Berserker Animal Cults

Berserker Animal Cults

As previously noted, there is a berserker-tradition in the North, that derives from barbarians capable of astounding feats of rage associated with the cults of three animals – the Bear, the Wolf, and the Boar.

The Bear

Berserkers are named for the “bear-skin” shirts (instead of chainmail byrnies) that mark the devotees of the cult of the bear. Initiation involves killing a bear and drinking its blood (or fighting the image of a bear set up in a hof) and then drinking bear blood. Despite the solitary nature of berserk combat, berserkers do sometimes fight in small squads of barbarians. The bodies of dead berserkers are laid on a bearskin before they are given their funeral rites. The cult of the bear is traditionally the domain of Odhinn.

The Wolf

The Ulfhedhnar wear wolf skins (rather than chainmail byrnies) to mark them as devotees of the cult of the wolf. Wolf-warriors either fight in packs, like wolves, or as “lone wolf” single guerilla fighters. Many members of the cult of the wolf wear wolf masks as part of a helmet. Odhinn is the patron of the Ulfhedhnar.

The Boar

The cult of the boar is sacred to the Vanir. Both Freyur and Freyja have boars associated with them, but Odhinn of the Aesir is a patron as well. Many devotees wear helmets with the image of a boar on the crest. The boar warriors do sometimes fight together in squads, as the bear-cultists do, and utilize the Svinfylking “swine array” battle formation, the wedge, with their two greatest champions in the lead, known as the Rani (“Snout”). Boar-berserkers are famous for being more intellectual than most other berserk warriors, reputed as masters of disguise and escape, always having an intimate knowledge of the terrain wherever they fight.

  • I intend to update this page with suggestions of Feats and skills adopted by members of the berserker cults.

Berserker Animal Cults

Heroes of Midhgardhur Valerianus Valerianus