Once upon a time, there were the four Elven Races.
At first they were all, in a way, similar to each other, yet each followed a different path and each became unique.
The High Elves then garbed in long, flowing robes and tall helms.
The Wood Elves hid themselves in wide cloaks with hoods.
The Dark Elves covered themselves with spiky pieces of armour and cruel trophies from their ritual killings.
The Sea Elves disappeared. They were retconned with the coming of the age of Kirby.
And so their memory was fixed. Everybody remembered them when they were young, and they wore different kinds of clothes, not unlike those worn by Men, yet different. There wasn’t one like another, just like Humans, and perhaps this was so because of their proximity to Men, from whom they drew a vitality unusual for Elves, something certainly chaotic, but also beautiful.
If you follow this blog, you know I have a thing for Sea Elves. And, in my imagination, no better miniatures represent them than the Marauder Elves. No matter how they were originally categorized: today, to me, they are all Sea Elves, because all other Elves have developed a different identity, with time.
I remember in 1997 looking at the WFRP 1st ed., in its Italian translation - Martelli da Guerra - and seeing this excellent picture by Paul Bonner, close to the section about the elven races, and thought: surely these must be them.
|This image apparently doesn't exist on the internet, so I had to take a picture of it with my mobile.|
High Elf on horseback, Wood Elf with the bow, Dark Elf with two swords, black make up and a tomahawk (Wardancers were still unheard of in our gaming group). So the central one, with a hood and the badass look on his face, must be the Sea Elf. It probably was not, but who cares to be corrected after 20 years?
|Elven minstrel, from WFRP 1st ed.|
|Elf, from WFRP 1st ed.|
|Elf in a Sea Elf community in the Old World, WFRP 1st ed.|
My image of Sea Elves was formed on pictures from that period, where Elves were not yet so remote as they became in later years, and were similar to Men. Just like there were Mountain Dwarfs with helms and chain mails, and Imperial Dwarfs dressed more or less like Imperial citizens, so - I reasoned - Elves living near Mannish communities must also wear clothes that go with the fashion. It made sense. It still does, since nothing on the subject has ever been published by GW after the early 90s. And so when I saw these Marauder High Elves (MM81) on eBay, I just had to have them. Look at them. Just look at them!
Marauder High Elf MM81/2 from 1989. Sculptor not credited, possibly Aly Morrison. An apparently simple sculpt with actually a lot of detail in embroidery and studs. I love the chainmail over leather jacket, the conical helm and the handaxe, which can be a tool as well as a weapon. Sea Elves are, after all, craftsmen and merchants.
Marauder High Elf MM81/6 from 1989, again no credited sculptor: Trish Morrison? This one is less harmonious and dynamic, but again its apparent simplicity reveals, when painted, a lot of embroidery and studs, which I choose to paint in lighter greys and whites as if they were pearls. This is obviously a prominent Elf, with a short sword, pieces of plate armour and a long overcoat, which I painted in double colours - sky blue outside and emerald green inside, nicely contrasting the purple tights. I'll use it for one of the NPCs of my WFRP campaign: Magalhaes, the leader of the Sea Elf community of Dralas. An old (220+) Elf, always moderate and diplomatic, carefully supporting the Regent Gelmir without getting too committed to him. Keeping a foot in every shoe and a finger in every pie, just not deep enough to get burned. Quietly outweathering the events of history in the Old World and outliving all his enemies, just sitting on the banks of the river.
Marauder High Elf MM81/5 from 1989, no credited sculptor. This tall, thin one is a fop, with his slashed sleeves and tall boots. There are studs/pearls on his botts and on the jacket, and on his crested helm. He wields a handaxe and I'll get a buckler for the other hand. In my campaign it represents Sidonaer, a Sea Elf rogue/adventurer who meddled too much with Men and took a number of wrong turns, so that now his family shuns him and he is wanted by several criminals for alleged wrongs he once did. A few weeks ago things went wrong again when the PCs in my group attempted to steal his treasure, which he collected in an expedition to Lustria, and ended up wounding him badly and killing his partners in business. Now Sidonaer is tending an ugly cut on his head and planning his revenge on the party.
These three are but a few of the figs I managed to acquire. I'll be posting more in the weeks to come and, ideally, I'll be assembling a warband to be used in Mordheim.