Meldrath - Balanced Sundered
It is said that Meldrath had a conjoined twin with whom he was connected at the chest. One boy's heart was as pure as the waters of the Vasty Deep and his eyes shone with a beautiful light and the other's heart was as dark and cold as the waters of the Ink Sea and his eyes were as black as two pools of oil. Their two hearts beat as one, each balanced by the extreme of the other. So balanced were they, in fact, that they were both known as Meldrath because no one thought of them as two, let alone suspected the extremes of their souls. They lived in peace, gliding through Ak'Anon wrapped in each other's arms like slow dancers.
Meldrath's mother, however, wanted the two sons she thought she deserved and constantly sought a way to disconnect them. One day Fizzlethorpe Bristlebane, ruler of the Plane of Mischief disguised himself as a healer and gave their mother a magic sword to disconnect them. She ran home and, finding them asleep, plunged the sword between them. Both were unharmed and the two rubbed their eyes sleepily.
She rejoiced, but as she looked from one to the other she noticed for the first time that one was beautiful and the other ugly. One looked at her with loving, sweet eyes and the other with hatred.
Suddenly, the beautiful Meldrath began to rise higher and higher into the air. His mother screamed and tried to hold him down but the ugly Meldrath bit her leg and stomped on her foot. The beautiful Meldrath floated up to the surface of Norrath and into the sky and was never seen again.
Meldrath - The Ambitious
The extent of the ugly Meldraths wickedness and insanity was not at first apparent to the citizens of Ak'Anon. Meldraths temper tantrums and fits of rage abated as he matured yet still he had the look of hatred in his eyes, thus found few friends amongst his fellow gnomes. Those who did associate with the ugly spiteful Meldrath tended to be other gnomes of notorious repute.
Eventually Meldrath managed to join the Eldrich Collective under the tutelage of a wizard who believed Meldrath was simply suffering from a traumatized youth and could yet become a respectable citizen of Ak'Anon. To the surprise of many and the pleasure of his mentor, Meldrath excelled at the wizardly arts and quickly rose through the ranks of the Eldrich Collective. Meldrath became particularly fascinatged: some would say obsessed, with magic that dealt with teleportation, translocation, and alternate planes of existence.
Meldrath's talent for the sorcerous arts grew to the point where he was rivaled, if not excelled, his mentors and he began to select pupils of his own to aid him with his research into what he called "other worlds". It was obvious to those who associated with Meldrath that he sought something in these other worlds, but whatever it was, Meldrath never spoke of it. Then one day, Meldrath was gone. Meldraths pupils did not admit to knowing the whereabouts of their mentor, or the nature of his passion with other worlds.
It is not known precisely when Meldrath returned to Ak'Anon, but it has been estimated based on events that we now know were tied to Meldraths return. Over a period of time Meldraths pupils began to also vanish from the Library Mechanamagica, despite the Eldrich Collectives inquiries into the disappearances no clue as to the nature of the disappearances were found.
Meldrath - The Malignant
The mines of Ak'Anon had long been used as a source of materials for the construction of Ak'Anons clockwork guards and servants. That changed the day the whereabouts of the missing sorceror Meldrath and his pupils were discovered. The miners that toiled in the mines had gone to the mines early that morning and did not return to their homes and families that night. King Ak'Anon ordered a small patrol of guards to investigate the whereabouts of the miners and they to did not return from the mines. What did emerge that night, shortly after the patrol entered the mines, were creatures of death, shadow, and flame.
The animated corpses of the miners, along with creatures summoned from other worlds stalked the tunnels of Ak'Anon slaying and destroying all in their path and swelling their numbers with the animated corpses of the freshly dead. By the time King Ak'Anon could organize the Gemcutters, Eldrich Collective, and Deep Muses to defeat the monstrosities the devastation had reached proportions never before afflicted upon the city of Ak'Anon. A powerful charm was cast by the most powerful of the Eldrich Collective that temporarily nullified the use of magic within Ak'Anon while the Gem Cutters and Deep Muses fought their way through th tunnels of Ak'Anon towards the mines.
When the forces of King Ak'Anon reached the mines they found them devastated far worse than the rest of the city. The mechanical mining apparatuses utilized by the miners had been destroyed and the clockwork miners and ore haulers had been reprogrammed to slaughter. To the chagrin of the good gnomes of Ak'Anon, Meldrath and his minions had already fled the city, their tainted seed of corruption already planted.
Meldrath - The Mad
Meldrath and his apprentices, exiled from Ak'Anon and collectively dubbed the Asylum of the Mad, began construction of a fortress deep in the Steamfont Mountains. For years the Asylum of the Mad constructed clockwork war-machines, far more advanced than any clockworks previously constructed by the tinkers, that plagued the Watchmen of Ak'Anon.
Meanwhile Meldrath's influence festered within Ak'Anon, in what are now known as the Mines of Malfunction. Evil gnomes practicing the dark arts first brought to Ak'Anon by Meldrath the Mad took refuge in the destruction of the mines where they practiced their dark arts and recruited other gnomes to their wicked ways. These evil gnomes, surrounded by death and destruction, abandoned their patron deities Brell Serilis and Fizzlethorpe Bristlebane, and vowed allegiance to the dark god, Bertoxxulous. Thus the Dark Reflection was born. Eventually the Asylum of the Mad were captured, slain, or disappeared, never to be seen again. Meldrath however remains at large, plotting and executing his mad schemes. The mad sorceror has somehow earned the allegiance of a tribe of minotaurs that capture gnomes to toil in Meldraths mines and complete his twisted mechanical fortress. Many of the Eldrich Collective have speculated as to the nature of Meldraths madness and talents with both sorcery and mechanics. As long as Meldrath still lives they may have a chance to discover the answers they seek.
Meldrath - The Marvelous
After his separation with his evil conjoined twin, the good Meldrath ascended into the planes. What deity is responsible for his ascension is unknown, but most attribute the act to Bristlebane Fizzlethorpe, the deity that provided Meldrath's mother with the means to separate her sons. A demi-plane came into existence as the good Meldrath ascended to the realms of the gods. This young demi-plane, the Plane of Innovation, was ideally suited for the purest and brightest of any gnome to ever walk the face of Norrath, and its ruler was to be Meldrath the Marvelous.
Meldrath matured from his childhood in his new home surrounded by clockwork companions of his own design and an endless stockpile of supplies for which to tinker marvels never before imagined by mortal or god. For decades Meldrath the Marvelous tirelessly planned and constructed his mechanical marvels while his brother, Meldrath the Malignant, honed his magical abilities on Norrath and sought the whereabouts of his lost "perfect" sibling.
Eventually through his intensive study and mastery of spells dealing with teleportation, translocation, and the planes, Meldrath the Malignant discovered what had become of his lost brother. The rage and hatred that festered in Meldrath the Malignant's black heart overcame him and he was driven mad with jealousy and a desire to best his "perfect" brother that had been gifted as a child with immortality.
While his brother was gifted with an amazing mind for logic, reason, and invention, Meldrath the Malignant was gifted, or some would say cursed, with a passion, a thirst for power, and a talent for the magical arts. It was not long before he found a way to penetrate the barrier between worlds and enter the Plane of Innovation to seek his revenge. Meldrath the Malignant quietly performed a ritual in the confines of his study at the Library of Mechanamagica and unbeknownst to the Eldrich Collective or his own pupils, transported himself to the Plane of Innovation.
Cloaked in magical darkness and silence, Meldrath the Malignant slipped past the clockwork guards and alarm systems with ease, not realizing that he surely would have been detected if not for his resemblance to his goodly brother, the clockworks did not recognize the look of hatred in the evil Meldraths eyes or see deep enough to notice his sickly black heart. Thus Meldrath the Malignant moved unhindered through the Plane of Innovation, sabotaging the creations of Meldrath the Marvelous and stealing many of his diagrams and plans for mechanical constructs.
When his work was done, Meldrath the Malignant hastily retreated from the Plane of Innovation but by some mishap of his teleportation spell, ended up in a place called New Tanaan. The planar city baffled the already mad gnome so he stuck to the shadows cloaked again in magical darkness and silence. Huddled quietly out of sight, Meldrath the Malignant observed magic the likes of which he had never seen, and thus immediately desired to possess it.
Stealing a magical tome and the reagents necessary for his teleportation spell from a Teir'Dal inhabitant of New Tanaan, Meldrath once again performed his ritual to return home and this time succeeded in arriving at his study in Ak'Anon.
In order to prevent his fellow sorcerors of the Eldrich Collective from discovering his pilfered clockwork diagrams and Teir'Dal tome, Meldrath the Malignant gathered his most prized possessions from his study and snuck deep into the mines beneath Ak'Anon to study the tome that would bring the secrets of the dark arts of Necromancy to the Gnomes of Ak'Anon.
After his brother's retreat from the Plane of Innovation, it quickly became apparent to Meldrath the Marvelous that something was amiss. Meldrath hastily attempted to undo the damage that had been wrought but was overcome by the sabotaged machinations and imprisoned by his own creations. It is in this prison within the plane of his own design where Meldrath the Marvelous remains in captivity.