Vince Linden Picture

This is Vince, my character for the Wormwood Project, a Salad Days spinoff, whose author can be found here. Anything you're unfamiliar with can probably be found on Wikipedia.

Name: Vincent "Vince" Skuld Linden

Age: 16

Gender: Female

Height: 5' 8"

Grade: Sophomore

Extracurricular: Combat arts (fencing, boxing, martial arts, etc.), plays the hardingfele (or "hardanger fiddle," a traditional Norse instrument).

Class Schedule: Chemistry Honors, Algebra 2, U.S. History, Physical Education, Language Studies (German), World Literature

Physical Description: Choppy dirty blonde hair, slender, flexible, muscled. Prefers to wear long, loose clothes in muted "nature" colors (greys, browns, dark blues and greens, black).

Race: Valkyrie, "chooser of the slain," from Old Norse "valkyrja." Female "angels of death." In mythology, would transport warriors who have died in battle to Valhalla, to prepare for the coming Ragnarok (or "final destiny of the gods").

Once a warrior dies in battle, a valkyrie collects his soul and delivers it to Valhalla. Although the warriors generally stay in Valhalla, if one wishes to return to earth as a reincarnation, ghost, etc., then the valkyrie is assigned as a guide to watch over him.

A clan of valkyries will usually have several female children, each of whom is given an age group or demographic whose spirits she will be in charge of when she is six years old. Young children in large families will often be given a job in title only, as her older sisters will likely have already been assigned the demographics in which a valkyrie is need most often. Within a family, no "overlap" of duties is allowed; however, there will often be several valkyries with the same charges, depending on the number of other clans and the amount of children. There is often a fierce rivalry between clans and the valkyries that share duties.

Although males can be born in families of valkyries, it is exceedingly rare, and they never become valkyries themselves.

Story: Born to a large family, Vincent was so named due to the Latin translation, "victorious." Her family had a proud tradition of valkyries, and, as such, she was expected to carry on the legacy. Being among the youngest, Vince would grow up with hardly any responsibility toward the old traditions, and so her name grew to represent her continuation of the old traditions. Her middle name, Skuld, is a Norwegian name from the old epic poems, meaning "debt" or "future," her parents' way of ensuring that Vince would continue the family legacy. Vince has four older siblings (three sisters, one brother), and a younger sister.

As expected of all members of her family, Vince began learning combat styles at the age of five, beginning with dance, gymnastics, and tai chi chuan to improve coordination, balance, and grace. She quickly progressed to martial arts and improvisational styles (more useful in developing the quick reflexes needed in battle), along with many disciplines from around the world (such as eskrima, from the Philippines, and krav maga, from Israel), and learned to use a variety of weapons, including swords, daggers, and pole-arms, for both melee and ranged fighting. She focuses on improving the grace and accuracy of her movements, rather than the amount of power in the motion. This is shown in her preference of martial arts that use the opponents' strength against them, such as aikido.

Although she knew from a young age that she would not be active in the field, Vince was influenced by her parents and siblings. She vowed to keep the traditional ways alive through Norse culture as a counterpoint to what she would learn of combat, much like her older brother, who, unlike his siblings, would not become a valkyrie. She would be the only female in several generations of her family to do so. Fascinated by music, she began to learn to play the hardingfele at the age of seven, choosing it over the violin for both its ties to her culture and its haunting, echoing quality.

Vince practices both combat and music regularly, finding the two different arts a reflection of each other. Although she occasionally competes in sports teams at school (which she is well-known for on campus), only a few people outside her family know of her ability with the hardingfele. She does not play in the orchestra, due both to lack of orchestral pieces written that include the hardanger fiddle, and an inability to read sheet music. Vince has several acquaintances but no close friends, most of her peers finding her reputation for fighting intimidating. Consequently, she often keeps to herself and is generally very quiet.

The Norse code on the right sleeve of her sweatshirt reads "choice," as a reminder of her duty as a valkyrie.
Continue Reading: The Graces