Scales Of War
Zithiruun was a githyanki general. Once a renowned commander among githyanki, he suffered a crippling defeat at the hands of a dragon, which left his body mangled and his reputation in ruins. He led the invasion force during the Battle of Overlook and was slain by the Heroes of Overlook, bringing an end to that battle.
General Zithiruun was a great hero—one of the most respected military leaders of a militant race. From the great city of Tu’narath, he led armies of the githyanki on raids across the Astral Sea, and into a dozen different regions and kingdoms of the mortal realm. From the deck of the astral galleon Siun’kara or the back of Rathoraiax, his great red dragon steed, Zithiruun proved an unstoppable force—a champion among a race of champions. Even Vlaakith, the fearsome githyanki lich queen, acknowledged his greatness, heaped great praise upon him.
And then the great General Zithiruun took on a foe beyond even his own prowess.
That it was a dragon, a dragon far greater than Rathoraiax, everyone knows, but tales of the confrontation differ as to whether it was a black wyrm, one of the fearsome scourge dragons, or something else entirely. But while not everyone knows precisely what it was Zithiruun faced, everyone knows what happened as a result.
A hideous burst of something—acid, perhaps, or pure necrotic energy—ripped the life from the red dragon Rathoraiax, shredding flesh and obliterating entire portions of the beast. And it was this attack that felled Zithiruun as well. It stripped the strength from his limbs, rotted bits of flesh and even weakened bone. Any lesser warrior would have died in that hideous moment, but the general clung to life through sheer force of stubborn, malignant will.
It took years for Zithiruun to retrain and reinvigorate his broken body. Still, he had become a shadow of what he once was—weaker in body, far less sound in mind. His own people all but turned their backs on him; though his great achievements prevented them from executing or exiling him utterly, they scorned his weakness and held him in contempt for allowing himself and his mount to be so soundly defeated. Zithiruun was made to serve as a lowly operative of Tu’narath’s forces, leading only lesser warriors into battle while answering to and obeying githyanki who would once have feared even to speak in his presence. Zithiruun’s native powers mutated through his years of effort as he attempted to reinvigorate his body at the expense of his mental prowess. The ambition all githyanki share was subsumed by a burning need to prove himself and to regain the position and the respect that were once his by right— even as he nursed a resentful hatred of the very people whose adulation he so desperately craved.
Zithiruun was once large for a githyanki, but after the destruction and atrophy of much of his musculature, he seemed almost impossibly tall and gaunt. Mixed with and attached to the traditional leathers of his people, he wore a contraption of braces and harnesses, constructed of leather straps and iron joints. These braces, supported at his shoulders and by a strap across his chest, ran the length of his left arm and left leg, as well as a portion of his right leg. It was the straps that gave those limbs rigidity; without them, they could scarcely have moved, and could not have supported his weight. This harness also granted him full mobility; charged with both magic and psychic energy, it permitted him motion and granted him strength he would have otherwise lacked. His flesh clung tightly to his skeleton and puckered away from old wounds, exposing muscle and even charred bone. His left cheek gaped open, revealing a bit of metal plate that replaced a fragment of skull. A leather strap held the left side of his jaw in place, replacing obliterated muscle.
Battle of Overlook; death.
TODO: Discuss the Battle of Overlook here.
Zithiruun was introduced in The Temple Between.