Her name was Lady Ishar and she arrived in the kingdom without much fanfare, the young and pretty wife of a local lord. There were some who said she dabbled in the dark arts, but that was but rumors and here say. With the lord's death a short time later, his ownings were passed to her.
At first, there was talk of the circumstances of his death, but in time nothing came of it, and the matter was quickly forgotten.
However, over the following year, Lady Ishar began to quietly increase her power among the local lords through bribery, slander, and covert alliances. People began to notice that those who spoke out against her tended to change their minds suddenly or simply vanish. It was rumored that she even used the dark arts to increase her power, but that was just rumors and here say.
As her power grew, she began to openly silence those who spoke against her. The lords tried to formulate a plan to stop her growing influence, but she always seemed to inexplicably anticipate them at every turn. The king was even reluctant to intervene in her matters, as if she had some hold over the crown as well. She was called Lady Ishar, the Witch Queen and it was rumored that she called upon the dark arts to get what she desired, and as it turned out, these rumors were perfectly true.