks beneath such bewitching glamours. Heavenly fragrances also hang heavily in the air.[3b]
  • Among the many sights to be seen in Avelorn, one may find elf-maids clad in shimmering gowns of mist on the back of unicorns, golden feathered eagles soaring high above the canopy, and, upon descending near a shadowed dell, the creaking, heavy footfalls of the ancient forest's treemen.[3b] Glittering sprites dart from tree to tree to light the folk of the forest at night as they create their art. Gaily coloured pavilions are pitched randomly as all manner of elves from across Ulthuan come to play and make merry in the Everqueen's forest.[3c]
  • Avelorn's name is a play on "Avalon," the island from real-world Arthurian legend where King Arthur is believed to still lie in wait until Britain's needs him once more.
  • In Avelorn, white is the colour of choice during times of mourning.[4a]
  • Those who are banished from Avelorn find that the forest becomes an impenetrable wall of trees, their leaves shimmering with an inner light, a luminosity that could have but one source.[4b]
  • In addition to panthers.[5b] wild boars, silver-tailed wolves and huge bears of golden fur are known to answer the call of the Everqueen. It is unclear if they dwell in Avelorn, or come from Cothique or Chrace, whose birds and beasts answer her summons to war without question.[4c]
  • A long line of Waystones rests hidden within a mist-shrouded valley deep in the heart of Avelorn.[4d]
  • Bows of Avelorn fire enchanted arrows.[1b]
  • The banners of units from Avelorn often feature images of entwined thorns.[1b]
  • When Tyrion first sailed to Avelorn, even over the salty tang of the Inner Sea he could notice the scent of pine, as well as the hint of fresh air given by the primordial forest. Said-air is tinged with magic, faint but tangible, that sets one's skin tingling and feel more alive.[5b]
  • Avelorn's coast is so densely packed with enormous trees that it's difficult to see anything beneath the eaves. Some of these trees are said to have been alive since the time before the Coming of Chaos.[5b]
  • One of the few, permanent settlements along Avelorn's coast rests at the mouth of a bay. Here, the forest had been slightly cleared, acting as a harbour. Said-harbour is not designed for the unloading of cargo and elven steeds, requiring sailors to get as close as possible to the shore, then lower everything into the water with winches and cranes, which is always a tricky proposition, even at the best of times. The village itself is right by the waterside, having no walls and being built from logs with wattle and daub roofs.[5b]
  • Sheep exist in Avelorn.[5b]

Gallery

  • Concept art of Avelorn from Warhammer: Age of Reckoning

Source

  • 1: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (8th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 9
    • 1b: pg. 70
  • 2: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (6th Edition)
    • 2a: pg. 36
  • 3: Defenders of Ulthuan (Novel), by Graham McNeill
    • 3a: Chapter 2
    • 3b: Chapter 17
    • 3c: Chapter 19
    • 3d: Chapter 20
  • 4: Sons of Ellyrion (Novel), by Graham McNeill
    • 4a: Chapter 3
    • 4b: Chapter 5
    • 4c: Chapter 16
    • 4d: Chapter 17
  • 5: Sword of Caledor (Novel), by William King
    • 5a: Prologue
    • 5b: Chapter 16

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