The Alpins

The Alpins are Earls of Ardmor

The ancestral home is Caer Alpin which is in the north of the mainland of Dael Riata. It lies on a rocky outcrop on the coast where the river Ard meets the inner sea.


The current (7th) Earl is Sean Alpin.

He is 72 years old (born 702), and is currently a widower. He was married to Ealasaid Riata, his cousin and the sister of the 19th Duke of Glasholm, for thirty-nine years before she died when the old Queen was captured at the start of the civil war (in 754). He has four surviving children and a number of grandchildren.

  1. Bhaltair (43, born 731) Heir. He has one surviving child of his own, and was married to Raonaid Murchadh, the third sister of the fifth Earl. She died in childbirth giving birth to his daughter Raonaid (15, born 759). She is not yet betrothed.
  2. Iain (39, born 735) third son, distinguished himself in battle. Currently commander of the King's Lifeguard. Currently disowned by his father for having changed sides.
  3. Eilidh (35, born 739), married to Bhaltair Gilranald while the Earl was the regent in the immediate aftermath of the civil war.
  4. Earsaid (32, born 741). Earsaid wasn't suited to warfare, and preferred his books. When he left for university in 757 he never returned to the north. Currently Earsaid Alpin is the reader of naval engineering and the favourite candidate for the Chair to be established at the university if the Estates approve the Charter.

Sean Alpin became the Earl at the age of 2, and was raised in Dalcot and then Dalreoch as a ward of his maternal uncle the 18th Duke of Glasholm. He was well tutored, and his bannermen ran the Earldom until he was married in 716. His marriage to Ealasaid was a love match, and despite the 18th Duke heavily discouraging the union it bore fruit, although tragedy struck within a month of his first son Uilleam being born. At the time many feared that the Alpin's were cursed, the Earl's father and his four elder brothers all having being lost at sea when their new flagship failed to return, despite there being no reported storms or wreckage found. It was rumoured at the time that a gilruary squadron had sunk the Alpin's ship. Although this was strenously denied, and the Earl of Duffjord fought several duels about it.

Size & Wealth

Caer Alpin is unusual in the seats of the great nobles in that it isn't in the main town/city of their realm. The main town is the port Nordhaven, sited on the north coast of the mainland of Dael Riata. It has a population of about 6,000 and is a ready stopover and resting place for those venturing from the inner sea round the cape to the open ocean to the East of Dael Riata.

There are silver and gold deposits in the mountains, lots of sheep on the hills and a steady income from farming the land, and passing trade from the East. By far the bulk of the population are involved in rural activities, there are villages every couple of miles over most of the coastal areas and up the river Ard until the mountains proper. Overall there are about 50,000 people in Ardmor.

Type Value
Ships 11
Infantry 11
Cavalry 11)
Wealth income2) 439
treasury3) 136

Recent History

The Earl is the oldest of the great nobles. He remembers the reign of Alasdair IV (specifically the turmoil in the regency and its immediate aftermath that spanned the first twelve years of his life, and the old King's death at the hands of nobles of Bernicia when he attempted to march south to claim that throne on the death of his brother in law Harold VIII of Bernicia. The Earl was with the army and was lucky to have been in the rear when the ambush was sprung. Many of the great nobles fell that day, as well as the smaller folk that made up the army.

Queen Caoimhe was nine when her father died, and as one of the few surviving great nobles the Earl was part of the council of regents. There was discussion then about the succession, and securing the throne with the Queen's marriage to one of the great nobles, but none could agree who it should be. The Earl aligned with the fourth Earl of Uisdean and the 7th Earl of Beatham to maintain stability. His wife acted as Matron and looked after the Queen's welfare. This worked until the Queen grew old enough to assert her own authority and became enamoured by a suspicious Skyssian merchant. Shortly after she gave birth to the young King Caoimhe confided in Ealasaid that she wanted to marry the Skyssian and make him prince consort.

It was with great regret that the Earl acted, but it was necessary to ensure the integrity of the kingdom. In the years that followed the Earl spent most of it either as regent, or as an adviser to the regent. He has made a number of unpopular decisions, but each for the good of the kingdom. He knows that he was unpopular, but that is a price he has been happy to pay, because the young King is all the stronger for it, and has been well tuaght, and well advised. He won't make the mistakes his mother or his grandfather made.

Still, it would be nice if he showed some appreciation for the sacrifices that the Earl made on the young King's behalf.

Allies, Friends & Lords

  • Bhaltair Gilranald - the Earl is your son-in-law, and you worked closely together when he was regent to carry on your good work. You taught him well (his father was killed fighting alongside the old King).
  • riata your wife was the 10th Earl's Aunt, and she kept in close touch. The new

Enemies & Feuds

currently controlled by Iain Alpin, based in Dalreoch
a measure of how much their lands and trade generates annually
how much money do they have right now
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