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||This article describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (November 2011)|
It was settled by a fictional Gallic tribe, known as the Devetii, which fled Gaul to escape the Romans near the end of the 1st century CE. Using magical means, the Devetii were transported to an entirely different universe, which they called Annwn (Welsh; lit. "no place"; may refer to fairyland, or to the world of the dead).
|The Dawntime||This is the period when the Devetii still lived in the Homeland of Devetia Riga, in Gallia. They learn humor theory and herbal medicine from the Rhwmanes (Romans) and Greggyn (Greeks).|
|The Great Migration||About 68 C.E., following Vindex' unsuccessful rebellion against the Rhwman emperor, the Devetii flee Gallia along a dweomer road and arrive in their new world, Annwn. Vindex and Vercingetorix are revered as heroes in Deverrian mythology, though their names are pronounced Gwindyc and Gwercyngetoryc in the Deverrian dialect. The "invasion" of Deverry would result in forced migration of the Horsekin (who attacked the elves) and eventual enslavement of the "Old Ones," the indigenous humans of Annwn.|
|Year 1||After eight years of wandering, King Bran sees an omen instructing him where to build Dun Deverry.|
|1st century||Rule by King Bran's descendants.|
|1st and 2nd centuries||War among the Great Clans for the crown when Bran's last descendant dies.|
|3rd century||Founding of Eldidd.|
|5th century||First contact with Bardek. First contact with the elves.|
|8th and 9th centuries||The Time of Troubles, during which the Gwerbrets of Cantrae and Cerrmor vie with each other, and with Eldidd, for the throne. Pyrdon secedes from Eldidd. The prince of Pyrdon marries gwerbret Cerrmor's daughter and takes the crown. Deverry conquers Eldidd and makes it a province. Pyrdon becomes a province when its king abdicates.|
|10th century||Numerous rebellions in Cerrgonney.|
|11th century||Unrest stirred up in Aberwyn by dark dweomer.|
|12th century||War with the Horsekin.|
Deverrian belongs to the Celtic group of the Indo-European language family. It is derived from Gaulish, to which some of the changes which affected the modern Brythonic languages (Welsh, Cornish, and Breton) are applied. Deverrian is thus a highly naturalistic a posteriori kind of artificial language (in contrast to e.g. Tolkien's Elvish languages). Kerr provides some explicit information about the language, particularly its phonology, in the introduction of her Deverry books.
|u||/ʌ/ or /ə/|
Vowels are long in stressed syllables, and short in unstressed syllables. The vowel y, however, will always be long when it is the last letter in a word.
Note that oi is never a diphthong, and represents two separate sounds: [oʊ.ɪ]
Consonants are much the same as English, with the following exceptions:
- c always represents the sound /k/, never /s/.
- g always represents the sound /ɡ/, never /dʒ/.
- dd is a single letter, and represents the voiced sound /ð/.
- (The unvoiced sound /θ/ will always be spelled with th.)
- r seems to be a trill (/r/), rather than an approximant (/ɹ/).
- rh is a voiceless r (/r̥/). In Eldidd province, it is almost indistinguishable from r. It is pronounced with a puff of breath before the r, in Deverry Proper it could be spelled as hr.
- w is the consonant /w/ when it follows d, g, or t.
Note the following rules:
- Doubled consonants are both pronounced.
- Primary stress is generally on the penultimate syllable, though placenames and compound words are often the exception.
The kingdom is divided into nine provinces: Eldidd, Pyrdon, Arcodd, Gwaentaer, Cerrgonney, Cantrae, Deverry, Auddglyn, and Cwm Pecl.
The Deverrian political system is feudal. At the top of the hierarchy is the High King, who has his court in the Holy City, Dun Deverry. The highest rank of nobility below the royal family is that of gwerbret. A gwerbret swears fealty directly to the High King, and has jurisdiction over a large region, called a gwerbretrhyn (from rhan, roughly meaning "demesne"). A gwerbret does not generally exert direct authority over the entire gwerbretrhyn; part of the rhan is divided among a number of vassals of intermediate rank, called tieryns. A Tieryn, in turn, has as vassals all the lowest-ranking nobles, simply called "lords" (Deverrian arcloedd), within his tierynrhyn. The lords have direct fealty from the common-born. The lowest rung on the social ladder are the bondsfolk (serfs).
When a tieryn dies without an heir, the tierynrhyn reverts to the presiding gwerbret, who chooses the next tieryn. If a gwerbret dies without an heir, however, the new gwerbret is chosen by a Council of Electors. In either case, once a successor has been chosen, the rhan and rank become hereditary again.
Deverrian society is characterized by continual internal warfare. Each lord has a warband, or personal army, and the various lords (or entire clans) always seem to have something to fight about, most frequently territory or honor. Sometimes, a war becomes a "blood feud," which can last for generations.
The people of Deverry do not worship a single god, but instead have a pantheon containing a large number of deities, each with his or her own areas of interest and influence. The deities in the Deverry pantheon appear to derived from the beliefs of both mainland Gallic Celts as well as the Celts of the British Isles.
- Bel: The chief god in the Deverrian faith. Bel is the Belenus of the historical Celts. His holiday is Beltaine. A sun god and lawgiver, Bel is also the king of all the other gods. Priests of Bel shave their heads, and wear golden torcs around their necks.
- Tarn: A god of weather and storms, based upon the Celtic god of thunder, Taranis, a cognate to the Norse Thor.
- Wmm: A god of knowledge and learning based upon the Celtic Ogmios. He is associated with pelicans. Priests of Wmm refrain from drinking alcohol.
- Mannanan: The Celtic Manannan mac Lir, a god of the sea.
- Lugh: Lugh is a Celtic god cognate to Vulcan, who patronizes artisans and craftsmen in Deverry.
- Agwen: The Celtic Abhean, patron of bards.
- Kerun: A horned god, Cernunnos was the Celtic god of the hunt and wildlife.
- Nwdd: Nodens, a Celtic god of trade and commerce.
- The Goddess of the Moon: She is the "One Goddess" with four aspects (the fourth of which has no name and is frequently overlooked). She is not given a proper name in Deverry. Her priestesses are marked with a blue tattoo of a crescent moon. Her aspects, respectively representing harvest, love, motherhood, and destruction, are:
- The Lord of Hell: A death god, not given a proper name in Deverry. Possibly cognate to Welsh Arawn or Pwyll. In Deverrian belief, the nine Hells are filled with ice.