Chapter Twenty: Storm and Sun
Morcar the Exile built three Saxon cities on the Baltic coast: Márećngrád, Mćmálgrád (Middle Prussian: Memelgrád) and Sambigrád (originally Cyningscír). Known as the "Third City" through much of its early history, by 1201 it was little more than a fortified fishing port. Between the death of Morcar and 1201 the city is mentioned a total of three times. Once in a tax collection sheet, once in a poem about a ship being blown off course, and once on a map of major and minor ports on the Baltic (it was labeled as "minor"). A saying from the time, to "leave someone in Sambia." meant to leave someone behind or grow estranged from them. The region was known for housing the last native speakers of Saxon in Prussian history, and though by no means a majority, the death of the last member in 1201 was a shock to much of the 'Saxon' nobility. The city, of course, would see little more attention again until more modern times. But caught between the glory of the two Prussian capitals, Sambigrád and its surrounding environs produced a great number of thinkers and scientists. It was close enough to the big cities to have researched reviewed, and far enough away to not have it stolen.
December 28th, 1201
Meinekinus was shut into his palace in the Principality of Prussia. Like many Prussian rulers he had lost more than one wife to child birth and now sat alone, cold, in his palace too big for one small monk. His beloved Bozislava had left him many years ago after she gave birth to their third son, Leszek. Even so, his work at the monastery had kept him and his mind busy. But now he was left with nothing. He was too important to have work, so he sat around with nothing to do but lament Borut's words and his place in the workings of the Kingdom. On this day, shortly after Christmas, he found himself the unexpected host for several lesser nobles who had been traveling through the region. Amongst them was Ermessentz de Lusignan, the unwed daughter of the former King of France.
"And that is when the Count of Savoy betrayed the Kingdom and Orleans fell the next week," one noble was saying.
"It is terrifying to think one Christian one turn against another for support from the Caliph!" Ermessentz said.
"Well now he is a Duke, but it is only a matter of time. With the shiites of Sicily pushing north, it is only a matter of time before the Caliph and Sicily come into conflict," the noble said, stroking his beard for added effect.
"It is as in any war, people do what they must to survive. The King of Catalonia, or now just Barcelona, also pays tribute to the Caliph. Doing so protects many innocent lives," Meinekinus said. He sipped absently at spiced mead having trouble removing his eyes from Ermessentz.
She looked back, almost invitingly, but another noble began to speak, ruining it for them, "Well, the Croats know what they are doing! Edessa remains in Catholic hands and they've carved a war path through Iraq and into Basra!"
"Yes," Meinekinus said, "But they did it as mercenaries to the Seljuks In fact, Basra pays tribute to the Turkish Sultan. Edessa is soon to fall, their time is limited to the kindness of the Sultan. The kindness of all humans is limited."
"What will happen if Rome falls?" Ermessentz asked.
"Catholicism dies," from the corner emerged a cloaked figure. He had been traveling with the nobles, but until now had remained silent. Under his cloak was the markings of a catholic priest. "Papal authority has failed us and led Christendom into ruin and horror."
"Heresy is it?"
"No, you shall see. When Papism falls Christianity shall be free again." Everyone was silent.
"When Rome falls, the West will follow," Meinekinus said. "Christianity sits on the edge of the abyss, teetering. Already we see our own making alliances with our enemies. Orthodoxy has stood as a shield for Western Europe from Islam and Paganism faithfully and reliably. And now they crumble from within, betrayed by neighbors and losing their flock to the kindness of their enemies. We truly sit at the end."
"Yes... the end of Catholicism. Orthodoxy will remain, tried and true," Meinekinus said.
"The world is changing so quickly around us," Ermessentz said, "I can only wonder where everything will be in century..." Everyone returned to silence as Meinekinus stood to retrieve more mead.
"You Prussians sure seem to enjoy your mead," a male noble said. He offered his goblet and Meinekinus dutifully filled it.
"Yes, it is part of our Saxon heritage. Though honey is rare here so we actually cut most of the must down with malt. Still good." Meinekinus sat down and watched the others mill the mead over in their mouths.
"I haven't heard much talk about the Carthaginians, they are quiet a problem for the Kingdom of Italy and the Roman Empire," one noble said.
Meinekinus chuckled quietly. "What is so funny?" Ermessentz asked.
"History has a funny way of repeating itself. Carthage was a thorn in the side of the Roman Republic and a thousand years later it is one again a thorn in the side of the Roman Empire."
"Well those Bretons and Merovingians have become a pain to all trade in the Mediterranean. They sail out of Carthage and plunder everything flying a Christian flag other than you damn Prussians. They've even briefly sieged Holland!" one male noble exclaimed.
"Yes, but they aren't as bad as those damned Englishmen. Argh!"
"The English have taken to raiding?" Meinekinus asked.
"Yes, they love hitting targets in Scotland, Ireland, Norway and Germany."
"Huh, I did not know that." Meinekinus glanced to the elaborate water clock behind him, a gift from the Sultan of Turkey for allowing the Cumans refuge. "It grows late, I must suggest we each head to our rooms." The Prince smiled kindly as he stood up and offered his hand to Ermessentz to help her out of her chair. He smiled at her and she reflected this back at him.
"Yes, it best be our time to retire," she said. And when everyone was in their own room the quiet sounds of footsteps echoed through the empty halls and soon one room was occupied by two and another by none.
The World in 1202, it is important to note that this late in the Infinite War that the Papal State is a vassal of the Kingdom of Italy. This was a major issue with many Catholic rulers at the time.
You be trying to get the Crown of France, are you?
So West is falling apart, everyone fighting for their own survival, while the Caliph brings peace and stability in the south.
"Ermessentz de Lusignan, the unwed daughter of the former King of France"
France was going round and round between its rulers. Since there wasn't really a Kingdom just a King. Basically all the dukes who normally made up France were independent and would fight each other for the Crown. One would win, gain the crown but no vassals and then lose the crown to another duke a few months later.
And this repeated for years! It was so weird, but hilarious to watch who would get it next and how they'd lose it that time.
Meinekinus is turning out to be not so holy. And you are doing exactly what I hoped you would do! Turning english people into hardy seamen.
That is a certain border province. A border province that SHOULD be in Prussian colour.
Chapter Twenty: Storm and Sun
It is said that when Rome fell to the forces of Sicily there was an earthquake in the Holy Land and only the Christian quarter of Jerusalem was hit, a sign to the Egyptians of the righteousness of Islam. Catholicism quickly shattered groups fighting amongst each other. The Pope fled to his brother's Kingdom, Hungary, and set up a new Papal Fortress in the Carpathian mountains. Soon Antipopes popped all around Europe, including one endorsed by the Prussian Orthodox Church. The two main groups, though, were the Hungarian Catholic Church, loyal to the old Pope and centered in Pest, and the Revisionists of central Germany. Revisionism, started by a French noble was originally preached in Luxemburg. It demanded much from its followers but said that the Kingdom of Heaven was reserved only for those who resisted the influences of Papism, Orthodoxy and Islam. Often times 'resistance' was meant to be forceful and violent. Revisionist riots broke out across Western Europe were Papism was popular, and in places where it was the norm witch hunts and burnings became commonplace.
The Fracture of Catholicism in 1203. In Green is Northern Rite Catholicism centered in Skane; in Purple is Prussian Catholicism, also known as "Unionism", centered in Memelgrád; in Blue is Papal Catholicism, centered in Pest; in Orange is Edessan or Oriental Catholicism, centered in Edessa; in Cyan is Revisionism, though without a single head it originated in Luxemburg. Provinces with grey outlines represent Catholic provinces not controlled by Catholic rulers.
August 21st, 1203
Sviendorog was dealing with a huge influx of displaced nobles. Catholic Nobles, fleeing persecution from Revisionists, hoped to find a new home in Prussia. Many of the recent arrivals were German. The von Zähringen dynasty had converted to Revisionism and were strongly supportive of the hunts and attacks. Members from the von Luxemburg dynasty, who strongly opposed the Revisionist message being preached in their cities, had only just barely made out with their lives.
"Please, everyone settle down!" Sviendorog called. The room grew silent as the old man stood up in front of them. "I cannot have this many people suddenly demanding recognition in the Kingdom." The room grew angry as people shouted their outrages to the front.
"I am sorry," Meinekinus added, but we cannot just let nobles wander our Kingdom if they have claims to territories and titles outside of Prussia, it is a liability we cannot afford. So we ask that members who have no claims move over to the left, members who have claims move to the right."
As the nobles did as requested Sviendorog turned to Meinekinus, "I have a feeling getting these nobles to give up their claims will be rather difficult." He sighed deeply, too tired to keep dealing with these people. He was now fifty nine years old and time was taking its toll on the King.
"Well, they will have to, or keep searching for a new home."
"That is the idea." Sviendorog saw that everyone had new seats, and the number on the right dwarfed the number of the left.
"Okay," Meinekinus began, "Everyone to the left, please follow the guard to the signing room, you are free to enter. Everyone to the right, you cannot enter the Kingdom until you've surrendered your titles to any lands outside of Prussia. Any claims to titles within Prussia are also forfeit as price for entering the Kingdom on fair terms."
The room exploded into outrage as the nobles began yelling at Sviendorog and Meinekinus. "That is just how it is, if you don't like it, LEAVE!" Sviendorog yelled as loud as he could. The room settled again and everyone turned to face the old King. "I am not joking. If you do not like my terms, leave my Kingdom now!" And with that many on the right began to shuffle outwards, toward places unknown. The remainders looked bewildered, lost, as if a part of them had died. They shifted over towards those on the left and began to form a queue towards the signing room.
"That was easier than I expected," Meinekinus told his father.
"Almost too easy."
"Let us not think like that way." Sviendorog and Meinekinus went to the signing room where the nobles were read the Noble Rights and explained what they mean. Then they were to add their names to the registries."
"And what is your family's name?" the guard asked one particularly well dress noble.
"But wait, you misspelled that!"
"No, no... with an 'x'... not a 'ks'!"
"There is no 'x' in the Prussian alphabet," Sviendorog said. He placed a friendly hand on the noble's shoulder but carefully pulled him out of the way. "People understand, your languages are different than ours. We will do things in our language!" Meinekinus followed the new nobles back out into the main room.
"My lord, what are we to do for land?" the von Franken asked Meinekinus.
"You will wait. Land will come eventually. We cannot displace established nobles for the sake of new ones. We will find land for your to build cities and palaces, but until we actually gain a sizeable that is all you'll get." Meinekinus was quickly swamped with nobles asking questions, many in languages he did not speak.
Eventually it all began to overload and he heard a voice from behind him, "Klusums!" Sviendorog walked out of the signing room looking very angry, almost furious. "This is going to be the death of me, I swear! Now everyone shut the hell up and listen for a damned change. You aren't just going to show up and be made a Duke the next day, I don't care who you are, what you were where you came from, or what you think you deserve. Welcome to the Kingdom of Prussia, you are a noble, but you are a no body. Make a name for yourself. You have to prove to us that you deserve anything before you will get anything! Dammit!"
And with that Sviendorog clenched his fist and sat down in his throne heavily. Meinekinus rushed to his side and saw his father was very pale. "Everyone, please! We have much to attend to, you can send questions to Mariengrád."
Sviendorog looked up at Meinekinus and laughed, "Where do you think I am going?"
End Chapter Twenty
Prussian Lesson 6
The perfect past tense is the preferred way of communing events of the past in day-to day speech in standard Prussian. Certain dialects of Prussian, especially those in urban regions, prefer to avoid perfect past as it is "slower" than imperfect past. In the perfect past the action verb is replaced by a helping verb (siećt or hámmćt) and then the verb is put into its "perfect" form and is placed at the very end of the sentence.
But the question is now, which helping verb to use? This answer has a lot of grey areas and is one of the reasons that imperfect might be preferred. The basic rule is:
- If motion or change of state is involved, use siećt
The major exception to this is siećt itself, as it does not imply movement or change yet uses siećt. This is a special rule for a more correct sounding sentence. Use hámmćt with hámmćt and siećt with siećt.
The perfect form of a verb is created by dropping the verb stem (either -t or -ćt) and adding "ge" to the beginning of the world and either "-ćn" or "-an" to the end depending if it is singular or plural (respectively). 4th person uses a different form, noted below.
The first exception is to words with separable beginnings (like those starting with "in-") where "ge" is placed after "in" but before the base verb.
"I went to the store"
ćs siej uz se ćrn gebráulćn
"They played football"
hie hán futbol geplegan
"He was named Louis"
he sief Ludis ingenámnćn
"She was summoned to the King"
viv siet uz se sinik ingekállán
"Michael bought a pint of mead"
Mikelis hát ien kćác med gepirkumćn
"Today our teacher taught us Prussian"
shodien hát urins skólótája usó próshćn gemakćn
Last edited by Mr. Capiatlist; 06-11-2009 at 00:12. Reason: Spelling mistake.
Leofricson -> Leofriksun
de Normandie -> Dormandy
von Franken -> Vonfraken
von Luxemburg -> Voluksemburg
Usually it involves spelling changes (x to ks) and the combining of two-part names. Though I plan for Prussian naming convention to be much like Icelandic, that is patriarchal. Let us say that there is a man named "Vilis Gunvaldsun" his son would be "Doyvat Vilissun" and his daughter "Imela Vilistog".
It would be nice to have more people to speak to, but right now I need vocab, so from time to time I translate things into Prussian to generate more vocab:
Article 1 of the UDHR:
From 13th Warrior:ell násjá sien freo un vienád en hiems gods un rćchtćs geindziman.
hie hán ár saprát un sirdsápzán geingában un zoildán ienkalps hiems suth ár se solit uf bralisklas izrasćt.
Edit: I am going to start a board here so people who are interested don't violate P'Dox's English only rules as well as me being able to upload things at will.hvćt tór krćsáláj ćs min tevá. hvćt tór krćsáláj ćs min mátć un min másás un min bralisćs. hvćt tór krćsáláj ćs se rinda uf min násjá, bćk uz se áginn. hvćt kállán hie uz ćmi, hie ábeodán ćmi nćmáj min óppe ámang hiem en se selles uv walhala, kur moggán se braf muzćgi lebćt.
Chapter Twenty One: Dawn of War
Meinekinus took the throne a week after his father's funeral. The delay was due to his lacking of a bride. It was traditional for the Prussian King and Queen to be crowned together, though the Queen's crowning would occur many times during the reign of a particular King. He was wed to Ermessentz de Lusignan, his mistress for a few years. As Queen she had no titles or duties, no power and was generally made to be out of the picture. The only person who mattered was Meinekinus, who took charge of a nation going through a massive economic and social expansion. The new King was interested only in continuing his father's policy of peace and self improvement. Compared to Sviendorog who had taken the throne after a very successful career of conquest and glory, Meinekinus was relatively unknown in Prussia. A few even believed Dzintis was to inherit after Sviendorog. Instead Meinekinus took his throne quietly, working mostly in the background to keep Prussia functioning as expected. Meinekinus posed for no portraits during his reign and even his eventually grave marker in the catacombs of Mariengrád would be based only on testimony and quick glances. Meinekinus the Pious was a King only in private, working from a study when not locked away in the Principality, far from the troubles of Memelgrád.
Meinekinus the Pious, painted in the 1500's, but based on a period work commissioned after Meinekinus's death.
March 3rd, 1206
"Your majesty?" a familiar voice called. Meinekinus looked up to see Ermessentz looking into his study.
He smiled, relieved to be distracted from papers and claims and work, "Come in, and you don't have to refer to me like that." She walked in carrying their second child in her womb. Their eldest, a small boy named Valikaila, followed her closely.
"I bring news from Prague, it is a letter from Dzintis, I did not open it," she handed Meinekinus the letter, still with a fresh seal. He took it and cracked the seal and began to read the letter which he could tell had been dictated to a non-Prussian speaker. So he went about trying to deduce its meaning.
"It seem," he said after a few minutes, "That Dzintis and his wife had a son, who they named Karnak. He currently stands as heir to Bohemia under their laws and that it might be possible that he is also the heir apparent of Hungary, as the eldest son of King István was recently proven to be a bastard produced by an affair of the Queen."
Ermessentz looked at Meinekinus wide-eyed, "Hungary? They will never accept a non-Catholic to their throne! Not with the Pope there."
"I know, and Prussia will never accept a non-Orthodox ruler to its throne. But this is all assuming a new heir isn't found in Hungary, it is likely to pass to a brother or nephew of King István. Even so, this is all in due time, it is early in the life of my grandson, and we should place unreasonable expectation on his poor head." Meinekinus wrote a reply back to his son and sealed it quickly. He wanted to waste little time on the matter given how impersonal a letter was to begin with.
"That would be quiet an impressive realm... to rule over all of Eastern Europe from the Baltic to the Adriatic."
"It would be, but to what end? It would be unstable, inconsistent and would quickly need to be broken apart. It would take a man, either of the purest soul and best ethic or one of the blackest heart and sharpest sword to keep it together."
"You don't think it could be done?"
"No, even a ruler as strong as my father or as convincing as Gunvald would ever be able to rule that Kingdom."
"Well, if you are convinced then we should not do anything about it. But Dzintis might not think the same thing as you." Meinekinus held his head in his hands and tried to think straight.
"Then we leave it to Dzintis, it would be he who would have to rule the combined Kingdoms anyways. Not me."
"What is this I hear of a war in Russia?" Ermessentz asked, now suddenly grim.
"There is issues going on in Mordvia, and I wish to make use of them while I can. My father spoke that Gunvald should have attacked Mordvia long ago to prevent it from becoming this strong, I feel I should heed this advice."
"What is going on?"
"Dynasty change according to pagan law. The new dynasty, the Narva, are not very popular. They speak Russian and Alan, half their family is Muslim but they hold the strongest ties to the Merya. But one clan of the Merya are trying to gain their independence, which if won would be immediately lost to us."
"You seem certain of victory, though you are not a military man."
"No, but my father left one of the best commanders in my care: Zygimantas. He was a commander of the Guard, left them to protect merchants traveling through Moldavia, he is skilled in leadership, and I am certain he shall be of great use in Russia."
"Please be careful, though, he might be a powerful warrior, but that does not make him a skilled commander."
"Hopefully we can survive." Meinekinus leaned over the table and kissed Ermessentz as she turned to leave. After the door had closed Meinekinus pushed his papers aside and put on his table instead a map of Russia commissioned long ago by his father for just such an occasion. It showed the locations of Mordvin fortifications and cities, plus possible plans of attacks, all scrawled by Svienedorog in his down-time. He smiled as he thought about having a place to send some of the recent nobles from Germany and Italy.
"Just one little war," Meinekinus said to the map, "I want a reign of peace, but to ensure peace in the future, this one little war is a must."
At the center of the map, circled was the city of Mustajoki, known in Prussian as Máskáó. A fortress key to securing the northern reaches of the Volga. Once his father had told him of the importance of that single city to defeating the Mordvins and securing all of Russia for Prussia. He would take that city and with it control over the head waters of the Volga. He would force the pagans back as part of the works of God. It was all right there, in that one city. His own little crusade. Meinekinus smiled, "Soon," he thought, "soon."
Too bad there was no evil smile. Onwards to Siberia!