The Amalingian Empire: The Story of the Gothic-Roman Empire

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by DanMcCollum, May 30, 2011.

  1. DanMcCollum P-WI

    May 29, 2011
    Wauwatosa, WI
    Not to nerd out, but I have a signature now as @Rdffigueira suggested! Not sure how to turn the title of the TL into a hyperlink. But it's a start!

    Also, I've started to work on thread marking. I may also work on a table of contents eventually.
  2. DanMcCollum P-WI

    May 29, 2011
    Wauwatosa, WI
    Chapter 79

    We Guide Our Ships, to New Lands


    Saint Mael Duin and his currach, before arriving at Tir na Dóiteáin. Note the presence of the fish eating its own tale. This image is thought to have been inspired by a later myth relating to St. Mael Duin encountering Jörmungandr; a figure from the Theutish faith

    741 AD,

    Bhá na Deataigh, Tir na Dóiteáin [OTL: Reykjavík, Iceland]

    The steam from the hotsprings had first been seen from the opening of the bay.

    Mael Duin, already called An Naomh by some of his most zealous followers – though not within ear shop of him – felt his breath catch in his throat. Slowly, every so slowly, he exhaled the cool northern air, and drew in another deep breath. He felt light-headed and forced himself to remember his breathing and meditation exercises. But a great excitement had taken hold of his breast and refused to let go; his mind was aflutter with a volatile swirl of emotions and images.

    But what kind of man would he be not to get excited? Yes, the trip had taken them but five days, but they were now looking upon a site where only the holiest of men had ever set foot. Most Christians, if they had ever heard of this land at all, still thought it to be but a myth and legend; but Mael Duin had always suspected that the old legends and traveler’s tales held some truth to them, and he had just proven himself right. This Bay of Smoke must have been the very same where St. Brendan and his cohorts had wintered during his voyages of discovery. [FN1]

    Mael Duin made the sign of the cross – it would be unseemly for the leader of this expedition to become so excited that he tried to mimic Christ and walk upon the water -, exhaled, and turned towards the ships’ pilot. Pointing to the rising plume of steam, he he cried out to his fellow monk Fintan, who was acting as the pilot of this currach. “Aim for the shore! I think we’ve found out new home.”

    Fintan, usually as stout and stalwart a man as any could ask to be, had gone pale. “By Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit,” he said crossing himself, “you were right! The tales were true after all. They were all true.”

    “Of course they were,” Mael Duin said, keeping the frustration from his voice as best he could. For well over a year he had had to preach his vision throughout all of Dal Riada; his position as a member of the Cenél Naoisi and his connections to King Conan gotten him many an audience, but he had had to defend his vision from the skeptics time and time again. He had heard the whispers: that he had been driven mad by his injuries at Magh Rath, that he was a believer in children’s tales, and that he was doomed to a watery grave by his ambitions. As a man who aspired to Sainthood, he had taken these slings and arrows and done his best to hold no grudges. But, no matter how desperately he wished to live like Christ, he was still but a man, and could anyone blame him should he slip and allow dark thoughts to pollute his soul from time to time?

    “My apologize, Father,” Fintan said, “I meant no disrespect. I was simply caught in the wonder of the moment.” From any other man, those words might have held the slight edge of sniveling; but Fintan always spoke in a direct and honest manner. He might be a difficult man to live with, but no one could ever doubt his sincerity or believe him capable of even the most basic forms of subterfuge.

    Mael Duin laughed and clapped the pilot on the back. The laugh carried genuine warmth to it, and upon hearing it, the other monk’s eyes lit aflame and he began to laugh too. “We did it,” Mael Dun cried. “We did it! Now, quickly, let us get to shore. We shall make camp for the night and then our work will truly begin.”

    Fintan gave the orders to the other sailors began to shout and wave, signaling the other ships in the small flotilla. Then, Mael Duin and Fintan’s ship began to peel away and head for the shores of the bay, turning directly towards the light cloud of steam and smoke which rose in the distance before dissipating towards the East. One another another, the crews of the other currachs broke out into excited shouts and cries of joy and then followed the flagship’s lead.

    Mael Duin reached down and lightly stroked the head of Cailín Óg, one of the two calf’s which they had brought along upon the voyage. Reaching into his satchel, he brought out a small treat of oats mixed with salt, and laughed as the calf ate up the treat and licked her tongue across the palm of his hand, trying to get the last of the salt. “We made it, Baby Girl,” he said, rugging her head more vigorously, “we made it. Welcome to your new home.”

    Story of the Settlers: A New Sexish Translation of The Sgeulachd an Luchd-Tuineachaidh
    By: Anonymous
    Trans: Sithric Smithson
    [University of Bormingham Press, Sexland, 1999];


    The two most complete sources which tell of the early years of the Gaelic settlement of Tir na Dóiteáin are the Sgeulachd an Luchd-Tuineachaidh – which roughly translates as “The Story of the Settlers” – as well as the Admháil ar Naomh Mael Duin, or the Confessions of St. Mael Duin. Certainly other sources exist; Tir na Dóiteáin during the 9th and 10th centuries became one of the beacons of Gaelic literature, and even conquest of the island by the Theut in the late 9th century could not extinguish that flame. These subsequent sources include numerous Hagiographies featuring the lives of Mael Guin, Fintan and other early church leaders and saints, as well as countless Ráitis – those unique prose works of the isle which record not only the settling of that northern land, but also the exploits of Gaelic chieftains, reevers, mercenaries and heroes.

    And yet, it is the Sgeulachd an Luchd-Tuineachaidh and the Admháil ar Naomh Mael Duin which remain our primary sources for the Era of Settlement. The question stands as to why? First, because the anonymous author of the Sgeulachd wrote in the style of earlier Roman and Church histories and diligently worked to remove many of the more fantastical elements from the stories of the founding of Tir na Dóiteáin, or else wrote at a time in the early 9th century before many of those elements had first entered into the popular narrative. Meanwhile the Confessions of Mael Duin, despite having their authenticity doubted for many centuries, are now thought to record the thoughts and events of Tir na Dóiteáin’s founder in the last years of his life.

    These sources are not without their problems, of course. The Confession, for instance, was written with a contemporary Medievel audience in mind and does not always include those details which we modern scholars would most like to know. To give a simple example, the legends of the Gaelic peoples (be they Gaelic, Manx, Dóiteáinian, Dal Caoimhian, or of the colonies of any of these nations) tell us that Mael Duin was the son of King Fergus the Squinter and the eldest brother of Caoimhe the Beardless. We know from the basic chronology of the settle of Tir na Dóiteáin that this can not possibly be true, as Mael Duin’s Monastery of St. Brendan is founded in 741, well within the reign of King Conan the Conqueror. However, Mael Duin remains reticent about his relationship to the ruling dynasty f Dal Raida during the 8th century, stating only that he was a Prince of the Cenél Naoisi and that he was wounded during a “great battle.”

    To the modern ear, this is maddening. Prince is a translation of the Gaelic word “Oighre,” which means heir. However, in the Old Gaelic dialect of Dal Raida during the 8th century, this term was meant to indicate anyone who was close enough in kinship to the ruling monarch that they had the opportunity to inherit the title; this could go as far as to indicate the second cousin of the current King and the term also did not include any indication of legitimacy (albeit, legitimacy was a concept which was less important to the Gaels of that time, and those who we would now labled as bastards still possessed the chance to inherit; indeed Conan the Conqueror’s successor Gobhan was the son of Conan’s concubine). Furthermore, Mael Duin does not even name the battle at which he was wounded, an event which would send him down the path of dedicating himself to a life of holiness and eventual sainthood. Based on the dates, it can be assumed, that this battle was Magh Rath – the battle which saw Conan the Conqueror destroy the independence of the Northern Ui’ Neil and establish himself as High King of all Gaeland, but the author makes no effort to establish this with any certainty.

    Indeed, the identity of the battle and its cause is of no importance to the author, who starts his narrative with the line “And as I lay lingering, upon the boundary of the land of death, I repented of the sins which had led me to my sorrowful state.” In the manuscript that follows, Mael Duin describes how, though he had once been seen as a great warrior, his wound – which is ever described in detail, leading a myriad of explanations including such mundane injuries as losing fingers upon his fighting hand, to the extreme theory that he was wounded in the groin and made important – made made him useless to society. Although modern ears read these lines with horror and assume the worst, its important to remember that the Gaelic Brehen law of the time stated that any King of Prince was received a wound that left him physically disabled in any way would be enough in invalidate them from the Kingship. This is seen in the mythic figure of Nuada of the Silver-Hand who is stripped of his kingship after having his hand lopped off, and only regains it upon the magical creation of a silver hand which acts as well as one of flesh and blood. [FN2]

    Faced with an injury of some kind, Mael Duin took to reading the lives of different Gaelic Saints. The stories of their piety, and the lengths of suffering they would go to to reach atunement with the almighty, stirred the young prince. Those energies which had once been directed in the outward pursuit of glory and honor for himself and his house, now turned inward as he declared his intention of becoming a Saint. As he describes it, those around him first felt that he had surely gone insane; an opinion that was likely refuted when, following his healing, he stripped himself naked and went to live on an isolated rock in the Irish Straights for a year, allowing his hair and nails to grow long and subsisting only on the fish he caught or food supplied by sympathetic peasants. [FN3]

    Eventually, he tells us, he is inspired by the tales of St. Brendan the Navigator to find “Land of Fire” of the Saint had described upon his journey. In later retellings, which only grew more important and prolific during the Theutish Occupation of Tir na Dóiteáin, this inspiration grew into a full-on visit of the aspiring Saint by the Archangel Michael or even the Virgin Mary who tell him he would find his salvation in the “Land of Fire and Ice.” The Confession, however, does not contain such lofty claims; Mael Duin simply stating that: “I felt in my breast a compulsion to find that Land of Fire which the holy St. Brendan spoke about. Here, I was sure, I could found a community which would glorify the Lord.”

    Mael Duin would not be the first man to set foot upon this island. In addition to the works describing the journeys of St. Brendan, stories circulated throughout the time of Mael Duin and before that Gaelic hermits had fled to the island to escape the temptations of society. One of these, St. Lomman was even said to have returned after an exile of twenty years to found a church in the, then, Pictish lands surrounding the mouth of the River Donn and helped convert the local trival leaders. These hermits were called the Athraichean Reòta, or the “Frozen Fathers” – an attempt to link and compare them to the Desert Fathers of Early Eastern Christianity – and they must have been well known at the time.

    Despite this, Mael Duin himself states that his initial efforts to win potential monks over for the voyage were met with derision and slander. To his mind, many Gaels believed the stories of a large island far to the North were only legends and that many of the Frozen Fathers had either met the fate of the sea while searching for it, or else settled on islands such as the Eileanan Arcaibh [OTL: Orkneys] or the Eileanan Chaorach [OTL: Faroe Islands]. Indeed, the 6th through the 8th century saw these island chains settled by Pictish and Gaelic settlers, many of whom were likely monks, as the ruins of Rauthering Era monasteries have been found along side bronze age and early iron age buildings.

    Undeterred, Mael Duin shorn his hair in the style of a Gaelic Monk and reached out to the King of Dal Riada for sponsorship. Although the Saint refers to the King as “Father” during this point in the manuscript – and, maddeningly, does not give us a proper name – is can be discerned from contextual clues that this is an honorific title and that the King is not Mael Duin’s actual Father. The King, who must have been King Conan the Conqueror, agrees to give Mael Duin a small fleet for his voyage, under the condition that a crew can be found and that whatever Monastery would be founded would trade exclusively with the Dal Riadan crown for the next twenty years.

    With some semblance of royal patronage, Mael Duin was able to secure a crew for five ships. Tradition dictates that this crew was made up of twelve holy monks, including Saint Fintan who would become Mael Duin’s second closest companion. This is highly unlikely, and stems from an effort to draw comparisons not only to Christ’s Twelve Apostles, but also the number of monks who took part in Saint Brendan’s voyage. Even if we accept the total of twelve, this could only amount for the male leaders of the expedition, since Mael Duin tells us that at least some of the monks were married and took their wives and children on the voyage, and that there was also a number of non-religious lay settlers who also came with – a fact which shouldn’t be surprising when we remember that the Rauthering Age saw waves of population displacement throughout the twin Gaelic lands of Eire and Scotland. [DN4]

    Studying the tales of St. Brendan the Navigator as well as those of other Frozen Fathers, including St. Lomman, Maul Duin charted a course which would lead the small flotilla of ships north from Dal Riada’s growing port town of Carrick Fergus, past Eileanan Arcaibh and Eileanan Chaorach before following the currents to the north east, with the hopes to reaching the fabled land of Tir na Dóiteáin.

    It now behooves us to examine the account of St. Brendan himself and his discovery of Tir na Dóiteáin. The voyage itself was never recorded by St. Brendan’s own hand, and the earliest manuscript we have detailing the adventure comes from a Tir na Dóiteáin copy done in the 10th century; though linguistic analysis indicates it was a copy of an earlier work from the 7th century. The account tells us that St. Brendan set out with 13 fellow monks – twelve of his own choosing, and another who lept upon the ships as they were leaving port against the wishes of the saint. Although containing many mythic elements – including St. Brendan saying Easter Mass upon a moving island which later reveals itself to be a ‘great fish’ (likely a whale) – scholars have been able to carefully reconstruct the journey. It seems that after several weeks of travel; having stopped at every island along the way to meet with fellow Monks, the voyagers came to an Island “lit by fire and smoke.” As winter was nearing, they decided to find a safe harbor and to winter there until the seasons turned once again. The harbor they found was in a “Bay of Smoke” which is now thought to refer to the steam rising from the hot springs of Bhá na Deataigh. Here St. Brendan and his followers celebrate the Christmas Mass and survive upon the bounty of fish which God provides for them.

    The island in question is referred to as a “Land of Fire” where the sun does not rise during the long winter months, but where the land is still illuminated during these dark times by the belching volcanoes. Indeed, one tale tells us that St. Brendan himself prevented an eruption of Beul Ifrinn [OTL: Hekla] by ascending the firey mountain and blessing it in the name of God and Jesus, thereby saving the members of the voyage. However, the 13th member known as Iùdah did not trust in the powers of St. Brendan and fell into the mouth of the volcano before the blessing was completed, losing his life in the process. [FN5]

    Mael Duin, upon reaching Bhá na Deataigh, seems to have immediately recognized it from the accounts of St. Brendan voyages and, ecstatic, ordered that his ships go to shore. Here they settled near the hot springs, which would provie valuable heat come the long and cold northern winter. The monks had arrived during the Summer, but far too late to begining the planting of crops. Because of these, while they busied themselves with constructing shelters, they also took a page from St. Brendan’s voyage and began fishing; these fish were dried and would sustain them during their first winter in the new land.

    Now, it behooves us to talk about St. Mael Duin’s closest companion and the second most popular member of the expedition. Knowing that any successful settlemen would require animals as well as people, Mael Duin brought with him at least two young calfs on the journey. Calfs, must have been considered safest as they were small and could easily fit within the boats without crowding out the other sailors and, should fertile pastures be found, they could be set loose to graze. The two that we know about are a female calf known as Cailín Linbh – or “Baby Girl” – and Buachaill Láidir – or “Strong Boy”.

    Of these, Cailín Linbh became Mael Duin’s constant companion and pet. She is mentioned numerous times throughout the work of his Confessions, and a formal lament has come down to us which was purported to have been written by Mael Duin upon her death at the age of 16. The image of the Saint and his faithful bovine companion would become so popular during the Theutish Era and after that numerous tales sprang up surrounding the two; one of the most popular is that Mael Duin traveled out into the wilderness one Christmas in order to acquire wood for a great bonfire. A winter storm blows up, and the Saint is saved only because Cailín Linbh shelters him during the blizzard with her body and keeps him warm.

    During the Late Theutish Era, this tradition grew so strong that Cailín Linbh came to be viewed as a Saint herself, and popular shrines to her were erected throughout the island; each of them purporting to signify the location where a certain miracle was performed by the faithful heffer. Eventually, the Celtic Church reacted against this tradition, claiming it to be the work of Satan who was attempting to pervert the legacy of true saints. However, they were never fully successful, and to this day a number of shrines still draw regular attendees and a spring festival dedicated to “Saint” Cailín Linbh is celebrated every May 1st (the reported day of Cailín Linbh’s death). Naturally, this had led scholars and churchmen both over the years to attempt to refute these tales and the importance which this pet had for Mael Duin. But in 1832, while conducting escavations near the old Monastery of St. Brendan which had been founded by Mael Duin, a burial was uncovered which contained the bones of an adult, female, heffer and which was adorned with numerous grave goods, including a golden cross. This was immediately declared, with good reason, to be the grave of Saint Cailín Linbh and many of her bones disappeared over the course of the next week before archeologists were able to arrange a security team, to be used as relics. The dedication that the people of Tir na Dóiteáin show to their second favorite Saint should not surprise anyone, for the very flag of the current Republic, consists of a Golden St. Mael Duin Cross on a Green background, with the head of a black cow at its center – meant, of course, to represent, Cailín Linbh. [FN6]

    Although the first winter in Tir na Dóiteáin was trying for the new settlers, they survived due to the abundance of fish as the wise rule of their new Abbot. Under Mael Duin’s direction, trees were felled and a Church was built and dedicated to his patron, St. Brendan. In addition to the Church, a series of homes were built for the monks, and single homes for those lay brethren who had traveled along with the monks. By the time Spring had arrived, a great celebration was held to honor God, for not a single member of the new community had passed away. Then, a few hardy monks where sent back to Dal Riada upon ships laden with dried fish and some hurs which had been caught during the course of the Winter. This small success was enough to inspire more settlers – both religious and non – to return with the Monks from Gaeland some months later.

    It is doubtful that any European people could have settled Tir na Dóiteáin as quickly or successfully as the Gaels – with the exception of the early Theut who were then too disunited and inward looking to stage such an expedition. The Gaelic crop package of oats and barley were well suited to the new land, and the long growing season, and the plenty of sun light which reached the land during the Summer months, meant that the crops grew well and the pasture grass was well suited to the stock animals which soon came to populate the settlement. Indeed, the long-haired Bò Ghàidhealach cattle came to thrive in their new home due to the long grazing season and the fact that the short voyage time made it easy to transport the creatures while they were young. [FN7]

    As news reached Gaeland of the rich new lands to the North, and the successes of Mael Duin, other monastic groups vowed to take up the journey. Tir na Dóiteáin offered religious orders the opportunity to find and claim new lands away from the political ties and entanglements of the continent, and for the displaced Gaelic people, the land offered them the chance to sustain themselves without taking the Rauthering Road and risking life and limb for the chance of wealth and fame.

    The Settlement of Tir na Dóiteáin occurred in a relatively short span of time, lasting just over a century; the last wave of migrants being the refugees who fled Gaeland in the face of Eire and Scotland’s conquest by the three Theutish Mac Amlaíb brothers (The Sons of Olaf or Olav). However, despite the number of lay settlers who came to the land, the political and cultural heart of the island, until it too fell under the Theutish dominion, was the Church. The general rule of settlement was that new land would be carved out by a monastic community with lay settlers either working along side their monkish brethren or arriving only later. These lay settlers were often either newly arrived settlers or the descendants of those who had come with the Monks but not taken holy vows. However, these population was augmented by the children of Monks who did not follow their Fathers into the Church.

    Occasionally, non-religious political organizations would strive to break themselves away from the monasteries, such as the establishment of a Tuatha by the Ui Brennan clan around the modern community of Cuan Fuar [OTL: Husavik] of emigration of a sept of the Northern Ui Neil to Bá Fhinnian [OTL: Reyðarfjörður]. This could occasionally cause conflict, and the Ráitis are full of stories of independent landholders attempting to gain vengeance on one another, or law communities struggling to retain their independence from the Churh. However, throughout most of the island, the political structure which developed saw the Abbot becoming the predominant political figure within the hinterlands of the monastery. To this day, the provinces of Tir na Dóiteáin are still referred to by the title of Paróiste, meaning ‘parish.’

    Meanwhile, the economy evolved to be centered around a core of monastic agriculture, with the bulk of the non-religious population operating as semi-independent tenants. These tenants, were not the same as the growing peasant class in Gaeland proper, as they possessed far more rights to their own harests and paid a smaller tax to the monastery for the right to till the land. A smaller class of independent farmers and herdsmen existed on the outskirts of the monastic settlements, and often supplemented their income by fishing of trapping fur bearing animals for trade with Gaeland communities. These independent farmers operated without the same social security net which the tenant farmers were entitled too, and still paid a tax to ship their produce on Monastic ships but were otherwise fairly treated. Unlike in Gaeland, slavery did not exist; Mael Duin forbidding the practice within the lands held by the St. Brendan Monastery and this being folloed by all subsequent monastic settlements, be their sister communities of St. Brendan or newly arrived orders.

    Although many of the communities followed the practices established by Mael Duin and St. Brendan’s, the speed of settlement meant that many of the communities – monastic or lay – were operating as largely independent states upon the island. This proved troublesome as coflicts grew over fishing and trading rights, and sometimes these conflicts would come to bloodshed; there was also a fear of foreign iinvasion and domination, especially from the ascendant Gaelic kingdoms, such as Dal Raida of Leinster. As a result, in 802 a conclave of the different monasteries was convened in Bhá na Deataigh and it was agreed to form the rudimentary structure of a government to rule over the entire island. Twice a year, representatives of each community would convene in Bhá na Deataigh and agree on laws and a united foreign and domestic policy. Although each of the communities would remain largely independent, this would mark the beginning of a united Tir na Dóiteáin identity and government; the Abbot of the Monastery of St. Brendan, as they had religious primacy, would act as the First Amongst Equals during the course of these counsels.

    This government would remain in place until the conquest of Tir na Dóiteáin by the Theut during the 9th century.

    [FN1] This is the same St. Brendan as in OTL. He was born around 485, making his birth about a decade before our POD of the Birth of Theodimir the Great. Since events on the continent were unlikely to spread major butterflies to Ireland by this point – at least not enough to change the general trajectory of his life – I see no reason that our good Navigator wouldn’t go on his voyages in the ATL as well as OTL. Of course, butterflies are funny things, and chance plays a role in every journey and adventure, so his journeys are slightly different than in OTL. To what extent? We may well see; or not. But its safe to assume that he did go on a voyage of discovery as in OTL to the north and the west and returned to tell the tales; not that everyone believes him, of course.

    On a side note, the trip from Dublin to Iceland by Longboat took roughly three days according to the sources I have, due to favorable winds and currents. I figure that the Gaelic Currach in this ATL is a good ship, but not as advanced as a longship, and so the trip (which began from Carrick Fergus) would take a few days longer. If anyone has viable sources that can contradict this, please let me know and I will edit the chapter accordingly.

    [FN2] This type of law was not entirely uncommon in Europe at the time, and seems to have very primal origins. Indeed, Byzantine law in OTL carried similar restrictions. This is why Emperor – and usurping Emperors – could geel confident that simply maiming their opponents would be enough to deny them any claim to the Purple. In OTL this began to fall apart after Justinian II the Slit-Nose, had his nose removed following a coup and was exiled to Cherson, only to return with a Bulgar Army and reclaim the throne. There is some iconographic evidence that Justinian II may have had primitive reconstructive surgery done to repair his nose; though I have no idea how strong this evidence is. Whatever the case, the maiming of political opponents seems to have no longer been viewed as an effective way to deal with political rivals.

    [FN3] The story of Mael Duin is loosely inspired by the real life conversion of Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit Order. Don’t believe me? Look him up! Kinda fascinating figure to say the least. And I figure a similar conversion story would have played out similarly during the Anglo-Irish Mission (or, in this ATL, the Cumbrian-Gaelic Mission) minus the part about trying to get the distant Pope to recognize the order ot mission.

    [FN4] The factors leading to the population displacement – as well as the population growth – within ATL Gaeland were covered in the previous chapter. As for the case f married monks; this was not entirely uncommon in the Medieval Irish Church in OTL. Since Mael Duin is seeking to establish a religious settlement in the new land and now live as a hermit, it seemed plausible that at least some of the Monks might have families and that there might also be non-religious settlers seeking to come along on the journey.

    [FN5] OTL’s Journey of St. Brendan also includes an unwanted 13th member who dies at some point in the voyage. In the ATL the 13th member is explicitly named Iùdah (i.e. Judas); because medieval story tellers were not always the most subtle of folk.

    [FN6] Does an animal seen as a saint in the popular imagination seem unreasonable? I would suggest that readers investigate the story of Saint Guinefort – a loyal Hound who, legend says, protected the newborn child of a Lord from a venomous serpent, only to be killed by its Master by accident (the greyhound was covered in the blood of the snake, but its Master thought it had mauled his child). Shrines still exist to this canine Saint, despite the best efforts of the Catholic Church to disrupt the veneration with claims that it is unchristian and even satanic!

    [FN7] Oh yes, I did research into the Early Medieval crop package of Ireland and Scotland to make sure that it would transfer over to Iceland relatively easily. I was actually shocked by just how well suited it seems to have been. Meanwhile, the long haired Highland Coo (beef) and the Kerry Cow (Dairy) look as if they would translate to the new environment very well.


    Okay, and there you have the long hinted settlement of Iceland by the Gaels! I think I gave a reasonable explanation of how and why this colonization occurred and how society was structured as a result of the settlement. You may have noticed some pretty blatant forshadowing within which answers, at least partially, some of the longer standing mysteries of the timeline.

    I hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed researching and writing it; and I look forward to reading and aswering all of your comments and questions :D

    On a final note, I'd like to dedicate this entry to Milwaukee's Irish Fest 2019 where I still be spending my weekend working (the world's biggest Celtic Music and Cultural celebrationg :D )