• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Heirs of the Mark

June 30, 1067, a rocky cliff looking out on Kattegat

cliffsrain.jpg


What will become of my line...my blood that I tempered according to the will of gods? Has my son offended Ōðinn's?

"......My lord?"

Battles past in lands far away...slim boats racing against raging seas...my fallen foes wheting my axe. Allies by my side singing the song of victory, our shields beating with Týr's blessing. What has changed...

"Sire...?"

A powerful blast of wind and rain rushes closely followed by a youthful yelp...

"Careful boy" an ancient voice grated, "unless you feel the desire to be splatterd on the rocks?"

Momentarily disturbed from his thoughts, Ulf of Viborg looked over at the windswept boy.

"No lord I have come with a message from my lord, your son." Finding a handhold near a lone tree, the boy continues. "He has granted the wandering merchant Harald estates near the village of Skagen and the position of treasurer as you wished it."

7.jpg


"And..." A pause followed, broken only by the waves crashing below. Looking at the the boy, Ulf's eyes were like ice in winter's passing.

1.jpg


"He askes that you...return to Aarhus" Upon delivering the true message, the boy slowly edges way holding a sure hand on the rocks.
"So he does..." grunting with a new thought, Ulf rises and looking once at the boy crouched amoung the rocks, makes his way to a small copse of weathered trees.

Turning back to the messenger, who had just begun to crawl through the rocks from whence he came Ulf uttered,"Tell him I will arrive...in MY time."

With that Ulf's massive bulk disappeared amongst the trees.
 
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Until I figure out why all editing programs hate me everyone will have to deal with the annoying 2nd picture. Sorry!

Playing:
On Normal/Normal
Deus Vult with latest patches and DVIP
Count of Jylland

*EDIT*
AAR's and vodka don't mix well.

Update tomorrow...with far more detail as I will be clearheaded.
 
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Enewald: It's not quite as bad as you think...for once Svend Estridsson dies and his eldest, the Duke of Slevsig (sp?), inherits I'll be granted the the ducal title associated with Jyllad by virture of having 50% of the Ducal land. *Whew*

To all other readers (I see you!), nearly done with the next update.
 

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In which rumblings begin...

April 1, 1068; Lord's Hall in Aarhus

"He did WHAT!?"

The count of Jylland barked as he barged through the hall doors. Thrugut looked up from the map on the table, an old drawing of the kingdom of Denmark with hastily stenciled markings, knowing what his father was shouting about. Behind him walked the spymistress for Jylland, his beautiful wife Thorgunna, and several members of the court of Aarhus

1a.jpg

The map...

4.jpg

Thorgunna

“Father?” The old man’s eyes seemed different – despite his inner strength and fire, his father’s eyes had lately been dull and grey. Upon this day however, they seemed to rage with power. “I've heard things,” Ulf shouted, his voice sharper than a new sword, "Things that make my heart rage and my arm twitch for battle."

“Many have come to explain-” Thrugut began, gesturing at the messengers waiting....

“My king has violated custom and shown himself to be no true Viking, something that has always been in doubt in my mind!” Slamming his fist down and silencing any talk but his own, he continued. “…but that is now a debate between myself, and the Gods."

Eyeing the king's messenger, he went on, " No doubt Svend can persuade others to give up their land and become slaves to his bidding but to move me will take more than a honeyed word and a chest full of gold.”

The furious expression seemed to grow darker as Ulf contined his tirade, "My father and his father all the way back to the glorious days fought and died for this land from those of the south. I've fought for forty years in the service of this king...this peverter of tradition. Ragnar was a bold fighter and a loyal friend but that was not as important to the "King". What's more important is to have another one of his bastard's with land of his own...a weaking not worth being called a man!"

15.jpg

New Count of Bornholm...

Growling he turned towards his marshal, his son. “No word from Skjalm?”

Thrugot shook his head. “It has been but fortnight, father, and I know mother sent the letter by the most skilled seaman. It may be another week before the good duke's word reaches us...and that is if he replies instantly."
“Skjalm is a strong man, a true viking,” Ulf muttered, moving to sit at the head of the table. “A good man…I know his answer” He turned his head, and the eyes of someone twice-aged looked upon the map before him.

14.jpg

Skjalm..

“Denmark has weakned, my son…” Ulf said, his voice growing even quieter. “You will be my heir...and if the gods ordain, the restorer of the Mark." He suddenly began violently coughing, testament to his age and failing health.

“I will do what is required, father,” Thrugut said, barely managing to keep the tremble from his voice.

"Father..” Ulf nodded, waiting for what his son was going to say...

“Perhaps you should rest a bit...you've been working the men far too hard for someone of your age."

Ulf rose from the chair slowly and looked out the open door..."Son, this is the last spring I will see. Moreover, today is the last I will be able to raise a sword and sing songs with other men of valor..." Walking over and grasping Thrugut's shoulders he continued, "Some men know when their time has come...Beautiful Frigg has whispered to me lately." Sighing he went on, "Less than a week from now you will be the new count, lord over all that was mine for I will go to Ōðinn..."

The graying eyes of the count looked at all around him, most were startled though some had barely hid disgust in their depths. His reversion to pagan ways had not been embraced by anyone of his court...but even so they let be an old man.

The silence grew heavy for everyone waited for Ulf to rally his spirit– to say that he would attempt to defy the wyrd of the Gods...

Instead, he turned and walked out...
8.jpg

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Next update may or may not be done tomorrrow.
Depends on whether or not I feel like playing out the rest of a great event that's coming up... ;)
 
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THat danish king has far too many children, I once had another couple of wives as him and got about 20 in all.
 

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Teep: Ya...but it's even more annoying when you play as him....and raise all of them yourself. lol

Enewald: Not really...only for story terms did I have him "revert". I was hoping that my two hints in his brief reign would reveal a problem that's coming up...

Haven't finished writing...or fixing screenshots. How did everyone like my first map? Easy to understand?
 
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Sorry for the delay! I was waiting for opinions on my map. :)

Couple of updates are done, first one up tonight!
 

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The map is quite good, could be also a bit a larger.
 

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Royal Court, January 4th 1069

It was now as it should have been all these past years, and I, Thrugut, would relish in the war. How this state between Sweden and Denmark came to be still boggles my mind...but what is a warrior to do? I will raise my huskarls in defense of my lord and for the joy of battle.

21.jpg


“About damned time! These levies still take far too long …just like before…” Thrugut muttered to Knud Svendsson. Reflecting on past clashes of arms that raged many years ago he realizes that he still hungers for this sort of battle again. Already he carried the scars of many battles, the prestige of his clan, but the wrinkles of many years as well.

Behind him, the troops, beginning the feel the onset of the oh-so delicious bloodlust coming over themselves, cheered, but were quickly hushed by the elder troops, who knew the ways of the world and war better. Many of the host were of a younger generation, bred within the safer confines of father Denmark, or the few lingering outposts in far away England, or on the few islands not claimed by the thrice-damned Norwegians.

The king had insisted on keeping the clans separate, as had been the old ways, each given its own area from which to put forth ideas in the war ting, which had replaced the king's council's gluing aspects, though it was all up the King in the end anyway. His politicking had mis-handled them for too long, though Thrugut trusted Sevend would soon return them to the glory of the old days.

“How strong are their forces?” One of the King's marshal's spoke up, voice rough with the strain of old battles long past.

“Many thousands at least commander! A ripe target I do say!” another marshal replied, face twisting into a eager grin. "I say we take only the best huskarls of each lord, and cut a wide bloody swath through Sweden!"

Beside him the new count of Bornholm , Olaf Svendson, moved forward, “Let us meet them head on, and with our strength grind through their bones with our swords!”

15-1.jpg


With that bold and brave statement, the appointed war leader Skjalm Tokesson Hvide brust forth with a great bellowing laugh. "Have you seen a man die, let alone have their bones "grinded with swords"?" he asked, nearly falling over from mirth.

Olaf's face reddened, but he said not a word to Skjalm.

"I believe we should gather our numbers, and wait for the Norse under Olaf to invade Sweden before committing ourselves to battle."

Turning to the King, he continued with his audacious plan...
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Outside Swedish capital...

Typical.

Johan Brahe thought to himself. “Yes my lord, we shall fight the Danes! But first, we should stick to the coast as it is good defensive country, and we shouldn't waste good men just to attack the enemy head on."

18.jpg


“Defensive!” The King Erik of the Swedes seemed to be taken aback “We should make Svend and Olaf rue the day they raised their arms against us!” the king's eyes seethed. "I am not going to bow to a boy king and a half-german!"

19.jpg


Rasing his hands to stem any more of the royal onslaught, Johan continued, “Battle will come soon enough my king, but first we must crush your cousin's rebellion in the east. Then, and only then will we have ability to bring the strength needed to attack both Denmark and Norway” he said, in an overly enthusiastic voice.

17.jpg


Svend seemed to relish the thought of being victorious over both the Danes and the Norse, as never before had all his people been in days past. Yet, Svend knew they still wouldn’t be strong enough to defeat the germans to the south.

Appeasing the Holy Roman Emperor would have to do for now. Pacing furiously Erik came upon a new course of action...as he knew he was on the defensive, at least until he could crush the scattered pockets of resistance around Uppland.

"I have an idea, Johan..." began the king, turning to a map of the H.R.E...
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
January 20th, 1069
Somewhere in Viken...

It was freezing cold and the sun had risen barely an hour ago, but already seemed to dip below the horizion in a vain effort to aviod the Nordic Winter.

Every breath taken hurt, and only moving seemed to keep the feet from freezing solid. Ice clung to his eyes, stubbornly, and his armor - the darn clanky, heavy, GOD-BLASTED armor - seemed to grow more and more solid.

No, King Olaf of Norway was far from happy.

20.jpg


Still he trudged on, hearing the swearing and the muttering of the other men around him. Good men, from the farms of Viken, all of them walking as fast as they could to keep from turning into human icicles. Scouts reported the way was clear, and had estimated perhaps two hours travel before they were in sight of sweedish land.

"You're sure it's there..." he mumbled

"Hey, don't start doubting things. You might get them." a voice announced wearily. Olaf turned to it and found himself looked on by the eyes of Ugfried Bearson, a greying, leathery-faced soldier who'd been involved in his share of conflicts since the death of the danish King Canute.

The man also walked in full armor - chain mail with metal shoulders and breastplates, a open-faced helm from which stuck out the red plume - now frozen solid. Added to it was the ever present buckler of wood and steel attached to one arm, and the sturdy axe in his other hand. Even with the backpacks back safely at the base camp, walking with all this was a nightmare here, and Harold burned with envy when he saw the older man barely breaking a sweat for all of it.

'What madness ever got you in on this trip?" he said, not for the first time. "I think this place be invented to test humans, it's too blasted uncomfortable."

A shrug. "That place is nothing. It's the army in front of us which worries me." the tone with which the soldier had spoken held something in it, and Olaf, for the first time since he had woken, forgot his discomfort in the sudden interest. He wasn't the only one - more than one head turned intently, picking up the note in the veteran man's voice.

"What's your meaning?" he asked gruffly and kingly. He was barely out of boyhood, speaking that way to a veteran warrior was laughable. The man answered, seemingly ignoring the ridiculous way he had been questioned.

"An army two hours before us today, an army a few hours before us yesterday. We hear of it but never seem to catch up. It smells bad, very bad, much like...a trap."

Other footmen from Viken, some of whom he knew had suffered from Swedish tricks before, chuckled at that, or groaned in agreement. Ugfried , for his part, smile slightly, but the worry stayed in his eyes.

His mirth ebbing away, Olaf started to feel a knot forming deep in his belly. When old soldiers got that look, it meant things were bad. Even a green warrior like he knew that much. His step slowed imperceptibly, and he stepped quietly near the other man.

"You're be answerin' me....What's be happening soon?"

"Hopefully, nothing my lord." Giving the king another chilling look he continued, "But there's something about it. It seems like we're being pulled inside-."

"-A trap?" the icy knot grew colder than the air around him.

"That’s my fear. I know the marshals don't believe it, but those men have been fighting all their lives...I've heard from some people-" He looked to his right, where their line ended. "Did you hear that, my lord?"

"Hear what?" Olaf was definitely getting scared now. "What have you - " and then it came, from the treeline not even a mile off, a grounding roar, bestial, growing in power, second after second.

Ugfried's axe came up. "That's what! ALERT! THE ENEMY AT THE RIGHT FLANK! ALERT! PREPARE FOR DEFENSE!"

As his bellow came, they came up the ridge, shapes. Man like. Huge men with axes, screaming death, promising to drench themselves in our blood. Ever coming, a growing blackness coming towards the startled Norse on their unprotected flank...

user_image.gif
 
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Nice long update...I decided to scrap two of my already finished ones and rewrite. I also gave the two other kings a little bit more of story time. How did everyone like it?

Enewald: Honestly...I was really tired and didn't feel like resizing it. I might in the future so that any new readers-

*Cocks ear and listens*
*clears throat*


-might like to read that map without a magnifying glass.

Don't be shy peoples...I need fuel that only you can provide! :D
 
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Shouldn't hose men (in the pic) have frozen to death?
 

Enewald

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Finns and Scandinavians are seperate thing:mad:



But anyways nice AAR.

Still we finns actually live in a colder place than Scandinavia, the Atlantic is further away, while sometimes we have to feel the Siberian 'warmth'-waves upon us during the winter...
 

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Teep: Yes well...they look scary! It keeps them warm...wait till I bring in Norse Beserkers. :D

Emperor Ike: They don't? At least not at Taco Bell... ;)

I take it this is a better format to use?