"I've got something to say:
It's better to burn out than to fade away!"
-The Kurgan, "Highlander"
Malakim can't fall- that is a well-known fact throughout the Symphony. What is not so obvious is that if a Malakite obtains too much Discord, something much worse will happen: he will transform into a monstrosity that is neither an Angel or a Demon, but something so utterly abhorrent that they warp the Symphony merely by existing.
It takes a lot of Discord to turn a Malakite Dark. It can't happen until the amount of Discord, of each type, exceeds the Malakite's Forces of that type. For example, a Malakite with 4 Corporeal Forces, 2 Ethereal Forces, and 3 Celestial Forces would turn Dark upon accumulating at least 5 levels of Corporeal Discord, 3 levels of Ethereal Discord, and 4 levels of Celestial Discord.
Dark Malakim are extremely rare. Considering that Malakim will usually be put on probation with just two notes of dissonance, and most Superiors will destroy out of hand any Malakite with more than three levels of Discord, it's unlikely that any Malakite accumulating large amounts of Discord will survive long enough to turn Dark. No one knows how many there have been since the Choir's inception, but Bright Lilim are more common than Dark Malakim. Most angels, if they've even heard of Dark Malakim, consider them to be apocryphal.
Dark Malakim aren't really Malakim anymore. They aren't really even angels. They still have an angelic Heart in their former Superior's Cathedral, but it is effectively dead. A Dark Malakite can't assume celestial form and can't ascend to Heaven, and if his vessel is killed, he will suffer as do other Outcasts. In the extremely unlikely event of a Dark Malakite who has not become an Outcast, suffering physical death would mean the Dark Malakite's celestial form would ascend to Heaven to form next to his darkened Heart. Most Archangels would quickly destroy him.
Malakim are so Discordant, they have totally lost their resonance. What you have left is a celestial with only his skills and Songs and innate celestial abilities. You'd think that with the loss of most of his powers, and the addition of a dozen levels of Discord at the very least, a Dark Malakite would be easy prey, and you'd be right, for the most part. But becoming Dark gives Malakim a few advantages as well, and those advantages can make them extremely dangerous. Dark Malakim can use their Discord in place of their weaker Forces, but this eventually strips them of their Forces completely. A Dark Malakite can temporarily raise any of his Forces up to his total amount of Discord of the same type, to a maximum of six. This does cause his Characteristics to rise also.
To power his Forces with Discord, the Dark Malakite must make a Will roll, adding the number of Forces of the type he is trying to boost. The check digit of a successful roll is the number of minutes the increase lasts. On a failed roll, he gains Discord and/or loses Forces of the appropriate type, equal to the check digit! Even if successful, the Dark Malakite will still gain one level of Discord or lose one Force at the end of the duration. If a Dark Malakite already has the maximum allowable Discord of the type in question, he must lose Forces instead. Your Forces can be lowered to 0 by using Discord to boost them (In Nomine, page 68). Any Force lowered to 0 cannot be powered with Discord.
Dark Malakim do not regenerate Essence- instead, they have another option available: they can wrench Essence out of the Symphony by tearing at it with their Discord. Strip-mining the Symphony in this manner creates a loud disturbance and painful backlash, but a Dark Malakite might be desperate enough to do it and suffer the consequences. To use Discord to obtain Essence, a Dark Malakite chooses one of his three types of Discord, and rolls d666, with a target number equal to the amount of Discord he is using (he may use less than his full amount, but he may not mix different types of Discord). On a successful roll, he gains Essence equal to the check digit. On an unsuccessful roll, he may not repeat the attempt (with that type of Discord) for a number of days equal to the check digit.
Whether successful or not, attempting this creates a massive disturbance in the Symphony, equal to the Discord being used plus the check digit, and inflicts damage, of the appropriate type, equal to the target number. It also tends to create strange phenomena in the area, as a result of warping reality with Discord. Nearby inanimate objects may be damaged or deformed, strange sounds and smells might fill the area, and mortals will feel uncomfortable, possibly sick or fearful. When a Dark Malakite draws discordant Essence from the Symphony, everyone notices.
Interactions with other CelestialsEdit
Dark Malakim, like truly free Lilim, have no metaphysical bond with either Heaven or Hell. Being technically unaligned, they are treated as enemies by both sides. A Malakite who has turned Dark is a discordant abomination. Angels will be horror-stricken at the sight of him. Most will run away (and report the Malakite to their Superior immediately), the rest will try to kill him. Demons will react similarly, though the smart (or foolhardy) ones may try to capture this bizarre, twisted caricature of a Malakite. Even mortals will notice something is very, very wrong with a Dark Malakite, even if none of his Discords are immediately visible. Most Outcasts are virtual pariahs, but Dark Malakim truly have no friends. Outcasts will not associate with them; those who have hopes of being readmitted to Heaven know that befriending a Dark Malakite is as bad as consorting with demons, while those who are avoiding both angels and demons will dread having a mad, discordant creature of uncertain temperament following them around. Renegades too will see a Dark Malakite either as an almost-Fallen enemy to torment or avoid, or as a dangerous jinx who will only draw fire on anyone who gets too close.
A Dark Malakite's behavior depends on what Discords he's accumulated. At the very least, the Dark Malakite will be suffering from assorted psychological disorders. Most are totally insane. A Dark Malakite has purged himself of the last vestiges of divinity, yet he remains a celestial, and he is not a demon. In many ways, he is now a free agent, but his mind has become so twisted, he may be barely aware of his own nature and his motives. Depending on what brought him to this state, and what Discords he's acquired, he may still obey his oaths, but if he does, it's out of force of habit; since Dark Malakim are no longer truly Malakim at all, they are no longer bound by their vows.
Most Dark Malakim, knowing they're doomed, obey their instincts and attempt to go out in a blaze of glory. They may hunt demons, if they retain some devotion to their original purpose, or they may attack any celestial they encounter. Some become completely psychotic and start killing mortals too. They may walk into a crowded restaurant with an automatic weapon, or they may became hunters of individual humans, turning their perverted killing instinct into a game. Their rationales are as varied and insane as those of human serial killers. If a Superior realizes a Dark Malakite is on the loose, every Servitor in the area will probably be put on his trail. A celestial with nothing to lose can inflict a lot of damage, and often won't hesitate to display celestial powers in public.
Instead of going down fighting, a Dark Malakite might try to hide. This isn't easy, since with so much Discord, he probably can't blend into human society even without doing anything to disturb the Symphony, and as long as an Archangel or a Demon Prince knows there is a Dark Malakite unaccounted for, they will never cease their pursuit. But it should be noted that Dark Malakim can easily burn themselves down to a Remnant after a few uses of Discord to power their Forces. It's whispered that a few Malakim have gone Dark, and never been found.
If it's difficult for an Outcast to redeem himself, how much more so is it for a Dark Malakite? The simple truth is, it's never happened. The circumstances that would allow a Malakite to accumulate enough Discord to turn Dark, and yet be worthy of forgiveness by his Archangel, would have to be extraordinary indeed. It's not likely that anything short of slaying a Demon Prince would earn redemption for an angel who, if a member of any other Choir, would have Fallen many times over.
A Dark Malakite could always try, of course. He cannot ascend to Heaven, but he can attempt to invoke his former Superior, though it would be at -10 since he is not really a Servitor of that or any other Archangel any more. But remember what it takes to become Dark. Even a forgiving Superior like Novalis is sure to destroy a Dark Malakite; the effort it would take to remove so much Discord would be taxing even for an Archangel (more than they'd exert to purify a dozen less corrupted Servitors), and Dark Malakim are just too dangerous to let live.
The only other hope for a Dark Malakite is to gain more Forces, enough to equal his Discord in at least one area. If this happens, he will immediately become a true Malakite again, albeit an Outcast, heavily-Discordant one. No Dark Malakite is known to have lived long enough to do this, and even if one did, he would still probably be too far gone to avoid termination.