The name Eonir is taken from the greater rune Daroir, which can mean remembrance, memory and the strength of stones. [2a]
In the Empire, residents commonly call the Elves of the Laurelorn Wood Elves to distinguish them from the Sea Elves that sail the great trading ships that trade with Marienburg’s and the High Elves who inhabit Ulthuan. This is a false distinction. There are no physical differences between the three groups, although there are many cultural differences.
Although some consider the Eonir to be just Wood Elves they are not spiritually bound to the forest by ancient spirit-pacts in the same way as the Asrai are bound to Athel Loren. The Eonir religion also recognises the entire pantheonic mandala, similar to the Asur with details of burial, divination and meditation practices vary according to their kindred. [2a]
Since the War of the Beard, the Eonir have had an independent matrilineal monarchy, a High Council and in addition an advisory Senate was created. The Eonir consider their government to be the most democratic of the Elf realms. A king may only be crowned if there is no female heir. [2a]
The current Queen, Marrisith is a descendant of Aenarion through his son Morelion and his daughter Maruviel who became a Handmaiden of the Everqueen. The High Concil has representives from each of the major noble Houses plus three of the four vicarii from the border wards and all are Toriour kindred. The hight court of the Eonir is formed of the monarch and two prefects, one elected yearly from amongst the four ruling vicarii, the other prefect is the Queen’s champion chosen at a festival of games concluding with trials by combat. [2a]
Once each season, the Laurelorn Senate assembles in Tor Lithanel to discuss matters of diplomacy and defence involving their neighbours but emergency sessions can also be called. Senators are elders, warriors, and scouts and although they can propose specific courses of action to the High Council they hold no political authority. [2a]
The Elven realm of Laurelorn Forest began life as just one of the High Elf colonies of Ulthuan, founded thousands of years before the devestating War of the Beard with the Dwarfs. At that time, the Elves controlled most of the non-mountainous land within what is now the Bretonnia, Empire, Estalia, Kislev and Tilea.
It was a Handmaiden of the Everqueen who first launched an expedition to study the forest spirits, leyline network, and lost Old One ruins in the area. The forest spirits were less hostile than those of Athel Loren and the elves of the old World colonies viewed it as a retreat comparable to Avelorn. In time, two large settlements were created at Kor Immarmor and Tor Lithanel. [2a]
The Sundering in -2748 IC resulted in 600 years of isolation from the other elves, during which the colonists united, ruled now by a High Council of lords declared themselves the 11th Kingdom of Ulthuan. When diplomatic contact was finally restored with Ulthuan, the Council reluctantly capitulated authority to the Phoenix King. [2a]
When the War of the Beard errupted, the relationship between the colonists and Ulthuan was further strained and the Phoenix King’s final decree to abandon the Old World was taken as a betrayal. Kor Immarmor was destroyed and Tor Lithanel placed under siege and in desperation, the Eonir turned to the disgraced Grey Lords. These were Elf lords who had been expelled from Ulthuan for conducting unsanctioned magical experiments - they summoned a spirit army from the forest’s depths and the Dwarf throng marched into the forest to meet them in battle and was never seen again. [2a]
A few enclaves of elves, most notably those in Laurelorn and Athel Loren, ignored his command and remained in their woodland homes, for they had come to love the forests. For their part, the Dwarf kingdoms had been exhausted by the war and had much larger issues than a few elven hold-outs in lands they had no wish to claim anyway.
Since their succession from Ulthuan, the elves of Laurelorn have defended their forest against Dwarfs, Orcs, humans, Beastmen and even marauding bands of Dark Elves. The two kingdoms of Athel Loren and Laurelorn have become the focus for Elvish survival in the Old World, with any other clans and tribes looking to them for leadership and sometimes protection.
After the disappearance of Emperor Sigmar, the forest of Laurelorn was claimed by the Elector Counts of Drakwald, Middenland, and Westerland but the Wood Elves defeated all the attempts to conquer them by force. Their most important victory was in 897 IC, when they destroyed the army of the Drakwald but when the remnants of Drakwald were later absorbed by Middenland, its claim to Laurelorn also passed to that province.
The Treaty of the Leaf is signed in 738 IC allowing the settlements that will become Nordland to be created. [2a] between the rivers Salz and Demst, but requiring that the Eonir have final approval over any new settlement. Predictably the elves approved almost no settlements, and those that they have, are with severe restrictions on what could be harvested from the woods.
In 1109 IC the Eonir allied with the Empire after the Drakwald province fell to Beastmen and in 1124 IC the Emperor, Mandred Skavenslayer was allowed to march through Laurelorn in 1124 IC from Carroburg through the forest avoiding Skaven-infested country to intercept a Skaven invasion at Dietershafen. [2a] The human army travelled through the forest for only a few hours, but also covered a distance that should've taken days but at a cost. Numerous soldiers were lost to the forest, lured away from their comrades by phantom voices or beckoning hands and were never seen again.
In the 21st century IC, a dialogue with Ulthuan began following the Phoenix King Finubars travels in the Old World and he acknowledges Tor Lithanel’s formal independence. Eonir envoys have sail to Naggaroth with offers of trade in exchange for a cessation of raids on the Laurelorn’s coastline. [2a]
After skirmishes on the border with Nordland, an Eonir and Forest Spirit army marches on Salzenmund in 2168 IC, besieging it until the Baron begs for forgiveness. Some Elves assist in the fight against Chaos during the Great War Against Chaos. [2a]
Marrisith, the Queen of Laurelorn, established a camp of her Eonir in the Amber Hills outside of Altdorf, to observe Imperial politics, and intervene in matters relating to Laurelorn. Although this camp is temporary this has a very different meaning for such a long-lived race as the Eonir. Elves have become an increasingly common sight in Reikland.
Nobles continue to pressure Grand Baron Theoderic Gausser of Nordland to renegotiate the treaty with the Eonir and some humans have made illegal settlements in the area, which the Elves have threatened to remove by force, if need be. Some now fear a coming clash between the Elector Count’s knights and the Eonir warriors, but that has yet to occur.
Items created by the Eonir often have magic woven into them. The elves are able to weave spells that imbibe the fell intelligences of spiders into some of their most potent weapons which can then shackle their opponents with webs. [1a]
The warriors of the Eonir have a deadly skill that more than makes up for any lack of numbers, and their secretiveness makes others wonder what they are hiding behind the trees of Laurelorn. All this is made worse by their attitude, which appears to Humans and Dwarfs as a smug air of superiority, they feel that the Eonir are talking down to them. The Elves do not see it that way. Rather, many feel they simply have to be patient with those races slower than themselves, putting subtle concepts in terms a barbarian’s descendant can understand.
Relations with the Empire
All Imperials who dwell in or near Laurelorn are aware that their existence is at the sufferance of the Eonir and few are comfortable with that knowledge but timber from the forest generates a extremely high price due to its exquisite grain, lightness, and durability.
The Amber Order of Wizards is alomst unique in the Empire by having regular and cordial relations with the Eonir. They exchange news and views with the shamans being more sympathetic to Wood Elves long term aims and strategies and consequently Amber Wizards are among the few Humans to be granted genuine respect by the Eonir. [3a]
One of the Gods known to be worshipped by the people of Laurelorn is Sarriel, Lord of Dreams. To them, he is the god of divination and dreams. His priests are often sought by people seeking to know what fate has in store for them. Another god they worship is Taal, who they see as the feminine goddess of rain and rivers but what part her priests play in Eonir society is unknown.
The Eonir are divided into three kindreds, equivalent to social classes:[2a]
- The Toriour (Cityborn): Descendants of the original colonists form the upper class and occupy the highest positions in government. [2a]
- The Faniour: (Forestborn): Descendants of refugees who took shelter in Laurelorn during the War of the Bead, they make up the middle class majority of the Eonir. [2a]
- The Harioth: (Younger Kindred): Elves who ancestors arrived after the War of the Beard form a lower class in Eonir society, living in caves and ruins at the edge of the Laurelorn or wander the forest as vagabonds. Second generation Harioth can become a member of the Faniour Kindred by passing a series of trials with those who fail often migrating into the Empire. [2a]
- 1: Patrons of the Old World
- 1a: Farforian Whiteshore, pg. 12-15
- 2: Archives of the Empire Vol I
- 2a: Laurelorn Forest, pg. 72-86
- 3: Winds of Magic (book)
- 3a: The Amber Brotherhood, pg. 143