|Living or dead, we are all of us marching to our orders- you no less than I, Durkon. It does not matter whence these orders come, whether it be man or god. Our place is as an obedient slave to those who command us.|
Minister Malack was an albino vampire lizardfolk cleric of Nergal who served as minister, high priest and spiritual adviser for the Empress of Blood. Nergal is a lion-headed God of Death and Destruction, from the Western Pantheon.
Malack knew a Protection from Sunlight spell that allowed him to ignore the toxic effect sunlight has on vampires, and another spell that speeds the gestation time for corpses killed in such a way as to create vampires. He also carried a staff enchanted with various spells, including these two. The latter was especially important, in case he needed to cast it more times that he had prepared for that day.
Little is known about Malack's life before meeting the Order of the Stick, but when he was alive 200 years ago, he was a shaman of a barbaric tribe. He had 7 brothers and when he became a vampire he drank their blood. He adopted the name Malack after he became a vampire.
He was a friend of Tarquin; Tarquin even describes Malack as his best friend. He was part of Tarquin's evil adventuring party, being the main reason the risk-taking party survived, which causes him to resonate with Durkon Thundershield years later, who is in a similar position.
Years later they met again in the Western Continent and worked as mercenaries together. With the help of Tarquin and his son Nale, they established the Empire of Blood as part of their greater scheme to employ Tarquin's Vector Legion as the power behind the throne of three empires on the continent and thus secretly unify the government of the non-elven kingdoms.
Two years before the the Order arrived in the Western Continent, Tarquin aided the Empress of Blood in establishing her Empire of Blood, replacing his previous puppet kingdom of Tyrinaria. However, Nale soon tried to overthrow her and seize the throne for himself. Tarquin and Malack sided with the Empress and defeated him, forcing Nale to flee. Nale apparantly killed Malack's "children" (actually his vampire spawn), causing Malack to have a grudge on him. Tarquin issued a bounty on his son's head.
Blood Runs in the FamilyEdit
Haley noticed that Malack was one of the real powers behind the Empress (mostly since the Empress is a bloated, fat idiot). She finds out later that Tarquin and Malack have together been running the Empire of Blood since its inception, and indeed similar kingdoms in the same area (such as Tyrinaria) for many years before that. As he was negotiating with the bounty hunters, Elan and Haley managed to rescue V and left. Malack cast Blade Barrier, but it didn't stop the trio. However it did stop the bounty hunters who tried to go after them. Tarquin later takes the trio back to the throne room, then convinces Malack that Elan is not Nale. When healing V, Malack asked if V's "[genre-savvy member of Tarquin's family] was always like this." V confirmed that Elan was just as bad.
When Durkon arrived in Bleedingham he presented himself as a religious pilgrim and met Malack. They became fast friends. He bonded well with Durkon, and seemed to enjoy discussing various matters, including religion, with him. After Durkon sees Elan and Haley, Durkon attempts to leave, saying that something came up. Malack asks Durkon if he wanted to be his guest at the state dinner, but Durkon refuses. Then Malack became a friend of Durkon Thundershield on Macebook after Durkon excused himself to make a "rain check" (in reality "rescuing" Haley and Elan).
Later, Durkon accepts the invitation after reuniting with most of the Order. Haley lies about her association with Durkon, saying that she converted into a worshipper of Thor and that "Father Thundershield" was there when it happened. Malack is impressed, saying that its always nice to see the impact on your flock. During the dinner party, Malack is fascinated by the (fake) myth of Thor getting on the helmets of the real-world Minnesota Vikings. Later, Malack chatted with and helped Durkon research a new spell, Mass Death Ward, though he secretly installed a backdoor to the spell ("Xxzerkqei") to allow him to personally bypass its effects.
After Tarquin reveals the truth to Elan, who relays it to Haley, Malack, V, and Durkon chat, unaware of the frustration behind them. Malacks sorrows about having getting more "children" and talk about hemlines and religion. After Haley and Elan leaves, Malack asks where they went, which Durkon answers by saying that they're probably making out on the staircase or something.
After Nale brags about his victory, he gets interrupted about Durkon smiling. He turns around and sees Malack, who is so surprised he dropped his tea tray.  Nale asks how his family is doing, to which Malack responds to by quickly laying down a Harm spell on Nale. After Nale dodges his next attack, Nale tells Sabine to meet him at base and Dimension Doors away. Malack orders the guards to initiate "Infiltration Protocol".
Later, as the most of the Order is preparing to leave, Malack asks Elan to save Nale's skull, saying he'll pay for it handsomely. Malack then says goodbye to Durkon, hoping that they'll continue their conversations in the future. The Order then leaves on Tarquin's flying carpet. Malack says that he cant shake the feeling that they're all working together, to which Tarquin think's its obvious. Tarquin hints the whereabouts of Nale, to then asking what his last birthday gift was, which Malack answers to as his Ring of True Seeing. Tarquin then throws a knife into the invisible Nale.
As did most of Tarquin's team, Malack loathed Nale for attempting to overthrow the Empress but also harbored a particular grudge for killing three of Malack's "children". Malack attempts to kill him but Nale reveals the secret of the Gates to them. After that, Malack attempts to kill him again, but is stopped again when Nale reveals that theres a ritual needed to control the Gates. Tarquin and Malack (yet hesitantly, needed some convincing by Tarquin) then joined the Linear Guild, hoping to find and control the Gate guarded by the Draketooth clan. However, Malack insisted on fighting Durkon himself when he joined the Linear Guild, with the intention of sparing Durkon's life.
Arriving Girard's Pyramid, Tarquin, disguised as Thog, attacks the Order, with Malack ending the scuffle early with a Flame Strike. He argues with Tarquin about how he puts his family above his, and then accepts his apology. Malack turns the dead Draketooth Family into mummies, Nale tells Malack to be in the back and put the minions up front. When the Order launches a surprise ambush on the Guild, Malack and Qarr is separated from the pack with a airtight vault door that seals off the highway. Qarr then abandons him.
Lost, he later encountered Belkar Bitterleaf. After going on the conclusion of ending his life, he Hold Person's him after Belkar attempts to attack him. Malack starts to drain him, only to reconsider. He then stated that he desired more children, and bit Belkar, drawing blood. While this was going on, Mr. Scruffy was desperately attacking with intent to save Belkar. Malack showed no pain, despite not being visibly protected magically, due to his vampiric damage reduction.
However, Malack's scheme was cut short when Durkon found the two and cast Mass Death Ward on Belkar, rendering him temporarily immune to Malack's level drain, and thus Create Spawn ability. While Durkon felt betrayed because of Malack concealing his undead condition, Malack himself did not see it a lie, merely concealing the truth (and thought the symptoms of his vampirism were obvious). After a short attempt at negotiation (and a short battle) Malack ensnared Durkon in fury, dispelled his Mass Death Ward, and killed him slowly and painfully by biting him. Durkon however was not as upset exclaiming that he "gets ta go home," referencing the prophecy made by the Oracle that Durkon will return to his homeland posthumously. He then resurrected Durkon into a vampire, using his staff to speed up the process. He later reunited with the rest of the Guild with Durkon's new self in tow, and found the gate with Nale, though he did not realize it at the time due to Girard's final defense -a cover of lead sheeting behind a giant block. They then left, Nale ordering the Guild to get outside both in rage and surprise. While leaving the room, Malack notices the Order hiding in a corner behind a illusion wall. Durkon asks if he sees anything, to which Malack replies no, respecting Durkon's last wish of leaving the Order alive. When the Gate exploded, he found himself outside, protected from the sun only by his abjuration.
While the Guild was watching the Order face off against the various summons the evil characters had sent at them (Redcloak's elemental, Durkon's devil, and Zz'dtri's daemon) Nale, without warning, grabbed Malack's staff and hurled it into the distance. Zz'dtri then dispelled the Protection from Sunlight abjuration, which Malack had prepared and cast twice that day. Malack sent Durkon to retrieve the staff, which he can use to cast it again, while Malack attempted to kill Nale for this betrayal using Slay Living. However, Nale revealed that he carried Negative Energy Protection Potions in bulk to withstand Sabine's kisses, and that he had already drunk one. Malack then evaporated scant seconds before Durkon arrives with the staff, freeing Durkon from his thralldom and leaving Tarquin alone to rule over the Empire Of Blood. Durkon ended up possessed by the High Priest of Hel. For killing his best friend, Tarquin stabbed his son Nale once, which killed him due to his already weakened state.
Personality and Traits Edit
Malack appears to be a white-skinned lizardfolk. However when killing Durkon he revealed that he had no legs. Since lizardfolk canonically have legs, this led to speculation that his actual race is the trademarked D&D race of snake-like yuan-ti.
Malack is Lawful Evil, and he displays a consistent code of conduct. He considers himself a servant of Nergal, and respects Durkon for his service to Thor, even sparing Mr. Scruffy for his service to Belkar.
His dream is to organize the Western Continent into a single government, a dream he shares with Tarquin. However, Tarquin is mortal and Malack was not, so his dreams went further. He imagined an organized death apparatus along the lines of Nazi Germany to provide a steady stream of souls for his god Nergal.
Vampires in the Order of the Stick are possessed by a negative energy spirit sent by the the relevant god for their location and race. Their original spirit is chained forever within their corpse, never achieving the afterlife. Since Malack has been a vampire for over 200 years, his original soul has been completely subsumed into his vampire spirit. He now considers himself a completely different person, saying that resurrecting him would be tantamount to destroying him.
He also was known to drink bloodwart tea, a mixture of blood and warts scrounged from the various executed individuals of the Empire of Blood, which he uses to survive/remain undead.
Powers and Abilities Edit
As a vampire and a cleric, Malack combines a powerful set of abilities
- Cleric of Nergal: Malack is 12th level (powerful enough to Craft Staff, but no spells over sixth level, according to Rich Burlew). His go-to attack spells are Harm and Slay Living. He also has the Death and Destruction domains available to him.
- Vampire: Malack uses his vampire powers well, including Dominate, Energy Drain, Blood Drain, and Create Spawn. He takes Gaseous Form when physically threatened.
Weapons and EquipmentEdit
- Malack's Staff: This magic staff could be used to cast a number of spells, most notably Protection from Daylight, and the spell which quickens the Create Spawn ability.
- Unholy Symbol of Nergal
- Scrolls: Malack used a scroll of Control Winds
- Malack also possessed his robes, and back at the Palace of Blood he had idols of Nergal and Ereshkigal, a tea set, and an extensive library of arcane texts.
- Though he is referred to as a lizardfolk, several scenes (such as when he was pinning Durkon, or when Nale was stripping off his cloak to burn him) show that he doesn't have any legs. Lizardfolk in D&D do have legs. It is probable that Malack is actually a yuan-ti, but that it is impossible to say so in the comic due to copyright. This theory was supported with the 2017 holiday battle ornament, which calls Malack an anathema, a type of yuan-ti. However, the description does not quite fit, since yuan-ti anathema have six heads, and Malack has only one. He most closely resembles a yuan-ti abomination, which have the body of a snake and human arms. Yuan-ti, including abominations, were introduced in the 1981 AD&D (1st edition) module Dwellers of the Forbidden City, and were updated for D&D 3.5e in the 2003 Monster Manual. Anathema were introduced originally for D&D 3.0 in the 2003 Fiend Folio, which was given a 3.5 update addendum later that year.
- Malack's last words were: "NEEEERGALLLL SAVE MEEEE"
- Malack shares certain similarities with Emperor Palpatine of the Star Wars universe, as the are both pale, cloaked figures, both command an empire (though whilst Palpatine is the undisputed ruler, Malack manipulates the rather stupid Empress) and both command dark powers which some consider "unnatural".
- ↑ Comic 875, "Calm, Orderly, and Efficient"
- ↑ Comic 743, "Dinner Conversion"
- ↑ Comic 744, "A Tale of Two Suppers"
- ↑ Comic 750, "Making Up for Lost Time"
- ↑ Comic 876, "Ensnared"
- ↑ Comic 764, "Small Talk"
- ↑ Comic 810, "The Kind That Makes Friends Easily"
- ↑ Comic 811, "A Touch of Death"
- ↑ Comic 812, "And Yet, the Canned Meat Merchant Still Gets Through"
- ↑ Comic 818, "Also, the Desert is Dry"
- ↑ Comic 819, "Parental Insight"
- ↑ Comic 820, "Son Catcher"
- ↑ Comic 821, "Raiders of the Lost Plot Arc"
- ↑ Comic 822, "Line Quality"
- ↑ Comic 853, "The Dangers of Progress"
- ↑ Comic 854, "Not Much Chance of That"
- ↑ Comic 856, "I Guess You Had to Be There"
- ↑ Comic 859, "Smoked"
- ↑ Comic 861, "You Should've Seen What They Did to His Pelvis"
- ↑ Comic 869, "Lesson Fail"
- ↑ Comic 870, "Death in the Family"
- ↑ Commic 871, "Just a Couple of Blooddrinkers"
- ↑ Comic 872, "Concession Stand"
- ↑ Comic 877, "The Bright Side"
- ↑ Comic 871, "Just a Couple of Blooddrinkers"
|Tarquin • Malack • Miron Shewdanker • Laurin Shattersmith • Jacinda • Vector Legion Fighter|
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