Crusader Kings Chronicles: Lords of the North, Chapter 3

T.J. Hafer at

As the year 888 dawned, Ragnarr had been ruling as regent for over a year. At the urging of his mother, queen Rikissa, he proclaimed right of conquest on all the lands of the Ynglings, his father's old enemies and former liege lords. While the Yngling line was said to be descended from the god Frey, whispers began to circulate that the mighty Ragnarr's blood was that of the god Thor, and that his line was destined to rule all the North.

Not long into his campaign against the struggling Haraldr Fairhair, King Þórólfr passed in the night. Ragnarr was named King, and his younger brother Sveinn was given dominion as Jarl of Nordland over their ancestral realm in the far North. Taking the throne at 20, Ragnarr had gained a reputation as a brilliant strategist, quick-witted as his father had been in his prime, proud, just, charitable, honest, and kind. On the battlefield, he excelled on the defense, having held the line against Björn's advance with only a handful of troops. The new king was married not long after to High Chieftess Freyja of Austergotland, a vassal of Björn Ironside.

My current succession law is called Gavelkind, which means that my holdings will always be divided evenly among my sons. It's not an ideal set-up, but I need to either convert to a monotheistic faith or reform the Norse religion to adopt a different means of succession. I'm aiming to do the latter, as it will also give me protection from foreign missionaries. I will need to hold three of the designated Norse holy sites, which will be no easy task.

The war to subjugate the Ynglings raged for the first three years of King Ragnarr's reign, but his victory came as inevitably as he proclaimed that it would. With Haraldr Fairhair's defeat, Ragnarr held dominion over all Norway, and the Ynglings were relegated to a backwater mountain hold, far from the coasts and the glory of raiding the open seas. Meanwhile, however, another son of Loðbrok was building his power. The jarl called Sigurð Snake-in-the-Eye had proclaimed himself King of Denmark, meaning Loðbrok's sons now held two thrones, forming a potentially dangerous alliance.