The White Nation of the
Setting Moon, The Moon Nation,
Ruled by the Veldonaccii
The White Nation of the Setting Moon was a Nation hostaged to the Wood Clans. Originally, the humans had pushed down the River Bras after they had crossed the Grey Mountains, unknowing that they had the Oak to the south of them and the Holly to the North. After a vicious battle, the White Nation was cut off, more than a month's journey to the west of the rest of the Horse People. Because of this, after ten generations (about 200 years) they had adopted many of their own habits and were more like the Holly than other Nations were like their Patrons. For instance, telepathy was common in much of the royal family, where magical skills rarely spread to any of the other queens' children. They also looked very like, with the occasional exception of a family member who favored the ancient local people called the Anu who had curly brown hair and darker skin.
The Veldonaccii, like the Holly, very very tall, with long, straight black hair and abnormally white skin. Most of the royal family had the Veldonacci "look" of the straight black brows, deep-set eyes, long, straight nose and thin lips. They were also very bony. The women were often as large as the men and many of them were also large of girth as well as bony and muscular. Most of them were a head taller than the members of the other Nations, even the larger peoples of the Druaccii and the Donaccii. Part of this may be due to the rich dairy and wheat grown in the fields watered by the Bras.
The Veldonaccii, unlike their Eastern cousins, were dairy herders, not after meat and skins but cheeses to trade east. They also grew wheat of a rich variety that was sought after in the East for breads. However, their most famous product was nettle linen. The nettle fields stretched for miles around Dumona where the marshy, rich soil, contributed to the plants growing as tall as a man. Flax was also grown and many other crops found in more agricultural societies. However, the Veldonaccii were Horse People, and their pride was their ponies, of a tougher, older stock than those of the East. The ponies could not go up the Road, for the Tree Clans forbade "slave animals" in the Wood, but the Veldonacci raced them and rode them locally and too great pride in their long, glossy coats.
The seasons of Dumona were much milder than those of the Plain, for they were near the sea. The other of their priceless crops was salt, yet the journey to the sea for salt was hazardous in the extreme for the lower Bras was in the territory of the Willow Clan who were headhunters. Salt gatherers were a rare breed; they had to be able to brave the Willow, for which they could get rich or suffer years of torment as slaves and then as skins on the drums of those primitive people. The life of a trader up the Bras to Belva was almost as risky for the road was long through the hostile lands of the Holly. The Oak were even more hostile and regularly took slaves. Each trading caravan had to be escorted by the Birch or the Holly and well guarded against the renegade Oak. Once past the Lakes, the journey through the mountains was difficult and often stopped by avalanches or weather. Most of the people of Dumona were very content to live there and never see anyone outside of their small Nation.
The exception were the royal Veldonaccii, who loved to travel. They were also great athletes and often went east to attend the international hurling competitions, races, carnivals and festivals. Although they could not take any of their own horses east, they owned horses in eastern households and raced them there. The Veldonaccii were popular with some Nations and unpopular with others. Their Animal College was extremely well known and visited by eolas and journeymen from all over the East. They had the only observatory to rival that at Taranhai in the Green Nation, but they were most famous for their schools of engineering, music, and plant breeding.
Cut off from the rest of the Tualárach (the Horse People) the Moon Nation lay deep in the woods of Anieth, surrounded by the Willow, the Holly and the Oak. The Moon Nation was much closer to the politics of the Wood even though they were a sprawling family who bred so many kings that they were known as the "ruling Nation." Many of the queens of the other eight nations feared a Veldonaccii alliance among the kings. However, because of the complex system of election and the trade off each generation of kinds of kings, this was unlikely to happen, until the game was changed and Raol was elected Green Briar King in 357.
However, despite the Alliance, Tuama was not able to hold Correna and the Veldonaccii were defeated again in the sack of Rath Tan and the Siege of Correna, leaving Ula to rouse the rest of the Nations at the Corr of the Avena against the Zelosians which left virtually every warrior in the Nine Nations dead.
As you can see from this family tree, the Veldonaccii were many and were deeply involved with their patrons, the White Holly. The White Holly had to be more involved with this group of humans than any other because of the threat by the Willow, who were cannibals. Over the years, the Veldonaccii grew very much like the Holly and some of the men carried the genetic "white rage" or the berserk. The Veldonaccii were finally destroyed when they were betrayed by Briau to go to the aid of Ula at the Corr of the Avena without an escort of the Holly. They were massacred at the Fords of the Bras by the Black and Red Holly who were threatened by the violation of several laws. (See History.)
The Veldonaccii queens were more variable than the other queens. The Holly gene would run strong, or the Wolf gene would run strong, but then might virtually disappear in one generation. Personalities tended to affect the magic of the Wolf and Holly more so than with the other Nations and their patron clans. Meabh Veldonacca was a social wolf with a sprawling family who were very martial and loved to hunt. Her granddaughter, Cuadhe Veldonacca, was a quiet, asocial wolf queen who wanted no more than to stay on her island and study. Aífe Veldonacca was a Holly queen of immense power, but very easy-going and open, encouraging an atmosphere of unprecedented scholarship in the arts. Her granddaughter, Briau, not only did not pass her initiation, but brought down her entire family through her political machinations.
The other interesting member of this family was the Wolf King, Breon Amlaraniu. Through his escapades, a serious strain of witchcraft was introduced into the Veldonaccii family. Half-breed children of the Clans and the Humans were always killed. The magic was highly unstable and more often drove humans insane than benefited them. The queens were closely watched and underwent intense initiation rituals to test for madness. However, among the old native of the wood who were ruled by the Veldonaccii, half-breeds often were undiscovered or overlooked. Two strains of half-breeds came into the Veldonaccii family through Breon's matings with the witch, Calli, and her half-breed slave, Imig.