Three Raven Clan longships approached England.
- Sigurd: There she is... England. Our new home.
- Dag: Not a patch on Norway, but we'll make this land our own soon enough.
- Eivor: I am glad to see any land at all. And will be happy to have my feet on solid ground again.
- Sigurd: We must not rush our landing. All you see here is Saxon territory. The Kingdom of Mercia, largely unpacified. There will be eyes watching us from the trees, with bows drawn and traps set. We must be wary. Randvi! Dig in your oars! All standing!
- Randvi: Have you spotted something?
- Sigurd: Not yet, but let us go ahead to clear the path of any dangers. Then follow our lead when the sun brushes the horizon.
- Randvi: Understood! May Thor bless you all on your way! We will see you soon!
Randvi's longship and another stopped in their tracks, leaving only Sigurd's longship to continue inwards.
- Sigurd: Sail on!
- Dag: Yes! I am ready for whatever these green-thumbed fairy folk have to throw at us.
- Eivor: Sigurd, do the Sons of Ragnar know that we are coming?
- Sigurd: They do not. But they will not scoff at our visit. Of the four kingdoms in England, the Sons of Ragnar have settled only one. The rest is ripe for the taking.
- Dag: Do we mean to join their army?
- Sigurd: No, no. We will speak with them, get the lay of the land. And carve this country into as many pieces as we see fit.
They approached the inlet of a river, passing by a monastery on the right coast.
- Dag: Look ahead there. Is that what passes for a town? Plain brick and a single rune to their timid god?
- Sigurd: That rune is called a rood, Dag. The cross upon which their god was sacrificed. It sits atop a monastery, a place of worship.
- Dag: That cross killed their Christ, and now they display it in worship! Bizarre.
- Eivor: We carve idols of our gods and make wishes before them. Like our sacrifices to Odin the One-Eyed.
- Dag: But we do not worship the wolf that kills him! That is the difference.
- Sigurd: Whatever strangeness we see in these Saxons, they must think the same of us.
- Dag: The hammer! Now there is a symbol worthy of a god. A bolt of lightning would take that cross clean off!
The longship continued inwards, where the crew spotted a baptism ritual taking place.
- Dag: Look there! What are they doing?
- Eivor: Ritual drowning.
- Sigurd: Baptism, Dag. Are the ways of Christians really so unfamiliar to you?
- Dag: Not at all! I simply forgot. And someone has to keep the conversation up. It must be priests and worshippers alone in that place. We could storm this port with ease, sack it without breaking a sweat.
- Eivor: Is there much in the way of treasure there?
- Dag: Always! They shape precious metals and cut jewels to their gods. There will be a fortune there!
- Sigurd: Later, Dag. There will be time enough for raiding once we have settled.
They approached a river blockade, unable to proceed further.
- Sigurd: Come to! Stop the boats! Pull up over there. The way forward is blocked by a chain spanning the river. We must remove it before pressing on.
- Dag: A chain? Can we cut through it?
- Sigurd: It's too thick for axes. But there must be a way to release it somewhere in that camp.
- Eivor: I will go.
- Dag: And I will be right behind you!
- Sigurd: No, Dag. You stay here. Should trouble come our way, I want you defending the ship.
- Dag: A good idea. Send out the arrow and keep your sharpest axe at hand, eh?
- Sigurd: Something like that.
The longship pulled into a patch of reeds, north of the camp. Eivor alighted and approached the camp. She either killed the soldiers or snuck in. If the soldiers were killed, she searched the camp and found a note.
- River Chain Blockade:
After conducting several trials we have found that these naval chains will hold against even the most durable Danish longships, so long as the mechanism remains intact. Several more blockades will be constructed in the coming months and are to be installed on the rivers leading inland.
This is our best defense against any forthcoming incursions. It is imperative that the blockades be maintained and kept operational at all times. Any failure of function is to be reported immediately.
Eivor entered a small building housing the naval chain.
- Eivor: This chain is huge. And poorly anchored, it appears. I might be able to shoot it.
She shot and destroyed the mechanisms holding the chain, causing it to drop and sink.
- Eivor: Done. The path is clear.
With the chain removed, Sigurd's longship moved inwards, allowing Eivor to board.
- Sigurd: The chain is away! Eivor, back to the boat! We should be close now. Barring any more surprises.
Eivor boarded the longship and the Raven Clan continued their way.
- Sigurd: Fine work, Eivor
- Dag: I say we go back, Sigurd. Give those dogs a good knock-around and take whatever treasures they have. Easy pickings.
- Sigurd: Not today, Dag. We press on until we reach our goal. We cannot afford another surprise. Now be on your guard. It should not be far.
- Dag: Gods, I'm ravenous! I hope they have food and ale on hand when we arrive. You should have sent word ahead of us, Sigurd. To get something on the spit.
- Sigurd: If Halfdan, Ubba, and Ivarr Ragnarsson are lacking food in England, then all of us will starve. Have no worry.
- Dag: Ah, I can see it now! A suckling pig, tender and juicy. And ale as gold as the treasures that we failed to steal back there.
- Eivor: A man of simple pleasures, aren't you, Dag?
- Sigurd: And he is happier for it. For my part, I look forward to standing in the footsteps of the giants that built this land.
- Dag: What giants?
- Sigurd: The great Romans and their empire, giants of a forgotten age. They held dominion here, long ago, and their ruins dot the landscape. Every brick and stone tells a story of conquest and glory, and now they are rubble and ash.
- Dag: Ready to be remade! We will rebuild their empire, brick by brick! And ours will not crumble to dust.
- Sigurd: All things end, Dag. Ruins are not a warning, they are a testament.
They caught sight of a settlement ahead.
- Sigurd: Look there, just ahead. Where the Sons of Ragnar make their camp.
- Dag: At last. To find our feet on steady ground.
- Eivor: Sigurd, hold back. Something isn't right.
- Dag: Good eye. There is too little movement for an army. Only tents and a few men.
- Eivor: Not the army we hoped to find?
- Sigurd: No... let us get a closer look.
The longship approached the settlement, getting a closer look at the inhabitants.
- Eivor: Those are not Norsemen. They are too ragged and soiled.
- Sigurd: We should proceed on foot, lest they spot the boats.
- Eivor: Dag and I will go together.
- Sigurd: We all go. If they are friends, I wish to meet them as a jarl. And if they are foes, then we fight them all, together.
The longship docked at the port.
- Sigurd: Who are these men?
- Eivor: They speak with twisted accents. English, no doubt.
- Sigurd: Dag, Eivor... on me.
The Raven Clan arrived at the supposed Ragnarsson encampment in Mercia, finding it to be occupied by Saxons.