THL Mathias Hakonan
"Harp or Halbard, battlefield or ballad.... That man is an Artist."
~King Edric IV upon the Caidan victory at Prado Hill, A.S XL
A Norwegian mercenary and Skald born in 1153, Mathias held farmlands in Ireland for a time before joining the Caidan Army in A.S. 31. Trained in music and poetry of his native Trondheim, he quickly began to study the other forms of these arts found in Caid.
A constant soldier in his early years, he served under many Crowns of the Realm. In A.S. 40 under King Edric IV, Mathias fought in many decisive battles; most notably the Caidan victories at Prado Hill, Potrero Valley and Highland Plains. He was also appointed as Royal Bard during this reign and expanded his studies of music and poetry under Royal patronage.
After the peaceful end of Edric IV's reign, Mathias assumed his father's old position as member of the Varangian Guard in Constantinople. It was there in the East Roman Empire that he became enamored of the Eastern Muse, and began to study and perform the music of those peculiar harps and lutes. Poetry and music soon took up most of his time and to his fellow mercenaries' disdain he was often requested to perform in Court.
Political and religious tensions within the Varangian Guard soon reared their heads and Mathias chose to leave his position among them. Though now devoted to art and music, his military exploits were by no means finished. His half Irish son Olaf was now of age and sought to make a new life abroad with his father. With Byzantine gold in his purse and a Grecian Lute on his back, Mathias headed westward in 1190 a.d.
First he returned to Ireland to settle the question of inheritance of the farmstead there. Olaf left his inherited holdings to his mother and half sister, choosing the sword over the plow. Though young, Olaf had seen his share of combat in border skirmishes and raids so common in Ireland. His reputation among the Irish lead them to dub him "Mykldyr", The Beast. The fact they chose to use a name in his Norse tongue as opposed to an native dialect speaks volumes on his impression upon the stubborn Irish.
Mathias and Olaf returned to Trondheim and the original farmsteads of the Hakonan family. Here they commissioned a longship and hired a crew, joined by the notable Sightsman (and rumored half brother to Mathias) Seamus Clear~eyes. In the spring of 1191 they set sail for Iberia, lured by the prospect of gold and glory.
For the next three years they helped secure Caidan trade routes across the channel. Winters were spent inland, where Mathias continued to find patronage from Caidan nobles to further the study of his arts.
After raiding the coast of Moorish Spain in support of the Reconquista, they settled along the Frankish rivers near Paris for the winter of 1194. Tales of a new King in Caid soon reached their ears. This Emperor needed skilled men at arms and had a fondness for music, and it was said he spared no expense on either of them. With this lure they were again enticed to serve The Crown and Court.
Mathias, Olaf and Seamus soon found there was easy gold to be made along the way by protecting caravans bound for Kiev and other cities of Rus. The three joined House Romani, long time friends from the early years in the East, and traveled by river next to the caravan of Roma.
Their ship Hronslítr came to be known as Floating Wagon among their gypsy brethren, and provided swift protection and control of local waterways. Mathias also found a warm welcome in many Courts and Revels he attended and was often called to perform for Noble and Commoner alike.
His reputation as an Artist continued to grow and in 1195 (A.S. 52) Mathias was appointed Queen's Guard and Gladius Musicorum, Sword of Music, to Their Majesties Tahira and Alexander. In this role he was able to both enhance the Arts in Court, and gather vital news of what wheels drove the politics of the moment.
Using his contacts in both east and west, Mathias was able to give King Alexander early warning of the impending invasion of Rome. With this news Alexander was able to find a suitable Heir to the Crown of Caid and prepare his Legion and lead them to defend His Homeland. There are rumors that Mathias, Seamus and Olaf had assassinated certain enemies of Rome to delay their attack and gain information. So far these rumors remain unproven.
When not serving at Court, he and his crew can be found following the Romani Caravan, sharing the joy in the Muse up and down the coasts of our fair Caid, neither Harp nor Halbard rusted yet....
Offices & Positions
- Lux Caidis, 01/20/2018
- Signum Regni, TRM Alexander and Tahira, 01/06/2018
- Order of Apollo-Angels, 09/09/2017
- Queen's Champion-Arts & Sciences, HRM Tahira, 08/12/2017
- Chanson (formerly L'Honneur de la Chanson), 07/16/2017
- Signum Regni, TRM Edric IV and Faizah, 06/02/2007
- Harp Argent for Music, 05/12/2007
As of 06/14/2018, no name or device has been registered.