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Tommy4ever

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Tommy4ever

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Hello one and all, its barely a week since my last AAR burst into flames and I've already found myself drawn into making a return. This is an idea I'd actually been thinking about for awhile - initially planning on starting it later into the summer. I hope to write my first complete Megacampaign - starting in CK2 and going through EUIV, Victoria 2 and finishing in a Hearts of Iron game (probably Darkest Hour).

The AAR will focus on my homeland, Scotland, and begin with the 867 start. Rather than play it easy and play as the MacAilpin Kings of Scotland, I will be playing as the MacDrostan dynasty who control nothing but the thoroughly average Country (or rather Earldom) of Fife at game start. The first part of the Megacampaign will be focussed on the travails of this particular House.

I will be using my familiar 'one update per ruler' style for the first AAR, but the first update will be more of an introduction, setting the scene before the AAR proper starts. I hope to have this introductory update posted later today.
 
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Tommy4ever

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The Pre-History of Scotland


Although brief efforts were made by the Romans to push their influence beyond Hadrian’s Wall during their centuries of rule in Britain, the Northern part of the island remained more or less permanently independent of their Imperial power. With its population fiercely unconquerable and its harsh lands inhospitable, the Northern part of the isle of Britain would remain on the barbarian fringe of Roman civilisation. Yet, the changes that swept the British Isles and the Western world more generally, in the aftermath of the collapse of the Roman Empire would have a profound effect upon the lands of ‘Caledonia’.


In the centuries that followed the downfall of Roman rule the demographics of the region that would come to be known as ‘Scotland’ shifted dramatically. In the South-West, Britons dominated the Strathclyde region, to the South-East Anglo Saxon invaders settled as far North as the Firth of Forth. To the West, Gaelic speaking Irish settlers, known as Scots, gradually pushed ever further eastward and in land whilst the Picts maintained control over a shrinking portion of the region. Over this period, paganism was replaced by Christianity as missionaries from Ireland, and to a lesser extent England and indeed Europe, spread the gospel throughout the North. For several centuries the petty kinglets of the region fought viciously amongst themselves for control over the limited resources of the region – with no single faction capable of establishing dominance.


This balance was shatter in 793 has the cataclysmic attacks on the monasteries of Iona, the birthplace of Scottish Christianity, and Lindisfarne marked the beginning of the ‘Age of the Vikings’. From the last years of the 8th century Norse raiders and eventually settlers brought the kingdoms of the British Isles to their knees. The Scots and Picts suffered tremendously – Viking settlers conquering the Hebridean Isles and bringing the kingdoms of both peoples to the brink of collapse through the devastation sown by their raiding activities. As the Vikings grew bolder through the 9th century, the prospect of all of Northern Britain coming under Norse rule was very real indeed. Indeed, in a single battle in 839 two of the greatest Scots and Pictish kings perished in a single battle with the Norse.


The troubles of the Scots and Picts began to reverse from the early 840s when a mighty warlord, Kenneth MacAlpin, established a unified Scottish and Pictish Kingdom – regarded by later historians as making the birth of the Kingdom of Scotland (although the MacAlpin Kings of the 9th century styled themselves as Kings of the Picts). Kenneth and his immediate successors – his brother Donald, and son Constantine – brought a degree of stability to their beleaguered people, establishing the foundations of a strong Kingdom, even as Viking activity continued to escalate.


On the eve of the invasions of the sons of the legendary Norse King Ragnar Lodbrok, the McAlpin Kingdom that ruled all the lands North of the Forth was emerging as one of the British Isles’ strongest states. Even so, it would be totally unprepared for the scale of the latest wave of Scandinavian invaders to arrive on the shores of Britain.
 

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Another magacampaign. And who says who has grand designs and scope for an AAR? ;)

EDIT: It should be great to see how you play with a smaller count/Earl from the start, since I've always wanted to play that way and become King through more gratifying means than just pick the already present King and play from there; alas, I'm too daunted to do so since I don't consider myself that great of a CK2 player...
 
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Tommy4ever

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Drostan MacDrostan
Lived: 805-872
Head of House MacDrostan: 833-872
Earl of Fife: 843-872
Chancellor of Scotland: 852-872​


The relatively obscure mid-9th century Pictish chief, Drostan, is regarded as the founder of the great MacDrostan dynasty. Born to a family with some influence over East Fife he built a reputation as a great warrior, eventually being rewarded as he was raised to the upper echelons of the Scottish nobility – bringing the House MacDrostan to national prominence. The origins of Scotland’s greatest House can be traced back directly to this upwardly mobile Dark Age chieftain.


During the 830s Drostan appeared to consolidate his grip over a corner of East Fife – coming to dominate the region between Cupar and St Andrews – as his effectively military and diplomatic abilities allowed his to outmuscle and outsmart the area’s competing warlords. When Kenneth McAilpin rose to power and unified the Picts and Gaels at the start of the 840s, Drostan was an important ally – providing men as well as his personal assistance to the McAilpin cause. Following Kenneth’s victory, Drostan was rewarded with the Earldom of Fife – granting him control over some of Scotland’s choicest agricultural land and placing him in the ranks of the upper nobility.

Situated on the frontline of the battle against the Norsemen, Drostan’s Earldom faced continuous Viking raids throughout his life with the Earl frequently being called to battle in order to defend his own territories and to stand alongside his King. An unrepentant loyalist to the McAilpin monarchy he became Kenneth’s Chancellor in 852 and continued to serve until his death under the subsequent Kings, Donald and Constantine. In his role as Chancellor, the Earl of Fife helped build up a strong network of alliances between Scotland and the neighbouring Kingdoms of Strathclyde and Northumbria.


In 867 the Vikings once again brought all the old certainties of Early Medieval Britain crashing down as the Sons of Ragnar Lodbrok, and their Great Heathen Army, launched the most substantial military invasion the Norsemen had hitherto attempted. As Drostan, along with the armies of Scotland, rode out to support the Christian Kings of Northumbria, Strathclyde and East Anglia, the Norse were spectacularly victorious. In just four years great swathes of Britain fell to the invaders, leaving Scotland cut off from the rest of the Christian world – surrounded on all sides by powerful Viking Kingdoms.


When Drostan passed away less than a year after the end of the war with the Norsemen, the British Isles, and Scotland in particular, had been changed forever. His successor, Kenneth, lacked his diplomatic acumen but made up for it with the ferocity of a great warrior – a trait of great value in the violent and unstable world of 9th century Scotland.
 

Tommy4ever

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Well, you have a first subscriber. Very excited for this! (And glad to be in at the beginning.)

Good luck, Tommy.
Thanks, and glad to have you along!

Another magacampaign. And who says who has grand designs and scope for an AAR? ;)

EDIT: It should be great to see how you play with a smaller count/Earl from the start, since I've always wanted to play that way and become King through more gratifying means than just pick the already present King and play from there; alas, I'm too daunted to do so since I don't consider myself that great of a CK2 player...
Well, I'm only concentrating on one country ... :p

Playing as a lower ranking noble is definitely the funnest part of Crusader Kings. A backstab is oh so much more satisfying when you are the one wielding the knife ...

To be successful, you don't need to be a great player - but need to be prepared so that you can take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way and survive any major threat. A little bit of preparation, and a lot of luck is all you need.

Most excellent!
I was slightly startled by your new avatar, although I can hardly talk :p, welcome aboard!
 

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I was slightly startled by your new avatar, although I can hardly talk :p, welcome aboard!
Indeed! Says the guy who's just ditched the Communist UK avatar he's been using continuously for like three-and-a-half years now without so much as an afterthought. :p

Interesting concept, although the style is so similar to your Egypto-Norse saga that I can't help but expect to see Vikings popping up in Scotland any second now! Actually, in light of your current territorial situation that might not exactly be the most far-fetched of outcomes... My blatant unionism (the good kind, not the Syndie kind) however demands that this new megacampaign end in some kind of British union of some sort, vikings or no. ;)
 

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Well, it appears you've managed to survive thus far, which is better than what I can say for Scotland in most of my Old Gods starts. Let's see how you manage to turn the tide against these heathen raiders.
 

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Tommy4ever said:
Well, I'm only concentrating on one country ... :p
Yes, the joys of not having to try and have the all-seeing eye and take notes on developments of neighboring countries has its benefits! :p

And not to put pressure on you, your AAR is now serving as my de facto tutorial on how to play with a small county instead of a kingdom or empire as I always do! ;)

Does anyone else think that artwork used for Droston (presumably) looks like Sean Bean's Boromir from the Lord of the Rings? Maybe it's just me... :confused:
 

Tommy4ever

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Kenneth MacDrostan
Lived: 835-887
Head of House MacDrostan: 872-887
Earl of Fife: 872-887​


A simple man with few talents beyond the battlefield, Kenneth was ably complimented by his brother, Murdoch, who possessed an impressive diplomatic flair. Under Drostan's sons the clan would shift away from its tireless loyalty to the crown and rise to become one of the greatest centres of power in Scotland. Although neither of the brothers would receive the historical acclaim garnered by later MacDrostans, their role in sheltered the dynasty and expanding its power during the turbulent years of the latter 9th century makes them figures of far greater significance to the House MacDrostan than a dozen kings.


The growing power of the Vikings overshadowed the affairs of all of Northern Europe during the 9th century. Being on the frontline of the clash between the Norse and Christian worlds, Scotland continued to face constant assaults from the invaders. Between 873 and 875 the Scots made a failed attempt to eject the Hebridean based Norse warlord, Ivar the Boneless, from Clydesdale and the Lothians. King Constantine’s defeat in this war would leave the Scottish crown almost bankrupt – a problem made only more severe by the ever increasing cost of attempting, and usually failing, to organise some sort of defence against the Viking raids that saw a stream of wealth flow across the North Sea.


Faced with his inability to properly protect his Kingdom from the Vikings, and severe financial difficulties, King Constantine looked to enhance the power of the Scottish crown by turning against his vassals. In the Earldom of Murray, the heart of what had been the most prosperous of the Pictish Kingdoms; he forcibly ejected the local rules and seized the territory for himself. Elsewhere the nobility were forced to accept new taxes and new obligations to supply greater numbers of men to the defence of the realm against the Vikings. From his seat of power in Scone, Constantine looked jealously to the other side of the River Tay where the MacDrostans overseeing the transformation of Fife into a breadbasket with the Earldom’s incomes rising rapidly. In January 880 the King demanded that the MacDrostan’s surrender Fife to the crown and accept the concession of minor landholdings in their traditional home in the North-East of the Earldom.


Faced with the prospect of oblivion, the MacDrostans turned to the very Norsemen that Constantine was attempting to protect Scotland from. Hiring a large band of Danish mercenaries, Kenneth marched North to face the Scots King at the Battle of Forres in the Earldom of Murray. There the King was decisively beaten. In a single battle the power of the McAilpin monarchy was brought to its knees. The King was forced to reverse many of his centralising reforms by the nobility, which had seized the opportunity to rally around Kenneth and pressurise the crown, and pay a substantial tribute to a number of Norse warlords. Neither Constantine nor his House would ever fully recover from the defeat at Forres. Yet, the MacDrostans were ascendant.

For the next half decade the Kingdom of Scotland lurched on – the power and prestige of the monarchy in ruins and the realm growing increasingly disunited. With Kenneth MacDrostan consistently rejecting summons to Scone, only the fear of the Norse kept Scotland from drifting apart into a series of petty Kingdoms. The Scots salvation was to come far away from the Kingdom’s borders – in the marshes of Eastern England. There the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Mercia invaded East Anglia, a territory nominally loyal to Ivar the Boneless, whose Kingdom ruled the lands to the West and South of Scotland. With Ivar declaring war on the Mercians, Constantine called upon his vassals to march to war against the Norsemen.


The Scots would meet Ivar’s army at the Battle of Kincardine, on the Forth, in early 887. That day, it was not King Constantine, but Earl Kenneth who led the Scottish army to its first great victory over the Vikings. As victory at Kincardine opened the way for the Scots to overrun the Lothians and strike against Norse power on the West Coast, the MacDrostans looked perfectly placed to take advantage of their triumphant victory. It seemed the tide had finally turned against the Vikings in Britain.


However, just a couple of months after the Battle of Kincardine, Earl Kenneth died – far away from the battlefield. Many contemporaries, and subsequent historians, pointed the finger of accusation squarely at the King of Scotland – Constantine – seeing that he had a great deal to gain from the death of the prestigious Earl who had bested him on the field of battle and enjoyed the honoured status of the vanquisher of Ivar’s army. However, nothing was ever proven and the Earldom of Fife passed down to one of the most enigmatic figures of the Middle Ages. Then, Donald MacDrostan was just eleven years old.
 

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Good luck, and great to see you didn't give up on AARs!
Thanks, I did consider taking a lengthy, perhaps permanent, break. But decided to go back to playing my beloved CKII - a game where I find it very hard to play without feeling an overwhelming urge to write about it :p. AARs really ruined that game for me haha.

Indeed! Says the guy who's just ditched the Communist UK avatar he's been using continuously for like three-and-a-half years now without so much as an afterthought. :p

Interesting concept, although the style is so similar to your Egypto-Norse saga that I can't help but expect to see Vikings popping up in Scotland any second now! Actually, in light of your current territorial situation that might not exactly be the most far-fetched of outcomes... My blatant unionism (the good kind, not the Syndie kind) however demands that this new megacampaign end in some kind of British union of some sort, vikings or no. ;)
I felt it was time for a change, might go back if there is a bad September ... :p

Well, the Vikings will certainly overshadow the first few MacDrostans' rules. There may be some sort of British Union down the line, perhaps in this timeline's late 20th century the constituent parts of Britain will be demanding devolution from Holyrood :p.

Well, it appears you've managed to survive thus far, which is better than what I can say for Scotland in most of my Old Gods starts. Let's see how you manage to turn the tide against these heathen raiders.
Yeah, AI Scotland rarely lasts very long. Was perhaps lucky here that Ivar didn't attempt to invade my Earldom - prior to the war described at the very end of this update Scotland had faced defeat after defeat in its many conflicts with the Norse and not come close to beating them.

Yes, the joys of not having to try and have the all-seeing eye and take notes on developments of neighboring countries has its benefits! :p

And not to put pressure on you, your AAR is now serving as my de facto tutorial on how to play with a small county instead of a kingdom or empire as I always do! ;)

Does anyone else think that artwork used for Droston (presumably) looks like Sean Bean's Boromir from the Lord of the Rings? Maybe it's just me... :confused:
Well, I guess the big thing to note from this update is to keep at least some money aside to hire mercenaries in a crisis! Had I spent that money on an upgrade when Constantine turned around and demanded Fife in 880 then this would have been a very short AAR indeed ...
 

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Tommy4ever said:
However, just a couple of months after the Battle of Kincardine, Earl Kenneth died – far away from the battlefield. Many contemporaries, and subsequent historians, pointed the finger of accusation squarely at the King of Scotland – Constantine – seeing that he had a great deal to gain from the death of the prestigious Earl who had bested him on the field of battle and enjoyed the honoured status of the vanquisher of Ivar’s army. However, nothing was ever proven and the Earldom of Fife passed down to one of the most enigmatic figures of the Middle Ages. Then, Donald MacDrostan was just eleven years old.
Nothing like a good conspiracy theory to indulge in! :glare: Not even a teenager now on the throne, a long and prosperous reign is forthcoming I would fathom...
 

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Following with interest and praise.
 

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Donald II, the Wise, MacDrostan
Lived: 876-936
Head of House MacDrostan: 887-936
Earl of Fife: 887-894
Earl of Lothian and Dunbar: 889-894
Earl of Strathearn: 892-894
Duke of Lothian: 894-903
Cupbearer of Scotland: 892-900
Jarl of Lothian: 903-914
Jarl of Albany: 906-914
Chancellor of Norway: 904-914
Hirdman of Norway: 906-914
Petty King of Lothian and Albany: 914-916
King of Scotland: 916-936​


Donald MacDrostan is one of the most incredible figures of his era. 10th century chroniclers would dub him ‘the Wise’, partly as a barb at his duplicitousness and partly in praise of the apparent soundness of his judgement. Playing a greater role than any other single figure in the grand struggle between the native nobility and the Norse for control of Scotland, and indeed between the Houses of MacAilpin and MacDrostan, Donald served under four different monarchs from two dynastic regimes before emerging as master of Scotland himself. The founder of the Scotland of the MacDrostans, when he received his pitiful inheritance of Fife in 887 he was still a child.


Upon Donald’s father’s death, the peoples of the British Isles were involved in a tremendous struggle between the Norse Kingdoms that had been founded by the Great Heathen Army two decades before and the Anglo-Saxon and Scottish Christian realms. However, fortunately for the future fortunes of the MacDrostans, Donald’s uncle and regent – Murdoch – had no interest in grand narratives of struggle between the Pagans and Christians. His motivations were far more earthily. As Constantine’s army marched southward into Jorvik following Kenneth’s death, Murdoch sought to firmly establish MacDrostan power over the fertile lands between the Firth of Forth and the Southern Uplands. Establishing a string of forts stretching from Berwick to Stirling whilst the King’s eyes were focussed elsewhere he ensured that it would take an almighty struggle to eject the MacDrostans the region.

Peace finally came to Britain in 890. Whilst Murdoch was securing the Lothians, armies of Scotland, Mercia and latterly Wessex won a string of crushing victories over the Norse. With the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms dividing East Anglia amongst themselves, and the King of Scotland securing Galloway, the war was eventually brought to an end outside York, or Jorvik as the Norse had retitled it. With the Scots ravaging the North of the Viking Kingdom and the Mercians besieging its capital, the Kings of Jorvik and Suðreyjar met with the Archbishop of Cantebury – Cuthbert. In exchange for peace, the two Kings agreed to convert to Christianity and attempt to bring all their fellow Norsemen into the light. For many, it seemed the crisis of the 9th century was at an end.


In Scotland, the end of the war with the Norse was followed a resumption of conflict domestically. The MacDrostan’s seizure of the lands around the Forth had caused a great deal of anger and jealously amongst Scotland’s nobility. With demands that the new territories be divided amongst those who had fought against the Norse the Earls of Strathearn, Athol, Buchan and Ross went to war against the MacDrostans. The conflict lasted until 892 when the successes of the MacDrostans on the field of battle forced King Constantine to interevene and enforce a truce for fear that the MacDrostans might overwhelm the Kingdom. The Earldom of Strathearn was passed over to Donald.

As Donald finally came to replace his uncle at the head of his realm in 894, at the age of 18, he forged an alliance with the King that brought an end to a decade and a half of feuding between the monarchy and the MacDrostans. In exchange for his support, Donald was made the royal Cupbearer and, more importantly, Duke of Lothian giving him a rank second only to the King. Following his appointment as Duke, Donald established his own capital at Stirling – establishing a centre of power that would grow to rival Scone within a short period of time.


The instability suffered by the Norse Kingdoms following the adoption of Christianity by their rulers was far more extreme than that suffered in Scotland at the beginning of the 890s. Taking advantage of this instability, form 894 until Constantine’s death in 898 the scots greatly expanded their Kingdom, with the King of the Isles being expelled from the British mainland the Scots even secured Durham from Jorvik whilst Donald won new lands for his own domain. This was the pinnacle of MacAilpin Scotland. Within a remarkably short period, following Constantine’s death and the ascension his son Gilchrist, MacAilpin power would unravel.

Turning against the spirit of compromise his father had come to accept in the years after his death to Kenneth in the 880s, Gilchrist quickly move to consolidate the crown’s power at the expense of the nobility. The almost inevitably result of this policy was a widespread noble revolt spearheaded by Donald. With the support of the strong majority of nobles, Donald felt secure in victory – forcing Gilchrist to flee from Scone to the West Coast of Scotland. However, Gilchrist’s family connections in Ireland, and a healthy treasury, allowed him to call upon a large army of allied and mercenary Irish soldiers who made short work of the Scottish rebels. By the summer of 900 Donald had been imprisoned by the King in his Palace at Scone.


With the country still recovering from the Civil War the great Viking warlord Harold Fairhair landed with an army five thousand strong at the mouth of the River Dee in the Earldom of Buchan during the spring of 901. Initially making swift progress he marched South-West on the Scottish capital of Scone. There he suffered a stinging defeat – escaping utter oblivion only by evacuating his forces across the Tay into Fife.


In the confusion that gripped Scone in the face of Harold’s advance towards the capital, Donald made an ill-fated attempt to escape the King’s custody – perhaps to raise the flag of rebellion in collaboration with the invaders, perhaps simply to take advantage of the opportunity to return to his own lands. Regardless of his reasoning, Donald’s escape attempt failed and he found himself removed from his comfortable ‘imprisonment’ and thrown into the King’s dungeons. When Harold was defeated near Scone it seemed that Donald’s days were numbered.


Both Donald’s life and Harold Fairhair’s invasion were to be saved by the arrival of some 3,000 warriors from Norway in December 901. Having been forced to flee into Fife, Harold had based his army around the natural harbours of St Andrews as he awaited reinforcements. Unaware that new troops were en-route from Norway, Gilchrist patiently waited for the arrival of allied war bands from Ireland before striking towards Harold. By then it was too late. The reinforced Viking army crushed Gilchrist at the Battle of St Andrews – forcing him to flee into the Scottish interior and opening the country to his advance. Later that year Donald was freed from Gilchrist’s dungeons by the Norse, and in return for his allegiance to the war effort against his King he was allowed to retain his lands. Donald’s betrayal of his countrymen in their time of need would forever be identified as the ‘original sin’ of the MacDrostan dynasty – a stain that could never be wholly removed.

The war eventually reached its conclusion in mid-903 when the few unconquered Earls of the extreme North-West of the Kingdom abandoned Gilchrist and swore allegiance to Harold. The defeated King would continue to claim to be the King of Scotland from his court in Durham for several years to come, yet it was clear to all that there was a new King in Scotland – Harold Fairhair. Less than a year after Gilchrist was abandoned by his last allies a new rebellion broke out as Scots nobles sought to restore their deposed King and throw out the Norwegian incomers. However, Donald’s refusal to join the rebels, and indeed his decision to take up arms alongside the Norwegians ended any hope of success. Within just a few months the rebels had been crushed, with Donald’s prestige amongst the Norse rising dramatically.


The ‘Jarl’ of Lothian was richly rewarded for his loyalty by his new King. Harold made Donald his Chancellor and granted him authority over Gowrie (where the former seat of the Scottish monarchy – Scone – lay). After spending around two years at the Norwegian court in Bergen, Donald was sent back to Scotland. Even after their defeat in 904 the Scots nobility had proven restless and Harold was keen to use his Donald as his enforcer. In 906, Donald was made Jarl of Albany (giving him authority over the Earl of Athol) and was appointed as head of the ‘royal army’ in Scotland as one of the King’s ‘Hirdmen’. Donald was, for all intents and purposes, the regent of the Norwegian King in Scotland.

After Harold’s death in 908 he was succeeded by his daughter, Yrsa. Around a year after Yrsa’s coronation the Norwegian North Sea Empire reached the pinnacle of its power. With Gilchrist surrendering his claim to the Scottish crown for a life of religious solitude in Ireland, the Norwegians ruled over a realm stretching from Scandinavia, to Frisia, Iceland and a greater Scotland.


Yrsa’s Empire was built upon foundations of sand. In early 910 Norway went to war with the King of Denmark, later that year the recently subjugated Christian population of Frisia rose in revolt whilst in 911 rebellion broke out in Scotland. Having been crushingly defeated in 904 and then kept in line Donald MacDrostan, the nobility of Scotland was in no position to launch another revolt. However, under the leadership of a claymore wielding giant named Radulf a popular insurrection spread rapidly from Gowrie to set all Scotland North of the Tay alight. With Yrsa rejecting Donald’s request for assistance from Norway, and Radulf gaining ground, Donald made a bold move by declaring war against the Queen of Norway. The anti-Viking sentiment Radulf had tapped into proved extremely potent, faced with the realistic possibility of being swept away by the revolt, Donald had attempted to outflank him and claim leadership of the rebellion against the Norwegians. Defeating both Radulf’s army and what forces Yrsa could muster to send to Norway – Donald achieved independence in 914 as the ‘King’ of Lothian and Albany.


With popular pressure weighing heavily upon his shoulders, Donald tore apart his truce with the Norwegians as he invaded the lands of the old Brythonic Kingdom of Strathclyde. After a second victory over the Norwegians in 916 he seized the vacant Scottish throne, sitting upon the Stone of Destiny he was crowned King Donald II of Scotland. The MacDrostans had established a steely grip over the Scottish throne that they would not loosen for centuries.

After 916 an uneasy peace reigned within the Kingdom of Scotland, a peace that was not reflected in the other realms of Britain. With Frisia breaking free and the war with Denmark coming to an end, the Norwegians were eventually able to deploy a sizeable army to Scotland that was capable of preventing the loss of the Outer Hebrides and the Jarldom of Moray even as the remains of their domains in Scotland frayed around the edges. To the South, the Mercians continued to push further North as their aimed to destroy the Viking Kingdom of Jorvik once and for all – reclaiming York and annexing Lancaster.


In 923 Scotland’s peace was ended as Donald sent his armies to conquer the scattered remains of Norse Northumbria as well as Argyll in the barren West of Scotland. His wars against these minor lords rapidly escalated as Yrsa sent a Norwegian army across the North Sea to support her fellow Norse rulers and Murdoch McAilpin crossed over from Ireland at the head of an army committed to restoring his dynasty in Scotland. The war was an unmitigated triumph for Donald. In the South-West, Murdoch’s army was shattered and the claimant himself killed in a single battle at Dunragit whilst the Norwegians proved utterly incapable of standing in the war of the Scottish armies as they swept through Northumbria and Argyll. When the Norwegians agreed to peace in late 924, Scotland had been significantly expanded.


The latest truce with the Norwegians was, yet again, short lived. In 926 the Earl of Ross, a Scottish Catholic, rose in rebellion against his Pagan masters. Seeing an opportunity to expel the Norse from the British mainland for good, Donald invaded Moray in support of the rebellion. This latest, and final, war to expel Norwegian rule from Scotland would be the grandest of all as the Kings of Denmark and Sweden sent armies to Scotland in an effort to break Donald’s power. Over the course of the next five years the Scots would face several large scale invasions – each eventually fought off following desperately severe losses as the last Norse lords in the Hebrides and the mainland were ejected. Donald II’s victory in this last great war amounted to his crowning achievement as King of Scotland, with the Viking attempt to conquer mainland Britain shattered.


Although a brief war was fought against the Christianised Norse lord of the Isle on Mann in 933 following the assassination of the King’s brother, the final years of Donald’s reign were largely peaceful. The man who had done more than any other Scot to facilitate Norwegian rule in Scotland had also gone on to lead the Scots to total victory against their Norse enemies. In doing so he had seen Scotland rise to become one of three great Christian Kingdoms, along with Mercia and Wessex, which dominated the British Isles.


Shortly after his 60th birthday, in 936, Donald II, the Wise, passed away – bequeathing to his son a powerful Kingdom. Although Scotland, and the House MacDrostan in particular, remained surrounded threats and potential enemies – both had taken tremendous strides forward during the incredible lifetime of Donald MacDrostan.
 
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Tommy4ever

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Nothing like a good conspiracy theory to indulge in! :glare: Not even a teenager now on the throne, a long and prosperous reign is forthcoming I would fathom...
A long reign for sure, more chaotic than prosperous though :p.

Looks interesting!
Following with interest and praise.
I'm subbed, love megacampaigns!
Glad to see you all here, and hope you enjoy the AAR! :)