Varalla, known as the Lich Queen, was a female magic-user and lich known for having once ruled over the fortress of Darkhold.[1][2]

History[edit | edit source]

Varalla's history is shrouded in uncertainty, but whether by her, another, or merely by happenstance is not clear.[1]

It was said that she was at the Battle of Bones in the Year of Slaughter, 1090 DR. The tale goes that she was buried beneath the piles of corpses that were the battle's combatants and had to claw her way back above them.[1]

She arrived at the Sunset Keep (the former appellation given to Darkhold) some time in the late 12th century DR. Having slaughtered all of the creatures within who refused to obey her, she began creating numerous undead servants, which gained her new demesne a fell reputation in the surrounding lands. It was under her rulership that the fortress became known as Darkhold.[1] Her evil dominated the Far Hills.[4]

Rumors abounded that the Lich Queen took possession of the keep's ancient magics, which furthered her own spell research.[1] She also completed Varalla's Passage, a tunnel from the surface down to the drow city of Sshamath commissioned by the Conclave of Sshamath to open up a trade route to the surface realms.[5] She was known to have defeated several groups of adventurers looking to defeat her, or at least plunder her lair.[1]

This, in turn, attracted the attention of the Zhentarim, who were looking to expand westward and needed a base, and used the excuse of her evil to lay siege to Darkhold, in the knowledge no-one would support her and because Cormyr's Purple Dragons did not protect the people of the Tunlands.[1][2][4] In the 1312 DR, they attacked with their priests and wizards, Zhentish militia, mercenaries, and allied goblins and went over its crumbling walls. The majority of the troops employed by the Black Network were killed during the siege, having not been informed of nature of the enemy that they were about to face.[1][2][3] There was debate over who destroyed Varalla herself, thereby ending the siege in victory. Unconfirmed reports claim that she managed to slay Manshoon during the fighting and that he was subsequently resurrected or forced to expend one of his clones to restore himself.[2] It appears that in this tale, Fzoul Chembryl destroyed her with a mace of disruption.[1] In other tellings, it was Manshoon who defeated the Lich Queen.[4][3]

Relationships[edit | edit source]

She had as a servant the great wyrm black dragon Harondalbar, though he made a pact with the Zhentarim after the destruction of his mistress.[6]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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