Hithual Sword Cleric of Odarous
Meqetlh Forgefist the Hithual is a figure of some fascination to me. I came to know him when I was hired to tutor him many years ago. I have since watched his life with great interest. While the following account of his life contains some conjecture on my part, I believe it to be quite accurate.
portrait of Meqetlh Forgefis
Meqetlh comes from a clan in the Great Divide comprised mostly of weapon smiths and fighters. His father is RaTond Forgefist, his mother Niassi Forgefist. They had four children, the first three being sons, Battetlh, Meqetlh, Cutlich, and the youngest child a daughter, Alemethia. Meqetlh was the slowest-witted of the children, and it was clear that RaTond favored the eldest, Battetlh. Battetlh was expected to follow RaTond's footsteps and become a great warrior. Due to being in Battetlh's shadow, Meqetlh was driven all the more to prove himself as a fighter. However, this did leave Meqetlh plagued with insecurities about his own abilities.
For some reason, the mysterious god Unknown caused Cutlich to be separated from the Clan when he was only five years old, and he wouldn't be reunited with the clan until almost seventy years later. But that is another story.
Almost all the Hithuals of Clan Forgefist follow Odarous. Most of them are very religious, including RaTond. Meqetlh grew up hearing about the greatness of Odarous, was raised on Odarian dogma, and taught to believe in Odarian ideas.
While believing in strict ideals, Meqetlh was still very lighthearted, and possessed a good-natured spirit. He didn't take things too seriously, and the opinions of others, save his family and friends, meant little to him. Honor, to him, came from what he did, not from what others said. He'd rather drink an ale and sing a song (although he is a poor singer) than fret and worry.
Meqetlh left home soon after Battetlh did to join the Mercenary's Guild. He spent three long, and for the most part, very boring years with the there. During that time he had no Hithual ale to drink, and the best the Thugian mercenary captain would supply was Thugweiser. Meqetlh developed a strong distaste for Thugweiser and since leaving the Mercenary's Guild will not drink it.
Meqetlh then traveled to Spur. In Spur, he found a robust Hithual community. Despite a lack of Hithual ale in the city during those early years, Meqetlh came to love life in Spur due primarily to the fact that the Hithuals there accepted him as he was, despite his slow-wittedness and lack of combat skill. Meqetlh took Khain and Angelic as mentors, and later Rebel and Kalys.
Meqetlh worked hard, driven to become a great fighter. He placed great stock in one of his father's favorite sayings, "A truly great warrior has not only strength of arm, but of mind and heart as well." Meqetlh also started taking a magickal herb, Everknow, and was tutored by an Usil sage to improve his mental abilities. While these sessions were quite torturous to the poor instructor due to Meqetlh's incredible stubbornness, improved mental abilities did eventually result.
Meqetlh had no thoughts of love during those times. Time enough for that later, after he was a great warrior, he told himself. But he could not help but to notice Kalistyn when they first met at one of Kraggon's Hithual parties. Meqetlh asked her to dance, she said no, and soon after left. However, in the days after that, they took to hunting together, and spending more and more time with each other. Before too long a romance began to blossom between them.
Over the course of time, Meqetlh came to be well respected within the Hithual community of Spur, although he never did understand why. When Arminous decided to retire from the position of Forgemaster of the Colinth Argonix, Meqetlh was persuaded by Kraggon to accept nomination for the position, despite strong feelings of being incapable for such a leadership role. As fate would have it, Meqetlh was voted in as Forgemaster.
Not long after, Meqetlh was approached by the Lady Demeralda to be a knight in her service. This came as a shock to Meqetlh, who really did not know Demeralda well at the time. It was a big decision, and one that Meqetlh did not take lightly. He had noticed how much of a headache being a knight could be from Sir Jinood. But, Meqetlh also remembered times when he saw an injustice but was very limited in how he could respond to the situation, due to the restraints the then-new city mandates. Meqetlh decided to accept Lady Demeralda's invitation and serve as her knight.
Meqetlh's feelings of inadequacy as a warrior were only magnified with the title of knight. His medium-level weapon skill was of little use against psionics or the better immobilizing magicks. So Meqetlh redoubled his efforts at improving his combat prowess. He took Masher the Hithual and Callie the Human as his squires.
On a return trip to the Forgefist Clanhome, Meqetlh learned that Battetlh gave up the ways of the fighter and had turned into a scribe and assistant to a sage. Seems Battetlh had become a fighter only because it was what was expected of him, and not because his heart was in it. While researching a Rijom plaque, Battetlh had discovered a love for the sagely arts. This left Meqetlh as far and away the best fighter of RaTond's children, and now his favored child. This in no way eased Meqetlh's personal insecurities, however.
Back in Spur, a few of the Hithuals of the Colinth Argonix felt that the duty of a knight and the duty of the Forgemaster conflicted with each other. Meqetlh realized this was likely true, and retired from Forgemaster at the next elections. Meqetlh, ever wanting to expand order and be a good Odarian, joined the Knight's Council when the opportunity presented itself.
It was about this time that Meqetlh fought and defeated Chantrel, Z'kai's first Disciple of Shadows. What was most significant about the encounter is that Meqetlh kept as a kind of trophy Chantrel's mantle of shadows. For many months, the mantle seemed an ordinary, if somewhat fancy, garment. Then Meqetlh heard Lord Z'kai whisper to him that since he wore the mantle, Z'kai would make Meqetlh his servant. Meqetlh took the mantle off, and put it in his backpack.
However, even though he knew that a prophecy by a seer of the gods named another as the one to bring about Z'kai's defeat, Meqetlh decided to wear the mantle of shadows in an effort to lure the Lord of Shadows out of hiding. Meqetlh felt that Z'kai needed to pay for an earlier victimization of his liege, Lady Demeralda. He also felt that his own strong will coupled with a Hithual's natural resistance could protect him from Z'kai's influence. The mantle tightened its hold on Meqetlh, becoming unremovable. Then it started poisoning Meqetlh's spirit with evil and chaos, even as it allowed Z'kai to use Meqetlh's body as a puppet to do his will.
Meqetlh's fight against the mantle was a mighty one. It ranks to this day as the greatest battle of his life. But over the course of many weeks, the mantle slowly wore Meqetlh down, and the shadow influence of evil and chaos grew stronger in Meqetlh's soul. Z'kai also tortured Meqetlh in amazingly painful ways not possible in the physical realm. Finally, Meqetlh's will was completely broken, and he gave himself over willingly, and indeed, gleefully, to the evil and chaos that had a controlling grip on him.
The mantle had succeeded in turning Meqetlh away from Odarous early in the fight, and that loss of the faith Meqetlh had depended on all his life was perhaps a key cause of Meqetlh's failure. Another possible key event is when Meqetlh drove away his fiancee Kalistyn, partially in order to protect her from possible harm, but also partially because the 'evil' in Meqetlh recognized that she could potentially provide the 'good' in Meqetlh the strength to win the battle.
With his Disciple of Shadows now willingly serving him, Z'kai was ready to make his move. Meqetlh, using a spiritual bone claymore stolen from the lupines, succeeded in opening a rift from the shadow realm, allowing Z'kai to once again return to Spur. However, at the moment of Z'kai's victory, Meqetlh was able to break the mantle's influence long enough to strike down Z'kai and send him back to the realm of shadows. The lupines, using the spiritual bone claymore, freed Meqetlh of the mantle.
Over time, the evil and chaos placed into Meqetlh by the mantle faded and left. But Meqetlh has never been the same after those experiences. He now feels a most un-Odarian hatred of Z'kai, and is obsessed and paranoid about anything to do with the shadows. Also, Meqetlh holds a deep shame for how much he enjoyed, at the time, the pain and suffering he caused when he wore the mantle. He also holds a measure of shame for forsaking Odarous.
Meqetlh became involved in a very long and usually subtle campaign against the forces of the Lords of Chaos. It has been a very frustrating experience for Meqetlh, as he has never been able to find the basic truths of the conflict between the gods and the LoC. Every piece of information seems to conflict with the last, and every source of information seems to be 'shading' the data to suit their own ends.
Meqetlh accepted the position of Lord Knight after Sir Jazbo retired. He did so because he felt it was his duty. He saw the city of Spur as a very chaotic place, and worked to bring order and justice to it. Mistakes he made from time to time did not deter him from striving for his admittedly improbable goals of an orderly and virtually crime-free Spur.
Meqetlh was one of the defenders of Spur when the massive army of the Lords of Chaos attacked the city. The defenders of Spur lost a long, hard battle against the LoC army, but Meqetlh took great pride in the valiant efforts of the Spurians against unbeatable odds. During the occupation, Meqetlh played a small role in the resistance against the LoC. He considers Maloveous, the Muatana-al behind the LoC invasion, as the greatest threat to the city of Spur to this day.
Later, Veradona, a Muatana-al necromancer, started killing Spurians in hideous rites. Medares came to Spur to investigate the incidents. Meqetlh aided Medares in locating Cizin's Lab, and helped stop Veradona from releasing Moloch from his prision on the Day of Long Shadows.
Over time, Meqetlh had come to realize just how badly he had been neglecting his finance Kalistyn due to performing the duties of Lord Knight. He decided to retire in order to make her his first priority. After informing the Governor's aids of his decision, the Governor soon after disbanded the Knight's Council. While Meqetlh is sure that there were several factors involved, he cannot help but think he significantly contributed to its disbanding. Shortly thereafter, Meqetlh was made a Lord, in service to the Governor of Spur, High Lord Merlin.
Meqetlh had a castle built on his lands to the west of Spur to aid in the defense of the city. It had also been his long desire to be able to provide a good, safe home for his love, Kalistyn. Meqetlh and Kalistyn began planning their wedding.
Both of his previous squires had already become knights in the service of other, so Meqetlh chose Sir Morlandin to serve as his knight. Just as his life seemed to be falling into place, a dark day dawned. After a sudden, quick good-bye to Meqetlh, Kalistyn left the Spur, leaving Meqetlh in shock. Despite being assured otherwise before she left, Meqetlh couldn't help but blame himself for her departure.
Some time later, Medares banished Veradona and himself to Moloch's realm. Meqetlh was one of a number of adventures that traveled with Athyn to Moloch's realm and helped rescue Medares.
As time went on, Meqetlh became more and more disillusioned with the state of justice in the city. He started to blame Odarous for both the lack of justice in Spur and, in his mind, for requiring a lifestyle of his followers that caused him to neglect Kalistyn in order to deal with evildoers. Meqetlh then renounced Odarous.
Now godless and without the woman he loved, Meqetlh felt lost and alone. He felt like he had a great emptiness in his soul. He considered joining another temple, but was not quite willing to commit to another god.
Then Moloch once again threatened to escape his realm and return to our realm. Because he was godless, Meqetlh began to fear greatly for the fate of his soul if Moloch did indeed escape. He decided to join Unknown's temple. Meqetlh was unable go on the mission to seal the rift to Moloch's realm, but aided in defending Spur from Molochian warriors that attacked through the rift.
With Spur safe once again, Meqetlh concentrated on learning the faith of Unknown and trying to discover the proper path for his life. He decided to return to the Clanhome. There, with the help of his family, and perhaps with the help of Unknown, Meqetlh realized his true path was with Odarous. Even when he had renounced Odarous, he still lived his life as an Odarian. Even when he didn't want to be an Odarian, he was an Odarian in the ways that mattered. Meqetlh rededicated his life to Odarous, this time joining the clergy as a sword cleric. The great shame he feels for failing Odarous adds to the stubborn determination to never fail Him again.
Returning to Spur, Meqetlh was struck down by the Plague near Aerhauven. He spent months in Aerhauven recovering before he finally made it back to Spur. On his return he learned his title and lands and been stripped from him without a word of explanation. While deeply hurt to be betrayed by the city to which he had spent so many years of service, he was also relieved to be released from his oath to the Governor. There was now nothing to conflict with his service to Odarous.
And that brings us up to date. Only time will tell if there are more chapters to write in Meqetlh's life story.