It wasn't until 1517 that things started happening again. Sweden declared war on Norway over trivialities and was set on forcing their will onto us. Our forces, much at disarray and poorly maintained went to war, but their forced marches did wonders for their morale. It removed it. Meanwhile, supply routes were ineffective and it took the central government 5 months to realise. A hastily put together supply expedition was mounted and our border soldiers were finally fed and morale was on the rise again. So far the war was limited to minor skirmishes but that was all about to change. Our armies, counting two large units of 16.000 men each, and two smaller units then set to march. Our goal was simple. Destroy at will, and so it went. Minor Swedish units were destroyed and the tradepost in Lappland was burned to the ground. After several minor skirmishes the battle happened at Fredrikstad. The fortress was under siege and the two 16k armies rushed back to Østlanded to engage the Swedish army of 37k. Luckily, our bows had been reinforced with a steel spine and our archers thus had a longer range. 3.000 Swedes fell before a single Norwegian fylking had entered combat. The Swedish army was beaten soundly and was forced to flee. It took only a week before a Swedish emissary begged for peace. Norway received 25 gold ducats and was happy with that.
Only a month later the first colonists were on their way to Lappland. Again, a Swedish emissary was sent to Oslo, but this one was furious! "How can you claim the territory that rightfully belongs to us?" he screamed. His "demands" were ignored and he was sent back to Sweden with the message: "If it's your land, how come there are no Swedes there to protect it? As there are no-one to govern Lappland, we have claimed the territory as Norwegian and we have the means and will to protect it."
Needless to say, our relations with Sweden plummeted sharply. Meanwhile, in the west, we regained contact with our realms in Greenland. We found the farms abandoned and the English had established a trade post in the northern part of Greenland. En emissary was sent to London demanding their retreat from Greenland, but as we laughed of the Swedes, so the English laughed at us. A trade post was established south of the English one, so to be prepared to retake the TP, as we had decided we would.
It was now 1528 and the king depended totally on me. He was just a show for the nobles, nothing more. And as I took control of the country more and more I saw that with unorthodox methods, Norway could reach far. And a plan to regain the Scottish isles and all of Greenland was devised. The king put on a bad show in front of the nobles at this time though. Stability was terrible and even though all effort was being put into restoring the stability, it was to little use. Now several provinces had turned away from catholisism as well, and I told the king to change his religion. "Why?" he asked me. "The stability cannot be much lower anyway, and we can confiscate the church's land." I told him. The gold was more than enough to convince the King and so it was. Norway had adopted a religion shaped after the teachings of Luther. The Scottish provinces and our northern most provinces rebelled, but our forces soon crushed them and the priests and nobles behind this were executed.
This started another Landnåm period in Norway. Settlers were sent to Lappland and Vinland and we soon controlled another large island south and west of Greenland. We had also established a trade post on what seemed to be a very large island more to the west again. It took 10 years to establish a city in Lappland, and it was now an integrated part of Norway. The Lapps in the area had been christened and their language was being repressed in a fashion similar to that used in Kola and Finnmark. And it was now time to execute our plan to regain Greenland and the islands. Our new alliance, now with Denmark and a few other countries were told to stay calm and do nothing. This was our war.
A week after declaring war, the trade post in Greenland was burned to the ground and a replacement team of traders was sent from Norway. In Scotland, the war fared much worse as we thought it would, and after our army there had been routed twice and not gaining any ground, we saw no other way out but to open our coffers. 50 ducats were handed over to England in exchange for peace, but at least Greenland was ours. The islands had to wait.
Peace lasted for only two years to 1441. The Swedes had prepared themselves and went to war. Denmark was called in and joined the war on our side. Similar tactics was used as in the same war with Sweden, with one exception. We now called in our unit from the Grampians which was used to lay siege to Österbotten. The result of this rather swift war was the transfer of Österbotten from Sweden to Norway.
Now was the time for peace and stability in Norway. The last decades had seen alot of turmoil and it was time to calm down. With a divided Sweden, control of the Picts and the Scots and Norwegian control of Greenland and a foothold in Vinland, we were content, for the moment. And so it went until 1558 when Scotland again declared their independence. This time with their capital being in Inverness. This was it! The islands would be returned to Norway!
Our commander in The Grampians was sent north to wage war and laid siege to Inverness. The city, well defended, took three years to fall, but when it did, Scotland existed no more and the islands were back in Norwegian hands. Our Northern Empire was a dream come true and it was time again for stability to return to Norway. For as long that would last, becuase we had made powerful enemies coming this far.
OOC: Phew! Now I'm up-to-date with my savegame!