Val CHA Cost Roll Notes 18 STR 8 13- Lift 303.1 kg; 3 1/2d6 HTH Damage  16 DEX 18 12- OCV: 5/DCV: 5 19 CON 18 13- 12 BODY 4 11- 18 INT 8 13- PER Roll 13-/15- 21 EGO 24 13- ECV: 7 20 PRE 10 13- PRE Attack: 4d6 16 COM 3 12- 7 PD 3 Total: 7 PD (0 rPD) 6 ED 2 Total: 6 ED (0 rED) 4 SPD 14 Phases: 3, 6, 9, 12 8 REC 0 38 END 0 31 STUN 0 Total Characteristic Cost: 112 Movement: Running: 6"/12" Leaping: 3"/6" Swimming: 4"/8" Cost Powers & Skills 6 "Pent In With Iron Self-Control": Mental Defense (10 points total) 2 "Swimming Strongly": Swimming +2" (4" total), END 1 2 Keen Eyes: +2 PER with Normal Sight Perks 15 Fringe Benefit: King 10 "Poured Into His Hand A Stream Of Gold": Money: Wealthy 9 Reputation: "'Twas Said He Was Unmatched In Warfare, Either With Army Or Singly" (all of Britain) 14-, +3/+3d6 Talents 6 "Blood Trickled From Gashes On Brow, Breast, And Limb": Combat Luck (3 PD/3 ED) 3 "Slumber Was Light": Lightsleep Skills 32 "Unmatched In Warfare": +4 with All Combat 3 AK: Caldonia 13- 3 "Posing As An Emissary Of Pictdom": Acting 13- 3 "The Soldier Caught The Gleam Of Gold": Bribery 13- 2 "Somewhat Familiar With The Maze Of Roman Politics": CuK: Roman Culture And Society 11- 2 "Games Where Dice Clicked And Spun": Gambling (Dice Games) 13- 3 "Mysteries Of This Ancient Isle": KS: Myths And Legends Of The Picts/Britain 13- 3 "Brule, The Spear-Slayer, First Of My Line": KS: History Of The Picts 13- 3 KS: Tribes Of Britain 13- 2 KS: Tribes Of Europe 11- 3 Language: Celtic (completely fluent) 3 Language: Norse (completely fluent) 0 Language: Pictish (idiomatic) 3 "Will You Fight For Me?": Persuasion 13- 3 Riding 12- 3 "Stole Like A Prowling Wolf": Stealth 12- 3 "Unmatched In Warfare": Tactics 13- 0 TF: Equines 10 "Sword Gripped In His Left Hand, And His Dirk In His Right": Two-Weapon Fighting (HTH) 5 "Only Arm A Long Straight Sword": WF: Common Melee Weapons, Common Missile Weapons, Off Hand Total Powers & Skill Cost: 142 Total Cost: 254 100+ Disadvantages 10 Distinctive Features: "A... Power Radiating From The Man, That... Set Him Apart From Common Men" (Concealable; Noticed and Recognizable; Detectable By Commonly-Used Senses) 15 Hunted: Rome/Roman Army 11- (As Pow, Harshly Punish) 0 Normal Characteristic Maxima 15 Psychological Limitation: "A King Belongs To His People And Cannot Let Either His Own Feelings Or The Lives Of Men Influence Him." (Common, Strong) 15 Psychological Limitation: Hatred Of Rome And Romans (Common, Strong) 15 Psychological Limitation: Seeks To Lift His People Out Of Savagery (Common, Strong) 5 Social Limitation: Pictish Barbarian (Frequently, Minor, Not Limiting In Some Cultures) 79 Experience Points Total Disadvantage Points: 254
Background/History: Little to nothing is known about the origins of Bran Mak Morn, king of the Picts. The son of a Wolf Clan chief (and part of a long line of Pictish tribal chiefs), Bran rose to become king of the Picts of Caledon, uniting them under his rule and leading them against the hated Romans, who had conquered much of the British isle. But his rule was tenuous one. As Bran himself stated, “Let me win tomorrow and they will flock to my standard; if I lose, they will scatter like birds before a cold wind.”
His tenure as king is marked by numerous battles versus the Romans. A canny warrior and tactician, he manages to recruit allies from the Celts, Britons, Welsh, and even Norsemen. But Bran’s dealings can be even darker if needed. In order to reach a Roman military governor in a well-guarded tower, Bran strikes a deal with the loathsome Children of the Night, risking his life and sanity in the process.
Bran’s end is unknown, but one story states he died in “the last great battle.” His kingdom, it seems, died with him, with Picts being driven deeper into the mountains by the Romans, Scots, Britons, and Norse. Eventually they went underground, to live in the deep caves riddling the earth under England, where the remnants of the once-proud Picts, reduced to a mere shambling shadow of their former selves, gave rise to the stories of the “Little People” and the like.
Although his reign was short, the memory of Bran was kept alive for hundreds of years afterwards. A statue of him was raised on a isolated island between Ireland and England and there the last few Picts honored him.
Personality/Motivation: Bran’s overwhelming desire is to bring the Picts together as one people, so he can raise them up out of savagery. In doing so he hopes to regain the lost glories of the old Pictish kingdoms, before the Britons, Celts, and Romans, when his people ruled all of England (and long before that, ruled a huge swatch of Conan’s Hyborian world). The problem is his people are little more than barbaric savages, who desire only to plunder and pillage the villages of the non-Pictish peoples living in England. As Bran himself points out, as long as he leads them against the Britons, Romans, Scots, or Norse, all is well, but once he tries to stop their massacres, his people become restless and sullen.
To make mattes worse, Bran must deal with the might of Rome and its desire to dominate all of the world (England included). Although he hates the arrogant Romans with a passion, he also knows no mere barbarian rabble can stand against them, which is why he wants to bond his Picts into a tighter, more-capable force and is willing to recruit allies from other tribes and races. At the same time, Bran knows he must bow to the ways of his people. For example, while he dislikes the sacrifices of prisoners before a battle, his people are not one to give up such an important custom easily, so he allows it to go on. He also isn’t above sacrificing his allies to ensure his own people survive, as when he let a band of Norse sea reavers stand (and die) in battle against the Roman legions until he was sure he could spring his trap safely.
Quote: “I am but an unknown king with an iron crown, trying to lift a race of savages out of the slime into which they have sunk.”
Powers/Tactics: Although not particularly tall (except to another Pict), Bran is still quite strong and powerful. He is a fierce and skilled fighter, quick with a sword or knife, and unlike many of his people, will wear armor of mail or scale if needed. While not the superhuman powerhouse Conan (or Kull) is, Bran is more than capable in a fight—and out of one. As befits a king, he has a keen mind, a savvy sense of tactics, and a powerful (almost unbreakable) will. His skill in battle is well known all over the island, with his prowess in battle having given rise to various stories among the Romans to the south.
Bran isn’t above using subterfuge to gain what he needs, and at one point infiltrates the Romans in the guise of a Pictish emissary named ‘Partha Mac Othna.’ He even treats with dark forces, dealing with the aforementioned ‘Children of the Night’ to destroy a hated Roman, but his thirst for vengeance pales when he realizes just what he’s been barganing with.
Appearance: Bran Mak Morn’s general appearance is somewhat at odds with most of Howard’s fantasy heroes. He is said to be “slim, dark haired,” of “medium height” (he probably only stands around 5’8”), and “lithely built.” A more complete description states he has a supple compact body, coarse straight hair, thin lips, a hawk-like set of the head, a corded neck, broad square shoulders, a deep chest, lean loins, and narrow feet. He tends to dress in plain garments typical of the time period, and wears a narrow iron band set with a red jewel on his brow.
If expecting battle, Bran Mak Morn will don mail armor, a helmet, and fight with either sword and shield or sword and dagger.
Designer's Notes: Bran Mak Morn is a rather curious character, unlike many of Howard’s other creations in that he’s more moody and introspective than the ‘live-for-the-moment’ Conan or the fanatical Solomon Kane. He’s a bit like Kull, which is probably why Howard had the two appear together in the story Kings of the Night. In truth, Bran only appeared in a handful of complete stories, Men of Shadows, Kings of the Night, and the mini-epic Worms of the Earth. He is alluded to in The Dark Man, while the final fate of his Pictish people is given in The Lost Race.
This character sheet was developed from the Del Rey Robert E Howard collection Bran Mak Morn: The Last King. It, like the other Del Rey collections, presents the stories in a manner as close to the original forms possible, as well as in the order Howard wrote them. I tried to be complete as possible, but was hampered by the fact Bran is really only in three stories (and assorted fragments). Still, at 254 points, Bran makes for a powerful and effective warrior and a capable king.
(Bran Mak Morn created by Robert E Howard, character sheet created by Michael Surbrook)