The Art Of Coffins
In The Court Of Christian the Fouth, København
The Lion was striding back and fourth in the hall that would soon open into the danish kings audience chamber. He travelled to København relatively alone, and in the greatest amount of secrecy possible for a royal visit. This was to be no pompous show-off for the crowds, but a detailed meeting behind closed doors.
This secrecy saved him from the usual onslaught of courtly riff-raff, bootlickers, opportunists, lowly nobles wanting to acompany him to show their "satus", even lower nobles almost begging for a title, a promotion, a place in the army, anything to clim up the social ladder, and, of course, the same, or, even worse would have happened at the danish court, with the adition of some toady nobles openly, or secretly, trying to get itno his favours, something that bordered on treason.
Normally, he would not have minded this that much, as getting allies to stab your enemy into his back was a good thing, but now, he would need all his skills, patience, and power, to convince Christian to declare war.
Finally, the door opened, and a cream-puff, irritating court member told the Lion that Christian the Fourth, the Most Powerfull and Terrifying King of Denmark, Duke of København, duke of this, claimant of that, and so forth, and so forth. The Lion interrupted halfways, pushed the pale-faced aide, and stepped into the room.
Christian raised his head, and motioned everyone else out of the room.
Roar then, oh, "Lion of the North". - his mocking tone was dripping with irony.
I see your ego matches the amount of your titles. Oh, and speaking of these titles and claims, dont be so sure upon that one of Scania. But anyways, we are both Kings, we both now how politics work. So, lets skip this fanfare, and be about our business.
Surely, if you dont want to hear about Scania anymore. I, for one, am perfectly fine with this. Now, I hear you.
Having expended the necessary show-off arrogance, Christians tone was now devoid of the extra arrogance, and only the arrogance of a king remained in there. The Lion was content with that. He knew he would be the underdog here.
Sitting down, he told the king of the danes:
I come to you with a proposal. I am sure you have heard about the events in Bohemia.
Indeed, I have. My spies are very good, you see. I heard you finally expelled the catholics from your land.
Yes, I have, but this is not the matter now.
This, this room here, is in my court, and I deceide what the matter is.
Very well, then I shall leave, if you continue to act like a ten year old girl.
The stab hit home, Christians face turned pale, and his voice became calm.
Sit down, and talk.
That is better suited for you, King Of Danemark. Now, surely, you must also know that this violence will not remain confined to Bohemia, but will spill into all of Germany, and create a truly huge war, one with many profists to be reaped. And, I am also sure that the protestant powers have already asked you as well to protect them.
Ineed, they did. And it seems they asked you as well. Now, am I right to assume that you turned their offer down as well, and that you come crawling into my court to beg for my assisatnce.
I dont beg, I barter. You will finally get that blasted fort you wanted in the treaty, and Sweden will offer you some of her coffers of gold to cover a part of your expenses.
Seems almost reasonable. Almost. What guarantee do we have that you will not stab me in the back?
My word of honour?
Its something, but I want something a little more handfast. What about Sweden paying for ten thousand mercenaries in forward, so I cna be sure your economy will be crippled for some years, while I reap the profits.
Damn you, but, well, if these are your terms. What do you promise in return?
I will attack the catholics in five years at utmost, and I will keep raiders, pirates, and everything else off your neck, and, I will even open up my ports to your traders. Its not like you controll the cruial forst, after all - the king grinned. - and now, let us discuss the loot. You can have what you take east of Scania, bu I want Holstein and all its neighbouring cities and ports. Also, Sweden may not take any land west of Danemark.
That is unacceptable. We need a port west of you. We both now these treaties will at best last as long as we live.
Good, you can have a blasted port. under one condition.
Sweden must provide coffins, made from the finest Norrlandian pine wood, for all fallen danes. I think, a forward delivery of ten thousand wouldnt hurt.