Paradox are finally ready to unleash the Pagans, or at least they are finally ready to announce that they will unleash the Pagans in the near future. The Old Gods expansion for Crusader Kings II won't just allow players to control Pagan leaders, with all new mechanics and events, it will also open up a new start date of 867 AD. Details are scarce but I did speak with members of the studio about raids and Viking bands. Raids sound like a sort of terror event, with bands sprouting from the woodlands and wilds once a trigger is hit, falling under the leadership of a nearby ruler. Their numbers are not tied to the provinces that leader controls, so they can quickly become overwhelming. Trailer follows.
I quizzed Paradox about the 'landless adventurers' but came away empty-minded. It's a feature that will change a great deal before release, with the expansion early in development at present, but it would make sense if those individuals were linked to the concept of spontaneously appearing warrior bands. Quite how the characters will earn the prestige - or whatever it might be termed - necessary to attract warriors to them isn't clear, but I was assured that they will be a force to fear, particularly in the early game.
The prospect of a changed world by 1066 is an exciting one. The Old Gods is expected in Q2.