Admiral Fyyar

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Knowing several old Danish ballads, this one is indeed very authentic! Keep up the good work :D

Gud bevare Hans Højhed Kong Harald!
 

Salik

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ooooo! a song!


eeeww... evil song... haha

Evil Dalby Serf, I'd say...

A song, cool!

Nothing like a song to cheer up an AAR with no pictures

Quite an epic song! :D Nice work, sir! :)

Thanks. Something had to top that statue and painting of yours.

Tolkienesque....what more can I say?

:eek::eek:o My song? Tolkienesque... my, my... What a compliment!

Knowing several old Danish ballads, this one is indeed very authentic! Keep up the good work :D

Gud bevare Hans Højhed Kong Harald!

Thanks! Actually the melody that I had in mind while writing it was from a British folksong recorded by Jerry Garcia and David Grisman, where a lot of the inspiration also came from. I added a chorus, which is a prominent feature of Danish folksongs, to the melody, and borrowed a line here, a name there and one complete stanza from the song. There's a large Danish butter-cookie for anyone who can name that song.
 
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Montague

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Thanks! Actually the melody that I had in mind while writing it was from a British folksong recorded by Jerry Garcia and David Grisman, where a lot of the inspiration also came from. There's a large Danish butter-cookie for anyone who can name that song.

Was it Two Soldiers?
 

Salik

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Chapter XX: A Reformed Kingdom

Gyldenstjerne.png


Coat of arms of the House of Gyldenstierne

Haakon VII Rosenkrantz of Norway passed away after just two years on the throne in 1559. As the throne of Norway was still hereditary, his son Haakon was crowned in Nidaros as Haakon VIII. The position of the Rosenkrantz family in Norway was, at this point, much different from that of the Gyldenstierne family in Denmark-Sweden. While Frederik Gyldenstierne had taken the throne as part of an internal struggle between noble fractions, Haakon Rosenkrantz' ascension to the Norwegian throne had been part of a de facto declaration of independence. So if Frederik Gyldenstierne had his power because of the Danish-Swedish nobles, the Norwegians had their freedom because of Haakon Rosenkrantz, which gave him much more power.

Haakon VIII was as popular as his father. At 25 he was still a young man, and admired throughout his kingdom for his skills as an administrator. While his father had tried to build alliances with Lithuania, Haakon VIII wanted to keep close ties to the much larger neighbour of Denmark-Sweden. His sister Kirsten was married to Christopher Gyldenstierne, who became his close friend and advisor. Even as the violent 1660’ies evolved, and Christopher became heir to the throne in everything but name, he still kept close ties with Norway. Some have suggested, that the two men, the king and the count, were in fact natural rivals for power in an eventually reformed Union of Kalmar, but they do not seem to have acknowledged this fact themselves. Even after Christopher named his son first Harald, a rather antiquated name, which pointed directly to the first king of Norway, Harald Hårfager, the relationship does not seem to have suffered. Harald Gyldenstierne was even sent to Norway to be raised with his uncle, while Haakon (IX) Rosenkrantz was sent to Christopher in Lund.

In 1567, the tragic Dalby Skov-murder upset the people of both realms. King Haakon and Christopher Gyldenstierne went hunting in Dalby forrest close to Lund, but got caught in bad weather and chose to stay for the night in a cabin owned by a local peasant. According to the popular version of the story, which can be found in balads suchs as “King Hagen and Lord Christopher”, this peasant went out in the night and got hold of Christopher’s foes among the nobility, who send a page to the cabin to kill the two men. A page from the Hvide family, who was serving in the house of Peder Oxe, a prominent nobleman, was accused of the murder along with the peasant. Peder Oxe was also tried for conspiracy along with many other prominent members of the Danish nobility, including the leader of the Republican party, Peder Ulfeldt. Durring the trial, both the peasant and the page said that they had acted on their own account to rob the two men, and that they did not know who they were. But why a page from Malmö, 16 kilometres away, would be anywhere near Dalby to accidentally kill the kings son and the king of Norway, on the fourth day of Christmas, together with a peasant he had no other connection to, was never fully explained. The page and the peasant were both sentenced to death by hanging, while Peder Oxe, Peder Ulfeldt and three other nobles were sentenced to pay large indemnities to the Gyldenstierne family and a fine to be split between the crown and the church.

The public outrage against the nobles was not satisfied with this, and Frederik Gyldenstierne seized the opportunity to hold the Common Rigsråd of 1570. The Rigsråd was, as mentioned earlier, the representatives of the people. The members were appointed by the king, and came mostly from the large noble families, although some burghers, such as Mikkel Brygger and Ambrosius Bogbinder are known to have been members as well. After the trial against them, several of the powerful nobles were excluded from the Rigsråd, and the king put together a new one, consisting of many burghers from Copenhagen and Lund, a few wealthy peasants and loyalist nobles. The first act of the new Rigsråd was to apoint Harald Gyldenstierne, Christopher’s son, as heir to the throne, and to establish a hereditary monarchy. In other words, the Rigsråd abolished its own main power. By the Kongelov of 1571, the first real constitution of the realm, the rules of inherritance, the limits to the kings power, and, above all, the inclusion of the duchies and free cities under the constitution, were put down. The power became more centralized in Copenhagen, and the old right of the feudal lords to pass judgement on their subjects were transfered to a system of independent courts.

hndfstning.jpg

The Håndfæstning of Frederik III. The kings signature is severed to show, that the Håndfæstning is annulled.


Kongeloven.jpg

Kongeloven, the first Danish-Swedish constitution

In 1574, the Astrakhan Khanate and their allies of the Ottoman Empire attacked Muscowy, and Denmark and Novgorod both rushed to defend the dying kingdom. This war would be the final transformation of the state, as the vocal few among the noble families insisted on their right to conduct the war. If they had triumphantly beaten the Muslim hordes, the Kongelov could well have been cancelled, but this was not the case. In the catastrophic battle of Moskva in 1574 almost the entire youth of the noble families was annihilated or taken captive, and Muscowy gave up the territory of Nijni-Novgorod. The crown had to pay a small indemnity to get out of the war and as a ransom for those nobles who had not died in battle or captivity. With this final humiliation, the old noble families lost most of their influence. The age of the burghers was beginning.

And with Lithuania in ruins, the throne secured and the economy thriving under the new constituion, Frederik decided to continue the mission set forth by his great-grandfather Christian I: The people of Orkney, and all others oppressed by the English, should be freed from their yoke.
 
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Qorten

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I love how you describe the internal politics of the state. More so then the wars you write about. Keeep it up.
 

Milites

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Oh that reminded me of something!

MordetiFinderupLade.jpg


:p
 

Salik

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Yes! Kill the English! or at least release a minor or two..

What is it with you and the English, anyways? Well... they have beaten me so far, so let's not get our hopes up too high...

Wooooo!!!! Burn England burn! :D

He... We'll see about that

I love how you describe the internal politics of the state. More so then the wars you write about. Keeep it up.

I also personally think that those are more funny to write. Let's face it- everybody knows what a war is like. But the big changes of the state are probably over for now

Oh that reminded me of something!

MordetiFinderupLade.jpg

:p

You won't believe how close I came to using that picture. The Malmö page was even called Rane Johnsen untill the very last minute, when I realized that Finnerup Lade still happened in this timeline.

The English? I thought you'd be sharpening your spear for the next round with the horde(s) would be in order.

Oh no. The English have been in line for a war for decades now
 

unmerged(126169)

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What is it with you and the English, anyways? Well... they have beaten me so far, so let's not get our hopes up too high...

well i have this thing where i like to attempt* playing as an Irish minor and the English always seem very angry with that idea haha
so every AAR i read i get rather happy if it involves a war on the English



* read suicide attempt
 

Salik

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Chapter XXI: Kirkwal and beyond

Gyldenstjerne.png


Coat of arms of the House of Gyldenstierne

Since the loss of Orkney in 1489, the liberation of the islands and their Norwegian inhabitants had been a goal of the Danish-Swedish kings. To England, the conquest had meant, that all of the British isles were under English rule, and king Adolphus had pronounced himself Emperor of Greater Britain and Northern Ireland. Orkney thus became a focal point in both Britain and the Union of Kalmar. To the British it was the last province outside of Ireland to be brought under their control, and the province that led to the formation of Great Britain. To Denmark-Sweden and Norway, it was the first loss of land in more than a century, and meant a shift from the old goal of dominating and weakening Northern Germany to a more broad perspective, in which France, Spain and in particular Great Britain became rivals. These countries all represented the cultural inheritance from the Roman Empire that Scandinavia had never been part of. It is unclear whether this fact was ever articulated, or even fully realized, though later propaganda has not failed to emphasize it, but given later events, it is clear that there was more at stake than just some windy islands in the North Sea.

englandfrinvasionen-1.jpg


Great Britain in 1579. British possessions shown in black, French possessions shown in blue.

The above map shows the political situation in the British Isles in 1579. France controlled Southern Ireland, while Great Britain controlled Northern Ireland as well as the British Isles and Bretagne. The British armies in Europe were all positioned in Bretagne and Northern Ireland to repel a French invasion, while the fleet would protect the mainland. In Vinland, a small colonial army was stationed along with the majority of the fleet. The British possessions in Vinland were interspersed with the Danish crown colonies, and both countries were eager to expand at the others expense. Great Britain was allied to Castile, who also held large possessions in Vinland, and had the naval power to be a threat to Scandinavia. During the very tense situation surrounding the collapse of Lithuania and the breakup of the Union of Kalmar, Great Britain had guaranteed the independence of Lithuania.

Frederik Gyldenstierne was an old man of 72 in 1579. During his life he had went from being a cautiously reformist nobleman to preside over the somewhat peaceful transition of power from the nobles to the burghers. He had seen his son killed and his grandson become the first designated heir since Erik Menved in 1286, thus establishing a new dynasty on the throne. He had seen the late-medieval construction of the Union of Kalmar give way to two more centralized and modern kingdoms, and had seen the duchies become fully recognized as equal parts of the realm. All these accomplishments would have made him remembered as a great king, but even so he made the reconquest of Orkney a priority, with the risk of tarnishing his legacy that this endeavour implied.

In preparing for the war, a deal was made with France to station troops in Southern Ireland and Western France. The king of France was in no way an ally of Denmark-Sweden, who was considered a rather backward, barbaric country in Paris, while the French were considered arrogant snobs in Copenhagen. Even so, Great Britain was a greater enemy to both countries, and the French had no inhibitions in lending their support to weakening the former. Building a fleet had been a priority for decades, and the Danish-Swedish fleet was strong enough to secure an invasion of the British Mainland, as long as the British colonial fleet did not interfere. With everything set for a war, the only thing that remained was to provoke the British to declare war, without drawing Castile into it. The first attempt was made in 1577 with support for the failed Scottish rebellion, but the British crushed the rebellion and did not take any further action on the matter. Then in 1579, a new opportunity arose, as Danish agents found evidence that the Lithuanian court was secretly trying to sabotage Danish trade in the Baltic region. Frederik moved swiftly to punish the Lithuanians, knowing that the British would intervene. What he had not taken into account was Poland. For more than a century, the Triple Alliance of Poland, Muscovy and Denmark-Sweden had been aimed against Lithuanian aggression. This had worked fine as long as Lithuania was strong and Muscovy and Poland were both weak. However, after swallowing the many recently independent Slavic states after the collapse of Lithuania, Poland had become the new great power of the region, and had guaranteed the independence of Lithuania. Frederik had counted on the old alliance to be a higher priority to the Poles than the weak and hostile kingdom of Lithuania. This, however, was not the case. The Poles had no interest in the alliance anymore, after seeing their greatest enemy eradicated. Suddenly, a new front opened to the South, as the Danish-Swedish fleet set sail for Britain, and annihilated the British fleet.

The invasion was successful, as the Danish armies moved to London, and within a year, London and all of Southern England was conquered, as well as Northern Ireland. The Danish-Swedish fleet prevented the large continental armies to cross the channel, and the armies could slowly progress northward, meeting only small scale resistance. The following maps show the progress of the campaign, which would take three years to complete.

england1582.jpg


The British campaign in 1582, territories occupied by Denmark-Sweden shown with white stripes

england1584.jpg


The British Isles in 1584, when Frederik III landed on Orkney

Meanwhile, however, Polish armies moved into the Baltic region, occupying Pomerania, Danzig and the Duchies of Kurland and Estland. King Haakon IX of Norway sent armies to support the small and scattered Danish forces, but the Polish armies were generally larger and stronger, as long as the British campaign was being fought. By 1583, Polish armies crossed the border to Finland, while another army approached the Eider-boundary of the Kingdom. Frederik refused to let troops be transferred from Britain to repel the Polish invasion, as he rightly claimed that only a total withdrawal of Danish troops from Britain would be enough. Instead, new regiments were raised in Sweden and Jylland to hold of an invasion of the core lands, while the British campaign could be finished.

In North America, British armies seized the colonies of Ny Norge and Ny Sverige, while Danish armies moved South to claim the British colonies on the great Sehested River. By 1584, the British colonies between Ny Finland and Ny Sverige and between Vinland and the Spanish possessions were conquered. Frederik Gyldenstierne, at the age of 77, took formal command of the army that was ferried to Orkney, and became the first king to set foot on the islands. The reception was described as overwhelming, although less official accounts describe it as rather lukewarm. The people of Orkney had generally been left to themselves by the British, and no one who had actually lived under Danish rule was alive. Still, August 15th 1584, the day of the London Treaty by which Orkney was ceded to Denmark-Sweden along with all British possessions north of the Spanish border remains a local holiday in Orkney. By the treaty, Scotland, Connacht and Tyrone were released as independent nations, the later two being vassals of Denmark-Sweden.

englandfred.jpg

The British Isles after the London Treaty

With Great Britain in ruins, the large invasion force could be transferred to Denmark, where the armies were reinforced. At this point, a last stroke of the extremely gambling genius that was Frederik Gyldenstierne came, as the armies rather than reconquering the Baltic coast, were transported directly to Danzig by the fleet. The city was quickly liberated, letting a large force march directly on Warsaw. As the Polish armies retreated to lift the siege, Danish and Swedish troops moved behind them, liberating the Duchies. In 1584, Warsaw fell, and the Polish king paid a small indemnity.

With this last great accomplishment, Frederik III Gyldenstierne retired to Lund, were he spent his last years, letting his grandson rule in everything but name, along with a council of prominent burghers and reformist nobles. In 1586, at the funeral of Sebastian Sehested, Frederik made his last public appearance, before dying in 1588. His death let Harald IV take the last small step on the way to power, that had been paved for him by his grandfather’s skill, the failure of the nobility, and the blood of his father, his uncle and thousands of other young men during the long constitutional struggle of the 60’ies. However, having grown up as heir to the throne, and having studied with Sehested, Harald never realized this fact. Instead, he saw the power vested in him as his natural, divine right. A right which allowed him not to follow the advice of others, which his limited skills so desperately needed.
 
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Qorten

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Hah, back to start for Great Britain. Good work.

Edit: Bad times ahead apparently with Frederik's grandson at the helm. What are his stats? Something along the lines 4/4/4?
 
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King_Richard_XI

Duke of Miža
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I love the reinstatement of the Scottish and Irish states. You must guarantee their independence and ensure they remain!