A Dragonlord of the e'Lanya line and Dragon Heir to the Empire. Her full set of titles includes Duchess of Ninerocks and Countess of Haewind. The majority of her history is largely obscure but involves a membership in House Jhereg after the rejection of her true ancestry during which she was part of a highly reputable team of assassins and called herself the Sword of the Jhereg, which she later abandoned for the title of Dragon Heir but only out of a sense of duty.
Spoiler warning: the major events of Yendi are detailed in this section
Norathar e'Lanya was orphaned at a four when her parents, K'laiyer and Miera, died at a time of battle with Sethra Lavode. The reason behind the battle was an accusation made by Sethra questioning Norathar's eligibility as Dragon Heir after she was told Norathar was a bastard and that her father was not a Dragon and thought it her duty to investigate, choosing to confront K'laiyer about the situation. K'laiyer was offended and refused to permit a genetic scan, declaring war against Dzur Mountain. Being a skilled tactician, he lost with some difficulty. K'laiyer and Miera were reported to have massive head injuries but the circumstances of their death at the time were unknown. Norathar was scanned falsely and was confirmed by the Dragon Council to be an illegitimate child.
There was an underlying force at play during this entire affair composed of a Dragon, Sethra the Younger, who performed the false scan, and a Yendi, the Sorceress in Green, who conspired with her to prevent Lord K'laiyer from becoming Heir after their discovery that K'laiyer did not plan to make offensive moves against the East once he assumes the Throne. The whole conspiracy was designed to ensure an invasion of the East and presumably began once the Dragon Council chose K'laiyer as their Heir, after which they arranged for Sethra Lavode to hear the a rumor about Norathar's ancestry. In the events that followed Norathar was ejected from the House of the Dragon and joined the Jhereg.
At some point she partnered with an Easterner named Cawti and the two of them became famed and very skilled assassins who called themselves the highly pretentious title of the "Sword and Dagger of the Jhereg". Their career ended after they were order by a Jhereg named Laris to assassinate his enemy in the Jhereg, an Easterner named Vladimir Taltos. Laris was one of the members of the conspiracy and the assassination was intended by the conspirators to be disrupted by using one of Laris's imposters working within Vladimir's organization to alert Vladimir's assistant of the assassination (by claiming to have overheard a conversation about it) who then contacted Vladimir's Dragonlord friend Morrolan of the attempt on Vladimir's life who would then appear and eliminate the assassins; apparently, the conspirators had learnt of Norathar's existence in the Jhereg and wished to be rid of her. The plan did not work out exactly, and though Morrolan contacted his cousin Aliera and the two teleported in after Kragar contacted they did not kill Norathar and Cawti permanently (also they were not able to prevent Vladimir dying temporarily).
Norathar, Cawti and Vladimir were brought to Dzur Mountain and, Aliera, who was then Dragon Heir, was surprised to find a Dragon to be one of the assassins and decided to revivify her and interrogate her, without success on the latter. Norathar would not speak until Aliera revivified Cawti, which she did. Aliera performed a genetic scan on Norathar and found her to be a Dragon of the e'Lanya line and true Heir to the Throne. Eventually, Vladimir, Cawti, Norathar, Sethra Lavode, Morrolan and Aliera gathered together at a dinner in the depths of Dzur Mountain and were informed of the results of the scan. They began an investigations into the reasons behind the false scan. Sethra the Younger, who performed the scan, was not thought of as one of the conspirators immediately because complicated illusion spells performed on the subject may present false genetic information if the scanner is not skilled enough (Aliera thought Sethra the Younger would be easily fooled).
Morrolan and Aliera present the results of the scan before the Dragon Council who are also informed of her history in the Jhereg. Norathar then performs a stint in the Phoenix Guard later on, and eventually officially recognize her as Dragon Heir.
Later, Norathar learns that Laris, Barrit, Sethra the Younger and the Sorceress in Green were all involved in the plot with the help of her new associates, especially Vladimir. The whole group decides to attack the Sorceress in Green in her domain, except Sethra Lavode who deals with Sethra the Younger. Norathar ends up cutting off the Sorceress's hand then impaling her with her greatsword after Morrolan takes off her defensive spells.
Norathar recently became involved in the power struggle in South Adrilankha, where she attempted to use her influence to aid Cawti, her former partner, in driving the Jhereg Organization out of the area.
As of the later writings of Paarfi of Roundwood, Norathar is the Empress of Dragaera, having ascended after Zerika the Fourth's (presumed) abdication. From the introductions to Paarfi's writings, we know that Norathar has reigned for at least 179 years.
One of her acts as Empress was to enact an edict on crossbreeds, five years into her reign.