Crusader Kings Chronicles: Lords of the North, Chapter 1

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A peasant's guide to Crusader Kings II

Crusader Kings II is a strategy game that simulates medieval Europe, down to the hundreds of lords, kings, concubines, and lowborn people of interest that populate it. Every character has traits (such as Brave, Lustful, and Cruel), and they all interact based on opinions they have of one another.

You play as a ruler who may or may not have vassal lords sworn to you, just as you might be sworn to a king or emperor above you. The game is a sandbox where you set your own goals, whether that be conquest, maintaining a small and peaceful realm, or manipulating the world's power structure from the shadows.

When it came time to decide whom to play as from the hundreds of possibilities, I remembered a phrase that came out of an interview I did with Crusader Kings game designer Chris King : “I can be the poorest count in Norway. But if I have a high enough Prestige...”

Thus, I've elected to play as, quite literally, the poorest count in Norway. Chief Þórólfr (THOR-olf-er) of the clan Stórr (a name taken from my own Norse ancestors) rules over Nordland, a cold and inhospitable province in the far north of Norway. He grew up along the frigid, frosty fjords, where the cold winds of the North Sea sweep in with a merciless bite. Hard folk are all who can survive here, where the only significant refuge from the cold is Þórólfr's fire-lit hold at Røst. His will not be an easy path to power. But those who must scratch a living from nothing either crumble, or come out all the stronger for it.