Welcome to Ragnarr-who-plays-in-the-SCA's page.

Last Update: June 17, 2003

Greetings Friend!

Ragnarr Thorbergsson has been hanging around in the SCA since about 1988. As far as the SCA is concerned he lives in the Canton of Bryniau Tywynnog, in the Barony of Ramshaven, in the Kingdom of Ealdormere. Of course when I first contacted the SCA out here it was the Canton of Dubhras but htey were just shutting down. A year or two later the local group contacted me. Then it was the Canton of Twynnyth (or something like that -- the heralds bounced it almost immediately after I started) in the Barony of Septentria, in the brand new Crown Principality of Ealdormere, in the Middle Kingdom. Its fun watching the world change.

Jump links to the various sections of this page:

Awards Stuff I do Stuff I plan to do Stuff I used to do My Arms My Persona Pictures Articles

In that time I've had a lot of hobbies and picked up and award or two.

Laurel 2000/02/26 Society Peerage for Arts & Sciences (in my case persona reconstruction)
Pruple Fret 1998/10/03 Kingdom (Middle) service award
Purple Fretty 1995/09/30 Kingdom (Middle) service award for groups. Awarded to House Venshavn while I was still a member.
Silver Oak 1995/02/04 Kingdom (Middle) Science award.
Dragon's Barb 1991/09/20 Kingdom (Middle) Archery award
Award of Arms 1989/10/28 For getting the Queen the kind of booze she liked (although the award says something about service but who actually reads those)
Order Bee   1997/09/13 Principality of Ealdormere Service award
Award Bears Claw   1990/08/19 Barony (Septentria) award for war service
Guidon 1999/09/11 Barony (Ramshaven) award
Favour of Ramshaven   2000/12/?? Barony (Ramshaven) award
Berry   Canton award for extreme silliness above and beyond the call (usually last call). Closed award.
Tower   Canton award for Service (Principal)

Now on to the important stuff - the things I do within the SCA.

Stuff I do at least every so often
Archery Not only do I enjoy shooting but I enjoy training other archers. One of the humours things that seems to follow me is that every serious student I've had has wound up becomming a better shot then I am. I currently shoot a bow Japp made as a prototype to him line of Mongol horse bows. The pull is around 45-50 lbs but it feels lighter. A truely sweet little bow.
Carving I like to play with a knife and a variety of materials. I've carved wood, horn, antler, amber, and soapstone. I tend to do all of this work with my small belt knife (about a one inch clip point blade). Its not an attempt to recreate specific pieces, more a way to keep my hands busy while I'm doing other things.
Fletching Hey making your own arrows is a useful skill. I admit I buy more often then make now but I still do all of my own repair work.
Gaming Ah fun and games. It started with Tafl many years ago and expanded into others. Not exactly viking but you will find me playing Medigati (Italian renn I've been told), and backgammon as well as alquerque, and all of the various board arrangements and sizes for the tafl family. Gambling over a game while drinking is a very pleasant way to spend an event.
Norse Language I'm working with Ragnaheithr Kennari locally and a mailing list to try and learn something more about the language Ragnarr should be speaking. Its an evil language to try and learn.
Autocratting I've been running events and demos for years and apparently I don't show any signs of slowing down. On the "big" end I was one of the three autocrats for Ealdormere's First Coronet,one of the two autocrats for its first crown tourney, and one of two autocrats for one of its coronations. I've also been running FITP for a few years now, the occasional other event

Stuff I plan to start doing or get back to
Mead Making Years ago I did a LOT of this. I tried to work my vintning to produce a product palatable to my clientel (modern people) but made using the ingrediants available to Ragnarr. I never did get so far as using anything other than glass carboys but I did experiment with wild yeasts and breeding my own yeasts. Be gentle with the meadbook I was younger then.
Glima Viking wrestling. Or at least a modern icelandic sport that claims to come from the wrestling mentioned in the sagas. The idea is to pair off with someone who can give a fair fight take a grip on each other and begin. The first person to touch the ground with something other than hands and feet loses. OK most of my firends are pretty scrawny but one of these days Grimbold and I will get a chance to match and maybe pair off a couple of others as well.
Holding Office I've done this once or twice over the years at local, baronial, and principality levels (no kingdom offices to date). I won't claim I plan to do this again but no doubt it will happen someday.

Stuff I used to do
Fighting I started fighting shortly after I joined and kept it up for a few years. I won my first tourney victory in Ealdormere's first coronet tourney, and once made it to the final 8 in a coronet list. Tourney fighting, though, was never really what moved me. I loved Melees. I fought as a part of my barony's forces for a year then started a house and led it into battle for a few years. Both under the orders of our Baron and Prince, and later as I became disillusioned with the Midrealm's concept of command tactics as an indepentant group self-tasked to try and keep the annoying people away from the Principality column while it attempted to accomplish its objective.

I autocratted a one-day lecture sequence on command strategy and tactics (mostly so I could learn myself). In later years this idea was resurected by other and the Ealdormere War College was born and grew to the impressive gathering it is today.

For the record I was never that good a fighter, but I did have fun.

I gave up fighting due to my bad knees (not the fault of SCA fighting). Frankly it just became too much of a hassle to avoid the traps and distractions the ladies in my life were laying out in time to actually get into armour and fight at practice.

I had wanted to re-authorize and fight in Ealdormere's first crown but being one of the two autocrats I just never did find the time. A real shame.
Venshavn Long ago a young lady and I started an extended household called Venshavn. As the years passed she and I broke up, the group sort of drifted apart and the things we used to do together sort of stopped happening. We decided to shut the household down and keep the name for the one thing we still (mostly) did as a group -- camping at war. More years passed and the group grew and changed into something I was having no fun with so I dropped out. You will still hear my name associated with the group's past deeds and that is as it should be but the modern camp group and I are no longer associated. You can find mention of the group here at the other founder's website.

My Arms
When I first joined the SCA I registered arms. I know now its not really not a viking thing but I didn't then. My formal arms are rarely if ever used but this is what they look like

Sable, a drawn bow fesswise, arrow nocked, and on a chief argent three trees eradicated proper.

My badge is what I've tended to use. At first I used it because it felt "more norse" to me then my arms. Now that I know more I stand by my original assessment that it is "more norse". One of these days I'll be getting a nice weather vane done up and it too will appear here.

(Fieldless) A drawn bow fesswise nocked of an arrow proper barbed of the crown of a tree vert and flighted gules.

Persona Description

Ragnarr was born before midwinter's night in 837 A.D. (It is now 872 A.D.) He is the second son of Thorberg Olafsson and Asdis Rolfsdottir. His older brother is Thorgeir and his younger brothers and sisters are (in order) Agnar, Asgirdr, Ketil, Thora, and Asmund. His father was killed in 853 while on a raid with Thorgeir, Ragnarr and Agnar. On returning to Denmark Ragnarr traded his land rights to Thorgeir in exchange for 2 boats and enough weapons and armour to equip the men who would follow him. Agnar and Ketil decided to go along with him and gave up their land rights too.

The next summer 2 Drakkars and 120 men set out viking. The voyage along the English and French coasts went very well and they returned to winter in denmark. The trip was repeated the next summer raiding along the west coast of England and Ireland again returning home to winter. These trips also brought a lot of wealth and honour for those who went along although Ketil died. Over the winter of 856 a third drakkar was built to accomadate the additional fighters wishing to join Ragnarr and Agnar.

That winter as well Ragnarr quarreled with the local Jarl so all 3 ships loaded early and set off down the Dneiper river for Micklegarth. There they stayed for two years growing in wealth and experience. It was there Ragnarr honed his archery skills and started studying the books on combat written by the ancient generals. There also he was introduced to the concept of mounted fighting. A fourth boat was commissioned in the second winter and that spring all four sailed out with additional crew. They sailed down to the mediterranian and out around Spain and France to England. Then up river to find land in England to call their own. Two of the boats were sent back to Denmark under Agnar's command to sell off the plunder and collect the families of those men wishing to settle in England.

The Garth settles in and attracts many local craftsmens as well as several who came in with the 3 boats Agnar returned with. In the summer of 860 a local King attacks the garth and is beaten off. The next spring after the crops are in Agnar and Ragnarr sail off in opposite directions. Ragnarr taking three boats west and Agnar taking two east. Ragnarr finds the Laurel kingdoms and returns to winter in England. Over the winter Ragnarr buys a Knarr (the Seahorse). Ragnarr takes it and 2 drakkars and Agnar takes the 3 remaining Drakkars. Ragnarr continues raid and trade trips in the summers but begins to winter in the Laurel kingdoms. The local Jarl (Aedan) notices his skill in the mock war fought one year and gifts him (Award of the Bear's Claw). Queen Ariake grants him a title (AoA) and gifts him well for his skills in archery. As the years pass a new Queen Tangwhystle gifts him again and gives him a new title for his work in the teaching of archery and his service as her Archer Captain (Dragon's Barb).

Around this point I gave up trying to explain my SCA Awards and just left Ragnarr as he was here although I did move him to Iceland during the landnaming to match what was happening in my DARC life and in my interests.

There are more pictures of me over one the DARC Ragnarr page.

The day of my laureling playing medigati while Brant works to keep the other players honest. A demo -- teaching people to play games Same demo but with more people. This demo maxed out with some 20 odd people around this game table. Sure there were 200+ people on the site but the gaming tables were crowded.  


In addition to the articles on Viking things (found here) I also wrote a LOT of little stuff when I was new to help the canton newsletter. I've linked copies of these articles here. Please use a BIG chunk of salt when reading them. They are NOT what I would write now, heck I don't even believe many of the things that I wrote back then anymore.