Kingdom of LadeTimeline: The Once and Never Kings
OTL equivalent: Sápmi
Location of Lapland (in green).
|Official languages||Norwegian (government), Sami (co-official)|
|Government||Federal Constitutional Monarchy|
|-||Expulsion of Sweyn Knutsson||1035|
|-||Separatation of Norway and Trondheim||1069|
The Kingdom of Lade, also known as Lapland, is a large Monarchy located in northern Fennoscandia. It shares a small border with Denmark to the southwest, and another small border with Novgorodian Karelia to the southeast. But its longest border is shared with Svealand to the south.
It is divided into 17 earldoms. The capital, Trondheim, is located in the Earldom of Trondheim.
Much of the eastern and northeastern portions of modern Lapland were part of the medieval Kingdom of Norway, united under Harald Fairhair in the ninth century. The rule of the Fairhair dynasty would be interrupted by the conquest of Norway by Cnut the Great in 1028, which ousted Olaf Haraldsson. Olaf would die in exile in 1030, making his son Magnus Olafsson the Fairhair pretender.
Magnus would enlist the help of Svealands King Anund in an attempt to reclaim Norway. By this time, Cnut had placed his son, Sweyn Knutsson, in charge of Norway as his regent. The heavy taxes demanded by Sweyn, in addition to the troops Norway had to supply to aid Cnut in the War of Wessexian Succession, didn't do much to increase their popularity among the Norwegian nobility.
It was during this discord and foreign war that Magnus attacked. Aided by a general rebellion in Trondheim itself which resulted in the death of Sweyn, he was able to secure large swaths of the northern expanses, including Trondheim. The Svealandic-Norwegian forces were able to take much of Norway before the end of the war in Wessex. As Cnut had died in England, the task of taking back Norway fell to one of his sons, Cnut III. Cnut was quick to gather a force to invade Norway, and attacked in 1040. Magnus, however, was far and away the better general. After a swift defeat near modern day Oslo, Cnut's army was chased back to Denmark itself. Again his army was defeated, and Cnut was forced to acknowledge Magnus as heir to Denmark.
Thus, when Cnut died in 1042, Denmark and Norway were united under Magnus Olafsson. The rest of his rule is generally regarded as stable, and organized the split of the two upon his death between his uncle Harald, and Sweyn Estridsson, which occurred in 1046.
Harald III's rule was challenged several times as various noblemen saw themselves as either stronger claimants to the Norwegian throne, or thought they could take it by right of strength. Harold's brutal campaigns against these pretenders would earn him the nickname "the Hard-Ruler", or Hardrada. In 1066, Harald was supposedly offered the throne of Jórvík by various lords there (though it is probably more likely Harald decided to take the throne himself), and invaded. Harald was aided by a slim claim to Jórvík, through his nephews rule of Denmark, and by the status of Jórvíks King, Ælfwine, an illegitimate son of King Harald I. While initially successful, even taking Lincoln, Harald was killed at the Battle of Stamford Bridge by Ælfwine's forces.
After his death, rule of Norway was contested between his two sons, Magnus and Olaf. After a devastating civil war, which saw Denmark and Svealand join Magnus and Olaf respectively, Norway was divided between the two brothers; Magnus and his area of control in the south would take the title of Norway, while Olaf would take Trondheim and the north, forming the Kingdom of Lade.
Lade would then expand west, and would aid Svealand on several crusades in Finland. Attempts to claim Iceland never came to. Peasant revolts became common as the government tried to pay its ever increasing debts. When the Kola territories were taken over in a particularly bad revolt in 1589, Lade was forced to go into administrative reform. The country was federalized into 17 new earldoms.
While initially divided when the Reformation spread to its borders, the majority of its citizens ended up converting to Lutheranism. As such, Lade would follow Svealand onto the Protestant side of the Forty Years War. While its armies would never see action in Germany, it would mop up Danish forces in southern Norway after Svealands King Gustav II swept their armies aside in Sjæland and Jutland. Despite moderate success, Lade couldn't afford to field its armies, and remained in the sidelines for the rest of the war following Svealands defeat and Gustavs death at the Battle of Mainz.
In the aftermath, Lade settled into routine internal bickering over money. Lade finds itself constantly having to take loans from Svealand. Thanks to this it is often mocked internationally as a Svealandic satellite, waiting to be incorporated as its "fourth kingdom". Attempts by successive governments to pry the state out of its Svealandic orbit, only to be turned back by the Swiss, Italian, and London banks.
The 2010 discovery of oil in off the county's northern and eastern coasts has given many in Lade that the projected revenue from those reserves could allow the state to have a budget in the black, and begin paying back its crippling debts. Denmark however, has claimed sovereignty over much of the eastern reserves, escalating tensions between the two.