- "I care nothing for pitiful little worlds, or the nations of pale grubs that writhe upon them. I am like unto a god, Malus. You could be, too. If you are worthy."
Tz’arkan was active during the First Incursion. [3c] A coven of five Chaos Sorcerers, the Lords of the Black Stone, managed to trap the daemon in a crystal of warpstone, which they kept in a hidden temple in the Chaos Wastes. The sorcerers drew on his power for their own schemes, but fell into infighting and eventually, the temple was abandoned, its acolytes dying from a lack of food and the growing influence of the daemon. [1b] Knowledge was preserved in hidden grimoires, such as the Tome of Ak’zhaal and the Tome of Al’khasur, which remained in the hands of the Cult of Pleasure.
In IV, 1492 (800 IC), the daemon apparently had freed himself or acquired a vessel and lead an army into Naggaroth. With a host of tzeentchian and khornate daemons, he assaulted the Altar of Ultimate Darkness and established a chaos gate between the Realm of Chaos and the Ironfrost Glacier. The Dark Elves fought for two decades until they managed to retake the Altar and apparently managed to reseal Tz’arkan.[2a]
An unspecified period of time later, Tz’arkans prison was discovered by the ambitious dark elf Malus Darkblade. Having lead an expedition in order to gain riches by orders of his half-sister Nagaira, the greedy dark elf took a single ring from the treasures heaped around the crystal and put it on his finger, thus forfeiting his own soul to the daemon. [1a] In order to regain it, Tz’arkan demanded that Malus would assemble five relics that would release him. In return, he would return him his soul and never try to possess him again. The relics, the Octagon of Praan, the Idol of Kolkuth, the Dagger of Torxus, the Warpsword of Khaine, and the Amulet of Vaurog, were lost, but one was in the possession of a beastmen herd that lived near the entrance to the temple. [1b]
When Malus tried to retrieve the Octagon from the beastmen warherd after killing his retainers out of shame, he was captured. The shaman, Kul Hadar, attempted to sacrifice him and bend the daemon to his own designs. [1c] In battle against the beastman, Tz’arkan repeatedly tried to convince Malus to accept its help, but the highborn refused him.
When he returned to Naggaroth, Malus was forced to hide the signs of daemonic possession, lest he were to be deemed unworthy to live and be killed for his crime of becoming the slave of another being. [3a] When Malus was captured and sentenced to be tortured to death, Tz’arkan kept him alive. Malus was saved by Nagaira, a secret member of the Cult of Pleasure who sought control over the daemon of Slaanesh herself. [3b] When Malus directed the attention of the Cult of Khaine to the cell of Slaanesh worshippers, he gained the support of the Khainites and his brother Urial for an expedition against the Skinriders, Nurgle-worshipping marauders who maintained their stronghold on the isle Morhaut. Here, the second relic, the Idol of Kolkuth, resided. Tz’arkan enjoyed seeing Malus suffer and teased him with answers, only to evade him further, hoping to goad his host into madness. [3f]
When Malus came to the crypt of Eleuril to retrieve the Dagger of Torxus, the daemon mocked him that soon, all his plans would come to ruin, only a short time before the dark elf killed his own father, branding him a kinslayer and basically an outcast. [4b] In Naggor, he multiple times tried to warn Malus from visiting Balneth Bale, where Malus was enslaved by the sorceries of Nagaira. [4d] The daemon became more wary after Malus was freed by his mother Eldire, who revealed that it were her own plans that Malus had found Tz’arkans temple. [5a] In Har Ganeth, Tz’arkan revealed to Malus that he was part of a prophecy that the daemon itself had a hand in creating. Eldire claimed that Tz’arkans goal was to transform Malus into a daemonhost, effectively becoming him. [5c] The prophecy of the Scourge was part of Tz’arkans plans, using a host and the assembled artifacts to lead the Druchii as his personal army. [6d]
Tz’arkan grew restless when Malus attempted to take up the Warpsword of Khaine. The sword was able to drive back the influence of the daemon in Malus’ body. [5e] In anger, the daemon began to conspire with Nagaira, who had allied with a Chaos Lord and lead an army south in the name of the Dark Gods, to ensure its freedom. [6d] He began to work against Malus directly, in order to prevent him from touching the Warpsword and breaking away from the daemons control. [6d] When Malus was betrayed by his half-brother Isilvar and delivered to Nagairas camp, Tz’arkan forced him to cooperate. When his retainers came to rescue him, Tz’arkan sought to kill them in order to further drive its host to despair. The daemons plans failed when the Warpsword of Khaine was given to Malus. [6e] In the end, however, Malus was forced to resort to the daemons strength in order to defeat Lhunara, the Chaos Champion who had lead the horde, and claim the last artefact. Tz’arkan manged to assert itself permanently when Malus used the last of its strength to heal his former retainer, the dark elf Hauclir. [6e]
Tz’arkan drove Malus to the north, only rarely resting. [6a] Back in the temple, Malus was forced to cast the ritual and free the daemon from its imprisonment. Tz’arkan devoured Malus soul, but the dark elf managed to use the Warpsword of Khaine and the other relics to defeat it. During its flight, the daemon took the dark elf’s soul with him and went into hiding in the Chaos Wastes.[6f]
After a decade, Malus found Tz'arkan in the realm of the Screaming God-Child and reclaimed his soul. Malus was able to trick the God Child and flee but when the entity noticed this, he imprisoned Tz'arkan in Malus' body once more as a punishment. From then on Tz'arkan would take control of Malus whenever he slept. Thus Malus was forced to drink a magical potion that kept him awake indefinitely. Only when the strength and savagery of the Daemon was required did Malus imbibe a potion of sleep to wake the Daemon.
Powers and Abilities
- "You have your hate, Malus. With hate, all things are possible."
Tz’arkan was able to grant its host powerful regenerative abilities, as well as enhanced strength and agility. [1c] Its presence within Malus was enough to cow lesser daemons into a state of fear. [3d] Tz’arkan was also able to leave a tracking mark behind that aided Malus to navigate the labyrinth of Eradorius, [3g] and to change parts of his physical appearance, like changing the color of Malus eyes. [5a] When the daemons influence had become greater, Malus senses were greatly enhanced. [5e]
At first, Tz’arkan was only able to bestow Malus with its gifts if he wished it. [1c] As his influence grew, it was able to strengthen its host even against Malus’ wishes. [6b] With the daemon banned fully inside his body, Tz'arkan can assert itself whenever Malus is asleep, making the latter dependent on elixirs.[7a]
On Malus, the daemons influence manifested as black veins that stretched from the ruby ring he wore from the treasure hoard of the temple. [1b] These stretched across his arm, his shoulder and neck the longer he was exposed to the corruption. [5b] The daemon was also able to talk telepathically with Malus any time it wished, although consuming large amounts of alcohol could block its voice. [3e] Malus also suffered from strange dreams that the daemon implied might be visions from the future. [3d] Tz’arkan could put his influence against divine magic that sought to influence Malus, breaking enchantments. [4a] The more Malus drew on Tz’arkans power, the more dependent his body became on the daemon, suffering bouts of weakness when not infused with Tz’arkans strength. [5d] As the corruption grew too great, Tz’arkan was also able to torture Malus by flooding his body with pain. [6c]
The daemon later managed to transform Malus’ physical form. He caused his teeth to become daggerlike and his fingernails to transform into wicked talons. [3d] As the corruption went on, animals began to shun Malus, even his trusted Cold One Spite. [4c]
- In the original Warhammer Monthly comic, Tz’arkan was a daemon of Tzeentch.
- 1: Malus Darkblade Chronicle: Daemons Curse (Novel) by Dan Abnett & Mike Lee
- 2: Warhammer Armies: Daemons of Chaos (8th Edition)
- 2a: pg. 18
- 3: Malus Darkblade Chronicle: Bloodstorm (Novel) by Dan Abnett & Mike Lee
- 4: Malus Darkblade Chronicle: Reaper of Souls (Novel) by Dan Abnett & Mike Lee
- 5: Malus Darkblade Chronicle: Warpsword (Novel) by Dan Abnett & Mike Lee
- 6: Malus Darkblade Chronicle: Lord of Ruin (Novel) by Dan Abnett & Mike Lee
- 7: Warhammer Armies: Dark Elves (8th Edition)
- 7a: pg. 56