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Warhammer location for the Elf Quest Pack

Discuss Quests, Cards, Monsters etc, from the Elf Quest Pack: The Mage of the Mirror.

Warhammer location for the Elf Quest Pack

Postby Cael Darkhollow » Tuesday March 9th, 2021 12:31am

I originally posted this excerpt in "the overview of the Old World" thread in the General HeroQuest discussion forum, but after checking here it seems no one has mentioned possible WH locations. I felt it belonged here too, for people who might not see the original post.

The HQ Elf Quest Pack and quest book The Mage of the Mirror and Barbarian Quest pack The Frozen Horror were released in 1992.

I don't know exactly when Milton Bradley stopped collaborating with GamesWorkshop, but I have heard from a few people here on the forum saying that the Elf Quest and Barbarian Quest packs were released after the split and somehow that makes HeroQuest no longer based on the Warhammer world setting. They use this false narrative to explain ideas or locales found in those quests but not found in other Warhammer materials as evidence that HQ was now different no longer part of the Old World. That simply isn't true.

Both of my Elf and Barbarian quest packs say by Milton Bradley developed with Games Workshop right on the boxes (rear.)

The Elf quest in particular lends confusion to the matter because although the writing still has references to Chaos and the Empire of the Old World setting, it mentions an elven kingdom that seems different than anything described in the Old World.

Nevertheless the miniatures are nearly identical to GW ogres and the Warhammer Wood Elf army figures of the same time period, so much so that I can put my second painted Elf Quest Pack set minis in a WH wood elf regiment (from a plastic regiment box with a blister pack metal command group) or the elves from the plastic Forces of Fantasy box set and they blend perfectly. They were all likely sculpted at the same time perhaps even by the same person or from the same reference art.
This means all of HeroQuest was published before the MB/GW collaboration ended sometime after those games were published in 1992.

So what about the supposed story discrepancies in those North America only quest packs that don't seem to fit the Old World?
The biggest seeming contradiction is the elf kingdom, that doesn't fit Athel Loren of Warhammer.

The Elven Kingdom is ruled by Queen Terrellia and her 5 year old daughter (don't elves age drastically different? she could be decades old and still be a youth) has been kidnapped, and it is your mission to rescue her. The queens sister Archmage Sinestra has issued a ransom note demanding her sister abdicate the throne. Sinestra's stronghold location was not mentioned but we can assume if she means to rule we are still in the Elven Kingdom or at least nearby. The quest book states that should Sinestra rule the safety of the Empire is also at stake. It also implies that the Empire and Elves are allies against Zargon and the forces of Chaos. That would mean the Elf Realm has significant dealings or influence with the Empire and is close geographically.

The first quest is to recover a stolen artifact in a small fortress along the southern border of the Empire. As the southern edge of the Empire is the Black mountains home to Goblins, monsters as well as dwarf strongholds it could be there in the Black mtns or it could be farther south in the Warhammer region known as the Border Princes. Perhaps the people of the Empire sees the mountains as the border, forgetting or overlooking the other races' territorial claims in those mountains.

the second rescue mission is south of the Elven Kingdom. The third another rescue from a mine not given locale description.
The 4th mission is an alchemists laboratory on the western border of the elven lands. the 5th another rescue to the south of elven lands at a castle.
We finally learn Sinestra's stronghold location is within the marshes of Gliness Fen. Are we in the elven Kingdom? Nearby?
What kingdom would that be?

In Warhammer the wood elves have the realm of Athel Loren, a vast woodland within the borders of the Kingdom of Bretonnia (but autonomous) across the Grey mountains from the Empire.
But the elven king and queen are Orion and Ariel, who are worshipped as living avatars of the deities Kurnous and Isha.

Another enclave of wood elves exists inside the borders of the Empire itself, the Laurelorn Forest. Did the HeroQuest quest pack occur there in that independent elven realm not ruled by Bretonnia, the Empire or the elf King and Queen of Athel Loren?
Little is written about the elves living in the northeastern Laurelorn forest of the Empire, beyond WFRP stating they repel all intruders and are the source of elvish player characters in the Empire. Is the Queen Terrellia of HQ their ruler? This would put the rescues to the south and west in the Grey mountains perhaps. Suitible locations and the likely sites of other HeroQuest quests.

Final possibilities would be the High Elf merchant colony at Marienburg (independent merchant city state between Bretonnia and the Empire, and surrounded by marshes, with a Netherlands lowland real World equivilant,) or even the Elven Kingdoms of Ulthuan on their island in the western sea, ruled by the Phoenix King. Both not very likely as High elves do not look like wood elves in both appearance and equipment and whose rulers are differently named.

Laurelorn inside the Empire in the Warhammer Old World setting is the best fit for the HQ Elf Quest Pack "Elven Kingdom."

All of these Old World elves of course are Games Workshop's imitations of Tolkien's elves of the 3rd age of Middle Earth: the forests of Loren=Lorien, Celeborn and Galadriel=Orion and Ariel, the Laurelorn Forest=Greenwood/Mirkwood, High elf colony at Marianburg=the sea elves of the Grey Havens, the High Elvish home isles of Ulthuan=Eldamar, and the isle of the dead at the center of the inner sea of Ulthuan=Tol Eressëa the isle at the center of the bay in Eldamar. The only 3rd age Middle Earth elven location not represented in the GW Old World is Rivendell.
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Re: Warhammer location for the Elf Quest Pack

Postby Davane » Tuesday March 9th, 2021 11:36pm

Laurelorn is not the only Elven settlement in the Empire, only the largest and well known. Pretty much any Wood Elf settlement would fit the bill here, without it having to be either Athel Loren or the Laurelorn Forest. It's not absurd that if they have been hidden away long enough, then Queen may actually just be the Wood Elf name for clan leader.

But another option is that you shouldn't be looking at a Wood Elf settlement IN the Empire, just within reach of the Empire, and the Border Princess is full of petty kingdoms that dub themselves "King" or "Queen", amongst other titles, even if they only actually have a small domain and/or population. These petty kingdoms are only held for as long as one has the might to protect their claim, and anyone can establish such a domain there, regardless of race. Thus, it makes sense that a relatively minor Wood Elf community (by Wood Elf standards) hidden away for awhile might come to have such a Queen.

Unfortunately, after the Heroes "actively adventure" against the Queen, chances are that her forces were so depleted, that the minor Elven domain probably collapsed, and/or any remaining survivors went into hiding, and what may have once been the kingdom could be some nook of another dozen nations by now. I mean, the churn in the Border Princes is such that new nations can come and go in as little as 12 months depending on their fortunes, to the point that most cartographers don't even bother keeping accurate maps of the Border Princes...

As the famous cartographers joke goes "if you need to find somewhere in the Border Princes, go there and ask whomever happens to be King that week where it is..."
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