Record of Lodoss War Fansite.

Katricos Alans Erstwiel IV, aka Malak “Crimson Shrike” Erstwiel
Pronunciation: KAT-ree-KOHS ah-LAHNS, mah-LAK ERST-vile

Forum ID Mana Link
Plot Building an Empire at Sea
Malak is © Mana Link.
Salty Dog - Flogging Molly (Listen ♫)
Update Thread (Use for updates, corrections, etc.)
Malak’s Gallery
Age 38
Birth Year NRC 492
Gender Male
Race Human
Homeland Alecrast

Physical Description

    Malak is tall and well developed, his short, dark curly hair has grayed with a bit of age. His skin is a deep bronze, mostly due to his time in the sun. His face is still youthful, though has a pair of scars on either cheek from his younger days. His arms and back are tattooed mainly with black ink. The tattoos are mostly interworked lines, with only the his back tattoo being one of a roaring tiger. His red eyes are deep and mysterious, and as hard as he tries to play stupid, there is a hint of intelligence that most wouldn’t see.

Height 6’ Hair Color Dark Brown, Graying
Weight 200lbs Eye Color Red
Build Thick Skin Color Bronze

Clothing and Armor

    His clothing is composed of a simple wool vest of reddish-brown color, a white cotton shirt and thick black wool breeches. He wears a simple leather hauberk and leather bracers to protect his forearms. His boots are thickened brown leather treated so they could act as armoring as well.

Weapon Description

    His primary weapons are a pair of steel single edge short swords. They are straight blades designed and forged as twins. They each have a precious gem of at least an inch and a half diameter. They were forged by an old friend of Malak’s as proof of their friendship. His other weapons are a pair of curved boot knives he took from his previous captain when he mutinied and a set of ten four inch long bone throwing needles that he picked up in his many adventures. The knives are silvered with an etched hilt of hinting at possible elvish design.

Class Rogue
Occupation Pirate, Mage, Ex-Nobility
Guild Membership Shadow Guild (2), Mages’ Guild (2)
Weapons Twin Steel Single-Edged Shortswords, Twin Elvish Silvered Daggers, 10x Bone Throwing Needles
Armor Leather Hauberk, Leather Bracers, Leather Boots
Equipment Change of clothing, Large sack, whittling knife and sheath, maps in map cases, compass, three ink vials, writing implements, signet ring with family crest on it, sealing wax, paper scrolls, whetstone, winter blanket, winter clothing, dried rations, three 4lb sacks filled with coins: mostly gold pieces
Magic System Sorcery
School of Sorcery Arcane
ST 14
EN 11
AG 10
IN 17
LU 9
PB 13

Magic Items and Enchantments Abilities

    Malak is an adept at the skills of sorcery, utilizing his own hybrid style. Formally taught as a child on Alecrast, he changed his focus to a hybrid of sorcery and shamanism, taking in the little he could torture out of an elf child he picked on. Once he learned to communicate, although messily, with the spirits he began to realize how foolish his teachers were. Hopping a vessel he sailed for Lodoss to the south to continue his training. His strongest affinity is with fire, darkness and air. He refuses to utilize magic of light, ice, or earth. Except for the few spells he knew as a child, all his other spells are purely his own creation, derived from his twisted mind and control over the spirits.

    Malak’s physical skill with swords also developed at a young age. He became a local terror with his wooden play swords, terrorizing others with his learning of swordplay. His skills only improved with age, his talent for quickness and appeal to humiliate his opponents made him somewhat feared. His most devastating physical attack is flurrying his blows, attempting to distract and disorient his opponent before finishing it up with a cross slash, on diagonal tangents crossing as they cut upward.


    His personality is dark and twisted, mostly due to his gross superiority complex and disregard for human life. Though he has calmed down a little since his truly evil childhood, he still has the cruel instincts of a butcher, and proves that if it ever moves to battle. He chooses to stare down someone first, before attempting to draw his swords. Intimidation and his monstrous evil streak makes many people uncomfortable in his presence.

Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Quotes: “If a tree falls in the forest, a butterfly flaps its wings in Alecrast, and war broke out in Lodoss, what does that mean to us? More work, for if we’re spending this much time watching nature take its course then it means we aren’t making any money.”


    Malak was born Katricos Alans Erstwiel IV, the first son of the nobles Katricos Alans Erstwiel III and Lillian Erstwiel nee Marakai. For two years, Malak grew, his parents unknowing of the evil growing in the child’s heart. The evil in the child was not apparent until Malak had reached the age of three and was given a sister Sophia Liste, named for Katricos III’s mother Sophia. He groomed his sister secretly to be sour towards their own father, poisoning her young mind with lies of her father’s betrayal of their mother with a young boy. Sophia grew to despise her father, and it showed in her pretty face always wearing a scowl when she was in his presence. Fearing any further poisoning by her brother, their parents sent Malak away for schooling.

    At the age of five, young Malak began to plot his father’s demise. His plot was distracted only by the intoxicating interest in magic and sorcery. He played up sweetly to his parents to get enrolled in a school of magic. As Katricos just wanted distance between Malak and Sophia, he agreed and sent his son further away. Malak learned quickly, too quickly for his masters to keep him in check. It was also around this time that he began to learn the eccentricities of torture, to break, mold and twist someone to his every darkest whim. He tried his practices on the kids of his class, breaking one of his female schoolmates into murdering one of their teachers.

    Malak grew more influential at his school, though mostly through the other students fearing his wrath. He was somewhat of a celebrity, both due to his prowess with sorcery and the whisperings of him being adept at torture. As all his methods were too discreet, Malak was never found in contempt to the school’s rules and thus not expelled. When Malak was eleven years old, six years after enrolling in the school of magic, he was expelled for attempting to rape one of his female teachers. He was sent back home immediately.

    Sophia was nine at that time, and the conditioning that Malak had started with his younger sister had not worn off. She adored her brother for all his evil ways and happily served his twisted whims without a word of objection. Malak began to push his plan for removing his father from his life onto his little sister, to get her to do the deed. She was still young and gullible, and thus, she carried out the plan without understanding the consequences of her actions. Sneaking into her father’s bedroom during the night she crawled onto his chest and buried a kitchen knife deep into his throat. She held his mouth closed as he choked on his own blood so not to wake their mother.

    The next day the two children bawled at the sudden loss of their father. Their mother was devastated and horrified, but blamed herself instead of placing any of the blame on her children. Malak had become the man of the house, and as such, inherited all the property that belonged to the estate. Malak was free to do as he pleased, finally.

    At twelve, just a year later, Malak ran into his first elf. He was curious if the elf knew magic like he did, and asked the elf all about it. He learned that the elves’ shamanism was a lot like his own sorcery, and that meant that he wanted to learn it. The elf refused the vile child, stating that it wasn’t something for humans to learn. Malak became infuriated with the elf and began to torture the secrets of shamanism out of the young elf. It didn’t take long before Malak had what he wanted, and he killed the elf with his own hands and burned the corpse with a fire spell.

    He continued to practice his sorcery in secret, and took constitutionals into the city each day. In one of his experiments his eyesight and hearing were augmented by the magical energies. He became enamored with ships and with smiths. He met his future best friend at the smithy, though at this time he was only an apprentice. Malak shared his visions with the young smith and told him of his plan to travel to Lodoss and steal all the secrets of the world. The apprentice was impressed, and offered to come with. Without asking permission of his mother, he entrusted Sophia with the estate and chartered a ship across to the accursed Isle with his smithy friend in tow.

    Arriving in Raiden, Malak sought out any possible way to increase his magical base, but was thwarted at each and every turn. He told his friend to seek out another smith to apprentice under, and left Raiden to pursue his own agendas. He stole a horse and went to Alania, to seek out more knowledge about magic at the Academy of Sages. There he learned all manners of edicts, as he could read Kastuulian from his previous learnings. He was there for three years, learning, absorbing knowledge and sending letters back to his sister in Alecrast.

    He returned to Raiden not long before the Academy of Sages fell to Wagnard in 509 NRC. Malak was outraged at the blatant disregard for the ancient knowledge, but couldn’t act on his rage. By then his smithy friend was a full fledged smith, and was crafting weapons in Raiden. The smith gave Malak the twin shortswords he carries to this day, and took great pride in his friendship with his smithy friend.

    Malak returned home to Alecrast, to take back his property from his sister. He returned to his home to find that his sister was deposed by their mother and her current husband, Troy Claar, a young nobleman. With news of his mother’s remarriage and the disposing of Sophia, Malak went mad with rage. He stormed his house, killing his step father and young half-brothers and torturing his mother repeatedly until she cracked. When he was satisfied with her breaking, he allowed her to commit suicide. Malak took his sister back in and appointed her his chief executor. Sophia was happy for her brother’s return, though her time on the streets had made her fragile and her belly heavy with child.

    Malak allowed for the birth of the child, and his niece, Lilly Atru was born. Malak found the child adorable, and decided to keep his sister from further harm. He told her that he was going to take a small amount of the fortune and leave Alecrast for Lodoss once more. Sophia agreed and watched her brother depart. Malak left behind his noble status in name alone, and returned to Raiden within the year.

    Malak was interested in profiting now, and taking his money, he invested it in searching out the fetid underbelly of society. He came across a pirate captain by the name of James “Shank” Luurse, and joined his crew. He was inducted, after two years serving as cabin boy, into the folds of the Shadow Guild. Malak learned the rules quickly, and with his swords, earned the nickname “Crimson Shrike” due to his quickness and bloody tactics in a fight.

    Between his two years under Shank Luurse and his many battles on the Fleet Magin, Malak became intense and interested on rising in the ranks of the Shadow Guild as well as the ship. Neither would come to him quickly enough so he incited a mutiny and killed his captain. Gaining his captain’s rank, the ship, the knives and the two scars running on each cheek, Malak was now seen as a true pirate. He pirated the seas near Raiden, amassing his fortune until he could buy his own ship. As he split the treasure nearly evenly with his crew, the crew never mutinied as long as he was the captain of the Fleet Margin.

    At the age of twenty-eight, Malak became engrossed in the war on Lodoss. He moved south along the coast of Lodoss to Marmo, and began to loot and plunder in those dark waters. He continued to pirate the Marmo waters until the war’s end, amassing his fortune still. Finally, at the age of thirty-four he retired the Fleet Margin and bought his Grand Sophia, named for his sister. In her name he continued to pirate the waters of Lodoss, never yielding, and ever merciless in his conquests.

    He lost his ship and crew to the attack of a leviathan, and was nearly ruined. It was then that he changed his name to Malak Erstwiel, and began his piracy career differently. He stuck to the land for three years, from age thirty-five to age thirty-eight, raising his fortunes until he could rebuild his reputation as the “Crimson Shrike”.

Back to Building an Empire at Sea Characters

Back to Characters