Of Storm's End
Ours is the Fury
The Baratheons are both the youngest and oldest of the great houses, their founder Orys Baratheon was rumored to be the bastard brother of Aegon the Conquerer, he killed the last of the Stormkings and married into the female line, taking up the lands and sigil of house Durrendon becoming lord of the Stormlands. His descendants are known for their large builds, black hair and fierce tempers.
In recent times the Baratheons sided with Aegon II during the dance with dragons, staying true to Andal tradition, their lord feeling a king was needed to rule the Seven Kingdoms. Though the war officially ended with a truce and a compromise between the two sides there is inevitable hard feelings between the Baratheons and the king. Manfryd Baratheon's appointment as the Kings-Justice served effectively as a ward on the families loyalty. The Stormlords have generally kept to themselves this past decade, unfortunately allowing their rule over the Dornish marches to slip back slightly, they have grown bolder more recently though and only time will tell what effects this will have.
Name: Lord Bryen Baratheon
Title: Lord of Storm's End
Bryen has little memory of his father, when he was only seven reports came back that Fergus had died of wounds inflicted during a tourney mishap and Bryen was appointed as lord of Storm's End while still a mere boy. Obviously he didn't truly rule until he was much older but the appointment and the supposed power it gave him instilled a great deal of confidence in the young lad that would carry through to when he became a man. Bryen acted as merely a figurehead for much of his life while advisers and bannermen took care of the day to day running of the realm, as a result he was brought up to be more charismatic than academic.
Like all figureheads though Bryen did serve a purpose, something of a cult of personality was built up around the boy to try and inspire the small-folk and make the kingdom look less weak to others, the downside being if you tell a twelve year old that he's the warrior incarnate then he's likely to believe it. Bryen spent a good deal of his childhood in the training yard or later out across the Stormlands leading some boyish adventure. He developed an interest in sailing which was quickly quashed by his carers, Ship-Breaker bay not being the best place for young sailors to learn the ropes, still Bryen always held a romanticized view of the sea and the east.
Responsibility was gradually weened to the young Baratheon as he grew up and he readily accepted it, believing himself an excellent ruler, even if he did leave the more administrative work to his Maester whom he regarded with some contempt. Despite being quite headstrong the balance of power actually worked quite well in the Stormlands, Bryen had enough charisma and good enough advisers to make things run. He married a woman from house Tarth, arranged by his mother it was a political marriage to ensure stability in the region and there was little love between them, her being quite plain in appearance. He sired two sons from her before she lost her life during a miscarriage of what would be a third. Manfryd the eldest son took after his father, relishing in adventure and combat, Bryen found himself quite close to, while the younger Errik was much more studious and academic theirs was something of a more distant relationship.
When civil war brewed Bryen did what he deemed the honorable thing and sided with Aegon II. Jarred was a good friend of Aegon, the close proximity of their homes meant they had much contact over the years and he also had a good relationship with the lord commander of king's guard, Criston Cole; when Rhaenyra called for war Jarred was more than happy to accommodate. One of the earliest supporters of the king, Bryen wanted to take action before any of his bannermen had time to consider their loyalty and other than a peasant militia in the Rainwood the majority of Stormlords stayed true on their oaths to the Baratheons. Despite his age Bryen was determined to try and serve in the front-lines of conflict and took quite an aggressive strategy to war which while costing many troops did help significantly in the capture of Kings-Landing and the subsequent death of the pretender.
The war did come to an end though, seeing as the young Aegon III was now lawful king by any definition peace was sued for between the two sides, Bryen was more reluctant than most of his allies but grudgingly he had to come to the realization that their cause was indeed lost. Though no side could truly be counted the winner, the lack of victory in the costly war seemed to drain a lot of spirit out of Bryen, what he had once viewed as a very black and white situation had gradually become much more grey. The lord of Storm's End was uncharacteristically meek during the negotiations and agreed to unfavorable terms in order to ensure his families loyalty, seemingly uncaring of what happened.
In the years that followed Bryen struggled in his Lordship over the Stormlands, where as he had once seemed to effortlessly command respect from his subjects the war had taken the flare out of him and he couldn't come to terms with what he considered his failure. In the aftermath Bryen grew distant from his two sons, Manfryd whom he had encouraged to fight and had arranged an early knighthood to allow him to do so was severely affected by the battle, post-traumatic stress and a blood-lust made the boy eventually request appointment as the King's Justice, though it pained Bryen he had admittedly lost touch with his once beloved son and knew the position would stabilize his families relationship with the Targaryens so reluctantly agreed. His other son Errik had never truly seen eye-to-eye with his father in the first place being much more of an intellectual, it wasn't long before he too left to study at the Citadel with dreams of becoming a Maester. Both sons gone and his wife long since dead Bryen was left to wallow in his fall from grace.
More recently there was a pirate raid on the isle of Estermont, in the grand scheme of things quite a thing but it represented something bigger, it showed how weak the lord must seem that his lands could be plundered with impunity, it crossed a line. Rumor is the attack rekindled something in the man, woke him up, still a shadow of his former self he has stopped slumping in the past though and begun to look to the future, to redemption.
Lord Bryen Baratheon is a beaten man, but one trying to rise up. He considers himself to be a shadow of his former glory, the loss during the civil war broke his pride shattering the glorious heroic life he seemed to be living, showing him he was not in fact invincible. But while he lacks much of the bravado of his former self he is also wiser and more cautious than he once was, Bryen has never been considered an intelligent man, even by himself, but he's now gained a certain wariness about him.
Outwardly Braden tries to appear as boisterous and strong as he ever was and at times it isn't even an act, but generally he wears this element of his old self like a cracked mask, who exactly he's trying to fool isn't clear but unfortunately it only serves to drive home the contrast between him and who he once was. Despite his rumbling voice and powerful build the man is quite quiet now and sometimes goes into self-pitying moods that can last days at a time. He drinks, he laughs, he fights, but there's a hollowness to it all, he's lost his pride, his honor.
For the most part he is a kind, simple man with an odd sort of honor to him, willing to put the realm before himself in most things and very respectful of Andal tradition, but on the whole quite meek. Of recent though there is a marked change in the man, a certain grit, a base determination has entered in him that drives him to try and pull the Baratheon name out of the dirt and reclaim his glory. You can see it in the man's eyes, beneath the half-hearted brazenness and under the self-pitying depths he's fallen into there's something that fights back. Some boy king would not be enough to keep a true stormlord down and Braden will push and make enough noise to put himself back onto the center stage.
Name: Ser Manfryd Baratheon
Title: The King's Justice (royal executioner)
Manfryd was only 17 at the onset of the dance of the dragons, a newly appointed knight lacking in experience but compensating with eagerness; bolstered by his father's encouragement he set out with dreams of honor and glory, only to come back with fire and blood. The front-lines at the storming of the Red-Keep and witnessing two dragons tear each other apart are not things a boy should know. Still, traumatized and scared he was driven on until the end of the war, trying fruitlessly not to feel every blow as he carved through the hordes of peasants. Fortunately for Manfryd he didn't cross blades with any other nobles and was lucky enough not to be on the losing side of any of the conflicts he was involved in, even if his side didn't end up victorious overall.
When peace did at last return to Westeros Manfryd was not the same man who'd had left Storm's End. Though considered to be on the unofficial losing side of the war house Baratheon was pardoned and allowed to keep its lands and holdings, Manfryd was allowed to return to a normal life. Sadly though, while the young Baratheon may been done with the war it was not done with him. His initial joy and relief at returning home was soon soured by recurring nightmares and post-traumatic stress, whenever a great storm beat against the walls of Storm's End he was transported back to the hell and clamor of battle. His family tried as best they could to console him but part of Manfryd never really left the battlefield, he could never forget the horrors he'd experienced. But what was strangest he found, was he missed it.
At first it was difficult to understand, he had hated the war, or at least he thought he did. But at least then he'd felt alive, sending men into the arms of the stranger made him cling to his own life ever tighter, like a drowning man clutching at driftwood. That was being on the edge and living every second as though it could be his last, this? Life in Storm's End was slow and drab by comparison, he had no interest in politics, there was an itch in him somewhere that he was almost unaware of and had no idea how to scratch, until he killed another man.
It was a bandit, he and a few of the sworn swords were sent to take care of a local group in the Rainwood, he entered combat and suddenly he was back. His pulse raced and breath quickened something in him had re-awoken. It took three men to drag him off the corpse and another ten minutes for Manfryd to come back to his senses, but when he did he felt alive. It was something he struggled with for a long time afterwards, he made the other men swear not to tell his father feeling disgusted with himself and a monster, but it was something he couldn't deny. Manfryd withdrew from the rest of the family, he sought religion as his solace, one night he lit a candle to the stranger and then he knew what he had to do.
Manfryd still was uncomfortable with the bloodlusting side to himself but had to admit that becoming the king's executioner would be the perfect outlet. His father didn't take as much convincing as he'd expected, becoming King's Justice meant he could act as an effective ward to ensure Baratheon loyalty while the family could still retain its pride, though he was admittedly quite highborn for the position.
Manfryd is good at his job. He's not a cold blooded executioner, far from it, he feels every kill and that's what drives him to do them, awakening something deep inside of him. Though like many soldiers who go AWOL or breakdown post-battle Manfryd is heavily at odds with himself over the morality of his actions, fully seeing himself as something of a monster. At the beginning of his term as executioner he tried to rationalize the killings as justice and a necessity, however that viewpoint soon broke down for him, killing a murderer doesn't bring the victim back to life, rather ironically the Kings-Justice lost all belief in justice.
Manfryd found his solace in religion and is a deep adherent to the seven, spending much of his off-time in prayer and regularly lighting candles to the stranger before and after beheadings. He is a quiet, solemn man and very introverted, except on the rare occasions where he is brought to anger where he has the appearance of going straight from calm to almost blind rage, fortunately he is quite slow to anger. Despite his families allegiance during the war Manfryd is very dutiful to the crown and has little to no pride when being asked to do what would normally be menial tasks for someone of his birth. Possibly because of his religiousness, experiences in the war or the way he views himself the Kings-Justice cares very little for materialistic things or honors and has little regard even for his own well being, at times even praying for his own demise. He's been nicknamed 'Bloodaxe' or 'The Black Stag' but rejected them almost immediately as he has no wish to dress up what he is.
Despite his job and relatively humble outlook in life it's very clear that Manfryd is of noble stock. Subconsciously or not, the executioner's well groomed appearance and his fashionable, if grim, attire make him stand out among the gaolers and turnkeys he works with, he has a well spoken accent and his mannerisms have all the customs one would expect to find in the heir to Storm's End. Manfryd is generally quite courteous and pleasant enough when speaking to others, but he can often seem bored and detached when doing so.
Name: Errik Baratheon
Title: (Ex)Acolyte of the Citadel
Errick had a difficult time growing up, his father was a proud man who only really valued strength in people, but from an early age Errick was heavily academic. Most of his time was spent reading and learning off the maester, the times his father did drag him to the training yard often turned into the more unpleasant of Errick's childhood memories. His relationship with his father was distant at best, the pair generally tried to act as though they were close, but they were living worlds apart. Fortunately for Errick his father didn't press him too hard to become a warrior, Lord Baratheon had Errick's older brother Manfryd to focus on, who was every bit the fighter his father had wanted.
As he got older Errik grew to look down on his father and brother to an extent, seeing them as simple minded brutes viewing himself to be far more intellectually superior to them. He had a better relationship with his mother who, while no more academic, was more emotionally open than the other members of the Baratheon household. Unfortunately she died after having a miscarriage while Errick was fairly young so while he has pleasant memories of her he does not have many.
When war came Errick was thankfully too young to take part in any of the fighting so instead aided with administrative duties aiding the fighting, a task he found thanklessly dull. Warfare didn't reach Storm's End but during the duration Errick was rarely let out of the castle for fear of him being kidnapped as a way to get to his father as there was a peasant uprising for Rhaenyra in the stormlands. The young Baratheon grew to loath the keep and dreamed of leaving to travel to exotic more enlightened places.
When the war ceased and his family returned Errick began thinking more seriously about leaving Storm's End, seeing how easily his older brother convinced their father to let him join the court in King's Landing Errick too requested to go and study at the Citadel to become a Maester, his father being in quite a lessened state since the war obliged him and Errick left within the fortnight.
Errick initially excelled during his years at the citadel quickly earning links in economics and warcraft however the more time he was there the more he let his arrogance and contempt get the better of him and he grew impatient with the tests eventually overestimating himself and giving little to no study, a life around relatively light-weight intellectuals had made the lad grow lax. The final straw came when he was caught at one of the Oldtown brothels with a whore and was expelled from the Citadel and has been sent back to live at Storm's End.
Errick considers himself quite cultured and intellectual and growing up with a battle loving father and brother has made him generally look down on others to a degree. He is intelligent though perhaps not as much as he thinks, his failure at the Citadel has certainly left him quite bitter but he doesn't blame the incident on himself, preferring to pass the buck to whomever he can. In his current position he has traits of the prodigal son, though less remorseful, Errick still hasn't given up the dream of making something of his life.
Master At Arms - Ser Ossifer Plumm
A household knight from the Westerlands, hedonistic and known womanizer, Ser Ossifer has become infamous for his absurd claims of "well endowment". Despite this though he is a competent fighter and from a fairly wealthy house so maintains good standing in the Baratheon household.
Fool - Bottler
A simpleton from Oldtown, though some have questioned his, simpleness. He was initially brought in to Raise Lord Bryen's spirits after losing the war and provides the man brief respite between his moods. Oddly the Baratheon Lord has come to trust the fool explicitly and Bottler has become something of an odd confident of his, causing some disturbance in his followers. Its said that behind the veneer of merryness and stupidity that the fool may actually be quite a depressed man.