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Vesimir

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This is the first ever CK AAR to use the AuthAAR GFX Kit made by TRP. You can thank them for the effects on the maps and other images that look like they were edited in something better than paint at the beginning. Later thx to them, I've started to dabble in PS myself and started to create things by myself.


=============​

Prologue : The realm of Albion​

Lindum Colonia...


Or as we know it today Lincoln was established by romans as a fort but eventualy grew to become an unnoficial capital of the east midlands. That happened thanks to it's strategic position that gave acces to sea by two rivers, river Witham and river Trent. Unfortunately as the time passed the city fell into decline and was deserted with only a small part of the city's citizens staying.

Then the Viking era began.


The savage scandinavians looted and burned large parts of Europe but also colonized it bringing the scandinavian genes and culture to many places around the continent. Lincoln too was the victim of Viking raids, but for this city they marked not a time of flame and sword but a time of renewed prosperity. Lincoln in it's deserted state was raided by the Norseman which saw the posibilities of the town and some of them stayed. This Norse influence on the town gave them a special standing among the cities of Albion. Lincoln became a center of trade that was excused of most of the Viking raids and the prosperity that came from that allowed them to mint their own coins.
Then in the 886 came the Danelaw. Danes controling a large part of Midlands thanks to the Viking raids established their law on the newly claimed lands and eliminated the old Anglo-Saxon one which lead to the eventual creation of The Five Boroughs of the Danelaw. Those were the main cities of the Danish Mercia and important centers of trading. The Five Boroughs were Nottingham, Derby, Lincoln, Leicester and Stamford. Those cities with the exception of Stamford were to became county towns holding some importance in the future. Over the few next centuries Lincoln expanded becoming an active city once again. The Norseman were expeled from Albion and the house of Wessex rose to power once again.

However king Edward the Confessor didn't had an easy life ruling the kingdom of England. He had three powerfull earls introduced at the time Norseman were ruling Albion. Those were Godwin, the Earl of Wessex; Leofric, Earl of Mercia and Siward, Earl of Northumbria. Edward sympatised with the Normans which frustrated saxon and danish earls and nobles alike which fueled the Anti-Norman thoughts spread by Godwin which later became Edward's father-in-law thanks to a marriage between his daughter Edith of Wessex and the king. The tensions rose thanks to many conflicts between the earl and the king with two worth mentioning. Godwin's nephew Sweyn II of Denmark
led a war against the Norwegian king Magnus when Edward destroyed Godwin's mercenary fleet eliminating the earl's naval power and taking his chance to help his nephew away. The second conflict rose when Edward made the norman bishop of London, archbishop of Canterbury instead of the dane proposed by Godwin.

Soon after the whole affair the townsmen of Dover lead a riot against Eustace, count of Bologne which was visiting his relative the king because of his demands for various things. The king demanded the townsmen to be punished but Godwin refused wich led to Edward officialy exiling Godwin and his whole family. Northumbria and Mercia backed the king and Queen Edith was sent to a monastery. However Godwin quickly established a connection with other exiles and came back to England with an army. At the same time Godwin's son Harold came back from Ireland and the earls of Northumbria and Mercia turned their back at the king so Edward had to gave Godwin back all his titles and fire all of his norman advisors. Unfortunately Godwin died a year after he got his titles back in 1053 A.D., so Edward's objective to limit the power of Godwin's family was accomplished and the king gave the dead earl's lands to sons of Godwin and his own trusted man.

And so the turmoil ended but another question arose. The king although he had a wife didn't have any sons or even daughters and lived his whole life in a celibate. All of the english earls wanted Harold the son of Godwin elected the new ruler of Albion but Edward once again showed his sympathies towards the normans. In 1052 A.D. William II Duke of Normandy visited Edward in London. It was on this date that Edward was to secretly promise the english crown to William.

In 1066 A.D. Edward died and the earls chose Harold II Godwinesson as he was now known, as king. However the duke of Normandy didn't accept such a thing and invaded England hoping that his claims for the English crown would become more than just claims.
 
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PrawnStar

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*Subscribes* - I'll be looking forward to reading what you get up to. CK always seems such a good game for AAR writing.

But God help us all if Lincoln amounts to anything other than inbreeding - I was born and live in Leicester even if I grew up elsewhere ;)
 

Vesimir

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Well, thx for posting. My plan is to continue this all the way to the modern days so it's a GC, and it's my Magnum opus. Well, the update will come later after I see some more posts . :p

PS.First update and already a mistake... If some moderator would be nice enough to change BriTTania to BritaNNia I would be very grateful.
 
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Brandenburg III

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A grand campaign? And I found it from the start? Consider me a reader too.

If you want quick results for your title change, or future changes, its best to contact a moderator directly. Just make sure they've signed on within the last few days so you get results ;)
 

Vesimir

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Chapter 1 : Life and Deeds of Asketil of Götaland

The sea... The domain of monsters and gods alike... I, along with many other men ventured into it, laughing in the face of danger that was proven to us so many times... 40 men, all rowing, all trying to keep the boat going in the right direction. And around them, waves bigger than mountains, thunders ripping the sky apart. And I can swear that I saw serpents among the waves... Great sea serpents just waiting for our boat to break under the pressure, waiting to taste our blood. And we laughed. We laughed like madmen, venturing deeper and deeper into the hell that was around us. All because we knew that on the other side we will find treasures... Mountains of gold, armors made of silver, chests filled with coins of all sizes and kinds. A fortune awaiting us, on the other side.

We rowed for days with the storm always around us. God was testing us. Making sure that we are ready for the task before us. The task from the King of Danes himself. Cnut the Great ordered us to sail west and expand his kingdom. In reward we were to receive treasures. All of us were happy to oblige. And finnaly, we arrived. We killed, robbed, raped and destroyed everything the eye could see. Our backs were breaking under the treasures we gathered. Our axes were rusty from the blood we spilled. Death marched with us, wherever we stopped land became black, tree's were cut, people were killed.

And then we returned. We sailed towards our homeland, but this time the sea was calm, the sun was shining. We've proven ourselfs. And when we arrived, great festivities were held. Me and my comrades, most counting 20 winters became heroes, celebrated among our people. And then we sailed again, this time however, we we're supposed to stay there. We we're supposed to leave everything behind us and become rulers in the new lands of our king. A long journey we made. From Götaland to lands of the Danish king, and now to the lands of Albion were we would become rulers.

And again the sea was calm and the sky above shining. When we arrived on the shores of England we knew what we we're supposed to do. We were to destroy any opposition before us and claim the lands in the name of Cnut. Our axes ripped our enemies apart while our shields defended us from their pathetic weapons. Many days passed before we could say that we won. But we did. The banner of the Danes hanged above castles as far as we could see. I chose the town of Lincoln as my domain. Messengers from our king came telling us of our duties. Me and my comrades, 40 men were to defend Lincoln till the last drop of blood. I became an count, a vassal of Alfgar, an earl. It was hard to... to end the way we lived. I had to stay in one place for days. Only few hunts now and then disrupted the monotony of my new life.

Soon a woman caught my eye. She wasn't norse like us, she was from here, a saxon. I spend many happy months with her. Until she died... She gave me a son but as my son was given life, life was taken away from her. I was growing old and I couldn't go on the hunts that I enjoyed so much. So I started to trade. I became a merchant, a good one too. My word was known to be true in the Midlands. My son however was raised like me. I teached him the basics of fighting, but... I was old and I couldn't teach him much. So I sent him to people that knew how too. I sent him to a distant realm ruled by dragons. In Wales he was taught more than I could ever teach him. He became a tactician, but he also knew how to fight. My brave blood was in him and he showed everyone more than one time that he was as strong as he was smart. And eventually I left this world and joined my brothers in Valhall. My son, now a grown man was left with a county, the blood of Geats flowing in him and a world of possibilities before him.
 
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iain_a_wilson

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Well, thx for posting. My plan is to continue this all the way to the modern days so it's a GC, and it's my Magnum opus.
Well, best of luck. Be warned though, the other games pale in comparison to CK when it comes to characterisation. My previous AAR was (is?) a grand campaign, and although I've managed to get to 1921 (and I do intend to finish it) it becomes a lot tougher writing for the other non-CK games.

Still, if you're read for a tough slog then go for it!
 

Cecasander

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Looks interresting. Asketil... do I smell Hereward the Wake coming along?

Well, best of luck. Be warned though, the other games pale in comparison to CK when it comes to characterisation. My previous AAR was (is?) a grand campaign, and although I've managed to get to 1921 (and I do intend to finish it) it becomes a lot tougher writing for the other non-CK games.
That's true, but CK characters just seem to write themselves. Probably due to the many great events and traits the game gives.
 

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That's true, but CK characters just seem to write themselves. Probably due to the many great events and traits the game gives.
Exactly! You'll be playing away and all the traits, events and attributes come together and you're thinking "This guy's personality is a bit like this - I think I should write this down."

When you're controlling a whole nation it seems a bit less personal.

That said, it can be very satisfying getting to 1840 and seeing that tiny county you started with straddling the globe like a collosus.
 

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OK, I'm using the wonderfull "Before the conquest" mod with minor modifications. I started the game in the scenario in which William already controls the south coast and modded in the Asketilson I'll be playing. The game is at Normal/Normal and I'll be going the boring way (Boring for me that is.) and thing like conquering Greece are a complete no-no. My goal is to of course, unite Great Britain (Without Ireland.). Just to make it clearer to you all. The third update (And the first real one.) will come either later today or tomorrow.
 

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After the norman invasion, situation in England became very unstable. The east coast of England was under the rule of the norse. The south under the rule of normans. The west under the rule of the saxons. Three nations fought over the prize that were the rich lands of Albion. It was under those difficult circumstances that a fourth power emerged. A power noone suspected. While the normans destroyed the earls and took control of one half of England, the norse were expelled by a rebellious vassal. A vassal that managed to conquer the lands of Mercia too, dividing England into two halfs. A norman half, and a saxon half. And while the norman half was ruled by a norman, the saxon half was ruled by a dane. A dane with the blood of the geats in his veins.

The sea was calm. Waves slowly made their way to the shore while a man looked at them. That mans name was Christian. Christian Asketilson, count of Lincoln, son of Asketil the Geat. He wasn't norse and he wasn't saxon. He was a mix of those cultures, and so never completely accepted into either societies. He was a young Dane with no family, minor wealth, a few old warriors, and a land full of angry saxons. Christian looked at the horizon. Somewhere there, was the land of the Norse. The land from which his father came, and the land in which his ruler lived. The king of Norway ruled over much of England, which was now divided between him, independent earls and the norman invaders. His father lived under the Danes, he wouldn't live under anyone's rule. He turned around and mounted his horse, he had to go to York. The capital of the norse England.

He arrived in York the next day, tired and hungry. He was late for the meeting which was held by the kings son and ruler of norse England. It was there where he was to bow before the norse and pledge allegiance. He wouldn't. He would side with the earls, even the normans, but he wouldn't let anyone rule over him. But he knew that he couldn't defeat anyone without an army. He also knew, where to get an army. He rode west, to the land of the dragons. There he persuaded to his side the duke of Gwynedd. With a force of welsh archers he rode back east. However he stopped in the middle of his way. He knew a second place in which he could gather warriors. The forests. Forests that were inhabited by men alike his father. Men that were proud, short-tempered and willing to fight for anyone as long as there was gold involved. He knew where he could get that gold. The norse residing in York will be suprised when he comes there. Not to bow before them, but to make them bow before him.


The dane I'm speaking of is of course, Christian Asketilson. A son of a viking, the count of Lincoln. It's believed Christian was schooled in Wales, where he was teached tactics used by the medieval Wales. The closest tactic of the modern day would be the tactic used by the Guerillas. The welsh would ambush the forces of the enemy, shooting them with their famous bows. And when the enemy was ready to fight, they would vanish. And so on, till almost noone remained. The young Asketilson used those tactics while leading a force of welsh archers and bandits he bribed with promises of gold and riches to attack York. York was the capital of norse England, and so was very important. Anyone who would manage to take York would finish the norse rule in those lands, at the same time taking their place as an important political entity. And Christian was the man that managed to take York. The city was looted by Asketilsons' forces, while he went to personaly execute the norse residing in the castle. Not even stopping to regenerate, his forces marched on to Mercia. The earl of Mercia was in no possition to defend himself as his armies were in Scotland fighting the scottish king. Mercia was soon incorporated into the growing earldom of Asketilson. And so the halfs I talked about came into being. The southern, and the northern half focused on licking their wounds and waiting for the right time to strike. For as I already mentioned, the prize were the realms of Albion.

We should also mention that in the time of peace and regeneration, Asketilson declared himself a noble and created the dynasty of Asketil. For his coat of arms he used a black cross with the head of a stag in the middle.


Coat of arms of the Asketil dynasty


Map of the British isles at the time of two Englands
 
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PrawnStar

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Excellent start by the sound of things, any chance of a map?

My goal is to of course, unite Great Britain (Without Ireland.).
Great Britain is the island that contains England, Scotland and Wales, Ireland is a different island.[/nitpick] :)

EDIT : Thanks for the map, looks promising.
 
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Vesimir

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Oh, sry. I meant the british isles. :eek:o

I'll add the map to the second chapter later today.
 
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Veldmaarschalk

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An AAR with a game using one of my mods, that always gets my attention. :)

Nice work so far ! Keep it up.
 

Vesimir

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Christian sighed as he walked by the beach. His realm tripled in size, his forces were larger than ever and his treasury was filled with gold. But his quest wasn't complete. England was still torn by war, a war that he had to end. He created the house of Asketil, he became a noble. Now he had to create a kingdom, and become a king. He looked at the sea. The waves calmed his mind, made his thoughts clearer. The welsh were friendly to him as he spent many winters with them, he had an ally in them. Scotland was busy fighting the remainders of the norse armies in the north. His flanks were secure. His armies ready. Two years have passed since the unwritten peace between the saxons and the normans. It was time to end this fake peace, and bring a real one to England forever.

The duchy of York under the rule of Asketilson became more prosperous than ever. The pillaged city was soon rebuilt after which Christian moved his court from Lincoln to the castle of York. Stone roads were built on the major trading tracts. Forestries were built, the whole realm became richer than ever. But war came once again. After securing an alliance with the welsh dukes, Christian gathered an army and marched south with a clear task before him. Repel the invaders. Bring peace to England. And of course claim the kingdom. It's no doubt that Asketilson was power hungry, but his energetic and proud nature helped him in a society in which pride was very important. His soldiers followed him everywhere, if he would ask them, they would probably march to hell for him. His army consisted mainly of welsh archers and saxon axemen. There was also a minority of knights from Germany that served him as mercenaries. Their heavy armors and horses would prove very important in fights versus the normans.

After a little over three years of peace, war came back to England. Saxon forces under Asketilson marched to Essex. Christian saw the capital of the county, London as an important strategic location in England and planned on changing the city to a trade center that would make british traders more influential and bring more wealth into his treasuries. London fell after a small force of archers managed to breach the cities defenses and capture the gates to the city. With the way inside open, the forces marched in and captured the city and with it, the county. But the culminating point of the war was to come soon.

In 1070, France was attacked by the Holy Roman Empire. William was demanded to come back from England and help the king in the war against the Germans. William had no choice but to accept, knowing that France was the only nation supporting his invasion of England. The duke of Normandy had to sign a peace with the saxons ceeding all his lands in England. And so, Asketilson found himself in rule of whole England. He ruled over England but he still wasn't the king. After a few months Christian left the country in hands of his closest friends and left for Rome where, after paying his respects to God and Pope, he would ask to be crowned. After a month of waiting, his pleas were answered. Christian was crowned king of England in approximately 1071, after which he returned back to England to begin his rule as the Bretwalda*.

Soon after he came back the economical reconstruction of England begun. Cities were rebuilt and serfs were taken back to the fields. While keeping a large part of power to himself, he divided England into three parts.
-The Archbishopric of Cornwall, rulled by a dutch bishop appointed by the Pope.
-The south coast, which was rulled by a duke apointed by the various counts ruling those lands.
-And the Royal Demesne with it's capital in new, rebuilt York.

Christian wanted not only to rebuild England, but also to change it. His dream was replacing the saxon people with his own. Anglo-Danish culture which was a mix of Saxon and Norse was to replace Saxon and create a land for his people. People without a home. His dream was completed in half. While the saxons indeed died out, it wasn't anglo-danes that replaced them. It was a mix of saxon and norman. The many nobles, soldiers and serfs that followed William to England, stayed after he returned to France. Those people managed to blend into the people soon creating a whole new culture on the south coast. A culture that was called English as it was created in England. This culture thanks to its origins in the trading south soon came to span across whole England. And so William lost the war, but won the land. But that didn't happen yet. For now normans were just a minority.

England was once again united. Peace came to the British isles. Europe on the other hand, would soon be ravaged by war.

-----------------------------
*Bretwalda - Anglo-Saxon term for the overlord of Britain. The title means that the rulers sphere of influence spread across the British isles.
 
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Devin Perry

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Poor William can never catch a break. Shall the Welsh join your new kingdom, they may regret their alliance in the future.
 

Vesimir

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As I said before, while England isolated itself from the rest of Europe, it's rulers mind set on rebuilding the country, Europe was torn apart by wars. The war that started this uneasy period of time was the war between the Holy Roman Empire and France in 1076. The german empeor, Heinrich von Franken attacked France claiming the territories of todays Belgium, that were divided between the two kingdoms. French forces proved to be weak and uncapable of stopping the german juggernaut. Imperial armies led by Heinrich himself attacked from the lowlands making their way to Normandy and soon taking Paris itself. The quick victory of the Empire, made the kingdom was once again feared and respected in Europe at the same time showing the world that Heinrichs military education didn't go for nothing. France was forced to surrender their belgian lands, but it wasn't the loss of land that destroyed the kingdom. It was the loss of prestige and the unstability that followed.

Map of the Lowlands with german gains in yellow​

After the war, the emperors position was secured with all vassals considering civil war now afraid of his might. But von Franken wasn't satisfied. He wouldn't stop till France was removed from the map and incorporated into the empire. Seeking an ally that would help him in his endavours he first turned to the spaniards, but they refused being busy fighting the infidel. And so Heinrich turned to England. Christian thought over the matter for a long time but decided to refuse the emperor, he decided that while the alliance would benefit him in the beggining the increased wealth of his realm would profit him in the long term.

Before the war France was dived into many duchies with the young king Phillipe still not in age, a regency council made up of the most powerfull dukes stripped the royal demesne to Paris and the lands around it, increasing their power. When the king came into age, it was too late to revert the damage that was done. Capet turned all his power to attempts at consolidating royal power, so he was in no position for war when the empire declared it. After the war, France was set aflame. Dukes declared independence one after another and the king had to run from Paris. The first duke to declare war against his king was noone other than, William "The Conqueror". Furious at the king for taking his chance for the crown of England away from him, he claimed all of northern France and the crown of the Franks itself. In a suprising campaign he managed to destroy Capets forces and took the city of Paris in less than 3 months! This unbelievable achievement awarded him the nickname "The Conqueror" which replaced the less glorious "The Bastard". Capet was captured by William and was forced to give up all of his lands and the crown of the Franks, after which he was banished from France. William also managed what the former king couldn't and forced Conan de Rennes, duke of Brittany into vasalage. The Capet family travelled across Europe finding a new home in Rome where Phillipe Capet renounced all his claims on the french crown and became a poor monk with only the Kingdom of Heaven on his mind.

Southern France which William didn't claim was ruled by many more or less powerfull dukes. The empire took it's chance and took the border counties making their position in France even stronger. After this interferance the dukes fearing foreign more attacks, created the alliance of Aquitaine. Led by the duke of Aquitaine, this alliance created a loose confedaration in which all dukes pledged to help others if the need for it would arise.


The political balance in France after the fall of the Capet dynasty

The roman emperor asked England for an alliance once again, and this time Asketilson accepted. Fearing that William would try to take England again, this time with bigger forces he hoped that the power of the emperor would keep the new french king in place. After those actions Christian was considered pragmatic in the courts of Europe. It was also in those times that Englands first historical treasure was added to the royal treasures.

Christian looked at the papers before him. They were sent to him as a token of good will from Scotland. These papers were written in Saxon so in a way they were just given back, but it made the scottish-english relations a little better nevertherless. He sat down on his chair and took the first one in his hand. It was a poem. A saxon poem, written about the norse. It was a saga. It's title was Beowulf.
 
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Vesimir

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When the wars in Europe gone on, Christian decided that relations with his neighbours were of biggest importance for the young kingdom. His welsh ally, duke Bleddyn ap Cynfyn Mathrafal of Gwynedd recently conquered the duchy of Deheubarth but soon after he died. His son Maredudd ap Bleddyn Mathrafal took his place as duke of Gwynedd and in reality, of all Wales. Christian personally travelled to the duke wanting to create an alliance between the people of Britain. The feast in honour of the late duke was an event of big importance so all rulers of Britain atended, including the king of Scotland, Malcom Dunn Chaillean. Malcolm was a friend of Asketilson from even before Christian became king. During his struggle for power, Malcolm supported Christian in many ways earning the danes gratitude.

It was in Gwynedd, during this festivity in honour of the dead duke that a historic alliance was made. Malcolm, Christian and Maredudd swore on the holy cross that if any of them was in danger the rest would hurry to his help. This alliance was called the "British trinity". The three went on to becoming close friends and to cement the alliance, Maredudd gave his oldest daughter as wife to Christian. Christian which was now aged 42, still didn't create a heir to his throne so the marriage couldn't come in a better time. Christian accepted and Anno Domini 1084, september 11 Christian Asketilson married Teleri Mathrafal who was aged 18. Teleri was considered the most beutifull women of europe at that time. She was schooled in the arts of diplomacy in Constantinople and it was a common knowledge that she also learned of certain arts that the church frowned upon.

King and Queen of England​

Britain with the lands of the trinity highlighted​

It didn't take much for the royal couple to conceive a child, and only 3 weeks later, Teleri was pregnant with the heir to the english throne. Records show us that they were highly in love with each other and even though both of them had many chances at adultery they stayed loyal to each other.

Christian looked at the book. Recently it was just a pile of pages, but he ordered the scholars of York to create a book of it. Bold saxon letters "Beowulf" were stitched into the fine black skin that covered the book. He opened it and read...
 
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Enewald

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Someone actually managed to unite all of the isle?:eek:
Now to claim the other land of Britons, Bretagne. :D
 

iain_a_wilson

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*Bretwalda - Anglo-Saxon term for the overlord of Britain. The title means that the rulers sphere of influence spread across the British isles.
Do you play the Brittannia boardgame by any chance?