June 14, 2011
As promised, here’s the detailed origins of one Elizabeth “Lizzie” Kerrigan.First and foremost I suppose, her meta-origins. She is of course a reference to Sarah Kerrigan from StarCraft and StarCraft 2 by Blizzard Entertainment, and also to folklore figure Lizzy Borden. The former for her Tsochari corruption and hive-like command, the latter for her personality and familial background.
In full form, she originates from one of my old Dungeons & Dragons (3.5 for life, yo!) campaigns, where the players got to experience much of her transformation from a young abused girl to a depraved mutant force to be reckoned with. In my previous discussion of her history (See Book 5 - Page 41), the players of that campaign were the adventurers noted, though Avbaroy is a completely different universe to Einderseod, where I normally set my campaigns.
Now, in Avbaroy, she originates in Merinas, alchemical center of the world (and rapidly becoming its undead center as well…), in the city of Korobein to her father Tanas Kerrigan and mother Diana Kerrigan (nee Dibra, a name she was understandably rather eager to be rid of). She was the youngest of three siblings, with her sister Savitri “Savvy” Kerrigan and brother Karnar “Kam” Kerrigan. In perhaps typical fashion, her siblings took after their respectively-gendered parents.
Tanas was an alchemist in Korobein, and a competitive and vindictive one at that, thoroughly disliked by his competition. Whilst he had long held off human trials, by the time Lizzie was born Diana had lost all strength to keep him at bay, and Lizzie spent much of her early life playing guinea pig to her father’s latest concoctions. The precise results of these tests is unclear, given Lizzie’s present-day state, but certainly may have contributed to it. Kam, next in line to run the family store, held much the same ideas and opinions as his father, whilst Savvy was as pure-hearted as her mother, if still less able to defend Lizzie against her male family-members.
When Lizzie was six years old, Korobein became host to a branch of the occult religious group known as the Church of Zakia, who among other things were quickly noticed for their worship of Tsochar parasites. As Tsochari are aberrations from an unknown realm, Tanas was quick to consider how to acquire one, and unfortunately settled on his ever-suffering youngest daughter, Lizzie, whom he sold into the cult for a modest fee. She was quickly implanted and that her body could withstand the process was held as sign of divine intervention, which she and six others were hailed for. At this point, during a parade by the Church, adventurers intervened in the perverted actions of the cult and the children were scattered. Most were found soon after, restored to health and returned to their families, two died as the parasites overtook them, and Lizzie fled into the sewer system underneath the city.
Beneath the city streets, weeks after the Church of Zakia had been forcibly dismantled and largely forgotten, Lizzie remained, feeding off of scraps. Her parasite, sensing its end as it become further and further entangled in her body, attempted to seek restorative aid for itself, even stealing a local cleric, to little avail. As she changed and merged further, Lizzie’s six-year-old frame expanded to accomodate the mass, gradually shredding her skin. In a psychological numbness, she sought out several red-haired women on the streets and stripped them of their flesh to replace her own, a series of acts that drew a great deal of attention in the city, and the reason her skin currently is a dark purplish colour and her hair missing clumps.
By the time she was located, the fusion process had nearly reached completion, and restorative methods at this point served only to accelerate it. Lizzie’s body became a complex network of Tsochari strands, the individual pieces that make up all Tsochari, blurring the line between human and aberrant snake beyond recognition. Perhaps most disturbingly, she had retained the parasite’s capacity to breed, and began growing a vast hive of strands which she named “The Flow”. Using knowledge from inside the mind of her parasite, Lizzie crafted a momentary gate spell and vanished, leaving only gore and corpses in her wake, her destination unknown.
She re-appeared some years later, under the guise of Tomira Brand, in Korobein, where she quickly ingratiated herself with her family members, who were none the wiser of her real identity. Her father she slaughtered outright, and boiled his corpse in his own alchemical tonics, after removing the only part of him she required. Her mother she kept alive, though subsumed by The Flow and barely cogitent or sane. Her brother Kam tried to court Tomira, to no avail, and was captured along with Savvy, to be part of Lizzie’s experiments in recreating her own genesis (a task she has, to date, been thankfully unable to manage).
In 712 AC, Kerrigan approached Fudgeland’s queen, Shavinreth Ruithfel (Sildyu’s late mother) regarding supplication in return for alchemical experimentation labs and materials, ostensibly under the guise of creating a new military force for the Fudgian Kingdom. Shavinreth agreed, and Lizzie has been operational in the Dragon Palace since, though she only became a High Lieutenant in 875 AC, following Sildyu’s rise to power and Lizzie’s rediscovery in the palace (having been largely forgotten, and matured somewhat to around the level of a young teenager psychologically).
Lizzie possesses a telepathic command of all individuals comprising The Flow, though this command does not reach across planar boundaries. She persistently keeps them from integrating to form new Tsochari, though a few “pet” examples do exist under her control, and instead uses them to form whatever structures she may require at any given time, such as a laboratory watchdog or remote viewing eye, or even upholstery and housing. Drawn from the same realm as the Tsochari themselves, she has also acquired several Juon, the earliest example of a Tsochari host species.
She can still lay clutches of eggs to expand The Flow, but seems to have manufactured a new means of doing so in her private domain (seen in Book 5 - Page 41), and can dismantle herself into individual strands before re-emerging at a later date. As long as she can acquire fresh strands, she is functionally immortal, however her mind has changed little in the 300 years she has been alive, and she is in many ways a little girl with capabilities she does not fully comprehend.