Merula’s father was a dedicated physician, Minax Lanus. Nearly two decades ago, a terrible plague struck his village. Minax worked many sleepless nights attempting to save them—his young daughter by his side. The two of them survived, but Minax’s wife eventually succumbed with dozens of the others.
The incident drove Minax mad. He became obsessed with experimenting on the dead to improve his craft and find a way to stave off death. He quickly left mundane medicine behind and turned to magic, then necromancy. Merula spent the decade by his side, learning magic surrounded by the dead and gaining a “unique” perspective on life, to say the least.
But her father’s madness went far beyond experimenting on the dead. Merula eventually learned he was experimenting on the living as well. She ran away from home and saw that her father’s minions had been preying on the weak for some time.
Merula tried to stop him, but in the climactic battle realized her father had already transcended life—he had become a demi-liche. The young sorceress was no match for such a creature, so she fled, swearing to return one day to end Minax’s evil once and for all.
Note: Minax served in the Atur Legions under Strahd. Captain Strauss remembers him.