DESCRIPTION: Dark black skin, like all Drow, but the left side of his body (arms, torso, and legs) is covered in whorling purple tattoos. He has short white hair, with long bangs to either side of his face. His hair sticks up all over like he just got out of bed. His eyes are alert and constantly watching everything, but he rarely makes eye contact. He wears multiple earrings in both ears, but the top of his right ear has been notched 3 times, scarring badly. He wears just enough clothing to protect but not to hamper him.
PERSONALITY: Zed speaks only when he has to, otherwise he is quite happy to remain unobtrusively hidden in any shadowy spot he can find. Even though soft spoken, he will not be pushed around or intimidated. Unlike most Drow, he detests unnecessary cruelty and is indeed a very gentle soul.
|AGE: 40||HEIGHT: 5’10”||WEIGHT: 140 lbs|
|HAIR: White||EYES: Turquoise||DEITY: Silvanus|
Zed’Rath was born the 3rd son of Ilivarra of House Vrasl, the religious part of the ruling triumvirate in Undrek’Thoz, located beneath the Overlands of Thay. During the rebellion after the Spellplague, Drow Males in the liberated society were finally allowed to hold positions of power, as monks of the Blackened Fist, but to this day, there are still many who hold to the old traditions of the established Matriarchal society. This was made even harder growing up under the shadow of his grandmother, Harthel Vrasl, the Lich Matron, and leader of followers of Llolth.
When Zed’Rath was born, he was given into the care of his elder sister Zarra. His mother often had to help Harthel with the day-to-day religious duties of the city while his grandmother was busy with her Necromantic pursuits for Llolth and deepening relations with Szass Tam, the Lich King of Thay. Zarra raised Zed with an iron fist, angry at being saddled with such a burden when she felt she should be young and free. Since she didn’t dare voice her displeasure to their mother, she took it out on her brother. From a very young age, the boy learned to remain as invisible and unnoticed as possible to avoid his sister’s ire. His older brothers held high positions in the Sorcere (Mage School) and within the Blackened Fist so it was expected that he would follow in one of their footsteps. Unfortunately, he held no spark of magic within him, so the House of Magic wouldn’t have him. At Melée-Magthere (Fighting School) he was fast enough with a blade, but since he hated hurting people without a reason, and he wasn’t willing to take what he wanted by force, he quickly fell to the bottom of his class, passing almost entirely unnoticed by his superiors. This earned him the first warning, or “notch” in his right ear. His mother and sisters made it clear to him that it was his duty to excel and to bring glory to their family, but inside, Zed couldn’t understand how glory could be so dishonorable and this created a huge conflict within him.
He continued to live with his own system of morals and did everything he could to remain out of trouble and unnoticed by everyone. His only relief from his dreary life was in being able to sneak up to the surface and watch the sun set. At first, it hurt his eyes, but soon the darkness would take over and the sky would be filled with heavenly lights, something missing in the Underdark. Something about nature on the Overworld, the burgeoning forests, and grasslands called to him. For a long time, he was able to use the status of his family to be able to sneak up to the surface, and it would be hours before his family even noticed he was missing. This finally backfired on him, and his mother discovered his many trips to the surface. He had no right to be there, he wasn’t even old enough to be given missions to the surface yet, so he was severely punished and his right ear was notched a 2nd time, for all to see his shame.
A few weeks before he was due to graduate from Warrior school, the middle brother, Kelnozz caught Zed taking out his aggressions on a war dummy. Zed’rath was getting pressure from his mother and sisters to perform better, they’d taken away his freedom to go to the surface and his frustration had been mounting for months now. He was trying to work all this out on an inanimate object. Kelnozz couldn’t believe his eyes, his younger brother’s precision and power surpassed his own and this hit the older brother as quite a shock. This whole time the whole family had underestimated their baby brother, and he had the potential to actually be a swordmaster. Without giving it another thought, Kelnozz confronted Zed, threatening to reveal what he’d seen to their mother. At first, Zed just ignored him, but finally Kelnozz was able to scare him enough, that he provoked his younger brother into fighting with him. Zed knew that another severe warning would result in a 3rd notch, the final one before his life would be forfeited to Llolth. With his very life on the line, he fought his brother with all he had. Kelnozz plied dirty tricks to try and get the best of his younger brother, but Zed’s innate skill saved him time and again. Unbeknownst to either of the brothers, their conflict had drawn the attention of their mother, who watched from the shadows with quite a bit of interest. Her eyes lit with pleasure when she finally saw her youngest disarm the middle child, and knock him to the ground at sword point. It was then that she stepped from the shadows clapping and smiling sardonically.
“Well done my brave Zed’rath. Go ahead and finish your brother, then take his place as the second male in the family. You are more worthy of that title than Kelnozz.” The icy, uncaring tone of her voice shocked Zed out of his battle lust and his withdrew his sword, sheathing it. Looking down at his brother, he could see the shock in Kelnozz’s face at their mother’s words.
“No! I cannot slay a family member.”
If he’d been looking at his mother he would have almost seen the flames that seemed to burn in her gaze. “As your mother I command it! Now finish his life.”
“Mother, “ Kelnozz whispered in disbelief.
“DO IT,” she screamed at Zed, making him flinch. Zed let his sword and sheath clatter to the ground at his feet. His mother went into a fit of rage at seeing her command ignored. Screaming like a banshee, she backhanded Zed with enough force to knock him back against the wall. She then drew her knife and slashed another notch in his ear before he could react. “There, now you will take his place. Tomorrow you will be offered as a sacrifice to please Llolth and then maybe you can be of more service to your Grandmother and I dead than you are alive.” As she turned and stormed from the room, she called back over her shoulder, “Kelnozz, if you value your life, you will lock your brother in the dungeon and then go work to become worthy of this family again.” With those last biting words, she was gone.
With a bitter look of regret, Kelnozz picked himself up off of the ground and retrieved his sword, and then turned to find his baby brother already heading towards the dungeon with leaden steps, his ear still bleeding profusely. Kelnozz only followed him to make sure that Zed locked himself in the dungeon and then returned to vent his anger on the battle dummy Zed’rath had just been using.
Despondently, Zed sat in the darkness of his cell, listening to the rats chittering in the walls, wondering which god he’d angered to have his life turn out so. He actually thought that maybe he’d been born to the wrong race since he’d never fit it in. As the long night wore on, Zed realized that it wasn’t he who was unworthy; it was his family who was unworthy of him. His life was his to do with as he pleased and that he was not going down without a fight. He could escape and lose himself in the wide world above, free of his family and the evil ways of his people and their goddess. With his mind made up, he pulled a small tool out of its hidden spot in his boot and used it to pick the lock on his cell. As silent as a shadow, he slipped into the supply room and filled a backpack with travel rations and a few weapons and then slipped off of his family’s estate and into the Underdark in the wee hours of the morning.
Zed knew that he couldn’t use the Transport Devices to get to the surface because the Monks guarded those too closely, and his mother had long ago cut off that route for him, but having scouted out the caves around Undrek’Thoz, he knew that his only chance of getting to the surface was through the Deep Imaskar. The Deep Imaskar was a wasteland of PlagueChanged, but he knew that the Imskari were running tests on the land to see if they could find a way to reverse the affects of the Spellplague. They would surely have places of safety and he’d find them, and use them to help him escape, relying on all of his Nature Lore to keep him alive. Once he’d made it to the surface, then he’d head West or South, anywhere just to get as far away from the reach of his family as possible. He adjusted the straps on his shoulders, made sure his sword was belted on securely, checked the ease of reaching his shuriken, and then set off for what he thought would be a short journey to escape the Underdark.
The young Drow never spoke of the horrors that he saw during the two years it had actually taken him to wend his way from Undrek’Thoz to the Deep Imaskar, but he could never forget the things he’d seen (or not seen) in the dark. And just when he’d thought things couldn’t get worse, he’d found that they could actually become more nightmarish when twisted by the Spellplague. It was night when he finally felt the cool breeze of the Overworld on his skin again, a cool night at the beginning of spring. The cool breeze helped to coagulate the multitude of freshly bleeding wounds and to cool his fevered skin, as Zed collapsed to the ground in exhaustion. He had misjudged how deadly the wilderness of the Underdark could be, and he had found that the Imskari rarely ventured far into the Deep Imaskar. So for the last two years he had barely dared to sleep, and had barely found enough nourishment to subside on. Even if he died, he’d made it to the surface a free man, and that was all that mattered to him. As the darkness of unconsciousness reached out to take him, he heard that clatter of wagon wheels and wondered what it was he was hearing.
Zed awoke to find himself gently being rocked back and forth on the back of a cart. Some travelers, delivering goods to the nearby town of Immilmar, had found him passed out and near death at the side of the road. These druids had nursed him back to health and took him with them into the city. It didn’t seem to bother them that he was a Drow, so when they returned to their forests North of Thay, he returned with them for a while, eager to learn what he could of the nature of the Overworld. They not only taught him the ways of the land, but they also taught him about their God, Silvanus. The more he studied the neutral nature of this deity and how he revered life of every kind, Zed’rath felt his heart soar.
Zed had thought to learn from the druids and then quickly move on, but a half-elf among them caught his eye and had soon snagged his heart. They found that they had so much in common, especially the peace which Silvanus offered them to escape from the Wicked Worlds they both had escaped.. After many long months, he invited Violet to share his bed, and she asked him to be her living canvas. As an artist, her talent with tattoos was unrivaled and Zed allowed her to use his body to announce their devotion to their God. As their love grew deeper, the purple tattoos slowly started from his left shoulder and grew to cover the whole left side of his body. Like two halves of a whole, Zed felt that Violet was now more a part of him than ever before, as their souls joined and left marks of their passing on his skin.
Unfortunately, in his complacency, Zed had put aside the memories of how vengeful his family could be, memories shed like the skin of his old life. After nearly 2 blissful years amongst the druids, the peaceful group was ambushed in the dark of night, when Drow warriors could stand to be above ground. Violet had just begun to extend his tattoos to the right side of his body when the attack came. As he lay on his stomach in the firelight, his lover above him, a well placed arrow shattered her heart… and his world. In an instant, the warrior in Zed reemerged and as he watched the life slip from Violet’s eyes, bloodlust blurred his vision. He couldn’t remember much about that evening, other than the fact that he’d become a god of death, striking down any dark-skin he could find. Unfortunately, most of the Druids were killed in the attack, and there was no way to save Violet. Silently, Zed cursed himself for staying, for bringing harm to his peace-loving friends. After helping to bury them, he built a special cairn for his beloved, and with her, he laid his heart in the ground.
From that moment on, Zed never stayed in any place for too long, fearing to bring down the wrath of his people on those he might befriend. After another year of travel, Zed’rath Vrasl was invited to become a bounty hunter with the Death Gate Guild. Deciding that this line of work would allow him to stay on the move while still earning a living, he signed up for the recruiting class to see how far he’d let his skills slide.