Once Upon A Time In The Empire
The Wood Elf realm of Athel Loren in the heart of the Loren Forest is all that remains of the once numerous Elven colonies of the Old World. Thousands of years ago when the Elves and Dwarfs fought their long and bitter war, most of these colonies were destroyed. Many proud Elf cities fell into ruin, including the great port of Tor Alessi where the Bretonnian city of L’Anguille now stands.
Long, long ago, the Elves left the Old World to face new troubles at home, in the land of Ulthuan, where civil discord was brewing a war which would eventually split their people asunder. However, not all the Elven colonists abandoned their homes. A few refused to do so, and retreated instead into the vast forests of Loren.
The People of the Wood
Wood Elves are physically identical to their cousins the High Elves. They are tall, graceful in all their movements, and extremely agile. The bow is their principle weapon, although they are by no means afraid of hand-to-hand fighting, impressive and powerful warriors as they are. They prefer not to wear much armour, so they can move as quickly as possible through the dense woods. Over the centuries they have grown into a distinct and independent people. They have relinquished all former ties with Ulthuan and its Phoenix Kings, and have chosen to tread their own path of wisdom and natural lore. Today the Wood Elves shun contact with other races and show no mercy to those who invade their woodland realm or who cause malicious damage to its ancient trees. The Elves have grown to love the trees and the woodlands, and have learned to live alongside the spirits of nature and the magical principles of the land. The space around their realm have long been distorted by their strange enchantments, so that it is almost impossible to enter Athel Loren without the leave of the Wood Elves themselves. Most who wander unwelcome into the greenwoods quickly meet with an untimely end, and few that enter with malicious intent ever leave alive.
The Elven Gods
As they took to their new lives the Elves built shrines to the ancient Elf gods Kurnous and Isha, the wild hunter and the earth mother. The mages discovered places in the forest where magic was strongest, and there they set stones to fix the magic and contain it safely. As the Elves made new shrines and uncovered new sources of magic the forest itself seemed to respond, as if the primeval spirits were being called forth from trees and stones.
The King and Queen in the wood.
From the oldest tree in the forest, the Oak of Ages, came forth the King and Queen in the Wood to rule over the Elves. In the outside world stories began to circulate of the magical realm of the King and Queen in the Wood, gods made flesh to rule over the land of Athel Loren. Few dared to enter the woods, whilst in far away lands the very name of Loren was enough to conjure images of sorcerous deception and mysterious power."
Ariel, the Queen of Athel Loren
Ariel is the Queen of Athel Loren and presides over the realm together with Orion. Ariel acquired the Aspects of Isha, the ancient Elven goddess of nature, through the strange magic of the Oak of Ages at the same time as Orion gained the Aspects of Kurnous. Thus, the magical force of nature flows through Ariel as if she were the goddess Isha herself.
Ariel wields immense natural forces and weaves them according to her will. She commands the trees of the forest to grow, and vegetation to spring forth from the ground. It is Ariel who weaves enchantments around the Forest of Loren to delay and mislead intruders, or lure them onwards to their doom. If Ariel perishes in battle, the Elves will carry her away and seal her within the Oak of Ages to be reborn again in the spring.
Orion, The King of the woods
Orion is the consort-king of Athel Loren. At the height of his power in midsummer, Orion is a terrifying being of majesty and power. He stands over 10’ tall, and his lithe, green-tinged body ripples with barely contained anger. As the moons align overhead on midsummer’s eve, a beautiful cloak crafted by his Queen is draped over his shoulders, and the great horn of the Wild Hunt is placed reverently before him. As the time of the conjunction draws near, he takes up his weapons from their shrine within the Oak of Ages. At midnight, Athel Loren goes utterly silent – not a creature stirs – for all know that the ride of the Wild Hunt has come…"