Olaf considered himself to be fairly enlightened, at least by Viking standards. He had grown up in a wealthy clan and as such was exposed to more outside teaching than those from poorer clans that really couldn’t afford to do more then make war or make money. When your life is spent raiding distant lands, like Olaf’s had become, you also see some pretty strange stuff, but none was stranger than his current companions.
It probably didn’t help that the first time Olaf met them, demons had somehow appeared and were causing a path of carnage across a battlefield. Carnage on battlefields? That’s pretty standard. Demons causing it…that doesn’t happen everyday. Stranger still was the fact that one of the demons seemed to vanish into a sword. Once again, not something you saw a lot of.
Olaf also couldn’t help but notice that fighting on the side of these companions made fights easier. Unfortunate things tended to happen to their enemies. Random explosions, cave ins, and other mishaps befell those who threatened the companions. This would have been unpleasant, had Olaf not been on their side. But even then, the type of trouble they got into also tended to put the Vikings into strange situations.
After hearing reports of a local town going crazy, the companions, Olaf and his fellow Viking warriors responded. Not wanting to hurt the locals, it was suggested that they be pacified with non-lethal force. Normally, it wouldn’t be hard for a group of Vikings to subdue a group of southerners, but these southerners were strangely strong and resistant to harm. Olaf had felled many an opponent with a thunderous punch to the head, but doing that against these towns people barely harmed them, and resulted in Olaf getting a chunk of his arm getting sliced off.
Somehow, the companions were able to find the apparent source of this evil in a long-lost tomb. While Olaf’s own axe failed to leave an impression against the strange spirit they fought, the companions somehow managed to both light it on fire and freeze it’s lower body, leading to its legs breaking off. At the end of the fight, Olaf found himself with nothing left to do but pick up his throwing axe and tap himself on the helmet to see if his brain had somehow come loose.
Olaf couldn’t help but think about all these strange happenings. He had no doubt that Odin and the other gods often played a hand in mortal affairs, but Olaf was beginning to wonder if whatever was happening was going beyond divine intervention. Surely the gods, who were notorious for only intervening perhaps once maybe twice in a mortal’s life, weren’t entirely responsible for all the strange events.
Instead, the strange happenings seemed to come from the companions themselves. Perhaps they were blessed by Odin. Perhaps there was something else. Perhaps the stories Olaf’s people told of those warriors of old who could use words and actions to harness the essence of the universe to do their bidding was exactly what Olaf was seeing here. But warriors like that hadn’t existed for a long time…
While some of his companions were nearly willing to proclaim the companions gods, or if not gods then perhaps Valkyrie barely removed from godhood, Olaf preferred to remain skeptical. Vikings are known for their blind rage but Olaf was never a beserker, and similarly, he would not blindly worship these people. No, he would keep an open mind and continue to cautiously learn about them. Olaf was never run to rush into something without giving it some thought, and whatever these people were, their capabilities were certainly worthy of respect and caution.