Lif & Bjorn

Lif Stafnsdota and Bjorn Tostigsson

Lif was born in the Jelling area of Denmark to Stafn and Freyja, simple farmers who had a small holding. Lif's mother Freyja was descended from the Finns and earned some extra coin as a seer telling fortunes and giving mystical advice to the community. Growing up was a quiet affair mostly working in the fields and helping her mother but when she came of age she married a local blacksmith named Tostig.

Soon after she moved in with Tostig, Lif had a son named Bjorn but Tostig was a bit of a dishonest character and soon after became embroiled in a feud with a wealthy merchant in the area called Gorm over an unpaid debt by Tostig. It escalated and eventually Tostig was called before the Thing charged with the theft of some tortoise brooches from Gorm's wife. Although Tostig denied this it went against him as Gorm's cousin also happened to be the lawmaker in the area and he was outlawed to the forest to live as a wolf. In addition half of Tostig's property was taken as reparations for Gorm and the lawmaker. Shortly after this happened it was announced that Tostig had been killed by Gorm's son Unvarr and as Tostig was an outlaw no justice would be forthcoming.

Fearing that Gorm would next move on her and her son, she decided to flee but they struggled to find anywhere suitable to settle as there was little use for a woman with a small child. They eventually found themselves on a boat headed west and travelled inland to Hicce in Mercia on the edge of the Danelaw. They were able to find work as farm labourers in this unsettled part of country. For a couple of years they lived quietly until the arrival of a raiding party from the Danelaw who had come to help themselves to the recently harvested corn.

Recognising her fellow Danes, Lif saw an opportunity to convince the war band to take her and Bjorn with them. As Lif's mother had been a seer, she knew a little about the role of Volva even though she had not performed many rituals on her own. Lif persuaded the war band they should have a Volva travelling with them to bring them good fortune and victory in battle. Bjorn also began following in his father’s footsteps by helping the war band blacksmith Erik as his apprentice but his real ambition is to become a warrior and avenge his father’s death by killing both Gorm and Unvarr.