Part 18: The Grandest Tournament 1276 - 1299
The castles in our demesne are starting to look pretty fabulous by now. In the not too distant future, we'll finish filling the empty holding slots in our demesne with more castles. Then we won't have to hold onto random distant holdings to stay near our limit.
While we take a break from warfare to rest our men and work on some construction, King Colman II gets pestered by some kind of mystery neighbor. Rather than escalate the situation, we respond by sending a pile of lovely roses in response.
We also receive a plea for assistance from our family in France. The King of France aims to seize the territories of Valencia from the Sultan of Mauretania. Naturally, we accept.
Our mysterious neighbor is touched by our amazing flowers. The day he received our flowers was quite honestly the best day of his life. King Colman II is quite proud of his flowers, now.
Duchess Cristina, a distant relative in charge of the Duchy of Moray plots against us and is caught. We inform her that we know of her plans and that she should end her schemes immediately. She apologizes and returns to her proper duties.
King Colman II loves his flowers so much. He just can't get enough of them. He takes up gardening as a hobby, growing all sorts of amazing plants in his keep. The planning, care, and organization he learns while practicing his hobby carries over to his Kingly duties as well, making him a better administrator.
We send the troops of our personal demesne to aid in the war for Valencia. By the time our men arrive, the French have already begun their sieges.
King Colman II's first child comes of age. Princess Fine is a brilliant diplomat and will be an incredibly important member of our court for her entire life. She'll be able to act as guardian to our future heirs and rear them with great skill.
We arrange a marriage for Princess Fine with a skilled man from the House of Normandie, bringing another talented individual to our court.
Duchess Cristina is up to her scheming ways once again, and our spymaster discovers her plotting to become Queen of Scotland. Once again, we expose her plotting and demand her to put an end to it. She apologizes profusely and assures us that it won't happen again.
The forces of the Sultan of Mauretania make a final push to prevent the fall of Valencia, but its too little and too late.
The Sultan cedes the lands to France. With Valencia under French control, the last non-Christian lord of Iberia has been expelled from the peninsula.
King Colman II's garden is actually in a really inconvenient spot. Flowers are growing all over the tournament grounds now, people are getting vines tangled around their greaves and thorns poking them in the face and hands and everything all in the middle of combat. Its really bad. Baron Jean of Santo Domingo de la Calzada is admiring a fancy petunia when suddenly a man-at-arms cuts him down mid-sniff.
The Duke of Galicia plans against us now, too. This gives us an opportunity to lure him into rebellion and revoke his titles to the land.
We send men to arrest the Duke with just cause, but he evades capture and rises up in arms against us. Our men head to Galicia to put down his rebellion.
King Colman II had stepped out to tend to his flowers, vines, corn stalks, ivy, cacti, and all sorts of other plants while wearing his gardening armor when a combatant in the melee mistook him for another fighter. King Colman II dies in his own tournament, joining dozens of others who had perished over the decades of killing. At the moment of his death, it was like the clouds of a storm parting; the tournament had finally ended. Our weary friends, family, and guests all put down their weapons and leave for home.
His young son, Brian II will be the next King of Ireland.
Until young Brian is old enough to assume his duties, his mother will watch over him and the Kingdom.
The Duke of Navarra - son of Geoffroy sees this as an opportunity. He joins the Duke of Galicia in going to war against us.
Thankfully, our skilled mother Queen Vseslava is well-liked and keeps our other vassals mostly in check. All of them except the Duke of Mallorca. His revolt risk isn't even that high, though.
I probably should have just sent him a gift anyway. The Duke of Mallorca joins our other Iberian vassals in rebelling against us.
Our total levies aren't as high as they could be right now, but we still have plenty of men at our disposal to handle a few upstart dukes.
Our rivals land armies in our home territory, but I don't want to strain our relations with our homeland vassals during this regency.
Instead, I opt to send some mercenaries after these forces. We've been holding onto a healthy amount of backup gold just for these sorts of situations.
The mercenaries chase off the rebel armies, after which we end our contract with them and send them home.
The Duke of Galicia is the first to surrender. Since he actually rebelled against Brian's father and not Brian, we're unable to revoke any of his titles with just cause, which is kind of disappointing. Instead, we just leave him imprisoned for a while.
Brian wonders to himself how he can best serve God during his lifetime and heads to his big sister, Princess Fine for answers.
Princess Fine instructs Brian to always pursue justice, and Brian takes the advice to heart.
The Duke of Mallorca surrenders and is imprisoned, putting an end to his rebellion as well. After revoking the title to one of his islands, he is released from our dungeon.
King Brian II comes of age and assumes all of the duties of his rank. He has become a just and virtuous man under the tutelage of his older sister, Princess Fine.
He is wed to a Norwegian noblewoman who shares many of the same values as him. She's also just about the strongest living person in the world and proud of it.
To celebrate his wedding, King Brian II calls for a grand tournament to be held. The shrieks of excitement and weeping cries of anticipation fill the skies of Dublin night and day until the tournament begins. Much to everyone's surprise, once a victor is crowned, the tournament comes to an end. The combatants are at first a little dazed by this turn of events, but eventually once they recover from the shock they leave for home with a higher opinion of King Brian II.
The Duke of Navarra dies, and his rebellion with him.
Our loving mother Vseslava is appointed as our spymaster. She's a natural at picking up on court intrigue and uncovers all sorts of plots. Duchess Cristina of Moray is found to be plotting to seize the kingdom of Scotland once more. This is really just one time too many. It is time to put an end to Cristina's plotting.
Our marshal fails to apprehend Cristina and she is forced into battle against us without the support of her co-conspirators.
At the same time, the new King of France Fergus requests our aid in his own struggles. There's no reason we can't pledge our support to our French family as well.
In the middle of all of this strife, King Brian II falls in love with his wife, Queen Gyda.
Duchess Cristina's forces are crushed, and she is imprisoned for treason.
Not long after his declaration of love to Gyda, she bears Brian their first child - a son.
King Fergus of France defeats his own rebellious vassals with our assistance, but his battle rages on against the Sultan of Mauretania to hold onto his territory in Valencia.
The King of England comes to France's aid as well. While England is involved in a holy war such as this, it becomes hard to justify any petty wars against them over land.
The Golden Horde converts to the Sunni faith, giving them potential allies to their south. This gesture may have come too late though.
King Brian's younger brother comes of age and is assigned to be our chancellor.
He also is married to the Princess of Denmark. If all goes well, we'll see Ua Briains on the Danish throne a few generations from now.
The holy war between France and the Sultanate of Mauretania ends. France has managed to hold onto Valencia for now.
We can now get back to dealing with England. Progress towards taking England has been slow lately, but don't worry. We have plenty of time and we're getting near the tipping point. One of our counts - the Count of Durham - has fabricated a claim on the county of York. We declare war against the King of England to press his claim.
Just after we enter the war against England, our younger brother manages to fabricate a claim against the English county of Hereford. Its unfortunate that this didn't happen just a few days sooner, but that's okay.
An unpleasant surprise shocks us during the war with England. King Fergus of France declares war against us to press all of his claims on our land.
We quickly wrap up the war with England so that we can focus on this new problem.
We have a vast number of men at our disposal even with our numbers are depleted, but it sure would have been nice to go into a war against France with a fully rested army.
Fergus has claims on three entire Duchies in our realm. This would be quite the victory for him and a huge setback for us. We won't let this betrayal stand, though.
The duchy of Navarra acts as a honey pot for French troops. They pour across the border and begin sieging those counties with an formidable army. We simply let them do so for a few months while our men at home recover.
Eventually, we gather a tremendous army consisting of all of our vassals on the British Isles as well as the troops of our personal demesne. I'd normally send this number of men over in more manageable numbers to avoid attrition, but we need to divide and conquer those large French armies with excessive force.
Our huge army disembarks in Navarra and surprises the French army there.
The French forces are caught in disarray and outnumbered by nearly five to one. They suffer an exceptionally humiliating defeat.
Our men are loaded back onto the fleet and move to assault another French army from the sea, like before.
The results are much the same.
And we even capture a valuable prisoner - a prince of France. After the forces of France assaulting Navarra are wiped out, our army enters Southern France by ship at Bordeaux.
Throwing caution to the wind, we launch a series of direct assaults against French holdings in southern France. This causes us more damage than carrying out proper sieges, but considering that the French armies were recently wiped out in Navarra we should have some time before reinforcements can arrive.
By the time France is on the verge of defeat, we still have a decent amount of men we could call up from home. Not to mention, we still have plenty of gold for mercenaries.
King Fergus eventually surrenders to us, ceding all of his claims on our lands and preventing any further such wars from happening again for the foreseeable future. He is also made to pay a large amount of gold in restitution.
I'm amazed that Fergus was willing to attack us so suddenly like that, but he has surrendered his claims and paid for his treachery. With that, King Brian II is willing to let bygones be bygones. After all, we even gave Duchess Cristina of all people about five second chances before we tossed her into the dungeon.
Nearly half of England is part of our realm. We have more claims to press against the Kingdom once our current truce runs its course, so the end of Yngling England is quickly approaching. The next update should see us make significant progress towards total dominion over the British Isles, as well as hopefully some sort of way to rid ourselves of our remaining Iberian holdings.