No one knows just who or what Despana was, but she was thought to have originated in the jungles beyond the Southron Wastes, where the Dhe'nar had resided for millennia. In spite of the sanction of Koar regarding information concerning undeath, Despana was able to raise the largest undead horde in history, nearly destroying the Elven Empire during the Undead War.
She discovered the Book of Tormtor in the land of Rhoska-Tor, often assumed to be an Ur-Daemon relic, which was said to have been written in their language. However, the Dhe'nar believe otherwise, claiming the book was something they left behind. They were thought to have studied necromancy while living in the Wastes. "rha’sha’tor" is Dhe'nar-si for "giver and taker of life."
House Faendryl ended Despana in the Battle of Maelshyve, when her horde was driven back by lesser demons and the fortress was imploded. The Book of Tormtor was never seen again, but whether or not it was destroyed is unknown. Though the Grot'karesh Hammer Clan believe she will return, bringing about a second Age of Chaos, Despana was never heard from again and so presumed to be dead.
Behind the Scenes
Despana is the name of a Dark Elven noble house in the Forgotten Realms setting of Dungeons & Dragons. Its earliest attestation seems to be page 98 of "The Drow of the Underdark" (1991). In the later versions of these books the house was noted for its demonic summoning, but this detail may not have been established in any book prior to the use of the term Despana in GemStone III. There is another Drow noble house named Tormtor from the same page, and "darthiir" appears in a language glossary on page 99. These should be regarded as nothing more than highly obscure easter eggs.
There was a demonic demi-goddess necromancer in DragonRealms calling herself Maelshyve, who returned from a long banishment outside of this plane of existence. Maelshyve was their most powerful known necromancer, but was killed with a powerful device called the Philosopher's Knot in the in-game year 430 AV. This was in the real life year of 2019 after a quest to destroy her.
Wehnimer's Landing Museum (Circa 5101 Modern Era). These were moved at some point in the 5100s (but not the human NPC) to the Stormbrow Gallery on Teras. They are in real room ID 3013018.
>look bust She appears to be human, with delicate, classical features. Her full lips part slightly, revealing what look to be fangs. Her eyes are closed. A small inscription is carved on the pedestal. >read insc It reads: Despana, world-killer, mother to the banshee, mistress of Maelshyve in Rhoska-Tor. >look human He is slight of build with fine, almost elven features. His pale skin contrasts with his black leather robes. He stares intently at the bust, ignoring the world around him. >look tapestry The tapestry is made of the finest spidersilk and rustles gently in a stray breeze. Four scenes from some great battle are depicted in the delicate old fabric. >look scene Six armies meet before a ruined keep, joining into one. A mass of elven cavalry leads the way, followed by a phalanx of dwarves on foot, bristling with axe heads and spiked shields. A mob of giantmen fall in on one flank near a rag-tag band of humans bearing pikes. Smaller groups of bow-wielding sylphs and halfling slingers fall in step behind. >look other scene You can almost hear the thunderous clash of steel as the elves, dwarves and others charge the undead horde. The battle takes place on a barren plain before a black keep. A woman glares down from the battlements, her arms raised high. >look third scene The undead are winning the battle. Banshee wing from the black keep, driving the forces of light before them. The elven cavalry is broken, the dwarven phalanx shattered. One group of elves clad in red and grey robes stands firm amidst the carnage. They are joined in a circle with their heads bowed. >look fourth scene Where the black keep once stood, nothing remains but a great, smoking pit. Great piles of undead lie motionless around it. The few elves, dwarves and others who survive stand exhausted, blank stares on their faces. A small group of elves clad in red and grey stands alone.