Melchiah was a major character in the Legacy of Kain series, featured in Soul Reaver and Soul Reaver 2. Initially born as a Human in Nosgoth's early history, Melchiah rose to become one of the elite Sarafan commanders of the Sarafan. Melchiah was killed by the time travelling Wraith Raziel and buried in the Tomb of the Sarafan for a thousand years before Kain raised him as sixth and last of his Vampire sons. Melchiah in turn raised his own Vampire clan, the Melchahim, who participated in the conquest of Humanity. In Kain's empire, Melchiah was one of the leading 'Council', but he did nothing to prevent his Vampire 'brother' Raziel 's execution. After Raziel returned as a Wraith, Melchiah was the first of his former brothers that he faced. Melchiah was voiced by Michael Bell.
- "My brother, Melchiah, was made last, and therefore received the poorest portion of Kain’s gift. Although immortal, his soul could not sustain the flesh, which retained much of its previous human frailty. This weakness, it seemed, was passed on to his offspring. Their fragile skins barely contained the underlying decay."
Nosgoth's early history (Soul Reaver 2)Edit
Melchiah was born as a Human at some point in Nosgoth's early history. He would go on to join the Sarafan, eventually reaching the highly respected rank of Sarafan warrior commander, one of the order's elite. Melchiah infiltrated Janos Audron's aerie along with his comrades (Human Sarafan commanders Raziel, Turel, Dumah and Zephon) and assisted in Janos' murder (the group having been led to Janos by a time travelling Wraith Raziel from the Soul Reaver era). Tearing out the Heart of Darkness from Janos' chest and taking the Reaver blade, the Sarafan retreated to their stronghold.
Janos' murder had dire consequences for Melchiah, as the Wraith Raziel followed the commanders back to the Sarafan Stronghold to avenge Janos' death and reclaim the Heart of Darkness, attacking the Stronghold at the same time as Vorador's legendary attack on the circle (at the same location and with the same motivation). In the chaos, Wraith Raziel was able to recover The Reaver and shortly afterward Melchiah confronted the Wraith Raziel, along with his brother Zephon, in the courtyard of the stronghold, telling Raziel to get "back to hell". As The Reaver had made him virtually invincible, Raziel was able to easily kill Melchiah (along with Zephon), see also Melchiah and Zephon. Melchiah was entombed with the other 'martyr' Sarafan commanders for a millennium in the Tomb of the Sarafan.
Post-Blood Omen 2 eraEdit
When Kain discovered a method of creating Vampires for himself, he raised the six Sarafan martyrs to serve as his Vampire sons; breathing part of his Soul into them to 'snare their souls' and reanimate their corpses (but keeping them ignorant of their previous Human lives). Melchiah was the last of the six to be raised and as such, he inherited the poorest proportion of Kain's gift; despite his immortality, Melchiah's body was unable to sustain its own flesh, forcing him to skin his victims and stitch their flesh onto him to "cover his putrescence." Presumably following Kain's method, each of his new lieutenants raised their own vampires, giving birth to the vampire clans (with Melchiah raising the Melchahim) providing Kain with an army with which to conquer Nosgoth. In Kain's New Empire, Melchiah was one of the members of the council which ruled Nosgoth, with Kain as their only master.
Melchiah served Kain and the council for roughly a thousand years and over the centuries Melchiah gained many new gifts along with his 'evolution', but his underlying decay continued. Melchiah was present at the Council meeting where Raziel revealed his wings and he also witnessed Raziel's execution at The Abyss.
Vampire Unlife (Evolved)Edit
Soul Reaver eraEdit
Over time, with Nosgoth slowly becoming a wastleland, Kain's Empire declined and the clans scattered, with Melchiah (and the Melchahim) retreating to their territory in the Necropolis. Melchiah would eventually devolve into a large bloated mass, his underlying decay covered by a patchwork made up of the skins of his vicitms.
When Raziel returned five centuries later, he visited the Necropolis after he had passed through his own desolate stronghold. Assailed by the 'zombie-like' Melchahim, Raziel was eventually able to locate Melchiah's chambers, alongside a giant bladed 'grinder'. Raziel confronted his 'younger brother', asking him of the fate of the Razielim, Melchiah called them "an upstart inheritance" and said Raziel was "the last to die".
Raziel fought Melchiah, eventually using Melchiah's phasing ability against him to trap him in the grinder (see also Melchiah (boss)). Activating it, Raziel demanded to know the location of Kain, but Melchiah told him that Kain was "beyond [his] reach" and only made himself known when "he [saw] fit, not when commanded", before being crushed by the grinder. As he died, Melchiah, who had earlier showed revulsion at his (d)evolved form, expressed relief at his "release" and with Melchiah's death, Raziel was able to consume his Soul gaining the phase through gates ability required to enter the Sanctuary of the Clans.
During the development of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Melchiah had the codename "Skinner" or "Skinner Boss" after the fate of his victims. He may also have been previously known as "Hema" or "Ruman" (both fallen angels associated with "rage" and "death" respectively). Ultimately "Melchiah" is described as a fallen angel that "serves the brood"*
Melchiah was described as "vain" and searching for the most "stunning specimens" to skin; and as a subtle in- joke, the faces stitched together on the evolved Melchiah's skin are Crystal Dynamics employees.
Series artist Daniel Cabuco would later comment on Melchiah's gaining of his vampire gifts:
- Melchiah demonstrates a certain association with Death; his territory is located in a Necropolis; his clan have become zombie-like; and he suffers constant decay; In his evolved form Melchiah also demonstrates (whilst using the Phase through Gates ability) that he has access to the Spectral Realm. (he is visible in the Spectral Realm, if Raziel decides to shift to it during the boss fight)
- In Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Melchiah reacts differently when attacked with claws from the front or the back. When attacked from the front, he just laughs. However, when successfully hit from behind, Melchiah cries instead. Interestingly, Melchiah can be seen bleeding when attacked by Raziel's claws in the Kain Demo trailer, which might suggest that Raziel could weaken him without the help of the environment in the early development stage.
- Some time after he killed Melchiah, Raziel would learn of he and Melchiah's shared heritage as Sarafan commanders, when he breached the Tomb of the Sarafan. Raziel initially held the Sarafan in high regard, but began to turn against them in Soul Reaver 2 eventually going back in time and killing both his original Human self and the original Human Melchiah; This ultimately means Raziel is responsible for both of Melchiah's deaths.
- In the Pre-Blood Omen era, the Human Melchiah is memorialized along with his Sarafan commander brothers in the 'Chapter House' of the Sarafan Stronghold. His visage as a Vampire is seen in the Soul Reaver era, on the walls of the Necropolis.
- In Soul Reaver 2, when Melchiah dies, The Reaver, in its blood-drinking state, can be seen to consume his Blood. It does not consume his Soul however (which quickly rises away); Raziel recognizing that The Reaver is not consuming souls ultimately leads to his epiphany at the climax of Soul Reaver 2.