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.