• 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

Lord E

Non sufficit orbis
16 Badges
Jul 17, 2002
5.107
0
Visit site
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Semper Fi
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 200k Club
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Paradox Order

A letter arrives from Windsor Castle, England

Unto Bo Jonsson Grip as the head of the Regency, on behalf of His Majesty Albrecht of Mecklenburg, King of Sweden.


Your Excellency,
I thank you for your answer, and I am glad to know that also Your Excellency sees the trouble with the peasants, I shall inform His Majesty about the matter, and I am sure he will be pleased.

So I understand that the Germans have taken control over your trade as well, that is not good for a countries economy, but we know of the Hanseatic League and we know that they are not people that you can easy get rid off. Then it seems that if we ant Swedish goods we need to send letter to Hansa traders.

Of course I understand where Your Excellency’s loyalty is, and I understand that such are dangerous matter to discuss, but remember it is a case that such things happens, and that history sometimes travels the strangest of ways…Still it is good to see that His Majesty has such a strong and loyal support as Your Excellency!

We wish you and His Majesty everything well, and pray that you are all in good health.


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
 

unmerged(17489)

General
Jun 7, 2003
2.475
7
Åbo Slott, Finland


The snow was falling outside Åbo Slott and it was cold, at least -20 degrees. Knut Bosson Grip was inside the castle together with his wife Ermegaard Johandotter von Bülow in the living room. Both of them were sitting under large bear furs near the fire-place, while their daughter Katarina was playing on the floor with a wooden toy, seemingly unaware of the freezing cold that searched its way through the thick stone walls. But then again, this was one of the reasons Knut loved spending his time in Finland. You appreciate the warmth so much more when you are freezing the whole day, Knut used to think, and he loved the nights together with his family in front of the fire-place. All the Swedish traders who used to crowd the streets of Åbo buying timber en masse and then sell it expensively to the Hanseatic merchants in Stockholm or Visby also left during the winter. Åbo was largely depopulated, and Knut liked the calmness and quietness of isolation a lot.

Another reason to spend a lot of time in Finland was that it was so far away from his father who used to spend most of his time in southern Mälardalen on the Gripsholm and Bjärkaholm castles, Knut thought. Knut disliked his father, and his father disliked Knut. To be honest, he couldn't remember what originally made them part but Knut had spent almost all of his time in Finland since, effectively avoiding his father's repetitive sneerings about how incompetent he was. Knut himself considered Bo a greedy man. He refused to give any money to improve the absymal infrastructure in the Finnish provinces but he gave away huge amounts of Knuts inheritance to the church every year!

The third reason to love Finland was the Finns. His father impersonated a Swede Knut used to think. Greedy, restless, rebellious and suspicious, that was the nature of the Swedish people. It isn't because of the regents incompetence that Sweden remains destabilized decade after decade with kings dethroning eachother once a week. The aristocracy, with his father as one of the most powerful characters, simply likes it that way. It covers them up when they are oppressing the peasants, and scheming against eachother. The Finns on the other hand were calm and ordinary, Knut suspected it was the long winters which had made them so cool. There was one Finn in particular he liked, her name was Sirkku and she worked in the kitchen on Korsholm, a castle in the far north of the Finnish coast. Blonde with blue eyes and a fit body, top 18 years old. Knut thought his wife was beautiful and he loved her, but sometimes he cursed the marriage. He knew his father had only married them to get influence in the von Bülow dynasty, and sometimes he didn't know whether he fancied Sirkku more.

Milord, a letter from your father. It just arrived.

Knut opened his eyes, he had almost fallen asleep. Damn it, a letter from his father? Knut was not in a good mood today, it had come to his knowledge that food was regularly being stolen from Korsholm and he had to go up there and have a look tomorrow. He didn't mind leaving Åbo for Korsholm actually, his family would stay but Sirkku waited for him up there. Korsholm being further north was also even more isolated than Åbo. No, what made he furious was the fact that someone had been in his food boxes stealing his expensive food. That it was likely it was someone in his own servants didn't make things better. And now he got a letter from his father, like if that would improve things...

For a second he thought of putting the letter on fire and saying that the postman must've lost it, but Bo wouldn't have accepted such an excuse.

"Fine, give me it! Let's see what the old gaffer has to say this time..." he muttered and took the letter from the servant. "Now leave."

His fingers, dissapointed that they weren't allowed to return to under the protective fur began to fumble with the seal. When he finally opened it, he found a short note. He could recognize it was his father himself who had written it, cause everything but his titles was written with straggling large letters. His father was a bad writer and he usually had someone write for him when he wrote longer letters or sequences. He obviously didn't consider his son that important though... except for his titles he had written everything himself.

Unto Knut Bosson Grip, my son.

I finished my will yesterday. Consider yourself disinherited

Bo Jonsson Grip, Duke of Finland and Södermanland, officialis generalis, head of nobility, head of the royal council, lordowner of Bjärkaholm, Gripsholm and Ringstaholm.
Knut read it five times. Then he cursed his father and the letter five times each. He looked at his wife, the poor woman. She had fallen asleep. What a dishonour and shame for her, married to the disinherited son of the wealthiest man Sweden had ever seen. She must not know, Knut thought and quickly hid the letter under his fur. He couldn't do much about it right now, but she must not know. He closed his eyes again and decided to try to convince his father later, he still had a few years more to live hopefully. First time Knut didn't wish for his fathers death, but if he died now his will would be read and then the inheritance would be lost.

Knut fell asleep, in his dreams he was torturing his father on a large rack.
 
Last edited:

Mettermrck

The Fuehrer of the Dance
69 Badges
Jul 11, 2001
4.816
3
Visit site
  • Magicka
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Galactic Assault
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Iron Cross
  • King Arthur II
  • The Kings Crusade
  • Lost Empire - Immortals
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Commander: Conquest of the Americas
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Ancient Space
  • Darkest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Diplomacy
  • East India Company
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise

”Indeed, milord. The firm line Sweden has taken in the past with the Finns shares much with our own struggles with the Liths and Prus. It is regrettable that, in the service of nobles causes, mere material means are needed. Perhaps it is this test by which the Lord hardens us for battle.” Ulric permitted himself to relax slightly, hoping that the Regent’s ire had lessened.

He smiled slightly at Bo Jonsson’s words. ”Age has little to do with power, I think, except in that it helps you accrue experience and wisdom. Even in my own short service in the Lord’s host, I’ve come to a sense of our Order’s destiny, as I am sure you must have ideas of Sweden’s destiny.” He paused, allowing the Regent to respond as he so inclined.
 

unmerged(17489)

General
Jun 7, 2003
2.475
7
Gripsholm Castle

"Material means are always necessary herr Loringen, whether you fight christians, pagans or heathens. Whether you preach in the cathedral or the parish church. God gave us the need for material means whatever we choose to do in the name of the church, and I believe he did it to make us willing to share our great fortunes with his church. Either the fortunate men are too few, or there must be too many among them who are too greedy to share a part of their fortune with God. I am glad that I am not one of those greedy men for we all know that greed is one of the mortal sins, and although my fortune is not as large as the wealthy dukes and kings in France, Italy or Germany I have always donated more than what was asked from me to the church and I will continue to do so until God chooses to end my days here."

"An example of this, I believe, would be the monastery at Vadstena which I financed volountarily and then gave to holy Bridget and her nuns. It is a fine monastery, herr Loringen. Have you ever seen it?"

Bo became quiet, pondering over what he just said. He had the dreaming expression of an old man telling stories about a time lost since long.

"I believe the destiny of Sweden is less clear than that of tthe holy German order, at least I cannot see it despite the many years I have lived in this land. Since I was born, herr Loringen, and I don't see myself leaving it before I die. The Swedes and the Goths have always been plauged by destability and civil wars, by diseases and incompetent and unpious rulers. I cannot see the lord showing us the way out of our despair at the moment, but I pray that my grandchildren will live in an at least slightly better and more pious world than I have, able to dedicate even more of their lives to what is really important when we walk upon this earth."
 

unmerged(17489)

General
Jun 7, 2003
2.475
7
Slottet Tre Kronor, Stockholm


"Any word from his Majesty yet?"

The sky was beginning to darken above Stockholm. It was only a few hours past noon, but the sun had already got enough of the cold winter and was crawling downwards. Large clouds spread and occupied the parts of the sky which had been abondoned by the light, and the people of Stockholm hurried to put their things together and get home before another storm of slushy cold snow mixed with wet rain was above them. The winter was late this year, or rather it seemed to have paused in the middle of its time of greatness. Normally in the middle of January, the streets were packed with snow and it was impossible to get anywhere. This was how it had looked during christmas too, but somewhere around new year's eve everything had melted away, and nowadays there was only slush and rain coming out of the open sky. For most people in Sweden this was a good thing. The German burghers and merchants could get out to sell their goodson the markets, the peasants could attend to church every Sunday as the bible told them too and the nobility could travel freely without having to worry about being caught in sudden blizzards. The beggars, those who survived the first hit in December at least, could go to sleep without having to worry about freezing to death or wake up with a pile of snow on top of them.

While the weather was lenient with Sweden, there were other problems in the realm. The peasants were complaining about the ever so cruel German bailiffs, the bailiffs were complaining about the rebellious Swedish peasants, the nobles were complaining about the king interferring too much in their business while the burghers wanted him to interfere more. The clergy was worried about everything, looking for signs of God punishing the country in every tax count that came in to the churches, greedily counting every single riksdaler looking for heretics. This was just a small part of the problems the royal council had at the moment, and to address these invitations had been sent out to the representatives for a gathering in Stockholm. The last answers were coming in to the Tre Kronor castle in January, but the highest rank and arguably the most important member had not responded; the mecklenburger king.

"No, my lord. I'm sorry but we have recieved no word from Lübeck." It was Hendrik Balke who spoke, advisor to herr Andreas von Schweikert, the keeper of the Tre Kronor castle in his majestys absence.

"Could the letter have been lost?" Andreas was a tall man, with an appearance which infused respect. He was German and didn't know a word Swedish, yet he had been assigned to the capital of this God forgotten country in the north as the keeper of the castle. Not that his lack of knowledge of the native tounge was a problem here in the capital with 40% German population, he hadn't met anyone who at least spoke some German.

Yesterday he had been asked by the regency council (a bunch of greedy and megalomaniac nobles mixed with a zealous clergy and serfs who think they have something to say) to host a meeting at the castle and he had accepted. He would have rather see them meet at some obscure farm in the middle of the forest in Dalecarlia than spreading their dirt here in the only place in Sweden with enough luxury to please any foreign aristocrat with any sort of self-respect. He had been about to decline, but his advisors strongly advised against it. It was apparently some kind of great honour to have the mightiest men of Sweden gather here, especially some Swedish guy called Bo Jonsson Grip.

"We sent two, my lord, with reliable emissaries, and the weather has been favorable. I doubt it"

"We cannot wait forever, it wouldn't surprise me if his Majesty simply chose to ignore the invitation. He only keeps the crown for the prestige of being a king anyway, since all other princes in the empire are mere dukes. Why would he volountarily travel to this... place?"

"So what do you suggest, sir?"

"We'll wait another two weeks for a reply. Then we'll launch the meeting without him. The sooner it's over the sooner we can start cleaning the castle and get back to normal. Damn, why do they have to meet at my castle?"

"Remember the honour sir..."

"Yes... that's right... the honour..."
 

unmerged(8054)

Captain
Mar 3, 2002
338
0
www.europa-universalis.com
From the neighbouring nations of Denmark and Norway, a letter arrives.

Onto Bo Jonsson Grip, Regent of Norway.

On behalf of my son, King Oluf III of Denmark, King Olav IV of Norway, I give you my best greetings.

It is no secret that the Kingdoms of my son and the Kingdom you serve as regent has waged many a war against each other. Neither can any man deny that my son holds claims on the very Crown Your Grace serves as regent.
But it is my true and honest belief that such claims should not be discussed between my son and Your Grace, but between my son and the holder of said crown.

Therefore I write this letter not to spread hostility and bad will between the Kingdomds of my son and the land Your Grace serves, but rather to open for talks of peace and prosperity. Neither I, nor my son, see any reason for hostility between the Danish and Norweigen Crown and the Swedish nobility. Any wars we have fought have all ended years ago, any blood sheed has been forgiven by the signing of peace treaties. In this spirit of peace, I, on behalf of my son, invite Your Grace or any man chosen by Your Grace, to travel to Vordingborg, there to serve as best the interests of Sweden, and to enter into discussions best carried out face to face, should there be ground to any such.

It is my hope that this letter shall be received in the spirit of cooperation and peace it is sent.

May God protect all Scandinavian lands alike.

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

Mettermrck

The Fuehrer of the Dance
69 Badges
Jul 11, 2001
4.816
3
Visit site
  • Magicka
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Galactic Assault
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Iron Cross
  • King Arthur II
  • The Kings Crusade
  • Lost Empire - Immortals
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Commander: Conquest of the Americas
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Ancient Space
  • Darkest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Diplomacy
  • East India Company
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise

After a week of residing and observing affairs at the Swedish court, Ulric asked for an audience to announce his departure. "I believe our lands are friends, and on this note I ask your leave to return to Marienburg. Perhaps in time, when the future we speculate of comes to fruition, I shall return and there will much that our lands may do for the other." He bowed low, his mind wondering if he would indeed return to Sweden at some future date.
 

unmerged(17489)

General
Jun 7, 2003
2.475
7
South of Korsholm, April 1383
Storytelling in the Wilderness


April, the month of recreation. This was the month when the ice was melting in the gulf of Bothnia and Åland sea and on the many lakes in east central Österland. It was the month when the meter thick snow cover melted and filled the streams with all the rain water of the winter at once, which made them close to overflowing. However, the rivers were used to taking care of all the water and God had made their banks high to take care of the water and protect the citizens. It was probably done during the christinization, Knut couldn't imagine God protecting the Finns before the Swedes came and christened them. The easterners had worshipped heathen Gods, and their lives weren't worth sparing. But perhaps God knew that some of these people would be brought christinaity by the pious Swedes one day and thus he wanted to spare them? He heard a boy's voice behind him just as he was in his deepest thoughts about this religious dilemma.

"Herr Knut! Herr Knut! Where does God put the snow during the summer? I asked Thomas but he said he didn't know!"

It was Jarkko, a 14 year old blonde boy with brown eyes and his voice went up to a falsetto like boys' voices in his age tends to do. He was the son of the keeper of the Åbo castle and Knut had told him to follow on the trip to Korsholm. He liked the boys company a lot, and sometimes it felt like Jarkko was the son he wished he had but never got. Thomas was one of the four knights, Knut believed. Knut unmounted his horse to get more on level with the walking boy.

"He hides it under the sea, son. In the deeps of the ocean there is lots of melted snow, and it is brought there by the streams and rivers. That's why the rivers have such high banks, to protect the christians against the spring floods."

Jarkko thought for a few seconds about the answer. Knut feared that he'd ask more, but apparently the boy was satisfied with the answer.

"Is it a long way left to walk? My feet hurts, can't you tell me a story?"

Jump up here" Knut said and lift the boy up. He wasn't a very tall boy, many girls of his age must have been taller than him, and Knut could easily lift him. He placed him in his own saddle on the horse. "Better?"

Jarkko nodded.

"Good. I could tell you the story about the brave knight Mats Kettilmundsson who made a ten thousand strong enemy army leave on his own and herr Sten who lost Landskrona and made Mats valiant deeds in vain. It's long, but so is the way we have left I'm afraid."

"Please" Jarkko said enthusiastically. He loved good stories.

"This happened during the Neva campaign, a Swedish war against the easterners in Novgorod, almost one hundred years ago. These people claim to be christian, but they do not answer to the pope in Rome, nor to the pope in Avignon. Thus, although they pray every sunday just like you and me, they will never enter the gates of heaven. The Swedish army had built a castle which they called Landskrona on the outlet of the Neva river but they were besieged. The fortress was impressive, around the castle they had created a large bank and on top of it there were eight towers, each one provided with loopholes. In front of the bank there was a deep moat with its water supply from the streams around. An impressive side indeed."

Jarkkos eyes seemed to turn inside of him as he tried to picture the great castle. His father had told him that the Novgorodskey had destroyed it, but he had never heard about anything that happened close to it.

"One day the Nvogorodskey in their stupidity decided to try to assault the fortress. With full power they attacked and it was a tough battle where they beat and cut, stinged and shot each other. The Novgorodskey tried and tried but every time a Swede fell there was another new and fresh soldier to take his place. When it seemed the Novogorodskey were breaking through after all, at the southern front where the regiment from Helsingland was defending, a young man with a cheerful mind called Mats Kettilmundsson summoned the Upplanders around himself to make a counter attack against the Russians. Two foreigners who had come to Sweden during the reign of Magnus Ladulås, Johan and Henrik von Kyrnén, joined him and so did a young man called Peder Porse.

When everyone were ready they pulled out of the fortress and went over the moat attacking the assaulting Russians. The Russians became terrified as they weren’t prepared for a counter attack and Mats and his men cut their way through the heathen scum so that many Russians found themselves sweating blood and the Novgorodskey retreated quickly. The yet undefeated Novgorodskey cavalry and the survivors from the assault, at least 10 000 men still, bided their time and their shiny weapons could be seen glimmering against the dark edge of the forest. Mats Kettilmundsson wasn't idle for long until he told Torgils, the marshal, that “- I want to challenge the whole Russian army before they bring me home in captivity before I can. If herr marshal allows me, I will wake up the Russians if they're sleeping.” Torgils reluctantly said yes, he didn't really wanted to sacrifice one of his best knights. Mats though saddled his horse and without hesitation he dressed himself in his shiny iron armour. When he was done he hurried down, mounted his restless stead and rode over the bridge with such fury that the hooves roared. When he reached the other side of the bridge he turned around and shouted up to the bank and said 'Live well! If God gives me victory you shall soon see me again. Shall I fall I’ll enter heaven!’. Then he cheerfully turned around again to face his enemy"


Jarkko looked at Knut sceptically

"One man against ten thousand?"

Knut smiled

"Yes, at least ten thousand. But Mats wasn't afraid, you can't be afraid in a war against heathens, son. He rode all the way to the heathen camp and let the interpretor declare:

- “Here is a man, you should be able to see him where he is on his proud horse; he is one of our best men. He has come to challenge you, a tourney about life and supplies and captivity. Whoever defeats him will gain his captivity, and this man shall follow the victor to Novgorod as the slave follows his master. But if he is the victor, his defeated enemy shall follow him in captivity to Sweden.” When the interpreter had presented the Swedish fighter’s challenge the Novgorodskey went away to council between themselves.

- Who may this fighter be”, they asked themselves, “who wants to challenge us?”

They looked at each other.

“They are sending a brave hero. It is sure that whoever dares facing him will fall swiftly.” Noone wanted to accept the Swedish hero’s challenge and Mats Kettilmundsson sat the whole day at his steed waiting to break a lance with the bravest man in the enemy army. But as there came noone he had to sit there in peace. When the sun began to set and no enemy had been seen Mats still sat on the horse. Not until the sun was set and the night had come he turned around and went back to the castle. The next morning the Swedes prepared to attack, but as they looked over the bank they couldn’t see any enemies anymore. During the night they had left. "


Jarkko was apparently impressed.

"That should've teached the pagans a lesson, shouldn't it herr Knut? But my father said Landskrona is in ruins today, how come?"

"Unfortunately, no. Mats Kettilmundsson and marshal Torgil left Landskrona when they had finished it, three hundred Swedes were left in Landskrona and those were under the command of a knight called herr Sten, a powerful, strong and brave man. Perhaps you think that three hundred men were a too small force to protect such an important stronghold but the victories against the Russians had given them such experience that they were deemed enough, especially as the castle now was finished and the food supplies were rich. The inside of the walls were used as pantry but they hadn’t thought of that the damp made them highly inappropriate for such use. Diseases broke out among the men so the men joined together and complained to Sten.

“Shouldn’t we contact the marshal and let him know about our misery?” said one of their spokesmen and continued: “I know he won’t take much time, and the first ship that can be sent after the winter will come to us with fresh food – living cattle, swine and sheep and he’ll also send fresh manpower to defend the castle and bring the ill ones home.”

- “We do not want to make the marshal’s heart cry, God can cure our problems.” Sten replied harshly, and that was the end of the discussion.

Weeks later they looked eastwards and two nautical miles from the fortress they saw a small troop of novgorodskey. Some people were getting timber and others were making poles that they put down in the stream. Herr Sten immediately ordered some of his men to mount and ride there to see what the enemy was doing. When the expedition of about twenty men approached the Russians disappeared quickly. When the expedition arrived noone was there, the lumber and some axed poles were the only thing they could see. The Swedes then turned and rode back to the castle, but they didn’t come long before they met a large bunch of Russians who blocked the way. Herr Sten and his small band were able to break through the pack though.

They rode a bit further and again they faced a bunch of enemies, this time even a larger army than the last one. A furious battle emerged but also this time herr Sten and his enemies managed to break through. The Swedish swords fell so repeatedly and close on the helms of their enemies that they rang as if they were anvils of the blacksmith and whoever in the Swedish expedition got attacked he skilfully unmounted his opponent. The Swedes then finally returned to Landskrona but many had been wounded, among them herr Sten himself. It was now clear that a great Novgorodskey army were outside the walls and soon the fortress was surrounded from all sides. This was May 19th, 1301.

Only sixteen soldiers still had their health, and herr Sten himself was wounded – how could it be possible to defend this extensive building against an army who could reinforce the tired ones with fresh soldiers? The Novgorodskey were soon over the banks and threw in fire torches into the houses. The fires reached a long way up in the sky and more Novogorodskey soldiers in uncountable lines rushed over the bank. The ill people were either burnt to death or cut down. Some of the knights escaped to the cellar and herr Sten was killed. Another Swedish man called Karl Hack had taken the clothes of a dead Russian to be able to join the others in the cellar, but was cut down by his own men who took him for an enemy. Those in the cellar were defending themselves, and the Novgorodskey seemed unable to reach them. Eventually they promised not to hurt the Swedish soldiers, only if they came out and they also did. Novgorod demolished the conquered fortress, stone by stone, and eventually there was only a smoking pile of gravel left of what had been the Swedes proud Landskrona”


Knut looked at Jarkko, and Jarkko looked back with big eyes.

"Thanks, a good tale! But... herr Knut... why didn't God help the Swedish soldiers as Sten thought he would?"

"I do not know God's intention, but perhaps he knew about the treacherous nature of the soldiers at the fortress beforehand, and it was for their sins they were punished. By giving up they betrayed christianity, their families and themselves. I can't believe they were treated nicely by the heathens, they'd probably been better off dying in combat with their honour intact and with a few pagans with them. Surrendering is a horrible sin, Jarkko."

Jarkko didn't ask any more questions during the trip, he seemed to stare out in the empty air, dreaming about once defeating thousands of easterners himself. A few minutes later he had closed his eyes, and although Knuts feet began to hurt a little them too he let the boy be where he was sitting on the horse.
 
Last edited:

unmerged(17489)

General
Jun 7, 2003
2.475
7
Near Stockholm, April, 1383

Approaching the Capital


Bo and his men had been travelling for four days. The roads between Mariefred and Stockholm were good, mostly due to Bo's own investments as he used to travel a lot between his residence at Gripsholm and the king at Tre Kronor. It hadn't been as much lately, for several reasons. For once, although Bo was devotedly loyal officially, he had become more and more annoyed with the kings way of ruling the country as if it was a German duchy. He had also become too old to make occassional trips to the capital and mostly relied on emissaries to do the work for him. The only time when the viceroy and officialis generalis of Sweden really went to Stockholm and also the reasons he was approaching the capital again this year was the royal councils.

The temperature in the air was at least 10 degrees, but still there were spots of snow in certain places. It was early April and although the temperatures were finally back to normal they had bounced up and down during the entire winter and the spring had just arrived. The temprature kept above 0 well into December and January and then the winter came with all its fury for longer than usual eventhough the late start until recently when the warmth came out of nowhere and restored the sanity again. It was as if someone had played with the weather cycle, turning it back and forth playfully. The priests all over the country had been speculating in why, and there was probably as many explanations as there were parishes in Sweden. Noone knew, but Bo couldn't imagine it being a good sign.

The first thing he saw when they reached the top of the last hill before the downhill road down to the city was the tower of the large domed church, which he had visited so many times. It was called Storkyrkan, the great church, and was built in 1279 shortly after the city was founded by Birger Jarl. Next appeared the Kärnan tower of the Tre Kronor castle, and then the city walls and the houses. Bo Jonsson ordered his escort to halt on the hill, and he expected them thoroughly before continuing down the hill. He didn't want them to look like hobos when they entered the capital of Sweden and the royal castle and he ordered them to straighten their backs as they walked. The guards noticed them from afar and Bo was let in the city without any questions. He went straight for the castle and let announce that he had arrived for the council.
 

unmerged(17489)

General
Jun 7, 2003
2.475
7

"Welcome herr Grip." Andreas said as he watched the man. God, he was even uglier than Andreas imagined him. Hunchbacked and wrinkled, what was this wannabe noble doing in the royal castle, really? "His Majesty hasn't arrived yet, and we haven't got a response from him. I reccomend you to find yourself somewhere to stay in Stockholm, for your stay might be long."

Andreas spoke with a supercilious voice, which Bo found annoying. The guy thought he was superior to everyone just because he worked at some royal castle or because he was German. It was a young man, thirty years as most. He should respect the elderly. Bo swallowed his pride and answered.

"That is unfortunate. Do you know the reason of the delay?"

"We can only speculate, herr Jonsson. We sent the invitation together with yours. However, it is a known fact that His Majesty enjoys to spend time with his father in Mecklenburg."

That's right, Bo thought. The king spent more and more time with his father and neglected his kingdom, he seemed to only want it for the crown. It was better than trying to make Sweden into a German backwater, but still it made for troubles during days like these. For a second Bo thought about the possibility to redo what he did in his youth when the king misruled Sweden. He pondered over possible kings, perhaps the king of Denmark would make a good ruler after all? He was a legitimate heir and the scandinavian countries would be much better off resisiting the German influence... people like Andreas and Albrecht... if they were united. Or a native king? But then again, he was old, much older than he had been when they showed up at the court of "the Mecklenburger fox" Albert II requesting his son to clear Sweden.

"Guess we can only wait then. Do contact me if you get an answer however. The other members of the council, have they arrived yet?"

"I believe a few of them are in the town, yes."

"Good." Bo said briefly and then turned around. He wanted to have the last word, to show the young German who was the viceroy of Sweden and thus superior in rank. Bo went out of the walls protecting the castle with its main tower called Kärntornet, as fast as his old body allowed him, and then down the streets towards the house he owned in Stockholm. A large house in the south of the island city, he had half-bought it half-recieved it as a reward for "excellent judgement" from the crown as the viceroy along with the officialis generalis title. A bribe, of course, but he didn't mind bribes. Bribes were every day business and noone really thought of it as bad
 

unmerged(8054)

Captain
Mar 3, 2002
338
0
www.europa-universalis.com

Jakob Gertsen had fullfilled all his ambitions. Serving as archbishop of Lund and primate of Denmark was the highest position he could realisticly hope to attain, and he harboured no regrets that the seat of cardinal was closed to him. These days, cardinals were mainly pawns in the deadly game played by the two popes, whereas an archbishop, especially of a country so distant from either Avignon or Rome as Denmark, was a pretty safe position. If hardpressed, he assumed that he was pro-Roman, if nothing else then because Urban VI had approved his appointment to office, and Clement had not. But he would far rather not remind either pope of his existence. He was uncertain which pope held Heavenly mandate, and dared not risk an excommunication from either, the likely result if he were to declare for one to publicly, just in case he choose the side not favoured by God.

But now the peace of his archbishopric seat was threathened. Not by messengers sent from Rome or Avignon, and not by the decres of Margrethe or the threath of war, but by a simple, mute man called Jens, who had collapsed on the floor of his cathedral.

There were so many things wrong with the letter thus delivered. It was written in latin, true, and that meant it was not a trap laid by any common man. But if Peter of Skara had indeed had a vision, who had he not contacted Henrik Karlsson of Uppsala, primate of Sweden, his direct superior? Who was the letter written in such a hurry, and sent by a mute men, instead of a normal courier? Who would Peter Kristiansson keep their meeting a secret?
Despite his normal lack of further ambitions, Jakob was intrigued. He dreamt of adding Skara to the bishoprics ruled from Lund, thus strengthening his power. Such was dangerous and nothing he would have considered under normal circumstances, but this letter was far from normal.
What was the vision Peter spoke of? The religious future of Scandinavia could only speak of the schism, and that was dangerous ground to thread... but Jakobs curiosity and, he had to admit, at least to himself, greed, defeated his nervousness. And thus was it that Jakob Gertsen, archbishop of Lund, catholic primate of Denmark, found himself in Falköping, waiting to be contacted by Peter Kristiansson. He had come alone, but had left word with two of his most trusted priests about his whereabouts, had left the letter with one of them, and had left Jens imprisoned, though under good conditions. If this was a trap, a possibility he had difficulties imagining, at least he had left clues behind.
 

Hawkeye1489

Defensor Fidei et Ecclesiae
18 Badges
Jul 28, 2004
533
27
  • Diplomacy
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • 500k Club
  • 200k Club
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Deus Vult
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne

URBANUS SEXTUS, EPISCOPUS, SERVUS SERVORUM DEI, SANCTUS ECCLESIA SUECIA

UNTO THE BELOVED HENRICUS CAROLI, PRIMATE OF SWEDEN



My Dearly Beloved Brother in Christ. I have received your letter, and it warms my heart that such a holy man has come to take the throne of the Primate of Sweden. You will be justly rewarded in the Kingdom of God.

As to the other portions of your request, I direct you to Patronus Suecia for the latest on Birgitta Birgersdotter.

I, as Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church and a Brother in the Service of Christ forgive all Catholics of Sweden for the reign of the former Primate of Sweden.

Also, as Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, do so hereby grant you the Blessing of returning the Church of Sweden to its rightful place in the Union of Christ.

The Coffers of the States of the Church will be audited and a dutiful payment will be sent to the Church of Sweden for their endeavors in ending the Ways of Satan, and bringing Sweden back into the Union of Christ. Go in Peace.

Signed in Rome in this Year of Our Saving Lord, One Thousand, Three Hundred and Eighty-Four, in the Sixth Year of His Glorious Pontificate
.
 

unmerged(17489)

General
Jun 7, 2003
2.475
7
Uppsala

Henrik read the letter, and obviously pleased with the response from Rome a smile appeared on his dry lips.

"Eximius" he said quietly to himself and made the cross sign over his chest. "Dei Gratia"
 

unmerged(17489)

General
Jun 7, 2003
2.475
7
February 1384

Confessions in the Night – Part 1

It was late night when the archbishop of Lund hurried over the cemetery towards the small church of Falköping. An anonymous man had whispered to him that who he was looking for was there. The night was dark and quiet, the moon could smile at him free of any dark clouds preventing it. The normal light blue colour during the day was replaced with a darker blue colour penetrated with a million stars and the large blue full moon like holes where the light of the day and heaven could still spread its light over the dark earth. The light was reflected in the white snow that covered the ground and the tombstones and gave the whole cemetery and the house of God a spooky appearance. He knocked on the door and waited. Glad that he could leave the unchristian night and enter the safety of the church and the warmth of His embrace any time soon. Noone opened though, and the archbishop gave the large wooden door a new, harder knock. How odd, he thought. It wasn’t that late into the night after all. He tried the door handle and it moved, opening the door and leaving a narrow opening between it and the doorpost. He slowly pulled the door further and entered the “vestibule” of the church.

It was as quiet as outside, but candles lit up the room and gave it a friendlier and more pleasant appearance. He continued and made his way through the room and into the church aisle between the benches. At a first glance the room seemed empty, but as his look wandered towards the altar he noticed the monk who kneeled before it with his hands in prayer. The monk had a brown cloak drawn up above his head. As the archbishop got closer he heard a constant monotoned mumbering, the monk was repeatedly chanting something. The chanting contributed to the pressing atmosphere there. The archbishop wondered whether it was because of the difference in height compared to his own cathedral at home in Lund. This Swedish church was so small, could God really fit within its walls?

“… Pater noster, dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Pater noster, dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Pater noster, dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Pater noster, dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitori...”

When the archbishop coughed discretely the monk turned around as if something had scared him. The appearance of the man first surprised him. Wasn’t this man supposed to be Danish? From another country? To be such an alien the bishop of Skara thought he looked very normal and human. Soon the surprise turned into fear. The man was wearing his normal outfit, was he insane? Terrified he thought of everyone who must’ve noticed the high church official’s visit to Falköping and curiously wondered what he was doing here. The bishop swore inside himself, despite being in God’s house.

“Excuse me, I’m looking for the bishop of Skara. He is said to be in this town.”

Worried, Peter thought about how many times the archbishop could’ve asked that question to stranger persons and thus revealing both Peter’s presence in the town as well as why he had come here. Hadn’t Peter asked him to arrive discretely?

”Come, please come” he said with a slightly stressed look at his face while looking around himself making sure noone was there spying on them.

”This way”, he said and rose from his kneeling position in front of God’s altar.

He hurried through the church aisle and into a room below the place where the priest always preached during the Sunday mornings, constantly watching behind his back making sure the archbishop followed him. The whole situation was far from what the archbishop must’ve expected, the monk spoke to him like an equal! Yet it was something with the worried look on his face that prevented the archbishop from telling him off. He was lead into a small room, even smaller than the vestibule he entered through. It was disconnected from the main room by a door and a thin piece of cloth hanging from the ceiling. The archbishop looked like he was about to open his mouth but the monk dared to hush him, constantly motioning the archbishop to get in with his hand. When he had entered the room the monk looked out to make sure noone followed them, and then he closed it. When the door was totally shut he finally seemed to relax and turned his face towards the Danish archbishop.

”Honoured Father, welcome to Falköping. My name is Peter, Peter Kristiansson, and I’m the bishop of Skara.”
 
Last edited:

unmerged(8054)

Captain
Mar 3, 2002
338
0
www.europa-universalis.com

Confessions in the Night

Jakob Gertsen had arrived in Falköping just two days ago, expecting to be greeted by Peter Kristiansson and given luxurious rooms at a monastry. But his welcome had turned out to be quite different.
First of all, noone had seen to be expecting him. The monks of the local monastry had looked rather surprised when he showed up, and had with obvious curiosity asked his name and business. His clothing announced him a high-ranking member of the church, but his face was not recognised. This was Jakobs first clue that something very strange was going on.
So Jakob had decided not to give his full name and title, merely introducing himself as brother Jacobis, travelling from Lund to see the bishop of Skara.
That had earned him the second questioning look of the conversation. It quickly became obvious that the monsk of at least this monastry didn't even knew that the bishop was in town, and his announcement of his goal had been meet with polite instructions about which roads to travel to reach his goal.
As a brother in Christ, the monks were off course pleased to offer their hospitality, but under far more humble conditions than Jakob had imagined. Still, despite his years as archbishop, Jakob Gertsen remembered his lowly beginnings, and was not offended. He had after all decided not to give himself further away, and on his second day, he did not even wear his official clothing.
That had not fooled the man who just happened to bump into him when leaving mass that day. "The church, this night", the stranger had whisered, and then disappeared. And at the next meal, Jakob had not seen the men in the monastry. It was very possible he was not even a monk...

Jakob shook his head and banished the thoughts. Now, in front of him stood, as promised, Peter Kristiansson of Skara.
"I am, as you proparbly know, Jakob Gertsen of Lund. No need to kiss my ring, my son." Peter had shown no intention to do so, but Jakob felt no harm was done in reminding the bishop that he was, after all, a superior within the Holy Mother Church. Jakob also choose to speak in slow Danish, which should be understandable to a Swede, and to use his Scandinavian name rather than a latin version.
"Brother in Christ, why this masquarede? You wrote of strange omens and visions sent by God. Tell me, my son, have God shown you a danger to christianity in Scandinavia?" ...and why reveal these visions to me and not my colleague in Uppsala... he did carefuly not add, allowing Peter to come to this on his own terms.
 

unmerged(17489)

General
Jun 7, 2003
2.475
7
Stockholm, November 1383



Royal Council - Anno Domini 1383

Part 1

The atmosphere in the hall was free and easy, but at the same time most people knew the importance of the council which were to start soon and were pressed by it. For people like Bo Jonsson Grip who had been viceroy for the whole life of some people in the room it was nothing and he cheered and ate and drunk as much as his elderly body allowed him to. For others, like Laurens of Aspenäs it was the first time. He sat in a corner together with the bishop of Strängnäs and spoke quietly about the new archbishop who had entered his services yesterday with a formal ceremony in the Stockholm cathedral. He was a modest guy, but not overly quiet and associal. Rather, he seemed to speak when he found it necessary to speak and when he had something to say and else he shut his mouth. The conversation was made in two languages, the nobleman spoke German and the bishop latin. It was the same all over the hall, although since a lot of nobles hadn't been taught latin they gave the clergy a nervous smile, scratched their head and left when they were spoken to.

The king gave a sign with his hand to the lord of the Tre Kronor caste and the music and celebrations stopped. The lords looked confused at each other and towards the musicians. Andreas von Schweikert let the trumpeter give a loud signal that almost made every single man in the room deaf, and then he announced in German with a loud voice.

"By His Majesty Abrecht von Mecklenburg, King of Sweden, the son of the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and of the Count of Rostock's will, the royal council is allowed to open! This way please, gentlemen."

The nobles still looked at eachother confused, the bishops and the archbishop began to walk ridicolously slowly towards the entrance of the council hall where Andreas had pointed, as was proper for them. After a while old Karl Sparre of Tofta wiped the beer foam from his beard, and the other nobles followed him, reluctant to cancel the festivities so soon. Ulf of Ulvåsa helped his father's old friend up to his feet and made a try to lead him towards the door but Bo got rid of his arm. He told Ulf that he definately didn't need any help, and then he began to stumble towards the door. The small hunchback made the man look quite clumsy and Ulf went anxiously after him, wondering not if but when the old viceroy would fall and break all the fragile bones in his old body. Surprisingly the man made it through the door though and with a sigh he fell down in the chair closest to the door, on one of the two short sides. The bishop of Linköping and Tord Bonde flanked him and on the other short side the king seated himself on a chair at least five times as large as the other's. Albrecht wasn't really a part of the council, but he was there to monitor that everything went good and to influence the members. It wasn't rare at all that people who voted against the king's will were murdered under unclear circumstances a few weeks after the council.

The archbishop of Uppsala, who was at the meeting for the first time as he had only held office for one day so far, noticed to his annoyance that there were no free space for him at the short sides and thus he had to seat himself with the mere bishops and nobles at the long side. He at least got to flank the king's right side together with Laurens of Aspenäs, and so were the 16 members all seated. Andreas von Schweikert, the man who was responsible for the meeting and maintinence of the Tre Kronor castle sometimes laughed and sometimes cried as he watched the nobles and bishops walk and seat themselves. These people wouldn't even be allowed into the capital, let alone the main castle of it in any German duchy with any self respect he thought and snorted. He looked at the large and expensive tapestry that the king had brought from Germany and thought it was a waste of money and time, these people could just as well have their little get-together in a pig sty. If it hadn't been for the king's presence he would have rejected them at once, telling the guards to shoot them at sight if they ever approached Stockholm again.

When the murmur of the crowd moving from one place to another finally stopped, Bo Jonsson Grip spoke. He knew he outranked the king in this very moment, as the king didn't really have anything to say, his role was to listen. Later, Bo would tell the king everything which had been said at the council (that the king had heard already) and the king would be allowed to comment. Bo would then bring the king's comments to the second part of the council, when decisions would be made. Again Bo would have to go to the king and tell him what had happened and what he already knew, and then the council would be over and the large party could begin. The archbishop rose and blessed the council, in latin. Only about half of the members understood what he said.

"Holy Father, thou who gave us everything, hallowed be thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Let your will be present in this room and help us make the right decision. Let us not make decisions that benefit ourselves, but make decisions that benefit thy greatness and follow the words thou have written in thy holy book. And let us be lead by your wisdom so that the decisions we make will be beneficial for the future, rather than the present. Amen."

A quick amen was murmured throughout the room by the nobles, and before the bishops were done with their amen Bo began to speak the German opening words obviously impatient to get this over with. The quicker we start the quicker we can end. The bishops looked annoyed at the speaker.

"Lords of Sweden, descendents to Olof Skötkonung, we have assembled here today to decide upon the future of the country!" Bo looked over the quiet crowd seated. In a corner behind the right side of the king Andreas stood, the recalcitrant castle lord Bo had spoke with when he first entered the city. But there were only fifteen members seated, Bo thought for a moment before he noticed who was gone. It was Peter Kristinasson, the bishop of Skara. Bo was sure he had seen him in the cathedral yesterday "Does anyone know where herr biskop Peter Kristiansson is, of Skara?"

Everyone were quiet and surprisingly looked around themselves as if they'd find him in the room. Some people even lift the tablecloth to see if he was hiding under the table but returned up shaking his head. Nope, the bishop was gone although everyone were sure they'd seen him at least the day before. Bo thought he could see a weird flash of indifference in the archbishop of Uppsala's eyes but his face quickly adopted everyone else's questioning looks. Bo was sure his imagination and old eyes had tricked him.

"I spoke to him now, half an hour ago!" the old man Axel Pedersen Tott said indignant. Apparantly he had had a few too many kegs of beer and spittle flew from his mouth covered by the large orange beard as he tried to pronounce the words which he didn't do too well.

"I believe that was me, herr Tott" the bishop of Åbo said, apparently offended by getting confused with the bishop of Skara, even by a drunk man. Old man Axel got a confused look at his face and stared for a moment at the bishop of Åbo. "You were talking to me the whole time before this meeting."

"Uhm, that might be possible. Bishop as bishop, they all look the same.", Axel said and burst out laughing, looking at the other lords around the table to get support. Noone joined him though and he silenced quickly.

"Anyway, this is hardly a topic for today's meeting, and I'm sure our schedule's are tight gentlemen. Let us get on with business." Henrik Karlsson, the archbishop of Uppsala said with a dry voice. "Besides, it looks like our friend herr Tott here has got a bit too much to drink before the meeting."

Henrik looked at the king with the same bored look at his face as he always had. The king simply nodded and guards walked up to the man. Bo Jonsson Grip continued despite Axel Tott's loud protests. Andreas von Scweikert lowered his head, as if he didn't want to see the misery. Or perhaps he was praying that the meeting would end soon... Bo read the points on the agenda, slowly so everyone would understand. When he was done the normal buzz broke out as always where everyone spoke and noone listened. The writer desperately tried to listen to everyone at once at the same time as he wrote down what he thought he heard them say and decide upon. Andreas head sank lower down and he had now also put his hand on his forehead as if he thought he had fever. The only ones who were quiet were the king and surprisingly the archbishop who sat with his same indifferent and harsh expression as before. The meeting lasted for several hours and when the nobles thought they wwere done and had said everything they wanted to say they returned back to the beer and food in the great hall. Everyone except Bo Jonsson who went to the writer to summarize the things for yesterday's audience with the king and Henrik Karlsson who left unnoticed into the dark shadows of Stockholm city. When the others left in the morning after having slept themselves somewhat sober during the night his footprints were already covered in snow again.
 

unmerged(17489)

General
Jun 7, 2003
2.475
7
Stockholm, November 1383



Royal Council - Anno Domini 1383

Part 2

Bo's head hurt and his stomach was rebelling against him as he walked up towards the king's royal study in the Tre Kronor fortress. It was like this every time, he thought, dejected by the pain. He always drank too much and fell asleep on the floor, just like all the members of the council. The difference between him and them was, however, that he as the viceroy had to request audience with the king early next morning and spend the day telling the king stuff he already knew. He was comissioned to tell the king everything that had been told at the meeting, and then bring the king's opinions back to the council the next day so that they would come to a final decision. And he hadn't got better with age, he still drank as much as when he first had entered the council, as a young man with great plans for the future. Oh well, he thought with irony, if he slept on the castle he didn't have a very far way to go at least.

He spoke to the herald and told him that he wanted to request an audience with the king. The herald had worked on the castle a long time and knew what it was all about, the request was only a formality. Bo knew that the hour long waiting that would now follow was it too. Of course Albrecht expected him but as he was king and it was up to him to decide whenever the time was good to grant the audience he enjoyed letting his guests wait. People knew that the king was supposed to be busy with the viceroy this day though so any other tasks that the king had were never done on this day, the day after the council. But even if it meant that he himself would spend the hours in a just as unentertaining and slow way as his guest he enjoyed it immensely and Bo always had had to put up with it. He was prepared though, in fact he'd need this break anyway. When the herald left he went away and found a chair where he sat down and unrolled the scrolls with the writer's notes from yesterday. The letters were untidy, but who could blame him? It was hard enough to keep track of what was said in there alone, not to mention write it all down. Bo had learned the hard way not to trust the scrolls blindly but together with his own memory he usually got a decent overview that didn't upset too many of the members who felt like just their thoughts hadn't been covered. With focused eyes he began to memorize the tiny letters.

***​

The herald woke him up from his slumber, Bo had taken a nap when he thought he was finished memorizing them. He had hoped that there would be time to memorize them one more time before his audience but apparently the king seemed to grant him it faster than usual. I should know them anyway, he thought while he cursed the pain which went through his head like a lightning from an open sky as he rose. Groaning he sank back into the armchair.

"Do you need help, herr?" the messenger who obviously had misinterpreted him.

"No, no. I'm fine." Bo grunted and rose from the armchair with an effort from his elderly body but with his honour intact. His head beat like a drum but at least his feeling of sickness was gone.

He was lead into the royal study where the king awaited him like he used to. The blonde man sat on a throne even larger than the one he used during the royal council. With practiced gracefulness he bowed in front of the king, like so many times before.

"Rise, herr Jonsson"
the king said with his dark voice. "And tell me what has been said"

"Seine Majestät, Your Majesty" he began. He searched his memory carefully, since the king had been present it was of extreme importance that he remembered correctly. Something which he had found harder to do for every year that passed, he had gradually become more dependent on the writer's notes which he knew was a bad thing. He also sorted his memories, some things weren't really necessary to tell the king about eventhough he had been there to hear it himself. For example, Krister Nilsson from the Vasa dynasty and Ture Bengtsson Bielke had had a dispute about money that Krister Nilsson claimed he had loaned Ture without getting them back. Ture on the other hand claimed he had got them as a gift and that it was against God's will to demand money back that had been given as a gift. Besides, Ture didn't even have any money. It was a well-known fact that the Bielke dynasty was struggling economically. It all ended with Ture paying half of the money to Krister, quite a large sum anyway considering Tures Bielke's economy. The bishop of Strängnäs, most likely bribed by Ture, had been very upset about this fact.

"Unfortunately both Axel Pedersen Tott and the bishop of Skara were absent. First thing we did was to discuss how Sweden should manage its foreign policy in the future."

"Since when is that in the hands of the council to decide, herr Jonsson?" the king said obviously annoyed that the council seemed to gradually steal his power until he'd have nothing left. "I thought that was my office, as the king of Sweden."

Bo bit his lip. He knew the king would get annoyed when he said it but luckily he had already worked on a reply.

"As chancellors of the realm we were discussing what we thought was best so that we could give you advices, we were by no means trying to undermine your well deserved power your Majesty."

Albrecht groaned. "Very well then."

Bo went on. He knew that what he was going to say next would make up for their faults in his Majesty's eyes.

"We decided that the current foreign policy your Majesty has exercised.". As often was the case, the discussions had gone to waste and in the end everyone agreed that everything was okay and nothing needed to change, Bo thought. "and that we would be happy if your Majesty decided to continue in that way."

Bo looked at the king to see if he had any response to make, but he just motioned Bo to continue with a quiet and almost unnoticable nod with his head. His head still hurt, and with a sigh and effort he forced his elderly lips to form words. He tried to keep it concise since he knew this was as boring to the king as it was to him.

"We touched the matter of the German bailiffs too, and reports are still coming in that they are oppressing the peasants. The population is on the edge of revolt in the western parts of the country"

"The Germans will stay, I trust them herr Jonsson." A definite answer that Bo couldn't argue with. Bo wondered how much the king knew though, if anything, about the murdering of German bailiffs that never were reported dead. They were usually replaced with Swedish people who were both accepted by the local population and acted in the former bailiff's name. A system which wouldn't work forever of course, but the king hopefully didn't have too long left to live. He was only eight years younger than Bo after all, the Swedes had perhaps ten years more of him... top.

"A new chancellor was appointed, herr Algot of the Sture dynasty. And Ulf Karlsson av Ulvåsa is the new marshal while I stay the chief judge of the council."

"That's alright, I will not meddle in the council's affairs despite them putting their nose in mine.". As if he hadn't tried to influence those elections

"We'd also like to express concern about your Majesty's repeated absence. We'd wish that you spend more time in your kingdom, rather than with your father in Lübeck.". A bold thing to say, but the council ws powerful. This was one of the few issues where the council had gone against Bo's will, Bo would rather see that he spent more power outside Sweden so that the council could rule like they wanted to. A lot of the nobles found it inappropriate though and wanted a king who was strong and could solve the endless quarrels between the noble dynasties of Sweden and unite the country. He looked for a response from the king.

"I'll see what I can do" he said, swallowing his pride. Bo examined his memory again. He felt like a school boy in front of his teacher.

"Oh, and yes. Henrik Karlsson, the new archbishop, wanted more money to the church. He claimed that his predecessor had misruled the economy and that the church desperately needed extra funds."

"Misruled? Who was the last archbishop?"

"His name was Birger Gregersson I believe". Even Bo found it weird that the king didn't even know the name of the archbishop who had ruled the primate of his kingdom until two days ago, but so was the nature of a powerless king. He didn't care much about the internal politics of the country, and Birger hadn't done much except just that. Bo thought that the usage of 'misruled' by the archbishop was a grave exaggeration though. "He spent most of his time trying to get Birgitta Birgersdotter canonized, which he failed with."

"Very well, I trust you can handle the treasury yourself. Anything else, herr Grip?"

Bo spent the following hour telling the rest of the issues discussed. The taxes that always came up on such meetings as this one, the Eastern raiders and the nobles internal quarrels that never seemed to end... only to name a few. Bo noticed Albrecht had exceptionally much to say and discussed, normally he just listened and let the council do what they pleased... when Bo finally went out of the castle the sun had begun to set and the stars appear on the darkening sky. He immediately went down to Stortorget and across it to reach his house. His maid gave him something against the headache and then he went to bed immediately, embracing himself into the warmth of the house and the sheet. It was only five hours after noon when Bo fell asleep and snored heavily.
 

Mettermrck

The Fuehrer of the Dance
69 Badges
Jul 11, 2001
4.816
3
Visit site
  • Magicka
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Galactic Assault
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Iron Cross
  • King Arthur II
  • The Kings Crusade
  • Lost Empire - Immortals
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Commander: Conquest of the Americas
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Ancient Space
  • Darkest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Diplomacy
  • East India Company
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise

In perhaps a bit more haste than the previous visit, Ulric von Loringen once more arrives at the Swedish court, this time with an important missive for Bo Jonsson Grip.

zum Seine Majestät, Albrecht von Mecklenburg, und Seine Exzellenz, Bo Jonsson Grip

My envoy tells me of your pragmatic and friendly stance towards our Order's cause. It is perhaps unfortunate that a need to draw upon your friendship draws nigh. The Liths, in their pagan ignorance, refuse a just settlement to the issue of Samogitia. Therefore, it comes to war to bring this matter to a close. We humbly request Swedish aid for our cause. Your funds would do much to advance the cause of Christianity in the Baltic region, and ensure that no pagan ever sees the shores of the Baltics again.

May you continue to find peace in Our Lord,


Konrad III Zollner von Rothstein
Hochmeister, Der Deutscher Orden
 
Jul 28, 2003
18
0
Visit site
Encyclical letter: Idolatria Est




In the name of the holy & undivided Trinity, Father & Son & Holy Ghost. Amen.



Clement, Bishop, Servant of the Servants of God; to his Venerable Brethren, the Patriarchs, the Primates, the Archbishops & the Bishops & other ordinaries in Peace and Communion with the Apostolic See; & likewise to all the faithful believers in the One True Church, Universal & Apostolic, these chosen ones of God, who are subject to Us as to Peter, the one & only shepherd appointed by Christ to become the head of His mystical body: Greetings & Apostolic Benediction.



Idolatry is vanity, idolatry is a lie, idolatry is wind and chaos, idolatry is sin. But idolatry is not so much a sin that makes salvation impossible, but rather a symptom of a deep deviation from the ways of the Lord God. Therefore the sin of idolatry of those miserable souls who start to pay reverence to a dead man or woman whose ability to successfully intercede or to channel miracles is not fully and sufficiently proven -- thus it is doubtful if the Lord God holds them in a special grace or not -- is but a symptom of a sin much worse.

We are greatly saddened indeed, for We have learnt from very reliable sources that there are some communities in the Northern Kingdoms, especially in the realm of Sweden, which have started to publicly pay reverence to that Venerable Bridget of Sweden, erecting altars and painting images in her honour, despite the fact that the Venerable one is not yet declared beatified by the Holy See, this way falling in the sin of idolatry, a symptom of their excommunicating sin of schism.

Therefore We herewith order, charge and command all of you to stop venerating that Bridget publicly; for such a veneration is in fact an offense against the Venerable one herself and the Lord God. We order, charge and command you to have any altars or images consecrated in her honour torn down -- though only in a proper and respectful manner, paying respect to the Venerable Bridget, who is greatly saddened to see her people being severed from the Mystical Body of Christ.

However, since We do understand that the sin of some came not because they were seduced by the Deceiver, but was rather due to a divinely inspired, if naive, enthusiasm, which is most certainly a sign of special divine grace; and also since the Venerable Bridget’s saintly lifestyle and other virtues are well-known to Us, We have decided to take special care of her beatification, hastening the process as much as We can.

Furthermore, seeing that the Universal Church is in truly a miserable state in the Kingdom of Sweden -- which sorrowful turn of events is due to the misdeeds of that Benedict, son of Gregory, former Archbishop of Uppsala --, wishing to help Our venerable brother the Archbishop Henry of Uppsala, We herewith declare that the Archbishop of Uppsala has the right to collect the tithe in all Sweden; and that the tithe he may collect as coins; and that the nobles of Sweden shall have no right to withhold part of the tithe for any reason, neither the King shall do so, it shall be only the Archbishop of Uppsala to decide what to do with it. We shall pray these measures will be sufficient enough to restore the former glory of the Church of Sweden.​

Given in Avignon, in the Year of the Incarnation of Our Lord MCCCLXXXIV, in the sixth year of Our Pontificate and fifth year of Our Exile.



Clemens PP. VII



 

unmerged(17489)

General
Jun 7, 2003
2.475
7
Stockholm, November 1383



Royal Council - Anno Domini 1383

Part 3

The members of the council were once again summoned to the council room for the second day of the royal council. Bo, who had slept all day and night was alert, but the rest of the people there seemed to had problems keeping their head high. Even the bishop of Växiö had had a bit too much during the festivities yesterday and the archbishop of Uppsala looked at him with disgust in his eyes. The members seated themselves around the large rectangular oak table, made two hundred years ago when the council had their first meeting under Magnus Ladulås. The king seated himself at the flank, watching over the table like a hawk. The atmosphere was much different from the first half of the meeting where everyone were eager to get their opinion brought in front of the king and prompted by the wine in their blood everyone talked at the same time. The persons gathered today more looked like they wished it was all over. With an authoritative voice Bo declared the meeting open after Henrik had blessed it. The bishop of Skara was still nowhere to be seen, although Axel Tott was there. Ironically, he was one of the most sober of the noble members of the council today, as he had spent yesterday in bed unable to move anywhere.

"In God's name, I declare the second part of the meeting open. I have spoken with His Majesty the king, and he has expressed his opinion and concerns about what we discussed two days ago."


"Concerning the German bailiffs, he has denied the request of replacing them with native bailiffs, and as we the council has given him the power to appoint anyone his majesty sees fit I suggest we accept this"

A dissatisfied mumbering was heard from the council

"Who cares?" said the bishop of Strängnäs boldly. Bo who remembered the definite look at the king's face yesterday watched him with a sombre expression. "The people are suffering under their oppression, I've heard that they rape women in my bishopric of they don't pay the taxes! The people are about to revolt any time." The council seemed to agree, many members worridly mumbered something to their neighbour.

So what? said Axel Tott probably more eager to gain the king's good eyes than really caring about the bailiffs. Especially since the embarrassing event yesterday. Bo knew that Axel secretely had put Swedish bailiffs in murdered German bailiffs places anyway so it wouldn't matter much for him. The bishop of Strängnäs was apparently a soft man though, and it might mean his death. Didn't the man see the annoyed look at the king's face? "If they don't pay the taxes they deserve it"

"It's against the will of God and spirit of christianity" the bishop of Strängnäs said angrily. "Who am I to expect the people to listen to the word of God, when not even the officials respects our holy Father's words?"

The debate was furious and the king watched it with suspicious eyes. He puckered his brow as if he was thinking, but Bo knew that expression was his dissatisfied look. He had been viceroy for enough time to know that that expression probably meant that the bishop of Strängnäs didn't have much more time to live. In the end, an open vote was done. Bo counted the hands iin the air as 13 against 3 in Tott's favour. The old man smacked his lips with a satisified smile.

"I guess that settles it, we will respect his Majesty's right to continue appoint merchants. Concerning the raids in the east and his absence from the royal castle he will see what he can do, perhaps we will even see support from Mecklenburg and launch a new full scale crusade against the eastern heathens who pillage our lands." Bo was aware that it was really his land as he owned almost every parish in Finland, but "our" would be a lot better wording to use. Especially in front of the king who didn't know much about who owned what in Sweden. The council members were pleased with this, generally the clergy and particularly the archbishop of Uppsala who probably would gain a lot of prestige in the papal eyes if such a crusade was successful. "He will get back to us."

"Further, I also told him what we are concerned about the high scutage and he agreed to lower it." The king had been reluctant, but the power of the council had convinced him. The Swedish nobles already paid only a fraction of what was proper in Europe. "We can look forward to a 50% cut next year, we've got His Majesty's word on that."

The nobles cheered, this would make them even richer!

"However, to compensate for a part of the lost income a new tax will be created to make sure that the king will be able to maintain his castles and his regiments. It will not make up for all of it though, so the total tax sum that we have to pay will be lowered but not with as much as 50%."

A lot of the members scratched their head trying to understand what Bo just said. He reduces one tax and creates another, won't that make the total taxes they had to pay larger? they thought. Bo wondered how many of those who didn't look like question marks faked it and how many who actually understood the maths. Noone said anything though, since their hangover was still too present and if they'd be wrong about such simple maths everyone would laugh at them and their reputation would be hit. Something which might in turn lead to less influence in the council...

The proposal still only barely passed the vote with the least possible margin, 9 for and 7 against. Bo continued to the boring quarrels that had to be settled, that was the most boring part of the whole council. The other members woke up from their half sleep when they heard that the boring realm questions that hardly would affect them anyway were over. Like wolves they attacked eachother with different accusations, and the discussions were heated until the council finally voted on the issues. Bo himself was accused of having hired the thieves who had recently stolen a respectable amount of money from Karl Ulfsson Sparre of Tofta. A ridicolous accusation, but yet six people of the council wanted to see him guilty after the discussion when the voting was due.

When the meeting was over Bo went home directly and fell asleep for the second time of the day. He blamed heart problems to skip the festivities afterwards, but the truth was that he had become annoyed with the politics of the council. He wasn't the young man who had usurped famrs en masse in the good old days, he had become old and was quite satisified with what he had. That night he was thinking about giving up his titles as viceroy of Sweden, officialis generalis and what not and live his last days on Bjärkaholm as an old rich man enjoying his life. He simply had no use for the council anymore and the new fresh blood outmanuevered him on the political arena. His family didn't have much of a future though, the incompetence of his only son had made him disinherited and there were no other relatives. In his will he had split his property between people he appreciated, when he signed it he had felt like he signed his own family's death sentence and all previous Grip's who had helped him build up what he had now cursed him and called him traitor. The richest man in Sweden fell asleep with gloomy thoughts and nightmares haunting him, worried about the dark looking future.