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Who's Who?
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Who's Who?

Below you will find the "standard" story line we use and our most common "characters". These characters are altered to suit the needs of various demonstrations as is the standard scenario.

Ragnarr owns a boat (Særhest - seahorse pronounced Sire-hest) and takes a crew out on trading trips now and again. The actual crew varies from trip to trip but lots of regular folks are to be seen. These trips usually turn a profit but it never seems to be quite as good as hoped for. But at least it makes enough to keep the boat in good repair. The crew is off once again on a trading trip -- this one to the southwest of our home in Iceland. We've heard about some good places so we are trying them but so far we haven't had a "big score". We'll try one or two more places on the way home after this stop on the river. As usual you'll probably hear lots of complaints about the trip but no real explanations as to why they keep coming along....

It is worth pointing out that it is highly unlikely a true trading trip would involve babies or as many women as we tend to take along. The sheer volume of artefacts that we travel with (chairs, looms, large quantities of ironwork) is also out of proportion to what would actually have been done. Both of these alterations are, however, done intentionally. They allow us to display to the public a much broader cross-section of the norse world.

Æsa - household skills

Æsa has been traveling with us for a while hunting for a good husband. She finally found one -- (Rig) and promptly sent him along with us so that he would make enough money to buy her more supplies.
Astrid - looking cute

Astrid, Gudrunsdottir (or Grimboldsdottir depending on what she has been doing lately) joined the crew very recently. Aside from regularly becoming the focus of a lot of attention, she hasn't yet shown signs of many serious skills although Grimbold appears to have plans for her as a carver.
Auðr - spinning

Auðr Oddsdottir is Þora's impoverished cousin from Hedeby. She helps with the household work in return for a roof over her head and food. Auðr and her husband had a falling out when he decided to start trading toward Byzantium. He wanted Auðr and the two children to move in with his parents while he was away, but Auðr couldn't face the thought of living with her mother-in-law, so she was forced to leave the children behind in Hedeby and move in with Þora and Grimmr. She hopes to make herself so useful that Þora will agree to let her bring the children to Yorvik.

Although she and Þora get along very well, Auðr likes to spend time grumbling about her lot in life. She is constantly bothering Grimmr for new spinning and weaving tools, or plotting yet another fish dish for Þora, who believes all meat should once have had hooves or feathers.
Bera - cooking, textiles

Bera is Ketill's wife. They joined the crew in Dubhlin and really miss the city life with all its luxuries. She tends to be the "chief wife" along on the trips and works hard to keep the other wives under control, co-opting people as necessary to make sure things are done. She's often seen working around the fire either on foods or various textiles.
Emundr - learning

Emundr is Rig and Æsa's son. When he was very young he traded eggs for prizes like beads and even a bone pin. He is now learning woodworking and bead making from his father and uncle. He also loves to learn new old songs and stories on his father's knee.
Grimbold - carving, iron smelting

Grimbold and his wife Gudrun joined the crew a while ago (from the home countries). They've lately added their dottir Astrid to the crowd and of course bring their þrall Kadja along to care for the youngster and whatever else needs doing. Grimbold tends to spend his time carving antler and bone but doesn't limit himself to making just little things from those materials.
Gudrun - textiles, household skills

Gudrun and her husband Grimbold joined the crew a while ago (from the home countries) Gudrun is a quiet woman with a healing way who weaves. She's lately added their dottir Astrid to the crowd.
Hrobjartr - beads, tablet weaving

Hrobjartr is Rig's brother. They are travelling with Ragnarr to find a better home after they lost their home in Iceland after a volcanic eruption.
Jorunn Roidattir - textiles

Jorunn grew up on a small homestead close to Jórvik. She discovered early after starting to weave that she much preferred that to spinning. Much as she misses her family left behind in the Danelaw, she enjoys the companionship of working with the women on the voyage and the adventure of discovering new lands. She travels with her husband Þorgeir and daughter Katla.
Kaðlín áburðarkona - Ambatt, Weaving

Kaðlín was a small town girl living on the shores of Scotland in the mid 800s when Vikings raided the nearby church and stole some of the young womenfolk away. She was promptly renamed by her Viking captor, Ragnarr, who says he couldn't pronounce "that pig grunt language the Scots use" anyway. She now lives with Ragnarr in Iceland as his ambatt. Kaðlín seems to have adjusted well to her life as an ambatt but retains a fondness for the plaids of her homeland.
Kadja eldsfullr - Þrall, Cooking

Kadja joins the crew whenever Grimbold decides to bring her along. He picked her up on a voyage down the rivers of the Rus. She was traded north after her father sold her. She was almost gambled away by Grimbold one night while playing games but he paid off his debt and her future is much more certain - maybe not happier but certain.
Katla - learning textiles

Having been travelling most of her life, Katla is equally at home in a tent as a house, though often complains about the quality of her bed. As she grows up, she is slowly learning how to spin, weave, and sew from her mother Jorunn and other women in the household, but prefers to hang out with the other girls her age. Her father, Þorgeirr, despairs of ever finding a good husband for her and fears the dowry he may have to offer.
Ketill ellimóðr Einarsson - Blacksmith

Ketill, like many young Norse men from Norway, went 'a viking', and was involved in the battles in Ireland. He was fascinated with the work of the weapons smiths, and learned how to work iron, spending more and more time in the forge - and less and less on the battlefield. In his middle age, he decided to settle near Dubhlin with his wife Bera, spending his hard earned silver on a small farmstead. He now balances his work as a blacksmith with seasonal trading voyages to Jorvick and Birka.
Ragnarr Þorbergsson - games, navigation, trade goods, beads, generalist

Ragnarr started viking with many of his Danish friends. As the years passed and he started slowing down he began to spend more time on trading than raiding. Now he splits his time at his home in Iceland and travelling to trade. He's usually found sitting near a pile of trade goods whiling away the time by gaming and gambling, or carving (usually soapstone to keep his nice soft viking hands in good shape). He is often attended by his ambatt Kaðlín. Some say he is too lenient with her but he seems untroubled by this (maybe he's just gotten used to her).
Rig - music, pewter casting

Rig, fortunate enough to miss the boat on its first ill fated voyage, is a skald and a caster in pewter. He accompanies the crew (as many artisans do) working off the cost of the transport of him and his goods. With luck he may even someday catch up with his wife Æsa who is wandering the North Atlantic looking for him.
Þorgeir Mikjállson - woodwork

Under threat from an increasing Saxon influence, Þorgeirr fled his family home west of Jórvik in pursuit of new land a freer life. After travelling through Dublin and Iceland with his Anglo-Danish wife (Jorunn Roidatter) and their children (Eskil Skeggi, Oli Halfdan, Gyða, and Katla), Þorgeirr was persuaded by Ragnarr that Greenland held greater promise. Having not found the fertile land that were promised, Þorgeirr now divides his time between trying to manage his family and turn wood to trade.
Þorgrimr - carving

Þorgrimr Gunnarson is a carver who works in bone, antler, ivory, jet, amber, wood, and stone.

      Updated: 6 Sep, 2015
Text © Neil Peterson, 2015
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