Sometimes people ask when I started it. My answer? Around 15.
Yep, that’s about when I got into Dungeons & Dragons. I was always a huge fantasy freak. I read all the best-known anthologies: the Thomas Covenant books, the Amber books, Piers Anthony (both Xanth and Incarnations of Immortality), Elric, loads of Mercedes Lackey, Shannara, the Sword of Truth….that was very long ago, and some of it I’d like to read again (mainly the Shannara books), but you can see how I was naturally attracted to D & D.
So, for you gamers, more detail: I loved the drow. DarkStar was a female fighter/mage, and from Greyhawk (Forgotten Realms wasn’t big yet). She was not a Lolth worshipper; in fact, she was an outcast, lawful evil devotee of the archfiends of Hell.
I suppose if you know nothing of D & D, this is meaningless. But if you’re into fantasy, you SHOULD know about it, so neener. We usually played some blend of editions 2.0 and 2.5.
If you know it really well, you’ll remember a bunch of magic items called the figurines of wondrous power. One of these was the obsidian steed:
The wiki doesn’t call it such, but I think the original DMG stated it was a nightmare. Maybe not. This was the early 80’s, and my memory ain’t so great theses days. But DarkStar had hers out and active, when, in the way of overzealous adventurers, tried an unknown potion. You guessed it: an elixir of love.
Ok, so we fudged it. It should only make you enthralled with humanoids, but we went completely the wrong way with it. Just remember, DarkStar luckily was a high enough level mage to be able to shape change, and it is mentioned quite briefly in Break that Azbaelus is a centaur, and quite bitter about his heritage.
And in fact, DarkStar was thrilled at the possibility of creating a new evil race. She dealt with her infernal lords, offering them the child to study and recreate. They were going to be called azbaals, because Asmodeus and Baalzebul were her strongest supporters, and Azbaelus was to be…er, the flagship model?
Gamewise, we had to sit down and hammer out what sort of abilities might be passed on when a drow and a nightmare came together. Mainly tdrow gifts were passed on: the innate magic resistance, and levitation. Azzie could not create the globe of darkness, or dancing lights, or faerie fire. As you might guess, he had absolutely no magic that was Lloth or spider-based. From his nightmare heritage, in his centaur form, he has the smoking, flaming hooves, but while he later gained the ability to planeshift, it was not inborn.
At 1 year of age, he was collected from his home and brought to Hell. He was their experiment, and they would be the ones to raise him.
To be continued.
(Also note, when Trials of a Demon Prince is done, I plan Azzie’s biography as a stand-alone. It will be based on what me and the other DM hammered out for him, and some campaigns that were written for him.)