Saturday 19 January 2013

The Malignancy of Malal: Solving the mystery of the 'fifth chaos god'

My recent interview with Tony Ackland got various tongues wagging across the Oldhammer World and beyond, particularly on the subject of Malal. But who exactly is, or indeed was Malal? All most of us know is that he (or she?) was developed out of house, was linked to Kaleb Daark and fell victim to legalities worse that the Realm of Chaos itself.

So Realm of Chaos went in search of the mysterious 'fifth god' and uncovered a story of censure and complaint in the process. With contributions from the great Tony Ackland and the legendary Rick Priestley, we set about solving the mystery of the Malignancy of Malal. 

RoC80s: There is much speculation about the original nature of Malal. What do you recall of the development of this early, and abandoned due to legalities, chaos god.

Rick Priestley: Malal was invented for a comic strip without any reference to the actual Chaos gods – I think the comic strip author just wanted to set something up that wouldn’t muddy our background and which he could manipulate as he wanted. Whoever arranged the deal didn’t think to make it clear that the work would be a genre piece and hence GW property – and when it came down to it the author claimed ownership of the IP and GW had to abandon it. Clash of cultures really – in the games industry us poor games writers are used to this kind of thing – not so in the world of comics. 

So who exactly was Malal then? Well, its seems that Malal was the embodiment of Chaos' indiscriminate and anarchic tendency toward destruction, including itself and its own agents. An cancer of chaos if you like. The nature of Malal's power was largely parasitic, the idea being that the Renegade God grew in power only when the other Chaos gods did. Like the other deities, Malal had a sacred number and this was 11. His sacred colours were black and white.

The concept behind Malal was created by comics writers John Wagner and Alan Grant, as was Malal's champion, Kaleb Daark, for the Citadel Compendium and Journals. In the comic strip adventure, Kaleb Daark's mission allied him temporarily with the forces of good. He fought at the siege of Praag and confronted the followers of the Chaos God Khorne, and also found himself at odds with the skaven. Less mutated than other followers of Chaos, he was equipped with a soul-drinking daemon weapon, Dreadaxe, with its pterodactyl-like head on a shaft of bone. His shield was shaped in the form of Malal's skull symbol, his armor was all-black with white while 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!" 

Hmmm? Sounds a little too similar to Moorcock's Elric to be mere coincidence! But then again, most of the Warhammer Mythos is rooted in Moorcock's Eternal champion series.
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 1986
  • Part 3 : "Evil of the Warpstone!" - The Citadel Journal Spring 1987
  • Part 4 : "God Amok!" - Un-printed

In the Spring 1986 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 mounted and standing Kaleb Daark. The Spring 1987 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 was actually completed before the legal problems began and work was halted. 

What follows is the background and fluff, published for Warhammer Second Edition, concerning Kaleb Daark:  

The Ultimate Chaos Hero – Kaleb Daark:
There is a name whispered quietly and with fear even by the most depraved, the most evil, the least sane of the worshippers of Chaos, that name is Malal the Renegade God of Chaos. 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 which they hate, who smile upon air 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 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 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 those bonds once forged

Kaleb Daark is the greatest amongst such warriors, the Doomed Ones is what they are called amongst men. Whereas the souls of lesser servants shrivel long before they can gain real power, those whose service remains true may gain immeasurable benefit. Kaleb Daark enjoys the favour of his insane god, for his resolve is incredibly strong, perhaps deriving vigour from some dark aspect of his personality, some event hidden deep with his past or subconscious. None would dare to inquire of the man himself. Of his origins and his initiation into the cult of Malal, no one can do more than guess. Of his might of arms, undoubted courage and potent unholy weaponry, however, all know at least the most horrific details.

Dreadaxe is a deadly chaotic weapon gifted to Kaleb Daark by Malal. It is a living axe, a weapon bearing a part of the soul of some great cosmic being, a hellish demonic servant of Malal. As the weapon strikes its jaw closes and its teeth bite deep into the soul-stuff of its victim. As the soul of the victim is sucked from his carcass, the body shrinks, rots and shrivels away to almost nothing.

Kaleb Daark causes a wounding blow against a creature of Chaos, Dreadaxe automatically attempts to drain the creature's soul. The victim must make a test against its Will Power. Roll 2d6, if the score is equal to or less than the victim's Will Power characteristic score then there is no effect. If the score is more than the victim's Will Power then the creature is automatically killed (no matter how many wounds it has). In addition, the victim's soul feeds Malal, Dreadaxe and Daark. The Will Power score of the now dead creature is divided by three, any remainder is ignored. One third goes directly to Malal (and is ignored for the purposes of the game), one third goes to Dreadaxe, and the last third goes to Kaleb Daark. The points that go into Dreadaxe can be used in the next round of combat only as a 'to wound' bonus. For example, if 3 points are gained this is a +3 on the next 'to wound' dice score. All points must be used at once, and may not be carried over. The points that go to Kaleb Daark are retained in a pool. The player should keep a record of the pool total. These points are used to summon the god Malal, and may also be used as a dice bonus. A maximum of 1 point may be used in any turn to modify any dice rolled by Kaleb Daark. For example, he might choose to add one to his 'to hit' score, or even increase the 'to wound' score. The point is expended after the dice roll.

Chaos Armour
Kaleb Daark's armour displays runes granted to him by his patron deity. These are 2 Armour runes, a rune of protection and a of renewal (see Warhammer Battle Magic). His armour provides a total of 3APs.

Mutant Warsteed
Kaleb Daark's mutant warsteed is a further gift from his dark master. The creature fights with great ferocity, and is far faster than any normal horse.

Uniform details
Kaleb Daark's armour is black, bearing the motif of Malal as decoration. This takes the form of a skull, half black and half white. The same colour scheme is repeated on his shield. Kaleb himself is pale, a result of the constant strain of his relationship with Malal. His hair is very pale so that it appears almost white.

Kaleb Daark's laconic wit is often the last thing his victim's ever hear! His battle cry is 'Dreadaxe thirsts for you'.

Basic points value is 215. Armour adds 44 points (2 x a modifier of 22). Dreadaxe adds an arbitrary 100. The various runes are worth 200 points. Total 559. The chaos warsteed is worth 90 points plus a modifier of +20 totalling 110. The total value of Kaleb Daark and his warsteed is 669.

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 Slaughtererwas 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 armour and then slaughtering them all in the name of Malal. White Dwarf 83 featured a Warhammer Fantasy Battle mini-scenario called 'The Crude, the Mad and the Rusty', pitting the lone Chaos Dwarf survivor (Oxy O'Cetalyne) of this massacre, aided by two goblin fanatics and a mechanical warrior (the Tin Man), against Skrag. I've never played it (though I own the Tin Man and Oxy) but have heard on the 'street' that it isn't up to much.

With a little investigative work, evidence for Malal can be uncovered in other places in '80s published materials. For example, in the first edition 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. Then, in the short story, The Laughter of Dark Gods, by William King in Ignorant Armies, there is also a reference to an unnamed albino (Elric again?) Malal Chaos Champion and his warband roaming the Chaos Wastes. Interestingly, this Champion is slain by the novel's main character in what could be seen as an early example of what GW would later do with the Squats! Additionally, in 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 that Slaves to Darkness was published, finally cementing the background of Chaos into a final form. Malal was not referred to or mentioned at all in these products. The one notable exception to this absence of Malal was in the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay supplement 'The Dying of the Light', published by Hogshead Publishing, in 1995. This book featured a Chaos Sorcerer of Malal named Heinrich Bors who has struck a deal with Malal to escape from the Chaos God Tzeentch. 
I wonder what happened here? Did this slip past the legal team of Malal's creators or was it a wing in the dark that was not even noticed?

After all this research I was keen to hear from the 'horse's mouth' so to speak. So I began chatting to Tony Ackland once more about his concept work on Malal and his memories of the development of the character in the studio. Including the debate about what exactly the Malal images shared in his previous interview represented. 

RoC80s: There is some confusion over the Malal concepts. Was the image above a Malal concept sketch or not?

Tony Ackland:'That' s my note written by it, so it would be.  I seem to recall it got used as a generic demon somewhere.  Apparently it also fitted the description of a D&D beastie without resembling any of the TSR interpretations.

RoC80s: There is a huge amount of interest from fans in the Malal design philosophy. Do you recall how much concept work was done for the daemons and what the general feel of the model range might have been?

TA: The Wagner, Grant, Ewins strip never went beyond one or two episodes.  Saying that the publication of the Journal/Compendium  was erratic would be a massive understatement.  So the ideas behind Malal were somewhat vague.  But because it had been mentioned in the strip the view was that it should be included in the Warhammer/Realm of Chaos universe.  I can't recall who was tasked with writing the background, but I had quite a free hand in the pictorial interpretation.  As I remember it the main characteristic as one of Malevolence which gave rise to the name.

Greater daemon of Malal, confirmed by the artist, Tony Ackland.
RoC80s: If the image we are currently discussing is a lesser daemon. Does that make the second image the concept for a greater daemon of Malal? If so, it looks similar in many ways to the bloodletter design doesn't it? Also, can you recall if any concept work was done for beasts, creatures or steeds of Malal?

TA: By the second image you mean the one with MALAL written in the upper left hand corner and the number 372 lightly pencilled by it?  If so that is the greater daemon.  what we were going for was a similar feeling to  Khorne but with added evil. But the copyright issue killed it off before we got that far. Actually I'm wrong the unpublished skull headed insectoid creatures were beasts of Malal but which is which I can't recall.  It was during the process that the copyright issue surfaced.  Interesting that none of the management actually mentioned that being the reason for Malal's removal at the time.

TA: Actually I'm wrong the unpublished skull headed insectoid creatures were beasts of, but which is which I can't recall. It was during the process that the copyright issue surfaced. Interesting that none of the management actually mentioned that being the reason for Malal's removal. 

RoC80s: You have stated that an early concept of Malal was for a daemonic power more evil than Khorne. With the the Blood God seeped in violence, is it really possible that a deity could be more evil than the God of Skulls?

TA: One way to look at is that Khorne is WW2 Wehrmacht, Malal is WW2 SS.

    RoC80s: Were there ever any difficulties producing such horrific and violent concepts, such as Malal and Khorne, in the studio. Was your work ever censored in house?

    TA: There was one piece I did for Realm of Chaos Slaves to Darkness, it was of a artifact of Slaanesh which was censored. The objection being that it depicted individuals writhing around a staff having oral sex. Actually it showed no such explicit acts. I had obviously been too successful in implying such behaviour. I wish I still had the original. The flack over fantasy games persisted well into the nineties. I remember walking into Harlequin miniatures and being received with a lot of humour. They explained that the evening before a Reverend of some description had been declaiming the evils of fantasy games on a regional TV program. He produced a miniature of a chimera to illustrate the sort twisted minds that were behind the creation of such abominations. No prize for guessing the company that produced the miniature or whose twisted mind created it.

RoC80s: So were religious groups an issue during the creation of Realm of Chaos? As, around the same time that Slaves to Darkness was published, White Dwarf 102 printed this disclaimer on their contents page:

    "GW would like to make it quite clear that the Daemons referred to in the extract from Realms of Chaos are wholly fictional creations.They have no basis in reality whatsoever, and there is no intention to foster the belief to the contrary." 

    Can you recall what prompted such a statement?

    TA: Back in the early days, the hysteria generated by elements of the religious community would have been treated as free publicity. By the time of Dark Future, GW was trying to promote itself as a serious business and was far more sensitive to a negative press. Particularly true as they were trying to expand in the US. One thing that most people are unaware of is that Imagine, the publication put out by TSR UK, was written and edited under the constraints of the US Comics Code.

And there we are. The story of Malal. His (or her) creation, the turbulent life of the character and its legacy. What I find strange is all the legal fuss about the character, especially with the blatant similarities of its champion with than of Elric ( a property that GW had rights to publish games and miniatures for). But hey, its all history.

Big thanks to Tony Ackland and Rick Priestley (once again) for the generous use of their time and memories. 

Any thoughts or comments?



  1. Nice detective work there. I do like the idea that within the infinite possibilities of chaos there is even space for an anti chaos chaos god.

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  2. Well, Mr Orlygg - I can only conclude that you have enough information with Tony's unpublished sketches to be able to piece together a similar bestiary as the other four known gods have published today.

    I can't help thinking that perhaps your best contribution to the 25th anniversary of the realms of chaos would be to create the Gifts table for Malal and produce the stats for the sketches, creating the beast, steed, lesser and greater daemons. Looking at the contacts you're making, you might even be able to commission someone to sculpt these things. Not quite sure how payment for that might work, as one presumes the final result would have to be payed for, but could not be sold, if you see what I mean.

    I for one would be very interested in seeing the 'inclusion' of Malal.

    Also, I daresay Mr Zhu would be happy to assist with any design effort to match the existing page layout for Malal.

    It seems, Mr Orlygg - you have some homework to do!


    1. The 'Create your own Chaos God' tables in The Lost and the Damned would be perfect for such a project...

      Not sure about the miniatures though... I'm no sculptor.

  3. Fascinating.

    I was always interested in the concept behind Malal and the aesthetic of his servants. Thank you for putting so much work into examining the history behind it all.

  4. Malal just seems to be popping up all over the place...

    Only a couple of weeks ago I was talking to a couple of my friends about making a tabletop force that could be used as a vampire counts and warriors of chaos force because I wanted to create a character that was a vampire lord and worshiper of Malal.

    Thank you for a great in depth look into the lost god, it's kind of rekindled the idea for me.

  5. There aint half some talent working on that comic strip.

    I never knew there were legal issues with Malal. I just figured that by the time the two Realms of Chaos books came out they'd decided to go in a different direction.

  6. You are becoming quite the Indiana Jones of Oldhammer. Quite a treasure you have uncovered there. I second Gaj's motion for you to come up with Malal's gift table. It couldn't get more Oldhammer then that. Looking forward to the next find. =)

  7. Your work has been fantastic and I look forward to more of this.... I was always a fan of the renegade Chaos Gods. My personal favorite was Zuvassin, you have to admire a Chaos God that will undo chaos mutations.

    Keep up the good work

  8. Back in the day I seemed to have overlooked Malal - too busy with Greenskins!

    Very interesting to read all the background behind it all!

  9. Fantastic little article, great read. Malal has always been a quaint bit of fluff and Im glad the hobby has people like you to keep the fires of such fiction stoked

  10. Orlygg, you can find even more information about Malal on this website:

  11. Great stuff, also Malal also made a comeback in 40k. As in 4/5th Ed Chaos Codex you had the Dreadaxe and the Sons of Malice. Plus in the BL short story book a story called labyrinth about malal (Now called Malice) being summoned by 11 Doomed ones.

  12. Would be interesting to hear what Wagner/Grant/Ewins have to say about their experiences working on Malal.

  13. Fantastic! This post has given me the courage to pursue my WHFB Malal themed Chaos Warriors list once again... thank you so much for some clarification on some key items of the back story and look/feel. I love the idea of Malal being even more "evil" than Khorne... essentially a being and followers who feed off the evil and chaos of the chaos!!

  14. Kaleb Daark's first name backwards reminds me of Belak'or.

    A fantastic article!

  15. Great post, very detailed indeed! That's my Oldhammer hit for today sorted.

  16. I am glad that readers enjoyed this little history lesson. Thanks for the ideas and encouragement.

  17. That's a lot of investigative work and writing you've done there Orlygg! Thanks for making the effort, it was a good read. It's interesting that with the Sons of Malice, Malal does still live on in some form, it's just a shame that petty real world legal wrangling prevented GW from keeping a good addition to the chaos pantheon. I mean, did the authors of Malal really need the rights to it that much? What have they done with it since eh? Nothing. :-/

  18. Hi

    I would love to have a go at sculpting the Beast of Malal if anyone would be interested in seeing it?


  19. Nice work orlygg. One of the (minor) details of oldhammer chaos that catches my eye once more with this post is that the "holy numbers" of the Chaos gods are slightly different in later editions. In 2nd/3d edition it's Slaanesh: 6, Nurgle: 7, Khorne: 8, Tzeentch: 9 and Malal 11. From 4th edition onwards Tzeentch's Holy number has been upped to 11 for some reason...

    1. “From 4th edition onwards Tzeentch's Holy number has been upped to 11 for some reason...”
      Where did you read this?

    2. Good question Benoît, I doubt I'd find it in any material I can readily access ATM. It's one of the minor trivia that stuck with me since my White Dwarf-reading days and I'm sure I've read about it in WD (some 'themed army' article probably) and Internet forums (like DakkaDakka). You'd definitely find out for sure in either the 4th or 5th edition Chaos boxed sets/books (wish I had access to that, no luck there).

    3. To my remember nothing about this to Chaos 4/5th Chaos Armybook.

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  22. Interesting stuff there mate.

    Ha, I like to imagine the legal trouble was John Wagner and Alan Grant getting back at GW for the number of elements borrowed from their own Judge Dredd background and imagery, but much of this was Necromunda and Gorkamorka :)

  23. Fulgrim just gave me this heads up about rail travel to Nottingham between 20th July and 26th August. See link below for more details. Thought you guys would like the heads up too....


  24. Definitive. I can speak from experience that it is super difficult to find as much info on the entire internet on this lost god as exists on this single article. I have been fascinated with this fluff ever since I found out about it around 10 years ago.

    Also, I have had a 40K alt-version of Kaleb Daark (complete with Dreadaxe and daemon tallies) in the works for the last 5 years...would you be willing to post it on your blog if I ever finish it?

  25. Nice to see Malal come to life yet again, and very interesting to see that actual artwork was prepared. Myself I've collected some of the original comic artwork from the strip. And having also put unproportionally large amount of time in researching the subject myself (I wrote much of the facts in the old Wikipedia article before it was taken down, BTW), I'd like to add a few things:
    1. Malal's number was never officially 11 (or even suggested to be) in any publication. That info came about in an internet article somewhere around the beginning of the 2000's. The same article invented Malal's palace in the chaos wastes with captured Lords of Change, lizard daemons and other fan-made rpg stuff. It occasionally pops up as "new" information from time to time.
    2. Malal was actually written in and supposed to feature in "Something rotten..." in the "Enemy within"-RPG campaign, but as the copyright issue came up he was replaced by the newly invented Necoho and Zuvassin. (source Graeme Davis himself in mail correspondence)
    3. The Heinrich Bors sorcerer was a very minor character in one chapter of Hogsheads first adventure (he isn't all too Malal-ish either, IMHO), and it is very likely that he just flew under the radar, as it is the work of several freelancers from around the globe, each writing their own chapters. Also WFRP wasn't held in too high esteem at this time as GW had already shifted away from RPG's more or less.
    4. Malal still lives! In the new edition (2009) of GW's old Chaos Marauders from FFG the "Claws of Malal" card still exists...

    /Cheers for keeping Malal's black flame alight!

    1. Regarding "Dying of the Light" I can confirm that Hogshead very deliberately tried to fly Heinrich Bors under GW's nose. I was a co-author on one episode (Trial and Error). They had very strict instructions from GW not to expand on Malal, but could mention his name since he was mentioned in the rulebook.

      So the tactic was to use Malal but try to mention his name as little as possible, relying on the fans to pick it up and GW not to notice. And it worked.

  26. Oh, one more thing. The expression "fifth chaos god" is chronologically wrong, as the concept of only four chaos gods was formed after Malals short official career at GW. The only chaos gods mentioned at the same time were Khorne and the Horned Rat (indirectly) actually, as Kaleb Daark encountered the then newly introduced skaven. Judging by the published fluff its probably more correct to call him/it the first or last of the chaos gods.


  27. I just managed to acquire a Kaleb Daark miniature. Will paint it up and post it to Oldhammer FB soon.

  28. Just came across this. I can confirm that I was the one responsible for linking the two demons in Tony's illos to Malal. During my brief stint on Realm of Chaos, and ignorant of the legal problems with the comic strip, I tried to add Malal to RoC and in one draft I set up these two beasties (from pre-existing art) up greater and lesser daemons of Malal. I was quickly set right on the matter and of course Malal did not appear in the final product.

    While we're on the subject, I remember that the WFRP adventure "Something Rotten in Kislev" featured two new, lesser Chaos gods: Zuvassin the Undoer (a patron deity of Murphy's Law, if you will), and Necoho the Doubter, who was the Chaos God of atheists. I remember thinking the latter was extremely funny at the time. Needless to say, these two never made it into the mainstream of the Warhammer mythos, and were never mentioned again as far as I know.


    1. Thanks Graeme for this answer.
      Do you have a copy of your script about these two daemons!

    2. No - everything I wrote at GW was owned by the company and remained behind when I left. Sorry!

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  30. It's pity... :'(
    Do you remmber the name of two demons?

  31. If anyone's interested, I just found a Kaleb Daark mini for sale on eBay:

  32. Oh, man, I really really want to make a Daemons of Malal faction for 40k now! I had originally thought that Malal simply didn't tolerate the use of Daemons, and a Sons of Malice army for Chaos Space Marines wouldn't use Daemons either. But now I know the history and am much more intrigued.

    One of these days I will definitely be sculpting a greater D and a bunch of those little guys too, and the big one will certainly have a Dread Axe!

    1. I am glad you found this article interesting Nathan. As you have stated, there could have been a full pantheon for Malal but the dispute cut the development. Tony Ackland produced the concept pieces during the development of the Realm of Chaos project but the sketches were never really used as Malal was dropped. If you ever produce a sculpt based on the Malal GD please do share it with us here. We would love to see it!

  33. Another fine article Orlygg! I've always loved the sleek look of the 372 daemon and to find that it should be of Greater Daemon size...excellent!

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  35. "Daark and fell victim to legalities worse that the Realm of Chaos itself." Make THAT into THAN?

    Malal was the Chaos God who fought the other Chaos Gods. Thereby allowing unique skirmishes to players AND explaining why Chaos never fully dominated, which would have meant predictability and boredom. I never needed to know more, Renegade actually serving a function.

    Thanks for the hints on Eternal Champion.


  36. When I worked at GW in the early 2000's, I played a Chaos Beastman army of Malal. This, of course, confused the hell out of everyone, as I was one of the very few people at the time who knew anything about him, few having read the original comics or played 1E WFRP in my neck of he woods.

    I didn't come up with any special rules outside of the mainly fluff oriented 'Chaos Mark of Malal,' also known as the 'Mark Of Opposition.' Basically, I had a Beastman army list for every god. The list I used when playing other chaos gods was the opposing god's list, using the same miniatures. So if I was playing against Tzeetnch, I used all the marks and magic for Nurgle in the army, giving any marked champions the powers of the Mark of Nurgle, treating any marked units as Pestigors, and so on. It worked extremely well, allowing me to use the same miniatures for a wide variety of forces and properly represent the renegade god properly without any wonky rules.

    GW was a lot more fun back in those days...

    1. That was very clever!

      And yes, GW was more fun before. But it almost seems like they are returning to the fun part again.

  37. Hello, everybody! Regards from Spain. I'm glad to see this post. I've readed all your words, from all of you. Thanks Orlygg for making this possible, and thanks to Tony, Graeme, Leif and so for all your work.

    You'll see, I'm writing a post about Malal, Kaleb Daark and others related. These post are very useful, and I'm going to use them as reference. The point is that I was not able to find ANY Wagner/Grant's interview or words about their work for GW on those years. More than that, they didn't registered the comic as their work. If they won, why not? It is strange to me.

    Thirty years have passed. And 'm sure that more than one or two would like to know how the story ended...

  38. I still own two miniatures of Kaleb Daark. I had bought two blisters of it, because I did not like the rider version that was wearing a helm, so I converted one of the mounted pieces cutting in two the second standing one and glueing the bust on some rider's legs on the original Kaleb's horse. I gave to a friend the second horse, complete with Kaleb's riding body with the helm. After a decade I quit the fantasy and SF universe for competitive historical wargames, I'm playing again some warhammer games with a small group of friends, here in Italy. we use 8th edition. I own 6 different armies, but I found in my storage place very old boxes filled with stuff from the 80s, including archelogical chaos warriors, the very first models I bought, back in 1985, and obviously Kaleb Daark was there. I put aside the mounted model, that is a bit small, and mounted the standing on a plastic juggernaut to make him the general of the army, where all the models are vintage stuff. I found on e bay what I was missing and compled a gorgeous super vintage army of Chaos, that I am painting at the moment. anyone interested in seeing the model can send me an e mail
    all the best!

  39. While I appreciate a little history lesson, and have been just another Warhammer First Edition player, plus agreeing to 'nice detective work here': I think Malal, as a renegade fighting the other chaos gods (the base concept, as the players aka customers got it without the comic) was smarter.

    Underestimating, or excluding, HOW the gamers and players made use of it spoiled aplenty, including the precious sales numbers.

    It is a recurrent phenomena, that righteous moralism - until caught cheating or stealing oneself. Winds of Magic to some, oops we read that in real world occultism called chaos magick twenty years before Warhammer "invented" it - to others.

    What really surprised me, when returning to check on gaming after 22 years of complete absence was how many of the idiots claw, not just stick, to the mistakes, which spoiled their original successes.

    None of the games sold coz we wanted to ejaculate on the celebrated names. Narcissism and gaypride won't change that, as they remain a minority among roleplayers & tabletop skirmishers. Phenomena like toxic roleplayers already are public knowledge these days, so I shut up.

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