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Provinces of Ireland

Since the early 17th century, there have been four Provinces of Ireland: Connacht, Leinster and Ulster. The Irish word for this territorial division, cúige, meaning "fifth part", indicates that there were once five; the number of provinces and their delimitation fluctuated until 1610, when they were permanently set by the English administration of James I. The provinces of Ireland no longer serve administrative or political purposes but function as historical and cultural entities. In modern Irish the word for province is cúige; the modern Irish term derives from the Old Irish cóiced which meant "a fifth". This term appears in 8th-century law texts such as Miadslechta and in the legendary tales of the Ulster Cycle where it refers to the five kingdoms of the "Pentarchy". In the 12th century Lebor na Cert, the term means province having lost its fractional meaning with seven cúigeadh listed; this seems to be the case in regards to titles with the Annals of Ulster using the term rex in Chóicid for certain overkings.

The origins of the provinces of Ireland can be traced to the medieval cóiceda or "over-kingdoms" of Ireland. There were theoretically five such over-kingdoms, however in reality during the historical period there were always more. At the start of the 9th century the following are listed: Airgíalla, Laigin, Northern Uí Néill, Southern Uí Néill and Ulaid; these seven over-kingdoms are again listed in the 12th-century Lebor na Cert. Each over-kingdom was divided into smaller territorial units, the definition of which, whilst not consistent in Irish law tracts, followed a pattern of different grades. In theory in the early medieval period: A province was ruled by a "king of over-kings", known as a rí ruírech; this was the highest rank allowed for in Irish law tracts despite claims by some dynasties to the symbolic title of rí Temro known as the ard rí. Each province was made up of several petty-kingdoms that corresponded to the size of modern Irish counties or dioceses, were ruled by an overking known as a ruirí.

These túath were ruled by a king, or rí, were known as a rí túaithe, or "king of the people". By the 10th century the rulers of a túath were no longer assumed to be kings but became referred to as tigern or toísech instead; this pyramid structure however by the medieval period had little validity. Paul MacCotter proposes the following structure of lordship in the 12th century: High-king of Ireland; the kingdom of Osraige, which had its genealogy traced back by early Irish genealogists to the Laigin, was part of Mumu from the 6th to 8th century and ruled by the Corcu Loígde dynasty. By the 7th century Osraige had lost their dependence on the Corcu Loígde, with the restoration of the local Dál Birn dynasty. Osraige remained part of Mumu until 859 when Máel Sechnaill I, king of the Uí Néill, forced Mumu to surrender it to his overlordship. After this situation ended it became an independent kingdom which moved towards the Laigin sphere of influence as they sought to claim the Laigin kingship, it was during the 9th century that Osraige, ruled by Cerball mac Dúnlainge, became a major political player.

Airgíalla had come under the dominance of the Ulaid, however Niall Caille, the son of Áed Oirdnide, brought it under the hegemony of the Northern Uí Néill after defeating the combined forces of the Airgíalla and Ulaid at the battle of Leth Cam in 827. After a period of dynastic infighting in the early 12th century, Osraige fragmented and after a heavy defeat at the hands of High-King Muirchertach Mac Lochlainn became part of Laigin. In 1169, the king of Osraige, Domnall Mac Gilla Pátraic, hired the Norman knight Maurice de Prendergast to resist the Laigin king, Diarmait Mac Murchada, who had recruited Norman aid. In 1118, the king of Connacht, Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair, aided the Mac Cárthaigh of south Munster in a rebellion against the ruling Uí Briain dynasty; this resulted in the division of Mumu into two: Tuadmumu to the north under the Uí Briain. Ua Conchobair would conquer the heartland of the Uí Briain situated around modern County Clare and make it part of Connacht; this was to force them to accept king of Desmumu, as the king of Mumu.

Despite Ua Conchobair's aid, Mac Carthaig and the Uí Briain would form an alliance to campaign against Connacht's hegemony, by 1138 ended the threat from that kingdom. The following decades would see Mumu united and repartitioned several times as the Uí Briain and Mac Cárthaigh vied for complete control. In 1168, the king of Connacht, Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair, ensured. After Henry II, king of England, landed in Ireland in 1171, the Mac Cárthaigh submitted to him to prevent an Uí Briain invasion; the Uí Briain followed suit in submitting to Henry II. The eagerness of these submissions encouraged Henry II to revive the papal grant, for Ireland. Osraige would be amongst the first Irish kingdoms to fall following the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1170, wa

Blood Brothers (Lumley novel)

Blood Brothers is the sixth book in the Necroscope series by British writer Brian Lumley, the first book in the Vampire World Trilogy. It was released in 1992, it is revealed that after the Battle in the Garden while recovering from the ravaging of his mind by his son The Dweller, Harry Keogh fathered two sons unknowingly with a Szgany woman Nana Kiklu, in Starside/Sunside. The book covers the boys growing up among the Szgany of Lardis Lidesci. With the vampires destroyed by Harry Keogh and Lady Karen with the help of the wolf The Dweller the Szgany have stopped travelling and settled into towns; the boys grow up with their mother in the Lidesci town named Settlement with their friends and a girl named Misha and Lardis' son Jason. The boys suffer from dreams and sometimes nightmares of people whispering in their graves and they talk to three wild wolves who for reasons unknown to them call the boys their uncles. We learn of a long forgotten part of the world to the far east of the known Starside/Sunside.

Discovered a long time ago by an exiled Wamphyri Lords Turgo Zolte and now home to around 40 Wamphyri Lords and Ladies and similar Szgany tribes all under the command of the Lord Vormulac Unsleep. But whereas the Szgany of old Starside fight back against the Wamphyri, the Szgany in Turgosheim have become worn down and supplicant. Settling in towns and allowing the many Wamphyri to visit and take as they want, using a tithe system where they are forced to choose or find a certain number of "volunteers" to be taken and used by the Wamphyri. Aggravated and tired of the Turgosheim life and aware that the land in the west is free of vampires a group of six travellers flee Turgosheim for the west; as they grow older Nathan and Nestors once close relatationship deteriorates due in part because of their affections for Misha. While they are fighting over the Szgany girl their unprepared village is attacked by the Wamphyri led by Wratha. After the attack Nathan journeys away from Settlement, believing his mother and Misha have been taken by the Wamphyri he ends up alone and destitute and ready to die in the desert.

His deadspeak thoughts are answered by a dead elder of the underground desert dwellers the telepathic Thyre. Wanting to help Nathan the dead Thyre Rogei guides him to a resting place of their ancients where he is found by the guards there. Nestor injured in the attack on the village ends up in the hills, his memory damaged due to a head injury and believing he is a Wampnyri Lord. Nestor witnessing a duel between two Wamphyri Lords, Vasagi the suck and Wran Killglance and part of Wrathas group out of Turgosheim, his intervention in the form of a crossbow bolt fired into Vasagi allows the Killglance Brother to win. He is "rewarded" by Wran for his help with Vasagi's egg and he becomes Wamphyri. Nathan shunned by the dead of the Szgany, is taken in by the Thyre and becomes famous among them, communicating with their dead and making many friends. Nathan becomes a conduit for the dead Thyre to talk to and teach the living Thyre, reuniting lost loved ones and telling them of new contraptions and inventions they have designed while dead.

Learning to use his telepathy while traveling east with the Thyre across their many towns and underground outposts Nathan ends up in Turgosheim. In Turgosheim Nathan finds a supplicant Szgany tribe and is put into the tithe where he is taken to the manse of the Wampnyri Lord Maglore The Mage. Intrigued by Nathans intelligence and demeanour Maglore does not vampirise him, instead choosing to keep him around as a companion or "pet". Nathan spends many months in Maglore's manse learning about Turgosheim and he meets another untouched human, the female Szgany girl Orlea. All the time keeping his powers and mentalism hidden from the Wamphyri Lord Nathan eventually'escapes' on a flyer and goes back to western sunside and the Szgany Lidesci. Where he is reunited with his mother and marries Misha. Upon Nathan's return Nestor is enraged to find him back. Believing in his broken mind that Nathan is an "old enemy" Nestor attacks Nathan and Misha along with his lieutenant Zahar, injured in the brisk skirmish Nestors flyer crashes near a leper colony but not before Nathan is thrown through the Perchorsk gate by Zahar on Nestors orders.

Necroscope pages at Brian Lumley's website Necropaedia: A Guide to the Necroscope series

10th MMC – Kyustendil

10th Multi-member Constituency – Kyustendil is a constituency whose borders are the same as Kyustendil Province in Bulgaria In the 2009 Bulgarian parliamentary election the 10th Multi-member Constituency – Kyustendil elected 5 members to the Bulgarian National Assembly: 4 of which were through proportionality vote and 1 was through first-past-the-post voting. Through first-past-the-post votingThrough proportionality vote 2009 election proportionality votefirst-past-the-post voting 2009 Bulgarian parliamentary election Politics of Bulgaria List of Bulgarian Constituencies