It is written that Freydis was the illegitimate daughter of Eirik the Red, who married a man named Thorvard of Gardar. She and her husband wer with Karlsefni on his voyage to Vinland, and Freydis does play a " role " in that voyage. The settlement was at first peaceful with the natives, but after a time bad feelings began to erupt between the two groups. When the Skraelings attacked the settlers, they began to retreat. Freydis boldly stood before them and shouted, " Why do you flee from such pitiful wretches, brave men like you ? You should be able to slaughter them like cattle ! If I had a weapon, I am sure I could fight better than any of you ! "
The men paid her no mind of course. Freydis did try to join the men at this point but she was pregnant, and could not keep up with them. Why the men did not try to defend her is perplexing, but she now found herself alone with the Skraelings closing in on her. On the ground in front of her was a dead Viking with his sword lying beside him. She grabbed the sword and prepared to defend herself. As the Skraelings came rushing at her she pulled out one of her breasts, and slapped it with the sword. This terrified the Skraelings so much that they ran back to their boats, and paddled away as fast as they could.
After this incident, and others, Karlsefni realized that although this land was plentiful in timber, furs, and plantable farmland, it was too dangerous for them to stay, and set up a colony. Karlsefni and the other settlers than went back to Greenland. Freydis comes off as a hero in this voyage who saved the settlers from the uncivilized savages who were going to wipe out the settlers. Later we will see a that Freydis has a " savage " in herself as well !
During the summer that Karsefni returned from Vinland a ship arrived in Greenland from Norway which was led by two brothers, Helgi and Finnbogi. They were Icelanders by birth and spent the winter in Greenland. Freydis Eiriksdottir, who had been putting an expedition together to go back to Vinland, traveled to visit with the brothers, and ask if they would join in her expedition. ( Notice that her husband Thorvard is never mentioned in these proceedings ) They made an agreement to share equally all profits that were made from the Vinland settlement. Freydis went to her brother Leif next and asked him to give her the houses that he had built in Vinland at the settlement site, but as he had answered others before he agreed to loan her the houses, but not give them away to her.
Freydis started to deceive the Icelandic brothers even before the expedition set sail. The two parties had made an agreement that each of the ships would be manned by only 30 able - bodied men . Freydis, however, hid 5 extra men on board each ship, which the brothers did not find out about until they reached Vinland. Five extra men may not sound like a big deal but in the days of hand to hand combat, single combat, it tipped the balance of power greatly in her favor.
Although they all left at the same time, and sailed together as a convoy, the brothers arrived in Vinland before Freydis, and unloaded their goods into Leif's houses. Freydis, who landed shortly thereafter unloaded her cargo, and had it carried up to the now occupied houses. When Freydis confronted the brothers about why they had put their things in the houses they replied that, " We thought that the whole of our agreement would be honored. " They believed that everything would be shared equally. Freydis shot back, " My brother Leif lent these houses to me, not to you ! " Helgi and Finnbogi now understood how it would be with Freydis and Helgi replied, " We brothers could never be a match for you in wickedness ! " The brothers at this point of course had noticed the extra men that Freydis had brought along with her.
Helgi and Finnbogi were forced to take all their possessions, and find another location to stay. On the bank of a large lake, further inland, they built themselves a longhouse, and setled in for the winter. At first things were amiable between the two now seperated parties. They held games, and other forms of entertainment. Over time, however, there was ill feelings that arose between them, and from time to time squabbles turned into fights. For most of the winter they stayed apart with little contact. That, however, would soon change.
End Part 1
Next : Freydis shows off her evil side !
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love, and Thor's protection !