|Lady Aribeth de Tylmarande|
Aribeth, in life
|Title(s)|| Knight of the Merciful Sword
|Race||Half-Elf Petitioner Spirit|
|Relatives||Solidus Snake (mentor), Erika, Paula Polestar (fellow students)|
"Duty is everything: the greatest of joys, the deepest of sorrows."
Lady Aribeth de Tylmarande is a character from the Dungeons & Dragons-based RPG Neverwinter Nights. She was introduced as an ally NPC and eventual antagonist in the original game, then returned as a recruitable party member in the expansion Hordes of the Underdark.
Aribeth's player is a long-standing but often-absent member of the CRRP community, and former staff member. She joined as Aribeth on July 27, 2007, but has only just returned in July of 2011 from a hiatus since 2009.
Aribeth was born in the village of Thundertree on the world of Faerun, the Forgotten Realms. In her youth, an attack by orcs claimed the lives of nearly everyone in the village; as sole survivor, Aribeth began hunting the orcs for revenge, but after slaying the entirety of the attacking tribe still felt her bloodlust unsatisfied and continued hunting orcs elsewhere. She continued this until one day she was trapped in a sudden blizzard; her life was saved by a one-armed figure that Aribeth believed to be an avatar of Tyr, the blind god of justice. The figure took her to a monastery, where she was nursed back to health; following her recovery, she began training to become a paladin. After joining the ranks of the Knights of the Merciful Sword, Aribeth traveled to the city of Neverwinter, where her fame and skill eventually allowed her to become the personal bodyguard of Lord Nasher Alagondar, ruler of Neverwinter, with the dual honor of being both the first woman and first non-human to hold the position. She also met Fenthick Moss, a priest of Tyr, and became romantically involved with him.
During her time in Neverwinter, Aribeth became involved with a school for adventurers and heroes, serving as headmistress there. During her tenure, a mysterious plague known as the Wailing Death began assaulting Neverwinter, and Aribeth had her trained students participate in the investigations. It was eventually discovered that the plague was being caused by Desther, a cleric of Helm, and Maugrim, a powerful priest serving ancient thought-dead powers; as the heroes strove to undermine their efforts, however, Fenthick - who had been a close friend of Desther - was considered guilty by association and eventually hung when he and Desther were captured. Desther himself was burned at the stake.
Following his death, Aribeth came to doubt her beliefs and oaths, and eventually turned her back on Tyr and her paladinhood completely. She feigned alliance for some time, but eventually defected to fighting alongside their enemies, Maugrim and Morag, the powerful lizardfolk witch and creator of the Wailing Death, and became a dark paladin or Blackguard in their service. She was eventually defeated by the heroes, taken prisoner, and executed by Lord Nasher for her crimes.
In death, Aribeth's soul did not rest easy. For her crimes, the Blackguard was banished to Cania, the eighth layer of Hell, realm of the archdevil Mephistopheles. She attempted to lead the souls there in a rebellion, but Mephistopheles and his devils were simply too powerful; Aribeth was imprisoned in Cania's ice, eventually to be consumed by the plane itself. She was rescued, however, when an infernal record-keeper known as the Scrivener drew the attention of another hero, banished to Hell by Mephistopheles in a bid to claim Faerun as his new domain, to her icy tomb. The hero not only freed her, but convinced her to turn her back on her dark path and seek redemption and the regaining of Tyr's favor. Even in the depths of hell, Tyr showed his former knight mercy, and Aribeth eventually regained her paladin powers and fought at this new hero's side. Together with the kobold bard Deekin, the drow assassin Nathyrra, and the thiefling warrior Valen, they escaped Cania and made their way back to Waterdeep, then defeated Mephistopheles and banished him back to Baator for good... or so they thought.
Once their victory was complete, Aribeth's spirit self chose to wander the planes, seeking solace and absolution from her crimes. Somewhere in her travels, she passed out of the Planescape known to Faerun and entered the Multiverse.
Aribeth arrived in the Multiverse several years prior. Though few records still exist of those early days, she was known to be closely associated with the warrior-spirit Kenshi, the Jedi Solidus Snake, and Quistis Trepe. She, Quistis, and Seta Soujiro eventually founded Multiverse Garden, and Aribeth was a member of the faculty and teacher there for some time. She battled against the powerful Zerg Overmind, and perplexed by the strange nature of the alien species resolved to learn as much about them as she could; much of her research on the Zerg race is still stored in the Garden's archives.
During the Faction Wars, the Garden came under attack by Luxord, Zexion, and Kefka; in the ensuing battle, Aribeth's soul was dispersed due to excessive injuries, rendering her essentially slain. She reconstituted herself in the Underworld, however, and eventually returned to "life" and back to the Multiverse proper. Likewise, during this time she discovered her most recent enemy, the archdevil Mephistopheles, had made his way into the Multiverse as well. The battle between them was close, but Mephistopheles prevailed, forcing Aribeth to retreat. Shortly after this was her first "wandering", and the paladin was not seen for some time.
She eventually returned, and among the first acts she took was being invited by Solidus to serve as his Jedi padawan. Solidus trained Aribeth to expand the powers she was granted as a paladin to tap into the Force, widening her senses beyond the basic divine powers used mainly for combating evil and reaching out to experience the full circumference of the universe and the energy of the Force that suffused all things - living, dead, undead, and inanimate. In her travels since Aribeth has focused on expanding her knowledge of the Force, improving her skills, and blending the art of the Jedi with the oaths and devotions of her paladinhood.
Since her latest departure and return, Aribeth has been re-inducted into the faculty of Multiverse Garden, taking the place of the departed Solidus as Force instructor as well as offering courses on combat tactics and defense. She continues to pursue her studies as a Jedi, as well as investigating knightly orders and paladin organizations from worlds beyond Faerun.
Most of the time, Aribeth is friendly and personable. She is quick to laugh, and has a calm demeanor and gentle sense of humor. She loves to teach, which makes her past duties as headmistress of the Academy of Neverwinter and her status as a founding member of Multiverse Garden seem obvious. She is greatly devoted to the idea of justice, both the protection of the innocent and the punishment of the guilty, as idealized by Tyr, her patron god. She has an almost blinding sense of focus, and will concentrate so dedicated on a single task that she doesn't realize how much she might be missing outside of her object of attention. Her elven heritage combined with her pseudo-undead state make recognizing the passage of time difficult for her, as she either does not age at all or does so extremely slowly, which may explain her long periods of sudden absence.
Aribeth is a woman of odd duality. She is a paladin, a divine knight in service to a deific power, but also a Jedi padawan, studying the art of the energy that exists within all things. She is partially elven, a race known for their love of nature and life and disdain for the undead, yet is also many years dead and exists as some sort of corporeal ghost. She was once a Blackguard, a champion of evil, but is now and once again a holy warrior.
Aribeth still seeks redemption for the crimes she committed on Faerun, and often can be seen in deep contemplation or nostalgic melancholy when alone. On some level, she never quite has forgiven herself for those actions in Morag's service, or for her false romance with Fenthick. She speaks little of these things to anyone else, though.
Powers and CapabilitiesEdit
As a paladin, Aribeth has divine protection against disease and innate capabilities in fighting creatures of Evil alignment. She can deliver attacks that more heavily affect those of corrupt heart, dismiss or destroy undead with a word, and sense the presence of evil auras in the area. She is a skilled swordfighter and knight, specializing in fighting with a sword and shield or with a blade in each hand.
Aribeth's Jedi training has expanded her ability to Detect Evil into a stronger sense with which she can detect other auras as well as inanimate objects and auraless creatures, and now possesses a basic form of telekinesis through Force Manipulation. She is currently in the process of constructing her first lightsaber and training in its use in place of the longsword that she has been previously trained with.
• Aribeth in NWN:HOTU begins as a multiclass Paladin/Blackguard. Due to the game abilities not cancelling themselves after her alignment shift(s), she gains the bonuses from both classes in-game, giving her double the bonus to her saves that a normal Paladin or Blackguard would have. These bonuses are not expressed in her CRRP stats.
• Aribeth's current appearance, due to her petitioner status, is not properly reflected in most avatars. Her skin is excessively pale, and she is surrounded in a thin layer of fog at all times; her voice echoes slightly, and her feet hover a few inches above the ground at all times.
• Aribeth was one of the original founding members of the Multiverse Garden, and is currently the only one of the three who is still present.
• Aribeth was age 100 at death, relatively equal to 25-30 in human years.
• Aribeth is the only playable or recruitable Neverwinter Nights character on the forum, and the second NWN character period after Mephistopheles.