Dreadlords are the so-called noble-born rulers of Naggaroth. They range from sycophantic schemers to masterful strategists who have waged war across a hundred battlefields. Though all such nobles pursue their own unique enthusiasms and ambitions, they are without exception selfish individuals, possessed of an arrogance matched only by their martial prowess, honed over centuries of unceasing war.
Dark Elf commanders seldom lead through personal example, preferring to rely on bloodshed and intimidation; in Naggaroth, respect counts for nothing unless it is backed by fear. Amongst the lower-born Dark Elves, it is thought better to die at the hands of an enemy than to face the wrath of a disappointed Dark Elf lord. The enemy, at least, will grant a swift death and have little prospect of making your family pay a blood price for the failure of their kin.
Many Dreadlords owe their positions of power to their bloodlines, daring exploits or the Witch King's mercurial favours. Others are granted temporary power by means of a writ of iron -- an edict granted by one of the six rulers of the great cities of Naggaroth. He who bears a writ of iron shares the sponsor's authority -- a powerful tool for the ambitious. However, should a Dark Elf fail in his appointed task, or show cowardice whilst acting in his sponsor's name, the writ is melted down and the molten remains poured down his throat. Such is the price of failure in Naggaroth.