Character: Knud Saavesen Aaker
Player: Nathan Lloyd
Knud had ten years when his small fishing village was raided. He and his elder brother of five years were on their way back home when they saw the smoke. They both knew it would be bad when they got to shore, and each were holding the two weapons available in their small boat, a sharp knife to clean the fish and a long hook to help pull in nets. They were separated in the chaos of the raid, but both knew their way home. His brother, being more developed by his comparatively advanced years, was already hunched over the
bloodied corpse of his mother, sobbing, when Knud finished his sprint. When he finally looked up and saw Knud through his sorrow, that sorrow turned to fear and then that fear turned to rage. Knud was still in shock when his older brother ran screaming into the chaos, hook extended from one hand and his knife readied in the other. He doesn’t remember how long he wailed over his dead mother before he realized where his brother had gone. What stands out in his mind even to this day was the chill that ran down his spine when his own rage took him into the fray. He wasn’t as strong as the men fighting with shields and axes, but Knud was quick to duck through the melee, hooking the occasional shield so that his clansman’s axe could land true.
Through the screams and the bloodshed, he eventually found his brother enthralled in combat. At his side was a large viking who treated him all the respect due a fellow warrior. Throughout the melee, the large man blocked or countered dozens of blows that would have otherwise split Knud’s brother in two.
As the battle turned for the worse, the large man tried to get Knud’s brother to see reason and retreat, but he continued to get more and more reckless in his maneuvers, and eventually even the seasoned veteran could not save the boy. With an axe to the chest, Knud’s brother fell, and Knud was left orphaned. The large viking grabbed Knud by the waist and retreated while Knud sobbed.
That was the last Knud saw of his home. The viking introduced himself as Ivar, and Knud asked if he could stay on with Ivar’s crew. It has been ten more seasons since this story began, and Knud does not see it ending anytime soon.