Tuesday Night Fantasy Grounds
The original ruler of the human lands, and a former lich
They called her cold, calculating, and ruthless. All of these things were true, of course, but what her detractors ignored or omitted was that she was intensely committed to her people’s well-being. Her spider-like machinations were woven selflessly.
She did not weep when her people starved; she negotiated grain imports.
And when grain merchants tried to inflate the prices to exploit her kingdom’s desperation, she had them quietly beheaded. She would feed her people at any price.
And when grain merchants tried to charge her fair prices for the grain, a few of them were found without their heads as well. The kingdom was poor, and couldn’t afford even a fair price.
In her campaign to stamp out nepotism, she removed local authorities that people knew and trusted.
The process of optimizing agriculture meant forced relocation before famine followed the land’s wasting. When she sensed the coming disaster of her homeland she didn’t weep. She built boats. She sailed. She found a new wilderness.
The wilderness was beaten and plowed. Homesteaders buried the corpses of decapitated dragons and giants. As much as her census-takers could tell, life was objectively better for her subjects.
She was deeply unpopular.
Not that she cared. She would drag the peasants into a new golden age by the heel, kicking and screaming, whining and uncomprehending. Such was her nobility and her arrogance.
And she practiced international politics with Machiavellian hyper-aggressiveness; while there was never an open war during her reign, there were many brutal skirmishes and preemptive strikes.
The undead were a point of contention between her and her private bishop. She believed that they could be put to good use. Undead soldiers would save the lives of the living, and undead laborers would work without tiring.
Her bishop disagreed with her, along with nearly every other person that heard her speak such ideas in private. Even as speculation, they bordered on heresy.
In the end, it wasn’t the church that brought her down, it was politics. She was found guilty of falsely prolonging her marriage or abdication. Women were not allowed to get to comfortable on the throne.
She was arrested, tried, decapitated, and her brother-in-law was installed on the throne.
Nine days later she returned as a lich, attempted to commit the mortal sin of regicide, and regain her throne.
It took another four years, a crusade, and an additional two deaths to topple her. The Order of the White Raven finally slew her, pinning her to a wall with a half-dozen holy swords. The South Wind destroyed her castle and some of the stones were blown as far northward as the shores of Shiprock.