My birth wasn't without complications. I am told the affliction that befell me was given by my own mother. Not intentionally of course. I remember my father telling me every morn before he left home how much she had loved me and that he wished she was still amongst the living to be as proud of me as he was.
However, I always knew deep down he was distraught by what the taint had left him with; a broken heart and a broken son.
I begin this tale on the fifth year from my birth. A time I remember vaguely, as is understandable. This was the time I picked up my first book.
An old, faded, dusty tome with runes carved into the thick, leather cover. Nothing out of the ordinary, a rather commonplace book sat amongst the many others that lined the shelves of the small library, illuminated by the glowing coals of the stone hearth. It's impossible to say what lured my gaze to this rather nondescript piece, or in fact, how I managed to retrieve it from the top of the shelf but there it was and henceforth has remained in my possession til this day.
I remember the feeling of awe as I studied every page, with their many small, detailed runes and I also remember a much more powerful feeling; one of terror and dread as my gaze was transfixed on an image of a great leviathan, a beast of seemingly unimaginable hatred and power, rising from the waves, dwarfing a huge fleet of longboats.
For weeks upon weeks I could not shake the image of this creature from my mind. When the nights weren't so bitter cold, I would gaze out to sea, both wishing to glimpse a shadow rising from the waters and at the same time, hoping not to.
It wasn't long after this time that my father, who had noticed my interest in his library, brought an elderly woman home to teach me the old runes inscribed in the books. Her name was Morideth Gallagh, a former Thrall who had earned her freedom through years of servitude to the DanesLaw.
Many years passed and my aptitude for reading and writing improved tenfold. Eventually the beast that haunted my dreams was pushed to the back of my mind, ironically shadowed by a new leviathan; knowledge.
Needless to say, my childhood was a quiet one. You may say it was the calm before the storm.
As many of you will know, my eyesight was returned to me after my eleventh year and I was finally given the chance to join the others in the training yard. It took time to adjust to my new perception. More "depth" was added to my world and I had to adapt quickly to reduce the number of bruises I recieved from the blunted training weaponry that my “friends” were so ardent to beat me with.
Two years back I was taken on my first raid with the DanesLaw raiding party. It was lead by Asta Kjartansdottir; one of the fiercest women I have ever seen. I, like everyone else, had heard the stories of her military prowess; her unrelenting ferocity and power, the fear she inspired in the enemy with her warcries. However, she had always seemed rather reserved around her men whilst away from battle.
This was the day I found the tales to be true.
A rather large city, Thronnheim the locals called it. At the time, work was underway to erect a massive curtain wall around the central keep. Unfortunately the stonemasons and builders were not quick enough to meet the demands of such a massive structure in so little time. If anything, the building site had given us more of an advantage during our raid.
Asta sent five and thirty archers up the scaffolding of the walls to rain down arrows and suppress the defenders inside. I don't believe I saw one arrow from the central fortifications, instead there were many shields and makeshift barricades set up between the merlons to protect those watching the approaching horde.
The time it would have taken to bring a ram for the gate would have given the defenders too much preparation time, instead battleaxes were brought to hack our way through the thick wood. We hadn't accounted for the murderholes at the gate house though. A mass of pitch and firewood was hastily pushed down between us and the gate followed by streams of hot oil and torches.
No man could have prepared for the horror that came next. With a face to make even Fenrir tremble in fear, Asta Kjartansdottir turned to her men and cast a thick finger at five of us. It took a while to realise that unnaturally manly hand had been focused on myself too and a sharp shove from the men behind prompted me to follow. We were to assault a small postern gate twenty yards to the side of the gatehouse and begin the assault from the inside. A suicidal plan for sure, yet none of us were prepared to make the choice of fighting the reincarnation of Hel herself instead of a castle of near two hundred fearful militiamen.
Bursting through the small wooden door shoulder first, Asta twisted around three spears waiting for us inside the gate, cracking them in two one by one and turning the last into the heart of a wide-eyed man still clutching half a shaft. I could have mistaken him for a statue but for the gushing red river from his chest.
She took the next five in a matter of minutes, rending hands and arms from their owners and slashing open a belly to free a mass of entrails from their slimy prison.
Stepping over a sobbing mess on the floor who was helplessly trying to put his intestines back inside himself, Asta met the next charge with almost a skip in her step, releasing a deafening shriek as steel smashed through iron and cracked through wood. This was when I realised I had finally seen the leviathan that I spent so many nights searching for out at sea. It wasn't a serpent rising from the waves, crushing ships beneath it's enormous mass. It was a beast that inspired pure terror in the most hardiest of men, a creature who could control a battlefield with it's mere presence. It was Asta Kjartansdottir.
I ended the miserable life with a swift slash to the throat, who had since given up on his attempt to patch himself together. Looking up from the quivering heap on the floor I noticed a dark figure creeping towards Asta as she composed herself after the next twenty or so kills. Quickly bolting towards her encroaching doom, I slammed into the hulking shadow, clattering to the ground. Dirk in hand, I planted it into his eye ending his struggle then and there.
The other four had already cleared the wall and gatehouse with suprising ease as I turned to survey the scene. They were already down at the gate with Asta, removing barricades and allowing the rest of the horde to flood through over the smoldering embers outside.
The battle was done shortly thereafter, with most of the remaining militiamen, excluding those who deemed themselves the heroic type, yielding and throwing down their weapons; the others proving that heroes don't live very long.
From that day on, I couldn't stay far from Asta Kjartansdottir during a battle. I had to see the Leviathan in all it's glory whenever I could. I now witnessed firsthand her many amazing feats that my father often spoke about when I was a child. My father Hraerek, had fought countless battles with the daughter of Kjartan. A mighty warrior; a hero, still revered by the people. Yet not even his legacy could overshadow that of the Leviathan.
On many a night following a battle, men would gather around the campfires as I regaled them with what I had seen whilst at Asta's side; how many men she had slain, the cries of terror, the wet smallclothes of her foes. Needless to say the nights always ended with my listeners hooting and cheering at the tales. Evidently my interest in Asta's power and unrivalled skill had not gone unnoticed, especially by my father. It was the fourth month of the year 793 when Asta approached me to see my work. I had written some books in my time but I had touched pen to paper less and less as the years passed, favouring a sword and shield over my former tools. She didn't say much, I must admit. Had it been anyone else I would probably have taken offense to the gutteral grunts as she examined my writings not to mention the lack of conversation. Then, off she went and no more was said on the matter.
A month later as I was sparring in the training yard, a young wirey haired youth brought a summons to me from Asta herself asking me to join her with the Elders.
She had chosen me to be her Skald. Regardless of my surprise, It was a position I gladly and quickly accepted. They wish for me to document any major conflicts or important moments in our future, be it sieges, raids, diplomatic missions or incredible feats of the members of DanesLaw.
And now we await our biggest adventure yet. We set sail for the lands of Agon in a matter of days. Many trials and challenges lay ahead of us but these can only lead to glory and wealth beyond our wildest dreams. There are reports of many other forces advancing on this newly discovered land, some far larger than our own. But with greater skill, determination and teamwork we can overcome even the most fearful odds.
Skol my friends. May the All Father guide your blade and keep your shield arm sturdy.
Skald of DanesLaw
A new invasion is soon to be launched
A feast has been called in the village of Ravndal. All who attend know something is afoot and look eagerly towards Valgrad Ulthredson and his father, Ulthred Horikson, as they stand ready to speak.
"In two short months we go Viking in Agon again!" Ulthred shouts. A roar greets this news and people start talking to each other boisterously. After a while Ulthred coughs to try to get the attention back. He coughs louder, since everyone ignored him the first time, which sets him off into a coughing fit. Thankfully after he eventually recovers the hall is quiet again.
"We will be lead by my strong and heroic son Valgrad, the, err, very female Astaa Kjartansdottir" Valgrad gives his father a sharp elbow to the ribs. "Who is like Tyr himself with a blade!" Ulthred quickly adds. Pausing to take a deep draught of meed Ulthred tries to remember what he was talking about. "And" He shouts triumphantly as he recalls. "We will also be joined by a new Herse called Hrafn Ulfsson who will be introduced to you all soon, probably."
"This will be a greater invasion then before. We have seen the riches of the land, the spoils that can be had from Viking, the trading possibilities and also the fertile land we can use to feed our hungry warriors. This is more then our little excursion last time!"
Ulthred tires of the speech as he can't drink as much while talking and quickly tries to wrap up. "So, who wants to be rich, to take good land, to be welcomed to Valhalla by Heimdall and Bragi?!" Ulthred sits back down and nods to himself for a job well done.
A new city and two siege reports
We have had an eventful few days! Yesterday we tried to siege Hammerdale again. This time we did not have any delays disrupt us and so we had the opportunity to fight. We faced a stronger enemy though as the defenders had allied with others to defend the city. After successful defending our siege stone for the full hour, fighting off many attacks, we went down to the city to destroy their clan stone. Things were going well with some warriors guarding others who were hurling battlespikes as well as one operating a spider scarab warhulk.
The enemy were getting desperate as we had their stone down to 40% health. They started attacking us from the mountain to the north west of the city. Unfortunately our discipline broke down at this point and we got split up leading to our eventual deaths. We geared back up and a few of us managed to get back quickly to try to disrupt their attack on our siege stone. Just as we had all gathered and were about to attack they finished killing our stone, winning them the siege.
The Herses and veteran warriors took some time to decide what to do next. We really wanted to take a holding in these lands as going viking here from our homeland of Vinland was becoming so profitable that we wish to cut out the sea travel. There is also good land here for farming. We could not find a city that our current modest numbers would be able to take. With this in mind Asta Halladottir turned to her trading network that she had built up from selling on the loot we have been getting from our raids. Using this network she managed to find us a city for sale that has everything we need, including a Shipyard. That city is called Tughri.
We turned up in force to make sure the transfer of the city went well. It was quiet for some time but then we heard reports of an enemy force approaching. The leaders rallied our men to a strategic location and waited for our foes to arrive. When they came into sight we saw it was a group of Zagenda members, experienced and dangerous foes. It swells my pride to recount the ensuing fight. We stayed as a group, supported each other and performed organized pushes, disengages and regroups. With this teamwork we not only killed a number of them, we forced them to run without any of our warriors losing their life.
Shortly after this fight we were able to attack the clan stone. We brought three spider scarab warhulks out and the people selling the city to us positioned two cannons. With this we took the stone down very quickly and became the owners of this fine city.
We finally have a foothold in these lands with which to go viking out of. The days ahead will be bloody!
The siege is set!
Our initial raiding of these lands has been going well. So well in fact that a number of us have not been going back to our ancestral home and instead have been living out of a city called White View. This city is a hub where anyone can live and raid out of. While it has been good to us it was only a temporary home. We never planned to come here and live along side the natives, we came to plunder and, possibly, conquer!
Tomorrow we take Hammerdale by storm. We decided that since we are as yet small in number we should use the element of surprise to gain an advantage. As soon as we were able to get enough hands to man a boat we set sail from Silvertown and attacked Hammerdale. We could not take the city today so we tore down it's walls and one of the cannon towers that would have given us trouble instead.
*Asta Halladottir stands tall, takes a deep breath and blows at her horn to rally her army*
Tonight we board our ship's and head back south to slay the mighty sea beast who took our brother's, we take back our loot and reward ourself with victory.
Meet: White View
Time: 9:00pm GMT
The website has opened!
The first public version of our site is up and running. If you find any bugs or have any suggestions please PM me, Valgrad Ulthredson, on the forums. We will be filling out the pages in time, including the biographies page which will be filled by the players who wish to write about their character's past.
I will be updating various parts of the site, for instance changing the forum from an iframe to a proper theme, in time but I want to play the game for a bit rather then code all day.
Various lore pages will also be updated as Ulthred Ulthredson and Jakoor Karlsson finish writing for them. As you can imagine this is a lot of work so it will take time to finish it all.