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A Mythic Iceland question...Did they use drekar at all in Iceland?


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I'm planning a short Mythic Iceland campaign, using both scenarios for Mythic Iceland and adapted stuff from RQ Vikings (basically you only need to adapt the magic).

I want the PCs to go viking, and the RQ scenario 'Gone Viking' is nice.

What I have to change is the starting point of the PCs, instead of sailing from Scandinavia, the PC will set sail from Iceland.

But, in the scenario they are supposed to set sail in a dreki... can they do that from Iceland - given that a dreki is a coastal vessel? Or, should they go viking in a knörr? A knörr is fitting for ocean travel but ill suited for raiding...

I guess the author can enlighten me...


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I'm not the author, but the dreki should be fine for such journeys.

Sure, a knorr is a more stable ocean-going vessel, but the dreki is used to raid all along the coastlines of Europe, even across the North Sea. When Vikings raided Ireland, they didn't hug the coasts for the whole of their voyage, instead they sailed across the North Sea, made port in the Orkneys, then probably skipped to the Hebrides and then along to Ireland. So, a hop from Iceland to the Hebrides or Iceland to Ireland should be fine.

It might make a difficult or uncomfortable journey, and I would take horses, but that might mean some modifier to the Sailing skill.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 


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What soltakss said is basically correct.

The dreki was less well-suited to crossing the open ocean, so it would have been a rare sight in Iceland. Still, it was definitely capable of making the crossing between Iceland and the lands to the south, even if it meant a more difficult journey, and a penalty to the Pilot Boat skill roll.

It was mainly aboard the knörr that Icelanders traveled back and forth to Scandinavia to seek fame and fortune, not only because of it being better suited for ocean travelling, but also because of its cargo capacity. Icelanders did a lot of trade at Scandinavian ports, taking with them vaðmal, dairy products, pelts, other animal products such as narwhal tusks (which were often sold as 'unicorn horns', thus reinforcing the idea of Iceland being a magical land), and more. So even when planning to go south to raid, it would have made sense for Icelanders to use a knörr so they could take with them as much cargo for trade as possible, and then they would seek to join a Viking expedition from Norway, Denmark or other Norse settlement.

If in your scenario or campaign, however, it makes sense that the player characters just want get on with the raiding, and are not concerned with trade, it would be perfectly fine for them to travel from Iceland on a dreki. You could make their departure a special scene in the game, with people having traveled from afar to come catch the rare sight a departing warship, and the player character get complimented by some for their bravery, and warned by others to make sure they sacrifice to Thor before they set sail in such a perilous journey.

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Thanks a lot to both for the great answers!

I think that I will let the players participate in the decision about the type of ship and adapt the scenario accordingly. If they chose the knörr there will be also trading involved, if they opt for the longship it will be pure raiding and a more perilous crossing to Ireland. This gives opportunity for a nice role-play scene when they discuss about the boat with the godi and the other participants. Plus, if they choose the dreki there will be the cool departure scene.

It is great to have this community! Thanks a lot.

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Ans why would you want to go on a safe, fat little cargo ship when you could go on a dangerous, silky, slim dragonship?

Because the safe, fat little cargo ship can transport a lot more of "liberated" treasure ? B-)

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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