By-Tor Brigade Legacy
Viking Barbarian from Darford
Dodge “Viper” is an apprentice blacksmith in the village of Darford in Willowdale. He is a very large young man – 6 feet 5 inches tall and 210 pounds of solid muscle. He has long red hair and blue eyes. In battle, Dodge prefers to wield a battleaxe with both hands to maximize the effects of his great strength, and he is notorious for going into a berserker rage during combat.
Dodge is the son of Gedrik the woodcutter. When Dodge was born, his mother Þórodda (Thorodda) died during the ordeal, and Dodge himself was stillborn. Enraged at the tragedies which seemed to affect him his whole life, Gedrik lifted his lifeless son to the sky and screamed in anger at the gods. In response, the thunder god struck Gedrik’s feeble hut with a fierce bolt of lightning, seemingly to teach poor woodcutter yet another unfortunate lesson in humility. However, as Gedrik was stunned into blackness, it simultaneously sparked life into the infant, who gulped his first breaths of air and began crying. Gedrik named his miraculous son Dædgár (Daedgar), which means “deed-strong weapon-point”, as in “one who leads valiantly into bold deeds”. In the common tongue he became known as Dodge.
Dodge grew much faster and stronger than others his age, and seemed to favor becoming a woodcutter like his father. When Gedrik would take Dodge into Darford on festival days, and the local boys would gather teams for battle games, Dodge always seemed to side with the smaller and weaker side to help even the odds. He felt no sense of accomplishment in an easy victory, and would rather oppose those who were more worthy. Despite the requests for alliance from the larger and older boys, he always tended to help the innocent and defenseless, rather than taking advantage of others with his superior size and strength. Because of his brave attitude, he was befriended by some older boys, namely Sidric, Hrothgar and Sturm, along with Sidric’s younger sister Breena.
It was during one of these festival gatherings that Dodge met and befriended two boys his age – Kyran and Glenlivet – and a strange little blonde girl named Yríadel. Villagers were perplexed as to what drew the athletic and popular Dodge to these misfits, but their odd friendship became enduring.
Over the next few years, as Dodge grew into a young man, he experienced frequent bouts of anger that would often become violent. One summer day, Dodge was doing a chore for his father – taking some repair work to a blacksmith in the village. As he approached the blacksmith’s shop he witnessed his friend Glenlivet being lashed with a willow switch by Glenlivet’s two cousins, Arrioch and Arraphel. Glenlivet, to his credit, defended himself bravely, but was outnumbered and cornered. Despite the pain of the lashing from his teasing tormentors, he chose to fight rather than run away. Angered at the injustice he witnessed, Dodge charged at the two bullies and bowled them over. As the older boys turned the switch on Dodge, the spirit of Thor seemed to possess him with a Berserker rage like those sung in tales of the distant Vikings. Dodge pounded the two boys into blood and bruises before the blacksmith could subdue him and cool his heated rage.
The blacksmith, whose name was Finley, a large muscular man with long, light-blond hair, was a former Viking. He recognized the Berserker trait and decided to help poor Dodge. So he extended an offer to Gedrik – to take Dodge as a blacksmith apprentice, and secretly train him to control his rage, so that no further mishaps would occur. Gedrik agreed, already having been forced to pay damages to Arrion, the father of the two injured boys.
Sadly, Glenlivet disappeared after the incident at Finley’s, then shortly thereafter Kyran and Yríadel moved far away to distant towns for apprenticeships, leaving Dodge with an empty feeling. So he buckled down hard to learn the skills of a blacksmith – and the ways of the Berserker.
Dodge is the son of Gedrik and Þórodda (Thorodda). Thorodda died during childbirth, so Dodge was raised solely by his father. Gedrik is the son of Saxa, a shieldmaiden who brought Gedrik to Willowdale when he was an infant. Nothing else is known about Dodge’s ancestry.