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Evelyn

Art courtesy of jessarts.tumblr.com

Evelyn Avalona Helvig Marthain is a player character by Anna Prosser Robinson. She is a human paladin of Lathander the Morninglord, and she has a pet mouse named Juniper.

Personality Edit

Evelyn is a happy go-lucky person, who absolutely loves to share the wisdom of her deity with everybody. Her optimistic personality often annoys the rest of the group, especially Strix. Evelyn considers the tiefling one of her best friends, respects and defers to Diath's wisdom, and is a big fan of Paultin's musical abilities, flirting with him at times. Evelyn has proven herself very reliable in combat, although she can be overeager to enter a fight flying in with her winged boots and swinging her sacred battleaxe, Lightfall. Anna has explained that Evelyn can justify killing people because she sees it as sending them on a better path in the next life, which also ties in to Lathander being a god of rebirth.[1]

Evelyn's sheltered past has made her relatively naive about the darker side of human nature or the evils in the world. According to Anna, "in many ways, Evelyn is very young, and has a lot of growing up to do. I think I have learned quite a few life lessons that she might yet have to learn, though I think she has a core wisdom that belies her exterior".[1]

Background (spoilers for season 1) Edit

Evelyn was born to a noble family living in Amphail, a town on the outskirts of Waterdeep.[2] Her family were devout followers of Lathander, with Evelyn following in her father's footsteps as one of his paladins. However, her father died when she was young, and her mother passed away from an illness while Evelyn was away undergoing training.[3] Evelyn's brother is caring for the estate, but she has not been home to see him, and there are rumors in her home town that may be keeping her away.[2] Per Anna, Evelyn hasn't been fortunate enough to experience a lot of love from others, depending more on the love she believes Lathander has for her.[4] "Sometimes...Evelyn has doubts about herself, wondering whether Lathander is the only being who could love her. Perhaps no human ever could. The dichotomy between such a pitiable earthly loneliness and an outward disposition that is incorrigibly sunny has been heart-rending and thrilling to play with".[5]

While training at the Spires, Evelyn would often drop by taverns where the bard Paultin Seppa was playing, believing that his music was an expression of her god's light.[1,4,6] It was at the Rusty Pommel Inn that she got into trouble while defending Diath Woodrow from accusations of thievery, and she, Diath, Strix and Paultin eventually fled together and decided to form an adventuring party.

Although she was cut off from the voice of her god in the cursed land of Barovia, she still kept her faith and praised him loudly to anyone who would listen. Her paladin oath is to cherish beauty and nature (Oath of the Ancients) rather than enforce the law (neutral good alignment),[2] which allows her to get away with questionable actions (willingly becoming a werewolf--or as she described herself, a 'were-Pomeranian', and adopting an evil puppet as her 'son'). Her faith was rewarded when the Crew found the tomb of St. Markovia, and Evelyn's axe was imbued with holy power.[7] She places Lathander above all other loyalties, even to her friends, believing that the entire world would be in peril without him.[8] Nevertheless, she still cares deeply for her party, acting like the "mom" to make sure everyone is feeling appreciated and doing what she can to keep them safe. She is likewise extremely friendly and trusting with all the NPCs they meet (especially Dee). Anna has acknowledged that "In [Season 1] she was mostly the one dimensional comic relief, [but] in [Season 2] you start to see the deeper internal side of where her character comes from".[4]

Character development I (spoilers for seasons 2 & 3) Edit

When the Crew adopted Hooty McHootface (and later Waffles) and Simon, Evelyn was finally able to 'mother' creatures who appreciated the attention. She continued to rush impulsively into battle, breaking Lightfall when she tried smashing it against the adamantine heart.[9] Her flighty attention span also caused her to become distracted enough catching snowflakes to get completely separated from the party.[10] However, when she realized that St. Markovia's power could be used to save Strix and Diath from a death curse, she willingly gave up her life for them, claiming that she had known since she was very young that one day she would be called upon to sacrifice herself.[11] Although she had never before acted upon her feelings for Paultin, she kissed him during her moment of despair, and he played a song for her.

Although Paultin's spirit was able to intervene before Evelyn's soul was taken by the Soulmonger, being torn from the arms of her god made Evelyn begin to doubt her worthiness. She worried that she might have been meant to be punished by the soulmonger, and that Paultin had been wrong to save her. She also interpreted being placed in a construct body devoid of sensations as another form of punishment.[6,12] This disconnect prevented her from summoning her holy steed Mourning Glory, who symbolized her tie to her god.[13] However, in a hidden dungeon in Chult the Crew uncovered a vial of liquid sunlight, and when Evelyn drank it, she found herself in the presence of St. Andral, who reaffirmed Lathandar's love for her. Although he gave her the option to return to human form or to have Lightfall restored, Evelyn chose to remain in her construct body, which was further reinforced and decorated to become her new holy symbol.[14] When the Crew became trapped in Dendar's nightmare, Evelyn accidentally activated the bomb she had been carrying, which caused a stressful situation that resulted in Paultin leaving the group. Evelyn blamed herself, but when Paultin seemed to reappear and gave her a morning glory flower, she took that sign that Lathandar was with her, and she finally resummoned Mourning Glory, who also appeared more powerful than before. When they followed Paultin into the Shadowfell, Evelyn became assaulted with a magical despair that made her doubt what was real. When she tried to appeal to Paultin's better nature seemingly to no effect, she realized that he was truly lost, and set fire to the doorway and pulled Simon to safety. Even after his Ring was removed, Evelyn had her doubts about whether Paultin was still evil, and even began to wonder whether Miranda had ever existed. In her prayers to Lathander, she revealed her shame that she had let her love for Paultin persist despite his obvious turn to evil, and that people had died as a consequence.[15] Paultin overheard what she said and disparaged her for expecting Lathandar to just hand her things she wants, instead of working to achieve it herself. But he also revealed his own shame that he had put on the Ring despite the warnings, and that his intent had just been to make himself more useful to the party. Evelyn tried to comfort him, saying that despite knowing he wasn't himself, "it's my job to see these things", and she would strive to do better.

A balhannoth ambushed the party, and despite the Crew initially succeeding in damaging it, it teleported away with Evelyn and tore her body apart with its tentacles. Her human soul reappeared inside the Soulmonger alongside the AI interns and an elderly cleric of Lathander. When the atropal's caretakers reached out towards the souls to take them into its mouth, Evelyn flew towards one to take the place of the soul it carried. The cleric's words caused Evelyn to realize that her soul could destroy the atropal. As she was eaten, Evelyn became a sun that burst through its body and ended the death curse. Her soul then traveled to the Celestial Plane, where she ran into the spirits of the cleric and her father, as well as several celestials, who helped her realize that Lathander would want her to be happy and work towards her own goals and finding a lifemate, and that she might still have a purpose back in the mortal realms.[16]

Character development II (spoilers for season 4) Edit

Despite the year Evelyn spent in the Celestial Plane[17] (while only a few months passed for the rest of the Crew), she was brought back to life by Omin without any memory of what happened after the battle with the Balhannoth. She could not even be sure she was responsible for the Soulmonger being destroyed, even though the others assured her she was, because who else could have done it? She was distressed by how much she had missed in her friends' lives, especially their encounter with a paladin of Shar, the "Lady of darkness and death and gross things". However, she was most pleased at being returned to her human form, and reveled at the ability to cry and feel and smell again. The new marks that had been added to her construct body by the blessings of St. Andral were now transferred to her flesh.[18] She was very grateful to Omin and offered to write letters to him, being interested in his company which she assumed was more like a large church.

As the Crew prepared to leave Chult, Evelyn dropped hints that she was actually very reluctant to return home, but would not explain why. While relaxing at a bathhouse, she removed her winged boots to reveal that she was missing her left leg below the knee (Anna later told fans that this was inspired by her own grandmother's condition).[19] Paultin noticed this, but was more concerned about her safety after she survived an assassination attempt, so he has not yet commented on it. Paultin did soon after disparage Evelyn for being ready to abandon her friends on the ship and return to Port Nyanzaru after the bomb devastated the harbor, where any help she might offer was obviously limited and probably would only have resulted in her getting arrested or attacked again. Despite Evelyn arguing that her life was forfeit to Lathander's cause and helping others--and that since the Crew were responsible for the bomb, they should face the consequences--Paultin pointed out that there is a difference between doing the right thing and just being self-righteous. He made her realize that her rash actions repeatedly put her life in danger and that "you don't consider what you put [others] through when they have to watch you die over and over". Suddenly realizing their point of view, she said, "I do know what it's like to love someone who has a higher calling, and it is tough. And I do know how it feels to be left behind." After the Crew reassured her that she was needed, she said, "I guess Lathander gave me this family for a reason". She then relented and wrote a note to Omin Dran to ask him to use Acq Inc's resources to help the Port,[20] and began making attempts to stop acting so impulsively. Omin appeared pleased by her correspondence.[21] Later, Evelyn admitted that ever since her return, she has felt like she is two people, one who is certain of who she is and her duty to Lathander, and another side that keeps questioning what is right and considers what she might want for herself. In that moment, she had a flash of memory of Zaress telling her the same thing in the Celestial Plane (Anna has explained that because her subconscious has evolved, but her knowledge has not, there is dissonance between who she is and who she thinks she should be).[22]

On their arrival at Waterdeep, Evelyn began looking for stationary to write to Omin,[23] but they were suddenly approached by Xandala's sister, and were soon after accosted by members of the Xanathar's gang. One of the gang became engrossed in a conversation with Evelyn, telling her his name was Meloon, and agreed to defect to her side. He seemed ready to ask her out, but Paultin intervened and called the guards on him. Interestingly, Meloon soon reappeared and tried to seduce her again, but she was too distracted to realize it. She later managed to convert Noska, one of the Xanathar's enforcers, to Lathander's side. Together, they fought one of the Xanathar's mindflayer allies, but Paultin was turned to dust by a disintegration ray. Evelyn became traumatized, and carried his ashes to the Spires to have Father Luke Sunbright use the scroll of True Resurrection on him. Evelyn began to cry when she saw him restored. Sunbright invited Evelyn to lunch with him, hinting he would like her to support his promotion to head the church at the Spires, but with a focus on Amaunator instead of Lathander. He said their divination spells had identified her and Omin as their saviors from the death curse, and a powerful noble family in Waterdeep had paid for a statue of her (in construct form) to be put up in the Spires.

When Vistani dark powers drew the Crew into a domain of dread, Evelyn learned that Omin had taken her rings of protection, which were now being sought by the Powers to tether them back to reality. She accepted that Diath's ring was his to give away to the C Team, but her opinion of Omin was diminished.[24] One of the Powers briefly banished Evelyn to her own Domain of Dread, where she saw the graves of her family and friends. Paultin managed to convince the creature to bring her back in exchange for the ring, and the Power was ultimately defeated. When they returned home to find Trollskull Manor partly destroyed from an attack by Mercy Killers, Evelyn became obsessed with remodeling it. They then discovered that Simon had grown depressed over being a construct, and had kidnapped a child. To help the traumatized boy, Evelyn let him play with Juniper, and ultimately let him keep the mouse when it seemed he wouldn't get the Crew into trouble over Simon.When the dwarf Binwin dropped by the newly dubbed 'Waffle House', he also became smitten by Evelyn and offered her his horned helm after she complimented it. He later tried to aid her in stopping the Xanathar from stealing her statue from the Spires, as the Xanathar had also developed a crush on the paladin. The beholder ended up killing Binwin and charming Evelyn, forcing Strix to temporarily turn her into a snail so they could escape. Evelyn later revealed her hatred of the creature, for it had taken away her free will, something she was beginning to exercise and appreciate more as she had begun placing priorities over those of the church. She tried to use the Xanathar's affection for her to help the Crew infiltrate its lair, but ultimately it saw through her attempts at being a 'distraction force' and put her to sleep, turned her to stone and levitated her. The beholder accidentally dropped her so that she shattered after Paultin learned she was in danger and burst into the room and reflexively thunderwaved it. After the battle, Strix and Paultin reassembled her pieces with a mending spell, and Strix used the stone-to-flesh potion the C-Team had given her to restore Evelyn to life. Paultin became catatonic, repeating that he should have been there, and that everyone around him keeps dying, so that Evelyn was forced to carry him and try to soothe him.

Notable Equipment (spoilers) Edit

  • Treebane (elvan magical axe)
  • Lightfall (double-bladed battle axe and holy symbol, further empowered as a mace of disruption) (broken into shards and given to Diath)
  • Holy Symbol of Ravenkind
  • Heart of Spinelli (flame tongue great-sword; 2d6 damage + 2d6 fire damage)
  • Winged Boots of the Dawn - magical flying boots that glow in moonlight, worked with the holy symbol of Lathander. When worn, they also make the wearer feel fortunate and optimistic about the future, and harmless creatures seem to frolic in their presence.
  • Golden 'emoji' shield -a gift discovered in the Waffle House that bears Evelyn's image, and will change its facial expression when commanded
  • Binwin's horned helmet - a gift
  • doll of Evelyn (roughly constructed doll made in Evelyn's likeness by Strix during her 50 years alone in Barovia)
  • pan flute (given to Paultin)
  • wand of conducting (found in the Xanathar's lair, Evelyn enjoyed making music with it for a week, until Strix stomped on it and broke it)
  • Armor of Invulnerability (a magical black suit of armor originally belonging to Kaharik the dao, which he took back from her)
  • Halruaan force bomb (egg-shaped device with a timer, believed to have the power of 10,000 magic missiles) (timer temporarily stopped by a mysterious key, then restarted and swallowed by Aremag the dragon turtle before it exploded in the bay of Port Nyanzaru)

Trivia (spoilers) Edit

  • Anna has written out the letters Evelyn gave to each member of the Waffle Crew during episode 52.
  • Anna confirmed that as far as she's aware, Evelyn's construct form was indeed "made of Simon's old body".[1] She has also explained that the markings from her construct body that are now on her skin are raised, white, and henna-like, but are not exactly like what she wore in the SomE broadcast, and she might have also kept some of the gold decorations from her construct form in her hair.[22]
  • Anna wrote several stories of Evelyn's past here, here, here and here. She has added that Evelyn is not looking forward to seeing her brother or the conversations she feels she must have with him.[22] In episode 112, Evelyn revealed that she feels guilt for not rushing home during her training in time to heal their ailing mother, and keeps her brother's letter to remind her to feel ashamed.
  • Anna stated that Evelyn's last name came from the goddess Martha, who was Evelyn's patron in her last incarnation.[8] Her middles names were suggested by fans, and Anna picked the two she couldn't choose between.[25]
  • Anna revealed that she wanted Evelyn to have Juniper the mouse because a past DM would tease her and find ways to prevent her from having pets.[8] She also really wants the spell Find Greater Steed, which would allow Mourning Glory to be a true pegasus. Chris teased her by allowing her to use the spell in the Celestial Plane, but then he "took it away".[22]
  • Anna said that she keeps a 'ship log' of all possible hints dropped by Nate over the series about Paultin's true feelings for Evelyn.[8] She also said that Evelyn's crush on Nate's character wasn't actually planned by either of them, and that "Evelyn just saw someone creating light, beauty, and laughter and couldn't help but be swept off her feet! I didn't talk to Nate outside the game at all for quite some time after we started, actually. I used to worry that maybe it would bother him, but it was true to Evelyn!" [1] Anna has been surprised sometimes when Nate picks up on and reacts to cues by her character, such as when she left to be off on her own in Citadel Adbar and the Shadowfell.[1,4,16] As to how they both feel about the relationship now, "We've briefly discussed some aspects, like what tension we want to build by leaving certain things vague, but I have no idea what the ultimate end of their story is. I don't know if Nate does either...but we often discuss what happened after the fact to help each other understand the characters more (and scream)".[1]

References Edit

[1] I'm Anna, I play Evelyn. AMA! #2 DCA Reddit.

[2] Evelyn's character sheet: level 4.

[3] Clouded Judgement - Anna's Study After Episode 69: PAX Sub Optima. DCA reddit

[4] "I'm Anna, I play Evelyn. AMA! #1"  DCA reddit.

[5] How To Redeem D&D's Worst Alignment, Which Is Obviously Lawful Good. Kotaku.com.

[5] DCA Episode 73.

[6] DCA Episode 30.

[7] Waffle Talk: Discussing Dice, Camera, Action Episode 79.

[8] DCA Episode 46.

[9] DCA Episode 36.

[10] DCA Episode 52.

[11] DCA Episode 53.

[12] https://twitter.com/AnnaProsser/status/942165703150284800.

[13] DCA Episodes 66-67.

[14] DCA Episodes 84-85.

[15] DCA Episodes 87-89.

[16] Pax East 2018 - Dragonfly Theater - Wafflecrew Tea Time Q&A. Twitch.com

[17] https://twitter.com/AnnaProsser/status/991491714891169792

[18] https://twitter.com/AnnaProsser/status/1002953446507491328

[19] A Story about my Gramma. DCA Reddit.

[20] https://twitter.com/AnnaProsser/status/996952168870494208

[21] https://twitter.com/TychoBrahe/status/997978648303910912

[22] DCA AMA Session.

[23] https://twitter.com/AnnaProsser/status/1006719086976364545

[24] https://twitter.com/AnnaProsser/status/1036524407366144000

[25] "Viewers Know Best: What is Evelyn's Middle Name?" DCA Reddit.