As with all the clans seen in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, the Melchahim are split into two distinct active types: the older, stronger and more evolved adult Melchahim, and the younger, weaker and less evolved fledgling Melchahim. They are 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, but were threatening enough the way they were. Their master, Melchiah received the weakest portion of Kain’s gift, therefore, his offspring inherited an unusual physical frailty, and decaying of their flesh, barely holding their undead bodies together. “Their fragile skins barely contained the underlying decay.” They wear loincloths and rags showing their clan sign. They all displayed a peculiar limping due to their bodily frailty. A few times, the player can witness members of the clan drinking the blood and chewing off flesh and skin of their victims. (As scripted cinematic events.) They show an eager tactic to approach distant prey while burrowed and digging underground towards them in the hopes of ambushing them preferably with an attack of their claws. The precise method of this is still unclear, though it might have something to do with the fact that the clan has a natural affinity towards death, and being in touch with the spectral realm – all in mind, their burrowing might be aided by a primitive version of the phasing through ability, though this is just a theory.
Their fighting style made them appear clumsy and choppy, but were effective enough in every way. Over time though, they were predictable.
The Melchahim are only sighted at the Necropolis – nicknamed gardens of the dead by the Elder God -, and the neighboring area of the ruins of Nupraptor’s Retreat (although, in theory, according to what has been witnessed by the player, the latter area was only reachable at that point by entities that are not hurt by the touch of water, and the Melchahim were, though this might have been just a gameplay occurrence), this makes them and the Zephonim the two of the clans that did not show any notable wandering around, guarding behavior elsewhere, or unexplained distant occurrences, in contrast to the Rahabim, the Dumahim, and the Turelim. Note that the Necropolis in Soul Reaver, and the Cemetery in Blood Omen and in Defiance is NOT the same place!
Some minor suspicions arose about the clan resurrecting long dead corpses as vampires, which was considered low even for vampiric standards in the empire. (Even though, secretly the six lieutenants were long dead before they were resurrected.)
Their pupation is observed, they are dug into holes in the ground, usually in cemetery soil, but not exclusively. Patches of disturbed soil is seen on the ground where they are buried. Some might wake up immediately and attack a nearby prey, some may only awaken later.
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 would be doomed to Devolve because of.
Fledgling Melchahim are a type of enemy in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. They are vampires and the descendants of the lieutenant Melchiah. They are the younger, less evolved members of Melchiah's clan, in contrast to adult Melchahim.
They are devastated by sunlight’s touch, even the weaker rays of Nosgoth’s daylight, which is filtered by smoke. Which means, some of them may be executed when thrown into a small area where daylight has broken into, but otherwise know better than to go near it. These youngsters have skin still resembling humanlike colors, and bearing scars of decay clearly.
Adult Melchahim are a type of enemy in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. They are vampires and the descendants of the lieutenant Melchiah. They are the older, more evolved members of Melchiah's clan, in contrast to fledgling Melchahim.
They can walk through areas of Nosgoth’s smoke filtered daylight without danger of being burned. This is the only clan who’s normal adults do not have glowing eyes, although later Melchiah had a pair. Unlike the younger ones, the elder vampires’ skins turned into a distorted green, and their few clothes seem to appear more torn.
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 are only named as "Melchiah's clan" in spoken dialogue, however they are 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)] Notably though referencing the clan leader Melchiah, the title omits the 'i' from Melchiah's name possibly suggesting that this was common practice with the 'him' suffix. 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 explains 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 UK manual states that the Melchahim are "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 also mentions that the Melchahim had to steal the skin of their victims "to constantly replace their rotting flesh".[Soul Reaver manual (UK)]
- The Prima guide names the Melchahim vampires and describes them as "Patchwork monsters", noting their tunneling ability and comparative weakness. [Soul Reaver strategy guide (Prima)]
- Series artist Daniel Cabuco would later comment on Melchiah's gaining of his clans vampire gifts:
- ↑ 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)