Once the capital of Nagarythe, the city of Anlec was sacked and raised during the Elven Civil War in part for its subservience to Malekith, the Betrayer. The ruins of Anlec have been refortified, fought over, and cast down again more than once, and even today they draw the Dark Elves back to the lands of their ancestors. Some whisper that more Elves have died fighting over Anlec's ruins than anywhere else in Ulthuan.[2a]
After wielding the Sword of Khaine to banish the Daemons from Ulthuan, Aenarion set his capital and established his kingdom in the ravaged northern lands of Nagarythe. Here rose the great fortress of Anlec, a bastion against the Daemons from which the armies of Aenarion could sally forth. Its towers rose higher than any other city in Ulthuan, and five curtain walls surrounded a central keep that could hold ten thousand warriors. It was a city built as a defiant gesture to the legions of Chaos, its black and silver banners proclaiming that these were Aenarion's lands. To him came the most warlike and vengeful Elves, to serve in the army of the Deathbringer. Hunting, duelling and other blood sports became common in the Court of Aenarion and it was here that the most proficient warriors gathered to hone their skills in daily battles against encroaching Daemons. Nagarythe became a land obsessed with war and death.[1a]
Years later, during the reign of Bel Shanaar, Anlec was besieged by Malekith as he hunted down the Cults of Excess, with the aid of Prince Finudel and Princess Athielle, co-rulers of Ellyrion. It would not be until the death of Caledor II, during the War of the Beard, that Malekith would return to rebuild. Indeed, Malekith, now the Witch King of Naggaroth, resolved to take matters into his own hands and ordered his fleet to make all speed to the coast of the Shadowlands. If the Dark Elves attacked before a new Phoenix King could be chosen, they would be able to use the confusion and disarray to secure victory.[1a]
The Black Arks Citadel of Ecstatic Damnation and Jade Palace of Pain beached amidst the ruins of Nagarythe. Malekith had chosen his landing site well, amongst the overgrown fortifications of ancient Anlec. He would build Anlec anew and from the lands of the great Aenarion would strike out to reclaim his rightful rulership of Ulthuan. With many thousands of slaves labouring beneath the cruel whips of the overseers, the ramparts and bastions of Anlec were built again around the foundations of the Black Arks. Upon the site of Aenarion's throne room, Malekith raised his flag in proclamation to Ulthuan that Aenarion's heir had returned. As slaves began to erect a new palace to the glory of the Witch King, the Dark Elves moved south and besieged Griffon Gate, beyond which were the verdant Inner Kingdoms.
It wasn't until VI, 300, during the Scouring of Ulthuan, that Anlec was again sacked and raised to the ground, this time by the armies of Tethlis the Slayer.[3a] For all his guile and sorcerous power, there was nothing the Witch King could do to halt the tide of High Elves pouring into Nagarythe. He abandoned Anlec, breaking out of a siege that lasted for two hundred days, and made for the sanctuary of the Blighted Isle. Left empty, mighty Anlec was destroyed by Tethlis' army; razed from existence by blade, fire and magic. Even the stones from which it was built were melted or ground down so that no trace of Anlec remained to stain the lands of Ulthuan. At the centre of the palaces had stood an Altar of Khaine, which had claimed so many Elf lives their spirits could be heard screaming in torment around its baleful stone. The altar and the earth beneath it, saturated with the blood of so many sacrifices, were dug from the ground and taken out to sea, where they were dropped into an undersea chasm. To this day, the shrieks of the Witch King's victims haunt the waves of that coast, terrifying sailors who dare cross those seas.[1a]
In IX, 10, the Dark Elves would again rebuild the citadel of Anlec in the Shadowlands. As before, Anlec became the foundation of the Dark Elves' occupation and was rebuilt over the course of a decade using iron-hard black stone from the quarries of Naggaroth. Though lacking the sheer size and grandeur of its previous incarnations, this new Anlec was still a formidable fortress and a secure base from which Dark Elf armies once more besieged Griffon Gate.[1a]
Eventually, after more than three centuries of bloodshed, Mentheus of Caledor's army succeeded in pushing back the hosts of the Witch King to the gates of Anlec itself. Here, in IX, 380, the Dark Elves turned and faced Mentheus, determined that Anlec would never again fall. The Witch King led his army from his black chariot, and the fighting raged for the better part of three weeks. In the final assault on Anlec, Mentheus was slain by a bolt thrower. His Dragon, Nightfang, went berserk and the Dark Elves were scattered by the Dragon's rampage. The Dragon was eventually slain with dark spells, but by then Anlec was lost and Malekith was forced to quit Nagarythe once again, his bitterness and rage greater than ever. The Witch King did have one final revenge. Driven mad by his dreams, overwhelmed by the terrors unleashed by the Dark Elves, Phoenix King Morvael committed ritual suicide within the Flame of Asuryan.[1a]
- The highest tower of Anlec, where Aenarion held court, would later become the Black Tower, the heart of Naggarond.[4a]