|Other Names|| The Witch of Merrigod|
|Affiliation(s)||Magic Kingdom Levianta (defected)|
Project 'Ma' (defected)
Kingdom of Elphegort
- "My children are nowhere to be found!"
- ―Meta Salmhofer[src]
Meta Salmhofer, also known as The Witch of Merrigod, was one of the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse and the mother of Hänsel and Gretel. Created by Seth Twiright, the ghoul child fell in love with Pale Noël and joined his criminal organization, spreading terror and malice in her wake. After being captured and scheduled for execution, Meta accepted a plea bargain to become part of Project 'Ma'.
Created in BT 022 by Seth Twiright, Meta grew up alone. Around BT 002, the twenty-year old ghoul child met Pale Noël and fell in love with him. Becoming his lover, she joined his criminal organization Apocalypse and moved into their base at Merrigod Plateau, becoming close friends with Raisa Netsuma. She then became involved in numerous riots staged across the Magic Kingdom Levianta. Causing bloodshed and murder in her wake, Meta eventually earned the name "The Witch of Merrigod".
Project 'Ma'EditAt some point, she crossed paths with Eve Moonlit, finding the blood-soaked woman screaming and lamenting that she couldn't find her children. As Meta looked down on her, she was suddenly surrounded by Leviantan forces and bound in chains.
Captured, she was imprisoned and condemned to death. While awaiting execution in her cell, Meta noticed Seth Twiright enter her prison cell and immediately recognized his resemblance to Pale. The scientist then offered her exoneration if she became a test subject for Project 'Ma'. Seeing the opportunity to escape her hopeless situation, Meta smiled and accepted the deal.
Sent to the Magic Kingdom's royal institute, Meta was inoculated with the seeds of god and later gave birth to twins Hänsel and Gretel on December 27, EC 0. After the children were taken from her and placed in vats, she watched them develop in their tanks. Putting a hand to one of the tubes, the ghoul child suddenly recalled her own origins and connected her unloved and orphaned situation to her children's own. Refusing to let them be used as mere test subjects, Meta clenched her hand on the vat. She then stole them from the laboratory and fled through a forest to Elphegort.
Starting a new life in the foreign country, the fugitive mother hid with her children away from people's eyes in Held's Forest, occasionally taking a stroll through the woods. A year later, in EC 001, Meta took her children out on a moonlit night through the forest. After putting them on the ground and leaving them for a moment, the witch returned to find them gone.
Shortly afterward, she discovered that Eve Moonlit had run off with her twins and began chasing her through the forest. Crying as Eve continued fleeing from her, Meta finally caught up with the witch in front of her home and reached out to grab her. As she grabbed her the back of her cloak, the terrified Eve lashed out and Meta died at the witch's doorstep with only her cloak in-hand.
Shortly after Meta's death, the disillusioned Eve realized her sin, having believed that Meta was a bear the entire time. With Meta dead, Eve and her husband Adam raised the children in her place. The twins later killed the two before going on a search for their "real" mother and father. Centuries later, Ma speculated that the reason Hänsel and Gretel's reincarnations, Arte and Pollo, were so loyal to Banica Conchita was because of her resemblance to Meta. After Mayrana Blossom became the second member of Père Noël, she chose the designation "Fourth Shadow" in reverence to Meta's rank in Apocalypse.
In history, stories of Meta and her relation to Merrigod Plateau were recorded in a number of literary works, saying she had plunged the Magic Kingdom Levianta into chaos. As a result of the stories, a cult faction developed within the Levin Church, revering Meta as the holy virgin mother of the Twins of God. The leaders of the dominant Levia sect quickly suppressed these beliefs, asserting Church doctrine that Meta was merely a witch associated with Apocalypse. The Levia sect's oppression of the cult's heresy later resulted in the creation of Neo Apocalypse and the New Four Horsemen Incident.
Personality and TraitsEditSince the time she was born, Meta felt alone and unloved, wanting affection for nearly her entire life. Being a ghoul child, she felt lonely growing up without any actual parents. Having survived for so long on her own, the girl became opportunistic, willing to do anything to survive or get what she wanted.
Despite this sense of independence, Meta felt an innate need for affection and was always attempting to escape her circumstances and be loved by someone. Because of this, her attraction to Pale made her desperate to please him and his influence lured her to join Apocalypse and become a wanted murderer like him. Additionally, as a HER, Meta was compelled to commit malicious deeds and took great pleasure in her ruthless and sadistic role in Apocalypse.However, after being captured and imprisoned, Meta was left heartbroken, eventually realizing her relationship with Pale was one-sided and corrupt from the start. As time went on, she began to recognize her constant attempts to run away from her circumstances had ultimately amounted to nothing.
Although initially becoming a test subject for Project 'Ma' to avoid execution, Meta became attached to her children and sympathized with their similar circumstances of birth. As a result, she desired to love them the way that no one had ever loved her. Even though she believed her feelings were selfish, Meta felt embittered by the idea they would be used, like her, for the scientists' experiments and ultimately chose to take them and escape from Levianta.
Skills and AbilitiesEdit
Meta was a powerful witch with a rare amount of magical power that caught the attention of Seth Twiright, allowing her to be the second candidate for Project 'Ma' and the first to successfully give birth to the twins for the Project. Among her magical abilities included the powerful Swap Technique, allowing her to transfer a nearby soul, including her own, to another nearby body or object at will. She was also capable of fleeing from the Magic Kingdom without being recaptured and successfully hide out with her children for about a year.
Eve Moonlit: Meta's predecessor. Meta was shocked by Eve's bloodstained appearance at their first meeting, which is what caused her to be caught and arrested. When meeting her again, Meta viewed Eve only as the thief that was stealing her children as she pursued her.
Pale Noël: Meta's lover. Starved for affection, Meta fell madly in love with Pale and, due to this love, joined the Apocalypse organization despite the many crimes it perpetrated. At some point, however, she became disillusioned with her one-sided affection for him, recognizing that he did not truly reciprocate her feelings.
Seth Twiright: Meta's partner. Meta was at first astonished by Seth's resemblance to Pale, but saw him only as a last chance to escape her execution. Although she went along with Project 'Ma' at his request, she did not share his goals or ambitions and did not spare him another thought once she'd resolved to run away with the children.
Hänsel: Meta's son. After his birth, Meta grew to love him as she realized the depth of their connection, and wished for him to have a life better than hers. She became greatly concerned for Hänsel's emotional and physical well-being, taking him from Project 'Ma' to live a normal life and pursuing his abductor until her death.
Gretel: Meta's daughter. After her birth, Meta grew to love her as she realized the depth of their connection, and wished her to have a life better than hers. She became greatly concerned for Gretel's emotional and physical well-being, taking her from Project 'Ma' to live a normal life and pursuing her abductor until her death.
Conceptualization and OriginEdit
- Meta's name is partially inspired by the name of her representative Vocaloid, MEIKO, with both names sharing the first two letters.
- Meta's characteristic color, red, is a reference to the red horse of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, representing War; MEIKO, Meta's representative Vocaloid, is also characterized by red clothing.
- Meta's being venerated as a virgin mother of gods may be an allusion to the Virgin Mary; Levin, the religion that venerates her, also has similar parallels to Christianity.
- Ironically, the words Meta heard from Eve after coming across her are the same she says concerning her own missing children.