In Melekess, Zainab became a favorite of King Luther Arimanes, who was fascinated by the occult. A few years later, her favor with Luther was surpassed by Ardath Dastagir, an amateur magician and fortune teller. Ardath promised Luther he would perform a ritual which would give them all powers undreamed of; when Zainab caught wind of this, she scolded Ardath for trying to do all the work by himself and insisted upon assisting him with the ritual.
The ritual was a success, summoning the spirits of the Arcana. The Hanged Man granted Zainab the power to cheat death, as she wished. But after the smoke cleared and the ritual ended, King Luther was missing. Zainab was accused of murdering him after one of the courtiers claimed to have heard Luther cry out her name before he vanished. Zainab's motive was presumed to be jealousy and resentment, and the sorceress was arrested and found guilty. She escaped custody and fled the city before she could be tried and executed.
Return to Melekess
In 170, Zainab returned to the city of Melekess, having heard a rumor that Luther's ghost was haunting the palace demanding justice for his murder. As she quickly discovered, Queen Philomena suffered from recurring nightmares of the king's phantom, which had made the queen highly paranoid and irrational. The servants had noticed some strange and inexplicable occurrences, but none had actually seen a ghost.
After learning that Marena, a young woman with a connection to Ardath, had been imprisoned by Philomena due to Luther having mentioned her by name, Zainab contacted Ardath and told him what was going on. She even helped Marena escape with Ardath, if only to get them out of the way as she continued to investigate.
During a ritual intended to coax the king's ghost out of hiding, Luther's spirit appeared and accused Ardath of killing him. Ardath was promptly arrested and thrown in prison. There, Adrian appeared and questioned him about what had really happened that night. Ardath claimed he couldn't remember what had happened, but apologized for not standing up for him when he was initially accused. Zainab later attended the trial. Observing that the jury was undecided, she revealed herself and confessed to the crime. She was arrested and slated to die the next morning.
In the meantime, Marena discovered the truth about the murder. She and Ardath raced to prevent the execution from occurring, but seemingly failed. Unbeknownst to them, Zainab had faked her death. Using a disguise, she continued her spy work, knowing the ghost of Luther would not rest.
At the masquerade ball held at the palace in celebration of Adrian's execution, Zainab lost her powers after Watchman Dimiter Yen exorcised the palace and reversed the ritual which had killed Luther. Enraged, Zainab killed Dimiter. As Marcus Roland began chasing her, Zainab was forced to hide.
Marcus became distracted by other matters, namely the disappearance of Marena. Zainab was able to sneak out, where she witnessed the resurrected Luther enacting changes and punishing those who had betrayed him. He invited Zainab to join him, even though she had lost all her powers.