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EmprorCoopinius

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Hello all, and welcome to my second AAR, my first being a unfinished piece about the CSA during the Second Mexican War using the Age of Nationalism mod for EU2. Now that I've sufficiently dated myself, a few words about why Crusader Kings and why Leinster.

First off, I've been a Paradox addict ever since I picked up EU2, and I always wanted to get CK. However, living in South Carolina, it was, let us say, difficlt to get any sort of retail assistance in this particular endeavor. Needless to say, I never found it in stores, and while always aware of it, I distracted myself with Vicky and HoI 2 before one day last week while browing Gamersgate, I came across it.

20 bucks?

Sold

So now I've been playing for a solid week. After a few introductory games, I finally figured ot enough about the game to not crash and burn in 10 years, so here we go.

I've chosen Leinster because they're already a dukedom, they don't have a liege, and I wanna be King of Ireland. :D

So here we go, hope everyone will enjoy.

Oh, btw, CK version 1.5, N/N. I'm still new.


So I start the game in 1066 and wait for the obligatory autosave. Then I take a look at who's running the show.

eire01.jpg


He's old. Really old. And has a jawbreaker of a name. Luckily, he does have a son who is...well, less old, and already count of Dublin.

eire02.jpg


At least Junior has found enough time in his busy schedule to sire a son, though he's only two at the time. Which means he was born when his mother was 39. Formidable woman, that. Moving on, we select our various ministers and concillors, those who will begin to transform our little corner duchy into a kingdom.

eire03.jpg


As the year 1066 moves on, the Ui Mordha clan looks across their Emerald Isle, looking for weakness, and gain.
 

EmprorCoopinius

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Looking across the island, we see three power groupings, the Duchy of Munster and their vassals, the Duchy of Connaught and their vassals, and ourselves. As far as opportunities to expand, the County of Mide looks pormising. Not only is is centrally located, but grabbing it will enable us to become Dukes of Meath as well as Leinster.

eire04-1.jpg


As we eye our fist victim, the demense grows slowly. Income is modest but steady at about 2 gold a month, enough for us to commission a fishing wharf in Laigin. The days of Duke Diaimait grow longer as 1067 and 1068 slip past. I want to claim Mide but it seems kind of futile with Diaimait so near death's door.

Finally, as 1069 dawns, our Duke goes to his reward and his son, Murchaid Ui Mordha, Count of Dublin becomes Duke of Leinster, Count of Laigin, Dublin, and Isle of Man.

eire05-1.jpg
 

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The new duke takes his time to settle into his new titles and duties, as well as build up some sort of financial reserve. To his chagrin, he finds that Mide has allied with Munster, and the two Duchies being about even in strength, he decides to wait. To make matters worse, his vassal in Orsige is intransigent and rude, evben somewhat disloyal.

Finally, in May of 1070 Murchaid feels the time is right and he grabs the Count of Ulaid's title.

ScreenSave0.jpg


Some 800 troops marshal in Dublin and march north, meeting the Count of Ulaid's forces on July 8, 1070 and infilcting a severe defeat.

ScreenSave1.jpg


After nearly a year and a half of siege, the fortresses of the County fall and Murchaid claims the title of Count of Ulaid to add to his already impressive list of titles.

Despite victory on the battlefield, the financial status of the duchy is bad, as the economy only starts to recover after the troops return home. This will of course stifle internal economic growth for sometime as the demense still only generates 2 gold a month. In the long run though, Murchaid decides the war was worthwhile, securing as it did the entire coastline directly west of England.

Life goes on, and Murchaid begins thinking seriously about his son's future in the winter of 1074.

ScreenSave2.jpg


The climb back to financial solvency is slow but steady, and news filters through to Murchaid in May of 1075 that the Pope has declared a crusade to free Antioch from the Muslim yoke. Taking a cursory glance at the ducal balance sheet, Murchaid politely demures.

ScreenSave3.jpg


As peace reigns and the financial straits of the various provinces of the demense vary wildly, from poor to normal, the local regiments reinforce to full strength. Murchaid has no illusions this time about his ability to finance a long-term war. Meanwhile, relations with the County of Orsige, an obstenstible vassal deteriorate drastically, until finally in a shocking move in the winter of December 1076, they declare war on their overlords, the Duke of Leinster.

ScreenSave4.jpg


To Murchaid, this is an insult of the worst kind and he resolves nothing more than to crush the rebellious nobles and claim the county firmly in his grasp. Marshalling the troops of Dublin and Laigin, he marches. Crushing the Orsigian resistance, he settles in for siege, calling the men of Ulaid to arms to quicken its' pace, regardless of financial loss. His pride demands nothing less than total surrender, and the Duke gained his wish in February of 1078. Sadly, during the celebration feast falling the surrender of Orsige, the Duke suddenly collapsed, dead within an hour. Within 10 years, he had doubled his Duchy's size and power and made it the preeminent power in Ireland. Murchaid Ui Mordha would surely be missed.

ScreenSave5.jpg


His son, Donnchad Ui Mordha, still a minor, assumed the titles of Duke of Leinster, Count of Laigin, Dublin, Ulaid, Orsige, and Isle of Man on February 15, 1078. Still a minor, Ireland held its' collective breath, seeing what his maturity would bring.

ScreenSave6.jpg
 

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You change Dukes the pace I change my socks.

You could think about editing those pictures a bit so they only show the most crucial information. It can be a hell for those with not-so-good connections to read later on with an AAR filled with full-sized pictures.
 

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nice start of a glorious reign. I just hope that as Donnchad is now the new Duke he doesn't meet a quick and unexpected end like his grandfather and father. I do think its funny that Donnchad has neg gold, zero piety but has a healthy dose of prestige... makes one wonder what he was doing in his pre-teen years :D
 

unmerged(60841)

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Good luck with them, their fertility is not what you'd like it to be. Keep Enna married. So far so good, glad you got CK, it's a really fun game.
 

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EvilSanta: Thanks for the tip, I'll se what I can do. And yes, I did go through 3 Dueks rather quickly, but the first one was already 72 when I started. Nothing I could do about that.

LaserEye: Becoming more friendly with the young lasses of his realm perhaps? ;)

JimboIX: You're telling me! I've played till 1100 and let me tell you....these Leinsterites sure don't like to breed. It's been a very ticklish succession issue for quite a few years.

Anyways, as I said, played till 1100 so should have a couple of posts up today detailing Donnchad's reign. Get ready, and thanks to all who have been reading already.
 

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The Reign of Donnchad Ui Mordha: Part I

As the young duke sat his throne in the early days of the year 1078, his mother Tailltiu took quick action behind the scenes to ensure her husband's son would have an unconstested path to the Dukedom and a friendly court to rely on. She was 52 years old as the year opened but still active in court life, although derided as something of a naive puppet master by some of the younger nobles. Donnchad Ui Mordha himself was 13, and though still not officially and totally the Duke of Leinster, already he had both friends at court and at least a rudimentary understanding of the duties and responsibilities he would one day assume.

As 1078 passed, Tailltiu set her efforts on regaining the gold spent by her husband's wars. The city of Dublin became for the first time a financial center for Ireland, as by royal decree it gained an exclusive charter for the import of English and the export of Irish goods for the entire Dukedom. The population of the town swelled as moneylenders, clergymen and nobles both flocked to the new sorce of income and prestige.


eire06.jpg


Despite this, or perhaps because of it the nobles demanded a feast to honor all their contributions through the two wars of Murchaid's reign. Donnchad, young but already showing the inflexibility of will that would lead to such fame later in life, almost furiously refused, but his mother quietly muffled his protests and ordered a lavish banquet for all the Duke's nobles and vassals in October of 1078. Though not happy at the situation, which had cost money Leinster didn't have to spare, the young Duke made an appearance and was universally toasted. This taught young Donnchad that sometimes money had to be spent - especially so as it was much cheaper than blood. The Duke's prestige amongst those at court began to rise.

Though the focus of Tailltiu's government was repair of the Duchy's finances, it seemed as the years 1079 and 1080 passed that her efforts were all for naught. Every province other than Dublin was expereienceing some sort of economic hardship. Despite this, the revenue of the Duchy continued to rise as Tailltiu cut all but the vital expenditures inherent in running any sort of large family.

(ALL my provinces besides Dublin were Poor. Weak.)

By January of 1081 Donnchad had completed his education and assumed his majority, now becoming in fact as well as in theory Duke of Leinster.

eire07.jpg


The first priority of the young Duke upon coming to the throne was in finding a bride. In any County, Duchy, or Kingdom securing a recognized heir was important, but especially so for Donnchad, as Ui Mordha males were thin on the ground. His uncles Enna and Loigsech had married in the summer of 1078, thus far producing only daughters. Unfortunately for such a young and ambitious Duke, eligible females of suitable aristocratic lineage were naught to be found. Finally growing frustrated in Febrary of 1081, Donnchad married Euphrosine de Craon, a quite intelligent young woman from Anjou.

eire08.jpg


The young Duke and Duchess quickly set to work producing more Ui Mordhas.

eire09.jpg


The city of Dublin contined to grow and prosper as fishing wharfs were completed in early 1081, allowing a much greater bounty from the sea, as well as much increased tax income. The rest of 1081 passed quietly, except for the tragic death of Enna, the duke's uncle who died childless in December 1081. The new year of 1082 saw increasing revenue in the Duchy's coffers as assiduous accounting and reduced expenditures combined to start making Donnchad a healthy amount of gold (around 4.5). In March of 1082, Donnchad and Euphrosine's first child was born, a daughter christened Maire. Though gratefl for the child, Donnchad had of corse wished for a son. Even though still young, the succession of his duchy and titles were always upmost on his mind. From his father he had inherited this, this vision of a Duchy of Leinster claiming the crown of Ireland as a whole. For this, he needed a viable royal line, and for that, he needed male heirs. Still, with all this on his mind, he celebrated the birth of his daughter.
 
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unmerged(60841)

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Go for Mide next. It'll give you two ducal titles, after that when you take Ulster the rest of Ireland is pretty much toast.
 

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You must plan the future too: What are you going to conquer after Emerald Isle?
 

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The Reign of Donnchad Ui Mordha: Part II

As 1082 ran its' course, Duke Donnchad Ui Mordha, Duke of Leinster, Count of Laigin, Dublin, Ulaid, Osraigh, and Isle of Man was a rather content man. His first daughter had been born in March of the same year and his wife Euphrosine became pregnant again in June of 1082. The young Duke deeply loved his older wife, and she in return reciprocated his love. Many at the court took pleasure in watching the obviously ensorcelled Duke and Duchess in court life. It was an idyll that was not destined to last.

By the summer of 1082 Donnchad was growing impatient. His father had conquered two new counties for the Duchy, and Donnchad knew that if he were ever to be King of Ireland, he would need a much more dominant position than he now enjoyed. Casting his eyes about, and dispatching scribes, priests, and scholars to all corners of Ireland, he finally read with relish the claims upon the title Duke of Ulster he could resurrect if he were to control either of the two counties bordering Ulaid, Tir Eoghain or Tir Connail. Tir Connail was at this time an ally of the Duchy, and Donnchad relied upon their support when he blatantly grabbed the Count of Tir Eoghain's title and declared war in November 1082. The northern county was alone and could do little to stop Leinster's onslaught. Word reached Duke Donnchad in his siege camp of the birth of his second daughter Brigit, born on March 11, 1083. By April Donnchad celebrated victory, taking the title of Count of Tir Eoghain to add to his already impressive list and marching home in triumph.

The return of the once again victorious armies of the Duchy of Leinster was cause for celebration throughout the land, and none celebrated more than the royal couple. Euphrosine now admired her husband as a true example of martial valor, and he treasured her as both an intellectual equal, or superior, and a fertile mother of his children. The fact that they were both daughters did not trouble the young Duke. Euphrosine was fertile, they were both young, in love. She became pregnant again in June of 1083. Donnchad's happiness was apparent for all at the court to see.

Happiness, however, that was tragically short lived.

In August of 1083 Euphrosine took ill, vomiting and complaining of intense bodily pain. Donnchad immediately sent for anyone with any sort of medical knowledge in the Duchy as he quartered off a wing of the small ducal castle and assigned an army of servants to his wife and unborn child's care. All to no avail.

The Duchess Euphrosine Ui Mordha and her unborn child died on August 23, 1083.

The Duke was devestated. He mourned for three days, through her funeral and appeared in black for a month afterwards, but to all outward signs he returned to the duty of ruling Leinster after the three days. The first, and by far most unpleasant task for the Duke was to find another bride. He would never replace Euphrosine, but cold logic told him that however much he had loved and cherished her, and she him, she had not produced an heir to the Duchy. The next legal successor was still Donnchad's uncle Loigsech, and his young son Guy was second in line.

So it was that agents of Donnchad reported back to him on the search for another bride. The Duke took little interest, finally interceding and accepting a proposal from the Duke of Lancaster bethrothing Eadgufu Barton, 29 years old, to him in return for a not unsubstantial dowry.

eire10.jpg



The new Duchess was comely, in a way, and eventually came to be one of Donnchad's most trusted of confidantes, but he never loved her the way he had Euphrosine. By December of 1083 she had become pregnant, and Donnchad began to finally reassert himself, making moves towards the Duchy's future.

One of these moves was one of which the Duke had no reason to be proud. Her name was Tallinn, and she was a personal servant to the late Duchess Euphrosine. She was young and very beautiful, and she did her part - and more than her part - in consoling the young Duke, and she gave birth to his son, named Gofraid, in June of 1084. The Duke took the boy into his household and dismissed Tallinn from service, not before securing her marriage to a minor Earl in Laigin, and offered no explanation, though none really had to be given. The court was silent, allowing the young duke whatever solace he could find, and quietly happy he had sired a son, albeit a bastard.

Moving again to secure his position, Donnchad prepared a lavish ceremony, inviting all the nobles, great and small, of Ireland as he was proclaimed Duke of Ulster on May 24, 1084. As he was now master of the north and universally acclaimed, the Count of Tir Connail willingly bent the knee to Donnchad Ui Mordha, Duke of Leinster and Ulster, Count of Laigin, Dublin, Orsaigh, Ulaid, Tir Eoghain, and Isle of Man. By July of the same year Donnchad had arranged an alliance with the County to Mide, so that now northern and central Ireland were now in his grasp.

eire11.jpg
 
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Baneslave said:
You must plan the future too: What are you going to conquer after Emerald Isle?


That is indeed the $64,000 question. England seems like they'll be able to perpetually give me the smackdown, maybe Scotland?
 

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England, Scotland and Wales is a fun combination.
 

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The Reign of Donnchad Ui Mordha: Part III

The months passed quickly as Donnchad took his due from his vassal lords and Counts. In September of 1084, Eadgifu bore Donnchad his fourth child, another daughter, Aibinn. While still outwardly confindent and content, the internal struggles of the Duke were prodigious. Why was his only male child a bastard? Why was he being denied a legitimate heir, an heir to rule all of Ireland? Putting such thoughts aside, and the doubts they brought, the Duke continued in his singleminded pursuit of the crown of Ireland.

The realm continued to grow economically, though this was somewhat stifled by an outbreak of dysentary in Tir Eoghain in May of 1085. It was mostly confined to the peasantry, though a few nobles were claimed by the dreadful disease. Still, even this outbreak couldn't irreparably slow the economic and military growth of the enlarged Duchy of Leinster. Money continued to flow into Ducal coffers throughtout 1085 and 1086. The Duke had occasion to again visit the cathedral in Dublin as his mother Tailltiu died in September of 1086. Though her influence had considerably waned as her son came into his majority, she had remained a trusted confidante to the end, serving in no official capacity but acting as a useful conduit between the nobles of the court, the officers and clergy, and the ruling Ui Mordhas themselves. She would be dearly missed.

However, the open support of many court officials for Donnhard's legitimization of his bastard son Gofraid was a welcome surprise for the Duke. Though he hesitated at the final step, wishing for the child to complete more of his education, the fact that so many of his most influential nobles supported Gofraid's succession gave Donnchad immense influence and prestige within Ireland.

eire12.jpg


This was a boon to Donnchad, since Eadgifu had so far failed to produce any more children, despite Donnchad's best efforts. This was not all to the bad, as the Duke and Duchess did become closer and form a more intimate bond, but Donnchad would always remember his first wife. Alas, the specter of bad fortune seemed to continue to pull at the Ui Mordha sleeves as a frantic messenger burst into Donnchad's quarters one November morning in 1087 with dreadful news.

eire13.jpg


Donnchad grimly soldiered on, giving no outward signs of despair, though whispers began to circulate through the court and castles of the various nobles. A curse on the Ui Mordha bloodline, some sort of retribution for their aggressive moves on the battlefield, too much stress on one man with too few vassals. Some partisans of Loigsech, Donnchad's uncle, even agitated that Loigsech should rightfully be Duke of Ulster, at the least. To his credit, Donnchad's uncle refused to support any such notions, though not entirely out of altruism. He was loyal to his nephew, but feared he himself was not fit to rule anything as wide as a Duchy. His sons, Guy and Raoul, he simply wanted protected until they reached their majority. Lacking any leader around which all the disparate elements could gather, the talk dissolved into even less within months.

Donnchad continued to develop his Duchy economically throughout the late 1080's. Militarily, his regiments increased their recruitment while he placed special emphasis on the Dublin regiment, easily the strongest in the Duchy. By 1088 it could field some 200 knights, a potent striking force on the plains of Ireland. Confident that from this point onwards he would be superior to any combination of Irish duchies or counties that could stand against him, and that the Kings of England and Scotland were still ocuupied in the seemingly endless Crusade, he awaited only the opportunity to seize his kingdom on the battlefield.

Tragic news again visited the duke in April of 1088 as his daughter Aibinn within a matter of weeks contracted pneumonia and died. Though he fulfilled all the obligations imposed on him by the funeral, Donnchad was by now almost totally ignoring his family. Denied even a token of success in that regard, the Duke resolved that if his name could not live in history through his bloodline, it would live through the fame he himself would claim on the battlefields.

Donnchad ruled Leinster almost as if it were an army from the end of 1088 till February of 1092. Every contrivance he could use to gain gold, he used. His court became almost Spartan in decor and entertainment. Taxes were raised, church contributions decreased, scutage increased, all in the quest of a huge war chest which the war against the Duchy of Munster that Donnchad had planned would not even be able to consume. To be sure, the Duchy suffered through this fit of pique of their lord, as Tir Eoghain, still suffering under the dysentary outbreaks of 1085 broke into open rebellion. Donnchad almost exulted in the excuse to take arms as he crushed the peasant rabble in January of 1091. He himself claimed three of the rebellion's leaders, one a minor baron who was armored as well. Returning to Laigin, Donnchad waited until his regiments were recruited back to their full strength before he made his move.

Sending heralds and messengers to every corner of the island, Donnchad claimed to one and all that it was the Ui Mordha, not O'Brien family which had the right to rule the Duchy of Munster. War followed the declaration within weeks.

eire14.jpg
 

unmerged(60841)

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Donnchad needs an heir for his duchies- do you have semi-salic on? Be careful who you marry your daughters too. Good luck conquering the Island, you're making solid gains.
 

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The Reign of Donnchad Ui Mordha: Part IV

As Donnchad Ui Mordha, Duke of Leinster and ambitious coveter of the Kingship of all Ireland marched south in the command of some 2800 men in the spring of 1092, the Duke of Munster, Muidertach O'Brien cast desperately about him for allies. Though his two vassals sent their regiments to his aid, the weight of numbers and determination of purpose weighed on Donnchad's side, and the surrender of the Duke of Munster all his titles and priviledges save those of his remaining county of Desmumu left him a broken if still dangerous man. Peace once again reigned in the Emerald Isle in September of 1093, a month which saw what Donnchad could only see as a miracle as his second wife Eadgifu gave birth to a healthy baby boy, namerd Cuan, on September 5, 1093. Celebrations within the royal court and the realm at large were spontaneous and not entirely encouraged by a Duke who had had less than stellar success in the business of securing his bloodline. Nevertheless, the acquisition of the Duchy of Munster, and better, the sworn allegiance of the former Duke's two vassals, coupled with the birth of Cuan, seemed to shed the light of favor from on high on the Duchy of Leinster, its' Duke, and his self appointed mission.

By now, the quick emergence of the Duchy of Leinster as the preeminent power in Ireland was starting to bear some diplomatic fruit. Already the Count of Tir Connail had voluntarily bent the knee to Donnchad, and relations with the other rulers in the Isle, save that of the recently deposed O'Brien, were improving markedly in the 1090's. As the Duchy's men returned home and Donnchad returned to his wife and son, his gaze would often rest on a huge map of the Isle he had commissioned, with all the counties with their respective shields representing their royal rulers. Small Ui Mordha shields were sewn on the tapestry as Donnchad's influence grew. He saw that with the growth of his demense, and his many vassals, that the time was almost at hand, the time for him to enshrine his family's name in the rolls of kings, and not just mere dukes.

Summoning his host from Dublin and Laigin, Donnchad took to the field in the winter of 1093, obstensibly to claim the Count of Mide's lands, in reality to create something much greater. The opposing armies met on December 11, 1093, and though Donnchad's uncle Loigsech commanded the Duchy's forces, the victory was total.

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Settling into siege lines, the Duchy's armies waited the inevitible fall of the Count's small hilltop fortress. Barely able to hide his anger at what he saw, quite rightly, as another example of Donnchad's naked aggression, the Count of Mide really had no choice, and recognized Donnchad Ui Mordha as rightful Count of Mide. Victorious, Donnchad returned to his demense, and began the preparations.

Throughout the Isle, his agents spread, bribes and favors flowed, money was borrowed and lent, and positions were secured. Carefully following his son's health, Donnchad only fond reason for happiness as the boy grew and thrived. Spending some of his hard earned political and financial capital, Donnchad assumed the titles of Duke of Meath in the spring of 1096. By now, the ambition of Donnchad was common knowledge throughout the courts of Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, and the nobles of the Isle were all supportive of his ascending to the Kingship, save, of course, old O'Brien. Donnchad, however, refsed to take the crown until he had sufficient resorces to pay for an appropriately extravagant coronation. Though some, notably his steward, balked at the cost, the Duke-soon-King knew that money spent on entertainments, decorations, accomodations, and food was money that would impress the other sovereigns of the world with Ireland's strength, without having to spend that strength on battlefields in the future.

With this in mind, amid festivities and celebrations on a scale that Ireland had never before seen, Donnchad Ui Mordha was crowned King of Ireland, Duke of Leinster, Ulster, Munster, and Meath, Count of Tir Eoghain, Dublin, Osriage, Laigin, Mide, and Isle of Man on October 19, 1097. With this, Donnchad had reached the peak of his fortunes, and the ultimate prize of his life.

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General
Sep 13, 2006
1.762
0
Long Live the Ui Mordha's congratulations on the Kingship, now if you can just get some more heirs.