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In Progress Odin demands blood! Let's revive the Viking Age in Crusader Kings 2!

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by Kayerts, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

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    Google image search for angry vikings turned up no suitably angry people with hornless helmets :(
    In my defense, there are actual, honest-to-Odin horned helmets on display in the national museum of history in Copenhagen. But their use was ceremonial.

    New page. Now make with ze updatan!
     
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  2. Kalin Arcane Zionist Agent

    Kalin
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    They were probably early prototypes of the distinguished beer hat.

    In fact, J_C should wear such a helmet, that way he could finish off each episode by drinking beer from both of the horns for maximum prestige gain.

    (his avatar is already a prophetic revelation of this grand act to come)
     
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  3. Luzur Prestigious Gentleman Good Sir

    Luzur
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    those helmets also pre-date the viking age with some hundred years, to the Vendel Age.
     
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  4. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

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    :rpgcodex:
     
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  5. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Codex 2012
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

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    Fixed
     
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  7. GarfunkeL Racism Expert

    GarfunkeL
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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Fucking animu weeaboos, majority of google images with "valkyrie" are now tainted with that shit.
     
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  8. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

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    [​IMG]
     
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  9. GarfunkeL Racism Expert

    GarfunkeL
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    Who said Loli-Hitler is a rational actor? :hearnoevil:
     
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  10. newcomer Learned

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    [​IMG]

    To the most deplorable Queen Maer of Sweden:

    Tales of your empty promises of updates have been heard from Ireland to Cathay. This is a formal declaration of WAR! Our army shall meet on the battlefield.

    :mob:
     
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  11. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

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    [​IMG]
    ...And then the BATTLEPOPE invaded sweden, raped Queen Maer, crushed her castles beneath his mighty fists and salted the ground. No viking was ever heard from again. The end.


    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. exe Augur

    exe
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    Why the squids?
     
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  13. Quetzacoatl Liturgist

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    UPDATE,NOW!
     
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  14. Jaedar Arcane Patron

    Jaedar
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    Project: Eternity Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    You would let the heretics win Kayerts ?
     
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  15. jonnypolen Liturgist

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    Disappointment, thy name is Kayerts! :mad:
     
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  16. Kayerts Arcane

    Kayerts
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    VIII. RISE OF THE VALKYRIE

    1. Fair Is Foul And Foul Is Fair


    Show Spoiler


    The king is dead. Thor save the queen.

    This is actually the first thing that happens after Maer takes the throne:

    [​IMG]

    So . . . a 24-year-old lady poet presides over a kingdom of leering Viking reavers. Cool. Maybe she can scare off the Russo-German legions with some free verse about lesbian experimentation.

    You may recall from the last update that King Mjolnir wasn't the biggest fan of women. (It was pretty subtle in the write-up, but if you look closely, there were some hints.) From this you may well wonder why he allowed a young lady to succeed him. How did a small girl rise to rule over the manliest motherfuckers in the world?

    [​IMG]

    The answer is that she's a living avatar of destruction.

    Behold the culmination of four generations of careful breeding. For some perspective, I checked Paradox's hand-designed historical timeline. Here's a shot of the Lord of the Four Colors and Five Tongues, the Scourge of God, the Emperor of All Men, the Geng-benger himself:

    [​IMG]

    The most successful conqueror in the history of the real world is represented with a martial score of 23. Maer's is 27.

    Earlier in the thread, someone (I'm guessing Mondblut) asked about getting a ruler with stats of 18/18/18/18/18/18. Maer's average score rounds to 20. (For non-players: 10 represents a high level of skill in a trait, master-level competence is 14, and traits generally stop giving scripted benefits at 20.) There is some debate among the Norse priesthood about whether she is human or a literal valkyrie.

    She is, in short, one bad dude.

    Her only handicap is her redundant second X chromosome. Paradox hates women, so this is actually significant. For starters, all Viking men--from proud young champions to the stalwart veterans of three decades of endless war--are scared of girls and their cooties. Indeed, among the Norse nobility, dark rumors whisper that Maer may indeed be the Cootie Queen.

    In-game, this is represented as a -10 opinion modifier with all male vassals, the same as Mjolnir's penalty for being gay. From this we can conclude that Paradox is an even-handed game designer who punishes everyone who likes dick equally. Maer's stats and ridiculous number of positive traits give her a base relations modifier of +40, though, so that's well overshadowed.

    Other Women's Issues are more significant. Being a girl means Maer doesn't get to personally lead troops or hold hunts. The latter doesn't actually hurt, but not being able to use the most talented commander ever born to actually command her men is a bit irritating.

    Finally, female rulers get boned not only in the course of actual marriages but also by marriage mechanics. I want Maer's children to be of the Eketra Dynasty, because otherwise, they'll be unplayable. This is an issue, because the AI is much less willing to martilineally marry talented men (because the liege loses a top-rate councillor and does not gain an alliance) than talented women (since the only position available for medieval female geniuses is a Ph.D. in Lying There And Taking It). I can order any courtier I have to marry Maer, but all the talented male courtiers are her relatives, and I'm not looking to turn House Eketra into House Targaryen.[1] Long story short, Maer probably won't get a proper Trophy Husband.
    ___
    [1] Yet.

    For now, she's married to a man named Bror, who is such a bro that he is required by Viking Law to warn everyone about it in his name. Statwise, The Man Who Would Be Bro is a good commander but otherwise unremarkable. He's also pushing 70, and is thus unlikely to survive all the baby-making sessions the queen will be wanting.

    With all that said, the fact remains that we're playing a demigod and have no excuse for not bringing utter ruin on our enemies.


    2. Something Wicked This Way Comes

    Show Spoiler

    Some notes on historicity:

    Having a lady poet at the head of the Viking nation isn't that absurd, in the cultural context. While this thread probably isn't the best venue for a dissertation on Feminism and the Gender Politics of Berserking, here's a short history of gender roles: they change a lot, and one of the more significant variables that dictate those changes is economic demand. Because life in the far north was hard, and because of the expeditionary nature of Viking raids, Viking women by necessity had more influence and autonomy than contemporaneous Christian women, at least in the higher eschelons of their respective societies.

    Furthermore, poets (and especially skalds) were highly respected in Norse culture, since they were the keepers of histories and cultural traditions. Odin himself was one of the patron gods of poetry. And Maer's poems are all dirges for the Allfather's enemies.

    The Norsemen have other reasons to fall in line behind Maer. Ravens alight on her while she walks, and feral cats trail after her as though tame. She is of Gungnir the Trickster's blood and wears Odin's favor as a mantle. The many cults of the True Powers kneel before her as one. Within months the god-touched queen is acclaimed as Maer the Wise.[1]

    In twenty years, she will be called by a different name.
    __
    [1] Indeed, she is said to be so wise that she can bind the winds of the world in a single strand.

    * * *

    Maer's own unruly Finns, alas, are unawed by the marks of the Norse gods' favor. In Suomi and Uusimaa vast hordes of peasants clamor in defiance, presumably to demand Cootie Shots.

    [​IMG]

    Maer assures the rebels that none of them will die from cooties, then orders them slaughtered to the last man.

    Maer cannot take part in the battle, but she waits among the fires of the Viking camp. When the fighting ends, she takes up her grandfather Gungnir's spear. Then she walks the field amid the slain, marking the strongest of the fallen. Her men follow after, gathering the marked ones' skulls and mortaring them into a tower, to stand as a monument to the futility of opposing Odin.

    * * *

    All who challenged Maer's right to rule are slain, but there will be more to come. The Shield of Valhalla is no more, Maer reflects. The threat of Byzantine intervention will no longer keep the Allfather's enemies from Nordic shores. Sooner or later, there will be war with a vast power, greater than our own.

    The Battle of Sweden is over. The Battle of the North is about to begin.


    Since it ascended to the throne of Sweden, House Eketra's gained a lot of ground and done well for itself. But at the end of the day, there are two superpowers around the Baltic, and we aren't one of them. There are still enough smaller pagans around Lithuania and Finland to keep Rus' and the HRE off our backs for a while, but not forever.

    We have two real options now. The first is to chip away at the smaller Finns and move into Norway proper, expanding away from the Christian juggernauts. If things go well enough, we could even take a note from Norway's book and hit the smaller Christian kingdoms in the North Atlantic. It'll involve throwing the Finnish and Baltic pagans to the wolves, but they'll hopefully distract said wolves long enough for us to build up our strength against them. It'll be slow, but it'll take us out of harm's way.

    Maer intends to go in harm's way.


    3. Friends, Pagans, Countrymen

    Show Spoiler

    A call goes out from Uppland to all the pagan lords in the North. Akhemiella of Bjarmia, Boleslava of Lithuania, the High Chiefs of the Zemigalians, the Livonians, and the Kola Sami; all are summoned to the plains of Suomenselka. The entire ruling house of each pagan nation is invited, and many nobles join their leaders. For the new Queen In The North has called for a grand council whose judgment will decide the fate of the pagan peoples.

    Few dare refuse the call. All have watched the Christian tide lapping away at their lands. The Lords Eketra declined any firm alliance with other pagans, but now that Maer heads the most powerful pagan nation, perhaps a woman's touch might build a coalition such as the Viking men disdained.

    All around the Baltic, the high lords of the pagan world gather, bringing their craftiest arguments to lay before the council. It is known that Maer has called them to form a unified pagan response to Christian encroachment. But what the response should be, how the nations will organize, what should be done, the Reich or Rus--which is better, and why?--all these are questions that the nobles intend to discuss.

    [​IMG]

    Maer does not come to discuss. She is come to speak judgment. She unfurls the Raven Banner before the assembled nobles on the plains of Suomenselka, and she gives the first and last speech of the council.

    Soundtrack -- video is kinda hot

    On the plains of Suomenselka, Maer tells the pagans that there can be but one sun. In the wake of her words comes war.

    Maer's speech is like oil poured over fire. The high chiefs of the pagan world depart in great wrath, swearing that neither they nor their people will ever serve the Vikings. But like the words of Loki, their promises are worthless: fully one third of their families stay behind to swear fealty to the one true queen.

    With the pagan world divided and on the brink of war, the time is ripe for a shrewd Christian leader to crush all beneath his boot. The prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire, demonstrating their characteristic strategic acumen, decide to intimidate the pagans into submission by punching themselves in the balls:

    [​IMG]

    Imagine what terrible fate awaits our enemies, when we would punch our own balls to achieve victory! :ballpunch:

    (You may recall Mjolnir had old Kaiser Poppo killed. The new kaiser was a sickly old man, and without our intervention, he'd never have lived to see the throne. With our intervention, he lived long enough to die at an inopportune time, without a clear heir. That is why the HRE currently has the stability of a Jenga tower constructed out of dicks.)


    4. Out, Damned Spot On The Map

    Show Spoiler

    Duly impressed, Maer determines that the time is ripe to make good on her promise to the pagan chiefs. Her thoughts are interrupted by sad news:

    [​IMG]

    Prince-Consort Bror the Bro has died! Sorry bro! You'll be bro-fisting brO-din in Valhalla now!

    His death leaves a vacancy, one which Maer sees about filling. The fiercest of all the pagans who swore to serve her at Suomenselka is Asllat of Bjarmia, the nephew of High Chief Ahkemiella. For service, Maer grants him land seized from a Christian baron; for his good looks and bravery, she honors him by making him the new Prince-Consort; and for his claim on Bjarmia, she launches the Unification Wars in the name of the Father of Gods and Men.

    [​IMG]

    In Bjarmia, High Chief Ahkemiella laughs. Who is this untested girl who would make war on the Old Bear? She has more men, but she is alone. Bjarmia's allies, including the dreaded Khan of the Cumans, will be here soon, and they come with over ten thousand reinforcements. More, Bjarmaland is impenetrable. Its heartland lies hundreds of miles from the Baltic, guarded by walls of ice. It will take Maer a year to even march her men here. Even if she musters them at Uusimaa by fleet, it will be months before her invasion will arrive.

    When it does, she will find that the land itself defies the Viking onslaught. The forests will mock their numbers. The winds will pierce their mail. Jomali himself will bury them in his snows. When Ahkemiella's allies arrive, Maer's dream of pagan unification will see realization--but on his terms, not hers.

    He is gathering his men to him and preparing to march to blunt the Viking invasion at the Karelian border. It is then that a panicked watchman comes running:

    [​IMG]

    Viking longships are in the White Sea, coming out of the fog and almost at the shore. Maer has sent her men through ice to bring the doom of Bjarmia. From his high tower, Akemiella watches the Valhallan general leap from the prow of the Viking flagship, axe held high. His eyes narrow as he sees the banner of his own house. It is then that he realizes he is looking down at his nephew . . .

    The battle was won before it started. The Vikings had more men, stronger men, and a field commander who knew the land as his once and future home. The Bjarmalanders had thirty minutes to prepare for battle against the deadliest warriors in the North. To their credit, the Men of the Bear will fight bravely; Maer never doubted their courage. Only their results.

    Asllat himself leads the vanguard of every charge. Some say he is eager to prove himself to his future subjects; others say he fears his foes' swords less than he does returning to Maer empty-handed. Regardless, he destroys all who stand against his queen's gods.

    Ahkemiella pulls out hastily, hoping to regroup and stem the Viking onslaught. That hope is in vain. From Uppland, Maer launches a second fleet, with half again as many men.

    Soon thereafter, there is different news in Uppland:

    [​IMG]

    Jarl Arne of Uppland has declared the War to Make The Kingdom Safe from Cooties. We've had plenty of revolts, but this is the first time one has been led by a Norse jarl. Arne would bring his hundreds against Maer's ten thousand; I can only assume he has gone mad from cooties.

    Maer orders Arne to cease his impotent defiance, but her envoy is turned away on suspicion of having cooties.

    The news of Arne's betrayal reaches Asllat in Bjarmia. He would rush home to defend his queen, but she paired it with orders not to return without a Bjarmian highlord's skull to sacrifice. As the only qualifying head in his possession is his own, Asllat decides it would be wisest to finish his campaign.

    The war in the north goes well, but bad news continues from the south:

    [​IMG]

    Halfdan II, the Wholedan, Grand Duke of Skane and Mjolnir's old enemy, has declared a war. He is coming north, seeking vengeance for his father's death. (Nevermind that his father tried to invade us before we ruined his shit . . . )

    This is bad. We've lost enough warriors in the Bjarmian campaign that Skane's armies outnumber our own. Worse, all our men are months away, so our traditional strategy of destroying the Danish armies before they can fully muster just won't work. Asllat writes to Maer, begging for leave to return to her defense. Her response gives him leave to eat a dick. Vikings, she informs him, do not leave live enemies behind them.

    An uncompromising doctrine! Kind of impressive, but possibly stupid. We can only hope the siege of Bjarmia finishes before the siege of Sweden does.

    [​IMG]

    Two years later, Ahkemiella can fight no more. He offers his Asllat his crown. Asllat offers him his axe. The young chief hoists high his uncle's head before his new subjects and shouts that Bjarmia and Valhalla now stand as one. Mixed cheers follow.

    This has been the greatest conquest in Norse history. We have gained eight provinces, and when Asllat's marshal finishes training up his new army, we'll have seven thousand more soldiers to die for the Death God. Maer sends her congratulations to Asllat: "It's a good start."

    Note the shot of our council in this pic; they're absurdly talented. Of particular note is our nephew and new chancellor, the 16-year-old Thord III:

    [​IMG]

    whose stats are almost as silly as Maer's. We've found our heir.

    Now to ensure he has a kingdom left to inherit.

    Thor, save our gracious Queen,
    Long live our noble Queen,
    Thor, save The Queen
    Send her victorious,
    Happy and glorious,
    Long to reign over us:
    Thor, save the Queen.


    5. And If You Wrong Us

    Show Spoiler


    [​IMG]

    Soundtrack

    Two months later, Asllat's wounded army sits in the Sound, waiting for a fury. Out of the sunrise a lone ship comes. The black sails signal that the queen herself has sailed out to meet them. Maer quickly boards the Prince-Consort's flagship.

    Her arms are covered in blood. "My queen!" Asllat says, rushing to her. "Are you well? I warned you about the Danish blockade!"

    "Obstacles were encountered, engaged, eliminated." Maer says without looking at him, still surveying the fleet. Girlish glee flickers over her face as her eyes alight on Ahkemiella's skull, mounted on the mainmast. "One sun," she murmurs, then finally turns to her husband.

    "Excellent work, Valhallan. You have proven yourself able in our service, but now direct intervention is necessary. We are taking command." She raises her voice. "MEN! You have fought well. I would see all of you sent home, but first we must see our foes sent to Hel." To the captain: "Make for Sodermanland. The blood of traitors shall paint Valhalla a brighter shade."

    [​IMG]

    So here's the score: Skane has overrun almost all the entire south of Sweden and has a small but significant numerical advantage. The traitor jarl has an additional 900 men. We can't win a straight fight, so instead, we're going to try to win a really gay fight.

    [​IMG]

    You can barely see it here, but the Skanian army is below the tooltip. All three armies rotated counterclockwise, the Upplanders fleeing in mad terror before the Cootiebearers of Hel, as they call Maer's troops. As a result, all three armies essentially whiff. This is the stupidest opening to a battle ever. Maer's brother Kol expresses his disdain for her plans:

    "Strategic genius? More like doesn't have a penis," he sniffs. "Because you're a girl. With ovaries."

    "That . . . isn't even close to sounding like 'strategic genius,' you're just making up words," Maer objects. "It'd be like me saying, 'Kol? More like butts.'"

    "Whatever, sis, nothing's gayer than women."

    [​IMG]


    The Skanians begin their march, and it looks like the Norsemen are cornered. "Your utero-strategies are going to get us all killed," Kol complains. "I hope you have some clever plan to ovulate on the enemy or something, because from where I'm standing, it looks like--wait. Why are there Russians in our camp?"

    "Friends of the family," Maer answers.

    "And the whole world's enemies," the Russian captain adds.

    [​IMG]

    What happened here is that we hired the Sons of Rurik, a Russian offshoot of the Victual Brothers. They appeared at our capital at Uppland, gladly answering the call of Rurik's Viking kinsmen. We sailed our fleet into Lake Malaren[1] and ferried the mercs over to join forces with the main warhost, then marched on the traitor forces at Narke.

    ____
    [1] This may be anachronistic. Lake Malaren is a geographic oddity. It used to be a bay of the Baltic. However, at some point--usually pegged at sometime during the 12th century--rising land from post-glacial rebound resulted in it being cut off from the sea. It would have been dangerous if not impossible to sail a full fleet into it by 1170.

    The traitors somehow managed to make it to Vastermanland almost entirely intact, where they made common cause with the Danes. In short, all three armies whiffed again, and now our enemies are stronger.

    "Maybe you could distract our enemies by having a baby," Kol suggests helpfully.

    "Shut the fuck up," Maer explains.

    The Valhallan army turns around and marches back to Vastermanland. Maer gives the battle orders: "Kol will be leading the charge. Alone. Hope you don't die, bro! :bro: "

    You can imagine her disappointment when he doesn't. The Uppland forces flee from the lone Viking attacking their left flank, certain that he must be some cootie-ridden peasant sent to weaken their army with girl-cooties. They cleverly elude him and run into the main Viking host.

    [​IMG]

    The result is the largest battle in Norse history, and one of its most decisive victories. Kol's troops and the Russians swarm over the main allied general. On the left, Asllat finds the Skanians led by an actual retarded person.[2] He spends most of the battle distracted by rumors that Maer is having a baby. With the allies' right and left flanks down, and Kol and Asllat closing in, the allied center bursts apart, the Upplanders fleeing north, and the Danes splattering south. Since the Danes have by far the larger surviving contingent, we pursue them back to Narke and annihilate them.
    __
    [2] I don't know why that guy's in charge; the marshal of Skane was on that flank, and he is a 24-martial god of the battlefield.

    [​IMG]

    Wholedan begins to gather a second army, but it'll be some time yet before we have to face the Double Dan. In the interim, we'll deal with Arne.

    [​IMG]

    On that note, our would-be heir and chancellor Thord is asking for land. "Actually," Maer says, "we have just the fief in mind."

    [​IMG]

    Encouraged by our promises, Thord begins fighting a different sort of battle against the Danes. Maer does not intend to be defending in the next war she fights.

    [​IMG]

    Maer orders her troops re-raised; when they've had time to muster again, that gives her another two thousand soldiers. Then she turns them toward the traitors' holdings.

    Jarl Arne, seeing that his rebellion has failed, puts on his most diplomatic face, points to the Skanian invasion that threatens them all, and attempts to placate his erstwhile queen.

    [​IMG]

    He finds she is implacable.

    [​IMG]

    When forced to yield to altogether less advantageous terms--unconditional surrender--Arne the Cruel, now known as Arne the Tool, begs Maer to forgive his transgressions.

    The poet queen responds with a verse of her own:

    While Arne's heart still burns on Odin's altars, Thord III is crowned Jarl of Uppland. He is now a high lord of the realm and eligible to inherit the throne when Maer dies.


    6. Against A Sea of Troubles

    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]

    Seven years into the war, the Danes are the only foe remaining. Amusingly enough, Marshal Markus is plotting against us. As long as he has a martial score of 25, he can plot his ineffectual plots in freedom. We have need of strong leadership now.

    We've waited a long time, and the second Skanian host, bolstered by mercenaries, is almost fully assembled. We take to the seas again, sneak behind the main host's back:

    [​IMG]

    And then stab them in the guts.

    [​IMG]

    With no reinforcements coming, our men make short work of the main Danish army.

    [​IMG]

    A third Danish muster is raised, and for the third time, they fall.

    [​IMG]

    The Wholedan graciously suggests that Maer and he make peace. This bickering is childish, really, he says. Let's let bygones be bygones, he proposes. Let's lay aside questions of who invaded whom, he suggests.

    "Are you prepared to hear our counteroffer?" Maer asks.

    "I--"

    "You will die. All your men, and all their sons, and anyone who so much as looked as your northern border will also die. Your fleets will be scuttled. Your treasury will be mine."

    "I find this proposal uncharitable."

    "In time, you will learn how merciful it was."

    [​IMG]

    Speaking of which, our new Jarl continues to do excellent work. We now have claims on the entire duchy of Sjaelland, the richest land in northern Europe.

    The Viking host continues to swat at the Danes like so many pestilential flies.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Sometimes this proves profitable.

    [​IMG]

    Wholedan's vast him wealth buys ever-more mercenaries. They come back like weeds, and we cut them down again.

    [​IMG]

    What we really need is to rip out the roots, though. Maer sets three hosts to siege castles, while the remaining army is set to break any additional waves the moment they're raised, effectively holding Wholedan's head underwater.

    [​IMG]

    While we're doing that, the second richest province in Sweden converts to the True Faith. Odin must be growing strong from all the slain Maer brings him.

    [​IMG]

    We also betroth our son Birger to a Capet. She's a bright girl, and perhaps an alliance with the king of France will keep the Christians off our doorstep a while longer.

    [​IMG]

    In Smaland, the last Skanian army rises. The Viking Peacekeeping Forces begin to move in to pacify the area.

    [​IMG]

    And they get completely stomped, despite having half again as many men. I'd be inclined to blame our relative lack of flanks, but I think it was more a matter of a superior commander and highly defensible terrain.

    We regroup and prepare to try a second time, but before we can:

    [​IMG]

    The Wholedan surrenders. Given the offer and the circumstances, Maer accepts. Her dragonships sit low in the water as they trickle back to Uppland, holds glut with Danish gold. And in Uppland and Sodermanland, Maer begins the alchemy that will turn Danish gold into Norse steel.

    Now the hurly-burly's done; now the battle's lost and won. And now, for the first time in nine years, Valhalla knows peace.

    One month later:

    [​IMG]

    GOD DAMMIT NARKE.

    Soldiers are recalled, castles are sieged, heads are mounted, and at the end of nine ten years of war:

    [​IMG]

    Maer is exalted. Some call her great; others, divine. Across the Baltic and beyond, the princes of Christ-Men fear her name. Something must be done, they say.

    Maer looks back across the water, having decided likewise long ago.


    7. Daggers in Maer's Smiles

    Show Spoiler

    Odin, our god, arise,
    Scatter her enemies,
    And make them fall.
    Confound their politics,
    Frustrate their knavish tricks,
    On thee our hopes we fix,
    Odin save us all.

    With the conquest of Bjarmia comes new borders, and with new borders, we have a dire new enemy. Here is an old map; Rus' has only grown since then:

    [​IMG]

    Now the Russians are at our gates. They stand behind a twice-crowned king who sweeps all before him. With an iron fist and a heart as hard, he has brought the Hungarian counts and the grand dukes of Rus to bow before a single throne. The empire that he forged threatens to spread east until it covers the great steppes.

    Even now, Rus' rivals the might of the Holy Roman Empire. If their people keep up the pace over the next fifty years, the Golden Horde's Invasion of Europe is going to be known to Russian scholars as The Funny Little Battle.

    We are going to ensure that they don't keep up the pace.

    Szilveszter's son is less mighty than his father, but still makes an equally charming corpse.

    [​IMG]

    His grandson . . . hm.

    His grandson, Maer will let live. She will even send him a gift of 20 gold, one monarch to another, to welcome him into his new reign. Let us see how the conquered dukes greet their new boy liege.

    [​IMG]

    It seems their welcome lacks a certain warmth.

    Thus begins the Great Unpatriotic War, the longest civil war in Russian history. It will last half a century. When the dust clears, Hungary will break away from Russian sovereignty for a few years before being consumed by the exasperated Eastern Emperor, who has been watching this idiocy go on for his entire life and is finally fed up. Rus' itself will ultimately consolidate for a few years under a new king, a lad who had survived so many poisonings that he'd acquired a taste for venom. But by then--

    Well, I'm getting ahead of myself.

    Suffice to say that while Gungnir the Trickster's daggers carved out the Valhallan kingdom, Maer's proved equally capable at cutting its rivals down to size.



    8. He's Mad That Trusts In The Tameness of a Bear

    Show Spoiler


    Soundtrack

    Alas, Maer is not the only one with assassins.

    [​IMG]

    Prince-Consort Asllat dies childless at the venerable age of 32. Maer has him buried according to the laws of Ukko, but she is less concerned by mourning than by murder. Who could have done this? As her champion, Asllat's enemies were legion, but one stood to gain more than any: his cousin Rastos the Kinslayer. Beyond the suspicious name, he used to call Asllat "Asslat." Finally, he is the son of Ahkemiella--and, now, High Chief of Bjarmia.

    The signs are clear. The most powerful noble in the kingdom murdered Maer's husband, and even now he seeks her hand for his own. He would be more than kin, and is surely less than kind.

    We will pronounce judgment shortly.

    For the moment, Maer has a deeper wrong to avenge, a higher responsibility to uphold, a bigger asshole to fuck. With Sweden and Finland solidly under her control, her claim to be The Pagan Lord is looking increasingly legitimate. But there is one thing left to do before she can fulfill Mjolnir's dream and become Guardian of the north.

    Denmark has been a thorn in our side for far too long. It hangs off northern Europe like a deflated cock, halfheartedly waggling at us from across the Sound. Its very flopping is offensive to us.

    We have long sought a solution to our hated neighbor, but now I think I've finally worked out a plan to mend our relations.

    This will require some finesse. True, we already defeated the Grand Duke of Skane when we had less than half our current manpower, and true, the duke is mightier than the king. But the king is pious and allied with Poland. We can't risk fighting the Danes, the Templars, and the Legions of the Potato all at once. This forces us to devise a craftier plan.

    [​IMG]

    King Gregers has failed to rein in his reckless duke, and for that, he will suffer.

    When the news of his death reaches Uppland, Maer expresses her condolences to the Danish ambassador. She says it is sad that Gregers should fall ill so suddenly, but he had unhealthy habits.

    "He did not fall ill. You had him murdered. The best liege I have ever known, cut down at the height of his reign."

    "We will overlook your hasty words, as you must be mad from grief. The ravages of illness are foul indeed, and to an untrained eye can seem the work of men."

    "The king was found hanging from an ash tree in the palace gardens with his side pierced by a spear. A sprig of mistletoe was jammed into his chest, and nine raven feathers were fastened to his clothes, four on each side, one on his face. In a circle about him, the names of Odin and Loki were writ in blood, most likely his."

    "A strange illness indeed. You should take care not to catch it." The ambassador is sent back home to Denmark, his Viking escort citing concerns for his health.

    [​IMG]

    He arrives to see his kingdom mourning the death of Queen Emilie, Gregers' daughter. What made her so susceptible to illness? Physicians are split on the subject, but it was likely her marriage to a Polish prince. A diet of only potatoes can weaken the immune system.

    Her sister Maren is now queen, and she is alone. We will give the Danes time to see if any of them wish to challenge Maren for rule; in the meantime, there is the matter of our dead husband.

    First, let's get a worthy successor. Maer heads down to the local cougar bar and picks up this strapping young gentleman:

    [​IMG]

    Hot. You can't see it here, but young Faste is a bona fide genius, with every stat in the teens. He's not a physical embodiment of powergaming like Maer is, but he'll do. Hopefully he can shoot a few genius kids out of his dick before Maer's uterus reaches its expiration date. Maer can teach the little nerds how to honor Odin and how to do advanced math.

    (Advanced math, among the Vikings, consists of expert-level courses in number theory. Not as in advanced cryptography, more as in 4.) (Which, as far as some of the more curmudgeonly older Vikings are concerned, is "just a theory.")

    They are wed:

    [​IMG]

    and 19 days later, I get this:

    [​IMG]

    "It's like I see Faste for the first time." Yes, Maer. It's almost exactly like that.

    69 fanfic writer executions follow. Soon thereafter, from the far north, the Kinslayer finally responds to Maer's marriage:

    [​IMG]

    Hel hath no fury as a Nice Guy[1] scorned:
    __
    [1] Beyond Kinslayer, Rastos has traits Shy, Kind, and Deceitful.

    Notice the wife and four kids.

    Anyway, this is what Maer was waiting for. Rastos had a heavily negative opinion of us, so it was essentially a matter of time before he revolted. Facing a Bjarmian rebellion in the middle of her planned invasion of Denmark would've been awkward, so it's best to get that out of the way now.

    (Bjarmia is, generally speaking, a difficult territory to govern. First, distances in the far north are vast, and CK2 increases every vassal's chance of rebellion based on the absolute distance to your capital. Second, they're from a different culture and a different pagan sect, which means they don't like me, but since they're in the same religious group, I can't revoke their titles with impunity. Finally, because Bjarmia is both powerful and inaccessible, rebellions are massively annoying to put down.)

    Anyway, as before, Maer's army invades through the Arctic and the White Sea. This time, she sails with her warhost. Thousands of stone-faced Finns wait for them on the shore, this time expecting the invasion by sea. Their numbers match those of Maer's expeditionary force. Her captains begin exchanging concerned looks, when she climbs onto the prow of her flagship and thunders in a voice like a god's:

    "Enemies of the Allfather, hear me. You have strength but will not have victory. Your false masters have betrayed you. They lead you into disgraceful failure. You cannot win. Kneel before the One True Queen or be destroyed."

    "Whosoever bends the knee shall rise a son of Odin. Who bends not shall be broken. Embrace Norse rule, or you will embrace Norse spears."

    Marshal Markus clears his throat. "Well. I'm sure that will work." Kol and Thord chuckle.

    And then, amazingly, it does:

    [​IMG]

    A ragged breaks out among the shore, first from a few, then many, then most: "Gods save the Queen!"

    The Finns on the shore are all old enough to remember the first coming of the Norsemen to Bjarmia, and none of them will ever forget the devastation they unleashed. Maer's "surrender or die" ultimatum alerts many of them to an option they weren't aware they had. Over half the traitors, it seems, were loyalists who just needed a push.

    Maer has defeated an army by yelling at it. Majestic.

    The battle spreads across the shore for a full minute before Markus reacts. Maer finally prods him. "Gods save the Queen?"

    "Gods save the Queen," he concedes, then gives the order to attack.

    Battle is joined and fought and won. There remains little of the war left to fight, after the initial resistance is vanquished. The Kinslayer is not a popular lord. His chiefs thought him mad to war with Maer, and they withheld as many troops as they could from his muster. Soon his castles return to Norse hands, and for his treachery Rastos pays the dearest price.

    Back in the south, a much stupider rebellion takes place:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Rorek of Vastergotland is plotting against Markus. The Marshal reminds Maer of her words about One Sun, and, grudgingly, she gives Markus leave to make the arrest. Which he proceeds to fuck up. So on our way home, we have to make a side trip to stomp on Vastergotland.

    [​IMG]

    All right. Our civil wars are over. Our kingdom is unified. Denmark is isolated and--hang on. Apparently Queen Maren married her sister's Polish husband, and thus gained an alliance.

    [​IMG]

    So as I was saying, Denmark is isolated. And now, by insane luck, it's at war with Norway. We'll never have a better opportunity.

    [​IMG]

    It's time to take the Danish heartland. Maer vs. Maren. Let's do this.


    9. Something Is Rotten In The State of Denmark

    Show Spoiler

    SPOILERS: It's three thousand Danish bodies.

    Soundtrack

    After all that preparation, the actual war is one-sided. The Danes have already lost half their army fighting the Norwegians. When Maer's dragonships are spotted in the water, the panicked Maren recalls her army to the defense of her home. They are far, far too late.

    Two thousand Danes huddle in Sjaelland, waiting for their deaths. From the south comes a mighty fleet, bearing five thousand frenzied berserkers. The Danes are shaken, but they are defending their homes and families, and they will stand their ground. Or would, until they see a second fleet coming down from the the north. At the lead ship's prow they spot a small, plain-looking woman, sails rising behind her like dark wings, and ravens cawing overhead.

    When the ships are almost at the shore, a cry rises up--from Dane or Norseman, none can say: "Flee! Flee! The Valkyrie comes!"

    Those words will be remembered, even if their speaker is not. From this day Maer will forever be known as the Valkyrie Queen of Valhalla.

    And soon, even the Christ-Men wonder if God is truly on their side:

    [​IMG]

    When the news of Maer's landing reached Skane, the Wholedan threw himself from his castle walls rather than wait to see the doom he had brought on Denmark. (The castle groundskeeper, who was tasked with cleaning up the mess, irritably called him the Dan of Many Pieces.) With the kingdom in flames and the greatest noble in the realm dead, with a little girl on the ducal throne and pagans and fellow Christians pillaging the land as one, none of the Skanians notice an intense-looking young man slipping into the palace at Helsingborg. When Thord emerges, he holds in his hand the end of Skane.

    From the stolen treaty is made a forgery, granting Maer a claim on the entire duchy of Skane. Since we used the "press all claims" option when we declared war on Maren, Skane is added to the stakes of the war. When we win the war, we'll gain half of Denmark.

    And we will win. The Danes pathetically attempt to raise a second army to defend the land. The Vikings fall on them not with fury but with contempt.

    [​IMG]

    Maren does not repeat her mistake. A little more than a year after the war began, it ends.

    [​IMG]

    The richest land in northern Europe is now ours.

    If from some heavenly hall or hellish pit Gungnir is watching, he is surely smiling on his granddaughter.


    10. Be Not Afraid of Greatness

    Show Spoiler

    This was a long update.

    In the first twenty years of her reign, Maer has almost doubled the size and strength of Valhalla. Bjarmia is ours. Skane is ours. Rus' is shattered. Denmark will never rise again.

    Our Swedish holdings have never been stronger. They have been built strong by the wealth of Denmark. The golden halls of Sigtuna and the silver palace at Södertälje both shine bright in the Allfather's favor.

    Way back in section 2, I said we had two strategies available. One was to expand away from Christendom. The other, as is now evident, was to drive Norse expansion into the Christ-Men's teeth. Since we can lure pagan (and only pagan) claimants to our court, we can rapidly expand over the Baltic. Doing so will of course bring us into quicker conflict with the Christian juggernauts, but ours is the more glorious route. And that is the Viking way.

    Next time, we'll bring war across the Baltic, we'll get some consequences to go with our choices, and Maer will speak the final sentence of the Pronouncement of One Sun.

    Thy choicest gifts in store,
    On her be pleased to pour;
    Long may she reign:
    May she defend our laws,
    And ever give us cause
    To sing with heart and voice
    Thor save The Queen!



    e: initial post had messed up tags in Section 8, which spliced out the middle of it; sorry if you got that version
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 8
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  17. newcomer Learned

    newcomer
    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    Messages:
    919
    :bro:

    This is how things should be going!
     
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  18. Kayerts Arcane

    Kayerts
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    880
    Oh hey! That fixed my problem. Although now there will be a weird disconnect between my fixed screenshots and my previous, dysfunctional ones. Also, the British flag is no longer the old Union Jack-facsimile now, which seems historically accurate, but I don't recognize the new one. Do you know anything about that? In any case, thanks newcomer!

    Social pressure to update is genuinely appreciated. Thanks to all y'all, especially Ulminati for going the extra mile with the Battle Popery.

    Edit: Although if you could spoiler tag the second image, there are still some heretical countries with a pathological fear of nipples.
     
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  19. newcomer Learned

    newcomer
    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    Messages:
    919
    According to paradox forum, that was the flag William the bastard used after he kicked Godwinson's ass.

    Anyway, try force console the mongol events, because in my not-fixed 1.04 game the mongol refused to pop up even after I force console the event
     
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  20. Kayerts Arcane

    Kayerts
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    880
    Oh, trust me, lack of Mongols won't be a problem.

    Thanks again for the info!
     
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  21. newcomer Learned

    newcomer
    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    Messages:
    919
    For me it's a problem, because currently my goal is to DECLARE AN OFFENSIVE WAR with the mongols while their doomstacks are still fresh :D
    With 1.05 patch, conquering the world has been a lot easier, and a lot more easier if you are a muslim; the picture that I take there is from year ~1150-1170, and if you see my realm holding size & my slightly inflated dynasty score....

    The picture speaks for itself though; some people complained that being a religious leader doesn't do much. It actually do something though:
    1. You increase the MA of the religion which you are the head thx to your high diplo (so it's actually a bad idea to become a caliph if you're not muslim...)
    2. With 1.05 improvement, the pope declare a crusade and all catholic realm will join the war. In muslim's perspective, the caliph declares a jihad (yes, the CB is there) and all muslim countries will join. Even if none join, YOUR VASSAL WILL NOT GET ANGRY BECAUSE THIS IS A JIHAD. Reward is 1k prestige, 500 piety, and a de jure KINGDOM. If the king is completely stripped of his title (exceptions are papacy & partriach) or the kingdom was not created, YOU get the kingdom title automatically, even if the jihad victim is a single-county count in the isolated ireland :smug:. And yes, you can become king of khazaria this way
     
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  22. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

    Self-Ejected
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Messages:
    20,233
    Location:
    DiNMRK
    But they are nun nipples! By definition they are wholesome and pure!


    ....Oh, all right!
     
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  23. Vaarna_Aarne Notorious Internet Vandal Patron

    Vaarna_Aarne
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Messages:
    33,387
    Location:
    Cell S-004
    MCA Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
    Moe-Hitler, not Loli-Hitler.
     
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  24. Zwist Learned

    Zwist
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2012
    Messages:
    236
    I truly love the narrative style of this let's play :D

    And apparently now the youtube links in section 8. are borked. Must be cooties.
     
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  25. CappenVarra phase-based phantasmist Patron

    CappenVarra
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    Messages:
    2,663
    Location:
    Ardamai
    Great update! Ride on, Cootiebearers of Hel :bro:
     
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