I have just posted a first draft of Chapter 27  The Birth of Svein Ivarson  (Circa 943) 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 the Hraes’ merchant fleet heading for Baghdad, but Prince Ivar stops in at Phasis to spend some time with his Roman wife there and, because he is a week behind the fleet he catches glimpses of an army being trained in Bardha by Roman officers.  While spying on the Romans he finds a group training a war elephant and when the trainers retire for the evening the Varangians steal the elephant and slay it with spears on the riverbank.  They spare the mahout and take him back to India with them.  The ‘Killing an Elephant’ sequence is taken from the Swedish saga of Ingvar the Traveler and is actually done by Ingvar’s son, Svein in the original saga.

Prince Ivar and his father spend another summer in India and set up two Hraes’ trading stations there, one in Ashaval in Gujarat province and one in Mumba in Maharashtra province.  Princess Myia and Hraerik share in the birth of a daughter and they work at having sons.  On the way back north the two princes see a quarantine flag flying in Bardha.  Ivar sailed to Kiev and Hraerik sailed to Tmutorokan, promising to meet in a month.  Prince Ivar makes it back to Kiev in time to witness Princess Helga give birth to their son, Svein (Slavic: Sviatoslav).

They had a new design of warship with which to take on the Greek fire breathing dromons of the Roman fleet.  On the way south, they raid Constanza and learn that the Romans have recovered some of Ivar’s lost gold from the bottom of the sea there.  They find the Roman dragonships in Messembria and exploit a weakness of the bronze fire tubes that allows them to destroy the fifteen fire breathers.  And the weakness is taken right out of the Swedish saga of Ingvar the Traveler.  Then the Hraes’ war fleet sails south to Constantinople and Prince Ivar nails a list of his demands to the main gate of the city.  On the way back north, they stop in Constanza and Hraerik uses some tricks he learned from the underwater breathers of Gujarat to glean more of Ivar’s lost gold from ships that sank in waters too deep for pearl divers to recover it.  I worked with an engineer from Bangladesh who was an underwater breather and who had trained to stay underwater for more than two hours at a time, but it is difficult getting information on the history of this exclusive practice, so I had to make some up.

Ivar becomes impatient with the siege of Constanza and the slow dives taking place so, he takes part of the war fleet and decides to go to Bardha and attack the militia army and their Roman trainers there.

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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