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"I shivered at the sight of her - her beauty far beyond that of mortal man. But her soul glowed with an inner darkness that chilled my very core."
Imperial Soldier.[3a]
Warhammer Morathi

Morathi, the Hag Sorceress of Ghrond.

Morathi, the Hag Sorceress of Ghrond and First of the Hag Queens, is the mother of Malekith and one-time consort of Aenarion, who rescued her from a warband of Slaanesh in the days of the first Chaos invasion before the Sundering. She is not only the lone Witch Elf allowed to use Dark Magic but is also one of the most powerful magic-users in the world, rivalling perhaps even Nagash, the Lords of Change, and Teclis of Ulthuan. She has struck daemonic pacts with many vile and disturbing forces, and can unleash the terrible power of Chaos upon those who displease her.[2a]

History

"Serve Ulthuan and you will be Phoenix King. Protect her from enemies outside and within and she will embrace you in return. Go into the north and learn of the race of men. Head into the chilling Wastes and confront the dark powers that hunger over our world. Then return to Ulthuan and take up your place as ruler, to shield us against their unnatural thirst. I fear that only you can protect us against the dangers I have foreseen. I see fire and bloodshed sweeping Ulthuan again. The colonies will burn and all that we hold dear will be cast upon the rocks and be for naught."
Morathi, speaking of Malekith's Destiny[4a]

Morathi's entire existence has been one of scheming and manipulation. Who knows how many of Aenarion's darker deeds sprang from seeds she planted within his mind, or how the history of the Elves might have been different if he had not taken her as his wife. Yet for all her beauty, she was ultimately spurned by the Phoenix King. Heartbroken, Morathi swore that if her husband could no longer rule the Elves, her son would do so in his place.[1a]

Since that day, Morathi has pursued that goal with supernatural determination. She has spent millennia teaching Malekith all she knows of statecraft and magic, and worked tirelessly to maintain his grip on Naggaroth's throne. Whenever the Witch King faltered, Morathi has always been ready to fan the embers of hatred in his heart; when he was betrayed, none have fought so hard as she to restore his rule.[1a]

Morathi prefers to work behind the scenes, twisting events to her favour with a carefully chosen alliance or assassination, yet she is a terrifying force if roused to open conflict and can unleash the horrific powers of Chaos with barely a thought. She is capable of the most destructive magics possible, and there is little doubt that if Malekith is ever slain, she will use that knowledge to see the world destroyed rather than endure it in the hands of another.[1a]

Visions

Morathi is able to see visions of the future within her dreams. One such vision even bade her warn Aenarion that should he leave her side, he would die in battle.[5a] Indeed, such visions had begun when she was but eleven years of age, tormenting her with glimpses of the apocalypse to come. Through them, she had seen the dark, daemon-haunted future yet no one had believed her. She was a prophetess whose gift it was to see and yet not be heard, or so it had seemed back then.[6a]

In time, Morathi felt the elves had not believed her visions of destruction because they could not believe her. Their lives had been so sheltered during the long golden reign of the first Everqueen that they had no idea of just how dreadful the world could be. Morathi had told them and they had not listened, simply because they were incapable of understanding. They were cattle grazing in summer fields, unwilling to believe in slaughterhouses because they had not yet been inside one. The sun was shining, the grass was tender, and their alien masters looked after them and fed them well. Long before the other elves had learned what the world was really like, she had known. She had seen the coming bloodbath and she tried to warn them.[6a]

And no one had believed her. Sometimes the very thought could still outrage her. Mostly now it just amused her. She had tried everything to get their attention. She had prophesied, she had seduced, she had used her great beauty to get the attention of princes, of the Everqueen herself. No one had taken her warnings seriously, because they had not wanted to. Their world was golden and it was ending and they had wilfully blinded themselves to its coming destruction. They had been taken by surprise when the daemons of Chaos came and the Old Ones had fled or been destroyed. Now none of those people who had refused to believe her were alive as she was. In her mind, she would live forever and she would remake the world in her image.[6a]

Concerning Aenarion

" I will not [die]. And your son Malekith will not. And if you listen to me, you will not either. If you go today you forfeit immortality. Stay with me and live forever."
Morathi to Aenarion.[5a]

During the war against Chaos, Morathi brewed potions for herself and Aenarion to help them sleep and keep him calm despite the influence of the Widowmaker. By the time of the last battle, such drugs had long ago ceased to work for him, even when taken in doses that would have killed anyone else.[5a]

However, what Aenarion had with her he could never call "love", the Phoenix King doubting he was still capable of any tender emotion or feeling, even with a woman as twisted as Morathi. To him, this was a mad, sick passion. In her caresses, Aenarion found respite from his troubles. It was only after she gave birth to Malekith that he learned he still had some spark of feeling within him. If not hope, at least determination to see the war end.[5a]

In Aenarion's eyes, Morathi had studied the ways of their enemies for a very long time, and, he suspected, far too closely. There were times when he was not sure where her true loyalties lay. He only knew that she looked at him, as he looked at her, with a mixture of lust, respect, hatred and anger. To him, it was a potent, heady brew that had fuelled many memorable days, and even more memorable nights. Indeed, rage did not make Morathi ugly, but beautiful and dangerous. The fact that she never frightened or intimidated him made Aenarion suspect that intrigued her, perhaps being the only one her rage never daunted.[5a]

Till the end, Aenarion was astonished by Morathi's beauty. He doubted there had ever been a woman as lovely as her. At the same time, he was untouched by her loveliness. It had no hold over him. It never had, and he knew that in some way that was the secret of the power he held over her. Other elves might be driven mad with longing and lust for her, but he was not. There was a coldness in him that she could not touch, but nothing could stop her trying.[5a]

His last words to her would be that he would return, to which Morathi shook her head and said "No. You will not. You are a fool, Aenarion, but I love you." These words hung in the air. They were the first time Morathi had ever said them, the following silence, the lack of response to it, humiliating for one of such enormous ego as hers. Aenarion, however, had only ever loved one woman. He knew Morathi was merely wicked, and she had drawn him into her wickedness. Even as Aenarion made ready to leave his pavilion for the last battle, Morathi tried to prevent him from going forth to face his foes. At that moment he felt certain that she was numbered among his enemies and the enemies of his people, and would be forever. The Widowmaker whispered in Aenarion's mind to kill her. He would be doing the elves a service by striking her down. And as he stared back at her, Morathi's eyes with obvious entreaty, he was certain that she knew what he was thinking, and just as certain that, at that moment, she did not really care what he did.[5a]

Moving closer to Aenarion, as though daring him to strike, Morathi was pulled by the arm into his embrace, crushing her lips against his, putting all his lust and rage and hatred into one long and brutal kiss. She responded in kind, writhing against his metal-encased form until he thrust her away, her naked body bleeding in a dozen places from pushing against the edges of his armour. Aenarion smiled savagely at her, turned on his heel and left the pavilion without another word. He thought he heard her crying as he left. He told himself he did not care.[5a]

Wargear

  • Heartrender (Magical Staff) - Such is Morathi's skill with the lance-like Heartrender that she can pluck a victim's heart from his chest with a single, well-placed blow.[1a]
  • The Darksword - A sword forced with spells of blinding and enfeeblement by an evil sorcerer. A foe struck by this weapon will be horribly weakened, even if he survives his wounds.[1a]

Trivia

  • After Aenarion returned the Sword of Khaine to its altar on the Blighted Isle, Morathi looked everywhere for him and on numerous occasions, but to no avail.[6a]
  • Morathi utilises ancient sorceries to amplify the effects of her matchless beauty. All who look upon her risk luxuriating in the aura of unbridled, wanton lust that she projects.[6a]

Gallery

Miniatures

  • Morathi on foot (5th Edition).
  • Morathi on Dark Pegasus (6th Edition).

Sources

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