Part 20: A Slow, Steady Advance 1309 - 1325
King Brian II 'The Great' has come to be known as the most prestigious and pious member of the Ua Briain dynasty to date, even at the relatively young age of 39.
All of the de jure Duchies of the Kingdom of Jerusalem are handed out to young members of our dynasty who have very little chance of inheriting any land back home. We're preparing to create an independent Kingdom of Jerusalem, but it will still be quite some time before we can safely allow them to become independent.
Our truce with England runs its course and we go to war with them over claims on the counties of Hereford and Cornwall.
The English forces have little hope of repelling the Irish at this point. They are vastly outnumbered wherever they turn.
Somehow I didn't get a screenshot of it, but our first wife believed a sinkhole near Dublin to be a portal to hell and saw fit to throw our second son into it as a human sacrifice. King Brian petitioned the Pope for a divorce and remarries to a young Russian named Pribislava.
We've had a claimant to Norway of our dynasty within our court for some time now. Having time to spare during our truce with England, I decide to press his claim for the Kingdom of Norway.
Our first army arrives in Akerhaus. The local forces are quickly dispatched and we begin to launch a rapid series of assaults on the holdings there. Meanwhile, a second army lands in Telemark.
A third army crosses to Orkney and seizes the Norwegian holdings there.
By the time our armies meet in a field battle, the war has practically already been fought and won by our rapid sieges.
We claim victory and install our family member onto the throne of Norway.
King Gudmund Ua Briain of Norway even has the crusader trait from his time spent with us during the recent crusade. I suppose he took part in some battles with us.
Unless the counties in the Kingdom of Jerusalem begin converting religions, we will still be waiting decades before the region can even defend itself from peasant revolts.
The old King of England passes away, and our truce with him. We wage war against the new English King on the grounds of a de jure claim for the county of Worcester.
If for no other reason than to remind them of the ties we share, I invite all of our possible allies by blood into the war against England.
While the war rages, we receive word that the county of Ascalon has become a Catholic stronghold in the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
Our allies descend on England. Norwegian troops seize their Scandinavian holdings while Portugal sends significant numbers of troops to the British Isles. Eventually, England surrenders and our allies all get to share in the prestige of victory.
With no kingdom title in his possession any longer, the former King of England falls back to a recently inherited title - the Duchy of Brittany.
England is now a mess of independent Dukes and Counts who are ripe for the picking. We declare separate simultaneous invasions against all of them to press our de jure claims.
Word reaches us that Jerusalem itself has become a center of Catholicism in The Levant.
The Duke of Navarra decides to trouble us for the last time. Our forces will move against him once our wars against the English dukes are complete.
Splintered and weak, the English Dukes are in even less of a position to defend themselves from us than the King of England was. They fall to our forces quickly.
The non-Irish areas of the British Isles are quickly dwindling. All we must do now is wait until our truces end so that we can launch another offensive.
Once the Duke of Navarra is defeated, we revoke his final county title.
In order to rid ourselves of these Iberian holdings, we grant Fingen of Mallorca vassalage of all Iberian counts, titles to the counties of Navarra, and finally the Kingdom of Galicia. This creates yet another independent Kingdom lead by an Ua Briain which we don't need to administer.
Our heir, Murchad has not grown any kinder with age. In fact, he has become wrathful and zealous. He also becomes afflicted by syphilis, impacting his overall health significantly.
A few years later sees Murchad looking even more haggard and even more unhealthy. He has become shy and reclusive as well as sickly.
King Brian, on the other hand, fights off illness like a champ.
Our truces with the English Dukes end, and another round of war brings more of southern England under Irish control.
By 1325, only the Duke of Kent remains as an independent power in England. The Duke of Gwynedd remains a vassal of the Holy Roman Emperor, unfortunately.
Catholicism spreads in our conquered holdings around Jerusalem. It may be worth using these lands while they're under our direct control to launch further holy wars against the Shia Caliphate. We may be able to build a Catholic Kingdom of Egypt centered on Alexandria, for example.
The Independent Realms of 1325 - note that counts and dukes currently in revolt are shown as independent
The Dynastic Map Mode in 1325