Around 1267 DR, Althea the Abased succeeded Archsufferer Bloirt Waelarn as leader of the House of the Broken God, after Waelarn had been expelled from office for triggering a holy war over the Tome of Torment—the holiest book of the church of Ilmater. Seeing the carnage wrought by the fight for ownership of the Tome, Althea declared that no high-ranking member of the church was worthy of it. She said that Ilmater had given them the Tome for the "low and truly needy" priests to "further the will and work of Ilmater in the wilderlands and perilous places of all Toril", and recruit non-believers to the faith of the Crying God.
Soon after, Althea underwent her First Suffering. She had herself bound to a rack and dragged by mules as she visited temples and shrines of Ilmater all along the Sword Coast. Whenever the mules were rested, she was to be beaten once, but hard, with a consecrated threshing flail by a non-believer. During this ordeal, she selected Blaermon the Blessed, a knight of the Holy Warriors of Suffering, to take away the Tome of Torment to those "wild places" and bestow it upon the first "needy and worthy" Ilmatari he met, someone who worked or fought for the benefit of the common people and their faith, not merely for wealth and adventure. In the Year of the Daystars, 1268 DR, Blaermon gave the Tome to Flaergon of Glister, who devoted his efforts to assisting miners and caravan-workers in the frozen north of the Moonsea.
Thirty years later, following the death of Flaergon in the Year of the Claw, 1299 DR, Daern of Hawksroost, one of Flaergon's most devoted companions, took the Tome of Torment back to Althea at the House of the Broken God, now called High Mistress of Worthy Suffering. Daern's devotion moved Althea, and she named him an honorary Brother of the temple. Daern became Althea's bodyguard. However, by this time, Althea had endured a number of Sufferings, and was left frail and crippled, so Daern's duties consisted largely of carrying her around.
Althea the Abased lived to a great age, but finally passed on in the Year of the Gate, 1341 DR. Daern mourned Althea's passing, and was given a new role as Guardian of the Tome.
Althea's many Sufferings left her body battered and broken, with numerous scars and misshapen and half-healed bones. She had to walk with two canes, and finally had to be carried by her bodyguard Daern. As an elderly woman, she grew small, frail, and wizened.