The Agerians are daring masters of the sea. Their swift wooden longships, equipped with both sails and oars, enable them to mount piratical raids on the coastal settlements of northern Honshu, Weissland and beyond. The shallow draught of these ships means that they are able to reach far inland by river and stream, striking and moving on before local forces can muster.
Agerian ships are clinker-built of overlapping planks and measure between about 17.5m and 36m in length. They are steered not by a rudder, but by a single oar mounted on the starboard side. A few richer men's ships are said to have iron-clad bows and sterns. An average speed of 10 to 11 knots can have been achieved, or perhaps rather more in short bursts. Crews of 25 to 60 men are common, seated on benches on open decks, although the largest ships can carry as many as 100 or more. Packhorses and provisions are also included if needed. Fearsome figureheads raise at stem and stern as a sign of warlike intent, underlined by rows of shields mounted along the sides for defence or show. These can be removed while at sea. Raids in single ships are quite frequent and fleets rarely comprise more than 100 ships. Most people live on farms in Ager. Their houses are built of wood, stone or blocks of turf, with thatched or turf roofs. Houses in the towns of Birka and Dorestad are built of wood or wattle, crowded close together along narrow streets. Men work on farms, or as craftsmen or traders. They handle boats for fishing or travelling. Women do all the household jobs. They also help on the farm, milk the cows and make cheese. They spin, weave and sew all the family's clothes. Children help their parents at work, and learn about history, religion and the law from stories. They become adults at the age of 15 or 16.