Crusader Kings 3: House Of Sigurdr - AAR2

I am Sigurdr! My brothers sail west to avenge my father, cruelly murdered by the Northumbrians! I have stayed back with my family to rule over my lands, a steward of the people. But we will not be content with what we have, oh no. There is more to come, we will see to it.


My true talents lie in the development of our family’s fortunes, and so we will proceed thusly, focussing on the development of our wealth and the betterment of our people.

Incredibly, I am married to the daughter of the murdering ■■■■■■■ who took my father from me, but I shall not cast the sins of the father on the daughter. After all, she is mine to control, and has a claim on her father’s lands in any case. That might be useful.

My son, Knud… ah my son. A brave, rowdy boy. He will be fearsome hero like his grandfather one day, I am sure of it. We will educate him well, and I will leave him with an ever increasing dynasty. His name will sung in ages to come, no doubt.

My daughter Alof is a promising lass, charm seeping from her eyes. She will grow up to marry some minorly important figures to secure claims on other lands - her sons will be of our line, it is all we shall permit.

We were drunk when we chose our youngest’s name. I can’t even pronounce it. I doubt her future husband will either. Hopefully it will not cost us whatever alliance I think up when the time is nigh.

Our council is formed of men I don’t trust, and a woman I trust less. My Marshal barely knows which end of the sword goes toward the enemy, and my priestess… well I’m not convinced she actually knows much about our religion, but we’ll see.

Our faith reveres our ancestors. They watch over us from the grave and guide us forward.For this we must respect and worship them.
The best way to prove our devotion is through the act of sacrifice. The most valuable sacrifice we can offer is human life.
Faith and war go hand in hand. One who refuses to fight in the name of the divine cannot be called at true believer.

Our spymaster, Chief Sigfrid of Skane, doesn’t much like us. That doesn’t particularly strike me as a good thing, but as my vassal I must appease him by retaining his services on the council, and frankly, he does not lack for talent too badly. So scheme I must, and devise a way to improve his opinion of me.

My son, Knud, must be educated. My mother, bless her, is a talented woman, and quick-witted. She will be an excellent guide in the development of my son’s abilities and character.

!! For the record, I haven’t even started the game yet haha. I only unpaused after sending that proposal !!

Now then… being the warmongering sort, and needing some coin my weak neighbours just happen to have, we have gone a plundering, and in the meantime, captured the sister of the Jarl of Jylland. I’m not positive why it says he paid me zero, because he definitely paid me 20. Ain’t nobody leaving my jail free (at least with their heads attached). Our army also returned on its way to pillage some other friends, bringing is 15 more coin, and prestige to go with it. Everyone loves a successful raid.


Having tasted blood, our champions are eager for more, and the next battle sees some truly heroic efforts. Gunnarr ripped off one of their champions heads before rampaging through a bunch more nobodies! What a beast! 31 kills to his name in this fight.

While I’ve been off pillaging, my brother Ivar has gained vengeance for the horrible death of our father, and has slain Aella Oswulfson! The Sons of Lothbrok are not to be trifled with!

Giddy with the news, and the success of my raiders, I get even better news knowing I have fully satisfied my wife, and she is again pregnant! Sadly, Gunnarr has succumbed to a petty minion of the enemy in our latest battle however.

One always wishes for more sons to ensure the succession, but given the fact my titles must be spread amongst them all, another daughter may not be the worst thing!

More successful raiding, more prisoners! And this time a valuable one. Our friends are rich, but they do not know how to use their resources. I do!

This giant of a man has visited my court, and I am in awe of his strength. His genes are invaluable, and so we shall marry him to our daughter in the hopes our bloodline produces an slew of giant champions to lead our armies in battle!

Calamity! Sacrilege! The horror! I have lived in fear of it all my life and it has found me. My skin is black and bursting, and the court physician confirms it: I have contracted the plague. I fear my time is nearly at an end, and there is still so much to do! We have been drawn into war with one of our allies (my eldest daughter is betrothed to their second son!), and we have been beaten defending our holdings in the north. Our army is in retreat, and here I am, sitting with the physician deciding my fate. We shall seek treatment, and hope she knows what she is doing.

Oh gods, things have gotten worse. I am now faceless. A masked presence in the halls of my own chiefdom, avoided by all. The physician has botched it all, and I am sure to die even sooner now. The wretched woman is not deserving of life. The divine demands her head. We most arrange marriage for our son to ensure things do not fall apart before he comes of age, and so we find a nice looking, somewhat talented woman with a claim on many lands in the southwest. He is learning the ways of the warrior, and hopefully, he will live to spread our dynasty further.

I have died. So ends the reign of Sigurdr. Long live Jarl Knud!

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I feel tempted to play that game. Nice AARs!

Tons of fun. Lots of ways to approach your rule. I got a bit lucky when Sigurdr died because after the way we got drawn into ended the alliance broke since the relationship that created it no longer existed. So that was good, because I was not in a position to defend myself haha.

Got a lot of work to do to set Knud up… Opinions of him are low due to his age and lack of prestige (he hasn’t done anything yet). I was not expecting to have him in charge so young. I’m lacking a lot of options right now and I’m not sure if it’s because of his age or his skills being too low (because he’s still young). We’ll find out!

Hard to remember to take screenshots too, I get so focussed on making decisions. Ideally this would be a video aar but no one is going to watch 3 hours of me looking up random characters for 15 mins trying to find a spouse for character x haha. I mean my commentary would be worth its weight in gold but still.

A mix between this and Total War would basically be my medieval dream game.

Combat and graphics from Total War, diplomacy and stuff from this.

That was a great write-up @Rhinosaurus. I may have to check out this game myself.

Thanks. Jarl Knud has begun to make some progress so some more coming when I get a moment :slightly_smiling_face:

That does look like fun. But… After HBO ended GOT (which I did not see) I read the entire Song of Ice and Fire series up to this point. I don’t care if I never read or see another castle, king, mage, witch, sword, shield, banner, rape, dragon or direwolf ever again. But please, your writing doth please, do carry on my liege!

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There was a mod for CK2 to change the whole thing to GoT :stuck_out_tongue:

I am Knud! My father, may the divine bless his soul, succumbed to the ravages of the bubonic plague and despite my youthfulness, I have taken up his mantle as the head of house Sigurdr.

We continue the fight with our allies of Firdafylki, though we are losing this war badly. Thankfully, it is not my territory under siege, and this war should be over soon. But first we must address the fact that our father’s priestess does not look so kindly upon me as she did upon him. I have no one better for the position at the moment, and my status as a youth seems to be so unimpressive as to prevent me from scheming my way into her good books. This may be a problem that takes time to rectify. I am also not the steward of affairs my father learned to be; my heart lies more in the martial realm. This may pose a problem going forward as I cannot as deftly handle so many domains under my direct control. We may need to divest one or two to ensure the functioning of the realm, but that can wait.

Thankfully, as predicted the war has ended. While we lost overall, our contribution despite joining late was almost as significant as the Firdafylki, and we are rewarded justly with prestige.

The plague has moved on from our lands, but continues to ravage those nearby. Our acquaintance and guardian to one of our siblings, Chieftain Ake has succumbed as well. Nonetheless, life goes on.
My lack of personal prestige, being so young and having had so little time to do anything, prevents me from expanding our territory. I have no choice but to send our armies to raid our neighbours and bring fame and fortune to our lands, proving to one and all that I am worthy to lead.

We start with Kalmar, and capture not only 15 coin and the prestige to go with it, but Jarl Vagn’s wife as well! Fortune smiles upon us! We continue along the coast and return home to deliver our plunder!
As my armies raid and plunder, I take a moment to reflect and decide to raise a rune stone to honour the deeds of my father. Never shall his name be forgotten. This aspect of respect for my ancestry wins over the hearts of my people, improving their opinion of me, and I see nothing but glory in our future.

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But in short order my educator, my wonderful mother, passes after a long and well-lived life. I will mourn and respect her in private, but in the meantime, the giant Afanasiy has much skill and knowledge to impart in the short time before I come of age and must take control alone. He acknowledges the respect implied in such a request, and our relationship improves as he imparts his wisdom.

In the meantime, we plunder still, plotting a path through the coastal holdings to return coin, and more importantly, prestige, to our name and lands. As we capture prisoners, we ransom them for more coin. While we could please the gods with their sacrifice, such was not the purpose of the raids. Another time perhaps.


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At long last I have come of age, and through the extra bits of training with Afanasiy, I have become known as a brilliant strategist and an unyielding defender. My martial skill is superior, and will come in to be quite useful in the years to come. I take this time to dedicate myself a martial lifestyle, and will focus on becoming more personally skilled and gallant, that I might lead by example. It is also time to finalize my betrothal and formally marry Mojmira. The claims she holds are on lands not entirely close, but more importantly, we must create an heir.

As all this formality continues, my council quietly informs me that my reputation is surely to suffer if I do not take the concubines I am expected to have as such an important personage. Never one to disappoint the people set about to find some pretty ladies, but uh… that might have to wait as there aren’t many around…

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My raiders have returned with 75 apiece in coin and prestige, and we are well on our way to becoming a mighty ruler. It is time to flex the true might of our army and take over our neighbour in Telemark, the first step in the declaration of the Duchy of Viken! We will let our men rest and recruit a few replacements before taking the field!
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As we move on the Chiefdom of Telemark, I instruct my advisors to begin the construction of palisades in the capital. We must have strong defenses at all times! As the siege of Telemark begins, it appears two of my vassals have taken it upon themselves to war… I’m not sure why they would bother infighting as we seek glory elsewhere, but alas.
News reaches me that my wife is pregnant. I take this news with the barest of grins, as I am leading my army, and she is back at court. Has it just taken this long for the news to reach me, or will my firstborn not actually be mine? This on the eve of the end of the siege.


Having succeeded in the conquest of Telemark, I take some time to rest. I arrange educators for my sisters, something I had long neglected. They are both betrothed matrilinealy and their sons will be Sigurdr - they must be smart and strong! I also call a hunt, and set out with my men. We come upon a massive wolf, and I know that this is to be my first real victory, a personal win, in front of everyone. I step up and there is no doubt - my weapon bites into the beast as he lunges, and I take his life! Glory is mine.

My success gives my people great faith in me, and I am ready to take the next step in the formation of the Duchy of Viken. The alliance of held by the Chieftain of Vestfold has expired, and his army is weak. It will be a simply matter to bring them into the Sjaelland fold.
Just before the siege is to commence, word reaches me that my wife has given birth - to a daughter. While I am elated to have a child, I must have a son to secure the succession. I must find a concubine or two to improve my chances. Our faith does not respect female rulers!
Now word reaches me that my spymaster has imprisoned my chancellor after sieging his holdings. I honestly can’t even. We are out her taking over our neighbours and my own men squabble at home. We must develop more formal governmental laws that I might prevent this silliness.This has left a hole in our council, and while my friend and vassal Chieftain Porbjorn Akesson of Ranriki has been making it known he is unhappy at being kept off the council, I have no choice but to appoint the much more capable Afanasiy, who I have also rewarded for his service with the title of Chieftain of Telemark. His marriage to my sister is also formalized, and I hope soon to hear that they have birthed a giant baby boy!

Victory is mine once again, though it comes too easily. My neighbours are weak. With this new chiefdom, we can now create the Duchy of Viken. I am thrice a Jarl, but must divest two of my domain holdings. I must find worthy men to hold these positions. Unfortunately, my claim on the full Duchy of Viken is short of the Chiefdom of Nordmark. He is allied with the Chieftain of Neeric, who is a vassal of the King of Sweden - whose own army outmans man by twice the men.
!! I am unclear on the game mechanic here, but I -think- only Neeric can get called to the war if I go after Nordmark, and the King of Sweden stays out of it, since we are tribal and the King isn’t allied with Nordmark. I would have a bad time if he joined the war, and this an ironman play, so that would set me back a bunch, since I don’t have a male heir, and my heir is not even 1 year old. !!

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Some future planning is required here, as while it’s nice to knock out all the weaklings I am forced to live beside, we have larger concerns. I own half of De Jure Denmark, and parts of De Jure Norway. The easier path at the moment would be to finish conquering the remaining Chiefdoms of Denmark and declare myself King.

Sweden though is already created, and the King seems to think he should own the entire continent. If I’m not careful, I may find myself swearing fealty for a time to ensure the continuation of my dynastic lands, rather than forfeiting them entirely in his conquest. If we can form Denmark quick enough, perhaps this can be avoided. At the moment, however, we have too small an army to accomplish to task, especially since we need to guard the opposite front from opportunistic Swedish advance. He currently covets the Norwegian territories, so in the meantime, we will continue to stake our claim there also as they are weaker and easier to overcome.

Having conquered many territories, I am now widely known as a glorious figure. It was only a matter of time. I mean, look at my beard.

My initial plan was to focus on my personal prowess and ensure I was a ridiculous force on the battlefield, but a ruler must also rule, and so while our primary lifestyle focus allows me to better myself in combat, my studies will, in the short term, be focussed on overseeing my territories. As such, we will better be able to increase our control over newly conquered lands and ensure they provide the proper levies and taxes, rather than wasting my time keeping them in line simply because they are upset they are no longer whatever inferior faith, culture, or whatnot.

My wife’s brother decided to start a revolt against his liege. Since I might need his help to form Denmark, I decide to assist since my army is bigger than his liege’s in any case. Unfortunately, the march is across half a continent, and in the time it takes me to get there, his liege has called upon allies to assist, and we are now outnumbered. Despite the odds due to numbers, we are greater warriors. My brother-in-law’s army is handily defeated defending his own territory, and I am march into battle 600 men short of an even fight. The result is defeat, but in function only. We slay many of their champions, and the relative army sizes remain the same despite losses. Unfortunately, I have no choice but to retreat to my own holdings and regroup, and my brother-in-law must see the inevitable coming - his rule is at an end, as is our alliance.

Having returned home, I seek comfort in the arms of my wife, and in short order she is pregnant again. The news makes her incredibly happy, and she leaves me a gift. She begins to spend more and more time with me, the pregnancy turning her hormones hyperactive. Who am I to complain, this benefits me greatly! We finish building the palisades at the capital, and my son is born - the succession is secure! Torgeir!
The birth of our child slows my wife down not at all, as she continues to make every effort to get me in bed, and seduces me at every corner. She’s good looking enough, and I am thrilled with her for bearing me a son, so I respond in kind.

As we move to plunder lands again, my spymaster uncovers a plot to murder my priestess. Knowing of the plot, I am not worried for its success, but it troubles me I do not know who is responsible.
We sack the Chiefdom of Hedmork, and ensure the job is thoroughly complete, laying waste to all and bringing great glory to House Sigurdr.
My wife is pregnant again, which pleases me greatly.
We are experiencing some unrest in our conquered territory, however, and I must move to quell the rebellion.

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You could make a TV show out of this… I’d call it ‘Vikings’. I’m guessing you could get a good 6 seasons out of the storyline. :wink:

Very entertaining AAR’s @Rhinosaurus… please keep them coming, I have Crusader Kings 2 but haven’t tried it yet. Maybe I should just pick up C3 instead. I hear the user interface Of C3 is a lot easier to get your head around.

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I was going to ask how C3 was compared to C2. I muddled about in C2 for several hours, but never really made heads or tales of it. My wife loves these sort of games, and anything historical is bound to interest her. If it’s easy enough to pick up, I’ll recommend it to her.

It’s all going terribly hahaha. My conquest of De Jure Denmark is a terrible failure. Though I am learning some things about how warfare works, so there’s that. I would not have started these wars had I known what I now know about how things work (basically mechanics of the game thing, not “I make terrible decisions” problem). hahaha.

But yes, CK3 is way more welcoming than 2 I find. The interface is definitely better, though there are things they can improve on the war front. I’ve always found combat to be the weak side of paradox games.

Alright, this post is going to zip through things a bit. It’s hard to play the game and keep this AAR going. So many screens and then lots of writing to explain what’s happening, and that doesn’t even count the time it takes to make my (sometimes poor) decisions!

Ok, so… I’m building some war camps in the capital to increase my control gain over conquered territory (at least that’s what I assume it does - but as you’ll see going forward, even if only helps the capital itself, that’ll be good).
We are becoming known for our piety and dedication to our faith! My wife has given birth to another son. I have made my move against Jarl Bagsecg. He is distracted responding to the conquest of his allies by the King of Sweden who is my kinsman. The Sirgurdr dynasty grows in renown with each of my actions, and we continue to spread our influence across the world.
My heir Torgeir is a rowdy little young boy, a fact I will exploit in his upbringing to make him a formidable warrior.
My wife is pregnant again, no surprise!
We had a dispute in camp. I attempted to end it immediately with a rousing speech, but everyone was more interested in beating up on each other since we’re having trouble winning this war for a simple county. It ended up in a brawl, and I had to knock about some heads. All’s well that ends well.

So we had a major battle with the main Jylland army, and came out way ahead, killing many of their champions. Unfortunately, they are much better equipped and talented at sieging, and so we are losing this war. Despite winning every battle, and taking over the objective, they take far less time to do what we are doing, and we are unable to press our advantage. We have no option but to offer a white peace before things get too bad. We have lost our capital and retaken it… just. Oof. The bright side, is we captured the wife of the Count of Ditsmarchen and she isn’t half bad looking… or skilled. We shall make her our concubine in exchange for letting her out of prison.
In all this craziness though, declaring war on Jylland caused Skane to secede from my control !! I don’t understand what’s going on here… some research to do. Might have been because the Count of Skane was allied to Bacsegc? I dunno. !!
So now that we’ve made our peace with Bacsegc (reluctantly), it’s time to deal with matter sat home at take back our territory.
!! This is where some further understanding of the mechanics would have helped, because if I had, I would’ve waited a bit and done this properly by subjugating him, stripping his title, and fixing this problem entirely… instead I went one county at a time, and it caused a truce when I won, so I have to wait like 5 years to continue. Brutal. !!

We declared war on Bacsegc again since Afanasiy managed to convince everyone I was innocent in matters, and ended the truce. Jylland was low on soldiers, and again his focus was divided. So we spent the heavy cost this time to subjugate him, theorizing if we took his capital, it would all be over in short order. Unfortunately, his wealth exceeded ours and allowed him to buy the service of mercenaries, and he reached our capital in time to outsiege us, capturing it before we captured his. As we learned the last time, this was not a war we could win. Unfortunately, losing our capital meant we are losing the war, and there was no way to fix the situation. The only way back involved battles with the enemy, and somehow they outnumbered us. We lost our friend Porbjorn in battle, Afanasiy was slain, we lost several others, and our army was decimated. Thankfully, I was unscathed, but my heirs were captured, and things were bleak. Eventually, we had no choice but surrender. We’ve learned a bit though. It’s time to refocus and figure out how to grow a bit so we can take on Jylland again, so we can form Denmark. His siege ability is brutal.

LOL I said that would a shortcut AAR. Guess I lied.

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Hell yes. I am King Denmark :smiley:

AAR to come. Now to not eff up the succession lol.

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Ok let’s see if I can remember how all this came to pass… so much happened.

So my youngest daughter is a sickly thing. That’s going to hurt her development if it lasts long. We’ll see.
This woman Soloi came to visit, and I gave her a spot in my court, then promptly took her as my woman. She’s pretty ok looking, and she has some good thoughts on stewardship, which I am looking for in some of my kids.
While I’m doing that, I remember that my oldest daughter and my former Marshal are still imprisoned by that ■■■■■■■ Bagsecg… I suppose I should pay for their release at some point.
In the meantime I’ve been bouncing around southly raiding some moderately wealthy territory to bring my prestige back up from that disastrous campaign to subjugate Jylland.
My buddy Rurik decided he wanted a piece of De Jure England, which is way off from his main holdings, and now he’s being set upon in a holy war for his troubles, and wants my help. Thanks but no thanks, we’re way outnumbered, and I didn’t go there in the first place for a very good reason! I’ll decline.

I’ve caught a cold, or something. We’ll trust in our physician do what is necessary and nothing more. Thankfully this is the right decision, and I start to feel a bit better already. It will take some time to pass, but he assures me I will be well.

While I’m all shivering in bed, LOOK WHAT HAPPENED. I don’t even understand. Bagsecg that nutty old viking is falling apart. He’s lost his best commander who seems to have formed the Jarldom of Nordmark (which is confusing as Odin’s bright backside with the chiefdom of Nordmark to the north)… and now there’s the Jarldon of Slesvig eating up his territory too. IT’S MY LUCKY DAY. How did this happen, do we think? WELL the dummy was so happy with warding me off that he seems to have drank himself to death.
A viking killing himself via the drink. HAHAHA. Oh happy day.

The news is so good my illness departs. And my wife gets pregnant again.
Slesvig doesn’t like me, but that’s fine. We’ll get rid of them soon enough I’m sure.

My wife gives birth to another daughter, which I promptly celebrate by knocking up my concubine.
My eldest daughter seems to have become bisexual while she’s been imprisoned. Costs me 100 gold to get her out of there and back home.

Ok so a year or two goes by and we’re rampaging around Jylland taking over Ditsmarchen and playing chase the Jylland army to beat him around enough to convince him to capitulate, when my daughter comes of age. Happy day, she’s scholarly, matrilineally betrothed, and sweet, some good kids should come from this. BUT WOE IS ME. My daughter is a criminal, and so is my priest. She just got married for crying out loud, and she’s sleeping with the priest. AHHH.

!! some screens here showing me examining how badly this is going to mess up that particular branch. LOOK AT THOSE NEGATIVES !!

So while I can’t stand the criminality of this situation, letting it go unpunished is the least damaging situation here. Unfortunately, I lose a level of devotion. Thankfully, I am a pious man and will prove to the world it deserves to be recognized once again.

My mother took to her deathbed sadly, and a few months later, the siege of our capital ends in the death of my concubine Sofia. Jylland will pay.

My champions once again have a disagreement about strategy, except this time my words of wisdom are heeded (they better be, we’ve almost won this war). My prestige grows significantly. We continue to smack around the Slesvig and Jyllish (they’re allied) armies, and the glory of my names spreads further across the globe.

With our conquest of Ditmarschen complete, we are now free to create the Kingdom of Denmark. We have a claim on the remaining De Jure counties and will swipe them from Jylland in short order. While we’re at it, we form the Duchy of Holstein, and grant the title to our son.

My wife is delirious with joy apparently, that or the kids are driving her nuts, as she’s now a drunkard

Look at all those titles! Look at glorious Denmark!

My heir has come of age and is now a man in his own right. Praise be to Odin.

The only problem is our succession will result in the spread of our titles… something I am going to need to fix. Might need to murder a son or two…

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This is both thrilling and kinda hilarious!
I love it when games write such stories. And you also tell them well. :slight_smile:

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I always bounce off paradox strategy games. Tried four or five of them over the years. I guess I’m just too dang dumb. Why did I keep trying? AARs like this. Love these stories. Hearts of Iron yielded some epic stories as well, as did Victoria.

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I positively bounced in my chair when I realized Jylland’s army was diminished because of the fracturing. And then DEFINITELY bounced when I saw he drank himself to death. It was just too perfect haha.

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