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The Cleon Memorial Library For discussion of Traveller fiction, both official and fan-written. Fan-written drafts are explicitly welcome.

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Old March 18th, 2016, 07:32 PM
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Default The other star Vikings

If any of you have read my story 'Here be Dragons', you know I made up a mercenary organization for the Sword worlders. The Viking legion. I need to make up a symbol for them. I was hoping to avoid anything silly. So no helmets with horns or wings. Anyone have any suggestions? They are a TL 12 mix of starmercs and ground units.
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Old March 19th, 2016, 02:01 AM
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Dragon ... Like on the bow of a longship.
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Old March 19th, 2016, 02:38 AM
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Dragon ... Like on the bow of a longship.
Nice
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Old March 22nd, 2016, 09:42 PM
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Default Ouroboros

Similar to the Dragon, try Jormundgandr, the World Serpent. It is often represented many ways. One symbol that stands out to me is the ouroboros, the serpent that creates a circle coming to touch or bite its own tail. The World Serpent features prominently in Norse Mythology and should fit in with the Aesirists of the Sword Worlds Confederation. During Ragnarok, Thor battles the World Serpent. He kills the serpent but dies from its multiple venomous bites. Thor 0, Jormundganr 0.

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Old May 21st, 2016, 10:38 PM
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Hi
How about something like the Viking figurehead used on the German U-404 in WWII. Google U-404 for the image.
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Old May 24th, 2016, 06:53 PM
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This may be too "Eastern"...did the Vikings have Houses like the Japanese? A banner with the family symbol like a chrysanthemum...
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Old May 25th, 2016, 07:07 AM
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This may be too "Eastern"...did the Vikings have Houses like the Japanese? A banner with the family symbol like a chrysanthemum...
No. The Norse were not feudal. "Viking" is not a culture, it implies an ad hoc raiding or trading party.

Midgárðsormr (aka Jormundgandr) is a monster, an enemy of the Norse gods, and hence the Norse. Probably not a good symbol...

At a guess the leader's name (e.g. Hammer's Slammers) might be a good name for a Viking organisation. Alliteration was common, so perhaps something like Björn's Berserks or Thorbjörn's Thunder. You should probably use the leader's first name; the Norse didn't use family names, only patrynoms: Björnsson (or Björnsdottir for females) literally means that your father was named Björn ("Bear"). Famous people had added names like Harald Blåtand ("Bluetooth" = bad teeth) or Sigurd Jorsalafar (traveller to Jerusalem).

Perhaps warlike animals like wolf, bear, or lynx might make a good symbols.
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Old May 25th, 2016, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by AnotherDilbert

At a guess the leader's name (e.g. Hammer's Slammers) might be a good name for a Viking organisation. Alliteration was common, so perhaps something like Björn's Berserks or Thorbjörn's Thunder. You should probably use the leader's first name; the Norse didn't use family names, only patrynoms: Björnsson (or Björnsdottir for females) literally means that your father was named Björn ("Bear"). Famous people had added names like Harald Blåtand ("Bluetooth" = bad teeth) or Sigurd Jorsalafar (traveller to Jerusalem).

Perhaps warlike animals like wolf, bear, or lynx might make a good symbols.
Another thing Germanics (both Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon) were fond of were riddles and plays on words. For example, the name of hero "Beowulf" literally means "Bee-Wolf", which was a riddle for "Bear", as it is an allusion to the fact that bears love honey.
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Old May 25th, 2016, 04:20 PM
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No. The Norse were not feudal. "Viking" is not a culture, it implies an ad hoc raiding or trading party.
The Norse system was close enough to Feudal that many historians DO consider it such... but it had some democratic elements, which lead others not to.

A lot depends upon how one defines Feudal.

If it's "A system where those in charge swear personal service and protection of an overlord in exchange for being put in charge, and the ruler swears reciprocal service and protection to the person and their family" - which is the essence of the Oath of Fealty - then, yes, the Norse were effectively feudal - the king swore to the Allþing. The Jarls to the king.

If one focuses on Subinfeudation as the key feature, again, the Norse can be seen as such. The Cynig had the right to create Jarls , and the Jarls the Ceorls .
The Ceorls could call upon the Cynig, as men of his man, the Jarl. (And the Jarls occasionally switched which king they were held to for a variety of reasons.) Ceorls sometimes deposed their Jarls, too.

English Feudalism arises from Angle and Saxon proto-feudal systems (which meet both definitions above, and which is functionally still the system for the 12th C Norse Vikingr). If the English by the 12th C were feudal, then so were the Norse.

The issue that causes some not to see Norse as Feudal is that inheritance was not automatic. It's the same issue with Traveller nobility - until the Þhing/Moot meets and confirms the Cynig/Emperor. And the Archdukes in Traveller can create subinfeudated Baronets and Knights, just like the power to make Ceorls was nominally the Norse Cynyg's but in practice was the Jarls'.
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Old May 25th, 2016, 05:56 PM
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The Norse were not a single polity, nor had they exactly the same legal system, even if they resembled each other. The political systems in Scandinavia shifted quite a lot from 700 - 1200. The political systems in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland separated into distinctly different systems. Only Denmark developed a rather feudal system with time.

Calling it a feudal system is vast stretch. There were no nobles, no fiefs, and no serfs. Slavery was certainly practiced. It was very different from contemporary continental systems, or the Norman English system.

There is a severe lack of reliable written sources for almost the entire period, given the lack of centralised governments or archives, and later the church's hostility towards anything written in runes, so giving exact details about the political systems of the Norse is speculative at best.
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