|A dark-complected young woman in a black gown sits on a fur-covered divan, reclining at ease with a cheerful fanged smile. She looks no older than her majority, though she seems comfortable in a gown cut in a style fashionable in the day of Queen Morwen: high-collared and full-skirted, patterned and layered black on black except for the orange-gold chevrons decorating the flatteringly-fitted bodice. Her black hair is short and sleek as fur, with a single copper-braided lock dangling before one pointed ear, and her eyes are huge and orange-gold as a sangrel's. A fanged saurian skull longer than her own height hangs on the tapestried wall above her head.|
Melanie is the acknowledged daughter of Brand and Morwen, born 13 kalends ago. Her mother died in the Flame during an argument with Brand when she was only 2 kalends old, leaving her with a (so far) life-long dislike of discord and magic. Whether from actual guilt or calculated manipulation, Brand raised her with exceptional kindness after that, and succeeded insofar as Melanie bears him no malice, and honestly believes he bears no blame for her mother's death.
On the other hand, Melanie's gentle upbringing may have left her without the strength that a daughter of Brand might need. She is truly a kind person, devoted to her family and friends, and deeply distressed when they quarrel. She appreciates the privileges and perquisites of rank, and is more than willing to accept the attendant responsibilities, but would never seek them at someone else's expense.
While she was growing up, Melanie travelled the four lands widely, meeting people and asking questions for her sister Etain's history research. She still does, occasionally, but after several kalends she felt guilty at not doing more to help run the world, and asked her father what she could do. Brand responded by making her Duchesse of Anguirle, a country near to the worldwell, and therefore somewhat important, but not directly vital to the government. Now Melanie spends much of her time administering Anguirle, where she rules mercifully if not firmly. When she feels her responsibilities can spare her, she turns them over to her deputy, Count Tregirre, and either travels the world for Etain, or retreats to her country home at Mirror Point (far out in the Summerlands, almost at the Rim) and relaxes by wandering the forests and mountains in the shape of a great black sangrel.
Melanie has always been able to assume sangrel form, though when her mother was alive she got swatted for it. Under Brand's more lenient parentage, she indulged in shapeshifting without regard for the nerves of the servants, until finally Brand gave her the castle and lands of Mirror Point to run wild in.
Ordinary shapeshifters are extremely strong and fast, preternaturely difficult to kill, and possessed of extraordinary sensory acuity, and Melanie has the potency of Brand's blood added to those boons. Despite her potential, however, she has never been willing to learn to be more than a passable fighter, and avoids the study of magic altogether; she may be the least able of all her family in dealing with violent conflict either physical or metaphysical.
Melanie, true to her name, almost always dresses in black, trimmed or decorated with the orange-gold color called "sangrel-eye". That's almost the only constant in her wardrobe; she takes pride in having clothes for every conceivable occasion, and apparently some inconceivable ones. Her formal clothes span the fashions from the beginning of time to the present, in every land she's visited and many she's only heard of. She also has a wide selection of practical clothes and a full-time seamstress to repair them after she shapeshifts out of them.
Melanie's personal badge is sable, a sangrel rampant sangreloeil, upholding a disk argent. In her capacity as Duchesse of Anguirle, the disk is Or and contains an equilateral triangle pointing upward, vert; as Marchioness of Mirror Point, the disk bears a wyrm's skull, gules.
Since this game is no longer active, here is Melanie's character sheet.
This file was last modified at 1457 on 27Apr99.