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Meet the Iconics: Lirianne

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Lirianne is the iconic character for the gunslinger class from Ultimate Combat. To read the story for Hayato, the iconic samurai—another class featured in Ultimate Combatclick here.

Shieldmarshal Dahmok's greatest failing was teaching his middle daughter to read. After the loss of their mother, a lively but capricious elven explorer who viewed ten years and three children as a "fling," he had hoped to rear homebody children. Even with their halfblood status stretching the years he spent with his treasured children, the old marshal shuddered at the knowledge that one was already slipping away.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

While older Suzeressa took to the practical household arts and younger Milliceene pursued a love of natural sciences, middle-born Lirianne lost herself for hours at a time in tales of shining knights, devious fairies, and mighty dragons—all subjects absent from her homeland of Alkenstar. Raised among bricks, smoke, and bureaucracy, the young half-elf dreamed of the life of adventure and fantasy promised by the collection of fairy tales left by her absent mother and her own ever-growing library of penny dreadfuls. Naturally, she aspired to follow in her father's footsteps and become a shieldmarshal, protecting Alkenstar from the hostile giants and hideous mutations of the Mana Wastes. Preferring to keep his little girl safe at home, Dahmok calmly explained she could never become a shieldmarshal, running with the first excuse he could come up with—that her beloved long hair would become entangled in firearm mechanisms. To his surprise, he awoke the next morning to discover Lirianne grinning like a fool, with her long tresses roughly chopped, eagerly packed and ready to follow him to work.

For twenty years, the little half-elf pushed herself to meet ever more insane requirements laid down by her aging father. Schoolmates nicknamed her "the Phantom" as she vanished often to practice her quick draw or memorize technical volumes. Tutors and governesses thought her adle-brained as she sat staring, redrawing engineer's schematics in her mind rather than follow her lessons. Even before she was old enough to entertain her first romance, she had mastered the construction and firing of a rifle, and could reckon complex trajectories by eye alone.

An old man and long since retired by the time his daughter reached womanhood, Dahmok could no longer forbid her entry into the shieldmarshals. But the old patriot's influence lived on in his successors, and to honor his service they assigned Lirianne to a quiet domestic position, safeguarding farming settlements along the secure Alkenstar-Martel road. Ten years of her life passed rounding up drunks and mediating water rights, eating away at her passion for adventure in ways her father's disapproval never could. Her childhood dreams eventually forgotten, Lirianne's steely eyes dulled with the tarnish of a thousand mundane details.

It was kismet when a storm of wild magic blew off the Spellscar Desert, past Alkenstar, and into her jurisdiction. The rampant arcane energy, fallout from centuries of wizard warfare, warped space and time around it. The magical swells lashed out, reshaping hillsides, boiling sand into glass, and calling forth bizarre creatures from the dawn of history. The only marshal at hand, Lirianne leapt into service. As townsfolk huddled in their cellars and buildings crumbled into twisted forms of misbegotten wood and bone, a bolt of green lightning lashed out, striking the half-elf even as she confronted the storm's abominations.

Lirianne awoke soaking and half-drowned on distant shores. The bizarre country was flush with thick forests and green hills—plant life like she'd never seen. Wandering inland, she soon encountered a lumber caravan beset by malicious fey. In a heartbeat, a childhood's worth of stories welled up inside her, and she rushed into battle with a passion long since forgotten. The grateful caravan loaded her with all the supplies and information she could manage, confirming that her inexplicable odyssey had deposited her cleanly in the midst of those same shining knights, devious fairies, and mighty dragons who had occupied so much of her youth.

Now a wanderer in the strange land of Avistan, Lirianne struggles to balance her resurgence of childhood wonder and adult dedication to justice, all while confronting her long-ignored elven blood. While thoughts of family and the familiar industrial life of Alkenstar occasionally tug at her roaming heart, sights remain unseen and people remain unsaved, and Lirianne will be damned if she'll fail in either.

Crystal Frasier
Production Specialist

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Gunslingers Iconics Lirianne Meet the Iconics Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Wayne Reynolds
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Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Crystal met Wayne, and this happened. BRILLIANT!


This is awesome.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Seriously, with this and Harrowing it's about time Paizo got Crystal to write an AP episode. Pleeeeease.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

<3!


Bravo!


Hooray for another meet the iconics finally! :D

Paizo Employee Customer Service Dire Care Bear Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lirianne's backstory wrote:
Lirianne awoke soaking and half-drowned on distant shores. The bizarre country was flush with thick forests and green hills—plant life like she'd never seen.

New theory for who wrote the Voynich Manuscript!

Cheliax

This might be my new favorite iconic.


Epic art and an epic story indeed!! Love it!!

Osirion

I like this, and think its fun.

I really like the Alkenstar stuff more and more.


love the art style, hope most UC is like this and less elven archer, no offense.

Andoran

Love the art, love the back story! Alkinstar!!! Also love that there is another Half-Elf iconic.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I really like Lirianne. Great job!


Wayne's art is always superb. It attracted me to the original Eberron and it really sets the one for tone me. So very pleased he's doing so much work with Pathfinder.

Cheliax

Always nice to see a new "meet the iconic".

But when can we expect to meet Feiya/Balazar/Imrijka?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Callum Finlayson wrote:

Always nice to see a new "meet the iconic".

But when can we expect to meet Feiya/Balazar/Imrijka?

Probably not before Gen Con. Probably a bit after.

It's not easy writing these things, in other words; it's actually among the most complex of the blog posts we do since they not only have to be interesting, follow canon, and fit the illustration, but also need to be well written fiction, which is a lot harder to do than plain old preview blogs or the like. That narrows down the number of folks we can have write them SIGNIFICANTLY, since not everyone at Paizo is necessarily good at writing fiction.

And I'm stoked to be able to add one more to the list! Thanks for the awesome writeup, Crystal!

In any case, we haven't forgotten that we need a witch, an inquisitor, a summoner, or a ninja entry. They'll get here eventually!


Awesome! :D

I'm guessing she's Neutral Good? Or maybe Lawful Good?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Filby Pott wrote:

Awesome! :D

I'm guessing she's Neutral Good? Or maybe Lawful Good?

Unknown. We haven't decided her actual alignment yet, but the fact that she goes against her father's wishes and doesn't seem all that interested in returning to where she grew up argues strongly AGAINST lawful. My guess would actually be chaotic good at this point.


Very nice! :) It's always interesting to see what the iconics background is. Next up should be the Ninja? We already had Hayato, IIRC.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

magnuskn wrote:
Very nice! :) It's always interesting to see what the iconics background is. Next up should be the Ninja? We already had Hayato, IIRC.

Unsure, but we do have the ninja, the summoner, the witch, and the inquisitor left to post. What order they show up in is unknown to anyone anywhere, though.

Cheliax

Gorbacz wrote:
Seriously, with this and Harrowing it's about time Paizo got Crystal to write an AP episode. Pleeeeease.

I agree. Great story Crystal!

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

2 people marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:

Unsure, but we do have the ninja, the summoner, the witch, and the inquisitor left to post. What order they show up in is unknown to anyone anywhere, though.

And yet you will see one next week. Who will it be?!?!

Spoiler:

Mwahahaha.

Taldor

Am I the only one who thinks it a bit strange that you can see her bra?


Very nice. Thank you, Crystal!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
lastknightleft wrote:
Am I the only one who thinks it a bit strange that you can see her bra?

It's an Alkenstar thing.


So how did Lirianne end up in Avistan? A bolt of lighting sent her there soaking wet? I must have missed the part of the story when she got on a boat or something. It sounds like one minute she was "safeguarding farming settlements along the secure Alkenstar-Martel road" the next she "awoke soaking and half-drowned on distant shores". Sorry if I'm being dense.

Weird art too. Looks like a samurai, steam punk, pirate. Can she sit down in that outfit? So cluttered with "stuff". Wayne Reynolds feet, something odd about them. Pointy toes and high arches every-time.

Thanks for sharing.


lastknightleft wrote:
Am I the only one who thinks it a bit strange that you can see her bra?

That's not a bra, it's the shirt peaking out from under her armor. Notice the sleeves.


cibet,

The "storm of wild magic" did it to her. And it sounds like the bolt that hit her and transported her literally dumped her into the waves of that distant shore. Just lucky she woke up and did not go beyond half-drowned.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I like teleportation storms. They remind me of Ultima VII: The Serpent Isle, one of my favorite computer games. ^_^

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
cibet44 wrote:
So how did Lirianne end up in Avistan? A bolt of lighting sent her there soaking wet?

Correct. One of the elements that plagues Alkenstar (and the Mana Wastes themselves, where Alkenstar is located) is primal magic. Primal magic does all sorts of strange things—a teleporting wet bolt of lightning is a great example of one of the countless things it can do.


The character design and backstory are great, but I'm hoping the vest looks better in print.


Great stuff, I love these Meet the Iconics posts!

I really liked Lirianne's backstory, probably it's one of my favorites actually.

Shadow Lodge

James Jacobs wrote:
In any case, we haven't forgotten that we need a witch, an inquisitor, a summoner, or a ninja entry. They'll get here eventually!

And the anti-paladin. After all, you set the precedent for "alternate classes" getting a iconic.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
Seriously, with this and Harrowing it's about time Paizo got Crystal to write a full AP.

fixed that for ya


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Richard Leonhart wrote:
love the art style, hope most UC is like this and less elven archer, no offense.

The paladin one from the last blog? I agree but I have an art-crush on WAR. I also wonder...

Spoiler:
...if he likes classic anime. The badass with a red scarf blowing in the wind is one of Go Nagai's signatures.

I had her pegged as a pirate, but it turns out that she's a loose-cannon cop! Her backstory, especially the magical teleportation plot point, really highlights how varied Golarion is and how different the other regions must seem to each other.

Sole complaint in regards to the art: I can't really tell that she's half-Garundi at all. Quite the pale one, she is. Must have gotten it from her mother.

Andoran Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Xenophile wrote:

I had her pegged as a pirate, but it turns out that she's a loose-cannon cop! Her backstory, especially the magical teleportation plot point, really highlights how varied Golarion is and how different the other regions must seem to each other.

Sole complaint in regards to the art: I can't really tell that she's half-Garundi at all. Quite the pale one, she is. Must have gotten it from her mother.

Nope! Old Man Dahmok is Keleshite, not Garundi. And her mother is a Kyonin elf.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hahaha - Crystal is just plain magic. I actually woke up my girlfriend (it's midnight here) just to read that opening paragraph. Had me in stitches.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Love it.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kthulhu wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
In any case, we haven't forgotten that we need a witch, an inquisitor, a summoner, or a ninja entry. They'll get here eventually!
And the anti-paladin. After all, you set the precedent for "alternate classes" getting a iconic.

The anti-paladin isn't an iconic. The samurai and the ninja are special cases.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
In any case, we haven't forgotten that we need a witch, an inquisitor, a summoner, or a ninja entry. They'll get here eventually!
And the anti-paladin. After all, you set the precedent for "alternate classes" getting a iconic.
The anti-paladin isn't an iconic. The samurai and the ninja are special cases.

Special cases that cover 2/3rds of all alternate classes? :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Cheapy wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
In any case, we haven't forgotten that we need a witch, an inquisitor, a summoner, or a ninja entry. They'll get here eventually!
And the anti-paladin. After all, you set the precedent for "alternate classes" getting a iconic.
The anti-paladin isn't an iconic. The samurai and the ninja are special cases.
Special cases that cover 2/3rds of all alternate classes? :)

Nope. Special cases because Wayne Reynolds did the art for them because we knew going in we wanted them to be one of the three iconics for Ultimate Combat.

Advanced Player's Guide had 6 iconics already. The antipaladin was not needed as an extra iconic there.


Right, also, Antipaladins are lame.

#factsoflife

Andoran

James Jacobs wrote:
Callum Finlayson wrote:

Always nice to see a new "meet the iconic".

But when can we expect to meet Feiya/Balazar/Imrijka?

Probably not before Gen Con. Probably a bit after.

It's not easy writing these things, in other words; it's actually among the most complex of the blog posts we do since they not only have to be interesting, follow canon, and fit the illustration, but also need to be well written fiction, which is a lot harder to do than plain old preview blogs or the like. That narrows down the number of folks we can have write them SIGNIFICANTLY, since not everyone at Paizo is necessarily good at writing fiction.

And I'm stoked to be able to add one more to the list! Thanks for the awesome writeup, Crystal!

In any case, we haven't forgotten that we need a witch, an inquisitor, a summoner, or a ninja entry. They'll get here eventually!

You should have a contest to write a backstory for a iconic.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Asian glorified archetypes are superior CONFIRMED!

:P

Grand Lodge

PEW PEW PEW!
She looks like an older, hotter, half-elven version of Mattie Ross. Love it. I imagine she talks like Mattie Ross too.
PEW PEW!


So I take it that from this fiction it is safe to say that, at least in Alkenstar, the copper piece is known as the penny?

Andoran

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Wow, an iconic backstory that isn't riddled with a haunting secret or something massively depressing. I like. Very refreshing and bright. Great job, Crystal!

As an addendum, I'm not saying I didn't like the other iconic's backstories. Most of them just seemed to be full of some sort of major tragedy that drove them. Kinda got depressing.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Gailbraithe wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Callum Finlayson wrote:

Always nice to see a new "meet the iconic".

But when can we expect to meet Feiya/Balazar/Imrijka?

Probably not before Gen Con. Probably a bit after.

It's not easy writing these things, in other words; it's actually among the most complex of the blog posts we do since they not only have to be interesting, follow canon, and fit the illustration, but also need to be well written fiction, which is a lot harder to do than plain old preview blogs or the like. That narrows down the number of folks we can have write them SIGNIFICANTLY, since not everyone at Paizo is necessarily good at writing fiction.

And I'm stoked to be able to add one more to the list! Thanks for the awesome writeup, Crystal!

In any case, we haven't forgotten that we need a witch, an inquisitor, a summoner, or a ninja entry. They'll get here eventually!

You should have a contest to write a backstory for a iconic.

Contests might sound like a good idea, but we never have the resources to manage them. In the time it would take for us to read and judge all of the entries for a fiction contest for an iconic, I could have written new entries for all 21 of our iconics a couple times over.

Silver Crusade

KestlerGunner wrote:

PEW PEW PEW!

She looks like an older, hotter, half-elven version of Mattie Ross. Love it. I imagine she talks like Mattie Ross too.
PEW PEW!

However, if she were Mattie, she physically wouldn't be able to dual wield those pistols.

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