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Malcador the Sigillite

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Malcador the Sigillite

"I have created much for you, in your name. There would be no Imperium without my efforts."[25]

Malcador the Sigillite, also known as Malcador the Hero by decree of the Emperor[1] was the First Lord of Terra as well as the Grand Master of Assassins[2b] during the Horus Heresy. He was a powerful psyker who could communicate over long distances and wield immense power. He was a close adviser to the Emperor during the Unification Wars, and the man credited with founding the Administratum of Terra.


The origins of Malcador remain a mystery, and are unknown save to the Emperor himself. According to Malcador himself, by the time of the Horus Heresy he was over 6,700 years old and remembers his date of birth to the second.[16] Malcador was a surviving member of an ancient order known as The Sigillites, which sought to gather and preserve the greatest and most powerful artifacts in Human history.[15] According to Jaghatai Khan the true identity of Malcador was discovered by Horus. Horus told the Khan that Malcador's original name was Brahm al-Khadour, a Perpetual known as a cursed wanderer. The Khan went on to say that Brahm al-Khadour had committed great atrocities during Old Night.[18]

Malcador met the Emperor when he was just another Terran Warlord, and was the one who recommended he take on the title Emperor.[16] Nonetheless many rumors said he was the Emperor's kin, but this cannot be verified. Malcador first appeared in Imperial records during the Unification Wars, where he served as the Emperor's adviser and administrator.[9] The cradle of his ancient order became the foundations of the Imperial Palace.[15] Following the scatter of the Primarchs, Malcador believed they were dead and was surprised when the Emperor told him otherwise. When Constantin Valdor asked why the enemy would leave the Primarchs alive and not openly corrupt them, Malcador exclaimed that it's their nature to play games. Malcador traveled to Luna shortly before the Imperial invasion to oversee the preliminary stages of what would become the first battle of the Great Crusade.[23]

As the Primarchs were discovered, the Emperor began to become more predisposed to the Crusade, leaving Malcador on Terra for management. During this time, he was accompanied by the newly discovered Leman Russ, who was taking time adjusting to Imperial culture, and the two bonded to an extent.[17] Sometime before the Heresy, Malcador began cloning the Eldar Ael Wyntor as his confidant. Malcador shared many of his deepest secrets with Wyntor, who was subsequently driven mad and killed himself hundreds of times before being cloned anew.[19a]

As the Emperor's primary representative, Malcador often acted in his stead, or preceded him, the intent being for the Emperor to make his presence known only in the event of Malcador's failure. One such event was the humbling of the Word Bearers in the ruins of Monarchia. During the incident, an enraged Lorgar slapped Malcador 20 metres through the air with the back of his hand, but he not only survived but got up afterwards.[4a] In a statement Malcador made to a dying servant, which he stated was a lie to comfort humanity, he claimed that he and the Emperor conspired to agitate the Primarchs and turn them against one another, with the resulting war purging certain unworthy individuals and the Space Marine Legions just as they had the earlier Thunder Warriors. This would lead humanity, not bio-engineered superhumans, as the rulers of the galaxy. However, the Ruinious Powers intervened before their plan could be fully formulated, leading to disaster in the Horus Heresy.[16]

Malcador the Sigillite, First Lord of Terra.[Needs Citation]

Very soon after the outbreak of the Heresy, the Emperor told Malcador to summon "men of character, skill and determination" who would be tested and trained to become an elite group of investigators with the task of rooting out treachery and Heresy. This marked the founding of the Imperial Inquisition. Among the first Malcador approached for this duty were Death Guard hero Nathaniel Garro and former Sons of Horus Captain Iacton Qruze.[3a] Malcador would subsequently task Garro with recruiting a select group of individuals for him in aid of this endeavour[5a][5c]; these individuals would be termed (at least for a time) Malcador's Knights-Errant,[5b] and later formed the root of the Grey Knights Space Marine chapter.[7] Qruze was retained closer to home, acting as Malcador's "hand" in investigative matters such as the case of Solomon Voss.[6] Malcador is noted for having given the Chaplain Edict at (presumably) Nikaea: a group of Marines that would maintain the order and discipline of their fellow Marines, and to keep watch for heresy and psychic powers, the former to be dealt with summarily, the latter to be referred to the Legion Librarium.[Needs Citation]

Malcador was active in many ways during the Heresy. As well as orchestrating the above inquisitive endeavour and aiding Rogal Dorn in organising the defence of Terra, he would use his secret position as Master of Assassins to attempt to have Horus assassinated several times. Whilst several of his dispatched Assassins — including the first ever Execution Force — came close to their target, none connected, and the attempt was eventually permanently given up, on the orders of the Emperor himself.[2a] Malcador later worked with Leman Russ to assassinate Horus with the Knights-Errant as the traitor Warmaster fought on Molech. Malcador selected Garviel Loken, only recently recovered from insanity following Isstvan III, to lead the mission.[14] Malcador next appeared at the Council between Dorn, Sanguinius, Leman Russ, and Jaghatai Khan as they discussed their war strategy. Malcador accepted Russ' decision to leave Terra to face Horus directly, but nonetheless attempted to quietly convince Russ to stay during a chess match. Malcador admitted he had grown sentimental of the Wolf King, and wished that the Emperor had engineered the Primarchs to be more amicable towards one another.[17]

Shortly before the Siege of Terra, Malcador began investigating the disappearance and mutilations of Sisters of Silence across the planet. When he went with Tylos Rubio to the captured Sisters prison at Terra's White Mountain, Malcador realized everything had been an elaborate trap by Erebus. The jailed Sisters presence negated Malcador's psychic powers, while Rubio was revealed to have been brainwashed at Calth into a sleeper agent by Erebus. Triggering Rubio's buried mission with the near-comatose Sisters chanting, Rubio attacked Malcador who only saved himself thanks to his force field Collar. Using the field to restrain Rubio and killing several of the Sisters to restore his powers, Malcador was able to rewrite the damage Erebus had done to his brain. Malcador later lied to Rubio, stating the Sisters had attacked them and he had been injured. Malcador then appeared outside White Mountain where the rest of the Knights-Errant were battling the Lord of the Flies and his cultists. Unleashing a wave of atomic fire, Malcador incinerated all of the enemies.[19a]

Founding the Grey Knights

Malcador next appeared to lead his nine chosen Knights-Errant to a hidden chamber under the Imperial Palace, where they came before the Emperor himself. The Emperor revealed that it had been Malcador who convinced him of the necessity of a special contingency plan to fight the forces of the Warp after the Heresy is settled. Malcador's Chosen would become the Grey Knights.[19a]

During the final chapter of the Heresy, Malcador would complete his ultimate project. He brought twenty men before the Emperor to set his ultimate plan in motion. Four were lords and administrators, and eight were Space Marines from both loyalist and traitor legions. These his chosen Knights-Errant who were given the names Janius, Epithemuius, Khyron, Koios, Ogen, Iapto, Yotun, and Satre[19a] as well as humans such as Kyril Sindermann, Lemuel Gaumon, and Amendera Kendel.[5][12][13] Many of the Space Marines that joined the cause hailed from Legions that had turned traitor, though they themselves had remained loyal to the Emperor. Once they had been gathered, the Emperor surveyed the chosen recruits and granted both his approval and consent to proceed with the project. So the recruits split ways to go off towards separate tasks; the four lords ventured off to lay the framework of the Inquisition, whilst the Space Marines and Malcador traveled to Saturn's moon of Titan.

Titan, through Malcador's mystical means provided by his Eldar-human hybrid Ael Wyntor, had been hidden away from the ravages of the Horus Heresy. When they arrived they found a Fortress-monastery already fully prepared and stocked with everything necessary to create a new army of Space Marines including supplies of gene-seed, which is suspected to have been taken from the Emperor directly, and all the necessary armaments. The fortress was also already populated with hundreds upon hundreds of suitable recruits from across the Galaxy. Some were raw and untrained, whilst others were selected in secret from among the ranks of loyalist Legions. This new army would be a Chapter - a smaller, tighter brotherhood of Space Marines than a Legion. Malcador could no longer remain and thus he appointed Janus, one of the eight original Space Marines, to be the Grey Knights leader and take the title of Supreme Grand Master. Before leaving, Malcador cast his greatest enchantment yet; he hid Titan away from Horus in the most unlikely of places, inside the Warp itself. Titan was protected by Macro-Geller fields and sigilic rites whilst the final battles of the Heresy took place in Real Space. When Titan reemerged into the Materium, the war was over and due to the longer passage of time within the Warp Titan had raised an army of a thousand Battle Brothers: the Grey Knights.[10]

Malcador the Sigillite.[8]

Siege of Terra and Death

Growing ever more ragged and weary by the day, Malcador stayed on Terra throughout Horus' siege, appearing in the loyalist war council alongside Rogal Dorn, Sanguinius, Jaghatai Khan, Constantin Valdor, Kazzim-Aleph-1, and Dorn's Imperial Army command staff as the Solar War began. He again verbally clashed with Garviel Loken, who met with The Sigillite furious over his order to execute prisoners in order to prevent them from falling into traitor hands. Malcador reiterated his beliefs that these sacrifices were necessary in order to preserve humanity. Ultimately he allowed Loken to leave Terra in order to rescue Mersadie Oliton, musing that an act of compassion might be what is needed in this time of darkness. Malcador next appeared in the Warp as a man in gold to the Emperor, who resembled a weary old man in a fur coat huddling over a fire. Malcador informed the Emperor of Horus' initial moves into the Sol System and stated that the Warmaster had a card left to play. He then asked the Emperor if it was impossible to win the coming battle, which then changed to asking if simply anything can survive what is to come. The Emperor refused to answer and instead bid farewell to Malcador.[20] He next appeared at a loyalist war council inside the Great Chamber of the Senatorum Imperialis, telling Rogal Dorn, Sanguinius, and Jaghatai Khan that Vulkan lives and is underneath the Imperial Palace as well as revealing the truth regarding the Webway Project.[21]

During the battle for the Lion's Gate Spaceport Malcador met with Amon Tauromachian, who wanted to know what to do about Euphrati Keeler and the proto-Imperial Cultists inside the Imperial Palace. Malcador by this point had changed his opinion on the Imperial Cultists, believing that just as worship of the Chaos Gods strengthens then so might their faith empower the Emperor.[22] After the fall of the Spaceport, Malcador attended a war meeting with Dorn, Khan, Valdor, and Jenetia Krole where the Praetorian outlined his defense plans for the Saturnine Gate, Eternity Wall Spaceport, Colossi Gate, and Gorgon Bar. During the meeting Malcador was revealed as a sickly and ragged old man due to Krole's Blank field. Malcador also recommissioned Kyril Sindermann and a new order of Remembrancers to document the battle.[24] During the battle for the Saturnine Gate, Malcador laid out the hidden flaw in its subterranean defenses to Sindermann and his Historians.[24a]

Later when Magnus the Red and a select group of Thousand Sons infiltrated the Palace, they were confronted by Malcador and Alivia Sureka deep beneath the Imperial Palace at a subterranean lake. Malcador bid Magnus to play a game of regicide with Sureka, and it soon became apparent he was attempting to turn the Crimson King to his cause. However when Malcador revealed the lost shard of Magnus on Terra was now out of his reach (having since been implanted into Janus) the Primarch became enraged and seemingly killed Malcador as Atrahasis blew apart Sureka with a bolter shot. Though visibly shaken by what he had done in his rage, Magnus nonetheless decided to move into the Imperial Throne Room and kill the Emperor.[26] However, Sureka later regenerated and transferred her life-essence to save Malcador, restoring the Sigillite at the cost of her own life. Afterwards Malcador seemed to carry a deep despair from her sacrifice.[26a] By this point Malcador aided the Emperor inside the Warp in his struggle against the forces of Chaos. Within the Warp Malcador symbolically gave the ailing Emperor a drink of water, with the Master of Mankind expressing his thanks. Malcador stated he would soon return with more, but the Emperor forbid it due to the danger involved.[27] Later, Malcador tried to use his powers to save Jaghatai Khan after his mortal wounding by Mortarion, but this proved even beyond his own abilities and the Emperor himself intervened to save his sons life.[28e]

Malcador takes his place upon the Golden Throne[28b]

At the height of the Siege when the Emperor decided to face Horus aboard the Vengeful Spirit, he told Malcador that he had to take his place on the Golden Throne — providing the psychic sheath to protect the human-built sections of the Webway. His original choice of replacement on the throne had been the Primarch Magnus, but since he had sided with Horus, Malcador was now his chosen successor.[28a] Though he was a powerful psyker in his own right, Malcador's mental powers were nothing compared to that of the Emperor, and could not last long upon the Throne. However Malcador willingly took his place upon the Soul-Engine much to the despair of his old friend the Emperor, who declared Malcador the Sigillite will now forever be known as Malcador the Hero.[28b] Before ascending the throne, he sent out mental messages to all of his Chosen to carry out their final tasks to ensure the survival of mankind.[28d]

Upon the Throne, Malcador was subjected to enormous physical torment but gained a new awareness, seeing the universe the way the Emperor had for the first time. However, his mind soon was invaded by Horus, who was using his own sorcery to invade Malcador's mind to show the plight of the Imperial attackers aboard the Vengeful Spirit.[28c] Malcador nonetheless was able to persevere, sending clues to aid Imperial heroes such as Loken as he made his way to Lupercal's Court. Malcador's body had largely dissolved by the time traitor forces began pounding on the door to the Throneroom, an act which caused Vulkan to begin to activate the Talisman of Seven Hammers. Malcador still lived however, and despaired that he could no longer speak to Vulkan to get him to stop.[29a]

But in the end it was Horus who was slain, and Rogal Dorn and Valdor brought the Emperor's broken body to the Golden Throne. His task completed, Malcador finally let go and allowed himself to die. His body had long since been reduced to dust, but he had retained his soul to power the Throne through sheer force alone. As Malcador's soul fizzled out he bid goodbye to his oldest friend, expressed some hope that fragments of himself would live on for a time in both the Golden Throne and his chosen, and acknowledged that the foundations of the Imperium no longer were himself and the Emperor.[29b]

Appearance and Abilities

A slender and unassuming figure dressed in pale robes, at first glance Malcador appeared no different from a thousand other Administratum functionaries, except for his staff of office and the force of his psychic presence.[3b] Malcador appeared to be very frail and sickly, and in fact this was an image he deliberately cultivated in order to have his enemies underestimate his formidable power. However as the Heresy wore on, Malcador's haggard appearance became more and more the reality.[14]

Malcador wore an archaeotech collar around his neck, which was capable of generating a powerful force field that would redirect an enemy's attack back at them. His staff was capable of unleashing a wave of nuclear fire, but Malcador states that this was a tool rather than a weapon.[19]

Malcador was the most powerful human psyker in the galaxy after the Emperor himself and potentially Magnus the Red,[5a] and demonstrated this psychic ability on several occasions. During the aforementioned confrontation at Monarchia, he showed physical resilience unnatural for a man of his apparent age and frailty; when smashed from his feet by the primarch Lorgar, he landed on broken ground after a distance of some twenty metres, and survived with but a few broken bones. He also demonstrated telekinetic ability, retrieving his fallen staff and bringing it sharply into his hand.[4a]

Sometime during the Great Crusade, Malcador easily incapacitated Horus with his psychic abilities after the Primarch attempted to utter the name of one of the Lost Primarchs. Malcador reverted into a deep, dark rage complete with a rictus grin that was described as an older familiar rage.[18]

Known Agents of Malcador


The Sigil of Malcador[8]


Malcador's supposed real name, Brahm al-Khadour, is likely a reference to the Khidr, a figure in Islam said to be an immortal who guides people in distress.

See also