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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

ThaHoward

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Prologue


Come here young warriors and gather around the fireplace. Drink your mead to gather all of your strength and courage. Because soon you're going to need it. Think of your home, let it be in the majestic fjords in the west whom learned us to master the seas, the fertile lands in the east who taught us to settle down and appriciate the gifts the Allfather gave us, or even the cold and bitter north, the harsh place that made us thougher, stronger and more unrelenting than the peace lovers of this white Christ. Think of your women and their soft skin and the pleasures they give you in life. Because chances are after this day, you may never see your home or your women again. If Odin and the Norns wills it, we will end up in Valhall. We will be granted a glorious death and forever feast with the bravest men in humankind. Let us pray that we will be granted this honor. Maybe somewhere out there we can finally be granted peace, finally be granted glory.

Because somewhere there, over the horizon and the river, lurks a giant army which vastly outnumber us. They are leaded by a man, the King of the Germanians, he claim to be the predecessor of the great people who settled all of the lands south of us - even Brittania. He have sworn, sworn to his god, that he will either see all of our heads baptized - or chop them off. He claim to be sent out by White Christ to "save our souls". Oh I promise you this, he is right. He will save most of our souls. But not in the way he believe, he will send most of us to Valhall!

But do not underestimate him, to not underestimate our ancient foe. He will undo everything we stand for, he want to undo our way of living. If we fail, if we can't fend off our enemy he will no longer allow us to worship the gods of our ancestors. We may no longer be able to set sail for the open sea, to feel the salty water whip us in the face and stiffen our beards and hair. No longer will we, or our sons, be allowed to plunder the followers of the books and honor our ancestors. We simply can't fail, it is vitory or total destruction.

Speaking of our ancestors, I assume most of you are too young and ignorant to know about and appriciate our story. So before we ride to war, before we gather our strength from our mead, let me tell you our story. The story of the men and women who forged the realms, who gained glory and brought terror to England and Europe! It all started in 867, when the legendary king Hávarðr defeated Haraldr Fairhair in battle, and set out to make a kingdom of his own, and make his name and legacy eternal. This is our story, this is the story of the Norse.
 

ThaHoward

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Hi hi, this will be my very first attempt of an AAR. As you can see I will tell the story in retroperspective, but it will not be in the form of a history book, but rather a King who tell about his ancestors. This will make room for a one sided interpertation of the history, and a lot of boasting and exaggeration. It will start in the Duchy of Ostlandet in the de-jure Kingdom of Norway. Since this is my first AAR, I hope you won't be too judgemental :p And hopefully also give me tips underway to get it more interesting or to improve myself. The intro is set somewhere in teh future, and will be included as the AAR progresses.

I will also refrain from too mch blobbing, so you won't see any world conquest, and if I manage to conquer great areas, it will be set up measures to ensure they'rer not everlasting. I'll try to be in the framework of both historical accuracy and Norse culture and mentality. I will also refrain from gamey tactics, to simulate the history better. I may also use cheats in order for for example ERE, HRE and so on to not fall apart, or to even make it more challenging for my part. I will also try to uphold the Norse Honor codex, that means little to no assassinations - unless the character is a follower of Loki.

So I hope you'll like it!



Trigger warning: It might include content that many may find offensive. Keep in mind this is in line with the saga genre, and the mentiality of the Norsemen of this time, and do not necessairly represent my personal values and beliefs.
 
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Tommy4ever

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Nice to see you writing an AAR! Look forward to seeing what you can achieve with this Jarldom, Viking AARs are always fun :).
 

LordTempest

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About time you started an AAR of your own, you've been in AARland long enough! (Enewald, do take note. :p) I really like the concept you're using for this AAR: Viking-related AARs are rather common, but rarely do we see a viking AAR written in an oral style that's sort of reminiscent of a Norse saga. I like. :)
 

ThaHoward

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För Fÿlkir!
:p Well I'm not a Fylkir yet, maybe I'll become one later on ;)

Nice to see you writing an AAR! Look forward to seeing what you can achieve with this Jarldom, Viking AARs are always fun :).
Thought it was about time I tried to do one ^^ I can say now that I've laready managed to do quite a lot - mostly due to pure luck.

About time you started an AAR of your own, you've been in AARland long enough! (Enewald, do take note. :p) I really like the concept you're using for this AAR: Viking-related AARs are rather common, but rarely do we see a viking AAR written in an oral style that's sort of reminiscent of a Norse saga. I like. :)
Thanks :) I have thought about doing this AAR setting for a long time, unfortunatrly Norse AAR's are common as you've said so I'm trying to do something more unique.

Anyway, I was supposed to write an update earlier on, but due to some stuffs I'm a little late. But you can expect to get it soon!
 

ThaHoward

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Unification and Invasion - Hávarðr I. the Mad


Hávarðr I. when being crowned as King, and proclaiming the pig to not be feasted on, as it would be his heir.

As I said our story begins in the late 800's. It was one brave man with an ambition which would forever change the world - to unite the people of the North. It may be difficult for you to imagine, but during this time all of Scandinavia, and Norway, was split up in various warring tribes, jarls and petty kingdoms. Most men during this time however were landless, they didn't have a farm of their own or even a shack in the nearest town. All they had was the sword or axe given from their father and courage and strength given to them by Odin himself. Because of having no centralized power and each Norse being landless and claiming ot be an individual, they used their mastery of the seas to cross it. They landed in the fertile lands in the west, the south and the east. Whereever they went they either pillaged the country and envied the eternal heroes of Valhall, or settled down and let their seed spread in those fertile lands that were in no way as harh and unforgiving as at home. In these glorious days young men set out to create a name for themselves and amass a fortune, to return home to claim themselves to be a Jarl or even King.


Hávarðr I. army, and Norway in 867.

This is what paved the way for our glorious nation builder, son of Odin himself. There is little information of him, but legend has it that he was raised in the woods by wolves. It have also been noted that he several times had wolf like actions[SUP]1[/SUP] like owling to the woods or even outright trying to eat them, so I guess we can assume that this is true and he got this behaviour from his guardians. Anyway, as a young lad he set out for the first time on a Viking. It ended up with him becoming a fierce warrior. At the age of 20 when he returned home to his fatherland, he challenged the King himself in the eastern part, Haraldr Fairhair, and soon rose to be the King of the eastern realm and make Haraldr his most trusted general. What happend during this time is not that clear however, but we do have a lot of information when he set out to unite the Northern People.


Hávarðr and Haraldr invading the Chieftain of Telemark.

It is however interesting to look the runestones Hávarðr put up to honor himself. They read as following: Hávarðr, proud son of a holy union between Odin, a wild mare and three forest gnomes, carved with all his might these runes, so they would forever bear witness to his awesome powers. With his flying longship and its crew of twelve singing rabbits, earned his fame by sailing across the Norse lands and solving crimes and uniting the ancestral lands. It is no wonder why history have called him the mad, because who in their right mind would claim to have such a heritage and having a flying ship? However, when we look at the facts, it is believed that he is indeed the son of Odin, and he did have extrodionary feats. He did win the day when most would turn around and flee in cowardice. But our King did not, he was a man without fear, he was a man who spit the Norns in their faces, and told them to end the lives of others as he would make his own destiny. In winter of 867 he set out with a small army, of no more than 300 men. He declared war and invaded the chiefdoms of Telemark and Agder. When they recieved the message they laughed, they laughed so hard that even the King of the Greeks could hear them. As Hávarðr and Haraldr set only out with a handful of men, however these men were the bravest of them all, and Haraldr were a descendant of Tyr, the god of war, himself and Hávarðr the son of the Allfather. The Chiefs of Agder, Rogaland and Telemark mustered their troops, which greatly outnumbered the Army of Hávarðr. However, where they thought they would succede, they were met with slaughter. They couldn't withstand the awesome powers of the sons of the gods. In mere days the once mighty armies of Agder and Telemark were no more, Hávarðr and Haraldr won the day and songs would forever be sung in their names, they had defeated over 400 troops at the cost of only 5 lucky souls who would enter Valhalla. Some internal dissent approached in the Kingdom of Hávarðr however. It resulted in the abdication and execution of the Chancellor. As Hávarðr had become quite fond of his pony during his campaign, and thought it would be better fit for running the country.[SUP]2[/SUP] What happened next was that his old war pony was appointed Chancellor, and the old Chancellor had all his bones crushed and then hung up high in the streets before he eventually died.


Hávarðr, his realm after invasion of Southern Norway and his "reward".

After his glorious victories, it was in his own right to reward himself. Not only did he make the Chiefs swear fealty to him, but he also took their daughters, all three only 17 winters old, as his own personal funtoys. Hávarðr was a man who was known to be very fond of women. He was a person of great libido, perhaps it was his godly relations with Frøya, the goddess of sex, who made him such. After his victory it became winter, which meant he had good time to enjoy his new found spoils of war and to get a little warmth in his body. This led to the birth of two small daughters.


The Eastern Roman Empire at this time, and the Varangian Guards.

The Swedes in the east were also making progress. Most of proper Sweden was now under one ruler, and the Varangians was also making progress. Not only had they set up their own Kingdoms in the Rus area, but also become the personal protectors of the Greek King, something that would as you know infleunce our culture greatly. The fame of the Sveas, Geats and the Danes (who had just succesfully invaded England) would greatly upset Hávarðr and make him decide for his next turn. Now he was more than ever decided to unite the way to the North and carve out a realm of his own.


The fjords of Hordaland.

The next Chiefs who were poised to be attacked by Hávarðr was the ones of Hordaland and Trøndelag - the homes to the Vikings who plundered and settled Scotland. He knew this would be harsh. As we know, only the toughest, only the strongest, only the hardest can come out of these areas. And it was them who terrorized the weak followers of White Christ. These men knew battle, these men knew suffering, and they would not give up their independence without a fight, and would certainly not miss a glorious death. While Hávarðr was still gathering troops for his new army, which had now grown to over 1000 men, the Vikings caught our glorious King by surprise, they invaded his realm. They split their forces in two, the Westerners attacked in the south with 476 men and the Trønders in the north with 542. Reports came of extreme violence from the men who resided in the fjords, they burned down everything and raped all the women, not making any difference between the men of the North and the followers of this puny Jesus. These reports greatly angered Hávarðr, his brutality to the viking invaders caused many to say he was a man of great anger, a man of great wrath. He spared no one, in the process he also captured the daughter to the Chief of Trøndelag, and what he did was to torture her to death. No songs were sung that day, because the attrocities from both sides. Hávarðr even ordered his men to go over the corpses of the invading armies, and take their weapons out of their hands. As he said "I won't grant them eternal life in Valhalla among brave men, may their soles rot on earth as the worms feast on them". In November of 870 he had added even greater amounts of areas to his realm, and his troops would now stand downand return to the east and wait for the winter to pass.


Castle of Naumadalen laid to ruins by the invaders.

It was now March, and the winter had been rather mild. The birds came back, and a raven set his course towards the North. Our glorious founder saw this as a sign, and once again ordered his men to war. His next targets were the valley peoples, those inhabitating Naumadal and Herjedalen-Jamtland. Both of these areas would be easy to to conuqer - or so he thought. The truth is that during the few years of conquest, Hávarðr and Haraldr had stroke a lot of fear in the petty kings in the north. So they had forged alliances and greatly increased their manpower. Their armies, which now outnumbered Hávarðr and Haraldr, invaded the Hedmark, and hoped for Hávarðr to blow of his ambitions of High Kingship.


The eastern army attacking the valley people.

Even if they were outnumbered the valley armied quickly dispersed, the army of Herjedalen fled to the neighbouring Sweden, and the soldiers of Naumadalen fled into Herjedalen. The soldiers of Jamtland hold their ground, but they could not stand agains the might of the easterns, the southerens and the fjord people. It is said that the armies from the valleys fled because only when they looked at the approaching army, they could see the Valkyries surround them, and understood it would eb their deaths. The Armies from the Valleys would prove to be no match however, even with their greater numbers, Hávarðr and Haraldr cut them all down with minimal losses. It would however prove to be the holds themselves that would resist the attackers. But the invading armies exterminated their holds, and in August Naumadal fell and Hávarðr first born son was brought to life when the petty kingdom fell. Hrafn was born now, named after the raven that led them to war, as Hávarðr was certain this was the will of the gods and that Hrafn would prove to be a great leader. Later on, after the winter had settled in May 873, Herjedalen also fell. It would take almost an entire year before Jamtland fell. This was much due to troubles from one of Hávarðr concubines. She tried to execute his heir and his only son Hrafn. He tried to capture her to perform the bloodeagle on her, but she fled. This however opened up for him to take yet another personal funtoy, he took the wife of the petty king of Naumdalenas his new concubine. This was truly a great price for Hávarðr, and extreme humiliation of the people of Naumadalen.


The Kingdoms of Britain. Wessex, and Mercia being Anglo-Saxon, Scotland scottish and Jorvik and Sudreyar being Norse.

Even if the King now had laid down the men of the North under his realm, the other Norse people, and even the christians, wouldn't recognize him as King of Norðrvegr. To do that he needed to be more well known, have greater wealth and be feared by the peace loving Christians and the feared Danes and Varangians alike. As I mentioned, He was quite envious of the fame the Danes and Varangians had aquired. As the great Heathen Army had carved out a realm of their own, Danelaw, in England and the Norwegian settlers in Scotland, Hávarðr also wanted to do something similar. He then said he would invade the Kingdom of the West Saxons - Wessex - and claim it for his own. Glory awaited him, and men from all of Scandinavia assembled to him, to participate in the Great Norðmanna Army.[SUP]3[/SUP]



Drawing of a great blót.


Hávarðr however grew content at home and in peace. He saw a young maiden, a young girl so beautiful that only Frøya could be as pretty. He quickly fell in love, and wanted to spread his seed in her. She denied his requests however, this enraged the King, and he improsoned her. At the celebration of Yule, during the Great Blot, he also sacrificed her to Frøya. He may have done it out of pure wroth, but indeed he did please the gods and got their divine blessinng, something he would so dealry need in his upcoming war, the Great Norðmanna Army poised against the united forces of the Christians in England and Ireland. After months of celebration and mead drinking, his army set foot in the longboats. The first time in many years, and their great power would sail them over to the fertile lands of the west Saxons. It was here they would truly show their glory to the world, and make all the followers of Christ crumble in fear and color their white clotches yellow out of fear. It was also during this time his second son, birthed by his wife, Trolli was born. He saw this as further evidence of the gods giving him their blessing.


Initial invasion of Wessex. Note their capital province is occupied by rebels.

In July if 876, 10 years since the invasion of southern Norway, he and 3000 men set sail in their longboats toward the west Saxons. They initially occupied Sussex, and then moved on to the main Catholic army in the capital province. Their army would prove to be much smaller, however they had a collosal of a leader. Hereberth was said to be over 3 meters tall, and to have his hands alone bigger than most Norsemen's heads. Hávarðr did not fear him, and spat in his face and took all his anger out on this leader and tore him down with his bear hands. This frightened the saxon army so much they broke off to never return.


The Great Norðmanna Army going on a suicidal attack.

It had to take two years however before the armies of the followers of Jesus managed to put together their armies. But it was so massive that the ground shook when they walked over England, it was so big that most men thought Ragnarok itself was upon them. Hávarðr and Haraldr saw their chance. They knew that they could not turn back, to go back to Norway now and face humiliation. And if they didn't do anything, they would be attacked anyway. So they concluded it was the best to attack them straight on. If they were going to go to Valhall, it would be today! Even greatly outnumbered, 2700 Norse men against 4500 Anglo-Saxons and Celts, they headed straight on. It is said Tyr and Odin fell tears as they saw the brave warriors charge against the superior armies, and the fighting in Valhalla stopped and the brave warriors looked upon those on earth as they made a desperate yet glorious charge. Even if the were massivley outnumbered, the Viking army would prove to wipe out the British forces.[SUP]4[/SUP] Even the King and Haraldr themselves were surprised and couldn't understand how they did it. Most of the Norsemen even believed they had fell, and this was afterlife. The destruction of the relief army would also mean the destruction of the West Saxon Kingdom. Hávarðr styled himself King of Wessex, allthough with no direct control over it, and crowned Haraldr King of Kent and another trusted friend King of Hwicce, and promised them indepence. In celebration of their victory the victorious army set out against the Middle Kingdom, Mercia, the only remaining Anglo Saxon Kingdom to loot them of money. Our ancestral King also took three new concubines, to celebrate his victory, where one of them would be the Queen of Wessex, a position he would let her keep only to mock her. He set sails home, and left behind three new Norse Kingdoms in England, and were finally crowned and recognized as King of Norðrvegr.


Norway and King Hávarðr I. the Mad.

A new era had begun, and era where the Norsemen finally became organized, an era where they would forever taint the Christian world. And with this, endless oppurtinities awaited for King Hávarðr I. the Mad of Norway and Wessex, Jarl of Østlandet and Vestlandet. This was his age.


King Hávarðr I. the Mad in battle.


--------------------------

1: He have the trait "insane", which make him to crazy stuff like pretending to be an owl, writing a senseless runestones and making his horse the chancellor.
2: Yup, this happened in game.
3: Meaning Great Norwegian Army, as opposed to the Great Danish Army in Danelaw/Jorvik. Norðrvegr means Norway.
4: Yes this actually happened, my men slaughtered the combines Anglo-Saxon and Celtic armies, even if they almost doubled mine. I must have been extremly lucky!
 

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Tommy4ever

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Your British Isles looked very neat and pretty before your invaision of Wessex :p. Enjoyed this update and looking forward to more!
 

ThaHoward

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Your British Isles looked very neat and pretty before your invaision of Wessex :p. Enjoyed this update and looking forward to more!
Haha :p To be honest I thoughht I would loose, and was very surprised I won, the same with some major battles in the Norwegian Subjucation Wars. Anyway the British Isles is once more transformed, hope you'll like this a little better! And thank you for liking it ^^

Suscribed!
Thanks! :D

And the game crashed some times when I saved the game, but now it seems to work again, so an update should come later today!
 

Enewald

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Now, off to raiding? Pretty strong beginning, I guess you have one of the largest realm armies in the game now?
The northern jarls do not want to get vassalized?
 

LordTempest

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One minor little cosmetic nitpick: you might want to crop those gameplay screens a bit, especially if you only want to show one character, one event or one portion of the map. Not only does it make the information you're trying to convey easier to read, but assuming your photobucket account is free and that you're taking bitmap screenshots (not the most efficient of file formats) from the game and uploading them directly onto Photobucket, it will also save you some bandwidth. Nobody wants to read an AAR without images!

Loved the runestone inscription BTW, it reminded me a little of that line in a mad general's speech in RTW involving hats and moon people. :)
 

ThaHoward

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Now, off to raiding? Pretty strong beginning, I guess you have one of the largest realm armies in the game now?
The northern jarls do not want to get vassalized?
Wait and see ;) But it will be some raiding yes ^^

One minor little cosmetic nitpick: you might want to crop those gameplay screens a bit, especially if you only want to show one character, one event or one portion of the map. Not only does it make the information you're trying to convey easier to read, but assuming your photobucket account is free and that you're taking bitmap screenshots (not the most efficient of file formats) from the game and uploading them directly onto Photobucket, it will also save you some bandwidth. Nobody wants to read an AAR without images!

Loved the runestone inscription BTW, it reminded me a little of that line in a mad general's speech in RTW involving hats and moon people. :)
Thought about not using so many in game pics after the update. And I can see now that the resolution is not the best, but you can't see the images?

And that was actually his in game runestones, with some minir modifications :lol:
 

LordTempest

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Thought about not using so many in game pics after the update. And I can see now that the resolution is not the best, but you can't see the images?
No, no, you should use as many gameplay images as you like or feel you need to use - just edit them before you upload them! IIRC the forum will auto-squish any images which are wider than 800 pixels in length, so if you post an image wider than that it'll look blurry. If you want to just focus on one a character, one geographic area or one event in a screenshot, cut out all the excess background and only show what you want your readers to take notice of. Doing so will make your images less blurry and save bandwidth. Consider also saving your images in a different format, that will help with bandwidth issues a little also. ;)
 

ThaHoward

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No, no, you should use as many gameplay images as you like or feel you need to use - just edit them before you upload them! IIRC the forum will auto-squish any images which are wider than 800 pixels in length, so if you post an image wider than that it'll look blurry. If you want to just focus on one a character, one geographic area or one event in a screenshot, cut out all the excess background and only show what you want your readers to take notice of. Doing so will make your images less blurry and save bandwidth. Consider also saving your images in a different format, that will help with bandwidth issues a little also. ;)
Ah I see! Thanks :) I'll try to edit them, but beware my computer skills is at 0 xD And unfortunately I had the same bug again, played through the current ruler 3 times! Damn, but the final ending was actually way cooler and better than the others :p

And I just saw were Tommy4Ever lives, I have a feeling he won't like what happens :p And Enewald too.
 

LordTempest

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Trust me, cropping images is super easy, easier than using scissors to cut paper in actual fact. ;)
 

Tommy4ever

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Ah I see! Thanks :) I'll try to edit them, but beware my computer skills is at 0 xD And unfortunately I had the same bug again, played through the current ruler 3 times! Damn, but the final ending was actually way cooler and better than the others :p

And I just saw were Tommy4Ever lives, I have a feeling he won't like what happens :p And Enewald too.
I use MS Paint - as Tanzhang said, its incredibly easy to do the cropping and then to save the image as something like a JPEG which is much, much smaller.

I'm slightly worried by what you're planning to do to Scotland, and apparently Finland as well :p.
 

ThaHoward

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"Paint White Christ red in the blood of his followers"

'The devil has led this people too far astray... the people have betrayed their own country. And the harm will become common to this entire people'. -An Anglo-Saxon explaining the origin of the Viking Raids.


Statue of Hávarðr I. the Mad.

You might have thought that the story of the great King Hávarðr ended here. But for the keen observer you might have noticed that not all of the Way to the North was united. What about the people in the North? Hávarðr was driven by power. It was something about him, not only was he the strongest and most deadly man in the entire known world, but it was something god like over him. He had come out of nowhere, taken a Kingdom of his own, to then subjecate all of southern Norway and to then invade the West Saxons which would forever scar these so called Germanians who left the Gods of the Old. But he was as wise as he was strong, once he returned home he understood he had to consolidate his line and his power. Because of his lustfullness and love of women he had created plenty of women, some might even say he spread his seed more around than Yggdrasil - the life tree. Because of this advantage he decided to forge alliances with the other Norse powers. Because of his fame and power every Norse King wanted to be associated with Hávarðr and share his kin. The Danes, Geats, Sveas and the Norse kingdoms in the British Isles agreed to marry their sons and heirs to Hávarðr's daughters. Even the legendary king Rurik of the Rus agreed to give away his only daughter to Hrafn, the heir of Norway. With dynastic ties, and potential alliances, all over the Norse world, Hávarðr was ready once again to carve out his destiny, once again to defy the will of the Norns[SUP]1[/SUP] and go his own path. And in the North, it was still two so called "Jarls" who resisted his rule.


The first Bishop to enter Norway, who would later be executed along with Bishop Renaud.

The immidiate years after the return of the Great Norwegian Army, consumption[SUP]2[/SUP] would spread to the lands of the Norwegians. The followers of Christ would say that the heathens of the North was finally punished by God for their misdeeds. This led to a surge of Bishops and other servants of this peaceloving God to try to convert the proud followers of the Norse Gods. They would not succeed however, as everytime they set their foots inside the realms of the cold North they were outright arrested. Those who were lucky would only end up as prisoners for years, most however would feel the wrath of the heathen gods. As the preachers of White Christ spoke of eternal pain in the afterlife, the Norse sure showed them eternal pain in this life. At the worst times it was not unusual to find these, so called, men hanging in trees after their in the trees, sacrificed to the gods[SUP]3[/SUP].


Hålogaland, the last enclave who resisted the unified Kingdom of Norway.

After the glorious executions of the followers of White Christ our King would himself catch consumption. As he surely was terrified of not being able to die a warriors death and instead had to die of a disease only the cowards and women die of, he set out to the North. Here in Hålogaland it was two self proclaimed Jarls who resisted his rule. He then invaded the Jarldoms of Hålogaland and Nordland with and impressive army that would even make the wealthy Danes and Swedes envious. It would prove to be a harsh campaign however, the armies of the north was easy enough to beat, but it was one thing Hávarðr didn't manage to bring under his mercy - the nature. The climate here was very different than further down south. Not only did they have to cross mountain after mountain and countless of fjords, where the armies of the north would hide and strike, but during the winter it was constant snowstorms and during the summers wind storms. It was like the gods themselves sent their fury down on Hávarðr and tested his strength and willpower, and his illness din't make it any better. Not to speak of that he had just recieved words that his newborn son, Maugr, had died of consumption. This greatly enraged Hávarðr and he cursed the gods. Legend says it he went berserk and thought he was a wolf and set out far away to fight the nature. He did not succeed however, as even with all his strength nature was the only thing n the mortal realm he could never defeat. But when winter settled he ordered his armies to once again march, and the north fell in 883, and now the entire Way to the North was unified under the banner of Hávarðr . Now he also lost his disease, clearly the gods wanted to test him and once he conquered these on the verge of death they lifted his curse and let him once again be well off.


Norway and the land of the Norse and Finns.

Hávarðr was now truly a legendary figure, so legendary that even traders from all of the world visited him. Some said they had been in a place called Hindustan, and the tales baffled even the eldest and wisest. Hávarðr and most of the Norsemen assumed that such stories was made up, it could not exist such rich places with such huge animals. But he did get an enouch. He was from the Kingdom of Greece[SUP]4[/SUP]. He would prove to be so loyal and skilled that Hávarðr replaced his chancellor, the war horse, with this enouch. His fame was also so great that many tried to test it, one even challenged him to a holmgang[SUP]5[/SUP]. As fearless as Hávarðr was, he of course accepted the holmgang. Hávarðr would loose, but be rest assured, he who won did not win in honest battle! Hávarðr could simply not loose, everyone knew it, he was the son of Odin and blessed by Tyr! Oh no, his challenger resorted to the trickery of Loke and had a hidden needle that greatly wounded Hávarðr so he had no choice but to yield. After the unification of Norway most of Hávarðr foes fled to the Norwegian colonies in Norðreyjar[SUP]6[/SUP]. King Haraldr Fairhair of Kent, the trusted friend and companion of the Norwegian King, advised the King to annex these parts. Both to get rid of the traitors and those resisting his rule, and to gather all Norwegians under his realm. Hávarðr however said it was no glory in fighting cowards and milkdrinkers, and had much grander plans..


Norse raid.

Once again around Yule the King of the thousand songs ordered a grand Blot in honour of the gods, and to gain their blessing in his next campaign. Here his new concubine, a beautiful lappish womanwho had been the wife of the Jarl of Nordland, told Hávarðr that she would not go with him to the haystack unless he waged war in her honor and burned down the villages of the Anglo-Saxons and Celts. After the human sacrifices, which was the last Bishops and political prisoners, he set sails to the Kingdom of Mercia with his longboats and 3500 strong army. Before the brave warriors departed it was a grand feast in their honor, and the lucky would feast in the halls of Valhall with their ancestors. In September they ran over Lincoln and looted it for all that was shining. Everything to gold ducats, to silver plates to ivory combs. It did not stop here however, they sailed further north. This time they landed in the Celtic lands of Scotland. They showed the same type of brutality here. It must truly have been a glorious sight the Norse swarmed the Scottish country side and burned everything in their way. The Kings in south England was growing unready, as Hávarðr had promised them indepence but had not yet gained it, he promised them that after this campaign they would recieve their well earned freedom.


The Ruins of St. Andrews.

When the Vikings landed on Fife in the land of the Scots, the King learned his secondborn son, Trolli, had come under the sway of White Christ. This enragened him so much, that he went to the nearest Cathedral, St. Andrews, and burned it and the settlements around it to the ground. No one was spared, everyone fell under the blades of the furios Norwegians. Children and women was also cut down. After the pillaging and raping of Scotland, the Norwegians now set sail for Ulster in the island of Eire. Here they met minimal resistance, but even so King Haraldr Fairhair was killed in battle. But where weak men would have mourned the loss of a close friend, Hávarðr and his men celebrated the death of Haraldr, as he had lived a glorious life and been one of the greatest warriors of all time, one who would even be to the envy of Tyr the god of war. They were sure he would feast in Valhall and that they would one beautiful day meet him once more, and ride into the very last battle with him. Now all the ugly women they had taken with them had been gone and replaced with the pretty ones[SUP]7[/SUP] and all their chests and ships were filled with gold and other riches they once again returned home. The invasion of Mercia, Scotland and Eire would shock the Christian world. Never before had the Vikings attacked them with such brutality, and such efficieny. It is said the Anglo-Saxon and Celtic Lords beheaded the dead bodies of the dead warriors, now feasting and fighting in the afterlife, and put them on poles to show the Norse and their people what would happen to the invaders. But instead of being a morale boost, everytime the people and soldiers saw the heads of the feared warriors their bones shackled and their clotches were colored yellow. So feared were they, the glories were told all the way from Eire to Greece. But this was only an appertizer, as the King and his men had much greater thoughts, they would go on a campaign that are still spoken of today. They would dye the ground red and attack right in their strongholds, make such bold actions no man thought was possible - Norse or Christian.


The newly independent Kingdoms of Kent and Hwicce.

Once he returned home he ordered the Kingdoms of Kent and Hwicce to be made independent as promised. Both to honor his late friend Haraldr, and to deal with the talks of rebellion in his Anglo-Saxon realm. The lords of East Saxony asked him why they weren't also granted indepence, our King replied that he would unite all of East Saxony, and make it a Kingdom before it should be indepenent. The nobles agreed on his words, much to do with that they feared their King and knew what he would do if they defied him. Blood eagle was not a pleasant death, even if it granted them a place in Valhalla. That was shown when the nobles of Oppland, Trøndelag and Naumadal rebelled against their Lord. He brutally took down the rebellion and performed the blood eagle, or hanged them in the trees, of those who conspired against them. He also took his chance now, as he abolished the laws of practically speaking independent realms within his realm, and centralized his power. With these new powers he also took personal possesion of the rebellios areas, and secured his position as lord of Norway.


King Ivar the Boneless of Sudreyjar getting baptized.

In 895 Hávarðr third son, Styrkir, said he wanted to join the Varangians in Miklagard[SUP]8[/SUP], this surely touched the aging heart of the King. His own son would go out to the big world and seek wealth and fortune and above all else; violence. His mind no longer was focused on Trolli becoming a weakling, a follower of the pacifist Christ, but Styrkir would truly be a great warrior. Eternal glory awaited his kin! Even with all these good news, darker times came over the Norse Kingdoms. The legendary King Ivar the Boneless of Sudreyjar, son of the eternal Hero Ragnarr Lodbrok, agreed to be baptized, and became a devout Christian who swore to make all of the British Isles Christian and fend off the Norse. I however doubt he had these motives as the white christ lovers claim, he was surely a Norse at heart and saw his oppurtinity to gain land and fame. Nevertheless it resulted in yet another war, only 3 years since the Norwegians left Scotland, they were once again forced to come back.


The deciding battle of Burgh.

Danelaw and the Norse lords in the newly conquered British Isles was under attack from the forces of the South Isles, Scotland and Ireland. The Kingdoms of Jorvik, Hwicce and Kent quickly sent out their forces. They were crushed under the power of the Christian forces. But when the Great Norwegian Army once again came to Scotland, the Celts became gripped with fear. They remembered what they had done to their homes 3 years earlier, and what they did to Wessex before that. The Celtic-Norse armies however was much larger, and they attacked the new reinforcement. They were sure of victory, because they had Jesus on their side. They forgot on the other hand that White Christ is not a god of war, but of peace, and that the Norwegians were the fiercest and most deadly warriors of the entire known world. Once again the extremely professional forces of Norway beat a much larger army. With the Christian forces having over twice their losses. When the Christians retreated in fear of the vile Vikings seeking Valhall, and seeing their homes and wives getting burned to nothing. They were days later caught up, and exterminated. The Norwegian King said in his bloodlust that none should be spared, and they travelled all over Scotland pillaging all of their lands, and killed everything who walked on two legs, and planted their seeds in everyone who had breasts.


Prince Styrkir, moments before his death.

Suddenly warriors arrive. Their armors are as thick as the skin of the polar bears, and their arms bigger than oak trees. They recieved news about Styrkir, the Varangian son of Hávarðr. They said he had fought bravely in the face of Bulgarian enemies and slew countless of enemies before he was eventually overwhelmed. They said he fought like a bear, like a god. This deeply depressed the great warrior of Norway, and he ordered his men to go back to their homes. He had to mourn his son, and hope that he would one day meet him again. He also decided that he was now too old to be bersekr, as he had no longer the powers nor the spirit to be one. He would return in 899 after he and his warriors had returned to their powers, and slayed the two last major armies in Scotland, ending the Christian invasion forever.


Hávarðr annexing the Northern Isles.

When they came back to Yule in 899, the Eternal King ordered a grand Blot again. This time as the last one, he would sacrifice the Christian Bishops who dared enter his realm to the gods for blessing. With this he moved on to annex the Norwegian colonies of Nordreyjar, to counter the new Catholic presence in Scotland, and prevent them for falling into the hands of White Christ. He would also make it into a Jarldom, and hand it over to the Chief of Shetland. He then announced that he would commence on his very last raid. As he said it himself: "I will paint White Christ red in the blood of his followers". His plans were simple, yet daring. They would attack all the major areas of the Christian world. First they would sail down into the Seine River and loot the capital of West Francia - Paris. Then hit the capitals of the Christian world of Rome and Miklagard. Then finally he would sail into the Black Sea and into the heartland of the East Francian Kingdom and burn it. It was truly a glorious endevaour, and thousands of young Norse warriors joined him and seeked glory, fortune and death.


Illustration of the legend battle between the sea monster and King Hávarðr I. the God Slayer.

While his army of over 4000 men looted Paris, Hávarðr came into contact with an ancient cult, worshipping gods even older than his own. He joined them, but while they tried to sacrifice him, he escaped and commanderered a longship. Legends have it that he faced off against a terrible sea creature, a Jotunn sent out to enslave humanity and bring upon Ragnarok. He however, in all his might and power, slew this faul creature and were granted powers from the gods as a thanks for killing it, powers so big that he would be called a god killer. legend even say that he met Odin, the Allfather, later on after looting a monastery. If this is true, or something made up is unknown[sup]9[/sup]. However, it is little doubt that a man of such a character as the father of our nation would be able to slay monsters and gods, and he was truly divinley blessed. The raiders continued unopposed, and raided all of Paris and it's surrounding area, and did the same to Rome. No one dared to oppose them, all of the Christian world feared the Norwegian warriors. They had heard the tales of their actions in the British Isles, but could now be so lucky to bear witness to it in their own homes. The wolf pack now et course to the ancient capital of the Greek Kings, this however is where disaster stroke.


The sack of Paris, Roma and battle of Philippoplis.

The Vikings entered Miklagard unopposed, but they heard reports of thousands of warriors gathering around them. Keen on testing these men they quickly set out to fight them. The first battles ended gloriously, as the Vikings slew them. However, they hadn't thought of the cunninges of the Greeks. The Greeks lured them into a trap, into a disastrous battle of Philippoplis. Here a 3300 strong army waited for them, and was soon to be reinforced with 400 troops from the west and 900 from the east. Most Norwegians would finally meet their long sought death. The battle raged on for days, only 244 Vikings managed to return home. Thousands had died, and one of them was King Hávarðr I. the God Slayer! He had charged alone into the center of their army, and had been surrounded for hours, then someone manged to wound him, still he rallied all his forces and fended them off. He was furios, he was vicious, but his own men took him back. His wound would grow, and he became infirm. Days later he died of his wounds. And he was burned on his flying longhsip, and sent up to Valhalla to his son Styrkir. It is said that the Northern Lights was over the entire world, even in Miklagard, for days and that it was the gods themselves who created it to mourn the death of such a legendary figure.


Death of the Eternal King, and his heir Hrafn. Also the realms of Northern Europe.

Hrafn ordered the men to come back home, and to mourn the loss of their Father. The Father of Norway. He would however have difficulities to face, especially with the Danes expanding eastwards taking all of Sweden and the lands of the Finns and Samis. Even worse half of Norway, the lands many brave Norse and his father had given their lives to protect, was now under the control of his brother who was a follower of White Christ, and wanted to baptise all Norsemen and women. Fortunately, Hrafn was a worshiper of Loke and would use all his cunning and trickery to meet the new dangers.

[HR]1: Norns were divine beings the Norse thought controlled the faiths of human beings, and would cut of the life thread when they see fit. What it means in this contex, is that he was halfly-divine and managed to decide for his own, as opposed to normal mortals who had their fate decided by the norns and gods. Keep in mind, the this is exeggerated on purpose.
2: Old word for Tuberculosis.
3: An actual Norse ritual of sacrifcing people and animals to their gods, in reality it was a way of torture and execution.
4: Here Kingdom of Greece = Byzantine/East Roman Empire, and not the in game de-jure Kingdom of Greece.
5: A duel between two warriors on a tiny isle, either to show who is the strongest or to settle disputes.
6: Northern Isles: Orkney, Shetland and Faroe Islands.
7: Norwegian folklore that vikings took all their ugly women to Britain, and brought back the pretty ones home.
8: Constantinoples.
9: It was actual in game events, got kidnapped by worshippers of ancient gods, joined them, they tried to sacrifice me, could choose between dying and gaining piety or escapig. Of course I escaped, ended up with the character fighting a sea monster that would devour the world. Gave me the trait "god slayer" which had some very poweful bonuses. Later on an event said that I meant a man who claimed to be Odin, I tusted him an gained the trait Zealout and piety and gold. In game it is true, but I interpertate it as the sagas boasting about the powers of their King.
[/HR]
 
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Enewald

Enewald Enewald Enewald
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Those evil Miklagarders!
Purge the lands of the enemies of Odin, let the followers of Vitkrist bleed white!
 

Dofon

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Madness? This is... well, yeah, Hávarðr I was the living incarnation of madness XD Beautiful! Good to see the king died of his battle wounds, as a Norse hero should. You took Miklagard o.o way to go. I hope you continue to oppose the meek forces of the White Christ and demolish your foes in Christendom! A shame to see otherwise good pagan Norsemen falling to the cross; methinks blood eagle is too good a fate for these fools!
You've united Norway! All in one ruler as well, way to go. I'm excited to see who you hit next! The Danes are threatening, but British isles could be on the edge of falling to the Norse invasions. Also, perhaps taking the sacred places of the Norse faith might prevent further advances of the Christian faith amongst your people.