He opposed Keith's exile from the Basidian Isles, and later worked his way through the Basitin Military hierachy to attain the rank of Master General, partly motivated by a desire to facilitate Keith's return from exile. He had a prominent scar over his left eye (in which he may or may not be blind) which he was proud of; it was inflicted by Albion Alabaster after Alaric questioned Alabaster's hasty exile of Keith Keiser, specifically the circumstances regarding Cornelius Keiser's sobriety. He is a gregarious character and has an unusual sense of humour for a Basitin. Alaric was apparently well respected by the Basitin population.
He often flaunted his position as Master General, skirting around the extremely strict Basitin laws for his own amusement and flying in the face of conventional Basitin thinking. He was an extremely skilled combatant, and was as a result able to attain a rank of General at a very young age. He is passionate in his beliefs and ultimately worked for the interests of the Eastern Basitin state.
Nickolai Alaric is not mentioned in the webcomic before his initial appearance on Page 346.
Alaric's first appearance depicts him observing Eric's ship from the coastline, telescope in hand. On his judgement, he orders that the ship be granted permission to dock and that the king be notified of the arrival. Later, in Page 356, Alaric appears at the docks, accompanied by the Arms and Intelligence Generals. He shares a somewhat sinister-sounding exchange with Keith, before embracing him tightly as a welcome gesture. This friendly exchange is cut short by the Intelligence General, who passive-aggressive dismisses the action as indecent. After a brief discussion regarding the circumstances of Keith's unexpected return from banishment, he announces with a satisfied smile that they have no choice but to reinstate Keith's citizenship. Alaric then proceeds to lead Trace's group into the city and is last seen warning Eric to keep the Keidran 'decent' and under control.
Alaric is seen again on Page 383 as he greets Keith into his private bath. He is noticeably dismayed when Keith explains that he mainly visited to find out about the 'girl' Alaric had mentioned via his messenger, Lynn. His expression rubs on Keith, who agrees, albeit with a slight irritation, to sit down and talk about their lives. Alaric invites Keith to speak first, at which point the shift of the story changes and the majority of the conversation happens off-panel. It picks up again on Page 386, with Alaric exclaiming his envy of Keith's travels. Keith is quick to wave it off, and asks after the girl Alaric spoke of. Alaric acknowledges this, but asks if Keith wants to hear about his eye first. Keith's subsequent silence is all the answer Alaric needs. Defeated in his quest for meaningful conversation, Alaric speaks of a Fox Keidran girl who had come to the island in search of Keith, who identifies her as Laura: his ex-fiancée. Keith asks after her, to which Alaric promises to take him to her the next day, as well as show Keith something in the Front Castle. As they make ready to leave the baths, Alaric flirtatiously touches Keith's foot with his own, which evokes a negative, embarrassing response. Alaric simply laughs, dismissing Keith as 'uptight.' Keith denies this, and chastises Alaric for not obeying the decency laws.
Alaric is seen in Page 388 walking Keith back to his inn. Keith smiles at the thought of having an old friend, which Alaric picks up on. Alaric reminisces back to when they were kids, remarking fondly that Keith was 'a playful, happy, scrawny thing of a Basitin,' as well as lamenting that Keith was 'full of laughter,' which he misses. Accompanying the nostalgia is a flashback panel, depicting a young Keith playing on a log, with a young Alaric watching from the riverbank. Alaric states that he's glad to have Keith back, to which Keith agrees.
His next appearance is on Page 393, which opens with Keith and Natani being awakened by the early rising Alaric. Alaric opens the door an instant after Natani falls out of the bed in shock, failing to notice her as he greets Keith. Off-panel, he and Keith travel to the Front Castle. On Page 396, he orders Keith, rather sinisterly, to tell no one about what he was about to see. A shaky affirmation from Keith sees Alaric's mood become cheerful once more, almost as if his previous sinister demeanour hadn't occured. They approach the Eastern Courtyard, and Alaric proclaims to Keith "It's just behind these ridiculously large doors!" with an exaggerated arm gesture to make his point. This leads into Page 400, where Alaric reveals the Templar Mana Tower being constructed. Acknowledging Keith's resultant horror, Alaric makes a point to explain, although notes it will take time. He then goes on to ask Keith to complete a task involving his friends which he 'will probably not like,' but will secure his place in the Basitin society. Alaric and Keith are interrupted mid-conversation by the Master Architect, and following a protest from Keith, Alaric cuts him off, stating coldly that 'they knew what they were doing.' He goes onto explain that the Basitin are working with the Templar on a matter of 'mutual interest.' Alaric proceeds to generate a small fireball in the space of his palm by means of magic, an art the Basitin had not been able to harness previously.
Their conversation is dropped off-panel, and is picked up on Page 412, with Alaric admitting to Keith that bringing back Trace was in fact supposed to be an impossible task, but that the Templar were now demanding his return. Alaric then goes on to say that the Templar believed that Keith's friends 'knew too much.' He fails to look Keith in the eye as he says this. As an order from the Templar, and as a test of loyalty from the other Generals, Alaric coldly orders Keith to kill Natani. The next page however, sees Alaric smiling and chirpy as he leads Keith into his masonry workshop.
In Alaric's workshop, Keith is introduced to a half-completed naked statue of himself. Alaric explains that he had started it as a 'pet project' the year before, and that now that Keith had returned, he could finish the "details." Alaric is eager to note to Keith that due to the feet coverings that were sculpted, the statue is still 'decent.' Alaric has Keith strip naked and pose, which he still maintains is 'decent' for the purposes of art. When Laura bursts in to find Keith naked, Alaric cannot help but laugh, which leads Keith to think it was a set up on Alaric's part. Alaric maintains that it wasn't entirely a joke, and tells Keith to spend time with Laura, and finish the statue later.
Alaric later appears briefly in Page 462 and Page 467, questioning the integrity of the Grand Templar's containment of the unconscious Trace, and expressing his wish for the Templar to leave the island as soon is possible.
Alaric is not seen again in the Comic until Page 478 where he confronts Keith at the castle bridge with the intent to protect the Templar's Mana Tower. This is then relegated off-panel, until Page 485, where Keith is reasoning his intent to destroy the tower. Alaric reveals that he'd had his suspicions about the Templar's generosity, but still refuses to allow Keith past. When Keith tries to explain again, he is cut off angrily by Alaric, who declared he wasn't 'broken like Keith' and explains that he will follow through with his orders, even if he feels it to be wrong, as 'that it is what it means to be a Basitin.' Keith refuses to concede and draws his weapon, to which Alaric takes as an aggression, and goes to attack. During the fight, Alaric injures Keith multiple times, whilst taking little-to-no damage himself. The fight is sent on and off-panel several times during the webcomic. He offers Keith a final chance to yield, yet refuses to heed Keith's pleas to reason.
When Keith strikes the bridge through with his blade, Alaric attempts to jump the gap created by the falling stone. He initially clears the jump, but the ground collapses from beneath his feet and he falls, only to be grabbed by Keith. As he dangles over the stone ledge, he begins to question the laws he had been following religously, pleading for Keith to not let go. He begins to confess something to Keith, admitting he had things he hadn't had the nerve to tell Keith beforehand, and that everything he did, he did in Keith's interests. Keith's sleeve rips when Alaric tries to climb up and Alaric drops into the gorge below, yelling Keith's name as he falls.
Page 527 begins a flashback to when Keith was banished, several years previous to the events of the WebComic. A young Alaric is seen protesting to Albion Alabaster about Keith's banishment and the fact that Keith wasn't aware of his ability to appeal. Alaric tries to get to Keith, but is blocked by Albion. Alaric begins to question the circumstances regarding Keith's banishment, and eventually mentions the fact that Keith's father was probably drunk, enraging Albion and causing him to strike Alaric's eye, explaining the Basitin's signature scar.
The comic then transitions back to the present, where it is discovered that the fall did not kill Alaric outright. He delivers a monologue intended for Keith, mentioning his final revenge for those responsible for Keith's unfair banishment. As he finishes, turning up a slight smile, Nickolai Alaric dies at peace from his wounds, thus ending Chapter Eleven.
Alaric makes several posthumous appearances in Chapter Twelve; as one of Keith's guilty apparitions, During a flashback to the bridge fight and in a depiction of him drafting his legal exploits to bring Keith back sometime prior to the events of the comic.
As well as his appearances in the comic, Alaric's name becomes a focal point during Keith's trial as it is revealed that he had managed to manipulate the law into promoting Keith to the equivalent status of Master General. Although, fearing Keith's safety from potential challengers, advises that Keith be made an Ambassador, due to his extensive experience with both Human and Keidran outside the Basidian Isles. This also gave Keith complete jurisdiction over his friend's lives, essentially saving them from the xenophobic reactions of the Acting Master General.
Page 802 sees the return of Nickolai Alaric as a spirit manifestation possessing Lynn's body. He appears originally as Lynn to Keith and Natani, playing the role of faithful servant, up until the point he mentions he has prepared Keith a bath, and that it "wouldn't "be the first time" he had bathed with him. When Keith questions this, Alaric seems disappointed that Keith hadn't figured it out, noting 'Lynn's' lack of speech impediment, change in appearance and grey eyes. Keith eventually twigs after Alaric removes Lynn's cap. This comes as much of a shock to both Keith and Natani, with Keith even going so far as to deny Alaric's validity. Alaric reveals that he had actually died, but as a result of the tower's destruction and subsequent eradication of the Island's magic, his spirit had nowhere to go, and that he had possessed Lynn's body at the time of his death. Lynn had done so voluntarily, as Alaric had sworn to leave her body as soon as his presence was 'not required.' However, the next page, this is revealed as an April Fool's joke by the author, and the assumption is that Alaric is still dead.
From the AuthorEdit
"Alaric is unusual for a Basitin, openly expressing affection and bending rules and laws whenever possible."
"Alaric is the Master General of the Eastern Basitin military. He is one of the most powerful men in Basitin society, second only to the king himself. Though he still isn't able to break any laws or rules of society, he's studied them enough to skirt around them as much as possible. He is very fond of Keith, whom he was childhood friends with."