Hello and welcome readers to the first edition of TheNerdStash’s Warhammer Fantasy narrative lore guides. In the upcoming weeks and months, I will recount various aspects of the Warhammer Fantasy Universe in the role of a humble storyteller.
In our first narrative lore guide, we will focus on a rivalry so grand and so fierce it shook the very fabric of the Warhammer Fantasy Universe. The rivalry that I am referring to is none other than that of the between the Elf-lord Eltharion and The Goblin Warboss Grom. This rivalry was also the focal point for the latest DLC for TotalWar Warhammer II The Grim and The Paunch. But in this narrative guide, we will focus primarily on Eltharion and the grandiose lore behind the Grim High Elf-lord.
However, later we will also have another guide that we will link here once it is finished, which goes over all the lore surrounding the units that were added to the High Elf faction, with The Grim And The Paunch DLC. We will also have two guides that will go over Grom and his units at a later date that will also be linked here and here when finished.
Now with that out of the way come sit down by the fire and listen while I recount the tale of how Eltharion became known as the Grim and as one of the greatest Elven lords to have ever lived in the world of Warhammer Fantasy.
Eltharion The Grim is the warden of Tor Yvresse and The Prince of Yvresse. He is also widely considered by scholars of our time to be one of the greatest of all elven lords. This classification is due to the sheer magnitude of the Warden’s achievements, for he has done what no other in the Warhammer Fantasy Universe could ever do. You see my dear reader; The warden laid siege, successfully assaulted Naggarond the stronghold of the Dark Elves, (The mortal enemy of the High Elves), and came back alive.
He also brought the “WAAAGH!” (Waaagh is the orc word for war, and also refers to massive migratory invasions of Greenskins that often have brought unimaginable levels of destruction) the warlord Grom to heel and destroyed it at the gates of Tor Yvresee, and soon after was elected the Warden of that Elven city. It is for these reasons alone why many do consider our Eltharion one of the greatest of Elven lords. It is worth noting the grandness of The Warden’s achievements, but you can only truly appreciate and understand them when you learn of the tale behind them.
Warhammer Fantasy: The Assault Of The City Of Cold
It was in the 260th year of the current Phoenix King, Finubar the Seafarer (Phoenix Kings are the elected rulers of the Isle of Ulthuan) where Eltharion The Grim became the first of his kind to lead a successful assault against the Dark elven stronghold of Naggaroth. His army was made up of countless nobles of his realm who together formed the force that would later charge through the very gates of the City of Cold. But, despite how his kin rallied to his banner and aided him on this quest, nevertheless, his force was dreadfully small.
Regardless, they marched on, through the hellscape that was the lands of the Dark Elves, until they reached the horrid city. Along the way, Eltharion and his followers took countless Dark Elf garrisons with the element of surprise, then razed and burn them to the ground. On more than one occasion Eltharion himself could be seen mounted on his Griffin Stormwing, riding down any of the traitor elves that fled from the field of battle.
Thus ensuring none could flee and warn the Witch King Malekith (Malekith is the ruler of the Dark Elves or as the Dark Elves call themselves, Druchii) of the impending High Elven onslaught. It was also through the combination of cooperation between Ellyrian Reavers and Shadow Warriors (Shadow warriors are elite scouts, warriors, and assassins that are the descendants of High Elf loyalists from the Kingdom of Nagarythe) that no Dark Elf was able to warn the dreaded Witch-King of their presence in his accursed and traitorous domain.
(Ellyrian Reavers are a renowned formation of Elven elite horsemen that hail from the kingdom of Ellyrion) Both the Reaver and Shadow ambushed Druchii messengers, to sow the seeds of confusion to help keep the army of Eltharion hidden.
As the army marched on and through countless battles, thousands of Druchii were left dead in the wake of the skilled High Elf force. In these battles against the many garrisons on the road to the City of Cold, it was also through the highly disciplined regiments of High Elven Spears where victory was secured. It would take more than sheer discipline to brave the horrors of the city where anything that bears a slight resemblance to goodness is whipped and tortured into nothing but suffering and horror.
Finally, after a long journey, Eltharion and his followers reached the black walls and the hundred towers of Naggarond. The Witch King’s banners of flayed skin can be seen from any of the countless towers. Upon the walls surrounding the city were also countless severed heads and various limbs that sat upon spikes, rotting in grave resemblance of what happens to those who defy the Witch King.
Undeterred by these horrors, the High elves prepared for the impending raid on the city. The bravest of the followers donned the armor of the Traitor Elves and entered and opened the gates. Soon after, the full host of the High Elven warriors poured through the gates and wreaked havoc upon their most hated foe. They ran through the streets, setting fire to buildings and slaying all Druchii that attempted to stop the onslaught. The sound of clashing blades could be heard in an orchestra of death and destruction. Soon it was time to leave, and the order to fall back had been given. However, fate deemed the High Elf expedition to disaster.
In the chaos of the fighting, the High leader Eltharion himself was mortally wounded when struck in the back by a Witch elf poison blade. (Witch Elves are the cruelest of their race, and also fanatical worshipers of the chaos god Khaine). Upon being hit, Eltharion turned around and swung, cutting down the dishonorable rogue, but it was too late. The damage was done, and he was poisoned. Despite their leader falling in the fighting, the raid had been a complete success, and the High Elf force escaped back to their homeland with relatively low losses.
By the time they reached the shores of Chrace, Eltharion lay dying and was near eternal slumber. Soon day turned to night and the army of the elves made camp on the shores of Chrace. (Chrace is one of the many kingdoms on the isle of Ulthuan). With heavy hearts, the most trusted of the warden’s lieutenants laid him down in his tent knowing there was nothing any of them could do to combat the Dark elf poison. They knew by morning, he would perish.
A Vision Of Doom, Ghosts of The Past in Warhammer Fantasy
The night dragged on, Eltharion laid within his tent tossing and turning amidst a feverous dream. Suddenly Eltharion awoke, stirred from some unknown force. Opening his weary eyes he soon saw that a pale apparition stood before him. He became filled with dreadful horror as he realized that the spirit that stood before him was that of his father, Moranion. The apparition of his father was covered in blood and was mangled all over by the bite of sword and arrow, it was due to this he knew his father was dead.
Soon the spirit spoke in a tone of sullen gloom. The spirit informed Eltharion of the fate that had befallen his ancestral home of Athel Tamarha. Athel Tamarha had been destroyed, and its lands defiled and it’s people slaughtered. The Ghost of his late father warned him a new threat had arisen, a threat that came from the west.
A goblin warlord called Grom had brought the green tide: a Waaaagh of unimaginable size to the shores of Ulthuan and were overwhelming everything in their path. He further spoke and informed his son that the Warlord Grom also had the support of a goblin shaman that possessed unimaginable power, thus making him even more of a threat than what the goblin was already.
Even worse the Greenskin hordes had apparently in their blind thirst for battle, defiled all of the watchstones between Athel Tamarha and Tor Yvresse. The magical power contained within the stones was now wreaking destruction upon the lands and the armies of their liege. The Phoenix King was too far away to intervene. His father soon stressed that the Green Tide was now barring down upon the city of Tor Yvresse and that if the watchstone held there were to fall, it would spell horrific devastation, not seen since the events of the Sundering.
(The Sundering was the culmination of a long and bloody civil war between the Dark and High Elves that resulted in a magical cataclysm that sunk a large portion of Ulthuan into the sea). When Eltharion finally awoke from his feverous slumber he was miraculously cured of the Dark Elven venom that had brought him to death’s door. As he looked around his tent, the spirit that had visited him was nowhere to be seen. Where his father’s ghost had been, laid the Fangsword, the ancient heirloom of his noble house.
He arose from his bed, picking up the sword and grasping it. He was then filled with renewed strength and energy as he held the blade. It was at this moment he soon came to the realization, that it had now become his destiny to avenge the death of his father, his ravaged homeland.
The Battle For Tor Yvresse in Warhammer Fantasy
When dawn broke, a renewed and determined Eltharion emerged from his tent to the astonishment of the other High elven commanders. Their leader, who they thought to be dead, was alive and well, though still pale and wan. Eltharion looked dreadfully grim, as he informed them of the quest of destiny he was to embark upon and of the dreadful apocalyptic news.
After retelling his followers the terrible news he had learned, Eltharion pointed the blade of his sword towards the ships that laid anchored along the beach, and bade his followers to return to them. It was at this moment after the elven host soon made ready to face the Greenskin horde, and to set sail for Yvresse as fast as possible.
As Eltharion’s fleet sailed towards the city of Tor Yvresse, they saw that the city was in flames. Goblins and orcs led by the oversize Grom had already breached the city and ran rampant through its streets, slaughtering and pillaging everything in sight. Only a few outnumbered High Elf regiments stood firm, and bravely held off the Greenskin hordes.
However, it was futile. No matter how hard they fought, they were losing, street by street, every single Greenskin they cut down was instantly replaced by another goblin or orc. The Elves had no hope, nor did they have any reinforcements. To make matters worse, above the burning buildings of Yvresse could be seen a great Wyvern, and on top sat the Goblin Shaman Blacktooth, blasting fowl Greenskin magic into the city.
Little did these brave Elven warriors know that hope and salvation were arriving soon, as Eltharion’s fleet drew closer towards the ravaged city. Eltharion and his followers stood at the precipice of destiny. It was here and now they alone would decide the fate of Ulthuan and the fate of the world that they lived in. As the Elven ships sailed slowly but steadily into the harbor Eltharion turned to his soldiers and spoke.
It was later recounted that Eltharion while holding his ancestral sword in the air declared, “Tor Yvresse will never fall while I live!”. Further, he soon briefed his followers that victory could only be secured when the Warden’s Tower and the watchstone of Tor Yvresse were safe from Greenskin hands. In this task of securing both, he entrusted his most loyal followers, who swore solemn oaths to see it accomplished. It was time, but before the first of the Elven ships had yet to even reach the harbor, Eltharion mounted his powerful and ferocious Griffin Stormwing and set off towards the skies of the city.
Soon after, hundreds of Elven warriors poured onto the shore and rushed to join the intense battle for the city. As they charged into the city they were met directly with the roaring hordes of Greenskins, soon both Eltharion’s warriors met face to face with that of orc and goblin in close combat. While above the city soaring through the sky, Eltharion charged towards the Goblin Blacktooth head-on, and the mighty wyvern he sat upon. The Shaman turned and almost noticed the fast approaching Eltharion too late.
Blacktooth soon after started firing spells after spells of foul Greenskin magic at Eltharion, however, through almost sheer will, the elf avoided all that the shaman sent his way. Soon the two were locked in an intense fight for survival, Stormwing clawing and biting at the frightened wyvern, Blacktooth constantly firing volley after volley of spells at Eltharion. The goblin shaman then at least was able to hit his target, one of the spells had hit Eltharion directly and left him reeling. It looked for a moment as though fate deemed our elf lord to doom and Blacktooth to prevail.
It was at that moment as the goblin prepared a final deadly spell he suddenly halted. On the ground, some of Ethlarion’s troops broke through and managed to secure the Warden’s tower and cast the Invocation of Ending ( A spell that temporarily calms the Winds of Magic, the source of all magic in the Warhammer fantasy world). Eltharion seeing his chance, lunged and swung his sword taking the head of Blacktoothr off with a single stroke of the Fangsword.
This was the final nail in the coffin for the Greenskin Waaaagh. They began to route and fled from the city in massive droves. As they fled the fearsome veterans of Eltharion’s army drove the remnants of all things green from the city. Grom at first tried to stop his fleeing army but then saw how futile the situation was. So with a shrug, the fat goblin joined his retreating forces. However, the battle was not yet won, for the watchstone tower still remained volatile.
Knowing this, Eltharion Stormwing, and with four of his bravest followers charged into the Warden’s tower. What happened next, no one knows. Somehow the five wrestled with the powerful watchstone and stabilized the vortex. The morning after, when it was all said and done, only one emerged through the doors of the Watchtower.
It was Eltharion alone who emerged alive, his face stained forever with a look of dreadful grimness from the horrid events that transpired within the tower. The morning after the battle not even the sweet relief of victory, nor the cheering of thankful crowds could bring a smile to that of the Elf lord. After the celebrations, Eltharion was declared the Warden of Tor Yvresse, but forever onward he would be known as Eltharion the Grim.
The Second Battle Of Tor Yvresse in Warhammer Fantasy
Eltharion spent the years after the battle ensuring no Greenskin WAAAGH would ever land upon the shores of Ulthuan. So with fangsword in hand and up top his mighty Griffin he took his armies not west towards the lands of the Dark Elves but east to the old world. Like a storm of blades, Etharion swept through the BadLands, slaughtering countless Orc Warbosses and their massive armies. He even toppled many Orc fortresses that survived the fury of earthquakes and Bretonnian crusades. Even worse, these fortresses even managed to survive the vengeance of the Dwarves.
Yet despite his pursuit, there were always more and more Greenskins for Eltharion to fight. It wasn’t until later he learned the ironic truth. He had apparently gained a reputation that spread so far that the foe he sought to destroy was now seeking him, knowing “that pointy ear git would give us a proper fight”. Upon realizing this, Eltharion ended all future expeditions into the badlands. Instead, Eltharion spent his years forever watching over his Yvresse, training its armies, and fortifying its walls, for he knew one day Grom would return and he would be ready for him. This is where the events in the lore end and where the recent DLC The Grim and The Paunch begin. Will you lead the high elves to victory as Eltharion The Grim did once before? Or will you command the forces of Grom and see the city burn? The choice remains forever yours.
So with that, we come to the conclusion of the events that lead to Eltharion becoming known as the warden and both the Grim. We hope you enjoyed this long narrative recounting of these Warhammer Fantasy lore events. Let us know in the comments below what you liked about it, and also what you think could be improved in the future! Until next time my dear readers, for when we return with this series we will tell you the tale of Grom the Paunch.