Meet Zyn Zoland

In a previous ramble, I mentioned my newest character, Zyn Zoland for our Curse of Strahd campaign. Well, I thought it would be fun to tell you guys a bit more about my Drow Necromancer. 

When I first envisioned him, he was a nervous wreck and an edgelord. I mean, it’s Curse of Strahd, it’s a gothic horror classic and the perfect time to play a dark and edgy character. Or so I thought at first. However, I quickly realised during the first session that a character like that wasn’t fun to play as. So, I made some changes on the fly.

He is now a confident, sarcastic guy, who uses comedy to defect and defend himself from insults. He is a bit of a coward, avoiding conflict when possible. Mainly because, being a wizard, he is the weakest member of the party. He is also rather young, being around 24 in Drow years. He has a nervous habit of smoking on a black wooden pipe that creates puffs of smoke that look like skulls since the smoke smells like his dad who has a matching pipe and gave one to Zyn as a going-away gift.

With the personality change, came the need for a new background to match. I figured the best way to show you a bit more about Zyn as a person, is to share that background. 

Zyn doesn’t remember much about his life before what he and his dad like to joke about as his “surprise adoption”. He was barely a toddler at the time in his defence. Although, knowing what he knows now about those Drow, he is thankful he only has one memory. Well, one and a half.


The half memory was the day (or night, not that you can tell in the Underdark) he got his scar and lost partial vision in his eye. Or at least, he remembers the pain. He felt like his skull was going to split open as the blade slashed over his left eye. Out of the other, he could only make out the vague shape of the large statue of the spider goddess Lolth.

The first full memory he has was the day the Secret Moondancers attacked or liberated, depending on who you ask.

He reckons that it happened around the time he got his scar, as the throbbing pain was with him as he hid. Hearing the clashing of swords on metal and bone. He covered his ears, trying to block out the sounds of combat but it didn’t help. He couldn’t even hear his own crying over the noise.

Thankfully, someone did hear over the racket.

Porphirios Zoland. Better known as Sharp.

Sharp found the young tyke, almost completely hidden in the crevices of the cave. Only alerted to his presence by his cries. He was already pushing his luck, being the last one to retreat with those they rescued but could not bring himself to leave without the clearly terrified bleeding child.

He barely made it out before the place collapsed. Clutching the boy tight to his chest. When they got to safety, he treated his wound and took a liking to the shy child. He decided then and there that this boy, newly named Zyn, was now his son.

More or less Sharp and Zyn’s relationship

The Secret Moondancers are a group of Drow that reject Lolth and the old values of the Drow. Many choosing to worship Eilistraee, but it isn’t a requirement. Countless members of their man-made clan are exiles, refugees or those who were liberated at a young age. Not all of them are Drow, but the vast majority. 

Some chose to live underground, while some choose to live “up top”. There are several safe houses in operation, part business such as a small tavern or bakery, part safe house.

Sharp himself is only half Drow, his father was a Tiefling. He often went on quests and adventures, such as missions to help folk escape from their old lives and join the Secret Moondancers. 

He was a slightly overprotective father when Zyn was little, and in a way still is. The two may look different, but they both possess a sharp wit and sharper tongue. When he got a bit older, he started to train the boy to be a rouge like him. However, he started showing signs of being a bit more magically inclined. Sharp was proud, if not slightly concerned when he chose to follow the School of Necromancy. He made Zyn swear that he would not disturb the dead unless absolutely necessary to save his skin or those he cared about.

Sharp when Zyn does anything

When Zyn left as part of his coming of age rite of passage, Sharp was beyond nervous but has faith in him and his necromantic powers. He has only seen his boy twice since then.

Zyn intends to grow a bit more independent and to hone his skills to make his father proud. With that, he left the safety of the Secret Moondancer home, off on his first adventure. Little did he know the horrors he was about to face.

Zyn is the first male character I have played, and also the most fleshed out. I already love him so much. I’m pretty proud of who he turned out to be, and since this is just the start of the campaign, he has a lot of growing to do. 

That is if he survives. As much as I love him, Curse of Strahd is a brutal campaign setting. Who knows, he might even die in tomorrows session. Let’s hope not, anyway.

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