The World Tree
Dressed in a gray, sleeveless tunic with a hood and slightly darker pants. Zaknithra's eyes have become even more vivid, almost an aura of red, with flecks of gold.
Strength: 14, Mod: +2
Dexterity: 23, Mod: +6
Constitution: 12, Mod: +1
Wisdom: 20, Mod: +5
Charisma: 12, Mod: +1
Alignment: Neutral Good
AC: 26, Touch: 23, Flat-Footed: 20
Claw Set +1 Flaming, Shock:
Attack Bonus: +15,
Damage: 1D8 + 2 + 1D4 + 1 + 2D6 + 2,
Base Attack Bonus: 5
Spell Resistance: 15
Grapple Modifier: 7
Movement Speed: 50 ft.
Feats: Combat Reflexes, Stunning Fists, Dodge, Weapon Focus: Unarmed, Improved Unarmed Strike, Weapon Finesse: Unarmed, Improved Initiative, Improved Trip
Special Abilities: Flurry of Blows, Unarmed Strike, Evasion, Fast Movement, Still Mind, Ki Strike, Purity of Body, Faerie Fire, Globe of Darkness(20 ft.), Dancing Lights, Levitate, Immunity: Magic Sleep, Darkvision(120 ft.), Wholeness of Body
Languages: Common, Undercommon, Elven
Skills: Balance: 10, Climb: 3, Concentration: 1, Diplomacy: 8, Escape Artist: 6, Hide: 12, Jump: 10, Listen: 7, Move Silently: 13, Perform: 1, Profession: 5, Search: 2, Sense Motive: 13, Spot: 7, Swim: 2, Tumble: 15
Born in a city dominated by females, Zaknithra was already a disappointment to his family the first time he opened his eyes. The first male child of his mother’s, he was a prince of one of the more powerful houses in the Dark Elven city, Meladrioth. Even as a prince, he was barely above servant. He was named in homage to the ancient Draconic blood that flows in his family veins, “Zaknithra”, Haunted Dragon. At the age of six his city launched an unsuccessful attack against one of the only male dominated cities left, which prompted a retaliation that wiped Meladrioth’s noble houses and commoners alike from existence. His house, Auvryarn, Blood of the Fire, was gone. Found surrounded by smoking corpses of enemy warriors, Zaknithra was taken prisoner. A child with magical talent is valued, and Drow do not waste things that can be used.
Introduced to the male city as a slave, he spent his early days honing his innate magical abilities among the common soldiers of the House that owned him. He showed an aptitude for fire magic, along with a curious innate resistance to fire, and with such talent, was pressed into the city’s Academy when he came of age. The masters of magic within the Academy tried for years to shape Zak into a powerful sorcerer, but with each passing day his ability to use his bloodline’s magic ebbed away. The masters thought it was the lack of trying, and he was punished, but one day they felt no magic power within him. Bewildered, they sent him to train as a soldier, as his days of spellcasting were certainly over. Zaknithra has consciously cut himself off from his magic, a result of seeing his family cut down and unleashing a maelstrom of fire to avenge them.
It was under the teachings of his new teachers that the young elf thrived, his unwavering discipline and quick reflexes led to many victories. Wielding twin daggers in his early days, Zaknithra was what the teachers could only describe as a natural. While a honored fighter within the Academy, he was still a slave on the outside, bound by manacles when not on patrol. When he neared fifty, he met another slave, one that instilled in him the idea of freedom, of a better life. This slave, a gray dwarf, was soon killed for his insolence, and Zaknithra was tortured for listening. The next fifty years of slavery gave him a burning hatred for his masters, and an equally burning desire for freedom.
Fanedaire, the all male city he now resided in, was attacked. Their daring to defy Lolth was repaid with an army from other cities. Set in chains, Zak watched his masters cut down, with some amusement, only to be taken as a ‘pet’ by the priestess that had killed his captors. As she made her way through the city with an entourage, several spells slammed into the group, killing the soldiers and bringing the priestess to her knees. A mage wielding a short sword walked up to her, a grin on his face of.. malice? glee? Zaknithra could not tell. He cut her head off, and slowly approached Zak.
Examining the mage closer, he realized that the stranger was a noble of Fanedaire, a high ranking one at that. The mage, looking to be in a hurry, whispered a quick spell and the manacles holding Zak fell to the ground. Xull’ree Arkennett, a name that should have ment more to him, he knew it. Exchanging greetings, the two then fled from the city, into the Underdark, and to the Surface entrance that lay only a few days journey from Fanedaire. It was strange to Zaknithra, that his only hope lay in the world above, and a new friend, who would have been his master otherwise.
Once they reached the surface, the two said goodbyes, and went their separate ways. Zak found his path leading nowhere, his armor and weapons all but drained by the Surface’s ‘Sun’. After a few months of scavenging for food and working on and off as a merchant’s guard, his presence dissuading would-be attackers, he stumbled upon an Abbey in the middle of a wood. Weak and in need of aid, he was taken in by the resident priests. It was here he met Veremillae, an Elven Monk, who watched over him as he recovered. Curious of him and his people, she seemed to accept him instantly, despite the gap between their two peoples.
In the years that followed, Veremillae and Zaknithra became close, eventually lovers, and while Zak told stories of the Underdark and the various wonders and tragedies of his past, she trained him in the Monk’s art. She had even opened his mind to his magical bloodline again, and he had begun to train himself as a sorcerer. Eventually word reached the Abbey that a piece of the World Tree had crossed into this world, and the world’s inhabitants had became stirred into action. The word had arrived via a trader from Cambria, who had laughed it off as rumor and superstition, but when Zak and Vere questioned further, he gave them a name: Daniela.
Eager for adventure and brimming with curiosity, the two set off from the Abbey. The journey went smoothly for the two monks for a few weeks, but then they were set upon by a band of slavers. They attacked in the night, attempting to overwhelm them with superior numbers. Veremillae went down a few minutes into the fight, wounded. While Zak saw her struggle to get to her feet, he also saw the slaver’s sword swing down to her. He closed his eyes and with a primal scream, a pulse of fire swept the area, and he fell unconscious.
When he woke, there were only the bodies of slavers around him. By his reckoning, about half the group had survived, and the only trace of Vere was a silver necklace, one side of it burnt and caked in ash. He had seen her being killed, he was sure of it, and only one thought occupied his mind: Vengeance. He followed the slaver’s trail as far as he could, eventually finding himself turning to Cambria.
Upon this road he met up again with Xull’ree, the mage who had saved him from a slave’s life long ago, learned he too was searching for the tree, for power. The thought had not crossed Zak: that the tree could be the solution. If the stories had a glimmer of truth, if power was to be gained, he would turn that power upon the slavers that had taken Vere from him, he would have his vengeance…
As he and the party made their way through Cambria and learned more and more of the Tree, Zak had begun to grasp the situation. The Tree was significant beyond his vengeance, and as it all came together outside the city in the battle against Jerek and the unnatural entity, a larger war was revealed. He resolved that if he were to find the Tree, he would not live like Durth, afraid of discovery by those creatures, afraid of his own power and the war that lurked beneath all the world’s struggles. He would face it all head on, and hope his personal mission was fulfilled along the way.
After the encounter with the World Tree, Zaknithra’s ideas of vengeance threaten to overwhelm him. The fire that now fills his being, begging to be unleashed, is a constant strain on his attempt to remain in control. The tattoo of a fist on his left shoulder serves as a reminder, the flesh looking like a living fire underneath an aura of pulsing red.
The Grey Man’s vendetta against Zaknithra revealed, Veremillae alive. Zak could not contain his rage. As he fought the Grey Man, his eyes constantly drifted to the barely conscious elf at his enemy’s side. As he threw down the man who had attacked him all that time ago, he managed to hold himself back from tearing that…thing limb from limb, but then the Grey Man killed himself, taking Vere with him, attempting to drag her into the Abyss in one last act of spite. Durth presented a solution, and Zak accepted it immediately, traveling after the Grey Man, his lover, and Vere. As Zaknithra caught them, Veremillae broke free of the two holding her and ran to Zak, who immediately moved her out of harms way, whispering something in her ear.
“Run!” Zak shouted, “I’m right behind you!” And as she turned to run towards the exit, back to the Prime Material plane, Zak turned to face the demons that bore down upon him. His body on the material plane became surrounded by flames, and the last Durth and Vere saw of Zak was a flash of fire that pulsed out, and the gateway to the Abyss closed. His body fell lifeless.