Template:Infobox Warhammer Character In the fictional world of Warhammer Fantasy, 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. His story is analogous to that of Mordred in the English legends of King Arthur.
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 Shanaar, 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 Slaaneshi devotee. 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 in the name of saving Ulthuan.
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 the flame refused to suffer Malekith's presence 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, and a phenomenally powerful sorcerer, and his army of legions of veterans was 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. Only one of his sorcerers, Urathion of Ullar, saw the madness of this ploy, and escaped to warn the Phoenix King (Urathion was later murdered by a Dark Elf assassin 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 initaiting 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 Naggaroth Edit
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. 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.
Current Status Edit
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 quit the battlefield. 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.
Army Rules Edit
In the sixth edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Malekith the Witch King was a Dark Elves special character. Riding the Black Dragon, Seraphon, he wears the Armor of Midnight, which makes him near invulnerable to physical attacks, and is armed with the Destroyer, an enchanted sword capable of destroying other magical weapons and armour and the Hand of Khaine, a powerful gauntlet capable of dismembering a foe. Malekith is however vulnerable to magic, and it is prophesied that he will be killed by a sorcerer.
Previously, in the armies book used for the fourth and fifth editions of the game, he rode in a chariot pulled by four cold ones.
In the seventh edition Dark Elves armies book Malekith can be fielded either riding on his Black Dragon Seraphon, riding in his Black Chariot, riding a cold one, or on foot. He retains his Destroyer sword, and the Armour of Midnight but loses the Hand of Khaine he had in the sixth edition. However, he does regain the Spellshield he carried in the fourth and fifth editions and the Circlet of Iron is now classed as a separate magic item with its own abilities rather than assumed to be a component of the Armour of Midnight.
"We shall strike down our foe with sharp steel and cold hearts. The weak die so that the strong prevail and none shall be spared. Then and only then will our enemies know the true meaning of fear." - Malekith, the Witch King of Naggaroth
"Take their gold, burn their homes, kill their families and enslave their souls. Show them no mercy."- Malekith, the Witch King of Naggaroth
"Fail in this, Sorceress, and your soul...is forfeit!"- Malekith, the Witch King of Naggaroth
It should also be noted that Malekith the Accursed is unrelated to the Dark Elves's Witch King Malekith. Malekith the Accursed is an intellectual property of Marvel Comics and is unrelated to Warhammer Fantasy which belongs to Games-Workshop. He is the villain of the Norse God Thor in the Marvel Comic books. He appeared in Thor #344-349, and was slain in #367, while trying to take the crown of Asgard, disguised as Balder.
- ↑ Johnson, J. & Blanche, J. 1998. Warhammer Armies: Dark Elves. (Nottingham: Games Workshop Ltd) ISBN 1869893166
- ↑ Johnson, J. & Blanche, J. 1995. Dark Elves Armies (Warhammer Armies). (Nottingham: Games Workshop Ltd) ISBN 9781872372884
- Warhammer Armies: Dark Elves (5th & 6th Edition)
- The Mighty Thor #344-348 and #367.
- Warhammer Armies: High Elves (5th & 6th Edition)
- Malus Darkblade: Lord Of Ruin
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