The Trials of the Sons of Odin: A Paradox AAR. Interlude 2: 1265 (Part 1)

Published: 2017-09-16

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The Trials of the Sons of Odin: A Paradox AAR

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Game: Crusader Kings II

The Trials of the Sons of Odin: A Paradox AAR. Chapter 12: The First Norwegian

Images: 29, author: RandomHero1992, published: 2017-08-14

To the blessed Fylkir Baldewin II,
As was your father’s intention, our order has worked hard to provide more accurate reports of those peoples that surround the realm and the forces arrayed against our people. Not since your ancestor, the great Fylkir Eilif, has such an effort been undertaken. Those maps, and those made since, are either inaccurate even at the time of creation or have since been made irrelevant by changing borders. It is the intentions of my brethren to further assist you after these initial reports so that you are aware of the great events that shape our friends and foes alike.

[Legend for the following slides:
Castle with Flags: Capital of the Ruler.
Castle: Capital of a Jarl/Duke.
House: Minor capital/large towns.
Red: Crown Lands (Norge only)]
When our order was founded, riders were sent out to the corners of the world. Whilst we have heard of a mythical place known as Rajastan and the steeps beyond the lands of the Rus, per your instructions we have not ventured far into the lands of the Muslims. Attached are the maps of the realms that our men went through, as well as the history or relevant stories that shaped these lands.
Since the last time the religions were documented, the faith of Odin has greatly grown. Where once it was limited to just beyond the borders of the few nations whose ancestors have followed the Allfather since time immemorial. Now we can found further east and west than ever before, although parts of the original Norse lands in the north of Germany were still outside the control of the faithful.

To the south are the Catholics, the greatest foe that our faith faces. Although they have been pushed back, their ability to call upon vast armies, both levied and monastic, mean that we must be careful not to draw their full attention. So far though they have deemed their foe to the east more dangerous than us to the north and when they do march north, their forces are divided due to the many small nations that make up the Christ worshipers.

Never before have the lands of the Mohammadian been in direct contact with our own, so now we must consider the threat that they pose. Although their grip on Iberia has long been destroyed and their control of the coast receding, the heartland of Arabia remains under absolute control, along with the shared holy lands that has seen so many battles with the Catholics.
While the primary focus of the orders information gathering is external to our borders, the initial focus was inside our homelands. This would be a great way to test the skills of our men and also records how much the borders our mighty home has grown. Recorded in extra details is the crown lands, for history purposes as you would be we aware of your own holdings. Although your reign has only just begun, your family has ruled from Castle Lade since before the Great Unravelling. Since then the realm has expanded to become the major power amongst both our brothers and our neighbours.
To our immediate south and east is the Kingdom of XXX, or Seva Rike as is it now known. Once our brother, the Swedish people of this realm have started to follow a different path, just like our own people after defining our own, separate, culture. However, the Kings of Seva Rike have always lived in the shadow of Norge, forced to expand in areas which are not in our own immediate interest. Unlike our own realm, where you as Fylkir are the greatest power, the King of Seva Rike is simply a Jarl that elected to the position. The house of Toki has managed to hold the position for many generations, but all it takes is one vote to bring it all down.
If the hubris of our fathers could be personified in one realm, that would be the Kingdom of Germany. Hundreds of years ago the head of the Catholics called for their faithful to band together and flocked to place a Catholic in power on another border province between the two faiths. At the time our forefathers laughed at the small man who called himself King. Now the realm is the lynchpin in the defence against any offensive south, effectively blocking any hope to advance into Catholic heartlands. Cracks are starting to appear though as the newly crowned King Alberic publicly practices a variant of the Catholic faith that puts him at odds with his subjects, and more concerning for him, his Dukes.
The Grand Republic of Brythanoid, or as it is known informally the Second Republic, is the successor of the first attempt at to create a merchant state on the isles. When the Catholics attempted to reasserted their dominance, for a brief moment they were on the offensive and the old capital was burned to the ground. Since then the republic has grown to where they nearly rival even mighty Norge, the realm no longer needs protection and instead pursuing their own territorial ambitions on the mainland. How long a state of friendship and alliance can exist between Norwegian and Welsh realms when competing aims threaten to pit brothers in faith against each other.
When our forefathers first set foot on the isles, it was not for material gain but as a spiritual quest. Therefore, the first captured lands were not given to men, but to the gods, to show our devotion to them. As the Great Reaving progressed and more land was captured, the priesthood grew in power to the point that the status of the churches head on the isles is no longer comparable to a priest, but a king. Now the Theocracy of Skotland branches out further and several cities on the smaller isle are under its direct control, as well as numerous churches all over the isles.
The Council on the first Great Reaving divided up the isles, a small allotment of land was granted to Norge so that there might be a base for further offences to be launched to the south of the isle. The ruler of these lands was not content with what had been granted to him and sought to expand his lands by capturing land on the smaller isle. Now the Jarl of Dublin is one of the strongest vassals within the realm of Norge. To the south the lands known as Middlesex and the famed cesspool of London have recently come under our control.
The Kingdom of Lithuania is a curious blend; their way of rulership is similar to that of the Kingdom of Seva Rike, their strength dependent of the trade that goes along their rivers like the Republics of Brythonaid and Danmark and the Kingdom has been carved out of Catholic lands, just like the realms of the Isles and the homelands of the Wolves of Midgard. Bordering the Catholic Kingdom of Pannonia to the west and Muslims to the east, the rivers provides a defensive advantage, but will make any attempt to cross difficult. To make things further perilous the currently elected King rules from a small crossing established, representing both the greatest advantage and weakest point.
Just like the Kingdom of Germany, the Sultanate of Mauretania is another lynchpin in Catholic defences. Once Iberia was torn between two faiths, until the Muslims were pushed back across the strait at Gibraltar and the dream of Al-Andalus died. Since then the realm was further expanded and although ruled from Iberia more and more Berber influence seeps across the strait, even taking the name from this conquered land as the title of the realm.
The Kingdom of Sicily-Portugal is a result of the Catholics and Christians need to breed their way to greatness. The two kingdoms were once separate, but were united by a chance marriage that was not expected to amount to much more than an alliance. The strain of managing two separate realms, one Catholic and one Christian, has forced the ruler’s hand. The current ruler has gone the way of the iron fist and the realm is divided in civil war.

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Game: Crusader Kings II

The Trials of the Sons of Odin: A Paradox AAR. Interlude 2: 1265 (Part 2)

Images: 11, author: RandomHero1992, published: 2017-10-29

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