Boy oh boy. It’s been… a while, since the last update. My apologies. Life is kicking this king in the backside pretty hard lately, but that won’t stop the Ua Briains from getting into more trouble.
We open spring of 1216 with another random adventurer with a dumb name threatening to steal my lands.
I am unimpressed.
I am, however, concerned about the developments in my family tree. When I married Princess Aibinn off to the Prince of Hungary a while back I didn’t think about what would happen if my only son, Tristan, dies before I do. Which, God forbid, is totally possible considering our dynasty’s susceptibility to the common cold. The loss of a male heir would leave the kingdom to Aibinn and eventually her son, who is not only Hungarian but not of my bloodline. This occurred in another non-AAR playthrough a while back and it cost me the game.
There’s no way to orchestrate a divorce between Aibinn and Prince Gabor. I take care of business the only way I know how.
You know what? The Known Murderer thing is worth a little peace of mind knowing the future of my family doesn’t lie with Hungarians. Besides, everyone in Ireland loves me by now: I’m friggin’ old, and rich, and old, and nice to everyone who wasn’t my son-in-law.
Interestingly, my daughter doesn’t seem to mind the blatant assassination of her husband by her father. With an opinion of +52, she happily acquiesces to being shipped off to the household of an Irish courtier with hella good genes. This lack of familial loathing must mean she is not a true Ua Briain. Must’ve been switched at birth or something.
After two years of merry hunts and feasts the adventurer’s army briefly appears in Jerusalem. I say ‘briefly,’ because he is soon stamped into paste by ten thousand angry Irishmen in Acre.
I lead the weakest flank in an attempt to die in glorious battle, but of course this fails miserably. To add insult to victory, this Saruca character won’t give up a ton of cash if I banish him, unlike his adventuring predecessors. I chop his head off because I can.
God smiles upon this act and decides to bless our dynasty with a little miracle.
And that’s nothing compared to the miracle that occurs six months later.
January 1224 sees Tristan finally become King of Scotland. He’ll suffer from the usual difficulties that come with being a new ruler, but being male will help minimize any negative opinions among his vassals.. In the meantime he can start collecting Prestige and Piety in preparation for creating the Empire of Britannia when I finally follow Bleija to the grave.
Interestingly enough, Tristan’s opinion of me sits at -9. Coveting the Kingdom of England and being an Ambitious twat more than cancels out our shared Zealousness and familial bonuses. It would only be fitting if my own son was the one to kill me in the end.
I’d be okay with that.
The next few years of agonzing anticipation prove rather uneventful. My court chaplain dies while trying to prosthelytze to some heretical Welsh in Powys. The caliph of Egypt declares a jihad for Sicily, which somehow collapses a few years in. Tristan sires yet another half-French daughter named Ben-Mide. And, randomly, I become incredibly nostalgic for my poor, deceased, crazy-eyed murderous wife.
Given the choice between lustily wenching the nights away and becoming Depressed and Celibate, I choose the later in an attempt to speed up my own death. I also decide to remarry, finding some voluptuous young thing with excellent Stewardship to keep
me my coin purse warm at night.
Then, in a sudden stroke of genius, I realize I can use these last years of my reign to tidy up the realm a bit for my successor.
A fair few powerful vassals have their own personal plots out in the open; knowing this gives me the chance to arrest a few, keeping them in jail as Tristan takes the throne or, failing that, beating down their rebellions and stripping them of some titles. And even if I die during the middle of an uprising, Tristan will get the opinion bonus for Crushing a Major Revolt. Perfect!
I begin with Duchess Conchenn of Ulaidh, who owns 3/4 of the duchy of Ulster. She responds in the traditional manner.
While that’s happening my new accountant wife badgers me about wanting a bird. Reluctantly, I dig out the catalog for Birds of Prey, Etc. and order her a cheap buzzard. She is overjoyed.
A few months later and Duchess Conchenn surrenders. I strip her of her duchy and keep it for myself so that Tristan can inherit and give it to whomever for a massive opinion bonus with that character. Emboldened by this success, I imprison Countess Aethelthryth of Northumberland, then the Duke of York for good measure. That’s northern Ireland and northern England purged of any major nobles that could challenge the Ua Briains.
Before I pick my next target, news of a very interesting development in Iberia catches my eye.
As it turns out, Aunt Finneacht was the high water mark of Ua Briain rule in Andalusia. The kingdom (and Provence, which is practically grafted onto the Kingdom of Andalusia by now) is absorbed by the King of Castille in a rather one-sided affair against my cousin. Interesting.
After a couple more Just Imprisonments, the vassal map of Ireland/Wales/England looks like this:
Although Mide is a bit more powerful than I’d like, the rest of the country is fairly well portioned up (and if I remember correctly, Mide is also controlled by a cousin of mine. Another family scrap is not something I want to invite at the moment). I think Tristan should be able to control his own house upon his ascension.
Which, evidently, is something Tristan would like to see sooner than later.
I’m 69 years old! Impatient much? (I’m so proud of you…)
In 1233, the Hungarian side of the Ua Briain family suffers another tragedy when Orsolya, my granddaughter, dies in childbirth at the age of 18. It takes a Herculean effort to put aside my apathy and write my daughter a sympathy card.
A couple years later, my niece, Seoraid, becomes Queen of Jerusalem after my brother dies. I only mention this because she cuts such an interesting character.
A Scarred, Craven, Content, Winter Soldier lesbian whose highest score is Learning at 8, Seoraid is a mystery wrapped in a paradox and packaged in a rainbow-colored box. I can think of no better person to rule the Holy Land. Godspeed, young one.
Then, in 1238, the moment we’ve all been waiting for arrives at last.
Humorously, Tristan immediately fulfills the ambition to Amass Wealth upon inheriting the royal treasury. He thus mounts the throne with 1570 gold, 1409 Prestige, 800 Piety and a demesne of 10/8.
To make things more sweet, somewhere along the line Tristan had a son named Conan, who has by now come of age. I must have forgotten to screenshot that.
This is going to be so fun.