|Queen of Álengiamark|
|Reign||7th March, 1632 - 2nd September, 1666|
|Born||16th January, 1615 |
Litahrútaeyjastadt, Langaeyjar Fylk, Álengiamark
|Died||2nd September, 1666 |
St. Hafdiss, Álengiamark
In a long line of inadequate Queens Elin VI showed the most promise, and greatest disappointment
- Álengsk Historian Daníel Jóhannesson, Huus sum stiptis i mót sálfum kér geturr okk staðis
Succeeding Brynja II by common agreement in March 1632, 17 year-old Elin inherited an Álengiamark which, thanks to the strain of the First Mexic-Leifian War and the efforts of the Mayor of the Palace Reynir Óskarsson, was more united than it had been in centuries. She was regarded as bright, articulate, devoutly Catholic and effortlessly charming. Her father, Earl Aron of Langaeyjar had originally planned for Elin to be sent to Europe to marry into the Leonese royal family which would have, the theory went, help boost Langaeyjar's minimal overseas trading ability. The death of two Princes in quick succession in 1629 put paid to this idea and Earl supposedly reluctantly accepted the 'lesser' title of Queen for Elin. The fact he considered the role of minor princess superior to Queen of Álengiamark shows just how far the office had fallen in stature.
Earl Aron died a week before the coronation, at which point Reynir Óskarsson petitioned her brother Kjartan to be allowed to continue her education, and began to teach her aspects of statecraft which had been entirely absent from the role of monarch for centuries. Reynir Óskarsson was, at the time, attempting to forge a less-disfunctional relationship between the various autonomous statelets of Álengiamark, chiefly through promoting the long-ignored Althing as a crucial tool for justice, law-making and economic growth. In Elin he saw a perfect partner for his endeavours and she soon grasped that Álengiamark needed drastic reform. She could see the famine-stricken populace of St. Hafdiss for herself, a consequence of the war and the earls' protectionist trade policies. Reynir showed her that this was not the way things had to be; citing the riches enjoyed by Iberian monarchs, which was driven by a coherent trade policy and a cowed nobilty. Meanwhile Álengsk merchants acted on their own initiatives with little help from the earls, occasionally 'leasing' spaces in Iberian trade fleets but otherwise sticking to safe, trusted and less-lucrative routes, The nobilty meanwhile ran their own fiefs unopposed, rarely seeking recourse to the Althing. The Portuguese and Leonese ambassadors in St. Hafdiss needed no encouragement to boast to Elin how centralisation under the monarchy had made their own countries rich and well-governed.
With Elin convinced, Reynir deployed her to begin a charm offensive against the earls to compliment his drive to strengthen the Althing. Quiripiland, Ontario and the poorer southern earls were receptive, as were may of the smaller lordships already working closely with the Althing. Earl Kjartan dismissed Reynir's arguments however, refusing to give up any of his own power. The ties his father had made to Leon, even without Elin's marriage, was playing slow dividends and he had no intention of sharing this with the rest of the earls. Despite Elin's conviction that it was the right thing to do, Kjartan wore her down with his intransigence, cynically withholding properties due to her in her father's will, most notably her birthplace of Litahrútaeyja, until she capitulated. With Langaeyjar digging its heels in the other earls felt no urge to cede power either and Reynir's grand scheme fell apart.
In late 1635 news of the seizure of the gold-fields of 'Snjorjamark' (see Atsugkriga) by a displaced Álengsk army in far western Leifia filtered back to St. Hafdiss. The necessary arrangements to export this gold back to Álengiamark coalesced with remarkable speed and the 'Gullvega' would skew Álengsk foreign policy for a century. First the gold would be taken overland from Snjorjamark to the Missouri River. the Álengsk made deals with several tribes, such as the Shoshone, along this land route to help maintain good roads and keep the increasingly valuable wagon trains safe from banditry. At the Missouri, in Poncaland, the cargoes would be loaded onto barges and sailed through Aniyunwiyan territory, a mutually benefical alliance was concluded with Aniyunwiya to facilitate this.
The Ponca and Ní Btháska tribes had only recently returned to their respective lands having essentially fled from the advancing Mexic during the First Mexic-Leifian War. Elin and many others considered the route too valuable to leave entirely in the hands of foreign nations (unlike the Vinlanders, who had happily ceded control of their more northerly routes to Cree and Klallam for centuries) and advocated the annexation and colonisation of Poncaland.
The Álengsk army was already busy carving out the limits of Ponca and Ní Btháska territory and generally treating the area as Álengsk lands anyway. After a long and heated debate the Althing declined to fund this directly, considering the military presence good enough. Looking after gold shipments was one thing but looking after an entire settled Álengsk population with few natural barriers for defence was entirely another. Aniyunwiya was already grumbling about Álengiamark's weight being thrown about on the plains. Elin was undeterred and sank a small fortune, prised out of the Royal Domain and her own modest property, to send twenty-five families (plus three priests) to Keya in Poncaland to 'farm and multiply'. This scheme would never come to pass. The Ponca revolted in 1649, besieging the fortress at Keya. The local Álengsk captain was obliged to negotiate a less onerous presence and the then speaker of the Althing, Vilhjálmur Hlynursson, delivered a long speech essentially telling Elin, 'we told you so'.
At a stroke whatever political capital Elin had left evaporated. A falling out with Reynir's son Guðni soon after appeared to seal her obselescence. Still, she remained a vital figure in the social fabric of Álengiamark; the Althing was beginning to show the fruit of Reynir's work to make it a true national chamber and Elin would play host to the earls and lords, until the point they almost formed a separate but unofficial 'Earls' Thing' in the Great Hall of the Royal Palace.
Elin married twice, firstly to Pjetur Tómasson, Earl of Margirhaedeyja, and secondly Jakop Hákonsson, Lord of Olhakámartoby, however out of a total of 8 children only one child survived to adulthood. Dying in 1666 she would be succeeded by her sister-in-law, Gunndis of Margirhaedeyja.