Quaerentes in Extremis
The Royal Family
King Reginald Godredsson
Reginald was King Godred Olafsson’s eldest son and was very warlike. When King Godred died, his youngest son, Olaf, was the legal heir, but yn kiare-as-feed (the Manx parliament) preferred Reginald as king, and he was crowned in 1187 AD, despite being illegitimate. Reginald plays a delicate balancing-act between Norway (to whom he technically owes fealty), Scotland (with whom he maintains a close friendship) and England (who have titled him their “Admiral of the Seas”). Since 1219 AD, when the Pope granted assistance to the Manx in fighting English marauders, King Reginald swore an oath of fealty to Rome, and now technically holds the land as a fief under the Pope — but it appears that he does not take that oath of fealty any more seriously than his technical fealty to Norway (which is to say, not at all).
The ageing Reginald is no longer the mighty warrior he once was, but he is still a formidable man — barrel-chested, and strong. He rules Man with a firm but fair hand, and is well-liked by most of the hersar. He lives in Castletown with his family, Queen Katla and Princess Gyda.
Macabuin One of Reginald’s most important possessions is his sword Macabuin, which was forged by Loan Maclibhuin, the dark smith of Trondhjem, and his one-legged hammerman Hiallns-nan-Urd — actually both Norse dverge (“dwarves”). This sword is highly magical, said to be capable of cutting through any armor, and dealing a fatal blow to the mightiest of warriors; Hiallns-nan-Urd is one-legged due to an accident with Macabuin during its forging. This magical, Dverge-crafted longsword gives its bearer the “Inspirational” Virtue, it provides a Magic Resistance of +20, and adds +5 Dam and +5 Skill. It also contains 5 pawns of Rego vis — though its powers will fade if the vis is extracted. This might also attract the ire of Loan Maclibhuin.
Queen Katla MacDougall
Queen Katla MacDougall hails from Kintyre. She is the great-granddaughter of Somerled, and the cousin of Joan MacAlasdair, Olaf the Black’s second wife; when Olaf divorced her in
1219, Queen Katla was enraged — she wrote to her son Godred Dunn on Lewis, and asked him to have Olaf killed. King Reginald is unaware of this.
Princess Gyda Reginaldsdottir
Princess Gyda, twelve years old, is blonde-haired and blue-eyed, and is a gorgeous child — and she knows it! Not only is she spoiled rotten by her father, she is also extremely precocious. She will become betrothed to Thomans the bastard son of Alan Fitz Roland, Lord of Galloway, and they will marry in 1226 (when she will be 14 and he will be 15.)
Prince Godred Reginaldsson
Known as Godred Dunn (“the Brown”), or the Dragon of the Isles, Prince Godred is the heir to the throne of Man, and he is as warlike as his father was in his youth. He is married to Helga MacNeacail, a noblewoman from Lewis, and it is on that island that he lives most of the time. In 1219, Queen Katla asked Godred to have Olaf killed, but Olaf managed to flee before the order could be carried out.
Olaf Godredsson, known as Olaf the Black, was the youngest son of the former king of Man and the Isles — King Godred Olafsson. King Godred had three sons: two by a concubine — Reginald and Ivar (current Lagman for the North), and one by his wife Fingla MacLaughlen (daughter of Murtaugh MacLaughlen, King of Ireland) — Olaf. Despite the fact that Olaf was the only one born in wedlock, and was nominated by King Godred as his heir, the nobles at the time of King Godred’s death favored the warlike Reginald for king, and he was crowned in 1187. Olaf was only 10 years old when this happened, but as he grew older he began to increasingly resent Reginald for “stealing” what he saw as rightfully his.
When he came of age, Olaf was granted the Lewis island group to rule as sheriff, but he found those lands too poor to allow him to live in the manner he felt he deserved. Olaf married Margaret MacFhionghuin a noblewoman of Mull in 1195. She gave birth to two sons — Leod (progenitor of the MacLeod clan), and Gunnr (progenitor of clan Gunnr) — but she died in 1204, giving birth to Gunnr. In 1207, after many letters of complaint to Reginald that were ignored, Olaf tried to mount a coup to claim “his” throne, but was unsuccessful, and was imprisoned for ten years under the custody of the King of Scotland. His sons were fostered to other families: Leod, then only 7 years old, was fostered to Paul MacBhaic — sheriff of Skye, and a close friend of Olaf ’s, while the 3-year old Gunnr was fostered to Ferchar MacIntsaggart, hereditary abbat of the monastery of Apurcrossan, or Applecross. In 1215, Ferchar helped King William defeat some rebels from Ireland and the isles, and he was created Earl of Ross.
In 1217, after King Alexander II of Scotland ascended to the throne, he freed many of the prisoners under his care as an amnesty. Olaf was freed along with the others, and his first act was to go on a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James at Compostella. He then returned to Lewis where, in 1219, he married Joan MacAlasdair, cousin of Queen Katla. Unfortunately, Olaf could not control his strongminded new wife, and he rapidly had the marriage annulled, (fortunately, the marriage was illegal by canon law, as Joan was the cousin of a former concubine of Olaf ’s). Olaf then immediately married Christine Ross, daughter of Ferchar MacIntsaggart. This act enraged Queen Katla, and she secretly wrote to her son Godred Dunn and asked him to have Olaf killed. Olaf was warned by his friend Paul MacBhaic, and managed to flee before he could be killed — both he and Paul currently live in Ross with Ferchar MacIntsaggart, and Olaf ’s son, Gunnr. Along with these allies, Olaf is currently plotting a second coup.