Part 7: Long Live King Murchad 1124 - 1148
As a unified kingdom were stronger than we've ever been, but we're still no match for our powerful neighbor the King of Norway. I fear that his proximity will bring us into conflict and we won't be able to defend ourselves, so we begin buildup up our military infrastructure across our demesne. Larger stables and upgraded guard quarters are constructed as well as militia training grounds to bolster our numbers.
An extremely talented claimant from Scotland is invited to our court and we arrange a matrilineal marriage between him and a member of our family. His claim on the Isle of Man is inheritable by a successor, so we may be able to take advantage of that to expand into Scotland in the future.
Our aging younger brother is sent to Galloway to fabricate claims on that territory as well.
King Brian The Old dies of natural causes at 78 after unifying the kingdom. He didn't survive to see Ireland expand beyond its de jure borders, but he did enough.
Using the opinion map mode, we can get a quick idea of how our dukes feel about our new King Murchad. The Dukes of Ulster and Connacht at least appear to be in the positive, but the Duke of Leinster might actually be a problem.
There isn't a single glaring problem between the two men. Rather, its just a combination of being a new liege, incompatible traits, and not enough positives.
By opening diplomacy with the duke of Leinster we can offer him an honorary title. This won't bring his opinion of us into the positive, but it will help a bit.
His opinion of us is now at -16. This is still pretty bad, but hopefully as our prestige grows and our short reign penalty fades away, he'll come into the positives.
At least our council members like us.
The number of total levies we can raise from our vassals takes a dramatic hit from the lower opinions. Our vassals are less willing to contribute troops to a king who they are still unsure about.
One of our courtiers who admires our virtues tries to convince our other vassals of our worth, and this rubs the Duke of Leinster the wrong way. This temporary penalty makes his chance to revolt skyrocket.
The counts of Ulster begin fighting over control of the dukedom. This is a regional conflict and not something that we as the king can intervene in.
And while Ulster is in turmoil, the duke of Leinster decides that now is the time for him to move against us. He declares war to press the claims of one of our brothers.
Word comes from Donnchad that he's found a way to fabricate a claim on Galloway, but we can't really afford to war with Scotland right now in the middle of a rebellion and with our vassals still unwilling to contribute much in terms of levies.
Its as if he knew what I was thinking - The King of Scotland declares war on us while we are in the middle of putting down the rebellion in Leinster using the troops from our personal demesne. I let our vassals sit out of the war against Leinster, because I didn't want them to have a bone to pick with me over raising their levies on top of the other opinion penalties.
The King of Scotland is fighting a war to press a claim on the Duchy of Meath. Who does he have in his court who has a claim on the duchy of Meath?
Amazingly enough, its a bastard son of our grandfather Duke Murchad of Munster! Apparently he was conceived just before Murchad's death, but I had no idea. He has claims on both the Duchies of Meath and Leinster.
The war with our kinsman in Leinster comes to an end and he is imprisoned.
Now isn't the time to hold grudges, though. We need all of our vassals to help fight off the Scottish. The Duke of Leinster is released from prison and even given a small sum of gold. The act of freeing a prisoner is seen as a positive light by all of our vassals, and the Duke of Leinster himself appears to be extremely grateful.
Our remaining levies are raised along with those of all of our vassals to meet the Scottish king in battle. We are able to claim victory on the field and then move against his own holdings.
Some straits allow free troop movement across without the explicit use of ships. I'm not saying that we're just swimming across, but the use of local ships to cross is just being abstracted here. The troops from our personal demesne cross to Galloway to take the fight to the enemy while our vassal's levies are allowed to recover. Now, unfortunately, this is right about where Fraps decided to stop working and I didn't notice that my screenshots weren't being saved for at least five years. So allow me to give a overview of major events during the lost years
- The King of Scotland isn't able to recover from his major loss and we win the war against him. The bastard son of Murchad is thrown into our dungeons and never released.
- Our vassals remain loyal from this point on, with opinions only on the rise. We continue to build troop buildings to strengthen our personal army.
- Donnchad manages to fabricate a claim on Galloway again, and this time we take it. Our stronger army now outnumbers the Scottish easily and we're able to successfully press our claim and seize the county for our demesne.
- The Pope declares a crusade for Jerusalem and is joined by many powers.
During all of this, Murchad only manages to sire a single child - a daughter. I never feel safe only having a single direct heir, so I take measures to try to fix this. I need to petition the pope for a divorce, but he seems unwilling to grant us one without some extra convincing.
I've been meaning to go crusading anyway, so I think it may be time to join the crusade. This will improve the pope's opinion of us. To join the crusade, first click on the crusade banner hanging under our portrait and title coat of arms.
This opens up the war screen for the crusade. On this screen, we can click on the plus sign pointing to the side of the pope's forces to open diplomacy and formally offer our support to the cause.
The Pope is only too happy to accept our aid, and his opinion of us rises tremendously.
And in his current state, he is able to see the wisdom of granting us the divorce we requested.
A marriage is arranged between King Murchad and a young German woman. I am hoping will give us a little more security with additional children.
We raise all the troops our kingdom has to spare and gather them in Dublin where they'll be loaded onto our ships before heading to the Sea of Palestine.
Upon our arrival we can see some scattered crusader armies already contributing to the fight. Our force pursues a smaller army of the Caliph's into Jerusalem.
Fighting in the crusade brings us game and gives us the trait 'Crusader'. This most important aspect of this trait is that it's a mutual opinion boost with all other characters who have the crusader trait. Keep in mind that since we've raised all of the levies in our kingdom that this means that the majority of our vassals and our vassal's vassals will end up with this trait.
Hovering over the crusader banner in the top left shows each participating lord's contribution value towards the crusade. On this list, currently the Kaiser of the Holy Roman Empire has contributed the most towards the crusade with about a 61% share while we're at about 2.6%. Doing things like fighting battles, losing men, sieging holdings, and holding onto sieged holdings will steadily increase your contribution value. We begin a siege of Jerusalem after chasing off the small nearby army and our contribution begins to rise to 6 or 7 percent of the share. If a crusade succeeds, the entire kingdom that the crusade was targeting is given to the largest contributor.
A son is born to Murchad and his new wife, which is good news!
Fighting in the crusade is beginning to radicalize Murchad a bit, and he becomes somewhat of a zealot.
The Caliph dispatches reinforcements to Jerusalem and puts all of the crusading forces on the run. Our army had met up with and attached to the combined Papal forces, but even combining our forces makes this counterattack too much to bear.
On the military screen, we go to the Holy Orders tab to recruit the Knights Templar to aid in the crusade. They work much like mercenaries, but are initially hired by paying some of your piety rather than your gold. Holy Orders consist of many powerful high quality troops such as knights.
The Caliph's armies continue to chase down the combined crusader forces before completely scattering them near Jerusalem.
Our forces are given some time to recover before being raised again and combined with the Knights Templar before setting out once more. This time, we send a combined force of around 13,000 men.
Rather than meeting the Caliph's huge forces head on in the south, this time we disembark near Beirut to siege his northern holdings.
Soon after our forces arrive, King Murchad falls ill and suddenly dies in 1148. His 2 year old son Martain succeeds him, which means we are in for a long regency period. This means that while we play as the young child, there will be an adult who handles matters of state in our name. With our part in the crusade over, our men head head home and the Knights Templar are released from their service.