|Lady Belphoebe, ap Fiona|
|Mortal Name:||Branwen Wilde|
|Fae Title/House:||Baroness of House Fiona|
|Age (Seeming):||18 (Wilder)|
|Theme Song:||"See Who I Am," Within Temptation|
|Quote:||A noble man compares and estimates himself by an idea which is higher than himself, and a mean man, by one lower than himself.|
Branwen likes to claim that she's not the "typical" sidhe of House Fiona. She likes books and horses far more than flirting, she actually has the patience to sit and try to play political games (though she's not terribly good at it), and she finds great pleasure in simply sitting and working on one of her carpentry projects. On top of that, she's rather plain by sidhe standards.
The truth is, though, that Branwen is pretty much exactly the typical sidhe of House Fiona. The things she loves, she loves to abandon, and her dislike of the usual games of courtly love is more tied to a desire for a deep, abiding romance than any actual avoidance of same. She can be tempestuous, especially when she's ruled by her Unseelie legacy. Oaths, duty and loyalty are deeply serious matters, and betrayal is never taken lightly.
She is also a "doer," more likely to be leading a charge than sitting back watching; more likely to roll up her sleeves and help her subjects when work needs doing than to simply order the work done. Definitely not the sort to sit at court and passively wait for men to compose poems to her beauty--if the men want to compose poems, they'll need to come out and get dirty in the forest with her.
|See Who I Am||Within Temptation||Youtube|
|Snow White Queen||Evanescence||Youtube|
|Secure Yourself||Indigo Girls||Youtube|
|Pig||Dave Matthews Band||Youtube|
|Scarecrow's Dream||Dan Fogelberg||Youtube|
|I Believe in Love||Dixie Chicks||Youtube|
|Train Wreck||Sarah McLachlan||Youtube|
|Fragile Tension||Depeche Mode||Youtube|
|All Soul's Night||Loreena McKennitt||Youtube|
|Last of the Wilds||Nightwish||Youtube|
|7 Days to the Wolves||Nightwish||Youtube|
You can listen to it in order on autoplay here.
Branwen was born in Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, England on June 13, 1991. Her parents, Bedwyr and Alis Wilde, are both sidhe of House Fiona--Baron and Baroness when she was born, Count and Countess today. Bedwyr is from America and has no other supernatural family, while Alis comes from a line of English Fianna Kinfolk. They had another daughter, Glynis, who is two years older than Branwen.
Branwen and Glynis both Chrysalised during a Christmas visit to London in 1996. (See Major Events for details.) After this, Glynis was sent immediately to fosterage while Branwen stayed home as she was rather young. Just after Branwen turned seven, the family moved to Wyoming so that Bedwyr could take over the family cattle ranch. The place turned out to have a freehold on it, and this became the family's holding.
A few months later, Branwen was sent to the court of Count Darden outside of Grand Junction for fosterage. She and the Count formed a strong relationship, and he fostered her love of horses, books, and carpentry. She was Sained as Belphoebe and became a Squire of House Fiona. (See Major Events and Allies for further details.)
When she returned to her family's home, there was a new vassal, a boy about her age named Kristian. Despite initial teasing the two became friends, and a few years later as they were both becoming wilders Branwen and her sister pushed for Kristian to be knighted, as Branwen herself had been. The trio, along with others from the court, went on various adventures for the next few years.
At 15, Branwen had her first encounter with Garou society. A Fianna cousin, Tara, came to visit the family and received permission to stay, but later confided to Branwen that she was pregnant with the child of another Garou. Tara and Branwen swore an oath of secrecy, but at Samhain, under the influence of her Unseelie legacy, Branwen broke the oath and blurted out the secret. In retaliation for her oathbreaking Branwen was marked with useless raven's wings, while Tara was sent to her people to pay for her crime. (See Major Events and Flaws for more details.)
Because of this scandal, Branwen spent the next three years trying to repair her reputation. She learned more about the Garou and made reparations to the Fianna for having made the oath of secrecy in the first place. She traveled to nearby courts, participated in quests and tourneys, and worked diligently on her father's ranch to prove to her own people that she was still trustworthy. She has proven herself well enough to receive a promotion to Baroness--though the marks are still there, and neither the Dreaming nor other Changelings have forgotten.
Her old mentor, Count Darden, wanting to help the girl get a new start, gifted her with a freehold on her 18th birthday. The place, once a rich man's retreat outside of Crystal Springs, is on prime land for horse-raising--a passion of Branwen's that she intends to take up with starting capital from Darden and her parents. Though she'll have no official jurisdiction in the area it could surely use some noble presence, and Branwen finds the idea of the Market fascinating. The large ranch house will be perfect for hosting parties, and she intends to make contact with the local Garou to establish ties. Bringing along her faithful bodyguard, Kristian, and a few retainers from her father's household, newly sworn to her service, she hopes to start anew and erase the stain of her oathbreaking upon her and her family's reputation.
- Musing Threshold: Foster Dreams
- Attributes: Dexterity: 5, Stamina: 5 (Total: 10)
- Abilities: Persuasion: 2 (Total: 2)
- Backgrounds: Holdings: 3, Resources: 2, Retainers: 3, Title: 3 (Total: 11)
- Advantages: Willpower: 6, Prop Realm: 6 (Total: 12)
- Total Freebies Spent: 35
|What||Type||Who||Approved by||Finished||Slot Status||Explanation|
|Slot 1||Integrity 2||from||Self||Puck||03/26/10||Locked||A lot has been happening to Branwen lately to test the firmness of her beliefs, not least being kidnapped and tortured by the Goblin Queen and her minions. She's resisting them, however, and learning to hold firm in the face of pain and coercion.|
|Slot 2||Resistance 1||from||Self||Puck||02/26/10||Locked||As the above, Branwen's not in the best of spots. There's pain, there's... well, they're not taking terribly good care of her in that dungeon. She's learning to go without, maybe for the first time in her life.|
|11/15/09||Melee 3||from||Self-taught, with help||Kristian has offered to help Branwen train further in the melee arts, sparring and offering her some tips. She's also practicing swordcraft on her own.||1|
|Red denotes a +learn; Green denotes a +teach; Gray denotes a retconned +lteach.|
Specialties & ExpertiseEdit
- Branwen has been trained from birth to rule and lead, and she does this by example, urging those around her to new heights of prowess, loyalty, or courage through word and deed.
Animal Ken: Horses
- Branwen is extremely fond of horses, and has owned one for most of her life. She's learned to ride and train them, and her ranch is meant to raise horses for use in ranch work and trail riding.
Crafts: Carpentry, Woodworking
- It's an odd thing for a sidhe to take up, but Branwen loves to build things both practical and beautiful. Even the simplest pieces have some adornment, as she strives for beauty in all her work. She sometimes likes to use Willow Whisper to speak to the wood, getting a feeling for how it might best be used.
- As most sidhe are, Branwen has been trained in the use of a sword, and practices regularly.
Academics: Literature, History
- Branwen has a deep love of books of all sorts, especially novels and poems. She's been known to spend hours on end reading, and is sure to have a large library in place anywhere she lives, if at all possible.
Lore: Fae, Garou
- Branwen is Fianna Kinfolk, and has learned some things about her relatives and their ways.
- Branwen owns and is moving into an estate outside of Crystal Springs that was, once upon a time, probably some millionaire's summer home. It's large enough, but the "mansion" includes outbuildings, stables, and pasture on which Branwen plans to raise horses. It's also her freehold.
- As the name implies, Branwen is Kinfolk--Fianna kin, specifically, which isn't unheard-of for the Fiona. This comes through her mother's side. She's had some contact with the Fianna, and has been taught enough to get by around Garou, especially in light of her interference in the matter of her cousin's charach.
- Breaking a sworn oath is a big deal among House Fiona and sidhe in general--and the fact of even having made an oath to keep a law-breaker safe from her family and their allies is quite possibly even worse. Though she's earned herself a title, and has the support of her old mentor and immediate family, the story's gotten around that Branwen cannot be trusted with secrets and, perhaps, has bad judgement when it comes to choosing whom to tie herself to. But then again, what Fiona doesn't?
- The Dreaming has marked Branwen for her oathbreaking: a pair of raven's wings, matching her name of "beautiful raven." She cannot fly, and the wings largely get in the way--and draw notice among changelings.
- Though she's not particularly beautiful (for a sidhe) there's just something about Branwen that makes her fascinating to mortals. It's always been there, ever since she Chrysalised, and has only intensified as she's gotten older and from the change in her carriage due to her wings.
- Branwen's father, Count Bedwyr, has some influence and her old mentor, Count Darden, has more. These two support her endeavours and want to see the girl succeed, and are willing to help in what ways they can.
- Branwen has a set of chimerical leather armor and a chimerical sword.
- Branwen's ranch happens to be a moderately powerful freehold, presented to her as a gift from her old mentor as her first lands as a Baroness.
- Though she has no truly clear memories of her life in Arcadia or before the Shattering, Branwen quite often finds herself struck by memory, and finds herself re-enacting events from the distant past. It can be hard for her to tell if these memories are her own or of previous lives; she has long since ceased wondering and simply accepts the unconcious knowledge of the Dreaming for what it is.
- Between money from her trust fund and "start-up" money from her old mentor, Branwen has enough to get her ranch up and running. If all goes well, she should make a decent living after re-investment in the place.
- In addition to Kristian Holt (who is a PC), Branwen has three changeling retainers coming with her to help with the ranch. Moira is a boggan grump who's worked for Branwen's family for many years. She sometimes acts as something of an aunt to the "young Lady," and takes care of the day-to-day household chores. Her husband, James, a boggan Kinain, takes care of accounts and other such mundane matters. Lastly, Phillipe, an eshu wilder, shares Branwen's love of horses and is the main handler for the ranch.
- Branwen earned her title of Baroness by the skin of her teeth--and there are still those who think perhaps the promotion was unwarranted. She is the daughter of a Count and Countess, and her sponsor, Count Darden, has enough power and influence to make sure Branwen's attempts to clear her reputation did not go unrewarded. Still, life won't be easy for the Baroness, and she's quite glad to settle in this out-of-the-way place and focus on her horses and books.
- "We had come to London, visiting friends and attending various parties, House Fiona and otherwise. I went to my first ballet during that trip--Swan Lake, performed by the Royal Ballet Company. The whole city seemed magical and different and exciting, from the freehold we were staying at to the decorations and carolers. The ballet was exciting and beautiful, and I decided on the spot that I wanted to be a ballerina when I grew up. "
- "Of course, I didn't--I'm not a great hand at dancing at all, really--but I think all little girls go through that phase."
- "On Christmas Eve my family went out walking, enjoying the sights before the grand gala (which Glynis and I would actually be able to attend.) Somehow along the way my sister and I got separated from our parents. The streets became strange, and though there was still magic and wonder in the air, it became tinged with something dark and sinister, the fear of two little girls lost in the city."
- "And then, while we wandered the streets of London in the snow, something... changed. I'd felt a buildup for days before now, and suddenly whatever had been building just spilled over. The world became more alive than ever before, full of strange creatures. The snow became dancing pixies, the people on the street were elves and all sorts of strange creatures dressed in Christmas garb. Glynis was revealed as even more beautiful than before, a princess in finest raiment, so lovely the mind could hardly comprehend her beauty."
- "And I... I was not just a little girl, but also something old and magnificent, something that had been alive and ruled long ago. I still don't remember details of the time before this mortal life I lead, but that night I gained the sense of history stretching back into memory so distant even the eldest scholars cannot remember it, of moments that are both tiny drops in the timestream and stretched infinitely long."
- "How can one fully explain a Chrysalis? The world changes and after, nothing is quite the same. We were lucky in that our parents (drawn, likely, by the outpouring of Glamour) found us before any other Kithain. Glynis and I had both Chrysalised together, and that night we were presented to the court--not yet as full members of House Fiona, but as newly-reborn sidhe who would soon take their place among the rest of their brethren. Ever since I have had a special love for Christmas, it's my favorite time of the year. It's truly magical, and I love to throw and attend parties to share the magic."
- "I spent the requisite year and a day in Count Darden's count outside of Grand Junction. I learned the lore of our people, as well as how to hunt and fish and the basics of court etiquette. Count Darden did not introduce books to me--I'd always been rather fond of school, and learning--but he opened my eyes to literature and the classics. He also shared with me his love of woodworking--which I have made into my own love of carpentry. There's always something to be repaired around a ranch, and if one can do the work with one's hands... all the better."
- "All too many fae seem to see domestic things as banal, but I discovered during my fosterage, and have believed ever since, that the dreams of a happy, comfortable home are just as powerful (if not more) as the dreams of artists and poets. To invest an item with one's heart and soul, and then use that item every day, to have it beautify one's home so that one's life is full of lovely things... this is the stuff of which dreams are made, as the boggans well know."
- "My first and only Art, strangely enough, was Primal. It manifested early and I've never seen much use for Sovereign. Loyalty earned is much stronger than awe coerced--although some of the higher levels of the Art may be useful. Perhaps a thing to learn someday. At any rate, I was trained in the use of Primal, and spent many happy days wandering Darden's lands using Willow Whisper on everything I could find--as long as I had the Glamour to do so, of course."
- "Count Darden and I became fast friends, and ever after I have looked to him as something of an uncle. I was actually quite sad to leave when my year and a day was up... but I underwent the Fior-Righ, and became an official member of House Fiona. I was only a squire, but I could now attend court regularly and go on adventures of all sorts. I also went through my Saining, and discovered my fae name--Belphoebe."
- "In October of my fifteenth year, my cousin Tara arrived on the ranch. Tara and I had been close as young girls in England, and I was thrilled that she had come to visit. It turned out that Tara had Changed into a Garou--a werewolf--three years before. She was a "Theurge" now, someone who worked with spirits and the like. She was coming for an extended stay, and after a week or so confided to me that she was really looking for sanctuary. She was carrying the baby of another werewolf--which was a crime among her people, she explained. Evidently if werewolves mate the resulting children are uniformly deformed and sterile, so any relationship between Garou is expressly forbidden. Tara would be forced to give up the baby, punished... and yet, her lover was dead, and the child was all she had left of him."
- "I felt deeply for my friend, and foolishly, loyally, I swore an oath to keep the matter secret. We planned how to hide the pregnancy and where to send her if we needed to. If I'd known the truth of the matter, just how bad an offense this really was, would I have made the oath? Possibly. Tara was family, and I understood the pull of forbidden love, and love lost."
- "Then Samhain came. I should have known better than to allow my Unseelie Legacy to take over that night--but I did, and as happens, I simply could not keep the secret. The topic came up in coversation and I blurted out the truth of Tara's condition. I remember there was quite a hush--and then pain, as twin wings grew from my back. The Dreaming punished me for my oathbreaking and fae society would punish me for having made it in the first place. I have spent the last three years trying to repair my reputation, and Tara was deeply punished--after the baby was forcibly removed from her womb."
- "Thank goodness I have Count Darden's support. After all this time I'm still not trusted in many circles. But my old mentor has ensured that I received recognition for my efforts to repair my mistakes, and has provided me with a holding of my own. It is of a decent size, but in an out-of-the-way sort of place where there is no noble court as of yet. I'm not really coming in to 'take over'... I won't have responsibility for any lands but my own. Still, it's a freehold, my own land, a ranch where I can raise horses, and a chance to try and have a new start."
- "I love my father and mother dearly, though they've always been somewhat distant. Much of the day-to-day raising of us girls was left to the servants until we were old enough to foster. I've always been closer to Glynis--but also in awe of her, a little. She has the unearthly sidhe beauty, and even her mortal seeming turns heads. She is my parent's heir and a much more quiet, reserved person than I am--content to sit at court, flirt with her admirers, and see to the details of running the ranch. Not that she isn't intelligent, of course. All of my family are. I take after Father more, however, in being bookish."
- "My mentor and friend. He is of House Fiona as well, something like an uncle. He's unrepentantly Western in style--he leans more toward leather and fringes than the trappings of an older age, and is unapologetically Modernist (as opposed to my family's more Reformer political stance.) He's darling, though, and somewhat funny with his exclamations--more an old-time cowboy than anything, and with the chivalrous streak of the cowboys you see in movies. We share a love of books, horses, and domestic art. If I can be half as good a carpenter someday as he is, I can call myself an artist."
- "I've had dealings with my werewolf kin off and on all my life. We regularly invite the local septs to the Samhain bonfires--usually only the Fianna respond, but sometimes others join in. I know some things about their culture and ways, though not a great deal. Enough to get by without, hopefully, insulting creatures much larger and frightening. The ones more in tune with their Rages unsettle me greatly--I prefer those who are calmer (as calm as such a creature can be, anyhow.) I imagine a love affair with a werewolf would be a grand, tempestuous thing, and I've been tempted to go after such more than once."
- "Kristian is my bodyguard and oldest friend. I don't know how he put up with me when we first met. Glynis and I used to tease him awfully. That's stopped as we grew older. Now we're friends, though he's still somewhat shy and out of sorts around me. Still, he's very loyal and tries to look out for me, keep me from danger. I'm quite fond of his company and I'm glad he's directly sworn to my service now. I think he needs a girlfriend, though... I should find him a nice girl somewhere. I hate to see my friends lonely, and he seems uninterested in women--or perhaps it's just that most of us tie his poor tongue in knots!"