Historia Scenario: Holmgang / by 49 Actual

Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.
— R. E. Howard
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In the modern era, when individuals have a quarrel or “beef” with one another, we have the luxury of placing our problems on others for them to handle…and then bitch about the outcome when it doesn’t go quite the way we wanted it too, i.e. the chick that claims her man “beat” her and is utterly surprised that the cops she calls on that man arrest him or possibly fuck him up when he resists their arrest attempts.  Then she hits the cop with a frying pan and is dumbfounded they would whip out a taser, yell out “Pikachu” and thunder shock her right in the pussy!  That…sounds like something worth trying during my next sexy party but back to the topic before it goes into tentacle territory.

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Our ancestors, on the other hand, tended to have a different thought on the matter: that instead of bitching to the chief all fucking day about Bob not replacing the coffee and not speaking to you with the proper pronoun or what other dumb ass problems you could come up with, how about you just knock Bob the fuck out or split his skull if it’s that big of a goddamn deal in the ring of honor!

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 Would this sync in with modern day morals and laws?  Fuck no.  Settling all your arguments in noble combat will likely get you locked up and sued into oblivion unless you’re very good at creating contracts and getting them signed ahead of time.  I doubt the drunk at the local pub will have a pen or stamp ready with a lawyer present to absolve you should he break his neck when his head hits the curb of the sidewalk.   

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But most of the people I encounter, despite their varied civilities, still can appreciate the occasional 1v1 street fight or yard battle knowing that, sometimes, knocking a mother fucker out in a display of skill and strength is the one thing some people respect.  Violence solves a shit ton of problems and certain people of the North, the medieval Scandinavians, created a dueling practice called the Holmgang. 

They totally embraced the idea that the occasional duel was a good thing and a great time when you’re freezing your fucking balls off in a European winter and banging the ol’ lady gets you a sick case of frostbite…and she’s a goat.  I’m not judging; the other Vikings just got all the hot chicks during the last raid but hey, at least you can have milk and phat ass goat pussy.  2 in 1! 

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Holmgang is said to mean “to go to a small island” and this probably refers to the fights taking place in a circle, ring, or on an ox hide.  Long story short, it’s a damn ring so a fucker isn’t running half a mile screaming like a little bitch when he knows Gunther is about to chop his cock off and chew on it. 

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One would think that something as dramatic as a duel to first blood or death would be an event that couldn’t just be tossed at you while you were out with the wife shopping for Skyr (taste like what I’d assume cooked semen would taste like, by the way) and yes, one did not have to fight right on the spot.  However, it seems any offended person of any social status could challenge their offender and that challenge had to be met within 7 days or there were social repercussions that were taken quite seriously in Scandinavian society at that time.  For example, if someone calls you a “bitch made, corn fed retard with a limp cock” while grabbing your wife’s ass, you’d have the right to challenge him to a duel.  The rules can vary but let’s just go with “to the death” for now. 

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The fight is set and, 4 days later, everyone meets up at some old stone age orgy fuck circle in the woods to get the party started.  Rules to the duel were established ahead of time and agreed on before the duel.

Rules determined the allowed weapons, who was eligible to strike first, what constituted a defeat or forfeiture and what the winner received..

Now, if the guy you challenged doesn’t show up for the fight, you are considered the just and better man, clearly not bitch made, maybe retarded but at least functional, and most likely not corn fed…I don’t think corn was around that area of the world at that time.  That guy you challenged was Marty McFly!  Fucking time travelers!

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But let’s say the guy you challenged looked like Hapthor Bjornson, but he literally was like the Mountain from Game of Throne!  Basically, you’re just 120lbs, 5’5, and you’re probably going to get your skull fucked.  So, you decide the best course of action is to load the horse and get the fuck out of town.  Well, by not showing up to your own damn Holmgang and making everyone cook 15 lbs. of chicken wings for nothing expecting a good fight, you’re considered an honor less cunt and you are everything the man said about you. 

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On top of that, you would be classified as nīðing, a social stigma that implies loss of honor and labels you as a shithead and people will shout it at you constantly to remind you of your lameness.  There’s more to it but for this article, that’s enough to know.  Oh, I forgot, you could also be made an outlaw as well and that means that anyone could have a free pass at killing you.  This could turn you into the real-life version of Guts from Berserk, fighting everyone all damn day…but you’re a proven pussy so some old lady will probably get into Valhalla fucking you up with an oversized wooden spoon. 

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Perhaps someone could have mentioned that you could have had your big friend, Hans, fight for you instead.  But it’s all good.  Hans is banging your wife so he’s still fighting your battles…with his penis.

Now, if everyone does show up and gets all WWE with it, the Hednalagen or Pagan law, lays out the rules like this:

If someone speaks insults to another man (” You’re not the like of a man, and not a man in your chest!” –” I’m a man like you!”), they shall meet where three roads meet. If he who has spoken comes and not the insulted one, then he shall be as he’s been called: no right to swear oaths, no right to bear witness, may it concern man or woman.
If the insulted one comes and not he who has spoken, then he shall cry ”Niðingr!” three times and make a mark in the ground, and he is worse who spoke what he dared not keep.
Now both meet fully armed: if the insulted one falls, the compensation is half a weregild; if he who has spoken falls, insults are the worst, the tongue the head’s bane, he shall lie in a field of no compensation.
— Hednalagen
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Eventually, people figured out that it might not be the greatest idea for every duel to be a death match.  It’s harder to get Ragnar to rape and pillage coastal towns if he’s dead from fighting over fucking some dude’s goat.  So, holmgangs become more ritualized and gained rules like forfeiting the match if you get knocked out of the circle and having a limited number of shields.  Another problem was professional duelists turning the Holmgang into a money-making hustle.  If you sucked at finance but you were good at fighting, you could just claim some dude’s farm and woman was yours, beat his ass, and take his shit.  It was basically robbery and Berserkers loved fucking people up for free swag so later Icelandic version of Holmgang just gave the victor 3 marks of silver and cut off the access to everyone’s stuff.  Netflix’s Norseman had an amusing take on the Holmgang in the first episode and it’s amusing how something considered “honorable” can easily be played as a con game. 

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Because of such fuckery and shenanigans, holmgangs were outlawed as an official method of conflict resolution in Iceland in 1006 with Norway following suit in 1014.

So, whenever you’re thinking the modern justice system is fucked up and only serves those in power, just take comfort that it’s always been that way and if you didn’t do enough pushups and axe swings in practice to protect your shit, someone “mo’ better” than you were going to come take your shit and fighting them to get it back yourself use to be your only recourse.  And seeing that you lost your stuff because you probably lost the initial fight or you’re a pussy…well, I guess the modern era is the best you got, isn’t it, plebe?  Hang in there, lil’ buddy!  Vodka!!!