Viking ships, shown in yesterday’s post, enabled great mobility for Viking warriors. Fierce and well-armed, they became so feared that eventually all they generally had to do was show up. Those they invaded had two choices: pay up or fight. Plunder became extravagant as the countries they invaded paid the Viking pipers. The Viking exhibit at the Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria shows both sides of the extortion equation: the weaponry and the booty. Gold and silver, of course, were prized. And so was glass, which was very rare in the Viking era. A replica sword in a plastic case is accessible to grasp and hold for weight and balance. Though the swords I’ve photographed look crude, the originals held a justifiably fearsome place in history.