- "Ever since the time of Caledor the First, the closest bodyguards of the Phoenix Kings have come from the forested wilds of Chrace. These are the bravest of the young Elves of Chrace, chosen for the honour of serving the Phoenix King by ancient rites. Not all are worthy to serve, and each must demonstrate his skill and bravery by tracking down one of the fierce white lions that roam the dark forests and barren mountains of that land. When they find one they must kill it in hand-to-hand combat and take its pelt. Those that have proved themselves wear the cloak of the white lion as a sign of their undoubted courage and may serve the Phoenix King as one of his bodyguard."
- —Recounted by Unthwe Windrider, Herald of the Phoenix King.[2a]
Whilst hunting in Chrace, Caledor received news that he was to be next Phoenix King. He immediately took the road to the Shrine of Asuryan, but was intercepted by Dark Elf Assassins. He would surely have died, but for the intervention of a party of Chracian woodsmen who swept out of the forest to defend him. The Chracians slew the Dark Elves and, thereafter, saw Caledor safely to the Phoenix Shrine, employing every iota of their woodcraft to avoid further Dark Elf ambushes that lay in their path. Caledor's first act, once crowned as Phoenix King, was to form the Chracians into an official bodyguard based in Lothern.[3a]
A warrior can only join the ranks of the White Lions after displaying considerable valour and skill upon the battlefield. He must then also complete the traditional rite of a Chracian warrior -- to hunt and kill a white lion. These great cats are amongst Chrace's fiercest creatures; they stand as tall at the shoulder as a horse, and a swipe of their claws is enough to shatter a spine. There are accounts of prides of white lions ravaging convoys, and even attacking isolated villages, should they become hungry enough. To slay such a beast is therefore an exceptionally difficult task but, if the warrior succeeds, he is entitled to wear the lion's pelt as a mark of courage. The thick pelt has another use too -- worn over armour, it offers excellent protection against arrows and shot.[3a]
Although every Phoenix King since Caledor the Conqueror has offered his bodyguard their choice of replacement weaponry, the White Lions continue to proudly bear the traditional woodman's axe into battle. Many of the axes are ancient heirlooms, handed down from father to son across centuries untold, yet they never lose their keen edge, and can fell a tree or cleave a man in half with but a single blow. White Lion regiments are often dispatched to join the armies of Ulthuan during times of particular danger, tasked with protecting High Elf generals and mages, or bolstering the overall strength of the army. White Lions are renowned for their unflinching courage in the face of overwhelming odds and terrible horrors, protecting their charge whatever the foe and regardless of the danger to themselves.[3a]
- Lion Pelt: The White Lion's pelt protects the warrior against light missiles by entangling arrowheads and the equivalent in its thick fur.[1a]
- Woodsman's Axe: The White Lions carry a heavy axe based upon the native Chracian design of the woodsman's axe. They are extremely skilled in the handling of these weapons, using them to fight bears, lions and even more monstrous creatures as well as marauding .[1a]
Famous White Lions
- Korhil - Present day Captain of the White Lions.
- Alastar the White Lion - Renowned for his dauntlessness and courage.
- White Lions are forbidden from duelling.[4a]
- Asur do not have to be from Chrace to become White Lions. They must, however, follow the Chracian rite of hunting and killing a white lion.[5a]
- 1: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (5th Edition)
- 1a: pg. 67
- 2: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (6th Edition)
- 2a: pg. 11
- 3: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (8th Edition)
- 3a: pg. 46
- 4: Blood of Aenarion (Novel), by William King
- 4a: Chapter 20
- 5: Sword of Caledor (Novel), by William King
- 5a: Chapter 14