|Event Name||Donnachad Massacre|
|Dates and Times||March 3rd, 197 AC|
|Location||Donnachad Field, Clannadh Alba|
|People Involved||Dunbrae Men-at-Arms, Caeren Skirmishers|
The Drocharmad Massacre was the initiating conflict of the Caeren Clearances that took hold of Clannadh-Alba following the events of the Skagger Wars. By the end of the Skagger Wars in 179 AC, the Caeren and Dunbrae had well and truly split into their individual Cultures, with each occupying a different territory in Clannadh-Alba, it was a period of separation between the more traditionalistic Caeren, who sought to have nothing to do with the Regalian Empire, and the Dunbrae who had embraced the progress and civility that Imperialisation brought to their people. It wasn’t until Unionist missionaries started to rapidly spread the faith throughout the Dunbrae-dominant territories that minor aggressions began on the part of the Caeren, border skirmishes, the besieging of temples, and the occupation of villages that proclaimed themselves as Unionist-dominant were rife all across the borders between Caeren and Dunbrae territories. The Donnachad Massacre is the first and most shocking instance of Dunbrae retaliation against these microaggressions.
The conclusion of the Skagger Wars brought along a time of tentative peace in Clannadh-Alba, with Regalian emissaries travelling to and from the southern port-cities, and foreign merchants filling their ports unimpeded for what seemed to be the first time in years. What should have been a period of joyous festivity was instead a twenty-year-long period of tension, primarily due to the religious struggles brought on by being annexed into the Regalian Empire, with the annexation of Clannadh-Alba came the introduction of Unionism into the heavily Creideamh-Spiorad and Old Gods-dominated territories, an action that many Caeren viewed as an affront to their personal morals and freedoms of expression with regards to faith and lifestyle. Many Dunbrae, however, were swayed towards the side of Unionism with the prospects of advancement and togetherness with the rest of the Regalian Empire, in pursuit of the prosperity of their people alongside the Imperials, and inspired by the positive relations held by the Dunbrae in Gallovia and the Regalian Empire, who were peacefully integrated some years before.
This aggressive introduction of Unionism and the rapid expansion of the influence of Dunbrae threatened many Caeren families and towns, and, whilst many fled to areas such as Mannadh-Alba and Talahm Gall, many Caeren stayed and violently opposed what was being imposed onto them, by means of accosting Dunbrae villages and harassing Unionist Missionaries that would enter their lands. What started originally as minor harassments gradually became more and more violent, until a small town near Dunfarrigh by the name of Keirlochfan was razed to the ground by a band of disorderly Caeren skirmishers. With the razing of Keirlochfan just on the doorstep of the Dunbrae Capital of Dunfarrigh, punitive action was required.
The Caeren Skirmishes
The Caeren Skirmishes occurred on several instances, though most notably, with regards to the Donnachad Massacre, the Skirmish of Keirlochfan is most famous for the unbridled brutality of the Caeren, but also the fearsome vengeance of the Dunbrae, whom many Caeren considered to be apathetic towards the plight of the Missionaries they harassed. These skirmishes were initially light, dealing little more than mild injuries to the targeted individuals, and usually just consisted of the tossing of stones and the spilling of their victim’s drinks. These skirmishes gradually escalated into full-blown robberies, assault cases, and in some rare circumstances, Unionist temples were laid siege to, and the Reverends and clerics inside accosted for spitting on the freedoms of the Caeren. These skirmishes gradually escalated until the Skirmish of Keirlochfan, during which a force of seventy or so Caeren brigands and skirmishers descended upon the town with malicious intent, at first the skirmish seemed to hold little difference to others, locals were harassed and assaulted and buildings were vandalized. However, the local Dunbrae in the town set out to drive off these invaders, assembling their farming equipment, gathering their children in the temple for protection and set out to face the Caeren directly.
The Skirmish of Keirlochfan
The Dunbrae residents of Keirlochfan were fewer than their opponents, a standing force of around forty could be assembled in secret during the skirmish, and under the leadership of their village’s Elder, took it upon themselves to defend their town from the assailants. The Dunbrae, being so far from the front of the conflict at the borders, was a particularly quiet and peaceful town, very few soldiers were garrisoned there, and it made the town the perfect target for quick looting. And whilst the Caeren were parading themselves through the streets in search of more valuables to plunder the Dunbrae confronted them directly, stepping out of their town’s dark lit alleyways to surround the Caeren force. With the home-field advantage over their assailants, the Dunbrae were able to readily dispatch and capture a good number of the skirmishers before they broke rank and fled, but not after a torch was thrown in the direction of the temple. In a flight of panic, and a stroke of poor luck, the temple caught flame, followed by the houses nearby, and within instants, the entire village was consumed in flame.
The day of the Massacre
Following the events of the Skirmish of Keirlochfan, the Feudal Council of Dunfarrigh petitioned their Duke to mobilize their garrison immediately and seek out a punitive war on the Caeren. Agreeing to their claims, the Duke of Dunfarrigh assembled a force of three-thousand Men-at-Arms and sought to immediately depart in pursuit of the Skirmishers. It wasn’t a day after the expedition had begun and the Duke received word of a small Caeren force who was observing their movements, scouts for a force some two-hundred strong who were occupying a large encampment near the coastal village of Dunstaffan some two miles away, and, with this information, the Duke’s host made haste to the location, and met with the Caeren force. The Caeren, with little more than rabble, disorganized infantry, and all of seven spears to their three-hundred men were hardly prepared to meet such a foe, in their hubris attempting to plead with the Duke himself for mercy, citing that they would aid in finding the Caeren that razed Keirlochfan for him. The Duke of Dunfarrigh saw to it that the messenger was put to death, and in his rage ordered his men to charge for the rabble. The ensuing charge was a pathetic showing for the prideful Caeren, the charge of heavy cavalry was one that they were ill-prepared to counter, and on nearly impossible terrain to permit escape, yet it is said that not a scream was heard that day, and the Caeren host was brutally massacred in silence, with not a loss on the side of the Dunbrae, and no survivors of the Caeren.
The Donnachad Massacre is widely seen as one of the most brutal displays of Dunbrae efficiency, and as a display of their near-tyrannical might when pushed to that degree. The event sparked rage in many Caeren, and terror in many more, and saw to it that many more Caeren families and Ballachans simply packed up and retreated to freer pastures amongst the Caeren of Talahm-Gall and Mannadh-Alba, many of which setting up large ships and taking to life on the seas, far from the brutality of what was to come. For those Caeren less fortunate, unable to leave the lands of Clannadh-Alba, they would begin to experience what was known as the Caeren Clearances, in which many Caeren towns and villages were razed to the ground and forced to retreat further into a territory for their own, those found respecting the Spiorad and worshiping the faith of Creideamh Spiorad were intensely vilified and killed as a result of many inquests.
- Some accounts say that the village of Keirlochfan was in fact a village infested with Vampires in an attempt to justify the horrific acts inflicted upon its citizens at the hands of the Caeren Skirmishers, and an attempt to display the vindicating actions of the Dunbrae as disproportionate and vile.
- The Dunbrae saw a massive downturn in production during the Caeren Clearance period, as, as little as they would like to admit, almost all of their work and labor forces consisted of Caeren.