Horde of the Dragon Queen
A Drow Warlock, an outcast of his people seeking solace in an alien world driven by visions of the future.
Biography of Raziel of Maerelyn
Even from birth, I was always different from my kin. My glowing blue eyes always stood out from the various shades of red that filled the eyes of my peers. When the other children were taught to be sadistic and treacherous, I only wanted to be gentle and kind. My early years were filled with abuse and punishment as if they thought they could beat their hedonistic nature into me. I decided early on that these punishments would only fuel my desire to be better than them. Though my entire youth there was only one person to show me sympathy and kindness.
Theryn was only a few years older than me. We went through the same trials and tribulations growing up. Where I proved to be nothing but a disappointment, Theryn excelled. In our mid-thirties, he was assigned as my “mentor”. When my people found that normal beatings and torture couldn’t turn me into a monster, they decided that extra torture from the pride and joy of the clan might be push I needed. What they didn’t know, however, was that Theryn and I had formed a bond early on in life, a bond which we were forced to keep secret since such a level trust between two individuals was unheard of amongst our people and would only create more suspicion and hatred towards the both of us. I was still beaten and tortured, but Theryn would always pull his punches so as not to hurt me too bad. He tried to convince me to hide my empathy and block it out as he did to make it seem like I could be one of them. I always told him that I would never give them the satisfaction of thinking that they had broken me.
We were able to keep the charade up for about 20 years, our bond of friendship eventually growing to become more. It was on the eve of Theryn’s 90th birthday that everything changed. Theryn was due to receive a high honor from the High Preistess of Lolth herself. However, someone had discovered our secret and slipped the information to the Preistess just before the ceremony. What was supposed to be a ceremony of honor, became a show of disgrace. I was to be sent to Lalcath, the prison of eternal torment. This didn’t really phase me as my entire life up until that point had already been a prison. Theryn received the worst punishment though. He was sentenced to become the Unforgiving Warden of the Lalcath. The Preistess stripped him of his free will, but left his consciousness intact. He would be solely responsible my eternal torture and the spell would make him inflict the greatest possible agony to me while being forced to watch my pain while trapped in his own mind.
Over the course of 70 years I endured Theryn’s worst while he was forced to spectate as just a shadow of himself. There were many times I thought of just giving in. I thought that maybe if I embraced a life of hedonism, then they might finally end Theryn’s torture. But I knew as much as it hurt him to hurt me, it would kill him for me to give up.
I was never a very spiritual person (mainly because the only spiritual presence I had known was that of a giant, vengeful spider daemon) but at one point, I started to pray. I don’t quite know when I started, or why, but I started to pray to be granted the power to release myself from this life. I begged and begged to anyone in the divine cosmos who would hear. After enduring for 160 years, I could endure no more. Then one night in a dream, my prayer was answered. I was surrounded by darkness, and threw the void the voice of a woman called to me. She said she was the Archfey Titania and that she had heard my pleas. She offered me a deal; in return for granting me the power I needed to escape, I would need to submit myself to her as one of her agents, to carry out her will whatever that may be. Without hesitation, I agreed. The darkness disappeared and I awoke to a small shuffling sound beneath my cot. Hesitantly I leaned over the edge to get a better look when suddenly a tiny dragon-like creature sprang from beneath the cot on which I lay and jumped into my lap. Though his mouth did not move, he was able to communicate with me through thought. He told me his name was Freyyr, a dragon spirit sent by Titania to watch over me and serve as her voice.
Freyyr and I quickly devised an escape plan. In the middle of the sleeping hours, we got the attention of a guard. When he opened the door, Freyyr attacked him and knocked him unconscious. And with that, we made our escape. We ran into more resistance than I had anticipated, but I soon learned that Titania had given me more than just the help of Freyyr. The first time a guard got in my way, I instinctively rose my hand toward him, unintelligible words slipping from my tongue as I automatically cast a spell that released a green vapor from my fingers that choked and promptly incapacitated the guard. Soon after, another guard stood in my way and I rose my other hand, more gibberish flowing from my lips without my prompt and then a green flash of light exploded from my palm and struck the elf directly in the chest, dropping him like a sack of dirt.
This continued as Freyyr led me to the surface until finally we broke free of the Underdark and I emerged into a world filled with light. At first I thought I had been blinded by a spell from one of the guards until I realized that this was the sun. The sun was always some mystical sounding thing that my people always referred to, but I never knew how truly amazing it was. I stood there, dumbfounded by all I could see. A sky that stretched into an unknowing beyond. Trees and plants that I had never imagined to be real. I was so awestruck that I didn’t notice the group of dark elves coming up behind me. Freyyr finally alerted me to their presence and as I spun around I saw him. Theryn stood there before me, with three drow behind him. His face completely apathetic, his eyes completely black, signifying the spell of Unforgiveness still gripped him tight.
The elves behind Theryn made a move for me when suddenly a loud crack filled the air. A bolt of lightning had struck the tree I was standing under and a small smoking branch fell to my feet. The elves stopped in their tracks. I met Freyyr’s eyes and his voice whispered in my mind that this was a gift from Titania. I quickly picked up the branch and instinctively aimed it at the group in front of me. I hesitated when I once again locked eyes with Theryn. Then I saw a small flicker of red in his eyes. Not much, but a faint crimson glow, signifying that Theryn was trying to break through.
“Do it,” he whispered, his voice strained. “Raz, if there was ever a time to show no mercy, this is it.”
The other elves started at me again and without hesitation I screamed more words that were foreign to me, yet so familiar. A surge of power flowed through my arm and funneled into the branch as a bright bolt of lightening erupted from the end, filling the air with a loud crack. All four drow laid before me, unconscious. I took one last look at Theryn before disappearing into the light.
For days I roamed the countryside, avoiding contact with other creatures whenever possible. After a couple of weeks though, something peculiar started to happen. I began to have horrifying nightmares. Fire and acid rained from the skies, the earth erupted and sank at the same time. Who cities were destroyed, people were consumed. This same dream plagued me every few nights, never changing. Until one day I noticed something different in my dreams. Three faces kept appearing in the mist. A dragon in the shape of a man, a tall female Orc, and a human looking elf. I have no doubt that these dreams are part of Titania’s plans for me. But am I supposed to prevent this cataclysm… Or bring it forth?