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You... I'll make you suffer for this, boy!
~ Albion Alabaster swearing vengeance against a young Keith for killing Cornelius.

Albion Alabaster is a major antagonist in the long-running webcomic Twokinds, being the primary antagonist of Chapter 10 and 11, as well as the overarching antagonist for all of Keith Keiser's story in the comic, being the archenemy of both him and Nickolai Alaric. He was the Bastitin Intelligence General who killed Keith's mother, Cathleen and banished the boy from the island.

Personality

Albion Alabaster embodied all the worst aspects of Eastern Basitin culture, being a cold, darwinistic curmdugeon obsessed with the strict, often backwards laws of his people, berating and even physically abusing anyone who fell out of line.

Despite his job as an Intelligence General requiring him to study the other cultures of Mekkan, Alabaster was a complete xenophobe at heart, looking down on the Keidran as promiscuous cowards, distrusting the Humans in spite of working with them and despising the Western Basitin above all.

In spite of his heartlessness and strictness, Albion had nothing but love and respect for his late friend, the Arms General Cornelius Keiser, helping him even at the cost of breaking the law for the sake of a Westerner. Unfortunately, this same attachment was the main moving force behind Albion's hatred towards Keith, Cornelius' unwilling killer, seeking revenge on the boy even nearly a decade after the fact.

Albion would always try to mantain the veneer of a strict but wise old man, even being occasionally capable of genuine respect and civilty. He would, however, become transparent with his true, wrathful self whenever one of his buttons was pressed, especially most anything regarding Keith or even slightly disrepectful towards Cornelius, as Alaric learned, with permanent eye damage as his lesson.

While always an horrible person, he at least used to be a well-intentioned extremist who wanted prosperity for his people, even striking deals with the Templars to achieve that. The mind-breaking influence the Mana Tower had on the Generals would, however, made Albion devolve into a madman obsessed with power and revenge, even at the cost of multiple Eastern Basitin lives, which horrified even Albion's incredibly obedient soldiers. By the time the heroes tried to destroy the Tower, Albion was left as nothing but a hateful, empty shell who cared only about murdering Keith and all his friends so as to "avenge" Cornelius.

In his last moments, Albion briefly regained his sanity and, thinking back at all he had done, expressed clear remorse, showing he too had a conscience, albeit one he started listening to when it was far too late.

Biography

Backstory

A Basitin war hero who eventually became the Intelligence General among the Eastern Basitin, Albion Alabaster assisted Keith's father, Cornelius in making false papers, so he could live with his wife Cathleen, a clandestine Western Basitin, and son. But as the years went by he and Cornelius' activities were coming to light and, when he soon discovered that his friend was going to leave the island with his wife, Albion snapped and went after Cathleen and killed her on the spot with a bottle, losing a bit of his left year when she tried defending herself. He later returned and saw Keith murder his drunken father right in front of him.

Later, he banished Keith from the island for the deaths of both his parents to give him justice, even though he knew the truth. To ensure Keith never returned, Alabaster decreed that the boy could only return after retrieving the Human Grand Templar Trace Legacy, an impossible task due to both Trace's prominance and his genocidal agenda against all non-humans. A young Nickolai Alaric's attempts at defending his friend, Keith were dismissed by Albion. Eventually, when the boy argued that Cornelius' intoxication contributed to his defeat, an enraged Alabaster slashed Alaric across his left eye with his claws, offended at him "insulting" Cornelius. Right then and there, Alaric decided he would train, study and plot for the years to come to have Keith acknowledged by the Basitin and make General Alabaster pay.

Years later, General Alabaster, alongside Alaric, now the Master General himself, struck a deal with some Templars so that a Mana Tower would be built on the Island, allowing the Basitin to use magic for the first time in History. However, this was actually an imperialistic scheme on the humans' side, as Basitin end up as mentally handicapped slaves when in prolonged close contact with magic. Indeed, the mind of a now Magically capable Albion started deteriorating gradually, the General becoming even crueler than before.

Twokinds

6 years later, Keith would finally return to the Basitin Isles, an amnesiac and now benevolent Trace with him. While Nickolai was extatic to be at last reunited with his childhood friend, Alabaster was baffled and enraged, as Keith had overcome his impossible task instead of accepting death in exile as he had hoped. Never the less, Albion was forced to accept Keith back into the island (not after plenty a berating and even a staff to the poor boy's head), although the returned Basitin would've had to stand trial to fully regain citizenship.

After Nickolai revealed the Generals' Mana Tower scheme to a shoked Keith, Albion gave him a very cruel decree, to be accepted by his homeland again, Keith would've had to kill his close friend (later lover) Natani, with the pretense that the Wolf was a spy (which he admitedly tried to be).

That same night, Alabaster visited a conflicted Keith at the hostel he was staying at, telling the boy to flash a signal with a torch when he had killed the Keidran. When met with reluctance by the boy, the General vented all his disdain towards the poor Basitin, reminded him that his citizenship and honor is on the line and left. Keith tried finding the strength to kill Natani, but, after a short fight, he found he couldn't bring himself to do it and tried commiting suicide, Natani stopping him just in time.

Seeing that the boy had not done the deed, General Alabaster ordered the hostel he and all his friends (minus Trace, who had been kidnapped to fuel the Tower with his magic) were residing in to be burnt down, not caring about all the innocent Basitin inside. Initially horrified, Alabaster's soldiers reluctantly obeyed after the mad General attacked one of them with his staff, Keith and the others barely escaping the fire thanks to Natani's magic.

Realizing the Templars' true intentions, the heroes set off to rescue Trace and destroy the Towers, splitting up to face the three Basitin Generals. The human Eric Vaghan and the Fox Keidran Laura, Keth's lover, were confronted by Albion Alabaster, who challenged Eric to a battle of wits. However, the Towers expanded Albion's already vast knowledge to levels comparable to outright Omniscience, and the human couldn't find a single piece of trivia the Basitin didn't know, not even family secrets of Eric's. luckily, the Keidran girl Kathrin arrived to support Eric, inspiring the perverted human to ask Alabaster a trick question on Keidran mating, finally outwitting the General.

The heroes, including Keith, who was severely wounded and mournful after a duel to the death with a brainwashed Alaric, arrived at the Tower but were ambushed by Albion and his soldiers, who was ready to have all of them sent to justice. That's when the Basitin King, Jade Adelaide, who had recovered from a sickness given to her by the Tower's influence, arrived to order Alabaster to stop. The General, finally devoid of any and all sanity, his vengefulness towards Keith being all he could feel anymore, defied the King's orders and used a lighting attack to attempt killing all of the cast, including Flora, which awakened and enraged a captive Trace, who relapsed into his evil self, broke free and attacked Albion and all the other characters.

In the midst of all the chaos, Natani attempted to destroy the Tower with the last amount of mana she had left, but Alabaster used his own powers to stop her. When all seemed lost, Laura gave Natani a necklace Keith had given her, which contained a mana crystal, and distracted the mad General by strangling him with his own necklace.

Finally, Natani was able to strike at the Tower's very core and destroy it into a powerful, magic explosion. As he was killed by the blast, Alabaster came back to his sense just long enough to die full of remorse over his actions.

Legacy

Albion Alabaster's crimes would haunt Keith even after the General's death as, after Albion's own son, Aster, almost had Keith executed in an unjust trial, the boy being saved only by the late Alaric's posthumous manipulations. Keith would, never-the-less spend entire chapters despairing over the losses he had suffered because of Albion, from his mother (whose deaths he found out to be Albion's doing in the trail), to his father and from Alaric to Laura.

This last death in parrticular devasted Keith to the point where he almost drove himself to a magic-induced death just to stay with a magical apparition of the Vixen, Natani and the rest of his friends only barely saving him. It would take a lot of time and support from Natani and the rest of his friends for Keith to overcome all the trauma he had endured because of the cruel General, and even then, the cheerful kid Alabaster had banished from the Island was clearly long gone.

On a more comedic note, in April 2014, comic author Tom Fischbach released a couple of pages where Alaric's spirit was revealed to have lived on possessing Messenger Lynn, while Albion's own spirit had possessed Keith himself. Luckily, the entire event was completely non-canon and a April fools joke by Fischbach.

Trivia

  • Albion could be seen as a dark mirror of what Keith himself could've become if the latter hadn't met his friends and improved as person thanks to them:
    • Both Albion and Keith suffered a great deal of grief over the loss of a dear one (Cornelius for Alabaster and laura for Keith) and acted in extreme ways for the sake of said deceased, Keith, however, would eventually overcome his grief thanks to support from his friends, while Albion lived and died being full of vengefulness over Cornelius;
    • Both were very racist towards Keidran, but Keith eventually grew out of his xenophobia thanks to his Keidran friends, Flora and Natani, while Alabaster remained xenophobic to the end;
    • Both were very strict when it came to Basitin customs, in spite of occasionally going against them, but whereas Keith was eventually able to see how backwards those laws and mindset were, and managed to rebel to the Eastern code thanks to his mother being a Westerner, Albion became able to overcome his lawfulness only when driven insane by the Tower.
  • Albion has appeared in some supplementary art by author Tom Fischbach, such as a drawing of him serving as a mall Santa for Natani and Zen, in an AU where the two were adopted by King Adelaide.
  • Albion was the first, and so far only, main antagonist in the comic to die.
  • In spite of his civilised facade, he's, so far, the only Basitin in the comic to have used his claws.
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