this is the story of the lone warrior at stamford bridge, as told by Viss. I've thrown in a little poetic licensing. mostly just the berserker/ulfhednar-y sounding stuff. I have no idea if he actually was one.
It was 1066 and the Norwegian Vikings under Harald Hadrada were in England, celebrating victory with enough mead to sink a longship (presumably). The Saxons surprised them with an attack from seemingly out of nowhere. None of the heathens were prepared. Alcohol-saturated blood poured into the cold earth by the gallon. Those who survived the initial slaughter ran to the other side of Stamford bridge, in an attempt to regroup, put on their armor, sober up somewhat, and put up some sort of resistance.
All fell back except for one.
Out of the chaos and screaming -from both pain and fear- emerged one figure. A hulking beast of a man, even by nordic standards. Prepared for battle while none else were, as if Odin himself came down and told him that Valhalla needed him. Tonight.
The nameless warrior shoved past his countrymen, despising them for retreating, and eventually got to the bridge. he simply stood there, gripping his axe and gnawing on his shield, impatiently awaiting the slaughter that was just moments away. He was no ordinary farmer who was in the raid for some silver. He was a berserker. A soul hand-picked by the Norns and the Gods to become that of a bear when called into the fight. All but immortal, neither fire nor iron could cause him harm. He walked, in an inhuman trance, towards the weaklings who dared to challenge him. His eyes were locked on the blood-soaked soldiers like a hungry wolf eying down a wounded rabbit. He would make a stand on that bridge that would give Leonidas and the 300 a run for their money. He stood on the bridge, praising the warrior gods and cursing the enemy in the same breath, and gnawed on his shield in impatient anticipation for the slaughter to come. The saxons may have won the ambush, but this is where he would pay them back
The bridge was only wide enough to fit 4 men side to side. so four saxons marched forward, expecting an easy win against this seemingly drunken madman. Within seconds, it became impossible to tell which limbs and head belonged which torso. Then came the arrow barrage. The feeble horde realized that sending more men would be futile unless they put an arrow into him to slow him down. He simply raised his shield. if any hit him, he showed no signs of it when the next wave came. This time, eight were sent. When the one fell, another replaced him, to no avail. Like waves smashing the rocks, they charged, and were forced back by this human wall with glaring eyes and foaming mouth. Even the ranks furthest from the bloodshed could hear his blood curdling war cries, calling out to Odin, Modi, and Thor as if they were spectators in the Roman Coliseum, and the death that gripped this land was solely for their entertainment. Calling all saxons Nithings*, and begging for a man worthy enough to call down the Valkyries.
Each human wave smashed against the rocks, and dissipated and crawled back into the ocean of warriors, whose spirits sank further and further. As if morale, like so many saxon men, had died and was on its way down to Hel.
This man was more horrid and bloodthirsty than anything a man could dream up. When a sword found his flesh, he didn't bleed. When a shield bashed into his head, he didn't falter. It was as if they were lunging at a marble statue of the Christian Hell's strongest demon.
the bloodshed was immense. Upstream of the bridge flowed clean, blue water that was pure as Baldr, the handsome god. Downstream, a dark, reddish brown mixture of murky water and congealed blood that looked like a river from the Christian Hell. It was truly a sight to behold.
Finally - One cowardly, devious saxon decided to trade his honor for victory against the nameless man who had turned his friends and comrades into a feast for the ravens that circled overhead. He ran upstream with an empty barrel, and floated down on it with a spear in his quivering fist. When he had floated under the bridge, he thrust upward with all his might, and the spear found its mark between our heathen hero's legs. He fell to his knees, his strength drained from him almost instantly, as if Odin had become tired of waiting for him with the gates to Valhalla open. Nobody wanted to count the number of piled English corpses on and around the bridge. Out of the purest fear any man has ever felt, they dismembered his corpse so he couldn't rise from death and continue his massacre. But he had no intention of the sort. the Valkyrie already carried his spirit up to Valhalla, where he had more than earned his right to feast, drink, and fight until Ragnarok. Where he would mount one more final stand against the giants and the dead from Hel.
*'Nithing' was basically the super-insult. think of it as every mean, vulgar and otherwise unsavory word rolled up into two hate-filled syllables.
The Nameless Warrior