As the summer of 900 drew on, the situation was becoming more complicated. Ragnarr had taken the hall of Jarl Vagn of Smáland, Björn's most powerful vassal. Ragnarr's wife, High Chieftess Freyja of Austergautland, had successfully brought her jarldom (once owing fealty to Sweden) into the fold. In the far North of Sweden, the Sami chieftains who had once followed Björn were rebelling for independence, knowing the Swedish King no longer had the men to keep them in line. And yet, the Son of Loðbrok still refused surrender.
It soon became clear why Björn was holding out hope. The landless son of the notorious Haraldr Fairhair, Halfdan Yngling, was raising a company of adventurers to take Norway from the Stórrs, believing the crown still the birth-right of his line. Björn, it seemed, had encouraged the young rebel, hoping that internal pressure could distract Ragnarr long enough to lose him the war. Ragnarr deliberated for some time about what should be done. It was ultimately on the counsel of his mother, Rikissa, that he elected to have Halfdan killed in secret.(opens in new tab)
I knew it was only a matter of time before some descendant of the Ynglings became an adventurer (a new mechanic in the Old Gods expansion) and pressed a claim on my titles. The quickest way to kill such a snake is to cut off the head. And luckily, it seems there are plenty of able conspirators around who also want Halfdan dead. Murder was considered very dishonorable in medieval Norse culture, but it was also fairly common—especially in matters of blood feuds and family disputes.