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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

dragoon9105

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So Short description, this is my second megacampaign AAR now and like my previous campaign I'll be testing out some mods, namely the newest version of HIP (and possibly some other mods).

This AAR will be following the rise of House Aesirling, a custom created Norse Germanic Duke of Holstein starting from 769 replacing the Saxon house of Hessing. I've not no specific goals beyond the vague ones i've set below so we'll see where the game takes us.


A Few Rules i'm keeping too:
1.Balkanization before and After conversion, probably Only I'll need it.
2.No Cheating (Obviously), I do reserve the right to help the AI and fix borders via the console however
3.I've disabled All dejure Empires Save Byzantium and Arabia
4.I need to form an Empire before i reform the faith/christianize.
5.More as I see fit to add or are suggested.

A Few Goals for the CK phase of the campaign
1.We will unite Europe under one Religion, be that Germanic, Catholic or a Catholic Heresy
2.Murder every Karling I find
3.Help, EVERY viking conquest i'm made aware about, and I mean every, that means helping the Normans, Adventurers fellow Germanics invading britain ect. They don't need to succeed naturally.
4.Break the big 4 of the Charlie start Byzantium, Arabia, Hispania and Francia.
5. Get out of Tribalism, I don't know if i'll flip into MR or Feudal but I will almost certainly reform the government.
6. Open to recommendations and suggestions, but ultimately the choice is mine here


Chapter List​
Chapter 1: Into the Thick of It
Chapter 2: Game Change
Chapter 3: The Black Wind Howls
Chapter 4: Blood in the Water
Chapter 5: Between Two Worlds
Chapter 6: Nobody Expects it
Chapter 7: A Sound of Thunder
Chapter 8: A Little Gardening
Chapter 9: Blood Sport​
 
Last edited:

dragoon9105

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Chapter 1: Into the Thick of It

On January 1st 769 Markus Aesirling, an exile from Kingdom of Sjaelland and his hundred companions stormed a local village and declare himself Chief and ruler of the lands around the mouth of the Elbe River, To legitimize his conquest, Markus pledged loyalty to the Kingdom of Saxony, and was named High Chief, and given overlordship over the Northern Border of the Kingdom.


Hard times were coming for Saxony however, not from the North but from the South as a few years later the Ambitious Charles King of the Franks had marched north to christianize and subjugate the raiders who terrorized his people. The Saxons rose up in opposition, though ultimately would lose every battle and instead resort to guerilla warfare to bleed the Christians dry.


A Five year campaign of Winter, and costly victories had depleted Charles' original host of eight thousand down to a measly three, with more losses occurring from malnutrition and desertion alongside guerilla attacks.​


The various chiefs of Saxony all rose in defense of their King, even Markus the Nord, who had no love for the Saxons, but even less love for the Christians who burned the countryside as they went. The war weeded out the weaker willed men in the Kingdom and it's leadership. The strong, prospered and Markus a foreigner ruling over a foreign land had risen to fame as one of the King's finest warriors.


The King of course was no longer a man, but a boy. Charles the Frank had butchered little Willichin of Saxony's father and grandfather both on the field throughout the war. Willichin was only a boy of four years old, and already plans were being made for when the war ended, some to overthrow the boy king while others to pursue other agendas. Nothing came of such plans however and the war ended not through any defeat of the Franks in Saxony buy of troubles at home.​


One day Charles the Frank received news, of revolt in the lands of his late brother. His army weak and starving, it would be the excuse the King needed to retreat south. There was no fanfare or great celebration, the Franks simply left but the lesson has been learned, the Christians would return eventually, and Saxony must be stronger for when they do.


In the north, Chief Markus Aesirling used his reputation as a great and open handed conqueror to gather bands of ambitious warriors and marched west into Pomeranian territory. In these lands the local tribes were weak and divided and fell easy prey to veterans of the Frankish Invasion.


As the conquests continued Markus Aesirling took efforts to legitimize his conquests through the use of priests and likely fake runestones to justify the conquest of such weak willed tribes. With each conquest came more prestige, and more gold so much in fact that Eventually Markus would turn north, back to Slesvig.


Here the Markus the Nord also found victory, though at great cost as the march back into Slesvig was bloody and resistance was not the meager tribal bands of Pomerania but actual fighting men, the same stock as those who had enables Markus his success in the years before.​


With his warring done, Markus now set about to consolidate his lands, which were as great as any Kings, at least his eyes. Still however one thing, evaded him however, the Mouth of the Elbe river, which was controlled by the Boy King of Saxony. For now such a prize was out of reach but it would not be so forever. There were other matters to attend to first, an Heir and proper rewards to be given out for the Thanes.


An heir came easy, as Markus was no stranger to a bed, or the womenfolk of his conquests. For a successor however he looked outwards, and used his vast wealth to purchase a mistress from the horse lords of the east. Small Tyke would bear the blood of his mother a woman who prayed to strange gods and did not speak any language the Norsemen knew. An heir was an heir however and as Tyke grew the boy was put through the motions of learning to lead and command.


Markus' domain meanwhile was experiencing quite the shift in demographic. As warriors called up in the wars came south they settled in the south, married and settled locally and brought with them scandinavian culture and the worship of Odin, Thor and Freya.


By the time young Tyke had come of age things were beginning to shift rather dramatically in the kingdom. Population levels had been rising ever since the climate had begun to grow warm but now the effects were being felt in full force. The Markus' small longhouse had become a makeshift court, with dozens of people opposed to the small group of companions and commanders that resided in it a decade ago.

By the time Tyke had reached the age of Four and Ten it had become clear, to rule would no longer only require loyal men to fight, but also an understanding of diplomacy and the growing classes of merchants, farmers and retired warriors that made up the people of the realm.


Tyke ultimately did not take well to his father's lessons, and the harder he was pushed the more reclusive and detached the boy became. Markus needed to try and make the best of a bad situation, and ultimately turned solidifying his son's ascent by removing potential threats before they could grow and bear fruit.


The heathen pomeranians who had been relatively quiet for fear of reprisal from their conquerors still plotted quietly in their forests for a chance of independence, and revenge. Their chieftains were captured, removed and offered up in sacrifice to the Aesir, a bloody example of what would happen to those who dissented the High Chief.


From the spoils of war Markus paid to erect a grand runestone, to legitimize himself as the ruler of his new lands but also his son and all of his blood, taking the name Aesirson and claiming descent from Odin, just as the Ynglings in the North claimed they descended from Frey.

While the new 'Aesirlings' consolidated themselves further, the Saxons busied themselves subjugating and growing stronger. The Boy King Willichin was now a man and had marched east to subjugate the Prussian tribes under himself, Meanwhile the ambitious son of the Chief of Brunswick marched north with Five Thousand Men and took the crown of Sjaelland for himself.


(AI conquests in Red)
Germanic Conquests were growing more grand, and greater by the day. Ambitious Sons had already begun to take trips back south into the lands of Christendom to trade, speaking of vast wealth stored in stone buildings adorned with crosses and other meaningless symbols. There was only so much farmland and opportunity in the North after all, Perhaps the true opportunity's lay elsewhere, in the south and only required those crafty enough or strong enough to wrestle it away from those that lived there.



A Storm was brewing, and Europe did not know of the Hell that was about to be unleashed upon it.​
 

Forster

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I caught your link from campaign one to this. Nice start. I will try to follow along in real time for this one.
 

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I hope everyone's ready for Space Vikings!
 

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subberooni'ed
 

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I enjoyed your last project too much not to follow this one along. However this progresses ought to be fun, but I'm rooting for a Germanic Merchant Republic for the unusual combination.
 

dragoon9105

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Chapter 2: Game Change
The reputation of the Norsemen spread through the world quicker than any raiding fleet. The Emperor of Rome who held onto his empire by but a hair had taken to recruiting bands of raiders to serve as his own private company of soldiers loyal to his crown. There was religious upheaval in the Empire, as Edokimos the King of the greeks fought Iconoclast Heretics for the Throne. With the failure of the House of Karling Christphoros the Catholic had also declared for the Throne, with the backing of the Patriarch in Rome pledging to unite the churches of east and west before they become irrevocably separated.


In Saxony, Markus' heir the young Tyke had come of age, the Bookish and introverted lad was not much to write home about, but was not completly inept and so would begin to rule in his father's stead while the true High Chief pursued other goals.


Markus was not particularly inclined as a plotter but was nonetheless thrust into it as the High Chiefs of Prussia asked for the Assistance of the only other foreigners in the King's Court in pressing their demands.


Willichin backed down but again, Hamburg was stayed as Markus' proper due which was now becoming a fairly common occurrence. The young king showed reason however, which was a good sign. perhaps the realm would not need to bleed for the Ambition of a few vassals.


In recognition of the strength of his holdings and skill on the battlefield Markus was named high general and Marshall of the King's lands. The Mouth of the Elbe did not however come with such a title and again Markus grew resentful.


To Celebrate Willichin's Coronation and assembly of his Council a great feast was called with warriors being called up throughout the King's lands.


Nothing Particularly important seemed like it would come of the feast, Besides the usual merrymaking and human sacrifice of a few prisoners things were fairly quiet. Willichin had tried to win over the loyalty of Markus the Nord with a small game, but when the conversation turned to Markus' just due and control of the Elbe, things turned sour.


When Willichin left his tent to escape the smells of smoke Markus still angry took a chance to reset his diplomacy a bit, and gave the young King a stern shove.


The King Survived and needless to say, there would be no more feasts in Saxony for a while. No action was taken against Markus however, for the man was feared outside of just Saxony and held thousands in loyal retainers, who would be willing to die for thier leader.


Instead Willichin sailed West, for Angleland where his distant saxon brethren had turned from the Old Gods for the Cross. When he arrived with his meager host however he found himself outnumbered when the Angles rose up in unison to oppose him, losing battle after battle and eventually retreating to nearby Kent where Markus and a small party of raiders stationed.


Markus allowed his King entry into his temporary holdfast, gave him bread and salt, but had also gotten the King's Men drunk on stolen Angle wines and mead. By the early hours of the morning Markus' men had slowly filtered out of the holdfast, and Markus himself was suspected to have lit the fire that claimed the King and his remaining men. The Official story of course was that the Angles did it, and the New King of Saxony was willing to accept that truth.


Bruno the Unready, previously the High Chief of Holstein was elected by the Lords of Saxony as King due to Willichin having no male heirs of his own. Greedy but Inept the Lords of Saxony once again did as they wished under what was essentially a puppet ruler.


The True capital of Saxony, one of trade and military power was shifting north, to the coast, where Markus set plans for a capital. Caravans from across Europe, from Andalusia to Hindustan and Cathay made stopping points in the north to trade for Nordic Silver or raided wares and slaves from Britannia.


The new King Bruno had given Markus what he desired, though not directly. The Lands at the mouth of the Elbe were parceled out and divided, only to be devoured by a growing Chiefdom of Holstein to the North.


In the Kingdom of the Franks, something particularly important had happen, Charles had died before he could legitimize his bastard son, leaving only daughters to inherit his throne. The king hearted Princess, now Queen Hildesendis, was now a prize sought by all of Europe, a Queen that if conquered promised Charles's Empire upon the conqueror's descendants.


In Rome things just as important were stirring. Christophoros the Catholic had turned the newly formed Varangian Guard on the Emperor and seized the Throne, Crowning Himself Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire. As was promised however, this Emperor Favored Rome, and the faith was now unified, not under the patriarchs of the East, but of the West.

How long would the Empire and the Pope remain on good terms would be left to be seen.​



 

Forster

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Terrible thing, that fire. The church reuniting looks like it could cause some religious strife in the east.
 

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Well, that's probably a really bad thing for you unless it doesn't last. That's a powerful empire to go crusading into the Germanic lands.
 

TheCrusaderKing2

Private
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I just got finished doing a marathon of your Austrian mega campaign, and I can't wait to see where this new one goes!
 

binn05

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5. Get out of Tribalism, I don't know if i'll flip into MR or Feudal but I will almost certainly reform the government.
Sorry for the noob question, but what MR stands for?
 

zenphoenix

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The Number 9

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Excellent AAR so far. :)
I missed your 1st but count me as a follower for this one.
 

HIMDogson

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Also, please, I go on my knees and kowtow before you, do not become a merchant republic.
 

zenphoenix

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