- "You died well, loyalist."
- —Malak Blackspawn's final words to the dying Wolf Lord Herald Frosthide of the 4th Great Company
Feared and hated throughout the vast expanse of the Galaxy, the Chaos Lord known as Malak Blackspawn is a creature of unfathomable brutality and power. Once a star Legionary in the ranks of the Luna Wolves, well known then as a brutal and unrelenting fighter, Malak is now the mighty Chaos Lord of the Storm Draugar Chaos Warband. Alongside his Sorcerer brother, Ingar Blackspawn, he leads his band of blood hungry traitors and madmen in great acts of savagery and bloodshed, putting whole worlds to the sword for the sake of it. His hordes burn and pillage with psychotic abandon, and so long as he stands at the fore, Ingar at his side, they will continue to do so until the end of time.
Born a bastard child to a whore on the dying world of Cthonia and abandoned at the age of six alongside a brother two years his junior, Malak was forged from harsh lessons of survival. Violence and brutality became second nature, and he grew to respect and crave power and power alone. As he and his brother grew up in this dark and savage environment, the bond between them grew to be greater than that of simple blood. Malak was not a weak child, he was large and strong, borne of a relentless constitution and indomitable will to live. But he realized very quickly that his frail younger brother was gifted with a wit and and keen eye. Ingar often discovered morsels of food and water that Malak would have overlooked, found places of refuge and safety that Malak would have been unable to access through brute force alone, and even managed to cobble together deadly makeshift weapons where Malak would have relied on his fists. Malak grew to value and love his brother, who made life in the blackest depths of the Cthonian catacombs all the more survivable and bearable. He grew to rely on Ingar to provide him with shelter, weapons, and bright ideas. And thus, Malak did everything in his power to keep his little brother alive. He defended him from the monsters and raiders, carried him when he was too weak to carry himself, and kept him warm on those freezing nights in the catacombs the sun never graced with light.
For years this pair scraped by, hiding in the shadows, living off rats and stray beasts. But then one day, Ingar discovered his gift, he was a psyker. His first vision saved them from certain death, allowing them to flee a soon to be raided tunnel, saving them from a blood hungry band of raiders nearly fifty strong. The visions threatened to drive Ingar mad, but through his own will to live and stay at his brothers side, he fought off the predations of Chaos, for now. With his power of divination now under some raw form of control, the pair discovered that now they had a powerful tool for survival. Ingar would turn his minds eye to the future, seeking places of safety and, at Malak's behest, victims. The pair quickly became proficient bandits, ambushing lone individuals and even groups of techno-barbarians with little more than makeshift guns and blades. Ingar would plan, attempting to foresee every facet of the ambush, and his brother, now an adolescent, would execute the plan.
Eventually, they became an urban myth, a pair of wraiths in the darkest shadows of Cthonia's catacombs, daemons of the deepest pits that struck without warning or mercy. They became known as the spawn of the shadows themselves, vengeful specters hungry for the blood of the unaware. They were called, Blackspawns. Many believed the brothers to be only a myth, told by old drunkards deep in the caverns. But those who had seen the bodies feared the name above all others. Cannibalized corpses, stripped of all belongings. Entire bands of armed men slain in the dead of night with nary a sound or scream. This was the legacy of the Blackspawn brothers. But it was not to be their only legacy.
The Legion Vast
When the Emperor arrived on Cthonia and reunited with his first and most beloved son, Horus, much of Cthonia's able population were abducted and transported to the gene labs of Luna to be pressed into the Luna Wolves. Though the Blackspawns evaded capture for a time, they were inevitably captured. These feral children were ideal candidates for the Legio Astartes, Malak strong and ruthless, while his brother was cunning and equally merciless. Both survived the harrowing ordeal to become Astartes, though during their training they were separated, Ingar being conditioned for the office of a Librarian while Malak was molded into a savage front line fighter.
This period of separation deeply affected Malak, his already belligerent temper growing worse. He feared his brother dead, or worse, transformed into some abomination by the incompetence of Luna's gene-wrights, as had happened to several recruits within Malak's group. He regularly bullied and beat his fellow aspirants, and as a scout was well known to be disobedient and violent. Still his abilities were well noted, and at the time of the Great Crusade, certain personality defects were often overlooked due to the need of capable Astartes to carry on the Emperor's Crusade. Malak's time as a scout was brief, as his commanders within the Legion saw much more promise for him on the front lines.
Finally a fully fledged Legionary, Malak vented his bitter wrath upon the enemies of man. As a rank and file Marine armed with but a bolter and knife, he was ruthless. When given a heavy bolter or Autocannon, he was vindictive. But it was when he was finally equipped with bolt pistol and chainsword that he found a place for his rage. Malak's early career as an Assault Marine of the Luna Wolves was one of brutality and bloodshed. His commanders knew they could depend on Malak to butcher the foe wholesale, to run down any and all who fled, to challenge and rip asunder their leaders in glorious close combat. He was bellicose in such a way that even with his dour and wrathful demeanor, he earned the grudging respect and even admiration of all who fought alongside him. And Malak was well known for his return of such respect, pulling squadmates from the jaws of death and risking his own skin to save theirs. Many a time he rushed forward to defend an incapacitated Legionary, fighting with the fury of a cornered animal.
While his recklessness had made him many allies, Malak was often subject to hundreds of minor wounds and danced with certain death almost every battle. It is for this reason that his squadmates dubbed him "Deathmonger", a title Malak is still known by some within the ranks of the Traitor Legions. After centuries of serving as a rank and file Assault Marine, Malak was finally promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
His first taste of command was a difficult one, leading his Assault Squad and wielding his new Thunder Hammer into battle at the Battle of the Vegat Asteroid Fields. The ruthless battle against the pirate empire of Vegat, taking place within the ramshackle asteroid colonies and hidden mining platforms turned fortresses. In those tight corridors, Malak lost much of his squad, only the strongest and most determined surviving. Those who remained were the most aggressive and capable, and Malak led them with an iron will and fury that formed them into a pack of savage wolves, always hungry for blood and battle. Following that day, Malak would lead his squad for nearly a century, always at the front lines, killing with bitter rage and blood hungry fury. He still mourned his brother as if he was truly dead, and he secretly lusted for the sweet release of death at the hands of the enemy.
It was not until the infamous Siege of Bentrallus that Malak would once again find purpose beyond glorious combat in the name of the Legion. Bentrallus was host to a vast Ork stronghold known as Blacktop Kastle, a fortress so great that its mere presence threatened the entire Legion Fleet in the region with its great anti-orbital weapons. The great siege began in earnest, with Horus himself at the front, and likewise Abaddon at his side. But Malak was but a lowly Assault Sergeant, sent forth at the very teeth of the Ork stronghold, he had little time to care for the glory of the Genefather or his lapdog. As the Legions guns hammered the fortress walls, Malak and his squad scaled the great structure alongside thousands of his fellow Luna Wolves, using their jump packs to gain access to the fortress though various gun ports and haphazard portholes. Their mission was, in theory, simple: Butcher the greenskins within their own hold and open the main gates for the Legion vast to pour in. It was not an easy task however, the continent sized fortress was teaming with Orks. But Malak cared not, death was all he longed for, to join his lost brother. With bitter fury, and the wrath of his hammer and squad, Malak smashed through the green horde, through the maddening maze of corridors and cavernous depots. His mind became a red haze of bitter hatred, his goal lost in the maze, Malak resigned to die fighting. One by one his squad fell along this mad path through the fortress, each dying with their hands so slick with Ork blood they would be stained crimson for eternity. Soon it was Malak who stood alone, lost deep within the bowels of the fortress.
Blood was all Malak saw, a haze of fury and anguish, all the raw emotion from the loss of his brother and squadmates let lose in a tidal wave of unfettered bloodlust. Malak would later admit to hearing voices as he slaughtered the greenskins. Bellowing, roaring voices, that guided him through the halls, always to another pocket of Orks. Always more Orks. The slaughter felt as if it would never end as he stormed through the twisted halls. He killed and killed until it all faded into a gory red haze.
Eventually, Malak came to, standing upon a pile of Ork bodies, hammer broken in half and armor so slick in blood that he was perpetually oozing the vital fluid. Standing before him was a squad of Justaerin, at their head, a trio of hulking figures. Malak recognized the first two instantly, a bemused looking Ezekyle Abaddon, and the great Primarch Horus, a look of pride on his face. But the third figure was what caught Malak's eye the most. Clad in a suit of Mk III Iron Armor, adorned with a great pelt and the markings of a high ranking Librarian, the third marine slowly approached the heaving Malak. Malak noticed the great corpse the Librarian walked around, a massive Ork, easily twenty feet tall. The beast was torn in two, his torso laying before the Primarch and First Captain, his legs at Malak's feet. It was at that moment that the strength sapped itself from Malak's body and the great marine slumped down to his knees, remains of his hammer falling from his hands in exhaustion. The Librarian removed his helmet, letting it fall to his side as he kneeled to eye level with the survivor of the assault into the Ork fortress. Malak recognized the face, though barely. It was so harsh and hawkish, its angels sharp as if they were chiseled from stone, very much like that of the Primarch. But it was there, buried deep, those gaunt cheeks and scars. Eyes that glinted with an empyrean lambency. Neither brother exchanged words, nor was there any overt show of emotion. Ingar merely helped his brother to his feet, and stood alongside him as the Primarch personally promoted Malak into the ranks of the Justaerin.
The Back Breaker
Reunited with his brother and now honored with the mighty rank of Justaerin, Malak became an icon of the Legion. His brother at his side, Malak's bitter rage subsided, giving way to his old, practical brutality. No longer was he some suicidal warrior, hellbent on venting his rage upon those unfortunate to stand before him. Now he was a vanguard, the mailed fist of the Legion vast. He now fought with more control and cunning, though his comrades within the Legion scarcely saw the difference. Malak still thundered into battle, often strides ahead of his fellow Luna Wolves, wielding his new Relic Blade Vanquisher and brandishing his Combi-Bolter like a techno-barbarian savage. But his ruthless might was certainly fitting and he earned the respect of quite a few Astartes within the prestigious body of the First Company.
They came to call him, "Back Breaker", on account of his victory against the Ork Warlord Dakkaking on Bentrallus and the way in which he shattered the enemies lines. However, Malak was not well received by all, especially by his commander, Ezekyle Abaddon. Abaddon found Malak's close bond with his blood brother queer, and potentially dangerous, as he felt it infringed on Malak's devotion to the Primarch. Malak was also the least disciplined of the Justaerin, known for speaking out of turn and acting on his own instincts as opposed to the command of his superiors, especially Abaddon's. But his ability to fight, and inspire within his fellow Legionaries an indomitable will, was something even Abaddon could not deny. Too often had the First Captain seen Malak best his squadmates and even his officers in sparring matches. Too often had Abaddon ordered Malak specifically to deal with dangerous targets and seen them fall violently as ordered. Too often had Malak broken the enemies back, spearheading the charge when all others would have no doubt fallen back. The Justaerin had great use of a warrior like Malak, of that there could not be any doubt, but Abaddon would ensure that the Back Breaker knew his place.
When Malak became too charismatic to keep him under direct control, Abaddon promoted him to the rank of Centurion. At first Malak swelled with pride at the advancement, the hefty recognition of his abilities was a long time in coming. But such pride quickly turned bitter when Malak learned of the reason of his promotion. Abaddon considered Malak too troublesome an influence within the main body of the Justaerin, and had decided to give him his post so that he could be sent off with other misfits on "special missions" befitting his abilities. Soon Malak found himself in command of the unruly band of elite and disruptive killers known as Squad Hector, a squad made up of other "disruptive" members of the Justaerin that had conducted themselves in a way that brought the umbrage of the First Captain. Squad Hector was often assigned to every unfavorable mission, weather it be dull and insufferable, or suicidal.
But, in spite of Malak's new hardships as a Centurion, he had found true joy for the first time in ages. For now he was finally reunited with his beloved brother. Malak and Ingar, while not always on the battlefield together, were always in close contact for the remainder of the Great Crusade. The duo were a common sight around the Vengeful Spirit, often speaking together in the old Cthonian tongue, a particular dialect that the older Legionaries would recognize as that of the tunnel trash that lived in the darkest depths of Cthonia. It was a crass and harsh language, made all the crasser by Malak's wielding of those words. He had not spoken in for centuries, and yet it came unbidden to him around his brother. The duo had much to talk about, as they had been apart for the better part of several centuries. Long days between campaigns were spent sharing stories of harrowing battlefields, grand victories, and close calls. For the first time in a long time, Malak made merry, telling old inside jokes in his old Cthonian tongue. Ingar likewise offered the rare smile at his brothers merriment, feeling nothing but joy to be by his elder brother once more.
Some within the Legion considered theirs a queer connection, for few Legionaries knew or understood the closeness of such a bond. For while many called one another brother within the Legions for their shared blood, few knew the blood bond the Blackspawn brothers shared. Therefore the duo, while certainly respected and even admired by some of the Legion, were always considered an oddity amongst the vast majority of Legionaries, even some, like Abaddon, believed that the bond of brotherhood made the two disloyal to the Legion and Primarch. It was for these reasons that Malak, and many who associated with him, never found a place within the Warrior Lodges later on, having been ostracized for their connections to the so-called Back Breaker and the Eye of Luna. However, as Malak was rather sacrilegious when it came to rank and authority, he was known for acting as if the whole Legion was a Lodge, speaking plainly to all save his Primarch. This only strengthened the bond with his supporters, and widened the gap of disdain within his detractors.
For the Glory of Mankind
In spite of his lamentable position within the Justaerin, Malak Blackspawn served with considerable distinction as Centurion of Squad Hector in hundreds of campaigns, and many believe he would have become far more influential had he been allowed to take part in more major battles by the sheer virtue of his exploits. Some of the more famous examples were the Battle of Scithonian Ridge, the Battle for Siph VI, the Gulan Compliance, and the infamous Siege of Gurtan. Each earning him much in the way of supporters and even growing the number of Justaerin under his command from a measly three to six. Even his brother, who had begun to support Squad Hector personally when his tactical abilities were not of intimidate need, had begun to gain influence by association. But no greater glory was there than the Blackspawn brothers involvement in the Ullanor Crusade. As was his prerogative, Abaddon ordered that Squad Hector be assigned to a valuable but inglorious objective. During the great siege on the Ork Overlord's fortress, Squad Hector, supported by Ingar, would be teleported deep into the bowels of the fortress, in order to wreak general havoc behind their lines and ensure that no Orks could fall back within the fortress following the defeat of their Overlord.
Ork presence within the base was estimated to be minimal, as most would be at the walls, battling the Legion vast. Ingar's visions remained dubious on such an assumption, and voiced these concerns to the First Captain. Abaddon would have none of Ingar questioning his orders, and thus assigned the Librarian to support Squad Hector, deeming his presence as "insurance". Such malicious command was to be expected and endured. Squad Hector would find that Ingar's visions were indeed dubious for a reason as they teleported into what was assumed to be the fortresses main ammo depot. The squad found, not a mostly empty room with perhaps the occasional Ork, but instead found themselves standing awkwardly within a sea of greenskins, still in the process of arming themselves. As the Orks gawked in shock at the Legionaries, Malak let loose a roar and dove into their ranks, his men and brother close behind him. What was to be a swift and easy sweep of the fortress interior became a bloody melee as the green horde surrounded Squad Hector. Slowly the squad was pushed further into the depths of the fortress by the bellowing horde until they found their backs to the wall. Cornered within a generator room with an army of Orks bearing down on them, Squad Hector seemed to be utterly doomed. But then the Blackspawn brothers devised a plan, with nothing more than a shared glance and a nod. With no other hope left, Malak loose a bellowing roar loud enough to drown out even the incessant bellowing of the greenskins and launched himself into their ranks. Smashing alone through the throng of green flesh, Malak carved a bloody path, roaring abuse at the entire horde at the top of his lungs. Meanwhile, Ingar reached his mind out to the Warp, simultaneously ordering Squad Hector to cease fire.
Malak soon stood above the rest of the horde on a pile of Ork bodies, his armor absorbing blows from thrown objects and weapons fire, Volkite Serpenta igniting vast swaths of the horde. But then a great Nob came rushing forth, crashing through the throngs, sending lesser greenskins hurtling through the air. As he approached Malak, the Ork threw one of his compatriots at him, knocking the Back Breaker from his feet and down his tower of Ork flesh. The Nob then readied his Power Klaw and rushed up the pile, leaping from its peak, ready to crush the Space Marine with the impact of his landing. The klaw made a satisfying sound as it smashed into the ground, the sound of bone and armor cracking. But when the Nob lifted his klaw, he saw, not the mangled remains of a Terminator, but the bloody mess of several Orks. It was then that the Nob peeked his head over the writhing masses of his allies, trying to find where the Space Marine had gone. Having no luck, he turned his attention to the pocket where the other Marines were, but found the spot vacant as well. Meanwhile the Orks around him still swung their weapons and fired wildly, creating small whirlpools of violence amongst one another in the chaos. It was a full minute before the Nob had finally figured out what had occured. But by then, it was far too late.
As the generator room exploded in a great blast of melta fire and secondary explosions, Malak commended his brother on the timely use of his powers. Making the squad invisible to the insipid minds of the Orks was a brilliant tactic, though difficult due to the sheer volume of minds that needed to be deceived. Squad Hector would maraud their way through the fortress for the remainder of the siege, racking up an impressive kill count and later being credited for their sabotage of the fortress itself. Were it not for the destruction of the generators, the fortresses anti-air batteries would have continued to fill the skies with flak and missiles. Squad Hectors actions not only took a grave toll of Ork lives, but also spared a great deal of their fellow Legionaries.
Sons of the Warmaster
While his feats during the Ullanor Crusade were impressive to say the least, Malak was overshadowed by the great honor assigned to his Primarch following the Crusades end. With Horus now elevated to the grand status of Warmaster, the Sons of Horus were born. Many battle brothers reveled in the status of their gene father, and became all the more prideful for it. Malak, however, was not caught up in the initial wave of pride and glorymongering.
While he certainly drank more than a few tankards of his stash of Cthonian Rotgut in Horus' honor following the assignment of his grand title, Malak was not the type to revel in Legion pride. While his brother was certainly swept up in the festivities, and might have even begun to believe the prideful whispers that spread through the Legion like wildfire, Malak was first and foremost a warrior. And one of simple principles at that. Such titles and ranks, while certainly deserved in the case of the Sons of Horus and their honored Primarch, were wholly unnecessary. Malak believed the Legion and its Primarch did not need such weighty titles to show that they were, without a doubt, the finest of the Emperor's Legions.
Malak would always consider himself more of a Luna Wolf than a Son of Horus. The Luna Wolves had crushed civilizations beneath their boots, had brought scores of systems to heel, had been the very death of thousands of xenos species. The Sons of Horus, so far, only rested on the laurels of their Primarch.
But, with time, the old Back Breaker did give into the pomp and pride of being one of the Sons of Horus, at least in his own way. At the very least, such an honor meant that the gene sons of Horus were without a doubt the finest warriors ever to stride onto the eternal field of war. And Malak was certain that he, son of a whore and brother to a mutant, was the toughest bastard of them all. Such ego was clearly reflected in the new found swagger Malak had adopted for himself in the remaining years of the Great Crusade.
The Touch of Chaos
Following Horus' corruption at the hands of the Chaos Gods and the growing unrest within the Legions, Malak and Squad Hector carried on much as they had before hand, though the signs of corruption were just as plainly seen upon them as the rest of the Legion. Pride and a sense of invincibility permeated their every action, though somewhat mitigated due to their status as outcasts within the Justaerin. However, Malak noticed a distressing change within his brother. Ingar had begun to act uneasy, almost paranoid. Little did Malak know that Ingar had been suffering from terrible visions since the Warmasters ill fated trip to Davin.
Malak would only understand his brothers unease in the months leading up to the outbreak of the Horus Heresy, when he too began to suffer from the vile touch of Chaos upon his soul. Malak began to hear voices, whispers in the night while he slept or when he patrolled the halls of the Vengeful Spirit alone. These were strange occurrences, though Malak convinced himself that it was nothing of importance. Little did either brother know that soon the darkness at the edge of their minds would take hold, and they would take part in the greatest betrayal the galaxy had ever known.
The Horus Heresy
The Drop Site Massacre
Borne of the Storm
The Draugr's Skin: Malak's suit of Cataphractii Pattern Terminator armor, the Draugr's Skin has been with the Greatest of Draugar Lords for centuries. During the days of the Great Crusade, the Draugr's Skin was a formidable black suit of Justaerin Terminator armor, bedecked with spikes and the skulls of fallen foes. Even in those early days it was marred by scars and dents, having weathered some of the most savage battles of the Great Crusade. It was due in part to this suit that Malak garnered such a reputation as an invincible warrior, for it absorbed hundreds of deadly blows that would have otherwise struck down the rising star of the Legion.
But during the black days of the Horus Heresy, its might was enhanced tenfold by sorcerous runes by Ingar in order to bolster his brothers power and avoid foreseen difficulties in battles to come. These dark runes and profane blessings have been known to turn away blades and render deadly blasts harmless to the towering Draugar Lord. They even defy the forces of nature, keeping Malak's feet rooted to the ground in spite of earth shattering blasts and blows from foes twice his size.
Now the Draugr's Skin is warped and shaped by its masters will and that of the evil forces that have infested it, having warped into a baroque and fearsome visage of brutality and hatred. Great horns frame the burning eyes of Malak's leering helm, great spiked pauldrons carry the skewered skeletons of fallen foes, and a mighty Star of Chaos rests upon its thick chestplate, oozing darkness and evil with foul abandon. With this mighty suit of armor, Malak's impressive strength is increased twofold, his stamina becomes a matter of will alone, and he is all but unassailable by any arms, be they made by man or xenos.
Vanquisher: Forged by the finest craftsmen of the Mechanicus Artificers attached to the Luna Wolves Legion, Vanquisher is a Relic Blade of such power and raw might that only a being such as Malak Blackspawn could wield it effectively. Forged specifically for Malak after he was promoted into the ranks of the Justaerin to replace his old Thunder Hammer which was destroyed in battle by Warboss Dakkaking, Vanquisher is a sword of monstrous proportions, easily thirteen feet in length. Every inch of the blade is forged of a rare mineral found only on the now destroyed moons of Vega II, known as Obslite. Obslite is a heavy but incredibly durable material, and when forged into a blade complete with a power field, it becomes a weapon of untold devastation, capable of making a mockery of even the finest personal armor and flaying massive beasts in one fell swing. Only Malak, with his extreme strength and Terminator armor, can manage to heft Vanquisher one handed, leaving his right hand free to pummel his enemies and blast them with Scour.
Vanquisher's legend grew alongside that of its master, becoming renowned as a weapon without equal. In Malak's hands it took the lives of xenos warlords and archotech wielding tyrants, drank deep of the blood of entire armies, and even struck down beings that lesser beings would consider gods. However, during the Horus Heresy it gained an infamous reputation, as its fratricidal master left scores of fallen loyalists. No armor could withstand Vanquisher's wrath, no shield could hinder its hateful rampage, no man or astartes could best its master. Or so the legends say.
Following the Blackspawn brothers abandonment of the Heresy and their subsequent service to the Dark Gods, Vanquisher has only mirrored the corrupting touch of Chaos on Malak's soul. It has been imbued with the fell energies of the Warp by Ingar's black sorcery, witch-light runes dance across its blade, and the screams of the fallen can be heard with every swing. The great blade can now even channel its masters will to dominate and destroy, manifesting in wakes of burning warp energy that can rend and burn entire ranks of infantry. While Vanquisher is not known to be possessed by a Daemon, it does seem to have garnered some form of awareness, known to roar and scream at Malak's foes and alert the Greatest of Draugar Lords to the proximity of enemies with chilling whispers.
Scour: An ancient Volkite Serpenta pistol grafted onto the right wrist of the Draugr's Skin, Scour was an early edition made to the armor itself, considered as a sign of the Back Breaker's status following the bloody Siege of Gurtan. This Serpenta proved itself an ideal edition, its beams incinerating foes with ease as Malak closed in for the kill.
Following the Blackspawn brother's sojourn into the Maelstrom, Ingar used the weapon as the test bed for his first practices into daemonic possession of weapons. Conjuring a pair of Furies, Ingar imprisoned them within Scour. The daemons, now bound by powerful sorcery to the Volkite Serpenta, became even more savage and enraged. This was seen during the now possessed weapons use during the Siege of Lupercal's Folly, where their beams burned brighter than ever before and seemed to seek out their targets like ravenous serpents. However, the unruly rage of the twin Furies is usually kept in check by Malak's indomitable will, and the comparative feebleness of these daemons means that they usually have little recourse but to obey. Not that the daemons lament their position in its entirety, for now they may sew death and ruin, scorching the very souls of the mortals they are unleashed upon.
- "It was massive... a mountain of hate and malice... with eyes burning red and blade shimmering black. It struck down all who stood before it, blade screaming like a daemon, wrists flinging fire and death before it. It pointed to the commissar, bellowing challenge. Old man didn't stand a chance, but damn did he fight hard against that... thing. "
- —Unknown Imperial Guardsman, giving an account of Malak Blackspawns part in the infamous Sacking of Jurn
Malak Blackspawn is a brute of an Astartes, possessed of incredible strength and durability even for one of his kind. His savage, battle hungry nature has allowed him to hone his abilities in close combat for millennia, forging him into a warrior with few equals. With Vanquisher and his own impressive strength Malak has slain both warlords and lowly infantry alike in scores. Entire armies have fallen before him, and even the finest warriors of both man and alien alike have been destroyed against the Greatest of Draugar Lords.
Malak's style of combat is a mostly self taught one, though he certainly draws on his training as a Legionary. He prefers to press an attack whenever possible, giving his foe no quarter or time to retaliate. His armor and great endurance also allows him to carry on his assault, continuing to battle where other Astartes would be incapcitated by their wounds. Some have compared it to the furious onslaught of a berzerker, though Malak's style is a more balanced one than the likes of the Khornates under his command. He relies on his above average size and the brute force of his weapons and strength to utterly crush all who stand in his way as opposed to fine swordsmanship or finesse. However, his sheer power is more than enough to put him on par with those who handle their blade in a more refined fashion, though those agile enough to evade will last far longer than those who try to face the indomitable Draugar Lord head on.
Some would also consider Malak's fighting style a dirty one, often involving savage blows with his free hand if he his wielding Vanquisher in his typical one-handed fashion and brutal stomps and kicks to the foes body and legs. However, this style of combat is the result of Malak's hardwired aggression and a holdover from his days as a starving adolescent in the depths of Cthonia's dead mines, meant to give the foe no quarter and break their ability to fight. When he was but a young child such tactics kept him alive, but now as a hulking monstrosity of an Astartes, it makes him an engine of pain and brutality. Stomping in knees or breaking jaws with every swing of his fists or powerful kick, this often allows Malak to dominate in hand to hand combat.
As a leader, Malak is known to lead by example, expecting his Chaos Marines to follow his lead and decide for themselves what course of action is most proper for the given situation. This ad hoc style of command makes his force somewhat unorganized, but also gives his men a feeling of initiative, making them much more likely to take a situation into their hands as opposed to waiting to coordinate with their fellows. However, Malak is known to make rough battle plans and mid battle stratagems that are both brilliant and basic in their function. Certain assaults or patterns of attack allowing his warband to easily overwhelm any enemy battle line. But, in general, the grand strategies are formed by Ingar Blackspawn as he watches the battle unfold from his station on The Storm.
Malak is also noted to be fluent in an ancient dialect of the native Cthonian tongue. This type of Cthonian, known as "Gutter" or "Tunnel Tongue", was common among those who lived in the ancient catacombs that snaked their way through the planets crust, deep below even the darkest underhive ghettos. Malak and his brother regularly speak to one another in Cthonian and Malak regularly gives commands to his honor guard, the Sciatha Fuath, in this low language. It indirectly because of the Blackspawn brothers that the Tunnel Tongue has survived far past the death of its native world, as it has spread amongst the ranks of the Storm Draugar as a sort of battle-cant, and amongst the people of Lupercal's Folly as the common language, though somewhat bastardized by low gothic contamination. A colorful language to say the least, Malak, and most Storm Draugar, are particularly fond of its varied curses and grim sayings.
- "You stand, even when all others fall. You fight, even when none will fight with you. You dare, even when all the odds are against you. I like you, guardsman. You remind me of myself. Pick up that chainsword. I will give you a warriors death."
- —Malak Blackspawn, prior to dueling the last surviving guardsman of the Catachan 23rd
While your average loyal Imperial citizen would decry Malak a monster for his actions, those who fight alongside and even against him soon learn that he is not as base a creature as many of his fellow Chaos Marines. Malak is known to value strength, honor, and indomitable will, and attempts to emulate these values at all times.
It should be noted that, at first glance, Malak Blackspawn is boorish and blunt, prone to being offensive and disrespectful towards those of similar status to himself. This has won him no allies, but has earned him the respect of his men, who look up to him as an example of the ideal warrior. The rank and file find a certain type of admiration for Malak's bellicose nature and brutish demeanor, likely finding common ground with their Chaos Lord in that regard.
For the most part, Malak plays the part of a stoic. He is seen as a hard individual, unbending in the pursuit of his goals, unmerciful to those who would obstruct his path. He usually acts in a cool, calculated manner. However, he is, by his nature, blunt and rarely picks his words carefully. This is simply a matter of respect with Malak, and his respect is not easily earned, but easily kept. He is an Astartes of simple but strong principles. Believing that honor is as simple as standing ones ground and facing daunting tasks head on, that strength in both body and spirit makes one more worthy than others who are feeble in either regard, and that will and will alone shows the true measure of a persons worth.
The concept of loyalty is also strong with Malak, though in a more personal sense. Loyalty to an individual is more admirable to Malak than loyalty to an ideal or organization. Having been branded a traitor by both the loyalists and the legions of old, it is no surprise that this is the view he holds. His loyalty belongs to his battle brothers and blood brother, to those under his command who have proved their worth a thousand times over. Disloyalty to those whom one is close, even if such treachery is in Malak's favor, disgusts him to the core. Enshrined in this concept of loyalty is Malak's love for his younger brother, Ingar. The pair survived alongside one another, and later fought side by side during the Great Crusades, the Horus Heresy, and countless times since. To Malak his brother is simply more than just a close comrade, he is the most precious companion he has. Unlike thousands of damned souls and twisted monsters that have been made out of the first traitors, Malak's humanity is still alive in some fashion so long as Ingar remains alive as well. Never would he turn on Ingar, not even entertain the idea for even the greatest gifts of Chaos.
But, while standing strong on his principles, Malak also understands the need for practicality, and will bend somewhat if the situation calls for it. This is seen in his acceptance of traitors such as Baail Deurtog, a former son of Guilliman and betrayer to his Chapter, within his ranks. For while Baail is a repulsive traitor and borderline coward, he is also a ferocious combatant and borne of an iron will that Malak finds acceptable. It is this flexibility that has allowed Malak to gain his high reputation with those who consider his past as an abandoner of the Heresy less important than his acts within modernity. Individuals like the infamous Huron Blackheart, to whom the Horus Heresy is but history. To these individuals, Malak's stoic heart and simple honor make him very charismatic. Something about his uncomplicated but sturdy principles make him reliable, if not personable.
However, one does not have to dig deep to see the true Malak, unfettered and unbound. When provoked or made the fool, Malak will lash out with a rage that is nothing short of terrifying. He will then stop at nothing to inflict the most brutal and bloody suffering upon his opponents, razing their cities to the ground, butchering their comrades with his bear hands. The most often event that unlocks this rage is when a foe denies him an honorable duel in the midst of battle, or uses the promise of such a duel as a lure to a trap. Should Malak survive such trickery, one can expect no mercy or relent in his warpath. He will seek to so utterly destroy them that even his close comrades are not safe should they stand in his way. This is Malak as he has truly become, a beast of the Dark Gods, an unwavering engine of wrath and ruin, meant only to fight for the sake of battle and glory.
- "In the Legions they taught us an enemy was only 'disarmed' if he had no further limbs at his disposal. Clearly they do not teach you loyalist pups the same lesson."
- —Malak Blackspawn to the battered corpse of Captain Palamar III of the Iron Wings 3rd Company
- "For this Inquisitor, I will gut you squealing like the swine you are!"
- —Malak Blackspawn threatens the now late Inquisitor Falavius Gaets during an Inquisitorial ambush
- "You call that a wound!? Let me show you what a wound looks like!"
- —Malak moments before cleaving Captain Noch of the Screaming Eagles 2nd Company in two
- "It is best to die with a blade in the chest than a bullet in the arse."
- —Malak Blackspawn uttering an old Cthonian adage as his men gun down fleeing Guardsmen during the Battle for Elucied
- "To rise above the filth and garbage, to make a name for himself. I can relate to this man's journey, but not to his methods. His brother on the other hand, I relate well to. Nevertheless I trust them as much as they trust me, which is to say very little."