184-868 Ald Seaxe [IC]

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Re: 184-868 Ald Seaxe [IC]

Post Number:#46  Postby NMorgan » Thu Jul 15, 2021 2:21 am

"I don't disagree with that. However, as I alluded to, our time may be short and Vagrvik may not be able to afford a long detour."

Finding a bit of food and some water, Sulki leans against the ship's side and begins to eat. After a moment he explains. "Disa has not foreseen whether we will be successful lifting the curse. However, she has seen a great many, and increasing number of people begin to leave Vagrvik since we were last there a few days ago. She has seen the old and the more sickly begin to die from lack of nutrition, and widespread starvation may be only a matter of months away. I do not doubt her; we all saw how meager things were. She said that if we do not make haste, it is likely that Vagrvik will soon be no more. And we spoke of a great many related things that we all need to discuss."

"I agree wholeheartedly that we owe Lubbicko a great deal and should make effort to repay him, but we need to consider that if Hamma is far away, going there now may very well condemn Vagrvik. Perhaps we can ask around the docks for directions, and if it seems a too risky distance, maybe ask again if one or two of us might go to the church, even unarmed if need be, to leave him a message or something before we depart?"
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Re: 184-868 Ald Seaxe [IC]

Post Number:#47  Postby mark » Thu Jul 15, 2021 10:18 am

Sulki - Thoughts
Sulki has been pondering the motive(s) behind Dísa's requests, and just now he has a moment of inspiration...

  • Hrafnsmerki is said to be imbued with Óðinn's magic, with Huginn ok Muninn sitting on either side, and perhaps containing the spirit of a powerful warrior or great bear. It is said that an army that fights under the banner cannot be defeated and their enemies will flee before it.

  • Baugrsverð, the sword forged by dwarves in the fire of a mountain, has a blade that can cut through anything and cannot be broken. Arguably one of the most desirable swords ever made.

  • Some fish bones, kept in the cathedral at Jórvík? These must be special bones, with some special power. Sulki may think back to his Christian teaching and see if he can think of something that makes sense in connections with this.
    [ooc: Sulki may roll Passion(New Way) to see if he can think of anything relating to 'special' fish bones kept in a cathedral]

Given that Hrafnsmerki ok Baugrsverð are very powerful, presumably the fish bones also have some power, but why Dísa might want these items is a mystery. She didn't ask for them before being offered a gift, she didn't really seem to expect them and certainly didn't seem to be any any sort of hurry for them. It was more of a whim, like any woman might ask for jewellery if offered a special present, but without necessarily expecting it to come true.

Either she is starting a great army, which seems incongruous with both her gender and philosophy of harmony, or they must have some other use. Nobody who met Dísa seemed to think she had anything but a gentle heart, even Dolfr who may consider her ungrateful is unlikely to regard her as a war-chief. However, Sulki knows that the sacrifice of objects can influence the gods (at least to stay out of human affairs), could there be more to that idea? He ties to think back to see if he can remember any other stories. [ooc: Sulki may roll Passion(Old Way) to see if he can think of anything special relating to the sacrifice of objects]
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Re: 184-868 Ald Seaxe [IC]

Post Number:#48  Postby mark » Thu Jul 15, 2021 1:50 pm

Sulki - More Thoughts
Sulki now remembers that the Christians like to venerate, and sometimes pray to, sanctas, the powerful spirits of dead men who tirelessly served the Nailed God during their lifetime. They particularly like to collect their remains, or part there of, or objects associated with them when they were living like their clothing, believing them to have great power.

Perhaps, he wondered, the fish bones where like that, somehow magical, being connected to a sanct during his lifetime. Of course he had no idea if he was right, but it seemed plausible. So this then would be the triple quest for the magic flag, the magic sword and the magic fish bones!? He wondered if his friends would believe him, after all, it sounded a bit like one of the far-fetched stories the old men of the Vágrvík used to tell to small boys during the long winter nights to keep them amused.

sanctas [Anglian] = saints
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Re: 184-868 Ald Seaxe [IC]

Post Number:#49  Postby Bjorn Are Stolen » Fri Jul 16, 2021 6:47 am

NMorgan wrote:At one point as they are trudging along, he looks at Tryggr and asks “Do you intend to be baptized then? Are you sure it is what you want to do? I get the feeling it is not a decision that should be made lightly. And it seems to be only the first step of many.” He adds, ”Not that I’m trying to talk you out of it or anything, just want to be sure it is what you want to do. Many of us I think were more of less did it through political circumstances and expedience, but it need not be thus with you. I think from what Disa told us, for it to help in the long term, it must be genuine and I guess 'honest,' for lack of a better word - and not just 'a bath' to mollify some priest.”


Tryggr tries to keep a light conversation, going on their way back. When Sulki asks about babtizing though, Tryggr turns more serous: "I have never thought about that. I've heard about people who got babtized several times, as they were given a fine linen shirt each time they got babtized, and I have heard people joke about the nailed god and the dead god. Truth to be told, I have never given any gods much thought until after linking up with you. I think I believe in fate, though, and in my oppinion any word from a disa is worth more than any godi or priest I have met. What do I want? I don't know. So far I've tried to want what you needed me to want, to contribute in any way that I can. But feeling much investment in anything you cannot see or touch is hard for me. If I would describe me as anything, it would be that I am a fatalist. I haven't received much from any diety, and no diety have received much from me either, truth to be told" I admire the teachings of havamal, and I respect the ones that can deduce fate"

**************

Back at the ship, Tryggr don't add much to the conversation, he looks as if he is pondering some big questions, and seem a little distracted.
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Re: 184-868 Ald Seaxe [IC]

Post Number:#50  Postby Jon Reinhardt » Fri Jul 16, 2021 7:01 am

Answering Sulki and Trygger at the ship Dolfer says " To be honest i dont think i maters if we use a few days in longer. If its true what the Volve is saying our Village is properly lost any way. We dont know what to do to lift the curse and we barely have enough silver feed ourself. So paying of the priest to get the information we want is not a option at the moment. And even if we lift the curse they cant plant any thing before next year so most likely there is no food for the winter unless we some how are able to buy food for them and ship it to them. As we know if we are lucky and things work out we will be payed for the negotiation between Ubbi and the king. And if we do so we can throw it all on ungrateful priest over there" Dolfer angrely point in what he thing is the directions of jorwick "or use it to by food. But in dealing whit powerful people its of importance to keep our end of the bargain. And when it comes to Lubeco we have hardly done that. But i agree some of us can go to the Church and try to get better directions to Hammer by the locals. Also as Lubeco is a Bishop he must know some magic and may be willing to help us is some way. If im not wrong a Bishop is like a Jarl siderman or something like that so he must hold some power. If nothing else he might have good advise if im not wrong he is the only friendly priest man we know except the monks. What do the rest of you think"
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Re: 184-868 Ald Seaxe [IC]

Post Number:#51  Postby Bjorn Are Stolen » Fri Jul 16, 2021 8:20 pm

Tryggr nodds to the words spoken by Dolfr: "I think we should do the stuff we were lent our boat to do, and to try to complete the negotiations, and then think about what to do. I think the disa's words about monks contra priests sounded interresting. Perhaps if we tried to talk to monks if we come by them would be of help? So far, I cannot say that I've spotted any significant difference in behaviour between any priest I've met and most earls and people of power in general. They're all busy telling you that they are the "shit", while letting you know only too well that you're only "shit".
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Re: 184-868 Ald Seaxe [IC]

Post Number:#52  Postby NMorgan » Sun Jul 18, 2021 3:02 am

Sulki chuckles a little despite his somber mood and shakes his head. “Well, that is a far more colorful way of putting it, but it more or less fits with what Disa said about them too. Anyway, as you said Dolfer, a matter of a few days difference may not matter in the big scheme, but if its many weeks detour there and back... We are running out of time, I think, but Dísa did not say the village was out and out lost already. It may look bad, and maybe it will be lost in the end, but I don’t think we should assume that it is gone just yet. At any rate, yes, let’s see if we can get directions in the morning or at least pass a message and go from there. We’ll probably need to see about that in the morning since the sun is setting now.”

“Trygger touched on one of the things we discussed with the Seer, and there were more besides, things you should know before we go forward. Now seems as good a time as any, so I’ll start with some of what we may have kind of surmised in part already. Dísa says that she cannot view the past and therefore can not tell the exact event that caused the curse to be laid upon us, and not knowing that makes it sometimes difficult to answer my more specific questions. She may be somewhat handicapped as we are in that respect. However, she thinks that if we were to find and confront the Seidr to speak with this person, there will be a debt that must be settled. She warned us that merely paying the weregild will not be enough, that the payment must be accompanied by a demonstration of actual change to ensure there are no future transgressions. She warned us further that any Seidr user powerful enough to cast such a curse will also be able to see into the hearts and intentions of those they speak to. If there is any insincerity on our part, they will know, and that will become very dangerous for us.”

“She also said that there are likely other ways to break the curse, however. Killing the Seidr is a possibility, but a far from certain one. She warned, as she did before, that it is highly risky, and there is the very real possibility that the cursed magic will persist even past the death of its caster. I am therefore of the opinion this option should only be a last resort.”

“Alternatively, if we are able to locate the vǫlva responsible we could ask why we were cursed and then try to make amends. An apology, demonstration of change, not letting it happen again... or offer a gjald."

“There is also the possibility of counter-magic, from either the New Way or the Old. This path will be difficult and expensive. The Christians will require Vagrvik to convert and pay a head priest to bless the land. And of course, the Old would need us to find a vǫlva  with the right magic to help. However, these would be far more difficult to find that a priest, and likely every bit as expensive.”

"Working with the witchunters to find our curse-maker will involve priests, and they may not wish to work with us unless we also follow the New Way. The Seeress did not advise for or against this path, but seemed to indicate that this approach may meander more than we would like since any priest will have his own agendas and such."

"With silver, we might even suggest the town be relocated, purchase new land somewhere where this is no curse."
Last edited by NMorgan on Sun Jul 18, 2021 4:11 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: 184-868 Ald Seaxe [IC]

Post Number:#53  Postby NMorgan » Sun Jul 18, 2021 3:44 am

Sulki pauses for a drink, letting the others mull over all this before continuing, "In general, the Christians will be hesitant to work with us as long as they do not trust us. Fair enough, I suppose. The reason they will not trust us is the same that the priests will not wish to work with us, they know we do not truly follow Christ. Which leads us to the medallion I have been carrying. It had originally been given to Dísa's father by their king as an encouragement to live in peace with the New Way. He could not do it, however, and unfortunately, this ultimately led to his death at my hand."

"Like with Eiríkr, the medallion is to guide us to seek a balance or harmony between the Old and New Ways. Dísa believes that this path may help us rid ourselves of the curse. But for this to really work, the New Way must become more than just a tool of convenience to move amongst the Christians easier. Unless we actually give credence to the New Way's teachings and beliefs, we will always have trouble dealing with the Christians. We will have to learn more of the New Way, attend masses and the like. And no more insulting or joking about the White Christ or His teachings, but actually consider them, taking them to heart. As she said, it will take work and practice, and perhaps a great deal more openmindedness than we, myself included, have given."

"So far most of our dealings with the church have been through priests. Dísa said that they might seem greedy and underhanded to us because they are, as Tryggr pointed out, in a strange sense much like a Jarl, having authority and influence, and being concerned with finances, law, politics, and running the church. These competing concerns will season any advise they may give. She suggested we might befriend or even hire a monk to teach us as they tend to be more humble and down to earth. It is not a bad idea, and if the monk gets to know and trust us, it may open up doors and avenues that we have not been able to ourselves."


He pauses to think a moment, to determine if he were forgetting something then suddenly nods. "Dolfr, you said that 'our Village is lost anyway.' I do not think it is, not yet. Dísa gave a prophecy..." Sulki pauses again to order his thoughts and get it correctly. "This foretelling was that "Two peoples, two faiths, two Harolds, two armies, two sides of the same coin. In two hundred years they will collide at the place where water washes over stone. The victor shall determine the future faith for all of Englarland, but in two weeks both shall be dead." She said this spot is in Northumbria, that I should know it when I was there, and that Vagrvik's fate will be determined at this same spot. I do not know if that fate will be weal or woe, but I have not yet stood at such a spot and therefore Vagrvik's fate has not yet been decided. There is still hope."
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Re: 184-868 Ald Seaxe [IC]

Post Number:#54  Postby Jon Reinhardt » Mon Jul 19, 2021 8:33 pm

Noding Dolfer says " Yes there is still hope. All this talk about the new way makes me skeptical. Im afraid that we will be properly accepted no mater what we do. Im also afraid that leaning to much to this new way means losing the old. Anyhow these qestions is something we can debate as we sail. First I think we should get to Hamma and then we sail to meet Ubbi. And we will see what will come from that. Even if we go to church we will need silver. so we need to find some and finishing what we have started is probably a good start."
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Re: 184-868 Ald Seaxe [IC]

Post Number:#55  Postby mark » Thu Jul 22, 2021 12:37 pm

Shortly after rejoining their crew-mates back on the ship, Sulki and the others overhear men speaking Danish on the docks. It had slipped their mind that there was a small Danish-German community in Jever, of which Dísa was a descendant via her late father. These men were Christians, and had adopted the local fashion styles, but their language was still distinct.

This gave Sulki and the others the perfect opportunity to seek directions to Hamma, and it was just as well that they did. It turns out that Lubbicko's full title is "Ærcebiscop af Hamma endi Bremum", and he is referred to by his nickname, 'Raginbert'. What's more, the large sandstone cathedral at Bremum is his seat, and not in Hamma! Had Sulki and the others sailed to Hamma, they might have had a wasted journey! This was a remarkable piece of luck.

The journey to Bremum is not much farther by land than it is by water. By water one sails out of the bay, follow the coast east and enter the river 'Weser'. Simply follow the river south for about six rastar [~60km] and Bremum is located on the east bank. By land follow the road south to Aldenburg and then south east to Bremum, a journey of about ten rastar [~100km]. River journeys can be notoriously slow if the wind is not favourable, especially if the river is tidal like the Weser. A journey by foot might be a lot faster...

Ærcebiscop af Hamma endi Bremum [Latin/German] = Archbishop of Hamburg and Bremen
rastar = rests [a rest is ~10km]
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Re: 184-868 Ald Seaxe [IC]

Post Number:#56  Postby NMorgan » Sat Jul 24, 2021 12:49 pm

"Well then. Glad we ran into that lot." Sulki laughs then asks Dolfr, "So if the winds are bad or there's a lot of traffic, the river is likely to be slow going. It sounds as if walking is likely to be the shorter journey, at least by time if not by distance, however, I'm not sure I care to leave our ship here when we are so short on funds and don't know how long we'll need to stay docked. Would rather not have a repeat of before... Thoughts, how do you want to do this?"
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Re: 184-868 Ald Seaxe [IC]

Post Number:#57  Postby Jon Reinhardt » Sun Jul 25, 2021 2:47 pm

" I agree whit you. Its better for us to bring the ship, You never know what will happen when most of us are gone."
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Re: 184-868 Ald Seaxe [IC]

Post Number:#58  Postby mark » Tue Jul 27, 2021 3:25 pm

Time: Dagmál , 186-868 [ ~16hr day]
Location: Bremum, Ald Seaxe
Weather: Cool, overcast
Wind:Strong breeze* from the south west
Tide: High Tide
Barrel of Ship's Rations: 63/100
*ranged @ Herculean difficulty
*land movement @ 1/3
Tides
miðnætti = midnight, 11pm-1am --- Low Tide
ótta = last of night, 2-4am --- Flood Tide
miðr morgun = mid-morning, 5-7am --- High Tide
dagmál = day time, 8-10am --- Ebb Tide
hádegi = noon, 11am-1pm --- Low Tide
undorn = afternoon, 2-4pm --- Flood Tide
miðaftann = mid-evening, 5-7pm --- High Tide
náttmál = night time, 8-10pm ---Ebb Tide

dagmǫrk
miðnætti = midnight, 11pm-1am
ótta = last of night, 2-4am
miðr morgun = mid-morning, 5-7am
dagmál = day time, 8-10am
hádegi = noon, 11am-1pm
undorn = afternoon, 2-4pm
miðaftann = mid-evening, 5-7pm
náttmál = night time, 8-10pm


After a discussion, the men decide they will attempt to sail to Bremum, a place they had not heard of before, but apparently a significant city with a sandstone cathedral up the River Weser. Lofi mused about how ironic it was that they were going to visit perhaps the most important priest in all of Alde Seaxe, the archbishop, when they had only just been advised that priests were very likely to be politically motivated. It made no difference, the decision had been made, they would sail in the morning on the ebb tide.

The ship caught a light south-westerly sea breeze to pull her out of the harbour, the same breeze that carried them across and out of the bay by the end of the morning. The ship sailed slowly but steadily throughout the day and into the night along the eastern coast. As dawn broke on a new day, the crew saw the estuary of a fairly great river, just as it had been described by the Danes of Jever. This must be the Weser.

The new day brought a change in the weather, an overcast sky brought with it a gale which gathered behind them on the open water, but fortunately the river was more sheltered. Still, even on the river there was a strong breeze, enough to drive the ship at nearly three times the pace of the day before. The men sailed generally southwards along the river they believed must be the Weser. Their course meandering but generally south or south east. After about a day-mark, the river turned east and there ahead on the bank of the river was a modest port-city with an impressive stone cathedral towering above all the other wooden buildings. The city had various piers by the river and on the landward side had it had a large water-filled ditch, fed by the river, which was topped with a stout-looking wooden wall.

This was a surprisingly well defended city, at least from any land-assault, being practically an island. Even a waterborne assault would be difficult, the Weser was tidal and an enemy fleet would likely be spotted hours before they landed at Bremum's docks, giving enough time to fashion extra defences such as a chain across the river. The city clearly had good trading potential as well, but the men had no silfr or coin for trade, at least not at the moment. Finni remarked that if the locals were somewhat unfriendly back in Jever where they have a small Danish community, then they would probably receive an even more unfriendly reception here where there were unlikely to be any Norsemen in what was clearly deeply religious Christian city.

Sulki ordered the sails slackened as he guided the ship to the nearest empty pier. There were mostly other merchant ships of a similar class to their own vessel docked at the port, but one or two small warships as well could be seen, and that meant an active defence and many defenders. Indeed, within two minutes of docking, a well-armed group of about fifteen men approached the ship and the usual, now familiar challenge was called out, "What men are you? What ship is this?"

The men had learned by now that this was the common challenge (especially from authorities) demanding to know where the men were from and who they served, generally what the men were about and why they were here, and also to a lesser extent the men's names. Answering this poorly or rudely would likely cause an adverse reaction and great offence, and that would end badly for the entire crew. This was, as Finni had predicated, probably not the sort of city where Norsemen were free to make fun of or otherwise provoke Christians – even if you think your so-called 'friend' is the Archbishop…

Bremum/Brema [German] = Bremen
Alde Seaxe [German] = Old Saxon(y) [aka Germany, part of the Eastern Frankish Empire]
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Re: 184-868 Ald Seaxe [IC]

Post Number:#59  Postby Jon Reinhardt » Tue Jul 27, 2021 8:05 pm

Dolfer clears his voice and says " Im Tjodolfr Gyrdison. We are here in an errand for the Princeps-Ærcebiscop af Hamma endi Bremum. We comes from the land of the Anglar and Denmark. We hoped to finish our task whit the Princeps-Ærcebiscop and then leave for for Jórvík or Eoferwic if you know it by that name. The ship is a trading ships mostly used for bringing news for the moment. Can we use the habor here? And what are the prices? And how can we get to speak to the Princeps-Ærcebiscop?" Dolfer then pauses and looks at the men to see how they react before he continue and say "We are relay just here to give him a report and then leave again. As you can see we are only a small crew and want no trouble. We have some weapons but that is to defend ourself" Then Dolfer smiles broadly to the guards.
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Re: 184-868 Ald Seaxe [IC]

Post Number:#60  Postby mark » Thu Jul 29, 2021 11:09 am

Time: Hádegi, 186-868 [ ~16hr day]
Location: Bremum, Ald Seaxe
Weather: Cool, overcast
Wind:Strong breeze* from the south west
Tide: LowTide
Barrel of Ship's Rations: 63/100
*ranged @ Herculean difficulty
*land movement @ 1/3
Tides
miðnætti = midnight, 11pm-1am --- Low Tide
ótta = last of night, 2-4am --- Flood Tide
miðr morgun = mid-morning, 5-7am --- High Tide
dagmál = day time, 8-10am --- Ebb Tide
hádegi = noon, 11am-1pm --- Low Tide
undorn = afternoon, 2-4pm --- Flood Tide
miðaftann = mid-evening, 5-7pm --- High Tide
náttmál = night time, 8-10pm ---Ebb Tide

dagmǫrk
miðnætti = midnight, 11pm-1am
ótta = last of night, 2-4am
miðr morgun = mid-morning, 5-7am
dagmál = day time, 8-10am
hádegi = noon, 11am-1pm
undorn = afternoon, 2-4pm
miðaftann = mid-evening, 5-7pm
náttmál = night time, 8-10pm

The administrator, probably an under-reeve or harbourmaster, seems annoyed by the Danes mere presence at the dock. He nods as he struggles to listen to Dolfr's response, which is almost lost in the strong breeze, and then talks quietly (unheard) to on of the men with him, as if conferring about what he said in his foreign (yet not completely alien) tongue and deciding how to proceed.

The administrator then repeats Dolfr's name back to him a couple of times, butchering the pronunciation, to ensure he has it correctly, or at least broadly recognisably so. Next he walks closer to the ship and looks inside, checking there are no nasty surprises hiding behind the gunwales. He demands the hold be opened for inspection, he sends aboard a couple of his men to carry out the check. When he is stratified there are just seven men aboard and no contraband, he asks the other men's names and then orders the Vágrvíkmenn to wait aboard their ship.

He and two other men then walk off, leaving about a dozen or so men on the dock watching the Danes suspiciously. He never replied to the cost of berthing, but in most places it is usually 1d per day in a town and 2d per day in a city. This being a city it would likely be 2d per day, but at the moment it seems like the men's story is being corroborated, perhaps with Princeps-Ærcebiscop Raginbert himself, the new name of their old contact Lubbicko - now seemingly an incredibly important and influential man.

There was nothing to do now other than wait, and wait...

After about a day-mark the men are summoned from the ship. They are ordered to leave their shields and long weapons in their ship and put peace-knots on their smaller weapons. Since the choice is either that or sail away the crew reluctantly agrees. The men are escorted through the streets of Bremum to the cathedral, a building not quite as grand and imposing as the one in Jórvík, but in far better repair. Within the walled cathedral precinct, there is a substantial stone house that the men are led to. Inside there is a grand chamber, with fine furniture, a couple of mail-clad church guards, two female servants, a priest, two monks and Lubbicko himself dressed in a gold-embroidered white silk robe, perhaps emulating the Hvítakristr?

Lubbicko, or Raginbert as he seems to be referred to these days, greets the men warmly in their native East-Norse tongue, "Hello! Well I never thought I would see you again! Are you well? Would you like refreshment? Ale, wine, something to eat?" Lubbicko has certainly moved up in the world from the simple man who travelled on a slaver ship through foreign lands and got drunk and brawled in Jever's taverns...

Hvítakristr = White Christ

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Jever to Bremum.png
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