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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

HyperTwerp

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Introduction

Sápmi is one of the most beautiful and endearing lands in the world, I hold it more dear than maybe anything. And as a Swedish-Sámi person, I find it my God-berendered mission to unveil the majesty of Sápmi and her people, thus I present to you:

Unto Frostbite.png


This will be a historybook-narrative hybrid starting in 936, you may see a steady change in style as society progresses, however.
I will try to make this as historically plausible as possible, though I will have to make due with what Paradox has given me; a rather poor representation of Sápmi for the time. However, this AAR would not be possible without considering this an alt-history where the sámi tribes began seeing steady centralization.
I will be playing with ironman off, as I may need to correct something following a bug, etc, you know the drill.

Table of Contents

 
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Prologue

Beyond the north lies a land forever veiled in twilight, tucked behind the great curtains of Scandinavia. A land whose vastness is as tangible as it is empty, often called the Land of The Midnight Sun for her ceaselessly sunlit summers;
Sápmi, The home of the Sámi, a nomadic folk who have taken the motto "move or die" to it's most literal. In the middle ages they had a unique relationship with reindeer, where they both hunted and tamed them for their survival. The Sámi inhabit the great fells and forests of Northernmost Fenno-Scandia, spanning over many particular tribes and clans. But in this chronicle we will be focusing on only the best remembered of them all; Horagalleana.


1593459263858.png

"Our land is the birthplace of the great god Horagalles, for what other land's vastness
would be accommodating enough for the thunder lord himself?" -Ancient Horagallean Mountain-Side Scriptures ~400AD


Horagalleana has been called as such for centuries untold, likely ever since the legends of Horagalles were first conceptualized. But only from the late 9th century onwards has the land seen an incline in centralization to the point where the region can be described as ruled. The Čoarvi-Sadji clan claimed sovereignty around ~870, and has been the defacto authority over the land and its subjects since. Actual distinguishable history only starts in August of 936. When the "throne" was occupied by Gonagas (King) Áivvit I, and had been since his father died 3 years prior.

1593459221143.png

"By the grace of Beaivi's life-giving rays, Áivvit of Coarvi-Sadji is to rule as Gonagas, guardian of Horagalleana, and second hand
of the gods, from this day onward until his passing." -The High-Noaidi in finality of coronation

Áivvit I was incredibly attached to his father, so much so, that when he finally passed, he spent his first 3 years of reign in almost complete seclusion, he never moved his camp and rarely spoke, ate, or did anything for that matter. That was until the 12th of August, 936, when the Gonagas experienced a powerful dream. It was Beaivi herself, telling him to get out of his bedding! To manage the land that she had granted him, or else his people would never experience another sunrise. This date, 12th August 936, is a national holiday in Sápmi for the reason that this was when Áivvit I kick-started Sámi history.

1593459457427.png

[Anyone who has played the game for a decent amount of time would know that I renamed the tribe of Sápmi to Horagalleana, as it would not make much sense to name one small part of the region after the whole thing]
 
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To be honest I find one of the most enjoyable challenges of AAR writing is trying to make the game raw materials plausible. At times a little frustrating, or more than a little. But overall it is, for me, one of the great pleasures of AAR writing weaving a coherent whole out of the essential randomness that the complicated strings of 1s and 0s generates for us.

Will try to follow
 
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Good Chapter
We don't see many Sapmi AAR's here and it's refreshing.
let's see how Horagallena's chief kickstarts the history of this wondrous land
I wonder how his encounters with his Viking neighbours go though

Following
Thank you! The Norse will certainly play a significant role in the history of the Sámi going forward.

To be honest I find one of the most enjoyable challenges of AAR writing is trying to make the game raw materials plausible. At times a little frustrating, or more than a little. But overall it is, for me, one of the great pleasures of AAR writing weaving a coherent whole out of the essential randomness that the complicated strings of 1s and 0s generates for us.

Will try to follow
Yes of course, this AAR will be tackling the issue constantly, hopefully I will be able to make it interesting!

Looks good! Excited to follow :)
Great, thanks! :)
 
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Chapter 1


Gonagas Áivvit's first order of business was to get his wits about him to understand Horagalleana's position, for how could he rule that which he did not know? As soon as he had awoken from his dream he left his Goahti and approached that of his internal administrator, AKA Steward, Dávgon Gájka.

1593525485596.png

A modern representation of what Áivvit's goahti would have looked like at the time. A goahti is a sort of
abode, made up of wood, stone, dirt and/or hide, easily dismantleable for the sake of nomadicism.

The Gájka family held significant sway in the rulership of Horagalleana, the head of which at the time (20th August 936) was Dávgon. His role as steward was without doubt primarily won by his high position, however that does not mean that he was an inefficient administrator, quite the opposite in fact. Having been tutored by the former high Noaidi (shaman), he had an outstandingly deep knowledge of the theology of his folk. However, he had done such an overabundance of research into the legends that he began to question them. Ever the cynic, Dávgon Gájka began to feel unease regarding shamanism, which eventually evolved into distaste, and ultimately disgust. As he began to disconnect from theology, he instead found a new pursuit; administration, which ultimately ended him up in the nomadic court of the Gonaga as what we today would call a steward.

1593526895549.png

Dávgon of clan Gájka, the Gonaga's steward

Áivvit was a kind soul, he always had been, yet this did not mean that he was not aware of his worth. So as to awaken Dávgon, he politely rapped on the entrance-frame of the goahti, but when met with protest he raised his voice and asserted his position. Dávgon was stubborn yet humble, so when he realized who it was trying to awaken him he very hastily sat up and began making accommodations for the Gonagas.


A painting done in 1900 displaying what this historic conversation may have looked like

As Dávgon frantically relit the smoldering campfire from the previous evening, Áivvit began telling all about his new will brought forth by the dream, and how he wished to be updated on what Horagalleana had seen in his three years of dormancy. While the Gonagas had been secluded in his goahti, Dávgon had been all over the land seeing to the people and making sure that the upper echelon knew what was about. Upon hearing what the steward had to say, Ávvit's enthusiasm quickly plummeted. Among other disheartening trends, without a higher authority the region had seen an increased frequency of raids from the Norsemen of the south, a string of bad winters had killed many, and bullion trade was suffering. Knowing this, the Gonagas was hit by an overpowering wave of guilt, but not without a renewed surge of determination to right that which he had let see go to ruin.

1593538241201.png

The steward continued, stating the worst fact yet: The Gonagas' master of intrigue, Leammá of Keite, in all his conniving, ambitious self, saw his opportunity and began seizing control over a vast inland portion of Horagalleana. Using outright cruel methods, such as torture and murder, he managed to force the clans of the region to swear fealty to him. The region has come to be known as Keiteana, literally "Keite Land", and, while still being within the frontiers of Horagallea and Áivvit, it was now de-facto under the authority of Chief Leammá. This filled Áivvit with frustration and anger.

1593536557879.png
1593536710640.png

The master of intrigue and his zone of control; Keiteana

While the inland was objectively less valuable, Leammá held it with an iron grip, and was squeezing every last drop out of the local population. As aforementioned, Áivvit was a kind man, and treated almost everyone with respect and warmth. To see something like this happening to his children-folk? It filled him with revulsion for Leammá Keite, and he made a vow later that day to liberate the Sámi people from tyranny.

As the discussion moved on to succession, Áivvit made a dreadful realization, he had no living family members, he was the cul-de-sac of the Coarvi-Sadji family, if he died without an heir, Chief Leammá would surely sieze the entire Chiefdom of Horagalleana. This could not be let happen according to the Gonagas, he needed an heir, else all of Sápmi may fall victim to Leammá's ambitions. He would later go on to begin impregnation attempts with his wife and high-noaidi: Násti.


1593541882704.png


Dronnet (Queen) and High Noaidi of Horagalleana, Násti

Despite her name, Násti is by most accounts a wonderful person, ever temperate and patient, and skilled in multiple fields. For a long time, ever since the initial betrothal 7 years prior, Áivvit avoided her due to the maturity expected of her young age, but in the following months as he would come to know her, she would make an invaluable companion in the Gonagas's journey.

1593541960902.png

Modern Depiction of Dronnet Násti, shown with a Noaidi's ritual drum
 
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Ambition, desire, and the start of forming af family. All important first little steps.
 

giannis12

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Great writing
I would be wary of Chief Leamma if I were you
His head on a stick seems to be the best thing to do if his power continues to rise
Very good descriptions
Loved it
Will follow
what about his head on an ice spike or something
 
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Ambition, desire, and the start of forming af family. All important first little steps.
Absolutely correct!

Great writing
I would be wary of Chief Leamma if I were you
His head on a stick seems to be the best thing to do if his power continues to rise
Very good descriptions
Loved it
Will follow
Thanks loads! This kind of thing gives me courage to continue writing, in fact, it was madorc who encouraged me to start my own AAR. For which I greatly thank him! :)

what about his head on an ice spike or something
His head on reindeer antlers would be pretty damn metal

~~~

Sadly I won't be able to write a chapter this week due to business, personal reasons, and a lingering fever that kills my motivation. But don't worry, I will not give up on this AAR any time soon. :) I hope you understand
 

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Chapter 2

Before we continue with the chronicles of Horagalleana, the author would like to explain an element of Sámi society that is necessarily known, if one is to understand the Sámi social dynamic of the time. That being, the Siida, the basic Sámi social unit.

A siida is a nomadic community of Sámi people, made up of 2-10 clans, each handling their own equipment, wares, and livelihoods. They are comparable to villages in the settled world, though far more tightly knotted together, each family depends on eachother for survival in the frozen waste, they move together, fight together, share their food among eachother etc. And after a few weeks-months, they pick up again and leave to find a new location. This is not the case for the Gonagasa (Royal) Siida, which hadn't moved since Áivvit I's coronation, 3 whole years prior.



A Sámi motif displaying multiple Sámi symbols, such as the Siida (11), the sun (AKA the sun Goddess; Beaivi) (2),
and the thunder-god Horagalles, for whom the land was named after (3).


Gonagas Áivvit's siida was, at the time, located on a large hill overlooking the delta of Lulejohka (Lule River). The Gonagasa siida functioned effectively as a the court of Horagalleana, and was comprised of all his advisors, councilors, and many of the most significant clans in Horagalleana. Clans such as Gájka; the clan of the Steward of the realm, Coarvi-Sadji; the gonagasa clan, and up until recently, Keite; the clan of the spymaster. As previously mentioned, the Gonagasa Siida had not relocated in years, and by August, 936, had noticed what could be considered an alarming development.

The siida, numbering about 150 people, had begun to get far too comfortable on it's hill. There were members building advanced and non-recyclable constructions, there were members starting local occupations for themselves, some of the richer clans had even begun exalting their goahtis with luxuries, not expecting to move anytime soon. Children had grown up in the Lulejohka delta, seeing it as home. It was true, the siida was semi-settled! An absolute bastardization of Sámi nomadic traditions, yes, but historians also are unanimous in that this was one of the main reasons Horagalleana saw such rapid centralization. Centralization which would go on to make Coarvi-Sadji the undisputed rulers of Sápmi.



A photo taken from atop the hill upon which the Gonagasa Siida stood, of Lulejohka, 2019


But back to the tale of Áivvit, as the sun was already back from her 1 hour nap, he asked Dávgon of Gájka:

"And what about the situation outside of our realm? Surely after all this time there are developments I should be aware of?"

To which Dávgon replied: "Oh but my Gonagas, there is no way for us to truly know, I regret not mentioning it earlier but Chancellor Viggu left not 2 years ago, angered by the lack of a relocation, a tradition very significant to his family. Without him, we are blind to any lands not under my supervision"

"Blast, what surrounds my land is just as important to the interior as the interior itself, I need a chancellor, but not just anyone. Where has Viggu run off to?"


"He went south, my lord, to Pitejohka (pite-river), last I heard he has just moved upstream, approximately 2 days from the delta, if I am not mistaken."

"Well that's not all that bad, I needed to get out in any case. Steward Dávgon, bring me my skis and prepare me a rugsack with equipment for about 5 days."

"If it is what you wish, then I will begin right at this instant, it's good to see you up again, Áivvit",
Dávgon said as he proceeded to do as told.

"It's good to be back, my friend, now just to hope I am not too rusty at the skis"

And so the Gonagas set off, being a master of the skis, he managed to make the journey as simple as a morning promenade. The fact that Áivvit even could ski so effectively in mid Autumn is really an astounding indicator of the severity of the recent winters Sápmi had faced. Today some more zealous believers even say that that was the first of Beaivi's punishments unto Áivvit, for his slothfulness. Others debate this, saying that it would make little sense to have the whole region be affected due to the actions (or rather, lack thereof) of the ruler of one subregion.



A revenisioning of how the journey may have looked like. Even today, more passionate Sámi nationalists
will take this pilgrimage, by ski or by foot, to prove their devotion to the legacy of Coarvi-Sadji.


Upon reaching the Siida of ex-chancellor Viggu, it was not difficult to convince him to relocate to merge with Áivvit's. The Gonagas' personality was just far too bright, and his passion for Horagalleana too resonant, for Viggu to decline the offer. The council of elders had decided that he small siida of approximately 20 people would begin to move north again that next morrow.


The small size of the siida allowed them to move at a breakneck speed down the river, and just as the coast of Bothnia came into view, the troupe was interrupted. A band of 40 or so enraged men and women, most of which were armed with spears, others with hatchets or clubs. As they started staunchly approaching the siida, a tremor of fear ran through the members. Some fell back to hide, some hid their children. Áivvit and Viggu, however, kept their calm and approached the band. The chancellor shouted:

"Who approaches our humble siida?"

A large wrought, middle aged man stepped forth, and proclaimed in a growl: "We are hunters of the Ume-Siida! We have come to demand action and justice! For years, the norsemen of the south have raided, plundered, slaughtered, and slave-taken our people! And the Gonagas has done nothing! We can not go on like this for much longer, and will not hesitate to take matters into our own hands!"



"For years, the norsemen of the south have raided, slaughtered, and slave-taken our people!"

Viggu started, saying: "I assure you, the Gonagas is doing all he can, run back-" but Áivvit interrupted him, laying his hand on Viggu's shoulder and clearing his throat,

"Fellow children of Horagalles, words can not properly express the shame I feel having learned of all the pestilence and suffering my brothers and sisters have sustained under my dormancy. Do not fret, for I have vowed to right every wrong I have let pass. What's your name, hunter?"

"Bæivi..." he replied

"Well, Bæivi, you and your companions here seem well trained and competent fighters, not to mention, you a natural born leader. What say you, join us on our journey to the Gonagasa Siida, and you will be offered jobs as warriors. If you seek your people protected? Then I will let you protect them! You will form the foundations of a standing guard for all of Horagalleana! And regarding your siida back home, do not worry, you and your families back home will be treated with skins, meat, fish, and ores for your service!"


Bæivi let out a booming, jovial laugh and proclaimed: "Why, of course! But under only one condition, I will be let scour the land for any and all warriors willing to join this so called 'standing guard'"

"All the better!"






And so it was settled. Upon arrival, the construction of a soldiers' encampment surrounding the hill on which the siida was perched was ordered. By Bæivi's request, these would be made up of Lavvus (Tents), fire pits, and training equipment such as wood-tipped spears or logs wrapped in hide as dummies. The newly formed Horagallean Guard would start modest, but under Bæivi's supervision as a natural military administrator, it would grow in numbers every month.




A Sámi Lavvu in the 19th century


[[ I am experimenting with a style of really embracing the narrative-historybook hybrid, as you probably noticed, by utilizing dialogue and such, be sure to tell me your thoughts
PS: Sorry for the long wait, I have alot on my plate for the last few days, but I will be returning to a mostly weekly update schedule ]]
 
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It is a simple truth: to defend oneself warriors on hand one must have.
 
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It is a simple truth: to defend oneself warriors on hand one must have.
It is indeed!

It looks like the new Horagallean guard might just be the first act of militarization and its Siida might just be the start of a glorious permanent settlement for the Sampi. Cool!

Good writing.
Pls write more
To combat the southerners it seems that the Sámi need to civilize at breakneck speed. This is only the beginning
Thanks! As I said previously I will try to post weekly
And as a side note, I loved your AAR, Jihad on the Savannah, I took alot of inspiration for it in planning the style of this AAR. :)

Good stuff
Thanks loads!

I am grateful for the comments everyone, they are, of course, what motivate me to work on this AAR. Well, that and that I get to research even deeper into one of my favourite topics in the world.
 
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Chapter 3

Gonagas Áivvit I had already built a functioning council, to assist him in his endeavours and to do that which was not becoming of the Gonagas himself. He had set the foundations for the Horagallean Guard, the first form of military in the region. And this combined had significantly boosted the morale of every Horagallean Sámi that heard. All this in a few days, if this wasn't a good sign of things to come for his reign, however loose it may be, then nothing was.



"Gonagas Áivvit I had already built a functioning council, to assist him in his endeavours
and to do that which was unbecoming of the gonagas himself"

All of the listed council members resided in the Gonagasa Siida when they weren't out performing their duties. Except for one man, the oh so insidious spymaster, Chief Leammá. He would always be in his own, nomadic, siida up inside inland horagalleana; Keiteana. He spent his working days scouring Horagalleana for any subversive plot or conspiracy against Horagalleana or her Gonagas. Ironic, considering he may have been the most covetous man in all of Sápmi.

Áivvit was all set and ready to begin his reign, but there was one thing nagging at his mind. He still felt like he was at bad terms with the gods, he simply could not rest easy with this in mind. He had tried to consult Dávgon about it, but being the cynic of religion he was, he didn't help Áivvit at all. Instead the Gonagas decided that at the the dead of the sunlit night, he would leave his Goatti and seek out a nearby sieidi to sacrifice by.

What follows is an interjection from the author hoping to explain the peculiar nature of the sieidi.
A sieidi is a sacred place in Sámi shamanistic religion, where the faithful go to sacrifice, pray, or whatever else a believer may need to connect to the higher ups. This is comparable to a church in Christianity, or a mosque in Islam. What makes the Sámi sacred place unique, however, is the fact that it is almost never man-made. A sieidi takes the form of a peculiarly shaped/placed rock, tree, or other asset of nature. The idea is that the only explanation for the unnatural appearance is divine intervention, believing that the gods placed that sieidi there, which therefor makes it sacred. This, better than anything, really highlights the deep spiritual connection the Sámi have to nature itself.



A diagram of a Sámi man sacrificing a portion of his crops at a sieidi. Note the ring of reindeer antlers which are traditionally
placed around a holy altar to please the gods.


Now that you hopefully understand why Áivvit happened to be searching for a suitable sieidi, let us continue.

The search did not take him long, how could it possibly, all it took was a couple hours and the turn of a corner to find himself endraped in the looming shadow of an absolutely behemothic rock. A boulder teetering on nothing but a stone, large in itself, but dwarfed under the absolute grandeur of the boulder itself. This was it, it had to be, the grandest seidi in all of Horagalleana. And the one under which Áivvit would sacrifice.



The sieidi which would come to known as "The Áivvit's Sieidi", not 500 meters away from the Gonagasa Siida


As he came to he immediately dropped to his knees, he began praying in stuttered whispers. He requested that his wrongs would be righted and the prosperity of his realm unstifled. After his vows were made, he opened his rucksack and picked out the food and drink he had prepared. Some of the finest meats in the land, seasoned and decorated with exquisite berries. He also included a delicacy native to Sápmi, although only for the very wealthy, smoked reindeer heart. Other inclusions to the sacrifice were made up of trinkets and rare metals.


He burned the objects he offered one by one, to send them up to the heavens via the smoke. When he was done he rose to his feet and walked the distance back to the Gonagasa Siida. Upon arrival he immediately told his newly-woken wife (the Dronnet (queen) and High Noaidi (High Shaman)), she grew flustered with excitement and immediately left to gather up her fellow shamans to see this Sieidi for themselves.

When she had left the goatti, Áivvit lay down on his back and stared up at the morning sky through the opening in the roof for smoke to pass out of. As he progressively fell into the slumber that he had sorely missed, a smile grew on his face at a realization. He had completed his month long revitalization of his position as Gonagas, and he would awake to finally, properly, lead Horagalleana and her people as his father had those years before. And beaivi behold,
he would lead them to greatness.
[Sorry for the short chapter folks, I wanted a proper split where the setup stage turned into actual gameplay. I will get the next chapter out latest Thursday]
 
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That is an impressive rock.

He seems now both relaxed and ready to go about the business of the future
 
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