Old World Mysteries
Wood Elves, or Asrai in Eltharin, are the xenophobic cousins of the High Elves inhabiting the ancient enchanted forest of Athel Loren in the eastern edge of Bretonnia. The Asrai speak a dialect of Eltharin called Fan-Eltharin.
Elves have dwelt around and within Athel Loren for almost 5,000 years. Over this time, they have become intrinsically linked with their forest home, and their nature has changed to reflect it. Forsaking their ties to other Elven folk, the Wood Elves have become deeply secretive and suspicious and shun all outsiders. They are the guardians of the forest, and their fate is utterly entwined with that of Athel Loren: if the forest were to die, the Wood Elves would die with it.
Capricious and unpredictable, the Wood Elves have been likened to a force of nature, neither truly good nor evil. Athel Loren and the Wood Elves are far removed from simple comparison with the values held by other races. Like a placid lake, the Wood Elves can appear serene, beautiful, and enchanting, or as frightening and destructive as a storm. For every intruder that the Wood Elves guide out of Athel Loren, another is slain without question or remorse and left where he falls to be claimed by the forest. Bones and skulls can often be seen on the outskirts of the forest, many with arrows protruding from ribs or embedded in eye-sockets, before they are obscured and covered by twisting roots and undergrowth or taken away by wild animals.
Ever watchful and vigilant, the Wood Elves guard Athel Loren ceaselessly. Even those who enter the forest with no ill intention are regarded with suspicion and resentment and will often come to a bad end. The Wood Elves have a distinct lack of interest in the goings on of the world outside of the forest and care little for those who are not their own. On occasion, they must take part in wars and battles beyond the borders of their forests in order to save their homes from future threat, but this situation is rare indeed. If the Wood Elves could live their lives without interference from the world beyond their fey lands, then they would do so gladly. However, Athel Loren is assailed constantly by those that seek to invade and corrupt it, and so they must wage an unending battle against these despoilers.
Unparalleled archers and almost unnaturally stealthy, the Wood Elves are a deadly foe to face. Those that they slay will rarely have even glimpsed their enemy before being struck down by unerringly accurate arrows from the dense woods. Swift and silent, the Wood Elves erupt from the trees in sudden bursts of savagery, cutting down their enemies ruthlessly before vanishing like ghosts into the depths of the forest.