William "Penny" Adiyodi is a Traveller and former Brakebills University student who works for the Library of the Neitherlands. Raised in Florida, William was unable to control his Psychic abilities until he received training and guidance from a voice from another world, who taught him how to control his magic. After passing the Brakebills Entrance Exam, Penny was coerced into helping Quentin Coldwater and Alice Quinn attempt to summon Alice's dead brother, but the ritual opened the barriers around Brakebills enough for The Beast to attack the school in search for Quentin. After realizing that the Beast and the voice that helped him were one in the same, Penny attempted to leave Brakebills but was convinced to stay by Kady Orloff-Diaz.
In the weeks that followed, Penny learned that he was a Traveller, a rare type of magician with the ability to travel to other worlds. While the revelation initially scared Penny, he learned to embrace his abilities under the tutelage of Professor Mischa Mayakovsky during his time at Brakebills South. Unbeknownst to him, Kady was expelled during their time there, and left him alone, much to his dismay. After returning to Brakebills, Penny was attacked by Mike McCormick, under the possession of the Beast, in a failed attempt to assassinate Quentin Coldwater. When the Beast began to target Travellers, Penny learned that he was torturing Victoria Gradley, a member of Brakebills missing Third-year class, in Fillory. Penny then agreed to help Quentin and his friends travel to Fillory only if they rescued Victoria.
After obtaining a magical button that would allow the entire group to travel to Fillory, Penny accidentally wound up in the Neitherlands. There, he met Zelda Schiff, the Head Librarian of the Library of the Neitherlands, who gave Penny information needed to kill the Beast from Martin Chatwin's Life Book. Before returning to Earth, Penny battled with the locals of the Neitherlands before Alice and Quentin used a ritual to help him return. When the group finally journeyed to Fillory, Penny helped guide them through the fountains until Josh Hoberman found them and joined their quest. When Eliot Waugh compromised their plan, Penny and the others resorted to using Battle Magic to fight their way to the Fillory fountain. When Eve, the leader of the mercenaries, attempted to stop them, Penny killed her.
Growing Up in Florida
William Adiyodi was born no later than 1993, and was raised in Florida. In high school, as his magic began to develop, he developed a dependence on alcohol and drugs in an effort to drown out the voices he was starting to hear from people's thoughts, as well as voices from other worlds. One voice in particular came through clearer than others, and Penny came to befriend it as it guided Penny through honing his abilities and teaching him about magic.
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Brakebills' Observation Notes
- "Penny, in the colloquial, is an asshole. He actively refuses offers of friendship and punishes his peers for any attempt to connect with him. But this attitude is the product of a lifetime of emotional neglect, for which he cannot be blamed. If we're being optimistic, we can hope that, pending admission, Penny will slowly warm to the sense of community fostered among his class. But if we're being realistic, we can assume that this will not be the case and his aggression will impact the more sensitive students (among the prospective, Quentin Coldwater stands out as a prime example).
But Penny possesses such a high level of magical talent that we are willing to overlook whatever disruption he might bring to the class. While his particular talents have yet to be identified, the volume of magical ability that he possesses is impossible to ignore. Which has also been his problem – he has this immense level of magical ability, but he believes it to be a psychiatric ailment, for which he has been driven to dangerous self-medicating. Without the training to harness and control his abilities, William has been tortured by them. Upon admission to Brakebills, we could help him to deal with these gifts."
- —Brakebills Observation Notes[src]
Magic and Abilities
Traveller Physiology: To be added
- Teleportation: As a Traveller, Penny is able to move across the material world and to other parts of the Multiverse. Under the tutelage of Mayakovsky, Penny became more proficient with this ability and could Travel to other worlds. After rescuring Victoria from Fillory, Penny learned a spell that allowed him to Travel with a group of people. His precision and proficiency allow him to enter heavily warded areas, such as Brakebills, an anti-Traveller warded bank vault, and Marina's apartment without hindrance. Notably, he was able to quickly travel from Fillory, appear in Marina's apartment, seize Julia and The Beast, and travel back to Fillory before the latter two could even react, all in mere seconds. When his hands were damaged by The Beast, this ability was unstable, along with the rest of his magic, causing him to Travel sporadically. However, despite all of his accomplishments, Penny never could learn to Travel with others with him until Victoria revealed a spell that allowed him to Travel with people.
- Astral Projection: Penny was capable of separating his astral form from his physical form, gaining access to the Astral Plane. He notably was able to pass the Trials at Brakebills by using his astral form to cheat off of Alice Quinn's work. Penny was able to project himself to Fillory hearing Victoria Gradley's distress calls, but quickly disappeared after he was spotted by The Beast.
- Telepathy: Penny could read the minds of others within his vicinity, allowing him to hear their thoughts. Through this, he is able to detect lies and discern someone's true motivation, though he's unable to enter the minds of those with powerful wards, such as Kady Orloff-Diaz.
Magician: William Adiyodi is a very gifted and skilled magician, showing success in performing complex battle magic spells and nearly mastering Traveling. As a Psychic, Penny is able to passively hear the thoughts of others, a trait that seems to be enhanced by his Traveller discipline. He's been shown to be very knowledgeable about practical magic, utilizing an Emerson's Alloy Repellant in order to stave off the voices he was hearing. As a neophyte of a Traveller, Penny has shown great proficiency in his aim under the tutelage of Mischa Mayakovsky, who pushed Penny into the early stages of interdimensional travel while studying at Brakebills South. After his hands were removed by The Beast, Penny began studying alternative forms of casting that didn't require magic, leading him to become a practitioner of "sphincter magic".
- Wellspring Magic Manipulation: Penny was able to shape and manipulate the energy of the Wellspring to cast spells by writing specific formations with his hands, forming phosphorescent constructs of energy.
- Battle Magic: When preparing to travel to Fillory, Penny learned rudimentary battle magic to combat the Neitherlanders protecting the Fillory fountain. While he initially required the use of a emotion-suppressing spell to circumvent the discipline needed, he later learned how to cast battle magic without the spell.
- Gifted Intellect: Penny is able to grasp the full comprehension of magical theory as taught at Brakebills. As is the standard for all Magicians, he possesses at least an Above Average level of intelligence that enables him to utilize the concept of magic and apply it in the physical world.
- Multilingual: Penny, as well as every other Magician, is able to speak and read in a multitude of languages, as it is a basic requirement for spellcasting.
- William Adiyodi's Prosthetic Hands: After The Beast removed his hands, Penny later acquired a pair of glowing, golden hands made of magic that return his ability to cast. These hands are also stronger than his normal ones.