The Shaded Vale
Character Name: Melechla Torment
Acrobatics :: +3
Arcana :: +9 Trained
Athletics :: +2
Bluff :: +14 Trained
Diplomacy :: +7
Dungeoneering :: +1
Endurance :: +4
Heal :: +1
History :: +4
Insight :: +6 Trained
Intimidate :: +7
Nature :: +1
Perception :: +3
Religion :: +4
Stealth :: +4
Streetwise :: +7
Thievery :: +7 Trained
Background:In the midst of a faraway, unforgiving mountain range, there lies a small valley. Within the valley lies the land of Theraidyl. To the historians and scholars of the outside world, Theraidyl is believed to be a legendary land of great riches, hidden by demons and creatures of torment. Few actually believe in its existence, and fewer still are greedy enough to brave the dangers in hope of finding treasure. None who ever attempted to climb the treacherous mountains reached the valley. They either despaired of reaching their goal and returned home in defeat, or perished on the rocky peaks.
The impassable mountain ridges kept the human inhabitants of Theraidyl from escaping their terrible masters. The Tiefling Torment family ruled over them mercilessly, and the villagers submitted in fear of certain torture and death. For a thousand years, the residents of Theraidyl existed in fearful servitude. Although the villagers vastly outnumbered the tieflings, the poor wretches had long ago ceased to attempt uprisings. History dispelled any doubt that the tiefling dynasty would not swoop down in revenge and re-establish the tyranny of the Torment family.
The fall of Bael Turath and the demise of the tiefling dynasty, when discovered by the tiefling sorcerers, was kept secret from the humans of the land. To the tieflings, this deception was a great joke. As the sorcerers predicted, Theraidyl’s subjects never were the wiser. They continued to mine riches from the mountains, grow food and produce goods, all for the benefit of the Torment family and the village wardens. It did not matter that tieflings elsewhere in the world were reduced to commoners. In Theraidyl they grew very rich, and each generation became more drunk with power. The Torment family became so wealthy they had an expansive castle complex built into the tallest mountain, so to look out over the land they dominated. It became known as the House of Torment, and all the wealthiest and most renowned tieflings came to live in the luxury of court.
It was into this reclusive world that Melechla Torment was born. As the only child and heir of Melech Torment, Lord of Theraidyl, Melechla was trained from a very young age to one day rule over Theraidyl as her ancestors had done before her. She grew up to be a proud and deceitful young woman, skilled at using her imposing beauty and position as the future Lady of Torment to satisfy her every whim. The members of the court were respectful, but wary of the petty intrigue she instigated around the castle. There were many who secretly thought her vanity and selfishness would be her downfall, yet there were others who thought her sly wit would undoubtedly bring more wealth and power to the House of Torment.
It was the year she turned eighteen that Melechla stumbled upon the book. The day began ordinarily enough. Melechla was strolling towards the banquet hall when she heard a whisper from an alcove in the corridor. She tiptoed closer and silently slipped into the shadows to eavesdrop. Rather than the gossip she expected, Melechla overheard two warriors planning a raid on a small village on the farthest end of Theraidyl. An informer had reported some villagers that were hoarding jewels from the mines, and the warriors intended to kill the villagers and keep the jewels for themselves. As the mine in question belonged to the Torment family, their plan was not merely thievery, but constituted treason.
Melechla quietly proceeded to the banquet hall to ponder how this information might benefit her. After her meal, she purposefully strode to Lord Melech’s offices and informed him of her discovery. She wove an infuriating, embellished tale of the warriors’ treachery. Her father became so enraged he ordered the guards to throw the warriors in the dungeon until such time as he deduced the most appropriate method of execution. Melechla then consoled him with proclamations of her resolve to make an example of the villagers and recover the stolen jewels. By the time she left Lord Melech’s offices, he had offered the stolen jewels as reward for her efforts as if it were his own idea.
Melechla brought a swift end to the traitorous villagers, and allowed the warriors that accompanied her to wreak havoc in the village. As she triumphantly carried her chest of jewels through the action, she noticed a small dilapidated hovel just outside the edge of the village. Feeling inexplicably drawn to the structure, Melecha strapped the chest of jewels to her horse and slipped away to investigate.
There was nothing inside the hovel other than a cot, a table, a chair and a small wooden crate filled with straw. Clearly it had been abandoned for quite some time. Feeling silly at her curiosity, Melechla turned over the bed and table and broke the chair to pieces. She threw the crate against the wall, crushing the boards and causing a small whirlwind of straw and dust to fill the room. It was then that she noticed a faint green glow through the straw that had fallen to the floor. Coughing, she knelt and brushed away the straw to reveal a small green book, glowing almost indiscernibly from a symbol on the cover. The pages of the book were filled with strange writings and symbols.
Noticing the sounds of destruction dying down outside, Melechla dropped the book into her skirt pocket and left the hovel. She led her companions back to the castle, mentioning nothing about her discovery. She wasn’t sure why she felt compelled to keep the book a secret, but somehow knew that she must.
The book quickly became an irresistible obsession. Although she could not read it, Melechla could feel its power every time she leafed through the pages. She thirsted to learn its secrets for herself, but had no means of translating the writings. Thinking back to her brief magic lessons as a child, Melechla was sure the book contained some kind of spells. Melechla often considered asking one of the castle sorcerers for assistance, but in the end could not bear the possibility that they might not be truthful and try to use the power for themselves. She scoured the castle libraries for months but found no useful information.
Finally, in desperation, Melechla decided to return to the ravaged village. To cover her intentions, she concocted a story about visiting a distant cousin near there. In truth, she planned to investigate the ravaged village first, then visit her cousin to prevent any suspicion.
Melechla embarked upon her journey on a sunny morning, excitedly guiding her horse towards the ravaged village. After a long day of travel, she arrived at her destination, keeping to the trees so as not to alarm the few remaining residents. Melechla decided to wait until dusk before sneaking into the hovel to search for clues. She tied her horse to a tree and settled down to wait, soon falling asleep in exhaustion from her trip.
Some time later, she suddenly awoke with a start and realized the book was open in her hands. At the same time, she noticed the unmistakable sound of water trickling over rocks, although there had been no such sound before. Shocked, Melechla focused on the sound of the water, which impossibly rang out with the melody of a most beautiful song. She could not understand the words, but the book seemed to. It was glowing brighter, the pale green light gleaming from every bit of writing on the page. Melechla rose and slowly walked towards the sound of singing waters, the book held before her, open and shining like a torch.
The woods were dark; even the light from the book could not penetrate far into their depths. Melechla did not see the clearing ahead until she had already stepped into it. She immediately halted in awe of the sight before her. A small stream bubbled from the side of a hill, the clear waters trickling over the mossy rocks into a glistening pool. A misty, green glow radiated from the waters, and grew brighter as the light from the book mingled with the mist. Melechla became aware that she was stepping forward into the pool. The water was not hot or cold or even wet; it appeared that it was not water at all. The water-like glowing mist began to swirl around her until the light became so bright Melechla clenched her eyes closed and fell to her knees. She felt the mist whirl upwards as she fell. As if time were moving too slowly, several moments passed before Melechla felt hard ground beneath her knees.
The mist cleared to reveal that Melechla was not kneeling in the pool, nor was she still in the forest. She stood and saw that she had been teleported into an elaborate, waterless fountain. She also saw that she was not alone. Before her stood a slight woman with long white hair and bewitching green eyes. She wore a long, pale green robe and held a cloudy wand in her right hand, pointed directly at Melechla. With her left hand she took the book and smiled.
The strange woman introduced herself as Sariel, then began to laugh as Melechla haughtily demanded an explanation. Sariel led Melechla to a small nearby cottage and offered her a chair. Melechla felt her panic slip away as she listened to the woman‘s tale. Sariel explained she was an Eladrin of the Feywild, and Melechla had stepped through the moon fountain into her world with the help of the spell book. Sariel was a gloaming fey, serving the Maiden of the Moon in her mission to destroy the savage killers that plagued the innocent. Despite her young appearance, Sariel was over 200 years old and an experienced Warlock. She retired from fighting evil to train new warlocks in the ways of mystic energies, in order to aid in destroying their enemy. Sariel advised that the moon fountain had been created so she could slip into the mortal world and recruit warriors with promise for their cause. She had traveled to Theraidyl and left behind the book as a way for her potential apprentice to return. It was enchanted as to only be visible to one capable of great power, and to draw the finder back to the fey crossing. Every night, Sariel sang her spellbinding fairy song to draw her apprentice to the moon fountain and into the Feywild.
Melechla was flattered by Sariel’s words. Still under the enchantment of the book, she hungered to experience its powers. For the next two years, Melechla trained unceasingly to become a warlock, yet did not forget about Theraidyl and the House of Torment. Sariel encouraged her to one day return home and end the tyranny her people had inflicted on the innocent inhabitants of the land. With Sariel’s help, Melechla made a fey pact with the Maiden of the Moon. She pledged to destroy the evil in Theraidyl and become a fair and just ruler.
Although Melechla changed for the better during her time with Sariel, her vanity was never diminished. Over time, Melechla came to think of herself as a mighty warlock capable of overthrowing her father’s rule single-handed. But in fact she was merely beginning to learn the ways of a warlock’s power. Gradually, she grew tired of Sariel’s admonishments to be patient and decided she was ready to return home. One night, when the moon was high in the sky, Melechla went to the fountain and sang Sariel’s song. As she sang, the fountain began to glow and fill with water. Melechla stepped into the fountain and back into the Theraidyl forest.
When Melechla returned to the House of Torment, she caused the biggest sensation in a thousand years. Not only did she stride into the castle as if she had never been gone, but she looked completely different. To the tieflings who glimpsed her as she made her way to Lord Melech’s offices, she looked more terrifyingly beautiful than ever before. Her trips through the moon fountain had changed her. Her skin and horns had lost their vibrant red color and softened into a dusky purple. Her once jet black hair had bleached to a shining stream of white, silver and purple. Although her eyes gleamed with the same silver fire as before, there seemed to be a faint green radiance from them that none of the tiefling court had ever seen or heard of.
Melechla glided purposefully into Lord Melech’s offices and demanded he abdicate the throne immediately or be utterly destroyed. Lord Melech, infuriated at his daughter’s seeming insanity, went into a rage. Melechla tried her most powerful curse to strike him down, but had underestimated his strength and that of the castle sorcerers which quickly came to his aid. She was quickly defeated and thrown into the deepest dungeon for her treason.
In an uncharacteristic moment of mercy, Lord Melech did not end Melechla’s life. Instead he dragged her beaten form to the highest tower in the castle and discarded her onto the craggy mountainside. When Melechla regained consciousness, she tended her wounds and began the arduous climb over the mountain peak. She could not return to Theraidyl or search for the fey crossing in her current state. Her best chance was to pass through the mountains and try her luck with the outside world.
Miraculously, Melechla survived the journey and made it over the mountains to safety. She roamed through various cities, villages and countrysides, searching for some direction as to what she should do next. She still desired to free Theraidyl and rule the land benevolently as she had been taught by Sariel. However, the natural fire that burned in her teifling veins and her thirst for retribution distorted her good intentions. Her mind became a constant conflict between the two worlds that had become such a vital part of her soul. Eventually, she resolved not to abandon what she had learned despite the vengeance that seared her heart. She vowed to dedicate herself to becoming a powerful warlock, and to one day return to the House of Torment to rule in her rightful place. Be it for good or evil, for moon or fire.
Death: Melechla is alive.
Notable Game Details: Melechla Torment is the only player character to have a last name.
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