Story ideas gleaned from Children of Ash and Elm: A History of the Vikings, by Neil Price.
Spirituality: Gods and other divine beings were “as much a natural part of the world as trees and rocks.” The Vikings “did not believe in these things…they knew them.” The “air and paths were alive with magic…the crackling tension of the Other World at its intersection with our own.”
Dystopia: Viking mythology was heavily influenced by a dust veil that blocked sunlight for over a year in 546 CE. “The sun’s light was blocked in a hazy mist that allowed no heat to penetrate, while at night the heavens were filled with wavering curtains of fiery color, like a sunset that went on for months.”
Weapons: Ring swords: “were the kind of swords that might acquire names, about which tales were told--weapons with life histories…Dragvandil…a blade so long it dragged on the ground…Scream of Anguish, that glowed brightly in war but shone with a pale light in peacetime…Skofnung, the unnaturally sharp sword … in which were bound the souls of twelve berserkers”
According to the author none of their helmets had horns.
Time-distance… “transport is perceived not in terms of the measured physical separation [distance] but by the time it takes to travel between [two points]."
The vikings included “people who adopted a remarkably broad spectrum of different gendered identities…Male-bodied individuals buried in conventional women’s dress and/or with normatively feminine accessories have conclusively been found at several sites” as have warrior-women buried with weapons.