Our "Name that Viking" contest has concluded! We received a lot of really good NPCs for the contest, and it was really tough to pick a winner. So tough, in fact, that we chose two!
Our first place winner is Nicole Woodworth (@KneeCoalWoody on Twitter) for her submission, Jørgen Torp!
Our second place winner is Robert Allen Porter (via Facebook) for his submission, Jan Vindar the Victor!
Congratulations to both of our winners! You'll get a change to meet Jørgen and Jan in the next story arc, or read their stories by click "Read More" below!
1st Place - Jørgen Torp by Nicole Woodworth
Jørgen was born to master blacksmiths Avilda and Trond Torp in the small village of Slaug. As he began training as a blacksmith, he would regularly test the weapons out behind the forge and discovered he favored the greataxe. His parents, watching from afar, began creating one for their son; a family tradition as the parents present the child with their last creation before the child takes over the forge. But as Trond and Avilda were almost finished with the blade, a few rival tribesman of the Hjalmar tribe invaded Slaug and intended to kidnap them to keep as slaves and forge weapons for them. Avilda refused and Trond was beheaded, causing her to scream. Jørgen came inside the forge to hear what the commotion was and watched as his father’s body hit the ground. A rage came over him and he reached for the axe his parent’s made, rushing the few tribesman. A short battle ensued and when he came to his senses, the rival tribesman were dead on the ground and their blood dripped down his blade.
His mother Avilda was gravely injured in the battle and died shortly after, leaving Jørgen alone in the world. Wielding the last item his parent’s forged, he vowed to rid the country of the tribe that took his parents. He went to his chief, Eluf Rivbjorn, and pledged his services as not only a forge-master but a strong and young fighter. Eluf gladly accepted the newest warrior and Jørgen found himself rising through the ranks and becoming a valued and fierce warrior.
After marrying Eluf’s oldest daughter Silda, he quickly became the battle-master of the clan Völsung. Years past and for every enemy that fell to his blade, he would forge armor from their weapons as a testament that every enemy he slew made him stronger. Once he was fully clad, he chose to only forge armor from rival chief’s weapons, using their blood to stain the armor red. But as his strength and skill grew, it was never enough to challenge the tribe that killed his parents.
When Eluf died, Jørgen became chief and began his conquest to unite the smaller tribes and challenge the Hjalmar chief. Some would call him the Great Uniter, for gathering the smaller clans together under his banner, while others called him the Red Wolf, for his bloodlust in battle. After years of conquering, his numbers were enough to get the attention of Igor “Snakejaw” Armin, the chief of the Hjalmar tribe.
A fierce battle took place with both sides clashing in combat and both sides took heavy casualties. Igor and Jørgen met it seemed as if both sides stopped fighting to watch the clash of the barbarian titans. Sword met axe as the two exchanged blows and after an hour of one-on-one, Jørgen became victorious as he beheaded Igor.
Forging the snake armbands from Igor's sword and blood, Jørgen is now Jarl of the North and a feared leader to all.
2nd Place - Jan Vindar by Ronald Allen Porter
"My name is Vindar, Jan Vindar. When I was a soldier they called me Captain Vindar. They gave me a sword and an axe as soon as I was able to turn loose of my mother."
"They pointed at the goblins and said kill them and I did. When the goblins were defeated, they pointed at the orcs and I killed them. The gnolls, the trolls and the ogres all fell under my blades and I became a soldier of legend."
"There was a time of peace and I was celebrated by all of the tribes as Vindar the Victor, but nothing is as fragile or short lived as peace. A new enemy came to our doorstep. Not some ugly critter or creature that could be easily cleaved by the blade. Something ancient, something evil, something from below. I was brave and so I faced it alone, challenged it and attacked it head on as I always did. When it recognized my strength, my aggression, my blood lust it entered me, possessed and controlled me."
"It sent me against my own people and they never had a chance. Once it was done, it left me broken and guilty. That's how I ended up in here with you."
He looked over at the long dead skeleton he shared the cell with.
"You don't say much do you? That's alright, you probably never had much to say to begin with, but play your cards right and I'll take you with me when I break out of here!"
Shocking Gasp is a serialized actual play D&D 5e podcast. When an enigmatic being falls from the sky, four strangers investigate and find themselves on the run from a superhuman force. Now they must fight for their survival while attempting to unravel the mystery of who the being was and why they’re being hunted. New episodes released every other week on Tuesday at 6am EST. First time listeners advised to start at Episode 1 - Livin’ On a Prayer