Category:Alba and Eire

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Alba
Alba CullachGorrym.jpg
Information
Titled : Alba
Sovereign : Cruarch Cadeyrn mab Isolde
Duché : N/A
Capital : Bryn Gorrydum
Country : Alba
Government : Matrilineally Descended Ruler
Religion : Polytheism
Language : Cruithne
Currency : The Florin
Geography : Divided; the highland zone
and the lowland zone
Climate : Temperate Maritime
Main Export : Iron, Coal, Salt, Lead, and Slate
Equivalent : England
Eire
Eire FhalairBan.jpg
Information
Titled : Eire
Sovereign : High King Fíngin mac Áeda
Duché : N/A
Capital : Tea Muir
Country : Eire
Government : Monarchy - High King
Religion : Polytheism
Language : Eirean
Currency : The Crux
Geography : Low central plains surrounded by
a ring of coastal mountains
Climate : Temperate Maritime
Main Export : Corn, Potatoes, Fish, Timber, and Iron
Equivalent : Ireland


Contents

Overview

The island nations of Eire and Alba were isolated for a long time, due to the influence of the Master of the Straits. Even now, over a century past when Hyacinthe opened the straits, there are many who view the two nations as backward or barbaric. Alba, in particular, has gained a good deal of notoriety of late due to the short-lived invasion of the Azzalle province of Terre d'Ange.

History

The history of the Alba, Eire, and the surrounding islands is a long and bloody affair, wreathed in myths, legends and half-truths. Little of the islands’ ancient history is known. Only among the peoples do old histories survive, wreathed in legend and biased geographically. Those individuals old enough to recall those days are not talking.

Recent History

In the summer of 1204 AE the long standing relations of peace that had been shaken over the years since the time of the Cruarch Drustan mab Necthana of Alba and Queen Ysandre de la Courcel of Terre d'Ange dissolved when the then Cruarch of Alba, Cerdic mab Rhiannon, formed a pact with the Skaldi to invade Terre d'Ange. The sister-son, and then-future Cruarch Cadeyrn mab Isolde, disagreed with Cerdic mab Rhiannon but in the end was forced in support of his Cruarch.

The invasion was short, though it took many lives both Alban and d'Angeline alike, but with it came the declaration for war. The Alban's were pushed home and the country of Alba fell into relative silence for two years. During this time the Cruarch Cerdic mab Rhiannon, while visiting Clunderry, passed away. It is said he passed away from natural causes though many rumored if foul play was really the case.

Following immediately the death of Cerdic mab Rhiannon, his heir Cadeyrn mab Isolde is risen to the position of Cruarch. Upon his taking up of his position, Cadeyrn named his sister, Bronwyn mab Isolde, as his diplomat to Terre d'Ange to begin opening negotiations and peace talks. She arrived in the City of Elua in the fall of 1206 AE.

In the mid-spring of 1207 AE, the Cruarch Cadeyrn mab Isolde sends his youngest sister, Fionnwyn mab Isolde, to replace his other sister, Bronwyn mab Isolde, as Diplomat to Terre d'Ange. It is said he did this based solely on a dream that their cousin, One-Who-Dreams-True-Dreams, had one night about the future of Alba and Terre d'Ange relations.

Culture

The people of Alba and Eire are a fairly barbaric lot, compared to the civilized and refined D'Angelines or Caerdicci. They are a tribal people, living in clans within their country; the loyalty of a person to their clan is of paramount importance. The lands are divided very loosely between each clan, though territories shift as each clan raids or invades the other from time to time in seriousness and in sport. Like the Aragonians, their disputes rarely dissolve into true civil war and the chieftains are quite quick to make peace with their neighbors. There are four known clans of the Alba, the "Four Folk of Alba," whose personality is shaped by its diadh-anam, or guiding and protecting spirit: the Eidlach Ór, Golden Hind of the south; the Fhalair Bàn, the White Horse of Eire; the Tarbh Cró, the people of the Red Bull, and the Cullach Gorrym, or Black Boar. The Cullach Gorrym is the clan that rules the Island nation, the oldest clan and the Cruarch descends from their line.{1}

At one point, at the height of Tiberium's occupation of a large portion of the known world, Alba was overtaken and under Tiberian rule. A governor sat and ruled the people till a High Priest/Magician of the goddess Maghuin Dhonn asked to become the living incarnation of her spirit and slew the Governor, in turn, causing the foreign populace to flee. History of the people claims instead that it was Cinhil Ru who accomplished the act, with the uniting of the four folk and revolting against the Tiberians. It was not long after that the Master of the straits was placed on the three sisters and Alba came under his protection.{2}

Alba and Eire have no written tradition. Everything worth knowing is committed to memory. {5} This includes their laws, which differ from those of Terre d'Ange in the dispensation of justice. In Terre d'Ange, penalties under the law are the same for nobility and commoners alike. In Alba and Eire, a wealthy man who stole a cow from his neighbor would pay a far greater fine than a poor man who committed the same crime. The consequences for a nobleman convicted of a crime of dishonor would be much greater than it would be for commoners. {6}

Alban and Eiran societies alike are sexually open and there is no shame associated with it, with the women being as bold as the men in pursuit of partners. Customs of marriage, however, differ significantly between the two peoples, as described below.

Alba

In Alba, the society is nominally matriarchal - the leader of the clans, the Cruarch, is passed from the current Cruarch to his sister's eldest son, not through the Cruarchs offspring.

Marriage

Marriage in Alba is not much different from d'Angeline marriages. You meet, you fall in love, sometimes you marry for duty to cement relations with another Clan or Tribe. You cleave to your spouse and create children, expand the clan.
The difference being, that marriage in Alba come in two forms:

  • Standard Form: Bound for all eternity to death do us part hand-fasting. Preformed by an Ohllam, and in a sacred grove.
  • Year and a Day Form: A marriage that binds for only a year and a day. The couple go about the marriage as usual, and it's pronounced at the end. Should either party, come the year and the day wish to separate, they do. Simple as that. No mess no fuss, no stigma, even if a child is involved.

Both marriages are common, the trial marriage is not a surprise to others when it is announced usually. The festivities surrounding a marriage last for three days from sunrise to sunset and "Boundless Hospitality" is the tradition. The bride and groom are separated, men with the men and same for the women{3}

Eire

In Eire, they use a traditional High King patrician monarchy, descended through the offspring. One of the many differences between Alba and Eire. Both women and men are afforded the same status in society and the military. Marriage does not hold the same importance to the Eirans as it is to the Albans; this is where they differ a great deal culturally. Children need not even be from the same father but instead, born when a trait that is found appealing is a prospective mate. Monogamy, much like with the d'Angelines is not the standard practice.

The People

Physically, the people from both nations are fairly tough and sturdy. The Eirans with generally pale skin and red or blond hair and are described as resembling the Skaldi, "tall and thewed." The Albans are described as "slender and dark," are more tanned, and have darker hair and eyes. They are fairly uncivilized compared to most other nations (except the Skaldi), and like the Aragonians, tend to lack subtlety - though there have been some most definite exceptions before and people are unlikely to underestimate their potential. The people of Alba and Eire are a mix of distrusting and envious of the other nations, and quite willing to make deals with any of them should the situation arise.

Nobles of both nations wear gold torques around their necks to denote their social status.

Tattooing

The people of Alban also tattoo the symbols of their caste and accomplishments on their face and bodies in blue woad-ink, giving them a fairly fearsome appearance both in and out of battle.

Warriors are tattooed so that their enemies might know of their victories and be properly frightened. For their first kill, men get a crescent and a spear in the middle of their brow. They also have dots across their forehead denoting their particular endeavors.

Women that dream 'true dreams' are also tattooed so that others might know and heed their words when they speak. They bear a unique tattoo of twin lines of blue dots high on the cheekbone below each eye.

Tattooing on the face in this manner is not the custom of the Dalriada.

Folk of Alba

Alban people are divided into four, or more accurately five, folk. Each clan has a diadh-anam, totem animal.

Cullach Gorrym

The Cullach Gorrym are symbolized by the black boar. They believe they are the earth's oldest people and that, because of this, the Cruarch must be from this group from his mother's side.

Tarbh Cro

The Tarbh Cro are symbolized by the red bull and from the north of Alba.

Maelcon the Usurper and his mother Foclaidha (married to the then Cruarch) were from this group and from the Brugantii clan within this group. After they were defeated, the Brugantii lands were given to the Sigovae and Votadae, clans also within the Tarbh Cro, for remaining loyal to the Cullach Gorrym during the rebellion.

Eidlach Or

The Eidlach Or are symbolized by the golden hind and from the south of Alba.

Fhaliar Ban

The Fhalair Ban are sovereign from the Cruarch yet included among the folk of Alba. They are the tribe of people who lead Eire. Their High King is oft hese people. They hold land in Alba because of a promise made by Cinhil Ru as the Dalriada (people of Eire living in Alba). They are symbolized by the white mare.

Maghuin Dhonn

The Maghuin Dhonn are symbolized by the brown bear, whom legend says they followed to Alba from beyond Vralia in a time when the world was covered in ice.

Like the Cullach Gorrym, they also think themselves to be the earth's oldest people. The Maghuin Dhonn are considered wilder than the people of the other groups and are often ostracized and sometimes not included in tallying the folk of Alba (thus at times the people of Alba are referred to as only the Four Folk).

Religion

Before the birth of Elua, and the fall of the Tiberium empire, Alba and Eire worshiped the "Maghuin Dhonn" a female deity who, when she took to land, assumed the shape of a great bear. Magicians were her laypeople and High Magic was the belief. She was their Diadh-anam, their reason for existing, their Lodestone.

Over time though, the worship of that deity changed after the denouncement by Cinhil-Ru of their practices and a more earth bound religion was produced. Magicians gave way to Daughters of the Grove and Brothers of the groves; Priests their religion called Ollamh's.

Belief in the Maghuin Dhonn has switched to belief in multiple deities that are representative of nearly everything that you can see. From the grass, sky, animals, tree's, blacksmithing, water, poetry, battle; If it's something, there is a patron god or goddess that is associated with it. Lug, Saolas, Nerthus, Macha, Brigid, Aengus, Bel, Manannan, Hengest, Danu, Crom, Aine, Cailleach are only a small few of the Alban Gods and Godesses. Thousands of names for thousands of things. The color red also has great religious significance to the Albans and Eirans. Another aspect is their current Diadh-anam. Four guiding spirits, each belonging to a tribe. The Black boar, the Red Bull, the Golden Stag and the White Horse.{4}

Ollamhs

Known Ollamhs

  • Firdha --came to Terre d'Ange in Kushiel's Justice to teach Alais and Imriel.
  • Aodhan -- Ollamh of the Dalriada. Bound Imriel against the spell of the Maghuin Dhonn.
  • Alais -- studied to become an Ollamh.
  • Colum -- Presided over Imriel and Dorelei's wedding along with Firdha.

Festivals

Feast of the Dead

One of the significant religious days is the "Feast of the Dead" when the veils between the living and the dead are at their thinnest and those that passed before are seen. Once that has occurred, the feasting commences. No tribes raid another on these days, it is a violation of tradition and dishonor.

The Day of Misrule

Albans celebrate the winter solstice with the Day of Misrule. It was celebrated by selecting a young person to act as the Lord or Lady of Misrule. The Lord or Lady of Misrule must be obeyed for the day. In Clunderry, the peers pretended to wait on the commoners. It ends with a big feast.

Geography

The lands of Alba and Eire are two islands to the north of Terre d'Ange; Eire is to the west of Alba and is somewhat smaller. Geographically the two islands are fairly diverse, enough so that whatever one country is lacking the other can usually provide. This gives them a fair degree of autonomy while being free of mainland influences.

The island of Alba is to the northwest of Terre d'Ange. There are three Islands located between Alba and Terre d'Ange; The Three Sisters. These islands were home in the past to the Master of the Straits. The role of the Master of the Straits was to keep ships from passing through the channel between the two nations without the say of the Cruarch of Alba or the Monarch of Terre d'Ange.

The Capital of Alba is Bryn Gorrydum, and this serves as the seat for the Cruarch. There are also many other smaller towns scattered throughout the land. These towns are connected by the weathered stone Tiberian roads that are a constant reminder of the preoccupation by the Caerdiccian city state called the Taisgaidh Roads.

There are five major lands or regions within Alba: Bryn Gorrydum, Clunderry, Dobria, The Three Sisters Islands and Innisclan. Inniclan is a region of Eirans held by the Dalriada.

The island of Eire rests to the east of Alba. Its capital is Tea Muir and the seat of the High King of Eire. The court at Tea Muir has seven doors, and one's rank dictates through which door one enters.

Both nations retain an individuality of their own and individual tribes within the countries are in a loose coalition.

Lands within Alba

  • Bryn Gorrydum
  • Clunderry
  • Dobria
  • Innisclan
  • Three Sisters

Notable Characters of Alba and Eire

Current Day

  • Camlin mab Kegan (deceased) was the last Alban Ambassador to Terre d'Ange. Traitor to the Crown of Terre d'Ange.
  • Sadhbh mab Ceana - First Eirean Ambassador to Terre d'Ange.

Historical from Kushiel's Dart

Drustan mab Necthana is the son of Necthana. He was denied his rightful place as Cruarch due to Maelcon "the Usurper". With the help of Terre d'Ange and Eire, he later gains the position of Cruarch of Alba and weds Ysandre de la Courcel of Terre d'Ange.

Foclaidha is the wife of the first Cruarch in the series, a woman descended from the Brugantii tribe, known as the Red Bulls. Her son is Maelcon.

Maelcon is son of Foclaidha and the Cruarch. Maelcon murdered his father the Cruarch, supposedly being spurred on in this by his mother, and has claimed the title for himself, ending the matrilineal line of succession. For this reason he is referred to by some as Maelcon "the Usurper".

Necthana is mother of Drustan, the sister of the murdered Cruarch. She has three daughters and one son.

Sibeal is the second of Necthana's daughters.

Breidaia is the eldest of Drustan mab Necthana's sisters. She shares her room with Phèdre during the D'Angeline visit.

Moiread is the younger sister of Drustan, a prophetess. She dies during the battle to reclaim Drustan's throne.

The Twins are Eamonn and Grainne mac Conor, the Lords of the Dalriada.

Carraig is the champion of Eamonn mac Conor, who challenges Joscelin Verreuil and is bested by him.

Resources

1. pg.240, Kushiel's Justice.
2. Pg.241, Kushiel's Justice.
3. Pg.292, Kushiel's Justice.
4. Pg.292, Kushiel's Justice.
5. Pg.48, Kushiel's Justice.
6. Pg.103, Kushiel's Justice.



Pages in category "Alba and Eire"

The following 3 pages are in this category, out of 3 total.

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