The Banner Saga

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The Banner Saga is a single player video game series that takes place in a fictional world inspired by the medieval and Viking culture. The story-arc will be completed in a trilogy and is broken down in Chapters:

  • The first part of the trilogy ("Saga 1"), Chapters 1-7, was first released in January 2014.
  • The second part of the trilogy ("Saga 2"), Chapters 8-15, was first released in April 2016.
  • The third part of the trilogy ("Saga 3"), Chapters 16-?, has been announced for release in late 2018.

The story in each Chapter unfolds through the point-of-view (POV) of a specific character of the story; the POV character occasionally shifts between chapters. Some important events have consequences that often trigger in latter parts of the story.

The above map details the paths and routes taken by different caravans/groups across The Banner Saga 1 and 2, as well as an estimated scale based on historical travel times. Click here for enlarged version.

Part 1[edit | edit source]

Background rook.png

The first part of the trilogy details the opening act of what starts like the Third Great War, fought between the invading Dredge and the unsteady alliance of Humans and Varl.

The main protagonist/POV character of the first part of The Banner Saga is Rook, a human hunter from Skogr. However, some of the first Chapters of the game are played from the POV of two Varl characters, Ubin and Hakon.

Chapter Title POV Main Locations
1 Only the Sun Has Stopped Ubin StrandVedrfell
2 Cut With Keen-Edged Sword Rook SkogrFrostvellr
3 Little Did They Sleep Hakon Vedrfell → RidgehornGrofheim
4 Lest They Not Come Home Rook Frostvellr → WyrmtoeEinartoft
5 Weary the Weight of the Sun Juno → Rook Einartoft
6 Of Our Bones the Hills Rook Einartoft → SigrholmBoersgard
7 The Slayer and the Slain Rook Boersgard

Chapter 1[edit | edit source]

"Only the Sun Has Stopped"

It has been several weeks since the start of an ominous cosmological phenomenon: The sun has stopped in the sky... Ubin, a tax collector for the Varl King, Jorundr, arrives in the human city of Strand just in time to stop an attack on the Governor by a renegade clan called the Skalfings. The Governor's steward, Eirik, requests Ubin's assistance in handling further problems with the Skaflings. Shortly afterwards, a large fleet flying the Varl and the Arberrang banners land on Strand's docks. Ubin meets up with the kendr of the Varl king, Vognir, along with his entourage, Hakon and Mogr. The Varl are escorting Prince Ludin, the heir of King Meinolf, to the Varl capital of Grofheim in order to seal an alliance between the two races. Ubin is also headed for Grofheim so he attaches himself to Vognir's caravan. Not long after their departure from Strand, Vognir is slain by stray Dredge in Vedrfell under unclear circumstances, with Prince Ludin being the only eye witness.

  • Important story-branching events: None. Choices only affect supporting characters.

Chapter 2[edit | edit source]

"Cut With Keen-Edge Sword"

Rook and his young daughter, Alette, encounter a lone Dredge whilst hunting in the woods near Skogr. Fleeing with all haste, they return to Skogr and alert the Chieftain and his wife, Oddleif, to the impending attack. Iver, a solitary Varl and old friend of Rook, and Egil, a boy around the same age as Alette, assist in defending the village until it is decided that they have no choice but to evacuate. The Skogr Banner is salvaged from the Great Hall and, under it, the small caravan flees for Frostvellr, the closest walled city, swelling along the march as many people decide to join with them under the shadow of the Dredge menace. The Banner along with the leadership of the caravan are soon passed on to the unwilling Rook by the Chieftain's wife, as he is unable to perform his duties. Arriving in Frostvellr, they are faced with another problem: The city is overcrowded by refugees and the governor has shut its gates to anyone trying to enter. Rook has to decided whether to force their way into the city or camp outside, even as the Dredge are closing in.

  • Important story-branching events: None. Choices only affect supporting characters.

Chapter 3[edit | edit source]

"Little Did They Sleep"

Hakon, kendr to the late Vognir, assumes command of the Varl caravan and proceeds on the march towards Grofheim, encountering many Dredge en route. His relations with Ludin are tested due to the Prince's arrogant behavior. Nevertheless, the help offered by him and his bodyguards, Yrsa and Bersi, is welcomed. South of the Hanged Man, a small Varl party dispatched from Schlid and led by Fasolt informs Hakon's caravan that great number of Dredge are pouring out of Ridgehorn, a fortress on the west coast, north of Strand. In an impulse, Hakon changes the course of the caravan and strikes for Ridgehorn, where they find the fortress destroyed and littered with Dredge bodies. On the top of the tower, they discover the bodies of two humans, one of them alive. Turning to leave, they find out that large numbers of Dredge have trapped them in Ridgehorn. Amassing their courage, the Varl cut through the Dredge once more, an the caravan hastily retakes its course towards Grofheim. Further down the road, the human survivor awakens, reveals that he is a Mender called Eyvind and implores Hakon to go back for his companion, Juno. Hakon refuses as they are only a short way from Grofheim. To their great woe, once they scale the Two Spears and gaze north, they behold the Varl city aflame and completely overrun by Dredge...

  • Important story-branching events: Hakon allows Prince Ludin to die in Ridgehorn or not.

Chapter 4[edit | edit source]

"Lest They Not Come Home"

Rook and Iver decide that Frostvellr is unsafe for the Skogr caravan whether inside or out, and head for Wyrmtoe, pushing through long stretches of frozen waste. They arrive to a cold welcome, but are treated courteously by an old Varl warrior named Krumr, who instantly recognizes the legendary Varl hero Yngvar in Iver. The Varl of Wyrmtoe join up, eager to fight the Dredge, and the combined Human and Varl caravan decide to make for Grofheim. Along the way, a small Varl party led again by Fasolt informs them of the fate of Grofheim, when a tremendous earthquake shakes the foundations of the mountains. Pursued by Dredge and earthquakes, the caravan makes a desperate run for the Godstone of Hadrborg being fortified by Varl. With nowhere else to go, the Skogr caravan is directed to the Varl fortress-city of Einartoft, where they are admitted only when Iver vouches for the human refugees. Once safely inside, Rook and Iver join a War council attended by the Varl king Jorundr, Hakon, Krumr, Eyvind and (optionally) Yrsa and Prince Ludin. The situation is soon revealed to be desperate: Under siege by Dredge forces led by Stonesingers, the Varl try to hold on to the ancient bridge connecting the city-fortress to the Varl lands in the north. With Jorundr outright refusing to destroy the bridge so as to stop the Dredge, the heroes are forced to fight. In this attempt, Iver sacrifices himself fighting the Dredge commander, Bellower, and is mortally wounded. Eyvind distracts Bellower just as he is prepared to deliver the killing blow, when the giant Serpent (possibly responsible for the earthquakes) emerges and scatters both Varl and Dredge.

  • Important story-branching events: Rook accepts Onef's offer to join-up, as they are leaving Frostvellr, or not.

Chapter 5[edit | edit source]

"Weary the Weight of the Sun"

Juno, the Mender abandoned in Ridgehorn, reawakens suspended in a dream-world location alike to the ruined fortress where her body was left lying. There, she finds herself facing the massive Serpent that attacks her. Its efforts prove fruitless and Juno manages to extract some enigmatic information from it, concerning a 'darkness' spreading from the north. She infers that the Dredge invasion is not the biggest problem, but it is surely the most pressing. Shortly after this encounter, she reaches out with her mind to contact Eyvind, and urges him to delay Bellower and the Dredge host as much as possible and meet her further south. Eyvind awakens after the exhausting slumber he fell in, after saving Iver's life despite Iver losing his arm. Eyvind implores Rook to take him to Sigrholm where Juno is supposed to meet them. The Skogr caravan, obviously unwanted by the majority of the Varl, soon leaves Einartoft to its grim fate.

  • Important story-branching events: Rook assists Eyvind in his desperate plan of destroying the bridge of Einartoft without the King's permission, or not.

Chapter 6[edit | edit source]

"Of Our Bones the Hills"

Shortly after their flight, the Skogr caravan is joined by Ubin and his retinue, who inform them of the fall of Einartoft: Bellower feinted a retreat after the Serpent struck and circled around to storm the fortress-city from its other entrance. The Varl King, Jorundr, along with Hakon, Fasolt and all the other defenders are assumed dead. Unable to cross the Summer Path, due to it being held by the Dredge, the caravan takes a long and hard detour but eventually make it to Sigrholm, exhausted and famished. The small town is ravaged by the earthquakes and the inhabitants are openly hostile to the refugees. Juno fails to appear as Morale drops and problems never seem to stop. After some debate and with no better option, Rook decides their only hope now lies in the fortified city of Boersgard. On the road again, they find out that the hardships of the march do not relent even though the caravan enters into more temperate climates as it presses southwards. At Godstone Ingrid the caravan is shaken by the revelation that the Dredge are not entirely warlike, but also have families and children; only Iver is not surprised by this discovery and later relates the story of the Yngvar and Raze to Rook. A small glimmer of hope fills the Skogr caravan as it finally reaches the large city of Boersgard.

  • Important story-branching events: Rook decides the caravan should take-in a Dredge baby found in the hands of a dead Dredge female, in the Godstone Ingrid, or not.

Chapter 7[edit | edit source]

"The Slayer and the Slain"

Once Rook and the Skogr caravan enter Boersgard their hearts sink once more. The city is in the brink of chaos and the mercenary company called Ravens, under the command of Bolverk Bloodaxe, is the only thing holding the city together. More Dredge arrive to besiege to city with every passing day, while supplies are running out and widespread riots are tearing the city apart from the inside. Rook, Eyvind and Iver decide that their only hope is to construct boats and sail down the Ormsa River to Arberrang. Before they can complete their plan, the city defenses begin to falter under the overwhelming Dredge pressure. The gates are barely held as a familiar Horn is sounded from outside the city. The unlikely Varl King, Hakon, accompanied by Juno and a considerable Varl force that left Einartoft before its fall, break through the siege and reinforce the city's garrison. Early excitement fails as Bellower arrives and presses the siege. The heroes are forced to face him, relying on a desperate plan devised by Juno: A special arrow crafted by the mystical metal taken from the Godstone of Stravhs can neutralize Bellower's Immortality so that he can be taken down by conventional attacks. Rook indulges in Juno's plan and leads the Party that faces Bellower.

  • Important story-branching events: Rook decides whether to allow Alette to loose the Silver Arrow at Bellower or not.

Part 2[edit | edit source]

The second (middle) part of the trilogy picks up soon after the ending of the first part, with the caravan, hard pressed by the Dredge population that moves south-west en masse, fleeing westward to seek the protection of the Walls of Arberrang.

The main protagonist/POV character of the second part of The Banner Saga is either Rook or his daughter, Alette, depending on who loosed the Silver Arrow in the final battle of Chapter 7. Bolverk also becomes a POV character.

Chapter Title POV Main Locations
8 From Their Homes Must All Flee Rook/Alette Aleo's village → Ormsdalr
9 Cast The Hone Into The Air Bolverk Ormsdalr → Bindal
10 To Speak In All Tongues Rook/Alette Ormsdalr → GrundarLundar
11 Where A Foe May Lurk Bolverk Bindal → Deep Maw → West Cave Exit
12 The Destined Day Shall Come R/A → Juno → R/A Lundar → Old WoodFiskivik
13 The Fetters Will Burst Bolverk West Cave Exit → Old Ford
14 Brothers Fight And Kinship Stain Rook/Alette TolirArberrang
15 In Fear Quake All Iver Manaharr

Chapter 8[edit | edit source]

"From Their Homes Must All Flee"

  • Important story-branching events: Rook/Alette has option to impress or disappoint Rugga.

Chapter 9[edit | edit source]

"Cast The Hone Into The Air"

  • Important story-branching events: None. Bolverk's decisions only affect support characters & secondary events.

Chapter 10[edit | edit source]

"To Speak In All Tongues"

  • Important story-branching events: Rook/Alette has option to impress or disappoint Rugga.

Chapter 11[edit | edit source]

"Where A Foe May Lurk"

  • Important story-branching events: Bolverk accepts the wounded Dredge Stonesinger in the Ravens caravan or not.

Chapter 12[edit | edit source]

"The Destined Day Shall Come"

  • Important story-branching events: Rook/Alette has option to impress or disappoint Rugga.

Chapter 13[edit | edit source]

"The Fetters Will Burst"

  • Important story-branching events: None. Bolverk's decisions only affect support characters & secondary events.

Chapter 14[edit | edit source]

"Brothers Fight And Kinship Stain"

  • Important story-branching events: Rook/Alette sides with the King (against Rugga) or not. The stance of the King against the Varl led by Hakon depends on whether Ludin survived Chapter 3 or not.

Chapter 15[edit | edit source]

"In Fear Quake All"

  • Important story-branching events: Iver defeats the Bellower-possessed Bolverk or not.
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