|Full Name||Markus Stefan Krumme|
|Date of Birth||18th June 226 AC|
|Date of Death||20th April 305 AC|
|Claim to Fame||Longest reigning King of Nordskag|
Markus Stefan Krumme was the longest-reigning King of Nordskag, an excellent diplomat, and a fierce patriot to the Velheim people despite his Ithanian mother. Born to a cadet branch of the old Nordskag royalty, House Ragnvald, his ascension to the throne was soon followed by the unpopular move to join the Regalian Empire willingly rather than continue the war between the two powers. For this, he was vilified, but gradually the Velheim of Nordskag and beyond have come to greatly value the decision. For his nobility, it literally gave them value through new trade deals that his administration was giving away. For others, the Velheim core of the Regalian Military would not have been possible without this decision. His death came on the eve of the latest great victory for his people, and he is fondly remembered by many, including his only son and successor Osvald Krumme.
Origins and Early Life
Markus was born on June 18th, 226 AC to Randolf and Hilberta Krumme in the barony of Sydligste in the Kingdom of Nordskag. His mother was an Ithanian princess, the daughter of the leadership of the Ithanian Hivre Carnigoux de Foix. Her marriage to Randolf, Markus’s father, had essentially been a bribe to get the young and ambitious raider captain to stop harassing regional shipping. It had worked, and Randolf also made Hilberta his Sol-Kvinne, taking only one other Bond Wife in his life. As a result and as he grew up, Markus existed in a happy household. As a child, he learned of his family’s distant connection to the ruling Ragnvald line of kings who currently controlled the Kingdom. However, for him, that seemed so far away, and he was soon given a rigorous education. This outlined literacy, basic mathematics, the history of Nordskag, and important Velheim skills such as learning how to hunt and fight. As well as this, Krumme was able to have an insight into other Cultures thanks to the efforts of his mother, and by the age of 14 he was noted by many as a very bright boy.
Before his 15th birthday, his father suddenly fell ill and died after a journey to Ithania. He’d fallen victim to a regional illness, and so Markus was the new family patriarch as his mother certainly could not hold the position, and his father had only two sisters uninvolved in politics. But barely had his father been put in the Helbolwen and young Markus had gotten used to the idea of being a nobleman did he find himself thrust into the spotlight. With the death of the last mainline son of House Ragnvald and the nobility truly dismayed by their other options, the cadet branches of the family were soon sought out. But Markus stood out almost immediately to many, both for his comprehensive education and because of his age. Those who wished to manipulate the throne liked him, and those who saw the potential in him also did. He was then crowned shortly after his 15th birthday, and now had an entire Kingdom in the midst of a war with the Regalian Empire to rule. Despite his age, Markus was practical. He sought out those he thought could best serve his court, and appointed them to appropriate positions. Then, in a move that most now view as an attempt to deny others the ability to influence him, he joined the army. He wasn’t its leader, but merely a soldier, as he wished to learn both how to fight, and how the people who defended his new nation lived. His training was certainly shorter than everyone else’s, but by the age of 19, Markus fully resumed his duties as an informed and vigorous young king.
But then came the war with Regalia. Worsening, Markus saw the writing on the wall. Whereas other leaders before him had proudly stood against the Empire and stood for their ancestors, the Skagger Horde which had been forced to flee to these lands, Markus saw only ruin. The men were tiring, the resources were depleting, and there was talk of arming the general populace for warfare against Regalian conquerors. Markus would have none of it, and so agreed to peace talks. He made his case well, according to Regalian records, and ultimately his nation joined the Empire as a vassal. In return for this, Regalia would open its markets to his people, while he gave them raw materials and manpower every year, or if requested by the Empire. Many nobles were angered by this action, and there were two attempts on Markus’s life. On the first, a Regalian Viridian Knight gave his life to save the young man and the other, two allied nobles fended off the anonymous attackers. The resentment for this decision stewed long and slow for many, but Markus had a plan. Gradually, he reduced the oversight over the taxation of the nobility, save their manpower requirement, thus allowing many to enrich themselves rather than his own administration. Indeed, Markus Krumme lived frugally for a major leader, but in his mind it was the Velheim way.
Over the coming decades, Markus Krumme worked hard to improve or establish relationships with both his neighbors and those other vassal states within the Regalian Empire. He also repeatedly supplied a solid contingent to the Regalian Empire’s campaigns, starting in the Chrysant War and continuing ever since then. As a result, it wasn’t mostly Wirtem or Heartland Ceardians dying on the sands of Farah’deen in the First Songaskian War, but instead Velheim. In his mind, he was giving thousands their chance at earning fair Soldi, while also ensuring that if the Regalian Empire ever came for his people again, those forces in the armies might be a very useful tool against such efforts. But, the Regalian Empire never betrayed the contract with the Kingdom of Nordskag within his lifetime. The beginning of the end came for him during the Bone Horror Crisis, when the exertion he suffered in fleeing and leading showed just how weak he was. He was soon bedridden, with news reaching him of the Hvitskag Horde’s alignment against his nation. He called on his son, Osvald, to return home and to take the mantle from him when he passed on. He died soon after his son had come home, passing away peacefully in his bed in the early morning of April 10th, 305 AC.
Markus Krumme was a determined person who worked towards his goals with a passion, especially within the realm of warfare and Nordskag’s army. As a negative side to this, as the years wore on, Markus appeared to adopt a more narrow-minded view. Most rulers would have eventually weaned or perhaps even put a cap on the abuses of the nobility, but Markus Krumme only did this in individual cases, when certain figures stepped too far. Luckily, he had a good eye for talent and even if his concentration was focused elsewhere, he could be reasonably sure that those he had put in charge or who had oversight over this task would do the work well. He was a devout follower of the Old Gods, but also aware of the significance of Unionism in his court. While he never himself converted, he kept personal practices of his pagan faith to himself when around or experiencing the visits of foreign dignitaries.
King Markus Krumme is well remembered for being the man that joined his nation to the Regalian Empire, an act that has benefitted many parties over the years. Additionally, his way of living, philosophy and long life have seen him remembered fondly by many, even some who might be considered his political rivals. He is also seen as the last truly powerful Velheim king in Aloria, as despite his mother, he was fully Velheim in both body and soul. Markus is also well remembered by Ithania, mostly due to his briefly infamous father, but also due to his work to help mend broken bonds of trust between the two nations.
Markus’s parents Randolf and Hilberta both predeceased their son, his father very early on but his mother lived for over a decade more before herself dying in 252 AC. Markus was married to Aurelie Francaise Pieuvron Aoûte Illuminée Lavinge, an Ithanian princess but this time a direct daughter of the then reigning Sovereign, Bertille Berta Pieuvron Vrillais Regalois Lavinge. She died in 301 AC due to health complications. He had three children with her, Osvald Krumme, who has since taken the throne, with two younger sisters in the form of Auda and Beritte. Further relatives exist only in the form of cousins and more distant relations.
- Markus Krumme was the first King of Nordskag to introduce a non-Ailor to his court, and an Half Eronidas at that. Named Lukkas, he was the King’s royal entertainer for almost three decades before Markus dismissed him, whereupon he returned to Daen to live out his last days among his own kind.
- Krumme hunted a number of beasts in his time. The Kongeslot palace features several taxidermized animals and creatures, including but not limited to Trolls, Northern Moose, Bathogg, several species of wolf and bears, and even a Giant Spider.