Wood Elves

The first Elves from Ulthuan to arrive in the Old World from the western coasts penetrated as far inland as a great forest which covered the land as far as the eye could see. This forest, which is now known by humans as the Forest of Loren, is a pale imitation of the expanse that the Elves found. The Elves named the forest Athel Loren, which means the 'Wood of the Dawning of the World'.

The forest was a realm little touched by evil. Orcs and Goblins had never found their way into the wood and monsters were only encountered at its margins and at the foothills of the Grey Mountains. Dwarf prospectors had passed it by as they ventured to the mountains in search of ore. The forest remained a place where Treemen and Dryads dwelled undisturbed. Possibly it was due to these guardians that the forest was such a tranquil place of beauty.

A few of the High Elves colonists settled within the forest, possibly as far as modern day Kislev, where they appeased the woodland spirits and were welcomed as friends and guardians.

At this time, the Dwarfs traded with the High Elves at their coastal cities on the east coast of the Old World. Both empires prospered.

Some say that due to Dark Elf treachery, the war between the High Elves and the Dwarfs, the so-called 'War of the Beard' was instigated. Dwarfs marched across the lands from their kingdoms in the World's Edge Mountains to besiege the coastal ports. To fuel their war machines and to build their siege engines, but also to spite the Elves, the Dwarfs felled the trees of Athel Loren. The Elves, shocked and angered by this destruction of the forest by a harsh, uncouth race defended the woodland realm. The small numbers of Elves in Athel Loren, the guardians of the wild wood, used ambush tactics to prevent the Dwarfs from entering the forest. The Dwarfs were prevented from entering too far into the forest and the modern Forest of Loren was saved from their axes.

After two centuries, both races were exhausted by the war. Ulthuan was suddenly attacked by the Dark Elves and the High Elves decided to abandon the Old World and return to defend their homeland. Most of the High Elves returned, but a few could not bear to depart the Old World. Rather than linger amid the empty courts and pillared halls of the cities which were ruined by the Dwarfs and which were sure to attract foes bent on pillage, the High Elves joined the small band of Elves living in Athel Loren.

The Elves that settled in Athel Loren populated parts of the forest that appealed to them. Typically this was in one of the larger glades, near to springs and to ample supplies of fruit and game for food. The number of clans that settled in the forest was said to be seven in all, so few was the number of Elves that settled and remained in the Old World. This fact is generally used by the older clans for political objectives to set up a tiered system of rulership. Some of the clans dispute the claims and they may be partly right due to the lack of written records and the fact that the past is recorded in songs, plays and dances.

The Elves soon adopted to life in the forest, living and roaming among the trees, hunting game and gathering the fruit of the wild. Some of the Elves explored the lands further to the west and settled in the forests of what is now the Empire. The Elves that remained in the Old World relinquished all ties with the High Elves of Ulthuan and declared themselves independent of the Phoenix King and began to evolve a new society of their own, becoming Wood Elves. Isolated from the wealth and resources of Ulthuan, the Wood Elves avoided the temptations of wealth and luxury that turned some of their distant kindred towards the dark gods, and became a hardy and simple folk. They took to the worship of Kurnous, Isha and Liadriel, gods that were not quite so revered in Ulthuan, but were important to those who lived in the wild.

The Wood Elves clans, through exploration, nomadic movements or divination, gradually made themselves known to each other. Leaders from each clan met in a council to work out clan borders and the sharing of resources without the need to resort to costly skirmishes. Marriages were made between the kinbands and new bonds were forged. It was decided that no clan should rule over the other for fear of kinstrife. In legend it hints that at the first meeting between the clans two Elven youths, Orion and Ariel, left the meeting and explored an oak grove at the centre of which stood an ancient oak of a truly enormous size, the Oak of Ages, that was surely a sapling when the world was young. Orion and Ariel stepped inside a crack in the gnarled trunk of the mighty oak and were never seen again. The legend continues that there was a terrible winter which drove the orcs from the mountains into the forest to seek food and shelter. The orcs rampaged through the trees defiling the fair Wood Elf realm. Invoking the fury of the gods by ritual dances, the Wood Elves succeeded in driving the orcs from the forest as an avatar of Kurnous emerged from the Oak of Ages and slew the Orc warboss. The Wood Elves gave praise to the gods at the Oak of Ages where it was revealed that Orion and Ariel had taken on the aspects of the gods, Kurnous and Isha. Henceforth they were revered as semi divine beings, the king and queen of the Wood Elves. The Oak of Ages became the centre of the Wood Elf realm and the nearby glade was thereafter known as the King's Glade and became the venue for the rulers of the clans to assemble.


Wood Elves are almost identical in physical appearance to their kindred, the High Elves. They are tall, agile, lithe and graceful in their movements. They are intelligent, intuitive and quick witted as well as fleet of foot.

Wood Elves have strangely beautiful faces with brightly coloured eyes, often violet. Many have blond or silvery grey hair which shimmers like silver or gold thread. Others have raven black hair with an intense bluish sheen. Wood Elves have a very pale complexion, which is possibly due to spending most of their time in the shadows of the trees and in the muted sunlight of the woodland glades.

Wood Elves have developed a strong intuition and reverence for nature. They have acquired an instinctive cunning and stealth in the wilds and a distrust of anything unnatural. They are very perceptive of the subtle currents pervading the wood, including magic. It takes a long time to earn their trust or respect and any betrayal will provoke certain revenge.

Wood Elves are extremely skilled as craftsmen, but they do not have access to a vast range of materials, and must use what they gather in their woodland realm, supplemented by trade with outsiders. Wood is used for many things, such as goblets, jars, weapons (typically bows, staffs and spears) and even some armour (mainly shields). Metal is used, but this tends to be copper and gold, malleable metals that can easily be beaten into shape without the need for furnaces. Metal ore is often found in the mountains, at the surface, and gold can be panned for in the fast flowing mountain streams. This has lead to altercations with dwarf and human prospectors. Iron is often acquired by trading with human settlements around the forest: Humans value Elven jewellery and are grateful for the protection offered to them by the mobile Elven Waywatchers and Scouts. Metal weapons and armour are often prized heirlooms dating back to the High Elf colonisation of the Old World.

Wood Elf clothing is made from cloth woven from thread spun from various plants or from the hides of woodland animals. They favour natural colours of blue, green and ruddy browns often decorated with sharply contrasting patterns of a more vivid hue. Cloaks may even be made of leaves sewn together to allow the Elves to blend into the surroundings. Many wear their hair long and braided, or decorated with feathers which are a symbol of marksmanship.

Wood Elves are experts with the long bow, which they use to hunt game and to defend their realm. The bows are typically fashioned from laminated strips of wood and the arrow heads are made from flint or obsidian due to the rarity of iron.

Wood Elf culture is based on the clans that first settled in the forest. The clans are ruled by the wisest of the Elves, usually mages who are skilled at divination and illusionary magic to guide and protect the clan. The more warlike clans are presided over by war chiefs who have spent many years keeping the forests clear of vermin, protecting the secret enclaves and paths.

The clans leaders congregate at the King's Glade at the spring equinox to pray to Kurnous and Isha to protect them and provide them with food and shelter for the coming year. They may receive visions and portents from the gods as they awaken with the coming of spring. Selected youths from each clan perform dances that awaken the trees, and bring young to the animals of the wild. The illusions that protect the populated glades are renewed with the swell in magical energy from the rebirth of the forest.

At the summer solstice, the council meet again, but this time there is a great feast with entertainment, singing and dancing. This is the first day when fruits can be gathered from the forest. There are archery contests and displays of combat by skilled wardancers. This is also a favoured time for marriages.

The autumn equinox is seen as a time of looking back over the past year. Gratitude is given for a bountiful harvest. As the leaves drop from the trees and the creatures of the forest hibernate, the magical energy that pervades the woodland realm slowly declines. During midwinter it is at a low and the King and Queen of the wood are taken to the Oak of Ages where they are placed within its vast trunk to await rebirth in the spring.


Over the centuries, Elven mages have become skilled in the arts of 'tree singing', whereby the growth of trees is accelerated and trained in particular ways. The branches of great oaks can be entwined to form walkways and canopies, galleries and vaults. Even beneath the earth, the same methods have been used to create great hollow chambers walled by the interwoven roots of trees. Access to these vaults is made through hollow trunks of still living trees.

Wood Elf settlements are protected by the enchantments of mages. This takes the form of subtle illusions so that a traveller is unaware of any treehouses or accommodation. It is even rumoured that some powerful mages can distort time so that the unwary wander aimlessly for days on end, without hint of any Wood Elf, until they find themselves emerging from the forest.


Within Athel Loren the landscape varies from one part of the forest to the next. The forest runs from the plains of Bretonnia to the foothills of the Grey Mountains, and two great rivers flow through the wooded realm. In some places the ground is high and rocky, in other places it is boggy. Towards the south there are huge clearings, where tall grasses take over from the trees. Some areas are characterised by a particular species of tree.

The lore of the Wood Elves tells of several glades within the forest, each with its own character. Some glades were settled by a particular kinband, others are shared and some are shunned. Nomadic kinbands may search for similar types of glades as they wander through the forest. The different glades are described below:

The King's Glade: This vast and awesome glade is surrounded by great oak trees. It is a sacred place pervaded by powerful woodland magic. Near to the glade is the Oak of Ages, where the king and queen hold court.

The Ash Groves: Ash groves are likely to be found along the banks of the rivers that flow through the forest. The ash trees are used to make spears for hunting. Groves of dense ash trees are 'sung' into labyrinthine dwellings.

The Meadow Glades: Meadows are found mainly to the south of the forest and were settled by the kinband of Equos. The broad clearings are home to elven steeds. Unicorns are sometimes sighted.

The Pine Glades: In the foothills of the Grey Mountains, coniferous pine trees are found entwined in the high pinnacles and crags of weathered rock. The elves have created many dwellings from tree roots and stalagmites to form pillared underground halls. The pine resin is used for many things, from wine to magical potions and even hair stiffener. The region is abundant with many wild beasts including giant eagles and warhawks which some elves ride to scout the forest and use in times of war.

The Yew Groves: Yew is an excellent wood for making bows. Due to their vast age the trees have drawn natural magical energies into their heartwood, making yew trees much sought after by mages. The Kindred of the Yew includes many nomadic clans and wandering mages moving from one yew glade to the next.

The Beech Glades: The gentle hills in the central region of the forest of Loren are covered in beech trees of immense age. The branches of these trees have been 'sung' into intertwining vaults which support galleries and chambers. The trunks are like vast pillared halls through which a traveller could wander without knowing that Elven folk were near. The only thing the traveller would be aware of would be the enchanting sound of Elven laughter and singing coming from all around him and yet from nowhere in particular.

The Wild Heaths: The forest of Loren is surrounded by open heath and scrubland. Here and there can be found standing stones, marked with carvings and painted designs. These were erected to mark the outer borders of the realm and act as wards to encircle the forest with protective enchantments.



Wood Elf Mages are almost chosen from the moment they are born. Infants that show a natural affinity for tree, plant and beast (more so even than other Wood Elves), may in time become magic-wielding Mages. Such young Wood Elves are more introverted than their friends and instead find solace and contentment alone in the deepest depths of the forest. Of their experience these Wood Elves speak very little, but it is said that they commune with Treemen, the solitary, and ancient, shepherds of the trees. It is also said that from them the language of the trees is learnt.

The role of the Wood Elf Mage is primarily one of guidance and protection of the kinband. They understand that Humans do not wantonly destroy the forests, as other races do, and clear areas usually for cultivation and settlement. When Humans stray too close to the kinband the Wood Elf Mage will unleash subtle magics in order to scare them away; they won't use harmful spells unless absolutely necessary. However, the true despoilers of the forests, creatures of Chaos and goblinoids, are led into (often) fatal traps and ambushes where rows of Elven archers lay almost invisible in the trees, and then it is too late. Wood Elf Mages can also summon Treemen and Dryads from the forests and cause trees to grow rapidly in any shape they desire by chanting their strange arcane songs.

M WS BS S T W I A Dex Ld Int Cl WP Fel
5 41 50 4 4 11 86 1 76 76 89 89 89 44

Skills: Arcane Language - Elthárin, Magick; Cast Spells; Concealment Rural; Daemon Lore; Divination; Dowsing; Excellent Vision; Follow Trail; Herb Lore; Identify Magical Artifact; Identify Plants; Identify Undead; Magical Awareness; Magic Sense; Manufacture Potions; Manufacture Scrolls; Meditation; Prepare Poison; Read/Write; Rune Lore; Scroll Lore; Silent Move Rural; Sing; Speak Additional Language - Malla-room-ba-larin.

Trappings: Grey robes; Staff; D6 random magic items.

Glade Riders

The outer borders of the Wood Elf realm are patrolled by Elven horsemen known as Glade Riders and it is their job to warn of any impending danger. They are the Kindred of Equos, the kindred which breeds all the Elven horses in the Old World. Indeed the Kindred of Equos were the only one of the kindreds who stayed in the Old World who kept and bred horses. The open meadows are where these fine Elven horses can graze and roam freely. The only other Elf forest to breed their own horses is the realm of Laurelorn in The Empire. However, the glades here are not as open and as free as in Athel Loren and as such the Elf community of this forest must still rely on the Kindred of Equos for their prize breeds. In fact the Laurelorn nobles ride Equos steeds.

Glade Riders are very skilled riders indeed and can not only fight with sword and lance from horseback but also the fabled Elf bow. Small groups of Glade Riders are capable of fighting many times their number by use of clever hit and run tactics, the knowledge of paths perilous to non-Elves, and of course their own martial prowess. The nobles of the Kindred of Equos can often be found riding in chariots and they are known as wainriders.

M WS BS S T W I A Dex Ld Int Cl WP Fel
5 61 54 4 3 9 70 2 53 53 66 76 53 43

Skills: Animal Care; Animal Training; Charm Animal - Horse; Concealment Rural; Disarm; Dodge Blow; Drive Cart; Excellent Vision; Follow Trail; Game Hunting; Herb Lore; Identify Plants; Ride; Secret Signs - Glade Rider; Silent Move Rural; Sing; Specialist Weapon - Lance, Lasso, Longbow, Net; Strike Mighty Blow; Strike to Injure; Strike to Stun; Trick Riding; 25% chance of Marksmanship.

Trappings: Elven steed, saddle and harness; Lance; Elf bow and arrows; Sword; Leather jack; Helmet; Shield.

Glade Guards

The Glade Guards are amongst the finest warriors of a kindred, they also some of the tallest; in Athel Loren the Glade Guards of the Oak of Ages are said to be almost 7-feet tall. They are entrusted with the task of protecting the kindred's sacred glades. Their spears are shaped from the straight staves of the ash tree and are capable of unhorsing a knight in full gallop.

M WS BS S T W I A Dex Ld Int Cl WP Fel
5 61 44 4 3 9 70 1 43 43 66 66 43 34

Skills: Concealment Rural; Disarm; Dodge Blow; Excellent Vision; Identify Plants; Silent Move Rural; Sing; Specialist Weapon - Longbow, Pole arm; Strike Mighty Blow; Strike to Stun.

Trappings: Spear; Shield; Sword; Leather jacket or sleeved mail shirt; Helmet.

Elf Warrior

Elf men and women will collectively fight to defend their kinband.

M WS BS S T W I A Dex Ld Int Cl WP Fel
5 41 34 3 3 6 60 1 43 33 56 56 33 34

Skills: Concealment Rural; Dance; Excellent Vision; Herb Lore; Identify Plants; Musicianship; Silent Move Rural; Sing; Specialist Weapon - Longbow; 50% chance of Dodge Blow; 15% chance of Disarm; 15% chance of Strike Mighty Blow; 10% chance of Marksmanship.

Trappings: Shield; Sword; Leather jacket.


Wood Elves are renowned bowmen and the Archers of the Wood Elf kindred live up to this reputation. They spend hours each day perfecting their marksmanship and enjoy competing against each other to wile away idle hours. The bow-staves are shaped over many years while still growing on the tree and the bow strings are woven from the long hair of Elf women. Wood Elf Archers form the backbone of any Elven host and generally rely on surprise attacks when facing an enemy.

M WS BS S T W I A Dex Ld Int Cl WP Fel
5 41 64 3 3 7 70 1 63 43 56 66 43 34

Skills: Concealment Rural; Dodge Blow; Excellent Vision; Identify Plants; Marksmanship; Silent Move Rural; Sing; Specialist Weapon - Longbow.

Trappings: Sword; Elf bow; Leather jack.


The most respected (and feared) of all Wood Elves are the warrior caste known as Wardancers, who can be found in large Wood Elf communities. Their whole lives are spent perfecting the arts of combat including the thrown weapon such as knives, axes and javelins. They are masters of courtesy and dance, performing intricate manoeuvres with consummate ease and grace. Because of their way of life they tend to live apart from other Elves not of their kind and do not involve themselves much, except when there is a fight. They have a love of war that doesn't always endear themselves to other Elves who may even find them uncouth and dangerous to be involved with.

Wardancers are easily identified because of their graceful pride and their fondness for spectacularly dyed hair, which is often stiffened with tree-resin, and their reverence of the Lord of the Dance, Adamnan-na-Brionha.

M WS BS S T W I A Dex Ld Int Cl WP Fel
6 71 44 5 4 12 80 2 53 53 56 89 43 34

Skills: Acrobatics; Ambidextrous; Concealment Rural; Dance; Disarm; Dodge Blow; Excellent Vision; Identify Plants; Marksmanship (thrown weapons only); Silent Move Rural; Sixth Sense; Specialist Weapon - Throwing Weapons, Two-handed Weapons; Strike Mighty Blow; Strike to Injure; 50% chance of Distract; 50% chance of Transfix; 50% chance of Warchant; 50% chance of Whirling Death.

Trappings: Hand weapon; Shield; Spear, or Two-handed sword, or Two-handed axe.


Traditionally, Scouts are Wood Elves who are descended from the very first Elves to live in the forest during the war against the Dwarfs. They are the most accomplished of all Elven archers and are primarily tasked with watching for intruders.

M WS BS S T W I A Dex Ld Int Cl WP Fel
5 51 70 3 3 7 80 1 63 43 66 66 43 44

Skills: Concealment Rural; Dodge Blow; Excellent Vision; Follow Trail; Game Hunting; Identify Plants; Marksmanship; Mimic - can imitate the sounds of natural creatures; Set Trap; Silent Move Rural; Sing; Specialist Weapon - Longbow; Spot Trap.

Trappings: Sword; Leather jack; Elf bow.


Waywatchers are chosen from the best Elven Scouts to form small bands in order to guard the ways into the depths of the forest. They hide in trees, living for long periods on wicker platforms woven among the branches. From this vantage point they can see everyone and everything which enters the forest. If enemies are spotted, the Waywatchers sound the alarm, often the call of a beast or bird, and often despatch a runner to the nearest kinband too. Meanwhile the Waywatchers will prepare concealed traps to delay and deter intruders while a suitable force can be gathered.

M WS BS S T W I A Dex Ld Int Cl WP Fel
5 51 70 4 4 7 80 2 63 43 66 66 43 44

Skills: Concealment Rural; Dodge Blow; Excellent Vision; Follow Trail; Game Hunting; Identify Plants; Marksmanship; Mimic - can imitate the sounds of natural creatures; Set Trap; Silent Move Rural; Sing; Specialist Weapon - Longbow; Spot Trap; Strike Mighty Blow; Strike to Stun.

Trappings: Sword; Leather jack; Helmet; Elf bow.

Author: I Fawcett