The Orkney Clan
King Lot of Lothian was one of the most, if not the most powerful man in Britain during the interregnum between Uther Pendragon’s death and Arthur’s coronation. He was the last descendant of a line that stemmed from Petrus, the brother of Joseph of Arimethea. And, like the root meaning of his forefather’s name, Lot was as solid and enduring as a rock amidst in the chaos.
He was married to Uther’s step-daughter, Margawse, around the same time Uther took Igraine as his lawful wife. The descendants of Lot and Margawse are the direct members of the Orkney clan. It is called the Orkney clan, rather than the Lothian clan, because Arthur had Lothian taken from Lot’s lands after he rebelled against the Boy King. After his second rebellion ended in his death, Margawse was left only with the rough, primitive and sorcerous northern islands of Orkney as her realm.
The Queen of the Orkneys raised her children well and became one of Britain’s most powerful matriarchs despite the loss of prestige and power at her widowing and loss of control of Lothian. Her romantic dalliance with Arthur shocked the court and resulted in an illegitimate son, Mordred, who she raised within her clan in hope he might someday succeed Arthur.
Indirectly, through Margawse’s sisters, the Orkney clan is related to the other Caledonian noble families of Garlot (through Nentres’ marriage to Elaine) and Gore (through Morgan le Fay’s marriage to King Uriens).
Her sons, the Orkney clan brothers Gawaine, Gaheris, Agravaine and Mordred, are reknown for their hatred of the de Gales clan after King Pellinore de Gales slew their father at the Battle of Castle Terrabel.
Therefore, they slew Pellinore through treachery, as well as his sons Melodiam and Lamorak. The latter was killed after Gaheris discovered Lamorak was the lover of their mother, Margawse. For this outrage to their father’s memory, Gaheris slew his own mother.
As well, the men of Orkney were known as great courtiers and intriguers. Gawaine was known as a great lover of women (both married ones and maidens), and Agravaine and Mordred were reknown for their ability to keep tabs on even the most discrete rendezvous at Camelot.
The youngest Orkney brother, Gareth, known as “Beaumains,” was not blemished by these characteristics of vengeance or intrigue. Neither were his identically-named cousins of Gore, Sir
Ywaine “le Blanchemains” (also known as the “Knight with the Lion”) and Sir Ywaine “le Avoutres.”
Other than the fatal flaw of vengefulness, and often-unseemly intriguing, the Orkney clan was distinguished for their gallantry on the field of battle, honesty and forthrightness, their service to women, their close ties of kinships, and their allegiance to King Arthur.
Theme: The Family (Orkney Clan)
As the Pendragons represent the nation of racially diverse but politically unified tribes (Romans and Celts), the Orkney clan represents the independent nation based upon closely-related, insular, and often in-fighting racial tribes. In particular, the fiercely free people of Scotland.
Lot himself led the rebellion against Arthur. He would not brook any “Boy King” to be his sovereign, unlike the agreeable Welsh King Pellinore, who slew Lot at the Battle of Bedegraine. However, one can imagine it would have been a different history entirely had Lot known Arthur was his brother-in-law.
For the Orkneys, blood is the thickest bond. And as members of the Orkney clan, the sons of Lot stood together united against all transgressors. Pellinore was murdered by the Orkney brothers when they grew bold enough, as were his sons Aglovale and Lamorak, and even their own mother Margawse when it was discovered she was (quite literally) “sleeping with the enemy.”
Yet no one interfered with this harsh punishment, since it was considered a familial affair of the Orkneys. Likewise, the north always kepts its own special customs and sense of justice, based upon tribal laws handed down for centuries. Though Arthur rules all of Briton, the north retained a certain autonomy.
In religious terms, the Orkneys represent the Celtic Christianity of the parish, or tribal cleric. Just as Lot did not readily accept the central rule of any “foreign” king, neither did the people of the Celtic north readily accept the teachings of the central Roman church.
When Saint Ninnian came to convert the peoples north of the Wall, he found he had to do it on a localized, tribalized basis, often adapting Christianity to match the common tribal totemic heathen beliefs of the people to make it acceptable to them. Therefore each clan has its own fiercely-held particular manner to the worship of the Christian God.
Through pagan interpretation of the Orkney clan, King Lot was an aspect of the God of Death, and surely his clan dealt their fair share over the years. At the same time, Gawaine, fair-haired, courtly knight and champion of women, is a solar hero, whose strength rises with the sun and reached its height with the noontime. This strange balance between lightness and dark, good humor and wrathful vengance, has always played a key theme in the Orkney clan.
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