Short Man Viking Conquestl
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Many historians commonly associate the term "Viking" to the Scandinavian term vikingr, a word for "pirate." However, the term is meant to reference oversea expeditions, and was used as a verb by the Scandinavian people for when the men traditionally took time out of their summers to go "a Viking." While many would believe these expeditions entailed the raiding of monasteries and cities along the coast, many expeditions were actually with the goal of trade and enlisting as foreign mercenaries.
Viking symbols play a large role in their iconography, just as they do in all societies. Symbols are cultural shorthand, a sign that conveys layers of meaning about the culture. The pagan Vikings used symbols to represent their gods, beliefs and myths.
Because iron was hard to dig out of the ground, weapons could be costly. Only the richest Vikings would own the complete set of available weaponry: sword, sax (a short sword), axe, spear, bow and arrows, shield, helmet and chainmail. Poorer Vikings would carry an axe or a spear and a shield. Even the poorest Vikings had access to the ax he used at the farm.
Sea battles themselves are quite enjoyable as you get to control your ship, which is always good fun. Alas, sea battles tend to be a rarity unless you decide to be a raider of traders, which while in the short run may be slightly profitable, you will find that in the long run, with party morale dropping because they start to realize that they are the bad guys and whole kingdoms hating your guts, you will lose friends fast and without friends, you will have a very bad time indeed.
The word Viking comes from the Scandinavian term 'vikingr' meaning 'pirate'. The Viking Age generally refers to the period from A.D. 800, a few years after the earliest recorded raid, until the 1050s, a few years before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. The Vikings changed the political and genetic course of Europe and beyond: Cnut the Great became the King of England, Leif Eriksson is believed to have been the first European to reach North America -- 500 years before Christopher Columbus -- and Olaf Tryggvason is credited with taking Christianity to Norway. Many expeditions involved raiding monasteries and cities along the coastal settlements of Europe but the goal of trading goods like fur, tusks and seal fat were often the more pragmatic aim.
Unique bodyguards recruited by some 40 lords (Harald Fairhair gets his berserkers from the sagas, Alfred the Great gets some of the reworked infantry old captain, many norse lords get vikingr from their place of origin, etc)
- Swedish troop tree introduced (accessible through mercs/vikingr only), including a final upgrade possibility to Varangian mercenaries (ie, Swedish from Kievan Rus) riding 2 new horse models of large ponies/stocky horses (more maneuverable and tougher than normal horses, but a little slower). Varangians very rarely show up in mercenary pools in Norway and Denmark only. Somewhat inspired by the Varangian Guard forming in the Byzantine empire around this time (if Varangians went south to become mercs, why not west as well) and borrowing from later records of how Kievan Rus military often worked (elite mounted bodyguard supported by local levies)
Not all historical and archaeological knowledge of the Viking raids, and the role of the Vikings in the shaping of Europe, is without a history of dispute. Viking antiquities and remains were some of the earliest sites to be explored in northern Europe using modern archaeological techniques in the nineteenth century. As the number of discovered Viking sites grew across Europe, the then-prominent theories of the evolution of the modern European states were challenged. Scholars in some countries were reluctant to accept the notion of a former Viking presence. These debates were short-lived for the most part. However, in Russia, for a variety of ideological reasons, the archaeological evidence and historical theories of Viking dominance of trade routes through Russia challenged the notion of Russian Slavic nationalism (the idea that Russia was created by the grouping together of various Slavic peoples, without coercion or help from others) and were hotly disputed. Only in the past 25 years has the role of Viking raids in Russian and Ukrainian history been more closely examined. The legacy of the Vikings even provides challenges for North American (pre-) history. Archaeological discoveries of temporary Norse settlements in Newfoundland in the 1970s called into question the widely accepted theory that Europeans did not have contact with North America until the 1492 voyage of Christopher Columbus.
As the fleet wintered in Zara, they received a delegation bearing an intriguing offer. Representatives of Prince Alexius Angelos, a claimant to the throne of Byzantium, arrived at the Crusader camp. Well aware of their ongoing shortfalls of men and money, the prince offered to provide two hundred thousand silver marks, the services of ten thousand fighting men, provisions for all the Crusaders, and maintenance of a garrison of five hundred men in the Holy Land. Even more enticing, these Byzantines indicated that the Orthodox Church would recognize the authority of Rome.
The Crusaders made their final preparations on April 8. The priests moved through the army, taking the confessions of all the men and praying for victory. The next morning ships sailed up to the walls and the onslaught began. Both sides fired a hail of stones at each other. Archers released clouds of arrows as the tumult of battle grew. Try as they might the Crusaders could not get their vessels close enough to land, and as the day wore on it became apparent that the Byzantines were holding firm. They began to taunt the Westerners with obscene gestures, delighting in their lack of progress. The dispirited Crusaders withdrew; it seemed that God had not favored them. Morale was terribly low, food was in short supply, and many of the men wanted to abandon the siege. At this darkest point of the campaign, the leaders gathered and resolved to make one more attack.
Early raids on Britain were typically brief, Summer-time forays, taking advantage of the relative calmness of the North Sea. Travel time was short: sailing from West Denmark to Tynemouth took only 36 hours. Booty was seized quickly and sail set for home again almost at once. After 865 a new pattern emerged with the arrival of the Great Army, a large well-organized fighting force, probably numbering between 2,000 and 3,000 warriors. Danes began seeking permanent settlement, first conquering a kingdom, then farming it. As the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle relates for the year 879: 2b1af7f3a8