|Dedicated Legion:||Sons of Malice (Rumoured)|
|Enemy Gods:||All of them.|
Also known as "The Outcast God", "The Lost God" and "The Renegade God", Malal represents Chaos's indiscriminate tendency toward destruction, even of itself. The nature of Malal's powers is parasitic, as the Renegade God grows in power when the others do.
His is a name whispered quietly and with fear even by the most depraved, the most evil, the least sane of the worshippers of Chaos. It is said that any man who dare look within the unholy black pages of The Great Book of Despair, that foul tome held sacred by worshippers of Chaos, would find the following words.
"...and he that went before now came last, and that which was white and black and all direction was thrown against itself. Grown mightily indignant at the words of the Gods, Malal did turn his heart against them and flee into the chambers of space . . . And no man looked to Malal then, save those that serve that which they hate, who smile upon their misfortune, and who bear no love save for the damned. At such times as a warrior's heart turns to Malal, all Gods of Chaos grow fearful, and the laughter of the Outcast God fills the tomb of space . . . "
In eons past Malal was cast out from the bosom of Chaos by the other Gods, or else abandoned them of his own volition, no one is sure which. In any case, Malal's relationship to the other Gods of Chaos is a strange one. All Gods of Chaos pursue purposes that are wholly their own, yet only Malal occupies a position so resolutely parasitic upon his own unfathomable creed. To be a follower of Malal is to be a chaotic warrior bent upon shedding the blood of other chaotic creatures. As such, Malal is both feared and hated by the other Gods. Malal's worshippers, too, are loathed by other chaotics; they are outcasts beloved by neither the friends nor enemies of Chaos, dependent upon the least whim of their patron deity. Few men worship such a God; fewer still live long in his service. The bonds that tie master and servant ever drain upon the soul of the warrior, and it is a rare man that can loosen the bonds once forged.
Malal is described as being both lupine and crocodilian in appearance, yet still having a humanoid form. Depicted to have six fingers on each hand, five horns and three eyes on his head, Malal is also shown to have sets of teeth that resemble a mix of lions', shark, horse and rat. Malal's symbol is a skull bisected down the middle, one half white, the other half black.
Malal was at some point cast out or separated from the rest of the Chaos Gods. Whether this was a self-imposed exile or not is not clear. Malal was perhaps the first of the Chaos Gods and seems to exist only to destroy the other gods and their followers. The Outcast God is both feared and loathed by the other Chaos Gods.
The term "Doomed Ones" also goes along with Malal, in the comics and WFRP they were the chosen human champions/followers of Malal. Dedicated to seeking out and destroying the followers of the other Chaos Gods, they would eventually become undead apparitions serving Malal when all their physical energy was spent. Malal is a harsh and demanding god and does not have many followers, few live long in its service. Those who do, however, supposedly become very powerful.
Malal is not a god of warriors, nor of wizards, the decadent, or the desperate. He is the god that the lower classes turn to to avenge themselves on the higher classes who attempt to strangle and stop them from their true glory. He is also the god of those who have been wronged, but lack the power to correct this. His followers come from people whose hatred of Chaos becomes so strong, that they willingly bond with Chaos to fight it at it's own level.
Followers of Malal are generally loners; the vary burning hatred of Chaos that possesses all followers of Malal makes them hate all followers of Chaos powers, even other followers of Malal. Rarely, a leader comes along who can knit together a band of Malalites for the mutual need. At these times, the mortal followers of the other Chaos gods know fear, for a lone champion of Malal is to be feared, a group of them acting together is said to be truly horrific.
Toward other mortal organizations, followers of Malal are more neutral. However, the feeling is not necessarily reciprocal. Consequently, followers of Malal usually act alone and in secret. However, they have no problem tipping the authorities off to the location or existence of rival Chaos groups. Many tips to the Arbites, Inquisition, Witch Hunters, and Royalty has come from a whisper in the dark, a mysterious note, or a fortunate accident. Malal's followers try to not interfere with these organizations, either. "The enemy of my enemy..." as the old saying goes. Many of these type of organizations know of Malal, as well. For the most part, they don't trust followers of Malal, but they are content to let the monsters eat the monsters, and hopefully wipe each other out in the process.
Malal requires only one thing from his followers. Complete dedication, above all other things, to the destruction of the forces of Chaos. Many times after a Chaos horde has rampaged through an area, the survivors, blinded by hatred and grief, pledge themselves to Malal. Malal is much more active in his (relatively) small following then the other Chaos gods. Consequently, many of his champions have held audiences with him personally. He is even known to have manifested and intervened for particularly important tasks and minions. Malal's followers are few, but very powerful.
Origins and Comics Edit
The concept of the Chaos god "Malal" was created by comics writers John Wagner and Alan Grant along with Malal's champion, Kaleb Daark, for the Warhammer Fantasy world in the Citadel Miniatures Compendium and Journals. In the comic strip adventure Kaleb Daark's mission allied him temporarily with the forces of good. He fights at the siege of Praag and confronts the followers of the Chaos God Khorne, and also finds himself at odds with the Skaven. Less mutated than other followers of Chaos, he is equipped with his soul-drinking daemon axe "Dreadaxe" with its pterodactyl-like head on a shaft of bone. His shield was shaped in the form of Malal's skull symbol, his armour was all-black with white details and his steed was a black mutant horse. Kaleb himself appeared pale, as the contact with Malal supposedly drained him of energy. His battle cry was "Dreadaxe thirsts for you!".
There were three installments completed of "The Quest of Kaleb Daark" comic:
- Part 1 : "The Quest of Kaleb Daark" - The Third Citadel Compendium 1985
- Part 2 : "The God-Slayer!" - The Citadel Journal Spring 86
- Part 3 : "Evil of the Warpstone!" - The Citadel Journal Spring 87
- Part 4 : "God Amok!" - Unprinted
In the Spring 86 Journal there was also one additional page of Warhammer Fantasy Battle rules (and a small bit of Malal background) for including Kaleb Daark and his steed in games. This issue also saw the first advertisements for the miniature figure set including a foot and mounted Kaleb Daark. The Spring 87 Journal featured the miniature figure sets of the two Chaos Brothers, Jaek and Helwud, Kaleb's main adversaries in part 3. Part 4 "God Amok!" was also advertised in this issue, but it never saw print. It is uncertain how much of this 4th installment that was actually completed. Allegedly the comic was canceled because of "creative differences" between the creators and Games Workshop.
The Mark of Malal Edit
With the introduction of Malal in the comics, it was inevitable that the deity would find its way into the Games Workshop Chaos mythos and thereby into other products.
* The renegade ogre Skrag the Slaughterer was introduced as a follower of Malal. A short background story told his story as being cast out from his tribe for stealing a "starmetal" axe, with Malal subsequently guiding Skrag to a Chaos Dwarf hold, forcing them to forge him an armour and then slaughtering them all in the name of Malal. White Dwarf: UK Edition (83) featured a WFB mini-scenario "The Crude, the Mad and the Rusty", pitting the lone Chaos Dwarf survivor of this massacre, aided by two goblin fanatics and a mechanical warrior, against Skrag. Skrag has since been recast as a devout follower of the Ogre god known as "The Great Maw".
* In the first editions of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay in 1986, Malal has a short paragraph along with Khorne and Nurgle and is mentioned as a renegade Chaos God dedicated to the destruction of the other Chaos Gods.
* In the short story "The Laughter of Dark Gods" in the Warhammer anthology "Ignorant Armies", there is also a reference to an unnamed albino Malal Champion and his warband roaming the Chaos wastes. This champion is slain by the novel's main character.
* The card game "Chaos Marauders" published in 1987 featured the "Claws of Malal" card. The unit represented in the game by this card was a warband of beastmen eager to fight, preferably against followers of the other Chaos Gods.
Use of Malal in further Games Workshop productions ceased around 1988, the same year the first of the two "Realm of Chaos" background books were published. Malal is not referred to or mentioned at all in these. There was also an uncertainty as to who actually owned the rights to the concept of Malal - the comic's authors or Games Workshop.
The one notable exception to this is in the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay supplement The Dying of the Light by Hogshead Publishing in 1995. This book features a sorcerer of Malal named Heinrich Bors who has struck a deal with Malal to escape from the Chaos God Tzeentch.
Continued Existence Edit
As the further use of Malal was restricted, the authors of the "Something Rotten in Kislev" supplement for The Enemy Within- campaign introduced "Zuvassin - the Great Undoer" and later "Necoho - the Doubter", as two renegade Chaos deities, replacing the role originally intended for Malal in this campaign.
However, the memory of Malal did not die with the ability of Games Workshop to use it. The idea of Malal was continued on in the 1990s by veterans of the Warhammer Role Playing scene primarily through the internet via BBS (bulletin board system) and stories (such as "Divine Judgment") so Malal continued to survive, occasionally becoming the choice deity of veteran players playing Chaos. Also in Warhammer Fantasy Battle and Warhammer 40,000, the occasional Malal themed army still surfaced.
One of the strongest indirect references to the Renegade God from Games Workshop was made in the Warhammer 40,000 supplement Codex: Chaos Space Marines 2002. The first is the appearance of a daemon weapon called a "Dreadaxe", which is described as preferring to kill other daemonic entities. The other reference was in a picture showing other possible painting schemes for the models. One of the examples was a marine of a renegade chapter entitled the "Sons of Malice". The colors used for this chapter were the bisecting black/white design of Malal's symbol, and the word "Malice" is not too dissimilar from "Malal". The word "Malal" means "Malice" in Indian languages. More information on the Sons of Malice came in Games Workshop monthly publication White Dwarf issue 303 (issue 302 in the U.S.). The article mentioned that the Sons of Malice were exiled from the Imperium for a set of disgusting rituals that were reported to include cannibalism and were reported to be fighting in complete silence. The patron deity of the ritual was never revealed. And at the end of the article it was specifically mentioned that the Sons of Malice were noted to fight with ferocity against other followers of Chaos.
The Shadowlord of Mordheim, Be'lakor, has by some been seen as a revival of the idea of the renegade/outcast Chaos power originally represented by Malal. Note however that Be'lakor is only a daemon, whereas Malal was a Chaos God.