Alternate History

The Norse-Saami Wars

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The Norse-Saami Wars (866-945) were a bloody series of conflicts in Dark-Age Norway between the Saami, an Arctic Norwegian tribe, and the Vikings. The invasions include-

  • The 'Blood Rage' of 897
  • Siege of Semis janr Njarg
  • The Winter Massacre of 926
  • The Rus-Norse Invasion of 933
  • The sacking of Villhilmina

The first initial conflict began in the Spring of 865, when Knorr Jarl Bjorn Henriksson made a trading expedition up the Norwegian coast. He set out from Kuapang on February 23, stopping at Hladir to restock his supplies before venturing into the unknown. Later he had a saga written in memory of his voyage, describing their hardships and triumphs in somewhat exaggerated detail. An excerpt from Bjorn's Saga-

"The ship glided over the icy waves like a deadly swan, becoming enveloped in mist from time to time. After hours of silence apart from the waves crashing beneath our feet, one of the oarsmen finally cried out 'land!'. Through the ocean mist peeked a coastline of sorts, covered in ice and snow. The land looked barren and desolate. We beached the ship and went ashore, only to be greeted by harsh icy winds and snow as far as the eye could see. We found shelter in a glacial alcove facing away from the wind, where we decided to set up camp. The night was a freezing one, plastering our wet hair to our frozen faces and make our clothes frost covered and hard. Once morning came, a terrible sight presented itself to us, our equipment and provisions were gone, our ship had been ransacked, and several men had frozen to death in the harsh cold..."

Bjorn and his crew were able to return to their homeland after spending an entire Summer fending off natives and building a small settlement, Kjarta. After repairing their ship they traveled home to speak of these monstrous northerners to their kin. Several parties of warriors set out for fame and glory, but could not surpass the freezing cold barrier of the north.

Finally, a man named Kristjan Leifson set out with five-hundred Viking Huskarls to conquer the Saami. This event is known as the 'Blood Rage' due to the amount of bloodshed taking place. Many Saami villages were razed, and the Capital, Semis janr Njarg was discovered. Kristjan lost a total of one hundred and twenty-six men, while the Saami's losses are unknown.

In the year 905, a Viking Raiding party set up a colony on what is today the Lofoten Islands. The Vikings used this as a base for operations and a place for their warriors to recuperate before another invasion. In 907 the Lofoten Islands were overrun by the Saami's new leader, Iqaluk Tupiq. The Viking colony was utterly destroyed, and all of its residents were slaughtered. In revenge for this terrible act, a Viking Jarl, Ivar Bjorsson organized an invasion fleet of 60 longships in the year 907. The Saami's leader Iqaluk, demanded his warriors to surprise the Viking fleet north of what is today Asvaerfjorden by kayak. The raid was an utter failure, the warriors, weighed down by their weapons and separated attempted to board the Longships under the cover of darkness. The Vikings immediately were able to rouse the fleet in minutes and the Saami were picked off one by one. Iqaluk Tupiq then committed suicide because he could not bear the shame.

Finally, after several more invasions, the Saami were no more than a memory of the Arctic, most had either been massacred or had fled into what is today Northern Finland. The Vikings then proclaimed all of Norway for their own.

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