Name: Ragnar Giant’s-Fist Age: 35 Height: 7’6” Weight: 375 lbs Blood Type: O A massive berserker, brooding, violent, and destructive as the storm. Background: Ragnar’s father was a proud and feared warrior named Hrothvar, the chieftain of his village and leader of many successful raids. The day that Ragnar was born, Hrothvar was struck by lightning on the beach and killed, an event that marked the end of his village’s good fortune. Some in the village whispered that the boy was cursed… By the time Ragnar was 10 years old, he was nearly as large and strong as a grown man. That winter, his village came under attack by reavers, eager for revenge on Hrothvar’s people. Since Hrothvar’s death, no strong warrior had arisen amongst his village and the reavers cut down the few men brave enough to oppose them. Although Ragnar wanted to fight, to be the strong defender of his people that his father had been, his mother and the other elders of the village gave him another task. He gathered the children and hid them under an upturned boat. Although he had been instructed to hide with them, the sounds of his people dying and suffering proved too much to endure. Ragnar abandoned his post, leaving the frightened children to fend for themselves. He went to his hut and found a man attacking his mother. The man’s axe, a massive, dark thing, was lying discarded close at hand, so Ragnar took it up and killed the man with it. It was easy, so he went outside, found two more raiders already half-drunk on stolen mead, and killed them too. With each kill, it seemed to get easier, and his axe grew lighter in his arms, and his rage seemed to burn hotter. By the time Ragnar had come to his senses, every man, woman, and child in his village was dead. By the time he was 12, Ragnar had passed six feet in height and commanded his own longship with a crew of seasoned killers twice his age. He couldn’t grow a beard, but he was large and strong and possessed of an unthinking fury that knew no equal in combat. The Covenant of Twilight did not fail to notice Ragnar’s rise, and they immediately set about finding a way to recruit the young warrior. By the time Ragnar was about 15, he was the most feared raider anywhere along the Atlantic coast. Due to his massive size and brutal manner, no one even suspected how young he truly was. Due to the manipulations of a Covenant agent named Zi Ren, he staged a fateful assault on the Order-friendly kingdom of Heorot, burning it to the ground and killing nearly everyone he found. Only the strength and courage of a warrior named Astrid allowed anyone to escape. As his reavers pillaged and burned, Ragnar battled Astrid through the halls of the castle, eventually pursuing her to the top of a tall tower. Through cowardly trickery, the woman pitched Ragnar off the lip of the tower, and he fell to the stony beach below. Ragnar had been defeated. In that battle, Ragnar was burned, badly, but it was his pride that suffered the worst injury. Ragnar could count the ranks of men larger than him on one hand…and there was no one stronger. Yet Ragnar Giant’sFist had been defeated by a woman! A valkyrja, to be sure, but a woman all the same. Concerned he would be a laughingstock, Ragnar hauled his bruised body back to the reaver’s encampment with trepidation…and fell into the Covenant’s trap forever. Instead of mockery, Ragnar was met with adoration. Zi Ren, the clever little traitor who had arranged for the castle gates to be open, greeted him as a hero. “Behold, Ragnar Giant’s-Fist! Ragnar the Mighty! Not even a fall of a hundred leagues could kill him!” Though he seemed a man grown, Ragnar was still but a boy underneath his massive muscles. He was absurdly grateful to the little man, and it was the beginning of the closest thing Ragnar would ever have to true friendship. From then on, Ragnar was the Covenant’s man. Zi Ren explained that only the strong were fit to rule, and, as Ragnar was strong, it was not only his right but his duty to subjugate weaker peoples. “But, that’s everyone,” laughed Ragnar one night, mead foaming on his lips. “Start small, my friend!” Zi Ren laughed in return, bouncing his daughter on his knee. Over the years that followed, Ragnar slowly formed his band of bloody killers into the most seasoned and dangerous crew of raiders in all the known world. Zi Ren would send letters (Ragnar kept a thrall to read them aloud to him) or come to visit with news of some ripe plum that Ragnar should raid. Ragnar, for his part, would climb up onto the deck of Dragon, his longship, and bring blood and fire to the Covenant’s enemies, ranging to hidden kingdoms West across the ocean and as far East as the Black Sea. Everywhere he went, Ragnar was victorious. Finally, word reached him of Zi Ren’s death. His only friend had been murdered…murdered by the same woman who had shamed him all those years ago. Ragnar was frustrated and confused and hurt in a way that was unfamiliar to him. It was clearly not fair; Ragnar was stronger, but the tiny woman Astrid continued to defy him. This, combined with the increasing pain of his overlarge body, have conspired to make the sullen boy into a brooding man. He sits in the dark of his meadhall, drinking to dull the pain as he glowers at the axe that began it all, the axe that he believes is responsible for all his fortune, good and bad, since that fateful day. His body continues to grow, his bones continue to ache, and he only truly feels alive when locked in the throes of combat. Personality Tortured: Ragnar has continued to grow larger throughout his life. As he grows, his massive body groans and creaks with pain. His fingers and hands don’t work as elegantly as they once did; he doesn’t know his own strength or size, and feels immense and ungraceful; women find Ragnar terrifying or repugnant. Whether true or only perceived, these facts of Ragnar’s life make him gloomy and withdrawn. He drinks heavily to dull both the pain of his aching body and the sting of his freakish nature. Berserk: The only joy Ragnar has left in life is battle, conquest, and plunder. He kills to feel alive; he rages to drive away despair. When he’s fighting, he feels no pain - not the pain of his misshapen body, not the pain of scorn and derision, not the pain of wounds and injuries. Weaknesses and Flaws Desperate for Approval: Although he’d never admit it, Ragnar is desperate for someone to be his friend, the way Zi Ren once was. After a lifetime of scorn, derision, and fear, Ragnar wouldn’t truly know how to respond to friendship if it were offered to him, but he hungers for it on a primal and instinctual level. Impatient and Unthinking: Ragnar doesn’t just act without thinking things through, he gets frustrated with thinking and lashes out. When confronted with a problem he can’t just hit with axe and hammer he literally doesn’t know what to do, which makes him feel weak, which makes him angry, which makes him try to hit things with his axe and hammer. Fighting Style Ragnar is a Norse berserker. He fights with the subtlety of a thunderstorm and the power of the raging sea. He wields an enormous axe in his right hand, the same axe he killed his first man with, that any lesser man would have to use two hands to lift. In his left hand he holds a hammer that weighs as much as most men. When Ragnar is in the grip of his rage, he swings his weapons with little thought but with deadly accuracy. He has little concern for his own defense - as long as his enemy is destroyed, Ragnar does not seem to care what the cost may be. Although he does not have any conscious control of what more advanced martial artists might call ki energy, the fugue state he enters when his rage descends brings with it strength that is more than merely human. At times, it seems as if he is a storm himself, and his blows are thunderbolts.