Fate of the Norns

Death of Baldur (which version do you prefer?)
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Author:  andrew [ Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:14 am ]
Post subject:  Death of Baldur (which version do you prefer?)

Both the Poetic Edda and Snorri present the most widely known version of Baldur's doom. They have their differences but those are rather minor. Then you take Saxo's Gesta Danorum account and it presents something starkly different, but equally fascinating and an incredible opportunity for added narrative.

What are everyone's thoughts on the differing versions? I have a few thoughts on how to present the Edda version as is, but also add in Saxo's version in a separate chapter. Odin unseated as the king of the Aesir is too much a great plot line to pass up. I'd like to tap into a greater consciousness before I put the ideas to paper. I look forward to your throughs. :)

Author:  theRajjj [ Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Death of Baldur (which version do you prefer?)

I had no clue about this Saxo version, where can I read about it?


Author:  raleel [ Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Death of Baldur (which version do you prefer?)

I was not aware of a Saxo version, but I'm only a hobbyist, not a scholar.

http://www.shakespeare-online.com/sourc ... orum1.html this what you are referring to?

without having read it, Odin getting unseated IS a great plot line, and perhaps I'll use that in my 13th Age game that caused Ragnarok, and thus allows playing FOTN :)

Author:  andrew [ Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Death of Baldur (which version do you prefer?)

That looks about right, get ready for a shocker! :)

Author:  theRajjj [ Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Death of Baldur (which version do you prefer?)

:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
:o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o

I just read it and W.T.F.


Nanna is mortal, Hoder is a hero who kicks Aesir god ass, Baldur acts like an ass and Odin is unseated for rape????

end spoilers

I had no idea the myths had such divergent versions!!!! How the #$%& do you reconcile that?? But bro this is effin intriguing stuff. Who's this Saxo and can he be trusted? From a quick google it seems his works are held in really high esteem. What are you going to do?? Are there more bombs like this??

Author:  Ægir [ Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Death of Baldur (which version do you prefer?)

Saxo Grammaticus is a post-Viking Age scholar, a Dane like me, from the 12th Century, a Christian and a servant of bishiop Absalom, a very notable figure of medieval Denmark.
And no, he is not held in all that much esteem in the Danish mythological research, mostly due to the Gesta Danorum being a work of propaganda, employed to enforce the sovereignty of the crown against the Holy Roman Empire, that was just south of the border.
The fact Gesta Danorum was a gathering of previously unrecorded folklore was as much an attempt to solidify the historic strength of the Danish state as it was to make a assembled work of myths from a previous age, as Denmark had just emerged from a vicious civil war that had effectively split the country in two.

One of our current scholars on the Viking Age stories have theorized that either Saxo built his tale of Baldur and Hoder from fragments of a lost, East-Norweigian tradition of myths, or incomplete versions of the Icelandic myth.

Mine the Gesta for plot-seeds all you want, but if you want to have stories that are more like the ones told in the age where they worshipped the gods, you're better off with the Eddas.

The Gesta OTOH, is great material for the Kings of Denmark and other contemporary kings of the pre-Viking Age Norse.
If you can work in the Battle of Brávellir in your chronicle? oooh, boy. That is made of badass.

Author:  andrew [ Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Death of Baldur (which version do you prefer?)

Interestingly Saxo has quite a prominent presence in the foot notes and bibliographies of most contemporary scholars. The thing with historical analysis is that it's prone to popular theories. If you look at certain old manuscripts, they come and go as new generations of historians look to revolutionize the way certain history is perceived. Take Erik Bloodaxe for example, he was clearly vilified by the Christian chroniclers of the time. Then came the many theories on what he "was really like". And then came the blame game about Gunnhild and her portrayals. It definitely makes for some muddy research. ;)

But I did want to ask, as a Dane you may have studied this is history class, what 10th century rulers of Zealand and Jutland were famous? I've taken the history of Gorm the Old and made him a legendary denizen in Fate of the Norns canon. Anyone else in the region worth including in the saga quintology? It's a little late for Denizens of the North, but there's room for more Midgard expansion via the 2016 books.

Likewise, it's a little late to add the Battle of Brávellir to Denizens of the North (Lords of the Ash is about non-Midgard realms), but I will have a section of legends who ascended to become Einherjar and Sons of Muspel, so keep the legendary names coming. I'll have these legendary figures from 300 years of history all alive and well in the heavenly halls awaiting Vigrid. Want to fight along side Ragnar Lodbrok AND Beowulf?

On that note, I think you will get a kick of how Valhalla was built, how Folkvangar came about and the origins of Glassisvellir. ;)

Author:  Ægir [ Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Death of Baldur (which version do you prefer?)

Gorm's son, Harald Bluetooth, but you know him.

Gorm's father was Harthacnut, a supposedly grandson of Ragnar Lodbrok through the line of Sigurdr Snake-In-The-Eye, who rose to power through the toppling of the line of Olav, a Swedish noblehouse that had taken the power over Denmark. He founded the Line of Jelling, the line that rule Denmark today. (Through a few hoops and jumps)

However, there is one guy I think you've missed in the 10th Century.
Palnatoke (which can be translated to Toke the Archer), a chieftain on Fyn and one of the finest archers in the land, who supposedly founded the Jomvikings. He was also a proto-William Tell, as he was forced by Bluetooth to shoot a apple from the top of his son's head. He kills Harald Bluetooth in late 10th Century. The two of them had some serious clashes due to Haraldr's christianity, as Palnatoke was a very staunch worshipper of the Old Gods.

Another figure was Strut-Haraldr, the king of Scania, who had a golden helmet and was a Jomviking in some sources, possibly another son of Gorm the Old.

Still, since the timeline of the game is early 10th Century, we might not have these guys around yet...

Honestly, there wasn't all that many legendary figures in 10th Century Denmark.
Most of the really badass stuff is concerning the Skjoldung Line, and for that we have plenty of sources. Both the Eddas, the Gesta and the Chronicon Lethrense.

Author:  andrew [ Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Death of Baldur (which version do you prefer?)

Palnatoke was definitely missed, so thanks for bringing him to my attention. When a good chunk of the DotN manuscript was written I didn't have any print books on the Jomsvikings. They appear in book 10 of Gesta Danorum, but I only have books 1 to 9. I categorically refuse to use online sources for research without print sources which backup the info. Rather than present the Jomsvikings in DotN with erroneous info, we created the Battle Wolves which are a tribute to this famous band.

Since then I have procured a book, so if/when we revisit Midgard lore at a future age of Ragnarok, they may make an appearance (rival to the Battle Wolves).

edit: What we will do for the saga quintology is present a map of Midgard with kingdoms and rulers. This section was too big to add to DotN and was subsequently cut. Each book in the quintology will present the world view at the start of each age. Book1 and 2 will be aligned with history, but 3-5 will be shaped by events driven by the dwellers.

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