Lessons of Uldviik Varrigsson
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King Uldviik Varrigsson followed his father, Lord Varrig Cynefridsson, from the relative safety of the more civilized Rjurik kingdoms to the tiny northern port of Kopingdal. Perhaps King Uldviik projects an inherent nobility in his struggle against nature and his enemies. Where other nobles would have to choose sides to gain allies, Uldviik gains respect from all sides and has not been forced to ally against any of his chosen friends.
But Uldviik, old and wise as he is, does have some flaws. The other Rjurik kingdoms in the area seem to think that ego motivated his father to carve out a realm of his own? and they might be right. They scarcely acknowledge Hjolvar as a legitimate kingdom, and treat it as a tiny, detached settlement. As a result, Uldviik cannot count on their aid if ever the Urga-Zai goblins attempt to invade.
The King of Hjolvar wants his realm to grow and stand against the anarchy he sees plaguing the northern states of Rjurik. He desires nothing more than the building and strengthening of Hjolvar, and has a single-minded determination toward this end. Uldviik?s strategies can be seen as follows:
Build rather than conquer
Lord Varrig instilled this philosophy in his son at an early age. Rather than use his influence and popularity to take over an established kingdom, Lord Varrig chose to build his own. He took those who would follow him to an area considered uninhabitable by most Rjurik and began the forging of a realm. Uldviik has stayed on this course. When he sees the advantages possessed by his neighbors, he does not set out to steal these advantages or conquer his neighbors? he learns from them and builds up his own strength.
Do not overstep yourself
If King Uldviik desired, he could probably rule up the province and holding levels of his kingdom by depleting his resources. He could spend all his power on recruiting new peoples and offering incentives to immigrants. The king might enjoy some success? but it would leave him with little strength to defend himself against his enemies. So instead he hoards his support and his power (Regency points) and builds what he can, when he can.
Encourage those loyal to you, even if they don?t do what you want
By ?allowing? his daughter, Reyna Uldviiksdotter, his favorite and and heir-apparent to give up her claim on the throne to join the priesthood of Erik, Uldviik gained more than he lost. Had he pressed, he might have convinced Reyna to turn away from the priestly life and assume her ?rightful? place as his first lieutenant. But he might have failed, might have driven her away. In any event Uldviik probably would not enjoy the goodwill of the powerful Emerald Spiral temple, as he does now. And as a side benefit, Uldviik?s remaining two sons, Tjorkil Uldviiksson and Ruvin Uldviiksson have seen that he won?t pressure them to do anything they don?t want to do? and have become all the more loyal.
Don?t discourage heroes: Make them
Many regents might become jealous when one of their lieutenants outshines them in any way. Elka Thajuula, Uldviik?s primary lieutenant and a clever ranger, has made herself so popular among the people of Hjolvar (and so hated among the goblins of Urga-Zai) that the king of Urga-Zai has offered 5,000 gold pieces for her head. The people of Kopingdal take her every visit as a cue for celebration, and she takes most of the credit for keeping the goblins from over-running the Hjolvar Pass. Instead of reassigning her to other, less obvious duties, or trying to claim more of the credit for himself, King Uldviik honors her greatly and publicly acclaims her a hero of the realm. As a result, his subjects aspire to serve Hjolvar valiantly (to gain like recognition and reward), and they all talk about how good a leader the king must be to inspire such a faithful and valiant lieutenant.
Friends can be more valuable than allies
Though King Uldviik has no formal alliances with any Rjurik, Brecht, or Vos states, he has won the respect of most realms with which he has contact. Even the southwestern Rjurik, who don?t consider Hjolvar a ?real? realm, respect his determination and the loyalty he gains from his people. The king seems satisfied with respect and friendship? for now. He believes that until he can offer some service (or potential for service) to another realm, he shouldn?t enter into a formal alliance with one. He does not want to risk owing a more powerful realm anything he would hesitate to pay back.
King Uldviik may be known for his determination and the loyalty he inspires in his subjects, but rumors of mistakes and errors in judgment circulate in his realm, as in any other. The king could learn a great deal from his own mistakes:
No realm can truly stand alone
As proud as the King of Hjolvar is of his people, he cannot, or should not, truly believe they can stand against an outright invasion of Urga-Zai goblins? and such an invasion could occur at any time. Without true allies and support (especially from his nearest neighbors), the king cannot hope to resist a full offensive. He must swallow his pride and negotiate some sort of alliance with another Rjurik kingdom, or perhaps Danigau.
Conservative building could result in stagnation
Lord Varrig might be proud of Hjolvar if he could see it today, but he would be concerned as well. Though both the lord and the king have made tremendous progress in carving out a realm in the midst of nowhere, much more needs to be done. Again, if Uldviik swallowed his pride and asked for help, he might be able to gain support from his friends and build a little faster. At the very least, he should build up the provinces around Hjolvar pass and fortify his holdings there.
Don?t provide anything for nothing
Gratitude can be a cloak that wears thin and begins to smell over time. The king does what he thinks is right for his kingdom and his family, but doesn?t always exploit his every resource. When Reyna asked to be released from her commitment to regency, and Uldviik granted the request, both Reyna and the Emerald Spiral were pleased and grateful. They expected to pay the king a handsome ?dowry? for the royal daughter, but he made them pay nothing. While Uldviik won their gratitude and respect, he could have had more at no cost to their continuing friendship and loyalty. At the same time, Uldviik should recognize that he keeps the Urga-Zai goblins distracted from another of their hated enemies, the Count of Danigau. The count is grateful, but the king could ask him to help support their joint effort to contain the evil of Urga-Zai. Even though King Uldviik would defend the mountain pass anyway, it wouldn?t hurt to get paid for the effort.
Uldviik knows he cannot live forever, and, even now, he prepares to pass his kingship on to someone. The loyalty of his children cannot be questioned, but he wanted his daughter Reyna to rule after him. Now, he must make up time if he wants to groom one of her brothers for kingship. Meanwhile, he also wants to leave a strong realm behind in his passing. Lately, his mind strays west, over the mountains and into Urga-Zai. The King of Hjolvar would give a lot to know what Urga-Zai is planning. If he could time a coastal attack to coincide with a sortie from Danigau, he might cripple the goblins and keep them off his successor?s back for the first few years of his reign.
, 08-04-2008 at 11:46 PM|
Last edited by , 10-23-2011 at 12:07 PM
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