The Spiral Notebook
Chapter One: Mellori
Greetings, everyone! James Earthwalker here, with something we don’t usually do here on Final Bastion – anÂ editorial!
Nearly two years ago, I began a series on my website, Walking the Earth, called â€śThe Spiral Notebook,” an opinion-based series where I discussed various topics within the wizarding world of the Spiral. I wanted to revisit a few of those articles, as some of them need some serious updates â€“ itâ€™s been a while, after all!
To kick this new-ish, ongoing series off, Iâ€™d like to look back on perhaps one of the most recognizable characters ofÂ the third arc. Yep, Iâ€™m talking aboutÂ Mellori.
WARNING! SPOILERS FOR THE THIRD ARC AHEAD!
Mellori is perhaps one of the most relatable NPCs in any game I have come across. Yes, that includes Sans fromÂ Undertale. Yes, that includes Elizabeth fromÂ Bioshock. As a writer, I can say that she is writtenÂ so darn wellÂ compared to all the people you ever come across throughout your adventures in the Spiral. The thing is though, a lot of people donâ€™t feel the same way; in fact, thereâ€™s a surprising amount of animosity towards her. Allow me to talk through what it is about her I love so much, and why, although I respect your negative opinion of her, I would say youâ€™ve got her all wrong.
Article #1: Her Story Arc(anum)
When you first meet Mellori, sheâ€™s lived a relatively sheltered life. Raised by Baba Yaga, sheâ€™s quite excited to meet a new face and decides to aid you on your quest to right the wrongs of the Spiral. Although she was incredibly frustrated that Baba Yaga wonâ€™t let her go to the Arcanum, after saving Polaris from the Rat she finds solace in learning at Ravenwood, where she quickly becomes a close ally of Merle Ambrose â€“ an ally that, according to him, is also â€śquite talented.â€ť After bringing to light (heh) information about the Cabal and its shady (double heh) dealings with Grandfather Spider, Mellori jumps at the opportunity to go adventuring with you again, accompanying you to right the Sands of Time to eventually confront Grandfather Spider himself. And then, things getâ€¦ interesting.
So, you ordered a plot twist? Here ya go, fresh off the storytelling grill â€“ Mellori is actuallyÂ Grandmother Ravenâ€™s daughter â€“ a straight-up demigod!Â When she realizes that you donâ€™t have it in you to put down Spider for good, she rushes in, hoping to end things once and for allâ€¦ and subsequently gets her rear handed to her. You end Mirage with Grandfather Spider abducting Mellori, the former overjoyed at finally â€śfinding the key to his Heartâ€ť (implied the Chaos Heart). With that, as you finally reclaim the Eye of History, you feel a sense of relief that youâ€™ve kept time flowing normally, but alsoâ€¦ â€śa profound sadness.â€ť
Later on, we venture into Empyrea on a rescue mission to find Mellori, only to discover sheâ€™s being held captive by Grandfather Spiderâ€™s middle child â€“ The Bat. We nearly rescue her, but sheâ€™s snatched from right under our noses by Medulla, a powerful member of the Cabal with mind-controlling powers. We only partially stop his plan to siphon her divine Luminiferous Essence to shatter all the Paradox Chains imprisoning Spiderâ€™s Chaos Heart, but then Bat does the unthinkable â€“ aiming to ruin his fatherâ€™s plans, he blasts Mellori with a huge burst of energyâ€¦ nearly killing her in the process.
We return from our first expedition rushing to heal Mellori, but to our dismay, she falls into a coma, where she meets with her mother in the Astral Plane. There she discovers her mother is arguably no better than Spider â€“ just like her ancient adversary, Raven wants to start over and destroy the Spiral altogether. Frustrated and confused, she transports her consciousness into the Reverie â€“ a place similar to the afterlife â€“ where she begins her hunt to find out who she really isâ€¦ and what her purpose is in all this chaos.
After being christened the Scion of Bartleby, we gain the power to enter the Reverie and go wake Mellori from her slumber. After a long chase, we discover alongside Mellori the truth of her existence â€“ she is the Heart of Grandmother Raven, cast out upon the pretense that her former love (Grandfather Spider) might return one day. Now knowing her purpose, she wakes up, ready to end the pointless, loveless conflict between Raven and Spiderâ€¦ only to nearly get blown up by the Nimbari a little later. Jerks.
With Mandalla on the brink of collapse, Mellori is approached by Bat â€“ the very same Child of Shadow who nearly killed her. Sheâ€™s obviously peeved about that, but less so when Bat returns her her Luminiferous Essence. Begrudgingly, she makes a truce with him in order to heal Mandalla, and later accompanies him â€“ and you â€“ to Husk, the final stage for Light and Shadowâ€™s showdown.
So, protect the Chaos Heart from both Raven and Spider. Easy peasy, right? Hardlyâ€¦ especially when thereâ€™s A FREAKING STORM TITAN IN THE WAY. But Bartleby has a solution: use Mellori as a conduit for the Titanic Lullaby, the very same lullaby that subdued that ancient Titans eons ago. It seems to work, if only a little, as weâ€™re able to put the Titan in his placeâ€¦ but not before Mellori does the unthinkable â€“ she breaks the very last Paradox Chain, untethering the Chaos Heart and allowing access to it from all parties. Yep, thatâ€™s rightâ€¦ Spider and Raven now have the chance to destroy the Spiral.
But thankfully, thereâ€™s a catch â€“ being near the Chaos Heart rekindles Spiderâ€™s long-lost passion for Grandmother Raven; at the same time, realizing how far she had gone in her actions utterly stops Raven in her tracks. Theyâ€™re nearly ready to make amends before the Storm Titan â€“ warped by the Aethyr, a twisted energy residue left behind by Spider and Ravenâ€™s conflict, into the Aethyr Titan â€“ storms in (heh), ready to demolish Raven and Spider both. With the help of Mellori and Bat, we become the Divine Paradox, a perfect harmony of Light and Shadow, and drive off the Aethyr Titan, saving the day for Mellori to return back to her foster mother, Baba Yaga, in a tearful reunion.
Article #2: Why is Mellori So Divisive?
To summarize some widely held sentiments in roughly ten words: Mellori comes off as a bit of a brat sometimes. Sheâ€™s constantly trying to crack jokes, act all smug, and even tells the Wizard at points how much she enjoys hanging out with him/her. Also, when put on the spot, as was the case in Mirage, sheâ€™ll rush into things headfirst without much regard for a planâ€¦ or thinking things through, for that matter. Alsoâ€¦ that expression. What is up with that expression. Like, seriously, Kingsisle, do you not know whatÂ shocked expression is?
Article #3: Why I Love Mellori
When I first started playing Wizard101 back in 2009, I was probably the most ignorant, hard-headed wizard out there. For the first 50 levels of the game (the first 2-3 years of playing it, if Iâ€™m gonna be honest) I didnâ€™t know squat about squat. I mean, I would farm the Bazaar to get the gear with the absolute highest HP boosts possible. â€¦Yeah, you heard me right; I didnâ€™t need resist, damage, or any of that crud, Health Points was where it was AT! Alsoâ€¦ I may or may not have also had someâ€¦ questionable fashion choices.
Yeah. These are my default robes. Iâ€™m a mother-lovinâ€™ pumpkin. I have to live with these for the rest of my life.â€¦MISTAKES WERE MADE OKAY
Article #4: Why I REALLY Love Mellori
*Ahem* Sorry, got off on a bit of a tangent thereâ€¦ anyway, what was I saying? Oh, right! Why I love Mellori. Iâ€™ll justâ€¦ get back to thatâ€¦
Mellori to me is a perfect representation of the Wizard you once were when you first started your journey, as well as who you become. In the beginning, she doesnâ€™t have the (literal) worlds of experience youâ€™ve earned, nor the magical prowess youâ€™ve honed over the course of your adventure. Sheâ€™s cocky, but rightfully so; after all, sheÂ isÂ just a rookie. How perfect it is that you find her right after graduating from Ravenwood, then, donâ€™t you think? Sheâ€™s a reminder of your roots, both as a Wizard and as a player â€“ she relishes in exploring the Spiral, wide-eyed and eager to make memories, but she also knows she has you to thank for it. Call me crazy, but between her growth as a character, her unrelenting sass, and her symbolic importance to you as the playerâ€¦ she makes escort missions feelÂ worth it.
In the end, Wizard101 is not just a game… itâ€™s an experience. Throughout my time in the Spiral, Iâ€™ve learned that these experiences are best shared with friends; Iâ€™m glad to consider Mellori as one.
â€¦Also, â€śMelloriâ€ť roughly translates to â€śLittle Ravenâ€ť in Latin. Soâ€¦ yeah. Mind blown.