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Harald Fairhair

A powerful and ambitious viking leader.

0 · 68 views · located in Iskjerne Bay

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

So begins...

Harald Fairhair's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: Takao Eguchi Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Hrafn-Floki Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair

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Planet Earth... 770 CE.
Kattegat, somewhere between Sweden and Denmark...


Everything was dark and quiet for a moment. Then the screeching sound of a metal lock could be heard followed by the sound of a wooden plank being slid to the side just before the large oakwood arched twin doors opened. In walked the silhouette of a 20-year-old prince named Ragnar Sigurdsson, known as Ragnar Lodbrok to the people of Kattegat, a powerful jarl and second in line to the throne of the Dano-Swedish kingdom. As he entered the Great Hall at Kattegat, his average height and stocky frame could be seen cascaded by the sunlight as he entered the doorway. Inside the Great Hall was empty apart from there being three other people. Ragnar's wife, the renouned Princess Lagertha, seemed quite surprised to see him. She was walking around the Great Hall, cradling their newborn son by the central fireplace and nursing him on her nipple while her house servant Hermala added wood to the fire. Hermala's apron was covered in blood and there was a pile of wet blankets next to a water bucket beside one of the straw covered wooden beds. Lagertha had just recently went into labor, and Hermala had delivered the baby just minutes before Ragnar walked in.

"Lagertha, I thought you would be in bed" Ragnar said with amazement. The beautiful blonde haired princess would walk over to him slowly, still nursing the baby in her arms with a straight expression. "Back so soon Ragnar? I thought you would be in Iceland by now" she replied with a bit of sarcasm, before showing him their new baby boy. Ragnar's eyes lit up as he placed his large calloused hand on the infant's forehead. "He has your eyes," Lagertha said with a slight smile. Ragnar's eyes would tear up for a moment as he stroked his thumb over the newborn's cheek. "Can I...?" Ragnar seemed speechless as Lagertha smiled, handing the baby over to her husband. Ragnar would cradle the infant in his arms, making baby noises as the tiny child giggled and reached up to touch his beard. "What will you call him?" Hermala asked as she continued to clean up, unfolding a clean fur blanket and draping it over the bed. Lagertha would look up to Ragnar for an answer, but Ragnar kept his eyes on his son, smiling in a way that the princess had never seen before. After a moment, Lagertha turned to answer her house servant. "Bjorn," she said with a smile. "His name is Bjorn..."

Jarl Ragnar played with his son some more before handing baby Bjorn back to his mother. "So what happened? Where is your brother?" Lagertha asked inquisitively. "I don't know," the young prince responded. "There were thirteen ships, only eight of them returned," he explained. "We travelled west, but got lost in a storm. The last I saw, my brother's ship had drifted south. I tried to stay in sight of him but the waves were too big," he said quietly, sitting down by the fireplace while looking into the flames. "Well, your brother is a great warrior, I'm sure he will find his way home" Lagertha assured as she wrapped her baby in warm blankets and set him into a straw basket to fall asleep. "My father went with him," Ragnar added, causing the princess to sharpen her eyebrows. "To Iceland?!" she asked rhetorically, heightening her voice with confusion. "Aye, one of Jarl Skjal's boys was with us too" he continued. "Oh and I suppose you were just going to leave me here to run Kattegat all by myself?" Largetha placed her hands on her hips angrily. "I thought you wanted to be queen," he said sarcastically. "Not if you are dead," she retorted back.

"I am here now my love," Ragnar said as he stood up to hug and kiss her. But the princess stepped back and scoffed at him. "Only because you got lost," she said, walking back over to the bed and sitting down on the edge of it next to the baby's basket. "Besides, I don't need your help Ragnar, I have Bjorn now." Ragnar would roll his eyes, looking up to the domed ceiling before looking back down at her. "She is a shield-maiden," Hermala butted in, coming to Lagertha's defense. Ragnar bit his lip and walked over to Lagertha, sitting down next to her on the edge of the bed. "I know you are my love. You are the best fighter in Kattegat," he assured her. "Maybe not as good as you," she said with a smile before kissing his cheek, then suddenly grabbing his testicles firmly. "But if you ever leave me like that again I will cut your balls off... Understood?" Lagertha's tone was flirtatious, quiet and sweet, but not unthreatening. Ragnar gasped and swallowed, nodding silently to show her that he understood. "Good," she said with a smile, letting go of his nuts before kissing him again, this time on his lips.

Meanwhile...
Planet Gaia, year unknown...
Iskjerne Bay, south of the cave entrance...


It was winter time, and the Jol holidays were coming to an end. There was a blizzard sweeping through the Arctic circle which would cover the realm with frost and pale snowfall as it headed north to south, originating in the frigid most region before dissipating as it ventured south into warmer climates. A thick mist of icey rain provided little visibility for those outside at the Norse settlement, with temperatures dropping to -20 degrees below zero, enough to freeze a man's lungs or cause frostbite. The rivers were frozen solid, and even the salty waves leading to the sea were slowly beginning to freeze. Thin ice sheets covered the whole bay area, creating a barricade to prevent all sea vessels from going in or out. The Norsemen were now landlocked, with large glaciers and icesheets forming all around their settlement. There was no easy way into or out of Iskjerne now, as all the roads and passages had been blocked off by towering ice walls, some as tall and as thick as mountains as the blizzard pressed on, the only protection from its rime ironically being those very same mountains and ice walls. But all was not lost, for deep within the heart of the storm was a Norse settlement that was built to deal with the cold weather.

As Prince Hrollaug and Takao Eguchi rode their winterbred horses through the thick snow trail heading back to the settlement, Hrollaug would glance up and point to the fortress, still holding the fading glowstick in his hand. "Look, there it is" he said as they approached the gate, their horses tolting out of the blinding fog. There before them was a tall wooden fence standing 20 feet off the ground, made of upright wooden poles which had been buried vertically side by side going 10 feet into the dirt below them. The fence was large and round, each pole being roughly 24 inches in diameter, curving on both sides of the large wooden gateway entrance to form a wooden circle around the entire village. The gateway itself was flanked on either side by tall wooden towers, each one having a flagpole and waving the white Raven Banner, its flapping cloths in the wind giving the raven logos an almost alive feel as Hrollaug and Takao approached the gate.

The gate itself was made of wooden spikes, fashioned simply using thick ropes as a pully system to keep the spikes raised when the gate was closed. This helped to protect the entrance from charging cavalry, or from any unwanted predators that may wish to enter. As the gate was lowered, it doubled into a ramp, allowing Hrollaug and Takao to pass through unharmed.

As they entered the village, the gatekeepers and some of the guards posted in the towers would shoot ackward glances at Takao, and to the faded glowing object in Hrollaug's hand. But nobody dared to question them as Prince Hrollaug pointed to the stable, motioning for Takao to follow him there. The stable was also of a simple construct, all-natural made from wooden beams, piled rocks and earth. There was a feeder where the horses could eat, a well where they could drink, and several straw-filled horsebeds where they could be groomed and find protection from the snow. The stable's rooftop was thatched together using grass and straw, while the stone walls that supported it were further reinforced with earth and mud to keep it insulated. Despite being very simple in their appearance, the Norsemen were apparently excellent builders and craftsmen both economically and architecturally. Takao may have even noticed that the wooden framed open entrance to the stable was finely crafted and had been carved by hand, depicting a sort of Jelling style artwork showing many horse-like figures and other animals hidden within the leafy knotwork, vinework and serpentine 3-dimensional designs which could have only been carved by an expert woodsmith. Next to the stable was a wooden manger with horned woolly sheep, bearded goats, pigs and other livestock which the Norsemen had brought with them on their ships. Just outside of the manger was a herd of reindeer which, despite the frigid weather, seemed unaffected by the temperature as they walked around freely and grazed on the moss or whatever mushrooms they could find buried beneath the snow.

As the large prince dismounted his golden brown horse, he noticed that the light from the glowstick had died out. He tried to shake it up again, but to no avail. Finally, he tried to snap it like Takao had done. Hrollaug underestimated his own strength, however, snapping the plastic canister in half with ease. The clear liquid would spill out on to the ground, causing Hrollaug to sniff his fingertips and taste them. "Ptew!" he spat on the ground, before looping the horse's reigns over one of the posts. "We will be safe here," Hrollaug told Takao before pointing up the hill to another circular wall-like structure. On the next tier ahead of them was an inner wall, this time made of bricks and stone. This wall was not as tall as the first wall, only about six feet high, but it was much thicker with an area big enough to ride a wagon on. There were many stations setup along the wall where troops could garrison incase of an attack, and just as before there was a spiked wooden gateway with two flanking stone towers bearing white triangular flags waving the raven banner. There seemed to always be two flags posted together, or two ravens flying over each entrance to the Norse settlement, in any given location. "Huginn and Munnin," Hrollaug said to Takao, pointing up to the raven banners as they walked up the pathway towards the inner-gate.

As the gate was lowered, Hrollaug would lead Takao beyond the circular stone wall into the interior settlement where all the Norse houses and finer buildings were located. There were four different farmsteads neatly organized with an arrangment of four houses per square, all of them located off to the side of the road around a third interior wall-like structure. It seemed that the Norsemen had designed their settlement in the shape of many concentric rings, each level being built on tiered ground which their workers had lifted up using the dirt that was already there to begin with. In just a couple month's time, the Norse had created an artificial landscape, turning the largest hill at Iskjerne Bay into a decent sized ring-fortress, which Takao and Hrollaug were now entering. There were twenty homes in all on the second tier, but they were longer and larger than what Takao was probably expecting. Each house could accomodate up to 50 people, including the Norsemen's pets and slaves. The rooftops were peaked sharply all the way to the ground so that any snowfall would not collect on top of them, but instead build up around the base of the houses to help keep them insulated. This gave the front of each house a triangular look, and each one had a wooden frame made from two planks which peaked at the rooftop and crossed at both ends. Both ends were hand-crafted and carved to look like two ravens facing opposite directions. It was obvious that the symbol of the two ravens everywhere in the settlement were somehow significant to the Norsemen's belief system.

Moving along up towards the third tier where another wall had been constructed, Hrollaug stopped and turned to look at Takao, speaking directly to him. "My father started building this wall two months ago, using stones from the mountains up ahead," he said, motioning for Takao to approach the guards at the gateway. "Beyond the wall, you will see the great hall, the biggest building we have. Everyone is already inside," the prince told him as he signalled for the guards to open the gate. "And this is where I leave you," Hrollaug said. "King Sigurd is waiting for you in the hall. There you will find warmth and plenty to drink. Today is a holiday for us so there will be feasting," he said. With that, Hrollaug would breathe heavily, steam elevating from his visor as he turned to look at Takao one last time. He would rest his giant heavy hand on Takao's shoulder, nodding to him. "Thank you Tako of the Sun," he said before walking away with his large bison-hide cloak draping behind him.

Iskjerne Cavern...
Somewhere in the cave tunnels...


Jarl Evan Skjalsson and fifteen of his best warriors were standing in a very dimly lit tunnel, painting themselves with charcoal and a clay mixture of lanturn oil and black ash. They covered their weapons, their shields, their armour, their faces, their hair, their beards, their helmets, everything from their head to their toes. Jarl Evan's small leidang were cammoflaging themselves specifically to deal with the Taiyou's bright lights. Jarl Omar One-Eye and the other fifteen Norse warriors had descended into a different tunnel and were doing the same thing, only they were slightly faster in getting ready. They had killed the flames on their torches, and were sitting in a perfect circle, passing around a leather drinking bag filled with a magical sustenance made from the same mushrooms that the reindeer at the settlement were eating. As the scarry eyed chieftain drew a character similar to the letter "F" on his face using black clay, Jarl Evan ordered his leidang to turn off the lanturn. Both crews would spread out through the tunnels and go their seperate ways.

The setting changes from iskjerne-bay to Aether Dock

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ivar the Boneless Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Hrafn-Floki Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair

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Fifty viking longships drifted in unison around Ellaria's watery coastline, each one spaced out in a triangular wedge formation, the Seamaiden taking the lead with Ivar the Boneless as the fleet commander. Aboard each ship was a horn-blower and an animal-skin drummer, but only the drums were sounding as the rowers rowed together, every beat of the 50 thundering drums creating the rhythm and tempo of the oars as the Great Heathen Army made its way towards the mouth of Iskjerne Bay, moving around the rocky mountains and inland towards the place of Aether Dock, where the late chieftain Sigurd Hring had built a new shipyard. The ships arrived swiftly and quietly, appearing through the foggy mist as the vikings rowed their way inland. The beating drums would be the only warning of Prince Ivar's arrival. He turned and looked behind him towards his older brother Bjorn, who stood there ready to make landfall at any moment.

The air was cooler in the bay area, with salty rime and frost forming thin layers against the ship's hulls and prows, breaking through the ice sheets as they drifted into the harbour. Prince Ivar was wearing full body armor with his helmet already fastened, hugging the wooden mermaid-carving at the prow of the ship while sitting on the raised platform above the low deck. Ivar Ragnarsson turned to look at his brother Bjorn Ironside, nodding quietly. Bjorn nodded back before lifting his giant bronze metal shield to the side of his head and yelling into it. "OOOOODINNN!!! his deep low voice carrying over the waves and disappearing into the fog, providing an echolocation for the Seamaiden as Ivar signalled for the drums to cease. As the drummers stopped drumming, the rowers also stopped, lifting their oars above the water and holding them there. "OOOOOOODIIIINNNNN!!! repeated the large brother with the black painted claw marks on his face. As his voice echoed, Ivar turned to look at Bjorn again, smirking quietly. Bjorn smiled and nodded slightly before turning to look back at one of the archers. Prince Bjorn snapped his fingers, and the archer immediately lit one of his flaming arrows and fired it over Bjorn and Ivar's shoulders into the dense cold fog. After a brief second, they could hear the feint sizzling of the flaming arrow as it was extinguished beneath the open water. "OOOOOOODIIIINNNNN!!! Bjorn shouted again, using the large disc-shaped bronze shield to throw his voice and direct the echo. He motioned again to the archer, who quickly fired another flaming arrow into the air.

This time there was no sizzling sound afterwards. The arrow struck a muddy bank, extinguishing itself in the frozen wet moss. Bjorn lowered his shield and looked up to Prince Ivar, who grinned devilishly. "LAAANND!!!" Bjorn shouted, pointing to the beach with his axe. Ivar the Boneless quickly plopped down on to the ship's shallow deck and slithered his way through the rowers on his elbows, dragging his useless legs behind him. Hrafn-Floki would start climbing up the mast of the Seamaiden, lowering his black hood to reveal his crow-like face paint with coal eyeshadow and rune painted forehead, giggling with excitement. Ubbe Ragnarsson would stand up beside him, his bright blue eyes glimmering with hope. Queen Lagertha and King Harald didn't react much, both of them already resolved from the beginning. Lagertha would glance over to him silently, a look of concern in her eyes. King Harald looked at her and smiled, a look of confidence on his face. Ivar opened a treasure chest and grabbed his new invention, a pair of armored leg supports. He glanced up to Ubbe with a sarcastic smirk while sliding one of the leg supports around his ankle and fastening the 3 straps, two below the knee and one above to hold his leg straight. As the Seamaiden neared the empty shipyard, Bjorn turned to face the 150 rowers, standing in the center aisle between them, signalling for the 75 oarsmen on the right side to backpaddle. This caused the Seamaiden to turn sideways while entering the shallows parallel to one of the docks.

With her left side out, the 75 dually colored round shields which formed the Seamaiden's shield-wall flank were already in place. Prince Ivar grabbed his crutch, his long dagger and his throwing axe, propping himself up to sit on top of the treasure chest as a row of specialized archers took up defensive positions around him at the side deck overlooking the empty shipyard. Harald Finehair flicked his fish-bone toothpick overboard into the water before tightening his sword sheath and his glove straps. He nodded to the oarsmen in front of him, who retracted their oars back into the boat, tightening the shield-wall. As the longship drifted slowly closer to the available dock, Harald unsheathed his sword and pointed it at the small metal pulley system. "Drop the ramp!!!" He shouted, and suddenly the whole side of the Seamaiden opened up like a draw-bridge, forming a large ramp which opened on to the dock, allowing the vikings to storm out quickly in large numbers as the ship was anchored down and tied off to keep it from drifting away. A row of 15 vikings rushed out, shoulder to shoulder, shield to shield, roaring with fury and the lust for battle. This was followed by another 15, and another, as they quickly stormed the docks, rushing the whole entire shipyard within a few minutes, only to find it empty and deserted. Prince Ivar sat aboard the vessel and watched as the heathen army swept the frozen beach, finding only a few unfrozen vodka bottles, old tackle, tools and miscellaneous items scattered around the small uninhabited island. As they returned to the longship, Ubbe looked up over the ship's shield-wall to Ivar, smiling.

"The place is empty. There's no one here," Ubbe said with disbelief. Ivar just smirked, pointing his crutch out over the horizon past the shipyard, to the foggy white landmass past the icebridge on the other side of the docks. "We have to go to the other side," Ivar said. "The ice is either too thick, or not thick enough. Do we risk sinking the ships? Or risk ourselves?" Prince Ubbe asked rhetorically. Ivar sighed deeply as two archers guided a horse drawn war chariot over to the ramp. "I have a plan," he said as he propped himself to his feet and leaned into his crutch, dragging himself over to the chariot with stiff legs before climbing up to sit in it. "Go," he said, appearing to be perfectly relaxed with his legs sprawled out. The charioteer fwipped the reigns and soon the 2 horses pulling the chariot would descend down the ramp and over the dock on to the muddy shore. Ubbe rolled his eyes and turned to look down at Ivar this time, shouting to him. "Well, what is your plan?!" he threw his arms up. Prince Ivar smiled, but said nothing as the war chariot slowly rode away.

The setting changes from aether-dock to Iskjerne Bay

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Ulfhednar Character Portrait: The Berserkers Character Portrait: The Svinfylking Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring 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: Hrafn-Floki Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair

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Arriving from the North...
Across the frozen bay's icebridge between the Shipyard and Iskjerne...


From out of the dense white mist, a massive viking army appeared with shields and torches. Ivar the Boneless rode out in front of them on his horse-drawn war chariot, being the first person to cross over the beach and ride up the icey snow-capped banks. Others soon followed him, and although the vikings were slow and hesitant about crossing the frozen icebridge, they started running quickly once they reached the other side, making their way up the snowy hillside towards the higher ground where they could see. The air was surprisingly dry, and a thick blanket of falling white snow and glimmering snowflakes restricted their visibility, casting a blueish grey background over the large white mass, as everything appeared to be eerily silent and devoid of sound. As they walked inland in several formations, Ivar noticed a small farm village straight ahead of him which appeared to be undefended. He looked to his left, noticing the rocky edge of the stone quarry at the base of the tall white mountains, forming a large wall of snow and ice which reached up to the clouds. To his right, he noticed the feint outline of a round wall which was also covered in snow and set upon a raised hill or mound which appeared to him to be artificial or man-made. "I want 50 men to search the village. I want 100 men to search that hill, and destroy that wall if you have to. Find out what's behind it. I want 25 men to take the beach. Go right and report back to me what you find. I want scouts along the mountains. Send riders to the west and search everything. I want a full survey of this entire land by sunset," Prince Ivar commanded.

Ivar Ragnarsson had brought 10,000 vikings with him, the largest viking army Iskjerne Bay had ever seen. It took little time for Prince Ivar to get a full detailed exploration of the entire settlement. He was disappointed to learn that the place had undergone a cold spell and was recently abandoned. However, his brother Ubbe Ragnarsson was quite relieved, and convinced Ivar to take advantage of the situation. Prince Ivar claimed all of Iskjerne Bay as his kingdom and decided that he should finish what his grandfather had started, by building an even greater settlement on top of it. Ivar's great heathen army had brought 50 ships with them, and all the supplies, weapons, tools and gear they needed to plan a long-term conquest. Working together, they quickly built their camps and camp fires, pitching their tents in the snow. For most people, the frigid arctic environment at this point, in the midst of an intense cold spell, would have likely been too unbearable and life-threatening. But the vikings were almost magically accustomed to it, these powerful Northmen being genetically built to deal with it. By now, most of the dead bodies in Iskjerne Bay before Ivar's arrival had been buried in the ice and snow, beneath thickets of mud and dirt, never to be seen again unless their remains were dug up. Ivar's Army was quick to start rebuilding everything, using the maps his scouts had drawn up to get a full picture of his future kingdom.

Unlike his brothers, Ivar the Boneless was not very strong despite his size. Ivar was crippled, with brittle bones and weak legs. His father Ragnar Lothbrok had left newborn Ivar to the wolves, but later had a change of heart and went back to rescue him. Ragnar raised young Ivar, despite his disability, convincing the boy that his disability was actually a gift which made him unique. Ivar the Boneless was part serpent, part dragon, a god amongst the vikings. He used his arms to drag himself along, enabling Ivar to hurl an axe with might and precision, but still he was crippled and weaker than others. Ivar was forced to be smarter, to think clever, and use his wit. He used the maps to design a new settlement, changing the entire layout of the terrain and everything. Or at least he started to, until his slave diggers ran into the statue of King Sigurd and realized they couldn't destroy it. Ivar's messengers reported the news to him, so Ivar changed his plans and decided to incorporate the natural landscape into his design, utilizing some of the architecture that King Sigurd already created. Prince Ivar's scouts would explore the village, the boat-shaped mead hall, the stone forge, the shipyard, the forest, the coastlines and beaches, the stone watchtower dungeon and the rock quarry. However, as the scout's horses explored the mountainside, by pure chance, the scout's hunting dogs did not detect the hidden cave entrance. The scouts rode right by it slowly, but they never took a closer look.

Prince Ivar sat inside the mead hall around the central fireplace, drawing something on a rabbit skin with a sharpened twig using woad, a blueish-green pigment used by Scottish raiders, normally to paint their faces. "What are you doing?" One of the vikings at the fire asked curiously, having never seen anyone draw before. "I'm building a castle," Ivar said with a grin. The viking just shook his head in confusion. "What is a castle?" Prince Ivar showed him the drawing of a Norman viking styled motte-and-bailey ring fortress.

"Iskjerne Castle has a circular motte or canal encircling a raised ditch around which sits a round wooden palisade made of thick upright vertical spiked planks and logs, forming a tall perfectly round wall around an open bailey or courtyard. Towards the back of the open bailey is a raised scarp or mound that is encompassed by a thick stone wall. On top of the scarp sits the mead hall, which is connected to the keep and the inner temple. Inside the dark mound below the keep is a wine cellar, a treasure vault and a dungeon. A flying bridge or suspension bridge ramps down from the large metal arched double gates connected to the stone wall at the top of the scarp to the open bailey below, where it melds into a hardened dirt crossroads with paths leading to the outer temple, the school or library, the forge or blacksmith, the workshop or sawmill, the barracks, the stables, the tavern or innkeep, and the training field which turns into an archery range or circus arena for shows, performances, or contests. The statue of Iskjerne's founder Sigurd the Ringtaker and the statue of Iskjerne's architect Ivar the Boneless stand as pillars to the arena's entrance."

Bjorn and Ubbe looked over at Ivar quietly, unimpressed expressions on their faces. "What?" Ivar asked snarlishly. Bjorn stood up, but Ubbe remained seated. "Okay Ivar, you build your castle. I will help you build it. But it's going to require a lot of strength," Ubbe reminded him. Bjorn folded his arms and stood there quietly, still unimpressed. "So what else?" Ubbe asked, almost as if to suggest that he could do anything. Ivar snickered and pointed to his rabbit skin design.

"Other dirt paths lead into the farmers village where you'll find houses, barns, farms, granaries, windmills, wells, meaderies, breweries, haystacks, spinning wheels and small pickett fences for vines, crops and livestock. The farmers village leads away from the scarp and slopes down over shallow hills towards the tall wooden main gate connected by a pair of wooden towers that connect to the circular wooden palisade which encompasses the entire village and the mead hall, forming a motte-and-bailey castle. The gate has a drawbridge which folds down over the motte to regulate traffic. The drawbridge ends at another dirt road, which travels away from Iskjerne Castle into the outer outskirts, mostly open country and farmland. A third, large outer fence encircles the outer farmlands, made from another tall wooden palisade with 4 gates positioned at the north, south, east and west. Each gate has a drawbridge which goes over another motte surrounding the third palisade. The 4 drawbridges end at long dirt roads through open fields into the wilderness.

The north road veers northeast to a fixed wooden bridge which crosses the shallow fjord to a small island, upon which are boat docks and Iskjerne's Shipyard, where longships are made. The east road goes straight for about one mile, then splits into a forked road, with one path leading into a small unprotected farming village, or campground, and the other path leading into the stone quarry and the rocky terrain going up into the eastern Weargtooth mountainside. This rocky path also splits halfway, with one path slithering up to the stone watchtower dungeon built into the mountainface, while the other path serpentines downwards into more rocky terrain where there is a hidden cave entrance. Going back to the outer palisade wall, the western road goes straight for miles over open grasslands and coastal terrain, with a small dirt road branching off of it, heading southwest into a small forest and into the southwestern Weargtooth mountainside, where it melds into a long carved stone stairway climbing up to a large forge hidden at the top of the mountain. The southern road from Iskjerne Castle's outer palisade goes seemingly nowhere, straight south over open hills ending at the Weargtooth Mountains, where there is a large open cemetery with boat-shaped burial mounds, with giant runestones and upright boulders carved with runes."
Prince Ivar looked over at his two half-brothers. Bjorn just nodded quietly and then walked away. Ubbe nodded, then smiled to Ivar, accepting the challenge. Before long, the great heathen army started their reconstruction of Iskjerne Bay, burying the old walls and building new ones, creating artificial earth mounds and digging out a motte-and-bailey ring fortress.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Berserkers Character Portrait: The Svinfylking Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: Erling Snake 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: Hrafn-Floki Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair

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Prince Ivar remained at the mead hall, which was defended by one thousand snake whispering and raven handling followers of Odin and Thor, a sinister cult of ghost warriors and cavaliers who brought their own horses. These vikings were skilled in falconry, espionage and hit-and-run guerilla tactics. They were led by Prince Ivar himself, who sat by the fire looking at his maps. Bjorn Ironside and his 1000 berserkers would help unload the ships before breaking into small dens, spreading out and going their separate ways into the mountains. Bjorn himself would take 100 bear-skinned warriors with him up to the hidden stone watchtower, while others started their own journey to the forge, accompanied by Volund the Smith and 1000 expert craftsmen devoted to the alfar. Some of them went into the forest to collect wood, while others immediately set to work by making things at the forge.

Ubbe Ragnarsson, the youngest of the 3 brothers, would divide his 1000 ulfhednar into smaller packs and have them spread out across the hills and through the forest. These ulfhednar were specialized in tracking, hunting, scouting and raiding. King Harald was the leader of the 1000 svinfylking, Ivar's main fighting force. These boar-skinned warriors followed either Freyr or Odin, and were heavily armored or extremely powerful. Harald Fairhair and his small army patrolled the countryside, digging for deeper knowledge as they took a closer survey of everything around them. Ivaldi the Archer and his 1000 miners would explore the rock quarry, gathering any precious stones or metals they could find and having them hauled off to the many different construction sites in reindeer sleighs and horse drawn sleds where Ivar planned the building of new structures. Some of Ivaldi's sons would build another small temporary forge inside the mines where they started crafting tools and weapons. Hrafn-Floki and his own 1000 vikings returned to the shipyard, where they started repairing Ivar's fifty longships. Floki himself pulled out his seax and started carving magical runes into the hull of the Seamaiden, enchanting the seed-oil polished vessel with a powerful spell of protection whilst calling upon Loki, Aegir and the jotnar for guidance.

Queen Aslaug had her own cult as well, made up of 1000 völvur and female archers devoted to the Norse goddess Freyja and the valkyries. These powerful women were clad in catskin dresses with raven feathered cloaks, and were versed in all different kinds of magic charms and spells. They were particularly fond of seidr magic, necromancy, prophecy and divination, but they also specialized in magical songs, poems and incantations as well. Aslaug's witches were healers with knowledge of the sacred herbs and remedies. Aslaug's son was Ivar the Boneless, meaning that he too, like her, was a medium for the gods who was born with special abilities. Queen Lagertha on the other hand was dedicated to Frigg and the dissir. Lagertha's army consisted of 1000 shield-maidens, an elite task force of all-female warriors armed with spears, shields and swords. Lagertha had a snowy owl which she fed mice to and kept as a pet. Lagertha's cult explored the frozen farm village, patrolling the open fields. This left 1000 thralls, workers, builders, farmers, hunters, fishermen and slaves to do most of the heavy work around the settlement. They wasted no time in starting to reconstruct Iskjerne Bay according to Ivar's new layout. They formed assembly lines, dug a motte, built a scarp hill and started repairing the broken walls with stone. Using strength in numbers and a well organized operation managed by Prince Ivar himself, the great heathen army started building even stronger structures and ramifications in half the time it took King Sigurd's fleet.

As the demolition crews started building muddy ditches and artificial earth mounds, the farmers and gardeners would walk around sprinkling Irish grass seed and planting flowers for the future spring. The vikings were thinking ahead, planning their very future as they prayed to Sigurd for prosperity and sang songs of his achievements in life. King Sigurd's army was gone, extinct, but their legacy lived on through the remarkable architecture and artwork they left behind. Almost everything the Iskjerne Vikings constructed had been carved with runes. Some of these runes had magical purposes, but a great many of them were actually used as writing to tell a story which Prince Ivar's fleet soon translated. Despite their primitive and uncivilized appearance, Iskjerne Bay's undefeated vikings were actually very advanced in some ways, because the entire settlement was hiding a vast library of runic writings that other vikings would understand and be able to translate, as if King Sigurd's people had been looking towards the future all along. "Look at these runes that I have carved, that Egil Skjalsson has carved into the pillars he raised when Sigurd was king of Iskjerne," Prince Ivar's runemaster read aloud quietly, looking at the runic inscriptions on one of the large wooden support beams inside the mead hall. Prince Ivar grinned.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: Yukiko Takayama 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: Hrafn-Floki Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair

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High in the sky there was a rumble, the sound of a thunderclap, and the strange rolling of the clouds above. The ornately constructed Mizuho shifted, slowly gaining altitude, and disappearing from view.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: Yukiko Takayama 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: Hrafn-Floki Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Fulgar Thornheim

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Hundreds of vikings paused from their labours and looked up towards the skies just in time to witness a very strange phenomenon. Thick heavy clouds rolled across the snowy winter sky, followed by a low rumbling sound which sounded like thunder. There was a loud thunderclap, followed by a feint flash of light which looked very similar to heat lightning when viewed from Gaia's surface. But the great heathen army was never aware of the Mizuho's presence high above, and were oblivious to its existence. To the vikings, it seemed like a more natural phenomenon or weather occurrence, and one that most of them were actually already quite familiar with. The vikings soon went back to work as if nothing had happened out of the ordinary. In fact, they started working faster and harder now that it seemed there might be a possible storm approaching. Prince Ivar was sitting on King Sigurd's throne inside the mead hall, listening to the musical melody of the tagelharpa over the skaldic poetry and mythical songs recited by his court poets. There was a large central fire in the middle of the mead hall, which kept everyone inside warm and toasty while they filled their horns with mead and danced in celebration of Prince Ivar's successful voyage.

Just outside the great hall, however, thousands of Norsemen were hard at work, constructing new walls and ramifications for the old ring fortress. Ivar's engineers had already narrowed the scarp or hill that the mead hall rested upon, and had started to build around it, adding the foundation of a temple and a keep, with temporary ramps and bridges setup to allow traffic in and out as the new stone wall was being built. A few paths were cleared out with plows and shovels, but otherwise it was extremely cold outside, with mounds of thick and heavy snow which were knee-high and difficult to tread through. Still, it was not enough to stop the hardened vikings as they worked together like thousands of ants in assembly, using their superior strength and numbers to accomplish great things even during the midst of a cold spell. Queen Aslaug stood alone on top of a frozen burial mound, watching Fulgar Thornheim and his crew as they approached the mainland. Aslaug was in plain sight, standing still as a statue whilst still holding the horn bugle in one hand, while clutching her long elmwood walking stick with the other. Her long blue catskin dress and black feathered cloak would wave and flow with the chilly wind, her wavey red hair and almost otherworldly bright blue eyes staring silently at the strangers in the distance, no doubt noticeable to Fulgar's crew. At the base of the mound, a circle of hooded women were gathered around and huddled together in a circle, spinning and weaving threads and making spindles of yarn to be used for future purposes.

By now, many of the workers and slaves in the open fields had already started to find and collect small artifacts left behind by the warring parties and viking nations from the previous settlement. Arrowheads, broken spear-heads, silver coins, bone beads and other trinkets. Lagertha's shield-maidens patrolled the area and kept a watchful eye on the slaves and thralls to make sure they didn't steal anything, or covet any weapons they might find. Ubbe Ragnarsson and his ulfhednar were still patrolling Iskjerne Forest when they stumbled upon a certain ash tree which seemed to have a bearded man's face carved into it. There were a set of 3 nooses hanging from the branches of this sacred ash tree, and someone had painstakingly taken the time to carve runes into its trunk. Ubbe examined the markings while scratching his neck. "What do you suppose it means?" one of the ulfhedinns asked him. "I'm not sure. Copy them down, my brother will know what it means" Ubbe said, before walking away to go look at some of the other trees in the forest.

Meanwhile, the berserkers had made some new discoveries as well. One of the sons of Ivaldi came running up from the mines to inform his father of a certain small hole in the ground, which upon further inspection appeared to be some kind of hidden cave entrance. Ivaldi reported the find to Bjorn Ironside and his small den of berserkers at the watch tower. Bjorn in turn sent a rider to the mead hall to go inform Prince Ivar, who was still drinking and feasting and having a good time. Bjorn Ironside also summoned more of his own personal guards to the watch tower, deeming it to be a great point from which to conduct a nearly aerial survey of the kingdom below. Prince Bjorn had seen Fulgar Thornheim's vessel arriving from the north, even before they had reached the docks, such was the view from high up in the watch tower. Again, however, the berserkers thought little about it. After all, it was only a small crew, not exactly an entire army. The vikings were no strangers to having visitors back home, and so there was very little need for any of them to feel alarmed now that they had found new land. On the other side of the small inlet of Iskjerne Bay, however, Volund the Smith had made some interesting discoveries as well. At the top of the long stone carved stairway into the mountains, where Iskjerne Forge was located, Volund found the broken remnants of some strange foreign inventions and dazzling purple crystals. All of the round egg-shaped stones were cracked, save for one of the crystals which had a very feint pinkish glow to it. "Well that's interesting," Volund said, sticking the crystal into his pocket.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki 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: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Hrafn-Floki Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Fulgar Thornheim

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#, as written by Remæus
Fulgar Thornheim looked up to the thick clouds rolling in across the sky and accelerated his progress towards the Great Hall. He feared he was too late, but the happenings in the settlement seemed quite normal...

Vikings moved freely throughout, a seemingly lively population. The entire army was settled in the harbor, so what of this summoning? Had something happened in Sigurd's kingdom which warranted the call of the ancients? Why were the warriors all still in the town, with no sign of threat on the horizon?

Fulgar had questions for Sigurd, the great immortal King of the South. Furrowing his brow, he pressed onward.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki 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: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Hrafn-Floki Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful

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 “ uh ”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Ulfhednar Character Portrait: The Berserkers Character Portrait: The Svinfylking Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: Dainn Character Portrait: The Ljosalfar Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Hrafn-Floki Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Fulgar Thornheim Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful

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Fulgar Thornheim looked up to the thick clouds rolling in across the sky and accelerated his progress towards the Great Hall. He feared he was too late, but the happenings in the settlement seemed quite normal... Vikings moved freely throughout, a seemingly lively population. The entire army was settled in the harbor, so what of this summoning? Had something happened in Sigurd's kingdom which warranted the call of the ancients? Why were the warriors all still in the town, with no sign of threat on the horizon? Fulgar had questions for Sigurd, the great immortal King of the South. Furrowing his brow, he pressed onward. "Uh," exclaimed Indisla the Beautiful, as hundreds of Nordic vikings went about working in the hills and open fields. Queen Aslaug stood alone on top of a frozen burial mound, her gaze turning to Indisla the Beautiful. Aslaug was in plain sight, standing still as a statue whilst still holding the horn bugle in one hand, while clutching her long elmwood walking stick with the other. Her long blue catskin dress and black feathered cloak would wave and flow with the chilly wind, her wavey red hair and almost otherworldly bright blue eyes staring silently at the strangers in the distance, no doubt noticeable to Indisla as well. At the base of the mound, a circle of hooded women were gathered around and huddled together in a circle, spinning and weaving threads and making spindles of yarn to be used for future purposes. "I've not seen you before", one of the volvur said calmly to Indisla as she spun a web of tapestry, her long black hooded cloak concealing the volva's face. Her voice sounded older, perhaps belonging to an elderly woman, one of the grandmothers of the vikings. "She seems lost," another one of the thread spinners commented. This one sounded younger than the first hooded woman. "This is no place to get lost," a third volva added. "The earth beneath us is crawling with lost souls, never to find their way again" the older hooded woman commented. Meanwhile, back at the mead hall, Ivar's cavalry was still feasting when all of a sudden, Fulgar Thornheim and his band came storming into the great open hall. Ivar the Boneless was sitting on King Sigurd's throne, drinking wine from a long sheep horn, laughing and having a good time. But as the music stopped, and all of the soldiers in the great hall became quiet, Prince Ivar would set the horn down and grab his crutch, pulling himself to his feet to stand on his own two feet, his brittle ankles secretly strengthened by cast iron metal supports or leg braces which went up just above his knees. Ivar the Boneless was surprisingly tall for a cripple, with strong muscular arms and a broad chin. Ivar's icey blue sparkling eyes gazed soullessly at Fulgar and his crew as they entered the hall, Ivar's eyes reflecting for a brief second the light from the white snowy land outside.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki 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: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Hrafn-Floki Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful

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Indisla The Beautiful looks around unfamiliar with anything she overheard the women talking ad scoffed continuing to look around

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Livia Caesarius Character Portrait: The Ulfhednar 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: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Hrafn-Floki Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Fulgar Thornheim Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful

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Upon a small ridge overlooking Iskjerne Bay, Livia Caesarius was watching, through a high-powered expandable telescope. She was not pleased with what she was seeing below, teeth grit in anticipation.

She was wearing the clothes for the conditions, with the last reports describing the bitter cold, she opted for a pair of heavy hide trousers, worn with a purple tunica, and heavy lorica segmentata armor, comprised of high strength carbide steel woven into thick, treated leather, reinforced with a kevlar backing.

The heavy, dark red hooded paenula cloak provided some respite from the bitter cold, and the fog had lifted slightly, allowing her to get a view of the settlement below.

She stood up, heavy synthetic mukluk style boots crunching into the white snow, as she turned around to her Vexillarius, or the standard bearer.

"I was under the impression that the barbarians here had committed suicide, yet there is a city, and fortifications. How do the Taiyou expect us to recover the body of their Prime Minister? I did not bring enough men to lay siege to this place." The Legata said with a modicum of irritation.

The Servant brought her a waterskin, and the Legata took a generous swig of the warm liquid, which was kept with the Contubernium's pack mule.

The Decanus, with his purple, and black feathered plumage upon his polished galea helmet watched the events in the settlement below with close interest, they were all Praetorian Guard, as denoted by their indigo colored shields, with the golden bull standard of the Argosian Empire.

Livia reached into a small leather pouch securely fastened to her Lorica armor, and produced a pair of leather gauntlets, with ornate symbols carved into them. It was an ancient Argosian magic that was refered to as Heraldry, or symbology, the use of symbols to effect magical spells. They seemed to resonate with Gaia's magic, shimmering with an iridescent indigo hue.

"Let's go."

The sound of the cornu horn cut through the thick fog, the eight soldiers, and two servants formed up into a phalanx position, with the Vexillarius, and Livia at the front, and the servants, and the pack mule at the rear.

Slowly they began to march down the hillside, towards the city ahead, the standard of the Argosian Empire fluttering in the wind, with the words LEGIO I CAESARIVS embroidered in gold.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki 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: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Hrafn-Floki Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful

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Indisla The Beautiful stands there unsure is she continue walking or stand there

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki 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: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Hrafn-Floki Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Fulgar Thornheim Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful

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#, as written by Remæus
Fulgar Thornheim stormed angrily out of the Ring Fort, eager to see what the commotion in the town was about. Stopping to talk with one of the villagers, he called to Indisla The Beautiful.

Hey! You over there! What's going on here?
he demanded of the woman, who was clearly minding her own business as if things were all well in the bay.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki 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: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Hrafn-Floki Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Fulgar Thornheim Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful

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#, as written by Remæus
Fulgar Thornheim turned his attention to the hills, where the banners of a small Argosian force were descending upon the settlement. Was this small band of men truly what his kingdom had been summoned for?

He turned back to Indisla The Beautiful for answers.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki 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: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Hrafn-Floki Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Fulgar Thornheim Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful

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 “ Me? ”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki 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: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Hrafn-Floki Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Fulgar Thornheim Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful

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#, as written by Remæus
Fulgar Thornheim nodded, confirming her outcry.

Yes, you. You look like you belong here. What's happened to Sigurd, and who...
he trailed off, gesturing to the waving banners in the distance.

Are they?
he asked again.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki 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: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Hrafn-Floki Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Fulgar Thornheim Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful

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 “ I Have No Clue ”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki 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: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Hrafn-Floki Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Fulgar Thornheim Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful

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#, as written by Remæus
Fulgar Thornheim gripped his axe, the uncertainty unappealing as he still hadn't found Sigurd. Battle seemed eminent, and his warriors sensed the same.

Well then, scurry back into your hut. No telling what these raiders will bring.
he dismissed, hoping this town had more than maidens to deal with invaders.

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: The Ljosalfar Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Hrafn-Floki Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Fulgar Thornheim Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful

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The Legata, and her Decanus continued down the hillside, the walls of the settlement looming ever closer, she offered a nod to one of the servants that made up the rear of the Phalanx, he grabbed an olive branch from the pack mule, and affixed it to a long pole. The Servant passed the olive branch to the Vexillarius, whom took the pole from the nearest soldier to him. He hefted the olive branch high, so that it could be easily seen, as the rythmic footfalls of the Argosian soldiers drew near.


"Everyone! Prepare to defend yourselves! These Savages will attack without warning! Maintain formation!" Livia called out.

They came out of a rocky outcropping into full view in front of the main assembly of workers in the under-construction settlement, the olive branch had been hoisted high, alongside the standard of the Argosian Empire.

Livia, and her men stopped, and she craned her head up. However, she brought her scutum close, and narrowed her eyes, as her free hand grasped Deus Schismaticus. She was ready for battle, but hoped the olive branch would be recognized.

She held out her hand, and the phalanx of men stopped, about a hundred feet from the settlement's outer stone and earth walls.

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: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Hrafn-Floki Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Fulgar Thornheim Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful

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#, as written by Sepokku
The bay slowly came into sight, Uhtred at the helm of the frontmost ship as the bay slowly came into sight. "Good, the fort still stands, we are not too late." The horn-caller behind Uhtred let out a soft grunt as he pursed his lips and sounded the horn to announce their arrival. Uhtred's boat crunched as it beached itself on the sand, his men getting out to pull the boat the rest of the way onto shore.

"Where is the feckless mother who demanded we crawl all the way out here, and when can I get a flagon of something to wet my throat?" Behind Uhtred, the army quickly finished beaching their skips and began pouring into the Fort and surrounding settlement. Uhtred cast an eye towards Fulgar and Indisila. Something about Fulgar's grip on his axe screamed battle was imminent, so Uhtred turned to him, "I didn't miss the fun?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki 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: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Hrafn-Floki Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Fulgar Thornheim Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful

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Indisla The Beautiful stands there in shock

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki 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: Hrafn-Floki Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Fulgar Thornheim Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful

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#, as written by Sepokku
Uhtred strides forward, placing a comforting hand on Indisla's shoulder. "My lady, the battlefield is no place for a shield-maiden unwilling to draw blood. You may withdraw to the Fort if you so wish it, otherwise prepare yourself for blood-shed. Uhtred hungers and his hunger will not be delayed. Let the Gods lament our arrival"

With a nod, several of his berserker units joined Uhtred in preparation for battle, and a murder of crows alighted in preparation for the feast he would provide.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki 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: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Hrafn-Floki Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Fulgar Thornheim Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful

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Indisla The Beautiful looks around in confusion

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki 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: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Hrafn-Floki Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Fulgar Thornheim Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful

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Indisla The Beautiful flips the random person over my shoulder

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki 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: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Hrafn-Floki Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Fulgar Thornheim Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful

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High up on the stone watchtower to the east, a brief tiny glare was spotted over the horizon by one of those who was on guard duty. Bjorn Ironside felt a smack on his shoulder, causing him to turn around. There on the distant horizon, on the ridge of one of the mountains, Bjorn saw the reflective glare of what he could only presume was someone's telescope. Were they being watched? Bjorn ordered his berserkers to keep a sharp lookout while he gathered some of his crew together to form a small fighting force, prepared to defend the settlement if needed. Meanwhile, Fulgar Thornheim marched into the ring fort, which was still currently undergoing construction, and burst into the mead hall. Ivar the Boneless grabbed his crutch and pushed himself to his feet.

"Where's Sigurd? I demand his audience immediately!"

All of the vikings in the mead hall stopped what they were doing as the music died. Sigurd who? Fulgar had not specified which Sigurd, as there were several vikings named Sigurd in Ivar's settlement. The vikings just laughed and bellowed with laughter as the music started playing again. Prince Ivar chuckled and sat back down, picking up his mead horn and taking a drink. As the strange joker and his small crew scoffed and left the great hall, looking eagerly disappointed, the tagelharpa started playing again. Indisla The Beautiful was still outside looking around, unfamiliar with anything she was seeing for the first time. She overheard the women in the black hoods talking about her and scoffed, continuing to look around, unsure if she should continue walking or just stand there. Fulgar Thornheim stormed angrily out of the Ring Fort, eager to see what the commotion in the town was about, when he suddenly noticed Indisla standing there.

"Hey! You over there! What's going on here?

Fulgar demanded of the woman, Indisla, who was clearly minding her own business as if things were all well in the bay. The sound of the cornu horn cutting through the thick fog was enough to alert the vikings. Lagertha and some of her shield-maidens would gather together, approaching the area where Fulgar's crew was standing. Lagertha had a look of growing concern in her eyes, her blonde hair braided and ready for battle. Queen Aslaug was still standing still on the raised hill, never moving as she kept the sheep horn bugle at her side, clutching her walking stick whilst staring off into the distance. Fulgar Thornheim gripped his axe, the uncertainty unappealing as he still hadn't found Sigurd. Battle seemed eminent, and his warriors sensed the same.

"Well then, scurry back into your hut. No telling what these raiders will bring." Fulgar dismissed, hoping this town had more than maidens to deal with invaders. Queen Lagertha and her shield-maidens would glance at them quietly before walking by, heading slowly towards the sound of the cornu horn. Lagertha did not even seem overly nervous, for some reason, and there was no sign of fear in this elite band of women as they casually went to investigate, carrying their large round shields and long spears with them. The shield-maidens would make their way to the outer wall of the settlement, forming a phalanx of shields as the Argosians approached. The bay slowly came into sight, Uhtred at the helm of the frontmost ship as the bay slowly came into view.

"Good, the fort still stands, we are not too late." The horn-caller behind Uhtred let out a soft grunt as he pursed his lips and sounded the horn to announce their arrival. The sound of the second horn caught Ivar's attention, so he sent his scouts to see what all the noise was about. But when the errand returned with news of an impending raid, Ivar the Boneless snarled angrily and threw his mead horn aside, spilling wine everywhere before he slammed his fist down on the table. Uhtred's boat crunched as it beached itself on the sand, his men getting out to pull the boat the rest of the way onto shore.

"Where is the feckless mother who demanded we crawl all the way out here, and when can I get a flagon of something to wet my throat?" Behind Uhtred, the army quickly finished beaching their skips and began pouring into the Fort and surrounding settlement. Uhtred cast an eye towards Fulgar and Indisila. Something about Fulgar's grip on his axe screamed battle was imminent, so Uhtred turned to him.

"I didn't miss the fun?"

Suddenly a scroll appeared in front of Ivar the Boneless without warning. It materialized with a puff of fire and smoke, and it bore a glowing red and gold seal of a lion's head surrounded by strange runes. The scroll floated in the air before him until it would be claimed. A subtle hum of magic surrounded the scroll, and within was a letter written with a flowing well-practiced script in Ivar's native tongue. The vikings in the great hall would stare in awe, most of them frozen with shock at how such a scroll could just seem to magically appear out of nowhere. Ivar the Boneless slowly reached out and took the scroll, breaking the gold seal and unrolling it. He then proceeded to read it.

---

From the desk of Archmage Sheodin Thundermane, Chief Ambassador of the Khroniktan Alliance;

To Whom It May Concern,

Greetings, sovereign leaders of Gaia. May the Everlasting Flame of Ha’Ari, the King of Kings and Father of Creation, light your path and grant you the wisdom of Heaven. The prayers of our people have uplifted you during this trying time, and the upheaval of your world, caused by the wrath of Eras and its titans, has been felt by us despite the few short years we have walked on your soil and looked upon your skies.

It troubles us that the echoes of the All Consuming Darkness have been felt even here on these shores. Eyes born from the blackness between the stars have settled upon your world and have disrupted the delicate balance of power, and ancient malevolence has awoken that seeks to place you in eternal bondage. Take solace, though, that Ha’Ari has stretched out His mighty hand and offers you protection. It is through His power, and the might of the Khroniktan Alliance, that Eras’s wrath was abated and the formidable colossus Ni’Thorne met its demise.

We warmly invite you or a representative of your nation-state to visit our colony New Ketajhi, located in the region known as the Royale Prairies of Siv’en, in order to open diplomatic relations. Food and lodging will be provided.

Sincerely,

Archmage Sheodin Thundermane, Chief Ambassador of the Khroniktan Alliance


---

Prince Ivar would slowly re-roll the fancy magical scroll and place it into a small lock box, before sending one of the riders to go inform Hrafn-Floki, who was still at the shipyard. Ivar then gripped his crutch and dragged his stiff-legged feet from around the tables, walking slowly towards the main hall's arched double doors while holding his helmet. His guards would fetch Ivar's horse-drawn war chariot as the lone rider galloped quickly to the docks to tell Floki about his crew's upcoming voyage to Siv'en, all this taking place as Livia and her army approached the ring fort.

Uhtred would stride forward, placing a comforting hand on Indisla's shoulder and consoling her just as Bjorn Ironside and his band of berserkers walked by. Bjorn looked furious, and ready for battle as well, with black claw-marks painted on his face and thick heavy bearskin cloak covering his broad muscular shoulders. Bjorn's berserkers would soon walk up and join Lagertha's shield-maidens at the outer gate. Bjorn hugged his mother Lagertha, who kissed him on the cheek, before their combined forces stood together on the hill, gazing at the Argosians who stood 100 feet across from them, holding a particular olive branch.

"What are they doing?" the large 6'5" berserker leader would ask his mother. "I'm not entirely sure," Lagertha responded prudently, standing considerably shorter than her giant son. The vikings at the outer wall of the settlement would stand there quietly, motionlesssly, holding their positions and formations. Within moments, Bjorn's younger half-brother Ivar the Boneless arrived, riding up in his chariot while accompanied by a band of riders on horseback. Ivar was smiling with anticipation, a look of hatred in his eyes as he peered over the viking troops in front of him to Livia and the Argosian company on the other side. The cornu horn had not gone unheard in the distance, yet Ubbe and his ulfhednar were nowhere to be found. All the while, the lady with the red hair never moved an inch. Aslaug was still standing on the earth mound holding her bugle and her walking stick, her face completely void of all expression or emotion as she watched all the happenings going on in the distance.