Familiarise Friday is delighted to interview Brennus of Garrigill. Brennus plays a minor role in my first historical novel - The Beltane Choice.
Readers of The Beltane Choice adventure romance will be happy to know Brennus' own story is almost complete-another exciting adventure in Celtic/ Roman Britain AD 71 -84.
(See below a first ever image of this handsome young warrior who is Garrigill's Tribal Champion.)
Welcome to Familiarise Friday, Brennus, and thank you for taking time to talk to me.
Funny, large, brave, loyal, unbeatable, handsome
I have to agree with the handsome! Where are you currently living?
I live at the hillfort of my father, Tully. He is the chief at Garrigill.
Have you live there all of your life?
Aye! I have, though when I was younger my father’s roundhouse was not so large, or impressive, as it is now. Since he built his current huge one he can accommodate many more people at a gathering. Tully is a very hospitable man- except to our tribal enemies when he has a biting tongue.
What’s your main occupation just now?
I am the Tribal Champion which means I excel at one-to-one combat. None can beat me or surpass my strength and height. And since I am the most worthy warrior I also have the job of training our stripling warriors at combat. I teach them to wield their long Celtic swords and shields as well as I do- though none can beat me just yet!
Does that occupation make you happy?
Aye, indeed! I love being Tribal Champion and many say I can weave a good story about my skills as well. They like to hear my singing and flute playing too.
As a youngster did you think you’d end up with this particular occupation? If not, how did you view your future?
I am the fourth son of Tully, with none of my older brothers much older than I am, so it was not so likely I would be chosen as chief of the tribe for many long years to come - though a tribal chief is chosen by merit, not just because we are the sons or daughters of a chief.
My brothers Aran and Lorcan, the oldest two, grew up also as fine warriors but neither grew as tall as I did. I have much sadness just now as it is not long since Aran passed over to the otherworld. He was slain by our tribal enemies, the Selgovae, but we made sure to retaliate in proper Celtic fashion. Lorcan, next oldest born, has the tongue for being a negotiator and tribal representative. That job is not something I would wish for. I am not sure how good I would be as an emissary. That takes a different sort of dedication and I am not sure that skill lies in me- I am too hasty and too wanting to use my sword first!
The brother just older than I am is Gabrond. He is the finest animal handler I have ever encountered. If Gabrond cannot win over an untamed horse, then that horse will never be ridden. So in my youth, with those fine brothers all older than I am, I had to ensure that I was stronger and more skilled with my sword to earn my rightful place in our tribe!
What’s your favourite reading material?
I do not fully understand this concept. The Celts’ learning only transfers by word of mouth. I know many stories, and can recite them around a hearthside, but we do not write them down. However, the Roman scum who have infiltrated our lands - they scribble all day on little wax tablets and I have heard they scratch marks on a kind of rolled skin. I have not yet seen these rolled messages, but someday I probably will.
To avoid a dull life what would you change first?
I have no need to change my life. I can do no better than be tribal champion. Though, perhaps in a while I may need to answer your question if someone eventually learns to best me. Since I am only one and twenty winters, that time - I hope - is long away.
Who, or what, is the love of your life?
If you mean a woman I have not yet met the woman who will claim all of my heart. I do, however, love to bed any woman who chooses me at Beltane! And in between those festival times I find myself quite a poplar mate. Otherwise my sword is my love, and my task as Champion is my passion.
What is your favourite way to travel?
We Celts walk a lot but I do love to ride a fine stallion when possible. Our Celtic horses tend to be small for a large man like me but Gabrond has some larger stock in the animal pens and I love to travel on them. Rowan, the Roman chestnut stallion, which came to us through our capture of Nara of the Selgovae is a very fine horse to ride. It is much larger then most of horse stock and is a fine spirited animal. Otherwise I also love the exhilaration of chariot riding. There is little better then holding the reins as a little wicker sided light chariot flies across the terrain.
That has to be to defeat the Roman turds on our lands! They creep north into our Brigante countryside and battle will be the only way for us to repel them from this island they have named Britannia!
Thank you so much for joining me today, Brennus of Garrigill.
Familiarise Friday wishes you well in your future tasks and looks forward to sharing your own story soon.