By Paul Monteleoni

The people known as the Gaelgrans can proudly trace their history back to Holy Terra’s prehistory, and pride themselves on having been the masters of the stars for a brief period of time.

The people known as the Gaelgrans can proudly trace their history back to Holy Terra’s prehistory, and pride themselves on having been the masters of the stars for a brief period of time. The colony of Novulster, formed on Leminkainen by Northern Irish nationalists, thrived on the adversity they faced in their far-flung arctic territories. Amidst the dismal cultural morass of the late First Republic, the Novulster nationals built morale by celebrating their ancient Celtic origins, and grew more and more insular and xenophobic, calling themselves the Gaelgrans, or the people of Gael. When the Republic began to disintegrate, the Gaelgran peoples were among the first to throw off the yoke and declare themselves nations. Unfortunately, the bustling colony split into 17 different houses, which immediately began feuding amongst themselves. When the Republican armies counterattacked, however, they forged the Novulster Concord, where they all united around their Celtic heritage, forming the Great Commonweal of the Nations of Gael, governed by the High Council which represented each Nation. With their wars quelled and their fierce national spirit, the various nations spread Gaelgran rule over much of Leminkainen and spread heavily throughout Bannockburn and Logrsydym. The Great Commonweal became the preeminent power in the stars, second only to the nucleus of the dying republic. Unfortunately, their glory was short-lived.

When the last vestiges of Republican rule were finally fully exterminated from Leminkainen, the High Council of Gael declared a great feast on the ancient holiday of Beltaine. Unfortunately, at that feast, known forever after as Black Beltaine, the nations all fell to warring with each other. Violence erupted at the banquet itself, and shortly thereafter the Great Commonweal of the Nations of Gael dissolved as a unified whole. House Cuchulgrim allied with House Uriens to crush all of its rivals on Logrysdym, bending two minor houses of Gael to its whim, and began raiding the Leminkainen houses. House Gwydion, House McConnaugh and the “half-breed” House Lwyllwn led the powerful Connachta League on Leminkainen, and allied against House Fianna and House Garethede, who formed the main constituents of the Aegelfreyan Union, the main opposition to the Connachta League. The war between the two, with other Gaelgran houses and others caught in the middle, consumed much of Leminkainen and Bannockburn. The Aegelfreyan Union was losing badly- although it had a hold on many of the high-technology freeholds in Leminkainen’s Aegelreach Mountains and Bannockburn’s great Dweom Valley forges, it was lacking in manpower and supplies. In the harsh winters, the technologically-superior Aegelfreyans were starving and freezing.

The Aegelfreyans received aid from the nascent House Hawkwood, and pushed the Connachta League back to Bannockburn. The Houses of Gwydion, McConnaugh, and Lwyllyn each blamed the other for their defeat and immediately fell to feuding with each other. They continue their ancient grudges to this very day. House Cuchulgrim has formed the core of one of the greater Vuldrok star-nations, a fact which has led the Gaelgrans on the whole to be distrusted amongst the Known Worlds. House Hawkwood, in the meantime, has overshadowed its erstwhile allies, wholly subsuming House Garethede into itself and binding House Fianna into allegiance.

The Gaelgrans survived, from their very inception until the present, by to their powerful sense of history and their readiness to bear grudges. These their strengths are their weaknesses as well, however, as their pride in their history prevents them from compromising or from ever truly uniting. In recent centuries, their persecution at the hands of those who associate them with their Vuldrok kindred has served as a force to unite them, and now even House Fianna and the houses of the long-defunct Connachta League are on fair terms with each other. Gaelgrans now, downtrodden but still proud, tend to seek out the company of their kindred to sweetly reminisce over the ancient days when even the Royal Houses trembled before the might of the Nations of Gael.