Margali Szardos is Earth's self-proclaimed "Sorceress Supreme," a master of the Winding Way (or Winding Path) of mystical power. Margali's female ancestors have followed the Winding Way for many generations, as does Margali's daughter Jimaine; Margali claims the role of her family's women is to safeguard the Path. She joined a succession of wandering circuses, bearing two young children and adopting an abandoned infant, Nightcrawler, after his mother Mystique was ran out of a village by an angry mob. Her other children Jimaine and Stefan were sired by the fallen angel, Azazel after their having an affair. As a cover, she worked as a fortune teller with a traveling circus in Germany. The three children grew into master acrobats and swordsmen, but when Kurt and Jimaine Szardos decided to leave, Margali disguised herself as the demon Belasco to kill Jimaine's tutor, the acrobat Sabu. Seeking vengeance, Jimaine remained with her mother to learn the Winding Path. Kurt left, but when the demon Halphas (Hive) possessed Stefan Szardos and began murdering innocents, Kurt opposed and accidentally killed Stefan. Margali later re-constructed Dante Alighieri's Hell in another dimension to confine Kurt; Jimaine masqueraded as Margali, allowing the X-Men and Doctor Strange to locate them, and Kurt and Margali reconciled.
Margali aided Dr. Strange against the demon Thog in the dimension of Sominus, but Strange distrusted Szardos. When Jimaine applied to be Strange's disciple, Margali and Strange locked horns, and after testing Strange's strength, Margali le Strange to believe her powers rested in her wand of power, and that its destruction left her powerless. During a low point on the path, Margali was briefly captured by the demon D'spayre and rescued by Kurt and Jimaine; shortly thereafter, the sorcerer Gravemoss, who was just ahead of Margali on the Winding Way, attempted to gain the mystic Soulsword. Margali had Jimaine oppose Gravemoss and acquired the sword, and Margali then used the sword to destroy those preceding her on the Way, binding their spirits to her caravan home. This induced cravings for greater power, and when she discovered a demon bound below London, she joined that city's Hellfire Club as the Red Queen. Using their resources, she freed the demon, which trapped her. Jimaine defeated it, but Belasco snatched Margali away before she could recover. Imprisoned, Margali switched minds with her daughter, but soon returned to free Jimaine, who became lord of Belasco's Limbo (A.K.A Otherplace). The extradimensional Ruined captured Margali in Paris as a sacrifice; the Fantastic Four rescued her but the French authorities bound her in la Citadel, a sorcerers prison. Seeking her help for their associate Alyssa Moy against the New York Hellfire Club, the Fantastic Four freed her months later. Margali aided the Fantastic Four, Daimon Hellstrom, and the Mechamage in binding that Club's Black Queen, Selene, and her summoned ally Blackheart below Manhattan. Margali, Mechamage, and Moy joined forces thereafter as the Shadow Hunters.
Margali aided Jimaine when Limbo was attacked by the Halphas-possessed Nightmare, nothing dramatic shifts in the celestial and infernal firmaments. Margali helped Nightcrawler (now bearing the Soulsword) defeat Halphas, but the demon proclaimed that the unholy wars which would precede the end times were very close, and Margali and her brood were vital to the coming battles.