|Berenene dor Ocmore|
|Empress of Namorn|
|Start of Reign|
|End of Reign|
|Years of Service|
|Parents||Unnamed Father (Previous Emperor)|
|Lover||Quenaill Shieldsman and Pershan fer Roth|
|Other Family||Amiliane fa Landreg, Sandrilene fa Toren (cousins)|
|Occupation||Ruler of Namorn|
Berenene dor Ocmore is the Empress of Namorn and the title character in The Will of the Empress. Based upon the Russian Empress Catherine the Great and Elizabeth I of England, Berenene serves as an antagonist to the book's four protagonists, especially Sandrilene fa Toren.
The Empress is the only surviving child of her father the emperor, while she was a princess she was kidnapped twice in a plot to force marriage. Her father scolded her when she tried to create gardens in the royal palace; he claimed that it was a waste of money to grow flowers in the cold lands of Namorn. Once she became empress she almost gave up on her gardens, but decided that she deserved them after several assassination attempts.
Berenene ascended the throne on the death of her father and started a strong rule. She gave more power to the monarch by tricking and ruining the other great Houses. By the time Sandry returns to Namorn House Landreg is the only one remaining, and it to is under attack from the empress.
Her daughters she has kept in hiding so they would not be kidnapped as she was. Because of the tendency of noble women giving power to their husbands she has kept the identities of her daughter's fathers a secret so no one could use them to threaten her power.
Sh has also brought a great amount of reform to her land. Berenene has built multiple schools and hospitals, as well as roadwork. She cares greatly for her land and her people, she views her country's needs as her needs and will do anything to bring power and greatness to Namorn.
When her cousin Sandry and her friends come to her court she devices several schemes to keep them in the country. She uses her power, money, and mages to entice them to remain in Namorn, and in the end she attempts to force them.
Relationships with the other characters
Sandry and Berenene are first cousins, related through a mutual grandmother. Since Sandry's mother, Amiliane fa Landreg, married Sandry's father, a lesser Emelanese noble, the money from the Landreg estate had been siphoned out of Namorn, first to Amiliane and then to Sandry.
In the opening to The Will of the Empress, Sandry reviews her account books and realizes that the Imperial taxes on her estate have been growing every year; it is Berenene's way of reinforcing her standing invitation for her cousin to visit the Imperial Court in Dancruan. Once she arrives, it is the Empress's mission to keep her and her money in Namorn, despite Sandry's continual statements that she makes her home in Emelan.
Briar comes to Namorn with Sandry, and Berenene takes a special interest in him as he is a plant mage and Berenene has an interest in gardening. She grants him special permission to do what he likes in her personal gardens, and tries to get him to stay in Namorn by offering him the post of imperial gardener.
Pershan fer Roth
Shan is Berenene's lover and Master of the Hunt during Sandry's visit to Namorn. She is unaware of his flirtations with her cousin, and places a tight color on him when she finds out. By the end of the book she discovers his plan to marry Sandry and he falls from her graces.
Quenaill was Berenene's lover before Shan. He is extremely loyal to her and will do anything to get back into her good graces. When she finds out about his involvement in a plot to kidnap Sandry with Shan is extremely angry, as she feels like she's lost control over him.
Bernene maintains court year round which includes her chief mages, Ishabal Ladyhammer and Quenaill Shieldsman, as well as many of her nobles in their twenties and thirties. She keep herdelf as the center of attention, passing out favors and punishments to make sure everyone is thinking about her instead of fighting and rebellion. Rizu is Mistress of the Imperial Wardrobe and Pershan fer Roth is her Master of the Hunt.
The empress has russet hair and brown eyes. She is very attracetive, with a shaply body that she uses to catch the interest of young men at her court. Her face reminds Sandry of an old picture of her grandmother.