Appearance and personality
Fonkin has exceptional charisma and dexterity, and is especially tough for an elf. He speaks many languages, including that of fire giants. He wears magically-enhanced splint mail and wear a ring of regeneration, or, if these are unavailable, wears chain mail and wields a longsword.
Fonkin likes to appear heroic, but is careful, and aims to avoid danger wherever possible, even if that means finding an excuse to flee or surrender. His cowardice is a potential liability to any adventuring party he joins.
Fonkin is Lawful Good in alignment.
Fonkin's evil half-brother, the half-elf Kaleb Hoddypeak, devoted himself to sabotaging Fonkin's adventures and reputation. Kaleb joined the cult of Vecna, god of secrets, and became a cleric of that god. A mob of angry villagers eventually lynched Kaleb for his evil ways and threw him into a bog. Kaleb was risen as a mummy.
Fonkin's adventuring career has been defined by his fight against giants.
Against the Giants
Flerd Trantle was one of a number of now-legendary adventurers who volunteered to lead a strike team against the giants who had been raiding human lands. One of the adventurers' first targets was the frost giants of the Glacial Rift.
Fonkin ventured against the giants in a party including the half-elf ranger Beek Gwenders and his former Flerd Trantle. After Beek was killed, the party cast animate dead on his corpse. Eventually, the zombie began to smell bad, so the party doused it in oil and set it on fire. Fonkin later commented, "Beek would've found that hilarious."
After a battle with frost giants in which Flerd Trantle was killed, Fonkin was captured along with his two remaining comrades, the human wizard Gleep Wurp and the thief Cloyer Bulse. All of his magic items were looted, including his splint mail and ring of regeneration.
Gleep Wurp revealed himself to be a traitor working for the giants, and soon sharded all of Fonkin's magic items into residuum before taking up a new post as an ambassador to a drow city in the Underdark. Cloyer Bulse was eaten by giants, leaving Flerd the only remaining member of the party.
Fonkin was rescued days later by adventurers, though his capture and imprisonment had taken a mental toll. He survived, and made plans to enact vengeance against Gleep Wurp and the giants.
Destruction of Derelion
Years later, a new giant invasion rose up and swept the land, enslaving its populace. One of its targets was the centuries-old hidden forest town of Derelion, coincidentally the home of Fonkin Hoddypeak's family. Scouts reported the approach of a band of hill giants and ogres one day away.
By lucky coincidence, the mage Faffle Dwe'o-mercraeft happened to be visiting Derelion that day to court Fonkin's sister. Faffle used magic to help prepare the town's defenses, but a summoning spell went awry and accidentally conjured the deadly shadow dragon Hasforenses.
Hasforenses wreaked stealthy havoc against both sides. By the end of the battle, all of the combatants were dead, save for a few elves who managed to escape. The shadow dragon walked the made sure to finish off wounded and unconscious. The mage Faffle was never seen again.
AD&D 1st edition
Fonkin Hoddypeak and his four comrades originally appeared as a pre-made character for use in the adventure module G1-3 Against the Giants (1981). Fonkin and Beek Gwenders also appeared in and D1-2 Descent into the Depths of the Earth (D1-2) (1981) with slightly different stats and magic items.
AD&D 2nd edition
Fonkin is referenced in the Silver Anniversary adventure module Against the Giants: The Liberation of Geoff (1999).
D&D 3rd edition
"Fonkin Hoddypeaks" is given in Hero Builder's Guidebook (2000) as an example of a silly name. It recommends against using joke names for D&D characters, since the name may become tiresome by the end of the character's adventuring career.
D&D 4th edition
Fonkin Hoddypeak made his return in two Dungeon magazine adventures in 2012, which formed sequels to G1-3 Against the Giants (1981): Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl, Dungeon #199 (Feb 2012), and Hall of the Fire Giant King, Dungeon #200 (Mar 2012).
A full statblock for him appears in Dungeon #200 (Mar 2012), p.36, where Fonkin Hoddypeak is defined as an 18th level Striker. His ability scores here are inconsistent with his previous statistics, having 18 Wisdom where the original AD&D version had a Wisdom score of 9.
D&D 5th edition
Fonkin Hoddypeak makes a cameo in the Monster Manual (5e) (2014), p.316, where he relates a tale about the party raising fallen party member Beek Gwenders with animate dead. This canonically concurs with his D&D 4e lore, which asserts that Beek died while Fonkin survived the adventure to tell the tale.
Based on the D&D 4th edition canonical description of Fonkin's party, the only characters who could have cast animate dead (Clr3/Wiz5) under AD&D rules were Flerd Trantle and Gleep Wurp. Since Flerd Trantle was Lawful Good, this suggests the traitor Gleep Wurp was the one who animated Beek as a zombie.
The word "hoddy-peak" is old slang for a fool, attested 1585.
- G1-3 Against the Giants (1981).
- Hall of the Fire Giant King, Dungeon #200 (Mar 2012), p.35-36.
- Die Vecna Die! (2000), p.60-61.
- Against the Giants: The Liberation of Geoff (1999), p.46.
- Monster Manual (5e) (2014), p.316.
- Historical Slang for Your Edification and Amusement, Monsters and Manuals (2019)