Lady Agnes Albrecht, Margravine of the Fallow Marches was the daughter of Viscount Dedrick Albrecht of Blackmarsh and his lady-wife, Lady Alaryanna Bala’Thustraes of Quel’Thandil. She was the younger sister of later Viscount Wilhelm Albrecht, the aunt of Viscount Hadrian Albrecht and the eventual wife of the villainous Lord Auric Falomyr, Margrave of the Fallow Marches. She bore three children: Richard, Alfred, and Marigold. This makes her the grandmother of King-Consort Prestor Falomyr, great-grandmother of Terez Falomyr and Balian Rothe the great-grandaunt of Queen Madelynne I of Lordaeron.
Agnes was said to have inheritted all of her mother's good graces, while retaining her father's sharp mind. A diminutive woman, she was very fair of skin and had a head of scarlet hair. Her eyes were bright blue, nearly shimmering in nature, and her lips often carrying a vague reminiscence of a smile. She had delicate features, soft and acute in nearly every manner possible.
Born several years after her brother, Agnes lived a quiet and gentle life, bereft difficulty or trial. She was skillfully in pursuits a lady ought to be and obeyed her mother without fail. It was not until her nephew, Hadrian, was born that she knew of any true companionship.
A notoriously humble woman despite her fine beauty, Agnes often wore her hair in a bun as a means of diminishing her vaguely elven features. She was not a woman come of easy smiles, but was decorous and poised and known for her great charity while living in Blackmarsh. One act of kindness, in which her father quite tired of her financial irresponsibilities, refused to see her with coin to feed a kind pauper, saw her in turn sell away her beautiful gown and walk nude from castle to hovel to offer the man his coin. This pauper, if is said, upon seeing the glory that was Lady Agnes bathed in golden light and bereft a shred of clothing, devoted his life thenceforth to doing good works with the coin she provided him.
Acts such as these increased her mythos until eventually she was seen as a veritable saint.
Agnes was very close with her nephew, Hadrian, who saw her as an older sister more than an aunt due to their closeness in age. She instilled within her nephew a strong sense of justice and duty and an appreciation for the Light. The people of Blackmarsh often saw her as a veritable saint and held her as one of the viscounty’s treasures. Be she feeding the homeless, clothing the destitute, washing the infirm, or teaching the ignorant — Agnes is certainly the model upon which many activities of the Church of Lordaeron was based.
But the goodness that was Agnes could not exist within a vacuum. The disastrous policies and actions of her brother as Viscount saw Blackmarsh turned against him in what is known as the Spring Campaign. From this situation arose the need for aid from Falomyr, where the margrave marched his men in from the Ebontide and did death most gruesome to the rebels. The rebellion was crushed with the razing of Dreadholme. In exchange for his fine service, Wilhelm sold his sister to the margrave. Hadrian, overcome with emotion, demanded his father recant but was himself slapped to the ground by the viscount who had his fill of disrespect. Though she may herself have been frightened, Agnes knelt beside her nephew and bade him rise stronger and without fear for her.
The last that they would see each other alive was through tearful eyes.
Life in Falomyr was harsh upon the gentle Lady Agnes, but she did what she might. Not accustomed to such harsh winters, she suffered them well and refused to layer herself in anything that the peasants of Dragonsbane could not. At first this amused both peasant and margrave, but when daily Lady Agnes appeared to masses dressed in a manner no different than they, slowly did the peasantry see her kindness as something to be praised. Her husband, vexed that she appeared a pauper, demanded she dress appropriately or be kept to her tower. With the gentle grace but strong resolve she knew she posited that if he provided more for the peasants she might in turn be able to wear more as well.
The tales of Auric’s depravity are an engineered platform by his rivals in later years, but he did at times strike his wife for her defiance. When that did not break her he locked her in her tower. She rebelled against this by committing herself, nude, to her bed and refusing to see her hearth heated. It was the threat of her death that finally made him relent. The peasants were better kept and thus was his wife.
A small priory was begun in her name by Brother Perceval Grott, who many believe to have been the Pauper from the story she was known most readily for. She often attended his services and kept him as s close companion for many years. When Auric made it clear that he would have no man near his wife that night dishonor him, it is said Perceval asked a knife and saw his manhood to the ground. Some say he was from that day forth Sister Pricilla, others that he had never changed his name, and still some that no such event or man had ever existed.
Lady Agnes was not a woman of great guile though and this she blamed the wars in her name for. For though Auric did beat her and enjoy war more than a man should, he was not a wholly unpleasant man. What he was however was very jealous and selfish and when after the birth of their firstborn, Richard, he asked why she was not happy she confessed that her heart would ever be in Blackmarsh. By this time, her nephew was Viscount and the rumor of their past love infuriated him. Further frustrated by recent losses on campaign against the Amani, he took his fury out on his wife and realized that even if she broke she would never yield unto him.
So, he turned his ire upon his nephew. Baiting the proud young man with tales of Agnes’ cruel treatment, Auric began what would later be known as Hadrian’s War in which Blackmarsh launched a surprisingly successful invasion of Falomyr. The war ultimately ended in Auric’s favor when Agnes’ nephew, Anders, was slain at the gates of Falomyr but the men of Blackmarsh were far from defeated even when told to retreat.
Controversy arises here. It is generally agreed upon that Auric killed Agnes when told to return her to her family by the King of Lordaeron; however, some believe she killed herself as a means to prevent further war. For it was certain that no matter where she went, a powerful man would follow her — save for one place: into the arms of death.
Two additional wars resulted from Agnes’ death, the sprawling War of the Ebontide and the smaller Bloodjoy Uprising. In both, Agnes was used as a symbol of purity that had been cruelly ripped from the world.
In life, she had sought to change the world for the better. In death, she but wished to spare it the horrors that her life saw visited upon others. Agnes is one of the few saints of Blackmarsh, an action enforced by her nephew, Hadrian. She is also routinely used as a symbol of innocence in plays and stories.