By Paul Monteleoni

Native to Leminkainen, House Fianna of Gael has had a history long intertwined with House Hawkwood.

Also see The Gaelgran People.

Native to Leminkainen, House Fianna of Gael has had a history long intertwined with House Hawkwood. One of the staunch supporters of the Aegelfreyan Union, House Fianna remembers its days huddled in the frozen freeholds of the Aegelreach mountains, besieged and starving by the more primitive Connachta League. There was talk of surrender, talk of compromise, and talk of perseverence until the bitter, frostbitten and starved end.

And then the Hawkwoods came from Delphi. Duke William Plantagenet of March, cousin to Queen Augusta, after having skillfully inducted the native House Fenris into the Hawkwoods, had a great deal of influence on the planet of Leminkainen, and turned his attention to the Gaelgran lands. He approached the Aegelfreyan Union, offering supplies and aid to them in their fight against the Connachta League. The Union accepted, and with Hawkwood aid drove the Connachta league to Bannockburn in a protracted and bloody campaign.

The Hawkwoods proved to be dangerous allies, however. Once enough of Leminkainen was secure, the Hawkwoods began to attempt to assert more and more control over their allies. Whereas the Hawkwoods had once been of comparable size to the Aegelfreyan Union, they quickly outgrew their allies and slowly choked them down to size. They forcibly assimilated House Garethede into House Hawkwood, and they attempted the same with House Fianna, but at this, King Liam IV revolted, gathering the aid of House Kilgore (always eager for a fight), House Trusnikron, and all of the rest of the Aegelfreyan Union. The value of House Fianna’s technological base, as well as the ferocity of the powerful House, caused the Hawkwoods to negotiate a truce. House Fianna would retain the right to its independence, but it would pay tribute and fealty to the Hawkwood King.

And so the situation went for hundreds of years. House Fianna absorbed the rest of the Aegelfreyan Union, and grew quite powerful after the Fall of the Second Republic, sometimes almost gaining enough power to sever its ties to House Hawkwood and try and force its way into the Ten. Almost. Such dreams of power died, however, when the Vuldrok attacked, revealing the existence of many Gaelgran barbarians. House Fianna was reluctant to fight with its fellow Gaelgrans, and soon all of the Gaelgran race was suspect. House Fianna was persecuted heavily. Waves of genocide forever crushed the House’s aspirations to the Ten, and led to a brief rebellion in union with the members of the now-defunct Connachta League. The rebellion was soon brought to a compromise where House Fianna kept their former status, but it succeeded in improving the once-sour relations between the House and the other Gaelgrans, whose unity in persecution overrode their ancient grudge.

House Fianna has, by and large, been a staunch ally of House Hawkwood. It breeds excellent smiths whose craftsmanship, especially where weapons are concerned, is almost unparalleled. The runesmiths who produce all of the House’s great crafts take their work with almost religious seriousness, and all feel great loyalty to the House’s ideals. House Fianna also has its share of brave warriors, who fight in what House Hawkwood considers a rather savage fashion, but their valor and usefulness as allies is undeniable. Most of House Fianna’s holdings are now in Bannockburn, but they still retain some of their ancient holdings on Leminkainen, especially the great freeholds in the Aegelreach Mountains.

Members of House Fianna are of So-Gaelgran stock. They are small and willowy, with thin gray eyes and flowing red, blond, or silver hair, but their coordination and great speed in battle makes up for their diminutive statures. Though not otherwise a rich house, they are overflowing with high-technology items, which are considered somewhat magical. They are often tattooed with runes which they believe have some mystic powers. Their society is based on grudges and xenophobia, and they consider raiding, night attacks, ambushes, and guerilla warfare to be perfectly respectable forms of war. Worst of all, they do not take captives. The mercy they show to those who yield is hamstringing. In the eyes of the Hawkwoods, this makes them utter savages. However, though barbarous, they are not without honor like the Decados and other Houses which are similarly beneath contempt. House Fianna’s colors tend to involve light shades of gray, green, brown and blue. Their crest is a butterfly superimposed on a Rune of Fertility.