Dread Empress Malicia the First is the reigning Tyrant of the Dread Empire. By the time the first book of the Guide begins, she has been ruling for forty years.

Background Edit

Her real name has been revealed to be Alaya, nicknamed "Allie" by the Black Knight. She was formerly a concubine to Dread Emperor Nefarious, taken by force into his seraglio. She's implied to have assassinated the Emperor and usurped the throne in a civil war also known as the "Whore's War". Born in the Green Stretch, she was an innkeeper's daughter who worked as a waitress and met both Amadeus and Wekesa before being taken to the Tower.

Appearance Edit

Catherine notes she is tall, with sharp cheekbones and smooth skin. Her beauty is much commented upon and she wears clothes that display it - it is apparently unrelated to her Name, though she uses magic and Name power to make it more noticeable and distracting.

Personality Edit

Several characters mention her as being calculating. She's mentioned to be a lesbian though she is not above using her effect on men to her advantage, which her stated sexual preferences does not seem to hinder. While she plays up her reputation as a seductress in public, she is more modest in private and was stated by Black to have never really overcome her "very provincial views on propriety". Malicia presents herself as the metaphorical "good cop" to Amadeus' "bad cop" when interacting with the Praesi aristocracy, though she seems to hold them in little esteem. As far personal relationships go she'd known to have kept Nefarious' seraglio after his death and she's referred to Amadeus as "the only man in this entire Empire I can call a friend". Scribe has an open dislike of her and implied Ranger felt the same.

History Edit

Early Days Edit

At some point after Dread Emperor Nefarious' failed invasion of Callow, she was forcefully added to his seraglio by the Sentinels. Her father protested and was nailed to the floors of his own inn. She'd previously met Amadeus and saw him again when he became the Black Knight and was summoned to the Tower by the Chancellor. Nefarious was later killed, and she claimed the Name of Dread Empress before the Chancellor could, triggering a civil war. At least two High Lords and a High Lady stood against her in that war, and presumably all of them were defeated before she took control of Praes. The Black Knight served as commander of her forces and seems to have raised her an army in the Northern Steppes, including the later-famous Marshal Grem One-Eye, Marshal Ranker and General Istrid.

The Conquest Edit

Her involvement in the Conquest itself is unknown, though the Reforms that enabled it would have needed her approval. In the wake of the annexation of Callow, Malicia quieted unrest among Praesi high nobility by creating the Imperial governorship system and awarding rich cities to members of the Truebloods.


Despite initially working as a barmaid Alaya has taken to power in a short amount of time she has overwhelmed the status quo of Praes. By allying with Goblins and Orcs and outlawing the name of Chancellor she has upset true bloods. She has expanded the name of empress to encompass the duties of chancellor as well. Her main power lies in crafting schemes that exhaust her enemies through her indirect manipulations as seen in the constant infighting of Procer. She is also able to handle direct threats through employing the Black Knight her closest friend.

Rule: Allows her to control an individual without visibly having to control them this allows her to subtly control individuals around her without arousing suspicion. With this power anyone in her presence is merely a pawn. Similar to Black she can also plant commands in others, however her power has limits and she is unable to control a large army.