Alternative History
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Flag of the Vinlanders

The Vinlanders are a people and ethnicity of Nordic origin that lives in the northeastern portions of North America. They descend from the Vikings who settled in Vinland (also known as Newfoundland) in the early 11th century. Vinlanders introduced many important advancements to North American indigenous cultures, including writing (runes), ironworking, horseback riding, and boats, especially to the Algic and Iroquois peoples, which, in possession of those technologies, became more powerful than the other Native Americans.

A mixed ethnicity of slightly dark skin, modern Vinlanders do not have a defined territory and are scattered throughout the continent in parts of Canada, Quebec and the United States with the largest concentrations being in the Canadian provinces of Vinland, West Vinland, and Leif Erikson Island. They speak dialects of the modern Vinlandic language and have a mixed culture. Some have fully incorporated into present-day nations, while others live in isolated communities and reserves. Many Vinlanders show indifference towards their ancestral homeland of Scandinavia, while others have proudly defended their heritage, with some even expressing interest in the Hitlerist movement and learning Teedish.

Timeline

  • 985 - While sailing from Iceland to Greenland with hundreds of settlers and 25 other ships (14 of which completed the journey), a Viking merchant named Bjarni Herjólfsson was blown off course, and after three days' sailing he sighted land west of Greenland. He later told about his discovery to Leif Erikson.

Leif Erikson discovers North America

  • 1000 - Using the routes, landmarks, currents, rocks, and winds that Bjarni had described to him, Leif Erikson and his father Erik the Red, whom Leif wanted to come along, set out with their crew of 35 on an expedition to that location to find new lands. First they came to Helluland, or "flat-stone land". Then, they reached Markland, or "wood land". Finally, they came across the warmer island of Vinland, or "wine land". There, they built a small settlement, which was called Leifsbudir (Leif's Booths) by later visitors from Greenland.
  • 1004 - Leif's brother Thorvald Eiriksson sailed with a crew of 30 men to Vinland and spent the following winter at Leif's camp. In the spring, they had their first contact with the local Native Americans (called Skrælings by the Norse), with whom they traded. Thorvald did not want to engage in violent confrontation with them.
  • 1009 - Thorfinn Karlsefni, also known as "Thorfinn the Valiant", inititated the first successful colonization of North America. He supplied three ships with livestock and about 200 men and women and headed south, settling on a location called Straumsöy. A sign of peaceful relations between the indigenous peoples and the Norsemen is noted here. The two sides bartered with furs and gray squirrel skins for milk and red cloth, which the natives tied around their heads as a sort of headdress.
  • 1020 - By that time, the Norse had had interactions of different kinds with the neighboring natives. Some were peaceful trade, some were violent conflicts. Nevertheless, the Norse population in Vinland had grown to about one thousand.

One violent conflict between Vikings and Native Americans

  • 1060 - Conflicts with the natives started to become increasingly uncommon, whereas the settlements in Vinland were becoming larger, with a population already surpassing three thousand men and women. The Norse had visited the place regularly and introduced runes and ironworking to the natives, including the Iroquois. They also introduced diseases, such as smallpox, which caused epidemics and deaths, but the Indians developed resistance to it over time.
  • 1079 - With the problem of the Natives ending, the Vinlanders in the colonies declared independence, with little resistance from the colonialists. Led by the Governor of the Leif Colony, ironically a direct descendant of Leif Erikson, Erick declared himself the first of many Kings of Vinland.
  • 1105 - By the early 12th century, the Old Norse dialect spoken in Vinland was significantly different from that spoken in Greenland, Iceland and Scandinavia. Not only was it isolated, but it also absorbed words from Native American languages, such as the Algic and Iroquoian languages, which in turn also absorbed Norse words and were already being recorded in runes. Vinland's population numbered above 10,000 and it started to mingle with the natives.
  • 1135 - Vinland's culture was isolated from the rest of the Norse world. Vinlandic was already a distinct language from that spoken in Iceland and Scandinavia, and only half mutually intelligible. Furthermore, while Scandinavia had converted to Christianity, most Vinlanders followed Germanic paganism and were also starting to learn about Native American religions and myths. Because of those cultural differences, interest in Vinland among Norses decreased and expeditions to there, which were long and often costly, had started to become less common.

A new race resulted from intermingling between Vikings and Native Americans


  • 1157 - By that time, the Vinlandic language was barely understandable by the Scandinavians, and the Vinlanders, who were already over 60,000, looked physically different: while some were still blonde with blue eyes, most of them had darker skin, hair and eyes. While they were still seen wearing Nordic helmets and braids, they also wore Native American garments and feathers. They have also expanded far beyond the original Vinland (or Newfoundland) and into what would later become southeastern Canada and northeastern America.
  • The maximum extent of the Vinlandic Empire stretched from Baffin Island to New England

    1180 - By the late 12th century, Vinlandic knowledge, including runes, ironworking, horseback riding and even navigation, had spread across much of North America. They had a culture of their own, with both Norse and Native American influence, and recorded their history from there in runes. Their garments and customs were also a blend between those of Nordic and many North American cultures. Nordic boats were used to fast travel all across rivers, and horses, quickly adopted by the Native Americans, were used across land.
  • 1279 - King Erick VII initiates a conquest program to spread Vinlandic influence through North America. Expanding from the capital city of Leif, King Erick sent a large army, the most modernized army in North America at the time, to conquer new lands and claim those lands in the name of the Vinlandic King.
  • 1290 - After nearly 20 years, the Vinlandic nation conquered most of the territories of Atlantic Canada, including parts of modern Quebec and New England. Through arranged marriages and treaties, many Native Americans tribes ended up as tributary states within the kingdom.
  • 1304 - The capital city of Leif is founded in modern-day Leif Erikson Island. A bustling walled city, Leif was one of the richest cities in North America as the destination port for goods from Scandinavia. Sitting on a peninsula, Leif was a protected city, compared to Constantinople, which also sat on a peninsula.
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