Here's another idea I have been toying with.
We know that the Vikings went to the North American continent and made settlements in the area they called Vinland. I recent years we have learned even more about where these settlements were, including findings as late as 2015.
The areas that were known to the Vikings in this region appear to be:
- Iceland: This was the first stepping stone for further Viking expeditions towards North America. the settlement of Iceland began in 874 AD when the Norwegian chieftain Ingólfr Arnarson became the first permanent settler on the island
- Greenland: Vikings established two permanent colonies here. These existed from 985 to 1450–1500.
- Helluland: "Flat rock land"Scholars speculate that this is modern day Baffin Island. Sagas describe plentiful of Polar Foxes in this area.
- Hvítramannaland: Also known as Great Ireland. It is unknown where this mythical place might have been, but it is believed to have been close to Vinland. Some reports say the people here had white skin and white hair.
- Vinland: Most likely this refers to Newfoundland. Settlements have been found in L'Anse aux Meadows (Straumfjörð) and Point Rosee (uncertain). Sometimes Newfoundland has also been referred to as "little Helluland". Vinland could refer to all of the American mainland. Leif Eriksson spent a winter at Cape Bauld on Newfoundland in 1001 AD.
- Markland: This could refer to the coast of Labrador. Possibly never settled, but likely a source of timber for the Norse population in the region. Leif Eriksson reported it to have woods and sandy beaches.
- Bjarnøy: This island is mentioned in the sagas, but has not been identified. Said to be north of Vinland.
Other cultures: Erik the Red referred to some of the people he met as Skraelingr. This could refer to Inuit tribes. If the Vikings did venture further south, they could have encountered other indigenous tribes as well.
Mythic Campaigns: I do think it could be fun to include more mythological elements into a campaign like this. I could see both Dragons and Frost Giants making their homes in some of these realms. It could also be interesting to throw in Inuit or Native American mythological creatures as well.
Do any of you have ideas for a campaign revolving around the early Viking exploration/colonization of Vinland?