A depraved and decadent race, with emotions very different from those of Humanity, they are skilled with magic and beautiful, though psychologically similar to cats - with a callous nature. Their psychological distance from humans is constantly stressed throughout the series, and with the exception of Elric, Melnibonéans lack a moral sense.
Their actions are determined mainly by tradition and by the search for pleasure and new sensations. Torture of slaves and prisoners is a common amusement, and the otherness of the Melnibonéans is manifest in their aesthetics: they naturally prefer a mix of colors and elaborate, baroque decoration and architecture.
The Melnibonéans live almost entirely in their capitol city of Imrryr and the tall spires of the city are every color of the rainbow. Their self-centered ways, however, are held in check by rigid adherence to tradition - their society is devoted to elaborate rituals that few Imrryrians have the courage to ignore.