Prologue Two: The Prussians
normándćn ist se runćŝaná ŝev milánćrs, sáŝćn ist se runćŝaná ŝev cinitćrs, ánglćn ist se runćŝaná ŝev lćrćrs, próŝjćn ist se runćŝaná ŝev sinikćs.
French is the language of the Lovers, German is the language of the Warriors, English is the language of the Priests, Prussian is the language of the Kings.
In the summer of 1199 the soldiers of Prussia marched again. Not to some construction site, but to war. 65,000 soldiers were at hand to enforce an important claim, Prussia's claim to Moldavia. The region was a borderland, and in terms of the time that meant that it was between two major powers who both claimed the region. This meant that the citizens often paid twice the taxes (once to both powers) or that the hinterlands were no-man's land and that tiny cities representing each nation sprung up all over, leaving tiny enclaves of one state in another. Hungary needed the region as a port, it was the only connection Hungary had to the sea and was necessary to continue Hungary's support of Crusaders in the Holy Land and in Georgia and Armenia. But Prussia wanted the same strip of land to build a road from Kiev to Constantinople, linking Prussia to one of its largest trading partners. However, to build the road, Prussia would require more direct control over the region as it would also allow for the enforcing of tolls, tolls that Hungary would have to pay to reach the sea. Neither side was going to back down, they had too much riding on their control over the region, so war became inevitable.
That is why Sviendorog levied 65,000 soldiers in the winter of 1198, far more than were needed. He wanted to crush Hungary in a single blow, attacking over a large, wide area and stretching their small armies thin. For the West it was going to be a proving ground. If Hungary managed to win, Prussia was likely to fall; if Hungary lost, Prussia would have to be their guardian. By the end of 1199 Hungary's capital, Pressburg, had fallen as had Moldavia. But King István kept up a fighting retreat to Pest. But the fight could not be kept up forever and by the spring of 1200 many in the Hungary army had disserted to return to the fields. King István was forced to surrender Moldavia, and though he could have taken more, Sviendorog accepted this offer. Hence forth Hungary was in an awkward position. With France crushed, Italy crumbling, Germany wracked by civil war and England isolating itself, Hungary was left as the sole Christian power of the West. But it was a tributary state to the Prussians and Romans who controlled its access to the seas. It was a sign of times for Europe and the fate of Christianity.
In Bohemia, Prince Dzintis was crowned King of Bohemia as King Dominic as wed to the daughter of King István. What made the crowing strange was that Dzintis was a King before his own father. Though Meinekinus thought little of it, Dzintis was more than willing to let it get to his head. To him he was the force of unity in Europe, the glue that held Prussia bound to the West. So while Meinekinus prepared himself for being King and Dzintis went about his indulgences as a young man made King, King Sviendorog had a new issue arising: immigrants. From the West fled untold numbers of Germans, French and Dutch nobles and merchants from their beleaguered lands to Prussia. In the south, Catalan, Spanish and Italian nobles favored Rome for their destination. All fled the loss of their wealth and status, and in unlucky cases in the south, their lives. For Sviendorog it was a too edged sword. The new blood was able to stamp out much of the Saxon nobility, pushing it to the side. However, so many more nobles were now clambering for land, wealth and position. The stress on the King grew and in 1204 he died at the age of 60.