The following pertains to information gleaned in the course of the book, ‘Where The Gods Lie Dreaming.’
The ancient race, the Melechi will appear in other books, currently being written. Stay tuned…
Rumours of the Cursed City
by Grant Smuts
–excerpt from a report by Val Teriam, envoy of Cloudrend to the city of Valharrow.
In 2003 YoA, the Knights of Audren, composed of Azarel Solidor, Terenas Gage and three novices, ranged the catacombs beneath Valharrow, in response to a request for protection by Valharrow’s Engineering Academy. Though the ‘royal escape passageways’ were constructed by the monarchy’s personal engineers in the last few centuries, the catacombs themselves were much larger and far older, believed to be a part of an older empire of Lysinium that spanned the western half of the continent.
The retrieval of several documents reveals the existence of a little-known faction of Old Lysene known as the Melechi. In particular, the documents seem to be penned by a religious faction of meteoromancers who were ruled by an entity known as the Storm-King. While it is originally thought that this Storm-King was a deity or demigod of some kind, continued research revealed that the Storm-King was, in fact, a king of sorts, and one with great magical power. This is in accordance with the few other reports of these ‘Melechi’, who, it seems, served the most powerful among them. Curiously, the Melechi’s remains were never found, merely records of their stay, with perhaps a few artifacts. The research suggests that they vanished quite suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving only the barest traces of their existence behind. Curiously what was found of them was in places of profound magical power – the Forest of Yevegna to the far south, Eastern Dolmen Hill in Sunara, and the mountain of Giraganthos in the northern wastelands. Each of these places is also thought to be cursed, with creatures or pseudodeities of profound power found lurking in the Melechi’s stead, drawn to areas of intense magical power. Of note is that each of these places was rumoured to have either been cursed or to have a curse lifted by Aurus the Undying, considered by many to be the greatest mage in the history of the world.
It seems that the catacombs of Valharrow is the one exception to the rule – unless the so called City of Dreams harbour darker secrets than anyone might have guessed. With the Academies held at bay by both Valharrow’s infamous xenophobia and the deterring presence of the magic-destroying Knights of Audren, it is a secret that will remain so for some time, unless the Knights themselves begin to plumb its depths. Fearsome as they are, they possess some of the continent’s finest scholars – a necessity when one considers the cerebral nature of both their sometime foes and uneasy allies, the wizards.
Aurus the Undying: A wizard walking four paths, of unmatched power. He is thought to have touched the folds of reality and slip between them to other worlds. After a millenium of wandering the earth and creating and destroying to build his legend, Aurus was challenged by Myrrdin of Mallistar, his rival, to one final duel between them. In a bout that destroyed an island, Aurus bested Myrrdin and decided that the battle with his fiercest rival was the greatest thing he had done in this world, and so, in the presence of his friends, decided to leave Amarith, vanishing into a portal to a world beyond this one.
Melechi: A race of men who lived under the Lysene banner at the height of the empire’s power, though it seems they were originally from somewhere quite different. They all seemed to be magically gifted individuals, leading scholars to believe that they were explicitly employed to be magical enforcers. They seemed to have a religion of their own, quite different from the worship of the One King of Lysinium.
Meteoromancer: The Melechi beneath the city of Valharrow seemed to have power over lightning, and were thought to be far more powerful than the other Melechi found throughout the continent, who practiced the lesser arts of Aeromancy and Cryomancy.
Storm-King: The head of the Melechi beneath Valharrow, the most powerful mage of their kind. It is unknown what his purpose was in the days after Audren destroyed Rykisedek.
Yevegna: The Endless Forest of the South, with a curse placed upon it by Aurus the Undying. The forest is named after the great tree at its centre, Yevegna, one of the oldest living things in the world.