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Ragnar of Birka

Mundane Name: 
Eric Ottoson
Phone Number: 
937 925 0646

 I was born in 957 in the south west part of Sweden near the southern end of Lake Vanern. My father was a shipwright of small vessels usually no larger than 30 feet. My mother was a typical Scandinavian wife who took care of the house, cooking, cleaning, and making clothes. She also tended to the small garden plot that we had to supplement what food we could buy with the sale of boats. I had a sister and two brothers all older than me. By the time I was ten years my sister had married a man in a neighboring village on the other side of Lake Vanern. I guess she didn't like being close to mother. Also, my oldest brother had been killed by accident while felling trees in the nearby woods for boat building. My father took this loss very hard and was never the same person. My next oldest brother continued to help father build boats for a couple of years but eventually decided to join one of the Viking raids on their way to the land of the Anglos (modern day England). He has been gone for a few years now and we get word on his adventures from time to time, but he hasn't actually come home. To make up for the loss of help father had taken on a neighbor's son as an apprentice for boat building. He was adequate, but did not have the eye for precision that my father has. I am in interested in boat craft but also want to go Viking.

My family is small but I have many cousins on both my mother's and father's sides. Many of the male cousins go on Viking raids against the Anglos and the Franks and have returned with a fair amount of booty. Other cousins go east into the land of the Rus (Russia) and farther south to a city called Constantinople. By the age of fifteen I had decided to leave home with the next Viking party that was formed and strike out for fame and fortune. I did not have long to wait. A few months after my fifteenth birthday I joined my oldest cousin Olaf who was going to raid the Anglos.

It has been five years since I left on that raid and have not been home yet. During this time I have learned to use the sword, shield, spear and axe. But my favorite weapon is the bow. I make all of my own arrows. I also work with leather, brew mead, make garb, cook and plan raids. In the last six months my Viking brothers and I have traveled east to the city of Birka in Sweden. From here we will travel to the land of the Rus to continue our adventures. Maybe we will even get as far as Constantinople and join the Varangian Guard of the king.