Zaaman Rul

From 1d4chan
This tall humanoid has red skin that burns and pulses like hot coals. His hair is long and black, and in his coal-black eyes a touch of kindness shines through.

Zaaman Rul, Prince of Good Fire Creatures and Good Elemental Fire, is one of the four Princes of Elemental Good, a band of benevolent Archomentals introduced in Dungeons & Dragons to counter the machinations of the older, more iconic Princes of Elemental Evil: Cryonax, Imix, Ogremoch, Olhydra and Yan-C-Bin.

Unfortunately, the Princes of Elemental Good have never really had the traction of their more malevolent counterparts, in one part because DMs rarely have as much use for goodly monsters as they do for malign ones (evil parties are, after all, the rarity in D&D) and in another part because they really exemplify the complaints many D&D fans make of Planescape relying a little too heavily on grid-filling. Then again, that's a pretty dumb reason, since it's never stopped the metallic dragons from always turning up alongside the chromatics, and dragons and archomentals both make for decent questgivers anyway.

2nd Edition[edit]

First appearing in the 3rd Monstrous Compendium Appendix for Planescape alongside the other Archomentals, Zaaman Rule is the Neutral Good Archomental of Fire. Sadly, there's not a lot to really say about him, because none of the archomentals had a lot of lore to them.

Appearing as a 10ft tall, red-skinned humanoid with long black hair and black eyes, Zaaman Rul is reputed to be the bastard son of Imix, from which he derives his power. If this is true, then there's no love lost between the two. Zaaman Rul despises his counterpart and yearns to defeat him.

However, he's not exactly in a good position to do so. Long ago, Zaaman Rul led a great army of fiery monsters to battle Imix's fotress on the Plain of Burnt Dreams, but he grossly underestimated Imix's true power. Zaaman Rul's forces were routed soundly, being either scattered, destroyed or converted. This has only emphasized Zaaman rul's status as the weakest of the archomentals, but whilst he will never overestimate his own prowess again, he won't give up, either.

Now, Zaaman Rul is in hiding, licking his wounds and waiting for an opportunity to strike a successful blow against Imix.

3rd Edition[edit]

Like his fellow goodly Archomentals Ben-Hadar, Chan and Sunnis, Zaaman Rul transitioned to 3rd edition in an article in Dragon Magazine #353. Here, whilst the core details of 2e were preserved, he gained some new details.

In 3e, Zaaman Rul is still the Neutral Good Archomental of Fire - his titles include the Flame of Purity and Resilient Ember, whilst his holy symbols are a longsword made of fire or a bright orange Z. However, he is not the first being to hold that title; that honor belongs to his mother, Bristia Pel, who was betrayed and then murdered by Chilimba of Magma and Ehkakh of Smoke during the great War of Law and Chaos.

Unlike his 2e lore, 3e states that Zaaman Rul was actually mortally wounded on that fateful day he dueled Imix and lost on the Plain of Burnt Dreams. As he lay dying, a phoenix swooped down from the sky and healed him; this majestic creature restored Zaaman Rul's inspiration and hope, and remains one of his most steadfast allies. Indeed, its legion of descendants - phoelarchs and phoeras - form the backbone of Zaaman Rul's rebuilt forces.

More determined than ever to defeat Imix, Zaaman Rul began looking for new allies. His first allegiance was with Amaimon, King of the Azers, bonding over their mutual hatred for the Imix-worshipping, azer-enslaving Efreeti. Azers built the Hidden Heart, a secret fortress of basalt and fryrite (an utterly fireproof metal that forms near pools of cerulean magma, the hottest thing on the Plane of Fire) surrounded behind a moat of sanctified flames that burns even fireproof creatures of evil.

But, Zaaman Rul is well aware that there are too few goodly creatures native to the Plane of Fire to rely on, and so he has begun seeking allegiances across the planes. An allance with the powerful brass dragon Ronothere has given him ties with the Court of Stars, from which he has recruited monadic devas, asuras and firre eladrin. The Archon lord Raziel is one of Zaaman Rul's stronger allies as well. And he has no shame about approaching beings on the Prime Material Plane, either; fire genasi, sun giants, fire weirds, any being that can survive on the Plane of Fire but who has a benevolent heart is welcome in his forces.

This is the first article to provide us with a better glimpse of Zaaman Rul's personality; he is courageous and dedicated to opposing evil, although his inexperience can lead to moments of naivety, as well as being thoughtful and diplomatic. However, he has little patience for those who lack tact, honesty and etiquette. As much a doer as a talker, Zaaman Rul's enthusiasm shines through anything he does.

This article also states that whilst Imix is his great nemesis, Zaaman Rul also struggles against the Arch-Devil Mephistopheles and the Archomental of Ash, Gazra the Shifting Emperor.

4th Edition[edit]

Zaaman Rul is mentioned in the 4e sourcebook "Heroes of the Elemental Chaos", in roughly the same amount of detail as he received way back in AD&D and with virtualy identical lore.

The Archomentals of Dungeons & Dragons
Elements: Air Water Earth Fire Ice
Good Archomentals: Chan Ben-Hadar Sunnis Zaaman Rul
Evil Archomentals: Yan-C-Bin Olhydra Ogremoch Imix Cryonax