Darkling Covens

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Darkling Covens
Darkling Sorceress 02.png
A Darkling Sorceress.
Grand alliance Order
Associated factions Cities of Sigmar
Main grouping Coven
Major characters Drusa Kraeth
Races Aelf
Mounts Black Dragon
Spell lores Lore of Cinder
Lore of Dark Sorcery
Lore of Eagles
Lore of the Ghurish Heartlands
Lore of Leaves
Lore of Smog
Lore of the Phoenix
Lore of Whitefire
Archetypes Darkling Sorceress

Darkling Covens are normally led by a powerful aelf sorceress, occasionally a male wizard, many of whom fled to the Realm of Azyr.[1]

Origin

During the Age of Chaos the invading armies of Chaos destroyed many aelven empires in the Realm of Shadow.[Note] The powerful sorceresses and wizardqueens were driven back to the safety of Azyrheim. Upon arrival in the Eternal City of Azyrheim, these shadowy spellcasters remained apart from their fellow refugees. Insular by nature, they were unwilling to share their accumulated knowledge and expertise with the already established Eldritch Council or the Collegiate Arcane. Instead, they formed their own cults and hidden orders. Collectively, these would become known as the Darkling Covens.[1][2a]

Organization

Each Coven is ruled by a single sorceress with the aid of several underlings and major-domos. While these retinues of major-domos and generals take care of matters beneath their concern, Sorceresses have absolute power over their Covens. Darkling Covens can field entire regiments of dominated soldiers, ensorcelled aelves who will throw away their lives without hesitation to protect their mistress. The Black Guard, the elite bodyguards of the sorceresses are an exception and retains their free will. The Executioners are skull masked warriors that are not part of the Darkling Covens but fight alongside them for mysterious reasons.[2a]

Some Darkling Covens hold hidden redoubts in all the Mortal Realms, where they place sensitive objects of power and have sometimes a keeper and initiatives assigned to guard and take care of such places.[8]

Espionage

During their time in Azyr the Covens continued to practise their rituals of sorcery and enchantment but beneath layers of misdirection and illusion as not to attract the attention of Sigmar's Witch Hunters and Shadowblades. They seeded their influence into the workings of the Eternal City with human Freeguild soldiers, duardin clan chiefs and aelven rangers falling victim to bewitching spells of the Sorceresses. The Darkling Covens have developed some of the finest and most widespread spy networks in the Eight Realms with many secretly enacting the desires of the Covens, their mind shackled by dark enchantments.[2a]

Diplomacy and Trading

On occasion they will find common purpose with the armies of Azyrheim and individual outsiders[6b], but always with a specific goal that suits their agenda[6b] and benefits their quest for power. Some are also on good terms with the Order Serpentis as during the Age of Myth the Sorceresses aided the Order in the creation of the first Black Dragons and many sorceresses ride upon one of their black Dragons as they fight again in the Mortal Realms. Some Darkling Covens have also found common cause with the Idoneth Deepkin and even provide them with shipments of rich souls in exchange for promises of aid in the future.[1][2a]

Some Darkling Covens do offer services and assassins to their clients. Some of these assassins are summoned magically on demand with special artefacts. These Darkling assassins are particularly proficient in spying, ambushing and elimination, and are eternally loyal to their mistresses and can not be compelled to spill their secrets even under the threat of death.[6b][7b]

The Sorceresses of the Darkling Covens are skilled working with magically resonant materials, specializing in manufacturing enchanted reins and collars that bind even the most stubborn animals to their will.[5a] They are interested in buying out monster parts for spell ingredients, often trading with the corsairs of the Scourge Privateers.[6a]

Occasionally Darkling Covens and their Sorceresses take part in auctions to trade ancient artefacts, and are especially unscrupulous in their methods if they desire to acquire some specific item for themselves.[5b] They also gather secretly with their allies to trade ancient artefacts in special silent auctions, where the bidding is done by bleeding a number of drops of blood into bowls.[7a]

Society

Many of the Sorceresses who lead the Covens once ruled over their own empires, before the coming of Chaos. They seek to re-attain the power and influence they once had by building up vast personal armies, surrounding themselves with loyal generals, and building extensive networks of agents and lackeys.[3a]

Only aelves are allowed to join their ranks.[3a]

Ambition marks everything that these secretive aelves do, from the lowliest warriors of the Black Guard to the most powerful of the sorceresses. When they set forth to provide aid or assistance to supposed allies, it is simply because doing so advances their own agendas.[3a]

Known Covens

Religion

Many of the Darkling Covens worship and venerate Malerion, the God of Shadows.[4]

Trivia

Note

The original Grand Alliance book mentions that the Sorceresses come from Ulgu and Shyish, but subsequent sources only mention Ulgu.

Sources


Darkling Covens
Units Black Dragon - Black Guard - Bleaksword - Darkshard - Dreadspear - Executioner - Sorceress
Characters Drusa Kraeth - Felion - Thajara - Lichis Evermourn - Naeve Umbraborne - Ulien
Armoury - Artwork - Miniatures
Cities of Sigmar
Free Cities of Sigmar Fortress Cities Capital Fortress Cities ExcelsisHammerhal AqshaHammerhal GhyraLethisMisthåvnSettler's GainVindicarum
Seeds of Hope Greywater FastnessLiving CityPhoenicium
Cities of Flame AnvilgardHallowheartTempest's Eye
Free Cities of the Realms
Great Cities of Azyr AzyrheimGrimpeakHallowstarNordrathSkydockStardockStarhold
Cities of Aqshy AnvalorBrighthallBrightspearCallidiumDraconiumEdassaFort DenstIpsalaNew HarrazanRozhVandium
Cities of Chamon AnvilspireEshunnaGreenfireHelmgardRavensbachSephyrumTabarTansisUliashtai
Cities of Ghur AccarBilgeportCarthaColonnadeConcordiaEarthquake CityEsthu'dorEverquake CityIzalendMatarkaSeven WordsShu'gohlSkyheldSkythaneSundsforTantalumThornwallVeldtwend
Cities of Ghyran ColostrumDagolethDruhiel of the PinesEverythFort GardusHeldenhammer's TriumphHoundsgateKernelstoneKranzinnportKurnotheaLifestoneOak's HeartSlicstonSludgemootSupcliffeXil'anthos
Cities of Hysh City of PrismsTor Limina
Cities of Shyish ArbitriumAstronicaAventhisCity of SighsCotherquillGholdenhalGlimmerheartGlymmsforgeGravespurnGravewildLugolMonsam SpireMhurghastThanator's ManseOasis of GazulPort SorrowTwinned Towns of Belvegrod (EastdaleWestreach) • VeilgardWestport
Cities of Ulgu Barbed PromiseDarkdelveDesperanceDuskhengeGaolintarGreyspireHarkraken's BaneHollenwaldMurmurusNew SadoriaScant HopeTarnastipolUmbramox
Unspecified AlshimeAnvilheimBlackwallBleinhamCatransaCelestriusFarcragGaldheartHeldeliumHoldashPilgrim's ReachShanskirSigmar's ReachTabernaTallowreachThraesh
Factions Collegiate ArcaneDarkling CovensDevoted of SigmarDispossessedEldritch CouncilFreeguildIronweld ArsenalLion RangersOrder DraconisOrder of AzyrOrder SerpentisPhoenix TempleScourge PrivateersShadowbladesSwifthawk AgentsWanderers
Background Aqua GhyranisAzyritesGrand ConclavesReclaimedSigmar's EmpireDawnbringer CrusadesFree AnvilgardGoldjacketsMotor VehiclesSigmarite Strongpoint
Artwork
Grand Alliances and factions
OrderChaosDestructionDeath
Cities of Sigmar (Collegiate ArcaneDarkling CovensDevoted of SigmarDispossessedFreeguildIronweld ArsenalOrder SerpentisPhoenix TempleScourge PrivateersShadowbladesWanderers) • Daughters of KhaineEldritch CouncilFyreslayersIdoneth DeepkinKharadron OverlordsLion RangersLumineth Realm-lordsMonsters of OrderOrder DraconisSeraphonStormcast EternalsSwifthawk AgentsSylvaneth