Alternate History

Elin I of Álengiamark (The Kalmar Union)

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Elin I
Elin I Alengia (The Kalmar Union).png
Elin I
Queen of Álengiamark
Reign 1st February 1167 - 6th/7th April 1182
Predecessor Dogg
Successor Elin II
Spouse Eirik Karlsson
Full name
Elin Tállsdottír
House Eriksdottír
Father Táll Árnisson
Mother Elisiv Osvífrsdottír
Born 2nd July, 1117
St. Hafdiss, Álengiamark
Died 6th/7th April 1182
Kristjanaborg, Álengiamark

Succeeding after her half-sister's early death Elin I was the middle child of Elisiv's second marriage. As such she was completely dominated by her brothers Karl and Grímur who took the role of regents. Dogg had promoted Karl to the front rank of Álengsk nobility with a significant, if porous, landholding in Margirhaedeyja and now given free reign over much of the Althing he worked to promte his position at the expense of all others.

The earldoms of Margirhaedeyja and Quiripiland were under almost constant attack from the Unami and in severe need of troops. A couple of impressive victories over the tribes in 1169 had brought him prestige which he converted into a virtual dictatorship. Through Elin he successfully petitioned for levies of troops for the west but when the Kanien'gehaga threatened the more easterly earls both they and Elin (who was trying her best to represent the entire country) were left twisting in the wind. This alienated the more established earls and only entrenched the Easterners' refusal to help the more embattled Westerners. Grímur meanwhile spent much of his time working to separate the fief Dogg had had in mind for him from Sudervik.

Elin herself was left with little room for manoeuvre in this situation. Frequent correspondence with her cousin Iofridr in Vinland, of which various letters still exist, appeared to convince her of the need to grapple with the earls but she was unable to grasp the situation. It appears frequent bouts of ill-health sapped all of her strength.

Karl Tallsson died in early 1180 fighting an Unami force. His young son Thorgeir would prove even more militant in promoting Margirhaedeyja's interests and Elin quarrelled with him frequently. Indeed she began to unwind some of the damage done to the Althing and rebalance the earldoms. This would be tragically cut short however.

Elin had no surviving children, reports of 6 mis-carriages or still-born children were capped off when she died in 1182 in childbirth. If even one of these children had survived then the bloodbath that followed her death may have been avoided. As it was she had no clear heir and the earls immediately came to blows over who should inherit, unleashing a bloody 17-year struggle, the Álengsk Civil War.

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