| Videssos |
|Appearance(s):||Bridge of the Separator|
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
|Nationality:||Empire of Videssos|
|Religion:||worshiper of Phos|
|Occupation:||eparch of Skopentzana|
Zautzes was the eparch of the city of Skopentzana in the far northeast of the Empire of Videssos. He had been appointed by Maleinos II and remained loyal to him during the civil war between him and Stylianos. Part of this was due to the remoteness of the city from Videssos the City so his loyalty was never challenged.
Zautzes was a short, squat man who resembled a frog what with his receding chin and bulging eyes. To austere Priests of Phos such as the city's prelate Rhavas he was a lecher and overly fond of wine but not extremely so for a man in his position. He dressed elaborately with fur-edged silk robes shot through with silver and gold threads. He also wore boots trimmed with red to denote his connection to the Avtokrator.
Zautzes was notified of the outbreak of civil war by a courier from Maleinos. He immediately consulted with Rhavas, both because he was the prelate and because he was a cousin of Maleinos. Both concluded that they no longer were the most important men in the city; instead it had become Himerios, the commander of the city garrison.
A few weeks later, Himerios and his troops were summoned south by Maleinos to reinforce his army. He obeyed, stripping the city of its defenses. Zautzes did what he could, forming a city militia from its resident Videssian menfolk but, as he confided to Rhavas, he did not think they would be very effective without a cadre of professional soldiers. In his opinion, their best hope lay with the civil war ending quickly and the garrison returning before the Halogai or the Khamorthie realizing how defenseless they were.
However, on Midwinter's Day the Khamorth crossed the frontier into Videssos. Zautzes sent out an expedition of mages led by Koubatzes to turn them from the city but they failed. A few weeks later the Khamorth arrived and set siege to the city. Zautzes was forced to ration the city's grain stores, although it was mild enough to only pinch not to cause actual starvation.
After a series of severe blizards, Zautzes set for Rhavas to discuss reducing the ration further. Rhavas discovered the body of Glykas buried in a snowdrift while crossing the central square and reported this to Zautzes. Zautzes had two disinterested militiamen guards retrieve the body and bring it to his residence. He then sent for Koubatzes to try to determine the guilty party(s) through magecraft but he failed as the murder had used a spell to block such an approach. Zautzes was forced to use more mundane means to try to find the killer and quickly before the city broke out in its own civil war.