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Bel-Korhadris, the Scholar-King, was the seventh Phoenix King of Ulthuan, succeeding Tethlis after his untimely death in -691 IC.[1a] He would hold the second longest reign among Phoenix Kings,[3a] and be remembered as the Second Golden Age of the High Elves.[3b]

Age of the Scholar

While he did not neglect the defense of the realm, Bel-Korhadris was not given to fighting, believing that magic could shield Ulthuan from its enemies. A wizard-prince of Saphery, and a famed scholar[4a], he ruled wisely and well, and was loved by all. His reign was notable for being a time of near unbroken peace. The Dark Elves of Naggaroth had been so weakened by Tethlis' onslaught that they were afraid to attempt more than raids, which were seldom more than simple -- if unutterably cruel -- acts of piracy and brigandage.[3c] It was well for the High Elves that their ancient enemies lay quiet, for the war had left much of Ulthuan in ruins, with untold villages and cities caught between the two armies. Worse, the war's constant demand for fresh warriors had left the foothills of the Annulii Mountains unguarded against the monsters of the peaks. As a result, many areas of Ulthuan that had suffered little from the ravages of war were preyed upon by Manticores and other fell creatures. Bel-Korhadris' first act as Phoenix King was, therefore, to decree an age of rebirth -- the ruined lands would be reclaimed, shattered settlements rebuilt, monsters driven out and the glory of Ulthuan restored once more.[1a]

Thus began a reign that would be forever remembered as the start of a second golden age. During this time (11-Scholar), the White Tower of Hoeth was constructed. This was to be the Scholar-King's greatest contribution to the rebirth of Ulthuan: a citadel of sorcery and scholarship, where the wisdom of the four corners of the world would be gathered, and grimoires of the most potent spells would be enshrined. For a thousand years, the Elves raised this vast sky-reaching structure, harnessing the secrets of artificer and mage in equal measure with every stone that was laid. Craftsmen laboured for nearly a millennium on intricate carvings. The tower was woven round with spells of illusion and warding to protect this treasured knowledge.[1a][2a]

As work on the White Tower progressed, Bel-Korhadris founded the order of Loremasters who would be both the guardians and pupils of the knowledge assembled within. Every discipline, from warfare and sorcery to alchemy and astromancy, was to be studied. many famed scholars and sorcerers gathered at Hoeth, and such an exchange of knowledge occurred as had not been seen before, and has not been seen since. In the shadow of the needle-pointed spire, thousands of the wisest philosophers debated their knowledge. Within the library, a cadre of Loremasters began to inscribe the Book of Days, the great history of the Elven people on which all future histories would be based. It was during this time that the Swordmasters of Hoeth gathered to study the art of swordsmanship and protect the tower. They would later become a continent-wandering order of swordsmen intent on gathering information in service to the High Loremaster.[3b] By the time of 400-Scholar, an entire town of mages and scholars had sprung up within the shadow of the half-built tower.[1a][2a]

Though Bel-Korhadris' own passion was the pursuit of knowledge, he recongised that scholarship and magic alone would not see Ulthuan preserved -- he knew that the time would again come when the High Elves would need heroes of the blade. He therefore encouraged the nobles of his court to prove their personal valor in vanquishing the beasts that roamed the land. Thus was Bel-Korhadris' reign also a renaissance of personal glory not seen in Ulthuan since the time of Aenarion, so vigorously did nobles of all ranks embrace the Phoenix King's charge. Slowly, but surely, the kingdoms of Ulthuan were scoured with fire and sword, the roaming monsters slain or else driven back into the Annulii Mountains to lick grievous wounds.[1a]

The threat of such creatures could never truly be ended, however. Even should an army prove bold enough to scour the Annullii Mountains, it could spend a thousand lifetimes amongst their peaks, and still not find every lair, nest, and roost. Each time the watch on the mountains grew lax, vile creatures slithered and crawled into Ulthuan's heartlands once more. Yet Bel-Korhadris did not seek lasting victory against the creatures of the mountains -- he desired only that his lands be reclaimed, and that the battle-skill of Ulthuan's nobility was not dulled by the years of relative peace.[1a]

Bel-Korhadris died just three years after the completion of the White Tower in 1187 of his reign, and was buried amid its foundations. It is said that his ghost still haunts the crypts below the tower and occasionally assists scholars in their searches.[1a][2a][4a]

Timeline

  • -679 IC: Construction of the White Tower begins.[2a]
  • -290 IC: The Tower is half completed, and the Loremasters make a small town around it.[2a]
  • 497 IC: The Order of the Sword Masters of Hoeth is made as the White Tower is completed.[2a]

Trivia

  • Bel-Korhadris was touted as the greatest geomancer since Caledor Dragontamer.[5a]

Source

  • 1: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (8th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 23
  • 2: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (7th Edition)
    • 2a: pg. 40
  • 3: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (5th Edition)
    • 3a: pg. 25
    • 3b: pg. 26
    • 3c: pg. 31
  • 4: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (4th Edition)
    • 4a: pg. 25
  • 5: Blood of Aenarion (novel) by William King
    • 5a: Chapter 4

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