Amanar is a beast from Warhammer Fantasy, unseen and referred to as some mysterious protector of Ulthuan, homeland of the High Elves until 2018 where he was used in the canon of Total War: WARHAMMER as a central point of the Vampire Coast expansion.
An ancestor race of dragon, but not actually a sea dragon which is instead a regular dragon mutated by evil magic. In ancient times they were common in the oceans of the world, but are very rare (and dangerous) in the modern day. They have a long body, are covered in scales, and have four stumpy legs. They heal like trolls but at the cost of increased metabolism which fuels their other notable trait, extreme hunger. They come in several varieties:
- Common Merwyrms (they don't have a specific name, that's just what we're calling them here) are poisonous, are green and silver in coloration, and are the most populace group. Most of them live in the Sea of Claws, which sits between Nordland of The Empire and Norsca.
- Pagowyrms are albino, and live near Naggaroth in the seas west of Ulthuan.
- Sciowyrms are black, and live in the deepest ocean.
- Amanar seems to be his own species given he's depicted as red.
Merwyrms answer the call of High Elves like their dragon descendants, and the ones that can survive on land are especially beloved. Unlike dragons, which have to sleep due to their bodies requiring magic to survive, which has been diminished by the Waystone network of the High Elves, Merwyrms just need a metric fuckton of food. As a result they are always attacking ships and even coastal ports in search of sustenance. Despite their danger, they probably eat a lot of the sea nasties that otherwise would exist in the Warhammer world...
Amanar was introduced in 8th edition as the singular being that is represented by the red serpent dragon seen on the shields of many models, especially the Lothern Seaguard.
His origins are unknown, but he sleeps beneath the Emerald Gate of Lothern which is the outermost gate in a trio that protects the Inner Kingdoms from naval assault. He's only woken up three times in recorded memory, once to literally eat an entire fucking Daemon armada during the time of Aenarion, once during the Sundering caused by the Dark Elves where he used his body to dull the waves that would have destroyed Lothern, and finally to smash an entire Dark Elf Black Ark with his tail. Basically, Lothern is protected by a giant sea cat that does what earns it some love and sleeps the rest of the time. No mention on whether he shreds Finubar's curtains or brings Sea Lord Aislinn dead birds. It should be noted that the records of his feats are kept in the Glittering Tower of Saphery, meaning that its not common knowledge even to High Elves what he's done. Legend simply states that in Lothern's time of need, he shows up and krumps seagits.
The Shield of the Merwyrm magic item has one of his scales, which is gold, in the center. It was created shortly after his third saving of Elf ass.
Amanar didn't really do shit. Ulthuan sank, which probably didn't really affect him since he couldn't do anything to stop it. Presumably he died when the Warhammer world was destroyed, possibly surviving into Age of Sigmar to
keep selling Merwyrm models maek babby.
Total War: WARHAMMER
The release for the Vampire Coast expansion of Total War: WARHAMMER revealed that the Vortex campaign, the central storyline of the second expansion to the game, caused him to go insane. For years he's been attacking ships and settlements throughout the world randomly. Jacob Wulfheart (who is Markus Wulfhart's brother in this game) became obsessed with him, tracking every ship he sank on a magic map and eventually putting together a weapon and a sea shanty that would kill him, or allow him to be controlled. Wulfheart was killed before he could accomplish his goal by the very creature he sought to slay (obsessed ship captains and giant monsters...kinda sounds familiar for some reason...), and instead the forces of the world were left to scramble for control of him. The Vampire Coast faction characters all seek to kill him and raise him as an undead slave under their control, which presumably they accomplish canonically although which one does so isn't clear (it likely doesn't matter, since all of them are summoned by Nagash at the end of the campaign).
On The Tabletop
Amanar never got stats in the game, but Merwyrms did and they got a model from Forgeworld as well. As a creature from the Storm of Magic campaign, it doesn't really need to be said that they sucked and very few people ever used them. This is because creatures were easy to dispel and remove from the game by literally any wizard, or else rendered useless (its arguable how effective that actually was, since it diverted spellcasting from anything but getting rid of your monster making it viable as a Distraction Carnifex for magic, and you could also wage war back by dispelling their attempt and even if successful it only had a 50% chance to do anything bad, only a 16% chance to actually get rid of it, but it was complicated and expensive enough nobody did it).
The model didn't even come out with the campaign either, coming out in 2013.
It got regular stats from Monstrous Arcanum for 8th edition, but not being usable in competitive setting and needing the other player's permission to use it (cue That Guy to say no to your lovingly painted, strategy-centric $100+ model because he's a fucking That Guy) meant nobody wanted to use it then either. For the record however, Merwyrms were fairly good to bring to the tabletop, albeit for some armies it was ridiculously game-breaking because of how powerful it was, in others it was inferior to other options (read: if your army has Sphinxes or Dragons). It came in three varieties, representing the three listed above in the Merwyrm section.
In Age of Sigmar it's actually much better, if you can keep the damn thing healed somehow to prevent that small amount of damage that gets through its hide from building up then its basically indestructible. Most importantly however (or rather to say, the only important thing) is you don't have to physically purchase the damn book that has its stats since you can download it for free, and nobody has any right to tell you that you can't use it because its part of an official expansion to the standard game. Too bad GW didn't figure out that was the trick back in 8th edition.