Literature / Ynglinga Saga

It is intolerable. It shall not stand.

The Ynglinga Saga is a multiplayer After-Action Report spanning two run-throughs of Paradox Interactive's strategy games: Crusader Kings, Europa Universalis II, Victoria: An Empire Under the Sun, and Hearts of Iron II.

The story begins in 1066 as a pastiche of the Saga of the Kings of Norway - the eponymous Ynglings. However, it rapidly diverges from our history, since the various kings are being guided by players with the advantage of hindsight. Norway becomes a Great Power, fighting with Poland and Burgundy for control of the Baltic Sea, Russia, and Germany. Its internal history also diverges, with the Yngling family expanding rapidly through the custom of counting all male children as noble, and giving them an estate, preferably in newly-conquered land. By the 1600s Ynglings form the entire ruling class of Norway, and are on their way to becoming an ethnic group in their own right, complete with The Spartan Way military training for their children.

The first run-through of Hearts of Iron ends in a nuclear standoff. The second volume begins with the Ynglings, two hundred years after not winning the Final War, inventing a time machine and deciding to reboot the universe and conquer the world properly this time. Or to put it differently, having finished the Hearts of Iron section and thus played through almost 1000 years of in-game history, the authors went back and started another similar game, with the Norwegian player taking up the Ynglings once again. It doesn't quite work, and the rebooted Ynglings end up being much Lighter and Softer.

There are two versions: Original flavour, posted on the Paradox discussion forums and containing much side discussion by interested kibitzers and slanging between the players, and the backup, republishing the posts written from the Norwegian/Yngling point of view, with occasional comments by the author.

This work contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Anja Sigridsdatter (both of them). In fact, all the female Yngling agents are this, since they had to win a duel or two to get sent back in time.
  • Arc Words: In the second volume, the four sections are titled respectively "There Will Be War", "And Rumours of War", "The End Is Not Yet" and "Nation Shall Rise Against Nation, and Kingdom Against Kingdom", forming a Bible verse (slightly paraphrased).
  • Alternate History: Starting in 1066. Twice. With time travel.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The Quantum Device, the uptime drugs, and the Angel.
  • Catch-Phrase:
    • "Are we not Ynglings?"
    • "It is intolerable; it shall not stand."
    • "Death to <Nation>!"
    • "It is no joke to fight in Norway in winter."
    • "The Power and the Pride" - referring to the Norwegian navy.
    • "When in doubt, kill. "
  • China Takes Over the World: Feared by everyone not playing China; occurs in the first run-through but is avoided by massive errors and liberal nukage in the second.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Practically everyone, but the Ynglings stand out even in this company.
  • Continuity Nod: Lots, usually with a link to the post being nodded to.
  • Duel to the Death: Institutionalised in Yngling politics.
  • Going Native: Geir Jonsson, and to a lesser extent all the second-timeline Yngling agents.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Once in each run-through, although nobody but Ynglings are likely to answer the beacons that light up the coast of Norway.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Anja Sigridsdatter at the end. Kind of. YMMV.
  • King in the Mountain: Olaf Halkjellson.
  • Last Stand: Ingrid Karinsdatter at the siege of Carlisle.
  • Proud Warrior Race: The Ynglings.
  • La Résistance: Several examples.
    • The Malmø Rising in the first volume.
    • The Edouard arc, from the point of view of an officer of the occupying army.
    • The guerrilla war against the Prussians during the First Occupation;
  • The Spartan Way: The Ynglings, obviously.
  • Unreliable Narrator: All posts should be taken as containing propaganda for the nation of their respective writers, intended to gain support from the readers and from the other players. Sometimes the authors will disagree quite strongly on the interpretation of particular events.
    • "Confucius he say, man that write no AARs, find game history written by opponents."