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Lothern is the greatest city of Ulthuan. Situated within Eataine, Lothern is the capital city of both said-province and continent. Human merchants are allowed to trade here, and the city has been a busy centre of international trade since the beginning of Phoenix King Finubar's reign in 2163 IC.[2d] Home to several thousand High Elves the fortress city is guarded by 10,000 strong Lothern Sea Guard besides sporting mighty walls and numerous defences.[1a][2a]


To its people, Lothern is the future, if the Elves are to have a future. It was commercial, and home to an outward-thinking, sophisticated, mercantile Phoenix King. It was a city of trade, a hybrid cosmopolitan place where the Elves mingled with other peoples and learned from them and adapted to the new and altered world.[9d] It is one of the wonders of the known world, and no-one who has visited can forget it.[10]

As the source of Eataine's prosperity, Lothern has long been the traditional seat of the Phoenix King — Caledor the Conqueror kept court here, and few of his successors chose to break with that tradition. The Lothern Sea Guard, meanwhile, are the finest of Eataine's warriors. Skilled in both spear and bow, these veteran soldiers fight the Phoenix King's battles both on land and at sea. Should the armies of Ulthuan make war in a distant land, it is invariably the ships of Lothern that bear them hence, and the disciplined advance of the Lothern Sea Guard that will seize the beachheads.[5a]

The city is also home to the Temple of the Phoenix Kings — the only site beyond the Isle of Flame which is protected by the Phoenix Guard.[5a] It also holds the largest library in all Eataine, as well as mansions owned by famous magi such as Inglorion Starweaver and Khaladris.[6a]

Beyond the inner walls, lampposts lit with incandescent magic keep the night at bay. Long streets wind up tree-clad hills. Many flights of stairs run up the steeper slopes. There are palaces with towers and spires. Palm trees, roof gardens. Seemingly endless streets full of echoing, half-empty palaces, and there are fountains everywhere. All seems like a legion of sculptors had been kept busy for many ages of the world beautifying the city with statues of mages and warriors and kings, as well as lawmakers, orators and poets. The stone is worked to look life-like, auras of glamour and ancient warding sorceries protecting the work from the ravages of time and weather. Most of these, however, were made for political reasons, to represent the power and wealth of the people who commissioned them. As the White Lion Korhien Ironglaive once put it: "They praise the ancestors of those people, or in many cases the living Elves themselves".[6c]

Even at dusk, the streets are busy, horsemen riding alongside wagons full of silk bales, fish on ice, and piled high with fruit. Vendors sell everything from snacks to jewellery. The inner gates of the city are monitored by soldiers in the tabards of the Sea Guard, their manner making it obvious that they knew most of the Elves coming through, and were known by them in turn. When important figures such as the White Lions are spotted coming their way, the guards' easy manner is altered perceptively as they make themselves stand taller, look sterner, and salute smartly.[6c]

Farther away from the gates, the crowds thin out and the streets seem much emptier. Some of the houses, not too far from the main thoroughfare, have patched and crumbling roofs. People gaze out of half-shuttered windows with a lean and hungry look to them, although as far as some Elves know there is no hunger or famine in Ulthuan. Unfortunately, the Elves of Lothern are looked down upon by the inhabitants of the other elven lands. They are seen as money-grubbing merchants, not proud warriors or noble wizards, all in spite of Finubar being the first Phoenix King to have been born in Lothern, let alone Eataine.[6c]


Approaching Lothern, the first thing a mariner sees is the Glittering Tower — a great lighthouse filled with thousands of lamps, situated on a rocky isle in the mouth of the treacherous straits of Lothern. This titanic fortress guards the approach to the Emerald Gate, the first of Lothern's three sea gates. Anyone approaching the Emerald Gate can easily be caught in a crossfire between the massive war engines in the Glittering Tower and those on the Gate itself. The sight of these imposing bastions is enough to turn all but the most insane attackers away.[2b][3a][4a]

The gates themselves are enormous, cut out of the huge sea walls of the city, and large enough for a tall-masted ship to sail through with room to spare. All around the Emerald Gate, ships are made to move in a stately order. Human vessels are given elven pilots to guide them through the correct channels and to give the signals that would prevent the mighty siege engines on the walls from opening fire.[6c]

The Emerald Gate

A great fortified arch filled with war machines and the cloaked spearmen and archers of the Lothern Sea Guard, the Emerald Gate is a fortress that spans the gap between the jagged fangs of rock that form the Straits of Lothern. Such is the protection allowed by both the Glittering Tower and the Gate that Asur roam freely around the southern coast of Ulthuan, knowing that they can flee to the coverage of the tower and the Gate's defences.[7a]

The Emerald Gate itself holds two gigantic valves of carved bronze set with monstrous emeralds to bar the way. For those ships permitted, however, they smoothly swing back through the churning waters to reveal the Straits of Lothern. Any who are allowed through the Emerald Gate pass through the wide channel of the Straits, sheer cliff faces lined with castles, ramparts and defences all constantly garrisoned by the well-armed and alert warriors of the Sea Guard.[1a][2b][3a][4a]

However, the Emerald Gate was designed to defend against a front assault from the sea, not from the sides. The defensive architecture of the fortress' flanks consist of little more than a defensive ditch and a turreted-blockhouse overlooking the gentle slope of the Gate's eastern flank. A wall of less than a hundred paces safeguards the arched span of the fortress, but is low and unprotected by outworks or high towers. Without the Glittering Tower, an invasion force could climb the nearby mountains' rocky slopes, swiftly travelling up obscured, overgrown, yet wide paths of hard earth. Such mountain paths can be well defended if prepared ahead of time, but are otherwise lightly guarded, leading to a cresting ridgeline, a rocky plateau, and then the aforementioned blockhouse.[7b]

Elven trading vessels returning from every part of Ulthuan and the outside world can be found here. Fresh painted, gleaming clippers that trade along the coast move alongside battered-looking vessels that had made the long haul from the Old World, Araby, Cathay and beyond. Indeed, ships from Lothern trade with every part of the globe. There was no sea into which they did not venture, no land they feared to visit.[6c]

Great Harbour

Traversing the maze of channels, a vast harbour rests beyond the Emerald Gate, one arguably large enough to shelter all the fleets of every nation. Even without the sea walls it would have provided a safe haven and deep water anchorage for visiting vessels.[6c]

The Sapphire Gate

A second portal bars the way for shining silver set with sapphires the size of a man's head. Beyond the Sapphire Gate lies a huge lagoon ringed around by the shining towers of Lothern. The city fans upward from the coast, its white towers climbing gracefully into the foothills of the distant mountains. Bobbing at anchor where thousands of vessels ranging from the trading ships of the merchant princes to the fanciful pleasure barges of the people of Lothern and the sleek, deadly warships of the High Elf fleet.[10] The walls shelter the city from the worst of weather, as well as all incoming marauders.[6c] The city itself is not simply built around the lagoon; at some points artificial islands have been built within its waters. On these rest great palaces, temples, and storehouses forming an intricate network of canals.[1b][2b][3a]

Statue of Aenarion

In the centre of the harbour, upon a plinth as large as a small island, the gigantic statue of Aenarion stands two-hundred feet tall. The huge stone warrior is depicted leaning on the great sword Sunfang, around which flames seem to writhe. He gazes outward, the line of his vision passing far over the heads of passing viewers as if he were looking into the distance and seeing things further and higher than any mere mortal might view. It is said that this statue was made from drawings and paintings saved from before his fall. Those who knew him say it was accurate. Even Morathi remarked it was a likeness to the life, or so the historian Aergeon claims. When he came to Lothern at the age of sixteen, Teclis noted how the statue's brow was furrowed in thought, and there was a haunted look about his eyes that the sculptors had somehow caught. He did not look merely bold or complacently self-confident or simply brave. He looked lonely and a little lost and burdened by the weight of an awesome responsibility.[6c]

Meanwhile, towering two hundred foot-high[1b] statues of the Phoenix King Finubar (on the western edge)[6c] and the Everqueen face each other across the mouth of the bay. Around the edges of the harbour are other great statues of the Elven Gods: Asuryan, Lileath, Kurnous, Isha, and many others. As dusk falls, the statues blaze briefly with white flame: all save that of Khaine, whose eyes and hands glow blood-red.[2c][3a][4a]

Around this lagoon sits Lothern itself, and this is as far as any non-Elf may travel — outsiders are forbidden to pass through the third Gate of Ruby and Gold and into the Inner Sea. In these days of dwindling, Lothern is as much a foreign city as an Elven one, for the many merchants who bustle through its streets now seem as numerous as the High Elves with whom they trade.[2c][3a][4a]

Between the final gate and the Inner Sea's coast, dolphins are known to surge through the water alongside vessels, leaping high and landing in the water, frolicsome as children. Their eyes are noted for being oddly merry. In the distance, the Inner Sea's coast can be seen as a soft-looking land that rises in the light of day, rising away to the distant mountains.[6g]

Foreigners' Quarter

By the 10th year of the Seafarer (2173 IC), the Foreigner's Quarter contained almost as many Humans as the entire city did Elves. Here outsiders are allowed to wander without escort or special permission from the King. Merchants from as far away as Cathay can be found here, trading in goods the High Elves do not have easy access to such as gold, silver, gems, and Dwarf-made clockworks (the dawi refuse to trade directly with the Elves). They sell tobacco, ores, wool, bring preserved meats and grains and books of lore. Asur from the old kingdoms of Ulthuan would scoff at ever needing something from outsiders. Not so the Elves of Lothern.[6c]

The architecture of the quarter had taken on a Humanish look. Brick buildings leaned at crazy angles against the remnants of much older elven structures. Ancient palaces had been turned into vast warrens and mazes of dwellings and shops and merchants offices. Carpets hung overhead, draped over wooden racks intended to display them to best advantage. Perhaps it would have worked as intended if the skylights had not been blackened with soot and grime and the shadowy interiors of the corridors lit only by lanterns and flambeaux.[6d]

Merchants argue prices. Harlots lead drunken sailors into side alleys and in pairs they hump and groan against the walls. In quiet corners, men play chess on odd-looking boards with carved wooden pieces of strange design. Despite Dwarfs not directly trading, Imperial Dwarfs can be found here in addition to their Human counterparts.[6d]

At night, the Foreigner's Quarter is ablaze with light. Naked flames burn. Torchbearers walk through darkened alleys. Thousands of people go about their business in the flickering shadows.[6d]

Northern Docks

Beyond the Great Harbour, there is also the northern harbour. Neither as busy nor impressive, this harbour lacks the variety of ships, too - the only ones in view being asur vessels.[6g] Indeed, the ships here are smaller, more homely-looking than the great ocean-going clippers.[9c] No others were allowed on the waters of the Inner Sea.[6g]

Unlike the wild, outer ocean, the Inner Sea is superficially calmer and safer. There was less trade coming from it, so the docks were smaller and less busy than the Great Harbour, yet still bustling. Goods were shipped out to the rest of Ulthuan from here, and the produce of Saphery, Chrace and other places finds its way to the great port, and from there, the rest of the world.[9c]

Indentured Servitude

Around XI 110, Lothern was noted for being the only city in Ulthuan where indentured, Human servants were legal,[9a] as well as having become a more violent place. Elves had taken to street-fighting, including a young Tyrion, who felt that people such as his aunt Malene, and grandfather Emeraldsea didn't understand the new world bred of riches and foreign trade and the opening of Lothern to a tidal wave of new money and goods.[9b]

Indentured servitude became increasingly the way with all menial labour in Lothern. Some of the great trading houses had even started using slaves as labourers in their warehouses, although technically it was still only permitted to sell slaves for purposes of transhipment. There was no business in the world that could not be pursued in this greatest of port cities. The merchants did not want to miss out on the slightest copper piece of potential profit.[9b]

Watch Hill

Beyond the north gate of the city, and along the Sea Road, lies the path leading to the Watch Hill. Here, duelists intent of the Circle of Blades arrive, tradition being that one protagonist arrives by the left-hand path, while the other takes the right-hand path. From the hill, one has a fine view of the Inner Sea approach and the Northern Walls of Lothern. Though not as impressive as the view of the Great Harbour coming in from the ocean, it is still striking to behold. One can see over the walls and notice the slate roofs of the buildings, the layout of the streets, and the size of the largest statues. From here, the waters of the Inner Sea are a calm mirror.[6f]

Winter Gardens

During festivals, mages from Saphery amaze visitors to their gardens with startlingly lifelike creations fashioned from ice that can move and interact with the patrons.[8a]


A depiction of Amanar, the Sea Dragon.

The banners and shields of Lothern bear the image of the Sea Dragon Amanar, ancient protector of Lothern. Legend tells that Amanar sleeps fitfully beneath the Emerald Gate, and that he will rise up to defend Lothern in its hour of greatest need. The Sea Lords of Lothern have borne the same heraldry for over four thousand years.[5a]


  • Most mages of Lothern spend half their lives aboard ships, summoning winds, protecting the ship from monsters, blasting enemy ships with spells when the need arises and preventing enemy wizards from doing the same to their vessels.[6b]
  • At age sixteen, when Tyrion travelled with his brother to meet the Phoenix King, the closer they got to Lothern, the more and more ships could be seen on the horizon heading towards the Emerald Gate. Some are mighty elven warships and larger, slower but still sleek cargo clippers. There are also ungainly looking vessels that he assumed belonged to Humans. There were small fishing boats and huge galleons and every size of sea-going craft in between. It was easy for him to imagine they were becoming part of a great crowd of pilgrims all heading towards the same holy spot. Tyrion admitted he could not have guessed so many ships in the world. Just the vessels he could see and count probably held as many people between them as the population of a city in Cothique. Then, on the horizon, rising like the masts of a ship heaving into view, he saw one huge tower and then another. They were tall and slender, tipped by elongated and swirling spires. Flags fluttered on their tips, and he knew it to be Lothern upon asking Karaya the sailor.[6c]
  • In Lothern, every noble house hires spies to watch the others to the point of expectation.[6c]


  • 1: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (4th Edition)
  • 2: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (5th Edition)
    • 2a: pg. 4
    • 2b: pg. 5
    • 2c: pg. 7
    • 2d: pg. 28
  • 3: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (7th Edition)
  • 4: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (8th Edition)
  • 5: Warhammer Expansion: Uniforms & Heraldry of the High Elves
    • 5a: pg. 10
    • 5b: pg. 11
    • 5c: pg. 12
    • 5d: pg. 13