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"We are one. As we share the glory of our victories, so too should we share the pain of our defeat. In this way we grow closer. We grow stronger."
―Malik forgiving Altaïr for the event in Solomon's Temple.[src]
Malik Al-Sayf
AC Malik render
Biographical information
Born

1165[1]

Died

1228 (aged 62-63)[2]
Masyaf, Syria

Political information
Affiliations

Assassins

Real-world information
Appears in

Assassin's Creed
Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade

Voice actor

Haaz Sleiman

Malik Al-Sayf (1165 – 1228) was the head of the Assassin bureau in Jerusalem around 1191, and later the right-hand man of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, Mentor of the Levantine Brotherhood of Assassins.

Raised as an Assassin, Malik learned the fighting arts that struck fear into the hearts of their enemies. He was an excellent swordsman and a devoted acolyte to the Creed, as well as a caring and mature figure for his brother, Kadar.

Malik nurtured a jealousy of his rival Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, which was stoked into rage when Altaïr ignored the tenets of the Creed, and endangered his companions' lives during the events of Solomon's Temple, resulting in Kadar's death. Despite this, Malik retrieved the Templar treasure that Altaïr had failed to find, and delivered it to Al Mualim.

After Altaïr subsequently hunted and executed nine influential Templars to restore his rank of Master Assassin and assassinate Al Mualim for his corruption, he made Malik his close second-in-command after his change of attitude and appointment as the Mentor of the Levantine Assassins. As such, Malik was eventually deemed a temporary leader in the case of Altaïr's absence.

Sometime after this, a hated rival of Altaïr's, Abbas Sofian, overthrew and imprisoned Malik in Masyaf's dungeons for close to two years, with the false charge of murdering Altaïr's son Sef. Following this, Sofian ordered Malik to be beheaded after Altaïr returned from his quest across the Middle East in 1228, despite Altaïr rescuing his friend from the dank cell and tending to his injuries and undernourishment where he resided.

Biography

Early life

Malik was born into the Assassin Order in 1165, the son of Faheem Al-Sayf.[2] Trained from an early age, he managed to gain a high rank within the Order by the year 1191.[3]

Malik's brother Kadar was also trained into the Order, but possessed a lower rank than Malik until his early demise. Before this, Malik was always cautious to not involve Kadar too much into the Order's occupations or missions.[3]

Quest for the Apple

Malik: "He will teach you how to disregard everything the Master's taught us."
Altaïr: "And how would you have done it?"
Malik: "I would not have drawn attention to us. I would not have taken the life of an innocent. What I would have done is follow the Creed."
—Malik criticizing Altaïr.[src]

In 1191, Malik, Kadar and Altaïr were tasked with a mission "more important than any other", as described by Al Mualim. This led them into the Solomon's Temple mines in Jerusalem. The three of them stealthily infiltrated the mines until they came across an aged man, who Altaïr assassinated expertly with his Hidden Blade.[3]

Solomondiscussion
Malik, Kadar and Altaïr in the tunnels beneath Solomon's Temple

Malik scolded his unnecessary murder, citing the first tenet of the Creed to never harm an innocent. Altaïr claimed that his way of accomplishing a mission was better, which angered Malik. Frustrated, Malik moved ahead of his brothers to scout the area ahead.[3]

The three Assassins eventually found themselves on an alcove overlooking a section of Solomon's Temple, and were awestruck by the sight of the "Ark of the Covenant," an ancient artifact with ties to several divine acts in ancient history. Altaïr dismissed it as "just a story," but they were interrupted by the arrival of Robert de Sable and four of his Knights Templar.[3]

Malik attempted to advise Altaïr to keep his distance, but the Master Assassin ignored him and attacked Robert. As a result of this recklessness, Malik and his brother were left to fight off the Templars when Altaïr was thrown through a wall, and blocked from joining the battle.[3]

Malik2
Malik clutching his wounded arm

Somehow, Malik retrieved the Templar treasure and escaped, though his brother was killed, and his arm was ruined; Malik returned to Masyaf, and reported immediately to Al Mualim, despite his heavy injuries. He informed him of Altaïr's treachery, and presented him with the treasure that Al Mualim's "favorite" had failed to retrieve.[3]

However, Malik lamented that the Piece of Eden was not the only thing he had returned with, and soon revealed that the Templars had followed him to the fortress. Below, the enemy force unleashed an attack on the village protected by the Assassins. This was the last time that Malik was witnessed with his left arm, implying that it was amputated soon afterwards.[3]

Serving as Bureau leader

Altaïr: "Safety and peace, Malik."
Malik: "Your presence here deprives me of both."
―Malik and Altaïr in Jerusalem.[src]

Engaging Altaïr in the Jerusalem Assassin bureau after the disaster in Solomon's Temple, Malik made no effort to disguise his hatred for him. He pointed out the most subtle flaws of Altaïr's technique and attitude, resulting in an unpleasant encounter between the two as they discussed Altaïr's assigned assassination of Talal.[3]

The mission was a success, but Malik nevertheless heavily criticized Altaïr for triggering the city alarm, and for alerting the citizens of Jerusalem to Talal's demise.[3]

Malik Bureau 1
Malik reminding Altaïr of his actions

Malik met again with Altaïr in the Jerusalem Bureau after the latter was tasked with the assassination of Majd Addin. Though Malik had still not forgiven Altaïr for his mistakes, he expressed a small level of satisfaction when Altaïr asked for his advice instead of demanding it.[3]

Once Majd Addin had been successfully assassinated, Malik remarked that Altaïr had performed just as an Assassin should. Upon parting, Malik also revealed that everything Altaïr had done troubled him, and asked the man to consider that information during his journey back to Masyaf.[3]

When Altaïr arrived at the Jerusalem Bureau for a third time, Malik responded to his presence quite positively. He spoke to Altaïr as a fellow Assassin, and did not insult him. They exchanged information and parted ways peaceably, quite unlike their previously hostile conversations.[3]

After the skirmish at the funeral of Majd Addin, Malik and Altaïr had a hurried discussion over whether to chase Robert de Sable to Arsuf, or to return to Masyaf to seek the wisdom of Al Mualim.[3]

Altaïr argued that Malik used the Creed as a shield, and thus did not see the entire truth. He decided to journey to Arsuf rather than waste time asking Al Mualim for permission, imbuing Malik with a sense that Altaïr had not really changed. Altaïr did not comment, and only suggested that Malik learn more about the Templar treasure from the people of Jerusalem while he hunted down Robert.[3]

Before his departure, Altaïr apologized for his failure at Solomon's Temple. Malik refused to accept, but clarified that this was only because he felt that the Altaïr who stood before him was not the same one that had caused their defeat at Solomon's Temple, and so he held no guilt. Malik claimed that they were brothers under the Creed, and as such, were one – the mistake of one was the mistake of all.[3]

As Altaïr journeyed to Arsuf, Malik returned to Solomon's Temple and discovered the journal of Robert de Sable. It recorded the finding of the Piece of Eden by ten Templars, including Al Mualim. Finally convinced of their Master's betrayal, he traveled to Masyaf to aid Altaïr in retaking the fortress, along with several Assassins under his command.[3]

Retaking of Masyaf

Altaïr: "Safety and peace, Malik."
Malik: "Your presence here will deliver us both."
―Altaïr and Malik parting ways during the invasion of Masyaf.[src]
AC-Masyaf-AltaïrMalik
Malik meeting with Altaïr in Masyaf

Malik arrived at the city in time to rescue Altaïr, who was under attack by a small army of hypnotized Assassins. The loyal Assassins threw knives at the attackers, forcing them to flee, and giving Altaïr the chance to converse with Malik. They greeted each other warmly, claiming that each other's presence brought peace to the battleground.[3]

Following the duel between Master and student, Malik caught up to Altaïr in time to witness the Piece of Eden displaying a holographic map of the world, which marked the location of other Pieces. Malik's reaction to the advanced technology was not recorded; he was speechless, at first running to his friend's side, but slowing to a stop as he looked upon the projected map.[3] Right after, Altaïr sent Malik to Jerusalem to bring news of Al Mualim's death.[4]

Becoming Altaïr's right-hand man

"I have also worked with Malik to describe new methods of assassination: from on high, from ledges, and from hiding places. Basic movements, but critical nonetheless."
―Altaïr's Codex, page 13.[src]

Once Al Mualim had been defeated, Malik became Altaïr's close colleague, as well as his right-hand man after Altaïr was promoted to Mentor of their Order. Together, the two worked to discover new assassination techniques, which Altaïr recorded in his personal journal.[5]

Altaïr also began to delve into the secrets of the Apple of Eden, studying it for days at a time. Both Malik and Altaïr's wife, Maria Thorpe, suggested forgetting about trying to understand the artifact, as it was distracting him from food and rest, and insisted that Altaïr lock it away. Their advice was mostly ignored.[5]

Leading the Order

"I should have anticipated Abbas' plans. For years after your departure he worked to undermine me. I had no idea he had managed to command such support."
―Malik talking about Abbas' actions to Altaïr.[src]

In 1217, Altaïr, his wife Maria, and their son Darim left for Mongolia to deal with the rising threat of Genghis Khan, and Malik was left in temporary control of the Order.[2]

In 1225, Abbas Sofian, another high-ranking Assassin, staged a coup d'état in which he had Altaïr's younger son Sef killed, and ordered the murder weapon to be placed in Malik's bed. In addition, one of Abbas' spies claimed to have heard Malik and Abbas arguing that same day. Due to this, the Assassins believed that Malik was the killer, and Abbas had Malik thrown into the prison below Masyaf.[2]

Death and legacy

"It would not have happened to a stronger leader."
―Malik blaming himself for letting Abbas take control.[src]

When Altaïr and his family returned in 1228, Abbas attempted to trick them into believing that Malik had murdered Sef. However, Altaïr found this difficult to fathom, and after discussing the matter with Maria, he infiltrated Masyaf's prison to rescue Malik.[2]

Upon doing so, Altaïr brought Malik, who was in a very poor condition, back to their residence, where he revealed the truth about what had happened. Malik lamented that he had not been a better leader, and that this would not have happened to Altaïr.[2]

After having made sure he was asleep, Altaïr and Maria left Malik in their home to speak with Abbas. However, in their absence, Abbas' spy Swami killed and beheaded Malik. Swami placed Malik's head in a burlap sack and delivered it to Abbas, who showed it to Altaïr and Maria when they confronted him.[2]

Many years later, Altaïr met Malik's son, Tazim Al-Sayf. Together with other Assassins still loyal to Altaïr, they led an uprising against Abbas, killing him in the process and regaining control of the Assassin Order once again.[2]

Personality and characteristics

"You cannot know anything. Only suspect. You must expect to be wrong, to have overlooked something."
―Malik to Altaïr, before the assassination of Majd Addin.[src]
MalikAssassin
Malik in his Assassin robes

Malik was a harsh but wise man, who based his life and work completely on the Assassin's Creed and its tenets. He adhered to and protected those laws, believing that the righteousness his Master claimed was the foundation of the Creed.[3]

As such, Altaïr's arrogant dismissal of the Creed was a terrific blow to his beliefs and sensibilities; Malik disliked his fellow Assassin on principle. However, he slowly gained respect for Altaïr as he became the man needed to save their Order from enslavement, on his quest to redeem himself.[3]

Malik's devotion to the Creed and Al Mualim was unwavering, but also somewhat blind. Altaïr broke the spell of such an obsession by claiming that Malik was hiding behind the Creed and ignoring the facts – Malik took this advice to heart and searched for the truth.[3]

Malik found proof of Al Mualim's treachery recorded in a diary left within Solomon's Temple – the details recorded "broke his heart," but proved to be the final point necessary for Malik's rebellion, under his friend's guidance.[3]

Appearance

Malik wore Assassin robes almost identical to those of Altaïr, and wielded a single Hidden Blade. However, after the loss of his arm and his appointment as a Bureau leader, he began to wear the usual attire of a Rafiq; white robes and a black djellaba with white decorative markings.

Trivia

  • In Arabic, "Malik" means "king" or "owner," while "Al-sayf" means "the sword." Put together, "Malik Al-Sayf" means "King/Owner of the Sword."
  • Malik's name in the in-game credits of Assassin's Creed is written as "A-Sayf," the way it is pronounced.
  • Malik is the only Assassin who was seen wearing an almost identical outfit to Altaïr in Assassin's Creed. While wearing this outfit, he is also equipped with a Hidden Blade, though his ring finger is still intact. The reason for the outfit is unknown, but it presumably corresponds to Malik's rank. The ring finger was simply an oversight.
  • Due to his disfigurement, it is unknown how Malik would climb into or out of the Bureau after the loss of his left arm.
  • It is possible to throw Malik off the cliff right before he and his men run past Altaïr before the fight against Al Mualim. Doing this has no effect on the game, and he still reappears during the credits to look at the Apple of Eden.

Gallery

References

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