Recently, some of my friends on Twitter have expressed interest in a scenario that I am preparing to run in my 5th Edition campaign later this year. To provide an easy access point for my friends regarding the details and for the benefit of others who may be interested in using the scenario as well, I present “The Rise of the Lizard Queen”…
Note (Updated!): Official age feedback from Mike Mearls!
Lizard Folk reach adulthood at 14 years of age and live to about the age of 60. Lizard Folk Queens and Kings can live much longer (up to 120 years).
— Akeisha Roberts (@AkeishaRoberts) 23 March 2016
— Mike Mearls (@mikemearls) 23 March 2016
Unlike many scenarios that adventurers may be faced with, this one began some years before the characters come along…
An evil female NPC Cleric in the area happened to be an extremely devout worshipper of Sess’inek, a reptilian demon lord who seeks to corrupt and control the Lizard Folk. Her human name was [choose a name to fit your campaign, preferably with at least one “S” in it]. The “S” sound in her human name should be highly pronounced with an emphasis on sounding like a hiss [Callissa –> Cahlissssah, for example]. She cut all ties with her family and discarded her family name, being simply known as [chosen name].
She managed to establish a temple devoted to Sess’inek in a swampy area “nearby” and was steadily recruiting a dedicated group of worshippers and followers for her lord. Her dedication to Sess’inek and the deeds she gladly performed in his name made a good impression on him.
Understanding the impending threat for what it truly was, a good-sized force of adventurers, local soldiers, and armed town folk banded together to clear the temple out and nullify the threat. By the time they managed to fight their way into the inner sanctum to defeat the human Cleric, she appeared to already be dead. What was very unsettling to the gathered force was the extremely blissful expression on her face, as if she had been rewarded in some truly unholy, but satisfying manner that allowed her to escape the wrath of those attacking the temple.
Even though the cause of the human Cleric’s death was a mystery, the adventurers, local soldiers, and armed town folk chose to count the day, and the fall of the temple, as a victory and good fortune. But if they had only known what truly happened to the human Cleric and how she would return in the service of Sess’inek at a later date, they would have been very alarmed.
Sess’inek had decided to reward the human Cleric by transforming her into a Lizard Folk Queen and sending her to lead a large Lizard Folk tribe in his name. The method he chose to accomplish his plan was to literally gather her life-force from her human body just before the gathered force reached her and transfer it to an unhatched egg (with her intellect, personality, etc. completely intact).
This provided the perfect opportunity for her to later gain control of the tribe by allowing her to be born into the tribe, learn the ways of the Lizard Folk from the “beginning” (leaving her very well versed in Lizard Folk culture and ways), and allowing her to work her way into power from the inside.
She had a “short” waiting period of just 14 years to begin her takeover as she grew to adulthood [with a new name of course]. It was a very well-orchestrated and devious rise to power thanks to Sess’inek’s intervention!
Her intelligence, wisdom, cunning, and Clerical-based magic have allowed her to quickly dominate and take over the Lizard Folk tribe while removing its shaman/shamaness from power. She has given herself even more whole-heartedly to Sess’inek and embraced that which she has become, completely turning her back on her humanity without the slightest qualm or regret. She lives only to serve her lord in all ways!
Soon after taking control of the Lizard Folk tribe and beginning the process of corrupting them, she has started leading them against neighbouring settlements and other creatures in the area. She has not forgotten about those who defeated her years earlier either, and will take a special delight in enacting revenge on them!
It will be up to the characters to stop her…if they can.
Note: You could also choose to go with a male version of the female Cleric if it would better suit your campaign’s needs.