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Characters / Total War: Warhammer - The Dark Elves

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"Death to the Asur!"

"We shall strike down our foe with sharp steel and cold hearts. The weak die so that the strong shall be spared. Then and only then will our enemies know the true meaning of fear."

The Dark Elves, or the Druchii as they call themselves, and sometimes the Nagarrothi or the "Dark Ones", are one of the most ancient, powerful and sadistic of the three Elven civilizations. In the bleak, chilly lands of Naggaroth lies the Dark Elven kingdom of Malekith the Witch King, a realm born from the depths of malice and hate, a people who seek nothing more than to despoil a world they believe loathes their existence. With malevolent eyes, the Dark Elves watch this dying world, knowing it is their birthright to rule all that they survey and those that live upon it are born to do nothing more than to grovel at their feet.


They are raiders, reavers and heartless torturers of the highest degree, their desire being nothing more than to sow misery and pain to all that oppose them, for make no mistake, misery and pain is the very lifeblood of their existence. Thus do their Black Arks and Corsair Fleets ply the great waters of the world, raiding and enslaving all before them as a tribute to their own avaricious desires. Yet even should every other land bow to their rule, the Dark Elves know that they cannot claim their glorious inheritance whilst their hated brethren, the High Elves, endure.

Until that day finally dawns when the Isles of Ulthuan are theirs, the Dark Elves will continue their bloody quest as they always have. Great raiding fleets, their sails black against the night sky, bring woe and destruction to all the shores of the world, bearing terror and death to distant realms, often for no better reason than because there is no-one who can stand against them. With every year that passes, the power of Naggaroth ascends to greater heights, built upon the backs of slaves and fuelled by a constant stream of plunder from far-off lands. As the other elder races fade, the Dark Elves thrive, knowing that their hour has at last come. Stormclouds gather across the High Elf realms, and the Witch King's malevolent laughter echoes upon the wind. Naggaroth will rise, Ulthuan will fall, and a vengeance thousands of years in the making will finally see its bloody conclusion.


Introduced in Total War: Warhammer II, the Dark Elves are playable in custom games, the Vortex Campaign, and Mortal Empires.

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    General Tropes
The Cult of Pleasure
The Blessed Dread
Har Ganeth
Hag Graef

  • Achilles' Heel: Battles of attrition. The Dark Elves are very reliant on finishing a fight quickly and getting into their Murderous Prowess as fast as possible since most of their units are not meant for prolonged combat. Though they deal heavy and rapid damage compared to most races, they struggle greatly against those units who survive the initial onslaught of carnage.
  • Affably Evil: Dark Elves are still Elves, and on the best of days some can be rather polite and even act on a, an albeit twisted, sense of personal honor. That said, the majority will as quickly sacrifice people, souls, and their own ethics if works to their ends.
  • Ambition Is Evil: A faction-wide case. Each and every Dark Elf is aiming for the spot above them and it's highly implied that Malekith designed this to weed out the weak and promote the strong. In-game, if you don't treat your commanders right with loot or prestige, they will rebel against you to get what they want.
  • Agony Beam: The "Word of Pain" spell from the Lore of Dark Magic, which impedes an enemy's ability to fight by wracking them with pain.
  • All Crimes Are Equal: Due to the extreme civil strife that struck the city of Har Ganeth in the past, the city has some of the harshest laws in all of Naggaroth. The punishment for breaking any of these laws is execution by beheading, even for things such as public debauchery and murder, which wouldn't be considered crimes in other cities.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Witch Elves, or Brides of Khaine, a cult of blood-crazed warrior priestesses dedicated to the elven god of war and murder ((the male devotees join the ranks of Executioners or Assassins instead), and the Sisters of Slaughter, an order of gladiators dedicated to the god Eldrazor, the Lord of Blades. They represent some of the most murderously powerful light infantry in the game, but are completely lacking in armor.
  • Animal Motifs: Various kinds of reptile, namely their massive and savage Cold One mounts, dragons and, in Morathi's case especially, serpents.
  • Arch-Enemy: To the High Elves.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Sword of Khaine (otherwise known as the Widowmaker and the Slayer of Gods), doubling as an Evil Weapon. The cursed blade was wielded by the Ax-Crazy Elven God of War Khaine, which he used to fell immeasurably amounts of people . To drive back the first incursion of Chaos, the first Elven king, Anerion, picked up the sword, which granted him power the cost of turning him into an Ax-Crazy beserker. The May Patch added this in as an in-game mechanic, as it lets Dark Elf, Wood Elf or High Elf players build the Shrine of Khaine. After which, if ones very desperate (or incredibly stupid), gives the player an option to have one of their generals draw the infamous blade from the shrine, turning them into unimaginably powerful One-Man the cost of turning them insane, with truly horrible effects mounting on the campaign map the longer the wielder holds the weapon.
  • The Ark: The Black Arks of Naggaroth, once landlocked coastal castles that have been thoroughly enchanted to crack themselves away from the land and propel themselves across the sea at the whim of their masters. The sight of one of the Black Arks on the waves, loaded as they are with bloodthirsty Druchii, inspires fear in all but the most deluded sailor. In-lore they were made when Malekith and his followers caused the Sundering, the land of Nagarythe began to slip beneath the ocean. In an attempt to survive the onrushing waves, the sorcerers of the rebel Elves used their dark magic to protect their castles and towers, causing them to float free of their sinking land and sail to safety. In-game the arks function as mobile bases that not only serve as additional recruitment centers but enable armies to use battlefield bombardment abilities when fighting nearby.

  • Athens and Sparta: They and the High Elves are a textbook example of this dynamic; with the Druchii as Sparta, obviously.
  • Automatic Crossbows: Dark Elf repeater crossbows, their signature ranged weapons. Called "Uraithen" (lit. "Death Rain") in their tongue. Darkshards lug around large, two handed variants (alongside protective Pavise shields), while Shades and Corsairs use smaller handcrossbows.
  • Ax-Crazy: Pretty much the entire race, with the Cult of Khaine taking this Up to Eleven. Their faction ability "Murderous Prowess" grants a huge offense buff, but only once enough casualties have been done, to either side.
  • Badass Army: The Druchii are no less skilled in battle than their High Elven foes, and they combine this prowess with a Blood Lust to rival that of the Greenskins and Norscans.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: Unlike the Empire, Bretonnians, and even the Greenskins, who all display genuine affection for their Beast of Battle, Dark Elves treat their war beasts with extreme cruelty, with their beast tamers being incredibly sadistic, and horrid to their charges, primarily using whips to subject them. A casual glance at the state of their scarred horses should tell you all you need to know.
    • The only animal that SEEMS to be treated with any form of respect are the dark Pegasi. This is most likely due to their significance as religious icons.
  • The Beastmaster: A very literal example, in the form of the High Beastmaster, a Lord option. They are Dark Elves who, during their childhood, were taken to the Slave-City of Karond Kar to be tutored in the profession of handling, and breaking beasts for the Dark Elf war machine. It is said that not even the proudest of Dragons can remain defiant for long underneath the torture and discipline of a skilled Beastmasters whip, for the Druchii have black hearts, and do not treat their animals well. They go into battle on foot or on Scourgerunner Chariots, armed with a spear and a whip; providing a myriad of niches, including buffing any Monstrous Unit in your army in battle and the campaign, as well as dealing a great deal of dedicated Anti-Large damage.
  • Beast of Battle: They utilize a large number of monstrous creatures in battle, such as the raptor-like Cold Ones, Manticores, Black Dragons, Harpies and their famed War Hydras.
  • The Berserker: The Brides of Khaine imbibe hallucinogenic drugs before battle and whip themselves up into a rapturous frenzy of religious ecstasy focused on spilling blood in Khaine's name, and then when combat is joined go completely off the leash, losing themselves to both the Frenzy and Rampage special rules.
  • BFS: The executioners of Har Ganeth, an order of elite holy warriors devoted to Khaine, are renowned for their use of the "Draich", a vicious two handed blade. Unlike many other Dark Elves the executioners are notably not sadists, but cold and efficient killers who see it as a religious duty to kill their foes as quickly as possible. A variant of Shade is also armed with a greatsword.
  • Black Knight: Several of their high tier troops, such as the Black guard and Cold One Knights, fit this trope to a tee. Being dark armoured elite warriors in service to an Evil Overlord.
  • Black Magic: The Dark Elves are the foremost practioners of 'Dhar' or Dark Magic, one of the most destructive and malevolent of all magical lores.note  The necromancy practiced by the Vampire Counts originated as a subset of Dark Magic devised by Nagash, the first human necromancer, who in turn obtained his knowledge of it from a trio of Dark Elves he had taken prisoner.
  • Blood Bath: Something the matriarchs of the Brides of Khaine engage in once a year as part of a Blood Magic ritual to rejuvenate themselves. The process was first invented by Morathi and by witholding all but the most basic details of the ritual, thereby keeping the Witch Elves largely dependent on her, she has established no small degree of control over the Cult of Khaine.
  • Blood Knight: All Dark Elves qualify to some extent, as Khaine — a god of war and murder — is the patron deity of their civilization. This is represented in game by a boost being given after they've been in battle long enough, relishing in both the slaughter of their foes, as well as their own forces. The Cult of Khaine, or course, are the biggest offenders in this regard. More specifically, the Witch Elves are living weapons of mindless violence, cruelty and destruction, whilst the Executioners, are colder and more reserved, but no less bloodthirsty.
  • Body Horror: The Doomfire Warlocks are horrific looking, their gaunt bodies torn and shredded with jagged scars, and their disgusting faces perpetually stuck in a look of pure agony.
  • Born Under the Sail: The call of the sea is considered sacred in Druchii society, to the point that corsairs are afforded great respect throughout Naggaroth and embarking on their first raiding cruise is an important rite of passage for young nobles.
  • Breath Weapon: Black dragons breath clouds of toxic fumes, while war hydras breathe gouts of flame.
  • Cast From Hitpoints: The "Power of Darkness" spell from the Lore of Dark Magic, which damages the caster but temporarily increases their power reserve recharge rate.
  • Chainmail Bikini: The Brides of Khaine (AKA, the Witch Elves), whose combat armor seems to consist largely of a loincloth, a metal bikini, warpaint and above-the-knee boots. Of course considering they're blood crazed berserkers with next to no sense of self preservation any "armour" they wear is purely decorative in nature. Further, they like the way fresh blood feels as it splashes against their skin. Sorceresses tend to be similarly attired; though they rarely involve themselves in physical combat to begin with. Other Dark Elf women, such as female dreadlords, avert this trope however; typically dressing identically to their male counterparts in full plate armor and helmet.
  • Challenge Seeker: Because the regular fights in the arena have come to bore them, the Sisters of Slaughter regularly try to walk real battlefields and seek foes that will truly pose a challenge to them. Their special rule, Trial of Blades, makes them fight better when they are losing reflecting how much they enjoy a worthy challenge.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: The Druchii can rival the Skaven in this department, and like the Skaven, Dark Elf lords possess a loyalty meter, enabling them to betray you should they not feel sufficiently appreciated or intimidated. The only real way to manage this is to give these Lords loot, victory, or hire a Khainite Assassin to constantly "remind" them of their duty. Indeed, Druchii society promotes unrestrained ambition, arguing that constant intrigue will weed out the weak and encourage those who have the potential to best their superiors, leading to a constant state of mutual suspicion and omnipresent treachery.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: The Dark Elves' favorite pastime. Often overlaps with Torture for Fun and Information.
  • A Commander Is You: An Elitist/Generalist/Brute faction. Like their counterparts they have a versatile roster of high quality troops, though their soldiers, especially the high tier ones, tend to be less numerous than average. However, unlike the High Elves, they emphasize sheer force and aggression over espionage and defense. In addition their "Murderous Prowess" mechanic gives them a significant boost to their combat abilities once a certain number of units have been slain, encouraging offense over defense. Their campaign mechanics also encourage aggressive strategies, with the slavery system and numerous boosts to raiding and sacking allowing them to enhance their economy through Rape, Pillage, and Burn.
  • Dark Action Girl: The Dark Elves have by far the largest amount of dark, dangerous ladies, a large mix of both female heroes, lords, and units, such as the Witch Elves, Death Hags and female Dreadlords.
  • Dark Is Evil: The Druchii take this trope and run with it, perhaps more than any other faction. They're called the Dark Elves for one, they dress in colours like black and purple and practice dark magic. Generally speaking if you took a shot every time the words dark or black were used in relation to the Druchii or their units, you'd likely be dead within an hour.
  • The Dark Arts: The Lore of Dark Magic is certainly the most dangerous Lore one can study outside of Chaos lores. Since it involves the manipulation of the raw Winds of Magic directly out of the Chaos Realms, with all the dangers and corruptive side effects it has. The Sorceresses do not mind, as all they want is power. Fittingly, there's a sorcerer's school where it is taught.
  • Dance Battler: Sisters of Slaughter have an instinctual fighting style, stated to perform beautiful choreographies when killing their prey in the arena.
  • Decadent Court: Depends on where you are in Druchii lands, but most courts around a Tyrant and even Malekith’s are particularly deadly places, where treachery is the name of the game in order to acquire a better place under Malekith. Morathi’s own court places more emphasis on the decadent part, with untold rites performed in Ghrond. In-game, the various loyalty events show this "game" rather well.
  • Deadly Gaze: The Bloodwrack Medusa's ranged attack consists of a bolt energy fired from their eyes. In the lore the gaze of a Bloodwrack is said to cause the blood of a victim to be violently expelled from every pore. In game this is represented by a missile attack. These projectiles are some of the fastest in the game, faster than most artillery even, while also being nearly invisible.
  • Dragon Rider: Malekith, and the generic dreadlords, can ride black dragons to battle. It's actually revealed that the Dark Elves are trying to monopolize the whole dragon riding thing; their various army books blatantly state that Malekith is responsible for the strange, sorcerous affliction that is making it harder and harder for the High Elves to wake their dragons for battle, not to mention the Black Dragon Breed was created by the tyrant himself.
  • Divide and Conquer: The Dark Elves caused the War of the Beard, driving a wedge between the High Elves and Dwarfs and weakening the latter so they struggled to deal with the disasters/Orc invasions afterward. During the war, Malekith managed to assault Ulthuan and actually conquered some of it for a time.
  • Domesticated Dinosaurs: The Dark Elves have Cold One Knights and Cold One Chariots, heavy cavalry and chariots units relying on the dinosaur-like Cold Ones that were “tamed” and used as mounts. In lore, riding a Cold One is considered Power at a Price since the riders must cover themselves in poisonous slime in order to even get near the lizards without being smelling like prey; in time these riders lose all their senses of touch, smell and taste due to the slime damaging their nerve endings so they can't enjoy mundane pleasures anymore.
  • The Empire: A highly militant society with an economy sustained by slave labour, Social Darwinist ideology, ambitions of territorial expansion and rule by an all powerful autocratic tyrant. Naggaroth is one of the straightest examples in the entire setting.
  • Evil Counterpart Race: Again, to the High Elves.
    • In lore, the High Elves are traditionalist, are known for their discipline and belief in all that is good. They also worship the Cadais, more benevolent Gods of Heavens. They are haughty in a way that makes them believe in their moral superiority. Finally they use the purest form of magic, High Magic. In contrast the Dark Elves only believe in strength and cunning, easily replacing the old and inadequate for better tools and they follow nothing but their cruel whims. As a result, they pray to the dark gods of the Cytharai for strength. They also use raw undiluted magic power in the form of Dark Magic.
    • This also applies in game. Dark Elves have an universal rule named Murderous Prowess that directly contrasts the High Elves' Martial Prowess.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: The Dark Elves come from a kingdom known as the "Land of Chill", some of their most iconic spells are associated with ice and cold, and their temperament overall is a bit, well, icy.
  • Evil Sorcerer: An interesting case in that the vast majority of magical practitioners in Naggaroth are female, and males who practice dark magic (other than Malekith himself of course) are to be put to death or turned into Doomfire Warlocks. The reason for this is because Malekith has heard of a prophecy that he will be killed by a sorcerer "of male aspect", and believes that he is averting the prophecy by only permitting female dark elves to become sorceresses. Male sorcerers do exist, but they remain incognito for fear of the Witch-King's wrath.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: While horribly xenophobic, when it comes to gender, Dark Elves are very pragmatic. There is no stigma attached to women serving in the military, and can advance in rank just as easily as the men. The only real gender restriction is when it comes to magic users, and that's only because of a prophecy involving Malekith getting killed by a sorcerer. It also extends to sexuality, as the Druchii are quite progressive in that regard, as Felicion and her female lover command high positions despite their apparent public interest in other women. A common campaign event card depicts a Dark Elf Dreadlord alongside his harem, which includes two male pleasure slaves, further implying taking a same sex lover is common and accepted in Dark Elf culture.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: The Dark Elves love this trope. Naggaroth is positively carpeted by towering black citadels.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Notably, the Dark Elves probably spend more time fighting the "evil" races than any of the other evil races do. On top of nearly perpetual civil war amongst themselves, they will spend most of the early game fighting Skaven, Norscans, and Beastmen. This is taken even further in the lore; the Druchii (other than Morathi) despise Chaos and slay Daemons whenever they can, and Dark Elven colonies west of Naggaroth frequently butt heads with the Hobgoblins and the Chaos Dwarfs.
  • Evil Wears Black: The entirety of the Dark Elves army is clad in black clothes, black armors, and have mostly black hair, with typically black mounts. The occasional red, purple or golden ornaments are present to break the monotony. No units respect black as much as the aptly named Black Guard of Naggarond.
  • The Exile: An entire faction of them.
    • The Dark Elves originated from the province of Nagarythe in northwestern Ulthuan. After being driven out of Ulthuan during the Sundering they settled in the frozen wastes to the north, naming their new kingdom Naggaroth in memory of their old home.
    • The Shades, or Autarii in Druhir, are exiles even among the Dark Elves; their ancestors were cast out of the cities millennia ago as the result of a feud or similar occurrence. Nowadays they dwell in the wilds of Naggaroth, living mainly as hunters and bandits. Shades are considered savage even by other Druchii, and are even reputed to indulge in cannibalism. While in general they're no friends to their city-dwelling cousins, Shades will occasionally be enticed into service in Naggaroth's armies with the promise of plunder, or sometimes just the promise of bloodshed. In battle they make superlative scouts and skirmishers.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: There's very little question what the Torture Post building does.
    Essentially we tie you to this post. Then we torture you. It's... Very literal.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Like the High Elves they are heavily inspired by the Ancient Greeks. But whereas the Asur are analogous to the Athenians, the Druchii, with their martial society, reliance on slavery and Social Darwinism, correspond to the Spartans. They also represent the darker aspects and stereotypes of the Greco-Roman world in general, as evidenced by their love of blood-sports and hedonistic depravity. In addition, many of their monstrous units are drawn from Classical Mythology. By contrast the activity of their Corsairs, and the coastal raids they carry out to collect plunder and slaves, are reminiscent of the Barbary Coast Pirates.
  • Fantasy Pantheon: Although they technically have the same ones as the High Elves, they tend to lean more toward the Cytharai than the Cadai. Chief among them Khaine, the god of war and murder.
  • Fantastic Racism: While all elves are guilty of this to some degree, the Druchii take it Up to Eleven, regarding the various non-elven races of the world as nothing more than slaves to serve their whims or vermin to exterminate. Even the other elven races are subject to their disdain; the High Elves they consider effete weaklings, while the Wood Elves are regarded as little more than primitive savages.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Anyone with the misfortune to be taken captive by the Druchii can be expect to be subjected to one of these. Death is the kindest fate they can bestow upon you. As for the Druchii themselves, men who are unlucky enough to be born with the innate gift to control the Winds of Magic are given one of the darkest fates in the setting; turned into Doomfire Warlocks, who will have their soul eventually stolen by Slannesh, after a lifetime of physical agony and torture.
    • This is pretty much the fate for any Dark Elf incompetent or weak enough to fall in battle. After death, both High and Dark Elven souls are sent to Mirai (also called the Black Pit) where they becomes slaves to the Pale Queen, Ereth Khial. The only other option is being devoured by Slannesh, the Chaos god of depravity. While High Elves mitigate this by binding their souls to the Waystones guarding their homeland, the Dark Elves consider "preparing to die" to be the same as "planning to fail", and the prospect of Damnation make their troops doubly motivated to triumph.
  • Fighting for a Homeland: The Dark Elves are the descendants of a failed coup d'état that ended with their home kingdom of Nagarythe shattered forever and themselves forcibly exiled from Ulthuan. They've been trying to fight back to Ulthuan in the time since then.
  • Foil: The High Elves and Dark Elves contrast each other aesthetically and mechanically. While the High Elves wear primary colors with white highlights, the Dark Elves wear secondary colors with black highlights. The mechanical buffs to the High Elves start out at maximum and degrade as a battle drags on, the mechanical buffs to Dark Elves start out at minimum and get stronger as a battle drags on.
  • For the Evulz: The Dark Elves are considered one of the most overtly evil factions in a setting already overflowing with Black-and-Grey Morality. For while factions like Chaos are capable of committing atrocities, they do so because they believe their gods demand it. Dark Elves on the other hand will commit atrocities simply because it will cause pain and suffering in others. Fittingly summed up in this bit of flavor text:
    Better to be cruel just for the sake of it than hold insincere notions of kindness
  • Gladiator Games: Various blood sports are popular forms of entertainment in Naggaroth; appropriately enough considering the depraved Greco-Roman theme of the Dark Elves. Arenas and fighting pits even serve as public order buildings for the Druchii. An order of gladiators, the Sisters of Slaughter, are even available as an infantry unit for Dark Elf armies.
  • Global Currency Exception: Dark Elves use slaves as a kind of currency. Their economy is based on slavery, and so having too few slaves reduces their gold income. However, having too many slaves in one area can have negative effects on public order, requiring more enforcer oversight to prevent a slave revolt. Finally, slaves can be expended in large numbers to enact Ritual Magic. If the Dark Elves require more slaves (and they often do) they can be gained by raiding lands, defeating armies in battle, or sacking cities.
  • Grim Up North: Their homeland, Naggaroth (lit. Land of Chill), is a desolate, frozen land in the New World just south of the Chaos Wastes, and is infested with Chaos worshiping tribes.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Inverted, the female dreadlord variant specializes exclusively in melee combat, while their male counterparts serve as a melee/ranged hybrid. This is in direct contrast to the High Elves, who play the trope straight.
  • Harpoon Gun: The dreaded Scourgerunner Chariot has a pair of Harpoon launchers mounted on its metal frame, pulled by a pair of Dark Steeds. These colossus Chariots are used to capture some of the greatest beasts that prowl the Land of Chill, and as such offer a rather large bonus against monsters, both from their barbed harpoons, barbed nets they carry to ensnare foes, and their spiky frames. Crewed by a pair of Beastmaster Apprentices, these are some of the most potent anti-large warmachines in the game.
  • Harping on About Harpies: Like the Beastmen, the Dark Elves employ harpies in battle. They're a One-Gender Race of winged humanoids resembling elven women with batlike wings and cruel talons. Many lair in desolate islets and sea stacks and use their entrancing songs to lure sailors to their doom, but others perch among the towers of the Dark Elves' strongholds and follow their armies and fleets to war. The Dark Elves themselves consider the harpies to favored by Khaine, and greatly admire their bloodthirst and cruelty.
  • Hate Plague: The Witch Elves can infect nearby enemies with this, forcing them to fight to the death instead of retreating. One has to be careful with this one as it would be a very bad idea to use it on heavily armored foes that rely on getting stuck in a fight in the first place, such as Greatswords or Black Orcs, instead of something lighter like Archers or Spearmen that the Witch Elves outmatch entirely.
  • Hellish Horse: The Dark Steeds of Naggaroth are horribly emaciated, covered in scars and even have hooked spurs of bone protruding from the backs of their legs. To say nothing of the horned, bat-winged Dark Pegasi.
  • Horse of a Different Colour: The Dark Elves utilize raptor like reptiles known as "Cold Ones", or "Nauglir" in their own tongue, as mounts. Cold Ones are notoriously vicious and difficult to train so mastering one is a major status symbol in Druchii society. The Lizardmen also utilize the creatures, although theirs are a separate, jungle-dwelling breed.
  • Human Sacrifice: A staple of their religion. Though it need not be humans, any intelligent race will do.
  • Hunter of Monsters: Beastmasters personally hunt down the monsters they will then whip into obedience, driving Scourgerunner Chariots across the mountains of Naggaroth to get their quarries.
  • It Amused Me: This is the only reason Dark Elves need to torture, kill or pillage any of the “lesser races”. That is, everyone except them.
  • Interservice Rivalry: The three main core Dark Elves warrior types do not appreciate each other. The crossbow wielding Darkshards are looked down upon by the other two groups for not risking their lives in close quarters, but they pride themselves on their sharpshooting skills. Meanwhile the Consummate Professional spearmen Dreadspears have a Technician vs. Performer relationship against the Blood Knight sword-wielding Bleakswords.
  • Lady of Black Magic: Thanks to the prophecy of Malekith's demise at the hands of a male sorcerer, only women are permitted to practice magic in Naggaroth (save for Malekith himself). These Sorceresses are notorious for using the Lore of Dark Magic, based on using the corrupted raw Winds of Magic, also invoking daemonic entities to assist them, and other unpleasant rituals. They come in both hero and lord variants.
  • Life Drain: The spell Soul Stealer, which damages an enemy while healing the caster.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Black Ark Corsairs. Armour-wise they're the first heavy infantry available to the Dark Elves, but lighter armoured (and faster) than Black Guard and Executioners. They have an infantry-killing role in melee, which they do decently but not as well as Witch Elves. They can get hand crossbows that trade their anti-infantry trait for a ranged attack, but they're not as good at shooting as Darkshards or Shades. Their stats are balanced between melee defence, melee offence, speed and armour to protect them from shooting, and as a result Corsairs have no truly excellent match-ups but are a solid unit against almost anything that's not high-tier and armour-piercing.
  • Klingon Promotion: The standard method of advancement in Druchii society, only the direct subordinates of Malekith himself are considered immune for their lives belong to the Witch King alone. Not that this makes them much safer, Malekith's typical tolerance for error is low.
  • Master Swordsman: Har Ganeth Executioners are famous for constantly training in swordsmanship with their draichs when not performing guard duty or executions. They have become some of the foremost experts in dispatching all kinds of foes or creatures in one well-placed strike.
  • Master Poisoner: Khainite Assassins are masters are creating and using poison through Poisoned Weapons but also secretly administering it inside of food. In-game one of their final unlocks is a powerful ability that lets them coat their weapons with this, doing a special, especially devastating, variant of poison towards single targets.
  • Magic Knight: The Doomfire Warlocks. Haggard, decrepit and frighteningly pale figures, that appear as if they're horsemen of the apocalypse, and are what any Dark Elf male whose unlucky enough to be "blessed" with the gift to use magic eventually become. Their souls are forfeit to the Great Devourer, and so they desperately try to forestall their own horrible final fate by capturing the souls of others and offering them in place of their own. They ride gaunt, dark horses clad in barded plate, and many wear hideous black masks to hide their haunting visages. For the magic part, they have attack animations where they throw sprawling cones of purple flame towards their enemies, and have two spells bound to them. For the knight part, they're very fast, able to deal both magic and poison damage, and despite their lack of armour are able to take plenty of damage because they have a whopping forty percent ward save.
  • Magic Cauldron: One of the most unique Dark Elves weapons and magic tools are the Cult of Khaine’s Cauldrons of Blood. Installed on a special altar, Cauldrons of Blood are powerful items for performing Blood Magic in the name of Khaine. In the lore, they are always full of blood without never overflowing and through a Blood Bath in them, they allow Death Hags to regain their youthful appearances. In game, they have several abilities buffing the Brides of Khaine, and can make enemy units enter into a frenzy.
  • Medusa: Serpentine humanaoids known as Bloodwrack Medusae, who have served Morathi for thousands of years. In the lore, these were originally sorceresses who used magic to make themselves more beautiful than the goddess Atharti, who then cursed them for their hubris. In game, they work as a monstrous unit capable of not only delivering magical scream projectiles, but also able to ride Blodwrack Shrines to empower themselves and their allies. A Medusa known as "the oracle" is sought by Makelith to find a way to destabilize the Vortex, and appears in a cutscene, only to be murdered when it's no longer useful.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Their iconic manticores (human-faced bat-lions with vaguely scorpion-like stinging tails) and technically their harpies (half elf-maid, half bat-like monster). 8th edition gives them the Kharibdyss which can be loosely described as a mashup of a hydra, a kraken, a cluster of lampreys and a whorl shark (a prehistoric shark distinctive for its buzzsaw-like lower jaw).
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Naggarothi black dragons possess maws filled to the brim with large, jagged, irregular fangs. They almost make other dragon breeds seem dentally challenged by comparison. And that's not even getting into the Kharybdis, the bastard lovechild of a hydra and a lamprey.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Dark Elves actually invoke this trope deliberately in their naming conventions. Druchii nobles will will usually assign themselves a suitably intimidating epithet, for instance "Soulflayer", as a form of boast, and are said to go to almost theatrical lengths to prove said boast. If the noble in question fails to live up to their self proclaimed title, however, they can expect nothing more than a gruesome death at the hands of their countrymen, typically in a manner ironically reminiscent of the title itself. These customs are actually reflected in game via the ability to assign various titles to your characters and receive boosts accordingly.
  • Name of Cain: The Dark Elves worship several gods but none as furiously as Khaine, their chief god. They dedicate thousands of sacrifices to the Cult of Khaine, and its followers are numerous.
  • Nemean Skinning: Corsairs and Fleetmasters all wear a Sea Dragon Cloak taken from the iron-hard skin of the eponymous monsters.
  • Nostalgia Filter: Many Druchii, and Malekith in particular, practically worship the memory of old Nagarythe and are almost fanatical in their desire to preserve its traditions.
  • Obviously Evil: Let's see, between the slave driven economy, master race ideology, spiky armour, dark magic, massive black fortresses, naming conventions, murderous cultists, rampant sadism and colour palette, it's not subtle at all that they're very bad news.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The black dragons of Naggaroth are descended from a clutch of eggs stolen from Caledor by the Druchii during the Sundering. The eggs were then corrupted with dark magic, producing vicious, feral monsters that spew noxious fumes rather than flame. They come as both independent units and as mounts for Dark Elf generals. They are held in utter disgust by the dragons of Ulthuan, who view them as savage degenerates.
  • Our Elves Are Different: Of the dark elf variety, obviously, an archetype which they embody very well with the culturally-ingrained wickedness, the sadism and the spikes. However, unlike many other examples of dark elves, they do not have dark skin — quite the opposite most of the time actually — nor do they live underground.
  • Our Hydras Are Different: War hydras, gigantic, fire-breathing quadrupeds with five heads, can be fielded as powerful monster units. They are far more outwardly snakelike than their tabletop inspiration, having fully adder-like heads, forked snake tongues, and rattlesnake tails. There's also a Regiment of Renown version in the form of the Chill of Sontar, a legendary frost-breathing hydra with ice-blue scales.
  • Our Manticores Are Spinier: Manticores are held as sacred to Khaine in Naggarothi society, and as of The Queen and the Crone update are available for use as either mounts or standalone monsters. The Manticores native to the Land of Chill, however, are much larger and far more fearsome then the ones prowling the Chaos Wastes.
  • Pegasus: Dark pegasi, which are essentially this trope combined with Hellish Horse, are favoured as mounts by Druchii sorceresses, including Morathi herself.
  • Pirates: As Naggaroth is so barren, the Druchii are constantly raiding other lands for goods and slaves. This in turn has made them the most infamous and prolific seaborne raiders in the world. This aspect of the faction is represented on the battlefield by the Black Ark Corsairs, vicious reavers largely responsible for providing Naggaroth with a steady flow of slaves and who march to battle with the rest of the Druchii legions when called to war.
  • The Power of Hate: It would be fair to say that the Dark Elves are practically fueled by this concept. Their entire race is both consumed and driven by their hatred for the High Elves, and for nearly all the other races for that matter. The mindset is perhaps best exemplified by a quote from the Malus Darkblade novel series:
    Malus Darkblade:Through hate all things are possible, and my hate is strong.
  • Power Up Let Down: The titles presented to Dread Lords can be underwhelming, depending on which of the randomly given two you're presented with.
  • Praetorian Guard: The Black Guard of Naggarond, the personal guard of Malekith himself and the most elite warriors in all of Naggaroth. Each one is taken as a baby from one of the highest noble families in the capital and put through Training from Hell. Each guardsman is then expected to give 200 years of service, which they are highly likely not to survive. Those that do however are guaranteed a place in the elite of Naggarothi society as Malekith's generals and lieutenants.
  • Professional Killer: The Khainite Assassins, an order of, well, assassins, within the Cult of Khaine. All begin as male infantsnote  abducted from their families on 'Death Night', the most important Dark Elf religious celebration. They are then submitted to the judgement of Khaine by being thrown into a cauldron of boiling blood. Those favoured by Khaine survive the ordeal and are trained as new assassins.
  • Proud Warrior Race: Since the days of Aenarion, the elves of Nagarythe were always the most martially inclined of the elven realms. In the millennia since their descendants have lost none of their warlike nature, becoming a race of Ax-Crazy Blood Knights obsessed with Social Darwinism.
  • Psycho Serum: The Witch Brew imbibed by Death Hags, which sends the drinker into a state of frenzied blood lust.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Very big on all three counts.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Almost all Dark Elves are tall, dark, and handsome, a stark contrast to their fairer, generally nicer cousins.
  • Rage Helm: Most closed helmets are sculpted in the likeliness of a screaming face, most notably the Executioners’ helmet which resemble bone-bleached skulls. Likewise, the Sisters of Slaughter have grimacing golden masks.
  • The Red Baron: Dark Elves love to give themselves impressive and intimidating titles. See Names to Run Away from Really Fast.
  • Religion of Evil: The Dark Elves worship the Cytharai, the gods of the elven underworld, most prominently Khaela Mensha Khaine, the lord of war and murder. While the other elven races try to appease these deities, outright worshipping them is frowned upon.note  The Dark Elves have no such reservations.
  • Sadist: One of their defining characteristics. You would be hard pressed to find a Dark Elf who isn't one. It says a lot that they have been called "the cruelest of all mortal races" in various Warhammer sourcebooks, considering the competition they have.
  • Scary Impractical Armour: Dark Elf armour, particularly that of high ranking individuals, tends to emphasize intimidation over practicality. Spikes, blades and other such adornments are especially common.
  • Sea Monster: The Druchii employ numerous oceanic monstrosities in addition to land bound creatures such as the Hydra. Most of these are utilized by Naggaroth's naval forces, often pulling black arks, but the nightmarish Kharibdyss is noteworthy due to it's ability to fight on land. Resembling a hideous amalgamation of hydra, Kraken and lamprey, these monstrosities dwell in the abyssal depths of Naggaroth's seas and are infamous for the effort required to both locate and subjugate one, to say nothing of their power and ferocity once goaded into battle. As such, they bring great wealth and prestige to any beastmaster able to acquire one. In game the Kharibdyss serves as a poisonous anti-large monster, but are more than capable of tearing through infantry formations as well.
  • Sinister Scimitar: In contrast to the Asur, who usually prefer straight bladed swords, the Druchii tend to favour curved, jagged blades.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: The Dark Elven kingdom was built on the backs of countless slaves, who to this day form the backbone of its economy and workforce. This focus on slavery is often used to emphasize just how vile the Druchii are. In-game, the Dark Elves use slaves as a secondary resource which can be utilized to enhance their economy, or sacrificed to perform various rites. However, having too many slaves in one place with too-lax oversight may cause public order issues.
  • Snake People: The Medusa are very snake-like, and fully count as Snakes Are Sexy.
  • The Social Darwinist: Druchii society runs on this philosophy. In Naggaroth, if you aren't strong, ruthless and cunning you are dead.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Like the Warriors of Chaos the Dark Elves are very fond of these.
  • Storm of Blades: The aptly named Bladewind spell, which conjures a vortex of spectral blades to carve through enemy ranks.
  • Token Good Teammate: Downplayed with the Executioners of Har Ganeth. They're still cold and ruthless killers, but unlike practically every other Dark Elf, they do not torture, they kill swiftly and cleanly, and fight with both pride and honor, being saints compared to the rest.
  • Trading Bars for Stripes: One research upgrade mentions that Dark Elf criminals are quite willing to serve in the army... once it's made clear the alternative is death.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The Dark Elves are behind a lot of what makes the Warhammer universe the Crapsack World we all know and love in the background lore, knowingly or not. First, they indirectly caused the War of the Beard, driving a permanent wedge between the High Elves and Dwarfs, along with weakening both sides so they struggled alone to deal with various subsequent disasters and invasions. Second, they have also "allied" the forces of Chaos on several occasions, along with distracting the Lizardmen from their anti-Chaos duties. In addition, a few Dark Elf sorcerers washed up on the shores of Nehekhara, where they ended up teaching Nagash Dark Magic, which caused him to invent necromancy, creating all undead by extension, and caused a massive mess that was only stopped by the Skaven of all races. And while the Dark Elves aren't always aware of their actions causing problems for the other races, they'd likely just consider it an amusing bonus if they found out.
  • War God: The Elven Fantasy Pantheon includes Khaela Mensha Khaine, the god of war and murder, and all Elven factions venerate him to some degree. But while the other Elven nations treat Khaine worship as situational, emphasizing restraint and the need for propriety when committing violence, the Dark Elves make thuggish Khaine worship a central part of their spiritual life, seeking to invoke his favor by the forceful taking of unwilling life in their Religion of Evil.
  • Whip It Good: The Sisters of Slaughter wield barbed whips in combat, as do the High Beastmasters.
  • Wicked Cultured: Dark Elves are no less urbane than their cousins, just instead of sipping wine from glasses to music, they prefer drinking drug-laced blood to the sounds of tortured prisoners. This is really underlined when Malekith fights a host of Chaos warriors in one of his quest battles, and he states that the Dark Elves' idea of torture is much more refined and inventive than theirs. Let that sink in for a bit.
  • Wizarding School: The dark convent of Ghrond is the evil version of this trope; training Naggarothi sorceresses in the ways of The Dark Arts. As one would expect, many prospective sorceresses never live to see graduation. Furthermore, if the Dark Elves take the White Tower of Hoeth it will be corrupted into a similar institution.
  • Your Soul Is Mine:
    • It is stated that upon death, all Dark Elves souls are taken and consumed by Slaanesh, as no one feels the desire to protect dead and irrelevant souls. It only serves to fuel further atrocities as Dark Elves consider that since they will suffer such a horrible fate, they might as well live to the fullest and make everyone suffer.
    • Doomfire Warplocks revolve entirely on this trope. Being male sorcerers, Malekith curses them and so Slaanesh has a direct grip on their souls. Directly feeling a Chaos God’s claw around their souls, the Doomfire Warplocks will do anything to stall Slaanesh, stealing others’ souls and making offering to the Dark Prince to stall him

Legendary Lords


Malekith, the Witch-King of Naggaroth
"Ulthuan will be mine!"
"Those that thought to betray me, know that I hold no grudge, for betrayal is part of our way. But now... now I expect you to die for me."
Voiced by: Ramon Tikaram

Malekith, the Witch King of Naggaroth, is the ruler of the Dark Elves, or Druchii as they refer to themselves, and the son of Phoenix King Aenarion, the greatest Elven hero to have ever lived. Malekith is ancient and powerful beyond mortal reckoning, a being who has lived for thousands upon thousands of years, gathering a great treasure trove of magical power that few can rival within the world. Long ago, this mighty Lord of the Elven race sought to claim the Isles of Ulthuan by sheer force of will, cruelty and bloodshed, but the Flames of Asuryan denied his right to rule and left him scarred by fire and twisted with hatred.

Near death, Malekith would be taken away and healed by his mother, Morathi and taken to the lands of Nagarythe. From there, Malekith was encased in a suit of magical black-metal, the plates literally searing itself upon Malekith's own flesh. To the brow of the great horned helmet was welded the Circlet of Iron, and with his body transformed, Malekith took the persona of the Destroyer and now sought to reclaim that which was denied to him.

In the years since, Malekith has lead many great wars against the High Elven usurpers, but each time has been undone by cruel fate or the incompetence of his craven underlings. Yet the Witch King is immortal and knows he will outlast those who foolishly believe themselves his betters. The day is fast approaching where old debts and insults will finally be paid, and Malekith will do anything within his power to hasten its arrival. Malekith firmly believes that if he can't rule Ulthuan, then no one else will.

Malekith leads the Naggarond sub-faction. In The Eye of the Vortex, he begins the game in the Naggarond province, in northern Naggaroth. In Mortal Empires he starts in the same area, but the province has been merged with that of the Chill Road and uses the latter's name.

  • 24-Hour Armor: As stated previously, Malekith is permanently trapped inside his armor, which was fused to his ruined flesh while still hot from the forge. Pieces of lore even state that the armor plates were actually riveted to his bones.
  • The Ace: Before his fall he was considered as possibly the greatest general and warrior in all of Ulthuan, as well as a sorcerer of prodigious skill. Naturally, this went to his head.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: Zig-Zagged. Malekith does not trust his mother by any stretch of the imagination, and primarily keeps her close in order to keep an eye on her. He also knew very well that it was Morathi who organized the death of his wife, Allisara, and while he publicly forgave his mother, he forbade any aid being sent to her and didn't shed any tears when the vengeful Wood Elves breached Ghrond. That said, he may end up patching things up with her (kinda) during the campaign unless the player deliberately brings conflict between them, and the allegations that his mother was also his lover further muddy the waters.
  • Anti-Villain: Of the Noble Demon and Jerkass Woobie variant. He's alot more sympathetic when you know his backstory, as well.
  • Annoying Arrows: In the Dark Elves In-Engine Trailer, arrows harmlessly plink off Malekith's armor as he slaughters a squad of trapped High-Elven warriors. In both the lore and the tabletop game, Malekith was depicted as being all but impervious to non magical damage. Of course, in the game itself this is toned down to 20% physical resistance for balance reasons.
  • Arch-Enemy: A number of characters can be said to have filled this role to Malekith over his long existence. Currently he seems to hold the most enmity for the twins Tyrion and Teclis, particularly the latter, who were largely responsible for thwarting his latest major invasion of Ulthuan at The Battle of Finuval Plain. Alith Anar, however is his ultimate nemesis, being the crown prince of his old home, Nagarythe, and the one person who's been a continual thorn in his side for the last five thousand years. Alith's notable acts include: foiling invasion after invasion preventing Malekith from claiming his so-called birthright, stealing one of his most precious possessions, the Shadow Crown of Nagarythe (which is held by its true ruler) and in general being one colossal problem. It's said, whilst Malekith has respect for some others, the only person he's truly afraid of is Alith Anar.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Circlet of Iron, an ancient crown of unknown origin which Malekith found in a primordial ruined city before The Sundering. The crown enhances the arcane abilities of the wearer, but also appears to exert a malign influence over them, encouraging the study of dark magic. It's heavily implied that wearing the circlet took a heavy toll on Malekith's sanity.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: The Dark Elves respect strength above all else and ultimately, regardless of birth rights or any other such claim, Malekith's authority hinges on the fact that he is the most powerful being in Naggaroth. A fact which he is fully aware of. In-game this is reflected by one of his lord traits: any lord with a higher level than Malekith has a chance to lose loyalty and potentially rebel, on account of believing themselves stronger than him.
  • Ax-Crazy: The flames of Asuryan ravaged more than just his body. On a good day he's a cold pragmatist bent on conquest, on a bad day a raging psychopath who would see the world destroyed for the sake of his own pride and vengeance.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In the event of a Dark Elf campaign victory, he uses the potion he made to drain the power of the Vortex within himself, making him powerful enough to become a minor god, supercharging his ability to conquer the world.
  • Badass Baritone: Shown off in the Dark Elves trailer, where he effortlessly slaughters High Elves in a scene highly reminiscent of Rogue One, then reveals an incredibly deep and gravelly voice.
  • Badass Boast: He's fond of these in general, but his speech during the Circlet of Iron quest battle manages to stand out, due to Chaos Warriors being the recipients of his disdainful comments about how slaughtering them all will be simply a tedious chore.
  • Badass Cape: A rather regal looking red one, fit for a king you might say.
  • Bad Boss: Malekith does not tolerate failure or dissent from his underlings and is more than willing to inflict horrific punishments on servants who disappoint him. Or simply to ensure their complete cooperation, as seen by his blackmail of the sorceress Felicion. However, he is also said to be generous when rewarding success; but one can only stay on his good side for so long....
  • Being Evil Sucks: Ultimately, the path Malekith took led to just more pain for him, the death of everyone he loved, and has left him perpetually bitter towards life. The fluff implies, deep down, he knows it and secretly despises himself, but chooses to continue on because he feels since he's started the path, there's no turning back anymore.
  • Big Bad: To the High Elves, being the primary instigator of The Sundering and Ulthuan's greatest and most persistent foe for thousands of years.
  • Blasphemous Boast:
    • His speech before the Destroyer quest battle has him blaspheming against Vaul, the elven smith-god.
      "Let the king approach the god, and have the god kneel! (...) Vaul will deign to bless my sword; he will marvel at my creation — or I will destroy all of his!"
    • In his Circlet of Iron speech, he makes a point of noting that he intends to claim the Chaos shrine not in Khaine's name, but in his own.
  • Bling of War: His armour is as gilded and ornate as it is frightening.
  • Blood Knight: Unsurprisingly, he thrives in battle.
    "I crave battle!"
  • Body Horror: Courtesy of the Flames of Asuryan. Whatever he looks like under that armour, you can bet it isn't pleasant. Furthermore, some interpretations of the Armor of Midnight state that it's riveted to his bones.
  • Classic Villain: Malekith embodies Ambition, Pride and Envy.
  • Cool Sword: His blade, The Destroyer, a large falchion forged by Malekith's own hand and named to symbolize his determination to annihilate the High Elves and all their works.
  • Crown of Horns: His Rage Helm includes two sets of large, hooked horns on either side of his head, giving him a regal appearance and an utterly menacing silhouette.
  • Dark Lord on Life Support: A downplayed example, but Malekith's body is covered head-to-toe in burns that have remained agonizingly fresh for centuries, and the Armor of Midnight was created to help alleviate the constant pain.
  • Darth Vader Clone: Fallen Hero? Check. Magic Knight? Check. Crippling injuries? Checknote . Full body armor with a face-concealing mask? Check. Had a wife but her death caused whatever good was left to vanish ? Check note . A familial relationship to the heroes? Check. Incredibly deep voice? Check. The Dark Elves trailer makes this even more explicit by having him re-enact the airlock scene from Rogue One.
  • Deadly Gaze: Implied by the unique bound spell "Gaze of Malice".
  • Dragon Rider: Malekith rides to war upon the black dragon Seraphon, a particularly vicious and ill tempered creature even by the standards of her breed. It's said that upon hatching, her first act was attempting to destroy the eggs of her siblings. Malekith, impressed by her ruthlessness and savagery, took the young dragon as his own.
  • The Dreaded: Malekith is unquestionably one of the single most feared beings in the setting, inspiring dread in anyone from Asur Princes to Chaos Warlords. It says a lot when you can keep a race of bloodthirsty psychopaths in line mostly through the sheer terror you inspire. Fittingly, in game he causes fear right off the bat, and terror once mounted on Seraphon.
  • Elite Army: Malekith's campaign skills grant a significant upkeep reduction to Black Guard, allowing him to amass an army of Elite Mooks at greatly reduced cost.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Holds nothing but respect and admiration for his father Aenarion, and in his youth much of his behavior was born out of a desire to emulate him and prove a worthy successor. He also holds affection for his mother Morathi, too much according to some, although their relationship is rather volatile at the best of times.
    • He dearly loved his dead wife, Allisara, even after falling to darkness. Part of the hatred that plagues his complicated love/hate relationship with his mother is derived from the fact Morathi had her murdered, which nearly caused him to murder her in a fit of extreme rage.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Deeply despises Chaos in all forms, and will massacre any Chaos followers he comes across (with the exception of his mother, though her dealings with Chaos-aligned people have caused friction between the two in the past). In fact, one of the reasons he desired to be Phoenix King so intensely was a genuine belief that only he could lead the elves against the forces of Chaos with any hope of victory. He has no problem trying to dominate or enslave various Chaos forces and entities for his own benefit however, so his attitude towards Chaos seems to lean into Eviler Than Thou nowadays, at least in his own mind. In his speech before the Circlet of Iron quest battle he even seems downright dismissive of the Chaos Warriors sent to oppose him.
    Malekith: These Chaos dredges bore me. At least with the Asur I can enjoy their death screams. Yet it is a labour that must be undertaken. ... Savants of the desperate gods, I advise you stay out of my way! If not, you shall face the might of the Druchii, and our ways of killing are far more inventive than your own!
    • He also chides his mother for her extreme pettiness in the vortex campaign intro cinematic.
  • Evil Former Friend: Before he fell to evil Malekith was a close friend to the Dwarfen high king of the time, Snorri Whitebeard, who is heavily hinted to be the true identity of Grombrindal, the White Dwarf.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Malekith is noted in the lore to be of far greater stature than a mortal elf note . In the vortex campaign intro he clearly towers over Felicion and Morathi note , and of course his in-game model is as oversized as other lords; which is actually justified in his case. The exact reason for his unnatural stature is unknown.
  • Evil Is Hammy: He's about as dramatic and grandiose as you'd expect. When speaking normally, such as his lines on the campaign map or in the trailer, he leans toward Cold Ham; before crossing straight over into Large Ham on the battlefield.
    Malekith: ATTEND ME!
  • Evil Overlord: An ancient, tyrannical sorcerer-king clad head to toe in black armour who rules a desolate wasteland from a massive dark citadel and has aspirations of global conquest. Malekith is one of the straightest examples of this trope to be found in the Warhammer world.note 
  • The Evil Prince: Before openly trying to declare himself Phoenix King he was this, though not to begin with and not towards his own father, whom he idolized.
  • Evil Sorcerer: An immensely powerful practitioner of dark magic, he isn't known as "The Witch King" for nothing.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Holy shit, does it ever.
  • Evil Uncle: Although distantly related, he is this to both Tyrion and Teclis as they share the blood of Aenarion and he has clashed with the twins a few times during his invasions of Ulthuan.
  • Fallen Hero: Once he was one of Ulthuan's greatest champions. Now he is its bitterest foe.
  • Founder of the Kingdom: Malekith was the one who established and built up the civilization of the Dark Elves more than 5,000 years ago.
  • Hot-Blooded: Malekith's anger is very easy to rouse; his Circlet of Iron quest chain even references his "legendary" temper.
  • Leaked Experience: He has a trait that causes him to leak a portion of all experience he earns to other lords in his faction, enabling Naggarond lords to steadily grow in power even if they're mostly consigned to supporting/defensive roles while Malekith does the heavy fighting. It also brings the threat of them gaining too much experience if they're actively fighting battles and becoming a higher level then him, which causes their loyalty to swiftly plummet.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The Supreme Spellshield, which grants the wielder enhanced resistance to magical attacks and drains the magical reserves of casters in its immediate vicinity.
  • Magic Knight: A powerful sorcerer and a mighty warrior.
  • Malevolent Masked Man: The face plate of his helm is a snarling golden mask, and he is definitely malevolent.
  • Manipulative Bastard: One of his specialities. It was largely due to the machinations of Malekith that the infamous War of Vengeanance/War of the Beard began. By sending agents disguised as High Elves to ambush Dwarfen trade caravans he set the two races at each other's throats, ultimately culminating in one of the most destructive wars in Warhammer history. A war from which neither the Dwarfs or High Elves have ever fully recovered or forgiven each other for. Like mother, like son after all.
  • Mook Horror Show: During the Dark Elves trailer he showcases his power by emulating Darth Vader's famous airlock scene from Rogue One on High Elven Red Shirts.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Malekith the Witch King is not the name or title of a friendly person. Indeed the root words that make up the name Malekith suggest a meaning along the lines of "friend of evil".
  • Noble Demon: While Malekith may be a cruel, ruthless and treacherous tyrant, with one of the worst tempers this side of the Chaos Wastes, he has still managed to retain a certain degree of honor and responsibility. At least on a good day. It's also worth noting that, in general, his personality seems to be defined by either cold pragmatism or pure rage and he usually seems less prone to the acts of pointless sadism associated with his subjects. Considering that Malekith was born a prince of Ulthuan it isn't that surprising he would retain at least some standards. By contrast most living Druchii were born into the corrupt and twisted society of Naggaroth, and have had their values shaped accordingly.
  • Off with His Head!!: His unique kill animation has him lopping of the head of whatever unfortunate infantry unit he happens to be fighting at the time.
  • One-Man Army: With his high stats, magical prowess, good mount selection, and a plethora of special abilities and items, there is very little he can't handle; especially once he has been sufficiently leveled up. It's not just possible but likely for a player to get hundreds or occasionally thousands of kills with him per battle. Of course, this means he doesn't come cheap; in custom/multiplayer games a fully kitted out Malekith is currently the most expensive lord in the game.
  • Parental Incest: Rumors have gone around to this effect about him and his mother, which may well be actually true based on Morathi's interactions with him, and yet it still wouldn't be the worst thing he's ever done.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • At the climax of the Dark Elf campaign he actually honours his word to the now deceased Felicion by giving her soul cage to her brother Shadowblade, allowing the assassin to possibly resurrect her. Even noting that the sorceress had served him well. He still tempers this by warning against any plots against him though.
    • One of his diplomatic lines toward Lizardmen (if friendly) has him call their dedication to the Old Ones "touching, but foolish".
  • Physical God: At the end of the Dark Elf Vortex Campaign, he becomes this after drinking the ritual potion and absorbing the vortex into himself.
  • The Power of Hate: All Dark Elves are vicious and hateful creatures, but Malekith makes them all look like amateurs. He will destroy the world if it means attaining his vengeance, and it's been implied that only his hate allows him to bear the combination of his armor and the still-smouldering Flames of Asuryan that burn within him.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: As the son of the legendary warrior king Aenarion, and the prince of Nagarythe, the most warlike of all the elven realms, Malekith was always one of these. This actually proved detrimental when he was passed over as phoenix king due to the belief he would be too harsh and bloodthirsty to rule in an age of peace, setting the stage for his eventual betrayal.
  • Rage Helm: As noted above his helm sports a golden mask styled after a snarling face.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: His general colour scheme, black armour and a red cape, screams this trope.
  • Rightful King Returns: His overriding obsession. Malekith sees himself as the one true king of the elves and will stop at nothing to achieve this. He would rather Ulthuan, and the world itself, be destroyed than see it in the hands of another.
  • Scary Impractical Armor: Elements such as the various spikes and the horns on his helmet would make his armor rather impractical if it, and he, were purely mundane. But it is one of the more heavily enchanted sets of armor in the setting, he never removes it, ever, and his considerable magical talents more than make up for what might get in the way of his fighting.
  • Secret Test of Character: Failed one of these and paid a heavy price for it. The Phoenix Kings of Ulthuan undergo one by stepping into a massive arcane pyre called the Flames of Asuryan, which are said to only spare those who are fated to be the true, rightful ruler of Ulthuan. After murdering the second Phoenix King, Malekith attempted to legitimize his usurpation by entering the Flames, only to end up being nearly charred to a crisp, and the burns continue to eat away at him even millenniums later. The Armor of Midnight, and his overpowering hatred, are what allow Malekith to live and function.
  • The Social Darwinist: Malekith actually encourages the brutal infighting in Dark Elf society in order to cull the weak and keep his people strong.
  • Sorcerous Overlord: It's literally his title, "The Witch King of Naggaroth".
  • Spikes of Villainy: His armour is bristling with spikes and blades of various kinds.
  • The Starscream: Not Malekith himself, but he does have a character trait that makes all the lords under him into one. They take a serious penalty to their loyalty score if they ever exceed him in level.
  • Start of Darkness: The seeds of his were ultimately sown when Bel Shanaar was elected king rather than him, though they took a long time to fully bear fruit.
  • Take Over the World: His ultimate ambition is to create a globe spanning elven empire where he reigns supreme over all mortal beings. Of course to even attempt this he must first achieve his most immediate goal of claiming Ulthuan for himself.
  • Time Abyss: Malekith was born during the days of the first great Chaos incursion, making him one of the oldest mortal beings in the Warhammer world.
  • Tin Tyrant: Completely encased in an irremovable suit of black armour called the Armour of Midnight. In addition to providing protection on the battlefield the suit also keeps Malekith's ruined body alive after he was ravaged by the Flames of Asuryan.
  • Tragic Bromance: His relationship with Snorri Whitebeard in a nutshell. Snorri's death drove Malekith to ''complete despair'', further darkening his outlook on the world and pushing him further down the path of darkness. He even reflected later that "Part of him had died with that noble dwarf".
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: It's possible to take the Phoenix Shrine (now known as the "Corrupted Shrine of Asuryan") from the High Elves, and for Malekith to proclaim himself the true Phoenix King. It grants a massive diplomacy buff to both Dark Elves, and High Elves, allowing you to easily confederate or form vassals, implying the High Elves suffered a race-wide Face–Heel Turn out of fear.
  • Weapon Across the Shoulder: His stance when standing idle or moving.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: The severe burns he sustained across his body when he entered the Flames of Asuryan remain fresh, even millennia after he got them. The Armor of Midnight was designed specifically to alleviate the endless pain and allow Malekith to function.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: Keeps the soul of Felicion Heartkeeper to ensure that she does not betray him. Though it was Morathi who stole it in the first place.


Queen Morathi, the Hag Sorceress of Ghrond
"Heed me or perish."
"My son will learn that I am not a doll that can be cast aside when he tires of me! I shall take this sanctuary, and from the souls within compose a song of screams and torment."
Voiced by: Natasha Little

After the Witch King himself, Morathi is the single most powerful Dark Elf in all of Naggaroth. Born to scheming and politics, and a talented sorceress, Morathi has spent five thousand years teaching her son all she knows of statecraft and magic, and works to maintain his grip on the throne of Naggaroth. Morathi is totally dedicated to her son, as he is to her. Between them they rule Naggaroth with an iron grip and bloodied sword.

Morathi has always had the taint of Chaos about her – She met with Malekith's father, Aenarion, when the Elven lord rescued her from a Chaos attack. Many believe that it was during her time as a captive that the insidious claws of the Dark Gods first crept in her soul. It was Morathi who founded the Cult of Pleasure on Ulthuan, which eventually led to bloody civil war and the cataclysm of the Sundering. Morathi was the first to perfect the Dark Art, opening up gateways to the realms of Chaos to steal vast and unimaginable powers. Combined with her stunning beauty and keen intellect, it is Morathi's magical abilities that allow her to hold sway over her enemies.

Morathi leads the Cult of Pleasure sub-faction. In The Eye of the Vortex, she begins the game in the Iron Peaks of southern Naggaroth. In Mortal Empires, she starts in the same area, but the province has been renamed to Titan Peaks.

  • Adaptational Modesty: As hard as it might be to believe due to how revealing her outfit is in-game, she used to wear even less in the tabletop game!
  • Adaptational Sexuality: In the prequel short story "The Mage and the Sorceress" she violently forces herself upon, and kisses Felicion after defeating her in a Wizard Duel. Nowhere in the original lore is she implied to enjoy the company of other women. Of course this act may have been simply intended to mock her defeated rival, rather than indicating any genuine attraction.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Morathi's portrayal in this game features her pre-8th edition characterisation as an independent-yet-malevolent active force, but also brings back concepts of her character that were benched in previous editions for one reason or another: her worship of the Chaos God Slaanesh, the subtext of an incestuous relationship with her son, her and Malekith being on tense terms and occasionally being at each other's throats...
  • Alien Blood: In the ebook The Mage and the Sorceress, she stabs herself with Felicion's knife to smugly illustrate how pointless such an action is. The blood that comes out of her wound is described as black and viscous.
  • Anything That Moves: As both a follower of Slaanesh and the Elven God of Pleasure, this should be hardly surprising. From Norscan Chieftains, entire tribes of Hung, to fellow sorceresses, all the way to her own son note , there's nothing Morathi won't bed. If she wants someone, she'll take them.
  • The Archmage: The greatest Druchii sorceress and one of the most powerful magic users in the world. Only Teclis, Nagash or the Slann can match or exceed her.
  • Ax-Crazy: Possibly even more so than her son.
    Morathi: This world, and everything that's in it, will burn!
  • Bad Boss: Even by Druchii standards. She has a tendency to berate, abuse and outright murder her subordinates for the slightest infractions. Or sometimes simply out of boredom.
  • Blade on a Stick: Her weapon, Heartrender, is both this and a Magic Staff.
  • The Corrupter: Acted as this to Malekith, being one of the principle causes of his fall to evil. When he was alive she also served as this to Aenarion.
  • The Corruption: She and her faction spread Chaos corruption, thanks to her various dealings with the Dark Gods.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Fights a brief and very one sided Wizard Duel against Felicion in the prequel short.
  • Dark Action Girl: In addition to her magic Morathi is no slouch in physical combat either. Notably, and unusually for a spellcaster, her skill tree features a full line of combat upgrades.
  • Deal with the Devil: The Chaos Gods, and Slaanesh especially.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Extremely beautiful and seductive, even by elven standards. So much so that she even has a skill called "Enchanting Beauty" which weakens enemy troops in her vicinity out of the sheer desire her visage provokes.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Seemingly barefoot wherever she goes.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Officially Malekith is the ultimate authority in Naggaroth, with Morathi as his chief counsellor and general Number Two. However she finds it far easier to ensure others accept her son's authority than accept it herself, and indeed brooks no outside interference to her rule at her personal fortress of Ghrond. Originally she even wanted to use her son as a political pawn to rule over Ulthaun and later Naggaroth but Malkeith was able to retain his fierce independence, much to her dismay. It remains to be seen if she and her son can maintain their tense power dynamic or fall at each other's throats.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Morathi's skin is almost unnaturally pale, likely as a result of her millennia long immersion in dark magic.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: In spite of her villainy she is said to have genuinely loved her husband Aenarion, in her own twisted way. Likewise for her son Malekith.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: So darkly enchanting and utterly beautiful, her aura that causes men to hesitate to attack her for her unmatched looks also affects female units.
  • Evil Counterpart: Essentially one to the High Elven Everqueens, in particular Astarielle, the first wife of Aenarion. It could even be said that Morathi embodies the darkness of the elven spirit in the same way the Everqueens embody the light.
  • Evil Matriarch: Malekith's mother, the Queen-Mother of the Druchii and one really bad lady.
  • Evil Sorceress: She's a master of magic and the greatest practitioner of Dhar.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Mockingly polite, and courteous, it's all just an act to hide her loathsome true nature.
  • Femme Fatalons: Sports a set of long, black, pointed nails.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Morathi's lair is usually in the tower of Ghrond, but instead her faction starts down in the Iron Peaks while Ghrond is controlled by a minor faction. This is given an in-game Justification in the Flavor Text for her quest chain, which states Malekith has banished her from Naggaroth proper after a disagreement between the two.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: The queen mother of the Druchii and one of the most depraved and malevolent individuals in Warhammer canon.
  • The Hedonist: Good Sigmar. A worshipper of, depending on the version of the lore you subscribe to, either Atharti, the Elven goddess of pleasure and indulgence, or the Chaos God Slaanesh, the dark prince of pleasure. Or perhaps both. Morathi will engage in any pleasure of the flesh, be it fine wine, rich food, sex with men and other women, killing, anything. She even wanted to wait out the end of the world with her husband Anerion in one final, giant sex orgy, and even nearly had him convinced. Her in-game faction is even called "The Cult of Pleasure".
  • Immortality Immorality: She's managed to keep herself alive and youthful for well over 7000 years. Suffice it to say that the methods she has used to achieve this feat have been anything but pleasant.
  • It's All About Me: Fittingly for a Slaanesh worshipper, she is a narcissist of the highest order, putting herself, her pleasure and her ambitions at the fore in everything she does. The only exception to this is her son, whom she seems to care for genuinely. Whether or not she cares for him more than herself or at least on the same level is far less clear. In the final cinematic of the Dark Elf Vortex campaign, she watches him take control of the vortex, taking revenge and becoming king of Ulthuan, and seems genuinely proud of his achievement, but one never knows for sure.
  • Lady of Black Magic: Nobody fits this better than Morathi in Warhammer. An exceedingly ancient, powerful and beautiful sorceress who is as cruel and wicked as she is potent, and who utilizes some of the most corrupt and destructive forms of magic in the setting.
  • Loves Me Not: A variation. In the Dark Elf campaign cinematic, she is scene plucking a rose to decide which of her servants live or die (purely for her own amusement). This actually prompts Malekith to chide her for her pettiness.
    Malekith: The dragon with two tails hangs in the sky, and you amuse yourself with petty games?
  • Love Makes You Evil: While she was never a good person, much of what Morathi has done was originally for Malekith. Now, that's a bit more difficult to figure out.
  • The Man Behind the Man: She aims to be this to Malekith when he reclaims the Throne of the Phoenix King and thinks of herself as this in Naggaroth. Their relationship isn't quite that clear-cut, but she is at the very least heavily responsible for his fall.
  • Magikarp Power: Compared to the other Dark Elf legendary lords, who all start the game as capable fighters, Morathi takes a while to become truly powerful, starting the game with only one of her spells unlocked on top of being extremely vulnerable in close combat. By late game however she's not only a magical powerhouse but a remarkably durable and effective melee combatant thanks to a laundry list of resistances, items and various other effects.
  • Manipulative Bastard: One of the premier examples in Warhammer Fantasy, her entire existence has been based around scheming and manipulation. Appropriately many of her skills and bonuses reflect this, such as making hero actions 50% cheaper and starting with an additional +20 to diplomatic relations with other dark elf factions, thereby making it easier to sway them to your side.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Morathi's name checks the "sounds like death" box.
  • Narcissist: Incredibly vain and self-obsessed. She could give Sigvald a run for his money in this department.
  • Non-Indicative Name: In terms of appearance at least she is about as far from the traditional meaning of the word hag as it is possible to get.
  • No-Sell: Completely shrugs off any of Felicion's attacks in the prequel short, before stealing her soul with her own soul trap.
  • Pegasus: Rides the dark pegasus Sulephet.
  • Poisonous Friend: Or lover in this case, but nevertheless she's been this to both her husband and son, bringing out all their darkest vices and dragging them down the path of darkness. Even when the world was about to come to an end, she convinced Aenarion to host unspeakable orgies of such depravity, instead of fighting back against the never ending tide of daemons. She succeeded with her son, and nearly did with her husband, if it wasn't for the best efforts of his best friend, Caledor, who inspired him to die a hero.
  • Red Right Hand: Her hands and feet appear to be blackened by some form of corruption.
  • Replacement Goldfish: It is made disturbingly clear throughout Warhammer lore that she appears to see Malekith as one for his deceased father Aenarion. How much of one? Too much, maybe. Meanwhile, she was this herself for Aenarion, after the death of his first wife Astarielle.
  • Rescue Romance: Fell in love with the warrior Aenarion after he rescued her from a Slaaneshi warband.
  • Retcon: In previous editions, it was established that Morathi was a follower of the Chaos God, Slaanesh. In 8th edition, she was changed to a worshiper of the Cytharai (the Elven Gods of the Underworld) and devoted to Atharti (the Goddess of Desire and Slaanesh's equivalent). In the second game, despite majorly being based on 8th edition, it is stated here that she is aligned with the Chaos Gods, likely meaning that she is back to worshipping Slaanesh. However, in-game she can also be heard beseeching various Cytharai gods such as Khaine and Atharti, the flavour text for her quest battle even notes that her current patron is Hekarti, the elven goddess of dark magic. So her portrayal seems to mix both older and newer lore, presenting her as someone willing to deal with any form of malignant entity if she thinks it is to her benefit.
  • Stripperiffic: Her attire doesn't leave much to the imagination, to say the least.
  • Third-Person Person: She has a tendency to speak this way, likely due to enjoying the sound of her own name.
  • Time Abyss: Though you wouldn't know it by looking at her Morathi is the single oldest living mortal in the world, having been born in the days prior to the first great Chaos incursion.
  • Vain Sorceress: As vain as she is beautiful.
  • Villainous Incest: One of her most disturbing traits is the various In-Universe rumors about her being lovers with her son. Older editions of the tabletop, instead of being rumors, downright stated she and Malekith had a thing going on. The trailer showcases what seems like Incest Subtext as she strokes his arm amiably while assuring him of the coming of their revenge. Furthermore, her sole quest battle speech has her sounding like a jilted lover out to get her man back.
    Morathi: My son will learn that I am not a doll to be cast aside when he tires of me!
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman: Her beauty is legendary. Only the Everqueens of the High Elves rival her in this regard.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: In the prequel story "The Mage and the Sorceress" it's revealed she, not Malekith, was the one who originally pulls this on Felicion.


Crone Hellebron, the Blood Queen of Har Ganeth
"Khaine has spoken and he demands slaughter. To war!"
"Hear me Khaine, I dedicate all the following deaths to you. Give me your bloody hand, so that I may hold it and let it guide me to victory!"

Crone Hellebron the Blood Queen of Har Ganeth is one of the most ancient of the Hag Queens and second only to Morathi in Khaine's sight. However, while the youth and beauty of Morathi never fades, that of Hellebron is now almost expended, for the Hag Sorceress deliberately withheld from her the deepest secrets of using the Cauldrons of Blood. Therefore, ever more sacrifices are needed to fill Hellebron's cauldron each year, and yet the rejuvenating effects last for less and less time. Once beautiful beyond measure, the Blood Queen must now endure many dark months with the visage of an old and ugly crone for each stolen day of vibrant youth. It is chiefly for this reason that Hellebron hates Morathi, and her wrath at the deception is only deepened by the knowledge that she would have performed the exact same betrayal had their positions been reversed.

So it is that for many nights of the year, Hellebron holds court hooded and cloaked to conceal her haggard appearance. Only her closest attendants are permitted to see the full horror of her aged and withered form, and they are sworn to silence under pain of death. It is only on the days following Death Night, where her flesh and form are renewed to full vigour, that Hellebron walks the world unveiled, reveling in the power and sensations of youth. Those who wish a boon of her are well-advised to seek it in this brief window of joy, for at other times her mood is capricious and sour, and an audience with her is very likely fatal.

Ugly and worn as she may be, Hellebron remains the greatest of the Brides of Khaine. Her mastery of the many ways of murder eclipses even that of Morathi — who is often too distracted by her sorcerous pursuits — and far outstrips the skill of the other Hag Queens. It is she who leads the Lord of Murder's unholy rites and dictates the holy creed that all Witch Elves must follow. She is so steeped in the ways of death that her merest touch can kill, and a single whispered word from her withered lips can open up old wounds to bloody life. Wherever Hellebron treads, the gaze of Khaine follows. Inevitably, insane fervour sweeps over all those in her path, driving not only Witch Elves, but Dark Elves of all callings, into a maddening frenzy fit to drown the world in blood.

Hellebron is a Legendary Lord available to those who purchase The Queen and the Crone DLC. Hellebron leads her own sub-faction, Har Ganeth, in the Vortex and Mortal Empires campaign.

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: When compared to how her crone form looked before, Aged Hellebron is much more attractive.
  • Ambiguously Bi: One of her skills Flavor Text state she has a massive pleasure harem, composed of members of all races... without conveniently mentioning what gender they belong too...
  • Arch-Enemy: Views Morathi as this. She is almost as ancient and influential as Morathi and thus views the Sorceress as her primary rival.
  • Ax-Crazy: Even for a Witch Elf, whose kind already take the normal Dark Elf kill happiness Up to Eleven, Hellebron is a crazed animal on the battlefield, butchering enemies with sadistic glee, and someone who's ready to snap at any second out of it. And unlike Morathi, who hides her murderous insanity behind a veer of politeness and sophistication, Hellebron fully embraces this side of her.
  • The Berserker: Like all Witch Elves, she charges into the fray with wild abandon, wearing little in the way of protection and paying no heed to her personal safety.
  • Blood Knight: What else would you expect from the head of the Cult of Khaine? Hellebron lives to spill blood in the name of her god.
  • Blood Magic: Whilst Hellebron doesn't have the Black Magic of Morathi, she commands horrific power through her lord Khaine, being a practitioner of vile, sorcery unique to her. She can cast several extremely powerful augments, such as the Gaze of Khaine, that turns allied units into blood-crazed berserkers, significantly buffing them, at the cost of infecting them with the madness of Khaine.
  • Dark Action Girl: As a Hag Queen of The Cult of Khaine this comes with the territory.
  • Dual Wielding: Wields a longsword and shortblade, Deathsword and the Cursed Blade in unison, with frightening skill and finesse.
  • Evil Old Folks: An ancient, withered woman who truly deserves the title "Crone", most of the time; and a depraved, sadistic, blood-mad fanatic.
  • Evil Sorcerer: An unconventional one, as she has no access to any lore of spells and she's primarily a close-range fighter, but she still commands vile sorcery, and powerful ritualistic magic.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Whilst she's somewhat fond of her son, Hellebron really hates Morathi, who has always been a thorn in her side, and blocked her from taking full control of the Cult of Khaine. The two are always at each other's throats, and on the best of days it's just extremely heated passive-aggressiveness, but it's spilled into open conflict a handful of times throughout the centuries. This being Chaotic Evil vs Neutral Evil, it's really hard to tell who's worse.
  • Foil: To Alarielle the Everqueen. Both are the highest religious authority in their respective societies, but apart from that the two contrast each other in essentially every way. Whereas Alarielle is a woman of peace, who only fights when necessary in defense of her home, Hellebron is a crazed Blood Knight who lives to wage war in the name of her god. Where Alarielle is a spellcaster who wields magics of life and light, Hellebron is a melee combatant of superlative skill and ferocity. While Alarielle is young and beautiful, Hellebron is old and haggard. And of course, Allarielle is the servant of Isha, and represents life, nature and healing, Hellebron is the world's foremost servant of Khaine, the bloody handed god of war and death.
    • She is also a foil to Morathi. While Morathi is an eternally-youthful sorceress and the head of a borderline-illegal cult dedicated to Atharti/Slannesh, Hellebron is a warrior-priestess cursed with Age Without Youth and the leader of a state-supported religion dedicated to Khaine (who, Depending on the Writer, is one-and-the-same as Khorne). Needless to say, Hellebron and Morathi do not get along.
  • Fully-Embraced Fiend: If there's anything that makes her slightly better then her rival, it's that unlike Morathi, who hides her evil behind a layer of sophistication and friendliness, Hellebron dosen't even bother to pretend.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Rivaling Morathi, as the Blood Queen of Har Ganeth, she rules the coastal city and Cult of Khaine with an iron fist. She personally participates in the ritualistic festival of Death Night.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: What actions she doesn't take for the sake of pleasing Khaine or her own bloodlust, she does in an attempt to outdo Morathi due to her immense jealousy and envy over her power and persisting beauty.
  • Healing Factor: Courtesy of her "Blood Queen" skill.
  • High Priest: The leader of the Cult of Khaine, and by extension the highest ranking religious figure in Naggaroth... besides Morathi, which has caused her to have been locked in a power struggle with Morathi for centuries.
  • Hot Witch: Normally Downplayed, whilst she's elderly, she's still a good deal attractive, surprising considering she's a crone. Played very straight, when she emerges from her yearly blood baths, when she becomes dead drop gorgeous, with only Morathi being able to rival her beauty among the Dark Elves.
  • Immortality Immorality: She attempts to do this, but Morathi keeps a total monopoly on the effective way of staying eternally young and refuses to tell Hellebron. Hellebron has to settle with blood baths that only manages to renew her body to when she was younger for increasingly shorter spans of time and she is understandably bitter about it.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: She was noted to have been extremely beautiful in her youth, but, thanks to Morathi witholding knowledge regarding blood magic, has been unable to keep her looks; save for short periods of time following a Death Night.
  • Life Drain: When losing in combat, Hellebron will use her fell magic to drain the life out of everyone surrounding her, restoring some of her health, and taking away her enemies.
  • Lightning Bruiser: She's extremely fast and hits very hard. Nothing short of a dedicated Hero Killer can match Hellebron when it comes to causing immense damage within seconds, whether she's on foot or mounted on her Manticore.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: It contains the word hell for starters, and that's before you even get to the "Blood Queen" part.
  • Never Mess with Granny: She's an ancient, and aged-looking woman who truly fits the measure of the term "crone" most of the time, but she can butcher anything you throw her against in close quarters combat, due being frighteningly fast, skilled and strong. If you look closely, beneath her wrinkles and liver spots, she has chiseled abs, which serve as an indicator to show how despite being so old she still hits like a truck.
  • Not So Different: One of the things that upsets Hellebron the most about being denied the secret of eternal youth by Morathi, is that she knows she would've done the exact same thing to her if their roles were reversed.
  • Our Manticores Are Spinier: Can ride a Manticore as one of her mount options.
  • The Rival: To Morathi. The pair have been at each other's throats for thousands of years.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Her city of Har Ganeth is noted to have particularly draconian laws, in order to keep the blood-crazed cultists from tearing the city apart on a daily basis. Breaking these laws is typically punished by an executioner's blade. Hellebron is happy to bend these laws for those who manage to gain a measure of favour with her however.
  • Sex Slave: Fond of these. Her pleasure harem is legendary for its vastness and the variety of races she enjoys.
  • Silver Fox: Somewhat. She's still fairly striking for an elderly witch, and very fit.
  • Time Abyss: Like Malekith and Morathi, she was born before The Sundering; and unlike Morathi, most of the time she looks it.
  • Villainous Friendship: "Friendship" may be stretching it a little, but, in spite of the mutual hatred she shares with his mother, Hellebron and Malekith are on reasonably good terms. The fact that Hellebron is the daughter of Malekith's old lieutenant Alandrian probably helps in this regard. Of course, Hellebron still strongly disapproves of Malekith's tendency to use the Cult of Khaine for his own political benefit, and is fully aware he is not truly the "Chosen of Khaine" as he is wont to claim.
  • Younger Than They Look: Despite being centuries younger than Morathi and a few other elves who were born before The Sundering, she looks far older than so many of her elders.

    Lokhir Fellheart 

Lokhir Fellheart, The Krakenlord of Karond Kar
"I will not linger here, for the jungles are ripe for pillaging."

Lokhir Fellheart, the Krakenlord, is a Dark Elf corsair of noble birth, hailing from the mighty Fellheart family. He comes from a long line of raiders and naval generals. He is a relative of Laithkikir Hellheart, a raider and cartographer active 1103 IC whose maps allowed other Dark Elves to raid the rich coasts of Ind and Cathay.

Some Dark Elves take to the seas in search of plunder or revenge, but many more do so to escape the dangers of Naggaroth. Not so Lokhir Fellheart — he was born to ply the rolling seas, to bring fire and terror to the shores of other lands. It was his great-great-grandfather, Menreith Fellheart, who first commanded the Black Ark Tower of Blessed Dread, and the doom-bringing flagship has answered to a Fellheart ever since. Lokhir is the latest in his line to rule over that great vessel of war and, by all accounts, the most daring.

Following his father's death at an Assassin's hand. Lokhir inherited command of both the Tower of Blessed Dread, and its mighty fleet. He acted quickly to ensure both the loyalty of his crew and the favour of Mathlann by sacrificing the chief troublemakers to the sea god's glory. That very night, with the decks of the Black Ark still slick with the first officer's blood, Lokhir led his new fleet out onto the open sea and a glorious future.

Lokhir leads the sub-faction of the Blessed Dread.

  • Adaptational Badass: A Downplayed example as Lokhir has always been highly formidable and one of Naggoroth's top dogs. But in the tabletop game he was a hero rather than a lord choice and more importantly lacked any sort of mount. Here he has been promoted to a full on Legendary Lord, and given his own unique Black Dragon to boot.
  • Animal Motifs: Krakens, of course. To be more specific, his family crest is a Kraken, and his helmet is fashioned like one.
  • Arch-Enemy: He seems to share a mutual enmity with the High Elf admiral Sealord Aislinn. The pair have crossed blades on numerous occasions.
  • Badass Boast: A particularly awesome one in the Battle of the Eternal Tides.
    Lokhir: Prepare to face...the Krakenlord!
  • Badass Cape: A cloak of Sea Dragon hide, in typical corsair fashion. It gives him a certain air of regality, giving him a more privateer feel, than a classic pirate.
  • Badass Normal: At least when compared to the other Dark Elf Lords. His competition in the roster is an Evil Overlord who commands powerful Black Magic and supernatural strength, an ancient sorceress who happens to be one of the most powerful magic users in the entire setting and a warrior priestess infused with the power of Khaine himself. Lohkir by contrast gets by on his formidable skills, fighting experience and a handful of potent artifacts.
  • Battle Trophy: What his mask becomes at the end of the Vampire Coast campaign, which depicts one of the Legendary Lords lifting it in victory.
  • Benevolent Boss: One of the reasons he's survived so long. He treats his crew surprisingly well, and is by no means a Bad Boss. He splits the loot evenly, treats them with respect, and generally the only thing he expects in return is equal loyalty, and hard work.
  • Big Bad: The main antagonist of the Vampire Coast campaign.
  • Blood Knight: Predictably for a Druchii corsair, Lokhir is driven by two things: plunder and bloodshed.
  • Cool Mask: The Helm of the Kraken, an ancient mask recovered from the sunken city of Chupayotl. Not only does it give him glowing red eyes, it's fashioned in the shape of it's namesake, giving him a very distinct appearance.
  • Cthulhumanoid: He himself is a regular Dark Elf, but the Helm of the Kraken invokes the look.
  • Dragon Rider: Unlike in the tabletop game, Lokhir can ride a unique Black Dragon named Maelstrom.
  • The Dreaded: Few can equal Lokhir's infamy as a pirate and slaver. The mere thought of being captured by him is enough to frighten enemy units.
  • Dual Wielding: Wields a pair of scimitars called The Red Blades. When he sacked the Temple of Gilgadresh, he took a statue made from Indan bloodsteel. Upon his return to Naggaroth, he had the statue melted down, and the metal forged into the deadliest pair of swords on the high seas.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Lokhir's voice is appropriately deep and menacing.
  • Famous Ancestor: His ancestor Laithkir Fellheart was renowned as the first corsair to reach Cathay via the underworld sea, and opened a massive new source for plunder and slaves.
  • Final Boss: Of the Vampire Coast vortex campaign, "Battle of the Eternal Tides". He reveals he had been following the Vampire Coast's progress in tracking The Merwyrm Amanar and wants it for himself. The player has to fight wave after wave of the brunt of his Dark Elf army, while Lokhir himself leads a flanking force behind the player's position.
  • Four-Star Badass: One of the highest ranking naval commanders in Naggaroth, and easily the most skilled in waging war at sea.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: His role as the Final Boss of the Vampire Coast vortex campaign is independent of his status in the actual campaign map. You'll have to face and likely kill him in the Battle of the Eternal Tides even if the Blessed Dread faction is already wiped out, or even if they're your military ally, as the mission uses a generic Dark Elf faction as enemies as opposed to his actual one. And the final battle has no effect on the Blessed Dread either; you can kill Lokhir there and then chat up with him as your Trusted Friend before the next turn like nothing happened.
  • Healing Factor: The Helm of the Kraken grants him regeneration.
  • Malevolent Masked Man: Perpetually masked, and a bloodthirsty corsair.
  • Noble Demon: Somewhat. He very much understands the concepts of loyalty, family, and to a degree, honour. He's a Benevolent Boss to his crew, he loves his family, served his father with Undying Loyalty, and seldom engages in acts of petty cruelty. That being said, he's still very ruthless, and is, by all means, a brutal corsair. It's pretty telling a Pirate is probably one of the more amiable named characters in the race...
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: His attitude towards Amanar, and the High Elves as a whole.
  • Pirates: The most infamous of all Druchii corsairs; Lokhir has made a living for himself by scouring the seas, attacking shipping lanes, conquering ports, and bringing a massive amount of slaves back to his homeland. Fitting, basically all of his abilities go to buffing up any corsairs in his faction, and he inherently starts with a whopping fifty percent reduction to them faction wide.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: A pair of glowing red eyes are all you need to see Fellheart is bad news.
  • Significant Anagram: He goes by the alias "Kharlil Lothreef" in the Vampire Coast's Vortex Campaign, where he has the highest score on the Infamy chart.
  • Thicker Than Water: The Fellhearts are said to be one of the few Naggarothi families who actually subscribe to this mentality. Notably, Lokhir didn't ascend to his position by killing his father. A practice all too common among the Druchii.
  • Undying Loyalty: Very atypically for a Dark Elf, Lokhir had this for his father, dutifully acting as one of his officers, until the time came for him to inherit the ship. The Fellhearts view family as something unbreakable, a very rare thing in Dark Elf society.
  • Underestimating Badassery: He completely dismisses the Vampire Coast as a bunch of water logged corpses that will be no match for his legion of corsairs in the Battle of the Eternal Tides, without acknowledging the true threat they pose. Borders on Too Stupid To Live, as by this point, he's observed them butcher dozens of other fierce pirate crews, and very likely lay waste to entire nations. Guess what happens?
  • Unwitting Pawn: Has been using the Vampire Coast for his own ends from the shadows, having them put all their effort and resources into tracking down Amanar, so he can swoop in and steal the kill for himself.
  • Walking Spoiler: His role isn't revealed till the final battle of the Vampire Coast questline.
  • Worthy Opponent: Despite his immense hatred of his Ulthuan kin, he seems to have a grudging, but deep, respect for them as well, as much as a Dark Elf can. One of the reasons why he's so angry at the Vampire Coast for hunting the Great Merwyrm is that they're interfering in their millennia long feud, which he feels is far beyond the Zombie pirates.

    Malus Darkblade (and Tz'arkan) 

Malus Darkblade, the Tyrant of Hag Graef
"With hate, all things are possible. And my hate is strong!"
Voiced by: Jon Edgley-Bond

Malus Darkblade, the Tyrant of Hag Graef, was always ambitious, even by the lofty standards of Hag Graef's warring families. For long years, he played the deadly game of politics and assassination and played it well, but finally his thirst for power led Darkblade into the clutches of a being darker even than he. Rumours of a great power hidden in the distant north set Darkblade on a quest that led him deep into the Realm of Chaos.

It is a testament to Darkblade's determination that he not only survived his journey, but at last came before the temple of Kul Hadar, in which his prize could be found. Alas for Darkblade, the great power within the temple was something not easily bent to mortal will. Long centuries ago, the Daemon Tz'arkan had been bound within Kul Hadar, and Darkblade now unwittingly presented it an opportunity for escape. Blinded by avarice, Darkblade was possessed by the Daemon. In that instant, his life and soul were forfeit. He had but one way of escaping his fate — to find five artifacts of power that would fully free Tz'arkan from his ancient prison and thus see Darkblade's soul restored. He had only a year to succeed, or else remain in the Daemon's thrall for eternity.

Though the search took every waking hour of the allotted year, even killing his own father to get one of the artifacts, Darkblade finally succeeded in his quest. Upon the eve of his doom, he returned to Kul Hadar with the artifacts, and performed the ritual that would set the Daemon free. But Tz'arkan had tricked the Dark Elf — upon escaping from Darkblade's body, the treacherous Daemon stole his black soul. From that moment on, the fates of Darkblade and Tz'arkan were forever intertwined. In the years since, Darkblade has become legendary in Naggaroth, as a great warrior and leader whose hatred can overcome any opposition. Wielding the Warpsword of Khaine, the only surviving artifact from that long-distant quest, Darkblade has hacked a path of bloody ruin across the frozen north, drawing upon Tz'arkan's power when needed, but relying first and foremost on his own dark determination and limitless reservoir of hate.

Malus is the main character of the Malus Darkblade book series.

Malus is playable Legendary Lord for the The Shadow & The Blade DLC. He leads the sub-faction of Hag Graef.

  • Abusive Parents: His father, Lurhan Fellblade, has tried to have him (discreetly) killed since Malus was born. The only reason why Lurhan didn't outright execute Malus is due to fear of his mother, Eldire (a powerful sorceress). Malus' mother does love him in her own twisted way, but she is not above using her son as a pawn for her schemes.
  • Adaptation Deviation: Malus' cold one, Spite. In the books, it is established that Spite was the runt of his litter. Having to deal with his larger brethren, Spite is more intelligent, cunning and vicious than most Nauglir. In the game, it is stated in his description that Spite is larger than most of his kind. However, while this differs from the books, it does adhere to the version of Spite found in the original Darkblade comic series.
  • Affably Evil: Malus can be sincerely affable to the (admittedly few) people he actually likes. He's also generally a good leader who treats his soldiers with respect, if not tenderness. To everyone else, however, he's more Faux Affably Evil, or just outright hostile.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: He's the third most powerful Dark Elf in all of Naggarond both politically and by all means in strength as well; the Tyrant of Hag Graef, the Captain of his own Black Ark, and the Champion of the Witch King himself. Darkblade got here by littering the cold ground with thousands of bodies, and through his own will.
  • Ax-Crazy: Normally Malus is pretty composed, if violent, but when under the effects of Tz'arkan he loses it, gaining a bunch of new animations that have Malus acting like a insane beast on the battlefield, violently jerking around as he charges forward into combat.
  • Badass Baritone: He speaks with a deep, authoritarian voice. While he technically already counts as it, when the Daemon takes over, it becomes full on Evil Sounds Deep.
  • Badass Cape: He wears an ornate Sea Dragon cloak, a memento from his days as a Corsair.
  • Bait the Dog: In one of his most infamous and iconic scenes from the first novel, The Daemon's Curse, Malus offers that a single prisoner will be set free before his raiding ship reaches Clar Karond. Just before the ship enters the city port, the prisoner in question — after hearing what the druchii did to his lover — is simply thrown overboard for the mer-creatures in the water to devour. Needless to say, it's an Establishing Character Moment for our "hero".
  • Bastard Bastard: He's the illegitimate offspring of Vaulkhar Lurhan and Eldire the hag-sorceress, both pretty high people in Dark Elf society, and he's definitely a huge bastard. He is also very resentful of both his parents, even Eldire who loves him in a messed up way.
  • Black Knight: Gives off this appearance, wearing pitch-black armor, and riding an overgrown Nauglir into battle as a mount. All of his unit bonuses are even centered around buffing Cold One Knights, and Dark Elf Dreadknights, so he's he encouraged to have a retinue of other Black Knights to be around him.
  • Black Magic: Malus has dabbled in dark sorcerer, taught to him by his mother, which gives him a handful of special abilities to use on the battlefield, and on the campaign (him summoning a horde of monsters through his unique Rite of the Warmaster is described as him using this). His Blood Price ability has him using this to augment his combat stats.
  • Blood Magic: Tz'arkan, being a very powerful Keeper of Secrets, gives Malus access to this. His first spell is Reaper of Souls, a direct damage Life Drain that allows Tz'arkan to draw the life energy of everyone around him, and bring it into himself, and the second is Bloodstorm, which is an AOE sphere of destruction around Malus that does a massive amount of damage, and gives Tz'arkan a large danage reduction in turn.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: His makes Malekith's family seem somewhat tame in comparison.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Oh boy. Malus's family is, simply put, fucked up beyond belief in this regard. He and pretty much every one of his half-brothers and sisters have intentions toward/is actively having an affair with one of their half- or full-blooded siblings. Malus himself has very complicated feelings towards his half-sister Nagaira, and they have carnal knowledge of each other. This isn't that uncommon in Dark Elf society, siblings (and parents) screw each other all the time. This sort of thing is generally accepted, if kept out of the public's view.
  • Byronic Hero: He's modeled after one of the most famous, after all. Malus is... complicated...He certainly embraces and even exemplifies some of the famous vices of his people, certainly, but there's a certain nobleness to him that's hard to ignore. He can act like a monster, but is just as likely to act with surprising kindness and care... and then go back to skinning people's faces. Not to mention the books in particular emphasize his tryst with his half-sister and all the baggage that came after that. Ultimately, Malus still has his own morals as troubled as he is, as twisted as they are, and he will not break them.
  • The Captain: He's a very skilled seaman, and has been on, captained, and owned several vessels, including his own Black Ark. He's no Lohkir, but a skilled sailor nonetheless.
  • Catchphrase: One of the most famous and iconic in the series.
    "With hate, all things are possible."
    • His second one whenever he demands Tz'arkan's silence.
    "Shut up, Daemon!"
  • Cool Sword: The Warpsword of Khaine his iconic black blade, an ancient relic Malus obtained along with four others to expel the daemon Tz'arkan from his soul and the only relic that wasn't destroyed in the process. This blade emanates heat and grants the user a portion of Khaine's terrifying power. It can be said to be a weaker version of the Widowmaker, and, whilst it's far less powerful, it doesn't have the same potent effects the Widowmaker has on its user, but is still very dangerous with extended use. In-game it provides both regeneration and a flat damage reduction as long as Malus is in combat.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Why he's survived as long as he has. Malus fights dirty, uses the scenery when necessary, and will sacrifice his own soldiers' lives if it means potentially getting the upper hand.
  • The Corrupter: Malus isn't a good person by any stretch of the imagination, but Tz'arkan has been a very dark influence on him, encouraging him to even darker, and more depraved actions after another. On a literal example, the more he actively uses its power, the more corruption seeps into his body and the more he succumbs to his own damnation.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Both he, and the daemon within him, are very dry in their humor, which is usually relegated to Black Comedy. They even frequently engage in Snark-to-Snark Combat.
    Tz'arkan: You need me Darkblade. Or will arrogant pride end this miserable existence?.
    Malus: Shut up Daemon!.
  • Determinator: Indeed, after most would have given up or surrendered, pure spite and unwillingness to let someone else have success will keep him fighting. There is nothing unachievable for Malus with the power of hate and his own will.
  • Demonic Possession: His defining characterization, and the reason for his quest, Malus Darkblade was partially possessed by a powerful Daemon while searching through the ruins of an ancient civilization, and as a result he has to contend with the Daemon Tz'arkan trying to fully possess him. He must drink a special elixir that slows the Daemon's influence over him; though the elixir is costly, Malekith will provide him with more if he helps him in his bid to control the Vortex. In battle, he can allow Tz'arkan to take control of him, greatly amplifying his capabilities, but bit by tiny bit Malus is actually surrendering his soul to the daemon by accepting his help. His struggle with Tz'arkan will present unique challenges throughout his campaign.
  • The Dragon: He's described as Malekith's champion and main enforcer, having ascended to this position after decades of political maneuvering, assassinating his rivals, and more than a little luck. While Malus himself seeks to become a Dragon Ascendant, Malekith is somewhat fond of Malus, and respects him.
  • The Dreaded: Malus is one of the most feared Dreadlords in the entire world. Combined this with Tz'arkan being one of the most feared servants of the Dark Prince, most people would rather run away then face him. His special hex, The Daemon's Curse drops enemy leadership, and melee defense by a huge degree, and is described as his enemies feeling Tz'arkan's coldness emanating off Malus.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Whilst "Darkblade" does sound like a cool name, it is actually a derogatory term in Druchii society to describe his status as a bastard; Darkblade is an epithet for a "faulty creation", like a blacksmith trying to make a blade and screwing up the process.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: His mother is one of the very few people Malus has any respect for.
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous: When under the control of Tz'arkan, Malus's pretty boy face becomes horribly wrinkled as if he's aged fifty years in an instant, covered in scars of purple, crackling energy, his eyes become pitch black, and his hair whitens.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Tz'arkan manifests himself through Malus while speaking with an impossibly deep, guttural Voice of the Legion.
  • Expy: A wandering edgy elf Anti-Hero who carries a sentient sword of daemonic origins. Are we sure this guy is not Elric?.
  • A Father to His Men: Surprisingly enough, Malus developed certain qualities of this kind near the end of his journey; taking genuine concern for the needs of his subordinates, giving awesome motivational speeches and even risking his own agendas to avoid excessive casualties. He treats his men well, but still isn't afraid to spend their lives if he sees the need for it.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Tz'arkan plays this trope much more straight. He maintains a polite, if very mocking tone, when interacted with Malus, but as soon as he dosen't get what he wants he shows his true colors.
  • Flayed Alive: Very fond of doing this to his captured victims, though he usually has a bit of "decency" to put them out of that state instead of prolonging their pain.
  • Foil: He's ultimately one to Alith Anar. Both Elves are motivated by hatred and revenge, both wield awesome weapons of power to their advantage, both are entirely unscrupulous in their methods, both are rather just and noble despite their reputation, and both share the same goal on getting the respect they deserve. Those similarities fall to the wayside in whereas Malus does this all for himself for his own benefit, Alith's drive is about not just personal revenge, but revenge for his entire people and kingdom. He intentionally puts himself in harm's way against the Dark Elves so that them High Elves won't have to.
  • Four-Star Badass: Even more impressive than his considerable combat ability, are his leadership qualities. He's an amazing tactician, on both land and the sea, as well as a master speaker. All the while leading his troops from the front.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: In the campaign, you'll notice the screen flash in bizarre colors and a voice speaking out in distorted shouts, with the effect getting worse the more Malus gets corrupted. That's pretty much Tz'arkan not only taunting Malus but taunting the player as well.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: "Heroic" part aside, yes, Malus is the Villain Protagonist of his book series, and even though Malus is nothing if not pragmatic to the core and nearly constantly wears armor, he hates helmets, because they limit his vision, and he sees it as a larger threat in battle than the prospect of receiving a head wound.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Malus killed his father in order to obtain one of the five artifacts needed to free Tz'arkan. Though Lurhan had it coming, considering that he was an horrifically abusive parent who had long sought Malus' death.
  • Master Swordsman: Malus is a very proficient and skilled swordsman, honed by decades if near constant warfare, adventures, and typical Dark Elf backstabbing. Combine it with his hate and Cool Sword and he's a force to be reckoned with to be sure.
  • Meaningful Name: "Malus" literally means bad in Latin. Not to mention Darkblade.
  • Mounted Combat: An undisputed master of this. He rides his own Cold One, Spite, into battle and gives a huge range of buffs to Dark Elf Calvary under his command.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast:
    • Malus Darkblade.
    • Tz'arkan, The Drinker of Worlds.
  • Noble Demon: Malus still holds himself to certain standards, and retains a twisted sense of honor. Tz'arkan (a actual daemon) has no such standards.
  • One-Man Army: On top of his sword giving him Regeneration while in combat, when playing as him, letting the possession meter reach its maximum will make Malus an incredible fighter by giving him multiple combat bonuses (biggest of all a flat 40% damage reduction) at the cost of heavy penalties to the rest of his army (increased upkeep, entirely removed replenishment, etc...). When playing as another faction, he'll have the possession boni baseline, which can make fighting him incredibly difficult.
  • Pet the Dog: In in this case Cold One. Malus's mount, Spite, is one of, if not THE only being he doesn't hate and actually treats as a friend.
  • Pirate: Malus was a corsair early in his career like many young nobles seeking to prove themselves to Druchi society, and still maintains piratey mannerisms, viewpoints, abilities, and an unmatched sense of Greed.
  • The Power of Hate: A driving force of his. Thanks to it, Malus managed incredible feats of Dark Elf awesome which in the end resulted in him becoming Tyrant of Hag Graef.
  • Punny Name: "Malus" sounds similar to "malice". Fitting as he emphasizes The Power of Hate.
  • Self-Harm: All of Malus's powerful combat augments have this as a price tag, when he taps into his dark power, it does a small sliver of damage to himself. Using Tz'arkan will also start a clock in which Malus will gradually lose health until he's dead.
  • Self-Made Man: He went from an unfavorite retainer of his father to being one of the most powerful Dreadlords in Naggarond, second only to Malekith himself.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Malus can add several characters from his book series as followers, even ones who are long dead. For example: He can obtain his eldest half-brother, Bruglir, as a follower (even though Bruglir was killed in the second book, Bloodstorm).
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Tz'arkan is effectively this to Malus, practically turning him into a daemon right there so he can use nasty claws and supernatural strength and speed to fight his way out of an impossible situation. He can barely control himself when he's like this, and he gives more of himself to the Daemon every time he does this. In-gameplay he can tap into this power to massively increase his strength, and even change his appearance, but he will eventually become even more reviled by his Dark Elf kin then he already is from overuse of this ability. Of course, since Malus was so evil in the first place, there might not be a lot of difference.
  • The Unfavorite: Malus suffered from this since childhood. His father, Lurhan Fellblade, never loved him. His siblings from different mothers hated him (except for his half-sister Nagaira with whom he was in a "relationship") and the only other person who showed him some affection was his mother Eldire, yet even then she used him as a pawn.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: When the Drinker of Worlds takes over, Malus goes from evil to monstrously evil and his hair becomes as white as freshly fallen snow.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Despite his unparalleled tactical knowledge, his trailer has his army being decimated by a vastly superior Clan Enshin force, with Malus himself undergoing a gradual Villainous Breakdown at the thought of crossing blades with the Deathmaster. It takes encouragement (and power) from Tz'arkan to fully face down the legendary assassin.

Tz'arkan, the Drinker of Worlds

"I care nothing for pitiful little worlds, or the nations of pale grubs that writhe upon them. I am like unto a god, Malus. You could be, too. If you are worthy."
Voiced by: Bradley Clarkson

An ancient and extremely powerful Daemon of Chaos, Tz'arkan is spawned from and a servant of Slaanesh, the Chaos God(dess) of passion, hedonism and pleasure, among other things. Sealed within a crystal of Warpstone by a cabal of Chaos Sorcerers known as the Lords of the Black Stone, Tz'arkan languished for countless years in a temple in the Chaos Wastes, used as a power source by his captors until he was able to break free, lead an army of Daemons into Naggaroth and eventually be re-sealed after losing to the Dark Elves. Eventually, an ambitious Dark Elf known as Malus came upon his temple and unwittingly bound himself to the Daemon by donning a ring from a pile of treasure in the temple. Now, Tz'arkan lurks within the consciousness of Malus at all times, trying to tempt him to give himself over to Tz'arkan's influence with the promise of great rewards.

  • The Corrupter: Granted, Malus is pretty terrible already, but T'zrkan is happy to try to make him even worse, undermining his self-control and making him do terrible things with the promise of rewards, which just so happens to give him further control over Malus' soul.
  • Demon Lords and Archdevils: Tz'arkan is a Keeper of Secrets, a extremely powerful Greater Daemon of Slaanesh.
  • Enemy Within: Not that he identifies as such, but it's pretty clear he doesn't have Malus' best interests at heart, being loyal only to himself and his master/mistress Slaanesh, and is only marking time until he can find a way to truly free himself.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: His terrifyingly deep voice is just another mark of his wicked countenance.
  • Eviler Than Thou: He's literally Made of Evil and tries to goad Malus into throwing away what few scruples he has in the name of power. This is even a game mechanic — the more Malus gives himself over to Tz'arkan's influence, the more he suffers a penalty to Public Order as the populace begin openly revolting at the idea of serving a Daemon's thrall.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: His true form is an utterly horrifying mass of tentacles, crab claws, and dark flesh. Within Malus' mind, however, he appears as a reflection of Malus but cast in shadow.
  • Our Demons Are Different: As a Daemon of Chaos, he is a fragment of the Chaos God that spawned him, can usually only exist in the Warp or places where portals or tears to the Warp open, and is bound to the mortal whom he has possessed.
  • Purple Is Powerful: His form in Malus' mind has a purple glow about it, with purple lines appearing on Malus' body if he allows Tz'arkan to possess him. This is a mark of being a Slaaneshi Daemon.



Felicion Heartkeeper
"I am willing to serve, to earn my soul's release"

A sorceress adept in lore and prophecies. Under the (forceful) employment of Malekith, who orders her to aid him in controlling the Vortex, and in return he will return her soul.

  • Canon Foreigner: She's an original character created for the game.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: See Hidden Depths.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Par for the course with a Druchii sorceress.
  • Hidden Depths: After the Ritual of the Lover, the player receives a mission briefing in which actually gives a lot to characterize the sorceress. This is mainly that she was extremely reluctant in slaying her Dreadlord lover, and upon reflection she's come to the realization she was legitimately in love with her. She then remarks that she finally understands Malekith and what drove him to despair before finally declaring that since her lover's hand is no longer in her own, all she wants to do is inflict suffering and pain on others. Rarely are Dark Elves so self-reflective.
  • Hoist by Her Own Petard: Her attempt to assassinate Morathi ended with her on the receiving end of the very spell she had intended for the Hag Sorceress.
  • Made a Slave: She was enslaved by Morathi and later given to Malekith, who's implied to treat her marginally better. Considering her words and her actions, it's heavily implied Morathi did something much darker to her.
  • Mission Control: She serves this function in the Dark Elf campaign.
  • Out-Gambitted:
    • She plans to use the blood of her brother in the final ritual. Unfortunately for her, said brother turns out to be Shadowblade, the deadliest of the Khainite assassins, and guess who that nameless assassin who's been following her around all game turns out to be...
    • In "The Mage and the Sorceress", she suffers this again when she tries to assassinate Morathi, and subsequently becomes the victim of her own spell. Which is what got her into her current predicament in the first place.
  • Seer: She's noted to well versed in lore and prophecies.
  • Stripperiffic: As typical for the attire of sorceresses, she wears very revealing clothing.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: There is absolutely no love lost between her and Morathi, to the point that she comes across as highly disparaging and passive-aggressive when addressing her. This is in complete contrast to her interactions with Malekith, who she acts borderline sycophantic towards. Of course considering Morathi is the one responsible for her current situation to begin with it's not hard to see why.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
    • After she has extracted the information she needs out of the Oracle, she has her assassin companion kill the creature and uses its blood for the next stage of the ritual.
    • Later on, she herself becomes subject to this when her brother, the master assassin Shadowblade, kills her in order to use her blood for the final ritual.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: Morathi stole her soul after a failed assassination attempt, and later gave it to Malekith as a gift.

    The Assassin 

The Assassin AKA Shadowblade

A Khainite Assassin who accompanies Felicion, aiding in the completion of the rituals and disposing of her targets. Near the end of the campaign he's revealed to actually be the legendary assassin Shadowblade, and Felicion's brother to boot.

  • Canon Character All Along: It turns out that he's the legendary assassin Shadowblade.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Despite killing her in order to complete the ritual, it's implied that he cared enough about Felicion to grieve over the act. At the climax of the campaign he even beseeches Malekith to give him her soul cage, apparently with the hope that she can be restored to life.
  • The Faceless: We never see his face, he's hooded and masked the whole time.
  • In the Hood: Standard practice for Khainite Assassins.
  • Nerves of Steel: The other advisers working on the ritual react in shock and terror when the Great Horned Rat manifests himself. Shadowblade, though, calmly stands his ground as the god gloats of his impending victory.
  • Professional Killer: Well of course, he is a Khainite Assassin after all. And not just any Khainite Assassin - the Khainite assassin.
  • The Quiet One: He's only depicted speaking once, and even then only in the text-only epilogue.
  • Walking Spoiler: Pretty much everything about this guy and his identity spoils a plot point.


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