In the C.E. 800s the Viking homeland of Scandinavia had become over crowded. Many of these Scandinavian warriors left their homes in search of wealth and adventure. They travelled in medium-sized sailing ships that were large enough to sail in the open sea, but small enough to navigate through the rivers of Europe.
The Vikings were expert warriors. They used their light weight ships to sneak up on their victims, and then retreat before their enemies could retaliate. Whatever they did not steal, they would burn to the ground. They were brutal, and showed no mercy to their victims, often torturing and killing them.
With fearsome names, like “Eric the Blood Axe”, the Vikings struck fear in the hearts of Western Europeans everywhere. No one was safe from their attacks.