Azgard

Einherjar Linkshell - Remora FFXI
 
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 Why Azgard ?

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Number of posts : 121
Age : 37
Localisation : Belgium
Registration date : 2007-06-08

PostSubject: Why Azgard ?   Sat Jun 09, 2007 1:13 am

The linkshell's name is Azgard according to the definition of Einherjar. The initial name was Asgard (with a "s"), but this name was already taken, so I had to make a little change ^^

In Norse religion the einherjar or einheriar were spirits of warriors who had died bravely in battle. The name is Old Norse for "one-army-ers" (singular would be einheri). It is often interpreted as "outstanding fighter", but might also signify "those who are all [now] in one army", because when alive on earth they were in many armies and bands, but now they are all in the Army of the Dead.

After they die, the valkyries escort half of the slain from the battlefield to Valhalla (these are the "einherjar"), which is part of Asgard (commonly described as the "Norse Heaven"); the other half went to Fólkvangr (Freyja's hall). The Grímnismál describes Valhalla as having five hundred and forty doors, and through each of them, eight hundred could march abreast (a hundred, hundrað, in Old Norse could mean either 100 or 120), indicating the size of the hall and the numbers of the einherjar.

Every day the Einherjar are awakened by Gullinkambi, a rooster, and march out to the great field of Idavoll in the heart of Asgard to fight against each other in merry (and mortal) combat. At dusk, when they are all cut to pieces, save perchance a few, they are miraculously healed, and march back into Valhalla, where Andhrímnir, the cook of the gods, has prepared a meal for them from the pork of Sæhrímnir, a pig that is reborn every day, and the mead milked from Heiðrún, a goat feeding on the leaves of Yggdrasil. The einherjar then spend the evening and night in feast, served by lovely valkyries, until they all fall asleep, solidly drunk. And yet, they never experience hangovers or other mishaps from this daily inebriation.

The einherjar will stand with the forces of the Æsir at Ragnarök, when Odin will call them up to fight the forces of Hel and the giants.

A large majority of Norse mythology has been written or translated by Christians a few centuries after the Viking period. Another point of view explains a difference between Odin's Einherjar and Freyja's; the oral tradition, or Odal property, explains that Odin's warriors are "the offensive", or those who dedicate their life to fighting. Freyja’s warriors are "the defensive", or those who only fight to protect their families, clans or goods. The historian Else Roesdahl noticed that a difference between the two cultures in regards to burials containing weapons. In those in Norway the buried warriors had defensive shields, and in Denmark they had only offensive weapons.

According to the oral tradition, the spirits that die a natural or non-fighting death go to Hel where "the quiet and mysterious Hel the goddess of death, who has half face in the shadow of darkness and the other part in the brightness of the life" leads them on a ship which follows the current of one of the twelve rivers Eligavar. One of those rivers brings them to the country of Gimlé (similar to the Greek Elysium).

In Norse mythology every one of the gods' animals has their own name. Animals had an important place in Viking society. The gods are said to be so concerned for their well-being, that they reincarnate them when they die, like the pig, Sæhrímnir, or Thor's goat, which was brought back to life with bones that Thor had preserved.

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