And Rumours of War: Letters Home

The beginning of the great Viktorson/Torsteinson rivalry that appears as occasional comic relief through the rest of the timeline.

14th May, 1433
Cranston Manor

Dear Brother,

I hope this letter finds you and all at Jonsgard in good health. I write to you from Cranston Manor, where I am well treated; I can even walk again, though with a limp. Sir Richard, my host, has set my ransom at fifty marks silver, which is most reasonable. I therefore ask that you arrange a loan against the revenues of my Skåne estate, and have it sent across so that I may return home. I am most eager to see my sweet Maria again, so please do not delay to get the best rates; I’ll even pay a moneygrubbing Jew to get home swiftly.

Your loving brother,

Viktor.

7th August, 1433
Jonsgard

Dear Brother,

We are all well at Jonsgard, or as well as one can be in a defeated nation. The news from Tewkesbury field was not received well here, although we are of course glad to hear that you are still alive. But I am afraid you are misinformed about the estate in Skåne; that province having been returned to the Germans in the peace treaty, its revenues are not available for your ransom. Of course I would gladly pay it out of my own funds, but the Forced War Loan has emptied my coffers; and as you know, I was never as liberal as you – I am not at all eager to give any money to Jews. Perhaps next year something can be done, if the price of wool does not drop. In the meanwhile, I am sure you will be glad to hear that Maria is a guest at Jonsgard, since her own family were burned out in the German raid.

Your brother,

Torstein.

PS Maria sends her love.

December 2nd, 1433
Cranston Manor

Dear Brother,

good news! On hearing of my misfortune with the estate, good Sir Richard – he is of a cadet branch of the de Cornouailles, but a decent sort for all that; I think there may be some Yngling blood in him on the wrong side of the blanket – has reduced my ransom to twenty-five marks. Surely this can be managed from the harvest profits, or at the latest from the spring clipping? I will sign on a trading voyage when I get back, and pay you out of the profits; a landless Yngling must shift for himself. Please tell Maria I think of her daily. I wish you all a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.

Your loving brother,

Viktor.

3rd February, 1434
Jonsgard

Dear Brother,

I am pleased to hear about the terms of your ransom. I feel sure this can be made up out of the spring clipping. There is however some news that is bad for you, but good for me: As we worked together during the autumn, Maria and I came to an understanding, and we are now married. I trust you will not take this too hard; after all you have now been separated from her for more than a year, and a natural woman cannot be expected to wait forever. Why, if she did marry you after such a wait, you would surely find her a rather cold disappointment, which I can assure you she is not. In any case, as you are now landless, it would not be really fitting for a woman of such good family to marry you.

I remain, your loving brother,

Torstein.

March 12th, 1434
Cranston Manor

Please tell that gold-digging bitch – I feel sure you know to whom I refer – that Hell has a particular circle for women like her. As for you, if you want my castoffs, you’re welcome to them. A little tip: Pay particular attention to the mole on her right thigh, it’s very sensitive. You’re right, she really is a hot little thing, I guess I should have expected it. After all I taught her everything she knows. What about the damn ransom?

Viktor.

15th April, 1434
Jonsgard

Keep a civil pen in your hand when speaking of my wife. I give you this brotherly advice for your own good, since your hand is all you’ll be getting for some time. I’ve come to the conclusion that the wool money is better invested in something likely to bring a profit; ungrateful relatives, clearly, are not a good venture.

Torstein.

June 7th, 1434
Cranston Manor

Don’t worry about me. Sir Richard’s daughter has taken a shine to me – the old Viktor charm comes through again; too bad for you I got the brother’s share of that, you surely could have used some, or you wouldn’t be needing my leftovers – and the banns have been posted. Sir Richard has agreed to pay me twenty-five marks as dowry, so I’m a free man. I trust I won’t be hearing from you again.

Viktor.

15th August, 1434
Jonsgard

No worries. Congratulations on sleeping your way out of captivity; too bad that didn’t work at Tewkesbury field. Or did it? Just how did you get captured, anyway?

Torstein.

September 3rd, 1434
Cranston Manor

Couldn’t resist getting the last word, eh? I’ll let you have it, you’re last in so many other things, it seems fitting.

Viktor.

21st October, 1434
Jonsgard

Never darken my doorstep again, brother dear.

Torstein.

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