By the late 800's AD, Harald Fairhair had conquered various chiefdoms to establish himself as the first High King of Norway. While focusing to solidify his rule, he brought centralization and restructuring never before seen in Scandinavia leading to several of his rivals who opposed him to flee to the the frontiers of Iceland & Greenland as well as merchants, blacksmiths, seafarers and farmers all whom felt overburdened by the newly established tax code. The much welcomed transients either joined established townships or founded settlements. The new representative assemblies formed soon after, functioning independently from one another forming some of the base structure of the regions today.
Overtime however, domestic matters quickly became polarized once Christianity was introduced to the traditionally Norsk-Pagan societies, where the culture had began to differ from that upon mainland Europe. Conversion attempts were received poorly in Greenland, where the population was growing tired of the difficult environment and were increasingly dissatisfied with the Kings new form of rule, but did not amount to large resistance. Leaders in Iceland had previously initiated a slight Christianization process in major towns after repeated pressure from the monarchy but soon after would find itself fully submitting to the authority of the oversea's government. A policy of One Religion, One Law was then established mandating conversion across all territories, of which took on more of an extreme character in Iceland compared to their Greenlandic brethren. Battles were fought, statues torn down & sanctuaries leveled to rubble across the country on both sides of the divide. The policy was forced into effect as most of whom converted had already been in top leadership positions and individuals that had not converted saw their family oversea's held hostage by the Kings forces as a bargaining tool. To further enforce the policy, Norway cut off all support and trade to Iceland and began organizing an force with plans to fully integrate the island within the Kingdom.
By 1100AD, with dwindling supplies due to ongoing internal strife and a looming foreign intervention, several groups opposed to conversion gathered their possessions and abandoned settlements on Iceland to hold true to their beliefs. At first, they migrated to Greenland but found no difference there as most of the upper class had too began Christianization efforts coupled with a lack of sufficient resources to support the sudden population increase long term in the hostile arctic environment. While resupplying & repairing ships with friendly chiefs, the discussion of the distant lands across the sea occurred. Hunting, fishing & resource gathering was in its infancy in the new lands which was comprised of 3 regions: Helluland, a mostly uninhabited land of stone & ice as far as the eye could see. It was purported to be connected to the far north of Greenland, yet separated by the native Inuit people they bore conflict with & deadly elements. Markland, further south than Helluland, was told to be covered in snowy forest during winters with endless lumber and large game during the summer months, with a simple native people occupying the lands. Further down the coast was Vinland, a prize of snowless winters, fertile land for crops with plentiful fish to catch in the area yet was contested by several clashing native tribes.
A second voyage was deemed to immediately continue onto rivers separating Markland from Vinland by the initial group. Coincidentally, the tales from the newcomers of what was left behind in Iceland led to fear of retaliation from the crown for not abiding by the new practices in Greenland. Recognizing the tremendous distance needed to be traversed from Scandinavia to exert influence in the new lands where the risk of invasion would be relatively low, some Greenlandic chiefs supported joining their forces to settle the new lands seeing an opportunity to do so, as most of them held the intimate knowledge of the sea and lands, while those from abroad, barely knew of its location or existence. With a population of a few thousand warriors and laborers, their families and indentured servants, the ships were loaded and departed.