Bransian s'Brydion is Teir's'Brydion, the ruling duke of Alestron. He has a temper like a viper, and three younger brothers, Keldmar, Parrien, and Mearn, in age order. Bransian is the tallest of the four brothers and is described as having short "wheat shock" hair and an unruly beard. He dresses like a mercenary (other than the token chain of office signifying his dukedom), and prefers to wear mail even while hunting on his own lands.
Role in the Story
|Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from multiple books in the series.|
Ships of Merior
Third Age 5645: Bransian is first introduced when Dakar and Arithon arrive at Alestron to perform a Fellowship inventory of the armory. He and his brothers admit Dakar, disguised as a gem seller. After Dakar's warning, the brothers attempt to trap Arithon in the armory. Arithon locates the forbidden culverin and starts a fire as a diversion. The four brothers survive the ensuing explosion and recapture Dakar in the aftermath. They interrogate Dakar and Tharrick, and the other three brothers succumb to Dakar's geas of thirst and sleep. Following Asandir's arrival, the four brothers are told of the Compact and the reasons behind the culverin's proscribement. They are given a choice -- have the memory of the culverin erased, or spend the rest of their days trapped in their tower. All four choose to forget the culverin, and are left only with the memory that Arithon has destroyed their armory. Duke Bransian condemns Tharrick to exile after the captain's failure to account for Arithon's subterfuge.
Warhost of Vastmark
Third Age 5646: Bransian is about to go out hunting with Keldmar and Parrien when Lysaer arrives to explain the loss of the Werpoint fleet. By owning up to his defeat, Lysaer is able to convince the s'Brydion brothers to stage a winter attack on Merior.
Third Age 5647: Following the abduction of Talith, Lysaer arranges a meeting with Bransian and convinces him to protect the supply lines across Vastmark. Bransian agrees, in exchange for a voice on Lysaer's war council. When Lysaer is delayed over the summer in Cheivalt, Bransian sends him vociferous letters urging action.
The brothers s'Brydion are protecting the supply lines at the time of the strike on the Havens. During the Vastmark campaign, Bransian receives a ransom letter from Arithon describing the capture of all three of his brothers. He rides to Lysaer's camp to withdraw his troops and cut the supply line, but can only convince 400 of his original 6000 mercenaries to depart with him. On the day that the forces from Jaelot retreat, Bransian stalks Arithon and fires a clan vengeance arrow inscribed with a vengeance message for the men who died at Alestron's armory. Because of Dakar's timely warning about a Koriani geas, Arithon lives, and Bransian is taken captive by clansmen. Bransian changes his stance on the war between Arithon and Lysaer based upon new information gleaned from Erlien's clansmen. Arithon convinces all four brothers to remain allied with Lysaer in name, in exchange for the entire ransom and the authority to call off Bransian's lancers.
Third Age 5667: Bransian, Dawr, and the other brothers meet with a visiting Traithe in the inner citadel at Alestron. Traithe warns of Lysaer's long-term plans and passes on Sethvir's request to send three s'Brydion children to Havish for safety's sake.
Third Age 5670: Bransian, his brothers, and Sevrand welcome Fionn Areth to Alestron. When Fionn Areth expresses his desire to join the Alliance (unaware of s'Brydion loyalty), the boy is tossed in the dungeon.
Third Age 5671: Bransian, his wife, Liesse, and the s'Brydion brothers attend a musical performance arranged by Dame Dawr. The musician turns out to be Arithon, who warns that he has forseen their deaths and urges them to dismantle Alestron. After their refusal, he formally severs the alliance originally started during the Vastmark campaign.
Third Age 5671: Bransian is calibrating a trebuchet with his troops when Kharadmon tries to convince him to send some family to safety in Atwood. The request is rebuffed. As the assault becomes apparent, Bransian orders fields of standing grain to be burned to prevent it from feeding the incoming armies. Bransian is arguing about Lysaer's demand for surrender with Mearn when they are interrupted by Talvish, who escorts Jeynsa s'Valerient. Jeynsa offers to draw Arithon back to Alestron through his blood oath.
In autumn, Lysaer sends his Lord Seneschal to the gates with an ultimatum, but Bransian refuses to receive it. In the days following, Bransian and Liesse hash over their narrow options yet again. Bransian rages when Lysaer's initial attack forces the lower citadel to evacuate to the upper citadel.
When Dakar, Elaira, and Sidir arrive in Alestron, Duke Bransian leads the interrogation. Unable to get Arithon's whereabouts from Dakar, he consents to the mandate of Melhalla's caithdein to allow the trio to convince Jeynsa to leave freely. Bransian and Liesse argue over the suspicion that Elaira is of the Koriathain. The Duke is dissuaded from any rash moves by Talvish and Mearn.
Bransian finally learns that Arithon has returned to the city through Talvish's watch report. He sends an armed escort to collect the prince from the drumkeep where Elaira is staying, but finds him already on his way to the keep with Mearn. After learning that Arithon is free of the curse, the Duke challenges him to a sword fight over his plan to pull Jeynsa out of the conflict. Alithiel's wards go active in Arithon's defense and he reaffirms that he has no intention to kill anyone in the war. In the aftermath, Liesse suggests that controlling Jeynsa is the key to bargaining with Arithon. Bransian orders his men to kidnap Jeynsa. She is brought before him and Liesse, who try to convince her to sign a false record and force Arithon's support for Alestron. Jeynsa refuses to sign even when threatened with death and is rescued when Mearn, Talvish, and Sevrand arrive with loyal guards. Mearn forces Bransian to agree to Arithon's closed hearing instead of making the conspiracy public through an assize. At the hearing, Arithon reaffirms his aid to defang the siege to save lives, lays claim to Talvish's service, and demands service of the guard who murdered Sidir until Jeynsa is safe back in Halwythwood.
With no clear plan in the offing, Bransian challenges Elaira over his perception of Arithon's cowardice but gains no satisfaction. The next day, Bransian's tactics easily repel minor assaults at the Sea Gate and in the abandoned town. He tries to goad Talvish about Arithon's inaction.
During Lysaer's strikes of Light against Alestron, Arithon joins Duke Bransian at Watch Keep. The prince uses his Masterbard's arts to awaken Alithiel, causing all combatants in the Siege of Alestron to reevaluate their priorities. Bransian and Sevrand remain behind at Alestron while Mearn and Fianzia use the opening to depart.
Vhandon brings word of Parrien's enspelled actions in the Alliance camp and Bransian plots to stage a rescue. The rescued Parrien complains about his forced homecoming to Bransian, who reminds Parrien that he, too, was once controlled by a Koriani sigil. After the fighting intensifies following the Evenstar's run down the estuary, Bransian holds an emergency war council. Short on men, he asks Vhandon to appeal to Arithon for Shadow support, but the request is denied. Bransian convinces Parrien to ask for Arithon's assistance again when the attackers breach the sea quarter.
When the cisterns are cracked by sappers, Bransian and Sevrand hold a war council with the remaining captains, showing no sign of surrender. Towards the end of the siege, Bransian receives warning from Sevrand that a member of the Fellowship is visiting. He gathers the family for an audience. Bransian and Asandir argue over the Duke's methods for defending Alestron. Asandir orders the flag of Alestron to be lowered from Watch Keep and replaced with the standard of the Fellowship, preventing either side in the siege from controlling it. s'Brydion reinstatement would require the intervention of a centaur guardian. With Parrien facing a felon's death for the attack on Arithon, Bransian finally agrees to relocate his family and army to Atwood to serve under Teiren's'Callient.