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Thread: Ua Páiste Gréine : An Isle of Man AAR

  1. #1

    Ua Páiste Gréine : An Isle of Man AAR


    Ua Páiste Gréine... that is what the people call me. Born from an Irish whore and the Norse lord of the Isle of Man, I spent my youth being beaten and treated like the un wanted child I was. When I turned 16 I swore an oath against my father and travelled back to Norway to forge my destiny under the Norwegian King, Harald IV. I became a great warrior for my King and had pledged my sword to his cause. Rumours travelled to Norway that the king of the Saxon's had died. Messengers were sent to England to investigate this claim however news reached the court that another man, perhaps less significant had died, alone and heirless. My father, the Count of the Isle of Man had died without a son or a daughter. In his last words he had recanted his sins to the bishop of Peel. He legitimised me and aged 28 I was named his heir. I returned to the land of my father, no longer a lowborn but now the Lord of the Isle.
    I stepped from my dragon boat and marched toward the small castle that I remembered from my childhood, a few Norse warriors opting to stay and help me. As I travelled I hear the locals whisper my name
    "Grim, Ua Páiste Gréine" I found this amusing as my father’s family name was Thorberg. Although I had been away from the Isles for many years the Irish language was not completely lost to me, I stopped and laughed out loud. "Yes you are right" I proclaimed, "Grim, the Bastard has returned to take what is his!”

    Grim Ua Páiste Gréine sat before his newly appointed chancellor, an Irishman called Aedh. He explained the situation to the count. "The Isle of Man tactically sits right between England, Ireland Scotland and Wales. Ireland to the west lies divided between warlords with no real power. England, following the confirmed death of Edward the Confessor lies in a state of war with the false King Harold Godwin fighting on two fronts against the Normans and Vikings. The main issues facing the Isle of Man are Scotland, the de jure monarch and the Viking raider Godrod Crovan.
    Grim considered the situation; he needed an ally in the area. "I will bow to no King" Grim said thoughtfully, "Send a letter to this Godrod Crovan, ask that his humble servant Grim Ua Páiste Gréine of the Isle of Man requests his protection in exchange for my fealty" The slow witted Irishman bowed and rushed off to pen the letter. Grim cursed the weak Irish flock that made up his entire council. They all hated him to a man, he knew this and relished in it. Another Irishman shuffled in, it was the Bishop of Peel, the man who had taken his father’s confession. "My lord I am here to speak to you about marriage.” Grim burst out laughing at this comment. The Bishop ignored the indignation and continued “You should marry a local girl this will pledge you to the land and the people” Grim thought for a moment. He knew the importance of getting the locals onside, he also realised that the Bishop had ignored Grim’s lineage and the fact he was half Irish. “Ua Páiste Gréine” he mumbled out loud as he chuckled. “Yes ok bishop, get me a dossier of some of the women... no swine daughters or dullards. If I am going to take a wife she must be fine in every way.” The bishop cleared his throat and un-rolled a parchment of names. Grim scanned it to the disproval of the Bishop who had probably thought him illiterate. “Before you read the document my lord, you must also pick a wife for Áengus de Inis Patriac. He was regent here for the period after your father’s death” Grim simply scoffed to this remark but the Bishop was unsure if this was in regards to Áengus, his father or both! Grim however knew the value of politics and as amusing as marrying the want to be Count to an ugly fowler would be, he had to at least attempt to appease the worm of a man!

    Grim chose for himself a Scottish girl from within the realm and for the regent an Irish girl. The ceremony fell on the same day that Godrod Crovan was set to arrive to accept Grim’s fealty. Both girls were very minor nobles and not really the wives to take to a Kings court, however when Grim met Godrod Crovan he realised the status of his wife would be irrelevant.
    Despite being married to the daughter of King Harald of Norway, Godrod was a beast of a man with a reputation for lazyness. Grim was concerned he would have to re-enforce the docking floor as Godrod exhumed himself from his ship ( with the assistance of two bodyguards) the bloated pig of a man accepted Grim’s fealty and requested Grim serve as his steward. “My Liege Crovan, I am a warrior not a penny counter. I decline your offer” Godrod Crovan eyeballed Grim as best he could with his piggy eyes and gave Grim the impression he did not understand the meaning of the word “No”. The Duke of the Isles slowly nodded, Grim decided this was more due to the flab around his neck than any form of contemplation. “Ok my Lord of Man, I shall need your hospitality for one night before returning to Innse Gall” Grim mock bowed to the Lord of the Isles thinking, that suits me, I have a wife to mount!

    Last edited by NexusSix; 10-06-2012 at 22:34.

  2. #2
    Interesting start position.

    I'm curious to see which way you go with this one, considering you have Ireland, Scotland, and even Wales and England all close by.
    Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Montezuma II, William the Conqueror, Shaka Zulu, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Oda Nobunaga, A Random Spartan,...

    ... Long Live Mass-Murderers!

  3. #3


    Count Grim settled into life at Castle Rushen on the Isle of Man. He was both surprised and satisfied with his new young wife, Gruoch who was both intellectual and seemed loyal. He quickly posted her as his Spy Master a short time after she had given birth to their first daughter, Gudrid. Grim was also happy as she also managed to sate his thirst for carnal pleasure. It was very rare that the Count was forced to turn to one of the Irish servant girls. The only distractions from building a family were his predominantly Irish court and fat whelp of a Liege Lord, Gudrod Crovan.

    The main problem in Count Grim’s court was the former regent and upstart idiot Áengus de Inis Patraic. He was a proud Irishman, deeply devout and ambitious. He also hated Grim with a passion. It was a shame because Count Grim could see the man was un-dubitably useful; however he was also a constant thorn. The former regents favourite line was generally “Your father would not have done that” or “Thats not what the former Lord would want.” Things finally came to a head in December 1667 Áengus was trying to persuade Count Grim not to collect extra taxes from the peasants. Grim had, had just about as much as he could take from the constant itch that was Áengus. “Look you Irish fool, I went so far as to get you an Irish whore for a wife and you repay me with insolence and council fit for that fat mistake for a Viking sat in Innse Gall! I do not care for my oaf of a father, can I remind you the idiot is dead. I am Lord here, not he not you. Do as I say, if you can or will not, return to your beloved Ireland!” Áengus stared at Count Grim and for a second it appeared although the Irishman was going to reach for his sword. Instead he composed himself and left the room.

    The next month Countess Gruoch, came to her husband with the news of Áengus betrayal. He had plotted with some of the Irish minor nobility on the Isle of Man to rise up and install him as Count. Of course Grim Ua Páiste Gréine was to be killed in the uprising. With the news and evidence in hand Grim leapt from his bed (where else would he consort with his Spy Master?) grabbed a robe and summoned his body guard. The group assaulted the would be usurper’s bedroom and dragged the Irishman from his bed naked before throwing him into the dungeons. Áengus pleaded with Count Grim for some kind of amnesty. “Sign a full confession, my Lord” Grim said mockingly. “And I will have you taken from this cell” The desperate former regent refused, citing something about honour and duty. Grim simply shrugged his shoulders leaving the fool to rot.

    By the end of the year the news reached Count Grim that Áengus the betrayer was found dead in his cell. Leaving behind a wife and single man child, something Grim, despite having three girls did not have. “Separate the whore and the child” Grim proclaimed. “Let the child be as I once was, he does not need to know anything of his father”. Satisfied that the episode was over, Grim turned his attention to other matters. His dope of a chancellor had got himself murdered in Ireland. This was of no great loss to Grim as the man was an imbecile. He appointed a new Chancellor, this time a Norwegian man from Caithness, a northern Scottish province under Viking control. The man arrived and Grim was quite excited to finally have a Norseman in his cabinet. However the man’s wife was what caught the Count of the Isle of Man’s eye. Grim decided that despite the young woman giving him the eye it was best that he did not get himself the reputation with Norsemen quite yet !

    By the summer of 1072, Gudrod of the Isles summoned his people to a great feast. Grim who referred to his liege as Gudrod the fat or Gudrod the illiterate dependent on his mood was more worried that the fat bastard would leave any actual food for his guests. He complained to his wife as they sent off for Innse Gall. Upon reaching the feast Grim was forced to sit at the head table with Gudrod and his acid tongued witch of a wife. Mercyfully on arrival their were at least 4 guests between him and the paradoxical pair. Although the daughter of the King of Norway, Ragnhild Maria Haraldsdatter was as waif thin and anorexic as her child of a husband was fat. Sometimes Count Grim swore that the woman hid behind her oaf of a husband ready to waylay an unsuspecting person in dull chatter. She was said to be both a coward and a lover of the bedroom arts. Count Grim shuddered at the thought of her and the fat Duke together and wondered if her last days on earth would be served beneath the behemoth of a man. Grim started thoughtfully into his ale before he realised he was contemplating exactly how many more he would need to even contemplate bedding the Duchess. The Count of The Isle of Man’s thoughts were interrupted by the soft voice of his wife Grouch, who had been away for a long period of time due to complications with her fifth pregnancy. “My Lord, we should go to bed tonight and ensure your men are not drunk” “Why?” Grim chuckled “You wish them watch?” the Scotswoman laughed playfully. “No.... I have been with some of the Duchess Ladies in waiting. It seems that Duke Godrud has his eyes on the Isle of Man” Grim stopped laughing and the colour drained from his cheeks. Calmly he downed his ale and settled back into his chair. “So,” he thought “The fat child wants my Island? Well I shall feed him to the pigs he so resembles”

    Last edited by NexusSix; 10-06-2012 at 22:25.

  4. #4
    Captain east_emnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NexusSix View Post
    By the end of the year the news reached Count Grim that Áengus the betrayer was found dead in his cell. Leaving behind a wife and single man child, something Grim, despite having three girls did not have. “Separate the whore and the child” Grim proclaimed. “Let the child be as I once was, he does not need to know anything of his father”.
    This kind of thinking could come back to bite Grim later. "Let the child be as I once was" might turn the child into a future enemy given the effect Grim's childhood had to his personality and outlook.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by east_emnet View Post
    This kind of thinking could come back to bite Grim later. "Let the child be as I once was" might turn the child into a future enemy given the effect Grim's childhood had to his personality and outlook.
    We shall see I guess I am trying to ensure that I play this game to my characters attributes and virtues or sins. In this case I decided that Grim being a cruel man would seperate wife and child. He is also a patient man so has all the time in the world. ( in his mind anyway !)
    Thanks for reading.

  6. #6


    Lord Grim left Innse Gall with a strange feeling, something in-between anger and exhilaration. The prospect of ridding the Isle of the Pig Duke put a smile on his face. Upon reaching Castle Rushen Grim called his Chancellor to him and asked that he have the books about the history of the Isles and their families. The Count wanted to ensure that if he was going to make a move it was towards the right kinds of people. Although he filled himself with some basic knowledge Grim decided after a few months that his work was fruitless so dispatched two of his most trusted body guard to Innse Gall. These men were to travel to the realm of the Fat Duke posing as betrayers; here they were to see if there were any other people willing to plot against the Duke of the Isles. It was in June 1073 that Count Grim did however get the news he had been waiting so long for! His wife Grouch had finally given him a son. In a move of irony Grim decided to name his child Gudrod. “It’s a good Viking name” he explained to his wife “a true Viking should carry it on these Isles”.

    Grim also doubled his guard and went so far as to bring more Irish into his garrison, he had already upgraded the City Walls and bled more taxes from the people so he decided to give the Irish the chance to fight for their lord by starting a Militia Training ground. He thought he might need the men and was wary of an attack from the Duchy of the Isles or even the Scottish territories. Grim had not really done very much to form friendships with the counts of Galloway, Carrick or Argyll mainly because they were either Scots or Irish. Grim suddenly realised that for all his cocksureness he was not in the strongest of situations. It was a few days after the birth of Gudrod Grimsson that Count Grim’s men returned from Innse Gall. They had found a man willing to conspire, Erling av Finlaggin. The man was an ambitious Viking who had been fired from Duke Gudrod’s council then been refused a place back on it after complaining that the Duke of the Isles was lazy! Grim decided the man was perfect so sent back one of his men with orders to assist and reward Erling. Grim sighed, as under normal circumstances, he would have sent his Spy Master but his wife was in bed and had been extremely ill following the birth of young Gudrod.

    The assassin arrived at Innse Gall and met up with Erling at one of the ale houses in the city village of Stornoway before heading to the Castle Finlaggin. Upon reaching the castle in early evening Erling was able to boldly walk in as he was well known to the guards. He introduced Grim’s man as a cousin something which was not even questioned. The assassins crept towards the Fat Duke’s private part of the castle; Erling explained to his fellow assassin that his body guards were normally dismissed at night as the Duke was arrogant enough not to expect attack. The pair happened on the bloated pig as he exited the midden! Both parties stopped and stared at each other in surprise, the fat Duke started to waddle as he desperately tried to reattach his trousers to his ample waist! At this point the Norse assassins struck. It took both of them to bowl the fat man to the floor and he wriggled like a worm refusing to die. Erling shoved his hand into the man’s pit of a mouth to silence him as the pair struck out with their daggers. The job was done, the Pig duke, Gudrod Crovan of the Isles had been butchered! Quickly the pair made a quick get away before the Viper Queen Ragnhild came looking for her pig.The assassins returned to Rushen that night, amid thoughts of heroics and rewards, all that met them was grief. The Kings chancellor bid them follow. “My lords, the job is done? Count Grim would be here to meet you, however he is mourning in the chapel. Countess Grouch has died....”

    Count Grim was both shocked and upset at the death of his wife. He had actually quite enjoyed her company and she had given him 5 children, although only one boy. However he did not truly have time to mourn. The Pig Duke was dead and his son, Svien had taken his crown. The boy was unknown to Grim and was inconsequential as his reagent controlled the Isles for now. Grudgingly Grim accepted a position of Steward in the court of this boy Duke. With his wife and Spy Master gone he would have to ensure his own eyes and ears found any clues about betrayal. However it did not take long for a bigger and more powerful threat to loom on the horizen. The Celtic Lion, Malcolm Dunkeld, King of Scotland had claimed Argyall as part of his crown. The Scots king was known as a harsh man that got what he wanted. And he had made the declaration to the Duke of the Isles that he was coming. Count Grim for a moment was satisfied that he was a steward and not a Marshal!

    Last edited by NexusSix; 10-06-2012 at 22:25.

  7. #7


    With the armies of Scotland at the edges of Argyll the soldiers of the Isles valiantly tried to muster. The rag tag soldiers made up of Norse, Irish and Scots, (who some would argue welcomed King Malcom’s advance) had little hope of repelling the advance. All said and done the Duke of the Isles mustered around 500 men to face the near 2000 of Scotland. Count Grim Ua Páiste Gréine did not care. No one had even pinned the assassination of Duke Guthrod to him as it had been pinned on the errant Erling av Finlaggin. The Norseman had allegedly made a run for Norway, but the truth was his body had been thrown into the Irish Sea as to evade any connection back to Count Grim.

    Although the war for Argyll was raging, and the Isles were losing Count Grim had other things on his mind. He was bored of servant girls and needed a new spy master with half a brain so he decided to look for a new wife. In 1075 Count Grim married a young woman, Sigrid from Caithness which was now a Scottish holding. Despite being lost to Scotland in war the area still had a very heavy Norse presence.
    The wedding was a sombre occasion where the other lords of the Isles were somewhat more pre-occupied with war to actually enjoy the occasion. Count Grim relished in this as they had only even been invited out of politeness. The viper Ragnhild Maria was present with her new husband, the pig duke’s younger brother Domnall. “Keep it in the family” Count Grim chuckled to himself. Although Domnall was nowhere near as fat as his older brother he was still a heavy set gentleman with a thick red beard earning himself the nickname Domnall “the Red”. As the festivities ended, if you could call them such Count Grim joyfully bid the Crovan’s good riddance as they left for Innse Gall. “Count Grim, we realise you are not helping us fight the Scottish” Ragnhild Maria began “and know that the Isle of Man is a home of both Heathens and cowards” Count Grim nodded curtly and was fairly sure his retort was lost to the wind or Domnall the Red would have returned promptly for Count Grim’s head !
    The parting shot from the elfin viper had left Grim Ua Páiste Gréine somewhat amused. He was catholic and given men to the war against Scotland, of course they were the un experienced Irish rather than his household guard but still it was a contribution. The words of Ragnhild Maria still in his head Count Grim went to speak to his chaplain, Ámund of Peel, a Norseman who, strangely had come from Innse Gall. Upon arrived Grim startled the Chaplin who was pouring over papers and manuscripts. Desperately the Bishop tried to gather these papers. Being too quick for the Chaplin Count Grim gathered up some of the papers and quickly realised they were heretical in content, preaching about the Lollard religion. Count Grim had the man arrested and his holdings seized.

    Count Grim, then took away the ledgers from the Bishopric to pour over while deciding what to do with the errant priest. As he sat late in the evening in his private library the Count was disturbed by one of his courtiers Haldora. Haldora was the widow of one of Grim’s former chancellor and had always had an eye for the Count. Grim decided he had enough of books for one evening and propositioned the young woman. As expected she jumped at the opportunity.
    The following week, his lust fulfilled Count Grim decided it best to banish the Bishop of Peel from his lands, despite protests of innocence. A main factor in this decision was the pile of gold the bishop had horded which was banished to the Isle of Man treasury. With the money safely taken and the Bishop gone Grim had to deal with the Bishops former ward. One Carlus MacÁengus de Inis Patraic. The boy and son of Grim’s father’s dead regent could prove to be an issue so he sent the boy to a monastery instead! Boy’s seemed to be the theme of the month for Count Grim, as Haldora reported to him that she was pregnant, seven months later she gave birth to Grim Grimmson Ua Páiste Gréine. Knowing the life of a bastard all to well, Count Grim accepted that the boy was his. His wife Sigrid was hurt by this gesture but she herself had not conceived yet so really did not have much of an argument!

    On a cold day in 1080, a boat arrived from the East carrying trade from Norway. When it left the Captain of the dock guard realised that onboard was a young stowaway. The boy claimed in a gruff dialect that he was from Sweden and had left to escape his family. He wore around his neck a pagan symbol showing a no reference to the Christian god. Grim decided against his better judgement to allow the boy to stay but under the tutor ledge of the new Bishop of Peel Ottar. For the first time Count Grim was troubled by the words of the witch of the Isles, Ragnhild Maria’s words of heresy still echoed in Count Grim’s head. More worrying perhaps, yet expected , Argyll had fallen to Malcolm "the Cruel" of Scotland.

    Last edited by NexusSix; 10-06-2012 at 23:53.

  8. #8
    Captain east_emnet's Avatar
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    It's kind of funny that he gave his son the same name as liege that he despised.
    Last edited by east_emnet; 15-06-2012 at 06:58.

  9. #9


    The Battle of Whithorn, Norse and Irish shieldwalls clash.

    Count Grim saw himself as Norwegian however as his mother was Irish he always kept half an eye on the Emerald Island to the West. Ireland was a strange place in that it had no formal power, like the Isles, Scotland or even Wales. At any time three or four Dukes held claim to separate parts of the Island but none held any real power. Count Grim set his sights on Ulster, the North Eastern province of Ireland, which was controlled by the aging Count Cú Uldah. Strategically this was one of the best places for Count Grim to control as it was only accessible via Galloway the province directly north of the Isle of Man. The main concern to Count Grim was however the rival claimants to Ulster. Duke Svein of the Isles held a claim as, more worryingly did Count Fergus of Argyll. Many had whispered that the Scottish Count had not really put up very much resistance when King Malcolm the Cruel had begun his campaign into the Duchy of the Isles territory. Whatever the situation one thing was abundantly clear, Fergus had a claim and had the backing of the new King of Scotland, Malcolm’s son.

    In the early summer of 1083, Count Grim decided it time to make his move and raised his troops. There was much excitement and trepidation on the Isle of Man as this was set to be the first time the Island had formally gone to war. Grim decided to leave the battle plans to Flaitbertach Áedhsson, although born an Irishman and son of the former Chancellor, Flaitbertach had embraced the Norwegian life style and had proven himself and honorary Viking. The grand scheme was to lead the Isle of Man forces, which were 70% Irish household troops and 30% Vikings across to Galloway, where they would cross the Irish Sea and attack Ulster itself. It was perhaps quite an obvious attack route however Grim was confident that his superior numbers and better class of warriors would overcome the Irish.

    In early September while making their way to the coast of Galloway, Count Grim’s forces were ambushed and attacked by what was thought to be a contingent of Irish Mercenaries. During the battle Flaitbertach was injured by a stray arrow, however proving himself he personally led the counter attack against the Irish shield wall. The un-disciplined troops were no match for the Norse trained soldiers of the Isle of Man and scattered and ran. As the Irish forces left in full retreat towards the beaches it was noted that they had been led by Count Cú Uldah himself. Somehow the Count of Ulster had been made aware of Count Grims decision to conquer his lands. As foreboding as this was the Isle of Man forces had no choice now as they had played their hand. They marched on to Ulster.
    Count Grim met his vanguard forces with Norse re-enforcements from the Isle of Man as had been planned. Together the forces set across the Irish Sea toward Ulster. The land was pretty poor and the villages the forces passed on their way to the capital were sparse and the people cowards. Upon reaching the capital scouts reported back to Count Grim. Apparently Castle Downpatrick was well garrisoned and they had seemed to be stock piling for months. Someone had defiantly alerted the Ulster forces to the arrival of Count Grim. With all things said, a long siege seemed to loom in front of the Isle of Man forces. Surrounding the meagre Motte and Bailey Keep the Isle of Man forces set up and waited to starve the Irish out. This was going to be a long and bitter siege.

    The Siege of Ulster had been raging now for a full year with Downpattrick looking forever on the brink of falling but somehow still not giving in. Count Grim’s men were looking ragged but were spurred on by an intense fear of Count Grim’s cruelty if they decided to falter. Finally after two years of siege warfare, Ulster fell. The bedraggled Count Cú Uldah surrendered his keep and titles to Count Grim. Satisfied as Cú Uldah grovelled at his feet Count Grim banished him before surveying what was now his. The province of Ulster, Grim however was still aware of both Duke Svein and Count Fergus who had no doubt kept half an eye on Grim’s conquest.

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