The turning of the tide
November 30, 1123: Pope Boniface the Crusader dies at 62, succeeded by Pope Leo X.
December 13, 1123: Dublin is brought back into Munsterian hands, but the realm is entirely bereft of coin to pay the mercenaries. The king sends his entire host to Thomond quickly, hoping to delay their wages long enough to win the war.
January 1124: Dublin falls to Breifnean reinforcements from Ulster. The House of Munster is beggared, and the Breton mercenaries depart in disgust. King Máel-Sechlainn discovers that his own sister is plotting to kill him...
Well, that was a disastrous, two year reign. So, here's what I'm going to do. Everyone else has backed House ua Brian of Breifne so...
So will I. With a quick save, quit, and reload, Crusader Kings lets me jump into the exact moment I left off as any noble on the map. I choose the pretender, and voila!
I am now Duke Máel-Sechnaill ua Brian of Breifne, seeking to depose my cousin, Máel-Sechlainn, and claim my rightful place as King of Ireland. All but the Duke of Leinster have backed my claim. I can hear you all calling shenanigans. Is this the "standard" or "default" way to play the game? No. But I rule fair play, as I'm still playing an ua Brian and a direct descendant with just as much connection to my original character as the one I left behind. I'm giving up all of the prestige score I accumulated as House ua Brian of Munster, but I'm not playing to win here. I'm playing to tell interesting stories. And as of now, this is where the more interesting story lies.
I am an underhanded rogue of 24, honest, kind, just, gregarious, and brave. It's easy to see why I am more liked than my cousin, though I have been criticized for my short temper and slothfulness. I have already been maimed in battle, losing several fingers to one of the Breton mercenaries the supposed king called in to cut down his good, Irish countrymen when they dared disagree with him. Nonetheless, he has been left with no recourse in this war. Over 500 of my loyal men from Ulster have been raised to replace the slain, and they now besiege the ancestral seat of our house in Thomond.
My wife is Duchess Der-Lugdach, named for the infamous Breifnean rebel. She is amazing with numbers, ambitious, gregarious, and honest, if a bit of a coward.
September 26, 1124: Thomond falls, for the first time in the history of House ua Brian, to Máel-Sechnaill's own host. The tide of the war has turned.
October 31, 1124: The last of the king's forces are crushed at the Battle of Clonmacnoise.
1125: Ossory falls in one of the bloodiest stalemates of the war.
May 12, 1126: The Breifneans storm the walls at Leighlin, Leinster, the last standing fortress of the Munsterians.