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Zaranda Star Rhindaun was a former human adventuress, countess, and then Queen of Tethyr.[1]

A noble does not rule simply by decree or by law, but by the sufferance of those ruled. A noble puts the well-being of the people before her own, or else she is unfit to rule.
—  Her Royal Highness Queen Zaranda, Monarch of Tethyr


Zaranda was very tall, standing at six feet, one inch, and had an athletic build.[2] Her hair was dark brown with a white forelock.[2] Her eyes were gray,[2] and she had a thin nose and lips[2][10] and strong, white teeth.[10] By the late 1360s DR, she had a skewed nose (from having had it broken)[2][10] and several scars and burns on her face.[2]

Zaranda had a hearty laugh.[10]

After her coronation, when she was blessed by the goddess Siamorphe, her facial scars vanished and she began appearing some fifteen years younger physically.[1]

In battle, Zaranda wore a steel breastplate and backplate and a small helmet. In court, she favored soft, dark colors and velvet gowns.[2]


Zaranda was the epitome of free-spiritedness; she decided her own destiny. This trait is probably why she gave up her training as a mage at an early age; she preferred the savage excitement of a fighter's life over that of a studious pupil.[2]

She could be calm, however, when the situation called for it, such as during matters of court or negotiations. Her temper would still flare, though, if injustice or violations of freedom or privacy occurred, and she would never negotiate over hostages.[1][2]

Despite her free-spirited nature, Zaranda hated being late.[11]



Zaranda's independent personality was clearly seen in her romantic relationships, where she tended to be the one to both initiate and end relationships.[2] She found herself surprised to find love with Haedrak Rhindaun, which grew during their time together at the end of the Reclamation Wars, but soon considered him a true equal partner.[1] They married on Kythorn 30, 1369 DR.[12]


Queen Zaranda had three children with Haedrak, two girls and a boy—triplets. Zaranda was the first Tethyrian royal to have triplets in the 500 years since Queen Alisande. Princess Sybille, Prince Coram, and Princess Cyriana were born, in that order, in the month of Flamerule in 1370 DR.[13] ("Sybille" and "Cyriana" were the names of the daughter and granddaughter of Queen Alisande, respectively.)[14]

Zaranda was an orphan, and not much else is known about her early childhood.[2]

Adventuring Companions[]

Her companions with whom she adventured were originally known as the "Company of the Star", but later became Star Protective Services.[15] Among them were:[2]

After her crowning, many of the members of Star Protective Services became the Warriors of the Star, the elite service sworn to protect the king and queen of Tethyr. Vander Stillhawk was their first leader.[16]

Other Close Friends[]

During the campaign against the Tuigan Horde, Zaranda met and became friends with Vajra Valmeyjar, Onyx the Invincible, Timoth Eyesbright, Vander Stillhawk (who later joined Star Protective Services), Kyrin Hawkwinter, and Zelphar Thann.[17]

During the early stages of the Reclamation Wars, she met the members of the Company of Eight, with whom her ideals were closely matched. These adventurers too became her good friends.[15]


Zaranda publicly converted to the religion of Siamorphe, which was a sign to her people of her nobility.[6]


Zaranda was especially proficient in the use of the saber, battle axe, dagger, and boar spear. She strongly preferred melee combat, but could shoot a crossbow if necessary. She was skilled at mounted combat, able to strike foes on both sides of her horse with her saber.[2]

She was skilled in the knowledge of the planets and stars but was opposed to the idea that they could predict anyone's future.[2]

She routinely used magic in her battles. Two of her favorites were a fireball and the sleeping spell, the latter being the first spell she taught Chenowyn.[18]


Mundane Items[]

Her horse, Golden Dawn, was outfitted in a Calishite saddle,[2][3] which were known for their quality, and wicker saddle-baskets.[2]

Magic Items[]

Crackletongue was Zaranda's magical saber, both from her adventuring days and afterward. It was named such due to its ability to "crackle" with blue flame in the presence of evil enemies.[2][19]

Her most commonly worn crown was the "Queen's Diadem". It was a simple weave of silver, gold, and mithral, decorated in a wave pattern with stars and goblets. It protected her from mind-reading spells. The "Monarch's Crown" was her state crown. It too protected from mind-reading but also afforded several other magical protections. It was made of gold, silver, and bronze with mithral, rubies, and garnets. It featured a carved image of Siamorphe's goblet. She found it uncomfortable to wear. Both crowns were so enchanted by Elminster and Alustriel.[19]

Zaranda's scepter was a solid silver rod with the head of a lion with diamond eyes. It acted as a rod of absorption. It, too, was created by Elminster. When in court, Zaranda always had the scepter in hand, though Haedrak and Court Vizera Perendra Raslemtar could also wield it.[19]


Early Career[]

Zaranda Star in combat, from the cover of the novel War in Tethyr.

Zaranda started her adventuring career as a wizard, under the tutelage of the disguised gem dragon Nyadnar in Zazesspur,[20] but soon bored of the training.[2]

In 1360 DR, as a young mercenary, Zaranda Star fought against the Tuigan Horde while at Aglarond[2]

Zaranda returned to Tethyr and, in 1362 DR, purchased County Morninggold and its titles from the Order of the Silver Chalice.[21][note 2] Sometime before the beginning of 1366 DR, Zaranda set off on a mercantile voyage that took her to places such as Thay and Unther, and she returned with a caravan of goods destined for Zazesspur. She accepted an orog named Shield of Innocence into her group, something which would normally be frowned upon. When her group arrived in Zazesspur in Mirtul of 1366, they were arrested by the Council on the order of Baron Faneuil Hardisty, but they escaped before they could be imprisoned.[22]

The Reclammation Wars[]


In Tarsakh of 1367 DR, Star Protective Services were in Ithmong to speak with the Council when Zaranda was betrayed by one of her own companions and drugged and imprisoned in dungeons beneath Zazesspur.[22]

Days of Terror[]

Main article: Days of Terror

On Mirtul 3, 1367 DR, Zaranda and her companions brought the Days of Terror in Zazesspur to an end by venturing into the Underdark and defeating the One Below, who was responsible for many of the evil happenings at that time. On emerging back to the surface, the people expressed their desire to make Zaranda their queen, and the date became known as Crowning Day.[22]

Rise to Power[]

Initially Zaranda expressed a desire to be Queen of Tethyr only so long as the people understood that her position was their responsibility, and set about discussing with Lord Faunce and Lord Hhune of Zazesspur how to get the support of the people.[22]

In Flamerule, Zaranda boarded a ship to Velen where she was greeted as a queen.[22]

In Eleasias, Zaranda exposed the pirates that were ruling Tulmene and enabled the town's citizens to defeat them, restoring order and winning her favor in Tulmene.[22]

A few months later at Higharvestide, she received the public blessings of the Archdruid of Mosstone and this led to her being accepted as queen by the inhabitants of the forest and coastal areas.[22]

By the winter at the end of 1367 DR, the rule of Julian Gallowglass, son of the former Lord-Mayor Ernest Gallowglass, over the city of Ithmong had become tyrannical and Zaranda stepped in, aided by villagers and her companions. They laid siege to the city and Zaranda, Marilyn Haresdown, and Tardeth Llanistaph captured Julian, confining him to the Cloister of St. Ramedar. Queen Zaranda renamed the city "Darromar" and made the old abode of Julian Gallowglass her palace, Faerntarn.[22]

Star Protective Services helped defend against ogre and goblin attacks in the spring of 1368 DR, and, after a two-month siege, they overturned an ogre who sought to be king of Tethyr from Saradush and was backed by bandits and mercenaries hired by merchants from Myratma. Freeing the original ruler of Saradush, Oon Santele further unified the people and cities of Tethyr.[22]

First Siege of Myratma[]

Thus, Queen Zaranda and her Loyalist Army set out to Myratma, where they found that one Yusuf Jhannivvar had placed himself on the throne. After a one month siege, the Loyalist Army was defeated by Prince Jhannivvar, and Zaranda herself was captured.[23]

Second Siege of Myratma[]

Zaranda had been tortured for three months in the prisons of Myratma, before Prince Haedrak and his army began the second siege. Prince Jhannivvar had her transported to Shoonach, where she was furthered tortured by the wizard Safana Aldhanek, who turned her back and forth into various animals and shapes with her polymorphing magic.[24]

Timoth Eyesbright, Zaranda Star, Purlakhonthiis, and Haedrak Rhindaun III escaping from the ruins of Shoonach.

Zaranda escaped from the clutches of Safana and fled deeper into the ruins of Shoonach before being rescued by Prince Haedrak and Timoth.[24]

The group returned to the Loyalist Army and commanded it in the final days of the siege, which finally ended in the Storm Siege. Zaranda slew Prince Jhannivvar with an arrow on the west wall of the city, after he had treacherously stabbed Haedrak after the latter had bested him in a duel. Thus ended the Reclamation Wars.[24]

Coronation & Wedding[]

Haedrak and Zaranda were married in three separate ceremonies on Kythorn 30 of 1369 DR at the Convent of St. Rhynda. During the final ceremony, performed by a priestess of Siamorphe, the couple were bathed in light, a divine sign of their nobility.[12]

Their coronation occurred in the following month, at Faerntarn. Again, the blessings of Siamorphe were upon them, for the crowns placed themselves magically upon Zaranda and Haedrak's heads.[12]

Conflicts at the Borders[]

In Ches of 1370 DR, Riatavin and Trailstone defected from Amn and requested to join Tethyr, giving Queen Zaranda her first real diplomatic conundrum.[25]

Teldorn Darkhope attacked and captured the town of Kzelter in Mirtul of the same year, forcing Zaranda to send troops to two fronts at the same time.[25]


King-Consort Haedrak Rhindaun III and Queen-Monarch Zaranda Star in their throne room in Faerntarn circa 1370 DR.

In her new role as queen, Zaranda made several changes to the Kingdom of Tethyr in hopes of unifying the people. She removed the noble titles of earl and baron, leaving only counts and dukes. She move the capital city from Zazesspur to Ithmong, which was more central, and renamed it "Darromar" in honor of King Darrom Ithal, the first king of Tethyr, and she renamed many other lands and titles as well to what they were during the time of the Queens' Dynasty.[26]

The queen promised to hold court at least twice per year—at Greengrass and Highharvestide. She was the only one permitted to rule in matters of "high justice" over other members of the royalty. She was responsible for maintaining armies for the protection of all Tethyr.[27]

Queen Zaranda was advised by a "Royal Privy Council" consisting of the following members:[28]

In her first Highharvestide court, Zaranda established the Loyal Order of the Innocents in honor of her friend Shield of Innocence who sacrificed himself saving Zazesspur.[16]



  1. Heroes' Lorebook lists Vander as a wood elf archer/ranger, while Champions of Valor lists him as a human fighter. Lands of Intrigue mentions him several times but is uncharacteristically silent on the matter of his race and class. War in Tethyr describes him in detail as a human ranger raised by elves, so that is what is stated here.
  2. The dating details provided in "The Reclamation Wars" section of the "Tethyr" booklet of the Lands of Intrigue boxed set, beginning on p. 39, are not self-consistent concerning the timing of Zaranda Star's time as countess of Morninggold. Page 39 claims that Zaranda purchased the county and its keep in the Year of the Wave, which is 1364 DR. This conflicts with p. 88 of the same book, which says that the year of purchase was the Year of the Helm, 1362 DR.
    She is said to have spent a significant amount of time in that first year of purchase, at least, refurbishing the keep. It then states that at the end of 1366 DR, "she embarked on a mercantile career" in Unther and Thay. This conflicts both with the novel War in Tethyr and with the very next sentence, which says that she returned to Tethyr, again, in the Year of the Wave. She couldn't possibly return before she even left, and War in Tethyr is very clear that she actually returned to Tethyr in Mirtul, the 5th month, of 1366.
    The remaining paragraphs are consistent both with the novel and with the rest of the sourcebook.
    We thus assume that the actual purchase was made in 1362, as stated on p. 88. Perhaps she left for the east at the end of the Year of the Wave, 1364, not 1366. She must have returned at the beginning of 1366, in the month of Mirtul.



  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 82. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 Dale Donovan, Paul Culotta (August 1996). Heroes' Lorebook. (TSR, Inc), pp. 133–135. ISBN 0-7869-0412-7.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Victor Milán (October 1995). War in Tethyr. (TSR, Inc), p. 7. ISBN 0-7869-0184-5.
  4. Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 45. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  5. Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 83. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 5. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  7. Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book Three: Erlkazar & Folk of Intrigue. (TSR, Inc), p. 29. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  8. 8.0 8.1 George Krashos (2004-04-17). Questions for Steven Schend. Candlekeep Forum. Retrieved on 2016-08-28.
  9. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 158. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Victor Milán (October 1995). War in Tethyr. (TSR, Inc), p. 8. ISBN 0-7869-0184-5.
  11. Victor Milán (October 1995). War in Tethyr. (TSR, Inc), p. 21. ISBN 0-7869-0184-5.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 45–46. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  13. Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 52. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  14. Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book Three: Erlkazar & Folk of Intrigue. (TSR, Inc), p. 29. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 40. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 9–10. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  17. Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 39. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  18. Victor Milán (October 1995). War in Tethyr. (TSR, Inc), p. ??. ISBN 0-7869-0184-5.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book Three: Erlkazar & Folk of Intrigue. (TSR, Inc), pp. 25–27. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  20. Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 70. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  21. Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 88. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 22.6 22.7 22.8 Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 39–41. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  23. Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 42. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 43–44. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 51–52. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  26. Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 4. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  27. Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 6. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  28. Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 7–8. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.