A Tale of Treason and Binding Ties.

At first glance, one might think that the historical committee is only about prostitutes. This might be confirmed by second and third glance and by reading most of the gossip, however after a while you understand the intrigues and conspiracies of all the assembled merchants. Every one of them has their own goals and is dedicated to reaching them- be it at any cost. Already in the morning, multiple trials have been held, merchants were accused of treason and backstabbing, the evidence was dense. The war between Denmark and Sweden needs to be avoided, however, the committee is rather focused on killing each other. The honourable merchant Gottfried Travelmann of Lübeck died already in the morning, but another merchant joined the session: Albrecht von Pecatel of Stockholm.

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Whilst some marriages were being forged, Hinrich von Westhoff of Lübeck, admiral of the Hanseatic League, was accusing Sven Sture of Visby of preparing a plot not only directed against him, but also against the whole Hanse. He had a piece of evidence in form of a letter sent by Sture (photo of letter above), which Sture eventually admitted to having written. After calling up on witnesses and very fiery closing statements (“can we believe a man changing his loyalties according to his personal interests?”), an anonymous vote decided in favor of ‘guilty’. The punishment was set to be a reparation payment of 50 % of his whole income over the course of the upcoming year to von Westhoff. The latter was not too happy about the punishment which he believed to be too soft, however when he asked upon the high chair whether he may react to the decision, he was shut down with the words “this is not a YouTube channel, you may not react”. The whole room was confused over those words, investigations as to what futuristic invention “YouTube” may be, but soon the talks shifted back to weddings and trials.

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Another highlight of the session was the search for love of some merchants. An ambassador entered the room searching for a heart lady for Herman Rolberg, who wishes to find some warmth in the coldness of Hamburg. Eventually, every pot finds a lid and so he found Johan Hoyeri’s widowed mother. The happy couple wishes to get married immediately, and will be one of the 6 couples that are getting married by the end of the session.

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To Blockade or Not to Blockade, That is the Question!

We write the year 1388. The continent of Europe is strongly dominated by the Hanseatic League, a federation of cities trading with each other in central Europe. However, the peace is threatened by the North, where the Teutonic Knights are growing stronger and Scandinavia is about to get unified- much to the displease of the Holy Roman Empire, and the Hanseatic League protected by it. Another issue that arose was the worrying developments of the Hanseatic League in Bruges in the past years- the Duke of Flanders is refusing to accept the demands by the Hanse.

Thus, a Hanseatic diet, more informally called Hansetag, has been gathered upon in the beautiful city of Hamburg to address these urgent matters. Already before the debates started, it was clear that the hall would be split into three ‘Drittel’ (thirds), namely the Wendish-Saxon Drittel, based around Lübeck, the Westphalian-Prussian Drittel, based around Cologne and the Gothlandian-Livonian-Swedish Drittel, based around Visby.

Directly in the beginning of the sessions, the gathered city representatives were faced with the four main options: 1) to do nothing, for which the status quo would remain the same, but which might encourage certain cities to act on their own outside of the Hanse. 2) to restart negotiations and send a merchant to both Novgorod and Flanders to try and come up with a new deal. The third option would be to seize all trait with merchants from both Bruges as well as from Novgorod, and fourthly to establish a blockade which would entail using ships to physically stop the boats. It was established already in the first round of introductions that the first option would not be considered- the other three seemed all equally possible. The debates have not gotten fully into swing yet, the members of the Hanseatic League seem to be rather fond of words than of actions. After hours of debates, one directive made it through and was actually passed- Dietrich Travelmann from Visby suggested to sent his brother Gottfried Travelmann of Lübeck to Novgorod in order to come to find a solution. In case there won’t be an answer within 6 months, the Hanse threatens with a blockade. As another representative of the Hanse, Gottschalk Naase of Danzig was suggested, however, due to his old age of 68, he did not have a good standing.

Currently, another directive is being debated about concerning how to deal with Flanders- we will keep you updated on all further developments!