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Malkariss is a fictional character in the novel Mattimeo by Brian Jacques. Although Slagar the Cruel is widely regarded to be the main antagonist of the novel, he is but a servant of Malkariss.

Fictional character history

Malkariss is the evil ruler of a hellish underground kingdom where anthropomorphic animals work as slaves to build a city for him whilst he resides within an immense and terrifying statue of a demonic polecat. He issues his orders to his slaves via his High Priest, Nadaz, a rat.

The main protagonists of the story, Matthias the Warrior and his comrades Orlando the Axe, a badger warrior and Basil Stag Hare (a hare) discover the Kingdom of Malkariss when Matthias's son, Mattimeo, the titular character and Orlando's daughter are kidnapped and taken there by an evil fox named Slagar. After a long journey they find the entrance to the Kingdom at the heart of a somewhat menacing wilderness. In the underground kingdom they challenge Malkariss, Nadaz and Slagar in Malkariss's palace. Matthias does battle with a monstrous hybrid called the Wearet. During the battle, a basket is lowered down from Malkariss's statue and into The Void, a pit beneath the walkway upon which Matthias and the Wearet are duelling. The fight climaxes with Matthias falling into The Void. He lands on the basket and bounces off. The basket opens and Malkariss emerges. He is revealed to be an ancient, weak and repulsive polecat which picks up Matthias's sword ominously saying "You have looked upon Malkariss, you must die."

Subsequently Malkariss's slaves arrive and upon recognising their tyrant master proceed to pelt him to death with stones and rocks.

Nadaz assumes temporary management of the underground Kingdom and takes refuge within Malkariss's statue but is killed when Orlando and Matthias demolish the statue.

Loamhedge

The Kingdom of Malkariss is revealed to be the ruins of an ancient and forgotten kingdom named Loamhedge which Malkariss is presumably trying to rebuild. Brian Jacques, the author of the Redwall series has written a book about Loamhedge and its fall into decrepitude but Malkariss does not appear in it and his origins remain unknown.

Cultural references

  • Malkariss's name is an obvious derivation of the Old English word "Mal" meaning "bad" or "evil."

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