Zaza Racoco was a Dacian warlord and Great Captain, born in Taphonomy Bay. He was instrumental in the defeat of the most recent Marju Ordu. He was noted for his skill as a general, his foppish mode of dress, and cannibalism. Jimmy Rome has approved the description of him as "some kind of Dacian 18th century fop kind of guy, combining General Butt Naked with Marie Antoinette". Famously, Racoco's senator has for the past four years been a very beautiful Ischil Longhair. This has been allowed, as the cat frequently shows less contempt for the proceedings than any of the other Great Captains' representatives, and the Sergeant at Arms only rarely has to present his shovel to it.
« Racoco is an old character, but one who has only very recently gotten definition, because we realized that Dace needed someone to represent an aspect of it that Gizka and Mizzick couldn't. If Gizka is Taphonomy Bay, and Mizzick is the Provinces, then Racoco is "The Army." »
- — Jimmy Rome, 6/22/2014
Racoco was a nobleman, but he made his bones with The Dust. He is an enigma, a combination of absolute civility and absolute savagery. He is meticulously well kept, well spoken, and well read. He speaks six languages, and he holds three out of four stones of a graduate neckband at The University of Illegon.
He also crucifies his enemies, and ritually consumes the flesh of his fallen foes. It is said that he never sleeps, can speak to crows, and practices black magic.
He has done everything in his power to destroy the mercenary institution in Dace, and he has turned the full force of his family's holdings (banks, shipyards and warehouses) to this purpose.
Zaza emerged during the Dacian Civil War as a capable leader of men whose interests leaned more towards warfare than administration. He assembled one of the first professional military units in Dace without mercenary aid, and throughout his service he was always a harsh critic of Dace's reliance on mercenaries to fight its wars.
After the Bek Incident, he was one of the few members of Taphonomy Bay's Senate that publicly decried Gizka's actions as amounting to little more than common banditry that by coincidence injured other bandits. He refused to take the position of Autarch because he thought it was immoral — Gizka was a thousand miles away, Mizzick's strength had been depleted by the Marju, and Zoak's marines were no threat to him. Had he desired it, he probably could've seized power, but he did not desire it.
The Great Captaincy was another matter. Though he hates the position and tried to refuse it, the state assigned it to him against his will, so he does his best to pretend that they didn't. Instead of forming a mercenary army as the position would suggest, he used his own family's money to maintain the fencible militia that he had fought with during the Civil War.
After six years the Marju invaded, and Racoco's detestation of mercenaries was vindicated. Even Sarah Gizka was fighting in Krajina against the Clachmen at the time, and could not be recalled due to the distance. Racoco's army, an undermanned, unsupported militia, was forced to engage the Marju in a series of unwinnable battles in support of local militias.
Finally the senate acquiesced to Racoco's cries for a "State Army" that answered to no independent figure, and allotted him the resources needed to assemble a force capable of crushing the Marju. That is precisely what he did.
Racoco lured in Tsubokai, the chief warlord of Gunsukh Khan, by crucifying emissaries until he could no longer ignore them. The Marju repeatedly defeated and slaughtered Dacian armies, until finally, after sacking the city of Vedrim, their horses began to die from the toxic environment, and they were set upon by Taphonomy Bay's assembled army. They attempted a feigned retreat with their remaining horses, but were cut off at Shaitan Pass by a Wagon Train full of arquebusiers. Exhausted, dehydrated, and cornered, two full Tumans were captured.
The victorious Dacians blinded nine men out of every ten, and allowed the tenth to lead the rest home. Tsubokai himself was burned alive on a pile of wagon wheels, and two of the Great Khan's sons were forced to fight to the death barehanded for the privilege of being ransomed to their father. The victor was killed and eaten by Racoco and his staff.
Gunsukh had a heart attack when the survivors of Tsubokai's army returned, ending the war.
Racoco is one of a very small number of prominent Dacian writers and poets, and is a well known socialite and gourmet.
In Dace, the cooking of food is not seen as a servile task, but rather as a high art worthy of noble practice. Racoco invented a flavor (arrogantly dubbed Zaza) that we might call "umami" or savory. He commonly attends banquets, which in Dace are essentially cooking competitions.
The question of whether or not he actually serves the flesh of his foes, slain by his hand and his hand alone at his banquets is... Unanswerable. The man could make rat taste like beef.