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Thread: The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna

  1. #1

    Default The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna

    The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna



    A new AAR, just for jest - Something experimental...

    Mod used: Last Kingdom
    Faction: Jarldom of Vestfold
    Start date: 865

    The sole goal of this AAR is to unify Norway - but I haven't played M2TW for a long time and all settings are on the hardest possible, so we'll see how that goes.

    Some information on the writing.
    I'm sometimes going to use Nordic letters like:
    đ (edh/eth). A letter used in old English but also the Scandinavic languages. It can either be a "th" like in "that", or a "dh" like in "denial".
    ţ (thorn). Like the "Th" in that.
    ř Can be read like Ć
    Ć (Ćsh), like "a" in "ash"
    Ǫ (O with Ogonek). A nasalisation. Merged later with O/Ö/ř/Ć. In many cases, it can be read as Ö or O, in an old norse/old islandic sense.
    But don't worry, I am not going to use many of them, and not many cosecutively. Only to give a bit more flavor to some names.


    Chapters
    Chapter One: The Oath of Haraldr and the Siege of Skidan
    Chapter Two: The Tale of Bodvar and Bodhar
    Chapter Three: The Tale of Haraldr and the Wćfremanna
    Chapter Four: The Tale of Haraldr and Lodi Rammrhǫnd
    Chapter Five: The Stórr Bifask and the End of the Greifki
    Chapter Six: The Birth of Kelldórr
    Chapter Seven: Haraldr and the Trickster
    Chapter Eight: The Tale of Lendrmađr
    Chapter Nine: The Battle at the Ishliđ
    Chapter Ten: Haraldr in the Hardangerfjord
    Chapter Eleven: The Great Battle of the Jarls I


    Characters (Possible Spoilers)
    The Yngling:
    Haraldr Halfdansson of Yngling: Jarl of Vestfold. Wants to be King of Norway. (Also known as: EEidrsverdberar)
    Halfdan Sverti: Father of Haraldr
    Guđrřđr Veiđikonungr: Father of Halfdan.
    Kelldórr: Son of Haraldr

    Men:
    Rognald Hegvirsson: Chieftain of Skidan. Gave Haraldr Eidrsverd. A decendant of Unferđ.
    Bodvar Karlsson: Commander under Haraldr. Betrayed him.
    Bodhar Digr Kleprsson: Commander under Haraldr. Offered to fight against Bodvar Karlsson.
    Frode Řysteinson: Commander of a group of Waefremanna. Bearer of Sawoletar and Bóđdrekkar. (Also known as: Jötunnkonar)
    Bađmir Gaunruni: A distant cousin of Graumr and Lođ. Slayed the two and took Sawoletar and Bóđdrekka for their won.
    Ejnar Angenga Karlungrsson: A warrior and commander in the army of Haraldr.
    Lodi Rammrhǫnd: Chieftain of Akre
    Guđer Mikillsson: Right hand of Lodi Rammrhǫnd.
    Aldwyn Saxi Grimboldsson: Left hand of Lodi Rammrhǫnd.
    Hake Gandalvsson: A renegard from Vellulandir
    Gandlavsson Grár Falkirsson: Chieftain of Vellulandir
    Had the Hard: A commander of Hordaland
    Kodlak Skolptrsafnir Sendi: Commander under Jarl Erikr of Hordaland. Famous warrior and fiend-slayer
    Kaptar Arms: Commander under Jarl Erikr. Poor-born but earned his status through battle.
    Sulke Falksson: Commander under Haraldr.
    Hodger Gautari: Commander under Haraldr.
    Hulbrunđ: Commander under Haraldr.

    Women:
    Freydis Rognaldsdóttir: Daughter of Rognald Hergvirsson. Wife of Haraldr Halfdansson.
    Huld the Völva: Seeress.
    Iórhildr Kyriţdóttir: Shieldmaiden and wife of Ejnar Karlungrsson.

    Beast:
    Hátskis: A half-human half-troll slain by Graumr and Lođ.

    Other:
    Eidrsverd: A sword given to Haraldr by Rognald Hegvirsson. It can shatter cursed items.
    Bóđsál: A spirit/soul living in Sawoletar and Bóđdrekka. Strives for power by killing (also it's masters) to be free.
    Sawoletar and Bóđdrekka: Two axes forged by the dwarf Flár. They are cursed, so that the bearer always gets killed (by one of his own blood).
    Last edited by theSilentKiller; October 14, 2018 at 09:22 AM.
    "Never Knows Best"
    The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna - A M2TW Last Kingdom AAR
    Nous Pauvre Couillons du Front - A NTW The Great War Mod AAR

  2. #2

    Default Re: The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna

    Chapter One: The Oath of Haraldr and the Siege of Skidan



    Arise and listen! It was in the days when the brothers Bjǫrn, Hvitsärk, Sigurdr and Ívarr, sons of the Ragnarr Lodbrók had assembled the stoutest men from all over Danmörk, Norvegr and Svíţjóđ to plunder the rich and ripe lands of East Engla.
    It was then when Haraldr succeeded his father Jarl Halfdan with-the-black-hair who was therefore hight Halfdan Sverti, son of Gudrřdr Veiđikonungr.

    And it is said that upon seeing his father’s hill, Haraldr, who had only lived for ten and two winters, swore an oath to the gods and his father that he would neither cut, clean or comb his hair until he was Konungr of the Norvegr.
    And his late nuncle’s Húskarlar who had survived his master for five summers and was now living in the great shame was suddenly seized by valor whereat he visited his master’s hill in the lands of the Sami. Standing on the barren Tundra he declared to the winds: “I am Valskar son of Gunnar, and I follow Olaf Geirstad-Alf, son of Gudrřdr Veiđikonungr!”, and threw himself into his own sword.



    Haraldr returned to Skirikssalr after his father’s burial, and levied a great host of many a hundred men from all over Vestfold. This army set out in the same year for Skidan, a town which had defied the rule of Gudrřdr and Halfdan and had accepted neither Jarl nor Konungr but only their Chieftain Rognald son of Hervir Olafsson.
    Haraldr and his great army set camp around the town which was protected by only a petty number of men, for the men of Skidan are cowards. Even the Skáld in the Kingdom of Danmörk and the Jarldom of Hordaland mocked them in their songs. The young Jarl had his men set up a camp surrounding the town and over every tenth tent, cloth with the symbol of Vestfold proudly thrashed in the strong winds like fish in a net. After two moons of siege Haraldr decided to show the people of Skidan the might of his men, as the Jarl did not dare to defile his proud warriors by ordering them to fight against the cowards of Skindan.
    Hundred valiant men in shining mail and thick layers of cloth underneath formed up in front of the Town-Mouth, each man armed with a birch spear thick as a child’s forearm. One in a hundred men had a sword by his hip. Upon seeing this the Chieftain of Skidan ordered the gates open, met the boy Haraldr and offered him his sword, a tainted and sad sword for it had never known blood or flesh.






    And Haraldr spoke: “Truly, you are a vagr, as are your men, yet you are wise as you are cowardly. If you swear loyalty to me, Haraldr Halfdarsson, I shall not see your cowardice and let the Skáld spread the story of the wise and loyal men of Skidan.”

    And the Chieftain answered:”We did not follow your father, nor your grandfather or his forefathers but we will follow you Haraldr Halfdarsson, for we have heard the whispers of your words to the Ćsir and the Vanir and your father. Here, I will give you two gifts.”

    A fine maid with hair like silken gold walked though the mouth of the town accompanied by two widowed women of such grace that the men had to lower their eyes. The maiden carried a sheathed sword in her arms.



    “This is my daughter Freydis. I offer her to you, Haraldr Halfdarsson, as a sign of our loyalty. She is the daughter of my wife Freydar and me, Rognar, son of Hergvir, a descendant of Unferth. And as a second gift I bestow you my forefather’s sword which was crafted along with Dánsleif in the years of the first Yngling. It is a sword will shall never be your enemy, nor fail to slay your enemies. Upon drawing, it’s name shall be revealed.”
    Thus, Haraldr drew the sword from it’s simple and swarthy sheath, and held the sword high into the air. The blade was of such fine elegance and craftsmanship that the Chieftain, his daughter Freydis and the hundred valiant men fell to their knees and praised the sword. The Chieftain stood up, look at the Jarl and shouted with a voice like the clashing of the gods’ swords in the sky:”This is Eidrsverd, and it shall accompany you on your quest to be Konungr of Norvegr!”
    The Jarl stood up and sheathed Eidrsverd. He said:

    “I will do great deeds with this sword to honor your forefathers. I accept your daughter Freydis as my wife and I will remember your loyalty when I lie upon her. And I hope I will see your honest face on the Honor-Field the day when I draw the Eidrsverd for the second time.”





    The Jarl proceeded to enter Skidan with his men and no shame was felt that day by the people of the town. The people on the soiled streets bowed and praised their new Jarl and exclaimed with joy never felt in Skidan:
    “Hail you, Haraldr Halfdarsson, bearer of Eidrsverd!”

    The Chieftain Rognald Hegvirsson, also known as Rognald Mildr due to his generosity for which his father Hegvir who was a descendant of Unferth, Thegn of Hrothgar, was known for greeted his Jarl worthy for the soon-Konungr of the Norđmanna.
    "Never Knows Best"
    The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna - A M2TW Last Kingdom AAR
    Nous Pauvre Couillons du Front - A NTW The Great War Mod AAR

  3. #3
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Soulforged
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    Default Re: The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna

    Jest or no, I think it's quite entertaining. Another story I can add to my list to follow. Look forward to more.

  4. #4

    Default Re: The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna

    Loved it! Hopefully Eidrsverd will lead Haradlr to victory in many a battles and then be preserved as if a saintly relic I really liked it and I look forward to new updates!

  5. #5
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna

    Nicely done, I like the way that your characters have a history at the start of the campaign, the Chieftain of Skidan talks about the relationship between his settlement and the father and grandfather of Haraldr. Like your other readers, I look forward to seeing what Haraldr will achieve with his new sword; I also wonder how he will get on with Freydis.

  6. #6

    Default Re: The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna

    Thak you all for your kind comments!
    Hopefully Eidrsverd will lead Haradlr to victory in many a battles and then be preserved as if a saintly relic
    Such a sword should not be drawn carelessly, we'll see when Haraldr decides to draw it And it's as saintly as the sword of pagan can be
    I also wonder how he will get on with Freydis
    Especially interesting when they will consummate their marriage, considering that both are only 12.
    "Never Knows Best"
    The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna - A M2TW Last Kingdom AAR
    Nous Pauvre Couillons du Front - A NTW The Great War Mod AAR

  7. #7

    Default Re: The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna

    Chater Two: The tale of Bodvar and Bodhar


    Rognald Hegvirsson threw a generous feast for the Jarl who appeared in the great hall of Skidan wearing a fine tunic of yellow linen and a red cloak over it. The linen had been so skillfully wrought by the women-weavers of Áslo that the men awed after seeing the clothes which were held together by a golden brooch given to Gudrřd, father of Halfdan and Alf, by the commanders of the Húskarlar of Ragarr Lođbrók after killing, Sađja, the fiend of Skagen.
    But when the Jarls guards attempted to enter the hall the men of Skidan hindered them. The Chieftain quethed:”I must tell you, that it is common custom in this town that no man shall enter this hall with armor on their body.” When the Jarl told this his men, they took off their fine mail and thick woolen tunics and entered the hall with their finest clothes in the colors of their families or in the colors of their Chieftain. And it is said that no one entered the great hall of Skidan with arms, armor or murderous intentions that day, but with joy and forgiveness. And men in all manners of colors stood in the hall and listened to the words of the boy-Jarl and the chieftain.

    It was in the evening of the first winter day that the feast started and it lasted for three days. This feast would later become the material for the songs of many Skáld who would sing of the golden cup of Rognald Hergvirsson and Haraldr who emptied thirty cups in one day. After the feast the Jarl proclaimed that he would return to Skiringssalr with Freydis for he was happy with his new subjects in Skidan.


    Thus ends the first tale of Haraldr Halfdarsson.



    In Skiringssalr Haraldr ruled prudently, resolving even the greatest disunity among his people. When villages quarreled over land he split it wisely and when women disputed over a child, he cunningly ascertained the real mother. And while the great army of the five sons of Ragnar Lođbrok landed in the lands of the East Engla, looting and plundering, Haraldr deciding that his lands should prosper. He told his peasants to clear land and create farms where there were none and that they should foster these fields so that they may enrich themselves and the people. And it was in Skiringssalr that he proclaimed, that he would bed Freydis when he defeated all the men east of the Mjřsa, whereupon the men of Skidan swore to fight for the Jarl. But it was not for too long that dark tidings arrived like the winter’s cold gales arrived at Skiringssalr.

    An army of masterless men was spotted north of Áslo sitting in tents and waiting for spring to come, for they intended to take the capital of Vestfold. Another army marching without banners approached from south of the capital. Their intend were wicked and their breed brutal, for they did not come to subject and seize lands. No, their hearts desired plunder, blood and fire.


    Thus the Jarl decided to send a group of men under the command of Bodvar Karlsson, a distinguished warrior who had fought under Halfdan, to Áslo. But after three days of marching they burned their banners and ravaged the country side, swearing allegiance to the Jarl of Hordaland for Bodvar was of the same blood as Jarl Erik. Enraged, the Jarl once again assembled his Húskarlar, Hirđmanna and Herklćdi (armored) warriors and marched to punish the traitors.
    When his scouts spotted them the Jarl asked among his commanders who was willing to fight them, for he was a man of honor, as was it custom among the Yngling, and could not fight few men with many.






    Among his commanders came forth a man twice as high as the Jarl and who stood strong as the Jarl’s steadfast steed. This man was Bodhar Digr, son of Klepr Óvćgr, whose ancestors had all been mighty warriors with many tales sung about them how everyone of them had honorably died in battle. Bodhar Kleprsson spoke:


    “My father’s brother fights beside Bodvar Karlsson. My honor commands me to take up my axe and march my men against Bodvar’s, for I could not live with betrayal in my family.”
    The Jarl agreed after hearing this and sent word to Bodvar that he shall fight Bodhar’s men next to a tree which has existed since the creation and was made of Ymir-Hair. And it was sung from then on:



    “Many men on the field did great deeds and died
    When Bodvar Karlsson, and Bodhar Kleprsson
    Marched before their men, singing songs of old
    Which melded with the winds, wielding ancient might”




    But many verses were lost and none dared to deceitfully forge false songs of the heroic deeds that day. But it is told that Bodhar’s men, each of them in mail and thick layers of wool underneath formed a spear wall with such discipline that proved every doing once done true, and waited underneath the tree of ancient where they met Bodvar’s men, who had only their Kyrtills [overtunic], shields and spears. The traitors who were all of courage fought for long, however strong their valour was, their prowess in fighting was not and slowly their numbers dwindled.
    Yearning to clean his family of foul blood, Bodhar searched for his uncle and when he met him he slayed him in a mighty manner, splitting him from head to hips. Bodvar, in the meanwhile, who was a fierce fighter, slew men to his left and right, but found his death to the head of a spear. His valorous men fought for long, but fear struck them when they saw that two of every three men who once lived were slain, and they fled. Bodhar, sure of his victory, reached for three fleeing men and slayed them all. But a famous warrior willing to avenge his dead brother’s in arms killed Bodhar with his axe but Bodhar raised his sword with his last breath and slayed his killer.
    And while Bodhar Kleprsson was carried away by a Valkyrie 20 of his forefather who had died in battle nodded in approval of his death.





    The remaining traitors were of a weak and cowardly breed who feared death, thus they screamed and yelled as Bodhar’s men, enraged by their commander’s death, brought justice upon them, slaying every one of them with no mercy to spare.


    Thus ends the tale of Bodvar Karlsson and Bodhar Digr, son of Klepr Óvćgr.
    "Never Knows Best"
    The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna - A M2TW Last Kingdom AAR
    Nous Pauvre Couillons du Front - A NTW The Great War Mod AAR

  8. #8

    Default Re: The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna

    Another great update!! I liked the whole battle scene personally. I will wait for the next update!
    My AAR- The Restoration of the Empire-A Vanilla Byzantine AAR

  9. #9
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Soulforged
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    Default Re: The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna

    I liked the poetic manner of reporting the battle as if performed by a skald.

    A great chapter to be sure!

  10. #10
    NorseThing's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna

    A great update. I agree with all the comments, but I have one more that I think is worth many of us to learn from. Your descriptive narrative uses color and nature of clothing with what seems so little effort on the part of the writer. I tend to be more comfortable with emotions, tone of voice, and other mental images. I know I should do more of the color of the tunic so to speak. It is narrative and adds color to the story. +rep (when I am able) for a teachable moment (for me at least).

  11. #11
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna

    I agree with Caesar16, Turkafinwë and NorseThing, and particularly enjoy the setting and the epic tone of your tale, with a commander refusing to dishonour himself by fighting few with many, with mighty warriors such as Bodhar Digr, songs of heroic deeds and and a suitable ending for a Viking hero. The screenshots are well-chosen, too.

  12. #12
    Caillagh de Bodemloze's Avatar to rede I me delyte
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    Default Re: The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna

    Very Beowulf.

    I can't really add much to all the other comments, though. I'll just have to look forward to the next chapter.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna

    Another great update!! I liked the whole battle scene personally. I will wait for the next update!
    Thank you! We'll procede with yet another battle, although a bit more epic in scale

    I liked the poetic manner of reporting the battle as if performed by a skald.

    A great chapter to be sure!
    Thank you! I try to have a slight touch of a prosa Skáld-Song. Especially like coming up with Kennings, although i haven't used them this much... will try more of that for sure!

    A great update. I agree with all the comments, but I have one more that I think is worth many of us to learn from. Your descriptive narrative uses color and nature of clothing with what seems so little effort on the part of the writer. I tend to be more comfortable with emotions, tone of voice, and other mental images. I know I should do more of the color of the tunic so to speak. It is narrative and adds color to the story. +rep (when I am able) for a teachable moment (for me at least).
    Hmm, I see what you mean. Frankly, I didn't even realize that. I mean, I tried to emphasize with what people arm armored and armed, and when someone important wears fine clothes but maybe I should focus more on other aspects too. Tell me, if you want, when you find an example where I did abhorrently bad or fairly good in this, so I can learn

    I agree with Caesar16, Turkafinwë and NorseThing, and particularly enjoy the setting and the epic tone of your tale, with a commander refusing to dishonour himself by fighting few with many, with mighty warriors such as Bodhar Digr, songs of heroic deeds and and a suitable ending for a Viking hero. The screenshots are well-chosen, too.
    Thank you! Giving your enemies a fair chance to fight, even when it decreases your odds did surprisingly often happen.

    Very Beowulf. I can't really add much to all the other comments, though. I'll just have to look forward to the next chapter.
    Ah yes, Beowulf. Heard about that I wonder how many people will catch all the references to Beowulf, the Niebelungen, Tolkien, very very far fetched references to Arthur and a number of Viking Sagas. (Incidentally, there is the Yngling saga about Haraldr, our Haraldr, Fairhair.)
    "Never Knows Best"
    The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna - A M2TW Last Kingdom AAR
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  14. #14

    Default Re: The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna

    Chapter 3: The Tale of Haraldr and the Wćfremanna

    Haraldr Halfdarsson did not rest after the battle, instead he proclaimed that he would not stop until every vile breed was banished or beaten off his lands. And so he marched his men north chasing the many masterless men to the foot of Spátind, the highest mountain of the Synfjell.

    In the night after had Haraldr set up a camp close to his enemy’s a woman appeared in the tent of the leader of the masterless, hight Frode Řysteinson, a warrior known for prowess in battle and his size which brought him the name Jötunnkonar. The woman was the Völva (seer/seeress) Huld and gave Frode the prophecy:

    “Frode Jötunnkonar, son of Řystein Olgasson and leader of the banished men, soon the Jarl will meet with you and offer a disgraceful proposal to humiliate you and your cause. When this happens reveal who you are and the burden you carry. This will lead to a battle which shall decide whose cause is true and worthy of a victory on the field of honor. If you think yours to be true, this is the only way for a true warrior.”

    In the next morning, Haraldr saw many single-colored banners flapping in the wind over his enemy’s tents and he suddenly knew that they were Wćfremanna, men whose masters are dead or homes had been destroyed and are now wandering restlessly throughout the lands, plundering and pillaging villages. And it was then that Haraldr decided to meet their leader not to challenge or mock but to reconcile. They met on a hilltop with only their most trusted guard by their side. Haraldr spoke:

    “Frode Řysteinson, your men are strong and I see no weak manner in them, thus I, Haraldr son of Halfdar Sverti offer you a home and my protection in exchange for your service in my army and for my cause.”
    Whereupon Frode answered: “You anger me Jarl. It was your father Halfdan son of Gudrřd the Hunter King, who fell into our lands after our Jarl refused to bend the knee. It was your father who burned our villages and forced us to live off the lands of others. We can not stand idle by now that you, Haraldr Eidrsverdberar, want to be the ruler of Norvegr and the Norđmanna. And after this insulting proposal I can not but to challenge you and avenge our fathers and brothers or join them in the halls of the dead.”
    Haraldr knew that his words were true and he, as the want-to-be Konungr could not refuse them their chance of revenge, for he knew that his father had been ruthless and unjust. They met the day after on the soon-to-be feasting ground of the wolves and crows.




    It was the first time that the boy led an army so he was doubtful but did not yield to it. He ordered his archers to precede the Herklćđi, the young and inexperienced men with no armor yearning to gain glory. Behind them stood the Leiđangr, a strong breed of men who were trained by Haraldr’s father to raid lands from the sea. Behind them stood the Jarl with his Húskarlar and on the left flank various kind of lightly armed men to outmaneuver the enemy.
    The Jarl was cunning and told his men to form up on a hill and waited for the Wćfremanna to come, for they were more in numbers and would feel great shame if they did not attack. And while the heavy steps of an unprecedented number of men was carried by the winds to the Jarl’s, he and his warriors raised their voices to sing the song of Bodhar Kleprsson whose deeds ignited their will to fight and struck their spirits like the many arrows struck the lines of the Wćfremanna. “Truly, it is formidable”, thought all the men on the field as they heard the singing, marching and flapping of the banners in the wild winter wind.




    Frode, son of Řystein, sent his first wave of men against the spears of the Jarl who stood on the foot of the hill and the bashing of shields erupted, resounded through the mountains. Soon after, the flanks too were engulfed in fighting. Frode had foreseen the Jarl’s attempt to outmaneuver him on one flank so he had stretched his lines wide. Especially the right flank witnessed the death of many, which would become the beginning of the “Ejnar’s Saga”. The men fought for long but did not tire, thus Haraldr decided to take part in the fighting at center of the battle.

    He and his Húskarlar forged the material for many songs by fighting with a zeal unknown to the Wćfremanna. But the ferocious shouting of his Húskarlar turned into screams in the blink of a moment. Frodes’s personal guard, men in mail, with sturdy spears and swords by their side had joined the fight in the center. And right amid the fighting was Frode Jötunnkonar, towering each man on the field by three heads. The leader was in many layers of wool and fur, swinging an axe in each hand and killing a great lot of men, preparing them for the crows and wolves. The young Jarl, only thirteen of age and in mail with a shining helmet on his head, met the tall man, shield in the left hand and spear in the right against the two axes.

    These two axes were called Sawoletar and Bóđdrekkar, bestowed from father to son in each generation of Frode’s lineage, the Gaunruni. The axe-heads were covered in runes unknown to any man and the handles were of wood black as tar. The story was that the two heroes Graumr and Lođ had taken them from the fiend Hátskis in the lands of the Gautar after king Heardred’s champion at that time was not in Gautarheimr (lands/homes of the Gautar/Geats) and asked for a hero to slay the half-human half-troll. Two men from two families competed for this quest taking turns in fighting the beast but they realized that neither of them could kill the fiend alone. After slaying Hátskis together, each of them married the sister of the other and received one of the axes as gifts. Bađmir, a distant cousin of both heroes, grew envious at the sight of these two praised families living in his village.
    Thus, at nightfall, he decided to sneak up on them and slayed the heroes in a wicked manner and took their axes. He fled to the Hedmark where he fathered a son. Little did he know that the dwarf Flár who had crafted the axes had also cursed them. No bearer of these axes should ever be able to let go of the weapons unless taken by someone else from his dead fingers and no bearer should ever die a natural death but be slain by one of his own blood. However, in exchange, the axes could break through any armor and only the men destined to greater could survive a hit of the axes. But something came to be that the dwarf Flár did not intend; The axes received together with this wicked curse a wicked soul, a soul imprisoned in the two weapons. It incited hatred so that it could change it’s bearer many time and gain strength to eventually escape it’s prison and roam the earth freely. This soul was called Bóđsál. It would be the death of Flár and every other bearer.




    Because of this it came that the Jarl was hurt in many places with the chains of his mail broken while Frode was untouched. The Jarl tried to thrust his spear at his opponent’s face but Frode broke it with ease in one stroke. The Jarl looked around and saw the face Rognald Hegvirsson surrounded by warriors from Skidan. It was then that the Jarl remembered and he drew his sword Eidrsverd and for a short moment all fighting stopped. But this was not the doing of the sword, it was the axes’ curse. Frode’s children had died at the hands of Halfdan’s men and the Gaunruni blood was close to ceasing to exist - Bóđsál desired a new bearer. He permitted the boy-Jarl to cut the legs of the giant forcing him to his knees. Haraldr split Frode Řysteinson’s helmet and head with one stroke. But Eidrsverd had many blessings lasting on it. Among others it could shatter any ordinary weapon and break any accursed item by killing the last living bearer. So it came that Bóđsál, who could not have foresee this, died as Sawoletar and Bóđdrekkar, together with the curse, broke.

    After this, Haraldr delivered blows left and right suddenly empowered with strength, shattering helmets, cutting shield in half and generously granting an honorable death to many a men. The fighting ended when the setting sun stretched the shadows long over the frozen ground and the song of the crows started. The last few Wćfremanna stood tired but wrathful fighting to the last - soon even they met the Valkyries.
    The Jarl marched over the battlefield relieving every man in agony until he came to a lone Herklćđi kneeing on the ground among a great lot of dead. No longer could one see the light birch of his spear, for it was covered in so much blood, enough to paint the great hall at Áslo red. Upon seeing the many wounds on this man’s body Haraldr knew what had occurred here and that this man was a true warrior. This man hight Ejnar, son of Karlungr Bóndi, farmer of Fjone.




    “Rise up, Ejnar Karlsson”, said the Jarl, “From now on you shall be know as Ejnar Angenga, for you have stood your ground alone, when all have fallen around you.” The Jarl called for the Skjaldmćr (Shield-maiden) of a fallen warrior. A fine woman young of age appeared, her body hidden under mail and blonde hair growing out underneath a wonderful helmet that bend around her blue eyes. “This is Iórhildr, daughter of Kyriţ. She shall be yours from now on and accompany you in battle and in bed. Furthermore, I grant you a body of men to command for you haven proven to be among the leaders and march the strong into fighting worth for a song.”
    Ejnar Angenga fell to his knees, praised the gods, Haraldr and Eidrsverd before saying:
    “My Jarl, your gifts are worth more than my deeds, for I have only done what was right for a Norđman. But if I can help you fulfill your oath I shall not be diffident and serve you as commander in battle.”




    A messenger arrived shortly after. The men of the village of Akre had stopped paying tribute after the death of Halfdan Sverti, furthermore their Chieftain of Akre, Lodi Rammrhǫnd, challenges Haraldr Halfdansson to a contest over the rule of Akre.
    "Never Knows Best"
    The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna - A M2TW Last Kingdom AAR
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  15. #15
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna

    Great chapter, with rich descriptions, exciting action and great screenshots. While I'm disturbed by the idea of Iórhildr being a 'gift' for someone as if she was property, of course I know that women were treated in such ways, historically. I'm enjoying the legendary style of your story, for example this is a world with blessings and curses, dwarves and trolls (and half-trolls) - and the 'story within a story' about the axes, Sawoletar and Bóđdrekkar, is particularly good.

  16. #16
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Soulforged
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    Default Re: The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna

    Wow, just wow. I could repeat all that Alwyn has said but what would be the point. A truly amazing chapter.

  17. #17

    Default Re: The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna

    I like how you write it as anyone would write about some hero of old .
    Good and amazing AAR man .Please continue .
    To anyone concerned. I am leaving twc. Bye and best of luck.
    And Pike thanks for supporting me always.

  18. #18

    Default Re: The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna

    I just finished reading your new update! Since all writers have already said everything that I wanted to I don't have much to say, but like always your way of writing glues me to my seat and my eyes to the screen. I eagerly await to see so as to who will claim lordship over Akre.
    My AAR- The Restoration of the Empire-A Vanilla Byzantine AAR

  19. #19

    Default Re: The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn
    Great chapter, with rich descriptions, exciting action and great screenshots. While I'm disturbed by the idea of Iórhildr being a 'gift' for someone as if she was property, of course I know that women were treated in such ways, historically. I'm enjoying the legendary style of your story, for example this is a world with blessings and curses, dwarves and trolls (and half-trolls) - and the 'story within a story' about the axes, Sawoletar and Bóđdrekkar, is particularly good.
    Thank you Alwyn. I absolutely agree that it is disturbing that Iórhildr treated as a gift, but I wonder what the difference to Freydis is? Freydis is offered to Haraldr by the Chieftain of Skidan like a gift just like Iórhildr - only the phrasing is different (instead of "I'm giving you..." it's "I'm offering you...". In both cases, the women had no choice. (Let's ignore the fact that Rognald, a simple Chieftain, was pretty sly by marrying his daughter into the Yngling family and 'offering' her to the soon-to-be King of Norway.))


    Quote Originally Posted by Turkafinwë
    Wow, just wow. I could repeat all that Alwyn has said but what would be the point. A truly amazing chapter.
    Thank you Turkafinwë!


    Quote Originally Posted by mad orc
    I like how you write it as anyone would write about some hero of old .
    Good and amazing AAR man .Please continue .
    I think it gives a more epic feeling to everything, if I try some mix of norse saga style with saxon style (like Beowulf) and germanic style (Like Nibelungenlied or Hildebrandslied) plus some modern stuff.


    Quote Originally Posted by Caesar16
    I just finished reading your new update! Since all writers have already said everything that I wanted to I don't have much to say, but like always your way of writing glues me to my seat and my eyes to the screen. I eagerly await to see so as to who will claim lordship over Akre.
    Thank you and I'm happy to hear that you glued your eyes to the screen. (Figuratively speaking - hopefully )


    Well, let's see who'll win the competition...
    "Never Knows Best"
    The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna - A M2TW Last Kingdom AAR
    Nous Pauvre Couillons du Front - A NTW The Great War Mod AAR

  20. #20

    Default Re: The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna

    Chapter Four: The Tale of Haraldr and Lodi Rammrhǫnd



    Two days after the battle at the Spátindhliđ, as it was from then on called, came a second messenger to the tent village of Haraldr. This messenger who was Ralfr Ralfsson brought an invitation to Völvasalr, the great hall of Akre and it was there that the competition would take place. When Haraldr arrived with his Herr at the mouth of the town he hailed the guards on the wooden ramparts to open the path. Three men left the town and approached the Jarl, their clothes of the finest yarn the town could muster. One of them had hair like coal and a beard in the fashion of the Langobards, the other two flanked Lodi on both sides and had white hair. This man was Lodi Rammrhǫnd, son of Eikleif Kjǫllson. The others hight Guđer Mikillsson and Aldwyn Saxi, son of Grimbold of the lands of the Seaxna. All of them were of a manly kind and nothing around them seemed treacherous or wretched. And because of this the Jarl said in a manner people of strong blood spoke to their like:

    “Lodi Rammrhǫnd, it has been long since my eyes could delight on the many grand banners which are flapping ever so proudly over the walls, for I was of a young age when my father took me to Völvasalr. And as you might know, it was here that he celebrated the bond between your family and the Ynglings of Vestfold. So, as my father and my father’s father, I desire to prove myself worthy of Akre, home of the greatest hunters.”
    Lodi answered: “Haraldr Halfdansson of the Yngling. It is true, my forefathers served your forefathers. And as such it is my destiny to prove if indeed not only the blood but also the spirit of the Ynglings flows through your body. In three challenges shall we compete but the ways of old are that we first celebrate the arrival of an Yngling.”

    Lodi led the Jarl and his warriors through the town where every men, women and child held a bow or hunting spear. On the hill in the north of the town stood Völvasalr, the hall of the Seers. A timber gate held the shields of it’s builders over the heads of all who passed through to climb the stairs to the hill top. The hall itself was of enormous size and could fit many longboats length- and breadthwise under it’s aspen roof. The walls inside were covered in every pelt and the head of every animal in the lands hung from ropes, hovering far over the heads of the visitors who were humbled by this awesome sight.
    Lodi Eikleifsson had prepared a marvelous feast to show the Jarl’s men his wealth and hospitality. There was reindeer from the lands of the Saami, seal from the Swedes and salted meat from the Engla. Wonderful wine by trading with Víkingar who had taken it from the Franks. Fine Ale which had been shipped together with the salted meat. Mead, golden in color like the armlet of all the women-servants and so sweet that many of who drank it still dreamed weeks later off this brew. There was enough for all the warriors and the Chieftain’s exalted hunters. The Jarl was awed as his high expectations of Akre were exceeded by this feast. He remembered that it was his grandfather Gudrřdr Veiđikonungr who had integrated this town into the North Trade by clearing the roads of bandits and hunting down all the ferocious bears and wolves with nothing but his spear. The feast lasted until the next morning.

    When the great candle in the sky surpassed it’s highest point the next day all the folk gathered at the stairs of the hill. Warriors flanked of each step holding spears and banners. Haraldr and Lodi stood together in front of the Völva Huld under the timber gate. Many Skáld sing of different challenges proclaimed by the seeress but the true ones were these:


    The first challenge was to hunt a beast bigger than the other’s with only one spear to prove their ability to feed their people.

    The second was to defeat the other in a game of Tafl to prove their leadership and cunningness.

    The third challenges allowed both to chose a stallion at their liking. These two stallions would then fight fiercely for their lives. The one who had chosen and goaded the winning horse was to be called the victor and could claim ruler over Akre, as he was not only cunning and capable but also able to choose his fights and warriors wisely.


    Thus it came that Lodi Rammrhǫnd ventured out into the forest to hunt down a beast. Lodi hunted often in the forest since his days of young age thus he knew were to find bears. He drove his spear into the flanks of one after two days of search, followed the wounded beast for one week until it lay dead. His march back through the forest took him long. But before he could enter the town he was stopped by Haraldr who had not even entered the woods around Akre. The Jarl had a cunning plan and he told the chieftain in front of the eyes and ears of his followers:

    “Lodi Rammrhǫnd of the Viđrlings, I Haraldr Halfdansson of the Ynglings hereby challenge you over this bear as it is ancient custom in the lands.”
    Lodi did not waver nor did the stutter when he said: “Alas, you are cunning as you are cruel in manner. Challenging me in front of my people I have no choice but to accept for my life would be full of shame if I did not.”

    Servant provided the two men with birch poles and shields and the duel started. It was a fight the Chieftain could not wind. Although born with a warrior’s heart and a strong arm he did not spend the days fighting men but hunting animals, as it is common to do so in Akre. The Viđrling didn’t see greatness in fighting on the field of honor where it is easy to hunt men, neither did they duel because they did not duel with the animals of the forest. In spite of this, Lodi fought true and hard. Yet the young Jarl prevailed. Thus it happened that he obtained the bear by beating the Lodi Rammrhǫnd in a fair duel. This is how the Jarl won the first challenge.

    After this, the Völva Huld procured pieces for a game of Tafl made from ivory traded in Miklagard, the capitals of the Romans. But the board was of a different kind with only seven squares in length and width. Haraldr and Lodi who thought this to be some evil intend to mock them thought of better than rage and asked the Völva the reason behind this. And the Völva explained:

    “You shall not play the game of the raiders for you desire to lead men as Konungr - Konungr of the Norđmanna or Konungr of the hunters. This is the game of the Ard Rí of Skotland. Therefore it shall be called the Game of the High Kings and shall decide who is capable of leading men, for a leader is important in battle and on the hunt alike.”

    The two men agreed that this was true and that it is not vile for men to play foreign games. So they played the game of the High Kings, carefully moving their pieces while not wasting a thought on different matters. They started when the sun rose and were finished when it reached it’s highest point. Haraldr who was inexperienced with leadership was on the verge of losing if it hadn’t been for the gods to lead his hand. The gods favored the Ynglings for they have sent many warriors to their halls over the many centuries. That is how the Jarl won the second challenge.

    For the third challenge the Jarl and the Chieftain had to venture south to find a wild stallion as their champion. Lodi went to the lands of the Swedes and tamed a wild horse with the help of Aldwyn and Guđer. The stallion was strong, brutal and ferocious – even the warriors were wary around this beast. Haraldr, whereas, crossed the seas and searched in the Riddermǫrk, a land in the realm of the Franks. There he found a giant of a horse with only one eye and older than any horse found on a battlefield. It took the Jarl nine days to tame the Frankish stallion and another four to return to Akre.

    The two men met with their champions inside a wide circle of mares and between the mares stood men shouting and goading the horses with war cries. Each of the two men stood by their stallion mustering great strength to hold the wild beasts back. They took wooden planks and hit the horses to make them more aggressive and wilder. Upon releasing them the two stallions charged at each other. The beast entangled, bit at each other so that their teeth turned red and their flanks bloody. They smashed their heads, ripped the skin of the other with their hooves, disengaged only to charge again. It was a great display for the warriors and hunters who were inspired by this grand sight, appealing to their warrior nature in their hearts. Many men started to wrestle and fight. Even the men of Akre could not resist the incentive they had thought to be lost under the rule of the Viđrlings. The horse fight lasted for a whole day until Lodi’s champion fell to the ground, exhausted and dying.

    “The men in Valhalla surely will welcome this stout stallion”, the Jarl proclaimed acknowledging the Chieftain’s choice. Haraldr’s horse broke the circle of mares and ran off into the forest where it was never seen since despite the best hunters trailing it.

    This is the tale of how Haraldr Halfdansson of the Ynglings won the rule over Akre, the town of the hunters. Where the Völva Huld warned him of a danger looming in his long future and that he would experience great loss before he could claim to be Konungr of Norvegr. However, it was not in the power of the Völva to see a certain future where Haraldr would wear a crown of gold or crown of blood.



    Notes
    Tafl describes a group of ancient board games often played by the Norse people. There are various variants for this games, like the popular Hnefatafl commonly played by Vikings and in Scandinavia, but also foreign styles like the Scottish Ard Rí, the Irish Brandub or the Welsh Tawlbwrdd

    Horse fights were, unfortunately, fairly popular with the peoples of Scandinavia but lost popularity over time. Horse fights were (and sometimes still is) especially widespread in (south east) asia.
    Last edited by theSilentKiller; June 15, 2018 at 08:23 AM.
    "Never Knows Best"
    The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna - A M2TW Last Kingdom AAR
    Nous Pauvre Couillons du Front - A NTW The Great War Mod AAR

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