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  • Andrew M. Trauger

Master (Leydon) Bray

The Nephreqin works through subterfuge, infiltrating nations with impersonators, spies, and undercover agents. Often working in shadows for years, these operatives exhibit extreme patience, cunning, and duplicity. Master Bray was one such agent, working over nine years as the genteel elderly alderman of Westmeade, Vincent Schumann. At the same time, he doubled as Leydon Bray, the ascetic mentor for the Lady Gretchen, daughter to the duke of Alikon.

Bray gained access to the inner workings of the duke's family, castle, and schedule, whereby he was able to plan and orchestrate a coup. Under the guidance of the Watcher, and with only two accomplices--Katrina Vatterly and Mattawonah--Bray brought the nation of Alikon to its knees in a single morning. And he would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn't been for those meddling kids...

His plans were first suspected by fellow alderman, August Blanchard, whom Bray dispatched with the help of an Ogrian hitman. But Blanchard suspected he might be targeted, and arranged for his knowledge to be preserved in the creation of a duple version of himself. When the Dragonslayers discovered the clone's diary and a crude but sentient sword fashioned to kill Schumann, all efforts focused on interposing an assassination.

Bray--his actual given name is unknown--operated as a "city" in the hierarchy of Nephreqin politics. He represented and ruled the town of Westmeade in Alikon, and through an ability to alter his fleshy features, he transformed into Vincent Schumann, gently guiding the town into a false sense of security.

In his eighth year of service to Westmeade, orders from the Watcher arrived, and he gathered to himself two Amurrak slaves and a shadow-walking arcanist--the Skaen Sister, Katrina Vatterly. In a seemingly random attack, he lost one of his slaves, and it became apparent that a newly formed freeblade group was growing suspicious of his activities. A second Skaen Sister was dispatched to kill the Dragonslayers as Bray left for Cer Cannaid, but the plan was foiled by the kindness of a timely plate of cookies.

In Cer Cannaid, Bray continued his ruse as mentor to the duke's daughter, finalizing her brainwashing with a massive canvas depicting the Nephreqin symbol and the attempted murder of her father. In the conflict that followed, Bray brought both the duke and his future son-in-law to death's door. But the persistent efforts of Elric and Selorian, driven by the Schumann Slayer, ended his murderous spree.

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