UPDATE, SUNDAY, 9.30AM: BEING a good Viking warrior re-enactor is as much about dying well as winning a fight, explained Rognvalds Lith's Jim Hammond.
Rognvalds Lith is Lismore's own Viking club, Mr Hammond is the club's Jarl, which is like a chieftain.
Mr Hammond was outlining the skills involved in the staging of a mass field battle at Lismore's Viking Village on Saturday which displayed the some of the more gruesome realities of Viking life.
"You fight to win, but having said that you still have to respect your fellow man," Mr Hammond said.
"You can't just stab him in the face, take his throat out, hit him in the crotch. There's rules and regulations for how we fight."
"We try and keep as much ego out of it as possible - we've already got enough ego as it is," he joked.
Mr Hammond has been "playing" Viking for 18 years. He said it took at least 18 months to become confident in the warrior arts, such as using an axe, sword, spear and shield.
"You've got learn how to die as well," he said, which meant understanding health and safety issues - but also maximising the drama.
"The more theatrics the better; the crowd love theatrics of course," he said.
"It's almost like a reward for a good fight, if someone dies a good death."
The weekend saw 170 Vikings come to Lismore for a two day celebration and showcase of Viking life, including leather work and other crafts, to blacksmithing, to archery and combat.
Mr Hammond said with the amount of re-enactors around the country, the camp could easily double in size and become a landmark East Coast mediaeval gathering and feature new elements like jousting and knights in full plate mail armour.
The weekend wasn't all blood and guts, with other skills and culture on display.
Rognvalds Lith's Cameron Garrett was taking time out from the battlefield to prepare a Viking era feast, which included a massive gruel-like stew - traditional to the era - and a pig on a spit.
He said the feast was a highlight of the weekend for the assembled tribes.
"We love it, that's why we do it," he said.
Wealthy Viking trader Stephen Thomas and his wife Elizabeth Sek came from the Sunshine Coast for the event.
Mr Thomas, a former aged care nurse, is now Australia's only professional herald, like a mediaeval MC.
He was doing it professionally in Kryal Castle in Victoria, and now does it at the biggest festivals in Australia such as the Glen Innes Celtic Festival, the Sydney Mediaeval Festival, and the Ballarat Goldfields
Rognvalds Lith meets every fortnight at the sports fields opposite Trinity Catholic College on Bangalow Rd.
ORIGINAL: THERE are hundreds of Viking warrors camped down in Lismore this weekend - and they know how to handle their tools.
The tools of war, that is, which can slice flesh and splinter bone.
The warriors put on a huge show for a large crowd of spectators who turned out to watch a pre-planned Viking battle this afternoon at the camp on the corner of Dawson St and Uralba St.
From shouts of glory, to dying moans, to the hallmark cry of a Viking berserker battle charge, the re-enactors brought plenty of drama to the show.
Watch the video above to get a taste of the action.
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