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ZEITGEIST Lya Jierre motivations


Hello all,
My group just finished act 2 of Revelations from the Mouth of a Madman. Lya assisted them and I've been roleplaying her as kind and respectful of the party. They genuinely like her and I've already read Zeitvice about having the group possibly recruit her. My players have expressed interest in turning her from the Obscurati because she is the only one of them who doesnt act like an evil villain. I'm just curious, what are her motivations? I'm planning on having a philosophical debate with my players as they're dueling in the volcano lair but I am having difficulties coming up with good lines for her. It feels as tho Ghost Lya is heavily manipulated by Nicodemus by the time she comes around in the later two battles. but as of the 6th module before her canon death, why does she believe in the Obscurati as opposed to anything else?

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Let's see what the books say.

Book 1:
An ambitious tiefling in her late 20s.

For the past three years she has worked with King Aodhan to keep the peace between their two nations, and as they began making plans for a formal alliance, she accepted the king’s offer of marriage as a symbolic union

Though she gets involved with Risur out of a desire to gain great political power, she does so with no malice. After she is promoted within the Obscurati, she sees a chance for a more meaningful and lasting peace, but to reach that goal she must tell ever more elaborate lies.

Book 5:
Intelligent and open-minded, Lya has her doubts about the conspiracy’s plans. She insists on maintaining high moral standards for herself and her followers, to balance out the distasteful but—as she sees them—necessary deceptions and murders they commit.

Book 9:
“I won’t try to persuade you with compassion. Nicodemus cares about saving the world from suffering. He and I both have seen wars, and bloodshed. We agree it must stop. But for different reasons. “It wasn’t the atrocities I saw, or the horrible wounds my friends suffered that bothered me most.” (Try to time this with her cutting off someone’s limb.) “It was that there was no place for reason. When I’m honest with myself, a stranger’s suffering—it doesn’t bother me. But a mind left fallow, poisoned by desperation? That is cruel. You’re loyal and decent. I respect that. But a new age of reason is upon us. Your time is past.”

Her book 9 speech does seem rather at odds with her previous personality entries. You could try and come up with a justification for the two, but I would personally prefer to say that her Book 9 speech is wholly influenced by Nic/drop the Book 9 speech entirely.

I'd run it that Lya is a Danoran patriot. She wants what's best for Danor- which, to her, involves a successful alliance and peace with Risur. The Ob plan appeals as it will enhance Danor/might reset the antimagic/will enable better and happier societies. While she maintains a strong sense of right and wrong, she is willing to do some immoral things (assassination, sabotage, deceit) to achieve the Ob goals and the peace with Risur.

If the PCs can challenge her idea that the ends justify the means, or prove that the Ob's goals are bad, or make it impossible for her to continue as an Ob member, she could devote herself solely to peace with Risur, marrying the King and supporting the peace.


Thank you for this reply Ark. One of my PC's has a twin brother who has been working with Catherine Romana, I may try and work him into Lya's position for those two future battles.

I always consult Zeitvice when i'm going to run. Speaking of Zeitvice, have you any drafts for the 9th module yet?

Her book 9 speech does seem rather at odds with her previous personality entries. You could try and come up with a justification for the two, but I would personally prefer to say that her Book 9 speech is wholly influenced by Nic/drop the Book 9 speech entirely.
The way I'd describe Lya's motivation by adventure 9 is that she knows they're on opposite sides, and whatever cordiality they may have had before, now she's angry at them for standing in the way of the peaceful world the Ob is so close to achieving.

The point of her speech is that she knows Nicodemus's (stated) motivation is to spare people from suffering, but her motivation is not the same as his. And she knows that Nicodemus has tried to persuade them and failed, so she's trying a different argument.

Sure, she likes to spare people from suffering. She clearly takes no joy in people suffering. But the reason she wants a peaceful world is not simply to stop suffering for its own sake. She wouldn't be okay with some sort of Garden of Eden world of blissful ignorance. She values minds and reason and knowledge and innovation, and her view is that a peaceful world is one where minds can best thrive. She is bothered by hurting people, and she'll make a conscious effort to reduce harm if she can, but if she is confident that harming someone - or messing with the emotions of millions of people against their will - will bring her closer to a world that will foster intellect, she's okay with that.

Really the only thing that would get Lya to turn against the Ob is a convincing argument that the Ob's plan will fail to produce the desired outcome, with some information she hasn't been privy to. If somehow the PCs were able to do a test run and discover the hivemind effect that crops up in adventure 10, that would give her pause, but even then she'd probably just want to delay the process to get it right, not stop what the Ob is doing. Also, like, if she were alive she wouldn't go along with the Watchmaker plan that Nic eventually tries for in adventure 13.

Hm, I wonder if anyone has ever considered resurrecting Lya during Act Three of the campaign.

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