Arab courtier Ibn Fadlan, accompanies a group of Viking warriors as they sail to the aide of a village that has been repeatedly attacked and brutalized by flesh eating creatures that no one can describe. The creatures always attack at night and remove body parts of their victims.
The creatures attacked again after the warriors arrived and nearly wiped them out. Ibn writes a manuscript of all his experiences with the Northmen. In it he describes the rotting stench of the killers, their hairy arms and backs, and the terrible claws and teeth. Morale is low as all fear they are fighting some supernatural creatures until Ibn actually sees a human arm beneath all that hair, while engaged in battle.
Reguvinated, they reconnoiter and learn they must kill the "mother" of these mysterious creatures, their queen. When she dies, the men serving her will stop attacking the villiage. The Northmen devise a daring but dangerous plan.
This report prepared by Tracey Ray
In Michael Crichton's Eaters of the Dead, Ibn Fadlon is an ambassador to the Sultan of Baghdad who has returned from northern Europe in 922 AD. In a manuscript, he recounts his travels through a strange and savage land. He is repulsed by the lack of civilized customs among the barbarian hordes he encounters. He describes their crude ways in all manner of activities from eating and drinking, to having sex or honoring the deceased. Eventually, he finds aspects of their courage and skill to admire. He meets a roaming band of Viking warriors and their leader Buliwyf whose adventures are cut short as they are brought back to defend their village against the wendol, a tribe of horrifying primitive creatures. The wendol are ferocious cannibal “eaters of the dead”. Eventually, the Norsemen must face the “monsters of the mist” in a fight to the finish.
The novel was made into the movie The 13th Warrior starring Antonio Banderas.
This report prepared by David Fletcher