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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Conqueristo

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An audience with the King...

As the first month of 1210 came to an end, the windmills in Lothian had been built. The next big project I set for Lothian was the construction of a civilian harbour which would begin on the first day of February.
The time was now ripe to try and befriend the King of Sweden, whose only daughter I had planned to marry when she was of age. I sent an envoy bearing a gift of half a thousand ducats to the King, and planned to ask him for an alliance in March.
Towards the end of February, I visited my homeland of Moray and its adjoining fiefs. After inspecting the newly constructed Sawmill in Fife, I ordered that a windmill be built there too. Passing thru Atholl on horseback, I could not fail to notice that the locals seemed to be more prosperous than I recalled. Houses made of brick were becoming commonplace, as were many other brickwork structures. As for Moray, I had finally seen what I came for, yet still found it unbelievable at the time. Aldred 'The Bastard' showed me our newest invention, a siege tower.

During the first week of March, I offered an alliance to the King of Sweden, which was declined before the week concluded. I accepted an offer to take Duff Loarn's daughter, Isobel as a fosterling in my court.
Duff Loarn (1170 -) is the Duke of Albany.

Another week had gone by, and thanks to our hard work in El Bierzo, we had improved the prosperity of this Christian enclave by reclaiming the wastelands and forests for our own use.

In the final week of April, I had acquired a new friend in Havard Yngling, the Duke of Lithuania (1145 -), a loyal vassal. However, I lost the service of another vassal, with the Duke of Nyitra declaring independence from my rule. I allowed him to go in peace for I'd had enough of fighting for now. Over the next few months, I ordered a new church be built in Atholl and the civilian harbour was finally completed in Norfolk.


On the second of September I granted an audience to Archbishop Galasso of Canterbury. It seemed my actions against the heathens in Iberia had impressed him. Galasso wanted to be part of such a noble kingdom as mine – a request I could not refuse.

Just over a week later, Duff Loarn, Duke of Albany requested a meeting of extreme importance. I though that perhaps he would be heading to war or some-such. But oh no, he was here to lecture me on how I should be looking after the fosterling he'd entrusted me with in March! Rather than make a fuss, I decided it would be better to heed his advice. Duff was well pleased with my attitude in this matter, however my spymaster Elayne warned me that I might be seen as weak-willed by other nobles.
During October, the thieves' guild in Norfolk was disbanded with many local scoundrels hanged for their misdeeds. The forestry in Moray was also completed and we began work on a watermill. I received word from the Duke of Toledo that he had seen our preparations for war in El Bierzo and he was impressed with the use of banded-mail.
Two days after Christmas, the Bishopric of Buchan declared war on the County of Pelusia, somewhere near Delta. This fight was just too far to bother with, so I kept the kingdom at peace instead.

Only two days into the year 1211 and I was hearing unsubstantiated rumours that Elayne, my Spymaster had gone mad. Elayne had always seemed to me to be the sanest of all of my advisors – or so I had thought. It was time to go and find out what all the hubbub was about.

Crazed seemed to polite a word indeed. Elayne had completely flipped and to not put a finer point on it, had definitely gone out to pasture. For the good of the kingdom I appointed a new Spymaster straightaway.

Just over a fortnight later, our sawmill in Atholl had been destroyed by fire. The rumour-mill was suggesting it was started by my former spymaster, Elayne – however since she started the rumour I took no real stock in it.
The next day, another vassal decided it was time to fend for himself. Mihaly Arpad, Duke of Transylvania declared independence. Bordering his cousin, the independent Duke of Wallachia, I had no issue with him wanting to part ways. Later that week, Duff's fosterling returned home.

As February came to a close, Aldred 'The Bastard' came to me requesting just rewards for services to my kingdom. I decided it was high time to give Marshal Aldred 'The Bastard' a fair reward for a job well done leading my armies.

During April, the windmills in Fife had been constructed, and in Suffolk they had found charcoal. It must have been due to the library that had also been built. The next month I ordered that a new training grounds for my armies be built in Suffolk.

Towards the end of July, the church in El Bierzo was completed. I ordered that a forestry be built to help pay for the upkeep. On August 10, the Crusade to Jerusalem was officially over.

On the third day of September, Maldoven Loarn (1188 - ), Duke of Lothian declared war on me, proclaiming himself to be not only the rightful Count of Fife, but also the rightful King of England!
A fortnight later, I rallied just over three thousand men in Lothian to fight the errant Duke. Aldred 'The Bastard' would lead them as they marched towards Berwick, the only land owned by Maldoven.
A week later and the civilian harbour was ready in Lothian. I had also heard that the Duke of Trondelag was pleased with my rule.
After a month of marching, it was now October 17. Aldred 'The Bastard' and his army arrived in Berwick and fought the Duke's forces.

Fighting was long and intense, losses were mounting up on both sides fairly significantly. Even Aldred 'The Bastard' had sustained a wound during the past month of battle. Two days later, the wounded commander spurned his army to victory, the fields running red with blood of the enemy. The siege of Berwick had begun.

The first week of December saw the watermills in Moray finished. I set about ordering a church to be built in the capital, for we already had churches elsewhere.
On Christmas Day, I attended the service in our newly finished church in Atholl and commanded that a sawmill be built the next day.

A fortnight into the new year of 1212 and Maldoven's forces attacked our army which was besieging Berwick. By February 5, the Duke's forces were defeated and the siege of Berwick continued.

Leaving Lothian for Suffolk to review the newly built training grounds there, I was surprised to be offered by the local priest the chance to have a letter of indulgence. As he explained it to me, for a small fee, I could be forgiven for a sin that I had committed or was about to commit. The bigger the sin, the higher the fee. Was there no lengths Rome would go to to obtain riches from it's followers? I dare not tell the priest of my disdain for such a concept, for no-one knows how big the ears of Rome are. I advised him since I was indeed chaste, I was free from sin and would not need such absolutions. Upon my arrival in Suffolk, I immediately ordered a new church be built.

On February 26, Aldred 'The Bastard' and his army had taken Berwick and it was now under our rule. I offered Maldoven peace on the condition that he hand over all his monies – a paltry seventy two ducats and give up his claims to my lands. In return, I would let him keep Berwick and his duchy, as long as he stayed a loyal vassal of the crown. Maldoven begrudgingly accepted the terms of peace and my army was sent home.

It was almost the ides of March, when a prestigious Duke arrived at my castle gates unannounced. His manservant purported this Duke to be none other than Bela Aba (1181 -), the Duke of Ungvar. Bela had just returned from the crusade to Jerusalem and taken land in Egypt and Sinai away from the heathens. A fellow crusader, even though he had a claim to the Hungarian throne – he wanted pledge allegiance to me. With my support, he would be able to really strike at the heathens when the next crusade was upon us. I accepted the Duke's words and he became my newest vassal. The addition of the Duchy of Ungvar to the realm increased my rule in Hungarian lands significantly, our borders stretching as far as Wallachia in the south and Kiev in the east.

During April, I was offered an alliance from the King of Germany, which I declined for I still hoped that Sweden would come to the party instead. With Bela's new lands under my control, I claimed myself to be the new Duke of Sinai. The Duke of Trondelag was pleased with the way I was running things. As for myself, I had set sail for the port of Stockholm and would arrive there by May.

Seven days into May, and a friend of Bela, Hosni Mazin (1171 -), Count of Eilat requested an audience of me. Bela had told Hosni of our meeting in March. Hosni wanted to be a vassal of the realm, reasoning that since I was the Duke of Sinai, I was duty bound to protect de jure Christian vassals of the duchy such as himself. Although it was pretty limited reasoning, I could see where he was coming from – in time his small county would be unable to take on the heathens by itself. I accepted Hosni's request and henceforth the County of Eilat was now part of my kingdom.


Seven days of cajoling and greasing palms right, left and centre before I was finally granted an audience with the Andres Sverkatten, King of Sweden. I requested his first born daughter's hand in marriage.

The next day I received the pleasant news that the marriage had been approved by the King of Sweden. That same day the ceremony was held in the palace at Stockholm. My world prestige improved, as I took no monies towards the ceremony from my subjects.

A week later I set sail for the mainland with my young wife, Aleta Sverkatten. Sixteen year old Aleta would finish her schooling in my kingdom. Upon leaving, I was notified that the forestry in El Bierzo had been built. I ordered that a large church be built there too.

By the end of June, El Bierzo was becoming a centre of scholarly ecclesiastical teaching and the local diocesans suggested the idea of Cathedral Schools to improve the level of Christian influence and teachings. I assume at one point, I will be responsible for building such schools...
It had also come to my attention that there were still not many roads in Westmoreland, a county to the south of my highland fiefs. I sent a gift of four hundred ducats to the ruler, pressing upon him that the money would be well spent improving road infrastructure.

As June came to a close, the new Queen had finished her education. A local seer, who proclaimed herself to be descended from the weird sisters of old had envisioned Aleta to one day be an intricate web-weaver. Perhaps in time, I could have my wife as spy master. As for the Count of Eilat, I proclaimed him to be the new Duke of Sinai.

Three months of marriage, and I heard the glorious news that my wife was expecting. With such great news upon me I felt that luck was on my side. I asked the Duke of Northumberland to rejoin my kingdom, but he refused two days later.

I had better luck with the Count of Gwent whom I also asked to join the kingdom, for his land bordered Glamorgan and Hereford. Clydog ap Seisyll (1210 - ) was too young to accept the offer of vassalization, so his regent accepted it in his stead. Again, the Duke of Trondelag was pleased with my rule.

In the first week of November, I lost my claim to the County of Sens for somehow I was being seen as a non-confrontational ruler. It didn't help that I wasn't interested in holding onto Sens anyway.

On the twelfth of December, I celebrated a most auspicious day; the twelfth day of the twelfth month, of the twelve hundred and twelfth year of our lord. The improvement of stripe-ploughing in Norfolk a month earlier allowed a bumper crop, and enough food for quite a feast. And with the invention of music notation system in Moray, we could even write down the music that was played.

For some reason, my diocese bishop felt the need to advise me that he would be celibate in his role. Personally I felt what he did in private was his own concern and not mine.

On Christmas day I officially declared war on the Sheikdom of Arques. Arques is on the coast of Normandy, sandwiched between Evreux and Eu. Just over eight thousand men were pressed into service in Suffolk, led by Aldred 'The Bastard' - they marched towards Sussex, to board ships bound for Arques, via the Straits of Dover.
I also requested that my vassals on the coast near Arques, namely the Count of Eu and the Countess of Maine to provide forces for my war.
A few days later, I rallied an additional nine thousand men in Norfolk. Bishop James was on hand to lead them to Kent, where they too would ship out to Arques.
 

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The reconquista of Northern France and the long march to Moskva

On the very first day of the new year of 1213, Mahtar, Duke of Toledo declared independence from the kingdom. As the dukedom seemed to be crumbling anyway, I let Mahtar go in peace. Perhaps in less troubling times he will come back into the fold. Later that week, I was offered alliances from both the Kingdoms of France and Germany – both which I turned down.
By January 12, the Countess of Maine had mobilized her forces and provided me with an army of four thousand men. Commanded by her own marshall, Commander Edgar and this army headed towards Arques.
Two weeks later and the Count of Eu rallied his men, who were immediately set the task of repelling invading forces arriving from Arques. As for myself, I and my army had arrived in Sussex and were now on way to Arques by boat, at a cost of three hundred and thirty ducats.
Then the seemingly unbelievable happened. February 1 saw the Sheik of Arques killed in battle, at the hands of our forces. My new vassal, Halil, Emir of Badajoz inherited all the lands owned by Arques, and a war against me. Two days later, Edgar and his army arrived in Arques and besieged the fort. As for Bishop James and his army, they arrived in Kent and subsequently shipped out to Arques at a cost of three hundred and sixty ducats.

Within the next fortnight, my diocese bishop, James requested that I put an end to commerce in church land. I agreed to Bishop James' demands, on the condition he would do me a favour. I needed him to put in a good word with the Archbishops of Beja and Cordoba – for I needed them to mobilise their men for war against Halil.
Days later, Bishop James greeted me again with good news – the Archbishop of Beja had almost two and a half thousand men at his disposal, while the Archbishop of Cordoba had an army of forty five hundred men ready to fight. I ordered that the combined forces of the Archbishops head for Evora, which was under Halil's direct control.
Before the month was over, the Archbishop of Beja's forces arrived in Evora and layed siege to the fort. I proclaimed myself to be the new Duke of Normandy, for even though I was at war with Halil, his realm was still technically part of the kingdom – Halil had not declared independence.
A week into March and Halil's forces had liberated Eu. The Count of Eu sued for peace, ceding all his land to Halil. Ten days later, the Archbishop of Cordoba's forces arrived in Evora to help with the siege that the Archbishop of Beja's forces had begun. As March came to a close, the sawmill had been finished in Atholl. Meanwhile, my army and I made landfall in Arques, joining Edgar's besieging forces.

As for the Archbishop of Beja's forces, they had served their purpose and liberated Evora on April 4. The archbishop's forces were told to wait in Evora until Cordoba's crew rocked up.

About a fortnight later, I led our forces to victory in Arques, raising my royal seal in the fort. It was time to rest for a few days before heading onto Eu to take back the land that was rightfully ours. Unfortunately, Bishop James and his army arrived a day after Arques had fallen, but their extra numbers would come in handy when we were due to head for Eu later that week.

Just as our forces were beginning to mount up for the journey towards Eu, one of our forward scouts spied Halil's forces heading in our direction, carrying the flags of truce. Halil was welcomed into our encampment, where upon he offered up over a thousand ducats in tribute. Not only that, Halil also handed over his titles to Arques, Eu and Evora. Even though he had no lands to call his own, young Halil still wanted to be part of the kingdom. I agreed to let him stay in court, with his title as Emir of Badajoz still intact.

Now that the war was over, the following day I handed out the new lands I had acquired. The new countess of Evora would be sweet old Catriona Quinones, who was blind and going on fifty five. This appointment I hoped would help her finish her service to my kingdom with honour. As for the Diocese Bishop, James – I appointed him to be the new Bishop of Eu. A day later, I elevated him to the archbishopric of Normandy. These rewards would surely make up for the help he provided me when organising the war.

My new archbishop of Normandy was well pleased with our recent victory over the infidels. However, James was worried that the infidels that were in control of Chartres, and Vexin which now bordered Scottish lands would in time try to take back Normandy. I knew James was right on this score, and had seen much of France beginning to fall under the yoke of the infidels. The time was right to return Chartres and Vexin to Christendom. Our armies relaxing in Arques were to mount up and head to Ile De France to be ready for an assault on the Sheikdom of Chartres once they arrived.

Even though I had victory over young Halil, I felt sad that he'd lost his inheritance simply because he'd also inherited a war. Halil now only had the title of Emir of Badajoz and no land of his own. I knew the right thing to do was to give him back his father's land, and appointed him to be the new Sheik of Arques.

By the middle of May, my armies had arrived in Ile De France and awaiting my orders to advance on Chartres. I sent my envoy across the border to deliver my declaration of war against Julnar, the Shiek of Chartres. Julnar, in retaliation declared war on the Countess of Maine. We were officially at war again and our forces were now on the march towards Chartres.

On May 20 saw one of the happiest days in the kingdom – my beautiful wife Aleta had bore me a son. I now had an heir to my throne, the newborn Duncan Loarn. Unfortunately, Duncan's mother had become depressed from the ordeal that was her first childbirth.

Not content with warring with just myself and the Countess of Maine, Julnar declared war on Halil, Emir of Badajoz on the twenty second. Five days later, our forces arrived in Chartres and engaged the enemy. Archbishop James forces began marching towards Chartres too.

Two weeks of intense fighting, and we had lost the Battle of Chartres, retreating to Vexin and licking our wounds to fight another day. I was not worried, for James' army was due to arrive in Chartres in less than a week. Unfortunately, his forces were also soundly beaten and retreating towards Vexin within a fortnight.

A month after Duncan's birth, Aleta had finally recovered from her depression and all our armies whom had fought in Chartres had made it Vexin to recuperate. Meanwhile, in Moray a new weapon had been introduced into our forces – the broadsword.

On the last day of June, the pope offered me the chance to fill the seat of Diocese Bishop with a suitably qualified priest. It had been over two months since James had moved to Normandy, and time for a replacement. Quoting me a finders fee of a thousand ducats, the Pope assured me that Fergus Grant would be up to the task and represent Rome well.

On the first day of July, I sent my armies in Vexin once more into the breach, onto Chartres. Meanwhile, in the capital, my new church had been constructed. Within a fortnight, our forces had made it into Chartres unchallenged. Apart from the guardsmen at the fort, Julnar's forces were long gone. Word had it that the majority of Julnar's men were on way to Maine, confident of victory from our earlier encounters. The time was ripe – our forces besieged the fort in Chartres.

On July 28, we had defeated the Sheik of Chartres forces and liberated the fief for Christendom. I made a deal with Julnar – he could keep his title as Shiek of Chartres, as long as he would swear fealty to my crown. Not only that, he would have to make a "donation" of half a thousand ducats to the crown treasury. For the next two weeks, our forces would also stay stationed in Chartres.

On August 1, my beautiful wife was again with child. A fortnight later, our armies marched back towards Ile De France, to prepare for war with Vexin, another neighbour under infidel rule.

On August 19, the County of Sussex declared war on the the Prince of Pereyaslavl. Since I was already in preparation for war against Vexin, I stayed out of Sussex's war. This turn of events made things even worse for my former spymaster, Elayne who developed a deep depression. Not too far away, the draining of fens and marshes in Suffolk returned farming prosperity to normal levels.

At the end of the month, we had finally arrived back in Ile De France. I decided that I would officially declare war on Vexin on the first day of September. Our armies marched towards Vexin that very day.

Later that week, I became friends with the Count of Rugen and within a fortnight we'd arrived in Vexin, fighting the Sheik's forces. His men were too strong, and we retreated to Amiens after only ten days.

On the way back, Aldred 'The Bastard' died, succumbing to old age. So much fighting had taken its toll on his body, it was a wonder he lasted as long as he did. In Suffolk, another new church was completed – it would be dedicated to Aldred.

Upon arrival in Amiens, on October 2, I was reliably informed that the Count of Santillana was pleased with my crusade against the infidels. The good words spurned our men on, for the next day we were confident as ever and marched back to take on the forces in Vexin.

A week later, I received word that now the Duke of Gloucester had also declared war on the Prince of Pereyaslavl. Apparently, the young Count of Sussex was a distant cousin of the Duke and he was honour bound to help him out. With two vassals at war with Prince Rostislav, I had no choice but to also join the war. However, I already had my forces busy in Northern France, dealing with the infidels. I assured the Duke of Gloucester that I would come to his aid once I had dealt with the Sheik of Vexin.
Only a few days had passed, and it was now known that I was in two wars. Belqis thought he could use this to his advantage, and offered eight hundred ducats to end our war against him in Vexin. This was of course refused, for I was intent on bringing Vexin under my rule.

On November 1, a young noble by the name of Aed MacKenzie appeared on the battlefield before my tent. Aed explained that he had fled from far away and wanted to join my court and fight for my kingdom. Perhaps some new blood and fresh perspective was exactly what I needed to win the war. At a cost of nine hundred ducats, I suited him up for war and made him the new Marshall of my forces.

Within a mere three weeks we had defeated Belqis' forces and they had retreated, leaving the fortifications in Vexin barely defended at all. Nine days of siege, and Vexin was finally under my control. Unbeknownst to me, Belqis had already made a deal with Halil, Emir of Badajoz who was her third cousin to hand over her lands should they fall. With Vexin now part of Badajoz, and thus part of the kingdom, that war was over. My armies in Vexin were sent home.

As for December, it was finally time to take on Prince Rostislav. On day one, I rallied almost nine thousand men in my military powerhouse of Atholl – led by the fresh faced Marshall Aed, they set sail for Adger at a cost of nearly a hundred and fifty ducats. Another seven thousand men I rallied in Fife, who also were sent onto Adger for just over a hundred ducats. Meanwhile, down south of the kindom, in Bordeaux, Bishop Fergus would lead an army ten thousand men strong across France to Maine. And in El Bierzo, a motley crew of six thousand men marched towards Alcacer do Sal.

With the lands of Pereyaslavl being so far removed from my kingdom, I'd have to call in some of my vassals out east to help me in the war. I sent a request to Almos Arpad, Duke of Temes and Peter Gerai, Duke of Pest to rally some forces for my oncoming war. Being part of my Hungarian protectorate, they were much closer to the Prince's lands.
Almos came through with the goods almost straightaway, mobilizing an army of twenty six hundred men in Bacs and almost two thousand men in Temes. Both armies set forth towards Vidin, owned by Prince Rostislav.

By the middle of December, it seemed as if my former Spy Master would never recover from her depressive state. Perhaps becoming a wife would turn her mood around. I offered her hand to Harvard Yngling, the distinguished Duke of Lithunia who was also unmarried. The Duke was overwhelmed with my proposal and offered to mobilise his forces on my behalf as a gift.

Such a gesture I could hardly refuse from one of my strongest vassals, and now had an army ready to take on Prince Rostilav's forces closer to his home. To the north, in Novgorod, Havard had rallied an army eleven thousand men strong. Led by his own Diocese Bishop, Halfdan – they marched south towards Rostov, the northernmost land owned by the Prince.

A combined army of just over seventeen thousand from the Duke's western forces alone, were now on the march to Moskva, also owned by Prince Rostilav. Meanwhile in the south, near River Dnepr, at Peraslavl proper, the Duke's own Spy Master led a charge of just under six thousand men into Desht-i-Kipchak, again owned by the Prince. Finally, in Syria, or Palmyra to be more precise, another army of eight thousand men, this time led by Neils Hvide set sail for Sarkel, another fief owned by Prince Rostilav of Pereyaslavl.

Three days before Christmas, I asked Jerzy of Julich, the Bishop of Turov to get his forces ready, for he too was not that far from the theatre of war in the east. As for Peter Gerai, Duke of Pest – he finally amassed his forces, a measly fifteen hundred men in Pest. I needed all the manpower I could muster, so I ordered Peter's forces to head into Vidin too.
 

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The capture of Moskva and fighting the heathens

By the third day of January 1214, the Count of Turov had mobilised a paltry army of one hundred and sixty men. A rebellion of peasants in Turov broke out, which would detain Turov's men for the foreseeable future. About a week later, Hakan and his army arrived in Desht-i-Kipchak and fought the enemy.

Meanwhile, I still had to do something about the lands of Moskva and Rostov, directly controlled by the Prince of Pereyaslavl himself.
On January fifteen, I ordered eleven hundred men in Staraya Russia, led by their liege, Erich, Count of Staraya Russia to march towards Rostov. That very same day, I arranged twenty five hundred men in Velikiye Luki, led by their liege, Ossor, Count of Velikiye Luki who then marched towards Moskva.

After a couple of days, the heathens in Pereyaslavl had splintered, offering a peace settlement. Since Gloucester had not yet stopped fighting, Scotland would continue to be at war with Pereyaslavl whatever the cost.

And we found out the cost in the morrow, our regiment in Turov being decimated by the enemy. The remaining few men left disbanded. Meanwhile, back home in Atholl, locals had learnt about charcoal.
January 21 and finally victory came our way in far away Desht-i-Kipchak, and we beseiged the castle. Four days later I received word that Almos' army had arrived in Vidin from Temes and were besieging the county garrison.

February had begun, and Robert's army from Bacs also turned up in Vidin to help out. Another week passed and I asked the Bishop of Don Portage, Marcin von Julichgau to mobilise his forces for war. He gathered 1600 men together and they marched towards Sarkel.
It was a fortnight before Marcin and his army arrived in Sarkel and besieged it. Meanwhile, Ossor's army had arrived in Moskva and besieged it.
By the end of the month, Peter's army had arrived in Vidin to help with the siege too.

On March 3, the El Bierzo regiment arrived in Alcacer do Sal, engaging the enemy. I also allowed extra tithes to be collected in El Bierzo. Back in France, the Bordeaux regiment arrived in Maine. And near Moskva, Erich's army arrived in Rostov.
Within a fortnight I requested an audience with the Archbishop of Cordoba and the Bishop of Carceres, requesting that their forces be mobilised for war. Cordoba agreed and rallied 6000 men in Badajoz proper, while Carceres mustered a force of 1400. Both forces were to meet in Badajoz proper. They were off to fight against their heathen neighbours.

As March came to a close, our forces were obliterated by the enemy in Sarkel, the remaining two hundred men disbanded. Back home, the Count of Surrey was pleased with my rule.

It was April 1 and I was sure it was definitely April Fool's Day, as the mighty kingdom of Germany offered an alliance. I declined the alliance, trying to hold in my guffaws as I spoke with the king's envoy. The following day, I received word that Bishop Halfdan, the leige of Lithuania had arrived in Rostov and was already besieging the garrison.
It was high time I brought at least one of my wars to an end, the kingdom seemed to be wearing of all this fighting abroad. So, I asked the Duke of Ungvar to mobilise as many men as he could in his duchy.
Within five days, the trusty Duke had gathered 1200 men in Bereg under his command, and another six thousand men in Galich that were under his Marshal's instructions. I told the Duke to march to Desht-i-Kipchak, or Desht as I was now nicknaming it – this would be our staging area.
As for Harvard's army, he had finally arrived in Moskva, and was fighting courageously with his men.

A few days later in France, Vidin was finally captured. The three armies that captured Vidin had no time for celebrations, and started towards Pereyaslavl.

On April 20, the Bishop of Caceres men had arrived in Badajoz proper, and joined forces with the Archbishop of Cordoba. I promptly declared war on the heathen in the Emirate of Sevilla.

Later that day, Rostov was captured by our army. Next stop – Moskva!

Back in the Iberian, the El Bierzo regiment marched towards Silves, while the newly formed Badajoz battallion headed straight to Aracena.

On April 22, my second son, Azur is born. A day later, the training grounds in Fife began testing a new type of armor, made of banded mail.

As April concluded, we lost the battle in Desht, Hakan's army fleeing to neighbouring Chortitza. Even though we had not gained the upper hand on the Prince of Pereyaslavl yet, he offered a white peace accord, which I refused. Back in Iberia, the El Bierzo regiment arrived in Silves and had besieged the garrison.

Finally something to celebrate, we liberated Moskva on May 2. The armies that had taken Moskva were now ordered onto Sarkel.
A week later, Hakan's army arrived in Chortiza. I decided this would be the new staging point instead of Desht. Halfdan's army as well as Erich's army arrived in Moskva, and were told to head straight to Chortitza. The Galich regiment whom were passing through Chortitza were told to stop and wait for reinforcements. The Bereg regiment was also rerouted to Chortitza, arriving on the 17th.

On May 20, the Badajoz battalion arrived in Aracena and fought with the heathens. Six days later, the El Bierzo regiment had captured Silves and were on way to help in Aracena.

On June 1, our armies defeated the heathens in Aracena and started besieging the garrison.

By the middle of June, I offered the Prince of Pereyaslavl peace, asking that he become my vassal. He agreed to my generous peace terms. The armies in Rostov and Moskva are sent home. The Kurs regiment, Semi regiment, Velikiye Luki regiment and Aukshayts regiment whom were on way to Sarkel had arrived in Sugrov, which had been besieged by rebels. They stayed to fight the rebels. The armies that had taken Vidin were now in Heves, and were rerouted to Turov to deal with more rebellions.
Ten days later, Sugrov was liberated from the rebels and the victorious armies sent home.

On the first of July, our forces liberated Aracena. I offered the Emir of Sevilla peace, demanding that he give up his claims to Bordeaux and El Bierzo. In return, I would let him keep Silves and he would become my vassal. The Duke of Toledo went behind my back and made peace with the Emir of Sevilla by himself, the Emir giving him Aracena which I'd just liberated. I was not pleased. The Badajoz battalion marched up towards Silves arriving two weeks later.

By the twenty ninth, the Emir had enough of the war and agreed to my terms. The armies in Aracana's next stop would be Cadiz. The army in Maine were told to head to Ile De France.

During August, in Bordeaux they had learnt about boiled leather, and in Norfolk had embraced Apostolic poverty. The Bordeaux army arrived in Ile De France on the twenty second, their next stop would be Vandermois, which was under heathen rule. I declared war on the Sheikdom of Vandermois.

On September 5, one of my vassals changed his laws to match mine. A week later my armies had arrived in Turov and fought the rebels.

On September 16, we received word that the commander of the army fighting the heathens in Vandermois had been captured. I refused to pay the ransom, and we prayed for his inevitable escape. He was killed by his captors the very next day. Four days later, the Badajoz battalion arrived in Cadiz. It was here they were to prepare for the next war. Meanwhile in Turov, the rebellion was quashed and the victorious army sent home.

On the first day of October, it was time to show my hand – I declared war on the Count of Algeciras, and ordered the Badajoz battalion to head to Algeciras.

Up in northern France on the tenth, our army had defeated the heathens in Vandermois and were besieging the garrison there. The Sheik offered me four thousand ducats for peace, which I naturally rejected.


On the twentieth, I decided that my first born would not be raised by nannies, but myself and the queen. In Norfolk, the armies had learnt about re-inforced leather.
Nine days later, the El Bierzo regiment, which was still in Silves finally started towards Algeciras.

The first of November saw final victory over Vandermois, with the garisson being captured. I offered the Sheik peace terms. He would give up his claim to El Bierzo, while I let him keep Vandermois. On top of that, he would pay me eleven ducats in reparations and become my vassal. The Sheik agreed and my army in Vandermois went home.

In the middle of November, young Duncan came to me and asked where children come from. I told him that I would let him know when he was older. My wife told me later that I really should have told him then and there, that perhaps he might end up being deceitful in later life.

On November 26, the large church had finally been constructed in El Bierzo.

December started out happily enough, the queen was again with child. Next day, not so good – our armies were defeated in Algeciras and fled back to Cadiz. To add insult to injury, Algeciras then offered us six thousand ducats for peace. I wanted Algeciras to be part of Scotland, so no deal was made.
 

Enewald

Enewald Enewald Enewald
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*blast from the past hits hard*

Ah well, looks like I'm back to following CK AARs... last time played, maybe around 2009? :p
 

Conqueristo

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War in Luxembourg and the King of Portugal

On the sixth of January 1215, the Count of Algeciras offered six thousand ducats to come to peace terms, which I dismissed, for I wanted Algeciras to be a part of Scotland. By the end of the month, my regiment from El Bierzo had arrived in Algeciras an laid siege to the garrison.
In the middle of February, I ordered by armies that had earlier retreated to Cadiz to head forward to Algeciras too. By March, they had arrived and were helping out with the siege in Algeciras.

By April 11, we had taken control of Algerciras. I ordered the armies there to stay put for now.

Five days later, I offered the Count of Algeciras peace, requesting five hundred ducats and that he become my newest vassal. The count agreed to my terms. I sent the standing armies in Algeciras back home.

Towards the end of May, I made friends with a friend of the Duke of Kiev.

On the 23rd of May, the Pope offered to send me a bishop to fill the currently empty seat of Diocese Bishop in the court. He demanded a thousand ducats for his travel expenses. I had to refuse his offer, for the wars I was in had already drained the kingdom's coffers and I was over two thousand ducats in the red.

In the middle of June, I received word that the Count of Surrey was pleased with my rule, and I was now being seen as a just ruler. I had a celebratory evening and invited my good friend the Duke of Kiev. Wild boar cooked on newly discovered charcoal from Moray and many flagons of wine later, I offered him the chance to be part of my kingdom.

During the first week of July, the Duke of Kiev had agreed to become my vassal. Meanwhile, in the capital, Moray, use of charcoal became widespread. Not only that, I decided that my second son, Azur would be raised by nannies – as Aleta's hands were already full with my firstborn.

On July 6, the Bishopric of Caceres declared war on the Duke of Luxembourg, just to the north of my lands in France. As the Bishop was my vassal, I felt it was only right to join the war on his side.
Two days later, in Suffolk I rallied an army of 4000 men, led by the kingdom's marshal, Aed they were shipping out to the coastal county of Brugge for nearly fifty ducats.

Unfortunately, the cost of transport broke the budget and I had to sell the windmills in Fife. I also sent word to the Countess of Chatres, Julnar Najjar and asked that she mobilise her army for war, as Chartres was the closest county under my rule to the Duchy of Luxembourg.
On July 12, Julnar had assembled her army. The 3700 men would be led by her own marshal, Uway. I advised them to march to the count of Liege, which was owned by the Duke of Luxembourg.

On the second of September, my third son was born. We named him Malcolm. Three weeks later, the Chartres regiment had arrived in Liege and were fighting the Duke.

On October 7, the standing army in Liege was defeated and the siege of the garrison had begun. The next day, Aed's army made landfall in Brugge and were making their way to Liege.

Almost a fortnight later, I had an emergency meeting with the kingdom's steward. The kingdom was flat broke and we owed thousands of ducats to creditors, and could barely afford the upkeep for our armies abroad. The steward advised calling the Estates General so that we could obtain funds and hopefully pay off our mounting debt. I proudly refused to call in the Estates General, knowing the kingdom would be able to survive a while longer yet. This decision also increased my worldly reputation. A few days later, my wife was again with child.

As November began, my vassal in far away Sugrov declared independence. I vowed that he would pay for such an action. Meanwhile, Aed's army had arrived in Liege and were helping the Countess's army with the siege.

On December 14, the Grand Count of Gwent and Forcalcquier refused to change his laws to match mine. Within a fortnight, he had declared independence too! I vowed that he would indeed pay for his insolence, claiming to now be the rightful owner of all his titles.

By the end of the first weekend of the new year, we had liberated Liege. The Duke of Luxembourg handed his title over to the Bishop of Caceres, who would now be known as the Archbishop of Luxembourg. As for my own forces, they stayed on in Liege for a couple more days.

On the eighteenth of January, I offered peace to Lothar whom was now only the Count of Liege. He would have to become my vassal and could keep his title. Lothar agreed and my armies in Liege were dispersed.

As January came to a close, I made the Count of Asturias the new Duke of Murcia. It was an uneventful time for the next few months as Jongleurs spread to Bordeaux. On July 17, my wife bore me a new son whom we named Maelbridgte.

August 2 was a sad day in the kingdom for my son who hadn't even been alive a year had died due to poor health. Young Malcolm had been sick for some time and never recovered. Even though we had been blessed last month with the arrival of Maelbridgte, it was still a shock for my wife who went into another bout of depression. I declared a week of mourning across all my lands.

On September 11 at yet another dinner party with my dear friend, the Duke of Kiev. He had brought along an old friend of his from up near Moscovy, the Count of Suzdal. After a few drinks, it wasn't long before we were all great pals.

The end of September was a boon for the “Folk” lands down in southern England. In Norfolk, a new weapon known as Warhammer had begun being used, while in Suffolk they started using a music notation system. It was also a boon for me, as Aleta was expecting again and no longer depressed.

Later on that month, my rivalry became personal between my enemies. My wife also noticed that I was becoming more romantic.

During November, I tried to consolidate my grounds near Moscovy, offering vassalisation to the Count of Tver, the Count of Polotosk as well as the Count of Samogitia. Unfortunately, not one of them wanted to become part of Scotland.

On the first week in 1217, the farmers in Norfolk began using iron-edged wood ploughs. By February, the heretic Duke of Cornwall refused to pay homage and declared independence. I now had a legal claim to all his lands – the counties of Exeter and Cornwall, as well as the Duchy itself.
Back in the capital, a new form of entertainment emerged – Romanesque vaulting.

Six weeks away from the kingdom had been enough for the Duke of Cornwall – for he came to the palace gates on March 11, begging to be part of the kingdom again and swearing undying loyalty to my crown. I could hardly refuse him, and Cornwall was back in the fold.

On April 5, I became the new Duke of Algarve. After a meeting with representatives from Rome, I was also recognised as the King of Portugal. In under three weeks, the Duke of Porto requested to be part of my ever expanding kingdom – which of course I accepted.

On May 29, another issue was born to my growing dynasty – I named him Gillebrigte. Meanwhile in Suffolk, monastic schools were being built by the church – and the use of siege towers had become widespread.

On the first day in July, I ordered the construction of a large church in the capital, Moray. The next month, the Duke of Toledo tried to usurp the title of Duke of Valencia and laid claim to it.

During September, the use of promissory notes spread to Suffolk and was a direct cause for its newfound prosperity. Meanwhile in the northern counties, I ordered another large church to be built in Atholl and some windmills to be built in Fife.

On November 17, the Pope requested that I grant a bishop a place in my court, to fill the vacant role of Diocese Bishop. Since the Pope had been so helpful in recognising my new appointment as the King of Portugal, I felt it only fair that I accept his recommendation. Unfortunately, it cost almost a thousand ducats to get him from Rome to Moray.

The new bishop was only 27 years of age – hopefully I will be able to keep the church on side with such an impressionable young man.

As November came to a close, my spies informed me that my wife had been seen in the company of a young bachelor – and I confronted her on this.
 

Conqueristo

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*blast from the past hits hard*

Ah well, looks like I'm back to following CK AARs... last time played, maybe around 2009? :p
Actually, looking at the file info, it's around this time in 2012! o_O
 

Conqueristo

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The retaking of Kiev and the incarceration of a king

“Four months to plan a birthday? Isn't that a bit excessive, dear?” is what Aleta told me on the morning of New Year's day, 1218. Not as far as I was concerned, I was about to turn thirty years old and was in charge of six kingdoms. Four months later, on April 9 – I celebrated my thirtieth birthday with a huge party. All my vassals were invited, and of course – turned up. One does not refuse an invite from their sovereign. It was at that celebration I announced the new coat of arms for the kingdom – incorporating the symbols of Hungary and Portugal.

A month later, my friendship with the Duke of Kiev came to an abrupt end. Kare had become rebellious, severing all ties with the kingdom and promptly declared war on May 2. I think he was jealous of my royal titles, and wanted to have his own kingdom.
With Kare's declaration of war, I now had rightful claims to the Count of Vologda, Count of West Dvina as well as the Duchy of Kiev. The time was not yet ripe to respond in kind, for I was still in debt thanks to the transport fees I had paid for the new Diocese Bishop last year.

Four days later, I had to appoint a new chancellor for the realm – Gwenhwyfar. While she was more than a decade older than myself, her long life gave her great diplomatic prowess. She was to replace Scathath whom had died the day before.

On the second last day of the month, my Diocese Bishop invited me to a very important meeting. He had received a missive from the Pope that was to be read to me immediately. The Pope had requested a crusade to Tunis, which had been overrun by heathens. I advised Kenneth to let the Pope know that Scotland would happily support the crusade on Tunis.

Personally though, the words were just pleasantries to keep Rome in check. My most pressing concerns were to get Kiev back and to consolidate my gains near Portugal. To that end, on July 9 - I rallied 6600 men in El Bierzo that were led by Marshal Aed towards Salamanca.

Meanwhile, in Bordeaux almost eleven thousand men were assembled for war. I would lead them in battle as we marched south to Cuenca, via the coastal fief of Navarra. As for the fight for Kiev – I had other ideas. I asked Kare's neighbour, and my vassal – the Duke of Pereyaslavl to mobilise his troops for war.

Two days later, on July 11 I now had an army to take on Kiev. Trajan had assembled almost four thousand men led by himself in Rostov. His able marshal, Aleksii was awaiting my orders in Desht-i-Kipchak with just over five thousand men. Trajan's brother, Yaropolk was also ready for war and had 3700 men at his disposal in Moskva.

The stage was set. Trajan and Yaropolk's armies were told to head for West Dvina, the main base of operations for Kiev. Aleksii meanwhile was told to march his army to Moskva to stand by to provide reinforcements if needed.

In the middle of August, a vassal of mine – the Count of Chester was pleased with how I was running the kingdom. I was becoming known to my vassals as a just ruler.

On August 21, Trajan's army ran into the Kiev's forces in Velikiye Luki. A battle ensued and we were victorious a day later – Kiev's men had been decimated. Trajan's army marched onward to West Dvina.

On September 3, I received word of a peace offer from the Duke of Kiev. Forty two ducats and Volodya was the offer. There was no way I would agree to that – I wanted Kiev back in the kingdom.

A week later, Yaropolk's army arrived in West Dvina and fought Kiev's men. The battle raged on until October 1, when Trajan and his men arrived. Fresh from their last incursion against Kiev's men, their morale helped achieve victory three days later. The combined armies had now beseiged the fortifications at West Dvina.

Almost a fortnight later, down in Portugal, the Countess of Zamora asked to become a vassal. I agreed to her request, knowing it would help cement my holdings down that way.

Five days later, Aleksii's army arrived in Moskva. The next day I ordered them to head to Volodya – the only other fief directly under the Duchy of Kiev's rule.

October 26 and West Dvina was liberated from Kiev's rule. Days later, Kiev offered peace again – this time he was willing to give me both West Dvina and Volodya. Naturally, I refused – it was the whole duchy or nothing.

Then on November 29, it happened again – a vassal declared independence. The Duke of Badajoz, whose lands were in northern France was the culprit. I declared that he should pay for his comeuppance, for without me he would not have those titles. I now had a claim to both the Count of Chartres and Duchy of Badajoz.

So, two days later on December 1, I organised a new army of nine thousand men in Norfolk. Led by commander Kenneth, they set sail across the channel to Blois, costing almost two hundred ducats. In Blois, I mobilised a further three thousand men, led by commander Musa they marched onto Chartres. I sent word to the Countess if Maine as well as the Archbishop of Normandy asking for troops to help in my war against the Duke of Badajoz.

A few days after that, the Duchy of Normandy had a thousand men ready for war. Led by Archbishop James, they marched from Eu to Arques. Juliana, meanwhile had four thousand men a the ready in Maine. Her marshal, Edgar was in charge and were marching to Chartres. In Avranches, I organised another three thousand men and told Marshal James to take them to Vexin. I needed more reinforcements – I wanted to overwhelm Badajoz and hopefully scare him into submission. To that end, I asked Sadiq, the Count of Vermandois to ready his forces for war.

One week passed and Musa's army had rocked up in Chartres, Archbishop James' army had arrived in Arques. As for me, I had arrived in Cuenca with my army from Bordeaux. Later that week, Sadiq had four thousand men ready for war, which he led onto Vexin.

On Christmas Day, my chancellor advised me that my vassal's obligations to support me in the war should have ended by now. I told old Gwenny that it was hard luck, and I needed the troops for my wars. She explained that if I kept all these troops for my war effort, I would be seen as arbitrary and no longer a just ruler, in the eyes of my vassals. I advised her that it was non of my concern what my vassals thought – I must have these troops.

The following day, Marshal James' army had arrived in Vexin. My armies in Portugal were now prepared for war. I declared war on Abdul-Salaam, King of al-Murabitids – who just happened to be in control of Salamanca. I began marchin my army in Cuenca towards Salamanca, where we were to meet my armies from El Bierzo who had also started on way there.

On the first week of the new year 1219, Aleksii's army had arrived in Volodya and were besieging the fortifications. The new school had finished being built in Suffolk, as had the new windmills in Fife. Sadiq's army also arrived in Vexin.

At the month's end, young Gillebrigte had learned foreign etiquette from a fosterling child. Aleta was again, with child.

On February 3, we had liberated Vologda from Kare, the Duke of Kiev. I offered Kare peace, allowing him to keeps his titles and demanding he again become a vassal. A day later, Kare agreed to terms and I sent all of the Duke of Pereyaslavl's forces home.

On the first week of March, Kenneth's army made landfall in Guines. Meanwhile, I had made it to Salamanca and had begun fighting the heathens there. In less than three weeks, we had wiped out the heathens and were besieging the fortifications. On the home front, I decided that Maelbridge would be raised by nannies, while Duncan would receive a court education.

On April 6, Aed's army had arrived in Salamanca to help with the siege. On April 15, we had finally liberated Salamanca from the heathens. I offered peace to Abdul-Salaam, taking Salamanca as crown land, which he agreed to that same day. I led the victorious armies towards Badajoz proper – for we were not done yet.

I was so busy in Salamanca, that I'd forgotten all about Kenneth's army still waiting in Guines for orders. So on the first of May, I asked them to march to Eu first while I prepared more of my forces in northern France for war with the Duke of Badajoz. I signed up young Azur for the army.

On May 22, Kenneth and his army arrived in Eu. I advised him to start heading to Arques and join the rest of our men – for war with Badajoz was immenent. Three days later on May 25, I officially declared war on Halil, the Duke of Badajoz.

The armies that I had sneakily placed in Badajoz's counties of Chartres, Vexin and Arques started besieging the standing fortifications the same day. By June 10, Kenneth's army had arrived in Arques and was helping out with the siege.

On June 25, we had liberated Chartres and it was now under my rule. I decided that young Gillebrigte would be raised by a noble, for I was to busy with the war.

Two days later, the Teutonic Order offered to help out in the war. I had this war well in control and I certainly didn't need no Teutonic knights to fight for me.

As June came to a close, we had liberated both Vexin and Arques from the Duke of Badajoz. On the first day of the new month, I offered Halil peace. Halil could keep his titles of Vexin and Arques, however he would have to pay me five hundred ducats in reparations. In addition to that, he would have to become my vassal, as well as hand back the titles to Chartres and the Duchy of Badajoz. Halil, now the Grand Count of Arques and Vexin agreed to my terms. My armies involved in the war with the former Duke of Badajoz went home.

The next day, myself and my armies marching from Salamanca had arrived in Badajoz proper. By the middle of July, even though Salamanca had only been under my rule for a mere three months, its prosperity had improved.

On July 20, it was again time to consolidate my holdings in Portugal. I declared war on the Sheik of Atlas Mountain, whom was in control of Cordoba proper. Myself and my armies who were now in Badajoz marched to Cordoba, arriving ten days later. We encountered the enemy as soon as we hit the border.

On August 25, my steward had sent a missive to the camp, requesting to be allowed to call in the Estates General, so we could service our mounting debt due to the wars of the past few years. I asked my page to deliver the message that we would not be calling in the Estates General, for I could survive the debt for now. The stability of the kingdom had improved.

A couple of days later, we had defeated the heathens in Cordoba, who had fled south. Our seige on the remaining fortifications could now start. Within a month, the heathens had splintered and were requesting a white peace which I adamantly refused.

Just over a month later, the Sheik's armies returned from their retreat in the south and engaged us in battle. Two days later, in the heat of battle, I was captured by the heathens! Thankfully, my nobles paid the ransom and I was released the next day.

Meanwhile, as November began, the large church in Moray had been constructed and the soldiers had begun using light chainmail in Norfolk. By November 7, we had liberated Cordoba and it was finally under my rule. I also received word that same day that my wife had bore me a daughter whom we named Agnes.

A fortnight later, I finally decided I should make peace with Abdul-Lateef, the Sheik of Atlas Mountain. I demanded that Cordoba be recognised as my crown land. Finally, at the end of the month, I had my reply – there would be no peace deal.
By the middle of December, it was clear I would not see any more enforcements in the war from the Sheik, for the only other fief under his control was in northern Africa somewhere. My armies stationed in Cordoba were sent home and I returned to Moray.
Once back in court, I made the young Diocese Bishop, Kenneth the new Archbishop of Badajoz and Bishop of Salamanca.

On December 27, the Count of Don Portage declared independence. Don Portage was so far away from the kingdom, I decided to let him go in peace. My chancellor informed me that due to my actions, I was now longer being seen as a vengeful king, but forgiving one.
 

Conqueristo

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Breakaway vassals and the end of a crusade

On the first week of the new year, the Duke of Kiev again declared independence. I'd had enough of his shenanigans, so I decided to let him go in peace – for now. I could always try to retake Kiev's lands later, for I now had claims to the fiefs of Volodga and West Dvina, as well as the Duchy of Kiev. Other vassals were seeing me as a forgiving ruler.

A week later and the large church had finished construction in Atholl. My first born Duncan was still under my tutelage and I allowed him to play very daring games with other children – he was becoming a reckless youngster.

On February 5, the fishery in Bordeaux was burnt down under mysterious circumstances. The Count of Chester was pleased with my rule under feudal contract.

A month later, I lost another improvement in Bordeaux, having to sell the glassworks just to keep afloat.

A week later, some of my friends sent me some gold to help support my armies at war.

As the month came to a close, another mysterious fire – this time in Moray, which completely destroyed the sawmill.

On April 22, the stratagem known as missile barrage started being used in El Bierzo.

By May 5, we were again at war. This time it was at the behest of one of my vassals, the Duchy of Ungvar, whom had declared war on the Count of Pelusia.

Just under a week later, my chancellor died of old age. I replaced her with another aging relic in the court, Dubessa MacPherson.

Four days into June, and rebels had captured Ile De France – a vassal of mine. I rallied two thousand men in Chartres, and led by my able marshal, Aed they marched to Ile De France to deal with the uprising. Within a fortnight Aed and his army had arrived in Ile De France and were fighting the rebels.

A month later, the rebels outside the fortifications had been defeated, and the siege of Ile De France began. Meanwhile in Fife, chronicle writing had begun in the monasteries there.

On July 26, a noble by the name of Hammud arrived in the capital. He wanted to join my court, as he explained that he was the rightful owner to the count of Cordoba. After much thought, I let Hammud join my court – he could take over Cordoba once I had captured it. I wouldn’t be bothered managing it as a main part of my realm.

On August 14, the local stonemasons in Suffolk had learnt how to construct medium castles. Two days later, the Duke of Cordoba declared independence from my kingdom. He could go in peace for now, as I had enough wars to attend to. As a result, I now had claims to the Count of Badajoz and the Duchy of Cordoba.

At the end of August, I felt it was time to finish my fight with the Sheik of Atlas Mountain, and send my soldiers to Atlas Mountain, located in Northern Africa. My plan called for sending armies from two of my vassals that were on the Mediterranean coast – Evreux and Almeria. I asked both Khaireddin Count of Evreux and Ya'qub Count of Almeria to mobilise their armies for war.

Shortly after, Ya'qub had 1700 men at the ready – led by his marshal, Sadiq they sailed out to Atlas Mountain, costing 28 ducats. As for Khaireddin, he had 1200 men at the ready – led by Sulayman, the also set sail for Atlas Mountain, costing 20 ducats.

On September 8, another duchy on the edges of my realm declared independence – the Duke of Lithuania. That was three duchies so far for the year. I really didn't need another war right now, as I was still penniless. So, I let Lithuania go in peace...but at least I kept claims to his lands – the counties of Aukshayts and Novgorod as well as his ducal title.

A fortnight later, my son asked me about the existence of the almighty. I explained that certainly, He exists, and then took him to the diocese bishop to learn more. He has become quite the zealot since then.

At the end of the month, my spymaster hatched a fake conspiracy and was able to trick some of my vassals into joining my cause.

On October 14, the Sheik of Atlas Mountain flew the colours of truce. He offered peace, ceding to me the land of Cordoba proper. I agreed to his deal, and handed the title of Cordoba proper over to Hammud the same day. The armies that were on way to Atlas Mountain were recalled.

A week later, Ile De France had been liberated from the rebels, and Aed's army went home. The following week, the stonemasons in Fife had learnt how to build brickwork structures.

On December 3, I had noticed that the Count of Rugen's daughter had come of age. She was quite the beauty, my eyes were doing quite a lot of wandering and decided to court the lass.

On December 13, dysentery had spread to Norfolk greatly affecting the population. It was time to make a move on Pelusia's forces. To that end, I asked the Duke of Sinai to mobilise his forces for war. A week later, he had an army of 600 men ready in Sinai proper – I asked him to lead his men to Pelusia. Meanwhile, in Cairo I rallied a force of 4000 men, led by Marshal William of Cairo they were also bound for Pelusia. And in Farima, another Marshal by the same name was leading another 1600 men I had rallied there onward to Pelusia.

On December 20, I agreed that the friend of the Count of Korsun was also a friend of mine. As the year came to a close, the Farima regiment arrived in Pelusia and had engaged the enemy.

About a fortnight into 1221 and the other William and his army arrived in Pelusia to provide reinforcements. A week later, our combined armies had defeated Pelusia's men and began to seige the fortifications there. In a few more days, Hosni, the Duke of Sinai and his men arrived on the scene to help out too.

On January 27, my chancellor whom had only been in her role for just over six months went the same was as her predecessor, dying of old age. It was time to appoint someone a tad younger to the role – Malcolm Meriadoc whom was only twenty six.

After the first week in February, the crusade to Tunis was over and my daughter Isabel had finished her court education, becoming a crafty merchant. Two days later, little Pelusia asked for peace, a simple white peace. I agreed to the deal and sent our armies in Pelusia home.

Later at the end of the month, the King of France came to me wanting to form an alliance. I felt such an alliance would prove fruitful and perhaps allow me to expand at the expense of Charles' little kingdom of France.

Towards the end of April, I decided to have young Agnes raised by a local noble, someone whom she could trust to guide her early years. My aunt Catherine also passed on, leaving me a paltry inheritance on thirteen ducats.

In the first week of July, I heard rumours that my burghers were resenting my tradition-bound and heavy-handed rule under feudal contract. I advised my chancellor to let the burghers know that I would one day consider changing the law.

On August 8, we were again at war, but this time it was to defend my ally, the Kingdom of France. The tiny county of Jaca had declared war on them. I also decided to send young Maelbrigte to be trained in the army, which would come in handy when he was older I hoped.

September 21 and yet another vassal decided it was their time to break free. The Count of Alcacer do Sal, which is near Portugal declared independence. It was time to focus on our war with Jaca, not our former vassals – so I let him go in peace. I kept the claim to his title though.

A month later, the use of medium crossbow in armies spread to El Bierzo. Another of my vassals changed his ruling law to closely resemble mine. I was now being seen by other nobles around the world as no longer an arbitrary ruler, but a just ruler of a great kingdom.

On the first day in December, I raised an army of almost nine thousand men in Bordeaux. Led by my able marshal, Aed – they marched onto Jaca.
 
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Fighting for France and the incorporation of Brittany

On January 21, the Count of La Mancha declared independence. I let him go in peace so I could concentrate on the war with Jaca. I still kept the claim to his title, though. Two days later, my steward advised me that the kingdom was severely in debt and we would have to sell off the library in Lothian.

As February began, one of my vassals refused to change his ruling law to mimic mine, straining relations. My dimwitted chancellor couldn't even tell which vassal it was. In Bordeaux, they started using banded-mail in the barracks.

A week later, marshal Aed and the Bordeaux regiment arrived in Jaca. They beseiged the fortifications that same day, as the Jaca's main forces were fighting the French elsewhere. Two days into the siege and Jaca wanted to pay 74 ducats for peace. I refused, we had not even gained an upper hand yet.

Finally, on March 3, Aed and the army had liberated Jaca. I told Aed to stay in Jaca for now. The following week, the Pope asked that I give a court seat to his preferred bishop. I told the Pope that of course, his bishop could sit at my court. Unfortunately, it cost just over nine hundred ducats for his travel expenses.

On June 9, the King of France signed a peace accord with Jaca. France was given the title of Jaca and seventy three ducats for his trouble. France's peace was extremely short-lived, in just one week they were at war again. The Duke of Brittany had declared war on France, and being the faithful ally that I was, I joined the war on the side of France.

Luck seemed to be on my side, as my capable marshal, Aed informed me that I still had a standing army of 2700 men still in Evreaux that had been there since the beginning of September last year. I had only used the Count of Evreaux's men in Murcia to take on the Sheik of Atlas Mountain. I requested that Evreaux's marshal, Adhid march his army to Penthievre, by way of Rennes.

Meanwhile in Chartres, which was still crown land, I rallied an army of 4700 men. Led by my marshal Aed, they marched northwest towards Penthievre too.
As for myself, I assembled a force of 4300 men in Bordeaux, and led them in the march along the west coast of France, headed for Cornouaille.
Back on the mainland on March 21, the use of composite bow became more widespread in Lothian.

Then, on the first day of May, something I'd never heard of before happened. The Duke of Galloway's own vassal, the Count of Galloway declared independence, severing ties with his Duke, and in turn with my kingdom. I joined the war on the side of my loyal vassal, the Duke of Galloway and gained a claim on the county of Galloway.
The next day, I received word that the Duke of Brittany was laying siege to Anjou, crown land of the king of France. To help France out of it's impending pickle, I directly recruited almost four thousand men in Maine for the war. Led by marshal Edgar from Maine, they would head to Anjou and hopefully break up the siege.

By Friday, both Adhid's army as well as Aed's army had arrived in Penthievre, and finding the battlefield empty, besieged the fortifications. The Duke's forces were busy elsewhere fighting France. Almost a week later, Edgar's army had arrived in Anjou and were fighting the Duke of Brittany's men. Four days into that battle, and the Duke offered me 526 ducats for peace, which I politely declined for I had other plans.

It wasn't until May 25 that the Battle of Anjou was decisively won in my favour. Edgar and his victorious army marched onwards to Vannes. Later that week, I decided that it would be good for young Gillebrigte to be trained in the army. Perhaps when he was older he might be a suitable marshal for the kingdom.

Five days later, the combined armies of Adhid and Aed had liberated Penthievre from Brittany's rule. Their next stop would be Cornouaille. A week later, the Duke offered me 494 ducats for peace, which I naturally refused.

On June 10, the armies on way to Cornouaille from Penthievre ran into the Duke's forces in Leon in Northern France, not to be confused with Leon in the Iberian. Six days of fighting and the Duke's men were defeated, retreating towards Nantes. My victorious armies continued onward to Cornouaille.

On June 23, myself and my army from Bordeaux arrived in Cornouaille. Most of the Duke's forces were fighting elsewhere, so we began siege on the fortifications. Two days later, Edgar's army that were on way to Vannes from Anjou encountered Brittany's retreating men in Nantes. A few days later and the Dukes forces were cut to pieces.

On July 6, Edgar's army had arrived in Vannes. Meanwhile, both Aed and Adhid's armies had made their way to Cornouaille. We now had a force of ten thousand men besieging the fortifications in Cornouaille. A few days later, what was left of Brittany's forces tried attacking our besieging forces, but failed on their first attempt. Meanwhile, in El Bierzo, merchants had begun using letters of credit.

On July 12, the Count of Silves declared independence from my kingdom. I would let him go in peace for now, as I was too busy in my war against Brittany. I however, still kept a claim to his title.

On July 23, Cornouaille was finally liberated from the Duke's rule. My ten thousand strong men force would stay in Cournouaille for now.

I offered the Duke of Brittany a peace settlement that same day. Charles would not only have to pay me 464 ducats in penalties, but would also have to swear fealty to my throne as my newest vassal. He agreed, and Brittany become part of Scotland.

As I was at peace with Brittany, I could now focus on my war with the Count of Galloway. I rallied together 3400 men in Lothian, led by a local commander named Ossor, they marched to Galloway proper.