Bracken Chapley

Class: Fighter

Race: Human (Dalelands)

Level: 4

Deity: Helm

Alignment: LN

Age: 18 (17 when starting)


Father: "Papa Chapley", woodcutter
Mother: "Mama Chapley", washerwoman
Eldest brother: Brannen Chapley, woodcutter
Second brother: Brallen Chapley, woodcutter
Younger sister: Brenna Chapley, druidess of Chauntea


STR: 17

DEX: 16

CON: 15

WIS: 10

INT: 6

CHA: 12

Bracken Chapley
stood about 5’8” tall with tousled short brown hair and hazel eyes. He was a hefty-looking lad, weighing around 180 pounds, with strong arms and hard hands, and a stubborn-looking jaw..

Personality: A lovable, lumbering dolt; a mannerless lout who laughed too loudly; a single-minded young warrior - all these described Bracken. The youth lived life as fully as he dared, never passing up a chance to mix and mingle with a crowd, no matter how physically different they were from him. As long as drink and hearty laughter was involved, he was there. Thus, he got along famously with gnomes and halflings, who are well known for their rustic celebrations. He also loved regaling children with tales of the party's exploits, which were of course spiced up tremendously with liberal doses of exaggeration. He was also good at blending in with companies of fighters, who always appreciated his rough humour and ready grin. Civilized company, of course, never quite took to him, and he likewise chose to stay away from the "hoity-toities".

His attitude towards life was simple and very no-nonsense: what had to be done, would be done. "Do yer job, keep yer nose clean, and don't ye take no crap from nobody”. This stance, known as the Chapley Attitude, was prevalent in his family. When he was on a job, there was no superfluous talk; he was the picture of seriousness. When he was in a fight, he was all brute strength and steel. For this reason, he got along especially well with dwarves. Ironically, it was a dwarf, Tumig Hammersplitter, who introduced the youth to dwarven ale, thus cementing the youth's favourable perspective of the race.

The youth was also not the most articulate of men – often, the words he had chosen to speak were far too long (anything over three syllables) and he had to struggle to spit it out, resorting to shorter substitutes instead.

Bracken was, despite his oafish appearance, devoted to duty and a very responsible young man. What he lacked in scholarly intellect, he made up for in good old lower-class common sense. Whatever merriment he partook of, he rarely allowed it to interfere with his responsibilities. As often as he was able, he sent the bulk of his share of the spoils home to his family, leaving just enough for him to purchase equipment and food.

Occasionally, he asked people not to call him "Brack," because, "it durn sounds like a bear's fart". People did anyway.

Bracken was not the strongest fighter, or the cleverest tactician, or the one with the biggest and baddest weapons. He was just who he was – a warrior who did his job, who died doing his job. A man who elicited tears from his comrades when he fell.

Combat tactics: Bracken loved his hatchets, which he called his "iron butterflies". Before combat, he would pitch both at the enemy, and inevitably, at least one of the hatchets would take down its target. Then he would follow up with a shield-rush, his battle axe at the ready.

In the event that he did not have time to throw his hatchets, or there was no time for missile combat, he usually took out his hatchets and laid into the enemy with a vengeance, one hatchet in each hand. On occasion, he would use his crossbow, especially if the enemy was too far away for hatchets.

Bracken, in his youthful enthusiasm, often fancied himself an expert in tactics, and was often ready with some far-fetched scheme which often sounded more trouble than they were worth. Occasionally, they worked.

Weapons proficiencies: Hatchet(specialized), battle axe, crossbow, club

Equipment of note: Splint armour, pot helmet, small shield +1, horseman's flail +1, battle axe +1, crossbow, two hatchets, club, riding horse "Brenna", leather barding..

The Fate of Bracken Chapley

The half-elf ranger, human wizard and human battleguard stood around the transparent, seemingly unbreakable globe in which the body of Randal Morn, the man they were to rescue, rested. Somewhere further away, Bracken Chapley and the dwarf Tumig Hammersplitter kept watch, holding on to their respective axes.

"What's taking 'em?" grumbled the dwarf. Bracken shrugged, and just then the halfling thief, Extrad Surefoot, returned with an alarming report: several Zhentarim troops were on their way, headed in their direction. As if to lend credence to the halfling's statement, the steady sound of marching feet could now be heard.

"This sure ain't soundin' good." Bracken hefted his shield, bringing his enchanted battle axe to bear. Likewise, Tumig lifted his great two-handed axe. Extrad scampered off to warn the others.

The marching could be heard, louder and louder. There seemed to be hundreds of them. Bracken shook his head resignedly. "Ye know what, dwarf? When I meet Helm up in them heavens, ye know what's he gunna ask me?"

Tumig smiled grimly. "What?"

"Well, it ain't gunna be how many I took down with me. It ain't gunna be about how long I lasted. No Sir, when I meet Helm, he's gunna ask me if I died doin' my job, holdin' my post."

As if on cue, troops appeared round the corner, and somewhere to the rear was a mage in dark robes. "You are being surrounded. Surrender, and you shall be spared!"

Bracken dropped his battle axe, and the mage smiled. The smile disappeared when Bracken took out a hatchet and raised it in an umistakeably obscene gesture. "Shut yer yap, and I won't stuff me axe up yer butt." He declared defiantly.

The mage flushed with anger. "If that is the way it has to be..." He made a gesture towards his men, and the front line raised heavy crossbows. Meanwhile, Logan the battleguard had joined his comrades and was making battle preparations. Somewhere further away, Liasath the ranger, Moth the conjurer and Extrad the thief, were similarly engaged in a skirmish from the rear.

Bracken let fly with two hatchets. One of them missed, but the other caught a crossbowman in the leg and the soldier crumpled, badly injured.

The mage appeared , somewhere to the side of his contingent. A sizzling bolt of lightning flew from his outstretched hands. It struck Bracken square in the chest and sent him flying through the air, and he hit the prison globe with great force. It shattered, and the liberated body of Randal Morn tumbled out.

Tumig ran at the line of soldiers, swinging his axe and killing one cleanly. Logan, in the throes of a berserker rage, brandished his sword and charged the mage.

The mage, still smarting over the audacity of Bracken's remark, blithely ignored Logan's attempts and ordered the crossbowmen to direct their fire at Bracken, who was dazed but miraculously still alive. The crossbowmen fired obediently, and Bracken watched in disbelief as all the crossbow bolts flew past him. He got to his feet.

The mage suddenly looked annoyed. "Ah, it seems we have been recalled due to some other matter of urgency. But before we leave, allow me to demonstrate the consequences of defiance." He spread his hands in the air, and a shimmering portal appeared above Bracken. A wispy, insubstantial figure, an invisible stalker from the Elemental Plane of Air, reached down and picked Bracken up, easily breaking his spine and tossing him aside. Its job done, the being returned to its home plane.

The Zhent mage and his troops withdrew. Logan, still in the throes of his berserker rage, hacked blindly at the corpses of the Zhent soldiers who had stayed behind to cover the retreats of their comrades.

The others crowded around the quivering body of Bracken Chapley, tears streaming down the faces of Tumig, Liasath and Extrad. Moth, as always, was expressionless.

"Woman..." The dying fighter addressed Liasath. "Brenna... my horse... she's yours now ...just do me a favour. The rest of my stuff... gold an' all - send it back to the Chapley home... tell 'em their boy did good."

The ranger nodded sorrowfully.

"Durn - Helm sure looks good in all that armour." The fighter's eyes widened in puzzlement, as if seeing something the others could not. And then Bracken Chapley, third son of the Chapley family, grew cold and still.



































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