Character Spotlight: Zerut

 

Zerut is the leader of the Bloodmoon Goblins’ clerical faction and perhaps the only figure in Bloodmoon society who wields power completely independently of the king and his military apparatus.  He is old, weak, and frail, but none of these liabilities have made him any less revered or feared by the rest of the tribe.

The will of Xarboz, the immortal and invincible god of the goblins and ruler of all other gods and spirits, is seldom revealed directly to the goblins.  It must be carefully divined and interpreted by Xarboz’ chosen representative:  Zerut.  Zerut’s favor with Xarboz is made obvious by his many magical spells, which can heal or harm.  Zerut is known to spend his precious magical energies healing first and only the most publicly pious and obedient of the goblin warriors.

Zerut remembers the time before Ghaz, and perhaps even a time prior to Kraguk.  As a living repository of Bloodmoon history who none of the few other aged goblins dare contradict, the facts of history and their interpretation are his to manipulate.

Zerut desires nothing more than to seize the crown for himself, but Ghaz and his cabal are too strong.  He is not at all certain that a bold gesture to rally the tribe against their king in the name of their god would succeed – although sometimes he thinks it might.  So long as he remains uncertain, he will not risk himself by acting.

The Temple of Xarboz (a dim, eerily-torchlit cave with an altar in it) is Zerut’s private domain and the only piece of physical space within the warrens that the king cannot claim ownership of outright and do whatever he pleases with.

Though he is intelligent enough to comprehend more elaborate quandries of theology, cosmology, and ethics, Zerut has no interest in anything more complicated than the power of his spells and the other goblins’ fear of his connection to the divine.

Zerut has taken, and lost or disposed of, many apprentices over the course of his long years.  His only current acolyte is Nexxa.  She pleases him with her brutality and the ease with which she uses both her feminine allure and her mastery of the goblins’ religious terror to charm or intimidate whoever she wants to.  Zerut keeps a close eye on Nexxa’s rising power and popularity.  His own frailty – and his memory of how he created a vacancy in the office of high priest – keep him watching her carefully even as he benefits from the fear and obedience she cultivates within the tribe.

Malicious, cunning, and cruel in equal great measure, Zerut is rightly feared by almost all of the Bloodmoon Goblins.  He is a very formidable ally, but those who seek to use him to their own ends often find themselves being used for his.  Or dead.

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