Baronies of Gwynedd (fictional)
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The Baronies of Gwynedd are the third-largest feudal estates within the fictional Kingdom of Gwynedd in the Deryni novels of Katherine Kurtz. Each barony is governed by a hereditary noble (a baron or baroness) who rules their land in exchange for swearing fealty to the Crown. While barons and baronesses enjoy the prestige and income of being in the ruling class of Gwyneddan society, they are required to pay appropriate taxes for their lands, see to the defense of their borders, and uphold the laws of the kingdom.
The Barony of Evering lies along the coast of the Southern Sea, nestled between the Duchies of Carthmoor and Corwyn. The title is first bestowed upon Sir Ralson de Cosnac in 948 by King Uthyr Haldane in recognition of the knight's valor at the Battle of Laxalt. In 1130, the ninth Baron d'Evering is Baron Torsin Ralson, a direct descendant of the original titleholder.
The Barony of Iomaire is a small estate located on the great plain of Iomaire in eastern Gwynedd. It is created by King Malcolm Haldane in 1025 and bestowed upon Lord Kennet Howell, the second son of Earl Colwyn Howell of Eastmarch. In 1105, the fourth Baron of Iomaire, Arban Howell, deposes and executes his traitorous cousin, Earl Rorik III of Eastmarch. King Brion Haldane rewards Arban with his cousin's lands, and both Arban and his son Ian hold the titles of Earl of Eastmarch and Baron of Iomaire. However, Ian turns traitor in 1120 when he supports the efforts of the Festillic Pretender Charissa Furstána-Festila to seize the throne of Gwynedd. Ian is slain by the King's Champion, Duke Alaric Morgan of Corwyn, and his baronial title passes to his second cousin, Sir Colson Howell. By 1130, the seventh Baron of Iomaire is Colson's son, Baron Colman Howell.
The Barony of Kilchon is located in the southernmost part of the Duchy of Carthmoor in southern Gwynedd. It is originally held by the House of Sainte-Beuve, but that line becomes extinct in the mid-ninth century. The title is then bestowed upon the House of Dunluce, but the family is attained by the Regents of King Alroy Haldane in 917, at which point the barony is bestowed upon the king's youngest brother, Prince Rhys Michael Haldane. It remains under the control of the Crown for the next century, until King Malcolm Haldane bestows it upon Perrin du Roringe in 1036. In 1130, the third Baron of Kilchon is Baron Caidin du Roringe, the grandson of the original titleholder.
The Barony of Kilshane lies in northwestern Gwynedd, along the coast of the Gulf of Kheldour in the Earldom of Kierney. It is created as an earldom by Prince Alphonse of Cassan in 786 and bestowed upon his close friend Lord Bellagh Kilshane. It retains its status as an earldom even after Cassan loses its sovereignty and became a duchy of Gwynedd in the early tenth century, but the title becomes extinct after the death of Earl Banbhan Kilshane in 948. In 1128, King Kelson Haldane revives the estate as a barony, bestowing it as a wedding present upon his companion, Sir Jatham Kilshane, a scion of the old ruling family.
The Barony of Marlor is located in the region known as the Purple March, bordered to north by the Earldom of Transha and to the west by the Earldom of Culdi. The House of MacInnis, despite holding the title since the early eighth century, is attainted during the Festillic Interregnum of the ninth century, but the title is later restored by King Cinhil I Haldane in 905. The title later passes to the House of MacEwan after a marriage between the two families, and the descendants of that union hold the title without interruption for over a century and a half. In 1130, the sixteenth Baron of Marlor is Baron Odhran MacEwan.
The Barony of Rheljan is located on the western face of the mountains of the same name, forming part of Gwynedd's eastern border with the neighboring Kingdom of Torenth. It is created by King Cluim Haldane in 985 and awarded to Sir Richmond FitzEwan, a natural son of Duke Ewan II MacEwan of Claibourne, for his valor and bravery in the war with Torenth. Richmond's descendants hold the title without interruption for almost a century and a half. In 1130, the eighth Baron of Rheljan is Baron Murdo FitzEwan.
The Barony of Varian is created by King Malcolm Haldane in 1025 and awarded to Sir Vasco de Varian as a reward for his valor during the war with Torenth. Vasco's descendants hold the title without interruption for over a century. In 1121, King Kelson Haldane bestows the Earldom of Eastmarch upon Lord Burchard de Varian after Burchard's brother-in-law, Ian Howell, is slain for his treason against the Crown. Burchard retains the title to Eastmarch even after he inherits the Barony of Varian five years later.
- Katherine Kurtz and Robert Reginald, Codex Derynianus (second edition), ISBN 1-887424-96-2
- Katherine Kurtz, In the King's Service, ISBN 0-441-01060-1
- Katherine Kurtz, Childe Morgan, ISBN 0-441-01282-5