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The Sidhe – Society

Art by nathaliagomes

Sidhe society can be described as a mixture of feudalism and egalitarian rulership. The feudal features are found in the Class system which separates their society into three castes:

  • The Lord (Tiarna) Class - Made up of the leading families of the Great Clanns. The Tiarna are often the noble casted warriors, clerks and administrators that exist as the upper crust of Sidhe society. The Tiarna Caste can be split into the High Lords (the ruling members of the Great Clann houses) and then the Lesser Lords (those liege lords sworn to the High Lords).

  • The Client (Ceile) Class - Made up of what was once called the Fisher Class or Clerk Class, the client Class represent those local administrators, and middle class families loyal to the reigning leading families. They often supply warriors, supplies, and goods to the Tiarna of local regions.

  • Peasant (Tuathanach) Class - The Tuathanach are the landed peasantry and commons that serve the leading Tiarna of the Great Clanns. They work as tenant farmers, craftsman in towns and other vocational jobs.

 

A fourth class exists within Sidhe Culture that are simply called the Druid or the Draoi. They are not a full class trully, but have enough independence as clerics of the ancestral gods and Danu herself to be almost considered one.

 

Clann and Sept

Clann and Sept

After the Great Clann War the political scape of Cels was dynamically shifted towards the rule of what come to be known as the Six Chieftain (or Queen) or Taoiseach of the Clanns. Each then is made up of several Houses (or Septs) that were once Clanns in their own right. Because of the war these groups were forced to consolidate themselves into the tribal confederacies that now exist making up the Great Clanns. Each Great Clann then has an elected heir to the Chieftain known as a Tanaiste or Second. The Tanaiste are elected by the leaders of the ruling Septs collectively of each Great Clann who are known as Client Chiefs (or Flaith).

So within the government of a Great Clann you have the gathering of the Client Chiefs who then among them elect the chosen ruling family of the Band-King. The Chieftains of each Great Clann then meat before the Stone of Kings in the Capital to elect the High King. An almost democratic system that has in time led to several clashes between clans and noble families across Cels.

Art by quickreaver

 

Land Division, Settlements, and Titles

Land Divisions, and Titles

The division of land and holdings within the lands of Cels can be split into the lowest settlement or estate to the great expanse of the High Kingdom itself. Land ownership within the High Kingdom is conducted in a corporate manner. All members of the Clann have a right to the Dal or land owned by the Clann. The Dal is then evenly divided between the the respect Septs and their ruling Fine. All members of the Clann are given rights to claim land within the Clann which is often presided over by a local ruling Lord of the given region the citizen lives in.

Art by Asahisuperdry

 

Settlements are divided along these lines:

  • Aitreabh – The Homestead a small grouping of families or a family living in a central area to farm or defend themselves.

  • Baile – The Town, a larger village or established Dun (fortified town) home to a local lord, hall and several establishments.

  • Cathair – The City, the metropolitan home of several sections and varying population. Often centered around a large fortified keep or Fortress.

 

Land is divided into these ways:

  • Contae – A district ruled by a Tiarna or Bantiara (Lord or Lady).

  • Dal – The land controlled by a Clann or Sept or Family.

    • Dal Mor – Land of the Clann

    • Dal Sio – Land Controled by a Sept.

    • Dal Fine – Land or estates owned by a family.

  • Tuath – A province of the High Kingdom.

  • Tuath Ard – The High Kingdom itself.

 

 

The titles .of Rulership in the High Kingdom are:

  • Cennfine – Leader of a Fine or family

  • Tiarna or Bantiarna – A common term for all Lords.

  • Meara or Banmheara – Leader of a Town or Homestead

  • Airre or Banhairre – A ruler of a Contae.

  • Flaith – Ruler of a Sept.

  • Tanaiste – Heir to the Chieftain of a Clan.

  • Taoiseach – Ruler of a Clann.

  • Ri or Banrion – Ruler of a Tuath (traditionally most powerful of the two Taoisigh or Chieftains in a Province). The translation means King.

  • Ard Ri or Banrion Ard – High King or Queen, ruler of the Tuatha Ard

Art by Ionus

 

Primary regions and provinces of Cels:

  • Alba – The Northwestern Province and home to the Unseleigh Court.

  • Eire – The Middle Province and home to the lach-dweller and coil-dweller cultures.

  • Kernow – The Western province and trade hub with outside nations, home of the Seleigh Court.

  • Isles of Manann – The unrecognized province and home of the outlaw Septs of Clann Heron.

  • Cymru – Once the fourth province of Cels it was lost in a civil war between the Septs of Ua Lugh and Ua Fildais.

  • Prydain – Lost homeland of the Sidhe said to exist east of Kernow and is filled with mysterious Barbarians.

 

Architecture

Architecture by Province

The the basic design of a Sidhe village is a set of large round homes centered around a large cook fire. Each of these then has a large conical thatched roof. These roundhouses are generally then arranged around a set of gardens and small livestock corrals. Around these small collection of homes are often built a set of walls that form into what is often called an a Dun or Ariteabh which is then ruled by a Tiarna. Usually at the center of the stead is a large central hall with several rooms and a small area set aside for training. Often the central hall features a large rising tower that then connects to a set of guard towers built into the defensive wall.

Towns in Cels tend to feature larger more solid cottages and two to three stories in all. These are the baile and they often are home to a local meara or mayor and his or her family. Baile or towns tend to be several hundred to a few thousand souls. Generally at this point the local lord has either built a small fort in the middle of the town or dwells in a family estate and keep nearby the town. As a town gets larger, the Sidhe often include more facilities for the making of war, trade and much more. Trade towns often feature large central markets usually built on a cross roads. Typical construction for the fortresses and local defensive positions for smaller populations are generally dry stone forts (meaning no mortar and made of stone piece together). The larger settlements and cities often have large scale keeps and towers built as a stronger defense against large scale Clann War or to fend off invaders.

Art by Ylienor

 

Alba

The lands of Alba are home to small open farms that dwell ont he rolling moors and high cliffs. These “crofts” are often home to shepherds and cattle herders. Larger towns are often surrounded by high walls and built near the coast or along the road close to the craggy hills that jut from the moor. These fort-towns are often guarded by the Clanns carefully and were built this way during the first Northern Invasion. Along the cliff filled coastline are several carefully carved out harbors home to the infamous North Fleet. Because of their generally militaristic mindset the Albans tend to favor reinforced defensive positions. Even their farms often feature walls and defensive guard towers nearby.

Art by jordangrimmer

 

Eire

The lands of Eire are known for their open lakes and vast thick forests. This has led to a general sense of two divergent settlement types typical to the region. The lake and river dwellers tend to build their towns directly on the river. These river villages even expand upon the lakes where the exist of artificial islands or “crannogs” are created to defend against raiders and reivers. These lach-dwellers are often members of the crafter clans, whereas the deep forests or Coill is home to a much different kind of folk.

The Coil-Dwellers are often from Clann-Raven and are use to building their homes within the wood itself. Instead of cutting down the massive trees in the Coill, instead they have come to built around the trees. It is not unusual to find a fortress built around the base of a massive oak tree or to find entire villages carefully hidden buildings surrounded by brush. Even the live stock of the Coill are bred to existed in the dense forest land.

 

Kernow

Kernow is much like the lands of Alba in that it posses rolling plains and rocky coasts. The big differen is that the climate of Kernow is temperate and warm. Many Sidhe travel to the province when vactioning and it is known in many ways as the breadbasket. Grain and barely farms are normal and this has lead to the creation of open homesteads with local forts for defense. Kernow unlike the other two provinces has often had less issues with Clann War andtherefore relies less on castling for its defense. Instead it has maintained a large calvary force made up elk and horse riders. This has led to a series of large open ranches place alongside large open fields.

Along with their ranching settlements Kernow features several fortied hill stone forts and castles. These are the only large scale fortifications and defensive structures found inland in Kernow. Along the coast are a series of watch towers and defensive walls. Along the norther border is a vast wall to defend against the growing hordes of former Norgard mercnaries streaming through the Bronn Coill forest.

Art by andreasrocha

 

The Family

Sidhe Kinship Structure

Rulership of a family (or fine) within Sidhe life is neither matriarch or patriarchal, it is in fact mostly based upon the age (many of the Clanns are ruled by the most learned or cunning Chiefs). This person is known as the Cennfine or the family head. The Cennfine then rules the family within a council composed of the family’s senior members. When a Cennfine passes on it is they who vote on the succession of the family leadership. Several Fine then come together to form the basis of the Septs. In that regard the Cennfine are often some of the most powerful lords or clients (middle class) members of a given Clann as they have the power to effect the a Septs succession and its direction if the Flaith of the Sept is not strong enough.

Art by Michael-C-Hayes

The direct members of a Fine are known as the Derbfine. This includes all legitimized bastards (those claimed by their parents), children born in marriage, and adopted individuals of the ruling blood members. Larger Fine often have several secondary or cadet branches that then serve the greater ruling branch of the household. Generally the Derbfine all come from one specific class, however it is not uncommon for the ruling noble Fine to have members who are of Client and Lord class as upward mobility does occur.

Marriage for Sidhe is often conducted between the parents of each family with expressive consent of the two lovers. The woman has always the right to deny the man in Sidhe marriage proposals, though family pressure can play a part in the decision. (Ex: A young woman pressuring a man to marry her if she’s of higher class). Inheritance within Sidhe culture is based mostly on age as is most rulership outside of the elections for the Chieftain of a Great Clann. If there is no direct heir from the leader in the family then it goes to the next eldest sibling. If that branch of the family dies it goes to the proceeding branches from oldest to youngest.

The Retainer and Fealty

The basis of the Client class evolved out of the early lordly retrainers that served the ruling nobility of Cels. From these sworn families and their respective administrators was born the middle class of Cels. In most regards fealty is a strange concept to the Sidhe who treat it in a manner of a lord taking on the responsibility of leading men and women. Compared to the traditional human concept of feudalism, a Lord does not own the life of his vassals, but in fact is responsible for them. Originally this  from the tribal concept of a chief and his band of warriors. Over time this became the Sidhe concept of the Ridire and the Laoch, the sworn knights and champions of a given lord.

A Laoch or “warrior” is a champion or sworn guardsman of noble family. Laoch are above the typical warriors and soldiers of the Clann Guard or Gardai. Often chosen not only for their loyalty but also their skill the Laoch often guard a specific individual or the primary family of the Fine itself. The Ridire on the other hand are the elite cavalry-men and charioteers of the Fine. Sometimes made up of the members of the Fine themselves, the Ridire are considered along with the Laoch as the elite fighters of a Clann and Sept.

Another aspect of Fealty is the relationship shared between the Flaith and the Taoiseach of a Clann. Starting with the connections between the various Fine, the Taoiseach is able to call upon the Flaith of their Clann in times of need. Respectively the Flaith call upon their vassal Fine to then serve in a similar capacity.

Art by SWKerr

Children and Family

Children and family within the High Kingdom can become very complicated or at times remain quite simple. The complication occurs mostly in the act of legitimizing of children and the introduction of adopted members of a family. WIth some families where Pure Blood is high sought after this can be even more complex as the nobles of a region check pedigree and bloodline. In some regions it can be considered considerably dishonorable to father children of half or fourth-blood. This is not to say that children are unloved, only that as a family rises in status does the concern of legacy become greater and greater.

 

 

Dress and Attire

Sidhe Clothing and Attire

General Clothing

The dress of Sidhe can vary depending upon rank and class of the individual. Generally the attire of the fae race is simple woolen tunic called a leine combined with either a kilt or tartan pants known as trews. Women often wear an elongated leine and a belt to hold it in place. Long sleeves are common among the high ranking classes of sidhe society. Another common aspect of Sidhe society is the clocha and badge. A clocha is usually a thick woolen cape worn over the back or over the shoulder and depicts the chosen emblem of the users Clann and then the mark of their Sept. Underneath all clothes men often wear a simple pair of small clothes while women wear a band to bind their brests and small clothes to cover their genitals.

Aside from the Clocha and the leine, and the trews there is also another simple form of dress known as the ionar. The ionar is a longer sturdier form of the leine and is often worn by the lesser classes of Sidhe society along with a sturdy pair of trews or a kilt. Women of age or of the Client or Commoner class often wear a long dress known as an arisaid. The arisaid is a simple dress with a long flowing poof skirt usually worn with an built in tartan cape and veil.

Shoes and footwear among the Sidhe come in a few different styles. Collectively shoes in cels are known as brogues or in some cases brogs. The rank of an individual often means the show is of softer or sturdier material with peasants preferring simpler leather made slippers or boots. Brogues are often a simple leather slipper with a slip which was then held onto the foot by a simple set of laces. Another form of brogue also exists which is basically a modified sandle set to enclose the entire foot.

Riding boots and the kind are not uncommon, but are generally only afforded to the Client to the Lord class of the Sidhe.

Art by SWKerr

 

The Clann Badge and Sept Totem

Clanns often wear a badge, a small round stamped pin that they use to attached the clocha. The emblem of a Clann and that of a Sept is quite sacred. Each emblem is often related to the Clann’s history and the major traits it shows as a people. In other cases the Sept totem is often held with even more reverence as Sept totems date back directly to the god that birthed the Sept’s bloodlines.

Those of ruling rank within the Clanns often wear special mantles relating to primary totem (animal spirit) of their clan. Another mark of rule within the Clanns is the Torque, a twisted u-shaped piece of metal worn around the neck. Gold marks the rule of the chieftain, silver the second (the Tanaiste), and bronze for the Chief of a Sept.

 

Jewelry and Broaches

Jewelry within Sidhe society is often found in the form of earrings, amulets and rings. Generally tehse items are embedded with script, knot-work  or images of the ancestral gods of the Sidhe. Jewelry is worn evenly by both genders with women preferring necklaces and men rings.

Another common form of mark and attire within Sidhe society is the woad and whorl. These tattoos often relate to the colors of a Sidhe’s chosen clan and are often used as a marker of class and rank. Noble warriors often only bear the whorls after their first kill, while the most devout of the Danuist faith often wearing emblems of the faith on their brow and arms.

Art by SWKerr

 

Hair Style and Grooming

Nudity within Sidhe society is fairly well ignored. In informal settings it is not uncommon for warriors to fight nude or for worshippers to go nude during revels. However, during official affairs and in general life one must remained clothed. Men and women within Society often mark rank with long hair. The Tiarna class often grow their hair out long (this tradition also depends on Sept and Clann) with the Ceili class wearing long hair to show their status. Commons cut their hair short while some may wear it long. Women with long hair are considered very attractive in Sidhe society.

Facial hair is often kept to simple moustches, or bears and finely trimmed. No facial hair can be considered a sign of youth or sometimes outcasted individuals shave off their moustaches or hair in disgrace (Clann traditions depend).

 

Radical Dress

A layover from the Sun-Child Dynasty, ‘radical dress” is something seen on and off in modern sidhe society. Radical dress is a rough term referring to forms of mortal attire created and dispersed among the younger generations of Sidhe. Although mortals cannot survive in Altear images of them have occasionally appeared which has led to certain cities possessing a slightly more ‘radical’ fashion than others. Images of the mortal realm are usually seen through specific mirrors held by Sidhe magic users which are sometime used to scry into the mortal realm (called ceantar).

A layover from the Sun-Child Dynasty, ‘radical dress” is something seen on and off in modern sidhe society. Radical dress is a rough term referring to forms of mortal attire created and dispersed among the younger generations of Sidhe. Although mortals cannot survive in Altear images of them have occasionally appeared which has led to certain cities possessing a slightly more ‘radical’ fashion than others. Images of the mortal realm are usually seen through specific mirrors held by Sidhe magic users which are sometime used to scry into the mortal realm (called ceantar).

 

 

Currency and Trade

Trade and Currency of Cels

When Cels was first established by High King Nuada the Silver-Arm, the majority of the Clanns had taken enemy clansmen and enemies in generals as slaves. A growing disparity formed within the first two centuries of rule by the High King as women in the High King began to lose their rights. Eventually this led to the creation of cumal or young female slaves as a basis of trade between the ruling families of the Highlands of Alba. At the same time cattle raising became a primary source of income and wealth from the emerging Lord classes of Kernow and Cymru.

These two competing currencies led to a divergence in thought and trade that would eventually lead to the creation of the Unseleigh and Seleigh courts of politics. Within the first four centuries High King Nuada pushed forward an agreement with the Clann Chieftains to centralize the Sidhe system of trade. This led to unified weights, measurements, and the creation of the unified coinage used today.

Art by Manzanedo

 

Coinage of Cels

  • Ormarc – A gold coin or gold mark (the literal meaning of the name.

  • Marc – A solid Silver Coin, ten of which equal one Ormarc.

  • Scilling – A bronze coin the size of thumb, ten of which equal one Marc.

  • Pingin – A copper coin about half an inch in circumference, ten of which equal a Scilling.

 

Examples of cost and earnings:

  • One Bull or a Copper Short Sword – Two Ormarcs

  • A Finely Made Bronze Sword – Five Ormarc

  • Witchwood Sword – Thirty-Five Ormarcs
  • A loaf of bread – Two Scillings

  • An ingot of Bronze – Three Marcs

  • Honest Days work for a peasant – Three Scillings and five Pingin

  • Honest Days work for a Client – Five Marcs

  • Honest Days work for a Lord – Five Omarcs

 

Education

Basic Sidhe Education

Within Cels education is offered on a public basis with the actual curriculum being different depending upon the primary exports for each Clann. Members of Clann Raven for example tend to train at the age of six onward itt he art of war. This has often led to many of their children traveling the land as bounty hunters, gallowglasses (armed mercenaries), and champions for the High Kings of old. Where as Clann Fox begins teaching their children the arts of crafting, smithing and trade at an early life. All Sidhe in general begin their studies at the age of five.

All children in Cels grow up speaking their local variant of the language of the Sidhe (known as Sean Teanga, old tongue). Whereas the common trade language (known as Bearla) is taught in schools to them at the age of fifteen and onward. Till the age of thirty (the age of majority) the students learn the basic curriculum:

  • The Basics of Charms and Glamour (magics of the Sidhe).

  • The Basic History of Cels

  • The Basics of the Classes (depends on character Class).

  • The Clan Ancestors and Danuist basics (depends on Clann).

  • The Basics of combat (if not already covered).

  • The Basics of Sidhe Government.

Art by thegryph

 

Education in Cels is often conducted by private teachers, or in local schools, or chartered areas of learning (the chartered areas are generally only available to the Lord and Client Class) known as acadamh or academy. These academies are generally ran by Druids known as Ollamh who are often masters of knowledge and oral history.

Academies are generally located in a local town or city. The more prestigious ones used by the Tiarna class are often located in major cities or special compounds located near the estates of ruling lords and ladies. The chartered schools are boarding schools where the local Lord families send their children to be educated. Lesser classes such as the peasant and client classes then attend the local public academies. Private tutors are also common for noble families and upper class clients. Academies can admit multiple Clanns, be Clann specific or even Sept or Fine specific. The more exclusive the academy the more likelihood that it is smaller, ran by a fewer number of individuals or even is simply a group of tutors. Larger academies tend to cater to a group of Clanns, or a specific Clann. Multi-Clann academies usually only exist in border regions between Clann territories or in major cities where the Clanns must do business with each other.

The classes of the Academies are organize into small structured group each  headed by an Ollamh. Smaller facilities usually only have one or perhaps two teachers with large group classes. More complex classes usually break down their students by skill level of combat or magic, or in their general age groups (15-30 broken into multiples of five).

Once a Sidhe reaches the final five years of their academy years they are often brought into various occupations to seek out their future job. This situation is known as the Turning often symbolizes the young Sidhe’s time in moving into full adulthood. Afte rthe Turning a young warrior often walks out to become a champion possibly even a Ridire (a Clann’s Knight). A man might return home to assist in running the farm, or setting up his own homestead.

 

 

Laws and Crime

Laws of Cels

Within the land of Cels, the Law of the High Kingdom is set down by the individual Chieftains with respect to each of the Great Clanns. Countrywide laws were historically set down by the High King after consideration and counsel from the Clann Gathering. These decrees must then be hailed (ratified) by the Sept Gatherings of each Great Clann.

 

Marriage or Posadh

Within the Realm of Cels either individual no matter which gender has the right to divorce (on grounds of impotence, abuse) from their spouse. Who gains land from the divorce is generally decided upon the basis of class (Clients may marry into the Lord class) and age of the individual. The fact that Sidhe do not age like humans, nor have the same gender restrictions as other races. Marriage within the Clanns always requires the permission of the leading adult of the fine of both individuals and performed by a Druid.

Marriages within the High Kingdom are recorded carefully especially those of the nobility. Because of the descent of the gods, many Sidhe take pride in breeding and the physical traits given to them by their ancestors. In some regions such as Alba it is illegal for the Tiarna class to marry a Peasant in other regions that law is nonexistent.

 

Guest and Hearth

According to the sacred laws of many races of Altear, it is considered an affront ot the gods to harm a guest. It is also considered highly dangerous and blasphemous to harm the keepers of the hearth in question. This means it is an insult to Danu herself to harm the members of a family or those who offer one a visit within their home.

 

Rule and Kingship

To the people of Cels, the Kingship and Rule in general are not a divine right, unlike other races. When a King or Queen rises to rule they are required to make a deal with Danu or the land in a sacred ritual where the elected or prospective asks for the World Goddess’ favor. In this ritual the local High Druid (or in the case of the High King the Arch Druid) drinks a broth of cattle beef. In a trance they hope to prove the claim of the new ruler to the throne.

A Chieftain, or King has the ability to impose new laws with consent of the lesser rulers below them. However, any law that breaks a previous law or changes a sacred one (such as not harming druids) will result in the possible deposing of the ruler in question. A ruler is always required to respect the leadership of the Clann’s as sovereign, but has the right to seize someone of lesser rank on the grounds of treason.

A ruler may also act as a judge in local cases, but only if a Brehon (traveling or local judge) was not present or able to appear.

Art by KarlaFrazetty

 

The Judges

The act of Judgement within the society of the Sidhe is conducted by a brotherhood of traveling justices known as Brehons. The Brehon’s are often scholars in various fields of history, law, and study. The Brehon in a local district often works with several local lords, and clients in an effort to keep the pace. When necessary a Brehon has a right to call upon the Gardai (guardians or Clann Guard) of the local Chieftain or Chief. When a crime is committed the local Brehon is summoned and a court is gathered after the defendant is apprehended. Usually at that point a Druid will bless the ground making sure no lies are told, and then the reigning Lord appears to ceremonially open the court.

The defendant is then a given a chance to plead their case before the Brehon who then hear’s the case of the plaintiff. After hearing both cases the Brehon may decide to call upon the opinions of the local Lords, or simply make a ruling. Once a ruling is made, then the defendant is either punished or set free.

In non criminal cases, it is generally the Brehon’s job to once again act as judge. However, the higher ranked the sides of the case the more likely a higher ranked Brehon will be called in.

Brehon are marked by this level:

  • Brehon – A simple Contae or County level Judge.

  • Brehon an Thuatha – The Judge of a Province.

  • Brehon Ard – The High Judge of the High Kingdom.

 

Age of Majority

A Sidhe gains the age of majority slightly differently in all three provinces. The average age is thirty, but places such as Alba it is only twenty-eight, whereas in Kernow it is twenty-nine. Eire is the standard and most Clann backed Academies use the standard thirty. When a side is not old enough they have the following rights:

  • To inherit land based upon age and class.

  • To choose their vocation within reach of their social class.

  • The right of Trial without false imprisonment (not granted to peasants).

  • Right to land in tenant from the Sept they are from (this applies to all classes).

 

It should be noted that Sidhe are allowed to be sexually active at the age of eighteen since they physically mature. Anything younger is considered a breaking of the families honor and usually results in a severe price upon the the youngsters.

 

Hostages

The exchange of hostages is a common act found among the Clanns of Cels. When the High King reigns in the City of Mists (Cathair Ceochán) then he demands fosters from all of the Clanns. In turn members of the High Family were traditionally exchange with the Clanns. This act was not used as intimidation, but as a means of cementing bonds between families. It is not uncommon for fosterns to swear to be anamchara (soul friend). It is considered sacrilegious to harm a fostern or hostage. Any harm brought to them is considered a breaking of the laws of Guest and Hearth.

 

Murder and Feud

Unlike some lands, the people of Cels do not apply capital punishment in the way of other nations. Much like the tribes of Norland there is a varying level of punishment depending upon the worth and status of the individual who was murdered. The standard response for murder is the mediation between the families of the victim and the offender for the issue of ioc fuil or “blood pay”. This can be a transfer of currency, livestock, goods, or services. Those who break the agreement of blood price face the activation of feud with the family or group they have wronged. In many cases the activation of feud is one reason some Septs and even Clann’s war with each other on a regular bases.

The worst act of murder and one that automatically gains the punishment of hanging and beheading is the act of fingal or killing one’s family or blood. In Sidhe society there are few things that can incite the local lord to call for a hunt for anyone other than fingal. Only the act of killing a fellow Sidhe with Iron (or Iarann) is equally horrible. In both cases the offender is hunted down, and then beheaded after having themselves ritualistically cast out of the Tribes of Danu.

 

Clann War

The Sidhe are a warrior people and for a thousand years the Tribbes of Danu have warred with each other. Over land, resources and later the act of feuds this form of ritualistic wafare has only been known by one name, Clann War. Clann War can only be declared upon an enemy by the Cennfine of a family, the Flaith of a Sept, or the Taoiseach of a Clann. In both cases the greater the conflict the larger the restrictions that are to be applied to the war itself. War between two small twons can be messy and horrendously violent. War between the Great Clanns however must be conducted in specific fields, in specific seasons (during the spring and summer only).

The taboos of Clann War include the prohibition against the usage of Iron, taking slaves in combat, and rape or harming bystanders. Breaking any of these taboos can result in fines levied the clan, and hostages taken to keep the sides from turning on each other once again. It should be noted that only in extreme cases is the act of “Clann’s End” enacted. Clann’s End is a right held solely by the High King and is the ability to order the extermination of the major powers of a Clann, Sept or Fine. It is however unholy to fully exterminate the bloodline of any Clann fully as it is seen as ending the immortal memory of the Tribes of Danu themselves.

Art by Manzanedo

 

Inheritance and Fidelity

Inheritance of land, goods, and even services in Cels is strangely simple, yet complicated. It is simple as all born of a given set of parents or parent are considered their heirs, even the bastard born (as long as they are recognized). They also inherit equally with the direct direct oldest heir of the individual determining general amounts (they must be equal in value depending upon age and years apart). The complicated part is the idea that any outside the family of a married household can inherit the title of Cennfine or a lordship if they are born of the blood of that individual.

It is simply that Sidhe do not hold the same prospects of marriage as some races. To them handfasting or posadh (their form of marriage) is sacred, but divorce can happen at any time. It is not at all strange for a ruling Cennfine to marry someone have children and then marry someone else. It is also not uncommon for Sidhe to simple have children and claim them while negotiating with the other parent. This is perhaps one reason why there can be so many disputes between the various fine of the Septs and the Septs of the Clanns. It can get quite complicated when one has to constantly call in a Brehon to determine the bloodline of a child. The general law in dealing with determining a child’s bloodline is to test the strength of the traits (which usually favors the mother), however if the father is of higher rank and standing than the mother than usually he will inherit the child. The same rule applies if the child has parents fromt he same Sept or the traits appear equal.

Adoption is the final aspect that can make inheritance quite confusing. In Sidhe culture adoption is only done by the cennfine, and the act must be blessed by a Druid. After the act is done the adopted individual is considered a member of the derbfine (the inner-kin) and has the same right of inheritance as others. Except they are considered as the last to inherit even if they are older than their adoptive siblings.

 

Cattle Raid

A vibrant and usually violent practice is the act of cattle raiding between homesteads and rival settlements. Generally cattle raids are a test of a young warrior’s skills and are rarely deadly except on a few occasions when someone seriously stabs another or falls from their horse. The general aim of the raid is dishonor and challenge the ability of the targeted settlement.  Usually if any injuries are incurred during the raid, fines can be placed upon the troublesome parties.

 

Theft and Rustling

Theft within the High Kingdom is punishable by a month hard labor on the local Tiarna’s fields or a severe fine to be paid back to the victim. This is generally also applicable on different levels according to the class of the individual. Lords generally will render a favor or in cases of large scale theft pay a hefty fine of currency or livestock. In other cases for Clients or Peasants they will often owe labor or equivalent service or goods for the article or articles stolen. Severe theft and constant theft generally will get a Sidhe imprisoned for extended periods in the local dungeon, and theft done violently may result in branding and outcasting.

Violent crimes of stealing and attacking others without reasons outside the rules of Clann law or cattle raiding fall under the definition of Banditry.

 

Outcasting

The act of Outcasting within Sidhe society is done for a few specific reasons:

  • The individual has continually betrayed members of their family, Sept or Clann.

  • The individual has turned to Bandtiry (often called Reivers).

  • The individual has been found in possession of Iron repeatedly.

  • The individual has committed murder and has refused to pay a blood price.

 

It should be noted that Sidhe consider bandits or ‘reivers” to be kill on sight. Some however, may be brought back from outcasting if they redeem themselves through completing quests for powerful lords, or through the Danuist Priesthood.

 

Slavery

Historically Slavery was once quite prevalent in the land of Cels, however under the rule of High King Dagda O Nuada-Mor, the practice was ended. Eventually it became explicitly illegal to trade in and keep slaves within one’s care. The end of the legal slave trade within Cels also led to the eventual reworking of the basic form of currency. For many years currency within the High Kingdom had been what was called “cumal” or young female slaves. Cumal was for many years the primary form of currency except for heads of cattle in much of western Cels (primarily male dominated Alba).

Now a days being caught openly selling or owning slaves leaves to a heavy fine and in some cases indentured service to the High Throne itself.

 

 

Subsistence and Diet

Diet of the Sidhe

The primary source of food for the High Kingdom comes from a mixture of farms and trade with other nations. Cels itself is able to grow much of its own grain, and livestock. This means in many cases the HIgh Kingdom is perfectly well off when it comes to basic needs. Several problems however face the provinces when it comes to soil and other cases climate. For this reason only in Kernow can fruit be grown in decent amounts, and only in Alba was there sufficient grazing land to support massive amounts of large Cattle and Sheep. Cattle were quite prevalent in the province of Eire too.

This combination of mutton, beef and grain was a common sight among the lower classes of the peasantry. Those close to the forests are able to take deer, boar, and other animals to fresh up their diet. Fish and shellfish are quite common along the coast, but not so much in the inland.

The fruit grown within Cels tends to come in the form of the woods in the forms of blackberries, raspberries and currant berries. These are often grown in the Great Coill in carefully cultivated groves and patches and then harvest by those within. it is not uncommon to find cucumber and other vine like plants growing in the Great Coill.

In the verdant plains and fields of Kernow grand orchards are planted showcasing apples and plums. These are often moved around the country carefully, but are generally only found within the western province. It is along the western foothills that lead into lost Prydain that the high vineyards of the Clann Swan are found. For years the Ua Caer Sept of Clann Swan created fine vintages for the High Throne itself.

Drink within the High Kingdom is generally reserved to wine and beer for the common drink. Because of issues with water supply and sewage cities often rely heavily on alcohol to keep beverages clean. Smaller towns and homesteads are generally able to subsist off springs and rivers nearby. Cleaning water in Cels is not a simple job although most water magic users can keep water pure within reason, it has yet to be done on a mass scale.

Art by Smirtouille

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