The ongoing slapstick adventures of a band of serial arsonists in the frozen north!
When we left off, I’d picked off some of the surrounding counties, but Denmark was growing dangerously large on my southern border. But there’s also some matters of succession to deal with.
My eldest daughter, Gurli, is turning out pretty damn well. I set her for a stewardship education, in hopes that she’ll pick up Midas Touched from Ormr.
Unfortunately, Gurli has three siblings, including the depressed 6-year-old Astrid. With Gavelkind succession, this is going to cause serious issues.
There’s still a few easy targets to pick off, though. As Duke of Nidaros, I have a de jure claim on the County of Nidaros, which is currently held by an 11-year-old. My troops make quick work of the war, and my not-yet-kingdom expands further.
Gurli, at 14, is known for her bravery! Ormr despairs of teaching her to be a coward like himself.
When she finally achieves adulthood (after acquiring ANOTHER sibling) she has very solid stats, with Cynical, Brave, Ambitious, and Diligent, though sadly only a so-so administrator. I find her a husband ASAP.
Meanwhile, I continue my expansion against the heretics to the east, usurping a High Chiefdom (Duchy) from them. That gives me two duchies, so all I need to do is accumulate enough gold to declare myself King of Lapland before Ormr dies.
Unfortunately, the quest for more money takes its toll on the body.
And people are conspiring to kill my wife. Which is … fine, actually, since I need her to stop having children I can’t afford to give land to.
Ditto when someone, probably one of her siblings, tries to kill my daughter Astrid. Go forth, children, and slaughter one another! I’ve also managed to grab the missing county out of my duchy in the east.
Once again it’s time to debase the currency! You’d think people would stop falling for that. It puts Ormr, at 51, tantalizingly close to his goal of becoming king.
Sadly, though, it’s not to be. Ormr’s currency manipulation is discovered, and soon afterward he dies of sheer embarrassment. As you can see in the “lost titles” section, this is not a good thing for the new Duke. (Petty Queen, technically, which is a Duke-level title.)
Gurli (who has already outlived one husband) has severely reduced resources, having only one county to her name along with the primary duchy. Worse, while her various siblings who got counties have mostly become her vassals and will thus at least contribute to her wars, the Duchy of Kola has broken away entirely.
In retrospect, I probably should have immediately declared war on Kola and settled the matter. Instead, I decided to try and be clever — Queen Þordis (pronounced “thordis”) has no heirs of her own, which means Gurli is her heir by default. So, I try to have her assassinated.
Meanwhile, Gurli manages to fall in love with her husband, and produce a son shortly thereafter. So at least succession is more or less going in the right direction.
And suddenly great events are afoot! The Viking Age beings, which means that every Norseman suddenly wakes up to find he knows how to build ships. Finally I can get on with some proper viking, instead of just pillaging my neighbors.
To address the issue of my highly negative prestige, my mother takes it upon herself to build a giant statue of me. Aww, thanks, mom.
Irritated by my inability to kill Þordis, I launch a war for Kola, but she swears loyalty to Karelia, a larger kingdom further south. They send enough armies north that Gurli’s much-reduced forces can’t handle it, and I scrape out a white peace. Thwarted, I keep the assassins coming.
Gurli manages to improve her mediocre administrative skill on a trip to the far-off Isle of Man. Not Midas Touched, but it’s a start.
I start organizing a raid to go seize some treasure. In the meantime, I grab another county in the west, inching toward the tip of the peninsula.
My half-sister cheerfully proposes that she should marry my son. Um, ew. We’re Norse, not Valyrian.
My first proper raid! Five hundred brave men in nine ships make their way down to the Channel, looking for easy targets. The ideal is to find single-county realms — once your army is there, they can’t raise troops, so they can’t really fight back effectively.
We land in Sussex, which is its own country at this point, and start taking everything that’s not nailed down. This being Crusader Kings, “things that aren’t nailed down” actually has a specific numerical value — if you look at county description in the bottom left, there’s a line representing how much of the loot is available to steal and how much is hidden within fortresses. I don’t have the manpower to besiege the castle yet, so I settle for what’s easily portable.
The chief of the county I just finished subjugating rebels against me, so my Kid’s First Viking gang comes home to deal with him. Fortunately it’s not difficult, and this time I get to revoke his title instead of just making him a vassal. I’m back up to two counties! I head back out, this time to Ireland, looking for more loot.
Then this shows up in my inbox. That’s the Queen of Denmark, and it turns out she’s declared a full-scale subjugation war against me. This is definitely not good.
My raiding party hurries back, and I call in my tribal allies.
Unfortunately, Denmark is a lot stronger than I am. My underdog strategy from the Israel days — avoiding battle and freeing recently-captured castles — works poorly here, because most of my holdings are unfortified tribes, and the terrain is harsh. If the enemy were Christians, I’d have more options, but these are fellow Germanic tribesmen.
In the “seriously, who cares” department…
Well, crap. I do what I can, but it’s not enough. Ex-Queen Gurli is now officially a Danish vassal. Worse things can happen, I guess. The Danish queen seems well-disposed to me, and even offers me a council seat right away. Let the plotting begin.
Burn the witch! You’d think the Byzantines would have closer problems to worry about.
Okay. If we’re going to get out from under the Danish yoke, we’re going to need to reconsolidate power a little. I plot to kill my youngest sister, Rögnfrið, since she has no heirs and the county she inherited from Ormr will thus come to me. Everyone is eager to help!
This may alarm my remaining siblings.
On the plus side, you can’t argue with results. That’s three counties.
Gurli is heir to quite a few titles, as it happens. Five siblings left.
Before I can do anything about that, though, there’s the small matter of surviving the flu and whatever insanity my doctors come up with.
Eh, I’ve seen worse.
Whew. Okay, what next?
Apparently not very much. Gnupa, one of Gurli’s brothers, apparently took exception to her “murder all the siblings” policy and decided to strike first. Because the succession is by election, rather than the eldest, the youngest brother Guðfrið takes the throne.
He’s Zealous, Brave, Temperate, Proud, and Homosexual. At least his fighting and stewardship are reasonable. Unfortunately, I’m back down to two counties, one inherited and Guðfrið one already had.
I decide to stop playing nice, and revoke the title from Gnupa, who killed my big sister. He rebels, of course, and the war is briefly interrupted by some weird political change in Denmark, but ultimately I throw him in prison.
With Gnupa’s two titles now mine, I move against Ingrid of Westrobothnia, another sibling. She doesn’t have enough troops to put up much of a fight…
Oops. Apparently I forgot to tell Guðfrið that he shouldn’t fight in the front lines, and he got himself killed in battle. The electors choose Ingrid as his replacement. Of the children of Ormr, only Ingrid, Þordis, and the imprisoned Gnupa are left.
Ingrid, unfortunately, is just terrible stat-wise, and she already has syphilis. Fortunately for the dynasty’s sake, she has two children and one bastard. She’s also managed to get up to five counties due to running out of siblings.
The electors decide the traitorous Gnupa should be heir. Ingrid says the heck with that, and has him hanged on the spot. At this point, I notice that while being tyrannical is going to piss off my vassals, I don’t have all that many vassals worth mentioning.
With Þordis not part of the realm, she has no supporters, and the succession is between Ingrid’s two children. I can live with that.
Given that she has syphilis, Ingrid asks her doctor to do what he can. Always a smart move.
He decides that “what he can” means “amputate one of my legs”. This is a well-known treatment for syphilis, I’m sure.
Ingrid dies almost immediately thereafter. However, the electors change their votes at the last minute, so the throne goes not to one of Ingrid’s young children, but rather to the adult daughter of her elder sister Gurli, High Chieftess Gloð. Once again titles are scattered to the winds and the realm is a mess.
This has to stop. Gloð has only three vassals — Ingrid’s two children and one stranger — and they’re all weak. It’s time for a Reign of Terror.
I revoke all their titles at once, leading them all to rebel against me. But everyone’s weak from the constant wars, so I bring in a gang of foreign mercenaries and smash them, one by one.
This takes a while, so I have to keep busy. Burn the witch!
Finally, everyone is subdued, and I’ve got the five counties that comprise my realm back together again. My cousins are in prison, and the Queen of Denmark is busy fighting a bunch of wars. Paying my mercenaries has drained the treasury completely, so Gloð rounds up what troops she can and sets out to burn and pillage! Once I build my strength, then we’ll see who’s the vassal…
Current Year: 815 AD. Current Status: Honestly Still Not Much Of A Viking