Character's full name: Mursi Storvold (most recent alias – he
"grabbed" the Storvold when his people began using last names based on
Aliases: Originally Mursi, then dubbed Mursi the Rider by his
Chieftain, has dropped the Storvold and returned to just Mursi; has
gone by many names over the years, depending on the year and circumstance.
Played By: Diane
Character Type: Immortal
Hair Color: Blond
Eye Color: Blue
True age: 1089
Apparent age: 30
Distinguishing characteristics: Goatee, distinct sword from his family
line that he has managed to hold onto. A few old battle scars from
before first death (chest and arms mostly).
Any other languages: Norwegian and most other Nordic/Germanic
languages, fluent in English though with an accent.
Personality: Laughs often and without fear – his old Viking brethren
used to threaten to change his name to Mursi the Fool, though his
Chieftain and leader would often refer to him more respectfully as
Mursi the Joyous. Unafraid to speak his mind and skilled at
manipulating a situation to find the truth, both in battle and in
life. Still believes in the old gods and ways to the extent that he
believes he should live his life to the fullest until the gods
determine it is time to end. Brazen and full of tricks in battle.
Any special skills: Archery and riding were his strongest points in
the old days; his smaller stature has leant him the ability to fight
well in swordplay, which he has worked very hard and consistently at
over the years.
History: Born 913 A.D. Norway, Mursi's father, brothers and grandfather had all
been sailors and fighting men first (before then settling down as
farmers or blacksmiths) as Vikings of Norway. From the time he was old
enough to speak and walk, he was training to sail, fight and fish on
the longboats in all sorts of weather, as well as blacksmithing,
though his mother and sisters sheltered him more than his older
brothers. He was spoiled, being the youngest living child of seven,
two of whom had already fallen in battle.
As he grew, Mursi took first to riding and second to archery, with a
passing interest in swordplay. As with most archers, when in battle or
on raids, he generally found himself taking up the rear or closing in
on the sides on horseback, still able to hit his mark with accuracy.
This earned him the name Mursi the Rider.
As with most Norsemen of his time, Mursi carried the code that raids
were honorable forms of challenges. In the mind of the Norse people,
raiding was very distinct from theft. Theft was abhorrent and one of
the few acts that would condemn a man to Niflheim, the place of
torment after death. On the other hand, raiding was an honorable
challenge to a fight, with the victor retaining all of the spoils. In
fact, to leave a people alive and take their goods was thought to be
no better than stealing, whereas to challenge them to a fight and
"win" those items by killing them was honorable. Likewise, his own
village was open to the same dangers, and on more than one occasion,
he found himself defending it against other raiders.
Mursi was also raised with the belief that for most people, there was
no existence after death. Death was the end for all but the chosen
warriors who enjoyed the pleasures of Valhalla after death. Oath
breakers, thieves, liars and the like would be taken to Niflheim for
eternal torment (these are beliefs that Mursi still clings to today
deep inside, though he has trouble admitting it). Since there was no
afterlife, the only thing that survived after death was one's
reputation, one's "good name".
The second key belief of Norsemen is that the time of one's death is
predetermined by fate at the time of one's birth. Therefore, nothing
one did could change the moment of one's death. Therefore, one ought
to make the very best of every moment of life, since one couldn't
effect the time of one's own death, which was predestined anyway, and
there was nothing to lose and everything to gain by being bold and
All of this said, Mursi worked hard to become a one of the best
archers on his boat. He excelled most in land battles on horseback, as
well as defending his village at sea. But it was in successful defense
of his own land against Saxon invaders in 946 that Mursi would find
himself cut down, on a foggy morning, confused and turned around by
the dense mist. He was knocked from his horse by a javelin that
pierced his armor and his chest. All he knew was shock, numbness, and
an uncontrollable shaking that overcame him as his vision blurred and
darkened. Finally, he blacked out.
When he awoke, he was not in Valhalla, but in what must have been a
mass gravesite outside the castle – or a pile of bodies destined to
become a mass gravesite. It was not yet dawn, so he extracted himself
and made his way back to his village, where all were in shock to see
him alive. He, too, was puzzled, especially seeing the blood around
the hole in his breastplate, yet seeing there was no wound on his
chest. He had remembered the feeling of being wounded, the pain, the
feeling of slipping away; was this some sort of magic?
They consulted Astrid, one of the women healers whose knowledge often
seemed to run beyond that of normal medicine. She had a gift for
reading the ancient runes and predicting the outcome of battles, and
in Mursi's case, she had strange news. Astrid told Mursi and the
Chieftain that the gods had placed a special ring around him. She
stated that no harm could come to him and though he would not die as
they would, he also could never be reunited with his elders in
Valhalla, as he was not truly one of them. She warned him that he was
still vulnerable to others like him, and could still be cut down if he
were decapitated, so he should beware the two. Mursi did not
understand the young woman's words, as she herself barely seemed able
to explain them, but he agreed to heed them.
Word spread, however, of Mursi's miraculous recovery, and the King,
Haakon the Good – the first Christian -- felt this was an example of
devilry that should be squelched. He sent soldiers for Mursi, but the
Chieftain hid Mursi aboard his own longboat, with only time enough to
say good-bye to his family before setting sail for Ireland.
Mursi the Rider became a traveler who followed causes that struck him.
He grew less fearful of not finding Valhalla and more fearful instead
of never meeting his own predestined end. Surely, he thought, there
must be one out there for him, and when it found him, he would be only
too glad to meet it. With this in mind, he returned to fighting in
wars he believed were worthwhile: against the Crusades, against the
English (his time in Ireland and Scotland made him grow to hate the
British imperialist armies), and occasionally against the Germans and
French, depending on the war or battle.
It was not until 1320, some years into the great famine and plague
that reduced Europe's population by one-half, that Mursi met another
like him – in Sweden. This German, named Auberon, was older and more
knowledgeable than Mursi, and given the weakening of the population,
he reached out to the Norseman to form at least a temporary alliance.
Mursi, never having met another like himself before, accepted the
stranger's proposal, and took in all the information and teaching that
he had to offer.
He soon found Auberon to be a peaceful soul who reawakened the more
joyful and life-loving side of Mursi. He had nearly forgotten the
sound of his own laughter, but with a friend and teacher who knew the
life they were to lead, and who could answer at least some of his
questions, he felt a huge burden lift from his shoulders.
The pair stuck by each other loyally on and off for many years,
drifting across northern Europe as the political climate would take
them. He met up with a few other friendly immortals over time – and
some very unfriendly ones as well; there was one Belgian immortal,
very new to the life and with much to learn, whom he stayed with in
France for several years; at the time, she went by Marguerite duPont,
but her true name was Pandora Renard. Theirs was a partnership as much
as it was a romance, and eventually the romance fizzled out and it
turned into more of a friendship. By then, the American revolutionary
war was calling to Mursi, and he and Pandora, ready each to be on
their own, said their fond farewells.
Mursi was met by Auberon in America and stayed there, finding the
possibilities for exploration and expansion far too tempting. He spent
much of the next two hundred plus years traveling, working, and then
traveling some more, moving on whenever he felt his roots might become
exposed as growing a little too old for his face. He moved from Maine
down the New England coast post-war, working as a fisherman mostly,
before eventually heading to the Pacific Northwest, where he worked as
a lumberjack for some years until it became far too mechanized for his
liking. He most enjoyed working outdoors, with his hands, so he found
himself most often returning to sea.
Mursi was working as a salmon fisherman in Westport, Washington when
Captain Tripps first broke out. Thinking it was just a flu epidemic at
first, he scrambled to make up for others' sick time, and checking up
on them at while at shore. Soon, it became apparent that it was much
bigger than the flu, and as the death toll rose, he knew it was bigger
even than the plague of 1315. He wished Auberon was here to guide him,
but his good friend and teacher had fallen a few years before. He knew
other immortals – there was Duncan, a friend of Auberon's whom he'd
met after Auberon's death. He had also kept in touch with Pandora, and
the last he'd heard, she was in upstate New York, but that had been a
long time ago, when her husband was a young man. Locating either one
now would be impossible, since all lines of communication were
down…but the dreams pointed to one possible way.
His dreams showed him two paths – one to the mountains of Boulder, and
one to the south. The cooler climes of Boulder were in his blood, and
rang far more true than those from the south. So, with his mortal
friends gone and no one left to care for, Mursi finally began heading
east, en route towards Boulder, hoping he might run into others like
him who were of peaceful mind. And if he ran into the others…well,
that would be too bad for them.
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