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Astarielle

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The lady Astarielle was Everqueen to the High Elves of Ulthuan and the first wife of Aenarion the Defender, the first Phoenix King. She is considered the first Everqueen only because she is in fact the first ever recorded. Her two children, Morelion and Yvraine, would both become highly important. On one side, her son's family gave many great heroes, including Tyrion and Teclis. On the other side, her daughter and all her descendants would be the next Everqueens, the spiritual leaders of the High Elves.[1a][2a][3a][4a][7a]

History Edit

With the collapse of the great polar gates, Chaos swept across the world in what was known as the Great Catastrophe. Everywhere, civilisations burned and madness overtook order. Ulthuan suffered greater than any other land, for many amongst the daemonic host thirsted for Elven souls above all others. Had great heroes not arisen to meet the challenge, the Elves would have been utterly destroyed and their land made over into a court of pandemonium.[8a]

Greatest of these heroes was Aenarion the Defender, first of the Phoenix Kings. It was he who rallied the Elves to hold back the daemonic tide, and his example ever spurred others to greater deeds. In time, Aenarion took the Everqueen Astarielle as his wife, and she bore him two fine children: Morelion, and Yvraine. As the Phoenix King fought to preserve Ulthuan, the Everqueen withdrew into the hallowed woods of Avelorn to raise their children as far from war as those days would allow. Avelorn had so far been spared the horrors of the invasion, for the Daemons sensed that the Treeman Durthu and his kind were not dissimilar in nature to themselves, and were wary of attacking their domain if easier prey was close at hand. Such a state of affairs could not last, however. One fateful day, when Aenarion’s army was campaigning far from Avelorn, a daemonic host greater than any yet seen descended upon Avelorn, and the slaughter began.[8a]

As Avelorn burned, Durthu and his kind fought alongside the Elves - they could have fled back to the great forest of Athel Loren, but chose to stand with their allies. Many were destroyed, others were driven mad with despair, yet still the spirits of the forest battled on. But Avelorn could neither be saved by valour nor by strength of arms. Hour by hour, the Elves and spirits were driven deeper into their heartlands, until finally there was nowhere left to retreat to.[8a]

It was late on that last day that Astarielle came to Durthu with a desperate request: that he rescue her children from the coming doom. For a time, Durthu stood silent, as the forest burned around them, the tears and pleas of his petitioner seemingly unheeded. To carry blooded creatures along the Oak of Ages’ worldroots would no doubt be seen as a dire transgression, and he was minded not to invoke the wrath of his peers, yet in his time in Avelorn, Durthu had seen how the Elves and forest spirits had been far stronger and wiser together than they had been apart — if either survived the darkness, that strength would surely serve the great forest well in whatever world followed.[8b]

So it was that when Durthu spoke again, he agreed to Astarielle’s request. But, he cautioned, there would be a price to pay. If he saved the Everqueen’s offspring, the great forest would one day claim many Elves as its own, so that they might serve and protect it as they had tended the land of Avelorn. Was the Everqueen, he asked, prepared to sacrifice the future to preserve the present? Now it was Astarielle’s turn to fall silent, for there was something ominous in Durthu’s tone. Yet she had little choice - if Yvraine died, the line of the Everqueens would die with her, and the Elves would soon after fade forever.[8b]

It was then that a colossal Daemon broke through the Elven lines, bellowing in triumph as it swept aside the last of the Everqueen’s bodyguard with its four mighty arms. Even in a day beset with horrors, this was a cruel fate. No mere foot soldier of the Daemon host was this, but mighty N'kari, foremost servant of thirsting Slaanesh. He was not merely a despoiler of bodies, but a devourer of spirits; his cruel embrace brought not death but the oblivion of the soul. Kissing her children once last time, the Everqueen now gave them hurriedly into Durthu’s keeping. As the spirit led Morelion and Yvraine away, Astarielle summoned what little of her magic remained unspent and went calmly down into the battle to meet her destiny.[8b]

Astarielle was slain in the attack and their children could not be found amongst the carnage. Her fate was so dreadful that the Elves refuse to speak of it, and drove Aenarion to taking up the cursed Sword of Khaine.[8b]

Sources Edit

  • 1 Warhammer Armies: Dark Elves (7th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 8
  • 2 Warhammer Armies: Dark Elves (8th Edition)
    • 2a: pg. 16
  • 3 Warhammer Armies: High Elves (4th Edition)
    • 3a: pg. 16
  • 4 Warhammer Armies: High Elves (5th Edition)
    • 4a: pg. 15
  • 5 Warhammer Armies: High Elves (6th Edition)
    • 5a: pg. 50
    • 5b: pg. 51
  • 6 Warhammer Armies: High Elves (7th Edition)
    • 6a: pg. 16
    • 6b: pg. 19
    • 6c: pg. 36
  • 7 Warhammer Armies: High Elves (8th Edition)
    • 7a: pg. 18
  • 8 Warhammer Armies: Wood Elves (8th Edition)
    • 8a: pg. 16
    • 8b: pg. 17

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