Q'arlynd sported a slightly crooked nose due to a childhood lizard riding accident, which left it broken. In spite of this fact, he was still handsome enough to hold the attention of most females. His shoulder-length white hair was worn in a contingency clip which rested at the back of his neck. As a highly skilled battle mage and master of the College of Ancient Arcana, Q'arlynd's style of dress was fitting for a drow of his stature.
Q'arlynd, despite his education in Ched Nasad, could never be truly evil; he was unsure of the Surfacers when he first made his way out of the Underdark, but began to accept the goodness of Eilistraee. He was well aware of his good looks and charms and used them when the occasion requires it, but his first and foremost love was for the arcane.
As the elder brother to Tellik Melarn, Q'arlynd grew up with Halisstra Melarn in House Melarn until he was sent to the Arcane Conservatory. There, he trained to become a battle mage. It is known that during his youth, he betrayed his brother to his mother, Matron Mother Drisinil Melarn, who sacrificed him to Lolth for being a secret worshiper of Vhaeraun.
In 1372 DR, after leaving the Dangling Tower in the midst of the destruction of Ched Nasad at the hands of duergar and the Jaezred Chaulssin, he led his sister Halisstra and her group (led by Quenthel Baenre) to a portal in the Dangling Tower that would help them escape the city. In the process, he was attacked by a golem and fell from the tower. He nearly died, but survived, to watch his home city fall into ruins.
Bereft of hope for House Melarn to rise again, he served House Teh'Kinrellz, a minor noble house for a while, working as a scavenger. Chance led him to the surface, where he eventually swore an oath to Eilistraee, although it was not entirely sincere. He later made his way to Sshamath, where he joined the College of Divination and sought patronage to start his own school, The College of Ancient Arcana. It was during this time that he discovered his heritage; he was, in fact, not of the Ilythiiri, the elves who were active in the Crown Wars, but rather one of the Miyeritari, those who were wrongly forced to partake in The Descent. This meant that he did not have Wendonai's Taint within him, allowing him to use the Selu'kiira of his ancestors.
Through the use of the Selu'Kiira, he was led to believe that, in ancient times, the forces of Aryvandaar not only wiped out Miyeritar, but also changed the bodies of the Illythiri, and created the faerzress to imprison them under the earth (both by preventing them from escaping by magical means, and by making them less willing to return to the surface, as the faerzress appeared to exert a calling effect on the drow). However, all of that was impossible, as the Faerzress was actually far older than the Descent of the drow, and already existed when the events shown by the Kiira took place (as it dated back to the formation of the Underdark itself). Furthermore, the bodies of the Ilythiiri weren't altered by the Aryvandaari, but by Corellon's magic, as directed through his priests and High Mages from all Faerun, reunited at the Elven Court.
The Selu'kiira also allowed him to achieve his two greatest accomplishments. He nearly destroyed Kiaransalee by erasing her name from all memories, even Kiaransalee herself (even though, in truth, necromancers kept remembering and invoking Kiaransalee, and she still had power on necromantic rituals, until she fully recovered in the Second Sundering) He also transformed hundreds of drow free from Wendonai's taint, and therefore of pure Miyeritari descent, into brown-skinned dark elves (though without their consent), forever severing their ties to the faerzress and the Underdark. He planned to travel to Rhymanthiin, the City of Hope, along with his fellow transformed mages. 
Q'arlynd's piwafwi was made from the blue-black fur of a displacer beast. Another of his items was the clear quartz crystal that hung from his neck on a silver chain, which granted him the ability to see anything that had been disguised or rendered invisible by magical means. The only true affect from his past that he wore other than his crystal is a worn leather bracer on his wrist with an adamantine disk in its center that had the insignia of House Melarn on it.
Of all of his personal items Q'arlynd's most important was with him at all times. More often than not rendered magically invisible as a safety precaution, Q'arlynd wore a Selu'Kiira on his forehead filled with the sentience of all of his ancestors that have worn the stone before him since before dark elves were branded Dhaerow and forced into the Underdark.
Q'arlynd possessed a unique form of spellbook: his belt. The leather was inscribed with tiny runes -- Q'arlynd's spells -- which only become visible when viewed through his seeing crystal. Q'arlynd also possessed a set of master and slave rings. Anyone wearing the master ring was able to both read the mind of and physically control anyone wearing the slave ring. Q'arlynd utilized his rings on his personal servant, Flinderspeld.
- Insurrection (minor)
Lady Penitent trilogy:
- Lisa Smedman (January 2007). Sacrifice of the Widow. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 45. ISBN 0-7869-4250-9.
- Lisa Smedman (June 2008). Ascendancy of the Last. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 63. ISBN 978-0-7869-4864-2.
- Lisa Smedman (September 2007). Storm of the Dead. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 60. ISBN 978-0-7869-4701-0.
- Lisa Smedman (January 2007). Sacrifice of the Widow. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 205. ISBN 0-7869-4250-9.
- Thomas M. Reid (December 2003). Insurrection. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 359. ISBN 0-7869-3033-0.
- Lisa Smedman (January 2007). Sacrifice of the Widow. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 19. ISBN 0-7869-4250-9.
- Lisa Smedman (September 2007). Storm of the Dead. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 310. ISBN 978-0-7869-4701-0.
- Lisa Smedman (September 2007). Storm of the Dead. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0-7869-4701-0.
- Bruce R. Cordell, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Jeff Quick (October 2003). Underdark. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 48. ISBN 0-7869-3053-5.
- Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
- Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
- Richard Lee Byers (July 2014). The Reaver. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0786965428.
- Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 23, 106. ISBN 978-0786965809.
- Lisa Smedman (June 2008). Ascendancy of the Last. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0-7869-4864-2.
- Lisa Smedman (June 2008). Ascendancy of the Last. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 64. ISBN 978-0-7869-4864-2.
- Lisa Smedman (September 2007). Storm of the Dead. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 276. ISBN 978-0-7869-4701-0.