Sunday, February 19, 2012

Strathearn Dynasty Pt.2 - Duke Gille-Crist of Albany

Duke Gille-Crist of Albany
Gille-Crist has high ambitions; to become great among men. With no real conflict on the horizon it seemed a good enough goal to aim at through festivals, feasts, and great hunts. As the years ticked by, Gille-Crist's parties became more and more spectacular, eventually surpassing even the King's illustrious events. Gille-Crist has the presence of a King, but not the title.

Scotland had 3 duchies at the time; Albany, Lothien to the south and Moray to the north. Lothien remained allies through Gille-Crist's brother-in-law, so Moray was the only real alternative for internal gains. Gille-Crist had been the chancellor used to fabricate some of Muiredach's claims, so he had no hesitation in sending out Fergus de Tullabardine to see what he could do in Moray. Maybe he could even find a way to get into the Duchy itself?

As the festivals and hunts continued, finally Gille-Crist succumbed to a hunting accident that maimed his arm. This took the shine off organised hunts as an avenue for fame, and shortened his reign to achieve greatness. Festivals remained a yearly event though, and Gille-Crist became loved among the peasants and gentry alike for his magnanimous generosity and kind-hearted nature. 

Moray's claims were finally found, but if another could be found for the County of Ross it would mean a clean sweep of the Duchy come battle time. As the new century rolled in Gille-Crist could feel time running out, so he initiated his Moray claim and called up the troops. With superior numbers and Neil Rodriguez (the marshall's talented son) holding the middle, the pitched battle of Buchan settled the debate.

Countess Finguala of Moray, although seething over our recent conflict, had other plans in place. She called for Gille-Crist's support to change Scotland into an elected monarchy; a plot that offered an even quicker way to the throne. Gille-Crist accepted and the King duly agreed without the need for bloodshed. As the King's chancellor and land holdings through the middle of Scotland, Gille-Crist was level-pegging with Prince Malcom Dunkeld for the right to wear the crown. A closer step indeed.

Countess Finguala had not finished. Her next claim was for the Kingdom itself! The ramifications of an unsuccessful plot were huge for Gille-Crist, but Moray was certainly in a more precarious position than the Dunkeld's and would likely lead to more opportunities of election. With Gille-Crist's support, the Crown was handed over immediately.

Without the protection of the crown, Prince Dunkan's holding of Gowrie was able to be pressured for amalgamation into the Duchy of Albany. As Gille-Crist's final act, he saw the fall of the once great Dunkeld line before passing away at age 47. Could this happen to the Strathearns too? Possibly. And with no sons in the family tree they are vey much exposed.