King IVAR the BONELESS was Prince IVAR (Igor) of KIEV and his son
King SWEYN ‘FORKBEARD’ IVARSON was Prince SVEINALD (Sviatoslav) of KIEV
I have just posted a first draft of Chapter 26, ‘KING SWEYN ATTACKS ANGLELAND’ of “The Saga of Svein ‘the Old’ Ivarson” Book Four to the website SeiberTeck.com under the Book Heading of that name.
Book 4, Chapter 26, ‘KING SWEYN ATTACKS ANGLELAND’ (Circa 1003-1006 AD):
Please Note: This website is about Vikings and Varangians and the way they lived over a thousand years ago. The content is as explicit as Vikings of that time were and scenes of violence and sexuality are depicted without reservation or apology. Reader discretion is advised.
King Sweyn returns to southern Angleland with two mobile legions and one legion of cataphract knights and they immediately set upon the city of Exeter. There they found a Jarl Hugh of Normandy in charge of five thousand Normans in defence of the city wall, operating pretty much under the same rewards that Jarl Pallig had received two years earlier, possession of Cornwall for the defence of southern England. He is offered the same deal Sweyn had given Pallig, surrender the city for a share of booty, but Jarl Hugh tells King Sweyn that he is not working for Duke Richard, but rather, his sister, Queen Emma of Normandy, queen of England. However, he does decide to take Sweyn up on his offer and the Normans join in on the sacking of Exeter before returning to Rouen.
Because the attack was in response to the massacre of Danes in Angleland, all the citizens of Exeter were enslaved and no ransoms were accepted. The entire populace was shipped off to the slave schools of Kiev. The Danes burned the city to the ground and used their powerful trebuchets to knock down the fire weakened walls and stone structures until the site was levelled. Then they sailed up the River Exe, sacking and burning the towns and villages until they reached the walled city of Taunton, which had been rebuilt after its last sacking. They were let into the city by a poet and a singer through negotiations and they captured the citadel and mint in the center of it. The Vikings took away bars of silver and sacks of coins by the thousands and of ten thousand citizens, one thousand were spared and were given the task of taking down their own city walls. The rest were sent off to Kiev.
The warfleet sailed from Exeter east along the southern coast of Angleland and, as they sailed past towns and villages on the coast, King Sweyn would send out ships from his fleet to sack them, so many ships for this size of village, and so many ships for that size of town, and always slaver knars followed them to take away all the people and the Danes burned all the buildings. All civilization along the coast suddenly ceased to exist. There was minimal loss of life, but only because there was maximum loss of freedom. The people were all enslaved, no Roman rule of law, no ransoms. The situation was even more dire in other parts of Angleland as other Viking groups ravaged the coasts everywhere in promised response to the massacre of the Danes. Ships kept arriving at the Isle of Wight from all over Scandinavia full of troops and warriors from Hraes’ and Finland and Sweden and Norway and Denmark and Normandy. Ships came from Dublin and Scotland and the Orkneys and the Hebrides and even from Iceland and Greenland.
All summer, Angleland was ravaged, but King Athelred stayed behind the walls of London with the numerous fyrds there. Ealdorman Elfric had returned to London with harrowing tales of a hard-fought battle in Wiltshire and all the Earls and Ealdormen found reasons to stay in London as well. This same councillors that had put forth the massacre idea suggested that perhaps King Athelred’s new wife, Queen Emma, being of Danish heritage, could meet with King Sweyn and broker a peace between the two kings. King Athelred immediately seized upon the idea as if it were his own. Queen Emma was a pawn in his court and hostages were exchanged to ensure the queen’s safety and she sailed by ship out of London and arrived in Southampton towards the end of summer and began a relationship with the Danish King Sweyn that would last the rest of their lives.
The next year a tribute was paid to King Sweyn for a semblance of peace and the Roman laws of sacking and enslavement were again being followed and the attacks were deescalated. Emma was not a pawn to be trifled with, as she had gotten the city of Southampton for her own to replace her destroyed city of Exeter, and she started construction of a palace and a cathedral there across the sound called ‘the Solent’ from King Sweyn’s Viking fortress on the Isle of Wight. She exacted a promise from Sweyn that he would not sack her second city and he followed that promise and protected the whole area from other attacks.
But the continual ravaging of the land came at a cost and a drought came in 1005 and, even though Sweyn suspended all attacks, the people began starving and the slaver knars of the Hraes’ travelled throughout Angleland buying up English slaves and then the children and young women and men of the countryside. Even in calamity, King Sweyn made a profit, but the alternative was far worse. The Hraes’ Trading Company had been profiting from famines for generations, so, they knew firsthand how bad things got when they arrived late. The children of the poor were the first to start ‘disappearing’.
Book Four, “The Saga of Svein ‘the Old’ Ivarson,” demonstrates how Prince Svein ‘the Old’ (Slavic: Sviatoslav ‘the Brave’) of Kiev later moved to Norway and fought to become King Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark. But before being forced out of Russia, he sated his battle lust by crushing the Khazars and attacking the great great grandfather of Vlad the Impaler in a bloody campaign into the Heart of Darkness of Wallachia against the Army of the Impalers and their 666 salute. The campaign was so mortifying that the fifteen thousand pounds of gold that the Emperor of Constantinople paid him to attack them seemed not nearly enough, so Prince Svein attacked the Eastern Roman Empire itself. He came so close to defeating the greatest empire in the world, that later Danish Christian Kings would call his saga, and the sagas of his kin, “The Lying Sagas of Denmark” and set out to destroy them.