King Gwirmalesh is a major villain in the Volkonir franchise of Dozerfleet Comics. He is the primary enemy of King Morlikus and the Knights of Cortascius, as well as Prince Volkonir and Dr. Hanom of HanomCorp. He is one of the most advanced of Gwirdon Leaders, as well as a powerful wielder of the EccentriaCore's power on Cortascius. When chasing after Cortascians seeking refuge on Earth, he and his armies find themselves forced to hibernate beneath Chestnut Mountain in Montana. They are revived shortly after the return of Volkonir - in an effort to take him down.
Powers, weaknesses, and accessories
- EccentriaCore channeling: This power enables him to fire energy blasts from his fists, create and control Swivertick, and likewise with Throghbar, as well as his other abilities.
- Monster transformation: Including making Hoshijo into a monster.
- Monster growth: A seldom-used power, since it exhausts him. Gwirmalesh can make some of his monsters giant-sized, such as when he does it to Hoshijo.
- Arthritis: Because of his age, Gwirmalesh is not as agile or durable as he once was. That being said, he is still fairly formidable in battle. However, his joints ache a lot. This also limits his levels of physical activity in his lair beneath Chestnut Mountain.
- Daylight: Gwirmalesh's high-resolution compound eyes are irritated by bright sunny days, which can nearly blind him. He prefers the darkness for this reason.
- Swivertik: This evil wand allows Gwirmalesh to imprison his enemies as inanimate objects.
- Throghbar: A machine that turns Gwirdon Leaders into monsters.
Early life / career
Gwirmalesh is the 23rd main leader of the Gwirdon Tribe, and 3rd official king of the Gwirdon nation on Cortascius. He was fascinated as a child by the legend of Abrujan. He agreed completely with the Gwirdon nation's founders, and sought to gain control of a re-unified timeline and universe under Gwirdon rule. He was unsure it would be possible in his lifetime to merge the universes back into one by re-creating the Abdygalis; yet he ensured upon becoming king that his successor would keep that goal alive.
He initially wanted to focus most of his rule on growing Gwirdon resources and population, then addressing a sneak attack on the so-called "Mighty Kingdom" that had since gained its own new king: Morlikus. The two of them maintained a shaky peace in spite their conflicting interests. They were even willing to send respects toward each other when both of their wives died. However, Gwirmalesh had no interest in true peace, no in merging the kingdoms though anything other than conquest.
He discovered what would one day be referred to as Chestnut Mountain in Montana, and started creating a base with hibernation chambers there, in the hopes of being able to one day conquer Earth as well. A sort of "cold war" developed between Cortascius and Gwirdonia. Queen Reqchimel yielded Gwirmalesh only one child: a daughter named Gwantina. Morlikus' son, Prince Volkonir, would sometimes run into her when they attended classes at a school located near the border of the two rival nations. Always aware of her father's ambitions, Gwantina would never allow herself to be a true friend to the young Cortascian prince. However, she did not entirely despise him either. She admired how noble he was in defending her from undue acts of bullying by other kids - Gwirdon and Cortascian alike. The two saw each other as frenemies.
War with Cortascius
The murder of Gwantina at the hands of Marzwhatti the Lirquinwur was what finally pushed the evil Gwirdon king to launch his plans early - and hold nothing back. Due to the fact that it was Morlikus who failed to prevent Marzwhatti's escape from prison, Gwirmalesh held Morlikus responsible for Gwantina's death. The battles raged on for years between the two kingdoms, and Morlikus found himself unable to equip enough EccentriaCore defenses fast enough for his subjects to counter Gwirmalesh's monsters, Leaders, and Treaders. Desperate, Morlikus fell on his teachings from Grinodos regarding the Tapestry built into the EccentriaCore. He used this to create the Cortascian Elite Knight Squad.
Gwirmalesh discovered that the Elite Knights were the one thing that could consistently fight back against his legions of assaults. His focus therefore shifted slightly: destroying the Elite Knights of Cortascius at all costs! After a successful campaign led to the fall of Reelo Rumastik, Gwirmalesh decided that the best approach would be to off the Knights one by one after separating them. He was frustrated that Morlikus successfully hid away the Silver Ferret Knight powers before Gwirdons could claim Rumastik's mogriffer. (Unaware that it was security-coded to reject Gwirdon wielders.)
Fall of Cortascius
As the war continued to rage on, Horzhed Crimazol's arrogance became his downfall in a fight against Diabloq. Diabloq managed to slay Crimazol and steal the Red Serpent mogriffer for himself as a trophy. Gwirmalesh introduced new wands to be wielded - one by himself and a few inferior versions for key Gwirdon Leaders - so that they could ambush Cortascians and turn them into living enchanted objects that could only be reverted by similar wands or by the Pool of Healing.
A two-way assault on the Mighty Kingdom Castle led to Silnya Semaphry being diverted away from the castle along with her new apprentice: Prince Volkonir himself! Gwirmalesh's forces were able to turn Silnya into a statue and exile her to Earth, where she'd continue to give off a signal to any that could pick it up alerting Cortascians to her presence in order to ensure her rescue. However, the region to which she was sent was extremely sparsely populated at the time! And the nearest vortex to the Pool of Healing was thousands of miles away!
This loss enraged the young Volkonir, who made quick work of the creatures that defeated Silnya. However, Volkonir then realized that Gwirmalesh was attacking the castle from a different entry point. He arrived too late to discover that Gwirmalesh had already captured Morlikus and turned him into a trinket. Cortascians were fleeing into exile on Earth, vowing to one day restore their world that had been ravaged by the Gwirdons.
Volkonir arrived next to the Candle of Hope, which he had originally been charged with guarding. Alas, he underestimated how skilled Gwirmalesh had become at wielding his new evil wand. Gwirmalesh was able to turn the prince into an enchanted stuffed toy, and then banished him to Earth. He realized a bit too late that the toy spell allowed Volkonir to teleport short distances and to speak to others telepathically. However, he also knew that the human population of Earth was not likely to heed Volkonir's advice on anything.
Arrival on Earth
Seeing the destruction of much of Cortascius, Gwirmalesh realized that a reconstruction effort would be needed in order to make good of his conquest. However, he needed to subjugate Earth for his conquest of Cortascius to count. He was also enraged by the Cortascian refugees that fled to Earth, and sought to have his troops stalk them wherever they were and punish them for daring to escape. He himself at one point arrived on Earth, placing himself in the hibernation chambers to remain young. His men were given orders to revive him - along with much of the rest of the old order - once they had reached 500 years of being dormant beneath the mountain - sooner if Volkonir returned. In the mean time, a handful of Leaders and Treaders were ordered to breed - and remain mostly out of human site.
Damage done to Cortascian technology in the Gwridons' hands meant that Gwirmalesh lost confidence he could conquer Earth right away. He decided it'd be more demoralizing to Earth if its own technology were combined with Cortascian technology to use against the inhabitants. However, this necessarily required waiting for the resources to be invented on Earth.
Main article: Volkonir Journals
Gwirmalesh is in Volkonir's thoughts constantly, as Volkonir in toy form roams the Earth to learn as much as he can about its cultures. In his 400-some years in exile as an enchanted toy, Volkonir uses the opportunity to study the planet he is convinced he will one day have to defend - before getting the chance to rebuild the kingdom on Cortascius.
The Blue Face Film Strips
Main article: The Blue Face Film Strips
Gwirmalesh remains in stasis while Marzwhatti the Lirquinwur breaks out of his. Marzwhatti considers hunting down Gwirmalesh, but decides to have fun terrorizing the Averes family instead.
Volkonir Journals: Attempt #43
Main article: Volkonir Journals: Attempt #43
Shortly after Katie Averes throws Volkonir out of the window in Grand Ledge, Volkonir is able to find another way to hitch a ride to Big Rapids. From there, he detects the vortex to the Pool of Healing near a pipe inside the Granger Building on the Ferris State campus. Alas, it'd be a few more months before him arriving. Gwirdon spies take note that the Averes family suffered a loss due to Marzwhatti, and begin spying on Katie. When they learn that Volkonir found a way to Big Rapids, they send some Treaders in search of the toy. The toy of Volkonir decides to remain hidden for a few more months. Yet, in spite the cold weather, the Treaders in pursuit remain determined to find him.
The news travels to a Gwirdon Leader, who reactivates Hiktomoph. Hiktomoph orders that if the prince makes it to the Pool of Healing, Gwirmalesh is to be revived immediately.
Main article: Volkonir (2008 film)
After a brief encounter with some Treaders chasing after Cassie Helm, Volkonir makes it to the Pool of Healing and then returns through the vortex as a prince. He summons Selshon and makes quick work of the Treaders. He later looks for ways to blend in while in Big Rapids, staying one step ahead of police that may be curious about the Treader deaths on campus. He runs into Dereck Tumbine, and learns of Dereck's crush on Cassie. He encourages Dereck to make a surprise visit to Cassie's dorm. This is Cassie's reward for freeing Volkonir. However, the news travels quickly to Hiktomoph. Hiktomoph orders Gwirmalesh be revived. Gwirmalesh learns of the news, and is very irritated by it.
As HanomCorp locates Volkonir and Fred Hanom takes the prince under his wing, Gwirmalesh sets to work looking for ways to modernize his base beneath Chestnut Mountain and prepare the Gwirdons for their eventual quest to conquer Earth.
Volkonir: The Series
Main article: Volkonir: The Series
Gwirmalesh sets his sites on Hanom's corporate empire in the western US as a way to gain the resources he needs for his nefarious plans. He focuses most of his efforts on the HanomCorp HQ's city: Bozeman. He also begins looking for the children of the original Cortascian refugees that escaped him, in an effort to cleanse the Earth of Cortascian resistance. His minions' efforts - combined with those of sympathizers that infiltrate US bureaucracy - lead to the wrongful incarcerations of Kayla Tarington and Lenny Drae, among others. After Kayla's release, however, she winds up working for Hanom and Volkonir in the R&D and security departments of HanomCorp's side labs located in the outskirts of Bozeman.
Gwirmalesh soon meets with resistance from "Team Volkonir," leading the exasperated Gwirmalesh to resume making monsters to complicate matters for the security team. This results in Volkonir reactivating the Golden Lion Knight armor. With Hanom's assistance, Volkonir is able to further power up his Golden Lion armor. This leads to an increasingly desperate Gwirmalesh looking for new ways to sabotage the team and steal Hanom's inventions, while the prince continues to thwart these efforts.
Volkonir: Rise of Semaphry
See also: Volkonir: Rise of Semaphry
Terrence Hoshijo, who had previously befriended the since-fallen Hiktomoph, approaches Gwirmalesh directly with a sinister plan to turn the US government against Team Volkonir. Gwirmalesh agrees to the plot, and has Diabloq revived to prevent the feds from failing in their mission. The plan results in Carlos Modi being captured, and the team's base getting bombed. Vinny and Kayla's apartments are also shot up by helicopters. However, Silnya Semaphry was able to successfully transfer the Crystal Swan Knight powers to Kayla. As the new Semaphry, Kayla is able to give Volkonir a much-needed power boost.
Frustrated with routine failure, Gwirmalesh heads with the Morlikus trinket around his neck to Washington, DC, in the hopes of assassinating the president and seizing control of the country - before the Cortascian Knights can get there in time to stop him. They underestimate the Knights, who are able to convince Social Security staff to legally resurrect Hanom and enable him to unfreeze his own bank accounts.
With full access of his company's resources again, Hanom deploys several devices that aid the Knights in their showdown. Volkonir's defeating Diabloq leads to Gwirmalesh ambushing Volkonir and changing him back into a toy out of revenge. However, Volkonir uses the time lapse in his being re-applied to the toy spell to hand the Golden Lion mogriffer to Kayla. She uses it to power up her own Crystal Swan armor, leading to a hybrid Knight capable of taking down a giant blue slug monster created from Hoshijo. Gwirmalesh then finds himself struck down dead by the Hybrid Knight. Hanom explains the situation to the president, leading to instant pardons of everyone except Kayla. Morlikus and Volkonir are taken by a set-free Carlos and Lenny to the Granger Building, so they can be brought through to the Pool of Healing. Hanom and his lawyers are able to - with the president's help - negotiate for a way to get Kayla out of prison.
The death of Gwirmalesh, however, leads to Mogabir being appointed the new Gwirdon King. Mogabir prepares the remaining Gwirdon forces to prepare for Cortascius to interfere with the re-forged Knights' plans to restore the planet's civilizations. He warns that with Gwirmalesh gone, and the Knights restored, the entire Gwirdon Nation's legacy is in danger.
Gwirmalesh is initially cold and calculating, with a fairly level head to him. The death of Gwantina, however, leads to him perpetually scowling and growing vindictive. In spite his disappointment with his minions' failures, he is not particularly cruel to them. His age and arthritis lead to him being reluctant to solve matters directly, unless provoked. As such, he can seem lazy to the uniformed, preferring to delegate commands from his throne room and hide from the world at large.
Gwirmalesh was not in and of himself intended to break any new ground for his franchise or genre. His firm belief in the humanistic utopic vision he has been taught would result from merging the timelines back and re-creating the Abdygalis, as well as the way he treats his minions kindly in spite their failures, is intended to reveal there are a few depths to him that separate him from the typical "1990s Saturday Morning Cartoon Villain" stereotype.
His preference for hiding in underground caves and throne rooms was inspired largely by Grimlord from Saban's VR Troopers, whereas his growly voice and occasional fits of anger are inspired heavily by Power Rangers villain Lord Zedd, as voiced by Rob Axelrod.
Limitations to both appearance and character development for Gwirmalesh were intended to keep the focus on Volkonir's struggles to both deal with his past coming back and trying to find his place in Bozeman society - both as a HanomCorp employee and while pretending to be a regular civilian named Vinny Mason. Gwirmalesh allows his minions to disguise themselves, but rarely bothers with it himself.
Gwirmalesh is intended to look like an aged Gwirdon Leader, green-skinned and with some mosquito-like features. His hiding in black cloaks and darkness reveals him to be a low-key villain whose need to be iconic in appearance is evidently not that great. He prefers to be known more for his ideas than his looks, to be little more than a dreadful idea in the eyes of his enemies.
While draft ideas for his look have been around since 2008, it was not until February of 2017 that Gwirmalesh's visualization was first committed to an electronic format. His current look was generated using The Sims 4.