The Daoine Farraige people were now home, and there they would remain undisturbed for several centuries, free to expand and distinguish themselves into different geographical clans. The autonomy of the Daoine Farraige people would eventually be challenged as the Torians came to annex the rogue states, but before that ever happened the Daoine Farraige would create their own system of government seperate from Torian rule.
Kingless in the Age of Kings
Unlike most of the other settlements of men on and around Caelon, the Daoine Farraige were not led by Torian high nobles. They still remembered the harsh treatment their people received within the gates of the White Walled City, and vowed that only truly righteous men would serve as ruler from then on. Even to this day, this same mentality carries on through the Isles (although Penderona has gone more traditional with their transition of power). Simply put, if a righteous king dies and no other man or woman steps forward and proves themselves worthy of the throne, then the Saibhrean Isles would simply have no king.
No king would rise among the Daoine Farraige, not until their people were tested against the fiercest of challengers during the Gifted Wars, hundreds of years after the first hold was formed on the islands.
According to the Daoine Farraige tradition, “all souls are seen as equals within the land of the living.” Instead of true rulers, the holds of the Saibhrean Isles by in large form committees. Each clan of more than ten people is represented equally (by two representatives) within something called a moot, a gathering of people who come together to decide upon the local laws of the land. While this is undoubtedly a more democratic approach to dealing with the ways that people live their lives, it is not without its downfalls.
Firstly, whenever a moot is convened, the committee must gain majority vote in order for a law to pass. In order to make a change to an existing law, a two-thirds majority must exist. In all dealings of death, a three-quarters majority must win the vote. This includes going to war or creating new laws about when somebody must be put to death for their crimes. While this means that the people are more aligned with one another when an action does take place, this often led to far more inaction by the governing committee than action.
The moots still exist today, but something else has risen up in the shadows that circumvents the spirit of the equal representation and action. These are the Trade Barons.
Saibhrean Trade Barons: True Masters of the Seas
While it is true that in every official matter the moot still holds power over all of the dealings of the holds of the Saibhrean Isles, it is not fair to say that there is true equality in the islands in today’s world. After the basics of life were mastered by the new settlers of the Saibhrean Isles, the Daoine Farraige continued their advancement of naval technology in order to facilitate trade between the islands.
A hundred years before the mainland was deemed cleansed of demons and the other settlements began popping up all over Caelon, the Saibhrean Islanders were exploring and claiming all sorts of valuables along the coastlines of Caelon. They began amassing wealth and trading with one another. Yet, not every clan was as dedicated to ship travel and mercantilism as one another. So some families became very rich in short amounts of time while others stagnated. The power of trade began to be more important than winning the hearts of the other clans at the moots.
By the beginning of the Fourth Age, this wealth inequality gave birth to the Trade Barons – the unofficial leaders of the Daoine Farraige. Rather than doing what benefitted every single islander, the moots now tended to go more heavily in the favor of the richest clans and the barons and baronesses that rose up from each family. When war would eventually come to the Mar de Comercio, Baron Siabahn of Penderona would act alone, outside of the jurisdiction of the assembly to stand against the Torian Army. Though the act of war was strictly prohibited under local law, the people of Penderona would ultimately reward his bravery by making him the very first Daoine Farraige king during the current age. The people of Penderona would also reward his entire familial line, transforming into a monarchy rather than a government ruled by the people and their moots.
The other islands still have no kings to this day, but the Trade Barons reign the open seas there. In the next part, the Trade Barons and their holds shall be the focus.