Posted Fri, Mar 18, 2011 by Martuk
If you've played Rift to any degree, you’re undoubtedly familiar with one of its key villains, Alsbeth. But Alsbeth was once a revered hero that earned her renown despite a disgraced family background in Mathosia. Alsbeth's fall from grace was one of the most surprising and abrupt betrayals in the history of Telara. Learn more about Alsbeth the Discordant in this week's reveal.
A fallen lineage
Alsbeth Rothmann came to the Court of Mathos as a quiet young girl with sallow skin and dark hair who always stood behind the crowd, alone under the shadow of her family’s grave dishonor. Her ancient lineage had been in a slow and steady decline since Phynnious Rothmann, first of the Pyromancers, originally won glory. Her father had murdered her mother for adultery, and was himself executed in turn. Young Alsbeth found herself an orphan, and then a homeless one, as her uncle inherited the family estate and promptly kicked her out.
Out of pity, Queen Lenia Mathos offered Alsbeth shelter in the court of King Jostir. Lenia died shortly thereafter from an incurable disease, and though young Alsbeth remained in the palace, she had lost her only advocate, and Jostir was indifferent to her status. She did not play with the other children in the castle, but spent her time reading in the library, or walking alone through the hills around Caer Mathos.
It was not until she attended Quicksilver College that Alsbeth began to emerge from her shell. She distinguished herself and gained a voice as her accomplishments bolstered her in the eyes of the professors and other students. While she had few friends, she did attract many followers. Only Asha Catari was as well-known as Alsbeth (as much for rebellion as for brilliance), and once Asha was expelled, Alsbeth took sole reign over the school.
She returned to the Court of Mathos a powerful mage, her family’s ignoble past buried beneath the weight of her accomplishments. After King Jostir died, both princes tried to curry her favor in their building conflict. Many believed she would fight for Aedraxis if she took any interest at all in the squabble for succession, but Zareph must have offered her the better prize, for she ended up riding in his honor guard.
By all accounts, Alsbeth fought valiantly throughout the Mathosian Civil War, and her name — along with Cyril, Shyla, Borrin, and Carwin — worked its way into the songs and legends of Zareph’s colorful band of rebels. The Alsbeth of song was a mysterious and laconic figure, who weaved spells and plots to overcome Aedraxis.
Alsbeth perished when the rifts came, but none were surprised that one of Telara’s leading mages arose as a Guardian. Along with the other Ascended, Alsbeth helped Zareph lead the refugees to Port Scion. There, she spent years as a seemingly loyal and steadfast defender of the city.
The stories were wrong about Alsbeth Rothmann. She was not a withdrawn-but-virtuous follower of Zareph, but a foul and insidious servant of Regulos. It was Alsbeth who set into motion the fall of Port Scion, Alsbeth who is responsible for the disappearance and presumed death of Prince Zareph. After the city fell, the Guardians blamed the Defiant, for Alsbeth used an Eth machine to lower the city’s defenses. Meanwhile the Defiant blamed the Guardians, as Alsbeth was a Guardian herself. If not for her treachery, it is possible that the two Ascended factions could have found some common ground, and so she earned her dubious honorific, “the Discordant.”
And discord she has sown ever since that day, as the leader of the Endless Court and the most formidable Necromancer alive. Though Alsbeth makes no secret of her obsession with returning Aedraxis from his well-deserved oblivion, there is no room in her smoking crater of a heart for anyone but the Destroyer. Still, no evidence exists that Alsbeth worked for Regulos before the very day she doomed Port Scion. Her fall from grace is all the more horrible for being so sudden, all-consuming, and unforgivable.
Alsbeth’s hand can be seen in the defilement of Iron Tomb, the invasion of Freemarch, and anywhere the Endless rear their blaspheming heads. This traitor must be stopped, and it will fall to the Ascended — the true Ascended — to bring her down before she unleashes unspeakable wickedness upon Telara.