There are no kings in the Saibhrean Isles, an archipelago of islands situated off the Northwest coast of Caelon. The islands, ancestral home of the ancient Daoine Farraige peoples, are today ruled by powerful merchant lords who owe no fealty to any other governing body. The islands are neither a part of the Torian North nor are they aligned with the Warathi Empire. The trade barons of the Saibhrean Isles instead prefer to stay neutral in all conflict of the mainland, gathering riches from trade with both powers. Though the various Houses of the Isles are often lumped in with one another as a singular people by mainlanders, and direct conflict is rare between them, the peoples of the Isles are more disjointed and separate than any other political states on Caelon. However, this was not always the case.
Origins of the Saibhrean Isles
The Saibhrean Isles are unique in that the people who inhabit them today are indeed the ancestors of the very same people who inhabited them prior to the Fall of Man. It is said that Daoine Farraige priests could commune with the dead, and the reason why they were able to survive the Fall was because they received a dire warning from the underworld to abandon their home and seek shelter within the White Walled City, lest their souls be tarnished or destroyed forever. They heeded the call and it is said that all of the isles were completely abandoned three months before the first man became demon.
Inside the White Walled City, the Daoine Farraige were not well received and faced harsh treatment during the Age of Monsters. They were forced to assimilate to the Torian ways under El Tor, to abandon their false religion which would one day be known as the Cult of the Underworld. Many did, and the distinction between the people of the islands and the people of the White Walled City diminished almost completely during the time when Demons roamed the world. Their culture had been all but forgotten in favor of fitting in with their hosts. That all ended when the demon threat was removed.
The Saibhrean Revival
Even before scouts had scoured all of Caelon to ensure that the cleansing by El Hijo and his crusade against the demons was absolute, some of the Daoine Farraige descendants departed from the White Walled City to reclaim their ancestral home. The only problem was that the art of ship crafting had been lost over time, as it was not needed in a time where all of life was contained within the great city walls. The immigrants thus stopped first at the ruins of the city that they would rebuild and name Penderona, the Overhanging City (for some of its buildings extended outward into the air above the ocean even after all that time).
This would be but the first major stop upon the journey of the Daoine Farraige, and the founding of Penderona pre-dated the founding of other Northern Kingdoms by several centuries. While the city itself was much smaller and less fortified than the cities that would become Olenos and Vestilla, the geographic placement of Penderona was ideal for their rediscovery of the lost ship building techniques. It didn’t take very long to do so.
Within five years of the founding of Penderona, the Daoine Farraige were seaborne again. They spread out first on expeditions to their island homes of Talamor, Crélar, Aeranam and Ganrí, and then within two years the first settlers were home. The Southern tip of Talamor, the grandest of the isles, served as the very first place to be reinhabited, and then within four months, there were settlements on Crélar and Ganrí. Another year later, Aeranam was inhabited as well.
The ancient cairns and other stone structures remained in tact, and the halls that had been abandoned were once again filled with the descendants of the peoples who had left them so long before.
The Blood of El Hijo
Despite the Daoine Farraige people’s desire to distinguish and separate themselves from the Torian Council’s governance, that conflict would eventually come. In the early years of the Age of Kings, governors were installed in every settlement across the land. The Gifted blood of the Crusader known as El Hijo was passed down to many children and grandchildren, and those who possessed his blood were thought to be automatically worthy of governing people. Before the first of these governors proclaimed himself King and thus kicked off the Gifted Wars, the settlements across the land all were ruled by the Torian seat of power by proxy of these Gifted governors.
As the history books tell us, the central Torian government and its grasp upon the settlements would eventually come to an end. But even before then, the Daoine Farraige people would prove to be resistant of Torian rule, eventually setting up the system of merchant lordships that survive in the Saibhrean Isles today. The story of how this happened will be covered in Part II of this history.