There Will Be War: The Black Letter

An ultimatum! This war eventually became known as “The War of the Tapestry” for the complex diplomacy that preceded it; here is only the public end result. The first big diplomatic crisis of the game. The cause of the crisis is that the two eastern kingdoms, Russia and Georgia, had consolidated their power and begun to look big and dangerous, and in Russia’s case there was a dispute over the border with Bohemia. Then, to make matters worse, Georgia had become Russia’s vassal, forming a single huge kingdom stretching from the Baltic to the Caspian. Intimidating! Norway, at this point, controlled the Scandinavian peninsula and Finland; note that one of the demands is that the Finnish border be moved eastwards. We’d had some skirmishes over these provinces previously, which I lost, being much smaller.

The five most noble, high-born, and Christian lords: Einar Sigurdsson King of Norway and Sweden, the Wends and the Goths; Orson de Cornouaille, by force of arms King of Brittany and all the Spains; Agostino I, King of Italy, Lord of Egypt; Hynek Premyslid, King of Bohemia; and Konrad Billung, King of Prussia,

united by common faith and common concern into the League of the West, send, to their kinsman and brother, Dmitrii Rurikovich, styled Czar of all the Russias:

Greeting!

Whereas God ordains, for each nation and people, a rightful border;

and whereas, in their righteous zeal to spread Christian civilisation over the East, our brother Dmitrii’s servants have extended the rule of the Rus far and wide,

and whereas this rule encroaches upon lands rightfully given by God from ancient times to other nations,

we, the League of the West, hereby request, and require, that the Czar of all the Russias make good and repair the errors of his servants, to wit, in the following fashion:

Item the first, that the ancient Kingdom of Georgia shall be restored to its full independence under the rule of the Bagratunids, acknowledged as sovereigns in their own right, neither beholden nor liegeman to any other kingdom;

Item the second, that the ancient kingdom of Khazaria shall be restored to its full independence under the rule of the family of Crimea, acknowledged as sovereigns in their own right, neither beholden nor liegeman to any other kingdom;

Item the third, that the provinces of Torzhok, Onega, Vodi, Kexholm, and Kola, and all other territories of the Finnish nation which may from time to time come under the dominion of the Rus, shall be held in fief by their rulers from Einar Sigurdsson, who shall have the rights in those lands of bread and salt, seisin and land-tax, imperium and dominion, now and for all time forward;

Item the fourth, that the provinces of Zemigalians, Orsha, Jacwiez, Minsk, and Turov-Pinsk shall be held in fief by their rulers from Konrad Billung, who shall have the rights in those lands of bread and salt, seisin and land-tax, imperium and dominion, now and for all time forward;

Item the fifth, that the provinces of Vladimir Volynsky, Peremyshl, and Galich shall be held in fief by their rulers from Hynek Premyslid, who shall have the rights in those lands of bread and salt, seisin and land-tax, imperium and dominion, now and for all time forward.

If these reasonable and courteous requests are not met, we five Kings of the West hereby state that we shall not hesitate to regard Dmitrii Rurikovich as outside our brotherhood, and to make war upon him and all who stand by him with our utmost force, until he submits to justice and the natural order is restored to the world, or until we have all given our lives and the lives of our sons in the righteous cause of serving God’s Will.

We remain, your brothers in the True Faith,

X Einar Sigurdsson Yngling, his mark
X Orson de Cournaille and the Breton Seal
X Agostino I of Italy, His Seal
X Hynek Premyslid
X Konrad Billung

This demand was later moderated slightly:

Because mercy and love flow from the Father and the Son, the Kings of the West have been moved to regard for the many thousands, and tens of thousands, who would surely die if matters came to blows. Surely among the fallen would be many not in a state of Grace, who would be condemned for all time to Hell. Therefore, we will moderate our demands.

We are prepared to drop the matter of Khazaria, and also of the provinces Vladimir Volynsky, Peremyshl, and Galich. We must, however, insist upon the full, formal sovereignty of the Abghazian princes, and upon the cession by the Czar of his current dominions in Finland and in Lithuania. And moreover, if even these reduced demands are not met, and the League of the West is forced to go to war, then we cannot answer for the consequences; worse even than our original demands might then be forced upon us.

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2 responses to “There Will Be War: The Black Letter

  1. Pingback: There Will Be War: The Big Picture IV « Ynglinga Saga and other stories

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