317 men on seven ships. With only this did Þórólfr set off as the warm winds of late spring filled the sails, billowing above the dragon heads on the prows. The brave sons of Nordland left tearful families behind on the sweeping fjords, knowing some of them would not return. Failure was not an option. Only by blade and by raid could wealth and comfort be brought back for their kin.
As their ships took port for the night on the isle of Sjælland, disturbing news arrived. Haraldr Fairhair, King of the Ynglings, had caught word of Þórólfr's departure, and had dispatched a fleet of his own to take the hold while it was undefended. This wealthy man who would call himself King of all Norway had proven the depth of his dishonor, and Þórólfr that day swore revenge on him and his house.
This is unexpected. I knew I would have to deal with the Ynglings, most powerful family in the lands and the historical founders of the Kingdom of Norway... but not so soon. There are plenty of cheiftains to subjugate between Haraldr and myself, and it seems odd that he would single me out first. There is nothing to be done about it, and to spare my people suffering in a pointless, unwinnable war, I'm swearing myself to Haraldr as a vassal... for now.