Children of the Storm God - a "You Decide" story of the Isle of Man


der Besucher
Dec 7, 2001
Atlanta, GA
3000 BC
Life was good. After almost a year traveling up and down the coast of this massive island, Sealman and his crew finally had a target worth taking. The barbarian villages they had pillaged had been an act of mercy for those folk as much as they were to fulfill the mission of the coracle Mannanan and her sister ships. The Mannanan was a coastal sweep tasked with protecting the waters about the Isle of Man by breaking up accumulations of barbarians, especially those who tried to ply the waves. The cruise had so far been quite eventful. His seasoned warriors had destroyed two barbarian encampments and mobilized the Validonii peoples to the cause of Mannanan mac Lir. The Validonii warriors had then paralleled the Mannanan's southerly course and assisted in two more engagements.

Now the little fleet of vessels was pulling into a bay that was home to Celts. Not proper Celts, of course. These had a harsh slant to their speech and were half again as violent as any barbarians. What had that fishermen called them again? Scotii or Scotch or something like that. No matter, they would soon be Manx. As his troops assembled on the beech that was a short run from the city proper he saw smoke coming from the far side of the city. That would be the Validonii warriors. Sealman hurried his own troops into formation. Best to subdue these Scotii quickly before the Validonii destroyed the place. They were a valuable asset, these barbarian warriors, but their penchant for violence had already cost Sealman a good deal of prize money and booty.

As he walked unmolested at the head of his column of warriors Sealman was struck by the absolute lack of resistance. Had the entire garrison responded to the Validonii threat? Were they laying a trap further inside the little city? Several hours later he was relaxing drinking mead with the Validonii chief as report after report came in that neighborhoods of the city continued to be secured with virtually no defense. They had caught the city of Edinburgh with no military garrison. The Scotii had been defeated and the occupying Manx forces had not lost a single soldier.

Sealman entrenched his forces and sent the Mannanan and her little fleet back to the Isle of Man with news of the great victory. Evidence was found of a fairly large exodus. Most likely a goodly amount of the populous had fled when the two armed forces converged on Edinburgh. He opted to let them run. There was little that a group of unarmed fugitive civilians could accomplish and his men deserved a celebration to honor Mannanan mac Lir for this fantastic luck and bounty.

2000 BC
It was somewhat ironic that the SkyLord was meeting these particular dignitaries in this place. The Scots had once controlled these lands, after all. But that was so long ago that it defied memory and even legend. He wondered what the Scots would be like. As a youth he had spent several years in the traditional Manx passion of exploration on the seas. He had met Picts and Irishmen and the Scots were said to be cousins of these. He enjoyed the company of the Picts. Their mountainous and unforgiving homeland turned out a soul quite similar to his own windswept and stormy one. The Irish were crude and backward. That was to be expected though as Man controlled the seas and prohibited anyone from crossing the Sea of Mannanan. The Irish were kept separate from other civilizations by the simple fact that they were alone on their island and Man would allow no travel by ship.

He stood politely as the Scottish envoys were shown into his tent. "Welcome to Edinburgh and Man" he said, smiling in welcome. "Please be seated." When the three burly men had been seated and served he took up his own cup and toasted them. "To Scotland and the Scots. May the waves never crest your gunwals nor the winds e'er blow against you."

The Scots told the Skylord the sad story of the Scots. How they had struggled against barbarian attacks and starvation after fleeing the Manx occupation of Edinburgh. They told of the tests and travails that the proud clans had undergone in their desperate journey south. The Scots had finally settled on the eastern coast at the far south of the great island. They were immediately beset by the Cornish and Welsh, their new neighbors. (The Skylord took this news with a grain of salt - he had many friends in Cornwall and Wales and the story they told was of constant incursion and raiding by the Scots.) The Scots were now separated by hostile peoples and great distance from their cousins the Picts and Irish. They sought Manx assistance in establishing communication with their estranged relations.

The Skylord frowned and explained that the seas were the province of Mannanan mac Lir and he had declaimed that only the children of the storm god, the Manx, were to be suffered upon it. It was his holy duty as a warrior priest to protect the waves from the ungodly. He apologized profusely that this caused the Scots distress but the whole thing was literally in the hands of his god. The Scots were incensed. They bargained, begged, pleaded and finally demanded that passage be opened to Ireland. The Skylord refused and began to become angry himself. Harsh words were exchanged and the Scots vowed that they would attack the mainland Manx holdings if their demands were not met. Such behavior on the part of a guest was unthinkable so he did the only reasonable thing. He had the three Scots stripped and beaten, tied to their horses backwards and sent off wildly into the woods. The peaceful Manx were at war for the second time in their history, for the second time against Scotland.

It was quite a conundrum. How could he wage war against a landbound foe that resided on the opposite end of the great isle? The answer presented itself quite readily. He was not the Manx prince who had many friends in Cornwall and Wales. Alliances were signed in record speed. Alliance was also made in Pictland. They were even farther away from Scotland than the Isle of Man but it would have been rude to exclude their longtime friends from such a universal conflict.

The war dragged on and on, carried by the Cornish and Welsh. The Picts and Manx were too far from the theatre to provide more than token support. Eventually the "Guests' War" eventually ended with no real gains by the alliance or Scotland.

1000 BC
Das mac Lir sat at his huge desk rereading reports he had already spent too much time on. The Irish problem. You would figure that after the millenia that the Isle of Man had protected the seas that these people would finally accept it. But no. Another courier boat had been captured attempting to land on the shores of Eire. This one was Welsh and the consulate from Wales was making fabulous noise about it. The penalty for violating Mannanan's seas was death. Pure and simple. Hadn't the Manx expended great effort destroying the barbarian raiders from the north? Those marauders now rested at the bottom of the sea they had profaned with their presence.

The Irish problem. The Irish themselves had been growing more and more insistent to be allowed contact with the mainland. The Cornish had lodged several compaints and entreaties. The Picts had made it obvious that they did not care for the force isolation of their cousins either. And the Scots. The bloody Scots! An ultimatum from the Scots was the paper in Das' hands right now. Allow the Scots access to Ireland or there would be war. What did the Manx know of war? For 3000 years they had controlled the seas. They didn't make war on land. Land was a place to build ships.

Yet Das knew he couldn't ignore this. He had to be proactive. He would do as his many times great grandfather the Skilord had done and unite the entirety of the great isle against these upstart Scots.

The "Cousins War" lasted well beyond Das' life time. His great great grandson, the patriarch Charis mac Lir effectively ended all reason for it (except a fairly universal dislike of the Scotish) when he received a vision of six people on the seas. It was a sign from Mannanan mac Lir that all six nations would be permitted on the waves. Of course they were on a Manx ship in the vision and Charis interpreted this to mean that only Manx vessels should be permitted.

With the restrictions lifted, the Manx were quick to unite their Irish neighbors with the peoples of the great isle. The Scots continued their half hearted attempts at war for a few years but they too were finally ready for peace. The Cousins War ended much like the Guests War - with a whimper.

Game Notes
This is a "You Decide" story line. After each chapter is presented the feedback of the readers will determine how the next chapter of the game is played. The game itself is being played with the British Isles mod, version 1.2 on a standard sized map, monarch difficulty, correct starting positions. Scotland is in the southeast corner of Brittainia because they respawned there after the Manx took Edinburgh.

What's in the future of the Isle of Man? They have led a generally peaceful existence on the land. They are a terror on the seas and the coasts. Manx coracles and galleys with rabid sailors have sailed all the way around both main islands destroying coastal barbarian encampments (and grabbing goody huts). They have led an essentially peaceful existence with all of their neighbors, with the notable exception of Scotland. Admittedly Man was the agressor in the first war but the Scots hold a grudge far too long.

Should Man expand in Ireland? On the great island? Go to war? With who? You decide!

Isle of Man and holdings on the great island:

Manx territories on Eire:
If I can vote Shaitan. I would say Ireland. It may be scarse on resources, but their forests are full of magic.

The Grey Fox has spoken.
Forgot to interpret the map for you.

Brown: Isle of Man
Green: Ireland
Pink: Pictland
Blue: Cornwall
Red: Wales
Yellow: Scotland

Grey Fox - Of course you can vote. In fact, your vote counts double since you designed the map! ;)
To help decide where next -
Where do the resources / luxuries lie?

Any national with a horrid attitude?
Pictland is a fairly agressive civ and also the biggest right now. Wales is a very agressive civ and expanding towards the Manx holdings on the great isle. Scotland is highly agressive but has been pounded by two world wars already. They will recover quickly if left alone but aren't a problem at the moment. Cornwall is a marshmallow but has the second highest culture to the Isle of Man.

There are resources all over the place. Ireland has control of the spices and Wales pretty much owns the flax. Pictland has a very nice variety of resources in their mountanous home.

Pictland, Ireland and Wales all have larger armies than the Manx but we're working on that now. We're building horsemen now to upgrade to knights (16 turns until Chivalry).
I'd set up a town on the peninsula NW of the Pictish town of Burness. Two bonus grasslands, wheat, and fish make for a fairly nice location. Beyond that, my recommendation would be to expand in Ireland. It looks like there is plenty of open space, at least for now.

PS: Great map, Grey Fox!
LKendter could not remember ever being this excited, nervous, anxious and happy. Today he would be bringing another city of his people into the fold. Like Burness and Orkney before them, the citizens of Hrossey had given him their vows and been baptized in the sea in honor to Mannanan mac Lir. All that remained was the formal ceremony (upon the waves of course) and Hrossey would be welcomed into the great kingdom of the Isle of Man. They would cast off their Pictish heritage and fully embrace the peaceful fury of the sea, the faith of fair winds and deadly storms, the religion of Mannanan mac Lir.

His mission had not begun with his own people. As they say, familiarity breeds contempt and he had been very contemptuous of his kin and clan. Their failure to embrace the Storm King as he had done confused and frightened him. Confusion because it was such an obvious thing, the fright was for their immortal souls. No, he had not been wise or calm enough in his youth to dare preaching to his own kind. He had instead journeyed to the Isle itself and earned his priesthood under the guidance and tutelage of the high priest of Man himself, a being so holy his very name could not be spoken. He had known his teacher and benefactor only by his office, the Seal of Man.

The Seal of Man had taught him the rote scriptures and shown him how to reach people with the message of Man. LKendter's love of the sea had been nurtured and grown by the estimable cleric to such an extent that those hearing his words could not help but be moved by them. The Seal of Man showed by example how to preach the peace of the land and sanctity of the sea. So much about the Manx philosophy had become clear to him in those days! He finally understood how such a peaceful people could be such terrors on the waves. As the Seal of Man taught him "Land is for building ships. The waves are for fighting them." Peace on land and strength at sea and each aspect supporting the other. That was the secret of the success of the Isle of Man and their godhead Mannanan mac Lir.

LKendter has been present when the Irish city of Cluain Mhic Nois pledged love and fealty to Mannanan mac Lir and later when the Welsh town of Machynlleth did the same. He played no small part in both of those spiritual elevations. Campaigning and preaching alongside his teacher, he had won hearts and souls with his words and prayers. They had been wonderful, formative times, and had prepared him for his life's work - to preach the word of Mannanan mac Lir to the recalcitrant Pictish peoples.

His first attempt had been his home city of Kirkwall and he had made many errors. Unlike the Irish, who had a history of millenia of cooperation and intermarriage with the Manx, these reclusive northern Picts knew only the terror of being caught on the open seas by the constant patrols of Manx galleys. They were not ready to hear the words of beauty and peace as they already knew too well the terror and danger. He barely escaped his own home with his life.

From Kirkwall, LKendter journeyed to the young Manx settlement of Switchness where his faith was renewed by it's founder, John Switch. Switch had left a burdgeoning business in Castletown to start this little community by the sea in honor to Mannanan mac Lir. LKendter discovered this was the very same John Switch of Switch's Trading Company - the financial and business giant that had propelled the Isle of Man to economic supremacy throughout the isles. That such a remarkably successful man would give up those riches and prominence to commune with his god touched LKendter as only the Seal of Man had done before. With renewed purpose he journeyed to the site of his first great victory - the nearby Pictish city of Burness.

He had been preaching in Burness for only a few years when he noticed the signs of the populace turning. More and more people came to his sermons and stayed to observed him performing the water rights. More and richer people filled the coffers of the church. Greater nobles began inviting him to dinners for theological discussions. Supplicants to the Sea God became so frequent they began to task his ability to properly receive them in the faith. It was only a matter of time before the city as a whole professed to Mannanan mac Lir and was accepted into the arms of the Isle of Man.

Orkney was more difficult as his messages and sermons had to me imagined instead of seen, Orkney being located solidly in the middle of the great isle. He began pilgrimages to the sea so the landbound Picts could discover for themselves the joy and love of the beautiful deadliness of the sea. Although it took longer than Burness, the signs progressed just as steadily and in time Orkney accepted Mannanan mac Lir as well.

The pattern had repeated itself again in Hrossey and now he was, for the third time, performing the Rights of Acceptance. The ship he was on was far enough from shore now. LKendter threw in the ritual sacrifice of a handful of wheat, handful of gold and a handful of wool. He then bowed his head and raised his arms and began the chant he had sung twice before. He had no trouble maintaining his balance as the ship pitched and rolled. Indeed, his body seemed to welcome the rocking motion as an embrace. He sang in his loud, clear voice with tears streaming from his eyes. Tears of joy for his god, his faith and the city of people who would now be embraced by both.

Game Notes
Excellent idea by Switch to put a city NW of Burness. A temple rushed there netted us Burness itself. Further culture assault in the area brought Orkney, Hrossey and Machynlleth into the fold. 4 culture acquisitions in a relatively short amount of time. On the Irish front there was great expansion as ordered. 8 cities were founded and one flipped to us. In a few turns there will be more Manx than Irish in Ireland. Scotland was wiped out by the Welsh. It was just a matter of time - they really were that irritating. They declared war on Man, the most popular civ, who had already demonstrated their superiority to the Scots, not once but twice, from the opposite side of Brittania. They were mental and we thanked the Welsh for putting them down like rabid dogs.

Except for a bit of space southeast of Pictland the Isles are fully claimed. What happens next? The Manx are culture giants. They still hold control of the seas around Man itself but no longer patrol the east coast of the great isle. The most advanced assault force of the times is present in Ireland - 8 Knights that will soon become cavalry. Castletown in Brittainia is a production madhouse. It has already built 2 wonders and is working on a third.

Do you want further cultural expansion? A limited war? Full-out engagement with someone? Although the Manx have been 100% peaceful except on the coast and the seas that can change. Mannanan mac Lir is also the Storm God and storms often blow inland. Everybody has been very polite to us since we freed the Irish to civilization so the field doesn't favor picking on any particular civ over another. Let me know how you want the next chapter to progress.

The Isle of Man and Manx holdings on the great isle (appology for the quality, had a disk error):

The island of Eire:
Is the green color only in Ireland? If so, kill them!

Has the extra palace been built?
I don't know how bad the corruption is at the far end of Ireland.
Originally posted by TheWatcher
Is the green color only in Ireland? If so, kill them!

Has the extra palace been built?
I don't know how bad the corruption is at the far end of Ireland.
Yes, the Irish are only in Ireland. Those fanatical Manx kept the seas pure and prevented any Irish ships from leaving or alien ships from landing on Eire.

The Forbidden Palace is smack dab in the middle of Ireland in the city of St. Mary. We're currently in a Brehon Law government style (communal corruption). The Manx are religious though so if anybody wants a government switch we can go to despotism, monarchy or republic.

Oops, forget my job is only to observe, so I won't say a thing;)
Originally posted by Shaitan

If you are going to use my name, do it right

LKendter - My name starts with an L

As for where next - Conquer Ireland, with the fp.
Most of these cities will have production
I think that we should first wait until anyone becomes too dangerous, and thenn attack.
Plus, it's more fun this way!
[City of Douglas, Palace Office of the Seal of Man]

"Beware the warriors of the wold."

The Sealman read the words again, thinking how true they were. They had been written a thousand years before by another man who held his office.

"Beware the warriors of the wold."

The fierce and deadly Pictish fighters had never before been met on the field by Manx soldiers. In their entirety of history, Man and Pictland had conflicted only on the seas. That had changed with the sacking of Keill Moirrey, just south of the Pictish frontier town of Rendall, by the blue painted Wold Warriors of Pictland. Thousands of Manx were dead and enslaved and it was all The Sealman's fault.

He had led the council that supported forced conversion of Ireland. He himself had signed the orders for the cream of the Manx soldiery being assigned to the St. Mary garrison. He had badgered and fought to have the massive bulk of the Manx economy turned to improving holdings on Eire at the expense of holdings on the Great Isle. The understrength and obsolete garrison of Keill Moirrey had not had a chance against the surprise attack by the Wold Warriors of Pictland.

He knew it was senseless to berate himself. Nobody had seen the signs that were so apparent now. Pictland's economy was strangled by the robust Manx markets. Pictland's expansion had been stopped dead by fast growing Manx settlements like Switchness and Keill Moirrey. The highland Picts had grown more and more agressive as one after another border town forsook Pictland and embraced the Isle of Man. Looking back with perfect hindsight he could see exactly why Pictland had betrayed their alliances and attacked.

He had done what he could to correct the situation. Embassies had been sent to Man's good friends the Cornish and Welsh. The Knights of Man had been recalled from Eire and would even now be boarding brand new galleons to sail back to the Great Isle. Emergency troop mobilization in the Manx border cities had drained the treasury but should allow the main strength of the Manx forces to concentrate on the most vital point in this war with Pictland - Saving Castletown from the massed hordes of Wold Warriors that were descending upon it.

The Sealman said a silent prayer for fair winds and tides to carry the Knights of Man in time to save Castletown.

[City of Peel]

Das looked at the crowded docks. There were ships double and triple docked, lashed together side by side to the wodden wharfs. Many more rode at anchor in Peel's harbor. The ships assembled constituted a full half of Man's fleet. It wasn't enough.

"Get me more ships!" he screamed at his adjutant. "I've got horses, for mac Lir's sake! Horses! They take lots of room. Delicate creatures. Can't crowd them or they'll sicken on the trip. We need them ready to ride to battle as soon as we arrive in Hrossey. I can't fit more than a third of my Knights in these things without crippling my steeds! And that's with leaving the entire foot complement behind!"

"General, this is all we can get. Half of these were rushed through the yards in the past weeks. Every ship that can cross the Sea is here. Every ship from Eire and the Great Isle that can possibly be spared is already here."

"I know" sighed Das. "It's just amazingly frustrating and I needed to yell a bit. Get as many Knights as you can on the ships. We'll leave at high tide. The fleet will unload un Hrossey and immediately turn back. Allow three trips for the horse and one for the foot. Arrange for replacement crews here - I don't want this held up because of exhausted sailors. You will handle the logistics from this side and come with the foot troops. I'm going with the first group. I'll see you in Castletown, Mannanan willing."

[Iron mines north of Castletown]

Scouts generally didn't get involved in battles. Manx scouts NEVER got involved in battles. After all, Man had never been involved in a ground war. So why, thought Watcher, was he standing in a formation with pikemen - PIKEMEN for Mannanan's sake! - waiting for the blue painted savages of Pictland to overrun his position?

There were musketmen on the way to relieve Watcher's battalion but they would never get here before the Picts did. He looked back over the hills and caught the gleam of the rising sun off the dome of the Great University in Castletown proper. What a beautiful sight. The University, the great trading houses, the magnificent Chapel - Castletown was indeed the jewel of Man. And all that stood between those treasures and a horde of Pictish marauders was the city parade guard - a traditional honor guard for dignitaries and celebrations, half of whom were as unskilled with the ancient armor and weaponry as Watcher himself.

Watcher's musings were cut short by a cry from the first rank. The Picts were coming! He felt their war cry before he heard it - a low rumbling felt in the back of the head and slowly increasing in volume and intensity until it seemed to fill his entire skull. He felt the ground trembling beneath his feet at the force of their charge. He was so captivated by the awesome threat that he almost missed the Commander's order to set his pike. With a staggered and jerky motion, the company set its three ranks of pointed death toward the onrushing Picts.

The horror that followed would live with Watcher to the end of his days. He saw the Picts rush into the pike formation with no regard for their own lives, hacking and slashing at the long spears that impaled them. He saw one pike crack, another fall from the hands of its dead wielder. With a terror in his gut he saw the Picts breaking through to the second rank. The Commander rallied the men and the pike wall reformed. The Picts were thrown back. They came again. The men on either side of Watcher disappeared, he never knew if they had run or been cut down. There wasn't time to think. A Wold Warrior was impaled on his pike and the weight of the warrior's body was dragging the weapon from his hand. Quick! Pull back. Set. Strike! Pull back. Set. Strike! Over and over Watcher and the slowly diminishing company reset for the Pictish charges and weathered the fury of their assaults. They slowly retreated under the unrelenting attacks of their seemingly infinite enemy. Pull back. Set. Strike!

Hours, days? How long did the battle last. To Watcher it felt like a lifetime. He only knew it was over when he began hearing the screams of the wounded. The terrible war cries of the Picts had stopped and the even more terrible cries of the dying could now be heard. Watcher stared at the field of blood and bodies in front of him. No, not just in front. As he turned he saw the carnage of their combat in every direction. He slipped to his knees, finally too exhausted to even stand upright. As the adrenaline faded from his system he began feeling pain all over his body. His back, his arms, his legs. Such exhaustion. He found a cut in his side where a Pictish sword had hit him. His hands trembling and weak he bound the wound as best as he could. He collapsed to the ground and lay prone, too tired to even sit now. The sounds of the wounded began to fade in his ears and his heavy eyes began to close. He knew he had lost blood from his wound and should try to get up and call a chirugeon but he lacked the will to even try.

As his swollen and bloodshot eyes began to close he saw a gleam of light. The setting sun, shining off of the dome of the Great University! Castletown was saved. The great and mighty works of the Manx had been protected and the great kingdom would not lose its jewel. He smiled and felt peace again.

[City of Rendall]

Das didn't know how they had done it, but they had. The ceremonial pike regiment in Castletown had met the Picts outside the city and knocked them back. Musket reinforcements had then routed the Pictish forces and sent them scurrying back northward. His Knights had harried them all the way back to Rendall.

"Prepare for the Storm!" he yelled. "Muster for immediate assault!"

The Storm was an all out attack, a do or die assault holding no forces in reserve. Das knew that if he could decimate this Pictish army now they would stay broken until his own full army was ready to take the battle to them.


Four thousand heavily armed knights with musketman skirmishers on their flanks charged the fortified city of Rendall. Once, twice, three times they attacked and were thrown back by the defenders. The fourth time there was no stopping them. Das himself led the charge as the Knights of Man crested the earthen embankments and poured into the city proper. The populace was quickly subdued and the treacherous Pictish soldiers taken.

[City of Alba]

General Switch looked over his battle lines one last time before turning back to his adjutant. "Has Das been sighted yet?"

"Not yet, sir but we expect him within the hour. Borwick was taken on schedule and his cavalry elements sent here as planned."

"Most excellent. Break out the gunpowder stores and ready the equipment wagons. I want those Knights equipped with rifles within an hour of their arrival. That was a fantastic idea of Das' to train the horses against the noise of a musket load on the campaign trail from Burray. They should have no problem with the sound of a rifle."

Switch smiled. Alba would be his and Pictland would be broken. Reports showed that many of the Manx enslaved during the razing of Keill Moirrey were held here. He was almost too afraid to hope that his lovely wife was among them.

[City of Stromness]

The city lay burning and broken, a fantastic pyre for any ships on the cold northern seas. The defenders had fought valiantly to keep the last Pictish city but valiant warriors with swords and spears had little chance against mounted cavalry, riflemen and artillery. In fact, they had no chance.

Fire crews worked all over the charred burg, struggling to fight the flames and save what they could. The city seemed devoid of life except for the fire fighters. Most of the populace had been pressed into service and had died on the walls. Many had fled to the hills when the Manx cavalry rode through the city gates over the bodies of Stromness' defenders. What few were left hid in their hovels or ran trying to find shelter safe from the spreading flames and the Manx soldiers as well.

Switch and Das looked over this scene from the cliffs behind the city. The flames were visible but nothing could be heard from the city itself. Not over the roaring waves of the sea. Both men, Manx to the core, were moved and comforted by the violent crashing of the water.

"So, is it really over?" asked Das.

"Yes. The Sealman himself has taken Firth and the Welsh finally brought down Meginland, though I've no idea how they managed that."

"Your wife?" Das' voice was uncharacteristically soft as he asked the question.

"Found. Whole in mind if not in body. The chirugeons have her in their care now. She'll pull through fine. Did you know it was she who led the revolt in Scone that opened the gates for us?"

"No, I hadn't heard who was behind that. Knowing Teresa though, it's not much of a surprise." Though he didn't laugh out loud, there was a gleam in his eye as he thought of the firebrand wife of his friend. The woman who had almost been his wife but had somehow slipped from his hands and landed in those of his Academy classmate.

Switch looked out over the crashing waves, a matching gleam in his eye. It darkened as he saw the violent darkness of the northern sea. "A foul brew there. It will be good to get back to the Sea of Man."

"Switch, my friend. You are looking at the Sea of Man. Just as you now stand on the soil of Man. The Picts are no more and we are the caretakers of their homeland. The seas are darker here and colder, aye. But, they are still the seas of Mannanan mac Lir."

The two men stood staring out at the dark, roiling seas. Yes, these were the seas of Mannanan mac Lir. The Storm God kept his home here and they were soothed by the sounds of his battles as wave after wave crashed against the headland with terrific force. As they turned back towards the glowing city, both men were smiling.

Game Notes
All was set for an imminent invasion of Ireland when the Picts launched a surprise attack and burned Keill Moirrey to the ground (Keill Moirrey was a "culture assault" city two tiles south east of Rendall). It looks like they tried a government switch and went bankrupt due to the large amount of trade dues they owed Man and declared war to break the deals. Wales needed no encouragement to join an alliance against Pictland. Cornwall was brought in to protect Wales as those Welsh bowmen were very much needed up north. Ireland was later brought in when Nationalism was discovered in order to keep that critical tech away from Pictland.

So, the plans against Ireland didn't happen. One Irish and one Welsh city defected to Man. There is a barbarian filled island north of the Great Isle. We can't land on it as every tile has a barb - we'll need marines or airborne troops to take it. Man has almost the entire north half of the Great Isle, half the land on Eire, the highest culture and biggest economy.

What's next?

Map of Manx and territories on the Great Isle

Map of territories on Eire
Where are we re: victory conditions? It looks like domination or conquest is doable, at this point. What is our culture rating? How about tech?

I'm just full of questions today...

[EDIT] Rockin chapter, Shaitan! I think you are the best storyteller at Civfanatics (which is no slight to the other good storytellers out there).
I say - keep some troop is upper England.
Send most of them to Ireland -
I still want to take that over.

By them, domination will be close.
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