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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning


Meddler Sublime
RPG Leader
Apr 9, 2005
“Elizabeth de Slavonie, Queen of Poland, Queen Dowager of Naples, Jerusalem and Albania, Princess of Spoleto, Princess Dowager of Achaia, Durazzo and Taranto, et cetera, unto Margrethe, Lady of Denmark, Guardian of King Olaf of Norway and Denmark, et cetera, greetings.

I pray likewise, that this letter finds you and all those with you in good health.

I would be most willing to receive an envoy from your court here in Spoleto. Although you did not say so, am I to understand that you seek to perhaps marry your son to me? If indeed this is the case, I can assure you that I would be most pleased at a marriage. However, at present I have already entered into talks to marry a cousin of mine, Wilhelm of Bavaria.

Nevertheless, this is not to say that friendly relations between us should cease. Instead of me marrying your son, perhaps your Highness would consider marring my son? He is a handsome and intelligent man, and will succeed me as King, when I become Queen in Poland. I await Monsiegneur Podebusk eagerly.

By her own hand,
Elizabeth de Slavonie”


Mar 3, 2002
It was a moment of privacy, and one of the moments that gave rise to the often whispered rumour that Henning Podebusk was Margrethes lover. Both knew of the rumours, yet off course noone had dared say it to their face. And both understood why the rumours existed.
When a widowed queen called her sons aging chancellor to her private chambers, when the doors to the chambers were then locked, and when noone was allowed to enter untill the chancellor left the room, such rumours were bound to arise.

However, Margrethe had allowed the rumours to exist. She had no husband such could hurt, would bear no children who could be thought bastards, and she needed to speak privately with Podebusk. Today, they discussed the news from Naples, and the interesting options that one letter had opened.

"If nothing else, this proves that Europe has iscovered my son is coming of age and is as yet unmarried. Naples is irrelevant, but Poland is not. This might not be the offer to take, but it could very well be the first of others to come." Margrethe, having learned realpolitik both from her fathers victories and defeat, thought of potentiel allies whenever she heard the word marriage. She herself had tied the crowns of Norway and Denmark together with her marriage to king Haakon, and the history of Europe was filled with families coming to the aid of their relatives in war. However, thoughts of her marriage with Haakon, and especially on the furit of said marriage, her son, also inspired thoughts of other important matters.
Henning Podebusk did not only come to these meetings to receive instructions. Allthough Margrethe was not technically his superior, both being advisors to the king, she held the the real power in the kingdom. But she was still willing take advice, and he offered such just now.
"But her age... Elsebeth is most likely to old to bear your son any heirs. That would open the door for your sisters son, and instead of uniting Scandinavia under us, we could place it under the Mecklemburgs." It was a sign of the mutual trust that he brought up Elizabeths age, as she was younger than Margrethe.
Margrethe, however, did not hold his mention of a women her age as being to old against him. If she wanted a 'yes, my Lady', she could have asked several other courtiers their opinion. She had not, for she did not.
"True. And accepting her offer would most likely anger Bavaria. We need them for their support in the Diet when we add Rostock to the crown, even if they do not know it. Far better to be on good terms with the Bavarian dukes wife than angering him by stealing her. Plus, she has sons, so even a marriage would not produce any claims, even if we wanted to enter the treacherous lands of Poland ourself. You're right, Henning, decline it politely. Decline both offers, tell her that I still mourn Haakon."
Podebusk sensed that the second topic was not to be discussed. He himself had thought of several advantages of seeing Lady Margrethe married again, but either she had other plans, or she held the thought of another husbond revolting. He know her excuse of mourning for a lie, or a carefully kept truth, but decided not to enter a discussion. Her tone had implied that the topic was decided.

"I will, my Lady. So, what offers of assistance can I promise her. The nobility will..."
The discussion drifted to others, equally important but less personal matters, and within an hour, Henning had been fully briefed on what Denmark could and would offer Elizabeth in her struggle for the Polish crown. As he closed the door behind him, Henning pondered the finer differences between the two, and smiled for himself.


Mar 3, 2002

It all started with a flurry of activity from the royal couriers. In under two weeks, every Danish nobleman in Halland and Skåne had received a letter containing roughly the same content.
First, polite greetings and wishes that the letter found the nobleman and his family well.
Then, polite reminders of the sworn oath of fealty, stressing the point that said oath promised military assistance and defence of the land, should Denmark find herself under attack.
And finally, an order, phrased more or less politely depending on the noblemans strength and friendship with the throne, to prepare that such military assistance would most likely soon be required.

The reactions to that letter varied.
Many, such as Abraham Brodersen, had close contact with Swedish nobility. From here, letters were sent to their family or allies in Sweden, either alerting them to the possibility of a war, or even, in two cases, ensuring that in case of war, the nobleman in question would fight on the Swedish side.

But the majority reacted more loyally. It became a common sight to see peasants spend one afternoon per week practicing formations. Either with weapons and equipment owned by the nobleman, or, in case of the poorer or greedier nobility, with whatever farming tools could be improvised to be lethal.

Letters were also sent to a few other nobles, and to almost all towns. As part of the price for marketpriviligies, most towns with a harbour were required to supply a few ships of war. And some nobles, holding rich fishing rights or even owning harbours of their own, had their obligations to supply troops replaced by a demand for ships of war in case of warfare.
Their preparations were more expensive than for those merely supplying men. Many of the ships had not left harbour for years, and were desperately unequipped for any journey. Tar, cloth for repairing sails, timber for emergency repairs at sea, barrels to hold either water or rations were being purchased and stocked. In addition, numerous minor repairs were being carried out on the ships. A few cities even took their preparations so far that they actually started carrying out anti-piracy patrols.

But so far, there was little indication to what use the men and ships would be put. The foreign policy of Denmark hadn't changed much lately, and there had been no diplomatic preparation for war. The weapons were being sharpened, but not yet pointed at anyone..,