Prince Melanchitis was heir apparent to the Throne of Kaldorn. He was
once the richest man in the world, and was about to wed Princess
Despondia, the most beautiful maiden in the kingdom. His father, the
King of Kaldorn, decided to help prepare him for the throne by putting
him in charge of the Kaldorn Department of Revenue. He decided to raise
taxes a bit, to show his father that he was tough enough to be king.
Unfortunately, as he was never very good at math, he raised them a
little too high, 110 percent. This caused the people to revolt, kill
his father, and exile Melanchitis to a barren underground region
beneath the Flathead Mountains.
and penniless, the former prince decided to make ends meet by peddling
magic shoes. He figured that everyone needed a few pairs of magic
boots, slippers or shoelaces. During the days of Syovar the Strong's
captivity at the hands of Malifestro, business became terrible, nearly
ceased. When he met Bivotar and Juranda, he gave them free magic
sneakers just for listening to his sobbing tales: a beautiful orange
pair with purple stripes for the young lady, and a nice pink pair with
green polka dots for the young man.
Shortly after Syovar the
Strong had been rescued, the Prince of Kaldorn was appointed Assistant
Third Class in the Anti-Cheating Bureau of Zorkbooks, Inc., whose job
it was to prevent people from committing brazen fraudulence. Offenders
would quickly be startled by lightning crashing across the sky, then
exploding to the ground at their feet. And with a puff of smoke, the
Prince would appear. A first offense resulted in a warning and a wag of
the finger. A repeated offense would result in the offender being
turned into a newt.
There were unproven rumors during the
mid-tenth century, speaking that the Prince of Kaldorn had been turned
into a frog that had to be kissed in order to be returned to his human
IMAGE01: Melanchitis as a peddler beneath the Flathead Mountains
IMAGE02: magic sneakers sold by Melanchitis