“God of shadows perhaps. But without life, there can be no dancing shadows in the firelight. That is the beauty of Mephistis.” ~ Leopold Serfwood, Plague Doctor
Mephistis is the god of shadows. The trickster of the pantheon and a free roaming spirit, Mephistis spent her time during the Wars of Creation as a mercenary leaping from godly army to godly army. Mephistis’ army and following always remained small, usually made up of wayward mercenaries and thieves. Mephistis was never a fighter, preferring to defeat her enemies through cunning strategy.
Eventually Mephistis gathered a following of mortals who worshiped her for the ideal that life is meant to be free spirited and beautiful. Her followers created the Baronies which at first started out as massive country of thieves and bandits. Eventually though, the biggest thief of all in the Baronies solidified his position as the ruler of the Baronies by stealing Mephistis’ mystical cloak. Donning it upon himself the man proclaimed himself king of the Baronies and sat upon the Shadow Throne at the center of the Baronies holding court and creating order among the den of thieves.
The Black Plague
Centuries after the formation of the Baronies and close to the end of the wars of creation, Gredix, god of war and a mortal enemy of Mephistis, cursed the people of the Baronies. Using the power given to him by Nozlordu, Gredix searched out the most corrupt and evil soul in the Baronies he could find and converted them into a monster. The newly created Worgen were meant to be Gredix’s spellcasters in his ever-growing army. The curse of the worgen spread quickly throughout the Baronies. Gredix had formulated the curse to be contagious and to quickly spread.
But Mephistis, refused to allow her people to be converted to evil and forced against their will to follow Gredix. With no other option allowed her, Mephistis unleashed the Black Plague on her own people. Created through a trade with Nylfaham, the Black Plague was meant to cleanse the Baronies of the worgen and their curse. Mephistis though was tricked by Nylfaham and the Black Plague killed not only the worgen but a large percentage of the population in the Baronies. Mephistis, outraged by the betrayal and tormented by her decision, fled from Farline, the first of the gods to disappear before even the Sealing.
After the disappearance of the gods after the Sealing, the Black Plague in the Baronies receded. Today the Black Plague continues to linger in the old capital of Savel at the center of the Baronies. The disease floats like a cloud over the pristine capital, and creatures mutated by the plague roam the deserted streets of the city.
The plague manifests itself as a black growth that festers and boils on the victims’ skin. The growth slowly expands and causes more growths to appear on the infected’s body until the victim dies at which point the disease seems to leave the dead corpse. In fact the disease continues incubating within the body of the victim until a period of 2-8 weeks at which point the plague expels itself from the body forcefully in the form of a disease cloud. The plague kills its victims by overheating and slowly melting the vitals of the infected’s body.
The plague was successful in eradicating the worgen from the face of the earth. Few worgen survived the plague, and those that did were badly mutated. It is said that lycanthropy originated from these mutated worgen who spread the disease of shifting throughout Farline.
The survivors of the plague in the Baronies split apart and broke up the Baronies forming their own individual states. Vakni, Ludoc, Boria and Debrac formed in the wake of the death and destruction caused by the plague. The people continued to worship Mephistis to a point but many converted to Perotian in lieu of the disappeared trickster god. The few remaining followers of Mephistis though decided to make up for their god’s mistake by studying the plague and attempting to find a cure. These men became known as Plague Doctors. Wearing masks and heavy gloves, the Plague Doctors are renowned throughout all of Farline as alchemical and medical geniuses.
Mephistis is portrayed as a cloaked woman wearing a mask shaped like a raven. Her mask was adopted by the plague doctors as a uniform and is recognized as her symbol.