King Francisco's tale is a short one, as he passed away a week before Christmas 1156 handing over the Welsh crown to the now King Meurig II.
Meurig 2 : Electric Boogaloo has been in power for 22 years now and his stabbing tally stands at : none. Despite this embarrassing swing away from the traditions that made his family great he has been a pretty good ruler who has done much to advance Welsh fortunes.
The new King had been sent to court in France at age six and in the following 28 years political machinations led to him rising to the position of the Duke of Upper Lorraine. This caused him to be seen as French by the Welsh and Welsh to the French, with the result that the day he came to power was not a good one, as Verdun, Metz, Dyfed and Perfeddwlad all rose up to dispute his ascension, joined by the county of Sundgau who took the field demanding independence.
With a war on five fronts I decided to let discretion be the better part of valor and immediately surrendered to Sundgau, granting them their independence muttering "I'll be back" like a French-Welsh Arnie. Of the two remaining enemies on the mainland only Verdun had a force large enough to cause issue, so I choose to put him off, ignoring his attack into Santois and waded into Metz to kick the crap out of those people. A sharp engagement drove the Metz army from the field and when two of their holdings were captured they offered surrender. I allowed their leader to keep his head and headed back to Santois.
The fight in Santois was a very close run thing because although we had a numbers advantage Verdun had a ridiculously good Marshall rated something like 27 for ability. Our victory was Pyrrhic with Meurig II's army being written down to just a few hundred men before they claimed the field, capturing the Count of Verdun in the process. M2 then turned his eyes to Wales, raising a significant mercenary force in Glamorgan to just end the uprising as quickly as possible. The backwater of Perfeddwlad was first and he smashed their 450 defenders with 4,000 men.
Then came the sad moment of turning south to attack Dyfed. King Francisco had granted the Dyfed title to his brother, Bernado and Uncle Bernado had been a Guardian for Meurig II for a short while and had always been loyal previously. He had to go though, and he couldn't raise anywhere near enough men to face off against our mercenaries and soon Bernado joined Verdun and the Countess of Perfeddwlad in Glamorgan's jails.
With all these counties returned to sanity I now had enough galleys to ship people about and so it was that I returned to Sundgau to have a chat with them about their independence. I hoped they enjoyed their 18 months of freedom as we absolutely squashed them flat and publicly executed their leader.
Since then Meurig has done his best to keep the English off balance, finding Dukes who have an extremely poor opinion of England's King Wiglaf and giving them money until they suddenly had enough to raise a mercenary army and revolt with friends. Eventually the right combination of events happened and for a few months Gwynedd was considered independent as they were part of an English uprising. M2 immediately declared war on the House of Hereford, smashed his way into Gwynedd and captured the county before the rebels were destroyed by Wiglaf.
M2 is now missing only Powys and Gwent to completely reform the Kingdom of Wales to original levels.
The Scots also gave the King a chance for expansion as they got a little over confident and started a major war. The Scots had captured most of Ireland and two English counties in the North West and then found a toehold in both France and Spain. Their push into France caused a war on the Brittany peninsular that left the door open to Nantes - a county that I randomly had a claim to, so in we went.
England is still fractured with Bedford and York rising up against the King, but sadly neither of those Dukes own Welsh counties.
On the mainland you can see the Welsh enclave in Eastern France.
Beneath the "3,838" soldiers is Nantes - the newest Welsh county.
Scottish adventures got carried away though as they attacked a Caliph in Spain and suddenly thousands of Muslim soldiers were afoot on mainland Europe - they landed in the newest Scottish holdings in Brittany and in Ireland and routinely destroyed Scottish armies and at one point there were Muslims in Carrick and Argyll, which led to the fall of the Scottish King to be replaced by the Duke of Moray, and the loss of some Scottish holdings in Ireland.
So Meurig II's reign has, thus far, been largely devoid of the sort of intrigue and espionage that had kept Wales alive with earlier Kings, but there has been a significant improvement in the size of the Welsh demesne. Of course, being a bubble of independence between France and the Holy Roman Empire is going to go very wrong at some point, but that will probably be the next king's problem.
Now though, working in the third decade of his rule the King has realised that he can't suitably bear the Morgan shield without getting his hands dirty somewhow...
Cheating on his wife and overthrowing the Pope should do it.