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Nils
Nils Goth (The Kalmar Union).png
Nils
King of Gothenland
Reign 1st April 1424 - 7th January, 1437
Coronation 1st April 1424 (crowned co-king)
Predecessor Magdalena
Successor Karl VI
Born 23rd March, 1409
Near Ekebyborna, Gothenland
Died 7th January, 1437
Linköping, Gothenland
Spouse Isabella of Stirling
Issue Karl VI

Olaf
Magdalena

Full name
Nils Karlsson
House Tott
Father Karl Tott
Mother Magdalena

Nils was King of Gothenland for a decade in the early half of the 15th century. His rule did much to restore the kingdom's prospects and ensure its long-term survival.

His mother, Magdalena had already been promoted as the rightful queen over the incumbant, Catherine, in around 1415. His father, Karl Tott, was an immensely wealthy landowner and influential member of the 'Hook' faction at court. During Catherine's reign the animosity between the Hook and Herring factions spilled out into civil war and the Totts were forced to flee to Pomerelia. Magdalena was instrumental in currying Polish favour and Nils was guest of the Polish court along with his mother in 1419. Karl Tott would lead the fight back to Gothenland, leading to the desposing of the incumbant king Christopher. Magdalena was duly crowned Queen of Gothenland and Nils was crowned co-king in April 1424.

Whilst at the Polish court he had been betrothed to Kenna (Joan or Johanna) of Lithuania, one of Wladyslaw II's neices, though she would die in 1422 before either of them came of age. Following his coronation in 1424 he would marry and have three children with Isabella of Stirling, the daughter of James III. Supposedly given the choice between the plain but brainy Isabella or her beautiful but 'brainless' sister Margaret Nils opted for brains declaring 'Gothenland is in need of bricks to build its glory on, not great works of art to admire'. Isabella proved very popular in court; quick-witted, she did much to help the thoughtful but slow-to-act Nils bring his plans to fruition. Despite the recent convoluted politics he would enjoy a relatively smooth succession when his mother died in 1427.

The first years of his reign were dedicated to upholding and expanding the 'settlement' which looked to pacify Gothenland's political factions. Whilst his mother had mostly settled land disputes Nils took it upon himself to reform and enforce the legal code of Gothenland, filling the large number of vacant offices with trusted and uncorrupt men. It appears he was so successful in this that there was little to no call for the reinstatement of the deposed Christopher.

In 1431 Nils hosted an extraordinary meeting of diplomats from across Scandinavia at Kalmar. The main imputus was to solve the problem of Elizabeth of Viken She held Viken and Svealand in her own right as Queen and Denmark, Lade and Estonia as regent for her son. Whilst Eric VIII was recognised as the rightful heir in all those territories Elizabeth was stirring up trouble by attempting to unify the laws of all this vast territory. For instance Danish nobles grumbled that they would subject to Svealand and Svealandic nobles disliked what they saw as Danish interference over their interests. The discontent caused resulted in the great magnates of the entire realm forcing Elizabeth into negotiation. Nils skillfully offered up the city of Kalmar as a neutral mid-way venue for the discussions. He had a vested interest as it was; not only was the discontent spilling out over into Hordaland and Gothenland but he felt Gothenland was now surrounded: the more friends he could make in the Estridsson lands the better.

Hosting the month-long discussions proved expensive but more than worth it. Elizabeth and Eric walked away with the succession secured; albeit just a union of crowns rather than a monolithic kingdom and Elizabeth would soon abdicate in favour of her son in the Danish half of the union, whilst Hordaland and Gothenland agreed to underwrite this deal. In return they had their respective lands guaranteed by Denmark and Svealand. In effect Nils received a blanket agreement that Gothenland's land in Prussia was an integral part of Gothenland and would be defended by Denmark and Svealand if it came to it. Hordaland received a similar guarantee to its land in Britannia. A treaty was signed by all attendant parties and the 'Kalmar Union', as it would be later called, was born.

The agreement would make Gothenland bolder in challenging both the Teutonic Knights and Poland but initially Nils looked simply to secure the lands he had currently. The Hussite armies which Poland had used to help Magdalena were now (mostly) being used against the Teutonic Knights, however they frequently made raids into Pomerelia, raids which Wladyslaw II either tacitly endorsed or turned a blind eye to. Nils bolstered the defences of the Pomerelian towns under Gothenlandic control and spent much of 1432-33 in the duchy reforming its governance and militia. Wladyslaw would die in 1434 removing a powerful block on Gothenland's ambition and effectively halting the war against the Knights. This forced the Hussites back into Pomerelia, Pomerania and Sorbia almost overwhelming Nils' defences. Assistance would come from the Imperial forces attempting to wrest back Bohemia from the Hussites and an Imperial army under Joanna of Wantzenau essentially crushed the Polish Hussites at Jantar in 1435. Nils eagerly loaned her a considerable contingent of Pomerelian pikemen to help relieve Sorbia and undermine Polish influence over the Hussites.

Nils would die in 1437 and he was succeeeded by his eldest son Karl VI.

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