History With Crusader Kings: Halfdan “Whiteshirt”

Halfdan is another easy difficulty start, recommended for newbies who like to begin straight into a war. Like his brother Ivar, Halfdan has invaded the British Isles seeking vengeance upon King Ælla of Northumbria. He is provided with a 5000-strong host of Viking invaders. With that army, it will be quite an easy task to make short work of your enemies. Once you win and imprison your sworn enemy, you’ll get a special event that lets you enact a… likely not-so-historical method of execution.

Halfdan is a competent martial leader, just as Ivar is though not as good. His wrathful and callous nature are traits well-fitted for the gruesome execution Ælla would face. And with the special Viking Invasion casus belli upon Britain, Halfdan would be quite capable of quick expansion.

A Second Identity?
Halfdan Ragnarsson. Image Credit: Internet Archive Book Images, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons

He is known to be one of the sons of Ragnarr. Though his name does not appear in several sources, other sources that do mention him leave out the name Hvitserk. This has led to many supporting the idea that Halfdan and Hvitserk are one and the same; arguing that Hvitserk was a title meaning “Whiteshirt”. Like his brothers, Halfdan likely took part in many raids prior to the invasion of Anglo-Saxon Britain. And like his brothers, he took part in the vengeance war against Ælla of Northumbria.

Overseas Campaign 
Image Credit: Nicholas Roerich (Public Domain)

They would first set a base of operations in East Anglia. By the following year, they would finally make their move on Northumbria. The Viking army would secure York, prompting the Northumbrians to put their squabbling aside and attempt to retake it. The attempt would fail and Ælla would meet his demise; slain in battle or by way of the gruesome blood eagle ritual. The Vikings would place a puppet king to rule in their name initially, but Halfdan would later take the crown for himself.

Halfdan made efforts to invade Mercia, but these would result in failure. East Anglia, initially only a foothold, would also see an invasion. They would succeed in conquering it, however, Halfdan’s name would not be mentioned surrounding this conquest. After this success, Ivar allegedly left the army and set out on his own to conquer Dublin. With Ivar gone, Halfdan was now the face of the Viking army as they faced the West Saxons. Halfdan would initially make successes but eventually, lose to the newly crowned Alfred.

Final Throes

After a victory from the second attempt at Mercia, Halfdan would split his army to fight the northern Celts and the West Saxons in the south. Supposedly, Halfdan campaigned in the north to reclaim Ivar’s kingdom. With how some sources say Ivar never had any children, his domains would easily declare for independence. After securing Ireland and the north, they would later revolt during Haldan’s absence. He would die in his attempt to quell said rebellion. How will Halfdan’s fate differ in your hands?

Source: Wikipedia

Leave a Reply