The wise child does not venture there

The wise child stays in the fields and minds her flock

But when the foolish child needs rescue

The wise child gathers her rock of three points

And her lightning-touched stick and her guiding beast

And only then ventures into Their forest” – A Bruideach nursery tale


Still mostly covered by the pernicious Great Forest, which, despite the efforts of homesteaders on the fringes, resists fire and turns the woodcutter’s axe, Bruid is a land much like the whole of Tirneach was before it was touched by the civilising hand of the Shaper. As a result, the folk there are hardy, their backs always turned to toil; and wary, with one eye always turned towards the forest. They watch both for the approach of foul and dangerous beasts, and to ensure their curious offspring do not answer the siren song of the far more dangerous beings that lurk within. Even so, there is always a welcome for a weary traveller in a Bruideach household, so long as you obey their customs born of long vigilance.” – Treasna an’Fánach, A Survey of the Five Realms

Where is Bruid?

Bruid stretches from coast to coast across the south of Tirneach, from the Sea of Fortunes in the west to the Shaper’s Sea in the east. To the north it borders Uasa, Baol and the Ring Mountains which encircle Draíod. To the south it delves deep into the Great Forest, although many Bruidigh say that as soon as you go under the Forest canopy you are no longer in the Five Realms, but in the territory of the Gwyllt.

The Bruidigh are hardy folk, as befits the Hardy Realm. Even those who live in the north of the Realm, closer to the comparatively settled Uasa and Baol, keep a watchful eye to the south in case some creature has wandered from the Forest in search of mortal souls to bring back to its masters. Good farmland is hard to find, so the Bruidigh rely on trading wool and mutton from their flocks of sheep for grain from more prosperous Realms to supplement the poor crops the hardscrabble soil will sustain. Those living within the Forest become expert scavengers and hunters.

Why do they stay in Bruid if life is so hard? Tradition and pride is the answer most Bruidigh will give, but the truth is that life in Bruid is more free than in other Realms. Many of the Riders in Bruid have been granted land as a reward for years of service, and the Iarla of the Realm prioritises security of the southern border over tithes and taxes. There is a true sense of community among Bruidigh. In times of trouble, the most scurrilous Kriegerish bandit will still stand side by side with a town guard when the horn blows to signal that the Gwyllt are near. You can find people of all species in Bruid, but especially Krieger to the west in and around Zahnhafen, Wildlings all over the Great Forest, and Humans wherever settlements have taken root.

Origins of Bruid

Bruid is the youngest of the Five Realms. There were always settlers determined enough to brave the Great Forest, but it was not until the days of the first Réig that it became a Realm of its own. Recognising that the heart of the Gwyllt’s power lay somewhere deep within the Great Forest, the first Réig put out a summons for doughty warriors who would fight for what was theirs in the most dire of circumstances. The first warrior to answer the summons was named Iarla of the new Realm of Bruid, and charged with bringing the light of the Shaper to the deep darkness of the Great Forest.

The northern edge of the Great Forest may have been beaten back a few miles or so, but many of the new Riders that answered the Réig’s call ended up establishing their Ridings within the Forest itself. They fought relentlessly for many years against countless foes: foul beasts, people under the sway of the Gwyllt, and sometimes the trees themselves. It was many years before there was anything but outright war in the Great Forest, but one day the Forest quietened, and folk were able to settle.

The cause of the Long Peace, as this period in Bruid’s history is known, is shrouded in mystery. Yes, Bruidigh living within the Forest must still battle their surroundings just to survive, but it is nothing compared to the onslaught of the old stories. Some say that the Réig or the Iarla made a pact with the Gwyllt to preserve the people of Bruid, paying a terrible price in the process which will come due again some day. Others say that the Shaper defeated the Gwyllt in a great battle in the other world, and claimed the safety of Bruid as their reward. Many worry that it is the Gwyllt who have won, and that the settlers of Bruid are like food laying in a larder for a feast at the end of the season.

Playing a Bruideach character

Among the gallóglaigh, a Bruideach is generally expected to be tough, sincere in their dealings, and well able to handle most enemies they come up against. A Bruideach character is likely to be most committed to the tenets of the Second Oath, they know how important the power of the Shaper is when you are surrounded by the Gwyllt.

Costume-wise, Bruidigh are likely to favour practical, warm, hard-wearing clothing over anything showy or flimsy. Attracting attention is generally a bad thing in Bruid, where you are as likely to be prey as you are the hunter. Greens and browns in dark shades are common, or other colours that allow the Bruidigh to blend in with their surroundings.

This level-headed approach applies to knowledge and skills too. Why learn something you will never use? Bruidigh tend not to love learning for its own sake, instead they learn things which they think will be useful in the future. We expect Bruideach characters to display lots of versatility and just the right amount of courage, with a healthy dose of suspicion to go with it.

Bruideach opinions on the other Realms
Baol (Highlands): Highlanders are good fighters from the cradle, but it takes them a good while to learn how to be good neighbours. They’re too used to stealing what they want instead of learning to make it themselves.

Baol (Lowlands): The lowlanders that can stick it out here do well, they’re knowledgeable and handy. Most of them are too used to living an ordered life with a trade guild to look after them, and hightail it back to Uaircinn after their first Gwyllt attack.

Draíod: I don’t mind seeing them here in the Great Forest, they can sing a spell and swing a sword with the best of them. If you ever see them north of Dealtra odds are they’re trying to steal our land; land we bled to get.

Siabhal: Hard to think that while we struggle to survive here some folks have everything and still want more, isn’t it?

Uasa: The Réig asks us to take this land in the Shaper’s name, and what help do we get from the Réig’s flunkies and hangers-on? Nothing.

Some Bruidigh you might meet one day…

Dúlrinn is a Wildling, and has lived all her life under the canopy of the Great Forest, in the town of Siorghlas. Siorghlas is a strange place, most of its people live above the ground in the trees themselves, and Dúlrinn never saw a naked flame until her aunt brought her to the Iarla’s seat at Caorioc for the Summer Festival. Although she has been trained since birth never to go alone into the Forest, Dúlrinn knows that the little wealth that her people possess comes from the strange things they find there. She will never admit it, but some nights she dreams of journeying deep into the heart of the Forest, listening to the voices that call her.

Iaró is a Leasiar and hails from a tiny hamlet on the edge of the Great Forest. Or at least, that’s where she became who she is now. The bare room devoid of personal effects she woke in without her memories suggests that she had taken a step upon the Path of Many Candles, so now she makes her life among the Bruidigh. She can fight, which suggests she was a warrior in her former life or lives, and she already feels a fierce protective instinct about her fellow townsfolk. The townsfolk are glad to have someone as capable as this strange Leasiar ready to defend them, and some of the older homesteaders have adopted her as their foster child, even though for all they know she is centuries older than them

Conor comes from Dun Ilrin, the Riding on the Ilrin peninsula which juts out into the Shaper’s Sea. But don’t worry, he’ll tell you that himself. Like most Ilrinigh, Conor is a bit of a braggart, and will delineate his ancestry and various accomplishments before you’ve had a chance to finish your ale and leave. He’s travelling with a wool merchant who is seeking new customers in the belt of affluent towns above the Shaper’s Pasture in southern Uasa. His patron, a Firetouched named Armenio, is growing a bit tired of Conor’s braggadocio, but a few encounters with Gwyllt creatures along the way has persuaded him that Conor does not lack in daring and martial prowess to match his wagging tongue and extravagant hair braided with eagle feathers.

Sionnach the current Iarla of Bruid is a Forest WIldling who hales from a small village long since wiped out by the Gwyllt. They served actively as a Torchbearer Cinnire for well over a decade until their Krieger partner, Olga, was slain in the line of duty. Retiring from active Order service, they returned to Bruid where they continued to encourage other to the Torchbearers, organise defences against the Gwyllt, and reportedly be the only person in Bruid surprised when the Réig named them Iarla of Bruid.

Notable Settlements and Ridings


Zahnhafen (Large town) – The largest Kriegerish town in the Five Realms, this is the home of the Kriegerish fleet, even Kriegerish vessels in service of other Realms will often count this as their home port. The town that has sprung up around the deepwater harbour of Zahnhafen is set out in much the same pattern as the port towns in the Kriegerish homeland, or so they say. Merchants and tradesfolk from all over the Five Realms converge in Zahnhafen to trade in the rare and affordable merchandise that flows off the Kriegerish ships and through the town. If some similar ships had earlier been sighted raiding other Realms in the past months…well what do landlubbers know about ships anyway?!


Siorghlas (Small town) – The only town of any note completely within the Great Forest, Siorghlas is a strange place. The town itself takes up a small footprint on the ground, and mostly it is only municipal buildings that stand on the earth. The rest of the town is up in the enormous trees of the forest itself, and rope bridges connect one trunk to another. Open flame is forbidden in Síorghlas for sensible reasons, but because the town is in perpetual gloom underneath the forest canopy, the townsfolk must resort to a bit of Gwyllt magic they cannot replace: the sun-crystals. An enterprising and gifted merchant that could provide them with an alternative to this cursed magic would be wealthy indeed. For now, Síorghlas is eerily lit and a hub for the other denizens of the Great Forest, both those who swear fealty to the Réig and those who have other allegiance.


Caorioc (City) – Caorioc is the most northerly town in Bruid, and the only town outside of Uasa to be included in its canal network. The Iarlas of Bruid made their home here centuries ago, back when Caorioc was nothing more than a collection of huts where the shepherds of Bruid would rest when bringing their flocks together for the annual markets. In the intervening centuries, and as the Great Forest has receded further to the south, Caorioc has grown into a vibrant town and is a major hub for weavers and wool merchants. Some say the powerful and wealthy folk there are too far removed from the experience of most Bruidigh, but in what land is that not true?


Lorbeer (Riding) – The riding surrounding Zahnhafen is one of the safest in Bruid, regularly patrolled by landbound Krieger in service of the Rider. The current Rider, Dieter Rua, takes a hard line with any bandits or smugglers caught in his riding, which some say is a grand irony…but never too loudly in his hearing. The riding is named for the trees the Krieger brought with them from their homeland, the lorbeer leaves produce a flavour the Krieger love but many others find too spicy.


Triona’s Riding (Riding) – A newer riding deep in the Great Forest, Triona’s Riding is still presided over by Triona herself. Like many other ridings of the same sort, it is in what is called a “calm spot” in the Forest, where the emanations of the Gwyllt are felt less keenly. The sages who prop up the bars of Siorghlas murmur that Triona’s Riding is doomed to fail, because it is only two days’ march away from the Gulf, the great chasm that yawns a mile wide in the Great Forest, and from which all sorts of terrible creatures crawl when the power of the Gwyllt is greatest. No one else has managed to make it for more than five years, but if anyone can, it may be Triona Nic Eibhlin and her followers, all of whom fought at the Battle of Traitors’ Tears.

Dun Ilrin (Riding) – Dun Ilrin takes up most of the eastern peninsula of Ilrin, and the folk there hold themselves proudly (some would say entirely too proudly) distinct from the rest of Bruid. They tell all sorts of legends about themselves, how the first settlers there befriended the huge talking eagles that lived on the Cliffs of Faire and rode them all over the world. Those eagles died out years ago, of course, but the Ilrinigh still boast. The rider of Dun Ilrin was a famous bard in his youth, and is still known as Lorcan Silvertongue, though these days his way with words is mostly used in negotiations with his belligerent neighbours to the west, always hungry for the good land in the Ilrin peninsula.