Prior to the year 42FO [243SA], Goidan was controlled by inhuman creatures whose name has been forgotten. So powerful were these monsters that the Korchi Empire, at its height, refrained from attacking the island. In the year 42FO [243SA], five thousand Fomorian colonists landed on the island and were massacred. The war that followed (43 - 69FO [244-270SA]) consumed thousands of Fomorian lives and resulted in the extermination (or disappearance) of the old race.
Over the next century (89 - 76FO [290-277SA]), the Fomorians colonized the island with Kolari and Shandan captives (using the island as a prison for warriors who could not be enslaved and they could not send home). During the next five centuries, this seed population, immigrants from the Kolari and strangers from the misty west (arriving between the years 0-11GO [299 - 310SA]) formed the tribes of Goidan.
About the year 461GO [760SA], the tribes began to weary of Fomorian rule and resisted it. In the year 644GO [943SA] they succeeded in expelling the Fomorians from all of Goidan except for the island of Hoda. Their great leader in this effort was the High King Bora mac'Connat (633 - 676GO [932-975SA]). During his reign the Fomorians were vanquished, Djanesborg was allowed to establish a colony on the island (667GO [966SA]) and the ongoing war against the Korchi invaders began (670GO [969SA] - present).
The tribes of Goidan are the UiNeill (18,000), the Connata (15,000), the Ulail (13,000), the Armagh (11,000), the Lagin (9,000), the Mumani (8,000) and the Eoghan (6,000). The total population is 80,000. The High King can also utilize the Goidanese citizens of Sokkvabbek when he wishes to do so. There are 24,000 of these people.
Goidan can levy 10,000 warriors for war. When the call goes to Sokkvabbek as well, an additional 3,000 warriors can be raised. The High King has a standing army composed of 2,000 elite footmen called the Champions of the Red Branch (When the High King calls other kings to war he sends them a Red Branch inscribed with runes that a druid can read to learn where the forces are to meet). Earning membership in this select body of men is a great honor for Goidan's warriors. Only the finest warriors can win a place. Many of them die trying.
Godian exports peat, fur, skins, naphtha, tin, flax, hemp and Goideli Wine (a distilled liquor that is made by the Armagh). They import finished goods, textiles and weapons.
NOTE - The process for making Goideli Wine is secret. The Armagh brought the knowledge from the west and they share it with no one.
The Goidanese revere nature. They have a deep fondness for, and fear of, the Sidh. They go to great lengths to appease the forces of nature and the Sidh, but maintain their pride and honor as men while doing so. Goidan's religion is administered by Druids and Bards. Their persons are sacred in Goidan.
The Goidanese are friendly, kind and generous. If you are an enemy, they can be cunning adversaries. Warriors of Goidan have an ecstatic love of combat. When angered, or, in some cases, for fun, they can be exceptionally violent. The great loves of a Goidanese warrior are war stories, fighting, wine, poetry, music, fine animals and women. They are a passionate people with unbreakable pride and exceptional tenacity.
The Armagh (the people from the Western Sea) are considered to be fay by the other tribes. They are a gentler people who do not share the exaggerated love of war that is common of Goidan. They are kind to strangers and slow to anger. When they are angered or attacked, they are calculating enemies who never forget what was done to them. They are noted as bards, craftsmen and poets; and as a people that cannot be crossed safely. Some of the most vicious warriors in the history of Goidan were Armagh. Their current king, Angus mac Lier, according to the Goidanese, has an elf-wife and is the greatest warrior in the world. (His favored weapons are war staffs and clubs.)
The tribes of Goidan are ruled by a multi-layered system of feudal kings. The ultimate leader of the tribes is the High King. Under the High King, each tribe has its own king. Beneath each tribal king are two additional levels of lesser kings, at the clan and family level.
NOTE - Family, as used above, refers to a Band size extended family unit that includes the basic family and close relatives (one to two hundred people).
Each king owes fealty to the king directly above him and no one else. A single man can hold more than one kingship, where the kingships that are held logically fit within the framework of this system.
EXAMPLE - The current High King, Finn mac Neill, is High King of Goidan, King of the UiNeill, King of Clan Uimac and King of Family Neill.
Kings owe fealty to answer a call to war. Beyond this, each king has complete sovereignty in his land. Higher kings may advise a common policy but cannot compel obedience without the use of armed force. Layered over the king system is a system of religious law and custom administered by the Druids and Bards. To offer injury, or refuse hospitality, to a Druid or Bard is a crime. To actually injure or kill one of them is a major crime of an infamous nature.
The interaction of the two systems allows the kings to command the tribes in war and rule their lands. Druids and Bards rule legal and religious affairs. Druids also serve as advisors to the higher kings. In criminal cases, the decision of the Druids is final. The penalty for minor crimes is a weregild or servitude. Major crimes are punished by sacrificial death by drowning, burning or hanging (depending on the crime).
The Goidanese are friendly toward the Djani and Dirllarans. Goidan's sea-raiders, primarily the Lagin, also like the Kolari.
The Goidanese dislike the Fomorians and despise the Korchi. In Goidan, citizens of A'Korchu are killed unless they are lucky and eloquent. Individual Fomorians are tolerated, if they are careful not to anger their hosts.
*Armani is the native tongue of the Armagh. It is not related to any other tongue. The Armagh only use it among themselves. It is a civilized tongue with a written form.
Spear, Broad Sword and Hammers
The Goidanese carry shields in battle and often wear helmets. Their common form of armor is Ring Mail and Leather. When not dressed for war they wear woven cloth and leather sandals.
Quarterstaff, Bows, Clubs
The Armagh wear banded ring or chainmail in battle. They always wear helmets and often carry shields. In peace, they dress in finely-woven cloth, furs and jewelry.
The Royal Calendar of Goidan dates from the arrival of the Armagh. It is the year 801 by this calendar. The land also has a seasonal calendar which records the cycles of the year with great precision, without recording the passage of years. It has become common in Goidan to make temporal references using both of these calendars, i.e., the drying of the mud in the year 801 = early spring in the year 801.
A warded cleft in western Goidan leads to the domain of the imprisoned Firbolg culture.
A hidden ravine can be found in the northern mountains. The altar of true life resides in a cave at its heart. Outside same is a small mystic forest growing where it should not be possible for such to exist.