Maybe these threads have gone out of style, but I think this will help to keep myself accountable, so here goes.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Setting/Context: Around 1000 A.D Vikings of the north discovered land across the Atlantic ocean. Though they landed in a number of locations, the most famous was named "Vinland:" a land of rolling plains and grapes. After this initial journey four more voyages were made, or at the least, four more voyages were said to have been made and helmed by the children of Erik the Red. These voyages were scribed in the "Saga of Greenlanders."
Story: Creative liberty will obviously be taken here, but the story will revolve around these voyages and the encounters surrounding each one of them. The cultural clash will of course be between the natives and the nords.
I'm excited for this. It'll be a fun way to get back into the groove of writing larger pieces, and my goal is to land a featured spot in the history section.
PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS POST
Word Count: 4061/50k goal
Page Count: 7/???
Path Count: 0/5
Epilogue Count: 0/3 minimum. Maybe 5
I'll come back and edit this more at a later date, but this is what I have so far. My goal is to update this every week with at least some piece of writing. Here is the first page so far:
Cursed be the day that Erik the Red named this godforsaken rock Greenland. It was a cruel joke to play on his unsuspecting neighbors, your people, in Iceland. You say a silent prayer to Odin to thank him for your ancestors. At least they had the decency to name a country honestly, even if the name was more bland than the near frozen mead you forced down your throat.
It tastes how you feel. Bitter. If it weren’t so damned cold on this rock, then maybe you’d be able to taste the honey. Your reasons for hating this place seemed to grow by the hour and your frustration? Well that swelled each and every single time you took a drink of the mead. It was originally intended as a celebratory drink for when your father, Bjarni, reunited with your grandfather, Bardi. The blasted old fool thought it would be a good idea to venture to a land of verdant forest for his deathbed, and your father was even more of a fool for following in his footsteps. Now, a few months later, after you stolen and hidden all of the mead for yourself, your grandfather was dead and likely rolling in his grave as you finished off the last drops of what was supposed to be his mead.
No, he couldn’t be rolling in his grave. This place is colder than Niflheim. The poor bastard is probably already frozen.
You attempt to take another swig of mead from the horn you use as a mug, but all that comes out is a single drop. Buzzed and frustrated, you toss the horn angrily to the side and stare at the icy expanse of ocean in front of you. The rocky, grey coast expands out to either side of you and the clouds, in a unifying fit of blandness, extend indefinitely across the ocean. Neither white nor black, these clouds couldn’t seem to decide whether or not to be a storm.
Some verdant forest, huih?
The breeze’s monotonous whistle lulls you into complacency as drunken fatigue overtakes you. Although you don’t think you could ever truly sleep outside in this climate, your furs, and the alcohol that flows through your veins help you to enter an uneasy state of restless unconsciousness.
One that ends abruptly as a hand roughly grabs the collar of your tunic and drags you across the rocky shore. Too tired and drunk to react effectively, you struggle against the iron grip that holds you, until, mere moments later, you are thrown into the icy surf. You are too drunk to latch on to any cohesive string of thoughts, but your emotions, those you can feel inside you swelling to the top. Despite the frigidity of the water claiming you her own, the fire of your rage and frustration heat your soul first, then your body. Your fists grab stone and rock under the surf crushing them as you lift yourself from the water. You wipe the water from your eyes and beard, then turn around to face your assailant.
Bjarni Herjolfsson, your father, stands before you dressed head to toe in his Viking battle gear. His helmet was made of leather, but accented by iron. His chain mail shirt covers his normal tunic, and, with his wool vest stretched over his chainmail shirt, he cuts an imposing figure. It was then that your eyes found his, and you found perhaps the most important part of your father's battle preparation. A rage, not unlike how you currently felt, seems to flow from his eyes as readily as blood flows through your veins. He grips his axe, carved and notched from the lives he’s taken, in his right hand. Your axe, barely carved at all, sits in his left hand. As your eyes meet his he tosses your axe to the ground where the surf claws at the shore.
“Orlog. You have disgraced our name, our ancestors, and now, our very heritage.” His voice was deep, and even a little gravelly as he growled out familiar words. “As Odin himself once instructed our ancestors. ‘Don't leave your weapons lying about behind your back in a field; you never know when you may, all of a sudden, need your spear.’ Or your axe you foolish oaf. This day you have taken a step away from your very gods, and if you were smart, then you would face your reckoning with that axe in hand.”
He unstraps a second shield from his back and drops it by your axe, and then proceeds to strap his own shield to his left arm. He then readies himself in his berserker stance. A stance you hoped would never be directed at you.
Rage is still your companion as you stare your father down. It whispers to you, telling you to pick up your weapons and to embrace your nordic heritage. You could beat your father. He has grown old. The water, freezing though it was, helped to focus your alcohol muddled senses. Even not at the top of your game, you still had a good chance. Maybe your victory would show him who was closer to your ancestors and gods.
But maybe, just maybe, he wasn’t worth your time. The old fool had brought you from your land ancestral inheritance to a land of grey rock and Niflheim-like cold. Perhaps it was time to forge your own path and not conform to his antiquated ideas of what honor means.
Pick up your weapons and fight
Intriguing start indeed. I love it!
Oh this sounds fun, already read the first page! It's pretty cool to have more viking stories to read. Vinland saga got me especially hooked on this Norse exploration stuff. There are also some awesome podcasts about this subject. This one talks about the greenland vikings in particular: Link
One curious question, have you decided which native group you want to focus on? I believe the author of Vinland saga decided to portray the Mi'kmaq people, but I know that you also have the Innu and its subgroups.
Perhaps you have already done some research yourself, but it would be pretty cool if the vikings in your story will never call these groups "natives", but Skraelings instead.
Yeah, here's hoping it turns out well.
I have done some research already and I was thinking about the Mi'kmaq. At least in the path of the Vikings I was thinking in having them call the Native Skraelings. They wouldn't know any better. However, I currently am planning a path where the MC may join the natives, so he may found out then. Everything depends on choices of course.
Well so far, this sounds promising and a pretty good way to re-establish yourself here.
That was my thought as well. Winning was how I established myself originally, so it would probably work again.
Edit: And the Bantastic thread. The contests were what made it last though.