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Podo Helmer was the father of Nia Helmer Wingfeather and grandfather of Janner, Kalmar, and Leeli Wingfeather.

Podo was once a dragon hunter, but settled down and took care of the farm at the Igiby Cottage in Glipwood Township. His duties on the farm include growing totatoes, and chasing and bagging the thwaps that try to steal them for their baby thwaplings.

HistoryEdit

Early LifeEdit

Podo was born in Glipwood Township, Skree, and grew up in a cottage built by his great-great-great-great-grandfather Edd Helmer.[1] When he was a teenager, he stole Growlfist the Strander King's pone, thereby earning the respect of the stranders.[2]

While a strander, Podo was sent by Growlfist to Bylome Falls to fell some wood out of which Growlfist made a treasure box. A rumor was spread by a drunken strander that this treasure box was bottomless. A man named Wyle heard of this rumor and kidnapped Podo, forcing him to show where he got the wood. Podo escaped through one of Wyle's magic cupboards, which led to the Jungles of Plontst.[3]

During his time on the Strand, Podo fell in love with another strander named Nurgabog. Their relationship ended when Podo left the Strand.[2]

Pre-Great WarEdit

After leaving the Strand, Podo became a dragoneer. His last and most famous voyage as a dragoneer was when he took command of the Gilded Whilly. He convinced Captain Whilly and his crew that he could kill four sea dragons in a single day. Podo led the Gilded Whilly to the Sunken Mountains while the dangerous adult dragons were away in Glipwood. The dragoneers succeeded in capturing four sqwryms before Podo injured - but did not kill - a fifth. After that, they were charged by a half-grown wyrm. They managed to kill it, but lost the Gilded Whilly, the four sqwyrms, and Podo's left leg. Afterward, Podo made himself a stump to replace is leg.[4]

After the fateful voyage of the Gilded Whilly, Podo became a pirate.

Eventually, Podo made his way to Ban Rona, Green Hollows, where he fell in love with Zola May Rubleshaw. He began to court her after receiving permission from her father, who was a fabric and wicker merchant. Podo gave up pirating and found a job chopping glipper fish. While courting Zola May, Podo met the Rubleshaw's servant, Wendolyn Igiby. As he continued his courtship, Podo began to like Wendolyn more and Zola May less. Finally, he left Zola May and attempted to court Wendolyn.[5]

Wendolyn's father, Kargan Igiby, did not approve of his daughter courting an outsider like Podo, and made sure Podo was beaten any time he came near Wendolyn. After a year, Podo realized that the only way to win Kargan's respect was to compete in the Bannick Durga. In the Bannick Durga, Podo failed the first two events. In the third event, he found MacDullogh's boot first, but when he reached the Field of Finley with it, he was beaten out of consciousness and the boot was taken from him. However, his efforts earned him the respect and friendship of Kargan Igiby. With Kargan's permission, Podo married Wendolyn.[5]

Years later, Esben Wingfeather, High King of Anniera, married Podo and Wendolyn's daughter Nia. Podo and Wendolyn moved to the Shining Isle to live with the royal couple.

The Great WarEdit

When Gnag the Nameless's army invaded Anniera, Podo escaped with Nia and her children and sailed to the Skree, where they moved into the cottage in which Podo had grown up in.[1]

Post-Great WarEdit

Podo lived peacefully in the Igiby Cottage with Nia, Janner, Tink, and Leeli for nine years. Podo worked the land to support his family.

Shortly preceding the start of the Wingfeather War, on the day after the Dragon Day Festival, Podo went with Janner and Tink to town. While the children helped Oskar N. Reteep unload a shipment of books at his bookstore, Podo visited Shaggy's tavern. Satisfied that his grandkids were safe, Podo went back home before they were done in order to return a shovel to the Fangs.[1]

The Wingfeather WarEdit

Three days after Dragon Day, the Igiby children returned to the bookstore, and Podo once again escorted them as far as Shaggy's tavern. After he had had a drink, he returned to the cottage, promising to come back to bring his grandchildren home before dark. While he was back home hoeing the garden, Janner and Tink came running home to tell him that Leeli had been kidnapped by Slarb the Fang, who was taking her into Glipwood Forest. Podo mounted Danny the carthorse and chased down Slarb. Podo never found Slarb, but after being attacked by a cave blat and a quill diggle, he found Leeli with Peet the Sockman in Peet's treehouse. Podo took Leeli safely home without further incident.

A few days later, Podo met with Peet. He told Peet to stay away from his grandchildren and hit him in the lip.

That same day, the Fangs ransacked the Igiby homestead. Podo attempted to resist, but was overcome by Fangs, who rendered him unconscious and bound him. Podo and his family were taken to the Glipwood jail until the Black Carriage arrived. While in the jail cell, Tink managed to escape his bonds. He then freed Podo and the rest of the family. When they were taken out to be put in the Black Carriage, Podo grabbed Commander Gnorm's dagger and prepared to fight the Fangs while Nia, Janner, Tink, and Leeli fled. However, one of the Fangs clubbed Podo from behind. The family was quickly subdued again. However, as the Igibys entered the Carriage, Peet came running to their rescue. He incapacitated five Fangs before the rest could even think to do something. Podo and Peet fought and beat all sixteen of the Fangs that were stationed at the Glipwood jail. Janner assisted in slaying Commander Gnorm. After the fight, Oskar N. Reteep ushered the Igibys into his bookstore to decide what to do next. After assuring the citizens that they would figure something out, Podo decided that the only safe place for the Jewels of Anniera were the Ice Praries. He told the Glipfolk that they could either burn with the town or flee, then headed back to the cottage with Janner and Tink to gather some supplies. After a brief encounter with Slarb the Fang, Podo and the boys returned to town, only to find that the Fangs had already arrived. They rescued Nia and Leeli, who had been captured, and escaped to Anklejelly Manor, where they made a last stand in a hidden weapons chamber in the cellar of the manor. Podo started a fire outside the chamber, attracting the creatures of Glipwood Forest, who devoured the Fang army. However, Podo received a mortal wound from a Fang while starting the fire. He was dying, but in the morning after the Fangs had been destroyed and the forest creatures had left, Peet the Sockman gave Podo a drop from the Water from the First Well, which healed him.[1] The Igibys then traveled to Peet's treehouse, where they stayed until they began their journey to the Ice Prairies.

When the Fang army found Peet's treehouse, Podo, his family, and Oskar N. Reteep were forced to keep moving on their way to the Ice Prairies. They were pursued through Glipwood forest to the River Blapp. Podo and the Igibys crossed the river at Miller's Bridge, previously believed to be nonexistent. The bridge collapsed after the Igibys crossed, separating them from the Fang army.

Podo led his family and Oskar west along the river, until they came to the Strand. The Stranders did not like the strangers and planned to drown them in the river. Podo attempted to pacify them by telling them he was once a Strander who stole Growlfist's pone, and by swiping various Stranders' trinkets. The leader of the Strander's Claxton Weaver, was not satisfied, however, and proceeded with his plans to dump the Igibys into the river. Before they could be disposed of, however, Kalmar Igiby stole Claxton's pone, dethroning Claxton as ruler of that band of Stranders. The Igibys were then allowed to continue on in peace.

The Igibys and Oskar travelled to Dugtown. In Dugtown, Podo and Oskar arranged for Migg Landers to lead them to the Ice Prairies. Landers betrayed them, however, and brought the Fangs to them. Podo, Oskar, Nia, and Leeli managed to escape, but were separated from Janner and Kalmar. After waiting in a Stander burrow for them for a while, Podo led the rest of the group to the Ice Prairies, trusting that Janner and Kalmar would soon follow.

After being reunited with Janner in Kimera, the Igibys were seemingly betrayed by the Kimerans, who supposedly were handing them off to the Fangs. However, their betrayal turned out to be a trap for the Fangs. When the Fangs arrived to collect the Igibys, instead of handing them over, the Kimerans launched a surprise attack. The Igibys were released and sent to a waiting ship to sail to the Green Hollows. Upon reaching the open sea, the ship was confronted by the sea dragons, who wanted to kill Podo for hunting their young years before. Leeli played a song on her whistleharp and convinced the dragons to allow Podo one last voyage across the sea. The dragons returned Podo's leg bone, which had been lost when Podo had hunted the young dragons.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Peterson, Andrew. On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Peterson, Andrew. North! Or Be Eaten
  3. Wilson, N.D. Wingfeather Tales, "Willow Worlds"
  4. Peterson, A.S. Wingfeather Tales, "From the Deeps of the Dragon King"
  5. 5.0 5.1 Peterson, Andrew. The Monster in the Hollows
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