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"From blood and ash, we will rise!"
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This article contains plot details and potential spoilers for the Blood and Ash series and/or the Flesh and Fire series. If you have not begun reading or are not too far into the story, please refrain from reading or at least proceed with caution.
You're the Chosen, born in the shroud of the gods, protected even inside the womb, veiled from birth.

From Blood and Ash

Penellaphe "Poppy" Da'Neer (née Balfour, pronounced: Pen-nell-uh-fee Bal-floor[1]), often simply named Poppy, is the former Maiden or Chosen One in the Kingdom of Solis and rightful Queen of Atlantia.

Biography

Early Life

Poppy is the daughter of Queen Isbeth and the god Ires. She is raised by Coralena Balfour and Leopold Balfour as one of their own children. Poppy grew up believing that Ian Balfour is her brother. At a young age, Cora and Leo attempt to escape from Solis with Poppy and Ian. While they are at an inn in Lockewood, Alastir Davenwell betrays them and allows the craven to attack the group. At the time, Poppy believes that Cora and Leo are killed by the craven. She is bitten by the craven but survives without turning into one. Poppy and Ian are raised at the capital by Isbeth and her handmaidens. At the age of 13, Poppy is forced to don the veil of the Chosen.

While living at the capital, Ian teaches Poppy numerous skills, such as lock-picking until he ascends.

From Blood and Ash

Unable to sleep, Poppy sneaks out of Castle Teerman using a white mask she found and a "borrowed" cloak from the servant Britta. She soon finds herself at The Red Pearl, the location known for shady and covert dealings where she watches women dance upon men and plays cards with a few others outside. However her games come to a short end, when she spots Vikter Wardwell, one of her royal guards. In an effort to avoid being discovered, a women who somehow seems to know Poppy is the Maiden, instructs her to hide in the sixth room of the facility. Upon entering the room, Poppy discovers she is not alone and has stumbled upon member of the Royal Guard, Hawke Flynn. After mistaking her for Britta, Hawke begins to kiss her and he soon realizes she is not who he thought she was. Poppy internally debates whether she should stay in the room as she risks the discovery of her true identity.

After deciding to stay, Poppy repeatedly denies Hawke's request that she take off the mask. The two exchange witty banter as Hawke lingers on top her and even caresses her breast. Eventually he is called away by Kieran. As Hawke turns to leave, he promises Poppy that he will return and asks Poppy to stay. Despite promising that she will stay, Poppy quickly leaves after Hawke.

The next morning, Poppy's companion and Lady in Wait, Tawny, interrogates Poppy about where she was the night prior. Although Poppy and Tawny had gotten into mischief together before, Poppy is hesitant to trust Tawny fearing that she will go report Poppy's activities to the Duke and Duchess. After more questioning, Poppy confesses that she had gone to the Red Pearl the night before, but leaves out any mention of Hawke. Tawny and Poppy proceed to discuss their upcoming ascensions with Tawny excited and Poppy fearing the unknown.

Poppy is woken by Vikter and tasked with using her powers to take away the pain of Marlowe, a man who was bitten by one of the craven and will soon turn. Her and Vikter take it upon themselves to help people bitten “die in dignity” rather than being slaughtered in the town centers. Later on, while Poppy and Rylan are heading out to their daily stroll in the garden, Poppy is apprehended by Lord Mazeen, who inappropriately touches and taunts her. Several moments later, a scream is heard and they find the body of Malessa Axton with two puncture wounds in her neck.

After the commotion died down, Poppy and Rylan eventually do make it to the garden. Rylan is shot and killed by an arrow through the heart. Poppy then defends herself with her bloodstone dagger stabbing the man attempting to kidnap her in the heart, however he survives and is called off by a mysterious whistle. Despite possibly angering the Duke and against the advice of others, Poppy attends Rylan’s funeral. Hawke takes over watch of Poppy and tells her that he will keep her safe and she will never be hurt again.

With the death of her personal guard, Rylan, a new guard must be appointed. Poppy is summoned to a meeting with the Duke, Duchess, Vikter and her new personal guard. She discovers that none other than Hawke Flynn has been chosen. In fear of being outed by him for sneaking out, she remains silent but must take off her veil reluctantly when asked to do so. Hawke doesn’t show any sign of recognition to which she is relieved, having believed that he might recognise her from the night at the Red Pearl. He says that both halves of her face are just as beautiful as the whole, and takes the oath to protect her as her guard. Poppy smirks at the Duke when Hawke does not flinch from her scars.

As punishment for smirking at the Duke, Poppy is lashed seven times with a cane. The Duke forces Poppy to strip her top half and Lord Mazeen holds her hands down on the Duke's desk preventing Poppy from covering her exposed chest. After the beating, Poppy leaves the Duke's office to find Vikter, not Hawke, waiting for her. Vikter explains that when Hawke noticed Tawny's and Poppy's distressed reaction to the Duke's summons, he immediately sent for Vikter to find out the reason. Vikter, aware of the Duke’s “lessons,” dismissed Hawke prior to Poppy exiting the Duke's office and take Poppy back to her bed chamber. Realizing how attentive Hawke is, she stays in her bedchamber for two days not wanting to explain to Hawke why she can barely walk.

Poppy takes care to avoid speaking in front of Hawke and ignores him when possible. This is until the night when the Rise outside the castle is attacked, and Poppy sneaks out to take part and help. Hawke discovers her shooting arrows and remarks how she must be like a goddess, unbeknownst to him that she is the Maiden. Poppy tries to flee from him and the two engage in a heated conversation against a wall, after she threw her dagger at his face which he expertly avoided. Hawke reveals that he knows it’s her, both the Maiden and the woman he met in the Red Pearl, and knew the moment he saw her face in the Duke’s office. They make their way back to her room and sit, discussing what she was doing and if he would tell on her, among other things. He says that he won’t, and ends the conversation by remarking how she should wear better shoes and thicker clothing next time.

Apparently, Hawke told Vikter after his conversation with Poppy in her room, and she discovers that Vikter is very angry with her decision to sneak onto the Rise. He and Poppy have an argument while training and Vikter questions whether Poppy should trust that Hawke won’t tell on her to the Duke. Vikter tells her that he might have other motivations for keeping quiet. Poppy replies, restating what Hawke had explained to her: that if he hadn’t kept quiet, then she wouldn’t trust him, therefore, making his job harder. When Vikter states that he understands why Poppy’s defending Hawke, she asks him what exactly he understands. His response that she’s defending him because of the reason that he’s attractive is immediately shut down by Poppy and she tells him that her reasons for defending Hawke had nothing to do with Hawke’s attractiveness. After, Poppy says that she trusts Hawke, sharing what had happened with the conversation between her and Hawke. The conversation between Poppy and Vikter ends with Vikter telling Poppy that she’s important to him, not because she’s the Maiden, but because she’s her. He also tells her that she’s like a daughter to him, leaving Poppy feeling emotional, and she tells him that he’s important to her too.

Poppy and Tawny go to a public meeting where the Duke and Duchess are giving a speech about the Craven attack. Poppy notices the same blonde man from the City Council meeting. She notices that he and some other members of the crowd are giving off a different emotion. Unsure if she is imagining it, she alerts Vikter that there is something strange about the man. The Duke and Duchess announce to the people that they had spoken with the Gods and that the Gods had allowed the Craven to reach the Rise because the Gods were angry about the rising amount of Descenters. Soon after, the blonde man shouts out demanding to know what happened to the 3rd and 4th children that were handed over during the Rite and why no one has ever seen them. He proceeds to throw a Craven hand at the Duke and Duchess. The man, a Descenter, is arrested.

Poppy seeks Duchess Teerman and explains how she believes that he powers were changing. The Duchess asks Poppy if she can sense what the Duchess is feeling and is relieved when Poppy indicates that she could not. Poppy has never been able to sense anything regarding the Ascended. The Duchess informs Poppy that the same thing happened with the first Maiden, her skills began to evolve and then her actions led her to the Dark One who then killed her.

Poppy sneaks out of her bedchamber to go to the Atheneum searching for the diary of Ms. Willa Colyns. The diary recounts Ms. Colyn’s sexual escapades. Distracted by reading, Poppy loses track of time and hears the voices of the Duke and a guard outside the door. Poppy immediately climbs out on the window ledge. After the guard and Duke leave, Poppy hears someone else enter the room. Hawke then asks if she is still out on the edge. Refusing his help, Poppy climbs back into the room. Exasperated, he calls Poppy by her nickname for the first time. He demands to know how she left her bedchamber and she reluctantly tells him about the servants' access. He takes the diary from Poppy is surprised by the diary's topic.

Later that evening, Tawny and Poppy prepare to attend the Rite. This is the first Rite that Poppy is allowed to attend. It is also the first time Poppy is allowed to wear a garment that is not white. Poppy wears a gown with long, flowing, crimson sleeves with the gown skimming her curves and a red domino mask. Vikter escorts Poppy and Tawny to the Rite with Hawke nowhere to be seen.

The Duchess and Lord Mazeen both take turns talking to Poppy with the Duke nowhere to be seen. Agnes approaches Poppy and asks Poppy if she could speak to her alone. Vikter denies this request. The three of them step outside, and Agnes thanks Poppy for what she did with Marlowe and that Poppy should not be here tonight. Poppy and Vikter both sense that Agnes wanted to say more, but Agnes leaves.

Poppy notices that Tawny is itching to join the crowd but is staying by Poppy’s side because Poppy is not allowed to mingle. Poppy tells Tawny to go have fun and that Poppy planned to retire to her bedchamber. As Hawke escorts Poppy to her room, he convinces her to go the garden instead. As the two talk about how the garden reminds Poppy of Rylan, Hawke shares about the caverns that he and his brother used to go to. Poppy again takes away his emotional pain.

Hawke leads Poppy to the benches under the willow tree where there were benches. Poppy asks Hawke to kiss her, which he obliges and more. Hawke stops saying that they should return or else Poppy will no longer be a maiden. As they leave the willow tree, they run into Vikter who has been searching for the pair. Vikter immediately recognizes that Hawke and Poppy have been kissing leading Vikter and Hawke to argue. After Hawke leaves, Poppy argues with Vikter shouting that she did not want to ascend and hopes that she will be found unworthy.

As Poppy and Vikter return to her room, they hear a loud, cracking sound followed by screaming from the Great Hall. Poppy rushes to the Great Hall as Tawny is still in there. Poppy sees one of the wooden rods behind the dais had broken revealing the body of the Duke stabbed through the heart with the cane that he used to lash Poppy. Written in blood above the Duke’s body is the mark of the Dark One, From Blood and Ash… We Will Rise.

Suddenly, Descenters start blowing up the windows in the Great Hall. Tawny, Poppy and Vikter quickly rush out; however, those who had left earlier were suddenly rushing back into the Great Hall due to Descenters killing people outside. Vikter and the Royal Guards form a protective circle around Poppy and Tawny to protect them from the stampede. They are pulled apart and lose one another in the crowd.

Poppy, Tawny, Duchess Teerman, Lord Mazeen, Vikter and a couple guards escape the Great Hall and the Duchess insists that they hide in a room with only one exit/entrance. The Descenters make it into the room prepared to kill everyone. Poppy pulls out her dagger and fights alongside Vikter. Poppy and Vikter take down all the Descenters, and the Duchess is scandalized that Poppy knows how to wield a dagger. As Vikter, Tawny, and Poppy prepare to leave the room, one of the Descenters rise and throws a sword at Vikter mortally wounding him. As Vikter dies, he apologizes to Poppy for failing her and not protecting her. Hawke enters as Vikter passes on.

Lord Mazeen taunts Poppy about Vikter’s death. In a fit of rage, Poppy slices off Lord Mazeen’s hands and head and proceeds to butcher him. Hawke comes up behind her and pinches a nerve causing Poppy to black out. She stays in her bedchamber for a week and finally leaves when the Duchess summons her. The Duchess informs her that there is no punishment for Poppy's execution of Lord Mazeen. Poppy correctly deduces that the Duchess was always aware of the Duke and Lord Mazeen’s lessons. The Duchess informs Poppy that Queen Ileana has ordered Poppy to return to the Capital. Although Poppy wants to take Tawny, Hawke says no and Tawny agrees.

Hawke introduces Poppy to Kieran, a royal guard who travelled with Hawke from the Capital to Masadonia. Hawke, Kieran, Phillips, Airrick, Noah, and Luddie are tasked with escorting Poppy to the Capital. Unable to ride a horse, Poppy rides with Hawke while he holds her by the waist. He informs Poppy that he brought along the Diary of Ms. Willa Colyns. The group spends the night in the Blood Forest, but the Forest is extremely cold. Hawke lays down next to Poppy and proceeds to give her pleasure.

Poppy wakes up to overhear Kieran and Hawke discussing their plans of where to stop next. Kieran asks Hawke if he is ready to get to New Haven and indicates that he noticed the growing relationship between Hawke and Poppy. He reminds Hawke twice to remember his task. Hawke goes over to wake up Poppy, who had been feigning sleep. They hold hands and Kieran looks over concerned.

As the group continues to travel through the Blood Forest, they are ambushed by a barrat and a group of Craven. Poppy defends herself. Noah dies and Poppy notices Phillips kneeling next to Airrick. Poppy and Hawke quickly go to Airrick. With Phillips and Hawke watching, Poppy takes away Airrick’s pain as he passes into the Vale.

The group make it to New Haven and are greeted by a little boy, Elijah, and his wife Magda. Poppy notes that the town is excited and acts like they are in the presence of royalty. Hawke instructs Magda to take Poppy to a room and give her some clothes. Poppy is confused by how Hawke knew the woman’s name. Magda informs Poppy that the Lord of New Haven was off on a hunting trip with some guardsman. As Poppy takes a bath, she realizes that she did not want to Ascend and no longer wants to be the maiden. She decides that when she arrives at the Capital, she will tell the Queen and go into exile. She plans to ask Hawke to go into hiding with her.

Hawke arrives at the room and Poppy asks him to spend the night with her. Hawke resists at first stating that if he does spend the night, Poppy will no longer be a maiden. Poppy knows and Hawke and Poppy sleep together.

Poppy wakes to Hawke speaking to someone at the door. He leaves and later Phillips comes to the room. Phillips indicates that there is something suspicious going on at New Haven; he has never heard of Hawke or Kieren and neither have any of the other guards. Also, there are no Ascended or guards at New Haven and he has never heard of an Ascended going hunting. As he tries to drag Poppy to the stables, Poppy believes that Phillips must be working for the Dark One.

As Phillips drags Poppy away from her room, they run into Kieran, who transforms into a wolven. Poppy and Phillips run to the stables where the other royal guards are waiting. Poppy insists on finding Hawke, who shows up at the stable. Poppy starts to run to him trying to explain that Kieran is a wolven. Kieran steps up next to Hawke confusing Poppy. Hawke kills Phillips. Other people join the fight and Poppy notices Rylan's assassin, Jericho, who was missing a hand. The Royal Guards are killed and Poppy sustains a large wound to the abdomen.

Poppy and Hawke fight and Poppy gains the upper hands a few times. Delano, a wolven loyal to Hawke, wonders whether they should intervene but Elijah says no and that he is shocked a maiden could throw down. Kieran comments that this is what happened when you mix business with pleasure informing everyone that Hawke and Poppy had slept together. When Poppy realizes that Hawke is an Atlantian, the right leaves her and she deduces that Hawke plans to hand her over to the Dark One.

Delano leads Poppy down to the cellars. Hawke visits Poppy and stitches up a wound she received while trying to escape the stables. He tells Poppy that the Ascended were vampyr who needed to feed off mortals because of their strong blood lust, that the 3rd and 4th children handed over during the Rite were used to feed the Ascended, and that if those who were fed upon were drained and not killed, they would turn into the Craven. He tells her that the Dark One plans to trade her for the Dark One’s brother, Prince Malik. He informs Poppy that he must go speak with King Valyn Da’Neer of Atlantia, but that he will find her better quarters. Initially Poppy does not believe Hawke, but as she thinks about his words, she begins to question everything the Ascended taught her.

Naill, an Atlantian, and Delano come down to the cellar to escort her back into the castle. As they release her from her chains, Jericho with a group of angry wolven, Atlantians, and mortal descenters come down to execute Poppy. Delano changes to his wolven form and attacks. Naill throws a sword to Poppy and tells her to defend herself.

As Delano and Naill fight to save Poppy, Poppy also saves the life of Delano. Both Naill and Delano are taken down and Poppy is stabbed by Mr. Tulis. Jericho prepares to butcher her up as the crowd cheers and yells out which body parts should be cut off first. As Jericho swings his sword, Delano attacks him. While Naill fights the rest of the crowd, Delano noses Poppy and howls when he realizes the extent of Poppy's wounds. Kieran appears in his mortal form and tells someone to go get the Prince right away. Kieran picks up Poppy and carries her back to the castle.

Hawke tries to save Poppy and uses compulsion to get her to drink his blood. When she comes to, Poppy remembers Kieran having referred to Hawke as Casteel, and Poppy realizes that Hawke is the Dark One, Prince Casteel "Cas" Da'Neer. Poppy grabs her dagger and stabs Cas in the heart. She cries and apologizes for killing him. She run off into the woods. After a few moments of running in the woods, Cas grabs her from behind and indicates that he cannot be killed with a stab to the heart. He told her that she had forgotten that it was real and proceeds to bite her. After he bites her, he states that he should have known. Poppy and Casteel then have sexual relations in the snow. Afterwards, Poppy realizes she had no regrets.

As they walk back to the castle, Cas indicates that he is taking her home. Poppy wonders if it is Masadonia or Carsodonia, and Cas replies neither and that he is taking her to Atlantia. Poppy then takes a bath and falls asleep in the tub. She wakes up to find Kieran staring at her wondering if she died. Kieran tells her that she should get out of the bath as the Prince wouldn’t want her sitting in cold, dirty bath water. Poppy indicates that she doesn't care what Cas wants and Kieran replies "you should… because he wants you even though he knows better, even though he knows it will end in yet another tragedy."

After Poppy dresses, Cas enters telling Poppy to come down to dinner with him. Poppy resists but Cas indicates to Poppy that he needs to show people that Poppy is under his protection. Reluctantly, Poppy joins Cas and Kieran. As they head to the dining hall, Poppy realizes that those who attacked her had been spiked to the wall. Although most were dead, Jericho has been left alive with a stake through his throat to suffer a slow, torturous death. While eating, Poppy indicates that she did not feel bad for those staked to the wall because they were happy to kill her and cut up her body parts, but that everyone should be given dignity in death, even Jericho. At that point, Delano asks Cas if the plans have changed. Cas indicates that they will now be heading home since he discovered that Poppy is half-Atlantian after tasting her blood. He explains that they must return to Atlantia to marry.

A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire

At dinner, Casteel announces to the room that he intends to marry Poppy. Poppy says she will never marry him. Landell argues that Poppy will never be his queen after Elijah indicates that if Cas chose Poppy, then they all chose Poppy. Landell criticizes Cas's change of plans and insults Poppy's scars causing Poppy to flinch. As Landell pulls out a dagger, Cas rips out Landell's heart. Poppy gets up to return to her room, but Alastir and Emil walk in. Alastir's voice reminds Poppy of Vikter, but she does not say anything in front of him because Cas warns her not to fight him in front of Alastir.

As Kieran takes Poppy back to her room, Kieran deeply smells Poppy noting that she smells like death. After returning to her room, Poppy begins to panic and uses a knife to pick the lock. As she runs through the woods, Poppy decides that she will turn herself into the Ascended with the hopes of finding her brother Ian, who she believes has Ascended and is living at Carsodonia. Kieran and Cas quickly catch up to her. Cas sends Kieran back to the castle and makes Poppy a deal - if she can beat him in a fight, she may leave. Poppy is able to draw first blood, but Craven ambush the pair.

Once they defeat all the Craven, Poppy and Cas return back to the castle. Kieran and Cas go back into the woods to burn the bodies of the Craven while Poppy bathes in a bath drawn up by Kieran in anticipation of her return. When Cas returns, Cas and Poppy discuss his plans for marriage, and Poppy is still against it. Cas proposes that Poppy marry him so that he can negotiate with the Blood Crown preventing a war. Afterwards, Poppy can choose to divorce him. Poppy agrees if he will help her find her brother.

Poppy wakes up screaming from a nightmare about the night her parents were slaughtered. Cas holds Poppy tight and strokes her hair trying to calm her down. As Poppy starts to feel embarassed regarding screaming, Cas tells Poppy about how he had nightmares after he saw Craven for the first time. But the nightmares took a different turn after he was captured by the Blood Crown. He recounts the many horrors that the Blood Crown subjected him to and confesses that there are still times where he wakes up in the middle of the night thinking he is still in the cage. Cas indicates that Poppy had been talking in her sleep and reciting a disturbing nursery rhyme about the poppy flower.

The next morning, Delano is guarding the bedchamber door while Cas is gone. Delano suddenly comes barging into the room because he heard Poppy yelling, except Poppy had not been yelling out loud, only internally. Delano pales but says it must have been the wind.

Cas announces their engagement and asks to speak with Poppy alone. Alastir confesses that he does not believe in this sudden change of heart between her and Cas and knows that Cas will do anything to get his brother Malik back. He offers Poppy an escape, which Poppy declines. Alastir also mentions to Poppy that Cas was previously engaged to Alastir's daughter, Shea. He asks Poppy not to say anything about Shea to Cas.

Poppy finds an old Atlantian census in the library. Cas points to an empath warrior line and tells Poppy that he believes she descends from an empath warrior, though the line was thought to have died out a long time ago. Kieran brushes Poppy's arm and receives a static shock.

Alastir, Emil, and the rest of Alastir's people leave to check the roads to make sure that they are safe to travel. While they are gone, Lord Chaney along with Royal Guards and Royal Knights appear at New Haven demanding for the return of the Maiden. Lord Chaney pulls out Mrs. Tulis from the carriage announcing that Mrs. Tulis told him that Poppy was at New Haven. When Elijah denies that there is a Maiden in New Haven, Lord Chaney executes Mrs. Tulis.

Cas comes out of the woods where he was watching the events unfold with Poppy and declares himself as the Dark One. A fight breaks out. Poppy notices that a Royal Knight drags a young boy to the stables. Poppy follows and kills the knight, only for another knight to catch up to them. As Poppy prepares to fight the Royal Knight, Lord Chaney appears with the boy in tow. Lord Chaney tells Poppy that if she surrenders, then he will let go of the boy. Poppy pretends to be relieved that the Ascended have found her, but a knight knocks her out from behind.

Poppy wakes up in the carriage with Lord Chaney with the Royal Guards surrounding the carriage. Lord Chaney attacks Poppy for her blood. While he is drinking her blood, Poppy stabs him wherever she can. Suddenly, Cas rips open the carriage door and removes Lord Chaney. Poppy continues to panic and stabs the air until she realizes that Cas is in the carriage. Poppy blacks out and wakes up to find that Cas gave her blood again to heal her minor bruises.

Poppy immediately goes to help the wounded. An old woman tells Poppy that she's like the second daughter, but not in the way that Poppy thinks, but chosen nonetheless. Alastir watches and mentions to Poppy that people are scared of her because the empath warriors were known as soul eaters. Soul eaters could suck the emotion out of people and turn those emotions back onto the people killing them.

On the way to the dungeon, Cas pulls Poppy into a pantry. He thanks Poppy for helping his people. Cas asks Poppy if he can kiss her and that while they do so, they could pretend to be Hawke and Poppy. Poppy obliges, and Cas stops the kiss before it escalates too far, disappointing Poppy.

Cas takes Poppy down to the dungeon so she can kill Lord Chaney, whose tongue has been ripped out by Kieran. While Cas goes to speak with the families of those who lost someone during the Ascended's attack, Poppy sits in the library with Kieran. Poppy goes down into the tunnels to add Mr. and Mrs. Tulis to the wall of names of those who had died by the hand of the Ascended.

Poppy has a nightmare regarding the night her family died. She wakes up and says that she just needs to forget. Cas and Poppy "pretend" to be Hawke and Poppy and he helps her fall asleep with some sexual attention.

The next morning, Poppy, Kieran, Cas, Naill and Delano leave to go to Spessa's End. Elijah thanks Poppy for helping his people. Poppy is oddly quiet and Cas correctly guesses its because of their arrangement. Poppy is nervous that she will not act correctly as she has never been in a relationship nor been surrounded by any normal relationships. Cas tells her to just act herself and that people are more likely to believe that they are in love if she is threatening to stab him rather than just sitting quietly.

Poppy asks Cas what happened to his former lover, and Cas dodges the question. He mentions that everything he loves has rotted due to the Ascended leading Poppy to point out that she was raised by the Ascended. Cas asks Poppy not to take away his pain and barely speaks for the next three days.

As they are riding, Poppy notices some bones hanging in the trees. Cas tells Poppy that the bones were placed by the Dead Bones Clan. They are quickly ambushed by the Dead Bones Clan, and Cas takes multiple arrows to the back and stomach. Poppy kills one of the clan and suffers a minor cut on the arm. As Cas goes to bandage the wound, he ends up just staring at her arm as his eyes blacken. Kieran interrupts breaking Cas out of his spell. His eyes return back to normal and he bandages Poppy.

The group continues on and they arrive at Pompay. The group continues to Spessa's End where they plan to wait for the rest of the New Haven people before going to Atlantia.

Quentyn and a young wolven Beckett meet the group and lead Poppy and Cas to their suite. The two retire, and Poppy accidentally wakes up Cas, and he does not recognize her. As Cas puts his hands around Poppy's throat, she pushes her dagger up against his neck screaming. Cas lowers himself down Poppy's body and starts to pleasure her, and she chooses to drop the dagger. Having heard Poppy's screams, Kieran comes in with his sword. Cas immediately turns and starts growling at Kieran. Poppy reads Cas and feels that he plans to kill Kieran. Kieran tells Poppy that the moment Cas attacks him that she should run and get Naill or Delano.

Fearing that Cas will attack Kieran, Poppy touches Cas and projects happy thoughts to him. Cas calms down, apologizes to Poppy and leaves. Kieran waits for Poppy as she cleans up and takes her down to the Bay. Poppy asks for an explanation of Cas's actions. Kieran informs her that Cas needs blood and that he has refused to feed from other Atlantians since meeting Poppy. Poppy asks Kieran about Shea and about Cas's wellbeing, and Kieran asks her why she cares if her and Cas are in a fake engagement. He tells Poppy that Cas loves her as she loves him, but that she is just not ready to accept that. Kieran tells Poppy that he believes the two to be heartmates, but refuses to expound.

The pair go inside for breakfast, and the people eating breakfast are distrustful of Poppy. Alastir joins them and asks Poppy if Cas has told her about the Joining. Poppy is disappointed that Cas did not tell her himself. Poppy turns to Kieran and says she plans to offer herself as dinner to Cas. Cas eventually joins them and the three return to Cas and Poppy's room. Poppy and Kieran convince Cas that he must feed. Kieran stays because Cas is close to the edge and may take too much blood, which would kill Poppy.

Cas begins to feed on Poppy and shoves Poppy against Kieran. Things get immensely sexual and Kieran intervenes to keep Cas from taking too much blood from Poppy. Once he makes sure that both are okay, Kieran leaves. Cas thanks Poppy and gives pleasure to her.

Cas has a surprise for Poppy, but only if they continue to pretend to be Poppy and Hawke. Poppy agrees. Cas takes her out to the stables where he tells her he is going to teach her to ride a horse. Coulton, who is in charge of the stables, gets a weird shock when he looks at Poppy for the first time. Then they shake hands and Coulton receives a static shock. Cas gives Poppy some basic lessons in riding and then directs her towards a house.

Out of the house comes Kieran and a female wolven Vonetta, who turns out to be Kieran's sister. As the four talk about Poppy's prior life as a maiden over sandwiches, there is a large commotion outside. The four go outside and find Alastir holding a wolven. Beckett was in an accident shattering his legs. Beckett needs to go back into his mortal form before his bones start to heal wrong potentially causing nerve damage. Poppy kneels down besides Beckett trying to take away his pain. The moment that Poppy's hands touched Beckett's fur, her hands began to glow. Soon, all of Poppy is glowing and she heals Beckett's legs. A crowd is gathering, most of whom fear Poppy's abilities. Cas believes that they should marry here in Spessa's End instead of waiting to go to Saion's Cove.

Later at dinner while Kieran and Cas are talking with others, Alastir sits down next to Poppy saying that he just does not believe that Cas loves Poppy. Alastir tells Poppy that Cas is promised to another back in Atlantia for the past five decades. Cas and Alastir get into a shouting match as Jasper, the speaker of the wolven who is also Kieran's father, walks in. Jasper tells Alastir that he is overstepping when Alastir states that Cas marrying Gianna would have strengthened the bonds between the wolven and the Atlantians. Jasper reminds Alastir that the latter does not speak for the wolven. Cas makes it clear that he had never agreed to the arranged marriage and that the idea was one floated between Alastir and King Valyn.

As Emil encourages the group to have the conversation at a later time, an Atlantian Dante calls Poppy a viper of the Ascended. Poppy makes it clear that although she was raised by the Ascended, she never knew who they truly were. She indicates that she is aware of Casteel's original plans to trade her for Malik. Cas states that although he did have plans to kidnap Poppy to use her as a bargaining chip, he had already fallen in love with her. He tells the room that when Poppy found out his plans, she stabbed him in the heart with a bloodstone dagger unaware that a stab to the heart could not kill an Atlantian. Jasper comments that Cas is just like his father with a love for women with sharp objects. Poppy declares to the room that Cas was the first thing she chose for herself and that although she chose him when she thought he was Hawke, she continues to choose him as Casteel. Cas is completely surprised and Jasper, speaking on behalf of the wolven, states that if Cas has chosen Poppy, how could his people not do the same.

Poppy goes outside to get some air and runs into Naill and Delano. They share a drink and Cas approaches. Poppy tells Cas that she does not feel like talking to him right now. Kieran comes outside to tell Cas that Jasper wishes to speak with him. Kieran takes Poppy back to her room. Poppy cries herself to sleep. Cas arrives and wakes up Poppy. Although Cas starts teasing Poppy, Poppy brings up Gianna. Cas explains to Poppy that he never told Poppy about Gianna because Gianna never wanted Cas herself, and he never wanted her. Cas had forgotten all about the arranged marriage until mentioned it. Cas is angry that Poppy could even believe that Cas would do all the things he had done for her and with her while being engaged to someone else. Cas accuses Poppy of never trying to get to know him and of never asking him the questions that are really on her mind. Poppy indicates its because he tells her nothing or ignores her leading her to explode with all the questions she has held back, questions about Malik, the throne, the caverns, the kidnapping, why he never told Poppy about the joining, Gianna, Spessa's End, his former lover, and how he can stand to be around Poppy knowing that she was raised by the Ascended. She demands that Cas tell her something real.

Cas tells her that he came to her room tonight to find out if what she had said at dinner was real or just pretending. Poppy feeling to exposed says nothing causing Cas to laugh. He says that all he ever receives from her is silence, so why would he tell her any of the things that she demanded to know. He tells her he wants everything from her. They both breakdown and admit that neither of them understand their relationship. As Cas explains to Poppy how not falling in love with her would have been way easier and as he starts to tell Poppy about Shea, the two are interrupted by Emil, who states that the sky is on fire.

Poppy and Cas follow Emil up on the Rise where they see the entire wester sky aglow. They wait for Dante and Delano who went to go scout out the source of the fire. As Cas speaks with Kieran and Alastir, Jasper comes to talk to Poppy. Jasper assures Poppy that he never expected Cas to marry Gianna as Cas never expressed any interest in that relationship. Jasper suggests to Poppy that has been whispering in the King's ear and that it was 's idea for Cas to marry Gianna, who is 's great-niece. Jasper also tells Poppy that he does not believe she is of the empath line as he remembered the empaths, very few could heal and none ever glowed.

Delano returns with his fur matted with blood. Much to Kieran's chagrin, Cas and Poppy immediately run down off the rise to meet Delano. Delano immediatley passes out from the puncture wound to his lung. Poppy heals Delano. Delano tells Cas that close to 800 Ascended are coming in two groups and that they killed Dante. Spessa's End has less than 100 people who are capable of fighting and 20 archers. Cas instructs Kieran and to go to Saion's Cove for reinforcements. Kieran does not want to go, but is ordered by Cas to do so. Poppy expresses worry about Kieran, and he calls her by her nickname for the first time.

Poppy and Cas finish their conversation. Cas explains to Poppy that and he and Shea were engaged, but she traded Malik to the Ascended to save her own life. While she escaped with Cas, she again tried to trade Cas for her own life, leading Cas to kill her for betraying him and his brother; he and Kieran have kept this secret and allowed everyone to believe that she died a hero at the hands of the Ascended. He explains to Poppy that he sent Kieran away because he doesn't want going staight to King Valyn to express his doubts regarding Cas and Poppy's engagement. Poppy admits that everything she said at dinner was true. Cas asks Poppy to marry him that day.

Vonetta brings a gown to Poppy. During the wedding, the skies turn pitch black showing that Nyktos, although sleeping, expresses approval of the marriage, which had only happened once before, during King Valyn's marriage to Queen Eloana. In private, Poppy and Cas share blood and sexual relations. The two sleep and wake up to face the ascended.

Duchess Teerman arives at the rise and Cas refuses to give up Poppy. Cas reveals himself as Prince Da'Neer, and Duchess Teerman tells Poppy that Queen Ileana is Poppy's grandmother. When Poppy and Cas make it clear that they will not surrender, Duchess Teerman returns to her carriage and lobs the heads of the group from New Haven at the Rise, including Elijah and Magda's head. Cas and the warriors go into battle. Poppy asks Quentyn to cover her while she goes onto the field. Poppy and Cas fight their way through the crowd, but then the second wave of the Ascended arrive surrounding Poppy and Cas. Although they take down dozens, Poppy's senses are overwhelmed and in order to shut it all down, Poppy holds her dagger to her throat and threatens to kill herself if any of the Ascended touch her or Cas. Suddenly, all the wolven arrive and take down the guards surrounding Poppy and Cas. Then the reinforcements from Saion's Cove arrive. Cas and Poppy race for the Duchess's carriage. Poppy makes it their first and kills the Duchess after the Duchess indicates to Poppy that Malik and Ian are still alive.

Cas reaches the carriage and the two proceed to have sex in the carriage. The reinforcements have decimated the Ascended's army. Cas and Kieran go with the lone survivor to make sure he sends a message to the Ascended, while Poppy goes to help the wounded. Poppy heals a wolven who tells her that King Valyn Da'Neer has plans to use her to send a message. Poppy is not surprised. Cas comes back and tells Poppy that all the wolven felt her calling for them when they had been surrounded in the woods, which is why all the wolven had appeared.

The next morning, Poppy, Cas, Kieran, Naill, Delano, Beckett, Quentyn, and Jasper leave to go Saion's Cove. When they arrive at the foot hills of the Skotos Mountains, the group separates into groups of three to travel through the mist. That night, Cas, Kieran and Poppy cuddle in the mountains. Poppy dreams about the night her parents were killed, and she swears she knows the man that is speaking in her dream. She follows the man only to hear a voice tell her to stop. Although Poppy refuses to stop, a woman appears in the mist in front of her telling her to go home and that she will find her answers there. Cas suddenly grabs her from behind and Poppy realizes that she was about to walk off a cliff. Although Cas and Kieran do not believe that Poppy saw a woman, the mountains begin to shake and Kieran tells Poppy that the shaking was the goddess Aios returning to her sleep place.

The group exits the mist and meets up with everyone else. As they arrive at Saion's Cove, Vonetta meets up with them and realizes that Poppy and Cas married. asks to speak with Cas alone and Beckett offers to take Poppy to see Nyktos's Temple. As Poppy is admiring the view from the chambers, she realizes that Beckett has left and in his place were a dozen angry Atlantians. They called her an Ascended whore and starting stoning her. The sky begins to rain blood and the Atlantians take it as a sign that they are doing what the gods want. A blood tree forms behind Poppy. Poppy takes in all their hatred and turns it back on them, killing all of them. Then hundreds of wolven show up along with Cas.

Poppy is terrified that the wolven are about to attack her. But when Cas sees that she is glowing, he draws his swords and kneels to her. The wolven circle her as the King, Queen, and arrive. The queen demands to know what Cas has done and who has he brought home. The Queen says it is too late and takes off her crown and places it on the floor of Nyktos's Temple. The crown catches on fire and burns off the gilded bone and shines with gold again. Queen Eloana tells everyone to bow to the last Descendant of Nyktos, the rightful Queen to Atlantia.

The Crown of Gilded Bones

TBA

The War of Two Queens

TBA

Personality

Poppy is an extremely complex person with multiple sides to her personality. While she can be described as feisty and compared to a viper, the extreme abuse Poppy endured from the monarchy in Solis caused her to hide parts of herself and transform them in order to restrict the amount of abuse she would receive. Earlier in her character development, Poppy is mostly complacent, quiet, and unassuming. However, parts of Poppy's inner self slip out in small ways, such as sneaking out of the castle and learning combat. It is with the help of Hawke, that Poppy's true personality begins to break through and the fire deep inside her comes burning out. She is thoughtful, loving, strong, and fierce. She stands up for those she loves and will fight for them until her last dying breath. Poppy is quick-witted with a sarcastic sense of humor. She yearns for people to believe in her and respect her, as she believes in them. Additionally, her gift of empathy allows her to see multiple perspectives and truly understand people. It is also the reason for which Poppy often gives people the benefit of the doubt and is able to show them love and respect despite a difference in opinion.

Physical Description

Poppy is described as of a girl with medium height, fair skin and auburn hair that resembles burnt copper. Her eyes are of an emerald green color. She has two scars on the left side of her face, one that goes above her eyebrow and another that extends across her cheekbone. Additionally, she retains scars on her legs and stomach, from when she was attacked by a craven. Her body type is described to be athletic, but lacking a willowy, thin frame. She used to wear white clothes fitting for a maiden and a translucent veil to cover her face. After leaving the title of Maiden behind, Poppy dons a different type of clothing. Additionally, she starts wearing her hair down instead of in up-dos.

Powers & Abilities

Powers

  • Empathy: Poppy is gifted with the power of empathy, allowing her to reach out and feel emotions in people. The most prominent is pain, which she learned to sense earliest. With the development of her gift, she is later able to sense a wider range of emotions. Poppy can also taste those emotions. According to her, anger and hatred taste bitter, love like chocolate and berries, surprise feels a cold splash, fear has an acid taste and jealousy leaves behind an ashy coating at the back of her throat. This power is found in Nyktos' bloodline, from his mother's side.
  • Healing / Suffering Absorption: Due to her gift, Poppy is able to take away other peoples pain by reaching out to them. She also possesses a certain range of healing abilities thanks to this.
  • Amplification of Emotions: Poppy can amplify emotions and project it onto other people, causing unimaginable pain which can lead to their deaths.
  • Resurrection: Poppy can restore the soul back to the person from limbo or command the soul to stay with the body.
  • Immortality: After being "ascended" by Casteel it is believed that Poppy will be immortal much like the deities. While Casteel did completely drain her of her blood and replaced it with his own, AND Poppy awoke with bloodlust, she does not seem to need blood, her eyes remained green instead of turning black, and she did not sprout fangs.

Abilities

  • Weapons Expert: Poppy is an expert with several kind of weapons and apt in learning new kinds.

Gallery

See more here.

Trivia

  • The nickname Poppy came from her mother - next to Poppy's brother only a few other people know of and use that name.
  • Poppy possesses a dagger made from Wolven bone and bloodstone, which was gifted to her by Vikter Wardwell.
  • She hates to feel helpless.
  • She loves reading books.
  • Poppy loves strawberries.
  • Poppy enjoys asking questions (much to Kieran's dismay).
  • Poppy's birthday is the same as the day The Crown of Gilded Bones came out (April 20th).

References

  1. Pronunciation Guide in The War of Two Queens
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