This is the story of Zar Zar, a lizard folk who across 3 games, became a half-dragon demigod of Asgorath. Zar Zar was one of my favorite characters I have ever played. He started his life as a simple Lizard folk. The thing about lizard folk, is they are very simplistic and extremely superstisious and very, very brutal. Mostly used as an NPC race, they rarely are used as a player race. Mostly because they are so, very, stupid. They shun intellegence and anyone that shows any hint of intellegence or desire to learn are shunned, killed or are banished from the tribe.
Thus starts the story of Zar Zar. Born to the Warrior Zarten and the Cook Zarnek, Zar Zar was expected to be a warrior. But when he showed intellegence and a desire to learn to read, the tribe wanted him dead. His mother, wanting her son to live, instead pleaded with the Cheif to banish her son instead. So that is what happened.
Sent to wander the swamps, Zar Zar was captured by slavers and brought to a neighboring city to be sold. It was here that he caught the eye of Tanereth. A mage and our GM's favored NPC and main quest giver, who bought him, gifted him a brand of Longevity, extending his lifespan far past the normal short Lizardfolk lifespan and took him as his own.
Now according to Lizard folk standards, Zar Zar was smart. Very smart. But according to every other race, he was still quite dull. By the age of 13, Zar Zar had barely managed to learn to read and speak common. But he had a true gift with a spear and shield. Where his base intellegence was only an 8, his tactical ability was much higher. So Tanereth had him trained as a warrior. The finest training money could buy. He excelled at this and proved himself an avid pupil.
At the age of 22, the game began. He was enlisted into the military and sent to war. There his entire troop was killed and was found near death by the party. Ken, a Dwarf Paladin. Sarah, the human cleric and Pen, the elf Ranger. The party argued for several hours on weather or not they should kill Zar Zar out right, as lizard folk could not be trusted. But finally his uniqueness won out and they decided to let him live. So his fate, as it always would be, was decided without any direct interaction with him.
So Zar Zar joined the Party and became the Tank. As Zar Zar had been gifted longer life then normal Lizard Folk, he had barely entered his prime. It was with the party that he really started to grow. Now unbenowst to the group, I had actually created Zar Zar as a class which would later be known as a spell sword. My DM and myself had grand plans for Zar Zar, but those were cut short. We will get into that later.
Back to the game. The party believed Zar Zar to be a simple warrior and nothing more. Just what i wanted. Until the fated night where we, the party, came face to face with our greatest foe to date. A mountain troll. As each of us had yet ot reach the level of 5, we were ill equipt to deal with this threat. But face it we would.
Our DM had us roll initiative. I rolled a 3, Ken rolled a 5, Sarah a 7 and Pen a 12. But our hearts sunk as the dice clattered to the table for the trolls roll and landed on a natural 20.
The DM weaved the image of the troll raising it's massive tree branch that it weilded as a wapon and swung, striking the paladin. Ken stated he raised his shield and braced for impact and rolled. He got a 2. Our hearts sunk further, but not deep enough. Because now the Troll had to roll for attack, which it had not done already. Another natural 20.
Ken was struck by the massive blow, his shield shattering on impact and his unconcious body thrown against a tree to land in heap of flesh and armor. There Ken's player started making death saves.
Next up was Pen. Pen's Player called his shot. "I notch two arrows and shoot the trolls in the eyes," and rolls. Natural One. The DM states that his bowstring, which was old and well used, suddenly snaps upon drawing it to full lengh.
Next was Sarah. Our cleric. She looked Ken, then looked at Pen, then looked at me and said "You're our last hope," and cast Bless on me, giving me a +1 to all attack rolls. It was here that I knew that I had to pull out my secret weapon.
Now at this point, its become quite obvious that we were playing with homebrew rules. As such, my character's secret weapon was something that normally would not have been accessable at his level. But the DM allowed me to pick one spell that Zar Zar could wield, and only one spell he could wield. So effectively making him only able to cast one spell during his entire career as a spellsword.
Being a lover of Dragons, one would expect me to pick something Fire based. But I have always loved Electricity. So I chose Lightning Bolt.
Zar Zar threw down his spear and shield, tossed out his scaled hands and shouted his spell in his native tongue. Lightning ripped from his clawed fingertip and tore across the space between him and the troll. I rolled for attack. Natural 20.
According to our homebrew rules, the spell would do 1d6 damage per level of the caster. As Zar Zar was lvl 4, I rolled 4 d6's. The party watched in addled anticipation as the dice clattered across the table, several striking the DM's Shroud. A muffled cheer erupted as all four dice landed on 6. Johnathan, our DM was awestruck as he announced that since I had rolled a nat 20, the damage was doubled.
Our DM painted the image of Zar Zar, stnading there having just tossed aside his weapons, flung out his hands and basicly shouted "LIGHTNING!!!" in Lizard tongue. Blue Electricity crackled from his clawed fingertips before ripping through the air to strike the Troll in it's chest. It lurched backwards in pain as the the electricty coursed through its body, charing it until it was nothing more then a husk. As the lifeless body of the Troll slumped to the ground, Ken woke up, having managed his death saving throw, and stared in surprise at the scene before him.
Zar Zar, the dumb Lizard Folk that everyone thought useless other then taking damage and keeping the enemies attention had proven that day that he was far more then he appeared.
Because I had rolled a nat 20, our DM decided that Asgorath had taken notice of him that day. But nothing more then that. But his path to becoming a true dragon had begun. It was here that we decided to end our session
Unfortunately for Zar Zar and our entire party, the next day held true tragedy. For while at his real life job as the Manager of the local Burger King. Johnathan had a heart attack and died. Our party mourned the passing of our DM and good friend. We tried to continue, but it was never the same. So we broke weeks later, never to group together again. Our players went our seperate ways, each living our lives. And so, Zar Zar was placed on a shelf, where his character sheet should remain for several years.
I tried very hard to find another DnD group but never managed to stay more then a single sesson. Until one day, I met Thomas in a Hasting's in northern California, talking with friends at one of the tables. I overheard them speaking of one of their party members who had just been deployed to Florida for Army training and that they needed to find a replacement. Being the bold Dragon I am. I approached them. The party seemed to be resistent to letting an outside they didnt know into their gaming session. But after a brief conversation with Thomas, I brought up Zar Zar.
Thomas was instantly in love with the idea of a Lizard Folk who desperately wanted to be a dragon, and so welcomed me into the party. It was here that Zar Zar got his second chance.
The rest of the party were already level 8, while Zar Zar was only level 6, having gained two levels from defeating the Mountain Troll. So to bridge the last two levels, Thomas wrote in that Zar Zar's origonal Party had finished their quest and split apart. Leaving Zar Zar to wander on his own. In the city he had been left, he found a shcool of magic, conviently placed beside a shrine of Asgorath. So Zar Zar took up residence at the school of magic and learned all he could about elemental magic. Of course he specialized in Electrical Magic. All the while he would pray at the shrine of Asgorath every night and every morning. Hoping to win the Dragon God's Favor. But she never responded to his plee's, until she did.
After several months of training and praying, Asgorath finally responded to Zar Zar in the form of a dream-vision. There she appeared to him as a glorious gold Half-Dragoness. She beconed him to her and told him.
"I know what lies in your heart little one. You wish to be more then you are. You have prayed at my shrine twice a day, every day for the last several months. Do not think that you have gone unnoticed. I have simply been waiting for others to arrive and they finally have. There is a group of adventurers who will arrive at my shrine to place an offering tomorrow at mid-day. Greet them and tell them that I am pleased they had carried my symbole across the wasted lands. But the journey of my symbole is not done. You are to take it up in my name. It will become a great banner for you. Attach it to your back and carry it, with this group, to the tip of the Dragon's Teeth Mountain. There I will make you as wish to be. Tell them Asgorath will gift them with their reward there."
Zar Zar agreed readily. Knowing this was the start of what he finally wanted to be. A true Dragon. And so he sat by the shrine and waited. He was determained not to miss these adventurers. So he would wait. He would not sleep, or eat, or leave his post for a moment until they arrived. The next day, just as Asgorath had stated, a group of adventurers arrived. There were three of them. All Elves. They approached the shrine, eyeing Zar Zar wearily before producing a golden silk cloth from one of their bags. The lead Elf unfurled the cloth, revealing the symbol of Asgortah and placed it upon her shrine. They waited, expecting something to happen. But nothing did.
It was then that Zar Zar approached and reached for the cloth. All three Elves drew their Bows, revealing them all to be rangers, and aimed their arrows at Zar Zar. But Zar Zar did not hestitate or flinch. He had Devine purpose. As he reached out and grabbed the cloth, it suddenly glowed with a faint, golden light and transformed itself into a glorious banner attached to a chest harness. It was obvious it was ment to be worn by none of ther then Zar Zar himself. For no other being could fit inside the wooden harness comfortably. But Zar Zar's scales would resist the rubbing of the wood and he would be uneffected by its weight and overall awkwardness of its construction.
The party stared in awe at what they had just witness. After Zar Zar dawned the banner and clipped it around his chest. He turned to the Elves and spoke in elven, a language he had learned in the magic school. There he repeated his Godess's words to them, in their own tongue. They stared at him flabergasted. How could this simple minded beast not only comprehend, but fluently speak such a complicated language as Elven. But not only that, He knew pieces of their history that only they and the God's knew.
So it was decided that they would join forced to continue the journey of Asgorath's symbole to the tip of the dragon's Teeth mountains. And thus began what was supposed to be Zar Zar's ascention to Draconic Pureity. Unfortuntely for me and Zar Zar, we had no idea what that DM had in mind for us. For his excitement was a mask covering his hatred for not only me, but also Zar Zar and everything he stood for.
The journey to the base of the mountain was tough, taking two sessions in total and rasing our character levels to 10. the game was going great and I was having a lot of fun and Zar Zar was becoming more fleshed out. Even the party had started to warm up to not only me, but the idea of having Zar Zar along. Dare I say it, we even became friends. Over the course of the next two weeks, the party and I slowly made our way up the mountain. Fighting all manner of monsters. From bands of Bandits to a Rock Troll. All the while we missed every sign that the DM put infront of us that something was not as it seemed. Until the fateful night that nearly broke the party apart, ended friendships and almost made me quit DnD completely.
The dawn broke early that morning. Mist and fog covering our camp. We were close to the peak of the Dragon's Teeth Mountain and the fabled Shrine of Asgorath. But it was here that we started to notice things were amiss. The grass that grew in shabby patches in the rocks began to appear wilted. The tree's appeared sickly and diseased. As we got closer to the peak, even the air itself seemed to be tained. Weighed down with a sense of dread.
We were nearly to the top. We could see the end of our journey. But as we rounded the last corner, what we saw made our hearts drop. The shrine of Asgorath was not as it seemed. Dark taint covered the area. We had to make constant will saves just to stay on our feet. The banner Zar Zar carried granted him +2 to all will saves. So he would likely be the last one standing. One by one our party fell to terrible visions. Dropping tot he ground, holding thier heads and screaming about a dark prescense. How the Dark Scales were there to take them. One of the group even turned to flee, only to find himself unable to move.
At this point, I had pieced it all together. The taint. The dying plants. The sense of Dread. The sight of the darkened Shrine. I knew what was coming. But Zar Zar did not. Not yet at least. I asked the DM if I could make a knowledge check. Explaining that Zar Zar's time at the magic school would have exposed him to most of the divinity and many forms of magic and their workings. He agreed. I rolled a 17. Coupled with my Wisdom, I got a 27 and passed.
The DM begain to explain how the air suddenly grew still. The light begun to fade even though it was not even mid-morning yet. A dark presence suddenly decended upon our party, a hissing laughter entering our minds. Then Zar Zar shouted out in broken Draconic.
"I know you are there Tiamat! Why have you tainted this sacred place!?"
The laughter only grew in power, the light of day almost completely gone now. Zar Zar reached back and touched the banner of Asgorath, but recoiled when he felt not silk, but slime. He looked back and saw not the shining white and gold symbol of Asgorath, but the black and red symbol of Tiamat. He had been tricked by the evil Goddess. He tried to tear off the banner, but it would not come loose. He tried to unsheath his sword to cut it free, but his sword turned to dust. He turned to his party to ask for help, only to find them gone. He was alone in the darkness.
I had not yet realized what was going on. But soon I would. This new group I had joined has conspired with one another. Deciding from the moment they met me that they didnt like me simply because I liked to play anything scaled or furred in DnD. But I hadnt realized this yet. So along with them I played.
Zar Zar turned back to the shrine, intent on running to it, hoping it's holy prescense would help him. But he couldnt move. Again he tried to strip the tainted banner from him but couldnt. At that moment, as he struggled with a clasp that should have torn easily under his might, the sky above him broke. Red lightning and fire ripped across the sky, surrounding a portal to another plane. Through the portal came the vissiage of Tiamat herself in all her unholy glory. Of course she was not there phsyicly. It was just a vision. But Zar Zar did not know this. He screamed in terror and fell to his knee's, the only action he could do.
Tiamat grinned upon the sight of this whimpering hulk before she spoke, her voice like needles in the mind of Zar Zar.
"You have done well little one. You have brought my banner to this sacred place. In doing so, you have tainted it, forever. This place, the weakest connection between the planes, is where I shall be reborn into this world. So that I may burn it and enslave all who live here. You have done well. Now take your promised reward and DIE!!"
As Taimat reared back, readying her breath weapon, Zar Zar did the only thing he could. He cast lightning bolt on himself. This action took the DM by surprise. But he Allowed it. "Roll for attack" he said. So I rolled. Nat 20. I could see the anger in his eyes, which was instantly replaced with sadistic glee. "Ok. Now roll for Damage." As per the rules of him homebrew, I was to roll 2 d6 per character level. This ment I Rolled 20 d6. I wont bore you with the individual dice results as honestly, I dont remember them myself. But it ended up being somewhere around 58 damage, doubled due to my nat 20. Needless to say. It was more then enough to kill Zar Zar. But that wasnt my goal. It was here, just before the DM pronounced Zar Zar dead, that I pulled out my secret weapon. I pointed out a single scrawled note on the side of my character sheet to the DM. Something he himself had approved but apparenlty forgotten about.
Since Zar Zar had only one spell and was forced to perfect that once spell. He had gained such high resitance to it's element that he became basicly immune to its effects. Something I had brought up and gotten approved by the very DM who now sought my death. The DM fumed with rage at this and almost ended the session there, but decided that for whatever reason, I had won in his own twisted mind.
The DM told of how Zar Zar's Lightning tore upwards into the sky, using his body as a lightning rod but completely missed Tiamat, "not that it would do anything to a god" he said.
"But I wasnt aiming for Tiamat." I replied. "I was aiming for myself, and by connection. The banner.
It was at this moment the DM realised his mistake. He looked at the dice still on the table. The 20 d6's scattered around, his eyes finally resting on my D20 and sighed in defeat.
"You destroy the banner." He said in defeat. Suddenly, everything about the DM changed. He no longer seemed to want my character dead. But instead simply wanted the game to end. So he began to wrap up the final session.
Tiamat screamed in rage as the banner burned away, taking with it, the taint it had brought. As the light returned, Tiamat fled back to her realm of darkness. With her gone, the whispers and air of dread left too. As we stood there, the Shrine of Asgorath appeared as if out of thin air in all its White marble and golden trim glory. It was in that moment that she Appeared to him again, but this time, in the flesh.
A beam of light blasted down from the heavens to strike the shrine without a sound and suddenly the Avatar of Asgorath stood there, bathed in golden light. She turned her eyes upon Zar Zar and spoke in an angelic voice, her draconic words brinigng live to the surrounding rocks.
"You have done well Little One. Better then I had hoped. Not only did you bring my Banner to my Shrine as I commanded, but you managed to chase Tiamat away from her dreams of Conquest. For this, I grant you your greatest wish. I make you, DRAGON!"
A beam of light equal in brilliance to Asgorath's own blasted down fro mthe heavens, engulfing Zar Zar and transforming him into a mighty 9 foot tall Golden Half-Dragon bearing Asgorath's Symbol perminatly engraved in the scales upon his forehead. Once the transformation was complete Asgorath spoke again.
"You have been reborn as a Demi-God. As such, you deserve a new name. No longer are you Zar Zar of the Lizard Folk. From now on you are Tel-nar-ith the Bold! Go into the world and carry my symbole to all edges of it. Teach my ways and bring my light to the darkest corners."
Telnarith was raised to level 25, granted a host of abilities including the ability to speak any language he encountered. He was also granted Might of Asgorath, which allowed him to over come any enemy or heal one friendly target to full health once a day.
The DM then ended the session stating the game was over. He congradulated me on my quick thinking and Stating that in Zar Zar's new form he would not be welcome in the next game. I nodded and agreed, knowing he was far too powerful now. But honestly, I never added those extra stats to his character sheet. Or the extra abilites, save for the Ability to speak any Language. Thats a nice touch. In my heart, Zar Zar is still level 10. But he managed to acomplish his dreams and become a Dragon and that makes me happy. I left that DnD group, never to return. I never felt more unwelcome in any game since.
Since then, I ahve always played a Half-Dragon who wears a golden circlet upon his head with the symbole of Asgorath carved upon it. I still have Zar Zar's character sheet somewhere. Always wanted to frame it and hang it up. He is by far, my favorite character in DnD