It was fall, and I felt the chill of winter soon upon us. From the bow I looked down, one hand gripping the mastís rigging for support as I leaned out over the icy waters. I smiled at what I saw. I couldnít remember a time Domhringerís finely crafted hull had plowed so deep. Her belly dragged lazily, heavy-laden with the hard-earned provisions of a successful summer.
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The longboat had been a gift from my father, the same he had used in the days of his youth. It was a fine ship with room for two score men rowing. A single mast towered alone amidships; four lines swooped down to tie it fast. A painted dragonhead glared fiercely from its perch atop the curved bowhead some eight feet up, characteristic of Norse design. Its terrible maw gaped, and its dark eyes stared out into the empty sea before us. I held a respect for the beast, for it was the symbol of our trade. A farmer is known for his plow, and a blacksmith for his anvil, but for the Viking, there was only the dragon.
"Thorolf." a gruff voice spoke behind me, pulling me from my musings. "It will storm before the night is out." The voice belonged to Broddi, a fisherman hailing from the coastal region of Berle, the home of my father and his father before him. Broddi was the oldest of the crew at fifty-five, most of us being between twenty and thirty summers. I had known Broddi all my life, and there was no one else I would have at my side more.
-Not much, just a start on something I hope will turn into something interesting. So tell me, is the Viking idea worth considering?
"I drove my boat up onto an ice-flow and wrecked my lower unit."