When we left Empress Grima, she’d just taken over Italy. For reasons I’ll go into below, I decide to wrap up the campaign after one more Great Holy War, so let’s try and get there!
Getting there alive may be harder than planned.
That’s especially unfortunate because my heir Ulfhildr has turned out to be Dull, which hurts her stats badly.
On the religious front, Catholicism has been knocked way back, as I start spreading Odin-worship to Italy.
And just because people are trying to kill me is no reason to be bummed!
A Spanish revolt offers a nice opportunity. The revolt leader isn’t part of the grand alliance and isn’t covered by a truce, so I can grab a duchy off him with a quick holy war.
Needless to say things are wrapped up quickly.
It’s starting to get hard to fit my empire onto one screen!
In the far east, my vassals have fought all the way to Moscow.
Ulfhildr comes of age. She’s not terrible, but she didn’t live up to her early promise, unfortunately.
Shortly thereafter, Grima dies a natural death, bringing her epic reign to a close. Smashing France, Italy, and the Mongols is a pretty good career! Ulfhildr also looks almost exactly like her.
Conveniently, that cancels the truce with the Spanish revolt, which is still ongoing! I quickly start a holy war with them and grab Savoy.
The last Christians in England, a band of Catholic hold-outs in Surrey, finally come over to the winning team.
In spite of her mediocre abilities, Ulfhildr is now “The Sword of Odin”. I’ll take it!
Since my truce with Spain proper is broken as well with Grima’s death, I start a holy war against them too. This means fighting the whole world again, but I’m not very concerned.
As expected, the war comes to a conclusion long before most of the allied forces can even show up.
Rome, meanwhile, has fallen to the Byzantines!
I end up with a revolt of my own, but since France and Scandinavia stay loyal, it’s pretty easy to crush.
There have been so many of these the game has literally stopped counting.
I kind of wish I could cede the throne to my older sister Elin, actually, because she’s become amazing, with a martial score approaching the likes of Ottarr or Genghis Khan. I make her my marshal and general instead.
Once the revolt is over, Ulfhildr tries for five years of peace, to raise her stewardship and prepare for the upcoming crusade.
Inexplicably, though, the Aslamids in Spain declare war on me, to contest the claim of some random temple holding in the middle of nowhere. What?
It doesn’t go well for them. If they couldn’t beat me with the entire world on their side, why do they think they can do it alone?
I already hold the Empires of Scandinavia, Germania, and Brittania. I could usurp Francia now — the current holder no longer has any land in its territory. The problem is that I’d then get it with laws intact, including succession laws, which would be a pain to change and could result in my realm breaking up. No thanks.
Since Spain so helpfully abrogated their truce with me, I counter-attack and grab another duchy off them in a holy war.
Things are looking cleaner by the minute!
Another holy war, this time to grab some stray Italian territory. Irritatingly I don’t get it all, because some is occupied by their other enemies. We can sort that out later, I suppose.
Odin and Thor are everywhere triumphant!
Ulfhildr’s heir is coming along. Hopefully he’s smarter than his mother.
My sister Elin, in her forties but still a mighty warrior, leads a campaign against the Byzantines to claim part of Croatia.
I’m getting ready for a Great Holy War of my own, but the Pope beats me to the punch. Apparently he wants his fancy house back.
Pope War III: The Search for Pope. (Considering I endured something like 10+ crusades in my Jewish game, three is not so bad!)
Fortunately there just aren’t that many Catholic powers left. He’s got the crusading orders and a few steppe nomands.
Bjorn, Nonsense Doctor.
“It’s cancer, Doctor Bjorn! What should we do?”
“Off with her leg!”
Actually not a bad recovery time, all things considered.
“I prescribe 1,000,000 CCs of dog!”
The crusade drags on. The Pope no longer has any territory for me to attack, so it’s just whack-a-mole whenever his various armies decide to have another try at me.
Do diplomats really get weather-bitten?
The Crusade finally ends. Thanks for the donation, your holiness!
With that accomplished, I can finally launch my own Great Holy War for the heart of Spain.
Duchess Elin, now known as The Lionheart and fightier than ever, leads my forces to the front. Honestly, though, the hardest thing is getting everyone there without starving.
A peasant revolt breaks out in Poitiers literally as my giant army is marching past. That seems like a bad time to revolt, guys.
The actual war is pretty brief. Half the fun is getting there, I guess.
That’s a lot of Scandinavia!
On the other side of the world, the Byzantines seem to have fractured badly, too…
But, I think it’s about time to bring our Scandinavian adventure to a close. Astute readers might notice that the game doesn’t require you to end before 1453, so I technically have about a hundred and fifty years left. So why stop here?
Well, basically, because I’ve won. I’ve long since completed my initial goals of uniting Scandinavia, reforming the German religion, and becoming feudal. I figured taking over France would be the endgame, but we rolled over them and just kept on going. With my last holy war having gutted Spain, there’s literally just no one left who can stop me. My levies total about 200,000 men — the biggest remaining powers, like Jerusalem, the Byzantines, and the largest of the Muslim empires can barely muster 30,000.
Also, as you might be able to tell from this section, things get a little less interesting story-wise at this point. If I kept going, it would just be more of the same — holy war after holy war. They’re kind of boring to play, too, since it takes way more time to gather up my armies and deliver them to the target then to actually win the war.
So, let’s call that an empire!
My dynasty score of 244,678 is in the same range as the one from my Israel game. If I played out another hundred and fifty years, it’d probably be higher, since I’m holding something like four empires now!
Let’s take a look at our kings:
Top to bottom, left to right. Standouts include Gloð, whose 52-year rule prepared the way for the infamous Ottarr to reform the religion and convert to feudalism, plus eat his children; Luder-Udo, whose record 62-year reign cemented the power of the Empire; Gorm, who crippled France, and Grima, who presided over the final ascension of Scandinavia to ultimate European superpower.
My strategy of ultimogeniture worked pretty well, too. After Wulfhild changed the succession laws, we had a few regencies, but nothing catastrophic, and plenty of very long and successful reigns.
It’s fun playing with Gender Equality turned on, too, even if it creates a few weirdnesses succession-wise. Viking warrior-queens for everyone, and thanks for reading!
Current Year: 1307 AD. Current Status: Victorious!