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Kristjana VI of Vinland (The Kalmar Union)

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Kristjana VI
Kristjana VI (The Kalmar Union).png
Kristjana VI
Queen of Vinland
Reign 15th January, 1503 - 26th May, 1523
Predecessor Jakobina II
Successor Thorey IV
Spouse Eirik Helgisson
Issue Sigurdur Eiriksson

Jóhannes Eiriksson

Full name
Kristjana Halfdansdottír
House Eiriksdottír
Father Halfdan Pjetursson
Mother Audur Jóhannsdottír
Born 12th September, 1478
Dúfavith, Vinland
Died 26th May, 1523
Fjallasay, Vinland

Succeeding her grandmother in 1503, Kristjana VI's Vinland had to struggle with excessive debt built up over the course of the Great Northern War, a potential threat from Scandinavia and the first stirrings of the Reformation.

Jabokina II had died not long after the conclusion of the Great Northern War which saw Vinland and its allies break Algonquinland's power and take large tracts of land. This expansion of territory and prestige was more than offset by the massive debt Vinland had built up during the war. Denmark, in urgent need of support during the War of Anglian Succession (and the endless revolts which plagued its Svealandic holdings) was quick to call in its debts. The Althing was obliged to send mercenaries for Denmark's war in order to forego repayments. Attempts to raise more tax were unsuccessful as the earls and merchants argued for exemptions to help rebuild their damaged holdings. Vinland therefore limped towards regaining its prosperity and a rapid turnover of economic advisors alongside two years of plague and famine in the 1510s did little to help the process.

Other than that Kristjana made significant grants of titles and property to anyone who would stump up enough money. This angered the existing nobility who were concerned their own status was being undermined. A neat solution was found with the imported title of Landgrave/Landgravine which set this new class apart and participation in the upper house of the Althing was made mandatory. The created a miniature boom in the building of new manor houses in fine 'Kristjanan' style characterized by high sloping roofs and exposed beams and, for the richest, glass.

Overdue in many ways, during Kristjana's reign Vinland finally made an effort to engage with Scandinavia on equal terms. Olaf VII of Hordaland had been slowly extending his country's reach out of its normal sphere, subjugating the Faroes in 1499, and in the spring of 1510 launched a campaign against Iceland arguing that his overlordship would protect it from unspecified threats. The Icelandic Thing naturally rejected his offers of 'protection' and were subsequently subjected to a blockade choking off its valuable trade links. Worried that if Iceland fell then Greenland, or Vinland itself, would be next the Althing authorised Vinlandic intervention. The Icelandic War had Vinlandic ships using fog banks to evade the Hordalandic blockade delivering food and weapons to the effectively besieged populace. A joint Icelandic-Vinlandic force saw off several attempts to capture Reykjavik and eventually Olaf VII backed down. Iceland was grateful enough to agree renewed trading rights for Vinland with a brand new Icelandic Wharf being built in Fjallasay meanwhile on the other side Vinland-Hordaland relations would be severely harmed for decades.

Kristjana inherited various issues with the church from her grandmother, most notably the Bishops of Vinland, Giovanni Piccolomini (Johann the Tuscan) and his successor Stefán Haraldursson, generally over taxation but again the state's inability to get to grips with its cash-flow problems allowed the church much leeway. While the church's position in Vinlandic society was not challenged during Kristjana's reign (in fact church-state relations were extremely peaceable) new ideas did being to arrive from Europe challenging the Papacy's supremacy and the church's temporal power. Given Vinland's occasionally troubled history of state versus the church Kristjana was not overly concerned by the literature and indeed sympathised with some of the reforming calls. She personally wrote to Luther asking for clarification of certain points, though a cleric writing in Latin may have had better luck as it was said neither Luther nor any of his circle were able to find a translator for her Vinlandic. The letters were rediscovered in 1954 during the relocation of the Lutheran library at Wurzburg University. As it was it would be the reactionary and clerical-minded Earl of Ontario, an Álengsk, who represented the Leifian church at the Diet of Worms where Luther's heresies were roundly crushed. It would be too late to stop the spread however and to contemporaries it seemed as 'almost every boat from Europe was filled to the brim with subversive tracts'. A printing press was demonstrated at St. Hafdiss the following year and in the months that followed Vinland received several working versions which would help speed up the spread of the new, and potentially disruptive, ideas.

Regarded as one the most beautiful women in Leifia, her portrait was passed around the courts of Europe in the hope of a advantageous marriage. European states were put off however, by the matrilineal (and semi-elective) succession of the Vinlandic crown, and moreover by the lack of concrete help a Vinlandic alliance could actually give to its European counterparts. The sheer distance and time it took for messages to cross the Atlantic also hampered marital discussions. Despite this she had been betrothed to Frañsez of Brittany but he died on the voyage across the Atlantic in 1504 (some say in a brothel in the Azores). Another European prince was sought for her though the War of Anglian Succession limited the field of options. Eventually marrying the Lord of Ljóninhufud, Eirik Helgisson, she would have two sons. She died in 1523 of Scottish Sweating Sickness or the Scottish Sweate and was succeeded by her thirteen year old niece Thorey.

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