Sunday 1 January 2023

Orsa The Fearless: Ragnarok

With the death of the Mountain King, Orsa is able to forge and alliance between the Northern Tribes, the Svartalfar and, after learning to accept her dark heritage, even the feral Vild flock to her cause. They march to meet the forces of invading Altan Empire on the Barrow Hills.

However, as battle is about to be joined, Orsa learns that Skadi, the corrupted Norn, will perform a ritual to strip the essence from her sister Skuld and give Skadi dark power of untold levels. With this power, there would be no hope of stopping Skadi's dark legions from destroying everything.

Making the hard decision to leave her allies on the eve of battle, Orsa leads a combined force to stop the ritual from taking place and defeat Skadi once and for all.


And we're back for the finale of the Orsa the Fearless feature pack for 7TV Fantasy. This scenario is pretty much a straight fight between our heroes and the forces of evil. The only wrinkles are Skadi's ability to generate new undead warriors whilst inside the stone circle and the burial mounds rules from the encounters booklet which cause random events each time a star or co-star takes two move actions in a turn (a rule we remembered...sometimes...).

For this finale, I was joined by JP. He'd brought his undead legions forth and I would be controlling or so far unsuccessful heroine, portrayed by glamour model Alessandria di Napoli in this even lower budget remake of the already pretty low budget remake of the 1980's (fictional) cult classic.


Bale-fires burned in the Barrow Hills at a site of ancient power and significance to the Northern Tribes. Here they believed was a place where the gods could be communed with, and as such for generations, great chieftains had been interred into burial mounds in this place to ease their passing to the netherworld.

Into this ominous landscape comes the Norn-Crone Skadi and her unnatural minions drawn from the ancestral tombs of the very peoples that she seeks to enslave. The reanimated corpse of Ingrum the Fallen, the Executioner King, orders forwards his eternal servants, still mounted on their spectral steeds, whilst beside Skadi lumbers an Ofarr, an abomination of wickedness forged from the flesh of the newly slain.

Meanwhile, Grissle of the Hoarfrost is also risen and glides forwards ahead of Skadis legion of Draugr, those poor Altan warriors who had been assigned as an honour guard. Their bones still served in death, but their flesh was all gone, used in the vile magic that had created the Ofarr.

This shambling hoard made its way forward, its only purpose to prevent anybody from impeding the ritual that would give Skadi ultimate power over the Northern Tribes, their allies and even the Altan Empire.

Suddenly, figures appear on the hills. Skadi looks up and recognises the mercenary Wulf leading a combined force of Vild and Svartalfar to stop the summoning. The Norn-Crone snarls, there are not enough of them to stops her, but a familiar roar echoes through the barrows and Skadi curses.

As sure as day follows night, Wulf's force is joined by a war-party of Northern Tribesmen, led inevitably by that Vild foundling of Skuld's, Orsa, and her damnable bear, Karhu.

Skadi would needs to slow them down if she was to complete the ritual.

Skadi muttered words in a foul and forgotten language. As the Svartalfar rushed forwards they were assailed by spectres emanating from the barrows around them.

Ingrum the Fallen screeched and his dark knights surged forward towards the stricken Svartalfar, and were followed by the unholy form of the Ofarr.

With one flank of the enemy engaged, Skadi scuttled forwards to begin the ritual of power...

...whilst Ingrum led the Draugr forwards to engage Orsa.

Although seemingly slashing at thin air, the Svartalfar were able to drive off the spectres before the enemy forces arrived.

However, a volley from Wulf and the Vild failed to slow the massive forms moving towards them through the mist, battle would be joined too far from the stone circle for any of them to intervene in the ritual.

Meanwhile, on the other flank, the Northern Tribes paused to unleash a volley of arrows that dropped several of the Draugr, but the shambling undead kept moving. The mist briefly parted and Orsa briefly had a clear shot at her foe...

She bent her great hunting bow and let fly a shot that flew straight and true, puncturing Skadi's shoulder and crucially breaking her concentration. The Norn-Crone screeched as the impcat knocked her to the floor.

However, her screech urged her minions forwards. Dark riders galloped up the burial mounds and thundered into the Vild lines.

Meanwhile, Draugr rained arrows down on the Northern Tribesmen whilst Grissel of the Hoarfrost drifted out of from behind an obelisk. Her deathly chill seemed to draw Karhu's spirit out of his body and sent Orsa's normally stoic companion running, seeking a place to cower.

She then turned her baleful gaze upon Orsa and the warrior-maiden was gripped the with instinctual rage and bloodlust of the Vild.

She leapt towards her companions, cutting down the cheiftain from behind. His bones would rest with his ancestors, but not before Orsa hate sated the long denied hunger for human flesh...

...but before she could commit such a terrible atrocity, the chanting of a Shaman brought her back to herself and she looked down on the crime she had committed and considered the even worse crime she has been about to commit.

Hatred burning in her eyes, Orsa charged towards Grissel, her blade slashing out and driving the shade backwards. Somehow Grissel was able to parry Orsa's lighting strikes, but was being slowly driven down to the ground.

It cackled at Orsa, "You'll never defeat me alone!"

"But she's not alone, " came a voice from behind the creature, "she's built an alliance to stop you," and the blade of a Northern Tribesman emerged through Grissel's shifting form, breaking the spell that was holding it together.

The Svartalfar now counter-charged into the minions of Skadi, driving the foul creatures back and allowing Wulf to slip away unseen.

With her attention fixed upon Orsa, Skadi didn't see Wulf sneaking up. He grabbed her by the neck and dragged her over to where Orsa was making a fight back.

He knew that the Svartalfar would fight bravely, but they were over-matched and would eventually be ground down. However, they had sworn their allegiance and they could and would buy Orsa time with their deaths.

Wulf had captured Skadi, but keeping control of her was a more difficult issue. Foul magic surged out of her, killing the warrior who had aided Orsa in a foul explosion of flesh that required cutting out of the film in some territories. Wulf and Orsa were knocked flat, stunned and immobile as everything went blurry and slow-motion.

The disgusting form of the Ofarr lumbered into view, striding towards where Wulf lay, picked him up by the throat and, in scene that also didn't make it past many censors, bit his head clean off.

More Draugr arrows fell amongst Orsa's allies, and she thought she could hear the voices of the gods as she lay sprawled suggestively one the floor (it was actually a contractual requirement that Di Napoli would have one scene like this in each episode) Time seemed to slow down and the foul Ofarr began to move towards her, whilst Skadi screamed in victory.

Suddenly, there was a growl as loud as the great Fenrir and Karhu leapt in to the fray defend Orsa, the fight between the Ofarr and the bear a masterpiece of special effects technology, as the stop-motion Ofarr swiped at the man-in-a-bear-suit, only to have it's own throat ripped out.

Karhu roared in triumph.

However, Skadi wasn't done and the ritual was near completion. Dark magic seemed to suffuse her, healing her wound and drawing Ingrum the Fallen to her side, knocking the bear back to where it would not be able to stop to the Norn-Crone from ascending to absolute power.

Orsa got to her feet, a single warrior by her side. Karhu was down, Wulf was dead and her allies were gone. Only she stood between Skadi and ultimate power. Remembering the gift of mandrake root Skuld had given her in a cutaway scene in the first episode, she thought of what her foster-mother had told her:

"Keep this with you. Dark magic cannot abide the mandrake root. When it's time, remember me and remember you are Orsa. The Fearless."

Alone, outnumbered and injured, Orsa grabbed the mandrake root and rushed headlong towards Skadi, plunging it into the swirling energies surrounding the Norn-Crone. A purple light swelled around them and suddenly burst outwards, dissipating the energies and freezing Skadi and Ingrum in place.

The ritual was over. The undead collapsed where they were and the sun bean to peek through the clouds. Orsa plunged her blade into the heart of the still frozen Skadi, looking deep into the witch's eyes as she did so, the failure written there little comfort for those she had lost.

Wulf and the the others were laid to rest in the barrows of the ancestors. The lone survivor took the tale back to the tribes who had fared badly against the Altan Empire forces, and yet hope had been kindled and the fight would continue.

Orsa and Karhu stood silhouetted on the hill top. Skadi may have been stopped, the Altan Emperor had put these events in motion. She looked southwards with vengeance in her heart.


That was a brilliant game with an epic conclusion.

It swung backwards and forwards with heroic deeds and vile magic tipping the balance. The good guys felt overwhelmed simply because of how many plot points the evil cast generated, and when JP used the voodoo doll artefact to dominate Orsa, I thought it was over.

However, killing Grissel and then capturing Skadi with the staff of the serpent gave me a chance as Wulf stole the scene and used the opportunity to get his prisoner nearer to Orsa for the death blow until a terrible combination of spells and trilogy cards saw both Orsa and Wulf stunned and immobilised and having to pay double plot points to remove the statuses.

Wulf being killed made things desperate for the good guys unless I could pull off the kind of endings that only happen in 80's fantasy movies like Willow or Red Sonja. The Winter of the World trilogy card had immobilised much of the evil force and therefore, despite absolutely slaughtering the good guys, the villains were on the edge of being axed.

Orsa, who was on one wound, rushing in with the mandrake root on the last turn of the game immobilised both Ingrum and Skadi, axing the villains and causing a three point swing to give a 4-2 victory to the heroes.

However, because of previous losses, the game began with the villains having a 3 point head start, meaning that ultimately the campaign was a minor victory for the villains.

This just means that there will be a sequel.

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