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Hag Graef
Warhammer Hag Graef Map
Map of Hag Graef
Vital statistics
Inhabitants Dark Elves
Type Fortress-City
Location Northern Naggaroth
Population Unknown
Allegiance Malus Darkblade, Malekith
Industry Trade, Slavery, Mining

Hag Graef the Black Crag is a sinister and foreboding place, built at the bottom of a cold, dark canyon and completely surrounded by mountains of bare rock that stretch into the clouds. It is a city permanently in shadow, for no sunlight ever reaches its walls. Hag Graef is a place of twisted and impossible architecture. Its eight black towers rise from the canyon floor like the ossified remains of some loathsome cephalopod. Between the towers are strung walkways, platforms and bridges of every shape and size. Some are fashioned from withered timber and soot-stained bone, others are crafted from jagged stone or woven from the silk of monstrous spiders.[1a]

The larger platforms are so massive as to be towns and villages in their own right, and are supported by gantryworks of iron and stone. It is upon these that the majority of Hag Graef's citizenry dwell, crammed into crooked mansions of cinderbrick and fire-blackened wood; the towers are home only to the city's most powerful Dreadlords. Cramped conditions, combined with the Dark Elves' peremptory nature, ensure that rivalries flare into violence with alarming regularity. Those who do not walk cautiously through Hag Graef's webwork of streets have their throats slit and bodies heaved into the morass of sewage and rotting flesh that covers the canyon floor.[1a]

OverviewEdit

The rocks below Hag Graef are honeycombed with mines and quarries that are, in turn, threaded through with chain gangs of slaves who claw iron and jet-black stone from the belly of the world. This is the most miserable of existences, toiling far from any natural light, starved on all but the meanest food and chilled to the bone by the piercing wind that howls through the tunnels. Even after death there is no respite -- the mines are riddled with veins of warpstone, whose baleful power animates the dead and keeps them labouring until they collapse into piles of worn bones.[1a] Driven by the wealth of its mines, Hag Graef has risen to become Naggaroth's second city. In fact, it is so prosperous that its armies and influence overshadow even those of Naggarond. So eager are Hag Graef's people to escape their abyssal home that the forced conscription present in other cities is completely unnecessary here. Indeed, over the centuries, Hag Graef has earned a reputation for producing, if not the most disciplined fighters, then certainly the most desperate. The city's mercenary rulers, ever eager for profit, have taken to selling warriors into service elsewhere in Naggaroth, taking with it the opportunity to infiltrate spies.[1a]

So rich is Hag Graef in soldiery, slave and coin that were its eight great families ever truly united of purpose, they could doubtless overthrow the Witch King. Naturally, Malekith is aware of this, and spares no effort in keeping the Dark Crag's nobles at one another's throats. He need scarcely bother -- with so much wealth at state, intrigue and betrayal are already rife.Hag Graef's greatest prize is the position of First Dreadlord -- he who holds this title is the nominal ruler of the city, and all its domains. The First Dreadlord sets the tariffs that govern the city's trade and is an excellent position to take a cut of the all merchantry. With this wealth comes a life of patronage and grand opulence beyond the dreams of other Elves, but few incumbents survive long in office.[1a]

Indeed, many of Hag Graef's social elite consider the lavish ceremony of ascension to be little more than the official opening of a new round in a particularly deadly game. None of this deters the city's nobles from competing for the First Dreadlord's chains of office. Arrogance is as rife here as it is in any other quarter of Naggaroth, and no Dark Elf believes himself foolish enough to end his rule shot, stabbed, poisoned, garrotted or beheaded -- he cannot be persuaded of the danger, even though these things have happened to previous rulers more times than can be counted. Life is scarcely less competitive elsewhere in Hag Graef. The eight families constantly vie with one another for the First Dreadlord's favour, even as they plot to have him violently removed from office. Even family ties do not guarantee loyalty -- many a brother or daughter has risen to new heights over the corpses of their siblings thanks to a timely use of poison or by pressing enough gold into an Assassin's hand.[1a]

It should, therefore, not be surprising that Khainite Assassin cults flourish nowhere in Naggaroth so well as they do in Hag Graef, where there are always Dreadlords seeking to remove rivals or in need of protection from the machinations of their enemies (or their friends). Even so, there are insufficient hired blades to meet the incredible demand, and an Assassin might well answer to a hundred different masters over the course of a year. As a result, many Assassins sew their mouths closed, sever their own vocal chords or nail their jaws shut to ensure they are no longer physically capable of revealing an employer's identity.[1a]

Related Invasion Cards Edit

Source Edit

  • 1 Warhammer Armies: Dark Elves (8th Edition)
    • 1a -- pg. 12

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