Hisss was embarrassed to be a Yuan-ti. Once proud rulers of Tabarra they had been decimated by the Catfolk. Now, the Yuan-ti live mostly as squatters in the ruins of the long dead Olman, a civilization about which little is known.
All that’s left is the temples in the deep jungles and sites of villages and towns, long ago retaken by wildlife. Hiss’s brother, Hesss, was his last surviving family, his father having been killed during a squabble with Catfolk soldiers from the city of Vex, his sister dying from disease brought on by the famine a couple of years ago.
Hiss had little left to lose but he had a plan to change that. To hopefully better his fate and the fate of his people. He would make a plea at one of the ancient temples to the goddess Dendar, the Night Serpent. He pleaded with Hesss to come with him. He convinced Hesss that a plea from both of them would hold more weight than one just from Hisss.
They travelled into the deep jungle, to the largest of the ancient Olman temples, atop of which the Yuan-ti built a shrine to Dendar. A shrine that many Yuan-ti made a pilgrimage to only to hear silence after their pleas for help and guidance.
Hisss and Hesss walked side by side up the temple steps nearing the top. Hesss felt the weight of the place, the holiness of the shrine enveloping him. Hisss slithered up silently behind hesss, grabbing him as he pierced his brother’s neck with his dagger. He was thankful that his dagger had pierced Hesss' voicebox, quelling his screams of pain and betrayal.
As his brother sputtered out blood and the last of his life, Hisss dragged him to the offering bowl, letting his brothers blood overflow it. “I call to you Dendar, the Night Serpent, Mistress of Blood, Bringer of Retribution. I call on you to give me the power to make my people whole!”
A cackling dry rasp of female laughter filled the air as a visage of Dendar solidified into a corporeal form in front of him.
“Yooooooouuuuuu gave me the last of your family….. But you ask much in return.”
Hisss collapsed to the ground. If he could cry, he would have cried tears of remorse and relief that his sinister plan had worked. “Oh mighty Dendar, what more would you want of me. What more can I offer?”
“You will bind yourself to me in blood… for eternity!” Dendar raised her hand, sliced a long gash in it with her fingernails, held it over his. “Open your mouth and let your fate be bound to mine!”
As the blood dripped into Hisss’s mouth he felt his soul … thinning. Some of it slipping out of him. He felt lesser. Like his emotions had become muted.
Dendar laughed and started to shimmer, her form starting to change. “You and your kind have always been so easy to fool. Worshipping frauds of my making forever. Dendar, Merrshaulk, Sseth, I have so many names but only one that matters. You may call your new mistress, the keeper of you soul … The Raven Queen!”
Hisss’s heart sank. All was lost but in that moment, he felt the power bequeathed to him by the Raven Queen. He hated her for her deception but realized he had the power to change things, despite whatever the Raven Queen wanted. He would do her bidding but also do his own.