Years back, a local tribe of lizard folk were beginning to worry and enter into conflict with various towns encroaching upon their swamp and hunting grounds. Any attempt they made to ask the groups to leave was met with violence from the town’s folk.
To be fair, this tribe had been relatively hostile and was known to hunt and eat anyone who went out alone in the wilderness. Lizard folk are just kind of like that sometimes.
But this level of activity and industrial development was such that they could not just raid to push the developing towns back. In desperation they searched for ways to reclaim their home. And eventually they happened upon a deity willing to help them. It’s unclear what deity it was, but the Temple researchers knew from encounters and recounts of the actions from scouts and survivors that the deal they struck basically hinged on the Lizard folk capturing and sacrificing as many non lizard folk as possible and specifically to target the faithful of Pelor. In return the Lizard folk would receive drastically increased birth rates, a steady supply of warlocks blessings of power, unholy weapons and other artifacts, and finally a chosen champion who would be ascended into demigodhood.
After nearly a week of constant raids, dozens of trade caravans going missing and finally a whole village being razed, the inhabitants sacrificed and eaten, the towns called to the nearby cities and Temples. After an initial scouting and getting all the information, the cities declared that they had a very serious problem, and it didn’t take much with the Temples to decide that something had to be done about their priests and faithful being sacrificed to some horrible deity.
So a military force was put together along with what was almost declared to be a crusade. The response was far more potent than the Lizard folk were prepared for and the conflict ended up being a very VERY short and bloody affair.
But, as the battles were dying out in small pockets of the swamp, a small collection of paladins and clerics moved carefully through the buildings, extinguishing the surviving Lizard folk and looking for any civilians who had yet to be sacrificed. And it was here they found something unique.
Deep within a muddy nest, a tiny hatchling growled and hissed fiercely, putting itself between all and a small collection of silver emblems and holy symbols the small creature appeared to have saved from being desecrated.
Looking at him, they could tell, the little creature had been badly beaten by the other Lizard folk, and judging by the surroundings, it was likely because he was constantly running to the pile of holy symbols that the raiders were defacing, desecrating and hanging up for display, and stealing them, all to keep them safe somewhere else. At first, this was just thought that it was being a greedy mindless creature that wanted nothing but shiny objects, but knowing the lack of value Lizard folk instinctively place on anything that is not directly linked to their own survival, they came to the conclusion that this was a sign from the gods.
Instead of killing the little creature, they took time to lure him in and capture him to be raised in the temple naming him Chuu. And while the local priests and nuns had a hard time taming the little guy, eventually he became a very well behaved, extremely loyal and devout worshiper of all the gods of light. It was all he cared about. Growing up with other young squires and orphans, he developed dreams of someday becoming a holy warrior like those who had spared and rescued him and introduced him to the temples and the glorious salvation of the gods. But alas, while he was endlessly dedicated, many feared what would happen if they gave him any power or responsibility. After all, despite his desire to be good, he still had base instincts from his lizard folk biology and to put it in a kinder than usual way…. The young Chuu sadly, was just a bit simple. Not stupid, but he certainly wasn’t very bright. And eating a diet made for humans, elves, and dwarves, instead of the usual large quantities of raw meat that any lizard folk would normally eat, he grew up scrawny and mildly malnourished.
But Chuu remained faithful and endlessly hoped for the day he would be chosen by one of the many gods, to fulfill a destiny he did not yet know of. He didn’t care which of the gods, or what he was called to do, only that he would be called for a holy duty. His dreams, bright in his eyes as he did his chores and attended the temple sessions with the images of him upon a noble steed, charging into battle alongside fellow crusaders to save the day against the unholy. No amount of discouragement could kill his dreams, even as he became old enough to be chosen as a squire, none approached him. And even then he still remained hopeful and happy. An unshakable enthusiasm and lack of self awareness combined with endless unshakable faith to the divines, Chuu proved to be complicated to deal with as none wanted him to become a Paladin or Cleric as they wouldn’t trust him to accomplish his duties properly, but none had the heart to tell him this to his face and crush his dreams.
As the time wore on, Chuu reached adulthood and still kept his unshakable faith that some day, any day now, the divines would speak to him and give him their divine touch, letting him live his life and save the world. And through no small amount of coincidence, and local trouble, he eventually got his wish in a way that no one suspected.
On a dark dark night, one of the younger upstart knighted Paladins, a noble who thirsted for power and who quickly grew to be mistrusted made the final heretical choice to break his oath.
Sneaking into a vault, a secretive location where the Temples stored magical artifacts too dangerous to leave alone, and too powerful to be destroyed, he stole the heart of Wyrk. A powerful item, originally connected to a cult who worshiped a god none had heard of before, and to their knowledge, a god that they could find very little evidence to even exist. But the heart proved to be too powerful to destroy, so it was locked away to be kept from the world until the end of days.
It was this heart, the oath breaker took. He knew that maybe, just maybe he could forge an oath with it and take the power he rightfully was owed. But so it was that he was quickly discovered and nearly the whole Temple awoke to chase him.
It was a dangerous fight, as his broken oath left him an only mildly talented fighter, he struggled to find a way out, and eventually he found himself in the kitchens, desperate to get out of the troubles and starting to regret his foolish plan, he hid the heart and fled. But he was quickly caught and died fighting before he could reveal exactly what he took from the vault or even where he hid it.
While the Temple went into a full blown panic trying to find out what was taken and where it wound up, Chuu returned from his chores late into the night and happily moved into the kitchen for his dinner. The kind nuns always left out some preserved meats or breads, sometimes even a soup. Tired from a wholesome day’s work, he rummaged about until he found a dry lump of meat. Happily, he gave thanks, swallowed it whole and went to sleep.
But that night, a cold distant voice spoke out to him. Images of the wars during the time the gods first came upon the world, driving out the Aboleths and fought each other establishing the positions of all the current gods. He saw there, a deity of law and duty, a god who saught only order and justice. A god who had yet to truly cement his position in the world speaking to gods everywhere. He sought out and spoke with many until he came face to face with gods that Chuu knew from his studies to avoid at all costs, gods known as Cyric and Orcus. The images fuzzed with a palpable rage he could feel coming from the god as the events replayed and the unknown god marched out having been fed falsehoods and lies, he marched to face against none other than Pelor. He was promptly struck down and sealed away forever, only his heart remained in this world and was collected and traded as the centuries and milenia went by and he was to be nothing but a battery for evil cults to power up their rituals, he loathed this, his power and purpose began to change. He was a god of duty and law, but slowly his mind boiled at his undying livid hate for trickery and the undead as the two gods who had sent him to his doom at the hands of one he would have never chosen to be his enemy.
The power flowed into Chuu’s mind and an offer was made, take up the mantle, it was a dark painful vengeance, but it was a vengeance to be wrecked against liars, trickery, and the undead. The god however, was slightly taken aback at the extremely joyous reaction of this mortal being chosen, The soul graciously accepted without even hearing what the deity wanted, nor the duties or powers to be given.
Chuu woke, feeling the swirling powers and almost instantly the Temple took notice and bought him before the highest councils of holy priests, and warriors. They could plainly feel the power within him and worried deeply. They spoke amongst themselves and to his great confusion, they brought him to the center of their hall of judgement, and read a strange rite he did not recognize, he was confused that in his jubilation, those of the council looked worried and grim. One even apologized to him before a massive golden light descended from the heavens, through a hole in the ceiling and bathed him in holy light.
When the light faded, he looked about confused, but not as confused as the council who spoke amongst each other and then performed the rite again. And again, the golden light fell from the heavens and did nothing to the young Chuu.
Little did the young faithful Lizard folk know, the golden light would decimate the physical form of any evil doer and judge the remaining soul, instantly sentencing it to it’s fate. And little did the Templars know, that despite the unholy heart of Wyrk being physically inside of the young Lizard folk, and the obvious warlock pact he had, not even a single ounce of evil resided in the pure hearted lawful good soul.
There was much deliberation of what to do but many decided, one with such a simple mind might fall if his ignorance was destroyed and his blind faith was compromised. And so, he was assigned minor duties in the local temples, told to be secretive about his deity and to keep levying worship upon the Temple’s deities. He obediently and happily agreed, but kept his eyes and ears open for rumours of the undead and preached the value of truth and against lies and deception.
For to him and his dreams, he was the Paladin of the endless watch, a bright and shining soul to guide and protect the innocent, and honestly…. None had the heart to tell him that he was a warlock.