When we left Emperor Steinn, he’d taken over much of England, but Scotland, Wales, and Ireland still remained.
Steinn is also looking to further reform the government. Specifically, switching to Imperial Administration would give me a much larger vassal limit, and allow for a “no internal wars” law, which would hopefully cause my vassals to redirect their energies into external conquest. This becomes very useful as the threat of vast coalitions against me restricts my own conquering.
Ireland and Wales: still a mess. They should welcome the civilizing hand of the Scandinavians!
My wife Empress Grima is the best field general in the Empire. Love you, honey!
In between battles, though, she likes to keep up with the latest fashions.
Another county falls, beginning my gradual takeover of Wales.
For some reason the Duke of Northumberland is vassal to the King of Bohemia?
Humility is for losers.
Um. Who wouldn’t want a romantic assignation with a much older, horribly disfigured woman?
Though there’s a terribly sad story here somewhere, the elderly, disfigured widow hopefully leaving wildflowers in the emperor’s tent…
Unsurprisingly, the King of Bohemia didn’t jump at the chance to defend Cumberland. That’s all of England under my iron fist!
Scotland is united, but fairly weak, and run by a twelve-year-old. It’s time to settle up with them.
For the first time, I use my power as Fylkir to declare a Great Holy War — essentially a Germanic Crusade. If I win, it gives me the chance to take over an entire kingdom all at once, instead of just a county or a duchy. The downside is anyone of the same religion can join the defender, so it’s a bit of a gamble. I’m assuming the rest of the Welsh and Irish will join, but if the French throw in as well, things are going to get tricky.
The gods demand blood!
Somewhat to my surprise, only a few Welsh petty kings turn up to help the Scots. The crusade is almost an anti-climax.
Victory is ours! Praise Thor!
At a stroke, all of Scotland is ours, minus a few counties they still hold in Ireland. It kicks my threat way up, of course, and I have to spend some time distributing all the titles to loyal vassals.
In the process, I discover that one of my sons is imprisoned by his own wife. I’m sure he deserved it.
Most importantly, Britain now has a nice clean label!
My beloved wife/foe-mangler has cancer, but Doctor Vagn is on the case, and she recovers nicely.
As I wait for my threat to tick down again, the Pope decides to have another go at taking over Austrasia.
Pope War II: The Wrath of Pope!
Fortunately, about half of France is in revolt, so I’m hoping the largest Catholic power won’t have much to contribute.
And so it proves! The French are fully occupied, so I’m only facing Italy and the Crusader orders.
Grima finally dies, sadly. I get a new wife who’s a better administrator but not half as skilled at carving my enemies’ hearts out.
Since I’ve got some troops to spare, I send an army to camp on the Pope’s front lawn and see how he likes it.
Ambition: also for losers.
I prepare for a final showdown with the Papal mercenaries.
Poor Rikassa has not given up. At least she sent me a sword! Dudes love swords.
Taking over the Pope’s personal castles is shockingly effective at getting him to give up on the Crusade. Something to remember for the future. I take the victory and a nice chunk of cash.
Some of my vassals are turning Catholic again, starting with Ragnarr of Slupsk. Another great name!
My son Oddr is all grown up! He’s frail, ambitious, diligent and greedy, but most importantly Midas Touched. While his martial is only fair, his stewardship is fantastic. Well done, son!
Steinn tries for five years of peace, to give his threat a chance to tick down.
Which is ruined immediately by a rebellious Jarl who wants to murder me. He’s just … angry, for some reason? The revolt goes predictably poorly for him.
Oddr is quick off the starting block!
He has a second son just as fast, but this time his wife dies in childbirth.
Fortunately I find him a new, awesome wife.
I’m not a doctor, but that seems unlikely.
On the whole, though, I like this doctor!
Oddr is off to prove his mettle in the Varangian Guard.
Rikassa is almost seventy, but she hasn’t given up hope of her true love.
This guy wants to be on the council. Actually, he kind of looks like Abe Lincoln? I’m just going to call him Abe of Lincoln.
As my threat continues to decrease, I set Venice on fire again. Raiding isn’t “war” and doesn’t increase your threat, for some reason.
This feels like the start of a horror movie. Also, what the fuck, guards? Is “your guards are all drinking in the tavern” the medieval equivalent of “my cellphone gets no reception”?
Fortunately, Sveinn turns out to be a good sort.
Another of my Jarls has turned Christian!
Fortunately his heir has not, and everyone hates him, so he should be easy to kill.
There. Much easier than fighting a war.
Don’t look so shocked, Steinn. I mean, Jarl Dan? Come on.
Steinn’s shock is apparently terminal. He did a fine job, winning me my first Great Holy War and fending off a Crusade.
Oddr’s back from the Varangians, and considerably improved from the experience.
In fact, at 25, he’s pretty awesome overall! Although he’s inherited his father’s regrettable taste in mustaches.
Threat is finally wearing off, too.
The raiders sent out by Steinn return from a truly epic vike!
“I’m King of the Whales! Mwoooo! Mroooo!”
“Really? Are you sure?”
“Well, that sucks.”
The options here are “kindness” and “envy”, but not “off with their heads”? Sigh.
Now that I am the Whaleking I can claim Welsh counties de jure, which generates less threat.
France is still ruled by Orthodox Greeks, which makes their ruler a Basileus. This may explain why they didn’t join in the Crusade, actually.
“These are descendants of Faithful. They will guard you well, but never skip a feeding.”
The remaining Irish and Welsh are weak enough that my vassals are getting in on the act, seizing land for themselves. Since I’m limited by threat, I’m totally fine with this.
I can now declare myself Emperor of Brittania as well! This doesn’t actually do anything for me (except make my vassals jealous) but it increases my prestige gain considerably.
About that making my vassals jealous, though…
Sveinn! I thought we were friends! You saved Dad that time!
Not cool, bros. Not cool.
Parchment and ink are ruining today’s youth!
Also, apparently Oddr did something evil while in Byzantium?
Wait, what? I call shenanigans!
Okay, Oddr, what the fuck did you do down there?
Seriously? What’s next?
Oh. Um, sure?
Once again, plague == sexytimes.
Meanwhile, the revolt has turned out to be easily the worst in my history, taking years to get under control. I finally chase the rebels armies out of Scandinavia and sack their capital in Scotland, bringing the terror to a close.
In the process, Luxembourg has somehow gained its independence? Fortunately, its ruler sees reason and agrees to rejoin the realm without a fight.
On the plus side, Scandinavia is almost completely purged of Catholics! And Britain is coming along.
At 34, Oddr is slightly less effective and a lot weirder. His youngest son is only 1, so I’m hoping he lives a while yet.
I don’t want to leap to judgment, but that seems bad.
“The peasants are revolting!”
“Yes, and they’re rising up against their rightful masters!”
Honestly I think this is just a duty of my family line. Once every few generations, an av Nordland is called on to defended the mortal world against Things from Beyond.
Even the beautiful young women who apparently abound in the woods have turned on me! Attack!
*comes to, covered in blood*
“Guys, I think I have a problem.”
To take his mind off things, Oddr declares a holy war for the biggest kingdom in Ireland.
I like that the previous chancellor is annoyed at being fired, but not more annoyed at being replaced by a horse.
In spite of his attractiveness, no one will marry Glitterhoof.
However, largely thanks to Glitterhoof’s skillful diplomacy, the holy war comes to a successful conclusion.
I make my eldest son Viceroy of Ireland, in hope that he will subdue the remaining Irish without my help.
Oddr is just crazy enough to go for this.
For a change of pace, I head over over to burn down Cyrenaica instead.
One of my vassals has apparently acquired Serbia, possibly while high.
Connacht has been taken over by a Germanic adventurer, who wisely agrees to become my vassal. So that’s most of Ireland in the bag.
Who could resist that silky mane?
Definitely good to be the Fylkir.
This confused me. At first, I thought it just meant Essex would turn Catholic, which isn’t so bad. But it’s much worse than that.
The entire realm has turned Catholic! By Odin’s beard!
That’s a lot of work to do over again. I think the Society of Jesus is to blame for this…
Current Year: 1162 AD. Current Status: Surrounded by Catholics!