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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning


Runner of Test Games (he/him)
Dec 25, 2016
December 25, 1067, Chamber of the infant Count Harold, Vodi, Finland.
A woman sits cross-legged on the floor, rocking back and forth, with an baby boy in her arms. She wears a soft but poor brown dress with an emblem sewn on the front, and she coos to the baby, calming him. The infant, however, wears a rich and bright red robe with gold trimmings, but the same emblem. The woman is Helmi Viacheslavich, and she has come from the shores of Lake Ladoga through the forests of Finland to serve the new count of Vodi as his chancellor.
The baby, however, is Harold Godwineson the Younger, the true king of England, and, with the death of his twin brother Ulf, one of the only five Godwinesons left alive.
As he lies in the arms of Helmi, Harold has no idea of the greatness that awaits him. Little, as well, does Helmi--or Harold's older sister Gytha, or his cousins Skuli and Ketil "the Hunchback", or his aunt Edith--or anyone else, for that matter--know what this little baby and his ancestors will go on to achieve.


Hello everyone, I am Brisingr, new to the forums. This will be my first AAR.
Having read with admiration the tales of the Knytlings, the Athelings, the Crovans, the de Sémurs, and a myriad others, I have finally been inspired to get an account here...
Stop! Who approaches the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see.
Ask me the questions, Bridgekeeper; I'm not afraid!
What...is the version of the game you're playing?
CK+DV 2.0, with no mods.
What...are the settings?
Difficulty=Normal, AI Agressiveness=Weakling (I'm pretty sure :p)
What...is Harold Godwineson doing in Finland?
Ah. Hm. *coughs* You'll have to read the next update to find out. I should have it up soon, so if anyone is reading this, watch this space! (please :D)



Runner of Test Games (he/him)
Dec 25, 2016
Hi all,
This is just a friendly bump to let you guys know that
a) the AAR is still ongoing,
b) I'll get a chance to play and write an update today, and
c) the update will have screenshots! Glory be!
So please, if you're reading this, stay tuned and watch this space!



Runner of Test Games (he/him)
Dec 25, 2016
a history of the bastard Normans and of the most noble House Godwineson

It is said that in the 10th century, the first Norsemen did come to the shores of France and did raid it for the treasures it held. The raids became so severe that the King of the Western Franks did most cowardly sign the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte between himself and the Norseman Rollo, which did grant the aforementioned bastard Norseman the title Duke of Normandy, and the King of West Francia the Norseman allegiance as his vassal. Even then did the bastard Rollo push further into the disorganized West Francia, the sad remnant of Charlemagne's Empire, and took more lands from the Franks. Thus did develop a new culture, that of the Normans, a merging of the Norse and Frankish cultures. And truly it was the lowest culture in all Christendom.
One hundred and fifty years after the foundation of the duchy of Normandy, in the year of our Lord one thousand and sixty-six, that the King of the Saxons, Ēdweard Andettere died and his brother by marriage, the most noble and pious Harold Godwineson the Elder, assumed the lordship over all the Saxon kingdoms of the region. His claim was disputed however, as the King of the Danes, Svend Estridsson, and the king of the Norwegians, Harald Sigurdsson "Hardråde", or Harald the Stern, being cousins of the Confessor, had also a claim, and so did most unpiously fight Ēadweard. The bastard Duke of Normandy*, Guillaume de Normandie, was also a cousin of the king, and so did fight him as well.
At the Battle of Fulford on September 20, King Harold did fight his treacherous brother Tostig, former Earl of Northumbria and yet another claimant to the throne of Harold, who had allied with king Harald the Stern to claim his brother's throne, and was defeated. Both armies did fight again 5 days later at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, in which Harold most valiantly did repulse the forces of Harald and of Tostig, both of whom were killed in battle. Tostig's two sons, Skuli and Ketil "the Hunchback", later did flee to Norway, along with their mother Judith, Harold the Elder's first wife.
Three days later, Duke Guillaume did land with his forces at Pevensey and did begin to subjugate Sussex. Harold did immediately march south to defend his kingdom and on October 14, the armies of Duke Guillaume and of King Harold did meet at the Battle of Hastings, in which Harold was killed. Two months later, on Christmas Day, Duke Guillaume was crowned King William I, King of England. His infant sons, Harold the Younger and Ulf, did flee to Leinster in East Ireland and later to Denmark, where their older sister Gytha and mother Eadgyth, Harold the Elder's second wife, did care for them.

-------------------------------------------------------ahistorical bit starts here-------------------------------------------------------

When Eadgyth told King Svend of the poor fortunes of Harold, the King did decide to avenge the Godwinesons--for they were his cousins after all--and did set sail with Harold, Ulf, the Danish royal marshal Benedikt Svendsson, the Patriarch of Denmark, and 3,000 soldiers to the county of Torzhok, controlled by the Russian Orthodox Principality of Novgorod. Sadly, the King did experience much tragedy on the voyage, learning that his son Bjørn Svendsson had died due to poor health in childhood, that his wife Margareta had died in labor. The most striking death, however, was that of little Ulf, due to poor health on the voyage. Now, only five Godwinesons remained.
On July 24, 1067, the Danish army arrived in Torzhok, where a declaration of war was sent to Mielus of Vodi, High Chief of the Ingers, a Finnish tribe. The army of King Svend did march to war, and battle was joined on August 14. As the armies of Denmark did not know the dense forests of Finland, two humiliating defeats were suffered, and Marshal Benedikt was ransomed. But at the Third Battle of Vodi, Marshal Benedikt's leadership, as well as knowledge he had overheard while he was captured about the Finns' tactics, won the day and a siege was started.
On December 25, the hill fort at Vodi was surrendered to the Danes, and one year after Guillaume was crowned false "English King", Harold Godwineson the Younger was proclaimed Count of Vodi by the Patriarch of Denmark.

Screen Shot 2017-01-22 at 7.34.15 PM.png

Harold Godwineson the Younger, Count of Vodi, and his court

Gytha Godwineson.png

Gytha, Harold's older sister

Screen Shot 2017-01-22 at 6.59.34 PM.png

Ketil "the Hunchback", Harold's step-brother

Screen Shot 2017-01-22 at 7.34.52 PM.png

Skuli, Harold's step-brother

Screen Shot 2017-01-22 at 7.04.10 PM.png

Edith, Harold's aunt

*he was actually illegitimate

Sorry this is a bit late guys!
Harold Godwineson and the County of Vodi are in a bit of a precarious position, surrounded on two sides by Novgorod, on one by pagans, and on one by Lake Ladoga. Additionally, Vodi is very poor and has only 83 hūscarls to defend little Harold. Only time will tell how he'll fare.
What do you think so far?
Last edited:


Runner of Test Games (he/him)
Dec 25, 2016
Hey guys,
Again, this AAR is not dead. However, I have been very busy as of late, so I only have time to post updates around the weekend.
And speaking of updates, I have one for you all! It is a story of two of the four Finnish pagans that showed up in little Harold's court. In-game, they were members of the court of the High Chief of the Ingers (who ruled Vodi before Harold).
RP-wise, though, I can't find a way to explain how in one day, Helmi, for example, went from being a loyal servant of the High Chief to rocking Harold to sleep on the floor of his chamber. :p
So, I've made up a story for each of them, explaining why they would flee to Harold's court. Now without further ado, I present...

Servants of the Saxon (part 1)
One might wonder what extraordinary circumstances might cause four Finnish pagans to flee to the court of Harold Godwineson the Younger. I attempt to explain them here, in this 3-part story.

In 1028, the Novgorodian explorer Igor Viacheslavich was lost while scouting out Vodi for a potential Novgorodian invasion. He eventually ended up at the doorstep of the house of the Finnish peasant woman Helmi, who took him in, cared for him, and eventually developed a strong affection for him. Despite their religious differences, their love for each other manifested itself in their first child, Uoti, born in 1029. Fourteen years later, Helmi was found to be pregnant again, but sadly, she died while giving birth to a daughter. The grief-stricken Igor named her Helmi, after his late wife.

Thirteen years after Helmi was born, in 1066, Mielus of Vodi, High Chief of the Ingers, called for a "purification" of his chiefdom, killing anyone who was not at least half Finnish. When the Chief's warriors came to the house of the Viacheslavichji, Uoti and Igor fought the Chief's warriors and killed them, but Igor was killed as well. Helmi and Uoti escaped and went into hiding.

When the Danish armies came to Vodi in 1067 and placed it under the management of Harold Godwineson, the Viacheslavichji realized that this could be their only place to take refuge, and fled to the court of the young count, where his regent, the Commander Thurcytel of the King's Guard of hūscarls--for that was Harold's title, King of Englaland in the County of Vodi--accepted them into his court. Helmi became Vodi's chancellor, and Uoti his steward.

Screen Shot 2017-01-22 at 7.05.43 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-01-22 at 7.06.05 PM.png

The next story will be about Harold's Marshal, Toivo Ilkka. What do you think?
Also, comment please. It motivates me. :D


Runner of Test Games (he/him)
Dec 25, 2016
This AAR has been abandoned. I'll start a new one soon.


Grape Juice & Gravy
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It´s a shame no one has any interest in CK I anymore. For me it was the game that introduced me to all the other wonderful Paradox games.


Runner of Test Games (he/him)
Dec 25, 2016
It´s a shame no one has any interest in CK I anymore. For me it was the game that introduced me to all the other wonderful Paradox games.
Same here. Thank you for commenting, even if the AAR is finished.
Actually, now that you've commented, I feel a sudden urge to start this story up again. I do still have the save file...