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JoshEllingson
10-20-2009, 02:41 AM
I have a mc who is Asatruar. he follows Odhinn, and is the son of a berserkr. I want him to be a berserkr as well, but he is fighting werewolves, and i do not want to confuse the reader. does any one know how to help me?

StephanieFox
10-20-2009, 04:34 AM
Could you be more specific as to what you want? I'm taking from your post that your main character is a follower of an ancient Norse religion. He's a follower of Odin. How important is the religion to the story or is it just color commentary?

Is this set in current, past or an undetermined era?

What do you want to do with the werewolves? Do they fit into your religion or ...?

What else are you asking?

How are thinks up in Brainard?

JoshEllingson
10-20-2009, 07:16 AM
I live in Bemidji. the religion aspect of my book is a big deal, because it is told in first person. as far as what i am looking for, i just need help figuring out how to explain the [I]berserkrgang[I] without making the mc sound like he is a werebear

Melisande
10-20-2009, 05:19 PM
I don't know if this helps you at all, but some people believe that the Vikings ate a mushroom called "Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly Amanita" (quote from Wikipedia) to get in the Berserkr mood.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanita_muscaria

StephanieFox
10-20-2009, 08:06 PM
http://www.religionfacts.com/a-z-religion-index/asatru.htm


or for contacts, you can email
http://www.witchvox.com/vn/vn_detail/dt_gr.html?a=usmn&id=33117

I don't know these people personally and don't know if they are connected to white separatest groups (as some Asatru are). But, it's a likely that they are not and may be very open to communicating with you.

Also, you can contact
http://www.witchvox.com/vn/vn_detail/dt_gr.html?a=usmn&id=34611 or
http://www.geocities.com/gaelicgargoyle/index2.htm
http://www.destinyslobster.com/asatru/sites.html

And, of course, the Sons of Norway in Minneapolis. This should be excellent.
http://www.vikingage.com/


Ya, yew betcha!

JoshEllingson
10-20-2009, 08:41 PM
thank you all for the suggestions, but you seem to have missed the point. I am not referring to a psychological problem, but to a physical transformation. So far there has only been werewolves in the story, but i plan on having other lycanthropic creatures. and i am concerned about the possibility of the mc being mistaken for a werebear. Or should i use that as a plot twist?

PeterL
10-20-2009, 09:37 PM
thank you all for the suggestions, but you seem to have missed the point. I am not referring to a psychological problem, but to a physical transformation. So far there has only been werewolves in the story, but i plan on having other lycanthropic creatures. and i am concerned about the possibility of the mc being mistaken for a werebear. Or should i use that as a plot twist?


That does not make sense. Why would anyone mistake a warrior for a werebear?

JoshEllingson
10-20-2009, 09:56 PM
I may not of been very clear. He is a berserkr. The mythological kind that actually turned into a bear when the battle rage comes upon him

Mr Flibble
10-21-2009, 12:00 AM
(Tries to remember reading about berserkers turning into bears while berserk. Fails. I'm sure in a least ( eta Ynglinga, saga) one they were described as 'Men as strong as bears' not actual bears)

But if there is a physical transformation ...he would be a shapeshifter, albeit a beary type rather than a wolfy type.

So I'm not sure werein your problem lies.

However, if it's in first person, then surely your point of view could solve that quite elegantly?

PeterL
10-21-2009, 12:01 AM
I may not of been very clear. He is a berserkr. The mythological kind that actually turned into a bear when the battle rage comes upon him

There may have been a different kind in the myths that you have seen, but in the Sagas, a berserker, however one spells it, was a warrior who went into a sort of battle frenzy, and some foamed at the mouth. Some were dedicated to Tyr or Odin, and some may have taken some strange drug. I have heard reference to them being like maddened bears in battle, but they did not turn into bears. Some of them wore bearskins into battle, and some wore wolf skins, and some wore common shirts.


If your berserks changed into bears, then were something else. There are many Norse stories in which a character changes into an animal.

waylander
10-21-2009, 01:21 AM
Didn't David Eddings have a character who did this in Belgariad?

JoshEllingson
10-21-2009, 01:27 AM
never read the belgariad. and the character does not know that he is a berserkr (the actual spelling: it is an Old Norse word)

Mr Flibble
10-21-2009, 01:46 AM
Well then what is your specific problem?

Is it that he changes but could be confused with werewolves? Your first person perspective can sort that - his arms ( legs / paws) are way heavier. claws are different, pelt is different, teeth are different. Bears are very different to wolves.

If he doesn't change ( as per the Ynglinga) but is a man with the strength of a bear, again - your perspective should serve you well. The bear cape, the biting of the shield...

Just be subtle.


If you could be more specific as to what the actual problem is, we can help.

StephanieFox
10-21-2009, 01:53 AM
In some of the links I posed earlier I seem to remember something about a bezerker/bear connection, but you may have to link from a link. I know there's info out there.

I don't think a man/wolf would look anything like a man/bear execpt that both are hairy. The bear would be larger (you can make him much larger Scandihoovian large, if you know what that means. The VP in our office is 7 feet tall and large for his height. Just add brown...no, wait...make that blond hair and lots of it.

Wolves are actually much smaller animals. Also, bears can stand on their hind legs and wolves don't do that.

Mr Flibble
10-21-2009, 02:07 AM
bezerker/bear connection

Some used to wear bear capes - other wore wolf capes.

Kind of like a totem animal ( plus I suspect it looked quite scary when they're running at you, teeth bared and foam flying, across the battlefield.)


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.

Some say that the name comes from them actually turning into bears, though I'm not sure of the sources on that. Possibly from the name (that might) mean bear-shirt - as though they become bears - though as they wore bear capes.....

However Bjorn was said to be a 'bear man' in Hrolf's saga, but I think that's separate to berserker. He was cursed to be a bear by his stepmother...

It's been a while though - I could be wrong.

Anway /derail.

Your perspective should see you right, if you handle it correctly. If he changes, he'll see that he's different from the werewolves. He'll look like a bear.

Vanatru
10-21-2009, 06:00 AM
To OP, try http://www.asatrulore.org/hmportal.php.

There are A LOT of knowledgable people there who can help you.....keep in mind that you need to explain yourself clearly on what your looking for. Heathens don't suffer fools very well......and if you fail to make yourself clear, some of the more forthright might treat you like a jotun. Wish you the best.

BTW, don't waste your time at Odinist.com or Odinist.org.

JoshEllingson
10-21-2009, 10:17 AM
To OP, try http://www.asatrulore.org/hmportal.php.

There are A LOT of knowledgable people there who can help you.....keep in mind that you need to explain yourself clearly on what your looking for. Heathens don't suffer fools very well......and if you fail to make yourself clear, some of the more forthright might treat you like a jotun. Wish you the best.

BTW, don't waste your time at Odinist.com or Odinist.org.

LOL. are you member of asatrulore.org? I am Hrothgar Eikinskaldi.

the problem that I am having is that the character will not remember any transformation, and I am wondering if there might be a way for it to be easier to understand (for the reader) that the mc is not a werebear, but a berserkr.

Mr Flibble
10-21-2009, 10:32 AM
the problem that I am having is that the character will not remember any transformation, and I am wondering if there might be a way for it to be easier to understand (for the reader) that the mc is not a werebear, but a berserkr.


Does the MC understand he's a berserker not a werebear? ( even if he doesn't remember afterwards, while it's actually happening) If so easy - you're in his thoughts so....Like: He transforms, you describe it. then next scene he wakes up 'Why am I naked in the middle of the woods? And is there any reason my mouth tastes like rabbit arse?'

If not, ( even as it happens, he doesn't understand it) let the reader find out as the MC does.

JoshEllingson
10-21-2009, 10:45 AM
he has no idea. he just knows that he blacks out and wakes up standing amidst shredded bodies and pools of blood.

Mr Flibble
10-21-2009, 04:28 PM
Then if it's first person all you can show is what he knows. Give the reader the same clues you give him.

However if his father was a beserker ( and assuming did the same in your world) then presumably he'd work it out pretty quick.

waylander
10-21-2009, 04:36 PM
never read the belgariad. and the character does not know that he is a berserkr (the actual spelling: it is an Old Norse word)


Eddings definitely had this character.
Worth looking at Belgariad to ensure that your character is sufficiently different from his. Being accused of 'ripping off Eddings' is not good.

waylander
10-21-2009, 04:37 PM
he has no idea. he just knows that he blacks out and wakes up standing amidst shredded bodies and pools of blood.


Presumably people would tell him what he did - probably make songs about it. So he is not going to remain unaware of it for long.

JoshEllingson
10-21-2009, 09:38 PM
Then if it's first person all you can show is what he knows. Give the reader the same clues you give him.

However if his father was a beserker ( and assuming did the same in your world) then presumably he'd work it out pretty quick.


His father died the day before he was born, killing the last of the vampires, and his mother only told him that his father and grandfather had died in battle and that they were brave.

backslashbaby
10-21-2009, 10:30 PM
There could be signs on the carnage, maybe. Bear claw marks and such.

Mr Flibble
10-21-2009, 11:49 PM
His father died the day before he was born, killing the last of the vampires, and his mother only told him that his father and grandfather had died in battle and that they were brave.


In that case, looks like you're writing a mystery :D

Or as the others say - other people see him, he sees the bear claw marks and remembers this old wives tale about...

Still, in first person, the reader finds things out the same time as the MC. Although of course they may work out the implications a bit quicker, if he's not too bright lol

JoshEllingson
10-22-2009, 02:01 AM
thank you all for the help. the character has yet to enter the berserkr rage, (this is for a scene i am planning) but i kinda like the image of him being told about his 'problem'. i am thinking that he could be tied up when he is told...

DrZoidberg
10-22-2009, 02:20 PM
I have a mc who is Asatruar. he follows Odhinn, and is the son of a berserkr. I want him to be a berserkr as well, but he is fighting werewolves, and i do not want to confuse the reader. does any one know how to help me?

I suggest going with one spelling and pronunciation scheme behind your names. Those are all over the place. Pick one country, time and place and then stick with those. I think it'll help your immersion.

Also, decide if you want to go with the myths or reality. Nearly everything we have heard about the Norse berserkers was invented in the 18'th century romantic poets. Nothing wrong with using that, but isn't reality.

I don't really know much about the reality behind the myth other than that what I learned in school. They were an elite warrior of the Viking society. They fought in small tight nit groups or bands. They wore bear or wolf skins. I suspect the berserker rage was more myth than reality. The mushroom chomping wild eyed loon was one of those myths invented in the 18'th century.

JoshEllingson
10-23-2009, 06:28 PM
I suggest going with one spelling and pronunciation scheme behind your names. Those are all over the place. Pick one country, time and place and then stick with those. I think it'll help your immersion.

Not quite sure what you mean. The story takes place in the future, and choosing one culture, after the majority of the world's population was wiped out in a nuclear war, would not be likely.

StephanieFox
10-23-2009, 10:37 PM
Not quite sure what you mean. The story takes place in the future, and choosing one culture, after the majority of the world's population was wiped out in a nuclear war, would not be likely.

The future? OK, you've got to tell us details like this. We can be more helpful if you tell us everything upfront and not enlighten us with important details a little at a time.

Will this be taking place in northern Minnesota? Scandihoovia?

JoshEllingson
10-23-2009, 10:50 PM
LOL. see, now if only i had a beta for both books...

anyway, the part that i am writing now is a group of people headed to the Paul Bunyan and Babe statue in bemidji, in early spring, from nebraska. google maps says you can walk from Omaha to Bemidji in 6 days 10 hours... wonder if they take snow into consideration... i was told to torture my MC...yeah, northern MN, after a nuclear war, in late winter, early spring. I am thinking 8 foot snow drifts...