Disclaimer: James Brycen is a fictional characters designed for the RPG brambleton and has no affiliation what so ever with the actor Robert Sean Leonard.
IC (In character):
Character name: Lord James Edward Brycen MD. Third son of Edward John Brycen the Duke of Aevon.
PB (played by): Robert Sean Leonard Character’s Journal:dr_jamesbrycen
Age and Date of Birth: 36 (1779) Gender: Male Marital Status: In the eyes of the law, a confirmed bachlor. In the law of the heart, taken by his lord. Children: No children. Thank the Lord for being a third son.
Occupation: James holds a medical liscense and is quite skilled in GP and emergency medicine but he is also a very dedicated foreign intelligence operative for the Ministry of Intelligence.
Appearance: James is of an average height, made unique by his slender musculature, streamline with long legs and an elegance of limb which speaks to his noble breeding. His most striking feature is his pale skin, matched with dark hair and eyes.
Personality: James grew up the smallest and the youngest of three brothers and his two elder siblings were rather difficult. His eldest brother, Richard took his role as heir seriously, sometimes too seriously and often James needed to play the light hearted scamp to bring his brother out of his druthers. The middle son William was the exact opposite. A wild, tempermental child, James often needed to be the voice of reason to reel William in before some mad start got them all in trouble.
James was raised in a well heeled, powerful family and he knows his way around court and the finest parlors and salons of London. He is soft spoken as a rule, friendly but intensely private. He is a medical doctor and rather well renowned, known particularly for his fastideousness and drive for cleanliness. He never leaves his room until every last wrinkle is abolished from his waistcoat and the pin in his cravat is perfectly placed.
James has the ability to morph into whoever he needs to be for the current situation he's in. It makes him a brilliant intelligence officer for the court but means that in his personal social interactions it's hard to figure out who he is. Chances are good that when you walk away from a conversation with James, he'll know infinitely more about you than you do about him.
A master whip, James is a crack horseman and often releases tension by accepting and issuing dangerous phaeton races across the English countryside. He is a grandmaster with a sword but abhores guns of any sort. His hand to hand is not up to Audrey's skill but he makes up for it by keeping small daggers about his person when working and his aim is frighteningly accurate.
Due to his time abroad, he has a very wide base of medical experience and has brought many cutting edge techniques back from the Continent to England.
Strengths/Weaknesses, Character Flaws: A loner, who can make many aquaintances and yet know no one, James has a hard time remembering who 'James Brycen' is. He has played a role in the name of the Ministry for so long that he too often forgets that people can be friends and he treats almost everyone as a potential 'mark' gathering information rather than making actual connections.
He is a bit of an 'original', which can be both a blessing and a curse. While he is not much of a gambler, he is known for racing his horses and his phaeton at neck or nothing contests and at times seems to have a death wish. He vacillates between a strict adherance to Society's norms and a blatant disregard for Society's rules, it's hard to decide if he wants to be a pillar of the Ton or a complete disgrace to his family.
It's hard to tell where the act ends and the truth begins and even for James himself, the line has become blurred.
Personal History: James Edward Brycen was born the third son of the Duke of Aevon. As the title was already secured by the pressence of the heir, his brother Richard and a spare, his brother William, James knew a certain freedom that his two elder siblings lacked. He grew up the peace maker of his family, his temperment taken almost directly from the Duke as opposed to his high breed mother, James always kept things close to his chest. This gave he and his father a bond that Aevon did not share with his two elder sons and it was a bond that withstood his father discovering James's secret.
When James was ten years old, William brought a friend home from school. Audrey Highcroft was the heir to the Marquess of St. John, a fitting companion for the second son of a Duke and welcome at Aevon Hall. Audrey and William were a match in temperment and prone to fits of utter maddness, that young James often found himself an unwilling participant. He was forever steadying the two hellions and in some instances out flanking them before one of their mad starts got them into irrtreviable danger. Audrey came home, every break with William, Aevon Hall residing closer to the school than his own home in St. John and over the years the bond between James and Audrey deepened into something intense, all consuming and darkly forbidden.
Despite the constraints of their upbringings, the two men consumated their relationship not long after James's 18th birthday and embarked upon an affair that owns them both.
When James turned 19, he entered medical school and after an incredibly awkward interview with the Duke in which his liason with Audrey came out, Edward Brycen steered his son into the sub rosa world of political intrigue. After all, if James could maintain a secret such as Audrey then perhaps he was the son to follow his father's footsteps into the Intelligence world.
James took to it, like a duck to water helped along not only by his father's guiding hand but also by Audrey's own affiliation with the Ministry. It was a way to be with Audrey as the two made a natural partnership that carried them through the next six years, traveling abroad to Spain, France, Italy, German and even Egypt.
When Audrey turned 30 this idilic existance came crashing back to reality. A scare with a bullet wound forced the two men to face the fact that Audrey had to return to England and perform his duty by his title. He had to marry. Returning in time for the season, Audrey was fickle in his romancing until James stepped in and practically took over his lover's courtship. There was only one choice, a diamond of the first water, Mary Cavenaugh was the eldest daughter of the Earl of Wence. Poised, intelligent, gentle, beautiful, steady she was almost a perfect match for Audrey and quite flattered to have the eye of a Marquess.
Witnessing Mary place a steadying hand on Audrey's arm at a function where the Marquess had gotten a touch riled, James had known that he'd made the right decision. She would do and she would do even better if he got out of the picture for a while. The day Audrey married Mary, James left for the Continent, back out into the field without his partner and lover, leaving England so that Mary Highcroft had a chance to make the most of her marriage to the man, James loved.
For four years, James remained abroad, honing his skills both as a physician and as a spy. He worked closely with the Court's emmisary to the world and traveled from Spain all the way down into Egypt before eventually making his way back to England. Four years away from Audrey, coming back had been bittersweet.
That they were still in love, was a question answered in the first few seconds of their reunion, what to do about it was the challenge. Any pretense of simply being friends was burned away by the white hot passion, which exploded between them and they took back up with each other as lovers, though discreation was their motto. James never stayed the night in any house where Mary and the children were in residence, he kept his own rooms and their trists were conducted in those rooms.
Over the next six years, they hid thier relationship well, Audrey even fathered two more children on Mary but there were whispers. There were whispers and Mary knew her husband well enough to see the change in him when James entered a room. After Ann was born, when Mary was pronounced physical capable of taking up a wife's duty once more, she went to her husband and was rebuffed.
On that night she knew her intuition was sound. Mary had always understood that her husband cared for her but was not in love with her. She suspected his heart was already stolen long before she came along but she had never completely understood how or by whom. Not until James returned from the Continent. She wanted to hate him but James had been sweet to her durning the courtship with Audrey, he had left them alone for four years and in her heart, Mary didn't have it in her to hate anyone.
The three talked.
And it was decided that Audrey and James would decamp for the countryside, leaving Mary and the children in London with her dignity and social standing intact. With James and Audrey in the countryside, any whispers in London would fall away and Mary could live her life without being the object of pity. Compared to the openly painful scandal a few of her close friends had to endure in the form of lightskirts and their husbands, Mary decided she could live with her husband's discreet secret. So long as it remained, discreet.
These were terms, Audrey and James agreed to readilly and without further ado, they bought a house and decamped to Teasdale. A countryside town that would offer them privacy, while keeping them close enough to continue to work for the Crown.</small>
At the crest of a tall sand dune, Brycen lay on his stomach watching the activity in the small man made valley below. At his elbow lay a native of Egypt who had been schooled in London and now also worked for the Ministry as their main contact in Cairo.
“Damn, it’s just what we feared.” Brycen spoke softly, laying down the looking glass he was using to study the landscape below.
“Count de Saint Viere?”
“Yeah. Looks like he’s setting up some sort of sale of the artifacts.”
“Well, that’s one way to line your war chests.” The man, whose name was Raisuli spoke with a world weary tone. A man who was getting too used to seeing his native land’s heritage raped by foreigners.
Brycen gave his friend a rueful smile. He couldn’t really claim that his own countrymen were doing any better, what with the number of artifacts that were being sent back to the British Museum in the name of preservation.
“I need to get down there. Hear what sort of line he’s feeding these Spaniards.”
“Are you suffering from the sun?” Raisuli snapped. “That camp is wide awake, there’s no way you’ll waltz in there unseen, especially with your pale skin.”
“Just stay here Raisuli and watch the horses. I’ll be back before you know it.” With a rakish grin, James pulled the lower half of his robes across his face like a desert mask and slipped over the dune before his companion could disagree further.
Picking his way carefully down into the camp, Brycen picked up a wooden crate full of broken shards of pottery and set it on his shoulder, further camouflage to allow him to move freely in the immediate area. Keeping his eyes down, he trudged out into the main stream of human foot traffic, just a useful little worker bee, don’t mind him.
Angling his path so that he could set down the tray and then slip in behind the main tent, Brycen checked his baffles and slipped away from the crowd, creeping along the back of the tent, keeping low so as not to throw a shadow on the canvas.
The Count was speaking in rapid French, with a second man obviously interpreting to Spanish. James, who was fluent in both languages, hunkered down on his heels, listening to the conversation.
“This art is worth ten times what you come here to offer me. Why, that paltry sum barely covers my cost to bring these pieces up from the tomb, let alone the money I will have to pay out to get them out of this country. You must do better.”
“Better? This was the offer we agreed upon in our letters, how dare you lift your price now?!”
“That price was unrealistic and quoted before I learned of the curse on this tomb. It has been difficult to get workers to come dig. I’ve had to promise them handsome sums.”
James rolled his eyes. When wasn’t there a curse? Of course, as far as he was concerned this whole Egyptology bit, even the above board for science types were little more than tomb raiders; personally he didn’t want anyone digging up his grave in a couple thousand years just because he might have been buried with something interesting.
“That is your problem.”
“No! It is your problem as in order to break even I must demand the proper sum. Look at these artifacts gentlemen; this is pure gold, purer than anything in Europe. Would you turn it down simply because you can’t dig into your pockets just a bit deeper?”
“Why not pay for your interests with the artifacts then, if they are so useful?”
“Gentlemen that is not the point. For certain they could be broken down but they will make all of us more money if they remain intact. People will come to see these bits of art and pay good coin for the viewing. My sale price is but a paltry some compared to what you will make back. Now… come on.”
Brycen heard the Spaniards starting cave and he gave his head a shake. They would have to try to intercept the shipment at the docks later. In the meantime, he had what he’d come for.
Standing up, the young lord began to creep through the shadows towards the edge of camp, so he could get back up the dune to Raisuli. James was half way up the white sand, when a bit of ill fortune struck and the full moon, which had obligingly stayed behind low lying clouds most of the night, broke into clear sky and illuminated the face of the dune he was currently scrambling up.
He heard a shout go up from the camp behind and below him and in the next moment came the whiz thud of a bullet from a rifle shot.
‘Crap!’ Brycen thought to himself, trying to scramble faster up the shifting sands.
More bullets went winging by his head and shoulders, a couple coming precariously close to his legs as he pushed up the dune, trying to remember if it had been so incredible steep on the way down! He heard a shout from the top of the dune and looked up towards where Raisuli held Gosphalen and his own black Arabian mare. The grey gelding was spinning around, snorting angrily and with a quick hop up onto his hind legs Gos broke away and charged down the dune towards his scampering master.
The gelding’s legs sank hock deep into the shifting sand as he practically slid down the steep dune and Brycen was forced to lunge for the saddle as his horse charged past. Grabbing at the reins, James felt Gos pitch to his side as he tried to turn around and he had just enough time to take a deep breath as the grey rolled onto his side and horse and rider somersaulted down the dune, one atop the other until they landed at the base.
For a half second, Gos lay on his chest, long enough for James to jump into the saddle and grab a fistful of mane before the gelding leapt up to his feet and spun on his haunches. The camp was in chaos, people shouting back and forth in French, Arabic and Spanish and through this mess, the pair galloped along the edge, Brycen quickly setting his feet in the stirrups and then leaning forward to urge Gos to greater speed.
Up head some quick witted workers attempted to shove a donkey cart across their path but Gos merely gathered himself and jumped the cart, braying donkey and all without checking his speed. A quick glance over his shoulder, confirmed that some of the camp’s guards were taking to their own mounts to give chase, a few more gunshots striking the sand just under Gosphalen’s flying feet.
Giving Gos his head, James leaned forward, a style of riding he’d learned from the desert Bedouins a few months ago and the gray stretched out, full of run.
If only Brycen could be sure of where they were running to!
For the next hours, Brycen played a game of hide and seek with his pursuers, who were relentless in their hunting. Just when he thought that he and Gos had managed to escape, they would appear on the horizon behind them and the hunt would be on again. In the whole time, his horse never faltered or showed the slightest signs of weariness. Through deep dunes and across hard packed sand, Gos was tireless as they sought to escape.
The dawn was just breaking when James angled his horse through some rocks and out onto the beach of a small stretch of water. His intent was the follow the water back to the nearest village but in the blink of an eye, the jackals were back on his heels.
Cursing fluently, Brycen turned Gos towards their pursuers.
For a moment, he looked down the beach along the line they would have to run to escape, then back at the men now charging down the cliffs after them. The morning sun glinted off the drawn scimitars, the men’s rifles pitched away long ago as spent amo littered the desert sand.
He could do swords. He could do swords and they simply could not keep running.
Gathering the reins in his left hand, Brycen reached down to the scabbard built into the desert saddle he rode in and withdrew his own blade. It was four against one. Not the greatest odds in the world but perhaps he could get some edge from surprise when the fox turned on the jackals.
Spinning the blade in his hand, Brycen clapped his heels against Gosphalen’s side and sent the grey hurtling towards the charging foursome.
It was madness.
But perhaps God was looking down upon the mad for about ten strides before Brycen clashed with the other men, a shot rang out and the horse on the far outside of the group crashed into the ground with a sickening thud, snapping both it’s neck and the neck of it’s rider in one blow. A quick glance up towards the rocky jut, identified Raisuli’s distinctive black mare, a rifle set to the other man’s shoulder, aiming down the beach.
Quietly giving thanks and at the same time praying that Raisuli truly was that good of a shot, Brycen brought his sword up, parrying away two slashing attacks as Gos split through the center of the remaining three horses. James felt the whistle of the scimitars flashing across his ducked shoulders and he lay closer to his horse’s neck as they cleared the first attack.
Straightening, he caught his reins up but really, Gos was already stopping and spinning around on his own, charging up the flanks of the now confused enemy. Another rifle shot rang out, slamming into a chestnut only ten paces away. The stricken animal reared up with a scream of death as it pitched over backwards, pinning its rider momentarily.
Despite the close quarters, Gos merely pinned his ears, in no way phased by either the gunshot or the smell of blood. Instead, he squealed and struck out at the nearest horse still standing, a bay who tried to give way only to find itself savaged by snapping teeth as Gos reared up and clamped his jaws around the other animal’s crest.
In the saddle, Brycen engaged the other rider in a quick flurry of blade work, the small cove echoing with the sound of clashing metal as swords met at a lightening speed. The man’s other mounted companion made an attempt to come up behind the Englishman, only to be sent reeling when the grey gelding’s hind feet slammed into the shoulder of his mount, breaking the man’s knee with the same blow.
As the other bay reeled back from the blow, a third gunshot rang out, taking the rider in the chest and blowing him off his injured horse.
Making note that he now had only his current opponent and the man from the fallen chestnut to cope with, Brycen doubled his efforts. For his own part, Gosphalen half reared, battering at the bay in his jaws with his knees, seeking to drive the other animal to the ground.
The bay stumbled beneath the onslaught and it was just the distraction Brycen needed to make quick work of the rider. As the lifeless body tumbled from the bay’s back, Gosphalen released the screaming horse and turned the fury of his teeth and hooves on the man who was just now deciding that he might want to leave the area. Brycen simply grabbed mane and turned his head away as lightening fast forefeet made rapid work of the man’s skull.
As silence once more filled the cove, James gathered up the reins and steadied his annoyed mount.
Raisuli and the black mare came cantering down along the beach towards the carnage, the Egyptian’s eyes going wide as he took in the picture.
“By the God…” The man exclaimed, turning wide eyes towards Brycen. “I did not know the British Calvary taught their mounts such bloodthirst.”
Brycen rolled his eyes and made a face. “They don’t. This is simply natural talent. Can you imagine what he was like before we cut him?”
“No. And I’m rather glad of it.”
“Come on, we need to catch a train.”
“I’ll explain on the way.”
Character icon to appear on the Brambleton information page: James Brycen
OCC (Out of character):
Your name: Laekin Your time zone and location: EST/Mid-Atlantic AIM/MSN/Yahoo: AIM - FHJamesWilson E-mail: Seregill At Aol Dot Com