If you’ve read (or are planning to read) the Chronicles of Nick, these are cheat sheets you won’t want to miss. Decadence summarises what we know about Nick Gautier from the Dark-Hunter series. You can read part 1 here.
So what the hell is a Malachai?
In short, one of the most powerful beings on the face of the planet.
When the Source of creation’s darkest power known as the Mavromino turned against the Source and tried to end the world, he created the Malachai to wipe out the Sephirii (companions to the first order of gods, and soldiers who upheld the original laws of the universe and kept its fabric from unravelling, they’ve been likened to fallen angels) who opposed them. But although many of the Sephirii flew into the Mavromino’s traps, they looked set to destroy the Malachai until they were betrayed by one of their own, Jared, and the battle ended in a truce.
As punishment, Jared was allowed to live in shame and servitude while his brethren and all but one of the Malachai (I believe this was Nick’s father, Adarian) were annihilated by their respective makers. This Malachai was allowed to live to maintain the balance of the last Sephiroth’s existence and to kill him if he ever escapes.
The Malachai is powerful enough to kill War, the original offshoot of the Source. To put this into perspective, it took the combined strength of all the gods and Chthonians (god killers like Savitar) to contain him, but they weren’t strong enough to kill War and absorb his powers. The Mavromino has acknowledged that the Malachai has the power to wipe out all of the source gods and absorb their powers (and we need him to absorb their powers so the world doesn’t end when a god dies). Should this ever happen, not even Jared (his natural enemy and mirror equivalent) can stop him. It’s safe to say that Nick is now stronger than Acheron and such extreme power makes him a threat a lot of the gods, demons, etc. would love to kill. On his own, the Malachai has enough power to realign the universe, leaving his destructive creator in charge, so it’s really important that he never uses his power like that.
War’s attack unlocked Nick’s powers because they both draw their powers from the Source, as does Savitar, which is why he didn’t train Nick as a Dark-Hunter. Sparring with Savitar would have unlocked the Malachai powers.
Nick’s father, Adarian, wasn’t just a repeat offender who spent more time in prison than out, he was the last Malachai who preferred to stay incarcerated because he believed his enemies (including his creator the Mavromino, with whom he had a falling out for an as yet unknown reason) wouldn’t think to look for him there. He was also able to thrive by feeding on the evil and negative energy of the criminals. He chose Cherise to bear his child because she was such a beautiful and pure soul, but underestimated her influence on Nick. Once Nick became old enough to replace Adarian as the last Malachai, Adarian died.
Menyara (who is actually Ma’at, the Egyptian goddess of truth and justice who upholds the laws of the universe), who Nick had believed was simply a family friend, was there when Nick was born and immediately bound his powers to keep him safe from those who want him dead. When those powers were activated, she told him that although he killed himself, he could reclaim his soul and be reborn, but he has to choose his path. Would he be kind and loving like his mother or a violent corrupter like his father? And would he choose to kill Acheron now that he has the power?
As Ash has experience with training destroyers and with fighting his own negative urges, he has taken over Nick’s training (he has to grow into his powers and learn how to use them if he’s going to be useful to either side). Even though Ash is now a god, he was once half human and half Charonte. Nick still hates Ash, but they’re slowly trying to work out their issues with each other.
The easiest way to neutralise the threat Nick poses is to kill him, but since Ash tied their life forces, he would die along with Nick. Once Ash dies, Apollymi is released from Atlantean hell Kalosis and will destroy the world in her rage.
Ash brought the Dogs of War back from hell to protect Nick. Eight of the most badass Dark-Hunters evah, they don’t drain each others’ powers when they’re in proximity, although this is more a case of them being so powerful to begin with that the energy drain that normally incapacitates a Dark-Hunter has no effect on them. Like Dark-Hunters, when a Dog of War hits another, they feel it ten times more than the one they hit, but this doesn’t matter either, since they enjoy the pain. They will be policed by Zarek, Jericho and Jared.
Nick is somehow related to Dream-Hunter Madoc (formerly M’Adoc), but we don’t yet know how or who else knows this besides Madoc and Jared.
As a Malachai, Nick’s true form is red with black marks, black eyes that flash red and red-streaked black hair.