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coz1

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The tree had stood there for hundreds of years, maybe a thousand. In all of his life Lothar had never known another like it. When he was a boy, his father Udo had taken him to this place and swore to the Gods that his son would be a great man. The memory could never leave him as father took his seax from the sheath and drew it across his tiny palm. The sting of it hurt and the scar remained to remind him of that time. This tribe...these people...that is what it represented. Pride. Strength. Honor. The pillars of their society and this tree was that very symbol. It was gnarled at many points from decades of weather and warfare and yet still reached to the heavens. From heaven to earth...here and now...it was revered and so was he.

A high chief...an honored position. They looked to him knowing well that the Franks lived to the south. A King Karl...maybe an Emperor whatever that was. Sanctioned by some man of God from the south. That was no God of his. This was a society, a tribe, that lived with knowledge and fear of what the vengeful Gods might do if you were not honest and true. Kill the enemy and take the land. It had always been done that way. Migrate if you must, but hold what you have until you could not any more. This land was fine. Rich...plains that extended long and rivers to hold off the foe. Grain, good beasts to slay and plenty of wood. A place to raise his family if given the chance. Not just his own, but his tribe. Theoderic wanted it and so did he.

They had been there for years bounded by the rivers that brought them protection. They had set up a home that was to be theirs for as long as they wished if they could keep it. Some holy men had tried to convert them years ago, but that was not their way. What was this new religion? One God? There were many. Those that tended the flock...those that protected...those that bartered the soul. This thing called a Pope? They were not unaware. These followers of Christ had been around long before Lothar was born. Yet that was not their way. You communed with nature and nature with you. Every part of it flowed within the body and to ignore it was to ignore your very own soul. Let these so called Christians lie to themselves. One man is not enough. The heavens were grander than that.

High Chief Lothar looked out on the gathering of his tribe and pulled his own seax to hold it in the air, “We gather to pay tribute! The Gods have been kind and seen me with a child! Look here and see! He is healthy and full!”

The men shouted with cheer as well as many other colorful phrases and Lothar smiled, “It is a male child and my own! My bride stands near to hold him and you can see!”

More cheers rang out as another moved to Lothar’s wife and took the babe into his arms. Holding him up high, Billung of the Leriga tribe allowed the them to grow silent in awe and then brought the child forward. Lothar took him and held him to the tree to take it in as much as the infant might. Then he turned and gestured for others to bring forth the sacrificial deer. Struggling, the beast fought but the tribesmen held it down and the neck was slit. Blood poured forth and Lothar held his seax to it so it might be covered. With the red running down the blade, the chief brought it to his son’s hand just as it had been done to him. A cut, slim but deep pierced the child and he wailed. Blood mixed and Lothar raised the two. A son in one arm and his blade in the other.

“Our forest...our trees. Our rivers and our fields. I promise to protect it and this is the one to hold it! Our prideful history...we shall stand, we shall grow and we shall fight! There is no new God! Only ours...our many! From the heavens to this very ground, we stand before Irminsul to pledge! Our brothers have gone far to make their own home, but this is ours! We will not leave it and this child...this boy...he is our future!”

More cheers rang out as Lothar bent down to rest on his knee and kissed his babe for all to see. He then turned to the tree and followed it up to the heavens with a fierce smile, “Let those that wish us harm find their fury. We shall give it to them for we are sound!”

As the tribe rang out, Billung looked to Margarite with a smirk, “He is very proud.”

Lothar’s wife kept her eyes to her husband, “As he should be. From heaven to earth, a child is born. All stand before the great pillar with pride. We are made whole!”


* * *

Bardengawi, February 769


The closer they moved to the large thatched hall, the louder it became. It was clear that they were in their cups as many of the tribesmen had fallen by the wayside as they walked. Men of the Grand Chief of Saxony...and drunk off their ass. Lothar was already suspicious.

“Looks to be a good time,” Sigbert suggested beside him, “Our Theoderic knows how to throw a fine bacchanalia.”

Lothar grinned as he kept his pace, “Learning your Latin, are you? It may serve you well.”

“He is known to be lustful and greedy,” Sigbert returned the grin, “Best keep your wits.”

As they entered the long hall, the raucous crowd did not even notice. It was only Wichimann that spied them and rushed over with a grin, “You take your time! I have been waiting as have some few girls. Lothar! Fatherhood suits you! I think not to have seen you so hale!”

Wichimann was already drunk but he held himself well. Lothar clapped a hand to his back with good cheer, “An eight days walk, Wick! Fetch me a drink for I am parched!”

“And for you?” Wichimann looked to Sigbert, “What does the hirdman of the chief wish?”


Sigbert grinned through narrow eyes, “I’ll have what he is having.”

As he moved off to fetch them both libation, Lothar leaned in closer, “Pay him no mind, Sig. He thinks himself tall as son of Theoderic. And I like him well enough.”

“You support him, don’t you?” Sigbert asked knowing the answer.

Lothar answered as he saw the Grand Chief come towards them, “I support what is best for the tribes.”

“Lothar!!” Theoderic shouted, deep in his cups, “You took your time! And you Sigbert? It is good to see you both! We celebrate and I would wish my best man here for it.”


As they clasped arms, Lothar grinned, “Your best man that seeks to counsel. When do you choose?”

“I made the choice when I sent you word,” the Grand Chief smiled wide, “The Derve tribe...the Lara tribe...they should be represented when we meet, especially as I have a favor to ask of you.”

Wichimann returned with two great cups filled with mead, “Has he said yes, father?”

“Drink...drink...you will when I put it to you,” Theoderic grinned and waited as Lothar and Sigbert took in their mead.

It went straight to their heads and the sounds of the gathering became almost deafening. Theoderic grinned and put his arm around Lothar’s shoulder, “Let us walk out into the night. These fools could party until the dawn and I plan to join them. Yet not before I have you on my side.”

Sigbert gave nod and stood with Wichimann as the chiefs left the hall and walked on for a time. As the fires dwindled in the distance, the Grand Chief finally stopped and clasped Lothar’s neck, “Sitting our moot may take you away from the Derve at times. Can you trust that man...Billung of Leriga?”

“I move to sway him,” Lothar answered quickly, “Though I will not grant him the girl Suanhilde. She is but sixteen summers. Too young for him.”

Theoderic grinned, “Though she is practiced already at the arts of deception. If you will not give her to Billung, then send her on to me. Unless...”

“She warms my bed at times...” Lothar gave nod, “...when my Margarite is not in the mood.”

“Never a good thing when a woman would not fulfill the bride price,” Theoderic shook his head in mock disappointment, “Yet that is why we remain free and able to seek out our needs elsewhere.”

Lothar skewed an eye, “You said you had wish for a favor. Tell it to me and I will answer.”

“Always to the point, my good friend,” the Grand Chief grinned, “Then you will sit the moot and when you do, you will vote with me when I ask for the chiefs to accept my will.”


“I would need to know your will,” Lothar was quick to suggest.

The Grand Chief grinned once more, “Of course you do. I would expect no thing else. Lothar...we do well here. United, we have these Saxon tribes able to hold our own. East of the Elbe...the Slavic tribes are ripe. To the south...it grows more dangerous. This Karl...I know not when he comes but he will. We must be united for both.”

“I support my tribe,” Lothar replied, “If you treat us with honor then I can support yours.”

“Good,” Theoderic answered, “I need that. These drunken fools...I know not how many may come when we are forced to fight. The shield wall is only effective when all stand together. Lend me your shield...your seax...and we will face our foes as one.”

Lothar was certain, “If they come, I will stand.”

“You will need to,” Theoderic grew serious for a moment but then smiled wide, “Yet for now...let us drink and be merry! Beasts of many to eat...women to plow...and the mead flows! We shall meet again on the morrow and then you will vote with me...yes?”

“If I am not suffering from the drink...” Lothar returned the smile, “...then yes. Best be careful.”

Theoderic slapped him on the shoulder, “Come now, man! We be Saxon! We do not suffer. We thrive! Thanks be to the Gods!!”

 

coz1

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What??? A new coz1 AAR? Why, yes. :D I’m not sure what tormented mind caused me to do it but mine own. I’ve been working on the Wessex tales for so long, it was time to finally look at something different. I searched the board and the game to find an interesting start and finally landed on Saxony. Not terribly removed from where I have been but far enough away to make it interesting.

Some notes –

I am playing this game with nearly all of the DLCs except for Sunset Invasion (and I believe Horse Lords and Way of Life.) I have the former but not the latter and @stnylan was kind enough to walk me through the starting position. I have no idea how this will turn out, as much of it is new to me, but I think to learn as we go along.

As I write this, I certainly plan on continuing with The Song of Wessex and that will take up most of my time. This AAR will come more slowly, most likely. I may even slow down with both (much to the happiness of those that struggle to keep up. ;)) I really have no goals other than to survive which will be difficult with Charlemagne sitting his throne to the south. It could blow up in a blaze of glory or become something totally worth doing (and yes...I am looking at you Brandenburg!)

This will be narrative (my preferred approach) and it will try to task close to the time line from when I play. In that, I hope to gain knowledge from you the reader as I make mistakes, find fun nuggets within the game and hopefully live the world alongside you as we go. It’s all new to me and many of you have played this far more. I trust that you will help guide me.

So hopefully come one and come all. Please feel free to offer advice on both gameplay and the writing. I am off on another adventure (a different kind of venture) and I hope that you will join me. Lothar (and hopefully his many descendants) thanks you ahead of time, and so do I. :)
 
Last edited:

Idhrendur

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Another coz1 AAR is always a good thing. And if it becomes a struggle to keep up, it's a struggle that's worthwhile.
 

Nikolai

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W00t! I did wonder if you would do another AAR in parallel when you said you were so far ahead with the other AAR. Looking forward to seeing where this goes, although it was saddening to hear you wasn't able to continue the Wessex AAR in EU4.
 

coz1

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Fb-fb:

Another coz1 AAR is always a good thing. And if it becomes a struggle to keep up, it's a struggle that's worthwhile.
That's very kind and thank you. Also, I really appreciated your help when looking at my save games and the conversion. One door closes and the other opens...I hope this is that. :)

W00t! I did wonder if you would do another AAR in parallel when you said you were so far ahead with the other AAR. Looking forward to seeing where this goes, although it was saddening to hear you wasn't able to continue the Wessex AAR in EU4.
You know me too well @Nikolai (;)) and you are absolutely right. Ended one game so let's try another. Especially the new (for me.) I would have liked to see my Wessex guard move into the EU-verse, but maybe this is better. See what happens. I won't deny that I am influenced a bit by @Bullfilter and his Blut and Schlacht. Learn as we go. Could be fun. :D
 

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Thanks for the little nod there :)! I have tuned into this new adventure, where (having seen the Wessex crew to a gaming conclusion) you are now finally able to use a lot of the new DLC. It must be quite a change - and I can of course sympathise. But at least you have the base game knowledge and a successful dynasty behind you.

This looks like a challenging starting position - playing a subordinate vassal in a realm with powerful neighbours. But that can of course make for interesting storytelling, in which pursuit I wish you no thing but well! ;)
 

Idhrendur

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To be fair, you did the one thing guaranteed to make me motivated to give extra support to conversion efforts: wrote an amazing AAR (or three). The stories are what keep me working on my tools, after all.
 

PEnglish82

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To be able to start one of your AAR's from post 1 is wonderous thing coz1.
Looking forward to this as I have had a few enjoyable saves with Saxony, religious tensions and kingdom succession splits abound.
 

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I see you couldn't wait :D
 

coz1

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Fb-fb:

Sounds Interesting, Ill be following this
Great to hear! Please feel free to offer advice if you have any. This is the first time playing with most DLCs attached.

Thanks for the little nod there :)! I have tuned into this new adventure, where (having seen the Wessex crew to a gaming conclusion) you are now finally able to use a lot of the new DLC. It must be quite a change - and I can of course sympathise. But at least you have the base game knowledge and a successful dynasty behind you.

This looks like a challenging starting position - playing a subordinate vassal in a realm with powerful neighbours. But that can of course make for interesting storytelling, in which pursuit I wish you no thing but well! ;)
Of course! :) How best to learn but with others that better know the game. I suspect that it will be quite different that what I am used to but that's why I want to go at it slowly.

To be fair, you did the one thing guaranteed to make me motivated to give extra support to conversion efforts: wrote an amazing AAR (or three). The stories are what keep me working on my tools, after all.
You and @King of Men and everyone else that works on the mods, conversion efforts and all else is what help this full forum thrive. Pdox makes the games and then we take them and run. Some with modding, some with stories and then some with...off topic conversation. ;)

Really loved that introduction.
I love that you really loved it. It's not just a new experience to play with the varied DLC but this is not my most comfortable zone of history so there too...please keep me honest. :)

To be able to start one of your AAR's from post 1 is wonderous thing coz1.
Looking forward to this as I have had a few enjoyable saves with Saxony, religious tensions and kingdom succession splits abound.
Oooh...sounds like I really have a challenge. I always love playing Brandenburg but this is a bit earlier than that. Happy to have you in on the ground floor as I will most definitely need your advice on this play-through!

I see you couldn't wait :D
No (;)), but it will go slowly. Frankly, I could crash and burn before April and then just start up anew. ;) Great to see you on board!

A fresh chance to get in at the start of a coz1 AAR? Count me in! :D
Ahh! There you are! :D I promise to go slower on this to help you keep up, sir. I truly value your comments and contribution to the work! :)

Oh frak yes! Keep it pagan :cool::p
I don't know which way I am going to go. I think I need to survive at first. I am much more comfortable in a Christian setting, but if I last and it is interesting, I may try. I purposely did not make that a goal here. Great to see you too!


To all - A truly warm reception and I really do appreciate it. I am going to need your help all the way (or as long as I have a way forward.) As you can see, I only got to February at the start of the game. And I only have nearly 700 years ahead of me. :eek: In some ways, this is the most ambitious thing that I have tried. EU and CK have historically only been about 400 years and even there, I have often focused on smaller time periods. I really don't know what will happen here other than a narrative that I try to sustain. It will go slow, as mentioned, and I hope to keep it interesting as I learn. I'm going to try and play again tomorrow and see what happens. When that gets posted? When I can write it up. ;) Song of Wessex remains the primary thing, but I am quite keen to get into this as much and when I can. It is awesome to have you all on board! Thank you! :)
 

coz1

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Another one of your AARs? Can't be a bad thing. That's the same dynasty that's ruling Brandenburg in 1066, right? The black eagle of Prussia is a potential long term goal...
I could be wrong, but I think Staden is the ruling House of Brandenburg in the 1066 start. At least was in the original CK. That was my original desire as I have played it before in the old iteration but wanted to start earlier and take in all the game has to offer. Things are a bit different a few hundred years earlier. ;) I won't get to Prussia in this gameplay, but if I last...maybe. :D
 
July 769

coz1

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July 769

The seer held his head over the cauldron and took in the smells and wafts of smoke. Tossing in another handful of moss, the cauldron hissed and Theodoric grinned as he looked up to his high chief, “It portends good news.”

Wecta stood back and watched as Lothar moved to smell the cauldron himself, “How can you know these things?”

“The power to see is given by the Gods,” Theodoric dropped his grin, “They give me sight. They give you the tribes.”

“Tribe!” Lothar suggested with certainty, “One. The Derve...the Lara...we are Angria now. Joined and made stronger by it.”

Wecta folded his arms into his robes and questioned, “The Grand Chief holds no issue?”

Lothar shared a grin with his hirdman Sigbert, “We found agreement to the moot. I voted in his favor and now he owes one to me.”

“And now...” Sigbert followed, “...you have your own moot. The long hall is waiting.”

As the four men moved to leave the hut, they were stopped when Margarete rushed in holding Suanhilde by her hair and then threw her to the ground, “This one! You may have her for the night, but not forever! I will not share with one who shares her cunny with all. Choose, Lothar!”

Lothar moved to his wife, “You are sick because she is young and beautiful.”

“I am sick because she is wicked!” Margarete stood to his face, “You look for her to spy in other men’s beds. Yet what does she bring to yours? No thing! We have a son, Lothar. I’ll not see her bring another to this world!”

“You are jealous, wife,” Lothar showed her a teasing grin.

Margarete returned the grin, “I need not be jealous of this. She is little and less. Why not give her to Billung and let us be done with her?”

“Because I may be done with Billung,” Lothar responded with less amusement, “I need not your womanly worries at the now. We are to the moot. What do you wish?”

She sneered at the young woman on the ground and then looked back to her husband with certainty, “I will see her gone from this tribe. That is what I wish. Share your bed with another, husband. It will not be with her!”

“I will not banish her from the tribe!” Lothar announced in a heavy voice but then softened, “Yet...I have no wish to argue. Take on her role and then let us not speak again on the matter.”

Suanhilde looked up with a sorry eye, “My Chief...”

“Shh,” Lothar bent to her and brushed her pretty face with his hand, “Quiet, sweet bird. What my wife desires, she gets. Be thankful that you were not skewered with my seax. She can be very demanding.”

“Lothar...” Sigbert moved behind him, “...the moot. Billung of the Leriga waits and so does the tribe.”

“Then take her from this place,” Lothar commanded his wife, “Yet be kind. I will come to you when I am done.”

With a pleasing nod, Margarete moved to kiss him and then let him go. Lothar, with his men behind him, moved out under the night sky. The long hall was in the distance and lit up by fires all around. Drunken revelry was already at hand but as he stepped closer, each man seemed to stop and follow. As they moved to the entrance, Wlencing stood in front of the chief, “You think to enter here?”

“Do you think to stop me?” Lothar grinned as he replied.

“It all depends,” Wlencing returned the grin, “What favor do you give to the Leriga?”

Lothar clapped a hand to his shoulder, “Your balls if you do not stand aside.”

The hirdman gave nod and laughed, “Billung never tasted anything so good. I’ve not washed them in weeks!”

As Lothar passed by him and into the hall, the crowd seemed to hush. Billung of the Leriga stood at the front and the chief took long strides to stand next to him before turning with a smile, “Here we are gathered...all of us. The Lara...the Derve...the Leriga. I gather you here for some importance. We do not do this without agreement and so I give you my charge. From many, we are one. I hold no desire to take from your customs, but we must build. If we are to hold strong, then we must be central and here. I am elected as chief and so the laws will be held by these hands and no other. All that come after will hold what did not come before. Speak and agree...or do not.”

Billung of Leriga was twice the high chief’s age and a powerful vassal chief. He questioned first with his eyes and then with his tongue, “You still think to hold Angria above all? Above the Derve? Above the Leriga?”

“Would you not do the same?” Lothar asked before turning to the others, “All here know that I am fair. I call Billung of the Leriga tribe to my side because he is my friend and offers me counsel. Yet what counsel is it that does not wish us bigger and bolder? No counsel!”

“You take from us our freedom!” Billung suggested in anger.

The hall erupted in shouts, both for and against. The Seer Theodoric began to question his sight and Wecta shook his head in wonder, yet it was Sigbert that stepped forward to silence the hall, “You all know me. I fight for glory. And I fight for our tribe. These are one and the same. Lothar is our chief. I do not question.”

Wlencing too stepped forward, “Sigbert of the Derve speaks true. High Chief Lothar grows strong and finds good friendship with the tribes to the east. What do we know of the south? Billung of the Leriga comes to our moot and then questions? That is not counsel. Does he think to rule the tribe himself?”

Billung sneered before he was held back by Sigbert, “You asked me here as friend, Lothar of the Derve! You seek to rebuild this tribe to some glory day? You take too much!”

“I take what is mine!” Lothar stood tall before him, “You will not have the girl and you will not have the power. You will be gone and I will deal with your son of the Patherga. Your sight disgusts me and I will not have you hold us back. See him away!”


Sigbert and Wlencing both moved to hold the older chief and parade him through the hall and out into the night. The tribesmen hooted and hollered, respecting the high chief’s power. Lothar basked in it for only a moment before holding up his hand, “The man Billung...he sought to take from me. From us. I will not allow it. Angria is the tribe and we are all part of it. He would wish my position for the betterment of one. I wish it for you!”

There were some boos but more cheers and Lothar continued, “We are one tribe...united! March with us to glory or find yourself with Billung. I will see it done!”

More cheers rang out and Lothar smiled before pointing to the crowd, “Luder...of the Lara. Come and stand here!”

The man did as commanded and then felt the high chief clap his shoulder with a strong hand, “This man will now be the one to give me good counsel. We have seen a rival chief. Now we shall see one of our own! Sound...a true friend...and yours!”

Luder was not sure what to say but turned to look at the crowded long hall. He stumbled in his words for a moment before finding his voice, “For the glory of Angria!”

“For the glory of Angria!!” came the resounding response from the hall.

Lothar looked them over and smiled. For the glory of Angria indeed. His tribe...his people. He would rule!


* * *

Author's Notes:

Moved to August in this. Changed over my spymaster (wife Margarete instead of young Suanhilde) and wanted to change Chancellor. Billung had a terrible stat but was a powerful vassal. Firing him would have been a problem but the game gave me something else. An event popped up that we "should spend time together" which did not go well. He was provoked and then decided to try and make a claim. That offered the option to imprison, and presto, chango...Billung is now in prison. Smart? I don't know.

Also changed up some laws...as you can see, moved up to low centralization and low tribal organization. Was trying to "allow" revoke title as well but I think one trumped the other and on the latter, I picked "seek approval" from counsel. Wise? You tell me.

Still early but at least I don't need to "sway" Billung anymore. His son? That may be something different.
 

Nikolai

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Building a powerbase, one step at a time.
 

stnylan

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Make him dig his own hole in the ground :D

One will have to come to some sort of accomodation with those Franks, one imagines