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XI, 262 marks the greatest calamity to occur in Yvresse since the Sundering. Out of the east, borne by storm, sailed a great fleet of Goblin ships. At their head came Grom, a Goblin king of massive girth and grand ambition. He had left the cities of the Old World in ruins, and now brought his Waaagh! to a new land.[1a]

The Goblins made landfall at Cairn Lothel, and marched southwards, burning as they went. Thousands died as the Waaagh! drew further inland, but that was not the worst of it. As the Goblins advanced, their shaman, Black Tooth, ordered that the ancient waystones be toppled, that he might absorb their hidden magics. With each waystone that fell, magic that should have been siphoned into the Great Vortex ran wild across the hills of Yvresse. Forests blazed with green fire, the earth was wracked with tremors, Daemons burst from the mists and rivers chocked with filth. Yet still the Goblins came on, Grom mad with conquest, Black Tooth drunk with power. Moranion of Yvresse attempted to halt the Goblin advance at the keep of Athel Tamarha, but his army was soon overwhelmed, and Moranion himself was slain.[1a]

At that moment, in the far north of Ulthuan, Moranion's son, Eltharion, lay close to death, fevered dreams haunting his slumbers. The poisoned wound he had received in Naggarond still gnawed at his spirit, for none amongst his host had the skill to counter the Dark Elf venom. With a start, Eltharion opened his eyes and beheld a pale apparition of his father. The shadowy figure was bloodied and mangled by blade-marks and arrows, and Eltharion knew his father was dead. The spirit spoke in hollow tones, telling him of Grom, and how the Goblin had destroyed Athel Tamarha and defiled its lands. The ghost told how the Greenskins had defiled every waystone in their path, and how they magical energies they normally contained were wracking the land. If the watchstone of Tor Yvresse were to fall too, the spirit foretold, then the resulting devastation would be unimaginable.[1a]

Eltharion awoke with a start, miraculously cured of the Dark Elf poison. The ghost was gone, but looking down he saw the Fangsword, ancient heirloom of his family, resting where his father's spirit had been. At once, he knew his destiny was to avenge his father and his home. He arose from his bed and grasped the sword, feeling new strength flow into him as he lifted it. In the morning, the High Elf commanders found their Lord awaken and alert, pale and wan, but strong. His countenance was dark as he bade them return to their ships and make all speed for Tor Yvresse.[1a]

Meanwhile, Grom's army had carved ruin through Yvresse. Upon Yvraine Plain, the High Elves made their last stand. Warrior for warrior, the Elves were more than a match for Grom's gobbos, but the Greenskins' sheer numbers carried them deep into the Elf lines. There, at the heart of the battle, Grom's axe hacked apart Argalen, Moranion's younger son. With a great bellow of victory, Grom lifted Argalen's corpse high above his head and hurled it into the defenders' ranks. So disheartened were they by their her's fall that the Elves fled, and the battle turned into a rout. Fleeing Elves were cut down as they dropped their shields and ran for the safety of Tor Yvresse.[1a]

The greater part of Tor Yvresse's defenders had been slain in battle -- and those that remained were sick with grief -- yet still the city held for four days. Four days of bombardment by stone, skull and sorcery; four days without hope of survival. Even when the Goblin assault finally came, the Elves of Tor Yvresse did not falter, but gripped their spears tighter and made sure that every arrow counted. So it was that when Eltharion's army finally arrived, it found the great city in flames, its streets full of the slain. Here and there, outnumbered High Elves fought the Greenskin horde with desperate fury. Yet no matter how bravely they fought, the Elves were losing, street by street -- every Goblin that fell was a drop of water in a vile sea. Above the blazing buildings, the shaman Black Tooth flew upon a great Wyvern, blasting the city with foul magic. Moments before, he had slain the Warden of Tor Yvresse, and now sough to take the power of the city's waystone for his own.[1a]

Before the first Eagleship had reached the docks, Eltharion took to the back of his mighty Griffon, Stormwing, and soared into the fray. Moments later, the first ramps crashed down onto blood-slick docks, and hundreds of Elf warriors rushed ashore to join the fight. As the battle for the ruined streets began to turn, Eltharion let cry a might challenge, and charged directly at the shaman. Stormwing rake and clawed at the Wyvern, opening great rents in its scaly flank. Black Tooth bludgeoned Eltharion with ethereal fists of green magic, leaving the Elf reeling in his saddle.[1a]

With a guttural snarl, the shaman prepared a final, deadly sorcery to end Eltharion -- but the spell was never completed. Eltharion's warriors had seized the Warden's Tower and made the Invocation of Ending -- temporarily becalming the Winds of Magic. Seizing his chance, Eltharion struck out and took off Black Tooth's head with a single blow. With that act, the Greenskin attack faltered and Eltharion's vengeful troops swept the enemy from the city. Grom first tried to rally his fleeing army but, after a moment's thought, shrugged and joined the fleeing masses.[1a]

Eltharion did not stop to savour the victory but instead went with four of his bravest warriros to the Warden's Tower. There they wrestled with the power of the watchstone, seeking to stabilise the magics that were ravaging Yvresse. Nobody knows what took place within those walls, but in the morning, only Eltharion emerged alive, his face more stern than ever. The following morning not even the sunrise nor the cheering crowds of the victorious High Elves could force a smile from him. He was elected Warden of Tor Yvresse in recognition of his feats, but from then on the haunted hero was forever known as Eltharion the Grim.[1a]

Source

  • 1: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (8th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 33

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