Bree Brittlebuck

Female halfling warlord/psion.

Bree hails from the halfling village of Rushbottle located on the Nentir River about two miles north of the Witchlight Fens. Bree’s father, Ortillo Brittlebuck was the village’s Auldwyn as well as an accomplished Warlord. He had to be with the monsters from the fens to the south, the kobolds of the Cloak Wood to the northwest, the Daggerburg goblins southeast in the Harken Forest and whatever else happened along up and down the river with malicious intent. Bree emulated her father and had become quite a strategist by age twelve. Although her father kept her from any real fighting he knew one day she would make a fine Warlord herself. Just before the solstice of her twenty fifth summer she met Burik Swiftwater and at the solstice celebration the two fell in love. By the spring of the next year the two were wed. Bree bid a tearful farewell to her father, both agreeing that Rushbottle was a too dangerous a place to raise children. She and Burik settled in a remote halfling village ninety miles north of Sarthel called Hilldale. Years passed and the union of Burik and Bree was filled with enjoyment with their life in Hilldale. Burik rose in the ranks of the local militia until his knowledge of strategies mixed with his cunning ingenuity catapulted him to the position of High Sheriff of Hilldale. With the support and advice of his wife, the town of HIlldale flourished, however the peace and tranquility of their homeland ended with infiltration of greedy slavers. Earlier that week Bree had regretfully sent out her husband, Burik, to stop the ever-to-frequent slaver raids. Reconnaissance had shown that another raid was organizing and would be coming soon. Burik decided that they would ambush the party striking before the raid took place. Bree would usually accompany her companion on endeavors to protect their homeland but the responsibility of mother took presidence. The eldest of her four year old triplets, Bick, was the first to get sick. Soon after, Breya, and Breck, too, were febrile and not fairing well. So with heavy heart, Bree kissed her mate and the admonishment to return safely and soon. It was the last time she would see her husband. Time passed and the halfling party never returned. Bree worried for the safety of her husband but she had confidence in his leadership and fighting capabilities from years of experience. Her worry turned to panic as a greasy human burst down her door of her home. The wiry slaver extended a dirty hand and grabbed Bree, pulling her to the large sack he he held in his other hand. She frantically lashed out with only weapon she had, a small knife that she had been coring an apple with when the slaver had entered. Luck was on the halfling’s side as the blade fortuitously sunk in to the slaver’s right eye and into his brain. With a thud, the slaver collapsed to the ground. Bree gathered up her children who were miraculously still sleeping and head to the opening where the door once stood. Screams filled the once peaceful dale. Bree, peeked outside and saw the chaos. With the defenders of their home away, the invaders easily harvested the new slaves with futile resistance. Anger, grief, helplessness, shame…Bree wanted to help but she was a strategist, not a fighter, and she had to defend her children. She gathered up her brood as well as what meager items she could carry on her petite frame and headed for the display case. In happier days, Burik, constructed an elm case to display his trophies, mostly preserved body parts of hunting expeditions. Behind that case, however, Burik burrowed a winding tunnel that led away from their home in case of danger. At the time, Bree thought her husband to be overcautious. As Bree closed the door and fled down the tunnel, her mind danced from emotion to emotion.

Time passed. At first, Bree and her children were able to survive in the wilderness. They ate gooseberries and drank from the creek…but the children’s health never improved. Within a ten-day all three children had died. After a couple of days of grieving, she caringly tucked her children in one final time….in a grave. With tears streaming down her reddened cheeks, she looked at the humble stone that harbored the children’s names and marked their final place of rest. Bree left the site with the most horrible of feelings that only a mother who had lost her children can know. The glimmer of hope she clung on to was that her husband was still alive.
After a time, she headed to the town of Sarthel where Burik had previously found out that the slavers had came from. With much care, she gathered information and found out that the slavers held an auction on the second day of each month. Could it be that she would see her husband? The thought brought bile to her throat.
The day finally came and people were starting to assemble in the market square to see the slaver’s wares. Each slave was brought out by a huge half orc that had dangerous yellow tusks jutting from his green lips. He had a chain that went from each ear and hooked on the corners of his gaping maw. A short fat balding human with a loud voice stood in front of all and announced each slave ,speaking of their desirable attributes while fondling a wicked looking cat-o-nine tails. Slave after slave was sold and Bree, although not familiar with them, felt sadness and pain as she empathized with their sorrow and loss of family and freedom.
Then came Shroomy. Shroomy was the dale’s only owner of what could be considered an eating establishment. He was almost as fat as he was tall. He had mastered most recipes of the mushroom and had made up many concoctions of his own. Bree had eaten at Shroomy’s not but a day before the raid. Shroomy, was thinner than the last time Bree had seen him. He had dark circles under his eyes and looked as sick and hopeless as Bree felt. After Shroomy, Bree saw others that were now slaves from her community. She moved closer to the front of the stage hoping to make eye contact with them, offering the promise of redemption . As the distance between herself and the auctioneer narrowed, she noticed her surroundings more vividly. From afar, there were what appeared to be many decorative posts on each side of the stage. Closer still she noticed the grim reality of the posts. On each post there was a partially decayed head. The gruesome site sickened her as she came closer still until she noticed that one of the heads although, badly decayed, was clearly that of a halfling. Upon closer inspection, she noticed that the head had a woven hemp headpiece…the same that she given her husband the night of their handfasting. Bree’s head tilted back with her arms extended to her sides, giving voice to her loss. She wailed a scream so loud, so filled with pure anguish, she truly terrified those in attendance. All conscious thought gone, there was only raw emotion. Time stood still for an eternity, or so it seemed. Such a little halfling had brought a halt to the auction and everyone was silent as if magically struck dumb, staring at her in shock. It was not the shock of seeing a screaming halfling matron, for many a mother and wife had been seen in such travail before,it was the sheer emotional energy that had emanated so strongly from the petite Bree. Indeed, so powerful was discharge of her psyche, that it had actually physically penetrated the stunned onlookers. Bree’s head sweltered, glowing hot in the fires of release, then she came to herself, pausing momentarily, she sprinted away, the heat still burning, the tears still streaming down her pallid cheeks , steaming all the way to the grave of her children…. and there she sat exhausted,on the verge of insanity.
Far to the south, Kett was practicing a technique that he had happened upon in an ancient text he had found in the Library of Cataracts amidst the heart of Sarthel, the lost mental science of telepathy. Although he knew of no one proficient in the discipline, he practiced opening up his mind to the inaudible mode of communication. The manuscript that he had read and memorized methodically explained how to speak to others without voice: progressive relaxation of the body, deep controlled breath and visualized projection and reception of the psychic promulgation. Kett was a voracious scholar and was deciphering this new puzzle with the utmost determination. It was then during his meditation that he felt the ping of consciousness, for that his how he described it. At first it was so strong he could strongly sensed the direction from which it came. He was, of course, intrigued by the fact that he could still sense that ping when he was practicing his mental communication. He just had to intensify his focus and search for the ping. Eventually he could find it, although more subtlety than initially felt. He could still sense the direction from where it came and his scholarly curiosity was unrelenting, so he set off…..compelled to determine the source.

Rara Avis member.

Bree Brittlebuck

Rara Avis oxmonster