I inherited the kingdom and leadership of my clan when I was eight years old. My father had died unexpectedly (ill health or poisoning? – no one knows) leaving me to fend for myself. At Eleven I was betrothed to a ten year old in northern France. She didn’t like me very much, nor I her but she had some skills that would balance my skills to enhance the rule of my kingdom – the kingdom of Munster in the south of Ireland. As we grew and she approached the age at which we would be married her skills changed and no longer meshed well with mine. I took a decision to offer her a divorce which she gladly accepted, leaving me to find another potential wife.

I found an unusually beautiful lady, Elisabeu, daughter of the Duke of Toulouse. Unusual? – She was an albino with skin like porcelain and silver hair. She too had some skills that would complement mine and she at least liked me a bit. I proposed, she accepted – cementing an alliance with Toulouse. We married when she came of age. It was a cool marriage and after a couple of years I was starting to worry. Would my wife produce an heir for me? That concern made me look around my court and also further afield. I really needed a male heir to carry on the clan line should anything happen to me. I started romancing a lady in my court – an older but comely lady of 30 years. Our romance turned to an affair starting with a lustful moment behind the communal lavatories – very romantic. We agreed that we should continue our sordid relationship, though hopefully in more congenial surroundings.

My wife announced her pregnancy just a couple of weeks before my concubine informed me that she too was carrying. Two babies on the way and I waited with baited breath. Elisabeu presented me with a lovely daughter. Sadly, my courtier died in childbirth a few weeks later ending our illicit affair – I’ll never know whether she was carrying my son. A couple of months later my wife started romancing me! I can only think that she had got wind of my affair and felt the need to cement her position? She fell pregnant again and presented me with a Son and heir. We became true lovers over the next year or so, eventually realizing that we were truly soulmates. I never strayed again. We had 3 more wonderful daughters. Time for a family picture of me with my Wife and Son…

I oversaw a largely peaceful period for our kingdom, successfully expanding it via a few minor wars to control adjacent earldoms and make them vassels… My stature rose and I was widely liked or respected even by those who would naturally be enemies of my kingdom. Sadly I had to remove a couple of people along the way using nefarious means – my spymasters facilitated that and my hands remained clean. There was also the tragic execution of one of my Stewards – a vassel and leader of the rival Desmond clan. Tragic because news of her acceptance of my terms came too late.

I died at the age of 62 – a victim of bubonic plague. I leave my wonderful Wife and Son behind to carry on the work to unite all Ireland…

…And that is a synopsis of some gameplay in the recently released Crusader Kings III from Paradox. I wasn’t sure whether to buy this or not. I have experienced some other strategy titles from this developer and their games can be very complex. Most famous is Europa Universalis IV which is a very complicated game to get into for a newcomer. I think this is because of all the improvements (complicated mechanics) added to the game since it released. Presently Crusader Kings III is very playable for me and very addictive! On the basis of the fun I’ve had I’d recommend this title – with the caveat that it’s currently an expensive game. If you think it’s of interest to you, I’d suggest watching some of the gameplay tutorials on Youtube. I will post a bit more about the gameplay, and what I think happens in the background, in the near future…

…Unfortunately, my passing left my Son with a slightly fragmented kingdom as Countess Ligeach of Connacht – the last Steward on my Council – ceased to be my vassel……But he’s a more skillful and thoughtful diplomat than I so I’m sure he will find a peaceful solution to the problem. And, he has my Grandson to help…