The Wild One Picture

My entry for this contest: [link], where you designed a character based on mythological/superstitious/whatever beliefs.
Prepare yourself for a wall of text. Sorry about that.

“Valkyrie, also spelled Walkyrie, Old Norse Valkyrja (“Chooser of the Slain”), in Norse mythology, any of a group of maidens who served the god Odin and were sent by him to the battlefields to choose the slain who were worthy of a place in Valhalla. These foreboders of war rode to the battlefield on horses, wearing helmets and shields; in some accounts, they flew through the air and sea. Some Valkyries had the power to cause the death of the warriors they did not favour; others, especially heroine Valkyries, guarded the lives and ships of those dear to them. Old Norse literature made references to purely supernatural Valkyries and also to human Valkyries with certain supernatural powers. Both types of beings were associated with fairness, brightness, and gold, as well as bloodshed.” (Encyclopedia Britannica)

Overview of Research

A Valkyrie is a minor deity who is not powerful enough to be considered a god and too powerful to be human. Associated with ravens or swans, it is said that if you steal their cloak of feathers the Valkyrie will have to become your wife (actually says ‘mate’) and cannot return to Valhalla without their cloak. If you do not want to have a Valkyrie wife you could ask for a wish that she had to grant.
The Valkyries vary in number, being born of war and needed only when war rages, although the largest recorded amount I found was nineteen. They can travel freely between Valhalla and the mortal realm. The extent of their powers are unknown although the ability to choose the dead, travel between realms, and change their form to that of birds seem to be among the most common agreed upon.
It is believed that if you see a Valkyrie in battle your death is near. It is also said that Valkyries can choose to spare you if they favor you; to have a Valkyrie like you was to be untouchable in battle and to have your ship never sink. Valkyries are also believed to be the source of the Aurora Borealis, the gleaming of their armor being what makes the lights in the sky. Their horses are made of air and leave dew in their wake.
In their earliest form, Valkyries were warrior women with human parentage. They are never depicted as fighting in battles, instead they herald the coming of war and bring the dead to Valhalla. Later on they are romanticized as virginal women who carry the dead and serve them, almost as angels do.

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Kara, the Wild One, the Stormy One

The Valkyries rarely leave Valhalla now, especially the older ones. Content to serve the fallen warriors and the gods they only leave to collect the chosen for Valhalla. A few of the younger Valkyries, though, still wander the world. Kara is one of them.
Closer to the raven warriors of earlier times than the swan maidens, Kara is wild and brings strife where she goes. Her cloak of feathers is more of a capelet and is only lined in the inky feathers. She can become a raven for a short period of time.
Valkyries are born from war. They may be a victim of urban warfare, or perhaps the loved one of a soldier who never returned. They receive immortality and their powers from the goddess Freyja, the leader of the Valkyries.
Kara became a Valkyrie during the Nazi occupation of Poland. Since then she has traveled around, mainly staying near war and doing her duty of choosing the slain. At the urging of one of her sisters-an older Valkyrie-she enrolled in public school and then university. Valkyries are as susceptible to emotional and mental disorders as humans, and being around the wars really didn’t help Kara.
Immersed in the human world, Kara has flourished. She still goes to Valhalla for festivals and to see the oldest of her sisters, but for the most part she stays in the mortal world. She excels at archery, although she doesn’t show anyone else. She does compete with her horse, Isrosa, who is a Norwegian Fjord and also her Valkyrie mount, which gives her a bit of an unfair advantage. Every now and then she has to carry a message for the gods, something she enjoys because it is then that she becomes the Aurora Borealis and she loves knowing that humans are so emotionally moved by the lights she casts.

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Sources for Research:
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myths.htm">[link]
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Resources for Drawing:
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