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SacredDatura

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Excellent writing on an intriguing and original premise! I really like the history-book style narrative, and how you've made this far-fetched scenario sound completely plausible. I can't wait to see what's next for the Egypto-Norse. In particular I like how you've represented the different factions in the ruling elite from the start.

Same Eirikr had to die so soon and leave behind such a young son, but honestly it'll probably make for a more fascinating story. Can't wait to see how young Alfgeir survives his regency.
 

Tommy4ever

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Alfgeir I, the Chaste, Eirikrsson af Munsö - Part 1
Lived: 957-999
King of Egypt, Africa and Nubia: 961-999
King of Abyssinia: 973-999
Head of House af Munsö: 961-999​


One might expect that a King who went down in history as ‘the Chaste’ would be a peaceful, just and Christian sort. One would be wrong. Combining a strong sense of personal piety with an extreme political ruthlessness Alfgeir I crushed all major threats to his rule, and the House of af Munsö – facing down internal and external enemies alike.


Yet when Alfgeir first became King he just four years old. The man who came to rule in his stead was a remarkable character known as Michael, the Greek. Michael had started his life as a son of a merchant in Constantinople, during his youth he travelled the world – reaching as far as India as he looked to make his fortune. In 950 he had found his way to Egypt, meeting the then King, Birger I, he ended up staying in Alexandria – eventually being invited into the King’s governing council. Under Eirikr III Michael’s powers only increased as the King came to rely ever more heavily on the capable Greek. When the King died Michael quickly moved to seal his position. Appointed as the ‘neutral’ head of a regency council that included two Egyptophiles (the Coptic Pope and Alfgeir’s mother) and two Traditionalists (the Jarls of Tunis and Sinai). With great difficulty Michael gradually solidified his position at the top of the greasy pole – having to force the resignation from the council of the Dowager Queen in 963, and replacing the over mighty Jarl of Tunis in 965 with the more pliable Jarl of Hayya.

It is notable that during Michael’s regency, for the first time, Egypt began to suffer from the affliction it had meted out on the Mediterranean itself in the previous century as Viking raids began to harry North Africa. To his credit Michael organised a system of defence that was not replaced until the 12th century – it essentially relied on a series of garrisons strategically placed near major coastal cities to drive off raiders. Nonetheless, a steady flow of booty would continue to be drained by these raids for centuries to come.


Michael’s regency is, for good reason, primarily remembered for the ‘Great Abyssinian War’ – and 8 year conflict during which Muslim power in Ethiopia was all but destroyed. Whilst Egypt had been enjoying relative stability thanks to the skilled machinations of its regent keeping the competing factions in balance – even managing to seize the remainder of Sardinia and the entirety of Corsica in 964-5 – the Abbasid Caliphate was waning, plunging into Civil War from the early 960s. The instability in Arabia spelt disaster for the Caliphate’s always tenuous rule in Abyssinia. Soon another large scale Christian revolt had broken out – this time emanating from Somalia. As the revolt revealed the weakness of the Arab grip over the country the Abbasid administration began to collapse. Looking to profit from this, and find new lands to settle, the militant Traditionalist faction in Egypt demanded war – Michael’s hand was effectively forced when the Jarl of Hayya crossed the border on his own. Egypt was going to war.


The Egyptians made tremendous initial gains – the skeletal remnants of Arab power being swept from Northern Ethiopia within months of the invasion. However, the Arabs still controlled a great many bastions throughout the mountainous country that would take many months to capture. As the Egyptians captured their fortresses one by one the Arabs made a bid to restore their power in Africa – sending a large army from across the Red Sea in 968. This army forced the Egyptians to withdraw from central Ethiopia, into Axum as well as calling on reinforcements from Egypt itself – in 969 they finally met the Arabs in battle, devastating Arab ambitions in East Africa forever. With the Arabs being swept from East Africa by 971, the process of besieging began anew, whilst at the same time the Arabs attempted to force, at least a partial withdrawal by threatening Egypt itself – their invasion forces getting no further than the Sinai Desert.


In 973 peace was finally agreed with the Arabs, whose Civil War was nearing an end, with all but the far South-West of Abyssinia being surrendered. As Alfgeir was crowned King of Abyssinia, Bworo the Liberator – the man who had led the Christian rebellion against the Arabs in Somalia and won – accepted Alfgeir as his King in exchange for being made a Jarl and gaining all of Harer.

At the end of the Great Abyssinian War, Alfgeir was 16 and some were calling for the regency council to dissolve itself. Instead Michael established a sort of power sharing as the King was now brought into the governing council, but power remained largely in the hands of the Greek, whose popularity stood sky high following the victory in Africa. This was an intolerable situation for the hot headed young King and he quickly moved to challenge Michael’s power at every opportunity. The impetuousness of the King led to the growth of a political faction around Michael that hoped to replace Alfgeir with his more pliable younger brother Birger. The teenage King and the wily regent were on a collision course, with events finally coming to a head in 979 when the now 22 year old King – having gradually eroded the Greek’s position – forced both his former regent and his brother into exile in Abyssinia. Michael became Mayor of Bonga, with Birger his liege lord as Jarl of Gondar. Alfgeir now had full control over the reins of power in Alexandria.
 
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Tommy4ever

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I couldn't decide whether to make one very long update for Alfgeir or split it into two quite short ones. I've decided to go with the split when it perhaps wasn't necessary.

Trust the Norse to turn Egypt into a naval power. By the way, I wonder what the 'native Coptic language's word for men from the north could be. I feel like they should have a local equivalent of "Norman", instead of the long Egypto-Norse.

Short update yes, but the things set in motion shows great entertainment promises! And at least Eirikr didn't live long enough to see himself become the villain.

I think the best name to use for Egypto-Norse would perhaps be some sort of Nordic variation of 'Egyptian'? Not sure, maybe finding a less clunky word should be something I should look into.

I thought I'd end up losing interest once you went Christian, but I was wrong, the plot is still fascinating and the writing still great as ever. Can't wait to read more. :)

Glad you've stayed interested. I was a little worried I might lose a few viewers after going Christian - it seemed an unpopular choice - but seems like most have stayed :).

You could also look to liberate abyssinia, before they become totally converted. plus then you could form an empire, if you were so inclined.

You predicted that pretty well :p. When Arab power in Abyssinia collapsed - and my vassals started attacking anyway the opportunity was just too good. Taking Abyssinia is really a game changer in terms of the power relationship between Egypt and the Arabs - although not too rich in troops I remove the threat entirely of an attack on Egypt from the South and make it possible to threaten the Arabs in Arabia itself.

Generally I'm not a fan of story AARs, but something about your writing and the story is entrapping, like reading an alternate history novel.

Thanks! Hope I can keep this entertaining. :)

Wow, that's one of the earliest deaths I've ever seen in a ruler. If this kid survives childhood and the inevitable rebellions, he'll be one tough ruler.

You tend not to get too many rebellions with a regency council (atleast in my games) - I think the nobles prefer having the chance to control the government through the council. That said they didn't manage to reduce my crown authority this time around. His bigger problem was Michael - in game I got a couple of events about Michael and the King clashing and thought an Ethiopian exile would make a nice story point (also Bonga is an amusing name :p).

Excellent writing on an intriguing and original premise! I really like the history-book style narrative, and how you've made this far-fetched scenario sound completely plausible. I can't wait to see what's next for the Egypto-Norse. In particular I like how you've represented the different factions in the ruling elite from the start.

Same Eirikr had to die so soon and leave behind such a young son, but honestly it'll probably make for a more fascinating story. Can't wait to see how young Alfgeir survives his regency.

Well, the regency is up and Alfgeir has come out of it swinging. But what next for the pious young king?
 

Mr. Sometimes

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I keep on loving this aar, like others said it has an odd plausibility to it.

Your realm is pretty great now, in terms of size at least, I wonder if the Norse ruling class will end up too small and too stretched thin to rule it. Perhaps the numerous locals will begin to grow in importance over their rulers eventually. In any case I really look forward to the new young king, ambitious and aggressive!

Regarding Norse terms, the only old terms I can recall are 'Särkland' (robeland) for the mid-east and 'Blåland' (blueland) for Africa.
 

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I dont mind the split, it's nice how you focused on the regency and included the "power clashes", it all very much resembles a true historical record. All the bits about Michael's youth and the exile add up to some wonderfull flavour. I keep enjoying the "historical" pictures you place there anb awful lot. Can't wait for the rest of Alfgeir I's story. :)
 
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NightfieXIV

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nice aar, I read it with enthusiasm :) I'm curious how it goes !
perhaps after seven fruitful years had passed, and the begin of seven years of famine the legendary "Norsgypts" people going back on a long dangerous path, tho the old promised land of their ancestors. led by a prophet-king is inspired by the desire to institutionalize the Nordic Faith as well as once the Christian Faith and make oneself a divine messenger. :D
 

MUSSOLINIIIIII

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That was one heck of a blow to the Abbasids, suprised the Byzantines didn't take advantage and invade. Wonder if Alfgeir will try to curb the power of the nobles after they took advantage of the regency to basicly controll the kingdom until his twenties. Awesome update as always.
 

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nice aar, I read it with enthusiasm :) I'm curious how it goes !
perhaps after seven fruitful years had passed, and the begin of seven years of famine the legendary "Norsgypts" people going back on a long dangerous path, tho the old promised land of their ancestors. led by a prophet-king is inspired by the desire to institutionalize the Nordic Faith as well as once the Christian Faith and make oneself a divine messenger. :D

Viking Moses! (sounds like a meme). This aar is getting better and better. Any plans to convert the heathens to the Coptic faith? The idea of the steppes being looking to Alexandria
intrigues me.
 

NightfieXIV

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Viking Moses! (sounds like a meme).

yes he is the Viking Moses and he goes of the mountain and meets Huginn and Muninn and they lead him to a well from which he drinks, an came back and speak to to his people. But they worship the idols of gold and decadence, and he smashes everything and says that it is wrong he had seen the future and they have to follow him to the promise land in the north. ;)
 

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Alfgeir I, the Chaste, Eirikrsson af Munsö - Part 2
Lived: 957-999
King of Egypt, Africa and Nubia: 961-999
King of Abyssinia: 973-999
Head of House af Munsö: 961-999​


The period from 980 until the death of King Alfgeir was punctuated by a period of near constant warfare between the Arab Caliphate (during the period ruled by the Bukmalid dynasty – the Abbasids having been overthrown the previous decade) and the Christian of Byzantium and Egypt. These conflicts were to bring a final and complete end the dominance of Arab power in the Middle East that had reined for three centuries.


In 980 the Byzantines invaded Azerbaijan, calling upon Alfgeir to join them in war against the Muslims and receiving his unquestioning support. In the opening moves of the war the Arabs looked to strike first and strike hard by overwhelming the Byzantine border defences in Armenia – threatening Byzantine control over its Eastern provinces. This effectively abandoned Palestine to Egyptian occupation. However, in the Autumn of that first year of war a huge Arab army arrived from the depths of Persia and Mesopotamia and moved to annihilate the Egyptians – crushing an army of 15,000 men near Ascalon before pursuing it to its destruction along the Palestinian coastline. As the Arabs divided their army, some troops being needed further North, 20,000 Arabs began to cross the Sinai Desert – their destination was Egypt, a land that had already lost half its army in the preceding months.


The initial victories of the Arabs were to be reversed during the fateful spring and summer of 981. In the North the Byzantines brought up the full brunt of their war machine to force the Arabs from Armenia and then advance into the Caliphate’s territory itself. Meanwhile, in Egypt the Arabs faced heavy losses in the crossing of the Sinai Desert – allowed to advance deep into Egyptian territory they finally faced battle near Fustat in July 981 where they were badly mauled by Alfgeir. After the Battle of Memphis, the Arabs would never again threaten the Nile.

Following the crucial turning point of 981 the Arabs were largely broken, the Christians moved forward with Egyptian troops entering Yemen and Palestine and the Byzantines making strong advances – this despite the invasion of the Cumans in 983. At the same time as the Greeks faced the Cuman threat Alfgeir had a problem of his own as his vassal, the Muslim Jarl ruling in Algeria, rebelled against his rule. It would not be until after peace was signed in 984, with Azerbaijan passing over to the Byzantines, that Alfgeir was able to deal with this internal threat – the rebellion being pacified in 985 with the Jarl forcibly converted to Christianity, along with his entire household and commanded to spread the Gospel amongst his solidly Muslim Jarldom.


Alfgeir was long troubled by an internal problem that he believed directly threatened the stability and the moral authority of Egypt – that problem was the persistence of Norse Paganism. Although his predecessors had taken moves against the Pagan population (which as late as the latter 10th century was believed to still numbered in the low tens of thousands), Alfgeir would reach a new level of religious persecution. By the 980s few in the elite still held sympathy with Paganism and its continued existence, primarily amongst Norse soldiery and more recently arrived migrants from Scandinavia, was a black stain against them which reminded the local populace of their barbarous origins and prolonged the distrust of the locals towards their rulers. Alfgeir therefore sought to wipe out Paganism in Egypt once and for all. The practise was already illegal, but Alfgeir made it an offense punishable by either death or forced conversion to Christianity. Yet the militant policy of the state seemed to encourage the population into overenthusiasm – as the Arabs had advanced into Egypt in 981 the Nile Valley exploded into a series of pogroms directed against Pagans and suspected Pagans during which many thousands were killed and chaos reigned the cities. Following the end of the war Alfgeir looked to end the Pagan problem once and for all, calling for the expulsion of the Pagan population from Egypt.


Whilst a small community of Nordic Pagans would be tolerated in the Libyan Desert for another couple of decades, the majority of Pagans followed the man they called Sweyn the Wise into the Sinai Desert. The man known as the ‘Norse Moses’ had brought new life into Egypt’s Pagan community with an evangelist revival of the Norse faith, some 7,000 followed him into the Desert as the Pagan were expelled in 985. Eventually arriving at Eilat – a tiny port on the Eastern edge of the Sinai, surrounded by Desert. Sweyn’s followers expelled the local population and set about creating the longest lasting Pagan community in Egypt. Pagan Eilat would last undisturbed for almost two centuries and Egyptian governments simply lacked the will or the means to exert their authority in the Sinai.


In 986 the Arabs, taking advantage of the descent of Byzantium into Civil War, invaded Egypt with the aim of reconquering Abyssinia. This was the last great opportunity of the Arab Caliphate to restore itself to dominance in the region, with Byzantium out of action their could muster far more men than Egypt and felt confident that victory could be won. Alfgeir, learning from his mistakes in the previous war, played defensively with his armies in Egypt proper simply holding back just West of the Sinai – where they crushed an Arab army that had exhausted itself in crossing the Desert in 987, whilst in Abyssinia the war was a case of cat and mouse as the Egyptians avoided battle for years before finally amassing their forces to defeat the Arabs at Akordat. The following year the revolts sprang up across Syria and Mesopotamia as a large swathe of the Arab nobility looked to bring down the failed Bukmalids and restore the Abbasids to the Caliphate. With this instability the Arabs made peace, abandoning their last Abyssinian territories to fend for themselves, they were in turn gobbled up by Egypt later in the year.

The year 991 was one of crisis in Egypt due to the figure of Folki af Munsö, Folki was a scion of the ruling house, but had been shorn of any inheritance by virtue of being his father’s third son. Rather than accept this he had travelled to the West and raised a large army with promises of immense wealth and his supposed web of contacts amongst dissatisfied nobles within Egypt. He arrived near Damietta in 991 and proceeded to begin the siege of the city, hoping to use it as a base from where his war against Alfgeir could be waged. As the King gathered his armies Folki was struck down by an assassin just a couple of months after his arrival – with just a single blade Alfgeir had saved thousands of lives from a potentially brutal war as Folki’s host soon disbanded rather than face a far numerically superior Egyptian army.


In 992 the Byzantines brought to an end 364 years of Muslim rule over the Holy City of Jerusalem as they took advantage of the instability in the Arab Caliphate to seize Acre and a stretch of land extending to Jerusalem itself. The following year the Egyptians joined their Christian cousins in the dissection of Palestine as they seized the coastline running from Sinai up to Byzantine ruled Acre – thus protecting Jerusalem’s Western and Southern flanks. Meanwhile the two great Christian Empires’ unquenchable thirst for expansion was far from satisfied as the Byzantines conquered the rich island city of Venice and the Egyptians took advantage of Civil War in the Andalucian Caliphate to conquer the Balearic Islands as well as a small stretch of territory in Algeria.


As Alfgeir I reached the final days of his life he could look back upon his accomplishments with great satisfaction. More than any other, even the Byzantine Emperor, he had been the one who had broken the power of the Arab Caliphate – forcing it out of Africa and winning a great many victories that contributed greatly to its instability. He had banished Paganism to the wilderness, reaffirmed the alliance between Alexandria and Constantinople and eliminated all threats to his rule.


In 999 Alfgeir I died at the age of 41. The pious King, he had gone so far as to embrace celibacy in the final decade of his life and spent upwards of two hours each day in contemplative prayer, had been a strong believer in the millennial cult that claimed that the world would end in the year 1000. The fall of Jerusalem to the Byzantines in 992 made Alfgeir certain that the final defeat of Islam and Paganism would soon be won – thus bringing an end to the mortal world, nonetheless his death just prior to that year caused a folk panic as a clear sign that a rather more disastrous end than the King had imagined was coming. Eirikr IV therefore came to power in a strange situation in which a not insubstantial part of his people believed that they were living in the end of days.
 

Tommy4ever

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I keep on loving this aar, like others said it has an odd plausibility to it.

Your realm is pretty great now, in terms of size at least, I wonder if the Norse ruling class will end up too small and too stretched thin to rule it. Perhaps the numerous locals will begin to grow in importance over their rulers eventually. In any case I really look forward to the new young king, ambitious and aggressive!

Regarding Norse terms, the only old terms I can recall are 'Särkland' (robeland) for the mid-east and 'Blåland' (blueland) for Africa.

I wanted to take a slightly implausible premise, and then think how things would actually go if the Vikings did take over Egypt :p. Glad that you feel thats working. I think Serkland would be the term the Norse would use for the Arab Caliphate in this world - they'd probably come up with their own term for Egypt.

I dont mind the split, it's nice how you focused on the regency and included the "power clashes", it all very much resembles a true historical record. All the bits about Michael's youth and the exile add up to some wonderfull flavour. I keep enjoying the "historical" pictures you place there anb awful lot. Can't wait for the rest of Alfgeir I's story. :)

Michael was actually a really interesting character in game. I got him in that event where a trader leaves you a 'gift' - he had incredible stats and instantly got in my council, I was shocked to see him made regent (and not be replaced during the whole regency!) - then in Alfgeir's early majority I got a couple events about the two clashing so thought I'd exile him to deepest Africa :D.

nice aar, I read it with enthusiasm :) I'm curious how it goes !
perhaps after seven fruitful years had passed, and the begin of seven years of famine the legendary "Norsgypts" people going back on a long dangerous path, tho the old promised land of their ancestors. led by a prophet-king is inspired by the desire to institutionalize the Nordic Faith as well as once the Christian Faith and make oneself a divine messenger. :D

yes he is the Viking Moses and he goes of the mountain and meets Huginn and Muninn and they lead him to a well from which he drinks, an came back and speak to to his people. But they worship the idols of gold and decadence, and he smashes everything and says that it is wrong he had seen the future and they have to follow him to the promise land in the north. ;)

I really liked the idea of a Viking Moses :p - especially with the fact that one province stayed Norse for what seemed like forever. So here we have him :D.

That was one heck of a blow to the Abbasids, suprised the Byzantines didn't take advantage and invade. Wonder if Alfgeir will try to curb the power of the nobles after they took advantage of the regency to basicly controll the kingdom until his twenties. Awesome update as always.

They had a little delay but the Byzantines really took advantage of Arab weakness to advance in the late 900s.

Viking Moses! (sounds like a meme). This aar is getting better and better. Any plans to convert the heathens to the Coptic faith? The idea of the steppes being looking to Alexandria
intrigues me.

I try to spread Coptic Christianity within my own realm as best I can. How would I go about forcing non-Christians outside my realm to follow my faith?

Love it! And you should totally import this save into EU4.

Not sure about save converting now. EUIV plays REALLY slowly on my laptop (although CK2 plays fine) and I didn't really like it much when I played it a few times after buying it. Kinda regret buying it in the first place now, was never a big EU3 fan either. :/
 

NightfieXIV

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I really liked the idea of a Viking Moses :p - especially with the fact that one province stayed Norse for what seemed like forever. So here we have him :D.

I'm really glad to see that he found his place in history. Just because its action by the great events of this period were overshadowed ;)
many thanks for this great documentation of those time
:)
 
Last edited:

Nodscouterr

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I like to imagine him parting the red sea by cutting through it with a two-handed axe.
 

Aetherius

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Another wonderful AAR, Tommy :) Invade Spain and Italy ! Create a new Western Roman Empire !
 

robin the red

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I try to spread Coptic Christianity within my own realm as best I can. How would I go about forcing non-Christians outside my realm to follow my faith?

I'm pretty sure that the Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Islam in game, as Judaism is not in vanilla) have the ability to send missionaries to convert the pagans. I looked through the dev
diaries for the old gods but couldn't find anything about it. As I don't have the old gods yet, I cant check for you, try looking in the diplomacy tab for pagan rulers, there may be
something there. Does anyone else have any idea?
 

unmerged(751237)

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I'm pretty sure that the Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Islam in game, as Judaism is not in vanilla) have the ability to send missionaries to convert the pagans. I looked through the dev
diaries for the old gods but couldn't find anything about it. As I don't have the old gods yet, I cant check for you, try looking in the diplomacy tab for pagan rulers, there may be
something there. Does anyone else have any idea?
You send your court chaplain to a pagan county. You might get your chaplain imprisoned, get him kicked out after converting just one person, get him kicked out after nearly converting the ruler, or have it work and have the ruler become your religion. I think Zoroastrians can convert pagans too. This only works for unreformed pagans though.
 

MUSSOLINIIIIII

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With the Arabs losing so much land I'm starting to wonder if a conflict between the Egyptians and the Byzantines will brew.
 

Tommy4ever

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Bump so update goes on next page :p