Balthan's younger sister. With her brother, she became Lord Ironhawk's ward after the disappearance of their ne'er-do-well father, Simon. The quiet, constrained, yet comfortable life behind the walls of Ironhawk's estate suits her temperament--or it did until she examined her brother's talisman and realized something terrible has happened to him. When Jordan would not agree to rescue Balthan her way, she sought the help of another. She meant to leave Jordan behind, but he'd had exactly the same notion and they wound up traveling across Britannia together.
- from Dramatis Personae (Ultima Saga: The Temper of Wisdom)
Althea and her elder brother Balthan were children of a Virtue Peer known as Simon the Wanderer. When he became disillusioned of the Virtues, Simon became a drunkard and eventually signed on as a common seaman on an merchant-explorer sailing east, which never returned. Lord Erwald Ironhawk took the children in as wards, raising them alongside his own children and those of the villa.
Despite his rivalry with her brother, Jordan Hawson is attracted to his father's beautiful ward, and becomes tongue-tied around her. As they travel together, she finds herself drawn to him as well.
Althea showed a talent for magic, and some believe it may even surpass her brothers, but she is content with her incomplete abilities in Linear magic.
The Forge of Virtue
When Althea hears the news of the Great Council, she is concerned for her brother as he is amanuensis for Felespar. She shows Jordan the magic talisman that Balthan had given her, which convinces him that the mage needs rescuing. She believes he will tell his father about the talisman, however, so enlists the help of Drumon, a local farrier, and they sneak out. Jordan, who had the same idea, meets them on the road, and they travel together.
After the events of the book, Althea feels close to Jordan. She tries to take care of him while he is blind, which only enrages the noble's son.
The Temper of Wisdom
- Balthan and Jordan sometimes call her Thea.
- Althea has a problem with healing injuries. Whenever she uses the soothing hands spell, it either fails or she makes the injury worse.