Druids, Vikings, and America
Circa 350 A.D., as Patrick was exterminating "snakes" from Ireland, many Druids took him at his word and chose to sail forth into unknown waters. The Druids of Eire were quite friendly with the Vikings, so they explained their plight to their friends, and made it clear to the Norse that all Germanic Norse cultures were in danger, and persuaded the Vikings to make the long haul over the wide ocean. As both considered their homelands either dead or terminal, it was easy to toss a coin into the air and decide upon emigration to lands far away.
Vikings were a particular culture of the Norse, called ocean travelers and ocean conquerors. The Nords that had never left their inland habitats teased the Vikings, and said that the gold they amassed was treasure from the ocean, and were considered "elite" Nords who fought only when there was material conquest to be gained. The settled Nords fought only for defense, and chose to live their lives in peace as long as they were left alone. The Vikings were considered by the Nords to be "trouble-lookers", meaning that the Vikings traveled far and wide to find trouble, and to fight and win.
Vikings have been around for a long, long time, and precede the advent of Christianity. Because they were not noted for writing, or leaving great impact on land, they were not really recorded in history until the latter half of the 4th century, but they were known as the Icelandic wanderers, and eventually were recognized as having impact on the Scandinavian as well as the Egyptian cultures, both of which they did great trade with. Vikings were traders by nature, and it was of great import for a Viking to elevate his status by a clever exchange of commodities. Vikings loved most that which was "new" and appeared to have functional value.
It was easy for Vikings to trade with Druids, who were not particularly acquisitive, and not ambitious regarding size or weight, as Druids tended to be smaller, and ever-conscious of his responsibility to only possess materials which he could comfortably carry from camp to camp. A Druid might examine a Viking's wares or possessions, make a few comments regarding the obvious worth or esteem of an object, and the Viking would feel honored to be appraised by the Druid, and would treasure the Druid's observations as being a "gold stamp of approval", and therefore beyond dispute.
Druids, as well, appreciated the Vikings' relentless expression of honesty, and this expression of Truth became a "currency" between the two cultures, which both respected and understood. Any Druid who ever traded with a Viking knew exactly what he bought, and he knew the market value and worth of what he bought, and felt well-satisfied that his purchase was equitable with his own exchange.
A Viking, as well, after having done business with a Druid, knew that he had been equitably rewarded for his service, and had often received a particular blessing, or more likely, a fortune that had been relayed to him from a Druid's own set of divinatory runes, familiar to the Vikings, and within their understanding.
Thus, Vikings had an easy and comfortable relationship with the "greybeards" of the Celtic region, and enjoyed taking on the more adventurous Druids for short journeys, and chuckling over the Druids' discomfiture at being at sea, and when Druids would get excited and say "That's the place!", the Vikings would pull ashore and release the Druid at his chosen point of departure, and would volunteer to check on the Druid within a short period of time, in case the Druid wanted to return to his home port. The Druid, as a matter of courtesy, would agree to be at the port to let the Vikings know if he was comfortably ensconced and had found the "vision" he was seeking; otherwise, the Druid would dejectedly embark on the Viking ship destined for home, and would mumble in his beard about his own shortcomings as a seer and a sage.
It was a big shock to the Vikings who landed upon Eire, expecting a routine visit, and instead found hundreds of Druids ready to embark immediately for anywhere "other than the British Isles". Single boats were simply not capable of taking on more than 30-40 passengers, and boats were sent to other Viking ships in the area to let them know that the Druids of Eire were fleeing in mass exodus and needed all the assistance they could get. There were about 750-800 Druids who were trying to flee Ireland by boat, and probably about 500-550 of those got away. The rest remained, and made do as best they could against the invasion of the Roman forces.
In all, there were some seven or eight Viking ships that were able to transport Druids, and to safely flee Brittanic waters. It was not until the Vikings were upon open sea that the Druids could begin to articulate their fears, concerns, and reasons for haste. The Vikings, as people who existed primarily as a sailing culture, were not particularly versed regarding the "politics of land", and much of what the Druids said was simply incomprehensible. The only thing that was clear to the Vikings was that the Druids could not safely be returned to their land.
The Vikings were stymied, as were the Druids, and knew of no safe place to harbor the Druids. The Vikings, being more versed in the cultures of various ports in the European seaboard, felt that Europe wasn't safe for Druids. They decided to sail for the West, not knowing exactly where or what the West was, but knowing there had to be land somewhere on the other side of the Ocean.
After an almost three-month travel, six ships landed upon the American shores. There were one or two ships unaccounted for, which may have landed elsewhere upon the shores, or may have capsized through the temperament of the ocean. Six ships landed around the area known as Nova Scotia, somewhat above the continent that later claimed the title of "America". (It is very likely that the other two Viking ships full of Druids landed at Greenland, and there they stay, having found a culture and climate utterly fascinating in its diversity.)
The Druids and Vikings who docked at Nova Scotia chose to explore their terrain, and finding many climatic and terrain benefits similar - and no worse - than Ireland or Scandinavia, chose to reside indefinitely. The Vikings were in no hurry to get back to their homes, and discerned quickly enough that quick trips from Greenland to Iceland to Scandinavia were simple enough, and did not feel an expedient need to return home, or to give an account of their whereabouts.
The Druids found they flourished in a new and unpopulated environment, and were thrilled with the possibility of new discovery. They knew they could count on the Vikings as allies and warriors if pressed, but hoped this would not be necessary. Instead, the Druids were able to migrate within a short period of time, and eventually found their way to the uttermost peaks of land, and eventually crossed the Great Lakes into the southernmost regions of America, as they thought.
The Druids and the Vikings did manage intermarriage, and those that did not marry established powerful emotional links and bonds that were to sustain both Vikings and Druids through lifetimes, and both cultures had the anchored energy behind "vows", and any vow made from a Druid to a Viking, or vice-versa, had the gilt edge stamp of reliability. A Druid or Viking who did not keep his promise was presumed dead, and the Vikings particularly believed that all unfulfilled promises followed one to the after-world, so were very careful about giving their word, and giving it, they kept it. A Viking was honor-bound to keep all promises, no matter how slight or trivial, and if necessary, to pass that promise unto heirs.
The Druids and Vikings did manage some relationship with the native cultures of the Americas. The Druids, known for their abilities to establish and maintain peace, were a little more effective than the Vikings, but through no fault of Viking earnestness. The Druids were not "glib", but did have a natural function at diplomacy that the Vikings often suspected was runic or spell-bound.
The Vikings, eventually being uncomfortable with a deportment of humans from a foreign culture, decided to return to their own culture, that as being wayfaring Nords. The Vikings married to Druids chose to remain with their chosen mates, and to honor their heritage through legacy, but the majority of Vikings decided to hit the high seas, and to return to that which felt the most comfortable.
None of the Druids chose to return. They knew that a tide had already passed, and that better or worse, they were committed to their new land, which appeared to offer an abundance they were already familiar with, but without the political strife apparent at home. The Druids chose to make North America their new home, and hope for the best, as they always had, even when it seemed to be a foolish hope. This is what they were bred for. When there was nothing else, there was Hope. This is a Truism that has carried Druids through generations.