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Aenarion

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Aenarion the Defender
was the first Phoenix King of the High Elves, and the most revered High Elf of all time. Aenarion united Ulthuan and the (then whole) race of Elves, and defended the world during the first and second Chaos Incursions, and drawing the immensely powerful Sword of Khaine. He is sometimes known as the first Champion of Light.

OverviewEdit

The First Chaos IncursionEdit

Aenarion was an explorer in his youth, traveling the breadth and width of Old and New worlds and as such had been absent in the first days of the first Chaos incursion, when the Chaos Portals at the poles collapsed and raw Magic from the Realm of Chaos flowed into the world, but when he returned to find entire villages massacred and the elven race pushed to the edge of extinction he knew something had to be done. Battling through the Chaos hordes to the shrine of Asuryan Aenarion prayed fervently for his peoples salvation, yet all that answered him was silence. He burned offerings, silence, he sacrificed a lamb, still there was no reply. Finally Aenarion cried saying that he would sacrifice himself if only it would save his people, the silence was deafening. True to his word Aenarion hurled himself into the brazier of the flames of Asuryan, at first it seemed as through the flames would consumed him, his skin blackened and peeled, his hair was burned from his head but then a miracle occurred. He began to heal, and after a few moments stepped out of the flames reborn as the first Phoenix King, the light of Asuryan now burning within his breast. Upon leaving the shrine he took up his old hunting spear and hurled it towards the Daemon Lord leading the host attacking the shrine, killing him in one blow. Then taking up the fallen daemon's own weapon Aenarion proceeded to butcher the rest of the chattering daemon horde single-handedly. The High Elves were then ready to go on the offensive.

Along with the great Mage Caledor Dragontamer, Aenarion forged the Great Weapons at the Anvil of Vaul, calling the Asur together into a great army that would sweep the land clean of the minions of Chaos. Aenarion was proclaimed by all to be the "Phoenix King", the living embodiment of Asuryan. With the aid of Caledor, and the chosen band of warriors wielding the Great Weapons (who would later become The Council of Princes,) With the brief respite from the fighting his victories had won him Aenarion married the first Everqueen Astarielle and sired a son (Morelion) and a daughter (Yvraine) by her, but soon the horns of battle sounded again with Chaos once more at the gate.

The Second Chaos IncursionEdit

This second wave of Chaos was far larger then the first, an unending tide of gibbering horrors and although Aenarion won battle after battle, the elves were losing the war. It was the great Archmage Caledor who devised a plan to put a stop to the roaring army of chaos spilling upon the shores of Ulthuan. He had discovered the existence of the collapsed gateways and had come up with a portal to drain the chaos energies from the ruinous warp gates from the world. Aenarion flatly opposed this plan when it was first presented to him calling Caledor a and his mages a "council of despair" and he might have changed Caledor's mind if a wounded weary messenger hadn't come stumbling before him saying that his queen and children had been slain.

Gripped with a titanic fury Aenarion swore he would scour every last trace of chaos from the land. Leaping upon the back of his dragon he sped towards the blighted isle upon it stood the altar of Khaine, where there rested the sword of Khaine, a splinter of the great weapon forged for the death god Khaela-mensha-Khaine, capable of spilling the blood of gods and men alike. During his journey both Elven and Chaos gods whispered words of warning, pleading him to turn back, but he was blind and deaf to all but his rage. It is said that as he grasped the hilt of that damned weapon even the ghost of his departed wife returned to him, one final attempt to stop him from this path but Aenarion hardened his heart and ripped the blade from its slumber.

When he returned to the battlefield none could stand before him. Empowered by the creator, giver of all life and wielding the sword of the death god he was terrible to behold, shattering the daemon horde a second time he. From that time onward, he and the elves most embittered by chaos went north and founded the kingdom of Nagarythe, taking a new wife, the dark seeress Morathi, Aenarion became a cruel tyrant, his anger so shocking his former comrade Caledor that the Archmage took his people south to find a new land.

This seeming betrayal angered Aenarion greatly but before anything could be done another Chaos horde arrived, this one seemingly infinite in scale and ferocity, even Aenarion knew that the elves could not hope to stand against such a force, this was their darkest hour.

The Last Battle Edit

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Before Caledor had respected his King's order to not proceed with the creation of the vortex but now with Armageddon racing down upon them he had nothing left to lose. Gathering up the most powerful high elven mages he flew to the isle of the dead in the center of Ulthuan and began to incant the spell that would create the swirling vortex. The daemon horde knew the words of their undoing were being uttered and the full might of their army swept towards the tiny cadre of mages too focused on creating their spell to defend themselves. It was then that Aenarion realized what he must do and he rallied his armies together and rode to the defense of his old friend one last time.

During the battle, Caledor was able to set up a mystical vortex on the Isle of the Dead in the middle of Ulthuan's Inner Sea that drained away the Chaos energy and Winds of Magic from the Realm of Chaos, using ancient Menhir Stones scattered around Ulthuan and the World to channel the energy, and aided by the mystical Slann in far away Lustria. This, however, held a great cost - Caledor and his fellow mages were trapped for eternity inside the vortex, never to die.

Beaten and broken from a duel in which he had slain four greater daemons Aenarion clambered upon his dragon Indraugnir, both of them fatally wounded and flew to the altar of Khaine where Aenarion was able to thrust the sword back into the stone from whence it came before dying beside the bleeding corpse of his noble dragon, there and then the greatest warrior against the forces of chaos passed from this age and none have seen his equal since.

LegacyEdit

After great deliberation, Bel Shanaar of Tiranoc was chosen as the next Phoenix King by the Council of Princes. The curse Aenarion brought upon his house by drawing the Sword of Khaine would later come to fruition. His son by Morathi, Malekith The Witch-King, would later cause the Sundering, cleaving the race of Elves in two and creating a great rift which the Elves have never fully recovered from. His two other remaining descendants (by Astarielle) in the modern day, the great twin warriors Tyrion and Teclis, would live on with the curse.

Once each decade, the High Elves hold the Festival of Light to celebrate Aenarion and remember his sacrifice. At dawn on the day of the festival, each Elf recites this verse:

"Brother spoke the four as one, together we shall rule, Surrender to the Darkness within your heart you know holds true.
In his hand the Sword of Khaine did promise power untold, As God of Light and God of Murder battled for his soul.
One by one the Daemons fell and Elf Lord he stood tall, For should he fail upon his task then mortal world would fall.
Upon the isle beneath the fight, wise mages cast their spells And Daemon minions howled in anguish, cursed to eternal hell.
And on this day we bow our heads to he who world did save, Aenarion the Proud Defender, Aenarion the Ever Brave."
~ Warhammer Armies: High Elves, 6th edition. (Copyright Games Workshop)]

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