Mearn s'Brydion

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Mearn s'Brydion is the youngest brother of Duke Bransian of Alestron -- Keldmar and Parrien are both older than he is.

Mearn wears his brown hair short unlike his brothers, but has a lovelock. He is described as being less physically intimidating than his older brothers, but with volatile, jumpy reflexes and a narrow face. Mearn is known as a ladies' man, and regularly gambles with friends, and prefers quiet indoor pursuits to coursing stag. He has grey eyes.

Role in the Story

Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from multiple books in the series.

Ships of Merior

Third Age 5645: Mearn is first introduced when Dakar and Arithon arrive at Alestron to perform a Fellowship inventory of the armory. He and his brothers admit Dakar, disguised as a gem seller. When Dakar reveals Arithon's intentions, the four brothers head to their armory to catch a spy. The brothers attempt to trap Arithon in the armory, but he is able to locate their forbidden culverin first. When Arithon starts a fire as a diversionary tactic, they race to keep it from spreading but the armory explodes. All four brothers survive and they recapture Dakar in the aftermath. In the interrogation of Dakar and Tharrick that follows, all four brothers are present. Although Dakar weaves a geas of thirst and sleep, Mearn remains unaffected.

Following Asandir's arrival, the four brothers are told of the Compact and the reasons behind the culverin's proscribement. They are given a choice -- have the memory of the culverin erased, or spend the rest of their days trapped in their tower. All four choose to forget the culverin, and are left only with the memory that Arithon has destroyed their armory. In the aftermath, Mearn is sent to caithdein of Melhalla with a formal protest in appeal for kingdom justice for Arithon's actions.

Third Age 5646: On the Autumn Equinox, Mearn is shown plotting with his brothers in a scried image from the lane watch.

Warhost of Vastmark

Third Age 5646: When Lysaer arrives from Werpoint, Mearn is summoned to join a hunt with his brothers to discuss business. By owning up to his defeat in Werpoint, Lysaer is able to convince the s'Brydion brothers to stage a winter attack on Merior.

Third Age 5647: Once Scimlade Tip is cordoned off, Mearn's men cannot locate anyone loyal to Arithon but discover that he had dealings with Captain Dhirken. He presses Lysaer to sweep the coast, but Lysaer chooses to question Ath's Adepts instead. After the failure of questioning the adepts, Mearn is given permission to sweep the coast after all. His galleymen dig up leads pointing towards the Cascain Islands. Mearn's galleys are responsible for the capture of Captain Dhirken in advance of the ransom exchange. Mearn believes Dhirken's protests that she is just a hired charter to Arithon, until he discovers the priceless cross-staff in her possession.

The brothers s'Brydion are protecting the supply lines at the time of the strike on the Havens. During the strike at Dier Kenton Vale, Mearn commands Alestron's fleet of galleys. The fleet is hazed into deep waters by an attack from the Khetienn and Mearn's flagship is missing in the aftermath. Mearn, Parrien, and Keldmar are kept under guard in a shepherd's stone hut for three weeks until they're joined by Bransian, who has changed his stance on the war between Arithon and Lysaer based upon new information gleaned from Erlien's clansmen.Arithon convinces the four brothers to remain allied with Lysaer in name, in exchange for the entire ransom and the authority to call off Bransian's lancers.

Fugitive Prince

Third Age 5647: Mearn is sent as Alestron's representative to the foundational meeting of the Alliance of Light. By this point, he has shaved off his lovelock and turned his interests away from gambling and women. Two months after the meeting, he visits clandestinely with Maenol under the guise of a hunting trip, smuggling Alliance documents for Arithon in his horsecloth. He asks for a courier to be sent to his brother, Bransian, as well.

Third Age 5652: After Arithon's return to the continent, Mearn is asked to inquire discreetly into the absence of Lady Talith.

Third Age 5653: Hearing nothing in the gossip mill, he deduces from Avenor's private ledgers that Talith is being closeted in one of the state keeps. While climbing the keep at night, he stumbles across a covert meeting of various high-ranking members of the Alliance of Light, who are accepting funds from Erdane to eradicate clan blood in hopes of overturning the Compact. Later, he discovers Talith, who has been secluded for 3 years and seeks to conceive a bastard to tarnish Lysaer's supposed godhood. Mearn agrees to deliver a note on her behalf and leaves behind his rope and grapple. He then pens warnings to his duke via Maenol's clansmen.

Mearn receives intelligence in the spring that Lysaer has covertly returned to Avenor with Koriani assistance. While pretending to be locked in his chambers with whores, he makes a risky trip overland to warn Maenol's clansmen south of Hanshire and then relies on Lysaer's note of safe conduct to interfere with the elite Etarran force closing in on Riverton. Mearn attaches himself to the Etarran company sealing the northern postern of Riverton. When Lirenda arrives and intentionally plants the knowledge that Lysaer is out at sea to capture Arithon in flight, he slips away to give further warning. Disguised as a Hanshire guardsman, he locates Dakar and Arithon on the road to Middlecross and warns them of the conspiracy. While returning to Avenor, he stumbles across a hidden Etarran camp, and opts to engage in subterfuge instead of fleeing. By posing as a courier from Hanshire, he is able to enter the camp, scout out its resources, and sabotage many of its supplies and weapons. He steals maps showing the Etarran company's movements and seeks out Maenol's men in Mogg's Fen. At the end of his strength, he is rescued by fenlanders.

Mearn is nursed back to health by Maenol in a fenlander's hut. When Maenol asks a favor, he agrees sight unseen, and later learns that he will be delivering a plea to King Eldir in Havish and taking responsibility for Maenol's heir, Ianfar s'Gannley. He eventually makes his way back to Avenor with Ianfar in tow, and learns of Talith's apparent suicide. In the aftermath, Mearn seeks out the person who betrayed Arithon's interests in the shipyards.

Grand Conspiracy

Third Age 5653: At some point, Mearn is sent to the Kingdom of Havish on an errand. On his return in Middlecross, he learns that Lysaer will be inspecting the Riverton shipyards, and interrupts a meeting between Lysaer and Cattrick. His original plan to kill Cattrick for an earlier defection is put on hold when he realizes that Cattrick may still be Arithon's ally. Once confirmed, the pair plot to sabotage the next fleet, which will set sail for Lysaer's wedding.

Third Age 5654: Parrien plans to relieve Mearn, whose stay as ambassador has lasted 8 years. This exchange of role coincides with the burning of the Riverton shipyard. Mearn helps the conspirators, including Cattrick and Ivel, escape to the s'Brydion state galley. Facsimiles of their dead bodies are fashioned from wax and bone to fool Lysaer's men, and the conspirators are secreted away to Alestron. Mearn is given a prominent position in Princess Ellaine's train at a state dinner, showing him to still be in Lysaer's good graces. After the wedding, he returns home to Alestron, leaving behind a distant blood relative as the court representative.

Third Age 5667: Mearn, Dawr, and the other brothers meet with a visiting Traithe in the inner citadel at Alestron. Traithe warns of Lysaer's long-term plans and passes on Sethvir's request to send three s'Brydion children to Havish for safety's sake.

Traitor's Knot

Third Age 5670: Mearn, his brothers, and Sevrand welcome Fionn Areth to Alestron. When Fionn Areth expresses his desire to join the Alliance (unaware of s'Brydion loyalty), the boy is tossed in the dungeon. In late autumn, Mearn and his brothers are in council when they are interrupted by Feylind. She enlists their help in rousting Dakar from a brothel and departs aboard the Evenstar.

Third Age 5671: Mearn, his wife, Fianzia, and the s'Brydion brothers attend a musical performance arranged by Dame Dawr. The musician turns out to be Arithon, who warns that he has forseen their deaths and urges them to dismantle Alestron. Mearn is the only brother to see sense in Arithon's plans. After their refusal, he formally severs the alliance originally started during the Vastmark campaign.

Stormed Fortress

Third Age 5671: Mearn is whetting the edge to his stilettos when Kharadmon tries to convince him to send Fianzia to safety in Atwood. Mearn says that Fianzia herself would decline. He recognizes the futility of defending Alestron but stands firm in support of his brothers.

Bransian is arguing with Mearn in a warded tower of Alestron when they are interrupted by Talvish, who has escorted Jeynsa s'Valerient to their presence. Jeynsa offers to draw Arithon back to Alestron through his blood oath. Mearn is leading the men on the outer walls when Lysaer destroys the lands surrounding Alestron with his gift of Light. He sends Jervald to locate Talvish to organize a retreat to the upper citadel. Bransian and Liesse argue over the suspicion that Elaira is of the Koriathain. The Duke is dissuaded from any rash moves by Talvish and Mearn, who gains permission to ask Dakar, Elaira, and Sidir for aid. Elaira agrees to lend her healing arts without Koriani debt.

When Lysaer's armies mass to attack the lower town of Alestron, Mearn's saboteurs remove the bridge between the Wyntok Gate and Mathiell Gate. Dakar is playing cards with Mearn and other soldiers when Talvish brings news of Arithon's arrival. Talvish agrees to waylay Fionn Areth while Dakar and Mearn visit Arithon in the drumkeep where Elaira is staying. Arithon reveals that he is free of the curse. Mearn escorts Arithon to a meeting with Bransian, where the Duke's guards prevent Dakar from joining them. After learning that Arithon is free of the [curse]], the Duke challenges him to a sword fight over his plan to pull Jeynsa out of the conflict. Alithiel's wards go active in Arithon's defense and he reaffirms that he has no intention to kill anyone in the war.

Mearn welcomes Jeynsa, Fionn Areth, Sidir, and Talvish to Dame Dawr's home, where Arithon is preparing to perform. Arithon's performances forces a reordering of Mearn's priorities in the protection of Fianzia and their unborn child. Later, Mearn learns from Kyrialt that Bransian has kidnapped Jeynsa in defiance of Charter Law. He arranges for Arithon, Elaira, Dakar, and Sidir to reach the relative safety of the guest tower in anonymity, and then leaves with Talvish to undo the damage done by Bransian's rash move. They recall Sevrand from the harbor mouth and confront Bransian and Liesse. Mearn forces Bransian to agree to Arithon's closed hearing instead of making the conspiracy public through an assize. At the hearing, Arithon reaffirms his aid to defang the siege to save lives, lays claim to Talvish's service, and demands service of the guard who murdered Sidir until Jeynsa is safe back in Halwythwood. After Mearn's actions, he is removed from his post on the outer walls.

When Arithon uses his Masterbard's arts to awaken Alithiel, Mearn, Fianzia, and a few trusted men from Alestron use the opening to leave. They are guided by Sidir, who suggests that they seek sanctuary at Methisle Fortress. Through s'Ahelas foresight, Arithon sees Mearn's first-born birthed safely at Methisle Fortress.

Trivia