Gormr Gamli, also known as Gorm the Old, was a Danish king ruling from 936 to 958 AD. He was able to unite the small petty kingdoms of Denmark into one kingdom (possibly Jutland only). He was a great warrior and a real viking througout his life. His royal seat was in Jelling from which he ruled the land.
The family of Gorm consisted of his wife Thyra and his three sons, Toke, Knut and Harald. All sons were viking raiders by heart, departing each summer to raid and pillage foreign lands. His father was Harthacnut a Norwegian viking who conquered himself a piece of Jutland.
A kingdom was inherited by Gorm when his father died. It was small in size but stood high in rank, for it was here that great sacrifices to Odin were made as it had one of the most sacred places. Gorm often went on adventurous viking raids to plunder along the Baltic coast or other areas. He expanded his kingdom by conquest and barter, using his riches to increase landed possessions.
His wife Thyra ruled the lands when Gorm was away from home. To defend the homelands from incursions form her southern neighbours she extended the Danevirke. A long fortified wall with stockade and ditch, which ran across the neck of the Cimbrian peninsula at the southern border of Denmark.
Queen Thyra, who worshipped the northern gods, showed much favor to the Christians and caused some of her children to be signed with the cross, king Gorm however remained a fierce pagan. Gorm mend his ways to Christianity in due time and allowed preaching in his lands and the building of churches. He permitted his son Harald, who favored the Christians, to be signed with the cross, but he kept to the faith of his forefathers, as did his son Knut.
Gorm's reign as king
There was little love between Knut and Harald, Gorm fearing ill results from this, swore an oath that he would put to death anyone who attempted to kill his first born son, or who told him that Knut died. While Harald remained at home and aided his mother, Knut was of his father's fierce spirit and often went on viking expeditions. One night, when Knut was campaigning to capture Dublin, he got killed by an arrow while relaxing. Gorm was absent at the time, and Thyra hardly knew how the news could be told without incurring the sworn penalty of death.
Queen Thyra ordered the royal hall hung with black cloth, used at the funerary feasts of Northmen of noble birth. Next to this she ordered the servants not to say a single word. When Gorm entered the hall, he was struck and asked what the mourning colors meant. Queen Thyra spoke up: 'Lord King, you had two falcons, one white and the other gray. The white one flew far afield and was set upon by other birds which tore off its beautiful feathers and is now useless to you. Meanwhile the gray falcon continues to catch fowl for the king's table.' Gorm understood immediately the Queen's metaphor and cried out,'My son, Knut, is dead!' 'Thou hast said it, and not I, but what you have said is true.' was the queen's reply. The news of the death had thus been conveyed to him without anyone incurring the sworn penalty.
Gorm the Old is an open-minded and pragmatic king. He has strong primary skills in tactics and maneuvers, his secondary skill is navigation.
Gorm's assets are one town, which has a port and 4 villages. A huskarl garrison of 20 (two warbands of 10), two drakkar ships of medium size (two medium sized drakkar ship cards), 60 karl warriors (3-4 warband cards of 10 or 20) and one sacred place. Next to that he owns 300 silver and has a yearly income of 45 silver.
* An estimate of his year of birth has been made according to some sources. He had attended many viking expeditions when he was young.
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