Crusader Kings Chronicle, part 5: 1112-1128

T.J. Hafer at

An abbreviated reign

July 10, 1126: King Máel-Sechlainn is assassinated by his sister, Dubchoclaigh macÉnna. His newborn son, Murchad I, is briefly declared King of Ireland under Regent Lord Donnchad of Ossory. Donnchad refuses to surrender, even though his king is dead and his lands are occupied.

The commander of Máel-Sechlainn's forces, the Duke of Leinster, is slain in battle later that month. His title is inherited by Duchess Alis of Connacht, already embroiled in the war on the Breifnean side. Surrounded with no hope of aid from any direction, the Lord Regent finally surrenders.

Ireland is united once more, and Máel-Sechnaill ua Brian of Breifne is crowned king.

October 23, 1126: King Máel-Sechnaill I elects to hold a Grand Tournament, the first since the reign of Brian I, to celebrate the rightful ascendance of House ua Brian of Breifne to the throne. Donal ua Brian, a distant relation of Conchobar macDonnchad's line, is declared the grand champion.

June 15, 1127: Duke Estmond of Lancaster, de facto "king" of most of England (though the title is still held by Norwegians in the south) and still kicking at 77, conquers the south of Wales. Countess Ælfelda of Northumberland, resentful of aggression against the Welsh, secedes Northumberland from the Lancastrian realm.

February 19, 1128: After an even shorter reign than his deposed cousin, King Máel-Sechnaill I is killed by bandits when his carriage is ambushed in the woods, at the age of 29. He is succeeded by his sister, who innocently denies any knowledge of how one might hire bandits to ambush one's brother in the woods and stab him in the back of the neck so he would die quickly and painlessly, placing his sister on the throne.

Nope, I certainly don't know anything about that. I am now Queen Áine I of Ireland, 26, daughter of Fáelbe ua Brian and granddaughter of King Brian I. I am an elusive shadow, and a homosexual (though I dare not admit it as a medieval Catholic.) I am also an ambitious and gregarious scholar, short-tempered, greedy, and often arbitrary.

My husband, who I clearly only put up with for the sake of public scrutiny, is Gilla-Brígte, 27, a cynical, deceitful, intricate webweaver. He was blessed with patience, but not enough to keep him from being maimed in my brother's grand tournament. I have one son with my late first husband (and half-cousin), Brian macÉnna. His name is Gilla-Íosa, age four.

And I definitely had nothing to do with my dear brother's death. The initials on that knife must have stood for... Áilee ua Bannon. That's a person I totally didn't make up.

It has been a turbulent several years since my legendary grandfather died. The last two kings have done more harm than good for Ireland. It is time to show my people what a queen can do. And you as well. Come back next week, and stand witness.