|People of The Kalmar Union|
|The Kalmar Union|
Regarded as one of the greatest explorers of the Medieval period Ibn Rasid visited many of the courts of Leifia during the 14th century.
Born in 1306 in Tangier he was a near contemporary of Ibn Battuta who travelled extensively through Africa and Asia. On pilgrimage to Mecca in 1327 he joined a caravan for protection. In Mecca he joined a caravan eastwards into Persia but turned back and instead travelled to Constantinople, where, making the most of his education, he talked his way on to a diplomatic mission to Rome. After several years of criss-crossing Europe in the service of Byzantium, who found his accountancy skills invaluable, he visited Copenhagen in August 1336. There he learned of Leifia and convinced the Danes to allow him passage on one of their Vinland-bound ships. He visited Anglia and Iceland en route, before finally arriving in Isafjordhur in May 1337. He would reach St.Hafdiss four months later. There he employed several translators and joined a caravan headed to the Mississippi. Heading downstream his party was attacked twice by bandits but he escaped with his life, even though one of his translators and an Aniyunwiyan girl he had picked up as his third wife were not so lucky.
Hugging the coast he travelled into Mexica visiting the major cities of the Triple Alliance. He was warmly welcomed by the Mexic Emperor and was a guest at several high ceremonies, describing in great detail the religious practices of the Mexic. He disliked the religion vehemently, especially the practice of human sacrifice, along with many aspects of Mexic life but kept his opinions to himself until he reached Europe once more.
All in all he spent two years as the Emperor's guest before returning to the Norse states in 1340, this time with a bodyguard. He brought gifts to the Norse queens from the Emperor; a trio of Tawantinland Llamas for Vinland's Queen Kristjana IV and a full Jaguar warrior suit of armour for Álengiamark's Queen Thorey II†. Laden down with silver and gold, precious stones and exotic spices, plus Vinlandic furs, Ibn Rasid sailed back to Europe. Selling much of his stock to the Danish crown he sailed to Granada where he built a modest home and began to write up his journey into a book; The Travels.
He died during a shipwreck on his third visit to Mecca in 1349.
Reports of Ibn Rasid's journeys would eventually filter back through Europe and beyond. News that the lands beyond Vinland and Álengiamark were vastly wealthy spurred Portugal to commit even more resources to build a fleet capable of crossing the Atlantic, which they succeeded in doing in 1345. Some time later China would be made aware of Mexica through a translation of Ibn Rasid's book and made their first crossing the Roasjoinn in 1420 (though they did not actually reach Mexica on that voyage). Mexica itself sent more caravans northwards after Ibn Rasid's visit, realising that their goods were greatly coveted by the Norse and Europeans.
†There was a general consensus circulating throughout Leifia at the time that the Vinlanders were farmers and the Álengsk were warriors, possibly explaining the choice of gifts.