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Halfdan the Black

Halfdan II Halfdansson is the brother of Harald Fairhair and the son of Halfdan I the Black.

0 · 46 views · located in Iskjerne Bay

a character in “The Multiverse”, as played by Ivar the Boneless

Description

Halfdan II Halfdansson is also known as Halfdan the Black, just like his father before him. Sometimes they are referred to as Halfdan the Elder and Halfdan the Younger to distinguish them apart. Halfdan II the Black is the brother of Harald Fairhair, and their mother was Ragnhild Sigurdsdotter.

So begins...

Halfdan the Black's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki Character Portrait: Livia Caesarius Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: The Berserkers Character Portrait: The Svinfylking Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: Erling Snake Character Portrait: Uhtred the Godless Character Portrait: Takao Eguchi Character Portrait: Dainn Character Portrait: Dibble Character Portrait: The Ljosalfar Character Portrait: Ivar the Boneless Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Fulgar Thornheim Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful Character Portrait: Thorvald the Great Character Portrait: Fulgar's Forward Force Character Portrait: Ivaldi Character Portrait: Volund Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Berserkers Character Portrait: Iskjerne Svinfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hrafnfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Kattrfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hornuglar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hestahar Character Portrait: Halfdan Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Halfdan the Black

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As they moved through the gates, Livia continued to closely observe the defenses, and how the city was set up. She made a mental note of the positions of every man in the city, their weapons and equipment, and their general demeanor.

"We'll start digging tomorrow at first light." Livia commented, as she moved into the great mead hall, her eyes on the Decanus behind her.

Livia turned her attention to Lagertha, and offered a nod, before she turned to her Decanus. "Have the men unload the cart, stage the tools at the dig site, and bring in a sled to carry the body out. See to it the mule is kept warm at a stable or something, I don't want it to freeze to death out here in the cold."

The Decanus nodded, and turned back to relay the orders to his men, They would find a place, or be shown a place to store the mule cart, before they began to unload the tools to bring inside.

Once inside the mead hall, Livia smiled at the warmth, and she nodded to one of the Legionaries that came inside with her. She held her arms out to her side, and the Legionary began to undo the fasteners that secured her Paenula, pulling the plush, velvety red cloak off of the Legata, revealing her Lorica armor, which shimmered in the orange flame. The Lorica armor was worn over a heavy red, and white tunica, which extended down to the mid thigh, protected by armored strips of leather. Livia also had her sword, which was encased in a silver, gold imbued scabbard that bore ornate geometric designs. There was another strange weapon holstered on Livia's back. It was a flintlock pistol, with an engraved wooden handle with poured gold inlaid designs.

There was a dagger sheathed in Livia's left boot, and a second weapon holstered in her right boot. This weapon was even stranger in appearance from the weapon holstered at her back. Sheathed in a black kydex holster, the Seburo BoBson Centennial edition semi-automatic pistol was secured snugly in her boot.

The Legionary took her Paenula cloak, and began to delicately fold it up, as Livia took a step forward. She was somewhat lithe in build, but years of combat gave her a toned appearance that was evidenced in the muscles of her arms, and legs.

She dared not take a seat, or do anything else that might offend those before her. So she inclined her head.

"Such a magnificent hall, and warm too. Thank you for your hospitality." Livia said. "If it's not too much trouble, is there somewhere I can have my legionaries draw me a warm bath? I'm not used to the cold, here."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Livia Caesarius Character Portrait: The Berserkers Character Portrait: The Svinfylking Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: Uhtred the Godless Character Portrait: Dainn Character Portrait: The Ljosalfar Character Portrait: Ivar the Boneless Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Fulgar Thornheim Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful Character Portrait: Thorvald the Great Character Portrait: Fulgar's Forward Force Character Portrait: Ivaldi Character Portrait: Volund Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Berserkers Character Portrait: Iskjerne Svinfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hrafnfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Kattrfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hornuglar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hestahar Character Portrait: Halfdan Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Halfdan the Black

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Iskjerne Bay, year unknown...
Inside the Ring Fort, just outside the Mead Hall...


As the troops continued to march through the gates, Lagertha's shield-maidens kept a sharp eye on Livia the Legata and her small band of Praetorians, stopping at the foot of the bridge as the Argosians made their way up the large suspended ramp to the innermost stone wall. Livia would look around, observing the positions of every man in the city, as the guards near the wooden palisade stared back at her silently, taking a mental note of Livia and her legionaries as well. The berserkers at the head of the suspension bridge would part ways and make a path for Lagertha and her guests as they started to make their way through the spiked metal gate.

"Who are they? And why does that one there keep looking over here?" one of the workers asked the guards beside him as he shoveled snow and dirt away from the place where Ivar's Keep was being built. "I have no idea who they are, friends of Queen Lagertha I assume," the guard answered. "She looks oftly interested in our defenses," another guard commented. "What should we do?" another one of the shirtless workers asked, his hands and face dirty from digging trenches all day. "I'll take care of it. Just keep your teeth together and go back to work," the guard said, before walking casually back to the Mead Hall.

"We'll start digging tomorrow at first light." Livia commented, as she moved into the great mead hall, her eyes on the Decanus behind her. Livia turned her attention to Lagertha, and offered a nod, before she turned to her Decanus. "Have the men unload the cart, stage the tools at the dig site, and bring in a sled to carry the body out. See to it the mule is kept warm at a stable or something, I don't want it to freeze to death out here in the cold." Livia's words did not fall on deaf ears. "I will have one of my maid-servants show you the way," Lagertha said, nodding to one of the young slave girls who was standing nearby. The Decanus nodded, and turned back to relay the orders to his men. The young girl would show them to the stables, pointing to a place inside where they could store their mule cart, before the Argosians began to unload the tools to bring them inside. The young girl just stood there quietly by the doorway, watching them with curiosity and a hint of fear or shyness. She couldn't be more than 12-years-old, with blue eyes, blonde hair and a dirty face.

As the legata and her crew stepped out of the freezing cold and into Iskjerne's large Mead Hall, the berserkers closed the spiked metal gate at the stone wall behind them, stopping all traffic to and from the suspension bridge. A small band of hornuglars would guard the foot of the bridge below the scarp, while the small band of berserkers would take up positions outside the Mead Hall, guarding the spiked metal gate. All the while, Queen Aslaug was still standing on the earth mound outside the ring fortress, gazing into the distance with a blank expression, never moving an inch as the kattrfylking sitting on the ground below her continued to spin their threads and weave spindles of yarn to be used in the future.


Iskjerne Bay, moments later...
Just as a single guard was leaving the Mead Hall...


"Listen here little brother, you were chosen by runes to be the commander of this expedition, but I am still older than you. Don't forget that" Bjorn Ironside said calmly, looking down at Prince Ivar who was smiling patiently. "Is that why our father left you in Kattegat, and took me raiding with him instead?" Ivar the Boneless grinned, still gripping the knife he had concealed under the table. Bjorn Ironside leaned forward, suddenly slamming his fist down on the table, and was about to grab Prince Ivar by his neck when suddenly the Mead Hall doors opened up and Queen Lagertha stepped in, accompanied by Livia and her most personal guards. Bjorn stared sternly at Ivar for a brief moment before regaining his composure. Ivar smirked quietly, putting his knife away before anyone could see it. Bjorn would crink his neck and shoulders, relaxing his nerves and loosening up before turning around to greet his mother and their guests, all of whom oblivious to the tensions between the two legendary viking brothers. Ivar just kept smiling, his eyes trailing over to the legata as his very tall and very large brother breathed deeply and turned to greet everyone while being calm and maintaining his resolve.

"Well? Welcome to our mead hall" Bjorn said impatiently, raising his hands at his sides with his palms open before taking a seat next to Ivar. Lagertha smiled softly and walked over to to her son, placing her hand gently on his shoulder before taking her place on the queen's throne beside Prince Ivar, looking at her guests.

Once inside the mead hall, Livia smiled at the warmth, and she nodded to one of the legionaries that came inside with her. She held her arms out to her side, and the legionary began to undo the fasteners that secured her red cloak, revealing her lorica, which was worn over a red and white tunic, protected by armored strips of leather. Livia also had her sword, which was encased in a silver, gold imbued scabbard that bore ornate geometrical designs. There was another strange weapon holstered on her back. It was a flintlock pistol, with an engraved wooden handle with poured gold inlaid designs. There was a dagger sheathed in Livia's left boot, and a second weapon holstered in her right boot. This weapon was even stranger in appearance from the weapon holstered at her back. Sheathed in a black kydex holster, the Seburo BoBson Centennial edition semi-automatic pistol was secured snugly in her boot as she stepped forward. She dared not take a seat, or do anything else that might offend those before her. So she just inclined her head instead.

"Such a magnificent hall, and warm too. Thank you for your hospitality." Livia said. Ivar the Boneless just kept smiling quietly, glancing over to Bjorn Ironside, who kept his composure and his thoughts to himself. "Please, come on in, take a seat" Prince Ivar said, motioning for everyone to gather around the long heavy wooden table carved from a single tree. "If it's not too much trouble, is there somewhere I can have my legionaries draw me a warm bath? I'm not used to the cold, here." Livia added. Bjorn just gritted his teeth. "Why of course," Queen Lagertha assured her with a smile. "What? Do they not know what tomorrow is?" Bjorn Ironside asked his mother. Queen Lagertha scorned him silently with her eyes before smiling again to Livia and her guards. "It will be Bath Day very shortly. By the time we're done eating, your bath will be ready. In the meantime, sit down and warm yourself by the fire. Eat. Drink. Enjoy." the viking prince Ivar the Boneless insisted as his slaves suddenly started walking in with plates and dishes, food and mead horns already filled and ready to be served.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Livia Caesarius Character Portrait: The Berserkers Character Portrait: The Svinfylking Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: Uhtred the Godless Character Portrait: Dainn Character Portrait: The Ljosalfar Character Portrait: Ivar the Boneless Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Fulgar Thornheim Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful Character Portrait: Thorvald the Great Character Portrait: Fulgar's Forward Force Character Portrait: Ivaldi Character Portrait: Volund Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Berserkers Character Portrait: Iskjerne Svinfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hrafnfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Kattrfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hornuglar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hestahar Character Portrait: Halfdan Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Halfdan the Black

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Nobody at Iskjerne Bay was aware of it yet, but Sigurd Hring was watching. His spirit moved across the waters, over the mounds and hills, the prayers of his descendants being heard from down beneath the earth. Sigurd Hring had become One with Gaia, and now looked down upon Iskjerne Bay as a titan and a god. The Spirit of Sigurd swept over the Weargtooth Mountains, a cold swift breeze sweeping through the viking settlement. All non-magical, non-medieval technology was instantly disabled without any sign, indication or warning, and would be permanently disabled at Iskjerne Bay forever, or until the gods decided to change their minds.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki Character Portrait: Livia Caesarius Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: The Berserkers Character Portrait: The Svinfylking Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: Erling Snake Character Portrait: Uhtred the Godless Character Portrait: Takao Eguchi Character Portrait: Dainn Character Portrait: Dibble Character Portrait: The Ljosalfar Character Portrait: Ivar the Boneless Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Fulgar Thornheim Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful Character Portrait: Thorvald the Great Character Portrait: Fulgar's Forward Force Character Portrait: Ivaldi Character Portrait: Volund Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Berserkers Character Portrait: Iskjerne Svinfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hrafnfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Kattrfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hornuglar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hestahar Character Portrait: Halfdan Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Halfdan the Black

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Livia slowly lowered herself at the table with the other Vikings, her Decanus taking a position directly behind her. But something else was on the Legata's mind as she surveyed the demeanor of the inhabitants.

She looked to the food that was set out before her. Was it poisoned? Livia regarded the plates before her with narrowed eyes, before she reached for a piece of fowl, pulling some of the meat off of the bone, she passed it back to her Decanus, who took the meat from her hands, and placed it in his mouth, chewing on it thoughtfully.

He leaned forward, and whispered something in her ear, and at that moment, Livia took the food, and began to pile it onto her plate. Her trek across the vast gulf of space, and her journey here from the gateway left her, and her men famished, having subsisted on MRE's given to them by the Taiyou Military, along with their own pickled fish paste, and hard tack bread.

After finishing her portion of savory meat, Livia once again gestured for her Decanus' ear, where she quietly whispered.

"I do not trust these savages, send a messenger to Argos with all haste, deliver this to Admiral Lanius." She whispered in the Decanus' ear, while passing him a small rolled piece of paper from a leather pouch on her tunica. The small message indicated the current time, and date, and instructed Admiral Lanius to begin his operation if Livia did not contact the Taiyou in four days.

The Decanus slid the rolled piece of paper into his own armored leather pouch on his belt, and secured it to deliver to the messenger. He quietly remained at Livia's side as she politely ate her meal. She was civilized, and her mannerisms showed it. Her eyes seemed to watch the room though. Quietly, the Decanus passed the note to one of the Indigo robed Praetorians, who turned to leave the mead hall.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Livia Caesarius Character Portrait: The Berserkers Character Portrait: The Svinfylking Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: Erling Snake Character Portrait: Uhtred the Godless Character Portrait: Dainn Character Portrait: The Ljosalfar Character Portrait: Ivar the Boneless Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Fulgar Thornheim Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful Character Portrait: Thorvald the Great Character Portrait: Fulgar's Forward Force Character Portrait: Ivaldi Character Portrait: Volund Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Berserkers Character Portrait: Iskjerne Svinfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hrafnfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Kattrfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hornuglar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hestahar Character Portrait: Halfdan Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Halfdan the Black

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As the Legata narrowed her eyes at the food in front of her, Ivar the Boneless just smiled quietly. Lagertha patiently waited for the wine servants to finish pouring mead for everyone before picking up her own drinking horn and smiling to Livia, and her praetorians. Bjorn wasn't even paying any attention to any of them. Bjorn Ironside was hungry, as he leaned over everybody in the path between him and the potatoes. The other vikings at the table didn't seem to mind, however, or mind their own manners much either, but Bjorn stood out among them, perhaps because he was just bigger than most of the other people in the mead hall. He had a better reach, his large skull-crushing hands equal to his pig-eating appetite as he ambidextrously reached for the red apple in the pork's mouth and plucked it out with his other hand, biting into the apple with his own teeth. Ivar the Boneless just grinned.

As the vikings in the mead hall started loading their plates with food, never bothering to wait for their guests, Lagertha suddenly raised her drinking horn, and her voice so that everyone could hear her inside the hall. "I want to give a toast," she said loudly, causing a majority of the vikings to simmer down and raise their drinking vessels as well. But as they did, Livia would notice that all of the viking's many different dishes and silverwear were highly unusual and very stylistic, as if each plate and bowl had come from a different market rather than all from the same set. These were not primitive savages like the many smaller tribes and clans that had proceeded them. Ivar's Army was a highly culturalized, highly civilized force. Prince Ivar had brought actual expert Vikings on his voyage, men who were vikings by profession, not just by title or stereotype. These were people who made a living by raiding other people. Every silver spoon, cast iron pan, golden chalice, bronze plate, tin cup, and steel knife was very diverse in shape and design, some more expensive and valuable than others.

Nobody at the feast even noticed that Livia's decanus had handed a small scroll to one of the praetorians. They were all too focused on the mead and festivities, as Lagertha called for a toast. Prince Ivar tapped a metal spoon against his crystal goblet lightly a few times, helping Lagertha to get everyone's attention at the large wooden table that had been carved from a single giant tree, before picking up his own glass of wine. "To Frigg the All-Mother, may she bless this feast... And to our guests, may she bring us all much peace and prosperity while you are here." Lagertha smiled, raising her drinking horn into the air. "SKAL!!" Bjorn Ironside bellowed, quickly chugging his large metal tankard of ale with foam running down his beard. "Skal!" others soon echoed over one another as they took a swig of whatever was poured. "Skal," Lagertha said, calmly and more quietly as she smiled to Livia and her crew, raising her drinking horn again while nodding to Livia with respect.

Livia's praetorian messenger in the night blue robes would leave the mead hall discreetly and quietly. It wasn't even so much that the vikings at the table didn't notice him leave. They just didn't seem to care. They were all more lost in the moment, focusing on the red wine, the golden mead, the amber ale, the freshly cooked ham and cow steak with steaming hot carrots, onions and sliced potatoes. All except for Ivar the Boneless, he was still grinning silently, twirling his spoon on the table while looking at Livia, staring at her quietly from the king's throne. As the praetorian messenger left the mead hall and walked outside into the chilly snow, he would notice that the spiked gate attached to the stone wall was now locked and closed, and there were large bear-skinned berserkers blocking all traffic to and from the suspension bridge, for reasons unknown. These were tall, built warriors with painted faces and bodies, carrying large heavy weapons, full fledged bear-hides flung over their heads, backs and shoulders, keeping them nice and warm as they stared at the indigo robed messenger quietly, waiting to see if he would approach the wall.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki Character Portrait: Livia Caesarius Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: The Berserkers Character Portrait: The Svinfylking Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: Erling Snake Character Portrait: Uhtred the Godless Character Portrait: Takao Eguchi Character Portrait: Dainn Character Portrait: Dibble Character Portrait: The Ljosalfar Character Portrait: Ivar the Boneless Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Fulgar Thornheim Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful Character Portrait: Thorvald the Great Character Portrait: Fulgar's Forward Force Character Portrait: Ivaldi Character Portrait: Volund Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Berserkers Character Portrait: Iskjerne Svinfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hrafnfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Kattrfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hornuglar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hestahar Character Portrait: Halfdan Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Halfdan the Black

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The moment the Praetorian slipped out of the mead hall, while everyone seemed to be focused on their own revelry, Livia reached into her velvet red tunica, and slid it into a small cloth pocket that was fastened securely under her lorica armor. She grasped her slender fingers around something, and slowly she pulled it out. She held it up, and the other Vikings would see a unique piece of brass jewelry, almost like a pendant with a small silver chain that was fastened securely to the woman's steel armor strap, affixed to a small metal loop that was riveted into the armor segment.

Curiously, with her thumb, she flipped the pendant open, to reveal a white facing with numbers all around it, and small pointers that seemed to point towards different numbers. She put her thumb, and index finger around a small knob near the top chain, and began to twist, the strange piece making a winding sound with each twist of her fingers. Once she finished, the strange pendant made a soft, rhythmic, but rapid ticking sound, that was drowned out by the revelry of the mead hall.

She felt eyes on her, but she didn't react right away, rather she turned her attention over to Lagertha, and raised her own glass. She called out the word. "Bibe!" As she raised her own, taking a drink of the liquid inside. Livia returned her own respectful nod to Lagertha, the timepiece still held snugly in her hand, as her eyes moved back to the face of the timepiece that had been softly ticking away, mechanical gears powered by a tightly wound mainspring, it was fine Taiyou craftsmanship, a gift from Prime Minister Kayabuki during one of the many peace summits that Livia had attended in the past.

She stared at the brass timepiece, before she flipped the cover closed over the face, sliding it back into it's pouch as her steely eyes rose up to meet Ivar's.

Livia's own eyes narrowed suspiciously as she seemed to engage in a staring contest with Ivar, who would flinch first? Livia had multiple contingencies, which were upon contingencies, and contingencies. Twenty four hours was what she had given General Hama back at the gate, if she didn't contact him in twenty four hours, he was going to send a rescue party, and Livia knew that would further inflame an already tense situation. She had left an entire Evocati cohort back on Niihama, armed with some of the best equipment that Argosian denarii could buy.

---

Outside in the chilly air, the lone Praetorian rubbed his hands, trying to garner some warmth in the frigid bay. He took a quick survey of his surroundings, they had the gate shut, and the doors locked with bearskin warriors guarding it. The Praetorian guardsman grimaced, and then quietly shook his head. He opted to make no further disruption, and return to the mead hall.

He opened the door just wide enough to let himself in, and if unobstructed, would return to Livia's side, leaning forward to whisper quietly in her ear.

Livia didn't seem to react, rather she took a piece of venison from a nearby plate, before dismissing the Praetorian back to his post.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki Character Portrait: Livia Caesarius Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: The Berserkers Character Portrait: The Svinfylking Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: Erling Snake Character Portrait: Uhtred the Godless Character Portrait: Takao Eguchi Character Portrait: Dainn Character Portrait: Dibble Character Portrait: The Ljosalfar Character Portrait: Ivar the Boneless Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Fulgar Thornheim Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful Character Portrait: Thorvald the Great Character Portrait: Fulgar's Forward Force Character Portrait: Ivaldi Character Portrait: Volund Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Berserkers Character Portrait: Iskjerne Svinfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hrafnfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Kattrfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hornuglar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hestahar Character Portrait: Halfdan Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Halfdan the Black

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Sigurd Hring was dead.

He had been dead for two generations, yet his legacy had lived on long after he was gone. Sigurd had become One with Gaia, and had transcended the physical realm. He was more than just a man. To the native inhabitants, he was now a Titan, and to his viking descendants in Iskjerne Bay, he was now a god. He was the founder and first patriarch of the greatest viking settlement in the universe, the seed from which all the rest had blossomed. All he ever wanted was to live in peace, to create a free society, and help to cultivate the land which loved him so dearly. He had fought tooth and nail to establish a sanctuary where people would be treated equally, where they would have the freedom of religion, the freedom to change their social status and role in society, where they would have the opportunity to make a difference, rather than being slaves.

Sigurd Hring had a dream, and he had spent his entire life fighting for it, all the way up to the time of his death. Sigurd's son had a similar dream, a similar goal in mind. Ragnar was captured, or rather, had willingly turned himself in, for reasons unknown. Ragnar was not spared from torture and torment. He had been bound and chained, humiliated, prodded with spears and whips, his flesh burned and marked, his face disfigured, his body disgarded into a chamber of serpents, so that Ragnar's own sons could hardly recognize him. Oh how the little piggies would squeel when they heard how the old boar had suffered. Never before in history would Vikings be so wrathful and eager for revenge. Ragnar Lothbrok was a legend, and he still is to this very day, just like his father and their fathers before them.

But even Ragnar was not as great as his predecessor King Sigurd, the Ringtaker, the man who married Ragnar's mother. Sigurd Hring, slayer of dragons, giants and dwarfs alike, successor to his own uncle Harald Wartooth, whom he had battled honorably and killed at King Harald's own request. King Sigurd was a legend from the very beginning, a legend which grew over time as he defeated one rival after another, facing monsters and demons, and gods greater than himself, never once surrendering or bowing a knee.

Who wants to be King?

Sigurd Hring was sick of fighting. He wanted only to retire peacefully, to create a marvel for all the worlds to see. He was not so much interested in fame, as he was in glory. Sigurd did not care about riches, wealth, or great expansion. He had no intentions of building an empire, or creating a magnificent army. Sigurd was more interested in the black earth, and fertile soil. He planted a farm, and built a fortified ring around his kingdom where Vikings and pagans could coexist together and find sanctuary. Iskjerne Bay was to be a remote safe haven, far away from all the wars, violence, torture, rape, death and crucifixions that Sigurd Hring and his family had experienced for centuries. His intentions were great, and his dreams were greater, but his timing was off and his fate was fixed. It was only a matter of time before this undefeated rebel met his inevitable doom.

Emperor Shimizu of the Taiyou Empire was not a friend of the Norse kings. Sigurd Hring had a run-in with the Taiyou, and what started as a peaceful encounter soon was wrought with confusion and misunderstanding which escalated into violent warfare between them. The Taiyou Empire, and their fear-driven galactic technology. The greatest civilization that ever lived, heh. Sigurd Hring would put their reputation to the test. Never before in the history of the cosmos had a rebellion been so adamant and strong willed. Never before would such a tiny primitive civilization make such a dramatic impact. Sigurd's army not only fought the Taiyou back, off of their own land, but had dared to attack the Taiyou on their own soil, with enough success that King Sigurd would warrant a visit from the Taiyou Emperor himself.

It wasn't enough. King Sigurd slaughtered the Emperor's army, killed one his advising mages, and sent the emperor crawling home with broken legs and injuries. It was a defeat the Taiyou Empire simply could not allow to go public. They amassed a great space army, and would be hell-bent on taking revenge. Sigurd's actions had endangered the entire planet of Gaia, and his fate was now fixed. It was only a matter of time before the Taiyou returned to make his life miserable.

Sigurd Hring looked around at the kingdom he had established. Women, children, vary a man between 15 and 50, good paganfolk who were not deserving of such ill-fated tyranny. His heart grieved with great sorrow, for he knew the future, and the horrible things that would happen to his people once their enemies had returned. He wept silently by himself, before re-gathering his composure and going out to face his kingdom. King Sigurd was a just and honest man. He told the Vikings what had happened, and what would happen as a result. But the people did not hate him for it. They praised him, erecting a magical permanent statue of King Sigurd from enchanted stone, and worshipping him as a living god. He promised them, that whoever came to him and called on his name, and followed him in death, would be with him in paradise.

The entire viking settlement had committed suicide, following Sigurd Hring in death, and sparing themselves from capture or torture in the hands of their enemies. Adding insult to injury, the Taiyou ships had wasted their journey. The Taiyou Empire was robbed of its chance at revenge, as King Sigurd and his loyal subjects took their own lives, leaving nothing but their memories. It was the ultimate act of defiance, an act of selflessness that would inspire rebels for generations to come.

Many years later, Ivar the Boneless, the son of King Ragnar and grandson of King Sigurd would arrive in Iskjerne Bay, influenced by Norse mythology and Taiyou propaganda, and driven by the spirits of his own ancestors. Sigurd Hring's ghost would come to Prince Ivar in his dreams, giving him spiritual advice and guidance, and instructions on how to rebuild the kingdom. But the young man was too bold and arrogant. He had inherited the same thick headedness as his father and grandfather. Ivar had not followed Sigurd's instructions, but had set his heart towards greed and selfishness. He had formed the Great Heathen Army and had plunged the Norse civilization into endless warfare, perverting everything that his grandfather King Sigurd had held sacred for decades.

That was a mistake...

Suddenly the ground in Iskjerne Bay would shake and tremble as bodies tossed and turned in their graves. Everyone in the great Hall, Viking and Argosian alike, would feel the earth tremble beneath their feet. At that moment, an invisible force seemed to unseat the crippled prince as he was suddenly thrown from the throne, with such force that if he did not catch himself, his bones would surely shatter. Meanwhile, the material wooden statue of Prince Ivar would be uprooted and split in half vertically, so that one half remained standing while the other half fell to the ground. Queen Aslaug would feel the mound below her start to tremble as well. The moment she had been waiting for had arrived.

Sigurd Hring had returned.