15th September 1066
I’ve started a new diary. A bit about who I am in case I forget:
I am Mungo Mungo, Norwegian duke of Trondelag. (There’s supposed to be a line through the “o” in Trondelag but I’m not going to put that in there.) Five and twenty years old, married. My coat of arms reflects my love of fish:
An only child, my father tried to bring me up to be cunning and sneaky – to use my skills to advance the family line. He told me my temper was too great for me to learn my lessons. So I stabbed him in the heart. In retrospect he may have been right.
I realised there is no God when the priesthood turned me down. I couldn’t afford an unpaid apprenticeship in the merchant’s guild either. So I used my natural charm and good looks to get myself a nice duchy. That and I lied about my qualifications. I mean, nobody really believes in truth or justice any more do they? Not in today’s economy.
Anyway, King Harald is off fighting some Saxon Englishman called “Harold Godwinson”. I have my own problems to deal with. First of all I have no court whatsoever. I need to decide who is in charge of my money, my soldiers, my church, my diplomatic missions, and the more unsavoury aspects of my rule. Second, I need to decide what to do with my life. Third, I should probably offer my support to one of the candidates for succession to the crown. Fourth, I should see if there’s someone who could manage of one of my counties for me, I have four and that’s too many for me to run all by myself, especially considering I have no administrators whatsoever.
In the longer term I also need an heir, preferably a son, who could take over when I’m older or, God forbid, if anything should happen to me.
I’ve let this duchy slide for too long. Things are going to change around here.
P.S. I like my wife Sigrid. She hates me. Apparently I don’t have enough “experience” for her. She’s only sixteen! She’s very charming. She’s also thief, a liar, a rogue, and she loves a good snuggle if you know what I mean. She’s a perfect match. I hope I don’t have to kill her.
I decided to appoint the most competent candidates to my council. This includes giving Sigrid the post of spymaster. Hopefully that will make her slightly more happy. None of the good candidates are fond of me. Apparently my history of violence and contempt for the common man are “upsetting”.
I plan to have a son as soon as possible. I shall call him Mungo. He can manage a small far away county when he comes of age.
1st December 1066.
A revolt had broken out in Finnmark. Apparently I’m too “oppressive”. Only one solution. Oppression.
I have nominated myself as successor to the King.
6th July 1067.
Victory! I have killed all the rebels. 500 of them dead to 91 loyalists.
I have come up with a dastardly plan. I plan to assassinate Duke William of Normandy. That bastard is also fighting the Saxons, and he is actually winning. With him dead, Harald might be able to win the war and take the Kingdom of England. None of William’s court seem persuadable though. Apparently he’s too popular with his court. His name is literally “William the Bastard”. No respect.
2nd March 1067.
Sigrid is pregnant. Everything is coming up Mungo.
1st Ocober 1068.
I have a daughter. I called her Pissoff because I need a male heir. The war is going well. Not that it really effects me. Oh God there’s a son too! How did I not notice she was having twins? I am not the father of this boy. Perhaps I should switch my assassination target.
3rd August 1069.
Sigrid is pregnant again. I hate that she’s having an affair but I love that I may have an heir. I’m so conflicted. I’m like Jesus when the devil offered him wine with fish in the desert.
20th September 1069.
I’ve been thinking about Jesus. People like him. The pope is very big on him. I sent the pope a letter asking for forgiveness for my sins. Perhaps my courtiers will stop thinking of me as a murderer if I can get a pardon or something.
26th September 1069.
I’ve been pardonned! It cost me half my treasury. I hope it’s worth it.
3rd March 1070.
Sigrid has given me a second daughter. I called her Number 3.
16th March 1071.
Goodness a lot of things happened in the last few weeks. I was too busy to keep a diary. There are a whole number of new factions in Norway. Harald conquered England! We won! I hope he gives me a new duchy or two.
9th April 1071.
Someone has invited me to join a plan to kill somebody I don’t know. I’m not getting involved. As far as I’m concerned, I only kill my own family. I’m trying to fabricate a claim on one of the weaker Norwegian counties. Hopefully nobody will care if I expand my holdings through a small war.
28th April 1071.
The King has lowered taxes. Wonderful. I like this King of ours.
6th October 1071.
Looks like William the Bastard has taken over most of England. Harald still holds most of the north. Someone uncovered my plot to kill William the bastard. Still not going to stop plotting to kill him though.
10th October 1071.
I have a claim on the county of Telemark. Excellent. Time to take a little more land for my own. Thank goodness the King has so little power. Screw England. I’m taking Norway!
6th December 1071.
All the troops are gathering. The King has made me Master of the Horses! He’s also demanding I contribute troops to his army and taxes to his treasury. I suppose it had to happen some day.
5th May 1073.
I have won the war! More land for me. Excellent. I’m trying to fabricate another claim on another small county but now I really do have far more land than I can control. I’m going to palm off a county or two to my eldest, Pissoff, when she comes of age.
23rd September 1073.
I’ve given up on my plan to kill William. Now called “the Conqueror”. (Everybody conquers England. When do I get to conquer England?) I’m going to kill my top general instead. He holds a county which I want.
26th January 1074.
Number 3 was taking too long to speak so I hit her. Now she’s greedy. I think I must have done something wrong. I mean pressed the wrong button. I mean not paid enough attention to how I was hitting her. Sometimes I feel like there is a God, and he controls every aspect of my life simply for the sake of a flippant internet blog.
18th March 1074.
YES! A SON! I have called him “Mungo” after his beloved father. I hope I don’t screw him up like I did with Pissoff and Number 3. I’ve given him one of my counties. This puts me back down to four – only one more than I can reasonably control. He may not be one day old but I’m sure he can do a better job of government than me.
My new life goal is to finish the lessons of my youth. Even if I don’t like the bible I need to know the bible if I’m to get on with my “fellow Christians”.
Now I just need to make sure I don’t have any more sons. I can’t go about dividing up my dukedom between them when I die.
6th October 1074.
I’m getting my chancellor (the man in charge of my duchy’s diplomacy) to educate Pissoff. He’s sneaky and people seem to actually like him.
18 November 1074.
Someone tried to sell me something. I have banned fairs. This annoyed one of my counts.
17 December 1074.
A great philosopher passed through. I gave him money and he gave me “Cultural technology points”. No idea what those are.
5th March 1075.
I asked the King for another county. He said no. I gave my support to his son for succession to the throne. He still says I can’t have another county.
21st May 1075.
My chief financier died from leprosy today. I asked the King’s son to take his place. He’s good enough with money and hopefully his royal favour will help me.
1st June 1075.
The King’s Chaplain has accused me of heresy! Me? A heretic! I don’t even believe in heresy! And the king believes him! I’m even more of a pariah than I was. First they say I killed my father. Then they say I’m a heretic. What next?
28th August 1075.
The count who got annoyed when I banned fairs has been excommunicated by the pope. I could send him to jail. I won’t though. As far as I’m concerned the catholic church can stuff themselves. My bible lessons appear to be going nowhere.
4th January 1076.
The prince is a terrible financier. Everywhere he goes, buildings collapse. He’s the best I have though.
6th March 1076.
I’ve sent Number 3 to be tutored by a priest. I hate her so much.
18th March 1076.
I’ve had another daughter. “Girlssmell” is her name.
26th May 1076.
The King has raised taxes! Why do people stand for this nonsense?
7th August 1076.
I’ve sent another letter to the pope asking for forgiveness. There are some coins in the letter.
24th August 1076.
The pope has forgiven me. Hallelujah! The King has not. Still regarded as a heretic.
17th November 1076.
Took a look at a map of England. The whole country has been divided into little counties. I must remember to read the foreign news.
9th January 1077.
It’s been more than ten years since I started this diary. What has happened? Well, I have a court. I have three daughters and a son. My duchy is slightly larger. My wife is still probably having an affair. I used to like her. She used to hate me. Now she likes me and I hate her.
My education is going nowhere. What am I doing in life? What can I do? I can’t really rise up since everybody hates me. Too many people need me to get rid of me. At least I hope so. I feel stuck really. I never thought I’d get to 35. What a pointless existence. Uuuuurgh. I want to kill someone.