Brashen Trell is a sailor out of Bingtown who served as first mate on the Vivacia under Ephron Vestrit. Originally of the Bingtown Trader family Trell, he was disowned by his family for unseemly behavior.
Brashen has two younger siblings, Cerwin and Delo. As the eldest, he was expected to inherit. However, Brashen enjoyed drinking and frequently got into brawls, which resulted in his father disowning him as his heir.
Brashen struggled to find work until Ephron Vestrit accepted him aboard the Vivacia. There, he became a capable hand, eventually rising through the ranks to serve as first mate. While aboard Vivacia, Brashen and Althea Vestrit became acquaintances, though never close.
When Kyle Haven is granted captaincy of the Vivacia, Brashen is removed as first mate and forced to look for other work. While in Bingtown, he returns to sleeping on the beached Paragon as he frequently had when drunk or out of work.
Brashen ends up on the Reaper, a slaughter ship. Eventually he discovers that Althea is also aboard, in disguise as a ship's boy. Brashen takes it upon himself to subtly look out for Althea. After they both acknowledge each other's presence, Brashen continues to avoid spending time alone with her, knowing that if any of the other crew start paying attention Althea's gender will likely be discovered.
When the Reaper docks in Nook, Brashen is nearly taken by crimpers, but Althea helps to rescuse him. They both sustain injuries in the fight. Brashen stitches up Althea's scalp wound while both are under the influence of the drug cindin, and they end up having sex.
Brashen leaves the Reaper when it docks in Candletown. He attempts to spend his time in port with Althea, but they quarrel and part ways. Brashen then signs aboard as the mate on the Springeve, which traffics in pirated goods.
Brashen is bartering with a merchant when he recognizes a painting as one that had been commissioned by Althea and hung in Vivacia's stateroom. From this he deduces that the merchant's tale of the pirate Kennit's capture of a liveship is true. He returns to Bingtown to deliver this news to the Vestrit family.