|The Illustrious Queendom of Lesser Killarney|
|Location:||Central Kerry, Munster|
|Factions:||Royal Guard, S.I.E.C,Merchants Guild|
|Notable events:||Founding, Battle of Muckross, Arrival of S.I.E.C|
Set up in early 2078 by a group of survivors; the Illustrious Queendom of Lesser Killarney has gone from strength to weakness back to strength. From early expansion to disaster in battle to economic strength, the Queendom has had a long and varied history.
Killarney was a mid-sized town in County Kerry in the south of Ireland. It was a simple town with little strategic or military purposes; the only notable building in the town was the hospital.
During the Great War, Killarney was given a cursory nuking by what is thought to be British bombers. Despite causing large-scale superficial damage to the town, few people actually died as many people heard of similar strikes all over the world, and fled into the countryside. In fact, as was the case in most areas, it was the huge amounts of radioactive fallout that was released into the atmosphere that did the most harm.
Rough Start (October 2077-May 2078)
Once the initial chaos had died down, people began to drift back into Killarney; both to survey the damage done and to either reclaim their possessions or to steal others'. By the late 2070s, there were several communities strung out around Killarney. One of these communities was a matriarchal family living in the repaired Ross Castle about 9 km outside Killarney. It was spared the bombing of the town and its location on the edge of Loch Leane giving it access to fresh water and fish such as trout, as well as its naturally defensive purpose as a 15th century castle of the O'Donaghue clan. This gave them a natural advantage over the other settlements in the area.
Directly after the Great War the custodians of Ross castle, the Coonans, took over the castle and fortified it against the raiders and looters that roamed the town. With their home fortified, more survivors began to trickle in until almost 40 people, most of them families, were clustered around the castle. The de-facto rulers of the group become the Coonan family led by their mother Harriot Coonan. With the chain of command firmly established there came the added priority of finding a secure food supply and uncontaminated water. To this end the group began sending scavenging teams into the town to search for these objects as well as finding medical supplies and other items essential for survival.
As they scouted the ruins, they encountered their first organized competition in the form of another, slightly larger group of survivors located along Loch Leane. As well as having access to fresh water, they also had fish which left them in a distinctly stronger situation than their competitors the Coonans. A skirmish between the two left one dead on the Coonan side and two wounded on the other. The clashes were prevented from escalating by both groups because of their limited numbers and primitive weaponry (they had no firearms and relied on hatchets and knives). For months minor ambushes and kidnappings continued, until in early May 2078 a large family of 18 farmers arrived outside Ross Castle. They had been driven off their own land by wandering raiders and had ended up outside the Coonan lands. The important thing about the farmers was that 4 of their menfolk had a pistol, 2 shotguns and a high-powered hunting rifle, with a respectable amount of ammo. The charismatic Harriot managed to convince the farmers to join her and the rest of the group. But with the new family the food problems were more pronounced than ever and Harriot needed a quick end to the war.
With this new ace up their sleeve, the Coonans contacted the leader of the other group to open negotiations. The leader accepted and a select team led by David Coonan, Harriots son, and including the 4 armed farmers were allowed into the other groups base (a walled off housing estate) to talk. The farmers concealed their weapons, and when the leader attempted to open negotiations, the farmers pulled their guns and blew the leaders' brains out. The other men surrendered quickly and shortly after Harriot arrived on the scene with the rest of the warriors. She made the defeated group of 21 men, 32 women and 8 children swear fealty to her and after bringing them back to Ross Castle she made a short speech proclaiming that the Republic of Ireland was dead and that in its place a new state would rise 'The Illustrious Queendom of Killarney', thereafter known as the Queendom. Harriot appointed herself Queen and the people, caught up in the drama of the moment, immediately knelt to her, in awe of her ability at oratory.
Harriot resettled the housing estate with a mixture of the original settlers and new people from Ross Castle. With a food and water supply secure, the Queendom could get on with the business of expansion.
Enlarging the Borders (2078-2112)
On the eve of their expansion throughout Killarney, the Queendom had 112 people living in it, consisting of 44 men, 51 women and 17 children as well as 7 dha ceann bo, several dogs and a horse. They were not the only group in the town, simply the largest and best organized so that the other groups either left, submitted to Harriots rule or they made a stand and were wiped out. As the Queendom assimilated more groups under its banner, the need to establish the rule of law through the town. To this end she wrote a Code of Laws and had them distributed around to every community in Killarney. She also authorized an excavation into the rubble that covered the old Garda station to unearth any defensive items which once may have lain there.
As the team Harriot had chosen to break through the shifting heaps of twisted rubble and into the Garda station proper they found three dozen sets of uniforms, which, with a few modifications, could be transformed into adequate attire for the new Royal Guard. Far more exciting (and perhaps more useful) was the discovery of dozens of batons, tazers and knife proof vests. All of these items would go into establishing the Queendom's Royal Guard, which was officially set up on the 14th of January 2081 at the Old Still in the Killarney town center.
As the Royal Guard was securing what had once been the more disadvantaged areas of town, they happened upon 4 pistols and 2 shotguns hidden in a basement of a tenement house. The firearms were immediately brought back to Ross Castle for examination. David Coonan deemed the weapons to be of acceptable quality and they were issued to his most trusted lieutenants. Now the total amount of firearms in the Queendom was 10 and Harriot thought that this was an excellent number from which to form her elite Honor Guard, led by David Coonan.
But all the training and outfitting of the new guard cost money and to pay the troops, the Queendom required funds urgently. To accomplish this need they sent people out to entice local merchants to go to Killarney to trade their wares in return for promised security, a safe place to sleep and rations of the bountiful fish and water that Lough Leane provided.Perhaps unsurprisingly, the offer was taken up by many traveling merchants who were tired of years of running from aggressive tuath and suicidal raiders and were desperate for a safe haven.By 2084 there were enough merchants in Killarney to justify bringing the various traders all together under one roof.The building chosen for the job was the Park Hotel in the centre of town,the reason that it had been chosen was because it's structural integrity was mostly preserved in comparison to other buildings its deep cellars were also cool enough to house perishables which made it an ideal location to store perishables.The building was renamed the Royal Market and would become the centre of the ever increasing expansion of the Queendom throughout central Killarney.
In the decades following the opening of the Royal Market more and more communities of survivors began to spring up around Southern Ireland, founding towns, forming caravans and rediscovering lost Pre War technology. As a result of this the caravans serving the Queen began to range out farther and farther eventually trading in towns such as Greater Bernards Land (Bandon) and New Clon. This spreading out and greater focus on mercantile activities was reflected in the population distribution of the town. Where as before, most of the homes had been concentrated around Ross Castle and the seat of power, now they were clustered around the trading hub of the Market which also lay upon the main trading routes through town. Henceforth, while the area around the Old Still and the Royal Market became the homes of guardsmen, merchants and 'commoners'. Ross Castle and its environs became known for holding the domains of the nobility and the Royal family.
By the early 2110's then the Queendom was basking in the brilliant glow of a Golden Age of peace and plenty, but it was not to last.
The Interregnum (2112-2125)
The sheen of perfection that had surrounded Queen Harriot the 1st's (known by many of her subjects as 'the Great') reign began to fall part when she contracted radiation poisoning at the ripe old age of 73.She died on the 14th of February 2112.The power vacuum was swiftly filled by her son David, who had been groomed to rule for decades. He crowned himself King David the First with all due pomp and ceremony at Ross Castle with the most powerful nobles and merchants around him. Dignitaries from other towns attended the coronation as well which illustrated how important the Queendom had become in the region.Not everyone was happy with David's ascension,however,most of the Merchants Guild(set up after the founding of the Royal Market) knew David as a warmonger and feared that he would shatter the peace that Harriet had spent so long forging.They grew even more alarmed when word reached them that David meant to attack and seize the fragmented town of Castletownbearhaven to secure a port from which to import goods and bypass the caravan route from Kinsale through Bandon, Clonakilty and on to Killarney. While David's commanders applauded the idea the Merchants Guild was appalled as it would not only cost an astronomical amount in supplies it would also likely break off any trading contracts with other towns which would be a death knell to the Queendom's economy. So with this in mind the guild hatched a plot to supplant David and put his much more peace loving sister Harriet the Younger (who just happened to be married to Edward Lowney, the head of the Merchants Guild) on the throne. But first they required David out of the way.
The perfect opportunity came for this when word reached the capital that an abnormally large band of raiders had been pillaging up near Castleisland, some 20 miles north of Killarney. The King, who would not tolerate such acts so close to his seat, gathered an army of 45 men led by himself, including 4 fire-armed Honor Guardsmen who would stay with the King. Unbeknownst to the King though, the agent that Edward Lowney had implanted in the army was keeping the band of raiders informed of all its movements. When David heard that the group was in the ruin of a village whose name had been forgotten to history, he raced towards it, eager to begin his reign with a triumph. Unfortunately for David the raiders drew the army into a trap which destroyed the Kings army and led to the Kings death himself, it also led to the loss of the 4 firearms that had been so hard gained during Harriets early reign. But the Merchants Guild quickly hired another band of mercenaries to wipe out the raiders and recover the weapons all of which was duly accomplished.
Meanwhile, in the town when word reached the guild and court that King David was dead, both factions acted quickly, with the Merchants Guild declaring for Harriet the Younger and seizing Davids younger son Eric and his daughter Mary in an assault on the Castle using mercenaries. The remaining six of the Honor Guard was split too with 3 siding with the merchants and 3 siding with the guards. However, King Davids eldest son, also called David escaped to the Old Still where he roused what was left of the Royal Guard, led by the redoubtable Damian 'Strongarm' Murray who had been one of the principle supporters of King David the 1st's rule. Lowney ordered his mercenaries to attack the Old Still,but the men were no match for the Royal Guard's discipline in the open field and were routed fairly easily.So it was that no sooner than Harriet the Younger had been crowned Queen Harriet the Second that she was forced to flee Ross Castle across the town with the Guard hot on her trail.It would seem all had been lost for Harriet when the mercenaries that Edward Lowney had dispatched to recover the lost guns returned suddenly.The extra firepower that Harriet now had was enough to force King David the Second (the Exile King) to flee Killarney west into the wilds of Kerry taking 'Strongarm' and the Guard with him as well as a fair number of loyalists.
While this left Harriet in control of the town and the immediate area around it, it also meant that her position was never truly secure as David made constant raids on the Queendom. The fighting also severely depopulated the town as several prominent merchant families left east when the power struggles began, never to return. This brought the town's population of its height during the glory days of Harriets reign of 500 down to approximately 300 (a figure it has stayed close to ever since). It also meant a change in the military with a new Royal Guard formed out of the mercenaries that supported the Queen of the matter of succession. But they were neither as well armed or trained as the previous generation of Guardsmen. When Queen Harriet was properly crowned on the 30th of March 2113 it was a very different court to the one that crowned her brother just over a year before.
In the end the Interregnum only truly ended at the battle of the Lakes at Glenbeigh, Co. Kerry where Harriet's generals defeated and then executed both King David and Damian Murray along with most of their army on the 26th May 2125 after 12 long years of fighting.The Queens reign was finally secure.
The Nine Queens (2125-2178)
Even though Queen Harriet had achieved peace she would not last long enough to enjoy it.She sickened quickly in the summer of 2129 and was declared by the court to be unfit to rule. When she finally died it was King David the First's daughter Mary, who followed her (Harriet had no children of her own). On the 1st of January 2130 Queen Mary the First was crowned. Before all this though Harriet had done much to improve the lot of the subjects that she ruled over. She instituted reforms to the system which saw the most disadvantaged in the Queendoms society receive weekly food deliveries and they were also given incentives to work for the betterment of the Queendom and themselves.
Queen Mary continued many of these practices as well as renewing trade contacts with the other communities that had withdrawn their trading caravans during the Interregnum. She was also the Queen that doubled the size of the Royal Guard and set them to patrol the lands that were 5 miles on every side of the town of Killarney. This area became known as Greater Killarney while the town became known as Lesser Killarney. The name of the Queendom was thus changed to 'The Illustrious Queendom of Greater and Lesser Killarney'. Queen Mary's 22 year reign of 2130-2152 was a long and peaceful one that brought to mind for many of her subjects the rule of her grandmother Queen Harriet the First.
Mary left only one child who was married off to Samuel Lowney (grandson of Edward Lowney, and the head of the Merchant's Guild) and was crowned Queen Harriet the Third. Harriet's reign saw an increasing tightening of control by the Lowney family over the city. In addition to being head of the Guild he managed to get his brother Derick in control of the Royal Guard and obtained his son Matthew a position in the Queen's Honor Guard (of which only seven remained). He also gave his various cousins important positions in court, much to the ire of the other powerful merchant families in the town such as the Bucklys and the Mangans. But there was little that these families could do without some pull at court,of which they had none.The Queen did little to stop this as she was hopelessly besotted with her much younger husband.However when the Queen began to exhibit the symptoms of the disease that seemed to plague the Coonan family(know thought to be a form of cancer),Samuel quickly took steps to put her aside as medically in capable and rule as regent to the eldest of Harriets three daughters(all named Harriet).With Queen Harriet the Third confined to the sickbed,where she would die in the coming months,the crown passed to Queen Harriet the Fourth.Unfortunately for the Lowneys, Harriet was not the soft touch her mother had been and what's more her husband was the patriarch of the Buckly's so she was also deeply mistrustful of the Lowney family and their intentions.One of her first acts as Queen was to appoint her husband second-in-command of the Guard..But the Lowneys had acquired to much power in the Queendom to be challenged directly,so when the Queen attempted to remove them from thier positions in court,Samuel reacted violently,using his muscle in the Guard to surround Ross Castle and force the Queen to abdicate and give over her crown to her sister.Before they could capture her however she escaped the castle using a hidden path and fled north past what had once been Limereck with her husband and the rest of the Buckly family.
With the Queen gone Lowney prepared the Queens sister for the crown.It was to the Queendom's misfortune however that Queen Harriet the Fifth proved violently mad,the first mad Queen in the Queendom's history.It was with great haste than that Lowney had her taken from the throne using the same precedents that had taken Queen Harriet's other terminly ill predecessors out of power.So it was that finally in 2162 that the youngest daughter of Harriet the Third,married her stepfather and became Queen Harriet the Sixth (known by many as the Unlikely).Such was Samuel Lowney's power at this point was that he was able to crown himself as King Samuel Lowney the First,he was the first ruler of non-Coonan descent in the Queendom's history,but he wouldn't be the last.The first 3 years of the dual reign were safe and happy,the Lowneys trade background ensured that the economy blossomed. In the second year a young girl was born to great rejoicing throughout the Queendom. All in all the scars of the last decade were being slowly forgotten.
Not so for Queen Harriet the Fourth, whose long exile in the Rocklands had left her angry and bitter. She trailed from tuath to tuath begging the support of the local Rockmen Ri. Even though her followers strongly advised against such a course of action on the grounds that the Rockmen were bloodthirsty marauders that would likely kill her rather than serve her. Despite this Harriet managed to bind a few clans to her cause. With her new found army, she began to move south in the summer of 2166. Lowney was ready and he moved north with the Royal Guard. They met at Muckross Cross on the 31st of June 2166. Lowney and the guards were smashed and near all, including King Samuel were killed. They Rockman also killed Queen Harriet the Fourth, whose purpose had been served.
So it was that over 100 Rockmen braves descended on a defenseless Killarney and eradicated it,The Old Still was all but wiped out the,Royal Market became an orgy of murder and rape.Out of everywhere in the town only Ross Castle with its high stone walls and gun armed Honour Guard was spared.About 100 people clustered inside the Keep waiting for the madness to subside.It took more than a week for the Rockmens hunger to be sated and they returned north with goods and slaves.As the survivors began to creep out of Ross they surveyed the ruin of the town and found in addition to the 100 in the castle about 20 people survived by hiding in cellars and attics.Queen Harriet had a fatal heart attack during the sack and it fell to the infant Harriet to asume the title.Since Harriet was only 3 years old however a regency had to be assumed.
Under the Regency's of Queen's Harriet the Seventh, Eighth, Ninth and Tenth (at this point in history the name Harriet had become incredibly commonplace among nobility.The reason they were all women was that male rule had become very untrustworthy at this point) all of the house Mangan,as both the Lowney's and Buckelys had been eradicated at the Battle of Muckross and it's aftermath,the Illustrious Queendom of Lesser Killarney(as it no longer had the strength to defend Greater Killarney) began to slowly heal the wounds left behind by the sack.A new Merchants Guild was formed with Stephanie Mangan at its head and a new Royal Guard drafted with the new house O Donnal in command.People slowly drifted back to the town so that by the time that Harriet (the baby) came of age at 15 in 2178 a population of 200 had been achieved.
Queen Harriet the Eleventh and the S.I.E.C
At the ascension of Queen Harriet the Eleventh much had changed in the previous 100 years, but much more powerful were the changes that would take place in the next 20.The first 20 years of the Queens reign were relatively quiet and were mainly concerned with rebuilding the chaos that the sack had left behind. All that changed however when rumors began to drift from the south that a powerful couplet of the family were unifying the constantly viewing factions of West Cork and Waterford. These rumors were confirmed in 2198 when a caravan led by Tomas Og Hurley arrived at the gates of the Queendom bearing gifts and papers containing trade agreements and mutually beneficial alliances. The Queen agreed to the treaties on a preliminary status and received first choice of all the unions products and produces, reduced rates and their guard got free access to Waterford's arms and ammunition. They have not looked back since.
Before the arrival of the S.I.E.C the Queendom was mainly relying on a barter system where livestock (e.g horses, cows) formed a basic exchange rate. An example for this was that a sharp Pre-War dagger would cost 2 horses or 1 cow.
In the years following the Queendom's entry into the S.I.E.C it has adopted many of the S.I.E.C's economic practices, including in 2209 the adoption of the Lime as the first hard currency ever used in Killarney. All transactions from then were conducted using the Lime.
The Queendom follows the patterns of an absolute monarchy, but with one significant difference that it is a matriarchal society where women are considered to be on an equal if not if not greater than men
The Queen has a council of advisers which consists of the various leaders of the guilds, family members. A representative from the Hurley's and O Shea's, an elected mayor of the town and military leaders. The councils can encourage the monarch, though the final decision in any situation belongs to the monarch herself. The Council is mostly consisted of the rich and advantaged and is thought to be out of touch with the common people, even though they have their own representative on the Council, the mayor, he is often disregarded by the majority of the Council.
Killarney is located on the eastern side of Lough Leane, Kerry Ireland. The major roadway the N71 runs through the center of town and Ross Castle is to the south west of town.