- "To the spark of life, darkness is no more. "
- —The Poetic Edda of Light
The planet that is now known as Ymir was once a thriving Human settlement in times long forgotten. Then came the Age of Strife and Orks befell the planet, burning or looting any trace of civilization, leaving behind nothing but charred ruins and a faded memory. Some Humans managed to survive the onslaught but the knowledge that allowed them to fathom how their technology worked faded over time and they began adopting a primitive and savage culture. In addition, the spores from the Ork invasion that toppled the entire planet remained and many Feral Orks started appearing in every corner of Ymir.
For thousands of years, the savage tribes of Men fought against the brutish and bloodthirsty Orks (which they call "Ettin"). The Age of Strife served as a proving ground to the people of Ymir, as tribal conflicts and naval raids were a daily occurrence, becoming a way of life. For thousands of years, the people of Ymir (referred to as "Ymirfolk") did battle and shed blood. At first it was for survival, but as they grew accustomed to their savage world, savagery became tradition.
Then came he Imperium of Man which discovered Ymir in the heart of Segmentum Tempestus at 613.M36. The Ork infestation was present on the planet and thus a bloody purge was done by the Space Wolves Chapter, who battled Xenos while simultaneously teaching the Ymirfolk about the greatness of the Emperor. Although the greenskins' presence was already rooted to the planet, making it nearly impossible to thoroughly cleanse, it also did not seem as if they were capable of spreading to neighboring systems. In fact, they actually proved useful in keeping the Human stock of Ymir strong and sturdy. That is why the Imperium placed a lunar station on Ymir's only moon, which the natives call Hati. The station serves as both a surveillance outpost which would monitor the planet and its people, and a fortification where the chosen Ymirfolk were taken and trained to be proper Guardsmen. And that is how the Einherjars of Ymir Regiment was established. The Ymirfolk call the station "Folkvangr" which translated from their own dialect means "the Field of the Host".
- "Summoned by the turmoil and on lightning we ride! The Sons of Ymir have arrived!"
- —Reginfrid, Housecarl of the Thunder Anvils
The Feudal World Ymir is stationed within the Segmentum Tempestus and is in close proximity to the Veiled Region. Ymir orbits a yellow star named Skoll, around which three more planets orbit. The planet closest to Skoll is Arvakr and the second closest is Alsvithr, both of which are too hot for Human colonization. Further from Ymir is a gas giant called Managarmr from which methane is extracted. Managarmr has two large natural satellites called Hjuki and Bil which provide the system with an abundance of mined ore.
If one were to look at Ymir from outer space one could clearly see that over half of the planet's surface is covered by an ocean while two continents sit adjacent to one another. The larger continent of the east is called Hraesvelgr and is home to the majority of the Ymirfolk as well as many Feral Ork tribes. The slightly smaller continent of the west is called Auravandil and since it's closer to Ymir's north pole it is locked in permanent winter. The conditions of this world are harsh and the land provides very little, making it very difficult to establish farms. The people survive by fishing, hunting or by pillaging from their neighbors. The need to take what one needs to survive by force made the Ymirfolk very rowdy, temperamental and violent. Naturally, the Ymirfolk always seek richer lands to plunder and have therefore developed a talent for sailing and nautical navigation. The Ymirfolk also haven't forgotten how to make machines, although the process with which they are made are completely automated and the people don't exactly understand the inner workings of their tools. They only need to bring the needed materials to the factories, most notably a unique metal called Jarnvidr, and the assembly lines will do the rest. Ymir is a lot like what Terra used to be during the Age of Strife when tribes of Techno-Barbarians roamed the planet.
The great ocean Elivagar is a merciless and turbulent mistress which claimed the lives of countless sailors and sunk their ships to the bottomless depths. The reason for this is because the planet Ymir established an elliptic orbit around Skoll, the system's Sun. During the winter Ymir is far from Skoll and the majority of the planet is enveloped by an arctic chill, but during summer Ymir is very close to Skoll which melts the ice caps and creates many powerful storms that ravage the planet's surface. Being born and raised in such hostile conditions turned the Humans of Ymir into hardy folk who can withstand temperatures that normal Humans would call extreme and they possess the strength to weather any storm.
Circling the planet is a single moon which has no atmosphere and is made entirely of dry rock. Hati, Ymir's only moon, is home to the Folkvangr fortress which was built by the Imperium in 616.M36 in order to keep a watchful eye on the planet, its inhabitants and to make sure that the Feral Orks are never given a chance to spread. In addition, Folkvangr acts as a recruiting facility where valiant Ymirfolk warriors are taken from the planet and conscripted into the Imperial Guard. These savage warriors receive formal training and are lectured about the ways of the Imperium before being organized into Regiments (referred to as "Homesteads") and then sent out into the Galaxy to wage war against the enemies of Mankind.
- "That which does not kill me should run."
- —Horik, Thane of the Lightning Riders
Recruitment and Organization
The moon fortress Folkvangr serves as an observatory to monitor all Ymirfolk activity on the planet, most notably grand scale battles which the techno-barbaric tribes wage against one another. That is when Valkyrie Assault Carriers are sent from Folkvangr to the battlefields of Ymir. When a battle is concluded the surviving warriors are picked up by the Valkyries and then brought to Folkvangr. The Ymirfolk believe that the Valkyries are spirits sent by the Thunder King (which is what they call the God-Emperor) who take the select few heroes who proved themselves worthy in combat and ferry them to the heavens where they will wage an eternal war. This is not so far from the truth since the Valkyrie flyers will bring the warriors of Ymir to Folkvangr so that they may train to become proper Guardsmen and soldiers of the Imperium.
Instead of standard Regiments that most Astra Militarum organizations have, the Einherjars of Ymir have "Homesteads". A Homestead is a grouping based on loyalty and all members must take oaths of fealty in order to join. Each Homestead is under the leadership of an individual titled as "Jarl", who is equivalent to a Regimental Commander. On Ymir, the Jarl is a name given to tribal leaders and feudal lords, essentially anyone who leads a large group of people and owns a notable amount of land. In a similar fashion a Jarl owns a Homestead and all of the warriors who pledged their allegiance to him upon the Homestead's founding. Usually Ymirfolk join a Homestead because they used to serve the Jarl while they were still "among the living" (the Einherjars are considered fallen in battle by those who live on Ymir).
A Jarl also has a retinue of his most trusted warriors, those who pledged undying loyalty to him and would follow their Jarl into death, these people are the "Thanes" and are equivalent to a Command Squad. The regular members of a Homestead are called "Housecarls" and they are all well accustomed to the horrors of war, having fought the elements, each other, Feral Orks, and all manner of wild animals. Every Homestead has a varying number of members, ranging from a few hundred to several thousand Einherjars. This is because the Einherjars function differently on a mental level compared to most Humans. Where one would see more advantage in balancing out the strength between individual Regiments so none are lacking, the Einherjars believe that the number of men that serve mean nothing if they do not trust their leader. This is why some Jarls, who are stronger, more experienced, or possess more charisma, become more lauded by the Einherjars and therefore recruit more warriors upon the Homestead's founding.
Naturally, as with all Imperial Guard Regiments, the Einherjars of Ymir receive Commissars to keep them in line. Any Commissar who meets the Ymirfolk quickly learns that these men would never flee from battle for they do not fear death and their morale is nearly unbreakable, but it is discipline that these Guardsmen lack. While culturally, the Einherjars do not adhere to protocol and regulation, in combat their oath of loyalty to their officers ensures they follow such commands without question. Even so, it is known that some Commissars who try to force the Einherjers into obeying orders to either mysteriously disappear or suffer unfortunate accidents during battle that cost them their lives. This pattern made the Einherjars of Ymir very infamous among the Commissariat, but the more flexible Commissars learned that by letting the Einherjars run rampant one could utilize their savagery as one would a weapon, and the Ymirfolk are very potent.
But not all Homesteads cooperate with each other readily, for there are times when two Jarls have a dispute or a clash of interests, for example when it comes to splitting the spoils of war between all Homesteads that participated in a raid. When an argument cannot be resolved normally the two Jarls will then begin one-on-one combat. The winner of the duel will be proclaimed right and will be able to take all of the Housecarls from his defeated opponent's Homestead. The loser of the duel will be either shamed, leashed of his title or outright killed. This tradition might seem barbaric but it is also useful in weeding the weak from the command, for no Einherjar would work for a weakling, a coward, or a dishonorable knave.
Once a Homestead is founded, it will no longer be able to receive fresh recruits, so the numbers it starts with will be the apex of the Homestead's strength. If a Jarl dies while there are still many warriors left in his Homestead, then the Einherjars may choose one of the Thanes to be the next Jarl. If a Homestead is destroyed it cannot be renewed, for the Homesteads that will replace it will hail from completely different tribes or kingdoms. Also, if a Homestead is left with a hundred Einherjars or less, the Jarl may try to challenge another Jarl in order to attain his warriors as his own. If the Jarl who issued the challenge in desperation looses, then his remaining warriors will be taken in by the Jarl who bested him. If a Jarl of a dwindling Homestead does not choose to gain more warriors, then his title of Jarl may be revoked, meaning that his warriors will be free to choose a proper Jarl to serve. It is very rare for an individual Homestead to survive for more than one or two centuries, for it is limited by the Human lifespan.
- "He who lives without discipline dies without honor."
- —Jarl Bjorn "Ironside"
Uniform and Gear
The Einherjars of Ymir understand the importance of being armored, as even Ymirfolk on the planet who are completely oblivious of what's happening out there in the stars know that needlessly exposing oneself to attack is unwise. Although the inhabitants of Ymir only wear plated armor of steel, the Einherjars come equipped with Flak or Carapace armor. But the Einherjars like to decorate their armor with runic symbols, war trophies (like Ork teeth necklaces) and symbols which showcase from which Homestead they pledge their loyalty to. The Einherjars also cover their bodies with tattoos, which may have a variety of meanings; a tattoo of a large serpent may depict that the individual killed a traitor, a tattoo of a skull may imply that the individual narrowly avoided death while a tattoo of tentacles that move like the waves usually mean that the individual is a skilled sailor. All Einherjars take great pride in the tattoos that they paint themselves with, and usually go through the effort of leaving tattooed body parts revealed, usually arms and shoulders. But the Einherjars' tribal and barbaric look is usually offset by the fact that some of them wear bits of machine parts around them (like bracelets made out of engine gears and brass wires). These techno-barbarians fight while riding on top of lumbering "hot rods" or on fast-paced motorcycles, so some of them take bits and pieces of them to wear as ownership of such machines is a sign of status among Ymir's warriors.
The standard equipment handed down to any Einherjar, even the basic Housecarls:
-a set of Flak Armor (usually just a vest).
-a pair of Grenades of choice (choice including Frak or Krak Grenades).
-a Shotgun, Stubgun, Autogun or Lasgun (with appropriate ammunition included).
-a copy of the Uplifting Primer (the Einherjars have fun figuring out ways to discard their copies).
-a melee weapon of choice, ranging from daggers, swords, axes, warhammers and even chainweapons (including the not so commonly seen Imperial chainaxe).
If a Housecarl raises his skill with firearms and acquires an appetite for destruction, he may try his hand out at training for heavy or special weaponry, such as Heavy Bolters, Heavy Stubbers, Autocannons, Rocket Launchers, Grenade Launchers, Flamers, Meltas and more. The Einherjars even devised two special weapons of their own design, the Drakkar Guns and the Hrimthrowers.
A Drakkar Gun is a slug-throwing weapon that propels a single high caliber round in a straight line. As the projectile makes contact with its target, the projectile splits open and another smaller incendiary projectile is sent forward. The Drakkar Gun was designed to pierce through the hides of heavily armored units.
The Hrimthrower was made when the Ymirfolk realized that most people don't handle the cold as well as they do, so they created a weapon that spits out liquid nitrogen. The cold seeps through the cracks in the enemy's armor and flash freezes the blood in their veins. Even non-organic foes are not immune to the frost, as the rime creates microscopic cracks in any metal alloy which makes it easier to break.
But even with all this firepower, the Einherjars are still hold a preference over melee combat, as they always have a close combat weapon on their bodies at all times. In every definition of the term, the Einherjars of Ymir are armed to the teeth.
- "Thunder King, grant me a sword and a good use for it!"
- —Jarl Halfdan the Gutter
The Einherjars of Ymir do not mind going for a "blaze of glory" run and love simplistic orders such as "capture that hill". The Einherjars excel at melee combat and will practically hurl themselves at the enemy in an effort to close the distance and strike first. But due to the fact that firing lines exist, any Einherjar who mindlessly charges the enemy ranks will not live long enough to even reach them. As a Mechanized Infantry Regiment, the Einherjars go to battle with a wall of vehicles which move towards the enemy in unison. Their formations are comparable to sailing fleets of ships, which is why their armored units are nicknamed "land longboats". In this manner the vehicles take the brunt of the fire while the infantry get to advance forwards while suffering minimal casualties. For this reason the Einherjars prefer armored vehicles such as Tauroxen, Chimeras, Centaurs, Salamanders, Crassus Armored Transports, Gorgon Armored Assault Transports and more. But if the enemy offers enough firepower to incapacitate their APC's, the Einherjars disembark and form a "Shield Wall". A "Shield Wall" is more of a wall of vehicles, as the heavily armored warmachines are parked in a way to block enemy fire and keep the infantry alive. The squads of Einhejars will then start shooting from the "shoulders" of their parked vehicles and hold out long enough for reinforcements. Naturally, any daring adversary who gets too close to the Shield Wall will be dragged in by the Einherjars and mercilessly torn apart. But if the enemy formations are successfully broken all that remains is for the APC's to unleash their cargo of Einherjars into close quarters combat. If enemies try to run for their lives they will be mercilessly hunted by Einherjar Rough Riders, the Helvegen. Once the enemies are routing, the Einherjars will try to encircle them, cutting off any escape routes and essentially trapping their prey in a "cauldron of death". Upon making sure their targets do not have a chance to flee, the Einherjars will attack with everything they've got, commencing with a grizzly display of savagery and merciless abandon. After he battle they use Atlas recovery tanks to pick up the charred remains of destroyed vehicles (theirs or their enemies) in order to take them back and fix them up later.
While going from one battlefield to the next, leaving behind naught but fields of mangled corpses and broken bones as far as the eye can see, the Einherjars aim to pillage and loot as much as possible. By doing so the Einherjar become pretty self-sufficient and may even manage to return with spoils worth bringing back home. While many may say their practices are barbaric, the Imperium concedes their actions as long as the plunder from Xenos and anyone who does not serve the Emperor. In fact, Sector Command was known to use the the Einherjars' brutish behavior to their advantage and sent them out to skirmish in enemy territory. As they attack outlying settlements and weak points, they steal supplies from the opposition while simultaneously sowing seeds of terror which weaken enemy morale. Indeed, the Einherjars of Ymir are more than a match for any Xenos, Heretic, Mutant or any other horrible abomination the vast Galaxy may throw at their direction. They see difficulty as a challenge and they always rise to meet it head on.
- "If you find your axe is too short add to its length by continuing to take steps forward."
- —Ymirfolk proverb
Culture of Ymir
As it was previously mentioned, the planet of Ymir is a wild and violent world where only the strongest survive long enough to battle another day. Human society on Ymir is fairly crude, even by Feudal World standards, but still remains above Feral World criteria. The Ymirfolk live on a planet that has very little fertile soil, meaning that sowing crops is fairly difficult, if not outright impossible, for winters are too cold and summers are too stormy. But the people managed to survive by herding cattle, fishing in the streaming rivers as well as by foraging and hunting in the forests. Even so, Ymir is a hostile place and one cannot survive by farming alone, for there would never be enough to go around, hence why the Ymirfolk took to raiding. One tribe of Ymirfolk regularly gathers its strongest warriors and allows them to go out and pillage from other tribes, so that they may take what they want by force. This leads to tribal conflict and plentiful bloodshed, which is why the Ymirfolk adopted a merciless warrior culture. Strong tribes gain the right to take their spoils and return triumphant, weak tribes are usually left barren and quickly forgotten.
Contrasting their rather backward ways, the Ymirfolk have access to some fairly advanced technology, such as motor-vehicles, projectile weapons, flamers and more. This is thanks to the factories which still remain active after the Age of Strife forced the inhabitants of Ymir to become unruly barbarians. The aforementioned factories are completely automated and can produce machines and weaponry at a very solid pace. All one has to do is provide the factory with the necessary materials to begin construction and the automated systems will do the rest. Due to the unnerving amounts of noise the mechanized facilities produce, a factory is called a "Hoelbrak" by the Ymirfolk (which translates to "cavern of noise"). Once production is complete, the Ymirfolk claim their technological marvels and begin decorating them with runic symbols, animal pelts, wooden totems and various trinkets. With these in tow, the Ymirfolk do their marauding while riding on bikes or by embarking on metallic longboats that can traverse over land. As one would expect, the factories are very precious to the Ymirfolk and many tribes fight over them on a regular basis.
Despite being primarily a tribal culture, the Ymirfolk have been known to create kingdoms, ruled by elected monarchs that preside over large amounts of Ymir's lands. However, the people of Ymir have no concept of royalty and anyone who is elected "King" was probably a tribal chieftain whose tribe grew strong enough to claim fortresses as their dwellings and one or more factories to fuel their raids. In Ymir, a kingdom is no more than a tribe that's large enough to split its territories into fiefdoms, each ruled by an individual titled "Jarl". Each Jarl is basically a feudal lord who reigns over his fiefdom like how a chieftain would over a tribe, but is subordinate to a King. If a Jarl is to disobey or outright rebel against his King, then the King would make the disloyal Jarl's fiefdom "free territory", meaning that any other Jarl still loyal to the King may freely raid it. It is a system ruled by brute strength and fear, and all political debates are usually resolved with an axe applied to the neck. When a King dies, his children do not necessarily take his place, instead the Jarls of the kingdom assemble in an event called "the Moot". During this event the Jarls will debate on which one of them has the right to inherit the vacant throne and such discussions may escalate into physical confrontation. The end of a Moot can signal that the Jarls choose the next King, or that the Jarls slaughtered one another until only one remained to take the title.
All Ymirfolk revere the legendary "High King" who rules the Ever-Kingdom, which sits atop Audumbla, Ymir's highest mountain. The Ever-Kingdom is a nation which existed for over 4000 years, and its ruler, the High King, is a person who is said to possess mystical powers and has the ability to see all. But the truth is that the High King is the Planetary Governor of Ymir and that he is a mere man who uses the power of technology to survey his surroundings. The High King has contact with Folkvangr and it is usually him who notifies them of the best stock from which the Valkyries may claim warriors and send them to the moon-fortress, where they will be trained to become Einherjars.
The people of Ymir have very strong religious beliefs and traditions related to them, which date back to the Age of Strife. First and foremost, the Ymirfolk believe that a figure known as "the Thunder King" is the god that rules above all Humanity with an ironclad will. The Missionaries of the Eccelsiarchy convinced many Ymirfolk that the Thunder King is the Emperor, and any beliefs which praised more than one God were abolished. The Ymirfolk believe that those that die valiantly in battle will have their souls taken by noble spirits, called Valykries, which will whisk them away to the Thunder King's Domain, where they will fight and drink day after day until the world ends. Those who died dishonored will have their souls cast down by the Thunder King into the Burning Pits, where they will be tormented for all eternity. This is why the Ymirfolk hold the principles of honor and honesty very high, while liars and deceivers are scorned. This is why the people of Ymir take their oaths very seriously, going as far as risking their lives in order to keep them. It is also not uncommon for Ymirfolk to offer blood sacrifices to the Thunder King, even going as far as sacrificing Human beings on hammer-shaped altars. Even the Einherjars of Ymir are known to take prisoners with them only to sacrifice them later during shamanistic rituals whose purpose is to gain favor from the almighty God-Emperor.
- "Where you recognize evil, speak out against it, and give no truces to your enemies."
- —Ymirfolk Proverb
Each Homestead is a grouping of many Einherjar Guardsmen who are under the leadership of an individual Jarl. Unlike the Jarls on Ymir who act as feudal lords subservient to a King, the Jarls among the Einherjars do not have the right to possess their own lands, instead they are simply acting commanders to the Einherjars of Ymir. A Homestead is founded when a large group of Ymirfolk warriors are taken from the planet and given proper training and tutelage in the fortress of Folkvangr. These groups can range from raiding armies who were in the midst of a grand battle, or perhaps entire tribes who were renown for their prowess in combat, and the leader of these groups (either an army general or a tribal chief) will become elected as Jarl of his Homestead. Like any proper Imperial Guard Regiment, Homesteads cannot receive additional recruits once formed, and will possibly never see Ymir ever again, as they will be shipped across the wast expanses of space in order to wage war on a distant planet in some unknown part of the Galaxy. Due to the fact that the majority of Ymirfolk train to fight from an early age, the planet provides with ample amounts of recruits to turn into Einherjars. Among the current active Homesteads are:
A Homestead under the leadership of Jarl Lothbrok which contains around 20,000 Housecarls who are currently serving in the Sabbat Worlds. Known for their "Hammer and Anvil" tactics, where they send Bikers to flank enemy positions while the APC's charge at them headfirst. The Bikers keep the enemies corralled in place, acting as the "anvil" while the APC's "hammer" them until they are broken. After the Tyranid invasion of Gunvril, the Thunder Anvils became the most renown Einherjar Homestead, earning many accolades and honors for all sons of Ymir.
A Homestead under the leadership of Jarl Gudfred which contains around 10,000 Housecarls who are currently fighting Orks in the Mordant Zone. The Lightning Riders are known for enjoying the thrill of speed and utilizing hit-and-run tactics to whittle down the enemy before driving into their formations for a finishing blow. They finally met their match when the Orks of the Killhogz Tribe, infamous for the craftiness of their Mekboyz, started fielding many Bikers and Trukks to match the Einherjars. Needless to say, the Lightning Riders do not shy away from a challenge.
A Homestead under the leadership of Jarl Bjorn which contains around 3000 Housecarls who are currently engaged in the battle of Zankh. The Ironsides have a preference for armored vehicles which they heavily outfit and customize to deal with any form of terrain. They are currently keeping those infected by the Prion Plague at bay as they ravage the Forge World of Zankh. The fact that the plague is spread by the Necron Ta-Seth Dynasty is not yet known to them.
A Homestead under the leadership of Jarl Siggurd which contains around 7000 Housecarls who are currently embroiled in conflict with the Rak'Gol in the Koronus Expanse. The Snake Eyes Homestead had engaged the vile Xeno pirates many times as they marauded Imperial worlds. In a sense, the Einherjars understand the Rak'Gol mentality, hailing from a culture built around raiding, and are therefore best suited for tracking and hunting them down.
A Homestead under the leadership of Jarl Ivar which contains around 4500 Housecarls who are currently combating the Thyrrus in the the Quonis System. The Bone Pickers are ruthless warriors who claim the bones of their enemies in order to decorate their armor. More veteran warriors have the majority of their armor covered by hideous trophies of adversaries slain. Naturally, fighting the Thyrrus, which are boneless, seems to infuriate them to no end.
A Homestead under the leadership of Jarl Halfdan which contains around 1500 Housecarls who are currently rooting out Enoulian attacks in the Calixis Sector. The fact that the Enoulians destroy all icons of the Imperium, such as the Imperial Eagle, is an unforgivable sin to the Einherjars. Perceiving all symbols of the Imperium as symbols of their revered Thunder King, the Gut Grinders are more than happy to massacre any Enoulians they come across.
A Homestead under the leadership of Jarl Ubba which contains around 7000 Housecarls who have been sent to the Gothic Sector to battle the Fra'al. Although it was confirmed that the Einherjars managed to reach the Gothic Sector without encountering any problems, the Imperium lost contact with them shortly after their arrival. The fate of the Shattered Shields Homestead remains unknown.
A Homestead under the leadership of Jarl Thora which contains around 2000 Housecarls who battle against Kroot mercenaries in the Eastern Fringe. The Storm Masons encountered Planetary Governors who have forsaken the Imperium and employed Xenos mercenaries to bolster their renegade PDF. The Einherjars of Ymir scorn all manner of treason but have grown to respect the Kroot as fellow warriors.
- "I came into this world screaming and drenched in someone else's blood, I have no qualms with going out the same way."
- —Siggurd, Jarl of the Snake Eyes
Due to the nature of the Einherjars of Ymir, their Homesteads are known to field some very exotic warriors and weapons to the battlefield. A lot of these are the results of the Einherjars blending their culture with the Imperium's technology in order to create tools which would suit them best. The list is as follows:
A special type of Einherjar infantry who come equipped with full-body Flak armor, Hellguns, Melta bombs and ceremonial melee weapons (rune inscribed swords or axes for example). The Hersir are heavily armored by Einherjar standards and are therefore always ferried into battle within APC's. Once unleashed, the Hersir seek out enemy armor and destroy it. Their Melta bombs have the ability to vaporize fortification walls, making them ideal for sieges, but due to expensiveness of their equipment the Hersir are fairly rare among the Einherjars.
These Einherjar stay true to their origins and maintain a very barbaric and backwards fighting style. They forsake all armor, insisting on going into battle wearing nothing but rags and the skinned hides of canine animals (there is a wolf-like species native to Ymir called "Vargar"). Before battle they always perform some manner of shamanistic ritual to strengthen themselves, which usually involves them ingesting "mystic mushrooms" or some other narcotic. By doing so they enter a trance-like state known as "hamrammr" where they can hardly differentiate between friend or foe, cutting up anything that stands in their path. The Ulfhednar are notorious for their killing sprees, flailing their melee weapons above their heads in berserk fashion, ripping and tearing those unfortunate enough to be caught in their madness.
Rough Riders are not a common sight among the ranks of the Astra Militarum (with the exception of the Attilan Rough Riders and the Death Riders of Krieg), even rarer are Imperial Guardsmen riding on top of Bikes. The Einherjars of Ymir are one Regiment of the Imperial Guard who make good use of Bike-mounted Rough Riders. The Helvegen are Einherjar Bikers who come equipped with Laspistols or Autopistols, Frag and Krak Grenades, Hunter Lances or other melee weapons (preferably axes or chainaxes) as well as Flamers and back-mounted Prometheum tanks that leak flammable fluids behind them. The Helvegen harass their enemies using their dumbfounding speed and maneuverability to strike the flanks of enemy formations and break them apart. The Helvegen noted how Ork Warbikers use burnouts as smokescreen cover, and have thus adopted the same tactic. The sheer amount of destruction and confusion a squadron of Helvegen can unleash is nothing short of impressive.
A unique type of APC which the Einherjars developed by basing it off the longboat designs they frequently saw sailing the waters of Ymir. A Karvi is a light armored personnel carrier which comes armed with a single Autocannon and offers enough space for only a few men. Considered to be the "general purpose" transport vehicle of the Einherjar Homesteads, equivalent in size and power to a Taurox.
Similar to the Karvi, the Snekkja is an APC made in the image of the dragon-headed longboats the Ymirfolk use. It is larger than the Karvi and can transport up to 30 men, which is equivalent to a full squad of Guardsmen. It is a lot heavier than a Karvi and is armed with additional armored plates, a twin-linked Autocannons or twin-linked Heavy Bolters and flank mounted shields which function as metal flaps through which Einherjars can open to shoot from. The Snekkja is the most common APC the Einherjars have at their disposal and became a symbolic to their regiment.
Just like the Karvi and the Snekkja, the Skeid is an APC created by the Einherjars to resemble the longboats of Ymir. it is about the same size as a Snekkja, and offers as much protection, but trades the ranged firepower for pushing force. The Skeid is used as a vehicular battering ram, armed with a Heavy Flamer and a mighty Dozer blade which plows through enemy ranks. Once it performs its "blaze of glory run", the Skeid will bathe everything in its line of sight with burning prometheum before the troops inside rush out to meet what remnants of the enemy. The Skeid APC's are most commonly used when fighting against numerous lightly armored Xenos, such as Orks, Kroot, or Tyranids, this way the heat of their flames and the force of their charges are most effective.
- "Cattle die. Kinsmen die. One's self also dies. But fame never dies."
- —Taken from the Havamal, the Book of Wisdom
Allies and Enemies
The people of Ymir are the kind of folk who respect those who fight alongside them and learn to remember the names and faces of those who opposed them. Since the Regiment existed for about four thousand years they have encountered a plethora of other Human cultures (Imperial or otherwise), Xenos species, entities indigenous to the Warp, and other strange and alien things that exist in the expansive Galaxy. In their long service they made many allies they gladly share the battlefield with and many enemies whom they had learned to despise.
The Imperium of Man
Since Ymir is a planet that belongs to the great and powerful Imperium, the Ecclesiarchy managed to convince the inhabitants that the so-called "Thunder King" is the God-Emperor of Mankind, and the Einherjars swore undying loyalty to Him ever since. Despite the tribal warfare that happens on a regular basis, the Ymirfolk make sure to split a portion of their wealth to be contributed to the High King, so that his Valkyries may continue to take them to the Thunder King's Domain. Once the payment reaches the High King, who acts as the Planetary Governor of Ymir, he uses it to pay his tithes and what remains he keeps for himself and his Ever-Kingdom.
The Einherjars of Ymir are a well known Regiment of the Imperial Guard which are both famous for their zeal and unrelenting fury against the enemies of Man, but are also infamous for their unruly and barbaric ways which some consider to be borderline insanity. How well they function with other elements of the Imperium really depends on who they encounter, for example they might work fluidly with some Imperial Guard Regiments or Space Marine Chapters while there are others with whom they might come to clash with. It is known that elements of the Ecclesiarchy, such as the Sisters of Battle, respect the Einherjar's devotion to the Emperor but might not agree with the manner in which they express it. Techpriests of the Adeptus Mechanicus would most likely approve of how well the Einherjars maintain their gear while alternatively they probably wouldn't approve of how recklessly they use and modify it, completely disregarding the Machine-Spirit. Regardless of how well they cooperate, the Einherjars remain honor-bound to accomplish their tasks, meaning that despite how well or unwell they stand with another organization within the Imperium, they usually wouldn't let any petty rivalries get in the way of doing the Emperor's work.
Forces of Chaos
The archenemy of all Humanity is the corrupting influence of the Warp and all of its nightmarish denizens. Although the Segmentum Tempestus is known for being relatively free from Chaos-related problems, such as invasions from great Warp-storms, Chaos does retain a limited presence. Flocks of mad Cultists, Legions of the Lost and the Damned, warbands of Chaos Space Marines, Daemonic incursions brought about by rogue Psykers, the Einherjars encountered them all. Just like any true Imperial loyalist, the Einherjars rise up to strike down the servants of Chaos wherever they appear and in whatever form they choose to take.
Segmentum Tempestus had always suffered from Xenos invaders and raiders, so it is only to be expected for the Einherjars of Ymir to have plenty of experience in combating them. But the relation the Ymirfolk have with the Greenskins is ancient, older than the Imperium even, dating back to the early years of the Age of Strife. Although the Ymirfolk have all but lost the knowledge of their ancient past, leaving them even unable to understand how their factories operate, there is one thing that remains as a constant reminder, the Orks. These Xenos lived on Ymir for over ten thousand years, usually as Feral Orks, meaning that many breeds of Squig have also acclimated themselves to Ymir. Types of Squig that have been known to inhabit Ymir range from Face-Eater Squigs, Flesheater Squigs, Growler Squigs, Herd Squigs, Squighawks, Squigsharks, Squiggoths and the very rare Orkeosaurus. Orkoid beings are in a constant state of war with the Ymirfolk and there were many instances when the Feral Orks launched a localized WAAAGH! across the planet, only to be stopped by the tribes temporarily uniting or with the direct interference of the Einherjars. This means that the Einhejars of Ymir Regiments have extensive knowledge in fighting Orks and similar creatures, as the average Ork is not all that different from the Feral kind. It has been proven that a single Homestead of Einhejars is fully capable of slowing the advance of or outright stopping an interstellar Ork WAAAGH! by relying on their experience and the wisdom of their ancestors who were killing Greenskins for many generations.
As is the norm with Imperial forces, the Einherjars have grown to distrust the Eldar wherever they appeared, for although there are times their interests may coincide with the Mankind's, their agendas are ultimately of self-preservation. The Einherjars had many opportunities to meet the Craftworld Eldar in person, usually those of Biel-Tan. As one would expect, the Einherjars particularly dislike this sort for they have been known to sacrifice millions of Human souls to further their own goals, completely uncaring of anyone that is not their kin. On the other hand, the Einherjars usually encounter the Corsair kind of Eldar, with whom one might say the Ymirfolk have a lot in common with. But the one type of Eldar the Ymirfolk truly detest are the Dark Eldar, who strike swiftly and depart with a tally of prisoners which they take to their hidden city of Commoragh. Although all kinds of Eldar specialize around speed and maneuverability, the Einherjars are the one kind of Regiment who can match them in that field. The sight of Eldar Jetbikes and Einherjar Rough Riders clashing at breakneck speeds into one another is phenomenal to behold.
It had only been in recent years that the Einherjars of Ymir started encountering the Necrons, most notably those of the Ta-Seth Dynasty. Appearing from the Veiled Region and snuffing out all life on any world they set their sights on, these Necrons are known for being particularly zealous in their mission to eradicate all organic life, obsessed even. Whenever the Einherjars were sent to defeat these warriors of living-metal, the best they could accomplish was stall for time in hopes of reinforcements arriving. The fact that the Einherjars are a Mechanized Infantry type of Regiment means that the Necrons are practically their worst enemies. Even the thickest hulls of Imperial APC's are effortlessly split open by Gauss weaponry and the Rough Riders have a difficult time keeping up with the Ta-Seth Dynasty's Destroyers and Tomb Blades. Although the Ymirfolk do not fear death, they know very well to be weary of death's harbingers, for the Necrons are an ancient power which cannot be thwarted easily.
A fledgling nation of Xenos that is barely even registered by the Imperium, the Ymirfolk had very little contact with the Tau in the past. However, when the Third Sphere Expansion began, Homesteads of Einherjars were sent to the Eastern Fringe in order to deal with the menace. The Einherjars of Ymir have little to no respect to the Tau, for they view their disdain of melee combat as cowardice and they believe their ideology, the Greater Good, is merely a sanctuary for the meek. The Einherjars pitilessly murder Tau at any chance they get, matching the Xenos' mobile tactics with their own. But it was noted that the Ymirfolk formed a level of "warrior's respect" to one of the alien species which serve the Tau as mercenaries, the Kroot. Although the Einherjars kill the Kroot as ruthlessly as they would any other Xenos, they at least commend them for the ferocity they display and the savagery many Ymirfolk can relate to.
Approaching Imperial space from beyond the edges of the Galaxy, the Tyranids are an alien threat unlike any the Imperium had ever seen before. The Einherjars have grown accustomed to hearing about the terrible stories they hear about entire planets being left bare by the encroaching Hive Fleets. The Einherjars of Ymir have personally fought against splinters of Hive Fleet Leviathan, Charybdis, Scylla, and more recently Cerberus. Their most recent battle was when Cerberus invaded the Sabbat Worlds and was pushed back by the combined effort of many Imperial forces, yet they still suffered heavy losses. It seems as if the Tyranids are a plague upon the entire Galaxy which refuses to go down regardless of how many times it had been beaten. They simply return, stronger than ever before, continuously evolving to counter anything the inhabitants of their new hunting grounds throw at them. Many believe that the Tyranids are without number, and that is what makes them terrifying, but the Ymirfolk on the other hand find the prospect of endlessly battling against a tidal wave of Xenos as a thrill, and look forward to the next time they meet.
- "One's back is vulnerable, unless one has a brother in arms."
- —Grethir, the Oathkeeper
Leader of the Thunder Anvils Homestead, Jarl Lothbrok is a man who's very well respected by his warriors, which is why his Homestead is (currently) the largest. Though Lothbrok is proficient with the sword and gun, it is not his capability in combat that earned him great renown. Many have made the mistake of underestimating his wits and have paid for it dearly, for Jarl Lothbrok is as cunning and ruthless as any competent commander of the Imperial Guard should be. His ability to stay calm in dire situations and his tendency to think of unorthodox methods to handle whatever predicament he's in saved his life and his mission on multiple occasions.
The Ymirfolk are known to give meaningful titles to individuals who have achieved the right to don them, and few titles are as esteemed as "Ironside". Bjorn "Ironside" is a man who was born with eerie levels of resilience and tenacity, and his warriors witnessed him survive an attack that would have spelled certain death to any normal man time and time again. Although he is lacking in tactical ingenuity he makes up for it with the stern training regime he imposes upon all in his Homestead. Bjorn strives to give his men both muscles of iron and discipline of steel, as he has no tolerance for laxity or insubordination. In Bjorn's eyes, only the strong and dutiful should prosper.
Tradition is an important part of Ymir's culture, and its people tend to partake in many rituals that outsiders might deem unnecessarily crude and gauche. One such ritual is the "Snake Eating" (hinted to be named after an Ork tribe that resides on Ymir) where a hunter is expected to swallow an entire venomous adder, by doing so it is presumed that he gains immunity to venom. Siggurd was once a deft huntsman who prowled the wildernesses of Ymir in search of worthy prey, one of his rumored exploits include him devouring an entire Jormund Elver (a vast seafaring serpent). But Siggurd easily grows tired of prey he finds on other worlds and is always longing for a good hunt.
Weakness in any form is shunned on Ymir, for those who cannot fend for themselves are seen as a liability for the rest and nothing more. Ivar was a man born with frail bones that broke easily, making it difficult for him to fight or hunt. When the others in his village found out about his weakness they exiled him and left him to fend for himself in the tundra. However, Ivar was not lacking in determination, he managed to tame a pack of Timber Wolves which hunted and killed for him. He was a competent commander with an aptitude for strategy and forethought, thinking several steps ahead of everyone else, a characteristic that served him well so far.
Despite being a rustic and backwards world, the Ymirfolk do not look down upon their women, for if a woman is as strong (or even stronger) than the average male then she had earned her respect. There are even women who fight alongside their brethren in times of war, the shieldmaidens (skjaldmær in Ymir's dialect). It is even possible for a shieldmaiden to become a Jarl, Thora is one such shieldmaiden. Thora leads with a cold heart and a strong resolve, expecting nothing less from those who follow her. She bared witness to many atrocities the Galaxy has to offer and her conviction remains unshaken, serving as an icon of bravery to many.
Floki "the Mischievous"
Ymirfolk tend to be cautious around outsiders, but few take this practice to heart as seriously as Floki, Thane of the Thunder Anvils. Floki has a clear distrust and disdain to any who are not from Ymir, as he openly insults even Imperial officers and other Guardsmen. But Floki is a clever man and rarely resorts to violence when he wishes to scorn an outsider, instead he plots and schemes the perfect trick. Deceiving others by lulling them with sweet words and pleasantries before shaming them for all to see had become a form of art in Floki's hands, much to Lothbrok's dismay.
Erik "the Red"
Many individuals have been known to commit great acts of heroism on the planet Ymir, one such person is Erik Thorgrim. Erik started off as the son of a sailor and he had learned the craft very quickly, tuning his senses with the seas, reading the ebb and flow of the waves like how one would read a book. Upon reaching adulthood Erik sailed far and wide, plundering and pirating wherever he went. By garnering a reputation of infamy and bloodshed Erik started being known as "the Red" due to the waters turning red with blood wherever he went. But by chance or by fate's work Erik encountered an Ork Warboss named Folstag who unleashed a fierce WAAAGH! upon multiple Ymirfolk holdings. Erik and his men sailed their ships through a river canal right into the middle of the horde, just to meet the Ork Warboss and face him in combat. Nearly all of Erik's men died in that battle, but not before Erik plunged his axe deep into the Warboss' skull, slaying him right then and there. Witnessing this, a Valkyrie dropship descended upon the battlefield, picking up the unconscious Erik and flying him to the moon-fort of Folkvangr where he recuperated and was recruited into the Storm Masons Homestead. But Erik's stay among the Einherjars was short for his renown attracted the attention of Inquisitor Rommulus Nero who "offered" him a position among his acolyte retinue. Realizing that refusing an Inquisitor would spell only misfortune upon him, Erik accepted the proposal. He now serves as Inquisitor Nero's hired muscle, applying brute force whenever it is deemed necessary.
Thorkell "the Tall"
Strength is one of the highest virtues upheld by the Ymirfolk, and few are as strong as Thorkell. As Thane of the Shattered Shields Homestead he receives ample amounts of recognition from the other Einherjars, but Thorkell is perceived as exceptional in many ways. Thorkell is famous for his feats of superhuman strength, as his subordinates claim that he is able to lift stone boulders, uproot trees with his bare hands and even go toe-to-toe with an Ogryn. Whether these claims are true or just some more Ymirfolk bravado is up to speculation, but those that met him in person seem to be convinced that it is the truth. There are those who believe that he is in fact a latent Psyker with an affinity for Biomancy, which would explain his tremendous accomplishments. Alas, Thorkell had gone MIA, along with the rest of the Homestead upon reaching the Gothic Sector. But the rest of the Einherjars firmly believe that Thorkell shall return triumphantly, beating whatever odds were stacked against him with brute force alone.
There is no Schola Progenium on Ymir, which is why the Einherjars acquire them from other worlds, which would explain why very few Commissars intimidate them. This is why some Commissars that get assigned to an Einherjar Homestead tend to disappear without a trace or suffer "unfortunate accidents" while in the heat of battle. Athelstan is a Commissar who saw that the Ymirfolk were not regular Human beings, so he opted for a different approach. Instead of trying to ensure the loyalty of his men by sowing fear into their ranks (since that option was not possible with the Einherjars) he decided to learn their ways so that he could think and act like an Einherjar. Athelstan's studies bore fruit as he managed to earn the trust of nearly all Einherjars in his Homestead, the Thunder Anvils, and Jarl Lothbrok himself decided to title the Commissar "Thane" (an unofficial title according to the books). Athelstan fights alongside the Housecarls, leading them to battle by example, displaying dauntless courage to inspire his men.
- "I have learned a lot from the Ymirfolk. For example, 'a head stuck on a pike no longer conspires.' Truly a wise and noble people."
- —Commissar Athelstan when describing his experience with the Einherjars.
Timeline of Events
614.M36: The Einherjars of Ymir Regiment had been established on the planet Ymir after the Imperium spent a whole year attempting to root out Orks from it. The first Einherjar Homestead was the Oathsworn, under the leadership of Jarl Grethir "the Oathkeeper", aptly named as they were the first Ymirfolk to make an oath to serve the Imperium til death.
721-722.M36: The Oathsworn were sent to Ranar, a gas giant that had a single large city levitating atop the sea of clouds. The Mechanicus were studying the ancient mechanisms of the ancient Human structures before a cult of Dark Mechanicus violently took over. Jarl Grethir fought against treasonous Techpriests and their Servitor thralls in the gas-ridden streets in order to reclaim them for the Imperium. For four months the Einherjars stood their ground, but the tide of the battle turned when the Dark Mechanicus began fielding skimmer tanks into the fray. Jarl Grethir was given orders from Command, telling him to locate and destroy the source of enemy manufacture before they begin mass producing their hover-tanks. Alas, it was too late for that, as the Dark Mechanicus produced their skimmers from multiple locations. Thinking of no better way to take out the enemy forces in one fell swoop, the Oathsworn charged towards the city's central cogitator. The Einherjars suffered many casualties along the way, but Jarl Grethir was able to reach the core where he detonated a Melta Bomb. This action destabilized the city in the clouds and made it plummet downwards, neither it, the Dark Mechanicus Cult, nor the Oathsworn Homestead were ever seen again.
206-214.M37: The Ragnarok Sector was invaded by WAAAGH! Nobhead which first descended upon the Forge World of Andvari. The Orks were stalled by the local PDF and Skitarii for three years before the Einherjars of the Iron Teeth Homestead arrived. By that time the Orks had already began fielding Stompas and Gargantz into the fray, trampling over Imperial infantry and stomping their defenses to rubble. This is why the local Techpriests gave the Iron Teeth permission to man the heavy vehicles produced on Andvari, the Andvaranaut, a unique type of tank which was designed to be a "Titan killer". In the ensuing five years the Iron Teeth were able to drive back the Ork WAAAGH! and even kill Warboss Nobhead by toppling his Gargant while he was in it. Without their leader the Ork horde dispersed and was swiftly expunge from Andvari. In the conclusion of the war, the local Techpriests thanked the Einherjars for not only defending the Forge World but also for aiding them in field testing the Andavaranaut tanks.
032-036.M38: In the fringes of Segmentum Tempestus, at the very borders of the Veiled Region, a fleet of Mechanicus Explorators uncovered a planet ripe for colonization. It was ideal, with a breathable atmosphere, ample amounts of clean water and verdant soil to plant crops and build cities on. The only downside to the planet, which was named Angus M-7 (as it was the seventh planet discovered by Magos Angus), was the fact that it was already inhabited by a race of primitive Xenos. The aliens, which called themselves "Kesh", were living in peaceful rural societies and posed no immediate threat to the Imperium, which is why colonization of the planet began in the following year. However, despite being backwards and simplistic, the Kesh had a surprising affinity to the Warp, a trait they revealed as they unleashed a series of unprovoked attacks upon Imperial settlers. In 034.M38 the Einherjar Marrow Drinker Homestead arrived to neutralize the Xenos menace. Though they lacked sophisticated technology or vast numbers, the Kesh were still able to put up a fight against the Einherjars, but not enough to defeat them. One by one, the Kesh villages were burnt and plundered by the Einherjars, compelling them to resort to increasingly haphazard acts of desperation. A coalition of Kesh shamans gathered together in order to call down a mighty storm which would tear the Imperial fleet asunder, but the ritual went horribly wrong and all of the shamans died, becoming sacrifice to the entities of the Warp. A large gaping wound was split open above Angus M-7's sky and a tide of Chaos bled into the material plane. The Marrow Drinkers fought bravely but they did not last against the Daemonic legions that beset them. The Einherjars managed to stall the Chaos Daemons until a number of settlers were able to evacuate the planet. To this day Angus M-7 remains a Daemon World, completely inhospitable to any and all life except Chaos itself.
659.M38: The Broken Skulls Homestead of Einherjars was sent to the Koronus Expanse in order to reinforce the Imperial worlds there against a Xenos invasion. That is when the Einherjars made their first contact with the infamous Rak'Gol. Surprising to many, but not to some, the Einherjars were fairly interested in the Rak'Gol, for in them they saw a bit of themselves. Both the people of Ymir and the Rak'Gol have a penchant for violence, brutality, pillaging and raiding. The fact made the Broken Skulls all the more enthusiastic to meet the Xenos in combat, as a way to "prove" that the Ymirfolk are "better" at marauding than any meager Xenos.
353-412.M39: This span of time was marked by a string of Eldar attacks centered around a number of Imperial worlds at the heart of Segmentum Tempestus. The survivors of these attacks described the Eldar as nothing more than typical Corsairs as they mainly targeted the supply convoys and remote outposts. During these years there were several Einherjar Homesteads dispatched in the region so that they may stand watch over multiple planets at once in case the Eldar chose to attack one. Over the decades the Eldar appeared like ghosts out of the mist, appearing out of the nether and vanishing without a trace before the Einherjars were able to organize a proper counter-offensive. The Einherjars were able to keep the collateral damage and casualties to a minimum as they deterred the Eldar Corsairs time and time again, but they were not prepared to hear that a large fleet of Ork Freeboters began making its way to Ymir itself. Caught off guard, the Einherjars made haste and returned to Ymir in 411.M39. just as the Orks began laying siege to Folkvangr. With the Orks defeated the Einherjars noticed that the Eldar Corsair attacks had all but stopped, as if they suddenly lost all interest in the region they plundered for decades.
164.M40: The Veiled Region, located in the Segmentum Pacificus, is a largely unexplored region of the Galaxy which piqued the curiosity of Mechanicus Explorators, Rogue Traders and common pirates alike. Many brave adventurers dared to venture into the mysterious space for either riches, glory or the sheer joy of discovery, yet few had ever returned. It is known that Imperial worlds bordering the Veiled Region have a tendency to fall victim to alien incursions of all kinds, one such world was the Hive World of Selene Tercius. The year 164.M40 was marked by a sudden outbreak, a strange and unidentified virus had struck the Human populace and began spreading at a rapid pace. Those afflicted by the disease suffered excruciating pain as their flesh twisted and convulsed, merging with whatever metal materials it came in contact with. Driven mad by the pain and their judgement clouded by the virus, the victims of the disease turned violent and attacked anyone or anything on sight. The local Hive Gangs, the Arbiters and even Selene Tercius' PDF were overwhelmed by the afflicted and all communication with the planet was lost. Alas, this was not the last the Imperium had seen or heard of the virus, as it resurfaced from time to time on worlds dangerously close to the Veiled Region. The disease was given a name, the Prion Plague, and its most recent outbreak appeared on the Forge World of Zankh (in 997.M41) where the Einherjars of the Ironsides Homestead are keeping them at bay.
475.M40: In the decades prior, a number of worlds belonging to the Imperium, which included Agri Worlds, Cardinal Worlds, Hive Worlds and even Paradise Worlds, noticed that a number of their ships returned to their ports without their crew. The ship decks were always stained with Human blood but had few signs of struggle, hinting that whatever attacked the ships was deathly quick. The people from the planets that experienced the "bloodied derelicts" most frequently began living in fear as they felt that the next ship they might send out will suffer the same fate. Einherjars of the Ram's Horns Homestead was sent to monitor the Agri World of Hajuk as their APC's could cover the vast farmlands quickly and with relative ease, giving them ample leeway to react in case of an attack. 475.M40 was the year when the assailants revealed themselves, they were Dark Eldar. What's believed to be three different Kabals simultaneously attacked three different Imperial Worlds, one of which was Hajuk. The vanguards of the Dark Eldar assault were great numbers of Wracks and Grotesques, their mutilated bodies tearing into the Einherjar firing lines. The locals faintly recognized the monstrous creatures as their own, Imperial citizens who were last seen boarding the ships that would become the "bloodied derelicts". But the Einherjars saw their fare share of atrocities so their morale remained unshaken when the aberrant beasts attacked. The attacks were executed swiftly in order to maximize the surprise factor and gain an early advantage in the conflict. The Einherjars were able to kill a score of Dark Eldar, forcing them to withdraw, but not before the foul Xenos managed to take their fare share of prisoners. The Dark Eldar left as suddenly as they appeared, leaving naught but fields of corpses in their wake. Those that survived were left to curse their fate.
621.M41: Encased in an unending winter, the people of the planet Arzov struggled to survive against the elements. But cold weather rarely deters Orks away, which is why they were able to spread on the planet while the Human population had no real means of stopping them. An Ork boss named Magshak was able to conquer the warring tribes and then used his momentum to launch an all-out war against the Imperial presence on Arzov. This is why the Einherjars of the Rime Walkers Homestead, accompanied by the Khazamga 7th Infantry Regiment were deployed to annihilate the Ork menace. The two Regiments did not see each other eye-to-eye at first, as the Khazamga viewed the Einherjars as nothing more than brutish savages while the Einherjars mocked the Khazamga's tendency to keep a distance between them and the enemy. Regardless, the two groups managed to cooperate due to their proud warrior cultures and their shared disdain of Orks. Warboss Magshak launched a frontal assault on the city of Strievidza where the Einherjars and Khazamga fought shoulder-to-shoulder. Despite taking heavy casualties, the Rime Walkers Homestead reduced from 7000 men to about 3000, the Einherjars stood their ground and faced the green tide headstrong. One Einherjar unit of Ulfhednar even managed to slay the Ork Warboss himself, which ensured the Imperium's victory that day. Impressed by the Einherjars' valor while facing dreadful odds, the Khazamga made a solemn vow to remember the Rime Walkers and they petitioned their Raja to build a monument to their deeds. Flattered by the gesture, the Einherjars in turn called the Khazamga "brothers", their leader, Jarl Rognvald, even went as far as to say that he's "looking forward to the next slaughter".
710.M41: Worshipers of Khorne had surfaced on the planet Ceolweard, a Civilized World of red brick and half-timber buildings. The Khornate Cultists were not a unified force, instead they were fractured bands which lacked any chain of command. Even so, the eagerness with which the Cultists spilled blood in order to appease the Blood God was still to be reckoned with, so the Imperium sent the Devouring Wurm Homestead of Einherjars, accompanied by the Akoni 3rd Drop Infantry and Blackwater Rifles. Between individual battles, the Devouring Wurms and Blackwater Rifles perused the streets of Aelwold, Ceolweard's capital city, in search of taverns, brothels and gambling halls. The Akoni Drop Infantry on the other hand kept their distance from the Einherjars, as they reminded them of cannibalistic tribes of their world, yet they still managed to socialized on occasion when discussing the meaning of their tribal tattoos. There was no single great battle during the purge of Ceolweard, instead it was a series of skirmishes that dragged on for one long year. Thousands died out in "the killing fields", which included many Imperials, Khornate worshipers and even innocent bystanders who were caught in Ceolweard's slaughterhouse by mere chance. In the end, Khorne's followers were defeated and the Devouring Wurms parted ways with their comrades, marching from one war zone to the next.
992-999.M41: The Sabbat Worlds of the Segmentum Pacificus felt the grasp of Hive Fleet Cerberus, a "lesser" Tyranid fleet that managed to burrow its way through the Halo Zone. The Tyranids bore their teeth on the Fortress World of Magnar III in 922.M41, overcoming its defenses and murdering every last man, woman and child that cowered within its walls. After bearing witness to such a horrifying sight, the Sabbat Worlds called for aid and many answered, including the Einherjars of the Thunder Anvils Homestead and five Companies of the Crimson Dragoons Space Marine Chapter. These stalwart warriors and courageous heroes fought against the ravenous Xenos at every turn in an effort to halt its malevolent hunger from consuming any more planets. The latest conflict happened on the Jungle World of Manes where the Tyranids managed to overpower a detachment of eight thousand Einherjars. They sent a distress signal and two Crimson Dragoon Companies answered, but they were far too late. Manes is now a Dead World and the Tyranids are advancing still. These truly are dark and terrible times for Mankind.
- "They came out of the mist on an icy wind and froze the blood of weaker men. "
- —A Khazamga Guarsdman, retelling his experience with the Einherjars.
I already have enough quotes from the Einherjars scattered throughout the rest of the article, which is why other users are free to add their own quotes relating to the Einherjars of Ymir in this section.
- "Ride with me warriors of Ymir! Ride with me to battle! And we shall crush those who oppose us under tread and track! RIDE!"
- —Chief Librarian Leadros Kerventes as the Wings of Salvaxes and the Einherjars prepare a mechanized charge.
- "Upstart prey! I will tear off your fleshy hide and use it as a war-banner!"
A lot of Ymir's culture (and in turn, culture of the Einherjars) is based heavily on Norse mythology and historical culture. The list of all of these references is listed below for those who are interested:
-Einherjars ("single (or once) fighters" in Old Norse) are those who died in battle and were brought to Valhalla (the hall of the Norse Gods) by the Valkyries. Within the great hall the Einherjars prepare daily for the events of Ragnarok (the Nordic "end of the world" event), when they will advance for an immense battle.
-Ymir is the ancestor of all Jotnar (mythic giants) and a primeval being from whom the Norse Gods created the world; the Earth from his flesh, oceans from his blood, hills from his bones, trees from his hair, clouds from his brains and the roof of his skull made the heavens.
-Ettin (also known as "Bogle") is a Northumbrian and Scots term used for a variety of related folkloric creatures. They are reputed to live for the simple purpose of perplexing mankind, rather than seriously harming or serving them.
-Skoll and Hati ("Treachery" and "He Who Hates" respectively in Old Norse) are a pair of wolves, sons of the great wolf Fenrir, who chase the Sun and the Moon respectively on a daily basis. Skoll and Hati are destined to finally catch their prey at Ragnarok, which is when the whole world will be shrouded in complete darkness. In addition, Managarmr is an alternate name for Hati (which translates to "Moon-Hound").
-Folkvangr ("field of the host" or "people field" or "army field" in Old Norse) is a meadow ruled over by the Goddess Freyja where half of those who die in combat go, while the other half go to Odin in Valhalla. Within Folkvangr is Freyja's hall Sessrumnir (scholarly theories have been proposed about the implications of the location).
-Arvakr and Alsvithr ("early awake" and "very quick" respectively in Old Norse) are the horses which pull the Sun across the sky each day. It is said that the Gods fixed bellows underneath the two horses' shoulders to help them cool off as they rode.
-Hjuki and Bil ("the one returning to health" and "instant" respectively in Old Norse) are a brother and sister who follow the personified moon, Mani, across the heavens. Scholars theories that their role was to personify the craters of the moon or its phases.
-Hraesvelgr ("corpse swallower" in Old Norse) is a giant who takes eagle form. He sits at the end of the world (or the northern edge of the heavens) and causes the wind to blow when he beats his wings in flight.
-Aurvandil is a cognate Germanic personal name, continuing a Proto-Germanic reconstructed compound which translates to "luminous wanderer", in origin it's most likely the name of a star or planet, potentially the morning star.
-Jarnvidr ("iron wood" in Old Norse) is a forest located in Midgard (the realm of mortal men) inhabited by troll women who bore giantesses and giant wolves.
-Elivagar ("ice waves" in Old Norse) are rivers that existed in Ginnungagap (the primordial void) at the beginning of the world. The eleven rivers associated with Elivagar include Svol, Gunnthra, Fjorm, Fimbulthul, Sildr, Hrid, Sylgr, Ylgr, Vid, Leiptr and Gjoll (which are also names of inland seas on the planet Ymir). In addition, Ymir the first giant was formed from the venom that dripped from these rivers.
-Audumbla (name's meaning is ambiguous, possibly "wealth polled cow") is a primeval cow which is associated with Ginnungagap and Ymir. When Ymir first arose he gained nourishment by suckling on Audumbla's udders. How Audumbla came to be and what happened to her afterwards is not mentioned in Norse mythos ever again.
-Andvari ("careful one" in Old Norse) was a dwarf who lived underneath a waterfall and had the power to transform himself into a fish at will. Andvari had a magical ring named Andvaranaut, which helped him to become wealthy.
-The name of the Drakkar Gun derives from Drakkar, the Old Norse word that translates to "Dragon". The Hrim part of Hrimthrower translates to "rime" (the Hrimthrower's name was inspired by the Hrimtrhusar, the Rime Giants).
-The title Jarl is the Scandinavian term for an Earl. The Housecarl were either non-servile manservants or household troops in someone's personal service. The term Thane ("one who serves" in Old English) is commonly used to describe either an aristocratic retainer of a king or nobleman in Anglo-Saxon England. A Hersir was a local Viking military commander of about a hundred men and owed allegiance to a Jarl or King. Ulfhednar was a term associated with berserkers, Norse warriors who were said to have fought in a nearly uncontrollable, trance-like fury. The term Helvegen translates to "the way to Hel" in Old Norse ("Hel" being the realm of the damned in Norse myth). The Karvi, Snekkja and Skeid were names for different types of Norse longboats (the classes depended on size, construction detail and prestige).
- "Witness me!"
- —Frequently heard Einherjar warcry