Lord Rydell is a famous adventurer from Boletaria who was renowned for his staff fighting skills and his defeat of a demonic witch. He was well regarded by the people and given the nickname "Little Allant" presumably because his battle prowess rivaled that of King Allant the XII who is considered to be the greatest swordsman in the land. When the player finds Rydell he has already died and exists only as a soul which is imprisoned in the Tower of Latria. Why he was there and how this came to be are never made clear but the tower was used to house political prisoners and Rydell's cell key was at one point in the possession of one of King Allant's ministers. He only hopes at this point to gain his freedom so he can retrieve a locket from his corpse that serves as a memento of his departed wife.
It is also possible to meet Rydell in the form of a depraved Black Phantom who attacks you on sight. In this form he is very aggressive and capable of fully healing himself as well as killing the player very easily. Should the player best him they are able to claim his prized fighting staff the Phosphorescent Pole as their reward.