A Friend? A Foe? Both? Neither? Something in Between?
Lisuania Longmeadow is a stunning blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty who stands nearly 5’8". She’s curvy in all the right places. Probably the prettiest person in every room she enters, Lisuania frequently attracts attention from men and women alike. At this point she’d be in her mid-late thirties.
Lisuania had ample experience with the Unlikely Darkotians during the Helm Campaign, starting with the very first night of the game. Her presence only expanded as the game progressed, to the point that most PCs (Aidan being the only exception) have met her and several have had intimate conversations with her. They thereby know a great deal about her.
Lisuania is selfish, very selfish. Almost everything she does helps her or those closest to her. In the course of this self-serving behavior, she can be sweet and loving or cold and uncaring depending on circumstance and situational context. These unpredictable interactions make her something of an enigma, one that can be equal parts fascinating and frustrating. That enigma is only further compounded because she is often extremely helpful and resourceful before becoming unpleasantly distracting or impeding.
Still, there is little doubt that when she acts, she does so with some positive intent in mind. Each time she betrayed the PCs during the Helm Campaign, and she did so frequently, she had a greater good explanation for her betrayal. Ditto that for all of the times she helped them.
There is also little doubt that while Lisuania has a strong independent streak, she is commonly acting to benefit her closest friend, commonly a strong male. This was true when the man was Alexander Postov. Or Sesyphus Lanson. But it is not always a man, as evidenced by her reported closeness to the female thief Zenia before she met Postov. Is there such a strong presence in her life today? Who can say? The Unlikely Darkotians have seen little of her since they realized Sesyphus was collaborating with Kelvin Fesselhoff, the Helm in plain sight.
Before the Helm Campaign
Prior to meeting Copper and Slattern in a small mining town outside of Kajore, Lisuania had already led a complex life. Born a commoner mired in poverty, the strikingly gorgeous child quickly wound up homeless. How or why has never been fully explained. While homeless, she learned a variety of skills that helped keep her fed and alive. Most of these skills, of course, were illegal. She became adept at breaking and entering, at pickpocketing, even at conning kind-hearted individuals who only wanted to help her.
As she was performing one such con, this one centralized on the pretext that she was a lost pre-teen searching for her family, Lisuania met a thief named Zenia, whom she discussed in limited detail with a number of the PCs, Copper being foremost amongst them. Like Lisuania, Zenia was homeless, had been for a long time. Also like Lisuania, Zenia was far from ugly. At the time they met, Zenia was probably in her early twenties while Lisuania was likely twelve or thirteen.
Zenia eventually opened a successful brothel, one that is still operating in Constan today, but when she met Lisuania she hadn’t yet become a matron mother. She was a thief and a con artist, a skilled one at that. It was Zenia who taught Lisuania to use her sex appeal under the conception that men would give anything to an attractive woman that seemed interested in them. As she was still innocent and gullible, it wasn’t long before Lisuania was implementing Zenia’s lessons on flirtation and seduction. Nor was it long before she could afford a small room in a boarding house, some new clothes and even some jewelry.
Now Lisuania might have been fifteen or sixteen. Zenia had a new offer. Perhaps they should move past mere seduction. Perhaps they should be courtiers. Now less innocent but still fairly gullible, Lisuania agreed. So it was that she started selling herself for hours and evenings to wealthy noblemen and merchants. Her sex appeal, her skill at seduction, her charisma made her one of the most discussed, sought after, and expensive courtiers on either island.
Serving Alexander Postov
As a prostitute, Lisuania was almost famous, attracting clients from all over both islands. One of her regulars was Alexander Postov. It is probable that he siphoned the funds for his visits to Lisuania from the nobility he robbed and occasionally murdered, but she couldn’t have known that then. Even if she had, she probably wouldn’t have cared.
Because he loved her, not in the puppy-dog sort of way many johns love their strippers and hookers, but in an all-encompassing, devastatingly desperate, almost obsessive sort of way. He loved her. Like she had never been loved before, not even by Zenia. Now Lisuania did not reciprocate Postov’s affection, but she did love the feeling of being loved, so it wasn’t terribly difficult for him to convince her to join his movement.
Now eighteen or nineteen, Lisuania abandoned Zenia and the brothel she’d helped start without so much as a graceful exit and traveled north with Postov to his Secret Lair. There she began studying the arcane arts, so much so that she attracted the ICS’ attention, even earning an enchanted Invoker’s robe after passing the council’s test. (Postov encouraged her to study offensive spells, so she did so.) At the same time, he trained her to further develop her natural stealthiness.
After a few years, Postov began using Lisuania, primarily as a spy. She would use her magic to make herself silent and unseen and then she would infiltrate noble homes, where she would listen to conversations and file through personal property in an effort to learn as much information as possible. Sometime she’d steal valuable trinkets. More often she’d simply steal intelligence Postov could use in his efforts to disrupt noble’s lifestyles.
As her magical prowess and natural stealthiness improved and as her body matured into that of a gorgeous young woman, she lived in comfort as Postov most trusted advisor and as his informal wife. They never married, but he never stopped doting on her. She never stopped loving the feeling of being loved.
So when Postov asked her to become even more important to their Freedom Fighters, she didn’t hesitate. There was a noble family, he said, that was profiting off of the international slave trade. Both the Lord and the Lady of the house were vile, corrupt individuals. The oldest son, already fifteen, had started aiding the family, even at his young age. There was little reason to doubt the other children would follow suit. The family needed to be eliminated, both for the greater good of disrupting the slave trade, and for the symbolic message it would send Lars Von Kissel. The father was one of his primary diplomats and most believed he would someday join the Small Council as the Master of International Relations. Only Lisuania had the skills, both magical and mundane, to eradicate this vile family.
Now likely twenty-two or twenty-three, she did so. Kill the family that is. Every one of them. Even the six year old daughter, the youngest child. The act repulsed her, but she nonetheless returned to Postov, as his confidant, lover, best friend, most trusted advisor. Until he asked her to do it again.
She told him she would, but it was a lie. She left her bladed weapons, all of them, behind her, and fled to the north. She kept fleeing into the Darkotian mountains, going further and further from Postov, the Freedom Fighters, her old life. She fled for weeks. Until exhausted and starving, she simply couldn’t climb anymore and collapsed in the mountain range.
It wasn’t the Dwarves of Darkot who found her. Rather, it was Sesyphus Lanson, a Lich who lived in a mountainous cabin the Dwarves had never managed to discover. Pretending to be a halfling, he fed her after her weeks of self-imposed starvation. More importantly, Sesyphus listened to her regret-laden tales of prostitution and assassination. While he didn’t erase the guilt she felt, he did help her cope with it.
Eventually they became close enough that he revealed his true nature to her. She was repulsed, of course. She even ran from him, thinking she’d return to Postov on the condition that she’d never assassinate another soul. Only as she marched through Darkot’s mountains, going further and further south, she realized she had no interest in working with her one-time lover anymore. He loved her. But she despised him.
She could return to Zenia, but no. Zenia valued Lisuania, but she didn’t love her. More importantly, Lisuania now hated her one time matron almost as much as she hated Postov. Her thoughts returned to the halfling-disguised Lich, Sesyphus. He needed her, almost as badly as she needed him. And really, he’d told her he hadn’t meant to be turned into a Lich, that it was an involuntary accident wrought by a vile item created by one Dole Vanson. He wanted to die. That’s all. Just as she’d wanted to die after assassinating that family. Through Sesyphus she might have a reason to live, at least for a short time. She would help him.
Help him she did. In ways he certainly never expected. Devoted now to finding the Helm and destroying so that she could then kill her new best friend, Lisuania sought out Dole, the Helm’s creator and then seduced the seven century old elf. Now in twenty-four or twenty-five, she spent the next two years getting closer to Dole than any person had ever been before her. He might have been crazy and repulsive, but he had information she needed so that Sesyphus’ lengthy undead torture could finally end, and she was going to use all of the skills Zenia and Postov had taught her to discover what the information was.
Perhaps by accident, discover it she did. Somehow, though she has never explained how, Lisuania learned the Helm had been found around the same time Slattern and Copper did. She even came to Kajore the same time they did. And she tracked the same mentally ill man they did.
There the odds were tipped in her favor. The Helm may or may not have known she was somehow connected to its creator and perfect match, but whether it did or not, it did know she was a spellcaster, one who had now been trained by two of the ICS’ founding fathers, and thereby two of the most powerful spellcasters on the Material Plane. And it wanted to be paired with her. So it let her kill the man it was now dominating. And then voluntarily let her claim it.
How excited it must have been when she told Slattern and Copper she was working for a powerful wizard named Dole Vanson. How dissapointed it must have been when she replaced it with a non-magical replica Sesyphus had created long ago and then dissapeared from Dole’s life, hoping to take the Helm to her Lich friend so that the two of them could set about destroying it.
During the Helm Campaign
Lisuania’s actions thoughout the first campaign are well described throughout the history linked here. Briefly, it is important to note that given her closeness to Dole, she knew how the Elf had designed to destroy the Helm, and was thereby the PCs primary source of information in their efforts to do so. But she was also a frequent and inconvenient impediment to the PCs effort.
After the Helm Campaign
It is hard to say what direction Lisuania’s life has taken since the last time the PCs saw her outside Elmsville City when she told the group that Fesselhoff knew who they were, that he was hunting them. (Note: this conversation is not noted in the history. Suffice it to say that it did happen—it’s not important enough to detail.)
What is not hard to say is that at the end of the Helm campaign, she would have been twenty-eight or twenty-nine and she would have spent the last five years of her life devoted to helping Sesyphus destroy the Helm so that he could finally die.
She must have therefore been devastated when he, in an act of irony given her own penchant for betrayal, betrayed her. The Lich began working with Fesselhoff, Vol Atta Col, Yekve and the Helm itself. Lisuania had already been suicidal once before.
Did she finally kill herself after this act of utter contradiction to everything she thought she knew about her undead friend? Did she seek out someone else, perhaps Slattern, whom she knew would kill her? Or did she find some other cause to live for?