"My rule is: If you meet the weakest vessel, attack. If it is a vessel equal to yours, attack. And if it is stronger than yours, also attack." - Stepan O. Makarov, Russian Admiral

The Danish Vikings

Starting Roster

Prologue

On the outskirts of the village, close to the water's edge, Cnut gazed beyond the longships and out across the bay toward the open sea. So many years had passed, but the hatred never faded, and his resolve only grew stronger. This wound had festered long enough.

He remembered his father, receding into the distance, waving farewell from the prow of his flagship as he departed for foreign shores . A brave man, certainly, tall and handsome, and respected throughout the islands, but too willing to put trust in others, as had finally been proved. Cnut recalled the feeling of loss when the ships returned, and the tears in his uncle's eyes when, clasping him tightly, he had been told of his father's death and the treachery of the Irish king. And then he had made them smile with his anger when he had sworn revenge, in that moment showing himself to be a true warrior as all Norsemen should, and the son of a Jarl.

And yet it was his uncle who had become Jarl at that time. Until - as he had said - the young Cnut had grown up and could best him in combat. Now, four years later, lying on the ground, his sword knocked out of his grasp beside him, his uncle had grinned up at him and told him he was ready. Cnut, larger, stronger, and more battle-scarred than his father had ever been, was Jarl now. And with the hatred still burning in his heart, Cnut knew the time was right to settle the score in blood.

Roster after raiding Ireland, Campaign Season 1

Campaign Season 1

The Danish Vikings decide to raid Connacht and thus attack the lands of Cnut's blood rival. Denmark, in turn, is raided by the Norse Gaels.

Claiming the Irish Cattle

The decision to raid the lands of his blood rival was a simple one, and so Cnut gathered a force about him to cross the seas early in the season when their enemy would least expect to be attacked. The voyage, though, was not an easy one; the seas were rougher than any he had crossed before, and despite his Viking blood Cnut was glad to make landfall at last on the rocky shores of Connacht. The land was fertile and rich in cattle, and so it was no surprise when while raiding one day his men were met by a force of Irish warriors led by the Irish King. The Vikings were decisive, swiftly rounding the cattle up and making off with them before the enemy could prevent them. Cnut's only regret was that he did not meet his rival face to face to settle their feud. But there are sure to be other times...

The raiding Danish Vikings win Cattle Raid against the Irish. They gain +1 CVP and +2 Wealth. The Danish Vikings may now choose to Invade Connacht as a future Campaign Season Action.

Roster after being raided by Norse Gaels, Campaign Season 1

Attacked by Norse Gaels

The celebrations of the Danes were not to last long, for soon after Cnut's raiders returned to their homeland the Vikings were themselves attacked by Norse Gael raiders. With the boot now on the other foot, the Danes were caught by surprise, and by the time their forces had mustered, the Norse Gaels had burned the buildings and fields of one of the coastal villages and were already heading back to their ships. Too late, the Danes were unable to prevent the raiders getting away with their plunder.

In Denmark, the Vikings are surprised by Norse-Gael raiders. The enemy Harry and Burn a Danish village and get away with their spoils before the Viking reinforcements are able to arrive. The Danes lose 1 Wealth.

At the end of the Campaign Season the Danish Vikings roll Upgrade Levy on the Fate table. As they have no Levy on their Roster, this is ignored.

Starting roster, Campaign Season 2

Campaign Season 2

Dismissing thoughts of the Norse Gael raid, Cnut basked in his success earlier that year. The Irish had proved soft, easy to defeat. He could not conceal his pleasure at the thought of his blood enemy's anger. He had thought to raid the shores of that land once again this year, but news had come to him of a more promising opportunity. The Anglo-Danes, weakened by the poor harvest across their lands, were looking vulnerable, and the monasteries and towns along their coast were known to be rich in gold. Cnut knew this was an opportunity that could not be missed.

The Danish Vikings turn their attention away from Ireland, choosing instead to raid the Anglo-Danes in East Anglia, but the Irish, seeking to avenge events of the previous year, raid them first.

Roster after the Irish raid, Campaign Season 2

Defending Against the Irish

The Danes, caught somewhat by surprise, soon found their homeland being threatened by their hated foe, the Irish, intent on raiding Jutland. Unforgiving and unaccepting, their enemy had pursued them all the way to Denmark to recapture their stolen cattle. This was unacceptable; Cnut's men would fight to the death to retain their prize - it was a matter of Viking honour.

The armies faced each other on the open green fields of Jutland, watched by the cattle. They came together in a mighty clash of swords and shields, and many good men fell. The battle was close, though, and Cnut had to call on Odin's help in the end to prevent defeat. The All-Father answered, as the two Irish champions both fell to Viking blades, and the raider first hesitated, then ordered the retreat. Though indecisive, the cattle had been retained, and Danish honour was intact. Seeing the enemy withdraw, Cnut ordered his men to hold back. Enough blood had been shed over these cows.

The Danish Vikings lost 1 Hearthguard and 2 Warriors. They recruited 2 Hearthguard to replace this loss and strengthen one other depleted unit.

Roster after raiding East Anglia, Campaign Season 2

Raiding the Anglo-Danes

Cnut's Danish Vikings landed in East Anglia and attacked the local villages and crop fields, pillaging the lands of their weaker neighbours, as is traditional among their people. The land was almost exclusively defended by peasants, albeit led by one single brave Warlord, who was after a while supported by a handful of better-equipped warriors. Driving them back, the Vikings slaughtered the warriors and finally Cnut came personally face to face with the leader of the enemy. Without warning, the Anglo-Danish Lord charged, apparently seeking Valhalla. Unfortunately, before Cnut could react, the charging Warlord slipped on the wet patch of blood his levy had left when running away from the Vikings, and unable to recover his balance, fell on top of Cnut's axe, tragically ending his own life.

Or so the Vikings say.

Whatever the truth, it is certain the norns continue to weave the fates of our Warlords in surprising ways!

The Danish Vikings win Harry and Burn against the defending Anglo-Danes. They gain +3 points of Wealth and +2 CVP (one bonus point because Cnut becomes an Aetheling before determining CVP in step five of the post-battle sequence). Post-battle losses mean that two of their Warrior units ust be merged together. Attempting to recruit more troops, they spend 1 point of wealth and trust to the gods. Loki, appreciating a good joke and knowing how much Cnut despises Levy, duly arranged for eight of them to join the Danish roster...

The Danish Vikings roll Upgrade Levy on the Fate table at the end of the Campaign Season, which they choose to decline.

Roster after the Anglo-Danish raid, Campaign Season 3

Campaign Season 3

The Danish Vikings make plans to raid their neighbours across the northern sea, the Icelandic Vikings, at Bulandsness. But early in the season, before their ships set sail, they are themselves raided by Alfred's Anglo-Danes, bent on revenge.

The Anglo-Danish Raid

The greedy Anglo-Danes, seeking to enrich their coffers, had looked jealously at the rich and fertile lands of Denmark for some time and, with a blood feud against Cnut, it was perhaps inevitable that Alfred's warband would attack. The raiders caught the defenders by surprise this time, not last by their uncharacteristic use of caution and tactics in battle. Despite their fierce resistance the Vikings were beaten and the raiders made off with much wealth.

The Danish Vikings lose Harry and Burn to the Anglo-Danes. They lose 1 point of Wealth. Cnut lost one berserker, one hearthguard and two warriors. He replaced the berserker and the hearthguard during the post-battle recruitment.

Roster after the invasion of Jutland, Campaign Season 3

The Battle of Jutland

Reeling from his defeat by the Anglo-Danish raiders, Cnut's anger turned towards Leif's Norse Gaels, whose small but determined force had landed on the coast of Jutland intent on taking that province for themselves.

Cnut hastily gathered his men together and deployed them defensively on a wide plain between two hills in the way of the advancing Norse Gael invaders. He would stop them, whatever the price. The enemy closed the distance rapidly, and a mighty and very bloody melee ensued. Our skald, who was watching from one of the hills, where ravens were gathering for their post-battle feast, has recorded the tale of the battle here for posterity. Many were slain, even the mightly Cnut falling beneath Leif's blade, until not a single Dane was standing on the field.

Cnut did somehow manage to survive, limping off the field with a severe wound. He lost 1 berserker and 2 other hearthguard, and 2 warriors. He recruited 2 hearthguard during post-battle recruitment, one of which replaced a berserker. Cnut is now severely wounded, and loses one attack die permanently. He is also now compelled to defend during Campaign Season 4 while he recovers from his wounds.

Note that the Danish Viking land score is not reduced even though they have lost Jutland. As this is a home province for them it only counts as 1/2 point of Land, and as we always round up in Saga, Cnut's land score of 1 1/2 therefore remains 2.