Character's Fully Name: Brett Avery

Aliases: Elswyth - birth name, Gaerwen, Rowena Smith, Fiona Heald, Deirdre Anderson, Jocelyn D'Arcy, Kendal Davies, Bianca Valerius, Varina Naidenova, Ileana Kriatski, Jelena Chichkova, Bridgit Sinclaire, Dale Reese, Ashley Tayte, Guenevere Taylor

Played By: JP

Character Type: Immortal

Apparent Age: 30

Actual Age: 1022

Sex: Female

Height: 5'9’’

Hair Color: Red-reddish blonde

Eye Color: Blue Green

Nationality: Anglo-Saxon

Occupation: : Ranch Owner, Blacksmith (most current); has held a wide assortment of jobs in the past.

Any Travel Companions or close friends: Cyril a light bay Bashkir Curly foal.

Any other languages: English, Old English, Celtic, (Irish) Gaelic, Welsh, Latin, German, French, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Latvian, Danish.

Skills: Good horsemanship skills, blacksmith (particularly skilled at sword making), seamstress, leather working. When she chooses to fight she is an above average swordswoman.

Personality: Brett is a fairly easy going person with a restless nature - inactivity can and will drive her insane. She is fiercely independent, more than a little stubborn, and prefers to do things her own way. Even with this stubborn streak however, she usually does not come across as too standoffish around others - unless they have done something to offend her that is.

History: Brett was born Elswyth, the second youngest child of Kendra and Bowdyn of Canterbury (Cantwaraburg), Kent in the year 980 C.E. There had been a total of eight children in the family; three of which had died before reaching the age of ten. Elswyth had two elder brothers, Selwin and Galan; one elder sister, Elvina, and a younger sister, Aedre, that survived into adulthood.

Around the time of her birth the Danes were beginning to renew their raids on England, attacking Chester and Southampton. Times were not easy, but not as hard as they could be. The family was fairly close-knit, and while by no means wealthy, they had a comfortable life. Elswyth herself was particularly close to her father, her brother Galan and younger sister Aedre. Her mother was at times distant with Elswyth and often the young woman would catch her casting odd, far off glances in her direction as if seeing something no one else could when looking at her middle daughter.

As the years passed the raids became worse and eventually, despite being begged by Kendra not to go, both Selwin and Bowdyn went north to fight the Danes. Selwin perished in 991 during the Battle of Maldon when Byrhtnoth of Essex was defeated by Danish invaders. Selwin left behind a wife and two small children that became absorbed into the family. Though they were warmly welcomed, it was an added expense that put a strain on the family. A strain that was alleviated a few years later when Elswyth was married off to Caedmon, a fairly well off man and one of the more skilled leather workers in the area.

She was only 14, and he 21, and though no real lasting love or passion truly developed, Elswyth did become very fond of her husband and he was quite taken with the young girl. The same year they were married the Danes under Sweyn and the Norwegians under Olaf Trygvesson sailed up the rived Thames and besieged London - and were bought off once again by King Aethelred (The Unready) as the invaders had been a few years earlier. Because Bowdyn had returned home by that time, the battles, though still very worrisome, seemed to fade a bit into the background as familial concerns filled everyone's minds more and more.

Even after two years of marriage Elswyth still had not become pregnant yet. A fact that seemed to bother her more than Caedmon, who was content caring for his nieces and nephews and was not all that concerned yet with producing a child of his own. Sadly, Caedmon died in 1000 leaving his land and business to Elswyth. She in turn gave some of the land to her remaining brother, Galan, and tried to keep up the business as best she could.

The raids on England continued, with much of the country overrun by 1010; East-Anglia, Essex, Buckinghamshire, to name just a few, were all under Danish control and Kent was being overrun as well. Elvina and Elswyth both perished during a raid on Canterbury in 1011 when the Archbishop Γƒβ€ lfheah was taken (and later martyred when he refused to be ransomed) and the city and its magnificent cathedral were burned.

Elswyth awoke hours later with her mother sitting at her side. Kendra did not seem half as surprised as Elswyth that she had revived. She then revealed to her daughter that she had seen this moment in a dream several times when the girl had been in her womb and while she had been growing up. She had also had other dreams of her daughter; dreams of her fighting with a sword, dreams of her dressed in the strange clothing of a distant land, dreams of her caring for victims of a terrible plague... Kendra often had dreams of her family, she had known Selwyn would die if he went off to war, had known that no matter what she did she would bury several children before their tenth year, and while these dreams worried her and made her sad, they had never made her fearful until Elswyth was conceived. Her daughter would be born with a gift, but not the same as she had been. That was why her mother had always looked so oddly at her.

Few people had seen Elswyth's lifeless body, but those that did murmured later that the woman was evil, possessed by demons; or worse, the devil. Bowdyn's standing in the community helped to quell the rumors for the most part but Elswyth knew her life in Canterbury was over. She lingered on until her beloved father passed away in 1015 and then struck out westward, eventually settling in the Devon countryside a few miles south of the city of Barnstaple. Life there was quiet and peaceful and while she was not as happy as she had been at home, Elswyth was comfortable for the most part. She seldomly went into town or had contact with the townspeople so she was surprised when a traveler came to her home one morning. As she went to the door to greet the person Elswyth was overwhelmed by a sudden headache and wave of nausea. It passed somewhat, after a moment, but a buzzing remained at the back of her head as she opened the door. The traveler was a raven haired woman by the name of Morgaine, and as it turned out she was the reason for the sudden sick spell Elswyth had suffered - she too was an immortal.

The two women spent several decades together moving from Devon to Cornwall and then going north to the city of Gloucester before finally heading into the Welsh countryside. Morgaine was a fair swordswoman and Elswyth a quick study. Soon the student surpassed the teacher in skill, but the two remained together for companionship sake.

After parting ways with her teacher Elswyth, now going by the name Gaerwen, remained in the Welsh countryside for another two decades before curiosity got the better of her and she ventured back east to see her home again. Over a century had passed and though Canterbury had changed a great deal there still was something about it that was familiar. She asked around a bit and found out that there were decedents of her family living still living in the city. Galan and Aedre both had started families and their children had children and so on - the current families were five generations removed from her and though she dearly wanted to get to know them she hung back. It was easier to not get involved if you could help it Morgaine had said.

Another decade passed and she changed names again as she drifted south and took up residence in Dover. While in the city Brett (now going by the name of Rowena) met and fell in love with a mortal man named Denis - a highly skilled blacksmith. Though not her first lover, she did consider Denis her first love and they married in 1144. When she told him of her immortality he set out to teach her everything he knew about making swords (as well as other smithy skills); saying that while he could not be by her side forever, he would at least be able to keep her somewhat safe by way of ensuring she would always have a ready blade at her side to defend herself with. She faithfully remained with him until the day he died 45 years later.

After Denis' death Brett traveled to Ireland where she resided for a time under the name Fiona Heald. She took her first two heads during that period and then met and befriended an immortal woman by the name of Ceirdwyn - who, she was surprised to discover, had been Morgaine's teacher. They traded stories and a few fighting moves and parted ways as good friends.

The years rolled on and Brett drifted from place to place on the British Isles and then mainland Europe as well by the 1300's. She had the misfortune of being in Venice when the Bubonic Plague hit, and though she had no medical training she tried to help people as best she could; especially when the healthy mortals of the city would refuse to go near the ill for fear of catching the plague themselves. As it turned out, medical skills would have been of little use anyway with the almost 100% mortality rate of the plague. So all she was truly able to do was make people more comfortable and to be there with them so they didn't die alone. It wasn't much, but it was better than doing nothing, and her mother had seen this in a dream so she knew she had to do something. It was among the worst experiences of her life and if she never saw the likes of it again it would have been too soon.

The years passed and she continued to drift, never settling down in once place for very long. She met a few immortals, some she killed, others became friends and a few became students.

One such immortal she met in rural France in the late 1500s. The town wasn't much to talk about, and she had initially intended on staying only a night or two then continue onward, but she overheard a story at the pub that first night that piqued her interest. It seemed as though the town's priest was keeping someone in prison and the rumor was that no matter what happened the man didn't seem to be any closer to dying now than he had been when he was first incarcerated.

Brett's suspicions that the man was an immortal were confirmed when she passed by the jail later that night and felt the buzz of his quickening. She confronted the priest the next day and was appalled to hear what he had done. She believed in God, or at least a higher power of some sort, but not organized religion and she told him so; highlighting in rather graphic detail all the things the Church had done, all the atrocities it had committed “in the name of God." No God would sanction such things, in her opinion, and in fact would probably be upset to learn what this man had done while supposedly in His service, and she made sure that the priest understood that before she left.

She went to the prison that night and freed the young immortal, taking him to the Brittany region along the coast of France. There she nursed him back to health and set about teaching him. He already had good form with a blade and she helped him smooth out some of the rougher spots and taught him new techniques. He was a good student, one of her best by that point, but there was always something disappointing about their sessions. He never seemed to focus all that well while sparring and she wasn't entirely certain why.

Then again, perhaps somewhere deep down inside her she did know the reason. Recognized that on occasion he seemed to look at her the same way Denis had, but for a long time she refused to acknowledge it. She had, after all, rescued him from a miserable and painful situation in the prison and nursed him back to health. In situations like that it was not uncommon for the person rescued to form feelings for the rescuer that began as gratitude and then were confused for something else, something more.

She had never taken another immortal as a lover and although Morgaine and Ceirdwyn both had not said it was forbidden she wasn't certain how good of an idea it was. It was hard enough keeping one's own head without having to worry about your lover as well.

Word began to spread of unrest in England; the Scots and the English had just finished fighting what would become known later as The Bishops Wars, and there were rumors now that tensions were building between King Charles I and Parliament for various reasons (one of which being the fact that Charles had marched off to fight the Scots without permission from Parliament). It was probably only a matter of time before Britain would erupt into a civil war and Brett knew she needed to return to her homeland once again to fight.

Having seen his fill of fighting and war Noah did not wish to run off and fight again, and so Brett began to prepare to leave her student after a half century together. She had long since taught him everything she could about surviving as an immortal and he was more than ready to go off on his own. Still, there was a part of her that was reluctant to leave him. It had taken decades, but she finally was able to admit to herself that she cared deeply for him.

Before she left for Britain she presented Noah with a new sword, one she had made special for him. It had become something of a tradition for her, giving swords or gifts to her students and friends; tokens to remember her by. Then, the night before she was to leave she went to him and spent the night with him. Knowing that she would possibly be unable to leave now if he asked her to stay, she arose early the following morning and was gone before Noah woke up. It was the last time she ever saw him.

Through the 1700s she traveled extensively, living in the newly founded city of Saint Petersburg Russia for a brief time before returning to London again in the mid 1700s. After a few decades there she found herself rounding out the remaining years of the century in Berlin.

Early on in the 1800's Brett (using the name Varina Naidenova) found herself in Russia once more, but this time in the southern reaches of the great country. She joined with a group of Cossacks who became one of the closest knit family groups she had enjoyed in her immortal life. She became particularly close to a man named Evgeni Novikov, and his two sons, Pavel and Gavrel. They fought in the Napoleonic wars of 1812 but did not take part in Tsar Alexander's pursuit of Napoleon back to Paris at the end of it, preferring rather to return to their semi-nomadic lifestyle. By the 1830's Brett knew she had to leave and did so late one night in the summer, leaving behind her customary gifts - one for Pavel, one for Gavrel and one for Gavrel's young son Ilya. She moved north and lived in what is present day Latvia for a while before drifting over to see what had become of Saint Petersburg since she had last been there. She eventually went west and lived in Krakow, Poland for most of the remainder of the 1800's.

In 1891 Brett was again in the Don River region, and she met up with Ilya who was now a man of nearly 60 with children and grandchildren. He vaguely recognized her, and Brett identified herself as Jelena Chichkova, the granddaughter of her former alias. During introductions to Ilya's family Brett began to sense another immortal, though the quickening felt muffled. She soon discovered that the fiercely buzzing pre-immortal quickening belonged to a rather precocious child who was watching her with intense blue eyes from his mother's side. The child was Ilya's five year old grandson, Ivan. She visited with the family only briefly before moving on again, this time not stopping until she was in the United States.

The country was still young but full of enthusiasm and excitement in the future which the immortal woman found refreshing and she remained there for a few decades. Brett was never one to run from a fight, but she did not feel the need to get involved in the first world war. To her the cause and reason for it was not a just one and the deaths were all the more senseless because of it.

By the time World War II broke out, Brett was back on English soil. If ever in the course of human history there was a just war, this one was it in her opinion. Because she wished desperately to become involved in the war effort in a more active role than a nurse or the like, Brett cut her hair and posed as a man. Under the alias Dale Reese, she enlisted in the Royal Air Force where she took part in several skirmishes during the Battle of Britain. She was shot down over Germany during a battle in early 1941. Somehow the immortal woman managed to avoid capture and then made her way to occupied Denmark where she joined the resistance movement; helping to hide and ultimately smuggle the Danish Jews over to neutral Sweden where it was safe.

After the war she returned to the United States where she managed to bounce around from place to place and job to job; sometimes working as a farrier, or maybe assistant trainer at a farm, other times a seamstress/shop owner in a small town (to name just a few) for most of the remainder of the 20th century.

In the 1990's Brett met and married Thomas Avery. The two owned a large ranch in northern Montana, outside the city of Cut Bank, which they converted into a Dude Ranch and it became a semi-popular tourist destination for 'yuppies and city folk' (as Thomas was fond of calling them) who wanted a taste of the 'west' in a convenient and not too difficult package. Geardagas (Old English meaning 'days of old') was not just a tourist spot, but also a fully functioning ranch operation and this reflected on some of the activities available. There were cattle drives in the spring and fall, trips to area state and national parks, hiking and biking trails, fly-fishing, and of course various horse back activities to name just a few things. The ranch was especially renowned for the small group of Bashkir Curlies they had among their herd of horses. The friendly and gentle horses with their unique coats were a popular attraction to a lot of people. Guests could camp out at various sites on the grounds or rent a private cabin if they preferred, and the main house had additional rooms as well. They also could partake of the second big attraction at the ranch - its Mead Hall (which was fashioned after the ancient Anglo Saxon and Norse ones Brett had seen in her earlier years).

In addition to making various items for use on the ranch, Brett also made and sold swords and other weapons on the side, along with a period costume or two as well. She gained enough attention to attract the interest of some producers in Hollywood and put her blacksmith skills to work on a few movies and mini series at the tail end of the century and into the new one.

She and Thomas had just opened the ranch for the busy tourist season when the flu hit. What few guests that had made it to the ranch died there as well, with Brett, her husband, and the hands tending to them as best they could. When they fell ill it was up to Brett herself to take care of things. It reminded her too much of the dreadful months she had spent tending to people during the Bubonic Plague but she managed. There was nothing much left to do chore wise at the ranch; most of the animals were dead or dying. The few remaining healthy herd animals were turned out and the cattle were already on their summer lands so most of her duties consisted of caring for the people and then burying the dead.

Thomas died on the morning of July 5th. He had seemed to be recovering the day before, even going so far as to sit on the deck and ask Brett to light a few fireworks to celebrate his favorite holiday. She had done so, just to see him happy again, but the black spots on his neck had worried her. And those worries had, unfortunately, panned out the following day.

Not long after she had buried Thomas her beloved mare, Synnove, fell ill as well. To further complicate matters, she was also pregnant with a late season foal. Knowing that the mare would die anyway and figuring there was a remote possibility the foal might be immune to the flu she made the decision to perform a c-section. In the end it worked, the foal, a colt, was born perfectly healthy and Brett then put the mare to sleep rather than let her bleed out and die.

The colt, which she named Cyril, was far too young to travel and so Brett resisted the call of the dreams. Deciding instead that she would stay at her home until he was strong enough to move with her.



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