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Svegdir Staghelm

Svegdir Staghelm is a Norse explorer.

0 · 368 views · located in Dracos Valley

a character in “The Multiverse”, as played by Sigurd_Hring

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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.

So begins...

Svegdir Staghelm's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Iskjerne Vikings Character Portrait: The Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Jess Thresher Character Portrait: Maegan Davenport Character Portrait: Aquari Character Portrait: Goffre Alvisson
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Empyrean Vikings - Hethel's Saga

House of Hethel: 1st Generation:

- Hethel Svensson the Dragontamer (king/founder)
- Fudørn Ivansson the Wise (jarl/shipbuilder)
- Engöll Corysson the Archer (jarl/mapmaker)
- Stryder Alvirsson the Horseman (jarl/spearman)
- Sjonn Jonasson the Skald (poet/lyre player)
- 50 other personages (unnamed)


Hethel Svensson and his band of ulfhednar had once served Ungrulf "Ulfric" Ellrufsson aboard the Örmbátur longship as members of the House of Ellrulf in a time since forgotten. After the extinction of that family line, Hethel Svensson inherited the Nuörmbátur longship and became a jarl under the late great King Sigurd the Ringtaker of the House of Munso along with all the original ulfhednar who had served the previous household. Fudørn, Engöll and Stryder were promoted to jarls. Sigurd Hring sent them forth in the Nuörmbátur to establish a new colony along with Sjonn the Skald and 45 other Vikings whose names are unrecorded. They established a settlement on the Empyrean Sea Beach which flourished and evolved. After the death of King Sigurd and the Iskjerne Vikings, the new colony chose Hethel Svensson to be their new konung or sovereign. King Hethel the Dragontamer ruled peacefully for his entire reign and was praised after he died of old age, being given a large burial mound close to the Empyrean Sea Beach known today as Hethel's Barrow.


House of Hethel: 2nd Generation:

- Ingvar Hethelsson the Highruler (king)
- Ivaldi Fudørnsson the Alchemist (jarl/inventor)
- Gudrød Engöllsson the Hunter (jarl)
- Vindal Strydersson the Rider (jarl)
- Finn Sjonnsson the Poet (skald)
- 200 other personages (unnamed)


King Hethel was succeeded by his son King Ingvar the Highruler, who also had a peaceful reign. King Ingvar was a younger contemporary of an elder Ragnar Lothbrok in the days of old. King Ingvar would expand on his father's kingdom by building upon King Hethel's original establishment. Fudørn Ivansson's successor Ivaldi would become a famous inventor at that time, having purchased a magical purple crystal from Volund the Archer, one of the ljosalfar who had stumbled upon it by pure chance at Iskjerne Forge and sold it to Ivaldi in exchange for silver, along with many other broken remnants of lost technologies that King Sigurd had once confiscated from his Taiyou enemies in the days of old. Ivaldi wasted no time in studying and reverse engineering some of those technologies, using magic and a bit of Nordic alchemy. Using a mineral solution to grow more crystals on the surface of stones, Ivaldi greatly contributed to the accelerated advancements of the Empyrean Sea Beach settlement, helping the House of Hethel to jump several hundred years ahead of Gaia's other Viking settlement at Iskjerne Bay.


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House of Hethel: 3rd Generation:

- Svein Ingvarsson (king)
- Auric Ivaldisson (jarl)
- Korri Gudrodsson (jarl)
- Alvis Vindalsson (jarl)
- Jona Finnsson (skald)
- Ásvald Ulfsson (karl)
- 500 other personages (unnamed)


King Ingvar was succeeded to the throne by his son King Svein, who continued to expand the House of Hethel and grow his kingdom. King Svein was alive during the fall of the House of Munso under the rule of Ivar the Boneless, but did not get his own kingdom involved. Instead, he used his resources to order the construction of 3 magically advanced longships that could leave the planet and sail through outer space. The first ship was called the Stjorndrekr (star dragon). The second ship was called the Stjornkona (star maiden). The third ship was called the Stjornhestr (star horse). At this stage the Empyrean Sea Beach settlement had grown tremendously and evolved into a small nation, or Type II civilization that was fully capable of harnessing the natural elements in their local star system and utilizing Gaia's native magical defenses, something that the Iskjerne Vikings had tried to accomplish with the Hreggdreki longship many years before them but had failed to do.

During the reign of King Svein, a terrible event happened in the heavens which shook the mountains, leveled forests and left a huge shockwave of destruction throughout the land. By this time, however, the Empyrean Vikings had expanded their kingdom and had established such mighty and powerful defenses that it was able to withstand the storm brought on by the meteor as it passed overhead towards Siv'en and into the Exalted Mountains before crashing in the distance. To those peaceful Norse settlers behind King Svein's walls, it felt like a powerful earthquake. But the kingdom did not break. After the waves stopped rolling in and the earth ceased to tremble, and all the debris and thundering storm clouds had rolled overhead, the walls and towers of the Empyrean Viking settlement were still standing. After some time, life returned to normal and before King Svein died, what little forest that had been destroyed was already starting to regrow.


House of Hethel: 4th Generation:

- Halfdan Svensson (konung)
- Fudørn Auricsson (jarl)
- Engrel Korrisson (jarl)
- Goffre Alvisson (jarl)
- Snorri Jonasson (skald)
- Thorvald Asvaldsson (karl)
- 2000 other personages (unnamed)


After the collapse of the Iskjerne Kingdom under the wrathful Titan deity Sigurd the Divine, during the time of Ivar the Boneless, the distant colony on the Empyrean Sea Beach just kept getting stronger and stronger. King Svein was succeeded by his son King Halfdan, the current ruler of that kingdom. King Halfdan was now the sovereign of a dynasty that had lasted four whole generations. Like his father and their fathers before them, Halfdan Svensson was a wise and peaceful king. He had skalds who could recall the legends and sagas of such famous heroes as Harald Wartooth, Ellrulf Trygvirsson, Hethel Svensson, Sigurd Hring, Ragnar Lothbrok, Bjorn Ironside, Harald Fairhair and others whose deeds served as lessons and teachings to the Empyrean sea king.

Halfdan the Great was a follower of Odin and a lover of wisdom who prayed to the gods and made daily offerings to the elves and land spirits. He would continue to provide a sanctuary for all the dragons, dwarves, unicorns, witches, pagans and exiles in his kingdom. In return, he received blessings from the land as the forests grew taller and the gardens grew fuller with an abundance of crops and flowers. Song birds greeted him with their beautiful songs as the grasses flourished above Hethel's Barrow and over the hillsides. There were many pleasant springs and ponds where frogs, fish and turtles nested, where crickets, ladybugs, bees and butterflies fluttered during the summer months, and the Empyrean Kingdom seemed like a quiet remote paradise. Life was good, and the Empyrean Norsemen lived without care, farming and crafting, forging and living in leisure without any needs or concerns.


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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Iskjerne Vikings Character Portrait: The Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Maegan Davenport Character Portrait: Aquari Character Portrait: Goffre Alvisson Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson
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It was a warm sunny day on the Empyrean Sea Beach, with the almost year-round parhelion of Gaia's three suns casting a magical circular rainbow-colored halo of shining sun-rays over the subtle pastel blue skies over beautiful blue-green waters and foamy white waves as they washed ashore along the long white sandy beach, moving inland from the treacherous Empyrean High Seas before lapping gently across the shoreline. Seagulls, pelicans and other oceanic birds squaked and sang as they flew by or hovered above the beaches as scattered white puffball clouds hung in stillness overhead like cotton flakes in the sky. It was a hot day, but the occasional gentle breeze brought relief from the heat, providing a mild uplifting wind which allowed the gulls, falcons and pelicans to linger in the air as if motionless as they scanned the shallow waters from above.

Many a crab and sea turtle had dug holes in the sand where they built their nests. The sandy shore was also riddled with fish bones, star fish, sand dollars, clams and colorful seashells, and on one of the sandy banks there was even the whole sun bleached skeleton of a whale, dragon or sea serpent which had been washed ashore and picked clean by the crabs and birds. Also along the shoreline was a rune-engraved, stone built dock and boatyard where humans, shipbuilders and fisherman gathered, working together to maintain the harbor and cast their nets or reel them in, hoping to catch a large variety of fish and other treasures which might be lurking in the sea. These were the Empyrean Norsemen, a strong and hardy stock of tall Nordic pagan folk with a variety of hair colors and hair styles, with a great majority of them having bleach blonde hair or ginger red hair with braided mullets and long or bushy beards.

Most of the men and women on the docks were dressed in plain workman's clothes, with simple gowns, highcut v-neck open laced shirts and baggy trousers, either barefoot or wearing sandals with their long sleeves and pantlegs rolled up. Some of them had blueish green tattoos in the shape of Nordic symbols and spiraling vine-work which extended from the length of their necks all the way to their knuckles, and sometimes even on their legs and feet. They were a healthy and muscular stock, well-toned from the exercise they gained from their daily work routines. They seemed peaceful and happy as some of them sang joyful songs while working together to accomplish their goals. Next to that was a small and quiet beach shack, which appeared to be from a different time period. Further inland and higher up on the beach, the sands turned to grass and formed a large naturally formed embankment which plateaued into bright green luscious hills, full of tall grasses and lovely flowers, wild weeds and many other natural landscapes. On the horizon, a forest of evergreens, elm trees, ash trees, oaks and pines stood thick and tall beneath the heavens.

Just before the treeline were two hills. One of them, overgrown with small white flowers was actually a burial mound. This was Hethel's Barrow, the final resting place of a very old Nordic king who had been buried there for over 200 years. The mound next to it, though much larger in size, was actually not a mound at all, but a vast stone ring fortress surrounded by earth which had been piled up to form a perfect circle around an unseen stone wall with entrances perfectly aligned to the four cardinal directions, and the phases of Gaia's moon, which could sometimes be seen even during the day when all three suns hung in the sky. Behind the earth-supported stone circle enclosure was a large moat and bailey, with a keep or watchtower sitting atop a raised scarp where the Norse king's castle could be found, attached to the great mead hall. These too had been made of bricks and stones piled with natural grass rooftops, and the splendor of that Viking kingdom dwarfed even the previous Norse kingdom at Iskjerne Bay.

Just beyond the scarp, down the drawbridge ramp and over the moat was a large shire village hidden within the ring fortress and formed in perfect shapely design. This centuries old Empyrean Norse Kingdom was almost a spitting replica of the Viking settlement at Iskjerne Bay, only its walls were thicker, its buildings were much larger, and its Ringerike styled artwork was much more elaborate. The post carvings weren't just carved by hand, but the entire stone fortress had been inlaid with gold and silver embroidery so that even the chains on the drawbridges were dipped in gold. There were runic carvings everywhere, some appearing like stained glass windows but inlaid with magical glowing blue and pink crystals instead of glass. It was far more advanced and a far more impressive society, one that seemed almost more like Alfheimr or an elf-haven rather than a human kingdom.

There were other differences as well...

Unlike the colony at Iskjerne Bay, there were no mountains close to the village. The closest mountain range was the Exalted Mountains to the southwest, whose peaks barely shown over the forested horizon. So rather than placing their dungeon lookout tower above the mountains, the Empyrean Norse Kingdom had its own lookout tower built closer to the shore, fitted with an enormous golden bell which shined like a beacon to travelers at sea. Also unlike Iskjerne Bay which had a statue of the late great Sigurd Hring placed out in the open near the gates, this newer establishment instead had a sacred hóf or pagan temple located in the very center of the village, surrounded by a protective spiked fence made of pure silver. Only priests and priestesses were allowed entrance to that holy place, which had walls made of spears and a silver rooftop made of shields, decorated by a thin gold chain which hung like tinsel around it. Inside that hóf was not just one statue, but a whole circle of stone carved heavy statues depicting many Old Norse gods and goddesses.

The oldest such statue depicted Odin, the king of the gods...

The main entrance to the ring fortress faced north towards the sea, and just outside of it, the legendary longship known as the Nuörmbátur was resting peacefully atop a pile of round logs which could be employed as a sort of sled or wheels to help slide the vessel down the hillside and into the water. Right next to it stood 3 other ships, also with elaborate prows, only they were much larger and of a later time period than the first longship. These three were not made of wood, but were cast of metal and silver, with prows made of gold. These too were inlaid with magical glowing crystals, only these particular crystals were pinkish purple and seemed to have an entirely different purpose. King Halfdan the Great was sitting upon his cushioned red silk throne inside the mead hall, wearing a silver crown and a bright stainless blue velvet cloak, surrounded by two of his three jarls and one of his skalds along with a hall full of Nordic settlers from various families and backgrounds.

"The stjornhestr is now ready your greatness," Fudørn Auricsson said out loud after taking a swig from his 24 ounce tankard of mead and setting it down on the table.

"Wonderful... Goffre, you shall lead our expedition tomorrow. Is your crew ready to sail?" King Halfdan responded before asking.

"Aye my leige, all five hundred of us are ready to set sail... Women, children. Vary a man between fifteen and fifty," Goffre Alvisson replied with a nod, taking a swig from his own mug.

"Good to hear it Goffre, I knew I could count on you in such short notice... Well, it is settled then. When the second sun passes at mid-day tomorrow, the Stjornhestr will sail... Are you absolutely sure about this my friend?" the wise king asked calmly with a sense of humbleness in his voice.

"Never moreso my king. It has always been my dream to reach for the stars." the jarl answered, to which the king raised his own golden jewel encrested goblet and nodded quietly. Everyone else at the king's table would then raise their own drinks as well, following King Halfdan's example. Without speaking another word, the konung gestured for the feasting to begin, and soon the hall maidens would go around placing silver spoons, knives and bowls on the tables in front of everyone as the chefs walked in, setting a whole large roasted wild boar on a platter down in the center of the king's table along with a giant dish of mixed fish oil veggie and crab salad and a gigantic kettle of hot steaming soup, rich in potassium, iron, protein and several natural vitamins containing potatoes, carrots, cabbage, roasted horse and chicken broth with alfalfa, yellow morning glories, seaweed and onions, enough to feed all 500 of them, along with all the hall maidens and chefs who served.


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Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Goffre Alvisson Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Wolfgang Yorisson Character Portrait: Halfdan Svensson Character Portrait: Svegdir Staghelm
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There was little to no nightfall on the Empyrean Sea Beach this time of year, nor in the nearby Kingdom of Skyfall, only the constant presence of daylight brought by Gaia's three local stars. The first star, Sigittae, provided magnificent light in the form of bright whitish blue and pinkish purple, resembling a cosmic magical flame or bow-shaped nebula. The second star was Atargis, the twin sun, a brother of Sigittae, though not entirely an exact replica for Atargis was much brighter and white as a dove, with brilliant blueish white rays of sunshine resembling the outstretched wings of a dove or flying fish. The Empyrean Norsemen viewed these two stars as gods and goddesses. The former star Sigittae they referred to as Dagr, the god of daylight and the son of Dellingr, the god of dawn, armed with a golden bow and arrows to light the world by day. Similarly, they viewed Atargis as the goddess Sól, the sun goddess with a golden chariot riding the star across the skies, reflecting the sun's rays with her magical shield. The Vikings also referred to Atargis as the Eastern Star, with Sigittae being its twin brother in the west.

The third star which could barely be seen from Gaia's surface was called Eras, a dead star or brown dwarf star which looked more like a very distant blood red moon than an actual sun. Hardly any light shone at all from that distant star, whom the Norsemen called Dellingr, the god of dawn and dusk according to their own mythology, when the least amount of light shown over their kingdom, allowing Gaia's moons and several star constellations to be seen. Gaia's first moon was Colossa, a dull red moon, larger but similar to Eras, whom the Norsemen knew as Nott, the goddess of night, or Skoll, a treacherous dark wolf which mocked the sun and chased it across the daylight sky. Gaia's second moon was Skygem, a brilliant white sparkling moon made of quartz which the Empyrean Norsemen referred to as Mani, the moon god who they viewed was followed by a pitch black darkness in the form of Hati, another wolf who chased the moon at night. There was also a third moon which the Norsemen knew not of, for it was often masked by Gaia's three suns. Of all the celestial bodies that they knew of, however, Atargis/Sól and Skygem/Máni were viewed by the Norsemen as the most important and significant lights in the sky, and it was when both of these lights became visible on opposite ends of the horizon, when the second sun Eras/Dellingr was high in the sky at mid-day and all the constellations in the heavens came into view, that Goffre Alvisson and his crew of 500 men, women and children boarded the Stjornhestr longship and launched their horse-prowed vessel into the sky, doing what no Viking on Gaia's surface had ever done before since the beginning of time.

They were going to outer space...

Goffre Alvisson had come from a long line of distant heroes and kings whose names had become immortalized in sagas and legends over countless centuries, some of them almost forgotten, whose deeds became nothing more than Norse mythology. Since the time of Wylfrec the Savage, whose bloodline extended far far back, predating King Trygvir by more than a century, long before Ellrulf Trygvirsson, long before Ungrulf "Ulfric" Ellrufsson, long long before King Harald Wartooth, before King Sigurd Hring, before King Ragnar Lothbrok, long long before Hrollaug the Walker and Ivar the Boneless, that bloodline extended and stretched to a time long since faded and forgotten. Yet their descendants and kinfolk still remained, a pure lineage who still bore the same phenotypes and genotypes of those very distant ancestors. Many of those descendants were now aboard the Stjornhestr as it hovered above the ground and took off sailing for the stars.

Their longship took off north from the Empyrean Sea Beach over the Empyrean High Seas, gaining speed as it entered the clouds. Many a Norse onlooker watched and gazed silently from below, observing that flight with speechless awe as the Stjornhestr disappeared out of view. King Halfdan Svensson smiled and nodded quietly, a look of mixed pride and humility, as he watched Jarl Goffre and his longship disappear into the clouds, heading high above the heavens northbound over Ellaria, passing from the southernmost tip of the continent all the way over the northernmost end past Iskjerne Bay as it ascended high above the surface, bringing the entire continent into view from the air.

Goffre Alvisson looked down at the planet's surface, gazing out of one of the air-locked gold plated reflective mirror windows and smiling at the continent below. For him and his crew, they had just confirmed what they hadn't always known but had always believed to be true for a long time, that the maps of their forefathers were incredibly accurate, despite never having been able to look down upon the land for themselves. This was a moment of great inspiration and hope for the Norsemen aboard the Stjornhestr, as Jarl Goffre turned from the window to his round table to look at the star charts that his great grandfathers had drawn. There on his map were many constellations and stars, with the four cardinal directions to lead them. Goffre Alvisson would be heading for one of the nearer constellations, shaped like a white horse on his map. This was Hethelfaxi, a constellation that according to Gaian Norse mythology, had been placed in the sky long ago by a sea dragon named Urakena, whose likeness the Stjornhestr longship had been constructed after. According to legend, King Hethel Svensson had befriended the sea monster by offering her a white horse as an offering. After accepting the King's sacrifice, Urakena had placed the image of the white horse high in the sky so that it would always guide their way, thus the horse itself became immortalized, and the dragon was remembered ever after.

Little did he know at the time, but Goffre Alvisson's star chart was leading their horse-prowed dragon ship far away from home, to a distant world which also had dragons, the likeness of which the Gaian Norse astronauts had never seen before. The map he was following would take them beyond the Sirius System, beyond the Norma Arm of the Milky Way galaxy, and far away to the Outer Arm of that galaxy, to a place called AC-430, wherein they would descend upon the Kos System and into uncharted territories. Their journey would be very long and dangerous, but the Norsemen were well prepared. Ironically, their longship was large enough to provide adequate housing for 500 crew members, but the Stjornhestr was still quite smaller than other spaceships of the time, which would make it harder to detect, and because they did not have radios, it would be impossible to track them by radar. Without even knowing it or planning it, Jarl Goffre was piloting a ghost ship.

The setting changes from Empyrean Sea Beach to Gaia

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dyew Character Portrait: Ra'Zahr Character Portrait: Symir Urthador Character Portrait: Alana Character Portrait: Aurora Urthador Character Portrait: Inikhethadaternock
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Goffre Alvisson and his crew aboard the Stjornhestr appear for a fleeting moment before ascending away from Gaia's orbit into the Sirius System, leaving Norma Arm away from the nearest sector, travelling to Xamoyos in Bastion IV, a journey that would take the small undetectable Viking space ship several months through the vastness of the Milky Way.

The setting changes from Gaia to Xamoyos

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Keith nexus Character Portrait: Goffre Alvisson Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Wolfgang Yorisson Character Portrait: Folios Character Portrait: Svegdir Staghelm
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After several long months travelling under the radar through the vastness of the Milky Way, after launching its way from the Empyrean Sea Beach on Gaia, over the Empyrean High Seas, passing the moon Skygem before leaving Gaia's orbit and wandering into the Sirius system, the Stjornhestr drifted silently at harrowing speeds, propelled by its seemingly magical solar-powered energy crystals which were stored like miniature wireless electroplasmic batteries, causing the fabric of timespace to distort and fold around the vessel while causing a field of heat lightning or purple ectoplasm resembling a feintly glowing spiderweb around the Viking-styled space ship, completely harmless to the touch, but magnificent to behold as the eyes of the horse-headed golden prow were lit up like gleaming headlights as the Stjornhestr hovered quietly and safely into Bastion IV's gravitational field.

Jarl Goffre Alvisson, the ship's Nordic captain and leader of the 500 personnel aboard the tiny stalion-shaped longship had successfully led the Empyrean Norsemen halfway across the galaxy, following the constellations on the star charts that were drawn many years ago by Gaian Norse explorers and skywatchers. After leaving Norma Arm and descending into the Outer Arm of the Milky Way, entering the Kos solar system and nearing Bastion IV, the Nordic Gaian astronauts gazed out at the marvelous blue-green planet below, staring down over the exosphere at a large disc-like continent surrounded by the bright blue ocean. Goffre Alvisson was not aware of it yet, but he was now looking at the entirety of Xamoyos, a place which looked strikingly similar to Ellaria, at least from the outer orbit of the planet. Goffre was reminded of the old stories his father Jarl Alvis used to tell him, about how Midgard was just a flat circular world surrounded by a ring of water. And while although Bastion IV certainly wasn't a flat planet, to the crew aboard the Stjornhestr, their perspective of the continent of Xamoyos was that it looked like a disc surrounded by water from the sky, and so Goffre Alvisson determined that perhaps the old stories were more metaphorical than literal, something which few of his predecessors had the mind to think for themselves.

As the longship neared Bastion IV's exosphere, it hovered silently in orbit around the planet for the first few days, undetectable by radar or satellite as the Stjornhestr did not have any radios or computer systems on board, and was much too small to be seen from other distant spacecraft, or from anyone on the planet's surface. The only hint of its quiet humble existence was the feint purple glow, and the gleaming reflection of the golden prow under the nearest moonlight or sun's rays. Otherwise the Viking longship just appeared as a small black silhouette floating before the curtain of the moon, its soundless form hovering silently in the darkness as it orbited the planet from above while Goffre's astrologers and mapmakers took the time to draw out their coordinates on paper, and make a sketch of Xamoyos while staring out of the large curved thick round gold-plated mirror windows.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Keith nexus Character Portrait: Classis IV Sector Cosmora Character Portrait: Goffre Alvisson Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Wolfgang Yorisson Character Portrait: Folios
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Seemingly out of nowhere roughly three thousand kilometers off the Stjornhestr's bow, a spatial distortion erupted within Bastion's gravitational field. The distortion came on quickly, and suddenly, like a brilliant flash of light that shot forward in one direction, revealing the sudden appearance of a strange, angular machination with strange alien symbols, and an even more utilitarian, and menacing look.



The Hastati Class Cruiser Conflagration was intended to mark it's jump much further away from the planet's surface, closer to the positions further out, beyond the planet's exosphere, yet the strange vessel found itself here, on a collission course with a much smaller vessel that they were able to yet see or detect.

Commander Markos Agathon was nearly thrown from his feet as the 1.6 kilometer long cruiser lurched forward in Bastion IV's gravitational field. "Sitrep!" He called out, turning to his tactical officer. "All six engine cores have spun to zero, we're drifting!"

Another officer called out from his station. "Shields and FTL are offline, Turbodisruptor Batteries are cold, I'll have to re-key the system!"

Agathon grasped the railing, and quickly pulled himself so that he would have some balance. "Do it, and find out where we are!" Agathon ordered, as he shoved himself away from the command console. "EVE unit is offline too." The Communications officer reported, offering a brisk salute, as he handed the commander several sheets of paper.

"Right, get us back online before we decay." Agathon ordered, as the nose of the cruiser dipped slightly to reveal the planet below. The Commander briefly clasped his hands behind his back, and furrowed his brow, he was running multiple scenarios in his his head, but otherwise dismissed the notions as he moved to a command station adjacent to the main viewfinder.

"Until we can move, and fight we need to keep a low profile..." Agathon said to himself, turning to his tactical officer. "Get comms online ASAP! And someone get those damn reactor cores back online!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Keith nexus Character Portrait: Classis IV Sector Cosmora Character Portrait: Goffre Alvisson Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Wolfgang Yorisson Character Portrait: Folios
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Goffre Alvisson was staring out of the cockpit window of the Stjornhestr, a Norse space-faring longship known in the common tongue as the Star-horse, due to its speed and the enormous horse-bust golden prow at the front of the ship. It was a rather large ship by Viking standards, about the size of a giant Spanish galleon, though still very small in comparison to other contemporary spacecraft as it hovered above the exosphere of Bastion IV, for reasons unknown to anyone but the crew onboard.

"How is that map coming along?" the Jarl asked while looking down at the continent of Xamoyos from orbit.

"Ay, nearly finished my Lord," answered the mapmaker, who was standing on the command deck over a large round table, hand-drawing the continent and its surrounding oceans in great detail using a feather quill pen and a jar of black ink on parchment paper.

Suddenly, the spacial field around Bastion IV started to distort and bend as another ship emerged, seemingly from nowhere, flickering into existence about 1900 miles off the Stjornhestr's prow. Goffre would catch a glimpse of the flashing light as it appeared in his peripheral. The Jarl was not the only person in the cockpit to notice, as the pilot and his co-pilot turned to inform him.

"Anomaly, straight ahead," the pilot claimed, pointing to the feint bright dot in the distance.

Alvisson would turn and walk casually over to the cockpit window, peering at the Conflagration while trying to make out what it was. Goffre would extend his hand to the side as the co-pilot reached over and handed him a makeshift telescope, a simple crystal ball encased in a leather bound tube. Goffre would raise the telescope and peer once again at the object in the distance, which was now magnified under the looking glass.

"It's a ship... Not one of ours either," the Jarl said, handing the looking glass back to the co-pilot, who proceeded to glance through it as well before passing it off to the pilot.

The pilot of the Stjornhestr would stare long and hard at the Hastiti Class cruiser, taking note of its strange alien symbols and metallic design, something that none of the Empyrean Norsemen had ever seen before. Meanwhile, the jarl would signal for his bodyguards to follow him out of the control room and on to the bridge. The pilot of this particular shift was one Hanson Forstein, a seafaring captain of Nordic descent with Germanic roots. Forstein had never piloted a space-faring Viking longship before, and in fact, was the first of the Empyrean Norsemen to ever do so. He glanced back at the jarl for a brief moment, who ordered him to maintain their position as the Stjornhestr drifted slowly towards the Conflagration in space. The mapmaker also paused, but Goffre just patted him on the shoulder as he walked by and told him to keep working. Despite never having been this far from the Viking's home planet before, Goffre Alvisson seemed quite calm and relaxed as he and his bodyguards left the command deck.

Hanson Forstein glanced at his co-pilot before peering back through the looking glass. At that moment, he noticed something very strange about the alien cruiser in front of them. It appeared, to Forstein, that the cruiser was starting to tilt. The nose of the ship was leaning downwards towards the planet, and, seeing no lights or anything on the outside of the vessel, it looked to Forstein as if the cruiser had either been abandoned, or else the Conflagration's crew was experiencing some technical difficulties. He handed the telescope back to his co-pilot and pointed out the strange occurrence to him. The co-pilot agreed, and as the Stjornhestr came slowly to a halt, they decided to wait and see if the cruiser would keep heading towards them or if it would alter its course.

Forstein then turned to one of the karls on the command deck, and signalled for him to approach the gjallarhorn. The karl nodded and walked casually over to the large musical instrument, an enormous curved horn that was simply exaggerated in size and length, much bigger than the karl himself as he stood by, waiting for further instructions.

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Character Portrait: Keith nexus Character Portrait: Classis IV Sector Cosmora Character Portrait: Goffre Alvisson Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Wolfgang Yorisson Character Portrait: Folios
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Slowly, the cruiser continued to tilt end over end, in a slow and uncontrolled rotation along the Y axis. Agathon shook his head, and pulled up diagnostic data related to the engine cores. While he was confident that engineering would correct the problem, he was fully aware of the timeline, and quietly grit his teeth as he returned to his main command station, slowly he lowered himself into the command chair, and rested his arm on the armrest, while his eyes stared upwards at the main viewscreen.

The entire length of the craft shuddered violently, as the reactor core attempted to ignite the impulse engines that propelled this rather large warship.

Agathon quietly listened as the engines revved angrily, sending violent vibrations throughout the superstructure of the ship, those vibrations culminated into an audible whir that reverberated throughout the entirety of the ship's superstructure, the vibrations dampened, and slowly began to quiet down into a soft hum as the lights flickered, and then brightened slightly.

"Engine cores are responding, ten percent and climbing." One of the engineering officers reported. To the outside observer, six large flames began to erupt from the rear of the ship, culminating into an intense blue-purple hue, burning hot, and clean until the rear brightened into a slight bluish green, and then settled into a shimmering blue. At that moment, the craft stopped tilting, and began to orient itself with the horizon of the planet. External lights came on one by one.

The viewscreens shimmered to life, and began to display diagnostic, and tactical data. A moment later, there was an energy surge, and the Hastati cruiser was suddenly enveloped in an odd milky white bubble of light that originated from somewhere in the ship's prow, encasing it in a cocoon of light, which shimmered brilliantly like sunlight on water, before disappearing entirely.

"Shields are coming online, holding at sixty percent and climbing." Another tactical officer reported.

One by one, massive weapon batteries along the cruiser's hull began to swivel to life, adjusting their aim, and moving slightly in synchronized unison, before retracting slightly into the hull, all pointed in the same direction.

"Gun crews report green." A Tactical officer reported. "We still do not have comms, or navigation, our EVE unit is also offline. We're still blind, deaf, and mute, sir."

"Right." Commander Agathon said aloud. "Divert power to shields, get them online in case we have any surprises."

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Character Portrait: Keith nexus Character Portrait: Classis IV Sector Cosmora Character Portrait: Goffre Alvisson Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Wolfgang Yorisson Character Portrait: Folios
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Goffre and his bodyguards would walk up the stairs to the captain's quarters above the main bridge, where he had a command center similar to that of the cockpit, located directly above it, with a similar view of the Conflagration from his large gold plated mirror glass window. There, he had access to a larger telescope looking out of the enormous round crystal in the eye socket of the large golden horse-bust prow, enabling Goffre to get a much closer look at the alien cruiser from his higher vantage point. The captain's quarters was segregated from the lower command center, acting as a secondary control room in case of emergency. From this armour reinforced room, Goffre could control the entire ship, so that even if something were to happen to the main cockpit area, such as a fire or explosion, the Stjornhestr would still be operational. The main bridge branched out through the longship's inner hull into several long halls and corridors. Each corridor was separated from the others by thick air-locked armoured silver and aluminum doors, so as to be sealed off in case of a breach or emergency evacuation so that air and resources would not be lost in the open vacuum.

The Stjornhestr was an energy efficient, highly simple and economic spaceship with several comfortable living quarters and housing units, simple toiletries which allowed the ship's Nordic crew to discard their bodily waste out into space, while water was stored and recycled onboard. The large ship also featured a workout unit, sort of like a medieval Viking gym where the crew could exercise. There were large cargo containers in the loading dock for storing supplies, shipping goods and other purposes, along with the retractable draw-bridge docking ramp and thick sealed doors. There were also several escape pods and launch rooms where the smaller, canoe-like convertiboats were contained, to be used as emergency evacuation vehicles or exploring and trade vessels placed strategically throughout the longship by the engineers and designers who built it.

Everything centered around the bridge. The mapmaker had just finished drawing his survey of Xamoyos from the command deck over the large round table. Towards the back of the Stjornhestr was a second control room, also with a third cockpit located at the stern. Due to the design of the Viking-esque longship, the Stjornhestr could move forward or backwards quite easily, so that the back of the ship could be quickly converted to become the front of the ship if need-be. Ventilation systems, air ducts and water pipes ran all through the ship's hull, allowing access to air and water in every living quarters. These pipes all connected to the engineer stations, eventually ending at the main storage facility which contained several greenhouses and natural biomes where plants were grown and cultivated through photosynthesis with the help of honey bees and natural starlight. These giant greenhouses were separated from one another to prevent water and air from escaping in case one or two of the greenhouses were damaged. Crew members worked inside these hot dome-shaped gold plated glass containers, planting and harvesting crops to feed the ship's 500 occupants. They also helped to tend to the hive boxes, and gather medicinal herbs to be transported to the medbay for safekeeping.

The whole system ran on pressurization, gravity, and other very simple mechanics. The ship was controlled and steered using a keel, large oar-shaped solar sails which could be moved around, tilted or repositioned, and solar-powered purple crystals which acted like rechargable glowing batteries, but generated magical energy more similar to ectoplasm than AC/DC electricity, yet produced some of the same mysterious effects of a plasma globe or lamp with colorful lightning-like filmaments that seemed dangerous at first glance, but were actually completely harmless to the touch, though powerful enough to cause a person's hair to stand on end just like static electricity. The aluminum reinforced hull would protect the longship from Röntgen radiation, X-ray scanners and electromagnetic discharges, if such a thing was even a necessity given the Empyrean Norsemen's lack of sophisticated machinery. The aluminum, silver and titanium alloy were actually chosen for their molding capabilities, flexibility and lightweight to enable the Stjornhestr to travel faster through the cosmos.

These crystals, when charged, allowed the Stjornhestr to bend the space and gravity field around it, allowing the ship to hover silently through the heavens at great speeds. Along both sides of the Stjornhestr were enormous round plates which resembled amplified bass speakers, arranged just like shields along the side of a normal Viking Age longship, only these shields were much different, and were operated individually from the defensive weapon control stations, as were the two large glowing crystals at the sternpost and stempost which could be used as prisms to generate magic and concentrate high-powered beams of energy, either for propelling the ship through outer space or for targeting in-coming missiles in order to immobilize them or detonate them before contact, similar to a microwave, EMP or laser defense system. There were no radios, satellite tethers, radars, computers or electrical equipment onboard. Instead, the Stjornhestr was operated manually or with the use of magic.

Otherwise, the Stjornhestr was shaped much like a typical Viking longship with a stern, a prow, a keel and a long narrow hull. The hull itself was made of silver, titanium and steel, reinforced with aluminum. The stern was also made of silver and aluminum, reinforced with crucible steel and titanium. The prow was fitted over the front bow of the hull and made of thick solid gold. The keel ran longways along the bottom of the hull, and was also made of pure gold. The inside of the ship was made of aluminum and silver, while the seats and beds were made of hard oak wood with leather bindings and comfortable, cushioned plant fabrics such as cotton or wool. The tables and benches were made of oak, while the captain's quarters featured silk sheets and curtains. In place of electricity, the Empyrean Norsemen had simple oil lanterns, wax candles and torches which provided light throughout the ship. In place of radios, they had gjallarhorns and crude telehorn systems which operated with the use of vibrations on long strings that ran from one end of the ship to the other.

The crew had a very simple hierarchy or social structure with Goffre Alvisson being the jarl, in a red uniform. His personal bodyguards wore black, bearskin coats with visored helms and silver armor. Below them were the karls or freemen, who made up 90% of his leidang, dressed in blue, while the rest were thralls or servants in green who performed most of the ship's manual labour, such as carrying supplies, cooking meals in the kitchen and feeding the animals at the cargo containers. This included shire horses, goats or ibexes, domesticated hogs and cattle. There were also hunting dogs, forest cats and ravens which the Empyrean Norsemen had trained to speak and deliver messages back and forth if needed. The entire ship had its own little miniature ecosystem. The greenhouses produced several varieties of trees, plants, flora, grasses and fungi including many edible crops, roots, grains, fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables to be used either as a food source or for medicinal reasons. The plants and trees provided the oxygen the crew needed to sustain for several months, or possibly even many years in deep space depending on their voyage, while the gold plating inside the mirrored windows protected the passengers from harmful gamma waves and radiation, but this was more of a secondary function or added benefit, for all of the gold and silver within the Stjornhestr was magically imbued and actually served as protection against space debris or incoming missiles and lasers.

As the pilot of the Stjornhestr peered through his looking glass again, Hanson Forstein noticed a flicker in the lights aboard the alien cruiser. Just then, a voice came through the telehorn on top of the control desk. Jarl Goffre had witnessed it too from the cabin above. Forstein picked up the cow horn that was attached to the string and placed it to his ear. The muffled voice of Goffre was barely audible and unrecognizable to the other karls inside the cockpit, but Forstein just listened and nodded quietly before responding with a simple "Yes my lord" before setting the phone down and turning to his co-pilot, who was waiting for further instructions. The co-pilot for this mission was a young man named Rolegh, who appeared to be in his early twenties with short blonde hair and blue eyes which matched his lace-tied V-neck long sleeved blue shirt and baggy trousers. He wore brown leather high-top shoes with lacings around his ankles and pantlegs, and a golden arm-ring on his left arm close to the shoulder. This was the typical attire of most of the freemen on the ship, but Forstein and Rolegh also had silver vegvisir necklaces rather than the more common mjolnir necklaces worn by the other karls, signifying that they were in charge of piloting the ship.

"That was Jarl Goffre, he wants us to reposition the Stjornhestr and sink into the sky. We're ready to explore the surface" the pilot said.

The co-pilot nodded and turned around on his swiveling wooden chair seat to face the control systems. There in front of him was a control panel with switches, wheels, Norse compasses and levers inscribed with runic symbols. Forstein then turned to the karl at the gjallarhorn and motioned for him to blow the horn with one finger. The karl nodded, and grasping the end of the gjallarhorn, he took a breath and blew into it. The sound was loud, deep and long, similar to the sound of a horn on a large tug boat. The sound travelled from one end of the longship to the other, causing the entire hull of the Stjornhestr to vibrate as it alerted the crew. Upon hearing the sound of the gjallarhorn, all 500 passengers aboard the space-faring vessel would jump up and become active, going to different places and taking up various positions within the many corridors and cabins as Forstein had Rolegh prepared to lower the Stjornhestr towards the surface of the planet. Meanwhile, the jarl continued to stare at the Conflagration through his own large telescope in the captain's quarters, watching as a milky white surge of energy enveloped the Hastiti Class cruiser for a moment like a transparent bubble before vanishing.

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Character Portrait: Keith nexus Character Portrait: Classis IV Sector Cosmora Character Portrait: Goffre Alvisson Character Portrait: Synri Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Wolfgang Yorisson
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Commander Agathon continued to stare out at the viewscreen in front of him, watching the stars as they flitted about on the screen, and he kept his eyes on the planet below, everything was in it’s place, and the Commander was eagerly waiting the re-establishment of communications, and navigation so they could figure out where they were, and make the necessary course corrections.

“One degree angle nominal, yaw twenty percent, pitch correction minus twenty niner niner, carom two niner three.” A Bridge officer reported, as he manipulated a control stick on his console to correct the yaw, and pitch issues from one of the automated stabilizers.

“Stabilization complete.” The officer reported, right as a large three-dimensional representation of the star system flickered into view, a whirring reverberating through the entire CIC as the Kapisi, the OVI Carrier, and an unusual vessel were all highlighted in varying colors to denote their possible threat status.

“We have multiple contacts.” The bridge officer reported, as the Commander narrowed his eyes.

“Can we establish comms?”

The bridge officer shook his head. “Astrometrics is still working on getting navigation back online, we won’t have comms for awhile, but we can move and fight if we need.”

The commander nodded.

“Bring us to condition two throughout the ship.”

With the order given, the lights in the CIC dimmed to a dull amber, and the crew began moving to their stations quickly, preparing for a possible emergency.

The Conflagration itself moved forward ever so slightly, as weapon batteries began to move from their recessed emplacements, and into a ready position.

“All decks report condition two.” The Executive officer reported.

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Character Portrait: Keith nexus Character Portrait: Classis IV Sector Cosmora Character Portrait: Goffre Alvisson Character Portrait: Synri Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Wolfgang Yorisson
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The Stjornhestr was moving slowly. The Conflagration was now 622 miles away, but moving swiftly through space on an incoming path towards the smaller Norse space ship as the Aschen struggled to get their systems in order. The jarl, Goffre Alvisson was not overly concerned, as he had seen the Hastiti Class cruiser through his telescope from several kilometers away and was given ample time to prepare.

The captain and co-pilot, Forstein and Rolegh, carried out their orders from Jarl Alvisson as they got the Stjornhestr up and running, and sank into the skies out of the Conflagration's path in case it was not able to stop its course. "All systems are a go. We are running smoothly, turning now five degrees south," Hanson Forstein said calmly. "Five degrees south," Rolegh the Young repeated, carrying out the captain's commands.

The Stjornhestr's crew was now ready to embark on the next part of their mission. While the 500-man passenger ship did not have offensive weapons, it did have quite an elaborate defense system. The crew was in position, but was not really expecting any hostility from the incoming cruiser as they activated the shields and stood by to await further orders. Soon, the Stjornhestr was in motion again, moving slowly towards the exosphere of Bastion IV like a hot-air balloon in outer space. Five degrees didn't seem like much at first, but given the distance between the Stjornhestr and the Conflagration, it would be enough distance and in enough time to evade an incoming collision between both vessels in case the Aschen were unable to stop or turn.

Just then, there was another voice over the telehorn. It was a call from Svegdir Staghelm, informing Hanson Forstein that the convertiboats were ready to launch. Forstein gave the issue, and soon two small almond-shaped silver pods were released from the Stjornhestr's hull, sinking below the much larger longship, each having five explorers onboard. These smaller vessels did not appear to have thrusters of any kind, nor windows, yet they operated all the same, as the passengers aboard each convertiboat peered out through their mirror-glass windshields towards their destinations. One of the pods immediately sank into Bastion IV's exosphere, and using the force of gravity, it soon began to glow reddish white and hasten speed towards the planet's surface like a meteor, its exterior becoming super red hot as a tail of green light and white smoke traveled behind it. The other small convertiboat hovered above the planet for a moment before closing in slowly towards the distressed Aschen cruiser in order to investigate the situation and make contact with the survivors onboard, if there were any.

Svegdir Staghelm was now in charge of the Bastion IV expedition as he piloted the small craft downward at a diagonal forty-five degree angle towards a small river heading for Dracos Valley on the continent of Xamoyos, accompanied by four other Empyrean Norsemen as the tiny karvi-sized convertiboat fell from the skies and dove nose first into the water. The other convertiboat was piloted by a karl named Wolfgang Yorisson, who was also accompanied by three other able-bodied Norsemen and a Norse woman named Kelsey, who happened to have medical experience incase the Aschen were need of medical assistance. Both convertiboats were labelled Karvi-1 and Karvi-2, while the Stjornhestr still had eleven other escape pods onboard in case of emergency.


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Character Portrait: Keith nexus Character Portrait: Classis IV Sector Cosmora Character Portrait: Goffre Alvisson Character Portrait: Synri Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Wolfgang Yorisson
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"I'm getting anomalies on the sensor sweeps.." One of the Bridge officers called out while Commander Agathon was drawing a path back into orbit, now that engines, and maneuvering systems were back online.

The Cruiser shuddered slightly, but was slowly increasing altitude, and pitching it's nose up slightly. "Set escape vectors." The Commander ordered, and the crew swiftly complied, manipulating their controls to guide the large cruiser back into the planet's exosphere, but that was before a contact was detected on course for the Aschen cruiser.

"Sir! We have additional contacts, looks like strike craft! One of them is CBDR, Zero Zero Nine carom zero one six!" The executive officer called out, pointing to the small pods on the holographic display. "They look like transports of some kind."

Agathon growled slightly. "Do we have comms yet!?" He called out, and the Executive officer shook his head. "Negative, sir, Engineering is working to restore them."

"Great." Agathon growled. "Set condition one, all hands report to your stations, I want Marine strike teams in position to repel boarders!"

The dull amber light shifted to a flashing red light, and alarms blared all through the ship, as Aschen Marines moved through the interior of the ship, kicking over crates, and taking position behind bulkheads, especially near the Hastati cruiser's four airlocks, and two hangar bays.

Outside, things didn't seem much different, other than the few windows that allowed one to see into the ship went from a bright white light to a flashing red light, before armored shutters closed over them, obscuring what few views inside the ship that were offered.

Back in the CIC, as the tactical officers were moving to key up the weapons systems, alarms began to blare, and one of the officers turned to Commander Agathon.

"Sir! Point defense systems are offline, EVE is re-keying the system to get it back, and I've got engineering teams moving to the primary computron arrays."

The Commander growled to himself, as he checked a display.

"All decks report ready to repel boarders!" The Tactical officer called out. Commander Agathon offered a nod, and then turned to his XO. "Evasive maneuvers, full military thrust, and see if we can get some strike craft into the void!"

The rear engines of the Hastati cruiser ignited, and the craft began to lurch forward, it seemed the Aschen ship was trying to escape.

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Character Portrait: Goffre Alvisson Character Portrait: Synri Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Folios Character Portrait: Svegdir Staghelm Character Portrait: Stripe
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#, as written by sifsand
Once the boat had landed in the water, everything that was nearby scattered in sheer panic. The sounds of frightened whooping came from a flock of Xamatospondylus that came to the river to eat and drink. They were bipedal blue-scaled creatures that looked like reptilian ostriches. Cowardly creatures they were, especially from something so sudden as a crash landing in the river.

Once the water had settled the denizens of the river soon swam toward the metal vessel. A few aquatic animals who were named Aquaxamos made their way under the boat, their rounded snouts prodding the metal object to see what this new and strange thing was. They were friendly creatures mind, only interested in eating crabs. Something had alerted them, causing them to jet away, a new threat was looming in the murky deep. A big creature stalked them from below, something with a big mouth and sharp teeth.

The setting changes from Xamoyos to Dracos Valley

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Karvi-1 made a huge splash as it dove into the Grigori River nose-first from the sky. The waves which splooshed up from the port and starboard side of the pointed pod reached both sides of the shore, sending a flock of Xamatospondylus whooping and panicking as they squabbled away from the bank of the river. The small 25-foot-long silvery metallic almond-shaped convertiboat plunged beneath the water's surface to a depth of about seventy five feet before it leveled out and began to travel straight again. Many fish and sea creatures darted away quickly as it dove into the river. Svegdir Staghelm and his crew watched quietly as their submersible capsule slowly began to curve back upwards and arch back towards the surface. The cabin on the convertiboat was pressurized to prevent their ears from popping or feeling the difference in altitude or pressure from the water as they observed the aquatic scenery before them.

As all the oxygen bubbles around the small vessel rose around it and disappeared, and Karvi-1 slowly began to emerge from the depths, the Empyrean Norsemen gazed in remarkable wonder at the beauty and magnificence of the freshwater and all the aquatic life in its liquidy biome. Soon, a small group of Aquaxamos began to approach the vessel from underneath and prod at the metallic silver surface. The convertiboat was smooth along the sides, but the underbelly and keel was razor sharp, and would easily slice anything that brushed against it. Likewise, the rooftop over the convertiboat was scaley in nature, smooth from stern to bow, but extremely sharp when brushing in the opposite direction from bow to stern.

Svegdir Staghelm and his crew smiled, gazing quietly at the aquatic animals from inside the capsule, peering back at them through the silvery metallic mirror-glass windows. One of his crew mates had pulled out a leather bound journal and began to draw a quick sketch of one of the Aquaxamos as it circled around the boat. The Norsemen weren't the best sketch artists, but it didn't really matter to them much so long as the submersible boat continued to ascend slowly towards the surface. Just as the sketch artist was starting to add more details to his drawing, however, the small group of round-snouted creatures suddenly jetted off and disappeared into the darkness from which they came, as if something else in the river had startled them. The Norsemen glanced around, but they couldn't see anything out of the windows of their small boat which caused them to be alarmed. They had no idea what was stalking them from the murky depths below as they started to smile and rejoice at the fact that Xamoyos had life.

"We are now at a depth of thirty feet. Oxygen levels are good. There's life on land, and in the water. All systems are functioning properly. We saw mountains and forests on the way in. There's plantlife on the surface, which means we have a good chance of breathing once we reach land," Svegdir Staghelm said calmly. The small crew was smiling happily at the sound of that.

After being in outer space for several months on a voyage far far away from their home planet, Svegdir and his crew were the first to experience the likeness of another world which seemed remarkably similar to their own. Their mission to explore the stars had been a success, and Svegdir couldn't wait to inform the jarl and the king of the discovery they had just made. Little did any of them know at the time that their journey home would prove to be much more difficult than the journey which had brought them to Xamoyos.

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#, as written by sifsand
The water's surface began to bubble as if something below was moving around and causing trapped oxygen to return to the top. The cause of the aquaxamos' fear would soon begin to be clear. A monster hid in the cool waters, one large enough to make all others fear it. A school of fish began swimming along the river's path, familiar looking species. It was spawning season for the salmon and these were males and females who were heading for their breeding site.

A few wayward fish would find themselves bumping into the keel of the boat, making a subtle thudding sound. This would be amusing were it not for the fact it was attracting the attention of a large predator. Like a torpedo rushing through the water, something rammed itself head-first into the side of the boat. This was Xamatohades, a 30-foot long marine reptile. It had a long crocodile-like snout filled with rows of sharp teeth adept for gripping flesh. Its sheer weight would be enough to make its strike noticeable, as it weighed 5 tons. It was intent on hunting this strange new being in the river, encroaching on its territory.

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"I wonder what scared them off," Jonah Marksberg said sarcastically as the hybridic manatee-like dolphin creatures swam away.

"Look. More bubbles," the sketch maker pointed with his pencil as a cloud of large gaseous bubbles floated up around the back of the convertiboat. This was a good sign that the air was breathable on the surface of Xamoyos.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, everyone in the convertiboat was jolted to one side as a large aquatic sea monster rammed into the submersible vehicle's hull near the underbelly on the starboard side. If not for the fact that Svegdir Staghelm and his team had been fastened to their seats, they would have been thrown about like rag dolls. No doubt at least two of them would have gotten badly injured, if not worse. But luckily they suffered no injury as their silver almond-shaped pod was rolled over on its port side suddenly, upsetting everything that was not fastened down Inside the cabin.

Svegdir and his team reached above themselves and grabbed the handles of their silver round shields which had been magically fastened to the silver rooftop functioning as oh-shit handles and double reinforcement to the karve's already elvish-crafted armour. Xamatohades slammed hard into the side of the explorer's Empyrean Norse mini-boat, causing it to roll upwards and to the left, its narrow snout acting as a weapon as it tried to penetrate the magical armour. But the silver was unphased, causing no dent to its reflective mirror like surface, nor injury to the river monster.

The convertiboat wasn't just crafted of any silver. It was made of 100% purified un-oxydated silver crafted by the Sjóálfar, the mysterious Sea Elves who served the king's heir, forging the soft but remarkable alloy from Empyrean dragon's breath, crafting it from blueish white and clear ghost flames using elvish enchantment overseen by the old nature gods and spirits. It was light-weight, flexible and easy to mold, but also extremely durable and resilient to damage from being rammed as Svegdir rebalanced the capsule using simple steering levers, tucking his thin purple gemstone skeleton key string necklace back into his shirt collar as the sketch artist tried to reach for his charcoal pencil and leather bound notebook which had been thrown from his hands into the seat beside him upon impact.

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#, as written by sifsand
The large beast, known as a pliosaur, had succeeded in flipping over what it perceived as a large prey item. Within moments it used its long snout filled with razor-sharp teeth to attempt to bite into the ship. Luckily for the Norsemen, the ship was too hardy for its conical teeth to penetrate. In what looked like frustration the pliosaur swam in the opposite direction of where the ship was, its front flippers having noticeable "Fingers" to aid it in turning.

Its head briefly breached the surface of the water, its nostrils visible atop its head. This blowhole of sorts visibly blew water vapor out of it as its eyes narrowed in on the ship. It dove downward and swam forward, using its tail to create consecutive waves much like an orca whale. Combined with the increasing rapids, these waves would grow quite powerful indeed.

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"What in Helheim was that?!" the sketch artist shouted alarmingly as he cusped the leather bound notebook under his arm and clutched the handle on his round shield.

"Big whale," Jonah Marksberg replied calmly, also grasping his shield handle while pointing out of the silver mirror-glassed window with the index finger of his other hand.

"That's not a whale," a third voice responded, looking at the pliosaur as it tried to gnaw through the hull of the convertiboat before withdrawing back to the surface for air.

"Hang on," Svegdir Staghelm said deeply as he leveled the convertiboat back into an upright position before steering the vessel towards the surface. The sooner the Norsemen made landfall, he thought, the better off they'd be.

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Character Portrait: Milo Redcross Character Portrait: Keith nexus Character Portrait: Kassandra Tierdath Character Portrait: Kawli Character Portrait: Hopi Character Portrait: Michael Lewis
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#, as written by sifsand
The large pliosaur had a cunning plan in store for the Norsemen. As it swam, it kicked up waves as it swings its tail up and down. It would use this to its advantage and swim back and forth underneath the ship. In doing so, it would create ever-larger waves with each swing. Eventually, causing waves large enough to overtake the vessel.

It took one last path back and forth and unleashed a wave large and powerful enough that, should the crew not be able to stop it, would surely capsize the entire ship.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Milo Redcross Character Portrait: Keith nexus Character Portrait: Kassandra Tierdath Character Portrait: Kawli Character Portrait: Hopi Character Portrait: Michael Lewis
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Svegdir Staghelm struggled to keep the convertiboat level as the pliosaur circled around them, flapping its large tail in order to kick up waves and rapids in the water. The boat would shift and rock, like an airplane experiencing heavy turbulence as Svegdir pushed back and forth on both levers to steer his vessel upwards towards the surface of the water, countering the rapids which circled underneath the convertiboat. Finally as the crew was about to reach the surface, another wave struck against the bow so intense that the entire boat was flipped upside down.

The Empyrean Norsemen would hold on for dear life as their capsule was flipped over, their feet now pointing up in the air as their long hair and braided beards hung down loosely below their heads. Svegdir's purple gemstone skeleton key string necklace would once again fall out, this time falling off of his neck completely and landing on the bimini-like rooftop below. The convertiboat had finally reached the surface of the river as it floated back up above the water, only this time with the keel sticking up instead of the armoured rooftop. The Norse explorers were still safe and secured to their seats for now, but they were upside down as Svegdir tried to reach down and pick up his necklace, which seemed to be just barely out of reach as he extended his arm and tried to grab the skeleton key.

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