Burrich

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Burrich by John Howe

Originally from Lees in Chalced, Prince Chivalry's right hand man, foster-father of Fitz. Also called Heart of the Pack.

Looks & skills

He is well-built, his hair and beard are black, and his eyes are brown. His face is narrow and square and tanned. He has long-fingered and clever hands. Burrich is described to be a stubborn, honest, forthright and a little melancholic. He keeps his business to himself. He is attractive to the ladies, who would like to tame him and try to lift his dark moods. He is an impressive character: only with his look and a word he could keep a whole room full of rough men in discipline.

Burrich has the Wit, but has never received any education on how to use it. Burrich doesn't have the Skill. He is mentioned to have served prince Chivalry as a King's man by giving him power for the use of his Skill, so he may have had some Skill ability. But Chivalry used his Skill to block Burrich, so that he couldn't be used against him with Skill.

Burrich has injured his leg badly in a hunting accident, protecting Chivalry from a wild boar. He limps.

Childhood

Burrich's father had died before he was born. Her grand-mother was a slave, who won her freedom from the Butran clan. She got a freedom earring to prove she was free. Burrich's mother supported her and Burrich by doing laundry. As a young boy Burrich formed a Wit-bond with a mongrel, Slash. The animal taught him how to survive in the streets and acted as a kind of a father figure to Burrich. A drawback in the Witbond was that Burrich didn't have a normal childhood, as the dog had too much influence on him. When the dog was kicked by a horse and died, Burrich was only eight years old. In Old Blood communities, this relationship with the dog would have been viewed as inappropriate as they believe that a bond animal and a person must both benefit from their wit-bond equally, and they would also view him as being too young to find an appropriate animal to bond with. He then turned to his grandmother for guidance.

When Burrich was about thirteen years old, his mother and grandmother died in an epidemic of a Blood plague. Now alone, he became a mercenary. He was taken prisoner in a Chalced skirmish and made a slave. Finally he was able to escape and sought refuge in the Six Duchies. There he became a horsekeeper for Grizzle, Duke of Shoaks. He Wit-bonded again, this time with a young stallion, Neko. This bond ended with the animal dying, too. When Burrich was forced to live through the great pain of losing a second bondmate, he decided never to use his Wit again.

Chivalry's man

Burrich was brought to Chivalry for judgement after he had brawled with his comrades. Burrich and Chivalry got along well, as they were about the same age. He swore an oath to serve Chivalry, and this bond was so deep that not even love for Patience could become between Burrich and his master. As a token of this loyalty Burrich gave his grandmother's earring to Chivalry, this perhaps being symbolical for him giving away his freedom and becoming totally Chivalry's man. Chivalry was the measure of a man for him that he didn't have in his childhood.

Chivalry's abdication leaves Burrich without someone organising his world. Added to this, he is recovering from a severe injury when forced to recognise that the master he had lifted to a pedestal is not wholly without error. Nevertheless he does his best to meet the final order Chivalry gave him, to take care of the bastard, Fitz. Disappointment and the leg injury added together change Burrich. He becomes gloomier, more ill-tempered and withdrawn, "the Old Burrich", as he is called, even if he still is only in his thirties. However, he still has a great sense of honour to the Farseers.

After Chivalry abdicated, Burrich became the Stablemaster at Buckkeep and was left to bring up his old masters illegitimate child, Fitz. As a stable master Burrich's duties are to look after Buckkeep's horses, dogs and hawks, and he does this with care and skill.

Foster-father to Fitz

Burrich was in an emotional turmoil when he got Fitz to be his ward. He tried to bring him up well, to obey his master's last command. But for a child he seemed to be distant and sometimes cruel. Burrich had only raised puppies and foals and he tries those methods to Fitz, too. Burrich has problems with showing his emotions so Fitz doesn't know that he cares for him deeply. He only sees tyrant who took away a puppy, Nosy, with whom he has bonded to and kill it. As Fitz keeps using his Wit even if Burrich tries to warn him off, their relationship is hard and they have a big falling out after Burrich finds out about Nighteyes.

Eventually they make up and Burrich helps Fitz escape Regal's dungeons by helping him to die. He then helps Fitz to find his humanity again, but after some Forged attack the cabin while he's away, he thinks they killed Fitz and he has failed his master. He then goes to find Molly and the child Fitz has fathered.

Burrich and Molly

Molly and Burrich become friends and as they both presume that Fitz is dead, there is nothing preventing them to fall in love. They both have had a love affair in their youth that has ended badly. Together they find happiness. Burrich accepts Fitz's child as his and is even ready to take a false oath for reputation and safety of Molly and the child. This proves his total commitment to this new relationship. Under normal circumstances Burrich, who values honesty and trust, would never do such a thing. Because Fitz is beyond his help, he does everything he can to protect his daughter, Nettle.

In the end of the Farseer trilogy we are told that Molly and Burrich are already expecting their second mutual child. For Burrich, the Farseer trilogy has a happy ending. He has the woman he loves as a wife, children and horses to take care of and he doesn't have to serve anyone anymore.

Tawny Man