May 1, 1095: King Erik of Denmark, Duke Brian's brother in law, calls to Munster for aid once again in conquering the Livonian tribes, looking to expand his trans-Baltic kingdom even further. Duke Brian raises his hosts and sends word for the Danes to expect him once again.(opens in new tab)
Good ol' Erik has been conquering Baltic barbarians since my father's reign. My father, in fact, took the famous injury that left him mentally vegetative while brazenly chasing a host of fleeing Zemigallinas that outnumbered him five-to-one. And yet, the one time we asked Denmark for aid in our wars, he totally gave us the brush off. Nonetheless, I've been sailing off to join his conquests over the last several years, partly to make him less likely to ignore us again, and partly because I don't have any workable claims at the moment and need something to do.
With all of the territory I seized from rebels in the Connachtian Schism, my personal host now numbers over 700, which will make a significant contribution to this war. Munsterians now count for 13 of every 100 men in King Erik's allied forces. Our foe this time is High Chief Bikshe of the Lettigallians. He is far from the most formidable warrior we have faced in our ongoing conquests.
July 15, 1095: Duke Brian's legitimized bastard daughter, Dubchoclaigh, grows old enough to be educated. He sends her to his mistress, her birth mother, Gormlaith de Ennis.
August 13, 1095: After a relatively bloodless siege at Jersika, the Lettigallians put up a fierce fight at Erle, killing 561 men before surrendering. 78 of the dead are Duke Brian's. Once Erle is taken, High Chief Bikshe kneels to King Erik immediately, and the Munsterians head for home.
September 3, 1095: A famous Danish poet asks to be allowed to chronicle the history of House ua Brian, and their alliance with Denmark. Duke Brian agrees enthusiastically.(opens in new tab)
This will give me a nice prestige bonus, and I gain the Proud trait. The church will see it as a vice, but I see it as well-earned.
September 26, 1095: Duke Brian arranges a marriage between his son Fáelbe and the 18-year-old daughter of Duke Donnchad of Leinster, Máire.
The Duchy of Leinster is the second most powerful realm in Ireland, and the only one that has any prayer of challenging me for kingship as of now. By uniting my house with the ua Cheinnselaigs, I can hopefully bring them into my fold without waging war.
January 20, 1096: Duke Brian reinstates his once-rebel son Énna as Earl of Connacht. To Fáelbe and his new wife, he gives the Earldom of Briefne.
Énna really seems to have learned his lesson, and this title has put him at the maximum of +100 opinion with me. This will also eliminate the prestige penalties I've been taking for having unlanded sons.(opens in new tab)
While I'm at it, I arrange a betrothal between my son Énri and his half-cousin, King Erik of Denmark's young daughter Princess Sanna. Yeah, we're getting into some weird marriage territory here - they're both grandchildren of King Svend II, but King Erik and my wife Sigrid (Énri's mother) have different mothers. So... they're not that closely related, and I want to make sure our alliance with Denmark persists after my death. Of course, this could backfire horribly if Énri decides to rebel, and the Danes back him over my heir, Murchad. But these are the risks you take.
April 20, 1096: Nobody is shocked when King Erik calls for troops... again! His target this time is High Chief Riku of the Tavastians. Duke Brian pledges his personal host once more, and calls upon all of his landed sons to join him for the first time.
Distributing my land among my sons meant my personal retinue shrank back down to a rather paltry 225, so I decided to make a family outing of this. All of my sons are able commanders, and our combined forces are over 1000 strong. Also joining us will be the Kingdom of Poland, who have also recently married into Erik's House Ylving.