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AAR of Olaf, my Norse Viking clan leader!

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I am planning on doing a playthrough of CK2 with the new mod, The Old Gods, where I play as a Pagan heathen and expand from there.


I was planning on creating a new lord, likely out of Iceland (The idea of starting off all isolated and growing into power is somewhat appealing to me haha).



This thread is mostly about taking any ideas for how to create ol' Olaf.  I was thinking on totally hamming it up and just calling myself Olaf Thunderfist or something, but am open to suggestions for the house name (to be honest I'm not 100% sure, but I'm assuming the last name is the House name even for Pagan heathens >.>  I know I have created a german House Schumacher all the time, but got... weird naming when I tried an Irish character one time lol).  Alternatives to naming:  Obsidian focused.  Which may be a bit on the sillier side, but can be entertaining.



I'll bring up game details into another post following, but feel free to chime in while I write that up.

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For those unfamiliar with the game, you effectively play the head of your House, and control and manage all the vassals/titles of that character.  So, I am only playing as "France" if I happen to hold the title!  We'll be starting at a "Count" level (which for the Norse, is a "Chief").


By doing this, I hope to include a level of "roleplay" to which I am open to suggestions for the type of character that I play, based on the traits.  So if I am diplomatic, I'll be more inclined to choose a spouse that is more diplomatic his/herself, or to marry for diplomatic reasons (prestige or alliances).  You can find a (very extensive and not all that easy to read list of traits here).


The most prevalent ones have typically been related to the 7 virtues/sins, as well as the character education (the top 20 choices in that list), so I will list them here.  But first, the attributes of the characters are:



Diplomacy: Affects my relations with all other characters in game.  Also grants me a small amount of prestige, which affects my score (along with piety) as well as general opinion of my character.  It also improves cultural research.


Martial: Affects my ability to lead troops in combat, as well as the overall size of my levies.  Also improves military research. (I will likely focus on this with Olaf.  Where his kids go, is anyone's guess! :p )


Stewardship: Improves my tax income, as well as my demesne limit (how many landed titles I can hold - i.e. counties).  Holding more pieces of land than my limit incurs tax and relation penalties.  Stewardship can affect a lot of events that deal with managing my lands.  Historically I almost always have high stewardship, but with Olaf I will likely focus more on military, and look to play the game in a bit more open of a direction based on interaction here.  Improves Economic research.


Intrigue: My ability to succeed and detect plots.  Pretty much all there is to it.  I have historically not paid too much attention to this, but could be interesting.


Learning: Improves my piety (which is of nebulous benefit to me, as a Norse Pagan...).  It also improves ALL the branches of research.



You can get a background in each attribute, which provides varying benefits to the primary attribute, as well as some others (and one small penalty to another).  I am leaning towards Brilliant Strategist (biggest bonuses to martial)


For the virtues/sins (which have a large impact over what types of decisions/events occur, as well as the impact a guardian will have on raising a ward) and they are mutually exclusive.


Lustful: Reduces Piety, improves fertility

Chaste: Improves Piety, reduces fertility


Gluttonous: Reduces Stewardship

Temperate: Improves stewardship


Greedy: Improves Tax Revenue, reduces diplomacy

Charitable: Improves Diplomacy


Slothful: -1 to all attributes

Diligent: +1 to all attributes


Envious: Bonus to intrigue, penalty to Diplomacy

Kind: Bonus to diplomacy, penalty to intrigue


Wroth: Bonus to martial, penalty to Intrigue and Diplomacy

Patient: Small bonus to all but martial


Proud: Monthly increase on prestige

Humble: Monthly piety increase




Other common (mutually exclusive) traits:


Deceitful: +Intrigue, -Diplomacy

Honest: +Diplo, -Intrigue


Craven: -Martial

Brave: +Martial


Shy: -Diplo

Gregarious: +Diplo


Ambitious: + to ALL attributes (and fugging scary in vassals!  HAHA.  They are more militant and scheming)

Content: +Monthly Piety, -Intrigue


Arbitrary: -steward, -learning

Just: +steward, +learning

(these affect event solutions as well)


Cynical: -monthly piety, +intrigue

Zealot: +piety, +martial


Paranoid: +intrigue, -diplomacy

Trusting: +diplomacy, -intrigue



That covers most of them.  The leader creator as scores assigned to these, but if necessary I can mod in the ones we want to run with.  Let me know if any interest you.  Otherwise I'll run with my own choices >.>

Edited by alanschu
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Don't you dare give him an English name!


Olaf þrumurhnefa, if you want it in rusty Iclandic.. or how about Olaf Hrymjaskjoldr (Thundershield) for some cool old Norse (more correct and also a historical name). :)


þ is basically Th if memory serves me right.




Edit: Found this baby English to Old norse dictionary.

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Fortune favors the bald.

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Always thought the appelation Belly Shaker was rather fetching, you could always make him a Sturlusson in honour of the wordsmith, or give him a kenning name like Woundweaver or Woundwulf meaning sword and axe, Bluthrafn (blood raven) if he's fond of the battlefield, or maybe even use one of the mythical names like Nidhoggr (corpse tearer) the dragon chewing at Yggdrasils roots. Ironically you could name his house something unflattering like Nithling (cursed) or Skraeling (wretches.) Classically you could go with Volsung, Scylding, Fafnirsbane or suclike.


Know it's a touch risky, but I always liked Hardrada (Hard ruler) personally.

Edited by Nonek

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.


Tea for the teapot!

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After a bloody coup, the mysterious leader of the uprising, Olaf Hrymjaskjoldr, stood above the former chief of Vestisland.  Now, Omar of Vestiland, Chief of these lands, sets forth to consolidate his gains.  Never one to sit idly by for gods to aid him, Olaf's rise was accented by his tactical wizardy.  Continually outmaneuvering his foe, and able to rally others to his cause, his military prowess now precedes him.  Though the coup wasn't without cost... during the final confrontation he did sustain an injury, but he insists it is nothing that will slow him down... the Hrymjaskjoldr legacy is now entrenched, and will only grow from here!


He still needs to confer with his newly formed council, but his initial assessment will be to consolidate his island, financed on the backs of the weak people of Britannia....  Olaf knows that raiding will help sustain his people, and provide the opportunities.  Olaf's strongest trait is his ambition... but time will tell if he can temper his ambitions to win not only on the battlefield, but in diplomacy as well.


Setting up his court in Reykjavik, Olaf takes a moment to reflect on his history and how his life has led him to this moment.




Here we can see Olaf's base stats.  No family, no heirs... just him.  He'll need to consolidate somewhat, but he can't sit too idle, with an immediate threat to to East.  There aren't many holdings in this area, so taking just one other province will significantly improve his strength.


Diplomacy: 6  (Weak)

Martial: 17 (Very Strong)

Stewardship: 8  (Weak)

Intrigue: 13 (Strong)

Learning: 7 (Weak)


His skills are currently best slated at leading armies, and he can probably be good at plotting as well, though there's not much to plot at the moment.




Brilliant Strategist











I'll introduce the council in the next post, but currently Olaf's ambition is simple: find a wife so as to secure his lineage.  His ambition seeks to drive him to not only his own personal glory, but the glory of House Hrymjaskjoldr in general.

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Olaf brings together his newly appointed council.  Most are lowborn men that helped him take these lands, with only one man with noble lineage: Kjartan af Hlidarendi.  Olaf is not too particular, however, as long as they can get the job done.  He considers him men to be typically capable and competent.  Nothing exceptional, but not a liability either.  He confers first with his chancellor Oddr.




Oddr is still getting his bearings as he grows accustomed to his role.  Admittedly there is some level of skepticism among the council, as many a Norse leader has come and gone.  Olaf will need to prove himself, but for now Oddr will advise him. My chief... while I am not too concerned about your ability to take on the local Chief Gardar of Austisland, my concern is more long term.  I was suggesting heading east, to speak with the larger Norse houses, to confer favour with them to ensure we have their support going forward.  If, at the very least, to ensure that they don't do anything to us in the short term.


Olaf considers this advice, and agrees. I agree Oddr.  We have mostly heathens to the south of us, and many of our brethren down there will be busy with their Catholic neighbours.  I defer to your judgment, and will allow you to decide the best place to do so.


Aiming high, Oddr goes right for the largest house, King Bjorn Ironside in Uppland.





Freyr, Marshall of Vestisland, then steps forward. Chief, as Marshall, I think it would be most prudent to muster our armies and push East.  I think we should take our moment, and push the initiative so secure our borders!


Olaf sneers at him: Hah!  Fortunately for me, I have the good sense to not kill myself weeks after taking control. He gestures to his wound: How about a take a moment or too to let this heal up before putting myself in harms way?


Freyr sheepishly mumbles something incoherent.


Olaf lets out a boisterous laugh: HAHA Freyr, you're far too sensitive.  And worry not, I won't be sitting idly by.  Both Gardar and myself have similar forces.... In order to best press my advantages there,  I would like to go in with near overwhelming numbers.  I will finance mercenaries to assist in the siege.


Freyr raises an eyebrow: That is actually an excellent suggestion my lord. Can we finance such a move?



Kjartan, Olaf's steward, steps forth: At the moment, no.  But, our liege is certainly a powerful man.  He may be able to finance mercenaries with the... assistance of some of our Catholic neighbours.


Bersi, the realm's spymaster, shows hints of a smile creeping onto his face.  Excellent idea.  If our local Norsemen were unable to succeed at stopping Olaf, I suspect the people of Eire will stand limited chance.


Olaf nods knowingly: For certain.  Our men are strong, and hungry for such adventure.  We may even be able to take advantage of diversions put forth by our Norse brothers!


The council knowingly nods.



During all of this, Hysing, the village Seer, comes forward: I believe we are getting ahead of ourselve howver.  Then men stop to look at him.  Chief Olaf, I remind you that you have no bloodline.  Your first order of business should be to secure your titles for future generations.  Shall we begin looking for a wife?



Olaf laughs again.  Ah Hysing, you wise man.  I am getting ahead of myself.  I agree, the first focus should be on finding a wife.  And maybe even a concubine or two?  HAHAHAHAHA.  Apparently Olaf lusts for more than just battle....



From there, the Council adjourns.  Preliminary plans for an expedition to Ireland are started, but the realm's focus, and Olaf's ambition, is focused soley on finding a wife at this time.

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A short while has passed, and already much progress has been made in securing the Hrymjaskjoldr lineage.


Oddr has arrived in Uppland, and has even found a potential concubine for Olaf.  He has made arrangements to send her back to Vestisland.  Aside from that, he is expected to be overseas for quite some time as he spends his time in King Bjorn Ironside's court.


Freyr has begun marshaling troops in Reykjavik.  Whether it be an assault on Austisland, or raids on Catholics, Olaf will need men.


Olaf and Kjartan both agreed, that focusing on internal progress of his lands will help him in his ambitions.  Both Kjartan and Hysing are spending their time in Vestisland, improving economic and cultural technology.



From there, Bersi had Olaf alone to discuss some further news.  Chief, I have made contact with King Ivar the Boneless.  There is a woman, Grima, whom I think you might find... to your liking.


Olaf's eyes perk up?  Oh?  What do you mean?  Out with it!




Bersi gestures to one of Olaf's guards.  He brings in a woman.  Olaf sizes her up, and introduces himself.  She is but a courtier in Ivar's court, but Olaf and her get along well enough.  What he didn't realize, was just how... impetuous she could be.



Bersi leaves the two to talk.  Sometime later, Olaf comes out of the room, looking somewhat... tired.  Bersi!  This woman shall be my wife!


Bersi looks over somewhat in surprise.  Your wife?  My lord, she is a mere courtier--


I don't care.  Any woman that can do what she just.... Enough!  I don't need to justify myself!


Bersi chuckles to himself. Fine, I won't protest.  Though, others will likely look down upon you... perhaps she would be better as a concubine?  At the very least, I encourage you to take care of the arrangements yourself.  At the very least, your people will appreciate that you are willing to see us lowborn as somewhat equal.


Olaf is clearly distracted.... Grima seems to have made an impression.  Yes yes, fine whatever you say.







Bersi follows up by recommending that he travel abroad, to study other cultures.  Olaf looks at him, puzzled: Study OTHER cultures?  Is ours not good enough!?


Bersi backpedals: Nay, that is not what I mean.  It's just, I hear legends of an empire that once was large and vast.  Ours is still fledgling.  I was thinking that in learning more, I can see what it takes to not only make a large empire, but to keep it!


Olaf strokes his chin: I see your point Bersi.  While House Hyrmjaskjoldr will undoubtedly make its mark on the world, you are correct that I shouldn't over extend.  Whatever you can learn, we can bring into our own and add our own improvements to it.


Bersi nods his head: My sentiments exactly my lord.  I shall make haste immediately for Asia Minor.


Olaf laughs: Like I have any clue where that is!  HAHAHAHAHA



Bersi has been sent to the Byzantine Empire to study their ways.







From here, I will begin raiding Ireland for money, to secure money for mercenaries to invade Austisland.

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Shortly after many of his council moved on to other parts of the world to learn and expand Vestisland's exposure, Olaf received a letter from Oddr, in Uppland.


"Things are proceeding swimmingly here my lord.  I thought you might appreciate this gift."  He looks out into the courtyard and sees an attractive young woman.  Oddr you dog!  Of course you know the answer to that!





Barring that, the next several months turned out to be rather uneventful, aside from rallying calls for young, able bodied men to join Hrymjaskjodlr's military.  After rounding up several hundred men, Olaf, still nursing his wound 6 months prior, set sail on a fleet of longboats to scout out the isles of Britannia... Olaf has plans of military conquest... and intends to leverage the wealth of heathen Catholics... not his own people!


After a few weeks on the water, they reach the northern tip of Eire.  One of Olaf's captains steps into Olaf's chamber: My Lord.  Our scouts have found something interesting.  Turns out many in these lands have raised their banners to march against King Ivar to the east.


A smile erupts onto Olaf's face: Well this is rather well timed on our parts then.  I'd much rather be able to scour this coast with impunity, and it seems like we just might have that chance after all!  We'll disembark here, and lay siege to their forts.  You will scour this coastline and check for any armies marching back this way!


The Captain nods.  Understood.  If we're lucky, their men will be too far to respond, but if not, we'll be sure to notify you immediately.



With that, so began the Siege of Gartan, in the county of Tyrconnell.





Olaf surrounds the fort, while dispatching men to bring food and valuables back to the long boats.





With the siege proceeding mostly uneventfully, after a weeks, a courier arrives at Olaf's base camp: News from my captain my lord.  We have spotted soldiers crossing the Irish Sea.  They are flying the colours of the County of Tyrconnell...




Olaf lets out a deep sigh.  Unfortunate.  The siege will have to be abandoned.  We'll have maybe 7 days at most.  Lets take the next 5 ensuring we get as much of value as we can before we depart.  On the plus side, we have the ability to strike at other targets in the region.  Perhaps with Ivar causing havoc out east, we try something on the northern part of that island.



Over the course of the next two weeks, two significant events happened.  First, news from back home.  His concubine is carrying child.  All hope that a strong, male heir will be born!  Next, the County of Ross has been fully ransacked.  Only the valuables that could be carried into the Forts were sufficiently protected.  As Scottish troops moved in to interject, once again Olaf summoned his levies onto his longboats.






Olaf inquires with the fleet captain about how much more the boats can carry.  The captain responds: We are maybe about half our capacity my lord.  Armies are still scattered about, and we could probably take another attempt at one of the Irish counties!


Olaf ponders for a moment:  A good idea captain.  No sense returning home with anything less than all we can carry.  I also have an idea I think just might fool people.  Set sail for Tyrconnell!


The captain barks out the order, and the orders signaled to the rest of the fleet.  Still, the captain is a bit surprised: On our way my lord.  But why Tyrconnell?


Olaf confidently responds: Two reason captain.  FIrst, there's a lot more there that we weren't able to take with us.  Second, that Keep may still be somewhat weakened... I am confident that I can take it with a little more time.  Plus... it's a damned fool thing to do and they won't expect it.


The captain smiles to his liege, and moves about to carry out the orders.  Despite being marauding for several months now, the spirits of the men remain high, and they all agree that they feel they have unfinished business at Gartan.  Siege is laid, and for several months the slow, arduous process is taken out.  Still, in a siege it's better to be on the outside, than the inside.  Olaf is able to pillage the land for foods, while the Irish face issues with starvation!




The following day, in a desperate attempt to weaken the siege, the defenders sally forth to meet Olaf.  Now, they are just making it fun for our faction's leader!





The siege resistance starting to crumble, a few tidbits of news have come from Bersi, in the lands of the far East:  My lord, I thought you might find it interesting to know that our reputation at warfare has spread even this far.  The emperor of these lands seek to recruit our kind to lead his troops!  I anticipate that House Hrymjaskjoldr's fame will reach this far eventually, with time too!





As the siege is days away from being over, a messenger comes forward with some news for Olaf






I HAVE A SON!  The cheers of the men echo surrounding the Keep.  Unbeknownst to Olaf, but much to his good fortune, it turns out that the men of Tyrconnell had been routed in battles with Ivar.  The land was at his mercy.





Still, Olaf was not completely reckless.  Reports came in that his longboats were full up... they couldn't hold anymore.  Calling off further attacks, they return to the sea and head home.  After all, there's no point in plundering and pillaging, if you can't take it back with you!  Still, upon his arrival he acknowledged that it is indeed, good to be the chief!



Edited by alanschu
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I don't remember the game having an option to force conversion into paganism, unofrtunately. Would be funny if you could force those heathen Christians into worship of the true gods. In the name of Odin, surrender! :)

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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Having secured some money, and realizing that much of his empire can be funded on the backs of others, Olaf's ambitions shifted to... grander things:





Further, nature has done its course for his wounds






Upon informing council of his plans to unite Norway under the banner of House Hrymjaskjodlr, Olaf had received initial doubts of skepticism: Hah!  My ambition is well known, but you obviously all think I'm insane!  This isn't something that will be accomplished next week.  Or next month.  It might not even happen in MY lifetime.  Still, my House is ultimately stronger than all the others.  We just need to start smaller.  For example... this island.


Marshall Freyr nods his head in agreement. Our Lord does have a point.  The lands of our brothers are fractured.  With some small gains in our own lands, we could easily muster enough forces to pick off other counties piecemeal.  Gain enough, and we could probably form the Kingdom of Norway.  But, my Lord, this will take... decades


Olaf nods I understand, but what is life without goals!  Hahahahaha!  We'll not neglect opportunities on Eire either, however.  I suspect we'll have many opportunties to grow our lands.  After all, I have already grown my influence!  Olaf brings in a child Say welcome Alfr Olafsson Hrymjaskjoldr!





After a brief celebration, matters at hand lead all to agree that consolidating his own island is the most obvious first step.  In his way, the independent county of Austisland.  In order to do so, Olaf has brought in a Mercenary group.... of Irish brigands.  The irony is not lost on Oddr: Heh, I find it interesting, my lord, that we finance Irish mercenaries with money from Eire!


Olaf lets out a boisterous laugh: Haha, I have to admit I quite enjoyed that as well.  Not that they care, as long as they get paid.  It puts our forces over 2000 strong.  Austisland will be unable to resist.


Freyr walks into the room: The men have assembled sir.  Shall we make way?


Olaf grabs his gear: Not without me you won't.  I'll hardly be one to miss out on a good siege!





While the siege proceeded much as Olaf expected, there were some things he noticed... a certain, lack of zeal, that he once had.  Perhaps receiving his wound, followed by his ambitions for wanting to lead his House to glory, he has had something of an epiphany that his House's influence relies on his being around to guide it to glory!  A near miss on his life during the siege, combined with word that his concubine plots against him, has lead to Olaf being a bit more reserved on the battlefield, rather than recklessly charging in.  That, and the expulsion of the concubine from his lands.  He had attempted to imprison her, but she was able to flee.  In any case, she is no longer his problem.







ANd it did not take long, for the first steps of Olaf's ambitions to be accomplished:






Oddr approaches Olaf Congrulations on your conquests my lord.  I do feel that, given these accomplishments, there is nothing preventing us from officially unifying these lands.  We could create the Kingdom of Iceland, increasing your prestige and the prestige of your House in the process.  All it will take is some time to formalize the process and ensure our legitimacy.


Olaf smiles I see nothing wrong with that suggestion.  I do hope Ireland is up for funding my campaign to become the King of Iceland!  Hahahaha!




But first, how about we celebrate our successes!  Who wants a party?  How about one where we hang people! <.<








But the partying has left Olaf feeling some impetuous!





With his growing impatience, he then set his eyes on the nearby island of Faereyar.  It is now a part of the Kingdom of Iceland... it's former ruler outright banished and the titles and wealth confiscated by Olaf himself.


Shortly after this conquest, Kjartan meets with his King.  Gracious Olaf, your exploits already do you great justice.  However, we are at a time when further conquests may see our abilities to properly manage them complicated.  We can't let ourselves get stretched too thin.  We'll need vassals to run the lands.


Olaf ponders this.  I suppose Vassals may work in the short term.  Although... another alternative is I grant future conquests to my sons!


Kjartan responds: That would work my liege, though we'll need to wait for your sons to come of age still.


Olaf sneers:  Or, we just allow the existing vassals to rule until I see fit to take their titles and grant them to my children!


Kjartan interjects: Such actions tend to not be seen well by other vassals my lord!  Although, I guess if you are giving them... to... your sons...  A small smile creeps onto Kjartan's face. I like your plan my Lord.  Praise Hrymjaskjoldr!


From there, Olaf set his eyes on the other Norweigan Principalities, as well as those of Ireland.  His lands (and soldiers) growing rather quickly, the smaller, independent states will find themselves at his mercy.  Research into which states have formal alliances with others will be primary importance.

Edited by alanschu
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