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Thorvald Asvaldsson

Thorvald Asvaldsson, father of Erik the Red.

0 · 208 views · located in Empyrean Sea Beach

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

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

Character: Thorvald Ásvaldsson
Played by: Sigurd_Hring
Race: Human
Ethnicity: Norwegian (Norse)
Nickname: Thorvald Bloodyfist
Predecessor: Ásvald Ulfsson
Successor: Erik Thorvaldsson
Age: 50 years old
Gender: Male
Hometown: Jaederen, Norway
Physique: Athletic (Muscular)
Height: 6'foot 4'inches tall
Weight: 190 pounds
Style: Nordic folk wrestling
Weapons: None
Armour: None
Helmet: None
Hair: Red (Ginger)
Hair style: Nordic topknot (Bun)
Beard: Braided short (Knotwork)
Eyes: Greenish Blue
Dexterity: Ambidextrous
Specialty: Grappling (Takedowns)

Thorvald Ásvaldsson was born in the Jaeren district of Rogaland, Norway. He was exiled from Norway during the reign of King Haakon the Good, son of Harald Fairhair, “because of some killings" after Thorvald Bloodyfist murdered his neighbors over an argument about some property. He left with his young 10 year old son Erik to a place called Hornstrandir in northwest Iceland, which was already populated by then. Thorvald had no choice but to settle on less richer soil. Once his son Erik was exiled and after his grandson Leif was born, Thorvald decided to go looking for adventure one last time, with hopes that he might find a worthy opponent to send him to Valhöll.

So begins...

Thorvald Asvaldsson's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Iskjerne Vikings Character Portrait: The Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Maegan Davenport Character Portrait: Jess Thresher Character Portrait: Aquari Character Portrait: Isla the Tribble Character Portrait: Goffre Alvisson Character Portrait: Halfdan Svensson Character Portrait: Wolfgang Yorisson Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Lord Bandos Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Svegdir Staghelm
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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: Thad Mulchrone Character Portrait: Isla the Tribble Character Portrait: Goffre Alvisson Character Portrait: Halfdan Svensson Character Portrait: Wolfgang Yorisson Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Lord Bandos Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Svegdir Staghelm
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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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The setting changes from Empyrean Sea Beach to Iskjerne Bay

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: Erling Snake Character Portrait: The Svinfylking Character Portrait: The Berserkers Character Portrait: Uhtred the Godless Character Portrait: The Ljosalfar Character Portrait: Takao Eguchi Character Portrait: Dainn Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Dibble Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Iskjerne Berserkers Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hestahar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Kattrfylking Character Portrait: Halfdan Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hornuglar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hrafnfylking Character Portrait: Halfdan the Black Character Portrait: Iskjerne Svinfylking Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Fulgar Thornheim Character Portrait: Ivaldi Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Volund Character Portrait: Thorvald the Great Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful Character Portrait: Fulgar's Forward Force
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#, as written by Remæus
Thorvald the Great sensed the drum of the aeon, and perked up at the noise.

Man the sails, Fulgar. The horsemen ride at down.
he said solemnly, signaling his next intent.

The heave of oars was heard over the shouting disarray of the crowds, and he turned back towards his ships in a furor. The purpose of his step revealed an aggressive demeanor, almost hungry for war.

The setting changes from Iskjerne Bay to Empyrean Sea Beach

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Robbie Wings Character Portrait: Maegan Davenport Character Portrait: Jess Thresher Character Portrait: "Spaniard" Character Portrait: Toh Shirong Character Portrait: Axinn Sparkcross Character Portrait: Yoshiaki Saito Character Portrait: Sayanne Grace Hurra Character Portrait: Huernn Blorb Character Portrait: Emys'i Character Portrait: Thad Mulchrone Character Portrait: Duri Golzar Character Portrait: Isla the Tribble Character Portrait: Mokou Character Portrait: Sora Uchiha Character Portrait: Halfdan Svensson Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Lord Bandos Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Thorvald the Great Character Portrait: LONELY
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The following weeks were uneventful for the Empyrean Norse Kingdom as the good King Halfdan the Great made arrangements for Prince Logan Haakonsson and his Alfarian mercenaries to join their ranks. The Norsemen were now 1500+1 strong at the Empyrean Sea Beach settlement, with an additional 500 elvish knights to support them. These Elves were unlike anything the Empyrean Norsemen had ever seen before, with their new pirate-like galleon fitted with 300 cannons designed for naval warfare and seiges from coastal waters. Unlike the Norsemen who were mostly just farmers, fishermen, hunters, gardeners, beekeepers, traders, merchants, craftsmen and blacksmiths with civilian occupations, the Sea Elves, or Dryads, were professional warriors. Swift, strong, and clever, these Sjóálfar were not only good at fighting in the Empyrean High Seas, but were just as skillful on land, in the hills and forests surrounding the Norse countryside, as infantry or mounted warriors.

Each and every one of them had two curved swords, one long and one short, an even smaller curved dagger, a spear, and a quiver with silver bows and magical elfshot arrows. They were equally skilled in fencing, archery, and mounted warfare, and their bright shining magical silver armour was light-weight but extremely durable, resistant to rust, heat or frost, while their coordination and formation tactics were beyond description, for despite their numbers, these Sjóálfar could move in sync with perfect timing like a single unit. This was true for their oarsmen, their archers, their infantry, and even their armored horses who pranced proudly before King Halfdan, each step in complete unison as they trodded and paraded before their Norse companions, showing off with brightly colored peacock feathers and horned visors resembling silver unicorn skulls.

Their cannons too were also magical, relying not on ordinary wicks and gunpowder, but rather on the whims of faery dust, and arcane fire which ignited like blueish white ghost flames, capable of harming both physical beings and spiritual beings alike. Although the Norsemen could see the tiny winged creatures who accompanied the Elves, the good King Halfdan Svensson was not aware yet of their strength in numbers, for the faeries or faefolk, akin to the Dryads and Elves they served, would prove to be an important asset to the Norseman's kingdom. These tiny little faes, just like their elvish cousins, were skilled in a variety of things from tinkering, pollinating, lockpicking, swarming and subtle assassination, to mounted warfare on the backs of dragonflies and rhinoceros beetles. But they too, like the Empyrean Norsemen, were much more concerned with farming and cultivating the surrounding environment, something which the Empyrean Norsemen were extremely fond of, and they would often treat these little ones as no different from their own kinfolk.

All was well in the Empyrean Norse Kingdom, until one fateful day when a lonesome faery came buzzing through the countryside at great haste, whispering something into the ear of one of the elves, who relayed the message to the great prince in his native elvish tongue. Prince Logan Haakonsson, in turn, informed King Halfdan the Great that an army was forming across the high seas, one which threatened the broken establishment at Iskjerne Bay, and which could potentially pose a threat to his own kingdom. King Halfdan Svensson nodded quietly, but made little effort to respond. Both of his jarls, Engrel Korrisson and Fudørn Auricsson volunteered to take their own leidangs across the sea to meet them. Instead, he summoned two of his best Norsemen to go investigate the situation. The first was Rufus the Red, the king's champion. The second was a karl named Thorvald "Bloodyfist" Asvaldsson, a Norwegian outlaw and murderer known throughout the land for killing people with his bare hands.

"But your Grace, this man is a criminal, and an exile. He can not be trusted," the jarl Engrel Korrisson explained. But the konung simply waved the matter aside with a flick of the wrist.

"He has done no wrong in my kingdom, and therefore he is not a criminal. Besides, I have not heard any word back from Jarl Goffre, and I will not sacrifice another one of my most trusted councilmen. I need you both here my friends, you understand." Jarl Engrel and Jarl Fudørn both nodded at King Halfdan's plight.

"As for you, Prince Logan, the king thanks you for your council. You are no doubt a loyal advisor to your majesty. I wish you were my own son, to be honest, and without sons of my own, I hereby declare you the king's heir. Should something happen to me, or my jarls here, then you must ensure that our lineage continues. Do you understand me boy?" King Halfdan explained before asking.

"Yes, your Greatness, I understand" Prince Logan nodded. "Good," King Halfdan said before ordaining Prince Logan before the court. Prince Logan would take a knee before the king's throne and kiss his ring finger. The king's ring itself had been passed down for several generations, from King Halfdan's father's father's fathers, a ring that had once belonged to King Sigurd the Ringtaker himself, who had gifted it to the forefather of the Empyrean Norse Kingdom over 200 years ago. That same exact ring had once belonged to King Trygvir, a loyal vassal of Sigurd Hring's uncle Harald Wartooth during the Battle of the Brávellir many many years ago, from which King Halfdan and Prince Logan were both directly descended. The irony of this occasion seemed almost fated from the beginning, as King Halfdan removed the twin-headed serpent armband from Logan's upper arm, and placed on him the twin-raven armband of the Empyrean Norse Kingdom signifying that he was now one of them.

The setting changes from Empyrean Sea Beach to Iskjerne Bay

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki Character Portrait: Livia Caesarius Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: Erling Snake Character Portrait: The Svinfylking Character Portrait: The Berserkers Character Portrait: Uhtred the Godless Character Portrait: The Ljosalfar Character Portrait: Takao Eguchi Character Portrait: Dainn Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Dibble Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Iskjerne Berserkers Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hestahar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Kattrfylking Character Portrait: Halfdan Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hornuglar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hrafnfylking Character Portrait: Halfdan the Black Character Portrait: Iskjerne Svinfylking Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Fulgar Thornheim Character Portrait: Ivaldi Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Volund Character Portrait: Thorvald the Great Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful Character Portrait: Fulgar's Forward Force
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The sudden trembling within the Mead Hall caught the Legata by suprise, getting quickly to her feet, she stopped with just enough time to see Ivar thrown from his throne. There was an overwhelming sense of danger as the Legata turned to her Praetorian. "Let's go, we need to get the bodies, and get out of here." She ordered, as the Praetorian guards all nodded in unison.

Livia, and every one of the Praetorian Guards inside the great mead hall stood up, and one by one moved out the great door, the First Praetorian opened the door for her, while the rest of her Praetorian Guards followed her out. The cold air of Iskjerne Bay greeted them once more, Livia tried to stifle a shiver, but they were going to take their leave of this place. If these new settlers wanted to take them prisoner, then she would make them earn it.

Livia unsheathed her sword and pointed it at the gate, shouting so the magical translator would convert her words. "Open the gate, now! We're leaving." She ordered, while all of her Praetorian Guardsmen surrounded her, and watched their surroundings to see what would happen next.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: Erling Snake Character Portrait: The Svinfylking Character Portrait: The Berserkers Character Portrait: Uhtred the Godless Character Portrait: The Ljosalfar Character Portrait: Takao Eguchi Character Portrait: Dainn Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Dibble Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Iskjerne Berserkers Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hestahar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Kattrfylking Character Portrait: Halfdan Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hornuglar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hrafnfylking Character Portrait: Halfdan the Black Character Portrait: Iskjerne Svinfylking Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Fulgar Thornheim Character Portrait: Ivaldi Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Volund Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful Character Portrait: Fulgar's Forward Force
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#, as written by Remæus
Fulgar Thornheim nodded in agreement with Thorvald, his second-in-command apt as always. Turning towards the docks, he signaled to his men that it was time again to depart.

Gather what supplies you can, we depart in one hour.
he stated sternly, pulling his fur cloak over his armor and stomping back towards his ship.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: Erling Snake Character Portrait: The Svinfylking Character Portrait: The Berserkers Character Portrait: Uhtred the Godless Character Portrait: The Ljosalfar Character Portrait: Takao Eguchi Character Portrait: Dainn Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Dibble Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Iskjerne Berserkers Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hestahar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Kattrfylking Character Portrait: Halfdan Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hornuglar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hrafnfylking Character Portrait: Halfdan the Black Character Portrait: Iskjerne Svinfylking Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Ivaldi Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Volund Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful Character Portrait: Fulgar's Forward Force
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#, as written by Remæus
Fulgar's Forward Force heard their leader's command, and roared in raucous reply. They spread out into the settlement, commandeering the food stores and any armaments they could find. While not an act of aggression, the noble cause of their unified vision for the Vikings' future gave way to easy requisition of Iskjerne's most abundant resources.

Upon collecting their bounty, they too followed Fulgar back to their vessels for departure onto the next leg of their journey.

The setting changes from Iskjerne Bay to Empyrean Sea Beach

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Robbie Wings Character Portrait: Maegan Davenport Character Portrait: Jess Thresher Character Portrait: "Spaniard" Character Portrait: Toh Shirong Character Portrait: Axinn Sparkcross Character Portrait: Yoshiaki Saito Character Portrait: Sayanne Grace Hurra Character Portrait: Huernn Blorb Character Portrait: Emys'i Character Portrait: Thad Mulchrone Character Portrait: Duri Golzar Character Portrait: Isla the Tribble Character Portrait: Mokou Character Portrait: Sora Uchiha Character Portrait: Halfdan Svensson Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Lord Bandos Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Thorvald the Great Character Portrait: Erik Thorvaldsson Character Portrait: LONELY
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One fateful day while combing the beach for Murex rock snails, a predatory sea snail which produces a purple inky substance known as imperial dye or royal purple, Snorri Jonasson the skald stumbled upon something interesting buried beneath the sands. As he hit the object with his walking stick, he heard a tinkering sound. There was something hard and metal hidden in the sand. He bent down and dug up what appeared to be a metal helmet. It was a warrior's helmet of some kind, of an almost Roman-like design, embroidered with thin linings of silver and gold. The front of the helmet featured the symbol of a bull in full body with horns and a tail. Despite a small dent on the side of the helmet, it appeared to be in remarkably pristine condition.

But there was more...

Nearby, he also found some curious looking metal pellets or small round lead balls which had also been scattered along the beach. But these were not fishing sinkers, for they had no holes or grooves in them for which to hook a line. Snorri Jonasson picked up a small handful of them, placing them into his hanging satchel along with the helmet he had found. But he was not prepared for what he would find next, for there in the sand, sticking out on the shore like an ancient lost relic, was a polymer advanced alloy pistol, the likes of which Snorri the Skald had never seen before. He would reach down and pull it out of the ground, brushing the sand off of it to examine it more closely. There was an inscription on the side of it which said M5, and Snorri knew right away that he had discovered a treasure that was simply not of the beach, or of Gaia, but had to have come from out of this world, from a people who had visited from the stars.

Snorri Jonasson suddenly forgot all about his snail combing expedition. He placed the gun in his pocket and quickly left the beach, going back to the ring fortress to inform King Halfdan of his discoveries. As he opened his satchel and placed the items on the table in the king's hall in front of him, King Halfdan and Prince Logan admired the shining helmet with fascination. It had not rusted over the last 250 years or so, but was still glimmering as if the gods themselves had crafted it. At first, King Halfdan even mistook it for one of the Sea Elf's own helmets, but after consulting the Sjóálfar, the young Prince Logan assured his adopted godfather King Halfdan that this was not one of their makings. It must have belonged to someone else who lived a long time ago.

"And you say you just found these items laying on the beach? All this time, in plain sight?" Fudørn Auricsson asked doubtedly.

"Ay my Lord, they were in the sand. Buried," the skald answered his jarl, who was sitting at the left hand of the king next to Rufus and Thorvald, opposite the prince.

"And what of these little balls here? What do you make of them? If they are not sinkers, then what are they?" inquired Rufus, the king's champion, as he fumbled with one of the tiny metal pellets before dropping it back on the table.

"I'm not sure..." the king answered. Everyone else fell silent for a moment, looking around the table at one another. Snorri then nodded quietly.

"There is something else," Snorri Jonasson said as he pulled the M5 pistol out of his pocket and slid it across the table. King Halfdan would glance at Snorri for a moment before picking up the small handgun and examining it.

"It has a trigger, like our crossbows, and a barrel... I think, whatever that is, it fired these" Snorri suggested, causing the others to nod quietly in deep contemplation. King Halfdan passed the M5 pistol around before picking up the helmet and examining it again. He studied the bull insignia more carefully, making a mental note of it in his mind. "Remarkable..." Halfdan whispered.

King Halfdan ordered the items to be set on display, high up on one of the shelves within the king's hall so that he could always gaze at them and wonder. He was about to send Thorvald Asvaldsson and Rufus the Bald on their quest to Iskjerne Bay, when just then, the doors swung open and two of the king's guards entered, holding a young man with a knapsack over his head by his arms who was fighting and struggling to get free. They were accompanied by the tavern keeper.

"Your Grace, sorry to disturb you, but we have a problem," one of the guards informed him. The king nodded to the guards, who nodded to the tavern keeper as he stepped forward.

"Your Grace, this young man here just killed one of my best customers during a game of hnefltafl and refused to pay for his drinks," the tavern keeper pleaded.

"He lies! I was cheated!" the young man yelled from under the bag over his head. "Silence you thief," one of the guards said while hitting the young man hard in the stomach with the butt end of his club. The masked criminal slumped over silently in pain, having the wind temporarily knocked out of him. King Halfdan rolled his eyes and looked over at the tavern keeper.

"How much does he owe you for the drinks?" King Halfdan asked calmly. "Sixty fennings your Grace," the tavern keeper answered humbly, removing his hat. The king nodded and with a snap of his fingers, Fudørn Auricsson would bring him a money chest. "I will double it for your troubles. One hundred and twenty fennings, and not a penda more," the king said as he counted out 120 pennies and placed them in a bag, tossing it to the tavern keeper, who caught it in his hat.

"Thank you so much your Grace, you truly are a great King," the tavern keeper said, bowing his head before turning and leaving. Everyone else's focus was now on the masked murderer before them as King Halfdan handed the treasure chest back to his jarl, scratching his chin.

"As for you boy, murder is a crime in my kingdom. Punishable by death. I could have you beheaded, and your lifeless body hanged on my display," King Halfdan said, ordering his guards to bring the criminal forward so that he could have a better look at the accused, and decide what to do with him.

"Do you understand the accusations against you?" King Halfdan piped up rhetorically with a bit of sternness and anger in his voice. "Do you deny that you killed one of your fellowmen?" he immediately followed through.

"... I do... And I don't..." the young man answered.

"Good, you will save me a trial then," the king said as he poured himself a glass of mead. "Guards, if you would do me the honor of please removing his mask so I can see his face... What is your name young man?" King Halfdan asked calmly.

The guards would remove the knapsack from over the young man's head, revealing a Norseman with long bright red hair and hazel green eyes. Everyone else in the king's hall would pause to gaze at the murderer before them. Thorvald Asvaldsson's eyes lit up with terror at what he was now witnessing, as Rufus the Bald turned to look at him, then back at the young man before him with a gaping jaw. The young man would shake the hair out of his face before gazing up at the king with remorseless hatred in his expression as he made eye contact.

"I am Erik, son of Thorvald Asvaldsson," he answered.

King Halfdan blinked, glancing beside himself to Thorvald before looking forward again at the admitted murderer directly before him. Thorvald Asvaldsson had widened eyes and a look of horror on his face. King Halfdan the Great was nearly speechless himself as he stared into Erik's eyes, before chuckling at the irony of it all while taking a swig from his glass of mead.

The setting changes from Empyrean Sea Beach to Iskjerne Bay

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: The Svinfylking Character Portrait: The Berserkers Character Portrait: The Ljosalfar Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Iskjerne Berserkers Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hestahar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Kattrfylking Character Portrait: Halfdan Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hornuglar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hrafnfylking Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Sigurdsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Svinfylking Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Ivaldi Character Portrait: Volund Character Portrait: Erik Thorvaldsson
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The burial mound beneath Queen Aslaug would tremble and move, like a pregnant mother with groaning pains as suddenly, the dirt and grass began to shift. Soon, fingers emerged from beneath the soil. But these were not skeletal fingers, nor the blueish pale rotten appendages of a Draugr, rather they were of pinkish lively hue and covered with living flesh and nails.

Moments later, a whole arm would emerge from beneath the dark black rich fertile soil, and soon an entire man would dig his way out from the earth, his head and torso emerging to reveal a living human being, as if Gaia herself had just given birth.

The man would immediately gasp for air as he coughed up a mouth full of dirt, inhaling and exhaling as if it was his first time breathing fresh air. Soon he pulled his whole body out from beneath the fertile mound and rolled over on to his back, breathing heavily, exhausted and without any energy. He was a Norseman with dirty hair and mud stained clothes. His face, his shirt, his entire body was covered with brown mud and black dirt. He wore shaggy trousers, completely devoid of any shoes or armour. His feet and nails were dirty, and to everyone else nearby who could witness this spectacle, he looked like one of the goblins or uruk-hai who had been fashioned from earth.

But this was no orc or goblin, as soon they would see, for as he opened his eyelids to stare up at the skies, his eyes were bright blue and full of life. The man who had just crawled out from underground was a human, and not just any human. It was the long lost son of Sigurd Hring, who had been presumed dead for a very long time. The now very weak, very vulnerable man who was sprawled out on the ground in Iskjerne Bay was none other than Ragnar Lothbrok, the Ghost of England, a legendary Viking from whom many a Norseman, both in Iskjerne Bay and surrounding counties were all descended and had written many poems about.

It was as if Sigurd the Ringtaker himself had returned. But this was not King Sigurd, nor was he a god with divine powers. This was a man of flesh and blood, a mortal being in dire need of food, drink, and medical conditioning.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Livia Caesarius Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: The Svinfylking Character Portrait: The Berserkers Character Portrait: Uhtred the Godless Character Portrait: The Ljosalfar Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Dibble Character Portrait: Iskjerne Berserkers Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hestahar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Kattrfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hornuglar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hrafnfylking Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Sigurdsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Svinfylking Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Ivaldi Character Portrait: Erik Thorvaldsson
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As the beaten, dirty and fatigued Ragnar "Lothbrok" Sigurdsson lay helpless on the dirt mound, lacking all wits, senses and energy, two Norsemen would walk up and grab him by his arms, dragging him down the grassy slope and over towards a mule wagon, where they lifted him up and tossed him into the back of it on a pile of matted hay. Thorvald Asvaldsson and his branded son, Erik the Red, glanced at each other quietly for a moment before climbing back into the wagon and driving away, heading towards the battered village and beyond it to the gated entrance of the Iskjerne Ring Fort, where they were hoping to find some food and rest, and maybe a little help for the stranger they had just picked up.

Thorvald Asvaldsson was but a poor old farmer and exile who had been sent on an errand from King Halfdan Svensson the Great, the sovereign of the distant Empyrean Norse Kingdom over the Weargtooth Mountains to the south, acting as an ambassador from the Empyrean High Seas, charged with gathering information for his king. The tropical Empyrean Sea Beach settlement was remarkably similar to the Norse colony at Iskjerne Bay, only much more advanced. Iskjerne Bay was also much colder, located on the main continent of Ellaria along the northernmost coastal mountain range, whereas Thorvald "Bloodyfist" Asvaldsson had come from a large warmer island in the sea. The journey to Iskjerne Bay was long and treacherous, about three and a half weeks long according to his calendar, having taken the much longer but safer route by land around the sandy, rocky coastline of Ellaria rather than daring the sea, or going up the central mainland over the mountains as most others would.

King Halfdan had provided the karvi, a small boat to get Thorvald Bloodyfist across the water, but he was required to bring a slow-moving mule cart and continue his own journey from there. It had also been a twofold mission for Asvaldsson, for he had also brought his son Erik with him. Erik the Red, following in his father's footsteps, was also an exile and convicted murderer. Only unlike his father Thorvald who had found sanctuary at the Empyrean Norse Kingdom and was allowed, as well as expected to return with news of the condition of the northern settlement, Erik the Red had been banished from the Empyrean Sea Beach and was forbidden to return to the southern settlement for three years, lest he face the harsher punishment of death at the hands of the Empyrean king.

Erik Thorvaldsson would just have to settle at Iskjerne Bay instead, the only other place in Ellaria that was still home to the Norsemen and their kinfolk. But he would soon realize that Iskjerne Bay was not nearly as comfortable or as easygoing as the Empyrean Sea Beach, for as their wagon came around the bend and over the hills looking out at the village, Erik would glance up at his father before looking ahead, to a ravaged and war-torn settlement with archaic-styled medieval structures and open sheep pens, to frost covered rooftops and icey walls that had spiking ice sickles growing off of them. Apart from the nobles, of which there were very few if any, most of the local villagers and Norse settlers appeared to be malnourished, cold, hungry and impoverished. A curse or plague had struck their land, and many of the farmers and villagers were left to fend for themselves.

Thorvald Bloodyfist would snap the reigns lightly, causing his mule cart to speed up as the wagon went around the serpentine dirt road through the open village, passing the gated entrance to the ring fortress. Erik gazed up at the two large statues that flanked the entrance to the outer wall, his eyes rather enlarged with both nervousness and awe. His father also glanced over at the statues, taking note of one of them which seemed to be standing tall and proud, made of solid stone, while the other statue was split in half vertically, made of hard wood which had partially fallen over with its face in the moat and had been left there to rot. Just as they were coming through the main gate, Thorvald and Erik noticed another smaller group of people who did not look like typical Norsemen exiting Iskjerne Bay at the same time as they were arriving, led by a single woman.

Thorvald Asvaldsson was surprised to see something quite familiar about Livia the Legata and her Praetorian guards as they marched passed them out of the second gates, heading in the opposite direction. He immediately recognized the insignia of the bull, and the style of their helmets, as well as the unique weapons they were carrying with them. They had been eirily similar to the helmet and firearm that Thorvald Bloodyfist had seen back at the other kingdom. Were these Praetorians some kind of elite Viking mercenaries hired to guard the Iskjerne Kingdom? Just then, something else caught Thorvald's attention as his son smacked his arm and pointed up in the air before him to the giant castle on the other side of the third stone wall, heading up the drawbridge to the raised mound at the center of the large ring fortress. It wasn't very elaborate or fancy, more like a thick stone cube, but still it was marvelous enough to merit Thorvald's attention.

Next they were greeted by a rabble of filthy guards with the likeness of berserkers. Thorvald and Erik had seen these types of men before, but never so many of them concentrated in one place. Berserker cults had long been outlawed in their Norwegian homeland, but here at Iskjerne Bay it seemed that the berserkers were still in active service to their Viking lords. But they did not say much, neither smiling nor even paying Thorvald and his son much attention as they passed through the final spiked gate and ascended towards the castle. Little did either of them know what all had happened in Iskjerne Bay over the past few years or so, nor were they even aware of the significant time change, or the injured passenger they were carrying with them in the back of their mule wagon who was also looking around.

The setting changes from Iskjerne Bay to Empyrean Sea Beach

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Maegan Davenport Character Portrait: Jess Thresher Character Portrait: Axinn Sparkcross Character Portrait: Yoshiaki Saito Character Portrait: Sayanne Grace Hurra Character Portrait: Huernn Blorb Character Portrait: Emys'i Character Portrait: Thad Mulchrone Character Portrait: Duri Golzar Character Portrait: Isla the Tribble Character Portrait: Mokou Character Portrait: Halfdan Svensson Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Erik Thorvaldsson Character Portrait: Karvi-3 Character Portrait: Alruna Halfdansdottir Character Portrait: Rufus the Bald Character Portrait: Stjornkona Character Portrait: Logan Haakonsson
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King Halfdan Svensson considered what to do with the murderer Erik Thorvaldsson as he consulted with Erik's father. King Halfdan needed to gather information about the Iskjerne Kingdom on the northern continent of Ellaria, but he couldn't just execute Thorvald Bloodyfist's son and risk having his ambassador to the north turn against him by joining his enemies. After some careful consideration, Halfdan the Great decided to exile the young man instead for three years, and sent him with his father Thorvald to the continent of Ellaria after branding him. Halfdan's guards pinned the murderer down and burned his cheek with the flat side of a white hot knife before casting him off of the Empyrean Sea Beach for a period of three years, warning him that if he returned before his sentence was finished, he would be executed.

Thorvald Asvaldsson and his branded son, now dubbed Erik the Red, then boarded a small karve boat and sailed off into the sea, heading for Iskjerne Bay, while King Halfdan and his champion Rufus the Bald watched from the shore. The Empyrean Norse Kingdom continued to prosper over the next few weeks while Thorvald and Erik were gone. Prince Logan Haakonsson taught his godfather how to speak and write in elvish tongue, and in turn, King Halfdan Svensson gave his adopted son his own daughter, a virgin maiden who had recently turned 14-years-old and, upon having her first menstrual cycle, was now ready to become a woman.

"Come my boy, I want you to meet someone. This is my daughter, Alruna, who is about your age now. She is ready to become a princess. I want you to marry her, and give me some grandchildren," King Halfdan said prudently.

Alruna would curtsey before the prince and smile with shyness in her expression. She was wearing a pastel blue dress with a white flower tiara. Her dress matched her blue eyes, and her blonde long hair had been braided specifically for this special occasion. Prince Logan would look up to King Halfdan nervously, before turning to gaze at the young pretty girl before him. He stood up from his chair and stepped over to her, flinging his cape behind him as he bowed to her respectfully.

"My lady," He said softly before standing upright to look into her eyes. "It's an honor to meet you, your grace, I have heard so much about you," Alruna responded, kissing the prince's ring as he extended his hand. It was obvious that this was a formal arrangement by King Halfdan, rather than a legitimate act of love and affection. But the two youngsters did indeed look very good together, and perhaps that love and affection would be kindled afterall as Prince Logan invited her to dance with him in the king's hall. That night, the two nobles were married and a great public feast would take place to honor their engagement. There was much drinking, dancing, music and eating as Norsemen came from miles away to offer gifts and service to the both of them as loyal vassals.

Many wedding games were played at the drunken festival, from board games like chess and hnefatafl, to maypole dancing and toga-honk. Children would pretend to duel with wooden swords. Men competed in drinking games of strength and wits, while the women competed in fast paced dancing competitions, all while getting drunk on mead, cisers, beer, vodka and other strong beverages such as grog and ale. King Halfdan also ordered a large black ibex to be sacrificed by having its throat slit with a dagger. The blood of the ibex was collected into a large golden bowl or dish, and with the branch from an evergreen tree, the blood was sprinkled over the statues of the gods and goddesses inside the sacred hóf.

At the end of the celebration, all the priestesses in the surrounding village, both young and old, would lead the prince and his princess to the hóf where Logan and Alruna were then stripped naked, and began to make love in the middle of the pagan circle as all of the priestesses watched to make sure that everything went according to plan. This very public, very crude display of Empyrean Norse revelry was not as barbaric or as savage and uncivilized as it may have seemed, for the priestesses were there to ensure that the prince was fertile and able to perform, and that the princess became pregnant. The oldest oracle among them would even be able to tell if the future infant would be a boy or a girl, judging by the young couple's love making positions and the way they reacted.

At the third dawn as the party died down and everyone fell asleep, or returned home, and all the fires had died out, Alruna suddenly woke up and sat up out of a dead sleep as if startled by a nightmare. Prince Logan was still snoring beside her, sleeping naked and face down in a pile of grass. She placed a bear-hide blanket over him and covered her own nakedness with a white linen sheet as she stood up and looked at the circle of statues gazing down at her before walking out of the hóf, squinting her eyes as she gazed out over the land. She was hungover, dazed and confused. Life itself now seemed so surreal to her as she stumbled down the hillside back towards the great hall, unaware at the moment that she was no longer a common maiden but now a royal princess with authority to rule.

The setting changes from Empyrean Sea Beach to Iskjerne Bay

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki Character Portrait: Livia Caesarius Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: Erling Snake Character Portrait: The Svinfylking Character Portrait: The Berserkers Character Portrait: Uhtred the Godless Character Portrait: The Ljosalfar Character Portrait: Takao Eguchi Character Portrait: Dainn Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Dibble Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Iskjerne Berserkers Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hestahar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Kattrfylking Character Portrait: Halfdan Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hornuglar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hrafnfylking Character Portrait: Halfdan the Black Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Sigurdsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Svinfylking Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Ivaldi Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Volund Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful Character Portrait: Erik Thorvaldsson Character Portrait: Ragnar 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: Yoko Kayabuki Character Portrait: Livia Caesarius Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: Erling Snake Character Portrait: The Svinfylking Character Portrait: The Berserkers Character Portrait: Uhtred the Godless Character Portrait: The Ljosalfar Character Portrait: Takao Eguchi Character Portrait: Dainn Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Dibble Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Iskjerne Berserkers Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hestahar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Kattrfylking Character Portrait: Halfdan Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hornuglar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hrafnfylking Character Portrait: Halfdan the Black Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Sigurdsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Svinfylking Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Ivaldi Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Volund Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful Character Portrait: Erik Thorvaldsson Character Portrait: Ragnar 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: Yoko Kayabuki Character Portrait: Livia Caesarius Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: Erling Snake Character Portrait: The Svinfylking Character Portrait: The Berserkers Character Portrait: Uhtred the Godless Character Portrait: The Ljosalfar Character Portrait: Takao Eguchi Character Portrait: Dainn Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Dibble Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Iskjerne Berserkers Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hestahar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Kattrfylking Character Portrait: Halfdan Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hornuglar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hrafnfylking Character Portrait: Halfdan the Black Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Sigurdsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Svinfylking Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Ivaldi Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Volund Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful Character Portrait: Erik Thorvaldsson Character Portrait: Ragnar 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: Livia Caesarius Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: The Svinfylking Character Portrait: The Berserkers Character Portrait: The Ljosalfar Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Iskjerne Berserkers Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hestahar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Kattrfylking Character Portrait: Halfdan Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hornuglar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hrafnfylking Character Portrait: Halfdan the Black Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Sigurdsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Svinfylking Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Ivaldi Character Portrait: Volund Character Portrait: Erik Thorvaldsson
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Ragnar Sigurdsson suddenly jumped as Livia reached out to touch him. The wide icey blue gaze of his one good eye stared at her with a look of hatred and madness, not just at her but at the whole entire world in general. His other eye had been swollen shut. His forehead had an open gash in it, in the shape of a cross, and there was blood running down his face. His left side had been pierced with a sharp object, causing a trail of blood which soaked his tattered brown shirt and trousers. His right hand was swelled up from being bitten by a viper. He had bare feet with dirty toenails, and his left foot, also swollen, had two puncture wounds on it from snake's fangs. His neck was also bruised, as if he had been choked or strangled by a large python. The whole back of his shirt had been ripped open by being whipped constantly, and there were several lashings on his backside. Both of his wrists and ankles were scraped up and lacerated from being shackled, and from the holes in his hands and feet, it seemed that at some point in time, Ragnar had been crucified. He had been through hell and back, and had every right to be skittish and jumpy at the stranger before him.

But as she slowly lifted his sticky shirt up to examine the gash in his side, Ragnar stared at Livia quietly, his face void of expression as he tried to relax. Even in this horrible state, Ragnar still had the gaze of a very fierce and strong individual. There was hardly any fear in him at all, only a deep sense of hatred and contempt for those who had placed him in his current condition. It was amazing he was even still alive at all, but the badly injured Danish Viking showed no sign of remorse or weakness as he winced in pain, gritting his teeth as Livia examined his many wounds. She would also notice many scars and other former injuries which had healed over time. It appeared that Ragnar had not only been beaten, robbed and left for dead, but had been brutally tortured for many days, perhaps even weeks. Yet his resilience still held. Clearly he was no ordinary human being, as he stared fiercely at the Praetorians who were carrying out their orders from the Argosian commander.

"Claudius, revertetur per viam portae, non potest dicere Generalis Hama reversus cum hospite." She instructed in her native language. Thorvald Asvaldsson and his son didn't understand a single word of it, but Ragnar Lothbrok understood the gist of it, having learned some English and stylized Latin from a Christian priest he had once captured and made friends with long ago.

Ragnar laid there quietly with his head propped up against the back of the wagon seat as Livia climbed up into the mule cart next to him. He didn't say anything, only gritting in pain while hiding his agony and refusing to show fear as she spoke to Thorvald in a language all four of them could understand. "I'm Livia, the first Legate. I do not want your things, I want to help this man." She said, once again with her strangely delicate accent. Thorvald Asvaldsson just nodded quietly.

The Norsemen watched helplessly as the two Praetorian Guards tossed the white medical field kit into the back of the parked mule cart along with the jug of water that Livia had requested. "If we do not get him medical help, he will die." She said, as she began to examine Ragnar's injuries more closely, using her pugio to cut his shirt open and expose the festering dirt covered wounds. The young man Erik would grimace at the sight of so much blood and pain. He had never seen someone so badly injured before, and it surprised him that Ragnar wasn't crying or screaming for mercy.

Thorvald Bloodyfist and Erik the Red watched silently as Livia opened the white briefcase, exposing an array of shining tools and medical equipment. Ragnar just glanced for a second at the tool kit before looking into Livia's eyes again, as if gazing into her soul as she snapped on her latex gloves and proceeded to clean out his wounds. He winced in pain as the alcohol touched his skin, but he made no efforts to stop her. In fact, he seemed more curious and interested in what Livia was doing, as if he was almost taking mental notes in his mind and learning from it as she flushed his injuries with water and alcohol before stitching him up. Ragnar remained somewhat conscious throughout the entire process, but the viper's venom was still slowly taking effect as his vision started to go blurry from the snake bites.

"What happened to this man?" She asked, a bit alarmed it would seem that Ragnar was still breathing. She then repeated herself in their native language. Thorvald and Erik, just like Ragnar, had understood both East Anglish and Old Norse, so Thorvald decided to respond in the Empyrean English dialect instead to make it slightly easier for Livia, seeing as she appeared to be struggling with their more Nordic pronunciations.

"I don't know. Like I said, we just found him like this," the old man answered, speaking directly to the Legata now as his red-haired son continued to examine the shining tools and equipment inside the white briefcase. "Vipera berus," the injured patient suddenly chimed in Latin before closing his eyes and falling limp. He was still breathing slowly, but he was starting to lose consciousness. Thorvald and Erik looked at one another ackwardly, confused again by the strange words before turning to gaze at Livia and the Iskjerne Viking in the back of the wagon who was fading quickly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yoko Kayabuki Character Portrait: Livia Caesarius Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: Erling Snake Character Portrait: The Svinfylking Character Portrait: The Berserkers Character Portrait: Uhtred the Godless Character Portrait: The Ljosalfar Character Portrait: Takao Eguchi Character Portrait: Dainn Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Dibble Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Iskjerne Berserkers Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hestahar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Kattrfylking Character Portrait: Halfdan Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hornuglar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hrafnfylking Character Portrait: Halfdan the Black Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Sigurdsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Svinfylking Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Ivaldi Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Volund Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful Character Portrait: Erik Thorvaldsson Character Portrait: Ragnar 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: Yoko Kayabuki Character Portrait: Livia Caesarius Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: Seno Miyagi Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: Erling Snake Character Portrait: The Svinfylking Character Portrait: The Berserkers Character Portrait: Uhtred the Godless Character Portrait: The Ljosalfar Character Portrait: Takao Eguchi Character Portrait: Dainn Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Dibble Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Iskjerne Berserkers Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hestahar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Kattrfylking Character Portrait: Halfdan Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hornuglar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hrafnfylking Character Portrait: Halfdan the Black Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Sigurdsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Svinfylking Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Ivaldi Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Character Portrait: Volund Character Portrait: Indisla The Beautiful Character Portrait: Erik Thorvaldsson Character Portrait: Ragnar 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: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: The Svinfylking Character Portrait: The Berserkers Character Portrait: Dainn Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Iskjerne Berserkers Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hestahar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Kattrfylking Character Portrait: Halfdan Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hornuglar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hrafnfylking Character Portrait: Halfdan the Black Character Portrait: Ragnar Lothbrok Sigurdsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Svinfylking Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Ivaldi Character Portrait: Volund Character Portrait: Robert I of Ellaria Character Portrait: Erik Thorvaldsson
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About a week later, give or take...

One day while Thorvald "Bloodyfist" Asvaldsson was playing a game of tossing his cork bottle plug into his empty cow horn drinking cup while sitting in the public mead hall deep in the center of Iskjerne Bay's old viking ring fortress on the natural dirt floor on top of a thin cloth butt cushion in front of the open fire pit, three distinguished characters walked through the door into the mead hall, gaining attention from everyone at the mead gathering. Thorvald would mind his own business while listening to all the gossip in and around the village.

The setting changes from Iskjerne Bay to Iskjerne Mead Hall

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: Iskjerne Vikings Character Portrait: Ivar the Boneless Character Portrait: Hrafn-Floki Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Iskjerne Berserkers Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Iskjerne Kattrfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hrafnfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Svinfylking Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Robert I of Ellaria Character Portrait: Erik Thorvaldsson
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Thorvald was playing a game involving a small cork bottle plug and a cow horn drinking glass, sitting inside the public mead hall on the floor before an open fire when Hrafn-Floki suddenly stepped inside the mead hall, accompanied by a dozen or so ulfhednar and half a dozen berserkers, causing everyone in the mead hall to pause for a moment in order to look at Floki the raven master, his appearance unmistakable and wild looking as ever with his thin crow's peak hair style, black eyeliner and curling fingers, a man of more modest size among the Iskjerne Vikings who stood in the arch doorway to either side of him.

Floki had scurvy and was shaking badly as he approached the campfire with his gang of champions and sat down. Floki was wrapped in a thick fur blanket and only his red slightly frost bitten face and frozen beard were exposed, but everyone could tell it was Floki by his walk and attitude as he started giggling nonsensically and wavering his way through the silence. The entire crowd was filled with silence, having all heard of the exploits and deeds of the reputable shipbuilder, adventurer, runemaster, and ghost pirate slaying naval leader who had once served the deceased King Sigurd Hring, and was now a very vain wiseman and holy leader. Floki had parched bleeding lips and dry red eyes, and skin cold and pale, but he smiled and chuckled once he got comfortable, wiggling his fingers in front of the flames.

Just then another familar old face would walk into the mead hall, standing in the doorway with a handful of well uniformed Frankish-styled armed guards with uniquely curved shields and green and blue uniforms with nanosteel armour and weapons, holding Ellarian crossbows, looking rather out of place for the setting. These highly disciplined archers were not Iskjerne Vikings, they were Ellarian Soldiers, and they were being led by a very tall dark haired Nordic man in a red silk robe with a bright blue dog fur cape and a finely trimmed beard. It was Robert I of Ellaria, the crown duke. But in former years, this noble familiar looking Frenchman had another name.

"That's Rollo the Walker," someone whispered quietly from the crowd that was standing back around the walls, putting distance between themselves and the foreign Ellarian soldiers.

"... It's Prince Hrollaug, son of Sigurd Hring." another voice whispered. The already silent crowd began to gasp at the amazing arrival of two well known Iskjerne Vikings who had been gone for several years, but who had once played prominent leadership roles during Sigurd's dynasty.

Just then, another distinguished figure entered the mead hall and upon seeing the Ellarian soldiers and the reaction of the Iskjerne Vikings, the young man slowly walked around the crowd away from everybody and made his way towards the back of the mead hall. His fine bright red blazing hair and stubbly chin were easy to pick out in the crowd as Thorvald Bloodyfist glanced over to him and smiled. It was Erik the Red, his grown son, having just returned from his quest to escort Livia and Ragnar to the cave system to the north. Livia would pay Erik the Red a good bit of silver for his troubles, but little did Livia or Erik realize at the moment just how much wealthier the Empyrean Norse exile had become. Erik soon approached his father and sat down next to him.

"She said he'll live." Erik whispered quietly to his father Thorvald before looking up at Hrafn-Floki in front of him, and Robert I of Ellaria, also called the Duke Rollo, standing at the entrance.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: Iskjerne Vikings Character Portrait: Ivar the Boneless Character Portrait: Hrafn-Floki Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Iskjerne Berserkers Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Iskjerne Kattrfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hrafnfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Svinfylking Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Robert I of Ellaria Character Portrait: Erik Thorvaldsson
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"Hello Floki," Duke Robert nodded with a slight smile, relieved to see an old friend and familar face in the mead hall.

"Hello Rollo," Hrafn-Floki responded with a vain tone and disgusted look on his face, obviously not approving of Duke Robert's choice of foreign clothing, or the Frankish cross necklace medallion around his neck. Robert I of Ellaria, known to the Iskjerne Vikings as Prince Hrollaug or Rollo the Walker, would frown slightly.

People would gossip and whisper amongst themselves in the public gathering hall. Rumour had spread that Prince Hrollaug was dead, a rumor apparently spread by his own nephews. Ivar the Boneless, who had sought to takeover his grandfather Sigurd's kingdom, had claimed that the spirit of his uncle Rollo the Walker had given him insightful visions inside his dreams. Of course, Ivar had also made many other fanciful claims, even once declaring himself as a god. His invincibility and godhood was proven untrue however as the true gods had shown, causing an earthquake which had shaken the mead hall and thrown the young crippled prince from the throne. Ivar the Boneless, having suffered from fragile bones since the day he was born, did not survive the ill-will and bad orlog brought on by the spirit of his angry ancestors. There, in the corner of the mead hall was a small wooden boat-shaped casket, inside which the dead Prince Ivar lay as if asleep, lifeless and pale, adorned with yellow and white flowers and perfumes.

Ivar the Boneless was dead.

Robert I of Ellaria, the Duke of the Empyrean Normans, would walk over to Ivar's casket and pay his respects to his dead nephew before gathering with his Frankish guards and drawing a crowd of Iskjerne Vikings to the far side of the mead hall to feast. Many of the Vikings would welcome him home and toast to his honor. Hrollaug recounted his exploits across the Weargtooth Mountains and around the Empyrean High Seas, recalling his adventures all around Ellaria, and the continent of Siv'en to the far south. Prince Hrollaug had been gone for what seemed like many years, and it came as a shock to him to hear that his adopted father King Sigurd was dead, along with the others who had served him, including Rollo's biological father Kettil Flatnose, his mistress Gwyneth the Shield-maiden, and many others. The Duke was filled with grief, but he maintained his composure and promised to help the Iskjerne Vikings recover.

But not everyone was so happy to see his return. A lot of the Vikings would separate themselves from Duke Rollo and gather around Floki by the fire pit instead. Hrafn-Floki would spend the next few days recovering from scurvy and frostbite in the mead hall along with the survivors of his fleet. They drank mead, participated in the feasting and discussed their own plans on what to do now that Iskjerne Bay was without a konung to lead them. Floki's wife Helga would feed him potatoes, broccoli and strawberries, giving him apples to consume and help to treat his scurvy. She informed him that their daughter had died during the winter, having starved to death from the famine during Ivar's short reign. Floki was heart broken, and would pardon himself from the feast to go see the burial mounds.

Thorvald Asvaldsson and his son Erik Thorvaldsson would hear of Duke Rollo's adventures and rise to fame. They also overhead some of the svinfylking, skogkattr, vulpinni, uglarii, odrarii and others recount Floki the Vitki's conquest along the Ellarian Empyrean Coast, and how his leidang of 1,000 seafaring Vikings had fought off an invasion of ghostly phantoms led by pirate Robert the Butcher, a draugr or zombie-like vassal of Gro'chal Deathweaver the necromancer. It seemed that both Duke Robert I of Ellaria, and Hrafn-Floki the raven master, were both very famous now, and would split the kingdom, causing a division between those who were loyal to one side of the feasting hall, and those who would be loyal to the other.

Thorvald Bloodyfist Asvaldsson would also learn that one of the queens of Iskjerne Bay, the former shield-maiden Lagertha, had murdered Ivar's mother, the other queen known as Aslaug Kraka, a powerful völva and seeress among the Vikings who had great power and influence. It had been Aslaug who had poisoned Ivar's head with evil thoughts and fictitious ideas, something which Queen Lagertha and her sons, Bjorn and Ubbe, felt needed to be dealt with. Lagertha expressed love for her sons and said that she missed her beloved husband, the great King Ragnar Lothbrok, son of King Sigurd, whom she had not seen in many years since his departure for East Anglia on another world. Lagertha had hoped that one day, Ragnar might return to claim his father's pagan throne, but she had her doubts. Presuming her first husband to be dead and lost at sea, Lagertha had remarried, this time to King Harald Finehair who also had support from a third of the Iskjerne Vikings.

After gathering all of the news and information he could about Iskjerne Bay, the elder Thorvald Bloodyfist decided it was time to return to the Empyrean Norse Kingdom and inform King Halfdan of the situation. Thorvald hugged his son Erik the Red before giving him some sound advice and climbing back into the mule wagon. Erik Thorvaldsson would be on his own now from here on out, and would be forced to choose between one of the three gathering Viking clans inside the mead hall as his father said farewell and departed home, along the same route that had brought them there.

The setting changes from Iskjerne Mead Hall to Empyrean Sea Beach

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Robbie Wings Character Portrait: Maegan Davenport Character Portrait: Jess Thresher Character Portrait: "Spaniard" Character Portrait: Toh Shirong Character Portrait: Axinn Sparkcross Character Portrait: Yoshiaki Saito Character Portrait: Sayanne Grace Hurra Character Portrait: Huernn Blorb Character Portrait: Emys'i Character Portrait: Thad Mulchrone Character Portrait: Duri Golzar Character Portrait: Isla the Tribble Character Portrait: Mokou Character Portrait: Sora Uchiha Character Portrait: Halfdan Svensson Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Lord Bandos Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Karvi-3 Character Portrait: Grimnir the Hooded Character Portrait: Alruna Halfdansdottir Character Portrait: Rufus the Bald Character Portrait: Stjornkona Character Portrait: Logan Haakonsson Character Portrait: LONELY Character Portrait: Empyrean Sjóálfar Character Portrait: Empyrean Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Fudorn Auricsson Character Portrait: Snorri Jonasson Character Portrait: Richard Lockwood Character Portrait: Squidles
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King Halfdan was at the recession hall inside the Empyrean Castle located in the Ring Fortress, talking to his jarls and other noble aristocrats about ways to expand his kingdom. He was wearing a dark royal purple tunic with gold trim, long red trousers, black leather boots and a black leather belt. He was also wearing a grey wolf skinned cape attached to one shoulder by a golden brooch, and a red fox fur hat or turban fitted with a crown of gold, and decorated with many colorful gemstones. He wore the king's red ruby ring, a gold medallion necklace inlaid with blue sapphire, and a silver serpent-headed arm ring over his left upper arm. King Halfdan's long shoulder length dark brown hair and short bearded mustache were groomed neatly and he smelled of spices and perfume, a clear indication that this was the king.

His most trusted nobles were with him. Fudørn Auricsson, the great descendant of Fudørn the Wise, was sitting to his right. Engrel Korrisson, the great descendant of Engöll the Archer, was sitting to his left. These were the jarls or earls of the Empyrean Norse Kingdom, dressed in bright red uniforms, wearing chainmail hauberks with lamellar cuirasses, metal stripped greaves and vambraces, their armor emblazoned with the logo of the famous dragon which also appeared on the banner and flags decorating the great kingdom, a sharp contrast to the Iskjerne Viking's raven banner, further across the seas to the north.

Snorri Jonasson was also sitting at the king's round table, only his uniform was bright blue instead of red, signifying that he was a man of lesser rank and status, but he was still privy enough to sit with the king and enjoy vintage wine in the company of great leaders. Rufus the Bald was also at the table, only he was not sitting, but rather, standing behind the king's throne. Rufus was also wearing a blue uniform, only his tunic was much darker than Snorri's, being a lesser bright, almost midnight or navy blue. Rufus the Bald had a long white wooly beard and a brown bear-hide fluffy cape which flowed over his broad shoulders, his completely bald head covered in tattoos with a stern fierce gaze on his face, signifying that this was the king's royal champion and bodyguard.

Other karls and freemen were also in the recession hall of the castle, though these were less famous Norsemen dressed in blue garbs who sat further down at the other side of the king's table. There were also three empty seats which had been designated for nobles, and which nobody else dared to sit in. Everyone else in the great gathering hall was either standing, or sitting on the matted flooring around the table. Some wore blue, some wore green, but apart from their attire, everyone in the castle looked pretty much the same. Young maids in pastel green dresses or long tunicas and aprons would walk around through the crowded chamber with silver pitchers, filling everyone's bolvine horned drinking cups and silver mugs.

Jarl Goffre had been away for some time, leading an expedition to the stars. Goffre's seat remained empty, for he had taken a fleet with him to another planet in a different arm of the galaxy, hoping to expand the kingdom and make it an empire. Prince Logan's and Princess Alruna's seats were also empty, for they were now handling other affairs inside the kingdom. Prince Logan was going around throughout the village on horseback, ensuring law and order, and gathering intelligence about the local community, accompanied by his elvish bodyguards, while Princess Alruna, now two weeks pregnant, would see to the temples, forests and gardens, accompanied by her closest hand-maidens as they left offerings for the gods and land spirits, ensuring peace and blessings throughout the marvelous kingdom.

Just as expected, a knarr would appear on the horizon of the sea, carrying merchants and sailors from the continent of Ellaria, bringing with them the merchandise they had gathered and purchased legally from trading and buying. The knarr was much smaller than the Norse drakkar longships, being roughly the same size as the karvis, only with a broader and wider hull which made it slower, but enabled it to carry more luggage. It was not a war ship, but a merchant ship, yet few were those who did not recognize its Empyrean dragon banner, or dared to commit piracy against it for fear of the consequences. The Empyrean Norsemen had been a decent, civilized and peaceful people for centuries, providing sanctuary to their neighbors and other Gaian peoples, and there was no need to provoke the Norsemen to war, especially after word had already spread across the lands about the fervor and violence of their northern cousins.

As the knarr reached the shores, it made its way to the docks and was roped off to keep it from drifting away as the small crew worked together with the other workers on the docks to setup a ramp on to the boat's deck. Soon, an assembly line was formed as the crew started handing down large wooden chests filled with merchandise and treasure, new furs and animal skins. They also unloaded some horses and goats, leading them off the docks and over towards the pastors near the farming village. Finally, a small mule cart wagon would descend down the ramp slowly and head for the ring fort, being driven by a familiar face. One of the guards would enter the king's hall and approach King Halfdan, whispering into his ear.

"Your majesty, I bring word from the shipyard. Thorvald Asvaldsson has returned from Iskjerne," the messenger whispered softly. King Halfdan nodded quietly and smiled, raising his silver wine goblet and offering a toast to the other nobles and freemen in the recession hall. "Skál!" the king shouted with glee. "Skál!" the Norsemen shouted back at him joyfully as they all proceeded to down the contents in their drinking horns. Everything was going smoothly according to plan. Little did any of them know at the time that Thorvald's message from the north would be a cause for great concern.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Robbie Wings Character Portrait: Maegan Davenport Character Portrait: Jess Thresher Character Portrait: "Spaniard" Character Portrait: Toh Shirong Character Portrait: Axinn Sparkcross Character Portrait: Yoshiaki Saito Character Portrait: Sayanne Grace Hurra Character Portrait: Huernn Blorb Character Portrait: Emys'i Character Portrait: Thad Mulchrone Character Portrait: Duri Golzar Character Portrait: Isla the Tribble Character Portrait: Mokou Character Portrait: Sora Uchiha Character Portrait: Halfdan Svensson Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Lord Bandos Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Karvi-3 Character Portrait: Grimnir the Hooded Character Portrait: Alruna Halfdansdottir Character Portrait: Rufus the Bald Character Portrait: Stjornkona Character Portrait: Logan Haakonsson Character Portrait: LONELY Character Portrait: Empyrean Sjóálfar Character Portrait: Empyrean Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Fudorn Auricsson Character Portrait: Snorri Jonasson Character Portrait: Richard Lockwood Character Portrait: Squidles
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The Great King Halfdan Svensson was still feasting and enjoying the company of the other nobles when Thorvald "Bloodyfist" Asvaldsson walked into the great hall and stood quietly by one of the posts, joining the rest of the crowd who had come to feast with the king. King Halfdan the Great would glance over to Thorvald once he noticed him and signalled for him to approach the king's table and join him. "What news do you bring from the north?" Halfdan asked, offering him a seat across the table from himself. "Nothing you want to hear, your grace" Thorvald answered, removing his hat and sitting down.

"I learned that Iskjerne Bay is no longer a kingdom, but is composed of 3 kingdoms, 2 kings and 1 queen. There are no grasslands, no forests, and no sign of the land spirits. Cold and fever, sickness and death. There are many burial mounds, from the battles they have won. But Hel is like a silent hound, before it clicks its fangs. They are warriors, still, and I felt it better to leave before they started fighting, Thorvald recalled, telling the konung everything about the plague and division between the Iskjerne Vikings. People listened, and so did King Halfdan, who turned to look at Princess Alruna who was sitting beside him, next to Prince Logan, also listening. They had returned from their daily routines.

"You could have taken the throne for yourself," Logan said. King Halfdan glanced at Prince Logan, then turned to look at Thorvald again. "How about you, my daughter? What do you think?" he asked, as Thorvald glanced at King Halfdan before looking at the princess. "I, think... We should have a feast. Decorate our houses and celebrate" she said, smiling. King Halfdan grinned, glancing at the dome shaped rooftop high above the floor before nodding his head. "A feast... Yes. Invite messengers from every kingdom north and south, and send word that the leader of the Empyrean Norsemen is holding a feast, paid for by the king. It will last eleven days," the king said, looking at Prince Logan once again, before nodding his head.

Logan nodded to the sea elf standing beside him, who had purple and blue shiney, scaley skin, large black eyes with V-shaped reflective silver pupils, pointy ears, and long flowing green hair which looked like seaweed. The elf was wearing a dark midnight blue gambeson and a gem encrusted silver chestplate over the top of a silver hauberk and haubergeon, wearing a cone shaped gold-trimmed silver helmet, shoulder guards and arm plates, holding a double engrailed top shield similar to the shield of Tyrell in shape, only pure silver and gold in color and shine. As the elf walked away, King Halfdan ordered the preparations to be made for a feast. Soon everyone would start decorating the halls with boughs of holly leaves, placing mistletoe above the doorways, pine cones and berries intertwined with wreaths on the doors.

Logs were gathered and set by the fireplace, along with one log in particular which they had set aside from the others. Some people would pick mushrooms and decorate the pine trees, completely ignoring the other trees, while other Norsemen prepared centerpieces for the dining tables, each centerpiece having three candles. 1 large swine was prepared for the feast, along with 3 bulls, 6 goats, 9 squirrels, 1 fox, 1 horse and 1 bear. King Halfdan forbid the use of traps, making it illegal and unlawful to hunt anything with antlers. He insisted that they instead decorate their homes and the entire village with candles and magic tinsel, collecting berries and potatoes, carrots, walnuts, hazel nuts, almonds, cashews and pecans to share with everyone. Some of the maidens went to work making different kinds of breads and sweets for the the feast. Others would perform sacred cleansing rituals for the building, and the dining area inside of it.

King Halfdan the Great sent his messengers out into Ellaria and S'iven, and to the Álfaren kingdoms. Everyone was welcomed to participate, regardless of their race, gender, age, language or faith. He also invited other species, and left offerings all over the kingdom for the winter loving animals to eat freely. King Halfdan was hoping that his generous invitation would earn him a more connected, better relationship with his gods and neighbors. Apple and cinnamon, imported sugar and spice. There was ginger, peppermint and more to compliment different varieties of mead and beer, and plenty of food to go around as the fires burned and the Empyrean Norse Kingdom was lit up with lights. It wasn't snowing here like it was in Iskjerne Bay, but the wispy waves and southward winds made the Empyrean Sea Beach chilly at night, so iron chandeliers fitted with dozens of white and red candles would be hung in the recession hall, and above the dance floors and dining halls, along with portable torches, while the great hall and all the guest quarters were cleansed with burnt spices and incense, protecting the kingdom from an outbreak of the Viking Plague.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Robbie Wings Character Portrait: Maegan Davenport Character Portrait: Jess Thresher Character Portrait: "Spaniard" Character Portrait: Toh Shirong Character Portrait: Axinn Sparkcross Character Portrait: Yoshiaki Saito Character Portrait: Sayanne Grace Hurra Character Portrait: Huernn Blorb Character Portrait: Emys'i Character Portrait: Thad Mulchrone Character Portrait: Duri Golzar Character Portrait: Isla the Tribble Character Portrait: Mokou Character Portrait: Sora Uchiha Character Portrait: Halfdan Svensson Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Lord Bandos Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Karvi-3 Character Portrait: Grimnir the Hooded Character Portrait: Alruna Halfdansdottir Character Portrait: Rufus the Bald Character Portrait: Stjornkona Character Portrait: Logan Haakonsson Character Portrait: LONELY Character Portrait: Empyrean Sjóálfar Character Portrait: Empyrean Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Fudorn Auricsson Character Portrait: Snorri Jonasson Character Portrait: Richard Lockwood Character Portrait: Squidles
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Empyrean Sea Beach... three months later...

There was a knock on the door. Three consistent knocks in a row, simple and to the point. It was an elfen mercenary from the beach. He was wearing pure 999 golden reflective material, almost resembling aluminum foil and light metallic elven armor so shiny and perfect that it reflected like a gold mirror. His skin was iridescent and shiny with color changing hues of green, blue and purple like some kind of aquatic sea creature, and his scaley skin seemed to blend in and perhaps even merge with his scale breastplate and shoulder armor. The messenger had solid black eyes with V-shaped silver pupils, and at his side was a long curved sabre reminiscent of a silver scimitar.

"It's open..." Prince Logan responded from inside his private chamber. It was a rather basic room of antique design resembling something like a home office. The prince was sitting at his polished wooden desk, examining a tabletop miniature spinning globe of Gaia suspended by its axis points and connected to a bronze base, twirling it around with his fingertip.

As the tall elven naval officer opened the door, he held it open as another, much smaller figure entered the Prince's chamber and hobbled over to the chair on the other side of the prince's desk. Prince Logan could hear tiny footsteps approaching his desk, but whoever it was had been so small that he couldn't see the source of the footsteps over the edge of his desk as the chair across from him seemed to pull away and move on its own. A few seconds later, however, a small individual lifted himself into the chair and sat down, looking up at Prince Logan with just his eyes and ears showing, and the top of his long red cone shaped hat.

It was a garden gnome. But not just any garden gnome. It was the commander of the Empyrean Gnome Network, a sentient race of intelligence gathering little magical people who were native to the island and had somehow, despite the presence of the Norsemen, comically deemed themselves to be the sole rulers and guardians of the island, and the most powerful force in all of existence. This bold claim wasn't entirely true, but the Empyrean Norsemen respected the little gnomes and admired their fervor. Prince Logan had befriended the Empyrean Gnome Network, advised by his own elfish counsel, for the tiny domestic soldiers served a purpose and despite being very small, could be either a nuisance to the Norsemen, or a useful alliance. Their commander's name was Cloud Wrestler, and yet he only stood barely over 19 inches tall as he gazed up at Prince Logan with weariness in his tired eyes.

"Hello again young lad," the long grey bearded gnome said sluggishly, looking a bit dazed. The sea elf stepped into the prince's chamber and closed the door behind him, guarding the entrance.

"Oh, your excellency. I didn't know that was you. To what do I owe this great pleasure?" Prince Logan asked, sliding the model globe off to the side of his desk before pulling his seat forward and leaning in to get a better look at the little person sitting across from him.

"I've come to inform you that..." Cloud Wrestler leaned forward to peer into Prince Logan's eyes, raising his index finger to speak. But before he could, the old gnome closed his eyelids and lowered his hand again as his head started to hang forward and he suddenly fell asleep.

Prince Logan waited for a response, blinking as the commander started snoring loudly. "Commander Cloud..." the prince said calmly. But as the gnome started snoring more loudly, Logan slammed his fist down on the desk and spoke louder. "Commander!" he said affirmatively.

Commander Cloud jumped up and opened his eyes again, raising his index finger once more to finish his long lengthy speech, and make his demands. No way was some young punk Empyrean Norse prince going to try and startle him. Cloud Wrestler wasn't afraid of anybody or anything, as he tried to remember what he was saying.

"Um.. ah yes.. the Empyrean Gnome Network is proud to announce that our forces are in position." the commander said with authority, furrowing his hairy eyebrows. Prince Logan had no idea what Cloud Wrestler was talking about, but he was sure it was probably good news as he nodded quietly, listening to what the tiny fellow had to say.

"Zzz... Zzz..." the commander started to doze off and snore again. Prince Logan glanced up at the elven guardian at the door, who stood perfectly at attention, as still as a statue without flinching or even making a sound. Logan began to sympathize with the elven soldier for a moment, before slamming his fist down and calling his name again.

"Commander Cloud!" he shouted, causing the gnome to jump back in his seat and open his eyes again. Cloud Wrestler had to grab on to his red cone shaped hat and look around at first before he remembered where he was, or how he got there. But then it occurred to him. His army was all alone in the field. He had to get back to work.

"Hm? Oh yes, right... Carry on," the tiny leader commanded before hopping out of the chair and making his way back to the door. "Oh, and tell your king that last week's payment was short. He still owes us for the gardens," Cloud demanded. Prince Logan seemed confused.

"The payment was short? But that wasn't the - I had my own carrier deliver that basket..." Prince Logan assured him. But as the elfish warrior opened the door for him, Cloud Wrestler scoffed and retorted back to him.

"We agreed on 86 puffy marshmallows. I only counted 84, you owe us 5 more" the gnomish commander dictated as he scowled up at the much taller prince. Logan blinked again. He didn't understand the commander's logic, math or reasoning, but it actually amused him more than anything. Marshmallows of all things, in such a peculiar and specific amount. It was a small matter to the Empyrean Norsemen, but for some reason the gnomes were obsessed with marshmallows, something that the other Empyreans couldn't care less about. It seemed like a fair trade.

"My apologies, your excellency. I take full responsibility. I will have my servants double count the basket next time, and I will see to it that you are compensated..." the prince said.

As the commander of the Empyrean Gnome Network left the Prince's chamber, Logan would just smile quietly and shake his head while looking at the elfish warrior. The sea elf rolled his eyes and smiled also, saluting Prince Logan before leaving the room and closing the door behind him. Prince Logan leaned back in his chair, slid the model globe of Gaia back in front of himself on the desk and begin spinning it again. The life of an Empyrean Norse prince was interesting indeed.

The setting changes from Empyrean Sea Beach to Ten-Shi Zaibatsu Tunnels

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Navy Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: Iskjerne Vikings Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: Erling Snake Character Portrait: The Svinfylking Character Portrait: The Berserkers Character Portrait: Uhtred the Godless Character Portrait: Dainn Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Iskjerne Berserkers Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hestahar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Kattrfylking Character Portrait: Halfdan Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Dvalinn Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hornuglar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hrafnfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Svinfylking Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Masaharu Hama
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It was quiet inside the massive Ten-shi Zaibatsu complex, only the sound of dripping water on concrete filled the empty void of silence as the massive gear shaped nanosteel, and tungsten door remained shut, cutting off access between the worlds of Gaia, and Niihama. Since the first incursion at the hands of the Harii warriors years past, the Taiyou Empire spared no expense in ensuring the area was secure, and now housed an expansive military command and control facility that controlled access between the two worlds. Two Taiyou soldiers stood in silence on the other side of the door, one of them was looking up at the massive gear shaped door that loomed over them, he marveled at the engineering, two solid meters of nanosteel plating, which protected a solid titanium-tungsten composite, and was filled with lead. Naoto Kojima, one of the soldiers guarding the door knocked on it twice, and the door gave him a solid, and reassuring sound.

"It's meant to withstand a hit from a nuclear bomb." Corporal Fujiwa said while giving Kurasawa a sidelong glance. "Nothing's getting through unless we let them." He said, hefting his Seburo C30 assault rifle across his chest, letting it rest from it's sling across his back while Naoto checked his watch.

"Aren't the Argosians supposed to be checking in by now?" He asked, and Fujiwa shrugged, looking towards the indicator on the door. The door itself was recessed back away from the portal far enough, that the technology would work, and there was a single CCTV Camera wired through the plascrete, to allow the Taiyou authorities to see who was on the other side, and so far nothing was illuminated by the brilliant high pressure sodium floodlight that illuminated through the portal, and into the Rikkisopi cave system, the only source of light within. Silently, Naoto looked up to the control room, and the officer within shook his head, signalling that there was nothing on the other end. They were overdue for check in and it was time to relay that information back to General Hama. So the officer picked up the telephone, while looking down into the main portal room through two inches of ballistic glass, and he nodded to the soldiers below.

Naoto cast his gaze around the large rectangular chamber, there were two reinforced nanosteel blast doors on either side, and two heavy MGs positioned against the doorway, where soldiers could take position and defend a potentially breached doorway. Naoto then cast his gaze to two levels of bullet proof glass, the operations center, where they could see and administer the facility.

Beyond the pair of blast doors were large cooridors, that went to the rest of the facility, the breach into Niihama's sewers had been fixed with reinforced concrete, and the entire facility only had one way in, and out to the surface, and that was a large central elevator which was controlled by keycard access.

Overall, the entire facility was tightly secured against invasion, and General Hama wouldn't have it any other way.

So in the silence, Naoto checked his weapon one last time, and stepped down from the steel grated ramp that led away from the large gear shaped door, slowly he made his way, step by step towards the blast door on the left, before he stopped, and turned around to rest against one of the heavy machineguns, and cast his gaze upon the brightly lit, seven meter tall doorway to the other world.

Inside the operations center, General Hama was going over battle plans, since it had been some time since the Legion checked in, and they were drawing on roughly six hours overdue.

"Our men lack the technology, and the training to go in and perform an extraction." Lieutenant Colonel Shiro Makino commented, as he looked down towards the large map of Iskjerne Bay, along with small models of all of it's fortifications. "Our weapons don't work past the gate, and they have us both outnumbered, and outmatched unless we completely retool our loadout." He explained, bringing his hardened gaze up to Hama.

"We could send in the Umibozu, they've got hand to hand, and training with a variety of traditional weapons." Colonel Sanada remarked. "We could send in a squad, and have the entire situation assessed by sundown."

"No." Hama objected, splaying his hands out across the map. "We cannot have anyone with any cyberization, their prosthetics would shut down, killing them."

Hama frowned, and then moved over towards a console, picking up a telephone, and dialing a number.