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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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loki100

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An AAR that is really from the afterlife but starts in Novgorod, 1067

This AAR is based on the ubiquitous Rurikovich dynasty. It uses the DVIP, normal setting and a cowardly AI aggression level. I picked the Novgorod part of the dynasty as that seemed to offer the greatest scope for something other than endless wars in Russia (and has some land in between them and the Mongols).

However, this branch of the family has a secret ‘curse’ – probably based on their Pagan Norse roots. So they’ll (very Dante-esque) be packed off to a suitable corner of the after-world (Norse or Christian according to their performance and character) once they die, but since the after-life has a bureaucracy this means paperwork and a review of their life. The other consequence of their mixed Norse and Russian heritages is that they prove quite a challenge for the bureaucrats of the after-life. Its not just finding the right corner of heaven or hell, but also Valhalla, Hel etc need to be considered.

I’ll try and write each in the style of the relevant character, with commentary from the bureaucracy of eternity. In addition, the process of allocating the dead is subject to lobbying from the various dieties involved.

A consequence, of course, is that updates might be irregular especially if someone insists on living till they are 80. Of course others will have very short lives (when I was experimenting with set ups and getting to some sort of grip with the game, Mstislav died in his first battle – the fall out was very entertaining).

Table of contents
Mstislav of Novgorod, 1067-1097 - a man who deprived a village in Russia of its idiot but was actually quite successful (compared to familial expectations).
Part 1: Summary of the charges
Part 2: Mstislav tries to make friends
Part 3: Mstislav makes (unsuitable) friends with some Mongols
Part 4: Mstislav: the family years
Part 5: A chip off the old block?
Part 6: The Finnish Years
Part 7: Mstislav becomes a King?
Part 8: The final judgement

Boris of Novgorod 1097-1105 proof that being twice as a bright doesn't stop you losing half the kingdom
Part 1:Boris: Guilty or Very Guilty?
Part 2:Boris: Building his reputation 1097-1100
Part 3: Boris cements his reputation, 1100-1105

Vladimir 1105-1146 The nice polite one you sometimes find even in the most dysfunctional of families
Plot spoiler that may contain errors
Part 1: Vladimir, 1105 - 1107 - rebuilding the kingdom
Part 2: Vladimir 1107-1115 - almost too good to be true
Part 3: Vladimir 1115-1122 - still looking rather good
Part 4: Vladimir 1122-1125, only a few small wars
Part 5: Vladimir 1125-1133, he may be the big King, but he doesn't want to go home
Part 6: Vladimir 1133-1137, yep not going home too often is a good idea
Part 7: Vladimir 1137-1143, a one man war machine
Part 8: Vladimir 1144-1146, trying to dodge the domestic cutlery

Kettu 1146 - 1151 A king who put the serial into killer
Part 1: An open and shut case?
Part 2: Kettu 1146-1147, Murder, and, maybe, a few Mysteries
Part 3: Kettu 1148-1149, Heresy, Murder, War
Part 4: Kettu 1150-1151, Murder, War, Cowardly Scots, and still time for more heresy

Ukko 1151- 1154 The forgetten one who had to sort out the mess
Part 1: Attracting the sympathy vote?
Part 2: Ukko, 1151-54, Letting the family down rather badly

Toikka, 1154 - 1179 Redeeming the family reputation
Part 1: well maybe he actually worsens the family reputation?
Part 2: Clearly not, he was really a paragon of virtue
Part 3: In which a large fly stain appears and Harry, briefly, gets his man

Tuokki, 1179 - 1191 It was all going so well till ...
Part 1: Tuokki 1179-1182, it all starts rather well
Part 2: Tuokki 1183-1184, conquers Russia but has some dubious friends
Part 3: Tuokki 1184-1189, an obsession with colour, a family religious revival and repaying a century old debt
Part 4: Tuokki 1189-1191, in which the new King of Lithuania is skewered by a passing Mongol

Boris the Second, 1191 - 1215 A one man religious revival whose kingdom rather waxed, waned and waxed ...
Part 1: A quick summary of his woes
Part 2: Dead marshalls, live wars
Part 3: A summary of the more succesful bits, and a reason why he should have taken more care over his food

Ivan, 1215 - 1227 his reign started with a bit of a bang, and carried on as a bit of a whingy whimpering sound
Part 1: inept, boring or the victim of a demonic plot ... you decide
Part 2: Ivan 1215-1224, the exciting years
Part 3: Ivan 1224-1227, not much else went in his favour either

Peresvet, 1227 - 1234 also a bit whingy but at least he's got Mongols to complain about
Part 1:peresvet, the less successful bits
Part 2:peresvet, at least this one has some Mongols in it

Ratmir, 1234 - 1261, mad, bad, dangerous especially if you are a Mongol, a Turk or in fact almost anyone who crosses him, at least that was his version
Part 1: Ratmir 1234-1237, pretty innocent really
Part 2: Ratmir 1237-1245, Harry shows an interest
Part 3: Ratmir 1245-1250, mostly domestic stuff, but with a lot of dead Mongols
Part 4: Ratmir 1251-1256, lots of dead Mongols and family problems
Part 5: Ratmir 1256-1260, a fair bit of his family dies, along with more Germans and Mongols
Part 6: Ratmir 1261, a surprisingly clear cut outcome

A summary of all the above

Vladimir II, 1261 - 1291, not the luckiest, or most careful of Kings
Part 1: Vladimir II 1261-1265, a bit of a false dawn?
Part 2: Vladimir II 1266-1270, things start to unravel
Part 3: Vladimir II 1271-1278, not really his best period
Part 4: Vladimir II 1279-1285, much better, as long as you're not in the army
Part 5: Vladimir II 1285-1289, post Polish blues
Part 6: Vladimir II, 1290-1291, the road to heaven is paved by assassination

Mitrofan, 1291 - 1295, A King with very big plans ... and one very big problem
Mitrofan, its all here in one easy read

Roman, 1295 - 1304, its not easy when you kill most of your relatives
Roman, 1295-1304, Living too long is so over-rated

Mikula 1304 - 1306, Has a lot to put right, and not much time
Mikula 1304-1306, a good start but his past catches up with him

Vseslav, 1306- 1317, a bright new hope, who is rather unwell
Vseslav, 1306-1310, dodgy bishops, obnoxious kids and disloyal vassals ... its all going so well
Vseslav, 1310-1312, a Great Patriotic War and lots of injured generals
Vseslav, 1312-1317, not the most dynamic of endings

Davyd, 1317-1332 , he starts without much of a reputation ... and ends with even less
Davyd 1317-1320, just settling down
Davyd 1320-1325, not a huge amount happens
Davyd 1325-1332, people start to die of boredom

Andrei, 1332 - 1356 , starts out as King of the Nursery, ends up stuck in a tree in Hell
Andrei 1332-1340, the nursery years
Andrei 1340-1345, the teenage years
Andrei 1345-1349, he just gets even more competent
Andrei 1349-1352, the Pope gets ratty, the plague gets out of hand and Andrei remains competent, if a bit stressed
Andrei 1353-1356, More Italian problems, more disease, and all the competence gets to be too much for Andrei

In which an alternative set of explanations for 3 centuries of Rurikovich rule is offered

Boris III, 1356-1365, Not the most organised of Kings
Boris III, 1356-1365, during which he is rather unlucky
Boris 1356-1361, many things happen, some make very little sense
Boris 1361-1365, still not much clarity to be honest

Bugra 1365-1426, who may live a long time but very few others manage to
Bugra 1365-1370, in which he starts as he means to go on
Bugra 1370-1374, in which he isn't that saintly
Bugra 1374-1378, in which he discovers the rouble is more powerful than the sword
Bugra 1378-1384, in which he may or may not kill 3 people, but he really does not like brown
Bugra 1384-1387, in which he resolves his purple problems, but some more people do die
Bugra 1387-1392, in which it is all calm and peaceful
Bugra 1392-1396, war, plague, military incompetence, a poor taste joke about a celibate leper, & PLOTS
Bugra 1396-1400, in which dynastic issues worry all the main characters
Bugra 1400-1404, wars, killings and the inheritence is still not sorted out
Bugra 1404-1408, in which the concept of the extended family is tested to destruction
Bugra 1408-1412, murder, rebellion, black magic, all pretty normal really
Bugra 1412-1415, too busy with the civil war to attend the aar birthday party
Bugra 1415-1418, in which his performance is appraised by his ancestors and he captures Byzantium
Bugra 1418-1421, in which most of Russia is revolting
Bugra 1421-1426, an end that is probably undeserved

Yakut, 1426-1436, a more cultivated king?
Yakut 1426-1430, in which too much sex sends him blind
Yakut 1430-1435, sex and boredom leads to a rather large war
Yakut 1435-1436, in which he stumbles blindly to his doom

Alp Yurek, 1436 - 1441, a new beginning? ... or just a speedy end
Alp Yurek, 1436-1440, he's in the nursery. the realm is in revolt
Alp Yurek, 1440-1441, this is what happens when you annoy nanny

Mured, 1441 - . the last of our noble line?
Mured, 1441-1452, the usual rebellions, wars and family strife
 
Last edited:

loki100

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Mstislav


[grumbling in the outer office … “look its another Rurikovich for us to file … great with so many of them we’ve got to spend an age with them just to sort out one from the other … well lets get started then … what does the record say … well his father (who we ended up handing over to Freyja) … you know the one who went on wittering about Hungarians with big lances said … hah … lets see … oh right, - dim, not bright enough to be actively disobedient, gave him the quiet bit of the kingdom to keep him out of mischief, never kept his promises … well that’s something to be going on with … lets wheel him in then and get on with this"]



Look where am I? You know who am I, I’m P….

[yes yes sir we know who you are … now if you co-operate we can get this over quickly … yes yes I know saying ‘ we haven’t got all eternity’ is a bit of an old joke … you see sir, yes we do have time, but those of us on the Russia desk are pretty busy … all your relatives you see … dieing and slaying … so the quicker we can get you off to where you belong the quicker we can deal with the next one]

But I don’t understand, who are you people …

[well from your file you understood very little during your life]

How dare you, I am P …

[no sir, you were … now we need to check the accuracy of the records with you and review your file … we then pass it on the relevant authority and that’s you set up for the rest of eternity]
 
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PrawnStar

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Interesting idea, count me in.
 

Stuyvesant

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Interesting... Quite a change of pace. I look forward to see what woes will befall these Rurikovichs in times to come. :)
 

loki100

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loki100

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Mstislav: trying for a quick decision

[ok sir, look if you don’t mind too much we’ve done a very quick review of your record and we reckon we can slot you into level VI, ring one, inside Dis, it’s a nice (if warm) tomb, you’ll like your existing neighbours and we know its going to fill up with your descendents, so you’ll get a prime site if you take it now]

Let me see, …. But that’s in Hell … haven’t you seen my Piety scores?

[yes sir, but facts is facts, and you’ve been pretty vengeful you know]

No I wasn’t … all those rebellious counts and bishops who I let keep their provinces after I beat them …

[look sir, we have the evidence, lets just start with your youngest son, Dmitri]

But he wasn’t my son, he was a b…..

[well sir if you carry on like that, you’ll talk your way lower down, but if you insist, do you recall this:



Or this, I believe at the time you hoped he'd go to some monastery that was ... and here I quote sir ... 'squashed by a marauding turk' ... and of course that life long feud with your wife ... pretty vengeful stuff this sir



And then this?



Need we say more

]


Well he was being difficult … and there were reasons

[ummh well if you insist we could do you for falsification instead]

Ok, that doesn’t sound so bad

[are you sure?]

…. Maybe

[it’s a circle 8, level 10 offense … ]

Let me see, no that cannot be right

[well sir do you recall ordering this … ]


Yes

[despite the evidence of this and this]




Yes

But look there were reasons, and it made sense at the time, and you’re taking things out of context

[ah he wants to offer context … that does mean a long story then? … oh well we do have eternity after all … ok give us the context]

What for everything?

[yes sir, please, tell it your own way … just remember we do have good records]

Good. Well there I was, 1067, young, quite excited having just become a new Prince, trusted by daddy [no he didn’t you know] … look am I telling this or not? [yes sir, at your own pace if you like] So anyway, I started by changing the law … the ramifications of Feudal Contract are terribly interesting and my Chancellor Eliseveta explained it all to me

[zzzzzzzzzz, stop, please sir … look you’ve really got to improve on this – its your eternity we’re discussing. Your father was bad enough, going on about slaying this Cuman and that Pecheneg, his obsession with Hungarians and their big lances, and his constant complaints that you were a devious wastrel who spent his time chasing Finns around boggy fields whilst he did the manly stuff … and, yes, we DO have eternity to read this stuff – but could you maybe just give us the important material? you know the things you might want to be judged on]

Will Mstislav avoid the lower reaches of Hell, will the bureaucrats of the afterlife stay awake, find out more … soon
 

loki100

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Mstislav 1067-1070 Making Friends

[ah there you are sir … do you mind if we get started … yes, I know you quite like the grey atmosphere here (better than your likely final destination – at least its cold), but we do need to get on with it … this place will get very crowded over the next millennia so we really need you assigned to your place in eternity --- fairly promptly so to speak]

[if it helps jog the memory sir, explain what this was all about]



Well you see, there I was chatting to my Court and we all agreed that I was a bit overburdened with all this personal demesne stuff and it would be so much nicer for them if I was a King … so I made most of them Counts and we sort of hit on the idea of me being King of Finland

[ah sir, do we detect a bit of vengeance here?]

No no, just seemed like a good idea at the time. Anyway, we all rounded up some chaps and set off, of course my first Marshall, Vysheta, died of old age on the way up there – so maybe we weren’t moving that fast. But Vodi looked a nice friendly place so we started there …



And then it got a bit confusing. You see first Domeslav (who I’d just made Count of Starya Russa took against me) and …

[just for the records sir, Domeslav … he’s the one you spent the rest of your life calling Bonehead?]

Yes … but anyway look it was confusing … first Bone..Domehead declares war on some extra Finns so we were at war with them too and we had this tournament thingie to pass the time whilst the peasants did their siege-stuff and that resulted in another falling out.



[it does seem as if a lot people found it easy to insult you … sir]

I then I caught some local disease



[ah that would be what your father said … let me check … yes here it is “the total idiot was playing soldiers in the woods and got bitten by an irate Moose”]

Anyway the peasant-chappies won that siege so all we wandered over to Bjarma to deal with them too

[can we just record it as they didn’t like you either?]

No no, there was a reason … anyway with my new Marshall we first finished off the first group of Finns, and then we beat Bjarma



[can we just check this is where the first … aahh … ‘incident’ happened?]



Well it was actually very simple. I set off to raid their baggage train and got this north/south thing a bit wrong

[So]

Well I did raid a baggage train – just it was our own.

Anyway we scared Rastos into peace and set off back to deal with the Finnish chappies that Boneslav/head/dome had originally annoyed.



And at Kexholm I had that accident and Alexandrii of Tver took it all so personally, and he only did that because he was part of Pereyaslavl so he thought it was safe, so it wasn’t really my fault.



And then we were besieging Viborg, and some Cumans my father was beating up sent us money



[look maybe we can explore that at a later stage? Sir, can we summarise here …, so in 4 years by late 1070 you managed to provoke three people into lifelong enmity … you looted your own baggage train and somehow you ended up with 3 more provinces than you’d started with, despite your marshall dieing of old age as you took too long to actually start a war?]

Yes

[two voices are heard disappearing and grumbling … “not much there to do him for … well lets check out the punishment for idiocy anyway”]

will near total idiocy stop Mstislav from becoming King ... why did the Cumans send that money ... will he get less confused as he gets older ... all this, and more, soon
 

morningSIDEr

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Well I did raid a baggage train – just it was our own.

Simply brilliant. I am liking the style of this AAR hugely, subscribed.
 

kadvael56

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loki100 said:
Sir, can we summarise here …, so in 4 years by late 1070 you managed to provoke three people into lifelong enmity … you looted your own baggage train and somehow you ended up with 3 more provinces than you’d started with, despite your marshall dieing of old age as you took too long to actually start a war?]
That is great for four years, the next 300 years will be interesting :).
 

loki100

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Simply brilliant. I am liking the style of this AAR hugely, subscribed.

That is great for four years, the next 300 years will be interesting :).

thank you ... he manages to raid his own baggage in the next update too, and for a total idiot, with a very weak Court, does manage remarkably well, so on with the 'judgement':
 

loki100

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Mstislav, making friends ... with Mongols, 1070-74

[ok can we get started again … eternity calls and all that … so this gold from the Cumans … could you maybe explain that?]

Well that’s easy, see Daddy was having all these wars all the time and I wanted to be loyal [not what he says] and join in but I had no money … so everytime I offered simply support and obviously that bunch were so confused they paid me not him

[are you saying there was someone even more confused than you … I suppose that is a good defence for disloyalty … must nip off and ask Brutus if he wants to cite ‘confusion’ as his excuse for murdering Julius … Satan was complaining the other day he was tasting a bit funny in any case]

Well anyway apart from supporting Daddy (by staying away from his wars) 1071 was quiet except for the Bonehead problem. All my loyal Court convinced me that if I left him in place, as soon as I attacked ... we were attacked, he’d rebel … so it seemed a good idea to remove him, by, … look this won’t get me in trouble will it?

[what sir]

Well it seemed easier to attack him first

[ummh sir, this sounds interesting, unprovoked aggression … yep adds to the vengeful charge you know]

Well does it make any difference if we note that when I tried to take his title off him, he did rebel, and Aimo (remember him) decided to stab me in the back, so I was sort of attacked at the same time as doing a bit of attacking

[yes sir that happens when you accumulate so many feuds]



Anyway the bulk of the army went off to deal with Bonehead and a smaller part invaded Onega and lost …



So it was all a bit desperate till these terribly friendly Mongol chappies turned up and helped us out. So with their help we beat Aimo with almost 2500 men.… Must say these Mongol chaps were really useful, always welcome if they want to return.



The only problem was my new Marshall, Peresvet, was seriously wounded in Onega in May 1072. but amongst all this excitement, having recovered from the Moose bite, I finally found time to help ensure the future of the dynasty



However, just as things were looking up, the Bjarma, and their allies in Muscovy, declared war. Fortunately the large army had just taken Onega, so it moved into Transportage. This was all going so well till I noticed it was also rather expensive, so I concluded it in July 1073:



Anyway, there we were large, broke and peaceful when these Pagans rebelled in Torshok. You should have seen the size of their pitchforks.

[ah yes sir, that’s when the second incident happened? The old north/south confusion again?]



No no no, well yes it was another baggage train raid you see. But this time I got very good directions so off we went circling behind the rebellious peasants … long march too … so we just kept on circling till we finally came upon a baggage train – which we sacked and looted.

[it was your own we presume?]

Yes, I’d forgotten that rebellious pagan peasants don’t have baggage trains.

[ok so explain the tapestry]

well thats what I was trying to say earlier ... it shows me bravely raiding a Baggage train [yes sir] ... well that is what I did ... twice [at which, briefly, the voices fall silent]

[and then recover: "so lets summarise by the end of 1074, you’ve attacked a peaceful if complaining Count, you’ve had another Marshall badly injured, you’ve destroyed your own baggage train again … oh and you’ve invited a bunch of mass-murderers into the heart of your realm"]

The mongol-chappies, no that can’t be true, they were such nice people

[and somehow you end with 3 extra provinces? … the voices are heard moving away “strewth how must all those geniuses feel when this numpty seems to get away with anything … well at least the vengeful charge is making sense … ah but don’t forget he has the ‘confusion’ defense”]


will Mstislav develop the confusion defense ... were the Mongols such a mistake ... will he ever be trusted to raid a baggage train again ... more soon(ish)
 
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PrawnStar

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I want the confusion defence to work; it's just too good to be allowed to fail.
 

morningSIDEr

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Its a pity Brutus tastes a bit funny, I could have seen a new flavour of crisps being brought out otherwise.
 

loki100

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I want the confusion defence to work; it's just too good to be allowed to fail.

He certainly stays confused ...

Its a pity Brutus tastes a bit funny, I could have seen a new flavour of crisps being brought out otherwise.

could sell dead well in some corners of Glasgow too ... with the right marketing
 

loki100

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Mstislav – Pater Familias

[ok sir, maybe we could hurry you up a bit … would help if you’d just highlight the vengeful bits if you could]

Well the next period was very domestic you know, raising money, children, my father’s death after that unfortunate incident with the Hungarian … none of it of any interest to you

[ah … we’d like you to meet ‘Harry’, he’s taking a keen interest in your case … seems as if you could be setting some sort of precedent]

Harry ??? … I don’t recall meeting you before … oh that scaly skin really needs seeing to … and you have rather bad halitosis … oh right, he’s

[yes sir he is … now can we go over a few critical details with a bit more care, lets start with this ‘voluntary’ donation from Alexandrii of Tver]



Well it was his way of burying the hatchet (or more strictly the battering ram) so to speak

[so there is no truth in the version that, lets just check the record … at the time you said ‘now that he’s independent, lets invade and I’ll show him what really should have happened at Kexholm’ … and then you decided to ‘settle for his cash’]



[and the childcare stuff … yes here’s this one fostered there … that one educated here … oh and here’s Dmitri declared a bastard]

Yes Darya, nice girl,

told me he was

[so you packed him off to be raised by the nursemaids]

….

[and then Domehead/slav/bone … strewth he’s got us confused … became part of your realm after you inherited Kiev from your father]

Oh yes, he seemed really happy about it too



[didn’t last long though did it, …

and despite all this peace, you still had two marshalls die on you]



Well there was that strange non-war with Poland which I I never really understood [you surprise us sir] as at that time the Poles were too busy with other wars, I think they just did that to pass the time so to speak … you know how it is with some people, one war is never enough. Anyway that was my feminist phase …



cousin Vladimir used to call me Alexandra Kollontai in his letters for some reason

[sir, can we stick to the subject, really in your case, one feud at a time was never enough?]

Oh you mean my brother, Svyatolpolk of Turov?



[yes sir … I suppose you don’t know why that happened either… but of course it all ended badly …]



Well it was lucky that Volodar just looked so ... manly ....... and by then I’d managed to find a new marshall- I don't think this one had heard about my reputation - though neither of them wanted me along to do my baggage train raiding trick for some reason.



and yes there was a bit of violence but then I made amends by giving his county to my new Bishop – the one who believed in God



[‘Harry’ perks up – ‘ah I wondered where that one had got to]

But in the main, it was all going so well, I paid off some of Daddy’s debts:



The peasants got over their trauma with the Hungarians



And with all my new man-friends we did sooo much male bonding




Oh and the newly untraumatised peasants decided to form a thieves guild



… and the Pope did something strange



[ok sir, so all this peaceful living put you off wars then]

Oh yes, vengeance free I was … no malice to anyone, with my cousin Vladimir, apart from that odd Republic thing around Moskva, Russia was so peaceful

[and that is why you had this map prepared]



But it was for a good reason

[voices go off into the distance … “well Harry what do you reckon … case is a bit weak … pretty vengeful to his brother though … who had declared independence first … the Dmitri stuff could stick … tell us about that bishop, you seemed to know him … yes, ho ho, he caused so much chaos]

Why is ‘Harry’ so pleased about Bishop Sviatolpolk … does Mstislav remember to attack Finland … is his first son, Rostislavl, really so much like him … find out some more sooner or later

 
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PrawnStar

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All looks entirely reasonable to me; what could go wrong?

Well, we did have "Hedgehog Flavoured" crisps once upon a time...

OMG that's what I thought as well! :eek: