Why whatever do you mean? It's been established that here, rivals and evil opposites are always the same level as you are, or a bit higher, whether they work their butt off or play cards. The Guild should all be at the same level as the Order to provide a credible threat, except for Malack and Tarquin, who as retired adventurers turned secret rulers should be expected to be Epic level, and Kilkil who was a clerk a week ago.
I don't think we should expect them to be Epic. An Epic-level fighter would have handed the Order their heads in close combat, even if there was only one of him; Tarquin seemed to have real trouble dealing with their combined strength hand-to-hand. Meanwhile, Malack hasn't cast any Epic-level spells; I think I've seen him use something 9th-level, but that could just mean he topped out at around 17-18th level.
Part of the point of Tarquin's plans is that he works so differently from Xykon. Xykon has epic-level magic, and uses it to dominate and crush his enemies by brute force. Tarquin is much more subtle, and doesn't need to single-handedly depopulate whole kingdoms to get what he wants. So there's no reason to assume he's as high level, just because he's successful.
Having Belkar inside the Holy Word's area of effect was a clever twist that could bite them if they have to give him orders. But in the normal run of things he'd avoid them anyways. Besides, Nale has already 'suggested' Belkar kill the Order for him once before.
As the title of the comic says, Belkar "Wasn't Going to Listen to Orders Anyway."
Eleventh Century Remnant wrote:
What is this 'favourite character' you speak of? I have walls lined with bookshelves, having a single favourite character would be like having a favourite brick.
-Story of my literary tastes.