The history of the story is essentially correct until the year AD69. Although only Cartimandua, Venutius, Vellocatus and the named Romans are factual people. In our timeline, Venuitus did manage to oust Cartimandua from the throne of Brigantia, but unfortunately he did not fair so well with the Romans, who, as we all know, remained for many years after.
Whilst I have tried to keep facts correct to the time period, I have played around with a number of facts. This is after all, a work of fiction.
All the tribes mentioned existed at the time. The Vacomagi were thought to inhabit Strathspey thought there is no proof they were the inhabitants of Dun da Lamh fort.
The names used come from either the Pictish King List or else they are made up, with the exception of Kariss, Naraic and Cobolam. (See their own sections )
All the gods in the story are real and were worshipped by the Iron Age people or the Romans. Many are still worshipped today. Of course, there were many more and a number were very localised. Unfortunately, I did not have a druid to speak to them all for me and find out their exact locations.
Places, Hills & Trees
The vast majority of places are taken from historical record, the ruins of many can still be visited today.
The mountains keep their names as silent reminders of the importance of the gods. Even The Caillean, now known as Shiehallion (Fairy Hill of the Caledonians) has kept its tales of hidden passageways and connections to the other world.
All but one of the stone circles and burial mounds (the one next to the Gask Ridge Tower) are real, apart from any that were added during the story. As is the yew tree tree Fionntan (though it does not bear that name). The Fortingall Yew is reputed to be 5,000 years old and can be found in Fortingall churchyard.
Tigh na Cailleach or Tigh nam Bodach , in Glen Lyon is said to be the oldest continuous pagan shrine in Britain.
Many of you may have recognised Barmrr Craggs as Brimham Rocks in Yorkshire. The cave with the magic waterfall/pool in Seven Druids, is now known as Mother Shipton’s cave and petryfying well. The cave further along the valley, is St Robert’s Cave.
All the forts named are factual – The only one I changed the name of was Wendell. It is actually the the fort at Barwick in Elmet, which sits across two small hills. One of which is called Wendell Hill. It was such a lovely name that I borrowed it.
Is based on my son Ciaran, who missed so much of his childhood looking after me when I was too ill to look after myself. I will never be able to give him back those years but I can make him a hero.
Kariss is named after an old woman I knew as a young child. She was the bravest person I have ever met. Living alone and suffering numerous heart attacks and increasing blindness. she faced her situation with fortitude and determination. Hearing her tell of a lonely night spent on the floor amidst a massive heart attack with no way of getting help has stayed with me all my life.
All B12 deficiency sufferers will understand this name. Cobalamin is B12 and vital for our health. Those of us who have to self inject know it is the difference between life and death.
Any errors I have made with the facts, are entirely my own and were probably intentional for the story. (At least that is my excuse, and I am sticking with it.)
If you have any queries about any of the locations or facts in The Albion Chronicles, or my other books, please get in touch. I love to hear from readers and am happy to answer any questions.