By Douglas E. Gogerty
Princess Angelina learned of the battle with Lakeland well after the incident. She was in the southern part of her kingdom inspecting the river boats when the fight took place. She was thankful that her people took the initiative to be ready for battle. However, this left Lakeland without a leader.
The civil war against Prince Bjorn had led to chaos in Lakeland. Now, as far as the Princess knew, there was no heir to the Lakeland throne. No one in Lakeland believed there was an heir to the throne. Without a known heir, many of the Lakeland nobles restarted the civil war. Each attempted to make his claim on the throne; however, none of them had much support among the people. It looked like Lakeland would remain in chaos for a bit longer. A state that the commoners could ill afford.
The Princess took one of the challenging boats north up the great river. If the Lakeland civil war was to rage again, there would be more refugees. She wanted to prepare for this eventuality. There was a limited amount of supplies that she could provide for the people of Lakeland. She needed to determine how the refugees were managing.
While she was there, she wanted to meet with her generals. They were the ones who waged the victory. She had reason to believe that the victor of any future Lakeland civil war would attempt to reclaim her kingdom just as Prince Bjorn had. They could claim she attacked Bjorn to gain support. Also, she did not wish to be caught off guard a second time.
The refugees cheered her arrival. The ovation caught her by surprise. She was attending to other things when the battle occurred, and had nothing to do with the victory. Yet, the people gave her the credit. Perhaps they were grateful that they helped them.
Nonetheless, she greeted her people warmly and with gratitude. She realized that her policy of welcoming deserting soldiers into her army worked to her advantage. These soldiers were responsible for the defeat of Prince Bjorn. They were familiar with his tactics and took advantage of them.
To the cheering crowds, the Princess saluted the soldiers and generals responsible for the defeat of Prince Bjorn. She also saluted those that had fallen. However, she found out that few on her side had died. It was a very lopsided victory. Thus, she decided to include the fallen on the other side in her salute. After all, the crowd was largely from Lakeland, and some may know the slain.
When she met privately with those directly responsible for the victory, they urged her to "end the chaos" in Lakeland. They urged her to claim the Lakeland throne. After all, she was from a royal line, and thus more qualified than any of the nobles.
Further, she could reunite Lakeland herself. In addition, she had defeated the sovereign of Lakeland; thus, she had a claim to the throne. As far as anyone knew, there was no legitimate heir to the throne, and she could claim it with quite a bit of support. It could bring a quick end to the current situation in Lakeland.
The Princess did not think she should simply invade. She did not want people to call her Angelina the Conqueror. However, she knew she had wide support of her people and many people in Lakeland. In her tour of surrounding kingdoms, the people of Lakeland rallied and cheered. Hence, she decided to talk to the refugees discretely. They would be the best judge for this course of action.
She found that the refugees overwhelming supported her becoming sovereign of all of Lakeland. Everyone she talked to urged her to reign over a reunited Lakeland. Moreover, they were willing to fight for her. She reminded them that this invasion would no longer be a safe refuge in her kingdom. In fact, there was no place where they could run to if things got bad. They would have to live in one war torn country or another, but they were overwhelmingly resolute. They did not wish to have any other ruler. They knew the nobles of their land, and they did not find any of them suitable.
After a several discrete conversations with random citizens of Lakeland, she would take the conversation to the crowd. It was one thing to gain the support of a few people here and there, but how would the entire crowd react? Despite her fears, they cheered and would have rushed to the border at that time. She had overwhelming support of the refugees, and the few citizens of her own kingdom that were present. Thus, she felt it was a course of action she not only could take but should take. She gathered her advisors and generals together and began making plans.
Lakeland had little in the way of an army. Most of the trained soldiers had deserted or had been killed in the civil war. The fighting nobles did not have much with which to work. What they did have to work with were ill trained. Therefore, when Princess Angelina's forces crossed the boarder, they surrendered readily. He units swelled instead of shrank as she moved north.
In fact, as her army did not engage in any battles. As her army approached, any Lakeland forces put down their weapons and surrendered. Her soldiers did not have to fire a single shot. The Princess marched uncontested into the capitol of Lakeland. There were some nobles that complained about her invasion, but they could not do anything about it.
The Princess had overwhelming support from the peasants, the army, and even most nobles. Thus, she marched into power into a reunited Lakeland. She began to prepare for her coronation. She would abandon her castle complex, and move into King Thorbjorn's castle. There was nothing standing in her way, when Prince William showed up.