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Zinovii Surikov

Written by KoshcheiBessmertnyi

Zinovii is the envoy of Vasilii, Prince of Kliakva and Grand Prince of Bogumil, in Udyn. He is a man with a brown beard, probably in his thirties, and probably of boyar rank. He is currently in ill-health, and has been bled by the physician Yaakov bar Asher on two consecutive days. Yaakov suspects that the main problem is Zinovii's excessive alcoholism, as the man regularly consumes at least five drinks at dinner. Zinovii himself rejects this explanation, though he may be considering cutting back his drinking to only three per meal.   Zinovii is currently staying in the Nart Quarter with a boyar fur merchant named Georgii Nikonov. Nikonov has apparently given part of his mansion for Zinovii's private use. Zinovii has done a fair share of traveling in the Khanate with his master, and it was there that he picked up a current bodyguard, the rooster shapechanger Anatoly Frolyn - a Norik who was kidnapped at an early age, and raised among the Kochmaki. Apparently, when his master heard about the Kochmak raid on Vladykino, he sent his emissary to find out what really happened, and to find proof to remove any blame for Vasilii. This is because Vasilii is a rival of Prince Trofim of Ladeisk - the ruler over the territory in which Vladykino is located; so Vasilii (and Zinovii) suspect that Kliakva is being blamed for the raid in Ladeisk. Zinovii has been in the Nart Quarter slightly longer than the companions.   When the companions first showed up to see what Zinovii knows about the raid, the man agreed to extend Vasilii's protection to them (which would allow them to bear arms in town) if they found concrete proof of Kliakva's non-involvement. He also acquiesced to Lokan's request to write a letter of introduction to the daughter of the local Amir if they are successful. And he sent Anatoly with the companions to aid them. Subsequently, however, when the companions learned at the Kochmak encampment and on the docks that the purpose of the raid was to transfer Vladykino's young women into the possession of a certain lord named Yakub - Zinovii said that he needed the testimony in writing, so he could present it in court. When it was learned that Yakub may be a Zilant, Anatoly declared that this is a mission worthy of him, so Zinovii encouraged the companions to press on to learn more. He did grant the companions a letter of introduction to the daughter of the Amir of Udyn. But when the companions returned from the citadel after Yuri had been taken prisoner by Vizier Ilyas ibn Umar, Zinovii wondered if the vizier was in cahoots with Yaqub, and trying to cast aspersions on his master the Grand Prince. He decided to flee Udyn, because he was afraid he would be taken prisoner as well. He led Anatoly and Yushko to Shatkal village, to reassemble the party here, and then make a foray across the Udena river to hunt down Yaqub. When Yuri arrived by boat the next day, he instructed him to begin looking for ways to get the villagers to begin constructing a raft (so they could move their horses across the river) without the villagers realizing that's what they're doing. At the end of the day, when he learned that Anatoly has been taken by the raiders, he ordered the party to flee the village by promising the villagers their two remaining horses in exchange for a rowboat, because he feared that the raiders will come for them shortly.   After crossing the river, Zinovii, still ill, stayed in the camp the party has set up with Yushko and Alden, while Yuri, Agapia and Lokan scouted out the location of Yaqub's abode. While they waited, they encountered Augusta de Urbino, a priestess from the Land of the Friaziny. She had come seeking the servants of Prince Vasilii with a message from , Anatoly, whom she encountered the previous night. For crossing the vizier, he had been condemned to death, but before being killed by Zhuldyz, he told her his life story, confessed his sins, received last rights, and sent a message saying that he stayed loyal to Zinovii until the end. Zinovii was very suspicious of Augusta, because he thought her a spy and a heretic. When she told him the story of Anatoly's becoming a bogatyr by drinking from a stream, he said that this was something the vizier probably could not know, so he left it up to the rest of the party to decide what to do with her. As she had healed Lokan after his encounter with the Chwee, they decided to trust her. They then went off in search of Yaqub's lair, fearing that the vizier might be close on their heels. They had a confrontation with some of the vizier's soldiers at the bottom of what they thought was Yaqub's hill, but Zinovii hung back, and did not get directly involved.   The party then dropped back to lure the riders into a trap, managed to defeat them, and made its way to Yaqub's hill. Here, they slaughtered some fiery snakes, while Zinovii hung back. Then, they found their way into a cave hidden by an illusion, figured out how to open a magical portal, and made their way down into a subterranean passageway, where they unfortunately set off a trap and an alarm. ZInovii and his servitor Yushko hung back as their associates charged inside and engaged a group of dogheaded guards, but after the serpent apparently returned, and started breathing fire into the stairwell, they desperately ran inside the complex, with Zinovii nearly getting cut down by the scythe pendulum. Once inside, he stayed out of the way while the group explored the complex, and managed to remain unscathed during fights with two dogheads and a small scaly dragonoid, but he was engulfed by a fireball cast by a cook, and miraculously survived it. He subsequently lay low in the library until Yaqub's arrival later that day, and participated in the battle against the serpent in the fountain room downstairs. He was then sent to watch the prisoners along with Alden and Yushko, until the party removed the curse on the captives, and convinced the arriving vizier to let them leave.   After returning to Ladeisk by boat, Zinovii met with local prince Trofim Andreevich, and conducted negotiations of some sort before continuing north to Kliakva, presumably to rejoin his master. He is supposedly there now.   He appears in Chapters 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23.

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