The LoL of Dark Magic


Dear readers and other unfortunates, this will be a rant post. But it will be a righteous rant!

The new Dark Elf armybook contains a most ridiculous magic lore, a slanted text that is awful beyond reason. It is an insult to italics.

Once upon a time, the very description of Dark Magic spells would strike fear in the hearts of mortals. But no more!

Now the lore can only bring joy and laughter in the hearts of mortals and perhaps only Slaneesh still bothers with the sentiment one experiences over our new spells.

Chillwind

Oh ye, freezing wind! Oh ye who would freeze friend and foe where they stand. What happened to thee? This is how the old book described it:

Calling upon the coldness of Nagaelythe of the Utterdark, the Dark Elf unleashes a freezing wind against her enemies.

Utter darkness! Nagaelythe! Freezing coldness! The lore itself is a recipe that could chill a man to the bones. As strongly as the spell was feared, so will it raise eyebrows today. This is how the new book describes it.

The Wizzard assails the enemy with a freezing gale.

Whoahwww….. does anyone need a moment to let it sink in? The spells sounds anything but iconic. I try to imagine the gesture from a Sorceress as she waves her hands frantically like she’s handling a plunger and utters the mighty words “I assail you, enemy, with this freezing gale!”. It’s less scary than a retarded ice cream truck driver going on a rampage on the battlefield, throwing around frozen sprinkles and shouting YOLO!

The pink makes it Slaneesh and evil. It's the evil ice cream truck!

The pink makes it Slaneesh and evil. It’s the evil ice cream truck!

The spell went down from strength 4 to strength 2, to add insult to injury. It no longer freezes the enemy to the point they can not shoot. Oh no. Instead they get a -1 to hit when shooting. That’s probably because the enemy is laughing so hard it hurts (a little) and they can’t shoot straight for a turn.

It is a disappointing spell… description.

Doombolt to the rescue? Hell no.

Ahh  the very name predicts doom and pain! So did the old book speak of this spell:

As the invocation is spoken, the other-wordly beast known as Kharaidon unleases a bolt of pure darkness upon the Dark Elves’ adversaries.

It would have many a role- or fantasy player shiver in their boots. Clearly such dark text had to be… softened in the new book:-

The caster hurls a bolt of blazing black fire at his foe.

I.. guess… black fire makes it kind of scary. Dark Ellves striking with magic in the middle of the night certainly will miss out some theatrics with “black fire”. But .. If you could choose between an odd looking fireball or an other-wordly beast being summoned to bathe the enemy in darkness, you’d definitely go for the darkness blasting beast!

Word of Pain… Without pain.

Let us take a moment to reason what spell description is going to match such a self explanatory spell name. It will be a word.. and it’s going to cause a lot of pain. The writer is in for a challenge. The old book goes:

Upon uttering the true name of the Serpent Lord, an unnatural and unbearable agony suffuses the body of the caster’s hated foes.

One can almost imagine the evil Voldemort here! The use of a true name is a nice wink at the power one gets over a daemon or dragon when knowing their true name. Such knowledge would be fit for a dark covenant, and certainly part of calling a dark entity in the middle of the battlefield.

But no more! The new spell reads:

As the caster utters a forbidden name, her foes are wracked with agony.

A forbidden name?! Of who? Of what? Of the deranged ice cream truck driver from the Chillwind spell? And it’s so embarrassing the whole enemy army goes “Oh no! Not him again!”, losing their ability to fight as they die of laughter?

Or maybe it’s to scare the Katie Hopkins in the enemy army! Maybe it’s one of the names she’d forbid her children to befriend, like Tyler.

What’s a forbidden name in the Druchii society anyhow? Tyler? “A forbidden name”. The worst part is that if you try to make it sound ominous, it sounds like the intro of the lambada, the forbidden dance! The dance that’s so sensual that governments try to prohibit it. Well, these sorceresses are scantly dressed ladies, so who knows?

The forbidden dance...

The forbidden dance…

But really? A forbidden name? Behold mighty opponent! I shall weaken your troops with a forbidden name!

Bladewind

It’s a good name. Blades, wind.. blade-wind. Okay.  But the old book made it awesome:

With a plea to the Mistress of a Thousand Cuts, the Dark Elf Sorceress conjures up a storm of magical swords with which to assail the enemy.

Death by a thousand cuts… Now if something needed to sound sadistic and fitting for our army’s style, it would be the death by a thousand cuts. We named an army composition and play style after this. We built themes around this description. We made it a motto.

But now… we have no cuts no more:

A clutch of hungry swords sweep across the battlefield.

I envision a couple of hungry swords, humming cosily as they strut across the battlefield debating their favourite pizza.

Why not make it a pair of singing blades? They could sing a duet!

Nothing like a pizza with anjovis! Mhm! Mhm! Mhm!

Shroud of Despair

Now there is a lovely name for a spell if there ever was one. Shroud of despair didn’t exist prior this edition and they certainly scored points with the name of the spell. It even sounds more devious and malicious than Doom and Darkness. Without old book to compare to, perhaps it might not appear so bad. Right?

At the caster’s command, light is driven from the battlefield and numbing darkness rushes to fill the void.

Granted, this one actually fits the bill. Can the author ever top this? Not with the next spell he won’t.

Soul Stealer

It sounds a bit cliché but not bad. Oh lovely Soul Stealer… Tell us how you were described in the old book:

The Daemon-crawler Anchan-Rogar reaches out from his domain and plucks the souls from the enemy.

So a Daemon is summoned into the battlefield, striking out and simply sucking up souls like he were a spirit from the Final Fantasy movie. It’s not the scariest description that could have been written but it certainly is no laughing matter. Did the author manage to beat this one then? let’s break the suspense!

Tendrils of pure, solidified darkness writhe out from the wizard’s outstretched hands, draining the life force from their hapless enemies to renew the caster’s own vigour.

Once more we are stuck with Wizards but let us try to visualize this spell.. There’s… a sorceress with “solidifying” “dark” “tendrils” writhing in her hands going all vigorous on it. The description of the spell simply can’t dodge ver bad imagery. Is this the lore of Dark Magic or a book on Dennis Blackmagic?

Arzipal’s Black Horror

And so we reach the final spell. As this is to be the pride and strength of our Lore, let us pray this one passes the check. The old book described it as such:

The Sorceress congaed a whirling vortex of devastating magical energy that drags her victims into one of the infernal regions.

I actually prefered the Daemon summoning descriptions throughout the old lore, but this one works. Given some basic understanding of the Winds of Magic and the magical vortex over Ulthuan, one knows that such a vortex of devastating magical energy isn’t a  joke. But alright. There’s room for more malice!

The caster tears dan the walls between realities, and a black cloud of roiling energy sweeps across the battlefield. As the darkness travels, slimy tentacles lash out from its depths, dragging unfortunate victims screaming to an unknown fate.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner. A flying cloud of slimy tentacles! It’s the flying spaghetti monster!!

Flying Spaghetti Monster!

Alright, you can’t beat that. We have the one, the only, ultimate spell in the whole game. This spell alone makes up for all the debacles from the previous spells! If you manage to roll Black Horror, that is.

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