Annals of the Duchy - Chapter 2

So the inhabitants of Murragh began to migrate. This brought power to those who had shipping, whether from previous marine activity or through having the resources to buy or build ships to carry people and their goods. The first settlements grew up at the areas previously used as seasonal stop overs as these had good landings and water supply and came to be run by the magnates of the fishing and whaling businesses for they sought the best landing areas to continue their line of business. The more inland areas were were favoured by those who had previously farmed and they spread up the river valleys but in this early period few settled more than a day's walk from the coast.
  Those who could not command their shipping faced difficulty, for there were few who looked to remain and there was little chance to sell land and buildings and even where buyers could be found, those who had cash could not always find shipping for hire. Some wealthy families came to the new lands in much reduced circumstances and many of the poorer classes secured their passage by agreeing to work for their carriers for a term of years. None were sold into slavery though in some places it was hard to tell the difference. But for most, five to ten years service brought their family and possessions to the new lands. This period expired they would begin work on their own account either in their accustomed locations or moving to new areas.
  For the first fifty years or so the space in the coastal areas was such that even with the continuing migration and growth of the population there was still rich land to bring into agriculture in the coastal strip. Settlements were still small and separated and although our ancestors had more dealings with the native inhabitants of the land these were still limited. There was some conflict but their numbers were decreasing as The Sweats and The Staggers took a toll on them. By this stage ownership of the lands near the coast was becoming settled in the major families, though there were some settlements controlled by guilds or leagues of mariners. In some cases inheritances were split; in others it descended with the eldest child, others the eldest son, eldest daughter or the wider family's choice of new leader. Whichever, ambitious would be heirs faced either ever decreasing estates or no estate and this became the driving force for settlement to spread in land.
  In the lands surrounding Durran Bay and the lower reaches of the Durran, six younger members, known to us as "The Younger Sons" saw that the depth of land was such that there was opportunity inland and that the Durran River provided good communications with the coast. This gave an opportunity to settle lands which were still well beyond the current settled area on the far side of the Downlands. These were:
  • Cadric, son of Tarrap Hough
  • Cardu, son of Arran Curth
  • Merrick, son of Orris of Odragh
  • Gular, daughter of Hurrap Darragh
  • Tenric, son of Murran Argo
  • Tarrar, daughter of Danric Sturgh
This group focused their plans on the upper reaches of the South Darran; others in their position but with less family status formed similar plans for the areas to the north that were subsequently united into the Kingdom of Mor. Though I shall return at various points to them and their descendents they did not form part of the Duchy and I will mention them no more than the Duchy's story calls for it.
  You will note that two of the six "Sons" were daughters; in the formal usage of the Morragh of those days all children were sons and this is the cause of much confusion since the distinction between sons and daughters became more general. With this change common across the areas that our people settled it was probably already underway before the migration; it is my belief having studied the history that the move to a much larger area, with the desire to populate it contributed to an increasing distinction between the male and female in Morivan groups. This should always be held in mind when considering stories from before and during the migration.
  These six received the approval of the heads of their families for this venture and started to build their followings and prepare for their futures. From the start they were focused on building significant estates and having these support each other in their independence. This lead them to a wide dispersion over the area they planned to settle, brought significant risk and as we shall see was overly optimistic. But it was their vision; they were committed to it and though all of their ideals were not retained it has formed the basis of the Duchy as we know it now some two centuries later.
  But I get ahead of myself. We are now some ten years before the founding of the Duchy and the Younger Sons and their followers, who were mostly recruited from the recent arrivals and indeed some had their ways paid by the Younger Sons in the ways I mentioned above. Each started with some hundred households, enough to form a handfull of settlements across an area some five day's walk by two day's walk along the upper reaches of the South Durran between the Downs abnd the Morran Mountains.
  Cadric made his major settlement at Morton on a bend in the river. Cardu founded Valton where the Vale River joined the Durran. Merrick founded Fenton where the river emerged from the marsh lands. Gular settled at Upton depite it being some way from any river. Tenric founded Downton near the spouthern edge of the Downs and Tarrar founded Caston when her boats could make it no further up the Durran. These were the main settlements, with small villages around them and forming staging posts between the main settlements for they recognised the need to maintain good communications and to support each other for these were lands where the natives were more active and where their herds pastured for much of the year.
  Now the settlements in the coastal areas had had little trouble with the indigenous inhabitants - in the years of migratory fishing they had grown used to us and we to them. The coastal settlements continued to had a focus on fishing and whaling with little in the way of pastoral agriculture and this, together with the effects of disease reducing the numbers of the indigenous Taru in those areas meant that there was little competition for resources and little opportunity for conflict. Things were not so in the areas further inland and closer to the Moran Mountains, for the numbers of Taru were greater, they had no extended familiarity with our people and without the fisheries these inland settlements had more pastoral agriculture. These factors made conflict more likely as the Taru drove their herds through our farmland, "accidentally" acquired our herds in passing and we sought to defend our crops and herds and to take advantage of the passing game. In these early years of our settlement this saw skirmishing as their annual migrations passed through in spring and autumn.
  During these periods each household contributed one person to a militia to shepherd the Taru and their herds through our lands and minimise the damage and loss. In the year before the Duchy was founded the Taru brought more warriors on the spring migration to allow their herds more time to feed on our crops and to cause other damage. The local militias were not enough to control and prevent this and that spring much damage was done and many of our people killed or put to great want by the destruction of crops. Whilst most of the Younger Sons were directing their followers to rebuilding, Cadric was thinking of the coming autumn and the returning Taru. He saw that they would return and that it was necessary that the militias should work together to do great damage to the Taru and their herds.
  Of the necessity of this he persuaded the other Younger Sons and they made him leader of the war band, which numbered half the combined militias (totalling above 200) all of whom were mounted, though the quality of the mounts was poor in parts. In the summer they rode out in the lands beyod Caston to understand those lands and to harry the Taru who had remained in those parts. Although this killed some of them resistance was limited for many of the men had gone as warriors with the herds. This was Cadric's strategy: to make them realise that they could defend their herds or defend their hearths but not both. The killing was to make the point but not to risk creating a sizeable group of warriors with nothing to loose and vengence to gain. This point made Cadric then moved his force to the east to be ready to greet the Taru when they returned across the Durran.
  The warm greeting they gave was a sore toll on the Taru, both man and beast. And their hearts sank further when they reached their homelands. Cadric then told them they they would brook no more driving of the herds through our lands but that if they chose to they or a part of them could travel to the lands in the north the following spring to remain there. He left them to ponder their decision over the winter and returned with the militias to much acclaim. That winter there was much doubt over whether his plan would work or whether the spring would bring further problems for as people thought on the subject they began to have doubts.
  At the end of the winter the Taru sent a messenger to say that they had in mind to send a third of their people and two thirds of their herds to the summer pastures, there to remain and that though men and beasts might pass from time to time, no herds would be driven between the Downs and the Moran Mountains. This satisfied our forefathers; that spring's migration took fewer beasts but more people than normal and no attempt was made to return in the autumn. With the success of this course of action Cadric was acknowledged as the leader of the Younger Sons, took the title of Duke and called this the first year of the Moran Duchy.
  Thus I reach the end of the second chapter of this work with the Younger Sons established in their lands and looking to Cadric as their acknowledged leader.


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