Malekith, the Witch King of Naggaroth, or Witch King of the Druchii, is the supreme commander of the Dark Elf army. From his capital city at Naggarond, he dispatches the dreaded Black Arks with one goal in mind: the complete and utter capitulation and subjugation of the High Elves. In the setting of WAR, the "Age of Reckoning", Malekith is the primary instigator of the titanic conflict, and is the force behind the sudden rise to power of Grumlok and Gazbag.
Malekith was the son of Aenarion, the first of the Elven Phoenix Kings, and the mysterious and beautiful seeress Morathi. She became Aenarion's second wife after he rescued her from a Chaos warband. Unknown to Aenarion, Morathi's time in captivity had cast a shadow on her soul, which would soon eclipse all elves. Raised as a prince of Ulthuan, Malekith grew up to be a fine soldier and general like his father. Under his mother's tutelage, he became an accomplished mage. Malekith was brought up surrounded by political intrigue, but he had little interest in Elven political society. He preferred to lead armies and win battles in his father's name.
After the death of his father, Malekith was the obvious heir to the throne. Malekith said that though he wished to lead Ulthan into a glorious new golden age, he would gladly swear fealty to another if the Council of Princes so desired. Taking him at his word, a vote was taken to choose the new Phoenix King, which resulted in Malekith being passed over in favour of Bel Shanaar. Malekith appeared to accept the result with good grace, but privately he seethed with resentment and frustration. He vowed to bide his time until he could make the throne his own.
Malekith was instead appointed commander of the High Elf forces. He proved to be a brilliant young general, gaining power and allies with his glorious victories against the Greenskins and the forces of Chaos. His campaigns gradually pushed forward the frontiers of the Elven colonies. Under his leadershinp the elvan armies swept aside all foes. As the elves pushed east they encountered the dwarves and forged alliances. Malekith joined his armies with the dwarf king Snorrie Whitebeard. The combined armies of dwarves and elves pacified the old world and even made forays int o the chaos wastes. While leading a campaign in the cold north of the New World, he came upon an abandoned pre-human city, within which he discovered the Circlet of Iron, a talisman of awesome sorcerous power. After many decades spent mastering his powers of combat and magic, he had worked himself into a position second only to the Phoenix King's.
Malekith could have been content to continue on this way, for though he was not the Phoenix King, his power was virtually unchallenged, but the curse of Aenarion's blood would not be denied. Rumors began to stir of the resurrection of the Cult of Pleasure. A dark cabal of Chaos worshiping Elves in service to the Cytharai. Malekith took it upon himself to quash this cult once and for all. He began an inquisition with the intent of rooting out the members of this cult. At first the Elves saw him as their hero, a noble warrior leading a grand crusade against the wicked.
In the dark winter of -2751 IC, he accused Bel Shanaar of being a cultist during the Feast of Purity, a religious festival celebrating the power and glory of the Great Phoenix. But his accusation was his fatal mistake, for who among the Elves could believe that the Phoenix King, Asuryan on earth, could ever fall to such depravity. Unfortunately, Bel Shannar was poisoned by Malekith before he could offer a defense, and Malekith took the opportunity to seize the Shrine of Asuryan and ascend to his rightful place. Then no one, no matter what they thought in their hearts, could deny his right to rule.
Believing all he now had to do was to crown himself the new Phoenix King, as he had the blood of Aenarion running in his veins, Malekith confidently marched into the Sacred Flame of the God Asuryan, the final test that each prospective Phoenix King has to pass to prove their worthiness for the crown. The Sacred Flames would not suffer his polluted body, so they cast him out. Horribly injured, he was carried out by his soldiers from the Shrine of Asuryan to Anlec, the capital of Nargarythe. Once news had reached his mother Morathi, she escaped her imprisonment in Tor Anroc and made her way back to Anlec in the confusion.
There, with the aid of the sorcerers she had trained in the arts of dark magic, Morathi nursed her son back to health. Hotek, the renegade High Priest of Vaul and several traitorous Sapherian wizards, forged a great suit of black armour, which would lend strength to Malekith's withered and flame scorched body. The suit was fused onto his body while still white hot from the furnace. After his torment from the Flames of Asuryan, he felt little pain. The completed suit was named the Armour of Midnight. Few could look upon it without feeling dread. From that day onwards, the fallen Elf lord was known as the Witch King.
Meanwhile, the Council had elected Imrik as the third Phoenix King, who assumed the title Caledor I, taking his name from his grandfather, Caledor Dragontamer. Caledor and Malekith gathered their supporters and battled each other for the throne of Ulthuan. For more than a decade they fought a great civil war. Time proved to be Caledor's ally, for as time passed, Malekith's treachery became more evident, and more Elves flocked to Caledor's banner. In a climactic showdown, Malekith was defeated by Caledor in single combat, on the Field of Maledor. The Witch King's supporters retreated to their fortresses.
Malekith decided to try one final gamble for the Phoenix throne. He instructed his sorcerers to undo the spells that bound the Realm of Chaos, in a bid to secure aid from the Dark Gods of Chaos. For hours they struggled to undo the barrier. In the end, the task proved to be too great, even for the combined might of Malekith and his coven. Their efforts were thwarted by a group of mighty Elven mages, trapped on the Isle of the Dead. A surge of raw arcane power struck back at Malekith's fortresses. Many of his sorcerers died from the magical flashback. The land itself buckled under the magical strain, and a great tidal wave came crashing down on northern Ulthuan. Mighty earthquakes devastated the land and fine cities of Ulthuan. The lands of Nagarythe and Tiranoc were submerged under water. Thousands of Elves were killed in the cataclysm known as The Sundering.
The fortresses of the Witch King survived the catastrophe, as they were protected by powerful spells. The fortresses broke off from the land and floated out into the sea, thus the dreaded Black Arks were born. As large as icebergs, they floated to the northern part of the New World, where they grounded. Naming the desolate land Naggaroth, or "Land of Chill". The Witch King claimed it as his new domain. The kingdom of the Dark Elves was born.
Malekith's physical body is a hollow shell of its former glory. After the Flames of Asuryan spurned him, he had Hotek, the renegade High Priest of Vaul and several traitorous Sapherian wizards forge a powerful black suit of armor, fusing it directly to his twisted form, so that he might regain a measure of his former physical prowess. To its great horned helm was welded the dark and powerful Circlet of Iron. Malekith had become the stuff of nightmares, dark runes and glyphs of powerful chaos magicks were wrought upon his armor, which caused all who looked upon him great pain and suffering, and on his sword, there shines a great sigil of Khaine. Truly, he has become the lord of the Dark Elves.
Malekith in the Age of ReckoningEdit
In the Age of Reckoning, Malekith heard tell of a great invasion of Chaos gathering to invade The Empire, and took advantage of this fact to plan his own new invasion of Ulthuan. Realizing that in order to stop each of the races of Order from aiding each other, he would need to tie them up in conflict. Malekith sent Kaloth Coldshadow, son of Lord Uthorin, to capture two Greenskin tribal leaders and bring them to him. Kaloth captured Gazbag and Grumlok, the fearsome leaders of the already powerful Bloody Sun Boyz. Malekith gifted both of the protesting Greenskins with a magical artifact which would increase their power and draw other Greenskins to their banner. And - without their knowledge - increase his influence over them.
Malekith waited until the High Elf forces of Finubar the Seafarer had sailed to the east, to aid the struggling Empire being assaulted by the forces of Warlord Tchar'zanek. With only a meager High Elf defense force left behind, and the Shining Guard headed by Prince Tyrion; Malekith launched his titanic assault on Ulthuan.
|WAR Army Leaders (Kings)|
| Karl Franz • Thorgrim Grudgebearer • Finubar the Seafarer|
Tchar'zanek • Grumlok and Gazbag • Malekith