- Michael: 1. Hebrew "who is like God", after the archangel Michael
- Daemon: 1. Greek, "supernatural beings between mortals and gods, such as inferior divinities and ghosts of dead heroes," rendered as "devil" in the New Testament.
- "Donighal" as a surname appears not to exist apart from its use in the Trinity Universe, though it resembles the name of Ireland's County Donegal. A possible connection, given that Divis is a moorland north of Belfast.
The Hidden Years
It is uncertain where or when he first met Maxwell Anderson Mercer, though Donighal's father may have been one of Mercer's instructors at Harvard; in later life, Donighal said that "Unlike my father, I do not enjoy the role of teacher." They were already friends by 1922, when Donighal accompanied Mercer to London for Dr. Sir Calvin Hammersmith's demonstration of his Telluric Engine.
For months after the Hammersmith Incident, at the behest of fellow Mercer associate Whitley Styles, Donighal wandered the world in search of some sign that Mercer had survived. Ultimately, sometime after Michael gave up the search and advised Whit not to waste any more time hoping, he found Mercer alive in Chicago.
By that time, Donighal had already discovered his enhanced physical, mental and social capabilities. Only later did science identify these powers as based on the channeling of quantum energy. Donighal may or may not have been the first eximorph to be Inspired, but was for many years the most powerful. A convincing case could be made that he was already a nova when other quantum-users were only stalwarts.
Donighal adopted the name of Dr. Primoris to go with his new powers, in a wry parody of the emergent heroes of the pulp magazines. The changes to his body were sufficient that Whitley Styles, on first meeting Primoris in late June of 1923, did not recognize him as Donighal but only found him familiar.
- Primoris: First, foremost.
- This likely refers to Donighal's opinion that he is the first of his kind, which is true, in many ways. It may also be a precursor to his referring to nova-kind as the One Race.
Doctor in the House
Like Styles, Primoris accepted Mercer's offer to start a society of explorers into human potential and other mysteries. His attitude to Æon's efforts was as sarcastic as his self-appointed cognomen. He maintained detachment from them all, forced to keep them at arm's length by the (unspecified) scars of his past and the depth of his true feelings for Mercer.
Perhaps the catalyst of his betrayal was the death of Annabelle Lee Newfield, who betrayed Æon out of a love for Donighal as unrequited as Mike's love for Max. He returned to attitudes he had espoused early in Æon's history, that the Society should take a more active role in directing human affairs, in shaping them for "the better".
In 1943, this boiled over into a battle between Primoris and the rest of Æon. At the battle's climax, Primoris vanished unexpectedly.
Mal Is a Forethought
We know, from Whitley Styles' journals, that by 1977, Donighal was already calling himself Divis Mal. The dark god or terrible angel that had lain dormant inside him since Hammersmith had finally erupted. He may have been responsible for the second wave of Inspired events that marked the 1970s; research is ongoing.
- Divis: 1. Latin "div", root of divine, god. 2. Czech surname "Diviš" from Greek "Dionysios." 3. Latin division, divide.
- Mal: 1. Latin bad, poor, abnormal. 3. Short for Malachi, "my messenger" in Hebrew.
- Although it's implied that Divis Mal is supposed to mean terrible angel, the best we can get from actual definitions is bad god. If we use the Malachi reading and bear in mind that the Greek word for "messenger" is α γγελος (angelos), we can finesse out divine messenger, divisive angel, or Dionysian angel. Perhaps this is intentional, on White Wolf's part if not on Donighal's.
In the summer of 2003, Mal at last contacted the Orzaiz-Santiago roundtable — first through Scripture, then directly. Judging them ready for his brand of enlightenment, he gave them a philosophy — Teras — and a name, the Teragen.
On the night of October 31, 2005, he deemed that the time was right to reveal the Teragen to the world, and seized control of the OpNet to deliver the speech that became known as the Null Manifesto. The Teragen immediately shot to the top of Utopia's enemies list, and Caestus Pax vowed to bring them down.
These things done, Mal entered his fourth Chrysalis on September 12, 2006, leaving the Teragen to find their own way. He wasn't expected to return for four to seven years, but it took less than two. On the morning of June 2, 2008, he awakened from his metamorphic slumber and proceeded to the Pantheon meeting Orzaiz had called.
In the fall of 2010, he battled with Caestus Pax in Bahrain, demonstrating for all to see that Pax was not, in fact, the most powerful nova on Earth. After shutting down Pax's node, he whispered in his rival's ear, "It is a thing most sad to see a god stooping to serve monkeys."
Over the next half-century, more and more novas flocked to the Teragen banner, or at least came to accept the ideals of Teras. By the time the UN formally declared war on Homo sapiens novus in 2049, the Aberrant War had really been raging for years.
Finally, in 2061, China issued the Earth Strike Ultimatum. Perhaps, as he weighed whether to let the baselines destroy themselves along with the One Race, Mal remembered words Max had written to him back in the 1920s:
- "Michael, my friend, the mixture of drive and intelligence within you will lead you to great things. At some point in the future, you may find humanity's fate in your hands. If that time ever comes - and I pray, for your sake, that it never does - I can only ask that you make the right decision and let humanity prosper on its own terms."
Mal appeared at the UN soon after the ultimatum, skeletonized the Secretary-General with a plasma-flame handgrip, and delivered one final speech ending with the words "Your legacy is our future." So saying, he left the Earth, and the majority of novas left with him.
Powers & Abilities
Note: The way Divis Mal is drawn up here is to give Storytellers maximum latitude in their games.