New Empress Þora continues the conquest of England!
First, though, she has to see someone about her syphilis. The ol’ fish cure works wonders!
A Great Blot is next on the list. The gods demand blood! Like her father, though, Þora chooses to spare Princess Asa and avoid being labeled a kinslayer.
Lesbian Þora doesn’t mind watching two dudes make out at all. Only homosexuals are sympathetic to homosexuals; there are no allies in CK2, apparently?
Although Hjalmar’s passionate making out might be a little gross for unrelated reasons.
Before we can get to conquering, there’s some housekeeping to do. The King of Denmark, though vassal to the Empress, has gotten too strong and is plotting against me. My attempt to arrest him fails miserably, so war it is.
It wraps up nicely. Vassals need periodic kicking if they’re going to stay in line.
My son Steinn is only six, physically weak, though his stewardship shows promise. I need Þora to live long enough for him to become an adult for taking the throne.
With the King of Denmark in prison, he’s an easy mark for my assassins. His son seems more pliable.
Now the Countess of Norfolk is trying to kill my son, though, and that can’t be allowed.
Her attempts to stay out of prison go poorly.
With all that resolved, it’s back to merry old England. Now that I’m Queen of England, I have de jure claims against all the remaining counts. This raises threat less than a pagan conquest, which is handy. Normally it would mean that I would only get the count to swear fealty, rather than claiming their land outright; however, since they’re all Catholics, I have the right to strip them of their land anyway once they’re my subjects.
I can just ask them to become subjects, too, but apparently “definitely going to get killed” doesn’t outweigh religious and cultural differences.
A sad fate for my gay best friend Toste. His wife has a great mask, though.
Þora’s husband has died, so she needs a new one. Since she’s too old for more children, she can safely marry for
love good stats.
I send her out hunting to maintain her health as long as possible. In addition to needing to give Steinn a chance to grow up, she has really excellent stats.
The Count of Sussex is for some reason allied with a sultanate in far-off Spain. Shocking no one, they don’t show up when I kick down his door.
No reason to worry about violent, murderous fanatics.
Jeez, Þora, you only married the guy for his stewardship score.
Great. Thus far I’ve avoided the attention of the Pope and his band of heavily armed psychopaths, but it couldn’t last, especially since I keep burning Rome down. Here we go.
Pope War, The Motion Picture.
Still keeping syphilis at bay!
My troops gather across England and Scandinavia. Unfortunately, though predictably, France has joined in the Crusade. This will be my first confrontation with them, and I can’t say that I’m looking forward to it.
Wait, what? I’m cured of syphilis? I didn’t think that was a thing.
Frisia is simultaneously at war with France, and their army provides some unintentional assistance.
One French force attacks Austrasia directly, while the other heads north for Denmark and Sweden.
I corner the northern army after they’ve suffered through the rough terrain for a while, and give them a good beat-down.
Once they’re beating a hasty retreat, I sail back to Austrasia to confront the rest of the enemy forces, now including some Germans and other hangers-on.
In the very definition of “not helping, bro”, my eldest son Folki decides this would be an excellent time to try and press his claim to the throne. I can’t even plot to kill him! I’ve got a while before he gets his shit together, though.
Once I’ve gathered enough troops, I smash the Crusader armies and liberate the castles they’ve taken. There’s now a French army loose in England, though, and a peasant revolt in Iceland that’s going untended.
Aaaaand here comes Folki. Well done, son.
The revolt in Iceland is getting dangerously close to actually achieving something, so I ship 9,000 troops up there to put a stop to it.
In the background, my combined armies arrive in England to thrash the French and Folki’s troops.
Okay, even if it cures cancer, I can’t approve of eating cats.
Welcome home, son! I kept your room just the way you left it. But you’ll never know, because you’re staying in prison.
Back to France to round up the smaller Crusader armies that are causing trouble.
Really? Iceland again?
“Yeah. Look. It’s not going to go any better this time.”
The French continue to put armies in the field, and I continue to smash them as the warscore ticks up.
Not a bad Crusade, if I do say so myself.
Thanks for the cash, Pope! See you in thirty years!
Is she cheering on Yngvar or the girl?
Age is taking its toll on Þora, but I’d like her to hold on for a few years yet.
As payback for the whole Crusade thing, I head over to burn down Rome again.
Since Luder-Udo’s purges, we’ve knocked back the Catholics quite a bit, and spread Odin-worship in England.
Okay. Anything you can do about cancer?
That didn’t work. How about a mystical treatment, then?
Much better! Maybe don’t be so hard on the guy, Þora, he did just cure cancer.
Once Rome is aflame, Venice is next.
That’s some good Viking!
And my son has come of age, apparently! And chosen an extremely regrettable mustache!
Given that she’s a lesbian, I’m shocked it took her this long to get tired of them.
At 66, Þora is losing her stewardship, but is a better fighter than ever. Her eldest son died in the dungeons, but Folki, improbably, has become King of Denmark.
But not for long. I inherit when he dies childless.
His wife gives birth just a little too late. So long, suckers!
In England, I’m grabbing a county owned by Scotland, so the war takes a little while to win.
Before I can finish, Þora dies. She didn’t get to take quite as much of England as she wanted, but fighting off a Crusade takes up a lot of energy.
Fortunately, Steinn is all grown up and ready to take the throne, with heirs of his own!
He’s not quite the all-rounder his mother was, with great stewardship but weak martial skill. He’s also a secret Christian! I put a stop to that at once.
In spite of Steinn’s hidden indiscretions, the true religion has an increasingly solid grip on the empire.
“I am great! Wait, it costs how much? I’m not that great.”
Scotland concedes the point. Almost all of de jure England is now under my control!
Taking a break from that for a minute, I take this chance to seize a piece of Brunswick that contains a German holy site long lost to the Catholics.
Germanic moral authority is running a little low, actually, mostly because my vassals keep losing wars. Get your shit together, vassals!
Next up, crushing the Duke of Essex for plotting against me.
Better get on with it, though. There’s a storm a-comin’.
And that! Surely the favor of Odin will protect us from the Black Death!
(Spoiler alert: no it will not.)
Steinn bulks up as a result of training his dogs. Serious guys, dogs are like a panacea. Dogs for everyone!
I can fit in a couple more conquests before the end of the world.
Here we go.
Are you sure it’s the flu?
The enemy has vaulted the channel.
While watching the Black Death, I noticed that there’s a huge empire of Manicheans at the eastern end of the map. Awesome.
Steinn frantically builds a hospital.
And recruits a skilled new doctor.
Really? What are the odds of that?
Pretty good, apparently.
I mean, under the circumstances, why not roll the dice?
That was unexpected. A hand for being cured of the Black Death isn’t such a bad deal!
Sadly, my young daughter isn’t as lucky.
“Lucky” in air quotes.
Also, is it me, or is there a chunk of Eastern Europe where the plague is being kept at bay by smallpox? Maybe everyone is already dead.
So the peasants are all “let’s blame everything on the Jews!”, as usual. I’m not going to put up with that, obviously. But (I don’t quite realize at the time) the consequence are quite dire — they’re going to refuse to pay taxes for ten years.
Nothing like catching the Black Death, being maimed and getting an infected wound to stir up the old lustful thoughts!
And Grima’s into it, apparently. Ew.
Against all odds, Steinn survives!
Some peasants launch a revolt, put together an army, and then all immediately die because of, you know, the Black Death.
Finally the plague recedes, heading back east to whence it came. It’s weird to say this, but honestly this wasn’t such a bad Black Death. I didn’t have to eat anybody!
“Yarr, I finally tracked down the white beast what took me hand!”
“Sire, wasn’t it your doctor who –”
“Yarr, shut your pie-hole!”
I’m strongly tempted to jump France while they’re weakened. The only thing that stops me is that the peasants are still mad about the Jews, and I have no money at all.
However! Somehow, an Orthodox dynasty has taken over mostly Catholic France. This will turn out to be most useful in the future.
Instead, I do what I always do when cash runs low — sail overseas and set fire to things!
Current Year: 1122 AD. Current Status: Not Quite Dead!