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|Relative(s)||Sadie Brightland (wife)|
Aron Brightland, aka Deadeye Brightland, is a prominent member of the Exiles. An infamous Exile gun-for-hire who made a name for himself in the wild, unmapped regions of space beyond the Fringe, and the last living descendant of the famed Exile hero who led the first rebellion against the Cassians, he is no rebel leader, but rather a steely-eyed gunman with a grim sense of humor. Hoping to leave his former life behind, Brightland has journeyed across the stars with the Exiles to make a fresh start.
Deadeye Brightland looks older than his forty-two years, but remains spry as a man half his age. Lean and quick Deadeye, relies on his well-honed skills as a gunslinger in any fight and dresses the part. He usually complements his spacer's attire with a battered, broad-brimmed hat that shades his eyes, one of which is milky white - a gift from a Marauder captain Brightland hopes to repay one day.
By the time he arrived on Nexus, Deadeye’s personality had softened somewhat from that of the gun for hire he’d been previously. With Sadie by his side and a child on the way, his perception of the universe as a cold, hard, and unforgiving place had been tempered by the hope of a better life. Sadie brought out the best in him like no one had ever done, and Brightland felt at peace by her side.
With Sadie gone and his unborn child lost, however, Brightland’s desire for the good life has been driven out by a stark need for vengeance. Though he throws his lot in with the Exiles, he refuses to accept any position of authority in the organization. Unable to show his true anguish to anyone, Deadeye has taken to drink and constantly maintains an icy, threatening demeanor.
Though he is a direct descendant of the Exile hero Serrick Brightland - the military commander who led the rebellion against the Dominion - by the time Deadeye Brightland was born, almost all of the famous family line was gone. Many died in service to their fellow Exiles in the ongoing conflict with the Dominion, while others fell victim to dangerous, less glamorous work on the aging ships of the Exile Fleet. His mother died in childbirth, and a few days after Aron's fifth birthday, his father was killed when the hull of a starship unexpectedly ruptured. This left young Aron, the last Brightland, an only child - and one who had to raise himself, getting by as a vermin hunter on the older ships and becoming famous for his "deadeye" aim. Though left without a family, Deadeye managed to survive due to the tight-knit nature of the Exile community. An old soldier named Kell, who had taken to begging for scraps and cooking gruel for the fleet’s orphans, watched out for Brightland and taught him to shoot. During this time, Aron befriended one of the half-wild mutts that ran free in many of the aging starships of the Fleet and named him Grim.
Having survived on his hunting skills to reach adulthood, perhaps it was only natural that Deadeye Brightiand would seek to tackle more dangerous prey as a bounty hunter when he came of age. Bounty hunters were tolerated as a necessary evil on a Fleet where the lawmen were few and far between, and in no time at all he earned a reputation as a deadly gunslinger that always got his man.
But after a fight with the Marauder Captain Thokov cost him an eye (and gave him the nickname "Deadeye" for good), he opted to leave the scarred, milky ruin "as a reminder not to be so damned stupid next time" and swore he would never again attempt to bring in a target alive. He became feared by the criminal underworld, while tales of his deadly deeds spread throughout the Exile Fleet and beyond to the greater galaxy.
Deadeye’s career continued and his reputation grew. While hunting a Cartel enforcer in one of the Exile fleet’s "slumships," Deadeye encountered Sadie Angelthorn, a justice assigned to investigate his target. Taken in by Sadie’s beauty and grit, Aron asked her to dinner. Within a few months the two had married, with Deadeye packing away his guns and Sadie handing in her gavel. Together they set out on a journey to the planet Nexus, where they hoped to begin their new life as settlers.
Following the Exile fleet’s arrival in orbit around Nexus, Deadeye and Sadie boarded a transport bound for Thayd. The transport was intercepted by Dominion fighters and shot down over the Northern Wilds, a rugged land plagued with a perpetual blizzard. Exile ships were sent to rescue the survivors, including Sadie, but were subsequently destroyed by Dominion artillery fire.
With his wife and unborn child dead and his chance for a new life destroyed, Deadeye has sworn revenge against their killers. Though he has since realized that he cannot fight the Dominion alone, Brightland continues to battle the empire at every opportunity. He has resumed his old habits of gambling, drinking, and violence, and only time will tell if Deadeye will rise above the destruction of all he once held dear.
Deadeye with Grim
- Loremageddon, as preserved on the Internet Archive