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The lifespan of elves

yolordmcswagyolordmcswag Registered Users Posts: 4,063
Elves in most fantasy settings are long lived. In Tolkien's books they can live forever, never succumbing to old age. However, I am not certain of how things are in warhammer. On one hand, we have some elves who have lived almost since the races beginning, but some also show signs of aging, and all the most ancient ones have magical reasons for living that long.

The armybooks were not much, help being pretty vague. The high elf 8th edition armybook says "Regardless of their bloodline, all elves are long-lived - some say immortal". The dark elf 8th edition armybook is pretty similiar, saying "No matter their alliegance, all elves long-lived to the point of immortality,". We do know that at least one of the phoenix kings died of natural causes, so elves don't live forever.

We have examples of elves aging, most notably Crone Hellebron who shows extreme fraility to the point that her bones can break at a mere stumble, and only is only young a few days a year through the magic of the cauldrons of blood. She was born not too long before the sundering (5570 years before the present). Alith Anar is roughly the same age, but his drive for vengeance has turned him into something supernatural, a ghost of vengeance that will not die until his revenge is fulfilled.

Malekith was born shortly before the vortex was finished, making him around 7000 years old, and Morathi is significantly older. Anethra Helbane was also born before the sundering. All three are users of dark magic though, which is a common source of unnateral lifespan.

So, I my question is, does anyone have any sources about the natural lifespan of elves in warhammer? Also, who are the oldest elves we know of, aside from those already mentioned?
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Comments

  • Grom_the_PaunchGrom_the_Paunch Registered Users, Moderators, Knights Posts: 2,695
    Is Morathi the eldest? Most other protagonists from that era seem to be dead. There's those who "live" in the vortex too, though.

    We know they do age, at least. Hellebron is a very clear reminder of that. Living that long needs powerful magic.

    It seems to me that they live as long as the plot demands, but it has been a long time since I had my nose in 5e and 6e Dark Elf books.
  • AeneAene Registered Users Posts: 144
    Cant quite remember whether we got an exact age for him, tho the father of tyrion and teclis might be an indicator as he starts becomming fragile around the time of the battle of finuval plane.
  • FossowayFossoway Registered Users Posts: 5,185

    Is Morathi the eldest? Most other protagonists from that era seem to be dead. There's those who "live" in the vortex too, though.

    We know they do age, at least. Hellebron is a very clear reminder of that. Living that long needs powerful magic.

    It seems to me that they live as long as the plot demands, but it has been a long time since I had my nose in 5e and 6e Dark Elf books.

    Well, Morathi is a special case. She found a way to become immortal that does not require to bathe in blood like Hellebron does. Also, Morathi is permanently young, unlike Hellebron. It's also likely that she shared her secret on long youth with Malekith.

    In the books, there was a moment where a young Hellebron (teenager, maybe) met Morathi, who was already some centuries or even millenias old. The latter did not change at all, while Hellebron aged like an overripe avocado. Another reason why she's extremely jealous of Morathi.
  • Rubz2293Rubz2293 Registered Users Posts: 550
    On the point of Phoenix Kings dying of natural causes...perhaps they died of diseases? All Elves might be able to live forever but they can still die of disease.

    I dunno I know the term died of natural causes means old age but frankly a disease is also a "natural" thing.

    Or perhaps Elves can live forever if they work out, eat healthy, gym everyday, don't smoke etc. but a life of luxury and comfort on their island makes them weak and susceptible to old age or something.
  • MaedrethnirMaedrethnir Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 15,080
    edited April 2020
    The oldest 'living' elf is probably Caledor Dragontamer.

    Unfortunately I don't know what is their natural life expectancy.
  • GettoGeckoGettoGecko Registered Users Posts: 1,562
    Back in the good old days the lifespan of elves naturally ended when they met the stunties on the battle field.
  • ArneSoArneSo Hamburg, Germany Registered Users Posts: 31,542
    One second of an elfish life is already to much.
    Nurgle is love, Nurgle is life
  • GettoGeckoGettoGecko Registered Users Posts: 1,562
    Rubzy said:

    On the point of Phoenix Kings dying of natural causes...perhaps they died of diseases? All Elves might be able to live forever but they can still die of disease.

    I dunno I know the term died of natural causes means old age but frankly a disease is also a "natural" thing.

    Or perhaps Elves can live forever if they work out, eat healthy, gym everyday, don't smoke etc. but a life of luxury and comfort on their island makes them weak and susceptible to old age or something.

    In a world where even non magical diseases are influenced by Nurgle I wouldn't call that "natural".
    And even Caledor was very aged and fragile when Morathi met him before he became a living part of the vortex, which in some shape or form also affect his aging process.
  • manuelpsmanuelps Registered Users Posts: 2,751
    Starting with the easy part, Daith would count among the oldest alive, and probably the oldest without tricks, along maybe Alith Anar. The latter, though, is open for discussion, since he was revealed to be the original Alith only in End Times.

    I read somewhere that in Warhammer the lifespan of elves is related to their accomplishments, meaning that most elves dedicate their lives to one big task, dying little after accomplishing it. That would be the case of the king you're referring to, Bel-Korhadris, who dedicated his life to building the White Tower. Same with Arathion, Tyrion and Teclis father, who passed his life and expended his fortune repairing Aenarion's armour.

    Just a little point. Someone evoked the possibility of dying from illness, but Warhammer elves are almost inmune to it. One of Teclis traits is that he's a rare case of an elf vulnerable to sickness.
  • summertimelovinsummertimelovin Registered Users Posts: 519
    Elves age very slowly and are also resistant to disease. If I recall Bel Shanaar had some signs of aging in The Sundering books. And given his age before he was killed, an elf should easily reach a thousand years if they aren't killed in battle unless they live in Athel Loren where time is warped.

    Malekith is kept alive by magic and his life support suit while Hellebron uses blood magic. Alith is empowered by Loec and VENGEANCE. Yes, Morathi is the oldest elf unless someone can contradict that.
  • CaesarSahlertzCaesarSahlertz Registered Users Posts: 7,073
    Warhammer Elves are functionally ageless. They can remain alive for as long as they have something that drives them. However, as they get older almost all Elves will find that little holds interest to them and as such maintaining their life becomes increasingly hard.

    There are special cases like Alith Anar, Morathi, Hellebron, Malekith and Daith, who has succesfully remained alive and driven for many thousands of years (granted some of them are eternally young through magical means), however it wouldn't seem that Elves live longer than a millenia for the most part (msot probably die at a few centuries old even).
  • ITA_Vae_VictisITA_Vae_Victis Senior Member ItalyRegistered Users Posts: 1,969

    Warhammer Elves are functionally ageless. They can remain alive for as long as they have something that drives them. However, as they get older almost all Elves will find that little holds interest to them and as such maintaining their life becomes increasingly hard.

    There are special cases like Alith Anar, Morathi, Hellebron, Malekith and Daith, who has succesfully remained alive and driven for many thousands of years (granted some of them are eternally young through magical means), however it wouldn't seem that Elves live longer than a millenia for the most part (msot probably die at a few centuries old even).

    This. Elves don't have a set lifespan like most other races, the duration of their life is more connected to their psyche than to the physical ageing process of their body. As long as they have a strong drive to live, elves age less fast or seemingly don't age at all.

    Still, most of the REALLY old elves are directly fuelled by magic of some kind (Morathi, Malekith, Hellebron). The oldest "natural" living elf as far as we know should be Alith Anar, since he was born some decades before the Sundering (Daith is debatable, first because him predating the sundering is just presented as a rumor, and second because living in Athel Loren could be messing with his lifespan through magic).
  • TheShiroOfDaltonTheShiroOfDalton Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 34,001
    The average lifespan of elves is until someone decides it's time to cut their stupid heads off which is all the time.
  • yolordmcswagyolordmcswag Registered Users Posts: 4,063

    Warhammer Elves are functionally ageless. They can remain alive for as long as they have something that drives them. However, as they get older almost all Elves will find that little holds interest to them and as such maintaining their life becomes increasingly hard.

    There are special cases like Alith Anar, Morathi, Hellebron, Malekith and Daith, who has succesfully remained alive and driven for many thousands of years (granted some of them are eternally young through magical means), however it wouldn't seem that Elves live longer than a millenia for the most part (msot probably die at a few centuries old even).

    There are examples of elves living quite long however, even elves that are not very special. In the sundering books we encounter many elves that has lived since before the vortex was created, like Bel Shanaar, Eoloran(Alith's grandfather), Thyriol(the prince of Saphery) and others. There is around 1600 years between the two events, so it seems to be pretty common to live that long. Bel Shanaar does show signs of aging though, as someone said above.
  • DraxynnicDraxynnic Registered Users Posts: 10,990
    The impression I get is that a 'typical' elf lifespan is about three millennia. There are Phoenix Kings who reigned for over a thousand years (Bel Shanarr was approaching two thousand when Malekith murdered him), and it's likely that someone doesn't get in the running for the post without having some level of achievement before they took up the post.

    The oldest Elf I can think of who got there without Dark Magic, Cauldrons of Blood, an undying vengeance quest, or some other shenanigan would probably be Allisara, Malekith's wife from before the Sundering. She would have been at least four millennia old when she died, and probably closer to five or five and a half. She spent most of that time in Athel Loren, though (she retired into seclusion there pretty much as soon as Malekith started showing signs that he might go bad), so that might not strictly be a natural lifespan.

    "Death by ennui" does certainly seem to be a thing that happens - there are references to things like High Elf princesses who appeared to be physically perfectly healthy going to sleep and just never waking up, and there are claims made by Dark Elves that Morathi and Malekith stay alive through sheer determination not to die. Generally speaking, though, the impression I get is that Elves generally start to be viewed as "old" as they start to approach the two millennia mark.
  • CaesarSahlertzCaesarSahlertz Registered Users Posts: 7,073

    Warhammer Elves are functionally ageless. They can remain alive for as long as they have something that drives them. However, as they get older almost all Elves will find that little holds interest to them and as such maintaining their life becomes increasingly hard.

    There are special cases like Alith Anar, Morathi, Hellebron, Malekith and Daith, who has succesfully remained alive and driven for many thousands of years (granted some of them are eternally young through magical means), however it wouldn't seem that Elves live longer than a millenia for the most part (msot probably die at a few centuries old even).

    There are examples of elves living quite long however, even elves that are not very special. In the sundering books we encounter many elves that has lived since before the vortex was created, like Bel Shanaar, Eoloran(Alith's grandfather), Thyriol(the prince of Saphery) and others. There is around 1600 years between the two events, so it seems to be pretty common to live that long. Bel Shanaar does show signs of aging though, as someone said above.
    Indeed. I believe the 6th edition Army Book for the High Elves included a narration by an Elf that had been alive since before the Great Vortex was created, and had lived through all of the Phoenix Kings' reigns. Only now with Finubar was this narrator finally feeling that he could allow himself to die. The psyche of the Elves in question is important for both their lifespan and their physical appearance. The cruelty of Hellebron for instance, is one of the reasons that she seemingly age and looks like a classical hag.
  • Vanilla_GorillaVanilla_Gorilla Registered Users Posts: 34,661
    At some point in every Elfs life they get annoying enough that they get shanked resulting in a nice, natural death for said Elf.
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  • ArsenicArsenic Registered Users Posts: 7,315

    At some point in every Elfs life they get annoying enough that they get shanked resulting in a nice, natural death for said Elf.

    Sadly for Dwarves they suffer from chronic bowel problems past a certain age, and have to be carried around on portable commodes. Probably due to eating gravel and Greenskin boot leather as a standard diet.

    The High King of course has the fanciest portable loo, which comes with a bidet function and a dedicated Plaiter of the Royal Taint.
    For in spite of all temptations. To belong to other nations. He remains an Englishman.
  • XxXScorpionXxXXxXScorpionXxX Registered Users Posts: 4,907
    Hellebron seems to age normally. How old is she?
    Request scorched body textures, poisoned dying animations for infantry's skeletons, a blood slider that allows us to control how much blood appears in battle and make proper death animations for all ethereal units so they vanish for Blood for the Blood God 3.
  • DraxynnicDraxynnic Registered Users Posts: 10,990
    edited April 2020

    Hellebron seems to age normally. How old is she?

    She predates the Sundering. Not sure how much by off the top of my head.

    However, what she does can't really be considered "normal". Like most Hag Queens, she undergoes a ritual once a year to rejuvenate herself, and then ages unnaturally rapidly (some would say it's her natural age reasserting itself) until it's time to repeat the ritual.
  • AsamuAsamu Registered Users Posts: 1,394
    edited April 2020
    Elves can live pretty much forever in warhammer.

    Hellebron seems to age normally. How old is she?

    Hellebron is at least ~5400 years old; her father was one of Malekith's advisors before the Dark Elves split from the high elves. She could be anywhere from ~5400-~7000 years old.

    Malekith is a little over 7000 years old.

    Morathi could be over 8000 years old; it's unclear exactly how old she is.
  • AbmongAbmong Registered Users Posts: 3,606
    edited April 2020
    It's difficult to judge what the natural life span for Elves is, but it's safe to say they live just over 2 thousand years.

    Hag Queens like Morathi and even Hellebron are the outliers due to magical rituals. Caledor and his Archmages in the Votex also can't be used as the metric since time may flow differently in the vortex with all that magic.

    Assumming the Everqueens age normally. Yvraine reigned presumably until her death from old age in -2198 IC.
    Malekith was born -4458IC, Yvraine was a bit older being the daughter of Aenarion and Astarielle.

    Timeline is conflicting here since Astarielle died before Aenarion met Morathi, but some sources say she died -4420IC

    In any case if we take -4458IC as the correct date for Malekith's birth and say Yvraine was born just before... say between -4470IC to -4458IC, That would make Yvraine about 2267 years old at time of death.

    Something tells me this comment will get a Disagree
  • XxXScorpionXxXXxXScorpionXxX Registered Users Posts: 4,907
    I'd be cool with living for a couple of Millennia.
    Request scorched body textures, poisoned dying animations for infantry's skeletons, a blood slider that allows us to control how much blood appears in battle and make proper death animations for all ethereal units so they vanish for Blood for the Blood God 3.
  • DraxynnicDraxynnic Registered Users Posts: 10,990
    Abmong said:

    It's difficult to judge what the natural life span for Elves is, but it's safe to say they live just over 2 thousand years.

    Hag Queens like Morathi and even Hellebron are the outliers due to magical rituals. Caledor and his Archmages in the Votex also can't be used as the metric since time may flow differently in the vortex with all that magic.

    Assumming the Everqueens age normally. Yvraine reigned presumably until her death from old age in -2198 IC.
    Malekith was born -4458IC, Yvraine was a bit older being the daughter of Aenarion and Astarielle.

    Timeline is conflicting here since Astarielle died before Aenarion met Morathi, but some sources say she died -4420IC

    In any case if we take -4458IC as the correct date for Malekith's birth and say Yvraine was born just before... say between -4470IC to -4458IC, That would make Yvraine about 2267 years old at time of death.

    It's explicitly said that there's time shenanigans going on with the Vortex mages on the Isle of the Dead. I think there's even mention somewhere of visitors describing them as being almost like flies trapped in amber. Obviously they have some perception of time and of what's going on, particularly when the Vortex is under pressure, but their experience of time seems very different to that of those outside.

    Aenarion's time was eighty years, so I think Yvraine pins things down just over two millennia fairly well. She'd have been born no earlier than -4500IC, so that puts her lifespan at just under 2300 years.

    Being the Everqueen, she's probably more likely to be on the higher end of the scale, so that probably answers it.
  • HelhoundHelhound Registered Users Posts: 5,062

    Back in the good old days the lifespan of elves naturally ended when they met the stunties on the battle field.



    I think we can all appreciate this "natural" ending to Elves.
  • Vanilla_GorillaVanilla_Gorilla Registered Users Posts: 34,661
    Arsenic said:

    At some point in every Elfs life they get annoying enough that they get shanked resulting in a nice, natural death for said Elf.

    Sadly for Dwarves they suffer from chronic bowel problems past a certain age, and have to be carried around on portable commodes. Probably due to eating gravel and Greenskin boot leather as a standard diet.

    The High King of course has the fanciest portable loo, which comes with a bidet function and a dedicated Plaiter of the Royal Taint.
    You're right of course. But t his begs the question; what's the cause? The answer neatly ties us back around to the Elves who are so full of it that the poor, noble, genius, true best creation Dwarfs suffer the consequences.
    "There's no fun in picking on the weak. If you must, go for the mountain high, the language most foreign, target the strong." - Kenny Florian

    #JusticeForCathay

    "I like small words" - Winsy C

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  • GoldfishLordGoldfishLord Registered Users Posts: 428
    Arsenic said:

    At some point in every Elfs life they get annoying enough that they get shanked resulting in a nice, natural death for said Elf.

    Sadly for Dwarves they suffer from chronic bowel problems past a certain age, and have to be carried around on portable commodes. Probably due to eating gravel and Greenskin boot leather as a standard diet.

    The High King of course has the fanciest portable loo, which comes with a bidet function and a dedicated Plaiter of the Royal Taint.
    Alas, most Dwarves are far too hairy for bidets to be of much use.
  • DraxynnicDraxynnic Registered Users Posts: 10,990

    Arsenic said:

    At some point in every Elfs life they get annoying enough that they get shanked resulting in a nice, natural death for said Elf.

    Sadly for Dwarves they suffer from chronic bowel problems past a certain age, and have to be carried around on portable commodes. Probably due to eating gravel and Greenskin boot leather as a standard diet.

    The High King of course has the fanciest portable loo, which comes with a bidet function and a dedicated Plaiter of the Royal Taint.
    Alas, most Dwarves are far too hairy for bidets to be of much use.
    Clearly, you haven't seen a good Dawi bidet in action.

    Elves and Men both bring their own toilet paper when visiting dwarfholds, because even though Elves might think of themselves as more hygienic that dwarfs in most respects, neither is willing to brave the enema-like pressure and scalding heat of the bidets found in the more established Karaks. While the legend of a Skaven assassin surprising his target while the mark was busy finishing his business only to be blinded when the quick-thinking dwarf redirected the stream into the assassin's face is probably apocryphal, it's probably believable apart from the more fanciful elements such as the ratman's eyeball being boiled in its skull and its ear being sliced clean off by the force of the pressure. There are rumours of dwarf bidets even being used as torture devices on captured skaven and goblins, although the story goes that attempts to do so with the larger greenskins were abandoned when the first subject expressed the opinion that "wen I get outta 'ere, I gotta grab one o' dese so da boyz can 'ave sum proppa i-jeen at da drops."
  • MarkStu67MarkStu67 Registered Users Posts: 54
    Pointy ears suddenly stop being alive when we stabs them, innit!
  • MonerisMoneris Registered Users Posts: 331


    Just thought you guys might be curious. This is from a Warhammer book released in the 90s.
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