Kingdoms of the Mists
Who is Malken?
This is an excellent question. The surest answer is that he is a powerful crime lord in Nova Vassa, expertly manipulating the alliances and rivalries of this frontier kingdom to amass great strength and influence far beyond the cities he controls. But this does not address what he may be, for while it is held that he is human, their are tales of his physical strength and seeming omniscience that seem to color him as something more.
Where Does he Rule?
The dwarven kingdom of Balikforge supports and protects several human settlement that dot the foothills between the mountains and the plains. These villages and small cities of laborers and traders are basically boomtowns with all that this implies. Gambling, prostitution and other illicit activities are rampant, and it is whispered the Malken controls all of it. Other whispers tell of slave trafficking, extortion, and information networks also controlled by Malken. Lord Hiregaard has tried several times to root out Malken and bring him to justice, but the mysterious crime lord always eludes him. Recently the dwarvish regent has proclaimed that Malken is only a rumor, and not a genuine person at all.
How Does he Influence the Kingdoms?
When a person of importance is assassinated or abducted, when a treasure goes missing, when a disaster such as arson or widespread destruction of crops or other goods occurs, the the responsible party is not immediately evident. it is Malken the common people, and indeed, some leaders, credit and blame.