In order to battle the retinal degeneration that attacked her in the year 119 4E, Malkhai had to consume Viper's Bugloss leaves (it is an ingredient in Night-Eye potion, but masters of alchemy know that it prevents blindness) 4 times a day. Fortunately her daughter, Syan LaChance, had full knowledge of this and became the savior of her eyesight, which Malkhai valued as an enthusiastic adventurer.
You could call it a side effect... if you really think a cosmetic alteration is a big deal. Doing this changed her eye color from a deep red to a very icy blue. Malkhai is alright with it though. In fact she's pleased with this surprise effect
It's one more thing that makes her a unique dunmer.
A while ago, when I was browsing DA, on more than one occasion I thought I saw Malkhai fan art... then I was like "Oh...no it's someone else's dunmer."
That's when I decided to make changes. What counts really is her personality...yes... but something just has to be done on the outside to just to break the mold.
Oh and that eye changing thing... it really does happen. Certain medications change eye color.
Maybe certain alchemy ingredients could too.
I used the simplistic style again, but I think I like it more than some of my detailed things. I love it when I get that facial expression just right...which tells everyone she's a spunky no-nonsense, tough, I-can-kick-your-ass-so-don't-even-try-it kind of dunmer. No wonder Ethaniel loves Aela so much... she's very much like her XD
Malkhai © KABren
Elder Scrolls stuff © Bethesda