Tyranny Of Dragons
Zara al-Memnonnar, Countess of Velen
Noble Human Rogue known as "Salamander"
Appearance: Slim and shapely, with lightly tanned skin and long, flowing dark hair. Her father had a harem with dozens of girls, so she knows well the power a woman’s body has over a man.
Attitude: Was raised to believe that men are superior to women, but is now convinced that females are, in fact, superior. Is willing to use any means necessary to gain wealth, power and revenge, but only harbours ill-will against those who have wronged her. Worships a variety of Goddesses ranging from Good to Evil, Lawful to Chaotic, but her heart is closest to Shar, Mistress of the Night.
Aspirations: Find her destiny and achieve it. Become powerful and wealthy and deliver retribution to those who have done her wrong. One day she dreams of taking the city of Memnonnar and the peninsula of Velen, but the older she gets the sillier that dream seems.
At the southern edge of the Sword Coast lies the ancient nation of Calimshan. Said to be the oldest living country in Western Faerun, it is a vast desert rich in history. In ages past, it was the site of a great war between entire armies of Genies. Today it is a violent cesspool of crime, lust and wealth disparity. While the nobility live in mind-boggling luxury- wiping their arses with silk and bathing in milk- the common folk are among the poorest in the world.
Zara was born to the ruler of Memnon. She was his eldest child, but to be born a girl in Calimshan is to be born a pampered slave. Her father was furious at having a girl. All his seers had predicted a boy. He had every court wizard put to death for their foolishness, then had his wife put to death to punish her. He would have put the girl baby Zara to the sword as well, except the Count of Velen, who was visiting Memnon at the time, offered to take the newborn girl as his wife fourteen years hence. The Satrap of Memnon figured an alliance was worth more than an infant’s corpse, so he spared the life of his daughter.
Zara al-Memnonnar lived as a songbird in a gilded cage. She slept on the finest cottons imported from Maztica, dined on the best caviar of the Inner Sea and kept baby dinosaurs from Chult in her father’s personal zoo. She met Lords of Waterdeep, Efreeti from the Plane of Fire and Jaguar Knights from across the Trackless Sea. But not once in fourteen years was she allowed to leave the family compound in Memnon. She knew that somewhere to the north her future husband awaited her. But she knew also that her destiny lie elsewhere. The Goddesses had promised her this much.
Her wedding day came soon enough. Her husband was everything her nightmares had promised he would be- an ancient, stinking, hairy-faced barbarian, toothless and scarred, probably a rapist and a slayer of women. Shar had told her this would be so. But Sune had promised her true love. Sharess had promised her pleasure. Siamorph had promised her children of noble birth. She would hold the Goddesses to their words.
Vows were exchanged and Zara al-Memnonnar was wed to the Count of Velen, becoming the legal Countess. But that night as her husband undressed, a silver blade was driven into his jugular. Knowing she could not hide her crime, Zara attempted to flee Velen. She was caught by a female Knight wearing red armour. Zara did not know such things existed- she had grown up in a land were women were property, not heroes. The Red Knight escorted Zara to a pirate ship, who smuggled her north to Waterdeep. When she later learned that there was a goddess named the Red Knight, she became convinced that she had met the deity in person and added the Red Knight to her own personal pantheon.
In Calimshan, crime is the only enterprise where men and women are equal. Taking the name “Salamander”, Zara attempted to build a criminal network. She was hopelessly outmatched against professional assassins and illusionists, so it failed horribly. She fled Waterdeep, figuring she would probably end up a pox-ridden prostitute in some barbaric Sword Coast hovel. Instead she found her skill with blade and bow meant she could get work as a Caravan Guard.
She likes the fact that she is paid to carry weapons. She really likes the fact that she is paid to kill. Bearing arms is liberating, empowering. The thrill of the kill is intoxicating and Zara looks forward to attacks by Goblins and Bandits. She is even foolish enough to hope she can test her mettle against a Giant. Not trusting her identity to anyone, she travels under the name of Salamander. Perhaps one day she will return to Memnon or even Velen and stake her rightful claim as its ruler, but for now she is just wants a little respect.