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YF-23

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Keep Lubeck. Released or not, the League is over, and I'm sure most of its more profitable trade will be diverted elsewhere now that it's in Danish hands.

(also, about Poland annexing Mazovia, you mention the city of Krakow, but I think you mean Warsaw; Krakow starts of as part of Poland and not Mazovia)
 

Storey

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Release it as a vassal. Why? I just find it makes things more interesting or possibly complicated in the early game if you create vassals instead of just acquiring territory but that’s just me. Oh and don’t listen to Stuyvesant. I did once and it cost me half of Europe.:D
 

CatKnight

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COMMENTS:

I'll reply regarding Lubeck at once and deal with individual replies where necessary below.

First, thank you everyone for your counsel. I'm glad to see you interested in how this shapes up.

Your arguments both for and against keeping Lubeck made a great deal of sense to me. It's true, for example, Lubeck kept very active meddling in Baltic affairs and suffering defeat is only one of many plausible scenarios.

Valdemar IV in particular seemed to take this personally. For example, the only surviving tower of Vordingborg Castle is the Goose Tower. The tower is and, according to tradition was, topped by a golden goose. I've heard he used it to taunt the Hanse.

Gabor brought up my primary concern with keeping Lubeck: That it would make Denmark overpowered and so turn the game into a cakewalk. I like to win as much as the next person, but those of you who saw my attempt at playing Japan in DW know I think there's such a thing as too easy.

I'll let you read what happens, but in the end analysis I've decided to keep Lubeck... there's always the possibility that role-playing will convince me to release it in the future. I'm no longer worried it'll overpower Denmark. Strengthen certainly, but not as much as I feared. Plus, I've come up with an interesting possibility for the Lubeckers. They may have lost their independence, but they aren't done by a long shot.

Avindian: True. I don't want this to go exactly as it did in history. Good thing too, for the AI is NOT cooperating.

jii: True.

Chief Ragusa: The Swedes did not get Hamburg - though I'm sure they'll want it in the future. The Teutons are staying quiet so far. I imagine sooner or later they'll wind up in a showdown with Lithuania or Novgorod. We'll see what happens then.

Rabid, Omen: I imagine Danish kings and queens will be worrying about the Empire for centuries to come.

Stuyvesant: As milites pointed out, Niels Ebbesen is for real. At least wiki says so, and wiki wouldn't lie. :)

Qorten: Thanks for the kind words.

Malurous: Yes. I'm beginning to learn just how convoluted medieval Scandinavian politics and relations were!

gabor: I'm not so sure about SRI. You'll read more when I get to the post. It seems part of SRI is installed, but reaction to my 'illegal' conquest has been rather tame. I'm not ruling out releasing them in 15 years or at some other point though. Your analysis was excellent.

Milites: Actually I think I stopped Lubeck before they could become a royal pain in the behind :)

morningSIDEr: No, Valdemar wouldn't want to give up Lubeck. Thank you - I found the church council entertaining to write about. Playing was a little more of a chore - I didn't want to do anything until the council decided what it was going to do (for role-playing) and it took over a year for them to 'decide' to do...nothing.

Boris ze Spider: Thanks

Stuyvesant: I had fun writing up the treaty. Most of it is simply a dark reflection of the real Peace of Stralsund (1370) which, among other things, gave the Hansa veto rights over Danish succession.

YF-23: You're correct about the League and Lubeck...and about Krakow. It's been so long since I wrote about my Knights I mixed up Krakow and Warsaw in my mind.

Storey: They might be released later. Your own point (it'd make things more complicated) is excellent. I think the Lubeckers are going to try to complicate things anyway. ;)

Stuyvesant: I'd also like to hear this story. I thought I read all of Storey's misadventures!
 

CatKnight

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Lords of the Danemark

RoyalFlagSm.gif


Chapter I: Valdemar IV
Part 4: Domesticity (1366-1370)


From the Ashes

The Hanseatic League was dead. A coalition of northern Germanic cities fought Denmark and Sweden for two years and decisively lost. The Danebrog flew from the spires and towers of Lubeck. The Empire watched, glowered and shook their heads, but in the end did nothing.

There were protests of course, sharp letters recriminating Valdemar IV's 'hasty and unnecessary' intervention in Baltic affairs, but as long as Denmark and Sweden stood together there would be no vengeance. The new emperor, Albrecht II of Austria, sent token protests but he worried about the growing strength of Hungary and Poland more than problems 1,000 km (620 mi) away.
(I...don't know if something didn't load properly. The Empire didn't react in the slightest. I know SRI loaded, I can see the AI related events. I know events relating to Imperial Demense exist. Maybe it doesn't react until 1399, or until the Empire drops below a certain number of members?)

As the League sputtered and died, its former members shifted trade away from Lubeck. Danzig, Venice, Genoa and Brussels all gained new and lucrative trading partners while Lubeck sank in prestige. Craftsmen went hungry as their burgher masters could or would no longer pay them. Unemployment soared and the Jewel of the North earned a sad, forlorn reputation of empty buildings and tarnished dreams. It remained regionally important, but only as one of many trading centers along the Baltic instead of undisputed master.

136704TradingCenters.jpg


Where many yielded to frustration and despair, some saw opportunity. Yes, Valdemar IV's star shone bright but he wasn't a merchant. He never claimed to be. He might be clever at running his kingdom and reclaiming some mortgaged land, but he'd never stood up to the Hansa's business acumen. Regardless of whether Lubeck regained her independence, this 'setback' gave the German magnates unprecedented access to the Danish markets and government.

By Imperial charter Lubeck was run by a council of twenty men who tended to be burghers, hence Lubeck's emphasis on all things mercantile. Valdemar gave them Torbald Knutzon as duke, but as it happened Knutzon wasn't really interested in ruling. He was perfectly happy to let the council remain in power so long as they paid him the proper deference. He introduced them to influential men throughout Denmark and, over the next few years, several guildmasters bought their way onto the Danehof. From there it was a small step to influencing the Rigsraadet and another small one to Valdemar himself.

Their first 'blow' came as early as April 1367, when the Rigsraadet agreed to restore preferential treatment to Lubecker merchants (under the guise of helping all Danes.) Henceforth merchants in Lubeck and Copenhagen would receive a fifty percent discount on the Sound Toll and other tariffs. (Mercantilism +1)

136704Mercantilism.jpg



Reformer

While Lubeckers slowly infiltrated the Danish government, Valdemar wondered whether he had indeed overstepped. Though the Empire took no overt action, contacts dried up and formerly cordial relations cooled significantly. He worried that Albrecht II might eventually take it upon himself to 'restore the Empire' and so responded on two fronts.

First, Valdemar worked with Duke Magnus Lovenorn, his marshal, to reform the army. Valdemar's 'new' army would continue to rely on feudal levies, but rather than simply stipulate how many men each duke, count or baron would muster he specified required training regimens and equipment. For example, the town of Odense on Fyn would supply "one hundred fifty spearmen with boiled leather armor over padding....with a minimum of six months duty in the militia." This served to increase tensions with the nobility who had to outfit and train these people, but it also allowed a Danish commander to realistically estimate what resources would be available for a campaign and of what quality.

136704MilitaryRedevelopment.jpg


After the death of Haakon VI of Norway. Valdemar's daughter, Margaret, served as regent and pushed an offensive/defensive alliance past a reluctant privy council. (Alliance w Norway) When Magnus IV of Sweden followed Haakon to heaven in October 1367, Valdemar became the only adult monarch in Scandinavia and defacto head of the alliance.

His second initiative involved repairing relations with some of his Imperial neighbors. He chose Oldenburg based on that city's ties to the Danish throne. (Cancel Mission: Conquer Osel. New Mission: Improve relations with Oldenburg.) Over the next year he answered numerous grievances finally resulting in Valdemar paying back extra tariffs seized from Oldenburger ships during the 'misunderstanding.' (RM, Guarantee, Give/Receive access and numerous gifts)

This earned Bishop Gottfried's ire as he felt extra tariffs on Bremen ships should also be repaid. Rather than confront Valdemar directly, he sent his grievance straight to Pope Pius II and asked him to mediate. Cardinal Teodoso de Faria represented Danish interests in the discussion. (Rats. I thought I took a screenie. This 'grievance' event has three options: Agree to mediation, Bribe the Pope, or tell the Pope to mind his own business. We agreed to mediation: -1 Diplomat, (Verona) +5 relations, -1 Diplomat - don't ask me how they got involved, (Bremen) +5 relations, -1 missionary, (Papacy) +10 relations, (France) +0.5 prestige as Papal Controller) Pope Pius encouraged compromise by awarding Denmark tariffs resulting from the 'misunderstanding' over Lubeck, but ceasing any future punitive efforts against former League members.


Plotting

The Danish navy in 1367 consisted of twelve galleys, six cogs, a handful of support ships and numerous small patrol vessels working along Denmark's jagged coast. This was adequate when they only worried about Copenhagen, the islands of the Danish archipelago and northern Jutland. Now that Valdemar restored his birthright to its full grandeur and expanded to Lubeck it wasn't enough. Pirates operating out of Gotland and Osel raided along the coast. Self proclaimed vikings - really losers in Erik's rebellion eager for revenge - landed at Vendyssel in northern Jutland. Merchants clamored for support and increased protection. As reduced trade impacted the Sound Toll Valdemar agreed to raise a 'great fleet' of ships.

136806FleetMission.jpg


What few realized was that some of the pirate 'brotherhoods' had sponsors in Lubeck. Jakob Pleskow emerged as the Hansa leader following Oskar von Pommern's disgrace and removal. He successfully convinced Duke Lovenorn of Slesvig-Holstein to buy up vast tracts of land and redistribute them for greater efficiency. (Land Reform in Slesvig, Holstein) Lovenorn was able to pay back his loans - Pleskow made sure of that - but he did earn some interest on the transaction.

Pleskow then approached Valdemar and made a simple offer: Certainly Denmark was wealthy now, wealthy enough to more than triple its fleet. Such expenditures taxed the kingdom's reserves however. Pleskow promised that if Valdemar ever needed money, rather than mortgaging estates in the old medieval fashion the merchants of Lubeck would rally and meet his needs. Given enough warning he assured the king Lubeck could meet any cost.

The merchant's sudden willingness to help made Valdemar suspicious, but he no longer thought of the Hansa as any kind of valid threat. He believed Pleskow was simply accepting the inevitable and trying to be useful. It made sense: Mortgaging parts of Denmark to various nobles nearly destroyed the kingdom in his father's time. Taking loans from merchants, even if he had to pay usury, had to be a better alternative.

136711NationalBank.jpg


He never saw Pleskow's trap. The day Valdemar called in this favor he would place Denmark hopelessly in the Hansa's debt. The conqueror would become the conquered.


Domestic Affairs

While Valdemar reformed the army and built his fleet, Queen Helvig emerged as the dominant force at Vordingborg Castle. When she all but openly assassinated her husband's mistress any who doubted either her fidelity or young Christian's legitimacy fell silent. Behind her back courtiers called her the 'Iron Bitch.' Killing her rival made her bold and ready to take out anyone who ever wronged her. Fortunately that wasn't a long list, but said list was headed by Valdemar himself. Her husband was untouchable. Her child was another story.

Publicly she played the part of dutiful wife and servant of God. During her exile she'd served as a layperson in a monastery. Now she funded them including a large Bridgettine cloister in Halland.

136707Monastery.jpg


Privately she resented Valdemar's neglect and the events that led to her exile. She'd been accused of adultery. True, and now she indulged with a vengeance. Young Christian picked up several 'uncles' including Henning Podebusk and (briefly) Torben Knudzon.

As the years passed and her beauty faded, these liasons became less common but their lesson wasn't lost on the boy. He learned to simply take what he wanted, that only fools valued temperance, and with the resources of a kingdom at his command he could do whatever he wanted.

History doesn't record Helvig's motivations, but after years of seeming contentment running Vordingborg and occasionally heading meetings of the Rigsraadet, she suddenly called for a crusade. On Easter Sunday, April 9, 1368 she stood at dinner and publicly demanded her husband crusade to support Bosnians against Orthodox schismatics trying to overthrow their king.

136804HolyWar.jpg

I included this because I've never seen this kind of Holy War before. Looks interesting.

When Valdemar replied that Bosnia was on the other end of Europe, she replied:

Helvig of Slesvig said:
Coward! Oh, but what is to be expected of half a man? Less than that if his lovers are to be believed.

This was too much. Valdemar decided his eleven year old son was ready to be raised by his father in the 'manly' arts and sent Helvig to the Bridgetine monastery she helped finance. (Naive Relative: Kill them. -1 Stability) Some would argue she hadn't done enough, as the heretics won their civil war in March 1369.

It wasn't only Bosnia's distance that stayed Valdemar's hand. While Vordingborg celebrated, a former Hansa member named Joseph Eder made his move. Knudzon died during the winter of 1367-68 of pneumonia and his replacement proved to be a tyrant with little respect for Lubeck's culture or tradition. Eder found many supporters willing to lend funds which he spent on hiring mercenaries and infiltrating them into the city. Danish soldiers occupying Lubeck learned of the plot and called for reinforcements. Brutal street to street fighting followed over the next month killing over a thousand and burning down most of the city's warehouses.

Jakob Pleskow still hoped to infiltrate and subvert the Danish government. As law and order collapsed under the weight of competing armies and Danish measures for controlling the city turned more draconian, he ordered Eder's assassination. On May 10 soldiers found him hanging from a lantern post in the town center. Resistance collapsed after that.

136804LubeckBattle.jpg


For ten months afterwards Denmark and her neighbors fell into a quiet routine. Valdemar kept busy with his vision of a wooden wall to protect against pirates and other seaborne enemies. Pleskow and his allies built support in the Rigsraadet for policies friendly to the slowly growing middle class. Christian learned the elements of war and statecraft and continued to draw questionable conclusions regarding his prerogatives. Then, in March 1370 Cardinal Teodoso de Faria's efforts to keep heresy out of Denmark failed. Lollardry came to Funen (Fyn) Island.

It started simply enough: Someone saw fit to translate John Wyclif's thesis regarding failings in the church into Danish and nailed it to the door of St. Canute's cathedral in Odense. The local bishop had it torn down and thought no more of it until copies appeared in the hands of prominent merchants, nobles and several priests. Word of church corruption spread through the countryside like wildfire. By the time word reached de Faria in Vordingborg local militia already disrupted two protests while a group of (anonymous) citizens sent a letter to Valdemar asking him to call for his own church council.

137003Heretics.jpg


De Faria's answer involved a great deal of force. By now the 'volunteer' force he used to quell dissent numbered nearly two thousand. They consisted primarily of the second and third sons of Scanian noblemen, usually somewhat poor but absolutely certain of the justness of their cause. This lent them the kind of confidence and bravado which could easily mutate into bullying and cruelty. Anyone suspected of ties to the Lollards were rounded up and questioned. Many were robbed or beaten. Jews in Odense, as was often the case through the Middle Ages, became scapegoats. One band of 'knights' forcibly converted entire families before the bishop could restore order. A moneylender's houses mysteriously burned to the ground along with all his records.

Ultimately the Lollards went underground or otherwise fell silent. In May 1370 Valdemar visited Odense and ordered the Cardinal to disperse his volunteers.


Imperial Entanglements

By 1370 it was increasingly obvious Albrecht II of Austria had no intention of interfering in Lubeck's fate. Indeed he had his own problems: A minor punitive action against Verona exploded out of control and he found himself at war with Poland like his predecessor. Again like his predecessor Albrecht found himself initially outmatched and isolated as Aleksander I forced Saxony to sue for peace. Vienna fell in January 1369, but Albrecht recovered and launched an invasion of Pommerania.

The Pommerns, you'll recall, were forced to accept Polish rule. Albrecht announced his intent to free them - by force. In June 1370 he arrived in Vorpommern with twenty thousand men. Aleksander marched into Hinterpommern with seventeen thousand of his own setting the stage for a showdown in the coming months.

Two large armies almost on his southern frontier alarmed Valdemar who renewed efforts to normalize relations with the Empire. He focused on the elector states and ordered Henning Podebusk to organize friendship treaties with Saxony and Brandenburg. (RMs) He then focused on Bohemia.

137009RelBohemia.jpg


After Karel IV's death, Bohemia fell under a regency council made up of nobles attempting to influence the young Fridrich. These nobles didn't have a personal stake in Karel's humiliation. Indeed, letting Denmark strengthen in the north might serve to weaken the Austrian emperor and so allow the Imperial crown to return to Prague. From Valdemar's point of view, Bohemia was still the second strongest state in the Empire. Restoring friendly relations with Prague might keep Albrecht from making pointless demands regarding Danish conquests.
 

Morrell8

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Austria and Poland at war? Support the Poles and crush the emperor.
 

Omen

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You dodged a bullet with regards to the HRE. Where do you see your next expansion point?
 

Enewald

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I would suggest going towards Siberia and the Nordic thrones. :p
 

morningSIDEr

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Very good stuff. I especially liked the part regarding Helvig, she seems a truly formiddable woman, I don't think I'd have the courage to openly insult Valdemar like that. Interesting too that you make note of how this has impacted on Christian, he could prove a rather tyrannical ruler. The intrigues of the Lubeck merchants is great to read too, it seems as though Valdemar may have blundered into their trap. Still, at least Valdemar is wise enough to strengthen both his army and navy.
 

Storey

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Why do I get the feeling that young Christian is going to be a problem in the future? :eek:

As for Stuyvesant don’t let his innocent behavior fool you. If I remember correctly (it’s hard to look back through all the pain) I was playing the Pope (rather well if I do say so myself) and the Ottomans came calling in the Balkans so I asked Stuyvesant how he thought the Sultan would react if the Pope mooned him from across the Adriatic Sea and he answered that Suleiman the magnificent was called that because of his magnificent sense of humor. Well I’m here to tell you that Suleiman had real good eyesight and he wasn’t amused. It kicked off a war that lasted a quarter of a century. Now I’m sure Stuyvesant is going to claim he doesn’t remember a thing about it but then what else would you expect the rascal to say? ;)
 
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unmerged(58610)

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Ah, but Storey, it was the half of Europe you didn't want.
Austria and Poland at war over Pommerania? Everyone knows it's Danish, don't they? Or does Austria expect the Danes to turn a blind eye to their activity in the Duchy as a quid pro quo for accepting Danish possession of Lubeck?
 

Stuyvesant

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"Mr. Chairman, in answer to your question..."

<Leans over to his counsel, Chief Ragusa. Urgent whispering follows>

"Ah yes. Mr. Chairman, I regret to inform you that I have no recollection of said event."

I know, I know, I could claim (with a rather large degree of plausibility) that Storey, in his ripe old age, is getting fact and fiction rather liberally mixed up in his foggy mind, but my mother raised me well and I do not make fun of old people. Even if they're old enough to remember the days when gas was 10 cents a gallon, cigarettes came with doctor's recommendations and tailfins on cars were considered cutting edge. :p

Anyway, the AAR...

Valdemar has recreated his kingdom, but with all the plotting going on, the only question seems to be: who will push him off the throne? The Lübeckers, or his own family? And if the latter, his wife or his own son? For all the pre-eminence that Denmark seems to have in Northern Europe, internally, the kingdom looks like a ramshackle shack built of rotten sticks - with snakes slithering through all the many gaps.

I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop on Vald.
 

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Morrell8: Perhaps at some point. Fatally weakening another emperor, especially an Austrian, would be quite good for most of the Empire's neighbors.

Qorten: Yes, and as I mentioned elsewhere I like some of the mechanics the MEIOU team has put together.

Omen: I'll role-play it out, but I also keep an eye on history (if nothing else to keep things plausible.) Next on the agenda is Scandinavia, but given our alliances and royal marriages I think I'll try for peaceful integration. I'm especially interested in Norway as Greenland/Iceland will make excellent bases to explore from in 150-200 years.

Enewald: Siberia on the other hand might be a little far. :)

morningSIDEr: Valdemar did blunder into the merchants' trap, but he's still quite intelligent and able to take care of himself. Christian might be another story...

Storey: Christian is...interesting. At least he won't be boring.

Chief Ragusa: This is a little before Denmark's historical involvement in Pomeranian affairs, though I'm watching the situation there very closely. Right now Pomerania is a Polish vassal. Austria's trying to teach Poland a lesson.

Stuyvesant: That sounds like some interesting advice you gave Storey ;)

Valdemar's biggest problem is that he kept so busy rebuilding his country, military, and finding other neat projects that he neglected the home front which gave his opponents time to form their own power bases.

Christian's biggest problem may prove to be that he could care less.
 

CatKnight

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Lords of the Danemark

RoyalFlagSm.gif


Chapter I: Valdemar IV
Part 5: Legacy (1370-1372)


The Last Dance

Valdemar IV spent the last several years worried about an Imperial reaction to his seizing Lubeck. He'd repaired relations with Oldenburg and signed a number of friendship treaties with Imperial prince-electors. The Holy Roman Emperor, Albrecht II of Austria, might have contested Valdemar's claim but he kept busy fighting Aleksander I of Poland. By the summer of 1370 both sides fought bitterly over Pommerania.

Valdemar used this time to begin repairing relations with the Bohemians. It was an arduous task, for while the regents for young King Fridrich might have appreciated the gesture language as well as distance separated the two realms. Still, over the next year relations thawed noticeably. (Exchange Mil Accesses, and one gift.)

On the home front he commissioned a renowned architect, Stephen Bigsby, to modernize and beautify Absalon's Castle.

The castle was built by Absalon, Bishop of Roskilde in 1167 on an island outside Copenhagen harbor. The current bishop gave it to Valdemar IV in 1346. Its presence was vital to both Copenhagen's defense and enforcement of the Sound Due. In its latter role it served as a symbol of Denmark's authority and at early in the last war the Hanseatic League promised to demolish it. Valdemar wanted to make it a visible sign of Danish prosperity and prestige.

137010Architect.jpg


He sent Christian to accompany Bigsby in the hope he would learn something useful about maintaining royal appearances. He proved an indifferent student, far more interested in the destructive parts of the architect's trade rather than putting things together.

On May 11, 1371 Valdemar IV awoke with sharp chest pains. Medics eased the worst of his suffering, but the attack paralyzed his left side. He sent for Christian and, perhaps strangely, Helvig but a second attack killed him three days later.

In almost thirty-one years on the throne Valdemar quite literally resurrected Denmark from a non-entity to one of the most powerful states in northern Europe. He reclaimed every inch of territory lost by the last two kings and rid himself of two powerful enemies. On the home front he repaired the damage done by decades of misrule and yielding to foreign magnates.

137005ValdemarsGains.jpg

Gains during Valdemar's Reign


The Vultures Gather

Helvig arrived at Vordingborg in late May to find regents already in place for the last year of Christian's minority. Rather than rely on her uncertain temper and good will, the Danehof instead appointed a joint regency council of long time diplomat Henning Podebusk, Cardinal Teodoso de Faria, and Markus Gramtinger. Gramtinger was a recent appointee to the Rigsraadet at the behest of Burghermeister Jakob Pleskow and the Lubeckers. A banker and moneylender by trade, Gramtinger believed in the old adage that sticking your neck out was a good way to get it chopped off. He advanced through expertise at fourteenth century economics, a basic understanding of Germanic and Danish law, and a complete unwillingness to make enemies.

137105Regency.jpg

137105Banker.jpg


The regents compelled Christian to sign a coronation charter, something Valdemar avoided. Their demands weren't nearly as severe as those placed on Christopher II in 1320, but they undid much of Valdemar's work with the stroke of a pen. Some highlights:

Coronation Charter of Christian I said:
1. All rights and privileges reserved to the nobility and clergy by the Charter (under Eric V) of 1282 are reinstated.
2. (To secure these rights) The Danehof shall meet at least once yearly, on St. John's Day (June 21). Either the king or his drost (prime minister on the Rigsraadet) shall attend and answer all claims and grievances.
3. No nobleman shall be required to fight, or outfit soldiers to fight in a foreign campaign unless: 1) We are the defender, 2) The Pope has called for a Crusade, or 3) the Danehof has authorized the campaign.
4. No holdings directly under control of the Church shall be taxed. Ecclesiastical courts shall be respected.
5. Danish merchants shall be exempt from the Sound Due.
6. Lubeck's final relationship with Denmark shall be determined on St. John's Day, 1381 solely by a vote of the Lubeck Council. All reparations or indemnities outlined in the Peace of Stralsund (1366) shall be revoked.
7. Major expenses require a majority vote of the Rigsraadet. No new taxes shall be imposed without a majority vote of the Rigsraadet pending final approval by the Danehof.

Despite Helvig's strong protests, Christian signed the document and immediately returned to Copenhagen. So long as he was allowed his extravagant personal expenses he cared less about the day to day running of his kingdom, which he considered beneath him. In Copenhagen he developed an interest in public works and spent time with the fire brigade. Later that year they credited him with saving two children from a burning house he happened to be near. He also took up the fiddle.

In June Erik III of Norway, Valdemar's grandson through Margaret, dismissed his regent council. One of his first acts was to suggest Christian marry Brigit, daughter of one of his ex-regents. The Danish regents agreed and they married two months later. (RM)

When Brigit arrived in Copenhagen she was still a child, even by medieval standards. She adapted quickly however and looked up to Christian as a big brother during the first few years of their relationship. She was almost a stereotype: Fresh, innocent, naturally friendly and likeable. Her Danish was already comprehensible. In the next few years she mastered it entirely.

After stripping Christian of the most onerous of Valdemar's assumed privileges the regents ruled Denmark adequately and stopped at least one pretender before he could organize. Their eleven months of rule are mostly forgettable, but they did manage to restructure the Danish parliament.

The Danehof had grown bloated, full of nobles with little or no land as well as clerics whose parishes were wiped out in the Plague. It didn't represent the rising burghers at all and hosted a disproportionate amount of Germans from the days before Valdemar. Gathering the Danehof took a month and significant administration. Getting them to agree on anything was an act of futility.

The Rigsraadet meanwhile numbered about twenty people (and their clerks, squires and other servants). All bishops were automatically members. The reigning king could appoint who he wanted, while the council could add to their number at will.

The regents restructured the privy council as a permanent replacement of the Danehof, who they quietly voted out of existence in March 1372. It would consist of the following:

Declaration of 1372 said:
(The First Bench) 6 members appointed by the regents (Nobles). Upon the resignation or death of a member, his seat would be filled by the five incumbents.
(The Second Bench) 6 members appointed by the regents (Clergy). Replacement as above.
(The Third Bench) 5 members appointed by the King. Upon the resignation or death of a member, the reigning monarch would fill his position.
1 King or Heir Apparent

Any number of at large members agreed upon by a majority vote of all three benches.

A gentleman's agreement between the regents as well as Christian ensured adequate representation for the burghers. The king alone would appoint the drost or prime minister. If he couldn't do so or refused, the Council would choose one of their number to lead them. The Rigsraadet adopted all rights of the Danehof.

Their reform was fair enough to quiet most dissent and comforted those Germans familiar with the Imperial Reichstag. By the time any resistance could have solidified Christian was ready to take the throne.


Christian

Christian accepted his crown from the Bishop of Roskilde in the presence of the new council/parliament at Nyborg Castle on April 8, 1372. He then took the queen's crown and placed it on his child-wife's head. He repeated the promises made in his Coronation Charter and affirmed his support for the new council's structure.

137204ChristianI.jpg


Christian earned some fame in Copenhagen when he rescued the children. Some compared him to his father and found a potentially strong king, one perhaps a little more easy going than his father and less likely to tax them into oblivion.

Others saw a boy who cared for little beyond his own interests and comfort. He liked to take the lead socially, and so long as people let him he made a superior host. Those who questioned him or made the wrong remark learned their king had a petulant streak, stubborn like his father and overtly hostile. Fortunately Brigit could keep up with him in court or on the dance floor and he seemed fond of his young wife.

137204ChristianParties.jpg


Celebrations lasted for the next week. Along with the usual courtly affairs, there were daily parades with a traveling band of entertainers and animals. The festivals continued by firelight by Christian's orders and, when he finally tired of socializing, he spent long hours staring into the flames. His succession party ended in a three day joust with the winner given a golden goose taken from the Goose Tower of Vordingborg Castle.

For one glorious week Christian could do no wrong...
 

Enewald

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Did you get also Ösel, Gotland and Estonia back?
Bankrupt? ;)
 

Malurous

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Exceptional writing, well done. Christian seems like an interesting if potentially dangerous personality...
 

unmerged(58610)

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Valdemar, it seemed to me, concentrated on whomever formed the greatest threat to Denmark. You did better in game againsthte Hansa than he did in real life, but the lands sold off to the Teutonic Knights weren't regained.Your Valdemar spent the last years of his reign rebuilding relationships. Had he lived longer he would have turned back to domestic matters.

I can see Christian getting quite a few poor government decisions thanks to his ADM 3. From the write up of his young bride, it would seem she's the one who will be telling Christian how to run Denmark.

I am intrigued by what Christian is going to find interests him and what he'll attempt to do. If he's interested in destruction, his Council had better find him a foreign foe.
 

Qorten

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Lovely update. I wonder how you are going to merge Christian's Silver Tongue-trait with his very meagre administration stat. The Coronation Charter, is that simply your own flavor or was it a step towards decentralization?
 

Omen

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Personally I love your style as it is so counter to the rather game-y way I play. The Silver Tongue trait's description does seem to indicate he'd be a better administrator, but I could also see him turning it to the nation's benefit with his neighbors: trade agreements, vasalizations, and perhaps a Union of Scandinavian peoples . . .