INTRODUCTION : UA PÁISTE GRÉINE.......
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!