It's accurate alright. Swedes didn't expand North until later. Here's Swedish primary area in the 12th century, a few hundred years later:As for the Skrithfinni, it could be a reference to Lapps, but if so, the map is way off. The area covers much land that was culturally Swedish and Norwegian at the time, not least Jämtland.
Thread successfully ruined by Finnish people. Also, where is update?
Okay, who of the rulers bordering the vast expanses of free pagan booty is closest to 18/18/18/18/18/18 now? I plan to play it shortly, but I am not bothering unless I play as the bestest guy ever and with the tastiest expansion opportunities to boot. A grey eminence elusive shadow brilliant strategist would be a good place to start.
Yeah, despite its relatively small starting size, Denmark is by far the scariest of the three Scandinavian kingdoms. Their unending wealth means they can and will spam you with mercs, if you fight them, and they usually end up carving out good-sized Baltic empire, unless the HRE demolishes them.
In this game, Denmark is most threatening early on because it's an unknown; we won't ever be directly going to war with them, but they have the potential to back either of the other two Scandinavians in a war against us. We absolutely cannot fight a Dane-backed kingdom, so we may have to add some brutal cunning to our existing cunning brutality.
Its amazing how different some games turn out. That screen of yours shows Norway still being independant, while in my game norway already was part of the HRE around that year. Denmark took over most parts of sweden, making it pretty hard for me to actually gain some valuable land, since converting those finnish girly like creatures to true vikings takes a shitload of time. The pagan Erik got assassinated a week into the game. :/ The hardest part for me now is to get some valuable claims, since there is nothing norse left in the north, so no one really wants to join my court, and recruiting proper personnel is pretty much impossible. Right now I have about 4 new spymasters per year since 3 countries want to assassinate me.
Can't wait for your update though, gave me a new challenge to work on.
Gungnir was a good son by every measure Thord had hoped for: steady with his spear, clever with his coins, cunning with his words. Still, Thord always felt ill at ease when he spoke.
Thord had let the boy's mother spend too much time raising him, he knew. Gisla was a good wife, but she was no Viking woman. Her mind was a maze of southern tricks and witch-words, and trying to convince her of anything was like trying to pull the moon from the sky. She had passed too much of that on to their son.
So when Thord found Gungnir waiting for him outside the camp, he scowled. Dan and Marshal Bagge were there, too. What was this?
"Father, I would have words with you."
"You are having them, boy." Why did his son dance around what he meant to say like a southron maid?
Gungnir took a deep breath. "Father, the tribes are restless. And with reason. You united our people to beat back an invasion that has not come. Oh, we've sieged Finns. And they're tough bastards. But that wasn't the fight we were promised."
"The war will be upon us soon enough, boy," Thord growled. "I cannot compel the Christ-men to the north. What would you have me do? Send to their Church-King and ask him to send us a 'crusade'?"
"Idleness will end us," Bagge broke in. "Every night I have had to break up three fights in the camps. This week, it has been four. Our people were never meant for peace. If you will not give them enemies, they will find them among themselves."
Dan nodded earnestly. "We are taking land, warchief, but we should be taking scalps. Years of waiting, broken by dull sieges--it may be a wise way, but it is not the Viking way. It is not the way into Valhalla. And it is taking its toll. The tribes are still yours to command, but in five years? Ten?" He spread his hands. "Petty quarrels will do the Christ-men's work for them."
"What would you have me do?" Thord demanded again. "I have seen what you have said. I do not doubt it. But I can no more command the Christ-men than I can the waves."
Bagge and Dan looked at Gungnir. "You are a warchief without a war." Thord saw his son reaching for something metal behind his back. His eyes narrowed, then widened as Gungnir pulled forth a crown, offering it. "If the Christ-Men will not come for us, you must take the fight to them. Wait ten years for the Christians, and the tribes will shake you off as they have so many conquerors. But cross the southern border, and . . . "
"And they will know me as Thor's hammer in a man's form, sent here to smite the unbelievers from the earth," Thor murmured, thinking.
"Yes. That," Gungnir agreed. "Best the Chist-Men in battle, and you will become a legend across all the north. Skalds will sing you into the sagas within the week. Even the Kvens will cheer your name."
Thord fingered the crown he'd been given. A laurel wreath. Not grown, but reforged steel and iron, taken from the swords of fallen foes. After a time, he gave his decision.
* * *
* * *
Guardsman Holmger yawned. Two hours to dawn. Two hours, and he'd be in a warm bed. Just two hours.
Did he hear something? From the shore? He sighed. He'd best be sure. The captain had flogged one of the recruits last week for failing to note a bonfire in his report. It had ended up being a particularly rowdy band of traders, but the captain had stressed the need for vigilance in these dark times. It was a bit much, Holmger thought. Yes, they were at war, but the Danes would not come this far north. There was no need for--
He crested the ridge, and saw dozens of torches along the shore, dark shapes moving beneath them.
"Halt!" he yelled. "Who goes there?"
The torches stopped moving. Holmger had the sudden feeling of hundreds of eyes locking onto him. One of the dark shapes, larger than the rest, moved forward.
"We are the storm that leaves the gulf awash with blood!"
The earth shook as the shapes charged forth, axes held high.
Holmger ran, but not fast enough.
* * *
Thord's warband struck all along the Swedish north, laughing at the stone huts the Christ-Men called castles. Stacked one on top of the other, four of them would not fill Thord's own fortress at Bjarta. Thord set his men raiding, looting, pillaging. Even the ducal citadel at Uppland could not stand against the god-bearing Norsemen. They lit the coast aflame.
The local lords sent their militia out to fight them, led by veterans, sometimes even a few noble knights. Rumor had it that one of the men who'd fought them was a prince of the blood royal. It was hard to tell their bodies apart as they burned on Odin's altars.
The local peasants sent a different sort of greeting. Thord's men awoke many mornings to find meat and drink lain outside their camps, brought there by the heathens of the hills. This was still the Allfather's country, and it seemed his children here had not forgotten that.
King Stenkil raged when he heard the news, but there was nothing he could do--he was already fighting a losing war against the Danes, and the remnants of his battered army were too few to stand against this avalanche raining down from the north.
Across the Gulf of Bothnia and beyond, the word went out that a second Viking Age had dawned. The skalds sang of its herald, a great warchief who defied Christendom: Thord, Chosen of Odin, Jarl of the North.