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Lothar was pleased that Lady Margethe ignored the formalities. He could respect such strength. ”Your invitation honors me, milady. Herr Hochmeister has indeed responded to my missive regarding our last conversation. Yours and his mind are of accord. The Order will defer to your advice to address our relationship with the Hansa at treaty discussions.”

He paused to listen to Margethe’s proposals on military adjustments in the Baltic. Such a sharp mind….Lothar privately hoped that Olav would inherit at least a small measure of his mother’s political acumen. Yet by some of the surprised looks he was giving her, he was not optimistic in that regard. ”Your information is very accurate, milady. We are Crusaders of God, and our front line is right in front of us. We have little need of ships. Denmark, on the other hand, has need of both. I agree that the opportunity is apparent. Steps are already being taken to transfer manpower from our fleet to our army. Any excess stores and vessels can be made available to you under the auspices you propose. I can speak on Herr Hochmeister’s behalf when I say that this arrangement would be acceptable. There is much on land that we can assist Denmark with, likewise the sea for ourselves.” He nodded in compliment of the pleasant beginnings to the discussions.
 

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Negotiations with herr von Cronberg

Margrethe, knowing that the deal she hoped to strike this evening, coupled with the deal she hoped Podebusk would reach in London, would place Denmark as the primary naval power of Northern Europe, smiled to herself and continued.

"So, herr von Cronberg, can we agree that the Earl of Mols, who just happens to be the same person as my son, can purchase the ships of the Teutonic Navy for... let's say half the usual price, and that he shall off course provide crews for said ships himself.

However, as that will leave the Teutonic Order without any naval power of importance, and thus without transport capacity, should the Order need to sail crusaders to strike along the Baltic Coast, perhaps in support of the LIvonians, I suggest a second treaty.
The kingdoms of Denmark and Norway, eager to support the Lords work, shall promise to prevent hostile landings in Teutonic lands, and to transport Teutonic crusaders whereever needed in case of war. In return, the Order shall promise to place under Danish command a full compagny of knights and retainers, should Denmark find herself involved in wars. A similar deal can be signed with the Orders allies in Livonia, should the Hochmeister and the Livonians so desire.
Your comments?"
 

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Lothar smiled and nodded. "I am sure Seine Exzellenz, the Earl, would be well pleased with the ships we will provide," he said, hoping Olav took the comment in good humor. Turning back to Margethe, he continued, "Though I am sure negotiations will have to be commenced with the Livonians, I cannot but wonder why they would turn down the opportunity that we ourselves take advantage of here. Indeed, a second agreement with our brothers would only increase your naval power as well as our own military strength on land, which benefits us both considerably."

Caught up in the moment, Lothar raised his goblet. "And I might propose a toast to the fraternity of this understanding...to Seine Majestät under Ihrer Hochheit." Denmark, ruled in truth by this remarkable woman, would be of great use to the Order in the future, von Cronberg thought to himself.
 

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Oluf did take von Cronbergs jest in good mood.
"He will be the Earl with the greatest fleet in the entire realm," the Danish king said with a laugh. His mother, Margrethe, allthough she had smiled quietly at Lothars comment, looked disapprovingly at him, and the young kings laugh died.

Margrethe, acting as if nothing had happened, looked back at the Teutonic envoy.
"It sounds like we are in agrement, then. I will write a proposal to a treaty concerning the naval support and the support of a compagny of knights. Once that is signed and approved by the [anchorlink=rigsråd]rigsråd[/anchorlink], my son will move on to purchase the fleet. Allthough the purchase of said is not mentioned in the first treaty, such would not be approved by the nobility, I trust the deal will be carried out as promised.
Do you, mein Herr, have authority to sign these treaties, or shall I send an envoy and a signed treaty to Marienburg?"
 

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Lothar didn't know if he truly had the authority or not, but he decided it would be deprecating of him to say so. He gazed at the Lady Margethe and nodded. "Yes, Ihre Hochheit, I have such authority and would be happen to sign." A few seconds later, he remembered to look at Olav as well, to maintain the impression that he was involved in the discussions.
 

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"Excellent, Herr von Cronberg,", Margrethe said and rose from her seat.
She walked to the door, opened it, and allowed in a monk.
The monk carried with him pen, paper, ink, and sat down, ready to write down as the queen dictated.

"Herr von Cronberg, I propose the following. Brother Karl here will write as I dictate, and we may then sign. You for your Hochmesiter, I for my son."

Slowly and carefully, Margrethe dictated the terms of the treaty, brother Karl recording every word as she did.

Baltic Sea Treaty of Christian Understanding
Written in the spirit of Christian Cooperation, with the greater good for the Holy Mother Church and the Baltic Sea region as goal.

On Denmark.
-In admiration and great respect for the mission in Christ carried out by our Catholic brothers of the greatly respected Teutonic Order, the Kingdom of Denmark promises:
1: To protect any shipping bound to or originating from Marienburg or any other port under control by the Teutonic Order.
2: As requested by the Hochmeister of the Teutonic Order to transport such men and material as needed to carry out Our Lords work, and to land such men and material anywhere reachable within the Baltic Sea.
3: To deny any enemy of the Teutonic Order, and thus of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Kristus, the use of the Baltic Sea for transport and supply. If needed by engaging the vessels of said foe in warfare.
4: To work for the signing of treaties to similar effect between the Kingdom of Norway and the Teutonic Order.

On the Teutonic Order.
-In gratitude and great respect for the services thus rendered and promised rendered by the Kingdom of Denmark, the Teutonic Order promises:
1: To provide harbouring rights for 5 ships of war in the harbour of Marienburg. These ships shall not pay harbour fees, and shall not engage in trading. The sole goal of these ships, owned and operated by appointed nobles from the kingdom of Denmark, shall be to fullfill the promises made by Denmark in article 1 above.
2: To provide the service of 1 full compagny of knights and their retainers, should the Kingdom of Denmark find herself engaged in warfare. The transportation and maintenance of this compagny for the duration of hostilities shall be the responsibility of the King of Denmark. At the end of hostilities, it shall be the obligation of the King of Denmark to return these men, or the bodies of them, should they be recoverable, to lands owned by the Teutonic Order.
3: To work for the signing of treaties to similar effects between the Livonian Order and the Kingdom of Denmark.
"Are we in agrement, or should any wordings be changed?"
 

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Meeting in the Rigsråd

They were all there. The most important men in Denmark, all gathered around the same table. In this room, decisions were made that could mean life or death for the entire population, or that would affect only a select few.

Ancient feuds and new alliances were represented. Swords had been left behind when they entered, but hatred had remained. Marriages had ended some, royal pressure others, but in the heart of most men present, bloody remains of their viking ancestry remained. They knew, some from bitter experience during the age without kings, others from tales told about that all to recent period, that the kings and laws wouldn't allways hold, but that family would allways be there.

Oaths of fealty, old words of honour and newly forged dependence held them together, but all knew that such were only worth anything when the fragile web of power kept the present king the strongest. Men in this room had fought for the Holsteiners less than 30 years ago, some had faced each other on battlefield. Atterdag might have declared an amnesty for all wrongs commited against him and his family, and Oluf had resworn that same oath, but the memories lived on.

Ambitions and dreams of power were represented. An independent Jutland, a reclaiming of the Hansa castles on Skåne, Holstein and Schleswig under the same count. Or perhaps just a village added from a neighbouring fief, the tithing rights to a church, the forestry and hunting rights from a royal fief. All present had wealth undreamed off by the common peasant, but most present knew that their family deserved more.

And they were all nobility. Noone represented the church, alltogether all present had a brother, or a cousin, in the church hierachy. Noone spoke for the burghers and the growing cities, but most did deals with merchants and jews on a regular basis.

They were, in all their glory or lack thereof, the [anchorlink=rigsråd]rigsråd[/anchorlink] of Denmark, and they were gathered to approve treaties the king didn't have the power to sign alone.

At the head of the table sat the boy-king, Oluf III, and to his right, drost Henning Podebusk. This was the one place in the kingdom where the physical presence of Margrethe didn't constantly remind everybody who held the true power over the king, but the nobles knew. Silent whispers had declared Podebusk, allthough 20 years older than Margrethe, the queens lover, and all knew that when he spoke, he spoke for her.

"This is the same old story. In case of war, you are prepared to sell Jutland and Schleswig out, hide on the islands, and then sign a peace after our lands have been occupied for years! I will not stand for it. If the king of Denmark has no interest in his western possesions, let him openly declare so, not hide the fact in the treaties he signs!"
Skjalm Pedersen, head of the [anchorlink=kaas]Kaas[/anchorlink] family , major landholders on Northern Jutland, spoke words that almost sounded like treason. His alliance with the Holsteiner counts and dreams of becoming lord of an independent Northern Jutland were well known to all, and his temper equally so.

The next to speak were also a known opponent of the king, but Asbjørn Rasmussen Rosenkrantz, of the [anchorlink=rosenkrantz]Rosenkrantz[/anchorlink] family, and holding lands around Århus in Eastern Jutland, were quiet and thoughtfull, and his words didn't hold the threath of armed resistance that were allways present when Skjalm Pedersen spoke.
"I agree with Skjalm of Kaas. Both presented treaties speak of strenghtening the navy, and we, holding lands in the areas reachable by the Germans, know what that means. In war with the Germans, Jytland and Schleswig are left open for conquest, in war with the Swedes, the same fate befalls Skåne. Only the islands are secure, and allthough you will undoubtly win great victories for Denmark by striking out with the army from these holdings, that will not help those of us who had our lands pillaged by the hostile armies.
No, as so often before, the king lets Jutland down. I too cannot support these treaties."


Podebusk knew what the men would say before they opened their mouth. He was surprised that Asbjørn Rosenkrantz would speak so soon, the quiet nobleman often waited, hoping that others would present his view for him, but the points raised needed to be adressed, no matter who had presented them.
Henning Podebusk, newest member of the council, decided to answer immediatly before others added their voice to the opponents.
"And what do you propose we do? Meet the Germans in Schleswig? To that purpose the knights from the Teutons will serve us geatly. Invade Holstein as opening move? I am sure the Holy Roman Empire would love to see us making the first agressive move in a potential war?
Sign treaties promising land support from England? English soldiers wouldn't prevent Schleswing and Jutland from falling, and in return, they would rightfully demand that we aided them in their landfighting.
Then your peasants wouldn't be able to keep low under Holsteiner occupation, but would be shipped out to die, supporting the English claim on the French throne, or fighting the pagans in Russia!
Combined with the English..."
Podebusk did very carefully not add "and supported by newly purchased ships from the Teutons", as that deal would swing every noble in the room against anything the king proposed... "our navy will be unbeatable. And when we control the sea, we can force the Hansa to sign our peaces. Yes, I shall not deny that Schleswig and Jytland might suffer, but we shall know to make the Hansa compensate you for that. That I promise."

Asbjørn replied, and Henning realized that Skjalms outburst had been a mistake. They had chosen the Rosenkrantz as their speaker for this debate, and he did present a good case.
"So now we're about to fight the Hansa? Yes, I realize they hold Gotland and castles in Skåne, and my heart bleeds for the looses of taxation." If his heart did bleed, his mouth dripped sarcasm. "But the Hansa buys my cattle, and pays good money. We do not share your goals and your foes, and signing two treaties to support Skåne, Sjælland and Fyn does nothing to endear youn Oluf to us in Jutland, be it Northern or Southern. Again I ask, does my holdings, and those of the Kaas, of Buchwald, of Lüttichau, of Moltke, of Uhre, exist only to service the holdings of Fyn, Sjælland and Skåne?"

For the first time a chink in the oppositions unified front presented itself. Ludwig von [anchorlink=luttichau]Lüttichau[/anchorlink], unwilling to be seen as supporting his family in Germany against the king, spoke, surprisingly for.
"Kindly do not mention my holdings. I am as loyal to the king as any man in here, more so than many. I raise my troops when asked, and sends them where asked. The Lüttichaus allways have. I know not with you, but I know how to honour my word, and I have sworn fealty to Oluf."

As waited, Skjalm could not hear such without answering.
"How dare you. Blind obidience might be a trait in Sachsen, but Danes know how to think for themself. That is is not oathbreaking. It takes more courage to have your own will than blindly bow to others, but I suspect you know nothing of bravery."

"I suspected nothing else from you, Skjalm. I trust you are willing to defend your words with sword in hand after this meeting?" Ludwig calmly challenged Skjalm, and the hotheaded Jute was not slow to answer.
"It shall be my pleassure to run you through, Ludwig. One I shall walk back to my lands, and your family of lapdogs must see your son bowing blindly to the king, not you!"

Ole Hurtige, head of the [anchorlink=hvide]Hvide[/anchorlink] family, brought the discussion back to the topic on hand.
"This is not a question of blind obidience, but of wisdom. The English are powerfull allies, but their claims on France and their trouble with the Irish and the Scots mean they are far more likely to be drawn into a war than us. In such a war, our ships will be safe, for the battles will be fought on land, either in France or on their own isles. Our wars, should such arise, will be with the Hansa, or with Sweden, or perhaps even with Mecklemburg. All three has navies who must be defeated before we can land our armies, and all three depending on the Baltic. The English ships will see fighting when supporting us, ours will be used as transports. Likewise with the Teutons. Let us carry their eager crusaders to their fights with landlocked pagans, and let us then sail the same eager crusaders to fight our foes later. My cousin holds lands near Viborg, as you all know, and I thus know my familys lands will be conquered should the Holsteiner counts invade. But that does not change the fact that the treaties are fine works, and that the king and his advisors deserve our gratitude, not our hostility." Nobody even bothers to mention that Ole Hurtige held lands near Ribe, on Sjælland, and thus protected by the naval alliance with England.

Finally the king spoke. Not to add words of wisdom, but to end the debate.
"Thanks, Ole. I have heard enough. Let us vote.
On the treaty with the English."

Barnewkow, Bille, Bielke, Brahe, Brockenhuus‑Schack, Huitfeldt, Drage, Hvide, Lüttichau, Podebusk, Urne and Ulfeldt raised their hands for. Henning Podebusk were not surprised at any of them. Bielke had been promised the position as leader of the ships positioned in Marienburg, should the Teutons agree, and as Henning counted the hands, he were glad Margrethe had placed that bribe. He had counted on Buchwald as well, and 12 for were cutting it close.


Ahlefeldt, Buchwald, Høeg, Juel, Juul, Kaas, Krabbe, Rosenkrantz, Moltke, Reedtz, Uhre voted against. 11 votes. Henning would have to investigate what bribes, threaths of promises had changed Buchwalds vote, and counter it. He knew he could swing Reedtz back to the royal camp on other subjects, but when the time came to declare an offensive war, some of the other supporters would fall away, and he needed every vote he could buy.

"Passed," Oluf III announced, and proceded. "The treaty with the Teutons?"

Rosenkrantz, Moltke and Kaas voted against, the rest for. Henning knew this sudden support for the king was empty. Everyone knew that the kings support were for both treaties, so those nobles who changed side did so as a sign of goodwill, not because they were behing the king. That Moltke stubbornly stayed with the two known opponents, who would lose face if voting for, were the only even remotely interesting vote, but as Henning knew that a marriage was beging negotiated between the Rosenkrantz and Moltke families, he saw that as it were; a part of a difficult bargain.

"Again, thank you," Oluf III said, as if he had any influence on the voting, and as if the voting had been about him, not his mother.
"To the matter concerning the empty chair in the Kancelli..."
the meeting moved on to others, less important matters, and Henning Podebusk allowed himself to relax. He knew he would loose at least two of the next four votings, but as they were on filling two empty goverment offices, and on raising a tax on sheeps wool, he didn't care much. He had won the battles that mattered today, and everyone knew as much. Whether the rigsråd would vote for honouring the treaties if actual declarations of war were needed had yet to be proven...
 

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Anno Domini 1383

Unto Her Royal Highness Margarethe, Lady of Denmark,

I have heard rumours of your greatness as far away as Viborg, and although that is the furthest away from Denmark I have been during my faithful life I do not doubt that your fame reaches way beyond that. The rumours told me about a majestical beauty who has ruled in her sons place for years. Let me say that I am immensely impressed by your achivements alone as the woman you were born, and when the rumours spoke about a regent who ruled over her land in great agreement and stability, it took time for me to believe the words eventhough they came from a short distance and I could hear them clearly. It is an honour to recieve a letter from such a royal highness as yourself, as my own contact with royalties is unfortunately mostly limited to letters of sky high scutage.

Let it be known, however, that I still have full loyalty to the crown, I was in fact one of the nobles who travelled to Lübeck and offered it to Albrekt after your brother-in-law's misrule, and I do not regret it. However as you say, such matters should not be discussed between you and me. They should in fact not be discussed at all for the sake of stability and welfare in our countries. Let it be known that I on behalf of the whole Swedish nobility swear fealty to the king of Sweden and will do so until the day that I die. If this however, as you say, is not the reason you invite me to Denmark, then I cannot help to wonder what the reason is that you address me with this letter and I am curious what the subject of these discussions that are best carried out face to face is.

I will send a representative, but I'm sorry to say that I cannot travel to Vordingborg in person. Instead, my trusted servant and the skilled diplomat Inge Gregersson, currently at Bjärkaholm, will travel to meet your royal highness in Denmark and I trust your discussions will be fruitful. I will travel to Stockholm to meet with the royal council and His Majesty King Albrekt in the near days so I will unfortunately not be on Gripsholm when you recieve this letter. This is also the one thing that keeps me from attending at person at his majesty Olaus III's court. I hope and trust Inge will represent me properly.

May God bless Your Most Christian Royal Highness

Signed on behalf of
Bo Jonsson Grip, Viceroy of Sweden, Officialis Generalis, Duke of Sudermannia and of Finland, Lord of Viborg and of Gripsholm, head of the Grip dynasty.

Sverker Svensson, Writer and Advisor at the Gripsholm Castle.
.
 

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Lothar scanned the document carefully, reading each clause word by word, and then repeating himself, sure that he must be making his hosts impatient. Yet if he was going to take the decisive step of signing the treaty himself, he was not about to act impulsively. Finally, he looked up and nodded.

"Milady, the treaty is sound and I am pleased to sign on behalf of Herr Hochmeister."

With that, he held out his hand for a pen and affixed the Order's signature to the treaty, feeling a sense of rushing importance going to his head.
 

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Though he had initially made plans for a depature for Marienburg, new instructions had arrived for von Cronberg and he sent a note to a royal chamberlain requesting an audience with His Majesty, though who he would actually speak with was open in his mind, having witness first-hand the power structure in Denmark.
 

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From the day von Cronberg sent his request, it took less than two days before he was granted an audience with Oluf. However, to noones surprise, Margrethes was also present as Lothar was shown into the kings study, as was Henning Podebusk, returned from his journey to England.
 

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Lothar stepped into the study and almost bowed to the Lady Margethe first, remembering to recognize Olav first, then his mother, and finally Podebusk. He was somewhat surprised at the latter's presence, and wondered if there was some agenda here had missed, for he knew too little of the man. Margethe, of course, he could understand. Her hand was ever on Olav's shoulder, and perhaps that was as it should be, Lothar thought, trying his best not to wilt under her direct stare.

"I thank you for your granting of this audience, Ihrer Majestät and Ihrer Hochheit. I shall not trouble you too much and only have a few matters to broach. The first is a message from the Hochmeister. Since the recent signing of the treaty and the imminence of our own conflict with the peridious Liths, he wishes to reassure you that we will not insist on Denmark's active participation in this coming conflict, should you find pressing reasons to forgo. We realize the timing of the treaty and our own coming conflict might be a source of .... discomfort, in some circles."

He paused to see how that sank in, wondering idly if Margethe had been thinking along such lines, or was she already a step ahead of him. Lothar smiled wanly and continued.

"An additional matters is a humble request that the Order be allowed to erect a small Chapter House in your kingdom for the purpose of recruitment of such soldiers, uncommitted to their service in Denmark and with your blessing, to serve in our own ranks. Naturally the site would be small, unintrusive, and without any garrison beyond that of the training cadre in guards. Your rights to monitor and provide input would be respected, of course. Our Order relies greatly on foreign support, and believe that such a small step would greatly aid this."
 

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Perhaps it was because the formality of the study reassured Oluf of his importance, perhaps he had been throughly briefed before the meeting. Whatever the reason, Oluf spoke as the first of the Danes, and that even without looking at his mother.

"We are allways glad to receive you, herr von Cronberg."

But that was the only input the young king had.
Right after the mentioning of the foreboding war with the Liths, Margrethe smiled reaasuringly.
"I am glad that your Hochmesiter holds this view. I can imagine that naval support will be of limited value fightin the Lithuanians, but be assured that I do not believe the Order to have any hidden agendas. Should the Order ask for Danish intervention, I shall propose such to the Council. However, I think the request will be turned down by the nobility, some of whom longs for an opportunity to demonstrate their independence of the crown."

After the request concerning a Chapter House, Margrethes smile grew warmer.
"That, good herr von Cronberg, is a request I will be delighted to grant.
I have recently contacted the archbishop of Lund, and he has assured me that property granted to a crusading Order will lessen my souls stay in the Purgatory when the Lord decides to call me home. With that assurance, I shall be delighted to purchase a suitable house in Aarhus. The estate comes with lands, enough to provide food for 20 people I have been told. Here, you may have up to 50 men under arms, provided they assist in defending the town, should it be attacked. If that is not acceptable, the limit is 20. The lands shall, as they belong to a crusading Order, be excepted from taxation as if they were churchland.
Aarhus is less than a days sailing from Vordingbord, making it a suitable base should the Order wish to contact me or my son.
The nobles of Jylland are a fertile bunch with a strong fighting spirit. I trust they shall be able to volunteer many young men to the Lords case.
Pray tell, herr von Cronberg, if we have the luck that you shall remain and lead the Chapter House?"
 

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Von Cronberg nodded to Olaf, noticing at least the King's brief statement. Then he turned back to Margethe, and found himself delighted at her approving response.

"I am glad Ihrer Majestät and Ihrer Hochheit understand our position. That our Baltic front secure should be aid enough in our struggles against the pagan Liths. In the future, I am sure, we shall cooperate more." He bowed politely.

"A most unexpected honor, Lady Margethe. I assure you that you will not be disappointed in our presence. Naturally, any man-at-arms provided will give service to the Crown in times of need." Lothar smiled at the mention of himself remaining. He had thought of doing so, for various reasons, and knew that her mention of his candidacy would all but guarantee the Hochmeister's approval. "I thank you for your faith in me, milady. I am sure that with your blessing, the Hochmeister will like kindly on my humble role. I believe I can be of much use to both states as envoy and head of the Chapter House."
 

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Vordingborgs Slott


Vordingborg Castle - Resens Atlas Daniæ


Inge was a man. He was the eldest son of Greger, son of Nils. Inge didn't have a woman, but it was not because Inge was ugly, or had bad blood. On the contrary, Inge was considered beautiful and many women at Bjärkaholm wouldn't mind if he proposed a marriage. Inge had never been interested in a marriage. Reproduction and the future of his family was the primary objective for many sons, but not for Inge. He had three brothers with wives and sons, and they could bring on the family name just as well, he thought. He didn't get very attracted by women either, and preferred to be alone or, to his own surprise, he enjoyed the company of men a lot.

Nils had been a farmer in Östergötland, but Greger had chosen not to go in his fathers footsteps. Greger moved to Bjärkaholm and became the keeper of the castle. A job Greger was proud of, because Bjärkaholm was owned by the viceroy of Sweden and the officialis generalis of the king. Inge was also proud of his father, but Nils hadn't liked it. When Greger died when he was 45 already, Nils had said it was God punishing him for choosing the wrong path. It had been Gregers call to be a farmer like his father, and it was Greger's fault when they sold their family's farm in AD 1366. Nils died in 1369. Inge however was proud of his father's bold move, and he thought he had it to thank for this travel he now was on the final day on. It was a few months ago Bo Jonsson had told him to go to Denmark and given him instructions of what would happen there and what he was expected to do. The day after he, the grandson of a mere farmer, was on the way to the lady of Denmark to represente the viceroy of Sweden there. Truly, a prestigeful mission which demanded a lot of responsibility.

The destination of his trip was Vordingborg, a castle on the southern tip of Sjælland. He had started out riding from Bjärkaholm, across Östergötland where the Grip dynasty was the dominant faction through the loyal parts of Västergötland where Erik and his dynasty had the most land. Then he reached Lödöse on the outlet of Göta Älv. Sweden's only breathing hole to the west and from there he managed to get on a boat to Vordingborg. Originally the hanseatic vessel intended to travel to Kiel, but the German black-bearded captain had proven to be a very good man and agreed to take him onboard and make a stop in Vordingborg, for a small fee of course. Inge and the German captain became good friends, and during the week-long trip (quick thanks to quite favorable spring winds) he told many fascinating stories about his many trips to Russia and the Baltics. It was with sadness Inge had left his new-found friend and once again set his foot on the mainland once again, alone.

As he stood there now, on the Sjælland island in the heart of another country, he suddenly became insecure of what to do. Surely, the regents must expect him but Bo Jonssons otherwise so graphic and vivid instructions seemed to be lacking here, and Inge hadn't come around to ask while he had still been at Bjärkaholm. The sun was shining here in Denmark too it seemed, Inge thought as he walked up from the merchant harbour to the circular city wall that surrounded and protected the town itself and the characters inside the castle's walls.
 

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Mettermrck said:

Von Cronberg nodded to Olaf, noticing at least the King's brief statement. Then he turned back to Margethe, and found himself delighted at her approving response.

"I am glad Ihrer Majestät and Ihrer Hochheit understand our position. That our Baltic front secure should be aid enough in our struggles against the pagan Liths. In the future, I am sure, we shall cooperate more." He bowed politely.

"A most unexpected honor, Lady Margethe. I assure you that you will not be disappointed in our presence. Naturally, any man-at-arms provided will give service to the Crown in times of need." Lothar smiled at the mention of himself remaining. He had thought of doing so, for various reasons, and knew that her mention of his candidacy would all but guarantee the Hochmeister's approval. "I thank you for your faith in me, milady. I am sure that with your blessing, the Hochmeister will like kindly on my humble role. I believe I can be of much use to both states as envoy and head of the Chapter House."
Margrethe answered the Teutonic envoy:
"I am pleased we understand each other. I will write the Hochmeister, informing him I support your candidacy for head of the Chapter House. You can contact my sons chancellor, and arrange for shipping to Aarhus at your convinience."

With that, she nodded, and turned to leave the study. It was obvious the audience was over.
 

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At Vordingborg Slot

The purpose of the wall wasn't really protection, but rather taxation. And it was generally thought that any man could not carry so much to make it worthwhile to tax him. As such, Inge was not stopped by the guards at the gates, and entered Vordingborg city unhindered. However, as he entered the castle, easily recognized, the guards started to take an interest. Not a hostile interest, just a curious interest. Inge entered the castle unhindered, but once in the courtyard, when he looked around uncertain, a guard came to him and asked, politely, if he could help.
 

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General
Jun 7, 2003
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Vordingborg

"Kan jeg hjælpe dig?"

Inge, who had been watching the castle's architecture while trying to figure out what to do next, quickly turned around and found a royal Danish guard talking to him. If it was talking, while it reminded him of both Swedish and German the guard slurred so much he could hardly decipher what the (quite handsome) young guard was trying to say. He had been surprisingly easily let into the town, and even more surprisingly let into the courtyard without anyone stopping him. He felt like the guards had given him looks, but none of them had walked up to him until now. Therefore Inge became worried for a second. Was it really allowed to enter the royal courtyard without permission? Though, his worries were put to rest when the guard smiled to him and pronounced the same sentence in German, a language Inge was well familiar with. Inge couldnt help to notice that the smile suited his good looking face very nicely

"Kann ich Ihnen helfen?"


Inge answered in the same language, although the guard's politeness still worried him slightly

"Her royal highness, lady Margarethe, has invited me to represent my lord Bo Jonsson, the viceroy of Sweden, while Bo is at the royal council in Stockholm together with his Majesty Albrecht von Mecklenburg. It is her will that I shall meet with her and tell her the words I bring from my lord."
 

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Peder was not sure at all what to do. He had thought the young nobleman, easily recognized as such by his clothes and manners, were looking for some of the castles permanent residents, someone that was not the queen, that is.

"Oh, Lady Margrethe... You know, just wait here, I'll go talk to my captain. He'll know what to do."

Inge waited for a little less than 10 minutes before Peders captain came to him.
"Requesting an audience with the king, are you? I'm afraid you'll have to wait for some while before that can be arranged. Unless you have found a place to stay, I can recommend an inn nearby. Peder here can show you the way."
And then the captain turned and left, leaving Peder behind with Inge.

"Should I show you to Valdemars Hvile, sir?" Peder, allthough having served with the royal guard for 2 years, never really felt comfortable around nobility. He was, as all others, of common birth, as Margrethe didn't trust nobility to protect her, knowing that it might just happen that the guards should protect her against the nobility one day.
 
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