Flóki Vilgerðarson, also known as Hrafna-Flóki, was one of the early Norwegian Viking explorers and settlers to set sail for Iceland in around 865 AD. After news of the island's existence he prepared a ship and gathered men to accompany him on his journey. On the ship he took with him his wife and children, livestock and many other things. Among the men who accompanied him were a farmer called Thorolf and two other men called Herjolf and Faxe. He asked for the favor of the gods and took with him 3 ravens; these ravens would help him find the way to the new land.
His journey started from the western coast of Norway, where he set sail to the Shetland Islands. After a short stay he went further to the Faroe Islands and then he set sail to the west again. After some time sailing he released the 3 ravens he brought with him. The first flew back to the Faroe Islands from which he came. The second went up in the air and then returned to the ship. But the third raven flew towards the new land giving him the direction he needed to continue his journey.
After he reached the southern part of Iceland he sailed along the coast, going westward past the Westman Islands and the headland of Reykjanes. He then reached a large bay which he named Faxa bay, here he landed ashore for a short visit and then returned to the ship again. He continued his journey along the coast to the northwestern part of the island. Flóki eventually settled in the following bay at the southern West-fjords called Vatnsfjordur. These lands had lush grass and woods and plenty of shelter from the rough weather. There even was a hot pool to use and bathe in.
Flóki's first settle attempt on Iceland
The summer was rich and plentiful for fishing and hunting, but Flóki did not prepare well for his livestock. He gathered not enough hay to last his animals through the harsh winter. Many of the animals had to be butchered before they died of starvation. In the spring Flóki and his men climbed the highest mountain Lonfell close to his camp. From these heights he spotted large quantities of drift ice and thus named the entire island Iceland. A cairn was built at the top, most likely by Flóki and his men themselves, to mark the spot of this newly settled land.
Although the winter had been harsh Flóki and his men stayed another winter in Iceland and returned to Norway the next summer. Their stories about the new lands where positive as well as negative. Many of them returned to Iceland in the following years to come. Flóki settled at his former spot again to live in the valley until his death around 890 AD, his birth is estimated to be around 835 AD.*
Flóki is a fairly ordinary man with primary skills in exploration and hunting. He has a strong will to survive and likes to have a fair amount of freedom to do what he likes.
The possessions of this historic character are a small karve ship (karve ship card) and a number of thralls (warband thrall card of 5). He own 20 silver and has an income of 5 silver. He also possesses some livestock and lumber (10 resources of each).
- Hrafna-Flóki & The Exodus from Norway - The Saga Museum
- Hrafna-Flóki Vilgerðarson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Why Iceland is Called Iceland - Raving Ravens
- Saga Íslands
* An estimate of his year of birth and death has been made according to his story. He must have been 27-32 years old when he set sail for he had a number of children, one of which was ready to marry. Also the average old age on Iceland was not that high, (60+ was very rare) so our best guess is 45-55+ as he had good surviving and hunting skills.
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