Crusader Kings Chronicles: Lords of the North, Chapter 3

T.J. Hafer at

Two years had passed since Fairhair bowed, and Ragnarr had made a name for himself as a famous Viking raider, burning and looting towns and monasteries along the coast of Frisia. He even managed to capture a Frankish princess, Judith Karling of the line of Emperor Charlemagne. Back home, however, trouble brewed. Haraldr Fairhair was not content to owe fealty to another, and had been plotting with his brother, Jarl Bersi, to overthrow the Stórrs.

The Yngling rebellion raged from the spring of 895 until the late winter of 896. Bersi was brought to heel first, with Haraldr soon to follow. The two traitors were stripped of all titles, leaving the Yngling dynasty landless throughout Norway. The following Midsummer's Day, Ragnarr raised a runestone in the memory of his father, Þórólfr, and invited all his vassals to look upon it. Afterward, he stood before the great memorial and spoke in a booming tone that echoed his departed sire. The speech is recalled by the skalds in Ragnarr Þórólfsson's Saga:

“I have cast down the House of Yngling, who claimed to be descended from the god, Frey," he proclaimed. "If this were true, would they not be standing before you today, rather than me? I have scorched the temples of the White God of the South, and brought great wealth back to share with all of you. If their god were mightier than I am, would I not be struck dead, or stand before you empty handed? We gather today in prosperity and peace because my house is strong! Ours is the blood of Thor, son of Odin Allfather! And from this day forward, the Sons of Þórólfr shall rule as kings of all Norsemen, as is our birth-right!"

A thunderous cheer arose, as axes of warriors and tools of farmers and craftsmen alike were raised high in praise of the new King of Norway.

I have now named myself true King of Norway, putting me at a rank equal to Björn of Sweden and Sigurð of Denmark. Many new lords have sworn fealty to me peacefully, as I am now seen as their rightful liege: Iceland, Shetland, Vermaland, Medelpad, and Angermanland now eagerly follow the House of Stórr, making me the mightiest king in Scandinavia.