Étienne Brûlé
Other Names: None
Occupation: Tracker, Marshal, Headmaster
Status: --

Étienne Brûlé (Ā-tē-en/BRŪ-lay) is the founder of Maison DuBois. French-Canadian explorer and leader of the Marshal tradition. First headmaster of New World Magischola.

Early Life

Born in France in 1592, Étienne Brûlé immigrated to New France with Samuel de Champlain in 1608 after being sentenced to exile by the European Wizarding court for “nearly exposing the Wizarding world through wanton and reckless acts.” Brûlé and his friend, Duchamps used a homemade potion containing merman scales and squid ink to temporarily transform into eight-armed, scaled “sea monsters” and amused themselves by hurling fireballs at each other while riding their brooms off the shores of Nice and Marseilles. Sighted by mundane soldiers protecting the waters from invaders, Brûlé and Duchamps were fired upon with cannons, which, for them, increased the fun exponentially as they used their wands to reverse the cannonball trajectory and return them toward the forts. Their fireworks were also noticed by sailors outside of Genoa, Italy, and the incident sparked international inquiry. The mundanes attributed the incident to the occult or to aliens, and it remains an unsolvable mystery.

Ever the adventurer, Brûlé decided to make his way to the New World, and he quickly gained a reputation for fearlessness and a skill in navigation. Brûlé was an expert canoeist, snowshoer, trapper, and survivalist. He possessed great charisma and was able to forge pacts and working relationships with many Native American tribes, often through a marriage à la façon du pays, including with the Iroquois Confederacy and the Algonquians. Brûlé devised magical enchantments to bewitch his compass so that it could divine heartbeats and blood properties, an attribute that would help him create a lucrative trade in beaver pelts and become extremely prosperous. When the French authorities attempted to regulate the fur trade by requiring permits, Brûlé began the order of the coureurs des bois, a group of unregulated, independent traders (most of whom were Wizards) who explored the Great Lakes area and circumvented the Voyageur system of official traders sanctioned by Montréal authorities and royal decree. Brûlé and the other coureurs were notorious for their knowledge, prowess, wealth, and ability to outwit the European authorities. The group had a strict code of honor that included the Ojibwe expression, “There are many roads to the High Place.” Like the tribes with whom they freely traded, the coureurs des bois upheld the ideas of personal freedom, mutual support and respect of differing traditions, and the belief that shared knowledge brings greater enlightenment, as well as reciprocal profit. When the European authorities began mistreating the indigenous tribes by breaking treaties, unfair trading practices, and acts of war, Brûlé began an underground group of vigilantes who assisted in “helping” European regulators and soldiers in finding their way into the path of an angry bear or wolfpack, to the edge of a slippery precipice, or other unfortunate demises. In the Wizarding world, many say that Brûlé and his compatriots practiced a particular form of blood magic that included human sacrifice,but accounts of these rituals are generally attributed as legends. These rumors of cannibalism also led to the belief that Brulé was a wendigo, but others believe he and his coureurs des bois companions to have been loup-garoux. Again, these rumors cannot be corroborated.

Brûlé disappeared in 1633 after spreading the rumor that he was killed and eaten by the Hurons, but this was far from true. Brûlé continued his underground pursuit of rampant profiteers and encroaching regulators by pitting the various colonial powers against each other, forging false alliances, and playing a covert role as a triple agent in the Beaver Wars. Using his trade relationships and indigenous partners in both the Iroquois confederacy and the Algonquian tribes, Brûlé caused the British, French and Dutch to each believe that he was representing their interests. Paid handsomely by all parties, Brûlé packed up a canoe and prepared to set off down the Mississippi. Using his magical compass, Brûlé learned of the existence of a North American underground magical community of European origins that had learned and integrated indigenous magic to create a powerful new tradition. He traveled through Lake Erie, down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, then crossed the Allegheny Mountains into Virginia until he found the James River.

New World Magischola

Using his magic compass, Brûlé found Virginia Dare and her flying island. Marshal students who revere Brûlé make a strong effort to learn Algonquin spells, since they were Brûlé’s preferred incantations to teach during his classes while he was New World Magischola’s first Chancellor.

At New World Magischola, Brûlé founded Maison DuBois, and built a culture of strength and loyalty. The original motto chosen by Brûlé for Maison DuBois was "Perservere and Excel."

Legacy

After the Magma Wars of 1825-1830, the house motto shifted to its present-day one, "Semper Aequus," or “Always Just.” The most highly trained and sought-after Marshals now come from New World Magischola, and nearly all from Maison DuBois. While Brûlé once outran the government’s edicts, today members of Maison DuBois, and the Magimundi Marshals, seek to uphold them.

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