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Liam Ironarm †
Reigning Monarch
Liege Lord
Years of Service
Biographical Information
Birth Name
Honorific '
Epithet Dragon
Born 405 HE
Died July, 439 HE (protecting King Jonathan IV)
Nationality Unknown
Physical Description
Gender Male
Height Tall
Hair Red
Eyes Blue-Green (Dragon eyes)
Other Muscular
Family Information
Adoptive Parents
Lover Alanna of Trebond (former)
Adoptive Children
Other Family
Patron God
Rank Shang Warrior
Bazhir Tribe
Teacher(s) Eda Bell (Wildcat)
Student(s) Alanna of Trebond (journey from Sarain)
Affiliation Coronation Day Battle
Bibliographical Information
Tortallan Universe character
First Mentioned '
Only Mentioned '
First Appeared '
Last Appeared '
Latest Appearance '
Only Appearance Lioness Rampant
Last Mentioned '

Liam Ironarm, the Shang Dragon, studied Shang, a type of martial arts since he was four years old. He was the oldest Shang Dragon in a long time, and died at 34 years of age in the Coronation Day Battle of 439 HE.


Early life

He was born to a farming family. A Shang warrior visited when he was four and brought him into the fold. Liam was taught at the Shang school in Maren, and was likely raised there. Eda Bell, the Shang Wildcat, was his instructor in kick fighting. Once he finished his training at the school, he became a wandering martial artist and went all over the Eastern Lands, and perhaps a fair bit beyond that. In his travels, he became acquainted with Roger of Conté—whom he despised, although it is unknown how and why they came to dislike each other. Liam later described Roger as being "rotten through and through". Liam also knew Master Si-cham, a Mithran priest, as well as Myles of Olau. He became the Shang Dragon at some point, choosing a flashy name and title. Few Shang Dragons lived as long as he had, and he was immensely proficient at all types of combat.

At some point, an accident happened that made him deeply afraid of magic. As he knew Duke Roger, it could be assumed that Liam's fear of magic has something to do with the great sorcerer, who was not known for his ethics in the uses of magic. Shang warriors also forbade those with magic to practice Shang, their argument being that mages would use it as a crutch and be powerless without it.

The Lioness

He met The Lioness while she was staying at an inn in Maren. He bought her a drink and flirted with her, finding her inexperience with flirtation and men amusing. She later discovered that he was the Dragon from the innkeeper. While she was riding out, she was so tired that she fell off her horse. Liam found her, helped her, and brought her back to the inn. They began a sort of romantic relationship, much to the horror of Coram Smythesson, her manservant. Later, when Claw's men tried to kill Alanna and Coram in an alleyway, Liam stepped in, saving them, though he claimed that they would have been victorious in the end. Alanna was wounded from a gash in the arm, and he and Coram nursed her back to health, becoming friends with the other man.

He and Alanna fenced together, drawing a crowd at the inn. She won and he admired her prowess at the sword openly. When Alanna tried to get him to teach her some of Shang, he claimed that she was far too old to study it. After a while, he gave in, and taught her a few kicks and punches.

Throughout his romance with Alanna, he showed some disdain for her noble birth, claiming that few nobles actually knew what was going on in the world. As she learned from Myles of Olau, her knowledge of world events was actually quite expansive. When Liam discovered that she had magic, after she talked to her cat Faithful, Liam revealed that he was afraid of magic, but he would be willing to continue their romantic relationship and give it more tries. He accompanied them into Sarain, which was undergoing a civil war between the Lowlanders and the K'miri tribes. They discovered two young women there, who were revealed to be Thayet jian Wilima, the daughter of the Lowlander warlord Adigun jin Wilima and the K'miri princess Kalasin, and her young servant, Buriram Tourakom. Thayet and Buri accompanied them on their quest for the Dominion Jewel, when later learning that they would be turned away from sanctuary at the temples.

They traveled to the Roof of the World in order to face Chitral. Liam was further and further unnerved by Alanna's uses for magic, and claimed that she was cheating and dishonorable. At a small inn at the Roof of the World, when Alanna came down in a dress, he was also unnerved by this, and said that the dress was not sensible. Thayet later explained to Alanna that it wasn't just about the dress for Liam, but also that he could not seem to be able to put Alanna into a category, and that she kept doing things that were unexpected for him. When Alanna ignored his advice to wait out the storm to retrieve the Dominion Jewel, he was furious with her when she returned, and did not talk to her. Any romance that they shared was gone by this point, although they stayed friendly and civil.

Now that they had the Dominion Jewel, they started back for Tortall. They were met by Raoul of Goldenlake, who brought them back to Corus. All members of the party returned with Alanna. Liam was presented to King Jonathan, who had succeeded his father as king of Tortall. He did remark to Alanna, once he saw her in her presentation outfit (wide pants, with black tunic and earrings), that he did have some regrets about the ending of their relationship.

When Duke Roger threatened the livelihood of Tortall, Liam stayed to help fight the treacherous duke. He died in battle, and the king and queen honored his passing. They named their third-born child after the Shang Dragon. Their son is styled Prince Liam of Conté.


Liam did not pick the name Ironarm. The bards used that name, so people began calling him Liam Ironarm, which he didn't mind. [1]

Physical description

Liam has red hair, eyes that change color according to his mood, and a scarred pock marked face. He also has a mustache, a heavy set jaw, a broken looking nose, and a body full of muscle. He is described by Alanna of Trebond as attractive.

Personality and traits

Liam is very flirtatious, but he also has a huge temper. He was afraid of magic, which strained his relationship with Alanna. Liam was also one of those people who liked to place people in categories. When Alanna kept challenging his perception of her, he acted snappy about it. He was a very honorable man, however, and a good addition to Alanna's group with his proficiency in battle.


Liam only appears in Lioness Rampant and dies by the end of the novel. He is mentioned in passing during later books.

Notes and references


See also

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