Dark Elves (Warhammer Fantasy)
"This isn't happening to you for a reason. Well, one reason. I enjoy it."
- – Ramsay Bolton, who would have made an excellent Dark Elf...and then the actor who played him ended up playing as one too
"Bones will be shattered, necks will be wrung! You'll be beaten and battered, from racks you'll be hung! You will die down here and never be found! Down in the deep of
Goblin Town Naggarond!"
- – Malekith to prisoners (don't tell him it doesn't rhyme)
The Dark Elves (or Druchii in Druhir) of Naggaroth are one of the major civilizations of Warhammer Fantasy and the dark kin of the High Elves. They're also the Fantasy counterpart to the Dark Eldar of 40k.
Unlike many other non-Tolkien elves, these elves usually get approval of /tg/ for a variety of reasons. This includes taking their arrogance to its peak and seeing non-elves as slaves/vermin, using technology, scantily clad women (for the fa/tg/uys), not being nature-lovers but being able to tame awesome monsters (including the aforementioned dinosaur mounts) and using ranged weapons other than bows. Sure, they're totally awful, but unlike with over-arrogant non-Dark Elves, you're supposed to find these ones unlikable.
Dim history to modern day
Once upon a fucking time, there was an elf named Malekith, who was the child of the King Aenarion and the Sorceress Morathi. When Aenarion died attempting to fuck a Daemon of Chaos, there was a debate amongst the Princes of Ulthuan as to who would become the next Phoenix King. Now Malekith expected the princes to choose him, but they instead chose Prince Bel Shanaar of Tiranoc, because they (rightly) feared that Malekith would militarize Ulthuan and go about destroying and conquering shit around the world. Now of course, this decision made Malekith have a huge temper tantrum and vowed to take his rightful place as ruler of Ulthuan.
So after a series of events that involved lots of lying, backstabbing, secret bargains and other douchebaggery, Malekith poisoned Bel Shanaar (specifically, he grabbed him and forced him to drink a goblet of poisoned wine after being offered it but tried to politely refuse), and killed many of the Princes gathered in the Shrine of Asuryan. When Malekith stepped into the Flame of Asuryan to prove he was the true king of Ulthuan, the flames burned his ass and spat him out because it didn't like the taste of his dickery. So after his followers escaped with their charred leader, Morathi saved her son from death and commissioned a renegade priest of Vaul to create the Armor of Midnight and welded it to Malekiths flesh.
So after a long civil war, Malekith and his followers were banished from Ulthuan and sailed to a new land, via the city-sized Black Arks, which they named Naggaroth and renamed themselves the Druchii (Dark Elves). To this day, Malekith and the Druchii continue fighting the Asur in order to take revenge against their hated kin (because daddy's little prince can't be happy being king of a race and a new land, no he has to have the one particular crown after all...kind of being a bit spoiled there Malekith me old chum).
The End Times
So Games Workshop decided to end the canon stalemate that the Dark Elves and High Elves have enjoyed for the last fifteen or so years by pressing the big red button and activating complete destruction on the Warhammer world. The sheer amount of changes are staggering but for the Dark Elves it primarily means this:
- It seems Malekith was meant to be the one true Phoenix King all along and only didn't get the crown because he didn't stay in the flames one second longer (wut?) but this is now corrected and now he is not the Witch King but Eternity King Malekith, all hail!
- Naggaroth got invaded by a big horde of stinky Khornates who pretty much destroyed the country. Malekith though couldn't care less about it and left along with his people after salting the earth and wrecking the cities so the Chaos hordes won't have any plunder.
- Morathi was left to rot in her tower by her son after he finally tired of her slagging figure and now she has been picked up by grand pimp Slaanesh. Cue lolz for the epic just desserts for the spiteful bitch.
- Malus got ripped apart by his own inner daemon as it grew strong enough to escape thus causing many fan powers of Darkblade to grief and gnaw on their fingernails in fury.
- The Dark Elves are no more as Malekith becomes rightful king of all elfkind and merges the three kinds (dark, high and wood) back into one flavour and sets up his new kingdom in Athel Loren.
All in all the Dark Elves don't really exist any more. We just now have Elves. Cue the arguments among elf players over the fact they now have to be besties with races they considered their arch-foes in the past. Enjoy!
Age of Sigmar
The transition into the Mortal Realms saw the Dark Elves unnecessarily splintered up into many tiny factions. Of these, only the Daughters of Khaine truly took off as its own independent thing, with the rest of the former Dark Elf range being among the many that were subsumed into Cities of Sigmar. Strangely enough, with the majority of High and Wood Elf units being squatted, this results in the majority of the aelven representation in Cities consisting of units that were murderers, criminals, and edgelords.
Broken Realms has seen a pseudo-rebirth of the Dark Elves, introducing a new faction of Har Kuron that can only take the former Dark Elf units but also has access to Daughters of Khaine units. Lore-wise this represents Morathi conquering the city of Anvilgard and starting a new Khaine-worshipping aelven empire.
In addition to this, there are also various hints at a new faction of aelves (thought to be called Umbraneth after an accidental mention on Warhammer Community) lead by Malerion (the AoS rename of Malekith), which will likely be to Dark Elves what Lumineth Realm-Lords were to High Elves. Except presumably they'll have badass shadow dragons instead of battle cattle.
Dark Elf society can be summed up as pretty much fucked up.
Druchii love raiding, pillaging, enslaving and killing the lesser races but especially their hated kin. May whatever God have mercy on the bastards that have been unlucky enough to be enslaved by them. Chances are that they'll inflict such horrific tortures upon the slaves that it will make Ramsay Bolton's torture of Theon Greyjoy look like a picnic (funnily enough Ramsey now voices a Druchii by the name of Rakarth). Alternatively they will gruesomely sacrifice them to Khaine. Doing slave labor isn't any better, since they'll be continuously whipped or beaten to work until exhaustion, after which they'll still be tortured or sacrificed (and on the rare occasions they do get fed, you don't want to know what the food is or where they got it).
The Druchii also have this fun little event called "Death Night", a ten-day (8th edition changed it to just one) orgy of bloodshed where the Witch Elves go door to door and kill some people in sacrifice to Khaine and kidnap children. Females are sent to become Witch Elves
or Sorceresses (Witch Elves and Sorceresses hate each other) whilst males are thrown into a boiling cauldron of blood, and any lucky enough to survive are trained to become Assassins. All the inhabitants can do during this particular night is to blockade their homes and pray for the best, for if the Witch Elves decide to choose theirs, tough luck for them (unless they can bribe the temple with a HUGE slave donation, then they might be spared). The next day, it's customary for families spared the attentions of the Witch Elves to sacrifice a member of their household to Khaine in gratitude (in practice often a slave or an elderly relative). Recently, a number of Dark Elf social commentators have complained that Death Night these days is far too commercialized, what with Death Night cards and Morathi costumes going on sale as many as six months in advance. Honestly, Elflings these days have quite forgotten about the true meaning of Death Night. Back in my day, it was all about Khaine! The slaughter! The tradition! Don’t forget the reason for the season, folks!
How the fuck they get anything done is anyone's guess. It's odd that they seem to still outnumber the High Elves (despite High Elves almost always inflicting far heavier casualties then they do), although their constant sexual orgies may be a contributing factor to their population size. Also, some parts of the lore have implied they kidnap High Elf children and babies to raise as Dark Elves. Then there's High Elf and Wood Elf defectors. In reality, it's because Games Workshop has admitted they just write whatever numbers they want at the time and there are as many Elves as the plot demands.
Druchii believe that the strong should rule over the weak. They plot against each other on a daily basis in order to advance themselves in the noble hierarchy (just think the great houses playing the game of thrones in a Song of Ice and Fire except with Dark Elves and dialed to eleven). The only ones above them all are Malekith and Morathi.
Because of a prophecy which states that Malekith will be killed by a Sorcerer, males have been forbidden to practicing magic. 7th edition does state that male spellcasters exist, they just have to keep their practices a secret. 8th edition shows the ones who were alive when Malekith came to power are still around, only Malekith sold their souls to Slaanesh so they're too busy trying not to get their souls raped to try and murder his ass.
Dark Elves have a hobby of taming vicious monsters to serve as beasts of war (though with great difficulty depending on what they are). They are able to tame Cold Ones, Manticores (though their bloodlust leads to temporary losses of control as the Manticore goes LEEROY), sea monsters including the Kharibdyss (though they're so ravenous and primeval the Dark Elves occasionally lose control of them with mass Dark Elf casualties, starting with the handlers), fire breathing Hydras and Black Dragons (though the dragons are intelligent enough that it's as much an alliance as taming). But for some reason, they are unable to control Harpies.
Due to the End Times canon, you can consider this list of cities now outdated because at the last count they are now all salted and burned to the ground.
- Naggarond, the Tower of Cold, capital of the realm: A ECKSBAWKSHUEG city (the gates alone are fifty feet high, and the wall is double that), Naggarond has everything a Dark Elf could want. Sacrificial altars, barracks, a citadel in the middle and even shops (many that sell BDSM attire). At the top of the citadel is the Witch King's throne room where he can (via magic) view anywhere in the entire world (watch his armies march, obsess over Ulthuan, spy on people in the shower, that sort of thing).
- Ghrond, the North Tower: Less a city and more a fortress, it's proximity to the chaos wastes lets Dark Elf sorceresses see the future in the magical auroras or something.
- Karond Kar, the Tower of Despair: Pretty much the main city for all the Dark Elves beastmasters, and where they keep their zoos. Since Dark Elves view non Elves as little better than animals, it's also the first place in Naggaroth that most of the slaves who survive the journey will see.
- Hag Graef, the Dark Crag: This delightful place is a slave's worst nightmare. Hag Graef is a city located in a valley where the mountains reach so high that it blots out the sun (hence the name "The Dark Crag"). Slaves are forced to work day and night without rest or else feel the sting of the whip or (of course) something even worse. And if the slaves are lucky to die, the Warpstone mine reanimates their corpses. Hag Graef was also the site of one of Malekith's dickeries where he poisoned the rebelling lords and only gave them the antidote if they swore fealty to him... Yeah, what a dick.
- Har Ganeth, City of Executioners: This is the last place you want to be, since this is the HQ of the Cult of Khaine. If you are a resident, be prepared to fight for your life on a daily basis, since your neighbor or the local priest/priestess of Khaine will want your blood running in the streets. If you are a slave, prepare to be sacrificed to Khaine by hot, sexy and psychopathic Witch Elves in the most gruesome way imaginable.
- Clar Karond, the Tower of Doom: Naggaroth's primary shipyard. Surrounded by forests and near the entrance to the underground sea the Dark Elves use to travel to kingdoms worth plundering safely. Regular passtimes include hunting escaped slaves, monster hunts, and gladiator matches between those same slaves and/or monsters. Now rivals of Karond Kar in place for the beastmaster roles.
- Har Kaldra, the Forgotten City: Little is known about it, except Morathi covertly incited them to rebel against Malekith's rule to make him stop spending all day in front of his computer in the basement and get shit done again. Malekith destroyed the city in a night with magic, but went right back to his usual business. A theory is that Har Kaldra was Naggaroth's breadbasket and the city's destruction reduced the harvest enough that it's the reason the Dark Elves turned to piracy to sustain their nation, but GW wasn't clever enough to come up with that.
See Warhammer Fantasy Elf Gods for further details on just who's who in the Dark Elf religious circles.
- Malekith: The Witch King of Naggaroth and ruler of the Dark Elves who still lives with his mother. Scratch that, he is now the pimped out Eternity King Malekith, kicker of asses, particularly his mother's since he left her to Slaanesh's sweet graces.
- Morathi: Hag Queen of Naggaroth, Mother of Malekith and leader of the Sorceresses of Ghrond. Often tried to undermine him and manipulate him. She got swallowed by Slaanesh during the End Times but she's back now, and she recently became the new Goddess of Murder.
- Malus Darkblade: A champion of the Witch King and lord of Hag Graef who is cursed with the Daemon Tz'arkan inhabiting his body. He is also the wielder of the Warpsword of Khaine. As part of the character cull in fantasy he is dead, very dead, after Tz'arkan gained a great deal of power during the recent Chaos uprising and ripped Malus's body apart from the inside to escape. Ouch!
- Hellebron: Second oldest of the Hag Queens and leader of the Cult of Khaine. Daughter of Alandrian, one of Malekith's lieutenants during the Sundering, and super-hot in her prime (Malekith called her more beautiful than Morathi, who was herself a candidate alongside Alarielle and Neferata for most beautiful woman in the Warhammer world). She loathes Morathi because she has locked her into an addictive cycle of taking age rejuvenating bloodbaths (no pun intended) in the Cauldron of Blood which are temporary since Morathi kept the best for herself. Also a cradle-snatcher secretly banging Tullaris. After Malekith became Eternity King and Khaine died Hellebron had a crisis of faith and was corrupted by Be'lakor. At Middenheim she got into a catfight with Alarielle, where the former cured Hellebron of her psychosis then stabbed her in the heart.
- Ebnir Soulflayer: Most trusted general of Malekith. Tried to unite the Druchii in the Witch King's absence against the Bloodied Horde at the onset of the End Times. Wasn't easy. Didn't work.
- Tullaris Deathbringer: Champion of the Har Ganeth Executioners. Like older women because he was secretly banging Hellebron (then again, Hellebron was super-hot when she was young and periodically looks that way again thanks to the rejuvenating bloodbaths) Actually managed to critically wound Phoenix King Tyrion in close combat, at the battle of Reaver's Mark and would have killed him had it not been for Nagash's earth shaking ritual of undeath. Point for Dark Elves. Well liked by everyone really.
- Kouran Darkhand: Master of the Black Guard of Naggarond during the End Times. Took overall command of the city's defenses when the Chaos forces broke into the realm in their millions. Held the city for three months until Malekith's return (He’s actually loyal to the guy). Fought Valkia the Bloody to a stalemate on more than one occasion. Royal boss.
- Drane Brackblood: Admiral of the Fleet on the last assault on Ulthuan.
- Lokhir Fellheart : Pirate Lord. Defended the ports of Karond Kar.
- Drusala: Sorceress Bitch.
Agent of MorathiMorathi in disguise, see above.
- Urian Poisonblade: The best warrior Malekith had ever commanded. Killed everyone who taught him how to fight, and was said to know 10,000 ways to kill a person and 10,000 more to cripple them. After some of Urian's prisoners said it'd be better to choke to death on their tongues than get tortured by him, he made sure they didn't have tongues to choke on when he found out. Fought Tyrion to a standstill (in a duel that lasted over an hour while Urian's previous opponents lasted less than a minute, and that Urian would've won if not for Morathi's trickery and Tyrion wearing Aenarion's near-impenetrable armor), then got killed by Tyrion with a cheap blow.
- Lurhan: Assistant to the ruler of Hag Graef. Malus' father. Horrible father (though an excellent one by Dark Elf standards). Hates Malus and wants him dead, and the feelings mutual. Tries to have him killed covertly because a direct attempt on his life would provoke the wrath of Malus' mother. Killed by Malus on Malus' quest.
- Eldire: Dark Elf Sorceress and Malus' mother. Violated her oath to Malekith in a gambit for power by having a child with Lurhan. Malus is the closest thing she has to someone she loves, and vica versa (Malus seems to love Spite, but Spite is a pet and steed).
- Bruglir: Oldest half brother of Malus. In an incestuous relationship with his sister Yasmir. Renowned captain of a Corsair fleet, though not that renowned otherwise he would've been given a Black Ark. Has a moustache in the books, making him one of those rare elves with facial hair besides eyebrows. Killed by Malus.
- Isilvar: Half brother of Malus and an entrepreneur among Dark Elf merchants. Covert Slaanesh worshipper and in an incestuous relationship with his sister Nagaira.
- Yasmir: Half sister of Malus and the most beautiful woman in Hag Graef. Was in an incestuous relationship with her brother Bruglir. Called the Bride of Ruin, while Malus is the Lord of Ruin.
- Nagaira" Half sister of Malus, a sorceress of some power and very curvy, which makes her fat by Dark Elf standards. Had an on-again off-again incestuous relationship with Malus, an ongoing one with her brother Isilvar and she was also a secret Slaanesh worshipper until she failed to conquer Ghrond quickly enough so the Chaos Gods consumed her.
- Urial: Half brother of Malus. Born crippled because Malus' mother poisoned him during pregnancy. He was given as a sacrifice to Khaine for being a cripple, but a miracle occured and he became a rare male priest of Khaine. Lusts for his sister Yasmir.
- Urian: Agent of Malekith within Ulthuan (no relation to Urian Poisonblade above).
- Hauclir: Malus's bro.
- According to the map, Naggaroth takes up part of what is the United States. Goes to show what GW thinks of the colonies.
- Warhammer/Tactics/Dark Elves Tactics page
|Playable Factions in Warhammer Fantasy Battle|
|Human Kingdoms:||The Empire of Man - Bretonnia|
|Elves:||High Elves - Dark Elves - Wood Elves|
|Dwarven:||Dwarfs - Chaos Dwarfs|
|Undead:||Tomb Kings - Vampire Counts|
|Heirs of the Old Ones:||Lizardmen|
|Greenskins||Orcs - Goblins|
|Servants of Chaos||Warriors of Chaos - Daemons of Chaos - Beastmen|