Deadliest Fiction Wiki

One text describes them as "mad as dogs or wolves" and "strong as bears or wild bulls". They had the strange habit of chewing the edge of their shields before battle and emitting roars and growls.
— R.G. Grant, "Warrior: A Visual History of the Fighting Man", pages 52-53

The regular Vikings warriors of old where formidable hit-and-run raiders, yet their prowess in battle and savagery was nothing compared to those whom all feared, those whom the Vikings used effectively as bestial shock troops, those who had the strength of wild beasts: the Berserkers. The Berserkers where bear-skin clad warriors who fought with no armor and in a crazed frenzy brought about by their rituals and chants. Some wore these skins over most of their body, with the head and jaw skins over their heads and faces, while others wore the skins like a cape, with the upper head and ear skins covering the tops of their heads and exposing their faces. The latter went into battle otherwise naked. A similar group of warriors, the wolf-skin clad Ulfhednar (pronounced Ulf-heth-nar), where just as powerful and mad as the Beserkers, and eventually where absorbed by them.

When Berserkers fought they where said to be immune to arrows, swords and fire, to be as strong as bears or bulls, and immune to pain. It seems that, whatever the rituals and chants that brought about their inner, bestial natures, also brought about major adrenaline surges, increasing their strength and speed to superhuman levels (possibly upwards of 10 times their normal strength: beyond this and ligaments and joints will tear), rendering them immune to pain, and lessening their blood flow. Many of the ideas we have of Vikings stem from the Berserkers. The Ulfehdnar, in particular, due to their powers in battle and dress, was a major influence of European Werewolf Legends.

The "Wendol" of Michael Crighton's "The 13th Warrior/Eaters of the Dead", which where neanderthals in bearskins, where inspired by Berserkers.

Battle vs. Juramentado (by SPARTAN 119)[]

  • Berserkergang: Darkred Darkred Darkred Darkred Darkred
  • Juramentado: Green Green Green Green Green

Five Berserkers stood around a campfire, reciting ancient chants, working themselves into a rage for the coming battle. Suddenly, a shout was heard over the chants: "La ilaha il-la'l-lahu" ("There is no god but Allah"- though the Vikings obviously had no idea what it meant").

The Berserkers turned to see five juramentadoes charge out of the forests swords in hand. The nearest juramentado lunged at a berserker with a panabas and brought down the blade, cleaving through the man's shoulder, into his chest. The Viking fell to the ground, dead Darkred.

The other four berserkers drew their weapons and charged at the juramentadoes in a furious rage. A berserker armed with a Dane axe brought the weapon down on the juramentado who killed his fellow with a furious roar. The juramentado tried to block with his panabas, but the axe simply snapped the handle of the weapon in half and kept going, splitting the Juramentado's skull. Green

A few feet from the other berserker, as Juramentado armed with a kampilan slashed at another berserker, this one wielding a broadsword. The Viking blocked the blow and retaliated, thrusting his sword through the Juramentado's chest, roaring as he did so.

The thick bandaging of the Juramentado meant the blow did not kill him instantly, but he was still bleeding out. As a last strike, the juramentado drew a kalis and thrust it through the berserker's neck. Seconds later, the juramentado finally bled out. Both warriors fell dead. Darkred Green

Another juramentado ran at a berserker, swinging a barong. The Viking tried to the swing his sword at the juramentado at the same time, but the juramentado sidestepped the attack and swung his parang with such force that it chopped off the berserker's right arm.

The berserker did not seem to notice, except perhaps that his shouts of rage got louder as he drew his knifr with his remaining hand, rushing forward and slashing the juramentado's throat in a spray of blood. Green

As the now one-armed berserker stood over the fallen juramentado, however, another juramentado charged in, kampilan in hand, and made a wide slashing attack that severed the head of the unaware berserker. Darkred

The last two surviving berserkers charged at the kampilan-wielding juramentado and took a great swing of his axe, but the juramentado blocked with his sword. Unfortunately for the juramentado, the second Viking was on to him, wildly swinging his longsword, slicing off the juramentado's arm and leaving a gash across his chest. The berserker than finished off his enemy with a thrust through the chest. Green

The final juramentado charged at the two berserkers, however, the one with the Dane axe raised the weapon over his head and threw it at the juramentado, catching him in the face with the blade and causing him to fall forward, the axe still embedding his skull.

The berserker retreived his axe, before both of the surviving berserkers raised their blood-stained blades in the air and gave a wild yell.

WINNER: Berserkergang

Expert's Opinion[]

The berserker won this battle because of his superior weapons, as well and the pain-reducing and strength-increasing effects of the berserk state. The juramentado, while more mentally aware, was not able to counter a crazed, well-armed, bloodthirsty enemy.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.