****Note to readers: Fans of the Vikings can look at this material as good refreshers for the upcoming season in February. For those who have not seen the show, You should! These recaps will of course contain spoilers for all of the episodes, eventually up to the new season. With that warning provided, We can now begin our adventure!****
Link to Vikings Official site: http://www.history.com/shows/Vikings
For more information on cast and characters see this page: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/vikings-saga-cast-characters-and-reference-information/
I started my journey to the past at these Stone Ships… I will admit that I was leery and doubtful that this would work? I was also extremely scared that it would work! It was a rather nasty, cloudy day- which did not add to my feelings of dread? It was one of those things where you are excited and thrilled with the chance to experience such a thing, but underneath it all, you are thinking, “This has to be the stupidest idea that I have ever come up with?” Mrs. Graham and her associates were all calm and reassuring as they began their rituals of calling the Sun… Good luck with that one was my only thought at that moment! Then I remembered that I needed to focus, concentrate on what they were doing, where and when I wanted to go. My previous experience had been a good lesson in that, just as Mrs. Graham had warned. I knew the time travel worked at those other Stones in Britain, but would they actually work here at these Stones?
As I listened to the dancers and callers, my mind cleared. I was able to focus on the Stones, and on the energy that was starting to come through them. The mists surrounding us got thicker. I began to feel that distant humming and vibration coming from the Stones and the ground as it crept up through my feet. My body grew warm despite the chilly wind, started to tingle like needle pricks. I closed my eyes, controlled my breathing, then opened my eyes again… I saw those images, felt others than just the dancers surrounding me.
I felt Mrs. Graham push me towards the Stones, and reached out to touch them. Immediately, I was pulled into them with such force that I thought I would be crushed! Everything went cold and dark as if I were in a deep tunnel or cave… have mentioned how much I hate caves, hate the whole thought of being trapped, buried alive as rocks tumble down over me? That is exactly how I felt as I passed out, probably more from the extreme fear than anything else.
I have no idea how long I was in that tunnel, or how long I was unconscious. All I knew was that when I came to, I was in the bottom of boat filled with people. My head hurt, my vision was still blurry and my brain was foggy but these people were speaking English? They were dressed in an ancient Viking style, and from what I could tell, the boat seemed to be an old style but newly built?
When I tried to sit up and get my bearings, one of the men came over to help me. “Well, you’re awake then and survived the trip! We weren’t sure if you’d make it?”
I rubbed my face and shook my head in attempt to clear the fog and the ringing still in my ears. The man laughed, handed me a small container and urged me to take a drink. Thankfully it was just water… but then I had a second thought? I looked at the bearded man skeptically and he smiled as he sat down next to me. He assured me that the water was fine, it was fresh spring water from near their camp. He then went on to explain that, Yes I had indeed arrived at my proper destination. His small group of travelers had been waiting for me to appear and it seemed I was only a few days off schedule. I was speechless, all I could think to myself was, “Holy Crap! It worked, now what do I do?”
The man, who introduced himself as Gunnar, continued talking while I ate some bread and cheese that he handed me. He said that we were headed to their small farmstead for now, where I could rest and they could prepare me for the trip to Kattegat.
I stayed at the farmstead for a few weeks with these other time travelers. It was an isolated place up in the hills as most places were back then. I learned that this farmstead was sort of a way stop or station for the many time travelers who were coming through this area. It was being researched a great deal now and many of the travelers were historians working much the same as I would be, piecing together history as it was happening. Most of them, too, I quickly realized were men. They didn’t think it was safe for women to be here and were not happy about my arrival! There were some women though, and even a few families. Some men refused to leave their families at home while undertaking this journey, a few had married or handfasted with Viking women and started families here. These families were here to stay, they had no intentions or desires to return to the present. It was these people who were the most helpful to me in adjusting to this time.
Some of the many travelers who came and went from the hidden farmstead while I was there.
While I was preparing myself at the farm, I was introduced to a young Viking woman who would help me fit into the village… or not, as I later discovered? She was a local farm girl but did not seem put off by any of our strange ways here at the farm. She simply mentioned, “Oh, I’ve seen odder and stranger behavior, believe me!” She said her name was Helga..
Helga knew of the families I needed to meet and offered to help me gain introductions. She also mentioned that she might be able to help me with finding some place to live and work? She was a bit hesitant at first though and warned me that this would not be the easiest of ways to earn my keep and it could prove dangerous in the end… After some thought, Helga said she knew that the Earl’s wife was looking for additional house servants. Siggy, her name was… was looking for well trained, well bred young women who knew their place and would set good example for her household and her daughter. Did I think I could do this and not call question or attention to myself? I would be well taken care of there if I could convince Siggy to take me in. This would be no easy task as this Siggy was demanding, suspicious and very cunning… If I did not think I could pull this off, perhaps I could go up to the farm of Ragnar and Lagertha? Lagertha would appreciate the help with her farm and maybe she could teach me about being a shieldmaiden?
Helga looked at me again and sighed… “Ahhh I think you should take your chances with Siggy, I do not think you will do well on the farm with Lagertha and I doubt you will do well as a shieldmaiden!”
After she left, I talked to the others about her suggestions and her warnings. They all agreed with her thoughts on my situation and opted to send me into the village to Siggy. It took a few more weeks of intense study with them before they decided I was ready to make my presentation to Siggy. When they determined that I was as ready as I would ever be, they brought me by a larger boat to the village of Kattegat.
Gunnar had worked with me non-stop, drilling into my head the back story of my life. He warned me that this woman Siggy would be determined to find any flaw in my story. She was as ruthless as her husband the Earl, and almost as paranoid that someone, anyone would seek to betray them and gain their power. Gunnar was known as a sea faring merchant here. I was to be his younger sister and he wanted me placed in a household of good standing. He then warned me once more to keep to myself, not call attention and not interfere in anything whether I thought wrong or not! “Remember, you are here to observe history, not change it!”
That walk from the docks up to the Great Hall felt like the longest I’d ever taken. I was shaking the whole time, wondering how impressed this Siggy would be if I threw up in front of her?
Well, I managed to make inside without tripping over my skirt… only to realize that it was not just Siggy who would grill me, but her husband the Earl Haroldson as well! I was about to turn around and run but Gunnar held my arm tight, pinching it as if I were a child. He just smiled at these two power mongers and said, “Haaaa She is so shy, my sister is…forgive her please!”
By some miracle, I made through their interrogation and was accepted into the household. I would be a personal servant to Siggy and to her daughter…not really sure this was a good thing? I thought I might have been better off in the kitchens or better yet, up on the hill farm of Ragnar Lothbrok and his wife, Lagertha!
So, here begins my story. I am stuck in the household of Siggy and Earl Haroldson, looking for any way out of it! I really don’t think it’s going to be safe here?