To outsiders, the forest realm of Athel Loren is a brooding and malicious place. The creak and groan of living wood echoes from its dim interior, the canopy seems to absorb all light, and half-seen spirits dart between the twilit bowers. To enter is to place your fate in their hands.
Within dwell the Asrai, the Wood Elves. Though they hail originally from Ulthuan to the west as all Elves do, they spurn the sanctimonious arrogance of the Asur, the High Elves, and the murderous decadence of the Druchii or Dark Elves. The Asrai consider themselves to be the only true Elves left in the world, as they embrace all aspects of their nature – both light and dark – and for thousands of years, they have lived in harmony with the sentient forest.
The Asrai share the wilds of Athel Loren with its spirits and protectors: the Dryads, Branchwraiths and the ancient guardian Treemen. They adopt its steeds, hawks and Great Eagles for their warhosts, and even rare Forest Dragons may deign to join them when the need is dire. Peerless archers and riders, the Wood Elves pay fealty to the demigod Orion, who dies in flame each midwinter, only to be reborn into thunderous life in spring beneath The Oak of Ages.
Wild, lithe, and utterly ruthless in defence of their land, only a fool would goad the Wood Elves and their spirited allies to conflict. For those who witness the awesome spectacle of an Asrai host marching out of the woodlands on a Wild Hunt, it is likely the last thing they will ever see.
The Wood Elves campaign offers a uniquely different campaign experience to the other playable races of Total War: WARHAMMER. Their major infrastructure is housed in the Wood Elf settlements of Athel Loren, though they are capable of expanding outwards, capturing settlements and building limited outposts, known as Asrai Lookouts, in their stead. The heart of the campaign is The Great Oak, a unique 5-tier building related to the new Wonder victory condition.
In battle, the Wood Elves are swift and deadly, fielding many ‘glass cannon’ style units. While less physically robust than most other races, and with smaller unit sizes, they make up for this with excellent melee and ranged capabilities. They field some of the best archers in the game, many of whom can move and fire, and may later be upgraded with a range of specialised ammunition. They are often accompanied in battle by the woodland kin of Athel Loren, such as Dryads, Eagles and Treemen. Their spellcasters wield the Lores of Life, Beasts and Shadows.