'Leon' wasn't the biggest. Nor was he the strongest. And only in jest would his people have called his skills spectacular.
No, he was more often than not pushed away by his kin, shoved to the side of the nest, fed left-overs, and generally ignored. His smooth skin and quiet demeanor made sure that none spent much time or effort on him. It wasn't an eventful childhood for him. Others may have had great struggles or perilous, chance encounters, but for him, it was not as such. There were no fights or crisis, at least as far as he was involved. It wasn't until he was mating age that any even looked his way with anything but dispassion.
Drawing himself up from his nest, he looked at his body, his skin gleaming ever so slightly in the dim glow of the under-caps. The subtle scaling that ran along his length betrayed his Yuan-ti ancestry, and he couldn't help but feel a fleeting ember of displeasure gnaw in the pit of his gut. Once, long ago, he had felt a gentle tug of pride, watching his fellow underlings growing stronger, every day, every inch of shed skin proclaiming them better then they were the day before. But that was not to be for him.
Taking a deep breath, the hazy air puckering around his nostrils, he walked to the doorway of the battered stone room, it's roof having long fallen through from the ever-present sub-quakes that rocked the region that his sect called home. The boggy cavern stretched out for what seemed like leagues in the fog, but it was only an illusion, as he had well experienced. How many times had he stalked these cramped, soggy lands, compelled by his sense of belonging to be as they were, even though he had always felt a man, or beast as it was, apart, so removed from the path that nature had set before his kin.
Stretching his arms out before him, each sporting a single set of sharp fins tucked close to the skin, he reminded himself he would never be like them. The soul that infused him was not that of a cold beast, but a subtle warmth that was so very alien in this place. The others were ever-set on the struggles and conflicts of the world all around them, and he, again, realized, this wasn't, and would never be his fight.
Dropping to one knee, he pulled up the pack-sack he had stowed near the opening the night previous. The smooth darkhide satchel had a comforting weight to it as he slung it over his shoulder, catching for a moment on the spines that lined his back. He moved methodically back to his nest, picking up the under-wood bow that lay near, strung tightly with dark-vines, a parting gift he had procured for himself from the queen's chambers, and slung the weapon across his chest. He pulled out a small flint from his pocket, and struck a few hot sparks into the disarrayed pile of undergrowth. The driest parts lit quickly, and the entire bed caught on as if seeking the flame. A small bucket nearby held a collection of his own sheddings, and he dumped them on the fire, just slowly enough that it didn't extinguish the smoldering heat. He didn't want to leave a trace, and it felt right, as if this was a pyre for this life, his life as a Yuan-Ti. He stood, watching the spitting fire grow then shrink, the smoke stretching across the room, seeping his scent into the very stones. Finally it was done, and a fine powder and a bit of ash were all that was left.
With one last look at the swamp behind, the being that was 'Lisshtaa' left the hive, striking out into the ever-dark, as always, alone.
((Username: Talon_Darkclaw , Characters: Leon Slyshot, Yoshima Darkclaw, etc.))