I have just posted a first draft of Chapter 25  Hraes’-Roman War of 941 to “The Saga of Ivar ‘the Boneless’ Hraerikson” Book of the website SeiberTeck.com under the Book Heading of that name.

Ivar the Boneless was a Grandson of Ragnar Lothbrok

The new chapter finds Prince Hraerik taking the Silk Road to Cathay and Prince Ivar again heading for Baghdad to meet Maharaja Rajan of Gujarat who plans to head north to Jutland while Ivar takes the new Varangian trade route to India.  At the end of summer, they meet again in Baghdad and compare notes and Rajan asks Ivar to write him a song he has titled ‘Flight of the Valkyrie’.  Maharaja Rajan has also sponsored five hundred Jutland farm families in moving to Gujarat because climate change has ruined their farms in Denmark.

The Varangians once more connect with the other Hraes’ and Viking merchants returning to the northern lands, but Ivar waits at the new Rioni/Kura Rivers portage for his father’s return from Cathay with weapons with which to attack the Eastern Roman Empire.  Prince Ivar becomes impatient and begins the war himself by attacking the city of Sinope on the southern Black Sea coast and he captures the city and is infatuated by the Roman consul’s wife.  Ivar meets up with his father in Nicomedia and they lay siege to the Roman garrison within the fortress there.  As the siege drags on, they learn that the Roman navy is not at Constantinople, so they send a fleet to attack fifteen Roman dromon warships that are left in the Golden Horn harbour there.  They want to destroy those ships before the Roman navy returns but they don’t know that Emperor Romanos has had the ships equipped with Greek fire, the Brimstone weapon of the Byzantines.  The Varangian fleet is caught by surprise and suffers heavy losses and is scattered.

In the spring, when the Roman army and navy return from the Levant, where they had been fighting the Arab Caliphate, they go head to head with the legions of Kiev and Tmutorokan on a plain outside of Nicomedia.  There they fight to a standstill thanks to new gravity trebuchets from Cathay as well as rocket propelled arrows.  But the new trading season has started and the Hraes’ withdraw and sail away to meet their merchant fleet in Baghdad.  The great Roman General, John Kourkouas, claims victory in Nicomedia and returns to his war against the Arabs in the Levant, but he never makes it to Baghdad.

Book Three, “The Saga of Ivar ‘the Boneless’ Hraerikson,” reveals how Ivar the Boneless Ragnarson was actually Prince Eyfur/Ivar (Igor in Slavic) Hraerikson of Kiev and then King Harde Knute of Denmark. By comparing a twenty year lacuna in the reign of Prince Igor in the Russian Chronicles with a coinciding twenty year appearance of a King Harde Knute (Hard Knot) of Denmark in European Chronicles, Prince Igor’s ‘death by sprung trees’, which reportedly tore his legs off, may have rather just left him a boneless and very angry young king. Loyal Danes claimed, “It was a hard knot indeed that sprung those trees,” but his conquered English subjects, not being quite as polite, just called him, “Ivar the Boneless”.

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