Lewis Brokenbough

From Familia Niveum

The Conductor

Lewis Brokenbough, Trains' Regal

A high, mournsome whistle echoed through the empty forest, and with shock I realized the rusted, weed-choked old Eastern Line under my feet had become shiny and new again; with an alacrity born of of shock, I leapt off of it. I wasn't a moment too soon, though I don't think anymore that I could ever have been a moment too late; I heard rumbling and screeching behind me, and when I turned around again there was an old train stopped there- a grand one, like the Orient Express.

An old black man hopped down from a step on the nearest car, nimble as the day he became a man. Mind, when I say old, I mean too old to live, not just a bit past his prime or ready to retire old, but pretty good looking for that. The damndest thing about him, though, was his eyes- they were made of shiny steel, just like the tracks that train was running on, and the irises, they looked like some kind of antique inset, of the exact same wood in the car behind him. Well, this vision gestured inside, just like he was my own grampa and not some sort of specter from beyond. "Hop aboard, son" he said. "You won't need a ticket."


Estate Definition

Trains are simple enough- long things with an engine at one or both ends, roll around on tracks... The estate also covers the railroad on which the train runs. Brokenbough's miracles of creation and destruction link Locus Nashira to all the places its living inhabitats need to come and go, and he personally conducts the Ghost Train that transports the souls of the dead to (and on rare and momentous occasions, from) the Veil.

Personal Code

The Conductor's Oath

  1. Brook no delay in your appointed duties, never miss a time
  2. Tolerate no insult to the train in your charge, and let it never fall short by neglect
  3. Perform your duties with utmost dignity and respect


Miraculous Abilities

  • Aspect 0
    • 5 Permanent Miracle Points
  • Domain 5
    • 13 Permanent Miracle Points
  • Realm 0
    • 5 Permanent Miracle Points
  • Spirit 1
    • 5 Permanent Miracle Points


Gifts are unique special abilities possessed by the Noble.

Perfect Timing

A Major Creation of Time, 5 points The Conductor is never late, even when it is flatly impossible for him to be otherwise. His time travels are laid out perfectly, with Imperial precision, allowing him to take the time to perform each duty precisely right and never be late for the next, or even the simultaneous, one. As a curious side effect of keeping this impossible schedule for the last one hundred and forty two years, Brokenbough - who is neither Gifted with longevity nor of more than human form in Aspect, and was already one hundred and five years of age at Ennoblement- has far exceeded his mortal span.Nashira help him, however, if he ever strays from his appointed table.

Wayfinder and Worldwalker

A Minor Divination of Routes, and a Lesser Change of Trains- 2 points The Conductor's train, with him aboard, is a thing of enormous miraculous power. By consulting his miraculous charts of routes and paths, Lewis can read the location of every Chancel entrance, hidden path, and other place inaccessible by mortals within miles of himself. Furthermore, as he draws close he can see every point within such a Chancel, and place the Ghost Train anywhere within.


A greater creation of routes, simple, single target, one trick, uncommon- 7 -1 -2 -3 +1 = 2 points The Ghost Train must cross infinite distances in its appointed schedule, not merely occasionally but every time it must navigate the spiraling route around the Broken Tower between Necropolis and LocusNashira's incarnation of the Veil. This is no obstacle, though, for the train is puissant indeed. The path it embarks upon the beginning of, it will come to the end of in no time that will be missed.


Limits are handicaps under which the Noble operates; but in adversity there is power, and limits grant extra miracle points.


The Great Book of Charts and Tables (Perfect Timing and Wayfinder, Domain) ( +2 MP )

The impossible schedules and routes of the Ghost Train are beyond Brokenbough's power to maintain; for this, he relies upon the slim leather tome he clutches in his hand at all times, the Great Book of Charts and Tables. Inside, the precisecaligraphy of Nashira's hand records infinite lists of inhumanly exact times and unnaturally precise lines of ink lay out impossible routes. If he ever lost this book, the Ghost Train would run late and the Conductor would be in desperate straits to locate its most obscure routes. Perhaps worse, whoever did have the book would know its secrets.


The Ghost Train (Domain, Routemaker) ( +1 MP)

The ability to cover any route, no matter how long, in no time that will be missed is not Lewis Brokenbough's; it is that of the train he conducts. It would do so for anyone who controlled it, though it would inevitably reclaimed by its proper master in the end.

Small Domain

(Domain) (+5MP)

Despite the rich associations of railroads and trains, the Conductor has power only over their literal selves.

Windows of the Soul

(Aspect) (+0MP, Imperator Property)

No matter what form he may take, The Conductor's eyes show through- the 'whites' are made of lustrous steel, and the irises of burnished teak, the exact shade of that which makes up the Ghost Train's beauteous cars.


Restrictions are much like limits, but less universally problematic; they grant extra miracle points only when they become a major problem.


A restriction of (Domain) (+1 MP when appropriate)

By setting the signals and switches of a railway line in a secret, mystical pattern, anybody can route the Ghost Train onto that line whether the Great Book of Charts and Tables dictates it should go there or not.

Virtue: Diligent

Lewis Brokenbough attends to his duties as the Conductor with utter dedication and perfect attention. He will never do anything which would compromise them through any inattention of his own or by the coercion and trickery of others. This includes abandoning his schedule, misplacing the Great Book of Charts and Tables, or leaving the Ghost Train.


  • Nashira's honor: 4
  • The Ghost Train's Passengers: 2
  • The Train itself: 4
  • Mortal Railroads: 4
  • His descendents: 2
  • His pocket watch, carried since mortal days: 1
  • Everything he has taken from Slavery and Racism: 2
  • The memorials of the Underground Railroad: 1

Estate Correspondences

Only the physical train and the railroad it runs on, due to the Small Domain limit


The Conductor is warm, kindly in an archetypically grandfatherly fashion, and utterly dignified. However, in his own way respectful way he is extremely brusque, because the Ghost Train must never spend one moment more stopped than is absolutely necessary to the task at hand. Only when the Train is in motion can he spare his attention from duties, and only then once the passengers have been checked. Still, in these times he loves to talk; he often says that the people he meets doing his duties are what makes their grueling pace bearable.


Lewis Brokenbough was born in a Virginia slave cabin 16 years before the Revolutionary War. He was not strong, and though he was too smart to make trouble for nothing, he always carried himself with an innate dignity that made him difficult for his owners; thus, from his childhood until he was an old man of seventy, he passed frequently from hand to hand, and suffered the displeasure of each. Still, his immense dignity carried him.

His fortunes changed long after most men, even free ones, are broken on the wheel of time. At the age of seventy-one, he was purchased by a very different sort of man. His final owner hated the institution of slavery; he operated a stop on the Underground Railroad, and whenever he could purchased and quietly but legally freed those he knew could not withstand the rigors of flight. He set Lewis free, but the old man refused to leave. Instead, he wanted to help.

Help he did; eventually, he became a quiet sort of celebrity on the illicit 'railroad' to freedom. "Old Grampa Lewis" ran his final master's household as an Underground Railroad depot for another 34 years, after his last master died of age and even after his heir- whose birthBrokenbough witnessed- got the first strands of grey in his hair. He lived as a mortal to the age of one hundred and five, long enough to see Sherman's army ram the Emancipation Proclamation down Dixie's throat. When at last he heard the low, mournful whistle of the Ghost Train, he walked outside happily, long past ready to meet it.

The figure that stepped down from the last car was not the rough-hewn young Englishman every spirit on Death's door knew instinctively to expect, though. Instead, it was a woman- dark skin, Asian features, her person hung about with thousands of tiny jade figurines. She told him the man he should have met was dead, laid low by foul enemies, and that she was his sister in spirit, Memorials. With mingled sadness and pride, she told him that he had been chosen to take up the duties of conducting the Ghost Train, and reverently handed him a slim, beautifully bound tome full of precisely hand-written notes and tables.


James Brokenbough (Love)

A great-great-great grandson of the Conductor himself, James Brokenbough has enjoyed the full benefits of his deific patronage, rising meteorically to head the modern Great Southeastern Railroad. It is tempting to say he would have risen to this position eventually on his own, but unfortunately this is likely not true- not because he was lacking, but because even as head of the company he has fought a years-long battle against entrenched institutional racism. James is 49, going to gray, tired looking, slender in build and always impeccably tailored.

Yin Xiao Yee(Hate, originally)

Yin (which is his family name, in traditional eastern order) is the Commissioner of Transportation for the People's Republic of China. He originally attracted Brokenbough's baleful attention by his wrong-headed determination to eradicate all of the PRC's 'archaic' railroads and replace them with 'modern' automobiles. Though it was hatred and bile which bound him to the Conductor, their relationship has mellowed in the many years since.Yee is old, bald, and ugly; he wears pseudomilitary uniform typical of the Party's commissioners.

Notable friends and Enemies

Racism and Slavery: For his entire mortal life, Brokenbough lived under the thumb of these two immensely powerful Hellish Brothers Caelestia, and he has sworn eternal vengeance upon them. They have been falling stars for a hundred years now, thanks to the Conductor and a hundred other nobles they have wronged, their estates in constant (though achingly slow, to those they harm) retreat and their nights a sleepless hell of nettle rights. The physical tokens through which he has personally nettled them are amongst Brokenbough's most treasured possessions.

Jack Martin, Drifters' Pawn: The Conductor has taken three successive Pawns of the estate of Drifters wherever they were going next, their estate enough to earn them passage on a train normally reserved to the dead. He has liked each of them immensely- every Noble of that domain', each a Pawn and none outliving his mortal span, in an unbroken line to the very beginning of the Age of Pain, has been a fascinating conversant.

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