A Mighty Oak
Contact: oldalicechalmers (at) gmail (dot)com
Character Name: Bryn Kyffin
Character Age: 28
Birthday (including year): March 20, 211
Current Location: Fortress Caerderwen, City Weallan, Isle of Cemria, Great-Caelain
House: Kyffin - by birth.
The Kyffins were originally vassals of House Faerald; however, centuries ago they were instrumental in overtaking a very strategic Cemric settlement, Weallan, and this is the place they now call home. They are located far inland along the banks of one of Caelain's major rivers; their isolated position makes them a primary target for the attacks of unruly Cemric princedoms. The banner is fiercely loyal to House Faerald and dedicated to ending the chaos caused by Cemric raiders. They prefer compromise over war, and should diplomatic efforts fail, fight only until such a point as another opportunity for negotiations arises.
With a few exceptions, House Kyffin has traditionally only intermarried within Caelain, even marrying women from vassal families and Cemric tribes in order to foster peace. The House is, and always has been, dedicated primarily to the health and welfare of Caelain and Forsilvra (which after all boasts a family of Caelish origin), and has seldom involved itself in foreign affairs, much to the irritation of the rare more globally-minded members of the family.
The Kyffins are hardy folk; they are no strangers to suffering, be it from blight or war or plague, and complaint is frowned upon. They have little patience and respect for houses who seem faint in the face of the slightest hardship. Their nobles are hardworking and down-to-earth, and they express an uncommon concern for and even, to an extent, camaraderie with their smallfolk. Though a certain amount of scholarly education is encouraged, it is viewed as far less important than practical, hands-on skills learned by experience -- be it archery, harp-playing, or healing. Kyffins are typically short, small-boned brunettes and easy to underestimate by looks alone.
Their banner has variably depicted an oak tree or an acorn; it is traditional after times of significant loss in the family to change the banner from an oak tree to an acorn to acknowledge the hardship while simultaneously recognizing the potential that lies therein. The Kyffin motto is: "Up from acorns, oaks."
Player Base: Sullivan Stapleton
Bryn is not very imposing in his size. He is lithe and muscular, but not in the way that many would consider to be strong, simply due to bulk. He is however fairly strong, and his small stature lends itself well to being quick. His movement is very much like that of a panther. He is of below average height, standing at 5’10”; tall enough for a man to not be confused for a boy, but not particularly frightening. His facial features are quite rugged and handsome, having a strong jaw, and well-set eyes. He keeps his hair cropped quite short, but from time to time it varies depending on what he’s doing. He generally keeps his face fairly clean shaven, but like his hair it varies. Although it is a rare sight to see him sporting a thick beard, generally only growing as far as stubble before the itch begins to irritate him and he is forced to shave.
Bryn is a tough soldier, having served as a squire for Lord Tysilio, and has been given his post in order to fend off and contain Cemric raiders. Because of this trait, there’s not much that Bryn has not seen, and generally he is not sickened by the harshness of war. However, while he is a tough soldier, making him a force to be reckoned with in physical battle, he is only a decent commander at best. His tactics are sound, but they’re not exactly visionary. He’s the kind of person who will do what you tell him to do very well, and can think on his feet in dire circumstances, but he finds he has trouble planning large scale campaigns on his own.
Bryn is also dutiful and diligent, in all matters; martial, stewardship, diplomacy, and learning. This ties in with him being a tough soldier, at least in regards to martial matters, when it comes to the training and drilling of troops, and selecting ones for promotion based on skill. He is a responsible individual in managing resources; both in terms of coin, as well as natural resources. He keeps his house in order, making sure that no one is in any ways over extending themselves or being excessive in their wants.
He is blunt in regards to his words, saying exactly what he means, without using any frivolous words. “yes” means “yes” and “no” means “no”. If he says he will do something, he will do it. This trait is perhaps somewhat irritating to those who do not know him very personally. And for that matter, few people do. Bryn is quite reserved when it comes to expressing his emotions to others, so he finds solace in doing so in other ways, whether it be training, reading, or of the playing of the harp, which he is quite good at, though he does not play for many people, preferring instead to use the instrument as a means of relaxing in his own chambers. While this expressing of emotions in words is difficult for him, he is not devoid of them. He is patient, and not quick to anger. He is however prone to bouts of worrying, in regards to the safety of his family. The raids on his isolated island have not helped these matters. They are fierce and unrelenting, and while his troops are maintaining diligence, driving back these attacks, they are increasing in frequency and they are beginning to lose ground. All of this is a constant nagging thought at the back of Bryn’s mind, especially because he feels he is failing in the duty that Tysilio had given him. He is trying to make the best of the situation, but he realizes it is getting to a point where he is going to have to ask for help in the matter. Something he normally does not do.
He is caring to all, especially his small-folk, attempting to satisfy needs which they cannot normally provide for themselves, especially in the wake of these raids; shelter, food, protection. He does not offer these things with a price, but gives to all freely and liberally. This perhaps will come back to bite him in the future, but it does mean that he has become beloved of his small-folk.
Overall, Bryn is a brave, tough individual who never willingly shirks in his duty. He is introverted and introspective, and plagued by uncertainty leading to doubt and worry. His manner is that of a man who has seen much in the short time he’s been alive, and his knowledge of things is surprising for that of a quiet and reserved individual.
Bryn was born into a hard working noble family that was proud of its Caelish origins. As such Bryn ended up learning how to do things that other nobles typically would not; things such as how to sow and harvest a field, build things with his bare hands, etc. Generally very hands on work, that in some cases was skilled, and in others was unskilled. His early childhood was not one of refinery, or ease. He grew up hard, and he grew up tough. Of course like most nobles, he was taught other things as well, recognizing heraldry, how to read and write, how to ride a horse, and perhaps one “frilly” thing that has the most meaning on Caelain; music, specifically the harp. Bryn is quite fond of playing it, and while he is skillful, he does not generally play it for the entertainment of others, rather preferring to relax with it for his own amusement. Some of those he is intimate with do know of his skill though, but for his own sake Bryn hopes they will not mention it to anyone.
As Bryn was the second son, and fairly close to his elder brother Rhys in age; being separated only by one year, they were quite close as children, doing whatever nefarious deeds children seem oft to do. Thankfully though, they were usually far too busy doing work to be getting into trouble too often. His other siblings were considerably younger than him, and he treasured their company nonetheless. And while Bryn was the second son, his father Rhyderrch was a practical man and realized that if he trained both boys in the ways of being a banner lord, the house would not come into trouble if death came to either of them quickly, as it usually did with children. Thankfully something seemed happy to bless the Kyffin household as both boys grew into respectable young men.
When he was thirteen years old, Bryn was ready to begin another aspect of noble life; that of a squire. His brother was already serving alongside his father, as was his right, but the time had come where Bryn had to be placed under tutelage. The first thought was to his uncle Rhisiart, but his father chose to send him elsewhere in Caelain, primarily to keep relations strong, but also to avoid Bryn becoming too influenced by the ideals of his uncle. Rhisiart was an ambitious man, and was able to talk Rhyderrch into doing things that he otherwise would not do, primarily though manipulation. One of these was to marry a Harcourt instead of enjoining with a Caelish household. Bryn for the most part was unaware of these tensions. He knew his father and uncle had disagreements, as everyone had, but he did not know at the time the extent of it all.
Bryn instead was sent to be the squire of Tysilio Faerald. He was quite apt and utterly dedicated to learning the ways of becoming a knight; of course it helped that Tysilio was a famous knight already and had won many tournaments. Bryn picked up the sword fairly quickly and in his own right became quite a capable fighter as well. He did preferred more lighter role when it came to combat, but he was equally comfortable at donning heavy armour and partaking in the devastating charge that knights are known for. It was during these days that the first wave of plague swept through Weallan. Bryng’s immediate family was untouched but it did take the life of his uncle’s wife and one of his sons. The plague also took the lives of those who he was now close to; the Faeralds. Tysilio’s father, brother, and youngest son all had their lives claimed by this dreadful scourge upon the land. Because of the devastation of the plague, it caused quite a number of problems for everyone, and to make matters worse, one of the Cemric princes, Owyn, took advantage of it and betrayed his fealty to House Faerald. He took up arms against Bryn’s own home, Weallan. Bryn felt the urge to return home to help defend his family, as any young man would have wished to do, however his father being wise knew that Bryn’s help would not have turned the tide alone, and instead he instructed Bryn to continue his duty in squiring with Tysilio, both as a symbol of the Kyffins’ support and also because Rhyderrch knew that a half-trained knight was an improper thing. Bryn would get his chance to help soon enough, as Tysilio had begun a campaign against the princedoms in Cemria and due to his bravery in battle, Bryn was knighted.
Bryn eventually returned home after some time, and he became a busy and productive member of his house, often filling in tasks that his brother preferred least. It was at this time that he began to grow closer to his younger sister, Tegan, who had in the time he was away changed from a raucous child into a very dependable woman; Bryn liked what she had become, though he somewhat missed her fieriness and spark. In a fit of rare emotional intelligence, he thought to ask her where it went, and got more than he bargained for; he became his sister’s confidant. After this incident, his sister began to tell him everything, troubling or not. Perhaps because of this reason Bryn became as reserved as he is with his emotions, seeing as how he has to deal with his own, and that of his sister.
A few months after Tysilio had left Cemria and forced them to swear fealty, Owyn once again continued his defiance and started raiding Weallan once more. It was in the fiercest of these raids, in the year 238, that Bryn’s father was killed by a stray arrow, leaving Rhys as banner lord to a city in distress. In despite of it all however, Rhys did not falter and was competent in leading. Rhys himself though began to understand what his father meant by death coming quickly, and he realized that if his father, hale and hearty as he was could die so unexpectedly, then he could as well. He kept Bryn very close to himself and entrusting him responsible tasks, and becoming his right hand. He warned Bryn about their uncle Rhisiart, who during this time sought to wed his eldest son Tristan to someone outside of Caelain; though Rhys wasn’t too vigorously opposed to the idea, he was opposed to Rhisiart’s undermining attitude, and he instead refused to sanction any marriage that Rhisiart would arrange, which caused animosity behind the curtains, if not somewhat openly. And to make matters worse, the plague returned to Weallan, and taking many who were close to Bryn; his mother, who was already weakened after losing her husband, and following her were two of her sons, Rhys, and Faolan.
At this point Bryn was immediately placed in the position of banner lord; a duty that he accepts, albeit reluctantly. As is traditional in his house, he recognized the overwhelming loss experienced by his family and his city by changing the banner from an oak tree to an acorn, symbolizing hope for the future, a sign of rebirth and regrowth. He has thus far performed quite well in his duties, although he does not know where he gets the energy to do things without much sleep. He was left with a city that, despite his brother’s best efforts, was still in strife. Many important people were taken from the first plague, and they were only just beginning to get back on their feet and into productivity. Not to mention not knowing when the next raid by Prince Owyn would come, as it always seemed to come. There was only so much that could be done in trying to respond to these threats, since as soon as the men were mobilized, Owyn and his forces were gone and the only thing left was death and embers. Not only that, but he was also thrust into being responsible for the welfare of his entire family. His uncle has taken advantage of Bryn’s nervousness as an opportunity to influence him, and due to all of the stresses and not wanting to cause even more problems, Bryn occasionally gives in, such as when he went against tradition and allowed his sister Mairwen to be married into a foreign family, the Montroses, friends of Rhisiart’s wife’s family. However, he is growing in two ways; his abilities as a banner lord, and his agitation for his uncle. Eventually one or the other is going to take hold, and depending on what it is, he may be able to better shake himself from under his uncle’s sway, or cause more problems.
He has had very few people to rely on in this time, and began to heavily trust the advice of his sister, Tegan, to run the feminine affairs of the household, seeing as he had neither wife nor mother to do so. His reliance on Tegan forced him to privately, and without her knowledge, direct Bruce Montrose’s affections – initially intended for Tegan – toward their younger sister Mairwen, for Bryn felt the family could not afford to be without its current matron, and he could not be without her as a steadfast companion and advisor. However, as much as he wants to delay it, he has realized that his sister wants very much to be married; and he has begun to put more effort into finding her a match, and finding himself a wife to be matron of the house.
"Ugh, my uncle's impertinence is agitating me daily. It was bad enough that he went out of his way to make things difficult for my father and brother, but he has grown worse as time goes on. And not only that, but he has the nerve to say that Mairwen should be wed to Bruce Montrose, as we're dealing with that snake Owyn?" While this bout of rage and railing was uncommon for Bryn, at this point he was at the breaking point, especially since he was alone in his own chambers, pouring over the documents which had been given to him in regards to arranging a marriage between the Kyffins and Montroses. He did not really want to give his sister away to a foreign family, having been steeped in the Caelish tradition, but he realized that Bruce Montrose was a noble man and would be a good match for his younger sister. Still, he could not even begin to think why his uncle did what he did. All he knew is that he went out of his way to do it.
With that, a knock occurred at his door, likely a servant, or perhaps his sister Branwyn. Though once he thought about it, he realized that Tegan was not the type of person to knock at his door, nor would he expect her to. So rising from his chair, he strode over and unbolted the latch. What he was greeted with was one of his marshals, a tall and hard man, and he looked exhausted. Bryn took one look at his face and realized what he was here for. Owyn had raided once more, but thankfully he was still in the vicinity and could be apprehended if Weallan reacted quick enough.
Bryn at once nodded to him, and left his chambers, heading town the tower and towards the armoury where he would equip himself with a weapon. As the two rushed towards it, Bryn said to him, "Have you already made the cavalry ready?" and the marshal responded, "Yes m'lord. They have already begun their advance upon Owyn. They will attempt to distract him, and wait for your rendezvous. But you must hurry; there are only 5 of them who were ready." Bryn simply nodded, and quickened his pace.
Eventually the two of them reached the armoury, and Bryn quickly grabbed his sword, shield, a helmet and a sturdy spear, while the marshal taking the initiative went to make sure Bryn's horse was ready. Bryn himself, quickly buckled his sword-belt around his waist, and strapped his shield across his back. He jammed the helmet on his head, and quickly left for the stables where he mounted his horse and lead the 30 men who were assembled there. He did not have any heavy armour on, apart from his helmet, but he did have a studded leather cuirass for protection. He needed to travel light, if they were going to catch Owyn and his band.
Leading his host, they quickly spurred their horses on in the direction the marshal indicated that Owyn went. The horse tracks alone confirmed this. The troops rode along at a very fast pace, Bryn himself at the forefront of them. As he looked towards the horizon, he could not see any signs of a conflict, and it appeared to him that if the initial five horsemen caught up to Owyn, it was a good distance away from the city.
He urged his horse onward, and continued until he saw what looked to be piled bodies in the distance, and smoke trailing up in thick tendrils towards the sky. Something was definitely wrong at this point. He kicked his spurs into his horses side, urging him faster until he left his troops behind. He got close enough until he could see the gore, and placing his hand on his brow to block the sun looked at the dead. Most looked to be Cemric, and his heart was overjoyed to think that Owyn lost men in this raid attempt. But soon he noticed that there were five bodies that did not look like the rest, and were not piled with the rest of the Cemric troops... His own men. He closed his eyes as he breathed heavily, and at this point his troops came up behind him. The marshal rode forward and inspected the bodies more closely, and he shouted out, "M'lord, one of them is still alive!" Bryn dismounted and in a half jog, half walk went over to the marshal and the man who was still alive. He handed his spear to the marshal and then kneeling down beside the man, took his hands and held them and said, "What happened here soldier?" The man who was injured quite badly, spoke in hushed breaths and said, "They... overwhelmed us... with... numbers." His chest began to heave heavily, but he continued, "We fought... and killed a great number of them... before..." Bryn placed a finger to his lips and hushed him. He looked to the medic who was with them, and the doctor nodded that the man was able to be saved. Though the ride back would not be very comfortable to him, but at least he would live.
With the directions of the doctor, Bryn along with the marshal and another knight helped to get the wounded soldier onto makeshift stretcher. They lashed it between two horses, and the knights who the horses belonged to, lead them on foot.
As Bryn looked back at the carnage that happened, he said to the marshal beside him, "When we get back to Weallan, gather all of my commanders and sergeants. There needs to be some changes made so this will not happen again." The marshal nodded and said, "Of course m'lord."
Then taking the rear guard position in the chance that Owyn would return, Bryn let the column ride past him. And as they did so, he though to himself, Things are getting worse... I hate to do it, but I'm going to have to inform Tysilio. We will have to plan another campaign... We will have to crush Owyn for good.
Time Line Events
YEAR 214: Rhys Kyffin, Bryn's older brother, is born.
YEAR 215: Bryn Kyffin born.
YEARS 220-225: Tegan, Mairwen, Faolan, Rhonwen, and Aeronwy Kyffin, Bryn's younger siblings, are born.
YEARS 228-235: Bryn squires with Tysilio Faerald.
YEAR 233: The first wave of plague reaches Weallan; Rhisiart's wife and one of his sons succumb.
YEAR 233: Prince Owyn of Dun Eamrath reneges on his fealty to the Faeralds and begins a more violent campaign; attacks on Weallan become frequent.
YEAR 235: Lord Faerald arrives in Cemria; Bryn accompanies him and is knighted for his efforts in battle. Lord Faerald forces the Cemric princedoms to swear fealty, but this is ineffective in halting the attacks by Prince Owyn on Weallan.
YEAR 238: Rhyderrch Kyffin, Bryn's father, is killed in a Cemric raid; Rhys becomes banner lord.
YEAR 239: Faolan Kyffin dies, followed by Bryn's mother Adabel, and finally Rhys - all by the plague.
YEAR 239: Following Rhys' death, Bryn becomes banner lord.
YEAR 240: Under the influence of his uncle Rhisiart, Bryn agrees to allow Mairwen to wed outside of Caelain.
YEAR 240: Prince Owyn again reneges on his fealty to the Faeralds. Raids continue.
YEAR 241: Spring Ball, game start.
Italics indicates death via the plague
Last edited by Bryn Kyffin; 07-16-2012 at 11:52 PM.
Everyone's favourite uncle
Looks good, pretty much. Note that in the family tree, I can't seem to find Tysilio's wife, who (as things are looking now, provided that her application is finished) is a Kyffin - her name is Elwen and I believe she is a sister to Bryn's father - I'd look at her WIP app to be sure. If that requires some biographical changes because Tysilio is now Bryn's uncle by marriage (they're probably minor), make them - I don't think they'll impact on approval much because this will work admirably.
Also, there are a couple of things in the History of Caelain that I'd like -your- approval for. This is relevant because it relates in part to the reason the Kyffins got granted Weallan.
What happened in my intended version of Caelish history is briefly as follows:
During the reign of King Aiden II, the King married his daughter to Rhodri, the bastard half-brother of Prince Wilym of Dun Eamrath. When Prince Wilym died, Rhodri pressed his claim with the help of the Caelish Throne, defeating his cousin Owyn. The son of Prince Rhodri and Princess Claer Faerald, Cadfael, was raised a Quintist. Aiden II's successor, Artur I the Confessor, was a fervent Quintist who foolishly tried to quintify the local population once Cadfael inherited, giving Owyn pretext for rebellion, which he won because King Artur did not give military support, massacring the missionaries and usurping Dun Eamrath.
The bannermen had enough of Artur I and were determined to prevent any further temple influence through his temple-educated sons, so Lord Hywel Kyffin took the lead and together with the rest of the nobles forced the King to send his youngest son, Aiden, to him as his ward. When the King died, the heir, Prince Aemrys, was forced into the clergy and Prince Aiden was crowned under Lord Hywel's regency. He also married a Kyffin when he came of age, and Lord Hywel stayed at court as his Chancellor. Lord Hywel continued his policy of divide-and-rule in Cemria using the claim that by Caelish law, the Princedom of Dun Eamrath was rightfully Aiden's.
Aiden's son, Artur II, also known as Artur the Conqueror, had close ties with the Kyffins, planning with his uncle, Rhydderch Kyffin, to conquer Cemria and encircle it in a ring of protective fortresses. Weallan, being an old Cemric fortress in the marches of Dun Eamrath which were annexed in the final years of Artur's rule in order to keep the new Prince, Meurig, from having foolish ideas of rebellion against his new overlord, the King of Caelain, was granted to the Kyffins in gratitude for their decisive role in pacifying and conquering Cemria, raising them from vassals to bannermen.
Do with that whatever you wish: if you think it's needed, update your House description; if you'd rather see another role for the Kyffins in the conquest of Cemria, please tell me too; if you'd like to adopt a title such as "Lord of the Cemric Marches" or "Lord Marshall of the Cemric Marches", go ahead; if you want to do nothing and just take notice of the above history, that's fine too.
Lord Tysilio Faerald, the Second of His Name, Lord Faerald of Caerthynas, High Lord of Great-Caelain, Lord of the Caeles, Prince of Cemria, Lord of Ayron and Keeper of the King's Peace.
Last edited by Tysilio Faerald; 04-24-2012 at 05:53 AM.
Rosebuds and Stars
I love the character but there's a mistake in the history -- Tristan isn't married to a Forthwind girl. Originally he was, but the person playing him disappeared so we had to change Marisee's circumstances to let her have some opportunities to play. He can be married or not, your decision, just not to one of the Forthwinds. Fix that and Bryn's approved.
Rosebuds and Stars
"Rhys wasn’t too vigorously opposed to the idea, he was opposed to Rhisiart’s undermining attitude, and he arranged instead for Tristan to marry a young woman of the Forthwind household instead, which caused animosity behind the curtains, if not somewhat openly. And to make matters worse, the plague returned to Weallan"
It's still in there. Also, I noticed in the history that Tristan's baby is Tegan Kyffin -- Tegan is the name of Marisee Forthwind's daughter, so perhaps just leave her first name blank so we don't have two baby Tegans running about. Sorry about that, but thanks for editing.
A Mighty Oak
My bad, didn't notice that at the time. Fixed it to make it more applicable (and add more conflict that Bryn will have to deal with if anyone decides to play as Rhisiart). No grandsons for Rhisiart yet.
Everyone's favourite uncle
Rejoice, for the Province Lord has proclaimed as follows:
TYSILIO, the Second of His Name, by the Grace of the Gods Five High Lord of Great-Caelain, Lord of the Caeles, Prince of Cemria, Lord of Ayron, doth hereby approve this character and attest that he is eager to play with the man aforesaid.
Lord Tysilio Faerald, the Second of His Name, Lord Faerald of Caerthynas, High Lord of Great-Caelain, Lord of the Caeles, Prince of Cemria, Lord of Ayron and Keeper of the King's Peace.
The Lioness of Forsilvra
Sorry about that!
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