The players start as whelps left behind to guard the farms while the Earl takes his boats down to Denmark to trade then West to raid the foreign lands. It is spring and the player will have an entire year accumulate trade goods. If they can prove themselves during the Earl’s absence, he may take them raiding next year.
The PCs all own some land and live in a farmhouse but they are welcome to choice a Lapp hut. The Earl lives in a Trelleborg -style barracks.
It is spring so there is much farm work to be done but there seems to always be free time for hunting and training.
The PC and major NPCs form a drengr, which is a gang of youths who are sworn to one another.
Each player should choose a one friend, one ally and one rival from the from the possible PCs or 1st level NPCs. These people with help and honor the PC more then other people in the village except for the rival which will do the opposite. The allies, friend and rival may also be a part of the PCs drengr. This NPC list many also serve as backup characters should your PC come by a early ascent to Valhalla.
Note: Some PC already start with extra allies or rivals due to storyline so it is possible to have more then two friends, allies or rivals. Be sure to record this on your character sheet. You will gain and lose allies, friends and rivals during game play according to your actions.
Then prepare the PCs for a day of training with a few close friends.