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|Home plane||Prime Material Plane|
|Alignment||Chaotic Neutral (Chaotic Evil)|
In the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, Zinzerena is the drow deity of chaos and assassins. Her symbol is a shortsword draped in a black cloak, symbolizing her hidden menace. In the Forgotten Realms cosmology, she has been killed or banished by Lolth.
Zinzerena was first detailed in the book Monster Mythology (1992), including details about his priesthood. Her role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).
Zinzerena, though a mistress of disguise, commonly takes the form of a dexterous-looking cloaked and masked drow elf. Her cloak, won from a slaad, displaces her image in space and has randomly varying protective capabilities, while her slaad-won sword, whose bonus also varies at random times, bleeds a magical paralyzing venom. She also carries a crop with a black handle that she uses to stun; it also has the powers of a wand of wonder.
Zinzerena was born a mortal, but gained a fraction of Keptolo's divinity through a ruse. As a result she is hunted by virtually the whole drow pantheon, though Keptolo hates her most of all.
Though now divine, Zinzerena has not yet shaken off all the echoes of her mortality, and thus remains on the Prime Material Plane, where she hides in the cities of the drow, inspiring chaos wherever she goes.
Zinzerena's followers believe in raising themselves up by bringing down others. They avoid revealing their true strength or hatred until their victims are helpless. They wait until they have the advantage to strike; fair fights are an alien concept to them. Zinzerena's followers believe in the value of cruelty, stealth, misdirection, and survival by any means necessary.
One of their proverbs, referring to Lolth, is The legs of the spider are made to be broken.
Zinzerena is beloved by those drow who wish to throw off the shackles of the priesthood of Lolth. She is a patron of assassins and illusionists. Members of the planar faction known as the Revolutionary League also hold her as a patron.
Zinzerena's clerics are often multi-classed cleric/fighters or cleric/rogues. They are more common in the cities than the wilderness, though they may be found anywhere. Some are servants in the far-flung estates of drow nobles, and some are laborers, guides, physicians, poets, or prostitutes; even a few bohemian nobles have become traitors to their social class by joining the cult of the Princess of the Outcasts. Banished nobles have been among the greatest leaders in Zinzerena's church. Clerics of Zinzerena may be chaotic evil, chaotic neutral, chaotic good, or neutral. Their favored weapon is the short sword.
Myths and legends
The myth, according to the game materials, is this: Zinzerena was born a drow mage with an aptitude for illusion magic. Her mother faked her death in order to smuggle her away from the priestesses of Lolth. She grew in power, studying alone as a spellcaster and assassin specializing in the use of poison and disguise, and gained her divinity by tricking Keptolo, Lolth's consort, out of a fraction of his.
A newer myth written for Zinzerena in Drow of the Underdark says that at the time where her renown had grown to the point that she was worshipped by many drow as a goddess in her own right, she was betrayed by a client who had ostensibly hired her to kill a rival, trapping her with web golems. She bragged that she had become entirely illusionary, immune to capture, and when her captors ordered their golems to rend her asunder, they found no body within her clothes. Immediately after Zinzerena's alleged death, drow everywhere gained their innate powers over light and darkness for the first time. Zinzerena continues to wander the Underdark to this day, an inspiration to rebels everywhere.
Zinzerena once undertook to raid a beholder's lair only to find it was already in combat with a slaad. As most drow do in such tales, she waited until the combat was over, the beholder grievously weakened and the slaad dead, before she revealed herself, quickly slaying her foe and absconding with a sword and cloak that the slaad had brought with it. She used illusion, disguise, and misdirection to confuse the slaadi who came to reclaim the items.
- Conforti, Steven, ed. Living Greyhawk Official Listing of Deities for Use in the Campaign, version 2.0. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2005. Available online:
- Marmell, Ari, Anthony Pryor, Robert J. Schwalb, and Greg A. Vaughan. Drow of the Underdark. (Wizards of the Coast, 2007).
- Weining, Frederick. "The Vault of the Drow." Dragon Magazine #298. (Wizards of the Coast, 2002).