The Watershed Battle

an epic battle ensued between these two great giants upon Rannoch Moor: the watershed of Central Scotland….

By David White

Thousands of years ago, when all the great beasts of legend roamed the earth and much of Scotland was cloaked in untouched wilderness, there lived on Rannoch Moor, the former site of an ancient glacier, two giants known as Anier and Anear who, despite their similar names, had very different personalities. 

Anier had at his core a desire to acquire as much as he could, he was gluttony incarnate and nothing captivated his attention more than the waters of Scotland. He could already through his might take any land he desired, however, controlling the swathes of Scottish freshwater may finally sate his desires. Unfortunately for Anier though, Anear also had a desire to control these waters. While Anear had none of Anier’s desire to acquire increasingly more possessions, he instead sought to use the waters as a force of destruction. Anear loved destruction, as many giants did, but he took it to extremes. He would level forests, flatten mountains and carry off castles. He now sought to do even more with the waters.

As may be evident from their personalities, and the fact they are giants, neither were susceptible to the concept of compromise and so, as is often the way, an epic battle ensued between these two great giants upon Rannoch Moor: the watershed of Central Scotland. The battle raged between them for 30 days and nights during which time they had rid the moors of most of the pine forest which once covered it. Their powerful blows would shake the ground and when one fell they would flatten an acre of trees. They were quick to bounce back, grab one of the mighty pines and use it as a club to fight back. On and on they fought until eventually they paused for a moment glancing one another up and down and seeing both of them were equally as injured. Each bore bruises all over their bodies and small nicks and cuts too plentiful to count. During this moment they realised that they were to evenly matched, neither would win this battle and so they came to a truce. 

Their truce lead to something that until now had been an unknown concept to giants: a compromise. They agreed that they would split who possessed the rivers and lochs. Anier gained the rivers to the Atlantic by way of the Etive, Kinglass and Orchy. Anear on the other hand took the eastern flow which led through  Loch Laiden, the River Gaur, Loch Rannoch, the Tummel and the Tay to the North Sea. 

This story was based on a tale by A.D. Cunningham in Tales of Rannoch

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