The people known as the Gaelgrans can proudly trace their history back to Holy Terra’s prehistory, and pride themselves on having been the masters of the stars for a brief period of time. The colony of Novulster, formed on Gwynneth by Northern Irish nationalists, thrived on the adversity they faced in their far-flung arctic territories. Amidst the dismal cultural morass of the late First Republic, the Novulster nationals built morale by celebrating their ancient Celtic origins, and grew more and more insular and xenophobic, calling themselves the Gaelgrans, or the people of Gael. When the Republic began to disintegrate, the Gaelgran peoples were among the first to throw off the yoke and declare themselves nations. Unfortunately, the bustling colony split into 17 different houses, which immediately began feuding amongst themselves. When the Republican armies counterattacked, however, they forged the Novulster Concord, where they all united around their Celtic heritage, forming the Great Commonweal of the Nations of Gael, governed by the High Council which represented each Nation. With their wars quelled and their fierce national spirit, the various nations spread Gaelgran rule over much of Gwynneth and spread heavily throughout Bannockburn and Logrsydym. The Great Commonweal became the preeminent power in the stars, second only to the nucleus of the dying republic. Unfortunately, their glory was short-lived. When the last vestiges of Republican rule were finally fully exterminated from Gwynneth, the High Council of Gael declared a great feast on the ancient holiday of Beltaine. Unfortunately, at that feast, known forever after as Black Beltaine, the nations all fell to warring with each other. Violence erupted at the banquet itself, and shortly thereafter the Great Commonweal of the Nations of Gael dissolved as a unified whole. House Cuchulgrim allied with House Uriens to crush all of its rivals on Logrysdym, bending two minor houses of Gael to its whim, and began raiding the Gwynneth houses. House Gwydion, House McConnaugh and the “half-breed” House Lwyllwn led the powerful Connachta League on Gwynneth, and allied against House Fianna and House Garethede, who formed the main constituents of the Aegelfreyan Union, the main opposition to the Connachta League. The war between the two, with other Gaelgran houses and others caught in the middle, consumed much of Gwynneth and Bannockburn. The Aegelfreyan Union was losing badly- although it had a hold on many of the high-technology freeholds in Gwynneth’s Aegelreach Mountains and Bannockburn’s great Dweom Valley forges, it was lacking in manpower and supplies. In the harsh winters, the technologically-superior Aegelfreyans were starving and freezing. The Aegelfreyans received aid from the nascent House Hawkwood, and pushed the Connachta League back to Bannockburn. The Houses of Gwydion, McConnaugh, and Lwyllyn each blamed the other for their defeat and immediately fell to feuding with each other. They continue their ancient grudges to this very day. House Cuchulgrim has formed the core of one of the greater Vuldrok star-nations, a fact which has led the Gaelgrans on the whole to be distrusted amongst the Known Worlds. House Hawkwood, in the meantime, has overshadowed its erstwhile allies, wholly subsuming House Garethede into itself and binding House Fianna into allegiance. The Gaelgrans survived, from their very inception until the present, by their powerful sense of history and their readiness to bear grudges. These their strengths are their weaknesses as well, however, as their pride in their history prevents them from compromising or from ever truly uniting. In recent centuries, their persecution at the hands of those who associate them with their Vuldrok kindred has served as a force to unite them, and now even House Fianna and the houses of the long-defunct Connachta League are on fair terms with each other. Gaelgrans now, downtrodden but still proud, tend to seek out the company of their kindred to sweetly reminisce over the ancient days when even the Royal Houses trembled before the might of the Nations of Gael. House Fianna (non-canon) Native to Gwynneth, House Fianna of Gael has had a history long intertwined with House Hawkwood. One of the staunch supporters of the Aegelfreyan Union, House Fianna remembers its days huddled in the frozen freeholds of the Aegelreach mountains, besieged and starving by the more primitive Connachta League. There was talk of surrender, talk of compromise, and talk of perseverance until the bitter, frostbitten and starved end. And then the Hawkwoods came from Delphi. Duke William Plantagenet of March, cousin to Queen Augusta (the daughter of John Mountbatten Hawkwood himself), after having skillfully inducted the native House Fenris into the Hawkwoods, had a great deal of influence on the planet of Gwynneth, and turned his attention to the Gaelgran lands. He approached the Aegelfreyan Union, offering supplies and aid to them in their fight against the Connachta League. The Union accepted, and with Hawkwood aid drove the Connachta league to Bannockburn in a protracted and bloody campaign. The Hawkwoods proved to be dangerous allies, however. Once enough of Gwynneth was secure, the Hawkwoods began to attempt to assert more and more control over their allies. Whereas the Hawkwoods had once been of comparable size to the Aegelfreyan Union, they quickly outgrew their allies and slowly choked them down to size. They forcibly assimilated House Garethede into House Hawkwood, and they attempted the same with House Fianna, but at this, King Liam IV revolted, gathering the aid of House Trusnikron and all of the rest of the Aegelfreyan Union. The value of House Fianna’s technological base, as well as the ferocity of the powerful House, caused the Hawkwoods to negotiate a truce. House Fianna would retain the right to its independence, but it would pay tribute and fealty to the Hawkwood King. And so the situation went for hundreds of years. House Fianna absorbed the rest of the Aegelfreyan Union, and grew quite powerful after the Fall of the Second Republic, sometimes almost gaining enough power to sever its ties to House Hawkwood and try and force its way into the Ten. Almost. Such dreams of power died, however, when the Vuldrok attacked, revealing the existence of many Gaelgran barbarians. House Fianna was reluctant to fight with its fellow Gaelgrans, and soon all of the Gaelgran race was suspect. House Fianna was persecuted heavily. Waves of genocide forever crushed the House’s aspirations to the Ten, and led to a brief rebellion in union with the members of the now-defunct Connachta League. The rebellion was soon brought to a compromise where House Fianna kept their former status, but it succeeded in improving the once-sour relations between the House and the other Gaelgrans, whose unity in persecution overrode their ancient grudge. House Fianna has, by and large, been a staunch ally of House Hawkwood. It breeds excellent smiths whose craftsmanship, especially where weapons are concerned, is almost unparalleled. The runesmiths who produce all of the House’s great crafts take their work with almost religious seriousness, and all feel great loyalty to the House’s ideals. House Fianna also has its share of brave warriors, who fight in what House Hawkwood considers a rather savage fashion, but their valor and usefulness as allies is undeniable. Most of House Fianna’s holdings are now in Bannockburn, but they still retain some of their ancient holdings on Gwynneth, especially the great freeholds in the Aegelreach Mountains. Members of House Fianna are of So-Gaelgran stock. They are small and willowy, with thin gray eyes and flowing red, blond, or silver hair, but their coordination and great speed in battle makes up for their diminutive statures. Though not otherwise a rich house, they are overflowing with high-technology items, which are considered somewhat magical. They are often tattooed with runes which they believe have some mystic powers. Their society is based on grudges and xenophobia, and they consider raiding, night attacks, ambushes, and guerilla warfare to be perfectly respectable forms of war. Worst of all, they do not take captives. The mercy they show to those who yield is hamstringing. In the eyes of the Hawkwoods, this makes them utter savages. However, though barbarous, they are not without honor like the Decados and other Houses which are similarly beneath contempt. House Fianna’s colors tend to involve light shades of gray, green, brown and blue. Their crest is a butterfly superimposed on a Rune of Fertility. House Gwydion Highly civilized, artistic, fairly technological. Of Gaelgran stock. Based in Bannockburn. House McConnaugh Scots. Bear deep grudges, rather barbaric. Take war very seriously- little ransoming, little compromise. Thus, less influential than they could be if they weren’t so self-destructive. Wracked with internal strife, of a most bloody nature. House Lwyllyn Welsh. Bitter rivals with McConnaugh. Vaguely more civilized than them- more sophisticated tactics and more discipline and industry, if less pride and raw strength. Also wracked with internal strife, but less so.