- 3 Chapter Posts
Thu Dec 15th, 2016 @ 2:01am
Brán of Coldshade Heights
Name Brán of Coldshade Heights
Position Mage (Cymeria)
|Date of Birth||21 March 3520|
|Aliases / Nicknames||Sassenach (Outlander): term applying to Brán as he came as a stranger to Cymeria.|
|Craft / Trade||Theurgy Guild Mage: Brán is a working member of the Theurgy, receiving a stipend in return for his work. The Theurgy also provides for travel expenses and housing.|
Home & Residence
|Estate / Hold / Farm||Sanctuary|
|Region / Province||Harkania|
|Country of Residence||Cymeria|
|Town / Village||Snowvale|
|City||Dinas Ulchedir (10 hr. +/- ride)|
|Residence / Lodging||Sanctuary is constructed near the base of Mynydd Cysegr. Again, it takes advantage of the regions vast system of caves, chasms and waterfalls to make a near impregnable fortress. In Aeldish, Cysegr translates to sanctuary.
Sanctuary is distinguished by its tall, slender towers and spires lending it a fairy tale appearance. The waterfalls that cascade from around and below it add to its air of mystery and peace.
Inside, despite what one would think, Sanctuary is a realm of air and light. Byd golau, hung at varying heights and in varying sizes, add to the ambient natural light filtering in from as many windows as could be constructed into the edifice. Even the libraries, and workrooms, deep in the caves are well lit and a carefully manufactured system of small tubes keeps the air dry and fresh.
Inside the main structure lie the majority of class rooms, the rooms belonging to the creche where novitiates are housed and the rooms and apartments of Guild members who have chose to live there rather than in their own external residence. There are also guest rooms and apartments for visitors such as the High Lord.
Additionally, there is the large and well-appointed apartments belonging to the Grand Master and Grand Mistress of the Guild. Ordinarily, the man and woman serving these roles are a married couple. The apartments, however, are structured to provide privacy and staff should the highest offices of the Guild be held by non-related individuals.
|Original Birthplace||Brán was born in a small hamlet in the Mountains of the Kingslayer’s dagger, named “Coldshade Heights”, the hamlet, along with Coldshade Dale, Coldshade Woods and Coldshade Dens, lay in the shadow of the mighty Coldfrost Peak.
The house of Bran’s parents, the place where he was born, was a typical miner's home, a small solid house, built from the same grey stones that dominated its surroundings.
|Hair||Black hair, that tends to fall in unruly locks and is a tad longer than shoulder-length. He usually ties it back neatly, to keep it away from his face.|
|Eyes||Dark blue with strong grey flecks in them, that make the eyes appear almost grey at times.|
|Build / Stature||While fairly tall and of medium frame, Brán is rather light built, what muscles he has do not stand out much, and his overall build is slender.|
|Style||Brán dresses practical, cleanly and usually rather understated.|
|Character Looks Like||Margali Villeneuve: “Faramir” in the “Heirs of Numenór” Card Pack.|
|Personality Traits||- Highly intelligent
- Good student
- Fast learner
- Can remember things he has read with great ease
- Enjoys travelling
- Low to no tolerance for alcohol or similar beverages
- Does not always trust himself
- High moral standards
|Personality||Brán is a quiet and thoughtful man, since he was young he had a lot of time to ponder the questions of right and wrong, responsibility and destiny. While still prone to philosophical musings, Brán is often torn between questions and belief. Raised to belief, and being a believer still, to some degree, Brán loves the knowledge and research, the search for answers he discovered while with the Theurgy. The search for an answer, for knowledge, is something that Brán enjoys, even when he will admit that some knowledge better remain forgotten - to him the search, the journey, is the true learning.
At heart Brán is someone who wants to do what is right, even if that may not always be easy. After struggling long to reconcile with his talent, he is someone who will not hesitate to do what is needful when others are in danger. Being rather wary of power, be it arcane or worldly power, Brán has no wish to rise in either, the world or the arcane powers, as he sees them more as a burden, a responsibility, than as a perk to be coveted.
On the other hand Brán is easily tempted by knowledge. The riddle of an ancient settlement, the story of a long-dead scholar… their mysteries are the ones Brán deeply enjoys and he’ll not even ask about risks when it comes to recovering some moldy old tome from its hiding place.
While Brán loves solitary times, quiet and meditation, he consciously tries to integrate with the society he now belongs to. Having been raised to understand that the community is weakened when one withdraws from it, he adapts the principle on the community he now is part of.
There are three strong loyalties for Brán, though they sometimes can be contradictory: the first is Cymeria and the Mages, because they gave him shelter and educated him, helped him to understand his powers, and above all would allow him to stay when all other roads were blocked. As they accepted him as one of theirs, he feels it his obligation to give the same loyalty back. The second loyalty is a complicated one, for it is to his brother. While only having had contact through letters for fourteen years, Brán still would take great risks if he knew his brother in danger, especially in danger of the arcane type. The third and just as contradicting loyalty is the Faith. While Brán has changed, while he has come to understand many misconceptions he was taught in Aquitaine, Brán still considers himself one of the Lumiatar, if in Exile. In his heart he cannot let go of the faith, of what he still feels holds a great deal of truth.
|Mannerisms||Brán is soft-spoken, calm in manner and very observant. He tends to think and analyze, which reflects into his speech. His words are usually cultured and educated. He easily comes across as a soft-spoken scholar. He uses his hands to underline his words, and keeps eye-contact as he speaks, except when analyzing a book or item.|
|Education||Brán’s education has been twofold - the first part of his education was strongly in the hands of his brother, and while to many outside Aquitaine a Templar-regulated curriculum sounds like highly restricted knowledge, the contrary was the case. Virdaín believed that only knowledge, self-knowledge and understanding what he was could help Brán control his magic. Consequently Brán’s head was filled with a lot of knowledge, as much as any well-sorted library of a Templar-Fortress might hold. Along with that went meditations, focus-exercises and so forth. While much of this knowledge has a certain world-view and point of view, it has served Brán well in the past.
The second half of Brán’s education came inside the Theurgy, where he encountered totally differing points of view or knowledge. A keen learner and curious by nature, Brán turned to the theoretical knowledge very swiftly, learning much on many fields of knowledge.
|Languages||- Luminár - fluent (native tongue)
- Saesneg (English): fluent
- Letanum: fluent in reading and writing, less certain when speaking
- Drukar - reads it reasonably well
- Heniaith (Old Tongue): reads it very well
|Dexterity & Mobility||He walks swiftly and moves with great agility, training from youth on, has given him a degree of muscle and foremostly: a precise control over his movements.|
|Expertise||Decent horseman, good swimmer, decent fighter when forced to defend himself.|
Combat & Weapons
|Training & Skills||Brán received a good deal of training from his brother, who believed that a focused mind needed an equally focused body. These basics were expanded upon during Brán’s time apprenticed to Mage Song Xiang Chai who -seeing that his was familiar with the regular way of the sword - taught him her own unique fighting techniques.
- Due to his built Brán is limited to light weaponry.
- Uncomfortable in metal armor.
|Weapons||While not strong enough the use a Greatsword, Brán is rather proficient with the single, one-handed sword. He has no preference for any special type, any straight single blade, be it one or two-edged is right for him, though he prefers the two-edged if he can get one. His fighting style is swift and agile, forcing stronger opponents to chase after him and often using their slower movements against them.
Brán loves archery, partially because of the precision involved, partially because it demands all his senses be focused.
Arcane Skills & Abilities
|Arcane Source||Arcane Gift|
|Arcane Title||Gyfrin (Mage)|
|Affinity / Nature||Spirit: Brán’s affinity goes inside, to the spirit and the energies that flow within it. He also has displayed a sense for echoes and spirits of other nature in the past. He has no elemental talent.|
Like all mages, Brán has an active sense for the arcane, for the presence of powers. It is the skill that he is the most comfortable with, and that comes to him easiest. Through the long training in focus and discipline of the mind, it is easy for him to listen, to open up to such sensations. Brán finds it easy to “listen”, to let the echoes of things sing or whisper to his mind and try to riddle out what he is sensing.
Brán can purposefully “create” an arcane echo and leave it behind. Like an invisible handprint only a mage pick up on. The “echo” does not retain truly words, or complex messages, the best he ever managed to do was leaving an impression inside that echo.
Brán is not sure if this skill has any particular use, outside of marking the right books for the Novices that way. Though he will admit that if he joined questing it might be useful to mark a place, in case he himself did not return from a mission.
What Brán did as a child, making the shattered crystal “light up” is not entirely gone. Already during his time in Aquitaine, he did succeed at least once in focusing some of his inner power outward, making it appear as a pale silvery light above his hand. After long talks with others Brán eventually began to work on that skill again, and now is able to do it reliably. Brán has not experimented with using that power in any aggressive way, and in long talks with the mentors of the Theurgy, he came to respect and understand the limits the Chimera themselves use for their far greater powers. As such, he has decided, to no try and make use of the silvery flame the way he did the day the shackle burned out.
|Father||Barian, a miner in the Silver-mines on Coldshade Heights. Barian was the man to discover Brán’s talent and the one who put him into his older brother’s care. While wanting his “arcane” son in the hands of someone equipped to deal with that kind of talent, Barian expressed no hatred and no fears towards his son during the short duration after the discovery.|
|Mother||Kailea, a warm-hearted, hard-working woman who raised a brood of seven in the rough lands of Coldshade Heights. She died nine years ago after suffering from the White Fever during the winter. She did not see Brán again, but had made her peace with her child being tainted.|
|Brother(s)||Talnar: 39 and a respected miner in the silver mines at Coldshade Heights, married and with several children.
Eran: 45 and scribe at the Mining Office in Snowblaze Heights. Injured in a severe mining accident, he was not able to return to the mines because one of his legs remained stiff. His education in the School of Light received as a child and his knowledge enabled him to earn a place at the Mining Office, recording the new finds and mining progressions. He is married, with children and a very respected citizen of Snowblaze Heights.
Virdaín: 42. Templar, and long-time mentor of Brán. He tried to help Brán with his talent and ultimately helped him to go to Cymeria. They kept in loose contact ever since. Virdaín is the brother Brán feels closest to. For a long time Brán kept the fact that he was the younger brother of the High Lord Commander a secret.
|Sister(s)||Eileen: 48 oldest sibling, of the brood.. Eileen married a Templar and lives in Aquitaine City as a trader of inks.
Suraine: 37 - Like Virdaín, Suraine felt the calling and entered the Seeker Monasteries. A scholar at first she eventually became an Inquisitor.
Veila: 29, youngest child of the family, married in Coldshade Heights with a mining foreman, she takes care of her father
|Other Family||Numerous spread throughout Aquitaine, none that Brán has any contact with.|
|Bran’s family on the whole was like many common families in Aquitaine, industrious if somewhat poor, faithful if not exactly deeply spiritual and overall a warm-hearted family. As miners they had lived in the shadow of the Kingslayer’s Dagger for generations, some of them getting split up, as they went to different mines, but mostly returning home to the cold heart of mountains sooner or later.
Varidan and Surane were the first children in generations to have a calling, Brán the first in five generations to have the arcane talent. Both resurging in one generation did certainly surprise the family, even if it did not surprise the Seekers.
|520 - 528
Brán’s was born as one of many children to a mining family in Coldshade Heights, his family was not exactly poor, but not well-off either. He never knew all his siblings as some of them had already left home to follow a Calling. One of his brothers entered the Templar Novitiate at the age of 9 and another sister joined the Seekers at a similarly young age.
Brán’s talent was found prior to his first testing, at the age of 9. Had he been found in a testing, he’d been taken from his family straight away and send to the dwarrow. But things happened differently. While playing in the ruins of an old monastery in the mountains Brán had found a long crystal shard which he used to play with. He discovered one day that he could make the shard “light up” in an eerie silvery light. When his father discovered him, he saw at once that the “shard” was part of a shattered Seeker Testing Orb. Not wanting to involve the Seekers, who’d hand his son to foreigners, Barian turned to Virdaín to confirm his suspicion.
That meeting was the first time Brán ever met his brother, and while he was at first shy around the Templar warrior, the brothers developed a bond fairly quickly. Virdaín confirmed Barian’s suspicion, Brán indeed was “tainted”, he had the arcane talent. After a rather intense argument between Virdaín and Barian, Brán and Virdaín talked for half the night. Young as Brán was, he knew that what he had been discovered as was bad, and strangely Virdaín was the person neither frightened nor panicked about it. In the end, they decided on something risky and entirely strange in Aquitaine: they would try to isolate Brán from the common public and try to teach him control of his skills.
Brán spend several years in Virdaín’s care, well hidden away in an ancient tower outside Northstar fortress, and trying to learn to control and *not* use his powers. With only garbled knowledge of the arcane, Virdaín went with what he knew - many elements of the regimen were taken from Templar training: Prayers and Meditations for focus, physical exercises to balance mind and body, and the training of a continuous awareness and mental discipline. The entire concept was based on the fact, that Brán needed to learn to control his power, in order to not use it accidentally. As Brán grew into his teens, he became stronger, and eventually they tried the shackle - and ancient method of putting a Mage’s powers under the control of a Templar. The attempt failed eventually, as Brán’s power overcame the barrier and burned out the shackle, injuring Virdaín in the process.
When Brán saw what he had done, that he had injured his brother - a brother he fiercely loved - he asked Virdaín to kill him, to put him down before he truly could become a monster. But Virdaín refused. Seeing that this was beyond what they could hope to control, he told Brán there was no other way but the leave Aquitaine forever. But he was not to go to the dwarrow, but to Cymeria. For all what was said about them, Virdaín believed that the Chimera were those who could best deal with Brán’s talent as they were dealing with their own skills, in as constructive a way as possible. In secret, with no one knowing about it, Virdaín guided Brán to Cymeria, they said their goodbyes at the border, knowing they might never meet again in this world.
While the training itself was a failure in the end, it left strong influences on Brán. Many things he learned from Virdaín are still with him, and his brother’s example is something inspiring him still at times. Techniques of focus and mediation, ways to calm his mind or to focus his thoughts that became strongly ingrained, were learned during those years. The strongest, and maybe most visible trace of said training is the way Brán uses (or tries to use) his powers - if he does, he reaches for what is inside him, turning those energies outward. (Much like a Templar does with a Blessing, through the shackle Bran was linked to Virdaín for long enough to having “watched” him use his skills often.)
537 - Present
Brán was welcomed friendly in Cymeria, but he had a slow start at the Theurgy. It was not that he refused to learn - he threw himself into learning the theory, and anything that had to do with the discipline of the mind, with quite some passion, but he had difficulties to truly use his powers, even wanting to use them. He sought many conversations with the mentors, trying to understand better, trying to learn. It took him time to become comfortable with his skills.
All in all it took him longer to pass the Novitiate and the Journeyman stage of the training, he remained much longer a journeyman than many other trainees. Brán loved the time at Sanctuary, the studying, the work, the many conversations, and he has a great deal of respect for the elder mages and mentors. Still it took him a long time to truly make the transition towards mage. In the end, outside of the patience of his mentors that helped him deal with doubts, it was his sense of duty to his now-homeland, that made him push himself to cross that barrier in his heart.
Friends & Foes
|Allies & Friends||Mage Song Xian Chai: A friend and mentor who greatly helped Brán to come to terms with his skills and slowly explore their use beyond the strict boundaries he had set himself. While they have vastly different views on their former common homeland and the faith of the Light, they have become firm friends and comrades.|
Additional Character Info
|Notes / References||Theurgy Guild|