Salik

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GESTA DANORUM​

Geographicaly, the kingdom of Denmark sits in the middle of Europe. However, culturaly it has always been on the outskirts. As the southernmost of the Scandinavian countries, and the only one with a landborder to the German states south of Scandinavia, Denmark was always the first to meet new impulses from the rest of the world, be they peaceful or not.

The close contact with Germany always left a big scism for the Danish kings. Should they embrace the German culture with all its splendor of the courts, or should they maintain their independence and close ties with the northern brothers?

For centuries, the answer was to oppose any interference from the Holy Roman Empire. From the establishment of a Danish archbishopry in Lund over the murder of Knud Lavard and to the crusades in the Baltic region, Danish medieval history can be interpreted as a constant struggle to shape ones own history without nosy neighbours to come knocking.

But by the late 13th century, the Danish kings got so much taste for the courtly life of the German dukes, that they borrowed money to keep a court of their own. In doing so, they pawned away the entire country, which was held by German counts for years until Niels Ebbesen killed the bald count Gerhard in Randers and paved the way for Valdemar Atterdag to reclaim the throne for the old line of kings that could be traced back to the first Christian king, Harald, in the 10th century.

Valdemar died without a grown up heir, so his daughter Margrete ruled for her son Oluf, who was also the son of the king of Norway and grandson of the king of Sweden. Oluf was the last male descendant of the old Viking kings, and his mother helped him take the three thrones that were his rightful claim from a German duke, Albrecht of Mecklenburg. Oluf seemed to be the hope of all the Nordic countries to finally unite under one common king. Unfortunately, he died shortly after.

Now his cousin, Erik VII of Pommerania has inherited his crown. An indecisive 17 year old raised in Germany is the incarnation of a dream. A dream of unified Scandinavia, that will surpress the German oppressors and the Hanseatic League once and for all. The Swedish nobles are grumbling that this was not the kind of king they anticipated, and might be fielding a candidate of their own. Will Erik succeed? Will his kingdom?


Table of Contents

The House of Pomerania

100px-Wappen_Pommern_svg.png


Erik VII of Pomerania (1396-1405)
Chapter I: The Adolescence of Erik VII
Chapter II: An Untimely Event

Frederik I The Meek (1405-1416)
Chapter III: The First Baltic War
Chapter IV: The Short Reign of Frederik I

Vilhelm The Conqueror (1416-1440)
Chapter V: The Youth of Vilhelm I
Fact Box: The Courtly Life of King Vilhelm I
Chapter VI: The Conqueror
Chapter VII: The Holy Roman Emperor
Chapter VIII: Lament For A King

Hans The Cruel (1441-1470)
Chapter IX: Hans
Chapter X: Hans The Cruel

Christian The Explorer (1470-1507)
Fact box: Europe At The Ascension of Christian I
Chapter XI: The Independence War
Chapter XII: A Troubled Peace
Fact box: A Short History of Danes in Greenland
Chapter XIII: The War of The Tripple Alliance
Chapter XIV: An Ever Expanding Union

Frederik II The Pious or The Great (1507-1543)
Chapter XV: The Second Baltic War
Fact Box: Bernardo Grosso, Sebastian Sehested and The Council of Frösön
Chapter XVI: Rumble in Russia
Chapter XVII: Regarding Krakow

Christian II The Tyrant or (in Pomerania)The Brave (1543-1557)
Chapter XVIII: All Things Must Pass
Factbox: Rosekrantz and Gyldenstierne

The House of Gyldenstierne

Gyldenstjerne.png


Frederik III Gyldenstierne (1557-1588)
Chapter XIX: Kådkarle var alle galne med køller
Source: King Hagen and Lord Christopher
Chapter XX: A Reformed Kingdom
Chapter XXI: Kirkwal and Beyond

Harald IV The Chosen Prince or The Mad (1588-1619)
Chapter XXII: The Special Relationship
Chapter XXIII: The First Rosenkrantz War
Chapter XXIV: Dette landet Harald berget
Factbox: The Private Life of Harald IV
Chapter XXV: The British-French War and The Irish Revolt
Chapter XXVI: Fear of God Is the Strength of the Realms

Regency Council (1619-1622)
Chapter XXVII: The Kruse Regency
Chapter XXVIII: The Ascension of Christopher Gyldenstierne

Christopher III Gyldenstierne or The Young, also Damned Christopher(1622-1633)
Chapter XXIX: Lord Peder and King Christopher
Chapter XXX: The Archbishop of Copenhagen
Interlude
Chapter XXXI: Sheep die, kinsmen die

Christian III Gyldenstierne or The Second Prince (1633-1662)
Chapter XXXII: "Es wird niemahls wie es war"
Chapter XXXIII: Knowing when to stop
Chapter XXXIV: The Land Is Build By The Law
Chapter XXXV: Es wird noch ein mahl wie es war
Source: Opening scene of "Kejserkrigen"
Chapter XXXVI: Great Expectations

Frederik IV the Great or Lillekongen (1662-1690)
Chapter XXXVII: The Little King
Chapter XXXVIII: Cold War
Chapter XXXIX: Blood and Water
Chapter XL: All Of Your Base Are Belong To Us
Chapter XLI: The Billy Goat
Chapter XLII: Up In Smoke

Vilhelm II Gyldenstierne(1690) (de jure)

Margrete of Great Britain (1690-1721) (de facto)/Frederik V (1690-52) (de jure)
Portrait: Margrethe of Great Britain
Factbox: What The Star Shone Upon
Chapter XLIII: Silence Is Golden
Chapter XLIV: Masters of War
Chapter XLV: Taking The Turk By The Beard
Chapter XLVI: Of Kings, Queens And Countesses
Chapter XLVII: Greek Ambitions
Factbox: Freeing the Peasant
Chapter XLVIII: Norway In Their Hearts

Margrethe II Gyldenstierne (1721-1752(de facto)/Frederik V (de jure) (1690-1752)
Chapter XLIX: A Century of Unrest I- Margrethe Gyldenstierne and the Formation of Scandinavia

Harald V Gyldenstierne (1752-1785) and Valdemar V Gyldenstierne (1785-1805)
Chapter L: A Century of Unrest II- The Road To Ruin


The Republic of Scandinavia

sca.png


Chapter LI: A Century of Unrest III- The Scandinavian Revolution

~~ The End ~~​
 
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Salik

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Thanks for all your nice words. I changed the colour to yellow, the red was a bit too much- I thougth it would make good sense to write in the red colours of the Danish flag, but if nobody can read it, what's the point?:eek:o

I plan to go as far as I can with the German oppressors. I will probably annex Hamburg and Mecklenburg, possibly Bremen as soon as possible, but from then on it will be all about getting in as many hits as possible. If I get the chance I might try to become emperor, though I'm still not quite sure if it would be to humiliate them or become one of them (maybe we'll have a little referendum on that, should it ever be an option). Another idea is to simply dismantle the whole damned thing:D

Anyways, here it comes, the first chapter
 

Salik

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Chapter I: The Adolescence of Erik VII

100px-Wappen_Pommern_svg.png

The coat of arms of the house of Pomerania​

This map shows the Union of Kalmar in the year of our Lord 1399. In purple we see Denmark to the South, in light blue Norway to the Norhtwest and in darker blue Sweden to the Northeast. The Northatlantic provinces of Orkney and Iceland, old settlements who have sworn allegiance to the crown of Norway are not show on the map. Though Erik VII ruled all three nations, they were still exactly that- three nations. Erik was elected king in each of the countries, and the Swedish and Norwegian Rigsråd (noble state councils) could still choose another king. For now, however, they adhered to the treaty of Kalmar.


danmark1399.jpg


This is also the reason for the different royal arms that can be seen indicating the navies and armies of the king. In Denmark, Erik used the mythic Dannebrog, which legend claims was send by God to aid the morale of his distant ancestor Valdemar the Victorious’ troops in their crusade in Estonia. This was to show his descendance from the old kings. In Norway, he used the lion holding the axe of Olaf the Holy. This was to show his recognition of the ancient Norwegian royalty, and their close dynastic links to his own family. In Sweden, the nobles were grumbling, so Erik chose to fly the three crowns of the Kalmar Union to remind everybody of the oath to overthrow the German oppressors, and of Eriks own dedication to the cause.


erikVII.jpg


Erik was young and had little interest in the affairs of the state. His primary goal was to expand the borders of his realm southwards to the rich cities of the Hanseatic League. However, many things needed to be tended to inside the realm. Stability was low and Hanseatic merchants were monopolizing the trade in Northern Europe. Eriks aunt Margrete had more insight than most men, and saw it fit to establish a small army of 1000 men at arms and 1000 cavalry for her nephew to play around the southern borders, while she attended to drawing trade away from the Hanseatic League and into the Øresund Region, the Danish heartland

[mission: Danish Trade, own a province with a COT. I thought this mission was very much along the lines of giving the old enemy a thorough beating. However, I’m not quite sure if it’s wise to split op the trade or if I should just take Lübeck? Since it’s not a core, I would get a penalty on my trade for years.]

In order to establish a proper center of trade for the nordic countries, Margrete needed to build an infrastructure that could handle the travellers. New areas needed to be laid out for warehouses and livingquarters, small contingents of ships and men at arms had be deployed to protect trade, and, not least, a proper way of taking tariffs from the merchants had to established. The costs would run up to 500 ducats, the state only making about 60 a year in total. Since the establishment of a national center of trade was far away, Margrete started hiring merchants of her own to send abroad to Antwerpen, Lübeck and Novgorod. If the trade wouldn’t come to Denmark, Denmark would have to come to the trade.

At the same time, income from taxes were low. Margretes attempts at centralizing the government had not been popular, and the realm was unstable. Many local rulers were less motivated to collect taxes when they saw their own authority being taken over by the central government, so whatever income was not needed to keep hiring and sending merchants went into buying the loyalty of the nobility.


[I put all my investments into stability, as it was 0 after I changed my first slider towards centralization. When I hit +3, I changed to Government in order to have National Bank. Even though I’m not part of the Hanseatic League, I easily got five merchants in all three COT’s. I was kind of surprised, but what the heck...]

While Margrete was busy building the nations wealth, the nobles of Sweden were raising armies in their provinces. Though they stated that this was merely to protect themselves while collecting taxes for the crown, Erik saw it as a threat to him. He started writing letters to the nobles, but got rude replies. The Swedish nobility were certainly starting to draw away from the Union. In response to this, Erik overruled his aunt and started recruiting troops in Skåne and Halland, spending all the money that had been laid aside to build a centre of trade. When the nobles of Sweden saw their armies outnumbered, they decided to keep a low profile, and Erik spent many more ducats buying the loyalty of the more pragmatic amongst them.

[The Swedes keep insulting me, I’ve seen this happen before. I read in another thread that building an army larger than theirs would help, so I did. It stopped the insults, but then this thing happened, costing me -50 in relations:]

ErikVIIignoresSweden.jpg


Soon after, even those nobles that had been expensively bought started complaining that the king was always fooling around in the south instead of taking care of Swedens interests. The Swedes were genuinely beginning to feel, that they had been tricked into a union that would tend to the needs of Denmark rather than Scandinavia, and relations between the crown and the nobles plummeted again.

[What is this? It is as if the game is scripted to have Sweden bolt from the Union. Maybe it’s to avoid a powerful Denmark early in the game when you play GC for minor German (oppressor-)states?]

With her savings almost dried up, Margrete felt that she couldn’t wait much longer. Old age was begining to take its toll on her, and her only wish was to see a blooming center of trade, where all the goods of the union could be sold to merchants, before she died. So she decided, that for all his foolhardiness and brutish ways, her nephews obsession with conquest might be used to fill up her coffers.

The island of Gotland is situated in the Baltic, close to the coast of Sweden. Margretes father, Valdemar, had conquered the island after the brutal siege of Visby, but since then it had fallen into the hands of the Teutonic order. Erik still claimed the island for the Danish crown, but this was merely a theoretical claim, for now anyways. But the Teutonic Order also owned Danzig, a city once founded by her royal ancestors, and now a bustling metropolis which gave more taxes to its owner than even the rich and fertile soils of Skåne or Sjælland. Danzig had been cut of from the rest of the orders possesions by the small duchy of Marzovia, so if she could convince Erik to try to reconquer Gotland, Danzig might be up for graps, as wells as the hopefully abundant treasures of the Order. On another note, the prospect of a common, German enemy might also be what was needed to get the Swedish nobles back on the side of the crown.
So as 1405 drew to an end, Margrete was busy talking to Erik about the great siege that his great-grandfather won at Visby.
 
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unmerged(104889)

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Looks great so far! The yellow color is MUCH better than the red one. By the way, what means gesta?

Oh, and good luck with your first AAR!
 
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Eber

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Great start so far! I must say the yellow is much better then the red. Though maybe you should put the story in white and your comments in yellow? Just a thought. It's your AAR, do what you want. I'll still be reading either way. Let's hope Erik can keep the Union together. :)
 

unmerged(111870)

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1. As Birdboy says being at war will also stop the insults. And the Swedish economy is stronger, than the danish so maintaing a larger army will be problematic (But great for roleplay!).

2. The Swedish flag has nothing to do with the union of Kalmar, but the originial swedish union, were Svea Rike was founded.

I like the way the story unfolds. Not to word heavy, but still a good and plausible historical explanation of the games events..
 

Salik

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There probably won't be more updates before Friday, I haven't got time to write about the war just now. But still a few comments...

Auray: Thanks. Gesta Danorum is the latin title of a medieval work on Danish history, it means "Deeds of the Danes", which has also been added to title now. I always liked the title, and thought that the events in this AAR would probably only be slightly less historic than the ones in the actual work.

ForsakenBlack: We'll see about that, won't we?

democratickid: I took a loooong break from the forums- 7 years, more or less... I was surprised that I still had my profile. And thanks, I've actually been thinking of doing one for- well, 7 years.

birdboy2000: Both work, though it's gotten a bit more expensive lately. But you'll see on Friday. And by the way, my trade is (so far) going pretty well without the help of the Hansa.

Eber: Thanks! Erik is going to have a hard time doing that, but again, you'll see on Friday

Kami: I think I remember reading, that the Danish kings tried to make the Swedes stop using the Three Crowns as it was a symbol of the Union of Kalmar. It seems that you're right, though, it was used from the 13th century... Maybe the Union adapted them? I'll look into it.
 

unmerged(81979)

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democratickid: I took a loooong break from the forums- 7 years, more or less... I was surprised that I still had my profile. And thanks, I've actually been thinking of doing one for- well, 7 years.

Ha! Well, welcome back, fine sir! :D
 

Salik

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Chapter II: An untimely event
November-December of 1405

100px-Wappen_Pommern_svg.png

The coat of arms of the house of Pomerania​

On the 4th of November 1405, a Danish fleet of galleys, large carracks and a great number of smaller ships landed an army of 1000 knights and 3000 lightly equipped men at arms from Skåne in Danzig. A few days later, a Norwegian fleet landed a small army on Gotland. The move was swift and perfectly timed. The lands of the Teutonic Order was torn by internal strife with local peasants rising up in arms in Kurland and the heathens of Samogitia revolting against their Christian overlords. And while they were busy fighting off the rebelions, the German Crusaders would never have anticipated an attack so soon. Sailing a fleet into the Baltic in November was a rash move, to say the least. The plan was to strike quickly with small forces against the Orders two isolated provinces in the Wintertime, hopefully keeping the garrisons busy without overstretching the amount of supplies that could be procurred from the local peasants. Erik would then join up with the army in the Spring to move in for a final strike on the main possesions of the Order. Erik had made sure to tie up alliances with the neighbouring Poland to keep them out of the conflict, and was also hoping for support from his native Pommerania. As expected, Poland did not want to take part in the war on either side. What came as a bigger shock was that Eriks own father, the Duke of Pommerania, refused to help his son. To many Danes, this was just another proof that Germans were not to be trusted.

Erik was 23 at the time, and a large, strong man with redish blond hair. He had a long neck and could mount a horse without using the stirrups. When the ladies of the court were looking, he liked to pull off this trick, even though he was married to his cousin, a young Pommeranian woman named Hedewig. Now, he was getting impatient to finally see the action of real battle. He spent days riding with a few trusted men in the flat marshlands of Slesvig, dreaming of battles to come. From time to time, they would joust for fun.
On the day of Sct. Barbara, the 4th of December, tragedy struck. As Erik and his friends were riding in the open land, his horse stepped into a rabbithole, and sent the king flying to the ground, his head cracking open against a rock.

Margrete received the news of her nephews death in the new capital of Copenhagen. She had spent a lot of her goodwill with the nobles to get him elected king, and the mere prospect of finding another heir of her own line was enough to make her cry. She had few tears for Erik himself. The servants at the court, however, spread the word around town, that Margrete was in deep sorrow after her nephews death. The sympaty that arose from this probably played a great role in Margretes eventual succes in gaining support for her sisters grandson Friedrich, whose name in the popular tounge was quickly changed to Frederik.

FrederikI.jpg


The election of another distant relative of Oluf as king of the Union would seem improbable. The Swedish nobles were already dissatisfied with the first young German king, and all three kingdoms had many better men than Friedrich. However, three things were in his favor. Firstly, he was supported by Margrete, who held wide popular support throughout the Union. Secondly, in times of war, internal strife would be ill advised, and the nobles of the three realms still distrusted each other. Friedrichs status as outside candidate meant that he was not on anybodys side. And thirdly, Hedewig was now a widow at the age of 16, which meant that the state would have to pay her a costly pension for years to come. Friedrich was still a bachelor, and as a condition for him to inherit the throne, he married Hedewig.

But as the young king rose to power, at least in name, for Margrete was now more than ever the true ruler of the Union, a war was starting in the East. A war that the peaceful young Friedrich had no part in.


I thought I would just post this update, as I could see that it would be too long with this and the war in one post. Hopefully Fredie will last a bit longer than Erik (or, hopefully not, seeing how they in actual fact both have bad stats)
 
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