"My tale is a long one, are you sure you want to hear it? Very well, I will tell it to you:
"My family was originally from a small village in the land Nordthheim, known as Hvitberg. I was the only son of Vandill, a carpenter by trade, and a young maiden named Deirdru, who was originally a thrall from the Keltlands before she was granted freedom. When I was young, my father Vandill was displaced and exiled by a warrior named Frann, who then married my mother. When I was about fourteen-fifteen winters old, the three of us packed our belongings, boarded a knarr, and sailed across the sea for many weeks to a Nordthfolk settlement in the Keltlands my people called Hængvik. There we dwelt somewhat peacefully with the local Keltfolk, and I even adopted some of their styles of dress and spoke in their tongue.
"Frann was a member of the the local chieftain's hirdth, so at times he was away viking, but when he was able, Frann had taught me how to wield the three weapons used with shield by our people: the axe, the spear, and the sword. Unfortunately my training did not avail me when our village was beset by marauders late one night whilst Frann and most of the other fighting-men were away on journey. Our folk managed to drive off the horde, but whilst I was keeping our homestead from being set aflame by a group of marauders, one of their blades had slashed deep across my belly.
"Such a wound was considered fatal by all but my dear mother refused to accept it as such. She knew some ancient runic charms and had secretly practised seidth, a form of sorcery that is taboo amongst the men of the Nordth. It was by her tender care and magics I was kept from dying an unworthy death by a helsótt and my soul from crossing into Helheim, the realm of the unworthy dead.
"Many seasons later, I was selected by Bragi Wulfsson, our jarl who was going a viking, to be apart of his crew. I then experienced life outside my village, which was mostly by the trade of a carpenter up to that point. After a successful voyage, to honour me, my jarl presented me with a drinking horn made of auroch and banded with gold. The gods seemed to be smiling upon me for the time being, but perhaps the Norns had other plans…
"The past few years became difficult for the settlement; spoils had grown in short-supply locally or were now too well-defended from our raids, and our folk where forced voyage further south to find new plunder. Recently, during such an expedition, our drakkar came upon a calm, fog-filled sea and we became hafvilla; lost I think is your word for it; for a nearly fortnight. Whispers drifted amongst the crew that we had entered into the realm of mists, Niflheim in my tongue. We made sacrifices to the gods of the weather and the sea: Ægir, Njordth, and Thonar; but perhaps we offended them because suddenly we where beset by a terrible storm. The sea swelled, bore a great maelstrom as you call it, and our drakkar was tossed and torn asunder by its fury.
"I know not how long had passed floundering in the water before I had washed ashore onto this strange land. My fellow sailors must have been caught in the goddess Rán's net because it seemed that I alone survived the wreck. It was not long before I was set upon by crude folk whom meant to take me as a slave; without a weapon or shield to defend myself, I was quickly overtaken.
"I was marched wrist-bound for several days through the wilderness. Upon the third night I saw my chance to escape; I had no desire to spend my remaining days as a thrall, and when my guard and I were alone together and he was distracted, with my bound hands I briskly drew his sheathed sword from the scabbard at his hip, struck him down, and fled into the woods.
"His companions quickly pursued me into a moonless field before I had the chance to remove my bonds. Thrice I took a spear point to the gut but managed to wound the wielder on his forearm, buying me the chance to flee, but his comrade must have hefted an axe through the air in my wake, for I recollect a terrible blow to the back of my head. I faintly recall staggering for the tree line, and I collapsed beyond the edge of it as colour began to bleed from the world and my ears pounded with the sound of my struggling heart. Soon all was still.
"That was the first time I died. I do not not know so much, but rather feel that my soul was waiting for something. To perhaps be recovered by the valkyrja if it was worthy enough to join the einherjar in Valhalla or Folkvangr, or to be collected by Hel herself to dwell in her underworld with the rest of the dishonoured.
"But neither arrived, and by powers I do not fully understand, life was breathed back into my body and my soul returned. I started awake, blinded by sunlight, my joints screaming with a pain of stiffness. I could make out three silhouettes standing close to me, asking questions in a tongue I knew. My mind leaped to the thought that my captor's had discovered me and still desired me as their slave despite the trouble I had caused. I raised the sword I still gripped in my stiff, still-bound hands defensively, stumbling back further into the brush on weak legs before collapsing again.
"Through my own bleary eyes and calm words from the group, I soon realized that they were not of the same party that had me as their prisoner: their dress was different and countenance much more pleasant. Two females and a male made this trio. The man removed my bonds after their assurances that their intention was non-violent and that slavery was punishable by death in this land. I quickly decided that these three were a sign from the gods, for three has a powerful magic within it; I am thrice oathbound to each of them and obligated by my honour to repay their mercy in anyway I can.
"They led me to the local settlement called Dagger Deep, and there I continue my further adventures in this strange land…"