The Oestvikingae

To understand the Oestvikingae, you need only look at our name…

The OESTvikingae are Easterners, hailing mostly from Gotland. Gotland is an island of merchants and traders, that controls the trade around the Baltic Sea. Gotland is a rich island but is not large, so many children are encouraged to go abroad, to seek their fortunes elsewhere. Sitting as it does in the Baltic, our ships travel in all directions; North to Birka and Sweden, East and South to the Rus Lands and Miklagard, or West to the Englisc and Frankish lands. Visually, several of us look to the Rus Lands of the East, and are inspired by descriptions such as:

Out of 100 cubits (gaz) of cotton fabric (karbās), more or less, they sew trousers which they put on (andar pūshand), tucking them up above the knee (bar sar-i zānū gird karda dārand). They wear woollen bonnets (ba sar bar nihādha dārand) with tails let down behind their necks (dum az pas-i qafā furū hishta).
Hudud al-‘Alam

They clothed him in trousers, leggings (rān), boots, a qurṭaq, and a silk caftan with golden buttons, and placed a silk qalansuwwah with sable on his head.
Ibn Fadlan

The OestVIKINGAE are Vikings, in the true sense of the word: we are marauding raiders and pirates, members of the Great Heathen Army, and whilst we are in England we are staying only in temporary camps. As such, we’re really the only proper ‘Viking’ unit in DAS- the Westmen are settled on Mann & the Hebrides and the Holmbyggjar have their homes on Osea Island in Essex, whilst the Oestvikingae are just here to raid & pillage not to settle!

We are also strongly heathen, followers of the bloody Viking gods, not of Christ. As the Gutasaga says:

Men believed in holt and howe (grove and grave-mound), sanctuaries and sacred sites, and in the heathen gods. They made offerings of their sons and daughters and cattle, with food and ale. They did that in their error. The chief sacrifice was the one for the whole land, with people; otherwise each Third had its own sacrifice. The smaller assemblies had lesser sacrifices with cattle, food and ale. They were called suth-nautar (Brethren of the Boiling, Cooking Companions), because they cooked [the sacrificial feast] together.

Skirmish on the hilltop

So that’s the Oestvikingae- wealthy merchants and pitiless raiders, here to get rich, share sacrifices, and then return home to Gotland. We fight hard & party hard, and flaunt our wealth with the best of them- we’re known for our Eastern-inspired costume, arrogance, bloodthirsty religion, pointy hats and bling. We welcome new members, and as a marauding warband / group of travelling merchants it’s obviously particularly easy to fit new characters into our unit’s story- there can always be new people coming over from Gotland. Dare you join us?

The Oestvikingae, posing

Slack Viking who's not been around for a couple of years.
Haukr is a Viking from Gotland, who has risen to become the current leader of the Oestvikingae. Hauk Ragnarsson's Saga tells of his life so far.
Thorhelm the Cruel is a close ally of Hauk's, an old friend from Gotland. He is married to Fritha.
Visna is a fierce shieldmaiden, who when she enters battle puts aside her female garb and fights like a man.