Campaign of the Month: August 2014
The Concord of Ashes
Brandt von Bremen
A tall, lantern-jawed, barrel-chested German warrior, clad in a grey surcoat bearing the device of a white shield with a crimson lion regardant, and his mail, sword, and dagger are of superb quality. The soldier is middle-aged, silver increasingly finding its way into his short blonde hair and goatee, and he has a tendency to limp a little on cold days.
This warrior was first encountered by the Ashen Band in the Summer of AD 1214, shortly after Ulrich von Wettin was staked by the young hunter, Valentinus. Fortunately for him, the mortal was ignorant enough to believe that he had destroyed the vampire by staking him, and Valentinus darted from the scene to find his superiors. The Ventrue was safely removed before Archdeacon Simon and his entourage arrived to make sure that the job was finished, and they had all arrived ready for a fight. Brand hovered protectively at Simon’s side, ready to answer any threat to his master with his own sword. However, the ease and respect with which they conferred soon gave those spying upon the display the impression that the two men regarded each other as friends, if not quite equals.
In the months to come, investigations into the archdeacon, his entourage, and his congregation would bear considerable fruit as to the identity and purpose of Simon von Nijmegen. However, comparatively little was discovered concerning Brandt. Initial enquiries revealed that he arrived in Kronstadt late in the Autumn of AD 1202, that he briefly took employment with the city guard, and that he resigned his position to take up a role as Simon’s bodyguard by January of 1204. This somewhat innocuous association might indicate that the two men did not know each other previously, but further investigations have revealed that this is not the case. Indeed, in the mid-1190’s, a sergeant by the name of Brandt of Bremen served the" Cardinal Melior":http://www2.fiu.edu/~mirandas/bios1185.htm as bodyguard when he visited the court of the French King, Phillip II, as papal legate. This would have been the same period through which Simon served the same cardinal as deacon of the Basilica of Saints John and Paul on the Caelian Hill. It is likely then, that they have known each other far longer than most Kronstadters seem to think.
Other than that, it is known to the Ashen Band and the Concord that Brandt belongs to an old ministerial family that long served the archbishops of Bremen. However, the family has fallen in status since they backed the Welfs in the dynastic struggles between Frederick Barbarossa and Henry the Lion. After the Welfs lost the struggle over Saxony, many of the prominent ministerial knights found themselves without potentates to serve, and were reduced to offering their services as sellswords. It is likely that this is the reason this very capable soldier was reduced to the status of bodyguard for hire, and why he chose to serve a master so far from his native lands.
Finally, it is quite clear that it is Brandt who has assumed the responsibility for the growth of Simon’s household bodyguard, and that he is likely tasked with the lion’s share of martial training for the wards of the Orphanage of St. Emeric as well. As far as the vampires of Kronstadt are concerned, as a commander of men, and a trainer of hunters, Brandt is almost as dangerous as Archdeacon Simon himself.