Lords of the North Sea

First Chapter
After getting seriously bored to death by my Norwegian language Curriculum this year, my mind quickly wandring over to thinking about alternate history and different timelines. One thing led to another, and an idea formed in my head, one which I could not dispense off, and thus my second attempt at a TL was born. Hopefully after writing this little piece here I will be able to continue working on my Norwegian language Curriculum. Even so, I intend to continue this as long as it interests me and I find it fun.

Critique is always welcome of course.

Chapter 1
17th of August 1103
Somewhere in Ulster

He caught his mind wandering once again, but for once he did not bother. Thinking about abstract subjects and whatnots was for him a rare pleasure which he rarely has had time to practice the last four years. Quite comically he had noticed that the most usual place for him to do this, was while relieving pressure.

Suddenly becoming aware that he had been standing in the dark for quite some time, he decided that it was time to go back towards the encampment. He slowly walked towards the fire where he had left the water skin, which was in fact filled with wine he had gotten from an Italian merchant in Dublin, or was he a Moor, southerners looks all the same. Even so it was perhaps better he call it a wineskin.

He made eye contact with the sentry, who he suspected had been seconds from oozing into what was sleeping. The boy embarrassingly straightened up.

"Your Grace" the youngster replied whilst trying some form of panicked salute.

It did not really bother him

"Olaf, right?" he replied

The boy stood astonished for a second until he shook himself out it and replied

"Yes, your grace"

"Well Olaf, I am going to be frank with you. We are currently in enemy territory, at night” He paused, giving the boy a stern stare, before cracking into a smile

“Prime time for an ambush eh??”

The boy nodded

“Tell me boy, how old are you?”

“Fourteen, your grace”

Not that old, he wondered why the youngster had been brought along the trip. On second thoughts, he had to admit, even with his vision blurred by the lack of light and addition of alcohol, the boy looked a lot older than he stated and looked like he would give a decent fight.

Hell, his grandfather, if he was here and still alive, would frown and lecture him upon how his other grandfather had begun fighting at an even younger age. Six when he had killed his first man, nine when joined his brothers war party, seen his first large battle at fifteen. Though the second point was kind of forced upon his grandfather. No matter it was most likely biased after a hundred years of glorification.

Noticing he had been standing there for a few seconds looking at the air, he shrugged and looked back at Olaf.

“Well Olaf, even though the Irish are cowards and frightened to death by us, it always good to keep awake, should their attitude change eh?”

“Of course, your grace” the boy smiled.

He continued walking forward, feeling suddenly tired and his body aching. Must be all the sparring he had done earlier. Nothing a good night sleep can’t cure he thought as he laid down. Perhaps he should challenge the boy in tomorrow’s sparring sessions. He quickly fell asleep, not having a lot of time to think about it.

Last edited:
A Magnus Barelegs timeline?

Great! He was a complete badass but is somewhat overshadowed by Harald and Sigurd in terms of norwegian kings of the era. Interesting to see where you take this.
A Magnus Barelegs timeline?

Great! He was a complete badass but is somewhat overshadowed by Harald and Sigurd in terms of norwegian kings of the era. Interesting to see where you take this.

You are quite correct there. And yeah he was a badass in the ten years that he reigned, going right, left, down and up. Now think what he could have done had he ruled for another 20 years?

Magnus Barelegs... how did the Norse have such cool names?

Hahah, yeah, the Norse loved to name others which lived in their time, or before them.
I mentioned for example on man called Torgrim, which had the nickname "Skinnlue", which litterarly translates into "Fur cap".

Edit: I have not mentioned this guy yet, later chapter :D

Mead and shrooms bruh

Hey gotta get sophisticated, Christianity is upon us! Even though mead and shrooms is sometimes obligatory ;)
Last edited:
Second Chapter
Here is another part of the prolog, I intend to either split this up into three or four chapters. The others are coming soon.

Chapter 2
18th of August 1103
Somewhere in Ulster

He shot up from his bed as he heard a loud scream. Just a few seconds later a quite startled Vidkun Jonsson burst into the room, "Your Grace, it is the Irish, they are attacking our camp".

He grabbed his sword and exited the tent, taking a good look at his surroundings. To the south and west he spotted a hundred, perhaps even a hundred and fifty men. With him in the reconnaissance party he had perhaps forty.

Running forward towards the centre of the encampment, he picked up his shield that laid by the burnt-out campfire together with his wineskin.

"Form up on me" he shouted and his men rallied into a shieldwall, as they had done plenty times before

Fuck, he should have listened to Øyvind Olboge about travelling with so few men, or leading a reconnaissance party himself. The only reason he had done so was so that bastard Muircheartach had not delivered on his promise about those cows and supplies.

He noticed that thirty of his men quickly formed up on him, thirty? Where was Torgrim Skinnlue's party? Don't say that bastard of an Opplander was going to become a traitor like his kin had a decade earlier? He needed to do some thorough scorching of the leadership in that part of his realm. He had been thinking for a long time about splitting his country up into different administrative lens, perhaps Oppland should be split amongst the others?

It did not matter now, he needed to focus on the situation and assess it. The conclustion came quickly, his warriors chances, even though more experienced and being better trained, to win this battle was minimal. He had thirty men with him versus a one and half a hundred Irish, they were hugely outnumbered, even dumbwits could see that.

"On me, retreat" he shouted, realising that fighting would be futile

His men turned around and began running in an orderly group the only way they knew, the path they had arrived the day earlier, and towards their ships.

Running for almost an hour, which actually felt like seconds, his party finally reached the part of the road that they had left the day earlier. He ordered a halt to catch their breath. Assessing the situation in his head, he knew that they most likely were a few minutes ahead of the Irish, and were around 30-40 minutes from their ships.

"Magnus" he shouted to the tall half boy-man that was undoubtedly their fastest runner. They boy approached him quickly.

"Run as fast as you can towards the ships, you know the way, tell them to meet us halfw" his words were cut in half by an arrow gracing his head by a not even an inch, getting stuck in a tree behind him.

"SHIELDWALL", arrows whistled, and chaos ensued.

Last edited:
Third Chapter
This took far longer than I had expected to write, but here is the last part of the prolog. Comment would be welcome together with critique.
Chapter 3
18th of August 1103
Somewhere in Ulster

His men had formed a shieldwall quite quickly, causing most arrows to whittle off or get stuck, no serious injuries. There was one exception though, he saw Magnus laying on the ground forty feet down the road with two arrows in his back. The quick-thinking boy had likely understood his message and tried to run. Poor fellow.

Assessing his position, he realised that the Irish had most likely not chosen the spot, the only way they could properly ambush was from the way they had come, as flatlands laid behind him. There could of course be a scattered enemy here and there, but no concentrated force. The Irish, their fastest runners at least, had most likely been running after them and caught up from the only way they could. Their leadership had most likely not expected him to order his men to retreat, and thus not setup any ambush points on the way to his ship.

His conclusion was thus that he held three advantages, the enemy troops were most likely spread out into fast and slow runners. Secondly his men were not going to be flanked, at least not in the initial moments of the fight, though that depended heavily upon if he was right with his first assessment. Third his troops were better rested, though there was hardly a difference, but having been able to catch ones’ breath versus not was a slight advantage, and he needed every advantage he could get.

Finishing his train of thought he looked at the enemies in front of him as the ones with bows fired their arrows once more and joined the charge. There were around forty to fifty men charging his position, most of them carrying axes or swords, with a few spiky clubs here and there. None but a few had any form of metal armour, with a scattered helm here and there.

As the enemy got closer he shouted "brace". His men managed to receive the charge. "Push", and his men pushed their shield and began slashing or thrusting their spears and swords. Two of the enemies went for him, perhaps hoping to end the fight as soon as possible. He blocked one of them with his shield and parried the other with his sword, leaving the latter open. His comrade to his right used the opportunity to thrust his spear into the abdomen, whilst he diverged his entire attention to his other enemy. He received another slash, which he parried with his shield once more, before delivering a fast cut to his enemy’s shield-arm, before slashing his sword at his opponents’ throat.

In the meantime, around him, his men had claimed almost two dozen of enemy dead, but more were enemies were arriving and joining the fray. His men on the other hand had lost fewer men, perhaps around ten. A nice trade if this had been a normal battle, but at this rate his men would lose eventually due to numbers.

He went into a more aggressive stance, slashing his weapon left once again, but this time he was parried. His enemy counterattacked, but he managed to dodge it quite easily, making his enemy swing at thin air and losing his steps. He struck his enemies sword with his shield, before bashing it into his head, leaving him in an unconscious state. He went for a new enemy that was entangled in a fight with Vidkun Jonsson, thrusting his sword unawares at the mans shoulder.

His troops were now losing badly, being outnumbered at least 1 to 4 they, whilst holding their ground admirably, were dying. He had perhaps seven or eight men left. He readied his sword for the next enemy to come at him, but suddenly felt a great pain in his left leg falling to the ground. Around him his men were fighting a desperate battle, trying to rush to him. He felt a sharp pain in his backhead, then everything went black.
Last edited: