A Narrative of Crusader Kings
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 27 June 2013, 9:52 am

[Though this story was never told specifically or explicitly within the text of the game, one of several hours of play in Crusader Kings II inspired the following story. Everything described, save the personally imagined thoughts of the players involved, happened in game, but the story evolved emergently through my own interpretation of the session.]

The year was eleven-somethingty-something, and Duke Murchad of the Duchy of Munster sat on his throne — a throne probably made from wood lashed together with the entrails of the nearest ruminant — stroked his long, white beard and brooded. It had been five years since a successful campaign had reclaimed County Desmond into the Duchy that comprised the southern quarter of what would someday be known as Ireland, but the truce that had been struck had left the ruler of Desmond, Earl Muiredach, as a sullen vassal to the king and now a threat to his peace.

In his years on the throne ruling over his seat of power in County Thomond, and lording over the nearby County Ormond, which was ruled by a faithful but largely uninspiring vassal who seemed to take a perverse pleasure in his ornamental title of Cup Bearer, Duke Murchad had grown paranoid and ambitious. He envisioned his lineage ruling over all of Ireland someday, a great vision he knew he would never live to see, but that he hoped his eldest son, Brian, now 18 and married to a princess of England, could carry on after his death.

But the years left to him were not long, and more than anything he wanted to leave a Duchy that was wholly reunited and cleansed of threats. More than any threat known to him, Duke Murchad looked south toward Desmond and the Earl Muiredach that had stood against him, and he plotted.

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