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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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TheHeroOfRandom

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TheHeroOfRandom Presents:



The Sagas of the Line of Clan Hjalti, champions of the Old Gods and the heralds of the defense against Ragnarök...

Hello one and all and welcome to the very first chapter of this highly ambitious megacampaign. This first saga covers the first 144 years from 867 - 1011 during what historically was the last dying days of the Norse Faith. In the hands of the All-Father tells the story of how a simple-minded huscarl turned the wheel of fate back in the favour of the Old Gods and forged the most powerful dynasty ever seen in Northern Europe, if not the world.

In this megacampaign, I will document the rise of Clan Hjalti (Old Norse for sword-hilt) from the unification of the north to the fires of the age of machinery and gunpowder. It'll be a long and ambitious project, especially since this will be my first ever AAR, but I have been honing my writing skills over the last few months in order to complete something of this magnitude.

My plan of action is to play through these games:
Crusader Kings II (867 - 1444)
Europa Universalis IV (1444 - 1820)
Victoria II (1820 - 1936)
Hearts of Iron III (1936 - 1948)

As it is with many AAR's, I've got a list of goals for each game. In Crusader Kings II for instance, my goals will be:
  • Unite the North Germanic peoples into a single state.
  • Reform the Norse Faith.
  • Push the Christian Faith out of the British Isles, Scandanavia and Central Europe.
  • Withstand the eventual onslaught of both the Mongol and Aztec Hordes.
  • And last but not least, Survive and Thrive!

The AAR will be written through the perspective of the various important characters, be they part of Clan Hjalti or one of their subjects, with the occasional bonus chapter written in the larger perspective of the whole of Europe. Be warned that my writing skills, despite recent practice, are rather rusty so forgive any long winded drivel for the first few posts.

But regardless, enough exposition and on with the show! I'll be posting the prologue and first chapter within the next few days, and then the following chapters as often as possible.

 
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guillec87

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Always happy to find Norse AAR, subbed
 

diegosimeone

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sub :)

Push the Christian faith out of Greece too please :D
 

Zerois

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Do it, nao!
Subbed too :)
 

Jako473

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Nordic Power! :D

Definitely subbed, and will be willing to give any advice.
 

EU3NOOB

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Yoroii

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As it is with many AAR's, I've got a list of goals for each game. In Crusader Kings II for instance, my goals will be:
  • Unite the North Germanic peoples into a single state.
  • Reform the Norse Faith.
  • Push the Christian Faith out of the British Isles, Scandanavia and Central Europe.
  • Withstand the eventual onslaught of both the Mongol and Aztec Hordes.
  • And last but not least, Survive and Thrive!

I agree with Rozmarzony, if those are the goals for CK2, the only goal left in EUIV will be to conquer the world, as the Europe will be already conquered :)
 

unmerged(271387)

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He could do what he wants in CK2 and then break his state using independence.Then he could play as the weakest of them in EU4.
 

TheHeroOfRandom

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I agree with Rozmarzony, if those are the goals for CK2, the only goal left in EUIV will be to conquer the world, as the Europe will be already conquered :)
To be fair, I'm only truly aiming for Scandinavia, The Isles and the Baltic coastline. Germany will be the hard one, what with the potential Karling superpower early on in the game and the Pope breathing down my neck if I do get too overly ambitious with Europe. Even then, having hold of England and potentially Russia puts me right in the firing line of all the hordes. I doubt it'll be that easy to form a power blob.
 

TheHeroOfRandom

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He could do what he wants in CK2 and then break his state using independence.Then he could play as the weakest of them in EU4.
That might be what i'll have to do, if I get too OP by the end of CK2.
 

TheHeroOfRandom

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Prologue

Prologue


20 December 866
Nordland


An excerpt from the journals of Einarr of the Clan Kráka, former Huscarl to Bjorgolf Af Torgar

I remember the day that everything changed for those of us who resided in the Mead Hall of Røst. It was Yuletide Eve in the year 866, an especially cold and grim day at that. I was a simple huscarl serving Chief Bjorgolf Af Torgar, the master of the mead hall and ruler of the lands of Nordland.Life was relatively quiet, there was not much to life other than the occasional raid to the lands in the south, and that was a bi-yearly event at most. That was of course, until that fateful day...

A number of us, members of both Bjorgolf's Huscarls and Council, had grown suspicious of our master as of late. He had become rather subdued in the recent months, refusing to send out any raids, suspicious enough considering that we were easily in prime shape to terrorise the southlands, but when it was discovered that Bjorgolf, curse his very name, had been pilfering gold from our last few raids, we of the council deliberated that he needed to be confronted on the matter. A fellow Huscarl of mine by the name of Grimr, a rather devout follower of the Gods despite his simple mind, had been at the meeting, watching quietly, suddenly stormed out of the room, yelling about how he was going to confront Bjorgolf himself in the main hall.

The confrontation was a very brutal ordeal. As the rest of those at the meeting rushed into the main hall, we found Grimr towering over Bjorgolf raising a thick fist above his head, bloodied from shattering the old man's nose.

"Speak old man"

Grimr barked in an incredibly deep, almost bear-like voice. Grimr had always been more of a man of action as opposed to words, in fact unless you knew him as well as I did, you would easily think that the only words he knew were Yes and No.

"What have you done with the money you stole?"

Bjorgolf gave a harsh chuckle, the look of bewilderment and fear quickly changed to one of amusement.

"Isn't it obvious fool boy? The money has gone to a great and noble cause. The cause of Christ"

"You cannot be serious father!"

Bjorgolf youngest son, Harek, stepped forward with a look of sheer disbelief blanketing his face. Harek had come of age a few months prior and the hare-lipped lad was already proving to be a little upstart.

"You would forsake the gods?"

"Of course Harek, I feel no love for such heathenry, for I have seen what is to come. A great storm moves from the far south, the eyes of Christ are moving upon us, upon all heathens who dare to exist in the shadow of His glory."

It was clear to all that the old man was totally mad, the amused grin on his face had shifted to a wide-lipped smile of sheer insanity. To all of us, even his own sons, he was a traitor and a mad man. To Grimr however, he was nothing more than a foe to be killed for the glory of the All-father. The Huscarl grabbed his axe and raised it high into the air, preparing to bring the weapon down on Bjorgolf's neck. I felt that this, a simple execution was not a satisfactory outcome, so I raise my own voice in protest.

"Grimr, stay your axe!"

"He is a traitor Einarr, you would let him live?"

"Nay friend, I would see him dead, but from a duel with you. If he claims to be a supposed champion of the White Christ, then you will be the champion of the Old Gods."

Bjorgolf rose to his feet, his expression yet again changing, this time to pure rage.

"Very well, if you heathen fools will not bow to Christ's will, then I will spill the blood of your "Champion" to prove His might. But know this, you cannot stop what is to happen. Christ is coming and all Norsemen will bend their knees to Him or they will feel His wrath"

"Be silent and draw your axe old man. Lets test your god against my gods in combat."

The battle between the two was a brutal clash of the faiths. Both men were skilled warriors, but Grimr had the advantage of being a 25 year old man in his prime. Despite Bjorgolf's best efforts, the most serious injury he gave Grimr was a glancing blow that left a deep cut on the huscarl's cheek and brow. Grimr however, managed to score more and more fatal hits upon his foe until he landed a final hit on the older mans neck, severing his head completely.

After the adrenaline of the battle had worn off, the council had an immediate deliberation and unanimously chose to make Grimr as the new chief and master of the hall of Røst. I approached my new chief to offer my congratulations.

"Well old friend, you've proved the might of the All-Father against the White Christ. I'm proud of you"

"Its down to you Einarr, you called me champion of the Old Gods. In fact I may give myself the last name of Hjatli."

"A fine name for the weapon of the gods. I daresay it'll be wielded by your sons and their sons and their sons after with pride after what you've achieved today."

"Thank you Einarr, as will I."



I knew then, that the simple man now known as Grimr Hjalti would be destined for much more greatness than the acts of today. He was the man I would follow til my beard went grey and my sword arm grew weak. He was the man I would call King.
 
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guillec87

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great beginning!! looking for more!!
 

GreatUberGeek

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Subbed, well written start. Interesting idea for the mega campaign. :)
 

TheHeroOfRandom

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Chapter I - The Frozen Vales of Nordland

Chapter I - The Frozen Vales of Nordland

(The chapters detailing the life of Grimr will be documented through the memoirs of Einarr Kráka, Grimr's chancellor. Should Grimr outlive Einarr, subsequent chapters will be done through the perspectives of certain other important characters.)

The Journals of Einarr Kráka, Huscarl and Chancellor to Grimr Hjalti



Einarr Kráka at the start of Grimr's reign

Despite the lack of gold to provide a lavish feast, the hall of Røst was warm and lively on Yule for the Great Blot that Grimr had called to celebrate his ascension to master of the hall.
The prisoners locked in the dungeons of the hall were sacrificed, among which was the fool priest who converted Bjorgolf to Christianity. It truly does surprise me at how these Southerners keep bleating quotes from their so-called "holy book" even when the rope tightens round their necks. But regardless, I digress.


Nordland, Home of Grimr Hjalti

As the end of the year came and went, we found ourselves in the Year 867, the first year that everything truly began to change. Despite that rather impressive title for that year, Grimr himself was away for the entirety of the year, leaving in mid-January to go raiding in the Baltic.Indeed it held little excitement for me as well, as I'm sure it has been made clear already; A mead hall sat near the northern edge of the known world such as Røst hardly has much opportunity for combat or indeed much else bar the odd raid by the Finnic tribes in the east. The day-to-day management of Røst and the outlying areas was interrupted only once during that year by my first experience of court intrigue.


On the 26th of February I came to notice that a small but steady stream of coins had been going missing from the treasury over the last month, naturally I assumed that Harek, son of Bjorgolf, was responsible and confronted him that evening.



Unfortunately it seemed that I was a bit too hasty in accusing Harek as he quickly proved his innocence and showed me that the missing gold was due to the cook neglecting to take into account the price of extra foodstuffs. It was completely understandable given who his father was, I will continue to keep an eye on the lad however.

The days and weeks tend to merge together when you do the same thing all the time, and 868 passed in its near full majority until the start of December when Grimr and his raiders finally returned, bringing with them just under 50 gold and in terms of Grimr himself, three women. Grimr explained to me that during the last winter, he had stayed in the realm of Holmgardr in the court of Rurik, the mighty Norsemen who had led his people to subjugate the slavic tribes to the east. Whilst there he had met three young serving girls and decided upon himself to bring them with him back to Røst.


The first woman went by the name of Gerdr, a cunning girl with a fine taste for intrigue. Gerdr became Grimr's wife as she was the woman who he desired the most out of the three.




The other two women were sisters, or some sort of relation given their likeness to each other, Freyja and Linda who became concubines to Grimr much to their displeasure. I was especially wary of Freyja as she was as quick-witted as she was beautiful and lustful. I didn't doubt for a second that she would be a major player in the court. December passed mostly uneventfully, Grimr spent most of his time bedding his new wife and concubines whilst the council effectively governed the lands making preparations for the Yule feasts. As the feasts began on the night of the 21st, I found myself standing at the entrance of the Hall watching the flickering stars.

"An impressive sight isn't it Einarr?"

I turned my head slightly to see who my companion was and found that it was Grimr standing in the shadows to the right of me.

"For such a large man you do have this tendency to appear out of nowhere."

"Aye, its a gift."

I smirked before turning to face Grimr, he appeared preoccupied with his own thoughts.

"Whats on your mind Grimr?

"Rurik."

"What about him?"

Grimr turned away from me and looked out towards the coast.

"I want to be like him."

"Explain."

"While I was resting in Holmgardr for the winter, Rurik was a mentor to me, he told me his stories of how he united the slavic tribes through right of conquest. It made me think. Our people are scattered across the north, divided, leaderless save for people like Rurik."

I stared at Grimr intently as he turned back again to face me.

"I wish to become somebody like Rurik. I wish to unite the Norsemen against all that might attack both the people and their beliefs."

"You are telling me this as if you wish to hear my opinion on it."

"I do. We've known each other since we were beardless boys setting out on our long adventure, I trust you completely brother."

I saw then that Grimr's trust in me was undying and my head filled with thoughts about whether such a thing as uniting the Norse was even possible. In our lifetimes, perhaps not, but maybe both my family and his could get the process started. I decided however to be frank with my friend.

"I'll be honest Grimr. It would be extremely difficult for us to accomplish such a task. We'll need time to prepare, maybe the beginning of spring would be the best time to launch a campaign. I'll see if I can find a suitable target weak enough to attack."

"Thank you Einarr. For the glory of Thor, we will see this done or die trying."

The months of January and February passed and the slightly warmer temperatures of March came to Nordland. During this time, I came to the conclusion that the province of Jamtaland, southeast of the province of Naumadal was an appropriate target. Grimr issued forth from Røst with his most loyal Huscarls, his wife and concubines and 425 men eager for bloodshed.

Thus, on the 7th of March 869, Clan Hjalti's long war to unite their people begun.
 
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