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The Ambro-Sjealandic Wars (Tynic: Ambro-Sjælandske Krige or De Store Søkrige) were a series of three prolonged conflicts fought on one side by the Archkingdom of Sjealand and its North Sea Realm, and on the other side by the Kingdom of Ambrosia. Unlike the Ambrosian War of Succession that occurred half a century beforehand, they were predominantly fought at sea, primarily the Sea of Njord but also the Hyberborean and the Voragic Oceans. The wars started as an Ambrosian attempt to assert what it viewed as its maritime trading rights, particularly by demanding the repudiation of the Sjealandic sound tolls on the Tynic Strait, which Sjealand viewed as Ambrosian expansion into its sphere of influence. The conflicts would eventually evolve into a dispute of which nation would be the dominant trade power in northern Nordania.
After the first eruption of war in 1749, the Royal Ambrosian Navy was able to successfully disrupt Sjealandic trade with the lucrative markets of Akai and Tuthina, even managing to sack the city of Nordvakt in 1754 and forcing the Archkingdom to sue for peace in 1756; in the resulting Peace of Iddesleigh, Ambrose secured free passage into the Tynic and was able to annex the Kingdom of Northumbria, a Sjealandic ally. However, the Sjealandic monopoly on Oriental trade was not disrupted, contributing to the renewal of conflict in 1787. Sjealandic Admiral Edvard Strømfelt led a brilliant campaign against Ambrosian commerce, effectively utilizing the vast resources of the North Sea Realm as well as the naval bases and trade stations across the world. The strangulation wreaked by a Sjealandic blockade crippled Ambrose; however growing anti-monarchical sentiment in Sjealand (prompted by the Aucurian and Aininian Revolutions) caused Sjealand to belatedly agree to a settlement in 1792. A still bitter Ambrose returned to war in 1826, only to be decisively defeated, with Elsbridge being burned and the Seather region being ceded to Sjealand's ally, Wosrac.
While the Ambro-Sjealandic Wars encompass the breadth of Ambro-Sjealandic conflict between 1673 and 1832, they are generally not grouped to include either the later Great War of the North or the Continental War, as those conflicts featured large alliance systems and, though sparked by similar mercantile motivations, were not uniquely rooted in the Ambro-Sjealandic rivalry. However, some scholars have labelled the War of the Njord in the early 1970s the "Fourth Ambro-Sjealandic War".
- 1 Background
- 2 First Vjaaro-Sjealandian War
- 3 Second Vjaaro-Sjealandian War
- 4 Third Vjaaro-Sjealandian War
- 5 Later Disputes
- 6 Legacy
- 7 In popular culture
In the chaos of the Nordanian Religious Wars between IDEK and SIDEKT Sjealand managed to stay out of the wider conflict ravaging the region, thanks to its location outside of the Nordanian heartland aswell as the might mountains on its border. Close eyes were however kept on the conflict, especially the emerging powers in modern day Teutonia and Vjaarland. Sjealand had had a long naval tradition, as seen in the Tuthian expeditions aswell as its ability to repel the Fjallandian Crusades in the late middle-ages. Vjaarland however was a recently unified nation, nowhere as old as the almost 800-year old Sjealand, however a larger population aswell as experience from the mainland conflicts had made Vjaarland a society born in war and thus easily adaptable. Neither of the nations were great powers but thanks to Sjealands dominant position as the end-port of Tuthinan trade-fleets and Vjaarland's strategical location and military society and influenced in great part by a desire for glory both nations had gained the means to seek out the wealth of the Western Nations.
The First Tuthinan Expedition had made Sjealand the first Nordanian nation to actively seek out the Imperial Court in Sakan and its entry into the Tengkong System had put it in a favourable position as the end-station for Tuthinan Trade fleets bringing Spices, silk, ivory and other luxury goods from the Westerisles. Sjealandian wealth had boomed with Asgård doubling its population between 1200 and 1270 and Sjealandian trade presence was found across the western Nordanian coast, with Sjealandian merchant guilds represented in most major cities of the region. Nordanian merchants would pay the Sjealandian monarchy and trade guilds to escort them on ''Gilded Expeditions'' or to launch expeditions in their names but manned by the Sjealandians, who jealously guarded their trade-routes and waystations across the Nordanian coast. They founded multiple cities and towns down their routes and in Norday, where they established the town of Haldröfjord as their western Headquarters, which greatly benefitted Norday. They government of Norday was allowed as one of the only nations to tax the Sjealandian trade-fleets, such was their position.
By the 1500's Sjealand practically held a monopoly on Nordanian trade with the Westerisles and beyond, vast amounts of money floated through Asgård before pouring into Nordania. A great deal of the country's annual income went into securing its waystations aswell as its mercantile fleet. Thanks to an innovation of the galleon called a Brerka, cheap mass production of ships was made easier and Sjealand soon had Nordanias largest mercantile navy, with more tradeships than all other countries combined. In 1572 Sjealand left the Tengkong system, after several prominent scholars, including Prince Helmuth, questioned the righteousness of a Tuthinan Emperor nominally being the superior of the Divine Archking. Sjealand lost the Imperial protection it had earlier enjoyed in Tuthinan waters, and its trade-ships would have to now more than ever be equipped to fight. This caused the expansion of the Royal Sjealandian Navy, not only to protect the important trade but also to wage active piracy against other Nordanian nations trying to establish trade with the Westerisles. In only 5 years over 310 ships were boarded and looted by the Sjealandians, which caused a massive uproar in Nordania. Recent religious conflicts between the Norcist Pagans of Sjealand and the Christians of Nordania only served to increase the tensions.
First Vjaaro-Sjealandian War
Sjealands arrogant behaviour on the seas were only further increased as the Vjaarlandic League under Fredrik IV, strongly displeased with Sjealands actions and hungrily eying the riches of the west, sent the Delegation of 100 to Asgård. 100 Prominent Nobleman, Guild-Masters, Clergymen and Merchants landed in Asgård in 1578 bringing with thems bountiful treasures from their homeland. Upon receiving an audience with the Archking they presented their terms, including the right to whale in Sjealandian waters while offering 10% of the profit in return. The terms were promptly denied and met with immense disgust by the Royal Court, which viewed the Vjaars as an upstart nation of christian barbarians, and because of their harshness they were more viewed as a diplomatic insult than an actual diplomatic request. Several verbal fights broke up in the throne-hall which had to be broken up by Royal Guards and the delegation was turned away and returned home empty handed.
The following year in 1579, Sjealandian privateer-captain Corvitz Nølgade boarded the Vjaarlandic carrack Nørdstiernen, capturing its load of gold and copper from Vjaarlandic mines, aswell abducting several valuable hostages, one of which was Prince Harald of Drøssen, a relative of the Vjaarlandic monarch on their way to Tuthina as an envoy. The news were met anger in Strandhavn, and angry mobs assembled to assault the warehouses of Sjealandian trading companies. 12 different warehouses were burned to the ground and their content looted, and over 78 Sjealandians, mostly Norwegians, lost their lives. Upon hearing the news the Sjealandians promptly returned the hostages, aswell as an official request for the destroyed wares to be repaid by the Vjaarlandians and for the families who lost relatives to be given proper pensions. The sum that would have required was too immense for the Vjaarlandians, who denied the request, suggesting a summit be held between the monarchs of both nations. This was rejecting by the Sjealandian Archking, whose envoys returned to Strandhavn on the 1st of June 1579 with a broken sword, and a declaration of war.
Upon the declaration of war, the majority of the Sjealandian navy was fighting in western Nordania or escorting trade ships, and only 23 Galleons and 40 armed vessels were ready in the homeland, and as such fast ships were quickly dispatched to recall ships to the war. The Vjaar's had a fleet, but it had only fought in the icy waters of the Hyperborean sea and were unused to fighting on the open ocean. This was however disregarded and the majority of the fleet sailed from Strandhavn on late august. The first real skirmish occured on the 4th of August already as 3 Sjealandian carracks under the command of Niels Mølle were assaulted by a group of 5 newly constructed Vjaarlandic Galleons, patrolling the area. While the Sjealandians were better sailors and more used to naval combat, the might of the galleons however proved decisive resulting in a Vjaarlandic victory. Regrouping with their main force, the Vjaar's believing the Sjealandians week from years of prosperity divided their fleet into three strike groups, that would plunder and assault different parts of Sjealands coast. The first group under the command of Admiral Mögens Steinbek clashed with a Sjealandian fleet off the shores of Nordvakt where 13 Sjealandian galleons and 34 armed vessels led by Duke Magnus Højborg easily overpowered the 7 Vjaarlandic galleons and 20 armed vessels. Steinbek retreated to regroup with the middle group, which had succesfully bombarded the city of Langres, and landed marines to forage deeper inland. Hiding their ships in a nearby fjord, they assaulted Højborgs rear, but failed to spot a series of coastal batteries that Højborg was leading them to. Heavy bombarding from the coast, aswell as the more agile Sjealandian ships proved too much for the Vjaarlandian fleet, which surrendered later that evening.
Following extended skirmishing the following year, the Vjaars retreated across the sea of Njord, seeking refuge in the seas they knew best. Trying to deny Sjealandians the open sea, the Vjaarlandic fleets hugged the coast, and fell upon the Sjealandians while they were docked in friendly cities or at night. Some squadrons began assaulting Sjealandian pirates operation around Tuthina too, much to the chargrin of the Sjealandian court. This resulted in the majority of the Sjealandian naval command being forced into retirement and replaced by more promising candidates, who launched an expedition to assault the Vjaar's on their home turf. The fleet rounded Cape Vesterøya in May 1583 and met the Vjaarlandic navy in the Hyperborean sea in september of the same year. A Vjaarlandic fleet sent to dispose of the Sjealandians had run into a large group of icebergs when they by accident met the entire Sjealandian navy, who too were caught in a mass of icebergs. The two fleets clashed in The Battle of the Ice and over 70 large ships and 130 smaller ships fought. At the end of the day the Sjealandians proved victorious, but the weather had turned too harsh for them to follow their assault into Vjaarland and they were forced to retreat.
Battle of Norfýk
In 1588 the Vjaar's finally felt comfortable fighting on the open sea, and several battles ocurred in the seas between Sceathaney and Norday. For over 7 years Vjaarlandic fleets were dispatched to stop the Sjealandian pirates, resulting in heavy skirmishing close to Tuthina, Fjalland and Teutonia. The Vjaar's were able to match the Sjealandians in number, but the shipyards of Asgård, outmatched those in Strandhavn in quality, and soon Raider-groups of fast Sjealandian attack ships tore through the seas around Fjalland and Vjaarland, hunting any Vjaarlandic ships down. This resulted in heavy dissatisfaction in Vjaarland with the course of the war and it was decided to construct one massive fleet to once and for all beat own the Sjealandians. In Asgård the court was facing similar problems, the war, which had initially proved popular with the nobility had become more and more of a costly affair, and the continous Vjaarlandic incursions into the Sjealandian trade-zones were disrupting the locals trust in the power of the Sjealandian navy, and orders were given for every able ship to assemble in Asgård for a great sortie.
The Vjaarlandic navy left Strandhavn in May 1597, the Sjealandian in February the same year. With permission from local nobles in Fjalland, the Vjaar navy docked close to the city of Norfýk for the night on the 19th of September 1597. The Sjealandians where in the meantime being guided towards the Vjaar position by sympathic pagan Fjallanders ligthing beacons on the coastline. These news reached the Vjaarlandic admiral Hans Guildersten who ordered his navy assembled on the following day, 297 strong. New galleys had been bought and constructed to fight in the shallow Fjallandic waters, and were placed in the front line of the navy. The Sjealandians had a much smuller navy at 251 strong, but were equipped with larger Galleases and Galleons. Divided into 3 strike groups in the shape of arrow-heads the Sjealandians approached the Vjaarlandians on the 20th. The Flagship Gyldenstjernen commanded by Great Sealord Nicolai Tiino was the first into the fray as it sailed through the Vjaarlandic line, firing broadsides on the Galleys Strørsøen and Milhjulet. The middle strike group soon tore through aswell, maintaining a steady stream of fire into the first Vjaarlandic line, even as their front was decimated. The two other strike groups attempted to flank the Vjaar's. This was suceeded by the left wing, commanded by Admiral Boleslav Nullesten who boarded the galleon Ynderhuset, slaying the Vjaar captain in single combat. The right wing was however in greater trouble as a large number of Vjaarlandic galleys managed to sink Admiral Thor Nielses flagship and killing him. Without their leader it devolved into ship on ship combat, and lost any pretense of tactics. Nicolai Tiino seeing this ordered several galleons to break off from his strike group and take command of the flatering right flank.
Combat was bloody as the right flank was marred by heavy boarding activity as the smaller carracks and galleons attempted to take over eachothers ships. Ship on ship combat was more common in the middle, where the larger galleases and galleons of the navies fired salvos upon salvos on eachother, tearing man and ship to shreds. While winning on the right flank, the Vjaar's began feeling the pressure on their centre and left. The 10 largest ships in the Sjealandian navy led by Gyldenstjernen succeeded in splitting the Vjaarlandic navy in two, with the left part being quickly sunken. Sensing the coming defeat Hans Guildersten lowered the Vjaarlandic banner and raised a white flag. This was repeated by the majority of his fleet, albeit some managed to escape. Guildersten boarded the Gyldenstjernen, surrendering his sword to Tiino, aswell as his ship. Over 210 Vjaarlandic ships had been sunk, compared to 74 Sjealandian. A further 41 were captured by the Sjealandians. However Guildersten and his remaining men and ship were allowed to sail back to Strandhavn carrying the Archkings offer of peace negotiations.
The heavy defeat at Norfýk left the Vjaarlandic navy in a sorry state, many of its most experienced sailors and commanders either died or were captured in the battle. Guildersten's arrival in Strandhavn was moreover greeted with sorrow, as widows and mothers of the dead flocked to the docks. Moreover the terms delivered to the Vjaarlandic King were harsh. At first Fredrik IV rejected the terms, calling them A piece of sacriligeous filth written by a inhuman pagan. But this was changed as the entire Sjealandian navy arrived in Strandhavn the following month, spearheaded by Kristian I upon his flagship Skidbladner. Over 5000 Sjealandian marines disembarked into Strandhavn, beginning a pseudo-occupation of the docks while the navy lay at anchor, ready to reduce the capital to rubble.
Kristian I was greeted by Fredrik IV in the Royal Palace and was given chambers befitting his rank as Archking. Quickly negotiations began between the Sjealandians and Vjaarlandians about the peace-terms that would be agreed upon. The Vjaarlandic had luckily made clear orders to not accept unconditional surrender, so while in a hard place they had some power in negotiation. Most importantly for the Sjealandians were the trade-privilieges they desired in the northern seas, aswell as reparations for the Strandhavn riots. The Vjaarlandic side had a hard time negotiating, but were able to secure Vjaarlandic hegemony over the seas north of modern day Fjalland, aswell as mainfland Fjalland itself, which Sjealand had no interest in due to its relative poverty. After 7 months of negotiations a full set of terms were put fourth in the Treaty of Strandhavn (1598).
The full terms of the peace is written down below in English.
- The Vjaarlandic League agrees to pay the reparations amounting to 750,000 Sjealandian Rigsdalers to the families of those who died during the St. Quentyns Night 1579 aswell as the trading companies here listed: The Tuthinan Company, The North Sea League, Tor's Traders, The West-Nordanian Company and Anders Samuelsens Company.
- His Royal Highness Fredrik IV, Emperor of the Vjaars here-upon dutifully acknowledge that the Sea of Njord, and the Great Sea stretching from Ultima Borealia unto Tuthina, is the undoubtable domain of His Royal Highness Kristian I de Lyksborg, by the grace of the gods, Archking of Sjealand, Grand Prince of Hogaland, Tanska and Hammersved, Grand Ducke of Højlandet and Merratind, Archduke of Viglen, Duke of Asgård, Västergötaland, Vestfold and Vipoouri, Marquess of Ahletoft, Master of the Golden eagle, Lion of the North and Lord Protector of the Realm. his descendants and his people. The Vjaarlandic League moreso agrees to never trespass on these sovereign domains of the Sjealandian crown and to request the guided permission of the Sjealandian monarch, should they wish to move ships of war through this domain.
- The Crown of Sjealand hereunto recognizes that the seas of ice, north of Cape Wrath in Fjalland is the hegemony of the Vjaarlandic crown and that its subjects will be subject to Vjaarlandic laws while in these seas. Tradesmen of Sjealand will be exempt for the need to pay for the right of fishing or trading there provided that they pay a fee, no larger than 1000 Vjaarlandic Stykker when docking for a permit.
- The Vjaarlandic crown hereupon acknowledges the ancestral right of the Norcist Sjealandian people to practise their true religion in their legitimate homeland defined as the region of Nordania stretching from Sjealand in the south-west, the alemannic states in the south-east, the lanosian coast in the north-east and the Fjallandic petty states in the north-west. The Vjaarlandic crown will make no attempt to limit the Norcist Sjealandian people in their expression of their faith and will allow them to construct their Godrshal whereever they see fit, provided they pay the same dividends as those of the Faith of the Cross.
- The Emperor of Vjaarland, and all his descendants acknowledge the Sjealandian monarchs inherent equality with the Emperor, in his position as Archking and will always treat the Sjealandian Monarch, and by extension the Sjealandian crown with the respect, this requires.
- The Archkingdom of Sjealand will open an embassy in the Royal City of Strandhavn by no later date than the 1st of January 1600, and the same action will be taken by the Vjaarlandic League in The Most Sublime City of Asgård.
- All Vjaarlandic ships of the crown, or under the employment of its host will pay the required respects to the Sjealandian banner should they meet it on the high seas.
Signed: Kristian I, Archirex-Sjealand Fredrik IV, Rex-Vjaarland
With the signing of the treaty, the 29 years of war ended.
Second Vjaaro-Sjealandian War
The acquisition of Fjalland, Vajorr and Lydland by 1688 left Vjaarland as eastern Nordania's supreme land power. The Vjaarlandic Empire was now more than ever the premier nation on the mainland, and its influence spread across the region. The Emperor, Fredrik V, sought to use this pretense to once and for all cast off the shackles left by the Sjealandians after the Treaty of Strandhavn. The heavy terms of the first war had left Vjaarland in a precarious situation, and its legal inability to trade with the Westerisles made it close to impossible to further its economic wealth. The monopoly on the Tuthinan trade not only made Sjealand incredibly wealthy, but also gave its many trade companies the ability to dominate trade in western Nordania, leaving Vjaarland out of a significant prize.
Though economically weak Vjaarland had still spent a considerable amount on its naval forces after the war, in order to prevent a future Sjealandian invasion, and with the incorporation of the new conquests, the shipyards of Strandhavn and Nordfýk began working on offensive ships. Most importantly construction was started on a new innovation, the ship-of-the-Line.
With the stronger navy behind him, the now emboldened Fredrik decided to abandon the first of the terms set in the treaty. He officially disregarded points 5 and 7 in the peace treaty, proclaiming himself above the Sjealandian Archking and issued orders to all Vjaarlandic vessels to never show respect to Sjealandian vessels. The Sjealandian banner would not be flown in Sjealandian waters or habours and Vjaarlandic ships would ignore Sjealandian ships. These news reached the enraged Frederik I of Sjealand, who sent stern letters demanding that the Vjaars honoured the treaty. These were sternly denied. Once more in 1680 the Sjealandian Archking sent diplomats, this time carrying an ultimatum and a Sjealandian Sword of the Realm, hoping the threat of another defeat would scare off the Vjaars. Upon arriving in Strandhavn the diplomats were hanged for being pagans as the emperor broke the fourth decree and returned the sword broken. War had returned to Nordania.
Being the aggressor, Vjaarland was quickly able to raise its fleets, which set sail 2 days after the declaration of war did. 57 warships set sail, from Strandhavn under great celebration from the city's population. The first fireworks ever to be introduced to Nordania were fired as the fleet left, to great amazement of the populace. The news of the war had spread quickly across the empire, and was being used by Vjaarlandic officials as a means to unify the occupied provinces, which at this point had only been under the crown for three years. The common christian religion helped the fervour spread the army began growing steadily.
In Sjealand the declaration of war, and the hanging of the diplomats, sparked outrage. The Vjaarlandic take-over in Fjalland and Vajorr had already worried the Sjealandians and now the Vjaars finally acted on the Sjealandian worries. Archking Frederik promptly issued orders for Leidang, and fast riders stormed across Sjealand informing nobles and the free cities of the leidang. While hundreds and later thousands of soldiers began pouring in to defend the cities, the Royal Sjealandian Navy issued orders to all sailors to return to their ships. Within 4 days all the Royal Navy ships in Sjealand were ready to set sail, and orders were relayed to rendevouz in northern Sjealand. The following week the Vjaarlandic navy docked safely in Norfýk, recieving reinforcements from Fjalland and stocking up on supplies. Skirmishing had occurred around the sea of Njord, with one particular battle occuring off the Teutonic coast where the Sjealandian ship-of-the-line Heimdahls Pryd attacked and sunk 5 Vjaarlandic mercantile vessels. Vjaarlandic captain Sigmind Hammersved had also succeeded in leading his squadron of 4 ships into the bay of a Sjealandian trade-fortress in southern Nordania, attacking it and heavily damaging them buildings.
However with the growing threat of Vjaarlandic reinforcements and the undeniable fact of Vjaarlands much larger manpower pool, the Sjealandian admirality devised a plan to take the attacking fleet out of the war. Sjealandian admiral Peder Wessel would lead a strike force consisting of every Sjealandian ship-of-the-line and man-of-war, in total 29 ships, and assault the Vjaarlandic fleet before it was able to take the offensive. Wessel took his strike force, and instead of the usual route, following the Nordanian coast, he directly crossed the Sea of Njord, thus remaining out of sight of spies on the coast. However news still reached the Vjaarlandic Emperor of Sjealandian strike force preparing, and the Vjaarlandic fleet began relocating to the Dynasborg bay in Vajorr the following month.
When the strike force finally left Nordvakt in early 1681, they were well informed of the situation in Fjalland and Vajorr and Wessel subsequently changed the orders while on the sea, changing the course to Vajorr and distributing all known maps of the bay to his captains. In early february 1681 the flotilla reached Vajorr close to the Dynasborg bay, and began preparing their assault. After nightfall the fleet landed two groups of marines, one on each of the bay. These groups began assaulting Vjaarlandic nightwatches while the flotilla silently entered the bay, without any lights on. The Sjealandians ambushed the Vjaarlandic fleet while it was resting in the harbour, hammering the quickly built coastal forts with their cannons. The largest Vjaarlandic ship Krigsgetan was boarded by marines who entered the ship on small row boats, assaulting the sleeping sailors with swords and muskets. After a few minutes of fighting the captain surrendered the ship.
The Sjealandian ships-of-the-line was sailing in a circle around in the bay, boarding and sinking several ships. The final ship Kejserdømmet, a newly constructed ship-of-the-line, which was the flagship of the fleet and the pride of the Vjaarlandic navy exploded when the Sjealandian cannon-fire set alight its gunpowder storage. In all the battle was a decisive Sjealand victory, as 30 Vjaarlandic ships were captured, with the remaining 27 either sunk or heavily damaged.
Massively crippled by the battle, the Emperor Fredrik V ordered his remaining navy to retreat to the Empires major port cities, namely Strandhavn, Norfýk, NAME and NAME. Archking Frederik II however was ecstatic by the news of the victory, ordering almost the entirety of the navy to link up with Wessels strike-force and ravage the coastline of the empire. The strike-force remained in Dynasborg, occupying the city and using the local industry to repair and strenghten their fleet and conquered ships. Over the winter they remained in the city, raiding and pillagin the country-side until the Sjealandian fleet of 128 armed ships arrived in the spring of 1682. The combined fleet of 187 ships set sail and began heavy shelling and bombardment of the Vajorrian coastline. Every port large enough to hold a Vjaarlandic fleet was stormed, and dozens of ships returned to Sjealand with gold, thralls and plunder.
Fjallanders loyal to the Imperial Crown managed to piece together fleet of 51 smaller armed vessels and attempted to assault the Sjealandians when they were assaulting a Vajorrian town on the northern border. While the fleet was quickly destroyed by the Sjealandians, it made them realize that not only Vjaarland, but Vajorr and Fjalland were all united against them. In an attempt to quickly end the war the Sjealandian admirality in 1692 ordered the entire navy to attack the entire coastline, and assault Strandhavn once this was done. A campaign was drawn up that would split the Sjealandian navy in 5 fleets that would rotate deployments and hammer the imperial coast.
For 7 years the Sjealandians assaulted the Fjallandian and Vjarrlandic coasts, but thanks to the Fredrik's foresight, many coastal batteries had been assembled in northern Fjalland and Vjaarland. These batteries proved particularly hard on the Sjealandian fleets, who rarely knew of the placements of the batteries, which often changed. Adolf Strømfelt, a young Vjaarlandic naval officer, succesfully commanded his batteries in north-eastern Vjaarland time and time against the Sjealandians. Often mixing up their positions or hiding them when the Sjealandians arrived, then assaulting when they were returning ladenend with treasure. An increasing number of nobles and soldiers began supporting Strømfelt because of his actions, feeling more loyal to him, than the Emperor, and Strømfelt was recalled to the capital in 1700.
Siege of Strandhavn
In spite of Strømfelts heavy resistance the Sjealandian navy finally managed the clear a way towards Strandhavn. In 1701, strengthened by sailors of leidang and mercenaries, 141 Sjealandian warships and 207 transports set sail from Asgård with the course set towards the Vjaarlandic capital. The way to the capital was relatively clear as result of the assaults on the coastline. The Vjaarlandic fleet, crippled and without the ability to fight back, had retreated back to a closed off fjord, close to the border with Austrosia. Letters were sent by the Emperor to all the christian natons of Nordania, asking for support as the heathen fleet approached their capital.
In july 1701 the fleet finally sighted Strandhavn and sailors began joyusly singing Sjealandian war-songs. Fredrik V ordered the civillians to evacuate the city, leaving a fifth of his men to guard them as they retreated, while ordering the defences around Strandhavn strengthened. The fleet opened fire on the forts in the surrounding fjord, levelling them as the transports landed Sjealandian marines and troops. 21,000 soldiers positioned themselves around strandhavn, encircling the city and establishing multiple artillery positions. In the days following the Wessel, who was now commander of the fleet, offered the city mercy, should they surrender. Many of the city's generals considered it but Strømfelt, supported by Emperor Fredrik V refused the demands.
The fleet and army thus opened fire, bombarding the city day and night, with many attempted sorties into the harbour. The Vjaarlandic defenders effectively used great chains, sunk ships and fireships to block the majority of the harbour from the Sjealandian navy, this limiting its ability to strike inside the city. The Imperial Palace was however within range, and was almost levelled by the Sjealandian cannons. In order to boost his mens morale Fredrik V didnt leave the palace until it was certain it would fall and untill everyone else had left it. From the 8th through to the 20th of July the besieging army unsuccesfully attempted to storm the city several times resulting in heavy casualties and a weaker siege. A sortie from the city was attempted aswell, but the superior Sjealandian artillery proved devastating on the charging army. Unable to take the city the Sjealandians decided to wait out the city and starve it. Vjaaro thralls were made to dig trenches and positions outside the city in range of the defenders, so that the Vjaarlandic defence could only kill their own. After a week Strandhavn was practically surrounded by a network of trenches and redoubts.
The news of the siege had not gone unheard, and local nobles were quickly gathering a relieving force for the capital. Praying for the city to hold Duke Karl Falkenberg amassed a large force in central Vjaarland and began marching for the capital. The attackers, far from their own land had little to no intelligence in the area beyond the range of their scouts. They were thus relatively unaware of the happenings inside of Vjaarland, counting of the rest of the navy to distract and spread the Imperial forces across Vjaarland. This would prove fatal for the operation as the evergrowing army approached the capital, which had now been besieged for 2 months. In early october King CRETHIAN DUDE moreover arrived with a large fleet and expeditionary army, landing them in eastern Vjaarland and marching to join Falkenberg, while the main force of his fleet sailed to regroup with the remaining Vjaarlandic navy.
Recieving word of this the Sjealandian command attempted to make one final assault on the city from all fronts. The navy was relatively succesful, managing to level large portions of the harbour, but the army failed spectacularly, almost being pushed beyond their redoubts by the defenders. Seeing this defeat and the inevitability of reinforcements the Sjealandians decided the siege a lost cause and quickly evacuated their remaining forces in November. When Falkenberg and CRETHIAN DUDE arrived they recieved a hero's welcome in the city.
The embarrasing retreat from Strandhavn and the realization that christian nordanians were flocking to Vjaarland's banner caused great worry in the Asgård Court. With a population not even half of the coalitions Sjealand could never hope to defeat them on land or through attrition. Archking Valdemar VIII therefore decided that the fleets should retreat and defend the important Sjealandian trade-routes with The Westerisles rather than waste men on bombarding the imperial coastal cities. The majority of the western fleets would be rebased to Hörgafjordur in Norday while the eastern fleets would defend Sjealand. However unbeknownst the the Archking, Emperor Mathias II had planted several spies inside the Sjealand court. Their reports quickly made it back to Strandhavn, where the Vjaar fleet, strengthened by the Crethians, was quickly rebuilding. Several prominent noblemen suggested focusing the entire navy on an assault on Sjealandian, however Strømfelt instead suggested assaulting the western fleet first, thereby cutting the Sjealandian navy in half. Although young, Strømfelt enjoyed considerable support from the newer peerage aswell as the admirals who fought at Strandhavn, and eventually Mathias decided to support Strømfelt.
While a smaller fleet was sent to distract the Sjealandians, 73 modern and heavily armed ships left strandhavn in november 1702 under the cover of the winter iceflows. Instead of hugging the coast and sailing down the Nordanian coast, the Vjaar fleet sailed the dangerous route north of Ultima Borealia and towards the northern isles of Tuthina. The trip would last aproximately 50 days and supplies would have to be heavily rationed, but using this route would be much preferable to the southern route which was under Sjealandian control. The fleet arrived in Matkunaw after 49 days, having had luck with the winds. After resupplying in the city of Tar-Askan, the Vjaar fleet finally made ready for the final assault. Ordering the fleet southbound, Strømfelt hugged the Tuthinan coast, making sure to establish relations with the Westerners as he passed by the island of NAME, the home of the Imperial Capital of Sakan. Knowing the homeland was distracting the Sjealandians through sporadic attacks, Strømfelt spent the following months carefully assaulting Sjealandian merchant-vessels and training his crews for the coming battle.
In Hörgafjordur, the Tuthinan Company had, begun noticing the missing merchant vessels, and Sjealandian admiral Iver Borsgaard decided to send 10 of his 81 ships westbound to secure the Tuthinan seas and possibly gain the Tuthinans on their side. This naval group managed to not only miss the nearing Vjaar's but it's arrival in Sakan was a blunder as Emperor NAME utterly denied their requests for support, throwing them out of Sakan. As a result the Sjealandian fleet in Hörgafjordur was now not only lacking 10 of it's strongest ships, but was without any allies as Norday could offer no support besides allowing the Sjealandians to use their land.
Not expecting the coming assault, the Sjealandian fleet has positioned itself in the bay surrounding the town of Hörgafjordur. At the entrace of the bay two cannon batteries consisting of 20 12-pounder cannons with 10 on each side of the mouth. Inside the bay, the Sjealandian fleet lay anchored, with the heavies ships surrounding a small islet in the deeper middle of the bay. The smaller ships were either docked in the city or lay at anchor around the coastline. Assisting the naval force and the batteries were a garrison of 500 Sjealandian troops, who had taken residence in the small fortress of Nilashus which too was equipped with 5 12-pounders. Arriving on the 17th of March 1703, the Vjaarlandic fleet managed to avoid the system of beacons built by the natives to signal a possible shipwreck they could plunder. After the Tuthinan company bought power on the isles, the beacons had been co-opted as a warning system of any privateers or hostile fleets nearing.
Nearing dusk, Strømfelt caught the first sight of the bay. He decided to hide the majority of his 21 ships-of-the-line and engaged the coastal batteries with his frigates and barges. With the sun at their backs, they fired broadsides into the hastily dug protective trenches, taking the tired soldiers by surprise. A salvo hid the northern ammunition depot, killing 13 soldiers, and disabling the northern battery as the southern began opening fire. Reeling back from the first assault, Captain Anders Nielsen took command of the battery, initiating fire on Strømfelts leading Barge Steinklipperen. Meanwhile the Sjealandian fleet, alerted to the attack, struggled to muster it's sailors and marines, many of whom were inside Hörgafjordur, drinking and whoring. But Iver Borsgaard dispatched 3 of his remaining 12 ships-of-the-line to leave the bay and hold off the attacking fleet until the rest of the fleet was mustered. However the sheer number of attacking Vjaar ships began pushing the unprepared Sjealandians into the bay. A lucky salvo by the southern battery managed to blow up Steinklipperen and the frigate Horniglen.
To combat the effective fire of the southern battery, Strømfelt ordered a force of 150 marines land on the south-end and take it. Lieutenant Adolf Hansson and 150 men boarded longboats and quickly sailed towards the shore, while under heavy musket and swivel-gun fire from the Sjealandians. Charging up the beaches, Hansson decapitated the commander of the battery with his cutlass, before his men fired their muskets on the panicking Sjealandian troops. It took only a few minutes to take the battery. Following this Adolf turned the cannons on the still anchoring Sjealandian ships, which were desperately trying to leave port and join the fray. As more and more of Strømfelts smaller ships entered the bay, he finally gave the order for the ships-of-the-line to assault, and as they appeared at the mouth of the bay, the Sjealandians began panicking. Having been able to muster most of their larger ships, the Sjealandians formed as quick battle line, attempting to fire successive broadsides into the Vjaar fleet, which could only fire with their forwards cannons until they entered the bay. This managed to hold them off for some hours, but the sheer number of Vjaar guns, began making dents in the Sjealandian battle line as ship after ship was put out, many having not managed to join the battle. Longboats began disembarking more marines, who engaged the Sjealandian sailors and marines that had not yet embarked. Heavy fighting occured on the southern shore as Hansson and 560 marines fought in close-quartes combat with the Sjealandians at a make-shift fort.
Seeing the losing battle, and realizing more Vjaar ships were entering, Borsgaard decided to order his men to abandon ship, as he began steering his ship-of-the-line Gyldenduen, the pride of the navy, towards the Vjaar fleet. The heavy fighting had started several fires on the ship, which would soon reach the gunpowder storage. Suffering heavy damages to the ship, Borsgaard and a dozen remaining sailors broke into the Sjealandian royal hymn, as they guided their ship towards the main line of the vjaar fleet. As Gyldenduen reached the mouth of the bay it exploded in a firery inferno that tore through 6 Vjaar ships, killing all immediately. The sinking ship managed to block the entrance to the bay, but dozens of Vjaar ships had already entered the bay and were hammering the Sjealandian ships while their marines were inflicting heavy casualties as they pushed towards Hörgafjordur. With their admiral dead, and casualties increasing, several captains decided to sink their ships before the Vjaar's could reach them, while the land-forces slowly began surrendering. Vjaarland captured 21 ships, loosing 11 while almost all of the Sjealandian western navy was eradicated.
Following the catastrophic defeat at Hörgafjordur, the Sjealandian navy was practically halfed, as many of the ships still on the Western seas were mercilessly hunted down by the Vjaar's as revenge for the Sjealandian piracy. Not contenct to suffer a defeat, Archking Kristian III ordered in 1705 that the remaining ships assault Strømfelts returning fleet, which was making it's way up the coast of Nordania. In the Battle of the Tynic Sea and the Battle of Nordstrand these fleets suffered further defeats, opening up Asgård for Vjaar attacks, which began soon after, dozens of Vjaar fleets assaulted the Sjealand capital, but the heavily fortified city could not be assaulted as the surrounding archipelago easily hid Sjealandian batteries and fleets. But heavily in debt because of the massive loss of ships, Sjealand finally sued for peace.
Emperor MAthias II, arrived in Asgård to much fanfare in 1706, shaking Kristian III's hand before Valdemar kissed his. While many Vjaar's wanted strict terms imposed upon Sjealand, Vjaarland had suffered equally in the war, and neither state was in any position to keep on fighting. So the Treaty of Asgård was a relatively light peace-treaty. Sjealand relinquished any monopoly on the Tuthinan trade, freed Vjaarland of any and all bonds, and recognised the Vjaarlandic Emperors spiritual and secular superiority.