As follows is the legend of Godblood, Barbarian of Northrim, as accounted by the Barbarian Skald, Olvnir. While it is uncertain how much of the legend is exaggeration from several generations of the story being passed down, there are several Barbarian tribes that have strongly similar tales with only minute differences such as names and the counts of how many of whatever creature he slew. I find it reasonable to believe that this man did exist and did accomplish at least some of the many feats he is credited with.
Please note that while the skald seemed not to mind retelling this legend in the presence of many young children, I would recommend to my fellow Imperials against doing likewise until you have read this tale in its entirety, as being a Barbarian legend there are some unnecessarily detailed and glorified accounts of mass slaughter and violence, most of which I found fit to leave out of this record.
- Jacob Carticus, scribe
In the history of the men of Skyrim, amidst the many battles and wars fought against both the armies of the Empire and other tribes of their own kin, among the many heroic and bold men and their feats in fighting giants, trolls, and all other manner of terrible foe, if there were only one man I could choose to represent our way of life and show the Westerner why they should fear us, I, as well as any other skald I dare say, would without any question choose Godblood, the chieftain of the now long gone Stone Blood tribe.
Godblood was a massive man, bigger than even the strongest of his fellow warriors. He towered more than three heads height over them, and with his great horned helm and wide stature, it is little wonder that Westerners mistook him for one of the giants themselves! Not only was he large, but he also possessed incredible strength, the strength to lift boulders and hurl them as far as any catapult, and to uproot even the most sturdy of trees.
In battle, he wielded a great two-handed axe, forged by Mountain Dwarves from the fabled metal Deepgold. This was awarded to him by the King of the Dwarves, as a reward for killing Tindr.
Tindr was a fire giant, who had long terrorized the dwarves and trapped them underground in their own halls. Whenever they tried to leave, he smashed them with boulders. When they tried to shoot him with arrows, he would simply burn them in the air. When Godblood crushed the giant’s skull with the trunk of a mighty oak tree, the dwarves celebrated, and their king ordered that Godblood be forged a mighty axe from their strongest metal, the fabled Deepgold. Godblood cherished this gift, and kept it by his side for the rest of his life.
Godblood kept the heads of every man and beast that he slew, until he accumulated so many skulls he was forced to shingle his roof with them, lest he run out of space in his home. Because of this reputation of head collecting, his axe became known as Keletal the Dwarfmaker, though no one used that title in his presence for fear of having it demonstrated to them.
His armor was leather made from the hides of boar he slew with his own hands, and he wore the skin of a bear as a cloak, obtained in a similar manner. He plated his boots and gloves in iron, so that no man could recover from his blows. His great horned helmet was passed down through his tribe, the blackened horns torn from the skull of a ferocious demon by a powerful ancestor.
The giants of the mountains and hills feared him above any other mortal, more than a score of their kind fallen to his terrifying blows. Abjorn the hill giant, once infamous for extorting ridiculous tolls from passing traders, murdering travelers, and stealing from Dwarven caravans was forced to crawl into the realm of the Ice Dwarves with both legs severed after encountering Godblood. Hardi the Gory, a frost giant who had been the death of many brave warriors from many lands, was no match for Godblood. Jhard the Hardy’s bones were reduced to gravel after he challenged Godblood to wrestle. Norus the Deceitful couldn’t talk his way out of. Garrus the Bloody became much more of a description than he had ever intended. Godblood became known as the Bearded Axe, Son of Nidhogg, Abbadon’s Champion, and many other names, all of which struck terror into their cold hearts.
It came to pass that Godblood heard word of a great dragon, Notthyrre, that had proclaimed itself to be the King of the Mountain. It called itself such, as it lived high atop Heimdun, the tallest mountain in all of Northrim. Each night, he would come down from his dwelling and rain fire and death upon nearby villages, whose warriors and champions were helpless to fight him, as flying high above none could reach him, even with their strongest stretch of the bow, or with the mightiest throw of the javelin. Even in the day they were helpless, as no mortal man was able to climb Heimdun to get to him.
Godblood was not one to refuse such an opportunity for glory. Not only had he never killed a dragon before, he had never slain a king either! With not a moment’s hesitation, he set out for Heimdun, bringing only his axe. When he discovered the side of the mountain was too smooth to climb, he went out and killed a den of bears. By tying together their intestines, he made a long rope, tying one end to his axe and the other to himself. With a mighty throw, Godblood hurled his axe towards the top of the mountain, and finding that the axe had secured itself somewhere far above, he began to climb.
Godblood climbed the mountain for many days, hand over hand, foot by aching foot. Those below could no longer see him, and others assumed him to be dead, perhaps caught by Notthyrre and reduced to ashes. Or perhaps he fell, and just hadn’t fallen into their view yet.
But he did not perish! Godblood reached the point where his axe had lodged itself, a mere man’s length away from the mouth of a large cave. Taking his axe and entering the cave, he beheld Notthyrre, sitting atop unimaginable wealth. The dragon was massive, covered in thick scales from his snout to the tip of his spiked tail. Spikes and horns ran all the way down the monster’s back, the bleached bone white standing out against the unreflective black of his scales. Bright red fire coursed through his very veins, showing through the cracks in his invulnerable scales and in the leathery black void of his wings. Though it was asleep, each breath it took was amplified by the echoing of the cave, becoming a deafening roar.
Godblood thought it unfair to kill such a massive beast in its sleep, so he awoke Notthyrre with a loud bellow.
”Notthyrre, I am Godblood, Giantslayer of Northrim! I come to add your skull to my rooftop!” he shouted, and the dragon awoke with a start. With his enemy now awakened, Godblood immediately ran forward, swinging the deadly Keletal towards the dragon’s long neck.
But even the mighty axe, forged from the strongest of Deepgold and wielded with the immense might of Godblood only struck sparks against the dragon’s invincible black scales. Notthyrre was amused at his efforts, laughing wickedly and taunting him. “You are no match for the King of the Mountain! And now that you see the futility of your attempts, I will roast you alive, and make you an example for any who dare to challenge my reign.”
But before he could breathe his horrible flame, Godblood tossed aside his axe. “If Godblood cannot kill you with axe, he will kill you with his bare hands!” he cried, and charged the dragon, wrapping his wide arms around the beast’s scaled neck. With all his strength, he twisted the wretched lizard’s neck with a loud and gruesome crack so painful it caused Thor himself to wince, breaking Notthyrre’s spine and killing him instantly.
It took three days of hacking with Keletal for Godblood to take Notthyrre’s head. When he finally dragged it down the mountain, he hung the head above his doorway, a proud moment amongst his many hundreds of victories. With Notthyrre, the self-proclaimed king of the mountain now dead, Godblood claimed his title, crafting a crown from the dragon’s teeth. The gods of the Westerners cowered in fear when they heard this news, for if such a man could climb Heimdun, what was to stop him from scaling Olympus itself?
It is unknown to this day how Godblood met his end. After becoming the King of the Mountain, he became thirsty for more challenges and departed northward, into the freezing lands of the Ice Dwarves. Some believe Odin took him to Midgard to become a god. Others joke that the icy wastes weren’t like that until he took a javelin and slew the sun. Regardless of his fate, he still remains a legend. And if you are ever near Heimdun, if you listen, you can just faintly hear him over the screams of the wind.
“I am Godblood, KING OF MOUNTAIN!”
I went for a mythological vibe with this, sort of like the Hercules myths where he’s pretty much Greek Chuck Norris. Thus, a lot of Godblood’s feats may seem a bit ridiculous and overpowered, but that’s deliberate. After all, if there’s a society of war and battle focused barbarians, I figured their hero would be somebody who went out and killed a whole lot of things.
Drawing or the plural will likely be added in the future.
Also since this is pretty early on in the contest I might add or change some stuff based on suggestions/inspiration/my own whims, basically up until judging time. So check back every once in a while for changes. If it's too short that's my excuse until it isn't.