Zotharan

The immortal Lord ZotharanZotharan is considered the greatest warrior among the Nayusuru Ankaykari. He is proud, cunning and ambitious, ruthless in battle and skilled at manipulating others.

It is said that Zotharan’s heart is like iron, for he is seldom swayed by emotion. He does not feel much respect for his Esu rulers, considering them thoughtless and arrogant. He torments himself by longing for the power which, as a Nayusuru, he can never obtain. Some believe it was he who wrote The Citadel of the Mind – a work that challenges the authority of the Esu.

Zotharan has served many rulers over the years, but for a long time he regarded Ruzenathra as the Esu most worthy of his allegiance. He likes her humor, admires her thirst for power, and is unfazed by her caustic temper. However, her arrogance annoys him. Zotharan wants her respect, but knows he will never have it, for he is merely a servant.

Zotharan’s most formidable allies are the warriors Xanuspari and Kurunari. They admire his cleverness, courage and skill in combat, and are usually content to let him lead them in battle. The three of them like to quarrel, and they do not always serve the same rulers, but Zotharan knows he can usually depend on them.

Zotharan also maintains an alliance with Canrasiul, a lower-ranking Nayusuru who keeps him informed of the latest plots and intrigues among the Ankaykari. Canrasiul is a useful ally and an interesting companion, but Zotharan feels scornful of his slavish loyalty to the Esu, and wants to see him gain more self-esteem.


Ruzenathra and ZotharanRace, Status and Court: Zotharan is a high-ranking Nayusuru Ankaykari. He usually follows Lady Ruzenathra of Veskansare, but over the centuries he has served many other Esu, including Lady Liralian of Barezeth. Although Zotharan is considered self-serving, he feels a sense of duty to the Nayusuru of his own court and will stand by them in battle.

Home: Zotharan resides in Drakuzare, at the edge of Askamar’s Middle Lands (his territory borders those of Erulorian and Xessuralen). His Citadel is called Nakan.

Skills / Interests: Although Zotharan is famed for his fighting prowess, he also knows how to conceal himself with illusions – a skill that he learned from Canrasiul.

Allies: Zotharan’s greatest allies are Xanuspari and Kurunari. He usually treats Nayusuru of lower rank with disdain, but he is friends with Canrasiul, who once served alongside him in Veskansare. He also feels surprisingly fond of Erulorian, a healer from Barezeth.


History

For countless millennia, Zotharan followed whichever Esu he thought was most likely to bring him victory. Usually this was Ruzenathra, but he has also served Naskremari and even Daskesurul. The lower-ranking Nayusuru regarded him with fear, for although he sometimes showed kindness to the servants of his own court, he had no pity for those who displeased him.

Everyone was surprised, therefore, when Zotharan gave his allegiance to Liralian during the Sovereignty of Janzaris. He felt intrigued by her ideals and wanted to see if she really would treat him like an equal. Zotharan soon became disillusioned, but it amused him to remain and pick apart Liralian’s philosophy. For all her faults, she did let him debate with her.

Erulorian was the main reason he stayed, however. At first Zotharan had dismissed her as another low-ranking servant, but the more time he spent with her, the more he came to appreciate her patience, thoughtfulness and inner strength.

Zotharan returned to Ruzenathra’s side the moment war resumed, for she was a stronger ruler than Liralian, and he could never bear to let sentiment stand in the way of power. Liralian was disgusted by Zotharan’s treachery. She declared that he was too proud, and if he had any wisdom he would cease pursuing his vain ambitions and return to her court. However, Zotharan did not allow her rage or Erulorian’s silent grief to sway him.

During the Truce of Elanthar, Zotharan followed Ruzenathra into the Dimensions and took a great risk to bring her the Xathun Stone – the jewel she used to forge her greatest weapon. She promised that she would never forget what he had done for her, but it was not long before her gratitude faded. Zotharan told himself that he did not care, as long as she became Sovereign and he ranked foremost among the Nayusuru.

Zotharan hoped that he and Erulorian might be reconciled after the Sovereignty of Shekruvaris was established. However, Erulorian just looked upon him with sorrow whenever they met. Zotharan understood that this was because he had betrayed her dream, and sometimes he even felt sorry.

Over the years, Ruzenathra became more despotic and unstable, and she took Zotharan’s allegiance for granted. When she decided to place Erulorian under the power of Liralian’s old enemy Daskesurul, Zotharan finally decided that it was time to betray her. In his heart, he still shared Liralian’s anger at the injustices of society, and she was the ruler whom he chose to serve after bringing about Ruzenathra’s downfall.

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