Crusader Kings Chronicle, part 5: 1112-1128

An abbreviated reign

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.

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.

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.