The subterranean city of Skullport is not a kind place. For most of those who are born, scrape out their miserable lives, and die within its gloom, it can be cruel indeed. For a rare few, however, Skullport's mixture of illicit business, slave trading, and interspecies dealings provides the perfect arena to hone their talents and rise above the life into which they were born. For a petty spy named Juz'la, Skullport provided exactly that opportunity.
Juz'la was born in Skullport to parents she could never identify. Growing up on the streets with reasonable intelligence and remarkable charm, she quickly learned that the most valuable commodity in Skullport -- as in any other city of its size -- is no precious metal or mysterious magic: It is information. She developed all of her skills toward the goal of acquiring this priceless commodity, and sold it to the highest bidder at every opportunity.
This profitable operation did not last long, however. When Juz'la sold important secrets of a yuan-ti slave trader named Zstulkk Ssarmn, the yuan-ti took it personally. He captured the young spy and prepared to sell her into slavery. Juz'la surprised him, however, by offering to buy her freedom with secrets she had gleaned from the same rival to whom she had sold Ssarm's secrets. Ssarmn refused, but changed his mind about Juz'la's future.
Zstulkk Ssarmn began to groom Juz'la to continue the work she had been doing, but in his exclusive employ. When he discovered that she had the innate magical talent of a sorcerer, he was only too delighted to help her hone that talent as well. Her learned skills of stealth and acquisition combined with her innate talent toward divination and magical stealth made Juz'la a fine spy. Ssarmn completed her training by transforming her into a tainted one -- a form of yuan-ti with the barest hint of that race's cursed taint running through its veins (described in Monster Compendium: Monsters of Faerūn)
Use Juz'la in your campaign at these levels:
About the Author
James Wyatt wrote articles for DragonMagazine and DungeonAdventuresbefore joining the Wizards of the Coast staff in January 2000. Game design is career number 5, after stints as a childcare worker, ordained minister, technical writer, and web designer. He currently resides in Washington State.
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