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The Foundation of the Duchy of Normandie

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The Foundation of the Duchy of Normandie


The Duchy of Normandie came into being as the result of a slight.


Deep in the First Viking Age there was a feudal realm which was known as the Kingdom of Franciana. It was ruled in those of days of yore by a king from the ancient and illustrious House Royal called the House of Neûtrie. His name was Clovis VII, and was he also known as Clovis the Cocky. King Clovis was an arrogant, flamboyant man with a filthy temper.


One day the King Clovis received in audience an envoy from the Althing of Valtia. Through their envoy, Jarl Hallvarður Jónsson of the House of Haukdælir, the aforesaid chieftains offered him a renewal of the expired treaty of peace and friendship between Franciana and Valtia. They also Clovis asked for the hand in marriage of his daughter Princess Clotilde to a scion of the Great Thirteen, the most powerful of Houses of Valtia, of her own choosing.


The King of Franciana had, however, had just grown a bit too confident due to a recent string of crushing defeats he had inflicted onto his rival kingdoms of Vermandois and Noyon, including the Battles of Vouillé, Soissons and Autuncourt. Clovis the Cocky felt that he could take on the world and wanted to show that off too. In a cruel dick move he had the hands of the Jarl Hallvarður cut off and sent them to the Althing of Valtia with the following message: "These are the only hands you will receive for your shit-stained islet, you bunch of arrogant low-born infidels. Stay off my back or I will attack and you don't want that". The Valtian envoy was subsequently stoned to death and his corpse was fed to the dogs.


Soon King Clovis found out that it was not a good idea to mess with the Chieftains of Valtia, who were outraged by the violation of their diplomatic representive and the addition of insult to injury by the extremely offensive note. They inflicted a terrible revenge on Clovis and his kingdom, nowadays known as the War of the Hands of Hallvarður, by issuing Letters of Marque and Reprisal to pirates and any other opportunist who was in for a bit of ultraviolence and lots of loot.


A tidal wave of attacks and raids on the Kingdom of Franciana by pirates, sellsails, brigands, mercenary companies and other war bands ensued. Smelling blood the humiliated revanchist kingdoms of Vermandois and Noyon also invaded Franciana. The combination of all those attackers brought King Clovis' regime on the brink of collapse.


In the purest of desperation Clovis turned, after several countries and sellsword companies like the Brotherhood of Bodøgård and the Wayward Watch had refused to come to his aid or be hired by him, to the sellswords Horik and Hyngwar Rognvaldsson, also known as the Leopard Brothers, who were the leaders a band of outcasts from Valtia. The King of Franciana gave them, in exchange for their homage, fealthy and service, the area which nowadays constitutes the Isle of Quercy as a fief under the provisions of the Treaty of Pont l'Évêque.


The aforesaid feudal arrangement proved to be a smashing success for both parties. By becoming the Counts of of Quercy, Horik and Hyngwar Rognvaldsson finally fulfilled their dream of becoming landed nobles in their own right, something which was way out reach for them in Vatlia; and thanks to the military prowess of his new vassals King Clovis and his Kingdom were saved from an almost certain destruction.


First the Leopard Brothers quickly drove the Vermandois and Noyons out of the Kingdom of Franciana. They then turned their attention to the plethora of privateers and warbands, which the brothers together with King Clovis gradually managed to defeat several of them or otherwise to force or coerce them to cease their hostilities. It also helped that Valtia was on the brink of war with the Kingdoms of Ibelin and Valenciennes which had hired the Brotherhood of Bodøgård to bolster their forces. This caused many a sellsail company and combatant group, already gotten fat with plunder, to withdraw voluntarily from Franciana to save their strength in anticipation of another lucrative commission from the Chieftains of Valtia.


All of the aforesaid allowed King Clovis to gain enough strength to seek peace terms with Valtia, which was amenable thereto because its Chieftains wanted to focus their attention on the upcoming war with Ibelin and Valenciennes. The countries concluded the Treaty of Fyrisvellir. Under its terms Franciana would pay Valtia 72,000 pounds of silver of which 10% would go to the widow of Jarl Hallvarður Jónsson of the House of Haukdælir, the murdered Valtian envoy.


Other notable terms of the Treaty of Fyrisvellir were:

  • Princess Clotilde would marry a of scion one of the Great Thirteen Houses of Valtia of her own choosing;
  • The customs of worship of Valtian Free State would in the the Kingdom of Franciana forever be co-equal in status with the established faith of the Kingdom of Franciana, whatever such faith may be or become;
  • King Clovis was to write an eloquent letter of apology, to be known as the Epistle of Penance and Remorse, to the Chieftains of Valtia.

Princess Clotilde chose the Jarl Vænnr of Ettlingar Freyu, the House of the Descendants of Freyja being one of the Great Thirteen Houses of Valtia. as her husband. The Lady Clotilde is an ancestor of Harald Freyjugjöf the Generous Giver of the House of the Descendants of Freyja, the High King of Stormark.


The Counts of Quercy and their descendants were very succesful. Their fief became one of the safest and prosperous parts of Franciana. They also managed to greatly extend their domains which over time became known as Normandie - a name which is derived from the word for "northman" in the Valtian tongue - creating one of the largest and most powerful Francianan fiefs, allowing themselves to assume the title of Duke which was only grudgingly recognized by the Kings of Franciana.


Numerous moons later the Kingdom of Franciana collapsed and the Duchy of Normandie became an independent country. In time the Duchy joined Valtia as an autonomous colony and became fully independent again when the Isle of Valtia was destroyed in a cataclysm causing the break up of the Valtian Empire.


The Duchy of Normandie retained its independence throughout the Age of Darkness but chose to join the Lands of the Longships Throne in the early days of the Second Viking Age after Harald Freyjugjöf the Generous Giver of the House of the Descendants of Freyja, the High King of Stormark, had become its Duke.


The Foundation of the Duchy of Normandie is reposted as a test topic for the Vanic Times to test the VBN News Feed. The original topic is to be found here in the forum of the Duchy of Normandie.

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