Welcome to Brook Haven Ranch! We are a 18+ premium role playing community set in Trader's Bend, Montana. Our concept is the culmination of twenty years of plotting and planning. We feature a rich, developed program in which many troubled characters thrive. Our community is one of the best on jcink and we look forward to you becoming a part of it!
Healing Horses & Troubled Teens since 1995
Not every teenager has the benefit of growing up in a loving, happy home. Some are victims of abuse, neglect, a system that shuffles them from foster home to foster home. Brook Haven Ranch was established in 1995 as a refuge for abused and neglected horses -- and teenagers who needed a second chance in life and the opportunity to become something more than society expects of them.
Full Name: Montana Jeremy Sheridan
Date of Birth: January 12th, 1980
Current Age: 37
User Group: Pathfinder
Eye Color: Green
Hair Color: Brown
Weight: 210 lbs
Scars or Marks:
crisscross scars over arms and whole back
thin, raised scar under right eye
thin, silver scar on the back of his head, three inches long
varied flat burn scars on his right thigh
Tattoos or Piercings usmc tattoo on his right shoulder
Face Claim: brandon quinn
MBTI Type: isfj
Likes: dogs, scientific experimentation, long sundays in bed with sera, spending time outside with his girls, warm fireplaces, rustic lodges, homesteading, working with animals, playing with fire, handmade quilts, hand-crocheted afghans, low lighting, no-tech nights, low-tech nights, home-cooked meals, stews, growing his own food, working with the ranch, long trail rides, camping, birds, feeding the birds, taking time out for himself, going to the park, going for jogs, his therapy dog, trucks, country music, his roots, asatru, norse mythology, vikings (the show)
Dislikes: posers, role players, insects, the smell of smoke, being pulled out of bed, nightmares, memories of his friends dying, flashbacks, people's hands on him, touching people he doesn't know, post traumatic stress, islamophobia, the war he just fought in, being confined to the house, not being able to see the sky, sleepless nights, insomnia, mres, thunderstorms, fireworks, lightning, loud noises, slamming doors, misbehaving children, raised voices, screams
Strengths: hard working, committed, diligent, intelligent, romantic, generous, kind-hearted, down-to-earth, spiritual, quick-thinking, polite, connected, good listener, sweet, sensitive to needs of others, steadfast, loyal to friends, patriotic, committed to family
Weaknesses: lacks mindfulness, traditional, stubborn, irrational, damaged, shellshocked, insomniatic, short-tempered, withdrawn, doesn't talk about feelings, trouble concentrating for too long, exhausted much of the time, difficulty seeing things clearly
Fears: explosions, being burned, dying in a fire, loud noises, leaving his family behind, being captured, confined spaces, tight bindings (on wrists, ankles, or neck), being grabbed, heights, being trapped, people screaming, his children dying
Aspirations: finish his phd in fire science, work as a fire scientist, promote acceptance of islam in amera
Romantic Orientation: heteroromantic
Sexual Orientation: heterosexual
Relationship Status: married
Significant Other: seraphina sheridan
Career/Occupation: fire scientst. marine. currently leader of pathfinder group.
Education: master of science in fire science
Dream Job: arson investigator
Home Town: trader's bend, montana
Preferred Riding Style: western
Disciplines: trail riding
Riding Strengths: strong legs, good posture, gentle hands
Riding Weaknesses: startles easily, sometimes spooks the horse, ptsd can get in the way
The Early Years
January 12th, 1980 -- Montana Jeremy Sheridan was born.
Monty was the youngest born child of Melissa and David Sheridan. Preceding him are Nora, Donald, and Butch. He was born uneventfully at home in Trader's Bend, Montana, with his father and three older siblings in attendance (along with a midwife).
1984 -- Monty witnessed his first fire.
He wasn't the one to set it, but this fire would set the stage for Monty to be fascinated by fire for the rest of his life.
1985 -- Monty Started Kindergarten.
1987 -- Colt Died.
Aside from the start of school, this was the most eventful point in Monty's life prior to this point. That dog had gone with him everywhere, and he was struck by a car when he ran out into the road. Monty never forget to shut the gate again, but he refused to interact with any other dogs until he was a teenager.
1988 -- Monty joined Little League at the age of eight.
Baseball was perhaps always destined to be one of Monty's favorite sports. He was tall -- even then -- but basketball had never appealed, and he didn't have the weight for football yet. Baseball, then, became his first great love (and his only love until he met Seraphina Somers).
1989 -- Monty made his first showing in the school play.
1990 -- Monty set his first fire.
This was the first time that Monty actually set anything on fire. It was an old box of photos belonging to his sister, and he hadn't intended to set it on fire. Both of his parents came down on him hard, teaching him a lesson he wouldn't soon forget: Fire was dangerous and he should avoid getting caught the next time he played with it.
1991 -- Monty's Little League Team won the championship.
This was the first point at which Monty realized that he might actually be good at this. He would remain in love with the sport through college, but this was his first shining moment at the tender age of 11.
1992 -- Monty entered middle school.
1992 -- Monty broke his arm in a fight.
Monty was never typically a fighter when he was younger. This was the first major fight that he had, and it resulted in a tongue lashing from his mother and a thrashing from his father that made him never want to get into another fight again.
1993 -- Monty missed a year of baseball due to his injury.
The Adolescent Years
1994 -- Monty began high school.
High school was an exciting time for Monty. He'd missed the previous year on the baseball team, but he made a pitching position on his first try out for his Freshman year. He wouldn't be starting, but he would be playing relief if needed.
This was a huge accomplishment for him.
Spring, 1995 -- Trader's Bend High baseball team goes to state championships.
Though Monty wasn't pitching, it was remarkable to be part of a team that performed so well.
Autumn, 1996 -- Monty tried out for football.
He didn't make the team. He was too skinny, and for the rest of the team, a bit too tall. Coach told him to try again the next year, but Monty chose to stick with baseball, which he knew that he was good at.
Winter, 1996 -- Monty takes lead in the school play.
Monty was cast as C.C. Showers in The Diviners, his first major role, and possibly his last. He discovered quickly that he wasn't fond of acting and that he preferred athletics to dramatics.
Spring, 1997 -- Monty pitches a perfect game.
The coach took a risk on Monty and quickly discovered his real talent. Though only a Junior, Monty pitched the entire game. The other team didn't make a single run in the entire game. This was the first time that anybody thought Monty could make it as a professional baseball player.
1998 -- Monty graduated high school.
Fall, 1998 Monty started college.
Monty entered the University of Montana on a baseball scholarship to study fire science -- his lifelong dream. The entire town of Trader's Bend wished him off, thinking that he had a great career in baseball ahead of him, but he was at school more to study than to play.
2000 -- Monty quit the baseball team.
His family didn't need the scholarships and he didn't want to give his friends and family false hope of a professional career. His time in the sun had passed and he was no longer playing his best, so he chose to give it up. He had other things in mind.
2002 -- Monty graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physics.
2002 -- Monty entered graduate school for Fire Science.
2004 -- Monty graduated graduate school with a master of science in fire science.
Military and Beyond
2004 -- Monty was commissioned by the Marine Corps as a Lieutenant.
Thanks to his college degree, Monty entered college as an officer with a degree in fire science. This gave him an advantage with explosives and some detective work in determining what the enemy was up to.
2005 -- Monty was deployed to Afghanistan
2006 -- Monty returned from Afghanistan.
Monty returned from war the first time affected, but not altogether changed, and settled in at Malmstrom AFB in Great Falls, Montana.
2008 -- Monty was deployed to Afghanistan.
When he returned, Monty had over 50 confirmed kills. This time he was exhausted, shaken, and wasn't doing as well as he was the first time. It took time for Monty to be ready to get back onto his feet.
2009 -- Arranged marriage to Sera Somers through her father.
Monty never intended to arrange a marriage, but when Archer Somers approached him about marriage to his daughter, Monty entertained the idea, then met with Sera. They hit it off, and Monty began to make arrangements for the marriage.
2010 -- Monty married Sera.
2011 -- Monty and Sera adopted Jadyn.
Jadyn was seven at the time that she was adopted, a scared little girl who hated quick movements and being touched at the wrong times. It was an uphill battle to reassure her that she was safe again, but after everything that he'd seen overseas, he was happy that he had given her another chance.
2012 -- Monty was deployed to Afghanistan.
2013 -- Monty returns from Afghanistan.
April 12th, 2013 -- Willow was born at home.
May 9th, 2014 -- Holly was born at home.
March 9th, 2015 -- Donny was killed in action.
Donny's wife had died years prior, and their twins were left without a father when their father was killed in action.
June 20th, 2015 -- Aiden and Hazel move in with Monty and Sera.
After three months of training and licensing to be foster parents, Monty and Sera took in their niece and nephew under full custody, with the intent to adopt them after a year of settling them in. The twins were fifteen at the time.
August 16th 2015 -- Lyra was born at home.
October 2016 -- Monty was deployed.
Winter 2017 -- Monty was captured.
Monty was captured by the enemy and held for five weeks before he was rescued. He doesn't like to talk about what happened while he was held. Shackles were affixed to his wrists and ankles, and he was routinely denied food and water.
January 8th, 2017 -- Sera informed of Monty's capture.
The entire town assumed that Monty had been KIA like his brother. There was a period of mourning, a lowered flag, but Sera waited for news of him every day.
February 11th, 2017 -- Monty was rescued.
Monty was rescued by a team of Army Rangers and was removed to hospital to be re-hydrated, fed, and then debriefed by the CIA about his capture.
February 21st, 2017 -- Monty returned home.
He brought with him the biggest bouquet of flowers that he could possibly find. He'd asked that the military not inform Sera that he was on his way, and he surprised her at the door. She also had a surprise for him -- she was pregnant!
March, 2017 -- Monty accepted a job at Brook Haven Ranch.
March 5th, 2017 -- Duke joined the household.
March 11th, 2017 -- Daisy and Monty Jr. were born.
The Valkyries are Coming for Me
When Monty was in college, he never had the intention of joining the military. It wasn't until he graduated that he felt that Odin spoke to him. A man is not a warrior unless he has fought for what he believes in, and so Monty joined the United States Marine Corps as a Lieutenant thanks to his college education. It turned out rather quickly that this was not a war that he believed in, as he was fighting against people who had a tremendous influence on his own beliefs. He had to convince himself that it was the radicals of any religion from whom he protected his family.
It felt like a stretch. One thing is for sure: Monty saved lives while he was in Afghanistan. Little girls whose husbands were thirty years older than them, men who had been shot in battle, even an enemy soldier who was only a boy who didn't know what he was fighting for, exactly. He took lives, too, in the defense of the lives that he saved, and he knows that one day he will meet the Allfather at Asgard.
For now, he feels like he's defending everything that he stands for. He has to defend his belief in something other than what the majority of his friends belief. His belief in Asatru is unusual among his companions in Trader's Bend. When people ask whether he believes he's going to heaven, his only answer can be "I don't know" because nobody is sure whether the Valkyrie will choose them. After all, he didn't die in battle -- though it was touch-and-go there for a while.
Still, Monty has held his honor, and he hopes that the Valkyrie will one day come for him to carry him back to Valhalla.
Yes, this is a real, modern religion. This is not fantasy and fairy tales. Look up "Asatru."
Sometimes I Wake Up Screaming at Night
Monty is a Marine. Once a Marine, always a Marine. He served in the USMC for ten years and was allowed to retire following his rescue as a prisoner of war in Afghanistan. He was captured for six weeks and held prison her a small cell where he couldn't stand straight (he's 6'5" tall) and was soon covered in his own waste materials. During this time he received little food and lost considerable weight.
War is bad enough. Monty captured and killed enemies himself. He defended little girls who were raped by their much older husbands. The blows to the face of traditionalism that he witnessed while he was fighting a war infuriated him. A traditional man himself, married to a woman whose father arranged their marriage to one another (and still desperately in love with her), he couldn't believe the excuses that the men he encountered made to hurt women and young children.
The war left him with post traumatic stress disorder. He considers it his "gift" from the military. Many nights Monty wakes up screaming in the middle of the night, or thrashing so hard that he kicks Sera out of bed. The children can't sleep with him because of how high the chances are that he's going to hurt them while they are in bed with him and Sera, and though both parents prefer to co-sleep, this just isn't an option for the two of them with his post traumatic stress.
The Sound of Silence
Like many people who have fought in the military, Monty has kept his silence. He refuses to talk about the people that he saw when he was overseas, the people who he killed (he can't help but think of them as "people," no matter what they did, or if they were ready to kill him themselves), or his comrades who died, two in his arms. Even Sera doesn't know what he's seen, because he won't tell her specifically what happened. What she knows is how it has made him feel.
Monty has a hard time encouraging students to communicate with their therapists when he understands what it's like not to want to talk about those things. Those are things that he cannot put on his wife's shoulders. She could handle it, and he knows it. Sera is his queen in every way and he has no doubt that she could stand beside him if she knew what he'd been through, but he doesn't feel like she should have to carry that burden.
And so he keeps it to himself. No amount of probing will get Monty to talk to anybody outside of his military friends about what has happened to him. It's the reason that he spends his time on the weekends out with his buddies -- to get him into a situation with other people who don't press him to talk, because they already understand.
Dogs of War
Monty recently received a service dog as a donation from the local community. He named the animal Duke, and the dog is always with him. Duke is trained to bring Monty out of flash backs, stop violent behavior, and to help to ground him and keep him mindful when he's struggling to stay in the moment in which he actually exists, and not back in Afghanistan.
The dog has been a life-changer, and in some ways a life-saver. When Monty needs to ground himself, Duke is always there. But now Monty has to struggle with being in public spaces, as he isn't always allowed to have a dog with him, and then he has to produce his documentation which says that this is a psychiatric service dog. Furthermore, there are those who don't know him (few, in Trader's Bend, to be honest) who question whether or not he has a disability at all and "deserves" to have a service dog.
Little by little, Duke is giving Monty his life back, and the dog has become his best friend. The biggest problem now (other than getting into public places) is the fact that so many students want to pet the dog who is always with him. Service dogs are not to be petted at every opportunity.
Monty Sheridan grew up in Trader's Bend with his three brothers and his sister, Nora. He was Trader's Bend High's football star, captain of the team and a long-distance runner as well. People in Trader's Bend knew him then, before he went off to college to spend six years earning his master's degree in fire science. Afterward, frustrated with small town life and wanting to go anywhere but the state for which he was named, Monty enlisted in the Marines and entered basic at the age of twenty-two years old.
The wide world didn't cut it for Monty, and he wanted to settle down and start a family. I spite of being active duty, he met Archer Somers during a leave, and Archer arranged his marriage to his daughter, Sera. In a small town like Trader's Bend, rumors spread, and though many held the opinion that the older man would make a good husband for the young lady who, though not wild, had begun to display some unsavory tendencies. Others may have believed that Monty was a bad influence on her and that he shouldn't have married such a young woman.
There is no doubt that Monty has a reputation in town. Some will no doubt love him and remember him as a high school hero, and others may loathe him as someone who left and came back to fall into an arranged marriage with a woman much younger than him. Whatever your feelings for Monty, one thing is certain:
He's not the boy who he once was. A year ago, Monty was deployed to Afghanistan. He returned six months ago for R&R when his brother, soldier, was killed in action. Once he'd made the arrangements, he left Sera pregnant and returned to Afghanistan with no knowledge of her pregnancy. Two months ago, his wife -- and therefore the town -- was informed that Monty was missing in action, presumed dead.
Everybody in town will know his story. The town grieved for the hometown boy who had been killed in action. Now he's back, finished with debriefing and released to his family. Monty asked that his wife not be informed that he was on his way home so that he could surprise her. Now they have to face the town and explain where he's been, that he was honorably discharged, and that he would be applying for local jobs.
Monty is not the man that the town remembers sending away to war. He's withdrawn, irritable, and explosive. Sometimes he won't leave the house for days at a time, and he routinely comes down with phantom illnesses, many of which relate to his post traumatic stress. He won't talk to anyone -- least of all his wife -- about what happened while he was captured, and he's not the person who people remember.
Friends are going to be complicated. He's not the guy who went away. Monty is now the man who came back. People who know him will likely still love him, but many will want to keep their distance from him. He's snappy, irritable, and sometimes he answers voices that nobody else can hear. It's upsetting enough for him but it could b terrifying for other people in town who thought they knew this steady, stable, calm man who loved his wife and kids but has come back changed.
No doubt people know about post traumatic stress (though many in the town might still refer to it as "shell shock") but they don't know how it presents itself and how difficult it is to deal with. People who were once his friends may no longer be his friends as a result of its symptoms, and this is important for people to think about when attempting to be his friend.
Monty will need some good friends, people who can stand by him and not expect him to talk about the things that he's seen. I see these as mostly being people who have military experience themselves, but there is some room for friends from the past to be good for him as well, as long as they don't attempt to make him talk about it.
Monty is currently married to Seraphina Somers Sheridan and he is madly in love with her. Arranged marriage doesn't have to mean that two people won't come to love one another.
I'd be comfortable with past girlfriends though for sure!
Oh, there are going to be plenty of enemies. The big problem with Monty is that he's so different than what he used to be before. He's explosive now and tends to fly off the handle about little things. No doubt someone has heard him shouting at his niece or nephew or scolding one of the little ones or has heard one of the littles crying because he's smacked her bottom.
If you don't understand him, if you hate the military, or if you are generally a bad person, you're not going to get along well with Monty. He's more outspoken about some things than before (for example, he's very likely to be defensive of the darker skinned town residents because after all, he served with them).
Monty is close with his family -- his two remaining brothers and his sister, as well as his nieces and nephews, his wife, her family, and their children. In spite of everything that is currently weighing him down, he remains a good provider for Sera and the children, and he takes pride in who he is as a father.
Provided that Ava agrees, Monty might be willing to adopt a child if he were to interact organically with the right kid.
Monty is tall. That's the first thing that most people recognize about them when they see him for the first time (or for the first time in a while). The scars are probably the next thing that they notice, from the deep scars at his wrists to the raised scar under his right eye. These stand out, and most people don't have those sorts of scars. People are often curious about the scars on his body and face and this can lead to unwanted questions for Monty. Those who ask questions will find him arrogant and perhaps repulsive, while those who remain quiet about them are left with a better impression of someone who has been through a lot and doesn't want to share with strangers.
During his capture period, Monty's name got around Trader's Bend. Everybody in town knows who he is and what he represents. Most think of him as a tremendous American Patriot, and strangers likely believe that he is a good Christian as well. The papers and other media that have spread word of his heroism and many people have formed opinions of him since he was captured. Most expected never to see him again, and now that he's back, strangers are attempting to gawp at his home to see if they can catch a glimpse of the hometown hero. Strangers, therefore, either think of him as somebody who sacrificed a great deal for his country, or as somebody who fought an unnecessary war. Marines are either the good guys or the bad guys, depending on your perspective.
Nobody is better at keeping secrets than Monty is. His friends know that he will keep himself quiet and won't tell another person about what they told him. They respect the fact that he is the sort of person who can sit quietly with them and enjoy shoulder-to-shoulder time (with his guy friends) or who is willing to offer a shoulder to cry on without suggesting ways to fix the problem (for his girl friends). It is also apparent to his friends that Monty is a spiritual person, and though he is not currently a part of any particular spiritual group, his friends have come to respect his religion and his spirituality. His friends are some of the only people in Trader's Bend who know about his religious beliefs.
Family members know better than anybody else how much Monty has changed since his capture. He's always been a warm man, loving and affectionate with his wife and his children. Since returning from war, however, he has grown distant. He doesn't want to talk about the things that he saw or the things that he did. He snaps at the children sometimes. He pushes Sera away when he feels threatened. The only person who really seems to understand him is his brother Donny, who was also a marine until his retirement. The two of them get along as well as they do because they can understand each what the other has seen, plus the desire to not talk about it at all.
While most people in small-town Montana identify themselves as patriots, there are more than a few who feel like the United States doesn't belong in the Middle East. Surprisingly (or not surprisingly), Monty is actually one of those people. Even so, his rivals include those who believe that he is a bad person for joining the Marine Corps and participating in a war that they don't believe in. The anti-war (very liberal) crowd often antagonizes Monty, and he's even been spat on before. Their disdain for him is rooted primarily in the fact that he chose to join the military, and not on the fact that he himself is militaristic as an Asatruar.
Enemies are, for the most part, much as rivals are above. People who strongly dislike Monty mostly do so because of his military background. A few might have feelings about his educational background and his ability to put people in prison if he can prove that they started a fire that was their responsibility. His enemies differ from his rivals in that his enemies are willing to make his life as difficult as possible. He's received hate-mail (from which he's protected his wife, who is fully capable of handling herself). Monty is highly defensive of his family, and his enemies should be aware that he is a trained Marine -- he knows how to kill with his bare hands.
Monty gets mixed reviews from authority figures. On the one hand, he follows instructions as well as most Marines do -- it's a sense of duty thing. But on the other hand, his post traumatic stress disorder makes him something of a liability and a concern for those who are in charge of the ranch. If he was doing fire department work, this wouldn't be such a big deal, but as things are, he's working with a vulnerable population while he is vulnerable himself. Authorities, therefore, tend to like him as a person, but are wary of his PTSD when it comes to dealing with people. Sometimes he snaps unnecessarily, and he has been reprimanded on at least one occasion for lack of care for the feelings of the students. Monty's response was that their feelings matter less to him than their safety.
It's difficult for Monty to get along with his coworkers. He doesn't interact with them a great deal (in part to avoid questions), and most of them find him arrogant and a little bit self-centered. He believes that he knows what's best for the kids in his care (as well as his own biological and adopted children) and he doesn't leave a lot of room for other people's opinions. In fact, Monty is sometimes dumbstruck when somebody suggests and alternative to him, and he won't always accept it. This is irritating to his coworkers, who perceive him as being somewhat over-the-top, unyielding, and too stubborn for the good of his group.
Love came over time for Sera and Monty, considering that they had an arranged marriage. It was his steadfastness, his fidelity to their marriage, and the way that he kissed her and held her that made Sera fall in love with Monty. It's obvious to the people who he loves (and has loved) that he loves with his whole being, mind, soul, and body. Everything he is pours into his affection, and love from Monty is like a force of nature. His lovers feel safe with him because he will do anything to protect him, but also equal to him, because he is looking for a queen to stand beside him, not a princess to protect. Sera can slay her own dragons, as he's fond of saying. Even so, he'll attempt to protect her and the kids from whatever he can.
When Monty looks in the mirror, he sees a warrior. He sees somebody who has fought, and he sees the lives that came before him. He enjoys the quote "respect your ancestors, for you are the product of a thousand loves." It's important to him to see the past in himself and to honor it in the modern day, and he's proud of himself for not falling into the trap that many Asatruars do -- he's not a role player, but rather somebody who believes that the modern world can meet with the ancestral magic of the people who came before him. His hope is that he can continue to uphold the values of his ancestors and to be the best warrior he can be.
Friends who knew him well will celebrate Monty's journey to Valhalla. They will remember him as someone who fought bravely to protect the people who mattered the most to him, and they will remember that it was for them and their loved ones that he fought, more than for his country. Those who did not know him so well may be saddened that he spent his life on a cause that he could never win. His family will mourn his passing while celebrating his reunion with the gods and the ancestors who came before him as he joins them at Asgard.
When I first created Monty, I wasn't sure how I felt about him at all. He was a request for Ava, with a rather incredible story of having been MIA and then returning home to surprise his very pregnant wife. Things have developed from there, and he has become one of my favorites. He's steadfast to the point of being stubborn, damaged in ways that I can personally understand, and I love that he stands for his religion, even if it's not something conventional that people are accustomed to seeing.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has caused Monty terrible nightmares. Most nights he can't sleep. Duke helps to wake him up when he has a nightmare, but there have been night when Monty has violently kicked Sera. This is particularly dangerous as they sometimes co-sleep with their children, and Monty doesn't want to risk hurting one of his kids because of his nightmares. The dog does a great job of making sure that he doesn't succumb too deeply into the nightmares, but he feels safer if he sleeps separate from his wife so that he doesn't hurt her.
This has caused some problems in their marriage, as Sera wants to support her husband as much as she can. Monty wants to protect her, even if he's protecting her from himself. It's something that they argue about on occasion, but he is not yet ready to take the risk that he might hurt her.
Sometimes I've Got to Get Away
Although not something that he does every weekend, Monty is known for packing up and going out into the woods with his military buddies on holiday weekends. Too many people celebrate veteran's day by shooting off fireworks. He's killed people. He's been captured by the enemy. He's seen children shot in the back of the head. Fireworks are too much for Monty, and so he and his buddies -- most of whom suffer from the same affliction that he does -- head out into the woods to go camping for the weekend.
He always has advance notice on at the ranch that he has to get away from these types of events, so he has holiday weekends off every time there's likely to be fireworks. The staff has been incredibly understanding, and thanks to his needs, they don't set off fireworks on the ranch for any holiday, including Independence Day and New Year's Day.
It's the Little Things
As a matter of course, Monty takes time out of his life to spend time with his girls -- that is, the ones who are old enough to walk and talk (and he's not ignoring Monty Jr!). Every week he makes time to take Jadyn, Willow, and Holly out with him for a Daddy-Daughter date. Each girl has her own day to spend with him, from the youngest (who is three) to the oldest (who is thirteen). He believes that it's important for him to establish for his daughters how a man should treat a woman. Not only does he treat his own woman with the utmost respect, but he treats his girls like the gift that they are.
It's important for him that his girls understand that while a man should respect a woman and should go out of his way to court her in a legitimate fashion, he should also treat her as an independent woman with her own mind. For that reason, he allows the girls to pick their own venue for their dates. Sometimes this means that they go all the way to the next city to find a Chuck E. Cheese, or sometimes it means a more intimate meal out with Jadyn. Either way, he vows to help his girls grow up to be the strong shieldmaidens they were born to be.
His Name is Duke
Wherever Monty goes, Duke goes with him. Duke is Monty's psychiatric service dog. Even among those who know Monty and where he went when he went off to Afghanistan, people have questioned whether or not he "needs" the dog. Duke is his protection, not only from what other people might do to him, but from himself. When he has a panic attack, the dog is able to keep him centered in the present and therefore avoid having accidents that could result in somebody else getting hurt. It is therefore safest for Monty to have the dog with him.
Even when he works, Monty brings Duke with him. The dog is always at his side, even when he is on a riding trip with his students. For this reason, students with dog allergies either should avoid the Pathfinder group or will need to take medications to control their allergies. This dog is a necessity to keep Monty from being hurt or hurting others. PTSD is serious.
A year ago, Monty's older brother Donny was killed in action in Syria. Eight years ago, his wife had passed away from pancreatic cancer, a slow and horrible death that left her children traumatized. Further traumatized by their father's death, the children needed somewhere to go. They spent about a month in foster care before Monty and Sera were approved as relative care for the twins. They accepted custody readily so that Monty's niece and nephew would have somewhere to live.
Now Monty is learning how to parent not one, but three teenagers. His time as a POW put them through a fresh trauma, and now that he's back again, he's trying to balance taking care of their emotional needs with the discipline that they so obviously need. It's tough to be everything to the twins, and it's exhausting, but it's worth it.
Vows to Asgard
Montana Sheridan is a real life viking -- well, so to speak. He's a practitioner of Asatru, an ancestral religion of the Northern (Norse) people. When he talks about Asgard, he doesn't mean it in the sense of the comic book "Thor" and when he refers to "Thor" he means the god of Thunder (for whom Thursday is named). He takes his religion as seriously as any Christian would take their religion, but he keeps what he believes close to the belt in order to avoid confrontation with small town Christians.
Many people "role play" vikings due to the popular television show, but as far as Monty is concerned, the gods are alive and well in the twenty-first century so there's no need to pretend to be a part of the past in order to connect with them. It offends him that people don't understand this, and he is endlessly frustrated by the ignorance shown toward people of alternative faiths -- and Muslims.
Fire, and the science thereof, has been an interest of Monty's for as long as he can remember. He uses his interest in fire and applies it to different hobbies. The main hobby of these is forging. Monty has a home forge in a shed out of the back of his house where he uses traditional and modern forging techniques to build weapons that range from display pieces to functional weapons that he could use to defend his family (or hunt) if it came down to it.
On days when his PTSD is bad, you can find Monty in the forge. These days he usually leaves Duke in the house, as this is not a safe place for the dog. At the same time, it's not a safe place for Monty without the dog. Children aren't allowed in his home forge at all and he will chase them out if they come wandering.
You'll find samples of minerals and rocks all over the home that Monty shares with his wife, Sera, and their six children (plus their niece and nephew!). An avid rock collector, he watches the ground (particularly when there isn't anything else for him to watch while he's working) for different minerals to pick up and take home to add to his collection. He has a field guide that he nearly always has with him (or at least stored somewhere while he's at home or at work) that he uses to help him to identify the rocks that he picks up.
This started as something to occupy his mind. Carrying stones in his pockets helped Monty to stay grounded when he was anxious. He could put his hand into his pocket and hold onto a stone and remind himself to be mindful of his current situation. Then he began to explore the different types of rocks, and soon he was collecting various different rocks and minerals and putting them on display on shelves throughout the house.
Asatru (Monty's religion) is an ancestral religion based in one's roots. For this reason, Monty has put a lot of effort into building a genealogy of his family going back as many generations as he has been able to manage. So far that's only six, but he continues to work to determine where his people came from, what his roots are, and which of his ancestors died honorably -- and which didn't. These things are important to Monty, and he takes extensive notes about each branch of the family tree.
This is an important project and he has learned a lot about the Johansson family (his wife's natal family) as a result of his research. Both families are hereditary witches, and he and Sera have learned a lot by digging into their roots and finding out where they can trace their family lines. Hers comes from the Celtic country and his from the North Country.
Guitar • Excellent
When he was younger and busy with all the things that high school meant for Monty, he learned guitar in a back bedroom by himself. There wasn't a lot of time for it, and back then he didn't want to be known as the musical kid. Athletics were far more important to him than music was at the time. Now that he's grown, he's come to understand that being able to use his guitar to calm his senses on a bad day helps him more than he could have imagined back in those days and he's relieved to have this skill.
As it turns out, he's really quite excellent at playing. He's grown good at the guitar over the years and now he can play with some accompaniment (as he doesn't sing). His playing is pleasing enough that he's often asked to pull out his guitar at parties, and he's usually more than happy to oblige when he's asked to do so.
Fire Sourcing • Excellent
Fire science is Monty's career field. He went to college for fire science and planned to join the fire department when he got out of the military. Instead, he made a career out of the military and then retired after ten years of service due to post traumatic stress. In the meantime, he remains excellent within his intended field, and fire sourcing is one of his primary skills in the context of fire science. This is a much-needed skill in arson investigation, and Monty is proud to help out in that area when he is needed by the local fire department.
Monty is, however, out of practice in using this skill. It's something that he'd like to have the opportunity to develop further, and so he has been in touch with the local fire department to talk to them about the sourcing fires when the fire department is called out. He's willing to do this on a voluntary basis during the days that he's not working on the ranch.
Hand-to-Hand Combat • Expert
Marine trained, Monty is an expert in hand-to-hand combat. Though better with a gun (for obvious reasons), he knows how to defend himself against an enemy with his hands if he needs to. In fact, he has killed a total of three men with his bare hands in the past as a result of their up-close-and-personal threat to his life (in two cases) and the life of a young girl (in the third case). He's fully aware that he is capable of separating a man's spirit from his body with nothing but his hands and his fists.
This is (as it should be obvious) not a skill that Monty hopes to ever use again. He is glad/that he possesses is, as it makes him feel safer when things get terrifying in his life, but it also makes him insecure: What happens if he uses this skill in the midst of a nightmare and hurts his wife or his children? Fortunately, he has Duke to make sure that doesn't happen.
Even when he was young Monty was fascinated by fire. His parents often caught him playing with things that he shouldn't, and he spent more time than he cares to think about doing extra chores or standing in the corner with his nose to the wall after a sound spanking. He never lost this interest, no matter how hard his parents tried to keep him from playing with fire, and as an adult, he attended the University of Montana to study fire science.
There, he earned his degree and would later join the Marine Corps as a corporal due to his extensive education. He worked with explosives while in the military and learned how to disarm them to help prevent more people from being hurt. Monty saved countless lives due to his interest in fire science, and in spite of themselves, his parents couldn't be prouder of him.
The Marine Corps changed Monty. He came back with his body intact but his mind broken by the experience. Because he doesn't want to talk about what he did and what he saw, he doesn't want to be in therapy with another person who will only want to uncover his secrets. His worry is, as always, that people will condemn him for killing. It's all part of the job, but there are those who think that the military is doing a bad thing by killing those people who kill Americans. Monty's couldn't handle seeing men older than him hurting girls his daughters' ages.
Without therapy, he has been forced to work on himself. This has taught him a lot about how to do his job at Brook Haven, and he has gotten quite good at working with the students and teaching them how to deal with their own problems. He's there to support them, but for the most part they are doing the work by themselves. His philosophy is that in the end, nobody can do the work for you. You have to do the work for yourself.
Monty's entire family (that is to include Sera and her natal family) believe in all-over wellness. The family farms their own food, takes care of their bodies, their minds, and their souls. Everything that they eat comes from their own farmstead, and it is all organic with no pesticides or genetically modified components. It is rare for Monty and Sera to eat out (though Monty does take the girls out frequently) but when they do, both of them make sure that the food that they are eating is healthy, even if it can't always be local.
To this end, he also practices yoga, meditates, hikes, and swims as part of his personal wellness program. For him, it's about developing the entire mind and body together, and you can't have one without the other. While he doesn't push this on his students, it's a big part of the reason that he does what he does.
The belief in the old gods is important to Monty, and he considers himself a practitioner of Asatru in the modern world. He is a follower of the old ways, but that doesn't mean that he goes out of his way to behave in a medieval manner. His love of weapons stems from his religion, but he doesn't take that to faires or other role play environments. Instead, he sells his weapons to fell Asaturars as well as to those who enjoy the role play element.
Monty makes time to celebrate the wheel of the year with his wife (a Celtic pagan, but still his queen in every respect) while following the Edda and worshiping his own old Norse Gods -- Odin, Thor, Frigg, Freya, Tyr, and so on. This is a sincerely held belief for Monty, but not one that he talks about all that often.
"You Don't Look Disabled..."
Monty's psychiatric service dog, Duke, goes everywhere with him. Dogs are only allowed on the ranch if they are service animals in specific categories relating to physical disabilities and serious psychiatric need. Seeing eye dogs are permitted, for example. Seizure dogs are permitted. Assistance dogs are permitted for those with physical disabilities. And in rare cases, a psychiatric service dog is permitted on the ranch for those who have been shown to need their assistance to wake them from nightmares, calm them out of a panic attack, or to guide them through life.
Monty was not only a Marine in Afghanistan. Not only did he kill hundreds of people while he was serving. But he was also captured and held by the enemy for nearly six weeks before he was recovered and debriefed by the US Army Rangers and then the US government (CIA). He's experienced a lot of trauma, and he currently has more bad days than he has good.
I'd love to have somebody confront him about the presence of the dog in a public area. It might not have to be Brook Haven if we have people making town characters. Either way, this would be a way for Monty to confront some stereotypes and it would give him a way to think more deeply about himself.
"You're Just a Cold Blooded Marine!"
There's no way to fully separate oneself from the horrors of what one does in a war. No amount of convincing oneself that one is fighting for the greater good, the death count takes its toll on you. Monty might not have been a sniper, but he killed over a hundred men and watched more die during his time overseas. It affected him deeply, though many people in Trader's Bend likely see Monty as nothing but a cold blooded marine who could shoot his own mother in the face if he was commanded to do so.
He's fighting stigma in town. There are those who view him as a hero because he was already the small town athletic hero who went away to war and returned after six weeks MIA. To them, Monty says "I just want to be left alone. Please don't thank me for what I've done. I don't want to talk about it." Then there are those who say that he's nothing but a cold blooded marine and the world would be better off if the enemy had killed him rather than merely capturing him. To them Monty says "You haven't seen the things that I've seen. You'd have to be dead to come back and not care about the people we left behind."
Monty struggles with his feelings about the war on terror. There are two sides to every story, and two sides to every war as well. At some point somebody should confront him about what he did while he was there so that Monty has the opportunity to react. This is best done with a stranger, though somebody who he knows well from his past could feasibly say something to him about it. As long as this isn't his marine buddies, it's all good!
"How Can You Defend Them...?"
One thing that surprises a lot of people instantly about Monty is that he is not in the least bit Islamophobic. He respects Muslims in the United States and has a strong belief that they need to be able to escape from the persecution of their home countries to places which are safer for them. Monty doesn't believe that Islam itself is evil in the least, but that there are cultural evils in the world that allow old men to marry (and rape) young girls.
Islam has strong ties in the part of the world where Asatru was born, and Monty has incredible respect for Muslims. He believes in religious freedom, and as far as he's concerned, that is what he was fighting for in Afghanistan: The freedom for people of all parts of the world to choose their own path to walk without being told that they had to do something because another person had dictated it.
He refuses to speak badly about Muslims. A very clarifying thread for him would be an opportunity to defend a person who is Muslim. This is best done with a woman wearing hijab (because she is so noticeable) but would also require somebody willing to antagonize her because of her religious beliefs (perhaps Karl Sanders, Ben?). I'll request the girl to make sure that there's opportunity for her.
Thanks for reading!
Time Zone: GMT-5
Native Language: English
Preferred Word Count: 300-800+
Likely Triggers: positive adoption language, abortion, miscarriage, needles, graphic, bloody violence. if you tag these, i should be okay!
Your Other Characters: rachel vanderbilt, logan brook, isabella curry, rebekah brook, grace somers, nathan curry, william jenkins, katelyn yu, eleanor noble
Tara has been on the ranch since the moment she was born. She's known Brook Haven well before it was ever a safe haven for abused horses and kids that needed guidance. There isn't a piece of this land that she doesn't know or hasn't walked. She spent her life in this place, and she couldn't imagine it any differently.
When her father turned the ranch into what it is, and then when Logan took over it, she smiled and continued on. She never expected her dad to give her the ranch, not only was Logan older than her, but he was a living example of how the program worked.
More than anything, Tara wants to see Brook Haven thrive, and she knows that it can, but she doesn't want to have to play mediator to get it to. She wishes her brothers would get their shit together and figure it all out, because she's tired of translating. Even if she does understand what's going on, it doesn't make it any easier on her energy levels.
On top of everything else with the ranch, a new addition has joined them and this addition is one of Tara's biggest secrets. Grace Somers, her biological daughter who she allowed to be adopted by the girl's biological father and his wife. The fact that she's there, at all, has her concerned, but she doesn't even know how to bring it up with anyone.
And, if for any reason, she thought she could somehow continue to keep this secret, the only man who could blow the lid on the whole thing has shown up at the ranch looking to sponsor. She doesn't want Ethan Somers anywhere near the ranch, or her. So, not only does she have to figure out how to explain to her family (and her husband!) that she had a child, but that while she was pregnant with that child she had a relationship with the child's uncle and that he had been abusive of her -- and now he's at the ranch.
You know that I love Monty, which means that I want to be able to play with him across the board, but I do think that there might be some tension between him and Tara. I think that this sort of tension could be a good thing, and might even help him to grow.
Tara has a tendency to be attracted to "broken" things, and right now, Monty definitely fits the bill. She thinks that he should seek therapy and talk it out with someone, even if it's not talking about what happened, but building trust with someone outside of his circle and talking about the things that effect him so that they can try to come up with some coping skills.
We already talked about the therapy dog -- she thinks it's great that he has one, and can represent to some of the kids on the ranch that just because you can't see something, doesn't mean it's not there.
Anyways, I'm not sure, but from what you've said, I can see her repeatedly bringing up the idea of therapy in a "subtle" manner, and this potentially causing some problems between them. She has good intentions, and only says it because she genuinely cares about him and wants what's best for him.
Let me know if this works, and if you want to do a thread at any point.
It's been years since the fire that forever altered the life of her and her family. What was supposed to be a simple party quickly got out of control, and before she completely understood what had happened, the barn was up on smoke. In an effort to save the horses she could, she ran in, along with her sister. As a result, one horse was saved and is still alive -- Victory.
All the others either perished in the fire or sustained injuries to grave to be kept alive.
After suffering a head injury that left her in a coma, she was in relative peace, until she woke to deal with the consequences of her decisions.
It's been years, and it's still hard for Ronnie to look her brother or sister in the eyes. She doesn't like the idea of being at Brook Haven. She's terrified of what this means for her, what it means for Victory, and what she does if they really never do forgive her.
She does a good job of masking that fear and guilt with anger, and so far, she's managed to keep people away, but who knows how much longer that will last.
Ronnie is going to be in Monty's group, which is an effort on the ranch's part to separate the three siblings so that they can begin to grow and heal. Her brother's threat to put her horse down is going to put her in a more forward moving position than she had been when she'd been in the wranglers.
Surprisingly, she's concerned about Monty hating her too, and while I wouldn't say she'll be on her best behavior with him, I think she might take some baby steps. She's not doing what she's doing just because she wants to be a pain in the ass, she's hurting, and she doesn't know how to express that any better than she is now and has been for years -- she just feels like there's no one listening, or no one who cares.
Ronnie gets what it's like to not want to talk about it, and I think it might be some sort of common ground for them, if you're interested in something like that. I don't know.
Don't get me wrong, she's not going to turn a leaf and be an angel. She really is struggling right now, and she's acting out as a result of that pain, grief, and guilt. I'd love it if we could figure out some sort of thread that's mutually appealing.
Given that Nathaniel is working directly with Monty, I feel like I should say something about them, even if I don't have any thread ideas for the moment.
Nathaniel's not a military guy. He's never known a military guy. He respects the military, abstract, but up close, the class and culture differences are tricky. Especially since Nathaniel can recognize the PTSD, and sometimes it makes him wonder if Monty should be doing this job.
Even so, Nathaniel has a ton of respect for Monty, so I don't think they'll have trouble working together, but they seem unlikely to click on a personal level.
When people look at Nick, they tend to see a big dumb bully. For all most people experience of him, they might as well be right. At heart, Nick is a smart, sensitive kid who’s learned to act tough because it keeps him safe, but that’s buried deep enough that plenty of people will never encounter that side of him.
Jason Woo is a first generation Korean-American, born and raised in San Francisco, California.
HIs father was abusive, and his mother had post=partum depression among other mental illnesses. His grandmother would take care of him when his mother wasn't up to the task, until she died when Jason was little. His mother took her own life not long after his grandmother's death.
Jason's dad was an abuser, and he was eventually taken away from his father. After attempting to run away from multiple foster homes, he was sent to Brook Haven Ranch.
Hey there, Otter! Please don't feel rushed or anything like that to put up a Monty/Jason thread. First, real life will always come first, no if ands or buts about it. Especially where mental health is concerned. I would hate to see you burn yourself out, all over a thread. So take your time, feel better, and we can revisit plots and threads. I'm patient. Especially when I know there are extenuating circumstances.
Now, on to Jason and Monty.
How I envision Jason pushing boundaries is a bit juvenile. He likes to push until he hits the boundaries, and when he finally does, he tries to make it into some kind of joke. He'll try and laugh it off, basically saying something along the lines of 'jeez can't you take a joke?' He likes to have something over on people, especially authority figures. When he knows where the boundaries are, he knows what buttons to push and how to get under the skin. He doesn't really expect anything 'bad' to happen to him as a result.
He knows that the relationships he has with authority figures is going to be strained--to say the least--because of this. It could be considered a form of self-sabotage, because tense relationships with authority would make it very difficult for him to integrate and complete the program. It could be a kind of hurtle that he has to conquer, maybe? The sooner he stops pushing his boundaries and limits, the sooner he can complete the program and the sooner he can get off the ranch.
To be honest, what I think Jason needs is to be put in some form of danger. He's never faced any real consequences for his pushing. It could be good for him to have the crap scared out of him. It would definitely be good for him to have a reason to think twice about pushing people, something to think back on whenever he starts pushing, or thinks about starting to push.
Otter is the brains behind Brook Haven Ranch, which is the culmination of twenty years of roleplay admin experience. She developed Brook Haven in response to a personal need (both hers and River's) to have a safe place to work through some of the emotions brought about from childhood and adolescence. Brook Haven as evolved from there into a rich and complex setting which permits players to examine not only their own lives, but the way that other people live, so that we can better understand not only ourselves, but one another. It is, without a doubt, Otter's favorite playground.
Otter prefers threads with action, that move the plot forward or foster strong relationships between characters. She is not a fan of one-off interactions or most slice-of-life types of threads, and becomes bored with them quickly. Her preference when plotting is a "one-two-three" plot system (plot-reply-thread) and therefore she likes to provide (and receive) strong ideas that will lead to threads. Relationships are wonderful, but she prefers to foster them organically, which means threads with action first.
When she's not roleplaying, Otter loves to knit. Her favorite projects are socks and mitts (or mittens). Small projects suit her best, but she also enjoys knitting scarves and hats to donate to the local juvenile correctional facilities, victims of abuse, and otherwise the needy in the local area where she lives.
She also loves to read. Her favorite books are constantly changing, but she is a constant fan of The Hunger Games. She keeps a notebook (Leuchtreurm) with a list of the books that she's read with notes about who might enjoy them, and Otter loves to give book recommendations (but is pretty sure she's not good at it). She also has a blog that she frequently forgets to update with her book reviews.
Squirt joined Brook Haven after searching for a site focused on teenage growth in a detailed setting. She became a moderator after displaying initiative and interest. She comes with a wealth of experience in the Harry Potter and high school genres.
Every thread she participates in has a distinct purpose: to develop a relationship or further the character’s story. She quickly grows bored with one-off threads or stalled threads. She’s looking to play more antagonistic threads and difficult familial relationships.
In her spare time Squirt plays desktop video games, watches kids movies, fosters cats, and takes naps.
Ben has been a player on Otter and River’s sites for the last two years, and became a staff member on Brook Haven after when it was starting up again. He’s a big fan of both the detailed setting and the complex themes of the site.
Ben likes threads which move the character’s stories forward. Often those are high intensity emotional scenes, but sometimes they’re little moments in an ordinary day where people say the right thing.
Outside of roleplaying, Ben studies and teachers mathematics loves video games.
Hello members and guests! Brook Haven Ranch is now hiring! We are looking to fill positions for Outreach Admin, Events Moderator, and Global Moderator.
These are our criteria for inviting members to our staff:
Applying Member must have a minimum of one character before being invited to staff.
Applying Member must have been active on at least one character for one month before being invited to staff.
Applying Member must be over the age of 21.
Applying Member must have a good grasp of English spelling and grammar.
Applying Member must have demonstrated eagerness to plot with other members by reaching out to new members.
Applying Member must be actively participating in Weekly Encouragements.
Applying Member must demonstrate a presence in the cbox.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the staff, please let an administrator know of your interest. We invite members to join our staff when we feel that they are appropriate for the task.
At the present time, we are seeking an Outreach Admin, Events Moderator, and Global Moderator. Two of these positions are specialized, while a Global Moderator's purpose is to help with claims and to join the staff in reviewing applications for acceptance.
The Outreach Admin is responsible for leading the Outreach team in advertising Brook Haven Ranch on other sites, chatting with guests and new members in the cbox, greeting new members via personal message, and reaching out to members when there is a discipline problem which needs to be resolved. They help manage the Outreach team, which currently consists of one moderator.
The Events Moderator will assist the Events Administrator by creating and managing awards, brainstorming event ideas, and constructing prompts for event roulettes. They will be responsible for encouraging members to engage with events and activities on the site and are expected to participate in all events posted on the site (to lead by example).
We are looking only for outstanding members of this community who can lead by example and help others to see how we wish for things to be done. Our staff produce the best characters, generate the most exciting plots, and pursue excellence at every turn. If you are interested in becoming one of us, please make sure that you meet all criteria, and then inform an admin of your desire to join the staff!