Lilia shares a barstool with Raisan
Lilia Lia is a "freelance educator" by her own description.
Physically speaking, she is taller-than-average for her race, a bit on the portly side but not overweight, and has a tendency to wear flattering, high-quality gowns and large wide-brimmed headwear. She has a distinctive heart-marking on her face which, on examination, is not a tattoo but is in fact painted on.
Lilia's voice is loud and clear, and while talking to a person she sustains intense eye contact, unless she is closing her eyes while talking, which she sometimes does in order to add weight to her words. Her carriage and demeanor are overall extremely confident and self-certain.
RP note: The information in this section is general knowledge about Lilia which is known by her former acquaintances in the Immortal Flames, her guildmasters, and a few of her friends. It is not unfathomable that someone might know any of these things about her from second-hand accounts. In other words, it does not contain secret or privileged information about her.
Lilia lived a rather ordinary childhood in Ul'dah, or at least ordinary by the standard of a child of the upper social castes. However, Lilia always was a bit of an outsider among the children her age. This wasn't due to shyness, but more due to the fact that the other children found her to be bossy and unpleasant. The result of this was that she spent a great deal of her time as a child playing alone, in the public markets and causeways, where she would spy on strange adventurers who had come from abroad and marvel at their curious clothes and treasures that they had in tow.
In time the merchants of the market grew accustomed to Lilia's antics and welcomed her, even helping her hide from her parents when they would inevitably come looking. As she entered her teen years, her parents gradually relented in their attempts to constrain her and Lilia became a frequently seen figure in the market, making conversation with travelers and marveling at stories of adventure.
Voyage to Limsa Lominsa
A natural extension of Lilia's childhood was that she wanted to see more of the world than just Ul'dah. By the time she was no longer a teen, and at an age when she was expected by her parents to be preparing herself for marriage, Lilia convinced her father to let her travel to Limsa Lominsa with the promise that she would study the Culinary Arts, and thereby increase her attractiveness as a wife. Her father was pleased by this, if a little skeptical of his daughter's real intentions, but approved and helped fund her journey to the island of La Noscea. This was the last she would see of her parents for a number of years.
Lilia's life in Limsa Lominsa consisted of her dabbling in whatever struck her fancy, which, incidentally, never included cooking lessons. Her main occupation was the time she spent as a student of the Arcanist's Guild. She had seen the glowing companions of Arcanists in Ul'dah and was gleeful at the promise of mastering such arts. She was able to fund her ventures and fill her belly with the proceeds of work from the Adventurer's Guild.
Her peaceful life in Limsa, however, was abruptly interrupted by the Calamity. Many of her guildmates and guildmasters enlisted with the Maelstrom to help in the military effort, but Lilia was distraught and tried to find a way to return home to her family. But travel by ship was limited, and none of the ports she visited were willing to take her as a passenger.
Return to Ul'dah
When she was able to, Lilia returned to Ul'dah to be with her family once again. To demonstrate her self-sufficiency, she enlisted as a Private with the Immortal Flames, focusing at first on magical combat, but gradually finding other applications as a Flame such as mending clothing and carrying on administrative functions. Her high literacy and natural gregariousness gave her more than her share of promotion from within. Eventually she was given the rank of Sergeant, and led a few small military missions for the Flames, though most of her work remained administrative in nature.
While in the field, the limitations of her companions made Lilia aware of how atypical her skills and talents really were. Literacy was rare among the Privates, and Lilia was asked to act as a tutor for many of the Flames who were being promoted but required additional literacy skills to supplement their increased ranks. She was a natural at this, her skill at identifying exactly what it was that her students needed to hear, adapting to different learning styles, and her enthusiasm for helping share her wisdom eventually caused this to become her primary function as a Flame. Her magical skills started to become almost a footnote to her one true vocation.
Gridania and the Harbingers
It has always been Lilia's nature to engage in dialogue with complete strangers when she feels there is an opportunity either for learning or for teaching, but rarely does it become the start of a long-term friendship. However, while in Gridania on business for the Flames she made the acquaintance of Jikam Constans and Graeham Ridgefield at the tavern in Carline Canopy, and after some socializing and lesson-giving Jikam invited Lilia to attend an open-house event of their Free Company, the Harbingers of Dawn. Lilia decided it would be a welcome diversion from her work as well as being a good opportunity for her to learn more about Gridania and the people of the Shroud. A short time after she began visiting the estate, she was offered a membership position and she accepted.
Sometime after joining the Company, Lilia resigned from the Flames. The reasons for her resignation are not well-known, but there does not appear to have been any animosity involved. After resigning, she started to live in the Harbingers estate and work there full-time.
After the Harbingers
Lilia has since left the Harbingers. The reasons she left are not commonly known. People close to her will know that this was a difficult decision for her to make.
After leaving, she returned to Ul'dah to work with her parents' store, The Magic Carpet, a clothier and upholsterer that caters to well-to-do clientele. Because the bulk of their business is done by special order, Lilia was able to live and operate here in relative obscurity, primarily interfacing with clients and aiding in the fulfillment of orders. Her primary occupation at this time, however, was caring for her aging parents and trying to see to it that the two of them were not pushing themselves too hard. During this time she often told them that they should consider retirement, but business never slowed down enough for them to really contemplate any such plans.
As her parents aged and took a less active role in the operation of the day-to-day business, management of the Magic Carpet became a challenge. Lilia knew it would soon be necessary to bring in young management talent to help her carry forth the company's name so that the legacy of her parents would not die. She knew of a few potential people who had both enough business acumen as well as enough practical knowledge of clothcraft that they would be fitting, but without knowing the whereabouts of these old friends of hers, she knew it befell her to seek them out and she would have to take up her adventurer's mantle once more. The shop temporarily closed its doors as Lilia set out into Eorzea again.
The Adventures of Miss Lilia and Sir John, Her Butler
Lilia felt she needed protection upon her outing, as well as aid carrying her parcels, so she specified to the Retainer Vocate that she would like a retainer who had an imposing height and also some skill in pugilism. So began her employment relationship with John Lockfellow, who would serve as her Retainer, Butler, and Bodyguard for the coming journeys through Eorzea. Together the two of them spent many days and nights on the road, the deferential and polite John carrying on his duties with the respect he had learned as a Retainer, as Lilia took it upon herself to further his "education" in manners and fashion.
Among the people Lilia was seeking was a former protégé of hers, Connor Tavarin, whose gifts with the needle had made a lasting impression upon her. After a number of failed leads and declined offers, she was able to ascertain Connor's whereabouts and sought him out at the Aethertide estate in La Noscea. As it turned out, he himself was just about to embark upon a business outing, one which had the potential to benefit her also. After some discussion the two of them agreed to enjoin as business partners, with Lilia bringing over a share of the equity from The Magic Carpet to invest into potential foreign markets.
The two of them, as well as a team of hirelings, and Sir John also, set out to pursue a potential lead: contracts in the Far East.
Preferences and Prejudices
The more Lilia learned about weaving and goldsmithing at the guilds in Ul'dah, the more eager she grew to share her wisdom on this topic. Illiteracy of reading and writing is one thing, but illiteracy of proper dress quite another. When Lilia sees people dressed poorly, she often takes it upon herself to give an impromptu lesson and may even offer her services as designer.
Inextricably linked with her concern for education is Lilia's firm belief in the value of etiquette and good manners. As she grows close to a person, she may gently correct behaviors and habits of theirs that she deems unbecoming. Many people see this as intrusive, as she will often speak out on the topic in the context of personal disputes that she feels could be resolved with proper courteous gestures. For example, she may take someone aside to tell them that they owe someone else an apology, or request a private minute with them to try and resolve a misunderstanding. This too is something she considers part of her role as teacher.
For reasons not entirely clear to anyone, even those close to her, Lilia is highly suspicious of alchemy and alchemists. She refuses to use potions, preferring instead to rely on "holistic" methods of healing. When friends of hers show interest in alchemy, she is likely to express extreme worry for their well-being.
Lilia's experience with miqo'tes has given her the opinion that they are naturally dull and primitive. The things she has learned about the Seeker tribal customs, and in particular the stories she's heard from her friends, have exacerbated this view. However, she does not bear ill will towards miqo'tes. She simply sees them as being naturally limited in their intellectual capacity. Any time she encounters an exception to this "rule," she might go out of her way to commend them on their high level of sophistication.
- Feel free to post something but please keep it IC
"I can't say I'm very close to her, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't love her sass and intelligence. She's a charm to have around and seems to tell things like they are, regardless of how much undeserved respect others demand from her, and for that, I respect her." -Sasha Rochester
"I met her by chance in Gridania. Woe betide those who underestimate her or seek to do her harm. She has a sharp mind and an equally sharp tongue - yet she readily offers her support and friendship to those who deserve it." - Graeham Ridgefield
"Lilia really pretty! Funny hat! She make funny robot thing that talk! He was nice. Lilia also talk smart. Make Kanami brain hurt...but Kanami still like!" -Kanami Nanami
"She's an intense one... Often talks less like a goldsmith and more like a soldier. I'd be wary of her, if I were you. You never know what those types are capable of." - Gwannes Oskwell
"She's kinda high-strung, really easy to set off. I think she wants to be annoyed." - Edda Vincents
"Lilia is rather amusing; I think she's the only person I've ever seen get on Mimiru's nerves so much that she got thrown out of the infirmary for, like, a week! She's certainly eager and chipper and likes to flaunt her intelligence. Sometimes I want to stuff her and Val into the same small room and just let them go." - Arrelaine Fashonti
"Knife with one edge sharpened an' no guard on the handle." - Flameson Hammersmith
"She's a proper lady, always ready to reprimand folks for impoliteness. Not said much to me yet so I guess I'm doing alright thus far." - J'Maaira Tuhl
"Lilia? She left the Harbingers of Dawn under mysterious circumstances, I did not get much time to know her, something I hope to rectify some day." - Vallerin Hortimont
"I don't know if she's capable of using "layman's terms." She likes her high-class comforts." Khyran Oisin