The Norsemen Edit
Archaeologists have long known that Vikings visited Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Labrador around a thousand years ago. Some claim they also traversed the coast of New England, though this is often disputed. Along the coast of Maine, artifacts such as coins and monuments have indeed been found, though most are dismissed as hoaxes and frauds. Despite claims to the contrary, the rune stones on Solomon Island are, however, very real.
While Vikings are often described as barbaric savages who only pillaged and raped, the Norsemen were more often traders and explorers - bringing back exotic goods like glass, silks, silver, weapons, spices, pottery and more. The expedition to Maine was of a different nature, however, and no account of it will be found in any history or archaeology book.
Through the ages, many wars have been fought between the defenders of good and the forces of evil. One such battle took place on a seemingly insignificant island off the coast of Maine more than a thousand years ago.
On what is now called Solomon Island, the native Wabanaki tribes were protecting a holy ward against an invading force of sun worshippers. They came from the far south and brought with them terrible monsters - the ak'ab. The attackers had superior weapons, powerful shamans and magic at their disposal. The defenders were enormously outnumbered, fighting a hopeless battle when, in their darkest hour, they received assistance from a most unlikely source.
Appearing first as specks upon the vast and formless sea, the Norsemen sailed directly into the fray. They carried death upon their ornate longships, their leader brandishing a bizarre and brightly gleaming sword. Bloody battle hounded the sun worshippers on all fronts, causing them to scatter and withdraw.
After the carnage, believing them spirit totems, the Wabanaki kneeled before their pale-skinned saviours. The Norsemen gestured and uttered broken phrases, explaining as best they could that they had been sent here by the gods. Long before setting sail for Solomon Island, their chief had had a vision of fighting alongside a dark-skinned people against the Jotun hordes in the west. The Jotun, he knew, could only be defeated with the power of a weapon furnished by Odin himself.
To fulfil the prophecy, the Vikings left everything they knew behind. Outside Scotland, they raided a small monastery on a desolate island. There they found the strange artifact which, without any other reference, they called a sword. Inspired, convinced this was Odin's gift, they hastened west towards the unknown.
On their journey, they had been seized by a thick, noxious fog. In its midst, the artifact emitted a blazing light that pushed the fog away. This was all the proof the Norsemen needed. Theirs was a mission from the gods. A storm gave them wind in the sails to leave the brume behind - but only for a while. A few months after they arrived, the fog arrived too, and settled around the small island.
Once the Wabanaki realised the Vikings were their brothers - not immortals - they invited the foreign visitors to remain as long as they liked, to feast from their tables, to live in their homes.
The Norsemen stayed for a year.
The two very different peoples grew close - blood oaths were exchanged, friendships forged and, inevitably, the Norsemen became enthralled with the exotic beauty of Indigenous women. Several mixed children were born after the Nordic fathers left. To this day, whenever a fair-skinned, light-haired child is born of the native women of Solomon County, they say the Norsemen's blood flows in its veins. They also tell amusing tales of the "pale men," in tender contrast to their barbaric reputation.
Towards the end of the year, the Wabanaki shaman and the Norse godar agreed that the fog that had settled around the region was evil. In a long and exhausting ritual, they trapped the thick mist in the artifact the Vikings had brought with them. Then, they constructed a warding circle to protect against future attacks. Odin's gift returned with the Vikings when they left, so that it could never be used to reverse the magic.
To the heartsick wailing of many a woman, and with the friendship of the Wabanaki in tow, the Norsemen left when summer was once more upon them. They were to sail east, back to their homesteads along the coast of their lands.
No trace of them has ever been found, no mention in sagas or poems or stories sings of their magnificent deed or the power of the device they called a sword.
The longships never returned home. They, along with their crew and the strange artifact, vanished out at sea. These Norsemen, these barbaric Vikings, remain the unsung heroes of the Darkness War.