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Tommy4ever

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I feel like I just read through a story line for a Bruce Willis movie! :p

Wow...what a way to become King of Scotland. I'm sure it went all according to plan!
 

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Hmm. An ambitious yet treacherous young Earl stabbing people left, right and centre by land and by sea? It appears Scotland's King was aptly named indeed!
 

KyrionMyrthar

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I haven't touched CKII in probably a year - this was fun, and it's making me want to pick it up again!
 

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Thomas I, the Noble, MacDrostan
Lived: 900-966
Head of House MacDrostan: 936-966
King of Scotland: 936-966​


Taking his father’s legacy forward, Thomas I took great strides towards a new era of prosperity and stability after the chaos of the preceding century. Noted for his piety and nobility in stature, Thomas enhanced Scotland’s position on the international stage through his participation in the First Crusade whilst overseeing a folk religious revival focussed around the presence of ‘Annabella the Maid’ at his court. Thomas’ reign marked the moment when the first shimmers of light at the end of the Dark Ages began to illuminate Scotland.


Within a year of Thomas I’s coronation, Scotland had descended into a chaotic three way civil war whilst at the same time facing invasion from the Mercians to the South and Norse warlords from the East. Thomas’ claim to the Scottish throne was disputed by his half-brother Duncan, who rallied the Duchies of Lothian and Galloway around his cause, and a cabal of Northern barons who sought to restore the now elderly Gilchrist MacAilpin – the last King of the MacAilpin dynasty – to the throne. The conflict raged from 936 until 942, the King winning widespread acclaim for his bravery and martial skill as he vanquished all the foes that lay before him. At the battles’ end Thomas’ position appeared unquestionably secure.


During the Dark Ages the prestige of the Papacy delved to new lows. Under Sergius III the debauchery in Rome appeared to reflect the corrupted, worldly, nature of Western Christendom itself. Following the hated Pope’s death his successors sought to pursue a radical programme of reform across the Church – seeking to radically increase the power of the Papacy, free the Church from secular influence and forge a united Christendom. The infamous trial of Sergius III’s corpse in 935 marked the beginning of this Papal revival, its past demons being publicly exorcised. In 943 it took another, dramatic, step forward as the Pope called for the faithful to launch a grand military expedition to Palestine – to reclaim the Holy Land from its Muslim masters.


Although drawing a great deal of popular enthusiasm, the First Crusade was largely ignored by the Kings of Western Europe, with the Byzantines regarding it with a similar level of disdain. However, Thomas I boldly travelled to the Levant with an army of around 3,000 men – fighting valiantly against the tremendous power of the Caliph. Despite the success of Thomas, and other Crusaders, in capturing a series of Levantine port cities – the Holy City itself eluded the expedition as its Muslim rulers made it impossible for the Crusaders to make significant advances in land. By 947, with the expedition rapidly running out of steam, it was clear that the Crusade had been a failure as a truce was agreed. The failure of the Crusade would strike another blow against Papal prestige, knocking the cause of reform back for almost another century. However, Thomas of Scotland’s reputation rose significantly for his pious service.

Whilst the King had been far away in the Near East, something extraordinary was happening back in Scotland. During the 9th and early 10th centuries substantial numbers of Norse had settled between the Firth of Forth and the Humber River – to such an extent that the constituted a majority in parts of Yorkshire, Northumbria and East Lothian. Even after the collapse of the Norse Kingdoms in the early 10th century, these populations remained stubbornly Pagan – making them the inevitable target of suspicion and repression by their new overlords. With Scotland deprived of fighting men after Thomas set sail for Palestine in 943, the Norse-Pagan population of the South-East of the Kingdom rose in revolt – rapidly advancing towards Stirling and Scotland’s heartlands.


With Scotland’s nobles floundering in the face of the Norse rebellion, it took a remarkable popular movement to save Scottish Christianity. In the Lothians thousands of common folk began to rally around a young peasant girl who claimed to be possessed by the spirit of God – Annabella the Maid. Professing to a thrusting, evangelical, Christianity she was equally compelling proselytiser and military genius. Outnumbered and outclassed by the Norse rebels, her ramshackle army crushed their forces allowing her to rapidly advance into their Northumbrian heartlands. There, for the first time, great swathes of the Norse population began to convert to Christianity as Annabella’s missionary army spread the gospel in a manner they had never witnessed before. Seeing their revolt unravel, the Norse turned to the King of Denmark for assistance.

In 945 King Haakon of Denmark arrived in Northumbria with a 6,000 men, grouping with the remains of the Norse revolt he forced Annabella into retreat. Slipping seamlessly from regular to irregular warfare, Annabella began to lead a sort of ‘guerrilla war’ with her forces harassing and harrying the Danes as they moved to occupy a large part of Scotland. With the Danes on the verge of breaking by the time Thomas returned from Crusade in 948, the King’s veteran army united with Annabella’s forces to defeat the Danes once and for all – bringing to an end the last great attempt of the Vikings to conquer Scotland. It is notable that the son of the Danish King, who would later convert to Christianity following his ascension to the Danish throne in 961, fought against Annabella’s armies – many believed that their religious fervour left a lasting imprint upon him.

Whilst the rise to prominence of a heretical peasant girl worried and angered a large part of the Scots nobility, Thomas, whose own experiences of religious warfare in the Near East had shaped him, was captivated by Annabella. To widespread shock, in the years after 948 Annabella was made the Marshal of the King’s armies and became one of his closest advisors at court. Annabella would establish a series of garrisons and forts around key settlements around Scotland – creating the first effective and centrally organised defence against the incessant raiding of the Vikings. The stemming of the flow of booty across the North Sea that resulted would play a major role in enabling Scotland’s prosperous 11th century. Meanwhile, in 957, Annabella once again took to the field to lead the King’s armies to a rapid victory over a rebellious nobility that continued to despise the MacDrostan monarchy.

Through this period, Annabella became a folk hero – widely praised as the chief of all Saints, despite only being officially recognised by the Catholic Church as a Saint as late as the 14th century. The energetic zeal of Annabella and her followers combined with the religious enthusiasm that Thomas and his fellow Crusaders had been immersed in during their war against the Arabs to create an explosion in religious piety across Scotland. Dozens of monasteries and abbeys were established with the ranks of the clergy rapidly expanding whilst the common people appeared to grow far closer to their faith than ever before. This religious revival of the mid-10th century would leave a permanent imprint upon Scotland.


Thomas I died peacefully at the age of 66 in 966 after three decades on the Scottish throne. It had been a turbulent period punctuate by a growing divide between an increasingly powerful monarchy and a shunned nobility. Yet the Kingdom had remained outwardly powerful – defeating numerous invasions and even contributing significantly to the failed First Crusade. Thomas’ grandson, Adam, was left with a hefty legacy to live up to.
 

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I feel like I just read through a story line for a Bruce Willis movie! :p

Wow...what a way to become King of Scotland. I'm sure it went all according to plan!
When opportunities present themselves .... :D

What a great start! Excellent story so far, I loved your Egypto-Norse AAR so I'm glad to see another with the similar format.
Thanks! Whilst the setting isn't quite as interesting as the Egypto-Norse - I hope the story can be just as good :).

Too bad you managed to get independent from the Norse :(
I had initially planned on staying loyal to the Norwegians for a while after they took over - they treated me pretty well after all. However, Yrsa, who earned the title ''Ill Ruler'' before her death, was so useless that I couldn't help myself. :p

Hmm. An ambitious yet treacherous young Earl stabbing people left, right and centre by land and by sea? It appears Scotland's King was aptly named indeed!
Indeed. I'm going to miss being a vassal - there aren't nearly as many opportunities to stab everyone in the back :p.

Consider us your loyal retainers :)
:) Your loyalty is greatly appreciated.

I haven't touched CKII in probably a year - this was fun, and it's making me want to pick it up again!
Hope you start playing again, its a great game!
 

EU3NOOB

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You should bring freedom to the Irish....

They need saving... from themselves!
 
Jul 20, 2010
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1
just discovered this. i must say that i am very impressed and look forward to more! :)
Indeed let us be be a celtic empire Ruling irish,welsh, cornish, bretons and the Middlelanders ruled from not london.

Like northumbria or something.

Thus leaving the capital in leeds... :mellow:
 

Asantahene

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Ahhh another Scots AAR and a Megacampaign to boot! Very well written and illustrated. Count me in.

Having also survived the Norse (though as the MacAilpins) I found the best policy was to toadie up to Ivar in order that he focus his warmaking south of Scotland then go at him when the inevitable Gavelkind wars of succession kicked in. It was a bit touch and go for 100 odd years but that and nibbling away at Ireland to bring me more and more manpower eventually had my dynasty as overlords of Scotland and Ireland (and then Wales).

Loving this AAR. Consider me in!
 

sirrichard

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Pretty interesting so far :), but how do you plan to convert the game from Vic2 to DH?
 

Ithvan

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Ah sweet, another megacampaign by Tommy! I'll be following this one too, and I hope this one doesn't end due to your becoming a republic in EUIV. ;)
 

Wolf6120

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Awesome, I actually get to read along this time around. On a side note, what's the Coat of Arms of house MacDrostan?
 

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Adam I MacDrostan
Lived: 945-970
Head of House MacDrostan: 966-970
Earl of Powys: 960-966
King of Scotland: 966-970​


Adam I came to the Scottish throne as a vibrant 21 year old, full of vim and vigour – ready to build upon the legacy of his MacDrostan forbearers. Within months of his coronation he found himself thrust into a long and bloody conflict that would eventually break him, leaving his brief reign as little more than a footnote in Scottish history.


Despite the short length of his reign, Adam I did oversee important shifts in the geopolitical landscape of Early Medieval Britain. In 960, six years before becoming King of Scotland, he had departed from his grandfather’s court to Wales where he administered his inheritance from his mother – the Earldom of Powys. The expansion of Scottish influence into this remote corner of Wales would mark the beginning of a gradual colonisation of the country by the Scots – a colonisation that would totally alter Wales’ social, political and linguistic landscape.

More significantly at the time, in 967 the King of Asturias inherited the Kingdom of Mercia – bringing the larger of the two Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms under Spanish authority. The arrival of the Spanish in England would have an ever more significant impact on the balance of power between the rival sources of power in the British Isles.


Shortly after his coronation, Adam’s legitimacy was challenged by a cabal of Earls who supported the claim of his half-brother – Duncan, the Duke of Galloway. Rather than enforce his authority over the rebels, Adam suffered a tremendous defeat at the Battle of Forres in the North – allowing for the entire Kingdom to descend into chaos as the rebellion spread with unerring force and the loyalists to the monarchy scrapped what forces they could gather together. At the same time, the Asturian ruled Mercians crossed the border to seize control of Durham and the surrounding area.


More concerningly for Scotland’s stability, the relative security that Scotland’s coastal communities had enjoyed from the 940s, with the creation of a series of measures designed to ward off Viking incursions, collapsed – allowing for the re-emergence of large scale Norse raids across the country. It would be as long as two decades before Norse raiders’ impact upon the country was reduced back to the low level of the middle decades of the 10th century.

On the battlefield, Adam and his devoted Marshal, Annabella the Maid, were able to gradually reverse the defeat suffered at Forres at the start of the war. A series of victories around the King’s core lands along the Forth and Tay stabilised the situation before the arrival of significant numbers of mercenaries into the royal armies allowed the loyalists to gradually push back against the rebels. Peace was finally agreed in February 970, Adam I’s position of King being secured.


However, the years of campaigning had gravely weakened King Adam’s health. Before the year was out he had passed away with a fever, leaving his Kingdom in the hands of an unpopular military cabal headed by Annabella the Maid and his aging uncle – Duke Donald of Northumbria. The new King was a six year old boy named Brice, a boy that would grow up to play a defining role in Scotland’s history.
 

Tommy4ever

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You should bring freedom to the Irish....

They need saving... from themselves!
I think you may be surprised by the Irish in this AAR ...

just discovered this. i must say that i am very impressed and look forward to more! :)
Thanks! Hope you continue to enjoy it :).

I hope this AAR has an ending as crazy as the Egypto-Norse one! Will definitely follow!
Well, don't know about the ending yet - but will aim to please.

Indeed let us be be a celtic empire Ruling irish,welsh, cornish, bretons and the Middlelanders ruled from not london.

Like northumbria or something.

Thus leaving the capital in leeds... :mellow:
Well, the capital must surely be somewhere in Scotland! Beyond that, your ideas of a Celtic Empire sound interesting.

Ahhh another Scots AAR and a Megacampaign to boot! Very well written and illustrated. Count me in.

Having also survived the Norse (though as the MacAilpins) I found the best policy was to toadie up to Ivar in order that he focus his warmaking south of Scotland then go at him when the inevitable Gavelkind wars of succession kicked in. It was a bit touch and go for 100 odd years but that and nibbling away at Ireland to bring me more and more manpower eventually had my dynasty as overlords of Scotland and Ireland (and then Wales).

Loving this AAR. Consider me in!
The Vikings didn't turn out too powerful in this AAR - hell, the Ivarings were pretty much beaten even before the MacAilpins lost control of Scotland to Norway. IIRC the Ivarings survive as the Christian-Norse Earls of the Isle of Mann (Scottish vassals, naturally) until sometime in the 11th century when the dynasty changed and they died out.

We shall see what my plans are for the rest of Britain in later updates ...

Pretty interesting so far :), but how do you plan to convert the game from Vic2 to DH?
That one will probably have to be a self made mod, taking up a lot of time unless I do it shoddily (which is always a possibility :p).

Ah sweet, another megacampaign by Tommy! I'll be following this one too, and I hope this one doesn't end due to your becoming a republic in EUIV. ;)
Thanks!

I'll promise no cop-out endings with a change of regime. We'll follow Scotland through to the end, through thick and thin, I am determined!

Awesome, I actually get to read along this time around. On a side note, what's the Coat of Arms of house MacDrostan?
Glad you're excited for one of my AARs :). Hope its a more enjoyable experience following one from the start. :D

Since the MacDrostans are a largely uninteresting little dynasty at game start they get a rather boring CoA:

 

DensleyBlair

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The expansion of Scottish influence into this remote corner of Wales would mark the beginning of a gradual colonisation of the country by the Scots – a colonisation that would totally alter Wales’ social, political and linguistic landscape.
Boo! I demand the Cymry culture be left un-bastardised! :p

Aside from that, great stuff as ever, Tommy. It's especially enjoyable to read a few updates at nice when catching up. One gets a far greater sense if the development of the Scots' history, I find – which, I might add, has been incredibly gripping. I will admit, though, I'm hoping you won't prove to have conquered the entirety of Western Europe by 1200. Things are most interesting when expansion is more natural, I find.

On a related note, I don't suppose you can do anything about Asturias? What in the name of all that's holy are they doing in Britain?