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ADJECTIVE Persistence and resilience to the point that all obstacles are exhausted or broken.

His strength could not match her liorán resistance.

NOUN The trait of one who defeats their foes by tiring and annoying them to exhaustion.

The lion may have had size, but the fly had liorán.

Anglish Synonyms 

indefatigable, incessant, importunate, moxy


Understanding the concept of liorán is important to understanding Gaellician culture. There is no direct translation of the word to Anglish or any other language. It is best understood and taught through examples. Imagine a fight between a heavyweight boxer and a small, yet agile individual. The boxer throws all of their power and strength into every punch while the opponent does their best to avoid being hit altogether. When they are hit, the opponent is quick to repair themselves and return to their feat. In counter attacking the light fighter only slaps the boxer, but in strategic locations. In this scenario, the boxer tires themselves out before the lighter opponent, leaving themselves unable to adequately counter a sudden lightning attack where the light opponent has channeled all of their remaining energy and force.

The term has its origins in the mythical heroine Líorna who is said to have led successful resistance to the Aroman invasion of Adrarus through persistent yet small-scale acts. Her exploits are documented in a popular ancient poem which went on to have significant influence on the Gaellician national identity. Gaellicians view their nation as liorán in the face of adversity and hardship. It is common thinking that one must face challenges in their life with liorán.

Excerpt from the Graham Crichton Gaellician Cultural Dictionary, 10th Edition. Copyright 2017, Loriet University Press.

Edited by Gaellicia (see edit history)
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Chapter I: Meet Cute

Merida grumbled as she walked. Precariously, she was calculating sums with pencil and paper on the back of a stack of folders whilst navigating the winding halls of the treasury ministry. Automatically she rounded a corner. 


“Feck!” She swore. “Watch where you’re going. No, I meant that for myself. I’m so sorry I’m a fool. Feck sorry for swearing. Feck I did it again.” 

She got on her arms and legs and scrambled to pick up the mess. She had walked right into another person. 

“It’s quite alright. I’ve heard worse, believe me.” Said a masculine sounding voice. 

Merida became aware of the presence of someone joining her on the ground. ‘Swip. Swip. Swip.’ The sound of paper being scraped off the floor and being slotted back into the folders. Soon nearly all the papers were back in their homes. Merida’s hand went to the sum sheet she’d been working on. She felt something like an electric shock as the man’s hand went to the same paper. She flinched and retracted her hand while looking up to actually see who she’d bumped into. A naval officer in his service dress uniform, peaked cap perfectly aligned on his head. He had stunning green eyes like the sea. 

He smiled. “I wish I could help you with these sums” he tapped the sheet of paper “but I’m afraid my math strength lies in geometry and trigonometry.” The officer handed her back the sheet of paper. 

Merida blushed. “Oh you’ve helped enough already.” She winced, worried as if she’d come across as ungrateful or cold. “Really thank you, I’m sorry for making such a mess.” 

“It’s really no issue. A good day to you madame.” He touched the brim of his cap before picking up his briefcase.”

Merida stammered before managing to get out, “And with you.” 

The officer rounded the corner while Merida swore to herself. She looked back down at the sheet of paper feeling another electric feeling. The answer to the sum had come to her. She jotted it down furiously. 


Margaret McGillis typed aggressively, shaking her head as she highlighted large sections of text before striking it through. Working hard, she paid no mind to the workmen around her moving and rearranging filing cabinets, tables, and desks. Boxes of files were being packed and unpacked, paintings and decorations hung on walls. Somewhere a hammer banging a nail could be heard. McGillis and her laptop were perched on the corner of her desk. The rest of it was covered with files as there wasn’t a cabinet to store them in yet. 

Despite the office chaos and disorder, McGillis herself was immaculate. Her shirt and pants were precisely smoothed without wrinkles, her hair too was styled as if for TV. She was interrupted from her work by the cough of her secretary Cathal Sheen

“Your 11 o'clock is here ma’am.”

The new Treasury Minister typed a final sentence furiously before shutting her laptop and standing. 

“Which one is that now Cathal?” 

“The Naval Liaison you requested. Ceannasaí Eoin Dundas.” her secretary replied while helping her into her matching suit jacket. 

“Cathal can we get these workmen an early lunch. Difficult to make introductions when ya can hardly be heard.” 

“I’ll see to it ma’am.” He responded officially. 

As Cathal spoke with the workmen, Margaret thumbed through one of the stacks of papers on her desk. Each pile was squared and arranged immaculately, much like her dress. She pulled the documents she was looking for, placed them in a folder, and stepped from behind the desk. 

“I’m ready now. Thank you Cathal. And thank you gentlemen.” She nodded in thanks to the workmen.

As the secretary and the workmen exited, a tall, broad shouldered man in a crisp naval uniform entered carrying a briefcase. He saluted informally before removing his cap and tucking it underneath his right arm. 

“Welcome Ceannasaí.” McGillis extended her hand. 

Dundas awkwardly placed his briefcase on the ground before shaking McGillis’ hand. “A pleasure to be here ma’am.”

“Please come take a seat.” She motioned to two arm chairs positioned nicely by the office’s window. At least this part of the room seemed more or less workable. “I apologize for the mess. We’re still getting settled in here as you can see.” 

“It’s no worry ma’am, really.” 

“Oh please. Call me Margaret. And I should call you?” 

Dundas paused for a moment before answering. “Eoin is fine ma’am, I mean Margaret.” 

“We’ll work on that.” McGillis chuckled. “Now you’re probably keen to know what this posting is all about eh? Before I tell you more, let me emphasize that this assignment is confidential. I’m told that you can be discreet Ceannasaí, Eoin” 

“Indeed, I can do that. If I may…” Dundas searched for the right words. Not nervous, but treading carefully. “May I ask a question… Margaret?” 

“Well I certainly hope so.” McGillis ribbed. “That’ll be your main task while here.”

“I was requested specifically. Why is that?”

“Well Ceannasaí, this assignment will be all about finding the truth, no matter how uncomfortable. In the spirit of that, I’m going to be completely honest and blunt. I’m using you for your family lineage, your last name. I’m hoping that it will insulate you somewhat on this assignment. You’re gonna be ruffling feathers, taking names, asking questions that people won’t like. On top of that though, I looked at your file. You’ve got quite the impressive career under your belt for a man of thirty four. Top of your class at Tipperary, earned the golden marlin spikes* on your senior Ruaraidh cruise, geltic football team, got your name on a published paper. All of this while still in the academy. You got yourself promoted fast. Lefteanant-Cheannasaí by your late twenties. Two commands, including a missile boat. War college. Glowing recommendations from the majority of your COs. Liaison with the Armada Iverica just last year, so you’ve got good people skills. I could go on but I think you get my point. You didn’t get here just from your name, you’ve been making like you have something to prove. I need you to channel that fire into this assignment.” 

*A special honor reserved for only one midshipmen at the naval academy per year. It is awarded to the midshipman who displays beyond exceptional seamanship and marine navigation aptitude in addition to leadership of their peers. It is awarded at the completion of the third year (senior) midshipmen's cruise aboard Ruaraidh. The award is worn with most dress uniforms as two golden spikes pinned to both ends of the officer's collar along with a small ribbon above the officer's left breast pocket.

Dundas nodded. “Understood.” 

She handed Eoin the folder. “You can dive through here after the meeting. You’re going to be auditing the Navatorm. The Revenue Commissioners, in the midst of an audit of a marine parts seller and maintenance contractor, flagged something for our attention. The firm was overbilling. Charging for more work hours than it was providing. The difference was being funneled into a separate account. An account that we’ve observed being drawn from by naval officers.”
“Sounds like quite the conspiracy.” He quipped dryly before continuing. “With all due respect ma’am, I’m no forensic accountant though.”

“Oh I’m perfectly aware. I’ve seen your Academy Economics grade.” Dundas tried and failed to suppress himself blushing. “You’re going to be working alongside one of my people. I wish I could have a whole team on this, but for now it needs to remain small. This is a preliminary audit. What might you call it in the military? A reconnaissance mission? Anyways you have to be quiet so that we don’t draw too much attention. All you’re doing is determining the scale of financial impropriety, and if you can, an idea of what the funds are being used for. Once you’re done with that, Revenue will take over with a proper audit appropriate to the scale of the issue. Your primary role here is to find answers to questions that a treasury employee would not be able to easily answer. Technical questions regarding naval and military matters. As for questions, do you have any?” 

“I’m sure I will after viewing the report, but the assignment itself is clear to me.” Dundas bowed his head politely. 

“Excellent.” McGillis stood. “Cathal!” The secretary opened the office’s double doors and stepped in. “Cathal will show you to your office and introduce you to your partner in this endeavor. Good luck to you Eoin.” 

“Thank you ma’am. Margaret I mean.” Dundas said while standing. 

McGillis chuckled. “Like I said, we’ll get it right... eventually.”

Dundas followed Cathal out of the office and down a series of corridors, mulling over the task before him. 


OOC: Special thanks to @Iverica for all his help with figuring out the economics parts.

Edited by Gaellicia (see edit history)
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  • 4 months later...

Chapter II: Vocabulary Lesson

After winding down and down to the bottom floor of the building, Cathal and Eoin finally arrived at their destination. Cathal opened the door to a dark, square office. A squeaky ceiling fan provided most of the light, with a single, barred window for a small amount of natural light. The window was seated where the ceiling met the wall, directly across from the door. The walls perpendicular to the door were mostly empty bookshelves and filing cabinets. Two metal desks lined the far wall with a wastebasket in between them, on top of each sat an aging computer. In the middle of the room was a well-loved wooden reading and writing desk. To the right of the door stood a coat rack and to the left a single lonely plant pot.

Dundas removed his hat and placed it on the coat rack while laying his briefcase on the writing desk. “I suppose I know what desk is mine.” He gestured to the empty right computer desk. A stack of papers was already accumulating on the left desk. “Certainly an older setup down here.”

“Indeed. I’m afraid that computers are in short supply. Projects that get more up-to-date hardware tend to draw attention. The goal is to keep it low-key.”

Dundas nodded. 

“Now you will notice that the shelves are rather sparse at the moment. You’ll fill them up over time. We’re leaving it up to you and Ms. Menzies to figure out what reference materials you will need. The computers have access to a comprehensive database of records. Some are available electronically, while others you will need to acquire physical copies. For physical copies you can put in a request for delivery, but be wary, it may be more discrete for particular files to go to the archives and make your own copies, no doubt where Ms. Menzies is currently. That should about cov-…”

“Why don’t you mind ya own business, ya nyaff? Swear, can nae do anything in government without jervos sticking their nose in your files.” Merida Menzies grumbled while pushing the door to the room open with her back.

Cathal cleared his throat. “Ceannasaí, meet Ms. Merida Menzies. Merida, meet Eoin Dundas, naval liaison to this project.”

Menzies, standing in the doorway clutching a stack of files, flushed red with embarrassment. “Pleasure to see you once again Ceannasaí,” her hands full she half curtsied awkwardly, “and to learn your name this time.” She smiled unconvincingly.

Dundas stepped over to Menzies, helping her with her stack of folders. “Pleasure is mine.” He nodded his head humbly.

Cathal raised an eyebrow, “You two already know each other?”

The pair spoke over each other in response, with an explanation of their earlier encounter discerned.

“It is written, then.” Cathal stepped towards the door. “You two have my secure line of course should there be concerns. Good luck to you both, and good hunting.” He exited and closed the door behind him gently.

There was a reserved silence for a moment as the two remaining took in their surroundings. Finally, Dundas coughed, “Would you like a hand sorting these out?”

Merida replied in the affirmative, “That would be appreciated.” The duo spread the folders on the center desk. “Should be rather easy even for fresh eyes. Match colors together, letters on the tabs in alphabetical order.”

The pair began to make quick work of the files. Very soon, orderly stacks began to form. “So what knowledge is contained in these particular files?” Dundas went about sorting his share of the folders tactically, grabbing a handful and spreading them flat before sorting them into their necessary stacks.

Menzies worked quickly and methodically. She would grab a stack of folders, flip through them, and fan them out in their respective piles like a letter sorting machine. “A variety of things. Really, most of them boring. It's materials necessary to understand a general overview, so Navatorm and military budget breakdowns, muster rolls–” They had sorted all the folders into the respective piles. “Look at that. Goes much faster with an extra set of hands. Alright, so each shelf will have different sections labeled, just put each stack with the matching labels.” The duo got to work storing the files on the shelves. “As I was saying– feck!” She swore as a stack slipped out of her fingers. She blushed as she realized that she’d sworn again in front of her new colleague.

Dundas scooped up the pile and looked for its correct home on the shelves. “Well, at least the vocabulary around here is familiar, even if the rest of the assignment is new.” He chuckled then paused. “I can’t find the shelf for these.”

“Let me see. Oh, they should go here… and it looks like I mislabeled this one. Put that stack here while I fix it.” Menzies rummaged through one of the desk drawers. “Today is not my day, aye. I keep dropping things, misplacing shi- I mean stuff. And I keep swearing like a…”

“Sailor?” Dundas chuckled again as he put away more files.

As she relabeled the errant shelf with a label maker, she quipped, “Maybe that’s the real reason they gave me a Navy fella. They knew you wouldn’t be horrified by my vocabulary.”

All the shelves were now arranged neatly. Dundas smiled, “Here’s to a fruitful, fecking partnership.”

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  • 1 month later...

Chapter III: When a Benny Flaps its Wings

It had been a little more than a week since the formation of the Special Advisory Mission to the Treasury Minister, as it was officially called. Merida and Eoin had taken to calling it the mountain climbing job in honor of the mountain of paperwork that they had to sift through. Though it hadn’t been long, the pair were already getting used to each other. An assignment like this exhausted pleasantries and small talk within the first few days. They were dangerously close to depleting their supply of ‘getting to know you’ questions. There wasn’t really anything else to do other than chat and sort through papers.

Occasionally, often mid-conversation, Merida would hold up her finger and furrow her brown. At first, Eoin would get tripped up by the gesture, but he came to understand it as one of her quirks. It was automatic for her. She needed her full concentration when she stumbled across something while reading that didn’t add up. After reading intensely, she would either flag the offending paper with a post-it note, or if it turned out to be innocuous, she would file it normally. 

On Wednesday, approaching midday, Eoin found it was his turn to be befuddled. While struggling with a particularly dense financial statement Merida had asked him to look at, he found some excuse to check his phone. 

Noticing that her coworker was not currently working, Merida made a request lightheartedly, “Since you’re clearly formulating your plan of attack for those statements, would you mind filling up my cup?” She held up her metal thermos. Up one level, at the end of the hallway, there was a break room with a coffee machine. 

“Be delighted. Just a moment, though.” Eoin shifted his jaw in an away that somehow looked very martial.

Merida was worried something had happened. “Everything alright?” 

“Yes, nothing to be concerned about. It’s just… well, I’ve seen something that got my interest. It doesn’t quite add up.” He handed her his phone so that she could see. A Wittier thread. 


Merida scrolled, trying to nod as if she understood before relenting. “A… plane? What’s special about it?” 

Dundas tried to suppress his dorkiness before unraveling. “Not just any plane. That’s a W1-B variant of the Parthian. The original Parthian was a Gaellician design before the design firm was bought out by an Iverican company and put into production. This W1-B variant has a lot of new features and fancy kit, but the important thing about it is the short take-off and landing ability, something previous aircraft of the type couldn’t do. I suppose the air force could be experimenting with distributed ASW missions. Fly a plane from a forward or improvised air base, perhaps, but I don’t think so.” 

Menzies watched him, having lost the thread entirely by now. Normally, Dundas was not much for words, preferring action. But here the words were flying out, even if some she didn’t have any idea what they meant. Menzies didn’t hate it. It was endearing, actually. Even… cute? A gesture of her hands was enough to convey, ‘What’s your point?’

Seeing that he’d lost his audience, Dundas reeled it in. “All of this is to say, that’s a Navy bird. If it is really Iverican aviators on some kind of liaison mission, then only their Navy flies Parthians. With that variant in particular, it’s optimized for operating on carriers.”

“Carriers? Like a ship? An aircraft carrier?” 

Eoin spun around and began the finicky process of starting up one of the ancient desk top computers. “Yes exactly. Of course, the Navy doesn’t have any aircraft carriers. Well, not any operating ones. Our fleet carrier was retired nearly 12 years ago.”

Merida crossed her arms. “You’re getting all of this from a Wittier post?” 

“I am! Well, no but yes.” The computer bonged loudly. “I identified the aircraft from the Wittier post. The rest, well, I just know.”

“So what are you getting at? Is the Navatorm getting a plane it can’t use? Is that a way for someone to move money around?” 

Eoin paused and turned towards her, slowing down and leveling with her. “Honestly, I don’t know. It just stands out. I think it needs a closer look. It could be nothing, or it could be a lead.”

Merida nodded and uncrossed her arms. “Well, that I can understand.”

She walked over to one of the shelves and pulled files from a spot designated Legislative Approvals and Special Expenses, flipping through to a spot she’d previously flagged with a post-it. The duo were silent as they concentrated.

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