Ivar the Boneless
In the ninth century of the common era, a brutal Scandinavian king named Ragnar Lodbrok married his queen, a woman named Aslaug. She then warned her husband that he must wait three days to consummate their marriage, lest their first born child be destined to suffer a fearsome fate. Unfortunately, being who he was Ragnar refused to listen and drunkenly raped his wife. Nine months later her prophecy was fulfilled when their son was born with brittle bone disease. Aslaug was traumatized to discover that in giving birth she had crushed her baby to such an extent that it broke every bone in his body.
He was a rather gristly child with a very fragile skeleton who never even learned to walk. They called him Ivar the Boneless. His younger brothers were named Bjorn, Halfdan, Hvitserk, Sigurd and Ubba. The thing was that unlike his siblings, when he grew up Ivar only weighed about fifty pounds and he never got any bigger than about three and a half feet tall. This was important because at the time physical fitness was seen as concomitant with the ability to rule, but Ivar was so cunning and cruel that his deformities were totally overlooked. So, as the rightful heir to the throne, he would go on to become the greatest Viking warlord of all time.
It all began the day Ivar and his brothers learned that their father had been captured during a raid and put to death in a gruesome execution. Ragnar had been thrown into a pit of vipers and had slowly died from their venom. This meant that as the eldest son it was Ivar’s duty to hunt down the man who was responsible for killing his father. So, he began plotting the assassination of Ælla the king of Northumbria. Unlike Ragnar’s attempted smash-and-grab, Ivar was going to invade not simply raid England. Thus, to avenge his father, he put together a great Heathen Army that was nearly fifteen thousand men strong.
Lacking the use of his legs, Ivar’s men would carry him into battle on a shield high aloft on their shoulders. He was a renowned archer with a powerful longbow and deadly arrows. Although he had insufficient lower body strength, Ivar was rather muscular in his chest and arms. In this way, he killed with great precision all without ever having to physically endanger himself on the battlefield. Soon Ivar’s reputation preceded him so much that many of the soldiers that he encountered simply surrendered to spare themselves the agony they would have to endure only to wind up defeated in the end.
The Vikings easily destroyed the Saxons and captured the king of Northumbria. Ælla was then vengefully punished for killing Ragnar in the most gruesome way. By royal decree of Ivar, he received a blood eagle execution. While still alive his back was opened up and his rib cage was broken one bone at a time, then his lungs were pulled out of his back and finally salt was ground into the wound. In this way, he was sacrificed to Odin the All-Father of the Pagans. The Vikings then conquered one kingdom after another including Murcia, East Anglia, and others. They campaigned from Oslofjord down to the Bay of Biscay sleeping in open boats night after night on the rolling ocean as they went.
Ivar the Boneless brought with him the most fearsome legion of warriors in the history of violence. After six years of campaigning, he had conquered about half of England. Then in the year 871, he turned his attention to Ireland and set his sights on Dublin. Having never lost a battle, his men sailed there with two hundred ships. He had his heart set on building an empire wanting to become the emperor of Europe. Although, as luck would have it, after his conquest of Dublin in the winter of 873 he died in his sleep and was ushered to Valhalla by the Valkyries and greeted by the god of war. There, Ivar and Odin await the coming of Ragnarok.