At the beginning of the millennum, the southern part of the islands was a mixture of settlements comprising Urianians side by side with Goidelic Celts and the more recent newcomers, the Norsemen. The territory north of the southern mountains were still mostly in the possesion of the Urianians. Only in the far southeast, in the vicinity of Finstad, the Norsemen were firmly established.
Vikings turning Christians
The Norse earldoms were Christianised one by one during the first half of the 11th century, and this over the next centuries helped the expansion of their language, as Urianians who converted would flock to them and start using their language. This mechanism was insignificant at first, but apart from a small number of military episodes, it constituted a main driving force for the loss of the Urianian language in the lowlands over the next 6-7 centuries.
Norway moves in
One of the main motivations for seeking new land in Uriania, or Býntarland, as the Norse called it, was to escape the authority of the kings of Norway, Denmark and Sweden. In 1035, the Norwegian king Magnus I pulled one back by forcing the heirs of Tróndr, Earl of Finstad, to bequeath the earldom to him, thus gaining control of the copper mines.
Rigranz Arman and the loss of Talorfyk
Meanwhile the ranzes were beginning to realise how their disunion weakened them, and in the the meeting of 1039, they chose Arman, Ranz of Talorfyk as their leader, the Rigranz. They tried in vain to recapture Tinofer, (previosly known as Tinauros), but resisted attempts from the southern earls to expand along the western coast. They also systematically attacked and chased Norsemen who had settled on the coast north of the earldoms. Some of them complained to the king and in 1063, five years after the death of Arman, the Norwegian fleet attacked Talorfyk. The ranzdom was annexed, and the city was renamed to Konungselfr (today’s Kongelv). This left the northern Urduk the only major coastal town left in the hands of the Urianians.
Earl Harald of Býntarland
The earls of the south remained independent from Norway. By the late 12th century, Haraldr Maddaðarson had defeated the other earls and was the master of the whole of the south as well as the Orkney islands. The conflicts of interest between him and the Norwegian king Sverrir lead to war, and in 1194, Haraldr took his fleet to Bergen. A disastrous defeat followed, however, and Haraldr had to yield all his lands to Sverrir, who in return allowed him to sit as a puppet earl.
This gave the Norwegian kings much better means for communication between their eastern and western possessions, and to improve them even further, forts were built in the forested lands north of the southern mountains, defending the old road between Tinofer and Talorfyk. Lagafors, today’s Lagefoss, was founded as a trading station mid-way between the two coasts. The Urianians were beginning to lose their grip over the lowlands. They had only scattered resistance to offer, and in 1259, an expedition by Hákon V of Norway laid further territory along the western coast under the crown. At the end of the century, Norway controlled all of today’s counties of Slettland and Elv-Ostedal Fylke, as well as most of today’s county of Land.
This Norwegian expansion lead to conflict with Scotland, which culminated in the war of 1263 between Alexander III of Scotland and Hákon. The Norwegians were defeated and yielded the western islands, but kept the Orkneys and Býntarland. Then, in 1299, the then Norwegian king Hákon V moved his capital from Bergen to Oslo, and at the same time made it more difficult for himself to keep in touch with his western possessions. Scottish influence in the west increased, and in 1379, the king allowed the Scottish earl Henry Sinclair to govern his island properties for him.
By then, Norway had been severely weakened from the Black Plague, and from 1380 they were in union with Denmark under the kings at Copenhagen. In 1468, King Christian I was in dire pecuniary need, and when his daughter Margaret was betrothed to the Scottish king James III, he lacked the funds to provide a suitable dowry. In the most humiliating episode of all Urianian history, the southern third of the country, just south of the famous mines, along with the Orkenys, were pawned for a small sum to go with young Margaret to her new home in Edinburgh. Thus the territories were now in the possession of the Scottish king. In the contract, there was a clause providing the king of Norway an opportunity to buy them back. The Danish kings, who also held that title, made attempts to exploit this clause in the 17th and 18th centuries, but to no avail.
For a long time, Wickford was the administrative centre of Byntland, as the province now began to be called. Its excellent harbour and well-navigable waters provided a distinct advantage. But by the 17th century, the waters of Southend were well mapped, and its proximity to the Orkneys and Scotland proper lead to the shifting of the focus, which became formal in 1712, just after the unification of the United Kingdom.
After the shedding of 1469, it became customary to use the name Azuria for the part that still remained in Danish possession. The name was coined in 1482 by the mining overseer Morten Thomsen for the blueness of the soils he often encountered, and gained popularity until it was first used in an official document in 1525. Its administrative centre was Lundeby, a new city founded upon the ruins of Romoreiweza. However, the proximity of Lundeby to the new Scottish possessions was unadvantageous from a military point of view, and Christiansborg, today’s Borg, founded in 1480 as a fortress to protect the new settlements in the northwest, was made residence in 1743.
Piracy – Zirtu and Berg
By now, Urianians only controlled the northeastern highlands and the northern and eastern coasts, as well as the island of Scollerin. The as yet sparsely populated inland northwestern plains were ethnically mixed and the ranzes were losing their foothold there. Also in the northwest, the Urianian settlements were being infiltrated by Azurians. Still they were a force to be reckoned with, and the eastern shores offered many hiding places for their pirate vessels. The most infamous pirate lair was Zirtu on the eastern coast, but in 1574, the Danish king Frederik II founded the naval station Frederiksberg on the western coast of Scollerin to control their activity—today’s Berg.
The Urianian state
After having followed the practice of choosing a rigranz only in especially critical circumstances for centuries, the Urianians in the 12th century started electing a permanent leader to reside in Urduk, and formed a rudimentary state administration there. These institutions strengthened, and Urduk became the capital of a regular national state, sending embassadors to various European countries, though the resolve of the ranzes to trust in the ancient gods made relations difficult to say the least.
In the early 17th century this phase was over. The young and ambitious Danish king Christian IV made war on the pagans and in 1603 defeated the Urianians in the battle of Normajam on the northwestern coast. Two years later, Urduk was bombarded by the Danish fleet, and the Rigranz capitulated. Thus ended the formal Urianian independence, and the Urianian state was abolished.
Still the remaining ranzes did not give up. They chose a new rigranz and set up headquarters in Ranzton at the southernmost end of the northwestern highlands. The new Rigranz sought alliances with enemies of Denmark, who were many, and pestered the Danish rulers with many a raid. However, his military strength was not adequate, and defeats on the battleground in 1671 and finally in 1683 laid resistance to a rest. At the convention in Urduk 1684, the rigranz swore allegiance to the king. The Danes opened government offices and established garrisons at crucial places in the highlands.
These garrisons were in control for most of the time, but they were unpopular, and rebellions occurred. In the 18th century the new Urianian nationalists had been subjected to enlightenment and numbered many Christians. Thus they were looking for alternatives to the feudal ranzes for support of their cause. They were unable to find much support from the monarchies of Europe. Even the Swedes were reluctant, but eventually they found an unlikely ally in the Irish nationalists. These enlightenment nationalists were especially active in the northeastern town Jurian, a town which in fact had been founded in 1691 by Irish Jacobites. Its name happens to be identical to the Urianian name for Ireland. Wolfe Tone visited Jurian in 1793, and Urianian nationalists paid return visits. After the Irish defeat in 1798, a fresh colony of Irishmen settled in Jurian.
The Danishs overlords were facing many troubles in the early years of the 19th century, and Urianian nationalists saw their opportunity when troops were withdrawn from the garrisons to fortify the border against Byntland or participate on the continent. Yet their efforts were feeble and poorly coordinated. The declaration of the republic in Jurian on January 12, 1802 is historic, but the republicans were quickly rounded up and punished. In 1805, however, a meeting was held in Uria with representatives for the nationalists along with the ranzes as well as representatives from the peasant classes. During the next few months, they met several more times to draw up the first Urianian constitution. No agreement was reached however, and the nationalists in 1806 published a constitution of their own, which alienated them from the ranzes.
The blockade uprisings
The blockade made communications with the motherland difficult for the next few years, and Azurians found themselves free to act on their own behalf, a feeling that they relished. However, they did not hesitate to help their Danish masters against the Urianians, and when the republic was declared again in Urduk in July 1807, it again was short-lived. This time, the republicans had gathered some popular support, and held out until May the year after. The uprising in Xeria in October 1811 suffered a similar fate.
The treaty of Kiel 1814 lead to the loss of Norway for the Danish king, and he could have lost Azuria, too. But the Swedish king Carl Johan preferred a closer-knit Scandinavian union and thought the island would be much harder to defend, especially as it had a border in common with Britain. The Urianian nationalists were again subjected directly under Denmark, and though dejected from their recent experiences, continued their activities. Their first real victory was the establishment of the first Urianian higher educational institution with the academy of Uria in 1833. And this concludes the long chapter of the Urianian decline.