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Naggaroth, the land of Chill. A ruined landscape of rocky shards, blasted trees and black, icy pools where swimming is not recommended.
It was to this land that the Dark Elves fled on their expulsion from Ulthuan. They have lurked here ever since, plotting their return.
Even for an elf, survival in the lands of Naggaroth presents a challenge. The dull forests and bare rock provide little sustenance. The higher peaks are the domain of great beasts, and the less said about what lies beneath the still waters the better.
Malekith’s followers established themselves here have proved themselves harsh enough to bear the harshness of this land. Around the arctic Sea of Malice they have raised great cities to their own glory.
Each city in Naggaroth has its own peculiarities. In Naggarond the Witch King broods and plots a return to Ulthuan. To the north lies Ghrond, known as the Tower of Prophecy. Dark Elf sorceresses patrol the walls, divining secrets of the future, for the shifting winds of the chaos wastes can be viewed from the walls and spires of Ghrond. Chaos beasts, demons and even mortal chaos worshippers are a constant threat to Ghrond, but its mines are deep and great wealth flows south from the city.
In Har Ganeth crimes of murder are exceptionally rare, even as part of the incessant plotting among the Dark Elf nobility. Instead, on night per year the citizens celebrate Khaine, the God of Murder, during Death Night. On this one night, anything goes. For the rest of the year, the city is comparatively peaceful.
Hag Graef is a city even Dark Elves are eager to leave. Above ground it is a maze of twisting streets and towers, with the threat of an assassin lurking in every shadow. Life is worse there if you aren’t a Dark Elf though as extensive mines wend their way ever deeper into the earth.
Klar Karond is the naval shipyard of the Dark Elves. The Black Arks, dread vessels which scour the world for ever more slaves, are built here. To supplement this navy the Black Arc sail out into the ocean to capture great sea beasts and bring them back to Klar Karond for breaking. Other ‘ships’ in the Dark Elf navy are simply built around the bodies of these unfortunate beasts.
Beasts captured in the mountains, such as Hydra or Manticores, are also brought here to be raised by the beastmasters of Klar Karond to serve the Dark Elf armies in battle. Beasts up to and including the great Black Dragons are seen in armies of raiders, thanks to the work of the beastmasters.
Karond Kar is the city most outsiders to Dark Elf society see first. Known as Slavers Gate this city is essentially a gigantic market where people are bought and sold. Unfortunates from around the Old World are brought here, then distributed to the other cities of Naggaroth to live or die at the pleasure of their new masters. The Dark Elves make extensive use of slaves, and their blood is used freely to eke an existence from the harsh lands of Naggaroth, whether working in quarries and mines, or in the woods and farms. Still others are sent to the gladiatorial pits to die in combat for the amusement of Malekith’s followers.
A harsh land creates a harsh people and the Dark Elves are certainly that. Remarkably for the Warhammer World the Dark Elves aren’t on constant danger of attack. The High Elves are content to let them be, fighting only in the defence of Ulthuan. There are chaos beasts int he mountains to be sure, so no organised hordes. To the south, the Lizardmen are content to leave well enough alone and stir only when provoked.
It is chaos which presents the only threat of invasion to Naggaroth. To forestall this a series of watchtowers have been constructed along the edge of the chaos wastes, further north even than Ghrond. Assuming those garrisoned there don’t go mad(der), they can withstand a major siege from chaos raiders, and hold out long enough to aid to arrive.
Garrison duty on the watchtowers is not popular.
Raiders and slavers
Dark Elf presence in lands other than Naggaroth is principally based on the need for new slaves. Suicide is preferable to a voyage in the hold of a Black Ark.