Kotala Fesho is here to undermine House V’neef, kick the Realm out of the Pearl, and turn the riches of this land against the Scarlet Empire. She’s just so gosh-darned cheerful about it.
Fesho originally came from a small city north of Ember, on the edge of the Burning Sands, where she had a different name. She grew up on the Guild’s trade routes. Her mother raised her to be a merchant. She made a small fortune on the route between Red Jade Canyon and Urim. When she was about forty, her caravan was attacked by fair folk raiders from the deep desert. They had little chance, until the moon rose, and Fesho’s body shimmered and changed. She was at once the confident, dour merchant with a nose for numbers, and a fearsome creature with a translucent wings, a thick black carapace, and a deadly sting. The fair folk still took their due from her soldiers, but paid for it with their immortal lives.
She was taken in by Shikareth, an elder Lunar of the Silver Pact. She told Fesho what it meant to be a Lunar – the war they fought against the Realm, the nations they raised, the role they played in saving Creation from the Fair Folk. Shikareth taught Fesho that one of the Chosen could become whatever they wanted to. Fesho took the lesson to heart.
She traveled across the southeast for another hundred years, north as far as Thorns, east to the lairs of the deadly elders of the Pact. She found the lost, taught kindness to the cruel, and brought hope to those who had lost theirs. She learned how to fight – the cruel do not always learn easily – but learned more about how to connect with people. She saw the pain that the Realm caused to the people of Threshold, and how they were unable to keep it safe. It took many years of wandering and more than one run-in with the Wyld Hunt, but Fesho eventually agreed with the Silver Pact’s cause.
Fesho set her eyes on the Pearl of the Realm, a place that the Scarlet Empire had long ignored. Here, she thought, she could gain some leverage, bring courage to the people, and perhaps start a quiet revolution that would hit the Empire when it was most vulnerable. She settled into the town of Pech and started her work.
Unfortunately, she hasn’t had the chance to do more than lay the groundwork. The Scum of Heaven got here years before her, and left one of their servants, who considers Fesho a threat. She’s hardly able to exercise her powers without facing the living golem Adach Molo. He must be guarding someone nearby. There are rumors of a woman claiming to “bring peace,” which is always bad news. Plus, not one a month ago, people reported seeing silver flashes in the night for a week straight. It’s a near-certain sign of another Lunar in the area. Fesho is working to find and rescue the newcomer before someone kills them. The quiet and sleepy Pearl is about to become a lot busier.
In her true form, Fesho has the dark brown, slightly reddish skin characteristic of many southerners. Her eyes are brown. Her hair is dark, and pulled back under whatever loose, colorful garment she is wearing today. She uses henna often. She wears the extensive silver jewelry that is common in this region: finger rings, nose rings, chains from ear to nose, forehead ornaments, and so forth.
Fesho wears only female bodies when in human form. Her original true form was male, but it never felt quite right to her. Her animal forms vary greatly in size, but her greatest variety is at the smaller size. Wasps, bees, spiders, scorpions, beetles, mice, rats, anoles, hummingbirds, minnows, tiny octopi, and even a few worms can be found in her repertoire. With Adach Molo watching, sometimes it’s the only way she can get out of the house. Of larger animals she typically has just one of each type – and a hippopotamus draws too much attention to be practical around town.
Peppy, smiling, and helpful. Fesho intends to undermine the Realm here in a number of ways, but one of the most important is being helpful to others and building a grass-roots base of support. She’s both realistic and positive. This doesn’t mean that she’s unreasonably happy when others are sad – she’ll share sorrows with someone as well as joy, and can be somber and serious when the time calls for it. Afterward, though, she tries to help people see the positive potential in the world.
Fesho does still have some of the snarling anger for which the Chosen of the Moon are famous. She can be insistent, aggressive, and even dangerous when circumstances call for it. Still, her general good humor isn’t a front. She dislikes the negative parts of herself, and tries to nourish the positive. She finds the King of Kindness to be a fascinating counterpoint to her own position, and has cultivated a friendship with him for both practical and philosophical reasons.
With her time spent wandering the southeast, Fesho became an expert traveler. She can smell the change in the weather over the lakes, hunt down animals for food, and find shelter in the wilderness, even in her human forms. She’s especially good at navigation and pathfinding. She typically hunted with her natural poison, but was also a good shot with a sling or a thrown rock.
She’s better with people than she is with animals, though. Kotala Fesho makes friends quickly and easily, and even those who find her a little annoying can’t find it in their hearts to dislike her. People find that they share information with her freely, and she is at the center of a great web of gossip that spans the entire Pearl. She also leaves a lasting impression. Hope in this fallen age is a rare thing, and people remember her for it. She can give a rousing speech to inspire hope or righteous anger. The elders of the Silver Pact view her as having great potential because of this gift, but not having fulfilled it yet.
Being a Changing-Moon Lunar has its advantages. With a bit of will and essence, Fesho becomes even more compelling, especially at an emotional level. Subtle pheromones add a bit more impact to her words. She can help people overcome fear, put their animal instincts aside, or stand down from a fight. She can reverse these, too, if it comes to that. She is capable of putting fear into even the hungry dead or mindless beasts from the Wyld. She’s an expert at the art of the feint, both physically and politically. She’s not much good with warbands. She can keep them together, but doesn’t properly know how to direct them. Political groups, on the other hand, she knows much better.
Fesho’s totem is the paper wasp: a careful builder, layers within layers. She hasn’t put a lot of time into her war form, but its horrifying insectoid visage wins most fights without a punch. She is also a fast and fluid shapeshifter. When she can spend essence freely she’s damnably hard to hit, jumping between her human form and an insect-sized speck every few seconds. She can pull aspects of her various shapes together in her human form and speak in a human voice in her animal forms. In any form, she can sting with a touch, delivering a much more powerful poison than that of a mere wasp (treat as arrow frog venom).
- Idashavo, the reincarnation of Shikareth, who lives in the South. Young, clever, agitated.
- Eztli Izil, her house-servant. Hard-working, close-mouthed, no-nonsense.
- Chennai Sharpnose, a Lunar whose circle was seeking Pelagials in the lakes a few years ago. Literal, exploratory, muttering.
- Xochitl Mecal, who takes messages from her to the King of Kindness. Discrete, grubby, mercenary.
- Does Fesho think this land is ready to turn against the Realm? If so, did she conspire with the King of Kindness to steal the tribute and force the matter?
- Fesho must know about Peacebringer – her gossip network would not miss this morbid individual. Does Fesho realize who she is, or whom she works for? If not, how will she react? If so, what game is she playing here?