The Vinlanders of 1092

The Icelandic settlers in the alternate history of this game follow in the footsteps of Lief Erikson, who over a hundred years ago was the first to discover Vinland. It is a difficult life, but settlers were drawn by the trees and fruit of the rich land here compared to relatively barren Iceland and Greenland.

The Vinlanders live on separated homesteads in the Icelandic tradition. There is a single central building, the longhouse, which houses everyone - the extended family of landowners, their hired help (called huscarls), and a few slaves (known as thralls). A typical longhouse is perhaps 30 yards long and 8 yards wide, built of wood and stone and sod. It is a close living together, especially in the depths of winter. The top leaders have a sleeping closet to themselves, but the rest of the time is in the communal area. All would gather around the central fire pit for meals, and a few furnishings moved to the middle for the current activities.

Around the longhouse are fields, pens and barns for animals, and utility buildings like a sauna and smithy. They have fields of rye and barley, but are mainly herders of cows, sheep, and goats. The land is plentiful here, but the Vinlanders are struggling with iron-making and other advancements of their European ancestors.

There has been great concern over the locals - called "skraelings", meaning roughly "barbarians" in Icelandic. However, the individual homesteads seem mostly tolerated. It appears that the skraelings are more concerned with their own problems at present than with the homesteads. Larger settlements, if anything, would be more threatening to the locals.

For this, they have been thankful to the spirits. Iceland had technically accepted Christianity just as the settlers were heading out, but no one here has ever seen a churchman, and Christians teachings are accepted only as an addendum to deeper-set beliefs in disir, alfar, and valkyries.