Mellifleur and Kyuss
Date: Sat, October 18, 2008
Topic: Myths & Legends
Who is Mellifleur, and what is his connection to the legendary Kyuss?
On the origins of Mellifleur
Mellifleur is a thoroughly obscure deity described in certain books of necromancy as an ancient wizard whose words were so sweet and cunning that he managed to trick the secrets of becoming a lich from the gods themselves. Certain liches and necromancers revere him as an inspiration and continuing source of knowledge, but Mellifleur seems to care little for worship, gaining power from each act of deliberate creation of undeath. Thus his cults remain small, his existence a secret suppressed by the many faiths, good and evil alike, who consider the tale to be the blackest heresy. What being, from Nerull to Orcus to Pelor, desires such tales to inspire apostasy among the mortal races?
No commonly available tomes of necromantic lore speak of exactly when or where Mellifleur might have lived in his mortal life. From their descriptions, he might well have lived at the dawn of creation, when reality was still unformed and words of power were more potent than they are today, when mages whose every utterence charmed the great Powers might well have existed.
Truth, as so often, is somewhat less impressive than legend, though it is perhaps even stranger. The most convincing account of Mellifleur's rise to power can be found in a copy of the Book of Vile Darkness owned by the lich Drokkas, who dwells within the Necropolis of Unaagh to this day. The relevant sections seem to have been written by Drokkas himself, as he has added much to the lore in his copy of the tome.
A fictionalized interlude
The minister of the king pointed an accusing hand at Kyuss. "High priest of Reaping God you may be, but you are not above the king's law. The Necropolis is the sacred eternal home of our ancestors and it must not be defiled. The honored dead of Sulm must rest forever. You and your abominable followers are banished from the land; rest assured, we have ways of destroying you permanently in whatever form you assume."
How? Kyuss had been meticulous in preparing the wards preventing his experiments from being detected. There were none in Sulm with enough power to overcome them. It must be... a traitor! But the only one with the ability to prove his deeds to the king's satisfaction was...
Kyuss eyed his apprentice with cold, murderous hate. Mellif, underpriest of Nerull and apprentice to Kyuss himself, favored his master with a knowing smirk as the guards dragged him away.
Nerull's faith was powerful in Sulm, and the favor the Reaper had shown the charismatic Kyuss was clear. There were many who would remain loyal to the god's chosen. But Mellif was now favored by the king, and would surely inherit the authority of the High Priest in the land. And his equipment, his books of lore...
"You will regret this," Kyuss snarled at the minister. "Mellif cannot be trusted!"
"Shut up," said the minister. What had Mellif offered him? A guard hit Kyuss in the head with a club, and all was dark.
The curious truth
According to Drokkas' tome, Mellif was an apprentice of Kyuss in the Necropolis of Unaagh, but betrayed his master when Kyuss was driven into exile. Using his former master's tools and books of magic, he attempted to turn himself into an undead creature capable of continuing his studies forever.
At the same time, however, Kyuss was attempting his strange apotheosis at the Spire of Long Shadows. Because he was attempting to become a god with dominion over the creation of the undead, Kyuss's power reached out to every such act being perforrmed at the time. Mellif's simultaneous ritual, however, interfaced with it oddly; Kyuss had designed the spells Mellif was using to draw from his own power, and they continued to do so even in the hands of his erstwhile apprentice. And during this singular event, Mellif was able to draw not just from Kyuss's mortal power, but from divine power flowing into Kyuss's chrysalis. In fact, Mellif was able to accidentally divert most of it, preventing Kyuss from gaining enough strength to break free of the obelisk that was transforming him.
Mellif, through sheer happenstance, won not just lichdom but the godhood and divine portfolio that Kyuss had desired. And the unborn godling Kyuss was imprisoned, unable to escape from the thing he had entered willingly, for over 1,500 years.
Because Kyuss was using artifacts of the spell weavers, intended to stitch together the many worlds and planes, Mellif acquired power not just from the creation of undead on Oerth, but on countless worlds at once. Illithid sages who scryed the unexpected surge of power claim that Mellif managed to steal power not just from one nascent god, but many, leaving thwarted would-be godlings and their evil patrons furious at him across the planes.
Thus Mellifleur, as he is now known since the blossom of true power bloomed within him, must always oppose the actions of these evil cults for the sake of his own continued survival. His bony hand can be seen behind many groups that seek to thwart Nerull, Kyuss, and the coming Age of Worms.