Kae MacBrogan

Kae
User: Steve
Campaign: Iron Kingdoms
Race: Human
Gender: Female
Class: Duelist / Soldier / Spy
Description:
Age: 29
Height: 5' 1"
Weight: Never ask a woman her weight! But that tiny frame can’t weigh much over 100 lbs...
Hair: Red
Eyes: Green

Aliases: Selanda Rubeu
Background:
Early Childhood

Kae's parents, Colm and Dana MacBrogan, trace their ancestry through many generations of Thurian farmers and herders in the Ordic countryside. In 576 AR, following local crop failures and mounting family debt, Colm moved his wife and newborn son from their country farm to Berck in search of steady employment and a better quality of life. Colm has worked since in various stints as a dock laborer; Dana, being literate, found a steady job part time as a dock clerk. Though poor, the family kept enough income to stay housed and fed.

Kae, born in 579 AR, is the third of four children. From her three brothers—Hogan, Brogan, and Morgan—she learned the art of fighting opponents larger than herself. Though Kae never went to school, her mother taught her the basics of literacy and arithmetic. Despite Kae's obvious aptitude for scholarly pursuits, her family circumstances prevented her from reading much more than shipping advertising pamphlets and the occasional Morrowan religious tract.

When she was 11, Kae's older brother Hogan pulled her into his local gang. For the next five years, Kae dabbled in Berck's organized crime scene as a messenger and a scout, usually for Hogan's gang but occasionally as a freelancer. She never told her parents where the extra cash came from, and they didn't ask (though her mother did shoot her worried looks). However, after the arrest of her brother amid a crackdown in 595 AR, Kae fled her home to avoid the long arm of the law.

The Mercarian League

In over her head, Kae turned to Kermit Roane, an older boy she had been seeing who served as the squire for Yurik Istori, an influential merchant within the Berck Imports House. The Mercarian League had just completed its hostile takeover of the house from the Mateu Merchant House, aided in no small part by Istori's internal espionage and other less than savory activities. Kae herself had been involved, serving as the lookout during several episodes when homes and offices of merchants opposed to the Mercarian League mysteriously caught fire or suffered alchemical explosions—all with reasonable explanations after the fact, of course.

Roane approached Istori for help, tacitly reminding him that Kae possessed potentially incriminating information should she be caught and interrogated. Istori grudgingly agreed to assist, and found Kae a position aboard the Mercarian League vessel Tomorrow's Bounty as the lady-in-waiting for the Emma Falk, wife of the merchant lord Garrett Falk, a domineering middle man trying to rebrand himself as nobility through conspicuous consumption.

Kae served on the Tomorrow's Bounty for three years, learning manners, culture, and diplomacy from her mistress Emma. Although Emma was polite and professional, the position itself turned out to be thinly veiled forced servitude under "Lord" Falk's watchful eye. Kae found some solace in horseplay with the ship's crew and mercenary escorts, learning the arts of fencing and firearms. She forged a strong friendship with Emma's younger brother Sebastian, who was assigned to the ships mercenary detachment for a time.

However, as Kae she matured, she noticed the keen interest "Lord" Falk was displaying in her and overheard more than one unhappy discussion between Falk and his wife about his increasingly inappropriate advances. Sebastian and most of her other mercenary friends had been rotated to other assignments, and Kae feared for her wellbeing. Emma, no dummy herself, came to the same conclusion as Kae: if Kae were not removed, things would eventually get ugly.

On shore leave in Five Fingers in 598 AR, Emma broached the subject with Kae and offered her a substantial sum to just walk away. Kae, afraid of pursuit by bounty hunters and possible reprisal against Emma, concocted a slightly different plan. With the help of a remaining friend in the ship's crew, Kae "borrowed" the body of a dead child from a local morgue and planted it in the inn where the Falk entourage had encamped. Subsequently, she burned the inn down in broad daylight (conveniently timed in mid-afternoon for the inn to be nearly empty of victims—and witnesses). A bag of cash stolen from Emma kept the innkeeper from asking too many questions, and the charred, unidentifiable body gave Kae cover to disappear quietly into the streets. Falk, though furious at the loss of many important papers and his favorite maidservant, had no reason to believe anything other than a horrible accident. Not even Emma knew of her survival.

Officially, Kaelin MacBrogan is dead and buried in Five Fingers, Ord, another victim of the city's vice and industrialization.

Finding Thamar

Through contacts within the Mercarian League's "industrial intelligence" arm, Kae found work within the ever expanding Ordic spy network under King Baird II. It turned out the network could use people who were officially dead. Her first assignments revolved around infiltrating and rooting out Thamarite cults. Kae quickly built a reputation within the agency for clean and efficient operations. Early on, she uncovered a practicing necromancer. Her superiors turned the case over to the Morrowan church, who spared no time dealing with the man. Impressed at their efficiency, Kae was nevertheless disillusioned at the church's bloody purge of several innocent individuals tangentially connected to the convicted necromancer.

Kae later infiltrated an academic Thamarite cabal while posing as a student. Intrigued at the thirst for knowledge and embracing spirit of the professors, Kae deferred a report to the authorities in order to learn more. One particular gentleman, Grigori Brancacci, privately extolled what he called the "true message of Thamar": freeing the mind and body via the pursuit of knowledge and the exercise of the free will. Brancacci gave Kae access to a rare unabridged translation of the Enkheiridion, within which she read both Morrow's and Thamar's writings (the latter usually proscribed for the general populace).

Convinced that the Morrowan church has sorely misrepresented Thamar and that the cabal posed no true threat, Kae elected to keep its existence a secret. Nevertheless, needing something to show for her time, she worked with Brancacci to bring down a rival professor, Pascal Mazini, who the two of them had discovered dabbling in infernalism. Unfortunately, the resulting raid did not go smoothly, with Mazini escaping alive despite a dozen gunshot wounds. (Brancacci later theorized this was due to some unknown infernal pact.) Mazini's thrall, a pretty girl named Anastasia, was subsequently arrested and turned over to the Morrowan church for questioning and "rehabilitation." Mazini himself remains at large; as a result the Ordic spy network transferred Kae to Llael to lie low. Kae still wonders what became of Anastasia but has never had time to find out.

Kae's six years interacting with Thamarites has given her a fresh perspective on religion. Though nominally a Morrowan to the outward observer, she privately believes that the true messages of both Morrow and Thamar have been corrupted over the centuries. She resents the Church of Morrow for its tight control of Thamar's writings and the way it too often uses its massive wealth and private army to defend its own interests in the face of widespread inequity and suffering. Though drawn to Thamar's promises of freedom and self-actualization, Kae also recognizes the dangers of dabbling in the black arts—danger both to others and to one's own free will. She remains conflicted about her beliefs, but is certain of one thing: Immoren would be a better place if the Enkheiridion were open for all to read freely.

From Khador, With Love

Kae's arrival in Llael in 603 AR predated the Khadoran invasion by one year, but already a shadow war had begun. Tasked by the Ordic crown to aid Llael's military intelligence network, Kae found herself in a web of intrigue between Khadoran agents, Umbrean nobility, the ruling Llaelese lords, and many influential merchant organizations. During this time, Kae forged a friendship with Tatyana Makarov of Umbrey through which she learned much of the divided loyalty of the Umbreans.

Kae predicted the betrayal and Khadoran collaboration of Deyar Glabryn well before the invasion, but from her position in the shadows was unable to influence the Llaelese governement to respond. Nevertheless, her forewarning enabled King Baird II of Ord to begin covert preparations for a military buildup in advance of Khador's move.

The speed of the Khadoran invasion and swift downfall of Llael surprised many. Kae lost most of her contacts, her possessions, and almost her life during the chaos of the invasion. For a short time, she served alongside a Llaelese resistance company in order to survive. Subsequently, she indirectly assisted the Order of the Golden Crucible with its move to Midfast in Ord and also facilitated escape to Cygnar for the tattered remains of the Order of the Amethyst Rose. Dispirited and exhausted from several years of hard fieldwork, she eventually made her way back to Merin for a new post.

The Ferris Legion

In the aftermath of the fall of Llael, the Ordic spy network maintained a strong interest in monitoring and assisting the Llaelese resistance. Nevertheless, with most supplies diverted to Ord's rapid military buildup, the network's resources are stretched to the limit. Unable to spare cash for a new post for Kae, her superior officer Jack Donovan hit upon a better idea: find Kae temporary employment in a mercenary company. A self-funded spy!

Of the many companies hiring, one in particular fit the bill: the Ferris Legion. First, the Legion had covert ties to the Llaelese resistance, which might enable Kae to monitor the state of the rebellion from afar. Second, the Legion had recently hired one Sebastian Mirassi, infamous for his former sexual exploits in Llael. In light of his past and some recent complaints by influential lords within House Mateu, the Crown seeks to keep a close eye on Mirassi.

With some well written letters of recommendation from imaginary patrons, Kae was able to secure a position with the Ferris Legion under the name Selanda Rubeu as a private investigator and bodyguard for the company's arcanists and gun mages. Her standing instructions are to channel Mirassi's ambitions towards foreign women, and, if necessary, "distract" him herself. Kae was surprised to discover that Mirassi was the same Sebastian she knew in her youth, but it was clear that with the passing of years he no longer recognized her. For now, Kae has played her part, suggesting several potential love interests for Mirassi, including the famous Liliana Vanar of Khador. He has responded with what seems an unhealthy interest to her suggestions, making distraction unnecessary—for now.

Recently, Kae worked (partly with the Ferris Legion leadership and partly behind the scenes) to bring several disaffected Khadoran military officers into the company. One of these was the arcanist Alexei Makarov, accompanied by one Zeriphar Vanar, a convicted murderer who nevertheless had resources to pay for a new identity. To Kae, Zeriphar does not seem a likely criminal and she was quite willing to help, even keeping the company leadership in the dark about his true history. (It also helped that her cut of the deal was enough had Khadoran cash to buy a shiny new hand cannon.) It took little time for Kae to connect Zeriphar to Liliana, but she has said nothing of Mirassi's ambitions as it would blow her own cover.

Life with the Ferris Legion had settled into a comfortable routine, despite a series of badly executed operations that left tempers high and pockets empty. That is, until the recent disaster struck...
Details:
Part street urchin, part diplomat, part temptress, and all ego, Kaelin "Kae" MacBrogan has seen more of Western Immoren in her short lifetime than many extended families seen in a generation. When not assuming one of her various disguises, Kae sports tightly curled natural red hair and piercing green eyes. Though not beautiful per se, she certainly qualifies as "cute" and can actually be quite alluring if the need arises. At only slightly over five feet, her diminutive frame conveys neither physical strength nor natural authority. Nevertheless, those familiar with her well sharpened rapier and even sharper wit do not cross her without good reason. After all, redheads have an image to maintain regarding their tempers...