Astrid Beck[5] was a student of Trent Ikithon alongside Eadwulf Grieve and Caleb Widogast. As an NPC, Astrid is played by Matthew Mercer.

Description

Appearance

Caleb originally described Astrid as she was when she was eighteen years old, because that was the last time he had seen her. She was short, about 5'3", with short dark brown hair about four to five inches long, and brown eyes. She had scars on her arms similar to his.[6] She was slight, with attractive but severe features.[7] When Jester asked Caleb if she was pretty, he answered that she was "handsome".[8]

In her mid-thirties, Astrid has dirty blond hair, extremely short in the back but long and side-combed in the front, framing the right side of her face to just past the chin. She has a scar running down her face from the top of one brow to the bottom of her chin, a burn scar on her neck, and a hard look in her eyes. She has black maze-like tattoos on her arms.[9]

Personality

Biography

Background

"Whispers of War" (2x18)

Fan art of the Volstrucker trio, by Eleonora Nascimbeni.[art 2]

Caleb explained to Beau and Nott that as a teenager he entered the tutelage of Trent Ikithon alongside two of his peers from the town of Blumenthal, a boy named Eadwulf and a girl named Astrid. Ikithon proceeded to teach them magic and instill into them a deep loyalty to the Empire, eventually using them to execute captured traitors.

One night, after implanting memories of their parents betraying the empire, Ikithon instructed the three students to murder their parents. After waiting outside Eadwulf's house as he killed his parents, the group had dinner with Astrid's parents, whom she killed by poisoning their food. She was present for Caleb setting his parents' house on fire.

"The Hour of Honor" (2x24)

After participating in the eponymous Hour of Honor, Jester invited a drunk Caleb to waltz with her. As they danced, Caleb called Jester "Astrid" and told her she was always better at waltzing than him. He realized his mistake and started to walk off, but Jester grabbed him and led him safely to his room. As Jester tucked Caleb in, she reassured him that Astrid loved him, despite not knowing who she was.

Fan art of Astrid, by LornArt.[art 3]

"Commerce & Chaos" (2x31)

Without Caleb's knowledge or consent, Nott had Jester forge a letter to the Soltryce Academy, claiming to be a "Mrs. Lavorre, Esq." of "Nott & Brave" law firm, seeking the whereabouts of a former student named Astrid. As Mrs. Lavorre, Esq., Nott and Jester claimed to be the executor of the estate of Astrid's uncle "Leonard Hyphen-Leonard" from the town of "Nigeria". They asked the Academy to please send Astrid's contact information to the Pillow Trove Hotel in Zadash, so Astrid could receive the vast sums of money she had inherited. Nott thought that Astrid had been Caleb's girlfriend, and she would be someone who would remind Caleb of happier times.[10]

Fan art of Astrid, by Nikki Dawes.[art 4]

"A Hole In the Plan" (2x42)

Jester asked Caleb if Astrid had been his girlfriend, which he confirmed. However, he claimed not to have much experience with ambiguous romantic signals.[11]

"Duplicity" (2x55)

While they were alone together investigating the tunnels and caverns under the well in Asarius, Nott told Caleb that a while back, she wrote a letter to Astrid. She said that, in retrospect, she thought it was a mistake, but she had been hoping to reconnect him to someone from his past. Caleb, at that moment under a succubus's charm, seemed slightly stunned but said they would have this discussion later.[12]

"Domestic Respite" (2x62)

While settling into the Xhorhaus, Caleb asked Nott about the letter to Astrid. Nott said she now feels extremely guilty, but that at the time, she thought she was being helpful by trying to get Caleb some sort of connection with his past, and that she thought he had fond memories of Astrid. Nott called in Jester, and together they pieced together that they gave the Pillow Trove as a return address, so Jester used Sending to contact the Pillow Trove. There was an official-looking letter from the Soltryce Academy waiting there for her, presumably a response. Since they used the name "Lavorre", Caleb was worried for Jester's mother. Jester asked Caleb if he liked Astrid, and he says he did, but it was a long time ago.[13]

"Causatum" (2x70)

On their return to Rosohna from Bazzoxan, the party learned that the Dynasty had captured one of the Scourgers sent to the capital on an assassination mission. Learning that she was a human woman, Caleb was allowed to interrogate her. She was chained in her cell, with hair covering her face, and reluctant to either answer him or look up. Finally, he asked, "Astrid?" and she responded, eventually looking up, and he saw to his relief that it was not Astrid.

"A Tangled Web" (2x77)

The captured Scourger confirmed that Astrid (and Eadwulf) were still alive.[14] When the party was trying to decide who to attempt to scry on and Nott suggested Astrid, Caleb commented that it probably wouldn't work, but he would be curious to see.[15] Caleb used Seeming to change the appearances of multiple party members to potential Scrying targets, and changed Beauregard to look like his memory of Astrid from when he was 17 and she 18.[16] While they were still under Seeming, Caleb occasionally just stared at Astrid for stretches of time before shaking out of it, multiple times.[17]

"Lingering Wounds" (2x89)

Fan art of Astrid, by Brandon Chang.[art 5]

Caleb went to 31st Woadstone Manor, Astrid's home, on the grounds of Trent Ikithon's tower in the Candles. He asked for her using his birth name, Bren Aldric Ermendrud, and was admitted by her servant. When she appeared, she had two scars that were new since he saw her last: one down her face from brow to chin, and one from a burn on her neck. Her arms bore the same black maze-like tattoos as the halfling Scourger guarding the dodecahedron at the Sanatorium.

She said that Bren had a breaking point and began to lash out, implying the burn on her neck was caused by him. They took him to the Sanatorium, but had to subdue him first. They always hoped he'd improve, and at times he did. Now, he's defied their expectations. Right now, she's doing "a bit of tutelage," and what they were meant to do, keeping their people safe. She seemed genuinely mournful for Bren's pain and suffering, but accepted that life is suffering and some things are necessary. While understanding Bren's anger, she was pragmatic enough to realize that Trent was an old man who will one day die.

"Dinner with the Devil" (2x110)

Caleb received an invitation to dinner at the tower of Trent Ikithon in The Candles, and prior to going he told the rest of the Mighty Nein that he, Astrid, and Eadwulf all killed their parents under Trent's influence. Caleb wanted to discover if she and Eadwulf could be saved. The group met Astrid for the first time during the tense dinner conversation, where Ikithon told Caleb his breaking and subsequent incarceration in the Vergesson Sanatorium were all a plan to strengthen him. Astrid and Eadwulf told him that if he took over Trent's position, they would follow and obey him. Caleb brought up his prior conversation with Astrid where he had the impression that she was being groomed for Trent's seat, and she nervously shut down the inquiry.

After the dinner, the party invited her and Eadwulf to walk with them into the courtyard. Eadwulf produced a flask, which he, Caleb, and Astrid all drank from. Caleb told them they could come with the party, but Astrid quickly stated they could not, glancing upward at a nearby owl in the trees. Everyone said cordial farewells, and Astrid asked Caleb if he meant what he said inside, that he meant to stop Trent. Caleb confirmed, saying nothing was set in stone for her or anyone else. Her response: "Race you to the top."

"Worth Fighting For" (2x126)

The party decided to ask Astrid to obtain more of the Amulets of Proof against Detection and Location in order to protect them from Scrying by Lucien and the Tombtakers. They arranged to meet at the dance hall in Rexxentrum, where she and Caleb danced as they talked. She quietly told him that Ludinus Da'leth had asked that they be tracked by the Volstrucker while in Eiselcross and they were followed until they used Polymorph to travel near the Allowak's Sanctuary. Ludinus was aware the Nein were in town, and he was aware of what happened to Vess DeRogna, although Astrid didn't know what that was. Caleb asked her for more Amulets in order to fight the terrible and dangerous thing arising in the north, and Astrid said she would see what she could do. She warned him there were eyes on the Nein, and that it could be an opportunity, if they struck first. When she left, she was trailed surreptitiously by Beau, who followed her to a small alleyway. Astrid had sunk to the ground, knees close to her chest, curled in a ball for several minutes before she abruptly stood, gathered herself, and moved on toward her home.

"Sarsaparilla, Licorice, and Red Hot" (2x127)

The next day the party followed up with Astrid and agreed on a meeting near the Soltryce Academy dorms. She told Caleb the amulets were kept at a tower in the Vergesson Sanatorium and that Trent Ikithon was usually only there in the evening. She told them to be fast and quiet because it was guarded. She gave Caleb a small box and began to leave, turning as if to say something more to him but stopping herself and leaving. The box contained three very detailed maps of the tower where the amulets were located, including the locations of magical traps.

"Cat and Mouse" (2x128)

As the party relaxed a little at the Lavish Chateau, Caduceus noticed a couple of men that he felt were giving him an off vibe. Fjord got closer and noticed they were talking with a slightly-off Marquesian accent. At Jester's request, Bluud investigated but Caduceus saw one of them use magic to deflect Bluud's attention. He told the rest of the party the pair were magic users and it would be best to talk to them. He, Fjord, and Beau approached, and as they did the pair stood up and revealed themselves as Astrid and Eadwulf in disguise. They had been sent to Nicodranas by Trent to cut the party off. Trent had learned of the Chateau when one of the surviving guards was told there was a connection between this place and the people that broke in. They had arrived early so they could warn the party to leave and take anyone they cared about with them. Astrid denied setting them up at the Sanatorium. She stated that they weren't helping the party but "him", looking to the upper part of the Chateau where Caleb was hiding. When they left the Chateau, Veth followed them to a meeting at a nearby house with another Volstrucker and Trent himself.

The party took Yeza, Luc, and Marion and hurried to Yussa Errenis's tower. As they spoke there, there was a heavy knock at the door. As Caleb finished reading Yussa's emergency Plane Shift scroll, the door to the room opened and Astrid entered, hand outstretched to Counterspell. She simply watched as Caleb finished reading the spell and her hand went limp, letting them escape once again.

Relationships

Astrid had been friends with Caleb and Eadwulf during their tutelage under Trent Ikithon. She also had a romantic relationship with Caleb, though the duration and seriousness of this relationship is unclear. Her only known family was her parents whom she killed via poison.

Character Information

Fan art of Astrid, by Mikael.[art 6]

Abilities

  • Glyph Chant: Activated through the black maze-like tattoos on her arms; created quicker movement among other advantages.[18][19]

Wizard Spells

3rd level
6th level

Notable Items

Home

Astrid now lives at 31st Woadstone Manor, a modest one-and-a-half story home on the grounds of Trent Ikithon's tower in the Candles. She has a male halfling servant.

Quotations

  • “To be gifted in a world filled with hardship like this is to do things we’re not proud of, and to question the choices we make, and to regret things we wish we could change. Do I agree with everything that I’ve been asked to do? No. Do I think about it? Do I lament? Do I see the faces of the people I’ve watched expire at my own hand? All the time. But I also know the reason that we get to sleep every night in a comfortable inn bed or in a manor has to do with the many families and children, just like we were, just like the families we once had, that don’t have to make the choices we did. They still get to live happily and comfortably, because the few, the chosen few, made the hard choice, and do what few have the will to do.”[24]
  • (to Caleb, after confirming he means to stop Trent) "Race you to the top."[25]
  • (to Jester via Sending) "A volstrucker has never disentangled from Trent before. No one who knows what he does, how he breaks us, has shared their trauma with the world, with the king. Imagine the threat you are to him now that you carry the respect of both Crown and Kryn. So, yes, he's invested."[26]

Trivia

Liam dressed as Astrid for Halloween 2020.

  • On the Talks Machina after "Beyond the Boundaries" (2x32), Liam and Sam speculated that at this point Astrid is probably either "a super bad guy" or "super dead".[27]
  • In the fourth episode of Narrative Telephone (Widogast's Web of Words), Liam's story was a metaphoric representation of Caleb, Astrid, and Eadwulf. Astrid herself was represented by the second child, who had an eye removed so that she could no longer see true.
  • Liam dressed as Astrid in the Halloween 2020 episode.[28] He introduced himself as "Astrid Beck", and the name was used in "Fond Farewells" (2x141).
    • Liam made a similar reference to Beauregard's last name 27 episodes prior to it being confirmed in canon.

References

  1. See "An Open Window" (2x114) at 0:02:06.  Liam dressed as Astrid for the 2020 Halloween episode and introduced himself as "Astrid Beck".
  2. See "Lingering Wounds" (2x89) at 1:44:46.
  3. See "Whispers of War" (2x18) at 2:45:44.
  4. See "A Hole In the Plan" (2x42) at 1:13:21.  Caleb confirms that Astrid was his girlfriend.
  5. On Twitter, Liam confirmed the spelling of Astrid's and Eodwulf's names.
  6. See "A Dangerous Chase" (2x64) at 3:20:22.
  7. See "A Tangled Web" (2x77) at 2:32:27.
  8. See "A Hole In the Plan" (2x42) at 1:13:42.
  9. See "Lingering Wounds" (2x89) at 1:43:55.
  10. See "Commerce & Chaos" (2x31) at 0:18:12.
  11. See "A Hole In the Plan" (2x42) at 1:12:26.
  12. See "Duplicity" (2x55) at 1:01:08.
  13. See "Domestic Respite" (2x62) at 1:09:44.
  14. See "A Tangled Web" (2x77) at 1:11:08.
  15. See "A Tangled Web" (2x77) at 2:15:03.
  16. See "A Tangled Web" (2x77) from 2:31:41 through 2:35:04.
  17. See "A Tangled Web" (2x77) at 2:54:19.
  18. See "Fond Farewells" (2x141) at 2:17:30.
  19. Matt confirmed in a Tweet that Guild Chant is a renamed Bladesong from the Bladesinging Wizard subclass. See Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, pages 76-77.
  20. See "Fond Farewells" (2x141) at 2:47:05.
  21. See "Cat and Mouse" (2x128) at 3:29:09.  Astrid starts to cast Counterspell, but stops.
  22. See "Fond Farewells" (2x141) at 2:16:55.  Although Matt said Astrid had dispelled Caleb's Globe of Invulnerability, she appeared to use a reaction rather than an action, indicating it was probably Counterspell instead.
  23. See "Fond Farewells" (2x141) at 2:18:28.
  24. See "Lingering Wounds" (2x89) at 1:56:38.
  25. See "Dinner with the Devil" (2x110) at 3:31:51.
  26. See "Into the Eye" (2x131) at 3:57:00.
  27. See "Talks Machina #80: 'Beyond the Boundaries'" (TMx80) at 0:53:42.
  28. See "An Open Window" (2x114) at 0:02:06.

Art:

  1. Fan art of Astrid, by BlackSalander (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of the Volstrucker trio, by Eleonora Nascimbeni (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Astrid, by LornArt (source).  Used with permission.
  4. Fan art of Astrid, by Nikki Dawes (source).  Used with permission.
  5. Fan art of Astrid, by Brandon Chang (source).  Used with permission.
  6. Fan art of Astrid, by Mikael (source).  Used with permission.
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