Hel: A Myth and Scenario for Mythender
This is based on Norse mythology. Loosely. The actual mythology isn't consistent, and really, this is Mythender, so let's play fast and loose to maximize the awesome!
If you die in glorious battle, you go to Valhalla and join the Einherjar to prepare for Ragnarok.
If not, you go to Hel, the domain of Loki's daughter, Hel.
(If double use of "Hel" bugs you, call the location "Niflheim" or "Niflhel".)
HelHel's Myth Sheet as a PDF
- Wound Cost: 7
- Storm Dice: 6
- Starting Thunder Dice: 8
- Starting Might Token: 20
- Might Token Recharge: 12
- Wounds: 3 3 3 4 5 6
Pick 4 weapons
- Goddess of death (intrinsic)
- Bound to Hel (intrinsic)
- Famine, her knife (relic)
- Hunger, her bowl (relic)
- Ganglati ("lazy walker") and Ganglöt ("tardy") (companion)
- The Dead, by sickness and age (companion)
- Allowing sundering of a Weapon
- Create or charge a Blight
- Gain 5 Thunder dice
- Gain 10 Lightning tokens
- The Mythenders die
- Bloodlust (2)
- Building Doom (0)
- Focused Onslaught (0/2)
- Grievous Harm (2)
- Harbinger of Storm - Surging (2) (2) (2) (2)
- One More Breath (1+)
- Relentlessness (2/4)
- Sureness (3)
- Swiftness (8)
- Viscious Denial (2)
Notes on Hel
Hel is a giantess and a daughter of Loki. She rules over the unhappy dead in her domain, Hel.
Goddess of death. Just about anything death related is fair game. If you kill a Mythender, maybe animate their dead body, even if they ultimately survive. Drain the Mythender's life, spreading a chill over them. You can also justify spectres. Perhaps as she is injured, she heals almost instantly, or perhaps missing parts are replaced with spectral versions of equal power.
Bound to Hel. Her domain, Hel, is part of her Myth. The land itself is fair game. Ice spikes out of the floor. Earthquakes. An eruption. Soul destroying bitter cold. Maybe she travels through the ground. Having the palace itself go for a walk is an option. There are frozen rivers to shape.
Famine, her knife and Hunger, her bowl. Both are excellent symbolic weapons for draining Mythenders. Famine is suitable for stabbing and starving Mythenders, while Hunger works well in the same role that a stereotypical wizard might use an amulet or other focus. I often make Hunger a weapon, but not Famine, but still use Famine as non-Weapon color when Sundering Hunger.
Ganglati ("lazy walker") and Ganglöt ("tardy") are Hel's servants. They seem relatively normal, but they're immortal and tied to the realm of death. Toss in super strength. Their immortality might mean they shrug off any wound, or maybe they keep dying and returning. They can mooch Hel's Bound to Hel, moving through the land itself.
The Dead, by sickness and age. A literal army of the dead. I typically make them individually weak, but there is a functionally limitless number, and can swarm the Mythenders. These can have bodies, or be more spectre-like. Don't discount the possibility of forming Voltron-like dead body golems!
Killing Hel, a scenario
I run this as a convention scenario. Hel is tougher than Thor, and I tend to kill Mythenders more often, but Hel has never made it to round five.
Battle 1: The Draugr
One can walk to Hel, because that's how myths go. Mythic Norden is a pretty cold, unpleasant place, but Hel gets even worse. As the Mythenders approach Hel, it's getting colder and colder. They find themselves walking down a deep ravine. The center is a frozen river. The walls of the ravine are covered in snow.
As they walk, they sense the approach of Draugr, passing through the ground itself. They will rise up from the ground as their blackened, bloated selves in front of the Mythenders, at roughly shouting range.
Assuming the Mythenders don't take the initiative, the Draugr, speaking clumsily over bloated tongues, welcome the Mythenders on behalf of Hel. The Draugr know how this is going to go down; they have no illusions that the Mythenders can be convinced to leave. After acknowledgment, the battle begins.
I typically select "magics granted by unsatisfyable hunger and gree", "the now-tainted weapons we were buried with" and "the horde itself." Potential Blights include creating a black, choking miasma (magics) or a rain of spears (weapons).
Moment: The Village
Humans survive in even the most inhospitable climates, even on the edge of Hel. The Mythenders come across a small village. Include whatever seems like will push the Mythender's buttons. I typically have pens of goats and a temple to Hel. If you have a lasting Blight, inflict it on the goats and perhaps the people; that can pressure the Mythenders to Perform a Badass, Epic Feat to help them.
Battle 2: Hel
The Mythender's enter Hel itself, It's absolutely cold. Nothing grows. There are several rivers, all completely solid. The dead shamble about, paying no attention.
In the distance is the glow of a huge volcano. As the Mythenders approach they see that high above are the gnarled roots of Yggdrasil. Entwined among the roots is Jörmungandr, the world serpent. Getting closer there is a crystalline palace on the edge of the volcano's caldera. A switchback allows access up. Jörmungandr constantly drips eitr, an incredibly poisonous, foul green liquid. The eitr pours down as a heavy rain into the caldera of the volcano, some splashing off the top of the palace.
Approaching the entrance, it becomes clear that it's entirely ice. Despite the proximity to the volcano, it's bitter cold. Ganglati and Ganglöt will be waiting at the doors and will bow respectfully and open the doors for the Mythenders (even if the two are not Weapons).
The main hall runs all the way to back of the palace, hanging over the caldera. Eitr can be seen falling onto the roof and rolling back into the caldera. The caldera itself is a mix of glowing lava and green eitr.
Hel sits in her throne at the far side of the hall. She will stand and nod to the Mythenders. She is a giant, remember her height. Likely topics for banter: that if they win they will likely take over her duties; that one of the two sides will be completely dead, denied both Hel and Valhalla.
Notes on general tactics are listed with her weapon notes above. In addition:
- You've got lots of incredibly poisonous eitr, suitable for making into a blight.
- The volcano. Lava! Eruptions! Throw people into it!
- Who says the palace needs to stay on top of the volcano? Throw it into the lava. Have it slide down off the volcano.
- Move the fight up to Yggdrasil. Bring Yggdrasil down to the fight.
- Drag Jörmungandr into the fight, perhaps as blight, or just moving terrain.