The Venerable Dafydd's History of the Kingdom of Ystrad Clud - A HIP Strathclyde AAR

  • Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
Chapter I
  • Werson

    Captain
    45 Badges
    Aug 14, 2012
    405
    329
    • Divine Wind
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Heir to the Throne
    • Victoria 2: A House Divided
    • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
    • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
    • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
    • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
    • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
    • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
    • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
    • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
    • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
    • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
    • 500k Club
    • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
    • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
    • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
    • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
    • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
    • Imperator: Rome
    • Crusader Kings III
    • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
    • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
    • Victoria 2
    • Europa Universalis IV
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
    • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
    • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
    • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
    • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
    • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
    • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
    • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
    • Crusader Kings II
    • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
    • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
    • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
    • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
    • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
    • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
    • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
    • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
    CHAPTER I

    OF THE SITUATION OF BRITAIN AND IRELAND AT THE OUTSET OF THE BRITONNIC RENAISSANCE

    Cultures.jpg

    The distinct nations inhabiting the British Isles during the IX century AD​

    These isles at present, following innumerable invasions and countless migrations, contain six nations, the Cumbri, English, Welsh (and the Cornish, being but a sub-group within the larger Welsh nation), Scots, Irish, and Norse, each in its own peculiar dialect cultivating the sublime study of Divine truth. This however was not always the case, with many other groups being lost to time, and others assimilated into a greater whole.

    It was the Britons who first were masters of this land, inhabiting its fertile fields, mountainous passes, and luscious forests, from the Saxon Shore in the South, to the Orkney Islands in the North. This would all change as the Roman legions set out to conquer Britain in 43 AD, under orders of Emperor Claudius. It was here that the Latin invaders faced their greatest challenge yet, warring for nearly five decades against the brave peoples of Britain before finally subduing them into accepting rule from Rome. By the time of the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, the native Britons had been pacified and disarmed by their Mediterranean overlords, with only a few pockets of resistance hanging on North of Hadrian’s and the Antonine walls, as the Picts proved to be a resilient thorn on the Roman which remained unconquered. The once ferocious Britons had been thoroughly Romanized, as well as become illuminated by the light of God and the warmth embrace of Christ. The once powerful warrior culture of the pre-Roman Britons had all but disappeared. This would prove disastrous as the withdrawal of the Legions gave the Irish (specifically the tribe of the Scottii), the Picts, and the Saxons much leeway to raid and pillage the land at their leisure, with little retaliation from the native Romano-Britons.

    Britons.jpg

    The Romano-Britons

    It would be these Scotti and Picts that would eventually merge to form what we have come to known as the Scottish nation, or Albannaich in their native tongue, inhabiting the Northern reaches of Britain. The Saxons would not only raid defenseless Britain alongside the Picts and Scotti, but over time would come to serve as mercenaries for the upstart Brittonic Kingdoms that would occupy the vacuum left by the Roman retreat, fighting against the Scotti and Picts, and occasionally, against the Britons who hired their services. Over time more Saxons would follow their mercenary brethren, mostly farmers and refugees, settling on the Eastern coasts of Britain. They would in time be joined by other opportunistic Germanic peoples, like the Jutes and the Angles. These three Germanic peoples would eventually become the English nation, or Angelcynn in their native tongue.

    Picts.png

    The Pictish/Scottish peoples

    Irish.jpg

    The Irish peoples

    These English invaders would establish a myriad of kingdoms, displacing and subjugating the native Britons who had inhabited the land for millennia. As these invaders conquered kingdom after kingdom, the Briton nation would eventually be broken up as the English conquered their way to the Irish Sea, with the Western Britons surviving in the hilly areas of what we’ve come to know as Wales (with a few in Cornwall as well), and the Northern Britons, prevailing in the lustrous Kingdom of Ystrad Clud. Being isolated from each other, these two groups would eventually develop different identities and cultures, eventually becoming the Welsh and Cumbric nations.

    Saxons.jpg

    The Anglo-Saxons

    The last of the nations to arrive in our glorious land were the barbarous Norse, travelling from the Northern coasts of Scandinavia to pillage and raid the lands of Britain and Ireland, especially inflicting divine punishment unto the upstart English, razing their towns and brutalizing their people. It was these Norse “Vikings” that indirectly enabled the resurgence of the Briton nation, as the wise and powerful Kings of the Cumbri thrived in the chaos brought about by God to the heathenish English, in order to reclaim what was rightfully theirs.

    Norse.jpg

    The Norsemen
     
    Last edited:
    • 3Like
    • 1Love
    Reactions:
    Chapter II
  • Werson

    Captain
    45 Badges
    Aug 14, 2012
    405
    329
    • Divine Wind
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Heir to the Throne
    • Victoria 2: A House Divided
    • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
    • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
    • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
    • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
    • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
    • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
    • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
    • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
    • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
    • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
    • 500k Club
    • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
    • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
    • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
    • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
    • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
    • Imperator: Rome
    • Crusader Kings III
    • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
    • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
    • Victoria 2
    • Europa Universalis IV
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
    • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
    • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
    • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
    • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
    • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
    • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
    • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
    • Crusader Kings II
    • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
    • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
    • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
    • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
    • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
    • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
    • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
    • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
    CHAPTER II

    HOW THE AMBITIOUS DRAGON-SLAYER FROM THE NORTH BECAME A TOOL THROUGH WHICH THE DIVINE BROUGHT RETRIBUTION UNTO THE ENGLISH

    Kingdoms of Britain.png

    The kingdoms of Britain in 867 AD

    In the year of our lord 860, the legendary raider from the North, Ragnar “Shaggy Breeches,” son of the mythical king Sigurd Ring, invaded the realm of King Ælla, lands once known as Deifr and Brynaich, but known by the English as the Kingdom of Northumbria. The pagan Ragnar is claimed to have slayed a dragon on the forests of Götaland, and fathered five children known as Ivar “the Boneless,” Bjorn “Ironside,” Sigurd “Snake-in-the-Eyes,” Halfdan “White Shirt,” and Ubba. Whether this indeed occur is yet to be discovered, but Ragnar, or the fabrication known as Ragnar, is a central figure from which all Nordic kingdoms can trace their heritage to. The Northumbrian invasion of the dragon-slayer ended in disaster, for the worship of his false idols could not prevent his capture by the Northumbrian King as his forces overwhelmed and surrounded those of Ragnar with ease. Wanting to prove whether the Norseman's dragon-slaying epithet held any truth, King Ælla had Ragnar thrown into a pit of snakes, where he would meet his end.

    Ragnar's Death.jpg

    The Death of Ragnar the Dragon-Slayer

    Shortly after hearing word of their father’s demise, the sons of Ragnar, feared warriors on their own, departed the northern lands at the helm of the greatest heathen army the peoples of Britain had ever witnessed, unlike any Roman or Anglo-Saxon invasion force that had ever disembarked on British shores. As they advanced inland, the Great Heathen Army encountered the forces of King Ælla outside the city of Ebrauc, or York, as it’s known by the English, who stood ready to defend against the Godless pagans of the North. Upon seeing the approaching forces of King Ælla, the Norsemen feigned retreat. Perceiving their flight and terror, the Northumbrians were overwhelmed with pride and arrogance, giving chase to the invaders, swiftly falling for their ruse. It would not be long before the Northumbrians would find themselves surrounded by the much stronger party of Norsemen who predicted such tactics from King Ælla. Despite fighting upon each side with much ferocity, the Northumbrians would eventually succumb to the wrath of the Norse, resulting in King Ælla fleeing North, toward the fortress of Caerliwelydd, also known as Carlisle by the English.

    Ragnar's Sons.jpg

    A Northumbrian emissary arranging the surrender of King Ælla to the sons of Ragnar

    Rejoiced by the rout of the defenders, the Great Heathen Army soon occupied Ebrauc and slaughtered its denizens, establishing it as their base of operations from which they would stage the conquest of Britain. The Norse named their settlement Jórvík, and soon split the Kingdom of Northumbria between the two leaders at the battle of Ebrauc, Ivar “the Boneless,” and Halfdan “White Shirt.” Ivar, who already possessed dominion over the Irish kingdoms of Dublin and Waterford, saw keen to reward his brother a larger share of Ælla’s realm, becoming king over the lands where the old British kingdom of Gododdin once stood. His brother Halfdan would establish Ebrauc as the capital of the remaining lands of Northumbria, which roughly encompassed the old British kingdoms of Deifr and Brynaich, the heartlands of Ælla’s kingdom.

    Not content with their monumental gains over the Northumbrian Angles, the sons of Ragnar would continue their onslaught South, marching through Mercia toward the kingdom of East Anglia, where the forces of Ubba would encounter and defeat the combined forces of King Eadmund of East Anglia, and King Burhræd of Mercia at the battle of Lincoln. It was here that the pious king Eadmund would be martyred, as the ruthless Ubba and his men decimated the East Angles with ease. With Eadmund’s death, and the utter defeat of his armies, Ubba would become king of East Anglia, establishing the third Norse kingdom in Britain proper.

    Edmundbeingmartyred05.jpg

    A medieval illumination depicting the death of Eadmund the Martyr to the Viking forces

    As Ubba marched toward the East Anglian capital of Thetford, Halfdan gave pursuit to the Mercians, who began to rout upon the death of their ally, King Eadmund. While many fell to the pursuing Norsemen, the bulk of the Mercian army retreated toward their capital of Tamworth, where they successfully repelled the forces of Halfdan. This Mercian victory was pyrrhic at best however, for Halfdan obtained free reign to pillage Mercia, as the eastern half of the kingdom was now under his control, while King Burhræd held the West.

    While Ubba and Halfdan continued to strengthen their hold over eastern Mercia and East Anglia, Ivar continued his march South toward London, a key stronghold of the Kingdom of Wessex North of the Thames. His army, having lost much of its forces as Ubba and Halfdan splintered to forge their new kingdoms, was evenly matched with the forces of King Æthelred, who remained steadfast against the wrath of Ivar and his men. Knowing he only needed to defend his position to prevent the advance of the Norse armies into Wessex, King Æthelred did not pursuit the retreating armies of Ivar, who after a day’s worth of fighting realized he would not be able to break through the forces of the West Saxons without the aid of his brothers. Any further bloodshed would leave him too weak to defend his lands in Ireland and Northumbria, and thus he left Wessex nearly untouched by the wrath of the Norsemen, leaving King Æthelred with ample time to gather strength and allies from the continent. A conquest left unfinished.

    Norse Campaigns.png

    The campaigns of the Great Heathen army, with their advanced labeled green, and the English retreats labeled red
     
    • 1Like
    • 1Love
    Reactions:
    Chapter 3
  • Werson

    Captain
    45 Badges
    Aug 14, 2012
    405
    329
    • Divine Wind
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Heir to the Throne
    • Victoria 2: A House Divided
    • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
    • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
    • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
    • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
    • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
    • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
    • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
    • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
    • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
    • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
    • 500k Club
    • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
    • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
    • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
    • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
    • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
    • Imperator: Rome
    • Crusader Kings III
    • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
    • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
    • Victoria 2
    • Europa Universalis IV
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
    • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
    • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
    • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
    • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
    • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
    • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
    • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
    • Crusader Kings II
    • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
    • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
    • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
    • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
    • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
    • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
    • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
    • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
    CHAPTER III

    THE REIGN OF KING ARTGAL, AND HOW HE SET THE STAGE FOR THE RISE OF CUMBRI

    To understand the rise of the Cumbric Kingdom of Ystrad Clud, or Strathclyde, one must first examine the life of the man responsible for its ascendance. Much like how Phillip of Epirus laid the groundwork for Alexander “the Great” to sweep through the Persian Empire, Artgal set the stage for his son, King Run, as well as his grandson, King Meirchion “the Lionheart.” By the time of his ascension, King Run would be at the helm of one of the best trained forces in Britain, experienced in the field, and hungry for conquest and glory, all thanks to his father's arduous work.

    King Artgal would ascend to the throne of Strathclyde during a time in which Viking raids had become a fact of life in Britain, about a decade prior to the invasion of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms by the sons of Ragnar. As the Kingdom of the Picts to the North crumbled all around Strathclyde due to the Viking invasions, King Artgal set out to centralize his Strathclyde for it had been the tribal disunity of the Picts that had allowed the Vikings to so easily establish their dominance over the region. In order to do such a thing, king Artgal faced three obstacles: The autonomous sub-kingdom of Aeron, the independent Pictish Kingdom of Galwyddel, and the contested Kingdom of Arfderydd.

    Artgal's lands.png

    The Kingdom of Strathclyde before king Artgal's conquests (in blue), the kingdom of Aeron (in yellow), the kingdom of Galwyddel (in red), and the kingdom of Arfderydd (in pink).

    The sub-kingdom of Aeron was nominally a vassal of Strathclyde, but in reality the nobility there seldom fulfilled the duties owed to the crown, often striking out on their own against the Picts to their South, as well as the northern Irish, causing trouble to the kings of Strathclyde who often found themselves embroiled in conflict, attempting to persuade or even bribe their neighbors to avoid any retaliation against Aeron. With the Picts and the Northumbrians preoccupied with the numerous Viking raids, Artgal no longer had to worry about external threats at his borders, and thus could focus his attention on the uppity nobles of Aeron. It was in July of 858 that the forces of Strathclyde met with the armies of the disloyal sub-kingdom, with King Artgal at the head of his forces. While the record lacks any information about the result of this battle, the disappearance of the dynasties of Aeron from the annals after 858 might indicate King Artgal’s choosing of a more “permanent” solution to the Aeron problem.

    Strathclyde’s relationship with its Pictish neighbors was less than amicable, involving raids from both sides, as well as the occasional regicide, often in battle. While the larger kingdom of Pictland (what would become the kingdom of Scotland) was Strathclyde’s main rival in the North, the kingdom of Galwyddel was just as troublesome, constantly launching raids from the South, and allying with Pictland in order to check the power of Strathclyde, preventing a full out conquest of their much smaller kingdom by the Cumbric kings. This balance of power came to an end with the Viking invasions however, as the kingdom of Pictland became unable to assist their brethren in the South, facing multiple invasions from the Northmen. King Artgal, not content with subjugating Aeron, set out to end the Pictish threat in the South. First, he arranged a marriage between Prince Run, King Artgal’s sole heir, and the princess of Pictland Morag. This holy union would bring the two kingdoms closer, establishing a pact to cease all hostilities, a welcome turn of events for King Causantin II of Pictland, for he had his hands full with the Norse raiders. This marriage isolated the Picts in Galwyddel, for they no longer could rely on Pictland to assist them in the event of a Cumbric invasion, and very quickly fell to the might of Artgal, fully integrating Galwyddel into Strathclyde in November of 860, displacing the native population whilst encouraging Cumbric settlers to move into the abandoned villages. The South Picts were no more, and King Artgal had doubled the size of his realm in only two years.

    morag.jpg

    Princess Morag's arrival to the port of Strathclyde, being greeted by Prince Run

    The last of Artgal’s conquests was that of the contested kingdom of Arfderydd, a land population by fellow Cumbri, but nominally reigned from Northumbria. While Pictland was Sthratclyde’s rival in the North, that rivalry paled in comparison to the enmity between Northumbria and Strathclyde, which at one point even fully conquered Strathclyde in the 8th century, only to lose it to rebellions a decade later. Northumbria often came ahead when the two kingdoms clashed, and thus held suzerainty over the lands of Arfderydd, lands which rightfully belonged to Artgal’s kingdom.

    King Artgal was well aware of Northumbria’s poor shape, as it had been subject to Viking raids for years, and was in no condition to defend its claim on the contested kingdom, and thus called up his banners in August of 861, ready to attack the Angles. Too busy fighting off the Norsemen, Northumbria offered no resistance at the advance of Artgal, and thus Strathclyde successfully annexed Arfderydd without spilling any Cumbri blood. It is unknown why King Artgal did not push further into Northumbria, with many claiming his old age had brought about health complications that stopped his ambitions. Regardless of the reason, King Artgal’s conquests came to an end, and he would spend the next six years of his life drilling the Cumbric armies, as well as successfully establishing trade links with the Frankish realms in the mainland, attracting trade and riches to his kingdom. King Artgal would die of natural age on the 5th of July of 867, passing the throne to his sole heir, King Run, who was more than ready to follow in his father’s footsteps.

    Artgal.png

    The late King Artgal
     
    • 1Love
    Reactions:
    Chapter 4
  • Werson

    Captain
    45 Badges
    Aug 14, 2012
    405
    329
    • Divine Wind
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Heir to the Throne
    • Victoria 2: A House Divided
    • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
    • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
    • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
    • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
    • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
    • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
    • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
    • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
    • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
    • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
    • 500k Club
    • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
    • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
    • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
    • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
    • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
    • Imperator: Rome
    • Crusader Kings III
    • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
    • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
    • Victoria 2
    • Europa Universalis IV
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
    • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
    • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
    • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
    • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
    • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
    • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
    • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
    • Crusader Kings II
    • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
    • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
    • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
    • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
    • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
    • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
    • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
    • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
    CHAPTER IV

    THE BEGINNING OF THE GREAT REVERSAL, OR HOW KING RUN ENDED THE FIVE CENTURY LONG RETREAT OF THE BRITONS

    Britain when Run.png

    Britain in July of 867 and the Viking realms within it: Ivar's Kingdom of Lothian (green), Ubba's Kingdom of East Anglia (pink), Halfdan's Kingdom of York (red), and the Kingdom of the Isles (purple).

    It had been 233 years since the native Britons had gone on the offensive against the English invaders, when King Cadwallon of Gwynned had seized the Northumbrian throne with the aid of his Mercian ally, King Penda. Although Cadwallon's reign had been short, merely a year or two (before he died in battle and the kingdom was reconquered), it had left a lasting legacy in the island, for his ruthlessness had become legendary, instilling fear into the hearts of the English even two centuries after his death. Cadwallon's conquest of Northumbria had been the last time any British king successfully seized territory from the English, but the ascension of King Run on the throne of Strathclyde would put an end to the losing British streak.

    At 40 years of age, King Run was a veteran warrior of many raids, known throughout the Northern realms as a great warrior. Despite his renown, the late King Artgal had refused to let Run lead the armies of Strathclyde in battle against the English, only providing him with a small warband which he would lead in many raids against the kingdoms of Pictland and Dal Riata. Now, with his father six feet under, King Run would finally be able to prove himself a capable commander, attacking and conquering the last Northumbrian stronghold of Carlisle only four months after the death of his father. While the Norse had been the ones to seize most of the northern Kingdom, their ultimate defeat at the hands of King Run had a symbolic significance for the Cumbri, for the Northumbrians were their eternal rivals. The Northumbrians were no more, and a new era for Strathclyde had begun.

    End of Northumbria.png

    The Battle of Carlisle, October of 867

    Fresh off the success against the Northumbrians, King Run and his men marched North, believing the sons of Ragnar too be much to be busy dealing with the internal issues their conquests in Britain had brought them. The warbands of Strathclyde would strike at the Hebridan Norse on February of 868, who failed to organize their armies to oppose the Cumbri warriors.


    Argyll.png

    The Viking Ketill and his Kingdom of the Isles (Mann not pictured).

    With the bulk of his forces fighting in Mercia, Ketill's realm was quickly subdued, and his reign over the Inner Hebrides had ended. While he was ousted from his throne, his vassals were given the customary choice to convert or also get exiled. Rather pragmatically, the lords of the Hebrides chose to convert, earning King Run three vassals off the coast of his realm. Eyvindr was of low standing in Norse society, and rather docile compared to his brethren. Orlyg was of the same lineage as the deposed Ketill, but had apparently converted prior to King Run's conquest, and thus held animosity toward his deposed kin. Despite that, Orlyg still held a claim to the Isles, and thus could potentially be dangerous. Thorstein was the most renowned of the three, with a legendary lineage of rulers in Norway, as well as a vast warband that could challenge the king's peace. These former pagans were not to be trusted, and King Run, well aware of that fact, would establish a network of spies across their realms to keep a watchful eye over them.

    vassals.png

    The vassals of King Run

    Having projected his power to both South and North, King Run seized the fleets of the deposed Ketill and sailed West, landing on the northern coasts of Ireland, where he would winter in 869, raiding the petty kingdoms into submission, carrying large riches into Strathclyde. The power of King Run and the Cumbri was starting to be felt across Britain, and the Norse realms of Lothian and York were starting to take notice. King Run would continue his string of victories shortly after returning home from Ireland, raiding Pictland, who he no longer had ties to, for Queen Morag had succumbed to pneumonia during his stay abroad.

    Morag's opportune death had come at the perfect time, for the King of the Franks had recently annulled a betrothal of his daughter to a Spanish king who succumbed to the Mohammedan faith, and thus was looking for a good match for princess Ermentrude. The trade links and diplomatic relations his father had established with the Franks had paid off, as King Charles agreed to a marriage between Run and his daughter. The Kingdoms of Frankia and Strathclyde were now bound by marriage, and an alliance was shortly established. The Franks gained greater influence in the isles, while King Run had bought himself a great deterrent against the Norse, for the threat of the Franks was enough to dissuade the pagans from attacking the Cumbri kingdom. Things were looking up for King Run and his kingdom.

    new frank wife.png

    The new Queen of Strathclyde, and her father, King Charles of Frankia

    run's conquests.png

    The Kingdom of Strathclyde at the closing of 869 AD
     
    • 1Love
    Reactions:
    Chapter 5
  • Werson

    Captain
    45 Badges
    Aug 14, 2012
    405
    329
    • Divine Wind
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Heir to the Throne
    • Victoria 2: A House Divided
    • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
    • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
    • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
    • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
    • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
    • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
    • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
    • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
    • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
    • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
    • 500k Club
    • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
    • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
    • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
    • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
    • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
    • Imperator: Rome
    • Crusader Kings III
    • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
    • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
    • Victoria 2
    • Europa Universalis IV
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
    • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
    • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
    • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
    • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
    • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
    • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
    • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
    • Crusader Kings II
    • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
    • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
    • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
    • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
    • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
    • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
    • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
    • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
    CHAPTER V

    HOW KING RUN INSOLENTLY IMPUGNED THE GRACE OF GOD, AND THE CURSE THROUGH WHICH HE PAID FOR HIS MISDEEDS

    The conquest of the Inner Hebrides by King Run brought much joy to British Christendom, for within that territory laid the Bishopric of Iona. Once the powerhouse and leader of Celtic Christianity, Iona had suffered much under the reign of the Norse, who pillaged its riches and savaged its people. With great joy they embraced their liberator Run, but soon found their newfound freedom to be but a ruse, the heathens that had once pillaged the wealthy bishopric remained in power following their conversion to Christianity. This was an affront to the clergy of the Isles, and of Strathclyde as a whole, which now had to serve these former heathens as if they were true brothers in faith.

    The-path-to-The-Iona-Abbey.jpg

    The Abbey of Iona, center of Celtic Christianity, founded by Saint Columba

    While King Run had taken a more pragmatic approach to the situation, letting the Northmen remain so long as they converted, the clergy of Iona was having none of it, demanding an outrageous amount of food rent from the converted populace, while decreasing the food rent of the few Christians who remained in the Isles before the Norse desecrated its shores. These injustices were harshly felt by the Norse, who had reluctantly been forced to baptize, and who secretly still held to their false idols dearly.

    These grievances were taken to the court of King Run, who used this opportunity as leverage to increase his authority over the kingdom, claiming that by doing so, he would be able to “persuade” the clergy of the Isles to enact more just taxation laws. And so the power of the King was substantially increased at the behest of his vassals, but the king failed to alleviate the situation, instead using his increased power to keep the unruly Norse populace in check, much to the dismay of his converted vassals.

    more unity.png


    This further enraged the Norse converts, who would rise up on July of 871 in rebellion. This rebellion was no mere peasant uprising, for the rebels seemed suspiciously organized, as well as well outfitted and armed. Historians suspect that the Norse vassals of King Run aided the rebels, funding their upheaval. Lack of damage to the Norse nobles' properties seem to indicate that there may be some truth to this belief. The monks of Iona had seen the writing on the wall, and managed to flee toward the Abbey of Kells in Ireland (which had also been founded by Saint Columba), where they awaited until King Run restored peace to the region.

    Rebel norse.png

    The rebel leader Coitir, most likely a puppet leader, as is speculated that the Norse nobles in the regions were the true leaders of the revolt.

    Despite their efforts and extreme resilience, the rebel forces were not able to muster enough men to defeat King Run's warbands, eventually scattering to the nearby kingdoms of York and Lothian, where they would hope to one day enact their revenge upon Strathclyde, led by the sons of the legendary Ragnar.

    Battles.png

    The Battles of the Norse Revolt

    Despite his victory over the heathens, the clergy of Iona was not satisfied with King Run's rule, blaming the entire affair on his poor rule, claiming his soft hand over the converts had allowed them to gather strength to challenge their rule. They demanded the Norse vassals to be ousted from their lands, and in turn for those lands to be granted to the clergy as tithes, to prove Run's allegiance to the church. While the clergy wrestled with King Run to increase their power over the region, the Norse nobles most likely chose to follow a new path to overthrow King Run, choosing secrecy and intrigue over the sword. It would come to no surprise then, that the King's own son, Oucydd, would actively work with them to plot King Run's death. Some scholars try to argue that prince Oucydd was working with the clergy of Iona instead, rather than the Norse, but his poor treatment of the clergy of Cumberland (the prince's personal fief), would suggest his relationship with the clergy to be rather poor, and thus it is widely agreed that it was the Norse that Oucydd had been working with, for he was an ambitious man.

    With both clergy and his vassals, as well as the prince himself all conspiring against his rule, King Run would become quite ill with stress and paranoia, frequently getting into scuffles with Queen Ermentrude, who Run suspected of infidelity, claiming the child she was carrying to not be his, despite the Frankish woman's pleas for respite. Eventually she would retire to the Abbey of Iona, where she would find shelter among the monks and nuns there. The Bishop of Iona would use her refuge there as leverage over the King, demanding once more for land tithes, as well as the funds to construct new monasteries in the region, to further cement their rule over the former pagans. King Run would refuse their demands repeatedly, and soon rumors spread of his lack of faith, and even of heresy. King Run had no use for religion unless it served his political goals, as it had when it served as justification to attack the Kingdom of the Isles just a couple of years prior. Records indicate that after a particularly heated debate between King Run and his court Bishop, the holy man cursed the King for his heresy, claiming him to be "accursed of God, and of his Church, from the sole of his foot, to the crown in his head." While contemporary scholars would claim this to be the reason of King Run's poor health throughout the rest of his life, some historians believe it to originate from a particularly nasty wound during his raids in Ireland.

    lack of piety, cursed.png

    The "heretic" King Run, and the curse placed upon him for such heresy

    King Run would lose much function in his legs, leaving him badly crippled for the remainder of his life. This maladie had not discouraged the plotting of Prince Oucydd or the Norse nobles, but rather gave them the last push they needed to finally enact the assassination of the King. While their plot not only would ultimately fail due to the acute awareness of the King, but the Prince himself was outed as the mastermind behind the plan. This would shake King Run to the core, for now he realized the precarious position he found himself in. Crippled and cursed by God, separated from his newborn daughter and wife who stayed in Iona, where the clergy openly denounced him a heretic, his nobles conspiring behind his back, and even his son plotting for his murder, King Run was completely alone. What once seemed like the monarch to take the Cumbri to heights never seen before, was quickly becoming one of their most despised rulers in history.

    murder attempt.png

    The attempted murder of King Run, November of 874

    This state of affairs could not have come at a worst time either, for the Viking Kingdoms neighboring Strathclyde were embroiled in chaos, which would have been the perfect time to strike Strathclyde not been in turmoil as well. Ubba of East Anglia had passed away, and his brother Ivar "the Boneless" had assumed control of the Kingdom despite their brother Halfdan being the rightful heir. This succession crisis would lead to the fracturing of their armies, as brother fought against brother. Halfdan would eventually recognize Ivar's rule in East Anglia, but Ivar would give up the Kingdom of Lothian, which Halfdan would annex into the much larger Kingdom of York. This war between brothers would cause Ivar to lose control over much of his domains in Ireland and Wales, falling prey to local Viking chiefs as well as the Swedes.

    britain in chaos.png

    The Norse Kingdoms of Britain in September of 875: Halfdan's Kingdom of Northumbria (blue), Ivar's Kingdom of East Anglia (green), the Swedish fiefdom of Dublin (yellow), and the myriad of independent petty Norse chiefdoms (red)

    Despite the fragile state of his Kingdom, King Run decided to march on the independent chiefdom of Streathearn, which laid at the crossroads of Scotland, Strathclyde, and Northumbria. It was crucial that the Cumbri annexed this land rapidly, for the other two kingdoms already had their eyes set on this vulnerable realm. While his frail health would not have allowed the King to personally lead the armies, record indicates that he was present during the battles, which leaves many to question who was ruling in his stead. This is further emphasized as the record for the next five years is marked by his absence in court, leaving the Kingdom in a state of anarchy as the petty nobles, the clergy, and Prince Oucydd vied for power in the vacuum left by King Run. Not much is known of the King's whereabouts during those years, but Prince Oucydd would soon perish to disease, leaving the intrigue of court solely to those not of the ruling dynasty.

    son died.png

    The death of Prince Oucydd


    The following year, Oucydd's son Dyfnwal would be imprisoned under the charge of treason, claiming him to be raising warbands to forcefully oust the clergymen and nobles who had virtually seized the throne from his grandfather. With Oucydd dead and Dyfnwal imprisoned, the last remaining members of King Run's dynasty were Prince Meirchon, the second child of Kin Run and product of his marriage with the Pictish princess Morag, as well as his daughter Ceindrech, product of his marriage with the Frankish princess Ermentrude. The Queen and princess Ceindrech were safe in Iona, where the Bishop had hid them from the King following his paranoid outbursts, and who he believed could be placed on the throne despite her older brother's claim to the throne. Meanwhile Prince Meirchon had been snatched out of Strathclyde by his Pictish side of the family amidst the turmoil of King Run's absence, who sought to place him in the throne as a puppet ruler upon King Run's death.

    The King would return to court nearly five years after his departure, being brought back by a group of Irish monks, who claimed he had lived with for the past five years. This was not the King Run who conquered the Isles and Cumberland, nor the Run who sacked the northern Irish chiefdoms. The King was in a state of coma, unable to move, speak, or even think for himself. This brought about an increased chaos within the Kingdom, with petty thieves and marauders moving into the countryside with impunity. It would be just 5 months after his unceremonious return that King Run would perish under the afflictions of his poor state. With his death, the court entered into a state of anarchy, as the nobility refused to acknowledge princess Ceindrech's claim to the throne for she was a mere child, and a woman at that, claiming that only Meirchion could seize the throne, while fully aware of his unknown whereabouts. The Kingdom of Strathclyde was deeply fractured, and their ascendancy had not been ignored. The Scottish were on the move to secure Meirchion's throne, but across the Irish Sea, the High King of Tara had other plans for the young Meirchion.


    King Run.png

    The death of King Run, February of 881

     
    • 1Love
    Reactions:
    Chapter 6
  • Werson

    Captain
    45 Badges
    Aug 14, 2012
    405
    329
    • Divine Wind
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Heir to the Throne
    • Victoria 2: A House Divided
    • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
    • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
    • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
    • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
    • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
    • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
    • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
    • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
    • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
    • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
    • 500k Club
    • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
    • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
    • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
    • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
    • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
    • Imperator: Rome
    • Crusader Kings III
    • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
    • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
    • Victoria 2
    • Europa Universalis IV
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
    • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
    • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
    • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
    • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
    • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
    • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
    • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
    • Crusader Kings II
    • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
    • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
    • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
    • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
    • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
    • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
    • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
    • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
    CHAPTER VI

    HOW THE BARBARIC IRISH BROUGHT ABOUT DESTRUCTION, KINSLAYING, AND MUCH PAIN TO THE PEOPLES OF NORTHERN BRITAIN

    While the isle of Ireland had suffered under the Viking yoke, the Uí Néill clan of Northern Ireland had grown powerful amidst the chaos, opportunistically seizing lands of those defeated by the Norsemen, and subjugating those too weak to oppose them. This clan commanded the largest warbands in the island, as well as the last remaining Irish fleet, for the storied pirate past of the Irish had been but erased by the Vikings, who had either seized or torched the fleets of the Irish Kings. Looking across the Irish Sea, High King Áed saw a defeated people in the Scots, ravaged by pagan raiders, and dissatisfied with their current King, and just South of them laid yet another Kingdom in turmoil, as the house of Strathclyde had lost control of their realm, while the nobles and clergy struggled for power in the vacuum left by the late King Run.

    Tara.png

    The High King of Ireland

    The High King had two options, to continue weathering the storm of sea raiders, and unite the island under his rule, a much safer, if less prestigious and rewarding choice, or sail across the Irish Sea, and try to exert his influence over the tumultuous Scots and Cumbri, a far more dangerous gamble, but one to pay handsomely if he succeeded.

    Irish.png

    The Irish Warbands reaching the coasts of Argyll.

    With that one decision, High King Áed set the courses of Scotland, Strathclyde, and Ireland into a collision course, landing in the coasts of Argyll in June of 881, where his warbands clashed against those of King Constantine II of Scotland. The Scots were well dug into the hills, and the field advantage was proving troublesome for the Irish, who after losing their ships to an impromptu storm, were now stuck in Britain. If they attacked uphill, they would certainly lose, but if they retained their position, it would not be long before they starved. As the two camps stared at each other across the hill, three months passed, and the Irish warbands started deserting the camp in light numbers, all but ready to surrender and admit defeat. Their ambitious adventure had failed. Or so it seemed, but perhaps the pious prayers of the Irish warriors had been answered, as the treacherous brother of King Constantine, Prince Áed, betrayed his brother, turning half of his forces against him, slaying him in single combat. The infighting proved to be just what the Irish needed to scale the hill, putting an end to the reign of Constantine II.

    tumblr_mn3kb9bi1z1qbrih3o1_1280.png

    The Battle of Argyll, September of 881

    It is unknown whether the Irish King and the Scottish Prince were in cahoots, but the following month, they would be found feasting together in the halls of the Scottish capital, celebrating the marriage of the newly crowned King Áed of Scotland, and one of High King Áed’s daughters. It is said that during this feast, the young King Meirchion of Strathclyde (who had been a hostage by the Scottish court for the past 3 years) and the Irish High King also set about uniting their lines, as the young Cumbric king was forced to bethrote his sister Ceindrech to the Irish High King’s oldest son, hoping they could later arrange another one between Meirchion himself and another one of his daughters. The Uí Néill now held much influence over Northern Britain, with Scotland becoming a sub-kingdom of the Irish crown.

    coup.png

    The late King Constantine II and the treacherous King Áed of Scotland

    Tara alliance.png

    The arranged marriage of Princess Ceindrech and Prince Fingen

    It would take nearly two years to pacify the Scottish Highlands, but by October of 883, the combined forces of Scotland and Ireland marched unto Strathclyde uncontested. The nobles swiftly surrendered, and the clergy returned to their monastic centers and abbeys, for neither would be able to stand such a large army after the many years of infighting. And so, peace once more returned to Strathclyde, with King Meirchion rightfully taking the throne, swearing allegiance to the Irish High King. Despite the ease in which the Kingdom was secured, the Irish warbands were not pleased by the result, for they had been expecting conflict to arise, from which they could fatten their pockets with the Briton's plunder. Thus, as they marched North toward their newly constructed fleet in Argyll, the Irish barbarians savaged much of the Cumbric countryside, razing every town on their way. What could have been a blood-less affair, with a compliant and grateful puppet monarch, had turned into an unholy massacre, and King Meirchion grew resentful, for these Irishmen were no better than the Godless pagans that had been oppressing the peoples of Britain for the past century. Still, Strathclyde had the pagans at their doorstep, and the West Saxons farther to the South had grown in power as the other English kingdoms fell to the Nordic yoke, the Irish would have to wait, King Meirchion had more pressing matters to attend.

    Moirchion.png

    King Meirchion of Strathclyde, October of 883
     
    • 1Love
    Reactions:
    Chapter 7
  • Werson

    Captain
    45 Badges
    Aug 14, 2012
    405
    329
    • Divine Wind
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Heir to the Throne
    • Victoria 2: A House Divided
    • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
    • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
    • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
    • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
    • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
    • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
    • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
    • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
    • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
    • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
    • 500k Club
    • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
    • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
    • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
    • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
    • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
    • Imperator: Rome
    • Crusader Kings III
    • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
    • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
    • Victoria 2
    • Europa Universalis IV
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
    • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
    • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
    • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
    • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
    • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
    • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
    • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
    • Crusader Kings II
    • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
    • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
    • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
    • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
    • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
    • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
    • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
    • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
    CHAPTER VII

    THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR THE NORSE KINGDOMS OF BRITAIN

    The sack of the Cumbric countryside by Irish marauders of King Áed had left a sour taste on the mouths of the Strathclyde nobles, who demanded retribution for their misdeeds, urging Meirchion to sail across the Sea and punish the insolent barbarians. Untested, the King knew advancing on the Kingdom of Tara would be unwise, as their warbands were fierce and hardy, however, the same could not be said of the neighboring Irish kingdoms, which while nominally under the reign of the High King in Tara, were virtually independent.

    Ulster King.png

    The monarch of the petty Kingdom of Ulster, King Cathalan.

    The petty Kingdom of Ulster was an ideal target for the Cumbri warbands, weak enough to defeat in outright battle, but strong enough compared to the other Irish kingdoms to send a message to King Áed. Ulster was also quite close to Strathclyde, being the nearest of all the Irish kingdoms, and their battle hardened King would be a good first challenge for Meirchion to test himself. His father, the late King Run, had also raided in Ulster in the past, and thus there was ample knowledge for the Cumbri warbands to ensure their success in Ireland.

    Through unknown means, the men of Ulster knew of King Meirchion's attack in advance, and thus were able to evacuate most of the populace within their capital. While this had spared the peasantry of much suffering, it had left the city defenseless against the onslaught of the Cumbri, who joined by their King, mercilessly slaughtered what few remained in the city, taking much of the plunder for themselves. One year of reigning, and King Meirchion already was acquiring a reputation of cruelty and ruthlessness in the eyes of his enemies, although the men of Strathclyde rejoiced as they filled their pockets with the riches acquired in Antrim.

    Cruel and Aggressive.png

    The aggressive and ruthless King Meirchion razing the Ulsterian capital.

    While the Kingdom of Ulster was all but conquered, its armies remained at large, and thus the conquest of Ulster could not be final, for as long as the Irish warbands remained, Meirchion's hold on the Kingdom would never be secure. While it was the royal warbands that had initially seized and pillaged Ulster, the men of his nobles soon arrived to aid in the search of the Irish warbands. It would not be long before such a large invasion force spotted them, imparting a great slaughter on the cowardly Irish in the Swedish lands of Oriel. There would be no prisoners, no mercy. The King of Tara and the remaining Irish Kingdoms had received the message: Stay clear of Strathclyde. Meirchion's punitive expedition into Ireland had not just rewarded him with a petty Kingdom, but also valuable noble hostages, among them a daughter of the ousted King Cathalan, which Meirchion intended to marry to solidify his claim over Ulster.

    Great Leader.png

    The great slaughter at Oriel, and the first display of great leadership by King Meirchion.

    Hostage, Ulster.png

    King Meirchion's conquests, May of 884

    Down to the South of Strathclyde, the Kingdom of Mercia remained in their struggle against the Viking onslaught, as the Norsemen of Northumbria sacked town after town, leading to the death of King Beorhtwald, who left no heir on who to pass on the throne. After a few months of deliberation, the Mercian "Witan" or Great Council, decided to cede the throne to the young noble Beorhtfrith, who had a dubious (if any) claim to the throne. To solidify his right to rule, the new Mercian King organized a grand ceremony, hoping to appease his nobles through feasts and gifts, as English culture of the time was a gift-giving one, as well as seeking support from neighboring Christian kings who would hopefully aid him in the battles to come. It was this grand coronation that led King Meirchion of Strathclyde to leave for Mercia in October of 884, where he would remain until the new year came, carousing with his fellow kings. It was here that King Meirchion first met his future rival, King Ælfred of Wessex, and later, of England. Neither King agreed to an alliance with the Mercians, but both promised to aid the Kingdom indirectly, planning to attack the Northumbrians simultaneously, giving the Mercians much needed space to breathe and recuperate.

    Mercian Coronation.png

    The last English Kings of Britain, the newly crowned Mercian King Beorhtfrith, and the West Saxon King Ælfred, Meirchion's rival for hegemony over the isle.

    As the new year came and the festivities in Mercia finalized, the Nordic world had begun to shake in the British Isles. The Vikings of Ireland had been intermingling with the native population, forging a new "Norse-Gaelic" culture, not quite Irish nor Norse. As these cultures merged, Christianity became the dominant faith among them, which would ultimately lead to widespread revolts against their pagan aristocracy.

    Revolt Tara.png

    The Norse-Gaelic peasant King of Tyrone, leader of the rebellion against their Swedish overlords.

    Things in the larger island did not fare much better for the Norsemen, for their great King Halfdan, son of Ragnar, had passed away. The new King Guðfríð was not half the man his father had been, and his hold on the Kingdom was tenuous at best, barely preventing his rebellious vassals from destroying the kingdom with their infighting. The West Saxons and the Cumbri warbands marched at once, ready to enlarge their Kingdoms at the expense of the weakening Norsemen. Soon, the Welsh Kingdoms would join as well, leading to the rapid collapse of the once great Kingdom of Northumbria.


    New Viking.png

    King Guðfríð of Northumbria, son of Halfdan Ragnarsson.

    As the West Saxons took the initiative, the Northumbrian warbands were preoccupied in the South to adequately deal with the forces of King Meirchion, leaving the lands of Lothian, or "Gododdin" (as they had once been known by the Britons who lived there), largely defenseless. King Meirchion garrisoned his men in the newly occupied castles dotting the land, securing his conquest of the neighboring region. The bloodlust of his men however was not sated by such an uneventful campaign however, and Meirchion sought to bring Northumbria to its knees, marching to the capital of Bamburgh, where the Norse King had fled to after being defeated in the South.

    Sieges of Lothian.png

    The sieges of Lothian, November of 885

    The demoralized forces of King Guðfríðr failed to properly defend the walls of Bamburgh, which were fiercely breached by the men of Strathclyde. The King and the royal family were seized and put in chains, along with other nobles and members of the Northumbrian court. Still in chains, bound together, Meirchion would have the royal family march all the way to his capital in Alt Clud, where he would have Guðfríð renounce his claim over the lands of Lothian to King Meirchion, as well as a cessation of all raids by his men into Strathclyde. Yearning for his freedom, the Norse king had no choice but to accept, and although he regained his freedom upon the signing of the charter, his family would not be so lucky. It is often the innocent and meek that suffer the most in matters of war, and the royal family of Northumbria was no exception.

    All captured.png

    The capture of the Norse monarch and his family.

    Haldan Family Dead.png

    The execution of the royal family and their ardent followers, including the heir apparent of Northumbria, Prince Haldan.

    As the Northumbrians lost heads en masse following the decimation of the royal family and the inhabitants of Bamburgh, the people of Strathclyde had been blessed, as the holy remains of Saint Cyndeyrn (also known as Saint Mungo) had been recovered following the acquisition of the hoards in Bamburgh. Saint Mungo had been active in Strathclyde during the 6th century, bringing about the conversion of many peoples during a time when the Cumbri had grown resentful of the church and wished to return to their pagan ways. Just as Saint Patrick and Saint Columba had brought Christ to the people of Ireland and Scotland, Saint Mungo had enlightened the people of Strathclyde during a particularly dark time. Unlike his late father, King Meirchion was more than willing to support the clergy, requesting masons from Frankia to be brought to Strathclyde, in order to construct a new monastic center worthy of holding the Head of Saint Mungo. It was a good time to be Christian in the British North.

    Head of a Saint.png

    The discovery of the head of Saint Mungo.

    Lothian Conquered.png

    The Kingdom of Strathclyde, June of 886
     
    • 1Love
    Reactions:
    Chapter 8
  • Werson

    Captain
    45 Badges
    Aug 14, 2012
    405
    329
    • Divine Wind
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Heir to the Throne
    • Victoria 2: A House Divided
    • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
    • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
    • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
    • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
    • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
    • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
    • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
    • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
    • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
    • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
    • 500k Club
    • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
    • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
    • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
    • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
    • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
    • Imperator: Rome
    • Crusader Kings III
    • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
    • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
    • Victoria 2
    • Europa Universalis IV
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
    • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
    • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
    • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
    • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
    • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
    • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
    • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
    • Crusader Kings II
    • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
    • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
    • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
    • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
    • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
    • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
    • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
    • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
    CHAPTER VIII

    KING MEIRCHION OF THE THOUSAND AND ONE NAMES

    There is no consensus among historians as to what moniker the renowned King Meirchion should be given in modern writings, for even during his reign, the legend of Meirchion had outgrown the real person. It was a time of great prosperity for Strathclyde and the Britons within. The meteoric rise of the Kingdom had elevated the standards of living for the average folk, to a level not witnessed since before the Roman invasions. While the Irish had rampaged through the northern towns during their departure years ago, the Viking raids had nearly ceased completely, as the King had subdued its neighboring Kingdom of Northumbria, as well as the Irish, who often supported such raiders. It was a golden age for the Britons of the North.

    Prospers.png

    The capital and Kingdom prosper

    The economy of the British kingdoms were food-based, for they lacked coinage of their own. Food rent was the means through which the Kings of Strathclyde would acquire its wealth from the peasantry, while the nobles and chieftains would often deal in cattle. In times of strength, the old English Kingdom of Northumbria would project its power through its mints, producing high quality coinage that the Britons would often trade for, but as Northumbria had fallen to the Norse, the mints had nearly ceased to produce entirely, with what few new coins remained being devalued with cheaper metals. As Strathclyde grew in size, the collection of taxes became problematic for King Meirchion, for a food-based economy could not sustain his ambitions over the entire island. Being the new dominant realm in the North, it was only right for Strathclyde to assume the role of the once-great Northumbria, and so he set about gathering learned men, establishing concise limits to the lands of each of the lords in the Kingdom, as well as recruiting skilled moneyers who could produce the first Briton coins in the isles. Not only would that simplify barter in the Kingdom, but also bring about great prestige, being the first Briton monarch to establish his own currency.

    Economy, coinage.png

    King Meirchion "the Administrator," working to establish a new economic system for his growing realm

    coinage.JPG

    The Cumbri "Ceiniog", or Penny, the first mint by a Briton monarch

    Despite using much of his time to establish the basis for a thriving economy, King Meirchion was known to frequent the monasteries and abbeys of his realm, where the holy men would refer to him as King Meirchion "the Blessed," for his great contributions to the church. Many of the old abbeys and churches were restored during his reign, and the monks grew fat and jolly as they enjoyed the benefits of a charitable king, who sought to grow his realm not only in the world of man, but above as well. During his reign, the Kingdom of Strathclyde grew rich in holy relics, for Meirchion went about establishing a special retinue dedicated to the search of these blessed items. He would also continue his patronage by funding miracle plays, as well as the construction of a new Bishopric, where the remains of St. Mungo would be safely stored.

    Patronage of church.png

    King Meirchion "the Blessed," a pious and charitable monarch, truly God's King

    St Mungo's Church.jpg

    The Church of Saint Mungo (modern day)

    King Meirchion's affinity toward the church did have its downsides however, at least for those who did not adhere to the strict regulations of the clergy. Such was the case of many of the new converts from the recent conquests, who perhaps due to ignorance, or maybe outright refusal of their oaths, wrongly professed faith toward false idols. Such a holy King would impart justice on those wretched men in this life, to match what they would suffer as they faced judgement.

    Apostates.png

    The fumes never seemed to cease as the holy men of Strathclyde went about punishing heathens and heretics, having been given free reign over the land

    As the peasantry, traders, and clergy enjoyed the prosperous reign of King Meirchion, so did the fierce Cumbri warriors who wisely chose to follow the King into battle. Feasts and games were organized often by the King's men, with ample rewards for the winners. In some occasions, one could even participate alongside the King, as Meirchion often took part in these events, for he knew the best way to inspire loyalty among his men was to be one of them. Preferring to wrestle and train with his fellow warriors rather than his personal guard, Meirchion led by example, growing his skill and strength for all men to see. His leadership in battle was awe inducing, but even outside of battle, few men could inspire such devotion as King Meirchion "the Lionheart."

    Warrior.png

    While the men of Strathclyde sang Meirchion's praises, outside of his borders, his name alone inspired fear in the hearts of men. The Irish well knew of this, as much of Ulster was now reigned by the Cumbri, leaving devastation everywhere they laid their eyes upon. It was this invasion that had granted King Meirchion a bride-to-be, the young Sisuile, who had reached the age for marriage as the year 886 came to a close. While originally a captive of her future husband, Sisuile would grow to love Strathclyde, and its people. Her strength in the face of peril, as she was taken to this strange land was not unnoticed by the Cumbri, from who she would command great respect. It is from Sisuile herself that the future Queen Denyw would draw much from, becoming very much her mother's daughter. While this royal marriage would ultimately fail to produce any sons to inherit the Kingdom, the early birth of Princess Denyw merely a year later would have given the couple much hope, even if it never amounted to the desired result.

    Irish Queen of Antrim.png

    Queen Sisuile and her daughter, the future Queen of Strathclyde, Princess Denyw

    Ireland and Northumbria were not the only targets of King Meirchion's ambitions however, as raids into Scotland would become a fact of life for the men of Strathclyde, who would venture yearly into those lands to seek plunder. There was no peace to be found for the neighbors of King Meirchion, "the Orphan-Maker," as his unfortunate victims came to know him as. Scotland would remain ravaged throughout Meirchion's reign, and while not outright annexed into his kingdom, all its wealth belonged to him and his men.

    Raid Scott Capital.png

    King Meirchion "the Orphan-Maker" in one of his many raids into the Scottish Kingdom

    Famous Raider.png
     
    • 1Love
    Reactions:
    Chapter 9
  • Werson

    Captain
    45 Badges
    Aug 14, 2012
    405
    329
    • Divine Wind
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Heir to the Throne
    • Victoria 2: A House Divided
    • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
    • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
    • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
    • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
    • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
    • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
    • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
    • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
    • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
    • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
    • 500k Club
    • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
    • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
    • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
    • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
    • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
    • Imperator: Rome
    • Crusader Kings III
    • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
    • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
    • Victoria 2
    • Europa Universalis IV
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
    • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
    • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
    • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
    • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
    • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
    • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
    • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
    • Crusader Kings II
    • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
    • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
    • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
    • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
    • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
    • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
    • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
    • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
    CHAPTER IX

    HOW THE LAW-MAKER OF STRATHCLYDE BROUGHT THE AUTHORITY OF ROME UNTO HIS FLOCK, BLESSING ITS PEOPLES FOR ETERNITY

    For much of the early medieval period, British kings had few functions outside of military ones. Kings made war and gave judgement, but they did not govern in any sense of the word, especially when compared to their English neighbors, who by the 9th century had a very complex bureaucracy, greatly inspired by that of the Frankish kings. This had all begun to change under the reign of King Meirchion however, as he sought to centralize Strathclyde to better compete with the growing threat of an unified English Kingdom by the house of Wessex.

    1920px-Scotland_Dumbarton_Castle_bordercropped.jpg

    The former capital of Strathclyde, Alt Clud

    While Strathclyde was quite distinct from the English kingdoms, it remained similar in how it handled the King and his court, which were a mobile one, rather than settled in a permanent capital as in the mainland. A mobile court allowed the King to better rule his lands, as he could keep tabs on his vassals, for the best way to assert your dominance in a decentralized kingdom was to be seen by the populace. When not journeying through their realm, the kings of Strathclyde would make Alt Clud, or "the Rock of the Britons," their capital. Alt Clud was a greatly defensible fortress, as the eponymous rock formations, as well as its position in the middle of a river made it virtually unable to suffer a siege or attack by anyone but the most intrepid of Vikings. While its protected position would make for a great permanent capital as Meirchion's kingdom centralized, and had been the center of power for his dynasty for generations, its position left it isolated from his realm, being only accessible by boat, which posed an accessibility problem for his court. Thus, King Meirchion saw the expansion of the nearby settlement of Guovan, or Govan, which would serve as the permanent residence of the Kings of Strathclyde. Thus, the Kingdom of Strathclyde or Ystrad Clud, gained its name, as the capital moved from Alt Clud (the previous name of the Kingdom and "capital") to Guovan, located in the "Strath of the River Clyde."

    Now, rather than the King visiting his vassals, the vassals would be forced to commute to Guovan if they sought an audience with the king. The establishment of a permanent capital, as well as the many other reforms of King Meirchion had put a strain on the nobility, which felt their power diminished as the authority of the King rose. Thus, Meirchion would have to make concessions to his nobles, who up to this point had been more akin to tribal clans and chieftains, rather than a feudal hierarchy. Each cantref or county/chiefdom had its own laws and juries, and the local nobles reigned supreme, however the land in which they reigned was the possession of the King, and while they were normally passed down from father to son, the law stated otherwise. Thus, King Meirchion saw to imitate the English once more, borrowing the institution of "Bocland," or Bookland, in which the King would charter certain lands to be permanently owned by a person and his descendants. This secured the inheritance of the nobles of Strathclyde, who could now thoroughly invest into their lands freely as they no longer had to fear for the loss of them upon their death. This greatly increased the prosperity of the Kingdom, as rather than hoarding their wealth, the nobility started expanding their estates and new towns started to appear throughout the land, further increasing the revenues of trade throughout the region. As King Meirchion kept on dabbling on the legislature of the kingdom, he earned yet another moniker, "the Law-Maker."

    Capture.JPG

    A page from the Cyfraith Meirchion, or Laws of Meirchion, also known as Cumbri Law due to it being the backbone on which the laws of Strathclyde stem from.

    While the implementation of Bocland greatly pleased the Cumbri nobility, the Nordic nobility of the Kingdom were far more interested in seeking plunder and taking wealth, rather than investing it. As many of them belonged to land-holding families all over the British Isles and Scandinavia, there were many claimants to many titles in the vicinity, chief among them being the Ynis Manaw, or the Isle of Man. The Flatnefr dynasty had been ousted from the island nearly two decades ago, but Jarl Björn still yearned for his lost home, which laid in a key position on the Irish Sea. If Meirchion launched a reconquest of the island, the Norse nobles would support the new laws of Meirchion, for they could acquire much plunder during the conflict, whilst also serving as an additional base from which to launch further attacks against the Irish. It was thus in September of 890 that King Meirchion would land in Ynis Manaw with one thousand men, laying siege to the island while the rest of the armies would remain in the mainland, deflecting any attacks from the Viking heathens.

    Isle of man.png

    Jarl Björn of Argyll and the latest target of the Cumbri wrath, King Alfr of the Isles

    Occupy Mann.png

    The siege of Ynis Manaw, September of 890

    The island was taken without much slaughter by the forces under Meirchion, but as he suspected, the main force of King Alfr would intend to attack his mainland possessions, perhaps even conquer them, rather than defend the small island. Alfr and his men had began to assemble a large force in Northern Ireland, and had begun a siege of Meirchion's holdings in Ulster while they waited for the remainder of their men to arrive. Their plan was quite sound, but the large network of spies under the King's command had discovered their plans, and thus in April of 891, the men of Strathclyde, led by the Nordic nobility attacked the forces of King Alfr before they could assemble fully, destroying the backbone of his army and forcing his surrender. The men under Björn and the other Norse nobles then sailed to the remaining possessions of the defeated King, sacking their towns and seizing anything not attached to the floor that shined.

    Victory Isle of man.png

    The Battle of Antrim, April of 891

    The nobility of Strathclyde had been pleased, and the centralization of the Kingdom would continue throughout Meirchion's reign without much disturbance until the dawn of the new century as Strathclyde joined the rest of mainland Europe and became a truly proper feudalistic and Christian Kingdom. His series of legislatures culminated as the year 900 began, with a visit from his Holiness Pope Lucius II, who formally consecrated King Meirchion in the Frankish fashion, declaring him God's King on Earth. King Meirchion had wanted to flaunt his wealth with lavish celebrations and gifts for Pope Lucius, with many of the nobility pitching in to assist in such a glorious event, but in true Christian fashion, Lucius rejected what basically amounted to bribes in the eyes of the Lord. What Pope Lucius truly wanted was total control over the religious matter of the Kingdom, requesting the investiture of Strathclyde's clergy to be in the hands of Rome, rather than the King (who usually delegated these duties to the Archbishop of Iona). King Meirchion was unable to resist such request, much to the dismay of the Cumbri clergy, who now feared their future might be in peril as Pope Lucius was known to place fellow Italians in positions of power all throughout Europe to better control the church.

    feudalization.png

    The legislation of Cyfraith Meirchion V, or the fifth and final of King Meirchion's Laws

    coronation donation.png

    Pope Lucius II gaining full control over all religious matters in Strathclyde, and the supportive nobility assisting King Meirchion with the expenses of his coronation

    As word of the festivities spread across Britain, the celebrations spread throughout the Kingdom, even reaching the peasantry, who had been able to participate on the many feasts across the land. King Meirchion would forever be associated as one, if not the greatest of all Cumbri Kings, standing through time as an example of what a truly great monarch could, and should be. While his entire reign had seen much of the conquest of Northern Britain, King Meirchion bowed to continue his reign as a true defender of Christendom, inspiring a zealous revival of his faith, which would ultimately benefit the Papacy, but would put his Kingdom in peril...

    coronation.png


    --------------------------------------
    Just for clarification, there was a small timeskip of about 9 years in this chapter, but that was only done to conclude the developments of the internal politics and legislature of Strathclyde, I'll go back to what happened in 891-899 in the next chapter, which will mostly involve the previously mentioned "conquest of Northern Britain," as well as a bit about the English and the ultimate downfall of Northumbria :eek:. Also y'all, let me know if you like the usage of localized terms in this chapter, as there are plenty of Welsh/Anglo-Saxon words used here. If y'all prefer we can stick to a more modern, English vocabulary :p.
     
    • 1Love
    • 1Like
    Reactions:
    Chapter 10
  • Werson

    Captain
    45 Badges
    Aug 14, 2012
    405
    329
    • Divine Wind
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Heir to the Throne
    • Victoria 2: A House Divided
    • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
    • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
    • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
    • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
    • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
    • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
    • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
    • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
    • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
    • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
    • 500k Club
    • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
    • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
    • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
    • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
    • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
    • Imperator: Rome
    • Crusader Kings III
    • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
    • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
    • Victoria 2
    • Europa Universalis IV
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
    • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
    • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
    • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
    • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
    • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
    • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
    • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
    • Crusader Kings II
    • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
    • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
    • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
    • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
    • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
    • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
    • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
    • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
    CHAPTER X

    HOW A BORDER DISPUTE BROUGHT ABOUT THE END OF PAGAN RULE IN BRITAIN, RESURFACING AN OLD RIVALRY TO THE FOREFRONT

    The conquest of Ynis Manaw had sated the appetite for conquest amongst the Dano-Norse nobility within the Kingdom of Strathclyde, easing their integration into the monarchy's apparatus, an event which would enable King Meirchion to centralize power and eventually adopt the mainland ways of Feudalism nearly a decade later. It however did little to appease Jarl Gandalfr, a recent convert whose loyalty was dubious at best, and who controlled much of the land along the Northumbrian border. While he had adopted the ways of the Lord and swore fealty to Meirchion, he also possessed lands in Northumbria, and had family ties to the Hvitserk family through his mother, a fact which worried Meirchion as he sought to increase his authority in the region, especially as Gandalfr did little to protect the Kingdom's borders, allowing marauders from Northumbria to raid the countryside with impunity.

    Disputed Area.png

    The Jarldom of Teviotdale, claimed by both Northumbria and Strathclyde


    King Guðfríð of Northumbria, in a pathetic attempt to expand his realm North sent a delegation to the court of Meirchion, officially laying a claim to Teviotdale and its surrounding areas under the threat of force. While the Northumbrian King lacked the actual manpower to take on the Cumbri, he falsely believed the Dano-Norse nobles within the kingdom would side with him if another war broke out, a support which failed to materialize as King Meirchion took this threat to heart, launching an invasion into the lands of old Rheged as the cowardly Norse King went into hiding, leaving his Kingdom to crumble around him.

    NOrthumbrian King, Teviotdale.png

    The Northumbrian King and the Jarl of Teviotdale

    Devoid of any true leadership, the Northumbrian armies became demoralized, being easily defeated by the much superior forces under Meirchion. While the entire Norse Kingdom laid open for a complete conquest, such a landgrab would nearly double the size of the Kingdom, which would stretch the Cumbri kingdom to its limits as it began to centralize, a fact not ignored by Meirchion, who instead chose to merely annex the old Kingdom of Rheged along the coastline, as it had a large minority of Cumbrians already living within, easing the pace at which it could integrate within the Kingdom. The Northumbrian Kingdom now laid in ruins, and the English to the South seized the chance to expand at their expense, a fact which would set the English on the paths of Briton expansion, bringing back the centuries old rivalry that the arrival of the Norse had nearly erased.

    British isles.png

    The British Isles upon the conquest of Rheged, as the West Saxon armies move on to pick the remains of Northumbria, Feburary of 893
     
    • 3Like
    • 1Love
    Reactions:
    Chapter 12
  • Werson

    Captain
    45 Badges
    Aug 14, 2012
    405
    329
    • Divine Wind
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Heir to the Throne
    • Victoria 2: A House Divided
    • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
    • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
    • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
    • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
    • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
    • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
    • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
    • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
    • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
    • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
    • 500k Club
    • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
    • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
    • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
    • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
    • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
    • Imperator: Rome
    • Crusader Kings III
    • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
    • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
    • Victoria 2
    • Europa Universalis IV
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
    • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
    • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
    • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
    • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
    • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
    • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
    • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
    • Crusader Kings II
    • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
    • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
    • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
    • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
    • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
    • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
    • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
    • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
    CHAPTER XII
    A NEW CENTURY

    Whilst the House of Hvitserk struggled to regain control over the Kingdom of Northumbria, a rebel leader named Hrolfr had begun to amass popularity among the peasantry, posing a possible challenge to Meirchion's dominance. Hrolfr had been virtually independent for a few years now, but the current state of Northumbria made him in fact the most powerful of pretenders to the crown, and thus Meirchions' latest target, who defeated the forces of the pretender in November of 895, and fully pacified his realm by March of the following year. This would isolate the capital of Northumbria by land, as the Cumbrian forces settled down in the region of Durham, further preventing the consolidation of power by the Norse.

    Battle of Durham.png

    With his armies still raised, Meirchion spent the remainder of 896 in the Northern reaches of Britain, sacking the struggling Scottish kingdom in order to fund the final campaign against Northumbria the following year. There would be no respite for the neighbors of Strathclyde, not as long as Meirchion reigned supreme.

    Raids.png

    By January of 897 the Northumbrians had selected their new monarch, a dwarf claiming to have the blood of the Hvitserk running through him, leading a small host of less than a thousand men. Small enough to not oppose any Cumbrian incursion, but large enough to subjugate what remained of the Northumbrian nobility. The new king claimed to have abandoned the White Christ and returned to the old ways, which earned the ire of Meirchion whose treasury had been filled to the brim after the latest season of Scottish raiding. The armies of Strathclyde rained upon the newly crowned heathen, flipping the last page on the decaying kingdom of Northumbria. As the year 898 began the dust had settled, and the Northumbrians hid behind the walls of Bamburgh, the last Norse fortress in the British mainland.

    Fall.png

    As the new century approached, Meirchion had finalized the conquest of Northumbria (bar Bamburgh), rejoined the European mainland through his embrace of feudalism and embracing of Papal Authority, subjugated and placated the nobles within his realm, organized new laws and codes to rule the lives of the Kingdom's populace, and had built a strong state apparatus from which his successors could expand on all directions, with the dream of retaking the entirety of the island from the English invaders that had so devastated the Briton kingdoms of old.
    The newly acquired border with the nascent kingdom of England presented a new challenge for Meirchion, but also an opportunity for expansion and riches. The petty kings of Wales remained fiercely independent, but if they could be brought unto the Cumbrian fold they could provide the necessary manpower to take on the English.

    The Scottish kingdom remained in shambles, and while poor, securing it would be of utmost importance for a shrewd Cumbrian king, lest it became the landing site of a new Norse invasion that could threaten to retake Northumbria, and just across the pond lays Ireland, nominally under the rule of the kings of Tara, who swore loyalty to Meirchion, but increasingly looking for a way out of such one-sided deal. A strategic betrothal between Meirchion's daughter and heir Denyw and the third son of the Irish king appeared to have bought their continued support, but as the young man took on the vows and married the church, the Cumbrian princess was left without a husband-to-be. Meirchion would have to weigh in carefully where to strike next, perhaps looking to Rome for answers...

    British isles 2.png



    --------------------------------
    The last few chapters were a bit short because I was honestly trying to find what the heck was going on at the time, as the pause I took on the AAR left me a bit lost, however I think I'm all good now! I also started a new AAR for CK3, so be sure to check it out if y'all want.
     
    Last edited:
    • 1Love
    • 1Like
    Reactions: