Prince of Umbra, Shadow’s Breath. He likes to pretend to be a Hollywood-handsome-rogue-pirate.
His official titles are Lord of Crows, Echelon of Darkness, and Heir to the Darkseed.
Spoilers, yo. Don’t read on unless you’ve already read The Christmas Dragon.
Bran (also known as The Crow King) is a member of the Darkness. Actually, he’s kind of a prince of darkness, if you’ll pardon the pun; his grandfather, The Raven King, is arguably the most powerful member of the Darkness, and its defacto leader. Bran would definitely be somebody if he really wanted to go that direction.
But he doesn’t. That’s because he doesn’t want to die.
The average lifespan of a member of The Darkness is three to four thousand years. The Raven King has extended that lifespan five times already by devouring the life-essence of his kin. Bran – happily – figured that out early on, and so has kept a relatively low profile. There’s only so much he can do to subdue the amazing power he has as one of the Shadow’s Breath, but he does it – including refusing to show any initiative at all.
He’s pretty sure grandpa won’t eat him until he’s ripe. By the time that becomes an issue, he’s also pretty sure he’ll have found a way around it.
As is typical for Shadow’s Breath, he’s tall and broad; has black horns and thick black claws; large blue eyes (far larger than are in that picture, but I’m not an artist); and deep, deep cracks in the skin, all over his body. The sad thing is, he’s ashamed of how he looks.
This is all perfectly normal. The sad thing is, he’s ashamed of how he looks.
He shouldn’t be. His species is a little different, but magnificent all the same; however, the deep canyon-like cracks in the skin and the odd stone-like texture of the horns upsets him, and so all too often, he dons a human-like costume because he thinks they look pretty.
Incidentally, he usually takes humans for lovers, too.
When Katie sees him in The Christmas Dragon, he’s donned his costume already: her description is essentially “handsome Hollywood Rogue Pirate.”
It didn’t take him long to lose that once Suvi started spitting fire everywhere, but that’s a whole other story.
Bran isn’t exactly evil. In fact, given his background and the tendencies of his people, he’s fairly considerate; hence, Merlin genuinely considers him a friend, which is no small thing. If you want to know how Bran looks at the world, here’s a little in his voice to some unknown lover, just because: Shadow Seed.
…I didn’t say he was nice. At least not by our standards.
You’ll be seeing him again. This, I swear.