Alternate History

Thorey II of Álengiamark (The Kalmar Union)

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Thorey II
Thorey II Alengia 2 (The Kalmar Union).png
Thorey II
Queen of Álengiamark
Reign 1st July, 1281 - 3rd January, 1341
Predecessor Atamaja
Successor Elin III
Spouse Kristinn Haukursson

Þórir Arisson

Issue Bjorgvin Kristinnsson

Hjalti Kristinnsson
Eythor Kristinnsson
Elísabet Þórirsdottír

Full name
Thorey Atamajasfóstri
House Eiriksdottír?
Father  ?
Mother  ?
Born 1260?
Died 3rd January, 1341

Queen Atamaja had ruled effectively over a stable and expanding Álengiamark with the assistance of a formidable ally (in her father the 'Emperor' of Aniyunwiya) and a cowed Althing, however she had never married and had no direct heirs. The Althing naturally worried about who would fill her shoes and were eager to avoid the fate of neighbouring Aniyunwiya which had splintered and fallen into civil war after the death of Edoha of Aniyunwiya in 1275. They therefore pressured her to name a successor.

Atamaja had fostered several children during her reign and from this pool she nominated Thorey, giving her the title of 'Princess of Álengiamark' in around 1276. Often acting as her mouthpiece at the Althing Thorey was well-liked and capable, whatever her origins may have been (see below).

The first decade of her reign seemed like business as usual. Thorey put down revolt, fended off Aniyunwiyan and Kanien'gehaga advances much as her foster-mother had done. The one big difference was that as a Christian (Atamaja had remained a pagan) she made significant donations to the church, restoring it as one of Álengiamark's major land-owners.

Slowly however the mounting difficulties of ruling Álengiamark began to mount up. Through conquest or agreement Atamaja had expanded Álengiamark by a factor of six during her tenure so she ruled over a massive swathe of territory usually termed the 'Unami-Lands'. Though the old core of the country, Sudervik, had a slight edge over the rest in terms of population, wealth and development it could not hope to control the vast country. The remnant Aniyunwiyan kingdoms continued to cause trouble too, often raiding into the Unamilands. Increasingly reliant on a bloated army, Thorey fell back on slowly dividing up the not-inconsiderable Royal Estate to pay for the allegiance and service of her lords. Lords and towns were allowed to rebuild the fortresses that Atamaja had torn down and various rights were extracted. The Althing became less of national forum and more of a rump chamber only consulted when the lords needed a quick injection of armed men or money. With feudalism firmed entrenched the vast body of population was reduced to serfdom, lining the pockets of their lords but also ensuring raising armies was never much of a problem.

By the end of her reign therefore Álengiamark was less a unified state and more a group of autonomous earldoms, ecclesiastical estates and republican cities, each operating their own Althings and which barely tolerated each other but muddled along nonetheless. It is little wonder therefore the country was soon thought of as a Holy Roman Empire in Leifia and the office of 'Queen' soon lost all viable power. However Thorey reigned for an incredible sixty years and this process was a very gradual. Her successor Elin III reigned for forty-five and it was only after her death that the role of queen became debased.

Unlike her adopted mother Thorey married, twice and had four children (it is possible a mis-carriage in 1289 made her unable to have further children) and outlived them all. Her granddaughter Elin III would succeed her.

Who was Thorey II?

This is one Álengiamark's most enduring mysteries and has historians, both professional and amateur, considerably divided. The very fact she has no patronymic and is normally known as Thorey Atamajasfóstri only shows that her contemporaries promoted her connection to Atamaja rather than any of the more fanciful genealogies that proliferated later.

A series of letters from Thyri, Queen of Vinland (1280-1287) and Kristjana III (1287-1301) calls Thorey 'cousin' suggesting she was an 'Eiriksdottír' - at least related somehow to the Kyrejyan queens descended from Iofridr - though this may have been more to show the unity of the Norse states as opposed to the Leifian states rather than acknowledge any actual family connections.

Several contemporary reports tell of her fair complexion and blonde hair suggesting she was a Norse-woman with no Suderfolk ancestors. This fact excludes her descent from the Earls of Pequot, Mohegan and Quiripi or indeed any Suderfolk noble family and utterly undermines the chronicle of St. Pauls' Abbey which is adamant she was a granddaughter of Adalbjorg I.

Several novels over the years have made Thorey out to be the daughter of peasantry, though some doubt whether Vinland would have tolerated a commoner taking the throne.

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