Morkei, Mythical Sorcerer

Morkei was the original founder of the Melokai guild in Vale and either the most powerful sorcerer to ever live, or a collection of many powerful sorcerers over time. His name is taken from the dragon tongue where it is their word for "dragon", but it literally means "Master of Fire" when its pieces are translated. Depending on the source or the time period, he could have many different surnames, ranging from the positive, like "the Boundless", "the Uncanny", or "the Great", to the negative, such as "the Demonic", "the Harbinger", or "the Cursed". Regardless of the source and the time period, however, he is universally seen as an important and all-powerful figure.

Morkei appears in so many stories and texts throughout history that he has become a sort of joke amongst scholars. When a historian such as myself wishes to call something a tale of fancy, I might call such a thing a "Morkei story". The reason for this is not that there never was a Morkei - indeed, there is incontrovertible evidence and proof that there was - but that the name "Morkei" is more likely to be a mantle taken up by many rather than a single man. Indeed, the name commands such power and respect that it would almost seem foolish for a sorcerer of sufficient capability to not name themselves Morkei, even now.

Sightings Throughout History

Ancient Su'Agat, around 2000 years ago
Precious little survived the great cataclysm that destroyed Su'Agat, but some records were recovered. One was a partial roster of students attending the great school of magic there, and on that list was the name "Morkei". Is it the same one? Some think so, but it seems much more likely that an ancient sorcerer simply liked to call himself "dragon".

The College, between 1400-800 years ago
There are many references to a "Morkei" in records obtained from The College, an ancient university of magic which eventually became the Melokai guild when it became part of Vale. Indeed, the coup within the school that moved it from a neutral institution to an ally of Vale seems to have been performed in part by Morkei himself.

Vale, via the Melokai, 800-60 years ago
Morkei is mentioned constantly in the few Melokai guild texts that survived the Desolation, and also in the documents of other guilds that detail their dealings with the Melokai. It is universally known that Morkei founded the Melokai from the remnants of The College, and that he was its first leader. Then, throughout the rest of the guild's history, Morkei was acknowledged as the leader of the guild, except for periodic times when another archmage ruled.

Interestingly enough, these periods are fairly regular - for 60 years or so Morkei would lead, then for around 20 another archmage would. Unfortunately, all reasons as to why were lost with the Melokai. The prevailing theory is that "Morkei" eventually became a title for the ruling archmage as opposed to an individual. Perhaps the 20 year gaps had some magical significance. Either way, there are clear records calling Morkei a young man and an old man throughout Vale's history, so clearly he is not the same man each time.

Far-Reaching Theories
I would be remiss as a historian if I did not include some of the theories of exactly how Morkei could be the same person across more than 2000 years. I have looked high and low for opinions on this, including from some alleged sorcerers.

He is an Elf, a Dwarf, or a Dragon
A common theory is that he is one of the immortal humanoids. Naturally, it's not unusual for any of them to live for centuries at the least. However, Morkei is clearly recorded as performing actual human sorcery and spells - indeed many spells are ones he apparently invented. No species can perform the same sorcery as humans, and therefore he cannot be one of them.

He is Using a Spell
For those who know nothing of sorcery and yet still study Morkei (few people, I will grant), a common assumption is that Morkei must have some powerful spell that keeps him young forever. He is, after all, considered the most powerful sorcerer of all time. However, every living sorcerer who I have talked to, as well as some ancient ones who recorded their musings in tomes, are all in agreement that such a spell does not and can not exist. This has something to do, they say, with magic coming from divine chaos through Zeale, Greater Goddess of the Arcane, the opposite of Life on the elemental wheel of the world. Arcane can be used to destroy Life, quite effectively, but never bolster it.

It's because of this very opposite that humans are mortal, at least according to sorcerers! And, I tend to trust sorcerers when it comes to Morkei, a sorcerer himself.

He is a Lich
This is the predominant theory that the alleged sorcerers I've talked to presented. A Lich is a sorcerer who died but brought themselves back as a sorcerous undead creature. Because they are not truly alive, they also do not age and cannot die by normal means.

This certainly seems possible, but I highly doubt that no Melokai would notice such a state. Death magic apparently leaves traces that are easily detected. And, aside from that, when a Lich is created, they lose their soul in the process, immediately gaining a dire need to consume human flesh. There was no evidence of this in Morkei.

He is a God
Some believe that perhaps Morkei is a member of the Thousand traipsing around as a man. Ask any priest with the actual ear of a god, however, and they will emphatically refute this assumption. While the gods are able to directly influence the world through miracles and usually create the guise of a humanoid when speaking to one, they say, such interactions are limited and clearly carry a sort of "godly aura" where it's unmistakable what they are.

As someone who has never had the pleasure of speaking directly with a god, I can only take their word on the matter. However, I tend to agree that Morkei's stamps throughout history do not even remotely match the work of any god at any point.