Roy Thomas, who had worked on Conan for Marvel, created a wandering barbarian hero for D.C. Instead of creating a dark ages or bronze age Caucasian type barbarian, he chose instead to make a wandering Native American hero. Valda was female warrior woman from Europe who became a main character in the stories of Arak. Her first appearance was in Arak, Son of Thunder #3; the sword of the Iron Maiden (August 1981).
Nicknamed the Iron Maiden of Europe, Valda was the daughter of Bradmante, the legendary female knight. When her mother failed to return from an ambush at the pass of Roncesvalles in the Pyranees mountains in 778, where part of King Charlamagne's army was destroyed by the Basques, Valda was raised by the Charlamagne and his court sorcerer, Malagigi.
The young woman used a spell she learned from Malagigi to summon the spirit of Amadis of Gaul, a valiant warrior, and the ghost tutored her as a warrior into Valda's adulthood. Charlamagne was so impressed with Valda's talents and bravery that he eventually made her a knight. Soon after, Valda came under the control of the sorceror Baledor and was freed by Arak, son of Thunder. Arak and Valda became lovers, adventuring throughout Europe until the end of their lives, which remain unchronicled.
Valda has been seen frequenting the Oblivion Bar where Shadowpact is based.