Part 10: Martain the Brave 1170 - 1203
We have all sorts of claims that we can press against the King of Scotland, but we still have a truce with him from our prior war. This is just another one of those times where we're going to have to wait it out.
During our downtime, the Kingdom of Norway suffers a schism. The old King's nomination for the heir of Norway was Einar, who just so happens to be a complete madman. While the lords of mainland Norway found him a suitable candidate, the lords of England chose one of his kinsmen instead. This separates Norway into two separate kingdoms.
The King of England is a noticeably better ruler. The fracturing of Norway is the best piece of news we could have gotten, and it's going to open up lots of opportunities for us if they remain separated.
Martain easily garners enough support from his vassals to increase crown authority. This new law will prevent our dukes from fighting amongst each other, but their own vassals still may revolt against them.
Our chancellor fabricates claims on yet another Scottish county. We can press multiple personal claims all at once, so this will be nice once our truce ends.
Our eldest son Colman demonstrates that he is a hard worker. The diligent trait gives him a small bonus to several stats.
Our younger sister comes of age, and we are able to arrange a matrilineal marriage between her and the heir to the crown of England. He loses his status as heir almost immediately when the current king produces a child, but he still has an inheritable claim to the throne he can pass on.
In return for granting us this marriage, the King of England asks for our aid in battle against his rebellious dukes. His kingdom is newly independent and somewhat unstable.
A son is born to the Prince of England and our sister in short order.
The forces of Ireland meet the enemies of England on the field of battle. Martain can always be seen leading from the front, and this display of bravery doesn't go unnoticed.
London falls to our forces, delivering a blow to the rebel forces.
And end to the war soon follows this victory, and our forces return home.
Martain manages to return city taxes rates to their levels prior to his regency.
Eventually, our truce with Scotland ends and we're able to press our claims without tarnishing our reputation in the process. We have personal claims on both Teviotdale and Argyll, and we are capable of pressing both at once.
Our Court Chaplain is swayed by a heretic religion and encourages us to follow his lead. Martain is shocked at this turn of events and orders for him to be jailed.
Another of our bishops hears of this and petitions for leniency on behalf of our former Court Chaplain. Martain sympathizes with the bishop, and agrees to have the man released.
He is, however, asked to convert back to the Catholic faith.
The Pope declares a second crusade for Jerusalem, but not only are we busy in a war against Scotland, but we've also joined another war to aid the King of England. The King of Norway has come to press his claim on the Kingdom of England, and if there is one thing I don't want, it is another unified Norway all across the British Isles.
Half of our army continues to siege Scottish holdings while another force meets the Norwegian invaders in Northern England.
Our war against Scotland is a success, and two more counties fall to us.
Martain's eldest son, Prince Colman comes of age. He has tremendous potential and displays exceptional skill in diplomacy, war, administration, and scholarly pursuits. His only weakness, and it is a glaring one, is his lack of any savvy whatsoever when it comes to schemes and trickery.
The war with Norway ends and England's continued independence is ensured for now. With our local conflicts settled, we are now in a position to aid in the crusade.
The Pope is only too happy to accept our assistance.
We give our realm time to recover after the recent wars, and then raise the largest force that we've ever gathered to send to the holy land.
Martain and his vassals reach the crusade, and a sense of camaraderie forms between them all.
The last war against Scotland gave us just enough of the counties needed to usurp the Duchy of the Isles. With plenty of cash to spare, we do so and then assign it to a distant relative who shows some promise.
Our forces arrive and then divide into more manageable numbers. One force sieges Jaffa and moves onto Acre while a second, smaller force attempts to seize Jerusalem itself.
Our initial victories show great promise, but our numbers are beginning to dwindle from fighting field battles on top of participating in long siege warfare.
Eventually, one of our armies is battered so badly that it's sent home to disband and allow our fighting population some time to recover.
We quickly rise to the top in contribution.
A marriage is arranged between our heir and a Scottish girl who appears to be some kind of prodigy. Not only that, she has an inheritable claim on a county in Scotland.
Our realm is given time to recover, and the crusader forces struggle without our presence. A Holy Order is called into our service and combined with our regular levies into an even larger army which sails back to the battle.
As soon as we disembark, Martain is struck and dies in battle. I guess this is what you get for being brave. Colman picks up his father's reigns and immediately rejoins the crusade with the forces already present in the holy land.
We start making progress again, but a pattern has begun to show itself. Our contribution is so much more than any other nation to this crusade that whenever our forces arrive, the warscore increases significantly, and when we need to withdraw and recover the warscore drops into the low negatives as everything is retaken.
Our forces are defeated once more by the Caliphs forces, and the other crusading armies crumble and fail to defend our captured holdings while we're gone. Our forces are so battered that it will take at least a couple years to recover, and our fresh forces won't be able to arrive in time to turn things around again.
While we don't have the numbers to fight the entire Shia Caliphate by ourselves, we do have the numbers to press more of our claims against the Scottish King. We easily press a ducal claim for our Duke of Galloway on the county of Clydesdale.
And while we are doing that, our Duke of The Isles presses his own claim against the Scottish King in a separate war.
News reaches us that the 2nd Crusade for Jerusalem has been called off. Without any help from the Holy Roman Empire, France, Denmark, England, or Norway, it really had little hope to succeed.
Our relations with the new king of England is as poor as his relationship with his own vassals. Colman inherited a claim on the Duchy of Somerset from his mother, and we're going to take it to use as a foothold in England.
The English King was unable to call up enough men to oppose our total forces, and once it became clear that we were just going to keep occupying his holdings with impunity he offered his surrender.
I keep saying that Wales would be a good place to go next, but it seems like I never follow through with that. Scotland is on the verge of disappearing soon. England is large and at first appearances they would be a threat, but ever since the breakup of Mega Norway, all of its constituent parts haven't been able to equal half of their old combined strength. In the next update we'll continue trying to expand anywhere in the British Isles where we can do so.