Description of NORSE.ZIP

Norse Mythology, a Scenario for Warlords ][
Created by: Will Michael,


	This scenario is based on the gods and myths of northern 
Europe.  This encompasses the countries now known as Norway, Sweden, 
Denmark, Iceland, Germany, and the Anglo-Saxon conquests of England.  
Names of people and places varied within this region.  For example, the 
thunder god with a warhammer who lends his name to the fourth day of 
the week is identified as Thor in Scandinavia (English "Thursday"), 
Donar in Germany (German "Donnerstag"), and Thunor (Old English 
"Tunresdaeg") in Anglo-Saxon England.  I have chosen to use the 
Scandinavian version.

	A giant ash tree named Yggdrasil (the World Tree) stands at the 
centre of the universe.  A major root stretches into each of three 
regions: the land of the gods, the land of the giants and the land of mist 
and darkness.  Midgard, where humans dwell, is protected by two races of 
gods (the Aesir and Vanir) from demons of the other two lands.  To the 
north, are found the Frost Giants in Jotunheim and subterranean dwarves 
of Myrkheim.  Muspell, the land of the Fire Giants, is in the south.  
Niflhel, the kingdom of the dead lies in Niflheim, the land of mist and 
darkness.  Lastly, a race of elves resides in Alfheim.

	The Norse did not believe that the world would last forever, 
or even that the gods were immortal.  A mighty winter ("Fimblvetr") 
lasting three years signals the final battle between good and evil.  It 
will be a time of suffering, wickedness and bitter warfare.  Earthquakes, 
darkening of the sun, and the breaking loose of monsters from their bonds 
are predicted. Ragnarok ("the fatal destiny") is the battle where gods and 
humans meet giants, monsters and demons to decide the fate of the 

The Aesir are one of two races of gods.  They live in Asgard and are the 
gods of battle (although they might also give protection from chaos and 
disorder).  A previous war between Aesir and Vanir ended with a truce 
and an exchange of hostages.  Also to be found in Asgard are the human 
champions chosen by the Valkyries to help defend Asgard against their 
enemies, the giants and demons.

Jotunheim is the cold, mountainous realm of the Frost Giants or Jotnar.  
In many ways the powers ascribed to giants resemble those exercised 
by elves and dwarves.  Often the only difference between them is their 
size.  At Ragnarok, the giant Hrym will convey the Frost Giants to 
Asgard by ship.  

They may be considered as a special class of elves.  They too are small 
of stature, live in secret places (usually underground), and are renown 
as cunning goldsmiths and incomparable blacksmiths.  They are almost 
always deformed: hunchbacked or twisted, big heads, pale faces and long 
beards.  Most of the magic items and great treasures of the gods were 
crafted on their underground forges.

The Fire Giants are the sons of the fiery realm of Muspell.  They will 
march with their gleaming, fiery swords from the south to join forces 
with the Frost Giants for the final battle.

Alfheim is the home of the Light Elves or Alfar and is in the great, 
vast forests covering most of northern Europe.  Elves are sometimes 
helpful to humans, but at other times they are full of malice.  They are 
handsomer and better made than humans, but smaller.

Midgard is the world of the Humans.  It is midway between the lands of 
the gods, giants and death.

The Vanir are a second race of gods and are, generally, gods of peace 
and plenty.  They reside in Vanaheim.

The goddess Hel rules a kingdom of the dead in Niflheim, the realm of 
mist and darkness.  Humans who die of disease or old age arrive here, 
as do gods, giants and other races.  Niflheim is also the home of the 
great monsters that will roam freely at the time of Ragnarok.  They 
too will be conveyed to Asgard by ship with the giant Loki as 

An advanvce guard of lightly armed troops to warn of ambushes and to 
blaze trails to facilitate movement through rough terrain.

Odin, the principal Aesir god, sent two ravens far and wide every 
morning to question both the living and the dead throughout every land.  
They would return by breakfast and report all that they had heard and 
seen.  These units are available only to the Aesir at the start of the 

Light Infantry:
They are lightly armoured troops with a variety of missile and edged 
weapons.  Light Infantry are suitable for defending or assaulting 

Eagle Shape Changers:
Many characters in Norse mythology have the ability to change their 
shape into another form.  Shape-changing is usually restricted to one 
specific animal.  That person uses the animal's special abilities.  
Eagles and falcons were common shape-changing forms as they 
conveyed the ability to fly to escape pursuit, travel quickly or view 
something from a safe distance.

These are considered medium infantry armed predominantly with 

Archers are specialist troops that benefit from unobstructed fields of 
fire (i.e. open terrain).

Warriors are heavy infantry with a variety of personal arms.

Dwarf infantry excels at figting in mountains and hills.

Elf infantry is armed with roughly fifty percent missile weapons and the 
remainder various edged and pole weapons.  They are advantaged when 
fighting in forests.

Wolf Riders:
Large wolves ridden by young giants or dwarves.  They could be decisive 
in a battle in mountains or foothills.

Elf Cavalry:
Elves mounted on ponies.  Elf Cavalry is the best unit for woods fighting.    

Cavalry excels in open terrain where they can charge enemy units.

With scythed wheels, the shock value of chariots in the open is even 
greater than cavalry, but they are slower and not easily handled in broken 

Siege Train:
Another specialist unit designed to assault cities.  Only Dwarves and 
Humans start with the ability to construct these units. 

Elite, human, heavy infantry consisting of a large proportion of 
chieftains, and princes.  They can also be found fighting for the gods.  

These are helmeted goddesses, often brandishing spears and mounted on 
flying steeds.  Their mounts travel through air as if it was pavement 
underfoot.  The Valkyries were also dispensers of destiny.  On the field 
of battle they would give victory to one side or the other, choose which 
heroes should perish, and which of the slain should become champions 
and reside at Asgard.

Frost Giants:
A company of Frost Giants.

A company of lesser gods.  Famous gods are represented as heroes.

Fire Giants:
A company of Fire Giants.

Wood and Mountain Sprites:
The forests and hills are inhabited by numerous spirits.  They are hairy; 
their bodies appear to be covered by moss. Their faces are gnarled and 
wrinkled like the bark on trees.

They are water-sprites living in springs and rivers.  They usually 
appear in the form of dazzlingly beautiful women.  Men would fall in 
love with them only to be dragged down to the bottom of the water, 
never to be seen again.

Sea Demons:
Sea Demons are giants living under the sea but they are capable of 
staying on land for short periods.  Treasure swallowed up by the sea 
during shipwrecks is piled high in their underwater palaces.  These are 
the only giants that are welcomed as equals by the gods.

Fire-breathing Dragons are distant relatives of the World Serpent.  
They are much smaller and have wings enabling them to fly.  Dragons 
are usually guardians of treasure, but can be seen devastating the 
countryside in retribution if a single item of its treasure is stolen. 

Garm, the Giant Hound:
Normally a guardian of Hel, Garm's furious howling will be heard 
throughout all lands as the signal for the start of Ragnarok.  Garm will 
then leave Niflheim to attack the gods.

Fenrir, the Giant Wolf:
The wolf Fenrir, whom the gods had previously fettered, will break his 
bonds and escape at Ragnarok.  Fire will spurt from his eyes and 
nostrils. His upper jaw will touch the heavens; his lower jaw will 
brush the earth.

World Serpent:
The venom spraying World Serpent (or Midgard Serpent) is normally 
found beneath the sea.  It is so large that it encircles the world and its 
head reaches its own tail.  It will leave the sea at Ragnarok to join the 
giants in their fight against the gods.

Angiolillo, Joseph. The Hammer of Thor. Manchester, CT.: Nova Game 
Designs, 1980.

Bulfinch, Thomas. Bulfinch's Mythology. New York: Gramercy Books, 

Davidson, H. R. Ellis. Gods and Myths of Northern Europe. Harmondsworth, 
England: Penguin Books, 1972 (1964).

del Rey, Lester. Day of the Giants. New York: Airmont Publishing, 1964 

Graves, Robert ed. New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology. New York: 
The Hamlyn Publishing Group, 1975 (1959).

Stanford, Quentin H. ed. Canadian Oxford World Atlas. Toronto: Oxford 
University Press, 1992 (1957).

Don't let anyone tell you that it is easy to design a scenario.  I have done 
several for this and other computer games.  It is a lot of work.  This is 
especially true if the work requires original graphics and/or it is based 
on history and research has to be done.  After completing my Mars 
scenario for Warlords ][, I was determined not to draw every army unit 
picture by hand again.  Thankfully the W2COPY utility is now available 
so that artwork can be shared and altered to provide greater diversity 
for all.  Having said this, let me add that it is also very rewarding to 
watch your scenario being played!  Thank you SSG for a great gaming 
engine to wrap a scenario around.

I hope that you enjoy the scenario as it is has been a subject of interest 
to me for many years.  As always, I would appreciate any comments 
good or bad. 

Will Michael
October 1994.