Excerpt from Page 135 of Reflections on the Society, Culture and Mythology of the Aboriginal Hibernians

…The backbone of a tribal chieftain’s army is the kern, a sort of light infantryman, who stands in sharp contrast to the heavier gallowglass mercenary. These ruffians, for that is the best description for them, gather beneath the banner of the strongest and most brutal of their brethren, forming bands of warriors who traverse the marshy wastelands of Hibernia, terrorising and abusing the peasantry with impunity. From what I have observed, it seems that these formations coalesce into the ruling order, with the will of the chieftain enforced by means of intimidation and punitive violence, often carried out by these kern soldiers. In as much as I can make any sense of their organisation, it seems that officers, for want of a better word, are selected by means of a ‘survival of the fittest’ system, much like that which governs the selection of the chieftain. The kern seem to be entirely separate from their elite counterparts, although they show the gallowglasses due deference, lest they come to a sudden and violent end. I must say it strikes me as a marvel that any order is maintained by the warlord among his men at all. Nonetheless the ferocity of the kern has been remarked upon by numerous sources, and if it in any way measures up to their uncouthness of manner and surliness of demeanour I shouldn’t be in the least surprised…

 

Excerpt from Page 135 of Reflections on the Society, Culture and Mythology of the Aboriginal Hibernians by Lady Florence Kingsley-Bird, 12th Baroness Pfeiffer.

Add new comment