The Clan-less Clan

In the days before Rogalian occupation, when the Dunns were all free men and women, it was only a little better. The clans fought over resources, over love favors, over blood feuds.
One such clan was MacRairich. Long had they been proud healers and fighters, and their clan leader Fiann doted on his daughter, his only child. Brigid was her name, and though she was fair of face, her beauty paled beside her indomitable will. She learned to wield her father’s moor sword with grace and skill, to tend to flesh and bone and heal the damage it caused.
Three men wished to court her, particularly as her father waned in age, each aspiring to rule both their clans. Their aspirations were no secret and the three turned to fighting over who might have the right to wed her in the end. Their fight grew to encompass their clans and before long it had spiraled into something monstrous that men were dying over.
At the final battle, Brigid herself waded into the fray, dealing each man a wounding blow and causing the fighting to cease. As they clutched their wrent flesh, she spoke so that the depth of her voice was carried to all along the battlefield.
“Ne’er once did any o’ ye seek te ask my thoughts on this. Lives ‘re lost an’ blood spilt fer yer foolishness. As men ye sough’ only te bring death, fer tha’s all ye can do. Ye need a woman, one who c’n bring life te rule beside ye, bu’ I’ll ‘ave none o’ it. None o’ you.”
She left the field, left the men with mouths agape and some hope they’d been put in their place.
Upon returning home, Fiann expressed his disappointment that she had not let them fight it out and allowed the strongest to court her. Brigid’s mother had far kinder words, knowing the wisdom her daughter had spoken, for had she not spoken to Brigid’s father in much the same vein when they had wed? And yet she had given Fiann a chance and found him suiting.
So disillusioned was Brigid that she left her homestead for forty days and forty nights, returning more steadfast and stubborn than ever.
Some time after her return, it was noted that her belly was beginning to swell with child. No pleading, no bargaining, no cajoling, nor threats would loose the father’s name from her tongue. As the days came and went and the moon waxed and waned, Brigid and her father argued in a heated fashion, tempers flaring.
Fiann argued about what the babe might be called since none would know the father and a bastard child would bring shame to their clan. She argued that it would take on her name, for was she no less worthy? Was her blood not equally in the child’s veins?
In due time a daughter was born, and instead of calling her Roisin MacRairich in honor of her grandfather, Brigid called the girl Roisin inn Brigid, after herself. Her father raged, howling that without ‘Mac’ in her name that the baby girl would have no clan. Brigid raged back that it was better to be without a clan, for clan allegiance meant clan wars whenever a hot-headed chieftain declared it so and that healers such as they should have no clan allegiance for was not their duty to all who might need their skills? In true temper she declared that if he did not accept her and her wee daughter, she would leave the clan and leave him without an heir, take her daughter and her skills and her moor sword passed down and never return.
Realizing that Brigid would make good on her threat, Fiann relented. Seasons turned and when he passed away, Brigid took control of the clan. She declared that when her daughter came of age they would no longer hold onto a clan name, but would be healers in truth, putting the lives of men and women above the importance of clan allegiance. Furthermore, since one could always be certain who the mother was, but less so the father, a child could be given the mother’s name, for there was no shame in being born of woman, for that is the lot of every babe. Her wisdom was heard and seen and to this day there are those given their mother’s name, healers without clan, a long line devoted to life moreso than death.

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