Ulf (Wolf) The Quarrelsome
‘Wolf’ the Quarrelsome was a brutal 11th century Irish warrior, and brother to the legendary High King Brian Boru. The badass thing about Wolf is that he only shows up in history a handful of times, but each time he’s appeared he opens a 10-gallon drum of thermonuclear whoop-ass. Kind of like Snake Eyes from G.I. Joe.
Just how hardcore can a guy named Wolf the Quarrelsome get? For one, he (quite successfully) hunted Vikings his entire life. You see, Wolf’s mother was violated and murdered by a Viking raiding party when he was young, so he cultivated a pure-white hatred for anything Viking related. His badass-ness hit a climax during the Battle of Clontarf, where he not only crushed Viking rebels, but he killed their version of Viking Achilles – a guy named Bróðir of Man. How, you ask? According to the Icelandic saga Njals Saga,“Ulf the Quarrelsome cut open his belly, and led him round and round the trunk of a tree, and so wound all his entrails out of him, and he did not die before they were all drawn out of him.”
Saito Musashibo Benkei
You may find it hard to believe that a Buddhist priest would end up earning the nickname ‘The Demon-Child’ in his life, but allow us to fuck you up with some truth. Saito Musashibo Benkie was a massive 6-foot-5 professional shit-wrecker with a face that resembled a Halloween mask and an attitude that makes Nancy Grace seem like that sweet little lisp-talking dinosaur in The Land Before Time. After leaving the monastery, he lived a quaint life of murder-killing men (around 300) and stealing their swords, until one day he was bested by a man named Minamoto no Yoshitsune. Despite being a psychopath of the highest degree, Benkei had a profound sense of loyalty and asked if he could serve the man who bested him, Yoshitsune, until his death. He accepted Benkei’s offer.
Things were going as well as they could go for a murderous duo, until Yoshitsune’s brother labeled him – and by extension Benkei – a traitor. An army of troops were sent to Yoshitsune’s castle to capture him, but he insisted on committing seppuku. He needed time to do the ritual correctly, so he turned to his favorite human blender Benkei and asked him for some time. Benkei slung his enormous balls over his shoulder (we’re guessing) and proceeded to the drawbridge where he basically reenacted a scene you’d see in Doom. Realizing no one in the army was going to best someone in hand-to-hand combat while they had god-mode on (IDDQD!), they decided it was wisest to kill him from a distance with a mess of arrows. Much to the horror of the army, Benkei remained unfazed by the arrows. How? Benkei died standing and the arrows that pierced his legs pinned him up in place like some sort of murder scarecrow. By the time they figured it out and crossed, Yoshitsune had gone through with the act.
When you exist during a time where skull-stabbing people is done on the reg, having a name that translates to ‘Diane’ doesn’t exactly extend your life expectancy. Dian Wei discovered this at a young age and decided he’d counteract his froufrou name by becoming a predator missile of manslaughter. His reputation for having an appetite that was only satiated by causing high-impact bloodspatter rose through the ranks over the years and eventually caught the eye of a man named Cao Cao, the leader of the Kingdom of Wei. Dian Wei was then hand-selected by the warlord/king to be his personal bodyguard/whirlwind of death.
One of the more famous encounters Wei had was the Battle of Wangcheng. Long story short, a local governor was upset that Cao Cao slapped bellies with his aunt and decided it would be a sound idea to launch a surprise nighttime sneak attack on the King’s camp. But as it turns out, killing the man he was hired to protect was one of Dian Wei’s bug-a-boos, and he promptly made a last stand that would leave Quentin Tarantino speechless. Wei went on to play duel-40-pound-axe-whack-a-mole with his enemies’ torsos, and when his axes were taken from him, he began breaking backs with his bare hands. He killed at least 20 men before he was taken down by assassins who shot arrows at him from behind.
The Viking at Stamford Bridge
In 1066, while taking a break from raiding the entire coastline of Europe, a large group of Vikings were ambushed by an army of Saxons. The Vikings were caught with their loincloths completely down and were suffering mass casualties while fleeing. As they fled over a bridge to possible safety, a fellow Norse Berserker (presumably sent from the darkest recesses of Hell) guarded their retreat and silently surveyed his own personal ass-kicking buffet.
Seeing only one man in the way of eradicating an entire Viking army, the full force of the Saxon army charged the bridge. This was a mistake. The narrow bridge sat above the raging waters of the River Derwent was only wide enough for four men to stand on. For almost an hour, this unnamed Viking cut down hordes while his fellow soldiers made it to safety. He was eventually stabbed from behind by a Saxon soldier who floated down the river behind him in a barrel.
During the height of the Roman Empire, Germanicus was universally recognized by soldiers, citizens and politicians alike to be the single most ferocious, merciless yet honorable warrior ever to be produced by Rome. Despite being born into the elite, Germanicus spent most of his life knee-deep in dead enemies on the battlefield, writing poetry about astrology and most notably – extracting brutal revenge on Germans.
You see, after witnessing the Romans suffer a humiliating defeat at the hands of the German Tribal Chief Arminius, Germanicus spent several years seething in quiet rage and plotting retribution. He had three goals in mind – First, to find the site where he suffered defeat and bury the bodies of fallen Romans. Second, to recover the captured Eagles the Germanic Tribes took and bring them back to Rome. Lastly, to turn into a limb-severing machine and take the lives of as many enemies as possible. He succeeded in prolific fashion in all endeavors and returned home a paragon of loyalty, the ultimate symbol of an honorable warrior, and the one guy you shouldn’t piss off.
Genghis Khan is one of the most deeply-feared and famous warriors in history, and is responsible for founding the largest contiguous empire the world has ever known – The Mongol Empire. While decapitating his way through Asia, Khan was responsible for the deaths of over 40 million people, a number so large that is actually resulted in manmade climate change. He also won numerous battles, conquered countless tribes and invaded a plethora of “un-invadable” cities. While there are many accounts of how ruthless he could be, his first contact with the Middle East might depict it the best.
Khan sent a trade caravan to the Khwarezmid Empire (located in this newly-discovered land) in an effort to establish good relations, but the governor of one of the cities seized it and killed the traders. Genghis Khan retaliated by invading the empire with 100,000 of his men and three of his ‘Four Horseman’ generals, and killed the governor by pouring molten silver down his eyes and mouth. Genghis Khan even went so far as to divert a river through the Khwarezmid emperor’s birthplace, erasing it from the map forever.
Chandragupta Maurya was born the illegitimate son of an Eastern Indian King and a common woman. Because of this he was exiled from his Kingdom, which is kind of hard to imagine because we’re not sure how they fit his massive balls through the front gate. Despite being cast out into the world at a young age, Maurya clawed his way from the slums and eventually took back over his father’s kingdom. How you ask? Mother. Fucking. Drunk. Elephants. 9,000 of them.
Seriously. Chandragupta’s trick to taking everything over from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal was using battle elephants to which he fed mass amounts of alcohol. His elephants would apparently go into a drunken frenzy and hulk-trample everything they set their eyes on. It was a bold strategy.
William Marshal – Knight Of Knights
William Marshal, also known as the Earl of Pembroke, is remembered by history as one of the greatest knights to have ever lived. Now a knight is supposed to exemplify many qualities, but by far the most important one was the ability to murder-stab an enemy knight and steal his shit.
And that is was William did. Over and over and over and over again. On his deathbed, the Earl noted to those nearby that he’d bested at least 500 other knights in one-on-one combat. Now you’re probably thinking that surely he could’ve lied about that. Which is a good point, but do remember that this was back in a time when people thought lying made your penis fall off, so it’s probably safe to assume he wasn’t.
Among the great warriors and generals, Alcibiades was the closest to a modern-day rock star. Despite having a name that was decided by throwing Scrabble letters to a sticky surface, he was exceptional in many ways: extremely handsome, highly astute, a skilled warrior, an ace in political games and a phenomenal general with a mind of the highest degree. Legend also has it that he had more sexual encounters than any other man of antiquity and fathered hundreds of children, so there’s that.
But how was he badass? Look no further than the Battle of Delium. Legend has it that Alcibiades was so impressively curb-stomping that the enemy Athenian commander proposed his virgin daughter to him for marriage. He was killed when a man named Artaxerxes sent a bunch of Persian warriors to attack him. They caught him while he was in the middle of a bath (probably a mix of pure mercury and the blood of his enemies) but that didn’t matter. Alcibiades charged at them naked, dagger and shield in hand, and fought them until he was killed by a slew of arrows.
Tomoe Gozen, born in 1157, was one of the greatest female Samurai warriors of all time. Though female samurais were not unheard of in Japan at this time, Tomoe’s extremely impressive martial arts skills, archery talent, and swordsmanship made her one of the only female warriors whose stories have been recorded in thorough detail in ancient manuscripts.
According to The Tale of the Heike,”Tomoe was especially beautiful, with white skin, long hair, and charming features. She was also a remarkably strong archer, and as a swordswoman she was a warrior worth a thousand, ready to confront a demon or a god, mounted or on foot.”
Tomoe fought most notably in the Gempei War and is believed to have singlehandedly murder-stabbed a group of enemy soldiers, decapitating their leader after he attempted to pull her off her horse. While Tomoe is thought to have survived the war, the legends vary: Some say she became a nun for the rest of her life and others believe that she committed seppuku, the ritualistic Samarai suicide. Either way, questioning her honor is likely to earn you a mighty slap to the mouth when you become a ghost, so don’t bother.