Garðaríki Saga, A Nordic Pagan Russia

Garðaríki Saga Timeline:

Divergence, AD 945
Igor Rurikovich or as he's known as in this timeline Ingvarr Roriksen, the son Rurik the Varangian ((viking)) ruler of Garðaríki ((Norse colony of Russia in modern Novgorod)) survives his assassination attempt at the hands of the Drevlians. ((In our timeline he's captured and, "They had bent down two birch trees to the prince's feet and tied them to his legs; then they let the trees straighten again, thus tearing the prince's body apart."))
By virtue of his survival his wife Olga of Kiev ((Saint Olga in our time)) never goes to Constantinople and converts to Christianity and doesn't raise their son Sveinald ((Sviatoslav)) in the Slavic traditions.

The Eastern Great Heathen Army, AD 950
Soon after he escaped his would-be execution Ingvarr Roriksen sends an invitation across the Norse world, any Norse pagan man capable of fighting will be promised land and all the riches they can loot if they come to Garðaríki for a great campaign against the slavs. By AD 950 as the Norse had begun losing territory in the British Isles and kings in Scandinavia began converting to Catholicism a new Great Heathen Army has sailed to Garðaríki to serve Ingvarr in his campaign.

Norsification of Garðaríki, AD 960
After several campaigns against the local Slavic tribes especially the Drevlians whose prince had been subject to the infamous Blood Eagle. The Norse have solidified their place in Garðaríki above the local slavs. In order to assure their dominance the Lög Sama was introduced, a legal precedent across Garðaríki in which all children born to Slavic parents would be taken at birth and raised as Norse Pagan, be they born to thralls or the few helpless tributary Slavic tribes that remained under Garðaríki control and influence. ((This action was unprecedented in the Norse world who's settlers often just assimilated to the local culture of their settlements, but these were almost all desperate people fearing their way of life was disappearing. So they took a very drastic step to preserve it and build a legacy to last.))

The Death of Ingvarr, AD 962
After falling ill at 83 Ingvarr "All Father" Roriksen dies and is hailed as the true founder of Garðaríki and the father of Norse culture in Eastern Europe. His son Sveinald Ingvarsen succeeds him at the age of 19, Sveinald is intensely ambitious and wishes to greatly expand Garðaríkis borders.

Sveinald's Life and Assassination, AD 972
Sveinald would go on to become a great conqueror making Garðaríki one of the largest realms in all of ancient Europe. Sveinald defeated major Eastern European powers such as Khazaria and the first Bulgarian Empire for payment by the Byzantine Empire, as well as conquering a multitude of slavic tribes. Sveinald would also move the capital of Garthariki from Kiev to Pereyaslavets in the Balkans. However Sveinald would be assassinated on the order of Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII by the Pencheg Khan Kurya in 972 at the age of 29.

The Rise of Valdamarr, AD 978
Svienalds realm is fractured among his sons Oleg, Jaropełk ((Yaropolk)), and Valdamarr ((Vladimir)). Oleg taking the former Drevlian lands, Jaropełk taking Kiev, and Valdamarr taking Novgorod. A civil war broke out between Oleg and Jaropełk in which Oleg is unintentionally killed by Jaropełk's men while retreating. In 976 Jaropełk sent an army to march upon Novgorod. The young Valdamarr was forced to flee to Norway. Only with the aid of his relative Ladejarl Håkon Sigurdsson he amassed an army of Norsemen and Valdamarr was able to make a stand against his half brother Jaropełk. In 978 Valdamarr and his forces marched on Kiev. On his march to Kiev Valdamarr would ask Ragnvald of Polotsk for his daughter Ragnhild's hand in marriage as she was betrothed to Jaropełk. Ragnhild refused so Valdamarr took her by force and had Ragnvald along with his two sons killed so he could take Polotsk. By taking Polotsk and then later Smolensk Valdamarr was able to take Kiev and slay his brother Jaropełk and take control of Garðaríki.

Valdamarr the Unifier, AD 985
In 981 Valdamarr would take Red Ruthenia in a war with the poles, in 982 he would defeated at the Slavic Vyatich peoples rebellion, in 983 he conquered the baltic Yotvingians, in 984 he conquered the Radimichs slavs, and in 985 he campaigned against the Volga Bolgars taking much land for Garthariki. However Valdamarr is most well known for his synchronism of Norse mythology with local Slavic, Finnic, Baltic, and even Iranian/Persian mythologies. While the Rurikids remained staunchly Norse Pagan other pagan faiths were allowed and no longer persecuted in Garðaríki and the Lög Sama was ended officially. ((Even though unofficially in som areas the tradition endured until the Mongol conquest.)) Valdamarr would commission the famous Gudarnas Helgedom or Temple of all Gods outside of Kiev with elaborate wooden carvings and statues of various Gods and the Rurikid Dynasty equating himself as living God. While at first his efforts were met with criticism and even a rebellion by Norse noblemen after it was defeated the synchronization was successful and won Valdamarr the respect of the local slavs and fins. For these efforts Valdamarr would be known as Valdamarr the Unifier. Valdamarr was also famous for having taken over a thousand concubines over his lifetime as well as dozens of wives having well over 200 children throughout his life. ((In our timeline he's known as Vladimir the Great and converts to Orthodox Christianity after his failed attempt at trying to become a pagan god king like he succeeds in doing in this timeline))

((Left to right top to bottom: Odin, Perun, Ukko, and Simargl))

Death of the Unifier and Unified Garðaríki, AD 1015
After Valdamarr's death in 1015 ad the Garðaríki realm would shatter, splitting among his numerous sons. Only with the aid of Norse Mercenaries Jarizleifr ((Yaroslav the Wise)) Valdamarsen was able to reunite Garthariki in 1019 taking Kiev from his older brother Sveinald ((Sviatopolk)) after he refused to pay tribute after Vladamarr's death. In 1030 Jarizleifr would take cities from Lithuania and in 1036 he would build a series of forts in the East to defend against raids from the Penchegs and other such nomadic khanates. However Jarizleifr is most known for his campaigns against the Byzantine Empire launching several raids on Greek cities such as Constaninople in 1043 and later in 1051 where he would then also campaign for writing and literature in books, even writing down the entirety of various Garðaríki pagan myths in a collection of books called the Sagīnas throughout the last few years of his life until 1054. While Norse mythology was by far the most complete, later authors would further complete the works in the future. After Jarizleifr's death Garðaríki would fall apart once again, however this time there would be no unifying it, not until many generations in the future. Yet it's through Jarizleifr's efforts that the pagan identity of the Garðaríki successor states/ princedoms retained their staunchly pagan identity.

Subjugation of Garðaríki, AD 1198-1237
Generations Passed as the Garðaríki Princedoms fought for supremacy none of them being able to completely defeat the others. Due to the Northern Crusades officially starting in 1198 the Garthariki realms would see a massive influx of defeated Slavic, Baltic, and Uralic pagan tribes. While the separate princedoms did often fight amongst each other they would often ally against the crusaders due to this only taking minimal losses in the West and in Finland. However most all of the other Pagan realms in Europe would either be force converted to Christianity or wiped out and colonized by Christians such as the German Teutonic Order in the Baltic Coast in 1226ce. However the Crusaders would be the least of the Garthariki realms worries as in November of the year 1237ce Batu Khan would send an Envoy to Prince Juris II of Valdamarr demanding his submission to the Golden Horde. Juris II refused and so the Golden Hordes armies descended on Valdamarr wiping out many cities and slaughtering the royal family. With the quick defeat of Valdamarr and the encroaching teutonic knights many of the Garðaríki Princedoms would surrender to the at the time Tengri pagan Mongols. A notable example of this is Alfarr Jarizleifrsson Prince of Novgorod who defeated the Teutonic Order at the Battle on the Ice sacrificing any Tuetonic captives to Odin. Alfarr agreed to pay tribute to the Golden Horde sparing Novgorod the same fate as Kiev, Moscow, Valdamarr, and many more. With the defeat of the Teutonic Knights and protection offered by the sheer size and military might of the Golden Horde the Christains assault on the Garðaríki realms ended. While bitter at the loss of their independence the Mongols proved to be tolerant and largely hands off rulers which is a far cry from what the crusaders would have done if they conquered the Garthariki realms.

The Tatar Yoke, AD 1313-1380
The year is 1313 while the Garðaríki were not pleased with being subjects of the Golden Horde they tolerated the Mongols due to Mongols keeping the Northern Crusaders out of Garðaríki territory. However when the Muslim Oz Beg Khan took control of the Golden Horde the staunchly pagan Garðaríki princedoms began to stir and plot revolts. While the Golden Horde stayed tolerant of other religions, the pagan majority of Garðaríki became worried about a major outside religion gaining power in the region. This religious tolerance also led to a migration of muslims and Eastern Christians into Garðaríki establishing temples and mosques in the region and sending out missionaries to convert locals away from paganism. However, the fact that the Golden Horde would begin to trade slaves with the Ottoman Empire, many of which were raided and taken from pagan Garðaríki Villages was the final straw to the Garðaríki people. In their minds the Tatars would destroy Garthariki in the same way the crusaders would, the Tatars needed to be destroyed." Part of what would be the Golden Horde's undoing would be the introduction of gunpowder into europe. Simple bombs were in widespread use by the Mongols but their cavalry archer reliant armies never adopted the firearm. While the Christians of Western Europe viewed the firearm as crude and unchivalrous the pagan Garðaríki noticed the thunderous booming scared horses and connected them to their thunder gods such as Thor and Perun. They had no qualms about the use of firearms in combat and sought to develop the extremely simple and primitive hand cannons of the middle ages, but limited technology and manufacturing techniques of the time slowed the process. In 1327 Aleksander of Tver was the first to attempt to revolt against the Golden Horde after Chol-Khan took control of Tver and attempted to force the people to convert to Islam. The rebellion ended in disaster with Aleksander being captured and executed along with several villages being burned to the ground by Mongol Armies. ((In this timeline Ivar Danielsson or Ivan Daniilovich in our timeline never appealed to the Khan of the Golden Horde so Moscovy never gained additional land and privileges. Thus Muscovy was never built up by the Mongols.)) in 1346 through 1353 the black death or Bubonic Plague had reached Europe. While Gathariki had mass deaths they were lessened compared to Western Europe due to a lack of superstition against cats and bathing seen in Christian Europe. Due to a civil war in the Golden Horde in 1359 due to the assasination of Khan Berdi Beg by Temnik Mamai, the Golden Horde had weakened and begun to fall apart. The Garðaríki Princedoms noticed this and began to prepare for war. On September 8th 1380 various Principalities led by the Rurikids fought the Golden Horde and won in Battle of Kulikovo. This was the first use of Garðaríki black powder tactics which involved use of Tyufyakir which typically had longer and slimmer barrels than other handgonnes at the time and fired brass fletched gun arrows. Khan Mamai was forced to flee and abandon his title after his figurehead khan Mukhammad-Bulek was killed in battle. The Garthariki pushed the advantage and sacked the Golden Horde's capital Sarai however they took heavy losses in the process. After this the Golden Horde lost any real authority in Garðaríki the princedoms were disunited and squabbling about what to do.

The Pre Imperial Period, AD 1380-1497
The next hundred plus years are known as the Pre Imperial Period. The battle of Grunwald in 1410 when the Novgorod Princedom forced the teutonic knights from the East with a momentary alliance with Pagan Lithuania. With the influx of raided loot, new land in the west, and access to the Baltic, the Novgorod princedom became the closest thing to a central government in Gathariki. This was also sadly a time of purges and genocide as any non pagans in the Gathariki princedoms be it muslim tatars, Orthodox Greek settlers, or jewish khazars were either sacrificed, forced to flee, or force converted in rare cases. This was also a time of attempted revolts from non varangians in Gathariki be it cultural Slavs, Uralic peoples, or Tatar migrants. Such as in 1382 before Novgorod gained dominance of Gathariki, Moscow was burned in a revolt by several Uralic tribes who dominated the region. In 1412 Wassily I would take back Muscovy from the Uralic peoples and re-establish the princedom of Valdamarr. Wassily I would also restart the practice of conforming non Varagian/Norse Gatharki into Norse culture and religion and ruling much more strictly than other Gathariki princes. In 1462 Ivar III ((Ivan the Great)) rose to power in Moscow, in 1477. Ivar III would then march the Moscow army on the rest of the Garðaríki princedoms. By 1480 Ivar III conquered a vast majority of the Gathariki Princedoms and in 1497 he created the Lǫgnik Legal System. Among the most prominent of its laws it appoints Ivar III as Kjarr or emperor of all Gathariki, thus ending the Pre Imperial Period and beginning the Garðaríki Empire.

The Time of Troubles, AD 1505-1613
By the year 1505 all the Garðaríki princedoms were conquered under the Garðaríki Empire, and Ivar III dies having his son Wasily III take his title of Kjarr. Wasily III's reign would mostly be made up of him quelling rebellions from the conquered princedoms and non-norse Garðaríki upset with the new laws on conformity and Norse superiority. Wasily III however would die in 1533 at 53 years old. His son Ivar IV ((Ivan the terrible)) would take the throne under regency of a council of Jarls at the age of 3 years old. Ivar IV and his deaf younger brother Georg would be neglected by the Council of Jarls who would go on to the conquests of the Khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan. When Ivar IV takes the throne he is an angry unhinged man. Ivar IV rein would be dominated by civil unrest and foreign invasion. Uralic Peoples in Livonia would revolt against the Kjarr which created an opening for an invasion of the East by a coalition of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden which in turn gave the opportunity for the kingdom of Poland to invade as well. This conflict would become known as the Livonian Wars and was a time of terrible strife for Garðaríki. The Livonian Wars marked the true beginning of the Time of Troubles which nearly saw Garðaríki destroyed and was paired with the occupation by Poland and other angery Catholic powers. In 1581 Ivar IV killed his son Ivar V in a fit of mad rage leaving his weak minded younger son Fjodor ((Feodor)) as his successor when he died in 1584. Between the wars and a great famine in 1601 over a third of Garðaríki's population died. In 1598 Feodor died young and heirless causing Garðaríki to descend into further chaos until 1613 when another Rurikid the deposed Jarl of Novgorod Asviðr the Great took Moscow with an army of Cossacks whom he'd lived with after being ousted from Novgorod by the Swedes. ((Novgorod was never a republic in this timeline and there are waaay more Rurikids on the account of the several wives and even more concubines thing, so the Romanovs never take power.))

The Siberian Campaigns, AD 1634-1659
By 1634 the last Western power at war with Garðaríki Poland had signed a treaty to surrender claims at the cost of Garðaríki Western Territories including the Balkans. With the realm finally at peace Garðaríki could finally catch its breath and focus inwards. One of Asviðr the Great's first actions was to once again halt any Norse conformity practices that had been restarted by the Ivans and to build a greater pagan identity for his subjects current and future to rally behind. This included the inclusion of Tengrism and other Siberian Shamanistic practices into the shared pagan identity of Garðaríki. This was done as both payment to the few shamanistic Cossacks whom Asviðr the Great owed his empire to and as a means of sowing discontent among the now firmly Islamic Khanates across Siberia now in Garðaríki's crosshairs. This also marked a time of intense isolation for Garðaríki from the rest of Europe as their attention turned Eastwards, the only real interaction with West being a system of state backed raids knows as the Einkaárásir introduced by Asviðr the Great as opposed to serfdom. While the Einkaárásir raiders claimed lineage from the Vikings their horseback tactics and nomadic existence made them more similar to Tatar raiders with firearms who shared a cut of their loot with the Empire like a privateer. For over twenty years Garðaríki's forces spearheaded by the Cossacks swept across the Siberian steppes aided by pagan Tatars convinced to revolt against their Islamic elite. Yet the most influential conflict of this time period came at the end when the Manchurian Qing Dynasty raided Garðaríki settlements in Armour prompting Garðaríki to diplomacy with the weakened Ming Dynasty of whom they quickly found each other as brotherly peoples. Both being large non-abrahamic empires founded in revolt from Mongol rule.

The Manchurian Wars, AD 1670-1689
Kjarr Asviðr II having succeeded his father in 1654 and being the Kjarr to first form a diplomatic relationship with the Ming Dynasty in both response to Qing Manchu raids on Amur Garðaríki settlements, wanting to strengthen relationships with the Ming Dynasty, and wanted to further cement their power in Eastern Asia declares war on Qing Dynasty. Gathering the largest army in Garðaríki history up to that point made up primarily of Cossacks and recently subjugated pagan Tatars and a few elite Garðaríki rentiunues all armed to the teeth with muskets and artillery. Years of the most brutal fighting since the Time of Troubles passed with dead Garðaríki troops being slowly reinforced by new Ming Dynasty forces as the Qing slowly lost more and more power as more soldiers had to be directed to fighting invading Garðaríki forces. In 1689 the Qing and former Ming Dynasty capital of Beijing was captured and the Kangxi Emperor executed. Manchuria was annexed by Garðaríki who established the new Amur Sich of cossacks to control the region and the Ming Dynasty began to rebuild. This started a new Garðaríki fascination with East Asia.

Orientalization, AD 1696-1705
In 1696 Kjarr Hrœrekr I succeeded his father Kjarr Asviðr II. Hrœrekr I was most famous for his grand tour of East Asia from 1697-1699, touring the recovering Ming Dynasty, Korea, Vietnam, Lan Xang, parts of India, and Tibet. In this time he became obsessed with Oriental culture bringing back hundreds of bureaucrats, concubines, priests, philosophers, eunuchs, and martial artists back to his court. There he began to reform the Garðaríki government in the style of an East Asian Empire complete with bureaucracy, legal reforms, a focus on urbanization, architecture, mandates on court fashion and dress, moving tatars into the East and Varangians to the East to facilitate cultural admixture, and even reinventing the runic Futhark writing system to be more similar to Chinese pictography. Kjarr Hrœrekr I also had the grand ambition of rebuilding the Silk Road advancing Garðaríki and Ming relations even further as well as overhauling the Garðaríki economy.

The Great Northern War, AD 1705-1723
In the year 1705 the Garðaríki Empire declared war on Sweden with a momentary alliance with Norway-Denmark, The Kingdom of Poland, and Prussia who all hated Sweden at the time more than they hated their old pagan enemies in Garðaríki. Kjarr Hrœrekr I wanted to take rightful pagan lands in the Baltic and Finland but more importantly he wanted a Western port to be the termination point of his new silk road. By and large the Great Northern War went the same as it did in our timeline with a Garðaríki victory and Swedish decline. Garðaríki gained land in the Baltic and Finland as was their war goal. However with the still strongly enforced anti Christian laws all the recent converts in their new conquered land had to either convert to a state approved pagan religion, flee the country, or be shot. This created a massive humanitarian conflict that saw Garðaríki continue to be disliked in the eyes of Western Europe with Prussia especially speaking out against Garðaríki and taking in religious refugees. The port city of Hrœrekrstead is built along the Baltic coast.

Garðaríki's Growth, AD 1733-1784
In 1733 a great expedition/Imperial Census was formed to explore the Northeastern Coast of Siberia and Alaska as well as to find an optimal area for an Eastern Port. Ironically in the end none of the areas surveyed made the cut for the port but 10 years later in 1743 the port city Drekaströnd was built in Manchuria and in time is considered the Eastern Capital of Garðarík as Norse Garðaríki and invited Han Chinese people are settled in the new city. As time passes the Garðaríki hold of Siberia and Manchuria strengthens in spite of numerous revolts and other conflicts. So much so that in 1784 Garðarík expanded beyond the sea as forts and ports built from Alaska down to Vancouver Island and further beyond on the coast of Washington, Oregon, and Northern California.

Tatar America, AD 1787
In 1787 several groups of Tatars that were settled in Western Garðaríki were settled in Alaska as a bid to deal with hostile natives in the region, along with to serve under them were several loyalist Manchurian horse archers. Nearly as soon as this horse archer army arrived they went AWOL to the surprise of few. Soon this AWOL army had merged with nomadic Native American Cultures such as the Cree, Lakota, and Shoshone to create a new group known as American Tatars.

The Napoleonic Wars 1801-1821
Garðaríki from the beginning had been cautiously optimistic about the French Revolution as they were with the American Revolution, not because they intended on implementing those same egalitarian values but because it was an opportunity to gain a new nonreligious ally. Even with the protestant reformation and the slow replacement of religion with nationalism as state justification and mandate the Garðaríki treatment of Christians within its empire and long standing historical feuds still made them very unpopular in Europe, hence the earlier orientalization. Hróaldr I was quick to form an alliance with Napoleon Bonaparte, when Napoleon began his wars Garðaríki was eager to take some land from Sweden and Prussia but by far the most important action of Garðaríki during the Napoleonic Wars was the Invasion of India. Starting in 1804 joint forces from France and Garðaríki would march from the Black Sea through the Middle East and into British India where the were reinforced by Indian Rebels and later Ming Dynasty reinforcements. The bulk of Garðaríki forces were once again Cossacks and Tatars as Garðaríki had to hold it's recently acquired land in the West. Along the way new lands had to be conquered from the Islamic Khanates who refused to let Garðaríki cross their borders in peace, this would later lead to the formations of the Semipalatinsk and Omsk Sichs. The Indian Invasion was extremely messy and closely fought. If it weren't for Ming Dynasty reinforcements, and the aid of local Hindu rebels the Franco Garðaríki forces would have surely been wiped out. Yet the Franco Garðaríki forces would eventually succeed driving the British entirely out of India by 1815 with much of Western India going to local rebel groups while much of Eastern India was transferred to the then miniscule French India colony. Even with the power of the Garðaríki alliance and lack of Russian campaign not decimating his armies thus barely holding the continental system together, Napoleon still falls ill and dies in 1821. His son Napoleon II at the age of 10 is crowned the French Emperor as his father's work crumbles around him. Though with the Coalition's focus on France, Garðaríki was able to reinforce and keep their conquered lands in the West.

Nordic Revival and Pan-Nordicism, AD 1839
The ascension of Kjarr Asviðr III to the throne of Garðaríki marked the beginning of heavy cultural shifts within Garðaríki. Asviðr III had seen the industrialization and growing power of Western Europe steadily increase especially with Garðaríki's own involvement in the Napoleonic Wars, he felt that the Oriental inspiration was weakening Garðaríki as the Ming Dynasty was weakening and being slowly colonized. Instead he wanted to take Garðaríki back to it's Norse roots both figuratively and literally as Garðaríki began making claims to all of Scandinavia to establish an even greater Pan-Nordic Empire. In tern this began a trend against Orientalism both in architecture and fashion in favor of a Neo-Nordic/ Nordic Revival style.

Daming Dynasty, AD 1844-1845
With the death of the Dongwu Emperor of the Ming Dynasty and rapid colonial grabs for China Garðaríki and Kjarr Asviðr III decided to leverage their long and strong connections to China for their own advantage. Zhu Bai a young and largely unremarkable man but markedly important by being both of the imperial Zhu dynasty and the second cousin of Kjarr Asviðr III through his royal concubine mother Kjarr Asviðr III's cousin Sif Rurikid. After being supplied with a large shipment of Garðaríki Muskets, an army of Cossacks from the Amur Sich, and a load of generals, and political advisors Zhu Bai was able to take the Ming Dynasty throne in what was called the Daming Revolution or Great Bright Revolution. Zhu Bai claimed the title of the Dàxībù Emperor or Great Western Emperor of the Daming Dynasty. This would also mark a similar time of modernization in China as in Garðaríki as Western Ports were forced out or made obsolete by bureaucratic mandates. Though the ones who benefited the most from this new ascension to power is Garðaríki from heavily biased trade deals, Garðaríki economic land grabs, and the fact that Dàxībù Emperor was by and large a puppet of Kjarr Asviðr III.

The Second Great Northern War, AD 1848-
With Schleswig–Holstein question of whether the Kingdom of Denmark or the German Confederation should control the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, Garðaríki under the elder Kjarr Asviðr III laid claim to not only the two duchies in question but all Scandinavian land entirely under claims of true Norse heritage, lineage, and ancestral rights.

Timeline of Major Battles of the Second Great Northern War: ((this was my first time trying to write out a detailed timeline of a war so it might not be the best.))

The Garðaríki Conquests

May 8th 1848, Garðaríki would launch an invasion of Sweden through Garðaríki northern Scandinavia and Finland with the Battle of the Lule River which was an overwhelming Garðaríki victory under Generals Odger Agessen and Ødholf Harraldssen. Marking the transition from the first Schleswig War to the Second Great Northern War.

March 3rd 1849, The Stockholm Slaughter, general Odger Agessen successfully took the Swedish Capital of Stockholm. The invasion is infamous for the following massacre in which all Christian churches were burned and all religious authorities killed. Though the worst to happen was the mass looting and stealing of food to fuel the Garðaríki army which caused a localized famine.

April 10th 1849, The Sacking of Oslo, General Ødholf Harraldssen successfully takes the Norwegian Capital of Oslo after bitter fighting from entrenched Norwegian defenders fighting desperately to try and prevent a similar massacre to that in Stockholm. Though in the end a much less effective in terms of looting but just as brutal massacre did happen.

May 4th 1849, The Battle of Øresund, Garðaríki while lacking in naval might managed to, under admiral Eþon Víðförli transport its troops across the Øresund strait by using a fleet of well armed small sloops to harass the Danish Fleet with hit and run ship burning tactics in the middle of the night. Using these harassment tactics the miniscule Garðaríki navy managed to transport the sufficiently more advanced Garðaríki army to Zealand.

May 8th 1849, The Battle of Zealand, Danish Forces are defeated and routed in Northern Zealand after the Garðaríki landing by the forces of general Odger Agessen.

May 28th 1849, The Siege of Copenhagen, Copenhagen after holding out for several days surrender to general Odger Agessen, many large Danish Navy ships are given to Garðaríki in exchange for not destroying the city or killing Frederick VII like what was done too Oscar I king of Sweden and Norway.

The Occupation of Scandinavia, 1849-1854 with the surrender of Denmark and the military occupation of both Sweden and Norway under the recommendations of esteemed general Odger Agessen the Garðaríki war machine would halt its progress to assure its control over the recently occupied territories. During this time Oscar I was married to Alfwind of Rurikid-Holmgarðr the youngest daughter of Kjarr Asviðr III, the pagan temples of Uppsala, Namdalen, and Zealand were established as Christianity was formally inoutlawed in the new Garðaríki territories, and newly acquired modern Scandinavian ships of all sizes were outfitted with more advanced Garðaríki arms. As well pre existing Scandinavian Industrialization was being used to advance and revitalize the Garðaríki military and economy. This would also be a time of mass immigration of Christian Scandinavians to America.

April 1st 1854, Battle of the Eider River, after german Schleswig-Holstein rebels had retaken Schleswig-Holstein in appealed to the German Confederation in response to the horrors of the Garðaríki Occupation of Scandinavia once Garðaríki has at least partially secured it's hold on the region the invasion commenced once again under general Odger Agessen as general Ødholf Harraldssen has held back to help secure and defend Garðaríki Scandinavia. The Battle of the Eider River was an overwhelming Garðaríki victory.

Post occupation Modernized Garðaríki Uniform and Rifle, the Stormur Atgeir that fires the 11×70mm .43 Surtr Cartridge.

War with Germany:

April 30th 1854, The German Confederation votes to go to war with Garðaríki and retake Schleswig-Holstein in order to prevent further Garðaríki expansion.

May 12th 1854, Battle of Elbe River, the German Confederation army meet the "defending" Garðaríki forces at the Elbe River South of Schleswig-Holstein and are driven into a killing field as they retreat across the Elbe River completely humiliating the ineffective German Confederation military.

July 30th 1854, Battle of Frankfurt, Garðaríki takes the German Confederation capital of Frankfurt after a long a heavy span of urban guerilla warfare.

June 2nd 1856, Prussian Declaration of War on Garðaríki. After years of rejected negotiations, King William IV of Prussia declares war on Garðaríki in reality for meddling with Prussian ambitions in Germany but stating it was to protect Christianity in Central Europe.

June 28th 1856, Battle of the Memel River, the first battle between Prussia and Garðaríki. Ends in a Garðaríki victory but with significantly more heavy losses than any other battle in the war on account of the modernization and prowess of the Prussian Military.

July 10th 1856, Battle of Königsberg, Garðaríki forces under general Guðmarr Rurikid-Kænugarðr attempt to lightning siege Königsberg while the bulk of the Prussian Army was marched away to face Odger Agessen and the elite of the Garðaríki army in central Germany. This however would be the first major defeat Garðaríki would face in the war. Guðmarr Rurikid-Kænugarðr's forces were not only routed entirely nearly totally wiped out but Guðmarr himself was killed in the disastrous battle but also buried in a Lutheran Cemetery in Königsberg to deliberately anger the staunchly pagan Garðaríki.

September 8th 1856, Battle of Oder River, another Garðaríki victory under general Odger Agessen though once again with much more difficulty and losses than ever seen in the war with the Scandinavian nations alone.

September 25th 1856, The Battle of Danzig. The Prussian and Garðaríki armies head on outside the city of Danzig. While the Garðaríki Army won the battle it was at great cost with the mortal wounding of its best general Odger Agessen. In the post battle chaos the city of Danzig was sacked and looted while it was being occupied as general Ødholf Harraldssen was shipped from Stockholm to take charge of the invasion forces.

October 18th 1856, Battle of the Gulf of Danzig, the Prussian navy attempted an aquatic assault on Garðaríki occupied Danzig only to be beaten back by Garðaríki Navy made up primarily of looted modern Scandinavian ships.

October 22nd 1856, Second Battle of Königsberg. Another attempt to siege the Prussian capital of Königsberg was made by general Ødholf Harraldssen only to be beaten back again but with much more minimal losses from the more experienced and cautious general.

((Both sides would then winter down only engaging in minor skirmishes and raids until the weather could warm up again.))

May 3rd 1857, The Battle of Tilsit, the first major battle of 1856 and ended with a Garðaríki victory by general Ødholf Harraldssen.

May 28th 1857, The Battle of Friedland, as part of the new strategy to eliminate Prussia the Garðaríki Army plans to surround it on all sides and then blockade it with its navy while they Siege it. Another victory was gained for Garðaríki outside of Friedland.

April 10th 1857, Battle of Heiligenbeil, Realizing the Garðaríki strategy of encirclement Prussia responded in turn with supplementary forces in Heiligenbeil such secretly transporting mass artillery to the small town which defeated the invading Garðaríki army.

April 30th 1857, The Battle of Wehlau, the retreating Garðaríki army was again defeated outside of the city of Wehlau.

June 3rd 1857, The Battle of Insterburg after a small string of defeats the Garðaríki army with reinforcements manages to surround, defeat, and route the Prussian Army.

June 5th 1857, The Battle of Cranz, a small detachment of the Garðaríki Army was sent to the small town of Cranz above Königsberg as the basis for another siege attempt on the Prussian Capital, yet was beaten back with only minimal losses.

June 19th 1857, The Battle of Gerdauen, Pursuing the Prussian army route to chase them away from Königsberg, Garðaríki had caught the fleeing army outside of Gerdauen and secured itself another victory under general Ødholf Harraldssen.

The Turning Point

July 7th 1857, The Saint Boniface Accord, with the war for Eastern and Northern Europe "devolving into a series of skirmishes" between the tactically equal but more industrialized Prussia and significantly more populated Garðaríki, England wanting to protect the balance of power in Europe declares war on Garðaríki. Austria as well as its Polish ally the also Habsburg ruled Kingdom of Galicia-Lodomeria joined the war against Garðaríki as a means of trying to show up their Prussian rivals and win the favor of the German Confederation.

July 10th 1857, Battle of the North Sea, The British Navy meets the Garðaríki Navy outside the Norwegian Trench. Though the Garðaríki Navy had bolstered it's navy to moderate standards with the stolen fleets of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark it was no match for the British Navy. The venerable Admiral Eþon Víðförli was killed in the massive naval battle that left most of the Garðaríki fleet destroyed.

July 11th 1857, The Narvik Landing, with the bulk of the Garðaríki Army occupied with Prussia or protecting the original territories the English landed forces in Northern Norway in the sparsely populated or protected lands of Narvik.

July 29th 1857, The Battle of Bartenstein, One of the last major offensive victories made by Garðaríki in the war against Prussia.

((From here the really important battles get more sparse and spread out, just note the trend of Garðaríki's scorched earth tactics similar to those used by Russia in the Napoleonic Wars of our own timeline. That would slowly grind down and stretch out the invading Christian forces))

August 10th 1857, The Liberation of Oslo, English as well as local resistance forces such as The Order of St. Bridget takes the former Norwegian Capital of Oslo from Garðaríki forces.

September 4th 1857, The Liberation of Copenhagen English Forces take the former Danish Capital of Copenhagen from Garðaríki forces.

March 9th 1858, The Liberation of Berlin, Austrian Forces take the City of Berlin from Garðaríki and as a means to further embarrass Prussia who were still occupied with the Garðaríki invading from the East.

March 28th 1858, The Liberation of Hamburg, Austrian Forces liberate Hamburg from Garðaríki Army.

May 27th 1858, The Battle Of the Eman River, Garðaríki makes a victorious attack against the English Army drastically slowing their progress towards Stockholm.

April 18th 1858, The Third Battle of Königsberg, Garðaríki Forces attempt to launch a desperate lightning siege of Königsberg in order to try and knock Prussia out of the war. The attack fails but is disastrous for both Garðaríki and Prussia, being the closest Garðaríki had come to taking the city at the cost of much men and equipment on both sides.

August 1st 1858, The Second Battle of the Elbe River, Anglo-Austrian forces defeated the Garðaríki military and forced them back across the Elbe River.

August 19th 1858, The Last Stand of Jutland, Garðaríki forces managed to fend off invading Anglo-Austrian forces in southern Jutland in what was seen as an impossible battle under the command of a largely unknown commander Stenka Kaledin.

March 6th 1859, The Fall of Stockholm, After years of holding out and harsh resistance against the English Forces the city was finally taken in a siege. Garðaríki forces retreat into the hostile wilderness and wage a campaign of guerilla warfare.

April 25th 1859, The Second Battle of the Memel River, Austro-Prussian Forces beat the Garðaríki Army past the Memel River thus forcing Garðaríki out of Germany entirely.

May 9th 1859, The Battle of Nordland, English Forces force the Garðaríki out of Norway after a victorious battle.

June 15th 1859, The Battle of Lapland, Garðaríki forces successfully ambush English Forces in Northern Sweden temporarily driving them back from progressing farther.

July 27th 1859, The Battle of Tauragé, Austro-Prussian Forces Invade Garðaríki Lithuania but face heavy resistance from the local population and militias.

August 17th 1859, The First Battle of the Bug River, Garðaríki forces and local militias beat a small Austrian army back across the Bug River. ((Located in our modern Belarus))

September 22nd 1859, The Second Battle of Lule River. English Forces successfully force Garðaríki forces across the Lule River in a battle thus forcing them out of Sweden.

May 1st 1860, The Second Battle of the Bug River, Austrian forces this time successfully beat the Garðaríki across the Bug River.

June 19th 1860, The Battle of the Dubysa River, Austro-Prussian Forces recontinue their march into Garðaríki Lithuania with another successful battle.

July 20th 1860, The Battle of Finmark, English Forces recontinue their march into Garðaríki North Scandinavia/ Finland.

August 3rd 1860, The Battle of the Scara River, another victory drives the Austrian Forces deeper into Garðaríki.

September 11th 1860, The Battle of the Luiro River, English Forces once again defeat local Garðaríki forces but with heavy losses.

March 9th 1861, The Battle of Panevėžys, Austro-Prussian Forces take the City of Panevėžys from Garðaríki Lithuania.

April 18th 1861, The Battle of Oulu, British Forces take the City of Oulu in Garðaríki Finland.

May 4th 1861, The Battle of Utena, Austro-Prussian forces take the City of Utena in Garðaríki Lithuania.

June 17th 1861, The Battle of Helsinki, English Forces take the City of Helsinki in Garðaríki Finland.

July 21st 1861, The Battle of Minsk, Austria Prussian forces take the City of Minsk in Garðaríki. ((Our modern Belarus))

August 30th, The Battle of Karelia, Garðaríki forces successfully repel English Forces at Karelia keeping their land forces away from the capital of Holmgård.

((And that's the last major battle of the war I wrote out at the time as this was originally for a Roleplay thing and the timeline was supposed to continue from that point. With Garðaríki defeat in the war to where the community would vote on what treaty Garðaríki gets slapped with. Maximilian would be voted as the emperor of a greatly wounded but united Scandinavia instead of being sent to Mexico along other sorts of shenanigans. I've probably written this scenario half a dozen times now and this is by far the best version of it.))
Some other ideas I had were:

Britain Colonizes China on account of loosing India
Austria united Germany
Prussia has a communist revolution
infante enrique duke of seville becomes Emperor of Mexico in Maximilian's place
iev ((Saint Olga in our time)) never goes to Constantinople and converts to Christianity and doesn't raise their son Sveinald ((Sviatoslav)) in the Slavic traditions.

She didn't raise him in Slavic traditions because she converted to Christianity, she did it because Slavs were much, much more numerous than Norse in borders of Rus' after Oleg conquered Kiev when the majority of population was Slavic and that with already existing Slavic settlement in Novogorod enabled Slavs to assimilate Varangian elite. If you want to Norsify Russia, you'd need to look for a way to import enough Norse settlers for Norse to be dominant language of region instead of Slavic @alexmilman .
She didn't raise him in Slavic traditions because she converted to Christianity, she did it because Slavs were much, much more numerous than Norse in borders of Rus' after Oleg conquered Kiev when the majority of population was Slavic and that with already existing Slavic settlement in Novogorod enabled Slavs to assimilate Varangian elite. If you want to Norsify Russia, you'd need to look for a way to import enough Norse settlers for Norse to be dominant language of region instead of Slavic @alexmilman .
That was never meant to be an explanation as to why the whole of Garðaríki was Norsified, that was the Eastern Great Heathen Army i.e. the large scale colonization carried out by Ingvar after he survived his attempted assassination. With said ongoing colonization there was no need and an active push away from assimilating to local Slavic culture and language.