Crusader Kings Chronicles: Lords of the North, Chapter 3

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In the summer of 897, a son was finally born to King Ragnarr and Queen Freyja, named Rikulfr after his maternal grandfather. With a crown and an heir, Ragnarr turned his eyes eastward. The sons of Loðbrok had heard of his intentions to rule all Norsemen, and he didn't intend to give them the chance to strike at him first. He sent word to all of his vassals to prepare for a Great Blot—a grand sacrifice to the gods to bring good fortune in war.

A Great Blot can be held once every nine years. It will allow me to gain prestige, piety, good will with my Norse pagan vassals, and a small bonus to the morale of my armies for a limited time. It also includes an optional human sacrifice, which is handy for disposing of key prisoners...

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The King's Blot was held on the last day of October. Many head of livestock were offered up in sacrifice, as well as the captive Christian princess Judith Karling. The traitor Haraldr Fairhair was given release from his disgrace, beheaded in the sight of his king to join his divine ancestors in the halls of Asgard. There was much feasting, and all the while, the hammers of smiths and boat-builders rang out in the cold, short daylight hours.

The end of the year and the festival of Yule were approaching. Come the first snowmelt, Ragnarr's men were going to war.

Come back next week to see the continuing saga unfold!