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This timeline begins in the year 1066. But first, let's take a detour to Russia, where Harald Hardrada is. In his room, he is thinking about God and his teachings. He realises that he doesn't really want to follow the teachings of a religion which had been imposed on his people, he wants to follow the true word of God. And what is the true word of God? The teachings of the Orthodox Church ...
In this timeline he converts to Orthodox Christianity, at a crucial moment in time. But that's the first prerequisite; the first major PoD is the Battle of Stamford Bridge. So, what if a Viking scout saw the English Army approaching and warned the Vikings? What if the Vikings were prepared for the English under Harold? What if the ambush they set up worked?
Welcome to Av å Erobre, where you will find out what could and maybe would have happened...
The Battle of Stamford Bridge
See main article: Battle of Stamford Bridge (Av å Erobre)
A Brief History
1066 - Harald wins the Battle of Stamford Bridge and continues on to conquer Northern England and to fortify, waiting for William the Conqueror to strike. William the Conqueror, meanwhile, conquers Southern England, and prepares to strike at Harald next year.
1067 - William builds up and attacks Harald in the Battle of Birmingham, drawing all his troops into a pitched battle. Mid-battle, charging berserkers take on Williams personal guard and kill them, before moving on to William himself, who is killed quickly. Harald wins the battle, and heavy losses are taken by the Norman Army. William's incompetent son Robert succeeds him.
1068 - Harald begins to conquer the rest of England, becoming known as Harald Hardrada the Conquer. He quickly makes all the lords in England sign allegiance to him. His eldest son is sent to chase and destroy a Norman army group, which headed into a forest. They catch up but it turns out that it was an ambush set up by the Normans, and Erik is killed in the ensuring battle. This leaves Harald's only son, Johan, as his sole heir.
1069 - Harald conquers the remainder of England and solidifies his newly gained territories in England. In the rest of Europe, everything continues normally, apart from the fact that Normandy remains a vassal of France.
1070 - Harald raids the Norman coast. France begins to feel threatened more and more, with each raid. Harald now focuses on keeping all the English lords under his thumb. The religion of Orthodox Christianity begins to take hold in Harald's army as he begins to preach about the religion himself.
1071 - Harald convinces more and more members of his army that Orthodoxy is better. Soon, masses of men in his army find themselves converting.
1072 - Harald continues conquering the rest of Leinster. Leinster accepts an offer of vassalization and the coastal territories are directly ceded to Norway.
1073 - Harald sends Orthodox missionaries to Norway to help convert the masses, sometimes even making appearances himself, preaching about Orthodox Christianity.
1074 - More and more people convert to Orthodox Christianity in Norway. France starts a war against Brittany, wanting to increase its size in fear of being attacked by the growing power of Norway.
1075 - Harald is killed by a Catholic citizen who was angry at Harald for preaching Orthodox Christianity, leaving Harald's son, Johan, King of Norway. France continues to conquer Brittany, King Philip I sometimes making appearances himself to his army.
1076 - King Johan of Norway takes to develop Norway's economy and infrastructure. He seeks to establish his rule further in Scandinavia. He goes seeking through old books and scrolls, trying to find something to help him make a false claim to the throne of Denmark. France has almost conquered the remainder of Brittany, seeking to finish its conquest next year.
1077 - King Johan has found most of the files to falsify the claim, but it's not complete yet. France finishes conquering Brittany, and annexes it. In the rest of the world not much else happens, except that a spy from Denmark in Norway find out that Johan is trying to falsify a claim on there throne, but is caught and executed publicly, to show the immense power of the King. King Johan would be forever known after that event by the Danish King Johan the Cruel.
1078 - King Johan finishes falsifying a claim to the Danish throne. He declares war on Denmark and his vassal Leinster sends aid. The Battle of Aalborg is won by Norway and proves that King Johan of Norway is a great general. Many land is taken in Jutland, and the army is planned to be sent to Copenhagen next year.
1079 - More land is taken from Denmark, and the Siege of Copenhagen is won. Norway wins the war and takes over Denmark. Strict laws are enforced on Denmark to prevent rebellions. The army is stationed in Denmark too take down any rebellion if one happens. King Johan tries to capitalize on Baltic trade after capturing the Kattegat Straits from Denmark.
1080 - King Johan now decides to try and stabilize his empire. The new territory of Denmark is separated into the regions of Jutland and Copenhagen. England is more established than Denmark but still is further organized into the administrative system.
1081 - The Swedes, under pressure from the expanding Norse, look to someone for guidance and leadership. A pagan from Uppland, with the same name as another pagan Swede of some former importance, named Eric. He starts gaining followers in the North, and soon has a very large following. He goes south, and gains a few more followers, but not as many as in the North.
1082 - Eric, who's soon called by Christians Eric the Pagan. He and his followers wage war against the Swedish crown and initially are very successful, but the war than goes into a slight stalemate. King Johan, hoping to gain hegemony over Scandinavia supports Eric. With newfound help Eric takes more of Sweden, hoping to finish the war next year.
1083 - Eric finishes his war and takes of Sweden, proving himself a military genius. He decides to try and convert the Christians to Norse Paganism, and he becomes very successful. He secretly plans to backstab the Norse and take more land.
1084 - After converting many people, Eric turns his eyes to Norway, but first sends a request to France for help. France accepts hoping to take Norway down a few notches. Eric declares war on Norway and makes many gains in Southern Norway and Denmark. France takes some of Southern England but not a lot.
1085 - Eric manages to make a peace where Southern Norway goes to Sweden and Cornwall is given to France. King Johan accepts peace sadly, which takes down his reputation and his "invincible" empire. Eric goes to spread Norse Paganism in Southern Norway, also making huge successes.
1086 - Eric starts campaigns against the Lappish tribes in North Sweden and Finnish tribes in Finland. He conquers the majority of OTL Sweden and gets some of the Finnish coast.
1087 - Eric continues campaigns against the Lappish Tribes and Finnish tribes. Johan decides to flee to England with his family, and a lot of Norwegian citizens follow him the England too. Eric, seeing that Norway is weak decides to attack again, and is very successful, gaining much territory. Eric also spreads the Norse faith around, and the majority of the population already believes in the Old Gods again.
1088 - Eric makes even more gains in Norway, now moving on to Denmark. Johan with his group of fleeing Norwegians make it to England, landing around OTL Bamburgh in Northumberland. With much of former Norwegian territory in Scandinavia gone, he and his group settle a little further in land and establish a new capital called Johensbyen (Johan's Town). A grand castle is built for the king to dwell in. Many of Johan's group split up around England. This re-population, combined with around 20 years of being under Norwegians, the English have started to be combined with the Norwegian culture, forming a sort of Anglo-Scandinavian culture, mainly in Northumberland for now.