Fifteen years ago, a child wrapped in bloody rags was left on the tomb of a Chelexian hero in the Necropolis surrounding Korvosa’s Pharasma Cathedral, a note pushed into her wrappings. She was found by a groundskeeper, and the leaders of the church conceded that she should become a ward of the church – for the time that she has been there, she has remained the only one.
A child among adults, Larisha Biora quickly learned to entertain herself by playing pretend or following the clerics through their daily rituals. She was indulged as long as she proved no distraction, and she grew to be observant, quiet, and thoughtful. She was treated with varying degrees of distant kindness by church staff and leaders, but no one ever quite formed a nurturing bond with her. Although Lirisha was vaguely lonely, she came to admire the priesthood’s emotional detachment. Now a teen, she is scared of feeling things too deeply – she finds strong emotion is more powerful and overwhelming than she has capacity to handle.
Due to the circumstances of her adoption as an infant, Lirisha is convinced that she exists for a purpose. She does not believe that she herself is special – in fact, she believes that anything extraordinary she could do is Pharasma working through her to fulfill her destiny. As a human manifestation of the Fate aspect within Pharasma’s portfolio, she goes where she is led and looks for omens in the natural world. To better her understanding, she has taken up reading Harrow. She is not yet very skilled at it. She is, however, skilled in healing and in manifesting a radiant light that damages her enemies and blesses her allies.
Now on the verge of adulthood, Lirisha has been given the terse, frantic note left in her bloody baby blankets. She keeps it with her, out of sight, tucked safely away in her diary:
Please take this child. She is special! Keep her safe from Gaedren Lamm. Tell her we loved her. Only she can-
It ends with a pen stroke, as if the writer was interrupted. She sometimes wonders if the blood was hers, that of her parents, or from someone else to whom she was entrusted. The note is unsigned, but that is immaterial. If Gaedren was after her, then he must have killed those who were responsible for her… those who loved her. The ones who knew she was special, or held her special in their hearts. He is responsible for the family she has lost.
She will take responsibility for his justice.
Lirisha is an uneasy combination of adult calm and adolescent dreaminess. She is capable of recognizing and sympathizing with a wide range of feeling, but its effect is as distant and fleeting as if she were in the audience watching an exquisite drama. Her default state is optimism tempered with practicality. She is gentle and honest when possible and merciful when she cannot be peaceful.
Lirisha both longs for and fears the experience of overwhelming emotion; she distracts herself with hopeless crushes that she would never want to be realized. In non-romantic relationships, her self-perception as priestess and protector becomes a shield of high-handedness and condescension. Anyone who attempts to spark true friendship has thus far been reflexively distanced, as making a real bond would require an emotional investment of which she may well be incapable.
When Lirisha looks in the mirror, she does not see the face of the child she still is. In her own sight, her attractive but angular face gains the broader, rounded fullness of adulthood. Her hair is now barely past her shoulders, but she imagines it fuller and long. Her coltishness grows curves.
This image (http://www.rossettiarchive.org/docs/s205.rap.html) reflects the view from imagination’s eye, and it could be a picture of how she might look in ten years, when adulthood has finally settled on her shoulders. The Lilith work treads the line between fine detail (face & hair) and dreamy fantasy without depth or realistic boundary. It is distinctly appropriate to her—a child with experience but without understanding.
Larisha on Other Party Members
Arith Porphyria – Isn’t it so romantic? So tragic? Arith’s fiancee, who he must have loved so much, was murdered, and he devoted himself to avenging her. When I first met him, I thought he was the most beautiful man I’d ever seen. Now, I can only think that he’s truly the beloved of a god. He makes some decisions that I think are wrong, but I can only imagine the pain that has warped him. I fear it strikes him blind to morality sometimes.
Lachellis – This man is crude, impulsive, and stupidly stubborn. He’s a bigoted, hairy drunkard. And did I mention that he’s smelly? And obsessed with sex! Eww! All that disgusting grossness aside, he bleeds loyalty. He’ll stand in front of a charging lion to protect a party mate, and he loves Korvosa and the guard. He’d die for what he believes in. He’d die to protect someone he believes is innocent. He’s not quite hopeless. I hope.
Maiadra “Maia” – That elf is a little obsessed with money. OK, completely obsessed with money. She’d do a lot for it, and she doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty. She also doesn’t miss any opportunity. And she can probably see around corners. She notices everything! I wonder, really, what she’s about. All that money must go somewhere….
Mattea of the Harfik Clan – It will be in everyone’s best interest to keep a protective eye on our newest companion. She’s so young – even younger than River, in all the ways that count. She’s full of life and that is a real antidote to some of the poisonous weariness that all the rest of us are full of. It’s obvious that she formed some sort of protection for herself against the painful events that fated her to join with us. At the same time, I’ve never really been around a child for any long period of time… between her and River, I’m going to have my hands full.
River Arrington – Well, what? It’s just how River is. That boy keeps going down the wrong paths, self-destructing as masochistically as possible. He can’t live without the things that he’s too proud to ask for – support, respect, to actually exist meaningfully in someone else’s landscape. He’s determined to actively disappoint you, so that he is the instigator of your abandonment. I am just trying to keep him alive and away from Evil until he can take care of himself.