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On Icy Shores

Uppsala

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a part of On Icy Shores, by LordTalbot.

A Norse city in the nominal kingdom of Svitjod.

LordTalbot holds sovereignty over Uppsala, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

501 readers have been here.

Setting

The Temple at Uppsala was a religious center in the ancient Norse religion once located at what is now Gamla Uppsala (Swedish "Old Uppsala"), Sweden attested in Adam of Bremen's 11th-century work Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum and in Heimskringla, written by Snorri Sturluson in the 13th century. Theories have been proposed about the implications of the descriptions of the temple and the findings (or lack thereof) of the archaeological excavations in the area, along with recent findings of extensive wooden structures and log lines that may have played a supporting role to activities at the site, including ritual sacrifice.
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Uppsala

A Norse city in the nominal kingdom of Svitjod.

Minimap

Uppsala is a part of Dark Age Europe.

5 Characters Here

Kotah [9] Fylgja to Vilhjalma
Vilhjalma Litsdottir [8] Berserker turned Mercenary
Konungr Erak Sigurdsson [5] The ambitious konungr of Svithjod, who in the aftermath of Charlemagne's demise seeks oppurtunities in the west.
Einar Eldrson [5] Sellsword
Gunnar Eriksson [4] A young and belicose viking from Trøndelag.

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Character Portrait: Vilhjalma Litsdottir
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#, as written by DBN006
Snow crunched beneath the mercenary's calf boots as she made the journey to the temple at Uppsala. Her woolen tunic and leather armor vest kept her warm enough, especially since her woolen cloak whipped about in the wind. She used her Dane's axe like a walking stick, guiding the one-armed warrior along the snow-covered path. It wasn't a difficult hike for her, just a long one.

She would make her offering to the temple before the statue of Odin before returning to the settlement below. She carried with her a pair of leather gloves worn by a war chief during a battle she'd recently participated in. It has been a successful campaign and she'd taken the gloves as part of her payment. They'd been used most notable before the battle, ritually strangling a captured enemy spy in Odin's name. They should make a fine offering, no?

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Character Portrait: Vilhjalma Litsdottir Character Portrait: Kotah
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In the forest, part of a snow drift shifts as if breathing. Silver eyes watch as a one armed warrior walks up a long path to a great temple. Slowly, the snow falls to the ground as a large white cat with brown stripes stands. It moves far too lightly for a beast that size. As the warrior passes it follows silently leaving no trace behind it.

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Character Portrait: Brynjar Witch-Breaker
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The old man sat near the great temple, a little ways down the track. In the dwindling light he was very nearly invisible in his black cloak. A little steam rose from his mouth, though the rest of his face was shaded in the cowl of his cloak. The furs on his shoulders sparkled a little with flecks of snow, and the shield on his back gleamed with white streaks. He had sat there for a while, a raven on his shoulder, gazing into nothingness, listening to the sounds of the wild.

Brynjar had only just returned to this temple, a pilgrimage he made every year. He felt closer to the gods when he was out in the wilds, but this place still seemed the appropriate place to make his offerings. Though what more could he offer? His body and soul belonged to the gods. Carrying out their will in this world was the only duty that stood between him and seeking out a glorious death to join his brothers in Valhalla. This visit was different though, he could feel it. Something had drawn him here. As he waited for whatever it was, the raven had sat with him. It's jet black eye pierced his own and he grimly heard the messanger of Odin.

Straining his ears, Brynjar could just hear sounds from the village below. They were fighting again. It seemed a constant circle of events. Feasts, fights, and living. Especially in winter this was true. However, he could hear something else. Someone, no... two things were approaching. One walked with the gait of a human, the other he was not sure about. Resting his hand on the worn handle of his daneaxe he waited to see who it was. He doubted they would notice him before he saw them. No one save the gods had seen him for years.

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brynjar Witch-Breaker Character Portrait: Vilhjalma Litsdottir Character Portrait: Kotah
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The tigress moved slowly as she followed behind the warrior. Her muscles were wound tightly under her skin as though ready to pounce. She wanted nothing but to surge forward, not to attack the warrior but to push her faster towards destiny. She could feel it welling up, like a child preparing to be born. Something important was going to happen at the temple. She bared her teeth silently. The human was too slow and it was not her right to quicken fate. All she could do was wait patiently and follow slowly behind. She calmed herself with the knowledge that fate would be fulfilled in due time and took in the beauty of her surroundings. Soon.

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Character Portrait: Brynjar Witch-Breaker Character Portrait: Vilhjalma Litsdottir Character Portrait: Kotah
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#, as written by DBN006
As Vilhjalma finally reached the top of the trail she paused to look up and admire the temple built here. A place of the Gods if ever there was one. Unaware of her stalker and the man in the dark cloak she pressed forward, shaking snow from her cloak as she advanced. She even paused for a moment to warm herself at the flickering braziers on the outside.

She pulled down her hood and shook her hair loose before pushing the doors open and stepping inside. She lingered in the entrance long enough to let her eyes adjust to the dim light before heading in further. Her eyes lingered over the different statues as she passed them, stopping to bow her head at the statues of Thor and Modi. In the end her destination was The All-Father, Odin. Paying little mind to anyone else there she fell to her knees at the statue's feet, Dane's axe laid out in front of her as she reached out to offer the leather gloves she'd brought with her. "May this meager offering please the All-Father. I would have used them myself but you have seen fit to take away one of my arms. Still, my axe and I serve."

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Character Portrait: Gunnar Eriksson Character Portrait: Einar Eldrson
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Having already made his offerings at the temple farther up the mountain, Einar was once again playing guest at the great hall that stood at the base. He was awaiting his new traveling companion. She had desired to prepare for her journey up the mount and wished to make her offering personally and in solitude, and Einar was never one to intrude upon another's personal relationship with the gods.
So, as Vilhjalma wandered up the winter trail and paid her respects to the Allfather, Einar was enjoying the pleasures that the local Jarl had the courtesy to provide to all pilgrims.

He was sat on a bench near the hearth in the center of the room, a lovely warrior maiden perched on his lap. The pair had crossed blades at a small competition earlier in the day and had retreated from the dark chill together. She kept up with him in mead horns and was as liberal in tracing her hands along his neck and tattoos as he was in caressing her back and thigh. The pair laughed in general merriment, caught up in the delights of song, drink, and tales, and boasts of battle as everyone else when a sudden silence drifted over the assembled group and a young man stood upon the table he was seated at and began to speak.

It was clear that the boy was not particularly well thought of, though Einar had no clue who he was. When his toast had concluded to the Chief, gods, and summer, Einar joined him in the toast, for he viewed it as bad luck not to join in on a toast to a host, and the gods especially.
He shook his head at the boy's challenge however, and as the hall erupted in laughter at the arrogant youth, the maiden stood and went to go refill their horns.
As she walked off, Einar's eye turned back towards the humiliated young man who, to Einar's complete surprise, was now hurtling across the table towards him as his fellow savagely headbutted another man. Einar was offended at both underhanded attacks, even as he was thrown backwards by the youth's weight and then punched.

He felt the sting of the blow in his cheek, but the boy was obviously not yet baptized in the fires of battle and the recklessness of the attack hadn't given him leverage for a proper swing.
Einar however, was a veteran of combat and well known for his strength, and devastating skill in battle, he and roared his fury at the little upstart that had launched himself across the table.

"Only Helheim awaits you boy, a coward will find no place in Odin's hall!", he bellowed in his rough, thunderous voice as he righted himself.

Standing with the agile ease of a seasoned warrior, Einar reached down and grabbed the little bastard and full bodily picking him up, he took two steps and threw him out of the nearest door into the cold darkness beyond.
As the boy flew, the handle of a walking stick was broken over Einar's shoulders. The man loosed a battle cry, as he turned and savagely backhanded his assailant before stepping forward and pulling a woman who had been pushed into the central fire from it's pyromantic embrace.

The brawl was quickly escalating as the intoxicated warriors vented their rage upon one another and Einar was no fool and knew that things needed to been ended quickly.

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Character Portrait: Gunnar Eriksson Character Portrait: Einar Eldrson
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The shock of the cold snow chilled Gunnar to his bones as he landed with a thump. The sounds of roars and splintering furniture echoed out into the night as he stood and brushed himself off. He shivered, the clouds parting to reveal the stars above. Scowling he threw himself back into the hall, looking for the warrior who had manhandled him. "Coward am I? I'll show that fucker." Hemming was nearby, bellowing loudly as he picked up a bench and launched it into a crowd of vikings, momentarily flattening them. Scanning the hall Gunnar was picked up again and slammed against a wall, the blow driving the air from his lungs. Recovering fast he saw a fist coming at him and twisted his head to the side, letting it go past him and crack into the wall. Gripping the arm he wrenched it two ways and felt a satisfying crack. Kicking his opponent out of the way he gave up on finding the warrior again and dove back into the melee.

Ducking under grappling warriors, Gunnar came across a shieldmaiden, shrieking as she was dumped in a barrel of mead by two burly Gotlanders. They roared with laughter, but before they could realise their mistake the shieldmaiden had lept up and latched her thighs around one of their necks. Twisting hard she flipped the man over and onto the barrel, which splintered and sent mead flying everywhere. Another roar of laughter split the air at that, and the shieldmaiden turned to face the man's angry friend, who swung a heavy fist at her. Dodging the blow she delivered a swift knee to the man's groin. His eyes went wide and he crumpled to the floor alongside his friend. Without pausing for breath the shieldmaiden grabbed the nearest warrior and kissed him forcefully, dropping him when she was done and shouting her battlecry at the top of her lungs.

Gunnar found himself back to back with Hemming, the older man sporting a bloody nose and a few loosened teeth. Around them were more than a few warriors from a rival village. "Still alive Gunnar you little shit?" Hemming spit a wad of blood to the floor. "I thought you'd buggered off and left me in this mess you started."

"Not on your life Hemming." Gunnar was thrilled with the exhileration. The men here were as keen for a friendly fight as any back home it seemed. "You always boast you can take care of yourself. I was just seeing if it was true." Hemming grunted in response.

"I doubt these bastards from Falthivr will let you escape without a broken limb or two. Your father won't be happy."

"Sod my father." Gunnar grinned and tackled the nearest man. Receiving a few kicks to the ribs whilst he was on the floor, Gunnar slithered between another's legs, slamming a fist into the man's groin as he did. Unluckily the man collapsed on top of Gunnar. Hemming, gripping one man by the throat and another held under his arm scowled and kicked the man on top of Gunnar over.

"Get up you slimy git." Hemming's words were cut short as the point of a dagger emerged from his side. Eyes wide in surprise he dropped the two men he was holding and turned as the dagger was withdrawn. Gunnar struggled to his feet as the man attacked again.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brynjar Witch-Breaker Character Portrait: Vilhjalma Litsdottir Character Portrait: Kotah
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The tigress waited, seated just outside the front entrance to the temple, that sense of fate building. She did not sense the man nearby, even if she could she wouldn't have bothered acknowledging him. Her focus was upon the building and the warrior within. The human place of worship had little meaning for one such as her. The gods were not hers and she was not theirs. She did not think they would act upon her intrusion into the temple, but it was best not to push. As she waited she felt the need to change looming. She had been following the warrior since before she could even be called a warrior, silently avoiding her sight for so long. This moment filled her with great apprehension, it was finally time to reveal herself to Vilhjalma. Were she male, this kind of revelation would come at a great price for her charge. Seeing a fate spirit could mean bad luck. However, Kotah knew that this meeting would bring nothing but good fortune. Her warrior was a major piece in the game of destiny and she would guide her to the greatness that she would become.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brynjar Witch-Breaker Character Portrait: Vilhjalma Litsdottir Character Portrait: Kotah Character Portrait: Konungr Erak Sigurdsson
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Brynjar cast an eye over the well dressed man. He had little time for luxuries, but he would indulge the figure whilst he was here. The light had finally faded totally, and a pitch black surrounded the temple, only penetrated by the fingers of light cast by the braziers. In the distance he howls of wolves sounded, Brynjar's fingertips prickling in anticipation. He did not know why the gods wanted him here, but he felt he would soon know.

Shaking the snow off his shoulders, Brynjar fingered the blade of his axe, the carefully oiled and honed weapon glinting in the firelight he sat on the edge of. "I have little need of prayer these days Erak. Prayers are usually for those who need something or anger the gods. For those who speak to them regularly it is of little consequence." He knew the man. He'd known since he set foot off his longship and began the ascent. Brynjar had watched him enter the temple, and the one armed warrior close behind. The creature that followed the woman was still here, but a whisper from the raven that perched in the tree above him told him it was none of his concern.

Brynjar sighed. "Cold winters fast approach and leave slowly. This land is in the grip of giants." The sounds of fighting carried up to his ears and made him scowl. More important things were necessary now. Drunken brawls were wastes of everything that should be held dear.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Brynjar Witch-Breaker Character Portrait: Kotah Character Portrait: Konungr Erak Sigurdsson
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#, as written by Alator
"And mighty beasts it seems." Erak replied, spotting a great White tiger sitting calmly outside the Temple, suprised that he had missed it.

Turning back to Brynjar he said "The giants grip it, then relents and let it go. Only to try again. The day they succeed will be the day when we lose faith. Myself, I have other concerns." Taking a seat next to Brynjar on the wooden bench, Erak stared out into the darkness. "I trust that you have heard of how my brother Ragnar has become a Jarl in Northvegr? He was always restless, even as a lad. And I trust he will keep venturing west with renewed force, possibly he vies for the crown of Northvegr itself. Not only that, things are stirring in Scandinavia. Only a mere year ago, the late king Gudfred of Danmark was murdered. Horik Gudfredsson, his son, was forced to flee when King Harald Klak siezed Power. He is somewhere in Götaland as we speak, trying to rouse support."

Erak sighed and turned to Brynjar "I pray for that the sons of the North will not succumb to greed and spill eachother's blood. But right now, it looks like I will be sorely disappointed... And as for myself... With the great Charlemagne now gone, the West is in disarray. There has never been a better time to let the longships sail." He added the last part with a crooked smile.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Brynjar Witch-Breaker Character Portrait: Konungr Erak Sigurdsson
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"I hear many things Erak. And there is no need for the history lesson. I know the people." Brynjar scowled, most people were wary around him. Usually they were unsure of who he was, but his great bearing and wild appearance kept them at bay. The raven cawed again and Brynjar looked up. Pushing his hood back he shook out his white hair as he stood. The cold invigorated him and he dreaded having to go down into the village. He would do what the gods ordered, but he hated being amongst people, who only seemed to care about what was right in front of them. The gods had a greater plan.

"There is a son of Norvegr in the village. He arrived on a longship from Trondelag." Brynjar reached into a pouch hanging on his belt, clearing the snow from the hard ground with his other hand. Crouching down, the shield on his back slipping a little, he cast his hand over the space. Knuckle bones rolled on the hard ground, the etched runes on them flashing in the firelight from the brazier. Brynjar examined how they fell, then scooped them up and placed them back in the pouch. "Would that I had now what I had yesterday, find out what it was; mankind it mars, speech it hinders, yet speech it will inspire."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Gunnar Eriksson Character Portrait: Einar Eldrson
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Gunnar was on his feet and seething. This old bastard obviously had no idea of who he was. He took a step forwards but was stopped by an outstretched hand from Hemming. "Easy Gunnar. That's enough." Hemming was wincing as he moved, but the wound didn't look serious. Grimacing, he turned around to the warrior who had dealt with the knife-wielding viking. "You'll have to excuse Gunnar. Ever since his father sent him off to win his shield he's thrown himself headlong into every fight possible." Hemming smiled. "The trouble is, both the bastards have egos the size of Yggdrasil. Any insult is personal." Tearing off a strip from the bottom of his tunic, Hemming handed it to Gunnar, who stepped forwards and began tying it around the wound.

"Hold still you git." Gunnar seethed through his teeth as he pulled the make-shift bandage tight. He checked to see if it was holding back the bleeding, then turned to his own scrapes and bruises. One of his fingers was bent an odd way. He flinched as he touched it. Not broken thank Odin. Taking a deep breath Gunnar gripped the finger and popped it back into its socket, waving his hand after. Then he looked to the warrior, the one who had earlier thrown him out and then defeated Hemming's attacker. The man wasn't much to look at but had obviously seen some combat.

Under Hemming's watchful gaze, Gunnar decided that he could put honour aside for the sake of good humour, and pulled a couple of drinking horns off a nearby table. He thrust one towards the warrior and smiled. "Name's Gunnar. My father is the Jarl of Trondelag over in Norvegr. Hemming and I came to pay our respects here before heading off to visit the Danes. What brings you here?"

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Character Portrait: Brynjar Witch-Breaker Character Portrait: Konungr Erak Sigurdsson
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Brynjar stared long and hard at the king. He had felt something in his bones, only compounded by the words from the gods he had received, and the predictions of the knuckle bones. But he was yet to understand the meaning of the messages. He stayed silent and looked away into the darkness. His fingers traced the blade of his axe. "Harshly he clangs, on hard paths treading which he has fared before. Two mouths he has, and mightily kisses, and on gold alone he goes." The riddle would have to do. Brynjar was cast adrift on the will of the gods.

The wind howled and small flakes of snow began to fall, hissing when they hit the fire. A blizzard was coming.

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Character Portrait: Brynjar Witch-Breaker Character Portrait: Kotah
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He did not look up, continuing to stroke his axe absent-mindedly. "The point is not the hammer itself. More so what the hammer represents." Stepping forward, Brynjar stood over the brazier Erak's men had vacated. The lines on his weathered face showed even more deeply in the shadowed orange light. "A goldsmith may make many things of beauty, of intricacy. None but him know the truth of the matter. Those who hold what he creates only see one thing, which they fight over mercilessly." Shrugging his shoulder, Brynjar pulled the shield off his back and leaned it against a post, slinging his daneaxe and warming his hands over the fire.

After a long moment, he turned to the creature, silouhetted and huge against the firelight. His shadow dancing on the snow covered ground. Fixing the creature with an icy gaze, he paused before speaking. "The one you follow. If I have read the signs properly, she is of some significance." Touching his hand to his forearm, then to his forehead, Brynjar closed his eyes a moment, as if searching memory. The messages of the gods had been loud of late, and he struggled to understand them all.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Brynjar Witch-Breaker Character Portrait: Vilhjalma Litsdottir Character Portrait: Kotah
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#, as written by DBN006
With tribute paid and prayers made, the crippled berserker got to her feet with some assistance from her axe. Her remaining arm was stronger than ever but her core muscles were still adjusting to the missing weight on her left. A good thing it did not deminish her ability to slaughter opponents. "I will earn my way into Valhalla yet," she swore to the statue of the All-Father before turning her back to it.

As she made her way out of the temple she stopped to pay brief but sincere respects to the representations of Thor and Modi. She even blew a kiss at the statue of Freyja. If she somehow ended up in Fólkvangr rather than Valhalla, being loved by a goddess for eternity might not be so bad. Not so ideal as endless the feasts and battles of Valhalla though. All better options than an peaceful death in bed followed by the cold grip of Hel.

With hand and shoulder Vilhjalma pushed open the temple doors and let herself back out into the cold. The weather had taken a turn for the worse apparently. "Not a good sign."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gunnar Eriksson Character Portrait: Einar Eldrson Character Portrait: Konungr Erak Sigurdsson
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#, as written by Alator
The Tavern was a large, yet rather modest building. And in this winter night it looked even more appealing, with warm light coming out through small gaps between the wood. Erak opened the Tavern door, and with a gust of chilling wind he entered. Followed by his four Huscarls he looked around as he strode further in, in search of either an empty table or one where he could take a seat.

Drawn to a couple of men that looked like warriors, Erak judged the men closely with his gaze as he walked up to them, dismissing his Huscarls. They looked like they've had a rough day, signs of a fight was still evident on them. Although Everything had apparently calmed down, seeing as they were drinking and talking. "Did you lose an arguement with a bear or something?" Erak commented with a crooked smile as he walked in amongst them.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vilhjalma Litsdottir Character Portrait: Kotah Character Portrait: Einar Eldrson
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#, as written by DBN006
With mysterious new spirit companion Kotah in tow (see post made under Dark Ages Europe) Vilhjalma made the journey down from the sacred temple back to the great hall she'd started out from. She wasn't sure where she and Einar would be traveling next. Off to sell their services no doubt but to whom? She felt a bit restless of late, itching for a new battle to test herself in.

Her footsteps slowed as she approached the entrance of the great hall, glancing back for the presence of Kotah as she shook snow from her cloak. After a deep breath and a weary sigh she entered.