Einherjar was one of a dying breed in Scandinavia during the rule of the vampire Odin, The All-High (most einherjar believed that he was a sort of high priest, not Odin himself but an ardent son or disciple of Odin), who held to the old ways that were being replaced with Christianity and feudalism.
Mix this with the fatalism of the average Viking warrior, and a siege mentality results. The einherjar saw themselves as the last of Odin's warriors on Midgard, preparing to fight in the impending Ragnarök. All they could do was prepare themselves for the ensuing battle and die a hero's death.
Not all the vampires of the north shared the apocalyptic beliefs of their brethren, however. Some traveled to Iceland and the Faroe Islands to try and preserve their way of unlife. Others abandoned the communities of which they were once a part, and retreated into the wilderness to watch and wait for the old days to return.
The vampires that remained, however, would attempt to restore the old glories with sword and fire.
The einherjar wayEdit
Vampires of the north are not simply Vikings with clans. The particulars of their Norse heritage give einherjar an outlook upon the world that is far different from many of their southern cousins. The differences in religion, society and lifestyle do not just show in the mortal populace, their habits and traits carry over into eternity.
Most noticeably, einherjar rarely have compunction about functioning openly in public. The idea of the Silence of the Blood is a foreign one – hide from mortal sight? The chosen warriors of Odin? In later days, the Camarilla's Masquerade is seen as a weak and pathetic excuse for power-plays, intrigues among vampires who cannot stand and fight like men.
The Einherjar trace themselves to the warrior Canarl, who was raised from the dead by Odin. The creation myths of the einherjar, as different as they are from the Christian vampires of Europe, foster different duties. There is no sense of filial responsibility. To be chosen as an einherjar is to be blessed as one of the warriors who will fight and die at Ragnarök. Sire and Childe are not positions, rather, the Embrace – the choosing, as some einherjar call it – is a recognition for one's valor and cunning. All of Odin's brood are equal; all will fight and die in the End Times. The eldest do not demand respect. Respect is earned through strength; to win respect, one must fight. Courage and battle-prowess speak louder than age among the einherjar.
With the fall of Uppsala to Christian converts, the rise of feudalism, and the coming of foreign vampires like the Lasombra and Ventrue, the Old Ways were quickly forgotten in the aftershock of the Anarch Revolt and the formation of the Camarilla, whose consequent establishment of secrecy had no place for the ways of the einherjar. Some of the surviving einherjar joined the Scandinavian Sabbat, but their traditions became quickly consumed by the sect and assimilated into a side branch of their agenda of war against the Antediluvians.
Recently, however, with the awakening of the Gangrel elder Brunhilde, and the rediscovering of the torpid Methuselah only known as The All-High, a new group of neonates and anarchs calling themselves the Valkyrie has risen to prominence in Scandinavia, mimicking the ways of the einherjar and trying to return to the old ways.