The Brigantes are a large British tribe of northern England, known as "the bearers of the Blue Warshields".

Timeline Edit

  • 52 CE (Song for a Dark Queen) – Queen Cartimandua turns Caratacus over to the Romans.
  • 49 CE (SFADQ) – Ostorius Scapula establishes frontier defences against Brigantes and Silures.
  • 61 CE (SFADQ) – Warbands under Tigernann join Boudicca's forces.
  • 79 CE (Eagle's Egg) – Eburacum improved under Agricola's civic building campaign.
  • 117 CE (The Eagle of the Ninth) – Brigantes and Iceni revolt. VI Victrix replace IX Hispana in Eburacum.
  • 123 CE (Rome Builds a Wall) – Hadrian's Wall completed on the northern frontier.
  • 124 CE (EOTN) – Cunoval's clan revolted over taxes and was destroyed.
  • c. 120 or 130 CE (Outcast) – Wife and son of Justinius die of fever during a visit to her kin.
  • c. 450s (The Lantern Bearers) – Brigantes do not recognise Ambrosius as Prince of Britain.
  • 480s CE (Sword at Sunset) – Octa Hengestson occupies Eburacum. Brigantes join Artos to retake it.

Song for a Dark Queen Edit

The Brigantes are an unconquered tribe beyond the frontier of Roman Britain. Under Queen Cartimandua they cooperate with the Romans, but later some join Boudicca's rebellion under the leadership of Tigernann, principally for the sake of plunder.

  • (5) "Ostorius Scapula began the making of a frontier line; road and fosse and string of forts, running all the way from the hunting runs of the Dumnoni in the far south-west, up to their great new fortress they call Lindum beyond the settlements of the Parisi. This was for a defence against the hill tribes beyond, the Bearers of the Blue Warshields, and the Silures who were still carrying on their own war with Caratacus to lead them at that time."
  • (6) "Caratacus, after nine years' warfare in the western hills, had gone to walk in chains in a Roman triumph, betrayed into the Red Crests' hand by the Queen of the Brigantes"
  • (10) [Joining the Iceni hosting] "Princes of the Brigantes from over beyond Ostorius Scapula's old border, the Bearers of the Blue Warshield, the proudest of the proud."
  • (10) "And the Catuvellauni and the Brigantes looked at each other, remebering that when Caratacus had gone for refuge to the Brigantian Queen, she had handed him over for a gift to Rome."
  • (10) "And throughout the third day and far into the night, in small bands already drunk with the promise of war, came the Brigantes, with their blue-painted warshields and their great spears crying out for blood."
  • (12) [Battle of Camulodunum] "it was found that the three warbands of the Brigantes, and a scattering of men from the Coritani and Cornovi, having gathered all that they could carry, had taken their horses and melted away in the night."
  • (12) 'We are no vassals of yours, Lady, when we choose to go, we shall go.' – Tigernann
  • (12) 'As to the freedom – we have freedom enough beyond the frontier, while we have our hills and our high moors and our peat bogs among which the Red Crests do not know the way. We will join with you in tearing Londinium to rags, if it pleases us, or we will go home now, if that pleases us better. Or it may even be that we will go and offer our spears to the Red Crests, for I am thinking that they will be grateful for every spear-arm they can get, just now.' – Tigernann

Eagle's Egg (79 CE) Edit

"Eagle's Egg" does not specifically refer to the Brigantes, but takes place partly in Eburacum, the Roman fort that became the main settlement in their territory. Under General Agricola the town is in the process of putting up a Roman-style basilica.

  • "At summer’s end, when Agricola came back out of the wilds, he let it be known that there would be help from the Treasury for any town that liked to smarten itself up, with a new bath-house, say, or a council chamber or a triumphal arch. Somehow he’d got it into the heads of the local chiefs that it was beneath their dignity to live in towns that looked like broken-down rookeries, while in the south of Britain the people had public buildings that Rome herself would I not be ashamed of. So architects and craftsmen were got up from the south and back in the autumn Eburacum had started building a fine new Council Chamber."

Rome Builds a Wall (123 CE) Edit

The Brigantes, the tribe immediately south of the new frontier Wall, are the subject of mutual livestock reiving with those north of it, which the wall makes inconvenient.

The Eagle of the Ninth (120s CE)Edit

Esca Mac Cunoval is a younger son of a chief whose family and clan were wiped out by the Romans after a revolt.

  • (6) 'My father was a Clan Chieftain of the Brigantes, lord of five hundred spears. I was his armour-bearer until such time as I became a warrior in my own right – among the men of my tribe that happens after the sixteenth summer. When I had been a year or more a man among men and my father's charioteer, the Clan rose against our overlords, for the lust for freedom that was in us. We have been a thorn in the flesh of the Legions since first they marched north; we, the bearers of the blue war-shield. We rose, and we were beaten back. We made our last stand in our strong place, and we were overwhelmed. Those of the men's side who were left – there were not many – were sold as slaves.' – Esca
  • 'The whole North went up in flames, and barely had we settled with the Brigantes and the Iceni when we were ordered up into Valentia to hammer the Caledonians. ...leaving a cohort to garrison Eburacum and be cut to shreds by the Brigantes if they happened to feel like it,' – Guern
  • 'It is the Dance of the New Spears,' Esca told him as the two lines swept together with upraised shields. 'So, we dance it, too, we the Brigantes, on the night our boys become men.'
  • 'You come of the Brigantes, do you not? More than once I have seen Cub's brethren [wolves] running among the dog-packs of your tribe, and wondered how –' – Claudius Hieronimianus

Swallows in the Spring (130 CE)Edit

Dexius's first promotion entails managing a Brigantes labour team in Eburacum.

  • "We did most of the work ourselves, of course; in the Legions you dig your own ditches and build your own walls; if you don’t, nobody else builds them for you—the skilled work, that is, with native labour teams to cart stone and mix mortar and provide power for the cranes, and the like. A good many of them used to be pressed men in the early days, though there were always some who came in for the sake of regular meals. They were a wild lot, and needed a bit of handling. It wasn’t so long since the Brigantes had been the most warlike of the Tribes, as well as the biggest; the Bearers of Blue Warshields, and they were still apt to remember it when they got drunk or when anyone trod on their toes. I ought to know, I had the handling of a team. . . ."

Outcast (140s CE)Edit

Justinius's wife was Brigante, and she and his son died in childbirth while among them. Justinius calls them "a tribe that has never taken kindly to the Eagles."

The Lantern Bearers (450-70s CE) Edit

The Brigantes of this period are not allied with Ambrosius, claimant to the High Kingship of Britain.

  • 'If we could have one victory!' Ambrosius cried. 'One victory to sound like a blast of trumpets through the land! Then we should gather to our standard not merely a gallant handful here and there, but the Princes of the Dumnonii and the Brigantes with their whole princedoms behind them. Then we might indeed have a Britain whole and bonded together to drive the Sea Wolves into the sea!'

Sword at Sunset (480s CE) Edit

Tribe of the territory around Eburacum, with woad-stained shields. Join Artos to attack Octa in Eburacum.

  • "the folk of the Northern Moors had gone back to their old ways in dress as in most other things" (7).
  • "The Brigantes had always been a wild proud lot; they had never fallen fully into Roman ways" (10).


  • Cartimandua
  • Cunoval
  • Esca Mac Cunoval
  • Guern (SAS)
  • Tigernann
  •  ? Citizens of Eburacum c. 488 CE (SAS)
    • Helen
    • Jason the Swordsmith
    • Sylvianus
    • Nuns of the House of Holy Ladies
      • Abbess
      • Sister Ancheret
      • Sister Honoria
      • Sister Praxedes
      • Sister Rufia


  • Eburacum (York) & surrounding territory
    • Roman fort
    • Temple of Sulis (EE)
    • Council Chamber (EE)
    • The House of Holy Ladies, in the Street of Clothmakers (SAS 19)