Blood Of The Lion

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Tell Me The Tales Of Long Ago

January, 1299 Dunfast Castle

Richard Óg de Burgh, Earl of Ulster

Winter was closing in, darkness was growing, the feast was slowly coming to an end. It was an interesting time this, Richard could not deny that. The power in London was ebbing and flowing, and his power was growing ever more in number and purpose. His son Walter was a tall and strong lad, everything someone could want tin an heir, and the woman who was to be his wife was pretty as well that much Richard could agree with. The man who had agreed to the marriage was sat at his side, King Brian, a great bear of a man, and an imposing one at that, their alliance was soon to bear fruit, as he soon said.

“Domnhall the pretender has long since died, Your Majesty.” Richard says, speaking carefully. “My men are rested and prepared for any such conflict that might come. We await for your signal.” It galls him to have to ask for aid from this savage, but if it means that he will achieve his aims, he will do as needs be.

King Brian is not much of a talker, indeed it seems he is a very cautious man, and yet still he speaks with authority. “Very well. My men report that the English lords in the south are growing ever restless. They are chafing under the authority of your boy King in England. We are going to wait some more time, but soon enough we shall strike.”

“Will you attend the council that is to be held at Limerick in a few moons time?” Richard asks, hoping the man answers in the affirmative, his plans depend on such a thing.

Thankfully the man nods and responds. “I shall be. I intend to put forward myself as a candidate for the throne, and the kingship.”

“A bold move if I do say so my King. Will you receive enough support to ensure that the vote does not go to waste?” Richard asks.

“Yes, I do believe so. There are those who are tiring of English rule and those who do not want another son of Aedh to sit the throne of St Patrick. I shall receive the votes, and your backing will help.” The King responds.

Richard raises his cup in toast then and says. “Then let us proceed with as much haste as we think appropriate.” The man raises his cup as well, and they drink to a formative alliance.

February, 1299 Blarney Castle

King Domnall Ruad MacCarthy

Fires blazed through the winter as they sat and drank and feasted, they were all here, his family, both close kin and extended family, come to greet the King of Connaught, the last of an old and proud line, and if all went according to plan they would soon seal an alliance. That was important, they could not venture forward without an alliance, and he would hate to kill such an important bloodline.

Clearing his throat in order to encourage silence to fall over the hall, Domnall raises his cup and says. “We are here to celebrate a pact of friendship between our two ancient kingdoms. We are now putting behind the threats of war and old enmities behind us, and welcoming in a new age.” There is some cheering at this, and he smiles. “King David of Alba has come to recognise the importance of a Gaelic ally in our home, and so we shall hold a council soon enough to discuss who should succeed to the throne of Saint Patrick.”

As they had prepared, King Aedh takes up the mantle and speaks. “My family has long held a tie to Saint Patrick’s throne, and as such, I do believe it is only right that we fight for what was taken from us. The English have long since tricked us and lied to us in regard to their intentions. It is time we took our land back from them.”

There are loud cheers in response to this and Domnall smiles. “We are going to support King Aedh for the throne. If there is anyone who opposes this let them speak now or forever hold their peace.” He waits for a moment, and when it becomes apparent that no one will speak up in denial of this, he raises his cup once more and says. “To King Aedh, to our alliance, and to our home. Let us be free”

March, 1299 Stirling Castle

King David II Dunkeld

“Tell me brother, do you wish to see your daughter made a Queen?” David asks his brother in law, King Eric of Norway.

“I do. Though the question I have is who shall she marry? Your own son is promised to another, and unless there is a series of calamities elsewhere, she shall not be a Queen. So tell me brother, who shall she marry?” the King of Norway asks.

At this David smiles and says. “Why the High King of Ireland. The role was ceremonial in the past, that much I grant you, but this time it shall not be. We are going to cut the English off one by one, and we shall make them bleed once more.”

“And who are you going to support for this throne that has not existed in many years?” The King of Norway asks him, his voice showing his scepticism.

“I shall support the King of Connacht for this role, he is young and virile, and he has the best chance of winning.” David responds.

He smiles when his brother in law responds. “If you are confident that he shall succeed, then I am happy to see my daughter wed to him.”

June, 1299, Limerick

King Aedh Ó Conchobair

This throne was his right, his ancestors had held it for many years before the English had come charging in, demanding rights to things that were not theirs. He was determined to take it back once more. King David had promised to support him, and as such when the man had turned up to oversee the vote he had felt secure.

Aedh advanced forward and spoke. “I believe we need young leadership, we need someone who will advance the cause of our people, and provide us with allies who are as forward thinking as we are. We do not need someone who is stuck in the past like some of the competitors here are. We need someone who can stand tall against the English, someone who can stand tall and proud, and back up his words with actions.”

Other speeches are given, but Aedh does not pay attention to them, he spends his time breathing and praying, when the votes are cast, he prays even harder, he takes a deep breath and waits to hear from the King of Scotland who is the one who will announce the vote. Eventually, the voting is done as is the counting and the King of Scotland speaks. “With twenty votes coming last is King Brian of Tír Eoghan,” Aedh hides a smile as he sees the old bear scowl. “Coming in second with forty votes is Niall Mac Aedh of Stone Port.” The priest nods, and then the anticipation grows. “First with sixty votes is King Aedh of Connaught.” The man comes and shakes his hand. “Welcome Your Highness.” Aedh feels overjoyed with all of this, and he smiles at the oaths that are sworn to him and he speaks and on and on it goes. Later that month he marries a Norwegian beauty and the beginnings of war sound.

August, 1299, London

Edmund Plantagenet, Earl of Leicester

“Say it again.” Edmund growls, his anger getting the better of him, he had thought he’d made it perfectly clear to that whoreson what would happen if he meddled in things that did not concern him.

The messenger looks scared, but eventually finds his voice. “A meeting of the Irish Kings was convened at Limerick my lord, and as such it was decided that King Aedh of Connaught was to serve as their new High King. Backed by the forces of King David of Scotland, they have begun raiding through English held settlements.”

“What of De Burgh, are all the Irish Chieftains behind them?” Edmund asks fighting to keep his temper in check.

“De Burgh and his ally the King of Tír Eoghan have rebelled against this new High King, but they are struggling to keep things in order.” The messenger responds.

Edmund nods. “You may go.” The messenger nods and hurries out. Once the man has gone, Edmund turns to his steward and says. “Send writs out to summon the lords to London, we must hold a war council and then we must crush this whoreson rebellion.”

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