Each night, Flóki dreams of madness, and awakens with the taste of rotten blood on his tongue.
It has always been this way, ever since he first awoke on the floor in a longhouse he did not remember, surrounded by corpses he did not recognize. When he saw steam rising from the sheen of blood and gore covering his body, he realized the house was on fire. With the pieces of his mind slowly stitching back together, he was able to stagger outside. The village was little more than what he saw in the longhouse. Bloody corpses in every house and hut. Finding no one alive, he wandered into the surrounding woods, trying to remember who he was.
Years pass as Flóki wanders as a vagabond, searching for purpose. He finds it in Jarl Ingvar Schildknacker and his band of raiders, and has gained a reputation as a quick and nimble swordsman, a furious fighter who’s rage on the battlefield cannot be contained. He’s taken a wife, Freydís, who has given him two sons.
He still can’t remember who he is, and has yet to meet any kin, but Flóki does have flashes of memories from his former life. A tavern with a roaring hearth, merrily drunk and singing. A woman, soft and warm on a cold night. The feeling of fever and racking illness. These flashes are all he has of himself that he knows is true, but they are never as clear and real as the dreams he has every night. Never as real as the madness he feels in these nightmares as he rips and tears his way through a village of terrified people, before being locked in a longhouse that has been set ablaze.