Friday, August 2, 2013

The Surtr Saga - Part 1

Crusader Kings II - The Surtr Saga

Chapter 1
The Life & Legacy of Toki Surtr

  • Year 867 AD (Chief Toki, Age 16) 
Humble Beginnings
In the early days of January, a young man by the name of Toki Surtr claims the islands of Orkno (Orkney) as his new territory and base of operations. He enjoys his independent rule there briefly. He marries a young cleric named Vala Rognhildr of the temple at Palo. He battles with an illness early in that year, but is well by the time he received news that Haraldr "Fairhair," the self-proclaimed King, was coming to make war with the young chief. The men of Orkno put up a valliant fight in defense of their new home, but in the end Toki is forced to surrender to King Haraldr by the month of September and swear allegiance to his new king. This young man was incensed and swore he would have revenge, but those turned out to be simply the foolish dreams of the young. 

  • Year 868 AD (Chief Toki, Age 17)
King Haraldr's conquest continues the following July with the War of Subjugation declared on the territory of Agder. Nearly a year has passed since Toki's defeat and while his pride and prestige are still wounded, he is eager to prove himself on the battlefield alongside his peers, the chiefs under King Haraldr. Toki personally leads his troops to join the siege of Iveland, joining up with the Army of Mats in October. 

  • Year 869 AD (Chief Toki, Age 18) 
It isn't until May the following year that Agder surrenders to Haraldr and is incorporated into the petty kingdom of Ostlandet. Toki and his troops return home as war heroes. That September, Toki and Rognhildr welcome their first child, Sigrid, into the world. In December, Toki is invited back to Ostlandet to enjoy a great blot as King Haraldr's guest. Despite a resurgence of illness, Toki is able to attend and bore witness to an old enemy and war prisoner, Chieftess Gurli, as she was sacrificed to Odin. 

  • Year 870 AD (Chief Toki, Age 19) 
3rd Subjugation War
After the finale of the blot, King Haraldr declares the 3rd Subjugation War on Hordaland in the early days of January. Completely recovered from his illnesses, Toki summons his troops from Orkno to join King Haraldr in battle once more. In October, during the siege of Bjorgvin, Toki receives word that the Byzantine Emperor was hiring Norse warriors to aid him against his enemies due to their legendary prowess in battle. 

  • Year 871 AD (Chief Toki, Age 20) 
The following January, King Haraldr wins the 3rd War of Subjugation with Toki's help. Toki leads his weary troops homeward once more, but dreams of conquest in the south with the Byzantine armies. Unfortunately, his dreams are interrupted in June by King Haraldr's march against Telemark in the 4th War of Subjugation. They had only just returned home, but ever thirsty for glory, Toki leads his men once more across the sea to join up with the Army of Knut in September. Together they win the battle of Fredriksten and begin to lay siege to the city itself. During the siege, Toki is informed his second daughter, Ingrid, had been born back in Orkno. Rognhildr is left to arrange a betrothal between Ingrid and Valdemar, heir to the islands of Shetland, north of the Orkno Islands, for political purposes. 

  • Year 872 AD (Chief Toki, Age 21) 
The 4th War of Subjugation came to an end in May. Toki's forces suffered nearly 66% losses during the campaign, but they still return victorious and acclaimed for their participation. The 5th War of Subjugation began in July, but Toki decides that the lands of Herjadal are too far away, and he and his troops are in much need of rest. King Haraldr nevertheless is able to win decisive victory by December. 

  • Year 873 AD (Chief Toki, Age 22)
In April, the 6th War of Subjugation is declared against High Chief of Kola Sami to the far north. Although far from the islands of Orkno, Toki camnot ignore the most ambitious campaign of King Haraldr. It's not until September that Toki and his loyal 200 meet up with the Army of Knut in Herjadal where they await King Haraldr to give the orders for their long march north. 

  • Year 874 AD (Chief Toki, Age 23)
The armies of Haraldr arrive in the hills of Finnmark in May of the following year and clash with High Chief Baeivi I, though the war had been declared over a year prior. During the siege of Varghoeya, Toki receives word that his first son, Tyrsormr, rightful heir to the islands of Orko, has been born in his absence. 

  • Year 875 AD (Chief Toki, Age 24)
In February, the 6th War of Subjugation comes to an end and Finnmark becomes part of the not-so petty kingdom of Ostlandet. Toki's ambition to free himself from King Haraldr's yoke has long since dwindled and the two have become close friends during their various campaigns together. Toki's fealty has been earned, rather than demanded. By April, Toki and his remaining 70 men arrive on the shores of Orkno to recuperate. Toki meets his son, Tyrsormr, for the first time. In May, King Haraldr begins the War of Subjugation against Sweden itself, but Toki and his men have earned a respite from the battlefield. Toki turns his attention to domestic politics and by November, his daughter, Sigrid, is betrothed to Tolir Sigurdsson, the heir to the islands of Faereyar

  • Year 876 AD (Chief Toki, Age 25)
In June, Toki received word that King Haraldr had been victorious in his War of Subjugation in Sweden when he captured the son of his enemy and all his demands were promptly met. Chief Toki grew restless waiting for the political arrangements of his daughters and saw an opportunity to subjugate Faereyar while its army was away raiding southern coasts. The Chief of Orkno launches his invasion into the islands of Faereyar in December of 876. 

  • Year 877 AD (Chief Toki, Age 26) 
During his invasion of Faereyar, Wessex declares a Holy War against the King of Jylland, King Haraldr rushes to his aid. It is February when Toki decimates the returning army of Faereyar on the shores of their own islands. Chief Sigurd is utterly defeated at the battle of Skansin

  • Year 879 AD (Chief Toki, Age 28) 
Two years of harsh battles over the Faereyar islands and finally Toki musters enough strength to seize victory of Skansin and put an end to the bloodshed. Just as the siege came to an end, Toki receives word that his wife, Vala Rognhildr, died of an illness. Just days after receiving this news, the siege broke and Toki is able to end the war and return home to grieve. Toki is proclaimed Chief of Faereyar, but the victory was spoiled by the upsetting death. Toki Surtr would never take another wife. 

  • Year 880 AD (Chief Toki, Age 29) 
Finnmark declares its independence from Oslandet, interrupting negotiations between Chief Toki and King Haraldr to wed Haraldr's eldest daughter to Tyrsormr Tokisson. Bound by the promise of this new alliance, Toki sails 340 of his finest men to the shores of Finnmark to help quell the rebellion.

  • Year 881 AD (Chief Toki, Age 30)
Finnmark is ultimately defeated in August. Finnmark's Chief is imprisoned and his position is revoked by King Haraldr the following September. Finnmark belongs to King Haraldr once and for all. 

  • Year 882 AD (Chief Toki, Age 31)
King Haraldr joins King Oddr I of Jylland to defend the honor of their Norse brothers in a Holy War declared by the Catholic King Anarawd I of Gwynedd

  • Year 885 AD (Chief Toki, Age 34) 
Vikings Pillage Caithness (Twice)
In May, Chief Toki sacks Thurso, Caithness, allied with the King Anarawd I. In December, he returns to claim Thurso in the name of King Haraldr during this so-called Holy War. The tide of the war begins to shift in the Norse Kings' favor. 

  • Year 886 AD (Chief Toki, Age 35) 
Chief Toki begins the siege of Tain, Ross, in February. The city falls to the Norse in September. By November, Toki's army had marched to Scone, Gowrie and begun its final siege during the war. 

  • Year 887 AD (Chief Toki, Age 36)
In February, King Haraldr declares himself King of Norway, no longer the king of the petty kingdom of Oslandet. Due to this political shift, Chief Toki is able to establish himself as Jarl of Nordreyjar, overseeing the Orkno and Faereyar islands. The title also gave him claim to the Shetland islands where his daughter Ingrid was still betrothed to the Chief, Valdemar. Jarl Toki feels that particular political arrangement no longer holds any worth and so the betrothal is broken. By December of 887, Ingrid instead marries Prince Faste, Haraldr's eldest son, heir to the Kingdom of Norway. It is a big step up over the Chief of Shetland. 

  • Year 888 AD (Jarl Toki, Age 37) 
In March, King Oddr I of Jylland finally wins his victory over Gwynedd, ending the proclaimed Holy War against the Norse. This 6 year war solidifies Norse presence in the Anglo-Saxon lands of Britain. September of that same year, Jarl Toki turns his attention to Shetland and declares war on the young Chief Valdemar, bitter about his broken engagement to Ingrid Tokisdottir. 

  • Year 889 AD (Jarl Toki, Age 38) 
In June, the Army of Jarl Toki I captures the capital of Shetland and rush home to break the siege of Toki's capital city of Birgishaerad. Before they arrive, Chief Valdemar sues for peace and Jarl Toki takes Shetland into his Jarldom of Nordreyjar. Chief Valdemar becomes his vassal. After this success, Jarl Toki had no fear breaking the betrothal of his eldest daughter Sigrid to the former heir of Faereyar and instead arranges her marriage to the King of Jylland, Oddr I. 

  • 890 AD (Jarl Toki, Age 39) 
In September, Tyrsormr comes of age and is granted the position of Chancellor to Jarl Toki. Later that month, Tyrsormr and Princess Rognhildr of Norway are married. Toki sets sail for Akershus where rebels have begun their plans to overthrow King Haraldr. 

  • 891 AD (Jarl Toki, Age 40)
Chancellor Tyrsormr is able to fabricate a claim to the territory of Caithness to the south. Jarl Toki isn't in a great position to act on it that year. By September, Toki has managed to liberate the territory of Akershus from the rebels threatening King Haraldr's reign. King Haraldr has made no effort to halt the advancing armies, so Jarl Toki decides to leave him to his fate. He would not tolerate this weakness of the King, nor being used by him to defend his own holdings. Jarl Toki abandons pursuit of the rebels and returns to the Orkno Islands. 

  • Year 892 AD (Jarl Toki, Age 41)
Become Jarl of Iceland: Phase 1
Chancellor Tyrsormr is able to fabricate a claim to the territory of Austisland in the area known as Iceland in March of 892. The following October, Tyrsormr's first daughter, Rognhildr is born. To celebrate her birth, Jarl Toki decides to press his new claim on Austisland and sets sail for Iceland.

  • Year 893 AD (Jarl Toki, Age 42)
In February, Sigrid Tokisdottir leaves court to join her husband, King Oddr I of Jylland. Then in August, Jarl Toki defeats the Chief of Austisland and Chancellor Tyrsormr is named the new Chief. Jarl Toki I realizes he has a greater ambition to see himself on the throne of Norway as his friendship and respect for King Haraldr has grown cold over the last few years. 

  • Year 894 AD (Jarl Toki, Age 43)
The following February, Jarl Toki pursues his ambitions by declaring the First Orknian War of Subjugation against Vestisland in western Iceland, hoping to unify the island. 

  • Year 895 AD (Jarl Toki, Age 44)
Chief Ingolfr of Vestisland is forced to become the vassal of Jarl Toki I in May of 895. At some point during the year, Toki II was born to Tyrsormr and Rognhildr, but no one mentioned it to the Jarl. That December, Toki I is declared Jarl of both Nordreyjar and Iceland. 

  • Year 896 AD (Jarl Toki, Age 44)
Chief Tyrsormr dies at the age of 21 of natural causes in April of 896. The Jarl goes into mourning. 

  • Year 898 AD (Jarl Toki, Age 46)
Return to Caithness!
In September, Jarl Toki I finally pushed forward into Cathness to honor his fallen son, Tyrsormr, who managed to win that claim in the territory years prior to his death. In November, Toki's spymaster uncovered a plot whereupon King Oddr I planned to kill Toki's granddaughter, Rognhildr Tyrsormrsdottir. Jarl Toki I contacted him immediately demanding he cease his scheming against the House of Surtr and King Oddr I agreed to stand down. The fact that King Oddr I would scheme to kill Tyrsormr's 6-year-old daughter was more than enough to cast dark shadows of doubt over Jarl Toki's heart about the true nature of Tyrsormr's own death. Perhaps it was not natural causes after all. 

  • Year 899 AD (Jarl Toki, Age 47) 
August of the following year, Jarl Toki I conquers Caithness and is proclaimed its Chief. That same month, King Haraldr manages to lose his crown to the King Asbjorn I of Norway - the upstarts that Jarl Toki had flushed out of Akershus in 891. Jarl Toki is enraged by this turn of events because it meant his grandson, the son of Prince Faste and Ingrid, is no longer in line of succession to the throne of Norway. Despite how Jarl Toki currently felt about former King Haraldr's incompetence, he couldn't allow his hard work to be undone by this false king from the south. Jarl Toki began a faction to gather allies to see King Haraldr back on the throne and by October of that same year all of King Haraldr and Jarl Toki's allies had assembled for all out war against False King Asbjorn to decide the fate of the Kingdom of Norway. In December, Jarl Toki I's daughter, Sigrid, was named spymaster of Haraldr's forces. 

  • Year 900 AD (Jarl Toki, Age 48) 
June of the following year, False King Asbjorn had managed to conquer Birgishaerad, the capital of the Jarldom of Nordreyjar, but by November it made no difference as Jarl Toki had conquered all of Asbjorn's holds on the mainland of Norway. Haraldr was proclaimed the rightful King of Norway and restored to his throne. In December, Jarl Toki received a 2nd summons to King Haraldr's blot - as the guest of honor. 

  • Year 901 AD (Jarl Toki, Age 49) 
Jarl Toki I launches the Second Orknian War of Subjugation against the independent territory of Trondelag

  • Year 902 AD (Jarl Toki, Age 50)
Orknian Subjugation Continues
In January, King Haraldr of Norway dies of an illness at the age of 52. In the end, Jarl Toki truly thought of Haraldr "Fairhair" as his own brother and his death pains Jarl Toki greatly. Toki's son-in-law, Prince Faste, is crowned the new King of Norway. By March, King Faste of Norway names Jarl Toki I his trusted Hirdman for his many services to the kingdom. In April, he added to this honor by naming Jarl Toki I the Chancellor of Norway.

  • Year 903 AD (Jarl Toki, Age 51)
Now under the leadership of the Marshal of Orkno, the 2nd Orknian Subjugation War against Trondelag is won in January. King Faste and King Oddr I unite to defend against a Holy War started by the Countess of Hereford. Jarl Toki I orders his troops to join the battles with his two son-in-laws. 

  • Year 906 AD (Jarl Toki, Age 54)
The forces in Britain are at a stalemate and pretenders to the throne of Norway are popping up all around the countryside, so Jarl Toki I, Chancellor of Norway, orders his Marshal to return the troops to Norway in order to dispatch these new threats to his son-in-law's reign as King. 

  • Year 907 AD (Jarl Toki, Age 55)
April of the following year, King Oddr I manages to win the Holy War and comes to King Faste's aid in Norway. By October, Jarl Toki's forces manage to capture Ragnarr, the faction leader backing Prince Oddr (King Faste's brother). 

  • Year 908 AD (Jarl Toki, Age 56) 
A year later, Toki's forces capture Prince Oddr himself. Though his forces fight on in his name, they finally surrender in July. Prince Edmund continue to fight on, but by December even Prince Edmund's forces are subdued by King Faste and his allies. Peace returns to Norway and Faste is proclaimed Great King.

  • Year 909 AD (Jarl Toki, Age 57)
Jarl Toki I has his Marshal march troops against Halogaland in the 3rd Orknian War of Subjugation. 

  • Year 910 AD (Jarl Toki, Age 58)
In June, Ingrid joins her father on the Norwegian Council as Seer of Norway. That October, Jarl Toki I won victory over Halogaland and Norway, but particularly House Surtr, is strengthened. 

In February of 911 AD, Jarl Toki I of Nordreyjar dies of natural causes shortly after his 60th birthday. 
He is succeeded by his grandson, Jarl Toki II. 

Long live the Jarl!

Remember Jarl Toki I, Jarl of Nordreyjar, Jarl of Iceland!
Father of Sigrid, Queen of Norway!
Father of Ingrid, Queen of Jylland!
Father of Tyrsormr, the late Count of Austisland!
Mentor to Toki Tyrsomrsson, Jarl Toki II!

May the Skalds sing of his glory!

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