The High Elves
"We the Asur are a noble people, our long and proud history stretching back to a time when Men were still fur clad savages. Living in our fair isle of Ulthuan, set in the centre of the Great Ocean, we are far removed from the petty squabbles of the lesser races. Here we are able to practice magic and our arts, perfecting them for no reason other than the sheer joy of it."
The High Elves are an ancient people with a history that spans millennia. While the ancestors of man were little more than cave-dwelling primitives, the Elves built magnificent cities of glittering silver and white marble on their island home of Ulthuan. Elven scholars and explorers were the first to chart the stars and sail the world's oceans. The Elves were also the first race to mount an organized defense against the invading hordes of Chaos, beginning a war that continues to the present day.
Early in their struggles against the Ruinous Powers, the Elves discovered that negative emotions such as fear, rage, jealousy and greed serve to fuel and strengthen the power of Chaos. Since that time, the High Elves have struggled to keep their intense passions tightly under control. Though intelligent and enlightened, all Elves have the capacity for savage violence. In order to suppress this dangerous and unpredictable aspect of their psyche, the lords of Ulthuan continually strive to eliminate all extremes of emotion; in High Elf society, to surrender to anger or lust is to show weakness. As a result, the High Elves live by a strict regimen of rules and codes and embrace a way of life that emphasizes harmony, balance and inner peace.
Magic is the lifeblood of the High Elves. With millennia to hone their skills, it is little wonder that the Mages of Ulthuan are among the most powerful practitioners of magic in the world. Their thoughtful, meticulous approach to the study of combat, coupled with their patience and mental discipline makes the High Elves deadly fighters, as well. On the battlefield, High Elf swordsmen are graceful, lithe, and lethal when they detect a weakness in their adversaries.
The High Elves will need all of their wisdom and skill if they are to survive the Age of Reckoning. When Finubar, Phoenix King and ruler of Ulthuan, gathers his finest warriors and sets sail for the Old World to aid the beleaguered Empire, he is unaware that he and his allies are pawns in an elaborate plot designed to leave Ulthuan vulnerable to an invasion. As Finubar's fleet of longships pass beyond the horizon, vast shadows fall across the island of Ulthuan. The skies are darkened by a great swarm of Black Arks laden with hateful Dark Elf warriors seeking to reclaim their ancestral home and destroy forever their despised cousins, the High Elves.
The Dark Elves
"Hear my lord of the Druchii. From the distant Cathy to the usurped lands of our accursed kin, from the cold lands of Norsca to the steaming jungles of the Southlands, our armies are rightfully feared. We alone keep alive the great and noble traditions of our ancestors of Nagarythe. Only we follow the path laid by mighty Aenarion the Defender. Only we follow the true way."
Long ago, when Chaos was first unleashed upon the world, the Elven champion Aenarion drew the dread Sword of Khaine from its altar and used its terrible power to save his people from annihilation. When Aenarion died, his son Malekith was deemed unsuitable for the throne. Although he was a mighty warrior, a great sorcerer, a brilliant general and the rightful heir, many Elves opposed his coronation. They feared he was too focused on war, and potentially a de-stabilizing influence on the High Elf race. In retaliation, over many years Malekith engineered a terrible civil war that divided the race of Elves into two factions.
It was the High Elves who emerged victorious and drove the evil Dark Elves out from the ancestral home of their race. Under the leadership of Malekith the Witch King and his Sorceress mother Morathi, the Dark Elves sailed across the Great Western Ocean and founded for themselves a new kingdom in the northern reaches of the New World. This land they called Naggaroth, meaning 'land of chill'.
Unlike the High Elves, who continually seek to suppress their passions lest they be overcome by them, the Dark Elves willingly embrace their hedonistic nature. Dark Elf society emphasizes individualism, selfishness, and pride. They have little regard for one another and even less for the other races of the world, whom they see as potential slaves and subjects.
In battle, the ruthless warriors of Naggaorth blend Elven discipline with savagery and ferocity, for the patron deity of the Dark Elves is Kaela Mensha Khaine, the bloody-handed God and the Lord of Murder. Nowhere is this more evident that in the beautiful and deadly Witch Elves, who serve in the Temples of Khaine and revel in violence and bloodshed.
Since their expulsion from Ulthuan, the Dark Elves have desired nothing more than to return to Ulthuan and avenge their defeat, reclaiming the land they believe to be theirs by right. In the Age of Reckoning, Malekith learns of an impending Chaos invasion of the Empire and uses this knowledge to set in motion a chain of events that will leave the island home of the Elves defenseless against an invasion. At the Witch King's command, a great fleet of Black Arks - great floating islands laden with soldiers, monsters, and engines of war - sets sail across the sea to conquer the island kingdom of Ulthuan and fulfill the destiny denied the Druchii so long ago.