Lyim Rhistadt was a human man from the Plains of Dust who lived just before the War of the Lance. The last syllable of his surname is pronounced with a hard "sch" sound. For most of his life, we wore his black hair at shoulder length and dressed extravagantly. Toward the end of his life he shaved his head and wore spartan, utilitarian clothes as much as possible. He was known to be vain, self-centered, insolent, and vindictive. He became a Red Robe Wizard and apprenticed under the Master of the Red Robes Belize. When the Wizards of High Sorcery were unable to fix his arm that had been turned into a snake, he became a renegade wizard to find a cure. Upon fixing his arm, he decided that High Sorcery was a blight and should be destroyed. He raised an army to march against the Tower of Wayreth and was captured there by being turned into a Vallenwood Tree. He was expected to be tried and executed for crimes against High Sorcery, but was left in tree form and remains in that state.
Lyim's parents were the sex worker Dinayda Valurin and her client Ardem Rhistadt. Lyim was born in Rowley-on-Torath in the Plains of Dust. He never knew his father and his mother died of disease when he was ten. By that time, Lyim was already self-sufficient, doing errands and odd jobs for the local innkeeper Mowe. A local entertainer, Fabulous Fendock, caught Lyim's attention and he became fascinated with learning magic. Fendock took on Lyim as an apprentice and they traveled together. Lyim discovered that Fendock was mostly a fraudulent showman who could only command a few common cantrips. When Fendock realized Lyim had more magical potential than he, Fendock refused to teach Lyim any more. Lyim stole Fendock's spellbooks (part of the series written by Belize) and set out on his own. Lyim retained the motto "Never Explain, Never Defend," which he learned from Fendock, for the rest of his life.
Some years later, Lyim made it to the Tower of Wayreth and declared himself a wizard. He joined the order of the red robes and became the apprentice to the Master of the Red Robes Belize. Lyim met Guerrand DiThon there and they were tasked with traveling to Palanthas, so they decided to travel together. On arrival they met Esme, Justarius's senior apprentice, and were tasked with finding their masters' homes in the city. Over the course of their apprenticeship Lyim and Guerrand would both vie for Esme's affections. Belize had not intended to take an apprentice and greatly resented it. He mostly left Lyim to his own devices and allowed him full control of labs and libraries in his villa in Palanthas.
After the following months, they all remained friends while studying magic. When his friend Guerrand discovered that his brother was trying to start a war, Lyim traveled to Guerrand's home town to interrupt the plan. On his way back, he encountered Guerrand and Esme trying to stop his mentor Belize from opening a portal to the Lost Citadel. He helped them stop Belize, but in the process Lyim was pushed part way through the portal. An extraplanar creature grabbed his arm and tried to eat it. When Lyim was pulled from the gate, it merged the creature into his arm and it took on the appearance of an enormous snake. Belize was stopped, then tried and executed for crimes against High Sorcery.
Lyim approached the Conclave of Wizards multiple times to find a cure for his snake arm but no-one was able to discover one. During that time he took the Test of High Sorcery. He began traveling the world in search of a cure and became a powerful wizard in the process, despite his useless limb. He had inherited Belize's villa in Palanthas and used it as a home base. He eventually heard of the Coral Oracle in the sunken city Itzan Klertal. He released the Oracle from her imprisonment and she told him that Belize had the answer. Lyim summons the tormented spirit of Belize and learns that he must release the creature attached to his arm back into it's native environment.
Lyim goes to Bastion and asks his friend Guerrand to let him fix his arm. Guerrand says the Conclave must approve it. Lyim leaves. Knowing that the Conclave would never approve, he develops a plan to infiltrate Bastion. He modifies the Medusa Plague and releases it on Guerrand's home town, specifically making his sister sick. Then he breaks into Bastion and allows himself to be killed so that can cast Magic Jar and his soul could take over the body of one of the Sentinels. When Guerrand left to deal with the plague in his town, thinking Lyim was dead, Lyim takes the opportunity to open a gate to the Lost Citadel. He releases the creature attached to his arm and moves his soul back into his own body. Guerrand returns too late to stop him and they fight to a stalemate. The gods of magic destroyed Bastion and Lyim escaped.
Lyim returns to his villa in Palanthas to gather supplies and then leaves forever. He remembers that the city of Qindaras in the Plains of Dust has an ongoing treaty preventing the Wizards of High Sorcery from interfering in it's affairs, so he went there immediately. He defeated the various assassins sent by the Masters of the Orders over the next few years. He stopped using magic and switched to a strict, healthy lifestyle. He organized the death of one of the city's amirs and takes over the position. Later he orchestrated the death of another amir, becoming the basha (heir to the leader of the city). Finally he assassinated the potentate of the city. As the leader of the city, the city's contract with the Orders of High Sorcery should protect him, but the Masters continued to send assassins. In the process of taking over the city, he took possession of the Gauntlet of Ventyr, an artifact capable of absorbing magic.
Lyim spent the next couple years building a fanatical anti-magic religion in the city based on the local religion of Misal-Lasim (i.e., Sargonnas). The Masters sent Guerrand and his half-fey nephew Bram to assassinate him. Lyim survives the attack, but Guerrand cuts off Lyim's arm and Gauntlet before falling to his death. The removal of the Gauntlet from the palace triggered the self-destruction of the palace. Lyim casts Wish to restore his hand, framing it as a miracle from Misal-Lasim and leads the city on a crusade against the Tower of Wayreth.
Lyim's forces razed villages across the Plains of Dust. They entered the Plains of Dergoth to enter the Pass through the mountains to the west. There they were stopped by the combined forces of Neidar Dwarfs, Thorbardin dwarves, and Ergothian Cavaliers. Lyim used the distraction of the battle to attack Wayreth directly. He made it into the Tower and began destroying it with his Gauntlet when he was stopped by Bram who turned him into a Vallenwood Tree.
The Masters of the Orders intend to try and execute Lyim for crimes against High Sorcery. However, they become overwhelmed with the War of the Lance and never get around to it. The Lyim Tree is kept by Par-Salian until after his death. The origin of the tree is forgotten. Eventually, the tree is transferred to the third Bastion. One of the wizards there was a skilled carpenter who used the tree to make various pieces of furniture. The Lyim Tree was in a dormant state until it was dismembered for lumbar. After that it woke and his spirit haunted the tree stump. After the fall of the third Bastion, Lyim asked adventurers to return his lumber so he could restore his tree form, and offered to aid them if he was fully restored to a human body. It is unknown if the adventurers took him up on the bargain.