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Duke Zimerlan was the hereditary leader of the city-state of Juniper, an independent sovereignty in the far northwesterly portion of the northern continent, prior to and during the events of Shadows Linger. His palace was called Duretile.

Before Shadows Linger[]

At some point, presumably in his youth, Zimerlan was educated about his ancestors' discovery of the lethal black rock that would later grow and become known as the black castle. When it was first found about 400 years before him, it was tiny. After some of his ancestors dropped dead investigating it and trying to destroy it, the population of the city had no choice but to simply ignore and shun the frightening thing.

When Zimerlan became the new duke, for unspecified reasons he cancelled some famous horse and rider races that used to take place across the overland route between Juniper and Meadenvil.

Shadows Linger[]

Duke Zimerlan was the person who contacted the Lady for help eliminating the black castle, a mysterious structure on the side of the Wolander Mountains along Juniper's border. He called a meeting with Hargadon, the senior Custodian of the city; Bullock, the chief Inquisitor who spoke the language of the Jewel Cities; and the Lady's advance team which included Whisper, Feather, several Black Company brothers such as Croaker, and some translators. Zimerlan explained what they knew about the black castle's bizarre history. A few decades before, it started growing, but only very slowly. Then, within the past handful of years (corresponding to the arrival of Raven) it began expanding at an incredible pace into a fully-formed castle.

The duke later met the Lady in person at Duretile. Not long after her arrival, he came to understand that he was no longer the most powerful person in Juniper.

Duke Zimerlan's decision to involve the Lady's Empire set in motion a chain of events that proved disastrous for his city. (If Zimerlan had not contacted the Lady, then the Dominator would certainly have escaped the Barrowland through the black castle portal with unclear repercussions for the city.) After the climactic Battle of Juniper, the Imperials ransacked the sacred Catacombs for the burial coins stored there, spurring a gigantic civil uprising. Juniper ended up badly ravaged by the Lady and her forces. It was unspecified if Duke Zimerlan survived the carnage.

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