When the Nords first began raiding the northern shores, the panicked populace of the newly-fledged Kingdoms described them as terrors, goblins and monsters. Only in time, as the skirmishes escalated and the initial panic eased into daily fear, were they recognized as human. It is only the wise who know how close they came to the truth in those first days.
The Einherjar were meant to fight and die gloriously on Ragnarok, so when the Yggdrasil Spire undertook the Einherjar Project, they paid no heed to the long-term effects of their process. By creating a self-evolving system linked to the subject’s subconscious and massively reducing the metabolic rate and speed at which these changes occurred, they significantly reduced the odds of tissue rejection as the subjects’ subconsciously chose their development path.[break] As the Einherjar survived and bred, their latent gifts resulted in the gradual dissemination of their blood throughout the Nord population. One would assume that the first generations would be the most obviously gifted with their divine parents’ gifts, but this was not the result in most cases. Many Einherjar were simply sterile, others fathered monstrous offspring, of which the Ugr are the most common. But the majority fathered normal children… who had a fraction of their divine essence dormant within their bodies.
In time, these descendants would marry and interbreed, combining these gifts in completely unplanned and unprecedented manner. For most these would fail to spark a change, but for some individuals the mixture of divine essence would spark a change. Thus are the Ugr still occasionally born to mortal parents, thus are the Valdeyr born susceptible to the Fenrir curse and thus are born those who through skill, patience and sheer will can tame their raging gifts and be called truly ‘Blooded’.
Whether fate or chance or simple accident provide the blooded their gifts, few can argue that they are more than human. The physical appearance of the blooded can vary significantly, although most tend towards the massive proportions of their divine forefathers. Many see physical gifts and martial prowess and consider the Blooded lucky, unable to understand the combat that rages within each of these individuals.
The wild blood of their divine ancestors cannot be easily denied, and they are prone to fits of manic energy and rage almost as often as periods of doom and despair. Their gifts manifest erratically, their senses sharpening until the stimulus overwhelms them, while other times a hyperactive adrenal system makes them insanely aggressive and violent. Unable to trust themselves, many of the Blooded choose the path of the recluse and the wanderer, fearing themselves more than they fear the dangers that lurk in the wilds of Mannheim.
More at ease with the bestial side of their blood, they often form strong kinships with those who are also marked by divine blood, regardless of their own heritage. Their intuitive understanding of the burden and struggles they all endure is coupled with the physical might to impose themselves on those who could challenge them.
When raids are planned, or musters drawn for battle, clever Jarls and Kings will seek out the Blooded within their realms and entice them to service to lead the… wilder… elements of their forces. The Blooded thus stalk across the battlefield like demigods of old, leading a monstrous host straight into the heart of the enemy forces.