Hey, whoa now, the High Elves only splintered because Malekith was too good of a leader and hero. He gave up the throne knowing it would be the honorable thing to do and then swore himself into service to the new king as a warlord despite being vastly more capable. As a soldier he went across the world, befriended the dwarfs, smashed evil left and right, and then finally stumbled into the frozen Northlands. He found the Circlet of Iron which twisted and demented him via the secrets of Chaos; until he stumbled across that damnable artifact, the High Elves would be the most revered and capable race on the globe!
Needless to say, I still agree with all of your assessment, as usual @LordRhinark. I think it’s a really cool universe they’ve built for Warhammer; it’s served as an inspiration for half of my villains/heroes because it is such a great example of good and evil and how, to the people within the world, the lines are not at all blurred when they are, to us, very blurred.
I love Chaos in all of its entirety because, at first glance, every single follower of Chaos is a deranged nut-job who is a cultist in every way. If you look more closely, the beauty of those villains comes out! Archaon is literally the servant of the gods. The Empire, and Sigmar in turn, are followers of a different religion… that’s the only difference between them. They are fighting a holy war where one side has a Messiah/Prophet, The EverChosen, who is heralding his gods and their will. He is blessed with near eternal life, cosmic wisdom, and penultimate fighting prowess… does that not sound like a Paladin from any epic story we’ve read?
The rest of their servants/warriors might seem brutish, but isn’t that mostly a choice of colors? If they all took the time to polish their armor and make it silvered/gold, would they not look heroic? With the exception of the Chaos Beasts of Nurgle, most of them aren’t really that unsightly… and even then, that’s because they were created to be ugly to us as humans.