Nagarythe was once one of the most prosperous and beautiful of the kingdoms of the High Elven land of Ulthuan. When the Witch King Malekith and his mother Morathi led the kingdom of Nagarythe astray into worship of the Chaos Gods, not all of their people followed. When Malekith led his people in a rebellion against the rightful Phoenix King, those who had not been converted to depravity remained loyal to the throne of Ulthuan and waged a secret war, a war of shadows, against the Witch King and his armies. When the Witch King was defeated and forced to flee with his followers, most of these ‘shadow warriors’ were killed, drowned by the sea as their land was torn asunder by the Witch King’s foul magics.
The people of Nagarythe that survived became a nation of wanderers, moving from place to place and never really welcomed by other High Elves, for these Shadow Elves as they became known had gained a reputation for being a fierce and warlike people, full of cruelty. This reputation, while probably only partially true, sets the Shadow Elves apart from other members of their race. This, along with their grim attitude and generally dark presence, makes other High Elves feel ill at ease around them. In Ulthuan they are misfits and outcasts, and many of these proud people seek their fortunes outside Ulthuan entirely. They truly are a race ‘in the shadows’ between the cruel darkness of the Dark Elves, and the beautiful light of the other High Elves.
Some of the Elves of Nagarythe have been driven mad by this condition, but most have accepted their existence, and are driven on by a desire for revenge against the arch nemesis the Witch King and his perverse mother. The Shadow Elves form themselves into warbands and travel the lands of Ulthuan and the Known World, sometimes fighting Dark Elves (and other forces of Chaos) when they find them, and fighting just to survive the remainder of the time. Some still work in the service of the Phoenix king, acting as scouts and trackers for his armies. Sometimes small units of these warriors will be sent by their king to distant lands on a special mission for Ulthuan – recovery of ancient artifacts left behind when the High Elves abandoned the Old World, or sabotage of a rumoured plot of the Dark Elves. When sent on such a mission, these bands bring their military trappings with them – standards and war horns, unit insignia fiercely emblazoned on their shields – for the Shadow Elves take pride in their loyalty to the Phoenix King. Other warbands represent small groups of warriors seeking their fortune... though still loyal to Ulthuan, they may no longer feel welcome in their island home, or perhaps they represent a family pursuing a personal vendetta against a particular Dark Elf leader. Whatever the case, bands of Shadow Warriors may occasionally be seen roving the lands of the Old World to exploring the steamy jungles of Lustria.
Due to their wandering nature, it’s not uncommon to see Shadow Warriors travelling the lands of the Empire, so they should fit right in in your normal games of Mordheim. However, the Empire is not the only land these tireless warriors travel to in their quest to rid the world of Dark Elves. As more settings are introduced for the game, you will be able to take your Shadow Warriors to other lands, such as the jungles of Lustria as introduced in Lustria Cities of Gold. You should not feel constrained to keep the Shadow Warriors in one city, it is their nature to wander.
Hate Dark Elves: All warriors in a Shadow Warrior Warband (excluding any Hired Swords) have an unyielding Hatred for Dark Elves.
Excellent Sight: Elves have eyesight unmatched by mere humans. All the Elves in a Shadow Warrior Warband can spot Hidden enemies from twice as far away as other warriors (i.e. twice their Initiative in inches).
Distaste for Poison: The use of poisons and various drugs is a Dark Elf specialty. As such, it is frowned upon by Shadow Warriors, even more so than by other High Elves. Warriors in a Shadow Warrior Warband may not use poisons of any type.
Unforgiving: In addition to their hatred of their corrupt kin, the folk of Nagarythe have a long history of struggle against the forces of Chaos. In multiplayer games, a Shadow Warrior warband may never forge an alliance with any Warband of a Chaotic nature (Possessed, Skaven, Beastmen, Dark Elves, etc.).
Tolerant: Due to their outsider status with their own people, the Elves of Nagarythe have learned to stifle their distaste for ‘lesser races’, and have even been known to work alongside them from time to time. A Shadow Warrior Warband may hire any Hired Sword that is not of a Chaotic or evil bent (so no Skaven, Possessed, Beastmen, Dark Elves, Undead, etc.). They also shun the company of anyone specialising in the use of poison (so no Assassins).
See page 121 of the Mordheim Rulebook.
A Shadow Warrior Warband must include a minimum of 3 models. You have 500 Gold Crowns which you can use to recruit your initial warband. Maximum number of warriors in the warband is 12.
Shadow Master: Each Shadow Warrior Warband must have one Shadow Master: no more, no less!
Shadow Walkers: Your Warband may include up to 3 Shadow Walkers.
Shadow Weaver: Your Warband may include one Shadow Weaver.
Shadow Warriors: Any number of models may be Shadow Warriors.
Shadow Novices: Any number of models may be Shadow Novices.
Shadow Master starts with 20 experience.
Shadow Walkers start with 12 experience.
Shadow Weavers start with 12 experience.
All Henchmen start with 0 experience.
Elven Wine (50+3D6 gc / Rare 10): High Elven wines are well known to be the best in the world, and some are even rumoured to have magical qualities. A fine Elven Wine can cast out doubt and fear and leave a general feeling of well-being in a warrior.
A Shadow Warrior Warband that drinks Elven Wine before a battle will be immune to Fear for the whole of the battle. (Shadow Warriors Only, one use only)
Elven Runestones (50+2D6 gc / Rare 11): High Elven mages are well known as the masters of defensive magic. To aid them, they have developed several mystic runes of power. They often inscribe these runes on semiprecious stones, which can help strengthen an Elven Mage’s magical defenses. A mage with Elven Runestones may use them to attempt to dispel a spell that has been successfully cast against himself or another member of his warband. To dispel such a spell, the mage must roll against the spell’s Difficulty (Sorcery does not help here). If he succeeds, the spell fails to work. If the roll fails, the spell works normally. (Shadow Weavers Only.)
Standard of Nagarythe (75 + 3D6 gc / Rare 9): While many Shadow Warrior Warbands are simply wandering, some represent groups that have been sent from Ulthuan on some special mission for the Phoenix King. Such bands are really closer to military units than loose bands of warriors. As such, they tend to retain their unit insignia and other trappings. Chief among these is the unit standard. A unit’s colours can hold a lot of meaning, particularly when the warriors in that unit lack a true home. A Shadow Warrior band normally makes their standard by hand; cost and rarity represent the difficulty of finding the proper materials (fine silks and thread of gold, for example).
A Standard of Nagarythe can serve as a second rallying point (the Shadow Master is the first, represented by his Leader skill) for the unit. Any members of the Shadow Warrior Warband within 6" of their standard take all Leadership tests against a Leadership value of 10. In addition, should the standard be captured by the enemy (model holding the standard is Taken Out of Action), all members of the Warband will be subject to Frenzy for the remainder of the game, and may not voluntarily Rout. Note that these effects (Leadership 10 and Frenzy) do not affect any Hired Swords in the Warband, only actual Shadow Warriors (including Shadow Warrior heroes) are affected. A model carrying a standard requires one hand free to do so, so no weapons, shields, etc. may be carried in this hand, and no double-handed weapons may be used while the standard is carried. A standard may be used in close combat as a makeshift spear (use the rules for a spear but with -1 on the to hit rolls. Shadow Warriors Only – May only be purchased when the warband is created.)
War Horn of Nagarythe (25+1D6 gc / Rare 6): Similar to the Standard of Nagarythe, units of Shadow Warriors sent into Mordheim often bring with them a war horn to rally around. The rules for the War Horn of Nagarythe are the same as for a normal War Horn from Town Cryer issue 7 (except for Rarity and price, see above), and are restated here for your convenience:
A War Horn of Nagarythe may be sounded once during the game at the start of any Shadow Warrior turn. Until the start of the next turn, all members of the Warband gain a +1 to their Leadership (maximum Leadership 10). The War Horn may be used just before the warband takes a Rout test. Shadow Warriors only.
Elven Cloak (75 + D6x10 gc / Rare 12): Being from Ulthuan, Shadow Warriors have access to items that are rarely seen by other races.
Familiar (20+1D6 gc / Rare 8): Wizards are often solitary, usually shunned by those who can barely conceive of, much less understand, the power these individuals wield. As such, they often share their lives with animal companions, rather than more ‘sentient’ beings. Sometimes a magical link will develop between one of these animals and the wizard, to the extent that the wizard begins to see through the animal’s eyes, and hear its thoughts. Wizards in different lands favour different types of familiars, depending on their environment: Shadow Weavers tend to favour darkly-coloured animals that can blend into the shadows with them easily-ravens or darkly-coloured cats are most common. Regardless of their form, familiars are actually not normal members of their kind at all, but rather creatures that have somehow become attuned to the Winds of Magic. Familiars cannot actually be purchased as normal equipment. The cost to ‘purchase’ a familiar actually represents the cost of materials to cast the ritual to summon a familiar and form a magical bond with it; the Rarity level represents the chances of the ritual actually working. As such, the cost of the familiar must always be paid if the rarity roll is attempted, regardless of the success of the roll. Also, only spell-casters can attempt to ‘find’ a familiar. If a familiar is found, it should be modelled on the spellcaster as with any other piece of equipment. A familiar may be placed on a separate base (in fact many of the familiars that GW sells come this way), but if this is done the familiar must always remain in base-to-base contact with the wizard, and it is ignored for game purposes (so it may not attack enemy models or be attacked itself, may not intercept attackers, does not increase the wizard’s base size, etc.), other than the effect below.
A wizard with a familiar is allowed to re-roll one failed roll to cast a spell each turn. The result of this re-roll must be accepted, even if it fails, and remember that you may never reroll a re-roll. Spell-users only (does not include users of Prayers). Note that unlike many of the items above, this item is equipment that any warband with a spell-user may use, if he can summon it successfully.
The following lists are used by Shadow Warrior warbands to pick their weapons:
* – Heroes only. These special prices represent the lower rarity of these items in Ulthuan; when attempting to purchase these items in Mordheim (or Lustria), Shadow Warriors pay the same prices as other Warbands, and must roll to find them as normal. No roll is necessary to find these items when first starting a Shadow Warrior Warband.
70 Gold Crowns to hire
Shadow Master is a very honourable title among the warriors of the Shadow Elves… it is given to one who has fought in the shadow war for so long that he rules the darkness that he fights from. Often a member of the former Nagarythe nobility, the captain of a Shadow Warrior Warband is known by the honourable title ‘Shadow Master’. These proud and strong-willed warriors often gather a small band of their followers and seek a life away from the hesitant charity and distasteful stares of Ulthuan.
Weapons and Armour: Shadow Master may be equipped with weapons and armour chosen from the Shadow Warrior Equipment list.
Leader: Any warrior within 6" of the Shadow Master may use his Leadership characteristic when taking any Leadership tests.
45 Gold Crowns to hire
One step down from the title of Shadow Master is Shadow Walker. A walker in the shadows is considered to have made friends with the darkness, and while he does not command it, it gives him aid when asked. Shadow Walkers are seasoned veterans in the war against the Dark Elves. They are skilled trackers and hunters, and the most trusted lieutenants of the Warband’s captain, the Shadow Master.
Weapons and Armour: Shadow Walkers may be equipped with weapons and armour chosen from the Shadow Warrior Equipment list.
55 Gold Crowns to hire
All High Elves have some aptitude for magic, and those with the greatest aptitude are taught how to bend the Winds of Magic to their will. Shadow Weavers are the mages of Nagarythe. Due to the nature of their unending war against the Dark Elves, the mages of Nagarythe tend to specialise in magics that use shadows to conceal their presence and confound their enemies. In fact the title Shadow Weaver comes from the nature of their magic… like a talented tailor, the Shadow Weaver takes the threads of shadow and fashions them into shapes and forms of his choosing.
Weapons and Armour: Shadow Weavers may be equipped with weapons and armour chosen from the Shadow Warrior Equipment list, but they may not cast spells if wearing armour.
Wizard: The Shadow Weaver is a wizard and may use the Shadow Magic list.
(Bought in groups of 1-5)
35 Gold Crowns to hire
Most of the warriors in the Shadow Warrior Warband are veterans of at least one battle, and all have lost loved ones to the depravity of the Dark Elves.
Weapons and Armour: Shadow Warriors may be equipped with weapons and armour chosen from the Shadow Warrior Equipment list.
25 Gold Crowns to hire
These are untested Shadow Elves, newly inducted into the warband. Often these warriors are younger cousins who are setting out from Ulthuan for the first time. Due to their hard existence, it is often a quick progression from Novice to full Warrior, however.
Weapons and Armour: Shadow Novices may be equipped with weapons and armour chosen from the Shadow Warrior Equipment list.
Shadow Warrior Heroes may use the following Skill table instead of any of the standard Skill tables available to them.
Infiltration: This skill is exactly the same as the Skaven skill of the same name.
See in Shadows: The warrior’s senses have become especially keen from years spent walking the shadows. As long as he has movement to reach them, the warrior may always roll to charge opponents he cannot see (instead of the normal 4").
Hide in Shadows: Over time Shadow Warriors have learned how to freeze in place and remain undetected, even from the heightened senses of their Dark Elf cousins. An enemy warrior attempting to detect this warrior when he is Hidden must halve his Initiative before measuring the distance.
Sniper: Long years of guerrilla warfare against the Dark Elves have taught Shadow Warriors how to strike from the shadows without being seen. If Hidden, a warrior with this skill may shoot or cast spells and still remain Hidden.
Powerful Build: The warrior is strongly built for an Elf, and is capable of feats of strength not often seen among the people of Ulthuan. A warrior with this skill may choose skills from the Strength skills table from now on. This skill may not be taken by Shadow Weavers. There may never be more than two Elves with this skill in the warband at any one time.
Master of Runes: The Shadow Weaver has learned to harness the power of the High Elven runes of power (see Elven Runestones, below) to a degree few mages attain. When using Elven Runestones, the mage is +1 to his dispel roll. In addition, the mage can inscribe the weapons and armour of one of his fellow warriors with Elven runes. One member of the Warband may reroll a single failed armour save or Parry roll once per battle. After a single battle, the runes lose their glamour and must be redone. This skill may only be taken by Shadow Weavers.
Shadow Weavers use a strange blend of magic that differs in many ways to the traditional High Magic of their cousins of the Tower of Hoeth.
Author’s note: Several of the following spells mention that the target must be within a certain distance of ‘a wall’. This is not literally restricted to walls, but may include any piece of terrain that could be expected to cast a man-sized shadow.