Meanwhile in the continent of Midgard bad news come from Norveg, their King Ragnar Hardstone passed away in his bed from his illness.
Norveg is one of the Two Lions that has constrained the barbarous Avillon Kingdom from breaking out to other part of the continent.
The ambition of Avillon has always scared the other six kingdoms.
Stormholt and Norveg the two lions. They are two superpower nations in the continent, large and powerful.
It is because of their alliance that Avillon has never managed to expand their land to the west.
Many have predicted that a new era of chaos will come when Stormholt and Norveg decided to gobble up Avillon in the future.
But man proposes, heaven disposes.
The death of King Ragnar halted the conquest plans of Stormholt as the Seven Princes of Norveg amasses army and Norveg is embroiled in a civil war.
This Civil War is known as the War of Seven Princes.
When King Ragnar first fell sick, Queen Frieda of House Lombard cover up the news and shut down the Six Palaces and executed all those lowly concubines and Low Consorts that knew the illness of King Ragnar.
Then during the King last moment, Queen Frieda claim to the officials of the Kingdom that the King named his son Prince Argent Hardstone as the Crown Prince on his deathbed.
The supporter of the other Prince loudly decries this proclamation saying the Queen faked the edict of the deceased King.
But the Queen pays no heed to the officials, killing those who disagree and demoted loyal officials who supported other princes.
The Royal brother of King Ragnar was arrested and exiled out of Norveg, the Third Rank Prince Frank Cloven was reduced to a commoner, the Prince of Second Rank Eldred of House Pryn committed suicide under duress and many of the other were demoted as the Queen executed a purge of those who are disloyal towards her and her son claim to the Throne.
The Second Prince cries out injustice and rises in rebellion. The other five Princes also rise in rebellion.
And Norveg began its civil war as the Two Princes of Avillon could sigh in relieved breath as the spear of the Two Lions is now dull as Norveg is plagued with internal problem.
The Two Prince of Avillon began strengthening their armies to prepare for the future battle.
King Ragnar has many concubines but he has only two consorts of importance in his Six Palaces. There were the Royal Noble Consort Astrid and the Royal Noble Consort Ingrid.
When both of these women bore him a son, the King elevated their status from lowly concubines to his consort.
Royal Noble Consort Astrid and Royal Noble Consort Ingrid manage to flee when the purge of the Six Palace was executed by the Queen.
When the rebellion of the Prince’s began the Queen took his son to her family ancestral home, establishing the capital in Snowhel and quickly took control of Windspell.
Snowhel and Windspell is the Lombard family territory.
It was the reason the King Ragnar married the Lombard precious daughter.
The Lombard comes from a great noble lineage. Their family was said to once serve under Olaf the Great and the August Emperor Guilaume Bourbon.
It is the reason why the Lombard was loyal to King Ragnar and they always have wished for their daughter to bore a son which will be King.
Argent Hardstone was talented and charismatic but the Second Prince was even more exemplary and is even more talented.
It was like comparing the Earth and the Heaven and as such the court has always been divided in their support.
If even the officials could see this how could King Ragnar not see this?
Under his rule, Norveg grew into a powerful nation and as such the question of his successor has always been in his mind.
As the Second Prince grew the King grew fond of him and this created a distance between the First Prince and the King and consequently the Queen and the King.
The King once displays intention to name the Second Prince as the Crown Prince and this drew great panic from the Lombard.
The Queen went home and cry to her family.
The Old General, Rollo of Lombard come out from his seclusion in the Mountain and pleads to the King and the King never mentioned again of naming another as his Crown Prince.
But conversation never ceased and since then a new faction emerged in the court.
Royal Noble Consort Astrid ride a carriage and travel pass Norveg and went to Windhill.
Royal Noble Consort Astrid bore Prince Hakon the Second Prince, Erik the Third Prince and Sweyn the Fourth prince bringing much joy to the Palace and the King.
She herself was an amiable person and well liked even in the Six Palace and care about her fellow sisters.
Royal Noble Consort Astrid is from the House of Fairhair, a general family that guarded the Western border since the reign of the previous King.
The moment she fled from the Royal Palace and the Second Prince heard the news the Second Prince led an army to Windhill and established his court there and took control of Hardstone almost immediately with the help of the noble family who was dissatisfied with the Queen treatment of the Royal family.
Most of them shares the name of Hardstone and was the same family as the previous King.
The Queen did not even spare the King Brother’s how could she spares the other Hardstone family members?
But, the Queen plans to control the Throne is not sufficient as even the Royal Noble Consort Ingrid also managed to escape.
Royal Noble Consort Ingrid is from the House of Hardrada a group of merchant family who turns noble in the last century.
Her family once helped the King and as such she was accepted as a concubine before becoming a Royal Consort.
She had borne King Ragnar two Princes and one Princess. The Fifth Prince Magnus Hardstone and the Sixth Prince Sigurd Hardstone.
And also bore him the Princes of Peace Sonia Hardstone.
Princess of Peace is an honorary tittle given to her when she was young. King Ragnar has always been very happy when he is accompanied by his daughter in his leisure trip touring the provinces of the Kingdom.
This daughter of King Ragnar is versed in poetry and literature and the apple of King Ragnar eyes.
When she was fifteen, the King fell into depression. None of the Princes could entertain their Royal father.
But the princess shows the King something that managed to cheer him up and the King finally awoke from his depression and for that she was awarded the title Princes of Peace.
When the Purge of the Six Palaces began and their mother fled from the Capital City Prince Magnus lead a cavalry to the capital city.
A hundred men ride through the distance to save Imperial Noble Consort Ingrid, only ten men returns, their virtues of loyalty will not be forgotten gaining an everlasting fame, leaving a good name for history to remember.
Prince Magnus was struck by a bow, cut by sword, and pierced by spears but manage to rescue his mother.
Then returning home, he held a grand funeral to show his respect to those that followed him and this even causes the Prince to cry to the Heavens, remembering good brothers that died for his mother.
He then swore to the Heavens that he will treat the mothers of those that died like his own family and will make sure that none of them lack anything.
The Sixth Prince Sigurd established a court in Vanheim and accepted his brother safely and so as all the Six Prince managed to survive initial attempt to wipe them out, the Civil War begins.
The Second Prince was known to excel in commanding men into battle and titled himself as Prince of Windhill while his brother Eric named himself Prince of Hardstone.
Prince Sweyn was given the title Duke of Bloomwind and fought beside his brother as a General of the Army.
Prince Magnus claim the title Prince of Vanheim while Prince Sigurd claims the title Duke of Redhill.
Prince Magnus of Vanheim was praised to be filial as he in direct threat of his life he still went through mountain of knives and sea of fire to save his mother.
The scholars praised him and decry the queen for such treatment against the son of the former King.
The Queen in Snowhel on the other hand responded to the other Princes raising their armies by proclaiming his son, King according to the decree of the King.
Not a few days since all of this commotion and chaos in the Capital City, the Second Prince shocked everyone with his decision to return to the Royal Palace.
The Second Prince amidst the protest of his officials rides to Norveg bringing a large armed guard with him to mourn his father.
The Royal Guard led by the Old General Rollo was able to block him from entering the Capital City by engaging in a great battle.
In this battle, the Second Prince was able to prove his prowess in battle and was admired by the world.
The Old General was wounded by one of the Second Prince spear attack and had to withdraw. If not for the reinforcement that came the Old General might have lost his life.
The Second Prince retreated but not in disgrace. And the civil war intensified as Stormholt is concerned and Avillon is celebrating.
But to the rest of the Kingdom, this civil war of Norveg might affect the entire continent and they could not stand still.
They do not like that the Two Lions will be getting stronger if they manage to defeat Avillon but the other Kingdom also did not want the Avillon to break out to the East.
Southern Han does not want it and so does the other small Kingdoms.
A small spark is slowly blazing into a great fire that will envelop the entire world.
Looking outside the windows a young man sighed. His hand behind his back, the wind blowing his long black hair, his blue eyes scanning his people down below, like a lonely King.
His face was clean and charming to look at. He is well dressed, look carefree, possessing the bearings of immortals
His eyes seem to be holding certain mystery containing a striking sense of peace. He was certainly handsome
In Norveg, the only one that could boast such handsome appearance and possessing such aura of a King is only one.
The Second Prince.
It was said that the Second Prince mastery of the spear arts are godlike. The same could be said for his appearance.
Then sound of footsteps is slowly climbing and Hakon immediately heard it. But his hand is still on his back and he showed no indication to move.
Then that person approaches him and greeted him.
‘Brother, what are you doing here? Many of the Generals are waiting for you to make an appearance.’ He said pleasantly
Hakon did not even turn back to look at his brother Erik but he shakes his head which express his dislike
‘What are they celebrating?’ Hakon ask, his hand tightened, his eyebrows creased like he was thinking of a very difficult problem that he could not solve.
‘We survive the battle and managed to form our own court.’ Hakon sighed thinking of how simple his brother really is.
Hakon grew up as a prince in a loving, caring environment and his father supplied nothing but the best education
If not for his efforts and the general of the Fairhair family, he alone could not pacify the Windhill and Hardstone region under his rule.
The scholar class noted that the Second Prince is full of energy daring and full of leadership qualities.
They see the Old King in the Second Prince and very much would very like to see the Second Prince sitting on the throne of Norveg.
The Queen harsh campaign against Second Prince uncles dubbed Weakening the Marcher Lords has made the royal family sided with the other Five Princes while the Lombard family defend the legitimacy of King Argent in Snowhel.
‘It is not enough to survive. The Fairhair and the Lombard could not live under the same sky. They would not allow it and I also would not permit it. Either their family perished or ours. We either win…..or we die. Winners becomes King, losers become beggars.’
‘But our victories…’ Erik wanted to protest
‘What victories?’ Hakon almost shouted but he maintained his calm, his eyes still looking outside the windows.
‘I wanted to enter the Capital City under the guise of mourning Our Royal Father to take the head of that Old Bitch but that Old General has keen eyes and managed to stop me from entering the Capital’ Thinking about it Hakon still feels frustrated of that day.
‘But the Old General was wounded by brother. This is also a victory.’ Erik consoled
‘Of course he would be strike down by me’ Hakon said in a self-depreciating tone.
‘He is old and I am young. But in the end did we win any significant victory? We could not enter the Capital City and was forced to return back in disgrace.’
Erik dropped his head down and sighed in exasperation. He is simple minded but his older brother always thinks too much.
Looking at a bird flying freely in the sky, sailing the wind like a sailor sailing the vast oceans, Hakon sighed and turn to face his brother and said
‘It’s fine. I will come down and greet the Generals. They are our uncles and our relatives. I would surely show them respect. Where is Sweyn?’ Hakon ask.
‘He is with Mother.’
‘That is good. We three brother must remain united. If we do not we could not face the storms ahead. Together, we are unbreakable. Divided, we fall.’
‘Brother, do not worry. I know this. Then I will be going down first.’ Hakon smiles and gesture him to go.
Then he looks back outside the windows.
What he is seeing is people. People living and breathing, living their lives, smiling and shouting, full of noise and vibrant.
And he ask himself….was it right to sacrifice all of this people for his ambition?
That is the reason why he took so much time looking. He wanted to see them and see if looking at all these people living their lives would change his mind.
He wanted to fight for the throne. And as such he also knows what lies ahead. Rivers of blood and mountain of bones.
No matter which one of the princes that won, it is the common people that will suffer the most.
People might be saying praises for him now but Hakon knows. House of Lombard possesses superior forces and has many powerful generals in their employs.
They have the horses and they have the people. Snowhel itself is a fertile land and could feed its people.
So, the only thing he could do now, the most sensible tactics he could employ based on the information he got is to execute a hit and run campaign.
This kind of tactics was not the usual tactics of Norvegian military. It was actually the kind of tactics of the Warriors of the West.
Westhold people come from a branch of Northmen who was very proficient in riding horses so much so, that the Classic mentions that the Warrior of the West before they fled the Old Norveg, their country was at the back of their horses.
Even now, Westhold is known to have one of the most powerful cavalry in the continent.
The only thing that Hakon was grateful was that he has many supporters in the Old Court and many of turncoat eunuchs and generals provided him with invaluable intelligence
As such, he now knows the supply depot of King Argent. He is now waiting for the storms to begin.
He looks once again at the people in the street from his high palace windows and he closes his eyes and he could imagine the fire and blood that is about to plague this land.
Opening his eyes, he steeled his resolve and walks away, his eyes burning with ambition.
The Second Contender of the Dragon Throne: Prince Hakon Fairhair, Second Prince of Norveg and future King of Norveg