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Kithband Warrior

An Eonir warrior

The Eonir are a nation of elves dwelling in Laurelorn Forest. Although they share a similar origin to the Asrai, their cousins in Athel Loren, they are considerably less isolationist, engaging in diplomatic relations with the Empire.[1h][2a][2b]

History

The Elven realm of Laurelorn began life as a thriving colony of Ulthuan, founded thousands of years before the War of the Beard. During that period, the High Elves controlled most of the non-mountainous areas that are today the realms of the Empire, Bretonnia, Estalia, Tilea, and Kislev.[1b]

Following the Dwarf victory in the War of the Beard, the High Elves ordered that all elves retreat from the Old World colonies. However, a few enclaves of elves- most notably those in Laurelorn and Athel Loren- ignored the Phoenix King's orders and remained in the woodland homes. Although many felt certain that their doom was near at hand, this turned out not be the case. The Dwarf kingdoms had been devastated by the war, and they had much larger issues than a few elven hold-outs. During the period directly after the Elven withdrawal, the settlements in Laurelorn and Athel Loren became focal points of elven survival in the Old World.[1b][2a]

Since their independence from Ulthuan, the elves of Laurelorn have defended their forest against Dwarfs, Orcs, humans and even marauding bands of Dark Elves.[1c]

After the disappearance of Emperor Sigmar, the forest of Laurelorn was claimbed by the Elector Counts of Drakwald, Middenland, and Westerland. However, the Wood Elves acknowledged no overlord and defeated all attempts to conquer them by force. Their most important victory occurred in 897 IC, when they overwhelmed the army of the Drakwalder Count, whom history remembers only as “the Unlucky.”[1d] When Drakwald was absorbed by Middenland, their claims to Laurelorn also passed to that province.[1e]

During the Skaven Wars, the Eonir aided Mandred Skavenslayer in his war against the vile ratmen.[2d] They allowed his army to march north out of Carroburg through Laurelorn Forest. This allowed them to avoid the much more dangerous routes through Skaven-infested country, and to surprise the ratmen at Dietershafen. In addition, the army travelled through the forest for only a few hours, but covered a distance that should've taken days. However, numerous soldiers were lost in the forest, lured by phantom voices or beckoning hands. Those soldiers who strayed from the path opened to the army were never seen again.[4a]

At an unknown date, the Eonir made an agreement with the Count of Nordland, allowing humans to settle in the land between the rivers Salz and Demst, but strictly limiting how many can settle, and requiring that the elves approve any new settlement before it is constructed. The elves typically do not approve many settlements, and when they do, severely restrict what can be harvested from the woods.[1h]

In recent years, the Queen of Laurelorn established a camp of Eonir in Amber Hills outside of Altdorf, with the purpose of observing Imperial politics, and occasionally intervening in matters relating to Laurelorn. Although the camp is considered "temporary" by the wood elves, this has a very different meaning for such a long-lived race. Mainly because of the camp, Eonir are an increasingly common sight in Reikland.[2b]

Storm of Chaos

"Gausser is nothing but a pawn of the Laurelorn Elves."
A political observer in Ostland[1g]

Nobles have pressured Grand Baron Theoderic Gausser of Nordland renegotiate the treaty with the Eonir. Impatient as ever, some humans have made illegal settlements in the area, which the Elves have threatened to remove by force, if need be. Some observers fear a coming clash between the Elector Count’s knights and the warriors of Laurelorn, but the war has held Salzenmund’s hand, so far. There are worries, however, that the Elves may see this as a time to assert their rights.[1g]

Twenty-five miles south of Hargendorf on the west bank of the River Demst sits the abandoned village of Schlaghügel. Founded in the time of the current Baron von Hargenfels’ grandfather, the village was an attempt to slowly begin colonisation of the lands west of the Demst. One attraction at the time was the presence of an old stone circle, of the kind build by followers of the Old Faith long ago. The Baron, himself a member of the Cult of Mother Rhya, felt this was a holy site and wanted to preserve it and make it active again. Forty families were sent there to start new lives. At first garrisoned, after a few years of quiet it seemed like the Elves of Laurelorn would tolerate this settlement; some even came to trade. Then, one summer night five years ago, the people of Schlaghügel vanished: Traders reported the village empty. Klement, the current Baron von Hargenfels, sent his bailiff to investigate. He confirmed the reports: All the people were gone. There were no signs of violence or struggle, no corpses, no indication of where they had gone. Even the animals were missing. The only clues were two words carved on the tree in the village commons: “fog” and “mercy.”[1i]

Investigations turned up nothing, and the village was written off as a mystery. The “official” explanation claimed the people fled into the woods to escape taxes, but no one really believed this. When the subject came up, the word “cursed” was most often heard, and a connection to the ancient circle “that should have been left alone.” Then, traders along the Demst started reporting that the people of Schlaghügel had come back - odder still, they acted as if they had never been gone. Baron von Hargenfels was concerned. If true, then this story told of bizarre and possibly threatening goings on. The Baron, therefore, wanted an explanation, and hired a group of adventurers to act as his agents and investigate the mystery of Schlaghügel. When they arrived, they found all as described: prosperous, happy villagers with no memories of ever being gone. Two things stood out, however: the village priest had not returned, and there was a door into the hill on which the stone circle sits that was not there before. Besides, there were Elves watching from the woods...[1j]

Physiology

In the Empire, residents commonly call the Elves of the Laurelorn “Wood Elves,” to distinguish them from the “Sea Elves” that sail the great trading ships and inhabit Marienburg’s Elf Quarter, and the “High Elves,” those who inhabit Ulthuan. This is a false distinction. There are no physical differences between the three groups, although there are cultural differences.[1b]

Society

Culture

"All creatures have their obligations to the land. It is how we choose to interpret those obligations that defines us. We have forsaken the path of smoke and the wheel. To embrace those who walk that path is not permitted to us."
Laurelorn Elf[4a]

Details on life in Laurelorn are difficult to come by, as any elf who divulges such information is subject to exile.[6a]

Unlike Men, who seek to tame the lands in which they live, the Elves of Laurelorn regard the forest and its land as a living thing, something they should live in harmony with, something over which they feel protective.[1b] For this reason, the Eonir eschew traditional civilization.[2b] Eonir are seldom materialistic.[5a]

The Kithband, a group of related elves, is a major unit in Eonir society. Often kithbands form up into military groups. In this case, their members are known as Kithband Warriors.[3b]

Typical interests and activities for the Elves of Laurelorn include folk dancing, lute playing, and other arts. They tend fuss about dress, and possess good colour sense, often wearing subtle, muted tones.[5a]

Like the elves of Athel Loren and Ulthuan, the Eonir speak Eltharin.[2c]

Government and Relations

Laurelorn Elves

The guardians of Laurelorn

Although both Middenheim and Nordland claim Laurelorn forest, the Eonir remain fiercely independent. Neither province has been able to exert control over the realm.[1b][1c][1e] If the Empire did wish to send an army to subjugate Laurelorn, they would have a difficult task, for the villages of the Eonir are protected from sight by fey enchantments. The wood elves value their privacy.[3a] However, this would be unlikely to happen, for the Eonir try to maintain good relations with the surrounding realms of Mankind. The elves realize that they provide a defensive bulwark against the Greenskins and forces of Chaos.[1b]

Although the Eonir would prefer to be left alone in their woodland,[1b] they recognize that is necessary to have diplomatic relations with nations such as the Empire, and thus are far less isolationist than their Asrai cousins.[2b][1c]

The Eonir are led by a Queen. One Queen of Laurelorn was named Marrisith.[2a] It is unknown whether or not she is the current queen.

Expatriate Eonir

Expatriate elves find themselves treated as aliens within the Empire, for their long-term views are seen as “flippant” and “shallow” among more serious-minded Imperials. It is true, also, that superstitions have built up around the Elves, and these affect their relations with Humans, too.[1b] Behind their haughty and flippant façade, however, the Wood Elves of Laurelorn know they are within the Empire, and it is with the Empire that they must deal. In their hearts and minds, during quiet moments of reflection, they know that they are a dying people and that they need the Empire and its teeming masses of Men for their protection. Acknowledging this unpleasant truth, some Wood Elves have decided to end their isolation and enter the Empire, just to make sure the Humans do not foul things up.[1c] Other reasons an Eonir might leave Laurelorn include a definite mission from their leaders, simple sightseeing, or because an elf does not fit in to their own society.[1b]

Although almost all elven adventurers in the Empire hail from Laurelorn,[1b] they are not numerous enough to form their own quarters within the Empire’s towns and cities, the Elves are most often encountered singly, as wandering entertainers or travellers out seeing the sights.[1c]

Elf experts are welcome in the houses of nobility and the wealthy, where they serve as tutors, sword masters, archery instructors, huntsmen, and “trophy” courtiers. Wood Elves encountered in a group are likely to be an ambassador and his retinue on their way to meet with some Imperial grandee over matters of trade or security — or to complain about the mistreatment of Wood Elves at the hands of Humans and Dwarfs![1c]

Humans’ opinions of the Wood Elves comprise a mixture of admiration, envy, fear, and some irritation. Their wizards know powerful sorceries unknown to others and, as a species, they live much longer than humans. Their warriors have a deadly skill that more than makes up for any lack of numbers, and their secretiveness makes others wonder what they are hiding behind the trees of Laurelorn. All this is made worse by what appears to Humans and Dwarfs as a smug air of superiority, that the Wood Elves are talking down to them. The Elves do not see it that way. Rather, many feel they simply have to be patient with those slower than themselves, putting subtle concepts in terms a barbarian’s descendant can understand.[1c]

Dwarfs try to have as little to do with Elves as possible, still holding dear their grudge from the War of Vengeance, which those flippant Elves call “The War of the Beard.” Dwarfs and Humans can do just fine managing the Empire; they do not need a bunch of snooty tree-lovers telling them how to mind their affairs. When they do mix, a Dwarf will often go out of his way to insult or embarrass an Elf just to “take him down a notch or three.”[1c]

Halflings have little contact with the Elves, except as the latter’s travels take them through the Empire. Their attitudes toward the Wood Elves mirror those of the Humans, though they are perhaps less prone to either fawning worship or outright hostility.[1c]

Military

"That's the difference between us. We elves fight because we must; you humans fight because you like it."
Gilathel, Kithband Warrior[3d]

The Eonir have successfully defended Laurelorn from all manner of creatures- orcs, humans, and even dark elves.[1c] However, as the taint of chaos grows worse, their position in the dark forests of the Empire becomes increasingly precarious. In recent years, the elves have had to spend more and more time in military pursuits.[3b]

Eonir Infantry

  • Kithband Warriors - The kithbands, small groups of related elves, form up into units when they go to war. These bands carry their clan's emblem and are typically armed with bows.[3b]
  • Ghost Striders - Ghost Striders are solitary elven archers who roam all over the Old World, hunting down the creatures of Chaos. They are almost supernaturally stealthy, and can pass unseen through forest and mountain. Ghost Striders are all archers skilled to the highest degree, and are famed for never missing their targets. However, Ghost Striders tend to be individualistic, often more at home alone in the natural world than around other sentient beings.[3c]

Sources

  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED: Sigmar's Heirs
  • 2: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 4th ED: Core Rulebook
    • 2a: pg. 28
    • 2b: pg. 29
    • 2c: pg. 235
    • 2d: pg. 273
  • 3: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED: Core Rulebook
    • 3a: pg. 16
    • 3b: pg. 43
    • 3c: pg. 70
    • 3d: pg. 227
  • 4: Wolf of Sigmar (Novel) by C.L. Werner
    • 4a: Chapter VII
  • 5: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 1st ED: Something Rotten in Kislev
    • 5a: Handout 6
  • 6: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED: Career Compendium
    • 6a: pg. 121

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