I would like to present you, dear readers, with some backstory.
While Barbarians are attributed to living in and near Scotland, they were more commonly found in the Scandinavian Peninsula, Iceland, and Greenland. In fact, by the 900s, they'd left the British Isles for good. So how did the Barbarians end up on St. Anne's Cleft? For that, dear readers, I had to bend history.
The internet tells us that Vikings raided Scotland and Ireland during the 5th and 6th centuries--four hundred years before the events of Where the Clouds Catch Fire. Eventually, they got pretty comfortable with the Irish and assimilated themselves into their culture. They even founded Alynn's hometown of Limerick. (True story.)
In the north of Ireland, however, there lived a large (and fictional) congregation of particularly Norse people. These people had grown up hearing stories about Viking raiders and Barbarian chieftains, so they decided to return to their roots. They gathered their families, sailed north, and found a group of islands that was just perfect for living in.
No singular island was large enough to hold the entire Barbarian population, so they split into seven tribes. Each tribe elected a chief. Idir the Bold, a strong and charismatic young warrior, was chosen to lead the seventh tribe. Bold as he was, Idir forced the Second Tribe off the southernmost island and named it Diaparn.
The Second Tribe wasn't so thrilled about being kicked off their island, especially since they'd just finished killing off the monastic natives. They found a rock in the far north, called it Gythia, and sulked there for thirty-nine years.
The tribes were called by the names of their islands--Diaparn, Gythia, Hrafney, Shivalka, Eitravik, Darsidia, and Fiochan. They learned Norse and taught it to their children, picked up a few traditional recipes, and went on a few raids now and then. Eventually, they forgot that they'd ever lived in Ireland.
Idir the Bold passed away 13 years after inhabiting Diaparn, leaving the chieftainship to his immature, power-hungry, 19-year-old son, who later became known as Konar the Conqueror. Konar let pride get to his head, then slowly descended to madness until he became the murderous warlord we see in Where the Clouds Catch Fire.
And that, dear readers, is how the tribes were formed.
If you were chief of a Barbarian tribe, what would you name it? Tell me in the comments below, and who knows? I might end up using it in a later book! Happy New Year, and God bless y'all!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.