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fanfiction Fjordur, a Viking Purgatory


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The story of Fjordur, a Viking Purgatory


Fjordur is a Viking themed Ark Survival map made up of the islands of Vardiland, a mostly pine and alpine forest, Vannaland, a northern island of birch trees, pines, giant redwoods, and open plains, Bulbjord, a dismal island dominated by swamps, and Balheimr, a hot volcanic wasteland full of dangerous creatures including fire wyverns, but rich in rare resources. In addition, one can teleport to three additional fantasy realms such as Ascard, a land of mostly grassland plains similar to Scotland, Vanaheim, a fantasy land where the Home Tree is located, and Jotunheim, a frozen arctic where you will quickly freeze to death even with high level fur armor.

This story take place in the era of the Viking Empire during the time of their exploration in search of new land for establishing their settlements. With rumors of the discovery of a new lands far to the West beyond Iceland, a group of adventurers take to the sea on their Longboats to find a place called Greenland. They never make it to their destination ending up in a lost magical land of the dead called Fjordur.

The character’s names have been slightly altered from any that are historically important in Viking History and their new world discoveries.

This chapter will be updated with more content in the future.

Chapter 1. A new world called Vinland.


It is early Spring in the Year of the Lord 1003 when a group of Viking Explorers gather in a Mead Hall to plan for an expedition to settle in a new land. Bajorni, one of the early explorers, has returned from an extended voyage to a place called Greenland. During that second trip to check on the new colony he helped to established, he was blown off course by a severe Atlantic storm. Upon sighting land where none was expected, he has beached the longboat to go explore this unknown world. It was a forested land he names Vinland due to an abundance of wild grapes he found growing in the bushes along a stream. It’s far different climate from the settlement in the grass covered plans near the glaciers of Greenland, or the moss covered rocky terrain of Iceland. Vinland is a land of vast pine forest, open meadows and marshes where it is possible to harvest the wild plants growing in them and to hunt for the abundant game living in them.

The men, their sons, wives, and daughters, who are drinking Mead with Bajorni, are excited about the chance to relocate in a new world. Their homeland has become crowded with settlements as all of the good cropland is being farmed, game has become scarce, and the forest are getting cut down to build homes and ships for raiding. So, it’s with the good news about this land of plenty that they sign a contract with Bajorni to prepare for a long one way sea voyage to settle in a new world.

The next two weeks have been busy for the families that have signed up for the expedition. Cargo Longboats are being built and loaded with supplies and livestock to establish the new colony. There will be Erickson and Freyda, raiding longboats going along to guard the fleet from raiders.

It is finally in early April that the expedition has sets sail from Denmark with stops planed for the Shetland Islands, Iceland, and Greenland, on what is planned to be a two month journey through the North Atlantic to take advantage of the Summer Solace to get the favorable winds near the Arctic Circle to reach the coast of Vinland.

During this trip, Bajorni, the fleet leader, has obtained a lodestone which will point to the North. It is the first know tool for navigation that doesn’t depend upon the sun, moon, or stars for navigation on a clear day. The rest of the Vikings are amazed how this strange shaped iron like stone will always point to the star Polaris regardless of the weather conditions. It will be a big help in navigation, along with a strange crafted tool known as a sextant to help them find the islands they are headed for.

So far, the trip has gone will. With favorable winds and good weather, they have crossed the stormy North Sea with ease. Their first stop, in the Shetland Islands and a second stop in the Faroe Islands allows the expedition to obtain hay for their livestock. Fresh water is also obtained to top off their fresh water supply. Driftwood, charcoal, and peat moss is obtained for their cooking forge. They stay for the next three days to repair their longboats, to get cleaned up, load additional supplies, and visit with their Viking Comrades that are living there.

Not so after setting sail for Iceland. While the Lodestone is pointing the way, it soon becomes difficult to confirm the direction they are sailing at night due to an ever increasing haze covering the sky. The air starts to smell like sulfur as they get closer to Iceland. Ash is settling on the longboats as the sea is coated in pumice. An orange glow on the horizon soon guides them to their destination where the landscape is anything but what they were expecting.

Finding the dock at the fishing village of Vik, they have stumbled into a land of chaos. The ground has split open North of the village with lava, ash, and smoke spewing out from several cinder cones in the distance. The village is in ruins from the results of the eruption as lava is approaching it from the North. Hilda and her teen son Olaf, got left behind when the rest of the village fled in a panic in their fishing boats. They quickly board Bajorni longboat with a sack of spare clothes and a barrel of dried fish. Just in time, they set sail South as the lava reaches the village eventually generating a huge cloud of steam as it overtakes the dock and pours into the sea.

“Thanks Oden, you arrived just in time.” responds Hilda in gratitude.

“We now have a problem,” answers Bajorni. “We were expecting to be able to obtain supplies to continue our sea voyage to Vinland. But, if Iceland has been destroyed by volcanic activity, we may have to abandon our quest and head back to Denmark.”

“Keep sailing West along the coast,” suggest Hilda. “Iceland is a large island. There are other villages located along the coast that will not be affected by this volcanic activity.”

“We will need to sail far enough South to avoid the reefs and other rocky hazards of the Southern Coast to the West,” warns her son Olaf. With these calm conditions and poor visibility, it is going to be hard to spot those hazards until we get too close to them.”

“Lets tie the Longboats into a chain so we don’t lose anyone,” orders Bajorni. “We sail South, then West. When the weather clears, we will head North for Oifus or Grindavak. We should be able to trade for supplies there.”

As they start to head South, the fog rolls in with a light North breeze. The Longboats get hung up on the rocks of Vik as the Viking crews struggle to get away from them without getting separated. The smell of Sulfur Dioxide is strong in the air as it is starting to make the animals and children sick. Ash is coating everything as the visibility continues to deteriorate in the growing darkness even though it is early afternoon. Bajorni, who is working the hardest to free the Longboats from the rocks, soon passes out from the poisonous air. It isn’t long before everyone in the entire expedition succumb to Sulfur and Carbon Dioxide poisoning.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Chapter 2. The Strange New World of Fjordur


Bajorni is the first Viking to wake up on an unfamilar sandy rock covered beach. He finds himself naked as he struggles to get up. The weather is cold in the morning dawn as he looks about to get a bearing of where he is. “This makes no sense,” he thinks to himself as the early rays of the sun are coming through a pine forest from inland and not from the sea.

The shore and vegetation he is able to see around him look like Vinland. It has pine trees and birch brush coming down to the beach area along with shrubs of all type, but, none of it looks what he had observed in Vinland. The morning sun should be in the direction of the sea, not the forest. Driftwood and sticks line the beach area. A strange flightless bird scurries away from him when he startles it by walking around a small boulder.

Hilda and her teen aged son Olaf are the next to show up as he heads down the beach. Like Bajorni, they have both find themselves naked in the cold morning air. “Where are we?” asks Bajorni.

“I have no idea,” answers Hilda. “We can’t possibly be anywhere in Iceland. Forest like this one simply don’t exist in that Arctic climate. Last thing that I remember was getting extremely tired from breathing the foul smell of sulfur in the soot filled air.”

“There is another possibility,” reports Olif. “We may have ended up in the land of the would be dead. I remember that smell when I went inland to move our herd of sheep away from the approaching lava. I found them all lying on the ground as if they were sleeping. They were all dead as if they had just died in their sleep.”

“Is it possible that we have awakened in Valhalla?” suggest Bajorni. “It would certainly explain us waking up naked on this beach after passing out from that horrible smell. Yet, here we are naked and freezing to death, when we should be basking in paradise.”

The conversation is interrupted by a shout from down the beach. Lief Erickson and Freyda, the two Viking warrior leaders in their group, have discovered a ship wreaked in the rocks along the beach. “We have found some supplies washed up from this wreak,” Lief shout to the others. “Lets salvage what we can to keep warm. Then, we can figure out how we ended up here in the first place, then go look for the others.”

A Viking sword is found with a shield washed up on the beach. It is quickly used to cut up a torn sail to form a crude shelter. Additional crates are found containing fur and leather clothing. A campfire is built next to the shelter on the beach to dry out the blankets and other clothing. Axes, pikes, and crossbows are also found among the crates in the wreak. “What is this ship?” Hilda asks Lief.

“It is an English Merchant Sailor,” answers Lief. “It was used to carry goods to trade with coastal villages.”

“This cargo is a godsend,” reports Freyda. “We now have some basic tools, clothing, and weapons to help us survive in this new world.”

As some more of the expedition members start showing up, Bajorni takes charge of the group to start assigning them various tasks in preparation to construct a temporary camp for the coming night. The smashed up Viking Longboat is pulled apart to use to construct a temporary lodge. The nearby pine trees provide the necessary poles for it’s construction along with pine boughs for a roof.

Harold, Loki, and their wives, have gone into the woods on a hunting expedition. They have spotted a most unusual looking male elk in the woods and have gone hunting for it. It is late afternoon when they return with alarming news of dangerous predators they have observed living in the rocky plains beyond the forest. They are carrying back a strange looking leathery creature the size of a deer they have killed. It looks so prehistoric.

“What is that thing?” asks Bajorni as he sees them carrying the strange looking creature back to camp on a pole.

“I do not know,” answers Loki. “It spit some green slime into Harold’s face before we killed it with our crossbows.”

“What an interesting looking creature,” reports Olif as he examines it. “I saw a picture of this sketched in a book I took from a Celtic Monastery we raided last year. The monks called it a dilapasaurus. There were other much larger creatures pictured in that book that were described as prehistoric.”

“I always thought that book was nothing more then a bunch of Celtic ferry tales,” reports Harold. “Yet, I have to admit that I just became a believer. What I saw today in the plains beyond this forest was unbelievable. I saw a great three horned lizard that was being attacked by a huge two legged demon with tiny arms. It’s giant head had this huge mouth full of dagger like teeth. The horned lizard managed to skewer the demon in it’s side before a large chunk was ripped out of it’s back. They both died shortly after from their injuries. We quickly left the area when a pack of smaller sharp tooth lizards with claw hooks on their feet rushed in to feast on the two dead creatures. I couldn’t believe how quickly those feathered lizards ripped those two larger creatures to pieces before the Ford Hawks moved in to clean up the scraps.”

“We had better construct a spiked fence around our campsite before dark,” orders Bajorni. “There’s no telling what might be out there waiting to have us for their supper after dark.”

While the men are out chopping down the slender pines in the nearby forest and sharpening up the ends into spikes for the fence, the women and children have been out gathering up the dodo birds, wild chickens, and a small strange looking mammal to place in pens they have constructed next to the lodge pole shelter. It is a strange sight when Olif shows up late that evening with a small herd of sheep that is being shepherd with two of the lizards that look exactly like the one the hunting party brought back on a pole. Surprisingly, none of the tamed dodos and small mammals like creatures show any fear of Olif’s two dilos. He quickly calls the dilos to stand next to him as several of the men, including Harold, grab their crossbows in a panic.

“They’re safe,” Olif ensures the rest of the vikings as he pets one of the happily chirping dilos. “Their as safe as these sheep.”

“Where did you find the sheep?” asks Leif as he comes over to check them out.

“I found them grazing near the open meadow.” answers Olif.

“How were you able to tame them and those two spitters,” asks Harold.

“I found out that they like this wild honey that I found in a stone formation,” answers Olif. “I was even more surprised that I was able to use the spitters as sheep dogs after I tamed them with the honey and dodo meat.”

Olif’s new tames are brought inside the spike fence to be placed into the tame pen. The two dilos stay outside with the rest of the vikings who remain quite surprise how docile they are behaving among them.

As the evening sun is starting to get closer to the sea, the air is turning bitterly cold. Wood has been stocked for the fire that is lit inside the loge pole shelter. Being cold blooded creatures, the two dilos are inside sleeping by the fire. Torches have been placed along the spike fence as a night watch is set up for the night.

The night watch, which consist of Olif and Bajorni, have been keeping a watch on what looks like several pairs of glowing eyes along the beach and the edge of the woods. “They just keep darting about like ghost in the distance,” reports Olaf.

“The torches among the fence must be making those creatures keep their distance,” reports Bajorni. “I just can’t get a good look of just what they are. They keep darting around so fast hiding in the shadows.” The darting about of the glowing beady eyes continues for a while, then as quickly as they appeared, they vanish into the woods.

After the excitement of the unknown visitors has died down, both individuals are now studying the stars in the night sky.

“Can you tell where we are by the stars?” Olif asks Bajorni as he is looking at the night sky that is lit up with the Northern Lights.

“No,” answers Bajorni. “I cannot find Polaris or any of the constellations of the northern sky. I even tried to use the lodestone that I have with me to find North. It points to that dark island we can see in the sea, but there is no Polaris, Big Dipper, Little Dipper, or any of the constellations I have used for navigation anywhere in this sky. These are not our stars. They are stars of a world I have never seen before.”

As the cold night continues on, some strange terrifying sounds are heard coming out of the forest. The normal night noises are suddenly silenced as the two spitters suddenly wake up and rush over to the spike fence hissing in anger. “Alert!” Bajorni shouts to the rest of the Viking sleeping in the lodge.

Everyone quickly grabs their weapons as they rush to the spike fence. A strange looking glowing creature is observed attacking it as the two spitters spit in it’s face. Arrows rain down on it’s glowing face as it starts to rip apart the barrier. Rollo ends up crushed under it’s claw hook foot as he jams his spear into it’s throat. The spitters run back to the sheep pen and take up a defensive position. The strange attacker finally goes down as more spears are thrown into it’s body.

“What was that thing?” asks Bajorni as the rest of the Viking men recover Rollo’s body, drag the carcass of the dead predator into the camp, and proceed to start repairing the fence.

“It looks like one of those feathered creatures that ripped apart those two dead horned lizard and demon,” reports Leif.

“We had better go looking for a more secure location to set up a stronger settlement before we have to deal with his friends,” orders Bajorni.

As the dawn arrives, the vikings have cleaned up the mess and are preparing a funeral pyre for their dead comrade when they hear a shout coming from down the beach. To everyone’s surprise, it is a naked Rollo that has returned to their camp. “That confirms it,” a shock Bajorni tells everyone as they hear Rollo’s strange tale of his being reborn. “We are truly in the land of the would be dead.”

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  • 3 weeks later...

Chapter 3 Looking for a safer place to build a settlement.


It has been a most strange morning when Rollo’s mangled body has suddenly vanished from the funeral pyre followed by Rollo showing up naked on the beach. His body bares the healed scars of his injuries that were caused by the glowing demon that has attacked their camp during the night.

“How was it possible for me to be resurrected?” asks Rollo as the questioning continues over his unexpected return.

“Apparently, the Gods must want to study how we will survive in their new world.” suggest Freyda. “The fact that we showed up on this beach naked, That Olif found a herd of sheep being shepherd by those strange looking predators, the fact that the seawater is fresh, all means that we are no longer in the real world, but in Fjordur. Only in Fjordur is it possible to be resurrected after being killed.”

“Does that mean that we can just charge into danger and not worry about dying?” asks Lief.

“No,” answers Rollo. “That was a most terrifying experience being ripped apart by that demon as I jammed my spear into it’s throat.”

“There is always the chance that we may not be resurrected back here after death. We could end up in Valhalla or we may end up spending an eternity in Muspell, or what the monks at the Abby called Hell,” reports Olif.

“Then we had best be careful, always on the watch for danger,” Bajorni replies. “The next time one of us gets killed, they may never return like Rollo did. Lets get a crew to work reinforcing the stockade fence, a group to search along the beach for more survivors and supplies, and another working on a longboat to check out those other islands.”

As Olif and Hilda are taking the sheep out to graze the brush at the edge of the forest, a family from the settlement of Vik have shown up from down the beach. They have spotted the light from the torches as they were sailing in a fishing boat they had used to escape from the volcanic eruption on Iceland.

“How did you end up in the land of Fjordur,” Hilda asks Jarvis, the head of the household.

“I do not know,” he answers. “We were heading out to sea away from the village when we were overtaken by a foul smelling fog. When we woke up, we found ourselves sailing in this unfamilar sea in a starlit sky. I could not find Polaris or any of the constellations to navigate by. We spotted the fires on the horizon and started sailing to it.”

“What happened to us?” asks Sarah, his wife.

“You were poisoned by the foul smelling fog, then reborn into this world.” answers Olif. “I found it had killed the sheep in the meadow before we escaped in Bajorni’s longboat. Then, we suffered the same fate that you did, only we ended up on the beach naked.”

“You are more then welcome to stay with us,” invites Bajorni. “We can use the help of your family in building a settlement in this world.”

“Thank you for the invitation,” answers Jarvis. “Hilda, Olif, and I are neighbors. “Those are the most interesting looking sheep dogs I have ever seen. What are they?”

“They are called Dilos,” answers Olif. “According to a book I took from an abby we raided, they went extinct long ago. I found them yesterday shepherding this herd of sheep near the dangerous meadows inland.”

“They are most unusual,” answers Bajorni. “However their much larger cousins are extremely dangerous. One of them attacked our settlement during the night. It was extremely difficult to kill. It killed Rollo who was somehow resurrected. With the threat of those creatures in the forest beyond, we need to look for a safer location to establish our settlement. Could we borrow your boat to go check out those other islands?”

“Yes,” answers Jarvas. “Let my wife and children stay in your camp. It is a strange sea we sailed in out there. Not only is the water as fresh as that in a glacier lake, we ran into a strange invisible wall that prevented us from sailing further into the open water. There was a strange four eye six legged giant turtle swimming out there. It was as big as the whales we sometimes see off the coast of Iceland in the spring.”

“Did it threaten you in any way?” asks Bajorni.

“No,” answers Jarvas. “It was not a Krackin.”

“Can we set sail in your boat with Rollo and Olif and go check out that island to the North?”

“Yes” answers Jarvas.

“Then, we’ll get started as soon as I have assigned tasks for the rest of our group,” reports Bajorni.

With the tasks assigned to the others, the group of four board the fishing boat to set sail to the strange looking island in the Northwest. The weather has become cloudy with rain squalls in the distance. It block the view of the top of the mountain that can now be seen on the land they have started their settlement. They sail past the giant turtle which is fishing in the freshwater sea for small fish.

“Have you ever seen anything like that off the coast of Iceland?” Bajorni asks Jarvas.

“No,” he answers. “Still, I have no idea what may show up in these strange waters.”

The group of four keep heading towards the strange island which is taking on a spooky look. They arrive at it’s rocky shoreline late in the morning finally finding a small sandy beach to land the fishing boat.

The strange island, given the name of Bulbjord, is a most dismal place. The interior is a swamp with some strange looking plants, giant cypress trees, and moss hanging from them everywhere. Giant frogs are hopping about as well as other lizard like creatures living in the water. A huge elephant size mammal is observed eating the moss off of the cypress trees in the foggy interior. A small village is located on the edge of the swamp as the foursome head for it. The huts are observed to be in a terrible state of decay with the walkways having broken planks in it as the group cautiously approaches it. The smell of death is now heavy in the air.

“What a dismal place this is,” reports Bajorni as the group also observes a skeleton in a doorway and some other decaying creatures lying nearby. “Why would anyone even want to build a settlement here.”

“I don’t know,” answers Jarvas. “It must have not been so dismal in the past. After all, I am observing fish living in the swamp.”

“OUCH!” yells Olif in alarm as one of the strange looking fish jumps out of the swamp and fastens itself onto his arm. The large fish, with it’s mouth full of razor sharp teeth is quickly hacked to death with Rollo’s knife.

“Lets get out of here!” warns Bajorni as more of those fish are seen coming after them. Several of them have jump out of the water in an effort to go after the foursome. Giant snakes, scorpions, and alligators are observed coming after them as they run for the fishing boat. Jarvas quickly sets sail as the others tend to the serious injury the predator fish has caused to Olif’s arm.

Jarvas has set sail towards another nearby island with a small waterfall coming off of a plateau. It looks much more peaceful then the dismal Bulbjord. It has an open forest of deciduous trees in fall colors and a sandy beach to land the fishing boat on.

Landing on the shore, the foursome proceed to explore this new island. Olif’s arm is healing up at a remarkable rate. “So strange,” Rollo comments to the group as he examines Olif’s healing arm. “It is like my being reborn with my wounds fully healed.”

The island is found to contain mostly peaceful creatures. Only a couple of dilos are found there, they hunt the Dodos that are abundant on this island. They are soon befriended by Olif when he hands them some fish he has caught along the shore. They find them more tasty then the dodos. Soon he is being followed by the two resident Parasaurs that have become most curious about him. He has found that they like the purple berries from a bush found growing along the beach. They follows him about as he even manages to go riding bareback on the big male by just giving it voice commands and pushing it on it’s neck to steer it. The female parasaur is soon following him around out of curiosity. She lets Rollo get on her to ride her alongside Olif.

“Such surprisingly peaceful creatures,” comments Rollo as it lets him ride on her.

“According to the book from the Abby, they could be quite nasty if they felt threatened by us,” reports Olif. “It’s why the Dilos are keeping their distance. These two must think that this is a game they are playing with us. When they get tired of this we had best get off so that we can remain friends with them.”

“This looks like a nice peaceful place to start a settlement,” reports Bajorni. “Lets head back and prepare to move here.”

“Olif and I would like to stay here to get more acquainted with our new tames.” answers Rollo. “We’ll get a shelter started while you two are gone.”

“Sounds like a good idea,” answers Bajorni. “It certainly a lot safer with the two parasaurs that can protect you then it is where we are now.”

“Have a safe voyage back,” answers Rollo.

Work is progressing well on building an overnight shelter. However, it gets interrupted when a campfire is started to ward off the cold when one of the parasaurs starts having a fit about the fire and tries to put it out.

“Crap, don’t you know that you will get burnt if you step in the fire,” Rollo yells at him as the parasaur takes off running to the water.

“He must have never seen fire before,” answers Olif. “Get the fire back going. I’ll go get him and calm him down.”

Rollo has got the fire back burning as the two dilos lay down by it for warmth. The female parasaur soon joins him laying down by the dilos which are part way in the shelter. It is some time later when Olif returns leading the male parasaur by it’s arm back to the shelter. He is reluctant to get by the shelter due to the presence of the fire, but eventually does so when he sees his mate calmly laying by it with Rollo.

“Stepping in the fire must have really frightened him,” comments Rollo.

“He was soaking his foot in the cold water,” reports Olif. “It took me awhile to convince him that he was OK. At least, he will be more careful around any fire.”

As the clouds clear in the darkening sky, something strange is observed from the land they had first showed up on. A swirling cloud of green light is shining from some strange object floating over the snow capped mountains from the land they first showed up at. Two others can be seen in the distance, one red and one blue. “What are those?” asks Olif. “There is nothing mentioned about them in the manuscript that I took from the Abby.”

“I do not know,” answers Rollo. “There is nothing in our history about them or their purpose. Maybe Bajorni might know what they are. It might explain why Jarvas ran into that invisible barrier in the freshwater sea, your arm healing up so fast, and my being resurrected after being killed by that glowing red demon.”

“Lets see if we can get some sleep now,” answers Olif. “The dilos can alert us in case anything dangerous shows up. We can go fishing in the morning. We can expect the others to show up later in the morning. Maybe, they will know what that strange object is floating over the snow capped mountain near our first camp.”

The rest of the night remains peaceful with the Northern Lights showing in the moonlit sky.

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  • 3 months later...

Chapter 4. The explorations of the Unknown.


Ingolf, his wife, son, and daughter, are the first exploration group that have returned to the temporary settlement. They had come back early when the terrain had limited their exploration along the beach. They returned leading two strange looking horses with saddlebags packed with fresh fruits and vegetables. Their original plan was to head South down the beach, according to the Lodestone and the sun. They soon found the way along the rocky beach was blocked by a steep mountain cliff that terminates in the deep water at the freshwater sea. Looking for a way around the cliff, they have headed inland using a steep winding path they have located going up the slope along the cliff edge.

“That path looked like it had been cut into the hillside,” Ingolf reports to Freyda at the temporary camp as she listens to his report.

“Does that mean that we may find other settlers living in this strange land?” asks Sarah.

“I don’t know,” reports Ingolf. “Others were certainly living here at one time but they appear to have all vanished without a trace.”

“High up on the slope on a flat section of ground, we discovered a small settlement. Searching through the structures, we found that it has been abandoned for years. Among some of the useful items we found inside their huts was a small blacksmith and leather shop. Out behind the huts, there were fenced in gardens that contained fruits and vegetables ready for harvest. We brought some of that harvest back on these makeshift pack saddles on these two strange looking horses we found living near the settlement. From that settlement, we could see other structures high up in the mountain. We were going to head higher up the path past the gate into the settlement until we spotted a pack of wolves as big as these horses blocking our way beyond. We will need an armed exploration party dressed in warm furs in order to explore that area further up into the snow. It was very cold in the mountain beyond the village.”

“Then, I recommend that we send out an armed scouting party in the morning to check out those structures you spotted above the settlement,” suggest Freyda.

Bajori and Jarvas are the next to return in the fishing boat. They first report about the dismal and dangerous conditions on the dark island.

“Bulbjord was a dismal place of death and decay” reports Bajori. “What was left of the village was covered in moss and vines. There were skeletons of the inhabitants and creatures everywhere. Several were in various states of decay. The smell of death was overpowering. We were about to check out an abandoned castle in the distance when Olif was attacked by a devil fish with a mouth full of sharp teeth. We quickly left when an army of giant snakes, bats, and insects started coming our way.”

The report about the conditions on the waterfall island are much more positive. “Rollo and Olif have built a shelter for the night on the waterfall island,” Bajori reports to the other. “They have tamed some peaceful creatures living there. While small, the island looks safe to start a protected settlement until we can find a larger place suitable for our needs that is easily defended.”

It is late in the evening when the third search party has returned from their exploration along the beach to the Northeast. Leif’s expedition of exploration to the east has been a most unusual one. They have returned with a pair of the most unusual pig like creature the size of a Musk Ox. Leif and his wife are riding on them bareback. Several Highlander cattle are also following the group with two of them pulling makeshift carts loaded with supplies salvaged from another ship wreak that was found further down the beach.

“I have no doubt that we are in the legendary land of Fjordur,” reports Leif to the group. “We saw the Home Tree of the afterlife in the East. It’s huge! It covers the eastern sky.”

“That could explain those strange shadows we see on the ground early in the morning.” answers Freida.

“The Northern area with the ship wreak has a beach similar to where we are now,” Leif continues his reports. “Inland is a large grassy plains where we found the cattle and these giant hogs. However, it’s not a safe place to set up a settlement. We saw long tooth lions, huge wolves, and those nasty lizards out there hunting the grazing animals. I don’t know how it is possible for those creatures to survive given that they are constantly being chased by those predators. Come to think of it, I didn’t see any youngsters among the predator or the prey animals. It is a total mystery that there’s anything left for the predators to hunt in the first place.”

“How did you manage to tame these giant hog like creatures.” asks Freida.

“When this one chased me up a tree, my wife found out that it had a sweet tooth. She gave it some honey she had found which imminently calmed it down. When it determined that we were not a predator, they became friendly towards us and allowed us to ride on them like horses. We later learned that they can easily hold their own against the larger predators by working together to fight them. The smaller predators just stay away from them. Like pigs, they will eat anything including predators that they kill.”

“If you had more time, would have it been possible to head further east along the coast?” asks Freida.

“No.” answers Leif. “The way is blocked by a glacier that comes down to the freshwater sea. We would need a boat to sail around it. There looks to be a way inland to the open pine forests and what may be a valley beyond. We will have to find some way to avoid the predators if we wish to explore inland from there. Perhaps a pack of these large wolf like pigs would be enough to keep them away.”

“This is one strange land especially along the edge of the glacier. We saw strange featherless birds that could fly in the water like sea birds can fly in the air. They seemed to have little fear of us even when we killed one of them for food. So far, they are the only wild creatures in this world that we have seen with babies and juveniles in their family groups. We certainly need to see what is beyond the glacier. There is an island beyond that has a smoking mountain on it.”

“Lets do the following,” suggest Bajori. “In the morning, we take an armed scouting party up past the village. The rest of us can work on building a raft to transport us and the tames to Leif’s island. We’ll use it as a safe base of operation. With these stronger tames, we can quickly explore others areas of this land until we can find a larger place for a more permanent settlement.

Unlike their first night on Fjordur the second night is mostly peaceful. The peaceful sounds of the night has made it a restful one. Only one instance of possible trouble has occurred around midnight when there are some screams of terror deep in the forest followed by an eerie silence. Other then those darting glowing eyes from some small unknown predator, the campsite has remained free from threats.

Ingolf, his family, Bajori, and Leif’s party have made their preparations for an extended exploration trip beyond the village on the cliff. They are equipped with furs and ranged weapons to deal with the cold and threats they have seen above the abandoned village. This will be a foot patrol given the ruggedness of the mission ahead and the unknown danger present.

As Leif tells his wife about the wolves Ingolf saw above the village, she asks him a question. “Do you think that it would be possible to tame some of those wolves?”

“Given how Olif has been able to tame prehistoric creatures, such as those spitters, it may be possible,” answers Leif. “Holgart was able to obtain a hunting pack of wolves for his village in the real world.”

“Holgart was able to do so by raising a litter of pups he found in a den from their dying mother,” answers Ingolf. “I have never known of anyone doing so with wild adult wolves.”

“This has been one strange world we have been reborn in,” answers Leif. “Given that we haven’t seen any of the young creatures in this world and how Olif managed to tame those spitters, we should see if it’s possible to tame the adult dire wolves.”

“Lets give it a try if the opportunity presents itself,” suggest Ingolf.

The patrol heads down the beach towards their objective, the cliffside path to the abandoned village. Some spitters and pegos are seen up ahead on the beach. The rest scatter when they see the two closest creatures of their group get bola and knocked out with stones in the slingshots and the newly crafted tranc arrows. “Lets let these two wake up while we are gone,” suggest Leif after recovering his bola. “They will spread the word among their friends that we are not on their menu.”

Reaching the cliff side path, the patrol heads up to the settlement above. Like the day before, it is a steep climb up to the abandoned settlement. After a short rest in the settlement, everyone gets dressed into the heavy fur clothing. The scouting party heads out past the gate up a path to the higher elevations beyond where it soon gets bitterly cold. A pack of Direwolve spots them howling to warn the others of their approach.

“There is their pack leader,” warns Leif. “Lets see if we can knock him out with tranc arrows. If the rest of his pack keep their distance once he is knocked out, they should become easier to tame.”

The Viking patrol forms up with a cliff wall to their back using their shields to block the lead wolves from attacking them. Seeing that shield wall, the wolf pack stay out of the reach of any swords or spears. Armed with tranc arrows on the crossbows, four of the Vikings target the pack leader and hit him in the neck. He lunges forward to attack, then suddenly stops, staggers away, and falls unconscious. The rest of the pack, confused about what has happened, back away, then lay down facing them as Leif’s group approaches their unconscious leader. The tranc arrows are recovered, some medical brew applied to the wounds, and the taming process, as described by Olif book he found in the Abby Raid, starts taking place.

“Interesting, This is actually going to work.” Reports Leif as the alpha wolf is peacefully taming with his pack quietly watching. “It even looks like the rest of his pack may become our tames as well.”

It is half an hour later when the alpha wolf regains conscious, looks about, then walks up to Lief to lick his face in approval. The rest of the pack members cautiously approach the group and are soon at ease with them. Each wolf is carefully fed a piece of cooked dried fish shared with each member of the exploration party which seals the bond between them.

It continues to be a steep climb as an unusual floating object is soon becoming visible from above. It looks like a giant wood totem pole with blue fog and lightning crackling from it. Soon, the terrain levels off to a strange sight indeed. The explorers have found a stone platform, it’s alter surrounded with stone statues of horses, lions, wolves, and bears. As the wolves and some wild mammoths don’t appear to be concerned about the strange hum coming from the alter in the center, Lief approaches it to check it out.

“Interesting,” reports Lief as he inspects the alter in the center. “I’m getting visions of being able to use this alter to place tributes in it to summons creatures to do battle with to ascend to the Gods. I’ll have to ask Olif if that book he found in the Abby has any information about their purpose.”

“Who could have constructed such a monument to the Gods?” asks Ingolf.

“I don’t know,” answers Leif. “Given that we are in Fourjor, the world of the afterlife, This shrine may have been constructed by the Gods themselves.”

“You may be right” answers Ingolf. “Looks like this is as far as we can go. Let go harvest some of the game animals up here, then head back before it gets too cold to stay up here.”

“The wolves turn out to be great for hunting as a lone Mammoth is taken down with crossbows and spears. They wait patiently as the group butcher their prize to share the raw meat with them. The prized heavy fur pelt is packed on the wolves which follow them back down the trail back to the temporary settlement on the beach.

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