Sunday, 10 May 2015


Got my friends to design some vikings for me (but also for them???)

Vikings from Friends:

  • Nailbiter. Small, punchy. A 'ball of defence'. She fights in only a loincloth; her dreadlocks, shaved to a mohawk, studded with deadly anemones. Pure gold gleams her left eye, while her axe is formed of a thousand electric eel tongues. Her tattoo is a blue-ringed octopus on the left side of her face, tentacles wrapped around her golden eye. It represents a witch that she must kill in order to reach her second womanhood.
  • Jerk. A calculating fighter. Lithe, well balanced and short. Her hair is a messy, matted, and coloured green, tightly braided to indicate her commitment to the guest oaths. She's not sure why the colour won't fade. She wields a half-sized swordaxe and fights alongside a fierce brown bobcat, destined to kill her. Her tattoos are swirling, turbulent lines across her cheeks. They speak of hard choices and a long journey, without return.
  • Hilla. Cunning, dexterous, nondescript. Her hair is knotted and dirty, readily braided to fit into local customs. Her tongue is as readily molded. It drinks up vernacular and accent greedily. Though of average height and build, she's as fierce with a blacksmith's hammer as with her plain steel great sword, forged from a dead king's stolen axe. Her facial tattoos are the commonplace swirls of a sailor and a homeowner. Hidden down her spine are the barbs, broken lines and carefully space dot work of an assassin.
Instead of swordaxe she just said 'that thing from buffy but a sword not a stake'.
Probably too wordy to say at the table constantly.

Vikings from the Dunkbrain:

  • Fuckadilla. Bald, gummy. Head looks like a thumb. Axe made of broken toenails. Has no teeth, employs small boy to chew her food for her. Shoulders like an ox. Once bore an orca carcass on her back across thirty miles of tundra to save a village from starvation. Has sworn an oath of vengeance against the second most important villain in your campaign. Laughs loudly at inappropriate times. No eyebrows. Face tattooed on back of head to scare away tigers.
  • Lox. Whitens face with lead-based cosmetic. Believes herself the rightful owner of all birds, gets mad when they won't obey her orders. Owns a pair of indistinguishable filigreed dueling pistols, one of which misfires 25% of the time, the other of which misfires 75% of the time. Poor memory. Tightly-curled red hair, one long skinny braid down left side of face. Well-respected ship captain. Each animal tattooed on inside of arms represents a conquest of some kind.
  • Grimble. Sea urchin flail. Carries around perpetual cloud of dirt, like Pigpen from Charlie Brown. Chews betel leaf with lime and tobacco, will spit bright red betel juice wherever. Obsessed with ghosts. Doesn't love them or fear them, just obsessed with them. Level-headed, practical, will do just about anything for money but insists on it being enough money. Bold paintbrush strokes around eyes and across forehead speak of an abandoned home and a life without regrets.
  • Svegg. Boils people alive, makes pies out of them. Pies are mediocre. It's not clear why she bothers. One arm, crow's feet. Grey hair braided but secretly breaks oaths when she thinks people aren't looking. Drinks ice wine by the literal bucketful. Knows the four secret names of the ocean and how to blackmail the wind. Rides a narwhal the size of a cottage, bound to her by an ancient contract interpreted in letter rather than spirit. Once a month, can transfer her death to the nearest virgin. Fights with bare hand, teeth. Blue bars across face are paint for a permanent war.
No Henry, you can't name your viking Hillary Clinton.

How Am Viking??

Vikings in my world are really into simple, obvious social markers. It's hard to wear family colours when everything you own is the same shade of sealskin, so they achieve this with complex facial tattoos and hairstyles.

Sure there are clans and such-forth in viking lands, but the most important social division is between those as maintain the guest oaths and those who do not. Both cultures intermingle, and most families have a few members that cross the line either way. Keepers of the oaths will not kill a passenger on their own boat, allow a whalecorpse to sink or float away, or sell a thrall to an unsworn. The unsworn have no such compunctions, though no viking will sail past a castaway or deliberately drown a foe.

Hair is worn braided by those who uphold the guest oaths, and are bound by them. Hair is shorn on those that reject the oaths. A single braid or shaved section is enough to denote one's affiliation. The rest of the hair may be coloured, shaped and styled to mark a clanship, profession or crew.

Tattoos can represent nearly anything, as is the point of free-form art. Generally: animals represent people; patterns of lines represent the ocean, and therefore journeys; circles represent home, hearth, and dead kinfolk. Sharper curves and smaller circles denote trouble. Pointed shapes and dots represent violence; spear tops and blood splatters.

Other than that vikings dress and style themselves as they please. Pirate-y punk, and painfully hard to imitate.

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