“A dangerous thing, taking sides. I avoid it wherever possible.”
Bran was born to the Cavin family, a "not-quite noble" family from Ansburg. He was trained in the best Rivaini academies and became well-versed in the governmental traditions of all the Marcher city-states.
Dragon Age II
He is found in the Viscount's Keep, where Hawke first meets him during the quest the Unbidden Rescue. Bran is seen barring Ginnis from an audience with Viscount Marlowe Dumar and asserting himself as the intermediary between the Viscount and the mercenaries seeking to claim the bounty on Viscount Dumar's missing son, Saemus Dumar. After Hawke successfully reunites Saemus with Viscount Dumar, Bran introduces Hawke to the Viscount. Saemus and Marlowe argue about Saemus' scandalous sympathy for the Qunari, causing Hawke to give their opinion on the matter. This results in Bran rebuking Hawke for intruding themselves in the Dumars' personal matters and apologizing to the Viscount for Hawke's brazen behavior. He then hastily dismisses Hawke out of the Viscount's office.
Should Hawke help Aveline Vallen expose Guard-Captain Jeven's conspiracy to leak government information and sacrifice his own guards, Bran will relay to Aveline that Viscount Dumar has appointed her to be the new Guard-Captain in recognition of her service.
Over the years, Hawke's dealings with the Arishok has led Viscount Dumar to rely on them to handle politcally sensitive matters involving the Qunari. Bran helps Hawke in some quests regarding the Qunari by providing information at the Viscount's behest. He also acts as the Viscount's liaison to Guard-Captain Aveline Vallen, and argues with her when he conveys that Viscount Dumar is under pressure by Knight-Commander Meredith Stannard to micromanage the Kirkwall City Guard.
Arrogant, vain, and disdainful towards his social lessers; Bran is an experienced bureaucrat and cynical realist—always looking for what course of action would most benefit the office of the Viscount. Bran appears to encourage the Viscount to be innocuous to the competing factions raising tensions in Kirkwall and hide anything that can incite a "political maelstrom".
Bran is very contemptuous towards Hawke, considering the Fereldan refugee to be just another disreputable vagabond in a city awash with far too many, and the two have a frequently contentious relationship. He seems to distrust outsiders, such as Ginnis and the Winters mercenary company, that seek to take advantage of the chaos in Kirkwall as a means to attain more political influence and glory.
Despite their best efforts to maintain the tenuous peace, Kirkwall's political situation spiraled out of control. Chantry fanatics murdered Saemus Dumar in order to incite a religious war against the Qunari. The Qunari eventually attacked Kirkwall during the First Battle of Kirkwall and killed Viscount Marlowe Dumar. Hawke's efforts in driving the Qunari out of Kirkwall led to them being crowned the Champion of Kirkwall. Following the death of Marlowe Dumar, Knight-Commander Meredith blocked the election of a new viscount, and transformed Kirkwall into a templar-run police state.By 9:37 Dragon, Bran states he is merely a figurehead that the templars intimidate into sanctioning whatever proclamations they desire. With Bran trapped under templar scrutiny and not wanting to draw the templars' ire, Bran becomes increasingly wary of associating with Hawke as he fears political backlash from the Champion's enemies.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
By 9:41 Dragon, Bran has been elected Provisional Viscount of Kirkwall. He appears to be very unhappy with the position and claims to have been pushed in by "unpopular vote," as he was one of the few left who still knew relevant protocol.
Bran resumes his post as seneschal after Varric Tethras is elected Viscount of Kirkwall.If the Inquisitor is friends with Varric:
Varric returns to the Winter Palace accompanied by his seneschal, Bran, to support his friend the Inquisitor since the Inquisition is being put on trial by the Exalted Council (a council of representatives from the Chantry, Orlais, and Ferelden, who are wary of the Inquisition's influence). Varric gifts the Inquisitor the title of Comte/Comtesse and holdings in Kirkwall as well as the key to the city; this is done much to the displeasure of Bran, as these gifts are granted without the proper protocol. When Varric invites the Inquisitor to a game of Wicked Grace, Bran tells Varric not to bet any public buildings this time.
Dragon Age II
Dragon Age: Inquisition
- "'The Good of All' is inexorably tied to what is good for the templars."
- He can be seen getting treated for what is assumed to be a sexually-transmitted disease at Anders's Clinic during Visit Anders in Act 2. Isabela will comment on this if she is in the party.
- In Mark of the Assassin, he is seen talking with Serendipity, an elven drag queen from The Blooming Rose. If Hawke slept with Serendipity prior to the meeting, it leads to some amusing dialogue with Tallis.
- In ambient dialogue at the Hawke estate, Leandra mentions Bran having a son close in age to Hawke. If Hawke is female, this dialogue is heard after a conversation in which Leandra mentions wanting to find her daughter a suitable husband; it's possible that she was considering Bran's son as an option.
- Although red-headed in Dragon Age II, Bran has brown hair in Trespasser.
- When talking to Bran in Act 3 of Dragon Age II, he will respond to one of Hawke's suggestions with, "Do the words 'political maelstrom' mean anything to you?". This is a reference to a comment made by Udina in Mass Effect 2.