|Queen of Vinland|
|Reign||17th November, 1560 - 14th November, 1579|
|Born||21st July, 1533 |
|Died||14th November, 1579 |
Láfingrvatni, Sud-Hafsvaedaland, Vinland
|Father||William of Hesse|
Asdis was the second daughter of Thorey IV and followed her mother's lead by pledging herself to the Lutheran creed. Her older sister Kristjana had meanwhile converted to Catholicism. When Thorey died in 1560 both sisters would contest for the throne. Whilst a European country may have simply relented to Kristjana's claim Vinland's throne was electable and at the whims of the Althing; an institution which had become thoroughly Lutheran during Thorey's reign. Hence Asdis was their preferred candidate and when she presented herself to the assembly in Isafjordhur and proclaimed her undying devotion to the faith they readily proclaimed her queen.
Her ministers pushed her to confiscate her sister and her husband's property but preferring reconciliation and looking to avoid the kind of persecution occurring in Europe by this point she granted 'peace upon her sister' as long as the family held 'peace upon the queen'.
It was a neat legal solution which was soon filtered out to most of the still-Catholic lords. If they wished to hold on to their properties they needed to show that they supported the Althing and royal family. Most did swear an oath to that effect and interfaith relations were generally good. Outside of Vinland this caused considerable upset however. In Álengiamark Lutheranism was becoming entrenched in Quiripiland, much to the general dismay of its earls, and Lutheran leaders there hoped to stave off violence by repeating oaths of loyalty to their queen.
This tactic would not prevent more radical members of their faith seeking more definite assurances and on 3rd May 1565, after a particularly charged sermon denouncing Lutherans, the Bishop of St. Hafdiss, Óskar Kristjánsson, was run-through on the steps of St. Hafdiss cathedral. This unleashed a vicious repression of Lutherans in Quiripiland which shocked the region with its brutality. Vinland and Passamaquoddia both sent notes of criticism but Thorey III's government ignored them. However public opinion in the northern states was changing and in October Álengsk merchants were severely beaten in Fjallasay. By the end of the autumn Álengsk shipping was actively blockading Vinlandic vessels on Ontario Vatn. Collecting allies and arming Wampanoag rebels, Vinland declared war on Álengiamark 'for the salvation of our brethren'.
Vinland had the implicit support of Passamaquoddia and Abernakriga, both Lutheran nations. The Schmalkaldic Empire could not spare men but gave funds and the use of the various Kalmar navies. Iceland meanwhile put its highly skilled mercenary force at Vinland's disposal and would be bankrolled by subscriptions levied in Germany and Scandinavia. It would soon pick up Kanienmark as an ally too. Following the Great Northern War there had been a large diaspora as Álengiamark turned it into a puppet state, however the Álengsk grip had waned in the years which followed and returning Kanien'gahaga would convert the small kingdom to Lutheranism.
On the Catholic side Álengiamark found immediate allies in Erie, Susquehanockland and eventually Algonquinland. Both Portugal and Leon would also join the alliance though for obvious reasons would contribute little to the initial campaigns. Vinland had already angered both Leon and the Papacy by blithely ignoring the Treaty of Quisqueyanos (1558) by claiming Alkafuglaeyjar, which Vinlandic explorer-merchants discovered in 1562, and which by right of the treaty should belong to Leon. This resulted in Vinland's navy, still small by European standards, finding itself frequently in clashes with Leonese vessels. It would be no wonder that Leon gladly seized the opportunity to declare war officially on the Leifian upstart.
The early years of the war were characterized by Vinlandic attacks on Álengiamark's exposed Earldom of Ontario but campaigns were stymied and rebuffed by the Eriac. To the east Passamaquoddia and Abernakriga were engaging the Álengsk directly and finding their arms unable to break through their neighbour's frontier defenses. In 1567 the Eriac would invade Hafsvaedaland but were defeated at the Battle of Vesteranní. Asdis for her part delivered fine speeches to her troops, sometimes wearing specially-made armour, and by usually calling on divine justice for the departing soldiers. Indeed she felt compelled to remain near her men and was in the vanguard at Vesteranní, praying throughout its entire duration in the small stave church by the town's eastern wall.
While Erie and Algonquinland's attacks could be contained, a much more serious threat was looming. 1568 saw the Protestant armies advancing and laying Kristjanaborg to siege (unsuccessfully). But in 1569 a massive Portuguese army arrived in Leifia. Easily the single-largest force ever gathered in Eastern Leifia it dwarfed the Abernaki and Passamaquoddy armies and was expected to make short work of them. Meanwhile the fleet which had delivered it raided the Vinlandic coastline, culminating in an attack on Isafjordhur. Both threats would be negated by natural forces more than Vinlandic tactics. The fleet would be partially wrecked by powerful storms meaning the only Portuguese forces to land in Isafjordhur would be those who were shipwrecked. Meanwhile the Passamquoddy melted away in front of the slow moving Portuguese army. This army was far too big to properly feed itself on campaign in the sparsely inhabited forests, and starvation and exposure soon began to take its toll on the forces. Eventually in a snowstorm it would be destroyed at the Eikveggur by a smaller yet freshly supplied Vinlandic-Icelandic army.
Asdis and her government of course used this victory to cultivate a myth of Vinlandic 'specialness', that God had favoured them. However the war would not end there and would limp on uneventfully until 1574 when the exhausted parties finally agreed peace, a peace which ruled-out meddling in each other's religious business. By this Vinland effectively allowed Álengiamark a free hand to repress its remaining Protestants as it saw fit. And relations between the states of the northeast were now severely de-stabilised. One of the many reasons given as to why the First Mexic-Leifian War lasted so long was the still simmering enmity between Lutheran and Catholic states and almost point-blank refusal to fight alongside each other against a common enemy.
While the war would essentially define and eclipse the domestic achievements of Asdis's reign at home Vinland was quietly booming. Her reign passed without a single famine whilst links to Scandinavia and Germany flourished thanks to the disruption of trade with Catholic Iberia. Culture also began to flourish and the growing towns and cities thronged to watch plays from native playwrights such as Hilmar Daníelsson or Eythór Eythórsson even Adalheidur Haukursdottír (reckoned Vinland's first published woman), all building on influence of Italian and German dramatists who had emigrated in previous generations.
Asdis would die in 1579. Her only daughter Snaedis would be quickly proclaimed queen.