Remember when I said that the Dead Moon folk were cute?
Well, when it comes to Zirconia, I lied.
Zirconia is bald, shriveled, and incredibly ugly. She wears a cloak that closes in front to make a malignant face with slitted eyes. Her fingers are claws, and she has an odd forehead protrusion that resemble a pair of antennae. (Look at the pictures to see what I mean.) She tends to hunch over.
The Amazoness Quartet call her "ba-san," or "grandmother." She carries a staff with a winged, sentient eyeball on top, named Zircon. She is Nephelenia's mouthpiece, and therefore second-in-command of the Dead Moon forces. She's the one who tells the Quartet what Nephelenia wants them to do. She calls herself Nephelenia's "guiding soul," and indeed seems to act as the tactician most of the time. Nephelenia sets the long-term goals, and Zirconia works towards them.
Zirconia is afraid of the light; she says that it is too blinding, and paralyzes her. The denizens of the Dead Moon are people of darkness, and they become uncomfortable in the light. This is why Zirconia needs the Quartet to operate for her in the daytime hours.
Zirconia speaks to Nephelenia through the medium of the mirror. Because Queen Serenity locked Nephelenia into the mirror ages ago, she cannot leave the mirror - but Zirconia can still speak to her. Zirconia seems almost to act as Nephelenia's ego, always complimenting her. It's rather reminiscent of the wicked Queen and the flattering mirror in the old Snow White fairy tales - except in reverse. This time, you've got the Queen inside the mirror, asking, "Zirconia. Who am I?"
The proper response, and that which Zirconia quickly gives, is, "My lady is the world's most beautiful and wise, the highest in our Dead Moon, carrying the largest power, the great Queen Nephelenia-sama."
"And our long-cherished goal?" Nephelenia prompts.
"Our long-cherished goal, that is to overthrow the hated White Moon Kingdom, the Silver Millennium, to take the Mystical Silver Crystal and this blue land Earth, and soon, to become the supreme ruler of all the cosmos," Zirconia answers, to Nephelenia's joy. It's obvious that Nephelenia doesn't need Zirconia to tell her this. What she needs is someone to repeat her own thoughts, and flatter her own beauty. Zirconia is her ideal mirror image.
Zirconia's powers seem varied and strong. It's hard to say precisely what they are, because she is a master of illusion. She was able to enclose the Quartet in balls, and Chibimoon and Saturn glass shards. She can push things through the mirror to Nephelenia. When she came up against the senshi, she became very powerful and immense, swelling up into the air. She could fly, too. She seemed to shoot a beam of energy from the mouth of her cloak-face, piercing through Usagi and Mamoru. Thankfully, this turned out to be a nightmare.
Zirconia is last seen in the world within the mirror; she ran into the mirror and joined her Queen there. One can only assume that when Usagi locked Nephelenia back into the mirror, she locked Zirconia away as well.
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