Queen Zidarez Khanid (born Zidarez Tol-Jikar, YC52) is the current Queen of the Khanid Kingdom and Grand Admiral of the Royal Khanid Navy. Born to a wealthy Ni-Kunni family, Zidarez's sheer zeal and determination to rise through the ranks has allowed her to escape the commoner trappings of her heritage, though not without making her share of enemies. She has commonly been regarded as one of the RKN's sternest and most forward-thinking leaders.
Zidarez Khanid was born to the wealthy Tol-Jikar mining family in YC52. As the third daughter and fifth child to the brother of the family patriarch, she had next to no chance at any significant inheritance. Joining the RKN was her only realistic option for social mobility. At the age of sixteen with the blessings of her father, she was enrolled in the Khanid Kingdom's naval academy.
Her years in the academy are thought to have been marked by racial and social discrimination that may have stymied her advancement, though Zidarez has refused to comment on these for the duration of her career. By the time of her graduation at the age of twenty, she had achieved record breaking scores in several categories, graduating well ahead of the rest of her class.
In The Navy
Due to her excellent performance, Zidarez would under normal circumstances have received an immediate promotion upon her commissioning in the RKN. However, she was denied the traditional promotion given to top performing cadets and instead given the standard entry level paygrade all other graduating cadets received. It is assumed this was because of her heritage, and some have postulated that the RKN at the time was suffering systematic issues of nepotism and cronyism. Khanid officers and enlisted experienced a faster promotion rate than True Amarr or Ni-Kunni, with all other races falling even further behind. Promotions were commonly given based on reasons that appeared on review to be highly political in nature, owing to the example set forth by King Khanid II.
Due to this, the Royal Khanid Navy had reputably become little more than a political ladder. Serious performance issues were beginning to surface, especially on the border zones where piracy was rampant. Zidarez, meanwhile, decided to start playing the political game, and began to leverage her family contacts and fortune to work her way up the ranks. With each promotion she made promises and guaranteed favors for those who helped her ascend, and thanks to her backing, Zidarez became known as one of the few rising stars who actually paid her debts when receiving a new chair. She has later claimed that the manner in which she did so was always carefully calculated to be in the best interests of the RKN.
Upon her ascension to the admiralty she was given command of the RKN 5th Fleet. Her first tasks were to finish repaying what favors she owed by giving command positions to leaders she deemed worthy, and simple monetary payments to those with less usefulness. Zidarez was quick to demote or reassign those in her fleet that she felt lacked capability. Such actions were not out of the ordinary, as political shake-ups were fairly common already in the RKN, and it is generally considered that Zidarez's actions improved the effectiveness of the 5th fleet - if not in the number of staff, then at least in the capabilities of those who remained.
Not everyone agreed with her approach. As threats and attempts at sabotaging her assignments increased, Zidarez began to develop a strong suspicion that the other four admirals had been compromised by the enemy. Appalled by what she suspected was a blatant insult to the throne - and reportedly ignoring any evidence to the contrary - Zidarez was quick to move against her colleagues in the admiralty, who she saw as unfit to lead.
It is unknown exactly how Zidarez gained the eye and support of the aging Grand Admiral, but used it, along with her own contacts and fortune, to begin trapping, tricking, and betraying both pirate and navy alike in a widespread clandestine campaign. Some were proven to have taken bribes or have disgraceful elements in their retinue. One was even shown to have sold intelligence on the Amarr Empire to the Blood Raider Covenant, though he was to go to the execution chamber protesting his innocence. In due time, each of her rivals fell to her schemes. Over the span of years she would gather evidence and bring it to the attention of the Grand Admiral, who would eventually be forced to send them into disgrace while her own loyal allies were installed as replacements. The entire campaign was conducted with only moderate suspicion that she was behind it. Before long, Zidarez was in de facto control of over half the Royal Khanid Navy.
The King was not so easily fooled by such secrecy. Reminded of the Dakos rebellion and realizing that her power had become a very real threat to him, King Khanid II privately sent Zidarez an ultimatum. To the surprise of many, she sent back a token of loyalty in order to reiterate her ultimate submission to the throne. Shortly thereafter she was invited and traveled to the royal palace. What they discussed can only be assumed by anyone else, but within the year Zidarez was married to Farokh Khanid, a powerful cousin of Khanid II, and took on the Khanid name. With her position in the royal family finally securing her loyalty and legitimacy, King Khanid II personally named her Grand Admiral of the Royal Khanid Navy. This finally granted the previous Grand Admiral his replacement, allowing him an honorable retirement.
Grand Admiral Zidarez Khanid wasted no time in restructuring the command appointments under her. This time, however, she owed no favors to those under her - only to King Khanid II himself and her husband who secured her place. Yet again, commanders she considered inept were demoted or reassigned, and those who had proven their skill and capability to her were their replacements. Those who found favor under her command in the 5th Fleet eventually found their ways into even higher positions and did their own best to emulate the Grand Admiral's promotional tactics.
Her marriage has been consistently prodded and probed by the curious and ambitious, though to little effect. The politics of the Royal Palace are a complex web of secrecy and misdirection. While it was well known Zidarez was married to a cousin of King Khanid, what exactly this meant has not been proven. Surface results can easily be gleaned from the arrangement, such as her rise to official power over the RKN and her husband's rise in wealth. How exactly their power was checked by the King was not so easily known, perhaps not even to Zidarez herself. What was plainly obvious was that Zidarez had consistently displayed her submission to the throne, and showed no new signs of seeking upward mobility. Whether it was due to contentment or consequence is left only for speculation.
Short after the death of Empress Jamyl I, King Khanid II elevated Farokh Khanid to chair of his royal council. Though not a significant promotion for Farokh in itself, the practical effect was to make Farokh the chamberlain of the Khanid Kingdom. Following Farokh's appointment as Regent and Royal Heir-elect by King Khanid II, the role of Zidarez as Grand Admiral of the Royal Khanid Navy effectively made her co-regent of the highly militarized Khanid Kingdom.
The matter of the Imperial Succession, and the Court Chamberlain’s practice of holding regular Privy Council sessions since the death of Empress Jamyl I, led to the Khanid king being absent from his own court for extended periods. During these stretches, Farokh and Zidarez were not hesitant to act with his authority. For her own part, Zidarez coordinated the Royal Khanid Navy and other military assets in the Kingdom to assist the Imperial Ministry of War in its defensive efforts and strikes against the Drifters.
Zidarez also took custody of the many hostages the King kept to ensure the loyalty of his family and other powerful Kingdom holders. Reports from the Royal Court indicated that the King’s palace guards were supplemented with detachments of the Royal Khanid Navy’s elite cyberknights, and that numerous royal hostages were moved to undisclosed locations. Whatever motivations Zidarez may have had for doing this, King Khanid II did not appear to be concerned.
Following the ritual suicide of King Khanid II after his loss in the Imperial Succession and the ascension of Zidarez's husband Farokh as King Khanid III, Zidarez now rules as Queen of the Khanid Kingdom.