Björn is the only son of Ragnarr with a diplomatic education characteristic in Crusader Kings. He begins with a sizable portion of Sweden and only needs a minor amount of expansion to truly form Sweden. Björn, on the other hand, vowed to avenge his father’s death. Will you turn west and concentrate on the North Sea? Or will you let history play out by establishing his dynasty in Sweden?
It seems strange here that Paradox had given Björn a more diplomatic depiction over history’s “Ironsides”. The nickname that which was given to him referred to legends of how his sides were “as hard as iron”. It seems as though Norse writers had wanted to turn Björn into the wall to Ivar’s intellectual prowess.
But it might be the case that Björn’s more… mellowed depiction in Crusader Kings takes from the Latin texts. Upon finding out one of their brothers, Ubba, planned to usurp Ragnarr, Björn would show exemplary morality; much unlike his portrayal in the Norse sources.
Deeds of Legend
Björn’s exploits would take him not only to Anglo-Saxon England, but also to Normandie, Francia, Lombardy, and a case of mistaken identity to Rome. But before all that, Björn would raid more local areas with his brothers. Sometimes they’d even go against their father’s wishes. Björn and Bros would go to attack Sweden after a certain King Eystein killed their brothers Eirek and Agnar. Each proved their prowess and exerted brutality upon the country. Björn would later receive lordship over central Sweden and Uppsala after his father’s death. Like his brothers, he swore to avenge his father and set sail to Britain.
Once the matter with King Ælla was dealt with, Björn would go south and raid the Mediterranean, where Hæsteinn would then tag along. Their raiding party would mistake the town of Luni for Rome and, after an elaborate plan of attack, would later find that out. Afterwards, they’d turned back, doing a bit of extra raiding on the way back.
How Tall Are These Tales?
Like all the other tales on these Nordic rulers, an air of myth surrounds them, and some things may not be able to be taken as truth. One big issue is the commonality of names of different people, thus making it hard to truly identify individual figures. Another issue is the time in which these texts were written. It may have just been the case that these legends are an amalgamation of individual feats converged into characters. Regardless, they are still able to provide insight into some things that were happening during the time.