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Thread: The Chronicles of House Gwynn -- A Welsh AAR

  1. #1

    The Chronicles of House Gwynn -- A Welsh AAR

    Hey all! This is my first attempt at a CK2 AAR, so we'll see how it goes. It's going to be written in a narrative/history-book style chronicle. The twist, if it can be called that, which I have added is that the chronicle is going to be written successively by various court chaplains in the Kingdom of Wales who will all look retrospectively back at the former rulers of House Gwynn and do their best to sift through the sands of time and figure out who they were, what they were like, and so forth. Obviously this won't necessarily always be the most accurate interpretation, but that might make it more fun. I also plan to add in "later historian edits" to clarify ambiguities that I intentionally write in as part of the story, so that you guys aren't left confuse, but I'll put them up in spoiler tags for those that don't want to ruin the flavor (if there is any). Finally, by way of updates, I plan to try and update this as often as I can, and it will be on a reign by reign basis so without further ado here is the first update:

    The Chronicles of House Gwynn 1066-1292

    Scribed by: Prince-Bishop Brwt of Dyfed

    Brwt of Dyfed

    I begin this chronicle of the House of Gwynn in the year of our lord 1292. I, Brwt of Dyfed the Prince-Bishop of Dyfed, have been charged by his most illustrious majesty Caid II, Grand Prince of Wales, High King of Ireland, Duke of Deheubarth, Gwynedd, and Munster, Earl of Gwent, Gwynedd, Desmond, Thomond, and Powys, and Most Christian King of the Isles, with chronicling the House of Gwynn's ordained rise from minor Earls to their rightful place as Kings. Happily do I embrace this task given by his most glorious highness, but before I begin the chronicle in earnest, I shall endeavor to layout the state of our most magnificent kingdom as it stands today, so that all our posterity shall know of its glory.

    The Kingdom of Wales-Ireland, popularly known as the United Kingdom circa 1292

    This is the Kingdom of Wales and Ireland as it stands today. The United Kingdom, as it has come to be called, began in 1221 with the usurpation of the title of High King of Ireland by Branwaladr I, but that is a topic that shall be covered later. Since the unification the Kingdom has continued to expand to encompass what was formerly Northern England as well as parts of former Western England. The Royal Branch of House Gwynn still controls a majority of the land in Wales itself as well as significant portions of Southern Ireland as their personal demense, but even more of the kingdom is controlled by cadet branches. In fact, there is only about 20% of the kingdom that has been given out to a family other than the House of Gwynn. They are the second most powerful family in the kingdom and are descended, allegedly, from Morgan le Fay. This chronicler quietly wonders why such a potentially heretical family controls so much land within the kingdom, but I digress. House Morgan was given their ancestral seat in Glamorgan after being run out sometime in the years between 1066-1090. The records available to me are sorely lacking in specifics, but I shall endeavor to make the best with what I have. As it happens, this provides a good point to begin the chronicle in earnest.

    Caradog Gwynn

    Born ?
    Died 1086

    Titles held upon entry to the Kingdom of Heaven: Earl of Gwent and Galmorgan

    Successor: Owain I Gwynn

    As our records show, the House of Gwynn began in earnest around the 1060s which was well into the reign of our ancient benefactor Earl Caradog of Gwent and Galmorgan. Little remains of this man that helped lay the foundations for what has become a great power throughout Europe, but what little is known paints the picture one would expect. Every record available speaks of Earl Caradog's immense piety. He is known to have begun the tradition of each ruler of House Gwynn to personally raise each of their children. By all accounts this was quite the feat for the Earl who is rumored to have fathered 8 children, sadly for those of us today, however, only one child managed to continue the bloodline of the ancient Earl, but the virtue, skill, and excellence of his majesty Caid II is illustration enough that the bloodline of Caradog remains vibrant to this very day.

    As far as his more "political" accomplishments, little evidence remains. We do know that at least one of his sons was invested as Bishop of Monmouth in the County of Gwent thanks to the fastidious record-keeping of the Bishopric. This, of course, was before the papal reforms which required all investitures to be at the discretion of the Holy Father. We also know, from the records of House Morgan, that the County of Glamorgan was conquered by Earl Caradog sometime around 1086, but it's unclear whether Earl Caradog, or his illustrious successor Owain I, actually took control of Glamorgan, but I feel comfortable assigning the honor to the illustrious beginner of all that was to come, and since God has ordained the rise of House Gwynn it only makes sense that the founder of the greatest dynasty seen in ages should also have an equally grand beginning. The records are unambiguous, however, that Caradog Gwynn, Earl of Gwent went to the House of the Lord in early 1086. His successor, however, would outdo anyone's expectations for the, at the time, minor House of Gwynn and demonstrate to the world that God has anointed a new champion of Christendom.

    [Later Historian's Note: Subsequent review of archival evidence has illustrated one minor inconsistency in the Prince-Bishop's re-telling of the life of Caradog Gwynn. It is now known that the Earl was born around 1046 and died around April of 1086. The County of Glamorgan, therefore, was actually gained by Caradog's successor, Owain I]
    T r l linn - My Munster/Ireland AAR. (Dead)
    Aquitania Rising - My Toulousian AAR (Dead)
    The Chronicles of House Gwynn - My Welsh AAR (Updated 02/27/2012!)

  2. #2
    Owain I Gwynn

    Born around 1060
    Died around 1130

    Titles held upon entry to the Kingdom of Heaven: Prince of Wales, Duke of Deheubarth and Gwynedd, Earl of Gwent and Gwynedd

    Successor: Aeddan I Gwynn

    Few people are as celebrated throughout our history as Owain I Gwynn. Owain has been referred to as 'the Great', 'the Pious', and 'the Just', but the one epithet that seems to consistently be attributed to his great majesty is 'the Wise'. I haven't been able to deduce precisely when Prince Owain I was born, nor who his mother was, but, given his meteoric rise one can only assume his birth was assuredly ordained by the Almighty. Upon becoming Earl in 1086 on the death of his father, the future Prince Owain immediately looked around Wales and saw it was a land besotted with inept, corrupt, and impious rulers. Owain, himself a devout and righteous man, saw this corruption and wept for the people. As a righteous ruler cannot stand idly by while people are oppressed by the wicked and sinful, Owain Gwynn did what any noble ruler would do...he set about to change it.

    The first few years of Prince Owain's reign were uneventful politically speaking. The Prince, rather than haphazardly expand, spent much of his time undoing the ineptitudes wrought by the branch of House Morgan that had previously ruled the county of Glamorgan. He spent considerable money on improving and expanding the castle and surrounding village at Caerwent which helped lay the foundation for the impressive capital which we have today. He also established the mail system still in use today, as well as laid the foundation for the superb system of roads and bridges that help us to traverse the sometimes harsh terrain of the kingdom. While Prince Owain was busy improving his holdings, as any true and noble leader should, the then Duke of Gwynedd, Cadagwen the Cruel decided to expand his own realm. Cadagwen belonged to the now defunct, disgraced, and extinct House of Mathrafal, whose only notable contribution to history was their penchant for cruelty and ill-governance, both traits which almost saw the entirety of Wales lost to the Kingdom of Scotland. Luckily for us, however, Prince Owain was not ready to allow Wales to fall into sinfulness or provincial status. Over his protestations that he was not worthy, he was invested as the rightful Duke of Deheubarth. Despite his reluctance to accept the title, which stemmed mostly to the future Prince's undoubtedly great humility, Prince Owain began working with a gusto. The county of Dyfed, of which I currently have the privilege of overseeing as Prince-Bishop, had been conquered by the vile Mathrafals of the Duchy of Gwynedd around the same time as Glamorgan was added to the demense of the House of Gwynn. Prince Owain knew that the county rightfully belonged to the Duchy of Deheubarth and it seems obvious given his pious nature that he would do anything he could to wrest control of the county away from a people known to be so sinful and wicked as the Mathrafals.

    War was declared sometime in the year 1092 and lasted about a year according to various parish records from both Glamorgan, Dyfed, and Gwent that detail the raising of the levies. The end result was never in doubt when his majesty Prince Owain emerged victorious from the battle and threw the Mathrafals out of Dyfed for good. It should be noted that in an immense act of piety the generous Owain the Wise set the land aside for use by the church. Though not officially transferred until several years later the Bishop of St. Davids, now the capital of Dyfed, ran the county for all practical purposes.

    Surprisingly enough, details remain vague on the specifics of the next decade. Throughout the next decade Prince Owain managed to unite the provinces of Powys and Gwynedd under his control. Immediately thereafter, people began to proclaim him the true King of Wales. Owain, however, was a terribly pious man as well all well know. Hearing this clamoring he sent out riders with the proclamation that he would not be a King in Wales, for Christ is the King of Man and there can be no pretenders. The illustrious Owain I was therefore crowned Prince of Wales by His Holiness Silverius II. Sadly, he was not crowned Prince of a united Wales. Due to the incompetence and sinful nature of the Mathrafal family, the County of Perfeddwlad had been seized by a vassal of the King of Scotland. Though Prince Owain was undoubtedly a peace loving man no man could stand the affront to the honor of Wales that resulted from a Scot ruling over a Welshman, so a war ensued which would engulf the new principality for over 5 years. However the tenacity of Welsh swords proved too much for the Scots, who eventually agreed to surrender the province. So, by the year 1115, Prince Owain I had done what no man thought possible only 20 years before by uniting the whole of Wales under one banner.

    Prince Owain continued to rule for another perhaps 15 years before finally being called to the Lord's service. The remaining years of his reign were spent arranging marriages, establishing the royal courts that are still in use today, and further expanding the fortress at Caerwent. It's also when the Prince instituted his most advanced, enduring, and prophetic change. Unlike his father Caradog, Prince Owain did not believe in the idea that the right to rule was conferred upon someone by virtue of birth. Instead, according to the royal decree issued in conjunction with the new inheritance law, the rulers of Wales should be only those that deserve the crown. Prince Owain, who by all accounts had a first son who left much to be desired, changed the laws of succession so that the Prince should appoint a successor who he deemed most worthy of the crown. It is the same practice we still use today. In establishing this most sacred tradition, Prince Owain gave Wales perhaps the greatest gift he could...noble and pious rulers for generations to come. Owain did not hesitate to enforce his new law either. Immediately after declaring the new form of succession, Prince Owain disinherited his heir apparent under the former law, and named his 3rd son as the heir. History would prove again that the Almighty had guided the hand of Owain in this action like so many others, but that will bring us to our next ruler Aeddan I Gwynn.

    Later Historian's Note: The inaccuracies in this biography are of a mostly minor nature, though it is worth pointing out that in his own time Prince Owain was considered something of a living saint, and even moreso after his death. Most of the inconsistencies stem from the sources available to the prince-bishop at the time of his writing. We now know that the "claims" Owain I had on both the counties of Gwynedd and Powys were likely fabricated. Additionally, the war between Wales and Scotland over the county of Perfeddwlad was first and foremost largely fought by a band of mercenaries, and not by Welsh levies, but further did not remove the Scots from the County of Perfeddwlad. The County actually continued to be ruled by the Strathearn clan from Scotland, but the overlordship had changed from the Scottish crown to the Welsh one.

    A final note is that the supposed statement by Owain of not accepting a King title due to Christ's status as King of Men has never been verified with any other contemporary source. In fact, the title of Prince of Wales was commonly in use at the time, so it seems much more likely that Owain merely took the title that was common for the time. Especially since his ancestors took great pains to augment the title to try and enhance its prestige by changing the title from Prince to Grand Prince sometime in the 13th century.
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    The Chronicles of House Gwynn - My Welsh AAR (Updated 02/27/2012!)

  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    Interesting, I really like both the concept of histories as written by the men of the cloth and how you started the AAR with showing where you got before rewinding. Gives us something to look forward to, a destination to our journey. Also, Welsh AARs are delightful and I'll be reading. :)
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