Emperor Peony Upala Malkuth IX (ピオニー・ウパラ・マルクト九世 Pionii Upara Marukuto Kyuusei?), known more commonly as Peony IX, is the reigning monarch of the Malkuth Empire, who appears as a major supporting character in Tales of the Abyss.
Before the events of the story, Karl V, Emperor of Malkuth at the time, had four noble concubines, and Peony's mother was the one with the lowest status. Emperor Karl also had three sons and one daughter, none of them sharing the same mother, and all but Peony died in a struggle for the throne of Malkuth. The Closed Score predicted that Peony would rule Malkuth, which is why his father kept him confined in a manor in Keterburg, far from the political turmoil of the capital, Grand Chokmah. At his new residence in Keterburg, he rarely had any opportunity to leave the mansion to play with the other kids of Keterburg. Despite his closely guarded childhood, he was able to befriend Jade Curtiss, Nephry Osborne, and Saphir, fellow students who attended a private school with him under Professor Gelda Nebilim. Peony himself claims Nephry was his first love.
Years later, as the current Emperor of Malkuth, Peony assists the party in trying to achieve a lasting peace with the rival country of Kimlasca. Both he and King Ingobert VI of Kimlasca conclude all military aggression from their respective nations through a peace treaty, signed in the neutral grounds of Yulia City. Following the signing of this treaty, Peony grants the party permission to use a secretly developed flying machine known as the Albiore to help them evacuate residents from Engeve and Sheridan and transport them to Chesedonia after preventing the town from falling into the Qliphoth.
- Peony enjoys keeping rappigs as pets, naming them after people he knows to help him remember their names.