The Empress

AKA Lydia Briarwood

While she shares a name with the vampire couple from Wildemount, she is not a vampire and there is no evidence she bears any blood relation. Lydia appears to be human, with jet black hair and pale skin. Her features are unremarkable, and she is no great/classic beauty, though she is graceful and composed at all times. Empress Briarwood normally wears studded leather armour, with a mage’s robe over them. Her crown is a simple circlet of gold. While her clothes are simple, they are indeed quite costly.

History

Once a member of the Cerberus Assembly (and former student at the Soltryce Academy, though not under Trent Ikithon), she left shortly after the destruction of Vecna, citing disappointment in how the Dwendalian Empire refused to aid unless under direct threat. She arrived in Vasselheim under the name “Livia Thorne” and, as a mage, she quickly understood and respected the ‘no magic’ rules of Vasselheim, and seemed to be a model citizen.

She was an active member of the Dissenters, and in fact one of the leaders along with Ryo Yelmoira and Victor Von Vasselheim. After the destruction, she was nominated by the survivors to lead them, and by 842 was crowned Empress.

As Empress

By all accounts, she has been a fair and just ruler. The only questionable moment in her young reign was when she made it legal for magics of all kinds to be used in New Vasselheim. Her reason was that it was the hiding of magic in place of religion that led to the Dissention and the One Day War. To allow all people of all backgrounds to use their talents, be they learned or granted by others, was the only way to move forward.

Rumors

Nearly everyone of any rank is suspicious of the Empress. While she does well for the nation, the fact that she appears to have taken the name Briarwood is viewed with distrust

According to Victor’s surviving family, Lydia wants to destroy Vox Machina, and plans to poison them. They believe it has to do with something called The Blue Sick, which requires saltpetre.