Chapter 10: Danish Affairs
In May and June 1415, King Valdemar and Queen Janet made a royal visit to Kirkwall, the capital of Orkney, where they attended Mass in St. Magnus Cathedral; Scalloway, the capital of Shetland, Torshavn; the capital of Faroe Islands; Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland; and Hvalsey in the Eastern Settlement of Greenland, in the south of the island. They had a warm welcome from the people in tbose places.

In Greenland, Valdemar discussed with the priest and other important men in Hvalsey, the potential for settlers coming from Denmark and Norway. They told him that they would be welcome, but it would be difficult to persuade people to come and live there.
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Chapter 11: The Family of King Louis
Buda, August 1371: Queen Elizabeth gave birth to King Louis’ second child, a daughter named Mary after the Blessed Virgin. After many years of childlessness, Elizabeth was surprised that she managed to bear a second babe so soon after her first.

Buda, October 1373: Queen Elizabeth came to the childbed for the third and last time. The baby was a third daughter, christened Jadwiga (or Hedwig in German) after her distant ancestor, Saint Hedwig of Silesia.

Despite the fact that they had no sons, Louis and Elizabeth had a happy and loving marriage. They also had a close bond with their three daughters.

Catherine, the eldest, was set to inherit the Kingdom of Hungary. She was engaged to Louis, Duke of Orleans, a younger son of King Charles V of France. She had a lively and curious mind, but she suffered from frail health. Catherine, like her younger sisters, had dark blonde hair, blue eyes, and was exceptionally tall for her age.

Princess Mary, the middle daughter, was intended to inherit the Kingdom of Poland. She was engaged to Prince Sigismund of Luxembourg, a German heir. Mary was a bit less intelligent than Catherine, but she was especially kind and was particularly close to her mother.

Jadwiga, the youngest of the family, had no land to inherit, so her parents began to look for a successful dynastic marriage. Jadwiga grew into an exceptionally precocious and intelligent girl; wise beyond her years and exceptionally devout. She was her father’s favorite.

Louis, the last King of the Piast dynasty’s happy family life, and with that, the union between Hungary and Poland, would unfortunately unfortunately not last long.
Chapter 12: The Dowager Queen’s Remarriage

Music: La Morra – Breve Regnum Erigitur

Prague, 13 February 1371: Having left the court of her brother Henry in Sagan for the Imperial Court in Prague (of her own volition, since she does not get along with Henry, no matter how hard she tries), Dowager Queen Jadwiga of Sagan – along with her only surviving child, Anna – quickly settle into the inner court of Charles IV’s empress, Elisabeth of Pomerania. For the now almost thirty-one-year-old Jadwiga, the Empress has become a quasi-second mother. But Jadwiga’s attentions are quickly diverted towards Rudolf, the high-spirited and ambitious Duke of Austria, and the widower of the emperor’s daughter, Katharina – and the quasi-son of Emperor Charles. Empress Elisabeth is not opposed to Jadwiga remarrying, but she suggests that Jadwiga at least “wait until November comes” before deciding if she should remarry. Still, the Empress is unable to prevent Jadwiga’s quiet fascination with the Austrian man.

Queen Jadwiga as a widow in Prague, 1371

Silesia, 22 March 1371: In search of a new betrothal – after the failure of his union to King Louis’ niece, Elisabeth of Slavonia – Duke Rudolf IV decides to make a pilgrimage to Silesia, to ask for St. Hedwig’s blessing in a new marriage. St. Hedwig of Silesia, just like Rudolf himself, was a German princess, and she married the Duke of Silesia, later becoming a saint for her piety and charity. And even though Rudolf is not particularly religious, the need for guidance has brought him here. After saying his prayers and asking the saint for her help, Rudolf goes hunting. And that’s when he meets the beautiful Jadwiga of Sagan (who is on holiday with her daughter), the woman who will become his second wife later in the year.

You’re not Polish.The young woman says, lowering her veil while a young girl – no older than five, Rudolf surmises – walks behind the lady. “Nor are you Bohemian. So, where do you hail from?"

“I am Rudolf von Habsburg, meine dame. Duke of Austria and Styria and Margrave of Carniola.”
The Duke inclines his head as a sign of respect. “And you are?”

“I was Jadwiga, Queen of Poland.” The woman replies, giving him a deep curtsy. “My husband, King Casimir of Poland, died not long ago. This is Anna, my daughter.”

The now-named Anna comes forward, giving Rudolf a careful and well-practiced curtsy, drawing a rare smile from the Duke.

“You were taught well by your mother, prinzessin.” Rudolf says softly, taking the girl’s hand and planting a small kiss on her palm. Little Anna giggles, but quickly returns to her mother’s side.

“Might I ask what brings you to Silesia, Duke of Austria?” Jadwiga asks him, her blue eyes studying him.

“I’ve been coming here, barefoot and dressed simply, to ask the Blessed Hedwig for luck in my next marriage.” He says, voice gentle and grey eyes sparkling.

Next?” Jadwiga suddenly asks him. “You have no wife? But you’re a Duke.”

“I once had a wife, my lady. But she was taken from me a few years ago. Along with my two younger brothers.” He replies gravely, and Jadwiga’s face softens.

“God rest them.” She says, crossing herself. “And may the Lord help you find what you look for, Rudolf of Austria and Styria."

Rudolf watches her part with a soft smile. It seems Blessed Hedwig did answer his prayers, though.

Innsbruck, 23 June 1371: Having secured King Louis of Hungary’s rather gracious permission to marry the widowed Polish queen, Rudolf IV of Austria and Jadwiga of Sagan are married in a lavish ceremony in the Austrian city of Innsbruck. While Jadwiga is initially treated coldly by the Austrians, most of them are warm to her when news of her first pregnancy (already in its fourth month, since Rudolf and Jadwiga have secretly slept together earlier in the year) reaches them. Rudolf wishes for a son, like any other lord, but he tells his wife that he will be happy with whatever child she gives him.

Vienna, 1 November 1371: Duchess Jadwiga of Austria (or Hedwig, as she’s now called in her new country), gives birth to her first child by Rudolf – a daughter she insists on naming Kunigunde, after the other girl-child she lost not too long ago. While Rudolf would’ve preferred that the child be called Johanna after his mother, he’s nonetheless warm to Hedwig’s suggestion of a name. So, the little girl is so christened Kunigunde of Austria. The fact that she’s born on her father’s birthday is not lost on Rudolf and his new wife, and the two of them begin to make grand plans for the newborn.

Linz, 21 December 1372: Little Kunigunde is soon followed by another sister, Johanna, ten months after her birth. While some Austrians are undoubtedly chafed by their Duchess’s inability to give her husband a son in her first two tries, Rudolf is still confident.

Vienna, 23 November 1373: Kunigunde and Johanna are joined by another sister, this time named Hedwig after their mother. After little Hedwig’s birth, whispers begin piling up for Rudolf to set Jadwiga aside, but he refuses. He’s still adamant that Hedwig will give birth to a son, no matter how long it takes.

Prague, 1-19 December 1374: Duke Rudolf and Emperor Charles IV reach an agreement of succession, and Rudolf also agrees to take on Sigismund as a ward should Charles die during the boy’s minority. And while in Prague, Rudolf and Jadwiga have a fourth daughter who is named Barbara. They also attend the christening of King Louis’s youngest daughter, who is also named Jadwiga.

Vienna, 21 January 1375: Rudolf and the Emperor make plans for a grand Italian voyage, and Rudolf, in a totally unprecedented move, names his wife as regent of his realms during the voyage.
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Chapter 13: Anglo-Castilian Affairs
1371: Edward III, still in despair after losing two of the people he loved most within a year of each other summons Parliament to secure new funds for a campaign against France. John and Edward the Younger have draw up plans for a two pronged assault on France. The Black Prince shall continue his assault in the South while John shall attack Normandy in an attempt to spread French resources thin. The funds are given to the Princes easily and John assembles a force of 15,000 men for his assault and dispatched 9,500 more to reinforce his elder brother. Meanwhile, the education for Edward the Younger's sons begins in earnest. Edward of Angouleme and Richard of Bordeaux are trained in the arts of warfare and statecraft. Receiving an education alongside them is John's own son Henry who is already showing promising signs of being a Knight. That same year, the Castilian Infantas Constance and Isabella flee to England after escaping from Castile. Edmund of Langley meets with them and quickly becomes infatuated with Constance, eloping with her causing much scandal in the English court, though the marriage is soon declared valid and permitted. That same year, the King's Granddaughter, Philippa, Countess of Ulster dies giving birth to her only child, a daughter named Elizabeth. The heiress to the Antwerp estates she soon catches John of Gaunt's eye as he hopes to marry her to his son Henry.

1372: John of Gaunt launches his campaign in Northern France at the start of March, landing at modern day Fécamp. From there he marches South and lays siege to Le Havre and dispatches smaller contingents of men across the region to launch hit and run attacks on any French soldiers they encounter. The siege progresses well thanks to an outbreak of smallpox within the city walls. Within 4 months it opens its gates to John enters victoriously. He moves to take Rouen but encounters more resistance fighting two battles against the French. Although he emerges victorious his losses are heavy and finds his 15,000 strong force reduced to 10,785 by the time the Siege of Rouen begins. Despite this, John presses on and lays siege to the city, though he finds that the citizens have prepared for a siege, stockpiling themselves full of food. Down South, the Black Prince enjoys more success pushing the French back and retaking much of Aquitaine. He begins hiring mercenaries from Castile and Portugal to replenish his forces and finds himself gaining momentum in the campaign. Towards the year's end, the Duchess of York, Constance falls pregnant.

1373: The Siege of Rouen ends in an English victory much to Gaunt's relief. However, with his forces depleted he focuses on consolidating his gains and awaits reinforcements arriving from England. Meanwhile down South, the Black Prince begins to bring his campaign to a halt also following an outbreak of dysentery within his army. He himself moves back to Bordeaux to avoid the disease and to command his army from afar. That Summer, Edmund and Constance welcome their first child a boy named Edward after his Grandfather. Edward III celebrates the birth of his child and sends him lavish gifts. Knowing that his son Edmund is lacking in lands, Edward III shows a sign of prudence despite his cognitive decline by securing the two heiress to de Bohun estates, Eleanor and Mary. He betroths Eleanor to his youngest son Thomas and Mary to his namesake Grandson, thereby providing both with an array of estates on which to live off of. Knowing that Gaunt himself was seeking an heiress for his son, Edward III formally grants him the wardship of Elizabeth Mortimer, in effect granting Gaunt permission to betroth her to his son. That year's end reinforcements reach Gaunt and he prepares to renew his assault.

1374: The year starts of well for Gaunt as he pushes the French back and nears Paris. However, fierce resistance soon puts a halt to his advance and he is forced to fight off opposing armies and French forces. Meanwhile in the South, the Black Prince renews his campaign and seizes several towns and forts from the French. The momentum of the English is soon lost as Gaunt suffers a defeat in Battle against the French and is forced to retreat finding himself besieged in Rouen while his Lieutenants work to defend Le Havre and the other territories under English occupation. Consequentially, Parliament is reluctant to allocate more money to fighting the war. The English economy is sluggish due to recovery from the plague and the Peasants are tired of paying high taxes Edward III himself continues to grow weak and puts up little resistance to the Parliament's requests. Instead it is the King's sons who push for the war to continue on.

1375: The Black Prince is forced to return to England to address Parliament's concerns with the war while the peasantry begin to grow more vocal about the situation in England. Gaunt, besieged in Rouen sends requests via messengers begging for a relief force while his forces near Le Havre find themselves on the retreat. Meanwhile, Aquitaine mostly remains under the English's control. By the year's the English agree to negotiate a peace with France. The year finishes with the birth of Edmund of Langley's second son, Richard.