Haw Dywedyd “Mynydd” Na Myned Drosto - A Welsh Megacampaign Part 1

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tubplunger

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Helô, and welcome to my very first AAR. Ever since getting CKII and first hearing about a Megacampaign I have always wanted to do one myself so here's my attempt at it with the Welsh. I'm not Welsh myself, but I've always been fascinated by their culture and language so why not try a Megacampaign with them in the 1066 start date.

This AAR is planned to be a image heavy narrative. This isn't the first time I've written anything, but this is the first time I have written a thread on here. My experience with CKIII is also limited as I've only had it since Christmas so criticism on both fronts is welcomed. Still, I hope you enjoy!

Chapter One
Never Ally with the Normans
1066-1069


It is September 15th, 1066. While the Anglo-Saxons have been united, the Welsh have remained divided between the Duchies of Gwynedd, Deheubarth, and the County of Morgannwg. Despite this disunited state, Wales was quiet compared to it's much larger and united neighbor of England who were currently dealing with two separate invasions by Duke William 'the Bastard' of Normandy and King Harald 'Hardrada' of Norway.
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However, in Gwynedd, the country had gotten a new prince: Ffransis Fane. Ffransis' childhood is a mystery among modern scholars and historians as he had spoken very little about his childhood and family in what recovered writings could be found by him. From what little is known, the only family he ever talked about was his father who he held in utter contempt and that his family was part of the army and gave him a military education. By 21, and when he was made the Prince, he was an expert swordsman and had excellent military experience in leading the army through the hilly countryside of Wales.

From the surviving records and memoirs from his friends and family, almost all have described him to be a brave and ambitious man who wasn't afraid to get what he wanted, even if it was through undesired means. He was also described to have an architectural vision and well built in physique.
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The first thing Ffransis did in his rule was organize a council around him: Bishop Stigand of Canterbury (not the one in England), Mayor Cyngar as Chancellor, Mayor Annwn as Steward, Mayor Bedwyr as Marshal, and Morfarch as Spymaster.
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Another matter he dealt with was finding a wife. He quickly found one in Adelais de Ponthieu, the sister of William 'the Bastard'.
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William actually agreed to the marriage between the two, on the condition that Ffransis aided him in his conquest of England.
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So Ffransis raised the levies and marched south to join is brother-in-law who had just landed his army in Sussex.
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Only to get ambushed at Chertsey by the much larger English army and forced to retreat.
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Ffransis and his army were routed all the way back to Gwynedd, chased by the English army all the way to the border. Ffransis had the remains of his army retreat all the way to Ynys Mons to rest and recover, just in case the English decided to actually cross the border and finish the job.
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The English army, however, never did. Instead, they marched to Sussex to face William outside of Sussex, losing the battle to William and being forced to retreat.
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Spending a month in Ynys Mons, Ffransis set off again to try and link up with William. This time, Ffransis is able to meet William outside of Middlesex and join up with his brother-in-law in the campaign.
20210111125506_1.jpg


While campaigning with William in Essex, Ffransis receives news that his wife Adelais was pregnant with their first child. Ffransis was apparently overjoyed to receive this news, spending the day partying in celebration with his army. It will prove to be the first of many for the couple.

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Not everything was great in the Welsh army however. Many of the levies were beginning to question why they were fighting with the Normans to get nothing. This grew into a rift in the army until two of the knights representing either side, Idnerth and Mayor Sawyl, got into a brawl over it. Ffransis did step in and try to give a speech to the army but it was too late as the brawl between the two knights had spread to the rest of the army.

The brawl eventually sucks Ffransis into it who, after beating up several men by himself, manages to restore order in the army and continue the campaign.

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While campaigning, Ffransis gets enough funds to construct very basic walls and towers around his castle in Eryri.
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After months of campaigning with no sign of the English army they suddenly reappear and attack the combined Norman and Welsh armies at Colchester. The battle, however, is one sided with the Normans and Welsh crushing the English army and forcing them to retreat from the battlefield.
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With the victory at Colchester, the move and split with the Welsh besieging Berkhamsted while the Normans siege down the English capital of London.
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While sieging down Berkhamsted, Ffransis gets news that Adelais has given birth to a healthy baby girl named Mabyn. Even if it was a girl, Ffransis once again spends the day celebrating with his army.
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The English are sighted once again, the sieges being called off to pursue the army. The English are found at Colchester again and are defeated there once again.
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The English disappear once more allowing the armies to siege again. Ffransis and his army this time help William to siege down London, something that they spend several months doing.
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After London is taken the king surrenders, William becoming King of England and being declared 'the Conqueror' by his men.
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Ffransis prepared to head with his army but a messenger from William stopped him. The Holy Roman Emperor declared war on William for Normandy itself and he needed help defending his home.
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Ffransis would grow to regret his decision to ally with the Normans.
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LMaquiel

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Welcome! I wonder why Ffransis would grow to regret his decision to ally with the normans...
 

Cora Giantkiller

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England sounds like a tricky neighbor to have--until you get strong enough to take it yourself, of course.
 

DensleyBlair

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Always love a Welsh AAR, so a new one is always a treat. And a shot at a megacampaign, no less!

Welcome to AARland and good luck! (Or, more in the spirit of the AAR: Croeso i AARland a pob lwc!)
 
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tubplunger

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Welcome to AAR writing!
Always love a Welsh AAR, so a new one is always a treat. And a shot at a megacampaign, no less!

Welcome to AARland and good luck! (Or, more in the spirit of the AAR: Croeso i AARland a pob lwc!)
Thank you! Glad I finally got the courage to do this.

Welcome! I wonder why Ffransis would grow to regret his decision to ally with the normans...
You should see pretty soon, hoping to get another post done today.
 
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Chapter Two

tubplunger

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Chapter Two
One Kingdom Rises, Another from the Ashes
1069-1078

Still, Ffransis sails down south to help is brother-in-law with his war against the Holy Romans, soon arriving at Eu and joining up with the Norman armies.
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Meanwhile, the new walls at Eryri are finally completed after two years of construction. Even if the walls and towers are basic, it is a layer of defense that the castle didn't use to have.
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While marching with the Normans they spot a much smaller army Holy Roman army trying to siege down Argentan. The combined Norman and Welsh army attacks the Holy Roman army, easily defeating the much smaller army and causing it to retreat back to the Holy Roman Empire.
20210111131146_1.jpg


The war was taking a toll on Gwynedd though, the duchy now in debt from almost four years of war and the peasant levies wishing to return home. Ffransis is forced to disband the army and return home despite William trying to get him to stay and continue the fight.
20210111131232_1.jpg


Returning back to Eryri does allow Ffransis to return to matters of the Duchy and his family. Around this time Mabyn developed a curious personality, always asking questions about everything even if it wasn't appropriate for a three year old girl to know.
20210111131435_1.jpg


Ffransis would also see the arrival of Nest to his Duchy. Nest was the daughter of Prince Maredudd II of Deheubarth, who had tried and failed to overthrow her father, getting exiled from the Duchy for it and coming north to Gwynedd in the hope that Ffransis would help to push her claim. Ffransis would never use her claim, but did end up allowing her to stay for as long as she liked.
20210111131622_1.jpg


Elsewhere, a new heresy emerged known as Catharism in Croatia. This new heresy has managed to sway several nobles of the Kingdom of Croatia but not the King himself. The Cathars gnostic views on Christianity immediately made them the enemies of the wider Church, sparking a persecution against them. Despite this, they do manage to spread to Ravenna and Luxembourg where they entrench themselves.
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Around this time Ffransis would grow to admire the Carthaginian general Hannibal, especially his encirclement of the Roman army at Cannae where he almost annihilated the Roman army then and there. From then on, Ffransis would employ some of the tactics Hannibal deployed against the Romans in his own wars and battles.
20210111131825_1.jpg


He would also create a Men-At-Arms regiment of one hundred bowmen for the army. Unlike the peasant levies, these were men that were specifically trained to fight in the army fulltime, making them much better than the normal peasant levy but also more expensive to upkeep.
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After a few years of peace Ffransis declares war on his southern neighbor for the province of Ceredigion, which was de jure part of Gwynedd but under the control of Deheubarth.
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Ffransis takes his army and marches it south to lay siege to Aberteifi, wanting to take the goal of the war first before doing anything else.
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But the enemy army itself lays siege to Llandrindod, which would fall before Aberteifi would. Ffransis decides to break off the siege and face the army in battle to prevent the fall of Llandrindod.
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As soon as Maredudd II heard of Ffransis marching toward him he broke off the siege and fled north to Rhaeadr Gwy in an attempt to escape. He is however caught there, losing the battle and being forced to retreat.
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During the war Adelais would become pregnant again with Ffransis' children.
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Ffransis would also receive a Call To War from William. Several Norman and English vassals were revolting against his rule and he required Ffransis' aid in the war. Ffransis would decide to focus on finishing his own war first before going to help William once more.
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As the war continues, Adelais gives birth to twin sons. Ffransis will name them Urien and Bleddyn.
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The birthing of the twins was apparently difficult and one of them would've died if it wasn't for a Pagan Polabian woman named Dobroslava who happened to be there at the time. She was apparently looking for a place to stay and decided on Gwynedd. Ffransis allowed her to stay for helping his wife as long as she converted to Christianity. She agreed to this.
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On March 7th, 1075, Aberteifi finally surrenders to Ffransis, giving him control of Ceredigion.
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After the siege, he moves to once again face Maredudd II who was sieging his territory once again. Once again, they flee north where they once again battle at Rhaeadr Gwy and once again are forced to retreat.
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Ffransis would receive two more Call to Wars from William: a populist uprising being led by a surviving member of the Wessex dynasty and then a peasant uprising that managed to take over the entirety of the Duchy of Northumberland.
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Ffransis chases down the remainder of Maredudd II's army to the capital of Sir Gaerfyrddin, killing all but two hundred and then laying siege to their capital, allowing the survivors to flee and attempt to siege Llandrindod again.
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After taking their capital Ffransis forced them to negotiate, Maredudd II forcing to cede Ceredigion to him and ending the war.
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Shortly after his victory Ffransis would declare himself King of Wales, something that Deheubarth wouldn't recognize. Morgannwg would and would eventually accept vassalization under King Ffransis.
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Ffransis would increase the size of the bowmen from one hundred men to two hundred before marching to aid William in his many wars, deciding to march all the way north to Bernica to end the peasant revolt first.
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For nine months he lays siege to Bebbanburg in Bernica, eventually breaching the walls and forcing the peasants to stand down.
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As he is marching south to Norfolk to deal with the revolting nobility, Adelais gives birth to another son named Sior.
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He sieges down Norwich, the last holdout of the revolting nobility, sieging them down and then moving on to Middlesex to put down the populist uprising.
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But it was too late to deal with the populist uprising by then. They forced William to negotiate, taking most of England and proclaiming Eadgar Eadwardson of Wessex the King of Hampshire.
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Almost all of England joins the Kingdom of Hampshire with it's capital centered in Hampshire. Only York stays with William, the Kingdom of England being exiled with him to Normandy.

The alliance with William in the end proved to be for nothing, relations between the two breaking down shortly after the proclamation of the Kingdom of Hampshire.
20210111135136_1.jpg
 
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Cora Giantkiller

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Wow, that is troublesome. William the Conqueror turns out to be a pretty poor conqueror in the end.
 

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That kingdom of Hampshire colour is obscene and should warrant this thread being locked! :mad:
 

DensleyBlair

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Northumbria I could take, that's a pretty feasible kingdom. But Hampshire? Horrible. Let's hope Eadgar has the sense to take the English title… (I presume that's Eadgar Ætheling, btw? V cool if so)

Good work grabbing Ceredigion. One step closer to a united Wales.
 

Idhrendur

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Things going sideways can make for interesting campaigns and AARs. Hopefully they don't look your way any time soon though.
 

HistoryDude

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That's a very interesting development on the Isles...

On the bright side, instability might yet take control of England once more...
 
Chapter Three

tubplunger

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Chapter Three
New Allies and Plans
1078-1086

Seeking new allies after the alliance with William fell apart, Ffransis manages to betroth Mabyn with Prince Bror, the son of King Erik of Sweden, giving him a new powerful ally.
20210111135653_1.jpg


Speaking of Mabyn, in celebration of the betrothal Ffransis takes her out hunting at the mountains near Mathrafal. As they were hunting they stumble upon an already wounded dear, having been hit with a bow earlier but never being found by the hunter who had shot it. Without hesitation, Mabyn took aim with her own bow and brought down the wounded deer herself.
20210111135720_1.jpg


Upon returning from the hunting trip, Ffransis declared war on Deheubarth again. This time, it was for Brycheiniog just to the south of Ferlix. The purpose of this war was to connect the kingdom with Morgannwg, whos count recently accepted vassalization under Ffransis.
20210111135807_1.jpg


Before sieging down Brycheiniog, Ffransis marches south and meets the much smaller Deheubarthian army outside of Caerdydd, which they were attempting to siege down. The Deheubarthian army is absolutely slaughtered by Ffransis' much larger army with only six men escaping from the slaughter.
20210111135905_1.jpg

20210111135914_1.jpg


After the slaughter, Ffransis orders the army to siege down Brycheiniog. As the garrison was just about to surrender, an enemy army of two hundred suddenly appears to idiotically attack Ffransis' much larger army. Needless to say the Deheubarthians were all killed for their trouble. It didn't even help the garrison as they surrendered a few days later.

(I have no idea why the AI did this, they just charged my much bigger army for no reason.)
20210111140123_1.jpg

20210111140208_1.jpg


Meanwhile, Mabyn grew infatuated with one of the knights in the army. She was finally able to meet this knight in person, coming away from the chat with a phrase and diligence that would stay with her for the rest of her life: "Work hard, and you can master anything."
20210111140346_1.jpg


As he was sieging down Caerfyrddin, the army manages to capture the enemy prince Owain. Ffransis forces the young prince to negotiate, Deheubarth being forced to give up Brycheiniog to the kingdom.
20210111140430_1.jpg


Mabyn's infatuation with the knight soon turns into an attraction to a different person: Lord Blegwrd, one of Ffransis' vassals. She finally confessed her feelings to Blegwrd only for Blegwrd to reject her bluntly and harshly.

This apparently started a vengeful streak within her, having reportedly sent Blegwrd a chicken's head for rejecting her the way he did.
20210111140945_1.jpg


In other matters of the family at the time, Adelais had been pregnant for a while and finally went into labor. It was a tough birthing that resulted in a stillborn daughter at the end. Ffransis was crushed by this news, spending a few days in his room before returning to ruling.
20210111141132_1.jpg


Continuing to seek new allies, Ffransis betroths his first born son, Urien, to Princess Sorcha of Scotland. This gains an ally with King Malcolm III of Scotland, the second strongest kingdom in the isle below Hampshire.
20210111141323_1.jpg


After the stillbirth, Adelais becomes pregnant again. This time, she gives birth to a healthy baby girl named Catrin.
20210111141508_1.jpg


In celebration to the newest member of the family, Ffransis has a feast with one of his vassals: Lord Bedwyr. The feast went well and Ffransis left the feast having gained a friendship with Bedwyr.
20210111141626_1.jpg


Around this time, Ffransis decides to experiment with different tactics besides the ones he's been using that have been inspired by Hannibal's own tactics in battle. He decides to experiment in manipulative tactics and perform a wargame around that.
20210111141816_1.jpg


It goes poorly, Ffransis' army unable to hold their ground in the wargame, suffering a swift and decisive defeat. This earns him the nickname of 'the Foolish' from his army which spreads to the rest of the kingdom. His knights suggest to just stick with what he knows.
20210111141828_1.jpg


Some documents appear around this time that claim that the Earldom of Shropshire under the King of Hampshire was owned by a Welsh prince long ago and therefore rightfully belong to the King of Wales.

The validity of these documents is still questioned to this day as some of the documents contain the handwriting of Ffransis' bishop Frantisek. Ffransis doesn't use these claims right away though.
20210111142008_1.jpg


In 1084, Mabyn comes to age. She had a fiery and opinionated personality, and while she was given a scholarly education, she much preferred to travel and hunt instead of doing anything studious.
20210111142112_1.jpg


Speaking of Ffransis' children, Bleddyn tried to preach among the other children of the nobility only to become the target of a small fight. Urien, his slightly older twin, throws himself into the fray to help his younger twin, even taking a rock to the face that was meant for Bleddyn. From then on, Urien would be known for being absolutely fearless and caring for his younger twin.
20210111142256_1.jpg


In 1085, Ffransis receives a call to war from Erik, requesting aid in his war against Denmark for his claim on the province of Skane. Ffransis agrees and prepares to set sail with his army to Denmark.
20210111142521_1.jpg


Before leaving he does welcome a new son to the world, Rhydderch. He doesn't celebrate the birth for too long, setting sail with his army.
20210111142557_1.jpg


There isn't a lot to do on a boat sailing to Scandinavia so he and his army would pass the time by exchanging stories. One topic was the fight between King Philippe of France and the Pope. They didn't know what the fight was about, but after the fight Philippe denounced the Pope and claimed that the Ecumenical Patriarch Andreas II was the true head of Christianity, converting to Orthodoxy from Catholicism.

Several of his vassals would follow but most still followed the word of the Pope. It wasn't known if the populace would convert as well or if the kingdom would fall apart because of his decision to convert to Orthodoxy.
20210111142714_1.jpg


The army soon reaches Denmark and lays siege to Sjaelland while the Swedish army dealt with the Danish army at Varend. After a couple of months the Welsh breach the walls, moving on to siege down Skane.
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20210111142958_1.jpg


As they were sieging down Skane the army found a thief that they decided to hang. Ffransis had taken along Urien in the hopes that he would pick up some military skills, witnessing the hanging of the thief. Asking Urien on his opinion of the hanging, Urien would say that the thief shouldn't have reached for more than he could handle.
20210111143305_1.jpg


After sieging down Skane the Danish king would surrender the entire province to Erik. With the war won, Ffransis and his army is able to return to Wales to focus on other matters.
20210111143327_1.jpg
 
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DensleyBlair

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lots of positives to take from this period. With any luck the Swedish alliance will prove useful getting back at England at some point. And would be good to get your hands on Shropshire while you’re at it.

France going Orthodox is wild. Reading around I get the sense these sorts of off kilter religious conversions are quite commonplace in CK3 so far…
 

Crimson Lionheart

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I've got Welsh ancestry so this has made me happy. Subbed :)
 
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HistoryDude

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Wales will soon be reunited! Once that happens, Prydain will be restored!
 
Chapter Four

tubplunger

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Chapter Four
Deus Vult? Deus Vult!
1087-1097

One of these matters was declaring war on the Kingdom of Hampshire for Shropshire in 1087.
20210111215608_1.jpg


Ffransis leads his army out to siege Shropshire down, meeting the Swedish army along the way, King Erik agreeing to help after Ffransis joined him in his war against Denmark.
20210111215751_1.jpg


After sieging down Shropshire, Ffransis moves the army south where he gets attacked by the combined Castilian-Anglo-Saxon army at Westbury. The swedes were just to the north luckily and quickly joined the battle, turning it in their favor and winning the battle.
20210111220128_1.jpg

20210111220151_1.jpg


The combined enemy army retreats north where they try to siege Shropshire. Ffransis instead moves north from the recently captured Hereford and fighting them with the Swedes once more. They win the battle and cause the army to retreat once more.
20210111220338_1.jpg

20210111220419_1.jpg


Ffransis moves south to siege down Worcestershire while the Swedes move north, running into the combined enemy army once more but they are able to take care of it by themselves.
20210111220533_1.jpg


After the siege of Worcestershire, the King of Hampshire is forced to talk, ceding the Earldom of Shropshire to Ffransis and ending the war.
20210111220546_1.jpg


Ffransis isn't able to go home just yet though. To the north, the king of Scotland had died and the kingdom had been thrown into civil war by the succession. The King's only son was suppose to inherit the kingdom but he had died and the kingdom went to Princess Sorcha, the future wife of Prince Urien.
20210111220707_1.jpg

20210111220750_1.jpg


Ffransis had thought that their own army would've been capable of handling the revolt, but they apparently had different priorities in Iberia.
20210111220843_1.jpg


As Ffransis marches north to Scoutland, both Urien and Bleddyn come of age. Urien had a personality similar to his older sister Mabyn's while Bleddyn was a known troublemaker, often fighting with other kids and causing problems around the castle.
20210111221151_1.jpg

20210111221116_1.jpg


Still, Urien was now married officially to Queen Sorcha. The marriage was unchanged from when Sorcha's father had made it with Ffransis so their children would be of the Fane dynasty instead of Sorcha's own dynasty.
20210111221227_1.jpg


Bleddyn got the short of end of the stick in marriage, getting married to a random daughter of an Italian count.
20210111221412_1.jpg


Urien would end up leading one of the armies in Scotland, only to get ambushed by one of the revolting armies and imprisoned. (He'll manage to get out later.)
20210111221606_1.jpg


Ffransis wasn't having as much luck either, getting attacked by a bigger army at Lanark and forced to retreat to the south.
20210111221645_1.jpg


As Ffransis reorganizes the army, Sior comes of age. Sior would become known for his dishonorable and disrespectful ways to almost everybody around him.
20210111222218_1.jpg


Heading back north, he is able to put down one of the revolts but there was still one more revolt with a much bigger army than what Ffransis and Sorcha had.
20210111222318_1.jpg


While the last revolt does have more men, Ffransis had money to use. Using most of his money, he buys up the mercenary group, Wake's Guard, to help fight the revolt.
20210111222402_1.jpg


The three then combine their forces and move to face the revolting army in battle, battling them at Callander. It was a close battle in the hills but the Welsh and Scots manage to make it on top of the revolters.
20210111222503_1.jpg

20210111222555_1.jpg


The two armies meet again a little later at the battle of Aberfeldy, another close battle that the Welsh and Scots win. This battle forces the revolt to surrender, ensuring Queen Sorcha's rule over Scotland.
20210111222858_1.jpg


Ffransis returns to Wales to rule for a while until news starts to spread. Pope Alexander has been spending the past few months touring around the Catholic world. Once he returned to Rome, he made a public speech denouncing the recent treatment of Christian pilgrims in the holy land by the Muslims. Citing this treatment, he declares that there will be a great Crusade for Jerusalem, inviting every able-bodied Christian peasant and ruler to partake in this Crusade, promising that all who joined would be guaranteed a spot in heaven.
20210111223114_1.jpg


Ffransis promises his support almost immediately, making preparations to sail to the holy land once the signal was given by the Pope himself.
20210111223230_1.jpg


But for now, he would have to wait a few months before it could happen. He spends this time experimenting with alchemy and turning lead into gold.
20210111223321_1.jpg


He once again spends most of the kingdom's gold by securing a shipment of lead sugar from some merchants that just sailed in from Italy, getting one of the ingredients he needed for his project.
20210111223345_1.jpg


The second ingredient he needed was seaweed. Unable to buy seaweed from the local traders he instead levies a new seaweed tax on the kingdom to get what he needed, much to the peasants ire.
20210111223402_1.jpg


With the required ingredients needed he begins the experiment.
20210111223420_1.jpg


The experiment goes wrong however. After burning the seaweed and mixing it with water all it produces is a brown sludge. He tries to mix the lead sugar into the sludge but no reaction occurs with the brown sludge. While it was a failure to produce gold, the sludge does end up being a good fertilizer for his garden.
20210111223437_1.jpg


The trouble with the alchemy doesn't end there though. The peasants, angry at the ridiculousness of the seaweed tax and already having to pay high taxes, demand Ffransis to lower the taxes levied on them. Ffransis does remove the seaweed tax but refuses their demand to lower the taxes as the money would be needed for the Crusade coming up soon.
20210111223700_1.jpg


The peasants revolt in response, surrounding Eryri in a siege. Ffransis responds by sending the army out, which easily crushes the peasants. Their leader ends up being captured and publicly beheaded as an example to the others.
20210111223852_1.jpg

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After the revolt, the final preparations for the Crusade were finished, the Pope declaring that it was time for the Crusade to begin. Ffransis raises the army and sets sail for Jerusalem, being the first Crusader army to land in the holy land.
20210111224107_1.jpg


Only to be met by a much larger Muslim army and his army to be completely slaughtered.
20210111224331_1.jpg


Ffransis manages to escape the battle with several of his men, and when counting the losses he realizes that his son Sion wasn't among the men who survived. Sion's body being one of the corpses littering the battlefield now.
20210111224352_1.jpg
 
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