Bracken was a unicorn and one of the most well-known creatures in all of fairydom. He was the first and only son of the Fairy Queen and King, rulers of all creatures of light, and had four sisters. He was further recognized for possibly being the only unicorn to surrender his third horn, apart from Ronodin, the dark unicorn, and was also numbered among the Children of the Dawn. He gave his third horn to the wizards who founded Zzyzx, of which they crafted the Font of Immortality. Bracken also lost his first and second horn and was at a time in possession of none of the three.
When Bracken was exploring the secret preserve Living Mirage, the caretaker, the Sphinx, caught him and locked him in a cell in his dungeon. A few hundred years later, he was part of a successful escape and helped thwart the demons from taking over the world. A couple of months after, he was imprisoned by his cousin, Ronodin, during the dragon uprising, though was ultimately rescued, only to be recaptured by Ronodin as the fairy realm was being invaded.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Early life
- 1.2 Losing his horns
- 1.3 Imprisonment at Living Mirage
- 1.4 Resisting the Society of the Evening Star
- 1.5 Before the dragon uprising
- 1.6 Dragon uprising
- 2 Physical appearance
- 3 Personality and traits
- 4 Magical abilities and skills
- 5 Possessions
- 6 Relationships
- 7 Etymology
- 8 Behind the scenes
- 9 Appearances
- 10 Notes and references
Bracken was born as the only son of the Fairy Queen and the Fairy King previous to the 6th century, though likely long before that. He had four sisters, one of them being Mizelle, and two cousins, one being Ronodin, the dark unicorn.
Losing his horns
Bracken gave his first horn away to a man who saved his life. Since then, it passed through many hands, until finally ending up in the care of Patton Burgess, who in turn gave it to the centaurs of Fablehaven and was there known as the Soul of Grunhold.
The second horn he lost was his third. After the Knights of the Dawn failed in their duty to protect the Fairy King and Gorgrog, the Demon King at the time, captured him, Bracken, who believed, like most others, that his father had been killed, donated his third horn to Agad, who created the Font of Immortality of it. This was used as a key to Zzyzx, the great demon prison. As a consequence of surrendering his third horn, Bracken could no longer revert to his unicorn shape and was stuck in his human form.
Many centuries later, Bracken investigated, against his mother's wishes, why the fairy shrine at Living Mirage had been sealed off. However, he was captured by the Sphinx and imprisoned in the dungeon of Living Mirage. Being an advanced shadow charmer, the Sphinx was able to take Bracken's second horn without feeling the unbearable guilt that normally accompanies the stealing of a unicorn horn.
Imprisonment at Living Mirage
After being imprisoned in the Living Mirage dungeon, Bracken attempted many prison escapes over the centuries, two of which were large prison riots. One of them was thwarted using a magically reinforced iron door, and during the second the prisoners were subdued with noxious gas. He also helped dig and connect many of the secret passages of the dungeon, though most existed long before he came there. One of the tunnels led to a room full of pinball machines and the likes, on which Bracken held all the high scores on since he played them for almost forty years.
Resisting the Society of the Evening Star
During the 2010s, he met Seth Sorenson, who had just recently been imprisoned in a cell in the dungeon, by using one of the secrets tunnels that led to the cell that Seth was kept in. Bracken recognized Seth to be a shadow charmer and did at first believe that he was a spy sent by the Sphinx. After mentally searching Seth's mind, Bracken was convinced that he was an ally, although, Seth did not yet trust him. To prove his legitimacy, Bracken decided to take Seth to his friend and fellow prisoner Maddox, who could vouch for him. They walked through the secret tunnels and entered Maddox's cell. During a conversation between Seth and Maddox, Bracken learned that the dark dragon Navarog had been killed, which both shocked and delighted him.
Sometime later, Bracken found out that the Sphinx was descending into the dungeon, and alerted Seth about it using a magical coin which he had previously given him since he believed the Sphinx would most likely visit Seth. Seth sent his reply and Bracken extinguished the coin. When Seth later used the coin again, he informed Bracken that the Sphinx had brought him to meet the demon Nagi Luna. Bracken could at first almost not believe Seth's story. Afterward, he took Seth to the room full of games, on which they played on for a time.
A few days later, Seth informed Bracken that he had mysteriously received two of the five artifacts from an unknown person, who was later found out to be the wizard Mirav. Bracken told him to leave and Seth promised to return for him by midnight the next day. However, when Bracken did arrive at Seth's cell, a new prisoner had already been placed there, that being Kendra Sorenson. After some brief conversation, Bracken was alerted of an intruder in his cell. He hastened back to his cell accompanied by Kendra and found Warren Burgess waiting for them. Bracken was eventually convinced of his legitimacy and Warren also claimed to know an exit out of the dungeon, through which they exited and emerged outside of the dungeon. They also left a communication coin in the cell for the Sphinx, as he had lost control over the Society of the Evening Star and was now siding with them.
Escape from Living Mirage
As they walked up the hidden stairway from the Living Mirage dungeon, Seth contacted Bracken using the communication coin he had received earlier and informed him that he had lost the artifacts, that Graulas was healed, and that Coulter Dixon had died. Bracken relayed the information to Kendra and Warren, and they emerged into a cave where the lammasu Halad stood guard. They were allowed passage and exited the underground.
They continued through the Living Mirage desert relatively unnoticed, and eventually reached the Beckoning Grove. As going around the grove to any side would expose them to great threats, they chose to pass through the grove. The fruits on the trees inside the grove smelled incredibly tempting, though all of them have harmful effects. To resist the smell, they put small balls of dirt into their nostrils and linked arms. When they started jogging, one of Warren's nostrils came unplugged and Bracken had to forcefully drag him out of the Beckoning Grove.
After successfully passing through the grove, they progressed through the desert and eventually reached the sealed shrine, which was their destination. As the shrine was guarded by a sphinx, they had to answer three riddles for them all to pass, which they managed. They unlocked the door of the dome and entered into the sealed shrine. Bracken and Kendra continued without Warren to the shrine and conversed with the Fairy Queen. They asked for a method of transportation, to which the Fairy Queen answered by sending the dragon Raxtus to help.
After convincing Warren that he was able to carry them all, they set off. Sometime later, the roc inhabiting the preserve spotted them and began hunting them. After dodging the roc for a time, Raxtus made himself visible and allowed Bracken to talk to the large bird, convincing it to spare them. Though the roc left them, it drew the attention of their enemies, and three harpies started chasing them. One was cut from the sky by Warren, the second slain by Raxtus, and the last also dispatched by Warren, though he sustained severe injuries from being raked by the last harpy's venomous claw. Bracken and Raxtus partially healed him.
Protecting the Eternals
Warren was dropped off in Istanbul to be cured by a healer while Bracken, Kendra, and Raxtus continued toward Shipbreaker Fjord in Finland, where one of the Eternals, Roon Osricson, was located (the mortals who'd need to die in order for Zzyzx to open). When they arrived at the entrance to Roon's territory, they saw that the gate had been smashed. Raxtus went in invisible to investigate the situation and returned with the news of a recent battle. They all entered and went inside a keep, where a large part of the battle had been fought.
As they were looking around, a tiger, whom they had assumed to be dead, arose. He introduced himself as Niko and explained that Roon had fallen and that he was his shapeshifter-guardian. As Niko was the chief guardian of the Eternals, he could sense the locations of the other guardians, supplying the information that both were in the United States; one in Texas and another in California. Before they departed though, they were allowed by Niko to equip themselves with some of Roon's gear. In the armory, however, was a man hiding. The man, Jonas, had been avoiding the battle and was tasked by Niko to take care of the dead warriors. Bracken also gave Niko a communication coin.
During their journey over the Atlantic, Bracken received a message from the Sphinx, informing him that the Eternal in California, Mark, would be the Society of the Evening Star's next target. When Bracken, Kendra, and Raxtus arrived in Santa Monica, they eventually spotted the cat, whom Niko had said was the shapeshifting-guardian of Mark. Bracken chased the cat down and convinced him that he was an ally. The cat, Tux, was relatively quickly convinced of their claim of being allies and led them to Mark.
When they found Mark, they discovered that he did not actually want their help and that he was tired of living. He argued that after all the centuries he'd endured, he had the right to give up since the Society had located him. Bracken disagreed, and proposed the alternative to let Raxtus transport him to Wyrmroost. The argument continued until Mark started running, though he was promptly stopped by Raxtus. Right as the dragon prepared to head for Wyrmroost, a trio of wyverns arrived. One of the wyverns made Raxtus drop Mark into the ocean, and a fourth wyvern took him. Mark was soon after dumped in front of the Gray Assassin, who quickly killed him using an enchanted blade.
To reach the last Eternal before their adversaries and to avoid the police, Bracken, Kendra, and Raxtus quickly relocated to Texas. They met up with Warren outside of a supermarket, and he informed them that the last Eternal, Civia, was inside the building. Bracken waited by the car Warren had acquired, while he and Kendra went inside the store to confront Civia. The confrontation ended in Civia attempting an escape, which quickly got halted by Raxtus. They forced her into the car and she was eventually convinced of them being allies. She told them that she had a storage locker atLonestar Lockers, and they headed toward the destination.
Soon after they arrived, Raxtus warned them that the Society had caught up to them. As Raxtus took care of the aerial threats and Civia prepared to flee, Bracken confronted Mirav, who had, unknowingly, brought him his second horn. Bracken easily retrieved his horn by uttering the words "to me", and the horn also turned into a sword when in his hands. However, his fight with Mirav was interrupted by several minotaurs. Bracken dispatched his assailants with relative ease and returned to fighting Mirav. During his duel with the wizard, the lectoblix Torina Barker hit Civia in the back with a phoenix-feathered arrow, which rapidly turned her to ash.
Shortly after, Mirav called for help, and the Gray Assassin answered. As the assassin challenged Bracken, he was struggling to defend himself, though was ultimately victorious by producing a burst of light that blinded the Gray Assassin. He turned and finished the wizard off as well. Torina was also killed when trying to drain Bracken's life force.
Battle of Zzyzx
Bracken, Kendra, Warren, and Trask, who'd participated in the previous fight under the control of a narcoblix and gotten turned back to normal by Bracken, met up with Seth Sorenson and Vanessa Santoro in Hatteras. As Vanessa had previously betrayed them, Bracken proposed that he should search her mind to find out if she really was siding with them, though Vanessa was reluctant. She argued that she didn't want a unicorn to determine her credibility, as unicorns hunt her kind, blixes. However, she eventually agreed and Bracken found that she was, in fact, an ally to them.
With all of the Eternals now dead, they planned on going to Shoreless Isle, where Zzyzx was located, and confront the demons, though Seth had already prepared for that by gathering the items necessary for calling the Lady Luck, a ship capable of traveling to Shoreless Isle. At midnight, Seth rang a bell at the top of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, then dropped it down to Bracken and Warren, who'd ring it where the lighthouse had stood before being moved in 1999. A few minutes later, he used the bosun's whistle, and a large rowboat crewed by undead sailors approached the beach. Bracken and the others climbed aboard and they set off towards a large ship. As they were climbing up the ladder on the side of the boat, Newel, Doren, and Hugo arrived in a motorboat that they had used instead, in case the Lady Luck's rowboat was too small to accommodate all of them.
When they were all up on the deck, undead sailors awaited them. Bracken pointed Seth towards the captain's cabin since he was the one to confront the presence inhabiting the cabin. Seth successfully secured passage to Shoreless Isle, and after three days at sea, they reached their destination. Two rowboats were deployed and they were transported to Shoreless Isle. After being paddled into a hidden cove, they disembarked and Bracken created a floating ball of light to illuminate their way up through a small cave. They ate their final meal before the battle and set off toward the fairy shrine on the island.
Bracken and Kendra both approached the shrine, where the Fairy Queen released the astrids, who emerged from the water surrounding the shrine. After Kendra granted them their empowered states, human-sized fairies also came up from the pool. Soon after, the stone dome of Zzyzx split open and the prison opened. A large host of demons exited through the crack and a fight quickly ensued. During the early stages of the battle, the Sphinx showed up, in possession of the Translocator, the Chronometer, and the Font of Immortality. As all of the five artifacts were required to fulfill the plan developed by Bracken, the Fairy Queen, and the founders of Zzyzx, the Sphinx, accompanied by Peredor, Targoron, Silvestrus, and Seth, with Vasilis, were sent to retrieve to two remaining artifacts from Graulas and Nagi Luna.
Bracken relayed most of his strategies and commands telepathically, including orders on when to regroup and instructions on when to get to the fallback position. As a crucial part of the plan was to injure Gorgrog, the Demon King, Bracken took to battle himself. He challenged Gorgrog with a strike force consisting of astrids, phoenixes, lammasu, and dryads, though was on the defensive. When the Fairy Queen arrived to help him, Bracken was viciously kicked away by the Demon King. A few moments later, as Bracken sought to aid his mother, Gorgrog struck his sword from his hands. A follow-up swing, though partly deflected by the Fairy Queen, still struck him to the ground with a gaping wound across his chest. He was rescued and restored by the Sands of Sanctity right before Gorgrog was slain by Kendra, wielding Vasilis. He also learned that his father, the Fairy King, was not dead, as most believed, but just preserved in powerful demonic spells.
Soon afterward, Bracken ordered their forces to withdraw, and the demons began pouring into the fairy shrine and vanishing. Though the demons did not know, this was part of their plan. The Fairy Queen had destroyed all of her other shrines and evacuated her people. For over three hours the demons kept emerging from Zzyzx, entering the fairy realm through the shrine. After the dragons slew the few remaining demons, Agad sealed of the shrine, trapping the demons inside.
After the battle
As the original fairy realm became the new demon prison, Zzyzx was made into the new fairy realm. Bracken helped with a lot of the rebuilding during the weeks after the Battle of Zzyzx. He also helped reclaim the Fablehaven preserve from the centaurs, where he discovered that the unicorn horn the centaurs prized belonged to him, and he took it as punishment for their rebelliousness. Bracken participated in the meeting at Living Mirage where the punishment of the Sphinx was determined as well. The punishment agreed upon was to make the Sphinx an Eternal, and Bracken testified about his intentions, which he claimed were acceptable.
After the shrine at Fablehaven had been reconnected to the new fairy realm, Bracken traveled there as a surprise visit, where he met with Kendra. He expressed his love for her, but also concern about the vast age gap between them. Even though Bracken appeared as a young adult in his human form, chronologically, he was centuries old. They together decided to wait a couple of years and see where the future led.
Before the dragon uprising
Bracken took Kendra on a tour in the new fairy realm. He paddled her over to the Fablehaven shrine and they both entered together. The tour was, however, intercepted by the astrids Denwin and Peredor, who informed Bracken that the demon Jubaya had requested to speak to Kendra in exchange for surrendering herself. At first, Bracken refused, though he soon relented after Kendra showed willingness to have the conversation. They were both transported to Jubaya's sludge pit, where Bracken arranged the conversation with the demon. He gave Kendra his first horn for her and Jubaya to be able to interact properly. The interaction between Kendra and the demon went well, and they presumably continued their tour.
Later, Bracken visited Fablehaven again when Kendra and Seth were nominated as co-caretakers at the dragon sanctuary Wyrmroost. He also explained to them that he couldn't join them because he had to go after the dark unicorn Ronodin at Soaring Cliffs, but assured them that he'd return in no time. Before he departed though, he visited Wyrmroost briefly to inspect the staff. Even though the staff was reluctant, they eventually agreed to let Bracken search their minds to detect any traitors. After reading the minds of all seventeen staff members, he declared that there were two traitors. Firstly, he pointed out the minotaur Tonak, who was quickly subdued by the other two minotaurs. The second traitor was an older woman named Myrna, who also got captured. After giving Kendra his first horn, Bracken departed for Soaring Cliffs.
Imprisonment in the Under Realm
At Soaring Cliffs, he communicated with Kendra a few times using the horn, before being captured by Ronodin. He was at first kept in a cell at the sanctuary but was later moved into the Under Realm. In the Under Realm's prison, Bracken is visited by Seth, who had recently lost his identity and therefore didn't recognize Bracken. Bracken tried to convince Seth that he was an ally, though Seth was unsure of what to believe. Eventually, however, Ronodin arrived and manipulated Seth against Bracken. Ronodin then escorted him out of the prison.
Later, Bracken was rescued by Kendra, who had invaded the Under Realm using the Fairy Queen's crown. Kendra also brought him all of his horns, including his third, which had previously been part of the Font of Immortality. She had reached an agreement with the Underking, which let her free Bracken and receive the Sunset Pearl to restore the Crescent Lagoon dragon sanctuary. Before they managed to depart though, Ronodin entered the prison. He insisted on a fight between the two, and he, just as Bracken, had recently reclaimed his horns. Transforming into their natural shapes, Bracken and Ronodin charged one another. Their horns connected several times before they crossed horns to directly test their strength. The deadlock broke when Kendra snuck up behind Bracken and pushed magical energy into him by touch, which resulted in Ronodin's horn snapped off. Ronodin fled using a potion that transformed him into a raven, and Bracken purified his broken horn.
Bracken and Kendra exited the Under Realm and traveled to the island of Timbuli at Crescent Lagoon. Upon arrival, they returned the crown to the Fairy Queen and the Sunset Pearl to the Himalayan cyclopses Baroi, Hobar, and Tal. The cyclopses also confirmed Seth's departure from the sanctuary and relayed the message he had written out, which indicated that he'd left to Titan Valley.
As Kendra Sorenson, accompanied by Bracken, returned the crown to the Fairy Queen, they both intended to continue their search for Seth. However, the Fairy Queen insisted on Bracken staying in the fairy realm, helping her and her people eradicating the last remaining demons, to which Bracken reluctantly agreed to. Though she did not permit Bracken to join Kendra, the Fairy Queen allowed some of Kendra's friends to pass through the realm in order to get to the Titan Valley dragon sanctuary.
On the way of leading Kendra back to the shrine at Crescent Lagoon for her to meet up with her allies, they met the Fairy King, who requested of Bracken to try to convince his mother, the Fairy Queen, to allow him to depart from the fairy realm, as he felt impure due to his time spent inside Zzyzx. Even though Bracken was not fond of the idea, he agreed to help his father.
Later, Bracken was captured again by Ronodin, who invaded the fairy realm aided by dragons, demons, and wizards. This was all because of the fact that the Fairy King, presumably acting against his wishes, let the dark unicorn inside. Bracken's fate is unknown.
In his natural shape of a unicorn, Bracken was a strong, pure white stallion with a lustrous horn. When assuming his human avatar, he appeared as a tall and lean young man, approximately seventeen or eighteen years old. He had thick, tousled silver-white hair to his shoulders, a handsome, open face, expressive and penetrating silver-blue eyes, and extremely fair and flawless skin. Bracken also had a strong, athletic build with boyishly charming features. He was described by Kendra Sorenson as being "unapproachably attractive". Both as a unicorn and as a human, Bracken had silver-colored blood, and his transformation from human to unicorn produced a burst of light.
During his incarceration in the dungeon of the Living Mirage preserve, Bracken wore ragged, threadbare clothing and improvised moccasins. After his outbreak, however, a couple of fairies attempted to mend his attire. He had dirty feet and grime-streaked skin during his imprisonment as well, which could've been the result of frequently traveling through the secret passages in the dungeon.
Personality and traits
Bracken was a very brave and loyal person with strong willpower. His willpower was exemplified when he managed to stay sane inside the Living Mirage dungeon for hundreds of years. Even though he despised his prison, his mind remained clear and he did not seem to have fallen into a state of depression or insanity, though this could've been explained by Bracken being a unicorn, partly because unicorns experience extraordinary clarity. He was also capable of retaining his sanity during his imprisonment in the Under Realm prison, even under the constant, draining influence of the undead.
Kendra Sorenson regarded Bracken as a smart, sweet, caring, and selfless individual. His selflessness was displayed when he gave her his first horn as she was becoming the caretaker of Wyrmroost. The horn would allow them to communicate over long distances, which further reinforced how much Bracken cared about her well-being. She also saw him as a courageous and protective person, possibly because of the many times he risked his life and saved hers.
Bracken was very understanding as well. When Seth Sorenson reached out to him mentally and relayed that Fablehaven had fallen, Graulas had been healed, and Coulter Dixon had perished, all because of him, Bracken sent back saying that he was tricked, used and that nothing could be done about it.
- "Unicorns are generally solitary creatures. Spending all this time in a human form has helped me learn to socialize. At times I even enjoy it! I'm still trying to improve. Old habits die hard." /.../ "It is difficult living as an unchanging being in a temporal world."
- —Bracken, about his difficulties socializing[src]
As a unicorn, Bracken also had trouble socializing in the mortal world after losing his third horn and becoming trapped in his human avatar. For centuries, he lived alone. The solitude was a hard habit for him to break. In time, Bracken experienced with human society, dabbling with friendship and duty. His social awkwardness was shown when conversing with Kendra Sorenson in the dungeon of Living Mirage. He managed to improve upon this remarkably much after his imprisonment at Living Mirage, however.
Magical abilities and skills
As a unicorn, Bracken had great magical potential, and he proved himself to be extremely powerful. Though he for a long time was in possession of none of his horns, he still retained some significant abilities, such as reading minds, enchanting objects, and, to some level, eradicating poison. His powers and abilities increased if he was in possession of any of his horns, at their peak if he had all three.
- Aura: Bracken, presumably like most other unicorns, had a distinct aura to those who could perceive it. This was noticeable for some beings, such as the shapeshifter Janan.
- Connection to his horns: If Bracken wasn't in possession of his horns, he would still have retained a connection to them, as long as they were not destroyed. Even centuries after parting with his first horn, that connection remained, although severely weakened. When he finally reclaimed his first horn, he was able to re-establish the connection. When Bracken entrusted his horn to Kendra Sorenson, they were able to communicate mentally over great distances using the connection of the horn.
- Enchanting: Even without his horns, Bracken still possessed some abilities, including the power to imbue stones or coins with light, as well as making them into communication devices. He could also create tiny, hovering globes of light to help with illumination, magical detection systems that would alert him of intruders, and produce a sudden burst of light.
- "I heal fast, and nothing gets infected. If I'm alive, I'll be fine."
- —Bracken, about his healing ability[src]
- Healing: If Bracken ever were to be wounded, he would heal exceptionally quickly. The wound and scar he received from Ronodin during their fight in the Under Realm disappeared in just a few days. He also mentioned that he had some skill with healing injuries on others. During his imprisonment at Living Mirage, he helped fellow prisoner Berrigan heal from injuries sustained at the Dreamstone.
- Human avatar: As many of the more powerful magical creatures, Bracken could assume the form of a human. As he surrendered his third horn, Bracken got trapped in his human avatar, unable to revert back into his unicorn-shape. His experience in a mortal shape differed significantly from being a unicorn. By nature, unicorns are solitary, though being trapped as a human for such a long time helped him socialize.
- Immense vitality supply: As a unicorn, Bracken inherently had an immense supply of vitality, making him unable to die of old age. This power is also the cause of the unique way unicorns can destroy lectoblixes. If a lectoblix ever gets the chance to drain the life of a unicorn, they can feel the great vitality within, which they ardently crave. None is able to handle it, and they are thus killed, with no lasting effect on the unicorn.
- Magical energy reception: Like many other creatures of light, Bracken was receptive to magical energy. Receiving an influx of magical energy boosted his strength and, presumably depending on the quantity of energy, made him glow. This was shown during his fight with Ronodin in the Under Realm, when Kendra, using one of her fairykind abilities, pushed a large amount of magical energy into Bracken, allowing him to rip Ronodin's horn from him.
- Mind-reading: Bracken was able to read the minds of other beings if permitted to make physical contact with the said creature. He most often used this ability to detect spies or traitors among supposed allies. Bracken claimed that some of the more powerful magical creatures, like dragons, were hard for him to read.
- Perception: Bracken could perceive certain elements that others couldn't, such as the light within Kendra Sorenson, which appeared incredibly bright to him. He could also sense the vicinity of certain magical creatures, like the undead.
- Purifying: Bracken had the power to purify poison, venom, and corruption, and was therefore unable to die of sickness. His purifying abilities were most effective if he was in possession of any of his horns, though even hornless, he still retained significant power. With his horns, he could also undo most curses, such as the connection narcoblixes has to their victims, by uttering "begone."
- Shielding communication: Bracken could protect himself and those around him from any outside scrutiny, with the exception of the Oculus. He could also shield his own thoughts and mental communication between himself and another.
- Telepathy: Bracken had the ability to communicate mentally with many of the magical races. He could also project his thoughts to humans and, if they were in possession of one of his horns or communication coins, they were able to respond.
- Combat skills: Bracken was exceptionally skilled in using a sword and shield, even without his horns. When protecting the Eternal Mark, Bracken managed to handle two assailants simultaneously, killing both. Later, while protecting another Eternal, Civia, he slew dozens of minotaurs, almost effortlessly, using his second horn. He also dispatched the Gray Assassin and the wizard Mirav. During the Battle of Zzyzx, he displayed his skill at fighting further when challenging the demon horde.
- Eyesight: Bracken appeared to have exceptional eyesight, as shown when he was able to perceive the details of Shipbreaker Fjord's gate from a presumably great distance.
- "For ages, you astrids served as the honor guard for my family. This regiment had a name. Would any of our human companions care to guess what they were called? The Knights of the Dawn. The same name taken by the brotherhood that stands in opposition to the Society of the Evening Star. I believe this name is no accident. I believe this name makes reference to this moment. No star can abide the light of the dawn, nor has evil ever loved light. After their long incarceration in darkness, let our enemies come against us with the sunrise at our backs!"
- —Bracken's leadership skills, during the Battle of Zzyzx[src]
- Leadership skills: Bracken was a skilled and capable leader, taking charge of a situation with a calm and collected mind. He possessed a big talent and a dramatic flair for leadership, which he displayed during the Battle of Zzyzx, where he, along with the Fairy Queen, led their allies victory. He was seen leading a strike force against Gorgrog and was holding his own against the Demon King. Along with displaying leadership skills, Bracken also proved himself to be strategic and tactical during the battle. He provided instructions, orders, and commands mentally to the combatants, and successfully executed the plan to lure the demons into the abandoned fairy realm, trapping them inside.
- Multilingualism: Bracken was fluent in a number of different languages. It is possible that this skill was inherent, but it also possible that he learned some over the course of his life. The languages Bracken could speak included English and the secret fairy language, though it is very likely that he was also capable of speaking other fairy-related tongues, such as Silvian.
- "My possessions are few."
- —Bracken, during his imprisonment at Living Mirage[src]
- Clothing: In his human form, Bracken was seen wearing relatively modern clothes, such as jeans and a white shirt. During his imprisonment at Living Mirage, however, his clothes were ragged and threadbare, and when protecting the Eternals, he wore animal hides.
- Small knife: When Bracken was a prisoner in the Living Mirage dungeon, he owned a small, sharp knife.
- Swords: Bracken used two different swords when protecting the Eternals. He got the first from the armory of Roon Osricson, and he received the second from Civia.
- Unicorn horns: As all unicorns, Bracken owned three horns. He had his first horn as a child, then shed it for his second, larger horn in adolescence, and in turn, shed that for his third, permanent horn. Throughout his life, Bracken lost all three of his horns and was for a time referred to as "the hornless unicorn," since it is highly unusual for unicorns to part with all of their horns. He did, however, manage to reclaim all his horns shortly after being released from the dungeon at Living Mirage.
- First horn: Bracken gave his first horn away to a man who saved his life. It was the first he parted with, and it passed through many hands until finally ending up in the hands of Patton Burgess, who, in turn, gave it to the centaurs of Grunhold. He discovered it when visiting Fablehaven after the Battle of Zzyzx, and took it from the centaurs as punishment for their rebelliousness. Soon after, he gave it away again, this time to Kendra Sorenson, at the start of the dragon uprising. She used it as a way to communicate with Bracken.
- Second horn: Bracken lost his second horn when exploring the sealed shrine at Living Mirage. He was captured by the Sphinx, who was also able to steal his horn due to being a shadow charmer. He reclaimed his second horn from the dark wizard Mirav by extending his hand and simply saying "to me." In his grasp, the horn could transform into a powerful sword. He used this horn during the Battle of Zzyzx.
- Third horn: Bracken surrendered his third horn to the wizard Agad to help in sealing away the demon horde in Zzyzx. It was made into the Font of Immortality, one of the five artifacts required to open the prison. Losing his third horn resulted in him not being able to assume his unicorn-shape and he was thus trapped in his human avatar. It's possible that Bracken is the only unicorn to have willfully given his adult horn away, save Ronodin. During the dragon uprising though, Bracken's third horn was retrieved for him on the Underking's orders, and he was able to assume his natural form again. It is unknown what happened to the Font of Immortality because of this.
As Bracken's mother, the Fairy Queen was very close to him. She obviously cared deeply for him, as shown after Bracken escaped from the Living Mirage dungeon and reached the sealed shrine, where the Fairy Queen radiated pure joy through her shrine. Their good relationship was further reinforced when the Fairy Queen mentally communicated that Bracken was among the most trusted of her people, and the sentiment was accompanied by, as described by Kendra Sorenson, a feeling of heartbreaking love.
The Fairy Queen also missed her son immensely during his centuries of incarceration, as was evident by the powerful feeling of longing emanating from the shrine as they communicated telepathically. Later, when Bracken was captured by Ronodin during the dragon uprising, the Fairy Queen was again plagued by grief and worry. She seemed to be a pretty protective mother as well, not wanting Bracken to explore the sealed shrine out of fear that he would be captured. Additionally, the Fairy Queen valued her son's word and advice.
Though not seeing his father for centuries due to him being captured by Gorgrog, Bracken seemed to still really love and care about the Fairy King. He also sympathized with him and claimed that he could "hardly believe" his father's suffering during his capture. Bracken considered himself lucky to have his father back, as well.
During the dragon uprising, when Bracken met his father in the Fairy Queen's palace, as the Fairy King requested of Bracken to convince his mother to let him leave the realm since he believed that he was harming its purity, Bracken was ultimately, though reluctantly, convinced, and appeared very upset at the prospect of having his father leave, having tears in his eyes. 
After his cousin turned dark, Bracken seemed to strongly dislike Ronodin, largely because he was accountable for his father's capture. Bracken also considered the company of many of the individuals Ronodin dealt with distasteful. Bracken's feelings towards Ronodin was mutual, as Ronodin also disliked his cousin. He found Bracken annoying and believed he shared "the same narrow view" as all others of their kind.
Kendra Sorenson seemed to essentially be the love of Bracken's life. Though not officially a couple, Bracken displayed his love for Kendra on several occasions. At first, he was drawn to Kendra because of the bright light that radiated from her, a result of her being fairykind, but soon grew to respect and admire her courage and determination to save her family. They continually look out for one another, and Bracken became very protective of Kendra.
Hints of Kendra's feelings for Bracken became apparent as early as when they visited the sealed shrine at Living Mirage, where she became slightly envious of the relationship between Bracken and the Fairy Queen, at the time not knowing that the Fairy Queen is his mother. Bracken presumably also relayed his feelings to Kendra at Cape Hatteras waiting for the Lady Luck. Seth Sorenson also described them as being "pretty cuddly" aboard the ship. After the Battle of Zzyzx, the two met up by the Fablehaven fairy shrine, where Bracken confessed that he felt drawn to Kendra, and she admitted similar feelings. Raxtus also mentioned that Bracken had been talking about Kendra a lot.
When they first met, in the Living Mirage dungeon, Kendra was very skeptical of Bracken's legitimacy. At first, she firmly believed that he was a spy sent in by the Sphinx, though later on in their discussion she began to entertain the possibility of Bracken being legitimate. When they later confronted Warren in Bracken's cell, she stated that she trusted Bracken "a little." After they reached the sealed shrine and the Fairy Queen vouched for Bracken, Kendra essentially cleared him of suspicion. During the following hunt for the Eternals, Kendra gradually became more attached to Bracken. When the lectoblix Torina Barker tried and failed to drain Bracken's life force, Kendra was visibly terrified, hugging him fiercely until realizing he was alright.
During the Battle of Zzyzx, when Bracken was badly injured while fighting Gorgrog, Kendra's attachment to him was reinforced as she picked up the sword Vasilis, which flared to life in her grasp, partly drawing upon her desperation of aiding Bracken. Her emotions towards Bracken were a big reason for what enabled her to slay the Demon King. After the battle, when Bracken agreed to join his mother in the fairy realm, Kendra described feeling a heavy weight on her heart, fearing she wouldn't see him again.
- "Watching her with eyes that made her feel like the only real thing in the universe, Bracken took her hand."
- —Bracken, while bringing Kendra Sorenson to the fairy realm[src]
When Bracken brought Kendra to the newly established fairy realm, he acted very protective of Kendra when the astrids Denwin and Peredor relayed that the demon Jubaya had expressed interest in conferring with her. Bracken also entrusted his first horn to Kendra when she talked to Jubaya as a precaution. Later, as Kendra and Seth were being recruited as caretakers of Wyrmroost, Bracken appeared "unusually somber," most likely being worried about her. It was also apparent that he was very sorry that he couldn't accompany and assist them at the dragon sanctuary.
- "And she suspected he might have romantic feelings for her. But despite her best efforts to crack his shell, he kept his distance. She was still hoping for a first kiss!"
- —Kendra Sorenson, about Bracken[src]
After she learned that Bracken had been captured, Kendra was devastated. At even the mention of Bracken, she became very emotional, barely able to hold back tears. When Ronodin expressed interest in acquiring Bracken's first horn, which he'd lent to Kendra before being captured, she refused to agree to any bargain out of fear it could harm him. She said that she "would rather die" than giving Ronodin an opportunity to further harm Bracken. Later, when Kendra visited Risenmay, she showed the great fairy Bracken's horn, which Risenmay considered a sure sign of Bracken's love for Kendra.
When the Fairy Queen entrusted her crown to Kendra at the Crescent Lagoon fairy shrine to invade the Under Realm, a big part of what convinced her of going through with it was the prospect of possibly rescuing Bracken. As she was invading the Under Realm, thinking of Bracken helped intensify and widen the radius of the light emanating from the Fairy Queen's crown.
When the Fairy Queen refused to let Bracken accompany Kendra to Titan Valley before he helped her in the fairy realm, Bracken appeared very frustrated and concerned at the prospect of not being able to help Kendra at the sanctuary. Additionally, when Kendra met Ronodin at Terastios, he referred to her as Bracken's boyfriend, stating that Bracken had "never taken any girl to meet his parents," and that he "has it bad" for her.
Friends and allies
Bracken met Seth Sorenson inside the dungeon of Living Mirage. At first, both were wary of each other, believing the other to be a spy sent in by the Sphinx. After a brief conversation, Seth agreed to let Bracken determine his legitimacy. He was convinced, and to increase his own credibility, Bracken took Seth to meet Maddox Fisk, who vouched for him. When at Maddox's cell, Seth stated that he "wanted to trust them," but just didn't want to be "an idiot." During his incarceration, Seth gradually became more and more convinced of Bracken's legitimacy, and Bracken also aided Seth on a few occasions. After Seth returned from his visit to Nagi Luna, Bracken, in an attempt to cheer him up, took him to the room with games. Bracken also gave him a communication coin for them to be able to mentally converse.
When Seth was unexpectedly gifted the Sands of Sanctity and the Translocator, he immediately contacted Bracken to ask for advice and to plan a rescue for him as well. Later, after Seth lost both of the artifacts to the demon Graulas, Bracken was very understanding of his mistake. After the Battle of Zzyzx, Bracken mentioned to Kendra Sorenson that he would like to hang out with Seth, and called him "an interesting guy." During the dragon uprising, when the wizard Agad informed Seth that Bracken had been captured, he was very saddened by the news.
When Seth visited Bracken in the Under Realm prison after losing his memory, Bracken was very wary of him, at first believing he was an illusion or a replica. After searching his mind and successfully determining his truthfulness, Bracken tried to convince Seth that they were on the same side and that Ronodin was manipulating him to think otherwise. At first, Seth found Bracken's story plausible, though ultimately, he dismissed it. However, later, when Seth heard other accounts of his past that matched with Bracken's version, including the ones from Kendra Sorenson, Calvin, and Gabrinko, he started to entertain the possibility of Bracken being legitimate.
Bracken and Warren Burgess first met in Bracken's cell in the Living Mirage dungeon. Bracken, who had installed a magical detection system in his cell, sensed when Warren entered and returned, along with Kendra Sorenson, to confront him. After a brief conversation, Warren agreed to let Bracken search his mind to determine his legitimacy and loyalty. When they were passing through the Beckoning Grove, Warren admired Bracken's ability to resist the fragrance, stating that he had an "iron will."
As Bracken and Vanessa Santoro were enemies by nature, with Bracken being a unicorn and Vanessa being a blix, their relationship was very strained. When they first met, they both openly mistrusted each other. Bracken insisted on searching Vanessa's mind, but she was reluctant, as she feared he would falsely accuse her. Ultimately, Vanessa agreed to let Bracken search her mind, in which Bracken discovered that she was indeed loyal to them. He also indicated that she liked Warren Burgess, which Seth Sorenson picked up on. Embarrassed, Vanessa retaliated by stating that Bracken clearly had strong feelings for Kendra Sorenson.
Bracken and Raxtus seemingly had a very long relationship. As Raxtus was shy and introverted, Bracken was very encouraging, as was shown when they were protecting the Eternals. Bracken also liked his human avatar, which he called a "unique wonder." Raxtus considered Bracken a very skilled combatant.
Gorgrog, a former Demon King, was presumably one of, if not the biggest enemy to Bracken. Beyond being enemies by nature, Gorgrog captured and tortured Bracken's father, which most likely fueled the enmity between the two. During the Battle of Zzyzx, Bracken led a strike force against Gorgrog though was ultimately outmatched.
- "Nevertheless, we mustn't underestimate him. Or place full trust in him."
- —Bracken, about the Sphinx when they were temporarily allies[src]
It was apparent that Bracken had no love for the Sphinx. He mistrusted him and considered him a dangerous enemy. Bracken acknowledged the Sphinx as a skilled liar and manipulator as well. Also, Bracken was careful not to underestimate any of his abilities or strategies.
Bracken is, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, an English noun defined as "a tall fern with coarse lobed fronds, which occurs worldwide and can cover large areas". The word is Middle English of Scandinavian origin; related to the Danish word bregne and the Swedish word bräcken.
Behind the scenes
- Like many other unicorns, Bracken mistrusted blixes and said he wished that they had more predators. In Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison, this is shown when he met the narcoblix Vanessa Santoro.
- Bracken was extremely well-known in the magical community. It seemed as though almost every creature of light knew of him.
- Bracken's name also sounds very similar to Brandon, as in author Brandon Mull. It's likely Bracken is a self-insertion, especially as Bracken seems to have no major flaw.
- Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison
- Dragonwatch: A Fablehaven Adventure
- Dragonwatch: Wrath of the Dragon King (mentioned only)
- Dragonwatch: Master of the Phantom Isle
Notes and references
- Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison, Chapter 26 (Shoreless Isle)
- Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison, Chapter 28 (The Demon King)
- Dragonwatch: A Fablehaven Adventure, Chapter 3 (The Fairy Realm)
- Dragonwatch: A Fablehaven Adventure, Chapter 10 (Caretakers Wanted)
- Since the Font of Immortality was crafted out of his third horn, and since Zzyzx was founded earlier than the late 500s A.D., Bracken was most likely born before the 6th century.
- Dragonwatch: Master of the Phantom Isle, Chapter 14 (Prisoner)
- Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison, Chapter 16 (The Sealed Shrine)
- Dragonwatch: Master of the Phantom Isle, Chapter 12 (Questions)
- Dragonwatch: Master of the Phantom Isle, Chapter 36 (Unicorns)
- Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison, Chapter 8 (Bracken)
- Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison, Chapter 14 (An Unexpected Ally)
- Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison, Chapter 24 (Civia)
- Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison, Chapter 20 (Roon)
- Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison, Chapter 10 (Nagi Luna)
- Dragonwatch: A Fablehaven Adventure, Chapter 11 (A New Beginning)
- Dragonwatch: Champion of the Titan Games, Chapter 1 (Paradise)
- Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison, Chapter 30 (A New Shrine)
- Dragonwatch: Wrath of the Dragon King, Chapter 16 (Traitor)
- Dragonwatch: Wrath of the Dragon King, Chapter 23 (The Bewilderness)
- Dragonwatch: Champion of the Titan Games, Chapter 14 (Giant Killer)