In 122 AD, the Romans began constructing Hadrian’s Wall, but a few years later, in 138, Antoninus Pius dreamed of pushing the empire’s frontier further north. Rome conquered the Votadini, and began constructing the Antonine Wall. A few years after Antoninus Pius’s death, though, after years of rebellions and reversals, the Romans abandoned the Antonine Wall and retreated south. The Votadini had been subjects of Rome for only 24 years.
After the Roman withdrawal, however, the Votadini became a client state loyal to the empire. They helped protect the province’s northern frontier from the Picts to the north, and benefitted from a flow of Roman goods, without having to submit to imperial rule. Lot, the current king of Guotodin — the kingdom of the Votadini — traces his ancestry to his grandfather, Paternus Redcloak, who was rewarded by the British emperor Magnus Maximus for his loyalty with rank and status.
Impending Issue: War on All Fronts
As a Roman buffer state, the Votadini have faced aggression from the Picts to the north for generations, but more recently, Angles from the Continent have begun landing on their eastern coast. While the Romans may have settled these German tribes along the coast south of the Wall, they are new to Gododdin. They suspect their spread north along the coast has to do with the policies of their southern neighbor in Eboracum. Even to the west, the Damnonii of Ystrad Clud seem ready to take advantage of any weakness Guotodin might show when these barbarians attack.