Berserkers were Germanic warriors who are primarily reported in the Old Norse literature to have fought in a nearly uncontrollable, animalistic trance-like rage, a characteristic which later gave rise to the English word berserk. Berserkers are attested to in numerous Old Norse sources. Most historians believe that berserkers worked themselves into a rage before battle, but some think that they might have consumed drugged foods. The Úlfhéðnar (singular Úlfheðinn), another term associated with berserkers, 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: "Odin’s men went without their mailcoats and were mad as hounds or wolves, bit their shields…they slew men, but neither fire nor iron had effect upon them. This is called 'going berserk. '" In addition, the helm-plate press from Torslunda depicts a scene of Odin with a berserker—"a wolf skinned warrior with the dancer in the bird-horned helm, which is generally interpreted as showing a scene indicative of a relationship between berserkgang… and the god Odin"—with a wolf pelt and a spear as distinguishing features.
Powers & AbilitiesEdit
- Superhuman Strength - Their chief ability is their inhuman physical strength. The myths of the Berserkers attribute to them the strength of 10 men. They can reshape steel, throw cars, eviscerate grown men or large animals, and smash through concrete.
- Superhuman Speed - They move with such celerity that they seem to appear and disappear instantaneously and can cover miles on foot in mere minutes.
- Superhuman Reflexes - Their reflexes are heightened to the point were they can stop a person's fist in mid-hit.
- Superhuman Durability - Their bodily mass as well as enhanced bone and tissue strength affords them superhuman resistance to physical injury. Additionally, they are unable to feel physical pain. However, they are far from invulnerable.
- Superhuman Stamina - As long as they are enraged, they can physically exert themselves infinitely.