Trion profiles RIFT's Alsbeth the Discordant

Jef Reahard
J. Reahard|03.17.11

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Trion profiles RIFT's Alsbeth the Discordant
It's always a pleasure to learn more of the lore behind Trion Worlds' newly launched RIFT. The fantasy MMO is often lauded for mechanical polish, but its backstory is also well thought out (and generally presented via prose that's a cut above MMO PR norms). Today's reveal is no exception, and Trion has given us the skinny on a notable Telarian villainess known as Alsbeth the Discordant.

It seems the former Alsbeth Rothmann has been a bit naughty -- so naughty, in fact, that she's risen to the rank of Regulos' right hand (no word on whether it's red or not, Nick Cave fans). Trion describes Alsbeth as "traitorous, malevolent, calculating, and brilliant," and if that's not enough to wet your whistle, how about the fact that she single-handedly doomed the city of Port Scion and "continues to rain terror down upon Telara, spreading pestilence across Freemarch, defiling the Iron Tomb, and heralding invasions from the Death Plane."

Clearly she's the kind of girl you take home to meet the family, and we know you can't wait to read more about her after the cut. Don't forget the gallery below that features concept art and screen caps.
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 PhynniousRothmann, 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.

Alsbeth arisen

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 Discordant

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.
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