– Right, so that attempt flunked as well. Any bright ideas?
– We could say it was a dream within a dream…
– Who the fuck do you think you are, Christopher Nolan? Get out of here.
– What?! You don’t do amnesia until the third season. At the earliest! Besides, how would that explain the new guy having completely other qualities and faculties?
– Well, he has just clean forgotten his real identity. He was a master spy and he didn’t even know it….ay.
– That’s even dumber. Besides that’s The Long Kiss Goodnight, Mr. Original. Fuck it, we’ll just do a reboot and retcon the shit out of it. And throw in some explosions to take the readers’ mind off of it. Lots of explosions, you hear me! Lots! We’re gonna need them.
Örvar wakes slowly. His sleep has been neither deep nor shallow. He just gradually fades from being asleep to being awake. Not much difference there. He has turned forty some weeks back in much the same way, his thirties just giving way as he passes on into middle age. Actually, old age. Outside of the court, most people of his generation are likely dead by now, Örvar reckons.
In here, though, a man can apparently live to eighty and still not have the goddamn decency to just die already. Örvar gives his left slipper a kick as the grinning face of the king hovers in his mind. The wrinkled visage winks at him, coughs and wheezes, as the king has done every morning for the past many years: ‘So Spymaster, you’ve kept me alive yet another day. I thank you humbly.’ The king looks like an insomniac Max von Sydow, part kindly old Lassefar, part Ming the Merciless. Neither part makes Örvar want to punch him in the head any less. Örvar bends to retrieve the slipper under the bed. He has spent almost five years failing miserably at assasinating the senile old codger. To make matters worse the king obviously knows and taunts him. It’s pathetic.
This is my first attempt at writing an AAR (After Action Report), a genre that turns gameplay into prose. AARs come in all shapes and sizes – from epic to terse and everything in between – but this one will lean heavily towards the unpretentious and comedic. It will be cross-posted here and on the Paradox forums if the reception is kind.
This is Örvar, first of the House of Koss. He has a beard, a county and no family. Don’t ask him about that last bit, it gets really awkward. Örvar wants to make a name for himself. In fact he already has: Koss. Before he was made a count, he was just ‘that guy Örvar’. Or – he gets angry just thinking about it – Ööörvar, turning the first syllable into a retching sound. Koss. He likes the sound of it. He’s been trying to turn it into a saying that “Koss is the Boss” – as if to say ‘Koss is our leader and we trust in him’ – but so far it hasn’t caught on.
As yet another Crusader Kings 2 sale rolled around (this time apparently in celebration of the game’s three-year birthday – congrats!) I finally scooped up the last bit of DLC with Charlemagne. And seeing how much I had saved I treated myself to some cosmetics. Cosmetic DLC like new unit models for Saxons and the like, that is. Do I have all the DLC? No but so close it makes no difference. Iberians is where I draw the completely arbitrary line for some reason.
This isn’t really meant to be a rumination on the ethics of Paradox’s DLC policy regarding CK2. It is meant as a celebration that I now have a good reason to start a fresh CK2 campaign all the way back in the 8th century. With chroniclers tracking my every move, with fresh faces, new old clothes and an abundance of ‘historically accurate’ dynasty shields. It’s going to be great.
So, listen up all you fresh-faced, oldtimey-clothed, accurately-shielded people. This time we’re gonna get things right. We’ll plunder the Byzantine dukes but we’ll spread out in groups of three so they can’t raise any armies against us [Yeah!]. We’ll score cheap religious zealotry points by smashing up defenceless Irish churches [Yeah!] And we’ll marry our cousins and breed like bunny rabbits just as soon as we get rid of gavelkind [HELL Yeah! Wait, that won’t be for hundreds of years!? [I know, just… tide yourselves over until then, okay?]]
I might even do a bit of AAR’ing of this attempt. If nothing else it should help me remeber to quit before 1 AM so I can jot down some AA thoughts. That’s usually when I start making decisions based on spite and rage. Wasn’t that also one of Machiavelli’s tips to the young Medici prince? “Layeth downe thy schemes and get thee to bed before the clocke striketh one as thy strategemizing will sucketh thereafter”?