• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Welcome to the Kingdom of Denmark

History of Denmark
Danish Kings:
  • ?-? Helge
  • 930-?: Olav / Ole den Frøkne
  • Gurd
  • 934-?: Knud 1.
  • ?-?: Sigtryg / Sigerich
  • 936-?: Gorm den Gamle (Gorm the Old)
  • 944-980: Harald Blåtand (Harald Bluetooth)
  • 980-1014: Svend 1. Tveskæg (Svend I Twinbeard)
  • 1014-1018 Harald 2.
  • 1018-1035 Knud 2. den Store (Knud II the Great)
  • 1035-1042 Knud 3. Hardeknud
  • 1042-1047 Magnus den Gode (Magnus the Good)
  • 1047-1074 Svend 2. Estridsen
  • 1074-1080 Harald 3. Hen (Harald III Weak)
  • 1080-1086 Knud 4. den Hellige (Knud IV the Holy)
  • 1086-1095 Oluf 1. Hunger (Oluf I Hunger)
  • 1095-1103 Erik 1. Ejegod (Erik I Eternal Good)
  • 1104-1134 Niels
  • 1134-1137 Erik 2. Emune (Erik II Eternally Remembered)
  • 1137-1146 Erik 3. Lam
  • 1146-1157 Svend 3. Grathe, Knud 5. and Valdemar 1. den Store (Valdemar I the Great)
  • 1157-1182 Valdemar 1. den Store
  • 1182-1202 Knud 6.
  • 1202-1241 Valdemar 2. Sejr (Valdemar II Victorius)
  • 1241-1250 Erik 4. Plovpenning (Erik IV Plough pfennig)
  • 1250-1252 Abel
  • 1252-1259 Christoffer 1.
  • 1259-1286 Erik 5. Glipping (Erik V Cutting)
  • 1286-1319 Erik 6. Menved (Erik VI the Scarred)
  • 1320-1326 Christoffer 2.
  • 1326-1329 Valdemar 3.
  • 1329-1332 Christoffer 2.
  • 1332-1340 No Kings. See [anchorlink=rechist]recent history[/anchorlink], below.
  • 1340-1375 Valdemar 4. Atterdag (Valdemar IV Happy Times, aka. the Cruel)
  • 1376- Oluf 3.

Ancient history:
Denmark is first mentioned in Roman writings, which speaks of barbaric tribes living beyond the dense woods in Northern Germania. Said tribes are believed to have included the Jutes, Cimbrers and Vender.
The term Denmark refers to the mythical figure of Dan, king of the Danes, who established his people as the leading tribe on the peninsula Jylland.
It is believed that Denmark was divided between various tribes, all under their local king of chief, and that Denmark remained divided untill around 900.
From here, the Danish history is one of plundering and military dominance. The Danish warriors, known as vikings, dominated the seas thanks to impressive skills in ship-building, and under loosely recognized Kings (who in reality rather were warlords, with no authority except when leading the plundering armies) the vikings become a force to be feared in all Europe.
It is during this period that Danes conquer England, and for time, ending in 1042, Denmark and England are ruled by the same man.
With the arival of Christianity in Denmark, this glorious period slowly comes to an end.

[anchor=rechist]Recent history[/anchor]
The time without Kings
Christoffer II (king of Denmark 1320-1326 and again 1329-1332) waged during his reign a seris of expensive wars in Germania, mainly with the goal of protecting his newly aquired status as duke of Rostock. To fund these wars, he was forced to raise new taxes, which were prohibited by his crowning agrement with the nobility. To get around this problem, he loaned vast amounts of money from the Hanseatic backed counts of Holstein.

After his death, the state is declared bankrupt, and as a result, the two men with most owed loans take Denmark as payment for their loans.
From 1332, Count Johann ruled east of the Belt, while Count Gerhard (the Bald) ruled Jutland and Fyn. Their reign was hard for nobility and peasantry alike, as they did not accept the nobilitys exception from taxation, and as their armies pillaged both peasantry and cities. Their goal was never a long-term rule of Denmark, but to get their loans and interest repaid.
Their cruel treatment meant that the population at large was against them.
Thus, the nobility, looking for a way to get rid of these foreign rulers, turned to Valdemar, son of the King Christoffer II.

King Valdemar IV Atterdag
After a series of unorganized rebellions, during one count Gerhard is murdered, and an organized war waged by Valdemar and supporting nobility on one side, against the combined armies of the Holsteiner counts, supported occasionally by Holsteiner and Hanseatic troops, a peace treaty is signed in Berlin april the 22th. King Valdemar Atterdag (Happy Times, also meaning Day Again), is forced to sell Estonia to the Teotuinic Order in 1346 to pay of the last Holsteiner Courts, and can finally start restoring Denmark.
This is done in a series of wars, including some against Danish nobility, who resents the kings involvment in the war of succession on Brandenburg, in which Valdemar supports his brother-in-law against an usurper, backed by the German Emperor.
These wars were expensive, and the nobility, fearing a return of the Kingless Times, force, by rebellions, the King to sign a constitution, in which the right to raise taxes were given to the [anchorlink=rigsråd]Rigsråd[/anchorlink] (Privy Council).

With the home secured, and with backing from the nobility to continue reconquest of previously Danish lands, but not engage in foreign wars, Valdemar conquered both Skåne and Gotland in 1361. However, Visby on Gotland was a member of the Hanseatic League, and 77 members of the Hansa declared war on Denmark.
After a crushing defeat, in which the kings only son died, Valdemar was forced in exile in 1367, but he returned in 1370, after signing the humiliating [anchorlink=stralsund]Treaty of Stralsund[/anchorlink].

King Valdemar died in 1375 on Gurre Castle. He had 6 children, but only one, Margrethe, was still alive at that time.

Oluf III (and Margrethe)
Even though Valdemar had promised Albrect III of Mecklemburg that his son, Albrect IV, should assume the Danish throne, said promise was not kept. The Danish nobility were not happy with a new German, the memories of the time without kings still to fresh, and Pommern and Sachsen-Lauenburg feared a to powerfull Mecklemburg with two Scandinavian crowns. As a result, the grandson of Valdemar, Oluf (son of Margrethe of Denmark and king Håkon VI of Norway) is elected king. Margrethe is to serve as his Guardian, allthough she is not given the official title of regent.
A mecklemburger army, trying to press their claim, lands in Denmark 1376, but [anchorlink=drost]drost[/anchorlink] Henning Podebusk manages to negotiate a peace.
In 1380, King Håkon of Norway dies, and Oluf inherits the Norweigen throne under the name Olav IV. He is now king of Denmark and Norway, with Margrethe, allready known in Norway as the Queen, without trouble assumes the role as his Guardian in both nations.
 
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The Danish Goverment

King Valdemar 4. Atterdag had great need for enlisting the aid of the nobility during his struggle to reunite Denmark (see [anchorlink=rechist]recent history[/anchorlink]), and the noble families of Denmark understood to be paid for offered support. As a result of this, the ruling king of Denmark depends on a formalized bureaucracy, and his power over the realm is weakened by the institutions of [anchorlink=courts]Danehof[/anchorlink], [anchorlink=kancelli]Kancelli[/anchorlink] and [anchorlink=rigsråd]Rigsråd.[/anchorlink]

In addition, the King himself is not allowed to lead the Danish armies. Said power is reserved to the [anchorlink=marsk]Rigsmarsk[/anchorlink].

Institutions in the Danish goverment:

[anchor=kancelli]Kancelli:[/anchor] The govermental bureaucracy and office. The daily affairs of the Kingdom is handled through here.

[anchor=rigsråd]Rigsråd:[/anchor] (English: privy council). A gathering of nobles, consisting of 30 members. The King appoints said members, chosen from a few electable noble families.
The Rigsråd holds great powers, as it formally approves all new laws, declarations of war, and appointment of goverment officials.

[anchor=courts]Danehof:[/anchor] Lead by the [anchorlink=rigskansler]Rigskansler[/anchorlink], the Danehof gathers at least once a year. It serves as the Kingdoms highest Court, above even decrees and decissions of the King, and shall approve all new laws being passed.

Positions within the Danish goverment

[anchor=drost]Drost[/anchor]: The most important of the Kings advisors. Has the right to serve as stand-in for the King when passing sentences or approving expenses.

[anchor=rigskansler]Rigskansler[/anchor]: (English: Chancellor, latin: justitiarius). Leader of the [anchorlink=courts]Royal Court[/anchorlink], and keeper of the Royal Seal.

[anchor=marsk]Rigsmarsk[/anchor]: (English: marshall) High commander of the Kings armies.
There is no distinction between armies and navies, and the rigsmarsk thus controls all military forces in Denmark.

[anchor=kansler]Kansler[/anchor]: (latin: cancellarius). Leader of the Royal [anchorlink=kancelli]Kancelli[/anchorlink]. Also serving as advisor and secretary during negotiations with foreign powers, but without negotiation rights (which is reserved for the King or the Drost).



People of note.
Henning Podebusk: Born 1320 Rügen.
Served under King Valdamer Atterdag IV as [anchorlink=drost]drost[/anchorlink], and has continued to serve King Oluf III (or rather, his mother Margrethe) in that position.
Has been rewarded for his faithfull service with Holbæk Castle and surrounding lands (near Hafnia).

Evert Moltke: Serving as [anchorlink=marsk]Rigsmarsk[/anchorlink] (commander of the Kings armies).

Niels Jacobsen Ulfeldt: Serving as [anchorlink=kansler]Kansler[/anchorlink].

Niels Thygesen Drage: Serving as [anchorlink=rigskansler]Rigskansler[/anchorlink]. Of the relatively weak noble house [anchorlink=drage]Drage[/anchorlink]. Educated as priest.


Danish nobles houses:
Denmarks nobility is governed by Salic Laws. Nobility is passed on through the male side. Allthough the lands associated with a title is inherited by the oldest son (unless otherwise dictated), all sons inherit the right of nobility, and are considered equal. A career in the military or church is often the only possible solution for those not inheriting the lands, allthough some find their way into the administration, either of their family holdings, or the Royal administration (Kancelli).
Titles are not widely used in Denmark, with most holders of land simply calling themself Herremand (English: lord)
The Danish nobility does not pay taxes of their lands, but are required to defend Denmark in case of war.

It is not required to take the name of the house, which can make Danish nobility somewhat confusing to foreigners. The Danish naming tradition takes the form: [name] [name]-son, as in Svend Torkilsson, meaning Svend, son of Torkil. The family name is allways carried by the leading member of the family, and can be taken by those wishing to remind people of their tie to a noble house, either to promote the house (often used by members of the goverment), or to protect themself. However, most members of the Danish noble houses do not carry the name of the house, allthough they still expect to be treated as nobility.
If necessary, it is costumary of landholders to be presented as [name] til [fief], as in Svend Torkilson til Schackenborg, meaning Svend, son of Torkil, holding the fief of Schackenborg.

  • [anchor=ahle]Ahlefeldt[/anchor]: Of Holsteiner origin. Sided with Valdemar Atterdag during his truggle to reunite Denmark (see [anchorlink=rechist]recent history[/anchorlink]). Holding lands in Southern Jylland.
  • [anchor=baad]Baad[/anchor]: This family is lead by Abraham Brodersen, who holds vast lands in Skåne and Halland. Rarely takes his seat in the meetings of the Rigsråd.
  • Barnekow: Of Mecklemburger origins, this family holds land on the island Rügen.

  • [anchor=bille]Bille[/anchor]: Also counted as part of this house is the lineages Bille-Brahe and Bille-Brahe-Selby. Traditionally allianced and intermarried with the house of [anchorlink=brahe]Brahe[/anchorlink]

  • Bielke: Has proud naval taditions.

  • [anchor=brahe]Brahe[/anchor]: Traditionally allied with the family [anchorlink=bille]Bille[/anchorlink]. Often intermarried, though the lineage Bille-Brahe is seen as contained in the family Bille.

  • Brockenhuus‑Schack:

  • Buchwald: Origins in Holstein.

  • [anchor=drage]Drage[/anchor]: Relatively weak house, holding land on Sjælland.[anchorlink=noteomskjolde]*[/anchorlink]

  • Huitfeldt:

  • [anchor=hvide]Hvide[/anchor]: Powerfull noble house, originating from Jylland. Holding lands on both Jylland, Fyn and Sjælland. Led by Ole Hurtige til Ribe.

  • Høeg:

  • Juel: Proud traditions of holding leading positions in the church.

  • Juul

  • [anchor=kaas]Kaas[/anchor]: Also containing the lineages Munthe-Kaas and Huitfeldt-Kaas. Holds lands on Jylland.
    Led by Skjalm Pedersen, speaks strongly against the king.

  • Krabbe:

  • Lunge: Minor noble family, primarily holding lands near Roskilde, Sjælland.

  • [anchor=luttichau]Lüttichau[/anchor]: Of Mecklemburger origins. This widespread family holds lands in both Mekclemburg, Sachsen and Denmark. The loyalty of the Danish line is not questioned. Led by Ludwig von Lüttichau, this family follows the Germanic tradition, both in ruling their lands and in naming.[anchorlink=noteomskjolde]*[/anchorlink]

  • Podebusk: Newly created noble house, holding Holbæk Castle on Sjælland.

  • [anchor=rosenkrantz]Rosenkrantz[/anchor]: Holding lands in Eastern Jylland. Led by the quiet and thoughtfull Asbjørn Rasmussen Rosenkrantz

  • Ulfeldt:

  • Moltke: Powerfull noble house with proud military tradtions. Holding large lands in middle Jylland.

  • Reedtz:

  • Urne:

  • Uhre: Minor noble family, holding lands in Schleswig.

  • Vesteni: Not represented on the Rigsråd. Holding lands mainly on Rügen, but intermarried with several Danish noble houses. Of Danish origins.

[anchor=noteomskjolde]*[/anchor]Note: The shields for these families are fictional. All othere are authentic.

Religious issues.
Denmark has been a catholic nation since the Benedictian monk Ansgar brought Christianity here in 849.
For many years, christianity suffered a dangerous existence in a pagan nation dominated by the Norse faith. First in 980, when KIng Harald Blåtand converted to Christianity, was the nation considered christian.
From 980 to 1104 was Denmark placed under the archbishop of either Canterbury or Hamburg-Bremen (both claimed dominance with varying succes).
From 1104 an archbishop was appointed for Scandinavia, based in Lund.
Norway received their own archbishop in 1153, Sweden in 1164.

To this day, the archbishop of Lund is primate for all of Denmark.
The current archbishop of Lund is Jakob Gertsen.

Apart from the Archbishop of Lund, Denmark has 7 bishops:
Jens Mikkelsen af Ribe.
Niels Jepsen Ulfeldt af Roskilde.
Peder Jensen Loddehat af Aarhus
af Fyn
af Viborg
af Vendsyssel
af Hedeby

The Schism
The Church in Denmark has not et publicly declared support for neither Pope. If pressed, the Church will proparbly declare for the Roman Papacy, but so far, it follows the tradition established by KIng Valdemar Atterdag. During his pilgrimage to Jerusalem, King Valdemar Atterdag visited and bowed before both the Avignon and the Roman Pope.

Relevant link: Royal Court of Sweden

relevant link: Danish nobility (1780)
 
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The Danish royal family.​

The Danish royal family, despite Denmark being an elective monarchy, can trace their line directly back to king Gorm den Gamle (king untill 958) through male lineage. Thus, even kingdoms not recognising the elective rights of the Danish nobility can accept the king of Denmark through Salic inheritage.

With such impressive lineage, it is obvious that the family and its divisions are to numerous to be mentioned here. As such, this section deals only with the most recent years, taking its start with Valdemar IV Atterdag.
Doubtors are referred to these cources.

Oluf III is the first king of Denmark who can not trace lineage acceptable by Salic Law.

Detailed, navigationable lineage.
Lineage through Valdemar Atterdag, and thus legal claim to the Danish throne.
Note that Denmark is an electibe monarchy. Lineage is not necessary, as long as the king in question is elected by the nobility.

Valdemar IV Atterdag ~ Helvig

-Christoffer (1341-1363)
-Margrethe (1345-1353)
-Ingeborg (1347-1370) ~ Henry III of Mecklenburg (-1383)
-- Albrecht IV of Mecklemburg (1375-
-- Eufimia (1361-
-- Marie (1363-) ~ Vratislav VII of Pommerania (1362-)
---Catharina
---Bugislav
-Katharina (1349-1351)
-Waldemar (1350-1353)
-Margrethe of Denmark ~ Håkon VI of Norway (d. 1380)
--Oluf III of Denmark, Olav IV of Norway. (born 1370)


Lineage through Håkon VI of Norway, and thus legal claim to the Norweigan and Swedish thrones.

Magnus Erikson II of Sweden ~Blanche of Namur (Daughter of Jean, Count of Namur*, and Marie of Artois, decendant of King Louis VII of France)
-Håkon VI of Norway ~Margrethe of Denmark
-- Olav IV of Norway, Oluf III of Denmark (b. 1370)

*Namur is a county in Burgundy.

Family connections of note throughout Europe

Maria af Mecklemburg:
Daughter of Margrethes older, deceased, sister, Ingeborg. Married to King Vratislav VII of Pommerania. Has with him the son Bugislav (born 1382).

Oluf III is related to the house of Artois through his grandmother, who can claim lineage to Louis VII of France. This relation is pure academic interest.

House of Mecklenburg at large.
Margrethes older sister, Ingeborg, married Henry III of Mecklenburg. However, as Ingeborg and Henry tried to present their oldest son as heir to the Danish throne instead of Oluf, this relation is not one that gives ground for alliances.


The lands of Denmark




Modern map of Denmark. Be warned that some marked cities does not yet exist

In addition to the territories making up Denmark proper, King Oluf III of Denmark also reigns as King Olav IV of
Norwway.
The two nations are not formally united in a personal union, and despite the king ruling from Denmark, the relation is rather alike to an alliance than to a vassalage.

Denmark is divided into the following territories:
Schleswig:
Major cities: Flensborg, Slesvig
Products of note: Cattle, see Jutland below. In addition, Slesvig (the town) is an important center of trade, through which the majority of the goods sold by Danish merchants to Germany, mainly the Hansa, is handled.

Jylland: (English: Jutland)
Major cities: Viborg (bishop-seat), Århus (latin: Aros), Ålborg.
Products of note: Cattle. Through Jutland and Schleswig a series of established roads lead south to the towns of Germany, notably Hamburg. These roads, used by armies in wartime, are primarily used to drive herds of cattle for sale to the German markets.
Note: The nobility of Jutland are known to be rebellious, and in general are distrusted by the king.

Fyn: (English: Funen)
Major cities: Odense.
Products of note: Grain, fish.

Sjaelland: (English: Zealand)
Major cities: København (latin: Hafnia), Vordingbrg (Current capital), Roskilde (seat of a bishop).
Products of note: Grain and manpower. The land of Sjælland is fertile and good for agriculture, and the island has quite a large population. Grain is exported, and the island can raise important armies in case of war.

Halland: (Latin: Scania, with Skåne)
Major cities: Halmstad, Laholm.
Products of note: Fish and timber. Allthough the fish is not nearly as famous as that of Skåne, it still has some value.

Skåne: (Latin: Scania, with Halland)
Major cities: Malmø, Lund (seat of the archbishop of Denmark), Trelleborg.
Products of note: Herring! The waters of Skåne are exceptionally rich on fish of exceptionally good quality. During the fasting, christians are forbidden from eating meat, making fish a very valued foodsource.
So important are the fish export, that the weighting of the fish are regulated by royal officials, and the penalty for cheating with the weights is death by beheadng.
In most markets, fish vendors selling fish from Skåne are allowed to fly a red flag, telling their customers that they sell fish of the highest quality in Europe.

Bornholm:
Major cities: Rønne
Products of note: None. This small island, consisting mainly of granite, has very few exports. The land hardly produces enough grain to feed its own population, and the population is too small to provide any manpower of interest. The island has only importance due its limited use as a naval base.
 
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Treaties and alliances of Denmark


[anchor=stralsund]Treaty of Stralsund[/anchor]:
Signed with: the Hanseatic League.
Date of signing: 1370.
Reason for signing: Defeat in war.

The Treaty of Stralsund, signed between Valdemat IV Atterdag, marked the end of the Danish war against the Hansa that was started by Denmark seizing Visby on Gotland, a Hanseatic city.
Under the terms of the treaty, Visby was no longer to be ruled by the Danish Crown. Honoured
Furthermore, the Hanseatic League would be given right of objection on the appointment the next Danish king. Upheld Expired after being upheld once.
Furthermore, the Hanseatic League would be given control of certain castles in Skåne and monopoly of and control over the rich Fish markets of Skåne untill 1385. Upheld

[anchor=northseatreaty]North Sea Treaty[/anchor]
Signed with: England (Norway included)
Date of signing: April 1383
Reason for signing: Mutual interest.
Under the clause of this treaty, neither the English nor Danish crown can confiscate goods held by merchants of the other signing party. Honoured
In case of war, the English and Danish navy shall cooperate in defeating hostile forces and prevent landings on home territory. Honoured, though not yet tested
In addition, should the situation turn dire, requests for loans or land military aid shall be seriously considered. Honoured, though not yet tested

[anchor=tonaval]Baltic Sea Treaty of Christian Understanding[/anchor]
Signed with: The Teutonic Order
Date of signing: Late 1383
Reason signing: Teutonic desire to expand inland, Danish desire to domiate the Baltic Sea.
Under this treaty, the Danish navy shall patrol the Teutonic waters. Honoured
In case of war, the Danish navy shall transport the Teutons as needed, and fight hostile fleets. Honoured, though not yet tested
In case of war, the Teutonic Order shall provide the service of 1 compagny of knights. Honoured, though not yet tested
Note: Following the signing of this treaty, the Teutonic Order sold their navy to Denmark, making Denmark the greatest naval power in Europe.


Claims of the Danish throne​
.

Rostock: (province of Mecklemburg) One of the reasons for the ruining wars waged by King Christoffer II was his desire to be recognised as the count of Rostock. He was given this title by the city of Rostock, but was unable to hold on to it. The Danish Crown does not recognize looses of land in war.
Status: Unpressed.

Visby: (province of Gotland). Gotland itself is considered part of the Danish realm, but most wealth is centered in the trading center Visby, a member of the Hanseatic League. The [anchorlink=rigsråd]rigsråd[/anchorlink] has not approved the treaty that signed Visby into the League, and as such, Denmark does not recognise Visby as a memer of said League.
Pr. the [anchorlink=stralsund]Treaty of Stralsund[/anchorlink], Denmark was forced to recognize Visby as a member of the League, but the legality of this remains disputed. Furthermore, even if the city is accepted as a member of the Hansa, it has to pay taxes to the crown as every other city, taxes which has not been paid in 13 years.
Status: Unpressed.

Rügen: Several Danish nobles holds lands on Rügen, as as the KIng of Denmark is their liegelord, Margrethe feels that Rügen should belong to Denmark. This claim will be difficult to press, as the Rigsråd is unlikely to accept that the nobilitys holdings on Rügen is subject to Crown.
Status: Unpressed.

Holstein: The
Danish claim on Holstein not a direct claim. The Danish King recognises the right of Holstein to elect their own counts, but kings of Denmark has held the title of count of Holstein in the past (1203, Valdemar II of Denmark).
Also, the counties of Holstein and Schleswig have since 1326 been ruled by the same man. As Schleswig is a recognised part of Denmark, it is felt that Holstein should be as well, and the membership of the tradingcenters in the Hanseatic League is, as in the case with Visby, no excuse for their failure to pay taxes to the king of Denmark.
Status: Unpressed

The Crown of Sweden: Oluf III is the son of Håkon VI of Norway, and through that lineage, in full accordance with Salic Law, he can claim the Crown of Sweden.
Albrect von Mecklemburg bases his claim on the Swedish crown through female inheritage from the Sverker line. If so desired, that claim can be contested, as it is not possibly to trace lineage through the female side under Salic Law.
The existence of this claim is mainly relevant as a way to challenge the Mecklemburger control of Sweden, and thus to contest Hanseatic direct control of Scandinavian lands.
Status: Unpressed.

Foreign emissaries in Denmark
Lothar von Cronberg: Emissary from the Teutonic Knights.

Inge Gregerson: Representing Sweden.

Danish emissaries abroad
Holy Roman Empire: Erik Anderssen, of the Kaas family.

England: Jørgen Stærke af Vendsyssel, of the Rosenkrantz family.

Teutonic Order: Hans Hansen til Marienburg Havn, of the Bielke family. Commanding 5 warships stationed in Marienburg as landless fief, also serving as representative of the Danish Crown when needed. Accompagnied by his wife, Julie Rasmusdatter.
 
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A letter arrives in Vordingborg from Windsor Castle, England

Unto His Majesty Oluf III/Olav IV – King of Denmark and Norway.


Your Majesty,
We extended our best wishes to the health of Your Majesty, Your Majesty’s royal Mother the Queen, and Your Majesty’s government in Denmark and Norway.

As I have already written to Your Majesty’s regent in Norway, England and Norway has for many centuries had a history that have been a part of each others history. The same apply to Denmark, although maybe not what the people of York speak about everyday it is still a fact that Your Majesty’s predecessors ruled the north of England in Viking Kingdom, and therefore we share a close similar history.

His Majesty, King Richard II, has great interest in continuing the history and we hope that we will be able to work with Your Majesty, and Your Majesty’s government for the benefit of our realms. We hope that Your Majesty will be willing to work things out so that we will be able to work for the benefit of our realms?

Once more His majesty King Richard the second of England extends his best wishes to the Kingdoms of Denmark and Norway, its King and its Queen, and we hope that all is well.


Written at Windsor, in the year of Our Lord 1383 A.D
On behalf of His Majesty Richard the second, by the Grace of God King of England and France, Lord of Ireland and Aquitaine , Sovereign of the Order of the Garter


Michael de la Pole, 1st Earl of Suffolk, Lord Chancellor
 

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Two letters arrive from Windsor Castle, England, the first written by the King personally and the second by the chancellor

Unto His Majesty Oluf III/Olav IV – King of Denmark and Norway.


Your Majesty,
I am honoured to hear from my chancellor that Your Majesty, and Her Majesty the Queen are well, and I am glad to inform that I am well and so is my government in England. To secure good and close ties I by this letter extend my personal good wishes and greetings.

I also have much to discuss with Denmark and Norway about. England being the greatest of the nations in the west, and Denmark and Norway being the greatest nations in the North, I am sure that much good will come out of co-operation and friendship between our realms.

As I understand from my chancellor our mutual history is important, and a basis of an old relationship. I hope to strengthen those close ties and that relationship in the years to come. Mutual understanding and benefiting for our realms are important factors to get it to work, and I hope we can agree on something that we will both see as reasonable and good.

Written in own hand at Windsor, in the year of Our Lord 1383 A.D

Richard






......................................​






Unto Margrethe, mother of His Danish Majesty Oluf III, his Norweigen Majesty Olav IV.
Guardian of her Son. Lady of Denmark.

Your majesty, as you see I have personally handed Your Majesty’s letter to His Majesty, and His Majesty’s letter written in his own hand is sent in return together with this letter. I trust both letters will find Your Majesty, His Majesty and the Royal government in good health.
As I understand His Majesty has explained in His Majesty’s letter, it would be good to strengthen the connection and co-operation between our realms, and I hope that is agree to by Your Majesty as well.

As His majesty, and I already said co-operation will do good for England and Denmark-Norway, and therefore His Majesty’s government hope that such co-operation can be established.



Written at Windsor, in the year of Our Lord 1383 A.D

Michael de la Pole, 1st Earl of Suffolk, Lord Chancellor
 

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Mettermrck said:

A disciplined figure enters the Danish court and bows stiffly, presenting a sealed letter.

zum Ihrer Hocheit, Margrethe, Mother of Seine Majestät, Olav III of Denmark

I am pleased to receive your missive and do express my full agreement with the Christian principles laid out in your message. The Danish place in the history of the Baltic is certainly not ignored by this Order and I can appreciate the common bonds between the Danish kingdom and the Teutonic Knights that this entails. There is much to discuss, and in lieu of my own presence at your court, for which I humbly ask your pardon, I present my servant, Lothar von Cronberg as my proposed representative. I hope you will be able to accept him in the spirit of our shared faith and ties.

May you continue to find peace in Our Lord,


Konrad III Zollner von Rothstein
Hochmeister, Der Deutscher Orden
The Teuton Knight were, as most unannounced visitors to the Danish court, welcomed first by one of the attendants to the throne. He was wellreceived, given quarters in the castle, and his letter passed on.
It didn't take long, however, before he was informed that the Guardian of King Oluf III, Margrethe herself, would be pleased if he could attend an uncerominal dinner with her, her son, and drost Henning Podebusk that very evening.
 

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Lothar was encouraged by the favorable reception he had received at the Danish court. He knew that the Grandmaster prized relations with Denmark very high, and felt a measure of pride at his assignment there. Wounded in a prior conflict against the Lithuanians, Lothar found himself moved into the diplomatic service as a veteran and wise knight. Please, if unused to the comfortable quarters provided, he was optimistic at the Lady Margethe's invitation to dinner, conscious of the honor it entailed. And so, at the appointed hour, he presented himself for the meal, anticipating his first impressions of the influential lady, her royal son, and the other guests.
 

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The dinner was indeed informal. Apart from the Teuton, only three persons were present.
At the head of the table sat, as appropiate, the King of Denmark. Oluf III was a boy of only 13 years, but he had been taught well, and carried himself with the selfconfidence that only true roalty could. He was a bit short for his age, but his muscles were welldeveloped. Even though he would most likely remain under average height for the rest of his life, he would be able to carry himself on a battlefield, if those muscles were put to good use.
As Lothar entered, the King remained in his seat, but the other two persons precent rose in respect for him.
To the kings left sat drost Henning Podebusk. The man had served Valdemar Atterdag in restoring the kingdom, and now served the allready legendary kings daughterson. Henning Podebusk was by no means a handsome man. He dressed lavishly, as if unused to the wealth and noble position his service had earned him, but while he obviously indulged himself in the vice of vanity, he had not fallen prey to the joys of the dinnertable. He was thin, almost bony, and had a long face. His eyes betrayed great intelligence, and from the moment the knight entered, drost Podebusk put down his knife, stopped eating, and devoted himself to observing, allthough ina fashion that could not be called impolite.

At the kings right, in the position of honour, was the regent of Denmark, in reality though not in name.
Marghrethe, who had only taken the position as Guardian of Oluf, was a women who could have been beautyfull, had she been more modest. But, in the most unladylike style, she showed no humility before men, and her face betrayed a knowledge of her own influence, almost bordering to the arrogant.
Her dress was simply, yet made from expensive materials.

The last seat at the table, obviously reserved for Lothar, was opposite the king. But the table was only two meters across, and from there, all four would be able to talk over dinner.

The meal that was set furth was nothing special, and more impressive meals were undoubtly served in the noble houses of Denmark. Roasted pork with sugared cabbage, served with either mead of wine. A servant was present for each guest, conmstantly keeping their glasses full of their bewerage of choice. Only king Oluf, of the Danish guests, drank mead, and that only in small quantities.

As soon as Lothar was seated, the king rose and raised his glass.
"For my glorious grandfather, Valdemar Atterdag, for my father, Håkon, for Denmark and Norway, and for our Lord," his voice, which betrayed his age, commanded, and Podebusk and Margrethe followed him to their feet.

After that, dinner ccontinued. It wasn't long before Podebusk leaned over to Lothar.
"Good sir Knight, kindly allow me a question of personal interest before the talk turns to matters of state. My brother, Jørgen, who has followed me into the ranks of nobility, has a son, Eivind, who is now 12 years. I have talked to my brother, and we both agree that this is the time where a young man should serve a few years abroad, to learn more of the world. And if his fortune were to b found abroad, the boy is not heir to anything of importance, so nothing would call him back to Denmark. Good sir knight, I was wondering if you knew of any places where a young man such as he could serve?"
Oluf continued eating, but Margrethe had laid down her knife, following the conversation with interest.
 

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Lothar spent the early moments of the dinner observing those with whom he shared his meal. The young king perhaps had some innate strength of his own that would emerge in time, yet the knight could clearly see that it was the Lady Margethe who held great influence at the court. Long used to the masculine society of Marienburg, the idea of a woman in such a powerful role was fascinating, and he found himself observing the byplay between the Danes, in particular their deference to her.

Dutifully, he stood and presented his goblet to the toast offered by the king. As he was hitting, he listened Podebusk and smiled indulgently. The offer of a young son’s service in the Knights was not a new one to his ears and he nodded encouragingly as the drost explained himself. ”Most certainly we have a place for your young Elvind. Privileges and indulgence, of course, would not be his lot and he would find a true military education as part of our Order’s campaigns. In fact, the Order frequently raids into pagan territory to maintain its vigor and sharpen its sinews. I have no doubt that Herr Elvind could participate in such exercises were he to join us, in a squire’s position or sorts that befits his origins, of course.” Lothar was enjoying himself, calmly sampling the Danish foods and appreciating the rare informality of a meal with a monarch and his formidable mother.
 

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A man who was used to noting what was happening around him could not avoid seeing that the whole conversation had been planned carefully.
Henning Podebusk, having received his answer from the Teuton Knight, smiled and replied "My gratitude for you very satisfying answer. I shall inform my brother of it, and do hope that you will find time in your schedule to receive and evaluate young Eivind. I imagine you would know what to look for when judging a candidates worthiness. After all, it would serve my familiys honour and your Orders fighting strength equally poor, if your Eivind was not worthy, but was accepted, only yo fail. Not that I expect him to, I would not have opened the conversation if I doubted his merits, but better safe than sorry."

Podebusk then leaned back in his chair, and while the young king was still eating, Margrethe opened her conversation. Her first words were obviously intended to get the knights intention, but she soon continued to more important matters.

"I do hope you enjoy your meal, good sir Lothar. It is nothing special, but I trust you are used to endure hardships far worse than a simple roasted pork.

Your Grandmaster mentioned in his letter, for which I give my thanks, that he planned for you to become a permanent envoy at the Danish court. Such a show of friendship is greatly appreciated, and my son would be glad to accept you as such."


King Oluf III, still eating, had obviously been paying that much attention that he recognised his clue when given. He put down his knife, lifted his glass, still seated, and toasted the kingt. However, it was just as obvious that this was all he was to add to the conversation, as the kings mother continued as soon as the toast had been replied.
"Kindly tell me, good sir, if the Hochmesiter of your Order has any special requests in which Denmark could aid. We have a great deal in common, from our dedication to Christianity to the German merchants who ply their trade in our waters."
 

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”Indeed, perhaps after I am settled in I will do some rudimentary training with young Elvind, gauge his skills, his will. Then we can proceed from there.”

Lothar’s attention was divereted soon after as the Lady Margethe began speaking. ”A knight of our Order has to contend with many a hardship, yet this is simply part of our service to Our Lord. Nevertheless, I am grateful for the fare provided.” He continued to listen, trying to remind himself not to stare just at the lady, but also at her son, to give the impression that his answers and attention did include the actual monarch of Denmark. Still, the overall presentation of power clearly rested with the mother.

”I am pleased at your acceptance of my post. I hope to achieve much, and to help our two states achieve much, of course,” he nodded to Lady Margethe, remembering a split second later to nod to the young King as well. Lothar joined in the toast and then considered his answer to Margethe’s next question. At last the delicacy of politics was being set aside.

”Yes, well. Denmark and the Order share much in common. An interest in the affairs of the Baltic, ties to the Hansa, a shared faith, and the will to use the strength we possess. Herr Hochmeister believes much can be done in concert. For example, the Order is hoping to shift its naval strength and convert this into more power on land. To balance this, we hope to find strong Baltic naval powers to help protect our own interests. In exchange, we would be in a position to help assert said state’s interests on land. Materially, we both have resources. Significant portions of our income flow to the Hanseatic cities. Herr Hochmeister believes that this could bear reviewing. We are not a trading state. Denmark most certainly is. I believe the possibilities are apparent, Your Majesty, Your Highness.” Again, Lothar had almost reversed himself, once more retrieving his words and addressing Olav first and Margethe second. He didn’t voice his opinion that Olav need not have been present for the business at hand.
 

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The sift in conversation obviously suited Margrethe fine, and Henning Podebusk also paid close attention.
Even the king, realising that the dinner had passed from a social gathering to a discussion of politics, paid attention. Once in a while, it was obvious from his looks that he longed to break in and voice his own opinion, but he kept silent.

Margrethe, choosing her words with great care, was slow to answer the knight, and when she did, her held longer pauses between the words, obviously thinking as she spoke.
But before she opened her mouth to reply, she dismissed the servants with a wave of her hand, only answering when the last of them had closed the door behind him.

"Those are... bold proposals, good sir von Cronberg.
The Baltics are waters where merchantmen can sometimes be in need of protection. I believe pirates to be operating from Gotland, and the Danish attempt to seize Visby was a bid from my father to end this threath. Unfortunately, it failed...
Now, every coastal city with marketrights must, as part of the payment for that priviligie, provide armed ships to the protection of merchants. Many of whom are Hanseatic..."
The kings mother paused, as if she were about to further words to that sentence, but had stopped herself in it.
"The Hansa would proparbly not be pleased, should they learn of this conversation. In two years, the treaty of Stralsund expires, and control of the rich markets in Skåne returns to Denmark. Pray tell me, how hasty are the Hochmeisters plans? Without castles and income in Skåne, the Hansa is weakened, their ability to project naval force deep into the Baltic lessened. It pays to think ahead, but also to delay action untill conditions increase the odds of a succesfull outcome of said actions."
 

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Lothar found himself nodding as she spoke, impressed at her handle on political matters and relieved that his proposals hadn't been rebuffed. Indeed, it appeared that the Grandmaster's instincts were correct. There was much opportunity in Denmark. "I see your wisdom, Your Highness," he said, all but abandoning the pretense of glancing at Olav. "I see that Denmark excels in diplomacy as the Order does in battle. There is much to be said for both. I think you can be assured that I will support your ideas to the Hochmeister in my next letter, which I shall draft this very night. It is becoming clear that we have common aims in regards to the nature of trade in this region, as well as other issues." He took a sip of his wine, satisfied at the conversation and meal thus far.
 

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Nobody at the table could help but notice how Lothar directed his answers only to the kings mother, not even Oluf himself. But he had been in these situations before, and knew that once the meeting had ended, Henning Podebusk would talk it through with him, almost word for word, pointing out what had been said, what had not been said, and the significance of both. Content in the knowledge that his mother had only his best interests in mind, Oluf listende and observed, his earlier desires to inerrupt forgotten.
Not that his patience should hold much longer, as it became clear when Margrethe replied.

"Thank you for your kind words, sir von Cronberg." Allthough the reply would the same had any man given any women a compliment, the tone was different. This was not some noblewoman replying to praising phrases on her beauty, but the de facto regent ackknowledging a visiting diplomats words of the nation, and Margrethe managed to stress the difference.
"This discussion has presented many opportunities, as well as presented both of us, I trust, with new input with regards to how the relationsship between Denmark and the Order should develop.
Personally, I will have to think about the route this could lead us down. Trust me when I say that Denmark and Norway are in full agrement with the Order on the subject, and that my unwillingness to commit immediatly should not be taken as a rejection of the proposal. But many things need to be examined, and such takes time. Also, my son"
but as she said it, the Guardian of King Oluf didn't even look his way, neither did her present advisor "would need to consult his regency in Norway, as such decisions as those who could result would effect both nations greatly. Thus, I am forced to declare that the political discussions are done for tonight. Let us continue the meal and talk about matters of... less decisive nature.
Should you have need a fast courier anytime soon, my chancellor can provide one such."


Henning Podebusk rose and walked to the door to summon the servants back in. They had only been out for a very few minutes, and the food had not cooled noticably, but the minutes that had passed could prove to be of far greater importance than any of them would ever know.
 

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A letter arrives from Windsor Castle, England

Unto Margrethe.Guardian of her Son, Oluf III of Denmark, Olav IV of Norway.
Lady of Denmark.


Your Majesty,
I am glad to hear from Your Majesty again and I thank you for your kind wishes, and send my personal best wishes in return.

Your majesty speaks of the situation in Ireland, and it is as Your Majesty points out very difficult. The situation seems to be that there are four different, if not evene more, so called Kings that claims to rule the different parts of Ireland. Of course I am their Lord, but the local nobility is always a problem. The area around the city of Dublin is under my direct control, and it is governed by Sir Thomas Mortimer, acting Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. He is the guardian of his nephew, and while his nephew is under age, Sir Thomas is the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. But Ireland is a problem, and it might be necessary of me to act to strengthen my control over the local tribes.

As for France the evil son of the devil, donkey loving pretender of Avignon and his evil apprentice mad Charles, self proclaimed King of France, are a big threat to my control, and my rightful Kingdom. In time it will be necessary to deal with the devil and his apprentice, and I am sure Denmark in that case would be willing to aid England in her struggle for the best of Christianity against the devil and his apprentice!

As for the closer ties, England would be very interested in a trade deal with Denmark, shipping Danish and Norwegian resources to England in exchange for fine English products, also we would be interested in singing a treaty of non aggression and mutual aid in case of war.
What say Your Majesty about these proposals?


Written in own hand at Windsor, in the year of Our Lord 1383 A.D

Richard, Rex Anglia
 

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It had been some weeks since the king, his mother and the drost had dined with Lothar von Cronberg. Time enough for a letter to reach Marienburg, and for an reply to reach Denmark. In fact, Margrethe knew that such a reply had arrived.
From that arrival, she had given von Cronberg some days to digest whatever news and instructions he had received.

But the time had not been spent waiting. Apart from dispatching Henning Podebusk to England, Margrethe had been talking to those she knew as her allies in the [anchorlink=rigsråd]Rigsråd[/anchorlink], she had consulted the laws of Denmark, and she had read and reread the reports she received from her spies in Marienburg. Armed with newfound knowledge, she had then formulated a plan.

Therefore, in continuation with the tradition established at their first meeting, Lothar von Cronberg was one wednesday informed that His Majesty the king and the kings mother would be pleased to see him to dinner the firstcoming friday, unless he had made other plans for that evening.
 

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Lothar had quietly maintained himself at the Danish court, choosing not to involve himself too much in affairs, the better to observe without being observed. With the aid of the King's fast courier, a prompt reply from the Grandmaster had been forthcoming, the answer being as measured as Lothar expected, including its contents and intent. Thus, the invitation to dinner was well-timed, and a relaxed knight made his way to the same wing of the castle where he had enjoyed his previous royal feast. Somewhat more experienced at the cues of Danish dining rituals, Lothar made his oblations to the Lady Margethe and King Olav, before taking his place and awaiting the expected conversations.
 

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Just as last time Lothar had dined with the royal family, king Oluf only proposed the traditionel toast, and then sat silent, letting his mother do the talking.
There were, however, two major differences. Henning Podebusk was absent, and Margrethe skipped the pleasenties and went straight to business.

"I'm pleased you could join us, sir von Cronberg, at such short notice.
Since our last dinner, my son and I have discussed several options that might benefit both my sons Kingdoms, your Order, and thus Christianity at large."

As previously, Margrethe insisting on pretending that her son was monarch in more than name, but Oluf had obviously not been briefed on her plans.
Margrethe only looked at the Teuton, and thus missed the look of surprise that passed her sons face at her claim that they had discussed matters of state.

"I propose we leave the matter of the Hansa, and open talks on that matter when the expiration of the treaty of Stralsund draws closer. However, other subjects are very possibly to act on.

My sons emissary to Marienburg reports that several of your sailors have been transferred to service on land, and that fits perfectly with your stated wish that Denmark and Norway were to assist your Order in freeing ressources for land.
I propose we do that quite simple. In exchange for a signed treaty, in which the kingdoms of Denmark and Norway promises to provide naval forces to support the Order, either as defensive or transportation force, as needed, should such a need arise, the Order will sell several, if not all, the ships whose crews are being moved ashore, to my son. Due to legal technicalities, the King of Denmark are not allowed to keep his own navy. However, the Earl of Mols are under no such limitation. And it just so happens that my son have considered splitting such lands from his royal demesme, and appointing himself to that position."


Again, Oluf seemed surprised that he harboured such ideas, but again, he kept quiet about it.

"Off course, the Earl of Mols does not have the means the King of Denmark or Norway has, and the ships would proparblyhave to be sold somewhat below their original value. But in return for a offering favourable price for the ships, the Order would be able to call on the navies of Denmark and Norway, which are far bigger than those curently at your disposal.

Treaties regarding support on land would also need to be drawn, but on the naval matter, my sons Kingdoms offer these ideas as an opening point."