Althea had once been a carefree beauty, with many handsome lovers
and a gift for magic inherited from a Zizbit ancestor along with one of
their spellbooks. She graduated from the Borphee Magic School, where
she had flirted with all the boys. Her favorite had been a bold young
magician named Radnor, who was always teasing a homely but likeable
fellow named Frobwit. He wooed her, but she chose Radnor.
life swept her along on its strange, twisting path. She married a sea
captain and settled down. But her marriage did not last long. Her
husband was reported missing after a treacherous gale. As a widow, she
no longer practiced magic. Her strength and beauty deteriorated along
with her spirit.
Living in her lonely house on a knoll
overlooking the harbor on the outskirts of Accardi-by-the-Sea, she
became an ailing old woman. A terribly ugly woman named Moog became her
nurse originally for the intention of earning money to pay for magic
school, but right from the start knew that Althea was hiding something,
as the old woman would not leave her alone for a second.
Althea grew so old that it was likely that she might soon pass away (c.
957-966 GUE), Moog used tricks learned in one of her magic courses to
plot a dastardly crime. She stole Althea’s spellbook right from under
her nose, hoping to use it to break the magic circle around the ruins
of Pheebor to obtain the Zizbit treasure. Althea had awoken that night
to find the intruder in her room, but her already perilous health
prevented her from taking action. After the theft, her nurse Moog was
not to be found.
In the meantime, Acia, who was the favorite
granddaughter of Althea from the Northlands, had heard that she was
soon to pass away. The granddaughter was sent to Accardi-by-the-Sea to
make sure that Althea left her inheritance to Acia’s branch of the
family. Acia found passage to the village on a caravan driven by
Gurthark the Stout, and was accompanied by both Ryker and Frobwit the
After Acia underwent many calamities, including the
entrapment of Radnor into a crystal ball, Ryker dropped left the young
woman off at Althea’s home. In her aged state, Althea was unable to
recognize Acia, and even when she strained to hear her granddaughter,
could not properly discern her words. While Althea wearily faded into
slumber, Acia rummaged the home, but was unable to turn up either her
will or fortune.
Just as Althea was finally able to recognize
that Acia was her granddaughter, one of the seven bursts of evil
emanated from the crystal ball which Acia still carried with her. An
electric sensation coursed through Althea’s body. Without warning, she
miraculously regained all the loveliness and vigor of her youth, while
her granddaughter Acia became as weak, withered, stooped and wrinkled
as a woman many times her age! Acia did not only lost her beauty and
strength, but also her spirit. She was fading fast. Acia seemed to feel
as weak as she looked.
Althea persuaded Acia to lie down while
she sought after her Zizbit spellbook, but found that it had been
stolen from its hiding place in the corner of her room. An alternative
solution presented itself—she left at once to find help at the annual
Convention of Enchanters and Sorcerers. While walking the streets of
Accardi-by-the-Sea, Althea unknowingly ran into Ryker, who had been
transformed into an immense half-naked creature. He had slammed right
into her, knocking her to the ground. She wanted to help him, but the
determined villagers, who sought to destroy the beast, drove him away.
had been a long time since she had attended the Convention of
Enchanters and Sorcerers. Her youthful joy in her magic skills flooded
back. She was determined to never again lose touch with her Zizbit
ancestry. She recognized Frobwit, a fellow student at magic school so
many years ago. He was recognizable even with his long white beard.
Frobwit recognized Althea, and she explained the mysterious
circumstances around her newly acquired youth and the aging of her
granddaughter. Frobwit offered his assistance.
Before any effort
could be made to break Acia’s enchantment, the Triax was completed and
a black pall settled over the Guild Hall. A thin wind whistled in
through unseen cracks in the old walls as an ominous thunderclap
proclaimed the onset of a new reign of darkness. Little details survive
of this dark period of history, and thus the fate of Althea and Frobwit is unknown.
ALTHEA'S HOUSE NEAR ACCARDI-BY-THE-SEA