Champion of the Gods: Queen Zenora
Queen Zenora of Yar-del is one of the more tragic characters in the story. Like Heminaltose, she doesn’t survive the opening campaign of the war. In the Prequel—First Love— and in the flash backs through Farrell’s eyes, I tried to show the true strength of Zenora.
Zenora is the only surviving child of King Bren. In her own right, she is a very powerful wizard. Her power is often over shadowed by those around her, specifically Heminaltose, her teacher, mentor and ally. Meglar’s meteoric rise to influence upon the stolen energy of Yar-del also obscures Zenora’s true power.
But that just speaks to her strength as a wizard. What about her as a person? When King Falon of Zargon proposed that Meglar and Zenora married, King Bren and others had their doubts, but he allowed the prince of Zargon to court his daughter. A marriage between the two houses promised an end to thousands of years of conflict.
True to her calling as a princess of Yar-del, Zenora agreed to the courtship. In the end she agreed to marry Prince Meglar, unaware that he has been deceiving her all along. Within a few years, Meglar’s ultimate goal is revealed—to get close enough to Zenora to be able to steal Yar-del’s Source, the foundation of its power.
Zenora had to live with the fact that because Meglar was able to deceive her, the world at large suffered from his rise to power. Adding to her pain, the gutting of the Source affected the health of her father, King Bren. Yar-del’s Source not only supplied the kingdom with its vast power advantage, it served to bind the monarch to the land. The damage to the Source caused irreparable physical damage to her father and caused his death centuries sooner than otherwise would have happened.
As if all of that wasn’t enough to heap on Zenora, before Meglar fled with his stolen energy, he tried to take his son with him. Fearful that Meglar might capture the boy and turn him against the world, King Bren, with Heminaltose’s agreement, ordered that Halloran could not be allowed to live. In a staged and very public scene, Heminaltose ripped the screaming child from his mother’s arms and disappeared through a waiting door. King Bren sent out an edict that he’d ordered the child killed and his name stricken from the House of Kel.
In truth, Heminaltose took the child to his school at Haven, changed his name to Farrell and didn’t tell Farrell about his birthright until he was twelve. During those years, Zenora saw her son sporadically and could not acknowledge him as anything more than Heminaltose’s student.
The Zenora we see in First Love is preparing for a war she knows she will lose and trying to spend time with her estranged son. Even though logically she knows sending him to Haven was for the best, her heart still grieves for the child she lost.
One of the themes I want to show through out the series, is the love Farrell has for his mother and the ache he feels not only from her death, but from how little time they had together. First Love allowed me a brief opportunity to show how she much she cared for her son as well.