The Great Game V

Yet another war with Sweden; I believe this was the last one, where I finally broke the AI kingdom’s power and made it merely a matter of time before Norway reached the coast. Nor was I the only one; all the human players had gotten to the point where their immediate AI opponents were dealt with, and diplomacy was starting to flourish. My immediate neighbours were the aforementioned kingdom of Poland, the kingdom of England, and the wealthy Duke of Flanders. Additionally, France, Bohemia, and Kiev had players of some importance to me as neighbours to my neighbours. In particular, the intrigue between England and France for control of Flanders proved important to me. The Flandern player wanted to shelter under the Norwegian army while he built himself a proper kingdom, giving me access to considerable wealth while this was going on, and for my part I was glad to see the Flemish coastline not controlled by either France or England. I had my own troubles and could not expect to stand up to either of those wealthy and powerful kingdoms on my own. So we both needed an ally.

YNGLINGA SAGA

17. ACCESSION OF KING ERLEND

Soon after King Olaf was dead, Erlend his son rode around to the Tings, making himself known to the people; and wherever he went the bønder hailed him King. Some of the chiefs grumbled; but there was no war over the succession, and this was considered an excellent omen for Erlend’s rule, for it was a new thing in Norway that a King should be crowned without war. Erlend henceforth held himself to be especially blessed in his brothers.

17. BAPTISM OF NYLAND (1117)

As soon as he was crowned, King Erlend began to travel around his domains to hear the pleas of the people; but as the Norwegian realm at this time extended far and wide, it took much time before he reached his lands in Finland. There he heard a dispute concerning a boundary; and as one of the parties to the case was baptised, he ruled in favour of the Christian man. At this the pagan, hight Matti Perkkasson, asked “If I were baptised, would the King have ruled thus?” and King Erlend replied “No, in that case I should have ruled the other way.” Upon hearing this Matti forswore his old gods, and took Christ as his saviour. At this King Erlend was most pleased, and gave Matti rich gifts to replace the land he had lost. And as Matti was a powerful chief in that land, many followed his example, and from that day the old gods were seen but little in Nyland.

18. THE KING CAMPAIGNS IN LIVONIA (1118)

Now when he was done hearing the grievances of the Finns, King Erlend decided that the pagan Livonians should be brought to Christ; and he therefore sent the war-arrow around Finland, and also sent for the men of Skåne to do him duty. And they crossed the Gulf of Finland to Livonia, and ravaged widely there, and forced the people to swear fealty to Erlend. And in this wise Narva and Reval were brought under the Norwegian crown.

19. WAR WITH SWEDEN (1119)

Now the Svear had been much impoverished by their war with King Olaf, and many of their best warriors had fallen. Still, Inge felt that his honour had been tarnished, and wished to restore it by attacking Norway once more. Thus he called his vassals to arms and marched upon Viken and Skåne.

When King Erlend received word of this in Livonia, he was most angry, and marched instantly to his ships and took sail for Skåne. He also sent word ahead of him that the whole host of Norway should muster for battle, for he had fought with his father in the first war with the Svear and knew that they were fell and fierce fighters; overcoming them would be no easy task.

King Erlend landed first in Skåne, and there he put to flight a large host under Andres Stenkil, King Inge’s nephew. Then he marched up Finnveden and forced the people to hail him as King. Meanwhile King Inge had been burning and laying waste in Viken and Akershus, but the people there fled to the mountains and refused to acknowledge his overlordship.

20. VLADIMIR YNGLING WINS HONOUR IN HERJEDALEN

Vladimir hight a man, who was son of Skule, son of that Magnus who was brother to King Olaf Haraldsson. Thus Vladimir was a second cousin to King Erlend, and the two were good friends, for they had often played together as children. He held wide domains in Hedmark, and when the war-arrow passed that way, he summoned his host and led it to Herjedalen, which he soon brought into obedience to King Erlend. Then he passed into Medelpad, at which Markus who was lord of that region trembled and offered to pay scot to the King of Norway; and this Vladimir accepted. He then marched into Dalarna and added that land to his domains. For these deeds he was greatly praised by King Erlend, who said “It is well that the Ynglings have such sons; the Svear will soon learn to fear the brood of Harald Hardråde.” And he sent Vladimir a good sword, and a well-made brynje, and several other gifts beside.

(OOC : The war continues; I believe I am getting the upper hand, as long as I can keep the Swedish armies from combining. They do tend to run once their 2000-strong armies come up against my 8000, but as long as I can keep them apart, not besieging me, I’ll rack up warscore enough for a really devastating peace treaty. I’m operating along interior lines on good roads, otherwise the AI would be having a much easier time getting its troops, and its act, together.)

21. FEALTY OF FLANDERS

Gaucher hight a man, who ruled in Flanders on the North Sea. Now this Gaucher was a very wealthy chief, and the kings in France and England both coveted his lands; but he would not swear fealty to them. So instead, when he learned of the great renown of the Kings of Norway, he sent to King Erlend for alliance and aid; and this King Erlend granted gladly, for he was pleased to have such a powerful vassal to aid him against the Svear. And Gaucher sent both gold and men, upon King Erlend’s promise to gain Gaucher lands in England. (OOC : Right, RP?)

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