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: Anthony Nicholas Brook
Date of Birth: August 24, 1970
Current Age: 46
Pronouns: he / him
User Group: Staff
Sub-Group: Brook Haven Owner
Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color: Auburn
Scars or Marks: None
Tattoos or Piercings Upper Tribal Sleeve on left arm
Face Claim: Craig Morgan
MBTI Type: ISFJ
Likes: horseback riding, sunrises, holistic medicine, Sundays, church, cowboy boots, horses, kids, troubled horses, troubled kids, relaxing days, country music, animals, healthy food, records, jeans, new tack, front porches, trail rides, rain storms, autumn, the smell of hay, holiday dinners, Tara's pies, Amber's cooking
Dislikes: overly hot summers, tardiness, folks not taking responsibility, laziness, unwillingness to try, abuse of animals, rudeness, overpaying staff that don't deserve it
Strengths: love of learning, reliable, patient, observant, loyal, kind, supportive, practical, analytical, imaginative
Weaknesses: shy, overly critical, reluctant to change, humble, represses feelings, overloads himself
Fears: heights, being buried alive, being injured and unable to to ride or work with horses, sparklers, drowning, wildfiress
Aspirations: Live pleasantly and do good.
Romantic Orientation: Heteroromantic
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Relationship Status: Dating
Significant Other: Moira
Career/Occupation: Head of Brook Haven's Horse Program
Education: B.S. Equine Science, M.S. Animal Science
Dream Job: Head of Brook Haven's Horse Program
Home Town: Trader's Bend
Preferred Riding Style: Western
Disciplines: Roping, Cutting, Trail Riding, Western Pleasure
Riding Strengths: Horse/Rider Communication
Riding Weaknesses: Poor posture, leaning due to some previous injuries
Growing up, Tony wasn't your typical rough and rowdy boy. He didn't run and play cowboys and Indians with the others down the street. He was quiet, and preferred to spend time in the company of animals rather than people, which was why his parents jumped to the conclusion that he was antisocial. Insistent that he had to be 'normal', the animals were taken away and Tony was forced into social situations he didn't do well in, and eventually led to him resenting everyone in his life enough that he ran away. After all, no one understood him, not because they couldn't, but because they wouldn't take the time.
After three attempts to run away, his parents gave up and told the cops to take him away since their home was obviously not where he wanted to be. The whole thing had hurt, but at fourteen, he couldn't argue; he didn't want to be in their house along with the constant pressure to just be "normal" and socialize with people he didn't want to be around. Thankfully, somewhere along his journey a cop had relayed the story to one of their better social workers in the hopes of being able to work something out for a kid who wasn't nearly as angry as he was misunderstood. That social worker was Charlie Brook; a woman who was as compassionate as she was understanding, and who took Tony home with her (rather than subjecting him to the juvenile detention system), where he met her two adopted sons (Logan and Simon) along with her husband, Ed and their biological daughter, Tara.
Life on the Brook's ranch was a dream come true for a kid like Tony. No one got on his case for bonding with animals more quickly than he did with the humans, and for the first time in his life, he felt like he'd found that he trusted them. It was through the Brook's guidance that Tony grew, and with that growth came bonds that he'd been lacking. As it turned out, he hadn't needed people judging him, he'd needed people to understand him and accept him for who he was, which was precisely what the Brook family had done. It wasn't until he was sixteen that he was adopted, and the rest of his teen years were spent bonding with his brother Logan while he worked toward getting into veterinary school.
Most people think that the Brook Haven program started in 1996, and officially, it did, but the truth of it, as Tony will tell you, is that it started back in the seventies when Charlie began rescuing the Brook Brothers and other foster children and taking them to the ranch. Not all of the foster children she took in became adopted, but any of the brothers will tell you that to this day, they're all family, much like the foster children they take into the Brook Haven Ranch Program.
Brook Haven is what is today with mostly thanks to Charlie and Logan. Tony would have gone on happily rescuing horses on the ranch had they not brought the idea of turning the place into a school and haven for foster and/or troubled teenagers. Because Charlie and the Brook brothers have a different view from most of what a troubled teen is, they have done well for the nineteen years, with the school having been open for the last eighteen with Logan the hands on philosophy and working with the kids, while Tony has worked to oversee the care of the horses, Tara has worked on the psychology, and Simon has attempted to make the place solvent.
The place getting investigated hit their family hard, and it's been difficult waters to wade through, but Tony believes that opening the doors once more is what's best for everyone, but he has some concerns, both with the ranch and with his siblings. He's just hoping that they can all pull it together, and make this work for the kids that need them the most. It's guaranteed to be one heck of a ride, but one that he wouldn't trade for anything in the world.
Keep On, Keeping On
At some point, you have to accept that there's nowhere to go but forward. A complaint that started up an official investigation managed to leave Tony and his family doing all they could to hold things together for the kids and horses that needed them. Not one to wallow, nor one to start up a campaign, Tony's simply done his best to keep things moving forward. One of few words, it had been surprising to his family when he'd found his voice to speak out against the accusations that had been made against them, and again in their search for financiers to help fund the program.
This program has the potential to change so many lives for the better -- both equine and human alike -- and more than anything in the world, Tony wants to see it succeed. While the program isn't what saved him and Logan, it was what inspired the program that did, and he can't imagine the world without it. More than anything, he wants to continue to the beacon of hope for the kids that need it the most.
After years of being away, Tony is happy to welcome his son home. His timing couldn't have been better either, with the ranch struggling to get back up on it's feet again, they can use all the help that they can get, and Tony's happy to have Garrett home, even if it's just for a little while.
As a student that graduated the program, Tony feels like Garrett could have a lot to offer the students on the ranch, and either way, they can always use an extra set of hands.
The question is what's really going on. It's not like his boy to just show up, and the fact that he's done just that has Tony asking himself some questions as he attempts to wait Gar out. Certain that everything that needs revealing will do so in it's own time, he's decided to take advantage of having his kids at home while welcoming Garrett back into the fold.
At 46, Tony has 24 years on Moira, and some folks have taken the time to point out that he's easily old enough to be her father, but he's doing his best not to let it phase him. Moira's a fully grown adult, with the ability to make her own decisions, and he's not forced anything on her. She's a wonderful woman, and it actually took a year for it to dawn on Tony that she might even be interested in him.
For now, they're taking it slow, and Tony's enjoying getting to court Moira in an honest way, as a man interested in a woman.
Tony is known to be Brook Haven Ranch's very own horse whisperer. While he doesn't much care for the title, there hasn't been a person that's been able to give it a better label, so everyone has just run with it. As a Brook Brother, he's one of the owners of the ranch, and the person responsible for the change from the ranch breeding quarter horses, and instead working with hurt, abused, and traumatized horses.
He has a soft spot for animals, and animal lover will quickly find their way into his good books, while anyone who attempts to hurt one will find themselves on the opposite side of that. He doesn't tend to talk much to people he's not close with, and even then, he prefers to save his words for when they really matter.
Because he doesn't talk much, Tony tends to observe more than folks that do a lot more talking. over the years, he's learned to trust his instinct, not only when it comes to treating and working with horses, but when it comes to people as well. While he's not in charge of the students as they do their day to day, nor is he involved with school (for the most part), Tony takes his part in the horse program very seriously, laying out his expectations of these kids in what he thinks is a pretty straight forward fashion.
While he doesn't tend to do a lot of admits, he does do them when he needs to.
Tony very much believes in both the kids and horses that come into the program. He can't imagine what his life would have been like without the ranch, or what his kids' lives would have been. He thinks that Brook Haven is doing important work, and that they need to keep on with it, despite the government's attempts to get involved.
Tony tends to keep to himself for the most part, but he's been living on the ranch for a long time, and this has lent itself to him having more friends than he might had he not been around for so long. Quiet, folks who worm their way into his life can count on him to be a good listener, and he's got the patience of a saint. He's a reliable and kind guy -- the sort of person that will have your back when you need it most, though sometimes not in the way that you always expect.
He's a good guy to go to for advice when you need it.
Tony is currently in a relationship with Moira O'Malley, and interested in pursuing other romantic endeavors. Despite the large difference in age, he has every intention of their courtship leading to marriage.
One of the quickest ways to make it onto Tony's bad side is to hurt an animal. He really can't condone that sort of behavior, and he has no problem making it known that he doesn't approve. Unfortunately, because of some of the things that he's seen, he can sometimes he overly quick to judge people. While he tends to wait and listen to horses, with people, he can sometimes make quick assumptions that aren't necessarily accurate.
Tony doesn't have many enemies, but there are people both on and off the ranch that he doesn't get along with.
His family has stuck by him through everything, and he can't imagine not sticking by them. Brook Haven Ranch saved both him and Logan in ways that he isn't certain would have been possible if things had been different. It's one of the reasons that the ranch staying open is so personal for him.
He's close to most of his siblings, with Simon being the most distant of his relationships, mostly because his younger brother tends to be so focused on the numbers and facts, and less on the personal reasons why they have to figure out how to keep the ranch going.
On his own piece of land, Tony has taken on his own adoptive kids: Garret and Lisa, both of whom were foster kids working the program.
Most people's first impression of Tony is that he's a quiet guy, and maybe even a bit rude. Because he doesn't tend to talk all that much (until he has something to say), he tends to answer people with Yes (sir/ma'am) or No (sir/ma'am) answers. He tends to be more of an observer, and this can be off-putting to some.
People from Trader's Bend know who Tony is, but stangers mostly just know his name. Folks that know of his ability to "whisper to horses" tend to anticipate a showman, and it's just not the kind of guy he is. He sticks to what he knows, and that involves a lot more listening and observing than it does talking. Tony is insistent on not changing his ways, and so, he tends to be not quite what folks are expecting.
Tony is the kind of guy that once he considers you a friend, he'll be there no matter what, and for this reason he tends make and keep friends. He's a steady guy with broad shoulders that gives great advice, and his friends, for the most part know that. And because of his tendency not to blather on, they know he isn't going to go run off and tell someone else whatever they've discussed.
To his family, Tony tends to be the reliable and loving one. He tries his best to be there for his siblings when he can be, providing advice or just being there when they need him. To his nieces and nephews, he's loving and always there to talk through a problem, should they need it. With his own kids, he tends to be fairly strict, while still allowing them the freedom that they need to grow, and as a result, it's worked out pretty well.
Rivals often see Tony as an odd one. Once again, he's not what folks are expecting. He doesn't do a whole lot of talking for himself, and instead, depends on word of mouth. Reputation is important to him, and for this reason, he does everything he can to keep his and the ranch's in the green.
Folks that try to go up against Tony might quickly wish that they hadn't. While he's not the physically aggressive sort, he is the kind of guy that people quickly learn they'd rather have on their side than not. Not only does he seem to know a whole lot more than he lets on, he has no problem putting a person in their place and telling them how it is. Because he tends to be the quiet sort, people don't see it coming until it does, and he delivers it in such a outwardly calm, but inwardly boiling way that it leaves most people speechless.
As a forty-six year old man, and co-owner of the ranch, Tony doesn't have too many authorities anymore, but for the most part, he's the respectful sort of guy that tends to get the nod of approval from the people in authority in his life.
Never one to skimp on his work, Tony is a good guy to work alongside, and most folks that work with him see it that way. He carries his fair share of the work load, and is usually able to help out someone if they need a hand. He's usually fairly eager to help the kids, or to step in with horses that need it.
It should be noted that folks that work with him regularly have likely picked up on the fact that he doesn't tend to work-work on Sundays. It's the only day that he has a hands off policy for.
The truth is that Tony hasn't had all that many lovers. He's a private and quiet guy, and until recently he's not allowed himself to get close to a woman. He tends to keep stuff in, only revealing them to the people that he trusts the most, and someone who gets close enough to him to be classified as a 'lover' will likely realize this. He's got a past of his own, and it's taken him a long time to heal and move forward from it, but it's shaped the person that he is. He refuses to raise a hand to someone in anger, and if he gets upset he's the sort of guy that will take a moment to cool down and collect his thoughts (at least with family -- and a lover would be considered that), but will address whatever upset him when he can do it calmly.
Lovers will likely pick up on the fact that Tony's one of the good ones, because he is. He's steady, and anyone he gets involved with will likely know that. He doesn't date just to date, and anyone he's involved with should know that.
Tony sees himself as just a guy that really loves his family and animals. He doesn't know where he'd be without the Brooks, and thanks God for them every day, because they are the people who made him into the man that he is, and have given him opportunity after opportunity -- and they didn't have to. He knows that he's good with horses, but he says that it's mostly just because he's learned to listen in ways that some folks either don't know how to, or don't want to. He enjoys working with animals, sometimes more than people, and he's aware how overly critical he can get of people, but he tries his best to be a guy that folks (the kids in particular) can look up to -- but he isn't perfect, and he'll be the first to tell you so.
When Tony's time comes, he'll likely be remembered as a guy that had a remarkable way with horses, and who loved deeply, in his own way. As a man of few words, the things he did say would have had a meaning, and likely sat heavily with some of the folks he'd spoken to.
I adore Tony. He's a great guy with a wonderful heart for animals, and the right sorts of people. He loves his family, and there isn't much that he wouldn't do for them, upset or not. I find it hard not to love this guy.
Every morning, Tony makes his bed. It's something that Charlie had him do when he was growing up, and he did it so often that it just became a habit. So, every morning, before he hops into the shower, he makes his bed.
Dinner on the table at 6
Over at Tony's place, dinner is always on the table at 6:00. Whether it's something he's made or one of his sisters' casserole, it's always ready at 6:00, and those living at the house or invited over are expected to be washed up and sitting at the table on time.
Day of Rest
Sunday is a day of rest, and aside from chores, it's the way that Tony lives his life and insists that his kids do as well. He's not available for training or working with horses aside from caring for his own on Sundays. This has worked well for him over the years, helping to keep him from burning out, especially when things get busy and crazy around the ranch..
All the animals
Tony is known for his tendency to save all the stray animals he can. His tendency to take them in with the intention of finding them new home has wound up being the reason that he has three dogs and two cats of his own, and also the reason that some of his siblings and nieces and nephews also have animals aside from their horses.
Not a talker
Not everyone who comes along enjoys talking, and Tony is one of those sorts. For the most part, he's a quiet guy, and it tends to add effect to when he does speak up to say something. He talks more to the people that he knows the best, but even then he tends to be more of an observer, answering questions with quick one word answers.
You hear all the time about the kinds of people that are always late, but Tony is exactly the opposite; he's always 10-15 minutes early for any meetings or appointments he has. Because of this tendency, he asks that students on the ranch arrive for any meetings with him on time, and holds them to it.
For years, Tony has been working to produce honey for himself and his family. Not only can he do his own part to keep bees alive, but he can also have natural honey at his disposal. Since a healthy hive can produce up to 250 pounds of honey a season, he's not left wanting. In addition to harvesting honey, Tony also makes products using beeswax, which is both used by the ranch, and sold to the town's local general store.
After a long day, it's easy to pick up a piece of wood and get to whittling. Over the years, it's something that he's actually gotten pretty good at, and has made many of the Brook kids things for their rooms or homes. For Tony, whittling is a good way to keep his hands busy when his mind is.
Camping, hiking, canoeing, kayaking. There's something about being in nature and enjoying being able to get away from all the hustle and bustle that Brook Haven can sometimes be. It's nice to commune with nature and take the time to relax in the outdoors.
Again, it's one of those things that Tony does to relax. While he enjoys catching himself some trout, it's not about the fish themselves, but the time that he gets to relax and take a break. Trips never last more than a couple days, though he's been known to take an afternoon every now and again.
The guitar was something that Tony picked up when Ed insisted that he branch out a little beyond animals, and while nothing has come of he guitar, it's something that Tony enjoys doing. It's nice to be able to pluck away at the strings while he's thinking, or to take himself back in time with a song he hasn't heard in forever.
The time that he spends with his horses is important to Tony. He likes to spend time with them out on ride, just as much as he enjoys caring for them and taking the time to communicate. Going out for a ride is a way that he recharges his batteries during the day, allowing him to unwind in addition to giving him time where he can get away and do some thinking.
During the summer, especially, it's not uncommon to find Tony behind a barbecue, doing his thing. Normally, he tends to cook for smaller groups of people, but for special occasions he'll get back there for the whole ranch.
Horseback riding • Excellent
He spends a lot of time working with horses, it only makes sense that he'd be good at riding them. He's always had a gift when it came to horses, but like anyone else, he's had to work on his riding over the years to get where he is now.
Horse Training • Excellent
Tony's ability with horses is nothing short of a gift, and he's aware of that. Instead of throwing it away, he's spent years building on the gifts that he's been given, and as a result he's known as remarkable trainer that is known for his ability to work with problem horses. Every now and again, he chooses a few kids to take under his wing and teach them things that could take them from good to great future trainers..
Cooking • Good
Cooking (outside of barbecuing) had never been much of an interest for Tony. Always able to score a meal somewhere, he'd mostly managed to get out of having to cook for himself, but that all changed when he adopted his son (and later his daughter). Naturally, he began cooking more, but he's far from offering to make meals for family get together, and will happily accept of his sister's, or sister-in-laws' casseroles.
Guitar Playing • Good
Tony considers himself to be merely good at playing the guitar, but people who listen have always said that he's better than he gives himself credit for. He's got great hands, and he's got a collection of old songs he's written hidden away in his bedroom closet.
He doesn't do it often anymore, but Tony still enjoys going out shooting targets and clay pigeons. With the price of ammo having gone up, it really is something that he's done less and less over the years, but if you ask him to go out, he won't say no.
There's nothing quite like roasting your own coffee, and those that drink his coffee can certainly taste the difference over his and the store bought junk most people have in the kitchen.
Tony very much believes in the power of natural medicine over the manufactured stuff, and whenever possible he leans towards those when caring for and teaching students to care for their horses. While he won't hesitate in calling a vet when it's needed, he doesn't think that most vet's put enough thought into alternatives. He's spent years learning what he knows and has multiple notebooks on the subject, and difficult cases.
Honesty is the Best Policy
Tony is the kind of guy that's great if you need someone to listen to what you've got to say, and while he can tend to be more judgmental than most people realize, he's been known to give some pretty great advice. I'd love it if the opportunity arose for him to reach out to the right person, either strengthening an already forming relationship or starting a new relationship.
There ain't no way
For the most part, Tony's always had a pretty steady family, and the idea of his daughter rocking that boat has never managed to cross his mind. She's a good girl, and finding her with a guy years older than her is guaranteed to chance their relationship, and her status of general freedom.
Let me teach you what I know...
Every year, Tony reaches out to handful of kids that either have remarkable abilities when it comes to animals, or those he thinks could make great handlers or trainers with the right training of their own. It's usually a select few, and I'd love it if he could find those kids.
Time Zone: GMT-5
Native Language: English
Rachel came to Brook Haven on a referral from her brother. She served eighteen months in juvenile detention and upon her release, her parents relinquished their parental rights to her entirely. Her life looks like one bad decision that influenced the everything, but the truth is that she's made a lot of mistakes, from having a baby at the age of twelve to holding up a liquor store when she was barely fifteen. At the end of the day, what she wanted the most was her parents' attention, and they were never capable of giving her that.
The ranch only knows part of the truth about Rachel; That she was arrested for holding up a liquor store, that she was difficult in juvy, that she was prone to fights with other inmates, that she was difficult to control (or just plain "difficult"). Her parents and the authorities never revealed the truth of her pregnancy or the child she was forced to give up for adoption, the circumstances of her family or the fact that her parents didn't treat her very well.
She's come to Brook Haven Ranch with no hope or expectations of something good coming of her experience with juvenile detention. Her natural reaction is to buck the system and to fight back, but Rachel is exhausted by her experiences and all she wants is a better life for herself.
A tried and true "horse girl," this is exactly the right place for Rachel, who has missed being around horses while she was in juvy. Their presence has surprised her, and they've given her an outlet for a lot of what's going on inside of her (because despite it all, she's less angry and more hurt than most people seem to realize).
The main thing for these two, I think, is that Rachel isn't going to trust the attention at first. The only adults who have shown her a lot of attention have wound up punishing her for small mistakes, and she's going to feel like Tony's watching her, not like he's trying to protect her and help her. Since they're both introverts, as we've previously discussed, I think that they will have an understanding of how the other operates on the social spectrum and this is going to help her to eventually open up to him since I don't see him pushing her too hard outside of her comfort zone -- at least not socially.
I'm not sure how she's going to do with natural horsemanship yet, but we'll see whether that works out well for her. I know that right now -- as do you -- she's debating between horse training and showing as a potential career. In the past she's never been an especially strong rider, but a lot of that was due to poor coaching, and I do think that she has the ability to become incredible at anything that she decides she's going to put her mind to, so with the right coaching she could be an incredible rider. The same of course goes for if she's working on training with Tony, so that's something I'm definitely interested in exploring with you!
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.
I feel like Nick might make a good impression on Tony, or at least a better one than he makes with most of the staff. He's not experienced with horses, but he's going to treat them well as soon as he knows how, and he'll take his responsibilities to care for his horse very seriously.
Since Nick isn't reaching out to adults right now, and Tony is quiet, I doubt they'll become close any time soon. Nick is likely to assume from his actions that Tony doesn't really care about what the students are doing except as far as it affects the horses; maybe at some point we could set up a chance for Tony to surprise Nick by helping him out when he isn't expecting it, maybe just listening to him and having advice when Nick thinks there's no one he can talk to.
Logan is the current owner of Brook Haven Ranch, and the founder of its program for troubled teens. A former troubled kid himself, he came to the ranch addicted to cocaine, unable to find his way, and angry with his biological parents for giving up on him. He can relate to the kids on the ranch, from the struggle with behavioral trouble to the frequent struggle with drugs, and he knows what it's like to be the child of parents who gave up on him.
He has a lot to give to the teens at Brook Haven Ranch, and he's opened the ranch up to these kids so that they can grow into people who are able to take care of themselves and contribute to society. His program is one that focuses on making sure that the students learn how to be their best selves, while increasing their confidence and their trust in themselves and the people around them.
Logan is the father figure of the ranch. He can be strict with the students, but only because he knows what it's like to be one of them, and he does his best to provide them with the discipline and structure that they need while also making sure that the teens on the ranch know that they have people who care about them and that there will always be a place for them whenever they need it.
Addiction has a big place in Logan's life, and he recognizes that he's either in recovery or in relapse. Right now he's in relapse, and attempting to hide it from his wife, his daughter, his parents, his brothers, and his sister. When they find out, there's sure to be some drama for Logan, who has to get back on the wagon or risk losing everything that he's build on the ranch.
When it comes down to it, Logan will do anything necessary to help the teenagers that the ranch serves, even if it involves a personal risk or giving up something to save those kids. They come before himself, and when push comes to shove, hard decisions will be made in favor of the troubled teens program, no matter what it means for Logan.
Tony and Logan have always gotten along. I think that in the most important ways that they are the two closest of the brothers, with nobody in particular being close with Simon and maybe Tara and Billy being closer? Hard to say until there is a Billy and you have Tara in play, but regardless, the way that I see it, Tony and Logan have a symbiotic relationship in which neither can fully work on the ranch without the other. Both of them are committed horsemen, and although Logan lacks Tony's innate talent, I do think that Tony will wind up relying on Logan for some of the more people-oriented things that he needs to learn to thrive on the ranch as it currently exists.
I'm not looking for any threads for the two of them right at the moment, just because I'm likely to get pretty busy before too long, but if you do want Tony to be involved in discovering Logan's relapse, I'd be cool with that!
Nearly two years ago, the barn that housed Bella's five horses burned to the ground. The fire was set by carelessness during one of her twin sister Ronnie's wild drinking parties. Ronnie has always kept the wrong sort of friends while Bella stayed in her hole and wrote in her journal or drew in her notebooks. While both girls were equally abused by their stepfather, they responded differently to the abuse.And they responded differently to the fire as well. Two of Ronnie's horses made it out of the fire, but none of Bella's did, and though Ronnie's horses have since been sold by their stepfather as retribution for what she did (and because Ronnie refused to interact with them after the fire), Bella suffers the loss of her animals acutely. She saw them die, and she cannot imagine anything worse than that.
Half of Bella's body -- as is Ronnie's -- is covered with burn scars acquired when she struggled to pull her horses out of the blaze. The scars have made Bella self-conscious to the point of aggression. She won't allow people to get close to her and sometimes refuses to participate in group activities as a result of the scars.
It's making a lot of trouble for the people on the ranch, and the fact that Bella's been put into the group that her brother leads hasn't made things any easier on her. Nate's been strict and demanding with her, with high expectations of excellence when all she wants is to lay in bed all day.
The last thing that she wants is to bond with another horse. It's too difficult when she loses them. But the ranch has given her a "special" horse, a damaged thoroughbred that some have said only a real horse whisperer can handle. Will a broken girl be able to heal a broken horse?
Well, I'm trying to get all of my characters plotted with all of the other characters, but I think that in all sincerity Bella's the sort of person who Tony's likely to ignore. There's not much that he can do to help her given her lack of interest in being around the horses, since that's his primary area of interest on the ranch.
On the other hand, he could be the type of person who would gently guide her in the direction of her horse, and he's smart enough to recognize that telling her that she has a special horse won't be the best way to get her there -- at least not right away. Since he's likely to be the one doing her admit, this is also a good time for him to get a sense of who she is as a person.
I'm not sure that I see a lot of repeated interaction between them at first, but I can see things happening later on, once she's more adjusted and she's starting to get along with Tokyo. The horse himself is going to need a lot of fresh training to get him doing something different than what he's used to, so she'll need help, and it's a good time for her to start settling into learning how to really train a horse.
Sweet natured and giving, Rebekah Brook is a friendly face around the ranch. She worked the program as a teenager, and met Simon Brook when she was in college. They married and returned home, only for her to discover that he was, in fact, one of Brooks who owned the ranch where she had spent her adolescence. It wasn't amusing at first, but as time went on, it became a personal inside joke, and Bekah became a friendly face around the ranch, someone who understood the kids better than most -- including her husband -- and who would bend over backward to make the newcomers as comfortable as she could.
Bekah is generally considered to be one of the most approachable adults on the ranch. She is considerate, kind, and compassionate, and she tends to see the students for the people they are beneath their troubles. Of all the adults on the ranch, she's the last one to judge one of the students based on their troubles. After all, she's had her fair share of struggles as well.
She's currently pregnant, which limits her activities quiet a bit, but Bekah still does her best to keep up with the kids on the ranch and to help them as much as she can. Adjustment is a process as far as she's concerned, and most kids settle down once they have the opportunity to know that somebody on the ranch actually cares for them.
A very hands-on adult, Bekah goes out of her way to spend time with the kids in a personal setting, and she reaches out to them individually, particularly when they're struggling. Even on her toughest days, she eats with the kids, checks in on them in their dorms, and provides room for them to communicate with her. If they can't or don't want to communicate, she's more than happy to just hold space for them.
I think that when Bekah was younger, she was probably one of those kids who Tony really liked. She had it rough enough to get some sympathy, but she was responsible for enough of her problems to have a lot of room to grow, and I believe that watching her process would be something that he would have enjoyed while she grew up at Brook Haven. So basically I think that he would have liked her growing up and been one of the people who was on her side even when she wasn't on her own side (and her father wasn't on her side).
I guess that the question then is how he would feel about her marriage to Simon, and what his response would have been when she came home with him. Oddly, I think I favor disappointment, a "Rebekah, what were you thinking? You know you don't need a man in your life!" type of attitude that might have caused them to have a temporary split and then have to rebuild what they lost as a result. Her getting married in that way would have been surprising for everybody who knew her, I would think, and it would have taken time for the family to understand why she'd done what she did.
Grace was sent to Brook Haven Ranch by her parents, who felt that she was defiant, disobedient, and obstinate at home. More than they wanted to help her, they wanted her out of their hair. She frustrated them to no end with her vegetarian lifestyle, her refusal to participate in the slaughter of animals on their homestead, and failed to produce even the "simplest" of baked goods to sell at the market. In many ways, Grace was a liability to her parents, and so they found the most convenient way to get her out of their hair: They enrolled her at Brook Haven Ranch.
It broke Grace's heart. A good girl who has always done her best to please her parents, she's struggled throughout her entire lifetime to do what they wanted of her. On the ranch she has been obedient, considerate, polite, and compassionate with her peers. She's learned to ride quickly, is excellent with horses, and she has gone the distance to help other students to learn how to make the most of their experience on the ranch as well. Helpful and kind, she's known as someone who is a friend to everyone.
Grace is also a strange person. She belongs to a family of witches who have practiced witchcraft for many generations, and her beliefs, therefore, are different from most other students on the ranch. This makes her an easy target for bullying by some of the pushier students on the ranch, but she's always tolerated bullying with a brave face.
This is the first time that Grace has been in school, having been previously home schooled, and so she's still adjusting to the academics and the schedule for education, since she's more accustomed to working every day of the year without much of a break.
Now her home relationships are in turmoil, and it's tough for Grace since her parents and sisters live in Trader's Bend. She's not sure whether they're ever going to come to see her on the visitation days, and she's trying hard not to care.
I'm going to have to make a bit of a stretch for this one because I don't want (for obvious reasons) for all of my kids to be on Tony's list of "favorites" and Grace is an obvious favorite for most of the adults on the ranch, I'd think. It puts me in a sort of uncomfortable situation because in some ways Grace and Rachel are very alike. Both come from difficult parenting situations in which the parents are viewed as the innocent party while their kid is running wild, and both of them have learned particular behaviors to protect themselves from a repeat of that abandonment. I suppose that the difference is that Grace isn't afraid of being abandoned again. She is much stronger than Rachel is in that regard and deep down she believes in her own power.
So I'm going to submit that this could wind up being the basis for an interesting interaction between the two of them, if Grace is beginning to get her feet under her and beginning to see herself as the strong person she really is. I don't doubt that she would take Tony by surprise if she told him "no" to doing something which may be considered routine on the ranch but which either breaks her moral code (to which Logan says she is entitled and she can sit out certain activities) or if she argues with him in favor of being allowed to break the rules for religious reasons (which at this point is somewhat likely, due to the fact that the rules prevent her from burning candles).
Obviously she's a rule-follower in general, but I think that this could lead to an interesting experience for him , in that he would have to grow to understand that for her (and maybe a small number of other students), some of her growth process is learning how to defend what she believes in and what she has chosen rather than simply rolling over and deferring to others.
I don't see any reason for Emily to have conflict with Tony, but they don't seem likely to be friends: Tony's quiet, significantly older than Emily, and in her boss' family, which would make a friendship a little awkward, so I don't think she's going to really reach out to him.
The one thing that comes to mind is that Tony might be the person most likely to notice that Emily's spoiling her horse. She's not exactly mistreating the horse, so I don't know if he'd care, but that seems like something that might inform his opinion of her.
Nate came to Brook Haven to save his sisters. Nearly two years ago, the twins were involved in a fire. Ronnie's friends set it, and Bella dove in to rescue her horses -- none of whom made it out of the barn fire alive. Knowing that the girls weren't safe with their stepfather, and not trusting their biological father to do the right thing for them, Nate pulled them from the only home that they had ever known and forced them to come with him three months ago to a therapeutic horse rescue and home for troubled teens located in Montana.
He brought with him his husband of three years and the two daughters that they have been raising together. Nate's husband has settled into Trader's Bend as the pastor of the local Christian church, and Nate has had to fight fresh bigotry because of the combination of faith and sexual orientation. It's been an upheaval and a transition for everybody involved, but for Nate personally he's had to release and obtain new birds of prey, he's had to leave behind his veterinary practice, find a new falconer's association, and has had to obtain new licenses. He's doing his best to settle into the new town, but the upheaval has been hard for him.
The worst part about it for him is that his sister's aren't taking to it well. He should have have expected miracles, and he knows that (knew it then and he knows it now) but he's frustrated by the fact that neither of the girls will so much as go near their horses. Given that he went out of his way to get Ronnie's personal horse to the ranch, this has been a low blow, and Nate has been struggling with feeling rejected by his sisters.
He's done all of this for them, and he feels as though he deserves a bit of gratitude for everything that he's sacrificed to help them to get back on their feet and find healing after the fire. His relationships with his immediate family are wonderful, so why can't his sisters accept what he's trying to do when his daughters seem so eager to accept him as their father and to move on with their lives?
I'm down for a thread. I could see Nate talking to Tony about how to handle Ronnie's horse on the ranch since it's one of her horses and he brought it here to heal. We're both working on apps right now, but I'll start something when I have a little bit of a break to do so.
I'm a little surprised that we haven't done anything for these two yet. It seems strange, but I thought that I'd go ahead and toss Will at Tony anyway.
The way that Tony observes people, I'm sure that he's going to be one of the quickest studies of the way that Will's mind works and how he reacts to various different situations. In some ways, the two of them are a lot alike, and Will is obviously more like Tony was when Tony was a teenager. There's some potential for a strong bond between them.
Would Tony want to step in on Will's end with the "argument" with Nick Fisher?
Kate grew up as the only daughter in a semi-traditional Korean-American family. Her mother pushed her to study the piano until Kate thought her fingers (or her ears) were going to bleed, while her father encouraged her to follow her dreams. AS a result, she left the piano behind and became a red and white belt in Judo (6th dan) and a black belt in TaeKwondo (5th dan).
She went to college to be a social worker after she helped her best friend in childhood escape from his abusive parents. He survived because of her, and the feeling that it was possible for her to make that big a difference in the lives of people she cared about drove her to do something bigger with her life, to continue to put that effort into "saving children."
It was through her job that she met her current boyfriend, Josh Tanner. He is a police officer who helped her on a couple of cases, a man who had already adopted as a single father and who would later do so again. He inspired her, and the two of them have been together for the past ten years. Kate doesn't always agree with what he does (he's a struggling drug addict who may also have an alcohol problem), but she loves him nonetheless, and therefore she is strongly committed to Josh.
Kate is what she likes to refer to as a "badass social worker." She rides a Harley Davidson (two, actually -- her Softail and her Lowrider) without sitting behind a man to do so; She is a master of Judo; She has taken control of her own destiny without expectations from other people. She does very well for herself in the general sense of the word, and she believes that everybody has the opportunity to make the most out of their lives, and therefore that they should push to be the best that they can be.
Am I reading Tony wrong or is he not going to like Kate?
We both know that Kate's a good person, but her flaws aren't the type of things that Tony's likely to take lightly. She's separated kids from their parents without giving them the hope of reunification, and that's not even in line with the law itself. Tony would probably know this, at least to a certain extent, and I could see him catching her on a bad day where she's up on her high horse and knocking her down a peg or two.
Lord knows that she needs it. It wouldn't result in a good relationship between them (or with Tony and Josh) but it could be worth it to find out how this could affect the ultimate change that Kate needs to make.
Am I interpreting Tony right here, or do we need to work out something else?
Tony's the sort of person who Ellie might go to when she's having trouble navigating the waters of her personal relationships. Her mother is too apt to talk to her about it, her father is likely to clam up, and I think that she feels like Tony might actually have something to say to her about how to manage and balance her relationships -- not just at home, but with her gargantuan extended family as well.
He might even be somebody who she could turn to while figuring out her relationship with her father, or to talk to about her biological parents and Paris. I'd love to do this as a thread with the two of them, maybe going for a hike or sitting at the Lake together while he fishes or something like that?
Karl and Tony seem like they might get along. At least, Karl would like Tony, and would love to say, have a beer or a relaxed game of poker with Tony, if Tony's willing to ignore Karl's occasional mostly positive but sometimes critical comments about the ranch.
Tony & Agathayes! I love this. I like the idea of them being super close but giving each other a hard time. And if Agatha ever found out it was Tony who passed along her nickname she would give him an earful-- but also maybe a hug because she does really enjoy it.I like that idea for a thread in the camping trip. Hit me back!
Permalink ( Jul 14 2017, 09:43 AM )
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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.
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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!