The island of Alba is located north of Terre d'Ange across the straits and holds two nations, Alba and people of the Dalriada. The word Alba is Gaelic for Scotland. It was founded by people traveling west following the black boar. They called themselves the Cullach Gorrym and took the black boar as their totem animal. The other folk followed after.
For centuries, the straits between the nations we controlled by the Master of the Straits, who forbade passage.
Governance of AlbaEdit
Succession of the ruler in Alba is different from succession in Terre d'Ange—in Alba, the heir to the throne is the current cruarch's sister's son. The Cruarch of Alba must always be of the clan the Cullach Gorrym and be descended from the first leader of Alba Cinhil Ru on his mother's side. This method of succession is the source of tension in Terre d'Ange, as, upon the deaths of the current leaders, Terre d'Ange would be ruled by a half-Alban queen, whereas Alba would not be ruled by anyone of d'Angeline descent.
Places in AlbaEdit
- Innisclan—home of the Lady of the Dalriada
- Clunderry—home of Imriel and Dorelei located near the middle of the country. It's western border is taisgaidh land.
- Bryn Gorrydum—Capital of Alba
Culture of AlbaEdit
The people of Alba and the people of Skaldia share roots.
There is no written tradition in Alba, so all history and law is studied orally, taught by an Ollamh—the spiritual leaders and healers of Alba. They have almost as much influence in the leadership of Alba as does the Cruarch. One studies for 12 years to obtain the rank of Ollamh.
- Firdha—came to Terre d'Ange in Kushiel's Justice to teach Alais and Imriel.
- Aodhan—ollamh of the Dalriada. Bound Imriel against the spell of the Maghuin Dhonn.
- Alais—studies to become an ollamh.
- Colum—presided over Imriel and Dorelei mab Breidaia's wedding along with Firdha.
It is believed that as the days grow shorter and the nights longer, the veil between the living and the dead thins. The dead are honored by celebrating this day, and many believe to have seen spirits on this night. People fast the day of the feast and give food as offerings to the spirits.
The Day of MisruleEdit
Albans celebrate the winter solstice with the Day of Misrule. It was celebrated by selecting a young person to act as the Lord or Lady of Misrule. The Lord or Lady of Misrule must be obeyed for the day. In Clunderry, the peers pretended to wait on the commoners. It ends with a big feast.
Travel is safe throughout Alba on the taisgaidh roads. No one may bar another from traveling along these roads.
People are Alba are often tattooed depicting attributes about themselves. Warriors are tattoed so that their enemies might know of their victories and be properly frightened. For their first kill, men get a crescent and a spear in the middle of their brow.
Women that dream true dreams are also tattooed so that others might know and heed their words when they speak.
Tattooing on the face in this manner is not the custom of the Dalriada.
Albans practice two forms of marriage—one binding and one which may be temporary. The intent of the parties to make their marriage temporary must be stated when taking their vows. If so stated and after one year and one day the parties chose to part ways, then the marriage is ended by law.
Folk of AlbaEdit
Alban people are divided into four, or more accurately five, folk. Each clan has a diadh-anam, totem animal.
The Cullach GorrymEdit
The Cullach Gorrym are symbolized by the black boar. They believe they are the earth's oldest people and that, because of this, the Cruarch must be from this group from his mother's side.
The Tarbh CróEdit
The Tarbh Cró are symbolized by the red bull and from the north of Alba. Maelcon the Usurper and his mother Foclaidha (married to the then Cruarch) were from this group and from the Brugantii clan within this group. After they were defeated, the Brugantii lands were given to the Sigovae and Votadae, clans also within the Tarbh Cró, for remaining loyal to the Cullach Gorrym during the rebellion.
The Eidlach ÒrEdit
The Eidlach Òr are symbolized by the golden hind and from the south of Alba.
The Fhaliar BànEdit
The Fhalair Bàn are sovereign from the Cruarch yet included among the folk of Alba. They hold land in Alba because of a promise made by Cinhil Ru. They are called the Dalriada and are people of Eire living in Alba. They are symbolized by the white mare.
The Maghuin DhonnEdit
The Maghuin Dhonn are symbolized by the brown bear, whom legend says they followed to Alba from beyond Vralia in a time when the world was covered in ice. Like the Cullach Gorrym, they also think themselves to be the earth's oldest people. The Maghuin Dhonn are considered wilder than the people of the other groups and are often ostracized and sometimes not included in tallying the folk of Alba (thus at times the people of Alba are refered to as only the Four Folk).
The Dalriada are Eire people living on Alba. Before the events of Kushiel's Dart, they are ruled by the twins Grainne mac Conor and Eamonn mac Conor. After Eamonn's death, Grainne becomes the only leader.
The court of the Dalriada is at Innisclan, and it is modeled after the High King of Eire's court in Tea Muir. It has seven doors. A persons rank dictates through which door he enters.
The Dalriada speak Eiran.
Unlike the Cruinthe, the Dalriada did not quarrel with the Maghuin Dhonn. The Maghuin Dhonn taught the Dalriada about magic, herbs, and sacred places.
Notable Alban CharactersEdit
Necthana — Mother of Drustan, Breidaia, Sibeal, and Moiread. Sister to the deceased Cruarch.
Breidaia mab Necthana — Oldest sister of Drustan. Her son Talorcan is next in line to be Cruarch. Her daugher Dorelei was to be the mother of the Cruarch after Talorcan.
Moiread mab Necthana — Sister of Drustan, dies in the battle against Maelcon's forces.
Grainne mac Conor — One of the Twins, Lady of the Dalriada.
Eamonn mac Conor — One of the Twins, Lord of the Dalriada.
Dorelei mab Breidaia — First wife of Imriel. Killed by Berlik.
Talorcan mab Breidaia — Sister of Dorelei, Drustan's heir.
Berlik — bear-witch of the Maghuin Dhonn.
Morwen — member of the Maghuin Dhonn.
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Real life counterpartEdit
Alba's real life counterpart is Great Britian.