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Topic of the Week - Pick your favourite Realm ! 
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Greetings Tyrants!


This week's topic of the week is... realms! And I think we can open this discussion to all realms in which we have seen Elves or want to see Elves.

In the Old World, we had Naggaroth, the land of chill. In Age of Sigmar, we're unsure in which realms there will be Elves, but there are plenty of realms to go around (and it isn't a far stretch to invent a new one).
In 9th Age, there aren't any realms yet and so we're completely free to pick anything we want.

So the topic of the week is, which realm appeals the most to you or, if you were to invent one, what realm would it be? Don't hold back on explaining the how and why. What kind of a world do you imagine our Dark Elves to live in? Is Naggaroth more than enough? And how would Naggaroth look like in your mind? Or would you rather create a different kind of world where you feel their nature is more in line with the environment?


Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:13 am
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I think it would be cool if future editions of WH (or whatever it morphs into) move Dark Elves underground like the Drow. Don't think it will happen but I for one would support it, if it did.

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Tue Dec 01, 2015 12:23 am
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Let's just say I will be following this topic with interest to gouge what inspires the DE player base. Things that will fit the 9th Age narrative might find their way into the official background.

Cheers

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Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:04 am
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move Dark Elves underground like the Drow


I always liked this idea as well, I never saw Dark elves as sea faring folk.

The temptation of Slaanesh is always good / perhaps even an undead influence, necromancy.

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Tue Dec 01, 2015 2:50 pm
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Giladis wrote:
Let's just say I will be following this topic with interest to gouge what inspires the DE player base. Things that will fit the 9th Age narrative might find their way into the official background.

Cheers
Wow, this makes the topic much more appealling! :P

My own fluff background is a druchii settlement established in Ind, from where it raided all kind of places.
The realm of the Dark Elves is, of course, the Ocean!


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.r /_\ /___\ ç
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Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:49 pm
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If I were to start from scratch, I'd be torn between two choices.

A bleak land

I find it a challenge to picture a bleak land, but one that captures the style I'd associate with dark elves is Tibet. Admitted, I never set foot there.
Image
It feels like a land fitting for them: it has cold periods where you have little cover from the biting wind except for a few mountain ranges. The whole region is stony, and filled with rubble. There are mountain ranges and meandering rivers, but a notable lack of lush green. There is just about enough ways to hide on the land, plenty of mountains to prepare an ambush or tribes to live freely and yet it's an open field on many locations.
It looks like a land where packed, armoured spears would make a solid backbone for any armed force without being the dominant force either. Light armoured, fast cavalry would fare well compared to heavy armoured cavalry. Unless, of course, you could tame a stronger, local animal like a cold one.

With just about enough mountains, you could have a source of cages with Hydras and other monsters.

Bermuda Triangle

A collection of Isles, barely registered on the map since every ship venturing near "mysteriously disappears". The collection of islands would be surrounded by a fog of storms and magic. It is an unforgiving barrier, but within the storm, there lies a mysterious land, a collection of islands with ship ports, farm lands and mountain ranges. It is a pirate's treasure cove, guarded with great jealousy. A land that is constantly changing, due to the storms and wild nature so only the native (well, dark elf) population knows how to survive the perils of the environment.
It would be a terrific base to start one's piracy from. But I find it a bit more difficult to build ranked units from this concept.


I think I'd put all subcultures in a different province, or island if the geography has them. This would allow mroe open rivalries between the cults / regions all the while still permitting a central, stern rule to which all provinces must bow. So you'd have a province ruled by the Cult of Khaine, Cult of Slaneesh, Beastmasters, Cult of Magic, Pirates. The rivalries between these could be subject to political intrigue by themselves. IE: if the Cult of Slaneesh and Cult of Magic would cooperate, they'd have no opposition in the field of magic. But they are also bitter rivals in that very aspect. So the Cult of Slaneesh might lend a sorceress here and there to help twart the plans to the Cult of Magic. Conversely, the appearance of a Sorceress in an army or story would imply involvement by the Cult of Slaneesh or Cult of Magic.
etc.


Age of Sigmar
Within the Age of Sigmar, I'd find it a challenge to make a realm for the Dark Elves. The realm of Shadow does appeal to me, but it's the land of Life that sparks my imagination. For a land of Shadow, well.. it's a fairly an immaterial concept to start from. Perhaps a land that ever changes, where every crossing of a river is the portal to a different region? A land that shapes itself to the will of whomever can controll the strands of magic that binds it?
A dark, shadowy land like Mordor without the fire.

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Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:01 pm
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Yeah, I agree with the notion of a bleak land. I was thinking perhaps a harsh desert steppe, mountains on one side, ocean on the other. Maybe along the lines of certain areas around Patagonian Desert (or other parts of South America)
Image
and maybe this:
Image

In the end Naggaroth was pretty good too in terms of setting, I think a bleak land helps reinforce the spartan aspect.


Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:06 pm
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So Arctic Tundra isn't barren enough for you :D

Just google "Arctic Tundra" and scroll through the photos :P

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Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:21 pm
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Arctic tundra is cool (bad dum diss).

Image

Stay frosty....


Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:56 pm
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Remote tundra like environments bring with them their own challenges and limited resources that will keep populations in check and I imagine typically fairly small and migratory. Clan like groups travelling with herds in hard fought territory would make sense rather than massive cities that would probably be unsustainable in reality.

As a concept I like it, something a long the lines of the Raymond E Feist Moredhel might work well.

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Thu Dec 03, 2015 9:28 am
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Wonderful suggestions Diobarach. They look closer to what I had in mind originally.. Nice!
I do like the arctic tundra if it were a part of the region but I wouldn't like it to cover the whole map. Snow, although thematic, is also quite boring and a bit too concealing.
"Behold! The road of a thousand skulls and roiling black magic is right beneat our feet!"
- "Where?"
"Under the snow."
- "Like over here?"
"No.. over there is the lush, green boardwalk. The road of skulls is over here."

There is something powerful about a snowy setting when it is involved in travel, since it immediately sets dangerous, foreboding and unforgiving conditions. But if everything were covered in snow all the time, there's not a lot of variety and room for thematic landscape. I could glue white paper to my gaming table. DE landscape done!

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Thu Dec 03, 2015 9:53 am
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I imagine a place that is mostly rock, devoid of life, cold desolate. Something like the image below.

Image

I think a really cool concept would be to have the cities levitated (floating cities) were the druchii have turned skyward, raised huge chunks of rock by magic. They would be shrouded in mist during the day and revealed at night time.

Image


I also love the old D&D concept of Dark Elves living underground - there is something appealing about not seeing the light of day and having the environment warp your senses.

Huge cities built into underground caverns that support the land above

Image


Another option could be a dead or dark twisted forest, devoid of light,

Image

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Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:09 pm
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Anywhere, I don't care as long as there is a coast and a harbor.

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Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:09 pm
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Yeah, the pirates/slavers are too important to leave out :)
Besides! We're the only pirate faction!

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Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:26 pm
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Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:15 pm
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Definitely gotta keep the pirate-aspect. Floating cities are suitably Druchii, there is no alternative but to look down on everyone else.


Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:20 pm
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For 9th Age:

My take on the Dread Elves is that they reside in the darker, more inhospitable parts of the world - remote forests, elevated plateaus in the shadows of mountain ranges, island fortresses, wind-whipped coastal areas and the like. Their settlements would be well-fortified and provide shelter. The Dread Elves would not be a cohesive kingdom or nation, but would be akin to a collection of cities held together by trade and the desire for new lands to plunder and despoil (for the Cults of Blood and Lust, respectively). It might be necessary for there to be a couple of principal rulers keeping a semblance of order, and to allow for internecine warfare within the in-universe fluff.

For fast transport between these domains, they would operate a series of "black gates" or "shadow mirrors" (I'll go with the latter term for convenience's sake). These near-irreplaceable artefacts would provide near-instantaneous travel, assuming that they are properly grounded and that the correct sacrifices and rituals were observed. Obviously, the mirrors in each location would be heavily defended, in both directions - no Dread Elf truly trusts any other, much less another Dread Elf in command of an army. Rather than just being a bit of a MacGuffin, the "shadow mirrors" could also be tied into the corruption of the Dread Elves (whether because of their influence directly or being a conduit for entities from outside the world to influence them). They would also allow the Dread Elves to strike in areas all over the world, even where there was limited access by sea.

The Dread Elves would also have a number of ports and island fortresses, typically swathed in sorcerous protections and with the beasts of the oceans bound to their defence. They rely heavily on their fleets to prop up their economies and procure slaves, sacrifices and "entertainments". After all, the best way to bring in the plunder would be to transport a shadow mirror to the desired location (on a large vessel, or by summoning/creating one through appropriately sinister magics only possible for a handful of powerful Dread Elf wizards), establish a base of operations around it, and to operate from that location for a brief period before moving on. The Dread Elves involved in such raiding would be more interested in maximising their gains, rather than seeking pitched battles (except for the Cults of Blood and Lust, who would be after battles for their own reasons).

-----

As for the architecture - I am terrible at creative stuff and have not had a long time to research available art to identify the sort of style I would consider "quintessentially Dread Elves". However, given the variety of locations in which they operate, I'd imagine somewhere between these concepts, depending on the location (apologies for the size of the pics, I have noob-level computer skills):

Image

(please note that the dwellings would be solely for the Dread Elves. Their slaves and servants would be housed... less hospitably)

Image

(these designs are more for the ground-based locations, but the style would be relatively consistent)

-----

The coastal fortifications and castles would be principally raised with magic (and thus a bit more streamlined, yet less sophisticated). I was thinking something along these lines in terms of the general ambience, with the focus being on efficiency in holding the spoils of war and pillage:

Image


For Age of Sigmar:

I think that the Realm of Shadow would be the principal Realm for the Dark Elves Exiled, with a number operating out of the Realm of Beasts (no prizes for guessing the theme) and the Realm of Metal (the more militaristic Dark Elves Exiled).

From what I recall, the Realm of Shadow is explicitly a bunch of different lands and nations, each with a different aspect but a common theme of trickery, deception and hidden meanings. I can see it incorporating just about anything, particularly including dark seas, eerie forests and mountain ranges, mysterious savannahs, shadowed plains and hills, bleak tundra, dense mists and sinister citadels which are not necessarily bound by the same physical laws at work in other realms (or even within the same realm). Perfect places for the Dark Elves Exiled to be established, particularly if their mastery of the realm's magics allowed them to move or hide their strongholds.

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Fri Dec 04, 2015 10:54 am
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If those are your work they look pretty damn good to me. I think the last one you have is most dark elfish. The first and second give me more of a wood elf feel.

As for feel, if we go with D&D influences, I loved the dark sun setting. This part from lotr is what I imagined for desert styled black guard https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waYb6bXhZhg&t=108


Fri Dec 04, 2015 4:56 pm
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Diobarach wrote:
If those are your work they look pretty damn good to me. I think the last one you have is most dark elfish. The first and second give me more of a wood elf feel.

As for feel, if we go with D&D influences, I loved the dark sun setting. This part from lotr is what I imagined for desert styled black guard https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waYb6bXhZhg&t=108


Those pics are a long way beyond my ability. :)

I was a big fan of Dark Sun as well, although that was very much an "everything is trying to kill you and reasonably capable at it" setting. The savagery of the elves in that setting would be appropriate for the Cult of Blood/Khainites/generally vicious and blood-mad nutters, but it felt like a symptom of the dying of the world rather than an inherent trait of the elves. They became that way to survive, which to me is less "ha ha, we're evil" and more "what you are in the dark".

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Sat Dec 05, 2015 3:05 am
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Initially, I'm not really sure that a Drow-style underground setting would be ideal for Dark Elves as we know and love them (despite the fact that I rather like Drow), though of course this doesn't necessarily imply a dark, damp environment - they could have huge, spacious caverns with entire communities built within them. Vast subterranean palaces and temples to Slaa.. oops I mean Khaine (I don't really :twisted:) and there certainly is support in existing fluff for this sort of thing. Indeed even in Naggaroth, it's pretty hard to imagine the Druchii living out in the open - even their great cities would be a challenge in a location like that.

Some sort of vast under-empire in the manner of Skaven, but redesigned with a more elven sensibility , with the occasional tower poking through into the world above. Dark, twisted forests with malign spirits in the trees themselves, like a twisted version of our tree-hugging kin's habitat. All these things are possible, and let's not forget that like all elves, we are derived from a seafaring race, and so I've no doubt that we will continue to stalk the high seas on our vast Black Arks - the perfect platform from which to mount coastal raids in small, fast pirate vessels deployed from the Arks. Thinking in Man'o'War terms for a moment, with our Sea Dragons and Doomreavers biting chunks out of our foes...

So like Drow, but not Drow. Hey, in this new world of ours, maybe there are Drow-like Druchii offshoots that ride around on big spiders (I converted some miniatures along these lines long ago by using some Battle For Skull Pass Goblin spiders and Dark Eldar parts). Not to mention all manner of other nasty creatures lurking below.

As Gandalf famously said, "There are older and fouler things than orcs in the deep places of the world"

As ever, we do need a certain degre of discipline in these things, but for a long time I've entertained the notion of some D&D influence in Warhammer which is why I wrote up the provisional Drow army list (Think a fairly straight Druchii army but with spider mounts and Drow-esque magic items etc) long ago - not to mention the almost-but-not-quite completed Illithids Army Book which was yet another of my (not universally popular) attempts to include some of my favourite D&D races as well as my love of all things Lovecraft into the system almost ten years ago. (Sahuagin, anyone? - actually that one never really got past the planning stage - though I did design a WFB-style front cover for it - but instead got rolled into my Deep Ones list, parts of which ended up combined with the Illithids)

Anyway I digress (as long-time members will know that I have a tendency to do).

Back on topic, I think there are plenty of great environments for Dark Elves to call home (hey maybe the Cult of Khaine drove the Lizards out of Lustria and took it over, before becoming the ancestors of the Mayans etc - slaughter, blood sacrife and all that stuff :)

Personally, I can't get away 100% from the Frozen Wastes type of setting (realistic or otherwise) for my own DE (partly because I don't want to re-base my old army, and partly because I love the fluff as it is/was/will be etc)

However, the underground setting (existing fluff already talk of "The Underway" after all) probably makes at least as much sense.

Maybe it depends what faction of DE you represent as well - the Khainists can stick to the icy realms of the north, where the blood looks especially good against the white snow, while my Slaaneshi cultists would probably prefer something a bit warmer and more comfortable (Get lost, Brets - your land is ours now!). The Cult of Tzeentch (if there is one - and if not, why not?) would be ideally placed to have their floating sky-cities as suggest above by CultofKhaine.

Ultimately, any or all of the above would be available - I can imagine shining cloud cities floating above the mountains in the East, while the dark, twisted forests of the Old World would be a cool place to hang out (assuming you can avoid getting eaten by beastmen of course)

I'm filled with ideas all of a sudden - it's amazing what a couple of years away can do for the creative juices :D

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Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:35 pm
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The obvious choice would be the Realm of Shadow, as it belongs to the Artist Formerly Known As Malekith, but remember that each Realm is a whole world as big as (or bigger than) the Old World, with room for every race and more. I remember reading a rumour that there would be death-cult aelves in the Realm of Death, probably closer to Nagash than to Malerion or Tyrion. There could also be Fire aelves in the Realm of Fire, and Viking Aelves in the Realm of Beasts, and so on. Almost certainly, Chaos Aelves, because why not? Aelves of the Cult of Pleasure would probably worship Morathi (or whatever she is now), while other aelves might figure that their best bet against Slaanesh eating their souls is to follow Khorne.

The fluff in general and for aelves in particular is annoyingly and excitingly up in the air. Anything might happen, and I wish that something would already!

My guess is that, over the next 5 years, we'll see the 'aelves' get away from the Dark Elves - High Elves - Wood Elves divide, and more toward, 'the aelves are a race that can turn up within many different factions in many of the realms, including Death, Shadow, Light, Nature, and Chaos.' At least that's what I would do if I were GW, but who knows. My favourites in that case would be the Aelves of Shadow, and maybe the Aelves of Death, depending on how that works out. :)


Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:22 pm
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I envisage Ulgu as a great, dark and bottomless ocean, wracked with storms and dotted with rocky, mist-shrouded islands that move according to some unfathomable pattern. Some islands are home to primitive, tribal humans and others who scratch out a meager living from the thin, brackish soil. The sun is a rare sight, a blind white eye that occasionally becomes dimly visible through the roiling cloud that hides the sky. The rest of the time, there is only gloom. But the hapless inhabitants of the islands live in terror of the coming of True Night, for when the shrouded sky grows truly dark, perhaps once in a generation, the sea boils and the floating palaces of the Pale Lords loom out of the darkness, bringing horror and death and the slaver's chains. When the Night Harvest comes, those who are taken alive shall envy their slain kin.

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Sat Dec 12, 2015 3:07 pm
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