|“||We are close now Vonya—to freedom from our miserable prison planet. And when we open the gate, we will have power beyond measure…the power of the Elder Gods!||„|
|~ Mother Zalem|
Zalem is the main antagonist in the comic book Star Wars: Republic: Infinity's End. She was the original matriarch of a clan of Dathomir Witches.
Zalem was the Clan Mother of one of the many Nightsister clans on the planet Dathomir. She succeeded in rallying the warring covens, styling herself as the Queen of the Nightsisters. She conceived a daughter, Ros Lai, with an enslaved Jedi Knight, and used her mate's powers to augment her own connection to the dark side of the Force. When she became strong enough to dispense with him, Zalem murdered her husband and started to rear her daughter as a witch. The child, however, appeared to be deformed, which prompted Zalem to reject her. However, Ros Lai used her magic to make herself appear hideous o hide her beauty and true power rather than the other way around. Zalem and Ros Lai adhere to the dark side. At some point, the self-styled queen discovered the Star Chamber on Dathomir, and she sought to unlock its secrets and gain access to the Infinity Gate. The effect of Zalem's meddling with that ancient technology resulted in the destruction of the planet Ova. Zalem's followers similarly had pale skin with black tatoos.
Zalem was born on the planet Dathomir within a community of Nightsisters, a society of female dark siders. From childhood onwards, she learned to master the spells of her elders in hopes of becoming a mighty witch.
When she was young, Zalem somehow seduced a Jedi Knight. When she became strong enough in the Force, she murdered her mate, as it was customary for witches to get rid of their "malelings" after mating. She then set out to bring up their daughter Ros Lai as a Nightsister on her own. But the child appeared deformed, and Zalem rejected her, allowing other witches to constantly bully and torture her.
At some point, Zalem brought together many warring covens of Nightsisters under her banner, and she appointed herself as "Queen of Dathomir". She had become the leader of all Nightsisters, a position the founding Mother Gethzerion once held until the Nightsisters broke into separate covens and would regain years later.
The Infinity Gates
In 31 BBY, Zalem hatched a plot to reopen the ancient Infinity Gate which lay under the Dathomiri surface. Her plan was complicated when Jedi Knight Quinlan Vos arrived on the planet, investigating the disappearance of the planet Ova. Shortly after Zalem finally gained access to the Gate, she sent a shockwave to destroy the planet Coruscant. However, before the shockwave could hit, Vos and her daughter Ros Lai arrived. Zalem died at the hands of her ambitious daughter, and Vos was able to turn the shockwave in on itself, destroying the Gate forever.
After Zalem's death, her murderer was expected to take her role as Clan Mother, but Ros Lai never got the opportunity, as she was foiled and taken away on Coruscant by Quinlan Vos. The Queen of Dathomir's plans for galactic domination had failed, and the Sisters once again split into several competing covens. Eventually, the shaman Talzin was appointed to the leader of the Nightsisters. She succeeded in reuniting the battling Nightsisters clans and stopped the infighting. Under her guidance, the Sisters would have a chance to explore the galaxy as Force-sensitive assassins and mercenaries—which might be considered a fulfillment of Zalem's desire to free the Nightsisters from their prison planet.
Personality and Traits
Zalem rejected any form of ethics, considering morality acted as a brake on supreme power. The plight of the malelings and of the Kwi didn't seem to count at all, even if Zalem would sometimes promote certain servants into one of her "personal bodyguards". In her view, there was no justice, and the Jedi, these worshipers of the Light, were completely hopeless and misguided.
When the Queen discovered that Ros Lai had been hiding her true powers for all these years, she thought her daughter was 'deliciously cunning'. Indeed, the Queen didn't expect any less from the holder of her lineage, and she truly admired Ros Lai immersion in the dark side.
Powers and Abilities
Zalem was a mighty witch and far more powerful than Gethzerion. She was a sly slithery witch with an ability to emotionally hurt beings such as her daughter Ros Lai.