The lords and ladies of Athel Loren have ruled the Wood Elves for millennia. Each highborn is required to keep his domain free from intruders and has the ultimate responsibility over the area of the forest in which his followers dwell. Most often, this is a task that is accomplished by the Highborn's Eternal Guard and Glade Guard, though in more dangerous times, he or she will entreat the spirits of the forest, or even Elves from other regions of Athel Loren, to lend their aid. Though the inhabitants of Athel Loren are as proud as any of the Elven races, they never allow their own hubris to endanger their homeland. The defence of Athel Loren is the one calling that is held above all others.
Unlike the Elves of Ulthuan, and indeed much of the known world, the Wood Elves make no distinction between male and female when it comes to rank and duty, whether those responsibilities find their calling in war or peace. In the noble houses of Athel Loren, the daughter is as likely to inherit the family title and rank as the son. Even so, not all Highborn are equal. Each of the twelve realms of Athel Loren is ruled by a lord or lady of impeccable standing. Answerable to each of these are countless sons and daughters of noble houses ever seeking to improve their own situation. Though Wood Elves commonly inherit rank according to the station of their birth, it is not unknown for a particularly valorous individual to be elevated to higher authority.[1a]
When Athel Loren goes to war, the nobles direct the efforts of its armies, often commanding a varied yet lethal assortment of Elves and forest spirits. In the summer months, when the forest is strong enough to defend itself against most threats, many are caught up in Orion's great hunt. Even so, there are always a handful of able war-leaders who remain within the borders of the wood, ready to defend their home to their dying breath.
The culture of the hunt is strong in Athel Loren and finds its way onto the battlefield even during the times of Orion's slumber. It is traditional for the Wood Elves not to launch themselves into battle until their leader, or one of his captains, has loosed a shot at the heart of the enemy leader. This duty is allocated before the battle begins, and the firer is granted the honorary title of ‘Talon of Kurnous’. Seldom does the Talon's arrow kill the target, but such is not the intent. Rather it is a reminder of mortality for the foe, and a final entreaty to the Hunter God for his blessings in the battle to come.[1a]
- ↑ Duellist: This unit is best used to attack individual targets such as Lords or Heroes. As it can only damage very few individuals at a time, it is not suitable against hordes of weak enemies.
- ↑ Forest Stalker: The Elves of Athel Loren gain bonuses to melee defence and accuracy while fighting within the forest.
- Prey of Anath Raema (Female)
- Arrow of Kurnous (Female)
- The Eye of Kurnous (Female)
- Call of the Woods (Male)
- Deadly Onslaught (Male)
- Foe-Seeker (Male)
Helm of Discord and Pray of Anath Raema are two amazing item/abilities that both synergize well with the gender's strengths. One nukes the combat stats in an area and the other nets an enemy in place and lowers their missile resistance. The male variant on a Forest Dragon with Helm of Discord and Wild Rider support can allow for devastating hit and run strikes against high value enemy units. The female variant can net down an overextended Lord or unit and then Waywatchers/Deepwood Scounts can devastate it.