Child Of Destiny
A History Of Mistrust
These border wars were common place and erupted at a moments notice between local chieftains on opposite sides of the undefined border line. Each incursion, real or perceived, prompted an equal and opposite response from the other side. It had become a never ending cycle of death and destruction that neither king knew how to stop. Caught in the middle of this continuing struggle were the innocent women and children. The women were often raped, and sold into slavery. The children were occasionally adopted, but many times were also sold into slavery. This simply added fuel to the already burning hate between the two kingdoms. The whole region seemed ready to explode once again !
Adding to this volatile situation was the ruler of Opplandene, King Kjardan. His wish was to add the lands of Romerike and Hedemark to his ever growing kingdom. One of his tricks was to send his warriors, disguised as either Hedemark warriors or Romerike warriors, to attack the villages along the border of the two warring lands. When his men left, the side that was attacked would retaliate against the opposing kingdom, and the cycle would begin all over again. This ruse of his had worked so well in fact that over the last decade both Hedemark and Romerike had been nearly bankrupted, and their armies greatly weakened, while his own kingdom of Opplandene had become wealthy and very powerful.
The wounds of war had been felt very deeply, and personally, by both King Olaf of Hedemark, and King Runolf of Romerike. They both had lost family members, and very close friends over the years, in this never ending cycle of war and revenge. The fields on both sides of the border were littered with rune stones raised in honor of family members who had fought gallantly, but been lost in this brutal conflict. The sacredness of these rune stones was one of the very few things that warriors on both sides of the border agreed on. No one from either land would dare desecrate these rune stone monuments to the fallen because they felt the Gods would take revenge on anyone who damaged them.
Another point of tension between the two kingdoms, and particularly the two ruling families, involved the King of Romerike. Runolf, when he was a prince, had wanted to marry Gudrun of Hedemark . He lost out, however, to Prince Olaf of Hedemark, in this game of love. Runolf deeply resented Olaf stealing Gudrun away from him. When Prince Runolf married Grima, the daughter of a local chieftain, she quickly began to resent the fact that she had been not his first choice, but his second, and grew tired of her husband comparing her with Gudrun, the woman who would always hold the key to his heart. King Olaf, in turn, hated the fact that King Runolf loved his wife, and that those feelings did not seem to diminish over time. As much as the two kings disliked each other, the queens hated each other even more.
The tension and fear of war was felt as far away as Svearike, where the people known as the Swedes had bolstered their outposts along the border with the kingdoms of the Northway, with more and more warriors in an attempt to keep this regional war from spilling over into their border . King Sven of Svearike had sent out messengers to all the kingdoms in the region asking for a council to seek peace between Romerike and Hedemark. King Kjardan of Opplandene saw this as the perfect opportunity to gauge the strengths of all of his neighbors in the region, and sent out his own messengers inviting all the kingdom's kings and queens to a feast to be held at his great hall . He would use this "peace assembly" to hide his real intention, which of course was the annihilation, and annexation, of the surrounding kingdoms.
As much as King Runolf, and King Olaf ,disliked each other personally, they also knew that they could not continue this private war forever. Both kingdoms were becoming weaker and weaker with each new battle, and were both now very vulnerable to attack from outside forces. Despite the vocal objections of their wives, both kings agreed to go to the " Peace Assembly " .
- End Chapter 2
- Glenn Bergen, Copyright, 2014.
Next : Chapter 3 : The Great Feast