Crusader Kings Chronicles: Lords of the North, Chapter 3

T.J. Hafer at

On July 11, 884, the ailing Chief Þórólfr climbed the steps to the high table at his hall, where all the lords of the West had gathered. His body was weak, but his voice was still strong. Rumbling like thunder, he proclaimed his kingship over all the lands he had subjugated, and called upon all able men within his new kingdom to rise up and join his newly-returned warband in defending their homes from the Son of Loðbrok. Many answered, and by the fall, 2000 of Þórólfr's men were bound by ship for Sweden with oiled mail and sharp axes.

I've made myself a Petty King, a Norse rank equal to a duke in other realms, and a step below a proper King. This has allowed me to parcel out my land to vassal chieftains, so I don't have to try to administrate it all myself. For the time being, they are content with my rule and eager to send their men to fight for me. Björn's army is formidable, however, and we'll have to be smart to repel his invasion.

On the April 22, 885, Þórólf and his eldest son Ragnarr, newly come of age, received word that King Björn was on his way with swift ships to relieve their siege of the Swedish capital of Håtuna. Ragnarr, though only 16, was already showing great prowess in battle, and was given the command of 600 men who would hold the line at the shore, while Þórólfr's own detachment flanked from the East and drove them into a grove of trees that would be lit ablaze with oil and flaming arrows. Father and son were outnumbered by almost 700 men, but the plan worked, and three of Björn's men died that day for each of their own.

Håtuna fell not long after, but not before Þórólfr succumbed to a dreamlike state. The priestess attending him proclaimed that his mind had been taken from him, and he may never awaken again. Sorrowfully, the young Ragnarr took up his father´s banner and rode out to accept Björn's surrender.

My Infirm trait has escalated to Incapable, meaning death is near, and my son will take over as my regent. I had hoped for a more glorious death for such a glorious leader, but as all Norsemen know, fate is often not so kind.