About Poppy Cotton
Name: Poppy Cotton (Born Ida Papaver Kschessinska)
Why does your character want to be an adventurer? :
Poppy NEEDS to finish her cookbook. Her publisher can only wait so long and this isn't just any book deal. This is a publishing deal with StormHearth! The PREMIERE publishing house throughout Cheliax and even a little beyond, which recently sent out a call to complete their legendary New Tourism Bookset called 'The True Varisian Adventurers Guide'. This would be the most recent reprinting of the famous Box Set since 40 years past. The rest of the volumes are completed from other (more experienced) adventurers but the cookbook section had yet to be decided on after the recent passing of it's former contributor, Archibold Winthrope the third, who had held position since the booksets inception. She hoped the recipes derived from her experiences in the food industry, but feels it lacks...something. In a bid to bring more of an edge in being selected, she feels she needs to go on an ACTUAL adventure, rather than just using ingredients from the byproducts of OTHER adventurers exploits. Just to give it that personal touch. If selected, she'd bring the food cart halfway across the world and acquire new recipes from the local cultures they encounter, harvest monsters to benefit the party, and build a legacy any chef of substance would be proud to call their own!
What will your character contribute to the party in and out of battle? :
Though combat is a necessary evil of adventuring and acquiring rare product for her recipes, Poppy would personally prefer to write or cook. If built as a Witch, she'd use a lightcrossbow and dagger. Whether extract or spell/hex, debuffing and supporting the party is priority.
She's turned her passion of cooking cultivated beasties into various concoctions to aid her companions both in and out of combat in the form of delicious meals! Yellow Spore Tea! Bunyip Dumplings!
Beholder stalk kebabs! Sweet and Sour Roc with rice! Nature has a bounty, and Poppy means to collect!
Cheery, relentless, undaunted. Eternal optimist with a can do attitude. She's not immune to discouragment but very much has the, "I can do this all day", type of attitude. This may be a result of early childhood hardship/disability she's managed to overcome after a great deal of effort/trauma. She works well with others and prefers providing support rather than leading. On the flip side, she has a tendency to steamroll others, even if it's in an effort to help them and her energy can be a little exhausting and she gets grumpy without a project in front of her. That being said she's gotten better with boundaries and learning the value of taking a moment to slow down.
Character Description :
An enormous mane of tied back Blood Orange locks bounce constantly as Poppy twirls her pear shaped self around the tiny kitchen. Sweeping across cutting boards, mixing bowls and chemical flasks with purpose, leaving expertly prepared product in her wake. Taking notes and scratching out others with one hand in an overstuffed tome stained and slightly burned at the edges, as her other crawls across used instruments for a tool that's no longer where it should be. Her wide set, hazel eyes drink in rows of strange tools, rare spices, animals both dried and pickled, in search of her favorite tasting spoon, her thick arched eyebrows furrowing at the thought that it might be lost. But her pouting peaked cupids bow breaks into an infectious grin as her slender fingers scratching her head in confusion, suddenly grip the hidden tool nestled in the singular streak of white amongst the mass of red tresses.
While generally favoring the more pragmatic form of dress, she recognizes that stylish flair will get her more customers and recognition. Her outfit which favors a teal and gold color pallete, consists of a small kokoshnik to hold back her hair, a vyshyvanka embroidered with geometric patterns, and simple round toed leather shoes she often fit into elaborately beaded chopins to keep her dress out of the mud as well as a little boost in height.
Cotton's Cookery Coach:
Poppy claims to run Varisia's most authentic gnomish themed Food Wagon, 'Cotton's Cookery Coach '. The "Foodtruck" is themed towards satisfying the creative hunger pangs of even a gnomish customer, notorious for enjoying exotic foods. As such, the majority of their menu consisted of ingredients from various fauna/flora encountered by adventurers. Food most average folk would never taste otherwise. The restaurant also, as it tends to move around, provides typical local cuisine to ingratiate themselves with regional customers with less curious palates.
The actual physical carriage provides a pop up canvas canopy out of the side of the vehicle to provide cover for customers. There are four stools assembled outside the booth serving window where customers can rest their weary feet. The inside is cozy, consisting mostly of a mobile kitchen with an area to hang a small hammock after work. It contains jars of seeds, animals suspended in solution, a small garden, several spice racks, cooking tools of all sorts, hanging monsters bits, cookbooks and scattered papers. The color pallete is similar to her own, cerulean, gold, and poppy red. A collapsible sign sits atop the wagon, displaying the name in big bold letters. It is pulled by donkeys.
Examples of play:
Gingerbread Witch Human
Familiar: Food Hummingbird with the Valet Archetype
Feats: Brew Potion(cauldron)
Hexes: Archetype-Cauldron & Child Scent. Patron-Disguise.
Traits: Adopted Dwarven Racial Trait(Honeyed Words)
Special Racial Abilities:
Spell Like Abilities
The Early Years:
Born a single child to a widowed mother slowly succumbing to the Bleachening. Her mother, lacking living family was mid travel when she gave birth to Poppy. She was named after the flower that populating the field she was born in. The caravan they were traveling with detoured to drop them off in a nearby Dwarven mining settlement at the foot of the Hungry Mountains. Raised by her mother, who struggled with her affliction offered her skills as a cook to the local miners, providing a home enough to raise her newborn. Daliah taught her daughter the power of perseverance as she staved off the effects of the Bleachening until Poppy was an early teen.
Poppy took over her mothers responsibilities, delving deep into the caverns. And so Poppy hurried meals to different areas of the hollowing mountain, avoiding nearby goblin patrols all while learning Dwarven and a smidge of engineering. Eventually her eyes became adjusted to the deep, and the shadow became her friend, shielding her comings and goings, offering a blank pallet for her to imagine all the foods her mother used to cook in her youth. They almost felt real to her shaping them in the dark, providing a comforting fantasy to keep the sadness at bay.
One day, early on in her tenure, she rushed through some unknown passages to escape from an adventurers raid on a goblin camp(adventurers always caused chaos when they would come scouring the mountain) and eventually lost as the paths of the mountain were still labyrinthine. Getting twisted around and finding her self in some dark forgotten cavern, hours turned to days and the only thing that kept her starvation at bay were the shadowy meals of her fantasies. It was then she found her witches patron, an immense being of shadow that offered her not only a way to survive, but imagine a better future for herself than an errand cook in a dead end mining town. Eventually, she and one of the rescue parties found one another and she returned home to make a full recovery. All except for her shadow, which she never saw again.
A year or so after her traumatic encounter, Poppy left the mountains to attend the prestigious Ramburn Culinary Academy, in Korvosa. Unfortunately she didn't exactly meet the steep qualifications and instead enrolled in the lesser "ivy league" school that had recently opened in Magnimar, the Alton Institute of Piquanteries, which was no less accredited. She took to school well and expanded both her knowledge base and skill set, including several new languages, making a few close friends but also becoming truly comfortable for the first time her life.
One of the previously mentioned friends she acquired was the roguish Sandru Vihski, after the two met as his caravan passed through Magnimar one fall. The two started as business acquaintances, with Sandru dumping the "useless" remains of monsters he'd encountered, each thinking the other was getting such a sweet deal. They bonded over hot meals, him enjoying that they were free, and she enjoying his tales of adventure and far off lands. She knew the two of them were friends when she'd learned he had on several occasions, taken his caravans a little off route to visit, occasionally overstaying a visit or two than his schedule permitted.
This period was only marred by a single traumatic event that shook Poppy terribly and threatened her future. She lost her passion and was overwhelmed with guilt upon hearing the news regarding the death of her mother, Dahlia. She had not visited her mother for some time, overwhelmed by her thriving life in Magnimar. Her grades began to suffer and she lost her job at a local restaurant from being late or not showing up at all. Not even her Patron could bring her solace. Her depression seemed to tip into an early on set Bleachening after weeks and weeks of growing inactivity. That is until Sandru arrived after a few months and made it a priority to shake her out of it. He helped her through her emotional turmoil and got her back to doing what she loves. He was even the one to suggest she start the mobile food dispensary, get out and see the world.
She took what savings she had and got part of her tuition reimbursed, instead spending it on commissioning Sandru and a couple other workers to retrofit an old carriage during his downtime. And after a couple of weeks, Poppy with a renewed sense of purpose, set out to show the world what adventure tastes like!
She's hauled her cookery across a large chunk of Varisia and often finds herself in Sandpoint, roughly when Sandru is in town, coordinating via letters. She saves all the food reviews, positive or otherwise from her critics and chef peers, posting them on the ceiling of the carriage. She's received a handful of awards for her cooking from local competitions at various festivals, which she displays for customers to see. She's published a small cookbook from a local publisher and keeps a couple copies on hand, but finds passing out pamphlets of sample recipes and menus to customers much more accessible. She often trades words of new languages for a discount on her food. She plans to go back to school at some point but a recent call from the mega publisher StormHearth has recently sent out a call for new addition to their True Varisian Adventurer guide...