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LANGUAGE WARNING! If you go to that link be prepared for much vulgar language.




"Even these crimson hands thou sever'st from my valiant arms
shall yield a thousand fold – for when the earth hath drunk my blood,
an iron harvest she shall yield, of hostile hands to enslave and bind thine own."

One of the cool things about running this site is that every once in a while I get the opportunity to write about a guy who may not have had any real significant impact on the course of history, but who, generally speaking, is completely f***** out-of-his-mind psychotic.  Sure, these hardcore war-factories may not have always been successful in their endeavors – they may not have rescued their people from imminent destruction at the hands of a foreign invader, fought off an overwhelming force by tearing a few thousand guys limb from limb with their teeth, or personally wrested a blood-stained crown from the severed head of a mighty emperor.  Hell, these pinnacles of awesomeness may not even have won the battles they were fighting – but damn it, these red-meat-crazy murderous nutjobs pulled out all the stops, went completely balls-to-the-wall, and did some ridiculous b*******t in the name of being insanely badass.  They're the stories that typically don't make the history books, yet people would still do well to remember them… if for no other reason than simply because they're totally ********* awesome.

Galvarino is one of those men.

There's no other logical explanation for how a real-life historical figure could inspire a piece of artwork that looks like this:


Galvarino's story start back in the mid-1500s, when the good people of Spain were full-swing in the lucrative business of making North, Central, and South America its *******.  Plenty of ink has been devoted over the years to the Spanish colonization of the New World, but the undisputed fact is that the Spaniards rolled across the Atlantic in their ships, subjugated the balls off of everything they could find, mined a few billion donkey-loads of gold, and conquered a swath of land roughly ten times the size of their own country with nothing more than a hell of a lot of determination, a few firearms, and a healthy resistance to a wide array of crazy European microbial diseases.  These guys weren't screwing around – even the mightiest native Empires crumbled before the might of the Spanish Empire (and empire which, by the way, was so mega-extreme that it's motto was, "PLUS ULTRA!"), and anyone who screwed with them quickly found themselves getting summarily disemboweled at sword point without much in the way of subtlety.  The Spanish were like The Borg of the 16th century world: Resistance is futile. Prepare to be assimilated.

After chainsawing their way through the Aztec and Inca Empires, the Spanish eventually turned their attention towards the subjugation of the Mapuche Indian tribes residing in the southern part of present-day Chile.  The Mapuche, much like their less-fortunate predecessors, weren't particularly interested in getting their butts conquered by a bunch of foreigners, and they put up a tenacious defense against the European invaders that would have made Captain Picard proud.  Under the command of a badass dude named Lautaro (a man I plan on writing about here in the future), the Indian warriors utilized cutting-edge guerilla tactics and intense face-stabbing acumen to fight off the overwhelmingly superior firepower of the Spanish forces, and seriously pissed of the Spanish commanders so hard the European generals decided to take some unique and borderline-sadistic steps towards crushing the spirits of these obstinate rebels.

To that end, after one particularly brutal battle near the province of Lagunilla, the Spanish found themselves in possession of quite a few prisoners of war.  One of these dudes was a particularly tough Mapuche tribal war leader named Galvarino.  Deciding that drastic measures needed to be taken to further embitchinate the populace, the Spanish governor decreed that Galvarino was to have his right hand chopped off with an axe as punishment for raising arms (nyuk nyuk) against the Spanish.

It was… unpleasant.

It was… unpleasant.

Apparently these guys didn't realize who they were dealing with.  Galvarino wasn't just some chump who was going to run off crying just because some giant gorilla hacked his limbs off with a ****** axe – he was a seriously hardcore guy.  Without uttering a word of protest, the super-pissed Mapuche prisoner knelt before the chopping block and placed his sword arm on the slab.  One slice of the axe popped it off like a crappy Halloween prop.  Galvarino didn't flinch.  The emotionless automaton of a badass just had his bleeping arm removed with a hatchet, yet he was sitting there motionless, not saying a word, his expression solidly locked into "uber-ripshit pissed" mode.  Jesus, even Darth Vader held his arm in pain after getting it prematurely detached in battle.

That's not even the beginning.  Seconds after losing his hand, Galvarino quietly removed the bloody stump-nub from the chopping block, and unhesitatingly placed his other hand out to be removed.  The Spanish executioner sliced through that one as well, because what the hell else was he supposed to do.  Once again Galvarino failed to register emotion.  Finally, the Mapuche chief put his head on the block, ready to die.

But the Spanish weren't going to let Galvarino off the hook so easily.  Instead, they released him to return to his people without any hands, ordering him to show the Mapuche what was going to happen to them if they didn't give up their silly independence and start paying exorbitant amounts of gold to the Spanish Crown.

Their biggest mistake was letting him live.

Ah, good times.

Ah, good times.

The Spanish tried to make an example of Galvarino, but all he did was show his people an example of what it means to be totally ******* over-the-top badass.  As soon as he got back to his village, Galvarino showed everyone his stumps, screamed a bunch of angry profanity, and demanded a full-scale revolution against the Spanish for pulling such a **** move on him.  Everybody saw this bs-ettery and got understandably upset about the whole thing, deciding right then and there that they were going to strengthen their resolve and deliver an unrelenting barrage of ball-kicks to any European crotches they could get their feet on.  Galvarino was immediately elected to be his tribe's war leader, and to command his people in the inevitable death-feud against the Spanish.  Not wanting to be hampered by a little thing like "not having any hands", this guy did one of the most balls-out ridiculous things I've ever heard of – he tied blades to his stumps and went into battle with swords for hands.


Are you kidding me?  No matter how tough, or how great a warrior you are, not being able to physically hold a weapon is kind of a career-ending injury in the military combat department.  Yet on November 30, 1557, when 1,500 Spaniards were ambushed by 3,000 Mapuche warriors outside Millarapue, the native forces were being led into battle by a dude with goddamned steak knives duct-taped to his wrists and a bloodthirsty sneer on his face.  I think we can all appreciate the fact that this is some seriously next-level badass stuff.

In the interest of academic integrity, I should probably take a second here to mention that the only source I was able to find to corroborate the sword-hands claim was a Spanish-language text that was translated for Galvarino's Wikipedia page, and, generally speaking, I am loathe to use Wikipedia as a primary source for anything that doesn't involve ludicrously-in-depth descriptions of video game-related minutiae.  I'm somewhat hampered, however, by the fact that I don't read Spanish, and there's not a whole lot of info about this guy printed in English.  (If any readers out there can corroborate this with a legit source, I would be grateful to see it).  However, having said that, I ******* love this story so much that I'm compelled by every fiber of my being to believe that this blade-armed madman was out there rushing through the battlefield in 1557 slicing off fools' like a hardcore Baraka fatality, tearing the Spanish new face-holes with nothing more than his endless rage and his Wolverine-style hand blades.

Edited by Subdeacon Joe
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I enjoy the Badass posts. The stories are well written but as the writer mentions in this one, perhaps difficult to corroborate. I have read a few in incidents that I am quite familiar with. Sometimes factual, sometimes with a few details..shall we say enhanced or somewhat inaccurate. Always entertaining though.

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Man, that’s intense. 

Weirdest thing; as I was reading about him losing both hands and going into battle with blades attached to his forearms my nose and forehead began itching. I kid you not. 

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