|The Exile's Tale|
A year prior to the Skrall War, an Arena Match between Malum and Vastus begins, as the two Glatorian taunt each other. Malum leaps toward Vastus to attack with his sword, but the Jungle warrior is able to counter the blow. Meanwhile, Raanu and Tarduk are discussing the match, and the Fire Tribe leader admits that Malum has been "difficult" recently.
Angered by Vastus' words, Malum makes a charge at the other warrior, and falls to the ground when his opponent dodges. Hearing the jeers of the crowd, he rises again, in a rage, and knocks Vastus to ground. When the Jungle warrior refuses to concede, he prepares to savagely beat his opponent, and only Strakk's intervention prevents this happening. Malum walks out of the arena, as Raanu expresses his fears that things will only get worse.
Later, Ackar confronts Malum about the match at the edge of the Wastelands. The Second Glatorian points out a pack of Vorox, and claims he would never sink to living in the deserts, but Ackar warns him that if his violence in battle does not stop, he will likely be exiled. The Prime Glatorian continues to say that he would not hesitate to kill Malum if it became necessary.
Four months later, Malum is fighting a trainee Glatorian in Tesara, and Raanu explains to Gresh that he only continues to employ Malum out of necessity, and fear of what he might do as an exile. Malum quickly defeats the trainee, but Gresh steps in to claim that Tesara still poses a challenge to him.
After the match, Raanu talks with Malum, having heard rumors that other villages would refuse Vulcanus' challenges if Malum were to replace Ackar as the village's Prime Glatorian. The village leader asks the warrior to tone down his violence, but Malum immediately refuses.
Two months afterwards, Strakk talks with Gresh and Ackar just prior to a match with Malum, and the Ice Glatorian is confident that he can best the violent warrior. In the arena, Strakk attacks before Raanu has finished talking, and is able to land a blow on Malum. However, the Fire Glatorian grabs Strakk's Ice Axe and uses it to flip his opponent onto the ground. Malum prepares to finish the fight, but Strakk flings a handful of sand into his eyes, blinding the fighter briefly. This gives Strakk the chance to knock down Malum, but the brutal warrior rises quickly.
The match continues for hours, with both Glatorian fighting on despite exhaustion and injuries. Finally, Strakk is able to shatter Malum's sword, but rather than admit defeat, the Fire warrior flings his opponent onto the ground. Full of rage, he prepares to slay Strakk with his own axe. Before he can do so, he is tackled by Gresh, who pins him to floor, whilst Ackar levels his sword at the enraged warrior.
Iconox files a formal complaint against Malum, and faced with the refusal of all his village's challenges, Raanu is forced to exile Malum. Chained before the village leader, Ackar, and Metus, Malum's sentence is announced, and he is subsequently taken from Vulcanus by Ackar and three trainees.
Refusing rations and a sword from Ackar, Malum wanders the Wastelands for weeks until he encounters a pack of Vorox. Knowing he cannot survive alone for much longer, he charges at the dominant male Vorox and engages it in battle. Refusing to give up, he fakes defeat in order to surprise the creature, and Malum soon stands victorious. The defeated leader is exiled by the rest of the pack, and a day later, Malum seeks it out and kills it.
Now leader of the group of Vorox and Zesk, Malum realizes it is better to rule his own kingdom in the Wastelands than serve Vulcanus, and settles into his dominion over what he had previously called "dirty, stinking beasts".
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