- "You want to put me in a book? What, squished between the pages like a flower? Just try it, big man, I’ll slit your jugular quick as blinking."
- —Dixiebell Buttercup, Spite[2a]
Spites (known only as Sprites in peasant folklore) are a kind of nature-spirit that exist to protect forests. Their natural form is a glowing light, but they are capable of shapeshifting into other forms. There are as many different kinds of Spite as there are trees in the wood, each kind having different abilities and favoured shapes. Some appear as tiny Elves riding beetles or miniature, skeletal horses, others as beautiful winged humanoids or woodland animals with slightly unnatural features.[2a]
If treated well, Spites can be friendly, if mischievous. However, they are just as likely to be murderous and, well, spiteful, if the mood takes them. They are the essence of capriciousness. Only Elves and Wizards have any real hope of dealing with them, and even then the history of the Wood Elves is filled with instances in which Spites have turned on them or abandoned them in times of need.[2b]
Shortly after death, Spites dissolve. This has made it difficult for Old World scholars to study them, and they are considered a myth by most. They prefer to appear as winged figures or wooden people covered in thorns. Sometimes they appear to be riding animals or constructs, but these are just part of the Spites’ shapeshifting ability.[2b]
- Luminescents: leave behind a magical residue wherever the go. Any weapon that they move over will gain a minor enchantment.
- Malevolents: is a term used for a vast array of spites who act as defenders of Athel Loren. Many Malevolents use small bows or poisoned darts. Getting wounded by a Malevolent can mean a long and painful death, or nightmarish comatose state that can last years.
- Mischiefs: also known as Marshlights, often appear as balls of light or as glowing miniature Elves with ragged wings. They fly in patterns that stultify viewers and, when feeling mischievous, they use this ability to lure travelers into bogs or off the edges of cliffs.
- Netlings: look like small, spider-like creatures. They often attach to a host and will protect them with a magical web.
- Radiants: have the ability to sap magic out of their enemies. They appear most commonly as simple blurred and glowing shapes, and sometimes as small humanoid figures. They do not commiserate with any mortal creatures, but only the most ancient forest spirits.
- Shrikes: appear as red-capped creatures or miniature knights and either ride insects or black birds, or flit about on razor-sharp wings. The fastest and deadliest of the Spites, they form a kind of warrior class. They target their enemies’ weak points expertly, aiming for the eyes and veins.
- Terrors: are cruel-hearted spites who delight in taking on frightening forms and scaring travelers. They find it especially amusing to frighten people to death.
- The Despairs: are three sister spites who are much feared in Athel Loren. They almost always appear to an individual to announce that their demise is imminent. They can take the forms of empty-eyed crones with twigs for hair, red-eyed ravens, or an old crone, a beautiful woman, and a small child.
- Warhammer Armies: Wood Elves (6th Edition) (pg. 60, 61)
- 2: Warhammer Fantasy RPG -- The WFRP Companion