Bai Zheng Bo, also known as The Moon Lizard, is a character in Roentgen's Legion of Lawndale Heroes. He made his first appearance in "Unwanted Company" (Chapter 3, Part 1). He is also known as "Bai Zheng" or "Bo Zheng".
Bai Zheng Bo was born to a peasant farming family in 10th Century China. During his lifetime, he did not use a standard calendar but states that he was born during the "Time of Tending Graves" in the year of the Great Tea Rebellion of Wang Xiaobo. This would put his birth at approximately April 5, 993 CE of the standard era. His mother died in childbirth and he was the only child.
As a peasant farmer, neither he nor his father owned the land. Peasant farmers were required to pay many taxes to their landowners, and one year Bai Zheng was taken by the military to build roads. This put him and his father in debt as his father could not work enough of the land alone. The Zhengs took to growing tea as a supplementary crop to pay taxes, and Bai Zheng took to working at night when there was any available moonlight, for which he earned the initially derisive nickname "Moon Lizard". Bai Zheng began to develop incredible strength while working the land, to the point of being able to lift large stones unaided and pushing a plow to till the soil without aid of oxen.
However, taxes were raised by the landowner and the Zhengs and other peasants found themselves in danger of being displaced. Other peasants admired Zheng's strength and saw him as the natural leader of a peasant rebellion, but he declined.
An altercation with the owner landowner -- who told Bai Zheng that his family could stay but the other workers would be dispossessed -- resulted in Bai Zheng impulsively killing the landowner. Faced with the choice of rebelling or going into hiding, Bai Zheng reluctantly became the leader of a ragtag peasant army. A confrontation at the home of the mother of the landowner left several guards killed by Bai Zheng. The peasant army ransacked the home and raped the young daughters, leaving Bai Zheng very disturbed and angry.
As the landowner's third son was on his way to face the peasant army, Bai Zheng was visited by an emissary called Mei Yue who offered Bai Zheng the right to marry into the landowner's family. However, the other peasants participating in the rebellion would be put to death by order of the Emperor. Bai Zheng once declined, and Mei Yue left muttering a warning. Oddly, no one remembered her arriving at the house.
Zheng, already drunk, slept. When awakening, he found himself with an agonizing chest pain that would not go away. The pain was not great enough to kill Bai Zheng, but great enough to be an unbearable torment.
The peasants believed that Zheng had been bewitched and fled the mansion. Alone and abandoned, Bai Zheng was visited by a sorcerer named Liu Hai Hsien. Hsien stated that Yue was able to make people forget her presence and he believed that Zheng had been poisoned, most likley by Mei Yue. Unfortunately, it was likely that Bai Zheng would die before Zheng's life could be saved.
Instead, Hsien cast a spell sending Zheng to the "Land of Shadows" or "The Domain." Zheng would be an immaterial presence there, unable to feel anything or be seen by any human being. The Domain was a zone of punishment, where evil sorcerers were condemned for untold years. Hsian hoped to return and remove Zheng from the Domain.
However, Zheng never returned. The peasant army was defeated in his absence. Ageless in The Domain, Zheng could only observe as his name faded into myth and then was utterly forgotten.
From China to America
Zheng found the sorcerers trapped in The Domain poor company, either resolutely evil or having gone mad in a sensory-deprived world. He would remain in China until 1871, accompanying some unknown Chinese to California on a boat. In America, he gave up on his people ever earning their freedom, and wondered the United States for several years.
At some time, he came across Daria Morgendorffer and found her a subject of interest. He has observed Daria well enough to make astute observations on her family, her friends, Lawndale High School and the Fashion Club.
When Tiffany Blum-Deckler first gained the power of insubstantiability, she found it to be uncontrollable. Unable to eat or take sustenance, she began to become progressively weaker. She decided to walk to the Quarry where the Legion was staying for help.
Tiffany was able to see other residents of the Domain -- and Bai Zheng -- on the road. He told Tiffany that she had to seek Daria's help, and encouraged her not to give up.
After learning control of her powers, Tiffany found that she could still contact Bai Zheng -- but only when she was either very fatigued or when her powers were extended to their limits. Bai Zheng has been an encouraging and helpful presence.
During the relatively brief time -- less than two percent of his lifespan -- that Bai Zheng lived outside of The Domain, Zheng was strong enough to plow a field without the help of oxen and could lift large stones. Furthermore, he displayed enough invulnerability to survive a gunpowder charge that destroyed the plate armor he was wearing. He was also able to catch up with a horse at full gallop.
While trapped inside The Domain, Zheng has been invisible, intangible and unaging. He can observe and not be observed, able to pass through walls or other barriers. It is unknown how fast Bai Zheng can travel while in The Domain. Bai Zheng, however, is unable to touch or feel solid objects. Other residents of The Domain have gone mad from the sensory deprivation.
Bai Zheng can speak Chinese of several dialects, and taught himself English through observing other speak it. It is unknown what Bai Zheng has observed, but Bai Zheng states that he is privy to many historical secrets obtained from observing prominent historical figures.
- Bai Zheng is described as "...muscular looking, short, with an open shirt....young, with a quite serious demeanor. He [wears] large wooden clogs.
- None of the other Legionnaires believes that Bai Zheng exists. Tiffany hides her resentment, but Kyle Armalin is aware of Tiffany's resentment.
- Zheng states that Tiffany is the first person outside The Domain with whom he has spoken in a thousand years.