When Swordshadow comes for you, may she leave you alive.
Malice Swordshadow is the Imperator of the Ash Legion. She and Imperator Smodur the Unflinching have been the two primary forces on the charr's side working for the peace treaty with humanity. Although she is younger than her fellow Imperators, Malice is known for being sneaky and smart, and she has gained a reputation for being a dangerous opponent.
Despite her youth, Malice Swordshadow eventually became the most recent Imperator of the Ash Legion. She proved herself to be a cunning leader who used her agents to keep up to date on matters concerning Ascalon and beyond. The Iron Legion's Imperator Smodur the Unflinching was aware that Malice had sent her troops to not only assist him against the Ascalonian ghosts and the Flame Legion but to spy on the Iron Legion as well; despite this, the two Imperators respected one another.
After learning that General Almorra Soulkeeper had left the Blood Legion and founded the Vigil as a direct response to the threat posed by Kralkatorrik and other Elder Dragons in 1320 AE, Malice ordered her trusted agent Ember Doomforge, Almorra's grandcub, to infiltrate the order under the pretense of remitting Ember from the legion to boost the Vigil's numbers. However, the three female charr all knew the real reason Ember was in the Vigil: to report to Malice on the Vigil's activities. Almorra accepted Ember into the order without issue despite knowing Ember's true allegiance; it is suggested that the general eventually learned that Malice was secretly supportive of the faction among the charr who were working for a truce with humanity so they could free more of their forces to fight the Elder Dragons, a goal which Almorra herself was after.
In 1324 AE, Malice continued supporting the truce faction among the charr albeit behind the scenes as she did not want to risk opposition from the other High Legions who were adamant that no truce would be signed until the Legions' most prized possession, the Claw of the Khan-Ur, was returned from the ruins of fallen Ascalon City which was infested with murderous ghosts.
Malice and Almorra eventually hatched a plan and had the charr truce faction contact Queen Jennah's representatives discreetly for an offer to consider a ceasefire with humanity in exchange for the Claw. A band representing both nations' interests was formed, including Ember Doomforge, Dougal Keane, Gullik Oddsson, Killeen, Kranxx, and Riona Grady. The group eventually managed to retrieve the Claw from the haunted ruins of Ascalon despite losing some members and facing an act of betrayal from one of their own in the effort. Within a week of meeting Dougal's group who refused to let him know about their mission in Ascalon, Blood Legion Tribune Rytlock Brimstone dined with Malice in the Ash Citadel and asked her in person what the group had been up to although he already had his suspicions after letting them continue their trek unhindered.
After the Claw had been secured, it was handed over to Iron Legion Imperator Smodur the Unflinching, who was the representing charr Imperator in Ascalon, with the blessing of both Queen Jennah and Duke Wade Samuelsson of Ebonhawke. The Ebonhawke Cease-Fire Agreement and the Charr Legions Cease-Fire Agreement were signed not long after, allowing both humans and charr to pull back forces in order to assist their respective nations on other fronts that desperately needed reinforcements and supplies, particularly against the encroaching threat of the Elder Dragons as both Almorra and Malice had wanted.
- ^ Hero's Canton ambient dialogue
- ^ Ash Legion Primus Badge
- ^ The Legions of the Charr
- ^ Chapter 17, Ghosts of Ascalon by Jeff Grubb and Matt Forbeck:
- "I have no 'master,'" Ember growled. "Yes, the asura is correct: I am part of the Ash Legion. Doom Warband. My imperator is Malice Swordshadow. She personally sent me to serve with the Vigil. She knew that I would prove valuable there."
- "To who?" asked Riona.
- Ember shifted uncomfortably. "To Soulkeeper, of course, and—and to the Ash Legion as well."
- "So you've been spying on the Vigil for the Ash Legion?" Dougal asked.
- Ember paused for a moment, then nodded. "General Soulkeeper knew this from the moment I reported to her. She is no fool."
- "And she let you go on with your charade despite this?" Riona's tone betrayed her disbelief.
- Ember nodded. "She got what she wanted: an effective soldier ready to do her bidding. And she gave Imperator Swordshadow what she wanted: a direct report on the Vigil's activities from someone she could trust. Their interests do not conflict. No harm is done." [...]
- There was a long moment of silence then. Dougal broke it. "Swordshadow is part of the truce faction. That's it, isn't it? That's why there is no conflict."
- "I could not say," said Ember. "We did not discuss the matter."
- "Because if it were known that Swordshadow supported it, there would be direct opposition from the other legions," continued Dougal.
- ^ Chapter 22, Ghosts of Ascalon by Jeff Grubb and Matt Forbeck:
- "I am on the business of Malice Swordshadow, the Ash Legion imperator," said Ember, snarling. "I cannot and will not tell you the nature of my mission."
- "Nor should you," came a deep, resonate voice from the perimeter of the discussion. "I will be dining with Swordshadow at the end of the week, and I shall take the opportunity to ask the imperator about it." [...]
- "No," replied Ember. "That is, he knows I am up to something, and that Imperator Swordshadow is somehow involved. And that we are a mystery, and he hates mysteries. The sooner we sneak out, the sooner he will be relieved of thinking about what we're up to."