• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

This thread is more than 5 months old.

It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose. If you feel it is necessary to make a new reply, you can still do so though.

sansastark

Sergeant
1 Badges
Jun 30, 2013
69
0
  • Crusader Kings II
The Kingdom of Blaland's existence is one of many butterfly moments in history. Established on the whim of one man, Blaland would go on to shape the world as we know it. This is the history of the kingdom, its kings and its rises and falls.

Hey everyone! This is my first AAR and it's going to be a historical-style focusing on each monarch individually. My inspiration for this game of CK2 came from Tommy4ever's wonderful Egypto-Norse AAR so if my style reflects that, there's your reason! The game was played in ironman so no reloads and I've played up to the 1400s so far. It wasn't originally going to be an AAR, which is why I don't have that many pictures from the game, but I enjoyed it so much I couldn't resist. I'm not the greatest of writers, but I hope you all enjoy!

 
Last edited:

sansastark

Sergeant
1 Badges
Jun 30, 2013
69
0
  • Crusader Kings II
Hæsteinn I the Conqueror
Lived: early 9th century-897
King of Tunis: 874-876
King of Blaland: 876-897
2cckhth.jpg

Hæsteinn the Conqueror is a figure whose early life is shrouded in mystery. The earliest record of his existence is from 867, when he and his men raided the Breton coast. Hæsteinn’s rather small band of men grew and grew and by the end of the year, he declared his intention to set sail on the greatest raid of his life. Inspired by the fact his age was catching up with him, he accepted any and all adventurers into his band and by 868 his army stood at a strong 8,000. It was during this year period that Hæsteinn met his two hirdmen, Asbjörn af Guerande and Þorsteinn af Redon. These two warriors became Hæsteinn’s closest confidants and generals during the raid, with Asbjörn’s brother, Styrkar, joining not long after.

j426YdM.jpg

Þorsteinn, Asbjörn and Hæsteinn

At the end of 868, Hæsteinn left Brittany and began to sail down the French coast and around Iberia. His beloved wife, Vigdis, chronicled their travels in a series of poems. Her most famous, “The Catholic Kings” is still popular today:

The Catholic Kings are fat and short, and hide away inside their forts.
They do not fight us when we arrive, it’s a wonder how they survive.
Their lands are full of riches and glory, ready to take for us who hurry.
Despite their riches and kingdoms too, I’m glad the Catholic Kings are not me or you.


“The Catholic Kings” by Queen Vigdis of Blaland, circa 869. Paraphrased heavily from the original.

kQmdd62.jpg

"Queen Vigdis the Poetess" - a 19th century painting by Ingjald Haraldrsson

After harassing the Catholics, Hæsteinn’s men found the even richer Muslims. In early 869, they landed in Tunis. Overwhelmed by the majesty of the place, Hæsteinn set out to conquer it. At the time, Tunis and the surrounding areas were ruled by the Aghlabids, a small Muslim power currently at war with the Byzantine Empire over Sicily. With the Aghlabids’ army fighting on Sicily, Hæsteinn’s men ravaged their sultanate. City after after town after village fell to the Norsemen, with the Aghlabids unable to do anything but sit and watch. Although the Byzantine war still raged on, Hæsteinn led his men onto the island of Sicily and, thanks to a stroke of luck, found only the Aghlabids. The war-weary Muslims were destroyed in battle, and in 874 Hæsteinn returned to the city he first landed in to be crowned King of Tunis.

The Aghlabids were pushed out into the poor provinces of Tripolitania. Basileus Basil the Macedonian was unwilling to continue the fight for Sicily, allowing the Norsemen to hang on to the Western part of the island. He and his diplomats hoped to be able to tame the Norsemen and integrate them into the empire, like they had with so many other barbarians and tribes. Hæsteinn’s conquering of Tunis was met with great disdain by both the populace and the other Muslim powers. It took a full two years for his rule to be solidified across all of his newfound territory. During this period many peasants were killed and agriculture suffered greatly as the land was ravaged once again. With his power unchecked, in 876 Hæsteinn crowned himself King of Blaland – the old Norse word for Northern Africa. With this title he unofficially laid claim to the rest of the continent, a claim his neighbours did not ignore.

SVL519R.jpg

Hæsteinn I

Hæsteinn followed the practice of dividing his kingdom into Jarldoms, making it easier to rule. His first Jarls were his hirdmen, Asbjörn and Þorsteinn. While Þorsteinn would die before ever having children, Jarl Asbjörn of Kabylia’s descendants would go on to be the 2nd most powerful house in the kingdom – proving to be both friends and foes to many kings. Asbjörn was also a great help in pushing the kingdom's borders west during his lifetime.

A huge celebration took place in 877 – a great blot. It included ritual human sacrifice, with the murder of many captured enemies taking place. The revelry lasted for days and filled the Norsemen with renewed vigour. The brutality of the event alienated much of the kingdom’s population, who viewed their new king and his men with fear and hatred. This hatred erupted many times during Hæsteinn's reign, with any revolting peasants being slaughtered.

wgxVqxK.jpg

A great blot

With an army of pagans still at his back, Hæsteinn conquered the island of Sardinia in 878 and Corsica in 885. The King of Italy was horrified by this, but unfortunately could do very little to stop it. The borders of Hæsteinn’s kingdom constantly grew slightly in both the west and east, snatching territory from the weak and divided Muslims. It was during this time that Hæsteinn’s army inevitably began to dwindle in size. Many chose to settle in Tunis and the surrounding areas, but it was not a harmonious integration with the Arabic and Berber population. Most Norsemen lived separately from them, but there were a small number who took wives and intermixed. The majority of those who settled did so in the capital, Tunis, and the city of Palermo on Sicily. Palermo became a very important base for raiders for many years.

Perhaps the most infamous of Hæsteinn’s exploits was the sack of Rome in 883, which sent ripples through the Catholic world. Throughout all of 882, Hæsteinn and his men had raided up and down the Italian coast. But the sack of Rome was an unprecedented event – none of the Catholic kingdoms had expected that these rumours of Norsemen in Africa would present a problem. The majority of them flat out refused to believe this kingdom existed. Rather than war, the papacy began to send missionaries into Blaland. The intention was to peacefully bring them into Catholicism. However, by order of the king, all missionaries were imprisoned immediately upon arrival in Blaland territory. Further outraging the papacy, many of the missionaries were sacrificed in the great blot of 887. After the blot, Hæsteinn's men raised a runestone in his own honour in the centre of Tunis - a tradition that would be repeated by many kings.

93XTIi8.jpg

The Sack of Rome, 883

In between raids and conquests, in 891 Hæsteinn's son Ragnarr was married to Jarl Asbjörn's eldest daughter, Astrid af Guerande. Hæsteinn's hasty return to Tunis in 892 mystified historians for many centuries, before records of Queen Vigdis falling ill were found. The king is said to have stayed by her side until she had recovered enough to return to court life.

The Abbasid Caliph of the Sunni Muslims was horrified by the developments in Blaland. By 893 the Norse had been ruling the land for almost 20 years. In a historic moment, he called for a new era of Jihad – holy war. Immediately he called upon his fellow Muslims to take back Blaland for Islam. Unfortunately for the Caliph, only his vassals seemed to care. The Umayyads in Iberia did not give the jihad more than a passing thought, and though the Aghlabids did join they were little more than a minor nuisance for the Norse. Many armies travelled into Blaland, but Hæsteinn and his men sent them all back in a series of huge victories. It was perhaps incredibly telling that in 895, the king saw the Muslims as so little of a threat that he went raiding in the Byzantine Empire. He sacked Constantinople, horrifying the Basileus, and even captured the Ecumenical Patriarch, Niketas II.

89p0aqN.jpg

Ecumenical Patriarch Niketas II

In 896 Hæsteinn returned to Tunis and let his men take care of the ever smaller Muslim armies harassing his borders. Sadly, Hæsteinn would never get to see his kingdom victorious, as he died in 897. Over the course of the previous year he became very ill and practically bedridden. Although historians fail to reach a consensus on his age, most agree he would have been at least 70 by this point. The life of one of the greatest Vikings ended not in battle as he would have liked, but in bed surrounded by his loved ones. With his death, the throne passed to his only child – Ragnarr.

JyBdczG.png

Blaland at Hæsteinn's death in 897
 
Last edited:

TheAnguishedOne

Field Marshal
38 Badges
May 2, 2014
4.742
861
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Magicka
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis IV
Something based off Tommy4ever's Egypto-Norse AAR already has my interest. I'm eager to see how things play out.
 

DKM

General
54 Badges
Sep 29, 2013
2.482
509
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • King Arthur II
  • Leviathan: Warships
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • For the Motherland
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Dungeonland
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Magicka 2
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Stellaris
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • War of the Roses
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • The Showdown Effect
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Crusader Kings Complete
subbed

Are you planning on eventually converting (religion and to EU) like Tommy did?
 
  • 2
Reactions:

sansastark

Sergeant
1 Badges
Jun 30, 2013
69
0
  • Crusader Kings II
Ragnarr Hæsteinning
Lived: mid 9th century-924
King of Blaland: 897-924
sFauYP7.jpg

King Ragnarr took the throne in early 897. Almost immediately he began to suffer extreme stress – Ragnarr was a much more pragmatic man than his popular father, and noticed that the administration of the kingdom had been largely ignored under him. Ragnarr tried to change this, but struggled with the pressure of living up to his father’s legacy.

In 898, Ragnarr negotiated a white peace with the Caliph. No territory was lost, none was gained. In spite of this, it was considered a huge victory for the Norsemen. They took on the largest power in the world and were not defeated. Ragnarr celebrated with a huge blot, where he famously sacrificed Niketas II. There was outrage in the Byzantine Empire, with the Basileus making it a top priority to subdue Blaland. King Ragnarr raided the parts of Sicily still belonging to the empire in 902 and 903, greatly weakening their strength and setting the stage for future conquest. With the riches plundered, in 905 Ragnarr initiated huge projects throughout the kingdom to improve the infrastructure that his father’s men had destroyed. While still a Norseman at heart, Ragnarr appreciated that his subjects could not just be expected to make do without a little bit of assistance.

1RE8Ifi.jpg

During the late 9th century and early 10th century, the Umayyad sultanate that spanned across Iberia and North Africa suffered huge internal problems. Shia Islam had spread throughout their land at an alarming pace, largely in reaction to the founding of Blaland. With no safe land route to the Caliph's lands, there were many who claimed that the Caliph was no longer their Caliph. In fact it is quite likely that the conversion to Shia by many Umayyad nobles was not a theological or religious choice, but a political one. In addition, the fact that the Caliph had not been able to defeat the Norsemen was almost embarrassing. These disputes were always going to come to a head, and in 902 a group of minor nobles proclaimed a young boy named Mukhtar as the new Shia Caliph. Thousands of men supported his claim and in 904 the new Caliphate had wrestled control of all of Africa formerly belonging to the Umayyads, with Iberia in their sights.

Hot on the heels of their great victory, the Mukhtarids called a jihad on Blaland in 905. Ragnarr was now panicking – unlike the Sunni Caliph, Mukhtar was extremely closeby and even more powerful. Throughout 905 and 906 the Norsemen suffered many unfortunate defeats. Despite using their mountainous territory to their advantage, the sheer numbers of Muslims pouring into Blaland could not be pushed back. Ragnarr knew this war could not be won, and so he made the reign-defining decision to convert to Shia Islam. Caliph Mukhtar’s men were thrilled – in one fell swoop Shia power now stretched across the entire western part of north Africa. Ragnarr’s vassals, on the other hand, were less happy. While many supported the king’s decision, others refused to convert.

QJIdvgh.jpg

Caliph Mukhtar's court

However it is important to note that although the king and some of his vassals converted outwardly, their actual religious beliefs did not, on the whole, change. Ragnarr himself did seem to find comfort in the religion, but even he hung onto his old gods. This practice became incredibly common within the kingdom, with most nobles recognising that any Norseman proclaiming to follow Islam likely had only converted for political reasons.

Ragnarr carried out the Hajj to Mecca in 906, showing the Caliph his faith. As the young Caliph grew up into an incredibly intelligent young man, Ragnarr and he grew very close. Much to the chagrin of Ragnarr's supporters, the king and the Caliph corresponded via letter often and were said to enjoy sparring with one another whenever they met. The king also conquered the remaining parts of Tripolitania in a series of small scale wars starting in 909. The Tulunids of Egypt had absorbed the Aghlabids into their sultanate and proved to be formidable opponents. The balance of power swung back and forth many times during the decade, with a huge battle in 917 won by the Norse, but it was Blaland who were eventually victorious in 919.

In between these wars, the kingdom suffered a bout of internal trouble. Ragnarr had formed a small council of trusted, competent men to whom he could delegate tasks to. His choices were mainly minor nobility and even a few non-landed warriors who had proven themselves. The result was a large mainly inward-focused group whose main concern was strengthening the kingdom and projecting an image of faith in Islam, with a minor but important group who focused on leading the raids and longed for a return to unrepentant paganism. The system worked incredibly well, and is probably the reason why the Norsemen held onto their culture for so long. Caliph Mukhtar had suggested sending the king some of his own men to serve in Blaland, but Ragnarr politely refused. Although fond of the Caliph he did not like the thought of giving up his sovereignty in any way.

DudC05h.jpg

Jarl Buðli of Kabylia, son of Asbjörn, was a rebellious sort who saw being left out of the council a personal slight. While no great warrior or intellect, as the most powerful vassal in the kingdom he believed his presence was practically a given. With no appointment to the council imminent, in 912 Buðli and two minor counts declared their independence – with the intention of forming a new kingdom of Kabylia. Unluckily for Buðli, the disease known as consumption broke out heavily in his lands almost immediately after the declaration. Ragnarr and the court in Tunis were delighted and allowed the disease to take a hold of the Kabylian army before sending their own men in. The disease-ridden rebels were no match for the king’s army, and they were soundly defeated in a few short years.

Disease became a common problem during Ragnarr’s reign. It was not uncommon to see many dead bodies lying in the streets as you walked around Tunis. In 918 both camp fever and measles made their way through the capital, with Ragnarr’s poor daughter Princess Gurli catching both. She miraculously survived and became an incredibly prized bride for her resilience – so prized that Ragnarr did not allow her to be married until he could find the perfect alliance.

In 921, the Byzantine Empire was at war with itself. Torn apart by schemes and intrigue, there were multiple claimants to the imperial throne having it out with one another. Ragnarr made the quite risky move to invade southern Italy, currently ruled by a number of small factions in addition to the empire. The largest faction, the republic of Amalfi, could most certainly have intervened. They were very rich but made no attempt to buy off the Norse or send any troops to aid the empire. To them, Blaland was no threat and if they managed to weaken the empire it would be a bonus. Ragnarr and his men raided heavily, and in 922 seized the small coastal province of Calabria for themselves. The Greeks were furious and vowed revenge, which would come sooner rather than later.

LwVvk50.png

Southern Italy after the conquest of Calabria
A year later Ragnarr attempted to invade the Tulunids’ realm, but was pushed back by the awful desert conditions and the Tulunids’ small but effective raiding parties. With Ragnarr's men close to desertion, the king was forced to call it off. His pride wounded, Ragnarr couldn’t resist and began to invade the Byzantine Empire once again. Three years after Calabria was conquered, the empire was still tearing itself apart. The stress of Ragnarr's life as king had started to catch up with him though, and he died before he even set foot in Byzantine land. Ragnarr remains an important figure due to his kingdom-saving conversion to Shia Islam. His death left the throne to his only son, the wild and unruly Hæsteinn.
 

sansastark

Sergeant
1 Badges
Jun 30, 2013
69
0
  • Crusader Kings II
Ragnarr's reign is up!

Something based off Tommy4ever's Egypto-Norse AAR already has my interest. I'm eager to see how things play out.

Thanks for the comment and interest!

Interesting setup, of course the regal name of Ragnarr will mean great deeds from the kid

Ragnarr as a name will probably have a whole new meaning in Blaland after his decisions!

subbed

Are you planning on eventually converting (religion and to EU) like Tommy did?

Thanks for the sub! The religious issue is a very interesting one and you'll see how it twists and turns for a while under future kings. Converting to EU4 is definitely something I'd be interested in!
 

TheAnguishedOne

Field Marshal
38 Badges
May 2, 2014
4.742
861
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Magicka
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis IV
Shia? Did not see that one coming... You say religion will remain an important issue, so I doubt you'll stay Shia for long. I wonder what the end result will be... As for converting to EU4, I hope you do. It's always nice to see these stories carry on, especially if some modding is done to suit the new history.
 

DKM

General
54 Badges
Sep 29, 2013
2.482
509
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • King Arthur II
  • Leviathan: Warships
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • For the Motherland
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Dungeonland
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Magicka 2
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Stellaris
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • War of the Roses
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • The Showdown Effect
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Crusader Kings Complete
Is Haesteinn also Shiite?
 

Deaghaidh

High King
66 Badges
May 1, 2001
5.037
906
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • 500k Club
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • BATTLETECH
  • Surviving Mars
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • East India Company
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria 2
  • Rome: Vae Victis
Makes sense, although usually the assimilation process of conquerors takes at least a generation.

Also, the desert is a sea in which no oar is dipped, as they say. Might we see a future of camel based berber-arab-Viking marauders? Perhaps rallying around a Mahdi, who will summon shai'ha'loud? The spice must flow!
 

sansastark

Sergeant
1 Badges
Jun 30, 2013
69
0
  • Crusader Kings II
Hæsteinn II the Terrible Hæsteinning
Lived: est. 893-942
King of Blaland: 924-942

JR3jmDD.jpg

Hæsteinn II the Terrible was a tyrant. He was cruel and barbaric, and deeply unpopular with both the common folk and the nobility. A staunch traditionalist, he resisted any attempts at assimilation. Under his reign the traditionalist faction of Norsemen grew both larger in size and in power.

In fact, much of his anger has been theorised to have risen from one event. In 911, Hæsteinn’s wife bore him a son, Eilif. The future king adored him but the boy was extremely sickly, and died only one year later. Hæsteinn was devastated and despite siring another son in his lifetime, he never got over the death of Eilif.

Continuing his father’s war against the empire, all of Sicily was under Blaland’s control by 925, and Malta and its surrounding smaller islands were seized too. During the war, a Muslim writer known as Ibn Khaldun made his way to Hæsteinn’s court. Despite the king’s fervour for the Norse gods, he and Ibn got along very well and Ibn wrote many of his most famous pieces of work in Tunis. After the victory over the Byzantines in 925, Hæsteinn took the Hajj to Mecca as it was expected of him. Upon his return home he made preparations for a Furusiyya. However despite the name, it was mainly a tournament of Norse styles of fighting with very little Muslim influence. The king came 3rd, a respectable position but one that infuriated him as both 1st and 2nd were younger, minor nobles. The tournament had been very popular with the peasants of Tunis, who had been allowed to watch if there was space available.

The Byzantine Empire’s revenge came in 928, when they declared war on Blaland. Within a year, after seizing key locations and defeating Hæsteinn’s army, Calabria was back firmly under imperial control. Hæsteinn was furious and in his anger he ordered the imprisonment of Jarl Þorsteinn II of Sardinia. This random bout of anger proved to be an incredibly wise move. Less than a week later, a messenger arrived in Tunis with a letter from the Jarl himself. In it, he declared himself the rightful king of Blaland and his intentions for war. Hæsteinn was reportedly thrilled to pieces with the letter. He “crowned” the Jarl in front of his court, before leaving him to rot in jail.

nvpa4A9.jpg

But Hæsteinn’s injustices had not gone unnoticed, and in 930 the Jarl of Kabylia led a huge rebellion that the majority of the king’s vassals joined. Whether due to skill or pure luck, Hæsteinn’s army destroyed the rebels and within a few short months the rebellious nobles were in chains. The king imprisoned each and every one of them, and so after just 6 years on the throne almost all the powerful nobles of the kingdom were in his jail’s cells.

None would now move against the tyrant king, but remarkably this allowed for a state of peace to reign over the kingdom for a short while. In 932 there were celebrations as Princess Gurli was married to Abdul Mukhtarid, the Caliph’s oldest son. A year later Princess Astrid married Abdul’s brother, Muhammad. These two marriages cemented an alliance, regardless of any disagreements.

By 936, Hæsteinn was at a crossroads. Both his father and grandfather achieved incredible things during their lifetimes, but in the past 10 years all Hæsteinn had managed was the loss of territory and a rebellion. Ambitiously, he decided to invade the Balearic islands – a strategically important location in his mind. The islands were ruled at the time by Frankish nobles, with allegiance to the King of Italy. The king, a Karling, called in all his relatives and allies who ruled over much of western Europe. Hæsteinn was at a distinct disadvantage. He and his men landed on Mallorca before Italy could intervene, so the island was under Norse control for a short period. However Hæsteinn could not withstand the constant onslaught of armies arriving and in 939 he surrendered, giving up a large amount of his wealth and bringing the kingdom to near financial ruin.

Filled with rage, Hæsteinn terrorised his court in Tunis for a good few months before his council finally suggested re-invading the islands. Thanks to the king’s suggestion, a large number of peasants and 3rd sons of 3rd sons had been trained in the art of war – specifically Norse styles of fighting. While Hæsteinn’s army was usually made up of a small number of warriors boosted by levies, now he had a whole regiment of trained men itching for a good fight. More confident, and also desperate to prove himself, Hæsteinn set out to invade the Balearics once again.

GVQDEH8.jpg

The war was bloody. After almost two years of fighting there was a stalemate. Hæsteinn controlled the islands but could not secure them from counter-invasions from the Catholics. This all changed in August of 941. A huge battle, surely the largest any of the men involved had seen, took place in Palma. Countless men were constantly reinforcing each side, with casualties building steadily. Nevertheless, slowly but surely, Hæsteinn’s army began to take the upper hand and eventually won a resounding victory. The Karlings and their allies regrouped with their tails between their legs as Hæsteinn’s men celebrated what contemporaries called “the largest battle ever witnessed over perhaps the most inconsequential islands”.

However the war was not yet won. King Vermundo III of Asturias was seething over the incredible strain Hæsteinn had imposed upon his and his allies’ kingdoms. A year after the Battle of Palma, he grouped another army and attempted to retake the islands. Although Vermundo would suffer a terrible defeat, Hæsteinn was killed on the field of battle. Reports state that Vermundo himself stabbed the Norseman through his chest, with his sword glowing with “the power of God”. Whether it was the Asturian king or just a lucky peasant, Hæsteinn II’s reign came to an end.

DnyamN8.png

His death was not mourned by many, excluding the traditionalists, in Tunis. During his reign the kingdom had stagnated, with the riches built up by Ragnarr wasted on wars declared solely for Hæsteinn’s ego. On top of this, relations with Caliph Mukhtar had been strained as the traditionalists gained more and more political power. With a kingdom still at war, the nobles held their breaths as Hæsteinn’s only surviving son, Prince Hjalmar, took his father’s place.
 

sansastark

Sergeant
1 Badges
Jun 30, 2013
69
0
  • Crusader Kings II
Hæsteinn II's reign is up!
Shia? Did not see that one coming... You say religion will remain an important issue, so I doubt you'll stay Shia for long. I wonder what the end result will be... As for converting to EU4, I hope you do. It's always nice to see these stories carry on, especially if some modding is done to suit the new history.

Not too long until you'll find out! I'm definitely leaning towards converting, it's just whether I'll have the time to keep up with it. I'm looking hopeful so far though!
Is Haesteinn also Shiite?

Yes! Although pretty much in name only and he still clings onto the Norse gods.
Makes sense, although usually the assimilation process of conquerors takes at least a generation.

Also, the desert is a sea in which no oar is dipped, as they say. Might we see a future of camel based berber-arab-Viking marauders? Perhaps rallying around a Mahdi, who will summon shai'ha'loud? The spice must flow!

I wouldn't really call Ragnarr (and Hæsteinn II too actually) assimilated but I can see where you're coming from! I doubt they would have converted at all if they could have avoided it.

I'm actually very interested in basing some of the kingdom's practices around camels, might have to steal that for a few chapters ;)
I like this, all of it.
Eagerly awaiting the continuation! :)

Thank you very much! I hope you continue to enjoy it :D
 

TheAnguishedOne

Field Marshal
38 Badges
May 2, 2014
4.742
861
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Magicka
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis IV
What a terrible king. Hopefully his successor will rebuild the kingdom his father nearly destroyed.
 

sansastark

Sergeant
1 Badges
Jun 30, 2013
69
0
  • Crusader Kings II
Hjalmar I Hæsteinning
Lived: est. 919-977
King of Blaland: 942-977

V7MFSEE.jpg

Hjalmar I was sometimes referred to as “Hjalmar the Great” during his reign. Although no greater than any of his predecessors, his reign saw a move away from traditionalism and greater tolerance between nobility and peasant.

First however, Hjalmar had a war to win. After Vermundo III’s disastrous attempt to retake the Balearics, Hjalmar negotiated a peace agreement formally ceding the islands to Blaland. In celebration, a runestone was raised in Tunis to honour his father who died during the war. The king quickly became popular – he was physically strong and cast a powerful figure. On top of this, he was the first King of Blaland to have a darker skin tone. Hæsteinn II had been the first king to take a wife who was not Norse, and so Hjalmar and his sisters were no longer white skinned. This endeared the monarchy to the common folk, who for so long had seen the king as someone completely foreign.

In addition, Hjalmar was a much more faithful Muslim than any previous king. He took the Hajj in 944, and along the way famously saved a group of fellow pilgrims from pirates. While the actual event was no more than a minor skirmish, the tales told in Tunis were extravagant and epic.

But of course old habits did die hard. Hjalmar’s style of fighting was akin to that of a Norse berserker. In battle he would tear through enemies in a trance-like state, never stopping until the battle was over. His council and family were often in despair with worry but miraculously he always pulled through. Leading his men, he conquered a small Sunni emirate that had gained independence from Egypt in 949. The Jarl of Tlemcen pushed the borders west, too, taking land from nobles who grew dissatisfied with Caliph Mukhtar. Officially the Jarl did it to protect faithful Shia Muslims, but the Caliph was unhappy.

PhMysqB.jpg

In 951, the Byzantine Empire declared war. After retaking Calabria, Sicily was in their sights. Hjalmar won a decisive victory in the battle of Palermo, but the king suffered a scare when he was surrounded by enemies. Separated from his men, he barely escaped with his life and became much more fearful in battle from then on. However the king did not let a little fear stop him. In 956 he invaded Egypt, now ruled by the Muammarids. His skill in battle led his men to victory, conquering Cyrenaica and creating an effective buffer zone between Blaland and the Sunni world.

TzFLSmQ.png

Eastern Blaland after the conquering of Cyrenaica

Hjalmar’s military exploits were noteworthy, but his personal life has fascinated historians. As a Muslim, Hjalmar took more than one wife. Over the course of his lifetime he had six wives, who were constantly bickering with each other. His wives provided him with 11 children, 8 of whom were boys. In addition, he also had two bastards from his youth for a total of 13 children overall. His children would be the source of much of the conflict his wives had with each other.

Prince Bo, heir to the throne, was not born to Hjalmar’s first or second wife, but his third (and favourite), Mahtab. Yasmin and Kamila were furious and both tried to kill the baby prince but were outwitted by the king’s spies. Kamila died shortly after her attempt in an accident, which despite the timing no evidence has been found linking her death to the king. Mahtab died in 958 and so Hjalmar married two new ladies, Safiya and Acenith. Acenith became his first wife, and in 968 Safiya attempted to poison her. Luckily the queen survived, but two food tasters were not so lucky. Yasmin finally got some sort of revenge in 971 when she hired an assassin to kill Acenith. But not much could get past Hjalmar’s spies and Yasmin was found out, imprisoned, and promptly executed. Hjalmar’s last wife, and his favourite since Mahtab, was a young woman named H’edda who tragically died in childbirth in 973.

Lseyq8n.jpg

The intrigue and deceit of Hjalmar’s queens had a huge influence throughout Blaland’s history. The most famous examples of this are the plays of 16th century playwright, Eirikr af Palermo, and the best-selling book series, “A Rose Between Six Thorns”. But their influence would also be felt keenly in Prince Bo. The constant feeling of being on edge and lack of safety made Bo extremely disillusioned with religion, especially Islam. For a kingdom on its way to becoming a strong Muslim power, the future seemed uncertain.

Nevertheless, during Hjalmar’s reign, the kingdom became much more united in their Muslim faith. Hjalmar’s personal interpretation of Islam was the one his subjects were expected to follow, but not all were satisfied with this. In 954 a sect began to materialise. Combining the more mystical elements of the Norse gods with Islam, the sect wreaked havoc in Blaland for a decade before being pushed out into the Sahara desert. Although many thought that would be their end, traders discovered that their community was in fact thriving well into the 1000s. Hjalmar’s piety led to a rebuilding of relations with the Caliph, but with Mukhtar’s death in 957 they deteriorated once again.

Hjalmar’s spies had proven themselves to be an excellent asset by foiling most of the king’s wives’ schemes. In 957, Hjalmar’s oldest son, the bastard Gnupa, joined the Varangian Guard. The guard was made up of mostly Norsemen and their descendants from Blaland, and acted as a personal army for the Basileus of the Byzantine Empire. Gnupa was well versed in the art of intrigue and quickly rose up the ranks. He later converted to Greek Orthodoxy, married a Greek woman and became the Basileus’ protostrator, or marshal. He would return to Blaland in 965 after the death of his wife, leaving behind his daughter. But before that, in 960 Gnupa proved himself as an effective spy when he caught wind of a claimant to Blaland’s throne.

c6yL0du.jpg

Arngrimr Örn was a grandson of Hæsteinn I. A young man with delusions of grandeur, he gathered many supporters in the Byzantine Empire. He promised to conquer Blaland and swear fealty to the Basileus. Gnupa hastily let Hjalmar know, and when Arngrimr landed in Tripolitania he was greeted by the king’s army. Although the would-be usurper was defeated, he escaped and evaded capture for two years. Hjalmar now seemed unshakable. What followed would be over a decade of peace, but the years were anything but quiet.

In the early-mid 10th century, the monarchies of the Norse kingdoms in the north had converted to Catholicism. However the common folk refused to budge and remained steadfastly faithful to the Norse gods. Starting in 969, thousands of peasants left their homes and travelled in search of Blaland. To them, the kingdom was almost mythical and, hopefully, a sanctuary for those faithful to the old gods. They arrived in boatloads, settling across the kingdom and causing turmoil. The monarchy and nobles of Blaland had begun to assimilate, but the huge numbers of settlers looked set to turn this on its head.

JWEjCes.jpg

"Blaland Awaits"

The settlers were quietly appalled that the kingdom they expected was ruled by Muslims, but with nowhere else to go they made sure to make their mark. They had a great influence on the monarchy, who saw them as a sign that they had strayed too far from the right path. The already disillusioned Prince Bo was greatly affected and began to embrace his Norse heritage. Old Princess Rögnhildr, daughter of Ragnarr, had never converted to Islam and became a strong influence over the future king.

In 974, Prince Eirikr died. He was the king’s favourite son, and his death left Hjalmar heartbroken. On top of this, Hjalmar’s age and health began to fail him. During Ramadan in 975, he became incredibly infirm and practically retired from public life. After a whirlwind reign, Hjalmar died quietly in 977. Prince Bo took the throne immediately and was set to lead the kingdom into a new era.
 

sansastark

Sergeant
1 Badges
Jun 30, 2013
69
0
  • Crusader Kings II
Hjalmar's reign is up! Also thank you for over 1000 views :) I'm really surprised it's got this many so soon!
What a terrible king. Hopefully his successor will rebuild the kingdom his father nearly destroyed.
He really was! CK2 is really fun to roleplay as a tyrant though :D
Thank you!
I've never seen that actually! But I think I did read somewhere that "Blaland" came from either the Norse word for black or blue.
 

TheAnguishedOne

Field Marshal
38 Badges
May 2, 2014
4.742
861
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Magicka
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis IV
A far more pious king, though it seems Bo will cause more changes to the religious aspect of the kingdom. Hjalmar had a long and successful reign. That sect that mixes Norse and Islam sounds intriguing; I know it would be nightmarish to code, but I wish there was a way to fix faiths in game.
 

sansastark

Sergeant
1 Badges
Jun 30, 2013
69
0
  • Crusader Kings II
Update is on the next page! Sorry for the delay!

A far more pious king, though it seems Bo will cause more changes to the religious aspect of the kingdom. Hjalmar had a long and successful reign. That sect that mixes Norse and Islam sounds intriguing; I know it would be nightmarish to code, but I wish there was a way to fix faiths in game.
I agree! It was actually some Hurufi rebels, but I thought an imaginary sect made more sense in this universe.