Zis, the Kobold Druid
Zis (pronounced zēs) is a Kobold Druid being played by Queuevian, Malkil.
Uncommon, but far from unheard of, an urd emerged from the hatchery of a tribe of kobolds. Even at a young age, the rest of the tribe treated him with mistrust, recalling the legend of recalling the legend of how Kuraulyek, a winged servant of the kobold god Kurtulmak, had betrayed his master. Such was this mistrust that the urd wasn't even given a name. "Zis one," they often said when some misfortune fell upon them. "Zat one," was an equally popular accusation. Before long he was used to being called "Zis".
In the midst of a famine, this mistrust turned to hatred and fear. Surely their plight must have been caused by the presence of one of Kuraulyek's favored among them. They turned their anger and desperation towards Zis, but they weren't as cruel as their race's reputation might lead one to believe. They didn't slaughter the young kobold, but instead they exiled him from the warren to live upon the surface beneath the blinding sun.
Zis resented this treatment and made a vow. He already had the wings, after all. Why couldn't he become a Big Dragon? Of course, kobolds weren't the smartest of creatures, Zis included, and his ambition made him believe that he could become a god. He just had to figure out how.
As luck would have it, after a few months of wandering, foraging, and running away from much larger creatures that wished to eat him, he found what he thought was the answer. He was tracking a small, tasty little meal, some furred animal that he didn't have a name for, when it ran into a strange, circular growth. The kobold followed it cautiously, then hid when he saw some much bigger, two-legged creature performing a weird religious rite. For hours he sat, huddled up and hidden in the foliage, watching and listening to what was happening, transfixed by the confusing beauty and power of it all. The entire time, however, he was unaware that he was being watched in turn.
Eventually, the larger creature, a human as he would eventually learn to call its race, finished the rite. In the blink of an eye, the human had disappeared and in its place was a feathered animal. Zis reflexively froze in place, but the large, golden-feathered thing flew off without any hint of noticing him.
Every day the human would return to this spot and every day Zis would spy upon it from the surrounding foliage. This went on for many evenings, even those when Zis had been unsuccessful in his foraging for days at a time. He knew that if he ever wanted to become a Big Dragon he would have to learn the human's trick of changing his form. So he watched... and so he studied.
One evening, when the moon was full, Zis had settled in to watch as he had for the past few weeks. The human arrived and, as always, began to perform their rites. Something was different this time, however. Something was wrong. The greenery that had protected Zis from the human's site suddenly parted on its own accord. The kobold tried to run, but found himself tripped up by roots. He even extended his wings in a desperate attempt to fly away, an action that he'd been loathe to take since he hatched thanks to the stigma associated with the appendages, but he found himself bound to the ground. 'Zis is ze day zat Zis dies!' he thought.
"No! Please!" he cried out. "Zis is sorry! Zis begs you! Zis was only curious! Spare Zis and Zis goes away!" It seemed that the urd would never become the Big Dragon that he desired so much to be.
"Quiet, little one," the human said. Its voice was soothing and almost lyrical. Terrified as he was, the kobold found it had an almost calming effect... almost. "You've been watching me for weeks," it accused with that same, horribly tranquil tone. "In turn, I've been watching you. You mock me during the day. I've heard you attempting to mimic my words. I've seen your scaly little claws twitch and twist in a crude imitation of my sacred gestures." The human paused for a moment and watched as the kobold trembled in fear. "Why?"
"Zis wants to learn!" he blurted out. "Zis saw you change into zat zing!"
"The bird?" the human questioned.
"Yes! Zat! Zat bird-zing!" he replied. "And zat crawly zing! Ze... ze..."
The human interrupted him, noting his excitement. "Calm yourself, kobold. Like I said, I've been watching you. You've been struggling, haven't you little one? In fact, I haven't seen you eat for days." The human produced a small, white berry from their pouch and held it before the kobold's maw.
"No!" Zis cried out, recalling the last time that he'd eaten those tiny white berries. It was one of the first things he'd scrounged up since he was exiled and the poison it contained nearly killed him in the most undignified of ways.
He reached out to swat it away, but it was too late. The human had already popped the berry into his mouth. The urd tried to cough it up, but with one hand the human held his muzzle shut.
"Swallow," they instructed. Zis resisted. "Swallow," the human repeated, but this time they clasped their other hand over his nostrils. Zis tried scratching at their arm, but he may as well have been clawing at the bark of a tree. Eventually, he had no choice but to swallow, so swallow he did.
When the human released him, what came next was not the agonizing pain and humiliation that he expected. Instead he felt his hunger disappear. "Why?" he asked, echoing the human's question.
"I'm curious," they answered as they released the kobold from his living restraints. "I've never met a kobold so interested in learning druidic magic. So to satisfy my curiosity I'll teach you... but we'll see if the spirits decide to grant you their boon."