Mistakenly thought to be a Drow, Tristessa was a powerful shadow elf priestess of Lolth in the now abandoned underground kingdom of Arak. Tristessa was banished to the surface with her newborn baby for unknown crimes against her people. Exposure to the sun killed them both, but Tristessa's spirit was absorbed into the Mists, and the dark powers granted her the small land of Keening.

Tristessa constantly searches for her lost child. She has gone mad with grief over the loss of her baby, often destroying those she encounters with her pitiful wail.