|Braysen "Brave" Sawyer|
A Mhaighdean Bhan Uasal
Quarter-Dwarf / Human
Place of Birth
Bannoburn Village, Lordaeron
Date of Birth
Blood of Lordaeron (Queen's Army)
Elijah Sawyer (Father)
First Book of the BraveEdit
Braysen MacGuinness Sawyer was born on March 21st, six years before the fall of Lordaeron to a wealthy merchant, Elijah Sawyer and his homely bride, Diana MacGuinness, a half-Dwarf seamstress from a small farming community in Tirisfal.
The Last Homely House East of the SeaEdit
- Cha chinn feur air an rathad mhòr. (Grass does not grow on the high road) -- MacGuinness Proverb
Clan MacGuinness was a family quite rooted in Bannoburn, having actually been the ones to help build it and name it. At the time of the Sawyer's arrival, Clan MacGuinness was under the rule of their chief Carmichael MacGuinness and his human bride. The MacGuinness clan had been a family well-known for their ability to take on any trade and master it as well as their flourished generosity that made Bannoburn a rather lively place to live. The MacGuinness had but one child, a daughter: Diana. Diana had become known in Bannoburn for her wild, carefree nature which was often the talk of many of the "social elite" in the bustling village as she wasn't much to look at; even considered quite homely, though with a face and body built for comfort rather than aesthetics.
It Was the Best of Times... And the Worst of TimesEdit
- Ge milis am fìon, tha e searbh ri dhìol. (The wine is sweet, the paying is bitter) -- MacGuinness Proverb
Though the Sawyers were quite shrewd in their business ventures and quite skilled in making money, they were far more skilled in spending it faster than they made it. Elijah's father was often seen cavorting about the village taverns spending his coin the very moment he made it, buying drinks for those there and lavishing women of pleasure with expensive trinkets. Much of the reason that the Sawyers continued stay out of the poorhouse was their ability to hide their mounting debts behind a good name. By the time Elijah was seventeen, he had become his father's apprentice in many things, though the ability to run a semi-successful business was not one of them. His father had accumulated enough debt in the small village that business was hurting and their reserve funds were nearly depleted.It was around this time that Elijah's father introduced the idea of marrying into money. The man had been to court enough times that he understood the idea of marrying off your children when you needed something such as an alliance or as a payment of debt. In his mind, he wanted Elijah to marry those with the most money to help continue his lifestyle without having to subject himself to possible bankruptcy. While there were many young women in Bannoburn who could have easily fit the bill for what Elijah and his father were searching for, the target they wished to take on was marrying into Clan MacGuinness to solidify their life in Bannoburn and take a profit from the many ventures the Dwarven people had made for themselves.
Diana was by no means a woman who was your typical heiress. Having been born of a Dwarven father and Human mother, she was quite Dwarven in stature with more Human facial features. The combination left her with very little options in the way of betrothal, but that was quite alright with her. Her mother had done her best to raise Diana to be a proper lady while her father often fed her less courtly side by allowing her to run free through the woodlands, learning to hunt, fish and craft with her hands. Because of her indominable nature, Diana was said to be "too wild for any one man."
Elijah had met Diana one morning when she was walking barefoot through the village. As she was a MacGuinness, no one questioned the young woman nor did they seek to correct her behaviors as she was as bubbly as Ironforge ale and as generous as her father in many things. Not realizing who she was through her wild ginger mane, Elijah had set about to correct her - even to go so far as to claim he would happily marry a woman like her if she learned to behave like a proper lady. Up until this point, no young man had ever truly paid Diana mind in such a manner, and it only served to have her view him negatively despite him often being called the most handsome man in Bannoburn.
Elijah's father went before the chieftan of Clan MacGuinness and proposed something that helped ease the chieftan's mind: arranging a marriage between his son and the cheiftan's daughter. The chieftan was getting older and he knew eventually Diana would have to marry to continue the clan or suffer being stubborn like her father and forcing the clan to war over who would succeed her if she had no child of her own. With no other choices on the table for him that would be lucrative, the chieftan agreed that by the Spring, the two would marry. Naturally, Diana opposed this proposition, but if it meant appeasing her father, she would handle it with some level of tolerance and grace.
Like Mother, Like DaughterEdit
- An nì a thig leis a’ghaoith, falbhaidh e leis an uisge. (What comes with the wind, goes with the water) -- MacGuinness Proverb
The first two years of the marriage were often spent with Elijah and Diana spending little to no time together that wasn't filled with hateful stares or venomous words. When they were apart, they were often happier; Diana spent her days tending to the tailoring shop she had made for herself while Elijah counted his money over and over when he wasn't spending it on obscure business ventures such as an "ear wax-cleaning gun." Bannoburn whispered rumors about the newly married couple with such things as that Elijah was only wed to Diana for her money and Diana was refusing to bear any children to the man. The rumors and the clear distance between the bride and groom had finally been too much for the chieftan to tolerate when he had them come before him to make a clan decree: If the two did not concieve a child by Summer's end, they would both be removed from any funding through the clan for their personal endeavors.Much to his reluctance, Elijah agreed. Diana, on the other hand, stubbornly refused to have anything to do with Elijah and the thought of sharing his bed only made her disgusted. Diana was well-aware - despite them being rumors to others - that Elijah often kept more than one mistress; such things were against Diana's faith in the Light and only served to find the thought of carrying his seed all the more repulsive. Elijah had learned a bit of ingenuity from his father over the years and thus came up with an idea that Diana take upon herself to lay with any man she chose and take on his child, though legally the child would be Elijah's.
At first, Diana was in arms against such an idea. There was nothing honorable or moral about tricking another man into impregnating her, though the alternatives were also less than savory in her mind. As Midsummer came upon them, Diana once more reluctantly made the decision to choose a man of her liking and tricked him into her bed. Before the sun rose the next morning, the man had been taken away by the few house servants they had so that he wouldn't remember the night before. To the joy of the clan, she was discovered to be with child by the Summer's end and thus was not cut off from her clan.
By spring of the following year, Diana gave birth to a healthy baby girl: Braysen. Elijah was none too pleased with the idea that he had to care for a child that was not of his own making - even moreso that it was a female - so the had demanded that if the baby was not in the care of her mother, she would be left to her own vices. During the spring Braysen had been born, a sickness had begun to sweep through Bannoburn. The sickness had been rumored to be coming from one of the mines that Elijah had procured and in digging too deep, he had released a poison into the ground water. Diana had been sick from the water for a good few months before finally expiring, leaving Elijah with the only connection he had to Clan MacGuinness now: his bastard, adopted daughter.
The Lass in her Grandfather's KiltEdit
- Fear gu aois, is bean gu bàs. (A son is a son until he comes of age, a daughter is a daughter for life) -- MacGuinness Proverb
As the years passed, Elijah slowly began to allow his vices to consume him; body, mind and soul. Without Diana around, the MacGuinness Clan often paid Elijah small amounts to pay for Braysen's clothing, food, home and eventual education so that she would follow in the path her mother could no longer go. As things would have it, Elijah spent the allowance he was given on everything but his ward, often justifying such acts by professing to his mistresses that she was the product of his late wife's inability to properly court her husband. Such words reached the ears of Diana's father, but by the time he could do much about them, he had finally reached the limit of his own personal strength and died happily beside his beloved wife.
With no one at the helm of the clan, many of the dwarves had dispersed from Bannoburn, leaving the small village to ruin. Elijah, in his pride, refused to leave and while he paid almost no taxes, the law as such had been grandfathered in poorly and he was able to keep his estate and drown it, too, in bad choices hidden by a once good name.
Despite all of her father's poor choices, Braysen grew up to be something like her mother: wild and free. As a child, and mostly uncared for, she would often be found running through the wilderness, learning to fish and hunt through trial and error. It wasn't an uncommon sight to see the stout eight-year-old trodding through town with no shoes and hardly a face to be seen behind a wall of mud, twigs and fireflies. The only few people who seemed to watch out for the young girl were the few dwarves left that had once been allied with her grandfather's people. It was through an old blacksmith that she had been gifted with many things that he had once owned, the most prevailent of which was a tattered kilt and tartan of his clan's colors.
While she was only quarter-Dwarf - many of her features of such being seen in her short stature and thick legs - her lack of pure blood didn't seem to be much cause for distance between herself and the few people left in town who looked after her. By the time she had reached thirteen, one of the men who had been watching over her began to explain the traditions of her family and finally set the side knot in her hair as a reminder of where she came from and to never forget her past.
Fate and DestinyEdit
- Far an taine ‘n abhainn, ‘s ann as mò a fuaim. (Where the stream is shallowest, it is noisiest) -- MacGuinness Proverb
Braysen was never much of a comely child, having not yet filled into her large, round ears, bulbous nose and stout stature. If anything, she looked more like a culmination of a Gnome and a Dwarf with unkempt and unbrushed brown hair. As she got older, however, she began to fill out into a young woman and acquire the features of her human blood while keeping some of her more distinguishing features. Elijah would have had to be blind not to notice how the local men who passed through the town would often look to the young woman and pay her mind. At first, it was nothing to Elijah if the bastard daughter he had neglected to raise sought to be someone's filthy mistress until one night, he had been paid a visit from a man to whom Braysen was instructed to call 'Uncle.'
The mysterious uncle sat down with Elijah one night and shared a few drinks and pleasant company with a few local women while discussing business. Curious, Braysen hid herself on the upstairs landing behind a large, dusty vase where she could hear everything without being seen. The talking stretched around the idea of politics and economics - things Braysen didn't understand and words that had too many vowels to carry much meaning for a girl who was already illiterate. Finally, as the night came to a close, Uncle made mention of Braysen, to which Elijah attempted to brush it off as though the girl weren't worth even conversing about in passing.
- "I don't think you understand," Uncle was heard to say, "she is coming into womanhood and is about the age where you could marry her off to a decent man with a heavy pocketbook if you want."
It was in this moment the seed was planted and the wheels of fate began to turn for Braysen. Elijah seemed quite familiar with such a venture and in his mind, it was only right that the bane of his former marriage be the boon for his golden years. That night had sealed the deal that Elijah would marry Braysen off to the first man who showed interest and had the pockets to maintain his lifestyle. While he had no money for a proper education and nothing left to bestow upon his ward, Elijah would ask some of the prostitutes he would bring home to dress and treat Braysen like they might a doll made of porcelain. Through these encounters with these make-up smeared women, she would hear horror stories of their nights with men and how many of them were worse, the more money they had.
The Brave and the BoldEdit
- Bidh an t-ubhal as fheàrr air a’mheangan as àirde. (The best apple is on the highest bough) -- MacGuinness Proverb
In her fear of what her future would become - a listless marriage based solely on the appeasement of her father's vices - Braysen had waited one evening when her uncle and father had sated themselves with drink and women. After they were deep within their drunken slumber, Braysen went to her uncle's room and stole his armor. The young woman was far shorter and thinner than her tall, human uncle, but she managed to make the armor at least stick to her person. It was a good week's ride to Stormwind City, the horse beneath her being far older than she would have liked but it got the job done.
Through most of her childhood, Braysen had heard of stories of great warriors and knights who had seen valor and were risen up from their station in life by being heroic. Braysen had no notions of wanting to be remembered in the annals of time, but she certainly wished to reforge her destiny and be more than her hips and thighs. It was often said that in the city of Stormwind, there lay a district where all of the knights of the realm came together to teach, to learn and ultimately to decide the fate of all wars to come. If Braysen were going to find someone here who would take her, then this would certainly be the place for it.The first few days didn't go quite as the young woman had planned; many of the militaristic groups were very particular about demanding she have some form of lineage behind her and the rest were willing to take anyone who could wield a sword, almost prefering they knew how before even applying. The few she felt she could fit in well with were the most aloof. In all, Braysen became more and more disillusioned that she would find anyone willing to help her. It was when all hope had faded that she overheard a conversation between two of the knights within the cathedral that sparked her curiosity. The discourse between them seemed harmless enough: A collection of paladins was to meet so that they could form a group for the very purpose of training knights in defense of the church no matter where their synod would be. Braysen hadn't quite considered the idea of fighting for the church as she had never truly been exposed to church in her small village.
The conversation took several odd turns, but to her credit, she managed to eavesdrop on the entire thing without being noticed. Toward the end, the two paladins dropped their voices and began to discuss the presence of a 'Red Queen.' The two had morphed the back-and-forth between them from something mild and possibly jovial to outright venomous and angsty. As the story went, the evil woman in red charged many faithful Lordaeronians (much like herself) into a second battle to try and reclaim the capital city from the vile Forsaken. As fate would have it, she was victorious in being able to send a strong message to the scourgelings - even if she was unable to fulfill the reason as to why they went. This queen had been there before the darkened armies and as she had gone in with her own men - and those who followed - these paladins had wished she had fallen in battle with those who fell in service to her. It was admittedly strange for Braysen to hear them speak so ill of someone while on the other hand claiming to exalt the Light, but she chalked up much of that to the Red Queen being some villain in a far away novel; her eyes were set on another prize.
That night, Braysen found her way into a meeting of the Silver Hand Congregation, enchanted by the idea that she could view all of the knights of the realm in one sitting and without having to sift through who would be a better fit for her. Through most of the night, she found the congregational meeting to be little more than a boring fluttering of fancy words she didn't know and knightly posturing. The only one who didn't act like a peacock attempting to garner a mate was a stoic, elder paladin with leathery, worn features and a red falcon emblazoned on his chest. Against the tide of strong, passionate words, he stood firm and silent. Braysen knew this was the knight who could elevate her from being just another brood mare and make her the strong woman she wished to be.
After the meeting, Braysen shadowed the man known as Sir Jeremaes Edrickton and waited for the right moment to ask him to squire her.
The Second Book of the BraveEdit
And so it was that Braysen began her journey into becoming a knight. Though her dream was preparing to be fulfilled, it was never far from her mind that her father and uncle would be in search for her as rumors had reached her ears from travelling merchants that they were doing just that, in hopes of having her return home and be the wife to a wealthy mine owner.
And the Word Was NoEdit
- Cha toir a’bhòidhchead goil air a’ phoit. (Beauty won't boil the pot) -- MacGuinness Proverb
Braysen had shadowed Sir Edrickton for many days before finally growing up enough courage to approach the man. Odd that she would find running away from home and stealing her uncle's armor far easier than simply approaching the stoic man. When she finally did, she asked him straightforward if he would take her in and teach her. Much to her dismay, his initial reaction was to point out how much older she was at six-and-twenty and far too along in her young years to be taken seriously as a squire. Most who were squired were generally in their early teens and had come from a background where playing with wooden swords was considered to be a fruitful first step. Through all of these things, he denied her but was curious as to why she so desperately wanted to be squired.
The young woman explained the story to the elder knight, expression in the most animated of ways why she wished to be a knight with virtue rather than another wife of some faceless lord. As he was a man of virtue for his kingdom, Sir Edrickton gauged the young woman's tenacity by making factual claims that Lordaeron needed more sons and she would be doing an equal service of honor had she chosen to become a knight. The only response Braysen could give was that she was not suited to such a life of galas, dresses and lackluster conversation over a glass of wine. Her heart yearned for more. Her soul craved it. She needed to become something with more of a purpose than what her female parts could provide.
Sir Edrickton still did not quite believe this gangly woman with armor clearly not made for her was worth any of his time and so he continued to refuse her. For three days, she sought the man out regardless of what business he was up to, even going so far as to kneel beside him when he genuflected before the altar of his faith. Finally, the elder paladin could take no more of the young woman's incessant prodding and decided to give her a test that would determine just how far she was truly willing to go.
"I cannot train a woman who has no more muscle on her than a malnourished child might. Your task will be to work as the very people you will protect work."
It was at this point that Sir Edrickton offered the young woman up to one of the local farmers in Elwynn. The farmer accepted the help and set Braysen to every menial task he could possibly make for her: hauling grain from the barn, feeding the animals, tilling the land and properly planting the seeds. Much to the delight of the farmer, the first three months of planting season, Braysen took every task with a certain, unquestioned drive. When the donkey could no longer pull the plough to till the fields, Braysen would take a hoe out and spend the entirety of her day - and sometimes well into the night - tending to the crops, and often without being told or forced to.
The Crest of the Red FalconEdit
- Cha do bhrist fear riamh a bhogha nach d’fheum fear eile ‘n t-sreang.(No man ever broke his bow but another man found a use for the string.) -- MacGuinness Proverb