The Adventurer's Guild
City Guard and Head of the Larsen School
Lydia is a surprisingly young woman in her early 20’s. She is on the small side which, combined with her youth, often misleads opponents who can’t believe they are facing a Master swordsman. She keeps her hair cut short (so as not to interfere with her fighting), and her eyes are blue, with extraordinarily large irises. She wears the typical garb of a Kirk guardsman while on duty, which is most of the time. Lydia dresses up quite nicely on the rare social occasion, but she usually lacks the time or the interest to do so.
Lydia is the only child of Ralf Larsen, former Shield Man for the Explorer’s Society and the founder of the Larsen School. Her mother died in childbirth while Ralf was out in the field. Lydia grew up with her aunt since her father refused to abandon his duties to the Guild. He provided for her from the wages he earned, but the two were never really close. Ralf only saw his daughter when he returned home between trips to ancient archaeological sites.
The situation changed in 1663 when Ralf retired. He returned to Vendel and took up parenting full-time. The two originally did not get on very well. For one thing, Ralf insisted that his daughter know how to defend herself. Lydia had been raised by her aunt as a proper young Vendel woman, and originally resisted the idea of learning to fight. She soon discovered she had a natural aptitude for combat, and took to the sword whole heartedly. Ralf often sought her assistance to help test his theories on his lantern and sword school. She soon became the first Apprentice and then Journeyman of the Larsen School, even though it did not yet formally exist.
When Lydia came of age, she enrolled in the Kirk City Guard just like her father. Ralf was not entirely happy with her decision. He hoped that she would marry and bear a child to carry on the family. Still, he could hardly refuse her. He wanted her to learn to fight didn’t he? Why teach her if she couldn’t practice it in the outside world? He used his influence to get her accepted into the City Guard.
Shortly afterward Lydia became a Master of her father’s new style of fighting. The city of Kirk soon approached Ralf and asked him to create a formal School for their watchmen, then get it sanctioned by the Guild. Once he did so he could begin teaching other City Guards. Ralf didn’t see the need for Guild sanctioning, but dutifully applied to the Guild for testing. They were reluctant to accept the style, and tested him rigorously. Lydia sat proudly in the spectator seats as she watched her father defeat the Masters of Ambrogia and Valroux, and hold his own against Miles Donovan and Linnae Knute. The Guild sanctioned the Larsen School and Ralf and Lydia began teaching it from their home while continuing their duties as City Guards.
Tragedy struck when Ralf was shot and killed by a fleeing duellist during a routine patrol. Lydia witnessed the murder but chose to go to her father’s aid rather then follow the killer. He escaped and Ralf died, for which Lydia has apparently never forgiven herself.
She inherited the Larsen School, and plans to keep it going. She still serves as a City Guard by night while teaching students by day. Many residents of Kirk look upon Lydia as a beloved hero of the city—one of its most valiant defenders. They also feel great sympathy toward her plight. Lydia prefers to travel the streets of Kirk alone when on patrol, and some fear that she may follow her father someday. To date she has never failed in her responsibilities, and typically brings in several criminals each night.
A few young men have approached Lydia expressing an interest in romance. She turned each of them away with a sorrowful smile and warm thanks for their interest. She tells them that her responsibilities are more than enough to occupy her time. To further add to her concerns, the Kirk town council recently charged her to find the person or persons responsible for the death of four Rasmussen duellists in Kirk, and to try to keep a lid on any conflicts that might arise between the pistol and anti-pistol duelling factions. She struggles to reconcile her duty with the anger she still feels at the loss of her father.