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Orion will be one of the starting lords for the Wood Elf faction in Warhammer: Total War, but who is he? He doesn’t look much like an elf.
The long years in Athel Loren have changed the Wood Elves in body and mind. None embody this change so much as Orion, the King in the Wood. Some say that he was once a young elf noble, taken by the wood as a sacrifice in exchange for protection. Others say that this is one of the weaker Warhammer origin stories, and that there’s a better version in a Black Library book somewhere. Regardless, Orion embodies the union of the elves with the forest of Athel Loren.
If the High Elves of Ulthuan ever beheld Orion, they would be appalled. To their haughty and perfect selves he would appear as a twisted mutant, riven by chaos.
From his head sprout antlers, as from a stag. His legs are twisted and cloven, like the Gors of the Beastmen clans.
Orion is frequently accompanied by a pack of hounds, which snarl and harry the foe towards his deadly spear. Orion’s spear can be thrown or wielded in combat, either way it is a deadly weapon.
The changes wrought on Orion aren’t just physical. He is the wrath of the wood cloaked in elf flesh. Each winter Orion dies, and each spring he is reborn again.
Winter can be a tough time for the elves of Athel Loren and they remain extra vigilant. Fortunately they have many other defenders.
Part elf, part god, part forest spirit, Orion is the defender of Athel Loren, and any who wander into his woods are doomed.
Orion’s miniature reflects the art quite well:
Sadly, this figure is not longer offered for sale by Games Workshop, although other Wood elf heroes survive through the ‘wanderers’ faction. If you like getting miniatures to represent your lord in game, you’ll need to search second hand sites and game stores.