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This character was created for a Call of Cthulhu campaign set in London circa 1886. It was written in March 2014.


Isabell Violet Cecilia Bromley was born with more than a few complications on May 27th 1860 in Calcutta, India. Her father was William Bromley, 4th Baron Montfort and her sickly mother was Rebekah van Schorel, daughter of a wealthy Dutch banker. Baron Montfort was at the time a special envoy for Her Majesty’s Government, touring India with his wife for the purpose of a series of reports. Isabell thus spent most of her childhood in India and, although sheltered, she soaked in some of the local culture. In 1868, the deteriorating health of Rebekah led the Bromleys to return to England, in hope that the cooler climate might help alleviate her bouts of sickness.

In England, living on the Bromley estate near Southampton, eight year old Isabell felt somewhat disconnected from what should have been her native culture. She continued to be privately tutored almost daily, but on some rare occasions her father brought her along on his hunts. She treasured these moments as she grew closer to her mostly distant father. Meanwhile, Rebekah recovered a semblance of health and during the waning winter of 1870 became pregnant for a second time. The following autumn she gave birth to another girl, but did not survive the following complications. In fond memory of his wife, William gave her name to their newborn daughter. The following year, still in mourning, Lord Montfort was asked to take a post in Hong Kong. He chose to bring Isabell, but left Rebekah in the care of a widowed aunt.

For the next six years or so, Isabell grew into a woman in Hong Kong’s society. Despite a continued traditional tutoring, she picked up some of the local dialects as her more adventurous side took the form of many escapades through the city. Nevertheless she could be proper when it was required by her father, for some official function or a ball. Isabell quickly realized she preferred the company of men in public gathering; for one, they had, in her opinion, more interesting topics of discussion and also, more than one of them lavished an inordinate amount of attention on the young beauty. Many women began to resent her, but Isabell was careful to avoid undertaking any action that would tarnish her reputation. Lacking a mother, Isabell got very close to her father and, being a passionate hunter, William decided to bring his daughter along on his excursions. By the end of his posting, Isabell had become herself a capable hunter with a keen interest for such things.

Before becoming special attaché to the British Ambassador of Chile in early 1877, Lord Montfort decided on an extensive hunting trip in Australia with his daughter in the waning months of 1876. Once in Santiago, Isabell proved to be talented in moving through new circles, ensconcing herself smoothly in the local high society. A little more than a year later, Baron Montfort was relieved and to take time between assignments to visit America with his daughter. Despite a short stay, the young aristocrat made quite a splash and her proud father decided to mark her eighteenth birthday with a hunting expedition. For the occasion, he offered Isabell a Winchester M1876 with the inscription Age quod agis (Do what you do, in the sense of "Do well what you do"). Leaving from San Francisco, they headed east toward the Great Plains, with the aim of hunting buffaloes and other large game.

Father and daughter headed back across the Pacific Ocean to Singapore, Lord Montfort awaiting there a dispatch with a new assignment. When it turned up, they took off for South Africa, arriving in August 1878. It was only a few months later, in January 1879, that the Anglo-Zulu erupted. Isabell was touring the frontier with her father and he immediately left her at an outpost for her safety, while he went about his business. After the disaster of Isandhlwana, Isabell volunteered to help with the ever increasing waves of wounded which inevitably follow every war. Although it was a short conflict, she was exposed to some of the harsh realities of war, as young men pleaded for comfort with their dying breaths and soldiers recounted stories of death and courage, but mostly there was blood. War was horrible and quite messy, nothing like in the stories. Displeased that his daughter was anywhere near danger, while relieved she was unharmed, William decided to return to England in mid 1879, as the war was winding down. There he would endeavour to find Isabell a proper husband so such things would not happen again.

Back in England, the wealthy Lord Montfort had little difficulty finding a suitable match for his nineteen year old daughter and elected to stay in order to get better acquainted with the second daughter he had left behind. On a sunny July 16th 1880, Isabell Bromley married Dominic Cantrell, Count Fairhaven. Dominic had great plans to overturn the dwindling fortune of his family, and the large dowry given with Isabell’s hand would help greatly. Only a few months after the wedding, Count Fairhaven had left for the United States, a land of promise. Meanwhile, bored and lonely, the newly minted Countess Fairhaven began writing journals of her experiences abroad, sprinkling in some exaggerations and  embellishments. Other days were spent hunting, sometimes with her father and more rarely with her oft absent husband.

This new comfortable, albeit dull life, came to an end when toward the end of 1881, William Bromley was mysteriously murdered and the search for the killer was abruptly terminated not long thereafter. Isabell was devastated, yet even so, by some dark twist of fate, her husband disappeared just a few weeks later, along with an entire ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean. All hands were presumed lost, and as such Count Fairhaven was declared deceased, his title and estate going to his younger brother, Henry. Isabell inherited a pittance from her husband, but from her father she received the Bromley estate and most of the family wealth, with some provisions made for the young Rebekah. In view of these tragedies and in memory of the services rendered by William Bromley, it was decided to transfer the title of Baron Montfort to the young Isabell Cantrell. For her part, spiting convention, the new baroness decided to revert her family name to Bromley, in order to honor her departed father. The Cantrells were displeased, to say the least.

For the next five years, helped by her keen intellect, Isabell invested a great deal of the family fortune in a myriad of businesses, both in England and abroad. She also published the travel journals she had been writing and they were met with some moderate interest. Furthermore, she financed and accompanied archeological expeditions in Egypt and the Middle East, went on safaris in Africa and became a generous benefactor to several charities. All of this, coupled with her incredible beauty, gave Isabell a certain degree of notoriety in today’s society.