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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Conqueristo

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The Ducal Rebellions
On the second day of 1183, I offered the Duke of Vestlandet the chance to be my vassal once again. As a backup, I had my marshal ship out with almost six thousand men to Agder, at a cost of almost a hundred ducats. I also led about six and a half thousand men as we shipped out to Bergenshus, which was nearly a hundred and thirty ducats for the journey.

Later in the week, our spymaster died of old age. The new spymaster would be Lasairiona Ui Canannain.

Two days later, my marshal who was on way demanded money to stay in the court. As I had an impending war, I felt I had to accede to his demands and gave him a bag of gold for his trouble.
On the sixteenth of January, I was advised that the Duke of Vestlandet did not want to be a vassal in my kingdom. This would not do – Vestlandet was part of my kingdom.
I asked the count of Agder and the bishops of Vestfold and Bergenshus to mobilise their forces so I could bring the Duchy back into the fold. The next day, Malcolm the Count of Agder mobilised his forces, eight hundred men were standing by.
On the twenty-third, Hakon the Bishop of Vestfold mobilised his forces, and had thirteen hundred men at the ready. Two days later, I received word that Andrew the Bishop of Bergenshus had declined to mobilise his forces. I now had a claim to his title.
We were ready for war, and on January 27 declared war on the Duchy of Vestlandet. Both Malcolm's and Hakon's forces marched towards Telemark, which was under the Duke's control. Guy of Atholl would lead an army of fifteen hundred men out of Caithness to Agder, costing thrity ducats to send them there.
The Bishopric of Argyll, a vassal and ally also declared war on the Duchy. The Bishopric of Sticht who had a claim on Argyll made now to be the perfect time to declare war on the Bishopric of Argyll. Subsequently, I declared war on the Bishopric of Sticht in defense of Argyll.


Then on February 19, the Duke of Orkney also declared independence. It was bad enough having part of Scandinavian Scotland trying to break away...but Scotland proper – not on my watch! Orkney would pay for his audacity.
On March 5, my sixth daughter, Elayne was born.
By March 17, Light chain-mail had started being used by armies in Lothian. Malcolm and Hakon's forces also arrived in Telemark to do battle.

After almost a fortnight of battle, our armies were victorious and began the siege of Telemark. On April 10, I noticed that the Duke of Argyll's loyalty had taken a severe hit, so I cut the scutage for vassals to three ducats.

Finally, on May 8, Telemark was back under Scottish rule.

The next day, I offered the Duke of Vestlandet peace, stripping him of his Ducal title, but letting him hold onto his home county. Of course, he would still have to swear fealty to my crown. The man now known as the Count of Telemark knew he was beaten and acceded to my demands. I sent Malcolm, Hakon and their armies back home. The next day I rewarded Malcolm for his loyalty, handing him the Duchy of Vestlandet.
As I still had an army en route to Bergenshus, I re-routed them home to Caithness for the inevitable war with the Duke of Orkney. It cost seventy five ducats to turn the boats around.
Guy's army that was en route to Agder as a backup, are now told to turn tail and head to Sticht to support the Bishopric of Argyll's war (not to be confused with the very disloyal Duke of Argyll). That change of direction was almost as expensive, costing seventy ducats.
At the end of June, Guy's army arrived in Sticht and began their siege.


On July 23, Erik the Duke of Iceland sent word that he would like to become a vassal of my kingdom and fall under my protection. Erik was located to the east of Vestisland, in Austisland. I graciously accepted his request. With Erik now part of the kingdom, my realm covered the whole of the Western Approaches.

Within a week, the peaceful expansion of Scotland played well worldwide, increasing my world renown.

On August 15, Sticht had been turned over to Scottish rule. The Bishopric made peace the next day, the Bishop of Sticht yielding his claim on the Bishopric of Argyll. We were no longer at war with Sticht. Guy and his army are disbanded.
On August 24, Musical instruments began being used more widely in Moray. I meanwhile had arrived with my army in Caithness. I had also heard rumours that the Duke of Argyll could not be trusted and was completely disloyal.
I decided to give the Duke of Orkney one last chance before going to war, so I offered him vassalisation.
Nearly two weeks went by before I finally found out that the Duke had decided to stay independent from my kingdom. So, on September 5 we went to war with the Duke of Orkney. I marched with my army to Orkney, costing nearly fifty ducats for the ships. The same day my loyal ally, the Bishopric of Argyll also declared war on the Duke of Orkney.

Only ten days into the war with the Duke of Orkney and the traitorous Duke of Argyll declared war on me. In Atholl, my marshal led an army of three and a half thousand men towards Strathclyde. Another three and a half thousand men from Fife would be led by a local man named Fergel towards Carrick, while a local named Guy from Lothian would lead two thousand men there also. I'd had enough of disloyal vassals.
A month later, my marshal's army arrived in Strathclyde. Guy's army also arrived in Carrick. It wasn't until October 25 that Fergel's army joined Guy's in Carrick.

The extra men from Fife would prove the turning point in the Battle of Carrick, victory being claimed the very next day. Both armies joined together to lay siege.

On November 2, my marshal and his forces gained the upper hand in Strathclyde, and thus the siege had begun.

Ten days later, Fergel and Guy and their armies had turned Carrick back over to Scotland. Now that Carrick was under my rule, both armies marched onward to Strathclyde, arriving a month later.

Two days after Christmas, my army and I had beaten Orkney's forces and began the siege.


A day later, my three armies in Strathclyde had liberated it from the Duke of Argyll.

The next day I offered the Duke of Argyll a peace deal. He would lose his Ducal title and the County of Carrick, but remain a vassal. The deal was signed. On new years day, I handed both titles to the Bishop of Argyll.


On January 17, 1184 I had liberated Orkney and it was now under my rule.

The next day, I offered the Duke of Orkney peace, in return for his Ducal title. Of course, he agreed to peace. I sent all our armies home for we were no longer at war.
Meanwhile, I had decided that Dubessa would be raised by a local noble.
On January 20, I decided to make the loss of the Duke of Orkney just that little more humiliating. I granted the title to Thomas Loarn, the Count of Shetland. Thomas is the former Duke of Orkney's second son, and about fifth in line to inherit his titles.


On January 26, I marry my daughter, Arianhod to Malcolm Loarn, son of my cousin, David Loarn. Malcolm (1167-) is the son of David Loarn (1150-), son of Gilleroth Loarn (1131-1163), the second son of King Aed. Malcolm is second in line to the County of York.
On February 1, I cut the scutage to nil, and made Guy of Atholl the new Bishop of Caithness. Later in the month, the new Duke of Vestlandet is pleased with my rule.
On May 18, I decided that Elayne will be raised by nannies.
At the end of May, brickwork structures spread to Moray and at the end of June large ships began being built in Lothian.
On July 6, the Duchy of Lithuania inherited Dorpat.
In August, the water wheel was discovered in Moray, and I decided not to call the Estates General, even though the kingdom was still almost seven hundred ducats in the red.
In September, Catherdral schools were discovered in Moray and Fergus came home from the Duke of Albany's court.
By the time October had arrived, the new Duke of Vestlandet seemed even more pleased with my rule, and my armed forces in Sutherland began using banded mail as opposed to chain-mail for their armor.

On October 23, I was offered a chance to sabotage the enemy's war effort, but I decided against it, as I felt we should ideally no longer be in debt.

On the first day of November, my first son graduated from barracks as a knowledgeable tactician. Hopefully it would put him in good stead for when he becomes King.
Later that month, I heard rumours that the priests in El Bierzo were practising celibacy. Again, my steward asked me to call in the Estates General – a call which I rebuffed him for. The kingdom now owed a mere five hundred ducats.
 

Conqueristo

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Holy Toledo!
At the end of January 1185, my steward again asked me to call the Estates General. I however, did not feel the need as the treasury was only about four hundred and thirty ducats in the red.
On February 4, Fulques Loarn, the Count of both Aland and Satakunta granted Aland to his young son Renauld.
Two weeks later, in Atholl, a thieves' guild was disbanded.
By the first week of June, I again informed that the Duke of Vestlandet was pleased with my rule. I was now being seen in the realm as a just ruler.

In my newly acquired counties, my prestige was rubbing off, with the nobles in El Bierzo increasing their power base there.
Meanwhile, on the eastern side of the realm, the drums of war were about to begin beating again. The County of Akershus declared war on the Duchy of Ostlandet on June 23. The next day, I had joined the war on the side of Ostlandet, and requested that the Duke of Vestlandet ready his forces to help me out.
On July 3, the Duke of Vestlandet had assembled a thousand men in Adger to fight on my behalf. Onward to Akershus, I advised them.
On the tenth of August, we began using broadswords for training in Compostella.
On October 17, I met with representatives of peasants from El Bierzo, who respectfully requested that no-one be born into serfdom any more. I denied their request, advising them that the time was not yet ripe for such a change in society.
A week later, on October 23, Akershus sued for peace with the Duke of Ostlandet, offering him a hundred and fifty ducats. The Duke agreed to peace terms, while we stayed at war with Akershus.
It seemed to be taking a long time to march all the way to Akershus from Adger, so I asked the Duke of Ostlandet to ready his men for war. The very next day he assembled one and a half thousand men in Oppland. They would head to Akershus to meet with Vestlandet's army.
By November 15, the Duke of Ostlandet's army arrived in Akershus, a full five days before they would be joined in battle by the Duke of Vestlandet's army.


On December 2, our armies were victorious and the siege of Akershus had begun.

On the Yuletide, I offered the Count of Akershus a very reasonable peace deal, where he be able to keep his lands, but would have to be a vassal of mine. Four days later, I received word that the Count would not agree to peace on those terms.

On January 17 1186, Fergus, my eldest son who was born in 1168 died of illness. I inherited nothing from his passing, save for his claim to my throne. Sixteen year old Angus was now the heir to my throne.

On the twelfth of March, our armies had finally turned Akershus over to Scottish rule.

I would make the Count pay for not agreeing to peace last Christmas. I sued for peace, keeping him as a vassal, but taking his county from him. I granted his title to the Duke of Ostlandet, who he started the war with last June. That'd learn him.

Now that the kingdom was no longer at war, I decided to grant some realm lands to the church, which increased my renown with Rome.
On the fifth of June, Angus returned home from his time away under the guidance of the Duke of Albany.
In September, I heard a rumour that one of my vassals changed their ruling law to match mine.

As October approached I realised that young Angus, the up and coming heir to the throne should be married. I discussed with Nest my concerns and asked that she help find a lass that was, not only young enough for my son, but whose father had notable lands that could one day perhaps be inherited by my future kin.

On October 15, Nest had found such a bride for Angus. Even though I had a strong stomach, the thought of my son marrying an English lass was a shock, to say the least. Although there had never been a full out war with the English, we would never be far from it. Cooler heads always seemed to prevent a grand duel between the two kingdoms on Albia.
Nest explained that she had already spoken to Angus and convinced him that it was a good idea, and that my request to Alexander was a mere formality. The bride to be was Catherine de Normandie, who like Angus is only sixteen years old. Catherine is the first born daughter of Alexander de Normandie, the Count of Chester. Alexander, her father is indeed the heir to the throne of England, currently held by his father, Robert de Normandie – the King of England.
The prospect of all of Albia being under one king was too good to pass up, so I asked Alexander to let the two be wed. Two days passed before Alexander had agreed to the union.
Three days before Christmas, the thieves' guild in Sutherland had disbanded.

On the seventh day of the new year, I made my newly married son and heir to the throne the new Spymaster for the realm. The time was ripe for a crusade. The Sheikdom of Burgos would be my crusade of choice, considering the fact it wasn't to far from my most recent acquisitions of El Bierzo and Compostela. I rallied my marshal and an army of 11000 in Compostela and sent them onto El Bierzo.
While our men are preparing for war, my wife advises me that Burgos has land in Scandinavia, the County of Rogaland, bordering Agder. Perhaps we could also take Rogaland and add it to our Scandinavian interests...
So, on February 4 I asked Malcolm, the Duke of Vestisland to mobilize his forces.
Two days later, my marshal and his army arrives in El Bierzo. Meanwhile, Angus's wife Catherine finished her education and is now seen to be a grey eminence.
A day of rest for Malcolm Meriadoc and his army and I raised an army of almost six thousand in El Bierzo.

One day of preparation and we were ready for a crusade! I declared war on Burgos on February 8. Both armies marched with purpose towards the outskirts of Burgos. Since Burgos was a vassal of the Emirate of Toledo, and an ally of the Sheikdom of Algecrais, they both joined the war on the side of Burgos.

A week later, the Duke of Vestisland presented himself and seven hundred men ready for war in Adger. Vestisland and his men head for Rogaland. With such a small contingent from Vestisland, I decided to ask the Duke of Ostlandet to help out too.
Two days later, the Duke rallies three thousand men which he leads to Rogaland.

It isn't until April 7 that the Duke of Vestisland's men arrive in Rogaland. Two days of intense fighting and the battle is won. Malcolm lays siege to the town, awaiting Ostlandet's reinforcements.
As the end of April draws near, I am feeling very healthy being married to my wife. Our armies also arrive in Burgos. Unfortunately, the King of Hungary has already fought Burgos' men and his army were laying siege. Since we were already there, I decided to help out Hungary...after all we were both fighting for the same cause.

On May 13, the Pope offers me a new bishop after seeing we had been so long without one. Of course, knowing Rome, the bishop would not be for free. Costing nearly three hundred ducats in travel expenses, Robert Randolph was appointed the new Diocese Bishop. Dubessa, my daughter meanwhile, will be trained at court.
Two days later, the siege of Burgos is over and the King of Hungary gains control of the county. With the Iberian lands of Burgos now under Hungarian control, I turned my attention towards the Emirate of Toledo who we were also at war with. Cuenca, which was owned by the Emir was not that far away. “Onward to Cuenca!” I told my men, we will have ourselves a glorious crusade yet.
At the end of May, the Duke of Ostlandet's reinforcements had arrived in Rogaland.
By June 6, Hungary had made peace with the Sheik and now owned the County of Burgos. The Sheik would now be known as the Sheik of Rogaland.
A month later, our armies down south had finally arrived in Cuenca and the battle of Cuenca had begun.
On July 12, Rogaland was liberated from the Sheik's rule. Little did I know that he was also at war with the County of Nyland, and before I could offer terms of peace he had surrendered his title to the Count of Nyland. With no more fighting to do, I sent my northern armies home.
Within a week, I had to sell books from the library in Fife, gaining seventy five ducats. The crusade had already blown the treasury out to five hundred ducats in the red.

On July 22, we had won the Battle of Cuenca and now were laying siege to the castle.
Meanwhile, back in Scandinavia both the Counts of Satakunta and Osel had embroiled themselves in a war. On July 30, they had declared war on the Teutonic Order, based in Reval. The next day, I declared support for my vassals and joined the war. Since I had no royal demesne lands anywhere near Reval, I asked the Duke of Esthonia to mobilize his forces. The Duchy was neighbours with the Teutonic Order. Within two days, the Duke has eighteen hundred men at the ready who march towards Reval.

By August 27, Oluf and his armies had arrived to do battle in Reval. Within a fortnight, the Duke and his men were defeated – the Grandmaster of Teutonic Order was victorious.

On September 14, our southern armies had broken through and liberated Cuenca from the Emir of Toledo.

After a good night's rest, I had decided on the best course of action for the Emir of Toledo. I offered him peace with my kingdom, but for a price. Cuenca would be added to the royal demesne and Ghalib could keep his vassals, but he would have to become a Duke in the kingdom. Ghalib agreed and became the Duke of Toledo.
After a good two weeks of rest in Cuenca, my southern armies were sent home.
Back in Scandinavia, the war against Grandmaster Adolf was still going. On the first day of October I ordered my marshal and almost eight thousand men from Atholl to ship out to Narva, costing two hundred and fifty ducats. Narva would make a good staging point before heading onto Reval.

On October 6, Roma had been overrun by the infidels and the Pope had fled into exile. Without a power base, he had to call the current crusade to an end.
Within a fortnight, the Pope was welcomed in a Christian court and had called for another Crusade, this time to liberate Roma from the infidels.

By mid-December, the Duke of Albany had become increasingly wary of the largess of land now under my control and declared war on the kingdom. That same day I rallied almost six and a half thousand men in Moray and led them on to Angus to do battle with the Duke's forces.
 

Enewald

Enewald Enewald Enewald
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No sympathy for the English-Norman conquerors!
I think it is time to reclaim the south for the Gaelic kin!
 

Johan11

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And down goes the pope.

But don't worry, 'tis but a short time.
 

Conqueristo

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The unbeatable Teutonic Order and the defence of Toledo

As the year 1188 began, the kingdom's treasury owed almost a thousand dollars. On January 23, I borrowed a modest amount from the moneylenders, about fourteen hundred ducats.

With now four hundred ducats in the treasury, I used the funds to create new duchies that I gained when Toledo became my vassal last year. I was now the Duke of Valencia, Aragon and Tolouse.
On January 26, the retreating army that lost in Reval arrive in Dorpat. I sent them back into the fire.

During the first week of February, my son Angus finished his ecclesiastical training, and could now be classed as a martial cleric. While he knew the ways of the church, he would be equally at task on the battlefield. On the fifteenth, the Duke of Esthonia's force arrived again in Reval. My army and I arrived in Angus.

March proved to be an unlucky month for both the Duke and myself. His forces were defeated on the sixth, while mine were defeated on the twelfth. Wallowing in despair was not an option, so I sent word to my son that he should take an army of men from Fife to revenge my defeat. Angus, who was my spymaster took a break from that office to lead almost six thousand men from Fife to where I had been defeated. We retreated to Atholl, where the church had begun building schools inside cathedrals.

On April 9, I received the news that I now had a grandson. Angus and Catherine had their first son, Malcolm. Malcolm Loarn is second in line to both my kingdoms and England's.
Three days later, while recuperating in Atholl, we were met by the Duke of Albany's forces, who we promptly sent packing. Actually, they just scampered before we could even slice one head off!
With such a victory, we proudly marched back to the County of Angus, now assured of victory.
A whole month passed before we arrived in Angus on May 12. Victory would not be as easy, losing ten men but killing nearly eighty of the Duke's. Now to lay siege to his fortifications....

On the first day of June, we had liberated the County of Angus from the Duke of Albany. I offered him peace the next day, stripping of the title Duke of Albany and making him give up his claim on the title King of Scotland. I let him keep the County of Angus on the condition that he stay a vassal of the realm. Knowing he was beaten, he agreed to terms and I sent our armies home.

That day would also be the first day where I proclaimed the kingdom's new coat of arms. I felt that adding the lion of Norway to the royal shield, it would reduce the likelihood of rebellions like I'd had with my vassals in Scotland proper. With such a large kingdom under my control, I still held claims on Tir Connail, Tir Eoghain, Ulaid, Mide, Osraige, Laigin, Oxford, Argyll, Galloway, Durham, York, Derby, Shrewsbury, Warwick, Kleve, Rogaland, Bergenshus, and Kexholm. I also had claims to the Duke of Galloway and King of Sweden. My possible inheritance of that kingdom seemed to now be a pipe dream, with my name not even in the first two pages of the succession register.

Although I wanted to punish the Duke of Albany for his war, I did not really need to hang onto the title and a week later I granted it to the Count of Mar, Gillecolm Loarn.
Gillecolm (1144-) is the son of Duncan Loarn (1125-). Duncan is the son of Donald Loarn (1104-1170), who is the son of Constantine Loarn (1083-1131). Constantine of course, was the son of Malcolm Loarn (1066-1097) who was great great aunt Gruaidh (1049-1120).
On June 16, our army that set out from Atholl in October finally made landfall in Narva. After a day of rest, they marched towards Reval.

On June 20, I appointed a new steward for the realm, Euphrosine. Euphrosine had just married Duncan Loarn. Duncan Loarn (1165-) is the son of Magnus Loarn (1132-1185). Magnus was the son of Donald Loarn (1104-1170). Donald is of course, a son of Constantine Loarn (1083-1131).
Euphrosine is of the de Joigny dynasty, the first born of Guy de Joigny, Count of Al Alamayn. They were married only two days ago.

In the first week of July, our army on way from Narva arrived in Reval and engaged the enemy. Within a week, the Teutonic Order's men were too strong and we had lost the battle, fleeing back to Dorpat. These continual losses were beginning to take a toll on my marshal, who showed signs of being stressed by the time they arrived in Dorpat in August.

On October 11, my son provided me with a contact who would be able to organise one of the enemy's regiments to be broken up, for a price of course. Eleven hundred ducats was the fee, which I happily wrote off as another expense for the war, but diving the treasury back into debt at the same time. Meanwhile, my daughter Elayne was off to the monastery for training.

Finally, by December the army in Dorpat had recovered sufficiently enough to fight another day. Again, they head off to Reval. I asked the Duke of Esthonia to mobilize his forces, and he provides an army of half a thousand men who march onward to Reval.

Both armies arrived before the year ended and defeated the Teutonic Order's forces on the fourth day of 1189. The siege of Reval had begun.

The constant state of warfare in the realm was affecting productivity, however I did not want to go further into debt to try to return it back to normal.

On March 4, the Teutonic Order's army broke the siege of Reval, and our men fled towards Dorpat, trying their best not to be killed.
After hearing the news of the failed siege, I offered Grandmaster Martin peace. One of my courtiers, Dietrich of Reval who had a claim to Reval would be the new Count of Reval. I was not surprised a day later to hear that the peace arrangement had been declined.
After a week, I offered the Teutonic Order a white peace, which they also declined on the twenty third.
After that, I'd had enough of dealing with the Teutonic Order, it was really draining the treasury. I sent my armies home – we would fight the order no more.

On the first week of April, as apostolic poverty was becoming a virtue of preachers in Moray, I decided to recuperate the costs of the war. My first step in recovering funds was to increase the crown duty from nothing to five and a half ducats per month. I then granted a third of the ruling power in Compostela to burghers, while granting almost half the ruling power in Cuenca to the church.

Apostolic poverty seemed to be becoming popular also with a few clergy in Sutherland, but these preachers urged that the church also observe poverty. This did not hold well with Rome who classed them as heretics, nevertheless they were influential in there home county.

On the first week of May, fire destroyed the sawmill in Moray. This would not help me in paying off the crown debt any time soon, so I upped crown duty to six and a tenth ducats per month. Not only that, I increased scutage from nothing to five ducats per month.

On May 15, the Shiekdom of Cacares attached my vassal, the Emir of Toledo, or the Duke of Toledo as I liked to call Ghalib. I declared war on them in support of Toledo and the next day sent and army of nearly seven thousand men from El Bierzo towards Carceres.

By July 25, the infidels forces had splintered, making a white peace possible. I decided that the Sheik would not be able to get off that easily, and denied white peace.

It was August 18 before my army arrived in Caceres to do battle. Six days of fighting and we were victorious, and began the siege. Needing additional funds for the new war effort, I sold the forestry in Compostela for seventy five ducats.

Two days later, both the Duke of Toledo and my ally the Duke of Argyll made white peace with Caceres. Our kingdom however, was still at war with the Sheik of Caceres.

On September 4, to try to pay back some of the debt owed by the kingdom, I sold the small castle in El Bierzo, gaining a hundred ducats.

On September 23, Caceres was brought under Scottish rule. I offered the Sheik peace, on the condition that I keep Caceres for myself.
A week later, a messenger advised that Abdul-Kareem had rejected the deal.
Wanting to make short work of the infidels, our army headed towards Mertola which was the direction the Sheik's forces retreated to.

Obviously to get the Sheik to peace, I might have to take control of Deir, which was the furthest from the realm I had ever heard of. In fact, some doubted its very existence. The closest vassal to Deir is Delta, under the control of Rhys Loarn. I asked him to get his forces ready. On October 12 he was ready with four hundred men, and I advised them of their treacherous journey ahead to Deir, near Baghdad.
As our army arrived in Mertola, we caught sight of the infidels sneaking away to Silves...so onto Silves we went, finally starting the Battle of Silves on October 23.

Six days later and thirty infidels dispatched of, we were victorious and followed the retreating army over the border to Mertola.

On November 5, I offered peace to the Sheik one last time. I would accept him as the rightful owner of Dier as long as I kept Caceres.
My army arrived in Mertola, only to find that the infidels were last seen heading to Alcacer do Sal. Left behind were the torn up papers that were to be the peace arrangement. Onward to Alcacer do Sal we marched.
Later that week, peers question my claim to Tir Eoghain, since I seem to be constantly at war in Europe and have never set foot in Ireland. I'm not interested in the Irish claims for now and am happy to let the claim go.
On November 24, we caught up with the infidels in Alcacer do Sal. Two days of fighting saw neither side get one kill, and in the dead of night the infidels fled again.

Of course, we trailed them back to Silves and fought them on December 8. One day and we killed almost forty infidels before they scampered in the direction of Alcacer do Sal. It seemed to be never ending...we followed them for I was intent to wipe them out.
 
Last edited:

Enewald

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It would be cool if controlled all of Iberia...
and became Emperor of the West...
 

Johan11

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If you're going to conquer the world, it's gonna be one awesome coat of arms in the end!

Good going. Now you just need to get rid of those annoying debt problems.
 

Conqueristo

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Breakaway counties, assassinations and the consolidation of Iberia

For almost all of January 1190, our men followed the infidels from Caceres throughout Southern Iberia, constantly making small dents in their ever decreasing forces. Meanwhile, apostolic poverty in Moray was no longer being observed by the clergy.

By January 26, the Sheik of Caceres had enough of running and offered terms for peace. The deal was extremely generous, Scotland gaining both Caceres and Deir. After agreeing to peace, my regiment from El Bierzo went home.


With both Deir and Caceres still well under the influence of the infidel faith, I decided to make both counties bishoprics. I appointed Diocese Bishop Randolph as the new Bishop of Deir, while Marshal Meriadoc who had an ecclesiastical education was appointed the new Bishop of Caceres.
Subsequently, the post of Marshal was now empty. I appointed Magnus' son, young twenty four year old Duncan Loarn as the new marshal.

On February 3, I had arranged for my third son, Ruadri to marry Jutta Hvide, the King of Denmark's younger sister. Within a fortnight, I had appointed Jutta to be the position of spymaster.

As February drew to a close, I knighted my son Angus, heir to the throne as the Count of Sutherland, and granted him his hereditary title as the Duke of Moray. Angus is now the official heir to the throne.
On March 5, I was made the advisor of the Holy See, and my words would now hold much sway with Rome and Christendom.
In April, it came to my attention that a few of my sub-vassals, that is vassals of my vassals had broken away from the kingdom. I re-offered them vassalisation within the kingdom, which they refused. Subsequently, I layed claim to their titles, wanting to bring them back into the fold.
By the month's end, I had claimed the Counts of Orkney, Faereyar and Telemark.
During that time, on April 23 I offered white peace to the Teutonic Knights, to which they agreed.

On May 7, I offered the Count of Alcantara protection and the chance to become part of my kingdom. With Alcantra as part of my realm, I could be named the Duke of Leon.
Four days later, the Count of Alcantara decided to stay independent. Meanwhile, the use of promissory notes spread to Atholl, and I decided to claim Alacantra anyway.

In June, Jongleurs were roaming in El Bierzo, while iron edged wood ploughs began being used in Atholl.

On September 18, the Sheikdom of Malago, in southern Iberia declared war on the Duchy of Toledo. I joined the war on Toledo's side. To try to support the impending war I doubled scutage to ten ducats a month.
A month later, the barons of my realm offered to help improve the stability of my kingdom. A bit of a loss of face for my reputation, having the barons bailing me out...but I needed to keep the kingdom on a good footing if I was going to re-incorporate rebellious vassals and try to become the Duke of Leon.

Before I knew it, it was already February 1191. On the seventeenth, Denmark lost their war with Sweden. Swedish forces routed the Danes, and now controlled both Kingdoms of Sweden and Denmark. Jens was welcomed into the King of Germany's court.
Even though her brother was no longer King of Denmark, Jutta still seemed quite happy to continue her role as my spymaster. It was what she suggested I do next to be a surprise. Long ago I had given up my dream to inherit the Swedish kingdom, as I had fallen further and further down the line of inheritance for the throne over the years. Jutta told me that I could still inherit the throne...if I could stomach the deed. We made a pact to never openly discuss it, and I began putting money aside to set forth a killing spree on the Swedish royal line that would propel my inheritance back to its rightful place.

On the first of May, I appointed a new diocese bishop, Jorgen Hvide.
On June 4, the Duke of Toledo took control of Malego. Within a week, he sues for peace with the Sheik and takes Malego from him as well as a thousand ducats for his trouble.
Later on in the month, I offered the County of Lleida, a neighbour of the Ducy of Toledo vassalisation, which of course was declined. I also offered the Countess of Karelen vassalisation and it too was declined.

On August 12, I sent an assassin to take out five year old Skule Sverkatten, 11th in line to the Kingdoms of Sweden and Denmark. The price on his head was only twenty six ducats, but that attempt failed – thankfully the assassin was not discovered.
Two days later began the scourge on the Sverkattens...my assassin succeeded this time, but he was discovered.
Ten year old Skofte was next on the list, and could be dispatched of for about forty ducats. Somehow, my assassin also got discovered while killing Skofte on the fifteenth.

Revenge was swift and to be expected, my daughter Isabel was discovered the next day. It was definitely the work of the Count of Kola, for I had organised the murder of his courtiers.
I wasn't done yet though and sent my assassins to rid me of fourteen year old Tryggve. On the seventeenth, the deed was done...but again I had been implicated.
Torgils Sverkatten, born in 1168 was killed the very next night. Even with the expense of almost seventy five ducats, my men were still discovered.
The next night the knell struck for Inge, born in 1140. The fact that the price was only fifty ducats probably explains how my assassins were discovered.
On the twentieth, I sent assassins to the Duchy of Smaland to slay three year old Olaf...again they succeeded, but were discovered.
With only twenty two ducats left in the treasury, the scourge on the Sverkattens would have to wait. I was now only sixth in line to the thrones of the Swedes and the Danes.

Six days later, my daughter Aufrica was killed. We never found out who instigated her assassination.

The weapon known as mace spread to Lothian in September. On the first day of October, I gave the Count of Orkney and Faereyar one last chance to rejoin the kingdom peacefully. He declined, so I declared war on him.
Ten thousand men from Atholl, led by marshal Duncan headed to Caithness. Meanwhile I led seven thousand men from Moray to Sutherland.

On the nineteenth, the Papal State declared itself independent from Germany and established itself in Julich since Rome was still under the control of the infidels.
On November 2, I thought I might as well also take the chance and try to become the Duke of Leon, declaring war on the Count of Alcantara.
Five and a half thousand men from Cuenca, led by Jorgen, my diocese bishop march towards Alcantara.
Five days later, my army and I arrived in Sutherland and shipped out to Faerayar at a cost of almost a hundred ducats.

On the twenty second of November, Pope Sebastiano passed away. The curia elected Kolbein, the Bishop of Vestfold as the new Pope. The county of Vestfold was returned to my control.

Marshall Duncan and his army arrived in Caithness during the first week of January 1192.

Five days later, Jorgen and his army arrive in Alcantara and fight the enemy, defeating them in less than a fortnight.

It wouldn't be until February 19 when Alcantara was finally liberated and brought under Scottish control. Meanwhile, the use of reserve forces began in El Bierzo.

I arranged for peace the next day, letting Konrad stay in my court, but taking his county from him.
Jorgen and his army marched back towards El Bierzo. For Jorgen's efforts, I appointed him to be the new Bishop of Alcantara...and made him the new Archbishop of Aragon.

In April, Romanesque vaulting spread to Fife and I shipped Marshal Duncan's army off to Agder at a cost of two hundred ducats.

On April 22, after a month of siege, we had finally taken control of Faereyar. We shipped out to Shetland that very day, costing eighty ducats. I asked the Duke of Orkney to mobilize his forces.
Meanwhile, the Duke of Vestlandet was pleased with my rule.

At the end of April, the Duke of Orkney provided himself and eight hundred men...whom I sent to Orkney for nearly ten ducats. The locals in Cuenca revolted and took up arms. The army that was on way to El Bierzo turned around and headed to Cuenca to suppress the revolt.

The situation was looking dire in Cuenca, with rebels looting the county and burning down the local school during May. They had begun a siege on Cuenca's castle.

Meanwhile in June, on the mainland I accepted to fosterling more of the Duke of Albany's daughters – ten year old Matilda and eleven year old Helen. The prosperity of my capital had improved so much, that the County of Moray was now considered rich.

On the fourth day of August, the army had finally arrived in Cuenca and engaged the rebels. It would take a whole week of bloody battle before the rebels were defeated. After a day of rest, the army marched back towards El Bierzo.

Owing over three thousand ducats in the kingdom treasury, I bowed to my chancellor's demands and called the Estates' General on September 21, craving a large contribution. Generously, they provided me with two thousand and nine hundred ducats to help pay my debts, for this I was extremely grateful.

As September came to a close, on the twenty seventh Orkney county had been liberated.

I sued for peace, asking to have all my lands back under my control. The Count of Orkney and Faereyar accepted the peace deal, ceding all his titles. I sent my army and the Duke's army home.
For helping me in the war, I granted the Duke of Orkney both my new counties.

On November 15, Marshal Duncan and his army arrive in Agder, a neighbouring county of Telemark. I declared war on Telemark and sent Duncan's forces into battle.

On December 3, in southern Iberia a Muslim work on Optics was discovered.
 

Johan11

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I was wondering how far you would get before the assasinations started....
 

Conqueristo

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The King of Leon and the assassins

On the third week of January 1193, our forces were victorious in Telemark with just over four hundred of the enemy killed, while we lost nearly fifty men. After ten days of siege, we had brought Telemark back under Scottish rule.
On the twenty eighth, peace terms were agreed to. The Count of Telemark would keep his title, and become part of Scotland. Duncan and his army were sent home, meanwhile Jorgen's army arrived back in El Bierzo.
February One and I had raised an army of ten thousand men, led by Marshal Duncan in Compostela. I meanwhile rallied seven and a half thousand men in El Bierzo. I now had three large armies in Iberia and we were ready to tackle the infidels.
The next day, war was declared on the Sheikdom of Santiago and my armies were on the march.

On February 15, Pope Kolbein requested that I fill the empty role of Diocese Bishop in my court. It would cost four hundred and fifty ducats to bring Duncan MacWilliam and his entourage over. Since Kolbein was a former vassal of mine, I was happy to agree to his request.

On the third day of March, our combined forces had arrived in Santiago and began fighting the infidels. By the ides of March we had won the battle, killing almost twenty three hundred infidels and losing about twenty knights. After about three weeks of siege, Santiago had been brought into Christendom on April 6.
With that victory in hand, we heard rumour that the remaining infidels had retreated to Porto. On we pressed to Porto, hoping to catch up with the enemy. A whole month would pass before we met the enemy on the battlefield in Porto. The battle lasted three weeks before we had claimed victory, killing four hundred infidels, and losing only ten knights.
Meanwhile, the Duke of Vestlandet seemed pleased with my rule.
On the sixth of June, a peace deal was struck. Santiago would become part of Scotland proper, while Mirza would be granted a place in my court. Mirza agreed to the deal and my armies were sent home.
The next day, I made Ruadri, my third son the new Count of Santiago, and sent Diocese Bishop MacWilliam over as the new Bishop of Compostela. At home though, my Dubessa caught an illness.
I also decided to grant away the county of Vestfold. On June 15, I made aunt Grouch, who was now sixty one the new Countess of Vestfold.

At the end of June, the nobles in Cuenca felt slighted, for I had given more power to the clergy to try and convert the local infidel populace.
One night during July, my wife advised me that I should look to take control of the Sheikdom of Leon. Doing so would enable me to further propel the fortunes of our dynasty and become the King of Leon. Since the Sheikdom is a vassal of the King of Hammadid, war would mean fighting the king's forces too. This was too good a chance to pass up, so I organised an army of just over six thousand men in Cuenca. My marshal would lead them in a march to El Bierzo and prepare for war.

On September 27, Pope Kolbein passed away. The Curia elected another archbishop from my realm to take on their holy ordained duties as Pope – Archbishop Maslaw of Lothian. Lothian was granted back to my kingdom for safekeeping.

Then on October 22 came a shock which could have brought into jeopardy my plans for Iberia. Berwick declared war on the Kingdom of England, begging us to fight on their side. I was still focused on Iberia, and left Berwick to the dogs. I could always deal with the English later.

During November, my steward, Euphrosine asked for me to again call the Estates General. However, it proved beneficial in not calling the Estates General. The stability of my kingdom improved, and so did my worldly standing. In Fife, cathedral schools had begun being built.

On December 15, the declaration of war on the Sheikdom of Leon was official. I had rallied an additional four and a half thousand men in El Bierzo only days after my Cuenca army arrived.
I received word that Hammadid declared war on us in defence of Leon. Our combined forces of almost ten thousand men marched onward to Leon.

Three days into the war, and the Bishop of Caithness took a chance and declared war on my son's Duchy. I vowed that the Bishop would not live this down, and also declared war on him. Nearly nine thousand men were gathered in the capital, led by General Bernat they marched to Caithness.
On Christmas Day, peasants were seen herding goats in Atholl.

Word had spread far and wide of my crusade to Iberia, and by the second week of the new year many knights had volunteered to join the fight. I advised them that it would be better to donate gold to the cause, of which they did. Wagons laden with ducats arrived at the kingdom's gates and before I knew it we had amassed almost three thousand ducats for the cause.
Just as my armies were descending on Leon, my vassal the Duke of Toledo was attacked by the Sheik of Zaragoza. Immediately I declared my support for the Duke in the war.

On the fifteenth, we arrived in Leon and were able to lay siege to their castle straight-away. Within a fortnight, we had turned Leon over to Scottish rule. A day later on February 5, peace was arranged. For eight ducats, Ayyub would be able to stay as the Sheik of Leon, but he would have to pledge allegiance to my kingdom. Ayyub agreed to the peace deal.

The next day I was proclaimed the new Duke of Leon. On February 7, I added the King of Leon to my growing list of titles, and sent my victorious armies home.
Even though we had taken Leon, I was still at war with the King of Hammadid and decided to sabotage their enterprise.

On the first day of March, victory was ours in the Battle of Caithness, even though we had lost twelve knights. Almost nine hundred of the bishop's men had been killed and we now besieged his fortifications.

Ten days of siege and we had returned the county to Scottish rule. The bishop gave his title back to Angus, and our army in Caithness went home.

On March 12, I decided to hand Buchan back to the church and made Aimeric de Provence its new bishop. Within three days I was appointed the new advisor to Pope Maslaw.

My first duty of business was to secure my inheritance by excommunicating one of my distant relatives in Smaland. Gustav Sverkatten could no longer inherit the Swedish and Dane thrones.

On the second of May, I accepted Constance as a fosterling from the Duke of The Isles. The first day of June saw the unfurling of my new coat of arms with Leon now represented. I was accused later of paying too much attention to war and not looking after fosterlings. I knew this to be true as I watched my armies in Lothian begin to use banded mail.

On July 6, the Bishop of Bergenshus declared war on his leige, the Duke of Vestlandet. I joined the war on Vestlandet's side. Meanwhile my thrill-seeking daughter Matilda came of age, as did my daughter Dubessa, who seemed to be in league with the barons.

On the first of August, the Duchy of Toledo was again attacked, this time by the King of Germany.
I vowed to support Toledo as long as he stayed in my kingdom, so I declared war on Germany.
A week later in Lothian more heretics arrived, preaching that the true church should be poor.
That same week my wife came up with another brilliant idea to increase my worldly realm.

In 1169, Guttorm, Duke of Lithuania controlled a mere three counties – Velikiye Luki, Sudovia and Aukshayts. In a quarter of a century, the Duchy had grown to seven counties and was in control of four loyal vassals. One vassal, the Count of Bezhetsky Ver had inherited Starya Russia which used to be part of Scotland. During the reign of Guttorm, Lithuania had not grown too large. It was the inheritance of the Duchy by Guttorm's younger brother's grandson which saw it become quite powerful. The ducal demesne consisted of Memel, Kurs, Zemigalians, Aukshayts, Perslavyl, Novgorod and even Dorpat. Skofte Yngling's vassals were the Count of Sudovia, Count of Velikiye Luki, Count of Trans-portage and the Grand Count of Bezhetsky Ver and Starya Russia.

While the Duchy of Lithuania was not part of Scotland, the Duke's father, Harvard was a loyal vassal of Scotland. Not only that, he was second in line to inherit the Duchy. It was decided that Harvard would be the new Duke of Lithuania.

On August 12, the meeting was arranged. It would cost sixty four ducats to dispose of Harvard's two year old grandson, Eigil Yngling. To get rid of the Duke, though would cost one hundred and sixty one ducats. Within two days, Harvard was the new Duke of Lithuania.
Both the assassins of Eigil Yngling (1192 – 1194) and Skofte Yngling (1173 – 1194) had been discovered, and the trail led straight back to me. Skofte even tried to organise for the death of my Elayne in retribution for Eigil's assasination.

Now I had expanded the influence of Scotland in Lithuanian lands, it was high time I secured my Swedish and Dane inheritance. During the second week of September, my bumbling assassins could not help but leave evidence behind. Thankfully, they dispatched much of the Sverkatten line – Magnus Yngling (1194-), Halsten Yngling (1193-), Bjorn Sverkatten (118:cool:, Johan Sverkatten (1184-), Magnus Sverkatten (1185-) and Haldor Sverkatten (1181-).

While the original price paid of nearly a hundred and seventy ducats seemed a mere pittance, the price in worldly terms was much worse, with my son Angus, being killed. The new heir to the throne and Duke of Moray was now five year old Malcolm. Malcolm also inherited the counties of Caithness and Sutherland.


Not long after, my third son Ruadri was also killed. Ruadri only held the title of Count of Saintiago, which I now inherited.

On September 19, the Pope declared that the Crusade of Roma was over. Shortly after I granted my new heir the Duchies of Valencia and Toulouse.

On the third of October, I had to appoint sixty year old BenMuman Ui Canannain as the new spymaster, for agents of the King of Sweden had killed Jutta Hvide, the former spymaster.

As the month came to a close, the Duke of Toledo was embroiled in yet another war. This time both the Duchies of Valois and Savoie had declared war on him. Scotland was now at war with more of Toledo's enemies.

In December, I decided to make a greater push to become the rightful King of Sweden and Denmark, ordering the death of Haldor Sverkatten (1181-), heir to the Swedish and Dane thrones.
Haldor was dispatched for sixty two ducats, but I again was implicated.
Next on the list was Andres Sverkatten (1179-), the King of Sweden and Denmark. The contract on Andres was almost six hundred ducats, which seemed well worth it, or so I thought. My assassins failed and were caught, letting it be known I ordered the kill. The King called for vengeance, thankfully he too was unsuccessful in assassinating my daughter, Elayne.
On the tenth, I made aunt Ada the new Countess of Santiago.
 

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The Feud is heating up.
 

Conqueristo

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Onward to glory I go...*

On day two of the new year, 1195 – Scotland was dragged into yet another war. The count of Vasterbotten declared war on the Duke of Argyll, my ally. Naturally, I came to his aid and was now at war with Vasterbotten. Meanwhile, the Duke of Vestlandet made peace with the Count of Bergenshus, gaining almost two hundred ducats in reparations and the County of Bergenshus.

By the time the end of the week arrived, I had decided upon a new course of action to secure the inheritance of my grandson. I dispatched an assassin to take care of fifteen year old Silvester de Normadie, heir to the English throne. My assassin was discovered, however not before he had slit the young prince's throat. With Silvester gone, my grandson was now heir to the English throne.
Later that day, I declared myself to be the new Duke of Livonia.

As the sun rose on the second week of the year, I decided that it was time to bring the Count of Vasterbotten to heel, and set about raising some armies to deal with him. Nearly four thousand men in Lothian and almost twice as many in Fife now marched with their heads held high to Strathclyde, which had somehow become part of Vasterbotten's realm.

A fortnight later, our armies arrived in Strathclyde and engaged the enemy. Within a week, Vasterbotten's army was decimated and the siege of his fortifications began.

With Vasterbotten's defeat on the mainland almost a fait accompli, I turned my attention to our ongoing war in the Iberian. Two armies of just over six thousand men each took up arms in El Bierzo and Cuenca. Raoulf de Provence led the El Bierzo army to Asturias de Oviedo, owned by Ireland, while Bernard Craigies would lead the other one to Calatayud. Both these locations would become starting points for our future assault on the heathen forces.

Meanwhile, I still had to deal with Vasterbotten in his homeland, and asked the Count of Lappland to mobilise his forces to help defeat him.

By March 4, Strathclyde was back under my kingdom's control. I sent my armies on the mainland home.
I rounded up extra taxes since my land was so prosperous, adding three thousand ducats to the treasury.

As the second week of March rolled around, the Count of Lappland provided me an army of eight hundred men, which I promptly ordered to head to Vasterbotten. With Lappland's forces en route, I asked the Count of Angermanland to mobilise his men too.
Raoulf's army also arrived in Asturias de Oviedo. Soon, I would send them off to fight in Asturias de Santillana.
Before I knew it, the Count of Angermanland had provided me a thousand men who I also sent onto Vasterbotten.

Back in Iberia, the Count of Leon declared independence on March 20. This break from the realm was unexpected, but as I had already prepared my forces to wage war against Hammadid, I was not prepared to have them wasted on Leon. I could always deal with the smaller issue of Leon later on. I granted him his independence...for now.

As the month came to a close, it was brought to my attention that Hammadid and his forces were laying siege to Cuenca. Bernard Craigies and his army who were in Valencia, on way to Calatayud had to turn around and head back to Cuenca.

Over time, my worldly reputation had taken quite a beating. On April 11, I relinquished my claim to the Count of Mide. My improved reputation made Vasterbotten to decide to come to terms, offering all his lands to me for peace – naturally I accepted. My armies in Scandinavia went home.

The next day, the Duchess of Savoie also offered peace, giving me six hundred and forty five ducats for the privilege.


Shortly after, our army fighting in Cuenca had defeated the infidels and followed their retreat into Molina. I declared war on Asturias de Santilla, a vassal of Hammadid and sent Raoulf's army over the border.

A month later, after much battle, the Sheik of Asturias de Santilla begged for a white peace. I'd none of it – Iberia would be ours in due course. By May 20, we had killed over fifty infidels and started besieging the fortifications.

Two days later, Bernard's army arrived in Molina. Molina was owned by Ireland, but had been under Hammadid control for quite some time. I asked Bernard's army to stay and return Molina back to Irish rule. The siege of Molina had begun.
However, Hammadid's men would not go quietly into the night, fighting our men at every turn. We had Christendom on our side, dispatching over three hundred infidels before the day was over.

With much of our forces engaged in Iberia, Rhys Loarn, the Count of Delta decided to take a chance on May 29 and declare war on the kingdom. Delta being so far away from Scotland proper was not even worth worrying about.

On June 18, Bernard and his army had liberated Molina and returned it to Irish rule. Next, it was onto Valladolid, another Irish county under Hammadid control.

That very same day, Ada Loarn, Countess of Santiago declared war on the kingdom. I now had two breakaway vassals that had declared war. I was happy to leave Delta be, but there was no way Santiago would be leaving the kingdom. I would have to wait to take back Santiago, for my armies were busy fighting Hammadid's forces.


After three days, my waiting was over. Raoulf and his army had liberated Asturias de Santillana and were now free to head back to El Bierzo to regroup before taking on the Countess' forces.

Meanwhile, in Vasterbotten the locals were becoming upset with my subjects who were apparently defiling pagan holy ground. I was happy for my subjects to continue in their defilement, for I did not care at all.

On July 2, peace was made with the Sheik of Asturias de Santillana. He would keep his title, but have to swear fealty to my kingdom. Later that day, my spymaster fell ill.
A week later, the Sheikdom of Denia declared war on the Duke of Toledo. I declared war on Denia in support of the Duke.

On the first of August, I granted the Count of Lappland the county of Vasterbotten.

As the month came to a close, Rhys Loarn Count of Delta offered peace, giving me a hundred and eighty six ducats. I was only to happy to sign the accord. Meanwhile, Bernard's army arrived in Valladolid and began the siege.

I also relinquished my claim to the Kingdom of Sweden, to hopefully improve my worldly reputation.

On September 3, Valladolid was liberated and returned to Irish rule. Bernard's army headed back to Cuenca. Meanwhile, Raoulf's army arrived in El Bierzo and then turned towards Santiago.

Two days later, the church demanded that they be given some money, for they gauged that kingdom was abundant with wealth. I felt that the church was already rich enough, so I sent them packing.

By October 20, our forces had defeated the Countess' and the siege of Santiago was in full swing.

Less than a week later, my spymaster, BenMuman who was already ill had been struck blind. She would have to be replaced. Fifty seven year old Lasairiona Ui Canannain seemed up to the task and was appointed forthwith.

The first assignment for Lasairiona would be the assassination of newly born Dag Yngling. Young Dag was a cousin of the King of Sweden, and now next in line to the Swedish throne. Not only would Dag need to be killed, but the tree had to be stopped at its root which mean his father Olaf would also need to be taken care of.
For twenty six ducats, Olaf Yngling was killed in Jamtamland – but the assassin was discovered. Not only that, there were two Olaf Ynglings in the Jamtamland court – and the wrong one had been killed.
The next day, the sum for the death of the correct, and only living Olaf Yngling in the Jamtamland court was a hundred and sixteen ducats. Again, the assassin succeeded but was discovered.
I decided to wait a little while longer before setting my attack dogs on Dag.
On October 29, my daughter Elayne matured, and turned out to be a somewhat stubborn young lady. Nest chided me - “Like father like daughter”.

On the first day of November, I sent Bernard's army from Cuenca onto La Mancha – where they would battle the Sheikdom of Denia's forces.
Back in Scotland proper, I signed a decree for a small castle to be built in the capital, Moray. It would cost me half a thousand ducats. My wife advised me that due to the discovery that I had initiated many assassination attempts, I was now seen worldwide as dishonourable scum. Loyalty of my vassals was dropping across the kingdom. I sent the Duke of Albany a bribe of a hundred ducats to keep him loyal.

By the eleventh, Bernard's army had arrived in La Mancha and fought the infidels. Within seven days they were defeated and had fleed. It took ten days to march back to Cuenca.

On the first day of December, Santiago was finally back in Scottish hands. Countess Ada agreed to the generous peace terms, recognising that she owned Santiago, but it was part of Scotland – she would stay a vassal of the realm.
Raoulf's victorious army now marched back towards Cuenca to regroup. Meanwhile, Bernard's army who had rested in Cuenca the past week were ordered to Valencia.
Twelve days later, Bernard's army arrived in Valencia. A messenger from the Duke of Toledo arrived, detailing how his army was laying siege to Denia. Bernard naturally took his army and marched onto Denia to help out.
Meanwhile I sent out hundred ducat bribes to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Duke of Albany and Count of Lappland, strengthening their loyalty a little.

*With apologies to Mitch Leigh (songwriter in Man of La Mancha).
 
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Conqueristo

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The Scottish King of England, war with Germany and the money wagons...

By the second week of January 1196, the combined forces of Bernard and Toledo's armies had overrun Denia and control was handed to the Duke. Even though the Sheik of Denia had lost control of his home sheikdom, he still had forces at the ready in Almansa. I ordered Raoulf's army to leave Cuenca and meet Denia's forces head on in Almansa.
A week into the march, I told Raoulf and his men to go back for Denia had sued for peace with the Duke. The Sheik would pay reparations of almost nineteen hundred ducats, and hand his lands over to the Duke of Toledo. War with Denia was over.
Meanwhile, the loyalty of my vassals was falling across the board. Nest was quite sure it was due to the fact I had been implicated in so many assassination attempts. I needed to sure up the loyalty of my vassals, and nothing can sure up loyalty like gold. I sent hundred ducat bribes to as many vassals that the treasury would allow. And for those vassals with extremely low loyalty, such as the Bishop of Deir, they received two hundred ducats.

On the tenth of February, my armies in Iberia finally went home. I also reduced scutage to twenty five ducats per month, hoping to improve loyalty which still seemed to be waning.

Two days later, I again was paying dearly for my assassination attempts. Dag had obviously planned on wreaking a vengeance for the death of his father, and successfully killed my young Dubessa, who was only fourteen.

During the next two months, I sent two hundred ducats to both the Bishop of Deir and the Duke of Lithuania. The donations helped their loyalty improve significantly. Such donations weren't needed for the Count of York who was constantly pleased with my rule.

As May rolled around, I decided to help out the Duke of Toledo in his war against Germany. In doing so, I hoped my vassals would see me in a better light than they currently did. Nearly four thousand men, led by Marshal Duncan were now on the march towards Kent. Meanwhile, I gathered an army of almost eight thousand in Fife and we marched towards there too.
The plan was to join forces in Kent and cross the channel to fight Germany. By the time we would be in the channel, other armies I was yet to raise would hopefully already be fighting the German King.
My ever loyal commander, Raoulf was to take command of the Atholl army, numbering almost eleven thousand men. The charter ships for them to go to Zeeland were almost two hundred ducats, but well worth it. Raoulf was to head towards Mainz after he made landfall in Zeeland.
Commander Bernard, meanwhile was to take charge of a six and a half thousand men strong army in Cuenca and head to Zaragoza. Once there, their next stop was Piedmonte, owned by the German King. In fact, he owned many lands in Italia.
In El Bierzo, a local by the name of Ossor was to take command of another six thousand men who would be destined to meet with Bernard's army after heading through Catalayud first.
While I marched onward to war with Germany, I still felt it was necessary to try to end the war in Iberia with Hammadid – the last thing I needed was two long wars.

So, I ordered the assembly of my armies in the Middle East. Robert, Bishop of Deir was now in charge of almost two thousand men who were tasked with heading to Palmyra to await instructions.
Marshal Manfred from the Duchy of Lithuania was to take charge of six thousand men who had been assembled and wait for Robert and his army. He would also wait for another army to arrive, that of Jedvard who was bringing just over fifteen hundred men from Homs.

Halfway through the month, Jedvard and his men arrived in Palmyra. Both Jedvard and Marshal Manfred would have to wait a little longer before Robert's army arrived. They were busy fighting Hammadid's forces on the way in. The Bishop and his army were finally victorious as the new month began, and were well on their way toward Palmyra. At the end of June, all three armies were now in Palmyra. Their forces combined would be led by Marshal Manfred. The newly formed Middle East Regiment were to march back to Deir, and then make way to Damman...the last refuge of Hammadid.

The MER wasn't even anywhere close to Damman, when on July 3 the Duke of Ostlandet had taken control of the county. With Hammadid practically defeated, I offered him a peace deal which would give Damman to Trond, Duke of Ostlandet. Before the day was over, the arrangement had been agreed to and the MER disbanded.

The war was costing dearly, and I was out of money in August, having to sell the small castle I'd built in Lothian only a year ago. In Kent, Duncan's army was shipping out to Zeeland at a cost of about fifty ducats.

During the first week of September, Raoulf's army had made landfall in Zeeland and on way to Mainz. Meanwhile, both Bernard's and Ossur's armies had arrived in Catalyud and were on way to Piedmonte.
Another week and I had finally arrived in Kent with my own men in tow. Eighty ducats it would cost for us to sail onward to Zeeland.

Then, back in our Iberian lands, the Archbishop of Aragon declared war on us on November 22. A few days later, Duncan's army had made landfall in Zeeland and headed on to Mainz.
By the first week of December, Raoulf's army arrived in Mainz. With the only German forces safely inside the fortifications of Mainz, Raoulf and his army layed siege.
Three weeks into December, and I had made landfall with my army in Zeeland. We would follow in the footsteps of Duncan's and Raoulf's armies and go forth to Mainz.

The year was almost over, but finally we had gained control of Mainz. I sued for peace, asking to be merely given the title of Livorno.

It was not until the fourth day of 1197 that I would hear from the King of Germany. It was of course, a resounding no. My little expedition into the German heartland would have to expand.
I sent forth my men – Raoulf was to march to Oberbayern, while my northern forces, namely Duncan's army and my own would now march to Mainz before again following Raoulf.

February looked like perhaps it was the beginning of the end for the treble crown of Scotland, Norway and Leon. On the twelfth, Vestfold declared war on us. Slowly one by one, my vassals seemed to be breaking away and declaring war on me. To counter this, I needed more money and brought in extra harsh taxes. The ten thousand ducats from taxes brought the kingdom out of debt, and left seven thousand ducats spare.
My grab for riches had made me seem selfish in the eyes of the world, although I did not see it that way. As far as I was concerned, it would all be spent on bribes to keep my remaining vassals on side. My sixteen least loyal vassals were singled out and sent gifts in the vain hope that they would not spark another side war.

On March 2, the Duke of Toledo was again at war. The Sheikdom of Rosello, on the Mediterranean had started it. Already in a war with Germany in the Duke's defence, I had no qualms about adding Rosello to my list of enemies.
On March 7, King Alexander of England died. My eight year old grandson, Malcolm Loarn inherited the English throne.

A week later, Raoulf and his army arrived in deserted Oberbayern and besieged the fortifications there. Meanwhile the armies led by Ossor and Bernard had begun their siege of Piedmonte.

On the first day of April, a claim holder who was an enemy of the King of Germany asked to join my court. As this would antagonise the German king, I was more than happy to host the claimant.
Meanwhile, the treasure laden wagons headed far and wide, handing out more bribes to improve my standing with vassals. A thousand ducats parcelled out between the ten least loyal vassals, while a hit to the treasury, still did not put me back in debt.

On April 8, my armies in Piedmonte were victorious, and marched proudly onward to Bologna.
As for the Duke of Toledo, he made peace with the Sheik of Rosello and integrated the lands into his own demesne.

In the first week of May, Oberbayern had been turned over to Scottish control, and Raoulf's army were now on the march to Vas. Duncan's army would arrive in Oberbayern a few days later and re-route to Ferrara by way of Tirol.
Before the month was over, I had arrived with my army in Mainz. Our next stop would be Piedmonte, but that would take a while – even though we were passing thru Besancon.
Bologna was now under siege by the armies of Bernard and Ossor.

By June 11, Bologna was firmly under Scottish control. The victorious armies of Bernard and Ossor moved onto their next conquest – Ferrara. Within ten days, they had arrived in Ferrara and besieged it. Meanwhile, Raoulf and his army had begun their siege of Vas.

A whole month of siege, and Vas had fallen to our forces. I sent Raoulf and his army back to Oberbayern – once there I will decide where they are needed next.

Unfortunately, on way they are met by the German king's forces. Eight days of intense battle ensue, before Raoulf is forced to retreat. Himself and his remaining army high-tail it to Morova.

The arrival of Duncan's army in Ferrara seals its fate. The additional men help overwhelm the fortifications and it is turned over to Scottish rule on August 12.

Even with this victory under my belt, I was still concerned about the war with Germany. I heard word that a huge army had amassed in Aargau and was on way to Oberbayern. I decided to offer the German king a somewhat generous peace agreement. I would recognise him as the rightful Count of Livorno, while he would recognise my claimant to the Count of Vas.

On August 18, peace was agreed. My armies in Europe were sent home. I only had my disloyal vassals to deal with now. As the war with the Germans was officially over, I spent every last penny bribing as many vassals as I could to stay loyal to my rule.

During the first week of September, I again began building a small castle in Lothian. Hopefully it would stand longer than the last two. Now I could deal with the smaller matter of those disloyal vassals.
Four and a half thousand men were assembled in Cuenca, and would be led by Marshall Duncan to Alcantara.
In October, just over two thousand men led by the Duke of Trondelag would march from Nuamdel towards Vestfold.
The next month, I had to send a huge gift of two hundred ducats to the Duke of Esthonia just to keep him in line. It seemed strange to me, that even with my war with the Germans over that my vassals were becoming so distrustful.

On November 27, Duncan and his army arrived in Alcantara and fought the enemy. In just over a week, our men were victorious and layed siege.

Then just as the year was coming to a close, the warring ways of the Duchy of Toledo had brought him into a war with the Duchy of Deheubarth. Here was a chance to take care of a claimant to the Count of Moray, and at the same time hopefully take some Welsh land. Subsequently, we declared war on Deheubarth, in support of our loyal vassal, the Duchy of Toledo of course.
 

Conqueristo

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How bad is your BB?
Or why so much disloyalty?
I've no idea how bad the BB is, but when you check the country information screen, it has improved from "We are dishonourable scum" to "We have an extremely bad reputation"...
 

Conqueristo

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The season of strife

During the first week of January, I laid claim to two counties that had broken free from their Scottish Dukes, namely the Western Isles and Cumberland. It had also came to my attention that the Duchy of Northumberland was still independent from England – this I also claimed, as it bordered York which was already part of Scotland.


Later on in the month, there were signs of revolt in the local pagan population of Cuenca. They were unhappy that I was not of their faith – rather than convert, I sent the orders out to crush the non-believers.

February saw the development of goat herding in the capital, while in Atholl, the Duke of Vestfold's army had arrived and were laying siege.
I rallied the locals – eventually having an army of almost eight thousand men to defend from the incoming onslaught of Vestfold's forces.
Six days of fighting ensued before Vestfold's forces fled – I kept my newly formed defence force at the ready just in case the enemy decided to come back.


As February was coming to a close, my southern forces had taken control of Alcantara. I offered the Archbishop of Aragon peace. On the proviso that he stays a vassal in my kingdom I was willing to let go of my claims to both his Bishopric and his Archbishop title. The archbishop agreed to terms.

Now that I had peace with Aragon, I decided to send a gift to the Duke of Toledo. I hoped that my mere two hundred ducats would by his loyalty just a little while longer. His duchy had become so large, the last thing I needed was for him to want to break free from Scotland.

On March 5, the Duke of Trondelag and his army arrived in Vestfold and began their siege. I prepared for war with the Welshmen in the south, raising almost three thousand men in Lothian. Commander Raoulf would lead them as they sailed on to Dyfed.

The next month I had decided what to do with my standing armies – Duncan and his men in Alcantara would head over to Cuenca, while my men in Atholl could go home.

Meanwhile, smallpox had taken hold in Moray and we received six hundred ducats from Rome – profits from papal indulgences. I sent one hundred of those ducats to my duke in Toledo.


May had almost come to an end, Duncan and his army had arrived in Cuenca. However, loyalty was still waning across the kingdom – the Duke of Esthonia being the next vassal to declare war on me, trying to break free from my rule.


Two days later, the Duke of Trondelag's forces had returned Vestfold back to my rule. I offered peace to the Countess of Vestfold, letting her keep her county as long as she would stay as my vassal. The Countess acceded to my demands. I told Olaf, the Duke of Trondelag that his men could now go home.


On June 16, the Bishop of Caceres declared war. I immediately sent word to Duncan and his army in Cuenca that he would have to head back towards Caceres. Even though his neighbour, the Archbishop of Alcantara had just lost a war with me, Caceres was eager to fight. My quick actions in the southern part of my realm seemed to please the Duke of Toledo.

As July wore on, Raoulf and his men made landfall in Dyfed, and began fighting the Welshmen – by the month's end the battle was won. In the south, Duncan and his men had arrived in Caceres, but it would not be until August when they would be victorious.


Back home, in the first week of August a thieves' guild formed in the capital. Before I knew it, four more vassals had had enough with being part of my kingdom – the Duke of Orkney, Count of Lappland, Bishop of Buchan and the Count of Sudovia declared war within days of each other.

In October, the castle in Moray was finished and smallpox had retreated. I organised an army of ten thousand men in Atholl to take down the Bishop of Buchan. Meantime, Raoulf and his army had brought Dyfed under Scottish rule. I offered the Duke of Deheubarth peace on the condition he became one of my vassals, he did not agree.
Raoulf and his army headed for Glamorgan to bring that also under Scottish rule.

The first week of November saw more vassals try to break free – the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Count of Osel. Later in the next week, we had thankfully defeated the enemy and begun besieging Glamorgan and Buchan.


On the second of December, Duncan and his men had returned Caceres to Scottish rule. A peace arrangement was brokered, the Bishop of Caceres would keep his title, but swear fealty to my crown – it was agreed to. I ordered the victorious army to head back to Cuenca.

A week later, I had taken control of Buchan, only to be advised that the Duke of Galloway had now declared war on the kingdom. The Bishop of Buchan agreed to a peace, with me keeping him as my vassal.
Meanwhile in Strathclyde, an army of just over four thousand men led by Bernard were now on the march to Galloway. As for me and my victorious army, we boarded ships bound for Orkney.

On Christmas Day, I granted my wife, Nest the title of Duchess of Lothian. Her realm would encompass merely Strathclyde for now. I felt it was now time to make peace with my warring vassals. Nest suggested it would be better to let these far away vassals leave the kingdom and fend for themselves.
So, I offered peace to the Dukes of Esthonia and Orkney granting their independence as well as recognising their already held titles. I made the same peace offer to the Archbishop of Canterbury, as well as the Counts of Sudovia and Lappland.
Two days later, the Duke of Esthonia agreed to peace. As for the rest, I would have to wait until the new year.
Before the year was over, I had lost my claim to the Count of Laigin and revoked the Duke of Vestlandet's excommunication.