High Elves (Warhammer Fantasy)
"Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow."
"Have you heard of the High Elves?"
-Oblivion youtube video
Like every fantasy setting out there, Warhammer Fantasy could not be without its faction of good elves (read: pricks). However, taking a page out of Tolkien's book, these elves are dying, surrounded on all sides by enemies and their greatest foe may just be each other.
And if that doesn't tell you how fucked the High Elves are in this setting, then you will see all the proof you need below.
- 1 A brief overview
- 2 New army book
- 3 History
- 3.1 The Golden Time (a.k.a. The 80s)
- 3.2 Aenarion, the Defender
- 3.3 Bel Shanaar, the Explorer
- 3.4 Caledor I, the Conqueror
- 3.5 Caledor II, the Warrior
- 3.6 Caradryel, The Peacemaker
- 3.7 Tethlis, The Slayer
- 3.8 Bel-Korhadris, The Scholar King
- 3.9 Aethis, The Poet
- 3.10 Morvael, The Impetuous
- 3.11 Bel-Hathor, The Sage
- 3.12 Finubar, The Seafarer
- 4 Regions
- 5 Characters
- 6 High Elf Forces
- 7 Religion
- 8 Misc Fluff
- 9 Crunch
- 10 See Also
- 11 External Links
- 12 References
A brief overview
In Warhammer Fantasy, the High Elves are the original elves and live on their Atlantis doughnut Ulthuan where they sang, built statues and temples, grew their hair and rode monsters into the sunset and out of the sunrise again, all the things one would do in a perfect paradise made just for them.
The causes of this are threefold: Because the Old Ones didn't clean up after themselves, or lost a war against Chaos, or it's all according to plan, or whatever. Chaos flooded out like a pierced beer can into the world and were going to destroy it without a problem. The first Phoenix King, Aenarion, got his shit together and closed the gate thereby saving the world. Then a bunch of shit happened. Eventually his son Malekith got butthurt over not being picked the next king over some guy named Bel Shanaar and started the Dark Elves. Because the Dark Elves are the Sith of Warhammer they pushed really far into Ulthuan, but then Caledor the first came and Cosgrove'd Malekith back to the northern reaches of the New World. (Which means Canadians are Cenobites.)
Caledor the second pissed off the Dwarfs, doing his bit to ensure that they didn't go too long without being bullied, but then he got himself killed and left his fancy hat behind, which is just bad play. Then Malekith came back and fucked shit up good so the High Elves elected Caradryel who realized that keeping colonies and making war on Dwarfs when you're about to be wiped out is stupid and ordered all non-Dark Elves to come home and defend the motherland, but the colonists who discovered pot and treefucking had better ideas and retreated into the woods, becoming Wood Elves. (Which means the Swiss are Ithorians.)
The High Elves as we know them today are a dying race where every citizen is a soldier because there's so few left they can't support a standing army. (Although they still have high enough birth rate to make up for losses, because GW says there are always as many or as few elves as the plot for the book in question demands. So apparent consistency can suck it.) They're still the strongest force in the world, and if they get wiped out then the kinda dark and sorta grim Warhammer Fantasy becomes grimdarkness of Warhammer 40k. So yeah, they're kind of important if you aren't playing Daemons or Warriors of Chaos (or Beastmen goddammit!).
Of course, most High Elves are douchebags and most of the rest of the world are too, so don't worry: everyone has a reason to fight each other.
New army book
8th edition High Elf book is out, and the summary is that while some notoriously overpowered things (Teclis, Book of Hoeth) were nerfed, they weren't nerfed into the ground. Better yet, with the light and medium cavalry being core again and the points and powers adjusted, the only thing that's still (relatively) useless is Shadow Warriors (although even they can be made viable at times) and possibly Eltharion. Matt Ward wrote the new book, but has unexpectedly not had the fluff raped or had characters made rapists. Females were even (re)added, the Everqueen and her servants! Overall, we got off very well and are possibly a bit stronger than before. But what did you expect from the only Fantasy army with Marines?
High Elves measure time in a retarded way, and 99% of the time everyone goes by the reign of the Phoenix King during that period. Some eras are shorter than others as a result and rarely do they end peacefully.
The Golden Time (a.k.a. The 80s)
Imperial Calendar ≤ -4498
The Golden Time was before the Phoenix Kings. There isn't much fluff on it, as it is supposed to be the lost age of myth. Only that Ulthuan's kingdoms were run by the Everqueen alone who lead out a positive if hippy-driven jive. Then the warp gates at the world poles collapsed and chaos attacked, immediately going after the Elves and fucking their shit up. The Everqueen's magic was mostly for peaceful shit and her soldiers had never faced anything worth mentioning before. The High Elves prayed to their head god, Asuryan, to help them.
Aenarion, the Defender
Imperial Calendar -4498 to -4419
Aenarion was a world traveler, back in the days when that meant something. He heard some crazy shit was happening at home so he went back, and shit was way more crazy than he heard. Everyone figured the world was ending, and everything that had ever been was pretty much being turned to Swiss cheese by Slaaneshi Daemon cocks while the Bloodletters stood back and called them faggots.
So Aenarion went to the Shrine of Asuryan to pray. But they didn't do a god damned thing (primarily since every god who wants to do good also has an opposite who will fuck things up, so there's a permaban on screwing with mortals which gives Asuryan more time to sit on his ass and contemplate his navel). Aenarion said the High Elf equivalent of YOLO and jumped into Asuryan's sacrificing fire, which is a bit like running up to the pope, snatching his staff of office from his hand and beating yourself over the head with it. However, according to Fantasy that is a valid form of religious protest because god-daddy-bossman actually DID get off his ass for once as Aenarion was imbued with the power of Asuryan. He went outside the shrine, saw some Daemons, and slew the biggest Daemon he could find with a surprise left. Then Aenarion put some armour on and killed another with a right-hook. THEN Aenarion drew his spear and ran a Greater Daemon of Nurgle through with it. THEN he got on his pet-fucking-dragon and slew the entire war-host before Slaanesh could even jizz in her pants.
Elves all over suddenly saw someone with balls and promptly started cosplaying him, and because all elves look alike Daemons started taking psychology checks every time they saw pointy ears. Caledor the Dragontamer, who was like the first Teclis (but not anemic) swore fealty to Aenarion and gave him the death star plans to fucking over Chaos by making a black hole of magic somewhere so Daemons couldn't manifest in the world. He saved Astarielle, the Everqueen at the time, and they fell in love and wed. Soon everyone else asked to be on team Aenarion and gave him whatever shit they had that wasn't full of cockholes until the elves decided there'd be two rulers of their race from that point on, the elected king and the hereditary queen (one of the perks to being king is he bangs the Everqueen for a year until she gets a daughter to inherit the throne after her, but after that point they go back to their spouses and pretend it wasn't the best year of their life).
However, Chaos attacked Avelorn where the Astarielle lived, and killed her in a way that is apparently beyond description, and the children of Aenarion and the Everqueen were lost. Aenarion was pissed. So he went to a far off island and drew the sword from the stone. Except this sword was Widowmaker, a sword (or a spear, or an axe) of Khaine. Khaine is kind of like Rule 63 Khorne but with a penis, and unlike in 40k where he's a giant robot the Eldar use to fuck shit up, he's pure douchebag unleaded and likes fucking with elves more than Daemons do. So Widowmaker,
which apparently shapeshifts to whatever kind of weapon you'd like to use the most (Aenarion gets points for the damn thing not turning into a katana or something else stupid, and then promptly loses them for not turning it into a dragon-mounted demolisher cannon) curses you to a really bad end which follows your entire line. Fun, huh?
So Aenarion sets off to get it, and along the way everyone from his butler to all the elf gods, INCLUDING Khaine, and even the ghost of the Everqueen tell him he's about to go full retard. He nabs it anyway, and promptly goes apeshit by transforming into a trap version of Kratos. The most fucking crazy of the elves follow him to the Westernmost part of Ulthuan where he forms a new kingdom built and fed on bloodletters and severed Slaaneshi cocks. Along the way he rescues a witch named Morathi from some Slaaneshi fighters and promptly marries the chick (whether or not she was pregnant beforehand isn't known, but she gives birth to a son he names Malekith). The Nagarythe court becomes all kinds of fucked up, to a degree nobody knows about fully. Caledor, sick of waiting for the torture orgies to end, packed up and went to actually finish beating Chaos. Aenarion was about to go full retard and start a civil war in revenge for not participating in said orgies, but then the biggest Chaos invasion ever seen set up on the other side of the map and everyone knew everything was fucked 40k style.
Caledor and his bros turned an island in the middle of Ulthuan into a magic drain, but it put them outside time forever in an I Have No Mouth and Must Scream kind of way (although Caledor exists outside it immortally making sure nobody buttfucks the mages while they're standing there in magical amber). However, Aenerion got a mortal wound during a faceroll against the four Avatars of the Chaos Gods themselves. So he ran back to where he got The Sword of Khaine and puts it back in the rock. From there, his body is never found. He's presumed dead, unlike everyone else that kind of thing happens to. For three days Ulthuan gets the New Orleans treatment from the weather, and most of the elf race dies. But then it turns out the children of Aenarion and the Everqueen lived! Her last act was to make some unknown deal with nature, which resulted in Dryads being bros with elves and carrying the kids away where they'd be safe. Her daughter Yvraine succeeded her as the Everqueen, and her son Morelion played it smart and chilled in his sister's court where he married one of her maids. Thanks to Aenarion's dick move with the sword however, every one of his kids has had to roll a WILL save every decade to not go full retard and go get the sword again.
Bel Shanaar, the Explorer
So a year after Aenarion died, the Princes of Ulthuan started deliberating over who to elect to be the new king. Malekith, who had become a badass Fighter/Wizard and knew how to cheat at chess, was the top candidate from an outside perspective; but since Nagarythe torture orgies weren't exactly socially acceptable, nobody was too keen on the idea. Also Yvraine, one of the kids that the Dryads saved was the new Everqueen and was Malekith's half sister. The Council thought it would be a bit fucked up since by law they had to produce a daughter (despite the fact that law was passed like five minutes ago in elf-years) who would be the next Everqueen and they didn't want an Everqueen who had two left hands, extra toes, and no chin. So Malekith pinkie swore that he just wanted to be king because it'd make his pappy proud, but said he'd be alright with not being picked.
So naturally they elected a war hero who was known for not wanting to slap his dick on everything for his own glory, an elf named Bel Shanaar who was from Tiranoc. Morathi went ballistic about her son (who she may or may not have been fucking at this point) not becoming King, but Malekith managed not to cry and went as far away from Ulthuan as he could by becoming an explorer like his father. He took all his whining over to the New World and set up a bunch of colonies, went Orc hunting on safari, and discovered Dwarfs. Bel Shanaar visited the Dwarfs too, and signed a peace treaty that was supposed to last for the entirety of the history of the two races. Yeah, we know how well that went, especially since Malekith was appointed ambassador (though he was actually quite bro-tier and became good friends the Dwarf King, which went to shit after said Dwarf died).
The elves reconstruct Ulthuan and repopulate it (in other words, an enormous amount of time passes). It's about this time that the Cult of Pleasure begins to appear. It was a Slaaneshi cult that was into crazy Slaaneshi things like sacrifice, torture, and wearing fursuits. Malekith came home to stamp that shit out since it was supposedly based in his home kingdom of Nagarythe. He found out his mother, Morathi, was a member and when he confronted her about it she revealed she was the founder and high priestess. Which overall wasn't much of a surprise to anyone. He turned them all in to everyone's surprise but then had the message spread that a meeting was needed at the shrine of Asuryan immediately to discuss how awesome he was for turning them in, so survival of the smartest went into effect as the Princes who didn't have much going on upstairs went, as well as Bel Shanaar since he had no choice. Malekith had the doors sealed, then told everyone Bel Shanaar was a furfag and poisoned him before he could say "wut?" then turned around expecting to be made Phoenix King on the spot. The Princes immediately moved to hold a vote on whether or not Malekith should investigate himself for being a cultust, so Malekith assured them everything was cool and walked into the sacrifice pyre like his father did. Asuryan was disappoint. So after coming back as a piece of elf-shaped bacon his followers killed everyone, and took off running back to Nagarythe where they sealed him in some body armor to keep his dumbass alive, complete with removable codpiece at his mother's request. That's when Malekith became the Witch King. What a douche.
Caledor I, the Conqueror
Imperial Calendar -2749 to -2198
Prince Imrik (not the one from the current day, this is the first one) never liked Malekith. As a result he was one of the only Princes not at the Shrine when Malekith killed everybody, and since he was Caledor's grandson he took on that name in honor of his ancestor. However, despite how much he and a bunch of other High Elves didn't like Malekith lots of elves loved him. So a super fantastical fun Civil War started. It went back and forth, but lots of important folks turn to Malekith's side. Hotek, a priest to the elf god Vaul, stole the super awesome Hammer of Vaul and runs off to join Malekith. This is probably around the time the Ring of Hotek is made, which took a lot of douchebaggery to form. The elves of Nagarythe went so evil, they started worshipping Daemons and renamed themselves Druchii (or as the Mon'keigh call them, the Dark Elves) to distinguish themselves from the Asur (High elves).
Caledor fought really hard, and chased a lot of Dark Elves back to Nagarythe itself. That's when Malekith pulled a 'Just as Planned' and started to mess with the Vortex in the middle of Ulthuan, which caused a lot of the Nagarythe to panic and rejoin the High Elves. What Malekith's wizards planned to do is tear a hole directly to the realm of Chaos, where the Daemons would for some reason not rape them and eat their souls and instead help them and salute Malekith as God Emperor of Elfkind (kids, don't do meth. You make decisions like this). What it really did is sink most of Nagarythe, and lots of the kingdom to the south Tiranoc. The world was rocked so hard, the Dwarfs felt it and decided to make a bone and cat leather mural of it.
Laughing, the majority of the Dark Elves load up in their ships made out of mountains (how does that work? A wizard did it; more like several wizards) and head West. Some Dark Elves remain, and continue to mess up the High Elves like the Viet Cong. Due to this, the High Elves stopped talking with their colonies in the new world due to having more important shit to do. Malekith suddenly got a boner for the Widowmaker (and he's had one ever since) and the High Elves skirmish with the Dark Elves on the high seas and on the island itself. Caledor has a series of unbreachable fortress gates erected in Ulthuan to ensure that it's a fucking BITCH to try to invade, each named after one of the possible mounts High Elves can be seen on (Griffon, Eagle, Phoenix, Dragon, and Unicorn).
Caledor does some mopping up, pushing the last of the Dark Elves off Ulthuan, finally coming to the Blighted Island himself to give Malekith the middle finger. He stood in the Altar of Khaine for awhile staring at the Widowmaker, then went "Naaaaah" and walked away wondering what kind of faggot would actually take it. On the way back though, a freak storm hits and some punkass Dark Elf pirates ambush him and light his ship on fire. But instead of being captured, the magnificent bastard decides to jump into the ocean fully dressed in his armor. He dies, of course. But the Emo Elves didn't get him. The kingdom he came from, the name of which was forgotten, was renamed in his honor for such badassery.
Caledor II, the Warrior
Imperial Calendar -2198 to -1599
Caledor II was the kid of Caledor I and totally forgetting what the last son of a Phoenix King turned out like, the Princes elected him. However, as all kids are, he was a jackass. The Dark Elves shut themselves up in Naggaroth while Malekith plotted a scheme for epic lols. About this time, contact with the Old World and the Dwarfs was reestablished. They heard there was some crazy civil war going on, but they didn't really understand why something like that would happen since Dwarf logic is "all Dwarfs do everything their fathers and the guy with the whitest beard say without question, and all fathers and white beards follow the king without question" (while pretending that Dwarfs who do deviate from this don't exist), so as far as they're concerned, the king is the voice of the hivemind.
What Malekith decided to do was fuck with the Dwarfs. But not only did they attack the dwarfs, they dressed up like High Elves and stole everything that the Dwarfs would miss (so the anvils (also known as female Dwarfs), and booze). This left the Dwarf King, Gotrek Starbreaker, sending envoys back to the High Elves asking, "What the fuck, dude?" Caledor II, though, ignored them. Completely. Finally the Dwarfs began to demand stuff, which got their diplomats shaved. Gotrek swore if the Dwarfs didn't get the money equal to what had been stolen or it's price in Elfblood, he'd shave himself which caused the entirety of the Dwarf race to more or less make the same oath. The largest force of Dwarfs ever seen before or since gathered and began their assaults on the Elven colonies in the Old World. This starts what is called "The War of the Beard (The War of Vengeance)". Its during this war that the item "Cloak of Beards" is created.
Caledor II sends the entirety of the High Elf armies to kill Dwarfs. Both sides underestimated each other, and it was a complete loss on both sides. Dwarfs decide that all trees are evil and start clear cutting to piss of the elves, which gives some a sad but not to the extent the Dwarfs thought it would. When the Princes of Ulthuan vote to tell Caledor II he's a gigantic fuckhead, Caledor II screams like a 3 year old and tells everyone to fuck off. High Elves start using Dark Elf tactics like poisoning Dwarf water sources and desecrating shrines. After awhile Caledor II crosses the sea and tries to push the Dwarfs away from the colonies. He kills Gotrek's son and thinks he's a badass all of a sudden. At this point it's all downhill for the High Elves. Caledor II's bro gets killed by a Dwarf whose last name is changed to "Elfbane" after the feat, and the colony of Athel Maraya is wiped off the map. The Elves try and attack a few 'Dorf Fortresses, but are obliterated and sent scurrying back to their colonies, pursued by a single souped-up Dwarven miner.
A few hundred years later Caledor II comes back and launches an attack that's supposed to kill off the dwarfs. That didn't really go according to plan. In a battle with King Gotrek himself, Caledor II is obliterated. They take the Phoenix Crown forged by all the Princes and Nobles of Ulthuan for Aenarion himself for his coronation, and heads back to their mountains. The Elves try to draw them out of the mountains but the Dwarfs refuse. Just as they're lining up to kamikaze Karaz-a-Karak, the 'Dorf capital, they hear Malekith is trying to rape Ulthuan. The High Elves in the Old World are ordered to get their ass back to their island, but some refuse, becoming Wood Elves (who continue to get consistently slaughtered by Beastmen and Dwarfs while fucking with Bretonnians). With the death of Caledor II, the bloodline of King Caledor I was broken, and as a result the people of Caledor began to consider every one of their naturalized citizens to be his descendants. Yep, that's how Caledorians roll.
Caradryel, The Peacemaker
See, while the High Elves were fighting the Dwarfs, Malekith took a bunch of his ships and invaded Nagarythe, and built a fortress there called Anlec made out of those mountain-ships. After the traditional one year mourning period ended, the High Elves decided to name Caradryel (a nobody Prince from Yvresse who's qualifications were more or less "nobody hates him") their leader since he was so unlike Caledor II. He was a shit soldier, but had a high WIS score so they figured he'd be good.
Ulthuan fell under attack from Dark Elves, as well as beasties the Dark Elves brought and unleashed in the mountains that have never been wiped out (rumors that they are the inbred children of Malekith and Morathi are unfounded, but probably true). After his first proclamations came out from the Everqueen's bed, that the colonies were to be abandoned and the War of the Beard (as well as the Phoenix Crown) conceded to the Dwarfs, the Princes and Nobles started to complain. Caradryel promptly told them to STFU, said he'd rather lose the crown then the Kingdom, and went back to making a new Everqueen. Since he was smart enough to know he didn't know shit about war and was busy being knee deep in the best elf democracy can buy, he called on the greatest elves among the Princes to lead the armies of Ulthuan against the Dark Elves (among them the line of Morelion).
Tethlis, Prince of Caledor (the Kingdom, not the wizard or the two Kings), became the greatest of these military minded men and put the hurt on the Dark Elves (but wasn't able to beat them fully). During this time, most of the modern High Elf military tactics were developed. Caradryel even contributed when he got the idea that maybe giving his troops shore leave instead of leaving them in place until they died at their posts was a good idea! High Elves built a giant navy and became the dominant naval power in the world, and Caradryel eventually died in his sleep, becoming the first Phoenix King to get a happy ending (y'know, not counting that first year they all get).
Tethlis, The Slayer
Imperial Calendar -996 to -691
Remember Tethlis? As a wee babby, Tethlis's entire family was slaughtered in the worst ways by Dark Elves doing a victory lap amongst the citizenry of Caledor after one of their raids overcame the local guards. This ensured he'd be ready to enact a non-expiring WAAAGH against them. Tethlis was a bro of Caradryel and learned how not to be a fuckhead when it came to the civilian side of things. After dragons began hibernating longer and longer, Tethlis wrote essays on military structure and ways to utilize strategies other than "we're better, we will win". After becoming King, he enacted most of those policies into practice and set out a mandate requiring every settlement to provide for the common defense with a citizen levy made up of civilians trained like soldiers, then let back into civilian life like a god tier militia. Each city was required to have the facilities necessary to train said levies from that point onwards. He sent the armies of Ulthuan out with CREEEEEED tier planning and strategy. High Elf armies only fought battles they could win with minimal casualties, towns and cities left entirely undefended were ones that were not in any threat of danger at all.
Several centuries later, even the Shadowlands were reclaimed. At the eve of the assault on Anlec, Tethlis gave the orders that nothing was to be left of the city. No walls, plants, or prisoners. He reclaimed the Blighted Island minutes before the ritual to unlock the Widowmaker to work in Dark Elf hands was completed with the most violently bloody battle the High Elves had ever known prior (picture D-Day but with dragons, giant eagles, wizards, and Lothern Seaguard, but times a thousand). With every Dark Elf they could find dead, Tethlis gave the word the army was going to push straight onto Naggaroth and wipe out the Dark Elf race; but as he went back to his ship, he found himself drawn to the dreaded Altar of Khaine with its Widowmaker. He found Aenarion's armor which was apparently either ignored or unseen by Morathi's witches, but without the body of the hero to go with it. He gave it to one of his companions named Auaralion, who was the descendant of Morelion (the firstborn son of Aenarion and the Everqueen of his time). Auaralion went back to the ship with his awesome new swag, and it was passed down the family to Tyrion in the present day.
So now comes the point of the story that's left in doubt. One account says that Tethlis looked at the Widowmaker and wondered how anyone can be so far gone into retardation as to draw it (or perhaps he just wanted to look more like Caledor the 1st), and dismissed the White Lions so he could feel the sheer horror of the thing to steel himself for the assault on Naggaroth when a Druchii assassin killed him. The other version is that he decided to /fail and grabbed it. The White Lion bodyguards realized what would happen and teamkilled him with their giant fucking axes right before it was fully free from the base. In support of the latter, Malekith did send assassins to hide at the shrine and make sure that Tethlis didn't draw the Widowmaker, but the assassins never reported back to him.
Either way, Tethlis died the most heroic and fucking badass motherfucker who ever lived in Warhammer Fantasy. Can you dig it?
Bel-Korhadris, The Scholar King
Imperial Calendar -691 to 499
After so many years of nonstop war, the High Elves despite for the first time in their history being on the offensive against the Dark Elves, couldn't bear any more war. They elected the most famous mage of that age, who was also a Prince. The Dark Elves had been reduced to just town guards and non-combatants with Malekith and Morathi being the only beings of any power they could call on, and Warriors of Chaos took advantage of their weakness to begin launching raids in revenge for the years that they had suffered as sport game for Druchii nobility, and while the High Elves still had a military force capable of sweeping the entire world clean they had little else as Ulthuan was so devastated by the years of war that 1945's Europe looked like a pristine diamond. Bel-Korhandris called back the invasion force halfway across the ocean, preferring to focus on ensuring the High Elf race would survive rather than ensuring the Dark Elf race didn't (so assuming Tethlis WAS going for the Widowmaker, the result would have been the good of DE no longer being in the game, and the curse of the HE not being supported by GW either).
Monsters roamed Ulthuan with such freedom that it looked little different from the Chaos Wastes in summer. First order of business; slaughter them all. Bel-Korhadris declared an official age of rebirth, he literally declared a second golden age was about to happen. The White Tower of Hoeth (GW can't into creativity, it's a giant wizard tower) was rebuilt using every resource not being devoted to rebuilding everything else. He founded the Loremasters of Hoeth to guard Ulthuan, and to teach everything from swordplay to military strategy to every branch of magic (INCLUDING ways to use CHIM to make coffee!). All forms of knowledge are available in the libraries of Hoeth in books made as much out of magic as they are of paper (read; magic computers). Bel-Korhadris also realized that it takes all kinds to be badass, and manipulated pop culture within the High Elf race to encourage dick measuring contests amongst the nobility and those on shore leave from the levies and guard posts. As a result anyone who could hold a sword started becoming muderhobos and killing monsters the Druchii had left. Finally, he reinforced the Waystones and put thousands upon thousands of small protections made using magic throughout Ulthuan, from making parts of the coastlines unable to be navigated to making non-High Elves unable to find the Tower of Hoeth to weakening the gate between the world of living elves and dead elves to allow ancestors to participate in unseen ways to protect their heirs.
Every place in Ulthuan got an enchantment to protect it, and many places got many more. Shortly before the Tower was complete, he died and unlike most Phoenix King's whose burials are overseen by the Phoenix Guard the body of Bel-Korhadris was overseen by his children and former students, being entombed at the base of the White Tower where his spirit sometimes helps kids with their term papers. Overall, a real bro tier king.
Aethis, The Poet
Imperial Calendar 499 to 1121
Now THIS king was a pussy. See, by this point the High Elf Princes and Princesses had some history to look back on, and saw that the best kings came in two flavors. Ones who were badasses known for beating the shit out of Dark Elves and Chaos, or guys with absolutely no military experience that were quietly spoken and unambitious. Since the previous king was the latter and had done a good job they chose another person of that type, a poet from Saphery who's only major accomplishments were being born to a very prominent High Elven family and entertaining the Everqueen's court with his artistic retellings of past glories of the elves (avoiding that awkward pre-coital moment where the Everqueen has to pretend to know his name). As a result of such a life, he knew jack shit about actually being in the military, most of his knowledge coming from the ballads of Tethlis, the two King Caledors, and Aenarion that he had told in the past. He was also a very bad judge of character to boot.
Things went pretty well at first, Dark Elves stopped raiding and had no contact with High Elves for a long period, Dwarfs stopped being pissed at the High Elves and just resigned themselves to having a long grudge that would be resolved by insults spoken whenever possible instead of through bloodshed (this is the first time the High Elves start trying to get a price in gold for the return of the crown), and although the Empire was founded by Sigmar during the reign of Bel-Korhadris the High Elves living in Ulthuan only heard of it in the early years of Aethis.
High Elves started looking back at their own past now that they had a chance to catch their breath, and realized they had lost almost their entire history prior to Aenarion and that there was more unoccupied cities and ruins than populated cities and intact structures. They began to rebuild their culture by stepping up the baby making efforts, turning the Anulii of Chrace into a giant Mount Rushmore, creating magic items that WEREN'T made for war, composing some of the most beautiful music ever written, painting portraits that moved Harry Potter style of everyone whose face could be seen or still remembered, and generally making themselves the greatest race in the world without question again. Lothern went from some being Innsmouth to being New York. Military outposts were remade to be as majestic and enchanting as anything an invading army had ever seen before. Old weapons of war were decorated with silver and gold inlays, dead trees anywhere in Ulthuan were cut down and disposed of and new ones planted in their place. Now all this sounds really good right? Had that been the only thing Aethis was known for, it'd have been the perfect age.
But that's not how things worked out. As time went on, the Elves became complacent. They began to believe that the peace would last forever.
The navy was sent to drydock and taken apart for building materials, soldiers were dismissed and expected to take up non-military jobs, weapons and armor from every Kingdom were sold overseas to humans and Dwarfs, and any veteran or soldier who tried to maintain their vigilance and keep Ulthuan ready to defend itself was mocked and manipulated out of power. The last great military commander of this age, Prince Valedor of Ellyrion, wound up stripped of his wealth and reputation by the dandies at the Phoenix Court after he delivered a SHORYUKEN to the face of some poncey noble who tried to take the contents of the Griffon Gate armory to use as props in a theatrical production of Aethis's newest work.
So after 622 years of rule by a guy looking to shore up the pride and pleasure of his race, the Cult of Pleasure unsurprisingly once again surfaced. Fortunately, Bel-Korhadris once again proved his ability to get shit done even after his death. One of his last acts in life was to create The Loremasters of Hoeth order, which included the Swordmasters; all up they're the equivalent of High Elf CIA. The order had been keeping a watchlist for Ulthuan's most wanted and terrorist suspects. During their shadow war against the Cult of Pleasure they came to believe that someone at Aethis's court was a Dark Elf traitor, so the Loremaster of Hoeth at the time (Morvael) sent him a message to be on the lookout. Somehow this letter was mixed up with Aethis's fan mail (because let's face it, who the fuck would write him about ANYTHING else? It's likely Morvael did it on purpose otherwise the letter would never have reached Aethis), and after it was read to the entire court Aethis was assassinated in front of everyone by his Chancellor,
Palpatine Girathon, who was the traitor (High Elves say it was with a poisoned dagger, Dark Elves say he was strangled with one of his silk scarves). So altogether, this was the best of times and it was the worst of times. The most easily preventable fuckups happened in this age, but so did the things that make the current High Elves so glorious to behold. They know it too, the duality of things is big to the High Elves if you hadn't realized that looking at their language. At any rate, if there's a Phoenix King referred to most by High Elves it's probably this one.
Morvael, The Impetuous
Imperial Calendar 1121 to 1503
Morvael was from Yvresse, and was the first High Loremaster of Hoeth after the founding of the order. Despite being a fucking genius, he had absolutely no clue how to lead a nation or run a military. In addition, he was VERY emotional and had to stop games of Warhammer 40k to properly mourn each Space Marine mini who was slain each turn. He also had extreme insomnia, constantly having nightmares about Matt Ward fucking up the High Elf 8th edition update. When Malekith found out, he used his magic to troll Morvael throughout his reign with even worse nightmares, such as ones about the End Times.
His first act was to order an attack on the Dark Elves with what was left of the navy. It went along the lines of "We should, um, like... we should... attack... someone. Yeah. Attack someone. Can I fuck the Everqueen now?" The Dark Elves, still rebuilding their offensive forces but having become quite adept at repelling attacks from sea, wiped out the High Elf fleet. The High Elves were not expecting this, having thought the Druchii more or less destroyed. To the contrary, the shoe had been put on the other foot after Aethis's reign. The Dark Elves immediately retook the Blighted Isle, rebuilt Anlec, and push as far south as the Griffon Gate. Morvael shat himself, then called on the citizen levies and increased their quota for troops to almost 100% of the able population. In addition, arms and armor was to be provided for as much by the individual as the nation. Taking a page out of Caradryel's book he then appointed a military-minded man, named Mentheus who was Caledorian, to be supreme commander of the Asur armies. The nation, formerly the single center of wealth in the world against which Dwarfs and Tomb Kings amounted to pennies, was rendered as broke as a Bretonnian meth addict building a new fleet.
Meanwhile, he continued his counter intelligence against the Cult of Pleasure which was recruiting nobility used to lives of excess under Aethis who were easy to recruit into spywork and summoning Daemonettes to wreak havoc in cities. So many execution orders for heretics came to his desk he began to lose his shit on a regular basis, crying whenever he wasn't crawling on hands and knees trying his best not to an hero. He stayed good at his job though, and unlike his predecessor was an excellent judge of character, promoting individuals who knew their shit and finding ways to relieve those unfit or too old to continue to work excellently without pissing them off and turning them to the enemy. Fortresses outside Ulthuan were established, and High Elves began policing the world for Chaos and Dark Elves (High Elves confirmed for Americans in the best way, ironic since Dark Elves live in the geographical equivalent of North America). Mentheus, top general and most trusted adviser also became the only one keeping Morvael going.
Finally it came time for pushing the Dark Elves back off Ulthuan again. Mentheus laid siege to Anlec and personally lead each charge from the back of his dragon companion Nightfang. Meanwhile, Morvael stayed at the Shrine of Asuryan in the protection of the Phoenix Guard. In the final day of the assault, Mentheus was killed and Nightfang flipped the fuck out, slaughtering the residents of the city and turning it to gravel again. As soon as word reached Morvael that his only remaining friend was dead, he walked into the sacrificing fire (still called that even though they don't use it that way anymore) a second time and for two days burned silently until on the third day at noon his ashes were blown by a magic wind into the inner sea of Ulthuan. So even though he may have been a bigger wuss than even Aethis, Morvael managed to get shit done and as long as shit gets done, you're golden.
Bel-Hathor, The Sage
Imperial Calendar 1503 to 2163
So now the High Elf Princes and Princesses were divided on what to look for in a king. Some pointed to the need for a warrior, since the last two peaceful civilian kings were pansies. Some said they needed a peacemaker because warrior kings also have the tendency to fuck up royally, and this was the worst time to gamble on fate. Eventually they compromised and elected Bel-Hathor, from Saphery.
They did this because he was an eccentric dude who tended to, rather than argue, point out all valid points then quickly leave. Everyone figured they could manipulate him to their side. They thought wrong. Turns out he had a 30+ CHA rating, and could convince you after coming to him to demand the 3 month overdue rent for his apartment to instead drop your pants for him to fuck you roughly and you'd walk away thinking you got your way. All the douchebaggery from the powdered-wig elves that was encouraged in the time of Aethis was put a stop to right off the bat. The hawk nobles who wanted to go back to the era of Tethlis and pushed for an invasion of Naggaroth with the High Elf forces didn't get their way. The dove High Elves who wanted to go back to the era of Aethis and use the High Elf navy to get silk sheets from Cathay didn't get their way either. Instead, Bel-Hathor focused on getting shit done the same way the other Bel king, Bel-Korhadris, had.
Suddenly mankind wasn't just some new insect in the jungles somewhere, they were patrolling the seas and dealing with Elves on a regular basis in some colonies. The Warriors of Chaos population had boomed, and were now raiding all the nations of the world. Bel-Hathor had the mages of Hoeth set up a series of magical defenses for the east coast of Ulthuan that move around rocks and islands capable of sinking ships like nothing as well as mists that make you unable to see anything outside your boat and few things within it.
Eventually humans from the Empire and Bretonnia managed to reach the coasts of Eataine during the beginning of the Age of Exploration (which apparently happens in the middle of the middle ages in the Warhammer Fantasy universe). Bel-Hathor banned all non-Elves (along with the Druchii obviously) from setting foot on Ulthuan under threat of death, but some elves became fascinated about the new civilizations of the humans. In particular, an Eataineian named Finubar set sail with the humans when they departed (see Finubar's entry for details of his journey). Upon returning, Finubar told the court of Bel-Hathor about the wonders he'd seen and the changes in the world and they listened like an audience seeing Star Wars for the first time. Finubar suggested allowing humans into Ulthuan, but with limits to keep them in check. Bel-Hathor agreed and Finubar's hometown of Lothern was shaped to a state that made it impossible to travel inland except by boat, which is one of the hardest things one could attempt if the High Elves don't want you to thanks to multiple giant gates manned by the most disciplined elves and best made Bolt Throwers imaginable.
At the completion of the renovations, Elf mariners were sent to guide humans to Lothern and EVERYONE wanted to go, even a small number of Dwarfs. Lothern went from a large fishing city to perhaps the greatest city in the world within a century. Bel-Hathor died of old age without any major shit going down in his time, and was hailed as one of the greatest Phoenix Kings.
Finubar, The Seafarer
Imperial Calendar 2163 to Present
Finubar is the present Phoenix King in the Warhammer Fantasy universe. He was featured in the (damnably non-canon) Warhammer Online MMO game, and as a result we finally have pics of what he looks like. Not that he's going to be getting a mini anytime soon however. During Bel-Hathor's reign humans first landed on Ulthuan, and after being held in lockup at the border security office they were told to GTFO and never return at Bolt Throwerpoint. Some Elves of the nobility were interested in the stretched Dwarfs with the blobby ears and wanted to come with, Finubar among them.
Finubar began his journey in L'Anguille of Bretonnia and observed how the Mon'keigh there had based their entire culture on the ruins of abandoned High Elf colonies (Bretonnian Knights are confirmed as Silver Helm fanboys) which they had hid from Orcs and Daemons in when they were still learning the art of the club. While Elves had all "known" that Humans were incapable of anything other than mud and dung buildings and worshiping Daemons, the reality that the Humans were at the same point more or less that the High Elves had been at during their Golden Age before the first Daemon ordeal. Finubar began making friends with any Human who would speak to him and giving them gifts to ensure that Humans and High Elves would be allies in the future. He ventured into Athel Loren and saw what became of the colonists who refused to return in the years of Caradryel, and how they'd become a race so vastly different from the High Elves, and although Finubar tried to befriend them the wood elves treated the High Elves the same as they did humans; that being "non-Wood Elf, and thus not as smart as us". Finubar was the first Elf since the days of Caledor to set foot in Dwarf Fortresses, where he did his absolute best to try and befriend them again (even going as far as trying Bugman's Light, a feat few Dwarfs have even ever achieved).
Finubar returned to Ulthuan many years later a celebrity and brought thing such as Bretonnian tapestries and Empire bibles and Wood Elf charms and Dwarf ale back for the populous to be amazed at. After Bel-Hathor died, the Princes and Princesses of Ulthuan were left knowing that this was the beginning of a whole new age for their race, and they picked the one elf responsible for setting it all in motion (so it's either his legacy or all his fault). It didn't hurt Bel-Hathor had expressed desire for Finubar to be his heir though.
Finubar seems to have learned from all his predecessors, getting shit done while not making stupid choices. While Finubar isn't some untrained poet (to the contrary, he's a badass in the battles he's been in) he's still more than willing to let other, more badass individuals get shit done. Finubar stays away from the powdered wig elves who play politics over minor things, and instead leaves his seat to young Princes and Princesses he sees promise in (of course while watching them and minimizing any fuckups they might cause), all to train the next generation as a whole to rule with authority and wisdom. He travels the world still, setting up diplomatic meetings with the humans (and Dwarfs) of the world. These two things together caused the Princes of Ulthuan to begin to revolt to depose him early in his reign while he was away having drinks with Thorgrim, and it took the Everqueen to walk into the headquarters of the soon to be rebellion, glare at the assembled nobles, slowly shake her head and crack her knuckles, then walk out to end it.
While most Phoenix Kings deal with one major war in their reign, some none at all, Finubar has to deal with a giant world ending battle every month it seems. Initially there was small skirmishes in which Finubar sent individual High Elf Princes and Commanders to save the good aligned races of the world and to erect more Waystones. But soon came the Great Chaos incursion (which marks the beginning of the modern era for every civilization in the game) where the races of man, Wood Elf, and Dwarf were about to be wiped out by Chaos as well as Orcs; and the High Elves were under attack by the Dark Elves in the single biggest war between the two since the first one that marked the split between their races. Every kingdom suffered greatly, especially Avelorn, and the Everqueen was thought dead. Two of the greatest elves to ever live, the twins Tyrion and Teclis, saved her and won the Battle of Finuval Plain. Rather than become complacent, Finubar announced the High Elves must stay on the alert and the worst was yet to come. The heroes of Ulthuan all became personal friends of Finubar if they weren't before, each left to their own devices to see to the world as they saw fit while still being able to contact one another and send for aid if needed. Teclis, with the great approval of Finubar, went to save the Old World and teach humans disciplined magic where before that was only druidic mysticism gleaned from the Wood Elves. The kingdom of Caledor, which had become complacent and too prideful to participate in any battle that wasn't against the end of the world, suddenly sent word to Finubar that everything from Dragons to Dragon Princes was at his disposal against whatever foe he could find for them.
Skaven began to assault Ulthuan for the first time (each time being beaten to the last rat). Yvresse was assaulted and razed to the city itself by Orcs, with the High Elves barely beating them back and causing the elves of Yvresse to become distant and unwilling to help the rest of their race unless it benefited their kingdom. Morathi once again tried to unmake the rift in the center of Ulthuan with a scheme that involved a mind controlled Ellyrian Reaver who was abandoned after a raid against Naggaroth, and resulted in the Everqueen almost being killed, Lothern almost falling, the Phoenix Gate being destroyed for the hundredth or so time, and finally the deaths of the best friends of Tyrion and Finubar respectively as the named redshirts needed to give the battles drama (on the plus side, Morathi was driven a bit less focused and a lot more insane, another of Slaanesh's champions was killed in a fuckawesome way by Alarielle, and Malekith's dragon was crippled for life as well as him losing his magic shield in the shallows of Ulthuan's coastline).
The current development in the Warhammer Fantasy plot involves the kidnapping of Finubar and Alarielle's daughter Aliathra by vampires, upon whom the future of the Everqueen line as well as the High Elves friendship with Dwarfs hinges. Finubar has gone and locked himself in his room for some reason and it's revealed that Tyrion fathered Aliathra with the Everqueen during their first year, making Finubar a cuckold as well.
As of End Times: Khaine, Finubar is dead. Teclis betrayed him by allowing Malekith or a projection of Malekith into Finubar's tower, where one of 3 things happen: 1. Malekith kills Finubar himself; 2. Malekith releases a Bloodthirster into the room that kills Finubar; 3. Finubar commits suicide out of shame having realised that the current line of Phoenix Kings had cheated and stolen the throne from the rightful heir, Malekith. In any case, he dies horribly.
Now that you know the history of the High Elves, you need to get your army and start playing! GLORY TO THE ASUR!
For the most part, the High Elves live on the island/continent of Ulthuan, with ten kingdoms ruling the island together, as well as several colonies around the world.
Fluff paint jobs and armies tend to come from the ten Kingdoms and use their colors and troop choices. Although the regions are called "Kingdoms" and the leaders "Princes and Princesses", in truth Ulthuan is a democracy where the nobility appoint the princes who function as mayors and governors, and the princes elect the king. Oftentimes the same family will hold a position through the years, but the low population of Elves (and rebellious youths trying to re-enact Romeo and Juliet but without the tragic ending usually) ensure that it isn't hard to get into the family.
The kingdoms are divided into the five outer ones that border the ocean, and the five inner ones that border the inner sea with a large mountain ring that has very few passes separating the inner and outer Kingdoms. The Annulii mountains, as they're called, are a magnet for the worlds magical energy, and as such chaos mutations are not uncommon among the wildlife. Even non-Chaos beasties get buffed magically to Tarrasque levels and come down south for elf snacks, requiring the forces of the High Elves (particularly Silver Helms, White Lions, and nobility who want to make a name for themselves as heroes) to keep such things at bay. No living thing has ever been to the top of ANY of Ulthuan's mountains, and supposedly a realm apart from either the Warp OR the material world has it's entrance there (High Elves believe it's the domain of the gods, but who the fuck knows).
All High Elf Kingdom lists can include Archers, Silver Helms, and Spearmen as default in their themes since these are so common to High Elves. Lothern Seaguard can be used as well since every kingdom has a coastline, even if having special marines as troops isn't what they're known for. Representing one kingdom in your army, or two that share a border or similar cultural values makes for a nifty looking army to show off to your friends. Alternatively, you can simply paint every High Elf mini you have in the colors that make the most sense to you (all Reavers in Ellyrion colors, all Silver Helms in Tiranoc colors, all Spearmen in generic High Elf colors, all Shadow Warriors in Nagarythe colors, or even all of your minis from all troop choices to look like an Autumn or Winter gear style, etc.) so if you like to switch strategies a lot and buy lots of minis cheap on eBay, you'll never have a truly mismatched army.
The usual secondary paint jobs are for the five gates, the three fortresses in the world oceans that maintain safe passage for traders friendly to the High Elves, the shrines to the elven gods or mythological beings, and the remaining colonies. Although the days of rampant colonization are long past, Elves still do maintain holdings outside Ulthuan. Primarily these are established to keep watch over enemies, or to maintain a vigil over the important sides and routes around the world. Rarely, High Elves establish themselves in the cities of other races to promote relations or seek a mutual exchange to greater benefit. They may or may not don the local colors of whatever nation they are in, but they always maintain the colors of Ulthuan foremost. Noteable is Marienburg and Altdorf, although with increased relations with Dwarfs a player could field an army in the colors of a Dwarf Fortress as well. In addition, several fortresses are named in the Heraldry book but given no description (so they're a blank check for your paint job of choice).
Found in the southern parts of the world, these holds are staging and resupply areas for merchant ships, friendly military forces, and also serve to limit how far naval forces hostile to the High Elves can travel.
- Tower of the Sun: A coastal fortress that lies at the southern tip of the Warhammer equivalent of what is either India or Indonesia. The colors of this fortress are white and yellow, with the symbol of a High Elf tower in black on everything.
- Fortress of Dawn: The Fortress of Dawn is located at the tip of the Warhammer South Africa, beyond the impassable mountains that isolate the dead realm of the Tomb Kings. One of the largest Waystones in the world lies at the heart of this fortress. It's colors are light blues and the orange/yellow range, with white. The symbol of the fortress is a sun rising above a black wall or dark blue waves.
- Citadel of Dusk: The Citadel of Dusk cannot be seen from the outside, and only those who are assigned to it or bring supplies can see it. Located at the southern tip of Lustria, it guards the southern routes leading to the Orient. It's colors are black, red, and dark blue. Its symbols are the same as the Fortress of Dawn.
Shrines of Ulthuan
Shrines are likely to be guarded by warrior priests, or surrounding areas with military strength will have troops that don their symbols and colors. Using Phoenix Guard modified to look like they belong to that particular shrine is useful, otherwise using whatever choices seem to fit the best (LSG for Mathlann, spellcasters and Swordmasters for Lileath, etc). A number of these shrines are, in no particular order:
- The Shrine of Lileath lies in southern Eataine's coast.
- The Shifting Shrine of Loec somewhere on the islands south of Eataine.
- The Shrine of Asuryan where all High Elves of noble birth are expected to travel to once in their lives is north of Eataine on the coast of the Inner Sea,.
- The Circle of Night in northern Eataine's coast.
- The White Tower of Hoeth is technically a giant shrine to Hoeth (also contains a shrine to Lileath as well) while the proper Shrine of Hoeth is in northern Saphery's coast.
- The Shrine of Mathlann is found on an island east of Yvresse.
- Isha's Circle is in Avelorn's deeps and the Everqueen visits this site to pray for High Elf fertility and re-population as well as protection from Chaos.
- The Seven Sisters shrine is on the south eastern Cothique coast.
- The Moonspire Shrine in southern Avelorn's woods, Oakheart's Pyre (unknown purpose, possibly to a treekin?) in northern Avelorn.
- Lion's March is on Chrace's coast (likely to the first white lion Rahagra).
- The Gaen Vale (an island of amazon elves that can be represented as Sisters of Avelorn, who kill any male to set forth on the island and line the paths with their bones) is located on a large island south of Avelorn and near the middle of the Inner Sea and houses a shrine dedicated to all of the female gods as well as nature itself; all High Elf women are expected to take a pilgrimage to it at least once in their lives to learn a prophesy about their future.
- The Shrine of Khaine lies on the Blighted Island north of the borders of Nagarythe and Chrace.
- The Rock of Galirian lies north of Nagarythe on a large island, the Stone of Ellyrion (likely dedicated to Kurnous) is west of Ellyrion in the Annulii summit.
- The Shrine of Remembrance lies isolated by Annulii from Nagarythe but within it's borders.
- The Shrine of Addaioth lies in Caledor outside the Annulii.
- The Circle of Dawn is found on Caledor's coastline north in the Inner Sea.
- Vaul's Anvil is found within a volcanic island south of Caledor.
These sites are named and given locations, but no description. It's a blank check for whatever you want your army to be. Tor Elithis lies in Warhammer Australia, the Gates of Calith lie between the southernmost tip of New Zealand and Antarctica, Tor Elasor lies in the southern Indian Ocean (obviously it is most likely on an island), the Tower of Stars lies in east Africa in the area Somalia would be. The sites of Ulthuan are too numerous to mention, just a glance at the updated map in the newest army book or heraldry book lists almost a hundred sites.
Tyrion: See Tyrion.
Teclis: See Teclis.
Alarielle The Radiant: See Everqueen.
Eltharion The Grim: See Eltharion.
Finubar: The current Phoenix King. Finubar is the modern day Caradryel, making all those silly "common sense" decisions that need to be made (my, what a fantastic age we live in). He doesn't really stand out much compared to the Phoenix Kings of the past, only being present in battles when shit hits the fan and primarily just keeping the High Elves alive through the most fucked up age since Aenarion's. However, there's no shortage of heroes in his era to make up for his behind the scenes work, even the Everqueen shows up on the battlefield every so often to put the fear of mortals into Chaos. Finubar's CHA is off the charts, even the Dwarf King Thorgrim Grudgbearer has begun to consider trusting the High Elves again thanks to Finubar's politics.
Tyrion was a childhood friend of his, as was Eltharion and Imrik. Korhil and him have a bromance (or possibly gay relationship, who knows) going on beyond the "bodyguard/king" relationship and Korhil regularly advises him on courses of action to take when Tyrion isn't around to point at the enemy and get behind something to avoid catching splatter from the ensuing carnage.
The current Phoenix King doesn't get a model because Tyrion makes him kinda redundant since he's more on Korhil's level of power, and having the king as a hero choice ain't right. To use him on the tabletop, put one of the elves who comes with the Dragon kit on the legs of a Seamaster or else use a similar custom job that sets him drastically apart from everyone else (hard to beat "biggest helmet" as a means of making him special). Stat him as a Seamaster, Tyrion, or a pimped out Prince. He used to have a griffon, then a dragon, but the canonicity of either is dubious at this stage.
Prince Imrik: Current High Prince of Caledor, rides a dragon named Minaithnir. He knows shit about and from dragons (who were the first created race and know shit even the Titans didn't) since he's good at keeping secrets and knows their languages. Like all Caledorians he's a pompous asshole among pompous assholes, but he's somewhat bro tier aside from that and had the common sense to realize that if Caledorians never get involved in battles, they'll have no battles to brag about and thus has begun sending them to do things they'd never even consider doing on their own like patrols and fighting raiding parties.
Minaithnir is one of the highest ranking (living) dragons, and thus commands authority. Dragons sleep for millenia and to wake them up you've got to sing dragon songs (simply knowing them can incinerate you), all of which detail epic battles that happened or will happen, and singing them for days and weeks without moving for sleep or nourishment. On top of that, the songs drain your body of its life so your soul kind of becomes a warm breeze flowing into their nostrils and earholes. You've gotta just keep singing and hoping that the dragons will hear you in their dream hivemind, AND give a fuck. Imrik does this shit ALL THE FUCKING TIME. The dragons have told Imrik that the final battle for the world is approaching, and that whoever wins there won't be any dragons left when it's over; Imrik is bound and determined to ensure the High Elves are worthy to fight alongside them.
Notable accomplishments include saving Bretonnia and acting like a douche about it and beating the shit out of Malekith while Minaithnir beat the shit out of Malekith's bitch tier dragon.
Although Imrik has an expensive mini, he's really just a proxy with a model for whatever Prince on Dragon you choose to use him as.
Alith Anar The Shadow King: After the big civil war and the Dark Elves left Ulthuan for Naggaroth, the remaining nobles elected Alith Anar as the successor to Malekith as leader of Nagarythe. Nagarythe was despised because of its role in the Sundering and anyone else would keep their head down, but Alith Anar immediately went to the Phoenix Court and met Tethlis. The Nagarithian nobles must have been thinking they elected someone with more balls than brains, but Tethlis and Alith Anar got on like a house on fire. Alith's entire family had stayed loyal to Ulthuan and were wiped out by Malekith's forces with Alith Anar as the only survivor. Tethlis declared Alith Anar to be the legit Prince of Nagarythe, and with that approval he went to lead the French Resistance against the Dark Elves. Ever seen Saw? That's the kind of shit he did to every Dark Elf he found, racking up a body count of thousands in a few years personally. As soon as Ulthuan was reclaimed, Alith Anar led the Shadow Warriors straight to Naggaroth where they prowled city streets looking for pedo elves prowling the streets. The only Dark Elves they spared were the infants, who they took home to raise as Nagarythe. It sounds fucked up, but Dark Elves started that practice.
Think this sounds badass so far? How about this: Alith Anar has been doing this ever since and is still alive, and elves don't live that long. Nobody knows how he's doing it. Maybe he swore an oath to Khaine so he wouldn't die until Malekith is dead? Some Shadow Warriors believe he really is dead, and that he just sleeps in his tomb when he's not leading them wordlessly against Dark Elves (Alith Anar is a vampire? FUCK YEAH, VAMPIRE COUNTS FIGHTING IN AN EXTRA RANK!) Who knows. But what we do know is that this one time, Alith Anar disguised himself as a Dark Elf, snuck into a fancy Dark Elf orgy where he danced with Morathi (and probably fucked her), stole the Stone of Midnight, a wedding gift from Anenarion, as well as the offical "High Prince" crown of Nagaryth that Malekith took with him when he left so as to legitimize himself as the Shadow King of Nagarythe. He spent time fucking with Morathi's best assassins and leading them in circles, and finally tricked them into drinking blood in which he'd mixed a very powerful poison. That shit was so badass that Lileath broke her father's biggest law and descended down from the peaks of the Annulii to personally give Alith Anar a bow she made herself (and to smell his hair).
Although Dark Elves like to talk a lot of shit, they won't even say Alith Anar's name out of fear he can hear them and will appear to buttfuck them and eat their souls (these are the same elves who summon Daemonettes to do their hair in the morning). Malekith has a prophesy that he fully believes in that only a Dark Elf male sorcerer will kill him (which is why Dark Elf males aren't allowed to learn magic) but he's STILL afraid of Alith Anar.
There is only one way to field Alith Anar: like a boss. Use any model of him you like, they're all the same basically and they're all glorious. Sadly none of them look like that pic of him holding a severed head in the book. The end times reveals that he is the Same Alith Anar from before the sundering, making him as old as Malekith
Korhil: Korhil is Geralt of Rivia but with axes and no gay magic. He spends all day killing monsters with his friends and spends all night getting drunk with them. He's the head of the White Lions of Chrace (as much as any one person is in charge anyway), and the personal bodyguard of the Phoenix King, who he gets along with very well and the Everqueen (the latter service is usually left to her Maiden Guard, but the White Lions serve in both capacities).
Korhil fights anywhere he's needed, seeing him pop up anywhere in the world alongside one of the Order aligned armies isn't too surprising. He's so nice, he even helps the whole unit he's placed in cross forests; "remember kids, always look both ways before crossing a glade. Sometimes lion chariots have trouble seeing you. Always make sure someone over 2000 years old is around when you
play KILL MONSTERS, and never trust strangers that smell like bacon." He dual wields giant axes, one the size of his body that is magical and glow-ey and he pulls this off without looking weaboo. Overall, no matter what kind of High Elf army you're running you aren't really breaking theme to include Korhil.
Korhil has had several different models over the years, and all are pretty decent. If you're running a special army that would include a young Korhil, no special mini is needed, just equip a giant axe (not both, one was awarded to him upon becoming head of the White Lions) on any old elf (that doesn't have a lion pelt) and stat him as a White Lion, or a Swordmaster even.
Caradryan: When he was a teenager, there was no bigger asshole to be found anywhere. The perfect bully, he started rumors about men who had grown to old age that destroyed their hard lived lives. He seduced noble ladies, and waved around their panties like trophies in front of their parents. He was the ultimate fratboy dick. Like all noblemen of the elves he took his pilgrimage to the Shrine of Asuryan, and brought his friends along with him. To impress them, he thought it would be a good idea to sneak into the secret hidden chamber of the Shrine called the Chamber of Days where Asuryan's grand plan for the High Elves is (cryptically) laid out. When he came out, he walked right past them without giving them a single high five, stood before the captain of the Phoenix Guard of the time, swore an oath to Asuryan on the spot and hasn't said a word since.
Since then he's spent most of his time in that room, interpreting the words of Asuryan and realizing that not everything is set in stone (rather that many things are self-fulfilling prophesies, some of which can be willingly changed by the Phoenix Guard captains). Some thought that he was preparing to go against the word of Asuryan and commit a grave heresy, until the day that the runic name of Asuryan appeared in fire on his forehead marking him as the closest mortal to his god emperor (take that Gill-man!). One day his previous captain received a vision from Asuryan that Caradryan was to be his next mortal champion, and the Phoenix Blade was passed to him.
Caradryan has lead the Phoenix Guard to the most battles they have ever seen in the current age. Whether this is because of the command of Asuryan, or him filling in the gaps of his god emperor's plans of his own volition is only known to him. Like all Phoenix Guard he knows the exact moment he will die and how and is thus unafraid of anything. What is known only to himself is that Asuryan has blessed him with words of power hich he will croak out with his death rattle, words that will change the world forever for the better of the Asur when the time is right. Unfortunately this never comes to pass, as Asuryan dies before Caradyran in the end times. After this, He starts talking all he wants. He eventually becomes the incarnate of fire, and when he is killed his last word is "BURN!" which releases the entire wind of fire into the daemon K'bandha. Which proceeds to do jack shit other than piss the daemon off.
Sea Lord Aislinn: As prideful as a non-Caledorian can be, Sea Lord Aislinn was the Prince in command of the naval forces of Lothern when the first non-Norseman pirate found his way to Ulthuan. Otto Steinroth, the Red Pirate of Marienburg, destroyed the city of Sardenath and took captives as slaves to be sold to unmentionable forces (take elf slave, wut do?). Aislinn's forces arrived too late. Although Otto didn't know it as he sailed home, he was surrounded by the entire fleet of Lothern which Aislinn brought to ensure that humans knew what happens when you fuck with the High Elves. As soon as Otto's ship was docked Aislinn invaded the city. The Mages of his fleet sent a deadly mist through the city that blinded the humans, and sent Bolt Thrower bolts into every ship in the harbor other than the pirate ship, destroying each of them. The Lothern Seaguard disembarked and slaughtered the defenders (both confused city guard and pirate alike) to the last, and Aislinn personally lead his guard to kill the pirates onboard their ship. They then casually reclaimed all that was stolen, and called all of the High Elves back to the fleet before any looting could be done. As one last "fuck you" to mankind, Aislinn told his mages to cast Fiery Convocation on the harbor, destroying it to near completion. The remaining contents of the warehouses were found and the city rebuilt by ancestors of the current populace of Marionburg.
He returned to the court of Lothern having single handedly pissed off every one of the other nobles of the court, cheerfully said good morning to everyone, then about-faced and went back to his ship to set sail for the Frozen Wastes to burn down some Warrior of Chaos villages. By this point, he was the single least popular noble among the High Elves. Finubar however realized this guy reminded him a lot of another dude he knew, except without the giant sword and the queen draping off one shoulder, so he appointed Aislinn to the rank of Sea Lord, the admiral in command of the High Elf navy.
Ten years later, he sent a captain named Ethelis the White to lead a small fleet to head off Norscans who had traveled to Marienburg to destroy it. The Marienburgers promptly forgot about that past bad business, and High Elf merchants returned to the city to trade with the Empire. Sixty years later he was ambushed while on patrol by the Druchii named Lokhir Fellheart, who mortally wounded him and dumped him into the ocean to drown. Mathlann, the High Elf god of the seas, personally rescued him and healed his wounds leaving not even a scar, then sent him to wash up in his homeland of Eataine. A century and a half later Malekith personally invaded Lothern and wiped out the Lothern fleet. Aislinn himself defended his ship against no less than five Dark Elf boarding parties, sending their ships to the bottom of the sea when a giant Kraken swallowed his ship whole. Once again, a year after the battle, he washed back up on shore with no injures and no memory of what had happened. Now believed to be the mortal champion of Mathlann, he leads the rebuilt fleet of the Asur against Druchii, sea monsters, vikings, and anyone else near the sea who pisses him off.
Sea Lord Aislinn has no model, and no special rules. But if you field a Lothern Seaguard army, he's going to be one of your Lothern Sea Helms.
Princess Eldyra: So once upon a time, Dark Elves retook the Shadowlands for the thousandth fucking time and the powdered wig elves at Finubar's court thought the "defend the homeland" fund was better spent on snuff and petticoats. So Finubar promptly called Tyrion, who responded with an elf WAAAGH to fuck some Druchii. The battle didn't go well, Druchii had bunkered down for the counterattack and most of the High Elf army failed their break test on turn 2 and ran except a guy called Eldyr, who was Tyrion's buddy. Eldyr and his men held firm and allowed everyone to regroup (and Tyrion to climb his way out of a pile of Dark Elf corpses) but Eldyr's chariot was smashed and DE Executioners cut him to pieces. Then Tyrion, having rallied the rest of the army gave it back to the dark elves twice as hard. An assassin was about to kill Tyrion while he was once again buried in bodies but then Everqueen, who had been schlicking behind a tree, shot the coward with an arrow and disappeared again.
Not long after, Eldyr's daughter Eldyra got her first pube and took up daddy's sword. She walked straight to Finubar's court and presented herself as her father's replacement. Finubar wasn't there, either busy with a pile of the Everqueen's used panties or Korhil. The nobility of the court told her she was a snot-nosed pizza-faced teenager who smelled like fish, and she ran from the court crying. Tyrion heard about the event and went to fix things. He swore to her she would be her father's equal, and lead her back to the assembled court (that he hadn't been to in centuries) where he introduced her as his squire. Since nobody wanted to be impaled by Sunfang, they clapped politely.
Years later, after she'd been taught everything of value Tyrion knows like cleaving through hordes of Druchii, motorboating the Everqueen just the way she likes it, and generally getting shit done (put simply, Tyrion was raising the perfect lesbian) she became a general ranked just under Tyrion himself. Around the same time, Prince Sigvald (the champion of Slaanesh) decided that since High Elves have prettier hair than him, they needed to be wiped out (That's not a joke. That is literally his motivation for the attack). Eldyra harrassed Sigvald at every turn, sniped his Chaos Warrior Champions, raided them, poisoned them, routed their horses and used magic to render every settlement in their path invisible. Sigvald wound up having to play Ork and tactically murder his subordinates to keep them from fighting each other, and in the middle of a duel between Sigveld and another chaos champion Eldyra attacked for real.
After a flawless victory for the High Elves Sigvald just wandered away deciding to attack Bretonnia instead. Since then she's made her lord Tyrion proud securing victory after victory over the lesser races. Also, as of the End Times, she is now a Vampire. An ELVEN FUCKING VAMPIRE. Just let that sink in for a little bit. She could only be more awesome if she had tits and was on fire. (Wait a minute...)
Eldyra is, simply put, another named option for a generic hero in your army. Slap some boobs on it, it's Eldyra. Best used as a Noble if she's still a squire, a Prince if she's proven herself, and in the current era she should be the General of your army. Hell, use her as a stand-in for Tyrion if you like.
Aliathra: The daughter of Phoenix King Finubar and Alarielle the Radiant. One day she is set to take over as Everqueen and preside over the commune in Avelorn while praying to Isha on behalf of the High Elf race and otherwise just inspiring women to forget that prior to Aenarion, they ruled the High Elf race and men took the backseat. Her first major act in the fluff was to head the meet with the Dwarfs to speak of peace on behalf of her parents. Mannfred von Carstein figured she'd make a GREAT Frank Frazetta style sacrifice and manipulated Kemmler and some Orcs into blitzing the Elves and Dwarfs. They slaughtered everyone and carried her off, leading to the Elves and Dwarfs blaming each other and threatening war.
Apparently Alarielle can sense if her daughter is alive or not (which sort of makes sense, since Alarielle's soul will one day inhabit her daughter's body) and told her past and present flings, Finubar and Tyrion, to save her daughter. Finubar went to make peace with the Dwarfs (possibly leading to a plot development in the Dwarfs book when it comes out) while Tyrion gathered an army and went to kill the fuck out of things like he always does. Current plot has Tyrion riding towards a MASSIVE fucking undead force with the unconscious Aliathra in the saddle behind him. She may be a vampire at this point (although the Everqueen would probably know if that was the case since vampires detect as "dead" magically in Warhammer), or be a Bloodswain (which means she'll crave Mannfred's fangs and cock until he's killed or banished).
If you want to field the Everqueen in your army but want your list to be a bit more low profile and free for non-Avelorn options, taking a different mini and calling it Aliathra is a great alternative. If you're lucky enough to have the old Everqueen mini that works fine, otherwise greenstuffing some small boobs onto something else works fine too. There's no canon appearance for Aliathra, so anything goes based on how you imagine her to look like.
High Elf Forces
See High Elf Army List for more details on the forces given below. What is present on this page is a basic overview of the available elf forces.
- Princes: Princes represent the highest ranking of the nobility of Ulthuan. A right mixed bag, even the badasses like to engage in politics shit, even during warfare.
- Archmage: A spellcaster of great renown amongst the High Elves, a more powerful version of your average mage. Between their special dispel rules and acccess to gear and powerful mounts, they can trash your regular empire mage.
- Anointed of Asuryan: Not much fluff to go with these guys, other than they're badasses amongst the Phoenix Guard. They are Asuryan's attempt to troll Tzeentch by getting some of his own pawns in the Warhammer world.
- Loremaster of Hoeth: While Archmages have specialized in a specific lore, these guys want to learn everything. Basically good at everything, they can chop you up like the Bride from Kill Bill while frying you with magical fires.
- Noble: Not much to say, they're bluebloods amongst the elves but in your army are probably the bitch to whatever Lord choices you've made, just carrying their flag and looking pretty. They can add some extra pawnage to a unit but then they will just be a great big target to your enemy's mobs.
- Mage: It's a High Elf spellcaster. Has more magic in his toenails than Empire wizards can even call upon when TRYING to miscast, but on the tabletop he's just a spellcaster. They all study together in a great big tower bigger then the empire state building and the statue of liberty combined.
- Dragon Mage of Caledor: This pretty much is what it says on the label; it's a freaking mage on a dragon and cheap to boot. A worthy weapon to get around the board edge to hit the enemy in the rear, they can always serve as good distraction carnifexes.
- Lothern Seahelm: These guys are the commanders of Lothern's forces, and represent everything from the captain of a single ship all the way through the Prince of Eataine (and thus Lothern) himself, Sea Lord Aislinn. A good excuse to fluff yourself as the leader of a motley crew and pretend to be a swash buckling elf captain.
- Handmaiden of the Everqueen: The queen's personal bodyguards, when she decides she needs a presence on the battlefield but can't be bothered to leave her throne she sends one of these chicks instead. Don't be fooled though, they are as tough as any elf hero (so not so much lol) and can mince an empire captain easily.
- Archers: All elves of Ulthuan from butlers and maids to farmers and musicians all the way through the highest of the high high society high elves (who are sometimes high) serve in the military in some capacity, and draft cards drop on a dime when Finubar gets the chills. That being said, even if they are crap by elf standards, banks of elf archers are better then most human counterparts and given protection can give off a decent amount of dakka a turn.
- Spearmen: Mostly archers who have earned the right to be armed with full armor and weapons, or guys with really shitty aim who have finished their time fetching the REAL archers water and more arrows. Manly warriors who march up against any horror, they are expensive grunts but useful as a defence buffer.
- Lothern Seaguard: Final tier of the red shirt elves, these guys (fluffwise only) are masters with bows, spears, and shields; good at slaughtering pretty much everything (compared to the ALMOST mastery the spearelves and bowelves have apparently). They are the motley crews of the elf ships but not the fun type to swig back pints of grog... sigh, might as well go with Dark Elf Corsairs for fun times...
- Silver Helms: These fuckers are rich enough to own well bred horses and full armor, and when the call of war came simply organized the boy's club hunt this year to, instead of for foxes and magical flying lions and the other standard Ulthuan game, to be for whatever race is currently the enemy. With screams of 'tally ho' they go hunting whatever takes their fancy and hilarity ensures when they get beaten up by tougher foes.
- Ellyrian Reavers: While Silver Helms are the preppies of the cavalry, the Ellyrian Reavers are the Boyscouts. They are also more rural and even sleep next to their horses when out in the wilds (how primitive sniffs a nearby silverhelm twat). They are light cavalry that have the brains to try to stay back and pepper the enemy with arrows then charging straight in.
- White Lions of Chrace: The only real MANLY elves in the High Elf list, before they can be called a white lion they have to track down a white lion and kill it with their bare hands, usually strangle it. They then get to wear the pelt of the lion and be the bodyguard to the Phoenix King himself. With their big fuck off axes, they chop you up like the wood back home. The pelts always offer extra protections against arrow fire, go figure!
- Lion Chariot of Chrace: Sometimes White Lions of Chrace find cubs who's mother they killed. Instead of letting them go back to the wilderness, they spay/neuter them and hitch them up to chariots. This is so they can ride mother fucking big lions into battle like some elf version of he-man and say F U to the enemy as they flee in terror.
- Swordmasters of Hoeth: Intensely trained warriors wielding great swords, they are slightly lesser in strength than the White Lions and lack the fabulous pelts, but they are faster and more skilled. They can cut candle wicks without snuffing the flames out for gods sake. Eager to find the best warriors in the enemy army to challenge, they are held back by the usual elf disadvantages of low toughness and armour.
- Shadow Warriors: While the civil war of the High Elves/Dark Elves was brutal, the Nagarythe who stayed loyal to the Asur suffered the most. They became completely emo and obsessed with revenge and then spend all their time trying to fuck up the dark elves shit as much as possible. The drawn back is they are barely better then the enemies they fight and may be tainted beyond help.
- Phoenix Guard: The complete badassess of the elf forces, they know when they are going to die due to their god's special magic chamber but march into battle regardless, ready to give their lives for hope. This makes them a strange mix of heroes and pricks though, as they battle everything and everyone but they knew about Malekith's treachery and didn't know anything to stop it happening. Yes they magically can't speak but still....
- Dragon Princes of Caledor: Greater dicks then the silver helms, they have an arrogance in a class of their own and won't really take orders from anyone else then their own, more 'suggestions'. They use to ride dragons, hence their arrogance and given half a chance they would do it again....and may do so in the future.
- Lothern Skycytter: Since Lothern forces are the "elf marines" they needed a chariot that can fight on both land and water, so at some unknown point in the fluff they used magical boat-shaped chariot wagons and make a roc (not a Giant Eagle, although there's absolutely no creativity on GW's part in the model to distinguish the two) pull one in the air. Zipping through the air, they blow raspberries at those beneath them until they get in the sights of the nearest dragon.....
- Tiranoc Chariot: Elf chariots, they are the traditional affair pulled into battle by horses. They are more zippy then the lion chariots above and more focused on supporting other units then smashing in by themselves.
- Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower: The only warmachine High Elves use, both in fluff and on tabletop. It's extremely accurate, each one is probably worth more than is contained within a city of The Empire. You can have two and most high elf armies worth their salt field a couple of these.
- Great Eagles: "So why didn't they send an army of Great Eagles to kill the Dark Elves?" The answer is because Great Eagles aren't troops you summon from the barracks and send on patrol (And also Rare choices and you are limited to using at most 25% of your army as rare). They're very intelligent, and very proud. This does mean that such a quality idea would never work and it is all the great eagles fault....
- Flamespyre Phoenix: Wanting to add a bit more of the mystical element to the High Elves and give them a cool new unit, they went and added phoenixes as rare choices, which is just complete quality. The flamespyre phoenix is a phoenix in it's prime, having a great amount of intense fire to BURN your enemies with.
- Frostheart Phoenix: The older phoenixes, they absorb heat not generate it and indeed make it snow and freeze. Essentially then a snow version phoenix, they are pretty cool (pun!) but don't have the rebirth ability their younger kin do.
- Sisters of Avelorn: Bodyguards to the Everqueen, they are chosen from all walks of elf life and it is a big honour to join their ranks. They are great archers, some of the best and fire magic arrows that are particularly burny to chaos things. They were in the older editions and since then have had a massive retooling to update them to modern times.
See Warhammer Fantasy Elf Gods for a more detailed list.
The High Elves have a large number of Gods and Goddesses, which are divided into two seperate pantheons, the Cadai (gods representing their good sides) and the Cytharai (gods representing their dark sides). GW in the most recent versions have decided to apply a yin and yang motif to the Elf races, in accordance with them being in High (Good), Dark (...Dark), and Wood (Neutral) flavours. Generally the High Elves celebrate and honour the Cadai and attempt to please and appease the Cytharai.
The gods are divided into their seperate pantheons below:
High Elves believe in the concept of duality in all things. Their language is built so that every happy word is also sad, every angry word is also friendly, and so on. Makes learning the language a bitch, makes subtleties of speech a lifetime study, and makes it so anyone can misinterpret what you're saying entirely based on their mood. Although in the past they only had a queen, current elves can't accept the idea of a single leader; disagreements are almost encouraged and dissenting opinions welcomed. This means that their political system is a non-fucked up version of the fucked up politics in the real world.
Dark Elves usually disregard this aspect of elven culture (Only the Druchii deal in absolutes!) except the smarter ones, who generally think of things in terms of "having fun and alive" and "not having fun and dead". Wood Elves complicate it even further than High Elves, with there being a billion different fucking things to learn about every single word and all their aspects based on the time of day. (Good morning on a Monday is a marriage proposal, good morning on Tuesday is a declaration of war, and they'll say it both days knowing full well just because they're crazy like that).
The way high elves keep Chaos from destroying the world is by taking the warp energy (AKA magic) that is attracted to Ulthuan and shooting it back into the warp. (A world that has achieved magic homeostasis apparently can't manifest Daemons). They accomplish this via waystones, which are white monoliths with inset gems and elf writing of varying sizes from small mountains through to mantelpiece decoration. These channel the winds of magic through specific points like bodies of water all the way through the world into the Annulii and further into the center of Ulthuan. Slann used their magic to help the elves from afar erect them in the first place, but the only one who knows that is Teclis and mages loyal to him since everyone else screams HERESY when he brings it up. Elves protect the waystones at all costs; they've gone to full scale war to prevent Wood Elves from carving their names into them, they've saved all of Bretonnia from Daemons just to protect one, (they didn't tell the mon'keigh that of course), and they've established dealings with Tomb Kings in order to erect more in order for each to be less important.
But that doesn't mean people don't go full retard. Orcs see them as an insult to statues of Gork and Mork (or Mork and Gork?) and smash them every chance they get, humans think the jewels are spiffy and otherswise move them around because a giant floating elf rock in the town square really brings in the tourists, Tomb Kings remake them as statues of themselves and the forces of Chaos and Evil usually play with them as magic-enhancing tools like altars or the Dark Elves mess with them to troll the High Elves.
Alright, this is the fun part. High Elves get some very nice special rules. Almost all High Elf options have the Always Strikes First rule.
What's even better, is that this isn't modified by the weapon speed so a High Elf with a Great Weapon STILL Always Strikes First (all you lesser races go after we've had our turns) (sadly no longer true in 8th edition).
Then, they also have "Valour of Ages" which means whenever they go against Dark Elves, they may reroll any failed psychology test, which is awesome.
Many High Elf troops have the new rule "Martial Prowess" which allows models that have that rule to fight or shoot in one extra rank, which is cumulative with any other rule that lets them shoot in extra ranks (long story short, fuck you we're better and we're gonna stab and or shoot you until you believe it).
Spellcasters get a rule called "Lileath's Blessing" which adds a +1 to casting attempts from the Lore of High Magic, the High Elf specific lore.
Also, it used to be the case that you needed less core units and could take more rare and special units. This is no longer the case since the arrival of 8th edition, but errata from GWs website says you can have as many multiple units as you like (other armies are now limited to two identical special or rare units in games of less than 3000 points). High Elf horses can get the "Ithilmar Barding" option, which increases armor like regular barding but doesn't affect movement speed. Finally, if you wanted Flame Attacks you've got them in spades.
- Warhammer Armies: High Elves; Adam Troke, Rick Priestly, Bill King; Games Workshop; 2007; ISBN - 978-1-84154-846-3
|The High Elves of Warhammer Fantasy|
|Characters:||Eltharion - Everqueen - Teclis - Tyrion|
|Cadai:||Asuryan - Hoeth - Isha - Kurnous - Lileath - Loec - Mathlann - Vaul|
|Cytharai:|| Addaioth - Anath Raema - Atharti - Drakira|
Eldrazor - Ellinill - Ereth Khial - Estreuth - Hekarti
Hukon - Khaine - Ladrielle - Morai-Heg - Nethu
|Events:||The War of the Beard - The invasion of Naggaroth|
|Misc:||Ulthuan - The Vortex - Waystone - Widowmaker|
|Appearances:||Blood Bowl - Dreadfleet - Mordheim - Warhammer Fantasy Battle|