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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Enewald

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Knytlings dieing out?
never with that bastard number!
 

unmerged(15337)

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Heh. "Finding" that secret manuscript in the cupboard sounds just like many of our disputed elections in which, during a recount, ballots heavily favoring a certain candidate are miraculously "found" just in time to turn the tables. And I thought it was ironic that apparently Thora cannot read but can still claim to recognize her ex-husbands' signatures.

So the race to Copenhagen is on! May the best man win -- aided perhaps by Thora's sabotage against the others. :D
 

Murmurandus

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Now that went... euh... swift... I suppose...;):D
 

Farquharson

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Enewald: Well of course the Knytling bastards won't die out, but Thora wasn't counting them. ;)

jwolf: Hmm - I don't think being able to read is a prerequisite for recognizing signatures. In fact for most signatures being able to read doesn't help you much at all... :D And BTW, according to my in-depth researches (i.e. I just consulted Wikipedia) Copenhagen was still just a small town at this stage, nearby Roskilde being more of a capital. However these are both in Sjaelland which has broken away from Denmark. King Svend's capital (I have decided) is the town of Odense on the island of Fyn.

Murmurandus: And it continues just as swift - or even swifter. Here we go...
 

Farquharson

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9
Denmark's New King

Skofte Ogmundsson, Count of Trøndelag and would-be King of Denmark, had just landed on the island of Fyn where the beleaguered King Svend had his capital at Odense. As luck would have it, Skofte's swift drakkars had indeed been swift enough and there was no sign of any other Norwegian armies already there, nor indeed any rebel Danes either, although there were certainly plenty of signs of recent fighting. Other than that it was eerily quiet until King Svend himself rode out to parley with the invaders accompanied by a large escort. Skofte went to meet him, but with him also went his Auntie Thora, for she had a matter she wished to speak of with the king.

Svend Estridsson, King of Denmark: What brings a Norwegian Count to the lands of Denmark? I have no quarrel with you, Skofte Ogmundsson.

Thora Thorbergsdottir, stepping out from behind Skofte: Surprise!

King Svend: Thora! Well, how nice of you to call. It's been a while, hasn't it? But I must say, you haven't aged a day - as ravishing as ever, I must say.

Thora: Stow it, Svend. Have you slain any more of your kin recently? I hear you have been fighting with your grandson the Duke of Slesvig, anyway.

King Svend: Ah, now Thora, I was meaning to apologize for that little accident with Bjørn. Let bygones be bygones and all that, eh?

Thora: Perhaps we should rather just let has-beens be has-beens, Svend. Your time is over. The throne of Denmark henceforth belongs to the House of Giske.

King Svend: Hah! If that's your little game, I'm afraid you're wrong. The might of Denmark's army stands between you and that dream. If I were you, I would get back on your ship and go home.

Skofte: If it's all the same to you Svend, I'd rather fight it out - the might of Denmark's army against the fearless men of Trøndelag.

Thora: And woman!

Skofte: Er, yes - the fearless men and woman of Trøndelag. We'll let you fetch the rest of your army, and then - let battle commence!

King Svend looking nervously round at his large escort: Ahem, right. Actually, this is my army.

Thora, brandishing her war-axe: Right! Let's get to it then! Blood! Slaughter! Death!

The celebrated Battle of Odense did not last long, despite the rather florid account which Thora gave to her great-nephew Håkon some time later. Contemporary sources estimate that it actually only took between 15 minutes to half an hour for Skofte's men (and woman) to rout the pitiful remnants of Svend's once-proud army and put the town of Odense under siege. After this Thora led pillaging parties around the island but to her annoyance they discovered that several rebel armies had already been there before them and there was almost nothing left of value. Odense held out for a few weeks, but the end was never in any doubt. On January 18th 1074 the town surrendered and King Svend was forced to renounce his throne in favour of Skofte. The Count of Trøndelag was now King of Denmark.

Thora, it turned out, had a variety of ways that she thought Svend should be punished for his sins, including being boiled alive, disemboweled, impaled, etc. Much to her disgust Skofte granted him a full pardon instead and send him off to the court of his hated enemy and former vassal Duke Skjalm of Sjælland. Duke Skjalm, who was now sick and suicidally depressed, was anything but happy to see Svend, but nevertheless he gave him a job as his Steward.

King Skofte, as we must now refer to him, now found himself with a number of disloyal vassals. There was Olaf Svendson, Count of Bornholm, his friend and ally Svend Svendsson, Count of Jylland, and Benedikt Svendson, Count of Skåne. They were all Svend's bastards of course, but they soon found that Skofte was a wise and fair ruler, and gradually came around to the idea of being ruled by their father's conqueror. As for Svend's other former vassals, none of them showed any interest in rejoining the Kingdom of Denmark for the time being.



The Kingdom of Denmark shortly after the historic Battle of Odense​
Queen Gudrun, as we must now refer to her, came to Odense with little Håkon, eleven-year-old Thora the hunchback, and all their household and belongings. Auntie Thora and Gudrun very much wanted to rebuild the ruins of Odin's Shrine, from which Odense took its name, and reinstitute the worship of Odin. However Skofte pointed out to them that they were now good Christians, and that such a course of action wouldn't go down well with the Archbishop of Bremen and Hamburg.

Later that year King Skofte was leafing through a stack of papers trying to sort out important accounts from some of little Håkon's works of art with which they seemed to have become mixed up. He came across the dog-eared agreement between Harald Hardraade and Svend Estridsson concerning the Svend's line dying out and the House of Giske inheriting Denmark. Looking at it once more, something didn't seem quite right about it to him. He took it to his Aunt.


King Skofte of Denmark: Auntie Thora?

Thora Thorbergsdottir: Yes, young Skofte, what can I do for you?

King Skofte: Well for a start you could try addressing me as "Your Majesty" like everyone else.

Thora: Oh, don't be silly Skofte, I'm your Auntie Thora!

King Skofte: Yes, quite. Anyway, I wanted to show you something, perhaps you can clear up a little mystery.

Thora: Hmm. What's that then?

King Skofte: Well, I was just looking at Svend Estridsson's signature on this old manuscript you found in the cupboard in Giske.

Thora: Err… yes?

King Skofte: And his signature on the peace treaty in which he agreed to surrender the crown of Denmark.

Thora: Oh.

King Skofte: They're not the same.

Thora: Gosh, aren't they?

King Skofte: In fact, they're completely different.

Thora: Well, isn't that strange.

King Skofte: Auntie Thora, I want you to tell me the truth - is this old manuscript a complete fabrication?

Thora: Well, you know…

King Skofte: Is it?

Thora: Well, you wouldn't have agreed to invade Denmark otherwise, would you?

King Skofte: Auntie Thora, that is a very irresponsible thing to do, you know.

Thora: Well, I thought it was quite clever actually.

King Skofte: I'm afraid I'm going to have to punish you, Auntie Thora.

Thora: You wouldn't dare!

King Skofte: Oh wouldn't I? Well, I'm afraid you're wrong there, because I've thought of the perfect reward for your misdemeanours. After all, you're the only member of the Giske family who is eligible for marriage…

Thora: What…?

King Skofte: And I was kind of hoping to form closer ties with the court of Duke Skjalm of Sjælland…

Thora: No…

King Skofte: You can be a spokesperson for the House of Giske there…

Thora: Please, no, anything but that - Your Majesty!

King Skofte: Aw, come on Auntie Thora, I thought you liked him.

And so King Skofte managed to improve relations with the Duke of Sjælland AND get rid of his Aunt Thora all in one fell swoop. The future was looking bright for the new King of Denmark.
 
Last edited:

Enewald

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Very bright indeed, but what shall Thora manage to do...
 

unmerged(96020)

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Oh, the irony of it. I think I have been smitten by a thunderbolt!

Anyway, I just started reading, erm, just now, and has been laughing quite a lot. The story is amusing, the dialogue is witty, and there's just something charming about it all. Wonderful work!
 

Murmurandus

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Ohoh, I'm sure King Skofte's swift and cunning move will backlash sooner or later...:D But in the mean time I impressed...:D
 

Farquharson

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Enewald: Quite - Svend could have warned Skofte about the dangers of getting "rid" of Thora from one's court. She's the sort of person you'll never really be rid of. :D

kadvael56: Most likely Thora is best kept where you can keep an eye on her. I will certainly be keeping an eye on her, and Skofte will do well to do the same.

Irenicus: Thanks for your kind words - I'm glad you're enjoying it.

Murmurandus: Of course, Thora is getting quite old these days - she may just die soon! However, even then, from beyond the grave... :eek:

jwolf: Gudrun is actually going to be a problem for Skofte. What I haven't brought out in the story yet is that she and Skofte don't get on well at all (due to opposing character traits: wise Skofte vs reckless Gudrun). She is in fact threatening to leave for another court - Duke Skjalm's perhaps??

Well this is an important moment in the AAR, because I played up to this point (actually January 1075) before deciding to AAR the game. Then I decided it was looking interesting and did lots of research and constructed the entire plot from the moment "when Harry met Thora" (Chapter 1), spun that lot out to nine chapters, and have only now caught up with the game. So now, for the first time in over a month, I'm actually playing again and discovering new things to write about. The next update may possibly be before Saturday, but if not it probably won't be for another two weeks after that since I'll be off to Scotland.

Anyway, as always, thanks to all for reading and posting!