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The Dark Elves are the evil kinsfolk of the Elves of Ulthuan, driven away during the Elf Civil War in the far distant past. Many fled to Naggaroth but others, mighty mages in the service of Chaos, stayed and fought to the bitter end. They unleashed spells of such awesome destructive energy that they turned the area now known as the Shadowlands into a wasteland.[1a]

So great was the destruction that much of the area sank under a gigantic tidal wave, but the Dark Elf Archmages were not daunted. As the mighty flood swept over their land they cast powerful spells upon their fortress-palaces, shielding them from the deluge. The castles tore themselves from the bedrock of the land and floated free on the roiling waters, held together by titanic binding enchantments. These spells allowed them not only to float but to be navigated.[1a]

The sinking of the Shadowlands also cast up many monsters that had previously dwelled on the sea-bottoms. Sensing their malice and terrible evil, the Archmages summoned these monsters and bound them into their service, keeping them in caverns excavated below their homes along with many other evil things that dwelled only in their now-sunken homelands. These creatures were cross-bred until the Archmages had created living engines of destruction.[1a]


There are many sinister things lurking in the caverns of the Black Arks, monstrous creatures who rose from the depths during the sinking of the Shadow Lands. These monsters have been trained by Dark Elf Beastmasters to fight in their wars.[1c]

Dark Elves scorn the use of ships, relying instead upon powerful sea monsters and magic to destroy their foes. these creatures take the place of other races' Ships of the Line. Some monsters act independently, while others act in squadrons of three, with each monster in the squadron being of the same type.[1b]

Monsters are crewed by Dark Elves trained to guide them. These crews ride in specially constructed vessels that put them in a position to control their beasts. If these vessels are destroyed the monster goes out of control, and plunges down into the depths of the ocean for the rest of the battle. Eventually, they will return to the Ark, drawn back by ancient spells of binding.[1c]

Special Weapons

Like the Elves, the Dark Elves rely on magically powered projectile weapons rather than gunpowder.[1c]


The Reaper is the most powerful of the Dark Elves' enchanted ballista. It has a magazine of mystically powered ballista bolts and can fire a number of projectiles at once. They don't fire grapeshot and cannot be used to repel boarders.[1c]



  • 1: Man O' War Rulebook
    • 1a: pg. 53
    • 1b: pg. 55
    • 1c: pg. 58