As with all the clans seen in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, the were two subclasses: the adult Melchahim, and the younger fledgling Melchahim. They were also encountered in their inactive pupating state.[Soul Reaver manual (US)][Soul Reaver manual (UK)]
The Melchahim were the weakest vampires in the desolate Nosgoth. As their master, Melchiah received the weakest portion of Kain’s gift, therefore, his offspring inherited an unusual physical frailty. Their flesh was constantly decaying and they had to steal skin from their human victims.
They wore loincloths and belts around their waist and would limp when walking due to body disfigurement. They developed ambush tactics where they would stay burrowed and emerge after sensing footsteps above them. If Raziel stood above and a Melchahim emerged from the underground, he would get hurt. Their fighting style made them appear clumsy. The adult Melchahim burrowed and finding a pile of mound indicated their presence in the area.
Raziel comments on their necromantic practices when first finding the charnel house and being disgusted to find they have used desiccated corpses found here to produce more offspring.
The UK manual states that the Melchahim were "the lowest form of vampire" in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, describing them as "foul creatures" that "barely skirt the boundary between the living and the dead". It was also mentioned that the Melchahim had to steal the skin of their victims "to constantly replace their rotting flesh".[Soul Reaver manual (UK)]
Membership and Forces
Along with clan leader Melchiah, two types of Melchahim were seen in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver - fledglings and adults. A third class - the Summoners - was playable in Nosgoth representing a stage before the devolution of the clan.
Summoners were the class of Melchahim encountered in the mid-events of Soul Reaver War for Nosgoth seen in Nosgoth.[NOS] Eventually they began succumbing to Nupraptor's curse that all of Kain's prodigy suffered from.
Fledgling Melchahim were the younger, less evolved members of Melchiah's clan, in contrast to adult Melchahim. They were devastated by sunlight’s touch and when touching water. They appear to be immune to rain.
Adult Melchahim were the older, more evolved members of Melchiah's clan. Their skin started to rot and had a green tint in contrast to the brown skin colour of the fledglings. They appeared more physically deformed than the fledglings, with the right side of their body thicker than the left. These vampires had also glowing red eyes unlike the fledglings.
Melchiah's vanity was such that he would search among the human slaves for the most stunning specimens. After feeding on them, he would skin them and don their flesh to cover his putrescence. His children, the Melchahim, also skin their victims to help hold their own rotting carcasses together.
- The Melchahim were codenamed the "Skinner" clan during development and this name is still seen in many materials and is included in some areas of the debug menu.[Soul Reaver]
- The Melchahim were only named as "Melchiah's clan" in spoken dialogue, however they were given the full "Melchahim" title in stage directions,[Soul Reaver/4] manuals, [Soul Reaver manual (US)][Soul Reaver manual (UK)] and the Prima guide. [Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)] Despite these sources, Daniel Cabuco claimed in 2017 that these terms were not used internally and expressed his preference for the "Melchiahim" spelling.
- Stage directions describe the Melchahim vampires as "scuttling", as well as "decayed" and "ghoulish".[Soul Reaver/4]
- The US manual explained Melchiah's position as "the last lieutenant created", and the consequence: "his powers are the weakest of all the clan leaders - so much so that his flesh moldered". It goes on to say that Melchiah would skin his victims "and don their flesh to cover his putrescence". His children did the same "to help hold their own rotting carcasses together".[Soul Reaver manual (US)]
- The Prima guide named the Melchahim vampires and described them as "Patchwork monsters", noting their tunneling ability and comparative weakness. [Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)]
- Series artist Daniel Cabuco described Melchiah's gaining of his clans vampire gifts as follows:
- For years I thought that Melchiah's clan was called Melchiahim but I was wrong it's actually Melchahim and I call myself a SoulReaver fan ...... at Legacy of Kain Fans on Facebook (by Charles F Lee/Daniel Cabuco)
- The Clan Leaders at DCabDesign (by Onatu), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)