The destruction dished out by the highland clans in the time of the Scottish wars was based on the acquisition of power, honor, and lands. Warlords of these clans fought to preserve their reputation, lands, people, wealth and to survive against rival or state clans. The story of the clan’s wars presented kingship, peace, security on one hand, and with the other presented deaths, murders, mass graves. Every clan was to be feared because they didn’t know when they’ll be ambushed by rivals if you’re not prepared at all times. But there were some that mere speaking about them drove terror to people’s minds, other clans avoided waring against them because it meant certain death. Loyalties were not permanently accorded to a certain clan as they can be defeated by another clan later on.
Over the centuries, clan loyalties, politics were observed to shift dramatically, this was evident in history. It was noted that each clan in those days had its history of conflicts, feuds, pacts, alliances that turned friends into foes, and foes to friends in later days. For the title of “most feared” clan, there were lots of contenders for it, as all the clans had their share of terror-reign and recked havoc on neighboring clans. The first clan to be feared was “Clan Campbell of Breadalbane”, they dominated over a large swathe of Scotland. There was a raging feud between the MacGregors clan and the Campbells, but historians gathered that Campbell of Breadalbane’s fear swept through the lands. Campbell of Breadalbane were noted to be extremely violent, caring little for sanity as they defended their territories at all costs.
Historians say Campbell of Breadalbane had a powerful Earl that owned many lands ranging from River Tay to Argyll’ Coast. His influence was massive as he held that large proportion of land against the MacGregors and other clans seeking to take it. The MacGregors and other clans were influenced by Campbell as fear swept through their nerves when thoughts of a feud with them crossed their minds. The violent Campbells would behead, maim, ruthlessly murder anyone that gets captured in their territories. Though, MacGregors’ beheading, ruthless murder had it’s a toll on other clans too, it still could not be compared to the terror spread by the Campbells. The clan chief of Gregor was beheaded by the fierce Sir Colin of Breadalbane at Balloch Castle personally, sending a message of fear to others.
Seafaring clans were also not to be toiled within that time of feared clans, their leader, warriors were skilled at killing. MacDonalds of the Isles are another terror clan that kept lot of people under their captivity, historians claim that this clan was not subjects anyone. The Scottish King did not influence them, MacDonalds were called independent princes, they were ruled by Hebrides, Ross, Skye, Knoydart. They owned the largest lands in Scotland at one stage of their dominance, their last leader struck a treaty with Edward III of England. John of Islay struck this treaty with England to partake in a plot aiding the invasion of mainland Scotland, but this was their downfall. The MacNeils of Barra, attacking from their base of Kismul Castle in Birlinn vessels were also notoriously feared.