The Knautschlings - part 4
That worked out well
Harald´s popularity has taken a drop since his involvement in the german succession crisis was unveiled.
So he decides to do something popular.
Beating the crap out of the Pruthenian pagans is popular, he thinks.
Also they hold a title which belongs to Harald´s lands !
Claiming that title is not quite as popular as Harald thinks.
But nonetheless he declares war on the Pruthenians, what else shall he do now that he is more unpopular than ever before ?
In a fight of epic proportion and in glorious battles the Danish army lead by Marshal Pimen completely batters the Pruthenians.
But that is not a chapter for this tale, since those are stories of valor, bravery and heroes.
Nobody wants to hear such stories.
Our story continues at the point where the Pruthenians are already defeated.
Harald forces a peace on the pagans
and reaps his massive boost in popularity for defeating the infidels.
Three thousand gold coins and the lives of many brave Danish soldiers in vain.
But Harald does not dwell on this too long for he does not personally know anyone who died and certainly has no bad conscience raising the taxes yet again.
Those burghers have too much gold for Harald´s taste anyways.
A short time later Harald decides to marry his grandson Valdemar to the only living daughter of Heinrich von Franken,
the King of Germany.
Von Franken´s power is in demise now that the Goldstrand* family declared themselves independent,
but it is still good to have marriage bonds with von Franken.
The Goldstrand*s do not like this marriage however and eliminate the bride only ten days later.
What a hateful act to murder an innocent young woman !
Valdemar is heartbroken but Harald does not waste time to find a new attractive but powerless bride for him, surely nobody will try to assassinate her.
Not much happens in the following two years, but then in 1105 a Swedish Duke declares independence from the King of Scandinavia.
Harald offers the now indepent Duke his protection in exchange for just a little money.
When Harald says little money he means the maximum possible amount of tax that he is allowed to take under the Danish laws by the way.
The Duke accepts.
Then in 1107 Harald has a really innovative idea.
He wants to go on crusade against the Pruthenian pagans.
Marshal Pimen sighs when he hears this but of course bows to the will of his King.
He trashes the Pruthenians with ease this time.
The pope approves of Harald´s eagerness to crusade and even his prestige recovers a little bit.
But it does not recover to a point where Harald could really further expand his realm.
After the crusade Harald orders some of the smaller regiments further south to battle Polish peasants who are revolting
for he does feel that the divine right of nobility to rule shall not be threatened.
He even does some battle himself.
At the end of this chapter Harald is already 60 years of age but his tale yet continues.