- "In ancient times the noble warriors of Caledor rode into battle astride mighty dragons. Few indeed were those who could stand before their charge, the dragons incinerating those that escaped the lances of their masters. Now those days are gone, and the great beasts can only rarely be roused from their slumber. Instead, the Dragon Princes carry on their ancient martial tradition, fighting on the backs of Elven steeds instead of great wyrms.
Dragon Princes may no longer ride true dragons, but each piece of their battle harness carries a reminder of those glorious days. Their sturdy armour and dragon-crested helms are as much protection as the scales of a dragon itself, and every item carries the blazon of dragon wing, scale or fire. They are the proudest unit in the entire army of the Phoenix King and the only one not to dip its banner in salute to him. In fact, such is their arrogance that 'Prince of Caledor' is a common insult among High Elves of other lands.
The nobles of Caledor always fight as one in such a unit, banding together to relive their ancient glories and remind those that would stand in their way that their traditional skill at arms has not been dimmed by the years. And who is to say that those long-gone days of heroism will not come again? The tides of Chaos and evil are on the rise once more, and even the most ancient of the firedrakes stirs in its long sleep. The Loremasters read the many signs and portents, speaking of a final battle in which the Dragon Princes will ride once again on their fabled beasts, and who can say they are wrong!"
- —The Dragon Princes of Caledor.[3a]
The Dragon Princes are the noblest and proudest Asur knights of Caledor. Once the Dragon Princes could command enough dragons to turn the skies dark with wings, destroying entire armies with their flames and mighty claws, but now the dragons are few and those that are left slumber deeply. However, the Dragon Princes have lost none of their own skills with sword and lance, so they gallop into battle upon mighty Elven steeds caparisoned in burnished armour forged in the form of a dragon.[1a]
Caledor is the fabled land of Dragons, where in ancient times princes of royal blood would ride cold drakes to battle high in the air above Ulthuan.[2a][4a] The Dragon Princes, as they were called, were the greatest warriors in all of Ulthuan, champions of the wars against the Daemons and the civil war wrought by the Witch King.[4a]
Once Caledor was the supreme realm amongst the Elven Kingdoms,[2a][4a] and Ulthuan was dominated by the valorous deeds and wise rule of Caledor's Dragon Princes.[5a] Now, however, the royal bloodline has faded[5a] and Caledor's power is lessened -- its Dragons are diminished in size and number, and spend long centuries in a deep sleep from which they cannot be roused. Today there are still Dragons slumbering in their lairs in the Dragon Spine and the caves beneath Vaul's Anvil.[2a][4a]
Where in the past the nobles of Caledor rode Dragons today they ride to war as knights in much the same way as Elves of other lands. However, their old pre-eminence remains a source of pride, and they regard themselves as the elite even amongst the nobility of Ulthuan's kingdoms. Indeed, 'Prince of Caledor' is a byword for arrogance amongst Elves of other lands.[2a][4a]
The ancient traditions are reflected in the crested ithilmar armour worn by the Knights of Caledor and their steeds, modeled in the antique style of that worn by Dragon riders of old.[2a] In both cases the ornately detailed armour is forged in the heart of a volcano in the Dragon Spine Mountains using ancient enchantments that were perfected when Ulthuan was young[4a], ensuring that no lesser flame than the fires of Vaul can offer harm to the armour or its wearer.[5a] This dragon armour is entirely resistant to heat, in the manner of Aenarion's armour of old. A Dragon Prince clad in his dragon armour can ride fearlessly through fire, be it the breath of Dragons, the alchemical fury of the Dwarfs or the eldritch flames of the Skaven.[4a]
In battle the Princes of Caledor always fight apart from other nobles, forming their own band of knights and fighting their own banner, never taking to the field without it and defending it with their lives. Such is their pride that theirs is the only banner that remains erect whilst all the other banners are dipped to acknowledge the rule of the Phoenix King prior to battle.[2a] When forced to remark upon it, Dragon Princes claim that this stems from the reign of Caledor the Conqueror, who granted them this as a sign of respect for their noble sacrifice. They say that it is not for them to countermand the word of Caledor. Such an act would be to offer far greater disrespect to the lineage of Phoenix Kings than ten thousand erect banners could ever achieve. Others point out that even before Caledor granted this boon, the Dragon Princes refused to lower their banners anyway.[4a]
Dragon Princes consider themselves so superior to Ulthuan's other soldiers as to have nothing remarkable in common with them at all. Worse, they pay little heed to orders -- though they may consent to consider suggestions. In many warriors, this arrogance would be dangerous, yet in the Dragon Princes, this pride springs from an utter surety of deed and a martial judgment that borders on the supernatural.[5a]
The Dragon Princes choose for themselves the most dangerous battlefield assignments, seeking both glory and an opponent worthy of their skills. The finest cavalry in Ulthuan– and some say the world, the Dragon Princes crash into the enemy with arrogant disdain, slaughtering the foe with masterful strikes from both lance and sword. Such is their skill that a Dragon Prince can slay two warriors with one lance thrust, impaling both on their steel-tipped weapon.[4a][5a]
Indeed, it is said that the knights of Caledor can reduce an enemy warband to ruin more swiftly and mercilessly than any of Ulthuan's other warriors. Only in the thick of battle does a Dragon Prince's true character emerge. Hauteur gives way to determination; arrogance to courage. Gone is the aloof noble who disdains the company of all save his own kin. In his place rides a warrior who would die without hesitation if his sacrifice would save but one of Ulthuan's people. Only when the battle-light fades from the Dragon Prince's eyes does the aspect of the Caledorian noble slide back into place. Callous pride returns, leaving those who saw the selfless hero behind the mask to question if he ever truly existed at all.[5a]
Famous Dragon Princes
- Prince Imrik - Crown Prince of Caledor and one of the last true Dragon Princes, Imrik rides the mighty dragon Minaithnir to battle.
- Prince Imladrik - The younger son of Phoenix King Caledor the Conqueror, and brother to Phoenix King Caledor II, Imladrik rode a magnificent Star Dragon called Draukhain. He was the last elf to be considered an equal by the dragons, earning him the title Master of Dragons.
- The Fireborn - Imrik's elite bodyguards, who bear a long and glorious history.
- 1: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (4th Edition)
- 1a: pg. 58
- 2: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (5th Edition)
- 2a: pg. 64
- 3: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (6th Edition)
- 3a: pg. 8
- 4: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (7th Edition)
- 4a: pg. 57
- 5: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (8th Edition)
- 5a: pg 47