The Sea - Draugr : A Tale Of The Undead
Jarl Vigfus Of Vest Agder
Aegir took a long sip of his ale before answering. " If you wish to know the answer to that question my friend, I will have to tell you of Jarl Vigfus. " he explained to Bragi. " Let me see..... Oh, yes.....
" Thorir had come to Vest Agder at the request of Jarl Vigfus. Several years earlier the jarl had visited King Haakon' s court and heard tales that were told of a man named Bjarni Herjolfsson, who had come from Greenland to the court of Haakon when he was still a jarl. Bjarni had told Haakon fantastic stories of new lands to the west that he had seen on one of his voyages. It was apparent, however, to the jarl, and others in his court, that Bjarni had taken little interest in these lands when he was not able to describe much of what he had seen in great detail. Bjarni stayed with the jarl for about a year as his bodyguard before returning to Greenland the following year never to return.
Later it was said that a man named Leif Eiriksson, known as " Lucky ", heard tales of this new world, and bought from Bjarni his ship. Leif then was able to man his new ship with 35 brave warriors and sailed off to the west to see for himself this new world. Leif brought back with him great stories of the lands he had discovered, which he named Helluland, Markland, and Vinland.
Then, at a later date, while Jarl Vigfus was again visiting at King Haakon's court he heard of a man named Thorfinn Karlsefni who had come back from exploring Vinland as well. His tales renewed the jarl' s interest in the possible riches contained in this new world, and they gave Jarl Vigfus something to think about. The jarl wondered to himself why it was that these men were not financed by a man of wealth who could profit from their ventures?
After Jarl Vigfus returned to Vest Agder he asked around and found that the most intrepid sea - going warrior was a man named Thorir Dagson. The jarl was told that this warrior feared nothing at all ! And that was exactly the kind of man that Vigfus was looking for. Without delay he sent out his warriors in search of this Thorir Dagson.
Months later, Thorir was found in a fjord in Lade having his old ship repaired. At first Thorir was not interested in the jarl' s invitation. But the jarl's men assured the warrior that going to see their lord would be well worth his time and effort. Intrigued, Thorir left for Vest Agder as soon as his ship was repaired.
The day that Thorir arrived at the docks of the Vest Agder Fjord, Jarl Vigfus was ecstatic ! He, along with an entourage of warriors, rushed down to the waterfront to greet Thorir personally. After the pleasantries were concluded the jarl invited Thorir and his men back to his hall for a drink, and to discuss the terms of his voyage of exploration and discovery.
At first Thorir' s demands were too much for the jarl . Vigfus decided that his expenses would outweigh any profits he would make if he gave in to the price Thorir was asking. Months later, however, Thorir came back to the jarl' s hall, and lowered his demands from being paid in gold coins, to receiving tracts of land instead for himself and his men to settle down on. When the jarl asked why Thorir had changed his mind, the warrior told him that he had met a wonderful woman with whom he wanted to settle down with and raise a family.
Jarl Vigfus was overjoyed ! The jarl was not rich in gold and silver, but he did own huge tracts of land that he was more than willing to part with. The deal was quickly made, and the jarl immediately put forth to all shipbuilders in Vest Agder a competition to see who could design the best ocean going vessel for him at the most reasonable price. The lowest bidder would be given the task, provided that he could deliver the vessel by the beginning of next spring. The jarl did not have long to wait. All the local shipbuilders wanted the honor of building a ship that would sail to this new world called Vinland. "
- End Chapter 2
- Next : Chapter 3 : The Lowest Bidder
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2015.