A Draugr is a creature of Nordic mythology similar to a vampire, though the original Norse meaning of the word is "ghost". Draugar were believed to be the bodies of the dead. Views differ on whether the personality and soul of the dead person lingers in the draugr.
Powers and Abilities
Unlike the vampires of Eastern European lore, Draugr are savage nightwalkers who possess superhuman strength, the ability to alter their size at will, being able to escape from their mound as a wisp of smoke or become so enormous that they can crush their opponents easily. They always have the stench of death. Draugar are depicted as having either pitch black or pale white skin.
They are immune to all sorts of conventional weapons. A Draugr must be wrestled into its mound by force, but even then may arise again. The only way to ensure a draugr doesn't come back to a living form is to sever the head from the neck, burn the body and dump the ashes into the sea. For this reason, many Norse warriors were buried at sea on a ship which was burned while sailing forth so their spirits could not come back. The mound would then be opened to "purifying" sunlight.
A Tale of Draugr
Long ago, Prince Asmund of Iceland lost his way in a storm while hunting. He would have died, were it not for the kind intervention of Prince Aswid, who took him back to the hall of King Bjorn. To show his gratitude, they became blood brothers and quested to destroy all of those who worked evil. They fought beside each other for many years, until Aswid sickened and died mysteriously. Asmund, respecting his promise, insisted on being buried with Aswid to safeguard his journey to the next life.
Several hundred years later, with Viking society on the brink of collapse, a warband decided to raid the mound for the gold within. Lowering down their bravest warrior to the depths of the pit, they fled in terror as Asmund was raised out. He told them that Aswid had risen as a Draugr and came back. He devoured his horse, and his hound before turning on Asmund. Asmund showed them the scars he had substained at his old friend's hands. They had battled for centuries, Asmund holding him off with his sword, but the distraction of the warrior's arrival meant that Asmund could finally slay Aswid. Tale finished, he collapsed and was reburied by the warband, who left the treasures in the mound. Aswid they took out, hacked apart, burnt and scattered his ashes.