Carrick
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arrick is a feudal fiefdom in south-western Scotland. It was split from neighbouring Galloway in 1185 after a civil war between the two sons of Fergus of Galloway, King of the Gall-Gaidhel. It is ruled by the Earl of Carrick.

Geography and Culture

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South of the River Doon, Carrick is sandwiched between the Firth of Clyde and the wild Galloway Hills. Except for a few pockets in the river valleys, the soil is thin and comparatively infertile. As a result, the local economy is overwhelmingly pastoral, with the local clans grazing large herds of cattle on the uplands and driving them north to Ayr for sale in the autumn.

Inhabitants

Carrick is notable for being the last area of Scotland south of the River Forth still under native Gaelic rule. Its people, like those of Galloway, remain somewhat hostile to encroaching English-speaking settlers, and have effectively preserved a pocket of Gaelic culture and language. This has earned them a reputation among other lowlanders as savage barbarians who delight in banditry and bloodshed.

Despite this, feuds between clans are no more common in Carrick than elsewhere in Scotland, and are mostly settled within the ancient system of Brehon law. Disputes unable to be resolved by the bards and harpers tend to find their way to the Olladh Stiom Paidh (Great Circle of Justice) hill at Girvan, where the Earl dispenses justice.

The largest settlement in Carrick is Maybole, which was granted a town charter by the Earl in 1193. Crossraguel Abbey, the centre of church activity in the region, lies approximately two miles to the south-west. The Earl typically holds his court at Turnberry Castle, but also maintains a large tower on an island in Loch Doon.

Magi and Magic

The closest Hermetic covenant is Alerock. Besides this, there are rumours of folk witches in the hills.

History

The Romans named the inhabitants of Galloway the Novantae. According to tradition, before the end of Roman rule in Britain, St. Ninian established a church at Whithorn which remains an important place of pilgrimage for the Scottish kings.

Galloway probably remained a Brythonic dominated region until the late 7th century when it was taken over by the English kingdom of Bernicia. The English took over the more fertile land and religious centres like Whithorn, leaving the native inhabitants the less fertile upland areas. English dominance seems to have been supplanted by Norse and then Norse-Gaelic (Gall-Gaidel) peoples between the 9th and the 11th century, though the processes by which this took place are unclear.

If it had not been for Fergus of Galloway who established the semi-independent principality that exists today, the region would rapidly have been absorbed by Scotland. This did not happen because the Fergussons, down to Fergus' great-grandson Alan, constantly shifted their allegiance between Scottish and English kings. Technically vassals of both, they were effectively beyond the rule of either.

The Fergussons' proficiency with external diplomacy did not extend to relations within their own family, however, and the two sons of Fergus, Uchtred and Gille Brigte, after 13 years of shared lordship, fell to war. The fighting was continued by their sons (Lochlann and Donnchadh until in anno domini 1186 Henry II of England brought an army to Carlisle and threatened to invade unless the Fergussons submitted to his judgement. Galloway was split in two, with Lochlann keeping the south and Donnchadh receiving the new Earldom of Carrick in the northwest.

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