To consecrate the land in preparation of the Grand Rite and spread the Witch Pox.
|“||Malum est aperta.||”|
The Malum is an ancient relic and one of the most dangerous weapons at the disposal of witches.
Thought to be an essential object to the implementation of the Grand Rite, this relic is an apple-shaped casket bronze in colour. A tangled snake surrounded by a circle of flames is engraved on the apple. This precious casket can actually be opened and inside contains a crystal quartz medallion with an internal flap of meat infected with the plague.
The Malum is further protected by a box, a 'de facto' reliquary, or a container for holy relics that vaguely resembles the same workmanship of the Sarcophagus used by Countess Von Marburg to retain her original body. The box is richly decorated, engraved symbols related to Witchcraft such as a pentacle (five-pointed star inside a circle), snakes, a demon and a dragon biting its own tale as shown in Cotton Mather's sketchbook.
Powers and Abilities
The primary power of this heinous object is to spread a bewitched plague, colloquially referred to by witches as Witch Pox, and kill all those who are not aligned with the Devil. Secondly, the Malum can bestow visions about epidemics and genocides to whoever touches it, leaving burn marks on the skin of the unfortunate who hold it. The cubical box appears to be an additional supernatural protection and is difficult to open, as shown by John Alden who initially found it hard to open the cubic box which later opened by itself.
Throughout the Salem Series
Acting behind Mary Sibley, the witch Rose Browning, current Samhain of the Hive at that time, plotted with John Hale to bring the Malum from Europe to Salem. Unfortunately, the man who was to deliver it to Rose was killed by John Alden, who came into possession of the Malum and showed it to Cotton Mather, who revealed to his friend the satanical nature of the object. The two friends then decided to use it as bait to catch the witch and question her about the events of the Grand Rite. Their plans did not go as planned because Rose was able to circumvent even the influences of Saturn, which oblige the witches to tell the truth. But Rose's victory was short-lived.
Anything but stupid, Mary discovered Rose's plot and ordered to Mercy Lewis to decapitate the old witch, taking herself the title of Samhain. Once guarded safe at The House of the Seven Gables, Mary Sibley tried to barter her own life and that of John Alden by delivering the bewitched apple to the Elders, so that they were able to continue the Grand Rite. Unfortunately, as was Mary to start it, she will have to carry it through. Mary Sibley, then, entrusted to Isaac the task of burying the Malum in the woods, and gave also him enough money to leave Salem forever. The hapless young man, however, became a victim of the plague. He was the first to be infected with the disease contained in the apple-shaped casket.
While wandering through the woods, Dr Wainwright stumbled into the body of Isaac, left in the cold and sick in the woods for days. Taking him under his medical care, the doctor is found near the bag with the money that the malum rotted, who brought with him to his makeshift hospital. Cotton when he returned from Boston, and visited the hospital in the company of the doctor, immediately noticed the rotted Malum on one of the desks, and asked if he could examine it. Bringing it with him to Mary Sibley's house, still unaware of the woman's true identity, he told her to know the real cause of the plague: the maleficium of the witches, plotting to overthrow the heavens and bring Hell on earth, starting with a dreadful plague.
- Cotton Mather: "Tis an ancient proverbial truth that it requires but one dead apple to rot an entire barrel. And I come to believe it requires but one apple to make this whole land equally rotten. And not just any apple, but the malum. The icon of the apple runs through almost every image we have of the Grand Rite. The Grand Rite brings about death, death on a mass scale. We know little of its operation, nor the mechanism of magic that unleashes, the death that follows. Only this one enigmatically simple sentence: Malum est aperta, "The evil begins". But I have been misreading it all these years. We all have, my father included. "Malum" means "evil," but equally "apple". And I know believe the sentence to read, "the apple opens," and, by implication, unleashes the death that results."
- — Ashes Ashes
- Increase Mather: "In all of the literature on witchcraft, on malice, malum is "evil". So you tell me why, in this particular case, should it signify "apple"?"
- Cotton Mather: "I have reason to believe the malum referred to here is an actual object, and that object is here in Salem awaiting use against us."
- Increase Mather: "Well, it's an interesting theorem, but it fails the most basic tenet of rational thinking. Tell me: the shortest distance between two points is?"
- Cotton Mather: "A line."
- Increase Mather: "Correct. And often, the simplest explanation is the correct explanation."
- — Ashes, Ashes
- It makes its first appearance in Survivors, when the Hive was plotting behind Mary Sibley's back to get hold of it.
- Takes its name from mālum, a Latin word which means "evil, wrongdoing" but also "apple" depending on the tonic accent.
- The Malum is probably a pun to the Biblical apple, the fruit of knowledge which condemned humanity to be chased away from the Garden of Eden.
- Once buried, the apple-shaped casket rots spreading the plague across the land.
- A slight replica of the Malum was released along with Season Two press kit in 2015.