|Queen of Álengiamark|
|Reign||February, 1239 - 1st July, 1281|
|Born||c. 1227 |
Kispokotha?, Youghiogh, Aniyunwiya
|Died||1st July, 1281 |
Kálcovur, Margirhaedeyja, Álengiamark
After Edoha's seemingly unstoppable armies conquered Álengiamark the country was not automatically absorbed into his spreading empire as Erie or the varous Unami tribes had been. While Adalbjorg I was imprisoned it appears some of the defeated Álengsk nobles paid homage to Edoha outside the gates of the still smoldering St. Hafdiss in early 1239. They hoped no doubt to retain their lands and as other tribes had done tried to convince Edoha that they could successfully control the conquered areas on his behalf. Edoha humoured them, taking hostages and then placing his then youngest daughter, Atamaja, on the Álengsk throne 'to mimic and satirise the Álengsk traditions'.
With Atamaja came a considerable cadre of Aniyunwiyan lords, mostly decorated and trusted cavalry commanders, who liberally confiscated and divided up the Álengsk lands without much thought for previous claims. Rather than diluting the nascent feudal structures however it reinforced them. As they were mostly absent on campaign the day to day running fell to bailiffs, often Álengsk, who saw it their duty to fulfill their master's feudal duties to the crown (or lose their heads). Inheritance in Aniyunwiyan society was not reliant on primogeniture (it was hardly set in stone in Álengiamark either for that matter) and as the campaigns continued into the 1240s and 50s the large estates divided into smaller territories, fragmenting the power and influence of the earldoms and further pushing the estates into feudal subservience.
In return Álengiamark was 'plugged in' to the huge trading network now appearing over Edoha's lands. Good quality wide roads were planned and laid out, primarily for the smooth passage of the cavalry which the empire relied on, but were soon filled with trade goods. The ports of Álengiamark were much more developed than other areas and Álengsk merchants captured a large share of the new markets. The nobility were not decimated either as many lords were put to use whilst Álengsk knowhow was used to build a considerable number of fortresses, castles and bridges all across the empire. St. Hafdiss built Leifia's first treadwheel crane in to a Flemish design, and it soon spread to most Álengsk towns and the major ports of the empire, a testament not only to the country's continuing conections to the wider wold, but also to the dominance of Álengsk technological power over the 'less-developed' parts of the empire.
While money flowed into the Álengsk coffers Atamaja made sure to share it with the growing towns. Virtually every extant town from the period has some building started during her reign be it a cloth hall or bridge or mayoral house. She did not neglect her own requirements either and a fine new royal residence was constructed at Kálcovur at which Atamaja resided in the summer months. Although uninterested in Christianity she recognised that much of her subjects were, and made considerable donations to the great abbeys and her reign saw the extension of many fine church buildings. This generally had the effect that while the chronicles are full of regret and sorrow for her pagan soul they also are full of praise for her wise and stable rule.
The actual total land under Álengsk authority expanded too. Adalbjorg I's Álengiamark was bounded by the Kanien'gehaga River, give or take Ontario. As Atamaja's Álengiamark grew wealthy it was slowly entrusted with greater authority over its near neighbours. The Tuscaron tribe had been given authority over the lands now mostly under the Six Nations but by 1250 they had been shown as powerless, Edoha simply sidelined them and handed the lands to Atamaja whose rule was proving much more competent and fruitful. Similarly on Edoha's death in 1275 many Aniyunwiyan lords in Nanticokeland and Susquehanockland chose to pledge their loyalties to the now venerable Atamaja rather than chance their hands with Edoha's bickering sons and grandsons now dividing up his legacy. Indeed some Álengsk saw their destiny now as reclaiming the entire empire for Atamaja, though she calmed nerves by keeping the state out of the civil wars now consuming her father's lands. So while she declined the uncertain chance to seize vast lands she had still doubled the land under her control.
This land and its owners were made fully answerable to a strengthened Althing. With Atamaja and the Aniyunwiyan lords in full control of the country the remaining Álengsk lords once again saw it worth their while to gather in St. Hafdiss to try and gain favour and influence at court. Atamaja was described as speaking a 'rough' Norse well enough for Danish merchants to understand and alongside a succession of supremely capable advisors kept the Althing civil and compliant. And with such a powerful army protecting them the walled and fortified towns and abbeys were 'persuaded' to pull down their fortifications. The centrifugal tendencies were, for the moment, restrained. The nobles themselves were often fighting as part of the Aniyunwiyan army in the continual forays across the Mississippi with little time for politicking, and their reduced estates made independent action more unlikely.
She remained pagan despite the best efforts of the Álengsk, and Vinlandic, clergy to convert her. As a result the church received little in the way of land or donations during her reign and the incoming Aniyunwiyan lords stripped the abbeys and churches of much of their previously donated land to form their own feudal holdings. Several of her closest Aniyunwiyan lords did convert, however it would take her successors almost a century to re-Christianise the country and restart the process of collecting land under the church.
Atamaja never married, though it is inferred from various sources that she was romantically linked to several Álengsk and Aniyunwiyan nobles. She had no known children and historians have debated whether she was or perhaps homosexual . Instead she adopted, or fostered, several boys and girls generally from noble families either orphaned by the conquest or made destitute by famine. By the mid-1270s she gave her favourite, Thorey, the title 'Princess of Álengiamark', effectively designating her as her successor.
She died in 1281 of an unknown illness and was buried in St. Hafdiss Abbey, which she had done so much to restore and extend, with full Christian rites. This angered the pagan lords considerably and in 1283 her bones were stolen by the Earl of Aldurskóg, reburying her at Kalkúnnvígi under traditional Aniyuwiyan 'Great Serpent' rites.