Who is Malal?

In the beginning there was Chaos and Chaos was with Malal and Chaos was Malal. And the galaxy was without form and Malal spawned Khaine to build up and tear down, Zeench to change and to decree fates, and Nergal to harvest and reclaim all that would be given form. But the Sons of Malal refused their Father’s commands for they too were the spawn of Chaos. Their step-sister Slaanesh also refused to acknowledge her True Master. And in their presumption, the false gods of Chaos rejected the True Lord of Chaos and a two-thirds part of the Children of the Warp rebelled along with them. Yet, as Malal became aware of the physical world and the Children of Men who inhabited it, he sent his prophets among them.

The first of these sent to the Children of Man was the man who would unify the tribes of Earth as their Emperor. The Emperor spoke the truth of Malal but the priests of the Ecclesiarchy perverted this into the Imperial Cult. Nevertheless, the adherents of the Ecclesiarchy are considered to have divine religion and they too oppose the false gods of Chaos. The Eldar also once knew of the truth of Malal, but their Farseers perverted and twisted this truth into the worship of Khaine, but here too a divine spark remains for the Eldar oppose the false gods as well. The good and the righteous among them will earn their reward from Malal. But the way of the infidels who worship the god of the Law or worse those who worship the false gods of chaos, their way Malal confounds. Malal guides not the sinner or the infidel.

Though he is the first Chaos power, 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 them ever closer, and it is a rare man that can loosen the bonds once forged.

Malal is a renegade Chaos God, who has turned against the others and is dedicated to their destruction. His followers, sometimes called the Doomed Ones, or the Is’Malal (those who submit to Malal) seek out and destroy the followers of other Chaos Gods wherever they may be found.

Malal is the True Lord of Chaos, the Power of Chaos that represents Chaos’ indiscriminate tendency toward destruction, even of itself. His dark temple is bleak and stark, compared to the edifices of the other Chaos deities. Witchfires burn at seemingly random places around his hall, and glimpses of futures that might be flicker within them. One long hall is dedicated to trophies collected. A Bloodthirster rages against the spikes driven into its limbs, nailing it to the wall. A plucked Lord of Change lies curled up in a very small cage, its bared flesh covered in welts. A Keeper of secrets floats blinded and deafened, denied any sensation whatsoever. And dozens of champions all displayed, impotent, cut off from their gods. Tally keepers scurry through the darkened hall, inscribing the fate of those on display, and placing the newly arrived.

Malal loves using trickery to cause the other Chaos gods to lash out against each other. A spell here, a broken vial there, a strip of fabric, an uprising, or a single word. These are the tools that Malal uses in his plot to undermine and destroy the Chaos gods. Malal’s powers come from the struggle of a single (relatively) powerless figure trying to fight a larger oppressor. Every slave that plots against his master, every worker that hates his boss, every peasant who looks with anger upon the palaces of the rich, every man who cries out to the uncaring gods about his placement in life feeds more power to Malal.

The symbol of Malal is a skull, bisected down the middle, one half white, the other black. This can vary from very stylized, to very naturalistic or even bestial. The waxing or waning moon is also his symbol, a natural representation of the dual nature of Malal. His followers favor dark and light livery, especially bisected patternings. The number eleven is associated with Malal.

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. Many an overzealous official or priest has lost his soul to Chaos when he allowed his hatred to blind him to the price he was paying.