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Ragnar Sigurdsson

Ragnar Lothbrok is the son of Sigurd Hring.

0 · 64 views · located in Iskjerne Bay

a character in “The Multiverse

Groups

The Empyrean Norsemen have a well established space-faring kingdom on an isolated island in the Empyrean High Seas, originating on planet Gaia in the Milky Way and waving a dragon banner.

Description

Ragnarr Loðbrók, "Ragnar shaggy breeches", is the son of legendary Swedish king Sigurd the Ringtaker, the once sovereign of Iskjerne Bay's notorious Norse Kingdom who ascended to divine status as a Gaian titan and deity. Ragnar has several wives including Queen Aslaug Kraka the Volva, a witch and seeress descended from valkyries. By her, Ragnar Lothbrok is the father of Ivar the Boneless and Sigurd Snake-In-The-Eye among others. Ragnar also was married to Queen Lagertha the Shield-maiden, who bore him Bjorn Ironside, Hvitserk, Halfdan and Ubbe Ragnarsson, each of them becoming members of the Great Heathen Army following Ragnar Lothbrok's death at the hands of King Aella the Christian, who cast him into a pit of poisonous serpents. Ragnar Lothbrok was presumed dead.

Until now...

Ragnar first killed a giant snake, or dragon, that guarded the abode of the East Geatic jarl's daughter Thora Borgarhjort, thereby winning her as his wife. The unusual protective clothes that Ragnar wore, when attacking the serpent, earned him the nickname Lodbrok ("shaggy breeches"). His sons with Thora were Erik and Agnar, who remained in obscurity. Ragnar Lothbrok united the Swedish and Danish kingdoms and became the prototype for many Viking konungs who followed his footsteps. He promised to capture England with a single longship, but failed when his ship capsized and he was captured. Ragnar was tortured, whipped, caged, crucified like Christ as an insult to his Norse Pagan faith. Then, adding salt to his injuries, he was cast into a pit of snakes and the lid to his tomb was sealed shut. Ragnar Lothbrok was presumed dead. When given the opportunity to repent and ask for forgiveness, Ragnar responded with: "Oh how the little piggies will squeel when they hear how the old boar suffered." This of course was a prophecy foretelling of the coming of Ragnar's sons and the Great Heathen Army.

But the Great Heathen Army never came. Instead, they ended up lost at sea and teleported to Iskjerne Bay on Gaia, brought there by the same Bermuda Triangle that had led so many of them astray. Instead, they ended up at Ragnar's father's kingdom, a land that had been ravaged with wars and tyranny. Ragnar Lothbrok was all alone. King Aella carved a cross into Ragnar's forehead with a dagger and asked if he had any final words. Ragnar's response became immortalized forever as he said: “It gladdens me to know that Odin prepares for a feast. Soon I shall be drinking ale from curved horns. This hero that comes into Valhalla does not lament his death! I shall not enter Odin’s hall with fear. There I shall wait for my sons to join me. And when they do, I will bask in their tales of triumph. The Aesir will welcome me! My death comes without apology! And I welcome the valkyries to summon me home!“

Ragnar's words would not go unheard by the gods. As he was dropped into the pit of snakes, and the lid closed over what was to become his dark and lonely grave, suddenly Ragnar Lothbrok was teleported to Iskjerne Bay, beneath the high mounds. His father, Sigurd Hring, had heard his prayers. As predicted, the valkyries had heard of his torment, his courage and his deeds, and they had indeed summoned him home. Thus begins a new journey, and a new resurrection for the Ghost of England, about a man who has long been presumed dead. What you are about to read is an alternate version of Ragnar Saga, one based not on the whims of historicity, but on the dark corridors of the fantastic imagination, about a Swedo-Danish king who exists in a parallel universe within an alternate reality. This is the legend of Ragnar Lothbrok as it has never been told before.

Thus begins the Saga of Ragnar Lothbrok...

So begins...

Ragnar Sigurdsson'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: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful 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 Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Erik Thorvaldsson Character Portrait: Ragnar Sigurdsson Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Sigurdsson
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Livia had assembled her guards to leave, and were well on the way to doing so until they passed a mule cart. The Praetorians had been marching in formation as they left the settlement. Though they didn't seem to pay any heed to it as they all marched. However, Livia had caught the wounded man in the back of the cart, and she stopped then, and there in the moment. She didn't know what compelled her to help, but she figured if she was going to start digging up burial mounds, she would have to earn these people's trust.

She held up her hand, and made a fist, causing her Praetorians to stop in their tracks as well, their armor making a clanking sound as they abruptly stopped, and the men clenched their weapons closely.

"Julius, fetch the medical kit from our cart." Livia instructed. The Praetorian offered a sharp nod, before starting off towards what was left of the stables, and the Argosian mule cart, which had been guarded by two vigilant Praetorians since Ivar's fall.

Livia turned to face the Mule Cart, before she called out to it. "Hætta!" Livia called out, moving swiftly after the mule cart, towards it even, though her nordic words were twisted by a Latin style accent, the word itself was clear, and the moment Livia managed to catch up to the mule cart, was the moment that the Praetorian returned with a large white briefcase, that had a large red cross emblazoned on it. The Praetorian looked around, confused for a moment as he handed it towards the Legata, another Praetorian approaching with a large bidon of water, which sloshed inside the plastic container.

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: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful 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 Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Erik Thorvaldsson Character Portrait: Ragnar Sigurdsson Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Sigurdsson
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Thorvald Asvaldsson and his son Erik Thorvaldsson were just about to enter the final spiked gate and approach the Iskjerne Castle in their slow moving mule wagon when suddenly they heard someone call out behind them.

"Hætta!" Livia commanded as she quickly started to approach the back of the stopping cart. Erik would discreetly move his hand towards his waistline to grab his small curved seax, but his father Thorvald would seize his arm and stop him, glancing at him quietly for a brief moment before turning around to look at Livia the Legata and her approaching guards. "Let me handle this," he whispered to his son. Thorvald Asvaldsson would remove his hat and nod quietly to the Praetorians, without making any sudden moves. Erik followed suit, easing up and and bowing his head quietly.

Erik watched distrustfully but curiously as one of the Praetorians walked up to Livia with a large white briefcase with a bright red cross on it, gazing at the wounded passenger in the back of the hay wagon before looking around. Soon another Praetorian approached the mule cart with a plastic water container. Thorvald and Erik glanced at one another silently before turning to look again at the Praetorian guards and their female leader. They understood Livia just fine, but they did not recognize her Latinized accent. Thorvald decided to try and speak to her and find out what she wanted as he looked down at the injured person in the back of his wagon before looking at her.

"Kveðja sómakona mín. Ég er Þorvaldur, sonur Asvalds víðs vegar um haf, og þetta er sonur minn Erik, sem er að ferðast mér við hlið. Þekkir þú þennan mann aftan í kerrunni? Við fundum hann á einni hæðinni, eins og hann er núna. Við vitum ekki hvernig hann komst á þennan hátt. En ég get fullvissað þig um að það vorum ekki við sem rændum hann. Við ætluðum bara að koma honum í musterið og skilja hann eftir. Við erum bara fátækir bændur, eins og þú sérð. Við höfum enga peninga en þér er velkomið að líta í kringum þig og taka það sem þú vilt. Vinsamlegast vinsamlegast ekki meiða okkur." the fifty-year-old man said, still holding his hat in his hands.

Thorvald's accent was just as bad as Livia's accent, it seemed, and although he had the appearance and makings of a true Norseman, and could speak fluently, it was apparent to the sharply tuned ears that Thorvald Bloodyfist was not a native to this northernmost part of the land. Nor was Erik, for they both had redder skin than the Iskjerne Vikings, as if they had been traveling for a very long time in the hot sun. Thorvald and Erik watched quietly with widened eyes, obviously very alert and aware of their surroundings, if not a little intimidated and confused by the well dressed Praetorians who outnumbered them considerably. What did they want with two poor farmers and a wounded man? Were they planning to highjack the wagon? Thorvald swallowed and lowered his head, making himself appear as humble as possible while hoping not to offend Livia and her guards as they examined the wagon.

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: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful 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 Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Erik Thorvaldsson Character Portrait: Ragnar Sigurdsson Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Sigurdsson
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Livia quietly reached out to Ragnar in the back of the cart, she was trying to take a look at his wounds, and unlike the beserkers, and the other impoverished inhabitants of this village, Livia's hands would be clean, her fingernails well manicured, and slightly polished, her hands were calloused not from labor, but from years of battle, it was clear she knew how to wield a sword. She looked up and over towards Thorvald, and then back towards one of the Praetorians who was not otherwise occupied.

"Claudius, revertetur per viam portae, non potest dicere Generalis Hama reversus cum hospite." She instructed in Argosian, which sounded a great deal like ancient Latin, the same Latin spoken by the Romans.

"Etiam, Legata." The Praetorian said, bringing his hand across his chest, and bowing briefly. He turned swiftly, and began to move up towards the mountain, his footfalls heavy, and carefully disciplined.

After giving her instructions, Livia reached a slender hand out towards the back of the mule cart, and she placed an armored boot on the back to pull herself up and into the back of the cart, while turning her head towards Thorvald.

"Ég er Livia, fyrsta Legate. Ég vil ekki hlutina þína, ég vil hjálpa þessum manni." She said, her words once more being twisted by her accent, while she directed her attention to Ragnar, grimacing at the wounds he sustained while the Praetorian tossed the white briefcase into the back of the cart, and the second hefted the jug of water up into the back of the cart as well.

"Ef við komumst hann ekki læknishjálp, hann mun deyja." Livia added, this strange language which she had spent the latter part of her time here studying was broken, and difficult to pronounce but she kept trying. She looked over Ragnar, and noted the wounds covering his body, several puncture wounds of different types, lacerations, and he appeared to be succumbing to the effects of some kind of toxin. Livia was no doctor, but she had attended classes offered by the Taiyou in first aid techniques. If she could stabilize him, they could take him to Niihama to receive medical attention. She reached down to her waist, and pulled a pugio from it's sheath, the shiny, clean blade glinted in the sunlight, while Livia started to cut away at the leather straps, or fabric that held Ragnar's shirt on, if he had one. The blade sliced through the shirt fabric almost effortlessly, and Livia noted the wounds were packed with dirt, and festering.

She opened the white briefcase, which revealed dozens of stainless steel tools of various types, scalpels, forceps, scissors, hemostats, bandage scissors, and all manner of different tools, which glimmered in the sunlight.

Livia opened a bottle of a clear liquid which had some unusual symbols on it, a bottle of alcohol disinfectant printed in Taiyou. Once Livia opened it up, the strong smell permeated the back of the cart. She first doused her Spatha with it, and then her hands, rubbing the alcohol before rinsing with the water container. Once dry, she pulled a pair of latex gloves from the kit, snapping them onto her hands, she started with the larger, more obvious wounds.

She worked the spear wounds first, digging the dirt and mud from the deep lacerations, and then flushing them with alcohol, which stung, and then water, until the wounds appeared clean, Two of the Praetorians moved into the back of the cart to restrain Ragnar if necessary.

The Legata worked quickly, flushing the wound clean, and then packing it with gauze, with the larger wounds stabilized, Livia moved to the smaller wounds, flushing with water to clean the dirt from them, and then disinfecting them with the alcohol. Some of the smaller cuts, Livia began to take some thread, and a curved needle, and suture them closed.

"What happened to this man?" She remarked at first in English, and then she stopped herself. "Hvað gerðist"

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: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful 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 Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Erik Thorvaldsson Character Portrait: Ragnar Sigurdsson Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Sigurdsson
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Livia took brief notes of the ligature marks on the wrists, and the legs, and she took brief note of the cross etched into his forehead. Livia did not move to flush this wound with alcohol, as she didn’t want to risk injury to the eyes, rather she reached up slowly to flush the cross shaped gash with some water.

“Hold still.” She said slowly, dabbing at the gash with a piece of gauze, cleaning the dirt from it, and slowly, and carefully moving to suture the wound close. This close, the faint floral smell of perfume wafted from the heavy armor, and verdant indigo cape that the woman was wearing, her arms were slender, and lacked many of the scars that someone of her stature should have. Of course, not being cut was part of her skill.

When Ragnar gazed into Livia’s piercing blue eyes, he would see the soul of a cunning warrior, a brilliant strategist, and a woman who was wise beyond her years, touring the galaxy and representing her people on the council afforded her knowledge beyond what a simple primitive could ever hope to attain. Her service to both her own country, and the Taiyou allowed her to see battles that were beyond comprehension. She had the weathered look of a great general, or king, someone who had been used to leading their people in battle.

“I’m going to take him with me.” Livia answered, while she began to fish around inside the briefcase, reaching in to pull out a small box that contained a small syringe. The text on this box was printed in a different alien language, one that resembled a cross between runic, and cuneiform. Livia inspected the vial of dark purple liquid and then the label which was printed in Taiyou. The label stated the chemical was only to be used in case of extreme emergency, and that it was highly addictive. Fortunately, she didn’t use it, rather she fished around inside the box, digging deep until she pulled out another small box, this one had a picture of a stylized rattlesnake on it. The rattlesnake had a helmet on it with a red cross, and the text was typed in some strange eastern language.

Livia figured it was worth a try as she drew the yellowish liquid into a needle, she made sure to look at the correct dosage from the instructions, and using the instructions as a reference point, she slid the needle into Ragnar’s deltoid muscle, and pushed the plunger to inject the contents, a potent polyvalent antivenin that was designed to counteract the venoms of vipers and their related species. Livia didn’t know if it would work, as the Taiyou engineered the antivenin from snake species they knew of, but she figured it couldn’t hurt.

Once the needle was empty, she capped it and placed it in a small red plastic sharps box, just at the moment the Praetorians returned with their own mule cart.

“General Hama is expecting us, he said there is an ambulance standing by.” One of the Praetorians remarked in an English dialect this time, while Livia nodded, reaching into a leather pouch and producing a small handful of silver denarius coins, passing them to Thorvald.

“There is a cave in the mountains north of here, can you take us there? I will pay you for your trouble.” Livia asked.

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: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful 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 Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Erik Thorvaldsson Character Portrait: Ragnar Sigurdsson Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Sigurdsson
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Thorvald Asvaldsson took the small handful of silver denarius coins in the palm of his hand, looking down at them before looking back up at Livia for a moment. He then turned and handed the silver coins to his son Erik the Red, who picked up one of the coins and bit into it to see if it was real. Thorvald then rested his hand on Erik's shoulder.

"Thank you kindly Your Grace, but this old man has already sworn his allegiances to another. Besides, I will only slow your haste. These old bones have been traveling for many weeks, and I am in need of some rest. I will send my son with you instead, he can take you to the mountains." Thorvald said, squeezing his son's shoulder gently before patting him on the shoulder and climbing down out of the mule wagon.

The red-headed young man stared at his father quietly before nodding and placing the silver denarii into his belt pouch and grabbing the reigns. Thorvald nodded respectfully to Livia and her Praetorian guards before putting his hat back on and slapping the mule's ass with his open hand. "Go now my boy, and be quick." Thorvald said as the four-wheeled cart started moving.

Erik the Red nodded and whipped the reigns, shouting loudly. "Yah!!" He yelled as the wagon started to pull away, gaining speed with Livia and Ragnar in the back of it as he carried out the Legata's wishes, taking her north towards the mountains. Ragnar began fading in and out at that moment, talking nonsensically in a way that was incomprehensible to both Livia and Erik.

"Aethelstan... Aethelstan don't leave me." Ragnar said weakly as he squinted his one good eye open and reached out to Thorvald, but the old man was already beginning to walk back towards the castle. Ragnar would blink slightly, beginning to feel nauseated and dizzy from the polyvalent antivenin Livia had injected into his shoulder. He tried to squint and blink, turning his head to look up at Livia again. With his blurry vision, he thought for a moment that she was a valkyrie. The sun's rays cascading over her head and shoulders with brilliant rainbow colors appeared to him like a halo, winged helmet or like the wings of an angel as he smiled very slightly at Livia before laying his head back and closing his eyes again. "Eir, beloved Eir, don't let my wife find out that I'm dead or she'll kill me." Ragnar muttered softly before losing consciousness and passing out.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: The Berserkers Character Portrait: The Svinfylking Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: Uhtred the Godless Character Portrait: Dainn Character Portrait: Dibble Character Portrait: The Ljosalfar Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair 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: Ragnar Sigurdsson Character Portrait: Robert I of Ellaria
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The attack came without warning in the middle of the night. Without even offering so much as a challenge, without mercy or respect, the shadowy figures snuck their way around the ring fortress, entering people's homes and without hesitation, noise or resistance, proceeded to massacre people in their beds while they were sleeping. For bigger families, the dark shadowy figures stood over their beds in number. The only sound they made was the soft thump and splash of the axe as they aimed for people's necks and heads, being more brutal than tactful, but with a certain way that seemed almost organized, or even strategized. As some people were still awake, even a great many of them had been kneeling in prayer with their eyes closed, only for someone to walk up silently behind them and slit their throats, or even just to hit them in the head with an axe.

The homes were burned and billowed with smoke, dry grass and bed sheets set on fire slowly and quietly, as King Harald Finehair walked up casually to the guards outside the castle where Duke Robert of Ellaria had been staying. Harald Fairhair looked calm and unaware of the impending danger as he stood outside the gatehouse, and gazed up at the battlements, where archers had been standing. He noticed that the archers were high up, but had a limited view to the horizon and the castle's circular moat, rather than the guards who were directly below them. King Harald nodded to one of the guards, walking up to him with a smile, folding his boar skinned cape back with one hand while resting his other hand on the hilt of his sword. The guards watched him quietly, as Harald casually stopped in front of them and looked around, smiling.

"It's a good night tonight. Not too cold," King Harald said, hoping to initiate a conversation. He was still briefly thinking about his brother Halfdan's decision to go with Hrafn-Floki as the dark shadowy figures continued to move around the ring fort, villages and camps, their indoor fires being temporarily cloaked by the billowing waves of smoke, and a lack of witnesses in the surrounding area as they engaged in stealthy mass murder, nearing their way slowly closer and closer to the castle while slaughtering ruthlessly, men, women and children of all ages and ethnicities. These cloaked assassins would kill the Iskjerne Vikings, and the Argosians, and the Taiyou, and the Tartarean Normans, or whoever else might jeopardize their guerilla operation, seemingly without biased, hidden under the cover of the increasing smoke and darkness as they made their way around the ring fortress and into the battlements, either sneaking around the guards or proceeding to quickly pick them off one by one.

"C'est une bonne nuit pour une promenade, ouais?" the guard asked, watching King Harald gaze up at the stars for a moment. Upon seeing this, the guard would look up at the night sky for a moment also, taking note of the stars. At that moment, as if by pure chance or irony, there was a shooting star in the dark blue heavens. This trailblazing phenomenon caught the attention of everyone who would notice it, including the archers and the guards, except for those who weren't facing that same direction. King Harald stepped closer to the guard who had spoken to him, smiling and nodding quietly while keeping his hand rested on the hilt of his sheathed sword, obviously not intending to use it, as that would be extremely difficult to draw from its sheath at such close range anyway. But Harald had another plan, instead using the arm he had used to hold his cape back, as he had unsheathed the knife on the back of his waist belt. He had to be quick now, and he would be, as King Harald turned abruptly and drove the knife into the guard's chain-mail throat protector.

The second guard would jump slightly and turn to look at Harald Finehair, being caught completely off guard by the sudden attack. He tried to react, but before he could even make any more sudden moves, the second guard was struck by an arrow to the throat by someone in the shadows. Soon, a small band of black-painted Vikings would step out of the shadows and accompany King Harald into the Iskjerne Castle, their axes still dripping with the blood of the many people they had just murdered in their sleep without prejudice. They had been the dark shadowy figures, and there were many more, as the inhabitants of Iskjerne Bay would soon discover as Harald's Vikings suddenly came pouring out into the streets, beginning to roar and shout as they revealed themselves to everyone in the area, gaining a little bit more attention as Duke Rollo woke up during the ensuing chaos and, upon smelling smoke, would look outside his castle window to see the blazing fires and running figures below. The kingdom was being raized and raided once again, only this time by King Harald, who was already inside the castle with him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki Character Portrait: Argosian Soldier 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: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful 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 Character Portrait: Ragnar Sigurdsson Character Portrait: Robert I of Ellaria
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To the Argosians, it seemed that the treachery if savages knew no bounds, and was without limits for the small band of Praetorian guards, and thermir servants, and the small encampment they maintained outside of the main settlement, beyond its walls, where they could come and go without relying on someone to open the gates for them.

That fateful night, the contubernium of Argosian Praetorians slept in shifts as they normally did, four were asleep, two were charged with maintaining their equipment, and two stood watch on each end of the tent, which flapped and fluttered in the frigid wind. Two fires burned where each of the soldiers sat, making their home atop some stones, and one even managed to drag a piece of driftwood to serve as a makeshift bench.

The Praetorian on the south side of the tent was busy oiling his sword, applying a thin coat of synthetic oil on his sword, it was a practice given to them by the Taiyou to keep the razors edge on the nanosteel blade, the same synthetic oils kept their armor from rusting, and kept it's sheen.

The Praetorian happened to avert his gaze from the orange glow that reflected from his sword to see smoke billowing from the city. He acted quickly, moving into the tent and quietly rousing the inhabitants inside.

"The city is under siege, quickly to arms!" He hissed, rousting the other Praetorians whom all wore nothing but their purple tunics, without time to don their armor, they grabbed their swords and shields, and swiftly moved out of the tent, each of the eight Praetorians formed a defensive circle around the tent with their shields, each held their swords out, and over their shields while the my crouched, their eyes focusing into the darkness.

The first painted viking warriors would find themselves charging into the circle, and when they closed the distance, the Praetorians struck, using their large shields to block incoming axe blows, which clashed with the enameled nanosteel with a deafening metallic clang, the Praetorians drove their swords deep into their bellies, the razor sharp gladius swords slicing, and disemboweling efficiently as their honed edges sliced through flesh.

Once impaled by sword they were shoved back by shield, Argosian sandals digging into the mud, and blood soaked dirt.

"Hold the formation!" The Decanus called out. Anticipating the next wave any moment.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki Character Portrait: Argosian Soldier 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: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful 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 Character Portrait: Ragnar Sigurdsson Character Portrait: Robert I of Ellaria
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When bodies slammed against shields with audible thunks, immediately followed by the sickening crunches of swords impaling flesh, and then the now dying viking warriors shoved back, there was yet another wave, slamming against the shields to meet their death, and then shoved back, slowly forming a ring of bodies that began to pile up, one after another as viking warriors fell against Argosian shields, and Argosian swords. The shield wall did not yield, for a time as the warriors slammed against them, only to be killed. The Decanus was there, in the fight, bracing against the weight of muscle, and flesh only to drive his sword into the belly of his enemy. This however could not go on forever. The never-ending sea of torches, pitchforks, and arrows were dauntless, but the Praetorians held fast, as the bodies around them piled up.

Seconds dragged on to minutes, minutes dragged on to almost thirty before the first Praetorian soldier began to waver, his muscles were taxed, and the constant onslaught of bodies against his impermeable shield drew upon his muscles, as he struggled to maintain his composure. He jabbed his blade, impaling yet another savage warrior and sending him to his death, with all of his reserves, he shoved the barbarian back, into the piling mound of his brothers only for a flaming arrow to sail past him, and into the tent. The deafening clatter of pig iron on nanosteel echoed through Iskjerne Bay as the arrows struck shields, bouncing harmlessly into the ground, but with the tent behind them ablaze, the Praetorians were now no longer defending an objective, they were going to take as many of these savages as they could before they succumbed to greater number.

The Praetorian formation broke, and the individual Praetorians moved into the savage swarm, driving their blade into as many as they could before they were overtaken, each Praetorian fought valiantly, deflecting incoming blows with his large shield, and driving his blood coated blade deep into the belly of the nearest ash covered savage, it was a battle that would earn them titles on the highest Argosian honors once the legion learned of the betrayals here.

The Decanus too fought bravely, feeling what felt like someone punching his chest as an arrow seared into his armor, striking it with an audible 'tink' and a small shower of sparks, the Arrow stuck harmlessly into the ground as the Decanus held his blade firmly, staring directly into the eyes of Ubbe Ragnarsson as he drove his gladius into the throat of a nearby warrior, and immediately deflecting another axe blow with his shield, before impaling yet another, and kicking him off his glistening sword.

There was a brief lull as the Decanus stared with hatred at Ubbe, the Decanus spoke in carefully chosen Argosian words.

"Alea iacta est."

Immediately after uttering those words, the Decanus fell into his sword, which impaled him, and killed himself instantly, denying Ubbe and his savages the satisfaction of killing him, one last act of defiance secure in the knowledge that the Argosian legion would avenge their deaths, and with his last act of defiance, he left the flaming camp to the pillaging vikings, until the powder stores inside the tent blew, and a massive explosion engulfed all who were nearby, sending splinters of wood, iron, and nanosteel flying in all directions, and a plume of flame began to mushroom into the sky with the acrid smell of gunpowder.

nearly a hundred savages lay dead, or dying in a ring around the formation of Argosian Praetorians, and dozens lie dead around each individual Praetorian, whose purple robes were covered in the blood of their enemies. Fueled by light woods, and gunpowder, the blaze burned hot, intensely so, the orange glow reflecting off of blood coated blades.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki Character Portrait: Argosian Soldier 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: Lagertha Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful 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 Character Portrait: Ragnar Sigurdsson Character Portrait: Robert I of Ellaria
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It took over a half hour for the pagans to defeat their enemies at the Argosian encampment. Hundreds lay dead or injured on the blood soaked hills. It had been the most brutal, most intense battle ever on Viking soil, topping even the likeness of Sigurd Hring's rebellion against the Taiyou Empire in former days gone by. The Vikings faced heavy losses. Their dead alone outnumbered the Argosians a hundred to one. It was a hard sight to witness, and yet it was only the beginning. What the Vikings now lacked in number, they made up for by seizing the Praetorian supplies and equipment, arming themselves with Argosian weapons and shields, and distributing the much needed wealth amongst themselves. Ubbe Ragnarsson, the grandson of Sigurd Hring himself, walked up calmly towards the burning encampment, wide eyes glaring at the Decanus as he struggled to hold back the onslaught of Viking savages to no avail.

"Alea iacta est."

The Decanus said to Ubbe as he glared back. The young Viking leader simply rotated his neck and shoulders before twirling his axe in one hand and stepping forward to greet this brave Argosian leader. He and his Praetorian guards had fought bravely, and Ubbe felt it would be an honour to kill him personally as he motioned for the remaining Vikings to stop their advances. But before Ubbe could step any closer, the Decanus suddenly fell on his own sword, committing suicide right in front of him. Ubbe Ragnarsson walked over to the Decanus slowly after watching this display. He had impaled himself, and was still sitting upright, resting on both knees with his head down.

Ubbe gently nudged the Decanus with his boot, but he didn't move. He glanced over at his fellow Vikings and shrugged, before walking past him. But as he walked by, Ubbe gritted his teeth and suddenly turned around, swinging his axe horizontally at the back of his neck, taking the Decanus' head clean off of his shoulders as it hit the ground and rolled forward, still wearing his helmet as his decapitated body fell over on to the charred grass. The Vikings roared with victory. It was done. Afterwards, the young prince would gather up the rest of his Viking warriors and continued forward towards the mountains, apparently looking to join the other groups that were already advancing towards the caves. Those who lingered behind him would make a mockery of the Argosians by playing soccer with the Decanus' head, kicking it back and forth like some sort of sick and twisted Viking ball game. It was apparent that the Iskjerne Vikings were no longer being civil towards outsiders and invaders. They had been pushed over the edge and were tired of being oppressed. They meant business, and they were now prepared to take their war over to enemy soil, and face them in their own backyard.

Meanwhile, the Iskjerne Castle was already under siege as Duke Rollo and his Ellarian Normans faced a similar fate. The Frankish army was a bit larger and better fortified than the Praetorians, armed with heavy crossbows which they used to keep the Vikings at bay. At least for a short while. They had barricaded the castle's inner doors and began dropping heavy rocks on invading Pagan heads, along with buckets of hot boiling water which melted their faces and burned their skins like sizzling poultry. Those at the front line would scream and cry out to their gods as they fell in agony. The smell of burnt flesh permeated the scene as King Harald watched from the castle's open courtyard, studying and observing the onslaught, trying to think of a good strategy. After a few minutes, he motioned for his Viking warriors to form a shield wall and accompany him in as he raised his own shield over his head and charged.

The large bolts and heavy rocks continued to rain down upon them, but with a roof of Viking round shields now overhead, the Norman projectiles had little effect on King Harald and his Viking warriors. Once they reached the castle's inner entrance, the Iskjerne Vikings quickly used their axes and brute strength to hack away at the barricaded doors, as Rollo's guards tried desperately to push back against them from the other side. But the Vikings were powerful and fought with great fury, and every time one of them rammed into the door, a dozen or so Frankish mercenaries on the other side would be pushed back momentarily before recovering and stepping forward again to keep the doors from breaking. It was only a matter of time. Soon as the first axe blade pierced through the thick wood and its metal blade shined on the other side, the guards knew that the barricade could not hold much longer. The Vikings were literally hacking their way in, splintering the heavy arched doors one plank at a time. Duke Rollo shouted for some of the guards to step back and ready their spears as he stood above them on the winding stone stairway, terror in his eyes, for he himself had been a Norseman and knew fully well what the Vikings were capable of.

"Les voilà. Sois prêt!"

Duke Rollo shouted, pointing his guards and mercenaries into position. Just then, the heavy wooden crossbar would crack and split as the twin arched doors swung open. The first wave of Iskjerne Vikings stormed in, only to be met with spears as more crossbows rained down upon them from the stairwells above. It would be a hard fight to get through, but eventually the outcome would be the same as before. Only this time, someone else was also making moves. Bjorn Ironside and a small group of Iskjerne Vikings had their own strategy for penetrating the castle. While those at the castle's entrance led by King Harald had rammed their way in, drawing the attention of those from above, this was only a distraction. Bjorn Ironside and his handful of diehard Vikings were climbing up the backside of the castle, using ropes to make their way up to the battlements.

Once at the top, they stealthily snuck up behind the guards and quickly cut them down. Some of the Ellarian Normans, alerted by this sudden infiltration, barely had time to turn their attention on Bjorn's raiders before they too were faced with the stampeding Nordic bludgeons and axes. Bjorn Ironside himself grabbed one of the guards by his throat and lifted him up by his neck, throwing him over the side of the battlements only for the helpless man to scream before his armoured body hit the ground below with a metallic thump. Upon seeing this, King Harald gazed up and made eye contact with Bjorn Ironside, who nodded down to him before turning around and walking away, presumably entering the castle from the rooftop. Duke Rollo's guards continued to fight and kill as many of the invaders as they could, but it was no use. Soon, Bjorn and his men came roaring down the stairs, knocking archers over and hacking down the guards above, giving King Harald's group more of an advantage as they stormed into the open halls and swarmed the castle from within.

Duke Rollo was trapped. He tried to walk to his right, but King Harald's army was already coming up the stairs. He turned and tried to go left, but Bjorn's posse was already advancing towards him. With no other choice, Rollo quickly turned around and bolted into the guest chamber behind him, slamming the door shut. He had abandoned his guards to die as the small remainder of them stood outside the bed chamber, defending the door with their lives. It was only a matter of time. Their gurgling cries could be heard on the other side of the door as the Vikings showed no mercy. The last guard's torso could be heard sliding against the door as he fell to the floor. Rollo used all his strength to flip the bed and dresser up on end and slide them against the chamber door, creating a temporary blockade. It took a minute for Bjorn Ironside to push his way into the room. But as he opened the door to greet his uncle, Bjorn was slightly surprised to find the room completely empty with the window open. He quickly ran over to the window ledge and looked around, but his uncle Rollo was nowhere to be found. Bjorn scowled, placing his hands on the window ledge and gritting his teeth as the other Vikings started to enter the room. A moment later, King Harald entered, but Bjorn just shook his head quietly.

King Harald nodded and snickered, turning to look at the boar-skinned warriors behind him. He made a wave of his hand with his wrist, as if unsure but yet undaunted by what just happened. It was Duke Rollo, after all, a man they had all been aware of and whom they had once respected. Rollo had served Sigurd Hring and fought hard against the Taiyou army, and against Erling Snake's crusader knights. There was no telling what he was capable of, and King Harald seemed mildly impressed, if not a little bit amused by Rollo's escape.

"Well... What are you waiting for? Find him." King Harald said quietly, his deep raspy voice showing a hint of malice or anger, despite his smile and very calm demeanor.

By that point, Ubbe Ragnarsson and the remnant of his group had already met up with Halfdan Ragnarsson and the other two larger groups of Iskjerne Vikings who had descended into the caves. A dozen of them were equipped with weapons, armour and shields that they had confiscated from the dead Praetorians, while the remaining Vikings still had traditional weapons and armor. They made their way through the dark labyrinth of caverns and tunnels, holding oil lamps and torches. Finally, the time for their revenge had come. No longer would the Iskjerne Vikings stand idly by and allow their villages or fortresses to be invaded and destroyed by bullying foreigners. For too long had war and famine, pestilence and the plague of death and suffering been hurled upon them, guided by powers and circumstances that were out of their control. These hardened people, these veteran warriors of the far north, they had somehow managed to survive everything that the gods had thrown at them. Now it was time to fight back, this time in full force as they made their way towards the Rikkisopi Caves, numbering in the hundreds with only one goal in mind. To avenge Sigurd Hring, and ensure once and for all that Iskjerne Bay would remain in the hands of Iskjerne natives. Only this time, there would be no warning, no messengers to alert the Taiyou Empire of the horde that was coming to destroy them. The Vikings were absolutely mad with fury, and there would be no mercy.

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