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Nightshade was conceived when her mother, a sorceress, was seduced by a fairy in the guise of a wolf. After Nightshade's birth, her father subsequently abandoned them, and her mother was banished from the fairy mists, resulting in her being driven mad and commiting suicide. Nightshade was raised by the fairies following this, but she soon followed in her mother's footsteps and began a relationship with a being in the mists. However, when her identity was exposed, she was exiled from the mists and made her home in Deep Fell, where she resided for centuries.
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Nightshade first encountered Benjamin Holiday when he ventured into Deep Fell to recruit her to his side in a battle against the Iron Mark. Nightshade agrees to assist him, but only if Benjamin manages to retrieve a fairy dust that renders anyone who inhales it unable to disobey any command. Bejamin ventured into the fairy mists and retrieved the dust, but upon returning, he discovered that Nightshade had banished his allies to Abaddon, home of the demons. In his rage, Benjamin used the fairy dust on Nightshade and forced her to venture into the fairy mists, from which she had been exiled. Nightshade survived the experience, but harbored an intense hatred towards Ben after the experience.
The Black Unicorn
Nightshade returned from the fairy mists, seeking a magical golden bridle needed to harness the Black Unicorn. However, the bridle had been stolen from her by Strabo the dragon. She captures Ben and two gnomes, Filip and Sot, transporting them Strabo's lair. Upon discovering that Strabo had sold the bridle to Willow, Ben's future wife, Nightshade furiously attacked the dragon, allowing Ben and the gnomes to escape.
Wizard at Large
Nightshade, surviving her battle with Strabo, later retrieved a bottle containing a Darkling from a wight in exchange for transforming the wight into a human. Nightshade, however, turned the wight into a dragonfly and fed it to a fish, and unleashed the Darkling, trying to use it to take over Landover. The Darkling battled the Paladin in the process. After Questor Thews defeated the Darkling, a defeated Nightshade fled.
The Tangle Box
Two years after the events in the Tangle Box, Nightshade formulates a plan that involves Ben and Willow's child, Mistaya, who has grown at an excellerated rate due to her fairy heritage. Nightshade seeks to train Mistaya in witchery, and take revenge on Ben. Nightshade convinces Ben's rival, Kallendbor, to pose as an invading ruler named King Rydall, and abducts Mistaya, whisking her away into the Deep Fell. Nightshade convinces Mistaya that her parents gave her to Nightshade for her protection, and offers to teach her magic. For the following several days, Nightshade has Mistaya create several monsters, ostensibly to do battle with Rydall, and sends the monsters to duel Ben. After these attacks fail, Nightshade releases Mistaya, giving her a brooch as a totem of their "friendship". Unknown to Mistaya, the brooch is poisoned and Nightshade intends for Mistaya to poison Ben when she embraces him. However, Quester intervenes and poisons himself, saving Ben. Nightshade, enraged, confesses to Mistaya that she had meant to kill Ben, then tells Kallendbor to finish Ben off. However, Kallendbor is mortally wounded, and Mistaya, betrayed and angered, threatens Nightshade and demands that she heals Quester. Nightshade, in response, attempts to teleport Mistaya to earth, but is attacked by Haltwhistle, causing her to unleash the magic upon herself, transforming herself into a crow and being banished to earth.
A Princess of Landover
- Nightshade is the only antagonist in the Landover noves to appear in all six books.