Venicones Organization in Caledonia | World Anvil
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The Venicones are newcomers to Caledonia, driven from their homes in Gaul by the March of Rome. For in Gaul they were named the Veneti, they occupied rich lands to the west and settled on promontory forts that jutted out into the open sea. They were defended by the ocean all around them and joined to the mainland by causeways only accessible at low tide. From these fortified positions they operated their trade empire. Sailing to and from Britain exchanging goods, they carried Roman wine and olive oil, exchanging these for tin, copper, hunting dogs and slaves bound for Rome. They grew wealthy from the great boon these markets afforded them using this wealth to spread their influence over their neighbours. The Veneti vessels were known to be the largest and most sea worthy of all. Huge hulken craft with deep draught all built from riven oak and powered by leather sails. Ships of such size were needed to withstand the unpredictable northern seas whilst laden with valuble goods. The Veneti enjoyed the supremacy of power and trade across the channel for generations, spreading their power and influence beyond their shores. The vast majority of the goods stored on the southern shores of britain were bound for the continent and the Veneti controlled a monopoly on their transportation.   When the Romans attacked Gaul the Veneti took no part in the failed resistance, thinking themselves to be safe in their offshore fortresses, trade stations and holdings on the southern shores of Britain. The Romans sent a general with a legion to the Veneti and the surrounding tribes of Brittany and the tribes thought they were making an alliance with the Romans but in truth the Romans saw it as a token of subjugation. The Veneti handed over some of their noble sons as hostages with the promise they would be given a Roman education and that friendly relations would be secured. The next summer the Romans returned with commissaries and demanded that the Veneti fleet transport the Roman legions over to Britain to invade that country. As subjects of Rome, they were ordered to hand over their stores of grain as tribute. The Veneti were shocked at this turn of events and were unwilling to give their fleet over to transport the Roman legions to a nation that they were bonded to by generations of friendships and solem oaths. They took the Roman commissaries prisoner in the hope that they would be able to exchange them for the return of their noble sons taken as hostage.   In this way the war between the Veneti and the Romans found it's origin. The Veneti set about mustering the power of their allies. All the tribes of Amorica banded together and bound themselves to act in concert against the Romans. Even some of the british tribes of the south came to their aid. For if the Veneti were to fall then her vassals were sure to be made slaves also. The way would be open to the Romans to cross the channel and set in motion an invasion of Britain.   The following summer the Romans arrived in Amorica to make war on the Veneti. They had trouble attacking the well defended offshore fortresses of the Veneti. When they attacked with the infantry at low tide, no sooner had they laid siege to the fortresses, the tide would come in, stranding the Romans on the island. When they attacked with ships when the tide was out the vessels became stranded on rocks when the tide abated, making them easy prey to the Veneti forces. The Romans resolved to engineer a solution by using their manpower to build great moles into the ocean, joining the islands to the mainland by a causeway. This took many months and when it seemed as if the Romans had just about reached the offshore fortresses, the Veneti took to their boats and sailed to another offshore island.   The Romans were at a loss as to what to do. When Caesar arrived in Amorica he demanded that the Gauls, who had already been pacified, be set to work to build a fleet of ships to challenge the Veneti at sea. Hearing this, the Veneti also sent out pleas to the Morini, Menapii and Britons to send help in the fight against Rome. The Romans quickly completed their early preparations and sent out their new fleet to attack the Veneti ships in the Battle of Morbihan. At first the Romans could not make headway against the superior vessels of the Veneti. They were all built of thick oaken hulls impenetrable to ramming by the smaller Roman galleys. They then tried to board the Veneti ships but could not compete against the swift sailing abilities of the Veneti nor could they board easily from the smaller Roman galleys. It was when it seemed all was lost for the Romans that they came upon the idea of cutting the halyards of the Veneti leather sails with long billhooks. The result of this was that the Veneti sails were cast down upon the decks of their ships making them immobile. A few Veneti ships fell prey to the Romans like this before before they gave up the fight and resolved to foresake their territory to the Romans.   First they sailed ashore to a safe place and held council with their allies to decide on the next course of action. After much deliberation it was decided they would sail for Britain one and all with as many of their allies that would choose to leave with them. They loaded up all their belongings and stores of wealth upon the boats and made sail for their holdings on the southern shores of Britain. From here it became clear that to settle down here would be foolhardy, for it would not be long before they would face Romans in battle again. They had lost their homeland and the Romans would soon use that as base of operations to launch their invasion of Britain. With this in mind they held council where it was decided that they would split into two groups. One would sail up the western coast of Britain and the other the east, hoping to find a new place to settle far out of the reach of the march of the empire.   The Veneti sea lords knew these waters well as they had plied their trade along these coasts for aeons. They made landfall at friendly harbours offering gifts and vows of bondship to many chiefdoms in the hope that one of them grant them lands amongst them. Most chiefdoms were reluctant to oblige, fearful they too would become subordinate to the wealthy and sophisticated newcomers. The Veneti pressed on, sailing further than they had ever done before. Presently they came upon the firth of the River Tay in Caledonia. These chiefdoms were far outside the old trading routes, having never encountered vessels so large or the many great things they had onboard to offer as gifts.   The Veneti had came upon the lands of the Votandi during the closing of a local conflict with the Boresti tribe in which the Votandi were victorious. After receiving the Veneti fleet and making friendship with them, the Votandi chieftains put forward the idea that the Veneti should settle in the territory of the Boresti to the north. First because there were many good harbours for them to land their vessels but also that they might keep check on the unruly Boresti who had been contesting their borders. The Veneti were not in any position to negotiate on the offer, having been on the seas for many months and in desperate need of a new home. They took their vessels and made their way to the territory of the Boresti to the North taking emissaries of the Votandi and Druids onboard with them to proclaim them rulers of the coasts of these parts. Upon arrival the Boresti came down to the shore to see what was going on with the arrival of so many great vessels on their shores. The Druids were sent ashore first, followed by the emissaries of the Votandi and then the sea lords of the Veneti. The Druids explained to the Boresti that the Veneti would be settled on the contested lands bordering the Votadini and Boresti so as to end their warring over borders. At first the Boresti rebuked the suggestion but when the Veneti displayed their great gifts to them they had a change of heart. The Veneti had brought many great things onboard with them. They showed maps of the known world, amphora of fine wines, sweet perfumes, scented oils and devices of all manner unknown to the folk of these parts. They put it to them that they would have a share in all these good things if they were to accept their presence in this land. With that the Boresti accepted their offer and both groups swore oaths of bondship presided over by the Druids. The Druids ordained that from this point on the Veneti should be named the Venicones (of Veneti). In this way matters were settled and this is how the Venicones came to be resident in Caledonia.   The other branch of Veneti set off from their island fortress in the south, sailed along the east coast and came ashore in Hibernia after many months at sea. There they settled on the Donegal peninsula on the eastern shores of the green island. They came to be known as the Venici. Initially close ties were kept between the two groups but as time went on they grew further apart. This was partly due to assimilation with the local tribes and partly due to ships being lost on the long voyage between these groups. Although they grew apart, neither group ever forgot their common heritage and the war they fought against the Romans.   The Venicones wasted no time settling in to their new home. At once they set off on long voyages around the coasts, making themselves known to the tribes of Caledonia seeking to explore new markets to ply their trade. However, Caledonia was unlike their homeland, the markets were not as lucrative and the demand for goods was scant. They did make a name for themselves through the import of sour wine gained for a meagre price in the south and traded for much inflated value to the Caledonians.  They often mixed it with water to soften it's sour taste and make it double the volume than they originally bought.   After only a few generations the Venicones assimilated and adopted the customs of the land. They learned the local tongue but spoke it with a dialect that became a source of mockery and much ridicule for the local chiefdoms. In appearance they became famed for wearing coloured linen with the arms left bare, on each arm the wealthy wore heavy ornate bronze armlets beautifully set with enamel patterns. The style of this metalwork and the spiral motifs were much sought after by the Caledonians as a style of decorative art, slowly being adopted and adapted throughout the land.
Geopolitical, Clan

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