Bodvar Bjarki

Born: 978 A.D.

Place of Birth: Byzantine outskirts, lower merchant’s district

Parents: Mother was a Rus caravaner named Halda Gangersdotter

Father was a Varangian guardsman named Bodvar

Brief History: In 978, Halda moved with her family’s caravan to Sweden to make trade with the returning king Olaf and his men. Bodvar grew up fatherless and without a namesake during his childhood. He worked as a horsehand and tavern boy until he was seventeen, when he was allowed to take his trade. He chose the trade of armorsmithing, in hopes of earning the favor of king Olaf. His dreams were to join ranks with Olaf’s men, and travel on his forays until he was renowned enough to return to Byzantine and join the Varangian Guard. At the age of twenty, he received an honorary namesake from his grandfather for his courage on a bear hunt. After an unfortunate and bitter encounter with one of Olaf’s champions in a tavern, Bodvar left in shame to wander the land and make his mark until he can purchase his place in Byzantine. (The Varangians became so successful that men had to purchase their place among them in order to join.) Currently he travels with a caravan house, known as Clan Blazingbeard, doing odd jobs and contributing his knowledge in brewing.

Clothing of choice: black kilt and tan vest

Drink of choice: mead

Weapon of choice: gladius and shield, or two gladius

Quote: “in Sweden, I got into a fight with one of Olaf’s berserks over a cup of mead. Let’s just say I’m not welcome back.”

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