• 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
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crimson_king

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Nice intro. Very well-done.

While we're on the subject of Crimson Kings, are you familiar with the S.M. Stirling book In the Courts of the Crimson Kings? It's book two of a series that involves the exploration of Venus and Mars, respectively, and first contact with the inhabitants. It's a fascinating couple of books (never expected to see AK-47s on the surface of Venus!), and Stirling is a fascinating author -- I'd dare say one of my favorites, even though there are things about his writing which I do not like (same as with Jordan and G.R.R. Martin).

Rensslaer
Wow, I didn't realize that name was so popular. Now, I may have to read those, if I can ever find the time.
 

c0d5579

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Hm. Ivar as a Deep One...? I admit I didn't see that coming, but I suppose when he reveals the tentacled horror beneath his kilt, you STILL don't mess with him.

Actually, the sons of Ragnar would be a good Innsmouth family, either through Ragnar's side or Aslaug's. I'm sort of thinking out loud here, because Ragnar basically had no pedigree and Aslaug's was legendary, but if the Norse gods are, like Lovecraft's version of Dagon, actually Mythos creatures (a route you're not taking here, and I'm not trying to change that), why not have the "Choosers of the Slain" be the Deep Ones, collecting the greatest to serve in the watery halls of the dead? It would also explain burning-boat burials (trying to return the dead to the gods). At that point, if Brunnhildr, is a Deep One, then all of the sons of Ragnar have the taint except for Lagertha's, and I don't even remember if Lagertha bore any of the famous ones.

Anyway, I'm definitely on board at this point, and I second that you're probably broadening your readership here. It's on my to-do list now... which, sadly, I will admit puts it in a large, but good, company.
 

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An excellent, well-written and intriguing start. I wonder what horrors the Old Ones can unleash upon Ængland, and what might befall our protagonists who meddle in such dark arts.
 

DensleyBlair

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An intriguing start to the tale proper. It's certainly interesting to have hints that a Viking objects to sacrificing Saxon heathens. I guess Jack Shit Studios don't typecast ;)

Very nicely written, and my appetite is thoroughly whetted for more.
 

Lord Durham

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Deaghaidh: You also began your own collaborative AAR at one time. I understand now why your contributions have been sporadic. Sorry to hear about your condition. I still hope you start another. Your GoT AAR was great.

Mithfir: All good things come to those who wait :).

dantescritic: Thank you for reading, and thank you for commenting.

Sematary: Thanks. I just hope the premise doesn't turn off too many readers. I'll get into the game proper very shortly. I'm still setting the stage, so to speak. Questions? Oh boy :blush: . I'll answer what I can without giving away something important... I hope...

Rensslaer: Who said I was traditional? :). You don't need to know too much of the Lovecraftian universe to read this AAR. Lovecraft forms part of the background. The primary story will focus around the game. Honest. I never thought of the GEICO Gecko as a Deep One, but who knows? Elvis is an alien, so anything is possible. Now that you've poked fun at my AAR I guess all bets are off regarding yours, eh? ;).

I haven't read the Crimson King series by Stirling. I've been meaning too, though. I've read his Islands Out of Time series and enjoyed it.

crimson_king: Thanks, glad you liked it. Yeah, time is the big problem, especially when something like a new AAR forces you to re-read books on Vikings, Anglo-Saxons, Early Britain and Lovecraft :).

c0d5579: Got you, did I? Ivar gives a whole new meaning to "what's under yer kilt, laddie". Interesting ideas you put forward. I like your twist on Valhalla. I'm going with the idea that those worshiping Odin and the gang aren't thrilled with this Great Old One religion. However, I like the idea of an anti-Valhalla. It's been surmised that Ragnar Lodbrok was a construct of several Norse characters. I may play around with that, too. Btw, I'm reading The Lion and the Lily-- excellent stuff. I hope you get back to writing in the near future once you have the time.

Saithis: Thanks for the kind words. They are appreciated. Horrors, dark arts and Old Ones, oh my. We'll see what horrors I unleash. Sometimes I surprise myself...

DensleyBlair: That's what I like to do, whet appetites and swords. Actually, Halfdan was commenting on the sacrifice going to the Deep Ones, and not Odin. Perhaps I could have worded it better.


I have another short post coming up. It's an Interlude taking place at Madelyn's apartment. I wanted to use it to clear a few things about the contents of the box (with luck...). Then we'll get into the meat...
 

DensleyBlair

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DensleyBlair: That's what I like to do, whet appetites and swords. Actually, Halfdan was commenting on the sacrifice going to the Deep Ones, and not Odin. Perhaps I could have worded it better.
So you were - I think it was more the fact that I read it just a little bit too quickly. It makes perfect sense upon the re-read.
 

Director

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Sorry that I missed the beginning of this one. I've been in Dallas for the last two weeks (Plano and Frisco, actually) transitioning to a new company. But I'm all caught up now and eager to see the next updates.

You know, compared to some of you guys I'm almost a newbie... and that's a little frightening. :)


One would think the Viking lords would know that a pact with the Old Ones can never end well... Perhaps we can excuse them since they've had little experience with the English and thus lack a decent standard for comparison.

Still, ancient books full of abstruse and arcane lore, unseen for centuries and unfit for the eyes of men, dripping with gore and dark power... that's the stuff, all right.
 
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Sematary: Thanks. I just hope the premise doesn't turn off too many readers. I'll get into the game proper very shortly. I'm still setting the stage, so to speak. Questions? Oh boy :blush: . I'll answer what I can without giving away something important... I hope...
It shouldn't. At least not in my mind, and I don't think you could have picked better to have a pact with the Great Old Ones. The questions I have are mainly those a reader normally has toward a story. For the moment I will refrain from most comments and questions until we jump into the meat of the story.

I have another short post coming up. It's an Interlude taking place at Madelyn's apartment. I wanted to use it to clear a few things about the contents of the box (with luck...). Then we'll get into the meat...
This should be good. I really liked your first interlude.
 

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DensleyBlair: That will teach you, young Padawan.

Director: Maestro, old friend. Thanks for dropping in. Your feedback is always welcome around here. Dallas, eh? I wanted to get down to Howard Days in Cross Plains, Texas this year, but couldn't. Finances and all that. It was this past weekend. I could have bumped into you at the airport. But probably not. Wishful thinking and all that. (Howard Days is an annual get together to celebrate Robert E. Howard. I've attended before. It's great fun)

Yes, one does not get a free ride with the Old Ones, unless they have good credit. I honestly think the Hvitserk clan have no idea what they are getting into. Honestly. Time will tell.

Sematary: Thanks. Interlude in a moment...
 

Lord Durham

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Interlude


June 4, 1932 - Florence - Late Morning

Madelyn set the book down and sat back in her chair. A queasy knot had formed in her belly. Sensing Carlos behind her she snapped, "Sit down, for Christ's sake."

Tentatively Carlos obeyed, and took the seat opposite. He sat motionless, hands gripping the armrests until his knuckles whitened.

Pushing away her momentary feeling of dread, she said, "This reads like poor-man's Dante. What has you so frightened over such a load of fiction?"

Swallowing, Carlos eyed the German-language tome and said, "Because I have read some of that. With the history of Halfdan, his brothers and their descendants, I believe the events recorded in the Lodbrok book to be real."

"Real?" Madelyn snorted. Her fingers drummed the armrest as she considered the young man. Softening her tone, she said, "I didn't know you read German."

A subtle shrug. "I have a gift for languages, Miss York. That is one of the reasons your Uncle found me so valuable."

"I see. Well then, we'll take a look at this Nameless Cults later. You can translate for me when I get stuck on a passage." She paused as Carlos squirmed in his chair. "Oh, stop being such a baby." Leaning forward, she picked up the Lodbrok book and inspected the front cover. She noticed faded print near the bottom, like an embossment worn through the ages. After tilting it, so light from the window hit at an angle, she said in an excited voice, "Being the Secret History of Geoffrey Monmouth." She looked at Carlos with triumph. "Well, that settles it. Monmouth is generally discredited as a historian. His Historia Regum Britanniae is nothing but a collection of myths and fabrications. Devils and such. Strange, though."

"Yes, Miss York?"

"He wrote in Latin. This is Old English, remember?" Putting the book down, she picked up the bundle of loose parchments and sampled a selection. "Hmm. Some maps, what appears to be eyewitness accounts. Letters, perhaps. They appear to supplement Monmouth's book, which could explain the exacting detail I've read so far. Like someone was actually there witnessing these events." Tossing the sheaf back in the box, she threw up her hands. "I guess there's no reason to continue. This is all obviously a work of fiction."

Carlos sighed heavily in relief. "Wise, Miss York. I shall put everything away at once."

Madelyn smiled mischievously. "Got you." She took up the Lodbrok book. "There's no way I'm letting this go back in the safe until I'm finished. You can stay if you wish. That is, unless your mommy calls." She winked. "But if you stay, I'll want your help later. Agreed?"

Carlos gritted his teeth, and smiled without humour...
 
Last edited:

c0d5579

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Oh, don't worry, I intend to return to The Lion and the Lily, even uploaded the relevant screenshots the night before things went haywire. So I anticipate a return, soon as I get an annoyingly persistent Christmas 1947 update that won't get out of my head posted for Siegerkranz. Meantime, I might try my hand at writing my version of historical Mythos. At this point I suspect my wife is tired already of hearing about how the various names attached to Ragnar's sons could be code for Deep One corruption, though she'd probably agree it's still better than Ancient Aliens.

Surprised that the relevant books have managed to stay out of the Vatican Archive until the '30s, now that I think about it. It seems like a logical destination for Things Man Was Not Meant To Know.
 

DensleyBlair

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"This reads like poor-man's Dante. What has you so frightened over such a load of fiction?"
If you picked up on the Dante conversation in In the Footsteps..., you'll realise why that made me laugh ;)

I took my time reading that chapter, and enjoyed it very much. Interesting to see a mention of Monmouth. I'm looking forward to the next Lodbrok chapter, and finding out what is actually going on with the Great Old Ones. And I'm liking the framing story, as well - very nicely done.
 

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Carlos is leery of Unaussprechlichen Kulten, which is almost as infamous as another, more well-known book.
The Necrono... <Sudden scream, sound of blood and entrails splattering>

Yes, I know this is Captain Obvious from the Obvious Squad reporting for duty (obviously). But indulge me for a second and I'll be a good boy henceforth. :)

I'm enjoying this immensely. The framing story is very atmospheric and the prospect of a Viking tale with the Old Ones is really appealing. The potential conflict between Ivar and his side, who have made their pact with the Great Old Ones, and Halfdan, who favors the traditional Old Gods, is something I am particularly interested in. By the way: "Sigurd's yellow, slitted eyes" - part of the bargain with the Great Old Ones, I assume?

Knowing (more or less) what we're dealing with, Madelyn's cavalier attitude towards the books she has discovered is rather disturbing. This cannot end well...
 

Saithis

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I readily find myself hoping this turns into Eternal Darkness or any other Call of Cthulhu-based modern day. I want to see just how real (and more importantly, personl!) these events can get for Madelyn and Carlos!
 

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I'd say you've already got through part of the meat... but no doubt this is just the beginning. I didn't know about the link between Lovecraft and Howard, I imagine those private in-jokes between authors became quite popular then...

I love that this is the kind of AAR where people discuss how to be precise naming what cannot be named :D

Madelyn's cavalier attitude towards the books she has discovered is rather disturbing. This cannot end well...
To corrupt the saying suitably, it's all fun and games until someone grows an eye...
 

Lord Durham

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Oh, don't worry, I intend to return to The Lion and the Lily, even uploaded the relevant screenshots the night before things went haywire. So I anticipate a return, soon as I get an annoyingly persistent Christmas 1947 update that won't get out of my head posted for Siegerkranz. Meantime, I might try my hand at writing my version of historical Mythos. At this point I suspect my wife is tired already of hearing about how the various names attached to Ragnar's sons could be code for Deep One corruption, though she'd probably agree it's still better than Ancient Aliens.

Surprised that the relevant books have managed to stay out of the Vatican Archive until the '30s, now that I think about it. It seems like a logical destination for Things Man Was Not Meant To Know.
You're so lucky. My wife just shakes her head and walks away :). I'm sure the relevant books are locked away somewhere in the Vatican vaults. Doesn't mean there aren't copies hidden in old, dusty museum basements... or beside a grandmother's tea cozy.

If you picked up on the Dante conversation in In the Footsteps..., you'll realise why that made me laugh ;)

I took my time reading that chapter, and enjoyed it very much. Interesting to see a mention of Monmouth. I'm looking forward to the next Lodbrok chapter, and finding out what is actually going on with the Great Old Ones. And I'm liking the framing story, as well - very nicely done.
Oh yeah, the poem. Strictly a coincidence. I could say the Deep Ones made me do it, but that's just not true!

The Necrono... <Sudden scream, sound of blood and entrails splattering>

Yes, I know this is Captain Obvious from the Obvious Squad reporting for duty (obviously). But indulge me for a second and I'll be a good boy henceforth. :)

I'm enjoying this immensely. The framing story is very atmospheric and the prospect of a Viking tale with the Old Ones is really appealing. The potential conflict between Ivar and his side, who have made their pact with the Great Old Ones, and Halfdan, who favors the traditional Old Gods, is something I am particularly interested in. By the way: "Sigurd's yellow, slitted eyes" - part of the bargain with the Great Old Ones, I assume?

Knowing (more or less) what we're dealing with, Madelyn's cavalier attitude towards the books she has discovered is rather disturbing. This cannot end well...
Madelyn is a headstrong young woman who remains a touch naive about her Uncle's fascination with rare books and lost tomes. As the only living relation, she inherited his rather arcane library after his death, though two years later is still not quite sure what to make of certain material, or its potential danger. For his part, Carlos can be over-protective, over-bearing and cryptic, but means well. I think...

I'm glad you mentioned the split between the brothers. I thought that would be more interesting to explore than having all of them follow one ideology. As for Sigurd, he adores his older brother Ivar, and is very impressionable... ;)

I readily find myself hoping this turns into Eternal Darkness or any other Call of Cthulhu-based modern day. I want to see just how real (and more importantly, personl!) these events can get for Madelyn and Carlos!
So I take it you are enjoying the Interludes, too. Hmm. I wasn't planning on making much use of them, but if there is interest I could run a parallel storyline, though the post ratio would obviously favour the Ragnarsson clan. I'm open to comments on that. Anyone? Lurkers?

I'd say you've already got through part of the meat... but no doubt this is just the beginning. I didn't know about the link between Lovecraft and Howard, I imagine those private in-jokes between authors became quite popular then...

I love that this is the kind of AAR where people discuss how to be precise naming what cannot be named :D

To corrupt the saying suitably, it's all fun and games until someone grows an eye...
God, did I get a laugh out of that line :). It strikes me that August Derleth (who was responsible for a lot of the Mythos post-Lovecraft) buggered the translation, but you can't push a rope no matter how hard you try. The damage is done. It's canon. I've read some of the letters between HPL and REH. They make for fascinating reading and give a keen insight to the author's respective characters.


Thanks again everyone for the comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. I'm working on the next post, and hope to have it up by this weekend.
 

Toadsmash

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This is giving me ideas for a unique perspective when I finally get around to writing my own AAR. Color me interested.

I'll pitch my vote in for putting plenty of focus on the interludes. The parallel story is good!
 

c0d5579

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If there was a regime ever set up to be ridiculously overconfident about dealing with powers beyond its understanding, it's Mussolini's Italy. So... yeah, framing narrative too.
 

Director

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I always liked Sir Terry Pratchett's 'The Necrotelicomnicon' (Latin: Liber Paginum Fulvarum, or The Book of Yellow Pages). Compiled by the mad arab Al Aksandir Garambel, it contained the means to contact all manner of dark and infernal creatures.

Madelyn is exactly the sort of plucky, headstrong young woman to unravel the mysteries and master the hell-spawn. Unless she gets eaten in the next chapter. :unsure:
 
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