Welcome, welcome to Melcolm’s Magnificent Meandering Menagerie! Feast your eyes on creatures from the farthest corners of the Realms! Creatures of the Dark and of the Fey. Monsters of your nightmares and Angels of the Winds! See the showstopping thrills of Yipyap, the blind kobold juggler. Witness bone crunching chills as the great Aurumvorax devours an entire goat in less than a minute! Fall in love with Helsica the Medusa Oracle, but don’t look into her eyes, or you may find yourself as stone! These features and more await you inside our tents! Step up! Just one silver to change your life! One silver to witness the amazing, the glorious, the terrifying! Come in! Come in one and all to Melcolm’s Magnificent Meandering Menagerie!
“Melcolm’s Magnificent Meandering Menagerie,” is a pathetic production showcasing creatures who are mistreated, malnourished, and mismanaged. Winstel G. Melcolm, the proprietor of this traveling sideshow, is an obese, disgusting human who is rarely pleasant to his “employees,” and who bathes even less. He rakes in a lot of gold, and usually finds a way to trap everyone in his band into servitude through contracts, blackmail, and plain old slavery. His crew consists of “features,” unusual creatures such as a half-elemental, strix, or vishkanya, which are caged and barely treated better than a wild animal. “Employees” are those people who work for Melcolm usually due to one of his shady manipulations, or individuals with little compunction about shirking morality.
Melcolm is ruthless in the way he handles those who try to break free from his show, utilizing his two body guards. Thunkar and Raknuth are minotaur twins who will do anything he asks of them. This includes kill on command anyone who dare opposes Melcolm in any way.
Melcolm also has the assistance of the sensual and diabolical Fiana, a half-elf woman who plays the role of Helsica the Medusa Oracle. By donning a turban and using minor magics to alter her appearance, she uses a bag of tricks to discover information about “guests” and then uses that information to extort gold or information from them.
Other employees include:
- Magda: An old human female who is rarely seen as she spends most of her time in the make-up cart. She is said to be one of the finest disguise masters in the Western Heartlands.
- Jejan Dafell: A young sun elf male who trains and disciplines the animals and features of the show. He has a vicious streak to him and often utilizes his chain whip too often.
- Nathalia: A young human female who is in charge of feeding the features and cleaning their cages. She is often in trouble with Melcolm for being too nice, and is known to go out of her way to comfort those who are caged. Whispers suggest she is the daughter of Melcolm and Fiana, but none will confirm this.
- Hallin Haspertoes: A halfling male swindler and prestidigitation master. If there is extra coin to be made, Hallin will find a way to get it. He seems to have a complete respect for Melcolm, though none knows why.
- There are ten to fifteen other employees at any one time, but few remain with the company longer than a single season.
The Features include:
- Yipyap: A kobold male juggler who was purchased by Melcolm three years ago. Though he attempted to constantly escape, Yipyap’s attempts ceased after Melcolm gouged out his eyes. Jejan then turned him into the Juggler he is today.
- Blaze the Aurumvorax: A nasty and wild animal which makes the honey badger look like a teddy bear. Blaze has six legs with four claws on each one. He has been able to shred an employee to death in seconds and most avoid his cage at all cost. Nathalia, however, seems to be the only one in the company who is able to approach the animal without fear of sudden death.
- Bug-Eye Bolly: A bullywug male who has achieved a sense of civilization and has honed the art of lute playing to a masterful level. Though he is continually beaten for his rude comments to most of the employees, his hands are always left alone so that he may continue to play.