|Full Name||Airdhan MacDomnhall|
|Date of Birth||9th January 190AC|
|Date of Death||24th August 242AC|
|Claim to Fame||Hero of the Caeren Culture, creator of the School of Airdh-Rossahn|
Hailed as a hero of the Caeren Culture during the times of war and strife between them and their Dunbrae sister Culture, Airdhan MacDomnhall is a name commonly touted with much praise in the Highlands. Born of a minor Dunbrae Noble’s descent, Airdhan’s life was closely tied with the events of the Caeren Clearances between 210 AC and 242 AC, when he was executed by the Dunbrae, labeled a traitor amongst his people, and a martyr amongst the Caeren. His legacy and his story continue to be retold by the many Caeren clans in the Highlands, but also amongst the Dunbrae cities, and the wandering Highland bands further beyond due to the School of Airdh-Rossahn, forming itself around tales of virtue from his life.
Origins and Early Life
Airdhan MacDomnhall was born to a family in the Duchy of Kinlass in the Dunbrae territories of Clannadh-Alba on the 9th of January 190 AC, during the time of peace and rebuilding that closely followed the Skagger Wars that had ended some twenty years before his birth. He was born to the family of a minor Noble who owned a small estate and lands and sworn oath to the then Duke of Kinlass. He was raised as a Unionist by his parents, but was taught much of the cultural notions of Caeren Culture by his grandfather. In his youth, Airdhan was raised on values befitting a young Lord in the hopes of his succeeding in his father’s estate. As such, he was instructed in skills such as diplomacy and finance and exhibited talents in the field of command from a young age. Generally, Airdhan was regarded by many as a charming young man and one that would make much of himself, though such expectations were met, they were not met in the way many desired.
It wasn’t until his late-teens that Airdhan began to make strides along the path to recognition, receiving basic training with a broadsword and targe in tandem with his military education he first took part in repelling skirmishers in and around the domain of Kinlass at the behest of the Duke. Airdhan was a soldier who carried himself with pride in his cause, even if he was cutting down men who he would have rather embraced as brethren. He started to accrue fame as a talented young commander by the age of seventeen after a brief skirmish in the town of Ullad, during which he commanded a paltry force to victory against a large band of Caeren assailants, succeeding with minimal casualties. It was due to this result that Airdhan was rapidly promoted through the ranks of the Duke of Kinlass’ armies until he was eventually promoted to become the Duke’s second-in-command.
With this promotion came the Duke of Kinlass’ expeditions into the Caeren-held territories of Clannadh-Alba, marching forth to take further participation in the punitive war of the Caeren Clearances beyond small border skirmishes. Airdhan, as a young man had little experience out in the field proper despite his many talents, and was said to be consistently horrified by the tragedy that war brought, and the tactics he was instructed to employ. Disgruntled by his orders but fearing the reprimand of being a shame to his family, Airdhan endured through these ruthless actions for many years and gradually became well-known amongst his peers as one who would follow any order to the letter.
It wasn’t until a skirmish in the town of Leschagow, later in his life that Airdhan broke ranks for the first time. Ordered to raze the village of Kir na Calle, and assault a much smaller Caeren force he determined that this form of dishonorable, merciless warfare would never lead to peace. He fled from the battlefield amidst the chaos and is said to have contemplated in a cave in silence for some years, presumed to be dead by his Dunbrae allies. It is said that MacDomnhall appeared before Caeren clan leaders during a discussion under the guise of a Lair-Gaidh, offering strategies and advice in exchange for their cooperation in putting a stop to the fighting. In the three years that followed this event, from 237 to 240 AC, Airdhan would instruct the Caeren levies in the strategies of the Dunbrae, citing their reliance upon heavy cavalry and Knights, and the importance of pikemen and the establishments of proper camps during pitched battles; at the Battle of Talla nan Larks, he made a display of these three years of training against the Duke of Kinlass he once followed.
Airdhan’s later life was one cut particularly short by the events of the Battle of Talla nan Larks. Following his betrayal of the Duke of Kinlass out in the field, and his leadership of Caeren men to reclaim many of their lost territories, it was at the bridge of Talla nan Larks that Airdhan’s life of freedom would meet its end. With the signing of the Declaration of Kir na Calle bringing a close to the Caeren Clearances and once again unifying the Highland People, the Duke of Kinlass personally requested Airdhan MacDomnhall to be submitted to him for his indiscretions against the Dunbrae people. He was pushed forward by the Caeren he had led, who feared the repercussions of a continued war should they keep him from the Duke, and as such Airdhan was taken to the city of Dunfarrigh to be tried. After an extended period of trial, with many individual Caeren clans coming forward to plead for the mercy of the Dunbrae, Airdhan MacDomnhall was found guilty of his actions against his people and was sentenced to execution by quartering two years later, on the 24th of August, 242 AC.
Many personal accounts and tales tell of Airdhan as a quiet, thoughtful man. He spoke few words, and what he said was most often profound. He was a man of contemplation and insight, but also of fierce bravery, unafraid to make harsh and contentious decisions if he felt it was for the better of his men. He was a brilliant leader, and his methods often ebbed toward the side of merciful warfare, over the total domination tactics employed by the Dunbrae. It is by his hand that the ideologies of Caeren warfare and cultural law are now merciful, favoring the value of the lives of one’s enemies through ransom, imprisonment, and exile as opposed to death-sentencing and offering no-quarter. In his youth, Airdhan is said to have been a brash but polite young man, a trait that he carried long into his life. He owned whatever decisions he made, be they good or bad, and faced consequences with pride and dignity. Even in the moments leading up to his execution, Airdhan was said to have been immensely prideful of the path he had taken.
Airdhan’s legacy lives on in the MacDomnhall Clan of Kinlass, Clannadh-Alba. Primarily consisting of highly-respected Caeren who propagate the School of Airdh-Rossahn through their travels, and tell their progenitors’ and ancestors’ stories. Airdhan’s fierce spirit and the tales regarding his exploits are used to inspire many Caeren children to become warriors and leaders in their own right, and his strategies are used in Dunbrae Martial Academies to instruct skirmish tactics, proper formations of supply chains, diplomatic strategies, and to instill a sense of pride in themselves as Dunbrae. Despite being hailed as a traitor by many Dunbrae, he is still widely respected for his actions as a true representation of the Highlander’s spirit, an embodiment of his ideals, and willingness to die for them.
Airdhan’s extended family is large and numerous, consisting largely of travelers and warriors, it is said that the MacDomnhall Clan is a family that is present in all regions occupied by Caeren, and even as travelers in lands far beyond the Highlands. Due to the time of his uprising, it is said that Airdhan never married and never sired any children, however, he was raised in a home with many siblings who moved on and had children of their own, ensuring the continuation of the MacDomnhall dynasty. For this reason, some Dunbrae often describes Airdhan as a Lame Baron, providing no heirs to continue his name and forcing the MacDomnhall lineage to continue through a weaker cousin line. Today, the MacDomnhall Clan is led by Eoghann MacDomnhall, and there are many instances where the family will come together in Kinlass to recount their exploits.
- The MacDomnhall name is frequently colloquialized as MacDonald, due to the difficulties other cultures have with spelling such a name from sound alone, and the misremembering of tales about Airdhan.
- The MacDomnhall festival of Kinlass has inspired many clans to engage in the same practice of coming together and meet, with the inclusion of Dunbrae families taking up the tradition in their Welcomed Warmth festivals.