Sir Nial Campbell of Lochow, founder of the house of Argyll, secured shipping for him, and he reached a castle of Macdonald of Islay (Angus Og), his ally, at Dunaverty in Kintyre.
Disputes between neighbouring chiefs and their clients, and uncertainty as to the law, brought about the Constitution of Ulfliot (c. 930), which appointed a central moot for the whole island, the Althing, and a speaker to speak a single " law " (principally that followed by the Gula-moot in Norway); the Reforms of Thord Gellir (964), settling a fixed number of moots and chieftaincies, dividing the island into four quarters (thus characterized by Ari: north, thickest settled, most famous; east, first completely settled; south, best land and greatest chiefs; west, remarkable for noble families), to each of which a head-court, the " quarter-court," was assigned; and the Innovations of Skapti (ascribed in the saga to Nial) the Law- Speaker (d.
The sagas of the south are either lost or absorbed in that of Nial (970-1014), a long and complex story into which are woven the tales of Gunnar Nial, and parts of others, as Brian Boroimhe, Hall o' Side, &c. It is, whether we look at style, contents or legal and historical weight, the foremost of all sagas.
Its hero Nial, type of the good lawyer, is contrasted with its villain Mord, the ensample of cunning, chicane, and legal wrong doing; and a great part of the saga is taken up with the three cases and suits of the divorce, the death of Hoskuld and the burning of Nial, which are given with great minuteness.
The plot dealing first with the life and death of Gunnar, type of the chivalry of his day, then with the burning of Nial by Flosi, and how it came about, and lastly with Kari's revenge on the burners, is the ideal saga-plot.