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Berserkers are fearsome warriors who wear skins imbued with the spirits of animals, using them to gain enhanced battle prowess through a magical frenzy known as the berserkergang. Generally, though not always, they wear only this skin into battle, going without any armor or shirt. They are closely associated with the Aesir god Odin.


The true history of berserkers and how they came to be remains unknown. However, followers of Odin - as most berserkers are - claim that Odin acquired an ancient wisdom from the Well of Mimameidr and created the berserkers for mysterious reasons. Some claim he did so out of guilt for some past errors, once he gained wisdom to see beyond his previous ways. Regardless of his reasons, he imbued a great but terrible magic in those he called berserkers. Yet not even the wisest of gods could truly control the magic he bestowed upon the berserkers. Even today, tales of legendary heroes carrying the spirits of wolves into battle often end in tragedy: they will lose themselves to the rage, becoming monsters, often nobly exiling themselves from their civilization.

For ages, the berserkers took on exclusively the spirit of the wolf, wearing wolf-skins and imbuing themselves with incredible power. However, over time, even the wild men of the North became increasingly fearful of the wolf's power. Thus, Odin allowed his followers to turn to other animal spirits, as well, creating a wider variety of berserk warriors.

Rite of Passage

All berserkers must undergo a rite of passage in order to attain animalistic power. The nature of such rites remain shrouded in mystery to outsiders, but it is believed to involve hunting and skinning a specific beast to gain its power. Through blessings of Odin and the savage beast itself, the berserker is then bonded with that skin and that one animal. Even when not wearing his skin, he is not entirely human, though his power is considerably less without his magic pelt.


"Berserkergang" refers to the maddened state that gives the berserker enhanced strength, speed, and stamina. In return, he loses himself to the animal spirit, entering a bloodthirsty frenzy. In this rage, they may even attack their own allies, going to mad as to bite their shields and howl and roar like beasts. Such sights and sounds strikes fear like little else can in the hearts of their foes, particularly the Achaeans. In berserkergang, warriors can perform feats of extreme strength and endurance unachievable by ordinary Men, even surviving mortal blows, shrugging off even steel and flame as if it does not hurt them, and fighting even after being filled with arrows. Legends whisper of berserkers bearing animalistic features should their rage continue too long, such as growing fangs or even claws - or fur. Should this begin, it often cannot be reverted, and the berserker will transform into a true monster, never to become human again. It is said they can become different monstrosities dependent upon their animal spirit. Some say this is how bjarnhamar came to be, and wolf berserkers live under constant threat of becoming terrifying werewolves.

However, following this rage, both the body an soul of the berserker becomes drained. If they attained mortal wounds, they often die once the rage passes. If they survive, they must rest for quite some time before seeing battle again, lest they die in their weak and exhausted state.



Most common and still the most legendary of all berserkers, wolf berserkers wear the skin of a wolf they slew. The spirit of the wolf is the most powerful and most dangerous of all beasts. They are incredibly difficult to control. As a result, though wolf berserkers perform feats far beyond their other animal-skinned counterparts, it has become more common for berserkers to choose animals other than wolves. Even the mighty men of the North deeply fear losing themselves to the wolf spirit - and becoming werewolves.


Some berserkers choose to take up a less dangerous animal spirit instead of the wolf, and the most commonly chosen among those today is the bear. Imperials have acquired the misconception that bear berserkers are the most common of their kind and the basis of the berserker legend, thanks to bear-berserkers becoming more common in recent eras as warriors avoid the dangers of the wolf. Some legends claim that bear berserkers can still lose themselves to their animal rage if pushed hard enough, however, but they do not become a creature so cursed as a werewolf, nor is it as easy for them to lose themselves to the bloodlust.

Other (Raven, Ram, etc.)

Though far less common and known than wolf- and even the more recent bear-skinned berserkers are warriors that take up other animal spirits and skins. These include but are not limited to boars, rams, and even ravens. These spirits vary in power and ability, many offering less incredible physical capability in exchange for a more easily resisted and tamed bloodlust. However, not all beasts can bond with a berserker, as Odin will only bless his warriors with the spirits of animals both from his homeland and that he finds worthy.