jordanjay29

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I decided to try to write an AAR after a recent chain of enjoyable events in my last game. I'm using The Prince and the Thane (TPATT) and Additional Objectives mod, so some of these provinces, events, decisions and ambitions are the mod's and not vanilla. I'm going to try to use vanilla terminology for the ruler titles, but the mod changes them for different regions, so you may see different titles on screenshots than what you're used to.

A little bit about my style. I've only read a handful of AARs, so hopefully this will be nothing like you've read before. It's a little bit of gameplay following with some narrative, and some 4th wall commentary that I hope will keep you entertained. I'm very detail-oriented, and my reports will be as well, feel free to leave a comment if you like this style. I'll try to take plenty of screenshots (and if you have requests for certain types, fire away), embed the most important ones and link to the rest so you can see them. I've also tried to explain a little bit about the mod that I'm using, so I apologize if this comes off as an advertisement or a textual 'Let's Play' of TPATT, it's not intended, and I'll try to start the next post with the assumption that you get that this is a different flavor.

Now, without further ado, let us begin...

THE SETUP

1-startingout.png


I chose to start in 1066 as the Gundrod I, of House Crovan, the Duke of The Isles in the western part of de jure Scotland. My Norse, Underhanded Rogue ruler has an alliance with the King of Norway, which should help if Scotland tries to press its de jure claims on me. I don't have any claims on the Scottish throne, however, so expansion is going to be tricky outside of pressing my one de jure claim on the Isle of Man. One of my vassals, the count of Galloway, is the heir to the Isle of Man, so that may not be a problem, unless he decides to use that inheritance to break away from me, as the game is so kind to warn me of.

I have the option of creating the Duchy of Galloway to snap it away from the Scottish King, but doing so leaves me at risk of divding my possessions on succession, with the Agnatic-Cognatic Gavelkind succession type.

To the south, war wages between the Saxon, Norse and Norman contendors to the English throne. At the very least, the next few years should be an interesting show, should nothing happen within my realm.

SEPTEMBER 15, 1066

I chose to 'Have a Son' for my ambition, to hope for a secure succession for my ruler. In my capital, I chose to build a Serf Hamlet, which gives me +0.50 tax income for 37.2 gold.

I'm going to try to survive for the next 50 years without becoming part of Scotland. We'll see how I do. *unpauses the game*

SEPTEMBER 18, 1066

My ally, King Harold of Norway, has called me into his invasion of England. My levies are small, a total of 671 troops possible, but only 447 available to me (371 personal, 76 from my vassals). I could probably manage to occupy a few provinces in the north of England, but I risk being squashed by English doomstacks and destroying my ruler or vassals.

I decide to honor my ally's call and a dutifully raise my levies. I can't really afford the -25 prestige hit right now.

SEPTEMBER 25, 1066

Scotland asked me for permission to raise the crown authority to Limited, since I'm his de jure vassal. I obliged, since it will give me the opportunity to change army leaders and revoke titles when necessary. I hope he doesn't go too far with it, I'm counting on Scottish politics to keep the King busy in the east and out of my provinces.

NOVEMBER 27, 1066

Joyous news upon my ruler and his wife, a child is on the way. I hope it's a boy.

DECEMBER 19, 1066

The Norweigan Invasion might be over before it's even begun. After an early defeat in York, the Saxon army managed to capture King Harold of Norway and the warscore just plummeted to -100%. Ouch. Guess we won't be benefiting from a solid ally in the South anytime soon.

DECEMBER 30, 1066

Alas, even the northern English provinces are too well fortified for my meager army. If the war continues, I'll have to join up with a Norweigan band to properly seige something. My guess is that the war will end quite soon.

JANUARY 2, 1067

Opportunity for an alliance strikes with my half-sister coming of age. Prince Godwin of England is on top of the potential suitors, which would be a good match if the Saxon King Harold can win against Normandy, too.

JANUARY 4, 1067

As predicted, the Norweigan Invasion of England is over. Poor Harold, I suspect he'll visit on his way back to Norway and my ruler can help him drown his sorrows in a barrel of wine or ale.

JANUARY 16, 1067

My half-sister, Helga, married King Harold of England's firstborn son, making her the future Queen of England, and hopefully securing an alliance for a long while.

MAY 13, 1067

4-Scotlandintatters.png


More entertainment! Scotland has imploded over one ambitious Count's war for the throne. Time to pop the popcorn.

JUNE 28, 1067

5-ason.png


A son, named Olver! My next ambition will be to Reign in Peace for 10 years, which is part of the Additional Objectives mod (which, if you don't have it, you should, it gives some nice objectives that are mostly harmless in the long-run but make for good fillers).

JANUARY 29, 1068

6-wolves.png


Wolves are terrorizing my realm. This is one of the events from TPATT, and kind of a fun one if you have a good martial ruler. It's the same gold cost whether I go myself or send my Marshall, but the prestige hit is double if my ruler goes. With a Martial skill of 6 for my ruler, I decide to send my Marshall instead.

MARCH 5, 1068

My wife is pregnant once more. Perhaps a girl this time?

MARCH 28, 1068

If you're curious at all, the Count of Atholl's war for Scotland is up to 32%, and the Norman Invasion of England is at 23%. Looks like both are settling in for some long sieges, which are a bit longer than vanilla sieges in TPATT, but there are often events that fire to make them go faster.

MAY 31, 1068

Two of my vassals happen to be family, and the Count of Carrick just inherited his father's province of Galloway. Now Carrick is the heir to the Isle of Man, let's just hope he gets it soon.

SEPTEMBER 28, 1068

A grand hunt is planned, perhaps I can improve my ruler's martial skills. Or just have some fun.

OCTOBER 1, 1068

A stag!

OCTOBER 2, 1068

I am a hunter. I gained +1 Martial, too, huzzah!

OCTOBER 4, 1068

I have a daughter, Thora, now!

NOVEMBER 23, 1068

I decide to hold a feast to celebrate the triumph of the grand hunt, and the birth of my daughter. It will probably also drain my coffers, but it's only money, right?

JANUARY 2, 1069

Another reason to feast. My half-brother has come of age, and I've arranged his marriage to the daughter of the Count of Mortain. Perhaps that will help if the Normans do win England, William's vassals are certain to be rewarded. Only problem is, the girl is a few years away from marriage age. Oh well, good things come to those who wait.

JANUARY 9, 1069

All my vassals have arrived at my castle for the feast. Yay, I'm well liked!

JANUARY 5, 1070

Another child on the way!

AUGUST 6, 1070

Actually, nothing of note occurred in the interim, and my son Harold was born.

NOVEMBER 18, 1070

10-attemptedseduction.png


Another TPATT event. My Marshall tried to seduce my wife! The event only gives me an opinion modifier, but I think my Marshall is not long for his job. Or perhaps this world...maybe there's even a plot for it!

DECEMBER 14, 1070

I changed my ambition to 'Kill Ossor af Finlaggan,' my Marshall. Reigning in peace will just have to wait, despite Ossor's good Martial skill, nobody messes with my ruler's wife!

The plot starts at 26%, but it looks like most of my realm is with me. I think Ossor is as good as dead.

DECEMBER 31, 1070

I'm now at 186% plot power with 7 other plotters. I think Ossor has had too much fun in my realm, all the jealous husbands are tired of him coming on to their wives. Surprisingly, the man doesn't have a wife himself, nor any kids.

JANUARY 19, 1071

Well that was fast. Apparently a banquet is going to be held soon, and there Ossor will meet his downfall. My ruler's wife is so clever!

FEBRUARY 16, 1071

Hell hath no fury...well, you know. The deed is done, he's gone. My realm is now without a Martial 12 soldier leading our troops, but it's good to know that my ruler's wife is safe. I can sleep soundly.

I decide for my next ambition to make a friend.

MARCH 17, 1071

13-rainraingoaway.png


Rain, rain, go away, come again some April day. Little Olver wants to play...

JUNE 1, 1071

The Scottish war is finished, leaving the throne in the hands of Mael-Coluim's legitimized bastard half-brother, Mael Muire MacDonnchad Athfolta (try saying that five times fast!). Ironically, the ambitious one was the former King. This should be an interesting few years now.

JUNE 7, 1071

Scotland once again wants to raise the Crown Authority. Let's see if King Mael can do what his brother couldn't.

This is probably a good time to showcase the laws that are affecting my realm.

15-ducallaws.png

16-kingdomlaws.png


As you can see, it's pretty bare-bones. I might increase the City taxes for some extra dough, but I'm not sure I can afford to piss off my county vassals for the money. Maybe the levies are worth it, though.

Also, one perk to Scotland right now is the Free Investiture law.

AUGUST 9, 1071

A famous writer wants to chronicle my family. To avoid the relations hit, I'll give him a few gold pieces and let him write. I get some prestige out of it anyways.

NOVEMBER 7, 1071

I misclicked and selected the wrong law, and my realm approved raising City Levies to small. Yay? Next up is city taxes, for sure.

NOVEMBER 11, 1071

My ruler gained the nickname 'the Hunter'. Duke Gunrod the Hunter, it has an interesting ring to it.

FEBRUARY 8, 1072

My son, Harold, has contracted Typhus. I pray he makes it out alive!

FEBRUARY 13, 1071

Looks like the disease passed. Thank the gods!

SEPTEMBER 9, 1072

With a cold winter on the way, I decide to invest in a Timber Palisade for my capitol barony. It's a 18.2 gold building which gives +0.50 Fort Level. There are some other fort level buildings, but this one opens up the potential to expand the keep and other buildings in the capitol.

FEBRUARY 12, 1073

My fort expansion is done, and now I can expand my keep to a Rag-Stone Keep and Bailey. I've looked at some pictures of those on Wikipedia, they actually are kind of cool. And the stone is much better for the northern climate, cooler in summers and warmer in winters. Plus it's mostly fire-resistant, a true bonus in this age before Fire Departments.

JUNE 28, 1073

If anyone was keeping track, this is the year my firstborn son turns 6. However, in The Prince and the Thane, education is postponed until year 8. The mod author, idib, has a pretty nifty education system that is currently on hold pending debugging, but when it works it WORKS and lets you customize your child education beyond just sending them to certain people, similar to how AGOT mod does it. Basically, you select to train your child at Court, as a Knight, Stewart or with the Church and it takes money from you. If the education fails, they get an Uneducated trait, which is bad (very bad). When it succeeds, you get a well-educated child independent of the mentor's profession (though it can help influence when they align).

Since it's turned off, the mod currently uses the vanilla system, but waits until the child is 8 years old. Ah, well, just two more years.

NOVEMBER 12, 1073

The peasants want to come in and sell their goods, but my mayor doesn't like it. I just raised their levy requirements, so I guess I could throw him a bone. Bar those citizens, do what you like, just give me more troops and money!

JANUARY 7, 1074

My half-brother's betrothal has finally come to fruition, and I'm starting to debate against it. The Norman conquest of England has gone nowhere, and this alliance wouldn't be the smartest anymore. Unfortunately, there aren't many other good suitors in the region, so I'm going ahead with it.

AUGUST 2, 1074

More good news, my wife is pregnant again. This will be number 4!

I also just noticed that Lothian is under siege from the Duke of Lothian, who in a bizarre twist doesn't actually hold the county of Lothian. It's a de jure war, so eventually he will hold that land.

OCTOBER 11, 1074

The Duke of Lothian won his war. Nothing else of note happened today.

NOVEMBER 19, 1074

My Rag-Stone Keep & Bailey is complete, yay!

DECEMBER 1, 1074

I guess keeping the peasants out of the city wasn't a great idea. They've taken to the streets in anger against my 'oppressive' rule. Rather than a mob of Rebel troops, TPATT uses a provincial modifier to display rebellions, a la CK2+ and other mods. It's nice that I don't have to play ping pong or mop up, but I need to do something nice for those peasants now.

FEBURARY 12, 1075

Prestige Decadence hit my ruler. This is a feature of TPATT to stop rulers from accruing prestige like interest in a bank. If I get some more prestige, though, it should go away. A war I'm winning will help, for example.

MARCH 3, 1075

My third son, Hakon, was born! My half siblings ought to be devasted, they're completely out of the running for my duchy now, as is my daughter. Ho hum.

MAY 1, 1075

The peasants revolted in Argyll as well. Hmm, perhaps a summer fair should be in order to quell these revolts.

MAY 4, 1075

A summer fair will be held. This time, I'll probably want to open those city gates, eh?

MAY 9, 1075

It's all for the peasants. It's all for the peasants. Perhaps if I keep thinking that, it'll make it all go away.

24-fireandbrimstoned.png


MAY 29, 1075

With the summer fair comes summer headaches. Theives and scammers and bears, oh my!

JULY 8, 1075

The summer fair is over, but I pray that the benefits stay.

I also noticed that it's time for my first child, Olver, to be educated. He's already coming along well for a child, at 8 years old his stats are 4, 2, 2, 0, 1. Not bad for an 8 year old. I decide to foster him with my Chancellor, who has a nice 16 Diplomacy, and some fairly good stats. I just pray Olver doesn't pick up on Bjorn's paranoia.

DECEMBER 16, 1075

A winter modifier has hit my province (another TPATT feature), plummeting my tax incomes. It'll come back in the spring, but this is one part of the Isles that I could do without. The Mediterranean has a bit milder climate modifier, and the Desert climate is probably the nicest, minus the supply limit hit they take. Mainland Europe or Steppes would be much, much worse.

------------------



TO BE CONTINUED...


With that, here ends the first post; with my tenth year approaching, I'm going to call it quits for now. Any feedback is useful, if you like this style (or if you hate it), if you want to see some more things or want screenshots of various aspects. Suggestions are welcome but this is not interactive, so I'm not obligated to follow them (you have been warned). General comments are welcome, too, so bring it on!
 
Last edited:

loki100

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looks interesting but can you adjust that post to conform with the forum rules - ie no more than 20 images in one post or in multiple posts if they are placed on the forum in an hour, check out the links in my signature if you need to check any other issues or want to check the forum FAQ
 

jordanjay29

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I split the posts to fix it, loki100.

----------

AND NOW THE CONTINUATION....

JANUARY 13, 1076

One of my courtier's husbands just died in the dungeons of Sweden. To comfort the grieving widow, I've arranged her marriage to my Chancellor. Maybe he'll get a better ambition than to pursue a Church Career out of this.

JANUARY 23, 1076

My ruler has consumption. Oh dear! My new ambition is to survive this illness.

JANUARY 29, 1076

30-wildhunt.png


The Wild Hunt event popped up. My Norse ruler isn't very religious, or learned, so he truly believes in this as a worrying omen. He gains the Zealous trait for that choice, but I'm guessing that means he's not exactly a Catholic zealot...

FEBRUARY 21, 1076

My ally, King Harold of England, has called me to arms against the invading Normans. Yes, they're STILL invading. *sigh* Perhaps I'll gain some prestige, or just a whack on the head.

This time, though, I have full use of my 1086 levies, an increase from the last time. Perhaps I'll get a decent siege going.

MAY 2, 1076

The Norman invasion just went up to -44% warscore. And the Saxon army is in tatters. Oh dear, this could go very bad, very quickly.

My levies are gathered and I march them south to relieve the occupation of Surrey. There's a 4.6k Norman army I want to avoid, and, well, I'll just let the picture show you.

31-sadstateofEnglishaffairs.png


The grey troops are fighting over the Duchy of East Anglia, something that seems pretty stupid when their liege's troops are getting their asses handed to them by the Normans.

AUGUST 2, 1076

Change of plans, I diverted to Bedford instead of Surrey, which is currently under siege again by Norman troops. They've started assaulting, though, so I hope it cuts down their numbers drastically.

AUGUST 17, 1076

The Normans don't like my presence, it seems, and have decided to get rid of my troops. To battle!

SEPTEMBER 2, 1076

An expected defeat. I can't say I appreciate the presige loss, but it's pushed the Normans a bit closer to winning England, up to -50% now. That's good, right, a Norman England? Keep them busy with France and dealing with English politics and out of Scottish affairs? Let's hope so.

OCTOBER 8, 1076

My daughter's turn for a mentor now. I'd like her to be stewardly, so my options are my craven wife or my ruler. I decided to mentor her myself.

FEBRUARY 22, 1077

The Saxon English troops have taken Rouen. I didn't even know they had an army on the continent, but there they are, 3k troops that are pretty much all that stand between England and freedom. Warscore is down to -43% now. And somehow Saxon levies just keep crawling out of the woodwork.

MAY 9, 1077

I am alive and I breathe just fine! My consumption is gone.

I've chosen the ambition to show Bravery in Battle. Now to form up my troops again and march south. I'm going to march for Susex, where the largest concentration of Saxon troops are sieging the Norman occupation there.

NOVEMBER 5, 1077

A good thing has come from playing matchmaker. My Chancellor and his new wife have a son. Someone for my Olver to babysit and play with?

More good news. My vassal, Count of Carrick, has inherited his grandfather's realm of the Isle of Man, and it has been added to my realm. Huzzah!

NOVEMBER 11, 1077

I have reached Susex and attached myself to the Saxon troops there. Perhaps my ruler will distinguish himself in battle.

JANUARY 15, 1078

Norman troops have marched south to meet the Saxon-Islander contingent in Susex. My ruler has gained his brave trait!

Must have been a bug, though, the ambition didn't get marked as accomplished.

JANUARY 31, 1078

As expected, the battle ended in defeat. My troops are still alive, though, and I'm sending them to Buckingham to attach to the small Saxon army there.

MARCH 16, 1078

36-ahardchoice.png


Does the game really give me this black and white choice? I'm either a sadist or a saint? Pah, I guess I'd better enjoy sadism.

That choice gave me a negative relations hit with my count of Argyll. There's a plot to revoke that county, I might take that when I'm able.

AUGUST 9, 1078

My second son, Harold, is ready for education. A Knight's path for him? Unfortunately, there are no Knights in my realm, and my Cruel trait means no Knights outside of the Isles are willing to foster my son. In the end, I decided on letting the Swedish wife of my Chancellor train him, who has a 16 in Martial and some nice combat traits already. Her shy trait is the only negative I can see, aside from the Swedish culture. Eh, it's not like Harold is going to inherit anyways.

NOVEMBER 25, 1078

My brother-in-law, Olaf, inherited the Kingdom of Norway, and decided that my wife should be his heir. Is it wrong to pray he doesn't have any children?!

DECEMBER 4, 1078

RATS! My Chancellor died, leaving my eldest without his mentor halfway through an education. I decide to have Olver fostered at home with my ruler, and my wife replaces Bjorn as Chancellor.

DECEMBER 15, 1078

I guess all this worrying has gotten to my ruler as well. He's become stressed. Uh-oh.

JANUARY 2, 1079

Normany has made peace with the Saxons, and it's time to go home. Saxon England stays free, and Normany remains a part of France. Tsk, tsk, poor William, he just couldn't do it this time.

JANUARY 14, 1079

That was quick. Another Call to Arms, this time by my brother in law, King Olaf of Norway. He's fighting a Holy War for the northern part of modern Finland. Guess I'll tag along, but I have no bets about how this is going to go.

APRIL 28, 1079

40-libertasecclasiae.png


I guess the Church doesn't much like my Free Investiture, huh? Blame Scotland, I say!

JULY 17, 1079

I loved this event until I thought of Game of Thrones. Now it always makes me think of poor Bran Stark.

41-climbingchild.png


Probably for good reason...

42-BRANded.png


SEPTEMBER 20, 1079

Ah, well, my brother-in-law's daughter was born and my wife is out of the running. It was fun to consider while it lasted, though.

NOVEMBER 23, 1079

Took 'em long enough. The Lord of Scotland, in their highest wisdom, have seen fit to grant the King limited crown authority. Gee, I'd hate to wonder what it would take for them to grant him Medium.

DECEMBER 31, 1079

My Spymaster died and left me a HUGE chunk of money. Thanks, dude. Time to upgrade to a new Serf Hamlet and get more (+0.75) income.

FEBRUARY 1, 1080

Once again, a Scottish lord (actually, a Lady this time) wants the throne. She doesn't seem to have as much support as the bastard count did last time. Only Moray (her demesne) and Fife have joined in, not Lothian or Albany (but Albany can't, they're still under Truce from the LAST war for the Scottish throne).

FEBRUARY 23, 1080

My wife is pregnant again. Kid #5!

AUGUST 19, 1080

I just noticed that the ambition limit has expired, so I can pick another one. Bravery in battle's probably not going to happen, so I'm going to try to revoke Argyll. I've got 70.6% chance to start, but none of my courtiers want to go along with it right now. Time for some intrigue and wooing. Break out the honorary titles!

SEPTEMBER 25, 1080

My second daughter is born and she's breakin' my heart! (Cecilia, for those who didn't catch the Simon and Garfunkel reference there.)

NOVEMBER 5, 1080

I guess my ruler's stress and his cruel trait aren't doing well for him. He's lashing out in anger, and I get to pick at who. Probably not a good thing that two of the choices are the same person, either...

44-lashingout.png


She gained a -20 Horrified trait. Ouch.

JANUARY 2, 1081

As quickly as it began, the Norweigan Holy War is over. A shame, I didn't even get to fight, really. Aw well, time to go home.

Speaking of wars, Princess Gruoch of Moray's war for Scotland is up to 30%. Interesting family problems they're having, mine usually just talks about these problems over the dinner table.

SEPTEMBER 6, 1081

45-kidsfaith.png


I guess her Swedish culture wasn't the only bad thing about Harold's tutor. She's also Pagan, which means little Harold ate her pitch completely and converted. Interesting event, though, I definitely want Harold as a Catholic.

APRIL 18, 1082

Basing off the success of the past summer fair, I think a permanent annual fair will do much to increase my taxes. It's expensive, but worth it.

OCTOBER 17, 1082

47-authoritative.png


Here's one of the TPATT traits I really like, Authoritative. My Olver gained both Brave and Authoritative. Good for Diplomats and Soldiers, and especially good for future rulers.

MARCH 6, 1083

My third son needs a mentor. I've already got some lined up for Diplomat, Steward, Soldier, now how about a sneak. Or perhaps another soldier, with this mod's penchant for dropping Knights like flies on the battlefield. Hakon also goes to Sara, Harold's mentor.

JUNE 28, 1083

Has time really gone by so quickly?! My little Olver is already a man grown, and he's ready for marriage. But to whom is the question? A nice alliance with a Princess? Or somebody with some huge...tracts of land?

The Duchess of Northumbria is two years younger, and a fashionable, brave, ambitious, little girl, but then it becomes a waiting game whether my ruler will die first or she will and condemn my realm to servitude under the English thumb.

France and Sweden have some nice options, one is even Honest and a savvy fighter for her age.

Oh, and there's the Duchess of Deheubarth of Southwestern Wales. That looks like a worthy contendor. She has the attractive trait, but is sadly also selfish.

But I think I found the perfect contendor with the Countess of Clydesdale. She's a neighboring vassal of Scotland who's just a year away from adulthood. Her traits are less of a match, but she's a good match for this son.

JULY 25, 1083

Wow, this is kid #6 on the way. My ruler is busy in the bedroom!

AUGUST 21, 1083

Is this the same bear from the summer fair a few years back? Poor Donnal, I had to save him from the vicious bear for a +15 relations boost.

NOVEMBER 21, 1083

My son's wedding day is here. Huzzah!

To celebrate, I've called a grand feast in my capitol.

JANUARY 28, 1084

My vassal, the Count of Argyl, snubbed my invitation to the feast. I'm so glad I'm plotting to revoke his county, now.

FEBRUARY 26, 1084

My fourth son, Erlend, is born. More to celebrate at my feast!

APRIL 3, 1084

The feast started and ended late, but by the time it was done, I had convinced my spymaster to join my plot. Hooray! Time to write some letters, and maybe ready the troops just to be safe...

APRIL 26, 1084

My blackmail failed, to war it is!

AUGUST 21, 1084

My warscore is up to 42% after just two battles, which have wiped out the Count of Argyll's troops.

SEPTEMBER 12, 1084

Interesting turn of events with Scotland. The King died, leaving his 5 year old son on the throne, and at that point more vassals joined the civil war against him. Seriously messed up family there.

OCTOBER 4, 1084

We have arrived at the gates of Argyll and it's time for a siege. Looks like it's going to be a long winter.

On a brighter note, my eldest daughter is now full-grown and ready for marriage. I picked the Just, Gregarious, Kind bastard son of King Henry II of France, and he agreed to marry my daughter matrilineally.

OCTOBER 12, 1084

Disease grips the siege army. Well, this wasn't the event I was hoping for, but it's one of the events that TPATT uses to make sieges more flavorful. Onward!

OCTOBER 20, 1084

Another round of disease. Gee, let's hope they don't all die before they freeze to death.

OCTOBER 28, 1084

A successful sally by the defending troops. This isn't starting out well for Duke Gudrod's first siege!

NOVEMBER 15, 1084

More disease, and Argyll has hired a mercenary army that's marching on my capitol. Shall we play a game of Siege Chicken, who yields their manor first?!

DECEMBER 7, 1084

Rats, raiders! This siege is just not going well, I've barely made a dent in their defenses and my troops have been cut to 80%. C'est la vie.

DECEMBER 20, 1084

The defender's flee, leaving only a token force guarding the castle. Guess they couldn't stand to be away from their families for the holiday.

CHARGE!

DECEMBER 22, 1084

53-victory.png


Victory is mine, and so is the county!

This means that my second son, Harold, will inherit that county on my death, but no matter. It was worth it.

I think reigning in peace for 10 years would be a good goal now. My ruler is 35, has six kids and a secure succession, an expanding realm and good vassals. We might have peace in our time, yet!

------

Remember, kids, click first and THEN type. I misclicked and wound up plotting to revoke a county title. I must really like this stuff, I've already got 138.4% plot power for this one, and the vassals are just lining up to support me. My ruler is cruel anyways, and having a taste for this county revoking stuff, it makes sense he'd want more. I know these are rationalizations, but since I don't have a save from right after my victory, I guess I'll go through with it anyways.

JANUARY 4, 1085

My plotters are ready and the letter is written. I guess I should revoke one county for each son now, eh?

JANUARY 9, 1085

I'm kind of surprised I didn't think this through properly. The count I wanted the county from is the holder of three count titles, all in my realm. Whoops. When he went to war with me, it meant I lost half my army and my marshal.

FEBRUARY 14, 1085

Ouch time.

FEBRUARY 26, 1085

That was a quick defeat, 386 men versus 1485.

Before I lose all my prestige, I happened to notice that I could buy myself a Knighthood with the prestige I have. Maybe that will soften the blow of my vassal knocking at my door with his gigantic army in about a month.

MARCH 12, 1085

I have been granted the right to call myself 'Sire', I am a Knight. And a brave one like Sir Robin.

MARCH 30, 1085

Hunger strikes the besieged army!

APRIL 7, 1085

Food is smuggled in and it lengthens the siege, but I doubt it'll be for long anyways.

APRIL 10, 1085

Defeat. Time to surrender? Yeah, I suppose.

MAY 2, 1085

Now there's an interesting conundrum. I'm probably in the wrong for wanting to revoke my vassal's title, but I now have the chance to imprison him after his just war. Ah, well, my ruler is cruel so *click*. I can also revoke one landed title, which means I could have that county after all.

That's a very gamey way of getting what I want, but I suppose my ruler did set out to get that title. Might as well finish the job.

MAY 4, 1085

My Duke is now the Count of Carrick as well. He decides to Reign in Peace for 10 Years (a laughable goal with a vassal out to get him now), and frees his imprisoned vassal.

MAY 28, 1085

On the Scottish front, all the vassals have joined in (read: ganged up on) the 6 year old Scottish King, but are strangely at -38% warscore. Go kid, Go!

JULY 5, 1085

England is calling me into yet another war. This time Mercia wants to depose Harold. A war against the King of England, what a shock!

Declining would cost me all the prestige I have, so I join in. Those 10 years in peace can wait, I guess. Maybe I can rid myself of my angry vassal by putting him on the front lines!

AUGUST 3, 1085

That was a quick turnaround. The Scottish war went from -38% to 84% in the favor of the rebels. Run kid, run!

SEPTEMBER 18, 1085

With my angry vassal leading the vanguard, I set out south to fight in Harold's war.

NOVEMBER 19, 1085

I have arrived in Chester, the first county I've found that my measly 668 troops can actually siege. Guess I shouldn't have pissed off that vassal, eh?

NOVEMBER 27, 1085

And now the Mercian troops are heading right for me. Is this my role to play, decoy? I see the English troops assaulting a Mercian county, but the Mercian troops are avoiding them completely. Maybe the 5% warscore is why.

DECEMBER 15, 1085

Predictable defeat.

DECEMBER 25, 1085

And I've lost all my troops again. Instead of starting over, I think I'll just cut my losses and stay home. Sir Robin reprises!

JUNE 23, 1086

The Scottish war ended, with Queen Gruoch I on the throne. She's a paranoid zealot negotiator, so of course nothing could go wrong there.

And the English-Mercian war goes fine, with 33% in King Harold's favor. I feel fine sitting at home watching.

AUGUST 9, 1086

My second son, Harald, is now an adult. His marriage will be to Eadhild, the heir to the county of Teviotdale.

AUGUST 23, 1086

Well, that was just in time. My ruler passed away, leaving Olver as the new Duke of The Isles. The Duke is dead, long live the Duke! (Okay, that just doesn't sound right, but whatever.)

56-newruler.png


TO BE CONTINUED...

I'm impressed that my first ruler made it 20 years, almost on the nose, too. Next post will cover Olver's reign. Like above, feel free to leave feedback, suggestions or comments. What am I doing that you like? What makes this boring? This is my first AAR, so feel free to nitpick.. about the style anyways.
 

unmerged(75409)

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I like your way of storytelling!! Please go on with further tales of brave duke Olver.

However I noticed that a few of the events you said were TPATT are actually vanilla. "disease strikes the siege camp" and "successful sally by the defenders" are stock vanilla stuff.

The other TPATT events look pretty cool, though! So far I have shied from using TPATT because I intensely dislike its de-jure map setup. However once my current campaign is done I might give it a try.
 

jordanjay29

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Ahh, you're right about the disease events for sieges. I know TPATT increases their frequency, though, so my 1.1k army that started out wound up being about 700 by the time I was able to assault. That's probably not too far off on accuracy anyways, since sieges were not the most reliable ways to keep armies together.

Thanks for the feedback and the interest. I'll get Olver's reign up here shortly.
 

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AND NOW THE CONTINUATION...

AUGUST 23, 1086

Olver starts his reign with the same territory his father had, only with more vassals than he ended with. The gavelkind succession has given Argyll to my oldest brother, Harald, and Carrick to my second brother, Hakan. Hakan is the only vassal that isn't a big fan of me, the ambitious brat has a claim to my title and the gumption to use it, pah. I send 20 gold his way to boost our relations.

57-newstateofaffairs.png


His court is also lacking a Marshal and a Court Chaplain, which I fill with Mac Congail of Galloway, who is not as angry with me as he was my father, and the Bishop of Iona respectively.

SEPTEMBER 5, 1086

With the arrival of Gilles Capet, my sister's husband, I now have a weak claim to the Kingdom of France available for me to press. It also comes with the exclusive Death Wish package, but I've been told that for 50 gold I can upgrade to the Suicide Mission package. I think I'll leave the claim be for now.

SEPTEMBER 23, 1086

I decide to call a Grand Hunt to celebrate my new reign.

In other news, my sister's new husband is claiming he's a better Stewart than my uncle, who's been Stewart for the last 10 years or so. He's certainly better than my sister is, who can only manage a measly 5 stewartship. Sorry Uncle, the kid is hired!

SEPTEMBER 27, 1086

My new ruler is as talented a bowman as his father was. A stag is downed and Olver becomes a Hunter, and gains +1 martial as well. Huzzah!

OCTOBER 5, 1086

58-wolvesonthehunt.png


Oh joy, wolves.

59-choices.png


Aren't these options great? What is it Hamlet said, to die, to sleep? Yeah, that's about the choice I've got here.

My ruler becomes infirm. Olver's reign is starting out VERY badly.

NOVEMBER 4, 1086

Success! The fruits of my ruler's last parting with his wife have taken hold, and a child will soon be born.

60-vassaltreachery.png


I've just noticed that my brother, the Count of Carrick, is under attack by the Count of Galloway, my Marshal. Thankfully, my brother Harald has stepped up to help his sibling, but with 2k troops sieging Carrick, I'm not sure that it's going to last long in Hakan's hands.

It's too bad the game doesn't let us intervene with our vassals to stop their wars.

MARCH 22, 1087

61-drystoneenclosure.png


With my first winter as a ruler over, I decided to start expanding my holdings again. The fort level needs to be raised, so I decide to build the next level of wall.

APRIL 10, 1087

My sister decided she wants to be the Chancellor. With no better candidates, and my aging mother's skills slipping, I acquiesce the request. With a level 16 skilled Chancellor, I can now start forging claims on whole duchies.

JUNE 5, 1087

A daughter is born, Astrid.

My father warned me about this vassal. Mac Congail of Galloway wants to become Duke. I think it's time to start plotting his downfall before he snatches the Duke of Galloway title and goes independent.

He must be well liked, I start with a 3.5% plot power. Ouch. And nobody wants to join me.

JULY 12, 1087

Galloway's spymaster is not a fan of the Count, so I may have an 'in' with him there. I've sent a purse of 20 gold to appease his feelings of guilt, but it seems that he's not quite there yet.

FEBRUARY 18, 1088

The Count of Galloway won his war, and my little brother Hakan came back to court with me. This only strengthens my resolve to see Mac Congail gone.

APRIL 17, 1088

I've sent my spymaster to uncover any plots that Mac Congail might be up to.

AUGUST 29, 1088

My father told me to think ahead with betrothals, and now that my brother is back in my court, I've arranged for his marriage to a Princess of the Holy Roman Empire. I hope she likes our cold, little castles.

DECEMBER 1, 1088

62-lostlord.png


Hmm, seven years lost? Did he wander off among the Norweigan fjords when we were fighting for King Olaf's Holy War? Ah, no matter, he's home now and that's what counts.

My ruler gains the Kind trait.

DECEMBER 4, 1088

Oh dear. My sister, the Chancellor, has treated with Count Mac Congail instead of his Spymaster. I guess I can enjoy the relations boost, but really, she should follow instructions better.

FEBRUARY 15, 1089

63-taxtragedy.png


It looks like sending my sister's husband to raise taxes wasn't the best idea. My peasants are still annoyed from when my father barred them from the city, I guess.

JUNE 1, 1089

My sister's efforts seem to have paid off, and Mac Congail's spymaster is now agreeable to join our plot. I send him a letter forthwith and eagerly await a reply.

JUNE 9, 1089

64-seductionplot.png


Well, not exactly the plot I was hoping to uncover. And that's a bit creepy, didn't she foster my brothers?

JUNE 18, 1089

65-plotting.png


Galloway's spymaster returns a letter with his eager acceptance. Let the plotting begin!

On a side note: does this mean my ruler isn't so kind? Or is he kinder to give his treacherous vassal a swift end?

AUGUST 6, 1089

With my financials still low, and the price of investments and mercenaries rising, I decide to raise the city taxes. My vassals graciously agree to this new law.

JANUARY 7, 1090

My brother Harald's wife, Eadhild, just inherited the county of Teviotdale. Now I guess I play the game of "Who dies first?" to ensure that their child inherits both counties and stays in my realm.

Also, both counties are Gavelkind, so I might not even get the chance to add Teviotdale to my realm. We'll see.

JANUARY 8, 1090

66-lookoutbelow.png


Seems like my co-conspirators want to see how well Mac Congail flies. Or doesn't, as in this case.

FEBRUARY 4, 1090

Well, gravity still works. Mac Congail's wings don't. His three counties were divided among his three sons, leaving me less of a headache to deal with in the future.

I appointed my brother Harald as Marshall in his place.

My next ambition is to have a son.

FEBRUARY 12, 1090

67-crusade.png


A crusade? For Wendland? Sure, why not?

FEBRUARY 27, 1090

68-financingthecrusade.png


It looks like the Pope is pretty aggressive, now he wants troops AND men. Actually, I think this is just a bit of a bug on TPATT's part, but it's funny nonetheless. It's a good event when it works, though.

In case you're wondering, the other option comes with a slight chance of excommunication. So when this fires, be prepared for a gold hit!

MARCH 2, 1090

Huh, a new courtier presented himself at court and decided he wanted to become our Chancellor. He's got the skills for it, at 18 Diplomacy, so why not? My sister's not going to rebel against me, and she might appreciate the time at home to raise her daughter.

MARCH 10, 1090

Scotland has a new King again. This is becoming a flavor of the decade for the Scots. This one seems a bit more stable than the paranoid negotiator, but it's her son, so only time will tell.

APRIL 2, 1090

69-plotagainstme.png


There's a plot against me?! Who could ever imagine doing such a thing?

Actually, all I can find is the seduction plot, which has no supporters. I'm split between crippling laughter and overwhelming pity for Sara af Glomminge.

MAY 19, 1090

The troops are assembled and loaded onto transports. To the Holy La-err, I mean, Wendland!

JUNE 24, 1090

70-crusade.png


I've arrived on the fields of Wendland and take to the battle immediately. CHARGE!

JUNE 29, 1090

71-crusadedestination.png


Looks like I picked a good place to land. I am a crusader.

JULY 4, 1090

72-maimed.png


Ugh, infirm and maimed. That's not a good start, I'm barely 4 years into my reign!

JULY 12, 1090

The good news is, my armies triumphed at their inaugural battle, and the warscore has jumped to +12%.

OCTOBER 29, 1090

73-newruler.png


After just four short years, my ruler died a maimed, infirm cripple. I pray that Astrid grows up to be a suitable ruler and can hold on to my lands. At least Astrid starts out with no new pretenders, just my landed brother, Harald, and my two unlanded brothers. With Mac Congail's lands divided, it's unlikely any can take a real stand against my new ruler, but only time will tell.

TO BE CONTINUED...
 

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Well, I'm trying a little different style for this one, I'd appreciate any feedback. It just kind of felt right to write with Astrid's voice, and not as the omniscient 'player' perspective. If it's too annoying, let me know, and I can try to tone it down a little.

AND NOW THE CONTINUATION

OCTOBER 29, 1090

Here's the sad state of affairs. My daddy, Olver, has gone away to the war-torn lands of Pommerania, crusading for the righteous state of Wendland. That's really far, all the way on the other side of the sea, says my Uncle Harald. I call him Harry, 'cause he's got such a big, hairy beard.

My name is Astrid Nic Olver Crovan. It's not Astro, Asterisk, Astringent, Asprin, Ashram, Ostrich, Athos, Alex or Claire. How do you even manage to get Claire from Astrid? Anyway, I'm 3 and 1/4 years old, I like Cranachan and riding on the back of the sheep that my uncle keeps on his lands in Argyll.

74-Astrid.png


This is me. I would draw you a picture of my family, but every time I do mommy cries and crosses out daddy from my picture. I don't know why she keeps crossing him out, daddy's coming home soon, right?

75-grumblingsfromthevassals.png


My mommy says the counts don't like me very much. I don't know why, I like them. I like Fingal's stories and how he always laughs at the end of them, like he was just kidding. Gilla-Brigte is so funny, he's always complaining about stuff that he doesn't like. Lorcan isn't afraid of anything, not even spiders! My Uncle Harald is fun, too, but then he gets all serious and sour, and I don't like that. I like my Uncle's daughter, though, she's fun to play with. Once we got lost in the castle and the whole village came in to look for us. It was fun to try to stay away from them and see them run around in circles, but then we got hungry and came out.

I guess I should tell you what's going on, so here goes!

NOVEMBER 22, 1090

76-grumblingsfromthepeasants.png


A wise man will, in a few centuries, say that the only thing in this world that is certain is death and taxes. Death seems pretty scary, so I'll stick with taxes. I don't know why people don't like them, but my Uncle says people are getting mad at me for the taxes.

DECEMBER 25, 1090

My Uncle Harald got in a big fight with my Uncle Gilles (he's the Stewart) today at the Christmas feast. They were talking about taxes, and money, and then before I could understand it all mommy took me upstairs to my room.

Then they told me that my best Christmas gift was that Lorcan agreed to be my new Stewart. I thought the doll was my best Christmas gift. I'm going to call her Lucy. She has the prettiest eyes, and her skin is really cute and yellow, kind of like old Bishop Erlend's teeth.

MARCH 9, 1091

77-crusadeended.png


My Uncle and mommy keep talking today about how 'it wasn't for naught' and my daddy's soul will rest in peace. They're scaring me, I want daddy to come home already now that the big war is over. Uncle Harald says that the big poop will look on us flavorably now, I didn't know that you could taste poop. I'll have to try it sometime, I think the stables have a bunch.

MARCH 10, 1091

My Uncles Harald and Hakan were talking tonight about being of age and spying. I thought they were talking about me hiding in the closet, but they kept saying they didn't want to upset Mayor Eamonn. I don't really like Mayor Eamonn, he's always so bitter and angry, and he makes people do things he doesn't want to. Maybe my Uncles shouldn't care so much about upsetting Mayor Eamonn.

What's a Spymaster anyways, and why does it matter who does it?

78-newspymaster.png


MARCH 16, 1091

My Uncle Hakan is now so old that people think he needs someone to take care of him. I didn't know people needed caretakers when they turned sixteen, but mommy says that's just the way it is. She said something about a weeding, but I don't think there are any weeds in the ground yet, it's still too cold out.

79-weeding.png


Anyways, this really pretty girl from someplace in Germany came and stood with Uncle Hakan in the chapel. Bishop Erlend talked for a long time and I think I fell asleep, but then they let me throw rice at Uncle Hakan and the German girl. It was fun. Then there was dancing, and my cousin Brigida and me chased all the birds that were eating the rice.

APRIL 26, 1091

80-marshes.png


I'm glad they're making the water go away, my Aunt Cecilia kept scaring me with stories about ghosts that come from the Moors at night.

JUNE 5, 1091

I turned 4 today. Mommy came from Clydesdale with her new husband (I don't like him very much, he's mean and Uncle Hakan said he's really shady), and we had a big party in the courtyard. Uncle Harald said he thought I should start tagging along with my Uncle Erlend and Aunt Cecilia instead of being with my Nurse. I liked Helga, but Erlend is funny and Cecilia is okay, even though she can be a little bossy.

JUNE 15, 1091

Uncle Gilles came back today and begged my Uncle Harald for a spot at court. He said he could do a better job than Uncle Hakan. My Uncle Harald just shook his head and sent Uncle Gilles away, but Uncle Gilles got this really mean look in his eyes and said he would make me pay. I don't get it, didn't he used to get people to pay him? Why does he need my money?

81-nonewspymaster.png


FEBRUARY 21, 1092

My Uncle Harald was pretty furious today. He said everyone was turning against him, and eventually, I would, too! I begged my Aunt Cecilia to tell me what he meant, but she just said that the conniving wanker, Ale av Sudreim, would get his due. I thought Chancellor Ale was a nice guy, he always dresses so pretty, but he eats too much and is too stubborn. Maybe that's why he's going to get his due?

Chancellor Ale came to me later and told me he would be taking care of me from now on.

JUNE 2, 1092

Uncle Hakan and that German lady had a son, Ingemar. He's so cute and wrinkly, I can't wait to have a baby for my own!

JUNE 15, 1092

My cousin, Sioban, came to court today to learn from Chancellor Ale. Yay, someone new to play with!

MARCH 4, 1093

Uncle Hakan is leaving today to go to Galloway. He said they have a new kind of Castle defense that he wants to study. Chancellor Ale joked that if you put up de fence, then de sheep can't get to de pasture. He's so funny, he had me laughing until my sides hurt.

JULY 14, 1093

Aunt Cecilia has really become a pain. Not only is she bossy, but she keeps daring me to do stuff that gets me in trouble. And today I was feeding the ducks, and she threw a stone in the pond and made them swim away. She's always sneaking along a skin of wine or some bread under her dress when we go to play, and I keep seeing her come out of the kitchens with a smile on her face. I hope she has to take care of some really ugly boy when she grows up.

Uncle Erlend, though, he's funny and he likes me. He's always thinking of new things to do, but he changes his mind a lot.

AUGUST 17, 1093

Uncle Hakan came back today and he came into the study where Chancellor Ale was showing me some new fabrics. Uncle Hakan had this long letter with a lot of signatures on bottom and he showed it to Chancellor Ale. I don't think it was good news, because Chancellor Ale just nodded and gave it back to Uncle Hakan, wishing him the best with his Regency. I dunno what that means, but I don't think Uncle Hakan likes Chancellor Ale.

AUGUST 28, 1093

83-childhoodfriends.png


Aunt Cecilia, Uncle Erlend, Arnvid Bjornsson, Cousin Sioban and Cousin Mauda, these are my friends and the people I like a lot and they like me. We grew up together, and we should always stay together!

MARCH 10, 1093

Uncle Hakan was talking tonight at dinner about the Norse fight with the Scots over Ross, which includes the isthmus that we have to use to get to the south part of Sudreyer from our castle of Finlaggan in the winter when the sea is cold and dangerous. He says that this is what could happen when nobles swear fealty to a throne and not a person, then it gets tossed around like cricket ball. I noticed Uncle Harald and Count Lorcan looking kind of uncomfortable when he said that.

MAY 9, 1094

Uncle Harald and his wife had a son, and they named him Olver. He kept saying that his brother would be proud, but I didn't get it until Uncle Hakan told me that daddy's name was Olver.

JUNE 24, 1094

84-marshalsidea.png


Uncle Harald said he had this great new plan, but I didn't get any of it. Uncle Hakan said he could have the money, though, so I guess that is that. They said I would understand it when I got older and 'come into [my] own'.

SEPTEMBER 19, 1094

Uncle Hakan and Harald were talking last night about Arnvid and how marvelous a job he would do. I didn't get it until they said they were sending Chancellor Ale away. I liked Chancellor Ale, but I like Arnvid, too. This Duchess stuff sucks sometimes.

OCTOBER 2, 1094

Uncle Hakan said he was going away to Clydesdale for a little bit, but that Chancellor Arnvid and Uncle Harald could take care of me. I don't get what he meant by 'stir up [my mother]'s paranoia' and 'secure the succession'. I thought mommy's new baby would be a good thing! I want a brother, is that so wrong?

OCTOBER 18, 1094

A letter came today from my mommy, and she wrote that I have a brother, Amlaib MacAmlaib! She said I can't see him until Christmas, though.

OCTOBER 31, 1094

Uncle Harald said the Norse-Scottish war is going badly for the Scots, but in a few years we might have friendly territory neighboring us. I don't know why he said that, I thought the Scots in Ross were pretty friendly when we've passed through before.

DECEMBER 3, 1094

The Norweigan's won their war against Scotland, and appointed someone over the county next door in Ross. When I was up on the parapets playing with Sioban, we saw a lot of Scottish troops walking south, it was like a sea of people. Can people be seas?

DECEMBER 8, 1094

85-conventfire.png


Uncle Harald has been letting me sit in the Great Hall when he receives people recently. Today this old monk came in and talked about a big fire that happened. Chancellor Arnvid said it was a bad time, and Count Lorcan wasn't very happy with spending that much money, but Uncle Harald agreed to the prior's request. I think it made the man very happy, who cares if it costs a bit of gold?

APRIL 2, 1095

Chancellor Arnvid and a noble lady from the city were married today. Arnvid looks so happy, but I think his Lady Caitlin is kind of a bitch. Oops, I'm not supposed to say that word, every time Aunt Cecilia uses it Uncle Harald yells at her.

JUNE 5, 1095

Today is my 8th birthday. Uncle Hakan came back from Clydesdale for my birthday, which he said was the most important birthday I've ever had, even though I could tell he was kind of sad. He said he would start tutoring me in the ways of nobility and diplomacy.

Uncle Harald let me ride on his horse and I got really nice gifts from all my friends and family. Even Aunt Cecilia was nice, she picked out a really pretty material to have a dress made for me.

SEPTEMBER 20, 1095

Cousin Mauda turned 16 today and there was a little party for her. Her dress was so pretty, but she looked really sad after Uncle Hakan and Great-Uncle Donnall said they would have to make some kind of arrangements for her. They seemed kind of annoyed with it.

OCTOBER 10, 1095

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Uncle Hakan told me I'm pretty kind. Yeah, I guess I am.

NOVEMBER 5, 1095

Uncle Hakan and Harald were pretty pleased with themselves after they announced that Cousin Mauda would be married to Ale av Sudreim matrilineally. I don't know what that means, but Uncle Hakan said that now they had the last laugh, but nobody was laughing. Grown-ups are weird.

FEBRUARY 4, 1096

8788-happierandhappiertoo.png


Everyone seems happier with me this year. Count Lorcan even announced that this year we would start on the new keep expansion, just as soon as the snow melted. Maybe people will be nicer to me now.

FEBRUARY 9, 1096

Uncle Hakan and his wife had another baby, Azur. He sure picks funny names for his sons.

APRIL 5, 1096

89-ragstonebailey.png


The snows have melted and Count Lorcan said he can start the construction now. He'll even supervise it so it might go faster.

MAY 4, 1096

Cousin Mauda told me she hopes her first child is a daughter. I think I'd rather have a son first, I never get to see my little brother but I think boys are cuter than girls. Uncle Erlend is nicer than Aunt Cecilia, for example.

JUNE 20, 1096

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Uncle Hakan showed me the report he got from his informants. He talked about the treacherous Chancellor of Kantes and how we had been so hospitable to him when his court visited last Christmas, and now they wanted our lands. He was pretty furious.

JUNE 27, 1096

91-fabricatedclaim.png


Uncle Hakan showed me the Chancellor of Kantes' fabricated letter, and how he could tell it was a fake. He pointed out the different kinds of inks and papers that were used in official-like documents, and what all the different waxes were to seal things. Now I understand why everyone always lights a candle when they write, even when it's light out.

SEPTEMBER 25, 1096

Aunt Cecilia is now 16. I didn't want to go to her party, but Uncle Hakan made me, saying it was good to 'make an appearance at events like these.' Uncle Hakan and Harald were really excited about Aunt Cecilia, apparently they've gotten lots of letters from potential suitors, like the Duke of Flanders or the King of Bavaria. I hope she gets stuck with some really old husband.

Aunt Cecilia begged her brothers to send her to Bavaria. She really wants to be queen, she said. I left the party at that point, the last thing I need is to hear her bragging to the whole place how she's leaving to become queen of a civilized nation and we're all so backwards here. Cecilia is so conceited like that.

OCTOBER 11, 1096

92-goodriddance.png


Good riddance to bad blood, I say!

OCTOBER 15, 1096

My mother sent word that she'd like Bishop Ualtar of St. Kentigern to foster me. I've come to Clydesdale to learn from him at my mother's court.

NOVEMBER 2, 1096

93-wroth.png


So what if he got a bloody nose, that kid was being mean! He should know better than to mock me, ME, Duchess of The Isles! Aunt Cecilia's not around anymore to boss me around, and Uncle Hakan and Harald are two weeks away by carriage.

NOVEMBER 8, 1096

94-patient.png


Bishop Ualtar is a good man, and he's taught me to be patient. I went and apologized to the boy I punched.

DECEMBER 25, 1096

Mother announced that she had wonderful news, she's pregnant. I don't know why she needs another kid, I already have a little brother, and one is enough. I wouldn't mind a little sister, though, I guess.

TO BE CONTINUED...

Decided to stop here before I run out of image quota, and the next few years get a bit interesting for Duchess Astrid Nic Corvan. Stay tuned for more of her story, and let me know what you think, as per usual. Any and all feedback is welcome.
 

CatKnight

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Looking good so far! Kind, patient and wrathful is quite the interesting combination. Astrid's already outlived her father (in length of reign), so she can't do that badly.
 

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Looking good so far! Kind, patient and wrathful is quite the interesting combination. Astrid's already outlived her father (in length of reign), so she can't do that badly.

Yeah, I'd be surprised if Duchess Astrid doesn't turn into the longest reigning ruler of this area, a la Queen Victoria. Maybe someday it'll be Queen Astrid. ;)

Please proceed!Your AAR made me donwload the Prince and the Thane and so far it has been awesome for me.
What`s your next steps-revolting Scotland or desintegrated Ireland?

I haven't thought that far ahead, I finished getting through Astrid's regency, which I'll post up here soon. I'm sure Astrid has ambitions and dreams of her own. Owning Clydesdale is an obvious first step once her mother dies. The one issue with expanding too much is the risk of losing it all on succession with the Gavelkind succession, so Astrid's probably going to have to do something about that. I love Primogeniture myself, but it always turns into a bad thing for vassals to follow when it comes time to dole out titles. Maybe Elective? Or maybe Astrid can beat the clock and take a King title before she dies? Who knows?
 

jordanjay29

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AND NOW THE CONTINUATION...

JANUARY 16, 1097

95-construction.png


Count Lorcan writes that the construction is really coming along, and I'll be amazed at the new castle wing when I get back.

MARCH 5, 1097

I have a new baby sister! Her name is Caissene Nic Amlaib, and she's all red and bald and cute. Mother let me hold her for a litle bittoday, and it was really neat.

APRIL 23, 1097

Uncle Hakan wrote today that Bishop Erlend passed way in his sleep. He thinks Uncle Gilles would be a good choice for the Court Chaplain, but he wants my approval. I'm going to write a letter to him tonight that I think Uncle Gilles would be fantastic. Then I can have all my uncles together when I come back to court!

JUNE 5, 1097

Bishop Ualtar wouldn't let me go to Finlaggen for my birthday, as he said it would interrupt my studies, but he did let me open my presents today. Mother had a new dress made for me, and there was a letter with freshly pressed flowers in it from Sioban! She writes about all the things I'm missing, how the castle is coming, Chancellor Arnvid's new baby girl and the cobbler in town that she keeps eyeing. She says when I come back we can go spy on him and find a nice boy for me. I'm not sure if I want a boy, most of them don't like me very much, except for Uncle Erlend, who's the same age as Sioban.

DECEMBER 12, 1097

My brother, Amlaib, kept asking for my doll to play with, so I just gave it to him. Is that so wrong?

DECEMBER 15, 1097

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Bishop Ualtar says that Duchesses don't have to be kind and give away all their toys, they can ask for things most people can't. I guess he has a point. Amlaib cried when I took back the doll, but it's mine, he should find his own toys to play with!

JANUARY 13, 1098

98-brave.png


Snow and ice doesn't bother me, I'll climb the castle anyway. Big dogs, little spiders, snakes and wolves and bears, they don't bother me! Okay, maybe a bear would, but they're so BIG!

FEBRUARY 19, 1098

Sween1.jpg

Credit: http://www.maybole.org/history/castles/index5.htm

Count Lorcan wrote today to tell me that the castle is complete, and now much bigger and thicker. An enemy will have a much harder time getting in, or so Uncle Harald claims.

APRIL 22, 1098

Uncle Hakan writes that Chancellor Arnvid is acting like he's sick. He keeps roaming the castle, looking for something, and is utterly convinced that someone is going to get him. Uncle Hakan thinks he's going mad, and says that Ale av Sudreim has offered to resume his post as Chancellor.

I don't want Arnvid to get hurt, so I think Uncle Hakan should make them switch. Maybe Arnvid just needs a break or something. Go someplace warm. Visit Aunt Cecilia in Bavaria?

MAY 7, 1098

News has finally reached us here in the north about the new King Edmund of England. That doesn't bother me much, but Bishop Ualtar insists that the current Scottish war for the throne and Lothian's declaration of independence means that conditions are poor to travel and I should stay another year in Clydesdale for my birthday. By the time I get back home, everybody's going to be old and grey!

AUGUST 9, 1098

Mother has gone mad! She's written her Duke that she no longer cares to be part of Lothian and is claiming herself free from Lothian, Scotland and everyone else. Bishop Ualtar is avoiding me now, I wonder why that could be.

AUGUST 28, 1098

99-battleforclydesdale.png


Oh my god! There's a battle going on, right outside the castle! The army was supposed to be marching south to meet Lothian troops, but they must have doubled back and they've caught them with their backs to the river! There are so many men, I think Clydesdale is outnumbered at least 2-to-1.

SEPTEMBER 5, 1098

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Mother wants me to commit my troops to help her. I don't have time to write for advice, and everyone is asking me what I'll do. I wish I were back in Finlaggen!

Uncle Harald writes that he's started raising our troops immediately in response, and will be coming down to Galloway and Carrick by boat to lead the relief troops himself.

SEPTEMBER 18, 1098

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The men from Carrick arrived and already the Lothian army got scared. They're pulling back now, and I think I hear the drums for a retreat.

SEPTEMBER 22, 1098

Count Fingal led the men from Carrick and Galloway, since Uncle Harald isn't here yet, and they spent the last couple days mopping up the Lothian troops. They all fled into the woods now, and their empty camp smells really bad. Fingal says he can't wait for our troops from Sudreyar, and he's going to march on Lothian tomorrow. He thinks he can beat the Duke back to his own castle.

NOVEMBER 8, 1098

Uncle Harald and the rest of the troops from Sudreyar arrived today, and they met up with the men from the Isle of Man, who came last week. They're not staying for long, Uncle Harald says they need to march now before the snows set in. I hope he comes back alive!

DECEMBER 7, 1098

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Mom is Celtic, Bishop Ualtar is Celtic, so are the Counts who aren't my Uncle. Why aren't my Uncles and my family Celtic?

DECEMBER 31, 1098

A sledge came today with the body of Count Gilla. His men said that he died scouting around the Lothian castle for an entrance, and got caught out in a blizzard. Long live Countess Aife of the Isle of Man!

FEBRUARY 14, 1099

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Aunt Cecilia used to always say that the answer to these things was 42. I don't know why she said that, but she didn't really have much between her ears. I'm sure Bishop Ualtar will have a better answer.

MARCH 15, 1099

Doesn't Uncle Hakan know there's a war going on right outside my doorstep?! This is a rather silly time to be asking about a duel. But I like him, so why not? I just hope he doesn't get himself hurt, or killed!

MARCH 27, 1099

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Bishop Ualtar passed away today. I don't think he ever answered my question, though! Maybe he'll ask Jesus when he gets to Heaven and he'll send an angel to tell me.

Mother says it's much too dangerous to stay here, so I think I shall return home. Perhaps Uncle Hakan will teach me again.

MAY 13, 1099

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Uncle Hakan and I invited the Knights in and we had a big feast for them. It doesn't really feel the same with Uncle Harald and all the big soldier men missing, though.

AUGUST 9, 1099

Uncle Harald wrote from the field that his army captured the castle of Teviotdale and are marching to rejoin the troops at Lothian. I hope this war is over soon.

DECEMBER 6, 1099

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Ingeman and Ragnhild Maria are two more children I consider friends!

FEBRUARY 2, 1100

We just got word from the armies that the siege of Lothian is over, but Duke Godwin and his family fled to Dunbar. Uncle Harald isn't giving up, though, but neither is the Duke.

FEBRUARY 11, 1100

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The Duke hurriedly set pen to paper as he saw troops marching on his refuge at Dunbar. The war is over and my mother's lands are free. Now Uncle Harald will come home!

FEBRUARY 26, 1100

Uncle Erlend turned 16 today. He's a pretty decent soldier, he thinks that he could challenge Uncle Harald to a fight and win. Uncle Hakan says he's a piss poor fighter, though.

MARCH 4, 1100

Uncle Harald is finally home today! He doesn't seem very worse for the wear, and he put down Uncle Erlend pretty quickly in the sparring match they held in the courtyard. He said Uncle Erlend has a lot of talent, but no real skill yet.

While he was out on campaign, someone said that Uncle Harald got knighted. That probably explains why he seems more serious than usual.

APRIL 5, 1100

The Scottish war is now over and their king is a 13 year old boy. Sounds pretty stupid if you ask me, fighting a war against a fully-grown king only to hand the country over to a kid. And the kid's regent is his father, the former king. You tell me how THAT makes sense.

JUNE 5, 1100

I turned 13 today, and I had a big party at home (finally!). Sioban was there, even Uncle Erlend and my other Uncles. So was Cousin Mauda, with her new baby daughter. Uncle Hakan paid for the feast with his own money, and the food was SOOOO good! But best of all was when Uncle Harald came into the hall leading a horse, and told me that it was mine! A horse for myself, I'm so happy!

JUNE 10, 1100

Cousin Sioban turned 16 today and we celebrated her birthday. I'm kind of sad it wasn't as big as my party was, but we still had fun. Next year, we should celebrate our birthdays together on the 7th!

Great-Uncle Donnall says that Cousin Sioban probably won't be here next year. All the best suitors are in other courts, which means that Sioban will have to leave, like Aunt Cecilia did. I'll be so sad when she does.

JUNE 14, 1100

I cried today when the news came that Aralt MacMael Athfotla, Prince of Scotland, Spymaster of Gowrie and heir to the Bishopric of Dunkeld, agreed to marry Cousin Sioban. She's leaving tomorrow and we probably won't ever see each other again.

DECEMBER 1, 1100

I just remember the maid's red eyes and her screams as my Uncles tried to calm her down enough to get the news from her lips. Only after she'd stopped crying and drunk half a skin of wine did we hear what she had found, Count Lorcan in a mess at the bottom of the stairs. His lame leg must have given out while he was walking down, and it led to his death in the cold, empty stairwell.

Poor, poor Count Lorcan. His son, Mac Congail, is the new Count of Carrick now.

DECEMBER 7, 1100

My Uncles have been debating on who would be the best replacement for Count Lorcan now as Stewart. They finally settled on Mayor Eamonn. I wonder why they wouldn't pick Great-Uncle Domnall, or Arnvid, they're both pretty good with money. Why old, bitter Mayor Eamonn?!

FEBRUARY 18, 1100

Mayor Eamonn walked out after a disagreement with Uncle Hakan and Uncle Gilles. Thank God, I don't really think he was doing a good job with the money. Now starts the endless debate again over who to succeed him.

FEBRUARY 28, 1100

Fortunately, a young noble from the country has come and offered his services as Stewart. He's pretty good, even better than old, Count Lorcan was. I pray he lives long enough...

APRIL 6, 1101

Mother actually wrote to me, after missing my birthday last year. I was just about to throw the letter in the fire, when I noticed the sketch of her enclosed with the letter. In it, she's sitting on a chair with her husband behind her, and has my six year old brother standing beside her and my four year old sister on her lap. In her arms, however, is a little baby, my youngest sister, Deirdre, from the letter. I decide to pin up the sketching instead.

APRIL 22, 1101

Uncle Harald's been teaching me how to ride like a warrior does, even though Uncle Hakan and Chancellor fret and putter something about 'women and horses'. I went riding into town today, and I almost got into a tangle with another rider after catching the eye of the cooper's apprentice. I might have to go back into town again this afternoon, for, uhh, something.

JUNE 5, 1101

It just doesn't seem very celebratory without Cousin Sioban here. I got a letter from her last week wishing me a happy 14th birthday, and she tells me that she's very happy with her new husband. I just wish she was happy and coming here.

AUGUST 4, 1101

The goats escaped from their pen for the fourth time this summer. Uncle Hakan thinks that we should build a barn for them so they don't keep making more work for the goatherds. I agree with him and the men in town have set to work. Stewart Archibald says it would bring in more money, since we'll be spending less on replacing goats and fences.

NOVEMBER 11, 1101

Uncle Hakan suggested that we hold a great feast for the realm at our castle this year. I could hardly contain my excitement, and said we must, absolutely. I can't wait to get started on the preparations, there is so much to do!

NOVEMBER 16, 1101

111-dancersforthefeast.png


Uncle Gilles found these dancers performing in town and commissioned them for my feast. I think they're fantastic!

I wasn't as impressed by the fire-eater, he almost singed my hair!

The jongleurs were wonderful, though. They seem to know all the best songs, and they know some that I've never heard before. I convinced Stewart Archibald that we should hire them, too.

DECEMBER 14, 1101

Of course we have to have good food. What kind of a feast would there be if we served shit food?!

DECEMBER 21, 1101

My hand hurts after penning the last of the invitations, but they're all done and the couriers have scattered to the ends of my realm. Hopefully they make it to the south before the snows come in, winter has been late this year, but Uncle Harald says it's roaring in from Iceland quickly.

FEBRUARY 9, 1102

A blizzard kept everyone at bay for almost two weeks, so the feast is a little late this year. The cook says the storm kept the meatstuff preserved, though, so we should have enough food to entertain everyone. The last of my vassals arrived yesterday, and preparations are quickly underway for the feast.

FEBRUARY 12, 1102

I can't believe how amazing it was! The dancers were great and the minstrels led everyone in songs. There was so much food and wine, but everyone ate plenty and it's actually almost gone now.

Count Fingal is kind of stuffy, he wouldn't take any more wine. I was just trying to be a proper hostess and refill his goblet myself. What's his problem anyways?

MARCH 1, 1102

Uncle Harald's family stayed the longest, and while they were here his daughter, Brigida, and I would stay up and talk for HOURS after everyone had gone to bed. She's the same age as me, so it's kind of like having Sioban to talk to again. I'm sad she's gone, but we've promised to write each other. Maybe I'll go see her this summer.

MARCH 12, 1102

The goat barn was raised today and it seems that the goats are happy about it. The goatherds sure are.

Stewart Archibald suggested we do the same for the Cattle.

JUNE 5, 1102

My Uncles told me at my birthday celebration that they would start looking for a proper suitor for me. Too bad the blacksmith's son isn't in the running.

AUGUST 24, 1102

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Uncle Hakan wouldn't explain what 'incompetant' meant, so I had to look it up in his dusty, old books. I'm not sure I like the peasants anymore...

OCTOBER 24, 1102

The Cattle Barn has been built, and just in time for the winter, too. Stewart Archibald says this is a perfect time to ask for taxes, and he's gone out to the country to collect it.

JANUARY 8, 1103

Uncle Hakan has been getting letters from potential suitors all across Europe. He's told me about a few, but I don't get this whole 'marrying for alliances' thing. Can't I just marry the cook's apprentice and live happily ever after?

MARCH 9, 1103

Uncle Hakan says he has the suitors boiled down to two.

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I kind of like how Beuves describes himself, he seems so sophisticated. But Uncle Hakan says that Helge Saemundrsson would be a better alliance for our family.

MAY 8, 1103

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Beuves de Normandie has written his regrets that he has already found a wife, so Uncle Hakan has written to the Count of Vesturland to accept his proposal for my betrothal to his brother, Helge at Oddi. I hear he's a musician!

JUNE 5, 1103

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Today is the day of my 16th birthday. Today is the day when Uncle Hakan has said I will start my own rule, free to do whatever I wish, to rule in whatever manner I please. I know he's just being proper, that I can't really do anything, but it feels wonderful nonetheless. It's like the whole world is just waiting for me.

Then they led me to the Great Hall. Uncle Hakan's chair was gone, and the great throne chair looks lonely without it sitting there. I used to sit on his lap, or on a bench nearby when he let me sit on in his court sessions. Now they're my court sessions. It's at this point that I realized my dress was tied too tightly, I could hardly breath. Quietly choking, I walked toward the throne chair, which has been empty for almost 13 years, since my father left for his failed and fatal campaign in the crusades.

The chamber roars in applause as I take my seat, but I can hear none of it over the pounding of my heart and the little, raspy gasps of my breath.

It occurred to me, after the applause died down, that the court was waiting for me to speak. I had no idea what to say, my Uncle Hakan is much better in this regard, but I stood up. I cleared my throat and miraculously, my lungs found air. I opened my mouth and what came out of it amazed even me.

"Today is the first true day of my reign, and I am Duchess Astrid Nic Olver Crovan, first of my name, Duchess of Mann and the Isles; my blood is Norse but my breath is Celtic and my people are mine. This is my story."

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TO BE CONTINUED...
 

jordanjay29

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Thanks for all the feedback, guys. I had started another game to work for a Greek Orthodox Sicily, but I've come back to this after seeing the interest here. Here's another update to satisfy your curious souls:

AND NOW THE CONTINUATION...

JUNE 16, 1103

Helge Saemundrsson, even his very name is strange. The first warning of his arrival came from the shouts in the marketplace as they spotted a tall ship on the horizon. My Stewart, Archibald, was giving me a tour of the town and talking about what he saw needed improvements. We stopped for a time to watch the ship before finishing our tour. Archibald retired to the castle while I stayed in the marketplace. The rush of adrenaline was overwhelming, is this how the people felt every time a foreign dignitary or trade ship came into port?

Here in the Western Isles, there isn't much in the way of traffic, so yes, every visitor was a reason to celebrate. I was more accustomed to seeing the ship pull in from the balcony of the keep, or being told only when the visitor had already come up from the town. Being able to see the ship pull into the harbor firsthand, watching the townspeople row out and help pull it into port, that was a thrilling experience.

A tall man, his neck adorned in furs, stepped off the boat first. He stopped to speak with the harbormaster, who is really nothing more than a fisherman, albeit a very good one. Once the tall man was finished, he seemed to be waiting for something. For a while, the townspeople and the man stared at each other, each for different reasons. Finally, irate I suppose, the tall man called out in a thick accent for some kind of carriage or a litter. I wondered sourly if this was the noble Helge Saemundrsson.

Before I could step out and explain that we simply walked in this town, another man stepped down from the gangway and brushed past the tall man. The tall man demanded to know where the other man was going, to which the other man replied, "To the castle."

I smiled to myself, knowing exactly who the other man was at that point. And on the day of our wedding, this day, I was just as pleased to be marrying Helge Saemundrsson as I was when I first met him.

JUNE 18, 1103

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It's been a whirlwind of meetings and discussions since my birthday, but I finally feel like I have a handle on my realm. The region around us is in turmoil, the English to the south have only just crowned a new king six years ago, and the Scottish kings turn over about once every 10 years. Lothian has been independent now for about 8 years or so, and the northern lands of Ireland are a cluster of fiercely independent lords who deign to call themselves king. Wales is almost firmly divided between a northern and southern kingdom, only a few small stragglers have resisted.

I believe that it is time to bring some stability to this region, and I think it's up to me to bring it. My Uncle Hakan doesn't believe it's possible for a woman to bring a kingdom to it's knees. We'll see how long he laughs when I'm Queen of all Scotland. For now, though, I'm aiming small, I wouldn't mind adding just one or two new regions to my realm.

JULY 22, 1103

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Uncle Erlend has come to me and convinced me that he could be a better spymaster than my Uncle Hakan. Even after all those years as regent, I have to agree that Uncle Hakan is far better at managing than scheming. After all, who was it that got Aunt Cecilia to confess that she was the one who had put pebbles into the guard's bread and made one of them break their teeth? And he even managed to get her to do it without becoming a victim of her revenge.

AUGUST 6, 1103

Chancellor Ale is convinced that I have some ancient ancestry through my mother which would allow me to claim Lothian. I'm not so convinced, but I let him travel to Lothian to find out anyways. Maybe he'll come back with something I can use, or something Uncle Erlend can misuse.

JANUARY 1, 1104

My mother has turned cowardly and has sworn fealty to the King Aed of Scotland. Clydesdale should belong to me!

MARCH 24, 1104

Count Fingal of Galloway is dead! His little four-year-old son, Mael-Duin, inherited. Now most of my vassals are all children, Uncle Harald is the only one left who's old enough to attend at court.

JULY 5, 1104

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We've been trying for a year, but I think I'm finally with child. I hope it's a boy!

OCTOBER 29, 1104

Stewart Archibald surprised me by coming directly to me instead of Uncle Gilles or Aunt Thora. He asked if I would give my permission for him to ask my Cousin Ragnhild for a marriage. I said I would, I think those two would look lovely together, but I told him he could only marry her on the condition that all their children would be of our dynasty, not his. He agreed.

JANUARY 5, 1105

Uncle Hakan came to me with a strange proposition. His wife, Adelheid, is the claimant to the County of Holland, across the North Sea on the European continent. I asked him why he wants my help to press his claim, or to go away to Holland anyways. He said his work here was done, and it was time to carve out a new empire.

I asked Uncle Hakan to lead the troops for his own invasion.

FEBRUARY 6, 1105

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I'm so very happy for my beautiful, new, baby daughter. I've named her Caissene, after my mother.

FEBRUARY 19, 1105

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I've heard word that the troops have braved the winter seas and landed on Holland. I wish them luck.

JULY 23, 1105

Uncle Hakan writes with frustration that the Dutch must have tunnels or some way to smuggle food in, as his sieges are taking longer than he thought. I've sent more supplies and food, but I can't spare any more men for this conquest.

NOVEMBER 5, 1105

Stewart Archibald and Cousin Ragnhild have a daughter, Snofrid.

NOVEMBER 11, 1105

Uncle Hakan writes of victory in his siege of Zeeland.

DECEMBER 6, 1105

Apparently the caslte of Vlaardingen in Holland fell as soon as the snow began to fall.

FEBRUARY 13, 1106

How sad for the Dutch! The mercenary company they were using was too expensive for them, and it's captain has pledged his service to me if I want it. The monthly cost is minimal, so I'll keep him on for a while, until Holland has fallen.

APRIL 27, 1106

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I had no idea Stewart Archibald was still trying to get the people to pay more taxes. I honestly think that's a bad idea right now, so I've recalled him.

OCTOBER 6, 1106

Uncle Hakan writes that the last castle of Holland has fallen, and the duchy is his. I've written that he has full power to negotiate whatever kind of peace he deems necessary. Good luck, Uncle. I pray you have a long life.

OCTOBER 27, 1106

Uncle Hakan has requested that the troops stay to deal with a troublesome Dutch vassal who wants Holland for himself. I've agreed.

MAY 21, 1107

Norway just destroyed Scotland in a war for the county of Moray. I'm even more convinced that the King of Scotland is incompentant and deserves to be dethroned.

JULY 4, 1107

The war for Holland is finally won, and Duchess Adelheid's rule is secure.

AUGUST 18, 1107

The soldiers are home and the campaign is over. I'm already starting to miss Uncle Hakan, though.

SEPTEMBER 13, 1107

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Stewart Archibald has been monitoring the efforts of our country folk to clear out a large section of land from the forest, and today they started building a new section of the town out of the harvested lumber. This should greatly improve our economy.

NOVEMBER 18, 1107

I am with child again. I already have one beautiful daughter, how about another? Or a handsome, baby boy?

JUNE 19, 1108

I have a son! I named him Ølver, for my father.

SEPTEMBER 11, 1108

Uncle Erlend has convinced me, if I want to increase my lands I need to start being a little less careful. The easiest target would be to get Clydesdale to fall into my hands. For that to happen, my half-brother has to die and die soon.

SEPTEMBER 14, 1108

I've sent letters to all the members of my mother's court that I can remember favoring me during my time there, plus a few others that Uncle Erlend has dredged up. I'm sure some othem will back my plot.

SEPTEMBER 25, 1108

Good news, I have Clydesdale's Spymaster on my side. Surely this plot will work smoothly now.

JANUARY 11, 1109

I am pregnant once more.

MARCH 2, 1109

126 - monetary reforms

Stewart Archibald has some crazy ideas, but it sounds like they're going to bring in a bunch of money. That's good, I could always use more money. Maybe I'll buy a new dress, or have a crown made for myself. Or a new throne chair, the one I have is kind of lumpy.

MARCH 23, 1109

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I have a shyness that is criminally vulgar! I must get out more and meet more people.

But, you know, I could just stay at home. I'm not shy, just...not that outgoing.

JUNE 28, 1109

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I hid in my room for hours when I heard the news, I just couldn't stop crying at what my poor brother thinks of me now. How could I want to kill him? Am I that terrible of a person?!

AUGUST 12, 1109

I have a new son, named Imar. I think there's something wrong, though, he came out all curled and hunched. My poor, poor baby boy!

SEPTEMBER 9, 1109

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This should help me take my mind of things.

NOVEMBER 6, 1109

Uncle Erlend came to me to explain that there is another way to expand. There is an old claim to the Duke of Galloway that should rest within my realm, but neither my father nor my grandfather laid claim to it. If I took up the title for myself, I would be the Duchess of Galloway, and have justified claim on the county of Clydesdale. I wouldn't need to kill anyone.

I shall consider this option carefully.

APRIL 22, 1110

I had no idea when I allowed the duel that the opponent was my own stewart, Archibald. Now he's dead, and it's as if the blood is on my own hands!

My husband has offered to console me by applying his knowledge of Stewardship to my realm.

JUNE 9, 1110

Uncle Harald has just informed me that he has a claim to the neighboring county of Atholl, currently the seat of the Scottish nation. I think this is as good as any reason to press it and expand.

To war!

JULY 17, 1110

After a game of cat and mouse with Scottish troops, the siege of Blair Atholl has begun.

SEPTEMBER 1, 1110

My first victory! Our troops bested Scotland's in the fields around Dunkeld.

SEPTEMBER 2, 1110

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Uncle Erlend is wondering when a bride will come for him. Soon, I've promised, soon.

SEPTEMBER 16, 1110

The battle of Crieffe ends in our favor. Scotland's armies are torn and scattered among the lowlands.

SEPTEMBER 21, 1110

The defenders of Blair Atholl are nearly gone, and my troops take to the walls to conquer the fortress. It is ours, now.

SEPTEMBER 22, 1110

Princess Trude Wigeriche of the Holy Roman Empire has arrived to marry Uncle Erlend. Too bad the Emperor didn't extend us an alliance with that marriage.

SEPTEMBER 30, 1110

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A letter from King Aed of Scotland has arrived, and he pleads for an end to the war. He will give us what we want if we take our troops home or within the bounds of our new territory of Atholl.

I can't see any reason not to accept, I'd rather not fight as much as King Aed does. I do know, however, that he won't give up his crown without a fight. There are plenty of wars left in our future...

OCTOBER 15, 1110

The troops are home. I almost can't believe it, we actually managed to win a war. Maybe it's not such an uphill battle anyways, perhaps I can truly do this. Queen of Scotland, here I come!

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TO BE CONTINUED...