This page is written in the in-universe perspective of the "Garion" series' of novels.
It was originally founded as the seat of the Angarak military forces following Torak's self-imposed isolation at Cthol Mishrak after the War of the Gods. It expanded heavily, especially after Kallath was appointed OverGeneral of the armies of the Angarak and Emperor of the Melcene Empire in 3831.
Torak appeared in 4850 after eons of seclusion at 4850 and a council of war was convened in 4852 at Mal Zeth, indicating its rise to prominence.
After Torak's invasion of the West and his defeat at the Battle of Vo Mimbre, Korzeth deposed of the his aged father and then smothered all opposition and reunified Mallorea after a major bloodbath. At this point, and through the descendants of Korzeth, the center of power shifted from Melcena to Mal Zeth.
During Garion's pursuit of Zandramas they stayed briefly in Mal Zeth as guests of Emperor Zakath who had returned from his campaign in Cthol Murgos. At the same time, a plague broke out in the city that caused massive casualties and required an aggressive fumigation response. The result was one of the worst disasters in human history with a major death toll.
Mal Zeth is divided into sections for housing and business, and the sections and every citizen and resident are determined by military rank, from lowest private to highest Field Marshal. These are controlled by the Bureau of Promotions. The city is very uniform and regimented, densely packed and carefully laid out along long straight roads by army architects. All the structures have thick white mortar, so the entire city gleams in the sun.
At the centre of the city itself is the Imperial Complex containing the Palace and the various Bureaus that run the Mallorean Empire. The gates to this compound were bronze, overlaid with beaten gold. Within were various structures, such as the new complex of bureaucratic offices Zakath authorised before the Battle of Thull Mardu, the various ornate palaces of the Emperors, and the central palace of Kallath the Unifier, the greatest of all the palaces and the seat of power of Emperor Zakath, ruler of all Mallorea.
The valley beyond the crest stretched not for miles, but for leagues, and it was filled to overflowing with the city of Mal Zeth. The streets were as straight as tautly stretched strings, and the buildings gleamed-not with marble, for there was not marble enough in all the world to sheath the buildings of this enormous city -but rather with an intensely gleaming, thick white mortar that seemed somehow to shoot light at the eye. It was stupendous. -- The Demon Lord of Karanda