- "Five years ago, the Mouth of Tchar had a vision that revealed to him glory and plunder across the great sea. The Shaman pressed the Jarl to gather a host and set sail for this distant land. He had no trouble finding warriors, for all knew that such a voyage would bring great favour to our tribe. And so we climbed aboard our sleek craft and launched into the churning waters of the Sea of Chaos. We saw many strange things, battled terrifying beasts, but survived and proved our mettle to all. But we never reached that glorious battlefield; we never saw those distant shores. Instead, we found death riding a black ship of iron that cut through the seas with fearsome speed. The Ark, as we’ve come to know it, was full of lithe warriors, all dressed in black and wielding cruel swords and powerful bows. And though the Ark dwarfed our own vessel, we saw the glory to be had by attacking. We were fools. The Ark crushed us, and the Druchii picked off the warriors who flailed about in the frothing waters with arrows. Only I survived. There is nothing worth having to the east. Nothing.”"
- —Hjeglac the Foolish, Disgraced Bondsman[10a]
Black Arks are the largest vessels commanded by a Dark Elf Corsair, vast floating fortresses capable of carrying thousands of warriors and slaves. Their sorcerers summon beasts up from the deep which fortifications are then built on. These ‘living ships’ always travel with a Black Ark, and drive fear into the hearts of all the corsairs would prey upon.
During what would be called the Sundering, when Malekith's plan to unbind the Great Vortex of Ulthuan failed, he and his followers utilized the last of their sorcerous powers to ride out the storm that followed. Energized by dark magic, their black citadels broke free of Nagarythe, and rose upon the frothing waves. Upon these floating castles -- the Black Arks, as they would be called in later years -- the Witch King and his minions fled the cataclysm they'd unleashed, traveling north-west across the churning seas, to the desolate wilderness of Naggaroth.
In the uttermost westward reaches of the Sea of Malice, in the freezing shadows of the jagged Iron Mountains, the Black Arks of Nagarythe finally halted. There, in that desolate land, Malekith declared he would recreate the glories of Aenarion's reign and build a capital to put the greatest cities of Ulthuan to shame.
The Black Ark that had once been Malekith's own castle beached itself upon the stony shore, fusing with the slate and iron-rich rocks of the foothills bordering the water. With slaves taken from the primitive human tribes to build the towers and walls of his new fortress, the Witch King named this place Naggarond.
Known Black Arks
- Black Serenade.[11a]
- Citadel of Desolation.[4d]
- Citadel of Ecstatic Damnation - Beached to reconstruct Anlec, and presumably destroyed with the city.[2a][4c]
- Claw of Dominion.[3a]
- Fortress of Eternal Torture.[4g]
- Palace of Joyous Oblivion - Was sunk by the Indraugnir, a High Elf Dragonship named after the legendary beast, in -2425 IC.[5a][6a][7a][8a]
- Ravager of Souls - Fell into the hands of Daemons of Nurgle in -102 IC. Its ultimate fate is unknown.[1a]
- Ultimate Oblivion.[2a]
- 1 Warhammer Armies: Daemons of Chaos (7th Edition)
- 1a -- pg. 27
- 2 Warhammer Armies: Dark Elves (4th Edition)
- 2a -- pg. 12
- 3 Warhammer Armies: Dark Elves (6th Edition)
- 3a -- pg. 58
- 4 Warhammer Armies: Dark Elves (7th Edition)
- 5 Warhammer Armies: Dark Elves (8th Edition)
- 6 Warhammer Armies: High Elves (4th Edition)
- 6a -- pg. 29
- 7 Warhammer Armies: High Elves (5th Edition)
- 7a -- pg. 30
- 8 Warhammer Armies: High Elves (7th Edition)
- 8a -- pg. 38
- 9 Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Old World Bestiary
- 9a -- pg. 42
- 10 Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Tome of Corruption
- 10a -- pg. 160
- 11: Defenders of Ulthuan, by Graham McNeill
- 11a: Chapter 3