Amongst the Dark Eldar, there is one that reigns supreme; Asdrubael Vect, lord of the Kabal of the Black Heart. He is the most cunning Dark Eldar to have lived and takes pleasure in reducing would be usurpers to warp hound chow. Once chief amongst his underlings was the Lady Aurelia Malys, who was his consort and displayed remarkable intelligence. For a while she was one of the prominent members of his inner circle and displayed her talents during the Panacea wars (see section below).
Vect grew bored of her after a couple of centuries (and maybe partially out of fear of her ambition) and kicked Malys out of her court. A woman scorned, Malys and her followers left Commorragh into another expanse of the Webway to get her hell-no-hathing fury on. There in the depths of the Webway she met Cegorach, who banished her followers and challenged Malys to a game of wills, the loser of which would give their heart to the winner. Malys was victorious and the glowing being vanished, leaving a blade and its crystal heart. Then, in a turn of events that was completely sensible, she used the blade to remove her own heart and place the crystal one inside herself, because, you know, crystal works just as well as flesh with blood. (We're talking about the unrelentingly weird world of 40k here; she could have stuck a muffin in there and it probably would have worked.)
From there she returned to Commorragh with revenge in mind against Vect and began to build up her power, until she became the Archon of the Kabal of the Poisoned Tongue and one of the most powerful rulers in the Dark City.
Her keen mind is truly a byzantine labyrinth, hatching countless plots and always preparing to take advantage of a situation. She is described as polite, aloft and haughty, which only matches the image we have of her as one of those Victorian English ladies or anime noblewoman villainesses with an annoying laugh hidden behind a razor fan, unflattering polite while she plans how best to serve your brains on a platter at the next dinner party. She has matched wits with Asdrubael countless times and has an incredible sense of precognition. She may indeed in time be the one to finally dethrone Vect himself…
It is claimed in rumours that she can often be heard laughing hysterically from her private quarters. Strange, glowing being found in the Webway that didn't try to nom nom an Eldar… hysterical laughter… powers of precognition… yeah, this has Cegorach written all over it. The release of Codex: Harlequins confirms it; the Veiled Path takes credit for the encounter, though it is vague as to why.
The Panacea Incident
Malys was desperate to become the first female member of the League of Extraordinary Dickery; at the time, membership included the Emperor, Tzeentch, The Deceiver, Cegorach, Vect (who is most likely trying to oppose Malys' membership), and Eldrad. Her admission entry into the league was her actions during the Panacea wars. Vect, desiring to weaken the lesser kabals, gave them the challenge to poison the entire Imperium. Malys, discovering that the Imperium had recovered a precious STC, knew this was the perfect chance. She made it so that a large fleet of Ork Roks crash-landed into the Imperial forge world where the STC had been found and while both sides were butchering each other Malys and her bodyguard waltzed in and plucked the STC off a dead Ork Mekboy’s hands with a flourish and a kiss. Vect was highly pleased with this textbook example of evil and after that Malys enjoyed increased influence in the dark city.
Why did stealing this particular artifact qualify? The STC, called the Panacea (which could basically cure every disease, ever), was one that could have saved countless billions of human lives through miraculous medical technologies and seriously given Nurgle a run for his money. Malys knew fully well what the STC could have done, but she keeps it locked away in her private gallery, a potent discovery that will forever be kept out of the Imperials’ hands and which gives Malys enormous satisfaction, knowing she is causing lots of suffering. The league is currently assessing such an entry for full membership. How other Dark Eldar would perceive this would be interesting to know. On one hand, they'd be tickled senseless by the whole thing, on the other hand the Dark Eldar hate Chaos as much as every other living being. So, Malys preventing the possible crippling (or at least severe weakening) of Nurgle would probably not go over well with her fellows.
Oh and to weaken some other Orks she was fighting another time, she developed a powerful chemical agent that works on their reproductive cycle and let it loose through a couple of Ork-held planets. Again, this was done for giggles. Also, the fluff mentioned it was with help from the Lhamaeans (an all-female sect of Dark Eldar courtesans/poison experts) in her entourage, implying that Malys is bisexual since these ladies are renowned for being high-class, nobility-exclusive prostitutes.
The 7E Haemonculus Coven supplement, while having Malys removed from play like most other named characters, does at least mention this spectacular tool as a new artefact for the Haemonculi. Apparently, one of the flesh-makers found out Malys had this tool and instantly lusted for it like a Techpriest. While she didn't let him have it, the guy was still more than willing to reverse-engineer it so that it could be useful. What resulted was the Panacea Perverted, a tool that gives a massive boost to IWND as well as forcing all poisoned weapons to wound on a 6+. That latter bit comes extremely useful for other Dark Eldar, Nids, or Nurgle, who get all the poisoned stuff.
Like everything else without a model, Malys is no longer playable on the tabletop. In spite of this (or possibly because of this, if you consider GW's possible fluff reasoning for making Vect not playable either), her fluff role has expanded and she's now basically Vect's distaff counterpart. Commorragh has entered its own "End Times" of a sort as she and Vect fight an internal, out-and-out-street war in the city over a warp gate that threatens to break, neither of them wanting it to open but mistakenly believing the other one does. Why any Dark Eldar would try to unplug the cork in the anus of Commorragh remains a mystery.
During the events of the Gathering Storm, and the Great Dysjunction which threatened to destroy Commorragh, Lady Malys took advantage of the Daemon Invasion to rally more factions to her side, laying the blame for the invasion on Asdrubael, particularly on his inability to contain or manage the threat. This, of course, makes it more difficult for either faction to deal with the invasion.
Although the invasion was ultimately dealt with thanks to the Mandrakes and Haemonculi, Malys' position has increased in strength, particularly as a result of Asdrubael's own faltering support base. Interestingly Malys had been a patron of Yvraine, indicating that perhaps the Harlequins required, or do still require, something from Malys with regards to the Opener of the Seventh Way.
Despite her calls for Vect to be overthrown, when Asdrubael Vect was murdered by Mandrakes, Malys and her kabal went to ground rather than celebrate or make a move to claim power. She figured that his allies would come after her no matter what, but whether she actually had anything to do with Vect's death was anyone's guess. Neither was she present at Vect's wake, where the other Archons were killed and Vect was resurrected. For the time being, Malys decided to keep their distance and watch, with the only person her Kabal who knew her plans being Malys herself.
While the name Malys is an obvious pun on "malice", it may also be a reference to the French name Maëlys, a feminization of the Breton name Mael ("prince"). With Aurelia meaning "Golden One" in Latin, Aurelia Malys could be translated as "Golden Princess", a fitting name for the haughty and disdainful archon don't you think?
It could also be a pun on Malaise (pronounced almost exactly like her name), a general feeling of discomfort, illness, or lack of well-being. Seeing as how she is known for stealing the Panacea, that would also fit quite well.
|Dark Eldar Lords and Ladies|
|Asdrubael Vect - Archon Tahril - Baron Sathonyx |
Drazhar - Duke Sliscus - Kheradruakh
Lady Malys - Lelith Hesperax - Urien Rakarth