The Great Game IV

I seem to have been having a lazy week for this one. It does show an interesting mechanic, though: If vassals get sufficiently disloyal, they may accept offers from other kings to leave their current realm and become vassals to the foreigners. Of course, if you do this to a human player, it is likely he will declare war to get his land back. But on the other hand, where there is one disloyal vassal it is likely that there are others, and disloyal vassals are quite likely to refuse to give you any troops. So unless there is a lot of manpower in your personal demesne, it may be better to grin and bear it, bribe your vassals, and hope for revenge when it is the offender who has a bad king, or a young one. (All vassal loyalties drop by 50% when a new king takes the throne.)


15. ON SJÆLLAND (1112)

Now Eystein, who was the son of Olaf Haraldsson, had married a daughter of the jarl of Sjælland; and as the jarl died without sons, Helge son of Eystein was hailed chief in those parts. But Helge was very young, so a council of his father’s best men ruled in his stead until he should reach a man’s height.

Now in those days the kingdom of Denmark was at war with Germany; and as the Danes were losing much ground, and Saxon raiding parties were everywhere, there was little love lost in Sjælland for the Dane-King. So when King Olaf sent Dagmar his wife as emissary, bearing rich gifts, she found Helge and his council in a mood to listen. She spoke thus : “Now it is shown that the Knytlings cannot fulfill their oath of protection for their vassals; but there is a King in the North who has many warriors, and who bears your blood besides. Will you not swear fealty to him?” And as the Sjællanders said that this was wise counsel, Sjælland became part of Norway.


In the war with the Svear, King Olaf had been much to the fore in battle, and had taken many wounds. The most of these healed well; but where an arrow had pierced his leg, the wound would not close fully, and he often had much pain of it, so that he sometimes spoke harshly in council. Now one winter the King took a fever, and the wound became inflamed. And this was the bane of Olaf Haraldsson.

King Olaf was much mourned in the land; in his time were Jämtland, Lappland, Ångermanland, Finland, Nyland, Viborg, Tavastland, Satakunta, Rostock, Västerbotten, Österbotten, Jylland, Sjælland, and Skåne added to the Norwegian realm. For this reason he is sometimes called Olaf Finn-hammer. He also caused to be built sawmills in many places in the realm, and built the first road connecting Viken and Akershus, so that a man could ride where before he would have needed a boat. The common people had loved him well, although he was somewhat given to calling up levies.

Here ends the saga of Olaf Haraldsson Yngling.


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