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Thread: Song of Eire :: a Dublin AAR

  1. #41
    Ireland always seems to spring from crisis to crisis during the first few years.
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  2. #42
    Second Lieutenant Rivus's Avatar
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    1. HAPPY HOLIDAYS everyone!

    2. Hmm I’m seeing lots of spelling and grammar errors on my posts… sigh. Goes to show I shouldn’t be typing the draft in Notepad. I’ll be using Word from now on.

    3. I need some feedback – one of the goals of this AAR is to unite Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Cornwall, and Brittany. I’m open to suggestions on what the new entity should be called, if we reach that stage. So do give your suggestions! Meanwhile we’ll just stick to “Eire”.


    phargle - I rode out the excommunication but the realm is still pretty much in duress. Gruffydd's death is indeed most fortuitous... and fitting. His betrayal really bites since I almost wasn’t going to give him Gwynedd.

    Zzzzz... - Indeed that's definitely one of the aims. Celtic kingdom ftw!

    Sergei Meranov - drawing from personal experience in-game I imagine? Trial by fire only makes the kingdom stronger... I hope.
    Last edited by Rivus; 23-12-2010 at 04:36.

  3. #43
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    02.03 Eire Enshrouded

    1104


    In the spring of 1104, Donnchad cherished sweet irony as the rebellious Duchy of Munster suffered from internal rebellion - the duke's own brother, the Count of Urmumu, had rebelled against him. While the High King sided with his duke, he sent no army to help recover the province, preferring that the duke had a taste of his own medicine.


    Munster was not the only location with rebellion, however. In summer, Gwynedd rebelled, throwing the kingdom's slow journey back to stability back into chaos again. As he organized an army to put down the rebellion, the High King wondered if there will ever be a loyal lord native to Cymru (Wales).
    Donnchad’s inclusion of Gwynedd as part of the royal enclave in Wales paid off, as levies from Perfeddwlad and Gwynedd were sizeable enough to be sent against the Duke of Gwynedd without additional support from Ireland proper.


    Marshal Loigsech led the men quickly to victory against the Duke of Gwynedd and began to besiege the fort at Powys.


    At home, under specific orders from the High King, the bastard Cormac was sent to the monks. Donnchad hoped that this will alleviate the sin of his infidelity somewhat, or at least protect the boy from the Queen's continued hostility.


    Yet fate would follow its own path as Cormac fell sick soon after reaching the Monastery. The High King feared that this was a sign of God's displeasure.


    Another rumor appeared in court, aimed to slander Donnchad not only with infidelity (again), but going so far as to claim that the High King had an incestuous relationship with his half-sister. The accusation was flatly rejected, and Donnchad managed to convince the Church that he had mended his ways since the dalliance with DubEssa of Sligo. So convincing was the High King that the Church would pronounce that the High King was indeed chaste. Queen Alis was not the least convinced.


    At the siege of Powys, an emaciated Duke of Gwynedd finally surrendered to Marshal Loigsech. Donnchad, weary of these unrests in Wales, ordered that titles held by the duke be seized. The High King had just about enough of rebellious Welsh lords.


    Donnchad thought that a lord of Irish descent may provide him with a stronger hold over his Welsh territories, and hence appointed a courtier from Dublin - Daire Ua Faelain – as the new County of Powys.


    Donnchad's moral conscience continued to suffer as news from the Abbey reported that Cormac was discovered to have the worms. The poor boy's suffering seemed to get from bad to worse...


    As Donnchad's kingdom continued on an unsteady path to recovery, skilled courtiers slowly returned to court. Siobhan, who once left the High King for Ulaid, returned to retake her position as Chancellor of Eire. Queen Alis was re-appointed the new Spymaster. The new court was once again, in the High King's opinion, competent enough to run the kingdom properly.

    (edit/add OOC: the Court of Eire tends to be quite close-knit these days. Chancellor Siobhan is daughter to Marshal Loigsech - they belong to a junior branch of House Ui Mordha. Steward Jana is wife to Bishop Trian, who is Donnchad's the eldest son. Spymaster Alis is Donnchad's wife)


    Immediately upon her appointment as spymaster, Queen Alis proposed to assassinate the bastard Cormac. Donnchad was stunned by his wife's viciousness, and rejected the idea sternly - the fault is not Cormac's, and he should not have to pay with his life - God knows that he was suffering enough as it is!

    The Queen was quick to suggest that the High King should then put the child out of his misery, to which the alarmed High King banned all further mention of his bastard son in court.

    1105

    The year 1105 opened with sightings of a Comet streaking across the night sky. Amongst the common folk, the rumors spread of misgivings about this strange phenomenon in the skies, naming it Morrigan’s Shaft. Much effort was expended by the High King to ease the people and convince them that this was actually a good sign. Despite the initial success of the High King's propanganda, the comet's influence would be felt long after it's sighting...


    It did not help the High King's cause when there was a bad harvest of fish that year. Nets wound up empty where there used to be abundant fish. The people were restless and hungry in these lean times.


    In Autumn, Munster rebelled once again, and Donnchad once again marched southwards to bring the Duke of Munster back in line.


    Elsewhere, rogues take advantage of the kingdom’s instability to enrich themselves.


    In a change of Munster's usual strategy of marching directly for Laigin and bypassing the royal levies from Leinster, the Duke instead marched his Desmumu regiment against Donnchad's forces head-on at Osraige. A battle ensued and Donnchad proved the better general.


    The rebels, having lost the battle at Osraige, retreated southwards for Desmumu. Donnchad meanwhile directed his men towards the duke’s demesne at Taudmumu to the west. The High King hoped to deny the Duke of Munster any chance to group his rebel regiments from Desmumu and Tuadmumu. In the face of a larger army, the defenders of Tuadmumu dispersed without a fight. The High King settled in for a winter siege.


    Meanwhile, Mann was gripped by heresy when a rebel rouser tried to convince the populace that the comet that the people saw in spring was a indeed sign of the devil's meddling in court. The ill events throughout the year served only to reinforce the man's claims as the common people were stirred. In an attempt to stop this - the High King ordered the arrest and decapitation of the heretic. The plan backfired, however, and the common people of Mann went into revolt.


    Back in the battlefield, Donnchad's siege on Taudmumu was successful as the fort fell before winter’s end. The way was cleared to capture Desmumu.

    1106

    Intent to stop the revolt in Mann, the High King ordered conspirators to be found and hung. All it did was fan the flames of revolt.


    In Desmumu, Donnchad defeated the Duke of Munster's men and besieged the fort there.


    By March, Desmumu fell to Donnchad as well. With both of the duke’s demesne under the High King’s control, the rebellion was over. The High King revisited what he did to the Dukes of Munster during his excommunication just years before – he seized all of Duke Columb's titles and granted it to the Duke's son, Fergal Count of Urmumu.


    Seeing that populace of Powys had taken well to an Irish lord, Donnchad granted Daire Count of Powys the title of the Duke of Gwynedd.


    Meanwhile the revolt in Mann gained momentum and spread to Perfeddwlad. The court was surprised by this turn of events, and the High King ordered harsher measures to be brought to bear.


    At home, Donnchad disallowed a joust between his sons Trian and Feradach. He reprimanded the brothers and their petty rivalry, citing how important it is for the House to stay united in these tough times.


    By April, Mann was in full revolt and the garrison was activated to put it down. The fight between trained troops and poorly-armed peasants was predictably bloody.


    In summer the Mann revolt had spread to Dublin. The High King's capitol itself endangered by the fires of rebellion.


    There had been growing criticisms at court that it was unfair for the "small" dominion of Wales to have the same number of dukes as Ireland proper (two each), Donnchad hence revived the old title of the King (Duchy) of Connacht, and awarded it to Ruadri Count of Galway. It seemed fitting to return the title to the family that held out as the last bits of the old Kingdom of Connacht that Murchaid conquered.


    Summer saw the folk in Mann revolt again. The garrison was once again mobilized.


    In Dublin, Feradach comes of age, proving to be skilled diplomat. Donnchad appointed his second son as the new Chancellor.


    Donnchad also arranged for Feradach to be married to Adele de Nevers. Adele was a daughter of the French house of Nevers, but had been serving as a courtier in the far flung island of Iceland. A marriage proposal was sent there, and the magistrate readily acceded to the High King’s request.


    There was growing realization in court that the popular revolt had gone out of hand. Donnchad decided to change his stance to give in to popular demands - which inevitably called for better working conditions and treatment of the common people. The king lost much prestige bowing to the demands of the common folk, but the kingdom cannot be allowed to be broken apart by her own people.

    This would be the new tone when dealing with revolters, but revolt persisted as affected provinces continue to re-light the fires of revolt in pacified areas. In court, Donnchad would remark (off the record) that the rebel rouser in Mann was perhaps correct - the comet was indeed bad news.
    Last edited by Rivus; 24-12-2010 at 03:04.

  4. #44
    Field Marshal phargle's Avatar
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    I had high hopes that the revolt would spread even further.

    That poor wormy bastard. ..

  5. #45
    Editor-in-Chief AllmyJames's Avatar
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    Maybe the illnesses of Cormac are God's way of getting rid of Donnchad's problem for him?
    You have plenty of relatives - is there a reason you're not appointing them to rule the rebellious duchies? It might make them more loyal...
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  6. #46
    Second Lieutenant Rivus's Avatar
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    phargle - The popular revolt will continue to plague Donnchad's reign... revolt relights faster than they can be put out. Cormac's troubles are just beginning... poor bloke. I'm quite a couple of years ahead in the game and I can tell you Cormac's journey in life is a much troubled one...

    AllmyJames - Well Donnchad didn't want to talk about it any more so I guess putting Cormac out of his misery won't be in the cards for now. You're right that I've not placed any Ui Mordhas as title-holders - I'm trying to keep the peerage as diverse as possible. There will be cadet houses running counties and duchies eventually... just not yet. For the same reason I'm not marrying everyone in the family in a bid to keep the court small and avoid disease-in-court events.
    Last edited by Rivus; 28-12-2010 at 04:09.

  7. #47
    Very nice update there. To answer your question above, I was planning on going with something like the Celtic Empire. That being said, I don't know that they'd call themselves anything different after having conquered all that territory...maybe Emperor of the Celts, which is where my suggested name comes from.

    Too bad about those revolts, it's so hard to find good vassals these days...
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  8. #48
    Second Lieutenant Rivus's Avatar
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    Happy New Year everybody! Let’s hope that 2011 be more peaceful and prosperous than 2010...

    Sergei Meranov – Thank You! Empire of the Celts sounds just about right, I think. Rebellions are happening mainly because of low stability and Donnchad’s modest Diplo stat (5). He’ll pull through… as long he survives the next round of disasters.
    Last edited by Rivus; 01-01-2011 at 06:03.

  9. #49
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    02.04 Eire Besieged


    The Court of the High King, Dublin, Spring 1107

    “… and so His Majesty the King of the Scots expects that you return the province Carrick, which was stolen from him.” The… negotiator finished his prepared speech and looked as if to awaiting applause.

    Donnchad was not in the mood for this – he just found another of those blasted raven feathers by his bedside this morning. Could this be it, then? Another challenge for the High King of Eire? Outside, the cloudy skies and stormy winds seemed to match the High King’s mood. Or perhaps, Donnchad thought, it also portents the future to come.

    “Stolen, you say. Yet the region was in rebellion, was it not?”

    “Technically, yes, your Majesty. But Carrick is historically part of Alba.”

    “Ah,” he feigned enlightenment, “then historically, the lowlands of Albain were settled by families of Eire. And so, historically, Carrick is part of Eire as well.”

    “Your Majesty, but the people in Carrick speak Scottish-”

    “And I’m sure just as many speak Irish, Lord Kenneth - we both know that there is much interchange between Ulaid and Carrick…. would you claim Ulaid to be Scottish next?”

    “That can be arranged… ,” the man chuckled. Or at least it sounded like one. “Your Majesty, the county of Carrick has been ruled by lords owing loyalty to the King of Scots for generations... Alba and Eirinn have common roots – we are like brothers, Your Majesty, and taking land from under each other’s noses is… un-brotherly.”

    “King Robert already has our terms before you left Edinburgh, Lord Kenneth – Eire will relinquish Carrick and recognize that the broader region of Galloway falls under the influence of the King of Scots… if he also affirms peace between our kingdoms. As you say, brothers do not take from each other.” In truth the terms were sent to the regency court – King Robert is but a child. The terms are generous enough – for the return of Carrick, both their kingdoms will agree in principle not to raid each other during the lifetime of the two kings – whoever is the longer. Why would they balk at such terms? Unless…

    “Your Majesty, our King is still young. A lifetime of peace is a long time indeed… conditions will change…”

    Ah.

    “I don’t think I need to remind you that brotherhood does last a lifetime, Lord Kenneth. I suggest you return to the regency court in Edinburgh and beseech them to reconsider our terms. Eire desires only peace with our brothers in Albain. There is little else to say beyond that.”

    “I… will return with your words for the regency court, Your Majesty.” He bowed, getting the hint that the High King was not about to budge on the matter.

    Donnchad nodded and allowed the Scotsman time to leave the great hall. As soon as he was out of sight and hearing, Donnchad sighed. The crown grows heavy these days. Was it the same plain circlet he wore just years ago when his father died? Things seemed much simpler then – the kingdom united, and the future bright as the spring morning. In contrast – Donnchad glanced again at the view outside – skies are now overcast with promise of rain.

    He summoned a page.

    "Tell Marshal Loigsech I need to see him in the map room immediately. Tell him to bring with him all he knows about Carrick.”

    -


    1107

    In Winter, news reached the High King that the Meriadoc family had lost hold of Glamorgan and Gwent. The new rulers by virtue of inheritence through a Meriadoc duaghter, was the Norse House of av Halsingland. The High King welcomed these new leaders of the region, and secretly savored the fall of House Meriadoc, which had orchestrated his excommunication so many years ago. His only regret was that he had not been agent to the cause.


    Winter saw disaster as the King of Scots declared war on Eire. To add insult to injury, the Robert King of Scotland was but a child… Donnchad was deeply affected by Scotland's treachery – to turn your sword against a Gaelic kinsman was betrayal at the highest order. Nonetheless the realities were that Ireland was much weakened by rebellions and revolt, while Scotland's levies were ample and well rested. How could the beleaguered High King survive?


    As Ireland and Scotland prepared for war, news reached Dublin that the Templars had formed in Ascalon in the holy lands.

    1108

    At the start of 1108, a plan was formed to defend the kingdom against the Scots. Without numerical superiority nor a talented marshal, Donnchad would necessarily be on the defensive - the strategy was to defend only the emerald isle (Ireland proper) actively, and wait for the Scots to overextend themselves as attrition slowly bite them down to size. There was also faint hope as the King of France had honored his alliance with King Donnchad - the considerable might of France could weaken the Scots enough to bring them to the negotiation table.

    Marshal Loigsech was sent to Carrick to lead the levies into a punitive strike against the Scots camped at Strathclyde. The exercise was a test of strength, as well as a token objection because the High King would not in principle abandon Carrick - Scotland's obvious target - without at least a fight.



    In the battle against the Scottish vanguard, a valorous banner man proved himself beyond the call of duty. Donnchad O'Dimpsaigh was promoted to the court for his valor. (OOC: Which is an irony given his stats)

    Despite initial success against the Strathclyde regiment, Marshal Loigsech was eventually defeated by Scot reinforcements from Fife. The Carrick levies were hastily disbanded, as the Scots marched onwards to Carrick unimpeded.


    To bolster morale in these dark times the High King continued to enjoy hunting expeditions to emphasize that the High King still had a hold on things, however tenuous that control was.


    Meanwhile, revolts continue to mushroom throughout the royal demesne.


    In May, news came that England had completed the aims of the 3rd Crusade and the holy city was once again in Christian hands. The Third Crusades had ended with success.


    At court, a new, talented Spymaster was found amongst the children of Gruffydd of Dublin. The High King believed that, under the patronage of House Ui Mordha, the children of Gruffydd had learnt the error of their father's ways and would contribute to the kingdom just as their father had before his rebellion.


    By summer, Frankish allies had landed in Scotland. Galloway was captured even as the High King lost control of Carrick.


    The Frankish army numbered more than 20,000 men and was indeed an intimidating sight to behold. To buy the Franks off the war, the King of Scots gave up ownership of his capitol - Lothian - to them. It was a contentious move by all accounts - Lothian was the richest province of the kingdom. But the move was at least successful in its aims - by August the Franks are out of the war, and Eire stands alone against the Scots.

    With the Irish chased off Carrick and their Frankish allies bought off, the Scottish army assembled to launch their assault into Eire proper.


    In October, the 4th Crusade was called against Burgos. Beset by constant revolts and a war with Scotland, Donnchad could scarcely care about the call for crusades, even if Burgos was within striking distance from Eire.


    The Scots were similarly unconcerned by the call for crusades. In December, a landing force attacked Mann – the garrison on the island was so depleted by popular revolts that it could only hide behind the fort walls and hope that Donnchad’s levies that had just cast off from Ulaid would arrive in time.


    Even as the fires of war burned in the countryside, romance blossomed in court as Ronan Ui Mordha, son of Marshal Loigsech fell in love with Prawst, daughter of the traitor Gruffydd. The High King reluctantly agreed to the marriage moments before setting off for Mann. (Ronan belonged to a junior house of Ui Mordha that branched several generations ago, while Prawst was Donnchad’s niece. There is little blood connection between them)


    Even as the High King sailed for Mann, revolt was rekindled in Dublin on Christmas Day. In Man, the defenders' situation had grown desperate.

    Wrecked by internal troubles, the High King mustered his men to defend the realm as the enemy came knocking at Eire’s door.
    -


    (OOC: I've always felt it hard to track wars in AARs, so I'm attaching a map for readers' reference. Hope it helps)


    Last edited by Rivus; 06-01-2011 at 10:34.

  10. #50
    Major Serek000's Avatar
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    Ah, a war for survival that isn't going so well! The best kind to read about, the worst kind to play. Best of luck! Hopefully they'll get tired of war and offer a decent peace proposal before too long.

  11. #51
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  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saithis View Post
    French in Scotland? That's bad news for the Gaelic Kingdoms...
    Indeed, you'll have to come up with some way of getting Lothian back. Anyway, I do hope CK 2 will be free from such madness as the French-Scottish peace for the capitol.

    Btw, I wouldn't trust this Prawst girl, she's a bad Gruffydd seed.

  13. #53
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    Serek000 - No thanks to the previous excommunication, Scotland had claims on all of Donnchad's demesne, so an easy peace may be too much to hope for. Still Eire will endure...

    Saithis - Well at least France is an ally... in a way, them selling out so early in the war is ideal. If they stayed long enough to gain more than a few provinces they may be persuaded to stay longer and meddle in the politics of the region.

    gabor - "I wouldn't trust this Prawst girl, she's a bad Gruffydd seed." What foresight you have!
    Last edited by Rivus; 03-01-2011 at 10:35.

  14. #54
    Second Lieutenant Rivus's Avatar
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    02.05 Eire Endures


    1109

    Intent to deny the Scots a stepping stone across the Irish Sea, Donnchad landed in Mann and successfully defeated the invaders; as the fort on the island was already occupied, a siege was initiated to free it.


    But even as the siege on Mann was under way, Donnchad was put on the defensive as the Scots led by the Duke of Moray's expedition landed on Mann.
    Luckily for the High King, the highlanders had little experience fighting a beach battle - unlike the Irishmen, who saw action in many coastal battles. The Scot landing party was destroyed.


    Having defended the shores of Mann, Donnchad re-focused his efforts on freeing the island, and by April the defenders broke. Mann was once again under the High King's control.


    In Carrick, the plan to starve the Scots with attrition bore fruit. In their hubris the Scots had continued to occupy Carrick and had been losing men to attacks from Irish guerillas for many months. Confident that the Scots were whittled down, the High King began planning to retake Carrick. The army at Ulaid would join Donnchad's main force in the counterattack.


    With Scotland being the aggressor in this war, Donnchad felt that the Scottish King’s belligerence must cost him something – and so the High King claimed Galloway as the target of his campaign.


    Donnchad's army, arriving from Mann, landed in Carrick and a fierce battle for the shores ensued. Irish experience in beach battles gave the High King the edge.


    August saw Carrick liberated. The High King’s counter-attack was under way. While the High King retook Carrick, spies reported that the Scots were trying again to take Mann again, this time with a small force numbering a few hundred. Even with a small garrison defending Mann, the High King reasoned that it would take the Scots an inordinate amount of time to overcome the defenders, and so the siege of Mann was dismissed as a distraction.


    Donnchad instead invested his time in the war front on Albain (Scotland). With the royal enclave of Carrick retaken, forces in Gwynedd were summoned to bolster the defenses there while Donnchad led his main army into Galloway, bringing the war to Scottish territory.


    At home, Donnchad had ordered that Cormac be sent to the church for an education, in hopes that God will show mercy on the bastard child. Surely the Lord would protect a soul dedicated to him.


    In September, Donnchad reached an undefended Galloway and proceeded to besiege the fort there. The Scots, alarmed that the High King had seized the initiative in the war, quickly sent a relief force from Cumberland. The relief force was hardly enough to deny Donnchad, as the High King defeated it and the siege of Galloway continued.


    By October, Galloway was captured, and Donnchad redirected his men back to Carrick, which was once again under siege by the Scots – thus began a series of see-saw movements as Donnchad woud lead his men between Galloway and Carrick, trying to maintain control of both provinces.


    Taking advantage of the chaos of war and the threat of invasion, the popular revolt continued to spread – this time to the old capital at Laigin.


    Just two days before Donnchad could reach it, Carrick fell to the Scots…


    The Scots had no time to celebrate their victory, however, as the High King arrived to beat them off.


    In the heat of battle, Marshal Loigsech, as if to make up for the defeat he suffered under the Scots at the beginning of the war, led a particularly brave charge. The scots were defeated and Donnchad again went about to retake the fort for a second time in the war.

    1110

    At the turn of the year, Carrick was liberated even as news reached Donnchad that the Scots had begun a siege on Irish-occupied Galloway. The High King directed his army - now reinforced with many soldiers from Gwynedd - to save the Irish defenders at Galloway. Flushed with reinforcements from Wales, the High King’s army is now big enough hold both Carrick and Galloway, and bring the fight to the enemy – except that another ill turn of events would threaten the campaign…
    -


    Here's the map...

    Last edited by Rivus; 07-01-2011 at 07:39.

  15. #55
    Editor-in-Chief AllmyJames's Avatar
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    Seems like a close thing, even with Donnchad in the field himself. Between the revolting peasants, perfidious French and hordes of Scots, Ireland has its work cut out for it!
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  16. #56
    Field Marshal phargle's Avatar
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    The distractions during warfare are fun to read about. Shoulda sent the bastard to the army, though. Those maps at the end are quite lovely and sum it up nicely, like maps in actual atlases. As for the Lothian thing, I try to hand-wave my doubts away. Perhaps the French king left a garrison to occupy the king's castle in Scotland, leaving a fake Scottish king on the throne. . .

  17. #57
    General gabor's Avatar
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    Donnchad can enjoy no peace, poor sod.
    Aren't the vassals getting restless? I know they would have no power to put up fight now (you control their troops), but the war will be over one day, won't it?

  18. #58
    A well-fought war. It's going to be hard dislodging the French though when you try to do your complete takeover
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  19. #59
    Second Lieutenant Rivus's Avatar
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    02.06 Eire Counterattacks

    The High King’s Tent, Carrick, Spring 1110

    The fallen tankard laid where it landed, ignored. Its content – the Harpist Brew, Eire’s finest ale and the High King’s royal reserve from Laigin – was spilled and spreading across the table, wetting everything including carefully laid maps, the High King’s favored mace, a tray half-laid with field rations, and a raven feather. Donnchad really couldn’t care less, at the moment.

    At the moment, Donnchad brooded on his chair. Still. Quiet. Anyone entering the High King’s tent now would not have thought that the mess and upheaval around the High King was in any way related to the High King.

    Yet the two others standing in front of him knew better. Trian Ui Mordha had witnessed it, and Marshal Loigsech who just entered the tent knew the High King’s temperament these days enough.

    “The Peace,” Donnchad murmured, “of God.”

    “Father I’ve done what I could-"

    “AND IT IS NOT ENOUGH!” The tray of dried fruits and spiced ham flew off the table. A few made it to the walls of the tent.

    “I’d just heard about the news myself,” the old – but still formidably built – Marshal Loigsech attempted to break the tension, “Trian, the regiments from Gwynedd and Carrick are essential to the campaign. Our forces diminish with every battle. Even if we keep up our string of victories, we would run out of men, and the Scots know it. Without reinforcements… well, we need those regiments.” It was hard to suppress those memories of Gwynedd, even if it was near ten winters ago.

    “I convinced the Irish captains to ignore the call. Some were reluctant, but I think they’ll hold to their word as long as they see their fellows do so. That will buy us some time before the manpower situation hurt. The men from the enclaves – we have less influence over them. Might as well be none, in this case.” he cast his head down, “The religious authority of the royal court just doesn’t go that far… especially not with the excommunication… and Cormac.” The last bit came out almost inaudibly.

    Donnchad sighed again. He felt so tired these days. “Here I am trying to defend myself and the church would hand my head on a platter to that child king.” He desperately wanted to blame his son, but that would be cowardly. The boy did what he could – this new affliction had more to do with the papacy. “Without reinforcements the only ‘peace’ we’ll have is the peace of the grave.”

    “We have enough men yet, my lord. Meanwhile, we can mobilise Munster-"

    “I won’t have that happening again.” Fergal of Munster is too unpredictable; Munster’s betrayal at Gwynedd still stung. “And I need Connacht to watch Munster so they’re out too.”

    “And you needed Deheubarth to watch Glamorgan. Tir Connail to watch Mide… Donnchad, are you sure it’s wise to follow this policy? We need men and you’re setting your own lords after each other…”

    “It’s either that or we face open rebellion, Loigsech. Winning this war won’t mean much if we lose a duchy or two at home in the process.”

    “It may take time, father… but, well, we could just re-summon them.”

    “What?”

    “I’ve read the letter in detail. The pope didn’t specify that the men should stay out of the war. He merely instructed that they are to be disbanded and return home.” Trian said, “It’s a technicality, of course, but by the time the pope learns about it-”

    “Let me see.”
    -


    Irish momentum in the campaign was lost as regiments from Carrick and Gwynedd gave up the war under the auspices of a Pax Dei by the Church. None can say why Roma would intervene in favor of one Gaelic king over the other, but the move greatly angered of the High King of Eire.


    Donnchad’s reduced army arrived in Galloway to a find the province once again under Scot control. A siege was started to retake the fort.


    Good news came from Mann as the defenders drove the Scots back into the sea – literally.


    Taking advantage of a technicality in the Pax Dei proclaimation, Donnchad re-mobilized the army from Gwynedd to sail for Carrick. The clergymen from the Pope would eventually protest the High King’s actions, but for now Donnchad needed the men to secure his front in Scotland.


    With Eire’s reinforcements some months away, the Scots planned to maximize their numerical advantage and pushed more regiments against the High King’s men, who were besieging the fort there. Donnchad successfully defended himself against the larger Scot army from Cumberland and resumed the siege.


    By April, Galloway was once again under Eire’s control. Donnchad would have no rest however, as Carrick was once again under threat. The march back to Carrick began almost immediately.


    Unable to support Donnchad now that their king had signed a peace treaty with Scotland, the Frankish lords nonetheless assisted their friend against the Scots by sending much needed gold. To the High King, these funds were godsend to keep his coffers solvent.


    In May, Donnchad met the Scots in Carrick, and defeated them again. This time, Donnchad would not rush to the aid of Galloway (which is under siege again); he waited for reinforcements from Gwynedd to join him instead.

    In Mann the newly-recovered garrison was engaged against another revolt.


    As war raged on, Lugaid - Donnchad's first grandson was born to Trian and his Premyslid wife. The men of the family were absent due to the war, but the news eventually reached the High King’s warcamp and there was quiet celebration as they waited for reinforcements from Gwynedd to make landfall.


    The wait was finally over and Donnchad’s forces were once again bolstered by Gwynedd's levies. The High King quickly marched to Galloway to relieve the fort there.


    The fort at Galloway held long enough for Donnchad to come to its rescue.


    Barely a week into the confrontation with the Scot siege-force, the enemy retreated with scarcely a skirmish. The commander doubtlessly sensed a change in the tide of war. As Donnchad chased the Cumberland forces south of the border, news reached him that an enemy regiment from Berwick had crossed into Galloway. The Irish host wheeled to meet the new Scottish regiment.


    In August, Mathgamain, Donnchad's third son, came of age and became the new marshal. Donnchad felt particularly blessed despite his ill fortunes for having three talented sons, each excelling in a different field. Trian was a spiritual leader of the kingdom, Feradach was an accomplished diplomat versed in all courtly matters, and now Mathgamain proved to be a skilled commander of men in the battlefield.


    As Donnchad engaged the Scot levies from Berwick, revolt threatened to engulf in Perfeddwlad.


    Apparently the Scottish commander simply quit the field leaving Donnchad unchallenged. Unable to deny the High King’s forces on the battlefield, the Scots seemed to have resorted to wearing Eire’s men out instead of actually fighting.


    With news from Carrick that the fort was besieged once more, Donnchad moved to engage the attackers there again.

    Throughout the campaign, Donnchad had sent a multitude of proposals to the Scottish court, attempting to end the war with fair terms, including a White Peace and even hints of ceding Carrick back to the Scots. However, the regency court in Albany was unwilling to parley – the only option left was to force the Scots to negotiate by capturing more of their territory.

    Donnchad’s battleplan now changed to focus on knocking Cumberland and Berwick out of the war, so that he could concentrate his forces in a northward to hit the Scots where it would hurt, at the Scottish heartlands of Fife and Albany. The plan called for a quick rush to pacify the south, needing more men than Donnchad currently had with him to overcome the hill forts along the way.

    Sacrificing some defensive ability in Eire proper (since Scotland seemed to have given up the offensive already), a force from Donnchad Duke of Ulster (same name as the High King) was summoned to Carrick to reinforce Donnchad and advance his plans for the Cumberland and Berwick.


    Defense of Carrick was successful again, Donnchad headed back to deal with the Scots besieging Galloway again.


    By winter the war had beggared the kingdom and Donnchad was forced to sell improvements in his demesne to make ends meet...


    Christmas saw Donnchad in battle again, throwing off the Scot forces in Galloway. Messengers also brought news that Duke Donnchad had successfully landed in Carrick and was preparing the defense of the embattled province from future Scottish attacks.

    1111

    The opening of the year saw Donnchad successfully defend Galloway again. Knowing that Carrick is now protected by Ulster's levies, the High King held the position in Galloway, beating off 2 more attempts by the Scots to retake the province.


    Carrick was once again under attack as well, and while the Duke of Ulster commanded the defense. The Duke's fresh troops proved to be competent to the task of the defense of Carrick.


    The Duke’s skill at arms may have something to do with that.


    The Duke held Carrick successfully, and marched to Galloway to join the High King's main force.


    By March the Duke had arrived to reinforce Donnchad, and the High King ordered his forces into Cumberland in a bid to pacify the southern front.

    (OOC: The fact that 700 men made the difference in this war just showed how desperate both sides had become)


    Donnchad’s intentions were not unknown to the Scots however, and they attempted to intercept Donnchad enroute to Cumberland. The High King was prepared for this, and a well timed ambush led by the brave Prince-Marshal Mathgamain broke the Atholl-men.


    With a new plan under way, Donnchad prepared to end the war definitively. While at home, things continued to deteriorate as all gains made since the end of excommunication were lost.

    The last leg of the war is upon us! Here's the map...


    Last edited by Rivus; 17-01-2011 at 05:57.

  20. #60
    Second Lieutenant Rivus's Avatar
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    AllmyJames – Donnchad’s reign was one of the most ill-fated ones I’d ever encountered. At least they didn’t all take place at the same time I guess…

    phargle – Thank You. The maps were really fun to make once I got the style right. I was hoping to grant Cormac a bishophric… but alas for all those illnesses... Lothian is a strategic province for Eire for a number of reasons, so I’ll definitely need to work towards relieving it off the French.

    Gabor – You’re just playing at Donnchad’s fears aren’t you? Sadistic… I’m using mainly men from the royal demesne on account of not trusting most of the lords to stay loyal. I don’t want them to disappear on me in Scotland like what Munster did in Gwynedd – the stakes are too high for a failure here…

    Sergei Meranov – Thank You. I learnt from this war that a competent commander is absolutely important. I’m not worried about France… eventually the French will install someone as count/bishop of Lothian and all I needed to do after that is wait for a him to rebel. England is a closer concern. They’re quiet. Too quiet.

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