Grand Duchy of Dael Riata

Dael Riata is a poor land sandwiched between mountains to its North and East, and the Sea on the West. To the south sits the related but way more prosperous Kingdom of Bernicia. Riven by centuries of internecine warfare between tribes with a culture of raiding and blood feuds the Daels are impoverished. Many of their towns (all of the successful ones) are fortified, and fortlets and castles abound between the hills and lakes.

A seafaring people loosely linked to the Skyssians based on a collection of Islands and the nearby coastal lands to the East of Skyss. Unlike Skyss they're riven by factions and internecine warfare, which is why they haven't banded together to be a greater power in the world. Many Daels leave the area and seek their fortune elsewhere, and it is common to find little groups of Daels onboard a Skyssian ship, or in an enclave somewhere in a civilised town in another country.

Geography

The primary industries of Dael Riata are inshore fisheries, there are substantial islands off the west coast, paradoxically called the Easter Isles. This name harks back to the days when there was no difference between the Daels and the Skyss, and both nations sailed where they pleased. Skyss and it's isles are the Western Isles. As well as fisheries lots of oats and barley are grown, along with sheep and shaggy brown cattle with wide horns.

As well as exporting people as skilled sailors and mercenaries there is a small shipbuilding industry from the two major ports dalreoch and dalmuir on the west coast. Large forests dominate the hills and mountains, and they provide good quality timber for ship-building. The Daels are reknowned ship-builders, possibly more accomplished than the Skyssians. Dael ships are fast, sleek, and have strong hulls able to withstand the ice often found in the waters off their Northern Cape.

People

Dael Riata is ruled by a hereditary monarch, which has been in the hands of the Ranald family for almost three hundred years, before that there was a two decade inter-regnum filled by a very bloody civil war and an intervention by the King of Bernicia which united the Dael Riatan's against the Bernicians. Originally the Riata dynasty founded the Kingdom, but the crown passed out of their hands to the Ruary dynasty, which died out (although one of their cadet branches, the Gilruary, still exist).

The current monarch is Alasdair V, Grand Duke of Reoch. He succeeded to the throne as a baby when his mother, Queen Caoimhe, was forced to abdicate by a coalition of nobles. The main nobles of Dael Riata are:

  • The Ranalds, Grand Dukes of Reoch & Kings of Dael Riata
  • The Ahearns, Earls of Suddal, known colloquially as the Horse Lords.
  • The Giluilleams, Earls of Dalry, and relative newcomers to Dal Riata.
  • The Aonghus, Earls of Beatham.
  • The Riata, Earls of Glasholm, the founders of the Kingdom of Dael Riata.
  • The Gilriatas, Earls of Dalcot, a cadet branch of Riata that now surpasses them.
  • The Sithechs, Earls of Aifric, the Old Wolves.
  • The Suibhnes, Earls of Douglas, famed for their hospitality and generosity.
  • The Sioltachs, Earls of Duff, shipbuilding masters.
  • The Gilruarys, Earls of Dalmuir, the second port of Dael Riata.
  • The Murchadhs, Earls of Uisdean, notorious raiders and self-proclaimed Sea Kings.
  • The Gilranalds, Earls of Norpen. A cadet branch of Ranald installed on the Northern most islands as a foil to the Muchardhs.
  • The Alpins, Earls of Ardmor. Guardians of the great forest in the North.

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