Chapter 5 of Local Boy, A United the Kingdoms Achievement Run

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Here follows Chapter 5 of Local Boy Makes Emperor, A United the Kingdoms Steam Achievement playthrough for Crusader Kings 2.

In the last chapter we followed the latter part of King Uthyr’s saucy career of philandering and no small amount of murdering. Now with his second and final death we will follow here the career of his son and heir Sieffre as he becomes King Sieffre of Brythoniaid (Wales) and Lloegyr (England).

For the reign of King Uthyr see:

Chapter 3 and Chapter 4

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King Sieffre of Brythoniaid and Lloegyr – Part One

King Sieffre Start

April 854 AD – Orientation

So now I, the immortal player, have incarnated into King Sieffre following the death of my last host King Uthyr. What is my situation as Sieffre? I have hardly turned 16 when father died making me by tanist election the King of Brythoniaid and Lloegyr.

Well father only created the Lloegyr title a few months ago and more than half of the lands remain separate from the title under the independent realms of Mercia and Essex. Clearly to forge the titular title of Lloegyr into an actual kingdom is the great work before me!

Opening Moves

Before that I should marry my betrothed and have a coronation. Also I should save up some cash for warring. I have the Family Focus and Groom an Heir ambition set from before I, as the immortal player, have taken up Sieffre. I would choose something else but I can not change focus for another five years and ambition for another three.

Really there is no great pressure to get a heir because Uthyr made something like eight other trueborn and legitimised siblings not to mention over a dozen cuckoos. There is no shortage of Morgannwgs to follow me. That and I am only 16 with my whole life ahead of me.

Money I want, levies I want, a heir can wait. The War focus or Rulership focus would suit me better now. Oh well I will just have to wait to make those changes.

Interestingly I can actually go ahead right now and start warring with Mercia because the truce was between Impaler and my father not me.

It might be wise to do that now, while Mercia is still depleted from the previous wars and busy putting down a peasant revolt. I do not have much cash but I might have enough if I do not hire mercenaries. I could take out a jew loan too if need be.

May 854 AD – War for the Duchy of Mercia

I declare war upon Mercia for my de jure claim upon the Duchy of Mercia. If I win that will bag me four counties: Worcester, Leicester, Lindsey and Impaler’s own capital of Warwick.

Duchy of Mercia

In fact three of those counties are the entirety of Impaler’s personal demesne. Taking that from him will absolutely gut his personal power within his kingdom.

Likely that will be the end of him as king as he will have no strength to deter factions. A civil war will likely follow or he will be straight up deposed. Which suits me fine.

My muster will be my demesne and vassal levies with my honour guard of 500 longbowmen for a total of about 4.7k. Impaler should have considerably less but we will see. I will not be taking the field personally for I am more of a strategist than a warrior.

Worcester is the first target for a siege.

February 855 AD – Slow Fever

Worcester is occupied and Warwick along with many prisoners taken including Impaler’s pregnant wife. No sign of any opposition. Impaler is quite without any strength.

Slow Fever is erupting in spots along the coast, including my capital in Gloucester. I shut the gates as a precaution.

May 855 AD – Mercia Shattered

We take a few more holdings and a destroy a small force of the enemy in the field. Impaler is ready to concede defeat. I gain all the aforementioned titles which then allows me to usurp his title to the petty kingdom of Mercia.

This reduces him down to the Count of Suffolk and so setting all his vassals independent. The remnants of his realm is shattered into eight mini-states. Beautiful.

Mercia Shattered

To all these mini-states I offer my protection as their overlord but they all refuse. I will have to show them why they need my protection.

June 855 AD – War for Wiltshire

War declared on the Earl of Wiltshire for my de jure claim on Wiltshire. Wiltshire is the site of The Great Work Stonehenge which will be nice for my prestige.

September 855 AD – Stonehenge Acquired

Wiltshire is vassalised and my wife is pregnant. I will cool off on warring for now. My threat levels are quite high and I have not much cash for more. I am going to save up for my coronation and go after the rest when my threat levels subside.

October 855 AD – Helga’s War for York

My vassal Duchess Helga of Northumbria has declared her own vassalisation war against York. Great, I hope she wins. It will save me the bother.

February 856 AD – Slow Fever and Hunger

The slow fever has spread all across my realm and my food stocks are running low.

March 856 AD – First Son

We are still confined to the castle when my wife births our first son. We name him Arthwr.

April 856 AD – Meat on the Menu

The slow fever still ravages the countryside. Stuck in our castle with dwindling food supplies we have begun eating the less important courtiers. “Needs must” as they say.

October 856 AD – Succulent Siblings

We are down to eating babies now, even kin.

May 858 AD – A Changed Man

The fever has finally subsided in Gloucester so we can open the gates and allow resupply. I do not want to think about how many people I had to eat to stay alive all these years but they include four of my younger siblings. Uthyr’s vast brood is rather less vast now thanks to me and the Slow Fever.

My mother and my newborn son also died of ill health related to the food shortages.

The ordeal caused me to lose my brave trait from refusing to open the gates before the end of the fever. I also gained the proud trait from refusing to eat rats although I did in the end. Of course I gained the cannibal trait from eating people. Apparently in my delirium I also had visions of stigmata causing me to get zealous too. I am a changed man.

Sieffre Changed Man

On the plus side all this time spent not doing anything has helped me save up over 640 gold coins. I will have that coronation now and a fancy one at that.

All in all it costs me 500 for the pope and an extravagant ceremony. Well after the last few years of fear, famine, plague and death I am sure we could all use a pleasant distraction.

August 858 AD – Eire on the Horizon

I have had my coronation so it is time to get back to winning the rest of England. There are a couple of things of note about the present strategic situation. Firstly Duches Helga had bagged York for me but has lost Yoredale through a vassal dying with an heir vassal to a Scottish King.

That Scottish King has just been absorbed by the growing power of Eire, formerly Mide. Eire must be my next enemy after Mercia was smashed. King Flann of Eire is the only other power in the British Isles comparable to my own.

King Flann of Eire

First I must scoop up the shattered remains of Mercia. I think if I take Leeds using a de jure claim I could give it to Helga. She might then follow up on that to take Hull and Yoredale on her own since she already has York (renamed Ebrauc). If she does all this that frees me up to work on the other loose counties.

Of course it will also make Helga an even more powerful duchess which could be dangerous if we fall out. Then again she has many Morgannwg heirs and gavelkind succession so that is a problem waiting to solve itself.

War declared on Leeds. I just raise my demesne troops because it is only one county.

January 858 AD – War for Hwice

Leeds is vassalised and I then transfer the vassal contract to Helga. Let us see if she will go after Hull and Yoredale to complete the Duchy. If she goes to war on Yoredale that would make her at war with Eire. Eire is broke at the moment so they may not do much. But I could always declare a parallel war on Eire to help her out in that case. I have a few claimants for titles in Eire hanging around in court.

I will now press a de jure claim upon the Duchy of Hwice which will give me Oxford and Bedford. Again I will use only demesne troops to save my vassal’s for their own wars and keep them happy for when I must face Eire.

Duchy of Hwice

February 858 AD – Unfair Fight

It turns out Oxford and Bedford can raise quite a lot of troops. He is over 2k. I hire some mercs to bolster my numbers to ensure an unfair fight. I get the Saxon band as they are cheap and well composed for sieges.

The last of the Slow Fever has left my lands. All my councilors are back to work now. I get my chancellor off to Eire to sow dissent among the Irish lords.

June 858 AD – Norse Middlesex

Oxford and Bedford are mine now. On to the County of Sussex with another de jure claim.

One slightly concerning thing is that a Norse adventurer has Middlesex but not just that he has a big chunk of the North of France too. I have another powerful rival in the British Isles with which to reckon.

The Norse adventurer’s ambition is to become King of Brittany so perhaps he will not be an active threat in Britain for a long time. He has his attentions elsewhere.

September 858 AD – Karling Brave

Thanks to my Karling blood I get back my Brave trait. Nice.

Brave Again

November 858 AD – Brother Can You Help?

Sussex is won, I am now on to Kent. I am leading the troops now. My army is a little withered though so I raise some of my brother Arthen’s levies from Winchester to fill out the numbers.

War for Kent

June 861 AD – For Essex

Kent taken and my wife is pregnant. Now I will press on King Cuthbert for Essex.

War Declared on Essex

July 861 AD – Cathars in the North

For Essex I raise all my willing vassals but leave my demesne troops in their barracks to replenish their numbers. I still have the remnants of the Saxon Band on hire as well as my retinues of longbowmen with the force.

There is a Cathar uprising in Northumbria but I assume Duchess Helga can handle it.

November 862 AD – Gavelkind in Essex

Cuthbert of Essex submits to the inevitable and becomes my vassal. I transfer Bedford to him and demand he institutes gavelkind succession in Essex. He says it is not in his interests but will do it for a favour. Really it is in his interests if he wants his son to inherit but I go along with it as it is in my interests too. His son is matri-linealy betrothed to one of my own house by my father Uthyr.

Gavelkind for Essex

Gaining Essex means all I have to get left in England is Hull, Yoredale, Suffolk and Middlesex. Also there is a still that Cathar uprising up in Northumbria. Hull will be the easiest of the four and since it is up north where the Cathar uprising is I may as well take out the pair with one raising. North we march!

England Nearly Complete

December 862 AD – A Clever Girl

A daughter is born to my wife. We name her Cicely and she has the genius trait, nice. Since my son died after the Slow Fever incident she is my only child so far to put forward as Tanist.

April 863 AD – Hull Down

Hull is won. I transfer the vassalage contract of Hull to Helga since she seems to get on with Anglo-Saxons. My force marches north now to rescue Helga from the Cathars whom are crushed in a single engagement.

March on the Cathars

Now I create the title the Duchy of Ebrauc (York) and grant it to Helga since she already has its de jure counties of York, Leeds and Hull. She now has two duchy level titles which will certainly be split up among her two Morgannwg sons when she dies. For now though it gives her a claim on Yoredale which I will press for her now.

Pressing Yoredale will put me at war with King Flann of Eire but I fancy my chances. He may be a powerful king with a vast realm but so am I, even more so perhaps. Also he is still flat broke while I have pots of cash.

June 863 AD – A Big Favour

I am marching my retinue and mercenaries to Dyfed to block a sea crossing into Wales from Ireland before pressing Helga’s claim to Yoredale. That is when Cuthbert of Essex calls in the favour I gave him to switch Essex to gavelkind.

The favour he wants in return is not a small one. He wants me to press his claim on Middlesex upon the Norse adventurer who has it now, Kettlimund the Conqueror of Vannes. Kettlimund can probably match me for numbers if he can get them over from Vannes. Though he seems to have about 4k just sitting in Middlesex.

I do not suppose there is any huge penalty for refusing Cuthbert’s request. However I want Middlesex anyway so I will have to fight for it sometime. It is about time I had an opponent who might actually be a challenge. I accept the request.

August 863 AD – Siege of Gloucester

Kettlimund’s big force in Middlesex marched straight for Gloucester and has my castle under siege. This is while I had to raise my all my forces from vassals, demesne, mercenaries and retinues and bring all my scattered men into a concentrated army in the mountains of Ternyllwg.

All assembled now I have just over 7.3k versus the 6.7k of the Norse men besieging Gloucester. However I have a number of newly created longbow retinues which are still reinforcing so if I wait I should have a fair bit more still. Gloucester’s walls are high, a little wait is probably safe enough.

I have moved my forces down from the mountains of Ternyllwg into Ergyng (Herefordshire!) across the river from Gloucester. So I have smuggled myself out of my castle to join my army there. I will not lead a flank as I am not the best field commander but I will be present on the field to give courage to the men.

Down from Ternyllwg to Ergyng

October 863 AD – Gout Won

The castle will hold out much longer, time to strike. I hire some more mercenaries for back up and march for the river crossing.

The Relief of Gloucester

The Norse have had some reinforcements of their own from who knows where, but I should outnumber them slightly. A lot of their force is light infantry whereas I have substantial numbers of heavy infantry and pikemen…

Battle is engaged. It is looking pretty even. But then in true Crusader Kings 2 style the battle and war is canceled due to Kettlimund dying of gout. Mad. Oh well at least I gained Inspiring Leader from a battlefield event.

The Battle of Cirencester

Kettlimund’s realm is split up into a bunch of independent realms by his succession law, elective gavelkind presumably. I do not care about any of them except for Middlesex which is now part of the domain of Kettlimund’s son Stryker.

So I am all dressed up for war but the war is gone. I have 8k reinforcing to 12k camped outside of Gloucester with no one to fight.

To avoid wasting all that martial potential I may as well press on Stryker straight away. I will have to dismiss my levies to do that though and it will be a pain to then have to raise them again from all over the land. Then again Stryker may not be so well endowed so the mercenaries and retinues may be all I need.

November 863 AD – Strike at Stryker

War declared on Stryker. He has a puny 600 raised in Middlesex but likely has some more overseas but very likely not nearly enough.

February 864 AD – Stryker Struck Out

Stryker was not even a tiny fraction the challenge his father would have been. Middlesex is easily won from him.

I intend now to test myself against Eire for the right to the mis-inherited county of Yoredale. So I am marching with my mercs and retinue to Dyfed again to be positioned to stop a sea crossing from Ireland when I declare war.

Once there I will declare for Yoredale and raise my levies to sit on Yoredale while my professionals hold the crossing and see where it goes from there.

April 864 AD – Crossing Watch

March to the Crossing

My professionals are positioned on the crossing now, so I declare for Yoredale. I order the raising of my levies and for them to march on Yoredale with my best commanders leading. The host numbers around 8k. I remain leading my mercenaries and retinue guarding the crossing. At the crossing I have 2k but they will reinforce up to 4.5k with time.

July 864 AD – King Flann

The levy host has taken Yoredale and is now marching north to work on the Irish territories in Scotland. I remain on the crossing waiting. Spies report King Flann is across in Ormond with a host of 4k. I hope he will risk a crossing with his larger force.

August 864 AD – Mischief in the Rear

Battle in the North
Awaiting Flann

My northern host won its first field battle and is now laying siege up across the border. Spies report King Flann is marching north avoiding the crossing I am guarding.

Presumably he is going after my northern host. When he is sighted in the north I will take the crossing into Eire and get up to some mischief up his rear.

November 864 AD

The Northern force had moved south to catch and defeat a small Irish force trying to lift the occupation of Yoredale and is returning north of the border with aim of intercepting King Flann’s force.

My force is making the crossing from Wales now.

King Flann slipped past my northern host and is headed south with my host in pursuit.

I am across the straits and laying siege to pitiful tribal hovels.

December 864 AD – King Flann Flipped

King Flann Defeated at Yoredale

The northern force catches King Flann trying to liberate Yoredale. My force is nearly twice as large and better lead. It is a crushing victory as expected. They march north again to intercept another Irish host in Cumberland.

January 865 AD – Yoredale Won from Flann

The northern force catches up the Irish host in Cumberland and drives them off easily with a seven to one numbers advantage. On again across the border more Irish are driven off before catching up with King Flann’s reformed but much smaller force. This defeat on King Flann forces him to accept my demands. Victory! Yoredale is Helga’s.

April 865 AD – Impaler Dead

The old king of Mercia, whom I called Impaler, has died taking our post-war truce with it. This opens up his last remaining county of Suffolk to a truce free claim. It is the last outstanding English county too. I declare now for it.

July 865 AD – England Complete

England and Wales

That is it, the full set. With Suffolk now subdued I have all of the de jure counties of England and Wales and their respective kingdom titles. Now I look to Ireland and Scotland. I have a truce with King Flann of Eire so I will not be able to do much there for a while. Only five other targets remain in the British Isles, the Kingdom of Pictland and four independent single counties in Ireland.

Picking off the the single counties in Ireland would be easy but not get me much. Pictland however is more interesting as it is a moderately large realm with a kingdom title. Getting a casus belli on it is another matter though.

The wife of the Duke of Essex has a strong claim on the kingdom title but if I pressed that claim it will not help me as there is no way she can be my vassal with a king title. The pope will not grant me my own claim either.

However there is an opportunity in the weird way Pictland is structured. The king has only one county of his own the rest of the kingdom is divided between two vassals. One vassal has only one county himself but the other is a super duke who has all of the rest of the realm, something like 8 counties.

On this super duke, the High Chieftess of Fortriu, the pope will give me a claim. So then I could war upon Pictland for Fortriu and then when I have taken it I should be in a position to usurp the king title. Once I have the king title I can press de jure claims on the rest.

Fortriu

I will wait until spring before carrying out the plan.

March 866 AD – Good Fortune in Fortriu

The pope grants me the claim on Fortriu and I declare my war for it. For this war my initial raising is just my demesne troops and a select few of my most loyal vassals.

War for Fortriu

February 867 AD – Inconclusion

The war was almost won when the war was forced to end inconclusively with the death of the King of Pictland. I have to march all the way back to my territory to disband my levies before I can have another go at the claim with a fresh war on the new Queen of Pictland. Annoying.

The good news is that over the winter my wife birthed a son for me. A boy with the genius trait like his sister.

April 867 AD – War Renewed

My army is back on home turf so I disband them and renew my war for Fortriu on the new Queen. I raise again in the same manner as before to assemble at the border. Fortriu is a little smaller now due to a successful revolt by one of her vassals.

September 867 AD – A Fortriu Win

The war is won pretty easily and I gain the Duchy of Fortriu and all its vassals. My new vassals are fairly content with the change of liege despite me being a foreigner and not a tribal. I drop some gifts on the two stronger Pictish vassals to cement our good relations.

My newly born son died.

January 868 AD – Welsh Dragon

King Flann of Eire died some time ago taking our truce with him. The new king of Eire is only a small child. My aim is to take some territory from Eire that is de jure in Scotland to bring me nearer to usurping the crown of Scotland. Luckily of my new vassals Cardinal Bili of Ywelel has a claim on a neighbouring county held by Eire.

This may be my next conquest but first I should let my vassals rest a bit and levies replenish. Many are now calling me ‘The Dragon’ which is particularly pleasing for me as a welshman. I am not sure if I earned this epithet because of my furious conquests or my taste for human flesh.

May 868 AD – Cornish Cathars

A Cathar revolt erupts in the Duchy of Cornwall. I raise my English and Welsh vassals to deal with it. I spare my demesne troops the chore because I am saving them for the next war with Eire.

September 868 AD – A Better Claim

I was going to press Cardinal Bilis claim when I realised that the pope will give me a claim on the whole Kingdom of Eire. The claim will cost a lot of piety but then what else is piety for? If I am going to war it is better to win a kingdom over a county.

I get the claim from the pope but when I go to press it on the boy king of Eire I realise the claim is not what I thought it was. The claim I bought from the pope was just for the Duchy of Mide not the kingdom of Eire.

Oh well it is better than nothing and it will weaken the king badly as his entire demesne is in Mide. Off to war we go. I am going to use my demesne, retinues and some mercenaries for this one, leaving my vassals in reserve.

October 868 AD – An Early Crossing

My retinues made the crossing into Eire early to make a bridgehead. They lay siege to Laighn while my mercenaries and levies catch them up.

November 868 AD – Northumbria Raised

With my mercenaries and levies over the crossing my force is assembled in Laighn, over 6k. They storm the pitiful tribal holding and then lay siege to the church there.

A small Irish force has crossed the northern border into the Duchy of Northumbria to seige in Cumberland. I raise the levies of Northumbria to deal with it.

December 868 AD – Irish Retreat

Laighn is fully occupied so my force marches now for the capital Eire Dublin.

The Irish break off their siege of Cumberland and withdraw over the border as the Northumbrian Army nears. Northumbria pursues.

January 869 AD – Build up for Dublin

A substantial force of Irish has mustered in Meath by Dublin, they are not matching to the relief of Dublin yet. Likely they are awaiting further reinforcements.

I send for some reinforcements of my own.

February 869 AD – Northumbria on the Northern Crossing

My Northumbrian force fails to catch up with the Irish force after being intercepted by a smaller splinter force. After defeating the splinter they settle down to siege the county of Na Rannabh, a strategic position commanding the the northern straits into Ireland.

The enemy force in Meath swells to 8k presumably by the force the Northumbrians failed to catch.

April 869 AD – Dublin Won

Dublin is won while the last of my reinforcements join my force there. The Irish army to the north in Meath continues to sit idle.

They have a slight advantage in numbers but their force is mostly light infantry while mine is mostly heavy infantry and longbowmen. I expect to win a battle then as it stands.

I will finish besieging the church in Dublin then attack.

May 869 AD – Battle in Meath

Once the Irish capital county is fully occupied my forces march north to engage the big Irish force in Meath.

As the two armies form up in lines opposing each other is it notable that the Irish force is more than half composed of light infantry while I have twice a many archers and six times as many heavy infantry. They have more light cavalry but since it will be them who will be routing they will not be running down anyone.

Let battle commence.

While the left and right wings of our armies are still trading arrows the enemy centre charges forward clashing with my centre. I would have liked my centre to have stayed skirmishing for longer as that is where the bulk of my longbows are deployed. Nevermind the pikes and heavy infantry will do the work now.

Centres Collide

Oh dear my centre crumbled from the ferocity of the charge. It turns out the Irish centre was packed with elite gallowglass. The gallowglass after running my centre off the field now turn on my left flank. My remaining flanks begin advancing now and soon both armies are in the the melee.

My right flank soon routs the enemy flank opposite and begins chewing on the enemy centre. Let us see how these gallowglass handle armoured infantry and pikes!

They do not handle them very well, all the remaining enemy flee from the carnage with my cavalry in pursuit. Victory.

Enemy Rout

Two enemy nobles are captured and the enemy casualties were twice our own. I am disappointed in the performance of my centre flank though. In future I may have to spread my longbow retinues among more flanks rather than keep them all in one.

Victory

July 869 AD – All in the North of Eire

Northumbia in Northern Ireland

My forces spent the last two months working their way up the east coast storming the filthy tribal huts as they went. My Northumbrian force has now crossed over the straight, well positioned to support my main force should they be needed.

September 869 AD – Slipping South

Irish March Through England

A number of sizable Irish hosts have marched into England from the north, probably headed for my capital Gloucester. I leave the Northumbrians in the North of Ireland to continue subduing the irish holdings while bringing my own force south for the crossing into wales.

Holding the Crossing

It turns out that the Irish forces were marching for the welsh crossing into Ireland. My main force arrived on the Irish side of the straight just in time to hold off the coast.

They think the better of assaulting the beaches with my vastly larger force awaiting them. So we make the crossing ourselves to pursue.

We catch up with some of them in Pengwern and deliver to them a crushing rout.

Irish Rout in Pengwern (Shropshire)

November 869 AD – Chester

We catch and defeat another host in Chester. Then march north for the Irish holdings in the south of Scotland.

December 869 AD – Hammer and Anvil

Hammer and Anvil

The Irish forces are boxed in between my Northumbrians on the Irish side of the northern strait and my main force pursuing them up from England.

My main force is the hammer, the Northumbrians the anvil, between which the remaining Irish are crushed.

Welsh Claim on Mide Won

January 870 AD – Mide Won

On the 101st anniversary of game start the Irish sue for peace conceding Mide to my rule. Or rather Meath, somehow the duchy is renamed Meath as I gain it. I am offered the chance to upgrade the tribal holding in the county of Meath to feudal holdings so I do that.

The Duchy of Meath and its dependent counties puts me well over my demesne limit so I hand over the whole thing to a reasonably competent, but as yet unlanded, son of house Morgannwg.

Gwen Landed as Duke of Meath

Part One Concluded

My reign as King Sieffre has lasted 16 years so far and I am still only 32. I should have many more years yet remaining. So watch out for Part 2 of the Reign of King Seiffre the Welsh Dragon.

Realm of the Welsh Dragon 870 AD

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One response to “Chapter 5 of Local Boy, A United the Kingdoms Achievement Run”

  1. Nick says:

    That’s the strongest I’ve ever seen AI Ireland!

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