Saturday, 15 September 2012

Crazed Naked Berserkers!

Berserkers, so prominent in Hrolf's Saga, are the remnants in Christian times of older stories. In pre-Christian Scandinavia, berserkers seem to have been members of cults connected with Odin in his capacity as god of warriors. Snorri Sturluson in Ynglinga Saga, recalling numerous elements of ancient lore, describes Odin's warriors in this way:

His men went to battle without armor and acted like mad dogs or wolves. They bit into their shields and were as strong as bears or bulls. They killed men, but neither fire nor iron harmed them. This madness is called berserker-fury.

The berserkers of the saga, who often appear as the core of the king's warband, are at times reminiscent of the retinue of warriors surrounding Odin and may ultimately derive from ancient bear cults. Debate has centered on the meaning of the word itself. Berserker could mean "bare shirt," that is, naked; berserkers, as a mark of ferocity and invincibility, are said to have fought without needing armor. The word, however, may also mean "bear-shirt," reflective of the shape and nature of the bear assumed by these warriors. More literally, it may refer to protective bearskins that such warriors may have worn into battle. When the "berserker rage" was upon him, a berserker was thought of as a sort of "were-bear" (or werewolf), part man, part beast, who was neither fully human nor fully animal. Although not specifically so called, Bodvar Bjarki is a berserker of sorts. He appears at Hrolf's final battle in the form of a huge bear, invulnerable to weapons. In both his invulnerability and his ability to change shape, Bodvar also displays preternatural abilities resembling those of Odinic champions.

The Úlfhéðnar / Ulfhednar (singular Úlfhéðinn), mentioned in the Vatnsdœla saga, Haraldskvæði and the Völsunga saga, were said to wear the pelt of a wolf when they entered battle. Úlfhéðnar are sometimes described as Odin's special warriors, with the pelt from a wolf and a spear as distinguishing features.

Here is a small group of crazy, pumped up and naked berserkers...viewers easily offended should look away now!

Ulfhednar Skeggi and his men prepare for battle!

Figures are from Black Tree Designs.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Viking Warrior.

First Viking Warrior done for a while. More to come...

Ingulbjörn prepares for battle!

Figure is a Foundry Viking.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Dark Age Villagers.

Rob (GM) has finished the painting commission for me of the selection of Dark Age villagers by Black Tree Design and Trent Miniatures so I thought I would put up a few pics of his excellent work. I still haven't quite finished all of my other villagers but a some point I will post a pic of the whole set up!

First up is Lady Angarad of St. Osyth, daughter of Ealdorman Godric.

Lady Angarad.

Next is Lady Angarad and her family, Ealdorman Godric and his wife Mildrith, uncle (and village blacksmith) Cynred and brother Hunberht.

Cynred, Angarad, Hunberht, Mildrith and Ealdorman Godric. 

Here we have Osbeorth, a local farmer and his family, wife Inga, sons Tohrwulf and Sibbi, daughters Waerburh and Bebbe.

Inga, Tohrwulf, Osbeorth, Waerburh and Bebbe, Sibbi.

A picture of the villagers together.

The villagers gather outside the Ealdormans house.

The next pictures are of the local druid Cadwallon and some slaves captured from a rival village.

The gathering at the stones of Crocky Grove.

The captives under guard.

Cadwallon and Frithegith prepare a hapless 'tribute'..

Stigath, Frithegith and Cadwallon.

A close up of Frithegith and Cadwallon.

Sorry looking captives wonder of their fate...

Next are some 'casualty' figures. Various injured and dead.


Lastly as shot of all the miniatures together.

Figures are all 'Ancients' from Black Tree Design apart from Lady Angarad who is actually the Trent Miniatures Maid Marian figure sculpted by Mark Copplestone.

All figures painted by Rob A aka GM.