Family ties are seldom flaunted in Naggaroth. For a Dark Elf to achieve true renown, he must do so through his own actions, not through the long ago deeds of some withered sire. For this reason, few Dark Elves betray their lineage in name or title, but instead adopt warrior name chosen to strike fear into the hearts of their allies and enemies. Such titles must be backed up by deeds if they are to have any chance of gaining acceptance and renown, so it is common for Dark Elf lordlings to adopt names that reflect their vile proclivities, or that can at least be proven by fearsome acts. A Naggarothi who assumes the Warrior name "Venomblade" had best go to battle with his weapons coated in the deadliest of poisons, lest he suffer mockery -- and likely a poisoned death -- at the hands of his peers. Similarly, a noble who takes the name "Severspine" will go to almost theatrical lengths to remind other Dark Elves of its appropriateness.[1a]
Curiously, some of these warrior names have now become so renowned that they are handed down, in exactly the same way as the family names that have been all but abandoned. Thus have the sons of five generations borne the Fellheart name, and thus has a warrior named Chillblade served at Malekith's right hand since his ascension -- even though no Elf of that name has lived longer than a hundred years. The Dark Elves see nothing contradictory in this behaviour, for while a family name is granted merely for having been born, a warrior name will only be ceded to a progeny who has performed the deeds to deserve it. As such, the latter will always be worth more than the former, even if both are handed down through the blood.[1a]
- In Hag Graef, those born as bastards are often given the name "Darkblade", as Dark blades are flawed things, objects of scorn within Dark Elven society.