This article contains assorted Lore information that does not fit in any of the other articles of the wiki. As the world of The Banner Saga is unveiled, this article will be further expanded and restructured.
Most of the lore recorded here is conveyed by the main POV characters of the game and may, in many cases, be subjective or unjustified, representing their personal judgement.
- 1 Gods
- 2 Notable Characters
- 2.1 Varl
- 2.2 Human
- 2.3 Dredge
- 2.4 Horseborn
- 3 Notable Events
- 4 Notable Structures
Gods[edit | edit source]
This section contains information about the known deities of the game's world. The names of several gods have been given along with their 'disciplines'. By the era when the game takes place, it is common knowledge that 'The Gods are Dead'.
- Loom-mother — Primary female goddess, who originally created the human race.
- Dundr — Primary male god, a disciple of the Loom-mother. Responsible for beards, smithing, games and songs of mirth.
- Hridvaldyr — God of hunters, wild beasts and forests. Depicted with a spear.
- Denglr — God of fortune and wealth.
- Radormyr — God of the Sun and the Harvest; also very secretive, usually depicted as a giant serpent.
- Marek — God of waters and sea. Depicted as a giant ocean beast.
- Hadrborg — Creator of the Varl race.
- Ingrid — Goddess of recorded history, possibly also knowledge, lore and future.
- Bjorulf — God of mead and brewing
- Stravhs — God of secrets and trade. Supposedly connected with the weapons by which the gods were slain.
More gods are revealed in the second part of The Banner Saga
- Aselei — Goddess of steaming waters and rivers.
- Irynx — Unknown aspects, possibly the God of Winter; depicted as a giant bird.
- Baldringr — God of war; shunned by the Varl.
- Vez'nan — Ancient and mostly forgotten god. Presumed aspects: control, power and letting go.
- Geirraðr — God of wise counsel and direction.
- Bygglaerer — The Builder, god responsible for laying the cavernous foundations of the world and raising it's mountains.
- Lauga — Goddess of Love.
Giant memorials called Godstones are devoted to each of those gods and can be met playing the game.
Notable Characters[edit | edit source]
This section contains information about specific characters, divided according to the race they belong in. There are currently four races.
Refer to the dedicated articles for specific details.
Varl[edit | edit source]
Horned and bearded giants, hand made by the god Hadrborg. They are all male, and unable to reproduce. Generally warlike, especially against the Dredge race.
Arnfinnr[edit | edit source]
Einar[edit | edit source]
After the end of the first great war, the Varl chose to separate themselves from humans and form their own kingdom in the lands of the North. Einar was chosen to be their ruler, and so became the first King of the Varl. After leading the Varl on a harsh journey through the snowy, dredge-infested fields of the Wandering Road, he founded his kingdom in the crook of the Brattabreck and Wyrmscale mountain ranges. However, northward expansion was blocked by the Brattabrecks, long thought to mark the edge of the world. When a pass through the mountains was discovered across the gorge from Einartoft, Einar built a monumental bridge to cross the gap, thus allowing the Varl to push their borders further to the north.
Gunr[edit | edit source]
He was the first to discover the series of low-lying hills in the Wyrmscale foothills that look eerily similar to barrows.
Jorundr[edit | edit source]
The fifth Varl King, ruling in Grofheim during the events of The Banner Saga.
- Refer to the main article for more details.
Karl[edit | edit source]
Notable Varl warrior, connected with Strand and the nearby regions. He turned against his own kind on the behest of the menders in the First Great War, and would be instrumental in ending it. Later a governor of Strand, he currently rests at the bottom of Karlsvat.
Karli[edit | edit source]
Not much is known about him, other than that he is a mentor and friend of Sigbjorn, and that he died before the events of the first game. For some reason, any mention of his name greatly agitates Sigbjorn.
Kvig[edit | edit source]
Known as the last one, Kvig is the youngest Varl, the last one made by Hadrborg. As narrated in the second part of The Banner Saga, Kvig survives the sacking of Einartoft and, together with Fasolt, meets up with the Ravens caravan.
Skrymir[edit | edit source]
Skrymir, the third Varl King, was known for his obsession with wiping out the dredge. He expanded past Grofheim, founding Skrymirstead, a city in his own name, that soon became abandoned when the frozen land that it was built upon began to crack and splinter.
- Gunnulf claims that his two-handed greatsword was given to him by Skrymir himself, and he entrusted him to guard the King and his belongings.
Snorri[edit | edit source]
He is one of the oldest Varl during the events of The Banner Saga, alongside Ubin and Krumr. He was residing in Grofheim before that city was destroyed by the Dredge during the ongoing Third Great War; it is unknown if he survived.
The First Warhawk[edit | edit source]
Though his name was not directly stated, he was an infamous warlord and veteran of both Great Wars. A mentor to a great number of varl, including Sigbjorn and possibly Gunnulf, he dreamt of eradicating all of mankind in a continuation of the First Great War. On his king's behest, he relented, electing to head north and eradicate the dredge instead.
Throstr[edit | edit source]
Fourth Varl King, known for building Blotsbalkr in the province of Setterlund, making it the seat of his rule. An act that left the established clans in Grofheim none too pleased. He died under mysterious circumstances, that has been unanswered to this day.
- See also: Throstr's Tooth.
Yngvar[edit | edit source]
A legendary Varl hero of the Second Great War, renowned for slaying Raze and then mysteriously disappearing while he was about to be named kendr to the Varl King. During the events of The Banner Saga it is revealed that Yngvar is in fact Iver, the solitary Varl residing in Skogr. Iver withdrew to that small town out of shame for the way in which he slew Raze, during a snowstorm while she was nursing her baby.
Human[edit | edit source]
First race created by the Loom-mother arch-deity. No special features. In generally good terms with Varl, and hostile to the Dredge.
Aldis[edit | edit source]
Arberrang King[edit | edit source]
Ruler of (most) human clans, residing in Arberrang, one of the largest human settlements and capital to his kingdom. During the events of The Banner Saga, King Meinolf reigns, with Prince Ludin being his heir.
Aukfrosta[edit | edit source]
Aukfrosta is the name given to a small girl found frozen during a random event in the first part of The Banner Saga. She has a mysterious understanding of Dredge ways, like a 'sixth sense' or a connection to them.
Etil[edit | edit source]
Founder of Etiltorp, a renowned weapon smith.
Hero of Skogr[edit | edit source]
This unofficial title refers to either Rook or Alette, i.e. the character who carried the Silver Arrow in the fight where Bellower was defeated and the Dredge siege of Boersgard was broken, at the end of the first part of The Banner Saga.
- Title sometimes confused with Sundr Slayer, a title used in the second part of The Banner Saga for the hero that neutralized Bellower: if Rook carried the Silver Arrow then Alette is the Sundr Slayer, and vice-versa.
Mender Council[edit | edit source]
Resides in Manaharr and controls the Menders. In the past, most members of the Council were Valka. During the time of the story of The Banner Saga, Juno, Zefr and Dusi are the only known current members of this conclave.
Rake[edit | edit source]
Sten[edit | edit source]
Strom[edit | edit source]
Leader of a large faction that founded a kingdom to the east, during the human civil wars. While the kingdom is no more, the region called Stromlund still bears his name. He also founded Ormsdalr, close to Boersgard. Strom's hopes of rich lands in the South-East were drowned in the swamps of Swartbog.
Unnarr[edit | edit source]
Unnarr is a quirky old man encountered in a random event in the first part of The Banner Saga. If he joins the caravan, he mysteriously disappears after some days, but not before having a beneficial impact on the Caravan.
Valka[edit | edit source]
That is the name by which the strongest of the Menders were collectively referred to, during the Second Great War against the Dredge. During the time of the story of The Banner Saga, it is unclear if there is any Mender powerful enough to match the Valka of old.
The original Valka were the favoured of the Loom-mother and were taught weaving by her. Eyvind is the leader and most powerful of the Valka during the events of The Banner Saga series. The male Valka are often prone to unstable behaviour unlike the women.
Dredge[edit | edit source]
Dredge are humanoid beings of varied size. Usually clad in darkly-colored stone (or metal) armor. Generally hostile against all other races. They are both male and female, and are able to reproduce. This was kept secret by the few Varl that knew the truth, to make the Dredge more alien and loathsome. They reside beneath the earth and their own name for themselves is akin to "sculptors".
Baby[edit | edit source]
During the events of The Banner Saga a baby Dredge is found in the arms of its dead mother (a Dredge Slinger) beside the Ingrid Godstone. This leads Rook to the startling realization that the Dredge aren't just monsters, but also have women and children, just like the humans. Iver is the only one not shocked and he urges Rook to conceal the discovery from the caravan. The baby can be abandoned to die unless Rook insists they bring it along; in this case, it is adopted by a nursemaid amongst the clanswomen and the caravan is rewarded an item.
Bellower[edit | edit source]
See main article.
Eyeless[edit | edit source]
See main article.
Chime[edit | edit source]
Raze[edit | edit source]
Ruin[edit | edit source]
Sundr[edit | edit source]
The mightiest of the Dredge champions are called Sundr and enjoy a demi-god status in their culture. They are given nicknames by their opponents:
- Bellower — Male. His mighty roars spread fear and despair to his enemies.
- Seethe (unconfirmed)
- Eyeless — A Stonesinger (possibly female) wearing a stone-plaque as a mask that covers her eyes.
- Raze — Female. Destroyer of fortifications and the mate of Bellower.
- Ruin — Female. Unknown powers; equipped with a whip-like chain.
- Chime — Female. She wanted to pursue a diplomatic path with other races in order to fend off the Darkness.
- Walker (unconfirmed)
- Seethe (unconfirmed)
Home[edit | edit source]
The home of the Dredge is in Valkajokull and the Underworld where they reside in caverns built by them. Like the surface, it also has a Sun which is dark and much more powerful than the Sun that gives light to the surface. After Juno was sentenced to death, Eyvind used its power to revive her, resulting in it falling to the ground and occurrence of quakes. This also resulted in the releasing of the Darkness and the half-born Serpent gestating within it. The Dredge habitat also contains large unknown creatures which are reported to often come to the surface. The menders use the fortresses with the suffix "horn" as a portal to travel to the home of the Dredge.
Horseborn[edit | edit source]
This secretive race is a cross-breed between humans and horses (or ponies). They reside in the far south and come into the story during the second part of The Banner Saga.
- See main article for more details.
Named Horseborn characters appearing in the story include:
Tin[edit | edit source]
A Horseborn that supposedly located the source of the Ormsa River.
Notable Events[edit | edit source]
This section contains information about specific events, with approximate chronological order of appearance.
First Great War[edit | edit source]
A war between humans and varl, ended when the Dredge emerged.
Second Great War[edit | edit source]
A war between the allied forces of man and varl against the Dredge menace. Ended when the Valka pushed the Dredge deep into the north. Though they were thought to have defeated them, in actual they convinced the dredge to stop the hostilities in return for teaching them things like writing, mending, utilising the power of the Dark Sun beneath the earth and breeding to create more of their kind.
Death of the Gods[edit | edit source]
It is not clear when this critical event took place. When the Loom-mother created the mankind and the world, other gods copied her and created other races like Varl and Horseborn. One of the gods created the Dredge to torment the other races and hid them beneath the surface of the world. After the Loom-mother discovered this, she killed the errant god. The other gods who never knew they could die, became fearful and started fighting each other. It is believed that the god Stravhs supplied the weapons the gods used to kill each other.
Third Great War[edit | edit source]
Currently unfolding series of events. For a fuller account refer to the main article.
The Third Great War is considered to have started with an ominous astronomical happenstance: The Sun Stopped in the Sky and hasn't moved since. Soon after, overwhelming numbers of Dredge started moving massively from the north to the south. The war was caused by them believing the Valka had betrayed their pact after their leader Eyvind utilised the energy of the Dark Sun to ressurect Juno, causing it to crash to the ground while creating chasms and unleashing the Serpent along with the Darkness.
Extended fighting between them and Varl & human erupted in almost all the northern parts of the world due to the enmity between the races. The descent of the Dredge led to the destruction of several settlements, including two major Varl cities, Grofheim and Einartoft. The King of the Varl, Jorundr, escaped the destruction the capital city of Grofheim but fell in the sacking of the fortress-city of Einartoft. The Varl kingship was passed on to Hakon, who was issued from the fortress-city with a Varl warband before its fall, ordered to seek the aid of King Meinolf.
The appearance of the Dredge was followed by tremendous earthquakes that destroyed vast territories and changed the shape of the landscape by moving mountains, opening chasms and sinking lakes. A strange being in the form of a giant Serpent appeared along with the mysterious earthquakes, for which it is possibly partially responsible. Juno, a member of the Mender council supposedly 'conversed' with the Serpent in a dream-like sequence, and reported that an unnamed Darkness is spreading from the north. It is presumed that this Darkness is what forced the Dredge to move south, in fear and great distress.
The onslaught of the Dredge continued to rage across the world and forced the other races to flee before them. Unlike the Varl, who preferred to stand their ground against their ancient rivals, Humans formed caravans and fled to the south and south-west. The largest of the caravans originated from the village of Skogr and grew with every village and city it crossed. Human settlements attacked and destroyed by the Dredge include: Skogr, Frostvellr and Sigrholm. Bellower, the Sundr commander of the main Dredge host, was defeated during the siege of Boersgard by the Sundr Slayer, aided by Juno, Hakon's warband and the self-sacrifice of the Hero of Skogr. Nevertheless, Boersgard was evacuated and its refugees, headed by Governor Rugga, joined with the Skogr caravan heading to Arberrang by means of the Ormsa River to seek the protection of its legendary walls.
Bolverk's Ravens, the mercenary company hired to protect Boersgard, also departed with the Skogr caravan but soon switched direction at Ormsdalr, heading west towards Bindal. The Ravens mysteriously re-appeared in the Old Ford where they vanquished Eyeless, the Sundr commander of a large Dredge host fleeing before the descending Darkness.
Population from the southern regions of the world, including Horseborn and Kragsmen, were also stirred by the turmoil of the world. Large Horseborn herds, both hostile and friendly, were sighted in northern parts of the world after many decades. The largest of the Herds, led by Canary, joined with the Skogr caravan en route to Arberrang.
The last recorded events of the Third Great War are:
- The arrival of the Skogr caravan to Arberrang and its attempt to enter the city walls, held shut by King Meinolf in fear of the overpopulation.
- The massacre of hundreds of human clansmen camped outside Arberrang by a Horseborn herd.
- The collapse of the Mender Tower in Manaharr under mysterious circumstances, followed by the release of huge amounts of Energy.
- The Darkness sweeps over the remains of Manaharr and looms in the north-western sky from Arberrang...
Chronology of Major Events[edit | edit source]
> 500 y.a.
- Loom mother creates the first men.
- First Varl created, including most of the varl characters in the games
- First Great War Begins
- Baldringr gifts fire to man
- Varl pushed back to the Red River
- Karl switches to the human side
- Horseborn push into Downs Crossing
- Birth of the Dredge
- Kvig, the last varl, is made
- First Great War Ends:
- Death of the Gods
- Varl-Human Alliance forged
- Kingdom of Men founded in Arberrang
- Mender Council formed in Manaharr
- Kingdom of Varl founded by Einar in Einartoft
- Karl made Governor of Strand
- Horseborn dominance established over Dalalond
- Varl capital moved to Fastisetr
- Einartoft Bridge constructed
- Einar steps down. Arnfinnr becomes varl king
- Varl capital moved to Grofheim
- Strom’s Rebellion. Kingdom of Rundwall and Kingdom of Stromlund founded.
- Arnfinnr steps down, Skrymir becomes varl king.
- Setterlund starts being settled, Sten founds Skogr
- Tin discovers the southern source of the Ormsa river
- Skrymirstead founded
- Strom dies
- Gunnulf is gifted his current broadsword
- Kingdom of Men re-founded. Stromlund and Setterlund begin reunification with Rundwall.
- Theft and Slaughter of Horses
- Horseborn withdraw from other races
- Sundr emerge, Second Great War Begins
- Skymir dies. Throstr becomes varl king and obtains the Gift of Hadrborg.
- Yngvar slays Raze and child
- Mender's defeat the Sundr
- Second Great War Ends:
- Dredge massacred/banished into the caves of Valkajokull
- Yngvar refuses Throstr's kendrship, disappears
- Varl capital moved to Blotsbalkr
- Throstr dies mysteriously, Jorundr becomes varl king.
- Meinolf becomes King of Men
- Rook is born
- Varl capital moved to Grofheim
- Iver appears in Skogr
- Alette is born
- Aldis dies.
- Events of The Gift of Hadrborg
- Ludin sent to Grofheim. Varl-Human alliance reforged
- The Sun stops
Notable Structures[edit | edit source]
Notable Human- and Varl-made structures include:
- The Tower of Manaharr, seat of the Mender Council.
- The Bridge of Einartoft, connecting the Varl fortress-city to the northern parts of the world.
- The Black Wall of Arberrang, a defensive formation.