Mal's awakening was particularly difficult, even by Guardian standards - his Ghost found him buried beneath six feet of Mars permafrost, trapped alongside half a dozen dormant thrall. His fireteam in the City noted that Mal had a particular aversion to the cold, and a tendency to lose the easy-going attitude wherever the Hive were concerned. Despite this, Mal was always known as the youngest and most lassaiz-faire member of his fireteam, fond of practical jokes and bending (but not breaking) the rules. He was on disciplinary leave when his fireteam were sent to investigate a patrol beacon on Earth's Moon. The sector turned out to be infested with Hive, who abducted Mal's friends for use in their dark rituals. The loss of his fireteam hit Mal particularly hard, and he briefly engaged in a campaign of retaliation against the Hive - something Commander Zavala politely described as a "death-wish" - before returning to the City as a newer and more stoic individual. Mal resolved to protect his second fireteam even at the cost of his own life, although he initially protested his new commander status.
Following the Red Legion victory against the City, Mal received a series of visions which led him to the Shard of the Traveler, where he became the first - and, apparently, only - Guardian to regain his Light. Mal was instrumental in recovering the Vanguard and spearheading the assault on the City, resulting in a climatic battle against Dominus Ghaul himself. During this time he also foiled a Vex plot on Nessus, investigated Taken activity on Io, and established a Guardian outpost on Titan, ironically strengthening the City's presence throughout the solar system. Mal's actions turned him into an overnight hero, and he frequently consulted on Vanguard operations, becoming the progenitor of the so-called "Age of Legends". During this time, patrols were delegated mostly to the remains of Mal's fireteam, a setup he was famously unhappy about. In particular, he strongly disagreed with the Vanguard's decision to assign Nyx-13's to guard duty in the Hive-invested Clovis Bray facility.
It was during this time that Mal first came to the attention of the Drifter and the Shadows of Yor. Following the Prison of Elders, Mal learned that he was being investigated as a potential traitor to the City. Simultaneously, several members of his fireteam had publicly disagreed with his handling of Cayde-6's death - most notably the hunter Loveless, who had taken up a new alliance in the Tangled Shore. Furious and betrayed, Mal fell further into the Drifter's orbit. His experiences with Gambit and the Nine eventually convinced him that the Vanguard were ignoring the "real" threat lurking somewhere beyond our solar system. Fuelled by his desire to protect his friends, Mal officially joined the Shadows of Yor, taking on the mantle of "Dredgen Lux", and began fighting for what he called "the truth" about the Darkness.
Mal's Ghost, North, is in many ways the spitting image of his Guardian. Stern and compassionate, he considers each member of the fireteam to be as much his responsibility as Mal's. The other Ghosts respect him, but see him as a little bit of a worrier.
North has an unusually deep voice, which many people remark upon when first meeting him. His shell is solid titanium, which he's used on more than one occasion to drop unwary enemies.