Part 8: Everybody Loves Martain 1148 - 1170
The young, club-footed King Martain takes the throne at the age of 3 with his mother acting as Regent. With the aid of her and Chancellor Donnchad's diplomatic skill, we are actually able to avoid civil war even while in a regency.
The Caliph's forces prove victorious and crush the crusading armies without losing any ground. Even with our continued help, its likely that this would have been the result. The Shia Caliphate was extremely strong and stable during this crusade.
Our realm is actually stable enough - and Scotland is unstable enough - that we can press a claim for one of our courtiers on the Isle of Man. Fedlimid Ua Briain is the son of a claimant who we invited to our court and married matrilineally into our family years ago. Pressing his claim on the Isle of Man will bring it into our realm, since its a lower ranked title and he is a member of our dynasty. I should also mention that Fedlimid is our king's guardian and tutor.
The Scottish King deals with his rebellious duke while we siege the Isle of Man. I don't even think we see a Scottish soldier during this entire war. We occupy every holding on the Isle, and then move north to sack the county of Carrick.
A petition reaches our king from the realms mayors demanding a cut to city taxes. Our poor little king doesn't have the savvy to deal with these sort of requests yet. He caves in and allows city taxes to be reduced back to normal.
Fedlimid proves to be a good caretaker and watches out after us.
Something happens that we can't quite understand, but the result is that our mother is replaced as regent by one of our uncles suddenly...
Our war against Scotland is over and Fedlimid becomes Earl of the Isle of Man in our service. After his move is settled, we re-affirm him as our guardian and somehow I feel safer with us residing in his court rather than at home with the Uncle.
Martain's time as a ward of Fedlimid on the Isle of Man sees him grow into a kind, humble and charitable young man.
Fedlimid urges us to not work so hard and enjoy life.
Another claimant from Scotland arrives in our court. This man is heir to the Duchy of the Isles. He is married matrilineally to a member of our dynasty, and we press his claims so they don't expire.
Our vassals are happy and powerful, while Scotland's aren't. Half of our forces assault Scottish holdings while the remainder chase the Scottish army around northern Ireland.
The war succeeds, and our claimant is installed as an independent duke in Argyll. Unfortunately, the Scottish king almost immediately declares war on him and then reclaims the county. This actually turns out alright, because he flees back to our court and he now has an inheritable claim on the duchy that a child of our dynasty can inherit.
Martain has grown to appreciate all the things that he has in his life.
He comes of age to be a man well liked, if not loved by his vassals. His sunny disposition warms everyone's hearts and makes them forget about all of their troubles such as bad things like tuberculosis, gross club feet and human rights violations.
One of Martain's first decisions is to hold a grand tournament to celebrate his coming of age. This spectacle brings even more adoration from his vassals.
Martain marries to a brilliant Norwegian countess from Sommerset. Their children would inherit that county and give them a foothold in southern England.
With such a strong economy filling the kingdom's coffers, its time to think about increasing our number of holdings rather than improving out existing ones further. We can build a second castle in Dublin to hold in our demesne by clicking on this empty holding slot on the county screen.
700 gold is pricey, but even a completely fresh castle provides an extra 4 tax and a few hundred men, and the first few upgrades are relatively cheap.
It takes some time to construct a new holding, but that's okay. For the fifth slot in Dublin I am considering building another town once we have the funds. We can sprinkle further new castles across the counties until we meet our demesne limit.
Another war against Scotland puts the county of Carrick in our realm. Now with 2 of the 3 counties for a duchy in our realm, we can usurp the title.
The Duchy of Galloway is usurped, and we organize the counties of that Duchy under a new Duke who we pick from distant dynastic members in our court. We can now press de jure claims against the final county of Galloway, but since we just concluded a war against the King of Scotland, it would hurt our prestige to immediately attack him again. It just wouldn't be polite. In any case, that de jure claim is there for us to press whenever we want. This means we won't have to worry about sending our chancellor there to fabricate claims.
Ireland's focus on domestic issues has made it grown even more rich and powerful during Martain's regency. Norway continues to remain ahead of us in both wealth and military might, however. Our clearest avenues for expansion are still Scotland and Wales. The opportunity to expand into Brittany evaporated as France moved into that region. In the next update, we'll continue to chip away at Scotland while watching out for any other opportunities.