This is the first post where I noticed the vast expansion in the number of male Ynglings through Crusader Kings. It will have very important effects later in the story.
Early spring, 1553
South of the Great Lakes
A single shot sounded, then silence; then a crackle of musketry as the colonial militia returned fire against the bushes. Disciplined, the hird regulars around Trygve held their fire; no use wasting gunpowder on trees. Trygve tensed; next would come – ululating screams broke out around him as the Iroquis warriors broke from their cover. Now the hirdsmen’s fire discipline paid off : A single unified volley crashed out, stopping the ambush in its tracks. But further up and down the column, tomahawks and traded steel axes raged among militia who found themselves armed with no more than clumsy, expensive clubs. Trygve shouted rapid orders; his hirdsmen dropped their muskets – it would take too long to reload now – and drew swords. They crashed forwards in a disciplined rush. It was a tactic that had won many battles; but here the undergrowth made footing awkward, and broke their formation up slightly. Quick as wolves, Iroquis warriors struck into the gaps and laid about them. They were desperate men, who knew well what the Norwegian column would do if it reached the village the Iroquis were defending.
A small bunch of Iroquis managed to break a hole in the hird line, trampling new corpses underfoot as they rushed to get at Trygve. No doubt they were hoping that the death of the enemy commander would cause the Norwegians to break apart in disarray – as indeed it might. Trygve wished he had a unit of the Yngling Guard with him; well-drilled hirdsmen were well and good for the battlefields of Europe, but they didn’t have the deadly touch in personal combat that training from the age of five gave to Yngling men – and Iroquis warriors.
He leaped to his left, thrusting out his sword with controlled fury. The Iroquis he aimed at was skilled, but unfamiliar with pointed weapons; all his experience was with axe and club, which both require a slashing motion to kill. He parried, as he thought, a slash at his throat, and instead found Trygve’s point entering his unprotected stomach. He sank down with a groan; the smell of fecal matter was suddenly overwhelming as Trygve wrenched the blade free and the Iroquis’s last meal went flying. Trygve hit the ground and dove into a roll that brought him up below a startled Iroquis; a thrust upwards gave that warrior other things to think about than combat. He leaped to his feet, and found another enemy right in front of him, well inside the range where a sword was useless. He dropped it, but before he could get to his knife he had to use his hand to stop the Iroquis’s long dagger by grasping the man’s wrist. They grappled; the Iroquis seemed made of steel and oak. The dagger came closer to Trygve’s throat, closer. He remembered an old lesson, reared back his head, and banged his forehead into the other man’s nose. The grip on his left wrist suddenly relaxed, and he was able to thrust a bladed fist into the stomach between the ribs, where even the fittest man has no protecting muscle. The air went out of the Iroquis with a whuff, and Trygve brought down a fist on his neck, breaking it with a wet crunch. Only then did he become aware of the pain in his throat where the dagger had just missed the artery. Ice water ran through him as he realised how close his call had been; his knees wanted to buckle.
The battle was winding down; the Iroquis had been badly outnumbered, and only surprise and their desperation had allowed them to take such a toll as they had. The militia were taking a furious revenge, not that Trygve had any use for male Iroquis prisoners – they couldn’t be made to work even with liberal doses of the whip. The way was clear to their village, now. He hoped they wouldn’t all fight like this, though.
The worst of the screaming was dying down; Trygve finished giving orders for the night watch. As the sergeant turned away, he had second thoughts.
“Oh, one more thing.”
“Bring me one of those women.”
The sergeant raised his brows; the army had its privileges, but it wasn’t the custom for Yngling officers to make use of them. He made no comment, though, beyond a simple “Javel, kaptein” as he turned to leave. Trygve almost called him back, but then his fingers, absently touching the bandages about his throat, reminded him of the day’s fight. A cold shiver ran down his back. “Make haste”, he muttered to himself. “Make haste, for tomorrow may never come.” Anyway, his mother would be pleased if he could present her with a bastard or two; it was time he did his duty to the Ynglings. Suddenly he felt more cheerful. Germany, England, Sweden, the Rus, even Spain : All had contributed their races to the strength of Norway. But he’d be the first Yngling to bring Iroquis blood into the Family.
The colonies after my little war with the Iroquis :
Not much happening in Europe, so I won’t show a screenie of that.
A note on demographics : In 1066 there were 2 male Ynglings. In 1419 there were 732. That gives a doubling time of 37 years, but that’s through some very bad years, what with constant war, disease, Mongols, and the Plague. For these more peaceful years of Norway’s prosperity, we can probably reduce the doubling time to 30 years or so. Thus by 1564 there should be something in excess of eleven thousand Ynglings. (Male, that is.) In 1819 we will have had another 8 doublings, giving us something on the order of 3 million Ynglings. That should be a fairly substantial fraction of the population of the Norwegian Empire. In fact, this is getting on for being not so much a family as an ethnic group. It may be useful to keep this in mind as I develop the story.