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[Cannon] Melzar's Transformation - Passing Into Legend


An Alteran Bard
This is quite overdue and still I don't know if I'll be able to finish it. I intend to write Melzar's entire story here. Anyone who ever wondered about something that has to do with Melzar will have their questions answered here. I thoroughly enjoyed roleplaying him and now with the reunion, it only seems fitting to dive into an old character. Melzar was a spur-of-the-moment creation. My first lawful evil character. Yet, the things that happened in his story were way beyond my wildest imagination. I'm not a writer, I'm a songwriter. So I don't think I can do his tale justice entirely. That, however, does not keep me from trying. If you're interested in Melzar's entire timeline, here's Mezlar's Transformation, Passing Into Legend.
(Some tiny details may have been altered for the flow of the story, links to events will be supplied for background reading)

Melzar's fate.jpg
Melzar's Transformation
Passing Into Legend

Chapter One - Arc of Sin

The Hog's Head.
It is the 28th of Winterfeast, 2302. In the bleak semi-darkness of a wintery day, a lone and heavyset figure moves through the gates of Halbed, pulling a cart. He is seen taking the first right and pulling the cart up a slope, to a vacant house near the town's entrance. The rest of the week goes by quietly, with the exception of the new year's feast and drinking in Halbed's central tavern. The stranger isn't spotted at the festivities, yet a few days later there is a sign hanging above the door of the previously vacant house, saying: "The Hog's Head - Butchery". With the days still shortening and the snow thick on the ground, the streets are all but abandoned most of the day. The ice around the harbor prevents ships from coming in and going out and as in all secluded towns, rumors start to spread in Halbed: "Whoever it is that has set up a butchery must really be struggling to get by," and "looks like a dodgy place if you ask me. I wonder what that bloke is up to in there..." Yet another week passes by without a sign of the stranger until a chopped Hog's Head appears on several crudely drawn posters around the town, sporting elegant curly handwriting: "The Hog's Head's grand opening! Grilled meats, sausages, and a tour through the establishment." A chance for the townsfolk to confirm the rumors which have since grown into the most exciting of tales, ranging from "I heard he's an undercover mage" to "Fella must have died from the cold."

What really was going on, the rumors could hardly have predicted... Melzar had come to town. The son of a most pious and devout man who worshiped all Gods equally, but did so by transforming their ideals into twisted realities and pictured them as monsters, not unlike Skraag's creations. In the same curly handwriting of the innocent posters, Melzar had created The Book of The Beyond. It was a testimony to Melzar's true nature, describing and picturing these warped shapes of the Gods, which were surely seen as heresy by most. Melzar made quite sure that this side of him remained undetected. This rather sinister side of him was accompanied by Melzar being in over his head with several crime lords. He often found himself doing their dirty work; disposing of the bodies that stood in the way of the crimelord's plans. Yet, he never had made a kill himself...

With a great big smile and his arms open wide, he welcomed his guests on the day of the opening. Outside, he had set up a small grill, which spread the lovely smell of greasy meats through the street. More and more people came up to see what it was all about and Melzar enjoyed himself thoroughly, giving out free snacks and slices of dried sausage. The people, too, were surprised to find themselves enjoying the hospitality. Yes, Melzar was a huge man with a face like a brick, but he seemed so kind and welcoming. "Perhaps," they started to whisper among themselves, "we were a bit too hard on him." Cleaning the dishes that night and packaging the left-overs in newspapers, Melzar couldn't help but grin as he made his way to his bedroom. It had been a huge success! This town wasn't so bad after all, he thought. A chance for Melzar to make a name for himself as the finest butcher in all the lands. His mind raced to new and innovative ways of preparing meats. The addition of unusual herbs and perhaps the mixing of different kinds of meats. His eyes began to droop. What if he added a little bit of chicken to a lamb sausage? He started to drift off into sleep.

Days passed by more quickly now for Melzar. He had customers coming in every day, and some of them coming back at regular intervals. He was vaguely aware of the snide comments people still made about him behind his back, but he was determined to make a success out of this thing. Winter had turned to spring and the ice had started to thaw, increasing the hustle-and-bustle in Halbed with foreigners from all over Altera. Melzar was incredibly interested to hear about their experiences with tasting meats elsewhere. He heard of a great sprawling town called Storm's Landing, where a fine butchery was selling unusual wares. To gather more inspiration for a new kind of sausage, he closed his shop for a week and traveled to Storm's Landing on a charter ship. Once arrived, he intended to look for the shop when a heavy rain broke out. Melzar ran to shelter under an archway and held out his hand to see how bad the weather was. When he retreated his hand, he was enthralled... The rain was red. He licked his finger and tasted an incredibly delicious mixture of flavors. Hidden beneath the enjoyable sensation was a distinct hint of blood. Melzar looked up to the darkening skies in which black clouds gathered violently, pouring out buckets of blood at a time. He guffawed dumbstruck and spread his arms to welcome this gift from the twisted and warped Gods as were pictured in the book. The Gods who his father had imprinted upon him. This divine scene, as he deemed it, had entirely wiped all urgency from his mind to go and meet the other butcher. He took off his blood-soaked apron and stowed it in his carrying bag, intended to drain every drop of blood into a jar once he arrived back in Halbed.


Inside the Hog's Head
Although his butchery had started to attract a set of regular customers, it still didn't earn him as much as he hoped to earn so that he could buy off the crime lords he was now paying in servitude. Serving any other master than himself never lay well with Melzar. In fact, he had become so sloppy that the backroom of his butchery was now filled with no less than three corpses he was supposed to get rid of. This was a problem, as he would surely not be able to hide them for too long, let alone hide the smell that started to protrude from that room. Once already did someone nearly find out about it and it had cost him several customers who had turned away from the butchery because of the smell. Then it dawned on him: Use them to your own benefit! He flicked through the pages of The Book of The Beyond to be sure this action was in accordance to at least one of the Gods and then closed the store for the day. After locking the doors, he started chopping the people into bits, much like he would do with a pig. He worked through the night and transformed his problem into a pile of products, ready to be bought and sold. The pile was of such proportions, that he was sure they would start to go bad before he had sold them all. That's when he had yet another idea: To host a second celebratory gathering and sampling of meats. Not only to get rid of his stock, nor just to find new people to sample his new recipes, but also to celebrate his business running successfully for half a year and to make the most of the influx of people that arrived to do business in the softest summer days that the harsh North in which Halbed was situated had to offer. The day before this event, Melzar spent his time creating blood sausages out of the blood that had rained down from the heavens earlier that week. Now he was ready to serve the town of Halbed with an extravagant feast!

And how they fed... Some were hesitant, never having eaten blood sausages before. Others were quite eager to try this exotic treat and soon asked for more. None, however, expected the source that these products were made of. The grill burned happily, spreading thick smells of grilled meats. Melzar smiled broadly, stomping around, offering sausages with the 'divine' blood to all newcomers. The opening of his establishment had been a success, but it was nothing compared to this summer's feast. People from all over Altera were already in Halbed to do business and Melzar saw his customer count grow larger and larger as the sun sank lower behind the towering walls of the city. By the end of the day, he had run out of sausages and sold half of his prepared meats. Again, he couldn't help but grin as he approached his bedroom, tossing his apron aside. The Gods surely smiled upon him. He lay down, closing his eyes, thinking hard on new ways to keep increasing his clientele.

Melzar awoke with a shudder. Before even opening his eyes, he knew a presence was near. He dared to peek and was rooted to the spot in fear of the sight of a figure standing at the foot of the bed. It was undead, for sure, its distant gaze boring into him and a green hue around its swaying body. A voice, choking, gurgling, dripping with rot: "Bring unto me a Gifte, a new corpse. Bury thy Gifte in the dirt of my domain. We will bargain. Be alone." And then, just as suddenly, there was a second awakening. Melzar sat upright again and realized it was dawn. A dream, but also not. He smelled the rot still, looked down, and saw a drop of blood upon his right palm. He closed his hand slowly, while his mouth opened slightly to form the foulest of names... "Skraag"

The next days progressed in rapid order. For one, Melzar was working long hours, trying to keep up with the new influx of customers to his butchery. Another reason was the continuous pressure from the underground organizations. They had noticed Melzar's success and had sent grunts who demanded payment, often at the most inconvenient times. The third, ever on his mind, was the message from Skraag that he had received in his dream, urging him to bring a new corpse into his domain. Melzar knew what that meant; he had to kill someone. He continued to labor away for the crime lords, disposing of bodies through his butchery, yet when Godsend arrived, he took a day to rest. Leaving the thick air of his butchery for a while, strolling outside the city gates for an hour or two. Having cleared his mind a bit, he returned and unlocked the door to his butchery. Whistling, he stomped inside, then stopped dead in his tracks. In front of him, on one of the many flesh-hooks, hung the body of an undead corpse. It was lifeless but exceptionally bloody. A bucket beneath it was already mostly filled with dark, almost black, blood. A terrible urge came over him, wanting to taste the undead flesh. He stomped towards it and groped, finding it incredibly easy to tear off a chunk of flesh. The taste was delicious. He wanted more. And the more he ate, the more his senses numbed. He ate, and ate, and ate until his vision faded and whirled.

He woke up on his back, on the floor of his shop. It was nighttime. The body had gone, but strangely, the bucket remained. A voice came from the darkness, gargling and almost choking; "Use it. All of it." It demanded. Melzar scrambled to his feet, looking around in awe, searching for the source of this divine voice. He was just as able to find the voice as he was able to fall asleep. His eyes wide open, his mind bent on completing the divine tasks laid before him, he got to work, not realizing how lucky he had been not to be discovered, for all this time his door had been ajar...

The Hog's Head Turns
The black blood from the undead corpse turned out to be of incredible value to Melzar. The blood sausages he made from it sold even faster than the free ones he had given away a month ago at the celebration. He was doing God's work. Bolstered by this thought, Melzar had felt no remorse in killing a customer that came to buy some last-minute late-night snacks. The man had knocked on the door after Melzar had already locked up for the day, pleading if he could please sell some of that delicious dried sausage. Melzar let him in, knowing it was likely that it was the black blood that caused the man to crave the food as he did. He locked the door behind the customer and gestured him forwards. It wasn't supposed to be a hard task to take the man's life. Melzar showed him around the shop "as a special treat for a great customer" and attempted to knock him off of the stairs, but the man recuperated far more quickly than Melzar had expected. In the struggle, Melzar lost his ring finger, but he could barely feel the pain of it. The sheer exhilaration of doing Skraag's bidding pumped fresh adrenaline through his veins.

He took the body to The Sorrows and buried it there, awaiting Skraag to fulfill His promise of a bargain to be struck. Then, the earth where the man was buried started to stir and bones rose from it, gleaming and polished. They aggregated together and formed a bone bowl, which magically filled itself with a dark blackened gore. "Accept my Gifte" spoke the gurgling voice and Melzar drank. He drained the entire bowl. When he returned to The Hog's Head Butchery later that week, he would not be the same. Chosen by the God Skraag, he would hunger no longer for pig's meat and sausages, but for sentient blood. Melzar had become the progenitor of what would turn out to be one of the largest family of vyres.

In the days that followed, Melzar started to lose customers again. His mind filled with the wonders and horrors of Skraag. He found himself to be distracted and unable to be motivated to do anything mundane. The corpses he was supposed to make disappear piled up in the backroom of his butchery and more than once did people gag and turned away as they entered the butchery with its thick putrid air of decay. Melzar reveled in it though. Decay was a sign of the God that favored him. All the actions that lead him to finally drink the bowl of gore had brought him to the path he was now on. There was nothing more important than to continue in his service to this one true master. As time passed by and his butchery stopped attracting customers altogether, Melzar became aware of the presence of other vyres. Other people craved sentient blood and struggled to obtain it without being caught by the law. Once again turning a problem into a solution, Melzar called for a meeting of Vyres and underworld characters alike.

It was night and the inside of the butchery was lit by a few bleak candles. Melzar stood in the darkness as he let the people in. One by one, vyres, criminals and other scum of the earth filed into his shop. He directed them down a hatch and into the basement, where the air was cooler and smelled more of fungi than decay. He locked the door of the shop and followed them down, once everyone had gathered there. He boasted his powers there; the ability to walk on walls, his increased strength, his sharper teeth. He felt an almost animalistic pleasure, as he stood there in the center of attention, facing the scared faces of those who had before called themselves his masters. There, he offered the attending vyres unlimited blood supply and made sure to pressure his former masters into delivering the bodies fresh. He invited some of them over and infected his first family members there in a way that would become known as his signature for years to come; he bit his tongue until it bled, and then bit hard into someone else's flesh, sometimes even tearing off the flesh after which he started licking the other person's wounds and thereby infecting them to join his cursed family. With a sadistic satisfaction, he ushered the cowering folks out of his butchery again. Some of the vyres, of which one progenitor, stayed for a bit, trying to persuade him not to spread this 'gift' so eagerly, but it fell on deaf ears. He swore an oath then, vowing never to have a master between himself and his one true master, his God Skraag. Then he opened the door and let the folks spill out into the night again...

As he stood alone in his butchery, savoring the victory he had had there and doing what he was sure to be God's work, a single drop of blood appeared on his palm. He looked down at it and licked it, finding his hunger for blood sated instantly. He looked back up and found himself in a decaying field with a horde of undead facing him. Fear surged through him like a blazing fire, rendering him immobile. A robed shadowy figure stepped forth from the fray with an extended skeletal hand. Melzar couldn't focus on it, thinking he saw a skeletal face, but flashes of green obscuring his vision. He heard the cracking of bone and the dripping of blood and that oh-so-familiar gurgling voice as the creature drew nearer; "You hath done well. Accept my true blessing, Aspirant, and be part of Me and Mine." So overwhelming that it is, he buckled to his knees and there was silence and stillness. Opening his eyes again, the fear was gone, as well as the vision. Melzar was in the butchery again, trembling with anticipation. He felt stronger yet, blessed by Skraag, he laughed; barking like a hound...

The Hog's Head Cut Off
The Hog's Head Butchery in Halbed closed entirely that week. Rumors spread whether it was the decrease in clientele or whether there were more sinister forces at play. The closed butchery saw only a rare one or two customers entering at night, which raised enough suspicion for the guard to patrol there more often. Melzar decided the time had come for a grand sacrifice before suspicion sparked the flame of fear. He once again called upon the vyres and underground in a meeting, to boast the blessing he had received. The evil folks filed into the butchery as before and Melzar followed them down into the basement. There he used his newfound powers to intimidate them and to persuade them to follow him as a soldier to Skraag. But this time, it was his pleas that fell on deaf ears. The other vyres weren't as excited about an all-out open war with the world. They urged him to stop spreading their blessing so wildly and tried to control Melzar. But the man already showed signs of the vile beast he would become. His temper rose to the surface more easily, his hunger drove him to take greater risks, and his senses were getting keener with each new member of his growing family. A family that was now known under the name of gluttony, as the other vyres despised their endless aggression and hunger. A hunger that even allowed them to walk in sunlight, to the envy of many other vyres. He roared his disapproval of their prudence and angrily insisted they'd leave now before he'd tear them apart.

Frustrated, Melzar saw the shady folks leave his shop one by one. Intimidated, yes, but not persuaded at all. What was worse, was that the butchery had been closely monitored by Halbed's officials for days, including the night of the meeting. There was now enough evidence of something evil stirring within that dimly lit house. There was talk of it being a cursed house, a foul place, "Burn it down!" They said. The guards reported to the heads of the city, a Jaxite and a devout to the Grey Lady, who decided they had to act sooner rather than later. As the sun rose on the day after Melzar's meeting, a group of brave men and women approached The Hog's Head and knocked on the locked door.

Having realized this day would soon come, Melzar had wasted no time after the meeting to pack all his stuff in one bag. With the knock on the door, Melzar slipped out through the back door, squinting at the bright sunlight that he had come to hate and listening intently as the guards broke through the lock. He heard the sounds of retching as they entered the putrid air, Melzar smiled. Then there was the creak of floorboards and terrified whispers as some of the guards entered inside. A yelled command from outside was followed by the guards getting out of the house. Then, with great anger in his chest, Melzar saw smoke rising from the other side of the building. The guards must have thought that it was too risky to enter the building and decided to smoke Melzar out instead. Melzar forced himself not to charge headfirst into the fight and show them the might of Skraag firsthand. Instead, as stealthily as he could, he made to circle around, hooded and cloaked, and left through the gates, unseen. Yet, his huge figure and shady appearance had attracted the glances of passersby and one of them alerted the guards of this evil-looking figure. The guards soon realized that the figure described must have been Melzar and ran through the gates and out towards the docks. Several ships lay on anchor, of which some were about to set sail. The head of the guard made sure the ships stayed put and the party swept through the ships one by one, finally arriving in the hull of the ship Melzar was hiding at.

A scuffle followed, in which many things happened at once. Melzar used his blessed powers to intimidate and poison his adversaries but to no lasting effect. An arrow flew by and Melzar landed a punch that sent a guard flying through the hull. In the end, he was captured and brought to the Halbed jail to await trial. Yet, he needn't wait long. Ventare Seymour, captain of the guards and devout to the Grey Lady stepped inside the jail, leaning upon his poleaxe and looking down upon Melzar. They taunted each other for a while. Then, just as Melzar rose to cast yet another blessed spell, Ventare jabbed his poleaxe straight through Melzar's skull, right between the eyes. For a moment it seemed Melzar wouldn't fall down. Then, his knees buckled, and he fell into a heap. Dead.

Rough lay-out of what more to add when I have time, will likely change a bit

Chapter Two - Arc of Fear

Inspire Fear

Become Fear

Feel Fear

Chapter Three - Arc of Destiny
The Rumors

The Clues

The Search

Breaking and Entering

Fulfilling Destiny

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