* In A.D. 921 the king of Baghdad sends Ibn Fadlan north to the king of the Bulgars. His journey is interrupted.
* Ibn encounters a group of Viking warriors and is forced to go with them to kill mist monsters.
* After three years, Ibn returns to Baghdad and his adventures are recorded in an official court document.
* Crichton discusses the differences between Ibn's observations of the Northmen and common European views of them.
* The Vikings are viewed as barbarians but they are surprisingly modern with a strong sense of ritual.
* Ibn writes like a news reporter who presents only the facts and has no wordy descriptions.
* Ibn writes for informational purposes, not entertainment.
* If he did not see an event directly he reports it as such, that someone else saw it.
Chapter One, The Departure from the City of Peace
* An invocation to Allah begins the manuscript and...
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