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Choose Your Own Advenure: Viking Afterlife

The Vikings had a complex ideology of the afterlife. Choose what life you would have as a Viking to determine where you would end up in the afterlife.


The Warrior life for me!

The Warrior life for me!

I'll stick with farming!

You've grown up outside the small town of Birka. Your family farms here. Your parents, siblings and all your relatives have always worked this piece of land. It is hard work, and as your family has grown in size, there is less and less food available for everyone. You live along the rocky walls of a fjord. Rocky mountains tower above your small patch of farmland and there is nowhere to expand your farm between the rocky slopes, icy ocean waters, and glaciers that cover much of the land. Now, as you reach adulthood, you must make a choice. Will you continue to farm, hoping to scrape by, or will you join the ranks of the brave and begin training to become an explorer and warrior, exploring into the world not only to find glory, but also to find land and wealth?

Too INtense! I'm going back to the Farm!

I'll join the explorers!

I Love the Warrior Life, I'm staying here!

After a year of taining your body and hours spent building sea worthy boats, you set off to England. You sail into the town of Maldon by river and as you land you see your leader, Olaf Tryggvason, racing across the fields slautering Englishman left and right. You follow in suit behind. After three days of nonstop hand to hand battle, you are bruised and beaten and have seen more dead bodies then you can count, but the Vikings have successfully won the Battle of Maldon. The plan is to continue rowing down the river to find more towns to conquer.You return to the ship to nurse your wounds. At the boat, you find another crew that is getting ready to sett off across the Atlantic. They wish to explore unknown lands where they may be able to settle. They are set to leave the following day at dawn.

I'm Joining the Explorers!

I'm Sticking with the Farm!

Life at the farm is...well....hard. Early frost killed most of your barley crop and things are feeling lean for you and your family. If you get seeds in the ground now, you may still get a good yield before winter hits. It is so much work and your body is feeling tired after another full season of farming and there is no guarantee of a harvest this year. Down at the town docks, a crew is working on building boats to go explore unknown lands. They promise anyone who joins there will be riches galore and a life of ease when they return.

Yes, I am gaining strength. I will Keep Fighting

I'm Tired and I Miss my Fam. I'm going back to the Farm

The life of a warrior is brutal. You have seen horrors that now haunt your dreams. You have lost a finger in battle and nearly lost your eye. At the same time, with every battle, you can feel yourself growing stronger, more capable in combat. You have overtaken many towns and monestaries and feel more wealthy than you ever have. Is this worth it?

There's Silver out There! I'm Attacking!

I really do not want to fight. I'll stay on the boat

You have seen lands more beautiful than anything you could have imagined. Towering peaks, valleys clogged with glaciers, fields of green that sprall on and on. What a life! But now you seem to be rowing into a town. You can see a small church atop a hill. The other rowers are slowly climbing into their armor, preparing to attack and loot the church. Will you join in the attack or stay on board the boat?

I have no choice. I must fight this intruder and regain my land!

Well that's a bummer! But what can you do? Not much. It is what it is.

I'll sneak onto the ship and steal silver to buy back my farm!

Starvation is never far away at the farm, but you are holding on. Until one day ships return carrying explorers and warriors with unending riches from their distant conquests. One explorer takes a liking to your land and buys it out from under you! How could this happen? You have poured your life into this farm! What will you do?

I have no choice. I must fight this intruder and regain my land!

Well that's a bummer! But what can you do? Not much. It is what it is.

I'll sneak onto the ship and steal silver to buy back my farm!

Starvation is never far away at the farm, but you are holding on. Until one day ships return carrying explorers and warriors with unending riches from their distant conquests. One explorer takes a liking to your land and buys it out from under you! How could this happen? You have poured your life into this farm! What will you do?
Success! You're crew easily overpowered the defenseless clergymen of the church! Your crew is now hauling the riches of the church back to your boats. You carry a silver candle stick holder down to the boat, it's cool touch feels good in your hands. You slip the holder into your bag, feeling glorious, your Viking hoard has begun! That night, as you sail back into the ocean, the two boats part ways. One crew will continue exploring, raiding, and heading towards France. The other crew is taking the silver and returning home. Unfortunately, by the time all the loot is doled out, there really is hardly anything for you. Which will you choose?

I'll take what I can get and go home

ONward! To France

ZIKES! No Way. I am not letting that happen!!

Oh Boy, Here Goes Nothing!

Yeah...you are not that stealthy...You are immediately caught looting around in another Viking's belongings. This was such a bad idea! Do you know what the Viking punishment is for thievery? Tarring and feathering AND THEN you will have to run through a gauntlent with every village person throwing stones at you. That is not going to go well. You pull out your knife and prepare to fight the person who caught you. This is your only choice.

Fight Him! Make him Pay!

Get out of here. Time to Head home

Viking explorers are not always savage fighters. They can be quite skilled in trade, diplomacy, and negotiation. But...that's not usually the case when there is a defenseless church waiting a few feet away to be looted. The rest of your crew find your choice to refrain from fighting cowardly and they quickly begin to mock you. One in particular seems deeply offended and is doing everything he can to make your life on the boat a living nightmare. What will you do?

Yes, get on that boat!

Please, Stop trying to make me get on a boat!

In Birka, you are barely hanging on. There is not enough food to feed your family and almost daily you find another family member dead from starvation. You simply cannot go on like this. You pack up and head to a neighboring village where you willingly become a thrall to a more prosperous farmer. Their are laws to ensure you are not treated too poorly, but to say this is a good life is far from the truth. You see another boat headed out to sea. You walk down to the dock. A boatman there is willing to take you on as his thrall on the boat. You know it will be hard work, but maybe it will be better than your current misery.

Run, as fast as you can, Run!

Immediately drop your weapon and beg the viking for forgiveness. Become a servant to this viking.

Wow! You just challenged a highly trained, experienced Viking to a holmgang ?? That's terrifying. He takes a swing at you with his axe, which you somehow dodge and then...

Plot your revenge: The viking who started this must Die.

Take a deep breath and laugh at yourslef along with everyone else. Keep honing your skills.

You really have a knack for fighting. Over and over again, you come out of battle victorious. The more time you spend as a warrior, fighting through townspeople, clergy, and even armies, the more untouchable you feel. Your skills are growing but so is your ego. Eventually, a fellow Viking begins to mock you, saying you think too highly of yourself. Slowly, this sentiment is building amongst your companions. You know they are jealous. How do you respond to their ridicule?

Continue onward! More Wealth, land and Glory awaits!

stay here. THis looks amazing!

As you sail towards France, several other Viking ships join with yours. You are now a veritable Viking army. Upon reaching France, your ships begin sailing up the Seine River. The first town you come upon is Rouen. Your army burns the city to the ground, looting churches and taking prisoners. Many Vikings are now hopping back on the boats headed further up the Seine in order to lay a Viking seige of Paris. You look out on the land and notice how green it is. This is incredible farmland and, with Rouen destroyed, you can claim it. This could be your home. You...

Look at all the Riches in this place! Time to kill these folks, Get some Silver, and go Find Your Buds up River

Well, gosh, I kind of like these people. Maybe I'll leave this Church alone. Anyway, that young neighbor is pretty good Looking...

Within a few months of settling into your new home in France, your neighbors slowly begin to approach your settlement. They bring you gifts, gold, riches, and offer to be your friend in this new place. With all the gifts they are bestowing on you, they really do seem like ok friends. No need to decapitate any of these folks. Then one day, one of the younger neighbors comes by and invites you to an Easter service at the church they have rebuilt since your buds continued inland on the Seine. You're feeling a bit lonely, so decide to join. You arrive at the church and take a look around.

Dodge your Captors and Get on that boat

You are not that stealthy! Immediately, you are caught. All your running around and plotting has landed you in deep water. Literally, it could land you in DEEP WATER. You are sent to the Viking Althing to stand trial. Vikings have some pretty gruesome punishments for criminals. And your case doesn't look good. It's late as you head to the Thing and you see a boat leaving the harbor. You know they are bound for France for land and loot. You cannot stick around for your trial.

I refuse to Fight for this man, I'm sneaking off this boat

If I fight hard enough, maybe I can gain my own glory

You have enslaved yourself to a brutal Viking. Life on the boat is retched. The idea of laws to protect you is left far behind on the mainland. You are barely surviving. One morning you look out and see the mainland of France. You have arrived. Your captor shoves an axe into your hand. You will fight. Not to gain riches and land for yourself, but to gain riches for this cruel man.

Never! I will always be a warrior

YEs. I want to live out the rest of my life in peace.

You have fought in so many battles. The strength you once felt is starting to fade. You are growing old. The life of a warrior has caught up to you. You are tired. While you don't have any land of your own, you can indenture yourself to a wealthy landowning Norse Jarl and farm on his land. You will have to pay tribute to this Jarl and swear an oath of loyalty, but also will be able to return home. Is it worth it?

Sneak away with just a few coins

Avoid the temptation, too risky

You are old, tired, and completely dependent on the Jarl whose land you work. You see the Jarl's servants bringing up sacks of gold and silver, weapons, and other treasures - loot from a recent journey to Ireland. You know the Jarl will soon bury this Viking Hoard. Now is your chance to take just a few coins. He will never notice and you could afford just a little more comfort in life. You...

Yes, This is my Chance!

Nope, I'll stay right here

After a long winter, the winds of spring have arrived, clearing the snow from the ground. It is time to start planting again. As you walk the fields of the Jarl, you can feel your bones creaking. You have grown old. You do not have many seasons left in you. With little food, family, or fortune, life feels empty and harsh. You know the crews of explorers will be headed out to new lands soon now that the weather has changed. Perhaps it is not too late to make your fortune somewhere else. Should you take this last opportunity to explore the world beyond this farm?

Duh, this is my home now. I have to fight to protect my French neighbors.

I don't know what to do! I will pray to god for an answer!

What am I doing? This is not my battle. I'm getting out of here!

Years slide by. Life in France has become comfortable. You farm a large plot of land, have a French spouse, and go to Church in the nearby village every Sunday. Late one night, however, you wake up to the sound of screaming and rush out of your house. In the nearby village a group of Vikings from a community not far from Birka have arrived and are burning the village to the ground, stealing everything in sight and killing the villagers. It has been years, but you are still a warrior at heart. You run back to your house to grab your sword. As you turn to leave your house, you pause for a moment considering your next action. What will you do?

Lash out in pure anger, killing any viking within 20 feet of you

Start running as Fast as you can towards the retreating French army. you are not finished.

You are preparing for battle against a French army. Their army is much larger than yours. In order to prepare yourself mentally for this terrifying mission, you participate in an effektnummer. You begin howling and screaming as you rip off your clothes and dawn a wolf hide. You rush into battle with nothing but your axe, leaving all fear behind in your frenzied state. You have become a Viking Berzerker, one of Odin's chosen warriors.When the battle ends, you are surrounded by dead bodies. Many of the other Vikings you were fighting alongside shy away from you, seemingly fearful of your immense animalistic rage. A chaotic fire still burns in you as you look over at these other Vikings. You...

Continue your Journey

As you are running away from the onslaught of Vikings, a stray arrow comes out from the village and pierces you through the heart. You fall to the ground.

Continue your Journey

You rush towards the pillaging Vikings, but you are the only one there to defend the village. The other weaponless villagers have either died or fled. You face an entire army of Vikings. Your curse them in the name of the Christian God and run head first into the army of warriors.

Continue your journey

As you kneel down to pray, a Viking spots you. Even though you are a hundred yards away, he throws his axe and perfectly hits his target: you.

Continue your journey

One final spring storm roles through, and you spend the day in the field in the pouring rain. You quickly develop a fever and hacking cough. You are bed-ridden and, without access to a doctor or medicine, your symptoms worsen quickly. Within a few days, you fall into delirium.

Continue your Journey

You chase after the French army, taking down each straggler you come upon. Eventually you find yourself surrounded by the French army. You never hesistate, killing everyone you see in the name of Odin and the Viking people. You plunge into combat, but with dozens of fighters falling upon you, you are eventually overcome.

Continue your Journey

You turn on the men closest to you. You have no sense of right and wrong, only an Odin-induced passion to kill. You swing out and kill the man next to you, but before you can continue, the other berzerkers fall upon you with their own axes and swords.

Go Back to the Beginning

The sky splits open and from the heavens descend the valkyries, radiant and ethereal, their winged forms adorned in gleaming armor. With each beat of their wings, you ascend into the heavens. In the distance, the gates of Valhalla loom. As you near, they open into a gleaming, golden hall. The echoes of battle songs ring from the hall, as the einherjar feast on sahrimner and drink mead from heidrun. Your hoard, which you have safely burried, is now returned to you. You find yourself decked in all your looted jewels and carrying all of your weapons as you enter the hall of heroes. At the head of the hall sits Odin, the All-father, who endorsed your rage and killing. You have arrived. You pull out your favorite sword. You will train from now until Ragnarok for the final battle. You are part of Odin's chosen heros, who died couragiously and will fight beside the Aesir gods against the forces of evil when Ragnarok arrives.

Welcome to Valhalla

Go Back to the Beginning

It is somewhat grey and dismall here, but there is no real terror. The days are actually quite dull, a continuation of nothingness that goes on and on. This is your end fate. You will play no part in Ragnarok. You will simply go on in this stupor forever.
You are greeted by Hel herself. With her half dead body she is also quite frightsome.


Eventually you find yourself face to face with Garm. He is fearsome indeed, but you are welcome here and he steps aside to allow you entrance to:
The pain of old age and sickness fade as you find yourself along the banks of a dark river. You cross Gjallarbru, and continue along a well-trodden path.

Return to the Begining

But this agony is preparing you. When Ragnarok begins, Hel will release you from Niflheim. As an army of living dead, you will be tasked with destroying the Aesir Gods and any who fight alongside them.
You are in the afterlife for those who die in disgrace. Thieves, liers, and cowards (running away...) find themselves here, ruled over by the cruel hand of Hel. This existence will be one of agony.


As the weapons of your fellow Vikings fall down upon you, the pain of death begins to vanish. That feeling is quickly replaced by a terrible, bone-piercing cold. The pain of your wounds seem to return. You open your eyes to an unending world of ice, snow, and torment. Welcome to:

Return to the Beginning

Christian Heaven

That prayer might not have been at the most ideal time, but, oh well! You made it to Christian Heaven. There won't be any drinking and battling here, but there also won't be much misery either. Currently there are very few other Vikings here. But don't worry, they'll be arriving soon enough. The folks in this afterlife will not be participating in Ragnarok (they probably don't believe in it).