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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."
Malekith, Witch King of Naggaroth
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The Dark Elves, or Druchii, are evil and cruel Elves descended from exiles who left the Elven homeland in the wake of the Sundering, the terrible ritual attempted at the height of the bloody Elven civil war that submerged much of their former territory in northern Ulthuan. Since going into exile, the Dark Elves have built their own cities in the desolate land that would become known as Naggarth, the Land of Chill. From their grim realm, the Dark Elves raid the entire world for riches, slaves or both, building their forces so that they can one day return and reclaim their lost home. Their leader Malekith is actually the original leader of the losing faction and has kept himself alive and healthy for 5000 years by nefarious means, ruling over a vain, treacherous and bloodthirsty civilization of Elves ready to do anything to get what they want.

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In battle, the Dark Elves form a twisted and more aggressive reflection of the High Elves. Also fielding elite units of fast but rather fragile infantry and cavalry, the Dark Elves swap the noble beasts for tamed monsters such as Hydras or Manticores, and their magic users practice Dark Magic. Moreover, the armies of Naggarythe incorporate more underhanded tricks such as assassins, and work alongside the bloodthirsty members of the Cult of Khaine, even more aggressive fighters reveling in close-quarter combat.

The Dark Elves have no allies, only prey. The lesser races of the world are treated as potential slaves, fit only to be worked to death for their masters. The Dark Elves reserve their greatest scorn for their High Elf cousins, who they believe to be weak usurpers who robbed them of their rightful homeland.

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    General Tropes 
  • 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). Meanwhile the Sisters of Slaughter are an order of gladiatrices dedicated to their god, Eldrazor the Lord of Blades. Both of these units represent some of the deadliest close-quarters units in the game thanks to neat specialized rules.
  • Arch-Enemy: To the High Elves of course. The start of their war against the Asur dates back to millennia ago with regular raids and full-scale invasions that were repelled each time, further fueling their enmity. Most Dark Elves models have the Hatred rule against High Elves as a result.
  • The Ark: 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. While some of these fortresses were later beached to form the foundations of the cities of Naggaroth, many of these Black Arks still sail the seas spreading the terror of the Druchii amongst the younger races whenever they appear on the horizon.
  • Athens and Sparta: They and the High Elves are a textbook example of this dynamic; with the Druchii as Sparta, obviously.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: The Dark Elves army is geared toward relentless but careful aggression. Lacking in numbers and with fragile units but having in all units an array of rules and abilities enabling them to easily kill enemy models, the Dark Elves usually aim to destroy the enemy ranks before they break too.
  • Automatic Crossbows: Dark Elf repeater crossbows, their signature ranged weapons. Called "Uraithen" (lit. "Death Rain") in Druhir. They come in regular versions or hand-sized with a weaker range. Despite their Strength 3, they have the Multiple Shots (2) and Armour Piercing rules that adds to their rate of fire and overall deadliness. Finally, the Dark Elves use as a war machine the Reaper Bolt Thrower that is a big automatic crossbow.
  • Ax-Crazy: Pretty much the entire race if we're being honest, with the Cult of Khaine members knocking it up even further by having Frenzy.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: They like to enslave animals using the lash rather than taming them the High Elf way through mutual trust, respect and affection. They also have no problems with using the bodies of these animals for food and/or clothing.
  • Beast of Battle:: The Dark Elves do not fight alongside beasts but enslave them and drag them to the battlefield. Their armies are known for fielding a remarkably diverse bestiary compared to other factions, with some of the most notorious among these beasts are:
    • First of all the War Hydras, big, powerful multi-headed lizards that are already so nasty that whole armies want to avoid their nest. The War Hydras notably downplay the Hydra Problem that usually comes with these monsters as it doesn't grow new heads but at least easily regenerates lost ones. In game, War Hydras have the If One Head is Severed... and Another Takes its Place rules that tie the number of attacks to their number of Wounds and give them the ability to regenerate Wounds on a 4+ roll. Moreover, they are bred by Dark Elves to become more powerful, gaining a Breath Weapon or Super Spit. In short, they are a shock Monster unit meant to outflank, do tremendous damage and break anything they come across.
    • Harpies are winged humanoids that roost on the towers of Kar Karond. They're just as predatory and cruel as Dark Elves, and so they have become portents of good omens to the Druchii. Because they can fly, Harpies mainly form a backline harassing unit on the tabletop.
    • Kharybdisses are giant sea monsters dragged to the surface. Thanks to their many tentacles they can dish out a high number of Strength 7 attacks and their eldritch appearance and Abyssal Howl makes them especially terrifying to troops.
    • Manticores are powerful monsters with the body of a hound and wings. With the ability to Fly, Poisoned Attacks and being a Lightning Bruiser, Manticores are a favored Lord mount. However, they are so out for blood that they are considered as Uncontrollable so each turn the rider must pass a Leadership test or become Frenzy as the Manticore ignores him and runs to kill the nearest thing.
    • Black Dragons are Dragons that the Elves corrupted in the egg with Dark Magic, making them extra vicious on top of being a giant fire-breathing Lizard. Used as Lord Mounts, the Black Dragons are especially powerful monsters although they do not compare to the High Elves' Star Dragons.
    • Dark Pegasi are dark winged horses favoured by Sorceresses as mounts for giving them maneuverability on the battlefield. They also have a small unique horn on the forehead, enabling a Horn Attack result in a +1 Strength on the charge.
  • The Beastmaster: Dark Elves Beastmasters are a notorious group of Dark Elves from Klar Karond specialized in capturing monsters and then breaking said monsters to use them on the battlefield. From Cold Ones to Kharybdisses, they are responsible for taming and handling them which is extremely dangerous. High Beastmasters have the Beastslaver rule, granting a nearby monster with D3 additional attacks with A Taste of the Lash.
  • The Berserker: The Brides of Khaine in general are bloodthirsty warriors out for anyone's blood since Khaine isn't difficult to please. Witch Elves and Death Hags have the Frenzy rule but also Madness of Khaine, causing a nearby allied hero to risk being wounded as the Witch Elves want to sacrifice him too.
  • Black Magic: The Dark Elves are the foremost practitioners 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. The Lore of Dark Magic is a Difficult, but Awesome lore with rather difficult to cast but also powerful offensive spells with the sorceresses being rewarded with additional destructive power for taking risks with the dice.
  • 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. The Cult of Khaine 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.
  • 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 Trial of Blades rule confers them a +1 bonus to Hit and Wound against units with higher Weapon Skill or Strength, representing how the challenges pushes the Sisters to go beyond themselves.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Dark Elves are marginally less fratricidal than the Skaven or the Orcs. Marginally. 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 past-time and partly why they go on so many raids; their slaves die on a daily basis due to being overworked and then tortured to death.
  • Cool Horse: Dark Steeds are corrupt Ellyrion steeds with generally darker colors and a vicious streak. They tie for the best horse unit in the game with their Movement 9 instead of the regular 8.
  • Dance Battler: Sisters of Slaughter have an instinctual fighting style, stated to perform beautiful choreographies when killing their preys in the arena. Their Dance of Death rule cancels the rank bonus of the enemy and gives the Sisters a Ward save in close quarters.
  • Dark Action Girl: Wyche Elves and their leaders the Death Hag as well as the famous Sisters of Slaughter worship their nefarious gods by making the blood flow and thus they need the enemy directly in close quarters to spill blood as soon as possible. All of them are elite fighters on the tabletop with some models having a Weapon Skill 6 worthy of lesser race Lords.
  • The Dark Arts: The Lore of Dark Magic is certainly the most dangerous Lore one can study outside of Chaos lores. Indeed it involves the manipulation of the raw Winds of Magic directly out of the Chaos Realms with all the dangers and corrupting side effects it has. The Sorceresses do not mind as all they want is power.
  • Deadly Decadent Court: Depending on the place 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.
  • Divide and Conquer: The Dark Elves caused the War of the Beard, driving a wedge between the High Elves and Dwarves 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. They are slower and have the Stupidity rule but they have higher stats and the Thick Skinned rule gives the riders a +2 bonus to Armour save. 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.
  • Dragon Rider: Black Dragons are available if expensive mounts that different Lords can possess, with even Malekith having one. 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.
  • 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. Murderous Prowess provides no rank bonus but rather allows Dark Elves to reroll failed to wound rolls. Moreover, many Lords, Hero and Core units are a direct evil reflection of High Elves units, for instance Dreadspears against the Spearmen.
  • Evil Sorcerer: All women, all bad news. Malekith is one himself but he's the only male Druchii sorcerer at the moment. The reason for this is because a particular prophecy indicates Malekith will be killed by a male sorcerer, and he's taken a proactive response by killing any male druchii that tries to become a sorcerer. That being said, in the 7th edition fluff, illegal male sorcerers are said to exist... they just have to keep their heads down or be killed for the aforementioned prophecy aversion. 8th edition keeps this and adds a whole unit type, the Doomfire Warlocks, who are cursed surviving sorcerers who must constantly eat souls to keep their own souls from being consumed by Slaanesh.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Naggaroth is covered in these as Dark Elves settlement are usually built around huge dark towers serving as a stronghold and palace for the local Tyrant. Most prominent are the Black Tower of Naggarond, Malekith's home, and Morathi's Tower of Prophecy.
  • 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: The Dark Elves consider themselves unwilling exiles from their rightful kingdom of Ulthuan. The ultimate Dark Elf goal is thus to reclaim Ulthuan and exterminate the High Elves who supposedly deprived them of their prize for far too long.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: With their Grim Up North homeland and armies made of infantry with crossbows and polearms, they have a lot in common with post-Viking period Medieval Scandinavia, though they also borrow a lot from the Ancient Greeks - particularly the Spartans (with the High Elves as the Athenians) and generally the more depraved side of antiquity.
  • Fantasy Pantheon: Although they technically have the same ones as the High Elves, they tend to lean more toward the Cytharai than the Cadai. Most important to their society is Khaine, the god of murder and cruelty.
  • 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.
  • For the Evulz: As one of their army books pointed out; while the followers of Chaos are capable of their own brand of vile horrors, they at least do so in the name of their Dark Gods. The Dark Elves will do similar things solely because they love to inflict pain and suffering on others.
  • Glass Cannon: Because of army-wide Toughness 3 and a lack in numbers, Dark Elves armies do not want a battle to drag on into a knockdown drag-out fight, because otherwise they easily lose their warriors. However, they have an easier time taking out enemy models than other armies, with most notably their Murderous Prowess rule allowing them to reroll failed to wound tests or the extremely aggressive Lore of Dark Magic. Thus, it is better for them to strike as fast as possible.
  • Grim Up North: The Dark Elves lived in Naggaroth, the Land of Chill, the equivalent of Canada and the United States on the world map. It is quite inhospitable in places but habitable, and is home to many horrifying monsters, but none as monstrous as the Druchii.
  • Harping on About Harpies: 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 bloodthirsty and cruelty.
  • 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.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The Scourgerunner Chariots have a Ravager Harpoon that shoots Barbed Bolts that sink into the flesh, being designed to allow the chariots to drag monsters into their pens. Not only are the Ravager Harpoon fearsome Strength 7 Multiple Wounds bolt throwers, they can drag a shot Monster Unit D6 inches towards it and potentially make it lose another further wound.
  • Interservice Rivalry: The three main core Dark Elves warrior types do not appreciate each other. The crossbow wielding Darkshards are looked down upon for not risking their lives in close quarters but they pride themselves on their sharpshooting. Meanwhile the Consummate Professionals Dreadspears have a Technician vs. Performer relationship against the Blood Knights sword-wielding Bleakswords.
  • It Amused Me: This is one of the main reasons for why Dark Elves torture, kill and pillage the "lesser races". That is, everyone except them.
  • Kraken and Leviathan: The Kharybdiss, a monster-sized sea creature. It is one of the most terrifying units the Dark Elves can field that can deliver up to 12 Strength 7 attacks on a single model and with Toughness 5, 5 Wounds and Scaly Skin.
  • Lady of Black Magic: The only sanctioned spellcasters in Naggaroth are the female Sorceresses and their leaders the Supreme Sorceresses. These Sorceresses are notorious for using the Lore of Dark Magic, based on using the corrupted raw Winds of Magic, while also invoking demonic entities to assist them, and other unpleasant rituals.
  • 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 to the brim with blood without 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. Bloodshield of Khaine gives Brides of Khaine near it a ward save, Fury of Khaine grants nearby allies the Frenzy rule or Frenzy +2 Attacks, finally Strength of Khaine allows all nearby allies to reroll failed to Wound rolls.
  • Master Poisoner: Khainite Assassins are masters are creating and using poison through Poisoned Weapons but also secretly administering it inside of food. In game they have access to three Forbidden Poisons to undermine/assassinate the enemy leaders. The Black Lotus assaults the target's sanity and inflicts a Leadership penalty for each unsaved wound. The Dark Venom causes agonizing pain and so grants the Assassin the Killing Blow rule. Finally the Manbane is so powerful a mere scratch can fell a man, represented as granting the Assassin a bonus of +1 to wound.
  • 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 killing by dispatching all kinds of foes or creatures in one well-placed strike. As a result, they get the Killing Blow rule.
  • 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).
  • Mythology Gag: The Craftworld Eldar, Dark Eldar and Exodites of Warhammer 40,000 began as "Warhammer High Elves, Dark Elves, and Wood Elves Recycled In Space". In 8th edition, Dark Elves acquired the same "their souls are ultimately forfeit to Slaanesh" lore that had traditionally defined their Eldar kin.
  • 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. The cloak grants any model with it a 5+ Scaly Skin rule.
  • Nostalgia Filter: If there is one thing that Malekith always thought, it's that Nagarythe was perfect in every way. Accordingly, traditions from Nagarythe have endured the millenia as Malekith basically ordered his subjects to not deviate from Nagarythe traditions. In fact, not many Dark Elves want to change the traditions because Malekith's word is law and wanting to change them would amount to admitting to being unable to adapt, which is weakness.
  • Our Hydras Are Different: War hydras are a specialized breed created from regular hydra stock, and distinguished from their naturally occurring kin by their greater size, greater strength and fiery breath. Like regular hydras, they're many-headed, four-legged reptiles with bony crests, potent regeneration and highly aggressive natures.
  • Pirates: How the Dark Elves make their living. Going to sea on their Black Arks, Fleetmasters and their Corsairs underlings serve as a collective Evil Counterpart to the Lothern Sea Guard, being at the forefront of constant seaborne attacks and raids on the whole world.
  • Praetorian Guard: The Black Guard of Naggarond are Malekith's personal guard and only answer to him. They are all taken at birth from families favoured by the Witch King, are put through Training from Hell, and if any Guard survives a 200 year long tour of duty, then he is greatly rewarded with titles and territories, often becoming a favoured member of Malekith's court. Being elite soldiers among the elite, they have Weapon Skill 5 and Leadership 9 with heavy armour and a Blade on a Stick as standard weapon, as well as Stubborn, Immune to Psychology and Eternal Hatred allowing them to reroll failed rolls to hit every turn.
  • Professional Killer: Khainite Assassins are killers for hire that the Cult of Khaine, responsible for their formation, hires out to anyone with sufficient wealth or political favours. With Naggaroth as their playground, the Khainite Assassins are among the deadliest representatives of the profession. In game they mainly serve as a Hero killer with their Hidden rule allowing them to hide inside a given unit and with Weapon Skill 9, Initiative 10 and 3 Poisoned Attacks, they can fell commanders easily and at the most crucial moment.
  • Properly Paranoid: Any intelligent Dark Elf will be paranoid about their peers constantly... as those peers do want to assassinate them to get rid of the Dark Elf, their minions who want to assassinate said Dark Elf because the boss is in the minions' way for their own promotion and even the Dark Elf's superiors who may assassinate them if those superiors discover the Dark Elf's ambitions against them. Because of this the Druchii have a rigid etiquette that revolves around Dark Elves always protecting themselves. For instance, personal space is measured entirely in swordlengths, with minions not being allowed within three blades' length of their lords.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Deconstructed. Their slave trade is due to the original Nagarythe exiles who became them being so proud that they flatly refuse to learn any infrastructure maintaining skills, so they had to find a labor source somewhere. Their descendants are even worse about it.
  • Psycho Serum: The Death Hags may drink a Witchbrew in the middle of battle, granting them +2 attacks and enhancing their Frenzy as they are overcome with bloody visions of Khaine.
  • Pyrrhic Villainy: It is mentioned that if the Druchii ever achieved their goal of conquering Ulthuan and exterminating the Asur, they would be left with an utter void of purpose that they couldn't ever fill from that point onward, as so much of their cultural identity is centered around the perpetual war with Ulthuan. So, attaining their objectives wouldn't fulfill them in the slightest.
  • 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.
  • Religion of Evil: The High Elves worship two pantheons, one of "good" gods that should be worshipped and served, and one of "bad" gods that should be appeased and kept at bay. The Dark Elves give themselves over to the Bad gods, like the God of Murder.
  • Screaming Warrior: Death Hags have a Cry of War ability, which consists of screaming one of Khaine's hidden names of power to break the enemy.
  • Snake People: Bloodwrack Medusae were former sorceresses that turned into horrifying snake ladies for the crime using magic to become more beautiful than the gods themselves. Atharti, goddess of pleasure and seduction, didn't appreciate being outstaged by mortals so she transformed the entirety of Ghrond save Morathi into these. Slithering across the battlefield, the Medusae have a Deadly Gaze that tests against Initiative instead of Toughness and ignoring armour, representing their eyes that can turn people into stone.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Dark Elves do not deign to perform any mundane task, as they are killers who do not need to waste their time on such petty matters. As a result, their fleets scour the world to bring thousands of slaves to Naggaroth so that these thralls can do the many undignified yet necessary tasks to maintain Naggaroth, like tending to the crops and constructing new buildings. Karond Kar, also named Slaver's Gate, is their greatest slave market.
  • The Social Darwinist: Most Dark Elves believe only in cunning and strength. To them, the inadequate must be replaced by someone better, usually themselves. As a result, Naggaroth is a stage for many power struggles between Druchii in order to weed out the weak, the dumb, and those with compassion still in their hearts.
  • Spikes of Villainy: The Dark Elves seems to like them, provided there's enough space for them.
  • The Starscream: While Malekith doesn't take any crap from any of his followers, get below that and you'll find that every other entry on the list of ways to advance in Dark Elf society is "kill the guy above you."
  • Stripperific: All female models are scantily clad, something barely wearing a Chainmail Bikini, often less. In any case, Dark Elves women all wear revealing attires, being beautiful and proud of it. It somewhat helps their case that they're often fast enough to dodge attacks outright.
  • Stealth Expert: Shades are the old inhabitants of Clar Karond, forced out of the city and having to survive the deadly environment of Naggaroth. In game they are Scouts who will perform harassing tactics and hunt vulnerable units.
  • Torture Technician: The Dark Elves love to torture and are very, very good at it.
  • Tunnel Network: The Corsairs have discovered a vast network of tunnels crossing the continent of Naggaroth called the Underworld Sea, as each tunnel is navigable although the darkness and hostile wildlife inside of the tunnels make a crossing into a dangerous proposition. Nonetheless, it allows them to strike both East and West of Naggaroth.
  • Underground City: Har Graef is a city built at the bottom of a canyon whose walls are rich in ore and gems. It is the most prosperous city of all, and it could challenge Naggarond with the armies on its payroll if Malekith stopped playing Har Graef's ruling families against each other.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Some Dark Elves have indirectly helped the forces of Chaos and Skaven 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, leading him to invent necromancy, create the undead, destroy Nehekhara and become the biggest threat to the world outside of the Chaos Gods.
  • 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.
  • Your Soul Is Mine:
    • It is stated that upon death, all Dark Elves souls are taken and consumed by Slaanesh as no one feels that they should bother protecting dead and now 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 (Prey to the Dark Prince gives them a conditional 4+ Ward save as Slaanesh calls dibs on them). Directly feeling a Chaos God's claw around their souls at all times, the Doomfire Warplocks will do anything to stall Slaanesh, stealing others' souls and making offering to the Dark Prince to temporarily appease him. As a result, they know Soulblight and Doombolt.

The Dreaded Tyrants of Naggaroth

    Malekith 

Malekith, the Witch King of Naggoroth

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/malekith_8th_edition_artwork.jpg
"Ulthuan belongs to me. If it takes a thousand years, ten thousand years, I will claim my rightful place as king. I am the son of Aenarion. It is my destiny."

Disgraced son of Aenarion, the first Phoenix King, and his second wife, Morathi, Malekith was once the heir to the throne of Ulthuan and was a key figure in founding the original alliance between Elves and Dwarves. But fear of his grim nature and what darkness he might have inherited from his parents, combined with politicing, resulted in another elven noble being given the throne. Though Malekith feigned satisfaction, resentment burned within him, and he took a long and bloody path that led to his murdering the second Phoenix King and trying to take his place. Rejected and horribly burned by the Flames of Asuryan, Malekith caused the fracture in elven society that created the three elven people today, eventually claiming the throne of Naggaroth as the immortal Witch King.


  • 24-Hour Armor: Malekith's Armour of Midnight was permanently fused to his ruined flesh while still hot from the forge. Some lore even state that some pieces were actually riveted to his bones.
  • The Ace: A great warrior, a skilled general, a magical prodigy: Malekith had it all. Naturally, this saddled him with an ego proportionate to his gifts, ultimately helping pave the way for his eventual fall.
  • Achilles' Heel: While his armour and various other artifacts provide him with a truly formidable set of defenses against both physical and magical attacks, he is still extremely vulnerable to the power of Asuryan in any of its forms. Something which Teclis exploited at the Battle of Finuval Plain by using his magic to ignite the flames of Asuryan which still smoldered within the Witch-King's body.
  • 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 knows 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.
  • Anti-Magic: Many of his enchanted items are geared towards negating the power of enemy mages or magical items. Which makes sense when you remember his armor already renders him all but impervious to mundane attacks.
  • Arch-Enemy: He's had a number of them over his long existence, most famously Caledor the Conqueror: his main adversary during The Sundering. In the modern era he seems to regard the twins Tyrion and Teclis as his greatest foes, particularly the latter who was responsible for thwarting his latest major invasion at the Battle of Finuval Plain.
  • 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. In game, it grants him a bonus die for casting and dispelling attempts.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: The Dark Elves respect strength above all else and ultimately, regardless of birth right or any other such claim, Malekith's authority entirely hinges on the fact that he is the most powerful being in Naggaroth. A fact which he is fully aware of.
  • 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.
  • 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. One the other hand, he is also generous in rewarding success; just don't get on his bad side. Which is famously easy to do.
  • Big Bad: Of the elven civil war and for the High Elves as a whole.
  • Blood Knight: Even before his fall Malekith thrived in war, and spent most of his time campaigning across the Old World against any enemy of Ulthuan he could find.
  • Body Horror: Courtesy of the flames of Asuryan, his whole body is covered in burn scars; even his eyelids were burned off.
  • Broken Ace: He kept his great talent even after getting burned by the flames of Asuryan, but his mind was a different story.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: One of the reasons Malekith didn't get to become Phoenix King. After Aenarion died, the Princes of Ulthuan met to decide who would be the new Phoenix King. Though Malekith was the likely choice, it was later revealed that Aenarion's children with the late Everqueen, who were believed slain by Chaos warriors, were alive. The new Everqueen, Malekith's own half-sister, and if Malekith was the future Phoenix King, they would have to conceive a daughter and the idea of an incestuous monarchy grossed the Princes out.
  • Cool Sword: Wields a large falchion named The Destroyer, forged by his own hand and named to symbolize his determination to annihilate the High Elves and all their works. The sword is enchanted to drain the magic from enemy spell casters and enchanted items. In game The Destroyer can, for each inflicted wounds, destroy a single magic item belonging to the enemy on a die roll and making Wizards lose a level.
  • Dragon Rider: During the Elven civil war, Malekith fought from the back of the fearsome Black Dragon Sulekh. After Sulekh's death at the hands of Caledor Dragontamer, Malekith switched to riding in a mighty chariot drawn by Cold Ones until a new clutch of Black Dragon eggs were discovered by a band of Shades. The first of this new brood, Seraphon, impressed Malekith with his ruthlessness by attempting to destroy his unhatched siblings, resulting in the Witch King ordering the young dragon to be raised as his personal mount.
  • Elves vs. Dwarves:
    • Averted prior to his corruption. Malekith was responsible for first finding the Dwarfs, and became a firm, fast friend of their High King, Snorri Whitebeard.
    • Invoked: after he and his followers were expelled, he sent minions to commit acts of murder and sabotage against the Dwarfs, knowing that they would be ignorant of the then-raging elven civil war. Malekith knew that once the Dwarfs went to the High Elves for recompense and the High Elves would react poorly to the accusations of sabotage, war between them would be inevitable.
  • 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 sucessor. 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 turn in a fit of extreme rage.
  • 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 Overlord: One of the straightest examples in the franchise: 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. His rule Absolute Power demonstrates his authority by making his Inspiring Presence bubble have a higher range than normal.
  • The Evil Prince: Malekith the Witch King started out as this. Then he found out that the crowning ceremony wasn't just a formality but a divine Secret Test of Character. Subverted, as Malekith had nothing to do with his father's death and has always had the utmost respect for him.
  • Evil Sorcerer: The only male Dark Elf allowed to openly practice magic due to the aforementioned prophecy. He isn't know as "The Witch-King" for nothing, after all. In game, he is treated as a level 4 wizard in the lore of Dark Magic.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: His voice is typically described as such.
  • Fallen Hero: There was a time in his life in which Malekith was not an evil monster. Suffice to say, that is not a time in which the characters are currently living.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Often depicted with these, usually colored green.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: A major motivating factor behind Malekith's original desire to be king was a legitimate belief that only he, like his father before him, could lead the elves to victory against Chaos. Suffice to say, he ended up becoming almost as great a threat to Ulthuan as Chaos itself.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Back when Malekith could reasonably be called a "hero," he wielded Avanuir.
  • Kill It with Fire: Since he's been burned by Asuryan's Flame, Malekith is disquieted by all wholesome fire, ironically justifying the Evil Is Not Well-Lit aspect of his Black Tower. Notably, Teclis defeated him once by reviving the small flames of Asuryan remaining inside his body, forcing him to flee.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The Supreme Spellshield, which reflects offensive spells back at the caster. It grants Malekith with Magic Resistance and if a spell aimed at him is dispelled, then the enemy spellcaster suffers a random number of Strength 6 hits.
  • Magic Knight: Not only does Malekith avert Armor and Magic Don't Mix, he is both one of the most lethal fighters in the game as well as a powerful Evil Sorcerer. While Malekith is a level 4 Wizard, it shouldn't distract from his fearsome Weapon Skill and Initiative of 8 and Strength of 5.
  • Malevolent Masked Man: Often depicted wearing a golden scrying mask and unquestionably malevolent.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Like mother, like son after all. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Really Gets Around: According to the 8th edition army book, most of the nobility in Naggaroth claims to have some trace of Malekith's blood running through their lineage somewhere. Quite impressive for a guy burned to a crisp and sealed inside armor 24/7. Of course, whether this is actually true or not is never stated; other sources quite clearly state that Malekith is incapable of such a thing, for obvious reasons.
  • Rightful King Returns: His sole overriding obsession and what drives him to constantly invade Ulthuan through the ages. He is eventually crowned the Eternity King of all Elves, who after a bloody civil war recognize him as their leader.
  • Secret Test of Character: What reduced him to a hideously burned up corpse was utterly failing one of these tests and paying the price.
  • The Social Darwinist: Malekith generally encourages the Chronic Backstabbing Disorder going on to make sure his society stays strong and focused.
  • Sorcerous Overlord: It's literally his title, "The Witch King of Naggaroth".
  • Start of Darkness: The seeds of his start were ultimately sown when Bel Shanaar was elected king rather than Malekith though they took a long time to fully bear fruit.
  • Take Over the World: His ultimate ambition; to create a globe-spanning elven empire and subjugate all the 'lesser races'. With himself as ruler of course.
  • Time Abyss: One of the oldest living mortals in existence, by the modern day he's just shy of 7000 years old.
  • 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 Armour of Midnight also keeps Malekith's ruined body alive after he was ravaged by the Flames of Asuryan. In game, the Armor provides an weak armour save relative to its importance but a 2+ Ward Save against all non-magical attacks and cancels rules that allow several wounds to be taken from him at once.
  • Villainous Incest: Prior to 8th Edition, it was heavily implied he and his mother were lovers.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: Six millennia after being burnt to a crisp in the Flame of Asuryan, Malekith's burns still have not healed one bit. Not until he steps inside it again and becomes the Phoenix King.
  • You Have Failed Me: His reputation for this is such that his generals would rather march their troops through horrific weather conditions and fight to the death against impossible odds rather than go back and tell Malekith they failed to carry out his orders.

    Morathi 

Morathi, The Hag Sorceress of Ghrond

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/morathi_8th_edition.png
"A scratch from an envenomed dagger, a sip from a poisoned chalice, a slight to a proud warrior's honour... In time these things may do far more grievous harm than the broadsword or the axe, my love..."

The mother of Malekith and second wife of Aenarion. One of the most powerful magic users in the world, Morathi is as twisted and manipulative as she is beautiful.


  • The Archmage: The first and greatest Druchii Sorceress and one of the most powerful spellcasters in the setting, with only Nagash, Teclis and the greatest of the Slann said to match or exceed her. She is a Level 4 Wizard of the Lores of Death, Shadow and Dark Magic, moreover her rule The First Sorceress translates her sheer experience into a constant D3 bonus to spellcasting.
  • Ax-Crazy: Morathi is severely unhinged, and unlike Malekith, generally needs no more reason to commit atrocities beyond It Amused Me.
  • Beauty Is Bad: She's one of the most beautiful women in the world... and also an ancient, hideously evil and utterly corrupt monster. Her rule Enchanting Beauty forces everyone near her to pass a Leadership test or see their Weapon Skill take a staggering -5 penalty as the poor soldiers are entranced by her charms.
  • Casting a Shadow: In addition to her dark magic she also has access to the Lore of Shadow.
  • Chickification: The changes/retcon to her backstory in the 8th edition, caused this according to many. Morathi was retconned from being the high priestess of Slaanesh to being just a worshipper of the elf goddess of decadence, as well as being removed as a major factor in her son's fall into villainy, and her role in the sundering of elves. The 8th edition also decreased the influence she had on Malekith. It also gave her an obsession at the point of her deceased husband, and her searching a substitute for him in the form of Tyrion as a major motivator, while previously she may not have even loved Aenarion.
  • The Corrupter: One of the principal causes of Malekith's fall to evil and was said to have encouraged Aenarion's darker nature when he was alive as well.
  • Dark Action Girl: While primarily a spell caster, Morathi is by no means incapable as a physical combatant.
  • Deal with the Devil: Perfectly willing to bargain with any and all malevolent entities she thinks will grant her greater power.
  • 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.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Almost always depicted barefoot.
  • Dual Wielding: Morathi uses her Blade on a Stick Heartrender (which doubles as a Magic Staff) alongside the Darksword. The Heartrender is enchanted to seek the hearts of foes while the Darksword is ladden with strength-sapping curses. Thus Morathi has the Killing Blow rule and for each unsaved wound, her enemies see their Toughness, Attack and Strength stats reduced by 1.
  • 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.
  • 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 that the Everqueens embody the light.
  • Evil Matriarch: Malekith's mother and a depraved manipulative Evil Sorceress.
  • Evil Sorceress: The first practitioner of the lore of dark magic.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: The queen mother of the Druchii, and one of the most depraved and malevolent individuals in history.
  • The Hedonist: 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. Her own personal faction during the Storm of Chaos campaign was 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.
  • Lady of Black Magic: Queen mother of the Dark Elves and an ancient and powerful wizard of great renown. Although she is also quite a vicious hand-to-hand fighter too when the mood takes her, wielding a wickedly sharp excoriating spear called Heartrender and an enchanted sword.
  • 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.
  • Manipulative Bastard: One of the premier examples in Warhammer Fantasy, her propensity for manipulation could nearly rival Tzeentch himself.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Not only she has a very seductive personality, her design is easily the most sexualized out of any female character in Warhammer (See Stripperiffic). In fact, she is the only model in the game of a topless woman (excluding Daemons of Slaanesh who are another thing altogether).
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Her name begins with the prefix "Mor", need we say anything else?
  • Narcissist: Incredibly vain and self obsessed. She could give Sigvald a run for his money in this department.
  • Pegasus: Her mount of choice, the dark pegasus Sulephet.
  • Poisonous Friend: She's served this to both her husband and son, bringing out all their worst vices and dragging them down the path of darkness. Even when the world was about to come to an end, she almost convinced Aenarion to host unspeakable orgies of depravity instead of actually fighting back against the never ending tide of demons. She succeeded with her son and nearly did with her husband, if it wasn't for the best efforts of his best friend, Caledor which inspired him to die a hero. She continues her streak of corruptive influence with Tyrion.
  • 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: She was originally a mere maiden, rescued by Aenarion from a Chaos slave caravan and he was so taken with her that he took her to be his new wife, having recently lost his first wife Astarielle to a Daemonic attack.
  • Stripperiffic: Her model is one of the raciest in the Warhammer range as she wears a metal thong and little else. In the fluff she is usually seen mostly or fully naked.
  • Squishy Wizard: She's not very durable, probably as a result of her Stripperific outfit. Before the Sundering, Malekith defeated her in a duel by punching her in the face and capturing her when she was still stunned.
  • Time Abyss: The single oldest living mortal in the world. Though you wouldn't know it by looking at her.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Somewhat in connection to the above Villain Decay, Morathi now at least seems to have genuinely loved Malekith and Aenarion. Possibly partly a Deconstructed/Subverted Trope, as Malekith still described Morathi's love as a "cruel love".
  • Vain Sorceress: Regularly bathes in blood to keep her eternal youth. She invented the process and retains her beauty at all times.
  • The Vamp: Morathi, as befits someone who was a worshipper of Slaanesh in earlier editions and became a priestess of the elven goddess of decadence in 8th edition.
  • Villainous Incest: Prior to 8th edition, at least, it was implied that Malekith and Morathi were lovers.
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman: Rivals Alarielle as this.

    Hellebron 

Hellebron, The Blood Queen of Har Ganeth

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hellebron_8th_edition.jpg
"Send the word out across the world. Celebrate and give thanks to the mighty Lord of Murder for delivering unto us his world-born son. We have been blessed and in His name we shall bare our blades in readiness for His will as voiced by His avatar. Hail Malekith, Eternal Khaine Incarnate."

The high priestess of the Cult of Khaine and a bitter rival to Morathi; Hellebron is so ancient that she can only attain any measure of her former beauty through her Blood Bath rituals.


  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: Her Amulet of Dark Fires gives a big +4 bonus to dispell spells aimed at her.
  • Archenemy: Views Morathi as this. She is almost as ancient and influential as Morathi and thus views the Sorceress as her primary rival.
  • Ax-Crazy: Would you expect any different from the leader of the Cult of Khaine?
  • The Berserker: As with Khaine's cultists in general.
  • Blood Knight: Like all witch elves, Hellebron craves the thick of battle where blood flows both for Khaine and her pleasure.
  • Dual Wielding: Bears the enchanted weapons known as the Deathsword and the Cursed Blade. They count as a pair of hand weapon, and while the Deathsword grants a Strength 10 in close quarters, the Cursed Blade enables vicious CounterAttacks since enemy rolls of 1 to Hit result in them taking a Strength 4 hit.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Has a standing grudge against Morathi, and fights against her on more than one occasion.
  • High Priest: The leader of the the Cult of Khaine and by extension the highest religious authority in Naggaroth.
  • 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 for increasingly shorter spans of time and she is understandably bitter about this.
  • It's Personal: Was furious with Morathi for destroying her Cauldron of Blood, mainly because it was hers.
  • Narcissist: Even as a Princess in Athel Toralien, her vanity was supreme. Morathi wounding her pride is actually what drove her to embrace Khaine.
  • Never Mess with Granny: She's a withered and ancient-looking woman who truly fits the measure of the term "hag" most of the time, but she's also a lethally quick and agile fighter who can cut down anything in her way. Indeed, a granny with Weapon Skill 7, Strength 4 and Initiative 9 is not to be trifled with.
  • Our Manticores Are Spinier: Can ride a manticore as one of her mount options, fittingly enough considering the Druchii consider the beasts sacred to Khaine.
  • The Rival: She and Morathi have been at each others throats for thousands of years.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Hellebron is the ruler of Har Ganeth and she is able to give a portion of this immunity to people who petition her.
  • Time Abyss: Like Malekith and Morathi, she's been alive since before the Sundering and unlike Morathi, she looks it. Most of the time anyway.

    Malus Darkblade 

Malus Darkblade, Scion of Hag Graef

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/malus_darkblade_8th_edition.jpg
"Shut up Daemon!"

An ambitious Dark Elf noble who foolishly released a daemon named Tz'arkan, which commanded him to bring forth five ancient relics of power and use them to fully release it, or have his soul be consumed. Malus succeeded against all odds, but found his soul stolen anyway when Tz'arkan was freed; enraged, he tracked the daemon down and reclaimed his soul, but found himself possessed by Tz'arkan again.


  • Anti Anti Christ: Malus is the Scourge, destined to wield the Warpsword of Khaine and bring about the Time of Blood. However, he's a bit more interested in using the Warpsword to save his own soul rather than usher in any sort of apocalypse. Even better, the prophecy was indirectly created by T'zarkan, who intends to use Malus' body to enact it himself. Malus has other plans.
  • Bastard Bastard : He is the improper offspring of Vaulkhar Lurhan and Eldire the hag-sorceress, and he's definitely a bastard.
  • Bait the Dog: In the opening scene of 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.
  • Blessed with Suck/Cursed with Awesome: He has a daemon stuck inside his body and which takes over more and more of his body whenever he falls asleep, but he's skilled enough in magic that he can go without ever sleeping for the rest of his life and, when he allows the daemon control, his killing powers are increased dramatically. In game, Malus can choose to release the demon and gains Frenzy as well as sees his stat augment dramatically. However, rolls of 1 to hit enemies mean a minion is hit instead.
  • Boxed Crook : In Lord of Ruin as the 'champion' of Malekith's army.
  • Demonic Possession: What he's been stuck with ever since he released Tz'arkan.
  • Evil Weapon: The Warpsword of Khaine is an evil sword, which rerolls failed rolls to Wound and ignores armour.
  • Expy: Arguably, of Elric of Melnibone, being a cursed noble who practices alchemy, is allied with daemonic entities, wields a death-dealing black sword and who flies into berserk furies in which he slaughters all around him.
  • Horrifying the Horror: In his comic in issue #5 of Warhammer Monthly, after he casually and perhaps needlessly kills his own father to take the Dagger of Torxus for himself, Tz'arkan confesses that there are times when Malus scares him. And Tz'arkan is a Daemon of Tzeentch.
  • The Insomniac: Malus constantly drinks a special potion to keep himself awake, so that Tz'arkan cannot take over his body completely. When he needs Tz'arkan's strength, he drinks a second potion that instantly knocks him out, so the daemon can take control.
  • It Can Think: Malus' Cold One, Spite, is dangerously more intelligent than ordinary Cold Ones, not being subject to Stupidity and having the Eternal Hatred rule.
  • Meaningful Name: "Malus" litterally means "bad" in latin.
  • Screw Destiny: Towards the end of the series, Malus' goals evolve into this on top of 'get my body back'.
  • Self-Inflicted Hell: Malus was possessed because of his own greed and lust for power, and was often sabotaged by his own previous schemes.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Killed his own father, Lurhan.
  • The Soulless: T'zarkan takes Malus' soul as it flees after its defeat, leaving Malus as this.
  • The Unfavorite: Being the bastard offspring of his father and a sorceress, Malus isn't very high in his family's pecking order. It really says something when even your deformed, crippled half-brother is more highly-regarded than you in the Social Darwinist Druchii society.
  • Villain Protagonist: Malus is a deeply unpleasant person but he's the main character and it's possible to cheer him on simply because his enemies are just as bad or worse than he is.
  • Would You Like to Hear How They Died? : Early in his career, he tormented a captive by describing what the crew of his raiding ship did to his lover when she offered herself in exchange for his "freedom", complete with showing the man her skinned-off face, before casting him overboard.
    Malus: " Would you like one last kiss before you go?"

    Shadowblade 

Shadowblade

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shadowblade_8th_edition.jpg
"Now look upon the face of death!"

The greatest of the Khainite Assassins and undoubtedly one of the deadliest killers Naggaroth has ever produced. It is said no one looks upon his face and lives.


  • The Dreaded: Mentioning him in a room full of Elves is a good way to make them all go deathly quiet. He's the greatest assassin the Dark Elves have ever produced and more importantly, their best infiltrator. (Most assassins can hide in their army's forces; Shadowblade can hide in the enemy army.) He's called Shadowblade because he personally killed everyone who ever knew his real name, save maybe for Malekith and that's only because he's on Malekith's payroll.
  • In the Hood: Standard attire for Khainite Assassins.
  • Master of Disguise: One of his rules, named word for word. While ordinary assassins infiltrate one allied unit for the rest of the game, Shadowblade can switch between ally units every Movement Phase. Not even magic items that would allow to detect hidden models can precisely pin his location down.
  • Master Poisoner: Shadowblade carries all poisons available to Khainite Assassins on him.
  • Neutral No Longer: Now works openly for Hellebron and has spied on Malekith.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: "Shadowblade" is obviously not his true name and it is probable that his real name was cast out long ago.
  • Professional Killer: As a Khainite Assassin this comes with the territory.
  • The Red Baron: He is nicknamed "The Death that Walks Unseen", and earned that nickname.
  • Stealth Expert: It comes with the job. One of his most famous exploits was to manage infiltrating a High Elf ship and over the course of several days kill the crewmen one by one without being detected, only leaving the captain alive as a witness.
  • Super Reflexes: Has the Dance of Doom rule which gives him a 5+ ward save in all situations, representing his evading skills.
  • Super Serum: His Potion of Diabolic Strength is a powerful brew made from Troll blood, Chimera Bile and other nasty ingredients. It will temporarily grant him a +4 bonus to Strength on the tabletop whenever he chooses to use it.
  • Taking You with Me: Shadowblade carries with him the Heart of Woe, a ruby that will explode should he be slain, killing anyone who could defeat him. In game, all models near will receive a Strength 3 hit if he is slain.
  • The Un-Reveal: No one sees his face and lives.

    Lokhir Fellheart 

Lokhir Fellheart, Krakenlord of Karond Kar

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lokhir_fellheart_8th_edition.jpg

One of the most notorious of all dark elf corsairs, Lokhir Fellheart commands the black ark Tower of Blessed Dread and is a scourge of the seas the world over.


  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: He has sacrificed his rivals and their families to the gods for favour.
  • Arch-Enemy: Seems have one in Sealord Aislinn of the High Elves.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: He maintains his reputation by killing mutineers and enemy heroes in combat.
  • The Captain: Considering that he commands a Black Ark, which is litterally a seaborne fortress that serves as the base of operations of the Dark Elf navy, Lokhir qualifies as this, even if he's actually closer to being an admiral in status.
  • Cthulhumanoid: Invoked by his Helm of the Kraken which has tentacle decorations sticking out of it.
  • Cool Mask: He wears the Helm of the Kraken, an enchanted golden helmet that makes him look like he has a squid for a head. Its enchantments mean he inflicts Terror and he has a Healing Factor with Regeneration.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: On the taunting side. Killing Mathlann's herald, Aislinn, made Mathlann create a storm that sunk most of Fellheart's fleet and nearly destroyed his Black Ark.
  • Dual Wielding: His trademark Red Blades, forged from molten enchanted metal looted in an Indan temple. They count as paired weapons and reroll failed to wound rolls.
  • The Dreaded: Lokhir is one of the most infamous corsairs and slavers in the world. His rule Merciless Slaver gives a -1 penalty to Leadership to an enemy that has broken in close quarters combat.
  • Dynamic Entry: Daring Leap allows Lokir to redirect attacks to a model not in contact with him during close quarter fights, representing him as leaping across a battle to swiftly gut a chosen opponent.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He at least respected his father enough not to kill him and usurp his position. Apparently, it's a Fellheart thing.
  • Four-Star Badass: One of the highest ranking naval commanders in Naggaroth.
  • Klingon Promotion: Averted surprisingly, Lokhir is said to be unusual for not killing his father to gain his position, and the Fellhearts are considered one of the few Naggarothi families to hold blood to be Thicker Than Water.
  • Family Values Villain: The Fellheart clan is known for its member sticking together, at least relatively to other evil Dark Elves slavers.

    Kouran Darkhand 

Kouran Darkhand, Captain of the Black Guard

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/warhammer_kouran_darkhand.png
"You are the true king of the elves, Malekith. You are the son of Aenarion, champion of the Daemon War, heir to the Phoenix Crown. It is your right by deed, merit and birth and I would give my life to see that ancient wrong reversed and your rightful position restored. As an elf I can think of no higher calling."

The current captain of the Black Guard and Malekith's right hand man. Kouran is a true rarity among the Druchii in that he is genuinely loyal to Malekith and would gladly give his life in service to his lord.


  • Attack Reflector: The Armour of Grief which belonged to one of Malekith's first lieutenants, has the ability to share damage. Successful to Hit rolls in close quarters against him result in the guilty model receiving an automatic Strength 5 hit.
  • Badass Grandpa: He's over a thousand years old, he knows nothing about magic and he still can cut down almost anything in his way.
  • Blade on a Stick: His weapon of choice, the Crimson Death: a halberd wielded by the captain of the black guard since the beginning of the organization. It gives him +2 Strength in close quarters.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Whilst he favors the Crimson Death, a powerful enchanted Blade on a Stick that is the symbol of his position, he will use anything and everything that is at hand as a weapon. The eighth edition mentions him killing people with bits of corpses from people he'd killed just before.
  • The Dragon: Malekith's most trusted and loyal enforcer. On the tabletop he even has a rule called The Right Hand of Darkness that makes his unit of Black Guards Unbreakable to represent his authority and drive to not fail his mission.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Seventh edition mentioned that he became a Tower Master by strangling the previous incumbent with their own hair.
  • Klingon Promotion: Got his job as the commander of Malekith's personal guard by strangling his predecessor with his own hair.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: One of his methods for dealing with rivals.
  • Noble Demon: He's sincerely loyal to Malekith and content with his job. Not that this stops him butchering anyone who thinks this makes him weak.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Malekith, unlike every other Dark Elf who fear him. It has more to do with Kouran wanting revenge on Morathi and thus being loyal to the only Dark Elf who can crush her.

    Tullaris Dreadbringer 

Tullaris Dreadbringer, The Hand of Khaine

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/warhammer_tullaris_deathbringer.png
The Chosen of Khaine
"Lord Khaine. I send you this meagre offering, the first of many, on your night, Death Night. Let this be a sign of the compact between us, and lend your strength to me. Let the murders I commit this night be in your name and for your glory."

The current captain of the Har Ganeth Executioners, Tullaris is a fanatic who believes he has been chosen by Khaine himself to spill blood, a belief stemming from the constant visions and whisperings that plague him, enticing him to kill and main all around him.


  • BFS: Like all executioners, he wields one: The First Draich. It grants him +2 strength but also Always Strikes Last like a heavy weapon and it enhances his Killing Blow rule.
  • Break Them by Talking: Tullaris is personally responsible for one of the most dramatic Face–Heel Turn during the End Times, taunting Tyrion about his dead daughter and enraging him to the point he draws the Widowmaker, corrupting him for the rest of the Sundering.
  • The Chosen One: Regarded by many to be the chosen of Khaine and there's strong evidence that it's true.
  • The Dreaded: Due to his murderous reputation, Tullaris is one of the most feared individuals in the entire world. Entire armies fleeing the battlefield when they catch a glimpse of his armour and even Witch Elves try not to rouse his terrible fury. In-game this is represented by Tullaris casing Fear, a trait he shares with the With King himself.
  • Hearing Voices: Is said to be able to hear the voice of Khaine in his head, urging him on to greater acts of slaughter.
  • Religious Bruiser: Of Khaine's faith. His devotion to Khaine is such that he has the Khaine's Sacred Slaughterer rule making his unit Frenzy.

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