"No one lives forever."
Urian Poisonblade, Champion of Malekith.[3a]
Warhammer Urian Poisonblade

Urian Poisonblade, Champion of Malekith.

Urian Poisonblade - known as Iltharis while undercover - was one of the most infamous of all Dark Elven warriors. He was the Witch King's personal champion, a mighty fighter of awesome ability, skill and cunning. It was rumoured that he had been bred for battle by the Witch King himself to be the destroyer and relentless slayer of his enemies. Urian's cruelty was as legendary as his skill. His foes said that he had the heart of a daemon, and that if you were captured by him it was better to swallow your own tongue and choke to death than survive and face the horrors the following hours or days would bring. When Urian learnt of this he made sure that in future his prisoners had no tongue to choke on.[1a]

In battle, he was all but unstoppable. He had been taught by the greatest masters of the fighting arts in Naggaroth. He let his teachers know that he would slay them once he had learnt all he could from them, unless they could kill him first. This he did, slaying each of his teachers in turn as he outgrew them in skill and ability. The techniques he learnt made him the most deadly of fighters. It was said he knew more than 10,000 ways to kill an opponent, and 10,000 more ways to cripple them and leave them at his mercy. He could kill a bull with one blow of his bare hands, and deflect an arrow in flight with a sweep of his blade. He was death incarnate.[1a]


According to his older half-brother, Dorian Silverblade, Urian's skill as a pit fighter, wit, and scholarship made him a favourite of Malekith's. Both he and Dorian had been poor scions of an impoverished ancient line. Yet Urian had been perhaps the greatest swordsman Naggaroth had known in twenty generations. He had been a scholar of peculiar lore, an expert on poisons who had delighted in demonstrating their uses in the pits in which he had fought and made his name. He was merry and terrifying and entirely too self-confident.[2b]

Then everything changed. All because of one ill-considered joke...[2b]

Malekith made an example of Urian. In the antechamber before the Witch King's throne room, the warrior was hung half-flayed from hooks over a blood-filled cauldron. Leather-clad torturers drove truesilver spikes through emptied out eye-sockets, into the pleasure centres of his brain. From there, they muttered spells which turned agony into ecstasy and pleasure into pain. They had done it randomly so that the most awful tortures became an orgasmic pleasure, and the most gentle painkillers turned into nerve-wracking toxins.[2b]

Urian went mad many times, but he had always been nursed back to health. For thirteen months, he hung in the antechamber, kept alive by food and water pumped into his stomach through leather tubes and transfusions of blood from dying slaves hooked up to vampiric engines.[2b]

From that moment on, few dared consider speculating on how the armoured Witch King entertained himself in the privacy of his personal chambers.[2b]

To Ulthuan

Tasked by the Witch King himself, Urian Poisonblade infiltrated the high society of the High Elves, disguising himself as Prince Iltharis, a noble of the Kingdom of Eataine. How he came upon such a position or how he managed to keep it hidden was never known, yet despite the odds stacked against him, Urian managed to gain the trust of many noble families, such as the Captain of the White Lion Korhien Ironglaive and even a young Prince Tyrion. Despite himself, Urian grew fondly accustomed to the society of the High Elves, where one does not need to always look behind his back by potential rivals. Soon, he grew to be fond of his new life and those he came to love, yet despite everything he knew it would have to end, and with his final task given to him, Urian killed the beloved Everqueen in cold blood. With that act, he knew it was over and so the once proud and noble Prince Itharis became Urian Poisonblade once more.[2a]

With such ability went pride and vanity. Urian was even heard to boast that he could slay famine himself in single combat. It may be that the Bloody Handed God heard this and decided to pay Urian back, in which case his hubris cost him dear, for it was Urian's fate to meet the only warrior who was greater than himself. It was at the battle of Finuval Plain that Urian met his nemesis. The Witch King's forces were poised, expectant of final victory over their hated High Elf enemies. Urian, as proud and arrogant as ever, strode forward and called out a challenge to single combat.[1a]

First Arhalien of Yvresse and then Korhien Ironglaive, captain of the White Lions, accepted the challenge. Urian cut them down as if they were children. Then Tyrion stepped forth. The struggle between these two masters of the warriors' craft, so alike in skill and yet so deeply different in character, was awesome to behold. For fully an hour the two mighty heroes fought in grim silence, first one gaining an advantage, then the other, but neither able to land the final telling blow before their opponent evened the odds. Then Tyrion slipped, and fell heavily to the ground. Urian leapt forward, his blade held high, but before he could land his death blow, Tyrion struck. A quick thrust of his blade found Urian's heart and the fight was over, its end so sudden and abrupt that watchers could hardly believe it was finished. Urian slid slowly to the ground. "The simplest of tricks," he gasped to Tyrion as he fell. "You killed me with the simplest of tricks...“ And with that he died, receiving no answer from Tyrion other than a cold, pitiless stare.[1a]


  • Among the many pleasures he missed living away from Naggarond, Urian loved the midnight councils. When invited to those held by Phoenix King Finubar, they reminded Urian of home. He had lost count of the number of times he had spent plotting late into the night with his confederates back in Naggaroth. Of course, he admitted that the Asur councils weren't exactly the same. Chances were that no one would be murdered because of what transpired in a given night's events. There would not even be a significant change of power in the realm of Ulthuan unless something went very wrong. No, it was the atmosphere he loved, the idea of being part of a cabal of people, meeting in secrecy under the shroud of darkness, whose decisions might affect the whole kingdom. There was an energy to such meetings that he fed on, that made his heart beat faster and pandered to his Elven love of intrigue. He felt as if he really was someone, set apart from the common herd. And in this, to his annoyance, he was like every other elf who had ever lived.[3b]


  • 1: Warhammer Armies: Dark Elves (5th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 17
  • 2: Tyrion and Teclis: Sword of Caledor (Novel) by William King
    • 2a: "Prologue"
    • 2b: Chapter 7
  • 3: Tyrion and Teclis: Blood of Aenarion (Novel) by William King
    • 3a: Chapter 13
    • 3b: Chapter 16

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