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    Default Is Malack lonely?

    He's a great character, and hilariously smart. But man, he *really* goes out of his way to stay friends with his friends. And considering that his friends are all made up of the favorite thing he likes to drink, I wonder what's motivating him.
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    Default Re: Is Malack lonely?

    Evil opposites theme. Durkon values loyalty greatly--not as greatly as his principles*, but greatly enough to refuse to believe that his friend would work with Nale, even if evidence (strong evidence although less than actually seeing it first-hand) would indicate that said friend is doing exactly that. Malack values loyalty greatly as well, above his own rather-more-malleable principles.

    *Although Durkon also seems to look at his principles in terms of loyalty: Taking one of Malack's offers and leaving the Order to their own devices would be a betrayal of the Order, letting evil have the Gate would be a betrayal of Thor.
    Last edited by Kish; 2013-02-27 at 11:17 AM.
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    This, in a nutshell.
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    Default Re: Is Malack lonely?

    I was about to post a thread for this, actually.

    I think the need for companions is Malack's primary motivating factor.
    Malack is a vampire-reptile living in the middle of the desert- he probable doesn't meet many people who he can get close to. So he's willing to put up with a lot from Tarquin- such as working with the murderer of his children/fellow vampires- because Tarquin is probably the only friend he has in the EoB.

    Malack has gone out of his way to keep his new friend (Durkon) safe, demanding that Durkon be left alone by Tarquin and Co. if they faced him in battle, and even helped Durkon research a spell that could be (and was) used against him.
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    Default Re: Is Malack lonely?

    Quote Originally Posted by Feddlefew View Post
    Malack has gone out of his way to keep his new friend (Durkon) safe, demanding that Durkon be left alone by Tarquin and Co. if they faced him in battle, and even helped Durkon research a spell that could be (and was) used against him.
    Well, when Malack helped Durkon with his research, I doubt he thought that the two of them might fight each other anytime soon, if at all.

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    Default Re: Is Malack lonely?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Evil opposites theme. ....

    Malack values loyalty greatly as well, above his own rather-more-malleable principles.
    But WHY is Malack so quick to be such good friends with someone he has spent so little time with? It is to the point where he was offering to withdraw from the field and leave Tarquin, his partner and friend for decades, without his aid. Was it probable that Tarquin would desperately need Malack? No. But as far as Malack knew it was conceivable. All this for someone he has spent, at most, a few days with.

    Also: He misses his children, and was just thinking of making more. And aside from Tarquin he doesn't seem to have any other attachments.

    Just saying, he sounds lonely.
    Last edited by goodyarn; 2013-02-27 at 03:00 PM.
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    Default Re: Is Malack lonely?

    Quote Originally Posted by goodyarn View Post
    He's a great character, and hilariously smart. But man, he *really* goes out of his way to stay friends with his friends. And considering that his friends are all made up of the favorite thing he likes to drink, I wonder what's motivating him.
    Malack is not some mindless predator. He is clearly capable of valuing people for reasons other than what fluid runs through their veins. And besides, he has a powerful and high-ranking position in an almost continent-spanning evil empire. He said himself that he's not exactly lacking in food sources, so there's no reason for him to treat peers and friends as merely walking blood banks.
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    Remember, Evil isn't "selfish". It's Evil. "Look out for number one" is a Neutral attitude. Evil looks out for number one while crushing number two.

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    Default Re: Is Malack lonely?

    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    He said himself that he's not exactly lacking in food sources, so there's no reason for him to treat peers and friends as merely walking blood banks.
    That's true, but can you name another vampire -- or any predator of humans for that matter -- who simultaneously treats some humans as food and others as "peers and friends?" I can't think of a single example. Yes, there are vampires who decide that killing is wrong. But to say THESE people are my food and THOSE people are my peers... that's more than a little unusual. And I wonder what is behind it. And until I hear a better explanation, I will continue to wonder if it's loneliness.
    Last edited by goodyarn; 2013-02-27 at 03:45 PM.
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    Default Re: Is Malack lonely?

    Lestat maybe?
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    Default Re: Is Malack lonely?

    I imagine that it's hard to keep friends when you're a vampire. See Durkon in the last couple of strips.

    Don't forget that Malack also has his own other adventuring buddies that aren't Tarquin (note that he wasn't the one partnered to Tarquin when EoB was Tyrinaria--Shewdanker was--implying Malack was with one of the others).
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    Default Re: Is Malack lonely?

    I agree he's a bit lonely. As for him befriending durkon on the spot, they have much in common, and sometimes two people just click.
    As for the attitude "those people are food, these are friends", remember tarquin's line about never harming somebody
    (wait, who would you consider a "somebody"?
    "ANYBODY!"
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    Default Re: Is Malack lonely?

    I don't think Malack is "lonely" so much as he was excited to have a cleric friend. He indicates this when Durkon first meets him. "It has been some time since I entertained a cleric of equal standing."

    Malack isn't lonely... he just finds a lot of commonality with and respect for Durkon.
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    Default Re: Is Malack lonely?

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePhantasm View Post
    I don't think Malack is "lonely" so much as he was excited to have a cleric friend. He indicates this when Durkon first meets him. "It has been some time since I entertained a cleric of equal standing."

    Malack isn't lonely... he just finds a lot of commonality with and respect for Durkon.
    Yeah, Durkon showing up gave Malack an opportunity he probably doesn't get very often: the chance to socialize with a true equal.
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    Remember, Evil isn't "selfish". It's Evil. "Look out for number one" is a Neutral attitude. Evil looks out for number one while crushing number two.

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    Default Re: Is Malack lonely?

    Quote Originally Posted by goodyarn View Post
    But WHY is Malack so quick to be such good friends with someone he has spent so little time with? It is to the point where he was offering to withdraw from the field and leave Tarquin, his partner and friend for decades, without his aid. Was it probable that Tarquin would desperately need Malack? No. But as far as Malack knew it was conceivable. All this for someone he has spent, at most, a few days with.
    Do not forget that the leader here is supposed to be Nale, to whom Malack holds nothing but scorn and hatred.

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    Default Re: Is Malack lonely?

    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    Yeah, Durkon showing up gave Malack an opportunity he probably doesn't get very often: the chance to socialize with a true equal.
    That makes this fight so sad; the clerics have a degree of genuine rapport. Malack, the evil one, is ironically being much more flexible in finding a peaceful solution to their impasse, and Durkon comes off as looking like kind of a jackass because his obligations to his group and quest have him painted into a corner. It's hard to watch
    Last edited by Cirrylius; 2013-02-28 at 01:32 AM.

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    Default Re: Is Malack lonely?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    Do not forget that the leader here is supposed to be Nale, to whom Malack holds nothing but scorn and hatred.
    I didn't. My point was about the potential danger Malack was putting Tarquin in.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cirrylius View Post
    Durkon comes off as looking like kind of a jackass because his obligations to his group and quest have him painted into a corner.
    Really? So, you think if Durkon wasn't on this quest with OOTS, he'd be okay with letting a vampire roam free? Because that "you're a danger to everyone on this continent" line makes me think otherwise.
    Last edited by goodyarn; 2013-02-28 at 10:09 AM.
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    Default Re: Is Malack lonely?

    Durkon's current attitude (not, specifically, his lack of compromising) has less to do with the party's Quest than with his close-mindedness, unfortunately.

    From appearance and deduction, that is. Please don't hold me with anything I say.
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    Default Re: Is Malack lonely?

    People use "closed-minded" too freely. Durkon will not accept concepts like the ethical viability of the Empire of Blood's justice system. This does not somehow reflect badly on Durkon.
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    "You are what you do. Choose again, and change." --Miles Vorkosigan

    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

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    This, in a nutshell.
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    Default Re: Is Malack lonely?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire Lemming View Post
    Durkon's current attitude (not, specifically, his lack of compromising) has less to do with the party's Quest than with his close-mindedness, unfortunately.
    While I agree Durkon is pretty radical here, I am not that sure if he's wrong. He does have values and he knows very well what sort of Empire the EoB is. He told himself Malack was not involved in all that evil Tarquin does but Malack showing up here together makes it pretty clear to him that he was wrong.
    Malack is involved, Durkon sees that now very clearly.

    He might have reacted different to realising what Malack is back in the city, he could still give him the benefit of doubt. But out here, knowing Malack works with Tarquin? That makes it pretty clear to Durkon that Malack is not neutral, does not deserve the benefit of doubt and that puts the "Vampire" in perspective. He also cannot let Tarquin get his hands on the gate and Durkon very well knows that removing his cleric is a very important step in that plan.

    There are many reasons why Durkon has to stay true to his principles here and much fewer (zero) that indicate he should betray them and work with a Vampire.
    While it is horribly tragic and very radical, I think that Durkon is doing the right thing. Also note that Durkon is not "you or me", but a good cleric in a world where literal good and evil do exist.
    Last edited by Winter; 2013-02-28 at 12:07 PM.
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    Question Re: Is Malack lonely?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    People use "closed-minded" too freely. Durkon will not accept concepts like the ethical viability of the Empire of Blood's justice system. This does not somehow reflect badly on Durkon.
    Someone else has already said it (somewhere in another thread):

    There's a difference between suddenly finding out your friend is undead when you walk in on them eating/turning one of your allies and then refusing a diplomatic offer from them, and suddenly finding out your friend is undead by some other (non-threatening) means and then refusing a diplomatic offer from them. The first is a completely reasonable reaction, the second is actually being closed minded.

    Durkon also has been very insistent that Malack is not helping Tarquin and the Linear Guild capture the gate, and Malack himself has just confirmed that he is.

    For his part, Malack seems to understand that Durkon is upset but not why, which makes it impossible for Malack to end the encounter peacefully.
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodyarn View Post
    Really? So, you think if Durkon wasn't on this quest with OOTS, he'd be okay with letting a vampire roam free? Because that "you're a danger to everyone on this continent" line makes me think otherwise.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cirrylius View Post
    Malack, the evil one, is ironically being much more flexible in finding a peaceful solution to their impasse, and Durkon comes off as looking like kind of a jackass...
    I didn't say his actions weren't appropriate. Just that it reflects badly on him narratively to have the hero yelling racial vitalic rhetoric and refusing suggestion after suggestion while the villain calmly tries to find a solution that allows them to continue being colleagues. It's perfectly logical, and in character. It just looks bad.

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    Default Re: Is Malack lonely?

    He is Lonely, He is a hundred year old Vampire on the half of the continent made up of mostly Humans and Lizardfolk beings with much shorter lifespans. Malack is the product of a different age and hardly relates to his surroundings add to this his devotion to a death god a not very popular choice in a area which does not seem to have many clerics let alone powerful ones and hes a lone intellectual island so to speak.

    Enter Durkon a high level Cleric of the Northern Storm god and Dwarf asking for advice, he already has much more in common with Malack then Tarquin or his party. Malack sees this as the perfect friendship but inevitably Durkon will die so what does he do he tries to prevent it. First the LG+Tarquin will leave Durkon alone thus Malack will see to his fate and then he offers to take the Dwarf to a secluded place where they'll be safe where likely he will turn him. Durkon refuses to go though thus resulting in the current battle.

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    Default Re: Is Malack lonely?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    People use "closed-minded" too freely. Durkon will not accept concepts like the ethical viability of the Empire of Blood's justice system. This does not somehow reflect badly on Durkon.
    I was not referring to Durkon's ideas on Malack's position and beliefs in the EoB; rather, I was talking about making an assumption based on vampirism. Durkon failed to take in all factors aside from that and his action with Belkar at that point in time, not that he can be blamed for it objectively.


    Quote Originally Posted by Winter View Post
    While I agree Durkon is pretty radical here, I am not that sure if he's wrong. He does have values and he knows very well what sort of Empire the EoB is. He told himself Malack was not involved in all that evil Tarquin does but Malack showing up here together makes it pretty clear to him that he was wrong.
    Malack is involved, Durkon sees that now very clearly.

    He might have reacted different to realising what Malack is back in the city, he could still give him the benefit of doubt. But out here, knowing Malack works with Tarquin? That makes it pretty clear to Durkon that Malack is not neutral, does not deserve the benefit of doubt and that puts the "Vampire" in perspective. He also cannot let Tarquin get his hands on the gate and Durkon very well knows that removing his cleric is a very important step in that plan.

    There are many reasons why Durkon has to stay true to his principles here and much fewer (zero) that indicate he should betray them and work with a Vampire.
    While it is horribly tragic and very radical, I think that Durkon is doing the right thing. Also note that Durkon is not "you or me", but a good cleric in a world where literal good and evil do exist.
    Durkon is certainly no stranger in his ideals, being a LG cleric, and neither is he at fault; however, I was speaking about diplomacy.

    At the time we were discussing this, there was still a mystery surrounding Malack's alignment and where he lies within the range of what it would have been.

    Malack is indeed involved according to his very presence, but Tarquin is his best friend. Why should he abandon him in need for the sake of a friend he just met and was very likely to have the reaction he did?

    There would be no betrayal involved aside from allowing a [more powerful regardless] Vampire walk free, again being unsure of his alignment and within that personality. I do understand that Durkon could not leave his party, but completely ignoring all attempts at compromise was a tad uncalled for; he could have at least made some attempt that wouldn't have involved in his abandoning the OotS.


    Quote Originally Posted by Feddlefew View Post
    Someone else has already said it (somewhere in another thread):

    There's a difference between suddenly finding out your friend is undead when you walk in on them eating/turning one of your allies and then refusing a diplomatic offer from them, and suddenly finding out your friend is undead by some other (non-threatening) means and then refusing a diplomatic offer from them. The first is a completely reasonable reaction, the second is actually being closed minded.

    Durkon also has been very insistent that Malack is not helping Tarquin and the Linear Guild capture the gate, and Malack himself has just confirmed that he is.

    For his part, Malack seems to understand that Durkon is upset but not why, which makes it impossible for Malack to end the encounter peacefully.
    True. However, Malack was not looking to make more children for quite a while, and he does not seem the type to turn his guests against their will (in reference to the period they were hosted by the Empire). Durkon could and should have stopped him, of course, but also taken into consideration the simple fact that Malack had no children since the death of his former ones at the hands of the Linear Guild.

    There's also a difference in attempting to kill or forcibly change a [former or current] friend based on a single action as opposed to doing so after realizing their true motives, which as you know were revealed in a later strip. If you read 871 and 872, Malack was attempting for a peaceable approach, so much so that he was willing to let his best friend go unaided.

    Malack didn't know why Durkon was upset, but Durkon didn't even consider Malack's point of view, the process of turning Belkar aside.
    Last edited by Dire Lemming; 2013-03-03 at 01:11 PM.
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    Default Re: Is Malack lonely?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire Lemming View Post
    Malack is indeed involved according to his very presence, but Tarquin is his best friend.
    You do not seem to grasp that "Tarquin is Malack's best friend" is a moral condemnation of Malack in and of itself. Durkon's prior evaluation of Malack was excessively kind; when he revised it, it did not become excessively harsh.
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    "You are what you do. Choose again, and change." --Miles Vorkosigan

    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

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    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Default Re: Is Malack lonely?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Durkon's prior evaluation of Malack was excessively kind; when he revised it, it did not become excessively harsh.
    It just occurred to me that in the earlier big "a day in the Empire of Blood" strip (here:http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0750.html), Durkon hanging out with Malack was supposed to be a parallel to Elan and Tarquin's father-son bonding time, in terms of both Elan and Durkon missing or ignoring the fact that the Empire was an awful place. That's juxtaposed with Haley and V correctly perceiving the Empire's nature and spending their day freeing slaves.

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    Default Re: Is Malack lonely?

    He is. That's why he plans on making a few children with Durkon and Belkar.

    In the dark, dusty, romantic halls hidden under the fortress. By mind controlling the one and..."grappling" the other. At the same time (he is pretty flexible).
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    Default Re: Is Malack lonely?

    No offense, but I'm suprised at how easy the vampirism gets brushed aside as if it's some sort of petty crime or funny quirk. Vampirism, specifically turning sentient beings undead, is one of the most evil acts there is. Durkon didn't catch Malack stealing from the cookie jar. He saw someone he thought a friend committing the (in Durkon's opinion) most evil act there is. It's like walking in on a friend sexually abusing a child, or trying to cut someone heart out while he's still alive, or killing hundreds. If you walked in on something like that, would you be able to calmly negotiate with that person? If that evil person said "Well, I'll just let this specific kid go, if you don't call the police, and I'll just go out and kill more people, would you agree to that? Would you just accept his 'oddities' without much thought? Because that's basically what some people seem to expect from Durkon.
    Last edited by TheWolfe; 2013-03-03 at 05:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWolfe View Post
    No offense, but I'm suprised at how easy the vampirism gets brushed aside as if it's some sort of petty crime or funny quirk. Vampirism, specifically turning sentient beings undead, is one of the most evil acts there is. Durkon didn't catch Malack stealing from the cookie jar. He saw someone he thought a friend committing the (in Durkon's opinion) most evil act there is. It's like walking in on a friend sexually abusing a child, or trying to cut someone heart out while he's still alive, or killing hundreds. If you walked in on something like that, would you be able to calmly negotiate with that person? If that evil person said "Well, I'll just let this specific kid go, if you don't call the police, and I'll just go out and kill more people, would you agree to that? Would you just accept his 'oddities' without much thought? Because that's basically what some people seem to expect from Durkon.
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    Default Re: Is Malack lonely?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWolfe View Post
    No offense, but I'm suprised at how easy the vampirism gets brushed aside as if it's some sort of petty crime or funny quirk. Vampirism, specifically turning sentient beings undead, is one of the most evil acts there is.
    That is what BoVD says- and we know The Giant has used BoVD in the strip at least once before - the Eye of Fear and Flame (with Redcloak leafing through a book with BoVD on the cover as a hint as to where it comes from).
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    Default Re: Is Malack lonely?

    Malack is falling in love with Durkon, and I absolutely refuse to try to guess how the mechanics of that would work exactly.

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    Default Re: Is Malack lonely?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    You do not seem to grasp that "Tarquin is Malack's best friend" is a moral condemnation of Malack in and of itself. Durkon's prior evaluation of Malack was excessively kind; when he revised it, it did not become excessively harsh.
    That is not something that can be objectively stated. Almost as immoral is believing association condemns someone; would you consider such an aspect in real life without pausing to think of further possibilities?

    Perhaps his regard of Malack was kind, and possibly excessively so; however, Durkon was much too harsh in his reaction. Note this is before Malack revealed his intentions of mass sacrifice.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWolfe View Post
    No offense, but I'm suprised at how easy the vampirism gets brushed aside as if it's some sort of petty crime or funny quirk. Vampirism, specifically turning sentient beings undead, is one of the most evil acts there is. Durkon didn't catch Malack stealing from the cookie jar. He saw someone he thought a friend committing the (in Durkon's opinion) most evil act there is. It's like walking in on a friend sexually abusing a child, or trying to cut someone heart out while he's still alive, or killing hundreds. If you walked in on something like that, would you be able to calmly negotiate with that person? If that evil person said "Well, I'll just let this specific kid go, if you don't call the police, and I'll just go out and kill more people, would you agree to that? Would you just accept his 'oddities' without much thought? Because that's basically what some people seem to expect from Durkon.
    [In reply to the bolded, specifically.]

    Even in real life, much worse acts than forcing vampirism are committed, against sentient beings no less. Sexual abuse can not be compared to murder [and subsequent split intelligence thereof]; murdering hundreds is in net much, much worse.

    Not to mention Malack's reasons for doing what he did, and his reluctance to have children beforehand; most certainly he was not planning on doing such a thing to a friend and guest without consent.
    Warm regards,
    Dire Lemming

    "The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence."

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