Alberich is the Weaponsmaster of the Collegia in Valdemar and the Chosen of Kantor. He began life as the bastard son[1] of a poor woman in Karse. His mother attracted the protection of a kind Sunpriest who took on Alberich's early education. Eventually Alberich was admitted to the Academy of Karse where he was trained to be a soldier and officer, a task at which he was well suited. Alberich became a well respected and resented calvary captain, due to the fact that two older soldiers were passed over for the promotion. However, he developed the Gift of ForeSight, and was eventually sent to the Fires as a "witch". He was saved by his companion Kantor and taken to Valdemar, where he became a Herald who played important roles in many parts of the series.

The song "The Face Within" is about Alberich.

Exile[edit | edit source]

Alberich was born to a poor woman[2] in a small town in Karse. Eventually, he entered into the Sunsguard Cadet Academy and ascended to the rank of calvary captain. He also gained the favor of the Sunpriests and was given an all white horse to replace one he'd lost. At the same time the gift of Foresight which he had been hiding for years became suddenly stronger and harder to hide. The use of this Gift in the presence of another officer caused him to be sent to the Fires as a "witch". He was saved by Kantor, a Companion disguised as an all-white horse (the very one who had been gifted to Alberich), who promptly Chose him. Kantor hurried Alberich across the border. Initially, Alberich was not well received by the people of Valdemar, even by some of the Heralds and Companions. A few young Companions went so far as to attack him in the Companion's Field at night. Alberich was assigned to the position of Weaponsmaster's Second under Herald Dethor. Alberich also took on the covert duty of gathering information within the city, a job which often required him to wear disguises and use several different aliases. He was assigned to be the Heir Selenay's bodyguard, and the Council prevented him from leaving the city, although very few Heralds were aware of this.

Tedrel Wars[edit | edit source]

Due to the fact that Alberich was prevented from leaving Haven and no one knew of his covert work inside the city, many Heralds came to resent him for his apparent inaction. During this time, he taught the future Herald-Chronicler Myste, who would later prove to be a valuable ally despite her poor eyesight and clumsy fighting. Alberich was later assigned to train specialized bodyguards for Selenay (called the Selenay Six) and King Sendar (the King's Six). Also, he helped a group of Heralds successfully infiltrate Karse by working with them and a MindHealer to give them alternate versions of his memories. It was during the Tedrel Wars that Alberich initially became suspicious of Lord Orthallen though he remarked to his Companion that he didn't particularly like Orthallen before that time.

During the last battle of the Tedrel Wars, Alberich experienced a vision of the Tedrel calvary (which was conspicuously absent) ravaging the Valdemaran countryside. His timely warning allowed King Sendar to order their reserves to protect the villagers. After the battle, Alberich headed the rescue mission across the Karsite border to rescue the children held captive by the Tedrels. This was the first time he would hear the name "Kantis", a boy who had prophesied the rescue of the children by "White Riders" and "Ghost Horses".

After the last battle, Alberich became Acting Queen's Own while Talamir recovered from the death of his Companion. After Talamir was reinstated, Alberich was given the title of Queen's Champion and stood at Selenay's side during the Queen's coronation. He also succeeded Dethor as Weaponsmaster, the elder Herald taking the opportunity to retire.

At the end of Exile's Honor Alberich met Kantis at last, a meeting in which the young boy would tell him to wait for what his daughter would do in Karse.

Weaponsmaster[edit | edit source]

Alberich was known throughout the Collegium as being a cruel taskmaster as the new Weaponsmaster in Haven after Dethor retired. He was renowned for giving "reminders" of lessons via bruises to every trainee, to drive the lessons home. It was remarked upon by the Heralds that Alberich truly was the only teacher throughout the Collegium who had an impact on whether or not any given Herald died in action, and so needed to rule with an iron fist. During his time as Weaponsmaster, Alberich was critical to several plots affecting the Heralds; such as saving the Queen from assassination and instructing Karal. According to Talia, he was the one to deal the final blow to the Royal Brat. He later retired as Weaponsmaster and named Jeri as his successor, though he still tutored advanced students.

Arrows of the Queen[edit | edit source]

(text from The Arrows of The Queen Concordance): Herald Alberich is Weaponsmaster of the Collegium; he was once an idealistic cadet officer in Karse. In fact, he became a Captain of their army, the youngest ever to hold that rank. His erratic Heraldic Gift is ForeSight; an unintended display of that talent one too many times resulted in the Karsites hunting him as a witch. [cite: "Stolen Silver" from HorseFantastic] He was saved when his Companion, Kantor, Chose him and bore him to safety in Valdemar. A tall, lean, dark man, his face is seamed with scars and he looks as though he never smiles. Streaks of white run through his abundant black hair, and his penetrating eyes are agate gray in color. He is the least Heraldic-appearing of all the Heraldic Circle, because he prefers to wear well-worn military garb rather than Heraldic Whites. A stern taskmaster, he is nevertheless sympathetic to his trainees and never pushes them to the breaking point. As he tells his students, it is better if they learn to stretch their limits at the Collegium instead of paying the price of hesitation while confronting an enemy.

Companion[edit | edit source]

Alberich was Chosen by the stallion Kantor.

Gifts[edit | edit source]

Alberich's strongest Gift is ForeSight, though his is short-range, limited only to situations in which he may have an effect on the outcome. He also has some small Gift of Mindspeech.

Internship[edit | edit source]

Alberich didn't serve a formal internship, as the Council was afraid to let him leave Haven. He worked as Weaponsmaster's Second, and acted as Selenay's bodyguard during her internship in the Haven law courts.

In the series[edit | edit source]

Alberich appears in the following works:

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. The World of Mercedes Lackey website, "Ask Misty Archive - Valdemar." In answer to a question received in 2002, Lackey stated that unlike other Karsites, Alberich has no last name because his father never acknowledged him.
  2. The World of Mercedes Lackey website, "Ask Misty Archive - Valdemar." In answer to a question received in 2003, Lackey states that Alberich's mother was given a new identity by his teachers, effectively hiding her from the Sunpriests, and ensuring that she suffered no retaliation for Alberich's escape into Valdemar.
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