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"Athel Loren shall not suffer the presence of Men, nor Orcs, nor Dwarfs, nor Beastmen. If a foe takes a single step upon such sacred soil, they shall not take another."
Scarloc, Mist Walker of Athel Loren

The Wood Elves, or Asrai as they call themselves, are an insular faction of Elves residing in the forest of Athel Loren located between Bretonnia and the Gray Mountains. Once, the Elves had colonized the Old World but then the Phoenix King Caradryel ordered that all Elves return to Ulthuan to fight the Dark Elves. However, some Elves were too attached to their new homes and hid in the forests, finding another shelter beneath the shades of the leaves. Since then, they have become the protectors of Athel Loren, living a strained but stable alliance with the spirits of the forest and its native fauna. Abandoning most of their former refinement, the Wood Elves have become closer to nature and taken to more "primitive" ways. Although they may be sneered at as savages, the Asrai are no less redoubtable than their brethren. Their eternal rulers are Ariel and Orion, Queen and King of the forest respectively.


The Wood Elves are a highly specialized army of extremely maneuverable long range fighters that are expert in the bow, but equally fragile as their armor is rare and toughness lacking in most units. Most Wood Elves units are best used to move around, harassing and outflanking the enemy. All of that is preferably while in the forests. Lacking war machines, the Wood Elves fight alongside their powerful magic users who can use the eight base lores but also High and Dark Magic, the beasts of Athel Loren and above all the animated trees of the forest.

Isolated in their forest, the Wood Elves are fairly uninterested in the outside world and ignore almost everyone, as long as the outsiders stay away from their lands. While the High Elves see themselves as masters of the world's fate and the Dark Elves see the world as their playground with no regard for what came before them or what will come after them, the Wood Elves believe that the world's fate has already been decided; Chaos is going to engulf the world in darkness except for Athel Loren, spared by the machinations of Ariel, leaving the Asrai as the sole remaining inhabitants of the mortal plane. Athel Loren is constantly besieged by Daemons and Beastmen and thus they have become the Asrai's greatest enemies. However, the Great Hunt regularly wanders outside of Athel Loren to prey on humans.


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    In General 
  • Absolute Xenophobe: Athel Loren in its entirety hates outsiders in general and any interloper has to be incredibly lucky to brave the perils of the forest and survive. The spirits who inhabit the forest share their homes animosity towards intruders, with those spirits allied to the ancient Treeman Coeddil even considering their Wood Elf allies to be a threat that must be destroyed. Of all the forest spirits, the Dryads are the most spiteful and bitter about mortals trespassing within their domain, something represented on the tabletop by them having the Hatred special rule applying to all enemies.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Unlike the High and Dark Elves who, unless they have their spirits absorbed into a Waystone upon death, are either eaten by Slaanesh or imprisoned in Mirai, the spirits of the Wood Elves get a pretty good deal after their deaths. Instead of Slaanesh or Ereth Kial claiming their spirits, Athel Loren itself does. The results vary though; some spirits lose all sense of identity and meld with the forest, others become spirit advisors who carry messages and warnings to surviving friends and loved ones, some become Tree Kin, and some are reincarnated as animals.
  • A Lighter Shade of Grey: The Wood Elves themselves, compared to the rest of Athel Loren. They ruthlessly kill most trespassers in their lands and are known to raid Bretonnian border communities,note  but they mostly keep to themselves and can engage in military and economic cooperation with others when convenient (Bretonnia-Loren trade is referenced in the 2e RPG supplements). They also repay their debts, can respect particularly principled non-Asrai like Franz or Calard, and generally recognize distinction of (in the words of their 8e army book) "creatures whose transgressions had been born of crude ignorance, rather than willful malice", hence why they generally help out the nearby human realms against Beastmen, Northmen, and Greenskins. The dryads are far crueler, seeing everything but them as pests to be exterminated. The Asrai actually see it as their duty to defend the outside world against the forest as much as to defend the forest against the outsiders, and to this end they encircle it with waystones to prevent it from expanding. Their reasoning being that Athel Loren expanding would inevitably bring it into conflict with the humans, which would result in either the forest's destruction, or it becoming so evil in its extermination of outsiders as to be indistinguishable from Chaos. Drycha wanted to exterminate the Wood Elves for just this reason, seeing them as an obstacle to the dryads' rightful conquest.
  • All Your Powers Combined: The Wood Elves' Spellsingers and Spellweavers have access to both the High Elves' Lore of High Magic and the Dark Elves' Lore of Dark Magic, the former a legacy of the mages who stayed in Athel Loren and the latter learned from Morathi herself when she was a prisoner in Athel Loren. It allows the mages a wider range of Lores from which to pick spells although they do not have the mastery over the Lores that other Elf factions have.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Sisters of the Thorn are an all-female brigade of Elves who act as Ariel's handmaidens. At least if they are truly Elves and not some otherworldly group of beings.
  • Archenemy: The Beastmen. Much of Wood Elf history is comprised of their wars against the Beastmen, and especially the forces of Morghur the Shadowgave, personal nemesis of Queen Ariel.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: The Wood Elves seek balance between all their aspects instead of, for instance, being entirely benevolent and good. As a result their spellcasters are willing to both wield High Magic and Black Magic, often in duos in the lore with the Highweaver keeping the Darkweaver in check.
  • Binding Ancient Treaty: During the first Chaos Invasion, Ulthuan was on the cusp of being overrun. Frightful, then Everquenn Astarielle made a pact with Durthu who transported her children Morelion and Yvraine to Athel Loren and safeguarded them. In exchange for transgressing upon the rules of Athel Loren, Durthu made Astarielle promise that the Elves would in the future protect the forest, which eventually happened when the descendants of Astarielle, carrying a little of the Worldroot's essence in them since the babies first traveled inside it, were drawn to Athel Loren and became the Wood Elves.
  • Blade on a Stick: The weapons of the Eternal Guards who wield spears like common infantry units instead of the bow, and the Wildwoods Rangers who wield huge glaives to fight monsters with.
  • Bystander Syndrome: The result of the slight Chaos corruption within the Asrai's heart is a haughtiness resulting in them deciding that only their home is worth a damn, and thus the Wood Elves would rather let the rest of the world burn if that meant a single leaf of Athel Loren was spared from harm.
  • Containment Field: The Wood Elves have erected several magic barriers marked by waystones in order to protect themselves from demonic incursions and contain other malevolent creatures within Athel Loren from escaping.
  • Cool Horse: The Elven Steeds living in Athel Loren are the best horse units in the game, having a Movement 9 instead of the usual 8. Moreover, they have a higher intellect than other horses, and operate more as loyal partners to their Glade Riders than obedient beasts.
  • Dance Battler: The Wardancers, worshippers of the trickster god Loec, have become masterful dancers who move considerably faster than most Elves could ever be. Performing specific dances as a form of martial art, the Wardancers possess the Shadow Dances of Loec rule which either makes them easily slay the toughest enemies (Killing Blow and Armour Piercing from Whirling Death), unleash a flurry of strikes (+1 Attack from Storm of Death), becoming untouchable (3+ Ward Save from The Shadow Coil) or disrupting the enemy ranks (no bonus from extra ranks for the enemy from Woven Mist).
  • Don't Go in the Woods: Enforced. Athel Loren is already very dangerous to anyone unlucky or foolish enough to enter it but the Elves will ensure that the trespasser dies one way or another.
  • Druid: The Wood Elves army's spellcasters are all druids. Having a deep psychic connection to the forest, Spellsingers, Spellweavers and Shadowdancers do not only draw upon the Winds of Magic but also the forest itself to power their spells. Blessing of the Ancients gives them a bonus to casting when in a forest. That is also true to the Sisters of the Thorn who are collectively Wizards in the Lore of Life.
  • Enchanted Forest: Athel Loren, once a creation by the Old Ones, is more thoroughly permeated with and altered by magic than any place outside of the Chaos Wastes. It is the home of malicious spirits, the unwelcoming Asrai, and other monsters. Some of its parts are plunged eternally into the same season year-round and others are Eldritch Locations where time doesn't flow as it should. No one in their right mind would want to even approach the place, let alone the more cursed sections if they can even get that far.
  • Endless Daytime: Downplayed with the realm of Arranoc. Night comes there, but it doesn't do so very often and the hours of darkness are over quickly when they do arrive.
  • Endless Winter: One of the realms of Athel Loren, Atylwyth the Winterheart, is locked in an eternal winter, despite being in the fantasy equivalent of southern France and being surrounded on all sides by temperate areas that experience regular seasons. As a result, the forest spirits that live there are far more sluggish than those elsewhere in the forest and often dormant or asleep, forcing the elves to take a greater role in the realm's defense than elsewhere in the forest.
  • The Fair Folk: This plays in two ways. First the spirits of the forest act like true fair folks, toying with anyone they come into contact with and cruelly at that. Hunters, Questing Knights and even Asrai are not safe from them. Secondly, the Asrai maintain a similar masquerade with Bretonnia, whom they mostly consider as a buffer state and puppet. The Wild Hunt will regularly scour their lands but the occasional lady or valorous hero may be invited among them too. Either way, Ariel wants the Asrai to be seen as unpredictable so they are not messed with.
  • Fantastic Race Weapon Affinity: The Wood Elves favor the use of spears — ranks of spearmen defended by great tower shields form the backbone of their armies — and also proficient archers and boast a number of strong ranged units.
  • Fantasy Pantheon: The Wood Elves worship the same gods as the High and Dark Elves, although they definitely treat Kurnous the Hunter, and Isha the Mother as their primary deities.
  • Fire-Forged Friend: While Astarielle and Durthu's pact started the history of the Wood Elves, the Asrai only became accepted by the forest when they defended it from an army of Dwarfs. Ultimately a downplayed trope as it resembles more Teeth-Clenched Teamwork since the spirits of the forest do not wholeheartedly accept the Asrai and some still conspire to exterminate the latter.
  • Forced Sleep: In contrast to all other types of dragons, Forest Dragons have a Breath Weapon that doesn't shine by its power but by its ability to make people fall asleep, being more of a toxic mist than a gust of fire. All units hit by a Forest Dragon's Soporific Breath gain the Stupidity rule for the rest of the game, representing them trying not to doze off in the middle of a battle.
  • Forest Ranger:
    • The trope is practically the Wood Elves' hat. All Wood Elves are in one way or another appointed protectors of their forests and do know how to fight best in them. The rule Forest Stalker is pretty much ubiquitous to all Wood Elves, meaning they have no difficulty moving in forests, can shoot in greater numbers in a forest and can reroll 1s for close combat quarters in forests. Moreover, a lot of the Elf units, even their mages, can take the Asrai Longbow.
    • The Deepwood Scouts and to a more extreme degree Waywatchers, are particularly adept in surviving the wildest parts of Athel Loren, being responsible for watching the most dangerous paths of the forest and being its first line of defense against intruders.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: They fight exclusively to defend the magical woodlands in which they live. Not only it is their home, they feel a deep respect for the wildlife that surrounds them, so cutting down even a single tree is tantamount to declaring war on them.
  • Giant Flyer: The neighboring Grey Mountains are home to Warhawks and Giant Eagles who are allies to the Wood Elves and consent to be mounted and fly above the battlefield, carrying a Warhawk Rider, Lord or Hero above the battlefield. There also are a few Forest Dragons who the Glade Lords can fight on.
  • Green Thumb: The Asrai but also the spirits of the Athel Loren use the surrounding magic and plantlife to their advantage. They can manipulate plants to such a degree that they can make roots, saplings and branches snare enemies, manipulate the terrain for the Elves' advantage and can shape trees to make stuff from bows to entire settlements. As such, many spellcasters will use the Lore of Life in game.
  • Heroic Neutral: The Wood Elves rarely get involved in the affairs of other races. While they do sometimes make expeditions to bushwhack particularly troublesome enemy formations (many an Empire or Bretonnian army has been bailed out by an Asrai warband that disappeared immediately after the battle was over), they mostly choose to stay in their forest home and kill all intruders who step foot into it even if they have good intentions. All attempts by the High Elf court to reconcile with the Wood Elves have been unsuccessful for this reason. They essentially fill the "neutral" niche to the High Elves' "good" and the Dark Elves' over-the-top evil.
  • Hidden Elf Village: Athel Loren is home to several Elven settlements, hidden in the forest. Their most significant parts are the glades of the forest, which are privileged places of worship or ruling.
  • High-Heeled Feet: In their 8th edition models, Treemen have pointed, toe-less feet with a wooden spike attached to their heels.
  • Home Field Advantage: Extremely so, which is primarily why they can maintain their power against outsiders. The Wood Elves neither have the numbers nor the industry to complete with other factions, but what they have is an entire labyrinthian forest to wield and which quite literally fights alongside them, having had centuries to learn the layout of their home. Any army that tries to march into Athel Loren is essentially condemned to a swift death for these reasons.
  • Honey Trap: Dryads use their shapeshifting ability to take on beautiful, seductive female forms, which they use to entice outsiders into the forest where they can tear them limb from limb.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Wild Riders and Sisters of the Thorn ride great stags, while Warhawk Riders fly on the backs of immense forest hawks. In times of particular crisis, Great Eagles also allow themselves to be ridden by allied Glade Lords.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Downplayed. The Asrai have on average a very good Ballistic Skill (a minimum of 4) and the vast majority of their weapons have the Armour Piercing rule which gives a penalty to Armour saves to represent their uncanny ability to shoot into the weak points of an armor.
  • In Harmony with Nature: All the NatureSpirits are, by default, attuned to the state of Athel Loren. If it is summer they will be fully awake, but winter and the resulting cold constitutes a seasonal Weaksauce Weakness for them; the life dies out of the forest and so the spirits either slumber or are sluggish at best.
  • Intelligent Forest: Athel Loren is so thoroughly steeped in magic that it's a living, aware thing in its own right, and conscious of everything that goes on beneath its canopy. While the Wood Elves are themselves fully capable of defending their home from intrusions, Athel Loren itself actively fights back against attacks, twisting paths, moving trees and directing dryads, treemen and forest dragons to its defense.
  • Invasion of the Baby Snatchers: The Wood Elves have a habit of kidnapping human children from Bretonnia and turning them into ageless servants who will gradually forget their families and think the elves are their masters. Some are captured during the elves' annual wild hunts, others are taken in the night, and some are lured into the forest.
  • Kill It with Fire: Wood can burn, indeed, making the Dryads, Tree Kins and Tree Men especially vulnerable to it. As a result, they get the Flammable rule.
  • Long-Range Fighter: Wood Elf armies tend to have fantastic range and accuracy, but they tend to have fewer close-range units and often lack the durability for a drawn out melee. As a result they typically involve a lot of skirmish-style warfare. The Asrai Longbow, which has an excellent range of 30 inches plus the Armour Piercing and Volley Fire, giving a penalty to Armor saves and allowing the Wood Elves unit to all shoot, lets them pelt down either hordes and heavily armored elite troops to death from afar and with relative ease.
  • The Marvelous Deer:
    • The elite and mystical Wild Riders of Kurnous (King Orion's personal guard) and Sisters of the Thorn (Queen Ariel's handmaidens) both ride deer and stags known as Steeds of Kurnous and Isha respectively. These supernatural mounts can be incredible vicious combatants, being more powerful than an Elven steed, but just as swift.
    • The Wood Elves believe that the Great Stags of Athel Loren are the physical representation of the soul of the forest. Considered to be as magical as Unicorns, these noble creatures will often act as a war-mount for a bold Wood Elf hero who has been blessed by the forest.
  • Megaton Punch: Treemen have the very evocatively named Tree Whack rule, making them trade all their possible attacks for a single attempt on one enemy. If the enemy fails an Initiative test, they suffer D6 Wounds with no armor save allowed as the full might of the tree spirit is focused on giving someone the biggest slap of their life (and probably the last one).
  • Narnia Time: The magic that saturates and protects Athel Loren messes with the flow of time for those who trespass within its boundaries. There are tales of someone stepping into the forest and either exiting almost immediately looking like an old man or stepping out after years of their absence but only remembering that they took a few steps.
  • Nature Spirit: Athel Loren is chock full of these spirits who are so old they remember a time when the Wood Elves weren't present. While Dryads and Treemen are the most prominent, the lore indicates that many other types of them (nayads and other undescribed spirits) dwell within the forest, just not openly fighting with the Asrai.
  • Nerves of Steel: The Wildwood Rangers have the duty to protect Athel Loren from its most malevolent inhabitants and guard the frontier of Cythral, a part of the forest used as a prison for malignant forest spirits and out of which said spirits keep trying to break out. As a result, they have to be able to look at all these monsters and stand their ground to fight until reinforcement comes, a duty which they have fulfilled until now. Thus, the Wildwood Rangers are Immune to Psychology.
  • Neutral No Longer: After Ariel's death, her essence is absorbed by Alarielle, to whom the Wood Elves swear loyalty to and who leads them to Ulthuan to join forces with the host of Malekith, now the Phoenix King, against Tyrion, the Avatar of Khaine.
  • The Night That Never Ends: One of the realms of Athel Loren, Modryn the Night Glens, is shrouded in eternal night, and the forest spirits and elves that live there are known to practice dark magic prohibited in the rest of the forest. It used to have a regular day-night cycle in the distant past, but became shrouded in darkness after the dark elf queen Morathi poisoned the soul of Ariel, the queen of Athel Loren, which among other things cast most of Athel Loren into darkness. Ariel eventually recovered, but night never lifted again from Modryn.
  • Noble Savage: Subverted or played straight depending on edition. The Wood Elves certainly think this about themselves as they see their closeness to nature and efforts to reach a spiritual balance between base instincts and higher calling to be overall better than being a stuck-up Asur or a resentful and selfish Druchii. Nonetheless, their isolationism and still rampant arrogance do not do them any good.
  • Our Elves Are Different: Archetypal wood elves, living in deep, enchanted forests they're ferociously protective of and in close kinship with Treants, nature spirits and the beasts of the wood.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Forest dragons are the descendants of ancient dragons who came into Athel Loren to escape the hunting of their kind by rising mortal nations, and found themselves irrevocably changed. They are highly intelligent beings, but spend much of their time in deep slumber until roused by the forest or Glade Lords to defend Athel Loren. They are green in coloration, and breathe out noxious gases.
  • Our Nymphs Are Different: Dryads are among the Nature Spirits native to the enchanted forest of Athel Loren. They take the form of beautiful women dressed in minimal garments, but when faced with an enemy — and they have a very generous view of what counts as an enemy — they take on their true forms as monstrous, vicious woody humanoids and tear their foes limb from limb.
  • Plant Person: Several units of the Wood Elves armies are not elves, but spirits who has bounded themselves to trees to acquire a physical body. The most numerous are the bitter and cruel Dryads, aggressive spirits that protect the forest and act as a fast and deadly close combat unit. Then come the Tree Kin, spirits of slain Elves who have bound themselves to deadwood and act as a shock infantry. Finally, most revered are powerful spirits bound to entire trees and which are called Treemen. All of these are Forest Spirit units and thus possess a small ward save and Immune to Psychology to represent how magical they are and how devoted they are to protecting Athel Loren. To represent their bark, they also have the Scaly Skin rule.
  • Praetorian Guard: Three kind of them are present in the Wood Elves army book.
    • First are the Everguard, elite elven warriors sworn to continuous duty each year, especially during the winter months. They act as guards to sacred places in winter but also bodyguard individual lords. In game they act as medium infantry with shield and spears, meeting the enemy head on.
    • Second are the Sisters of Thorn, the personal handmaidens of Ariel. Nobody knows where they come from and they are rumored to not even be elves but they hold undeniable sway in Athel Loren. Perched on their Steeds of Isha, the Sisters of Thorn act as highly maneuverable harassing cavalry that either throw Shield of Thorns from the Lore of Life, Curse of Anraheir from the Lore of Beasts, or use projectiles with Poisoned Attacks.
    • Finally, there are the Wild Riders, the bodyguards and retinue of Orion who are elves half turned into spirits of the forest guarding the King's Glade and following him on his Wild Hunts and other battles. Mounting Steeds of Kurnous, the Wild Riders make for a fast cavalry unit that is very powerful on the charge with their Devastating Charge and Frenzy rules as well as the +1 Strength bonus on the charge.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: A whole part of Athel Loren named the Wildwood or Cythral is dedicated to containing spirits that pose a danger to the integrity of the entire forest, either purely malevolent spirits or spirits that want the Elves exterminated at all costs and can't be talked down. Most infamous of all is Coeddil, one of the Elder Treemen that wants Athel Loren to go back to the time Asrai weren't there.
    • Athel Loren is, by extension, a sealed evil to the rest of the world. The Asrai surround the forest boundaries with powerful magical waystones to prevent it from expanding. Without them, it is possible that the magical forest would overrun the entire world, destroying whole kingdoms and becoming so wild and feral that it is little different from Chaos itself.
  • Seasonal Baggage: Seasons, being markers of a distinct period in the cycle of nature, are a recurring motif in Asrai culture. Their history is divided into seasons, representing a distinct period of their land. Moreover, some parts of Athel Loren are perpetually plunged in one particular season, for instance Atylwyth, the Winterheart, which impacts a lot of the local culture.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: From a meta perspective, the Asrai more than any other faction were made Darker and Edgier as the franchise went on, particularly in the 8th edition (which, technically speaking, is an Alternate Continuity from previous ones on part of the Storm of Chaos/End Times diversion). The latter had them being arbitrarily cruel for no real gain at a lot of points. For example, compare the account of how they met the proto-Bretonnians in 5e (1996) and 8e (2013). In one account there's genuine respect and cautious friendship, almost a mirror of the Empire's relationship with Karaz Ankor. In the other, the Wood Elves are just sort of... randomly evil.
    5e: Then there came one occasion when the Glade Riders saw a different band of strangers on the move. A migrating horde with wagons, or riding stocky, shaggy ponies. It was guarded by armed men with metal weapons. Cattle and families trudged behind the warriors. These were not Orcs or Goblins: the Elves had caught their first sight of Human beings. These were savage tribesmen, ancestors of the Bretonnians, searching for new lands to settle. Word was sent to Orion and Ariel as usual. The council was called and it was decided to wait rather than attack. These newcomers were fair featured and bore some distant kinship to Elvenkind if only in appearance. They might prove to be friends and allies. The Glade Riders were ordered to keep watch from a safe distance. The watchers soon saw two things which endeared the strangers to the Wood Elves. Firstly, the barbarian warriors advancing ahead of the migrating column discovered and approached the boundary monoliths marking the outer limit of the realm of Athel Loren. They puzzled over the carvings on the stones and brought up one of their shamans to look at them. Eventually the strangers placed offerings at the foot of the stones and turned away, leading their people in another direction and refusing to pass the stones. Whether this was due to their respect or superstition it nonetheless impressed the Wood Elves and marked the newcomers to be entirely different from the Orcs and Goblins. The other thing that impressed the Elves was the battle that they observed in which the barbarians were attacked by Orc raiders and Goblin wolf riders. The barbarians stoutly defended their wagons and people. The Glade Riders watching from the hills above were so moved by their courage that they descended at the gallop and attacked the Orcs with daring and fury, despite being outnumbered several to one. Between them, the barbarians and the Elves beat off the Orcs, and the Glade Riders pursued the fleeing foe to destruction.
    8e: It was about this time that human barbarians began to cross westward over the Grey Mountains. The Elves had long abandoned this land, leaving in their passing only abandoned fortresses and settlements. A great many of these elegant halls had been torn down and burnt, for greenskins had overrun the land as the Elves had retreated. The superstitious and ignorant barbarians avoided these places, fearing that they were haunted, and fought hard to drive Orcs and Goblins out of other domains. The Wood Elves looked with amusement upon these primitive tribes, content to let one set of barbarians eradicate the other. Only when fighting spilled close to the borders of Athel Loren did the Elves take action, driving back the interlopers with spear and bow before vanishing beneath the trees once more. Thus began the tradition of the Wild Hunt. Each summer, when the battles 'twixt men and greenskins were at their most sprawling, Orion led the most hot-blooded of his folk across the Wild Heath and into the barbarous lands beyond, hunting their two-legged quarry as they would any other prey. Soon the glory and terror of the Wild Hunt passed into the barbarians' legends, and they learned that to threaten the forest was to invite a swift and merciless death. As time passed, the Elves came to delight ever more in making sport with the lives of Men and Orcs. They even began to manipulate the two sides into ever-escalating confrontation - though in truth the greenskins needed little encouragement. The Elves told themselves that they did this to control their enemies' numbers as they would with any dangerous beasts. The further afield the folk of Athel Loren plied their sport, the less credence this idea held, but they cared little and continued to foment war in all the lands north of the mountain range known as the Vaults.
  • Treants: The Treemen are the mightiest inhabitants of Athel Loren, formed when powerful spirits merge with living trees. Incredibly powerful and ancient, they command great respect from lesser forest spirits and the Wood Elves alike and are rightfully feared by those outsiders who don't think they're myths or long extinct. They also inhabited Athel Loren long before the Wood Elves and are quite xenophobic, to the point that many see the Wood Elves, who have inhabited and defended the forest alongside the Treemen for millennia, as unwanted interlopers and want them out of their woods permanently. In game, the Treemen form a Mighty Glacier Monster unit in contrast to the rest of the army, with a mere Movement 5 for their size and Initiative 2, but great strength and durability.
  • Trick Arrow: The Asrai can use several types of arrows enchanted and designed against a type of enemy that keep the Armour Piercing and Volley Fire rules.
    • Arcane Bodkins arrows fly through armor, giving another -3 penalty to Armour Saves.
    • Hagbane Tips arrows have their tips replaced with poisoned shards, giving them the Poisoned Attacks rule.
    • Moonfire Shot arrows are blessed under a tainted moon, hurting good-hearted beings more. They have Flaming Attacks and add a +1 bonus to Wound units from the Forces of Order.
    • Starfire Shafts arrows are made from the starwood tree which is anathema to unclean beings. They have Flaming Attacks and add a +1 bonus to Wound units from the Forces of Destruction.
    • Swiftshiver Shards arrows are so light yet strong that archers can fire them more rapidly. They possess the Multiple Shots(2) rule.
    • Trueflight Arrows have a latent sentience that lets them seek their target, so they ignore penalties to hit.
  • Tunnel Network: A very special example of one. The Worldroot represents a system of giant roots, so large that entire armies can march inside of them, that sprawl all over the world, with some tendrils even reaching Ulthuan. However, the Chaos corruption of the world has withered most of the system, only leaving the major roots still intact. Ambush from the Worldroot allows the Wood Elves to place a forest terrain wherever they want.
  • *Twang* Hello: The Arrow of Kurnous rule lets the enemy General take a Strength 3 hit that ignores Armour saves at the beginning of the game if he's within 36 inches of the Glade Lords or Captains, representing the Asrai beginning their ambush on the invaders with a shot at the enemy commander.
  • Unicorn: Unicorns are the same magically sensible horned horses that are attracted to female sorceresses. Its horn also grants it a Horn Attack with a +2 bonus to Strength on the charge.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Several of the Wood Elves units, such as the Wardancers, Wild Riders or Warhawk Riders (only the male ones though) stroll on the battlefield without armor, baring their naked chests. As a result, they also possess weak or even nonexistent armour saves, making quite vulnerable.
  • When Trees Attack: Or at least when spirits possessing trees attack. A significant portion of the Wood Elves' army is made up of various creatures made of animated wood and plants such as Dryads, Tree-kin and Treemen, who are even more eager to kill interlopers then the Wood Elves themselves.
  • The Wild Hunt: The Wood Elf King Orion, avatar of Kurnous, leads seasonal Wild Hunts throughout Athel Loren and the surrounding lands of Bretonnia. He looks the part, being an antlered, green-skinned force of nature with a magical hunting horn, and is often accompanied by supernatural wolfhounds and the Wild Riders of Kurnous - savage Wood Elf elite cavalry dedicated to the elven hunting god Kurnous and partly on the way to being forest spirits themselves. In game, their Devastating Charge and Frenzy rule makes them particularly deadly on the charge by multiplying the number of attacks, representing just how doomed are those who stand in their path. One scenario representing the predations of the Wild Hunt in the White Dwarf magazine featured the Wood Elf objective of "knock down all the buildings".
  • World Tree: The Oak of Ages, a gigantic tree so imbued with magic that just one of its acorns may well count as the greatest of talismans. It has grown extremely tall and wide, and its Worldroot has spread throughout the world. The Elves believe it is tied to the health of the forest and to their own fate so it is the single most well-guarded place in Athel Loren.

The Skillful Protectors of Athel Loren


Orion, the King in the Woods

The king of Athel Loren and avatar of Kurnous, the elven god of the hunt.

  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Orion is green-skinned.
  • Avatar: The earthly avatar of Kurnous, the Elven God of the Hunt.
  • Badass Cape: Orion possesses the Cloak of Isha which is woven out of leaves by Ariel every year. It gives him a 5+ ward save, Magic Resistance and a slight Healing Factor.
  • Blade on a Stick: His favoured weapon, the Spear of Kurnous.
  • Blood Knight: He is the Avatar of the Elvish god of the hunt after all.
  • Blow That Horn: Every turn Orion uses his Horn of the Wild Hunt to sound the coming of the Wild Hunt and grants Devastating Charge to himself and any ally unit near him.
  • Cernunnos: He's an avatar of the god Kurnous and himself based off the figure of Cernunnos. He has the antlers and hooves of a stag, rules over the wildest and most magical forest in the Old World, and often leads The Wild Hunt in its roaming over surrounding lands.
  • Fauns and Satyrs: Orion's appearance is based on the traditional view of a number of supernatural creatures and deities associated with nature (particularly Pan from Classical Mythology). As a result of this, Orion sports the goat-like lower legs of a satyr, as well as possessing a wild temper.
  • God-Emperor: Being both the living avatar of Kurnous and the ruler of the Wood Elves, Orion definitely counts.
  • Great Bow: Orion can use his giant bow, the Hawk's Talon, which has a 30 inches range and Strength 5 Multiple Shots.
  • Heroic Build: Has a much broader and more muscular build than a regular elf.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: As the avatar of Kurnous, Orion willfully reenacts the legends of the elven gods, battling Tyrion as the avatar of Khaine to protect Alarielle as Isha, dying just like Kurnous did in the legends.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: He is an avatar of the elven god of hunting and leads a Great Hunt for the enemies of the Wood Elves when he's active. He sees anyone who isn't currently allied with him as prey.
  • Javelin Thrower: Orion's main form of attacking is to throw his Blade on a Stick the Spear of Kurnous, an awesomely powerful spear made out of a bole from Isha's garden. It has Strength 7, the Multiple Wounds rule and no Armour Save can be taken against it.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Being the avatar of a god has its perks. With Movement 9 and Initiative 9, Orion is one of the overall fastest units in the game and with Strength 5 Toughness 5 and 4 Wounds, has the means to take punches and give them back with interest.
  • Manly Men Can Hunt: He is the god of the hunt and has many attributes of an idealized male, such as his muscled body and hot-bloodedness.
  • Many Spirits Inside of One: Orion's mind cohabits his bodies with the souls of all previous hosts which can raise their voices to give counsel or reprimand Orion, although Orion undoubtfully remains the most powerful spirit inside of his head.
  • Resurrective Immortality: Orion is tied to the seasons. Every winter, Orion dies and his ashes are entombed inside the Oak of Ages. When spring comes, a chosen of the Wild Riders sacrifices himself in order for Orion to be reborn. In spring and summer, Orion is at his strongest. But when autumn comes, he weakens until he once again withers and dies during winter.
  • Summon to Hand: The Spear of Kurnous is enchanted to return right back in Orion's hand whenever it lands so that he can throw it again and again.
  • The Berserker: Orion's fighting style is a relentless flurry of blows. He gets the Frenzy rule as a result.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Orion goes around bare-chested, sadly leaving him with only the Cloak of Isha for protection.
  • The Wild Hunt: Every spring, upon his resurrection, Orion leads the Wood Elves on a hunt through Athel Loren and surrounding countryside, killing anything they can find. In more ancient times he lead his hunts even further afield.


Ariel, Mage Queen of Athel Loren

Ariel is the Queen of Athel Loren, and an avatar of the elven god Isha. She provides leadership and wisdom in times of peace, though she can be roused for war sometimes.

  • Archenemy: To Morghur the Shadowgave. In the centuries since Morghur experienced his first birth, Ariel has dedicated the better part of her time to tracking down and eliminating the daemonic being each time he returns. She has destroyed him numerous times, as have her agents, but Morghur is always reborn again and always resumes his war against Athel-Loren.
  • The Archmage: Ariel is one of the most powerful wizards in the world; she's not called the Mage Queen for nothing.
  • Benevolent Mage Ruler: She is the Queen of the Asrai and for the most part makes wise decisions. However, the lore makes it clear that while having good intentions, her emotions can overtake her and she will make mistakes when angered.
  • The High Queen: Hits almost every part of the trope, though with a side dose of the fay's mercurial nature.
  • Idiot Ball: Grabbed this twice when she spared Morathi in exchange for a few lessons in Dark Magic. Not only did Morathi kept her best secrets to herself (naturally), she planted a small corruptive seed in Ariel's heart just to control her one day. There is also that business about Morathi going on to interrupting Orion's resurective cycle for many years, hurting the forest out of personal spite.
  • It's Personal: Ariel takes the existence of Morghur the Shadowgave as a personal affront. Mindless as he is, Morghur seems to reciprocate, and after each successive resurrection will eventually make a beeline for Ariel's homeland.
  • Lady of Black Magic: Matriarch of the Wood Elves and famed as the "Mage Queen" for her greatness in magic, wielding tremendous power over the forces of nature.
  • Winged Humanoid: In her war aspect, she sports a pair of moth-like wings.
  • White Mage: Ariel is certainly one of the most prominent wizards of the Lore of Life.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Ariel has not only said this about Morghur but also has spent years of her immortal life trying to find a way to make one of Morghur's deaths stick.


Drycha, Briarmaven of Woe

A vicious, xenophobic branchwraith and one of the oldest spirits in Athel Loren. She dislikes the elves and views their presence as an intrusion, secretly conspiring to drive them out.

  • Absolute Xenophobe: One of the most absolute of all.
  • Casting a Shadow: Drycha is a Level 2 Wizard in the Lore of Shadows.
  • Critical Statusbuff: Fanatical Resolve which can be taken either as Heroic Resolve or Villainous Valour, gives her 2 additional attack for each wound she's taken.
  • Dark Is Evil: Drycha is a violent extremist who uses shadow spells.
  • Fantastic Racism: She hates anyone who is not a forest spirit.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: Firmly on the side of "kill all that cut trees down". Drycha's Roused to Wrath rule allows her to summon angry Forest Spirits units out of forests on the battlefield instead of normally deploying them, supposedly because she's personally persuading them to rise in anger against would-be lumberjacks.
  • Madness Mantra: It is said she constantly recites the names of spirits that the Elves supposedly wronged, a list that grows faster than she can say them.
  • Magic Knight: Despite being a Wizard, she is mainly a close-quarters Hero.
  • Mouth of Sauron: Drycha acts as the herald and primary agent of Coeddil, an ancient and highly xenophobic Treeman Elder, imprisoned by Ariel within the Wildwood for attempting to kill Orion.


Durthu, Eldest of Ancients

Durthu, or Oakheart as the Elves call him, is the eldest living forest spirit in Athel Loren. Once a wise and benevolent force, it was Durthu who originally spoke in favor of allowing the elves to dwell in the forest. Millennia of war and death however have soured his view of mortal beings, even the Asrai; now viewing them merely as allies of convenience at best.

  • Absolute Xenophobe: Durthu, formerly an open-minded Treeman who welcomed the elves into Athel Loren, has come to hate all intruders whatever their reasons for entering Athel Loren. He still accepts the Wood Elves but shuns their presence outside of having to fight with them.
  • Arch-Enemy: He views Dwarfs as this and enjoys fighting them and driving them off.
  • The Berserker: Durthu has the Frenzy rule for good reasons. He is now mad with rage and will sycthe through intruders like someone cuts down wheat.
  • BFS: The Sword of Daith is larger than a grown man.
  • Big Good: He's viewed as this by the residents of Athel Loren, in spite of his overpowering rage and resentment. Durthu is currently the Eldest of Ancient Treemen (that are still alive and not imprisoned) so is the greatest voice of authority among them, and the Wood Elves will listen when he speaks.
  • Cain and Abel: He and Adanhu are the Abels to their brother Coeddil's Cain.
  • Fallen Hero: There were times where he was peaceful, spending his time as a teacher and healer. However, millenia of witnessing his fellow Treemen die have overwhelmed his initially benevolent spirit. Now he is little more than a mad Treeman who thankfully spares the Wood Elves while slaughtering any mortal that threatens his home.
  • Gentle Giant: He was this, being notably friendly and open to the Wood Elves residing in Athel Loren. He sadly no longer fits the trope.
  • It's All My Fault: Durthu, among other problems, deeply blames himself for the death of all but one of the Elder Treemen, as they all died in wars caused by enemies of the Elves and not Athel Loren itself. Although the Wood Elves that Durthu personally welcomed in Athel Loren were invaluable as defenders, they also seemed to cause the problems that they helped to solve (fighting off invaders like Beastmen that want to kill the Wood Elves, for example).
  • Knight in Sour Armor: What he has become. While he's constantly wrathful and doesn't welcome the Elves anymore, he's still a stalwart defender of Athel Loren and spares the Asrai of his wrath for they are helpful, if barely tolerated, allies.
  • Last of His Kind: He is, with Coeddil, the last of the Elder Treemen, spirits who dwelled in the forest even before the Old Ones first showed up in the world.
  • Magic Knight: Durthu is a Level 1 Wizard in the Lore of Beasts. However, he is still meant to whack people with his sword.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Durthu has the Lamentation of Despair rule, counted as a shooting attack with the Killing Blow and Multiple Shots (2D6) rules.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Durthu was this as one of the three Eldest Treemen in Athel Loren. Looking at the Elves, he decided since they were pretty respectful, they would make valuable allies despite the rest of the Elders wanting to cast the Asrai out.
  • Rugged Scar: He's got a huge one running across his eye.
  • Tame His Anger: The lore mentions that Durthu, as consumed with anger as he is, has a decent chance to one day calm himself, having the power of slain Elders within him to help him with his demons.
  • Time Abyss: Durthu is one of the most ancient beings in existence, having been alive since before the first coming of Chaos.
  • Wise Tree: He is wise to many of Athel Loren's secrets, and taught the Asrai how to commune with the plants and craft wooden items without harming them, among other things.


Araloth, Lord of Talsyn

Araloth was once a cowardly noble who would only hunt beasts that didn't threaten him. However, after saving the goddess Lileath from a Daemon, Araloth awakened his courage and became Lord of Talsyn, as well as one of the most audacious and celebrated heroes of Athel Loren.

  • Blade on a Stick: Araloth uses an Asrai spear, quite disappointing for a Lord character.
  • The Champion: He was declared the royal champion of Isha for his valour on the battlefield. Nonetheless, his heart lies only with Lileath.
  • Character Development: He went from cowardly and ashamed elf to one of the bravest heroes Athel Loren has known.
  • Cool Helmet: Araloth wears a neat looking Crown of Horns for a helmet.
  • Cowardly Lion: He was ultimately revealed as this. During his early life, Araloth was a coward but despite himself, he jumped between a maiden and a daemon to save her, proving that deep down he had tremendous courage.
  • Determinator: Araloth is one of the most daring characters of Athel Loren. His rule Boldest of the Bold makes him Unbreakable if he is alone.
  • Divine Date: He became Lileath's one-time lover. To this day, Araloth tries to meet with her again.
  • Divine Intervention: Favour of the Goddess gives Araloth a 4+ Ward save as Lileath watches her lover closely on the battlefield, protecting him when the need arises.
  • The Hero: Lileath told that his heroism was the first of three gifts to the Asrai, for they would need a hero in the dire times to come.
  • Noble Bird of Prey: Araloth fights alongside Skaryn the Eye Thief, his pet falcon. Skaryn provokes an Eye Scream on enemies of Araloth's choice, possibly inflicting a huge penalty to their Weapon Skill and Initiative for the rest of the game.

    The Sisters of Twilight 

Naestra and Arahan, the Sisters of Twilight

Mysterious twin elven heroes who are complete opposites, the Sisters of Twilight come to the rescue of Athel Loren and the Wood Elves. Unknown to most, they're Ariel's daughters with Orion.

  • Ambiguously Human: Or Ambiguously Elven, in this case. No one know who and what the Sisters really are. They simply appeared one day. Some sing about two goddesses in human form when talking about the Sisters.
  • Blue Oni, Red Oni: Naestra is the Blue Oni, being a Martial Pacifist that prefers methodical approach to battle, and Arahan is the Red Oni, being an impetuous Blood Knight.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The black haired Naestra is far calmer and more benevolent than her sister.
  • Dragon Rider: They can ride Ceithin-Har, a Forest Dragon like many others but who is Impetuous, meaning the Sisters must occasionally rein him in as they pass a Leadership test to prevent him from automatically charging the nearest unit.
  • Energy Bow: Naestra's Talon of Dawn is a Strength 5 bow with the Armour Piercing, Multiple Wounds and Flaming Attacks rule, firing arrows made of Isha's power.
  • Healing Factor: The Talon of Dawn allows the Sisters' mount to regenerates wounds.
  • Horse of a Different Color: They have a giant eagle and a dragon as steeds.
  • Hot-Blooded: Arahan is this, being a woman of passions.
  • Light Is Not Good: The white haired Arahan is by far the more violent and aggressive of the two.
  • Martial Pacifist: Naestra fights only to prevent further Elven death, but she fights all the same.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Aharan's Talon of Dusk is a bow with the Poisoned Attacks and Multiple Shots, Armour Piercing rules.
  • Resurrective Immortality: Conjoined Destiny allows a given Sister to regain all her wounds if she is "slain" at the beginning of the next turn, as long as the other still lives.
  • Sibling Team: The pair are inseparable, whether on or off the battlefield.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: One wild and aggressive with white hair, the other controlled and serene with black hair.
  • Synchronization: Inverted as the Sisters do not share wounds, but their lives. As long as one remains alive, the other can regain her wounds on the spot. This makes them surprisingly hard to kill and slaying one can make them even more deadly, since a foe will inevitably disregard a fallen Sister, leaving himself vulnerable.


Naieth the Prophetess

A Wood Elf mage who specializes in detecting and drawing upon deep currents of magic to strengthen and establish to magical wards around Athel Loren, and in monitoring these wards to detect the presence and nature of incursions.

  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: She has tabletop rules in 4th Edition, but is afterwards dropped from the roster and does not feature in later Wood Elf army books.
  • Familiar: She keeps an owl companion named Othu, whom she consults for magical advice.
  • Magic Wand: Her Rod of Divination, which can be used to drawn upon ambient magic for her army to make use of.
  • The Owl-Knowing One: Othu the owl, her bird companion, is said to be all-knowing and all-seeing, and she often consults him for prophecy and advice.
  • Seers: She specializes in divination, and specifically in perceiving hidden and normally undetectable currents and upwellings of natural magic.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: She can interpret the noises made by her owl companion well enough to have conversations with him.

Coeddil was one of the three great Treeman Elders of Athel Loren when the elven refugees came to shelter within it. He was always distrustful of the elves and opposed their arrival, but it was not until he was tainted by the blood of Morghur the Corruptor during the Battle of Anguish that he truly fell into hatred and evil. He eventually attempted to kill Orion during the King in the Wood's winter quiescence, but was stopped by Airel and imprisoned within the wildwood prison of Cythral where he remains to this day.
  • Absolute Xenophobe: He deeply loathes anything from outside the bounds of Athel Loren, but especially the Wood Elves.
  • Cain and Abel: He's the Cain to Durthu's Abel, being far more xenophobic and vicious compared to Durthu. Durthu is A Lighter Shade of Black, being able to tolerate the presence of the Wood Elves and having once been a kind treeman. Coeddil wants the Wood Elves completely eradicated and was completely against them coming into Athel Loren in the first place. At his best Coeddil was highly distrustful of them, and now he is truly genocidal.
  • The Corruption: Coeddil was always distrustful of the Wood Elves and always advocated for them to be removed, but it was only when Morghur's tainted blood was spilt on him that he went over the edge. His physical appearance also shows signs of corruption.
  • The Ghost: He's a very important character in Wood Elf lore, but has never received a model, stats or official artwork.
  • Kill the God: Attempted and failed. During one of Orion's resurrection rituals, Coeddil attempted to permanently kill the demigod by slaughtering all the elves that could possibly used as a sacrifice, hoping to either kill them all and prevent Orion's resurrection or have him weak enough so he could be killed. Ariel managed to stop him, locking him away in Cythral.
  • Last of His Kind: He is, with Durthu, the last of the Elder Treemen that walked beneath the boughs of Athel Loren when the world was still young.
  • The Man Behind the Man: He plays this role to Drycha, as he's locked up in Cythral and needs to act through her to see his designs come to fruition.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: He's imprisoned within Cythral, a warded area of Athel Loren when the most bitter, hateful forest spirits are locked to prevent them from posing a danger to the integrity of the forest and to the outside world.