Sunday, September 20, 2020

Bo'ness Dynasty Pt2 - High Chieftan Cinaed of Lothian

(This is an AAR for Crusader Kings III. Year 867 start with the single title of Earl of Fife and the start of the Bo'ness Dynasty.)

Cinaed took up the mantle of patron to the Bo'ness line amidst the turmoil of Viking battles for Scotland (Alba) and Northern England. With internal bickering between sons of Ivar the Boneless, other nations descended onto the confusion to tear out a piece for themselves. Cinaed helped himself to most of Lothian to surround his new capital at Edinburgh. Other regions of Ireland and Northumbria also came under the control of the Duke of Moray to add to Alba's dominance of the northern lands. 

In between local skirmishes and clams on the mainland, Cinaed also strengthened his presence on the Nordic coastline to completely supplant the Danes all the way to the Finnish peninsula as well as all mountain passes over into Swedish lands. 

Mercia moved in on Danes holding York to put even more pressure on established viking conquests. Cinaed also saw the opportunity to move in and take the prized capital of York, but missed the opportunity to compliment it with the fertile lowlands around Leeds, with the West Riding capital ceding to Mercia. Spoils were split on the Lancastrian coast as well with Cinaed holding Westmorland and the rest falling to an expanding Mercia. 

All was not happy families within the Alban Kingdom as easy Danish targets dried up. Strife started with the Earl of Lennox declaring rightful ownership of the Irish lands of Oriel, held by Cnes Bo'ness along with her norwegian estates in Traendalog. Mormaer Tadg from Atholl supported the claim to add vastly superior numbers to the equation and tore through the local Oriel defenses. With no formal alliance to assist, Cinaed changed tack and found an avenue to claim Lennox itself through somewhat dubious heraldry. He pressed the claim immediately and swept through the midland holding with ease and pushed into Atholl while their forces were preoccupied overseas on the nordic coast. As they pinned Cnes's troops into a final pitched battle, word reached Flaithbertach Neill that his domain is no more and, as a landless lord, his claim to Oriel is no longer valid.

Even though a few more petty claims over Danish lands rounded out the Cinaed's reign as one of expansion, the internal fractures of Alba hinted at an independent future for the Bo'ness line. 

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Bo'ness Dynasty Pt1 - High Chieftain Drystan

 (This is an AAR for Crusader Kings III. Year 867 start with the Earl of Fife - renamed to the Bo'ness Dynasty.)

Drystan is the earliest known landholder for the Bon'ess Dynasty. Although there is no record of his early life or even how he came to hold the Mormaerdom (Earldom) of Fife, Drystan is likely to have come from Gaelic tribal lands between Edinburg and Linlithgow during the time of viking raids and great upheaval.  

Under the Kingship of Causantin II of Alba, Drystan had relative independence and sought a path to take over Edinburg to claim his homeland. With Ivar the Boneless raiding from the west and Jorvik pushing up from York, Drytan's meagre army could not hold claim for long on the Lothian capital, and eventually fell to Danish hands along with Northumbria. Disheartened, Drystan looked to Linlithgow instead. 

Both Sterling and Linlithgow were held by fellow vassal MacMuirdach. Although internal fighting was not unheard of, MacMuirdach held double the lands and could command almost 1000 tribesmen. Through marriage of Drystan's youngest son into the line of Prince Rhodri 'the great' of Gwynedd, the alliance yielded almost 2000 men to call upon and press the homeland claim. Stirling would fall 5 years later.

With Danish kings vying for Ireland, a small window of opportunity opened to allow Drystan to pinch Oriel from one of the smaller invaders. Alba also allied with Meath to control the top of Ireland until Bjorn 'Ironsides' headed west and dominated. 

Alba turned back to the mainland and forced claims on Strathearn's heart, taking Glasgow from the independent Kingdom. Drystan followed in on the weakened Cumbrians to pick up Kyle and surrounds, leaving Carrick and Galloway to fall soon after to Ivar the Boneless, giving continuous land from east to west across Scotland.

As a more established Earl and finding favour with Moray, Drystan continued tussels with smaller independent Danes on the Nordic coastline, gaining foothold in Bjorgvin and pushing north all the way round to Raumsdale. Enough land was gained to usurp the Vestlond title and elevate Drystan to High Chieftan. 

As an ill-fated holy war between Alba and The Isles was drawing to a close, Ivar the Boneless succumbed to injury and left his nation shattered between siblings. With Lothian falling to Jarl Godfrid separate to The Isles, Drystan pounced on the opportunity to take entire duchy in one bold claim. Calling on all allies and additional mercenaries the weakened Danes fell to a 4,500 strong army, but before the final sieges ran their course Drystan succumbed to old age. His dream of ruling from Edinburgh came 3 months later for the Bo'ness line.