December 4, 1162:
Duchess Éua of Connacht organizes a faction to be made Queen of Ireland.
The last thing I need right now is a rebellion on my home shores while I'm campaigning in Britain. Éua is the eldest of five daughters born to the late Gilla-Íosa ua Brian, the last of the Breifnean ua Brians to reign over Ireland. I deposed him in a succession war some time ago to put the original Munsterian branch of our house back on the throne. As the daughter of a once-king, it seems Éua has her eyes on my seat. Luckily, despite all of the annoyance I have garnered by keeping the realm's military levies raised for years to win my claim on England, my key vassals still like me enough to shun this traitorous faction. I plot to have my cousin killed immediately.
August 9, 1163:
Southampton falls to Irish forces, ending all Saxon resistance in Winchester. King Murchad sets his sights on Wells, Somerset.
December 6, 1163:
The king's eldest daughter, Máiread, comes of age. She is a brilliant strategist in keeping with the ua Brian tradition. A great wedding is held for her and her long-betrothed, Prince Mads of Denmark. The close bond between the houses of ua Brian and Ylving are renewed, though Queen Maria of Denmark declines to join Ireland's war in England.
July 19, 1164:
Ilchester, Somerset falls, closing Murchad's grip on the county. Gudbrand continues to hide and bide his time.
There are very few towns in England that we don't own outright at this point, but the Saxons are still refusing to surrender. Technically, I could just hang around and wait for the warscore to tick up to 100 and force their hand... but I'd rather get this over with so my men can go home. Gudbrand's home county of Gloucester is one of the last containing Saxon-loyal strongholds. Time to head up there and seal the deal.
November 17, 1164:
Bristol, Gloucester falls. Duke Gudbrand finally surrenders, and kneels before King Murchad I of England and Ireland.
Unfortunately, this isn't quite the coup that winning historical England would have been. It's very much a fixer-upper. The majority of what is considered "de jure England" has been ruled as the independent Saxon Duchy of Lancaster for decades. Kent and Norfolk are also independent, and the Kingdom of Norway holds sway in Cornwall. All I've really inherited is a disjointed blob of South Britain that has somehow retained the appellation "Kingdom of England" for all these years, when in fact it is far weaker than the Lancastrian realm that borders it.
The good news is that the title King of England allows me to press claim on just about any county between here and Scotland, with the exception of Wales, which I have conveniently fabricated claims on. For now, I need to dismiss my armies and let my disgruntled vassals calm down. But once the time is right, I have all the justification I need to start a conquest that could end in my being crowned Emperor.
After King Murchad's coronation, Duke Åle of Oxford begins scheming to make himself King of England.
Yep, let's hear from all the traitors in the house. Come on out and make yourselves known. The king appreciates your honesty. If you wouldn't mind, take this quick survey. Question 1: Were I to be beheaded, I would prefer the stroke to start at... A) The front of my neck, B) The back of my neck, C) The side of my neck, D) I would prefer to be drawn and quartered.