On the warpath
August 5, 1109: Duke Máel-Sechlainn, hoping to strike before the main Munsterian host arrives from the South, marches his armies on nearby Castle Dromahair. The defenders are vastly outnumbered, but reinforcements from Connacht arrive just in time to turn the battle into a bloody rout for the pretender. 339 Meath men are cut down, while only 79 Munsterian lives are lost.
August 11, 1109: The full might of the Realm of Munster, 2200 men, is gathered in Breifne. Duke Murchad sits atop his horse, looking down on his assembled banners, knowing that this "war" will be merely a formality.
August 28, 1109: Duke Brian's army besieges Castle Knockaulin, as Máel-Sechlainn dispatches 61 brigands to attack the Munsterian capital of Thomond. Duke Brian knows it will not be enough to do any serious damage to the garrison there, and ignores them.
September 9, 1109: The defenders of Knockaulin lead a successful sally, and Duke Brian loses nearly 100 men. Even so, it does not delay the inevitable for long.
October 16, 1109: Duke Brian's youngest child, Aife, comes of age. She has become a tough soldier like her father, strong, patient, gregarious, chaste, and ambitious... though also craven, deceitful, greedy, and arbitrary. She is betrothed to the 15-year-old Welsh Duke, Gwerthern of Deheubarth.
Wales is a small, divided realm, and looks the ripest for conquest once Ireland is mine. They are Celts, as well, so will not resent being ruled by an outside culture as much as they would otherwise.
February 8, 1111: After a long siege, Knockaulin finally falls. Duke Brian's army marches on the nearby town of St. Brigit.
February 16, 1111: Máiread the Warrior Maiden loses her husband in a peasant uprising, leaving her with no children. Duke Brian remarries her to the young, brave Sir Dúnchad, one of his knights, hoping that her line will not end just as it is starting.
What. The. Actual. Frak? We are so far down the line of succession at this point, it's just depressing. I'm really starting to think that either the game has it out for me, or someone has been systematically picking off my heirs and my spymaster is just too dense to realize that the given cause of death is total B.S.
April 25, 1111: St. Brigit falls, and Duke Brian becomes Count of Kildare. Using the title's historical footing as a seat of the Duchy of Meath, he immediately declares himself Duke of Meath as well.
I now hold three ducal titles in Ireland, and have a de jure claim on County Dublin. Holding it is the last requirement for me to create the title King of Ireland. Before I step on its current owner, Duke Domnall of Leinster, like a bug, I grant my long-unlanded son Énri County Kildare to govern.
May 15, 1110: A small detachment of Munsterians are defeated at Kildare when the Duke of Leinster raises his armies to defend Dublin, but reinforcements rush in almost immediately to avenge the 94 loyal men killed.
May 30, 1111: The Leinsterians are killed to the last at the Second Battle of Kildare, with Munster losing only 124 men to Leinster's 600.
June 11, 1111: Over 2000 Munsterians arrive to besiege Castle Ath Cliath in Dublin.