The Uphaival

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The Uphaival is the colloquial, historical reference to a period of lethal palace intrigue that led to the murder of Prince John II - the last Sovereign Prince of the second Douglass dynasty - and his replacement by Stuart III, of Clan Craig of Laphraoig.

The Uphaival was a dark, dismal time in the Principality of Caledon, riven with internecine battles between nobles that frequently ended in assassinations and border wars around Caledon's various feudal fiefdoms.

Background[edit]

Among the interactions in a Caledonian nobility that excelled, at the time, at bloody intrigue, the battle between Clan Craig of Laphraoig (and its various retainer families) and the ruling Douglass clan were legendary. Duels, blood feuds between the clans' pettier nobles (usually but not always isolated from the Sovereign Prince) and even open warfare between small armies of noble retainers, kept the various groups of noble families occupied for generations.

In -115, Stuart Craig, operating through intermediaries in a "Neutral" clan, introduced Prince John II - who had ruled without issue for over a decade since his accession to the throne in -126 - to a series of courtesans that were linked to Clan Murrough of Abernathy - a "neutral" clan whose leader, Angus Murrough, was a key minister on John's privy council, and seen as a key contender to serve as Regent for any future Douglass monarch.

The Assassination of John II[edit]

In -109, a courtesan - Ana Chaing Murrough, a niece once removed of Angus McMurrough who had been John's mistress for some time - arrived at John II's hunting lodge for an assignation.

Hours later, early in the morning, an explosion ripped through the lodge, killing John and Ms. Murrough, as well as half a dozen retainers.

Craig's plot involved the planting of evidence that pointed to Angus Murrough's involvement in the explosion. Although the preposterousness of the evidence was obvious to most, that didn't head off the solid year of inter-royal battling that led to Craig crowning himself Stuart III, with the assistance of the Clyde branch of Clan Douglass. Clan Douglass - which had ruled, itself or through its septs, De Geoffrey of Inverness and Hall of Kilbarton - since the dawn of the Caledonian monarchy, split into three factions:

  • Douglass of Derwent, led by Iain De Geoffrey, regent of the juvenile and dubiously legitimate Prince Presumptive, Harold (who was 10 years old when his father was murdered). The Derwent branch withdrew to its immense estates and fought a long battle - usually in the arenas and noble courts, but sometimes the battlefield as well - until The Great Restoration.
  • Douglass of Clyde, led by Charles Douglass, Viscount of Clyde. This branch of Clan Douglass largely collaborated with the Craigs - earning what would amount to centuries of emnity that still fester about the edges of Clan Douglass, nearly a millennium later.
  • Douglass of Mourhead, led by Steven Douglass, Viscount of Mourhead, and his retainers in clans Hall of Kilbarton, Clark of Pentland, and the irregular retainers of Lord Angus Lanark. The Mourheads fled Caledon, first colonizing a system that Caledonian astronomers had named "System B-4662-KD6", but which was promptly renamed Douglass.

These factions had existed in Clan Douglass since the time of the first Douglass dynasty, at the dawn of the unified Caledonian monarchy. The Craigs had exploited the split masterfully.

Aftermath[edit]

Much literal blood was shed as the various noble factions fought for much of a decade. The battle between the noble families was fought on the duelling pitch, the battlefield, and occasionally via assassins and covert military action. The dynasty of the Craigs of Laprhaoig has largely been considered the beginning of an extended, 200 year low point in Caledonian dynamism and culture, made improbably worse by the re-accession of the Douglasses during The Great Restoration.

The social, cultural and societal doldrums lasted until the year 103, and The Douglass Concord, which led to teh ascenscion of Clan MacArthur of Inverloch - which ushered in an extended period of expansion, wealth and dynamism.

This article was copied or excerpted from the following copyrighted sources and used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author.