Leif Erikson, also known as Leif the Lucky, was the first Viking explorer to settle in North America. He founded a Norse settlement on Vinland situated at the northern tip of Newfoundland. He was born in Iceland and was brought up on Greenland.
The family of Leif consisted of his wife Thorgunna, his sons Thorgils and Thorkell. His father was Erik the Red, explorer and first settler of Greenland, and his mother was named Þjóðhildur. He had a foster father Tyrker who had been responsible of looking after Leif and raising him.
Leif traveled from Greenland to Norway in 999, when he arrived he became a housecarl of King Olaf Tryggvason. He also converted to Christianity and was given the mission of introducing the religion to Greenland. After his stay he traveled back to Greenland and was blown of course close to the North American coast. He rescued two men who were shipwrecked there and went back to Greenland.
Apparently someone called Bjarni Herjólfsson had traveled to this new land before, Leif spoke to him and prepared an expedition towards the lands Bjarni described. He purchased a ship and gathered a crew of 35 men. His father Erik did not join him as he saw a bad omen to go with him. Leif followed Bjarni's route and landed first on a rocky desolate placed called Helluland. He decided against it to settle there and went further south and landed a second time in a forested place he named Markland. He traveled further and after two days he landed at a luscious place. As winter was approaching he decided to settle here for the winter. He and his men founded a small settlement which was called Leifsbúðir.
Leif's settling of Vinland
After the construction of the settlement he split his party into two groups. One group was to remain at the settlement and the other was to explore the surrounding lands.The groups took turns in exploring and resting. Leif ordered his men to stay together and return to sleep at their quarters at all times. One day Tyrker did not return with his party. Worried and upset Leif went to search for him with a small group, after a while he found the Tyrker greatly excited and somewhat drunk. Tyrker said to have found wine berries not very far from here and in great numbers. Leif gave the new land the name Vinland because of this discovery.
Leif returned to Greenland in the spring with a cargo of wine berries and timber. On the return voyage he rescued another castaway and his crew, earning him the nickname of 'Leif the Lucky'. After his successful expedition to Vinland he encouraged other Norsemen to make the journey. The indigenous people that were encountered in the new lands were called skrælingi by the Norse.
Leif Erikson is a strong, wise and considerate man of striking appearance. His main skills are exploration and fishing, his secondary skills are shore landing and hunting.
Erik's assets are mediocre, he has one small karve ship and one medium karve ship, a number of karl troops (1x warband card of 10 karls), a reasonable number of thralls (2x warband cards of 10). He has a few resources in his storage (10 food, 10 fish and 10 game resources).
- Hurstwic: Leifur heppni Eiríksson
- The Saga of Erik the Red - Icelandic Saga Database
- Leif Erikson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Greenland saga - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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