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Zhelana and Shchuka

These two Noriki women were the first and second human wives of the serpent Yaqub. They were not natives of Vladykino, but had been with Yaqub for some time - presumably, between 5 to 10 years, judging by the ages of their children. The former had two male children, the latter - three. The children had inherited some measure of their father's serpentine nature - they all registered as 'unclean' to Augusta's divine senses, and one of them nearly burnt down one of the boats taking the captives home by shooting fire from his fingertips.   Zhelana and Shchuka were also instrumental in helping the party find Yaqub's treasure. They performed Yaqub's favorite song, which began with the interval that, when played on Yaqub's organ, opened a portal to his treasure chamber. Throwing the treasure into the pool released the enchantment Yaqub had placed on these women, as well as recent arrivals from Vladykino.   Along with the rest of the former captives, Zhelana and Shchuka are currently housed in the Convent of the Dormition in Ladeisk.   They appear in Chapters 20, 21, and by name in 22.


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