(NPC is ghost)
Althel is a Wood Elf archer and resident of the ruined city of Vitharn, which was overrun by its own brethren centuries ago. As a result of the cowardice, inaction, and incompetence displayed by the denizens of Vitharn, their ghosts were cursed by Sheogorath to relive their final moments in perpetuity. During the attack, Althel failed at persuading the hardheaded and overprotective armorer Bat gro-Orkul to hand over his precious arrows, which ultimately resulted in her not being able to provide the city with a proper defense. During the related quest, it's up to you to bring her the arrows and help out with the defense, freeing her and the rest of the citizens from the curse.
You'll find her crouching on the small platform in the southwestern corner of the Vitharn Bailey, reliving her own demise over again and over again at the hands of an attacking Ghost Fanatic. Her task was to protect the strategically important main gate wheel next to her, but because she has no arrows in her possession, the Fanatic easily slays her every time. He even shouts out "I laugh at your arrows" before her body hits the ground.
Even though she is a scout and part of Vitharn's defenders, she is only equipped with some common lower-class clothing: a dark green shirt and laced leather pants along with a pair of stitched leather shoes. She is armed with an iron bow.
She's obsessed with numbers and calls out the digits of natural constants and sequences even during your conversations with her. The first time you approach her, she will explain her eternal problem in her very own manner: "1, 2, 3. I need my arrows. 5, 7, 11. I can't get them. 13, 17, 19. If I leave, who will keep up the count? 23, 29, 31." Or alternatively: "3, 1, 4. Without any arrows, I am useless in this battle. 1, 5, 9. But if I leave to get them, who will count? 2, 6, 5." When you ask her about the Siege of Vitharn, she will still be counting but will also provide you with some important facts, especially on Count Cirion's reaction to the attack: "1, 6, 1. I was the first to spot the invaders. 8, 0, 3. I was on patrol when I saw their skirmishers marching toward Vitharn. 3, 9, 8. I rode back as fast as I could to tell Count Cirion of the danger. 8, 7, 4. He went and hid. 9, 8, 9. 14, 11. I must guard the lever that opens the gate. 9, 4. If the gate is opened, the Fanatics will overrun Vitharn." When exiting conversation, a sad Althel will add: "12, 3, 2, 2. It's hopeless. 15, 5, 3. The town is lost. 0, 0, 0."
Once you have spoken with the other defenders, Althel will provide helpful information on their problems; on the stunted mage Hloval Dreth she will explain: "0, 5. Hloval is our priest and healer. 7, 7. Unfortunately he was born with stunted magicka, but not a stunted ego. 2,1. He does the best he can, but he never seems to have enough magicka. 5, 6." On the other failure in the defense line, Desideratus Annius, Althel will provide a bit of background for his obsession with dolls: "0, 9. Ah, the doll. Poor Desideratus. 1, 5. Fanatics killed his whole family. 9, 6. That doll is all he has left of them. 5, 5, 9, 4." When asked about Althel, Desideratus will say: "Bat loves his arrows. They aren't Althel's, they're his. Bat would be betrothed to his arrows if he could." Naturally, Althel strongly disagrees and will readily give you her honest opinion on Bat gro-Orkul: "1, 2, 3. That idiot Bat gro-Orkul refused to equip some of us. 5, 8, 13. He has arrows, but won't give me any of them. 21, 34, 55." When you finally hand her the magical arrows, she will be pleasantly surprised: "2, 7, 1. You have arrows! 8, 2, 8. Now let the battle be joined! 1, 8, 2. Why aren't you counting? 8, 4, 5." And when she starts to fight, her counting will suddenly lose a bit of its apparent randomness: "1, 2, 3. My arrows are finding their targets! 4, 5, 6." After the conversation, she will add a bit of advice: "0, 1, 0. I always aim for the heart. 1, 0, 1."
Seated inside the Keep, Count Cirion will reflect on his defensive archer: " was a brave scout. She brought us the first word on the Fanatics." One of the unnamed Vitharn Soldiers will add "Althel brought us the news of the invaders. I ran to the wall to see for myself. That's where I danced for the rain." A small graveyard stands in a corner of the Vitharn Bailey, and Althel's inscription reads: "Rest in peace, Althel. You were valiant to the end."
- While she doesn't possess any spells she can cast, she does share a special spell with the rest of Vitharn's inhabitants. The spell allows the quest's script to work on her, effectively making her a ghost.
- Although the numbers seem random, they are all references of significant number chains. The number chains are digits in the golden ratio (1.6180339887...), digits in π (3.141592653589793...), digits in e (2.718281828459045...), Fibonacci's sequence (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21...) and the prime numbers (1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17...). Note however the slight mistake; 1 is not a prime number. The numbers she says at the end of the conversation are two apparently random non-prime numbers followed by their prime factors (i.e. 2*2*3=12, 3*5=15, 0*0=0).
- Although Althel's arrows are initially unequippable, they can be recovered if any of her shots miss. Aside from a unique appearance, the arrows function exactly like steel arrows.