Continuing my Crusader Kings II play-though, March 1092 – April 1110.
Life of Brian
After spending over a year focusing on the Holy Land I have decided to head back home for a bit after leaving my few remaining men in the capable hands of Duke Hugues of France.
My second cousin Earl Brian the eldest son of the late King Murchad has been busy, he has gotten himself named as hier to County Kildare and all that stands before him is the very young and healthy Earl Feidlimid so Brian and myself set about plotting his downfall with the support of Feidlimid’s very own spymaster. Plotting a person’s death can take some serious time so while that is going on I head back to the crusades.
Band of Brothers
I have only 93 men remaining of the 1000 that first set out all those years ago, and under the leadership of Duke Hugues they are put to work joining over 10000 men in a number of quick sieges, first in Darom and then in Gaza. After the victories I decide that they have done their duty to the pope and I call my 28 remaining men home as heroes.
By the time this is over almost 2 years have passed and my plot to end the life of the Earl of Kildare is still going nowhere. With my armies back home and fresh men to join them I decide to launch an invasion in Brian’s name, as he is a member of my dynasty and already a vassal of mine any gains from the war will go to him and therefore become part of my Kingdom.
I am able to raise 1300 men to Kildare’s 400 so the war should be over fast. I manage to destroy his army but at a great loss to my own and begin the siege of Knockaulin Castle, at this point Kildare calls in some allies in the form of King Mael of Mide and before I know it 750 men are on my border. I quickly raise up all the men I can and reinforce my main army to 900 men and continue the siege. King Mael’s men just sit there and watch as I hammer at the walls and win the war.
With the new title of Earl of Ormond and Kildare, Brian is almost as powerful as I am, but luckily for me he likes me too much to ever consider fighting for independence or trying to usurp me.
By the time this is over, so is the crusade. Caliph al-Mustali was able to call in allies from the enormous Timurid Empire and they wiped the floor with us. The defeats are enough for the pope to call of the entire crusade.
While all this has been happening my wife who has previously only given me daughters of which only one survived to grow up, has been busy spitting out three sons for me. I have chosen to name the eldest after myself, Chris, and the others are named after a couple of friends and fellow gamers, Dave and Jason.
Chris died at age 0, and Jason died at age 1. So after five children only two have made it past their second birthday. Dave on the other hand is slow learning to Talk. At least Sioban my eldest daughter is doing well, she is now 13 years old and a Jewish banker has offered to teach her about money.
Brian fresh of his new conquest is holding a Tournament and invites me to take part. I win two out of three jousts and come second in the melee, I am declared third place overall with the ever powerful Knights Templar Sir Cennetig coming First.
My Chancellor has come up roses once again, I have been handed a Strong claim on County Roscommon. Roscommon is ruled by King Tadg, the same man I took Connacht of as Murchad, the difference here is that once I have captured his last remaining county I will also get to claim his higher title of King as well as the lesser one of Earl. Being King of Connacht will give me a de jure claim on Breifne allowing me to increase my kingdom even further.
Two wars later I am now the King of Munster and Connacht and I also have a new vassal in the form of Earl Aed who rules Breifne in my name, and I name King Murchads second son Stewie the Earl of Roscommon.
My eldest child and only daughter Sioban is now 15 years old and I marry her off to King Matudan of Scotland, this brings in a powerful and long-lasting alliance as well as a huge heap of prestige for my dynasty.
Earl Brian strikes again
Brian is shaping up to be a bit of a legend, he has gotten himself yet another claim, this time on County Ossory. This is another good move, as taking Ossory will open up further claims and should be enough to make a claim on the title of High King.
Before I have a chance to make my move my only son Dave offers to become my Squire, this means that he effectively becomes my servant and gives up all his claims and titles until he is worthy enough to become a Knight, but once that happens he will get a larger bonus than he would normally get.
In July 1105 my wife Denis of Wales dies of depression. In this game it is always a benefit to be married as your partners skills and statistics are added to you own, plus I am still young and capable of having more children. I arrange to marry the 17-year-old Princess Ingrid of Norway, this again should bring in some much-needed alliances as well as prestige.
The Irish Conquest
With the Finish line in sight I declare war on Ossory, the war is short and Brian gets yet another title to add to his collection. Brian is now significantly more powerful than I am so I need to tread carefully for the next stage of the war. With Ossory now under the control of my forces I am able to create a new title for myself, King of Leinster, this gives me a new claim on the next county along.
There is now only one man who stands in my way, Earl Dungal of Leinster and Dublin. The final war is also my toughest yet, Dungal commands no less than 1000 men and controls the two most rich and powerful counties in Ireland. Luckily for me, I am well versed in warfare and raise up not one but two mighty armies one of 800 men led by myself and another of 1000 men led by Sir Seoan.
On the 20th of May 1107 at the Battle of Gowran I personally slay Earl Dungal removing the last wall between myslf and the crown of Ireland.
All hail the King!
It takes over a year for the castles of Leighlin and Ath Cliath to fall to my men. Once done my Kingdom has grown to the point where I now control over 60% of Ireland and hold three minor crowns. All that’s left now is the formalities, at a whopping 209 gold I send away for a new crown to be made and in Auguest 1108 I declare myself High King of Eire.
There are still four Earls and a King left independent and as my nickname is “the gentle” I decide to allow them the chance to join me without fighting, the four Earls all agree and they become my vassals. King Tomas of Mide is not quite so accepting, he declares war on me in order to take my titles for himself, he raises an army of almost 1500 men but with the help of my four new Earls I squash him under the boots of almost 3000 Irish soldiers. Tomas is forced to step down as King and King Ainmere takes his place, who is more than willing to swear allegiance to me.
I find myself overflowing with titles and vassals so I carefully dish them out to my most loyal followers. Earl Brian is named King of Lienster as he owns most of it anyway. King Ainmaere is allowed to keep his title but I remove one of his counties to keep for myself. My four new Earls to the north are another matter, I select the most loyal one which is Earl Muridach and name him King of Ulster with the three others as his vassals. On the 23rd April 1110 all 13 of my vassals kneel before me and I am Officially named the High King of Eire.
I am choosing to end the story of the Ua Briain Dynasty here at this natural stopping point. I could choose to go on, conquer England and maybe the world under a mighty Irish empire, but unfortunately I’m not going to be able to.
In a weeks time there is a major expansion pack coming out called the Old Gods, and with this is going to be a large patch. As I am using a mod for my game It means I will need to update it to work with the new update, and the jump from versions 2.0.6 to 2.1.2 of the mod will corrupt any saves I have. So I am in a bit of a dilemma, I can update my game and start from scratch with a ton of new features and updates or I can block the update and continue on.
I really want to do a second season of Crusader Kings and I am considering doing the next one as a video diary, having to constantly pause and minimize the game is a bit of a hassle and I am also forced to skip over a lot of events and features that are happening in the wider world.
There is one more article I have planned before season two starts and it will explain things a lot better.
Thanks for reading.
- Blast Process Plays: Crusader Kings II Part 5 (blastprocess.com)