Quest for the Fountain
Altheda came to the Fountain in the hope of finding relief from poverty and unhappiness after her possessions had been stolen by a Dark Wizard. After completing three trials, Altheda arrived at the Fountain with her companions: Asha, Amata, and Sir Luckless. However, before the four could decide who would get to bathe in the Fountain, Asha collapsed from exhaustion. Altheda quickly gathered some of the herbs that grew around the Fountain - the ones that she thought to be most hopeful - and prepared a potion for Asha. The potion not only saved Asha's life but also cured her of the malady she suffered, which she had believed only the Fountain could heal.
In curing Asha's disease, Altheda realised that she had the means to earn a comfortable living through selling potions as a potioneer, and therefore had no need to bathe in the Fountain. After collecting herbs in her apron, she left the garden with her three companions and went on to lead a long, happy life.
Personality and Traits
"If I can cure this disease, I shall earn gold aplenty! Let Amata bathe!"
In the beginning of the story, Altheda was portrayed as an open and compassionate woman who could empathise with the misfortunes of others, as seen by how she, Asha, and Amata became good friends through sharing their tales of woe and even came to the agreement that they would unite and try to reach the Fountain together if they had the opportunity to.
However, Altheda could also be a realist, which may make her seem ungenerous in a way, especially given how she became angry with Amata for accidentally bringing along Sir Luckless with them on their quest and only changed her mind when Amata herself became angry with Sir Luckless and scolded him into helping them on their journey.
Later on, as the four were forced to encounter the numerous obstacles of the Enchanted Garden, one could see more positive qualities in Altheda: true courage, steely determination, and even selflessness for the sake of friendship. Despite her lack of a wand, she still participated in the fight against the Worm by casting rocks at it. When her friends were all discouraged by their lack of progress up the hill, she still walked faster and harder than any of them and exhorted them to follow her example and not to give up. When they finally reached the Fountain, she, like Amata and Sir Luckless, was perfectly willing to forgo the chance to bathe its waters, which she believed would relieve her of her misfortunes, so that the dying Asha could bathe instead.
Towards the ending of the story, Altheda discovered within herself a virtue that not only helped her to save Asha's life, but also to realise that she did not need to bathe in the Fountain after all: resourcefulness. By only gathering all the herbs that she thought most hopeful and concocting a potion through them, she completely cured Asha of her disease and realised that she could earn a comfortable living through brewing potions with the herbs that grew by the Fountain. Hence, her initial goal of reaching the Fountain to bathe in its waters turned to gathering the Fountain's herbs instead, which she did so.
Notes and references
- ↑ The Penguin Dictionary of First Names by David Pickering