|“||I was queen of the world once, and I will be again, I promise you. Now you have my permission to die.||”|
|— Petaniqua, from The Kindred Most Wanted, p. 81|
As was told by Petaniqua herself, she was born Polyxena, the princess of Epirus. She joined a cult that worshipped Cybele, a demonic Malkavian methuselah, and took Myrtale as her cult name. Her marriage to the great conqueror Philip II of Macedon made her one of the most powerful queens in the ancient world, and she changed her name to Olympias with the birth of her son, Alexander. It was by this name she would be known to history.
Philip soon began to search for other women in order to strengthen the alliances he made between the various Greek city-states. Olympias considered her husband a barbarian, while Philipp began to fear the blood cult of Cybele. To Olympias' surprise, her goddess answered her frustrations. Cybele began to take an interest in the passionate, dominating woman and initiated her into the deeper mysteries of her cult. When Philip was away to finish conquering Greece, Olympias enjoyed the blood of her goddess. Cybele nurtured Olympias hatred for men of all kind, save for her own son, whom she adored and determined to make the king of the whole world.
When Cybele demanded that the Greeks should make war against the Persians, Olympias turned Alexander against his father. He reacted by taking her son away and giving him to the famous philosopher Aristotle for education. When Alexander and Philip became more estranged due to Philip's constant travel and Alexander's adolescence, Olympias arranged Philip's assassination and the crowning of her son. For this she earned the Embrace from Cybele. Alexander's army invaded and conquered Persia, and went on to conquer much of the known world.
Despite Olympias' pleas, Cybele forbid her to bring her son into the Blood, and so Alexander the Great died in Babylon, throwing his empire into chaos. She ventured to Delphi and attended a conclave of thirteen True Brujah, explaining her own intentions to them and submitting to them as a priestess. When the conclave demanded that she deliver a talisman to Asia Minor she did as she was told, but when she returned she found Cybele's husk burned by the sun and the True Brujah gone.
Olympias feared that the True Brujah of the conclave had been impersonated by Malkavian elders, and she spent the next century hiding deep in the wilderness. Eventually meeting with Lupines, she joined forces with Black Spiral Dancers due to the similarities between the rites of the Cult of Cybele and the rites of the Wyrm. She was named Petaniqua by her followers. Later, when the Sabbat arose during the Inquisition, she was readily accepted due to her hold on the Black Spiral Dancers, though few trusted her.
Prominent again, the Malkavian elders decided to act against Petaniqua and she was nearly destroyed. She was saved by the Black Spiral Dancers in her retinue and her torpid body was hidden away in a Pit. Petaniqua awakened in the 1960s and resume her efforts to gain influence over the Sabbat Inquisition.
She betrayed one of the Anathema to the Camarilla and claimed his destruction. But other Malkavians spied the dark stain on her soul and demanded her addition to the Red List. Petaniqua fled back into the wilds, joining with a pack of Black Spiral Dancers, hated and hunted by Sabbat and Camarilla alike.
Time of Judgment Continuity
|“||I see horned beasts lurking in the shadows. They whisper to me from the emerald green flame. I see the poisoned fangs hiding within the Camarilla. They belong to those who dare not speak my name.||”|
|— Petaniqua, from Dread Names, Red List, p. 73|
Dread Names, Red List describes Petaniqua as a high ranking member of the Sabbat Inquisition, with a violent hatred against infernalism of all kind. She was present at the Convention of Thorns, joining forces with Vasantasena against the despised elders of her Clan, whom she believes with maniacal delusion to be under the sway of demons. She has issued a challenge against Camilla Banes that has still to be answered. Banes instead used her influence to place Petaniqua on the earliest draft of the Red List, making her one of the oldest Anathema still active.
A peculiarity of Petaniqua's vitae is that her childer are not automatically Malkavian, but that there are fluctuations that result in one childe being identified as a Baali, and another as a a highly-specialized bloodline that is been mixed with the Lupines that saved her. The Inner Circle has begun to realize the threat these childer could become, as there is no reliable way of tracing them back to Petaniqua, so she might have numerous sleeper agents all over the world to do her bidding.
Also, Petaniqua has no recollection of her past, but usually invents grand origin stories of herself; the events detailed above might be true, but they might also be lies spread by her.
Petaniqua is intense and aloof at all times. Even when her Derangements are in full swing, she carries herself like an eternal judge who has been given the power over life and death. Her long, curly dark hair hangs over her shoulders. Her eyes are dark brown, and her sharp features reflect only a hint of madness. The Sabbat Inquisitor's vintage clothing is a few years out of date, but not so much that she stands out in a crowd. She usually wears one or more skulls, whether it is a pattern on her clothing or skull-shaped jewelry, incorporated into her current outfit.
Speculation on Clan
The name of Petaniqua's sire, Cybele, is attributed to a Baali descending from Shaitan, who allied herself with Rome and devised the ritual that bound Troile and Moloch beneath the salted earth of Carthage. The description of the practices of the Cult of Cybele in The Kindred Most Wanted and Clanbook: Baali are nearly identical. Petaniqua's Embrace has never been described in detail, making it possible that she is, in fact, an Apostate, or that Cybele was an Apostate. Her ties to the Black Spiral Dancers (who revere creatures that could easily be called demons) seem to cement this assumption, although Petaniqua has never shown knowledge of Daimonion. Her second VTES card further describes her as a Baali, lending credence to the assumption.
For the historical figure see Olympias. Also, dates of death of the real Olympias and Embrace of Petaniqua do not match, which gave reasons for assumptions and speculations.