The Harvest Serpenth
Age: 10 months, 2 weeks
Born: October 1st, 2021
Adopted: 10 months, 2 weeks ago
Adopted: October 1st, 2021
- Level: 1
- Strength: 10
- Defense: 10
- Speed: 10
- Health: 10
- HP: 10/10
- Intelligence: 10
- Books Read: 10
- Food Eaten: 0
- Job: Unemployed
Autumnal Winds and Sea Foam
Well, shit. We're really screwed now, aren't we?
Podzim Amastacia tried to stay calm as she wandered away from the courthouse. Dargev Fourniers, her mentor and literal partner-in-crime for almost a century, was going to jail for war crimes. And, being an elf, his sentence was a pretty lengthy one. Bastard was doing more than just schmoozing with rich old noblewomen, apparently, but hey, you didn't know. And, surprisingly, he didn't finger you for anything. It's almost like you don't exist... That was a small consolation, though. For the first time since she was twelve, Podzim was alone. Rain began to fall, almost poetically appropriate as the eladrin girl found herself starting to cry.
War had erupted in Khorvaire when Simoriah was five years old. Her parents lost their farm and home when she was seven. And at the age of ten, she lost her parents, and a good chunk of her memories, including her given name. In those years, her eladrin "season" changed with her moods, and thus, so did her appearance, ever so slightly. She wandered the streets, living off of scraps and the occasional kindness of strangers, in war-torn Cyre. That's how Dargev found her - a little lost war orphan. He appeared to pity the poor girl, but had other plans in mind.
It wouldn't be long before he taught her how to pick out 'marks' they could exploit for money or other goods. How to talk her way into their hearts, and rob them blind. And, more importantly, how to get away with it. Her seasonal changes aided their cons for a time, but that, like the actual seasons of the year, would change. As she grew older, "Podzim", as Dargev renamed her, started to settle into a more permanent "season". Her hair stayed the color of dying leaves, her skin like that of a ripening pumpkin, her eyes golden like the sun. She would remain an Autumn eladrin. She would have to rely more on actual disguises.
But all of that ended the day Dargev was arrested. Coincidentally, the century-long war came to an end just a paltry few days prior to his arrest. And now she was alone. The thought of being alone terrified her. She fled first to a tavern on the edge of town, and after pounding a few drinks and panicking over her newfound "freedom", she saw the lighthouse. Like a moth to a flame, she found herself drawn to it. Something about its light... was comforting. She paid her bill, gathered her things, and ventured out once more into the rain.
The gnome that maintained the lighthouse seemed hesitant to let her in - visitors were highly unorthodox. But there was something about this crying elf girl standing before him that he found himself unable to turn her away; Podzim thanked him and climbed the several flights of stairs to the lantern room. The light continued its duty, shining a beacon of light out across the waters. Podzim kneeled before the light, and began to softly pray - she wasn't sure who would hear her prayer - if anyone could - but that didn't matter to her. She needed this.
The light of the beacon turned fluorescent green as she prayed, and all time seemed to stop. Green flames erupted from the lamp, and this took her by surprise - but terror was not in her mind. No. Somehow, despite all rational thinking, Podzim was not scared.
A grizzled man appeared before her, almost as grizzled as Dargev had been, yet looking slightly more unhinged than her mentor. "Hello, sweetie. How good of you to have paid me a visit! It's been a long time since I had any visitors... especially an eladrin." Podzim was a little confused with the amount of familiarity this individual showed her - almost as if he had expected her to call on him. A little tipsy, she stammered as she spoke.
"...Wh-who are you? Do I... do I know you?"
The grizzled man smiled. "No. No quite. But I know you. We Archfey know all eladrin. You can simply call me... The Lord of Lens and Lantern. These lighthouses? Think of them like my church. And you, you're... Podzim, I do believe? But," he chuckled, a slight twinkle in his eye, "that's not your true name, is it?"
Podzim shook her head. "N-no. My real name is -"
The Lord of Lens and Lantern shook his head, and placed a finger on her lips, as if to shush her. "It's of no importance, my dear. Names give power that you may not want to give right now. Tell me, child... why did you come here and summon me?"
Podzim furrowed her brow. Why did I come here? Why did I call out for someone? The thought was mildly sobering. "...I don't know. I saw the lighthouse from the bar, and I felt... compelled. It called out to me. I'm just... I'm so alone and I'm scared, and I don't know..." Tears began to well up in her eyes once more, and the Archfey wiped them away.
"Then it was destiny. Come now, my dear. Let's... make a deal. I'll give you access to power, and you agree to do as I say."
Podzim nodded slowly.
The Lord of Lens and Lantern smiled warmly. "Good, good. First things first - you need to sober up. No more drinking. I won't have it. No more drugs, either - I can see it in your eyes, you've been a bad girl. The lying I can abide with, I suppose... but no intoxicants. You're too good for those nasty things..."
And with that, the deal was sealed. Podzim Amastacia became a warlock, servant of the Lord of Lens and Lantern.
Podzim is an archfey warlock I created for my group's D&D 5e Eberron-based campaign, set three years after The Last War ended. A pulp-adventure-styled campaign in the vein of the Indiana Jones movies, my original plan for Podzim was to have her be a sort of femme fatale, someone who used her sex appeal to get what she wanted and would most likely turn on the rest of the party... at first. I did eventually change my mind about turning on the rest of the party, but due to events unfolding in the campaign, this may well happen eventually, anyway. The DM and I partly worked on her backstory together - I wanted her to be a war orphan, I wanted her to be a con artist, but wasn't sure how she met her patron after her mentor's imprisonment. He came up with the idea of the lighthouse, and everything else fell into place.
Flotsam/Jetsam, a two-headed sea snake, became Podzim's familiar after she received her Pact Boon - Pact of the Chain. The pair mechanically act as one familiar but talk to her telepathically as a pair. They currently take the form of a two-headed pseudodragon.
Podzim eventually bought herself an Awakened Dog, who answers to the name of Dancer Silverfur. The name was non-negotiable, though he allows himself to be called Dancer. He also speaks to Podzim telepathically, and everyone else's characters in the group probably think she's going insane. But Dancer is a valuable asset to the team, and extremely loyal to Podzim.
Her relationship with her patron, the Lord of Lens and Lantern, is almost one of a doting father and his daughter. Podzim communes with him at a lighthouse, and he gives her little petnames, commends her on her progress so far, and gives advice and orders when needed. He, too, may have ulterior motives for their pact...
Story and character by Possum.
Photo by Philippe D. on Unsplash
Dark Crystal Shard