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You bring my brother out here right now, or I'll cut out your heart and feed it to my dog. Then, I'll make sure all your little friends fight to the death in that fighting pit for all my friends to watch!
— Zenobia casually threatening Kenna[1]

Princess Zenobia Allisandra Nevrakis is a character in The Crown & The Flame series. The spoiled and sadistic daughter of Luther Nevrakis, Zenobia rules the city of Lykos and the Nevrakis family's home territory of Abanthus in her father's name. She is first seen in Book 2, Chapter 7.

Appearance

Zenobia has red hair and brown eyes. She wears a short-sleeved black dress with cyan and white sleeves attached underneath, and a flower tiara embedded with sapphires on her head. She used to wear a sapphire necklace until it was stolen by Raydan for his sister, The Adder of Lykos.

Personality

Zenobia is said to be the most ruthless and vicious out of all of Luther's children. She is completely sadistic as one of her forms of entertainment is forcing her prisoners to fight to the death in a pit. Her threats and insults are equally ferocious; for instance, should the player have a low Cunning score, Zenobia will threaten to be decapitate Val and mount her head on her wall, and again expressed desire to hang her and leave her suspended body for the crows.

Her treatment of her subjects are also atrocious; according to the asset loading screen, Zenobia's servants tend to meet a brutal fate; it is rumored she beheaded her last handmaiden simply because she accidentally pricked her. She has also stated to have slit a merchant's throat for selling her a fake diamond bracelet he claimed came from Aurelia. Her ruthlessness made even her uncle Vassilios fear her and shudder at her memory.

In Book 3 however, it is revealed that her selfishness hides a more pragmatic, though still highly materialistic, worldview. In Chapter 12, she warns Kenna not to restore Luther's control over the Abanthus army, as a power in the hands of her treacherous father will lead to more wars between Abanthus and Stormholt; she suggests instead trusting her brother Diavolos. She also claims to hate war, as it leads to her having to learn the names of new servants and results in the closures of her favorite shops. In Chapter 17, she says she does not hold any grudge towards Kenna and understood why she had to kill her father.

Zenobia tends to value her appearance over battle strategy, as she was easily convinced to open Lykos Castle's gates after Kenna threatened to shave her bald. Her avarice also leads her to make huge purchases for herself, as she bought an entire sapphire mine so all its minerals go exclusively to her.

As a politician, Zenobia is inept, viewing ruling as having the power to host parades and celebrations, and seeing trade and taxes as boring; she showed her lack of military intelligence in utilizing her soldiers upon Helene's defection. This hedonistic mindset made her agree eagerly to the concept of sharing control over Abanthus with Adder should Kenna say so.

Chapters

The Crown & The Flame

Book 2

  • Chapter 2: The Burning of Thorngate (Mentioned; Determinant)
  • Chapter 6: The Foundry Destroyed (Mentioned; Physical Appearance Determinant)
  • Chapter 7: The Thieves of Lykos
  • Chapter 8: The Masquerade Ball
  • Chapter 9: The Shadow
  • Chapter 10: The Pit Fight
  • Chapter 11: The Nevrakis Handmaiden
  • Chapter 12: The Storming of Lykos
  • Chapter 14: The Battle of the Bay (Mentioned)
  • Chapter 15: The Dragon (Mentioned; Determinant)

Book 3

  • Chapter 5: The Uneasy Alliance
  • Chapter 12: The Gathering Storm
  • Chapter 13: The Sound of Thunder
  • Chapter 15: The Lightning Strikes
  • Chapter 16: The Great Protector (Determinant)
  • Chapter 17: The Fond Farewell

The Royal Holiday

  • Chapter 2: Winter Wonderland (Mentioned)

The Royal Heir

Book 2

  • Chapter 16: In Love and War (Mentioned; Determinant)

Relationships

Luther Nevrakis

Luther is her father. Not much is said about their relationship. He doesn't get angry when Diavolos narrates the Nevrakis Ball in which he mentioned that Zenobia has a crush on Tevan of Fydoria in Book 3. Zenobia nonetheless is well aware of her father's negative points, and urges Kenna to limit his freedom as much as possible. On the other hand, Luther is a stern yet supportive father to Zenobia, accepting Annelyse's challenge of a dance-off for Zenobia, as well as being agitated when Kenna teased him about shaving his daughter bald.

Marco Nevrakis

Marco is Zenobia's brother. Not much is known about their relationship, but they seem generally cut from the same cloth, both being rather cruel and sadistic. Zenobia, however, is much more intelligent than Marco.

Diavolos Nevrakis

Diavolos is Zenobia's older half-brother. She likes him well enough to threaten Kenna for delaying his arrival at their formal dinner, and trusts him the most of all her relatives and urges Kenna to place the Nevrakis troops under his command rather than Luther's. Likewise, Diavolos is fond of Zenobia, jovially teasing her about her crush on Tevan and even trying to protect this secret from being spilled by Vassilios to Luther, as revealed in Book 3, Chapter 5.

Vassilios Nevrakis

Vassilios is Zenobia's uncle. He has a habit of spilling secrets, making Zenobia extremely irritated with him. He is terrified of her, even hoping (under the effects of Blueblood) that Kenna and her allies would never meet her. In a premium flashback scene of Book 3, Chapter 5, he refers to himself as her Uncle Vasilly and is about to tell Luther about her attraction to Tevan (he is only stopped by Diavolos).

Helene Leventis

Helene was Zenobia's bodyguard who becomes loyal to Queen Kenna based on the player's choices. The princess disdains Helene's overprotectiveness, and has declared that she pays no heed to the soldier's concern over her. Her hedonistic depravity clashes with Helene's efforts to keep her safe, as well as contrast with the soldier's sense of honor.

On the other hand, Helene disapproves of Zenobia's sadism and immaturity, but was nonetheless protective of her while serving her duty. Luther mentioned in Book 3, Chapter 5, that Helene once silenced Zenobia when the latter offered her courting advice, showing that Helene is not completely lenient on her. Upon her defection to Kenna, Helene no longer treats Zenobia like a royal, demanding proper thanks for saving the Lykos princess' life from Iron Empire soldiers.

Tevan Drammir

If Tevan Drammir survived, Zenobia is attracted to him, and she freezes up whenever she faces him. If he didn't survive, it is only revealed by Diavolos in Book 3, Chapter 5, that she was flummoxed by Tevan and practiced a speech to him in her mirror right before a party with his family. Her affection towards him is something she keeps clandestined, comically threatening to murder anyone knowing about the secret.

Family

Other Looks

Trivia

  • Zenobia's portrait is reused for Olivia, a character in The Royal Romance, which led many fans to suspect that she is Olivia's ancestor and that Cordonia is a modern-day Stormholt and/or Abanthus. This was confirmed in a post from Pixelberry and later on in the series with the celebration of the Festival of The Five Kingdoms.
  • If Marco is executed by Kenna at the end of Book 1, and Diavolos is executed by Kenna/Sei at the end of Book 3, Zenobia will be the last surviving member of the Nevrakis dynasty following the end of the war.
    • This explains why Olivia's roots trace back to Zenobia, seeing that she is the only Nevrakis who is guaranteed to survive the war no matter what the player's choices are.
  • Luther reveals her full name in Book 3, Chapter 5, if Kenna lets Zenobia threaten her.
  • Zenobia is possessive of her handmaidens, believing that they must serve nobody but her.
  • According to Diavolos, Zenobia had always wanted to be Queen of Lykos, but all the powerful families despise her, partly because she lets their relatives fight to the death. 
  • The name Zenobia is of Greek, Hebrew, Arabic and Latin origin, which means: Force of Zeus, born to Zeus, life of Zeus (Greek); flowing, gift of God, dowry of God (Hebrew, Arabic, Latin). Zenobia was a ruling queen of Palmyra after her husband's death. She went to war with Rome and captured Egypt. Leading her army as a "warrior queen" she went on to conquer Syria, Palestine and Lebanon. She was finally defeated by the Roman Emperor Aurelian and taken as hostage to Rome. Legend has it that Aurelian was so impressed by her that he granted her freedom and she went on to become a prominent philosopher and socialite.
    • The second name Allisandra is of Greek origin and means "defender of the man". It's a very rare English variant of Alessandra, the Italian version of the name Alexandra.
    • The surname Nevrakis is of Greek origin and menas "courageous".
  • Zenobia was mentioned by Olivia in The Royal Romance, Book 3, Chapter 12: Olivia refers to her as "Zenobia the Great" and says she once wore a short dress and still managed to conceal 34 different blades on her person.

References

  1. The Crown & The Flame, Book 3, Chapter 5
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