By Feargus MacBain.
Clan MacBain is an ancient clan. It is claimed by some to have sprung from the ancient house of Moray and has several other forms of the name - MacBean and MacVean being two of these. It is historically written that the clan originated from Lochaber in the suite of the heiress of Clan Chattan and settled in Eastern Invernesshire. The truth behind this history is somewhat different. While the historians may be accurate about much of the clans history its origins are actually rooted in legend. The story tells of how Branwen, a woman of great beauty who was of the house of Moray was seduced by the celtic god of the underworld, Arawn, and bore him child. Branwen was married to a great warrior of Moray, whose name was Gregory and she told him that the child was his. Just before the child was born Gregory had a vivid dream in which he was told to name the child Bain (some stories say Bean).
The child was born a healthy normal looking baby but there was something about him which unsettled Gregory. However he looked after his son well and taught him from an early age the arts of fighting and war. Bain proved to be very adept at learning to fight and made his first kill when he was only twelve.
A warrior of a rival clan who was jealous of Gregory's prowess resolves to assassinate him while he slept. Sneaking into the house of Gregory and Branwen he crept to where they lay sleeping. Standing at the foot of the bed he drew his dirk and prepared to slay his sleeping enemy when he suddenly became aware of a figure stood in the shadows watching him.. B
ain as a twelve year old boy had woken and followed the treacherous warrior into his parents room and now stood there by his fathers own broadsword. Seeing Bain, the warrior turned to him and raised the blade to strike. Bain let the warrior come towards him and with cold-blooded precision decapitated the invader in one blow, a mighty feat for a full grown man, never mind a twelve year old boy. The sound of the falling body awoke Bain's father and mother who saw the bloodstained child and headless body at his feet. Gregory was now convinced that there was something strange about his son and took him to see the clans druid.
The druid took one look at the boy and told his father what he was - a mortal man with the blood of the god of death running through his veins. All were sworn to secrecy but from that time on Bain received tutelage from the Druid, who was named Maeldun, in the arts of writing and diplomacy and was taught by both Maeldun and his father to control the powerful blood inside him, for it made him unpredictable and prone to violent outbursts. When he grew old enough to join his father on the battlefield he proved to be an exceptional warrior, the immortal blood within him allowed him to shrug off most minor wounds and the origin of his blood made him a deadly killer.
Thanks to the aid of Maeldun however, Bain had grown to be a good man and eventually he took a wife named Niamh, Niamh bore Bain two children, Logan, boy and Geowin, a girl. Logan was brought up much the same way as his father and received tutelage from the now aged Gregory, Maeldun and his own father, when he came of age Logan took the name MacBain and thus became the progenitor of the Clan MacBain. Geowin grew up to be a beautiful young woman and was wed to a man of the Cawdor family.
Thus began Clan MacBain with the marriage of Logan to a woman named Dalny and the birth of twin sons, Evric and Kai. Both grew up to be great warriors and each settled in a different place, Evric in the North and Kai in the South.The lands of Evric stretched into the lands now known as Orkneyjar. Here the clan near settlements of strange culture, the Norsemen. For the lands were then part of a country called Norsca. In its most western reached Evric had made his home, transported there by the Black wind. For many years the men of Evric's line perpetuated the name MacBain and lived in peace with their immediate neighbours. Conflicts were as always, inevitable, but were always settled properly and with honour.
For over three hundred and fifty years there was relative peace amongst men. The only shaking event during that time was the disappearance of Beren MacBain. Grandson of Evric he was responsible for the construction of Beren's Mace, a mighty artefact which exists to this very day, though it is now dormant. In 221 AF he undertook a quest and vanished into the mists of time.
The Peace changed however, in 381 AF. Ambition burned in the hearts of men, Norse and Celtic alike, and the desire to conquer grew. Clan MacBain was no exception, though it was they who received the brunt of the punishment. The year of 381 AF saw Celts and Norsemen alike invade the lands of western Norsca, their purpose clear. With a confederation of clans and norse tribes the Clan MacBain defended its homeland, led by the able Morda MacBain. The bloodshed was great and many men were killed, including a number of Evric's direct line, Morda himself numbering amongst them..
A great leader he was, and he led the clan well in ,many battles. However the curse laid upon the clan by Bile made itself apparent and Morda was killed at the ripe old age of 271. In one more year the line of Evric lost four generations of the chiefs blood. Strength and determination won out though and it was in the fall of 381 AF that the allies of the clan did force back the invaders to their won lands. Clan warfare is only to be expected from the warlike celts, but it is also a costly thing. Several of the smaller norse tribes were decimated and have long since died out, but Evric's family lived on. Conn MacBain became the next chief and ruled until 390 AF when he vanished without trace while journeying to the southlands.
After him came the rule of "red" Angus MacBain. A mighty warrior he was, who could wield Beren's mace with but one hand. Whereas most celts wore woad of the finest blue Angus gained his name for daubing his body in red woad, symbolising the blood of his enemies and believing it to bring him luck. Angus was chief of the clan until 520 AF, the year of anguish. In 500 AF the lands of Erdreja were plunged into darkness and turmoil, the cataclysm struck. The lands of Western Norsca heaved and rent and the ground was swallowed by water. The lands of MacBain were mostly washed away claiming many lives, and only a small portion remained. For twenty years the clan tried to rebuild their lives, and regain what it had lost.
For twenty years they laboured and toiled to make the lands they still owned great again. Fate however had other plans, for the enemies of the clan had been further inland and had fared better in the cataclysm. In 520 AF they had recovered sufficient strength to form an army and once again struck at the lands they desired a hundred and forty years ago. This time the clan was in disarray, as were their allies. The costal living which had kept them fed and rich for centuries had proved to be their downfall in the cataclysm. The enemy fell upon them like wolves, burning and killing everything in their way. Only desolation was in their wake.
Fleeing in chaos some of the clan managed to escape the wave of death flowing across their homes and escaped to Caledonia. Angus himself died while fighting the enemy, cut don from behind by a cowardly norseman. That fateful day ninety percent of Evric's line was killed, the rest fleeing with as many valuables as they could carry to the lands of Kai, in the far west of Caledonia. Not for another five hundred years would a babe of the clan MacBain draw its first breath on Orcadian soil. Evrics line was not the only clan to suffer at that time. The other tribes and Clans who had stood beside each other in the first Clan War were also ravaged by the raiders, many of the wiped out utterly, others fled to other lands.
The Confederation of Clans known as Ursa was amongst them, and were among the luckier of peoples.For the next five hundred years generation after generation of the decedents of Evric MacBain strove to reclaim their ancestral lands, without success. Most died in the attempt, though it must be noted that significant numbers vanished without trace, just as Conn and Beren all those years ago. Most significant of these were Dohmnull MacBain, Eighth chief of the line, whose disappearance in 642 AF was linked also to the loss of Beren's Mace and the Clan War Banner; Dalzell MacBain, the only chief in the history of the clan to show any magical inclination who vanished at the high point of a ritual in 667 AF; and Evric MacBain who left on a quest seeking his father Calum and the others who had also vanished over the centuries.
Whether he found them is unknown for he too never returned.
In 887 AF Finn MacBain embarked upon a quest to retrieve the War Banner which had been reported to be in the hands of the enemy. He set out with his war band to Orkneyjar. Several weeks later the war band returned bearing the body of Finn shrouded in the remains of the banner. He had singlehandedly slain a hundred of the enemy while storming a mighty fortress and only gave into death when the banner was safely away from the enemy. His body was covered in a multitude of grievous wounds.
A hundred and fifty years later the twenty third chief of Evrics line left the lands of Kai and journeyed alone throughout the world. He appointed his son Elphin chief and embarked upon a great quest. Some ten years later a man returned to the halls of the MacBain Clan. He bore Beren's Mace and upon passing it to his son, Mornan MacBain fell down dead.
The return of the mace and the War Banner strengthened the resolve of the Clan and though the power of the mace now lay dormant, the symbol of the ancient power of the clan was enough to rally men to the banner of MacBain. After years of planning and deliberation the Clan MacBain returned to their homeland. In the early spring of 1050 AF ships bearing the clansmen of Evrics line landed upon the rocky beaches of Orkneyjar and with supernatural fury utterly destroyed the usurpers who had claimed their lands. That Winter, the first time in five hundred years, the cry of a MacBain infant was heard on the island of Orkneyjar.Since that time the title of Chief has been passed on three times.
Elphin was murdered in 1060 AF, whereupon his eldest son Alasdair became chief. When he was killed in 1090 AF, his son Feargus was too young to be chief and so his brother Dyland acted as regent until the child was old enough.
However in 1093 AF Feargus vanished during as trip to Caledonia when his escort was attacked by bandits. Feared dead he returned a few years later and on the eve of Beltaine 1097 AF he was pronounced twenty eighth chief of the Clan MacBain.
Back to Clan Histories