Illyana Zo'Arden

A good-hearted Drow just trying to make a place for herself in the world


Good Aligned (what, I made my bluff check!)

Age – how the hell should you know? I’m a Drow, I look this young and hot for decades, suckers

Favored weapon or implement

A rod is a girl’s best friend…at least, until a sweet pact blade and magical rod come along. She also never leaves home without her dagger, mace and hand crossbow – you just never know.

Where did you go to study?

The city of Ganslow in Ansalon. There is a network of libraries devoted to the mystical arts – students from all over the world come there to study knowledge passed down through generations and to add their own to the mix.

Who did you stay with?

While studying at the great libraries of Ganslow I was privileged enough to stay in one of the houses nearby with 3 other students; Cattia, a half-elf wizard from Boswell, Gregor, a human swordmage from Kravkke and Zuld, a dwarf paladin from Suffolk in Abyssinia.

List 3 of the people you met while there and how you know them

Tulma Dragonia: a dragonborn professor of the Warlock Arts. While she appears to be quite brusque and distant she is fantastic at getting young warlocks to hone their skills and understand the powers they wield.

Zocart Dra’lirden: fellow student and drow. Needless to say the initial meeting was not a good one…both Zocart and Illyana believed the other to be sent to kill them for leaving the Underdark. After what can only be described as an epic battle of power and will (though Zocart says he won while Illyana knows she won) they finally believed the other’s story and became true friends. After that day the two would often be seen together studying and sparring. Rumor has it that a…closer…relationship may have occurred, but with Illyana heading back to Stony Cross and Zocart not sure where he was heading next neither let that happen. They parted as good friends and with a promise to look the other up whenever possible.

Drayden Darkleaf: Drayden is a half-elf in need of an attitude adjustment. Despite proving again and again that she was not evil he hates Illyana and firmly believes that she is here to help destroy everything. The fact that she beat him again and again in sparring (in fact, he never won once) doesn’t help, either. Whenever possible Drayden tried to make Illyana’s life miserable though he usually failed. What truly saddened Illyana was the “typical” response she got for being a Drow: you’re a Drow, you must be evil.

What is your “profession” for normal folk?

Drow jewelry is revered as being ornate, beautiful and hard to come by. After all, if you don’t reside in the Underdark there’s no easy (and non-life threatening) way to acquire it. Before fleeing the Underdark Illyana became quite skilled at designing and creating jewelry for her family to wear and sell. When she arrived in Stony Cross the first thing she did was to find the nearest jewelry store and convince them to give her a job. When she walked through the door of Cavern Star Finery, Rilonock Stonecutter was startled to see a Drow but intrigued by her request. After making him some sample pieces he agreed to take her on and teach her the “topside” way of jewelry crafting. Illyana now earns a percentage of the sale of her pieces and hopes to someday become Ril’s partner. She explains when asked that she’d open her own shop but would hate to put Ril out of business…Ril always agrees.

Describe your character in form, personality, and what makes you you.

Illyana Zo’Arden, fifth daugher of House Zo’Arden, had your typical Drow upbringing – loveless, uncaring, and cruel. She went through the motions just enough to keep her family from getting suspicious and questioning her motives but she always knew that she didn’t belong. Of course, having been born with gold eyes didn’t help much, either, but to her knowledge her House never questioned her loyalty. One day, when everyone else was off doing other things she packed up her few belongings and left, never looking back. Once topside a huge weight lifted off her shoulders and her heart – here was a place that may not welcome her right away but at long last she could at least be herself.

Illyana spent much time wandering from town to town, making sure she wasn’t followed by anyone from her House and then looking for a place that she could call home. She at last came upon Stony Cross and was heartened by the motto: Tueor Pectoris, Protect the Heart. Was that not what Illyana had done her entire life? She soon settled in, found work with Ril and made friends. It has not been an easy process at times for people still fear the Drow. Illyana herself is often perceived as standoffish, cold and paranoid when dealing with strangers…fact is, she is. While it has been 5 years since she left the Underdark she does not underestimate her House and still watches over her shoulder for newcomers potentially sent to kill her…worse still if a new Drow enters Stony Cross. Many a battle has been seen on the streets when two Drow meet for the first time, so much so that while the locals pay attention in case one truly is after the other they otherwise think nothing of it.

Illyana’s friends, however, know the truth – she is one of the kindest, most compassionate people you will ever meet. Her loyalty to her friends runs deep and woe to the person who takes advantage of those who cannot fend for themselves. Too many years of cruelty in the Underdark emotionally scarred Illyana and she detests unnecessary cruelty of any kind. May the Gods help you if she catches you raising a fist to a child or picking on someone incapable of fighting back.

Anything else you want to tell me that I forgot to ask?

Yup – Illyana lives a few doors down from Cavern Star Finery in an apartment over the bakery, Hot Buns. You’ll find her there every morning getting coffee and their treat of the day before heading off to Cavern Star. She has 4 cats that she’s rescued from the streets; Cocoa, Java, Orion and Fluffy. Yes, you do have reason to worry about Fluffy – Illyana cannot have halflings come and visit anymore. Last time it didn’t go to well for the halfling…apparently Fluffy thinks they’re scrumptious morsels. Don’t worry, though, the halfling made a full recovery and received a beautiful set of Drow earrings. Needless to say, if you come calling, just be sure that Fluffy knows you’re a friend of Illyana’s. The proprietors of Hot Buns weren’t too sure about Fluffy at first but when she stopped a burglar one night they were more than willing to let her stay and be “guard cat” for the building.

She also made brooches for her friends before they parted ways to study abroad for the year.

Illyana Zo'Arden

Tueor Pectoris cadkitty