Merith Ballast was the star pupil of retired Dragonian war wizard Benrun Okram. She excelled in both arcane and tactical studies, and was among the nine apprentices of Benrun chosen to enter his elite order of Incendiaries.
The night before the initiation, Merith discovered that the Incendiaries were actually a cult of the dark god Zugzul, committing acts of depravity in exchange for blessings of fire magic. What was more, only Merith was to be initiated – the other eight apprentices were to be sacrificed to Zugzul.
She considered telling the other apprentices, but she knew their loyalty to Benrun was unshakable and she feared how Benrun would react if they told him of her accusations. Instead she stole one of Benrun’s ritual books and fled his Burnt Tower, leaving eight young wizards to what she assumes was a terrible fate.
She has sworn vengeance against Zugzul and follows the teachings of Koorzun in hopes of helping the god of magic destroy the evil lord of fire. She joined the party both as a way to escape Benrun’s wrath and to atone for her cowardice through helping others.