I remember back in 1st and 2nd edition Warhammer Fluff there was a 5th Chaos God, Malal. This God's purpose was to attempt to counteract the works of the other gods, he was smaller, had fewer followers and was no very well known but he acted to try and help anyone who fought the other Chaos Gods.

At about the time of 3rd/4th edition Games Workshop quietly got rid of all reference to him.

Has Malal ever been brought back either in stories, talked about in interviews or referenced in some way either in the 40K universe or the fantasy setting? Is there a modern equivalent of the God anywhere in the recent fluff, either as a god or as a Demon?


2 Answers 2


Malal was dropped due to copyright, retconned and eventually became Malice

Malal popped up in the 80s, but due to disagreement between GW and the pair of authors who actually created him, it was not clear who owned the copyright so he was dropped.

Use of Malal in further Games Workshop productions ceased around 1988, the same year the first of the two Realm of Chaos background books was published. Malal is not referred to or mentioned at all in these products. There was also an uncertainty as to who actually owned the rights to the concept of Malal -- the comic's authors or Games Workshop.

But, there are still references to him scattered throughout 40k and Fantasy, as recent as 2002. But it seems he has been retconned entirely and is now known as Malice.

One of the examples was a Chaos Space Marine of a Renegade Chapter entitled the "Sons of Malice". The colours used for this Chapter were the bisecting black/white design of Malal's original mark, and the word "Malice" is not too dissimilar from "Malal"; in essence, Malal has been returned to the Warhammer 40,000 universe as the Renegade Chaos God Malice, the Hierarch of Anarchy and Terror. The word "Malal" also means "Malice" in several East Indian languages. More information on the Sons of Malice came in Games Workshop's monthly publication White Dwarf 303 (issue 302 in the U.S.). The article mentioned that the Sons of Malice were exiled from the Imperium for a set of disgusting rituals that were reported to include cannibalism and that they fought in complete silence. The ultimate patron deity of the ritual was never revealed, though it can be surmised that it was Malice. At the end of the article it was specifically mentioned that the Sons of Malice were noted to fight with ferocity against other followers of Chaos.

I actually always thought Be'lakor and Malal were the same entity, turns out I was wrong.


Malal was subject to legal and copyright issues and so was scrapped. It's unlikely you'll find much more of a mention of him passed the late 80's. Here is what Tony Ackland has said about it; the full post gives quite a bit of detail on the character if you're interested.

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.

Realm of Chaos 80s, The Malignancy of Malal: Solving the mystery of the 'fifth chaos god'

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