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Thread: Under the Raven Banner:A Norse Pagan AAR

  1. #1

    The Raven Kings:A Norse Pagan AAR

    Under the Raven Banner



    It's 1066 and king Stenkil is dead. His four sons, all followers of christianity, stand next in succession. However, all is not well in Sweden. The remaining pagan clan chieftains, seeing their power wane, plot to overthrow the christian king and restore Svitjod to the Old Gods.



    One such chieftain is Erik the Pagan, descendant - or so he claims - from the old pagan Yngling dynasty.



    Another such chieftain is the kings' young brother-in-law, Sven Kolsson. In another time, he will later be known as Blot-Sven.

    He is our hero.
    Last edited by Hundhedning; 19-09-2009 at 23:46.

  2. #2

    Premise

    Premise:

    Alright. For a long time I've been fascinated with the alternate history made possible by the Paradox games, but I've never before written anything outside the game world. This AAR is mostly written for my own benefit, to be able to backtrack to see the world my dynasty created and how it all happened.

    I usually play CK as a pagan. As all enthusiasts know, this requires a bit of editing, but nothing fancy. I use DVIP with More Kingdoms, with a few edits regarding the religion of some swedish vassals in 1066. I've also made a few events of my own, which I will describe if they fire. I will try to avoid exploiting the game too much - all in a spirit of RP. I'll be playing with the duchy of Östergötland, held in 1066 by Sven Kolsson, who later became the last pagan king of Sweden. This time, though...

    My goals:
    • Keep Sweden a pagan realm until 1399.
    • (Re-)Convert as many Scandinavian provinces to paganism as possible.
    • Try to extend the borders of the realm to the maximum historical borders of Sweden.
    • Unite danish, swedish and norwegian provinces under my benevolent rule.
    • Prevent the formation of Russia (they're dangerous!)
    • Nibble at the British Isles.
    • Protect pagans abroad. Allies are always good.
    • Try to claim royal and ducal(?) titles for my lands, since I can't create titles as a pagan.

    My house rules:
    • No redistribution of power levels of the estates manually, only via event. Exception: once in newly captured provinces. That should create enough chaos for a new societal order.

    Finally, my thanks to King of Men for his long line of interesting AARs. They've been a great source of inspiration.

    Chapter list

    King Sven (1066-1107):
    Part 1: The Jarl
    Part 2: The King of Sweden
    Part 3: The Father

    Part 4: The Warlord

    Interlude: A priest and his choice

    King Rörek (1107-1135):
    Part 5: The Heir
    Part 6: The Marshal
    Part 7: The Marriage Broker
    Part 8: The Cursed King
    Part 9: The Hammer of Poland

    Interlude: The Skilfing Dynasty in 1135

    King Håkon (1135-1171):
    Part 10: The Ruler of the Blood
    Part 11: The Vengeful
    Part 12: The Zealous
    Part 13: The Bastard

    Interlude I: The Skilfing Dynasty in 1171
    Interlude II: Europe in 1171

    King Håkon the Winter-King (1171):
    Part 14: The Winter King

    King Helge (1171-1181):
    Part 15: The Grandson
    Part 16: The First Battle of Danzig
    Part 17: The Second Battle of Danzig
    Part 18: The Bitter Horn

    King Haldor (1181-):
    Part 19: The King-Child
    Part 20: The Consolidation
    Part 21: The Blood Ravens

    Last edited by Hundhedning; 14-01-2012 at 14:44. Reason: Chapter list

  3. #3
    Topaz-Fisted Demi-God Moderator Mr. Capiatlist's Avatar
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    Very interesting, I'll definitely be watching this one. You got to love the vikings and their Gods. Good luck.
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  4. #4

    Part 1: The Jarl

    Part 1:
    The Jarl




    Östergötland, summer of 1067
    "Well, fine! Sit there and glare all you like, then, and to Hel with you and your whining!" The gaunt man marched angrily out of the hall and grabbed a worn axe on his way out. In the yard outside he spotted one of his housecarls. "Sigurd! Grab your axe!" Sigurd saw the look on the lords' face and winced on the inside. This was going to be a bad night.

    ---

    The betrothal between Jarl Sven and the sister of the king was never a happy one. The arrangement had been made by their fathers and both were strong-willed individuals of great talent. The Jarl tried to make their union work, but Helena Stenkilsätten (or "Blotstulka" as she became known amongst the pagans) slowly slid away. Evenso, the marriage produced several children.




    Östergötland, late 1068

    "A rider is coming!" The call rang out from the small wooden watchtower recently built on the yard. Normally there wasn't enough men around to keep watch, but recently there had been rumors. Jarl Sven put down the keg he'd been carrying. One rider shouldn't be a problem, but if there's one there might be more. Several of the huscarls were already out in the yard.

    As the dusty rider came in on his horse, most of the people living at Sven Kolssons large farm were watching. The rider reined in his horse in front of the hall and yelled: "I am Gunvald, son of Lars! I seek Jarl Sven with news from the king in Uppsala!"

    "The king in Uppsala, eh?" Sven thought to himself. "He is making his move, then."

    ---

    The bid for kingship by Erik Anundsson, the jarl of Uppland, had long been awaited by many. It was no secret that he claimed lineage from the old line of kings back to Eric the Victorious and that many traditionalists and non-christians favored him instead of Erik Stenkilsätten. Jarl Sven had been approached by the rebels during this troubled time, but chose to remain out of active participation. After all, the royal forces were much stronger than the ones gathered by Erik the Pagan. The rider at Östergötland was not the last one. King Erik sent several requests for mobilization of the personal retinue of the Jarl, which were all heeded - naturally! - but strangely enough, the mobilized hird of the Jarl then somehow ended up disappearing along the way.

    The refusal of Jarl Sven to participate in the rebellion was not taken lightly.



    A field just south of Uppsala, late 1068
    The din of battle began to die down. On the field lay a few hundreds of the dead: rebels, royal troops and Ostrogothian levy mixed. The remainder of the rebels were quickly retreating towards the small fort on the Uppsala ridge. Jarl Sven sighed and wiped sweat and blood from his forehead. It had been close. To ride ahead with the levy before the vassals from Småland could join the army had been a gamble, but it had to be done. King Erik was personally marching up with reinforcements from Västergötland and then it would be over. But if a decisive victory could be had before that, then perhaps... perhaps it would've been possible to force the Uplanders to swear fealty to him, Jarl Sven, personally instead of the king. And then, who knows?

    That hope was gone now. The troops here were to few to take the fort. It would take weeks, and by then those damn annoying sons of Stenkil would be here with the main army and take over everything.

    Still, it had been a good plan.

    ---

    It was soon apparent that the rebellion would be crushed by the king. The rebels had a few initial successes, but eventually the greater numbers of the royal muster took its toll. The fief of Uppland was added to the demesne of the king, who then proceeded to conquer several of the independent clan chiefs in Norrland. Unfortunately for him, dissent had been sown. His reign was marked by realm duress and more rebellions soon followed. Some began to whisper that Óðinn had marked the king for refusing to perform the blót. Others whispered of the brilliant commander who had led the army from the front at Uppsala.



    Värmland, near Åsfjorden, early 1072
    The shack was cold. The Jarl had been here for months now and the cold was starting to get to him. There wasn't much of anything but wolves and cold here. Why he had decided to go to war in the winter was beyond him. He sneezed. "No, it's not," his own dry voice whispered in the back of his head. "The cold is exactly why you are here - it will make the king stay away." It was true, of course. Värmland was a poor province with few settlers. When Närke and Värmland had revolted almost at the same time, the king had marched on the richer and more important province and left the hinterlands for later. "Or for me", he thought to himself. And so, here he was. No warmth, almost no food for the army, no women. It was becoming harder and harder to sleep now, and even that nag back home would have been welcome by now.

    Quick footsteps could be heard ouside and his hirdsman Sigurd threw the door open. At first Sven was going to scold him for disturbing him this late, but then he saw the look on Sigurds face. "What is it? An ambush?" He reached for his bow. "No, sir." Sigurd took a few breaths and steadied himself. "It's a messenger with news on king Erik. He is dead, sir." Both men fell silent and looked at each other.

    ---

    And so, the time came. King Erik died during the siege of the rebellious Närke. Sven, at the time the most powerful of the kings' vassals, immediately left the battles in Värmland and let himself be crowned king at Mora Stenar. A new time for the Old Gods was at hand...

    Last edited by Hundhedning; 07-08-2011 at 15:57. Reason: Language

  5. #5
    Major kadvael56's Avatar
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    Another pagan AAR great ! Good luck.

  6. #6
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    Looks very interesting!
    I'm a huge fan of pagan lands surviving in CK as well, I'll be reading.
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  7. #7
    Well, this story could be a very short one. I thought it was too easy to survive as a pagan the first time I did this on Normal difficulty, so I decided to amp it up a bit to Very Hard. Not so funny when half my vassals joined Denmark and Poland in the mother of all gankfests. When I gave up and quit last night I held one province (under siege) and had about 500 troops left hopelessly mired far into Poland.

    So, a reload to the end of the last chapter was in order.

  8. #8

    The King of Sweden

    Part 2:
    The King of Sweden




    King Sven quickly defeated the rebels in both Värmland and Närke and then spent some time winning the loyalty of his vassals.


    Falbygden, Västergötland, 1073
    The group of hard-faced and battle-scarred warriors looked at the population of the village with slight contempt. They had ridden into the village only some moments ago and had dragged the village alderman into the small space between the houses which served as a “square”. Now their leader was addressing the villagers from his saddle, barking out a proclamation in a tone that did not invite to protests.
    “This village will now swear fealty to king Sven Kolsson of the line of the Skilfings. You will partake in the ledung and each year contribute one hundred bushels of rye. You will give proper offerings to the gods of old and no longer take heed to the whisperings of the pope-father and his weak Krist. By decree of King Sven the Sacrificer and lord of Uppsala öd.”

    The villagers looked at eachother. From the back of the crowd came a voice: “What of the parish priest? He won’t like this…”

    The warrior who had read the proclamation smiled and reached for a small sack tied to his saddle. With a sweeping gesture he emptied the contents in front of the villagers.

    “Why don’t you ask him?”

    Nobody did, and the severed head did not seem to have any major compunctions.

    ---

    In his own demesne, though, no time was wasted. He appointed loyal nobles throughout his domain and wnet to work with clearing out the Christian priests. Those who did not convert of their own accord were subjugated to higher taxes, loss of miling rights, even prima noctae in places.




    All the time, though, the cold from Värmland seemed to follow the king around. He never seemed to be able to shake the darkness of that place from his mind.
    ---
    Rekarne, Södermanland, 1074-1075
    The young woman looked at the almost-as-young man lying in the bed next to her. His face was drawn into a mask of fear. "It's the dreams again," she thought. For months now, it'd been the same. He would walk into the hall, eat his meal, give the necessary orders with a faraway look on his face, then sleep. Sleep like the dead. And as for their marriage... he hadn't touched her or looked at her for a long time. Where they once had fought tooth and nail over the slightest detail and he had demanded his rights as a husband, there was now nothing. "It's as if the fire has left him," she thought. Suddenly she shuddered. She looked at him again and felt a wave of sympathy well over her. It was a strange feeling. To think that she had once hated him so? She put his arms around him, and his face relaxed, if only for a second.



    ----

    Allra Svía þing, Uppsala, 1074
    "And so I claim that the lawlessness must end! We have seen that the new king the Geats have put forth have given us nothing but chaos, weakness and servitude to the Pope-king in faraway Rome. I tell you now: It is time it stopped! I say we return to the old line of kings - the ones descended from Óðinn himself. Only with a return to that bloodline can we have glory again!" King Sven was standing in fron of the gathered people at the thing in Uppsala, his back towards the burial mounds of the very kings of that line. He was very aware of this, of course.



    "Who did you have in mind - yourself?" The taunt came from somewhere in the crowd, but a grumbling of agreement came from many.

    "And what if it were so? I am descended from Kol, son of Sörkver, son of Helmfrid Eriksdotter, daughter to Erik Segersäll - the greatest of the old line. My claim is as good as any mans claim. I challenge him to step forward who would say otherwise!" Nobody stepped forward. Even with tingsfrid, only a fool would challenge the king's honour. The king went on. "Have I not performed the blot? Have I not thrown off the christian king? Have I not given you glory? What's more, beside me here today stand not only those of my own house, but all the Jarls of the land and all the chiefs of Svitjod. Even old Stenkils son stands here today joint in this demand!"

    It was something of an exaggeration, but basically true. The only Jarl left after the troubled time was the Jarl of Dal, a province so small that nobody had really bothered to war for it. The Jarl of Östergötland was the king himself, and the Jarl of Uppland had died in a hopeless rebellion a few years back. The few remaining local chiefs were all pagans who had no intention of reverting to Christianity. And there was Inge Stenkilsson, brother to the last king and also, conveniently enough, Sven's brother-in-law.

    "Well, what say you?"

    There were a few moments of silence, but eventually the cheers started.


    ---
    Danska Brödrafejden 1076-1078
    (The danish brother's feud)
    The sons of the Danish king Sven Estridsen were legion. Furthermore, they never got along and at his death they were predictably at eachother's throats, each demanding his rightful place at the helm of Denmark, each a weak power ripe for picking.



    Denmark had long been the strongest power in Scandinavia and a constant potential threat to Sweden. Now, in their time of weakness, the moment had come to put the old rivals in their place. King Sven mobilized all the vassals of the realm and stormed into Skåne. The fighting was hard at first, but when the reinforcements from Svealand started to arrive the tide turned against the Danes. Eventually, several of Knýtlings had no other choice than to bow before king Sven as their liege.



    -----
    Allra Svía þing, Uppsala, 1078
    For a while, all was quiet. Then Thorgny stood up; and when he arose all the bondes stood up who had before been sitting, and rushed together from all parts to listen to what Lagman Thorgny would say. At first there was a great din of people and weapons; but when the noise was settled into silent listening, Thorgny made his speech.

    "The disposition of Swedish kings is different now from what it has been formerly. My grandfather's grandfather Thorgny could well remember the Upsala king Eirik Eymundson, and used to say of him that when he was in his best years he went out every summer on expeditions to different countries, and conquered for himself Finland, Kirjalaland, Courland, Esthonia, and the eastern countries all around; and at the present day the earth-bulwarks, ramparts, and other great works which he made are to be seen. And, more over, he was not so proud that he would not listen to people who had anything to say to him. I also remember the tale of King Eirik the Victorious, and his many war-expeditions. He enlarged the Swedish dominion, and defended it manfully; and it was also easy and agreeable to communicate our opinions to him. The king we have now got stands not after these kings in glory. Wilt thou, however, reconquer the kingdoms in the east countries which thy relations and forefathers had there, we will all for that purpose follow thee to the war and pay for these wars you have made. But if thou wilt not do as we desire, we will now attack thee, and put thee to death; for we will not suffer law and peace to be disturbed. So our forefathers went to work when they drowned five kings in a morass at the Mula-thing.

    Now tell us, in all haste, what resolution thou wilt take."

    Then the whole public approved, with clash of arms and shouts, the lagman's speech.



    ----
    Finska tåget 1086
    (The Finnish Campaign 1086)

    And so it came to be that the thing demanded of King Sven that he should re-take the old tributary lands to the east and perform a campaign there. The Finns quickly yielded, for even though all the Finnish tribes had sworn fealty to king Voitto, none came to his support when the Swedish longships arrived. King Voitto surrendered and agreed to proclaim Sven the King of all Finns and to be his loyal Jarl as long as he lived.


  9. #9

    Comments to part 2

    Perhaps someone wonders why I didn't annex all of Denmark. The problem is that I, as a pagan, can't create, grab or usurp titles. What I want is for any of the Knýtlings I vassalized to become king of Denmark so that I eventually can get a claim on it.

    Also, I deliberately left out a lot about Sven's family. Perhaps the next post.

    ---------
    On edits
    For the next update, I've made a few edits. First, I've added the dynasty "Skilfing" to point out Sven's claim of kinship with the old line of kings. Second, I've also changed the ethnicity of the royal house to "norse".

    Ethnicity is a complex thing, tied to language, history, religion and DNA, in no particular order. I'd say that eventually a difference would start to manifest between the pagan swedes and the christian ones. Also, you'd probably see a mixture between the nobles of Sweden and the conquered territories (such as Denmark, Finland etc.) which might eventually create a ruling class where many cultural patterns were the same. In real history this happened to a great degree between danish and swedish nobility during the Dark Ages.

    Finally, I'll edit in Diocese Bishops for me. It stands to reason that some kind of pagan equivalent would exist.
    Last edited by Hundhedning; 23-08-2009 at 18:03. Reason: Spelling.

  10. #10
    Part 3:
    The Father

    Rekarne, Södermanland, winter of 1092
    "Father, you must end this." Sigrid, his youngest was looking angrily at him. She had always been the tough one. "You won't convert the Christians by letting your men push yeomen faces into the mud. It's senseless!"

    "Little sister is right, for once." There was no love between Ragnfrid and her sister. They were very different. Where Sigrid had always been the practical one, Ragnfrid had been able to twist the minds of men since before her thirteenth birthday. "Forcing the smallholders to submit to our orders without giving them anything will only foster rebellion. Have we not seen six rebellions in Närke already?"

    The king looked at his eldest daughter. "Ah, my prodigy," he thought to himself. "She is the best of the litter."
    "Maer, what do you think?"

    "Giving the Christian yeomen something will not only increase our security. They will also work without our men guarding them and thus increase revenue for the next year - revenue we need if the campaigns against Norway and the Rus are to be completed."

    "Very well, I yield. The Christian yeomen will have the right to elect their own aldermen and will be given seat in the landsting. I never could refuse you girls anything."

    Last edited by Hundhedning; 23-08-2009 at 18:13. Reason: Spelling.

  11. #11
    So, a rather uneventful session. I mostly spent my time beating down rebellions in my demesne and with a couple of vassals. Managed to secure Pskov and Livonia, though.

  12. #12
    Major kadvael56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hundhedning
    The problem is that I, as a pagan, can't create, grab or usurp titles.
    That is indeed a problem but you can save, edit to make your king catholic, create or grab claims save and reedit to pagan before loading.

    Six rebellions in the same province, that is bad luck . however it seems the Skilfings have good stats .

  13. #13
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by kadvael56 View Post
    That is indeed a problem but you can save, edit to make your king catholic, create or grab claims save and reedit to pagan before loading.

    Six rebellions in the same province, that is bad luck . however it seems the Skilfings have good stats .
    I have considered that, but I've chosen not to for now. I did just that in my last pagan campaign but it almost feels like cheating. I feel that the game is easy enough as it is. This time I've chosen to see the inability of pagans to create titles as a sign of the problems the european pagans had in building viable polities.

    The rebellions are not really that strange. Those provinces are almost completely undeveloped (so, no bonus morale from buildings) and until that session I'd given the nobles 100% power to increase the likelihood of the conversion event firing. Then I actually checked the event and realized that the nobility power bonus to the event MTTH maxes out at 65%. I'd imagine that the talented daughters of Sven were annoyed with such sloppiness.

  15. #15
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  16. #16
    Part 4:
    The Warlord




    Rekarne, Södermanland, 1100
    The breathing ceased. The eyes closed. The faint movements in the hand he had been holding stopped.
    The king saw, and suddenly dark wings fluttered at the very end of his vision.

    She was dead.
    ----
    The death of queen Helena affected the king deeply. Even though he kept his focus on important matters, it seemed as if his mind was elsewhere again. He began to make small mistakes, which over time evolved into major mistakes. Eventually, his vassals began to notice these mistakes.



    Norska fälttåget 1100-1102
    (The norwegian campaign)
    For several years, the norwegian king had been maintaining campaigns in the Holy Land, fighting against the enemies of Christendom. Perhaps this was the reason he declared war on king Sven in the winter of 1100. He had severely underestimated the ability of king Sven to call upon the forces of his vassals. As Norway declared war, the levy of king Sven’s personal demesne managed to throw back the Norwegian forces, but as the finnish vassals began to arrive the war turned into a disaster for the house of Yngling. In the end the vassals of the Norwegian king all defected to the Swedish crown, even though Norway retained its independence.



    Rekarne, Södermanland, 1102
    "Sire, we must make peace!" Chancellor Valdemar had an urgent tone in his voice.



    "Nonsense! Our forces in the field outnumber theirs six to one! Their vassals are defecting any chance they get! I tell you, grandson, we have beaten them. Any day now, that damn fool of an Yngling will come crawling with a treaty for me to sign."

    "Maybe so, my lord, but we have other enemies and some of our vassals aren't entirely..."

    "Nonsense, I say!"

    ----

    The king had a point. The Skilfing army had defeated the Yngling armies decisevly. The young chancellor also had a point, however. This was the time the Danes decided the time had come to take back what had once been theirs. Unforunately, this was also the time the vassals decided they had had enough of wars they had to pay for with no personal gain in sight.



    Fortunately, the king still had access to considerable forces within his own demesne, hoarded for just such an eventuality. The Danish forces forces were weak and quickly handled.



    But the worst blow was still to come.
    ---

    Wardberg, Halland, 1102
    Over the castle the danish flag still fluttered. This was merely a minor obstacle, and everybody knew it. The swedish forces surrounding the fort were well supplied and no reinforcements were in sight for the Knýtling heir on the other side of the wall. The king was watching from the lookout of his quarters. This small affair would soon be over and the rebels would be brought back in line. As he turned, he saw his daughter Ragnfrid standing behind him.

    "What is it?" he asked, seeing the reluctant expression on her face. She gave him a parchment with a few scribbled sentences in the rune-script. The king slowly turned purple with rage as he read it.

    "What? My son? MY OWN SON!?"



    The king never spoke eye to eye with his son Rörek again. The war between them soon ended with a small satisfaction being paid by the young chief of Jylland, but they never met again. The king grew increasingly aloof from his court, even though none could stand before him or his armies.
    ---

    Rekarne, Södermanland, 1105
    The young man swallowed nervously. It was the first time he tried to voice his opinion on a matter where he knew the king would not be receptive. Wars were one thing - the king was usually open for tactical advice, but this...
    “Grandfather… My king.” Valdemar Brahe braced himself. The middle-aged man at the end of the table gave him a stern look. “As your chancellor I must tell you that the time has come to re-marry. The Knýtlings still hold the Danish throne, which is the reason for the rebellions amongst our Danish vassals. If you marry into their family, you will give a message of good will to the Danish king as well as strengthen our claims on the Danish crown.” He waited for a reaction. None came. “Furthermore,” he went on, another marriage into the line of Stenkil will reassure the remaining dissenters among our own nobles.”

    There was silence.

    “I did not appoint you to be my chancellor just because you are my grandson, grandson,” the king finally replied. “Perhaps you have shown me this today. Your words carry truth. Tell me of this princess Ingjerd.”



    The court at Rekarne, later in 1105
    The young girl was clearly afraid. She was shivering slightly as she stood before the king and his closest advisors in the great hall. He looked at her with slight disgust. "She can't even meet my gaze. A Christian and a simpleton," he recalled thinking about what the messengers had told him. Her Knýtling relatives had been overjoyed to see her married off to the king, of course, and any protests had been buried deeply. "There will be no sound advice from this one, no companion to throw back your own mistakes at you, no competition," he thought, his old queen in mind. He looked at her again. He saw tears starting to to form in the girl's eyes and suddenly remembered that this girl was younger than the youngest of his daughters. A wave of weariness came over him. "There, young one. Don't fear me. Let us speak as equals," he said. "Well, at least the Knýtlings are fertile," he thought to himself.

    ---

    The young princess Ingjerd did indeed prove fertile. She gave birth to two daughters, Ragnhild and Eldrid, during the reign of Sven. Some said afterwards that she had been the death of king Sven, as he one day turned purple-faced and keeled over dead in his own Great Hall. Others said that she had simply borne her children as befits a young princess and pointed out that she was carrying their third child in her belly at that time.


    The grave of king Sven at Uppsa kulle.


    After king Sven's death, many claimed that he had, indeed, been chosen by the gods to fight the followers of the White Christ. This came to be the lasting memory of king Sven - Sven the Sacrificer.

    Deyr fé,
    deyja frændr,
    deyr sjálfr et sama;
    ek veit einn,
    at aldri deyr:
    dómr of dauðan hvern.
    Last edited by Hundhedning; 24-08-2009 at 03:23. Reason: Spelling.

  17. #17
    Alien Space Bat Judas Maccabeus's Avatar
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    Ah, what a shame... he didn't even get a chance to die in battle.

    Ah, well, it's a good read, so I'll keep following along.
    SHEEP ARE THE FUTURE

    While Thou Shalt Flourish Great and Free (Saxon England, pt. 3) (Started 11 October 2010)
    Scenario progress: Base maps complete, pops and diplomacy in progress.

  18. #18

    Interlude

    Interlude:
    A priest and his choice


    Picture a monastery! Not the large stone building we have come to expect in our time, but rather a small stone house, perhaps the size of a country church. To the sides of the main house are wooden buildings such as sleeping quarters, outhouses and barns. In the back is a herbal garden, where some of the brothers are working even now, without realizing that something must change soon.

    For in one of these buildings armed men have taken shelter for the night. They have spoken to the bishop who is the leader of the monastery and the small community of norwegian farmers who call this place home. Now they have retired for the night, and on the morrow they will either ride back to the clan chief down in Agder with a message of success, or they will... well, we don't really have to guess for long, do we?

    So what of the bishop?

    Bishop Alamanno da Morrone is not a bad man. Born to lowly peasants in a valley outside Naples he was delivered into the embrace of the Church at an early age when his parents could not afford to feed him. He has spent most of his years working for the Catholic Church and now, after many years, he has been granted a small bishopric in this cold, faraway land. Still, he has now been here for close to twenty years and it has become a sort of home for him. Who would have known the pagan king of the north would defeat his norwegian protectors and now demand an oath of fealty from all his vassals? Furthermore, an oath which included a sacrifice to the unholy demons these barbarians call gods?

    Still, there is the small hope that the pagan lord will not interfere with day-to-day practices. Is not their work here mostly about curing the sick, tending the crops, teaching the ignorant? What is a small sacrifice to the gods of the very real men with axes at the doorstep compared with the duty to a faraway organization which has not set foot in Bergen for years?

    The answer seems easy. And so a decision is made, and as so often with these things, this seemingly minor choice will make echoes which will ring for generations.


  19. #19
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    Bishopric within a pagan kingdom?
    Excuse me?

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald View Post
    Bishopric within a pagan kingdom?
    Excuse me?
    The duke of Vestlandet had created the bishopric. When Norway declared war on me, I also declared war on all the norwegian vassals, the duke of Vestlandet amongst them. I defeated the duke and vassalized him, so the bishopric became part of Sweden by extension. Then the bishop converted, as vassals do.
    Last edited by Hundhedning; 13-11-2009 at 23:57. Reason: Spelling.

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