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Thread: Three Crowns: The first Munster AAR!

  1. #1

    Three Crowns: The first Munster AAR!

    Munster





    Prologue

    Dublin, December 1419

    Walter Fitzmark was a fat, half deaf, more than half mad, old man who was far too drunk to mount a horse and too corpulent to ride it in the unlikely event of being sober. Unfortunatly he was the Lord Lieutenant, the King of Englands personnal representative in Ireland and not a man to be crossed as Art O'Donnell was discovering. After having chatted up a pretty girl in a down and out pub in the Liberties the worst he could have expected was a slap accross the cheeks or a tankard of ale splashed in his face. Alas it had turned out that the pretty girl was Fitzmark's mistress and, well, one thing had led to another which had ended up with O'Donnell finding himself chained to a wall upside down in a dungeon in Dublin Castle.

    It struck O'Donnell as being entirely typical of his life that the pretty girl hadn't even had the chance to slap him before Fitzmark's thugs burst in the tavern door.

    As it happened today, three weeks after his 23rd birthday and 6 weeks after his arrest O'Donnel had been peacefully counting the cracks in the floor (he was upside remember) for the 765th time that week when the cell door was thrown open and he was unmanacled and led straight to Fitzmark's office. To his total shock Fitzmark shook his hand, offered him a glass of wine and some papers.

    "Congratulations your Majesty! You are now King of Munster"

    O'Donnell gaped at him. True enough he was related to the Munster royal family through the time honoured union of the Kings cousins third son and a scullery maid but at last count he was 39th in line for the throne. What on Earth had happened? He drained the wine and to settle his nerves and then wished he hadn't. Fitzmark clearly had a preference for alchol that could also be used to clean swords.

    "I'm araid your 4th cousin, thrice removed, his Majesty Bran III of Munster has tragically died in a hunting accident of which there is No Evidence Whatsover Of Foul Play. Accidently shot through the neck...the chest, both legs, the right eye, the groin and the nect again. Tragically every other member of the Royal party died in equally non-supicious fashion leaving you the sole remaining heir. The nobles of the kingdom unanimously elected you King yesterday. So, um, as I said earlier congratulations. No hard feelings eh your Majesty?" Fitzmark grinned at him obsequiesly.

    O'Donnell stared at him.

    15 minutes later the new King of Munster rode out towards his kingdom, uncertain of his future, awed by his new responsibilities and nursing a broken hand, but satisfied at least in the knowledge that when Fitzmark woke up he would be needing a new set of teeth.


    Above: Art O'Donnell. Well, an idealised version of him anyway.


    To be continued...




    Well I'm starting a new AAR and actually intend to go places with this one, unlike earlier attempts. I decided that I'd play an Irish kingdom to see it is viable. I started playing as Eire in 1419 and released Leinster, Connacht and Munster as vassals. I wanted to play Leinster first (as a Dub) but it doesn't have a port, so Munster it is. Anyway, obviously there are some difficulties and the first decade might be slightly dull, but here's hoping. Please R&R guys.

    Do chuid

  2. #2
    CatAARstroph1c moderator Moderator Stroph1's Avatar
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    You took weak ole Ireland and chopped it into smaller, weaker pieces. I applaud your bravery. I love a good Irish tale and hope to be following yours for some time.

    Good luck!

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  3. #3
    Sayonara Zetsubou Robusuta
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    Great start RossN! This AAR is going to be great! Let's see what the Irish are capable of!

  4. #4
    Alternate Historian Machiavellian's Avatar
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    This looks like a rather challenging undertaking you've set before yourself. I enjoyed the start to this AAR and hope it continues equally well. Good luck in uniting Eire.
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  5. #5
    Chapter I - This King Thing...



    Cork, January 1419

    Art I of Munster sat in his throne room listening to his advisors drone on and on. He had only been King for a day and was already bored rigid by the astonishingly wise, exquisitly learned men whose job it was to be astonishingly wise and exquisitly learned while boring their monarch to death.

    "...implying a three ducat sales tax on Savoyard butter, which obviously implies that...your Majesty? Are you awake?"

    "Hmm? Oh sorry just resting my eyes," lied Art who found to his embarrasment that he had in fact nearly rolled off his throne. Taking advantage of his economic advisors scadalised expression Art coughed loudly and turned to a martial looking man who had himself clearly been dozing on his feet. "General O'Brien! How stand my armies and navies?" The general stared back at him as if he (Art) were a village idiot who had accidently burnt down the village while trying to do something especially idiotic. "Army and navy your Majesty? We have neither?"

    Art was appalled. Who ever heard of a King with no navy or army?! What if the Hungarian King was to come calling? What would he think? Ok, Art admitted to himself, the King of Hungary probably didn't know where Munster was or what it was and even if he did he probably thought it was That Other Munster (the one with the umlats), but that was hardly the point!

    The King rose to his feet provoking an air of general excitement. A pronouncement was about to be made! "Munstermen! I say that we, Munster (the non umlated one) shall become a great power. I order our seamen to look into ways of making better ships and naval tactics. For danger lies from the sea! Will feckless Leinster or Connacht attack us? Why, they don't even have armies!" As he listed to the audience applaud entusiastically O'Brien whispered into his ear. "Um, Majesty not only do none of us have armies... or money for that matter but surely you know that we are all vassals of the only person on the island who has both - the High King in Ulster."

    Art frowned. That was technically true, but he planned to renounce his alliegance to the High King and the soonest possible convienience. Luckily the old man was an aimiable sort and unlikely to bare a grudge. As for the money, well some of it was coming in at last (though he had been horrified to see that despite having a population of a quarter million Munster apparently had a population of under 2,000 tax payers. Time for a word with the census people...)

    Cork, March 1423

    It had been a good couple years, especially this one reflected Art as he looked at his new official portrait admiringly. He had really grown into his crown! (Not literally. The previous king had clearly had a bigger head and, some whispered waspishly, brain.)

    He had in his first year cancelled his vassalage, to the mighty indifference of the High King (slightly dissapointing that). He had married off his ugly cousin Aine to a minor English royal (rationalising it as realpolitik to his allies and as a fitting punishment to the hated Sasneach to his critics) and to universal astonishment actually allied with England. In fact the reason behind this was based on very sound judgement - Art and his nobles had gotten plastered after finally getting rid of the odious Aine and someone had woken up in bed with the English ambassoder. Making the best of a bad situation Art had privately blamed it on his nobles and used it as an excuse to keep certain offices out of their grasp. Oh and he had sent Aine's sister Fionnula off to Gelre - but only after making sure that nights feast only served water to drink.


    Above: Aine, as painted by her lover, the famous Milanese painter Garbaggio.

    He had of course technically been at war with France, Provence, etc. for several years after that but obviously they had better things to do than land troops in Munster (or, as Art put it "The cowardly Gall knows better than to mess with us lads!")

    THe army was at last under way! A 1,000 brave men now stood between him and... well everyone, with a thousand more being trained. He had promoted the baliff of Kerry to being a full fledged tax collector on the entirely reasonable premise that nobody is really honest about want they earn, so he may as well charge them more. Indeed economically it had been an exceptional year.


    Yep, thought Art as he carefully adjusted his portrait, so his hair caught the light from the fire just so, things could not be going better.

    If only the Burgundians would agree to accept his cousin Dympna as a suitable queen...

    To be continued...


    Phew! Not much to report so far. Alliance with England, Burgandy and Gelre and RM with England and Gelre. Economy is suprisingly very good, my merchants are doing their jobs. I moved the slider in 1419 +1 to Naval and it seems to be working: next step an enlarged army and a navy!

    Do chuid

  6. #6
    StoreytellAAR Storey's Avatar
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    Good to hear that your merchants are doing well. When I played Ireland I found out how poor their provinces were. Hasn't England or Scotland DOW you yet?

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  7. #7
    Colonel zacharym87's Avatar

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    Wow! Playing an Irish minor's gotta take some guts. This one could be very interesting, I wish you all the luck.
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  8. #8
    Mad Clansman Farquharson's Avatar
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    Great start, RossN - a challenging choice of country coupled with a hilarious writing style - please, please keep going!
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  9. #9
    Canadian Bacon Troggle's Avatar
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    Victory to the non-Umlauted Ones! I think that <i>other</i> Munster (I refuse to put umlauts on, as it is an offense to the true Munster, and I don't know how anyway) needs to be taught a lesson. Clearly, using but mispelling your country name as their country's name is an insult and needs to be rectified. While you're at it, take over Hungary too, for hypothetically confusing your nation with another.

    Quote Originally Posted by Farquharson
    Great start, RossN - a challenging choice of country coupled with a hilarious writing style - please, please keep going!
    I concur fully. You remind me of a young Farquharson.

  10. #10
    Chapter 2 - The Three Crowns and the Four (Un) Wise Men

    Kerry, November 1426

    "Right lads, lets keep it moving!" shouted O'Brien as the weary soldiers marched by the Royal party. The new recruits (all 4,000 of them) had spent the entire day climbing Mt. Carrauntoohill (1,039m) in the autumn mud and rain and then for kicks they had climbed back down again. Such was life in the Munster Army. Members of The Two Thousand, veterans of the first two units raised stood idly by and jeered at the green recruits.


    Above, Munster soldiers as drawn by themselves. Better fighters than sketchers hopefully...

    "They're pretty good." Conn Murphy admitted to a friend. A young nobleman from Waterford he was the most vocal critic of Art's policies, chess playing skills and hairstyles. He had a sizeable following in the Kingdom, though it should be said that in general most people disagreed with his assessment of the King's hair - if you have it, flaunt it after all! He had called for a recount after Art was elected (Irish kings were elected by aristocratic relatives) and sulked for days afterwards when the result turned out exactly the same (in fact due to extensive bribery it turned out slightly better).

    The friend, Donnacdh O'Shea, Admiral of the Navy (now up to 2 galleys) agreed. With Munster currently at war with France, Provence and the Bourbonnais (Art had had to honour the English Alliance) it was useful to have a second line of defence. Not that it looked likely that either would be needed. The war was going very well, safely on the other side of the sea.

    The two nobles walked alongside each other a while discussing plans for Art O’Donnell’s upcoming 30th birthday and how they could get out of it (rumour was that art had a third cousin who needed marrying off).

    Cork, slightly later in November, still 1426

    The birthday presents had arrived from as far away as Armagh and Man (The Isle of,). They were not alas particularly good presents as all the other Irish kingdoms were even poorer and more wretched than Munster. Their had even been a nice note from the King of England that had only mention words like ‘minion’, ‘lackey’ and ‘barbarian’ a couple of times and contained no more than five veiled threats and unintentional insults. Still Art was vaguely unhappy. He turned to his best friend Eoin Fitzgerald (Baron of Limerick) a young sprig on the Old English tree and asked him: “Do I really look 30?”
    Eoin, who had been unsuccessfully making eyes at the King of Leinsters pretty young wife all evening, hesitated before deciding lying was the best policy. “No of course not!”
    “Phew!” exclaimed a relieved Art and proceeded to spend the rest of the night building up enough Dutch courage to chat up the cute scullery maid who ended up leaving with the captain of the guard, the Younger O’Brien.

    Par for the course really.

    Cork - Kerry, August 1428

    It had started simply enough with a family feud between the Waterford Murphy’s and the Cork Coleman’s in which Art had ruled in favour of the Coleman’s. Unfortunately he had underestimated his rival Conn who had grumbled at the judgement, vanished for a week and turned up to besiege a startled Cork with an army! The Royal Munster Army was out on a training exercise and couldn’t be reached so Art, Eoin and the Younger O’Brien and a few followers were forced to flee by boat. For a few dreadful minutes Art had expected the four galleys of the navy to begin chasing him but they just stayed at anchor – Admiral O’Shea was clearly staying neutral until he could be certain who was going to win.

    They sought refuge on Skellig Michael, that great craggy natural pyramid in the sea where danger and isolation craving monks had made their home for a life devoted only to God (though rumours abounded about the surfing). From there Eoin suggested they should try and reached safety in exile in Connacth. To his astonishment Art refused and demanded to be taken back to Munster, to try to contact the army.


    Above, Skellig Michael. Surf's up Brother (after Vespers)!

    “Would I give up so easily the only thing I’ve ever owned of any value?” he asked simply. To which they had no answer.

    Landing at night in coastal Clare the party sneaked inland and managed to reach the army camped in Ennis. An astonished General O’Brien was brought up to date on the news of the would be coup and the army was rapidly mobilised and marched towards Cork. The two forces met in the village of Blarney, just North of the city. It was a fierce desperate fight, but the Murphy’s were outnumbered (1925 Infantry and 750 Cavalry vs. 6000 Infantry) and inexperienced and thus were utterly wiped out for the loss of 276 Munstermen. As the King told his cheering soldiers after the battle: “From here on now I predict that the word ‘Blarney’ will come to stand for something to future generations: real, solid results!”

    The aftereffects of the coup were alas rather more mundane. The old Murphy lands were broken up as part of a general reform of government in the kingdom. Admiral O’Shea did not escape punishment either for his failure to support Art. A rude, insulting (though anonymus) note was sent his way and the fifth galley planned for the navy (launched 24/10/1428) bore a forehead with an uncanny and unflattering likeness to his mother…

    Looking back on 10 years Art I, King of Munster could be justly proud of his accomplishments so far. Now all he needed was a wife. Perhaps the King of England had some attractive cousins…


    Above, ten glorious years on...

    To be continued…


    Well it should be more or less clear what happened. I've built up the army and navy, had a Cessation of Church Functions to the Nobilty (in 1426) and a Noble families feud (in 1428)). Still hanging on by the skin of my teeth.

    Oh and thanks for all the support guys. Hoping this turns out well myself!

    Do chuid

  11. #11
    Mad Clansman Farquharson's Avatar
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    I like the look of Skellig Michael - do the monks have internet access, by any chance?
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  12. #12
    Three crowns eh? Copycating Sweden are we?
    Nice AAR

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Backfire
    Three crowns eh? Copycating Sweden are we?
    Nice AAR

    Whose in the what now?

    Oh and I'm sure if any monks still lived on Skellig Michael they would indeed now have internet access.

    Do chuid

  14. #14
    CatAARstroph1c moderator Moderator Stroph1's Avatar
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    Being a 1-province country witha small army and an unfortified capital -- calls for treading very carefully. Where will you turn first?
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  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Stroph1
    Being a 1-province country witha small army and an unfortified capital -- calls for treading very carefully. Where will you turn first?
    Well, I'm solvent and partially protected (and more advanced technologically than England ) so eventually I'm hoping to go into the colonies and trading business (hence the focus on the navy) but till then I'll build my army a little and wait for the English go to war with Eire. If I get a chance maybe seize Leinster or/and Connacht. If they don't end up swallowing Scotland I'll try for a Highland province or too.

    And if Brittany ever leaves the alliance...

    Do chuid

  16. #16
    Buitenlander Van Engel's Avatar
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    This sounds like suiside if you ask me........ I wish you a load o luck, some of that irish luck too
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  17. #17
    "I'm araid your 4th cousin, thrice removed, his Majesty Bran III of Munster has tragically died in a hunting accident of which there is No Evidence Whatsover Of Foul Play. Accidently shot through the neck...the chest, both legs, the right eye, the groin and the nect again. Tragically every other member of the Royal party died in equally non-supicious fashion leaving you the sole remaining heir.
    Accidental you say? Well then as long as he's the king

  18. #18
    How about some action. I say that you unite Ireland by force and that you do it quick. Good luck you will need it in this game.
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  19. #19
    Mad Clansman Farquharson's Avatar
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    This sounds like suiside if you ask me........ I wish you a load o luck, some of that irish luck too
    Reminds me of that jolly Wolftones ditty:

    If you had the luck of the Irish - you'd be sorry, you'd wish you were dead
    If you had the luck of the Irish - you'd wish you were English instead...
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  20. #20
    Sayonara Zetsubou Robusuta
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    Hurray for crushing the rebels! Poor Art, will he ever manage to get some? Maybe those internet surfing monks (or was that surfing internet monks?) can hook him up with somebody!

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