Alternate History

Kristjana IV of Vinland (The Kalmar Union)

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Kristjana IV
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Kristjana IV the Good
Queen of Vinland
Reign 4th June, 1320 - 3rd December, 1352
Predecessor Hafdis III
Successor Geirfrithur
Spouse Otto Ericsson
Issue Ingunn Ottosdottír
Full name
Kristjana Halfdansdottír
House Eiriksdottír
Father Halfdan Eythorsson
Mother Hafdis III
Born 27th February, 1302
Fjallasay, Vinland
Died 3rd December, 1352
Sumarhlith, Kyreyja, Vinland

Unlike her mother's troubled reign Kristjana IV the Good had the fortune to rule Vinland during the boom years between the end of the Great Leifian Famine and the onset of the Black Death.

After the harvests returned to normal Vinland's population bounced back, probably reaching 150,000 by the end of her reign. And as farmers and merchants regained their confidence so the scope of Vinland's interests expanded once more. Traders with more funds supporting their efforts sought out ever more lucrative ventures. A favoured route to the South was across Inokia to the Mississippi, follow the river's course and then hug the coast in either direction until Coabana or Mexica was reached. Vinlandic ships were regularly visiting Icelandic, Manx and Anglian ports. Equally traders from other Leifian and European nations were turning Fjallasay and Karantóborg into depots famed for furs. By 1345 Portugal had crossed the Atlantic too, via the Azores and Verao, challenging Danish ships for dominance of the Leifian trade. Though they would tend to visit Álengsk ports more than Vinlandic ones the contact spurred links to the Mediterranean. Craftsmen from Italia and Iberia were soon lured to Leifia to create and build great works. The Great Stave Church at Fjallasay was started in 1336 and although would appear Norse from the outside, its interior was soon filling with works inspired by Southern European art.

Even before the Portuguese reached Leifia Europe was eager for knowledge of the Leifian continent and what little filtered back from Denmark did not sate their thirst. In 1337 the Islamic traveller Ibn Rasid visited the courts of Vinland, Álengiamark and Aniyunwiya on his way to Mexica. When he returned in 1340 on his return journey he brought with him three llamas as a gift to Kristjana.

However the increased contact came at a cost and when the Black Death reached Leifia (either via Portuguese traders or from Danish ones via Greenland - historians are divided) it brought an abrupt halt to the three decades of uninterrupted growth. Thanks to the relative sparse population the vast majority of Vinlanders escaped death. However the cities were badly affected and as it spread through Leifia along the established trade routes it did untold damage to the developing nations. Out in more densely populated Mexica the population was halved.

Prior to Kristjana the Leifian queens married wealthy farmers, merchants or very minor nobility at best. But times were changing. The rise of Viken-Rugia in Scandinavia had shaken Danish supremacy and the Estridsson family started a concerted effort to maintain their links and influence around the Norse world. Princesses, of which Erics III and IV had an abundance of were married off around Europe. Vinland had little need for a princess however. Instead Eric IV sent his youngest brother, Otto, to secure the Vinlandic alliance in 1317. Therefore even when Olaf III gained the throne of Viken, Svealand and then became Holy Roman Emperor, even when his merchants began competing for Leifian trade and began to really overshadow Denmark, Vinland stayed loyal. The marriage of Kristjana to a European prince changed the nature of Vinlandic royalty. The Althing challenged her and her mother, probably assuming they had begun to get ideas above her station but the citizens of Isafjordhur loved the spectacle of the wedding and the couple's arrival at the newly finished Ononglegakest in Fjallasay was greatly welcomed by the city's residents. It did however signal the start of a subtle shift in royal power (and arrogance) that would finally be put to the test, and firmly rejected, during the Vinlandic Civil War. The marriage did not last long, Otto died in 1326 and of their children; three sons were still-born and a daughter died at the age of 3. It appears Kristjana was too grief stricken to re-marry and her half-sister Geirfrithur assumed the mantle of heir from around that date.

Despite this many of the trappings of modern Vinlandic royal customs were adopted during Kristjana's reign. Otto was afforded the title of 'Prince', Kristjana's immediate female relatives received the title 'Princess'

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