Li'sar's Characterization in HttT (Spoilers)

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Re: Li'sar's Characterization in HttT (Spoilers)

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Whiskeyjack wrote: Acutally it isn´t. Firstly, if I remember correctly Kalenz went into his second (third?) and final retirement after HttT and secondly he is first and foremost a Wesmere elf, while the elves of NR are exclusively Lintanir elves. Not strange at all, that he would not even have heard of the events until they were over. The truly strange thing is that the Wesmere elves do not show up or get at least a mention. It´s like Wesmere were the forest far away from Knalga, not Lintanir...
It seems like there might be some contradictions regarding whether Wesmere and Lintanir are separate nations or the same (i.e. the "North Elves"). If they are one people, perhaps their faerie abilities allow them to communicate and coordinate while physically separated by geographic distance and rugged terrain.

Either way, if you are suggesting swapping out Lintanir for Wesmere to fix the location issue, it does makes sense for Kalenz to have some involvement at some point.
Whiskeyjack wrote: Regarding the form of government: I think a council fits better for elves because they are a free spirited, less strictly organized people. But on the other hand, having different kinds of ruling bodies for the different elvish enclaves would actually work to give them some distinction.
The bigger issue is how Elf societies are different from Human societies. By the time of HttT, they both seem similarly martial and hierarchical. That is explained and supported by the arrival of the Orcs, which forced Elves to get a lot more comfortable with organization and warfare. But since they are still supposed to be fundamentally different creatures (Elves and Humans), it would make some sense and be more interesting if they had more pronounced social differences. Monarchy versus Council of Elders is the least that could be done in this regard.

Expanding on the differences between the North and South Elves is less important because they should have a lot in common with each other, relative to what they have in common with the Human kingdoms(s).
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Re: Li'sar's Characterization in HttT (Spoilers)

Post by The Great Rings »

If you replaced Lintanir with Wesmere in NR that, might make more sense.

But I disagree that the differences between groups of elves is "less important". One of the worst trademarks of a lot of science fiction/fantasy writing is the idea that races and societies are basically homogenous. It doesn't work that way in real life. Why should it work that way in Wesnoth?

Is the idea that their are a mere two distinct elvish cultures too much to ask for? Especially if a basis for such differences is already their?
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Re: Li'sar's Characterization in HttT (Spoilers)

Post by UK1 »

The Great Rings wrote:Actually, Wesnoth elves are quite different from Tolkien elves. They're not immortal, for one, as I recall (though I suppose I could be wrong about that- I don't recall a source).

Also, the multiplayer factions have very little to do with the campaign stories, and to the best of my knowledge, no elves supported Ashevier.

As to Li'sar, you appear to be assuming that she would join Konrad only out of self-interest. Other motivations are possible.
Sure, but you'd agree they're BASED on Tolkien elves, right? They weren't fabricated whole cloth. Like all elves in most modern lore such as this and D&D are objectively variations of Tolkien elves.

And, no... aren't the multiplayer/default factions sort of a time freeze of the uprising against Asheviere? That's why elves are Rebels? They broke the alliance with Wesnoth? Could have sworn I read this somewhere. Not a sticking point, though.

And not really. We do everything in self interest. Doing something for love or humanitarian reasons, even, is self interest.
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Re: Li'sar's Characterization in HttT (Spoilers)

Post by The Great Rings »

UK1 wrote:
The Great Rings wrote:Actually, Wesnoth elves are quite different from Tolkien elves. They're not immortal, for one, as I recall (though I suppose I could be wrong about that- I don't recall a source).

Also, the multiplayer factions have very little to do with the campaign stories, and to the best of my knowledge, no elves supported Ashevier.

As to Li'sar, you appear to be assuming that she would join Konrad only out of self-interest. Other motivations are possible.
Sure, but you'd agree they're BASED on Tolkien elves, right? They weren't fabricated whole cloth. Like all elves in most modern lore such as this and D&D are objectively variations of Tolkien elves.
They certainly have some similarities, although I'm not sure if those extend beyond the superficial/stylistic.
And, no... aren't the multiplayer/default factions sort of a time freeze of the uprising against Asheviere? That's why elves are Rebels? They broke the alliance with Wesnoth? Could have sworn I read this somewhere. Not a sticking point, though.
Not really the case. Konrad's rebel army included human horsemen and dwarves but no woses. And Ashevier's troops included orcs and undead as well as human loyalist troops.
And not really. We do everything in self interest. Doing something for love or humanitarian reasons, even, is self interest.
If that's your personal viewpoint, you obviously have every right to it, but I trust you understand that it is not a universally accepted one, and I would appreciate it if you do not treat it as an objective fact when it comes to the campaign's characterization. I have no authority to tell you not to do so, of course. Just expressing my personal thoughts on the matter. And as this is not a philosophical debate thread, that's the last I intend to say on it.

Also, of course, Li'sar could have multiple motivations for her actions.
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Re: Li'sar's Characterization in HttT (Spoilers)

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Looking back over this thread, it seems the last half of it has strayed very far afield. I think we do need to keep things constrained to the subject of the characters of HttT and more specifically how they are within HttT only. Other campaigns can be adjusted later, let us not worry about them for now.

So back to Li'sar. I think there is still a major hole in her construction that we have partly but not entirely filled...
Cold Steel wrote: either she is an inexperienced commander with limited developed ability ignorant to the harsh truths of the world, at the point where she enters the campaign... or she knows about and has probably participated directly or indirectly in, Asheviere's cruel reign over the realm.
Last we left off, she was no longer supposed to be Wesnoth's greatest commander, but still a competent one. Yet to have already developed into a competent commander and be somewhat renowned as such, she would need a good deal of field experience. So then what kinds of warfare did she wage for Asheviere in order to have gained all that experience?

This is the fulcrum on which a believable Li'sar character would have to teeter from loyalist to rebel.

One option is Asheviere only assigns Li'sar to glorious, white night missions like pushing back orc raiders, hunting down bandits or defeating necromancers. In this case, it makes perfect sense for Li'sar to be all an experienced commander, a staunch loyalist and an unquestioned asset to the kingdom as a whole. But then the burden of convincing this person to become a rebel falls entirely on the shoulders of the events and other characters of HttT's scenarios. The backstory offers no help in bringing her around for a one-eighty.

The other option is Asheviere assigns Li'sar to do whatever supports her rule and ambitions, as she had with Eldred. Pushing back orc raiders, wholesale slaughtering rebellious villages, hunting down bandits, pressing the mermish into slavery, defeating necromancers and launching surprise attacks on peaceful elvish enclaves. Even if Li'sar did everything she could to blunt the Queen's more unpalatable directives (burn down rebellious villages but let survivors flee, enslave naga, send a message forewarning of her assault to the peaceful elvish enclaves), she would still know full well what kind of thing she is a part of. This creates plenty of incentive to be seduced by a rebel cause and makes Li'sar a more burdened and complicated character, but also one that may be harder to develop into a protagonist in the eyes of the player.
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Re: Li'sar's Characterization in HttT (Spoilers)

Post by zookeeper »

Cold Steel wrote:The backstory offers no help in bringing her around for a one-eighty.
But it does:
"Listen, you whose eyes are fair but hide a vacuum, do you think I do not know what power can do to one’s soul? What evils a person is capable of when truth and righteousness are but scrolls that can be rewritten when a queen grows tired of them?"

"I spent my entire childhood listening to my mother give orders and commanding armies around. I hid in the throne room as a little girl as she met with her generals. I now know she was having people killed... entire towns of people killed!"

"I became my mother’s most trusted aide-de-camp. I was sent to quiet the worst of the rebellion. Of course they fought back. I never knew who these people were or why they fought my mother. Konrad, you are lucky. You do not know what Wesnoth has been like these past many years. There is no peace. I have never known peace."
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Re: Li'sar's Characterization in HttT (Spoilers)

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zookeeper wrote:
Cold Steel wrote:The backstory offers no help in bringing her around for a one-eighty.
But it does:
I was actually referring to one possible option for the rewrite of Li'sar (rather than the current version of Li'sar in HttT right now). But I had completely forgotten those lines you just quoted from her... and I have to say I like them! They do show the original writing was going with "the other option" I mentioned above-- that Li'sar not only knows about but has taken some part in 'the worst' of Asheviere's rule.

The problem that needs fixing then, is this Li'sar character that said those things, really cannot be anything like the "child" from scenario 8 and beyond. We need to take this Li'sar and extrapolate her all the way back through to the beginning of the campaign. Do not take this to mean she should remain static for all that time, but this knowledge of hers should have already shaped her when she first shows up. In other words, that Li'sar that only shows up towards then end of the campaign, needs to be the person we meet in scenario 8 and then she evolves from there.

It makes no sense for her to be even remotely a brash, confident, aggressive person when she knows and feels she is probably a murderer working for a career murderer. Unless she were just another Asheviere or Eldred. But she is not, so she needs to be and come across as burdened, tired and aged as you would expect any normal person to be, after having been raised into and indeed played such a role in this "dark" kingdom.
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Re: Li'sar's Characterization in HttT (Spoilers)

Post by Whiskeyjack »

Cold Steel wrote:It makes no sense for her to be even remotely a brash, confident, aggressive person when she knows and feels she is probably a murderer working for a career murderer. Unless she were just another Asheviere or Eldred. But she is not, so she needs to be and come across as burdened, tired and aged as you would expect any normal person to be, after having been raised into and indeed played such a role in this "dark" kingdom.
Actually, this would not stop her from being confident in her abilities as commander and heir (possible better ruler for the future). And aggressive could be a perfect way of behaviour if she did not understand her crimes as such at the very start, then (somewhat) repented, but now feels helpless to change anything. At that point she would see only one good thing she could do: Chase down the impostor and bring a little more peace to the realm. This would make for a rather aggressive demeanor in the earlier scenarios, with possibly some projection towards Konrad and Defaldor (as bad guys bringing more war and suffering which she takes on as enemies to numb the feelings of her own repehensibleness (is that a word!?)). That would also set her up for a change of character once she finds hope in the prospect of bringing down Asheviere.

About the other points of discussion:
(I´ll try to keep this short to keep the noise down)

About UKs point of Li'sar forfeiting her claim to the throne once she joins the rebels: That is factually wrong. About the time were she truly joins the rebels, Defaldor completely drops poor Konrad instead (whom he reveals as his fraud) and decides that they all should support Li'sars claim. Konrad only ends up king because he marries Li'sar (like discussed this will probably be displayed as a mixture of the reasons romance and convenience (she needs to tie the rebels to her claim more strongly and they were loyal to Konrad for most of the campaign)).

I agree with Cold Steel, that there seem to be contradictions regarding the governments of "the North Elves" but I agree with TGR that this would be a great opportunity to step up the differentiation between the elvish groups because of the reasons he mentioned (supported by the fact that by now we have more diversity for humans that arrived centuries (millenia!?) after the elves than the elves themself...)
And this is placed correctly here IMO, because HttT would be the perfect place to start and showcase this diversity as all elves (Wesmere only through Kalenz, but he was an important member of the Ka'lian) show up and partake in the rebellion. Before we take up on a discussion about possible forms of government and distribution of said government(s) about the elvish forests I´d suggest we wait for Turuk to come back though and hear if he wants to tackle this point of world building at all in his rewrite.
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Re: Li'sar's Characterization in HttT (Spoilers)

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Whiskeyjack wrote: Actually, this would not stop her from being confident in her abilities as commander and heir (possible better ruler for the future).
It is not about her estimation of her own tactical skill. If she assisted in the slaughter of whole towns with little justification, that has to seriously downgrade her resolve. Both intellectually and emotionally. Intellectually, she has seen time and again, that when she follows the Queen's orders, horrible things result. Emotionally, she lives with the visceral memories of those results and with her own guilt attached to them.

As for her sense of worthiness as an heir, that does not come into it at this point. When she enters the story she is fighting essentially for her mother's rule, limited only by remaining lifespan, which could easily be another decade or two. When the heir question becomes a near term one (i.e. she ultimately decides Asheviere needs to be retired) the question is would she make a better ruler than Konrad, not Asheviere.
Whiskeyjack wrote: And aggressive could be a perfect way of behaviour if she did not understand her crimes as such at the very start, then (somewhat) repented, but now feels helpless to change anything. At that point she would see only one good thing she could do: Chase down the impostor and bring a little more peace to the realm.
Well the way things are now, there is every indication that the land under Asheviere is in a continuous state of violent turmoil. Quoting Li'sar herself: "Konrad, you are lucky. You do not know what Wesnoth has been like these past many years. There is no peace. I have never known peace."

So it really doesn't seem reasonable to believe that hunting down yet another band of rebels is going to make any difference on behalf of peace. There can be other motivations for the hunt, but peace is a long stretch.
Whiskeyjack wrote: This would make for a rather aggressive demeanor in the earlier scenarios, with possibly some projection towards Konrad and Delfaldor
Well I do really like the idea of revenge against Delfador in particular being her primary motivation at this point. As far as she knows, if he hadn't slaughtered almost her entire family, King Garrard would still be alive running Wesnoth as well as he did, or otherwise good old Eldred would. Delfador set all of this in motion, so she then has every reason in the world to hate him.

I think her judgement of Konrad should be unclouded though. Just as her mother raised and led her to do terrible acts, she probably can relate to Konrad being raised and led by the murderous and lying Delfador, to do things he will eventually regret too. This offers an early route for emotional connection between them.

And also a tactical reason for her to try and reach out tp and interact with him, especially after she is captured by the rebels. He is potentially a weak link, a poor young sheltered fool misled into believing he is a prince (in fact true) and the apparent key to the legitimacy of the rebellion. If she could convince him of the truth about himself or to abandon the fight for other reasons, Delfador's ambition to install a puppet on the throne would be destroyed and his army might even abandon him out of hopelessness.
Whiskeyjack wrote: That would also set her up for a change of character once she finds hope in the prospect of bringing down Asheviere.
She really could have assassinated Asheviere at any time before leaving Wesnoth or had an excellent shot at it. She can get close enough to Asheviere to do so herself, commands a sizable army and, as the only one left with any royal blood, could start a hopeful, legitimate insurrection of her own somewhere in an already rebellious land.
Whiskeyjack wrote: to numb the feelings of her own repehensibleness (is that a word!?)
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Re: Li'sar's Characterization in HttT (Spoilers)

Post by Whiskeyjack »

Cold Steel wrote:Well the way things are now, there is every indication that the land under Asheviere is in a continuous state of violent turmoil. Quoting Li'sar herself: "Konrad, you are lucky. You do not know what Wesnoth has been like these past many years. There is no peace. I have never known peace."

So it really doesn't seem reasonable to believe that hunting down yet another band of rebels is going to make any difference on behalf of peace. There can be other motivations for the hunt, but peace is a long stretch.
Well, that´s why I wrote a little peace. You know, grasping at straws and stuff. Humans are not exactly rational creatures, especially when emotinally taxed or dealing with cognitive dissonance. I have no problem with going a more fatalistic/nihilistc route, but I do think that projection is a reasonable option as well. You wanted realistic characters. ;)

Regarding the projection: My idea was more a developement like this: general projection towards the rebels and the impostor (revenge against Defaldor might be part of this too) -> realisation that Konrad is actually a nice guy after meeting him up close; notion that Defaldor uses him as a puppet -> realisation that Defaldor is not the evil wizard she thought him to be and that the rebels might actually be fighting for a good cause.
(a rough outline for a step by step turnaround which should of course be a little more accentuated in the final version...)
Cold Steel wrote:She really could have assassinated Asheviere at any time before leaving Wesnoth or had an excellent shot at it. She can get close enough to Asheviere to do so herself, commands a sizable army and, as the only one left with any royal blood, could start a hopeful, legitimate insurrection of her own somewhere in an already rebellious land.
Yes, but perhaps it never occured to her to actually go against her mother? There is a reason she did those terrible things even after she recognised them as evil. She was trained in the military and brought up in Asheviere´s palace to be her assistant and heir (trained as a commander, but also in absolute obedience to her mother). Together with some emotional dependence/affection towards her mother as well as an attempt to somehow justify those actions and explain why her mother acts the way she does (cognitive dissonance again), it would not be absurd to assume she only fully comprehended the things she told Konrad (about herself and her mothers rule) and realised the possibility (and necessity) to stop her mother through her exposure to the rebels and their way of thinking.

I´d actually find this a lot more believable scenario for her to come out as a relatively good person at the end, than the nihilistic (not sure if this fits correctly, I get the feeling there is a better word for what I want to say, but it just won´t come to mind) approach which has her commit atrocities while in full awareness of her own deeds while also aware of the option that she could stop her mother at any given point.
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Re: Li'sar's Characterization in HttT (Spoilers)

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Whiskeyjack wrote: Well, that´s why I wrote a little peace. You know, grasping at straws and stuff. Humans are not exactly rational creatures, especially when emotinally taxed or dealing with cognitive dissonance. I have no problem with going a more fatalistic/nihilistc route, but I do think that projection is a reasonable option as well. You wanted realistic characters. ;)
I suppose it is realistic enough. It just makes her seem more crazy and soft minded, closer to how she is currently. Which makes it a bit harder to see her as 'the right choice' for the throne. She needs to come across as somewhat understandable and likable even from the beginning for that to work, I think.

If she seemed low on hope and motivation rather than common sense and sanity, she could say things that would help us to have some respect and sympathy for her.

For example, she could make a cogent argument for the rebellion having no hope of improving the situation, since even if Konrad were legitimate there is absolutely no way to convince the entire kingdom of this without evidence, and you would have indefinite civil war with potentially more 'Konrads' popping up pretending to be dead royals and warring for the throne. The peace of the universally recognized hereditary power structure would be broken and could take generations to reform, if the kingdom was not destroyed by outside forces in the mean time.

She might also make a decent surrender demand before engaging in battle. Like they must all lay down arms, Konrad confess he is a pretender and Delfador surrender himself for judgement (certainly execution) and in return the rebels (minus Delfador) will be banished from the realm and adjacent lands rather than cut down on site.
Whiskeyjack wrote: Regarding the projection: My idea was more a developement like this: general projection towards the rebels and the impostor (revenge against Defaldor might be part of this too) -> realisation that Konrad is actually a nice guy after meeting him up close; notion that Defaldor uses him as a puppet ->
I think it would show more depth if she put everything on Delfador, scheming traitor, slayer of her family and undoubted orchestrator of this rebellion. Konrad she has little reason to take seriously yet for any reason.
Whiskeyjack wrote: I´d actually find this a lot more believable scenario for her to come out as a relatively good person at the end, than the nihilistic (not sure if this fits correctly, I get the feeling there is a better word for what I want to say, but it just won´t come to mind) approach which has her commit atrocities while in full awareness of her own deeds while also aware of the option that she could stop her mother at any given point.
I would say more fatalistic or pragmatic than nihilistic. Fatalistic in that she cannot fully believe anything else is possible because it is so alien to her life experience, having been born and raised in 'Dark Wesnoth'. Pragmatic in that eliminating Asheviere unceremoniously might cause open conflict with elements of the Queen's corrupt military brass, whereas remaining a loyal servant allows her to blunt the execution of the Queen's commands to a degree (for example, decimating rebellious towns rather than annihilating them).

And at a more emotional level, she might feel pretty damn "lost" and exhausted. Like she feels only 60% certain that crushing this rebellion is actually in anyone's best interest. So she can only find it within herself to put forward 60% of her best effort towards doing so. And only that much because Delfador is the instigator and de facto leader.
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Re: Li'sar's Characterization in HttT (Spoilers)

Post by octalot »

Would the idea below fit with the lore of the undead?

Suppose Asheviere has been sending disfavoured troops on missions "through" the Valley Of Death before. When Konrad's forces kill the Valley Of Death's liches, some of these ghosts could visit Li'sar before they return to the underworld, and they tell her more about what Asheviere did. A lot that she either hadn't thought about or hadn't known suddenly makes terrible sense.

All except the most loyal of Li'sar's troops flee in terror, some believing that the evils of the Valley Of Death are chasing them, others recognising their fallen comrades. Some may even believe that Asheviere was sending Li'sar and themselves to die in the Valley.

This is also an excuse for a ghost to play the part of narrator, suggesting to the player that Li'sar should take the Sceptre instead of Konrad.

Possibly do this Konrad-frees-ghosts twice: once after Valley Of Death, where the the ghosts tell Li'sar that one of Delfador, Asheviere or Eldred was evil, and obviously she believes it was Delfador. After Lionel is defeated, there's another ghostly visitation that makes her realise that Delfador wasn't the evil one.

Scenario idea:
Spoiler:
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Re: Li'sar's Characterization in HttT (Spoilers)

Post by Tad_Carlucci »

This thread started a bit over a year ago with the question of Li'sar's characterization, and died off after several months after wandering a bit. Excuse me for going back to the OP ... as a relatively new player, I agree with the OP: the character Li'sar does seem contrived and stilted. She does not seem to behave as a person. Rather, she's a plot device who acts as she does simply because that's what's needed for the plot-line.

I started reading this thread thinking it was a call for improvement in her characterization WITHIN the HttT and interested in seeing the discussion as to how she could be more well-rounded as a character. While I agree Li'sar should have her own campaign, it should inform (and, possibly, modify) her actions in HttT as well as be informed by those actions.

Given how close she is, in age, to Konrad, Li'sar's campaign should inter-twine with his. In fact, one could make the argument that, to REALLY understand things, one should play a few scenes from one, then a few scenes from the other, switching as needed to make the time-line more linear.

To my mind, the largest problem with Li'sar is, when first met (HttT, scene 8 ), she seems to immature; much like Konrad. Yet she has no mentor to guide here. Perhaps it would work better if there a mentor who, seeing the battle is lost, runs, leaving her to Konrad's (actually, Delfador's) mercy. This mentor, then, could be the one who actually sets up the next scene. Alternatively, perhaps the victory conditions for scene 8 would play out better if it required the actual death of this mentor (whose death scene, then, sets up scene 9); the actual death of Li'sar, then, would be a failure condition.

In Li'sar's separate campaign, then, this mentor can be seen to be her mother's proxy and Li'sar's eventual betrayal of her mother could be developed out of her growing realization that, via this mentor, she is nothing more than a puppet. The mentor could also serve as a surrogate for her mother and (at least initially) target of her rebellion as she comes of age and become her own woman. The mentor's death, then, could serve as a motivator for Li'sar to finally take a look at her life, and set out on her own. She is, then, still generally working in the direction set by her mother (through scenes 11, 13, 16 and 17), until she makes the ultimate break (scene 24) with the death of her mother.

In addition, if one chooses the Snow Plains (alternate scene 19) Li'sar's history does not really seem to blend well with the HttT campaign. But, if it comes out as part of her questioning of her own history (as directed by the mentor Kondar chased off, or put to death, in scene 8 ) it would be more consistent.

Finally, I strongly agree, as earlier comments stated, that it would make far more sense if Delfador would develop the strengthening suggestion that, perhaps, it would be better if Li'sar were given the Sceptre. In fact, I would suggest that, at the end of scene 17, if Konrad obtains the Scepter, that Delfador directly intervene and directly request Kondar hand the Scepter to Li'sar, perhaps even forcing him to do so after some discussion, maybe with Kalenz putting in some comments hinting that things are not as they seem and he does not like it.

Li'sar's separate campaign, then, would start some time before Konrad's, with her initially following the direction of her mentor, but quickly beginning to question the direction.

For example, scene 1 would be an attack to put down some rebellious villages (links to early-to-mid Liberty, using map and units quite similar to, if not take from, that campaign). The following scenes would have the mentor leading Li'sar to greater and greater atrocities, using darker and darkerforces. Where, initially, she used only humans, over the next few scenes, she is lead to using orcs and, finally, undead. Along the way, she begins to question why, if they are on the side of Law and Good, they're using such Chaotic and Evil forces; and she begins to see this is not just the mentor, but also her mother's wishes. After a few scenes (say 3 or 4) she reaches the point where she actually refuses. The mentor, then pulls back and they return to using a strictly human force for a scene whose victory condition has her occupying the same map as HttT scene 8. Here, rather than re-play HttT scene 8, simply do a cut-scene telling the player that she lost the map to the usurper Konrad and the mentor was killed. The next few scenes, then are her building that strong army she'll have in HttT scene 11, chasing the usurper, Konrad, to the Ford, but arriving just a bit too late (in her version, she has to fight across the Ford, as well, but never sees Konrad (or, perhaps, catches a glimpse of his exiting the north edge as she enters the map). Li'sar's entry into the drawven caverns can be much like Konrad's. however, for her, the goal is to crush the dwarf leaders. She learns, however, that Konrad is after the Sceptre and rushes after him, fighting through the orcs and trolls. Unlike HttT scene 16, she meets the enemy alone and fights through to HttP scene 16 where another cut-screen has he joining Konrad, obtaining the Sceptre and dethroning her mother. The story jumps to the aftermath. The main theme of her campaign then becomes consolidating her control over Wesnoth (with Konrad's assistance?) pushing the orcs back north, making peace the villagers (Liberty sequel?) and facing off to crush the undead (shades of the South Guard). These final scenes might introduce us to Mal M'Brin as set up his corruption, leading to that campaign.
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Re: Li'sar's Characterization in HttT (Spoilers)

Post by Tad_Carlucci »

In thinking more on the motivations of Li'sar, it becomes apparent that her early years are critical.

The major factors here are her relationship with her mother, Queen Asheriere. This means I needed to know more about her, as well. The first stop, of course, is the Timeline, and reviewing the events in the mainline campaigns from around that time.

I just replayed Liberty, which takes place in 501, shortly after the betrayal at the Ford of Abez. From there, we learn that Asheviere has been dabbling with necromancy. The evidence, here, is directly from Liberty. The question, then, is why?

Looking back over the Timeline, we see she gave birth to twin sons in 483. Other than that single statement, I can find no other reference to them. So, the question is what happened to them?

Here's what I propose:

In 487, shortly after young identical twins, Princes Erain and Ethyn, turned four years of age, they contracted a disease, quickly sickened, and died within days of each other. Queen Asheviere was, of course, crushed by this. She was so filled with grief that she withdrew from sight for several years and began a secret study of necromancy, having become convinced that she could recall her sons from the land of the dead.

Around 497 Asheviere reappears and begins working on bending Crown Prince Eldred to her will, probably in furtherance of her goal. Most likely, I'd say, because King Garard II was a road-block to her goals and she could more easily use her (then only just 18 years of age) son against his father.

My rationale is that, from Heir to the Throne, we learn Li'sar is apparent heir to her mother. Kalenz and Delfador make no mention of her older bothers. We know Eldred is dead (killed by Delfador in 501 during the insurrection at Wedyn). Logically, Erain and Ethyn must also be dead, otherwise one of them would be the heir. I picked a date which is long enough to become firmly enamored of the twins, but leaves time for both some study, and some effort bending Eldred to her will

In 501, Eldred betrays his father and uncle at the battle at the Ford of Abez. From Librerty, we learn Queen Asheviere's forces have been half-changed into undead. So, it seems apparent she's become rather advanced in her studies.

It seems apparent, both from Liberty, and from Heir to the Throne, that Queen Asheviere has little regard for life, and is willing to use both the undead, and orcs to further her goals. We know she's quite willing to use murder since, in 501, she had all Prince Arand's sons put to death, declaring herself Regent, ruling on behalf of her infant daughter, Li'sar.

The Timeline says she declared herself Queen on 501. But, she married King Garard II in 478. To my mind, that means she became Queen in 478 and what the Timeline means is she declared herself Regent for the only living heir. That simply leaves the question: did she set aside the Regency to usurp the throne and declare herself a true ruler, or is part of the back-story which leads Li'sar into conflict with her mother is the fact that Asheviere did not abdicate the Regency once Li'sar came of age, probably when she turned 16 or 18, a couple years before the events of Heir to the Throne. (Actually, I just thought of that bit and sort of like it.)

This gives us a few motivators for Li'sar turning on her mother: Asheviere's involvement with Eldred's betrayal, her (alleged) involvement with the murders of Arand's sons, her oppression of her subjects, her use of undead and orcs, even against those same subjects, and her refusal to give way and allow Li'sar to become Queen.
I forked real life and now I'm getting merge conflicts.
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zookeeper
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Re: Li'sar's Characterization in HttT (Spoilers)

Post by zookeeper »

Tad_Carlucci wrote:Looking back over the Timeline, we see she gave birth to twin sons in 483. Other than that single statement, I can find no other reference to them. So, the question is what happened to them?
For the curious, here's the timeline diffs which added mention of the twins: [1] [2]

Personally, I didn't even remember there was such a thing there. The twins are not mentioned in any mainline campaign, and I don't know what the rationale for adding them to the timeline was. Possibly they were intended simply as a potential hook for exactly the kind of thing you came up with.
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