|Queen of Álengiamark|
|Reign||2nd July, 1529 - 1570|
|Born||8th January, 1502 |
|Died||24th October, 1570 |
St. Hafdiss, Álengiamark
Thorey III would reign over Álengiamark for almost half the 16th century. Her reign would see a violent reaction against religious plurality as well as war against the Protestant nations of North-East Leifia. It would also the real beginnings of a concerted Álengsk trading operation which would reach across the Atlantic.
Earl Tobem of Moheganland had seen the moribund reigns of Brynhildur I and Yrsa II and began grooming his daughter Thorey as their antithesis. His earldom ran alongside the wealthy Royal Domains and Sudervik and his family had benefitted from the good trading links in the area. His father, marrying deep into the Eiriksdottír family, had developed the earldom's capital Qunnubbâgge from a sleepy village into a wealthy inland port and built up a small but profitable merchant fleet which made regular voyages to Mexica and the Taino islands. Flush with funds, Tobem ensured the political wheels were greased; he made sure to participate in Quiripiland's wars to the west, make significant donations to the church and bestowed gifts on his neighbours. And, perhaps most impressively, he secured an Iberian 'prince' for his daughter's hand, a feat no other earl of his era managed. Duke Duarte (Álengsk-ised to Eadvard) of Lencastre, though not exactly royal, had good family connections to the royal courts of both Portugal and Leon. Due to all this careful preperation Thorey was seen as a perfect successor when Yrsa died in 1529.
Inheriting a deterioating religious situation Thorey quickly made moves to ban the printing and importing of heretical books, empowering clerical inspectors to work unimpeded in the Royal Domains and, implicitly, throughout the rest of the country. Some earldoms resisted this intrusion but the threat of excommunication from the church soon brought them into line. The weak Althing, now flooded with Moheganland's representatives rubber-stamped anti-Lutheran legislation. On the surface it appeared the Reformation would not find a secure grip on Álengiamark and Thorey was lauded at home and in Rome for her efforts. However texts still snuck in through the independent cities and Kanienmark, which technically was an Álengsk vassal, was soon to harbour a Lutheran majority as emigrés returned from Vinland. Quiripiland, splitting into two earldoms thanks to split inheritance, was riddled with enclaves and was awash with itinerent preachers who became adept at avoiding the authorities by slipping back and forth over the borders. Lutheran worship here blossomed in private meeting places.
Much of the Lutheran push in Leifia was down to Vinlandic assistance and relations with its Northern neighour were steadily disintegrating. Vinland had joined the Schmalkaldic League in the 1530s and supplied a token unit of troops to serve during the 1st Schmalkaldic War. Imperial banners captured at the battle of Mulhberg in 1547 were brought back by the victorious troops and Thorey spend a considerable sum buying them back for the 'Emperor's honour'. Álengsk ports found plenty of reasons not to allow Vinlandic vessels to dock and for a season Fjallasay was off limits.
Alarmed by how easily the two nations could slide into towards hostility Thorey and her contemporary Thorey IV of Vinland endorsed a peace treaty in the Ontarioan town of Fallegurdal which skirted around religious matters but confirmed freedom of trade between the two. Hostility was slowly replaced with a grudging rivalry, largely channelled into a race to map the Tawantinland coastline. When Iberian attentions turned to seize Taino ports in the 1550s the two nations carefully avoided each others' claims but gave implicit support to each other. Vinland would occupy the Lucayan islands while Álengiamark was given a free hand over Quisqueyanos.
Álengsk merchants had been visiting Quisqueyano ports for close to century trading iron and wheat for silver and gold, preferring the western ports which were friendlier to the merchants than the eastern kingdoms. European attentions on the Taino area had disrupted the Quisqueyano kingdoms however and Álengiamark was forced to ramp up its involvement especially helping in matters of war. As the 16th century progressed it treated the western kingdoms as client states rather than partners. This however came at the same time as Portguese influence began to infiltrate the eastern side of the island and, when Portugal claimed the island in entirety in 1554, war was certain. Eaduard attempted to calm the situation writing to the Portuguese governor of Verao and his cousins in Lisbon but his entreaties fell on deaf ears. Relations in Leon were more pliant however and, fitting into its own vendetta against Portugal, brokered a Leonese-Castilian-Álengsk alliance. Portugal meanwhile allied to Granada and made sure to harass Álengsk merchants, especially in and around Cheasapeake Bay. Nanticokeland, across the bay from the imposing Portuguese island fortress of Okracoke was reinforced, old forts refitted, whilst several new fortresses were planned (though never built).
The Álengsk navy was, predictably, a mess and in no shape to oppose Portugual's well-equipped and extensive fleet. Each earldom, abbey and city had its own flotilla (if at all), its own militia and feelings that this was Moheganland's war made a general levy of the entire country largely impossible. After Margirhaedeyja excused itself from any action, (it having no trading presence on Quisqueyanos), Thorey's government quietly acknowledged that Álengiamark would be unable to land a large army on Quisqueyanos to oppose any Portuguese takeover. Though Vinland did verbally give its support Thorey was loath to 'go crawling to the Lutherans'. It could however, as it had done before, supply weapons to its clients and cannon and muskets were brought south, evading Portuguese squadrons by flying ensigns of other nations. In the end however there was little fighting on Quisqueyanos itself. The division of Iberia into two blocs had alarmed the Papacy and in 1558 a Papal brokered treaty was signed. It effectively divided the whole Atlantic into Portuguese and Leonese control sating both kingdoms' goals. Meanwhile Álengiamark was handed the western third of Quisqueyanos, a deal which respected the status quo. The two native kingdoms now under Álengsk control; Maguana in the North-West and Hanguaga in the South-West, were quickly restyled Earldoms and just like the other earls they were allowed quite broad autonomy. Thorey made a brief attempt to subordinate them the Royal Domain but suspicions of the power being amassed by the Mayors of the Palace led her to drop the plan.
Relations with Portugal quickly recovered as trading rivalry turned to co-operation and Álengsk merchants were soon visiting Portuguese trading ports in Africa, stirring the desire to set up its own stations. Meanwhile relations with Vinland nosedived. Vinland had discovered Alkafuglaeyjar in 1562 and claimed the islands, despite this being part of Leon's zone as agreed by the Treaty of Quisqueyanos, leading to several years of naval clashes between the two. As a Catholic nation Álengiamark instinctively sided with Leon and its papal mandated claim. though made excuses for not actively pursuing hostilities with Vinland.
However, a general war could not be put off forever.
Leifian War of Religion
By the early 1560s the Lutheran presence in Quiripiland (and indeed Kanienmark) could not be ignored for much longer. It's leaders hoped to stave off oppression by adopting the same tactic used by Vinlandic Catholics; pledging fealty to the crown and Althing. Thorey and her advisors were unwilling to negiotiate however. Nor was the church, and the Bishop of St. Hadfiss Óskar Kristjánsson was particularly known for his hellfire sermons. One such would prove fatal as on 3rd May 1565 he was killed on the steps of his cathedral by a band of fanatical Lutheran. This act unified opinion around the country, a rare event in itself, and prestaged a brutal repression of Lutherans in Quiripiland. Stories soon emerged of whole populations of villages burnt to death in their 'heretical' churches, events which apparently did happen on the Six Nations' border.
Vinland and Passamaquoddia both sent notes of criticism over the level of brutality but Thorey'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. And as a result Vinland declared war on Álengiamark 'for the salvation of their brethren'.
Alliances quickly solidified and Álengiamark could rely on the support of its Catholic neighbours Erie, Susquehanockland. Both Portugal and Leon would also join the alliance though for obvious reasons would contribute little to the initial campaigns other than the continued harassment of Vinlandic shipping.
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 as Álengsk officials where overthrown.
Whilst Álengsk opinion was firmly behind the war a unified response was slow in coming. In this regard the early years of the war were characterized by Vinlandic attacks on Álengiamark's exposed Earldom of Ontario and here the Eriac provided the backbone of the resistance. To the east the Álengsk force engaged Passamaquoddia and Abernakriga directly successfully rebuffing atacks from the frontier. However the army was so disunited that a counter-attack was off the cards. In 1567 the Eriac would invade Hafsvaedaland but were defeated at the Battle of Vesteranní. Algonquinland joined the Catholic side but proved unable to distract the Lutherans enough to make a difference.
1568 saw the Protestant armies advancing through Kanienmark and took the independent city of Kaater, sweeping the divided Quiripi militias aside and eventually laying Kristjanaborg to siege (unsuccessfully). Thorey and her government deserve much credit in keeping the city supplied and arranging its relief but Kaater could not be recovered. Help was coming however. In 1569 a massive Portuguese army arrived in St. Hafdiss. Easily the single-largest force ever gathered in Eastern Leifia it dwarfed the Lutheran armies and was expected to make short work of them. Thorey and the Álengsk asked for the swift recovery of Kaater and then a push northwards to assist the Eriac in capturing Fjallasay. The Portuguese commanders were overly cautious and refused to do this however, appearing unwilling to leave the coast and the possibility of naval supply, planning instead to follow the coast up towards Eikland and only then pushing inland along the Breiderass.
While this meant it quickly recovered the areas of Wampanoagmark under Passamaquoddy control it meant it could not rely on the relatively rich farmlands of the interior and instead had to supply itself from the underdeveloped Passamaquoddy coast as it pushed northwards. The army was far too large and far too slow to be supported this way and soon sickness and hunger was weaking its effectiveness especially as the highly mobile Passamaquoddy forces refused a set battle. Eventually it reached the Eikland border but in a violent snowstorm was defeated by a much smaller but well-prepared Vinlandic-Icelandic army. Meanwhile the fleet which had delivered it raided the Vinlandic coastline, culminating in an attack on Isafjordhur but would be wrecked by powerful storms. This ended the last major offensive of the war however the conflict would not end there and would limp on uneventfully until 1574 when the exhausted parties finally agreed peace.
Thorey III would die in October 1570 with the war still ongoing. The succession was highly unusual for the Álengsk crown at that time as it went to one of her direct descendants, her grand-daughter Thorey of Atsayonkmark. The young Thorey IV would not follow her grandmother's example when it came to the political sphere however and the crown would lapse back into inertia.