Sarah "Meshaluta" Umpid is a ghost-witch in The Gerosha Chronicles of Dozerfleet Comics, and is the titular villain of the Meshalutian Trilogy. Her single-minded obsession is to use natural disasters to kill off members of the Rintel family and bring about her own resurrection. From there, she plans to bring about the apocalypse through her cult followers. She first appeared in 90 Has No Secant, being more in the background as Hurricane Nekoda took front stage. She returned in Cursed is the Ground and The Natural Logarithm. Her life and times were canon to Uber-Proto Gerosha, Proto-Gerosha, Classic Gerosha, and Comprehensive Gerosha. A prequel was considered for her life, which would have been dubbed Vile Magenta Cloak.
Sarah was born around the time of the Marlquaan incident that sent John Domeck into the 21st century. The Marlquaan gifted her with specific powers that she could only fully unlock in the event of her death, as her spirit would remain locked in the Marlquaan unless certain conditions could be met which would free her spirit from it.
Throughout her life, she developed a morbid fascination with the occult and began practicing sorcery. She also became fascinated by mathematics, particularly with the nature of logarithms. She developed a theory that she would one day begin killing many souls for several years, with the average number of deaths over the time of the spree equaling an average of 30 victims every 11 years. This number is relatively similar to the natural logarithm.
When she had a falling out of friendship the aristocratic Angela Rintolin, she turned to cursing Angela's family. A feud over the affections of Thomas Quitttledon led to the entirety of Angela's family plotting to get rid of Sarah. They finally succeeded to trap her inside her own house. They lit wicks and laced the interior of her house with gunpowder. As the house exploded and caught fire, Sarah "Meshaluta" Umpid screamed out her last words:
And furthermore, to bring them tears;
Thirty deaths, eleven years!
Average shall this number be;
Now throughout eternity!
Be it family, or their friends;See the dream! And bring their ends!!!
Nature of the Meshalutian Curse
- At least one Rintolin from every generation will be marked for death in an epic disaster.
- One existing member of the family will receive a forewarning dream with Meshaluta in it, and only listening closely to her poetic clues can guarantee safety.
- The dream receiver will most often be whomever from the outside becomes physically one with the family.
Systematically, all of the original family unit of Rintolins responsible for Meshaluta's death would in turn die a tragic death themselves, especially fire-related deaths. She did not wish to limit the curse to the family unit immediately responsible for her murder; she extended it to all blood relatives, close friends, and anyone who had exchanged bodily fluids with a Rintolin. After Zechariah Rintolin changed his name to Robert Rintel, the rest of the Rintolins were completely extinguished and the curse evolved to target Rintels. Variations of the curse have various levels of determination for a target, which are determined based on an algorithm of Rintel connection.
Chance of death
| || || || || || |
|Closeness of affiliation||Marked Rintel||Rintel by blood||Rintel by marriage||Friend of family member||Acquaintance of family member|
|Affiliation by interaction||Birth into family||Marriage into family||Affair with member of family||Contact with family member's blood||Contact with family member's saliva/sweat|
|Attempts out of family||Changing name, Divorce||Affair with outsider (only curses them)||Marry out (does not free individual, but curse does not spread to new family)|
Note: Even though the algorithm makes it difficult for Meshaluta to kill Trisha Montoya by the rules of the Rintel curse, this doesn't stop her from personally targeting Trisha due to her fear that Trisha might protect the Rintels.
Campaigns before and during Hurricane Nekoda
Her vengeance was spread to the family and friends of the Rintel family, when that family's patriarch changed his last name and forsook the Rintolins entirely. Meshaluta quickly destroyed the Rintolins from beyond the grave, by employing natural disasters and fires to her advantage. However, she found it difficult to extend this curse effectively to the Rintels. Even so, numerous Rintels began dying in strange accidents throughout the following centuries. One recorded example was a Rintel that died in the fires of Peshtigo, Wisconsin. Her sadistic villainy did result in a small cult following, which included several witch disciples and even the eerie Honeybee Samuel. Upon their deaths, Meshaluta's disciples often found themselves serving purposes related to her grand scheme to set the average annual Rintel death toll to the natural logarithm. Her plan involves the deaths of several Rintels, but the one marked for death by her in the Nekoda Campaign is Mandy.
When Dewey accidentally dies in Mandy's place, Meshaluta's power is weakened. However, she tries to compensate by murdering some Rintels in South Dakota. This leads to Trisha Montoya being contaminated with Rintel blood, and to Meshaluta developing a personal vendetta against Trisha in addition to her plot against the Rintels. She marks Allison Rintel as her next victim, and succeeds. However, she loses Honeybee Samuel when he fails to kill Trisha and Jared.
Boston campaign and demise
She decides to localize her assault to the last remaining Rintels in Massachusetts, close to where she died, as her defeat in Colorado leaves her too weak to kill Rintels elsewhere. Her disciples kidnap everyone in Carla Rintel's family save for Carla herself, who teams up with Cassie and a rebellious classmate of hers named Keilah to rescue her family. When the disciple witches fail to make the Rintels into a sacrifice, Cassie destroys Meshaluta's power forever. The symbols of the secant function, Mt. Applestream, and the natural logarithm form as white lights over a pond nearby, and re-shape and combine themselves into a Calvary Cross and hill. This symbolizes the ultimate lifting of the curse and the end of Meshaluta.
Meshaluta despises certain sacraments, such as baptism, due to their religious significance and the invocation of a spirit more powerful than her own. When she makes special claim to Trisha, it is Trisha's specific decision to be baptized that exorcises Meshaluta out of her.
Trisha also learns that Meshaluta's power is weakened in the presence of gunpowder, hence she wears a necklace with a spent toy rocket cartridge on it. This is because of the gunpowder the Rintolins used in Meshaluta's execution.
Carla Rintel learns in LN that Meshaluta's followers grow desperate to make up the numbers and resurrect Meshaluta after her power is weakened through failure to kill certain targets. While Meshaluta succeeds to kill Allison Rintel, she failed to also kill Trisha and Jared. She lost Honeybee Samuel in the process of her failure to personally kill the both of them, and in her lack of employment of a significant storm system to aid her. She was also weakened by her failure to kill Mandy Rintel, as Dewey received the death blow of Hurricane Nekoda in Mandy's place.
On top of this, she stalks Tim and Cassie out of fear that Cassie may one day be her undoing. This proves to be a self-fulfilling prophecy when Cassie offers to sacrifice herself to destroy Meshaluta's power forever.
Meshaluta enjoys taunting her victims by sending at least one member of every Rintel family unit with a marked member in it a prophetic dream. These dreams foretell events that she intends to have happen soon to the marked member's family. Sometimes, she makes appearances in the dreams herself. At other times, she has one of her minions appear in the dream in her stead.
When she develops a particular personal hatred for Trisha, she sends Trisha multiple disturbing dreams and visions. Meshaluta herself appears in Eva's dream and warns Eva of the effects on Murian Township to be expected from the union of a magnetic storm with Hurricane Nekoda. She also sends similar dreams to Carla Rintel, while targeting Carla's entire family unit. She sends her minion Sanction Harlem to recall the details of her own execution by hanging and to recite a riddle poem in Jared Rintel's dream.
Meshaluta appears to victims as an old witch with green, metallic skin. Her eyes glow red and her face is often expressionless or angry. She wears a hood and cloak that are both a shiny magenta silk color, along with brown shoes and a rope for a belt.
The character of Meshaluta was inspired by Matilda Dixon in the 2003 film Darkness Falls. Her haunting of Trisha and her strong aversion to gunpowder are also inspired by Samara's antics in The Ring Two. Her green skin is inspired by that of the Wicked Witch of the West. Her cloak and cowl outfit is inspired by Emperor Palpatine. It is recolored magenta in keeping with her favorite color, as well as to symbolize her connection with the magnetic storm that merges with Hurricane Nekoda. Purple/Magenta auras sometimes surround objects that are affected by Nekoda. Her poetry style is a sort of satirical take on the Weird Sisters from Macbeth.
Meshaluta has an order of hags who do their best to carry on her legacy. When one is of retirement age, another takes her place. So far, the order has survived numerous generations. The curse was honored to punish the Rintolins for their behaviors towards nearly everyone. The one thing that could break the curse is if someone the hags had specifically marked for death were to be saved by another dying in that Rintolin’s place, someone who was not one with the family.
The Rintolin name was changed to Rintel after Zechariah Rintolin, about to have a child by way of Anita Jeffron, fled to the woods in shame and married her. He continued moving westward with his wife and daughter. He changed his name to Robert Rintel to hide his identity from his aristocratic family, whom he feared would try to exact revenge on him for shaming their name. The curse was honored, and the Rintolins died off, a miserable lot.
Rob Rintel, getting to start the family anew, didn’t realize that the curse hadn’t been broken. Meshaluta continued to be part of the family. Rick Rintel had not heard in any real detail the story from his parents of the origin of Meshaluta or the curse. He thought that the scant details he did hear of a curse on the family consisted of old wives’ tales. Believing this, Rick never took Meshaluta seriously, and never heard her name. The Northern Rintels continued to study the curse. The Southern branch of the family soon forgot about it. Because of this, Eva was never even told of the origin of the hag in her dream, and thought it only coincidence of the literature she read. Eva didn’t understand that the dream was a warning, nor did she understand it to be much of anything else. Still, she shared it with her family. None of them knew the significance of it either. Only when Mandy, from the psychiatric ward, speaks up; does the Massachusetts branch of the Rintel family start piecing the puzzle together for everyone.
Meshaluta doesn’t understand either though, that Nekoda isn’t a new ally for her legacy of terror; it’s the first chapter of her legacy’s undoing. The Rintels have been punished enough. Disguised as a curse, Nekoda becomes the blessing via Dewey’s death by which the curse is eventually lifted. A warning was made early to Meshaluta that such a death would make her order vulnerable. Her hags never imagined that a hurricane would contribute to the beginning of their end. None of this is revealed until the third tale, in which the Massachusetts Rintels destroy the Meshalutian order.