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streaker77

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This will be my first attempt at an AAR, and hopefully I will find it enjoying enough to continue it. It will take place in the country of Firdaflyki in 769 and will go on as long as I am enjoying myself. I will try and give good descriptions of the characters, both landed and landless and find ways to make interesting plot lines with them and their lives, this AAR will be based more on the characters than any in game goals.



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Some Notes

-The Folkung Clan of this AAR will not be based on the historical Bjablo/Folkungs, I just really liked the name

-In order to stop myself from growing to powerful I will not be using the subjugation CB and will be solely relying on claims early on and claimants after a generation or 2, this means that early game we may not grow very quickly and it will be quite a few years before claimants become a viable way of expanding.

-I will not be playing Ironman mode in case something terrible happens, but I will accept what the game gives me, unless it is really stupid or immersion breaking.

-Feedback and advice is welcome and appreciated

-Im by no means a master writer or historian, and while I like to think I know quite a bit about the viking age there will be mistakes.

-I will be playing ahead of the chapters and taking notes on what happens, depending on whats going on in game pacing between chapters could be as little as a few days or months or as long as a few years If there is little happening.

-I will be making decisions based on characters traits so there will be times I will make dumb or ''wrong'' decisions

-I have quite a few DLC's but I do not have Conclave, Jade Dragon, The Republic, or Horse Lords. I will only be using a personal Castle and Transparent Map in terms of mods

-Im not much of a modder but I have added some new nordic names and taken out a few

Anyway I hope you all enjoy my first attempt at an AAR.
 
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A good viking AAR is always interesting. Sign me in!
 
Intro

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Rise of the Folkungs-Intro

Scandanavia in 769 was a fractured region, there was no central authority and many petty Jarldoms and Chiefdoms fought for dominance over the dark forests and fjords to expand their small realms.

Scandinavia could be broken down into 4 regions, to the south near Saxony was the land of Danmark and the most unified region, being ruled by Old King Harlaldr Wartooth of Clan Skjoldung.


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To the north of the Danes was the region of Sweden or Svibjod, which main power was found in 3 petty kingdoms, Clan Gautske of Vesturgasland, Clan Ulfing of Austergotland, and Clan af Munso of Svibjod, ruled by King Sigudr Ring.


20190123212229-1.jpg





Even farther north of the swedes was the region of Norway or Noregr. This is where our AAR will start, the most fractured region, with countless small chiefdoms with little stability or unity, amongst these chiefdoms was Clan Folkung of Firdfyalki a small clan which ruled over a forested valley nestled between 2 mountians, separating them from their neighbors.



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Finally to the east of Norge was the realm of the Sami's or Fins, a mysterious fiercely independent people who frequently war their Nordic Neighbors.




20190123212630-1.jpg
 

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Good luck with this one. Good idea not using Ironman for a story based AAR. :cool:
 
Chapter 1 ''An untimely death''

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20190123221435-1.jpg



''It is time Ragnarr'' Sigurdr said quietly, rousing the young man from his thoughts.

The young man looked up at Firdafylki's law-speaker with his piercing blue eyes ''aye'' he said simply and stood up with Sigurdr following behind, he moved toward the exit of the small Longhouse and pushed the thatch door open and instantly a burst of frigid air hit the two men, causing both to pull their cloaks closer.

Immediately after opening the door, he was greeted by Bjorn, his fathers Hirdman and Standard-Bearer. Bjorn, who was wearing nothing more than a thin shirt solemnly handed Ragnarr a torch which he took. The walk was short, it was only a few dozen feet to the center of Firdfyalki, but to Ragnarr it felt an eternity. As he walked towards the center, townspeople looked sadly on and a few bowed their heads in respect. When they got there Ragnarr saw the rest of his fathers advisors, Valbjorn the steward, Fat Haestein his fathers spy, and Gothi Barid.

Ragnarr then looked at the clearing they were all gathered in front of and saw the body of Chief Viddar Folkung, his father. The man was around 45 with short graying brown hair and a well groomed beard. He was dressed in his best leather armor and arm ring and his hands were clasped around his axe, and the white eagle flanked by the red and blue of the Folkung Clan adorned his shield. His armor was pulled up high to his neck, to cover the gaping wound from the spear that killed him.

It had been a shock to everyone, Viddar, Bjorn and a few of his Hirdman had gone to a small farmstead which was located very close to the border with the chiefdom of Syganfalki, which was ruled by Gunnar Raumsdalr. They had went to that farmstead to settle a dispute between two families and his father had done just that, Viddar was a just man. It had happened after they left and were heading home Bjorn had said. They had left the village about an hour prior and were in good spirits when suddenly they were attacked by a group of around 20 men, Viddar only traveled with 5 Hirdman and were outmatched, Viddar had slain 3 of them before a man put a spear in his neck from behind, Bjorn had slain another 2 and was preparing to fight to the death but the men ran off after Viddar died, along with 3 of his Hirdman. Bjorn had said they found no markings of who the men served.

Ragnarr had been with his lover Beata when he was interrupted and told that his father had been ambushed and killed. Ragnarr was shaken from his thinking when Sigudr nudged him gently. Ragnarr stepped foward and addressed the townspeople. ''My father was a great man, he freed you all from the tyrant Chief Dagfinn, who was a cruel lord'' His father had come to power around 25 years ago when he had challenged the previous chief of Fyrdfalki, who was a cruel man to a Holmgang and had come out victorious becoming the new chief.

''He treated you well and kept you from hard times, from famine and unnecessary war'' Many townspeople nod at this with sadness ''But now he is dead'' Ragnarr continued ''And Firdafylki is left without a chief, I am my fathers first and only child, his son, and as such I have the best claim to the chiefdom''

The crowd nods at this, Viddar was well liked and they see nothing unreasonable about the lads validity. ''If there is any man that would dispute my claim than step forward without fear'' Ragnar says loudly so that all can hear hi, and none step foward. ''Then let us send my father to the Valkeries, who will take him to Vallhala, his rightful home'' Ragnar lights the pyre which immediately bursts into flame and the ashes make their way into the night sky.

''Hail Viddar! Hail Ragnarr! Hail Viddar! Hail Ragnarr!'' The crowd shouts, and with that Viddar Folkung, the first chief of the Folkung Clan is sent to Valhalla where he shall watch the success and the failures of his descendents.
 

stnylan

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Everything has to start somewhere, and this is surely as good a place as any.

Welcome to AAR writing. I hope you enjoy yourself.
 
Chapter 2: A Solem Feast

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Rise of the Folkungs-Chapter 2
January 1st 769, Firdafylki Tribe

Firdafylki's Longhall was a modest one, it had 2 long tables with room enough for a dozen men each at the front of the room was the Chiefs table with seats for the Chief, his immediate family and his advisors.

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The hall was dimly lit and the mood was somewhat solemn, at the regular tables were the 12 Household warriors of the Folkung Clan, there had been 15 but 3 had been killed along with Vidarr in the ambush.

Fyrdafylki was by no means rich so food and drink was served sparingly, a few casks of ale were opened, and sour goats milk, warm bread, sausages and plenty of Skata(fish) were served. There were a few toasts to the new chief and tales were told of how Vidarr, a young retainer at the time had challenged the cruel tyrant Dagfinn to Holmgang in a square of branches and had killed him, freeing the people of Fyrdafalki from his tyranny.

After around 2 hours Ragnarr stood, signaling the feast was over and the Household warriors went back to their homes, but Ragnarr and his council remained, they had much to speak of.

''My Advisors, I have come to the decision that all of you will continue serving in the roles my father gave you, but I will be honest, if I find you lacking in your work then I shall have you replaced''

All of the men nodded, though Gothi Barid seemed sullen over the mention of hard work

''Now then I wish to speak of the death of my father, and who is responsible'' Ragnarr continued

''We found no markings on their body'' Bjorn said ''They were unmarked, like common bandits but they were well armed carried spear and shield and I know no party of bandits numbering over 20 men in this land''

Ragnar nodded and turned to Sigudr ''Tell me of our neighbors if you will and any who you think could be responsible, I do not think these were common bandits''

Sigudr was a competent lawspaker, hardworking and good with his words, but he was reserved and soft-spoken in private, and in opposition to Haesteinn had eaten little at the feast.

''To our North are the two chiefdom's of Sunamaere and Raumsdualr, ruled by Trygvve of Dovre Clan''

''And you think he had something to do with this'' Ragnar demanded

''Well his ambition is well known, and he is a great warrior but from what I have seen he is a kind man, no lord I do not believe this was his doing''

''I have heard stories of Trygvves prowess, he is a fine warrior and I do not think he would stoop to this level of dishonor'' Bjorn said

''His kindness could be a show, put on for the townpeople'' Hasteinn said, ripping apart a peace of buttered bread.




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''Continue Sigudr'' Ragnar said

''To our south and close to where the ambush occured is Syganfalki, ruled by Gunnar of af Raumsdalr Clan, I recall that he was wary of your father after overthrowing of Dagfinn who was his ally many years ago, and they say he is a lazy man so it would fit with his character to hire men to do it rather than personally see to it.

''He also contested the farmsteads that your father visited, he may have believed your father was encroaching on his land'' Valbjorn the steward said


20190124061819-1.jpg



''He often sent messangers to your father accusing him of various meddling in his chiefdom'' Sigudr said

''So this was Gunnars work then?'' Ragnar said

''I cannot be sure, but it seems likely. The ambush occured near his border and he disliked your father.'' Sigudr said

''Ragnarr, you must not let this pass, you should attack his chiefdom and make an example of him, tear the flesh from his bones in blood eagle!'' Hasteinn said

''Haesteinn, you speak well but forget to whom you speak, I ''must'' not do anything, and I have no intentions of letting this pass, be assured of that.''

''He cannot simply attack him Haesteinn, he needs a claim, a reason, as of now we only have suspicions. If we attack him without reason we may threaten or antagonize the other chieftains, we cannot risk angering Trygvee'' Sigudr said

''Then you shall find a reason Sigudr, go south to Syganfalki and get me a claim, finding evidence of his involvment will be reason enough I think

Sigudr nods simply

''And Valbjorn, I wish you to raise the taxes, my father had always kept them low but they must be raised to a medium amount.'' Ragnar says, turning to his steward.

''My lord, could we not wait, you have been chief for one day and already you wish to raise the taxes?'' Valbjorn says confused

''My father was a great man, but a content one. I am not my father, I have ambitions far beyond this vilage, and to achieve these ambitions I will need spearheads and shields. Tell the villagers that these increased taxes are to benefit them, not only will it help protect Firdafylki, but it will put spear and shield into their hands.

''You would be wise to hide that ambition Ragnarr, the other chiefs do not know you yet and may feel threatened, Trygvve is a kind man but his ambition is well known, he wishes to become Jarl and your lands border his''


''I will take your advice Valbjorn, you speak well'' There is a silence ''Thank you for you council, Valbjorn and SIgudr stay, the rest of you return to your homes'' Ragnar says

The rest of the council leave, and Gothi Barid wakes up from a nap he had been taking and takes an envious look at the 2 remaining councilers ''The inner council'' he mutters to Hasteinn.

''You two were my fathers best advisors and I hope that I can rely upon you as he did'' Ragnar says

Sigudr simply nods and Valbjorn speaks'' I wish only to serve you lord''

''I wish both of you too find me a new Marshall and Spymaster'' Ragnarr says

''I can understand Hasteinn, but you wish to replace Bjorn'' Sigudr says shocked

''Bjorn served my father well for many years, but he is my fathers man and only a decent warrior, he will still have a purpose here but I need my own man as the man who oversees my armies''

''I understand completely'' Valbjorn says

''Hasteinn on the other hand I do not trust, his consumption of my ale outweighs any service he has done for my family, perhaps if he had done his job he could have prevented the plot.'' Ragnar says calmly with little malice

Both of the councillers nod, Hasteinn is not well liked

''Ragnarr we must speak of marriage'' Sigudr says tentatively, ''you need an heir or the other Chiefs will think you weak.''

''I have already decided Sigudr, i will marry Beata'' Beata was Ragnars lover and the sister of one of his household guards, who had been killed along with his own father.

''Ragnarr perhaps the daughter of a farm holder, or even one in another county...'' Valbjorn says

''I have made up my mind on this'' Ragnar says ''I appreciate your advice but I am chief.

Both men nod

''A chief is also entitled to 3 women to call concubines as is our tradition, your father did not hold by it'' Sigudr says

''I have every intention of taking advantage of that tradition'' Ragnar smiled ''My father did not and perhaps that is why I am an only child.'' Ragnars mother had died when he was 6 and Viddars second wife had died of a flu 4 years after and the man had never remarried.

''To Firdafylki!'' Ragnarr says suddenly ''May I lead it to prosperity and power, even surpassing my own father''

Both men raise their horns and they toast. As Firdafylki sleeps the 3 men talk deep into the night about things regarding the other chiefs of Norge and potential allies and foes.
 
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So we get the lowdown on his neighbours. Ragnarr is coming across as a bit rough and ready, as would be expected. Not quite brash, not in this meeting, but one could easily imagine him being so.
 

streaker77

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So we get the lowdown on his neighbours. Ragnarr is coming across as a bit rough and ready, as would be expected. Not quite brash, not in this meeting, but one could easily imagine him being so.
His personality may be tolerated and even respected by his unlanded courtiers, but his proud/honest blunt way of speaking may not mix well with more powerful characters. He is not as powerful as he thinks he is.
 
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I was just thinking that his arm needs to be as strong as his words. ;) If it is not (yet) either his ambitions will need to be tempered or he will be learning a sharp lesson!
 

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I was just thinking that his arm needs to be as strong as his words. ;) If it is not (yet) either his ambitions will need to be tempered or he will be learning a sharp lesson!
He plays the role of a chief very well, but has no actual experience in battle or management, he will get his chance.
 
Chapter 3 ''To be a Chief''

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Rise of the Folkungs Chapter 3
November 769, Firdafylki

Ragnarr sat in his Longhall to hear yet another minor dispute, this time it was between 2 small farm holders. Apparently a pig from one farm had bred with the others and there was a disagreement over who owned the piglets. It was monotonous work, but Ragnarr listened patiently along with his wife, Beata, and two most trusted advisers, Sigudr and Valbjorn.

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Ragnarr while an attentive listener was not particular skilled in this sort of decision making, so he leaned heavily upon Sigudr and especially Valbjorn. He had also taken 3 concubines from the village, Yrsa,Mjoll, and Freya who suffered from a stutter. Despite having 4 woman, Ragnarr still enjoyed his freedom, and the daughter of one of these visiting farmers, Helena had coupled together several times since their arrival.

Valbjorn whispered something in Ragnarr's ear and he nodded and faced the two awaiting farmers.

''I have heard of your dispute and have come to a decision.'' The two men bowed their heads and waited.

''There were 8 piglets from this incident and my verdict is that both of you shall receive 3 of them, while the remaining 2 shall be given to me, a tax for resolving this dispute, I truly hope you find this agreeable''

Neither of the two farmers looked particularly pleased but they both reluctantly shook hands and bowed.

After the men had left Ragnarr turned to Valbjorn and smiled ''A fine idea, the dispute is settled and we have all gained from it.''

Valbjorn smiles ''A pleasure lord''

''Bring in the rest of the Council if you will'' Ragnarr says to Sigurdr who nods and returns a little later.

In the 9 months of his rule Ragnarr had seen fit to change the council. There were two new faces, one was a man named Guthred, a Swede who was the new spymaster. Sigudr had suggested him and claimed he was a most well informed man but the price to lure him away from Svibjod was not cheap, 15 pieces of hacksilver which Ragnarr reluctantly parted with. Hasteinn had not been happy about this and had left to go serve Tryggve Dovre, Ragnarrs northern neighbor. The second man was a stocky blonde man by the name of Sverker who had been handpicked by Ragnarr from his household guard. The man was about equal to Bjorn in sword skill but unlike Bjorn, who was a naturaly quiet man, he was skilled in the art of training and drilling men. Bjorn had not been happy about the demotion but Ragnarr allowed him to keep the position of standard bearer and named him a commander.

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The Council shuffled into the small Longhouse and took their respective seats.

Ragnarr started off the meeting by asking Guhtred about current events of which he was well informed.

''There is fighting as usual, Haraldr Wartooth of the Danes has attacked Rygafalki to the south, in my homeland the two petty kings of Austergautland and Vesturgatland war with eachother but it appears Oddr Gautske of Vesturgatland will be able to fend off King Hjorvadr of Austergautland. There is somehting else however, something worrying,'' there is a pause ''Our northern neighbor Trygvve of Dovre Clan has attacked and taken Gundansbraden to our east, his power grows''

''Do you believe he has designs on my chiefdom?'' Ragnarr demanded

''Aye he does lord, but I believe he will give you fair warning to submit to him to avoid bloodshed if he were to attack'' Guthred replies

''He has more men than I, but I will never give up my chiefdom without a fight'' Ragnarr says with the confidence only an untested young lord could muster.

''On to better topics then,'' Ragnarr says after a pause ''Sigudr is there any word on your work in Syganfalki to prove Gunnars involvment in my fathers death?''

''None yet lord, but these things take time, your father will be avanged'' Sigudr replies. Sigudr is expecting his first child, something that Ragnarr cant help but feel envious of. Soon enough he thinks to himself.

'' Sverker, how many men could we raise if we were to go to war?'' Ragnarr asks

''Around 4 hundreds and a dozen Lord, most of them townsfolk, but we could raise 16 household warriors and a little over 5 dozen archers''

Ragnarr nods, it is not a large amount, but he should be able to at least match Gunnar when the time comes.

''We shall end for today than, thank you for your council'' Ragnarr says and the council leaves, leaving Ragnarr and his wife alone.''

''I am concerned I am not yet with child Ragnarr, I wish to bear you your first son'' Beata says, in her blunt and straightforward way, similar to Ragnarrs.

Ragnarr smiles and they walk toward their chambers.
 
Chapter 4: Unexpected News

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Rise of the Folkungs Chapter 4
June, 770, Firdafylki

''Odin has blessed me Ragnarr'' The woman says ''my belly swells with child, your child''

Ragnarr runs his hand through his hair. unsure of what to think. The woman in front of him is not his wife Beata, and not even one of his concubines. It is Helena, the daughter of a small farm-holder who had journeyed to Fyrdafylki the previous November. The two had coupled together a few times and Ragnarr had passed through the farmstead a month or two prior.


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''And you are sure it is mine'' Ragnarr asks

''Of course it is yours you oaf!'' Helena yells angrily, causing Ragnarr to take a step back

''Very well, wait here, if what you say is true then the child will be a Folkung and it shall have my protection'' Ragnarr says, and he leaves her looking for his two most trusted advisers.

He grabs Valbjorn and Sigudr and pulls them outside the longhouse where he explains the situation.

''4 women, and you choose to sire a child on this woman?'' Sigudr asks incredulously.

''Sigudr, I will lay with whom I wish, I am chief do not forget'' Ragnarr says defensively ''Now tell me what this means.''

Sigudr who is the lawspeaker of Firdafylki thinks for a moment and then responds ''If this child is born and found out to be yours you must pay a werigild of 15 pieces of hacksilver to her father .''

''But I am a chief, I rule Firdafylki!'' Ragnarr says

''Even chiefs are not above the laws of this land Lord Ragnarr, I am sorry but it is true''

Ragnarr is about to respond when Valbjorn speaks up ''There is a way for you to keep this child, and not pay a werigild, a rather simple one at that''

Ragnarr raises his eyebrows ''Well what is it?'' he demands

''Set aside one of your concubines and replace her with Helena, the farm-holder will see it as an honor and though there will be some questions in regards to the timing of the child, I doubt anyone will say anything''

''Valbjorn my friend you speak well, Sigudr I trust you have no objections?''

''I..well....of course not lord, but I must say I do not like how the laws of this land have been twisted, they are are customs of course'' Sigudr says.

''I do not wish to go above our customs, but it is what I must do, 15 pieces of silver is far to great an expense, especially now that we make preparations to avenge my father'' Ragnarr says patiently.

''I..well..'' Sigudr tries to say somehting but Ragnarr pats his cheek ''Good man''

And so it is done, one of Ragnarrs concubines is sent home and Helena takes her place.

Soon Clan Folkung shall be two.




 
Chapter 5 A Claim

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Rise of the Folkungs Chapter 5
July 770, Firdafylki

Ragnarr taps his hands on his wooden throne in anticipation, 2 of his councilors have told him that they have good news to share. The two men stand before him in the small dimly lit Longhouse.

''Guthred, tell me what it is you have to say'' Ragnar tells the brown bearded man.

Ragnarr had sent Guthred to the land of the saxons, south of the Danes to study their technology, as it was rumoured that the Saxons had contact with the Franks, a group of people to the southwest of Noregr, a people that the Scandinavians had little contact with but they were said to be masters of craftmanship.

''I have returned from Saxony lord, it is ruled by an old king by the name of Theoderic, they are an organized people and I have managed to learn things of their way of life''

Ragnarr listens patiently, intrigued, the Danes and to a lesser extent Svibjod had much contact with the Saxons, but the people of Noregr had very little knowledge of the southern Kingdom.

''I have watched their military, and they seem to prefer quick strikes and raids with light infantry and archers as opposed to the skjaldborg(Shieldwall).

''You have done well Guthred, go and speak with Sverker about it, see if he can train our archers and spearman in this strategy''

''Step forward Sigudr, what is it you have to say'' Ragnarr demands

Sigudr stepped forward, it had been a hard month for him, his pregnant wife had died of the flu and he had been burying himself into his work.

''My lord Ragnarr, I have come from Syganfalki and it is as we thought, Gunnar ordered the murder of your father'' Sigurd says

There is a silence

''I believe that I now am certain enough to convince the other chiefs of Noregr of your right to war with Gunnar, you have a claim lord''

Ragnarr was speechless,he had been expecting to have to wait many years for this, but after around a year and a half he had what he desired, not only a path to revenge but also a path to expanding the folkung clan into Syganfalki.

Ragnarr steps off his throne and approaches Sigurd and embraces him ''You have done more for Clan Folkung than any man in Firdafylkai, Sigurd, and I thank you''

Sigudr looks somewhat uncomfortable by the hug and Ragnarr releases him and bellows to his retainers.

''READY YOURSELVES MEN OF FIRDAFYLKI FOR WE SHALL SOON GO TO WAR''

The Hall erupted into cheers and somewhere in Vallhalla, Viddar Folkung smiled.

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Chapter 6 ''To fight like a Saxon''

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Rise of the Folkungs Chapter 6
21st July, 770 Syganfalki

''Weve about 70 more men as far as I can tell'' Sverker said, the stocky blonde marshall wore no shirt or armor, only some fur pants, he had blue tattoos running up and down his arms and carried a two handed long ax.

Ragnarr nodded as he looked at the force of men opposing them, he could make out the banners of the green longship of Clan af Ramsdaulr, but he saw no sign of Gunnar himself. ''The coward'' Ragnar muttered.

Ragnarr wore leather armor that covered his body and arms completely, on the front of it were a few bits of studded metal which shone in the sun. He wore a simple leather helmet and he carried a simple bearded ax, his weapon of choice. His shield was a plain wooden shield with the white eagle of Clan Folkung, surrounded by red and blue.

''How are you lord?'' Sverker asks

''I am nervous, but I will not let it stop me'' Ragnarr admited, he was trained in weapon skills of course, but he had not seen battle in his 19 years, today that would change.

Ragnar looked at his force, it numbered around 450 men, most of them were simple farmers, but 70 were archers, and 18 of them were his Household guard, all armed with axe, shield and helmet. he had placed them under the command of Bjorn.

The enemy force was in a Skjalborg, with around a dozen household warriors in the front flanked by hundreds of freemen. They were waiting for him to attack in his own Skjalborg, but Ragnarr had no plans of doing that just yet.Today they would fight like Saxons.

Ragnarr had his own men arranged in a Skjalborg but they did not move and the two sides just faced each other, hurling insults. Ragnarr nodded and around 70 archers came to the front of the line

''FYRI'' Ragnarr shouted at the top of his lungs and the archers fired at the enemy Skjalborg.

''FYRI''

''FYRI''

After 3 volleys around 40 of the enemy lay dead or wounded, most of them were farmers but Ragnarr spotted a dead household warrior at the front. The Sgynfalki men were shaken and hurled insults at the bowman, calling them cowards.

''CHARGE'' Sverker yelled and he around half the light infantry to the left of the shield wall, Bjorn took the finest Folkung warriors, around 18 of them to attack the center while Ragnarr took the remaining light infantry to the right.

Ragnarrs force crashed into the right side at the same time as Bjorn and Sverker hit the enemy, and there was a huge crash. And it was then that Ragnarr entered his first duel that had life or death stakes. The man was one of the dozen Syganfalki household guards, he wore a simple linen shirt, a leather helm and carried a spear and shield.

Ragnarr swung his axe with all his might suddenly, suprising the man who was only just able to bring up his shield in time, and it shattered under the axe's blow. It was the spearmans turn to go on the attack and he jabbed his spear at Ragnar's neck, but years of training of weapons play kicked in and Ragnarr brought his axe down and managed to hook the bottom of it to the spear-point and pull the spear down. Ragnarr then hit the man in the face with his shield, knocking him back and forcing him to drop his spear, the spearman tried to raise his arms but Ragnarr showed no mercy, hacking his axe into the side of the mans head, splitting it open in a spray of blood and bone.

Ragnarr was covered in blood and he looked for his next opponent only to find that the enemy force was in full retreat, he looked to the left and saw an enemy archer try and surrender, but Sverkers long axe took his head.

''LET THEM GO WE HAVE DEFEATED THEM, LET THEM RUN'' Ragnarr yelled and reluctantly his men stopped giving chase. Ragnarr raised his shield, which was wet with the mans blood above his head and began yelling ''VICTORY''

His men cheered and hit their spears to their shields, the battle was over, but they still had to take the Hillfort and find Gunnar before they won the war.



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Chapter 7 Bittersweet

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Rise of the Folkungs Chapter 7
November 770, Syganfalki

''Hes not here Ragnarr, weve searched everywhere'' Bjorn said

The man that Bjorn was speaking of was Gunnar af Raumsdalr, the man who had murdered Ragnarrs father.

''The coward, he does not appear in battle and he does not even appear now, when I have taken his hillfort'' In truth Ragnarr had suspected this outcome, Gunnar was a coward, and he had ample time to flee after his men were defeated, but it still stung.

If there was any consolation it was that they had captured Gunnars wife, a young woman by the name of Visigdis and Ragnarr had named her his concubine, which was seen as the ultimate blow to Gunnars reputation.

The siege had gone well, the warband had ample water from a nearby stream and plenty of fish and deer. The only obstacle had been when the defenders launched a surprise raid on the camp, killing almost 20 of Ragnarrs men. Sigudr had suggested that they kill 20 of the defenders as revenge, but Ragnarr had refused, he would need these same men to fight for him one day.

Ragnarr walked into the longhouse which as about the same size as Firdafylki's and he sat in Gunnars throne, a simple chair of birch.

One day I shall kill the bastard Ragnarr thought to himself, but for now he would make do with sitting in Gunnars throne, drinking his ale, and making love to his wife.



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Chapter 8 Gudrun

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Rise of the Folkungs Chapter 8
January 771, Firdafylki

Ragnarr awaited news in the longhouse, he could hear Helena's screams even from there.

His lover was giving birth to Ragnarrs first child, one she assured Ragnarr would be a boy, but Ragnarr expressed doubt that she could know such a thing.

The doors opened and he instantly sat up as an elderly woman, a woods witch who assisted in all births in Firdafylki walked in.

''Congratulations Lord Ragnarr, she has delivered a healthy and hearty girl, who has been named Gudrun''

Ragnarr couldn't help but feel his heart sink ''I had hoped for a son'' he admitted

The old crone cackled, ''That is what all men say, but they dont seem to complain when the receive the wedding dowry, and a daughter can cement an alliance just as well as a son''

Ragnars mood did improve when he thought of a potential dowry some time in the future and he walked towards the birthing room to greet the newest Folkung.


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