House Aesir

Valhalla, Chaos Style

History

Certain Chaosian legends claim that House Aesir is descended from a cow that licked the giant Ymir out of the primal ice. While this story is often used to make fun of House Aesir, it is pretty much completely wrong. Ymir was certainly not the brightest of all Chaosians, and he did have a certain resemblance to cattle, but he was simply one of King Dios' children (the eighth child, to be precise. His younger brother, Magnus, was his twin brother and younger by a few minutes). Ymir was a mighty hero and slayer of monsters, and King Dios made him Royal Champion.

Ymir's mighty deeds gradually attracted a band of followers, and he decided to found his own stronghold from which to mount his raids against the things which stalked the Chaos side of shadow in the early days of the Courts. This stronghold became Aesirways. Its natural timeflow was much faster than that of many of the shadows around it, which enabled Ymir to build up his forces rapidly. The shadow was molded to make it very hard to break into, taking on its current shape.

When peace settled over the lands around the courts, Ymir towed the shadow of Jotunheim through shadow (supposedly, he tied a heavy chain to a mountain and towed it, though probably he just used Logrus, possibly with some help, since he wasn't exactly the king of strong minds), and settled it right next to Aesirways to provide a constant source of challenges its people could face to keep themselves strong.

Shortly afterwards, the great dragon Nifflinar rose from the Abyss, and Ymir perished fighting it. But his descendents have kept to his ways. They've also maintained the traditional alliance with House Vanir, the descendents of Ymir's younger twin, Magnus.

During the Herald Crisis a Morgenstern malfunction due to Jacqui-induced brain damage flung Shinobu Minor into Chaos; she landed in House Aesir, wrecking Lord Odin's sauna, and lost her memories. She took on the identity of Gabrielle the Blue and was raised to become a Valkyrie (or as Motoko put it, 'a warrior hussy').

House Aesir has suffered greviously from the Logruswrack due to Ymir's clever 'let's put the house in fast-time' plan, which meant that an abnormally large percentage of the house dropped dead of old age when their Logrus-bestowed immortality failed.

Shinobu Minor has returned from Amber to claim the high seat of Aesir, bearing its Logrusfoil. Time will tell if an Amberite hellmaid can restore Aesir to its former glory.

The Lord

Have you ever heard of 'The Golden Chair', Thought?

Lord Odin was the fifth lord of House Aesir, and had ruled for some two hundred years of real time (some 8,000 years of House Aesir time) before his death. He was old and wise, a leader of men and a delver of secrets. While a competent warrior, many in his house could beat him in hand to hand combat, but most recognized his skills in other matters are what the house leader needed. (Those who have failed to recognize this always seemed to end up finding themselves either unable to honorably offer challenge or manuevered into some sort of test that doesn't require weapon skills, after which they lost and were driven out in disgrace).

He was known to have an extensive knowledge of some future events and much obscure lore, gleaned by his practice of charging for the use of Mimr's Well with the reservation of one of the drinker's questions for an answer desired by Lord Odin. Apparently this knowledge did not include the Logruswrack, proving once again the Well's iffy track record at predicting the future.

Odin was, in general, a fairly honorable lord and one who could be depended on if you kept your promises to him. He remained largely neutral in most of the politics of Chaos, except when hideous beasts rampage.

Odin possessed a magical eight-legged horse, Sleipnir, and a magical spear which allegedly never misses, Gungnir. Gungnir was made for him by the Jotunheim Dwarves. He also had two pet ravens, Thought and Memory, and two pet wolves (names unknown), who usually accompanied him; they seem to have quite a storehouse of knowledge.

Died in the Logruswrack

House Aptitudes

House Aesir specializes in combat, especially personal combat, moreso than conflict at the army level. Most warriors of House Aesir could beat down any average member of House Hendrake, but they tend to lack discipline. Aesir is best at ground warfare, though they do have some longboats for raiding and a force of pegasus riding valkyries.

They are also very good at making weapons and armor, at brewing and drinking huge amounts of alcohol, and at bragging.

House Geography

Aesirways floats over a huge grey misty void. Those who descend low enough eventually find themselves hovering over the Abyss. Two bridges connect it to the outside world. One lands on a lip of rock in a mountain range shadow claimed by House Aesir as a vassal shadow, maintained by the minor House Midgard. This bridge is known as Bifrost; it resembles a rainbow and is guarded by the entity Heimdall, whose gaze cannot be easily evaded. The other bridge is a navigable waterfall which leads down to a great shadow of fjiords and oceans, Vanirways.

Rivers, forests, and farmland fill half the shadow, which is home to Aesirways' population, who dwell in villages centered around the great halls of the various minor lordlings descended from the first Lord Aesir. Lord Odin rules from Valhalla, a great hall close to Bifrost.

The other half is high mountains, some barren, some forested, which form Jotunheim, the land of the giants. This area effectively forms a gigantic training ground for the Aesir as they battle the giants.

A great wall seperates the two halves; it is not much use as neither side has the manpower to man it, but it does cut down on casual giant raids. Loki long ago tricked the giants into building it.

Notable Aesir and Residents of Jotunheim

Lady Shinobu Minor, Warrior Hussy

Despite being Aesir by adoption, Shinobu has successfully claimed the title of sixth ruler of House Aesir. This speaks volumes about how much of the leadership is dead. She bears the house's Logrusfoil.

Balder

Died in the Logruswrack
Come, let us sing and drink, and make merry together.

Balder the Beautiful was the prettiest man in House Aesir. He wasn't much of a warrior, but he made a great skald (bard) and served as House Aesir's chief emmisary to other Houses, usually surprising them with his grace and charm.

Dwarves of Jotunheim

I will need the eyes of a three-toed salamander and the blood of a frost giant to temper the blade. And a human to use to cool the blade in his blood. What? No human, no deal.

These are not Snow White style 'Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work we go' style dwarves. They're not even Tolkeinian Standard Fantasy Model Dwarves. They're a bunch of greedy, shrunken, degenerate, inbred, fungus eating mad genius solitary craftsmen dwarves, who lurk in the caverns beneath Jotunheim, spending decades crafting artifacts of great power which they then usually use to try to whack each other and the local monsters in order to rob them. Some live in small, incestous family units, while others seem to have been produced by some sort of fungal rotting process from the very rock itself.

Still, they do quality workmanship, and if they fear you enough to not try to whack you instead of doing the work, and if you bribe them copiously with wealth, they can build fantastic items for you. They made Thor's hammer, Odin's spear, Frey's boat, the chains which used to bind the Fenris Wolf (a very rare collaborative effort), and many other things besides.

Fenris Wolf

Sound of much barking and howling in rage

The exact nature of the Fenris Wolf is unknown, although most speculate it is a being which may well have survived from the time of the Pre-Logrus civilization. It was found bound in chains reinforced with Order energies, sleeping in a cavern beneath one of the tallest mountains of Jotunheim in the time of the second Lord Aesir.

During the reign of the fourth lord Aesir, it awoke and began devouring everything with the Primal Chaos that seems to dwell inside it. Sacrificing his hand, Tyr managed to hold its attention long enough for it to be bound with new chains, wrought by Frigga and Loki and the Dwarves of Jotunheim. Many fear these chains of Chaos may not hold it as well as the Chains of Order did, though.

These fears proved accurate as he slipped his bonds during the Logruswrack, but was defeated and rechained by Chloe, Moonshade, Tomos, and Dirty Old Man Cox.

Frey and Freya

Died in the Logruswrack
Not all problems can be solved with a larger hammer, Thor.

Twin children of Odin and Frigga, they were probably the best looking members of the house, and skillful at both sorcery and feats of arms. Frey was said to possess a magical folding boat that can move through shadow under its own power. Freya was noteworthy for being more cunning than her rather straightforward brother. The two usually operated together quite closely.

Frigga

Died in the Logruswrack
Welcome to House Aesir. Come in, traveller, and rest your weary feet.

Big and beefy, Frigga didn't win any beauty awards (but then, neither will most members of this house), but she was wise and kind and hard-working. She was also noteworthy as the house's most skillful Logrus Master. Frigga was married to Lord Odin.

Ingria

Patiently planned and cunningly built, that is the plan which succeeds.

Ingria is tall and solidly built, towering over her diminutive husband, Loki. She's actually a member of House Suroth who married him during his time there. She is almost as cunning as her husband, and a shifter of great skill. She possesses one great strength he lacks, which is patience.

Her shifting skill proved to be a most valuable asset, as it allowed her to survive the Wrack.

Loki

What makes you think I'm Loki?

Loki is the supreme shapeshifter of House Aesir. His father actually mated with one of the Jotunheim giants; to the surprise of all involved, he came out small and relatively flimsy, but with vast skill at shapeshifting. He was then fostered in House Suroth, where he perfected his talents, and returned to House Aesir with his wife, a Surothian named Ingria.

Loki was one of Lord Odin's chief advisors, but also one of his major annoyances, the very model of the evil vizier. Loki has yet to be crushed because he's simply been too useful, and when push comes to shove, Loki puts House Aesir ahead of himself (and himself ahead of Lord Odin, but...). At least, so far.

Loki has a firey temper which usually only comes out when he loses, and impatience which usually is what causes him to lose.

Loki survived the Wrack due to his shifting talent, helped rescue Azalyn, and made a failed bid for the leadership of Aesir. He seems to have accepted his loss.

Magni

Died in the Logruswrack
Enemies are for killing.

Magni was Thor's eldest son. He made his father look bright, but he was quite possibly the strongest man in Chaos (although Lady Suroth would probably dispute this). He was known to wear magical boots which let him walk on air and which are heavily armored; one of his favorite combat tactics was to pry a monster's jaw open, then hold the bottom pinned to the ground by simply stepping on it and breaking its fangs with his leg strength and armored feet.

Thor and Sif

Died in the Logruswrack
If a hammer can't pound a problem into place, get a bigger hammer.

Left Wing, swerve upwards and come at them down from the sun so they can't see you. Right Wing, drop low and come at them from below; I can tell they think in only two dimensions. Center Wing, follow me; we have to make them think they've got us outmanuevered. Now, GO!!!!

Thor was Odin's eldest son. He didn't win any awards for his brains, but he was reknowned as one of the deadliest warriors of chaos, as one of the physically strongest warriors of Chaos, and for possession of his magical hammer which enabled him to control the weather. He also had a chariot pulled by goats which flies. Thor was married to Sif, who led the Valkyries; she possessed tactical genius to match her husband's feats of arms. She was tall and muscular with long flowing golden hair (rumored to be an artifact made for her by the Dwarves of Jotunheim).

During Shinobu Minor's stay in Chaos, they acted as her adoptive parents.

Tyr

Died in the Logruswrack
We wouldn't have been outflanked if your idea of a plan wasn't 'everyone rush them shouting loudly at once'!

Tyr was Odin's cousin, the son of the younger brother of Odin's father. He was very much the honorable warrior who always keeps his promises; he was also pretty much a complete tightass who drove everyone insane because he wanted to instill greater discipline. Many blamed his mother, who was a Hendrake, for putting such crazy ideas in his head.

Tyr's hand was bitten off and destroyed by Primal Chaos when the Fenris Wolf escaped its prison the last time; he was been unable to regenerate it, and had a cold iron right hand, made for him by House Tremere's clever smiths.

Valkyries

Ho-Ji-To-Ho!

Those women who choose to become warriors in House Aesir typically join the Valkyries, a band of female warriors led by Sif. They forswear marriage and having children (but not sex. Being shapeshifters makes birth control pretty easy). Riding pegasi, they form House Aesir's rapid response team, as they can easily outpace ships and foot troops, especially in the rugged mountains of Jotunheim.

Many Valkyries eventually settle down, but some stay Valkyries until they die (which given the jobs they do, happens a fair amount).

Allies and Subordinate Houses

House Aesir is closely allied to House Vanir, another Major house, and pretty much always has been. Although this may be changing...

Notable vassal Minor Houses include: