| ||I, Merten, a member of the guild of witchers named after the Manticore, begin this day my pilgrimage...|| |
|- Merten's prayer|
Like every other witcher, Meten was given to the School of the Manticore to endure training and be subjected to the Trial of the Grasses to become a witcher.
In 1201 Merten had been on the Path for many years and had indulged in all the pleasures of the flesh every chance he got. Thus it was no surprise that when he showed up at the workshop of Tyen'sail to get some grandmaster armor made he was completely drunk. The armorer was furious and kicked him out, ordering him to only return when, and if, he sobered up. Later that day Merten got arrested for getting into a drunken brawl with the ducal guard and was locked up in Bastoy Prison Ruins.
While in prison, Merten's cell mate was a Lebioda worshiper and who the witcher constantly mocked and ridiculed. However, around the 30th of Birke, Merten began to have a change of heart and began to ask more about Lebioda's teachings and soon a year had passed. When Merten was released, he set off on a new Path to leave his old life behind. To do so, he went on Lebioda's pilgrimage, where his first stop was a cave where the prophet had received enlightenment. In the cave Merten vowed to atone for his sins and thus he left a prayer written on the back of a diagram to ask Lebioda for strength in the pilgrimage. His next stop was the Temple of Lebioda to request the Great Beggar's guidance.
Merten arrived at the temple around 14 Feainn 1203, and spoke at great length with the Beggar before confessing his sins. The Great Beggar then informed Merten that if he truly wished to cleanse himself of his past deeds he had to go to the Hidden Chapel. Before leaving, Merten left behind a couple more witcher diagrams that symbolized his attachment to his former life.
A few days later Merten arrived at the Cave of Tribulations and, after passing the cave's ordeals, he meditated and saw a vision of a crystal clear lake, the Lake of Cleansing. Before leaving for his final stop, he left another diagram. On 32 Feainn 1203, Merten reached the lake and wrote a letter reflecting on his journey before dropping it into the lake along with his last attachments to his old life. He then renounced his old life as a witcher and rechristened himself as Shavel and vowed to spread Lebioda's wisdom through the world, starting in the immediate North and reaching as far as the Dragon Mountains.
- He is currently the only known student of the School of the Manticore.