| Videssos Cycle |
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
|Nationality:||Empire of Videssos|
Mertikes Zigabenos was an officer of the Videssian Imperial Guard. First encountered by Marcus Scaurus as Nephon Khoumnos' aide, he remained in the capital during the Maragha campaign and was there when the Sphrantzai seized power in the chaos after Avtokrator Mavrikios Gavras' death.
When Thorisin Gavras laid siege to the city, Zigabenos played an important role in the coup that deposed the Sphrantzai and secured the city for the rightful Avtokrator. He arrested Ortaias Sphrantzes and delivered him to Balsamon, who quickly turned much of the city's populace against the inept rule of the Sphrantzai.
Zigabenos became a trusted officer for his role in the coup, and was chosen to lead the force that Thorisin sent to defeat the rebellion of the Great Count Drax. His army met Drax's forces at the Sangarios River, and when the Namdalener contingent inside it joined Drax (except for the troops led by Utprand, who carried a personal grudge against the Great Count) his force was defeated, and he was captured.
His role in the rebellion was not over, however. He was raised to the status of pretender Avtokrator by Drax, who knew that the Videssians would take less kindly to direct rule by a foreigner. Zigabenos was captured by the Yezda when they defeated Drax's forces in a battle somewhere in the Westlands. He escaped the custody of Marcus Scaurus after Scaurus ransomed the captives, and took refuge in a monastery, where Scaurus allowed him to become a monk in exchange for his life.
Later, when called to account for this by Thorisin Gavras, Scaurus replied "I thought that if you could do as much for Ortaias Sphrantzes, who deserved worse, then I could for Mertikes, who deserved better."