This is an important event in the future history of this game. First let me explain what’s happening from a game-mechanics perspective: All Paradox games have a built-in limiter on player expansion, variously called ‘badboy’ and ‘reputation’. As you conquer lands, you gain badboy; it is removed by time, at a rate which (in CK) depends on your piety, and also (in CK) by handing out titles to vassals, thus reducing the concentration of power in your own hands. The chief effect of badboy is to make you unpopular with your vassals. What’s more, in vanilla CK, there is what’s known as the Death Spiral: If you crush one rebellious vassal, you can either let him go in peace – unlikely! – or take his lands, which gives you even more badboy and making your other vassals hate you all the more. This is what happened to Norway in this session.
From a storytelling perspective, however, the Great Rising is a seminal event in the formation of the Yngling character. It is the one time the Ynglings disagreed among themselves on a large scale; and the effect was an instant loss of power, foreign domination, and a fifty-year struggle to regain even local sovereignty over Norway, much less any weight in the counsels of the Powers! It is the sort of event that resonates in folk memory for hundreds of years; a Black Death, American Civil War, battle of Sarajevo level disaster.
25. THE GREAT RISING (1145-48 )
Now for some years Torgeir had campaigned in Germany, and there he won much honour and gold, and forced the German Emperor to give him rule of Wolgast. But the jarls and the lendermenn muttered among themselves, whispering that the King was becoming over-mighty; and also some said that the Duchy of Galloway had been acquired in a way that was likely to bring little luck to the land. And in this perhaps they were right, as shall now be shown.
(OOC : Truly, I have absolutely no idea where I acquired that much badboy. The peace treaties I signed were mainly for money; only two provinces changed hands. Granted, in some cases I got a lot of money, certainly more than my warscore justified, to the point that I lost a bunch of prestige as well. But -12.9% loyalty monthly? Ye gods!)
When the King had returned from his campaign, he called a Ting to hear the grievances of his people, that he might correct them. And Magnus Yngling, Jarl of Finland, brought up again the matter of Håkon Kings-brother’s claim to the throne. “It is ill,” he said, “that the crown of Norway should sit on the head of one who deals in bad faith with marriage oaths; and also it is well known that King Erlend desired Håkon to be his heir. Therefore I think Torgeir should now make way for his brother.” At this Torgeir grew angry. “How is it that Norway would be better led by one who has sat in Akershus these five years, while I have led our warriors in Germany, bringing back riches for the land? I think Magnus should recall who stood firm at Nassau, and be silent.” With this King Torgeir left the Ting. The men who were there attempted to elect Håkon King, but as he refused the honour, they instead parted, saying they would agree on a King later, and the important thing was to remove Torgeir before he brought disaster on the realm.
So the jarls of Norway rose against Torgeir their King; and because there was not one who remained steadfast, men call this the Great Rising. Against so many powerful men even Torgeir could not stand, especially because many warriors of Akershus, Viken, and Skåne had fallen in the German war. And so the Realm of Norway was reduced to only those lands that Torgeir held in his own right; but they were the richest in all the north, and so Torgeir, or Gunnar his son, might hope to bring their jarls back to the fold in time. For the most of them were of the Yngling blood.
26. THE SVEAR SUPPORT THE RISING
Now it is said that when Störkver, who had taken the crown of the Svear, heard the news that Norway writhed in rebellion, he laughed and called praises to God. For he had long awaited the blow that would end his rule in Svearike, and now he saw his reprieve in the quarrels of the Ynglings. Swiftly, then, he sent forth the war-arrow, and the Svear mustered to his banner.
Already ravaged by war, Torgeir could not stand against the Svear; but Störkver had little joy of his victory, for Markus Sverkerætten, who was jarl of Östergotland, took for himself the crown of Norway, and said he owed no more allegiance to the Svear, whose kings had brought him no luck. And as his lands were the richest in all Svearike, there was little Störkver could do about that; and also, the Yngling jarls who had forsworn Torgeir now began to swear allegiance to Markus, for they could not agree who should be King, and they wished to make Norway mighty once more. But Torgeir, who now was only King of Denmark, swore that he should have revenge for this.
What’s left of Norway after my badboy death-spiral (in red, since the game thinks I’m Denmark now) :
The green bit to the north isn’t Poland, but an independent Trøndelag. Note Jylland and Rostock lost to Germany. The Isles are also gone (though Iceland is now under the new King of Norway), and the Duchy of Galloway swore to Scotland again. Plainly, it’ll be some time before the Ynglings can dream of dominating the Baltic.