Part 3: The Duchy of Munster 1066 - 1073
Let's deal with these major alerts at the top of the screen before we unpause the game. Hovering over the first icon shows that we have vassals that might revolt. Specifically, we have one vassal who might revolt: the Lord Mayor of the county of Ormond. It's a relatively high chance, too. Clicking on the icon repeatedly will cycle through the character screens of any offending characters. Since we only have one, it only brings up the character screen for Ragnvald:
He really doesn't like us. I've hovered over the -43 to see exactly why, and it displays this breakdown. Short Reign is a negative modifier that is applied to new rulers, and it decays down to nothing over time. He also dislikes us because we're a foreigner. We're Irish, and he's Norwegian. Finally, the Wrong Government Type penalty occurs when a higher ranked (count or above) vassal is ruled by a liege with a different holding type. In this case, Ragnvald is the mayor of a city, and we're the lord of a castle. Let's see if we can do something to address this problem. Either click the little blue scroll next to his heir, or press Shift+A to open diplomacy with him.
Giving him a gift of gold will raise his relations with us temporarily. In this case, it would take nearly 2/3 of the money we have on hand - and more than 3 years of income just to raise his opinion of us to -22. This isn't worth it, we're not doing that.
We could give him an honorary title, which would give him a slight amount of monthly prestige and gold, but the result still wouldn't even be enough to get his relations to positive with us. It would help cut down on the revolt risk, but at this point I started feeling like maybe we should deal with this guy harshly instead.
We could revoke his title, but we really have no claim on his title and so this would be viewed as a somewhat tyrannical move by our other vassals. Now I'm thinking, why bother looking like the bad guy if he's likely to revolt anyway? If he does revolt, he'll be a known traitor and it'll be within our rights to revoke his county title without gaining a bad reputation. For now, I just decide to see how this plays out later.
Moving on, the next two icons indicate that both our ruler and our heir is unmarried. To arrange a marriage quickly and easily, you can just click on the blue button with the 2 rings below the empty wife portrait slot. Doing so will bring up this character browser from which you can select a spouse to wed to that character. Now, for whatever reason, I've noticed that you can view a much bigger pool of potential spouses by looking through the character browser instead, so that's what I'm going to do instead:
I set the filter options in the character browser to show all unmarried women of my religion in the world. The list it brings up now is much bigger than the one from the marriage button on our character panel.
I want to pick a spouse for both my main character and my heir, but I don't want to have to leave this menu and then come back a second time. So, what I do here is find a character that I like for my ruler and then mark her as a character of interest. To do this I right-clicked on Hedwig, then right clicked on the 'Go to Character' to the left of her portrait, and that brought up the further three context buttons - I click to mark her as a character of interest. I thought Hedwig would be a good match for my ruler because she still has about a decade of childbearing years, and she has a high diplomacy score which will help me get along with my vassals better. Remember, half of a spouses stats are added to your own as a component of your 'state stats'.
For my heir, I found a courtier named Cothilda. She's got the congenital trait 'brilliant', which would be a fantastic thing to pass on to children, as well as the hedonist lifestyle, which makes her likely to produce more children. She also has strong stats all around, which will be beneficial to our heir once he's ruling the Duchy. I mark her as a character of special interest as well, and then close the window.
Those two characters are now displayed on the slide-out panel on the right side of the screen. I can simply click on each one here to enter diplomacy with them.
After entering diplomacy with Hedwig, I click Arrange Marriage and then make sure that the proposal is for our Duke to marry her. Hovering over the scroll just above the Send button will show the factors taken into consideration for why a diplomatic action is acceptable or not. In this case, our marriage proposal is accepted because they have a high opinion of us. Clicking send dispatches a messenger to deliver our proposal, so it will be some time after we unpause it before the marriage officially goes through.
Next, we repeat the same thing to marry Cothilda to our heir. Clicking on her in the side menu opens diplomacy with her, but clicking Arrange Marriage defaults to proposing that she marry our current character rather than our heir. We've already got a marriage proposal on the way for ourselves, so we need to make sure we pick the right person here. Clicking on the larger portrait of ourselves at the bottom will let us pick who want to arrange a marriage for.
Now we're properly proposing that our heir Brian marry Cothilda. It looks like the proposal will be accepted, so it's sent off.
The fourth alert notifies us that our character can pick an ambition or plot to strive for. Clicking on this icon will open the intrigue screen and let us browse for one to pick.
Since we're going to be married any day now, I'm going to go ahead and pick the ambition to get married. After that ambition completes, I may go ahead and plot to revoke the title for Ormond. Using a plot to revoke a title will allow us to do so without angering our other vassals.
The final notification tells us that as the Duke of Munster, we can press a claim to gain the county of Desmond. We already know this from looking at the de jure list on our title screen and from looking at the de jure duchy map mode, but its nice to have this prominent warning to remind us.
Let's see if there's anything we can do to quickly bring Desmond under our control. I click on the county and then press Shift-A to open diplomacy with the county lord:
Clicking on Declare War, and then on the right clicking on our claim - 'De Jure Claim on Desmond' shows that winning this war would force Muiredach to become a vassal of ours. That would get Desmond into the Duchy of Munster, although not under our direct control. Let's take a look at the diplomatic option:
Offering Vassalization, if successful, would make him become a vassal of ours just the same. It looks like this is out of the question though. Muiredach is strongly convinced that we're weaker than he is, and that makes him completely unwilling to accept any offer of vassalization. Before we get in over our head, lets take a look and see how strong he actually is compared to us.
Going back to his character page, we can click on his Realm Tree button at the top to bring up the following screen:
On Muiredach's Realm Tree, we can hover over the percentage on his nameplate to see the number of troops he can currently raise. It looks like he can bring up 245 troops for battle at a moment's notice.
Taking a look at our military panel, we can see that we're capable of raising a total of 245 troops as well - 225 from our personal demesne, and 20 from our vassals. The Lord Mayor of Ormond can contribute a whopping 3 soldiers and 10 boats to any wars we may find ourselves in. Ragnvald, you are the worst person and an embarrassment to all Norwegian-Irish Lord Mayors. In any case, it looks like we'll need to bolster our forces a bit before we try to take Desmond whether its through war or through diplomacy. For now, we'll move on to assigning tasks to our council:
Our chancellor is sent to Ormond to try and improve our relations with the Lord Mayor. If he's successful, maybe we'll be able to lower or even eliminate his revolt risk, and maybe he'll be willing to send us more than literally just three people to help fight in a war.
Our marshal, who just happens to be our heir Brian, is sent to our capital to train troops. This will increase the size of our levies in Thomond by 35%!. A larger maximum force will give us a slight edge over Desmond and a little extra protection against Ragnvald if he decides to make a move against us.
The effects of our marshal's endeavors are immediately recognizable on our military screen. The maximum size of the levy from our demesne is now 303, up from 225. The actual number of troops we can raise is still 225 though. It will take some time for it to grow to the new cap.
Our steward is sent to collect taxes in our capital county. We're going to need money to start building infrastructure, and any extra amount helps.
Our spymaster is assigned to the task of uncovering plots in Thomond. This will increase our chance of discovering any scheming going on under our noses.
And finally, our chaplain is sent to improve religious relations in Thomond. As it was pointed out to me in the thread here, I can use this to improve my relations with a bishop in my realm. My hope is that I can improve my relations with the bishop of Thomond to the point that he'll actually start paying some taxes to me. And now that we have everything set to go, we can go ahead and unpause the game. Spacebar will pause or unpause, and the +/- keys on the numpad will increase or decrease game speed.
After a few days, we receive responses to our proposed arranged marriages. Both go through, and Hedwig and Cothilda arrive in our court to join our family.
Our chancellor wastes no time in proving that he's capable and temporarily improves our relations with Lord Mayor Ragnvald. Note that this is a bigger opinion increase than it would have been to hand over a large gift to him.
Our wife wastes no time either, and becomes pregnant within just a couple months of her arrival.
Not everything can go our way, though. Heresy has spread to our capital county, increasing the chance of a local revolt and tarnishing our piety. Our court chaplain's duty is immediately switched to head a local inquisition in Thomond in an attempt to eliminate the presence of the heresy.
A son is born to our duke named Donnchad. On one hand, I feel safer since in case something happens to Brian we have another heir, but on the other hand, our inheritance law is gavelkind. That's okay, though. We can figure out what we'll do about that when it becomes an issue.
After a few months of combating the heresy in Thomond, our court chaplain falls ill and dies. The poor guy wasn't up to the task. On the council screen I assign a new character to the position of court chaplain - the bishop who took his place as bishop of Killaloe.
Time ticks by as I wait for my wealth to grow enough to build some infrastructure. A couple of years go by without any events of consequence. During the down time, I make sure that some of our other relatives are wed. I don't marry off any claimants to our title, but we have some nephews and cousins without any claim to our lands who I'm completely happy to marry off. I like having a large dynasty with family all around.
By early 1069, we have enough funds to improve our holding.
I click on Thomond and select the county capital - the castle of Bunratty. Normally, I build economic buildings first: a castle village or the first two levels of walls starting with the wooden palisade. In this specific case, I'm concerned that I'm going to be in a war with the Lord Mayor of Ormond soon, and I want to make sure our numbers are bolstered enough that we can siege his holdings properly. Stables and Guard Quarters supply the most powerful troops, but the Militia Training Ground provides numbers, and numbers are what we need right now.
The militia training ground will add 90 extra base troops for us to raise for war should we need them, and its construction will finish in just under a year.
Ragnvald has finally shown his true colors, and he declares a war of independence. Unfortunately, he launches his invasion about 4 months before our training ground is set to finish construction.
On the military screen I raise our personal and realm levies, drag a box around them to select them all and hit 'G' to group them. Our combined force moves into Ormond to meet the army of the Lord Mayor.
Our army wins a hard fought battle at Waterford, and then goes on to siege the town as Ragnvald's remaining forces move towards Thomond. His remaining forces pose no threat though, as they aren't large enough in number to make any progress in sieges against our holdings.
The city of Waterford falls to our troops, but our remaining forces aren't large enough to successfully siege the remaining holdings in Ormond. Our training ground has finished construction by now though, so we can simply head home to disband and then reform our army.
Troops won't replenish in the field - you need to disband a levy and then call it back up to replenish numbers. It's a bit odd, actually. So for example, say you have max levy size of 200 men and go fight a battle where you lose 50. Your levy pool at home will slowly grow back to 50, but your 150 in the field will not gain any of those men unless you disband your troops and then re-raise all of your levies. Also, if you disband levies away from a home province or in a province where enemy troops are present, you will not return all of those levies to your available pool of troops. So if those 150 remaining troops in the above example are disbanded in enemy territory, you'll lose them all. If you march them to a friendly province and disband them, they will all immediately return to the levy pool and you'd be able to raise all 200 (the 150 you just disbanded plus the 50 that replenished while you were in the field).
Or troops return to Thomond and crush Ragnvald's remaining forces there, then disband temporarily. Once our total raisable levies grow back to an acceptable number, they are raised once more and sent to siege the remaining holdings in Ormond.
The Lord Mayor has had enough of this war and offers us his surrender. We accept.
Ragnvald is imprisoned for treason and the county of Ormond is once again considered part of our Duchy. Diplomacy is opened with Lord Mayor Ragnvald, and we revoke his title to Ormond. Since he is a known traitor, none of our other vassals object to this move. The county capital of Ormond is now a direct part of our demesne.
There is a minor problem with this, though. As a feudal lord, we're not good at administering cities. Ideally, we'd want to be in control of a castle for the county capital. Ormond does have a castle, but it's held by a local baron.
This is a bit tyrannical, but we're just going to seize it. To do so, click on the CoA for the barony in question to bring up its title screen:
And from here you can click the Revoke button to seize the title. The baron of Nenagh is actually already in our prison (he was captured in battle, fighting in Ragnvald's army). This doesn't make him a traitor. He was just following his direct liege's orders, so we do suffer an opinion penalty with our vassals for taking his land. Its important for us to build a strong powerbase for our family though, so we'll just have to suffer this small bit of bad reputation for now. Anyway, its not so bad to make all of our vassals dislike us when we really only have 3 vassals left, and they're all just individual baronies that pose no threat to us.
In the next update we'll take a look at how the new titles affect our economic and military strength and then consider moving against the Earl of Desmond.