- "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
Malekith is the King of the Dark Elves or Druchii as they refer to themselves. He is also known as the Witch King of Naggaroth. Malekith is the son of Aenarion, the first of the High Elf Phoenix Kings, and the mysterious and beautiful seeress Morathi.
Prince of UlthuanEdit
The first Phoenix King, Aenarion the Defender, was the greatest warrior ever to walk the earth. It was through his leadership and sacrifice that the first great invasion of Chaos was halted. During this invasion, Aenarion rescued an Elven maiden from a warband of Slaaneshi warriors. Her name was Morathi, and she was beautiful beyond description. Aenarion fell deeply in love with her, took her as his second wife, and she bore him a son, Malekith.
After his father's death, Malekith succeeded his father as Prince of the northern province of Nagarythe and considered himself the obvious choice to be Phoenix King. Assuming that the legacy of his father would guarantee his ascension to the throne, Malekith agreed to let the Council of Princes vote on whether he should rule. But many amongst the Elf court felt Malekith was not suited to rule: many contemptuously viewed him as a warlike thug, for he had inherited his father's short temper and preference for settling disputes with violence- the court also feared the malevolent influence of Malekith's insidious and domineering mother. It was also brought up that as half brother to Yvriane, the surviving daughter of Aenarion, he was not suitable for a marriage to the Everqueen, as tradition dictated. They preferred a less hot-headed leader now that the war with Chaos was over and elected Bel Shannar, Prince of Tiranoc, in his place. Malekith was instead appointed Commander of the High Elf army. On the surface, Malekith seemed to take the turn of events well, and was amongst the first to pay homage to Bel Shanaar upon his coronation. He even silenced the public outcry from his homeland and his mother in support of him.Malekith proved to be a brilliant general, gaining power and allies all over the world. At one period of time, he was appointed as the ambassador of the High Elves to the Dwarves in Karaz-a-Karak. In the colonies, he continued to lead successful armies against the Orcs and the forces of Chaos. His expeditions took him to the cold colonies of the northern New World. In the rubble of an abandoned city, he found the Circlet of Iron, a talisman of awesome sorcerous power. It was during this time that he, with his mother's guidance, started experimenting with Dark Magic.
After many decades, Malekith worked himself into a position of power second only to the Phoenix King's, and then he acted. Over the years Malekith had grown discontented; In his mind, the Elves had to remain a warlike people to face the ever-growing menace from the forces of Chaos. Seemingly proving his point, the Cult of Pleasure, a society of poets and artists that was very popular with the High Elf elite, turned out to be a front for a Chaos cult of Slaanesh. Malekith took personal command of the investigation of the cult, and used this power to eliminate his political enemies. In truth, his mother was the High Priestess of the cult, and had marshalled an army from the cult to complete Malekith's coup.
In -2751 IC Malekith accused Bel Shanaar of being a devotee of the forbidden cult. Shortly after his accusation, Bel Shanaar died of poisoning. Malekith's supporters asserted that Bel Shanaar took his own life in order to avoid the shame of interrogation, while those loyal to Bel Shannar claimed Malekith had murdered him. Malekith showed little hesitation in presenting Bel Shanaar's 'suicide' as proof of his guilt and demanded that the crown pass to him, but the ruling Council of Princes was sceptical. The dispute turned violent and Malekith and his followers ended up killing most of the Princes, ostensibly in the name of saving Ulthuan (the High Elves claim that Malekith always intended to murder those who disputed his claim to the throne, while the Dark Elves argue that the princes attacked first, and Malekith and his men merely fought back in self-defence).
Believing all he now had to do was crown himself as Phoenix King, Malekith confidently marched into the sacred flame of the god Asuryan, a trial that marks each Phoenix King as the chosen of the Elven creator god. Yet he couldn't take the pain and he was horribly scarred. High Elf scholars claim the sacred flame burned Malekith because his body was polluted by Dark Magic and his soul tainted by the evil deeds he had committed. Dark Elves however claim the flame itself was corrupted by Malekith's rivals so it would burn whoever entered it. Gravely injured, Malekith managed to escape the flame on the same side he entered. His followers then carried their horrifically injured master north to his Stronghold in Nagarythe, where Morathi was able to nurse her son back to health. Thanks to the aid of Dark Magic, his indomitable will and his spiteful sheer refusal to die, Malekith recovered swiftly in body, but his mind was left irrevocably shattered. Meanwhile, across Ulthuan, civil war erupted as elves loyal to Malekith fought against those on the side of the princes.
Malekith then gathered the sorceresses whom he and his mother had trained. Together with Hotek, a renagade Priest of the Elven smith god Vaul, the sorceresses forged a great suit of black armour to lend strength to Malekith's near-crippled body. The suit was fused to his skin while still hot from the furnace, as after his torment within the flames of Asuryan, Malekith felt little pain. When the suit was complete, few could look at him without dread. From that day onwards, Malekith was known as the Witch King.
Meanwhile, the High Elves had elected Imrik of Caledor as the Third Phoenix King, who assumed the title Caledor I upon his coronation. Caledor and Malekith gathered their supporters and battled each other for the throne of Ulthuan. Though Malekith was a skilled general, a phenomenally powerful sorcerer, and his legions of veteran warriors were fanatically loyal to him, time proved to be Caledor's ally, as Malekith's treachery became more evident and more Elves flocked to Caledor's banner. In a climactic showdown, Caledor defeated Malekith in single combat over the Field of Maledor; the pair duelled in the sky on the backs of dragons while their armies fought below. Caledor slew Malekith's steed and the Witch King fell from the skies. Though Malekith survived the fall, he was in no condition to fight on and his army was demoralised by his defeat. The Witch King's supporters fled the field and retreated back to their strongholds.
Running out of options, Malekith decided on one last gamble. He instructed his sorceresses to undo the spells that bound the Ulthuan Vortex, to bring back the tides of Chaos and bind them to his will. Though he was aware of the dangers of such a plan, that if it failed there would be nothing to stop the Daemons of Chaos rampaging across the world once more, Malekith was beyond caring-if he couldn't have Ulthuan, then no-one would. Believing it their only hope of victory and survival, Malekith's disciples agreed; only one of his sorcerers, Urathion of Ullar, saw the plan for the apocalyptic madness it was, and escaped to warn the Phoenix King. Urathion was able to give a partial warning to Caledor before Malekith's agents killed him for his betrayal.
For hours the dark sorcerers struggled against the mages of Saphery to undo the barrier, but in the end, the Dark Elf sorcery proved too much for the High Elves. Just as the vortex was unraveling, Caledor, the great mage who had fought beside Aenarion and his fellow ancient mages were released from their long stasis in the middle of the vortex, on the Isle of the Dead. Quickly realising the peril Ulthuan was in, they added their own spells into the High Elf efforts. This great surge of magic proved to be too great for even the combined might of Malekith and his coven to overcome, and their efforts were thwarted by the mages trapped on the Isle of the Dead. A surge of raw power struck back at Malekith's fortresses, killing many of his sorceresses in an instant and initiating the cataclysm now known as The Sundering. The land itself buckled under the strain as mighty earthquakes devastated the land and fine cities of Ulthuan. A tidal wave a thousand feet high came crashing down on northern Ulthuan, submerging the provinces of Nagarythe and Tiranoc and killing thousands of Elves.
Exile and Founding of NaggarothEdit
Thanks to the quick intervention of Malekith and his surviving sorceresses, the fortresses and castles of the Witch King and his supporters survived the catastrophe, borne aloft and protected by powerful spells. Supported by Dark Magic, the fortresses broke off from the land and floated out into the sea; thus were the dreaded Black Arks, that would bring such terror and fear to the coasts of the world, born. The Dark Elves chose exile rather than face the wrath of their High Elf kin, vowing to one day return to Ulthuan and avenge the wrongs committed against their king and their people. They sailed to the northern part of the continent called the New World where they grounded. Naming the desolate, icy land Naggaroth or "Land of Chill" in memory of their lost homeland, the Witch King claimed it as his own new domain and the Dark Elves proceeded to exterminate or enslave the native greenskin and human barbarian populace, then constructed six great cities to house their people. The Dark Elves then proceeded to raid the coasts of the Old World and Ulthuan, to provide a slave workforce for them, and to prepare for the recommencing of hostilities with the High Elves: "The kingdom of the Dark Elves was born, and death and destruction was the legacy it would leave to the world". Over the following millennia, the Witch King continued to plot and wage his war against the Phoenix Kings of Ulthuan from Naggaroth till today. An obsession for revenge, Hatred and rage have since robbed Malekith and his people of any inclination or desire for forgiveness or reconciliation with the High Elves: they will never stop fighting until Malekith sits on his rightful throne and the High Elves are either subjugated or exterminated.
During the summer of 2522 IC, during the Chaos Incursion known as the Storm of Chaos , Malekith landed on the Shadowlands (formerly Nagarythe) with his army. He crushed the High Elven army led by Eltharion, Warden of Yvresse, and casually defeated him in single combat with his sorcery. After the battle, Malekith tried to blackmail Eltharion into supporting him by threatening the lives of the High Elf survivors. When Eltharion refused, Malekith had all the prisoners executed, and set his most skilled torturers set to work on Eltharion. After months of torture, Eltharion was sent back to Lothern, crippled and blinded, as a warning to all who would oppose the Witch King.
Malekith's forces invaded Ulthuan in force and fought battles over Ulthuan all through the summer. During an attack on the Everqueen's gardens, Malekith was wounded in single combat with Eltharion, and retreated from the battle. Though only suffering a flesh wound, it was the first time in centuries the Witch King had been wounded in battle. Malekith is now wary of Eltharion's renewed resolve.
- Destroyer: Forged by the Witch King of Naggaroth himself, this blade is a symbol of the Dark Elves' determination to destroy the High Elves and all their works. The Destroyer's merest touch can unmake enchantments or even draw knowledge from the minds of unwary wizards.
- Armour of Midnight: Malekith's rune-armour is forged from the hardest meteoric iron and protects against any mortal weapon.
- Supreme Spellshield: The Supreme Spellshield absorbs magic and then unleashes the energy back at the foe.
- Circlet of Iron: The Circlet of Iron is said to be older than the race of Elves and is a potent source of magical power.
- "Take their gold, burn their homes, kill their families and enslave their souls. Show them no mercy."
- "Fail in this, Sorceress, and your soul is forfeit!"
- "Kill them. Kill them all."
- "kill their soldiers, kill their wives, kill their children, they're cattle and live stock but above all, kill with pleasure."
- "It is better that every high elf be condemned to hell than that idiot king plague them any longer, kill him, kill him for the good they know nothing of" -- -Malekiths words to the assasin he sent to murder Caledor I.
Related Invasion CardsEdit
- Blood of Aenarion (Novel) William King
- Sword of Caledor (Novel) William King
- Bane of Malekith (Novel) William King
- Warhammer Armies: Dark Elves (7th Edition) pg. 5 - 36, 43 - 62, 64 - 71
- Warhammer Armies: Dark Elves (8th Edition) pg. 53