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Thread: The Fitzgeralds: Earls of Desmond

  1. #21
    That kid looks good, except for his stewardship, but that can be raised with education, I suppose. Nice name, too.

  2. #22
    Resident Opportunist King of Men's Avatar
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    Hmm, I think I would go for a brother, low stewardship is a Bad Thing. What succession law are you under?
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  3. #23
    Remember Carcosa! Fiftypence's Avatar
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    That stewardship stat is a worry, but at least he has Irish culture. Just make sure his future wife has high stweardship and you'll be set.

  4. #24
    Would-be King of Dragons Draco Rexus's Avatar
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    Nice.

    I'd agree with not worrying 'bout the stewardship right now, it can be improved or he can get himself a wife with a better rank, eh?
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  5. #25
    J. Passepartout: Thankfully I'm playing the beta (so intrigue is the important skill for demense) or I'd be totally sunk. I really need a stewardship raising trait though...

    King of Men: Semi-salic Primogeniture I think. I'll check to make sure though.

    Fiftypence: Good idea.

    Draco Rexus: True. Just hope he doesn't end up with 'Hopeless Spender'!

    Part 6: Business as Usual


    Above: Maurice (on the horse) at leisure.


    the daily affairs of the Duchy continued as Maurice continously worked on his plan. There were five other small states in Ireland outside English rule, and he had worked out he needed to control all of them, and one more earldom or county before he would be able to assert his family rulership over Ireland. Obviously best to subdue the Irish states first - no risk of war with England, before he was ready. Perhaps then an English vassal would fall, more or less peacefully into his lap.

    Unfortunatly he lacked the prestige to simply lay claim to them - his Old English name and trapping played badly in some areas, O'Brien descendant or no. And to the other Old English he was still just a jumped up earl with a slightly dodgy connection to attempted assassination (even of a barbarian), so he'd have to build his stature up somehow.

    Almost as pressing was the continued theft of his men by King Edward - a serious drawback of his elevation to Duke. So even if he had a claim he lacked the manpower. So he was stuck at home with his heels cooling.

    Well not exactly. He still couldn't understand one word in ten his wife said (and she likewise for him), but the night...ah the nights. By 1357 they had managed to produce two more children between them, girls named Eleanor and Mahaut (Maurice had decided to raise them in the Old English tradtion, as that was the likely class they'd end up marrying into). So it wasn't all bad.


    Above: A potential religous problem turns out to be a boon in disguise. Perhaps Maurice has a friend on high?


    In December 1355 Maurice had found himself under suspicion for his scepticism, unwisely vocalised within earshot of a foreign clergyman. Fortunatly (and with some help from his wife, who did after all know a little latin) he was able to appeal to the Pope - very successfully. Though expensive for his limited funds it considerably increased his standing putting a claim to one of the Irish kingdoms within reach: sure enough a, ahem, 'creative' reading of a genealogy unerthed a claim to Mayo - to the undoubted suprise of the O'Malley who currently ruled there.

    But he still lacked the manpower. Fortunatly Edward managed to exhaust the levies that they returned home for rest and rebuilding. Where they stayed. Calling Edwards bluff Maurice determined to keep his men at home, with everything from feigning illness to having his foodstores being devoured by a plague of white mice. He was counting that sooner or later his liege would either take the hint or actually go to peace.

    So slowly he rebuilt his armies and waited for a chance to go to war.
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  6. #26
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    Great to see you back RossN. A bit late but will be reading from now on.
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  7. #27
    Quite Fortunate that the Pope seems to be a forgiving guy; I would personally frown upon attempted assassination if I was the Pope.

  8. #28
    prussiablue: Glad to welcome you on board.

    J. Passepartout: Yeah, got lucky I guess. Glad I keep up on my indulgences!

    Part 7: A Near Thing...


    Above: King Edward IV of England (aka 'the Black Prince')


    In April 1359 Maurice moved. His forces hadn't quite reached peak condition, but they were certainly large enough to outnumber the Mayo army. Confidentantly declaring war on the county he mobilised his army and passing through friendly Galway (a fellow English vassal) entered Mayo through the border running between Lough Corrib and Lough Mask.

    At first O'Malley sook to avoid battle, but Maurice methodically sacked every stronghold and town he came across and torching their crops. Starving and desperate O'Malley decided to commit his entire army: some 1450 men in a direct attack on Maurice's somewhat larger force (2100 men). He was greatly encouraged upon hearing the Munster army seemed to be fragmenting in twain between the Duke himself and his Marshal with both sides now in retreat back to the border. So like a falcon after a dove he gave chase.

    It was a trap of course. The quarel and the retreat were fictional. On July the 2nd the full strength of the Munster army ambushed them on the shores of Lough Corrib, Maurices knights literally running the Mayomen into the water where they drowned by the hundred. Struggle desperately though they might it was an uneven contest indeed: 1443 Mayomen died, against 637 Munstermen. His army slain almost to a man O'Malley fled to his stronghold at Ballinrobe and prepared to withstand siege.

    Then Maurice recieved some very disquieting news: King Edward himself had assembled an army of his own intending to march on Mayo in person. Disaster!

    "If he arrives here before Ballinrobe surrenders he'll claim it for himself!" an angry Maurice hissed at Marshal O'hEachthighearna who had brought the good news of reinforcements in high spirits. Now he looked ashen as the implications of the royal visit became clear.

    "I don't care how many men we lose. Burn the whole hill to the ground if you have to - I need that surrender!"

    It took until the 18th of August - with Edward only 40 miles away - before the starving survivors of Ballinrobe did surrender. Maurice was unmerciful in victory: though common bonds of nobility and his code of honour prevented him from executing O'Malley after his humble recognition of the rightful Earl of Mayo the rest of the garrison fared less well.

    Borrowing a lesson from Irish history, the thirty four defenders had their knees and elbows broken before being thrown into the Lough to drown under the watchful eyes of the assembled Munster army.

    "They were weak," he told the very few in his army brave enough to look askance at this behaviour. Explanation enough for Maurice the Strong.

    And to himself he thought: I was foolish. I should have expected the rules to change now that Edward is at peace with France. But our King is a warlike king - peace ill suits you. I will have chances again... I just have to be a little more cautious.

    *


    The following year was a busy one for the Duke. His son formally began his education in December 1359. As his father before him Flaithbeartach would recieve a court education: reading, writing, public speaking, court intrigue... It was widely hoped that this would improve his noticably poor stewardship abilities. He might never be a financial or organisational genuis, but perhaps he could one day be functional. With a certain amount of optimism.

    Perhaps more importantly the new year of 1360 saw the birth of a second Fiztgerald. Edward Fitzgerald was born on the 22nd of June. His name was indicative of his fathers cunning - for Maurice was a politician to his boots. 'Edward' was an English name - the name indeed of the King and it could be taken as a sign of loyalty, or at least a hedging of bets to raise one son in the Old English tradtion. As well it might have been.

    Yet some may have wondered which Edward Maurice had in mind - for the last King of Ireland had been that Edward the Bruce who had been crowned at Dundalk back in 1316, and here too was a tradition Maurice might have some feeling for...
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  9. #29
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    Wow, you just beat the English king from stealing your siege. Which Edward Maurice has in mind? that's a good one. I wish you all the best in conquering Ireland but I think it would really thrilled the Irish if one of their own can sit on the throne of England.
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  10. #30
    Resident Opportunist King of Men's Avatar
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    I'm not too up on the Irish counties (earldoms? jarldoms?) so how about a nice screenie? Well done getting the siege before your king, though.
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  11. #31
    Remember Carcosa! Fiftypence's Avatar
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    Ah, the ever-present threat of siege stealing. Naming the kid Edward is good both politically and symbolically, it seems. Good update.

    A screenshot showing all of Ireland would be appreciated. I would just go into CK and look, but my disc is faulty so I can't reinstall it on my repaired laptop.

  12. #32
    Glad to help guys. Here is Ireland (as of 1360) :



    There are 13 counties overall and I need to control 9 to declare myself king (at the moment I own the three dark green ones).

    Light green counties are owned by other English vassals. Uncoloured counties are independent Irish statelets.

    Regarding the 'Earldom' thing: in the middle ages (and now in fact) Ireland did not have 'counts'. Like England we had 'earls' instead, so whenever I say 'Earldom' read it as 'County'.
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  13. #33
    Great, I hope that this name means a good chance at attaining your kingdom.

  14. #34
    Would-be King of Dragons Draco Rexus's Avatar
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    Nice steal from the King. Bet he was a bit displeased, eh?

    So, who's next on Maurice's list?
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  15. #35
    I've just realised while setting up that map that I've done something INCREDIBLY stupid and possibly fatal to my hopes.

    Desmond was a vassal of the Duchy of Meath (the white bird on the red background), along with the two English vassals beneath it. It's also Elective Law - so had I not made myself the Duchy of Munster Desmond would be in the lead to inherit, making it much, much, much easier to go through with my goal (the Duke of Meath is twenty years Maurices senior, so will almost certainly die in 10-20 years...). I can't believe I missed that...

    Oh well, I'll try and soldier on. It's just very difficult building up enough prestige to claim places, so it's going to be a while before I can target anywhere. Still, more tonight.
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  16. #36
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    Ah, a mistake, but at least a funny one

  17. #37
    Remember Carcosa! Fiftypence's Avatar
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    That's a pain, but it's better for the AAR I think. This way you have to fight for every province rather than just having it served up on a plate.

  18. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Veldmaarschalk
    Ah, a mistake, but at least a funny one
    I wouldn't have mentioned it, but it's just such a jawdropping one - and one that does the AAR itself no favours, IMO - I just had to left off steam. Sorry about it guys.

    Well true it does mean a good fight at the end - it's the ten years spent hoarding prestige that might be a narrative worry!
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  19. #39
    Remember Carcosa! Fiftypence's Avatar
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    I forgot this was 1337 rather than 1187 scenario, and thought you had plenty of time to form the Kingdom Ireland. It's going to be tough with so little time.

  20. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Fiftypence
    I forgot this was 1337 rather than 1187 scenario, and thought you had plenty of time to form the Kingdom Ireland. It's going to be tough with so little time.
    Yeah I might have been slightly optimistic.

    Unfortunatly there is very little I can do - I make little money and it's taken me over a decade to build up half the needed prestige to put a claim - and then Maurice up and dies of Typhoid setting me right back at 0.

    Gah! Maybe I should reboot. I've taken a serious wrong turn somewhere, and I don't think it's sustainable as an AAR at the moment - I'm not sure I'll be able to do anything for at least another 20 years otherwise!

    Edit: Ok guys I've decided I'm going back to 1353 and trying again. So episodes 5, 6 and 7 have never happened and instead we pick up at the end of Part 4 - with one important difference. Maurice never made himself Duke of Munster. Sorry about this, but I've played ahead and I think this is the best step.
    Last edited by RossN; 08-01-2006 at 00:37.
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