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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 threatened to behead 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.

In Book 3 however, it is revealed that her selfishness hides a more pragmatic, though still highly materialistic, worldview. In Chapter 14, 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. She deems rigorous political obligations such as tax and trade policy to be boring, preferring throwing parades and celebrations as her view on ruling. 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.

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.

Vassilios Nevrakis

Vassilios is Zenobia's uncle. He has a habit of spilling secrets, making Zenobia extremely irritated with him.

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 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

Zenobia is attracted to Tevan Drammir, and she freezes up whenever she faces him. 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.
  • The name Zenobia (Ζηνοβία) is Greek for 'the force of Zeus'.
  • The name Zenobia was also the name of the 3rd century Queen of Palymra (an ancient kingdom in modern-day Syria).
  • Zenobia was mentioned by Olivia in The Royal Romance, Book 3: Chapter 13.

References

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