Book 7, Chapter 8.0, Prince Hraerik Goes To The Newfoundland (Circa 1020 AD), Excerpts:
(1020 AD) In the early spring the tallships were all prepped and ready to go and Prince Hraerik kissed Queen Emma goodbye on the main quay of Southampton and two longships towed his tallship out of the harbour and out into the English Channel to join a dozen tallships, the rest of the fleet of that was going to make the western ocean crossing. They sailed in a tacking pattern west past the coast of Frankia and then south until they found a strong westerly prevailing wind and the fleet made good daily progress, as much as two hundred miles a day, and Captain Hugh of Hraerik’s flagship told him that they wanted to stay as far north in the prevailing wind as possible without crossing into an easterly prevailing wind that typically ran at England’s latitude. Going further south to Spain’s latitude would guarantee them a strong westerly wind but they would have to go further back up the coast of the Newfoundland to get to the mouth of the Great Newfoundland River and that would eat up any time they gained on the crossing. “And the further south we cross at,” Captain Hugh added, “the longer the crossing becomes, the longest distance being at the equator.”
“When I made the first tallship crossing a few years ago,” the Prince told the Captain, “we had no idea what the prevailing winds were like. We just knew it would take twice as long to get there with all the tacking we did and half as long to get back home with a direct wind.”
“Going home is always better,” the Captain agreed.
I have just posted a first draft of Chapter 7.0, Prince Hraerik Goes To The Newfoundland (Circa 1020 AD), of Book Seven of ‘The Lying Sagas of Denmark’ Series, “The Saga of King Canute ‘the Great’ Sweynson” to the website SeiberTeck.com under the Book Seven Heading.
“It was along this river, a hundred and fifty years ago, that my son, Prince Helgi ‘Arrow Odd’ Hraerikson,” Prince Hraerik told the captain, “had scuttled his own ships and had hidden them underwater and had taken York boats, longboats he had purchased in Northumbria, and portaged them around the falls to escape the wrath of King Frodi of Denmark.”
The old portage route that King Frodi had built to try and chase after Arrow Odd had grown over, but Prince Hraerik had convinced the tribe that Arrow Odd had married into to clear the portage route so it could be used by the Hraes’ traders. The local natives had spent the last few years clearing and conditioning the old portage route that King Frodi’s army had almost completed, clearing it of a hundred years of overgrowth, and it was now ready for use.
Each of the dozen tallships had been equipped with a small Viking longship strapped upside down their foredecks and the Prince had each captain unstrap them and lower them down with ropes by the ships’ cargo cranes. Two tallships sat abreast of each other and the crane of one ship would lower the bow and the crane of the other ship would lower the stern of a longship into the water between them and then they would unload the other longship from the foredeck of the other tallship. When all twelve of the longships were safely in the water, the local natives came out and greeted the Prince and began dragging the ships up onto the riverbanks and they used roller logs to haul the longships up the portage road they had reconditioned. Other natives dragged the supplies behind the ships on travois sleds and soon the longships were floating in the Nia-Gara Falls River and being loaded with supplies and trade goods that they were going to take to the Valley of the Mound-Builders. But there were no mound cities built yet in the Valley of the Mound Builders, just ceremonial mounds for religious worship and a lot of snake mounds. “King Gorm ‘the Old’ would have felt at home there,” Hraerik told Hugh, “for the Snake King was a great explorer in his own day.” The mound cities would come later, once the natives had seen how the Hraes’ built their ring fort trading posts. The Byzantine ring forts were very effective in providing security for the Hraes’ traders and the continually warring tribes of the Newfoundland and Nia-Gara and Mississippi River Valleys began to emulate the earthen rings and log palisades, but they had more time and manpower and they filled in the centers of the rings with earth as well and would even go up a level or two for increased security and soon whole cities were built on these raised platforms or mounds and the Mississippi Valley truly became the Valley of the Moundbuilders. But for now, there were no mound cities. Only twelve longships sailing across three more great lakes to a small river that would join the mighty Mississippi and take them all the way south to the Great Mayan Sea. Three trading posts were planned for now, the Miss, the Siss and the Sippi in the south where gold was to be found and the natives liked to trade with it.
Prince Hraerik was leading nine longships down the Mississippi to establish two more trading posts, each to be equipped with three longships to support each other. Preparatory exploration and work had been done by Hraes’ traders in York boats, but now, with the portage upgraded, longships plied the long river and trade and cargoes would grow exponentially. Tallships would operate on the east side of the Falls and longships on the west. One trading post was being built in the ringfort style at the southern end of the last Great Lake on land allowed them by the Michigan natives there and now nine longships were sailing south down the long river and they stopped at a place where another great river flowed into the Mississippi from the east and they set up another trading post and left three ships to begin work on another ringfort. Now six longships sailed south down the long river until they got to the estuary and the Great Mayan Sea. Three ships were left there to start on the third trading post and Prince Hraerik led the last three longships into the Mayan Sea and they sailed straight south for several days until they saw a peninsula of land that jutted north, out into the sea. It was the land of the Mayans and the source of the gold.
No Europeans had ever been to the land of the Mayans, but the southern Newfoundland natives had been there trading tin and furs for copper and gold. The Hraes’ had been allowed to build their southernmost post on land provided by the Red Stick natives of the delta and a few of them had accepted Hraes’ gold for their guidance to the Mayan territory. And the Red Sticks helped the Prince set up a market on the outskirts of a Mayan city on the coast. The Hraes’ beached their three longships to form a square with the sea behind them and they set up cooking fires within the square and they set out trade goods on furs outside of the square. While the Newfoundland natives had the look of the people of Cathay, the Mayans had rounder heads and looked a bit Magyar or Pecheneg. Hraerik wondered if the Newfoundland was the easternmost part of Asia, but he had already been there, in the land of the rising sun, looking east out into the vast Ocean there, the Ocean he had assumed to be the Atlantean that he’d often observed to the west of Ireland. Yet here were the same types of people and it puzzled him. He would have to dream on it, he told himself as he welcomed Mayans into their camp for trade.
The Hraes’ had set out hides that had iron frying pans upon them and hides with iron ship’s kettles and others with fine China plates and pewter eating utensils and spices and other goods, but there were no weapons. The Hraes’ traders were all armed with steel swords but they were kept sheathed and were shown to no one. Mayans were allowed withing the square of ships to observe how food was cooked upon frying pans and was boiled in kettles and they were allowed to sample how the various spices from Cathay and India changed the taste of meats and staples. And the Red Stick guides translated the barter in gold required for each type of good, a pound of gold for a fry pan, or two pounds of gold for a kettle. Hraerik remembered back years when he had first traded with the White Sea natives who hid while they marked out prices for their goods by placing a certain type of fur required for a purchase at the foot of the pile of goods. Then they would leave and the natives would come and buy what they wanted and there would be a white sable for a sword or a beaver pelt for a knife. But they’d learned there was a price to be paid in trading Permians fine steel swords for their silver and gold swords, an advantage they’d lost in their having superior weaponry and the mistake was not to be repeated in the Newfoundland.
“Jarl Eirik wants to meet with us in King Sweyn’s fortress,” Valdy began. “He has Witch Hallveig with him and they want to have a séance there, but they’re waiting for you.”
The tabletop then revolved so that Jarl Olaf’s head faced the highseat and his eyes opened and his rune-stick began vibrating and Olaf began speaking in tongues and Witch Hallveig translated the nonsense into Anglish Danish for all. It was a warning and he started with something Prince Hraerik already knew when he said, “My Prince, the Christian Kings of Denmark shall destroy your family sagas,” and then he said, “but that, you already know. But what you don’t know is that the Khan you have killed in the future to save Europe from conquest, shall be avenged by his sons, for Europe will never accept the Hraes’ as European, and the Hraes’ Danish lands in the east shall fall into Mongol hands, and your beloved Gardariki shall be destroyed. Let it be known, too, that all your new works in the west shall be destroyed by God and not a trace of what you do there will be recorded.” Then Jarl Olaf’s eyes closed and the spirits all seemed to leave the hall.
“What does he mean by this?” Canute asked his grandfather.
“I think Jarl Olaf seeks last laugh on that one,” Hraerik told him. “We are excluding the Norse from the southern Newfoundland trade and he is bitter about it. He thinks that only the sagas of the Greenlanders will survive in the western lands. We shall prove him wrong!”
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.
‘The VARANGIANS’ Series (AKA ‘The Lying Sagas of Denmark’ Series):
‘The Varangians’ series (‘AKA ‘The Lying Sagas of Denmark’ series) of five (seven) books is about the Danish Varangian Princes of early Rus’ (Ukraine), based on The Nine Books of Danish History of Saxo Grammaticus and the Rus’ Primary Chronicle of Nestor. The Rus’ monk Nestor asserts that Rus’ was founded by three brothers, Rurik, Sineus and Truvor, but the Danish names in Book 5 of Saxo’s work are Erik, Sigfrodi (King Frodi) and Roller, three brothers from Denmark and Norway.
Book One of the five book Varangians Series places the Saga of King Frodi the Peaceful from Book Five of The First Nine Books of the Danish History of Saxo Grammaticus (c. 1200) into its proper chronological location in history. In 1984, when I first started the book, I had placed the main character, Erik’s (Hraerik’s) birth at circa 800 CE, but have since revised it to 810 to better fit with the timelines of the following books in the series. Saxo had originally placed the saga at the time of Christ’s birth and later experts have placed the story at about 400 CE to correspond with the arrival of the Huns on the European scene but when Attila was driven back to Asia, the Huns didn’t just disappear, they joined the Khazar Empire north of the Caspian Sea and helped the Khazars control the western end of the famous Silk Road trade route.
When King Frodi’s Danes started their ninth century ‘Southern Way’ incursions into the rivers of present day Russia, they ran into the Khazar Khaganate that was controlling Silk Road trade there and cooperation looked promising when he married King Hun’s daughter, Princess Hanund. But she cheated on him and he sent her back to Khazaria in disgrace and things got ugly, fast. Two Norwegian princes, Hraerik and Hraelauger Hraegunarson, sons of the famous Hraegunar Lothbrok, visited Frodi’s court in Liere with a dangerous plan to protect their own Nor’Way trade route to Khazaria, but that plan changed when Prince Hraerik fell in love with and married Princess Gunwar, King Frodi’s sister.
When news arrived in Liere that the Huns planned to attack Denmark, Prince Hraerik convinced King Frodi to assemble a Varangian Army of the North and lead a pre-emptive strike against the Khazar Empire. Following the capture of Kiev, the three brothers, Frodi, Hraerik and Hraelauger established the Hraes’ (Rus’) Trading Company and built an empire that exists in many forms to this very day, including Russia, Normandy, Great Britain and L’Anse Aux Meadows in America. The wealth of the Hraes’ Trading Empire they created powered the prolific Viking expansion in Medieval Europe that still fascinates us today.
Book One, “The Saga of Hraerik ‘Bragi’ Hraegunarson,” recreates Book Five of Saxo’s work to illuminate the origins of the name Rus’ and how it evolved from Hraes’ in ninth century Russia and how the name Varangians originally meant Va Rangers or Way Wanderers of the Nor’Way. The book examines the death of Princess Gunwar (Hervor) at the hands of the Hunnish Prince Hlod and how it drives Prince Hraerik ‘Bragi the Old’ Hraegunarson (Hraegunar Lothbrok’s son) to write a famous poem of praise that both saves his head and rallies the northern kingdoms to fight the infamous Battle of the Goths and the Huns on the Don Plain of Gardariki (Gnita Heath of Tmutorokan).
Book Two, “The Saga of Helgi ‘Arrow Odd’ Hraerikson,” recreates Arrow Odd’s Saga of c. 1200 to illustrate how Arrow Odd was Prince Helgi (Oleg in Slavic) Hraerikson of Kiev, by showing that their identical deaths from the bite of a snake was more than just coincidence. The book investigates the true death of Hraegunar Lothbrok by poisoned blood-snakes (kenning for swords) and how his curse of ‘calling his young porkers to avenge the old boar’ sets up a death spiral between swine (Sveinald) and snakes (Gorm ‘the Old’) that lasts for generations. It then goes on to depict the famous Battle of the Berserks on Samso, where Arrow Odd and Hjalmar the Brave slay the twelve berserk grandsons of King Frodi on the Danish Island of Samso, setting up a death struggle that takes the Great Pagan Army of the Danes from the ravaged coast of Norway to England and on to Helluland in Saint Brendan’s Newfoundland.
Book Three, “The Saga of Ivar ‘the Boneless’ Hraerikson,” reveals how Ivar ‘the Boneless’ Ragnarson was actually Prince Eyfur (Ivar in Danish, 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 I (Hard Knot or Knytling) 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, called him, Ivar ‘the Boneless’. And the Danish ‘Knytling’ line of kings carried on for ‘the Old’ Fridleif/Frodi line of kings.
Books Four, Five and Six, “The Saga of Svein ‘the Old’ Ivarson“, “The Saga of Valdamar ‘the Great’ Sveinson” and “The Saga of Sweyn ‘Forkbeard’ Ivarson” demonstrate how Prince Sviatoslav ‘the Brave’ of Kiev was really Prince Svein Ivarson of Kiev, who later moved to Norway and fought to become King Sweyn ‘Forkbeard’ of Denmark and England. But before being forced out of Russia, the Swine Prince 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 that seemed to herald the coming of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse with the 666 Salute of the Army of the Impalers. The campaign was so mortifying that the fifteen thousand pounds of gold that the Emperor of Constantinople paid him to attack the Army of the Impalers 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 would set out to destroy them, claiming that, “true Christians will never read this saga”.
Book Seven, “The Saga of Canute ‘the Great’ Sweynson”, establishes how Grand Prince Vladimir ‘the Great’ of Kiev was also known as Prince Valdamar Sveinson of Gardar, who supported his father, Sweyn ‘Forkbeard’, in attacks upon England and later became King Canute ‘the Great’ of England and also King Knute ‘the Great’ of Denmark and Norway. Unlike his father, he came to the aid of a Roman Emperor, leading six thousand picked Varangian cataphracts against Anatolian rebels, and was rewarded with the hand of Princess Anna Porphyrogennetos, a true Roman Princess born of the purple who could trace her bloodline back to Julius and Augustus Caesar. She was called Czarina, and after her, all Rus’ Grand Princes were called Czars and their offspring were sought matrimonially by European royalty.
By recreating the lives of four generations of Russian Princes and exhibiting how each generation, in succession, later ascended to their inherited thrones in Denmark, the author proves the parallels of the dual rules of Russian Princes and Danish Kings to be cumulatively more than just coincidence. And the author proves that the Danish Kings Harde Knute I, Gorm ‘the Old’ and Harald ‘Bluetooth’ Gormson/Sweyn ‘Forkbeard’ were not Stranger Kings, but were Danes of the Old Jelling Skioldung Fridlief/Frodi line of kings who only began their princely careers in Rus’ and returned to their kingly duties in Denmark with a lot of Byzantine Roman ideas and heavy cavalry and cataphracts.