The Saga of Canute ‘the Great’ Sweynson Ch. 11.0


Book 7, Ch. 11.0, King Canute Returns to Denmark  (c. 1023 AD), Excerpts:

(1023 AD)  After Yulefest and Christmas had been celebrated in London, King Canute returned to Winchester and Queen Emma and Prince Hraerik returned to Southampton.  Emma had been holding back some information on the last Newfoundland trading season until she got some confirmations from her Norman sea captains in Rouen.  They had sailed straight from New Ireland in the Newfoundland to Rouen, so Queen Emma had invited them to London over the festive season because she wanted to hear their tales directly from them before making Prince Hraerik aware of the developing problem.

“We had some trouble with the Greenlanders last trading season,” the queen told her husband.  “I didn’t want to bring it up with you until I received some confirmations.”

“What have they done now?” Hraerik asked wearily.  “They’re supposed to keep to the north end of the Island of New Ireland and we’re to keep to the south end.”

“The problem isn’t in New Ireland,” Emma said.  “It’s in the interior of the Newfoundland.”  Hraerik sat up as she continued, “Some Greenlanders in York boats were captured trading on the Mis Sis Sippi River.”

“They’re not supposed to be there,” Hraerik said.  “They’re not allowed on the Newfoundland River or across our Nia Gara Falls portage to even get there!”

“Apparently they didn’t use the river or go past the falls,” Emma responded.  “That’s what I wanted confirmed.  They’ve found a route straight west from Greenland into the Newfoundland and they take an inland river to the Mis Sis Sippi.  They were captured by one of our longships at the north end of Le Miz.”

“So, what happened?”

“Our longship captain decapitated one of them and sent the rest back north in their boats.  He told them if they ever came back, he would execute them all.”

“He should have brought the man back here instead of killing him,” Hraerik said.  “Then we could interrogate him, get names, numbers and routes so we can stop them.”

“My captain said that if he’d taken one of them, the rest would have trailed his ship to rescue the captive.  He gave them the body, but he kept the man’s head.  He claims our Aesir witches can make the head talk.”

“Perhaps Witch Hallveig can get it to talk, but the head has to be properly preserved in order for that option to work.”

“Our captain’s cabin boy is actually a young girl who is also an apprentice witch of Rouen.  She did some preservation work in the Newfoundland, but they sailed straight to Rouen to have her coven witch do the final work on it as quickly as possible.  By doing it this way, our captain figures we can get the intel without the Greenlanders even suspecting that we’ve got it.  We can lay a trap for them this spring in case they come back.”

“Oh, they’ll be back alright!” Hraerik said, rubbing his hands together.  “And they’ll fock up our relations with the natives there.  They always end up getting into battles with the Skraelings, as they call them.  They’re all warrior farmers, not professionals, like our Hraes’ traders, and they all take after Erik ‘the Red’!”

I have just posted a first draft of Chapter 11.0,  King Canute Returns to Denmark  (Circa 1023 AD),of Book Seven of ‘The Lying Sagas of Denmark’ Series, “The Saga of King Canute ‘the Great’ Sweynson” to the website under the Book Seven Heading.

“Come on.”  Emma sat up this time.  “I did invite that captain here in case you wanted to question him directly.  And he had his cabin boy with him.”

“And just how old is his cabin girl?”

“She’s about two years too young.”

“She’s only ten?  And she can preserve a head already?  She’s good!”

“That’s what the captain said.”

“Can you send for them?”

“They’re right here in the palace.  I gave them a guest suite.  They make a cute couple.”

Emma and Hraerik dined that evening with the cute couple and the girl was cute and blonde and the captain was about thirty and handsome and blonder.  They had been told that the young girl’s talents would be needed for a séance later so she came with her wand and magics kit and he carried her witch’s outfit for her.  After their meal in the highseat hall, they retired to Emma’s master suite and Witch Nadege undressed and stood naked in front of them as Captain Hugh shook out her dress for her.  The girl saw the head box on the headboard of the bed and said, “Will it be involved?” and she walked over to the headboard and reached for it but was too short.  Hraerik followed behind her and brushed against her side as he took the box off the top and passed it to her.  “I think you knew it would be,” he answered, and he noticed she had quivered as he brushed against her.

Hraerik spent some time with young Prince Hardeknute in Roskilde, and while he was there a merchant ship arrived with news that Kiev was under siege by Prince Mstislav of Tmutorokan and his legions and Kasogian horsemen and Khazar troops and Huns.  When he got back to Queen Emma in Southampton he told her how their son was doing and she told him how well Captain Hugh had done.  The trading in the Newfoundland had gone well and they’d replenished all the Hraes’ trading posts there and had collected vast quantities of fine fur pelts, some known, but most unknown to the old world.  And they had set their trap for the Greenlanders and had killed a few, but had captured many.  They had two dozen Greenland traders to ransom back to King Olaf of Norway, who controlled Iceland and Greenland trade.  King Canute had already sent messengers to Lade with an offer to exchange the prisoners for assurances that they would cease inland trade and stick to their northern coastal trade zone.

“King Canute also spent the summer in London,” she told him, “digging up the body of Saint Alphege and returning it to Canterbury to reward young Earl Godwin for his success in Poland.  Bishop Alphege was from Godwin’s hometown and he wanted the saint buried there to spite London as much as anything, I suspect.”

Queen Emma was showing her Prince the progress being made on King Sweyn’s castle when they saw Jarl Eirik’s warfleet sailing up the Solent and into the Viking harbour.  They had won a great victory over the Berber pirates south of Ireland and had destroyed most of the fleet but had lost a number of ships to the Arab version of Greek fire flung by catapults.  But the catapults were no match for the gravity trebuchets of the legion transport warships, both in range and firing velocity.  The tonstone shot being whipped at the Arab caracks tore them apart from stem to stern.  As the ships closed in on each other and throwing distances closed, triple shots of tonstone could be hurled with each fling, and the results were catastrophic for the caracks.  Emma and Eirik had even outfitted two new tallships with deck mounted trebuchets and tween deck mounted ballistae that shot huge bolts through portholes that smashed timber below the waterlines of the caracks, causing them to take on water faster than their bilge pumps could discharge it and some were equipped to fire tonstone shot that swept decks of men and machines.  Jarl Eirik’s war with the Berber pirates had gone so well that he planned to return to York soon and would only return to Wight if fresh pirate fleets came back.

“Witch Hallveig and I plan to send a message to York that we will be on our way home soon,” Jarl Eirik told Prince Hraerik and Queen Emma.  “You’re welcome to join in on the messaging if you wish.  If not, Witch Nadege can handle it.”

“I don’t know if I would be sending such a message,” Hraerik told him.  “You’ll get there when you get there.  There’s always a danger in the use of the Zombie drug.  It’s still killing people in India.”

“Hallveig and I have been very successful sending messages,” Eirik responded.  “We haven’t had any problems.”

“Do you mind if we just observe and help Nadege if she needs it?” Emma asked.

Eirik looked over to Witch Hallveig, then said, “That’s fine with us.”

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.

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