Part 4: Ragnvald's Shameful City 1073 - 1086
The county of Ormond and two of its holdings are now within our demesne. With these assets at our disposal, we should be able to rein the count of Desmond in as well.
And since we've taken a castle for ourselves in Ormond, it automatically becomes the county capital in place of Waterford. As a feudal lord, castles are our preferred holding type. And frankly, I don't think we'd want to live in Ragnvald's old city anyway. Its totally disgusting, its nothing but mud and boats, there's no walls or buildings or anything. There's actually more boats there than people, which is kind of a questionable decision. Its hard to say what the old Lord Mayor was thinking, but he'll have plenty of time to ruminate over his mistakes in our dungeon.
Our yearly income is a bit higher now, but impacted negatively by our poor relationships with our mayor and bishops.
Our maximum raisable levies are much higher now, too. Once we recover from our last war, we should have more than enough men to take to the field against the count of Desmond.
Two new notifications appear for us. One warns that our second son, Donnchad, will inherit the county of Ormond and city of Waterford upon our death, leaving our first son Brian with Thomond. It would be nice to keep our holdings consolidated under a single ruler if possible, so we'll try to do something about this later.
The second warning is a reminder that we have a wrong holding type in our demesne - the city of Waterford. The penalties for holding the wrong holding type are so bad, in fact, that we'll get just as much tax from the city by handing it over to a new mayor as we would by holding onto it ourselves. The only difference would be that the mayor would be collecting a large amount of tax just for himself as well which he can use to upgrade the city.
We'll hand the city of Waterford over to a new Irish mayor. To do so, we just right click the city holding, then click the 'Create New Vassal' button. A new character is introduced and assigned to the position of mayor for the city.
Our firstborn son seems to be aware that his inheritance is slipping away, because our spymaster discovers a plot by Brian to murder his younger brother.
Brian isn't a naturally cruel person, but he is awfully hotheaded and aggressive. Maybe he caught something from Ragnvald while apprehending him after the last war. I'd like end this plot before it goes anywhere.
Our younger son Donnchad is an extremely bright child and will serve the family well once he reaches adulthood.
One thing we could do to end this plot is simply arrest Brian. I don't really want to do this if we don't have to.
The other alternative is to confront Brian with our knowledge of his scheme and demand him to stop. Maybe if we talk some sense into him, he'll refrain from making this poor decision.
He seems to regret his decision and ends his plot. But, if this continues to be a problem and we catch him scheming again, we may have to imprison him after all.
The count of Kildare successfully fabricates a claim on one of our titles. Luckily, he doesn't have the strength to pursue it.
Some time passes while we allow the countryside to recover from war. During this period of peace, our duke has a strange run in with a hooded man who hands him a mysterious book. Perplexed, Murchad dives into the tome and studies it to find its meaning.
Murchad is unable to make any sense of the strange book, but his time spent working on it leaves him with a lifestyle trait of 'Scholar', which gives a bonus to his learning.
An alert appears to inform us that Donnchad is old enough to begin his education. A guardian affects the development of his ward's stats, traits, and the type of education trait that the child receives.
We open diplomacy with Donnchad and select 'Educate Child'. This opens a list of possible guardians that we can pick for him. Much like arranging marriages, you can use the character browser to find a much wider selection of possible guardians. You really don't want to send your child away to be tutored in a foreign land, though. Generally, being the guardian of your own children is more powerful because as events occur which allow you to shape the personality of your ward, you can just choose to pick all of the choices that steer him in the right direction. To make things a little more interesting, I'm going to allow some of our other family members to tutor our children.
I want Donnchad to be a diplomatic fellow so that if he ends up as a ruler, his vassals will like him. And, if things go as planned and Brian ends up as our next ruler, Donnchad can be his chancellor. We'll want him to get the diplomacy type education, and we want him to be educate by an Irish character so that he doesn't become another culture type as he grows up. With all of those things in mind, I pick Toirrdelbach, our cousin and current chancellor to be his guardian.
One of our family members who I specifically didn't arrange a marriage for (because he has claims on our title) marries without our permission. We could toss them in the dungeon for this, but Murchad is a pretty nice guy to his family, so he simply lets the issue drop.
In the east, King Harald of Norway succeeds in his invasion of England after nearly ten years. The powerful duke of Lancaster immediately rises up in arms and attempts to claim his independence. Hopefully there will be enough instability on Great Britain to keep Norway's attention away from us.
With our military capacity fully recovered, its time to think about moving against the count of Desmond.
An attempt is made to offer him vassalization once more, but he still doesn't consider us powerful enough to simply agree without a fight.
Our path is clear, then. War is declared on the count of Desmond to press our ducal claim on his land. Success in this war would force him to become our vassal.
Both sides call their armies up, and immediately we see that the numbers are clearly on our side. Our forces combine in Thomond and then pursue the Count's army to force a decisive battle.
During the march, our son Brian asks us to give him a landed title. This isn't something I'm prepared to do quite yet, so I tell him no.
The armies of Munster and Desmond meet and the results are predictable. The remnants of the Count's army escape with a small number of men incapable of doing us any harm, so our main force ignores giving chase and instead begins to siege his holdings. The numbers at the top show us the amount of Warscore we gained from victory in the battle (15%), the amount of prestige we earned (0.4), and also the amount of piety we earned. Warscore is a measure of how well our war is proceeding, and if warscore reaches 100% we can declare victory. It may even be possible to claim victory before reaching 100% warscore, but I wouldn't rely on that.
A messenger arrives during the siege of Desmond to deliver a note to our duke. Apparently, Ragnvald has been complaining about his living conditions in our dungeon and he's demanding some clean boats to live in. Our response is to throw him into a hole and forget about him.
The heresy in Thomond finally erupts into a state of violence and a peasant army rises to oppose us.
The number of men they have is shocking, and too much for our army to deal with - especially while we're already in a war. Its an unfortunate setback, but we're going to have to hire a mercenary company temporarily to put down this revolt.
On the military screen I click on the mercenaries tab, and then hire one of the cheaper companies available. Captain Aufred's company cost us 75 gold to hire, and he'll continue to cost us a hefty sum of cash monthly until we release him from our service. His men arrive in Connacht, and I send them to Ormond via a safe route so that they have a chance to build their morale before combat.
The mercenary company quickly dispatches the peasant revolt, and after doing so I immediately release them from service.
The siege of Desmond's castle holding finishes and we receive 7 gold from the spoils of war. We're on our way to hit 100% warscore way before finishing the occupation of every holding here, but since we just spent so much money on mercenaries, I'm eager to replenish my personal coffers a bit and so I allow all of the sieges to finish before officially ending the war.
In the aftermath of the peasant rebellion, our court chaplain finally manages to weed out the heresy in Thomond and return the county to Catholicism. He is reassigned to improve our relations with our bishop in Thomond.
All of the sieges in Desmond complete, and we click on this war icon in the bottom right.
From this screen we can see all of the components that are affecting the warscore and open diplomacy with the other party.
We enforce our demands, and the count of Desmond becomes a vassal under us.
All of the de jure territory of the duchy of Munster is now under our control, though I would really prefer to have the county of Desmond in our personal demesne rather than in the hands of a vassal count.
But for now, the war is over and I want to enter a period of recovery. We'll let our levies recover, try to boost our relations with our vassals, and save up to develop our economy. A feast will help raise our vassal's opinions of us.
Murchad is feeling pretty good about himself around now, and gains the trait 'Proud'.
The feast ends, and our vassals return home content and happy.
Another child is born to our duke. This time, a girl. Since we're Agnatic-Cognatic, she could potentially be in line for succession, but only in the event that there are no living male heirs.
Our chancellor is reassigned to fabricate claims in Leinster. If we can fabricate a claim on this county, it will be the first expansion that we do outside of our starting de jure region.
The consolidation of our territory under a single heir is a priority for me, and there's several ways we could go about it. Donnchad could be appointed as the successor to a bishop, which would take him out of the line of succession. We could try to have either of our male children assassinated, but that's just too cruel! Another way around it would be to hand over every county that we can to our heir before we die - then there would be no other holdings left for our other children to inherit.
A more permanent solution is to change our succession law itself. Elective is an extremely powerful succession law that would let us choose any member of our family to be our heir. As long as we are liked by our vassals, or as long as we control all elector titles, we'll be able to pick the cream of the crop for every generation of rulers. Primogeniture is simple - the eldest eligible child of our current ruler will inherit everything. This is what we're switching the inheritance law of Munster to. Poor young Donnchad will hate us for the rest of our lives, but it's for the best.
As our coffers build up, we start spending the money on building castle villages in our demesne. First in Thomond, then in Ormond. This will boost our income greatly. Building up walls will increase our income and levies both slightly as well. This early investment into our economy will help us grow strong later.
Finally, in November of 1080, Ragnvald dies in our dungeon. His last wish was to be burned in a pyre ship. There were plenty of ships left over from his reign over Waterford, so Murchad actually respected his wishes and had one of those set aside for Ragnvald's burial at sea. Funny story, though. Ragnvald actually soiled himself so dramatically after his body was placed into the ship that the torchbearer couldn't bring himself to get near enough to light the ship afire. So, ultimately the tide ended up carrying him away into the North Atlantic Drift to be picked apart by desperate seagulls. Rest in peace Ragnvald.
Donnchad comes of age, and displays a remarkable talent at diplomacy. I would make him my chancellor, but he hates me with a burning passion for taking him out of the line of succession. Perhaps he'll get along better with his brother, in which case he'll make a fantastic chancellor.
Murchad tries his hand at some intrigue and attempts to plot to revoke the county of Desmond from Earl Tadg. Unfortunately, the Earl of Desmond is so well liked by our vassals that they're unwilling to go along with our plot.
Murchad is determined to put all of Munster in the personal demesne of his family before his days come to an end, though. Since plotting isn't an option, he resorts to his old ways of revoking titles for no reason. We've seen this happen before, and there are no surprises in store this time either.
The Earl of Desmond refuses to simply hand his titles over and declares war to defend his land. Our armies are raised, and just as before we're victorious.
Desmond becomes part of Murchad's personal demesne, and development of its local economy begins just as we've done in Thomond and Ormond.
In the next installment, we'll continue to strengthen our personal demesne and make a move against our northern neighbors should the opportunity present itself.